Thursday, October 16, 2014

I do apologize for the appearance of my blog.

One of these days I’ll have a better looking blog.  I’ll also add to it more frequently.  I’m quite sure of this, however I cannot say exactly how much more time will pass before these things happen.  Just letting anyone reading know that I am aware of the fact that I need to work on the said items, and then some.
But, you know, busy. Five kids busy. Five kids under the age of six busy.  With school, pre-school, t-ball, soccer, religious education, husband is a cop that works all.the.time. busy.  ALL GOOD THINGS however.  I need to point out that despite the busy, we’re happy and grateful for these things that take up our time.  I’ll say it again and again, I’m blessed and I know it.
Oh, but I do really want to finish my second book.  I also want to pursue getting it published.  Which in reality is silly, because I never market the first book I had published.  What is with that?  Makes no sense, but I have the toughest time telling people about the book.  I get all shy and weird.  Can another author that is crazy like me please explain this? I simply do not understand.  But the desire to write is there, I can’t deny that.  So despite the busy, I want to make this happen, and believe I can.  I want to finish ‘The Consequence’ and get it out there.  I have an idea for my third book, and for my fourth.  I get excited thinking about them.  My prayer is I’ll look back on this little blog in a couple of decades and thank my busy-with-little-kids self for not giving up because I’ll have at least a few published books out there. 
In the meantime, anyone know of a professional that can market my book for free?  Or another that can re-design my blog for free?  No?  Thought I’d ask, just in case.  J
Until next time…

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I'm squeezing in time for a blog post!


As I write it is 10:40 am.  I am standing, using my kitchen counter to scribble these words on a page of an old notebook.  My two boys are napping.  My three girls are crawling around pretending to be alligators.  Before that they were hiding “treasure” (a collection of rocks in an empty baby wipes box) and I had the job of drawing a map using a crayon to find the said treasure.  They’ve been watching a lot of Jake and the Pirates lately.

 

Now I am making time to write a blog post.  I haven’t written much lately and I miss it.  I’ve been praying that God will give me the time to do this, all the while thanking Him for these children that keep me too busy for much else.

 

I’ve heard of women explaining their child rearing years as a period of putting their dreams on hold.  I don’t exactly feel that way although my writing definitely sits on the back burner at all times.  The truth for me is that mothering is a dream in itself, and the most profound role I’ve had.  I’ve said it before and will continue to say that raising kids is the greatest adventure.  Sure, it’s hard.  Really hard at times.  But there is so much love in every day and I’m always in disbelief of how very blessed I am.

 

Ah, but the itch to write is still there.  So here I am.  You know the thing that really pushed me to make this time today?  A blog comment I received.  I do not push this blog, or my book, on anyone.  I should, but do not ever mention that I even write at all.  But the comment I received today thanked me for sharing my life on this blog and it made me want to share more.  To whomever you are, thank you for motivating me today.

 

A couple of quick updates on my author life before I get back to the kids:  my second book is still in progress.  Slowly, but surely, I am getting work done on it and intend to finish within the year.  I have a new idea actually for my ending, one that I hadn’t originally planned on.  These kind of changes surprise me sometimes and make the writing all the more enjoyable.  My published book, Absolved, is still out there of course and people are still buying.  I am occasionally getting feedback and it always feels amazing when someone tells me they enjoyed it.  Many of you know this, but I prayed for God’s will with my writing when I began work on Absolved.  I know my prayer was answered, because of some of the feedback I’ve received.  To God be the glory for that.

 

I really have to wrap this up now.  I pray for all who are reading to be blessed in a big way today!

 

Until next time…

 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Not sure I'll get to finish this blog post.


I’m finally sitting down to write something!  Oh I have been wanting to do this.  I’ve been slightly tied up lately, nursing a new baby every couple of hours.  Yep, we have a newborn in the house again!  Currently I am in zombie mode, surviving on very little sleep.  It is a happy sleepy time though…I’m enjoying getting to know the little one I’d been waiting to hold for nine months.  He is a sweet baby boy and I’m loving being his mommy.  Even in the middle of the night, honestly.  It’s a sweet time in those quiet hours, just the two of us.  I’m blessed and I know it.  J

 

Of course, writing has been on my mind.  I want to get back to work on book #2, and soon!  I set a goal for this one, to finish within a year.  I started writing it in November, so it’s still an attainable goal.  I hope all goes as planned and I’m able to pursue having my second book published.  I just have to remember to work hard and continue to live on little sleep for this to happen.  I’ll sleep when my kids are grown, right??

