Friday, February 17, 2012

As We Grow

So I've taken this past week to learn more about my faith, my children, my husband, and myself. I have become more humble and I feel I have gained even more empathy for my brothers and sisters (by this I mean all human kind). I have come even closer to Christ as the Holy Spirit has worked through my Faithful Boys for me just yesterday. I knew God wanted me to build a prayer corner in our home for a reason!

I found out that one of my best friends whom I've known for 15 years is learning that his newborn baby (born literally yesterday) has complications and is currently in the NICU. After I found out, I asked my two older Faithful Boys to help me pray for Baby Faithful. As soon as I asked that, with no hesitation, both of them ran to this corner, knelt down and began to pray for him. I was amazed and proud! I started to cry *I am a big emotional lady, I cry at everything - just sayin'* Oldest Faithful Boy wrapped his arms around me, placed his head on my shoulder and said, "He'll be ok Mom, don't worry." My not even 5 year old said this to me! I cried more because I knew that was the Holy Spirit!

God certainly works through children, and I am humbled and honored that my children are babes of Christ! I like to think that as I get older, the more I realize how dumb I really am. How ignorant to the splendor that is Jesus Christ!! He places everyone and everything in exactly the precise spot at just the right time!

Those who trust in Him will understand truth, and the faithful will 
abide with Him in love, because grace and mercy are upon His
 elect, and He watches over His holy ones. ~ Wisdom 3:9

I have learned so much in just this past year about my own Catholic faith. I am proud to say that! I look back on what I've done in the past and shake my head in shame, but then soon realize that I am forgiven by God Himself!  

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, to forgive us
 our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity. ~ 1 John 1:9

I am praying for Baby Faithful to be ok. I am praying for my good friend, his wife, and their other children to stay strong in their faith to know that God will get them through this trial. God knows exactly what to do. If we allow Him to be in control, we will be protected. Sometimes it doesn't feel like God is on our side; sometimes bad things happen to us. But there is always a reason. 

Consider it joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. ~ James 1:2-8 

Remain faithful. Trust in the Lord, even during the most difficult of times. Those times are when Jesus hugs us the tightest if we let Him. Xoxo.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Love Life Don't Just Live

We all die a little more each day;
So let us learn to laugh more and play.
Run in the fields with no shoes on!
Laugh with the kids more,
For their life's just begun.
Instead of thinking of what needs to be done,
Remember life's short.
Remember to have FUN!
Everyone has a job to do,
But leave work at work
And you'll be renewed!

You'll soon see what you need is right there...
In your heart.

Money is needed to pay your way.
Laughter is really needed each and every day.
To love is divine 
And soon we will see
That love is all we ever really need.

Faithful Mama 2-12-12

*I woke up with this poem in my head at 6am this morning and couldn't do anything till I wrote it down! Thank You Heavenly Father for giving this poem to me to share with others!!*

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Phone Only Challenge (Part 2)

For those of you who read my last blog, you know we went without all electronics aside from radio and phone *no text/apps/games on the phone* Many would think this is extreme parenting. We feel we made the right decision and with the silence in the home, prayer, and the Holy Spirit guiding Mr. Faithful and me as parents, we created the new rules of our home.

New Faithful Family Rules 

No video games Monday - Thursday. *exception during car rides*
  •  Point chart implemented - Each Faithful Child gets 15 minutes Monday morning. For each good deed or chore he does he receives a minute. For each not so nice thing (ie hitting, not listening, ect.) he gets a minute taken away. On Friday morning each will have a total number of minutes from the week. Both will be allowed to play video games/computer games for the allotted time at appropriate intervals throughout the day depending on the number of minutes.
No Facebook for Mom & Dad Monday - Thursday. 
  • Friday we will allow ourselves no more than 15 minutes of computer time while the kids are asleep (nap time or bedtime). Facebook has become too much of a problem for me personally. I want to help every person that writes something negative about their situation and it is consuming. To the point where I need to cut ties. Mr. Faithful is willing to participate in this rule for me *thanks honey!!*
Television time restricted 
  • We, as of late, have been keeping the tv on even if we are not watching it. This creates so much unnecessary noise. Tv will be restricted to one movie (or two tv shows) in the am and the same in the pm. The less the better!
Saturday & Sunday Electronic Time Rules 
  • 20 minutes of video games/computer time (both kids and parents) during the day.
These new guidelines we have created may sound drastic to some or still too much electronic time to others. But this seems to work for us. This past week has been a lot less stressful during the times we have kept the television and video games off. We have even created a new corner in our living room...

