Happy Thanksgiving! From our family to yours. Xoxo
As I type this, the house is blessedly quiet and I am finally getting around to saying hello. Life continues to overflow with demands, joys & challenges, and scarcely anytime to slow down. I’m not sure where I would start with an update, so I’ll just say: overall, life is beautiful. The kiddos are so much fun, and Jim is an amazing partner in all of it. It’s not to say we aren’t without our share of worries and bumps in the road, but I’m humbled by the budding faith of the older boys and Jim’s broad shoulders, carrying an impressive amount. I think for me, one of the biggest challenges continues to be just managing my daily life responsibilities. Between residual doctor appointments after Garrett’s stroke this summer, and Karolina’s ongoing therapy, medical appointments, and my own research of different special needs, it adds up. That doesn’t even include my full-time job and trying to wear the “Domestic Engineer” apron, however inadequately. I know I sound like a broken record! I’m sure my last many posts have echoed the same sentiments, but until I meet a rock star or go on an exciting trip….you’ve just got the busy-mom version. Although, speaking of trips, I do actually have an exciting mini-getaway to tell you about. Not of the physical kind, but a spiritual retreat I am just wrapping up. For the last 33 days, I have been participating in “33 Days to Morning Glory: a Do-It-Yourself Retreat- In Preparation for Marian Consecration.”
During our “Weary Woman’s Weekend” in Savannah, my BFF Jennifer Willits asked if I might join her in this retreat. I had never made a Marian Consecration a la’ St. Louis De Monfort, but I had always wanted to. I had heard about how powerful, and life-changing this “entrustment” had been over centuries for so many holy saints. Pope John Paul II, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Mother Teresa, to just name a few. Yet, I was intimidated by the depth, and time commitment to do this (see paragraph 1). Anyway, after she explained this newly revised retreat, I was in. After all, if she, as a mom of five could do it..then I thought maybe I could too. It soon grew from two to three, and then four of us who would participate. Two of us live in Ohio, while Jennifer and another friend live in Georgia. We signed up on Google+, created a group, and met via web cam once a week for our group session.
I could go on and on about how glorious this retreat has been for me personally, and I still don’t think I could scratch the surface in conveying it’s beauty. For the last month, I have felt like I have been floating on air. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I can tell you, I was not expecting an experience that would profoundly change my life. The first few weeks for the most difficult for me because it IS still a significant time commitment, but I found ways to fit it in. Each day, you read a devotion from the book, then answer 4 questions in the Retreat Companion booklet. The questions were the tough part, because they take time. For me though, I found that was where I felt the biggest impact. Something in my brain is reached at a deeper level when I have to “ponder” and then write out an answer. It may sound like work, but it’s not..it’s just a way to drill deeper than surface level and see things in a way you might not otherwise. Little did I know, it would be just the thing my tired soul was thirsty for.
So, even though I haven’t left the house, the piles of laundry and stacks of papers, I have truly, truly felt renewed, lifted up, and lifted out of the fatigue of the daily grind through this 33-day retreat. If you are interested in learning more, click here for the official website. With that, I enter Thanksgiving truly humbled and happy for much more than I can ever remember. I hope to begin Advent with my sights focused on the only gift that matters, and what God can do in the lives of all who say “yes” to Him, like Mary. Fiat.
God bless you and shine on you this Thanksgiving, 2012.