Tag Archives: prayer

finding a piece of peace….

Have you ever craved the quiet? Longed for a silent retreat so you could clear your mind? Do you ever try and find that silence for yourself?

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 I don’t….

In fact, I spend much of my life at this pace. Totally crazy, high energy, lots of multi-tasking, late nights. I don’t take much time for myself. I don’t take much time for God to get a good, “one on one” with me.

But…that’s about to change.

I was talking with my middle child about being more ” present’ at Mass…as she is soon to receive her first penance and First Communion. I was speaking to her about how God speaks to us in the silence of our heart.

The silence of our heart.

What a beautiful concept….picturing our heart in the presence of the Lord…..

It made me realize that meditation and contemplation have to be taught. We need to teach our children to quiet themselves and allow God to speak to them. Do we provide opportunities for our children to be quiet, other than naps or bedtime? Sometimes it’s simply about making them work on their own.

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In order to begin this process with my kids, I need to instill more quiet time in our home…. Starting today.

My plan is to create an area or prayer corner in my home, an area where the children can relax and read a saint story or the little girls can finger the rosary beads and pray. However, until that happens, I need to offer my children opportunities for quiet.

Today was just about everyone getting an hour of quiet time to themselves.

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Mini Me fell asleep rather quickly behind the couch.

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The Fashionista set up herself with some Disney princesses pretty quick.

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Sweet Pea went right to her room for a little Laura Ingles Wilder.

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I found DDD building lego stuff inside his closet.

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And well…..I was DEFINITELY making use of this time as well. After some quick prayer time, I just took some time to bask in the silence and got in a little nap myself.

Silence is so important for our mind. It’s so important for us to remove the distractions of this world from our presence. To just sit in the presence of the Lord. We don’t need to be in adoration to place ourselves in the presence of the Lord. We just need an open heart and ears ready to listen.

It’s so important that we teach our children how to desire the quieter moments as well.

My hope is that this Sunday hour of silence will just be a “seed” that I plant within their heart.

That this “seed” will grow as they grow.

As the year continues, and our prayer corner is established, my prayer is that my children will come to desire silence and seek it in their prayer life.

God bless,

Tammi

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A slow return……to Fall…

I haven’t blogged in so long. It’s not because I lack things to talk about. It’s actually the opposite. I’ve been enjoying the beauty of trying to “unplug” and enjoy my kids this summer. As much as I love homeschooling, much of what I do during the school year is the opposite of my personality. In the summer, I can dawn the hat of “fun, spontaneous mom” that I love. No lesson planning, no set days of schoolwork, no lists to check off, no threats over completing math problems, no stressing over days filled with hours of activity…..and I love it!!!

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I love deciding to have dinner at the pool, or having ice cream for lunch. I love cuddling with the kids in my bed and laughing about their antics. I love the HOURS my kids get to play with nonstop interruption for an academic lesson. I love the countless “concerts” and “performances” that I get to watch from my couch….hours of taping the kids fun episodes on my iphone. I love the lack of responsibility that summer brings…and I know that in order to have balance I need that. I need that “down time” so that I can conquer the next school year. However, as the summer draws to a close, I am having a much harder time this year with embracing this new “season” in my life…..with embracing the upcoming school year.

I have so much to share with you that has been a part of my life this summer. I want to fill you in on our big road trip to New England, on all the personal growth I have undergone, and life with five growing kiddos…. but my heart can’t get pass the feelings that I am overcome with right now.

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How everything that is filling my mind is just…. not important…..

that’s how I feel. I am beginning to question:

What are my priorities in this life?….am I fulfilling them?

And it’s beginning to affect everything that I am doing.

I wake up thinking about it…and go to bed with the same thoughts. Why do I have to pay bills? How important is this schoolwork?  Why is it so tough for me to make God a priority in my life? I feel that the Lord is calling me to re-evaluate everything that is important and that I value as important in my life.

Suicide of famous actors. Abortion. The death of thousands of children in the mountains of Iraq. Earthquake in China. Riots in Missouri. Journalist John Foley’s death. Countless stories of moms and dads abusing their children. The ISIS reign of terror…..

The news just seems to inundate me daily. I can’t avoid it….My facebook newsfeed is full of horrific stories of tragedy….personal friends begging for prayers……many of my friends having full debates about the ISIS situation…..

