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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

the enemy of the good


The good of what, exactly? Well, to answer that, I have to go back in time a little to when I was in college and was required to take 4 classes in Philosophy, something I wasn't even remotely interested in. Picture a basset hound who is sleeping lazily on a porch on a hot day and whose ears and head remain lazily down even at the arrival of its master. But this requirement was a brilliant move by my college and one of the top few things I am profoundly grateful for in my life. Through philosophy, my soul was awakened and the curtains of my mind were thrown open, and light came flooding in, the dust particles slowly floating away. Crazy? Well, the truth is sometimes crazy.

I in no way claim to be a professional philosopher, just a lover of the quest. So please excuse any rough edges as I try to explain "the good." When talking about "the good," the good of the ( and therefore ANY) human person is what is meant. What a lofty claim! How can anyone say there is a good? That is an argument for a different day. But, I like to picture it as man freed, walking briskly, happily, contentedly, knowing he is on the right path, knowing where he is going, and so, doing what he ought, and happy about it. No barriers exist, not even external obstacles, because those are not road blocks, but merely meant to be hoped over through virtue. These bumps in no way affect his happiness or his goal. Now, this also means that the right path doesn't lead to anything tangible or material. Because those things can be taken away, but rather, the person's flight toward virtue. I've done my best this morning.

Lets bring this thing down back to reality, shall we?

I get overwhelmed sometimes. ( With 5 kids... REALLY? :) I wish I could get my house organized in a timely fashion, meet every need for myself and those in my life. But it isn't possible. It's overall possible, but not when broken down into the minutiae that is our life. Yesterday morning, I was desperate to get the dishes out of the sink but I first needed to empty the dishwasher. I also have my toddler and 2 month old hanging out with me all day, so I can't always get to things as quickly as I would like. But that is where I realized I could actually celebrate emptying the dishwasher in part. I couldn't do the whole thing just then. But, I could work toward my goal and actually feel good about it. "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." - St. Josemaria Escriva

So next time you want things to be different or think you or someone else could be better, you of course are right. We all can be better and we all can work toward the better. But, we can also celebrate the smallest step in moving toward it when "the better" is a long time coming.

Saturday, March 26, 2016



I think its safe to say most people are afraid of having a lot of kids.. Or even one! I think the fear is natural. The responsibility increases, the sleep decreases. The duties increase, the time in which to do them decreases.... or does it?

Yesterday, as I sat in my messy house ( the kids are home for spring break and let's not forget I have a newborn!), I hear some commotion in the main room. In Florida, most of the houses are completely open and are one level so you can see/hear pretty much everything from everywhere. So, back to my story. I found my daughter hard at work, bucket of soppy water near by and mop in hand. Yep. She was slowly making her way throughout the entire living area ( remember, open floor plan, so a relatively large space) mopping the floor, sweeping up particles, and drying it!!! I asked her why she was doing this, and she said, "the floors were dirty."  Keep in mind this is not one of her chores and I've never sat down and taught her how to do it. As she went along, I had a few tweaks to make, careful not to destroy the moment or her spirit. And just like that, my floors were gleaming.

"Heaven, I'm in heaven.." - eva cassidy 

It struck me for the first time since we started our family 11 years ago; My time is actually multiplied with my children, not diminished. My kids, although completely their own persons, are extensions of me in some mystical way and I literally don't have to do everything MYSELF. I can hear the music...

So, when we feel afraid of what we think God may be suggesting to us, remember "seek ( Me; your true self; the truth of your life) and ye shall find," even  if it takes 11 years.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

the stuff of love

They say "family is the school of love." I've often wondered what that means, exactly, and have thought I could explain it in a few words when necessary. Having just had our 5th, with all of the beauty, blessings, demands, and struggles a large family brings with it, it makes me reflect anew on what I am seeing and understanding about our family and how, exactly, it is a school of love. 

Each time our family grows, it evolves, it changes, and I am given more glimpses into what love Is.
I no longer think I can put it into a trite statement, although the Gospel
puts it best, to no surprise- love is to give of ones life for a friend. But so much is packed into that word life, it
takes a lifetime to unpack.

