is it monday already???

Monday has arrived once more and today I am looking for the silver lining in my day. This book is one of them. More on that later...

:: noticing God's glory
The sun is shining but it is quite cold out there. So Miss Courtney and I are huddled inside staying nice and toasty. I am struck by the barrenness of winter this morning. The trees stubbornly hanging unto their leaves, clinging to the hope of their warmth while the winds sweeps through the branches. As I get older the miracle of the four seasons amazes me. The ability of God's creation to continue through that circle of life, year after year after year. Just astonishing.

:: listening to
Miss Courtney has ben full of vim and vigor this morning. She had a very rough night last night fighting seizure after seizure. I thought we would have to take her into the ER but our prayers and your prayers prevailed and things settled down around 1:30 a.m.

She was humming and singing as I listened to the Inauguration that is on the TV in the background. Her fortitude is amazing.

But right now at this very moment...she is sound asleep. This the view from where I am sitting. Ahhhh...peaceful bliss for us both.

:: clothing myself in
I am wearing jeans, a knit top in navy blue and a lovely striped sweater in shades of grey and blue. It's quite comfy for a Monday. My favorite part though is the lovely warm wool socks I am wearing. Oh how I love winter for this very reason. Happy. colorful. wool socks.

:: thinking and thinking
About a few things this historical day.
- I am so grateful to be living in a country where the transfer of power is peaceful and celebrated with pomp and circumstance. I may not agree with everything this President stands for or wishes to see happen in this great nation, but I appreciate that we the people have a choice. Praise be God for that.

- I am battling emotional and physical weariness. When life begins to press upon me, when Courtney's care plan changes or she faces a new challenge, I tend to turn inward and hibernate. This is not necessarily a good thing, especially for a natural extrovert.

Given that, I am really enjoying the book "Desperate" by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson. It's just what my heart needed for this particular season in my life. No, I don't have small children but the feelings of caring for a chronically ill child are the same. I appreciate the authors honesty and openess. I have also come to understand that reliance on daily quiet time and prayer, no matter how that is achieved, make the challenges of life easier to handle.

So it's back to basics for me. The daily rosary and Mass when possible. Early to bed, early to rise. Thank goodness for God grace and the gift of a new day. Now to find ways to seek quiet daily...

:: giving thanks for
#1165 ~ 1196
** thankful for friends who are willing to sacrifice their morning to assist me with Miss Courtney, making what should have difficult into a story to be told for years to come. 
** thankful for a mother who is still with me and makes me smile on a daily basis
**for the gift of time to treasure the relationships that bring my heart joy
**pieces of history in the form of china cups and saucers that remind me of the women in my family who have loved for generations.
**for the chore of washing dishes by hand. It reminds me to be grateful for modern conveniences that my forebears did not have. 
**for women who pray with me twice a month. Tonight we begin Ann's "One Thousand Gift's" Bible study. It could not come at a better time for me
**for the reminder that every day has a silver lining or two...or nine...or seventeen...
**the beauty of the barrenness outside my window
**books that keep me company long into the night when Miss Courtney needs someone next to her. 

**my husband's humor
**the opportunity for my son to spend time with his cousins
**family who make me smile every.single.time.I.see.them
**peaceful transfer of power in this great United States
**those who fight for the unborn
**the gift of employment
**a church community that lifts us in prayer and offer hope for a better day
**happy, wool winter socks
**bloggers who comment in love and kindness
**readers who drop everything and pray whenever needed
**for the life I have been given, dirty dishes and all

**a well oiled sewing machine
**mail that brings a sweet greeting card and a hug from a far away place from someone I hold close to my heart
**hand-knit blankets that I can swaddle my girl in on cold winter days
**strands of thread in many colors that hold the possibility of future pieces of fabric art
**patterns easily downloaded at 3 a.m. that will become embroidered pillows
**the library filled with mysteries and romances, histories and thrillers
**book shelves filled with inspiration for decorating my home and sewing a new wardrobe
** a new tea cup that is delicate and beautiful making me smile each time I use it
**the cloud of witnesses that have gone before me...I miss them so
**for life, for love, for grace