 

Super short blog post, I know.  I have a little one calling my name and I’m going to snuggle him!

 

Until next time…

Sunday, April 13, 2014

How it feels when your first book is published.



As many of you are well aware, Absolved was officially released by ELectio Publishing this past Tuesday.  I had been anticipating that day for months and it came quickly.  I felt excited, of course, but had an even more overwhelming feeling of relief.  I know it might sound silly, but I spent a lot of time before the release just being nervous.  Don’t get me wrong…I wanted this.  It’s a dream come true to be published.  But the anticipation of the book I wrote being out there for anyone to read mostly just scared me. 

 

And then the day came.  Like every other day, it began with feeding my kids breakfast.  Like every other day, I sat down with coffee, said a morning prayer, read the daily mass readings.  And then I posted some links to where the book is available on facebook and twitter.

 

My husband was sweet enough to take the day off, just because it was my release day.  We took our two oldest kids to pre-school and did a little shopping with the younger two.  He let me nap, told me I could have whatever my heart desired for dinner, and proceeded to make me shrimp and grits after I requested it.  He and the kids also surprised me with a cake to celebrate the release with.  It made me tear up to see my girls holding a cake for me that said “Thank you Mommy the Author”.

 

Sitting down to eat the cake, I felt grateful.  What makes this amazing, really amazing, is support from them.  I haven’t even mentioned the support from friends…

 

All I can say is wow; I have been blessed with good people in my life.  So many of my friends jumped on the opportunity to buy the book as soon as it was available, and shared the book with others.  I just can’t say thank you enough for that. I’m struggling to even find the words to properly convey what it means to me. 

 

My husband bathed the kids for me that evening so I could hop on to social media, check out comments from friends, post more links to the book.  I really didn’t feel scared anymore, just happy the day had come.  I felt ready for people to read the story I wrote.  I hoped (and still do) that when people read it they benefitted in some way from it.

 

And that is how it felt, for me, on the day my first book was published.  I realize I still have a lot to learn, especially when it comes to book marketing.  But the book is out there now.  Really out there!  And for that, I am thankful.

 

Until next time…

 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Why it matters.


As I’m sure I have said enough lately…the book is out very soon.  I’ve been anticipating this release for months.  It’s been a surreal experience mostly.  An anxiety-inducing experience.  And an exciting experience, for sure.  And right now, I want to tell you why my book matters.
Absolved is a story about forgiveness. And I want to share thoughts regarding forgiveness.  I’ll start with reminding you of how the word “forgive” is defined:

Forgive
verb
:to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong): to stop blaming (someone)
:to stop feeling anger about (something): to forgive someone for (something wrong)
:to stop requiring payment of (money that is owed)

We’ve all had our share of experience with needing to forgive.  Even early in life, after fighting with childhood friends or siblings.  I still remember being forced to hug my sisters after a fight.  It was almost worse than the fight itself, having to show affection when I was angry.  However, we always forgave each other and became friends again, and it was easy then.  We were young and didn’t hold grudges.

Of course it isn’t as easy to forgive when you grow up.  Sometimes hurt turns into anger, and anger doesn’t allow much else to creep in.  We know forgiveness is a good thing, but our pride gets in the way.  The world offers this phrase: “forgive, but never forget.” 

“Forgive, but never forget.”  This is an interesting one.  Is it true forgiveness if you’re holding on the memory of the hurt?  And why exactly are you supposed to remember the wrong, if you’re forgiving it?  If, as the dictionary tells us, to forgive is to stop feeling anger toward someone, or to stop blaming someone….why are we holding on to the memory?  It baffles me that this is a common mentality regarding forgiveness.  And I can’t help but think of what we are commanded, as Christians, to do.
We are to love one another.  Forgive one another.  How many of us recite the Lord’s Prayer?  As a Catholic, I say it during every mass.  I also say it daily while praying the rosary.  “…and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who trespassed against us…”  Ah.  Yes.  We are to forgive others.  And I’m not sure Jesus intended for us to “forgive, but never forget.”  After all, he paid a pretty big price so that we could be forgiven. 

