Simple Living: A Recipe for Life

holy-familyToday I stumbled on a post by one of my favorite Extraordinary Moms, Sherry Antonetti, who has decided to close her blog “Chocolate for Your Brain.” I admire her courage — it’s not easy to stop doing (for the good of your family) something you’d much rather be doing (for yourself).  If it’s not writing, it’s something else … reading, showering, sleeping. You know what I mean.

Sherry inspired me to do something that I’ve known for some time I should be doing, to make room for new challenges ahead: Conclude my tribute to the Blessed Mother, “Behold Your Mother.” I’ll also be blogging less often at “Mommy Monsters” — mostly linking to articles here, since for some reason there doesn’t appear to be a close overlap between my readers in both sites. EMN  will be my primary blog.

Is there any area of your life where God is asking you to simplify?

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Summer Fun: Today at “Mommy Monsters”

handsonSome days, when the whining threatens to break the sound barrier and the dog has been tackled so often she is trying to hide under the couch . . . It’s time to get out of the house!

Today we went to the Hands-On Museum. Wish you could have joined us!

It didn’t start well. Chris forgot his medicine. Again.
It was raining. Again.
Both kids were wacking each other out of sheer orneriness. No matter how much I yelled for them to stop. Again.
Are we having fun yet?!?!? Oh, yeah.

UP with Fathers! (Now at Mommy Monsters)

Last night I posted my take on Pixar’s UP at Mommy Monsters — I found it especially relevant to the question, “What do I do when I want to adopt or foster, and my husband doesn’t?”

Another good article on the subject may be found at CatholicExchange.com: Losing Your Life to Gain It: Guidelines for Growing Old in Up

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“Mom, Why Does She Look Weird?”

Today at Mommy Monsters, I write about a “teachable moment” with my daughter, in which we encounter a special needs child at McDonalds. 

My sister lost her leg when she was ten due to complications from cancer — I was twelve. Sometimes people could be downright rude, pointing and staring as though she were deaf and blind rather than simply legless.  Chris always much preferred the guileless questions of children, even when those questions made the parents squirm. So now when my kids ask Chris if her leg has grown back yet, she just laughs and says, “No yet!” And I remind them that Aunt Chris’ leg is waiting for her in heaven.

When they comment (always loudly and in earshot) about a young woman at church who has Down syndrome, I try to take my cue from Chris and simply answer the question. “Yes, she has special challenges — she doesn’t talk or act quite the same way you do. But she has special gifts, too. See how she’s always helping in the nursery? See how she always seems happy to be here, instead of grumpy? How she’s kind to everyone? I think she would be a great friend, don’t you? One way you can be her friend is by not saying things to her or about her that might hurt her feelings.”

Today at “International Mom” Julie also has a discussion about how to talk to kids about treating people who are physically or mentally challenged. Go take a look!

Marriage and the Single Mom: Now @ Mommy Monsters!

peek-babyCome on over to “Mommy Monsters” for an article I posted there today: “Marriage and the Single Mom: Some Thoughts.”

Today I’d like to offer a prayer for single moms everywhere … Those who are raising children on their own, temporarily or permanently. Military moms. Adoptive and foster moms. Divorced and separated moms. Never-married mothers who are doing their best, one day at a time.

I’d especially like to request prayers for my sister, Jennifer, who is divorcing her husband. Pray that God will provide for her needs, and the needs of her children. You might toss up a prayer for Jerry, too … Frankly, I have a hard time doing that without feeling like a total hypocrite, but you don’t know the twit, so you feel free. (Throw in one for me, too.)

Heavenly Father, bless single parents everywhere.
Those who are content, and those who are scared.
Those who are struggling, and those who feel secure.
Those who need a tangible, practical reminder
That you love them, and have called them
To imitate You in selfless, boundless love,
And to lead their children to heaven,
one prayer at a time.

Mary, Queen of Saints, pray for us.
St. Joseph, patron of families, pray for us.
St. Jude, patron of the hopeless, pray for us.

Thoughts on the New Year

Have you ever wondered whether you were on the right track, as far as God is concerned? Do you worry about missing out on God’s “grand design” for your life, or wish He were a little more specific about what he wants you to do in this or that situation?

Head on over to “Mommy Monsters” (my personal blog) to read my end-of-the-year reflection on this subject. The good news is that God tends to be far more generous with His children than we are with ourselves.  It is our intentions, not our accomplishments, that matter most to Him.

In Memory…

Today at Mommy Monsters is a brief reflection on today’s sad anniversary.

Time passes. The smoke clears. Life moves on. Or not.

Oh beautiful for patriot’s dreams
that sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
undimmed by human tears!

America, America, God mend thine every flaw.
Confirm thy soul in self-control; thy liberty in law!

Click here for a profoundly moving tribute.