joy comes in the morning...

:: noticing God's glory
It's sunny outside and it looks to be another beautiful pre-Spring day. I have been up for many hours now, arising in the dark before dawn. There is something about getting up really early in the morning to pray as the light begins to slowly shine over this part of the earth, that makes me so very happy to sacrifice my own comfort to spend the time with Christ. There is joy and hope in the beginning of a new day, no matter what comes...

:: listening to
The quiet hum of morning activity. Miss Courtney was a bit of a night bird last night so she is still snoozing away happily ensconced in her soft warm bed. Tube feedings don't interfere with sleeping 20 years olds. The washing machine is going promising another load to fold and put away. I am thankful there are actual clothes to wash and dry. SO many have nothing.

:: clothing myself in
Yoga pants, warm wool socks, a flannel shirt with a tanktop underneath. Simple, comfortable and something I can easily move inn while I wrestle with the dust bunnies in my house today.

:: thinking and thinking
...of how truly blessed we are as a family. I know that many look at our life with Courtney and only see pain and a burden but I have to say, we are so abundantly blessed. Yes, there are many difficult moments and I even get angry sometimes, but for the mot part our life is very, very sweet. We have a roof over our head, food in the pantry and freezer, medicines to help our daughter, clothes on our backs and shoes on our feet. There are coats and hats to keep us warm, scripture to teach us and the Eucharist to sustain us. What the heck do I have to complain about?

I have a strong back and a willing heart (most of the time) to work for what is needed. No it's not perfect by any means but compared to 75% of the world my life is pretty darn cushy. I know I needed that reminder lately. During my morning devotional time I read the following:
"The mother of a family, who has the running of her home as a sanctifying task, ought to ask herself in her prayer if she is exemplary in fulfilling her obligations towards God, if she lives sobriety, if she is managing to dominate any tendency of ill-humoe, if she dedicates the necessary time ot her children and to the home." In Conversation with God, volume 2

OK...take a deep breath and ponder that one for too...

Now try this one...This verse came in my email this morning:
"The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone in silence when it is laid on him; let him put his mouth in the dust— there may yet be hope;"
Lamentations 3:25-29

Yes...much to silence...

:: giving thanks for
#1257 - #1294
** plaid skirts, wool tights and hair pretties
** hot oatmeal and steaming coffee
** the inspired word of God
** Carmelite Sisters on fire for Our Lord willing to share their stories with our youth
** Ellianna Therese Kissinger
** a Youth Minister on fire for God and willing to let the kids come and inquire, no matter where they are in their journey
** Nicholas's testimony
** pondering the "room of bones"
** a successful piano competition for Tori
** being able to lift up a friend with laughter
** Pop in peace
** my husband's work ethic
** his strong shoulders that carry such a heavy burden
** the joy of Courtney's "mighty yelp"
** fabric in all colors
** a working sewing machine
** inspiring needlework patterns
** new floss
** candles lit during prayer
** a peaceful night's sleep
** a working dishwasher
** time spent with my mother
** witnessing a "hat trick" during the hockey game
** guacamole and a skinny margarita
** beautiful art
** Michelangelo's David/Apollo "working pieces
** color on a canvas
** rain in the city
** hot tea while walking with my Mama
** city birds sitting along a ledge
** tourists from Finland willing to trust my directions in the city
** hot dogs, white whine and a hockey game
** Courtney waking up with a smile
** Jonathan offering to do the dishes before I even ask
** Pope Benedict XVI and all he has done for Mother Church
** lenten promises I made to keep me on track
** God's mercy and grace when I fail Him in those practices
** you and your prayers

:: pondering prayerfully
+  for the soul of Pop Cunningham
+  for the soul of Amaryllis Tsonis
+  for Courtney to be able to come completely off the Depakote
+  for Jerry 
+  for my Mom as she retires and begins her third career
+  for all the Cardinals that are involved in the upcoming conclave, that the Holy Spirit come upon them and keep them honest and forthright in their choice of a new Pontiff. 
+  for all our priests and deacons
+ for wisdom and inspiration as I begin re-writes on my book
+ prayers of healing for all who are facing illness or surgery
+ for financial prudence and wisdom
+ our son and his future schooling and continued employment

What can I pray for you? Please feel free to email me ( or leave it in the comments. Miss courtney and I say the Rosary everyday and would be so honored to pray for you and your intentions.

:: in the kitchen
Lent bring a simplicity to my daily cooking routine. We eat more soup, less meat, and very little sugar during this season of preparation. This week, we have a chickpea stew and a salmon salad I am making. I am also beginning the think about our summer garden. Lots of inspiration from fresh vegetables.

:: living the liturgy
I gave up TV Monday through Friday. I also gave up watching the Oscars as an extra special sacrifice. I know you might not think that it's a sacrifice but I do. I love watching all the dresses and I heard Adele knocked it out of the park last night with "Skyfall". Oh well. That's why there is YouTube.

I have also been trying to get up by 5 to pray and read. This has been exceedingly challenging and I am struggling a bit. I did it this morning though...yay! I am also reading the daily devotional "Lent and Easter Wisdom with St. Francis and st. Clare of Assisi." It's really quite good an ver thought provoking. For example, from last week:
"Christ, you call us to leave our own will behind and to follow you. Each of us is called to do this is in our own unique way. This is my own personal call to holiness. This Lenten season, remind that I need not be anything more that what you call me to be. Help me hear your call and show me the path that comes from being your follower."

I am always amazed at how God uses this season in my life. Always amazed...

:: keeping house
This week there is a major bookcase to re-organize, Miss Courtney's room to deep clean and her closet full of shoes must be addressed. Then it's the basic dusting and general de-cluttering that happens all the time her at Chez Lenaburg. Not exciting but necessary.

:: planning the week ahead
There will be sewing, lots of sewing. Other than a trip to the grocery store, my plan is to become a hermit as much as possible. That sounds lovely doesn't it. There is much to do within my own four walls. Not feeling the need to explore and waist precious down time this week. SO a worker be we shall become.

:: loving the moments
...when my girl and I are all alone in the sanctuary of our church, praying the rosary and Courtney is just bellowing in praise so loud it bounces off the walls. Yes, she sounds like Chewbacca, but let me tell you she was praying up a storm last night.
...when someone reaches out via email or phone and asks for prayer or even advice from time to time. It makes me feel good that all we have been though with Miss Courtney will not be wasted. There are a million and a half lessons we have learned in 20 years. It's nice to be able to share the with you.

:: Miss Courtney's World
Well the seizures are back, but it's not too bad. So far it has just bee that one. She woke up with a huge smile on her face this morning and is singing and eating well. We will continue our plan to decrease the Depakote unless the seizures get out of hand. Then we will wait and see what to do. For now, we pray, we hope and trust in the plan that's laid out before us. She is doing well and for that I am so incredibly humbled and grateful. Thank you once more for your prayers...they sustain every minute of every day.

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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