Psalm 103:12
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

 This verse is reassuring to me.  And after a good confession, I do not feel as though I’m being told “Now, Christy, you’re forgiven this time, but I’m going to remember this!”  No, I don’t feel that way at all.  I feel like the sin was taken away, and forgotten.  I feel free from it.  I feel true forgiveness.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could always forgive each other in that way?  This is what I strive for in my marriage.  We’ve had our struggles in the past, but I think my husband and I are pretty decent at the moving on, and not bringing up old arguments thing.  Lately I’ve been the one in need of his forgiveness.  I’m very pregnant, very hormonal, and NOT always very nice.  But the man has been patient with me…and after I apologize, he accepts.  He doesn’t say “Yeah, okay, you’re sorry and I accept…but blah blah blah, you made me angry, blah blah blah.”  He just accepts.  And we move on.  It’s pretty awesome. 

It’s often a hard concept, forgiving someone…especially when the hurt is really deep.  I’ve only listed a couple of minor examples.  You could be reading them and thinking maybe it doesn’t apply to you, because the hurt you’re experiencing doesn’t compare to a silly marital spat. I understand that.  My main character in Absolved struggled for years because she simply didn’t know how to go about the whole forgiveness thing.

I don’t think it has to be difficult though, when we truly give it to God.  If you believe in Him all things are possible, surely you can believe He can help you to forgive.  Or to ask for forgiveness, if you are on the other side of things.  It is such a beautiful grace that is available to each of us.  And such a freeing grace.

 I hope by reading my book readers feel encouraged to embrace what true forgiveness is.  It can repair broken relationships, it can take away pain, it can bring us closer to God.  It is important, and it matters.

Until next time…

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Thank you, Disney, for Frozen.


We recently became the owners of the Frozen DVD, thanks to my Mom.  Cute movie for sure, but my girls are a bit obsessed with it.  They want to watch it daily…and I’m just going to go ahead and admit that I’ve been allowing it. 

Frozen is on as I write this blog.  Frozen was on yesterday as I added a little over 1,000 words to my new book.  Also, Frozen allowed a nap the other day while my youngest napped.  The girls get so wrapped up in the movie, they have no requests for me!

They aren’t in a complete state of neglect, so please do not worry about them.  They’ve also still had playground, library and pre-school time this week.  I just had to share my appreciation for the breaks this movie has given me.  They are especially nice as I approach my 32nd week of pregnancy and am more and more tired.

32 weeks already? Yes, on Monday.  This pregnancy has flown by.  I am very ready to meet our new little guy and can’t wait to breathe in that new baby smell again.  It never gets old.

Oh, and something else is approaching, even before the birth of our fifth.  MY BOOK RELEASE.  I’m still a little in disbelief that I’m almost officially a published author.  I recently saw my cover art for the first time and I can’t exactly describe how it felt to see a book cover with my name on it.  I am really excited.  Oh, and the cover art has a few small changes still but I will share it with you all as soon as it is finalized. 

I need to also mention how good it feels to have friends around who want to help me with my book release.  I have a group of amazing women around me, who are all busy mothers themselves, who are here for me, coming up with marketing ideas and sharing my facebook author page.  You ladies know who you are!  One of these days I will figure out how to properly thank you for all that you do. 

Good things are happening, that is for certain.  I’m thanking God several times a day for the many blessings in my life.

Until next time…

 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Finally...a blog hop post!


This blog hop continuation was sent to me by fellow author Jim Landwehr.  In this hop, authors answer four questions and then pass the blog on to other author friends.  Here are my answers to the interview questions.  (Thanks Jim for sending this along, and for your patience!)

