My Lent 2019 Book List Plans

Is this the year you really want to dive into Lent? Do you want to come out of this Lenten Season and truly feel that you've had a small share of living in the desert with Christ for 40 days? I know that I do. Maybe it's an upcoming birthday that's making me have more of a now-or-never type of attitude towards Lent. Or maybe I just acutely feel the necessity of truly modeling this for my children, and living it with my husband. Whatever it is, these are the books and resources I'm going to use this Lent to really LIVE the season from Ash Wednesday all the way through to Easter Vigil. Look them over. If something looks helpful to you, use it. If it inspires you, go with it. I hope all of these bless and encourage you.

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Rosie's fifth birthday.

Five years ago today, I gave birth to my seventh child, and second daughter.  I was 46 years old. But please don't tell my daughter - she thinks her birthday is Saturday and I want to keep it that way at least for this year!

I once read in a book about Natural Family Planning that what middle aged couples feared the most was pregnancy.  I always did think that was odd and I never had any qualms about having a baby in my 40s if that is what God intended.  Rosie has been a joy to me from the second I knew she was coming. Next year I will be homeschooling her in kindergarten while I also homeschool four of her siblings. But it will be very nice to have a break from preparing for ACTs and college CLEP  tests to look at butterflies and rocks again while learning about Adam and Eve and Noah's arc.  I can't wait to do all of those kinds of things again too.

Rosie's full name is Maryrose after my mother.  While I miss my own mother everyday, I draw on my memories of her and what we did when I was little to make me a better mother for Rosie.

A few years ago I wrote  Keeping my eyes on my own paper.  

I re-read it today and find that I agree with it as much today as I did when I wrote it almost five years ago.  Happy Birthday Rosie.


This afternoon I took a delicious long nap with my precious baby girl. When she woke a bit I nursed her back to sleep and then she snuggled up against my body, sighed peacefully and went back to sleep. Outside I can hear my younger ones playing with their friends, and my older ones are riding bikes or playing Playstation.

And I'm soaking all of this in, while at the same time a discussion is brewing on my friend John's blog about NFP vs. artificial birth control, and how the church was wrong, or right and on and on and on. Frankly I'm sick to death of debating that one over and over and over and over. Maybe I'll try the living example approach.

I look at these little children, and my big strong strapping almost-16-year-old, and hear the voice of John Paul in my head "Be Not Afraid!" Amen to that Holy Father!!

If I had been afraid to have this family because of money, or childbirth, or health or fear of the future in general, I wouldn't have this handsome teenager on the brink of adulthood. I wouldn't have had the privilege of watching him grow and mature in ways that have just astounded me. Or if I had stopped after him, I wouldn't have the sensitive and charming Sam, or Gabe with his dancing eyes and tender heart (you should see how that 4th grader dotes on his baby sister). I most certainly wouldn't have the quick witted and delightful Noah with his many observations about the world around him. Common sense would have told me to stop after 4 boys - in which case I wouldn't have my beautiful and kind Izzy. If I had been really smart I would have stopped after having my angel Raphael and giving him right back to God - but then I wouldn't have his dark eyed beautiful baby sister Rosie! I may be nuts, but I wasn't afraid!!

All I know for certain are the childbearing years don't last forever, the kids don't stay children forever, and there are no guarantees in this life other than living and dying. I'm glad I didn't spend ALL of that time worrying about trying to NOT HAVE CHILDREN and that I just had them. And I'm still not afraid.





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