Thursday, June 30, 2005

My Husband, More Catholic Than the Pope

Mrangelmeg sent me his scores from the What Religion are you quiz. I post them here:

You scored as Roman Catholic.

You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Roman Catholic 100%
Neo orthodox 71%
Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan 64%
Emergent/Postmodern 61%
Charismatic/Pentecostal 54%
Modern Liberal 39%
Classical Liberal 36%
Fundamentalist 32%
Reformed Evangelical 14%

What can I say, the man never does anything by halves. It's either all or nothing. Although I am sure that he wants a recount on the Liberal percentages.

I do love him for that.


Just in Case There Was Any Doubt!

From another of my Holy Blogs of Obligation: Mark Mossa this time. I read Mark's blog for the inspiring excerpts from the life of Ingatius of Loyola. You see a few years ago I had an inkling that I might be leaning toward an Ignatian spirituality, and then last year I went to Jesuit Retreat House in Cleveland and my time there sealed the deal. I am Ignatian to the core. So, finding Mark's Blog was a gift from God. Anyway thanks to Mark, now I know that I am Catholic too. tee hee.

You scored as Roman Catholic. You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Roman Catholic


Neo orthodox


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Classical Liberal




Modern Liberal


Reformed Evangelical






What's your theological worldview?
created with

Eleven Real American Idols

One of my Holy Blogs of Obligation ( a blog I read almost every day) is written by a a young man who is soon to be joining the ranks of the Jesuits. His name is Sean Salai and if you click on his link you can read about the ten other men who will be joining him on this journey.

I think these men are heroes. They have listened to the voice of God in their lives and responded to it in a very special way. The journey to becoming a Jesuit is a long one. It takes nearly twelve years from when they begin to their ordination as priests. During that time they will be learning and growing and working and listening to God in their lives.

Sean's website has email links for each man, so if you want you can send messages of encouragement to them. I think that would be a great thing to do.

I plan to add these eleven men to my list of seminarians that I pray for. I will also introduce these men to the young boys and girls that I work with in my parish. I think these men are the kinds of people that my boys and girls should Idolize.


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Humility Comes With Paw Prints

The mock-up of the parish newsletter came today for us to preview before it goes to the printer. Instead of my usual column on the front page of this month's newsletter there was a very long, step by step description of the Native American inspired burial service that was held a few months ago for the parish cat (a valued pet of the Pastoral Associate). I was crestfallen.

I had worked very hard on an op-ed piece about the election of the new Pope, and in my not so humble opinion I thought it was a very good piece of writing. I had turned it in on time to the co-editor of the newsletter committee to the same email address as I had turned in all of the other information I had sent, which by the way made it into the newsletter. And yet, it just wasn't there.

This wasn't the first time my article was either left out, relegated to a last page, or substantially edited from its original form. I have become accustomed to being the person on the staff who; while the one who turns in her piece way ahead of time, always seems to have the most trouble getting it printed in a way that makes it readable or noteworthy.

So, while I have to admit I was upset at first. I decided that I had to take it as an opportunity to be humbled and let it go. My rightful place usurped by a dead cat. You just have to laugh, or cry I guess.

Later this morning the newsletter editor called me and apologized and said she never got my piece and if I had another copy she could insert it instead of the cat story, which they had used as last minute filler. I sent another copy and was rewarded with a front page space. Maybe I did learn something, but I will have to pray about this whole thing to figure out just what the message was that I should take away.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005


I have suffered from insomnia to some degree since I was in high school. Mostly it is the intermittent form which allows me to get to sleep, but at some point in the night I wake up and can't get back to sleep, and then for a few hours I am wide awake and restless. Eventually I get to a point where I can get back to some level of sleep for a few more hours in the early part of the morning, but it is never as refreshing as a full uninterrupted night of sleep would have been.

Lately, my insomnia has taken an almost regimented tone. I tend to get to sleep about midnight, and then I wake back up at almost exactly 3:00 a.m.. I try to will myself back to sleep, but after living with this for nearly thirty years I know that after twenty minutes in bed if I am not back to sleep I am not going back to sleep. So I get up and go out to the living room and watch old movies, or read. I used to surf the net in the wee hours, but I don't do that anymore because we now have our internet connection in the bedroom and I don't want to disturb my sleeping husband any more than I have to. So I get up and leave the bedroom.

I have to admit I have seen some of the worst dreck ever produced for television. I have also had the luxury of seeing some of the most wonderful old movies in those wee hours. Thank heaven for EWTN, and Classic movie channels is all I can say. I was blessed one week with the entire Spanish television Mini Series of the life of Teresa of Avilla. How amazing was that?

