Sunday, July 26, 2009

More on What Matters

I was doing some thinking in church this morning and wanted to expand on what I had posted earlier about what matters. The Gospel in church this morning was the feeding of the 5000. The priest was talking about how Jesus had just been on one side of the lake with his disciples where the people had been pressing in on Him and now He was heading to the other side of the lake for some time alone. He went across the lake and the people went around the lake and met him on the other side. It would have been very easy for Him to say, no, I can't talk right now, I need some time to myself. Instead, he proceeded to do the very thing the people wanted him to do: Preach some more on the scriptures. It got me thinking about sacrifice and the things I said in "What Matters" a few weeks back. I talked about how we all get so caught up in little things that aren't really important and let those things hold us back from what we should really be focusing on. I started thinking a step further. When someone does something nice for you, say brings you something you've been needing or watches your kids for you for a short time or something like that, doesn't it mean so much more to you when they have to really sacrifice something in order to do that? Like if someone brings you a meal after you've had a baby or a death in the family or something, that's always something someone has to do extra, but it means just a little more if they had to go really far out of their way to bring it to you, or if they have small children at home where it's harder to do extra things like that. Or if someone stops by to cheer you up when you know they have other things to do or they don't live nearby. It just means more when a sacrifice is involved on the other person's part. So when we do the things that God wants us to do, it's always gonna be special to Him. But wouldn't it be more of a blessing for you and for Him if you really had to sacrifice your worldly wants in order to follow His will for you? It brings me back to the parable in the temple where the wealthy men were bragging about how much money they'd left in the offering plate, and then the widow came by and gave up all the money she had in the world. Those men did do a great thing by giving lots of money, but they still had plenty so it wasn't much of a sacrifice for them. The one that Jesus was really impressed with (if He even gets impressed) was the one who gave everything. She didn't give much, but she made a big sacrifice to give what she did. The sacrifice is what made it more special.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

And we're off!

The kids and I are taking off this morning on a cross country trip. We're driving back to NC to stay with my parents for a couple weeks. There are a few reasons for this trip, but the main one is a chance for me to really work my business in an area where I know so many more people and have free babysitting. I've set some goals for myself that I really want to achieve, and this trip is to help jumpstart those goals. My mom is flying in to Oklahoma City. We'll pick her up at the airport and then start heading east. We'll be spending two nights on the road so please keep us in your prayers. We'll be two women traveling with three small children so we'll be an easy target for anyone looking for one. Pray that God puts a hedge of protection around us during our journey. And one around our minds as well lol.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I was reading an old friend's blog, and he was talking about the verse Psalm 26:2 where David is asking God to examine his heart and mind. He was encouraging all of his readers to really examine themselves and figure out how to best serve God and get rid of all the clutter that's distracting us from that. This is one of the reasons why I so love going to confession as a Catholic. I was not raised Catholic. I was raised in a good old-fashioned Southern Baptist church, where Catholics were considered something of a cult. In fact, I even had a Sunday school lesson where we learned all about how Catholics aren't really Christians. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Trent and I both became Catholic after we were married. But that's a topic for another day. One of the seven sacraments of the Catholic faith is the Sacrament of Reconciliation, aka confession. I don't do this nearly as often as I should (do you know how hard it is to get in that little confessional with a 4 1/2 year old, a 2 1/2 year old and an 8 month old??) but each time it makes me feel so close to God. It gives me a chance to really examine my consience over the last days or weeks (or months if it's been a while) and see all the sin that I've committed. I certainly don't confess every single little sin I've committed (I'd never leave!), but I spend the most time on the sins that I continually struggle with. Then, the Church teaches that when you're in the confessional, the priest is acting in persona Christe. I might be spelling that wrong, but what it means is that as long as what the priest is saying is in line with the Bible and the teachings of the Church (I've heard of times where this hasn't been the case), it's like God Himself is talking to you. God Himself is talking to me. Do you know how amazing that is?? I can go to confession and get spiritual direction from God Himself. Not only that, but it's much more humbling to go to confession, to a priest who knows you and whom you see in mass every week, and tell him all the things you've done wrong. It's downright embarrassing sometimes. But it's so good for the soul. Besides, why does it matter if it's embarrassing to us? We're doing what God wants us to do: confessing our sins and asking for forgiveness. It's a matter of accountability. It's fairly easy to examine our consciences at home and sit in our rooms and say, "Okay God, here's what I've done wrong. Please forgive me." It's much harder to go to the church and say it out loud to another person. I think I need to get to confession.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The funny turns life takes

