Friday, February 25, 2011

A Faithful Friend is Beyond Price

This morning Augustine and I went to the morning Mass at our church [it was a great way to start the day!].

The Old Testament reading for the day was taken from the book of Sirach. Although I have not read the book of Sirach from start to finish in a couple years, I remember it having nugget after nugget of wisdom, particularly in regards to relationships [for example--I want to be that wife...sigh].

Today's reading, though certainly applicable to spouses, spoke about friendship in general:

A kind mouth multiplies friends and appeases enemies,
and gracious lips prompt friendly greetings.

Let your acquaintances be many,
but one in a thousand your confidant.

When you gain a friend, first test him,
and be not too ready to trust him.

For one sort is a freind when it suits him,
but he will not be with you in time of distress.

Another is a friend who becomes an enemy,
and tells of the quarrel to your shame.

Another is a friend, a boon companion,
who will not be with you when sorrow comes.
When things go well, he is your other self,
and lords it over your servants;
But if you are brought low, he turns against you
and avoids meeting you.

Keep away from your enemies;
be on your guard with your friends.

A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter;
he who finds one finds a treausre.

A faithful friend is beyond price,
no sum can balance his worth.

A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy,
such as he who fears God finds;
For he who fears God behaves accordingly,
and his friend will be like himself.

Sirach 6:5-17

As I listened to the reading, I was reminded what it is to be a good friend...and what it is to be a poor friend.

I found the reading to be both warmly sentimental, as I thought of some of the great friends God has blessed me well as convicting, as I thought of ways I could be a better friend:
for example...
by refusing to engage in, or tolerate, gossip
by always having the best interest of one's friend in mind
by being there for one's friends, especially when it's difficult & not just when it's convenient
by not using friends for ulterior or self-serving or selfish motives
by really listening to one's friends
and who could forget the Golden Rule: treating one's friends as one would like to be treated.

I have been blessed with some great friends...
Friends who have been friends for years and have seen me through really hard times.
My sisters, who are WONDERFUL.
Girlfriends who I can share my faith with and who understand me in a speical way.
Other Moms with whom I can share that bond.
My incredible husband, who embodies everything a good friend should be.
And, of course, our Lord, who is the perfect friend who will never disappoint or abandon us.

I like how the reading also communicates that not everyone is a good friend and it is ok not to be friends with everyone...but that a faithful friend is a sturdy shelter, a faithful friend is beyond price, and a faithful friend is a life-saving remedy.

How beautiful!

And how true!

Thank God for readings like this to inspire me to be a better friend and thank God for all my faithful friends!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Four Years at a Glance

Exactly four years ago today, Luke kissed me for the first time [after a Valentine's Day dance].

And then,

exactly three years ago today,
Luke and I were on the beaches of South Carolina

having our engagement photos taken.

We were so excited!
Less than two months later,

we would be married!

Isn't he handsome?!

About two years ago,

we were celebrating our first wedding anniversary!

And last year,
we were going on our first post-baby date to celebrate Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Light

Do you ever have those moments in life where all of a sudden--even for just a few minutes-- everything in your world makes sense?

Time stands still.

You see things so clearly.

You realize what is truly important.

You are thankful--very thankful.

You are there living in the moment, but you feel like you are also watching it from outside.

You are filled with peace.

You acknowledge the true meaning of your life, meaning far greater than the here and now.

You feel so happy you could cry...and sometimes you do.

You are completely content.

You wish the feeling would last forever.

You want to share it with those you love most.

I had one of those moments last night. I don't expect these moments of consolation--and try not to rely on them for peace and trust in God's plan--but I do love them and am thankful for them. They can be some of my deepest moments of prayer [and they most often happen right after I receive the Eucharist at church].

Last night, Luke and I were playing a board game by candlelight [not for lack of power--we were "on" a date], drinking red wine, and listening to some quality tunes. It was during this particular song that my world stood still:

I had never really heard the song before, so later I went back and listened to it again and found the lyrics very touching and appropriate. In fact, it was the perfect song for that night and for what I had been feeling at that moment.

