acceptance · Catholic · family · kindness

Misunderstandings

Has it ever happened to you ?  Has anyone ever been misunderstood – misunderstood by the ones closest to you ?  I have. A lot.  It’s funny, really – how life works; how relationships work.  I have come to accept the fact that being misunderstood by those closest to me is just going to have to be one of the crosses I must bear in life.  It hurts.  But trying to explain often makes matters worse, so sometimes it’s just better to allow the other person to continue in their belief that my intentions were not good.

So, what is all of this babbling about ?

Why is this post not making much sense ?

Am I just someone who wants to complain ?

No.  I don’t want to complain, and I’ll tell you what this is all about.

I smiled.

It wasn’t a big smile – just a quick, little, flash of a smile.  I smiled because I had just told my husband that the smell he was commenting about was not his dinner burning, just a spill on the hot stove.  After I informed him of that, I flashed a quick smile to show him all was well.  Ooops.

Suddenly all was not well.  “I saw that. I saw that smug little smile.” he said to me.  I was surprised.  He had totally misunderstood my intentions.

“No.” I said.  “I wasn’t – I didn’t…”

“I know what I saw.  Don’t be like that.”

Well, I could have done one of two things.  I could have stood there and defended myself, and continue to insist upon my good intentions, which would only bring about an argument.  OR  I could just allow him to continue believing that I was being smug – after all, he knew what he saw.  Well, I chose the latter.

I chose to continue to be misunderstood, rather than to get into an argument with my husband – especially since all of this was taking place in front of my son.

I later practiced that little smile in front of the mirror. Oh boy.  It did appear smug.  Wow.  I will never use that expression again.  I really didn’t intend for it to come off like that.

So, I ended up apologizing to my husband – as always.

I guess being misunderstood is part of life.  After all, Christ was misunderstood more than anyone else ever was.  He didn’t defend Himself.  I should try to be more Christ-like, even if it hurts sometimes.

challenge · family · home-school

How Word Search United Our Family

You read that right.  Word search puzzles have now become a daily event in our home.  It all began on Father’s day.  I didn’t have a card for my husband, so I printed out a Father’s Day themed word search puzzle.  I didn’t really know if he’d do it, as he’s not really the word search type. I was just having a little fun.   At first he just set it aside, but later he said, “I’ll do it if you will.  Hey, let’s all do it and see who finishes first.  We’ll make a contest out of it.”  So, extra copies were printed out, and we all sat down to do a word search puzzle.  Of course, I crushed them!  Well, this “loss” stirred up the competitive spirit in both my husband and son.  “I want a rematch!”  My husband said, a smile on his face.  So began our daily word search time.  I continued to print out more word search puzzles.  So far, I remain the champ, with a total of four wins out of six.  I don’t know how long this will last, but so far it has been a daily event in our home.  Amazing how a little competition can get a man (and boy) to want to do something that they don’t normally enjoy!

You can find these puzzles at  https://worksheets.theteacherscorner.net/make-your-own/crossword/  Have fun!

family · gratitude · Memories

The Day AFTER Mother’s Day

Well, today I will begin by sharing  with you what Mother’s Day 2017 was like for me.  First of all, I had been feeling really down the past few days.  I was dwelling over the fact that my teen son, my only child, now seems to hate me.  (I know it’s just a phase, but at that moment it seemed final)  I was also dwelling over the fact that our mother – son relationship had been very strained lately.  To top it off, I am now of an age where I will never be able to conceive a child of my own.  (we adopted my son 14 years ago)  And finally, I am still continuing to have seizures on a daily basis.  I felt that I was under so much weight, and that I was pretty much useless.  Yep.  I was depressed, and I had it pretty bad,  That is until…  A lot of things began to happen that Mother’s Day.  One by one I began to see.  Once I dried up the tears and put my focus on those around me, on the beautiful family that God has blessed me with, I began to see just how much I really have.  I love my family and would never want anything to happen to them,  I am so grateful for the time that the good Lord has given me with them.  Around three o’clock in the afternoon, my husband had a very caring, loving talk with me.  It was obvious that I wasn’t happy, and he helped me to see how there is no reason for me not to be happy.  I am blessed.  So blessed.  I had allowed myself to focus on the negative rather than on all of the positive aspects in my life.  And there are so many more positive than negative.  After receiving such an uplifting talk, and a big hug, from my husband,  I felt much better, and realized how silly I had been to allow myself to be “down in the dumps”.  I walked out into the kitchen only to discover a dozen red roses, a bag of candy, and two cards on the table.  Standing beside the table was my husband and son, both with big smiles on their faces.  “Open mine first!”  The words of my son, who also gave me a big hug.  That evening my husband took us all out to eat at Outback Steakhouse.  I realized, yet again, how blessed I am to be a part of such a wonderful family.  I hope all mothers out there had a very Happy Mother’s Day.  This video should put a smile on any mother’s face!