In this regimented stage of insomnia, I seem to get tired enough to get some more sleep at exactly 5:00 a.m.. I have debated whether it would be better for me to sleep out on the couch, so as to not disturb my husband anymore than I have to, or to try to get back into bed, where I can get the best rest in short time I have before I have to get up and start my day. I finally decided that I should get back into bed, hoping that he would understand my dilemma. He at least can get back to sleep pretty easily.

I guess I owe him a big apology for waking him up every morning at 0 dark 30 (that's military time for those of you who don't know). I just know that I sleep much more soundly when I am near him than I would on a couch in another part of the house. I hope I'm worth the annoyance.


Monday, June 27, 2005

When Does RCIA Start?

I just love the moment of awed surprise when some well meaning Catholic calls my office for a "friend" and asks when RCIA classes begin in the fall. You see my response is always "RCIA begins the moment your friend contacts me."

To my way of thinking, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults; the process by which an adult who wishes to become a fully practicing Catholic does so; more commonly known as RCIA, is not a program that begins on some set date in the fall and ends on some set date a few weeks after Easter. RCIA is a process which begins sometimes months before someone even gets the nerve to contact me or anyone who works for the Church. RCIA is a process that is controlled not by my schedule, or by the Church's calendar, but by the Holy Spirit.

So, my job, here at the parish is to assist anyone who comes to me seeking to enter the church to become a fully conscious and active member of this parish community.

I do that by helping them to understand what it is we as Catholics believe and profess, and helping them to understand how we live out our beliefs in the sacrament lifestyle of our Liturgical year. We do that here at our parish in many ways. We have some special programs, and we have some programs that are open to everyone in the parish. We involve specially trained sponsors, who agree to journey with the people who are seeking to learn more about the faith. We get to know the people as quickly as we can, so that we can help them to see how their gifts can be used to build up the kingdom of God both within the parish and outside in the greater community.

The last thing I ever want to have to say to someone when they call me and say they are interested in becoming a Catholic is, "Well, our next round of classes start in about five months, I'll put you on the list and call you then." How welcoming is that? I am blessed that I get to say, "I will set you up with a Sponsor who will contact you within the month." or "Would you like to attend a Catholic Women in Faith Meeting next Thursday evening?"

In my way of thinking, the most important part of RCIA is to be welcoming, and to give good truthful information. The Holy Spirit does all of the really hard work.


Sunday, June 26, 2005

Changing Toilet Paper Rolls and Humility

I live in a house with six other people and three bathrooms. You would think that the odds of my having to change the toilet paper rolls would be pretty evened out, especially since I don't even use one of the bathrooms in the house all that often. And still I would guess that on the average I change about three or four rolls a week anyway. It is a simple act of humble service, and one that I should do without even thinking about, but still it makes me grumble most times because it just makes me mad to think that the last person that used the toilet paper should have had the common courtesy to change out the used up roll. In my family I am lucky if they had the decency to even look for another roll to set on the back of the toilet. And yet I change the rolls.

Then I work in an office of four women and two bathrooms. I would bet that I change the rolls there about once a week too. Maybe once every other week. I don't mind that so much, but there is one person I work with who will get it down to the last square left so that she can avoid using the last square, so that she can be justified in not changing the roll. That really irritates me. And yet I change the rolls.

It occurred to me today when I had to use the restroom at Mass, and encountered two bathroom stalls, both of which were in need of roll changes, that perhaps my having to change the rolls was a way for me to be of service to my fellow sisters in Christ (brothers in Christ in my home and in Unisex bathrooms). Maybe I should be willing to do this simple act of service and kindness with a humble heart since it really doesn't ask that much of me without my regular complaining and griping about how unfair it is that I seem to be the one that "always" has to do it. Maybe I should take this on as my ministry. I can be the "roll changer".

Surely it makes more sense to do it with love, than to do it with a grudge, or out of spite. Wow, could something so simple be something that might change me? I guess we will see the next time I am confronted with an empty roll on the spool.


Friday, June 24, 2005

I'm Scientific, just ask MIT!

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Why Grades Shouldn't Matter

I have been waiting, rather impatiently all week for my grades on my paper in my New Testament class. I have been a bit obsessive thinking about all the reasons why my grades could have been bad on them: I didn't cite my sources correctly, I didn't really do the paper the way the professor asked us to do it, he just didn't like the topic I chose, I just don't know enough.