I start to feel so burdened….so sad…..somewhat hopeless. I start wondering where God is? Why hasn’t He intervened???? But have I invited him?…….Like Peter during the storm, I need to cry out to the Lord to help me….

Lord, have mercy.

How do I immerse myself in prayer for these situations without leading myself into despair? How do I go about my day with my morning vanilla chai and my morning prayer, when there is such uncertainty in the world right now? How can I unite my sufferings with so many, Lord?

Christ, have mercy.

I guess I need to fall on the mercy of our faith.  To remember that we are community of believers. That when the “body of Christ” suffers, all of its members suffer. To turn to the Lord and ask him what he is asking of me.

What is my role in all of this?

I believe that this question will be a daily prayer for me.

“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the Word and my soul shall be healed”.

I can honestly say that the current state of events has really changed the way that I think, especially about attending Mass on Sunday. What a privilege to worship the Lord so freely??!! I can’t imagine that freedom being taken away…… How many times have I laid in my bed from a late night and wince at the idea of heading out to Mass? It’s embarrassing to admit but…I’ve been there. How many times was I sick or one of the kids under the weather and I was annoyed at having to find a late Mass to attend or having to go to separate Masses with the hubs? The truth is…until you are denied this basic right…you will exploit it. You will take it for granted. The Lord is showing me that my faith is the greatest gift that He has given me. I must cherish it and put it at the for front of my life.

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The hubs and I have also decided to take another look at our budget, to make sure that we are being good stewards of our money. Are there areas that we are just wasting money? Can we be blessing more people than we are? We also have started to talk to our children about the frivilous use of words like “starving” or “needs”. Our children are privileged on so many levels but we need them to really see their blessings and be more appreciative of what they have.

We also feel a greater challenge, as parents, to raise a new generation of martyrs. Does that sound crazy to you? It scares the heck out of me….but I need to prepare my kids little souls for greatness! They need to know that NOTHING is worth their soul.

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We have had plenty of time over the last few weeks to discuss the children who were fleeing in the mountains in Iraq. We have talked about their poor parents who sent them to die of hunger rather than death by the enemy. We have talked about offering our holy communions up for those souls who live in fear, that the Lord may be with them in a special way. This is a beautiful time in our Church to teach our children about present day martyrs as we continue to focus on the lives of the saints and the examples they have taught us.

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It’s also a great time to cling to our faith and remember that God IS, has always been; will always be!! The greatness of our God overweighs whatever evil will try and rob us of our peace.

I will end this post with one of the MOST inspiring performances that I have heard……

Carrie Underwood just really sings from the heart in this one….

During your tough or low times this week, may you always remember how much you are loved and cared for by the Lord.

 God bless,

Tammi

Our Anniversary…..13 years…. and advice for a newlywed….

Today the hubby and I celebrate 13 years of marriage.

wedding shotI truly couldn’t love this man any more than I do.

It hasn’t always been easy….but it’s our story.

Everything that the last 13 years have brought us, we have weathered together.

We have laughed, cried, struggled, and celebrated our love.

And every morning, we woke up and made the decision to love each other.

IMG_1197When I was in high school, I was told by my religion teacher that I should pray for my future husband. I prayed nightly for his decision making; that the Lord would prepare him for me; and that we would continue to follow Christ. We truly believe that those prayers have helped anchor us.

So in the spirit of celebrating, I thought it would be fun to generate a list of “lessons” for the newlywed “Tammi”. You know…the things I wish I could have told myself when I was first married that would have saved me a lot of hurt, anger, and frustration.

(Feel free to share this with any of your newlywed friends or family)

I’m sorry. Ok….Tam, you need to practice these two words. I know you “think” you are great at apologizing but…you really suck at it. In fact, even when you are apologizing, you don’t really mean it. In fact, almost all your apologies end with some sort of justification of “why” you did what you did. Any justification of what you did….negates any apology. Listen…….you will hurt people in life. Say “I’m sorry” and leave it like that. If you can take a few minutes to understand how the person feels, it would even be better if you could follow it with your understanding of the situation. “I’m so sorry. I’m sure what I did really hurt you”.