1.        What am I working on?

 

I am really close to my release date for my first published book, Absolved.  I’ve recently passed cover art ideas along to my publisher, and should have the cover art soon, so I am anxiously awaiting that.  I’m also just counting down the days to the release as time continues to go by very quickly.  I’m also in the middle of writing my second book, a manuscript I’ve titled The Consequence, which is a story of a marriage forever changed by infidelity.  Honestly what I’m really working on is raising four kids with my husband and growing the fifth in my belly until May, his due date.  Motherhood is the constant around here, and I’m grateful for that.

 

2.        How does my work differ from others of its genre?

 

To answer this I will tell you first that two of my rejections from literary agents I queried regarding this manuscript told me that my book has a “tough topic”.  I even had a male literary agent tell me he thought a female agent would be better suited for my book.  Why?  Because my main character has an abortion.  Controversial?  I suppose so.  I realize this is also a topic that divides many people and our country is currently seeing a lot of changes as abortion restrictions are being passed in state senate chambers.  When contacted by eLectio, I was told that they liked that it had a controversial aspect to it.  Honestly, I just believe my book has a story that needs to be told.  Ultimately it is a fiction work about forgiveness, and how the price has already been paid for all of us, regardless of what we’ve done.  My prayer is and has been from the start that God’s will is done with this book.

 

3.        Why do I write what I do?

 

I like to write.  I’ve said before and will say again that I do not believe I have a great talent for the craft, but I love it.  So I write.  I started to write Absolved after a prayer.  I knew I wanted to write a book but did not know what I wanted to write about…I know that may sound crazy. So I prayed that God would tell me what to write, for His will.  And this story came about.  It’s really an answer to a prayer.  Now…the new project is very different.  The Consequence idea came to me after an episode of “The Office” one night two years ago.  Seriously.  And more on that book will come in another blog later on.  But I write about people and circumstances that can be very real because I enjoy it.  I also hope that in some way what I write can help readers with the circumstances in their own lives.

 

4.        How does my writing process work?

If you know me, even just a little, you know I am a wife and mother before I am a writer.  So as far as the process of when I write, I have to squeeze in time when I can.  Absolved was written over the course of almost three years, usually at night while my family slept, sometimes while nursing a baby.  I had no handwritten notes at first, just sat down at the typewriter, wrote the first 5,000 words over the span of a week or so, and then deleted them all and began again.  I wasn’t sure what all would happen with my main character, just knew where I wanted her to end up.  There is a quote about writing by E.L. Doctorow: “Writing is like driving at night in the fog.  You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”  It’s one of my favorite quotes because it is absolute truth for me.  Even with the new project, The Consequence, I’ve written things I hadn’t originally planned for the book.  Things have just happened as I’ve gone along, and it’s part of the fun for me.

 

Now, please support another eLectio author, Jim Landwehr by checking out his blog at www.writerjimlandwehr.com, and also save the date of June 17th, the day his book, Dirty Shirt: A Boundary Waters Memoir, is set to be released.  I am so excited to read his book and will post a link to my blog and facebook page as soon as it is available so you can read it too.

 

Until next time…

 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Stacey.


Stacey’s childhood is innocent and sweet.  She is a simple girl who has good manners and makes good grades in school.  Her mother can be hard on her, but only because she wants Stacey to be her very best. 

Stacey’s heart belongs to her father.  Although he is a very busy man, and gone often, while he is at home he makes her feel like she is the most important girl in the world.  He is always still in his work tie as he plays with her and reads her fairy tales, but she doesn’t mind.  She twirls his tie with her fingers as she uses his chest for a pillow while he tells stories, always animated and making up the funniest voices as he reads.  He is her hero.  Stacey believes her dad is the very best there is, and often prays he can spend less time at work and more time with her.

Fast forward five years.  Stacey is a teenager in her junior year of high school.  She is sad, withdrawn, lonely.  She finds comfort in the attention of the boys that tell her she is pretty.  She gives herself away to them in the hopes that it will make them love her.  She has a hole in her heart that came to be at the age of 12, when her father left.  There had been no warning that he was going.  Stacey had come home from school to find her mother weeping at the kitchen table and her father’s belongings gone.  He left without explanation.  He left without saying goodbye.  And what hurt Stacey the most was that he never came back to visit and never called.  It was if he had never loved her at all.  Now she would seek a different kind of love to make herself feel wanted.