I have learned so much in this class that in the end it really shouldn't matter at all what my grade was, because I achieved what I set out to do, which was to learn as much as I could about the new testament writings of the Johanine and Pauline Corpus. So why then am I sitting here obsessing like a little kid about whether or not I will keep my straight A average? Why is it so important to me that I continue to get A's? Who am I comparing myself against?

I do know why I have perfectionist tendencies. It goes back to when my father got sick and died, and my mom had to raise such a big family all by herself. I felt like the best way for me to help her was for me to be perfect so she wouldn't have to worry about me. But mom doesn't have to worry about me anymore. I am the one paying for my education, and I will continue to pay for my classes whether I get A's or B's.

I will graduate with a Masters Degree whether I get A's or B's, and in fact the Administration keeps reminding us that no one graduates Suma Cum Laude, so there isn't some race to be the person with the best grades in the program.

So rationally, I know that grades don't really matter. But I am still sitting here obsessing over whether my percentage is good enough to be a A- or a B+. Is that obsessive, or depressing, or just stupid.

In the face of eternity, after all, does it really matter? Maybe I should just go eat some chocolate and call it a day. Yeah that's the ticket.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Success: Just Don't Look in the Closet

When I left my office today my desk was cleared off. Every book had a place on a shelf. Every file had a place in a cabinet, and every box had been cleared out from underneath my desk. My new office looked neat and orderly for the first time since the start of the whole reorganization, and I can actually find almost everything I need to get my work done.

Well, that is except for all of the resources I will need for my programs in the fall, which are presently boxed up and shoved into a closet in the corner of the office. This closet was a connecting walkway between my old office and the present office I have, which was used by the Youth Minister. We kept the doors open so we could converse and walk between the two offices. Father said he wouldn't be needing to use the closet, so I took him at his word. I closed the door on his side and piled boxes on three sides of the walls.

Eventually in the next few weeks someone is going to come in and install a closet system of hanging shelves and bins so that I can have storage from floor to ceiling on three sides of the closet and get everything organized and in plain sight. This will make finding the resources I need for my programs so much easier than I have ever had it in the old office where they were spread out in any available storage space or file drawer.

So, I really do believe in the end this move will have been a great asset to my ministry. I just hope God doesn't mind my having grumbled and complained so much throughout the process of getting from where I was to where I will eventually be.

Really isn't that a lot of what our lives are like, grumbling and complaining about getting to where God wants us to be?


Monday, June 20, 2005

The End of an Era

It is official. This evening I carried the last box out of the office that I moved into when I first took my job on October 1, 2000. Nearly five years of clutter and accumulated files and resources have been completely moved out. Nothing is left in the office but the furniture, a computer (not mine, I took mine and left another for Fr. To use if he needs one) and a few silk plants, a small American flag in a stand on the desk, and a few generic files I thought he might need.

Everything is boxed up and in my new office or the closet, or the basement. I do have some things on the shelves and in the desk, but there is no way that everything I had in the old office will ever fit into the new office. I have a lot more culling and organizing to do before I am completely moved in, but I do feel a sense of accomplishment that I'm half way done.

It will probably take me till well into the fall to get everything back to where I can find things without having to look in ten places. I guess I will just have to pretend I am on a scavenger hunt every time I need something.

The Youth Minister said today that this really has been good for us, because it has made us do some serious cleaning and culling and forced us to get rid of quite a bit of useless clutter. I have to agree with her. As annoying and troublesome and difficult as this move has been, it really was good for me. I just hope I don't have to do it again for at least another five years or so.


The Greeks Have a Word For It

Ever since I started seriously studying Scripture, way back when I was just a young married woman, I have come to realize just how important some knowledge of Greek is. A wise man I knew back then used to say "The Greek's had a word for it". Do you know what? He wasn't often wrong about that. Ancient Greek, at least the Greek of the Bible was very descriptive and specific. When you understand the Greek in the text of a scripture verse, you understand the meaning that has been lost in translation because we American English speakers just don't have those shades of meaning in our words.

Take for instance, one of the most often misunderstood passages from the Epistles:

If you look at the NAB Translation of 1Timothy 2:11

A woman must receive instruction silently and under complete control.

This would make most contemporary women scream, but if you look at the Greek word for Silently ( or rather in silence) and what you get is hesuchia which means in a state of inner quietness and contemplation. Now doesn't that change the whole structure of the statement.

