Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Blog Site

I've held onto this website for a very long time! Many memories of my life are strewn about this site. Now I have decided to switch to one I've used for almost two years as an author for Elizabeth Ministry International.

If you'd like to continue to follow my Diary, you are welcome to do so here

The Dance

The leaves how they danced
To the merry tune
Of wind blowin' through the trees.

I sit and listen
As I watch them play
And enjoy the peaceful breeze.

How they twirl and twist,
How they intertwine
How they shiver and shake!

The leaves how they danced
On that glorious day
That our amazing God did make!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

I Do

Those two simple words. 
I. Do.
To the woman who has suffered silently behind these two meaningful words, I am with you. To the woman who struggles to keep it all together, in the hope that God will always provide a way to stand on top of the obstacles within the vow you’ve taken: To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, through good times and bad, till death do you part, I am with you. To the woman who has a husband who strives to be his best self, yet somehow always discovers new stumbling blocks, I am with you.
I do, because I am living it.
Fourteen years ago, on a cold December evening, my younger self would never have guessed that she would be searching for answers to early andropause, chronic gout, eosinophilic esophagitis and what the heck autoimmune disease even means, and food allergies to see if all were symptoms of a more severe root cause for her future husband. 
(Shane & me, the day before our wedding, 6-15-06.)
Here I am, 10 years of marriage, four beautiful children, and a whole mess of medical problems that both Shane & I, along with a plethora of doctors over a span of 13 years of research, cannot seem to figure out.
My husband is amazing; he is my rock and the head of our domestic church….but time has come again that I am the stronghold. I love him unconditionally, and he is my absolute best friend. I am desperate to find out what is going on in his handsome body. 
Let’s take a flashback to when our troubles began….2003. 
We were dating, and loving every minute we got to spend together! A new budding romance; we were both head over heels in love with each other. Shane had me rush him to the er one night and he was diagnosed with GERD. 
That was his first bout of much trouble. 
We learned that this was chronic acid reflux and he was prescribed medicine that, in time, we’d realize would do much more damage than we were told.
 Fast forward a few years. I started diving into the world of alternatative medicine, holistic approaches, and living a more natural and simplistic lifestyle.
Shane stopped taking the reflux medications around the time of our wedding in 2006. We then began changing our bad habits after the birth of our first son in 2007. 
Every year since I’ve known this man he has spent time in a hospital or doctor’s offices for odd reasons. The first few years it was for GERD, then Gout (a form of arthritis), ulcers, pneumonia, and finally his esophagus. That’s when things started to get very rocky.
How I loathe to even look at those numbers. 2011. The Lord was carrying me that year through the sand. He had to. He sent His lovely Mother, my heavenly mother, The Virgin Mary, to be with me as I was with child during that most difficult year of my life. 
It started after a car accident in December of 2010.
January came; Shane was distant. Unloving. Apathetic.
February rolled in. I was four months pregnant with our third child. Will was almost 4 and Aiden had just turned 2. We were in store for a roller coaster of instability from the head of our household, and not ready for what God was going to use our family for in His Divine plan.

Shane became more isolated. He didn’t want to talk to his friends, family, or coworkers. He complained about everything. He yelled so much during these months. He acted like he hated us. We felt as though he did. The boys and I were on eggshells when he walked in the door. I tried so hard to be loving to him. Have you ever endured this? Truly, it’s so hard to be loving to someone when you feel that love is not reciprocated. 
I prayed that Jesus could give me the grace to love my husband again. I asked Him to love Shane for me, so that I could work on loving and forgiving him. 
April 2011. This, I believe, was the worst month. However, I also reached a level of intimacy with Jesus that I believe I had to endure the suffering here on earth in order to achieve this heightened spirituality. 
(Our growing family April 2011; no one knew the struggles we had behind closed doors. The sadness and the tears hidden behind these four smiles)
Shane got very sick. He ended up in the hospital for a couple days, test after test, ruling out Crones Disease, Celiac Disease, and other common (and not so common) GI issues. He had endoscopies and colonoscopies and had biopsies taken of everything. 
I feared that his diagnosis would be cancer. I made my focus to pray that I could let go of my worries. 
That was so hard. But God always provides a way to stand on top of our trials. This was when I became an Elizabeth Minister. I thank the Lord for providing the friendships and sisterhood of those that entered my life at that time. They were instruments in keeping me focused on Christ during the most difficult year of my life.
Fast forward to November, and he was officially diagnosed with Low Testosterone. We thought with a diagnosis, our life would begin again.
We were wrong.
Stay tuned for the second half of my journey…..