Fast forward ten years.  Stacey’s life has continued on even though at times she felt it wasn’t possible.  She is able to meet and trust a good man.  She may even be able to have the kind of life she always wanted, if she could just get past the guilt.  She is holding something inside…a secret that haunts her and makes her feel unworthy of love.  She also carries the weight of resentment toward her father, the man she blames for her mistakes that led to the ultimate mistake of her life.

Now she knows she cannot be weighed down by this hurt anymore.  The pain is destroying her on the inside while she tries to hide it on the outside.

What are the steps Stacey needs to take to begin healing?  Is it possible to move on?  Find out on April 8th, when Absolved is released and available for purchase.

Until next time…

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Now, meet Timothy.


Timothy is a bit of a mystery, even to those who know him. 

He is quiet and usually only speaks if spoken to.  His voice is deep, but soft.  His facial hair is usually a scruffy mess and he can be seen scratching at his chin and cheek hair as he is thinking.  He has rough, calloused hands and is always wearing work boots and torn jeans.

Timothy looks hard on the outside.  His tall stature and dark features attribute to this.  He always looks serious.  His silence is often mistaken for arrogance and behind his back people have called him uptight and hard to read.

He works very hard.  Before falling in love with Stacey, the main character in Absolved, his life revolves around work and it consumes him.

Stacey gets through to him though.  Her simple beauty and vulnerability attracts Timothy instantly and he feels a great desire to take care of her, to protect her.  He allows himself to fall for her, completely, never looking back.  She becomes his priority.  With her, he is his true self.  Gentle, loving, strong, confident.

He wishes to have a family right away but Stacey is hesitant.  He knows there is a reason why, and knows she is holding back a past secret that is causing her pain.  He loves her so and wants for her to trust him with his past, but he doesn’t ask questions about it.  He wants her to tell him on her time.  He prays to ease the pain she holds inside.  He prays to make her whole.  He prays to be her safe place.  He prays they can have a family.

Timothy is soon to meet some very high highs and very low lows in his marriage to Stacey.  He will also finally learn the hard truth of Stacey’s past.

Timothy is a good man, and an exceptional husband.  I do hope you enjoy getting to know him better as you read Absolved, which will be released by eLectio Publishing in a little over a month.

Until next time…

 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Meet Susan.


Susan is a divorced, middle-aged mother of one adult daughter. She is a devout Catholic.  She doesn’t believe in divorce.  She hates speaking of her divorce.  She is ashamed of being a divorced woman, even though she had no choice in the matter.

Her daughter was 12 when her husband left.  One week he was the seemingly perfect husband, coming home after work, eating dinner with the family, playing with their daughter.  She thought of herself as blessed to have married such a wonderful man.  She occasionally had a sinking feeling of doubt about his fidelity, as sometimes there were unexplainable absences.  But she ignored them.  Her denial was so great she happily looked the other way, until she couldn’t anymore.  He left her for his mistress, moved out of state, and completely exited the life of Susan and of their daughter, Stacey.

Stacey was the child that Susan had prayed for every day for years.  She was a miracle baby.  Some doctors had told Susan she would never have a child, and if she wanted to be a mother, she would have no option but to adopt.   Susan never stopped believing, never stopped praying, and Stacey entered the world.  She always regretted that she couldn’t give her siblings, but she worked very hard to raise Stacey to be a good, Catholic girl. It was especially hard after her husband’s abandonment, but she put on a strong front and put everything into raising her daughter alone. 

Now, Stacey is grown and no longer at home.  Susan believes she did a good job.  Stacey has made her proud.  She went to college and did well, was able to find a good job shortly after graduating and even found a good man to marry.  Sure, Stacey went through some tough times after her father left.  Susan knew she had a little rebellious phase as a teenager.  But as long as it didn’t affect school, and she was still up and at mass every Sunday with her mother, nothing else mattered.  On the outside, they looked good, and appearances meant everything.

