Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
We started out this morning on our way to Texas.
The boys were such good sports! They just said "Let's just stay here and find a pool tomorrow night." I am so proud of them. Not even Paul is complaining or pouting.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
"The very first line in The Road Less Traveled," she told me, "says...
...Life is Difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. Once we truly know that life is difficult--once we truly understand and accept it--then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters."
Oh, the truth.
And, though I may have cursed wooden shoes and Holland, I came to the realization that, in any parenting situation, there are a thousand Holland situations. And a thousand Italys too. (Warning: Going into far-fetched Analogy Zone. Hang on.) And there's air traffic control monitoring this constant stream of flights, for any given child, that take off and land in both the beautiful expected and the unknown lands where we must search for beauty. Perfectly "normal" children with 46 chromosomes take their parents to Holland. When girls grow up and tell their moms they aren't having children, thus crushing grandchild dreams. When boys choose art over football and disappoint their fathers. When children move away and don't come home for Christmas. When girls become teenagers and slam doors and call their mothers b-words.
And who says Nella will never take me to Italy? I feel like she already has...when she's breathing heavy on my chest at night and the weight of her tightly-jammied body sinks right into my soul and I smile thinking, "this is just like Lainey." When she takes her first steps someday. When she says 'mama' or 'I love you' or reads her first book out loud.
It's just a mess of flights and destinations for every child...some good, some bad...but that's parenthood. Period.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Thanks so much for your many prayers during this very difficult time. They were felt.
Please keep the family in your prayers as they heal, physically for Renee, and in every other way.
There is another beautiful soul with Jesus, and I know he will be watching and loving his family until they can all be together someday...
Monday, February 22, 2010
As I write, little Baby T is making the way into the world...and into Heaven.
Renee had to be induced last night because she was bleeding very heavily. I know this must have been so scary for her and Shawn.
This precious person, that they have nurtured and loved within Renee's womb, will be born unable to take a first breath, but with all the dignity and respect that any person should be given.
It became apparent during Friday's ultrasound that the baby had multiple problems, the most serious being the lack of bronchial development, that would enable the lungs to fill.
Still, there is a strong heart, a hero's heart, because this baby has continued to grow and has become a member of our family and families all over the country.
We have all been praying and pulling for this little angel.
Renee and Shawn have given us the honor of sharing in a very special, and very difficult time.
I have had so many thoughts, emotions and prayers, and I know that many other people have too. So much has come from this time and circumstance, and it's all because two faithful people decided that God should be the one who decides when and where He will call His child home.
Renee could have told the doctors weeks ago that she wasn't willing to carry a baby with any issues at all. It's done all the time. Babies with far fewer problems than this are sought out and destroyed through prenatal tests designed to make sure that every baby is "born" healthy.
But Renee and Shawn have welcomed the gift that all of their children are to their family and to the world. So many people have been praying for Baby T, and so many people have seen God's hand at work in this, that I can only rejoice in the way God uses every circumstance for HIS glory...
Baby T, we love you and we thank you for all you have already done. You have had such an impact in your short time here, and we can't wait to know you in Eternity...
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Laura is updating as she gets news.
That Renee stabilizes quickly. That they are able to stop the bleeding without major surgery.
That Renee and Shawn are lifted up emotionally and spiritually through this very difficult time.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Today I went down into Baltimore with Paula and Susan to pray in front of an abortion clinic that has been in business for 25 years.
The website that they have up is slick and beautiful. It is rosy and upbeat.
The building itself is a drab, older office building.
The clinic is on the 6th floor and there is nothing at all rosy about it.
Route 40 goes right by the front of the building and there is a lot of traffic.
It's so surreal standing there and praying in silence while the city is hustling around.
The noise kind of fades into the background and the focus is the women, babies and the staff.
The whole time we were there I kept thinking about all the pain that goes into and out of that building.
There is only healing with love from outside. There is nothing about healing going on inside.
This clinic is in an area that is mostly lower income. I don't know how to do anything BUT pray when I am in a place where simply living is so much more difficult than the life that I have now. I have lived that way in the past. I have had to choose between food and electricity, but I have always had hope and a plan.
Love is the only thing that I can offer to a girl with two small children, no husband and no education. How can I judge her?
The pressure and the lack of information has put these women in a place that I dare not go, except for the love that I feel for them and the fact that I know that the decision that they are making will only lead to more heartache and emptiness.
There is nothing hopeful or positive about the scar that is left on the soul of a woman after her child is torn from her. It is ragged and raw and, unlike the scar in her womb, it only gets more inflamed and painful with time.