It reminded me of Luke. It reminded me how thankful I am that God gave him to me--as my best friend, my companion, one who cares so much for me and my soul, one who truly wants to lead me to the LIGHT [and the way and the truth] reminded how insignificant everything else is. It's so easy to get caught up in, and worry about, the things of this world, and sometimes I lose sight of what really matters. Especially right after such a big change for me, I think God was just letting me know that I am right where I am meant to be. [Thank you, God :)]

Enjoy the song. BTW, Sarah Bareilles' whole cd [Kaleidoscope Heart] is a lot of fun!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What could be more stylish than bright yellow license plates?

...How about bright yellow license plates that support a good cause??

This year on the anniversary of Roe v Wade--the decision to legalize abortion in the US--Luke and I were disappointed not to be able to participate in the March for Life in DC. The March is an annual gathering of hundreds of thousands [over 400,000 this year!] of people making a peaceful stance in support of ALL life at our nation's capital. We had planned to attend, but as the date approached...and the super cold weather reports came in...we decided it just wasn't a good idea for Augustine to be outside all day.

So we brainstormed other ways we could act on our prolife convictions and decided to get "Choose Life" license plates. [I would also like to start making a regluar committment to pray outside an abortion clinic, especially now that I won't be working--maybe once a month to start. Btw, have you read unPlanned yet? I picked it up at Barnes and Noble the other day and finished it in about 24 hours! The book highlighted the positive influence you can have as a peaceful prayer warrior, which I found very encouraging. If anyone wants to borrow it, I can mail it to YOU!].

Anyway, back to the plates...

We had them personalized. Mine "say" LOVES LIFE.

Luke's say CORBAN, which means all for God.
Needless-to-say, I don't think I will ever lose my car in a parking lot again...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Big News: Happy Housewife

It is official--I am retiring this week!!

Well, retiring from working outside of the home, that is [or for at least the next several years].

Over Christmas break, after a lot of thought and prayer, Luke and I decided that we should start moving in the direction of having me home full-time. [It has always been our long-term goal, but my job is great, and it made sense for me to continue working until now]. Not wanting to leave the family I work for high and dry or rush them into choosing a new nanny, I put in my "2-4 month notice" at the beginning of January...and now, just one short month later, my and Luke's dream of having me home has become a reality.

As excited as I have been about this news, I didn't want to make it public until it was official. And two days ago, I found out that two days from now would be my last that's official!

While Luke and I are both very happy, the initial change will be emotional. It is never easy to leave a family who I have worked for, and I am sure my last day will have its share of tears. Yet, it is comforting that we will continue to be in touch [Augustine will surely miss his playtime with the kiddos].

I also have a bit of anxiety about the financial aspect of staying at home. It's intimidating to cut back to just one income [definitely more in theory than in practice, as I wasn't exactly the bread winner--still, it is natural to wonder how badly the missing income will be missed!?]. Luke is great, though, and he has assured me that everything will be fine financially and that he is more than happy to find more work if needed.

But enough with the bitter part, let's get to the sweet part! And, boy, is it SWEET!! My heart is overflowing with joy at the thought of being home everyday. I know a part-time job, in which I get to take my baby with me, may not seem like a big deal, but it was still work. It's hard to explain, but I felt a little weighed down knowing that two days of my week were committed to work [work that I cared about and wanted to do well] and that aspects of our day and Augustine's schedule would be compromised accordingly. Although it was a great job and I could.not.have asked for a better set-up, 15 hours away from home at work is 15 hours away from home at work. Being a full-time Mom has always been a desire close to my heart, and I feel so blessed that I get to begin this new journey now.

Keeping active/productive/not bored around the house won't be a problem, as I am also Luke's "secretary," handling much of the administrative tasks of his coaching business. Though I have always held this role, Luke is loving the repriorizing of my time lately, requesting yesterday that coffee and kisses be delivered to his office upstairs. I am also looking forward to spending more time in the kitchen, as trying new recipes has become a new hobby. There is a good chance, however, that "Wednesday night frozen pizza night" [initiated due to me working all day on Wednesdays] will stay in effect, as one night out of the kitchen a week can't be a bad thing, right?

My other job: Working on registrations for LittleKicks last fall.

Augustine and I will enjoy more time for play dates and walks with the neighbor boys, crafty moms meeting once a month, play group when Augustine doesn't nap through it, and maybe we'll even pick up a few new activities, like story time at the library.

Augustine and his buddy!

MOSTLY, I am looking forward to continuing this journey as Augustine's mama! That is the role that I love the most!