Thursday, January 24, 2013

PHFR ~ Winter

~ Pretty ~

Trees capture the beauty of light, darkness, and shadows, and in the snowy bleakness of winter, I just can't get enough of them. 
They frame the beauty of the world in such a way that makes me take notice of all that is seen. 
And unseen.

~ Happy ~

This picture isn't just about the bread. It is about the physical act of making this bread with my son, Joe. Joe has a tendency to have an insensitivity to gluten, and we have been trying to limit our use of it. He has done beautifully with gluten-free bread sandwiches... 
But when we had a snow day, I told him that if he helped me to create this bread, that he could have some to actually eat. 
We had the BEST time kneading and shaping and talking. I didn't take pictures, because, well, I was living the moment with my son. Connecting, sharing, shaping.... 
This bread is a picture of delicious happiness that happened because of sharing with my son.... 

~ Funny ~

Oops. Mommy forgot to get suitable mittens/gloves for Max. And when the first snow hit, he was going outside no matter what. (Not to worry, mittens have been purchased since, and will be put to good use!)

~ Real (and Really Funny) ~

So. Some of my dad's family is from Texas, and for as long as I can remember, he has loved Davy Crockett. (And when we visited San Antonio and the Alamo? Well, it was like watching a little kid....) 
Thus, the inspiration for the coon-skin caps for the grandchildren this Christmas. 
Trying to photograph them all with their caps on was a scream....and these two pics capture some of the hilarious-ness of gathering them together. 
But in some ways, I love these pictures because if they had all been smiling, we would have wondered what was wrong with them.... 
Life isn't always about pretty pictures or calm children. 
It is about the rough and tumble crazy that comes with the beauty of a life lived with excitement and joy.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

One word ~ 2013

Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all.
And faith means believing the incredible, or it is no virtue at all.
- G.K. Chesterton

Sometimes, God whispers.

And yes, sometimes, it is a shout that roars screaming right into my heart.... 

As we were getting ready this morning, with all of the ususal "where are my SHOES?" pleadings and fussy toddler morning-ness, I was whispering prayers of thanksgiving for the life that is mine.... 

And no, I don't always approach my life in that way, although I know that I should. I *KNOW* that. I do. It's simply that I get so darn unsure of it all. You know what I mean... these thoughts.... (Am I loving enough? Am I giving everyone the attention that they need? Am I living my vocation as mother as best as I can? Exactly how am I helping my husband to be the best father he can be? ) All of these whispers can drag my spirit right down into the pits. My friend Misty captured it beautifully when she quoted, "don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle" GULP. And that? THAT is where the stirrings of hope can start to rise up.... No matter where I am in the process.....

Yesterday, during a wonderful session of catechesis, we had to write down 1o ways that we believe that we live our lives. The things that drive us, motivate us. And although I knew exactly what those things were, I also mentioned that in looking at the list? Yes. I continuously fail miserably at living up to them. 


Here's the beauty in that, as my friends Eileen and Mary Anne reminded me.... Every single day, every single moment, I can choose how I am going to feel about it. 

Every. Single. Moment.

When I hear those whisperings of not-good-enough? That little sprout of hope can be nurtured instead

Just like this morning during the chaos when Joe came racing back into the house with a full-face smile to show us the incredible rainbow that graced the sky overhead. I scooped up fussy Max and the four of us just stood in the driveway and stared and wondered and my heart just... filled.

So I will continue my sometimes whispered, sometimes shouted prayers to my God for continued strength. For insight. For Hope.

And so, as a new year starts, and as my family circles me with love, and as I stumble and pick myself up, I know that for this year? My word is HOPE....

For indeed....

The cross means there is no shipwreck without hope; there is no dark without dawn; nor storm without haven.
- Pope John Paul II

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One Word 365
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