Sunday, May 22, 2016



Unbelievably so, through much surrender and prayer, we traveled 750 miles through the Midwest, alongside the Smokies and up and down the Blue Ridge Mountains. Gorgeous views, beautiful weather...I mean seriously, even when it rains it is just nicer here in South Carolina! I may be on a vacation mindset, or maybe a honeymoon mentality, but this is just such an incredible journey God has gifted our family! We are so grateful!

So, if you haven't read the beginning of this adventure, you can do so here to see how this crazy leap of faith had begun.

Anyhow, here's an update!

May 2016 was a monumental month for us. God has moved such a huge mountain and we feel so blessed! We officially relocated from Illinois to South Carolina and it felt amazing! We had such blessings along the many of our family and friends helped us load a 26' moving truck, prayed for us, and encouraged us in spite of it sounding so crazy! We had no jobs lined up. My husband had been applying to many places with no interviews in sight. Instead of waiting, we decided to pack up and go.

God's will be done.

Mr. Faithful did an amazing job driving this humongous truck through the mountains, in the rain, and narrow lanes. I'm so proud of my husband, he truly is the priest of our domestic church.

Our entire 3 bedroom, 2 full bath home in one 26' truck, along with my precious cargo - my knight in shining armor husband and one of my sons. Driving through rainy Blue Ridge Mountains.

So, here's a recap of the whirlwind...We got this truck on a Saturday, loaded it up, said our goodbyes Sunday, left Monday morning and stayed at a hotel in Kentucky (halfway point). Then, Tuesday morning driving again until we reached our new home in South Carolina. 

But wait, there's more!

Tuesday we unloaded what we could. Wednesday, we were on the road again...another 5 hour drive to my brother and his family in North Carolina! They were so generous to gift us space to put our furniture while we figure things out during this transition time and while we live with my parents. So, spend the night and head back Thursday, luckily and thankfully without that huge truck! 

Then, Friday morning came.

My husband had a job interview Friday. Remember, we had no jobs lined up the week before. My hubby walked in, and about 15 minutes later, was offered a great paying job!!! Praise God for providing for us in all ways, all the time!!! He should start sometime this week!! Oh, the BEST part about this amazing job?! He will only work 3 days a week, and the remainder he will FINALLY be able to spend time with his family! After 23 years of busting his butt working 50-65 hours a week with nothing to show for it but more debt, my husband will be providing the way he had always intended to for his loved ones! Praise God for answering his prayer to provide!!!

So, want to know why we feel all of this was God's will for our family? Well, first of all none of this would have happened without that simple prayer between my husband and me back in December, but also here's God's humor (in my opinion of course)....the name of the company Shane will be working for is...TRUST. I do not think that is a coincidence at all. I believe this is another affirmation that God has gifted us to let us know we are on His path, that we are doing this right...and righteously. We have continued to try our hardest to stay at the foot of the cross and do feel this is exactly what God intended us to do.

One more piece of amazement....

Today was the first day at Mass at my parents' parish, our parish now! They had Franciscan Friars whom stated that today was their last day at the parish as they were being transferred somewhere else. Upon hearing this news, they also announced the new priest is a young 42 year old, vibrant and fun, from Poland and he studied the priesthood in Rome! He begins at this parish in two weeks. My husband and I looked at each other and both pondered on this news. Then, one Friar added the San Domino Crucifix - which happens to be the exact same one our old parish in Illinois used - will be leaving with the Franciscans. 