We just got back from church, a church we don't usually attend but the timing worked out better for us to go there. We have some friends who attend this church whom we hadn't seen in a while and thought they'd already moved from the area. But when we got to church, I saw the three younger kids walk in, which made me feel relieved that we hadn't missed seeing our friends again before they move. Then the priest dropped a bomb on us. He offered up the mass for the oldest daughter of this family, saying she'd had an accident and was in critical condition. I took Marie back to the cry room during the mass because she was being pretty loud, not crying just loud, and a relative of this family was in there with the youngest son (he's almost 3). I got the scoop during church (I know, I know, bad Meredith for not paying attention). The oldest daughter, who just finished her freshman year at OSU, was driving with a guy (I'm guessing her boyfriend) to Texarkana to go camping with some friends on Friday night. Right after getting off the phone with her mom and a friend, another car crossed the yellow line and hit them head on. The driver of the other car died on scene and his passenger was airlifted to another hospital. L's passenger had gotten out of the car and was walking around when the police arrived but collapsed later and was airlifted to Dallas with a head injury. He was released the next day. L had to be cut out of her car and was taken to the local hospital and then airlifted to OU Medical Center. At first they thought she didn't have any internal injuries but later found out her spleen was bleeding, which eventually stopped on its own, she had a punctured lung, four cracked ribs, both femurs are broken, her pelvis is broken in seven places, her hip is broken, and she has swelling in her brain. Luckily the brain swelling is already going down, but she has a tube to help relieve the pressure from her brain, a chest tube to relieve that pressure, and she's on a ventilator. According to the boyfriend, she saw the car coming and swerved, which probably saved both of their lives. They think the other driver might have been drunk but won't know until the toxicology results come back from the autopsy. All during the mass I was thinking about my poor friends sitting by their daughter's bedside watching her fight for her life. I had a hard time holding back the tears. I know God has a purpose in all of this, but it's hard to imagine what that might be. But it's not my job to understand. It's my job to have faith and trust that God knows what He's doing and that all this will be to His glory in some way. I pray that my friends will find some comfort as they sit watching their daughter. I pray that L will live and continue on with the very promising future she has. I pray for the other siblings, that they find comfort in these difficult times too. And I thank God for my healthy, whole family.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Oh sweet sleep

Last weekend, Trent and I decided we'd finally had enough and were going to make Marie sleep through the night. She's eight months old now, so she's the youngest one we've made do that, but I just couldn't take it anymore. She was up every hour and a half every night all night long, and she was in our room, which made it worse. So Friday night, Trent camped out in the backyard with Sara and Will in our tent. It rained half the night so he had to keep the rain fly on, which made it extremely hot in there so he got even less sleep than I did. I slept in Sara's room because it's partially connected to our room (her bed's on the other side of our bathroom wall) so I'd be able to hear Marie best in there. She woke up for the first time at 11:49 p.m. I'd already decided I was going to let her cry for 20 minutes before going in there so I just lay there counting the minutes. At one point she started screaming bloody murder, which I could tell was because she was standing up. She has this habit of standing up in the crib and then getting stuck because she doesn't know how to get back down. It was a little hard not to go in there but I knew this was going to be better for everyone. So she just kept crying and kept crying...12:07....12:10...12:13.... 12:19 was the 20-minute mark when I'd go in there. 12:17:30 is when she stopped crying and settled down. Woo hoo!! Success!! I did still go in there to check on her and make sure she was breathing and she was doing the whole hiccuping thing but she was fine. She woke up a few other times during the night and just kind of whined for a few minutes and then went back to sleep. There was only that one crying episode.