This is our new Prayer Corner. The Faithful Boys and I decided that we need more prayer time (who doesn't, right?!). We have had our Lady the Sacred Heart on top of the book shelf in this room *afraid the boys would break her!!* but something came over me and I felt the kids need to actually see it. We will add to this in time, but for now we have our rosaries, prayer books, a candle and statues of Mary, the Child Jesus, and St. Francis of Assisi there to help us offer prayers to our Heavenly Father. 

We are doing this for our boys...and each other. Our family is everything to us and we do this for them.
 There is a fine line between using technology for good and being consumed with it. Our family has an addiction. Our family, together only with God at the center, will overcome and become stronger without so much outside noise. With silence we can hear each other better. With silence we can listen to our true callings better. I thank our Heavenly Father for filling my husband and me with His Holy Spirit to guide us to be better parents for our Faithful Boys.

It all started with us falling in love because of God. We heed His call and He always provides. If there is something in your life you feel needs to change...go for it! With God, all is possible! Xoxo.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Phone Only Challenge (Part 1)

So, Mr. Faithful and I have been discussing technology and how we are grateful for how we can do so many things in different ways with it these days compared to the horse and buggy way back when. It is amazing how God gives us these means to think of new ways to communicate! However, lately in our home, it has also become the topic in a discouraging way as well. Our Faithful boys (ages *almost* 5 and 3) love to play video games. We let them play learning games from sites we have found online (If you haven't checked out for early learners do so!!) but they also love their Nintendo DS systems.

This part is difficult for us. Mr. Faithful LOVES video games. Before I met him, his time was consumed with work and video games. I slowly weaned him from the joystick (lol!). Now he is an outsider looking in on our children and sees himself mirrored into their gaming. He finds this unacceptable, as do I. No child should wake in the morning and ask to play the games. We limit the time they have with them. I time them at ten minutes each play time and they usually play roughly 4 times a really they are playing about 40-45 minutes a day total. Not sure what the AAP would say about that, but oh well, we're always learning, right?!

After much discussion between my fabulous husband and me, we came up with The Phone Only Challenge. Maybe you need a change in your home too? Maybe too much time is committed to the latest season of Dancing With the Stars or Biggest Loser? Would your children rather stay indoors and play video games than run around outside (regardless of the temperature)? Maybe you should think about this too?

The Phone Only Challenge
~No television
~no movies
~no video games
~no computer
~no facebook (gasp!!!)
~no texting
(and for me) no blogging!!!!
keep the radio blasting (dance party anyone?!)
Keep all electronics off (except phone calls for emergency)
Explore the world outside of the computer
if you have a question, find it in a book instead of google
learn about each other all over again
do some art projects and get messy, just to have fun and clean up together!
learn something new about your world without watching the 10:00 news

Now, I know this is a lot of "No" and not a lot of "Yes", but if you think about where our time goes, where does your time go? In our house we have let everything slip over the past year. I hate to admit this, but being humble and biting my pride is part of what God asks us to do to become closer to Him. I want to please my God and could honestly care less what the secular world thinks. Thanks be to God, Mr. Faithful follows when the Holy Spirit calls on him as a father, and he will agree with me, for our home, this is a necessary means to bring our family even closer to God and each other!
Our children mean everything to us. We are not doing this to take their joy away. We are doing this to put joy back into our lives and not become shackled to the misery that is a secular world. We live for Christ...not for Nintendo, or Facebook, or Joe Schmoe. Some may not agree with me and that is ok! Mr. Faithful and I are doing this for our family to better our children and to make them realize there is more to life than technology. For those that agree with me, STAND UP!! Take Monday, February 6, 2012 and log off of everything. Keep your phone on but do not text or play Hanging With Friends (or related games!). Be faithful friends and do what you feel is best for your families! This, my Faithful Friends, is what is best for my family! And we do it for not only God, but for our children. Xoxo.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

