Friday, April 4, 2014

Why are we called to bear children?

Last night I found myself struggling to answer the question of why God asks flawed, broken humans to be parents. I have been doubting my abilities to successfully raise multiple children. Ahhh first trimester baby blues how I missed you.

"He must know I'm already making a royal mess of it." I tell myself. "How does lying limp on the dirty floor of our apartment for hours at a time, qualify me to teach this baby plus another one about Catholicism, Truth, Love? We are barely making it through each day."


Off to the Catechism of the Catholic Church I go. To try to answer the question, "why are we called to bear children?"

"Children are the supreme gift of marriage and contribute greatly to the good of the parents themselves. God himself said: "It is not good that man should be alone," and "from the beginning [he] made them male and female"; wishing to associate them in a special way in his own creative work, God blessed man and woman with the words: "Be fruitful and multiply." -CCC 1652 

It appears that things were meant to go much smoother than they do. The problems in marriage and family life are not a result of Women are from Venus and Men are from Mars (this is what we have going for us!) but from a fallen, sinful nature.

There are two other points from that passage:
  • children contribute greatly to the good of the parents - because I was never going to become a saint the way I was cruising through life. How can I so easily forget about eternal life?
  • God wants us to participate in his own creative work - because he Loves us and this creative work is an ENORMOUS gift. Imagine if you were a incredible artist and you allowed the people you love to do whatever they wanted to your paintings because you wanted to give them a chance to experience the joy that you felt from it. This analogy falls short of course but it is an incredible love.

And then:
"Hence, true married love and the whole structure of family life which results from it, without diminishment of the other ends of marriage, are directed to disposing the spouses to cooperate valiantly with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will increase and enrich his family from day to day...the fundamental task of marriage and family is to be at the service of life." -CCC 1652-1653

I love the use of the word valiantly! Those dusty old men in charge of the Church know exactly what they're talking about. I have to be brave. Oftentimes it's the things that are the hardest that are the most worthwhile and beautiful.

Then I remembered a little wedding gift - Apostolic Exhortation of John Paul II, The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World. Just turning to specific chapters I found a few passages of interest.

"Thus the fundamental task of the family is to serve life, to actualize in history the original blessing of the Creator - that of transmitting by procreation the divine image from person to person." (pg 46)
The divine image!


"While not making the other purposes of matrimony of less account, the true practice of conjugal love, and the whole meaning of the family life which results from it, have this aim: that the couple be ready with stout hearts to cooperate with the love of the Creator and the Savior, who through them will enlarge and enrich His own family day by day." (pg 46)

This is always my downfall: I am always determined to "have things together" or "to be perfect" and then to present myself to God as "the whole package". This isn't what He asks of us! Cooperation and working through us means trying our best and that being enough. He's going to work through me and achieve amazing things if I keep myself open to His graces. It doesn't mean a spotless apartment or a perfect attitude (I do need to be a little less miserable in sickness) but to keep turning to his mercy and to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Unless you're lying on the floor like me. In that case it means continuing to drag your body army style from one room to the next.

I'm grateful for a Church that has so much understanding of the human spirit and all of these questions that I have. And I'm grateful for my stinkerbee.






Thursday, April 3, 2014

Books For Evelyn

This is a while off but I believe a love of reading is crucial for education and especially in homeschooling. I'm not sure if we will home school, will cross that bridge when we come to it. I would love Evelyn to discover these books. So many adventures! Just looking at their covers makes me want to go back and rediscover them all.

I have left out Twilight, Hunger Games, and a few others that I don't believe have the same quality as these. Hunger Games because it was scary to me when I read it at age 23. I HAVE included Harry Potter which might raise some eyebrows. Those books were one of the best memories I have from my childhood so I can't leave them out.

It seems that many current popular books for girls have shallow characters or questionable themes. I don't think little girls need to read about texting or divorce. That being said, looking at this list, there are quite a few misbehaved or rebellious heroines! Ah and who doesn't love a good orphan story? Why are kids so drawn to orphan stories?

