how I kicked satan in the nuts...and lived to tell the tale...

Have you heard about our little project to take back the joy of Courtney's birthday? PLEASE JOIN IN!!  Project Blessing has begun. You can read all the details here. Pass it on and let's celebrate life, love, faith and hope!!

Holy Trinity in Bristow, VA

That's right. I said I kicked satan in the nuts. 

I won't hide it or make is sound pretty. 

I can't. It's the truth. 

My truth on this Tuesday in August. 

I woke up this morning feeling like an elephant was sitting on my chest. It's what happens to me when I am struggling with staying in the present instead of getting sucked into the vortex of grief that is constantly nipping at my heals these days. 

I stayed in bed and had a war in my heart and in my head about how the day was going to go. All I thought of was consuming as many chocolate chip cookies as I could. 

Not a really good place to start for this emotional overeater. Not a good place at all. 

I finally got my butt out of bed and headed to the shower. There was no shampoo. Perfect. I love using soap for shampoo said no woman ever. 

Then there was a 20 minute fight with about five different pairs of shorts trying to find one that would fit my plus ten pounds in three weeks frame. I finally got my self together and checked my email and social media. 

I posted a depressing facebook status and found a cute photo of Courtney with all her curls for the gram. Then I noticed that there was a prayer service for young Sebastian, a sweet little 18 month old that died unexpectedly, at a local parish.

I thought, If I hurry, I can make it. I can do that. I can go and pray for this new saint and his family that mourns him. There is nothing stopping me but me. I can get the hell out of this house and go help someone.  

So I did. 

I went and prayed with others for Sebastian and his  grieving family. Afterwards, I hugged a dear friend that was also there and we smiled thinking of the reception Miss Courtney had prepared in heaven for her new little friend. 

Oh the joy of a new saint arriving. 

Oh the heartache for those left behind. 

I know what his Mama is feeling right now. I can understand completely her grief and sadness in this moment in time. Her boy is gone. She will never hold him in her arms again. Never smell his sweet head after a bubble bath. Never hear his little laugh or see his sweet smile. 

I know what that is like. I have lived it everyday for the last seven and a half months.

Melancholy and depression are not of God. They come from a darker place. The devil wants to steal my joy, he wants me to collapse in grief and feel despair.

My friend Kelly says that every time you cross yourself, you punch satan in the face. I love that. 

In that church I decided that today was not going to be the day that he won. Courtney deserved more. Sebastian deserved more. Hell, I deserve more.

I envisioned being in the ring with that squirrly horrid deceptecon and giving him my best kicks, punches and general street fighting girl fury. 

I left the church and headed to another friends home where we laughed and just sat together for a moment or three. No crying or sad faces, just friendship shared of the sisters in Christ variety. 

Girlfriends help heal. #truth

Next, I headed to my own parish for my previously scheduled spiritual direction appointment. Two churches in one day...take that devil dude. Not only did I go to confession, but I also had a really good session with my director who challenged me to step outside my comfort zone and start to lean into the uncomfortable. 

Ugh. I hate leaning in. 

He challenged me to stop wallowing in what I thought would be and start discerning about what God wants for me and my family now that Courtney is home in heaven. 


Lately whenever I leave spiritual direction, I feel like I have been through the wringer. I guess that's why I go. To be challenged to stretch myself so I can be the woman who God wants me to be. 

Have I ever mentioned how I dislike stretching, spiritually or physically? Not a stretcher my friends. Nope. I like my little wheelhouse just fine, thank you. I thrive...well OK, these days maybe it's my little wheelhouse. 

After I spent some time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I headed home feeling like I was once again standing on solid ground. Thanks to you awesome readers as well, with all your prayers and words of encouragement. I could feel you cheering me on today, from the side of the ring at an MMA fight.

Mary! Mary! Mary!

When I got home, I got the mail. Total sucker punch from that sneaky red dude with horns. There were envelopes with windows!! Hate mail of the highest order!! Things have been very tight financially since Courtney died. We incurred a lot of debt in the last four years of her life. It makes life interesting on payday. 

Instead of my hands shaking as a panic attack overtakes me, as is usually the case, I simply placed the mail in the basket and said a prayer for God's provision. I begged for wisdom and fortitude to do what was necessary to help our family pay off this debt. 

Then I got dinner ready, so when my husband arrived, he would be greeted with love and not anxiety or fear. I had worked hard all day on my spiritual jujitsu moves that I didn't want to loose it now. 

You know what? I did it. By stepping outside myself and concentrating on taking care of others, I beat back that little joy stealing pipsqueak. 

Take that satan!

No chocolate chip cookies needed! 

Just a good strong left jab to the horns, followed by a sidekick straight to the nuts. 

God wins. 

Today and always. 


help pay off medical debt from caring for our beautiful Courtney  

Our new goal is $3,209.00 which will eliminate the balance on a credit card used for Courtney's PT, OT and Feeding therapies and supplies used over the last five years. We have raised $720 of it so far. Only $2489.00 to go to pay this first one off. If we can raise the full amount, we can pay it off and be that much closer to our larger goal. One thing at a time. Thank you so much for your help. 

The entire medical debt is extensive, now approx. $67,3000. It's a lot and will take years to whittle down. Anything helps. Anything. So, I will keep it at the bottom of my posts for awhile. You all have already given so much to our family. Our prayers are with you and we are so very grateful. We can never repay that kindness. So thank you...just thank you. If you would like our mailing address, please just email me at and I will send it.

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