I will share a moment of love I had the luck of witnessing this morning between my 1 and 6 year old. He ( 6 year old) was watching tv ( after 10 years we finally got one again) and she ( 1 year old) was tinkering next to him. She pulled his pj shirt down over his belly. He didn't notice/care. She pulled it back up and gave him raspberries. This, of course, caught his attention and they had a happy moment together with smiles and an exchange. It was but a few minutes when was over. It was simple. But it was perfection.

Love my one year old feeling so free to interact with another, even touching him, without giving it a thought, but knowing she could, because in some sense, he belongs to her, and with him, she in her entirety is safe. Love is my six year old not caring if his toddler sister stops by to engage him, even when he is preoccupied with something else. It is appreciating the gift that comes with a mutual affection. And all of this is the most natural thing in the world, that its not even given a thought.
Natural, too, is the fighting over the bag of chips that quickly followed. Because only with your sibling can you feel so free as to express your emotions, because underlying it all, again without consciousness of it, this person is with you on this journey, and it is taken as an expected truth ( and in time needs to be learned not to be taken for granted).

There is so much to the family being a school of love. Today I got to peek through a window in the schoolhouse... And my love for order and conclusion would love to categorize it and say I know what it is I am providing each day and moment, along with my husband and children, who, after all, have their own part to contribute. But love is not exact, nor ever complete. Because love is infinite, and I have a lifetime to discover more of and bask in its radiance.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

aging gracefully

Is it possible? I wonder when I am 60 if it will be easy to look 60. I am in my thirties and expecting my 5th. It shows.

Varicose Veins on back of Woman's Legs

I always thought I would be ok with aging. It doesn't make rational sense not to be, after all. But even with some of the negative consequences, the choices I've made have had many positive consequences that more firmly set me on the path I have chosen. My legs are still strong, but one is now tie-dyed purple. Some moms see me coming with my four kids and after polite conversation and ready to escape my chaotic existence. I can't keep up with fashion because I have to keep up with the bills. But none of this makes me sad.

In fact, I am very very happy. Maybe happy is not the word. Maybe content is the word. I am growing more into who I am, with my feet more firmly placed on the ground. I am making real, true friendships with women I admire and who see something in me as well. My kids make me look at how I can be a better person each day. And they make me laugh watching them enjoy each other in what a doctor admiringly called "the truly creative process."

So my house is a long way from where I'd like it to be, the messy chaos showing children at work/play; you'll often find us running/driving through the neighborhood looking for my dog that gleefully escapes through an slightly opened door; I'll never finish putting the laundry away. But I am living the life I have always dreamed. It looks different on the outside than I thought it would, but its what's on the inside that really matters.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

celebrating life as it is

Lovely kids room, particularly the map:
( via pinterest)

There are so many beautiful images out there aren't there? Between blogs, Pinterest, and Instagram ( which I am too lazy to try to get into), we are bombarded by inspiration from other people's life. Or is it really?

I read one of my daily blogs this am and she admitted she wished her life looked like the images she posted for the day. What's funny is that her life DOES look like those images, at least to those of us not living it.

So that, my friends, is the "danger" of beautiful images. We are indeed inspired by beauty, so that is the good side. But the down side is that we can also turn on our present lives because it doesn't always look like a fabulous image snapped in 10 seconds. And that is where we are no longer inspired by beauty but are jealous of it.

Have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

on beauty



( - love her!

Beauty is an attitude. And not the kind of attitude that says, "I'm awesome, I'm beautiful, look at
Me, don't you wish you were me?" The kind of attitude that culturally speaking, most American women are conditioned to think of as beauty. 

In contrast, when I say beauty is an attitude, the attitude is one of loving yourself as you are. And stepping out with confidence that comes from this. Knowing you have great traits, not just seeing the flaws, and getting ready, liking what you see, and forgetting about it.  I see this kind of beauty daily and it is so much more striking and attractive than perfect stylists. These women are not the ones with "perfect" faces and bodies. But they are beautiful, nonetheless, because they accept themselves. The Spanish are particularly good at this. I wish I could put a finger on what it is about their culture that makes this so wide spread. This kind of attitude is intangible, but oh so real and palpable.

So, figure out what holds you back from having an attitude of knowing you are beautiful, strike it down, and get down with your bad self.