I will try to add to this list for future reference.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I didn't really think it was possible for me to be pregnant again when I took the test. Evelyn had never had a bite of solid food, I was still nursing her all day and night long and we spend 100% of our time together. 


I was pretty sure God didn't want us to be pregnant again because we are struggling financially and still adjusting to having an infant. I was obviously wrong!

We had a wedding coming up and a bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, and reception meant lots of drinks so I wanted to test to make sure. When I saw the thin faint line alongside the bright control line, making two lines, making a positive, making a no mistake something is happening in there conclusion, I actually snorted out loud. Off my not yet six months old baby and I went to CVS to buy another package of tests. Because maybe something was not right. Not only am I pregnant I am already about 9 weeks pregnant.

Well this explains the uncontrollable raging and crying I've been experiencing.

Thus the attempted sleep training, the aggressiveness with solids, the teething, the all day morning sickness, and the decline of milk supply.

But nobody ever became a saint by cruising through life! I've got to stop trying to avoid these crosses and start embracing them. I'm obviously being molded into something better. If only I could be open to it and trust that we will be taken care of. I just know it will be another angel baby and my big struggle will be overcoming my own selfishness and shortcomings. My prayer is for a healthy baby and a safe pregnancy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It Doesn't Add Up

Here is a phenomenon that we have been living with for the last 17 months. We are constantly in amazement that we make it by every month. The husband makes, after taxes and health insurance are taken out, $2000 a month.

This is the breakdown:


As you can see the bottom line for us is $2,887 a month with about $2,407 of that being in bills. Pretty much the only variable is food. And if we turn the lights off or the heat off.


How have we been paying this every month?!
Now since being married we have made some progress:


Which makes us closer to clearing the budget:


And our payments:


As you can see, we can almost pay our bills now on his monthly income alone.

But here's the thing! We paid over $5000 in additional costs for Evelyn's birth last year. We paid for throat surgery, new tires for both vehicles, a new tooth crown and about 5 fillings, visited inlaws, and kept our emergency fund at $3500. 

We are so blessed! This has been the biggest lesson of our marriage: trust in GOD. Every month when I'm paying the bills, I go to the hubby and say "it doesn't add up." And every month something comes along and we make it through. He works overtime, I do a side job, he does a side job, I sell something on craigslist, someone gives us a gift, or we are invited over for dinner or sent home with food (by Letty and Robert) and our budget stretches that much further.

What a trip! It has been stressful but exciting to see how we are taken care of. One part is my husband working so diligently and selflessly for us. One part is the generosity of the loved ones in our lives. And one part is us learning a huge lesson in faith and trust on a daily basis. We have kept ourselves open to life and I can only say that we have been blessed because of it.

25"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
Matthew 6:26

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Waking Up Daddy


One of our favorite things during night shift is going into the bedroom in the late afternoon, opening the curtains, turning off the soundmaker and waking him up. Evelyn is always pretty excited and concerned to see him sleeping there. I wonder what it will be like trying to keep her out of there when she is more mobile.

I have to say we are struggling with sleeping right now. Part of me wonders if I did something so horribly wrong with sleep training that now she refuses to sleep at all but then she is also teething, learning to crawl and six months old. Just one hour at a time right now.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sleep Training Night 4: Two Steps Back

I am not even going to write about the fiasco that was last night!

There was a poorly timed diaper blowout, the usual upstairs neighbors moving their furniture, crying, nursing, and cuddling. And yes, she ended up in bed with me.

I discovered this morning that the heat had been turned off. I'm sure that didn't help us seeing as how it was 30 degrees last night. Oh why can't I think at 4AM?

We were both a little tired this morning.


Sleep training is a sword I refuse to live and die by. If it works, great. If it doesn't, it will all sort itself out eventually. In the meantime, my morning coffee and some quality makeup will get me through!