I immediately thanked God because I knew in my heart that with the San Domino Crucifix leaving that parish, it was our closure, the ending of a long chapter of our family's life, and the beginning of a new adventure with a new, young, vibrant priest.

You have got to see the signs God gives you. They are everywhere! You just have to take the proverbial veil off and open your ears, eyes, and heart. He offers this to everyone...but it's up to us to be receptive. Will you heed His call for you and your family, no matter the cost?

More to follow as our Faithful Family Adventure don't want to miss what's next!!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Faithful Family Adventures

Want to get a glimpse into our life? I want to tell a tale of timing, a story of surrender, a ballad of belief, a history of hope.

It all unfolded with a simple prayer between my husband and me. Advent had begun and Mr. Faithful and I wanted to create a deeper intimacy with each other after a time of spiritual dryness in our home. We started reading our friend's first published book, Couples Advent Devotional and the proverbial veil was lifted.

Each prayer gave us more clarity. It was time to move. For many years, we both had been called to "move" but over these years the Holy Spirit had been guiding us to move spiritually, individually, within our vocation of marriage, to move with homeschooling in different ways...I could go on. God has been calling us to move in many different ways. But December 2015, He had called us to move out of our home.

Unfortunately, we had to discuss how to get out of our home financially. After research and discussions with a realtor and our lender, we had to begin the short sale process. This was humbling for us both, but we felt a supernatural peace that we know God graced us with. We prayed for discernment multiple times a day. We have remained in this prayerful state and know this is God's will for our family.

Full trust in the Lord is so very important. We remain faithful and devoted to Jesus Christ.

Last year, my parents relocated to South Carolina. We decided we needed to relocate ourselves. God wants us out of Illinois, and we want out as well! However, we wanted to be sure this was God's will and not just our own selfish desire to be close to my parents and other family.

We have devoted time to pray individually and together daily throughout this whole process. It has been a whirlwind of a few months, but as the new year has created new beginnings for us, we realize that God has been preparing us for this move longer than we had known.

To hear God, you must truly listen and not be distracted!

Looking back, I am certain our Heavenly Father had been trying to tell us to move for a while. My Faithful Family was so busy that we became distracted with our schedule to actually sit and listen like good little children.

Sometimes, God has to slap us down in order to really get us to hear Him.

My family had something happening every single day. If we were at home, I was busy with at least one ministry or volunteer position or my new Usborne business. Mr. Faithful and I would be two ships passing each evening. Our family was being pulled apart with all the work we thought was good for us.

Then, illness came. Five out of the six of us were diagnosed with pneumonia in November. We had to cancel every single event. We missed many appointments and stayed home just being with each other. Pondering on this time now, it was the perfect way God could reach us to let us know it was truly time to move. The devil is tricky. He gets the good faithful ones by keeping us distracted and busy with work we think we need to do in order to be good Christians. You can read more of my thoughts on this here.

In this short time since December, not only has our life been turned around, but my sister and her husband has too! Within a month and a half, they both were offered jobs in Colorado, accepted, put their home up for sale, sold within 48 hours, and relocated! God is calling my family out of Illinois for a reason, I truly believe this. God's will be done for my whole Faithful Family!

We have everything underway to move in two weeks. In that short time, we will be relocating and living with my parents until we find our next home...which we know will be a farm. After all this praying, and many signs over the past few years, through the intercession of MANY saints, we are called to be as self-sustaining as possible. We are meant to farm!

