"So tell me, what is it that you plan to do/ with your one wild and precious life?"
--Mary Oliver

Friday, April 04, 2014

I am very sorry for the confusion--I didn't realize this blog was still continued on blogger.
I have moved my blog to http://discoveriesofgrace.wordpress.com under the name of "Everyday Wonders". I apologize for the confusion!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

i'm back!

I'm back!

I've missed you, my old blog. On my other blog, I decided to change my focus from spirituality to just, well, chatting about everyday life. I finally realized that I was trying to be everything to everyone, and in doing so, I was losing my voice, my authenticity, and my audience too. So I'm back, not just to my old blog, but to myself. Not everyone will like this. But I'd rather be true to myself (tempted to quote Hamlet but I'll spare you) than try to please everyone else!

English: Minnesota state photograph "Grac...
(Photo: Minnesota state photograph "Grace" (Photo credit: Wikipedia))
I have a monster headache today, so instead of rambling on and on, I'm going to repost a little something I quoted for "The Little Things" that is worth repeating:

"You say grace before meals.
All right.
But I say grace before the play and the opera,
And grace before the concert and pantomime,
And grace before I open a book,
And grace before sketching, painting,
Swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing;
And grace before I dip the pen in the ink."
--G.K. Chesterton

(I've always loved this picture because it hung in Grandma Resch's kitchen for as far back as I can remember. I always think of her whenever we say grace before dinner...)


Saturday, January 05, 2013

grace in the rubble

I'm adding a new blog! I've decided to try two blogs, one dedicated to living  a full and joyful life with chronic health problems, (that's this one, the little things, at barbaramarincelthelittlethings.blogspot.com and this address will not change) and one to focus on the spiritual journey. So I am headed over to wordpress.com to begin my spiritual exploration at graceintherubble.wordpress.com. I've come to feel that I'm trying to do too much with this blog, and not really doing justice to any of the subjects I feel passionate about.

So I hope you will keep reading about both of my journeys! This blog will also be focusing more on our adoption journey. As we've discovered, it's not easy to adopt when one has chronic health issues, no matter how many letters of recommendation I get from doctors certifying that I'm able to parent a young child. And of course 2012 was jam-packed with medical problems demanding attention, so we were forced to delay our adoption journey for an entire year. Still, I continue to have faith in the Red Thread!

I will leave you today with our Christmas picture, 2012. We all look as though we have giant heads because it is a self-portrait, taken by me; we discovered my short arms are not an asset for self-portraits!
Big heads and red faces--Minnesota winters are cold outside! You will notice the dominance of Fiona, which is suitably proportionate to her role in our family.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

final friday five for 2012

As usual, credit for everything below--except my answers, that is--goes to the wonderful gals over at RevGalBlogPals. And I owe them a hearty "thank you" for giving me a some much-needed writing inspiration!

I should mention that I did have my neck surgery last week and the surgeon said the procedure went "swimmingly." I find this reassuring because those raw and burnt nerve endings feel, well, raw and burnt. Not a pleasant sensation. My usual brilliance is most likely lacking today since I'm on pain killers and muscle relaxers, so bear with me. 