The next night I had planned to sleep in Sara's room again and let her sleep in Will's room. I knew Trent would be home late because he was going to a baseball game with some friends from college so I figured he could just sleep in his chair in the living room. Sara really didn't want to sleep in Will's room so I just slept on the couch. Marie did much better this night. No bouts of screaming, just some whining occasionally, except for one point when she was awake for about an hour just whining. It was really annoying, especially since I'd just gotten back to sleep after Trent got home at 2:30.

After that night, we decided she could probably move out of our room and wouldn't disturb the kids too much. The plan is to eventually put her in with Sara but we didn't want to do that just yet since she's not fully sleeping through the night. So we put her crib in the playroom (our 4th bedroom that has been designated as the playroom where all the toys go. Much better for our sanity to have them all in one spot and out of the way). The first night she was in there, I fell asleep around 10:20 and didn't wake up until 3:50. It was bliss. If she cried, I didn't hear her. The next night, same thing. I slept for a very long period of uninterrupted time, and if she cried I didn't hear her. The next night I did hear her whine twice, but she went right back to sleep. It's been heavenly to have a night of uninterrupted sleep. Now if only I could get her to sleep later than 6:00 a.m....

Monday, June 22, 2009


Our priest made a comment after church yesterday that got me thinking. He was getting ready to bless the fathers (since it was Father's Day after all - did you call your dad??) and made a comment about how many small children we have in our church. I guess we're all good Catholics lol. He talked about how great that is because it means our church is thriving and growing and will be around for a long time to come. When you see a church that has very few or no children, that's a church that will be closed in a few years' time. It struck me that the same is probably true for society in general. A society that has lots of children is one that is thriving and growing. A few weeks ago, another priest gave us some rather disturbing statistics about the numbers of children we have in society today. I don't remember the exact numbers but he did say that in the 50s, there were approximately 3 seniors for every 10 children, and the economy was thriving. These days the numbers have more than reversed. As I said, I don't remember the exact numbers, but it was something like 3 children for every 16 seniors. And we wonder why our economy is in shambles. When we don't have children to help our society grow, that means fewer workers for the workforce in the future, fewer taxpayers, fewer people to take care of that growing elderly population. And when those fewer future adults start having fewer children, then we're talking about a shrinking society instead of one that's growing as it should. Now, those who see the world as overpopulated will probably rejoice at this news. But those of us who see the ridiculousness of that realize that a shrinking society and shrinking workforce is not a good thing. Children are our future. They're the ones who will be making the money and the policies when we're growing older and retiring. They're the ones who will be taking over for us in our jobs when we retire. But if there aren't enough to replace us, that means more work has to be spread out over fewer people, meaning they'll have to work harder than we do just in order to maintain, not grow. Is that really what we want for our children? I'm not saying everyone should go out and have 10 children. I know I don't want to have 10 children. But we should all be open to children. And not just having a boy and a girl and being done because that's what society has deemed acceptable. But really being open to what God has in store for your family. Lately, every time we go to church, Trent and I start thinking about family and children and how nice it would be to have more kids. Then we have to pull over twice on the way home to spank one or both of the older kids and we start hitting ourselves over the head going, what were we thinking?? lol But it still doesn't change the fact that we enjoy growing our family and don't think we're done yet. We're willing to take on whatever children God sends our way and do our part to help our society continue to grow and thrive. It's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it ;)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thanksgiving Thursday

This is something I've seen on a few other blogs so I thought I'd try it. Things I'm thankful for this week:

1. Marie officially saying "dada."

2. Marie's new tooth, but not her grinding it against her two others.

3. Sara's helpfulness this week.

4. Will's big grin when he's playing catch with his daddy.

5. That I got 3 1/2 straight hours of sleep last night - the longest in a while.

6. That I have a Mary Kay party tonight.

7. That I'm finally recovered from my deathly illness earlier this week.

8. That we're going to a pool party tomorrow.

9. That Father's Day is Sunday and we'll all be together for it.

10. My neighbors.