Boys · family · Joy · Memories · Mother & Son

Smile Tag!

Hi, all!

Ciarra from Ciarralorren created this fabulous new tag called SMILE, and I think it’s a great idea!    This is exactly what I hope my blog is to others, a place to make you smile and bring a little joy into your lives.  As Ciarra puts it,

WE are the ones who determine whether or not this is a place of comfort, happiness and joy. So, let’s make it a place we all want to be a part of.”

Here’s how it works:

The SMILE Tag

If you’re nominated, please share a bit about this tag (you can copy and paste this description here, or link back to Ciarra’s post). Post as many pictures as you like that either make you smile OR show you smiling!  Feel free to include stories or comments that better describe your SMILE photos. Tag as many other bloggers as you like, and please participate! Help make our online world a little brighter.

So, here are the photos that always bring a smile to my face:

So, in case you couldn’t tell, what always brings a smile to my face is none other than…MY SON!

So now it’s your turn.  What makes you smile ?

My nominees are Aileen from Small Matters at https://aileenrmccready.wordpress.com/?wref=bif   ,  Sylvia from Faith, Hope, and Love at http://www.faithfulmomof9.com/?wref=bif ,  Rachael from Small Laundry Room, Big Family  at https://smalllaundrybigfamily.wordpress.com/  , Jennifer from Not Just Another Mom at https://quillingfun.wordpress.com/?wref=bif ,  Becca from Growing Up an Epileptic at https://growingupanepileptic.wordpress.com/?wref=bif , and Sara from The Epileptic Life of Sara at http://theepilepticlifeofsara.blogspot.com/?wref=bif  .

Since no one that I have nominated has participated, I will nominate someone else.  The new nominees are…

The Crab Apple Life at https://thecrabapplelife.wordpress.com/  , My Catholic Home at https://4kidsonemom.wordpress.com/  ,    https://thehomeschoolingdoctor.com/?wref=bif ,  Cherish from  https://yearstocherish.wordpress.com/   ,   Shelly from https://redheadmom8.wordpress.com/?wref=bif ,  https://thehomeschoolmomblog.wordpress.com/ , https://ryanshomeschoolingjourney.wordpress.com/?wref=bif  ,  and Caralyn from  https://beautybeyondbones.com/.  I’d love to see some new smiling pics!

