As believers, we are all connected not only to God but to each other in the Mystical Body of Christ. It is as if the Lord has plugged us into an invisible circuit board where a mere thought lights up a surge of power and love that moves with the speed of light directly to the heart of God and to the soul we are praying for. Many times my parents, sister and children realized that when I mention exactly when I interceded for their needs, they had felt a burden lift.
Today I discovered a heart breaking new post from a desperate single father of a beautiful little daughter. He has looked for work for 14 months. A former military guy, he is hardworking and a devoted father who has finally called out through the web for help.
His blog was a mess, thrown together at the last-minute, a panicky attempt to try one last thing to prevent eviction and homelessness. I KNEW he was legitimate but his wording and presentation would turn people off. So I offered to take a few hours to do a header, new theme, grab some pictures and blog one of his posts on MY blog. Instead of one and two views, he now has 116 within the last couple of hours but NO help= no job, no donations.
This man is fasting on water and one small meal and day and still scouring for anything he can get. I saw his résumé months ago on the web, did not hear from him till today.
An donations will be paid back in full, this is a proud guy. I am asking you to pray about it and perhaps, if the Lord leads you to give your tithe to a person this month and not the official parish church, because we are all one Body in Christ. When one of us suffers, we all suffer.
God is the great “I AM” who exists yesterday, today and tomorrow. His Spirit mysteriously unites all of us, intimately present to each soul, all at the same time. Our whispered hello to God and each other is called prayer.
As a mother of nine kids, people often ask me, “How on earth did you manage without any help? “
So I present a list of my top ten tips for a happy family life
1. Focuson the joy of parenting, not on everything we are giving up to raise a family
2.Mothers, remember, we have one of most important jobs in the world because we forming the next generation
3. Accidents, mishaps and ruined plans will happen everyday, so laugh.
4. Praise works; berating usually backfires. Give good behaviour lots of attention because children WANT our attention and will do anything to get it.
5. No need to run around like crazy people, putting our children in every single program .
6.. Listen to the baby. Read his expressions and body language. In fact become a baby whisper and life will be much calmer.
7.House work comes second; the happiness and welfare of your family comes first. Don’t fight everyone trying to run a perfect home. It is okay to leave a blanket fort or block tower up overnight, when I know they will play all morning with it.
8..Let children learn to do things on their own, like dressing or feeding themselves even if they look a little odd. Their pride will shine brighter than our need to look like a perfect mum.
9. Put our kids needs first . When I ignoredtheir limits of endurance, I created either a clingy shadow or a screaming monster.Then nothing I did or said seemed to help the situation.
There is a world of difference between a man who is aware of himself, sitting on a hill and looking at a beautiful sunrise and a man so absorbed in that very same sunrise that he forgets himself and becomes absorbedin the scene.I am living in a fantasy world when I see myself as the center of the universe, viewing everything as it circles around me
When I see beauty everywhere, I experience joy and a sense of connection because my eyes are not on myself. The truth is that I am simply part of the whole. Everything does not depend on me. I am free to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature and the Spirit of God which permeates all when I am in the right place in the scheme of things.
I am living in a fantasy when I see myself as the center of the universe, viewing everything as it circles around me. As believers we sing and recite prayers that proclaim that God is the centre of all but our psychological make-up screams the exact opposite. I view people, events, history and yes even God through my eyes, judging what is right, trusting my thoughts and my feelings as the final judge of what is real. When Jesus says that we must die to ourselves, He is not speaking about some pious self-sacrifice that makes us look holy, no He has something much more radical in mind. The kind of inner transformation Jesus desires literally rips the rug up from under our feet and shatters our world view.
Why is modern man so anxious, nervous, out of sorts? Part of the reason is probably many people barely see a blade of grass during their normal work day. Surrounded by concrete and glass, our innate self craves connection with the rest of the natural world, other people , the communion of saints, (both living and dead) and at an even deeper level, God Himself. Instead we live in isolated, man-made prisons which shut out other humans never mind other living creatures and God. Each person is at the centre of their little artificial universe. That means that each of us has assumed the role of king or queen of our tiny kingdoms with everything depending on us.
I was never designed to live alone like an island unto myself. Yet, in my pride, I cling tenaciously to my throne and crown. Only when I was completely depleted and shattered, only then did I resign and give God back His job.
Definitely absurd but I only saw this fact after I surrendered and let go of control. What is really important in life is not found in self-created delusion but discovered as I learn to live in harmony with a bigger universe than the one I created.