Susan is soon to hear surprising news of the man that left her years ago.  She is also soon to learn that her daughter had a traumatic experience that she knew nothing about.   

Susan is, of course, fictional.  She is the mother of my main character in Absolved.  As I approach the release of my book I hope to introduce you all to some of my characters and I wanted to start with Susan.  I hope you enjoy getting to know her even better as you read my book, which will be available to you on or around April 8th.

This is it for tonight, but I’ll be around again soon to introduce you to Timothy, the husband of my main character.

Until next time…

 

 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Short blog post. Because I'm tired.


I haven’t been around lately. I haven’t blogged, haven’t tweeted, and haven’t been updating my facebook author page.  I’ve worked some on the second book, but not as much as I would have liked.  It most definitely isn’t because I don’t want to.  I do.  I really, really do.

The truth is that I’ve been too tired.  Yes, I’m always tired.  I joke about it but it’s a reality.  Having even one child to chase all day will make you tired and I have four.  Being pregnant will make you tired.  I’m chasing four kids and am pregnant.  Add tired to tired and that is how I feel right now.  I can usually do alright, and work through the tired. (Because I truly WANT all of these things that make me tired!) But lately my husband has been working a ton of overtime so I have less help because he is away. 

It is absolutely not my intent to complain about his working so much.  The man actually makes me want to do a better job here.  He works and works, and never complains.  He just says he is grateful to God for the overtime and happy to provide for our family.  Really.  That is the man I married.  He works so much, and lately is working on what should be his time off …. and he is grateful to do it.  I’m so blessed to be his wife. 

I miss writing, but my body is requiring sleep when I can get it.  So I’ve been a little absent.  Now you know why.  It’s temporary of course, after this month the husband should be home more and I will be another month closer to the release of my book so I will have a lot to update everyone on.

So there you have it.  I’m still around, still happily growing my fifth little one and spending my days playing with the four kiddos I have now.  I’m still so excited about the upcoming release of my book.  I want to share these wonderful things with all of you.  So I promise I will return again soon.

Until next time…

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Hard.


I was talking to a family member earlier about how badly I used to let other’s negative opinions of my family size get to me.  I told her that only recently have I woken up and realized what a waste of time it was to ever let it affect me at all…because the bottom line is that we’re happy.  We love our kids.  We know how blessed we are.  And the kids are happy too.

I told her that one of the arguments I’ve heard against us having a large family is that “it’s too hard.”  This always baffles me how this can be an argument against something.  Aren’t the best things in life “hard”?

Seriously.  If people gave up when something got hard, no one would finish school.  Run a marathon.  Start a business.  Get married.  This list could go on and on.  Personally, if I was afraid of “hard”, I would have never joined the Navy, and I would have missed out on so much.  As hard as it was to leave home at 19 to go to boot camp, it led to some of the absolute best times of my life. I gained friends that I will have forever and I learned lessons that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

If I was afraid of “hard”, I would have never gotten married.  Anyone that knows anything about marriage knows that it can be hard sometimes.  But you work through the hard, and it leads to something that is better and better every time.  Yes, marriage is hard.  But it’s worth it.

Obviously, if I was afraid of “hard”, I wouldn’t have kids.  None at all.  Because any parent knows that even having just one child is hard.  I remember how tired I felt as a new mother to my first baby.  I felt like a zombie and I had no idea what I was doing.  My baby had colic and would cry for hours at night while I held her, pacing around the house.  It was so hard.  I was so exhausted.  And I would do it again in a second, because she has been so worth it all.

As have all of our children.  We are tired most of the time, and our house is always a mess.  It takes forever to go anywhere.  Sometimes they are sick and it gets even harder.  Sometimes they fight.  But….sometimes they dance around the living room for no reason at all.  They sing at dinner.  They take turns playing peek-a-boo with the youngest and all laugh.  They tell me “I love you” every single day.  When I’m really lucky one of them will fall asleep on me, and it’s one of the best feelings in the world.  Yes, it’s hard sometimes.  But it’s worth it.