I really should have taken the time back then when I was younger and my mind was more limber to really study Greek, because now that I am in Gradual School and may have to seriously study the language, it may be very difficult to do the mental gymnastics required to conquer the subject matter. I have decided that it would be in my best interest to do it though, so I am just going to have to.

O darn there goes my last little moment of free time, oh well it is so overrated anyway.


Friday, June 17, 2005


I was sitting in the quiet church this morning doing my weekly hour of adoration. I was trying to do my best to just be still in the presence of Jesus; nothing more. I wasn't going to beg for more time to get all my reading done for my class this weekend, or complain that my kids never do what I ask them to do, or whine that my mom doesn't know who I am any more, or gripe about how difficult this office shuffle has turned out to be. I just wanted to sit there in the peace and quiet in the church and for a short time have nothing disturb me.

I closed my eyes and let my mind go completely blank. My Jesuit friends would be so proud of me. This was really an effective clearing of the mind; no thought clutter, nothing. I didn't even fall asleep this time, something I have wont to do on occasion.

What happened next was the most serene span of time. I wasn't aware of the moments passing, I was only aware of the presence of the Transcendent. There was a warmth that radiated through me in the cold church, and a sense of peace that swept over me. When I became aware of my surroundings again there was only one word, perfectly formed in my consciousness: Whatever.

I sat there in awe, and with complete understanding of what the word meant for me. Whatever comes I can handle it when I am united with Christ. In Christ I have the strength to do what I need to do whatever is asked of me. Whatever trials I may face in the next days, weeks months, nothing will overpower me if I remember that in Christ I will find the answers, or at least the was toward the answers.

Whatever! That will become my prayer.

I love Adoration, If you aren't speding time in adoration, I highly recommend making time in your week for an hour with Jesus. I equate it to plugging my cell phone in to recharge the battery. I thought my daily prayer life was pretty full until I started doing this weekly devotion. What a poweful addition to my spirutual workout.


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I'm Searching . . .

It is about that time. . .

I am about to go on vacation again. Last year at this time I went on vacation with the recommendation that I should read "Fr Joe" By Tony Hendra. I thoroughly enjoyed it especially, I think, because it wasn't assigned reading. So, I am appealing to you all. If you know of a wonderful book that I should read this vacation let me know about it.

I love good stories, as a writer myself I am always pulled in by good narrative. I am equally enthralled by mysteries or love stories. If I had to choose I would have to say that I would prefer something with humor over something dark and humorless.

If you know of anything that fits the bill, let me know. Especially if I have to order it before I go on vacation. Leave me a comment and I will take it under advisement. Now remember I am a poor grad student mother of five who works for the church, so if I get a bunch of great suggestions I may have to go raid the library instead of the bookstore and hope I don't leave any behind when I go on vacation.

Thanks for the great tips, in advance.


Still vain enough to want to share this

I am trying really hard to get to that place where I am humble about my life, but when a website calls me a genius I have to share:

Your IQ Is 120

Your Logical Intelligence is Above Average
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Exceptional
Your General Knowledge is Exceptional

Of course I realize it is all just innocent fun and I am really not a genius, I am just as dumb today as a I was yesterday, I was just a really lucky guesser today.

give it a try!


Monday, June 13, 2005

Playful Moods

Some of you may know that I have spent the last few months studying scripture(specifically the Gospel and writings of John, and the Pauline epistles) for my Masters, and on Sunday I took a final that really taxed me mentally. I learned so much, and through it all I kept my sense of humor and playfulness, because after all God did give us a sense of humor, right? As of tomorrow I move on to another subject in my frenetic rush toward my Masters degree. Tomorrow I begin to study the American Catholic Identity. That sounds so interesting to me.

I found this site while checking out one of my favorite blogs, and I want to share it with you all. I found it to be a wonderful whimsical take on Revelation.

So, here is something for you to play with for a while. Enjoy. I will add that it is a bit racy, do watch the ratings on each of the vignettes. Some of them are outrageous and you might want to avoid the ones that are marked for sex, even for toys they are pretty graphic.
The Brick Testament


Sunday, June 12, 2005

Vocation and the still small voice

Today I had the distinct pleasure of attending the first Mass of one of the new Monks at the monastery that is attached to the Seminary/School of Theology where I am a student. This particular Monk is Fr. Michel-Benoit Moreira who has been visiting the monastery with two of his confreres from Togo for over a yearnow as he completes his education.

In that time I have come to know his amazing smile across the expanse of the Abbey Church, and we say hello to each other when we pass in the hallways, but I wouldn't say we have become close friends. And yet, as I was leaving Mass he took the time to stop and hug me. I felt so blessed.