In the total expanse of human life there is not a single square inch of which the Christ, who alone is sovereign, does not declare, 'That is mine!' Abraham Kuyper
St. John of the Cross (San Juan de la Crux), who lived in the 16th century explains the inner process of becoming one with Christ, allowing our egos to die,
We often took in animals, usually dogs, who were suffering in the city.
There was overweight, depressed Buster, a Springer Spaniel, languishing in a garage during the day and crated during the night. Opposite in temperament, a German Short-Haired Pointer with A.D.H.D, called Thor, committed his last crime by grabbing the Easter ham and playing with it like a football. Neurotic Duke sat crated in a small apartment till his owner returned. Unfortunately this young man trained Duke to play rough games as soon as he was released. Some dogs are bored and act out if they don’t get enough exercise. Usually a combination of freedom and love heals most animals.
My husband rescued a manic- depressive Siberian Husky from a basement apartment in the middle of the city. When Michael walked through the door, this husky was literally running around the living room, on the backs of the chairs and Chesterfield leaping from one to the next without ever touching the ground. His owners pleaded with my husband to take him off their hands and out to the country. We soon discovered that this strong working dog with peircing, light blue eyes, loved to run for up to 20 kilometres yet thought he was a lap dog.
Four year-old Mary named our male Siberian Husky Leisha because he arrived on her birthday. Our family animal lover was positive our new dog was her birthday present. Who were we to argue? She was thrilled with this gentle but muscular pet who patiently let her ride him like a horse and use him as a pillow. Why he even let our cat snuggle up while they both slept.
However, Leisha was not content to lay around the house like more domesticated breeds. His breed ran, pulling heavy sleds in the artic amd we do not like chain up a dog on a farm. Of course, every time we finally thought we had trained our husky to stay home, he would sneak past us and race for kilometres. Invariably, someone called the animal control officer and the township would charge us $50.00. Soon everyone for kilometres around us knew our dog. Once he managed to squeeze in through a patio door, push open a bathroom door and frighten some poor woman as she came out of the shower!!!
Leisha was never predictable. When Daniel’s hamster managed to escape his cage, Leisha chased him up the Christmas tree and then pulled our decorated tree down on top of beautifully wrapper gifts in a cunning move to nab the tiny creature. By the time I ran downstairs, several little kids were standing on couches screaming,
“Leisha’s trying to eat Hammy!”
The oldest two were trying to hit the preditor with a broom, scolding loudly while Leisha joyfully barked, jumping up and down on the gifts and sticking his nose between the branches of our ruined tree. He might sleep with our cat but obviously rodents did not rate as fellow pets.
Our dog was not content to simply eat dog food; he loved to steal vegetables from the garden.The kids would run into the house,
“Leisha is eating our zucchini again!” or “Leisha is nibbling corn off the cobs!!”
His worst sin, though, was an inborn instinct to nab our free range Muscovy ducks. Hearing screams for help, I would run outside thinking one of my kids was hurt, only to see that once again, Leisha was trotting around, gently but firmly holding a huge duck in his mouth while the kids tried to swat him with anything handy like a tennis racket, baseball bat, hockey stick or fishing net to scoop up the duck. I swear that Leisha grinned the entire time.
Were we crazy to keep theses canine misfits? Definitely. Perhaps only a family with nine kids, farm animals and wild animal pests could cope.
We believe that kids need to relate to animals to grow up into well balanced, caring adults who can relate and feel connected to the natural world not just technological society.
Michael and I love animals almost as much as we love kids. That love has been a powerful source of energy that has transformed both our animals and children. Watching our children’s delight as they gently held day-old chicks sitting cross legged and giggling under the warming lamps, confirmed how important animals were to their development and sense of well-being.
Just try to come in the front door of our house without tripping over our huge, guard dog. Shadow is a humongous, drooling, black lab mix, with overgrown feet and a clumsy personality. He was part of my children’s lives for 13 years. This dog was the most quirky and annoying pet we have ever owned. He was also messy, bossy and slightly dense. His utterly hilarious behaviour would take an entire chapter in a book to really describe. After any visitor climbs over Shadow, he cannot sit for five minutes without Rebecca’s cat jumping on his lap. He will certainly be distracted by Daniel’s guinea pig squeaking for veggies every time the fridge door opens and he might become dizzy watching Iggy, Mary’s rabbit chase the dog around in circles.