::pondering prayerfully
So many needs out in the much to pray for...
+ for my friend M who says goodbye to her son this afternoon as he leaves for a nine month deployment with the Marines. For his safety and wellbeing and her worried Mama's heart

+ for my sweet sisier-in-law A who is mourning the loss of her mother this day. That her mother is with Jesus and at peace and that A can find joy in this day. It is never easy losing a parent.

+ for our Youth Ministry team at SMOS as we prepare for the upcoming high school retreat. That we open our hearts and mind to the spirit and bring whatever is needed to help and guide the kids that we will be ministering to. 

+ for Jerry and his application to the Deaconate. This will be a constant prayer request as we go forward in this process. May God's will be done. 

+ for Courtney and her team of specialists. That God guides them in creating the best care plan for her going forward. Fo us as her parents to make the right decisions for her care.

+ for all those who will March for Life this Friday. That they may be safe and sound and that their peaceful voices will be heard by our elected officials. 

+ for all the Mama's that are overwhelmed and weary. may God fill their tanks with energy and grace.

+ so that I have energy and motivation to complete the projects that need to be done THIS week. Please Lord give me the strength to do what needs to be done.

:: creating by hand
I am almost done with my first cross-stitch ornament. It's slow going given my energy levels these days, but I will get there.
I am also still working my way though the Christmas gift sewing. Almost there. i should be able to get the final gifts in the mail be the end of the week. I hope.

:: in the kitchen
Last week I started sharing soup recipes and then by Wednesday Miss Courtney started having issues and I didn't post. I am so the worst blogger ever. So sorry my friends. I will be getting back to the soup celebration shortly.
Other than that, I have been making a lot of comfort food. Anutie Merle's Meatloaf, Chicken and Rice Casserole, Black Bean Soup, etc. Simple recipes I could make in my sleep. I need easy and simple these days. My boys are happy so that's all that matters.

:: living the liturgy
Lent is three weeks away. THREE WEEKS! So I have begun to prepare the kitchen and pantry for this eventuality. I have also begun to prayerfully consider what I will be reading for this penitential season. DO you have any idea's? Please share...

:: keeping house
I think the picture above speaks for itself. I am getting my butt kicked. I think some sleep will help. LOL! I so appreciate my husbands willingness to help with the chores over the weekend. I son't know what I would do if he didn't help.

:: planning the week ahead
This week includes a bible study, a funeral, the March for Life and a time for Praise and Worship. As for how I will make all this event at a time. So my goal today is to prepare the families clothes for the funeral, washing and ironing to my hearts content. Tomorrow I will work on the next thing that needs to be addressed. Slow and steady wins the race.

:: loving the moments
- when I cut new fabric and imagine the beauty it will become.
- story time with my daughter
- of sipping hot tea in pretty china
- the knowing looks shared between spouses that need no words to communicate their intent
- quiet prayer time listening intently for HIS voice

:: Miss Courtney's World
Miss Moonbeam is healing well. Thank you, thank you for all your prayers and good wishes. I don't know what we would do without all of your support. I truly don't.

While she is healing well from her little biopsy's, she is still struggling with seizure control. This med change that I have spoken of before is going to take three to six months and let me tell you, it's going to be a long three to six months at this point.  She did gain .8 pounds last week so that was good news, but we still need to put on a good five pounds to Miss Skinny-Mini. Oh how I wish I had that problem.

So, we will keep doing what we're doing and adjust and needed. Please keep her in your prayers and while your on your knees...go ahead and add her Mama to her to your list. I am exhausted right now and trying to stay positive...a challenge indeed. 

Please join Ann Voskamp @ A Holy Experience to celebrate the little gifts given each day by the ONE who loves us most!

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