With Age Comes.........Patience

As I am writing this I can hear my three Faithful Boys snoring away. I wonder what they are dreaming? I am grateful for this silence as it's never seeming quiet in my home. I have learned over the years to be I'm not saying I am - trust me, I'm the first to admit I'm pretty loud!! But, in another sense, I have learned to bite my tongue. This is very hard for me at times because I am so darned hard headed (some have called me too opinionated, but I don't' think anyone can have too many opinions).

Those that know me could probably back me in saying I have changed as I age. But isn't that what life is all about? Trying to reach our best potential. I try my best to be a good Christian. And for me, to be silent and to have patience is what is necessary to reach my goal. What goals do you have? Are you aware of what needs to be done? Are you striving for that 'perfection'?

Sometimes we fall. Sometimes we become stuck in a rut and cannot get ourselves out...but when we have a community to pull us out, it makes life so much better! Who is your community?

God loves all of us. Whether we are Baptist, Muslim, Catholic, Atheist, or Agnostic. I am sure it hurts Him if we do not have our faith put in Him...but regardless of how we feel toward Him, He will ALWAYS love us no matter what. He is the reason why I strive for that 'perfection'. He is why I am more silent now. In my silence to the outside world, I am talking to my Heavenly Father! And now that I am more silent, I can listen better to the needs of others. It is amazing how God works!! If we were all just a little more silent...and a lot more patient.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Time, Place, Event or Person - Do You Know You Are Called?

I attended my very first Mission over these last three days. It was AMAZING! This man, Fr. Tom, was phenomenal and drew in 700 people to our church. That means that many people WILLINGLY went to church to attend something other than Sunday mass!!!

We discussed the seven sacraments...
Anointing of the Sick

Do you know when you are being called to do something great? Maybe it's a feeling you're getting, a person continues to bug you about something, or you actually hear a voice in your head? God is calling me now, and He used that priest at the Mission. So many parts of the Catholic faith are misunderstood. There are stereotypes and prejudices that hinder even our own Catholics to truly be submerged in their faith!! I find this disturbing. If only we all open our minds to heavenly ways!

I've posted this picture before. Those of you who've been reading my blogs probably remember this. I took this picture at a place in Iowa called the Grotto. It's a fabulous place and unbelievably built by human pair of human hands. A priest, Father Dobberstein, was called by God to build it. He listened and it is utterly amazing. Here is the link if you choose to check it out: Any way, we are going to play can you find what's in this picture. Do you see Jesus anywhere in this picture? And I do not mean a statue. Really search for Him. He may be calling you.

This picture above is my oldest Faithful Boy taken last May. This was the day of my Grandmother's funeral that I could not attend. I decided to make that day a day of prayer, meditation and reflection in her honor. I took my Faithful Boys outside and they wanted to use the sidewalk chalk in the garage. My Faithful Boy, right before this was taken, tells me, "Mommy, I drew Gramma GG for you!" What do you see? I see that my son drew an angel. This tells me not only that my Grandmother is an angel in heaven, but also that my son, at four years old, listened to God and did what he knew he needed to do. I could not be more proud of my children, and this day will forever be a smile on my heart.

How does God call you? Are you listening? We all need to listen more. Maybe we need to be silent more and just listen. We sometimes forget that listening is more important than talking. I know I am bad with this. I am learning. We are always learning. As I get older I try to humble myself, I try to become more patient. 

When you read my stories, think of your own life. When have you had signs? Have you listened and followed, or ignored? What was that outcome? If we listen and follow, God will always provide. If we ignore, we may still eventually get to where we need to be...but it may be a rocky road to get there. I choose to follow God and His calling for me. How about you?