Even farm animals respond to love. Everyone seems to like pigs a bit more these days, especially tea-cup pigs but our family loves real farm pigs. For twenty years we have raised meat birds, laying hens, pigs, a calf and cared for an old horse and a beautiful warm-blooded horse. We've survived many adventures with animals but some of the most amusing and heart warming have to do with pigs.
When the local hog farmer delivers our little piglets they literally leap and twist in utter bliss as they emerge from the truck because they have never breathed fresh air, seen the sun or touched the dirt or vegetation. They dive into the tall weeds, making pathways and flatten little areas so they can sunbathe, rest under a tree, make their way to the food, their mud bath and the low wooden shed with straw bedding. Pigs are very clean and they love to be sprayed with water from a hose; it helps sunburns as does a good thick coating of mud. I don't know who has more fun-the kids holding the hose or the pigs; both are squealing with delight.
Well-loved farm animals want to be part of the family, too. They they keep us entertained with their antics even more than our more traditional pets. Take Daisy. This socialized goat had a charming personality. If she hadn’t seen anyone in a long time, she’d bleat until one of the children at least poked their head out of the door and talked to her. She would have made more friends if she had quit eating my flowers or stealing little people’s’ hats and pulling on their scarves. Consequently, most of the time we tied Daisy to a post so she could see family life but not cause any problems. However, a couple of times a week we let Daisy follow us around in the garden. As long as she mainly ate the weeds.
Moonlight, our ancient but still regal Arabian stallion, also wanted company.One afternoon, this Arabian stallion was plaintively looking through the window. He looked so forlorn that all the kids begged to let him step in for a cuddle. I finally relented, inviting the huge animal to step into the kitchen to eat a carrot and soak in a bit of love for a while. Moonlight then passively followed us out afterwards.
No wonder we cherish these creatures; not only do we love animals, they love us in return, nourishing and enriching all our lives with their antics. Most importantly they reconnect us with the natural world. They bring us back to our more primitive roots.
Our house is a very, very fine house
With two cats in the yard
Life used to be so hard
Now everything is easy
‘Cause of you
And our la,la,la, la,la, la, la, la, la, la, la…..
Our huge, rambling farm-house needed updated and the list of its quirks would fill an entire post. The worst thing was that the house pump was in the barn and above ground which meant it tended to freeze about 4 months of the year when it could drop to -30 C at night. Despite all the inconveniences, we all loved that house for 18 years because it was full of kids, pets, plants and plastered with kids artwork. I use to sing this song to the kids and they agreed with me, “our house is a very, very fine house” especially because we had cats. The best part was when one of the mother cats was pregnant. Everyone fell in love with the kittens and they were the main focus of everyone’s attention for almost two months. The atmosphere in the house was simply delightful.
Strays were often dropped off at the end of our lane and some flea bags had to find shelter in our barn; I just couldn’t bring them in with babies crawling on the floor. One particular tom cat, Amos, was an old curmudgeon, with old battle scars and a bad temper. Finally my husband had enough of this bully and he took him for a LONG car ride. Three days later, I opened the door and there sat Amos glaring at me. Michael came charging to the door in utter disbelief. I couldn’t stop laughing and all that day the kids and I sang a Fred Penner song,
The Cat Came Back
Old Mister Johnson had troubles of his own
He had a yellow cat which wouldn’t leave its home;
He tried and he tried to give the cat away,
He gave it to a man goin’ far, far away.
But the cat came back the very next day,
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
Away, away, yea, yea, yea
What is a farm without cats to catch mice? Once we stared raising animals, which meant storing grain, I quickly changed my perception of the cute, little creatures. Mice eat grain. Mice make nest and shred grain bags. Mice droppings are messy, their urine stinks and no self-respecting farm animal will eat contaminated grain . Almost daily, a couple of field mice would fall into the grain bins. Michael would scoop them up in a pail, call the cats, the dump the bucket. This was the highlight of the day for our cats; there is nothing they enjoy more that playing with their prey. Often the cats left gruesome mice offerings in thanksgiving right on our doorstep, eliciting screams from the little girls.
A friend gave us a huge, white rabbit but she would leave tiny balls of poop on the floor. Unfortunately, baby Daniel crawled faster than I could sweep, so we moved the rabbit to the barn. A week later, when I moved a couch, I was shocked to find two baby bunnies under it. We all panicked, and started running to find the mother. In the midst of all the turmoil our mother cat who had only one kitten in an upstairs closet, calmly walked over, lay down and let the rabbits nurse! EXCEPT SHE SEEMS TO QUESTION HER DECISION IN THIS PHOTO.
CATS, you have to love those regal, bossy creature