family · Memories · Mother & Son

Bows, Arrows, & Mom

“No, no. no.  You’re holding it wrong.  You have to put your fingers like this, well here, let me show you how.”  Those were the words of my fourteen year old son as he tried to show me how to shoot a bow & arrow that he had made himself.  He had done a pretty good job on it, and he was proud of his handiwork , as well he should have been.  So what was I doing with it ?  Why was I trying to shoot a bow & arrow at a paper target in our backyard ?  Was that something I really felt like doing at the time ?  Well, yes and no.  Lately I had been a bit depressed, as you may have been able to tell by my last post.  I had been feeling like my son no longer needed me or wanted me around.  I was so used to the days when he was little and would constantly ask me to play with him or read to him, or simply spend time with him.  I was beginning to accept that now that he is older, he doesn’t need or want me around anymore.  That is, until today.  My son came, full of excitement, running into the room where I was sitting.  “Mama!  Mama!” He began, almost out of breath,  “let’s have a contest shooting this bow and arrow that I made! Please! Say yes, Mama, c’mon!”  Shocked at the fact that my fourteen year old actually wanted me to take part in an activity with him, I jumped at the chance.  “Sure. Okay.” I said calmly.  “You will ?? Aw, thanks, Mom!  I’ll let you have my brownie if you win!”  He added, still not sure that I was really going to try this.  So there we were.  Bonding.  It’s something that I could have only dreamed of; a close moment with my teen.  I may not have had much interest in learning how to shoot a bow and arrow, but my interest was(and is) in my son.  I decided to enter into his world for a bit; to take a look at life through his eyes.  I learned something in that moment.  I learned that my son still needs me, that he still wants me by his side, just in a different way than before.  I learned something else, too.  Shooting a bow and arrow isn’t as easy as it looks!  So, as I listened to the words of my son instructing me on the proper way to hold the bow, I couldn’t help but tear up a little.  My baby was still here.  He has not gone away, but simply grown a bit.  And now, I need him by my side; to help, to guide, to teach me, just as I had done with him in the past.  It isn’t one way or the other.  We each need each other and always will.  Oh, and he shared his brownie with me anyway!

 

Catholic · family · gratitude · Prayer

Endure

I was “up to here” (hand level with forehead) with all of the rantings of my teen-aged son as he continued to argue and fuss about everything, anything, and nothing. I was tired and just needed a little peace. “Son, just stop.” I said in an exasperated tone as I walked out of the room and sat down in the black swivel chair by my desk. Stomping his feet loudly as he pursued, my son continued in a loud voice, “What mom ? What do you want me to stop ? Huh? Huh? What am I doing now, Mom ?” He stopped and stood in the doorway, arms crossed and a scowl on his face. He stood there motionless so as to show me that he wasn’t “doing” anything.

I didn’t want to put up with his antics anymore. I didn’t want things to be this way. I wished our relationship didn’t have to always be so strained. I knew I shouldn’t feel this way, but at that moment, I just wanted to disappear. After several moments, when he realized that his “motionless” stance was getting him nowhere, he called me a few choice names, then stormed off.

I began to text my husband at work to inform him of what was going on. I complained about our son’s attitude towards me. I felt that I shouldn’t have to deal with this on my own – I needed some support. My husband’s reply was only one word, “Endure.” Frustrated at not receiving some words of comfort, I asked myself, “Endure ? That’s easy for him to say. Ha! Endure, indeed.” I felt a scowl forming on my own face. Soon I received another text message from my husband. “Pray the Rosary for him.” I immediately knew that he was right. I picked up my Rosary and began to pray. I was on the second decade when my son walked into the room, his face filled with remorse. “I’m sorry, Mama.” Those words were like music to my ears. I hugged him as I accepted his apology, and the rest of the day was fine.

I think back to my husband’s original response. “Endure.” The definition of endure is “to bear without resistance; to suffer patiently ”. Isn’t that one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy, to bear wrongs patiently ? And aren’t we all called upon to practice both the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy ? How wise of my husband to respond the way he did, and how foolish I was to respond the way I did.

So, while maybe I was “up to here” (hand level with forehead) with my son, how much more “up to here” has our Heavenly Father had it with me ? If I want my son to respect and honor me, shouldn’t I behave the same way towards my Father in heaven ? I can do that by showing my love to those He has placed in my life, and by practicing the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

The Corporal Works of Mercy:

To feed the hungry;
To give drink to the thirsty;
To clothe the naked;
to shelter the homeless;
To visit the sick;
To visit the imprisoned;
To bury the dead

The Spiritual Works of Mercy

To instruct the ignorant;
To counsel the doubtful;
To admonish sinners;
To bear wrongs patiently;
To forgive offenses willingly;
To comfort the afflicted;
To pray for the living and the dead
family · Memories

Ladies Don’t Eat Babies!

