Sunday, October 29, 2006

Hat in Hand...

This morning I woke up and I looked at the ceiling. Yup, always a bad sign when you lie in bed staring at the ceiling. You just know you make a good subject for a cartoon and the only thing missing is the cigarette in hand while you suck in the carcinogens and exhale while still staring at the ceiling - wondering how you got to this place of worry.

I thought about the day ahead of me and trying to push away the many worries laying at my door, I prayed:
“Help Us God, Help us with all these problems. I am so worried, God. Please help us. I am trying to have faith, Jesus. I’m trying not to worry and I am really trying to have faith.”

I stopped short and thought. ‘Wait a minute. Haven't we been told that faith is a gift. If so isn't God responsible for how much Faith I have? I am responsible for what I do with the faith He gives me. But He has to give me the faith.”

It was a light bulb moment. Maybe in addition to praying for the monetary assistance, I also need to ask for the faith to get through the tough moments. I know when I ask others to pray for me to have peace when feeling particularly stressed, my level of peace actually does increase. Yet, when I begin to stumble in fear and begin to flounder and almost feel as though I am going to drown in my fears, I never think to pray; Help my FAITH Jesus. Give me FAITH.

So I changed my prayer from an apology for the lack of faith I felt and instead asked: ‘Please give me Faith Jesus. I need more faith.‘

And thus my day began.

Hugo and I checked our business emails and made plans to try and rescue the business vehicle that broke down three days ago. There was a time when one could safely leave their vehicle for short period of time in a parking lot but in post 9/11 you know a white van sitting unattended for too long is going to cause problems so we needed to act soon.

This break down is such a small problem that has caused a host of problems for us. After purchasing some much needed merchandise to sell, we are now in the next phase of picking it up. This business is a game of luck and skill. You need skills in research, writing, even in the area of being able to bid on a multiple auctions as you discard one auction when it gets too high while keeping multiple others going. And luck comes into play as you begin to pick up the merchandise. Sometimes everything goes smoothly and all of the bases have appointments open on the days and times you need and you are able to pick up all your merchandise in a speedy manner, begin posting it and the well oiled engine of success begins to purr nicely. But, it only takes a little hic up to begin to knock the dominoes down and when one goes, they all begin to cascade in quick succession.

So it is with this break down. With this unexpected breakdown, the money allocated for the cost of pick up trips begins to be needed for living expenses and has dwindled quickly. And a few more dominoes have fallen.

Sometimes we are so overwhelmed by the trees that we can not see the forest. That is where I am . It is so very difficult to see a solution to our financial woes, esp when you hit a rough patch within a rough patch. Yet a number of readers over the past year have written and asked how can we help you? How can we assist you financially? (On occasion God allows you to be greatly humbled by the generosity of others!)

So after a terrible struggle with my pride, with hat in hand, I have humbly come to the conclusion that I will put a little donation jar up in the corner of my blog. In this way any reader who happens to stumble across this blog and has enjoyed what they have read and would like to leave a small tip as a thank you, or a regular reader who would like to extend a helping hand on occasions can do so. In this way I am hoping that I am also opening another window through which Christ can work as we refuse to believe that He will not provide for the children we welcomed into our lives when times were good. It can not be that we are meant to live in fear when we are open to life thinking - well, I must limit my family because at some point, possibly years from now, I will lose my job, my spouse will die or some other calamity will befall me. Recently I have posted twice about being open to life and having faith that God will provide for the blessings he has bestowed on us. When we started our family, we were in college and ultimately my husband was able to provide for our ever growing family with a well paid high tech job. The salary grew as our family expanded. We knew this was not only because of Hugo’s abilities and his hard work, but also because of God’s blessings.

Now, like so many other families, we have fallen on hard times. With such a large family to feed and house, Hugo cannot return to school to hone new skills, and while this is a very difficult business we repeatedly, through prayer and long discussions, come to the conclusion that the business pays better than any of the current jobs that he could get. So we sojourn on, depending on God to get us through the scrapes and lean times and learning how to thank Him for the stones in our path and to praise Him for the little bits of green grass that gleam between them.

We have beautiful, intelligent and talented children. We are mostly healthy. We are discovering talents and skills we did not know we had. Our faith is being stretched and God has lead us to a very loving parish. So while life is very difficult right now, God is with us. I just need to keep asking - give me FAITH Lord, give me FAITH that I may continue to carry my cross with you.

(PS I have played around with the pay pal donate button and it now will give my current email address as the owner of the button, not mom2ten any more! :-) As well, I have worked through various steps so as to remove the shipping address so as to help those who wish to be annonymous be annonymous! I do believe I will be able to see an email address to which I would like to send a thank you note, but I have also added the ability to leave a note for me and if you prefer not to be contacted, please leave a note to that affect and I will respect your request. Thank you to everyone for your prayers, as well as any support you send our way!) Read more!

Hello Jesus!

Back to the drawing board…

I recently wrote in our parish bulletin about the cry room and shared how young teens not busy with younger siblings could maybe assist families who have more babies and toddlers than they can hold on one lap. I shared how they can help engage a neighboring toddler’s attention by drawing it to the Alter when the bells are rung. “In an excited whisper you can share with the little one. Look, look there is the bread. The bread IS Jesus. Jesus IS the bread. “

This is what I typically do at that moment in the Mass with my little ones. “Listen Emma. Do you hear the bells? Jesus is coming. He’s coming to visit us. He’s almost here. Look, there’s the Bread. It’s Jesus. Jesus is looking at you! “

Typically this helps Emma to refocus and quiet down as she stares in awe at the Host elevated by the priest. Last Saturday was no different. Following Mass I stepped outside with both Emma and Elsa so I could reflect quietly with Jesus, and not worry so much about keeping them quiet in the pew. As it was the evening Mass, and so, lightly attended, it was not long before other people followed us out of the church. Soon our priest and the deacon, who had assisted in the Mass, were standing outside so as to greet parishioners.

Emma had been enjoying the leaves as they blew about, and she had been skipping and dancing in the evening breeze while Elsa had cuddled quietly in my arms. Suddenly I heard a sharp intake of breath from Emma as she came to a sudden halt. “JESUS!“ she whispered in delight and then in a hop, skip and a jump she deftly landed squarely in front of the Deacon. Standing in front of him with the breeze whipping her bangs about her sparkling eyes, Emma grasped his hand with great enthusiasm and shook hands with our dear deacon. Little did he realize the sudden elevation in status he had just reached in this four year old's eyes.

Myself, I realized that I have still a bit of work ahead of me. Read more!