November 7, 2013

Counting My Blessings - Day 7

Oh, this one's easy.

Day 7 - Today, I am grateful that God gave to me a child so I could be a mother. Today is his 11th birthday, and I'm so proud of the young man his is growing to be.

I've written a few times about "Motherhood Mountains," and I've truly learned much about myself while raising him for the past 11 years.

I nicknamed my son Wonder Child on Serendipity - not because he has some magical power or is more special than any other kid.

No, Wonder Child comes from my seeing the wonder in his eyes as he explores the world to take in what's around him, asks questions, accepts the differences among us, and learns. The lessons aren't always easy, and sometimes I question if I'm doing the right thing. But, what I love most is catching him in a moment like this, when he doesn't know I'm watching - so I can just .... wonder ... right along with him.

Chicago - Lake Michigan Sightseeing Cruise

November 6, 2013

Counting My Blessings - Days 5 and 6

I'm not even into the first week, and I'm having trouble keeping up with daily writing.

Day 5 - Yesterday, I opened a box delivered a couple of weeks ago for me that I didn't know arrived. It's been there for some time. I'll spare going into those details in favor of relishing the joy of the box's contents.

It was a care package from a friend and colleague who reached out to comfort me after recent tragic events at work. The box contained coffee and two travel mugs ("for late nights"), chocolate (she knows me well), licorice and bagged popcorn ("for stress eating"), Tylenol ("because unshed tears can cause headaches"), lotion ("to soothe your skin"), a Pillow Pets Glow Pet seal ("because it can muffle a cell phone") and duct tape ("because it fixes everything ... although maybe not in this case").

Her kindness moved me to tears and weeks of emotion washed over me again. I am eternally grateful for my friend and the compassion she showed me. I hugged the Pillow Pet tightly last night as I fitfully slept. It's been a rough couple of days.

Day 6 - I'm grateful for the thoughtfulness of another friend who called me today to encourage me to attend a parish mission at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. I was unable to attend this same program  last month when it was at my home parish because of work-related travel. The mission priest's homily about forgiveness was uplifting and encouraging. And, my greatest take-away was that, although it is sometimes difficult, we must forgive ourselves. To paraphrase his lesson: "Your sins aren't as great as God's healing."