To love is to risk hurt. He has the ability to love you deeply and immensely. He also has the ability to crush you like no one else. To love is to risk hurt, but the reward is worth it. You will experience love like you have never known. Prepare for heart ache. There will be times that you will cry for him, with him, and because of him.  Love like you aren’t afraid of being hurt.

beach shotBe direct.  Communication is key to being best friends. Talk to him. Tell him what you don’t like. Tell him what you love. Tell him what worries you and what brings you peace. Explain yourself. Don’t expect him to “figure it out”. You will only help yourself by being open and honest.

Be true to yourself. To be the best wife, you have to be the best you. You need to spend time on your talents, your hobbies, and your interests. You have to cultivate your life outside of your family unit. Sign up for zumba classes; join a reading club; take that cake decorating class. Enjoy the time you make for yourself.

Be selfless. Throw out the paper and tally system. Love him everyday in your actions. The more freedom you give him to be himself, the more he will love you. The more you support his desire to be himself and have “his friends”, “his activities”, the more he will want to spend time with you. The more he will look for “us” time.

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Laugh. There is too much in life to be serious about. Find time during the day to play jokes on him and laugh. Send him funny text messages and leave funny notes in his car. You will fall in love with his laughter….

Listen. When he talks, look at him. Don’t multi-task when it comes to him talking to you. He will question whether you really care. Show him that he is worth ALL your attention. Even if its hard. Even if the timing is not right. If he can’t come to you with the small stuff, he won’t come to you with the “big” stuff.

Enjoy where you are, God has you there for a reason. I know you want to have a baby right away, but treasure this time that its just the two of you. Take last minute dates, and hit the movies at midnight. Drive to the beach for the day…just because you can. Don’t worry about what others have or what they are doing, be content. I know you might want a home right away, but treasure the joys of a cleaning a small place. The grass will ALWAYS be greener.

Do stuff together. Make sure that you have “us” stuff. Start traditions that you will always have. Eat brunch after Mass every Sunday or hold the annual Superbowl bash for your friends. Go shopping and buy bikes to ride together. Take time to learn what each other likes and then “suck it up” and do that. It won’t kill you to watch a little football….maybe you will even become a Notre Dame fan. =)

Pray with him and for him. God has brought you together. You will need his help to tackle the outside influences that will try to come between you. When times get tough, get on your knees. Pray for prudence in all your decisions and pray to be able to love each other. When you are afraid, pray for faith. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.

IMG_1118Lord God, I thank you for the gift of my marriage. I thank you for being the pillar that my husband and I have anchored ourselves to. When times have been tough, we have been able to “do all things through Christ who strengthens us”. Phillipians 4:13. I thank you for my husband’s unwavering faith in our marriage and his daily “yes” to a life with me.

Thank you for taking the time to reflect with me.

May God bless you,

Tammi

 

New Year’s Eve Traditions!

Here’s what our New Year’s Eve looks like:New year's eve!

  • the kids started this last year: sleeping bags around the living room.
  • No big dinner: just appetizers….picking all night…new stuff out every hour: chicken wings, potato skins, shrimp cocktail, fresh veggies and dip; brownies, apple slices and caramel dip.
  • new years 2plenty of adult beverages to keep mommy happy: mostly prosecco and fruity beverages like these strawberry daiquiris from last year.
  • Dick Clark’s rocking eve…will be replaced by Just Dance for Kids for Kinect and some musical bands on TV before the ball drops.
  • there will be plenty of board games played like Connect 4,  Life for the ipad, electronic battleship, etc.
  • we will check out the New Year’s bashes from all our family and friends on FB.
  • We will watch the ball drop and run outside banging pots and pans. We will wear crazy hats and blow party horns thanks to a quick run to Walmart!
  • We will toast the New Year with sparkling cider, mimosas or kiddie cocktails.
  • We will call and facetime with family and friends and wish them a Happy New Year….
  • and we will welcome in the New Year in prayer. The hubs will lead us in a personal prayer to issue the new year into our home properly.

May you greet this year with new zeal and excitement for all the joy that awaits you. May the Lord give us enough worries to keep us dependent on him; enough happiness to spread to others; and enough love to fill our hearts. May we embrace our vocation to spread God’s message of love to all those whom we encounter.

Happy New year from our family to yours!!!!

IMG_0725God Bless,

Tammi