My youngest daughter and husband were with me this weekend, and my daughter got to experience for the first time in her young life the first Mass for a newly ordained priest. I think I was probably about her age -- 9 years old -- when I went to Fr. Pat's first Mass. Fr. Pat was the son of some friends of my parents. I remember how excited I was to be there as Fr Pat. got to say the words of institution for the first time. I remember feeling so lucky to be a part of such a great day.

Today was an amazing day for a first mass too, because the readings lent themselves well to a homily, given by one of the older Monks on responding to God's call to vocations. I felt honored that I was there with my husband to hear what the older Monk who had lived his vocational call a long time had to say about listening to the still small voice of God, and being willing to follow it into unfamiliar and uncharted territory.

My vocation is stronger than ever after 22 years, I hope the same for Fr. Michele, where ever he finds himself 22 years from today. So long as he is following God, all will be well.


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I AM: God of the Present Moment

Today has been one of those days when I have needed to be reminded that God is I AM: God of the Present Moment. God is not a God who was only present in some past time that I can only learn about through Holy Scripture, God is here with me now. God is not a God of some future that I have to wait for or hope for or live for, God if here with me now.

Today I have needed that I AM God. "Be still", God says "and know that I am God" nothing is required of me but to be, and God will be with me in this present moment, when I need to be comforted and encouraged, and lifted up. I just have to be still. I don't even have to put my prayer into words, because God knows what my prayer is. God knows my needs.

Today has been one of those days when I have only been capable of being still. God has been so present to me this day. God has been with me in the present moment of my pain and confusion and need.

Trust, surrender, Believe, Receive. That was a chant prayer we sang on a Eucharist retreat. I love the thought of surrender as a posture of prayer. Surrender to me is like Koinoia, total self giving. When you surrender to God you hold nothing back. Today I surrendered all of my energy, will, pain, hope and future to God, because God can do a much better job of managing it than I can.

In my weakness in this present moment the Great I AM: God of the Present Moment will be my strength.


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Catholic Funerals: Really High on my List of Reasons I am Glad I am Catholic

A friend of our family died quite unexpectedly last week at the age of 59. They buried him today with the Mass of the Resurrection. Every time I attend a Catholic funeral it is a real visceral reminder of how important it is to me that I die as a Catholic, so I can be buried with a Catholic Funeral.

I have attended other Christian and non Christian funerals in my lifetime, and I am telling you now, nothing compares to the Catholic funeral. I am not sure if it is because of our theology of the four last things (Death judgment Heaven and Hell) or it is because of our understanding of the unlimitless font of unconditional love that flows from God, or it is just because we know how to do ritual really well, but I have never at any other denominational funeral felt the way I do about the dearly departed as I do at a Catholic funeral.

Somehow for us, the one we love while no longer accessible to us in the normal animate way, is still as close to us as if they were just in the next room. I think perhaps because of our understanding of the Communion of Saints, that everyone who dies in Christ at Baptism, rises with Christ in the end and is there, in that better place than we will ever know on this side of eternity, waiting for us to join them someday. Catholic Funerals are about Hope.

Another thing, no matter how tragic the circumstances of the end of someone's life; a Catholic funeral isn't a reliving of that tragic moment in time, but a celebration of all the wonderful loving, happy times that came before it. We dance, we laugh, we share happy memories. We spread that joy that comes from knowing that when we have those happy memories, eventually they will crowd out the pain of whatever tragic ones we have had to face. Catholic funerals are about Joy.

No one can ever make me believe that there is better funeral music written in any time or place than songs like Panis Angelicus, Ave Maria, Be Not Afraid or On Eagles Wings. Each verse brings such a sense of serene knowledge that all will be right again in the world. Catholic funerals are about Peace.

Even Martin Luther is purported to have said that it is better to live as a Lutheran, but to die a Catholic. I think he wanted the funeral.


Monday, June 06, 2005

All Grown Up

My Son, my first born, turns twenty-one today. I remember when he was born. We were so happy and we had so many hopes and dreams for his future. Oh what reality and twenty-one years of living with a disability can do to those youthful dreams.

My son is autistic you see. He has a very difficult time communicating with the world around him. He is emotionally delayed, and has had to struggle to achieve what other children do without even thinking.

And yet, my son is a Confirmed Catholic. He is an Eagle Scout. He taught himself to swim and ride a bike and skate on in-line skates. He graduated from High School, and went through a vocational program in computers while in high school. He works part time at a Goodwill store right now, and some day maybe he will feel confident enough to attempt to go to Technical School or Vocational School or even College.

