Thursday, May 29, 2014

Maria Goretti, my mom, and prayer.

     Once again, I have been inspired whilst washing dishes. Nothing compares to scrubbing tiny cooked bits of deer meat off of a pan to make one think of God.
     My thoughts wandered to my Mom, and how God has once again shown his grace to me. Seven years ago, my Mom needed to stay with us for a while. We happily welcomed her, and we all crammed into our student housing apartment, Mr. S, Mom, me, #1, and then #2 made her way into the world. Six months later, she and I had a terrible fight to which she left, and to which I promised a terrible thing, that she would never see me or her grand kids again. Obviously, I was not yet exuding Christian love was I?
    It was a year later when I was confirmed, and that day changed both my life and my Mom's, though neither of us knew it. I had to choose a patron saint, and this was a terribly difficult task. I was leaning to Saint Perpetua, who willing gave her life in the arena, leaving behind a baby, to proclaim her Christian faith. But I was not that brave, or mature enough to see how a woman could have the strength to abandon her baby. Perhaps a male saint then? I love Saint Benedict, and often recite his prayer against the devil and evil, but I still didn't feel right.
     I was always strangely drawn to Maria Goretti. I knew I couldn't choose her, a young girl who chose to be stabbed twelve times by her cousin rather than to allow him to rape her, and then forgave him as she was dying a horrible death of septicemia. I knew that many YOUNG girls choose her, as a beacon of strength and purity. But a 22 year old with 2 kids didn't exactly have much in common with her. Still, I  was pulled to her, and just days before I was confirmed, I opened my Lives of the Saints to my birthday, July 6. Guess whose feast day that is?
    Needless to say, my confirmation name is Maria Goretti. Yes, and that has to do with my mom how????
   I had kept those bitter words, and for years never even spoke to my mother. But having an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on you does strange things. During one of the large en masse confessions they aways have during Easter, I was confessing my many sins, and at the end, out popped "and help me Lord. I have so much anger toward my mother. I have tried and tried, but I just can't forgive her." I burst into tears, because the reality of the weight of anger I had been carrying was open and exposed.The Father counseled me with the best (or should I say most effective) penance I have ever had. He told me "I want you to pray for your mom, every time you think of her. But pray that God blesses her the way he sees fit, not the way you think she needs to be blessed."
    Let me tell you, that was the hardest prayer I have ever uttered. I thought I knew exactly how my Mom should live her life, but I was giving her to God. I must have said this prayer many thousands of times, because who doesn't think of their Moms at least every day? Slowly, my anger, bitterness, and resentment chipped away. My Mom called one day 18 months ago and wanted to visit me. That was tough. I was so scared. Would we fight?Would we cry? I guess I wasn't the only one with these thoughts, as she came with a vanguard of my sister and Aunt, while my husband told me to meet her at a park, so we would not have the bitter memory of me kicking her out, should things go bad.
     The Lord is truly good. The woman who stepped out of the car that day was the woman I remembered as a little kid. Not the bitter, self absorbed woman who I had fought with. She was strong, and loving, and she had her giant heart on her sleeve. God had done it. Even though I thought I knew what my Mom had needed, I realized that HE knew better. I could never have imagined my mom this beautiful and whole.
    I finally got to share the loss of my baby with her, and the joy of the next new child with her. In fact, two days after my due date, she said she was going to send good juju to me that my labor would soon start, and as soon as I hung up, I had my first contraction. No joke.
   God always knows what he is doing. That day that I choose Maria Goretti, I didn't really know why. I didn't have much in common with her. But now I get it. See, for me, Maria isn't about that. She is about forgiveness, of giving it up to God. She forgave the man who murdered her, so much to the point that she later came with the Virgin Mother in visions to him after her death  and converted him to Catholicism. I am truly blessed to have such a powerful sister in Christ praying for me.
   So if there is someone if your life that you can't forgive, offer it up. Ask God to bless them the way He wants to, not he way you think they need to be blessed. Because God is good, and he always knows what he is doing.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Confession time!