The FINAL Friday Five for 2012: Recycle, Re-Gift, Reflect

As we take a breather from the busy weekend of Sunday/Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, it's time to reflect on the past year. It's hard to move out of this holiday season with its delights and celebrations. Here at our home, we've barely finished the eggnog. The tree is still up and our cats delight in knocking off the lower (unbreakable) ornaments. As we are rounding the final turn on the year 2012, I hope you'll play along with these questions. :)
1. What is some "old news" this year that you'd like to repeat for 2013?
Saturday lunches and outings with my birthmom, Judy. We try to do this on a fairly regular basis, although it has been difficult to get together for much of this year because of her hip surgery and my neck surgery. My lack of a car doesn't help, either. But we have a lot of fun spending time together. Plus, I finally know where most of my idiosyncrasies originate! Here I though I was eccentric all by my lonesome, only to discover that I inherited most of them from the Lubys! (The others come from growing up a Resch of course.)
2. What "new thing" have you started that you want to keep going in 2013?
Not having neck surgery!  Making an effort, through journaling, meditation, prayer, reflection, and reading, to really observe Advent, as a season of waiting and preparation for the gift of the Incarnation.
3. What event, experience or gift would you just as soon "Return to Sender"? Maybe it was a disastrous sermon, a congregational kerfuffle, a vacation nightmare, or your own mis-step. It can be funny or sad. 
I would gladly surrender the experience of running a stop sign and crashing into another car this past June! The gentleman driving the other car, luckily, wasn't hurt, but I would up with whiplash and neck surgery. And my darling little GEO Metro was totaled! It wasn't damaged that badly, but the repairs would have cost more than my 16 year-old baby was worth. Monetarily, anyway, disregarding my love for my first car. So we are in the market for a new car, but all we can get for our money is junk. But I can't drive now anyway, temporarily at least!
4. Share the brightest bit of joy that was a part of your year. 
George and I celebrated our ninth anniversary this October. I think the joy comes from the reassurance of being loved, truly loved, for myself, along with the realization that in nine years we have been through more than many couples endure in a lifetime, and we are still together. And I love him more with each anniversary that goes by. When we got married, I thought I could not possibly love him more than I did, but as time goes by, I find that my love for him grows and evolves, teaching me to appreciate the feeling of contentment that washes over me before I go to sleep, when I see him and Fiona (our dog, naturally) sleeping beside me. Or the simple pleasure of playing frisbee in our backyard together on lovely summer afternoon.
5. Share a picture that says far more than words. (You can use it to illustrate one of the above.) 
George and me at Kieran's Irish Pub after I lectored at the 4:30 Mass at The Basilica of St. Mary
Share a recipe! I'm in the doldrums and need some healthy eating options for my menu planning. Soup, stew, main dish, side dish or a healthy dessert - any and all are welcome!

This is where I need help, too, desperately! I'm hoping a reader will come to my rescue with a nice slow-cooker recipe, perhaps? Please?!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

it's okay to comment, people

Edit: After feedback from several readers, I have now turned off that evil  little word verification box. Happy commenting! (And if you don't, that's okay, too. I love you anyway.)

Okay, after months of writing on this blog, and getting no comments, it would not be an overstatement to say that, although I write mainly for myself, a little positive (or whatever) feedback would be nice. It's very easy, you do not have to be signed up with Google to do so. Just click where it says "comments" at the bottom of the post, and ID yourself as "anonymous." (Although I'd ask that you please sign your name so I know who you are!) There is also, I'm afraid, one of those squiggly word boxes that make you guess at what the words and numbers actually are; apparently, Google is afraid that you might be a robot, so they make you jump through this hoop.

Or, if you read this on Facebook Networked Blogs, you can of course always comment in the regular way.

So, thinking optimistically, I look forward to hearing from you, my friends!

too, too much

 We all reach times when we suddenly feel that we have more to bear than we can handle. Thank goodness I've lived long enough to know this is fact, because for many years, I thought I was all alone, that I was the only one who ever felt inadequate, or selfish, or so overwhelmed that all I could do was crawl under the covers and pray that morning would be a long time coming.

Tonight is one of those times. I tell myself I am being silly, as I sit here typing away next to our Christmas tree. I remember every single ornament: who gave it to us, or where we bought it and where and why. There were presents under the tree, until Fiona started trying to unwrap them. (They now repose in an undisclosed location until Christmas morning.) Every day more Christmas cards from friends and family arrive in the mail, reminding me that George and I are part of a whole community of friends and family.

Yet all I can do is cry. Last Friday, as we all know, a very sick young man killed 20 children and 7 teachers at an elementary school in Newtown, CT. I've been immersed in discussions/disputes about gun laws, treatment of the seriously mentally ill, grief for the parents and families left behind, as well as for those little darlings who will never graduate, not even from grade school, never travel, go to college, get married.