About a year ago he decided to get his driver's license and it took him three tries to get his permit. He has been practicing driving for about two months now, and will probably be ready to try to get take the driving test by August.

He is bright, loving, and very funny. He has a very eclectic taste in music, and is a very loyal friend to those who are willing to invest the time to stick around long enough to get to know him and allow him to feel comfortable being around them. He recently told me that he has decided to write a book. I believe that he will do it. I can't wait to read it, I am sure that it will be amazing.

I am so pleased with all of the things my son has been able to accomplish in his life. What I have learned after all these years, that when we stopped dreaming of success for our son, and started dreaming that he would be faithful to God's plan for his life we began to see how amazing our son's life really was. It all depends on whose criteria we chose to use as the yardstick by which to determine what quality of life our son was going to have.

It will be very interesting to be around to see what the next twenty-one years will be like on his journey. I am blessed that God has allowed me to be a part of this.


The Strength to be Served

They played a song at Mass this weekend called The Servant Song. The verse goes Will you let me be your servant, let me be as Christ to you. Pray that I may have the strength to let you be my servant too.

As Christians we are often reminded that we are here to serve. Even Christ washed the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper in the Gospel of John as a visual, visceral reminder that the first among us should be willing to serve. But think about that story of the Washing of the feet from the perspective of the apostles for a moment. This was their Lord and Master. By this time they knew without a doubt that this Man was the Son of God, and yet He was washing their feet. It takes great humility and great strength to allow yourself to be served.

I remember the first time I experienced this as an adult. I was a wife, and mother of four beautiful children and I contracted a virulent case of the flu. I could hardly lift a finger for myself. My oldest child was in first grade, and the baby was barely one year old. Mrangelmeg had to go on travel for his job.

On Sunday afternoon, my mother and mother-in-law got together in my kitchen to form a battle plan to decide how to help me through this week. It was decided that Since my mother was retired, she would take the three younger girls to her house to stay so she could take care of them. My mother-in-law, who lived in town, but worked at the university food service would come by every evening and check on my son and I and make sure that we had dinner and that my son was bathed and put to bed.

I remember protesting that I could handle it all, but honestly I was so happy that they were there to help me. On Monday morning I mustered up the strength to get my son dressed fed and onto the bus, and then collapsed onto the couch. Before I knew it my son walked back through the door. I hadn't moved an inch in the seven hours he had been at school. I can't imagine what I would have done with three little ones to have had to take care of in those hours. I remember crying and thanking God that someone had had the common sense to make me let them do this for me.

Now I am older and much wiser I hope. Yet, even now I have to be reminded to allow others to serve me. Sometimes the greatest gift we can give to someone is to allow them to serve us. Sometimes it is our Christian duty to allow ourselves to be there recipient of service, no matter how small the service is.

Every time I hear that simple song in Church it reminds me that as Christians we are never alone, there is always someone around to help us "walk this path and bear this load" (from the last verse of the song)


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Stress: That Big Hairy Monster That is After Me

Sometimes I think the stress in my life is about to engulf me. It starts out this cute little stress bunny. I think I can handle them. Like the stress from school, where I have two papers due in two weeks, and a final to study for, and then in three weeks I will have another class that will begin and I got my assignments for it and the cute little stress bunny just became an ugly big monster.

There is stress from my health conditions. I am taking medication for migraines that is working amazingly, I haven't had a migraine in months! Praise God and pharmacology. But the side affects from the medication are different than I thought they would be, and I am having to deal with them on top of an increase in pain from my arthritis. The stress monster just got a little bigger and scarier.

Then there is stress from my work place. The new pastor, the changing offices, finding out how to move all my stuff while the person whose office I am moving into isn't on the same schedule as I am is going to be a real challenge. Stress monster alert!

Add to that the stress that five-only-children (mrangelmeg has always said that we don't have a family of five kids, we have five only children) can bring into a life, and three of those five kids are teen agers, and two of those kids are special needs kids, and one of those kids is in college, and one of those kids is in grade school, and one of those kids is out of school but still not ready to be fully on his own. Then this week three of the kids are sick. Does that stress monster have two heads?

The only thing that has been keeping me sane lately is my prayer time. I have been taking about ten minutes every now and then to just be still and remember who is in control, and then thanking God that it isn't me. The stress break really tames the monster, and sometimes amazingly the monster even goes away for a while.

Praise God!