So, if you'd like to see our new adventure unfold as we search for our Faithful Family Farm, stay tuned.....God's will be done!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Breaking Through the Looking Glass

Last month I attended my first silent retreat. It was the beginning of Lent 2016...the beginning of a new awakening in my soul. I'd like to highlight some of what I learned in the silence.
The crisp breeze of an early February morning; a rooster sounded off in the distance. I took a breath of the cool, clean, farmland air. I was ready to start my first full day of this retreat. I walked through the forest to the simple, yet beautiful, chapel to say good morning to Jesus. As I adored the Blessed Sacrament, I began to cry. I realized how I allowed my life to become so hectic and loud. The devil is tricky in this way...he enjoys seeing us busy and distracted because we become easy targets to be plucked away from Jesus in subtle, yet deadly ways. I had not even known I was becoming the older brother in the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32).
Between our silence in Adoration, Liturgy of the Hours with the Brothers of Saint John, and solitude, we learned so much from a wonderful woman, Sister Marie, who focused our retreat on the parable of the lost son. I improved my knowledge of this parable even after hearing it countless times before!
Sometimes I need to take a step back, take a breath of fresh air, and realize that I am still such an infant on my faith journey. How about you?
I brought a book I'd purchased at the 2015 Feminine Genius Conference that I honestly planned to read and be done with by now, a year later. Funny how the Holy Spirit works on perfect timing for everything, even down to a simple book and the perfect time to read it.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
I read the whole book while in solitude that weekend. I highly recommend it to increase your love life...but not in the sense that society portrays. My Vocation is Love: St. Therese's Way to Total Trust, by Jean Lafrance.
The Littleflower has always been with me in my life. She chose me long before I realized she had deemed me as one of her little sisters! I am so grateful for her little way. Through her help this year, I have really been able to break through another obstacle to come closer to Jesus Christ. That obstacle is me.
My soul, she says, desires only this science...I understand so clearly that only love can make us pleasing to God, and this love is the only good I ardently desire. Jesus is pleased to show me the road that leads to this divine furnace, and this is the road of the surrender of the little child who sleeps without fear in its father's arms... (St. Therese discovers the road to abandonment).
This tells me I must break through the allegorical looking glass. This tells me I must look beyond what others see. I need to abandon myself, realize I am absolutely nothing, and cling to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. For without His Love for me, I wouldn't exist. I must die to myself for love of Him. This, my friends, is not as easy as it sounds. Yes, we love our families, our friends, some can even love those who persecute or violate them; yet, how many times have we failed to show true love to thy neighbor, through our thoughts, words, or actions (or lack thereof)?
I am finding myself having such strong desire to listen to Him even more so than I did before. As I participated at Mass recently, He spoke to me through this scripture to continue on the path to abandonment just as St. Therese did. Maybe this will strike you as it did me to let go of material things and simplify my life and schedule...
Brothers and sisters: I consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having any righteousness of my own based on the law but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God, depending on faith to know him and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by being conformed to his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. ... (Philippians 3:8-11).
During this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we must strive to be humble like the prodigal son; we must be obedient like the older brother; we must be merciful and loving like their father. (Luke 15:11-32). We should strive to rejoice in finding that lost coin (Luke 15:8-10) through dying to our selfish desires and abandoning all of the rubbish. Cling to Jesus, just as a little child sleeps so comfortably in its father's loving arms because we should want to be that one lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7) He drapes over His shoulders to bring back Home.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Blah blah blah...

I cannot believe how few and far between I've written on this blog site. I need to more. I know I need to, for myself!! I so enjoy reading my past articles. Why don't I make this time?! Sometimes I wonder how life has gone this fast. Yet, when I sit a pray my rosary for 20 minutes, I seem to GAIN time. How is this possible while I am running myself ragged with my four little faithfuls, homecshooling, leading Elizabeth Ministry, now involved in CRHP, being secretary of the community board, parish commissions leader, parish council woman, all the marriage ministry work Mr. Faithful and I do together...and now, I have decided to become self-employed and am an Educational Consultant with Usborne Books & More. fingers hurt from typing so much ha!!

My new goal is to make my Usborne business such a success that I can become our family's main income source. It may sound crazy, far fetched, or impossible, but I am determined to save my husband's health. It's a long-term goal obviously, and I'm writing here and now, on Sunday, October 25, 2015, that I will succeed at my new found business...and I will save my husband!!!

Anyway, blah blah blah I'm just mumbling - and it feels great! I need to just ramble on with my blog so that I remember these things and can look back on them!! I love myself enough to do this!! :)