If I was afraid of “hard”, I wouldn’t have written a book. I wouldn’t have continued to pursue having it published after all of the rejection letters I received.   I wouldn’t be writing my second book.  Yet I did finish a book, and am having it published.  And I am writing a second book.  And I will pursue publishing again.

It’s going to be hard.  But that doesn’t scare me.  I read somewhere that if you have two roads to take, you should choose the more difficult road, because it will yield the greatest reward.  I believe that to be true.

Until next time… 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A priest told me to write this.


Okay, so he didn’t come up to me personally and tell me to write a blog post tonight.  He did however speak this evening about John the Baptist telling people about Jesus being the Son of God, and how we as Christians are called to do the same.  Called to tell others of Jesus.  He even had us all read aloud the first line of the first reading today, “The Lord said to me: You are my servant, Israel, through whom I show my glory.”  Except we were to read it exchanging the word Israel with our own name.  Yep.  This had me thinking… am I doing my part?

This particular priest is named Father Uche, and I almost didn’t hear this homily today.  I didn’t think I would make it to church.  Not because I couldn’t, but because I didn’t want to get four children and myself ready to get out the door.  It was just one of those afternoons in which I was tired, and irritated with the kids, and I just wanted to have an easy day and stay home.  My husband works weekends every other month and he had to work today.  Sundays like these I get everyone ready and out the door, and meet my husband in the church parking lot so that we can attend mass as a family.  Today, as much as I thought I wanted to just stay home, I managed to get everyone dressed and at church on time. 

Something crazy happened and my children who had been misbehaving at home decided to be great at church.  I actually felt more relaxed there than I had felt at home all day.  I was so happy to be there.  Really, really happy to be there.  I seriously wanted to cry after communion.  And to think that I almost didn’t go, just because I didn’t want to bother with getting children ready.  The grace I felt just being there was overwhelming and I was grateful for all of it.

So.. this homily motivated me to be better about sharing my faith.  I am starting by simply sharing this story of going to church when I didn’t feel like it and how it completely turned my day around.  Before we left church, as I was putting jackets on kids, a woman came up to me and told me I have beautiful children.  It made me smile.  I gave a little to God by making it to mass today and He gave a lot more back to me.  Pretty cool, right?  I encourage anyone reading this to do the same.  Give just a little, and see what happens!

Now…back to the youngest of those beautiful children, who is not yet asleep.

Until next time…

 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Blogging to blog.


My first published book will be released in a little less than three months.  Not much is happening with it on my end at the moment.  I did finally send in acknowledgements for the book to my publisher.  They’re very short and simple.  And, while I wait for word for them on edits they would like for me to make, I read online about book marketing. 

There is a lot of advice out there.  “Use social media!”  Yes.  I have set up a Twitter Account, a Facebook Page and have a profile on GoodReads.  “Blog!” Okay.  I have this little blog set up that I actually showed to absolutely no one – seriously, no one – until I had a contract coming in for my book to be published.  I started the blog originally so that there was some proof out there somewhere that I had a desire to finish a book and an even bigger desire to have it published. Now, I am finding that I do want to share more, but this isn’t always easy for me.  This whole writing thing can be so very personal and I’ve just wanted to keep it hidden away to protect myself.  But I can’t do that if I actually want to sell my work.

So here I am, following advice, writing a new blog post.  Blogging for the sake of blogging. 

Another hindrance from updating my blog is time.  I have little time to myself.  This is because I have a four year old, three year old, two year old, and almost one year old.  My time to write begins when they are all down for the night.  I’m almost 16,000 words in to my second book, and when I have the time, I want to work on that.  Updating this blog takes away from my new book so I am reluctant to do it. I can be stubborn like that sometimes.  I have to let that go and dedicate some blogging time, maybe even just once a week so that I can keep this thing current. 

I really should also blog about my kids.  They are quite entertaining.  People look at my husband and I like we’re crazy for having so many little ones, all so close in age.  And it is crazy a lot of the time.  But it is so, so, so good.  So good.  I need to somehow find the words to describe just how good it is.  I’ve always been a writer.  Always.  Since I learned how to write.  I don’t know that I necessarily have a great talent for it, but I’ve had a desire to do it.  But mothering….that is what God put me here for.  It is my greatest privilege and not a day goes by in which I do not thank God for the children I’ve been given. 

