#1000 Gifts ~ to hear the words "i love you"...

:: noticing God's glory
It is a beautiful almost summer day. Hot and muggy but filled with wall to wall sunshine. The air conditioning is on (this menopausal woman could not take it otherwise) and the house is nice and cool. The breeze is making the trees sway to their one rhythm. I need to find that today. That rhythm of peace. 

:: listening to
Miss Courtney singing to me between giggles. Even though she had a breakthrough or two seizure on Sunday she has been seizure free since. 36 hours down and counting. 

:: clothing myself in
A maxi skirt and summer tank top with flip flops. I am in serious need of elastic today. I am on day two of a clean eating challenge and the detoxing has been pretty brutal.  Elastic is my friend. 

:: thinking and thinking
Yesterday was a rough one for me.

Very rough. 

On Sunday I spoke at a Mother/Daughter Tea and it was such a joy filled experience. Whenever I get to spend time with old friends AND their sweet children, it is a good day. The young ladies were so kind to my Courtney. They asked all kinds of questions about her and came and spent time telling her stories about little brothers antics and what book they were reading. Miss Courtney smiled and kept looking in the direction of their voices the whole. It made this Mama very happy. 

That evening Jerry and I had Adoration with the youth group at church. For some reason, my mind kept roaming over the day. Mothers and daughters...their relationships, the lessons they teach one another, the whispered secrets, holding hands and jumping in puddles together, praying with one another, the yelling and slammed doors too. 

I thought of my Courtney and this wave of grief swept over me, taking my breath away. 


I kind of gasped and the tears began to stream down my face. All I kept thinking was how much I wished I could hear her say "I love you Mom" just one time, with a clear voice filled with confidence. 

You see, most people think that taking care of Courtney is a burden, a cross. That's not how I see it. Yes, it's filled with lots of drama and many a dirty diaper but to me it's not a burden or a cross. I do what any Mama would do. I love her and care for her. 

My cross comes in the things that will not be. Those words that will probably never be spoken, the dances we will never go shopping for, the whispered secrets and inside jokes, the hand holding and puddle jumping. The late night talks and shared kitchen time. 

Those things, I grieve for them. Not everyday or else nothing would ever get done and I would be in a rubber room. Just somedays like Sunday night in Adoration looking upon the beautiful face of Our Lord and Monday when all that emotion turned into a migraine of monumental proportions. 

What is a Mama to do?

Well, this Mama cried. Yep...buckets. It's something that I have to do from time to time. It's like a heart scrubbing, a healing moment. All that emotion has to go somewhere, so placing it at the foot of the cross is what helps me. I figure that if Jesus gave me the beautiful gift of my daughter and ALL of those Mama feelings, all I can do is give them back to him to hold and treasure. 

This journey of motherhood is a complicated one. Sometimes our dreams come true and sometimes they don't. So, I cry and I pray and I thank God for the gift that IS and ask him to heal the dreams that hurt to let go of. 

Then I hold my girl and read "Fox on Sox" one more time giving thanks for that very moment that one day will not be. I go to bed with my migraine meds, cry some more and sleep, for when I wake it will be a new day and a new opportunity to love my God through my daughter. 

:: giving thanks for
#2087 ~ #2117
** The beautiful young women I met this weekend. God is working miracles in these young homeschooling familes. It is awesome to watch. 
** For my husband who came home early so his wife could grieve quietly
** For  my daughter and the One thousand reading of "Fox on Sox"
** a clean-eating plan from Coach Andrea that helps clear the body and mind
** For the gift of friendship and calm hands of Miss caroline and sweet Hannah
** new inspiration to be creative in my home
** notes of encouragement that fly through the interwebs lifting my very tired soul
** Beautiful flowers delivered with a sweet note of thanks 
**Hallmark Movies that make you think and then cry with sweet joy
** music that makes you praise the Lord and stomp your feet with joy. 
** sunshine and summer breezes
** knitting needles cast on with a new project
** migraine meds that heal
** adoration
** knowing that that voice in your heart truly is the Holy Spirit prompting you to keep going
** love and laughter
** hand holding and puddle jumping, even if it's only in my dreams. 
** a newly dusted shelf filled with trinkets and the memories that go with them
** a bookshelf filled with hopeful words
** a writing partner whose patience is superhuman
** a happy mail day
** a meal plan that is clean and all the prep work done
** pinterest
** preparing for a bridal shower
** young love and hope for their future
** cool cotton pj's for warm toasty nights
** elastic waist skirts and shorts makes this Mama happy
** a library visit 
** cold water with lemon ice cubes
** a son who asks what he can do to make the day better
** you who read these words and pray

::pondering prayerfully
+ for the soul of Shawn Kuykendall
+ for the repose of the soul of Ginny Bernero and her family as they grieve. 
+ for my Courtney to be seizure free and gain healthy weight
+ for Veronica and her little miracle
+ in thanksgiving for Gianna, Phoebe and Lucy
+ for my husband and son as they contemplate new employment opportunities
+ for discernment regarding home improvements that need to be done
+ for St Bryce and St Rebecca Irene - their intersession is sorely needed
+ for Suki, Dwija and all those expectant Mama's waiting for their miracles to arrive any day now
+ for inner strength and fortitude to make the daily changes necessary for a healthier life
+ for our parish as they undergo a major fundraising campaign to raise money for a new church to be built
+ for my Mom's safety as she travels abroad
+ for my dear readers and all those who have asked us to pray for them

:: creating by hand
I am almost done with the Paschal Cloth I started during lent. Only three more  sections and the addition of lace and we a re done. I am also getting ready to make Miss Courtney a dress. I am excited to see where it goes. 

:: in the kitchen
Getting back into my grove there. Tonight we are having Lebanese Chicken and Rice. I am doing a clean eating challenge this week and am eating clean all day but dinner will be what I have available to feed the family. Gotta be practical with the budget. 

:: living the liturgy
Easter has concluded and we are back in ordinary time once more. I am working on setting up "little oratory" spaces within the house to create a more peaceful prayerful atmosphere. Nothing overly religious or ornate but little reminders to live each day to the fullest doing my best for God. Trying to stay calm, be purposeful and just deal with each day as it comes. 

:: keeping house
One room at a time, one deep cleaning at a time. The closets have been done once more and now my next big project is the master bedroom. Everything seems to have migrated there in the closet emptying, so there is work to be done.

Once that is conquered, we will move on to a painting plan. There are three dressers to paint, some drapes to make, and major wall painting to take care of. 

:: loving the moments
Watching the sweet young ladies approach Courtney with sweetness and care, to draw her into the conversation. It just makes me so happy to know they "see" her and now they will take that gift with them when dealing with other special needs children. That's my girl changing hearts one at a time, spreading her special message of love.

:: Miss Courtney's World
She has been seizure free for 36 hours and is having a very good day. She has been laughing and singing ALL morning long. Next up is tummy time and some PT practice. Of course her favorite time is snack time. Just like her Mama. 

She is now 95 pounds, having gained two pounds in the last two weeks. The new feeding plan seems to be working and for that I am very grateful. So we take it one meal at a time and see where we go. 

Have a great day everyone. Blessings and grace to you and those you love. 

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