Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

—Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Friday, September 11, 2009

And these are my vices:
impatience, bad temper, wine,
the more than occasional cigarette,
an almost unquenchable thirst to be kissed,
a hunger that isn't hunger
but something like fear, a staunching of dread
and a taste for bitter gossip
of those who've wronged me-for bitterness-
and flirting with strangers and saying sweetheart
to children whose names I don't even know
and driving too fast and not being Buddhist
enough to let insects live in my house
or those cute little toylike mice
whose soft grey bodies in sticky traps
I carry, lifeless, out to the trash
and that I sometimes prefer the company of a book
to a human being, and humming
and living inside my head
and how as a girl I trailed a slow-hipped aunt
at twilight across the lawn
and learned to catch fireflies in my hands,
to smear their sticky, still-pulsing flickering
onto my fingers and earlobes like jewels.
Cecilia Woloch, from Carpathia. © BOA Editions, Ltd.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Our true home is in the present moment.
The miracle is not to walk on water.
The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment.
Peace is all around us--in the world and in nature--and within us--in our bodies and our spirits.
Once we learn to touch this peace, we will be healed and transformed.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

large families

Last night Beka came home from her class at UCF and shared her very uncomfortable experience in "the real world" of being politically correct,

The discussion centered on the news that the Dugger family was expecting their 19th (?) child in the coming months. "How irresponsible can people be to have that many children? The gene pool begins to run dry and those poor children will turn out to be complete idiots, morons, unable to function in today's world." Okay, I am paraphrasing a bit here but not far off the mark. The argument for limiting family size went along the lines of large families being a burden on society, financially and the impact they have on the enviornment. We tend to take up a lot of space, we tend to use up a lot of natural resources, we breathe a whole lot of precious air, we have nothing to offer this planet...just because there are so many of us???? Go figure. Now if we actually marched into that classroom, the whole bunch of us and gave them our credentials they might come away with a far different perspective on large families. We are a group of remarkable individuals. I am not blowing my own horn here. I will follow in line behind my family here. They are successful, hard working, community minded, fully functional, responsible toward out precious enviornment, healthy, making a living without relying on the government to support them, paying their own way through school, having served in the military to protect the safety of those who throw out these insults and accusations, and the list could go on and on. We have never asked the powers that be to pay for our children's education, we have fully funded their schooling from our own homeschool through the university setting.

I do not write this to blow my horn or ask for accolades from my readers- I write this to say that we are ordinary people, raising ordinary children, who become hard working, ordinary adults who may do some extra-ordinary things with their lives, but who ask for no praise, just respect for who they are: people created in the image of God. Just like all those who have such strong opinions of large families. We know many large families and they are living in much the same way as we live. They are independent and hard working. They live simply and quietly, doing the work that is set before them. They are easy to be around as they are content with the bare essentials of this life. They get along well with most everyone they encounter and are able to flex with changing circumstances.

As I write these words I realize that we are very rich in the supernatural meaning of riches. You cannot compare apples and oranges, so you cannot try to reason with those who measure success by this world's standards. The riches that we possess are hidden from the visible world of big homes and fancy cars. They are the treasures of relationship, sacrifice, service, contentment, faith, hope in all that is worthwhile and beautiful, and a connectedness that cannot be bought but can only be...can only BE.

Beka was so very wise in her restraint last night. She felt the climate was too hostile to try to defend her position. It has given us a lot to think and talk about. She wants to present her position in writing- in a project required by the professor. She will have time to make her thoughts and opinions clear and share them in a respectful and gentle tone. That will be the best way to handle this in the public arena but here, I may express my strong feelings and not hold back. I will not win the war of public opinion and do not care to. My mission is to care for those who have been entrusted into my care. I do an inadequate job of that but I do my best. The Lord will sort it all out in the end and I entrust all of this into His care.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

here is a challenge...

I have committed myself to joy....
We must not be afraid to announce it to refugees, slum dwellers, saddened prisoners, angry prophets. Now and then we must even announce it to ourselves.
In this prison of now, in this cynical and sophisticated age, someone must believe in joy."
- Richard Rohr