My son was about three years old, and we were at JCPenny’s when he noticed a very pregnant lady. Now keep in mind, whatever thoughts my boy has, out they come! So anyway, using about as much tact as any three year old would, he asked the expectant mother, “Why are you so fat ?” (perfectly innocent question,right?)

Luckily the very kind lady was used to children, and very happily said, while patting her stomach, “No, sweetheart, there’s a baby in there.” My son let this sink in as he sat there in thought and then, in a loud and horrified voice he said, ” You mean you ate the baby?!”  After the laughter had died down, I explained to him  that God had put the baby there. (The rest would come much later, that seemed to suffice for now.) By the time he was four, the questions began.  “So Mama, why doesn’t God put a baby in your tummy?” I explained to him that all of the medicine that Mommy takes would hurt the baby, and that’s why we had adopted him.  Let it be said here that my son had only recently found out about his own adoption – we had had that talk with him a few months prior.  Okay, so our little guy really knew his stuff now. He knew that ladies don’t eat their babies. He knew that God “puts” the baby there, and he knew that he had been adopted. After mulling these things over for a while, my son, who by now was desperate for a playmate, spoke up, “Mama, why don’t we adopt another baby?”  How could he have known that we had been trying to since he was still an infant ?  “Well,” I answered, “We are, but it won’t be easy, and it may take a long time to find the baby.”   I spoke as gently as I could, keeping in mind that I was speaking to a four year old. Suddenly his face beamed bright as he explained to me.  “Oh no Mama, I see plenty of them at Walmart!!!!!!  Maybe we could get one of them!  I could see that yet another talk was in order, as I explained to him that all of those children already had parents. Okay, now my little man really knew his stuff. Ladies don’t eat babies, and you don’t buy them at Walmart either. Well fast forward a bit to my sister’s baby shower. My son and my husband had just come to pick me up.  When he saw my sister he said proudly, “I know, God put a baby in your tummy!”  Half laughing, my sister said,”Um, yea ! That’s right!” Proudly showing off all of his knowledge on the subject, he continued, “And the baby is growing inside you,right?” “That’s right.” my sister said, still chuckling a little. Oh but our boy genius was not quite finished. “And so, you will just keep getting bigger and bigger until your tummy explodes, and that’s why you will have to go to the hospital!”  Whoa!!! Yet another talk seemed to be in order, but that one would have to wait until much later.

Well, that was about ten years ago.  It’s “later” !

family · gratitude · home-school

Why I Home-schooled my Only Child

Being one of six kids, I just always thought that I’d follow in my mother’s footsteps and raise a large family as well.  When my husband and I were first married, I used to imagine our home filled with excited little ones running through the house, tracking up the floors.  I dreamed of settling squabbles and making sure I divided desserts up equally so as not to cause an argument.  I looked forward to being the mother of several children.  However, as we all know, things don’t always turn out the way you want them to.  Sometimes, God’s plan for our lives differs from our own plans.  I knew from the beginning that, because of my epilepsy, I would not be able to have children naturally.  I was on way too much medication for that to become a possibility.  So, my husband and I had planned to adopt.  That was over twenty years ago.  Since that time, we have adopted our son, who is now fourteen.  We have tried over the years to adopt more kids, but adopting is not as simple as one might think.  So, long story short, we never were able to adopt more than one child.  That one child, by the way, was a God-send.  He is loved and cherished more than he’ll ever know.  We were introduced to home-schooling very early on, and had planned on home-schooling our children.  I was excited, and was looking forward to setting up my home-school room and all that goes with it.  You know that feeling, right ? It happens every year.  I had so much fun teaching my boy over the years!  Yes, we’ve had our share of struggles as well, but I wouldn’t change the time we’ve spent together for anything!  Well, as I’ve mentioned, we never did have more children.  That is the answer to why I home-schooled my only child.  We thought we would have more kids, we wanted more kids, but God had other plans.  Was I going to change my plans for home-schooling simply because my son didn’t have any siblings ?  Of course not. I wouldn’t deprive him of that.  So, God’s plan for my life was different than my own.  But that’s okay – I trust that God knows exactly what He’s doing, and He doesn’t make mistakes.