     I have a rather lurid confession to make, so brace yourself: I am a terrible housekeeper!
     Now, I am not saying this to be falsely humble or to fish for compliments. I am truly a bad housekeeper. At any given moment, you will see mess in my house. I mean I feel like Martha Stewart if I vacuum once a week (to which I know my sister is cringing). Not that my house is overly disgusting, its just messy. Six people live here, and of them all, I do the majority of the housework. Which kinda doesn't make since, does it?
     My mom and I have had the discussion over why I am so bad. See, she is a very NEAT person. Her house is very tidy, and so is my sister's. But, she always pushed us out of the way when it came to more than picking up or vacuuming. It was far easier to do this than to teach us how to and have us do it slowly and sloppily like all children do. The last time she came over she asked when I had last washed my back door. What? You wash those? As far as my sister is concerned (I love you but I'm telling on you)she used to be a terrible slob. When she moved out I had to clean up after her. But she joined the navy, where I guess she learned how to clean, so she maintains a beautiful house. Of course, there are rumors her husband helps and she only has one kid, so....
     Not that Mr. S. doesn't help. It's just that with his work and commute, he leaves by 7 and is home by 7 in the evening if we are lucky. Can't really blame him for not wanting to steam clean the carpets! We have a long standing joke that he does dishes at least once a week.
     Of course, there are always lots of factors involved. I don't know what I'm doing (though that one is wearing a little thin), I have the laundry monster which takes at least ten loads a week plus cloth diapers-must put away the load I folded- the time I have to home school, and the baby needs changed, fed, washed, etc. and then the big one. I HATE IT! Yes, there is the sense of satisfaction when I finally reach the bottom of the laundry pile, but I just don't like housework. When it comes to cleaning the living room or say, crocheting cute newborn mary janes-they are super easy too- guess which I will pick?
     So why am I saying this?Why spill my dirty little secret? One, it came upon my heart to write about it, and two, I think for a reason. As a homemaker, are we not "judged" by how clean our house is, how perfect looking our desserts are? I know that some moms can easily keep their house immaculate (my MIL and SIL are pros at it) and still find time for their kids. But I can't. To clean the way I wish I could would take all my time and effort. So I don't do it. Why?Because I have four little souls who want mom. #1 IS eight and a half, and one day he won't want to play the Firefly board game with me. #4 is almost walking and she wants Mama all the time.  Not to mention #2 wants to play superheroes  and #3 wants to color with me.
    As a Mother, I know my mission in life, the only thing I will be graded on that matters is those sweet souls I was given. If I do not teach them what is the right way in life and why, how will they know? We all must always strive to be more Mary than Martha. So, if you feel discouraged about the state of your house, don't be. Look at your littles (or bigs)and love them,play with them, and pray with them. And then give them a rag and a spray bottle of vinegar water and tell them to "mop" the floor. They will love it.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Well, hello there!

First, please let me say welcome! Just having you hear is sort of, well, awesome! If you stay here, that's just great! Let me explain a few things.
       I decided to start this blog for a few reasons. My MIL recently started blogging, and I love it. Second, I am always wanting to say something to all the articles I see on Facebook with more than a one liner- about anything that affects me: breastfeeding, pro life issues, Catholicism, mothering, homeschooling, everything! And then, I just wanted to open myself and offer a slice of my life, so that people can see what it is like to be me.
     SO what am I? When I write it, it fits in a box so neatly. I'm a stay at home Mama of four here on earth, one in heaven, I homeschool, I am a devout Catholic, and a country girl at heart. So I know what pops into your head. A skirt wearing, ultra conservative who buys her daughter saint dolls and sings the divine mercy chaplet, right?Well yes, but there is so much more. For instance, I am that rare nerd who loves Lord of the Rings, Farscape, Star Wars, AND star trek (I know right?). I play rpgs, I love anything Joss Whedon does, and no, I've never seen Dr. Who. (Yes, i know, unbelievable). But I'm also a "hippy"chick who makes her own laundry soap, cloth diapers, buys organic produce, and attachment parents. I am a crafter who crochets, embroiders, cross stiches, quilts, makes jewelry, and am trying to learn to actually sew. I love the outdoors, and horses, and chickens, and once built a small barn by myself. I took welding instead of home ec. (hindsight said that was an error) and am a tomboy.
     So why Texas Convert? Because that is what I am. I am from a lot of places, but not Texas. In fact, I HATED Texas for my whole life up to appproximatly 4 years  living here in the Lone Star State. I am also a catholic covert. I was originally nothing, an agnostic, then a wiccan, then agnostic, then episcopalian. But God finally led me home, to my husband and my faith. God is truly awesome. So join me, and I may get to explain everything I just said.