For now... the itch to work on the new book is setting in.  I’m going to get to that now before I’m too tired to do anything else.

Until next time…

Friday, January 3, 2014

Some reflections on 2013


On this third day into the New Year I am reflecting on 2013 and some of the moments that really defined the year for me personally.  So, here they are.

1.        My Son’s Birth

February 22nd I gave birth to my fourth child and first little boy.  We had chosen not to find out his gender.  After he was born, my husband started laughing.  I hadn’t seen if I had just had a boy or a girl yet so I was asking him “what is it, what is it?” completely expecting his laughter to mean we just had our fourth daughter.  He said “It’s a boy!”  And the tears just started streaming down my face.  I was so happy to meet the baby I had felt moving around in my belly, and to experience having a son for the first time.  It was really wonderful and that little boy continues to be a joy every single day.

 

2.        Enrollment in the Brown Scapular

In September my husband and I were enrolled by our parish priest to the Brown Scapular.  A little background if this sounds foreign to you – way back in 1251 The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Simon Stock, Superior General of the Carmelite Order.  She held the brown scapular in her hand and gave a promise: “Take this scapular, it shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger and a pledge of peace. Whosoever dies wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.”  Wearing the scapular comes with a devotion to Mary, meaning a daily rosary.  When a sweet friend of mine first presented the idea of being enrolled in the scapular, I didn’t think I would do it.  My thought was a daily rosary? Ha! I don’t even have time for a daily shower!  So I did not plan on participating in this.  Really, I didn’t.  However, shortly after that, after a stressful day, I decided to pray the rosary with the hope it would make me feel a little better.  It did, so I repeated the next day.  And the next.  Before I knew it I was praying a daily rosary and hadn’t actually made a decision to do so.  It just happened.  I then knew that not only could I continue on and be enrolled in Brown Scapular, I was supposed to be.  My husband decided to participate with me, and now all I can say is that it’s been life changing.  I dare anyone who doesn’t already pray the rosary daily to try it out for a while.  You’ll see what I mean!

 

3.        The officer-involved-shooting

I had a call one evening from my husband about a half hour before he was due to get off work.  I thought maybe he was calling to tell me he had a late call, which often happens, and he wouldn’t be home on time.  All I heard from him was “I’m okay, but I’ve been involved in a shooting.  I will call again when I can.”  I know he said it, but all I could say was “You’re okay?” and he said it again “I’m okay, but have to go, I’ll call again when I can.”  I can’t exactly explain the way I felt after that call.  Luckily my girls had just been picked up from my mother-in-law, so I just had my son with me.  I began searching the internet for local news and was trying to find a television station with news on so I could find out what happened.  I called his mother right away to tell her about his call.  And I waited anxiously for him to call again. 

Without getting into what happened, I’ll just say that everything was okay.  My husband did exactly as he was trained to do. My husband wasn’t hurt in any way.  The man that was shot survived.  As far as officer-involved-shootings, you really couldn’t ask for a better outcome. 

It was the moment he drove up that night that I can’t forget.  He finally came home about eight hours after that first phone call.  I was waiting on the porch for him.  Seeing him get out of his truck, and hugging him, feeling his bullet proof vest under his uniform, I just felt so incredibly grateful.  It is common knowledge that cops are sometimes shot at and not all of them make it home.  I thanked God for bringing my husband home that night.   I have always known that my husband has a dangerous job, but before this I never allowed my mind to explore the possibilities that could occur on any of his work days.  Now, inevitably, I pray even harder for him.  I pray more for other first responders as well.  And I thank God for my husband.  Our fights and imperfections as a couple are a lot less significant now and my desire to be a good wife to him is greater.  Perspective is a funny thing.

 

Needless to say, 2013 was an eventful year.  I could write more about the year, because I also turned 30, and signed a contract for my first book deal.  However the above moments held more weight for me.

2014 will be another full year, I am sure of this.  I have so much to look forward to. 

 

Until next time….