And for some reason I am having an even harder time than usual dealing with the absence of my own parents this year. My dad was like such a little kid about Christmas; he and I always had so much fun together, decorating the the tree (always the day after Thanksgiving), going downtown to see all of the Christmas lights and the mechanized displays in the department store windows, especially Dayton's. Caroling with mom and other parishioners from Incarnation. And every year, until I was 24, sitting between mom and dad at Midnight Mass, hearing the ancient words "For behold I bring you tidings of great joy..." Going up to the Creche afterwards to see the Baby Jesus lying in the manger, and in later years the Choir always sang the Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah immediately after the conclusion of Mass. Holding hands with mom and dad as we prayed in the "words our Savior taught us, Our Father who art in heaven..." and most of all, singing the old, familiar carols, especially my favorite, Silent Night, Stille Nacht, written in Germany so long ago. Now there is new family, warm, loving, caring family. I have a husband, whom I love very much. But I haven't been able to go to Midnight Mass since I lost my mom.

This is, without a doubt, the hardest time of year to be childless. We keep running into one roadblock after another, until I have to shut myself alone in our bedroom so George doesn't have to listen to me crying in hysteric despair. Yes, I feel selfish bringing up our loneliness for a child when I know parents out in Newtown are grieving their lost babies. But grief is grief, and it deserves to be honored and spoken of, regardless of the circumstances, or who is doing the grieving, or why.

I'm particularly overwhelmed by my upcoming neck surgery. Less than two days to go now. And I feel so alone, I guess everyone does when they are facing surgery or something similar. Because no one can experience it with you. George is spending the day with me; Friday he's taking me over to  my Aunt Jo and cousin Melinda's house, so they can fuss over me, and Sunday my birthmom is coming over to baby me. Plus, I am receiving the Catholic Sacrament of the Sick from one of my favorite priests tomorrow. So I have all of my ducks in a row, so to speak. but I still feel sick to my stomach every time I think about it. Part of my issue here is, yet again (this question has been popping up everywhere the last few days) is WHY. Damn it all, I am sick of being in pain every single blasted day of my life. Why do I have to endure more? Yes, I know other people have it worse. but I have have never understood why that is supposed to make me feel better. I'm supposed to be happy and grateful that at least I'm not suffering the way other people I love are? I don't think so. 

I guess this is one of those times of, maybe not doubt, so much as feeling so desperately alone. This is why I ask for prayers, because right now I've lost the ability to form the words myself. I guess my tears and my writing tonight will have to be my prayers.

I guess a partial answer lies in something I told a friend the night of the tragedy at Sandy Hook, when we were struggling with the question of why, of how, an event so hideously, cosmically wrong could happen:

 You just sound upset, that's all, hon. Don't apologize for that. As to why this happened...can there possibly be a satisfactory answer? We live in a violent society. We can work for peace and justice. But does that help right now, at this very moment? All we know for sure is that God weeps with us, and that in the end God will wipe away all of our tears, and we will all be together again. And I always remember that Jesus wept when Lazarus died. He understands our feelings of grief and loss, because He experienced it too.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

o tannenbaum

In happier news, the house is (mostly) decorated for Christmas! We finally got a pre-lit tree so poor George didn't have to get tangled in the lights, swearing and cursing. Although watching him was one of the highlights of my holidays every year since we got married (nine years in October!!) I don't think George particularly enjoyed it. So we went with the easier solution for him, bless his heart.

Here are my not-so-fab instagram pictures:

I bought this at a little German imports Christmas shop in Stillwater with my birthday money from my SIL Beth. It's an angel (not so easy to see from the picture!) saying "Happy Christmas (Frohe Weinachten) in German.

The new tree, shown here in all its glory. Except that you can't see the star on top, or the bottom. Better luck next batch of pictures!