I only want to stand and pray that there will be a change within the hearts of the staff and doctors.
I want to stand and show that we are willing to be there, no matter what, to pray for the moms and babies. I want to be available if a young lady wants to ask "What else can I do?" I want the people driving by to think about what is going on in there, and maybe be encouraged to pray themselves. I want to add my prayer to all the other prayers that are going up during this "40 Days for Life Campaign".
I want to know that I did something.
Friday, February 19, 2010
If I seem like I'm jumping around for the next few days, be patient...
I may have to experiment...but I'll get it.
I taught a class last night, and I learned something from listening to a few of the people in the class.
We were discussing the ruts we all get into and the way we all put off making changes.
They were talking about how they are putting off getting organized, giving things away, setting up productive habits.
Today I have been thinking about my own ruts.
Like keeping things so much the same, day in and day out.
That's a deep one for me, so I think I will start here. Breaking my mold just a little. A chip, here and there.
Now, my love is home and I am not going to do any more of this...
Stay tuned for further craziness...
Thursday, February 18, 2010
If you are anywhere near Pennsylvania this summer, and even if you're not, you should be aware of an event that will be one of the most important things to happen this year.
Go to the website and check out the speakers and all of the events that are going with this congress.
Attend and empower yourself to engage the culture where you are!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
At the end of the workshop there was a recitation contest on front of two judges.
This is not an easy thing for anyone, and john is really not into acting. Stage work, yes, but he doesn't like speaking in front of people.
I was so proud of his performance today! He did great!
He didn't even look nervous.
He took the picture of our dear relative, Bedelia, as a prop, to give him something to focus on. I think Grandma Bea would have gotten a kick out of that!
Today we begin our time of fasting, repentance and reparation.
Lent is always a time to bring the way we live into perspective.
Am I living in a way that is bringing me, daily, closer to Christ?
Am I pushing myself to cast off bad habits and sloth?
Do I really try to share the Gospel and work for the good of all God's people, especially the innocent?
Am I truly sorry for the things that I have done that are wrong and have I made amends with God and my neighbor?
This is a time to put ourselves, our wants, our comfort, last. This is a very hard thing for me. I am used to having what I want when I want it.
Easter seems a very long time away...
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
On January 9, the world changed forever because of a baby girl. I know that many of you do not know the whole story of Miracle Gianna. Many of you have been praying for her fervently- praying for her to heal, praying for her to be OK, praying for her to live.
We have all had a piece of this story, which on the outside, looks like a tragic, sad, devastating defeat. But this is not a story of defeat. This is a story of triumph- the triumph of Baptism.
When she was born, the doctors handed her to me to hold, and I have never felt more humbled and fearful in my life. I was not afraid because her precious, beautiful body was so fragile and delicate, but because I knew that I was standing in the presence of a little girl, who would soon be in Heaven with Our Lord. I didn’t know how long we would get to be with her, but I knew that she was going from my arms, and the arms of her loving, brave mother, to the arms of Our Lady, who would take her home to Her Son. I knew that in a few hours, or a few moments, while we sat weeping, the angels would be singing her lullabies as she rested in the comfort of her Creator. This was because of an act of heroic motherhood.
Rebecca spent the last 4 months hoping and praying that her baby girl would live. Up until the moment we went into the delivery room, she did not abandon this hope, despite the definitive prognosis. As she realized that God had greater plans for her baby, in a moment of what appeared to be defeat, she did not buckle. She insisted that Miracle be given eternity- she insisted that she was Baptized.
It was in this moment that we witnessed the triumph of the Resurrection. Just as Our Lady held the broken body of her Son, her Savior as he was taken from the cross, trusting that He would rise in 3 days as He had promised, so too did Rebecca hold her baby, trusting in the promise of Our Lord to His Church. She lives in eternity now because her mother did what parents are supposed to do- she got her child to Heaven.
It was no coincidence that this long, difficult story came to its conclusion on the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord. As I drove home from the hospital, that night, well, that morning, I was listening to music on my IPOD trying to be a good driver as I was holding back sobs. On came How Great Thou Art, one of my favorite songs, but one that almost seemed ironically inappropriate at a time like this. But as I listened to the words “When I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy hands have made” I realized that the same Creator that fashioned the Heavens, the Earth, the vastness of the universe, also fashioned this little girl’s tiny hands, feet, adorable button nose, and perfectly coiffed hair. He had breathed His life into her, then she rose to new life with Him, and it was for this reason that her life was worth so much- so that we could look at her and exclaim, “My God, how great Thou art!”
Miracle Gianna, pray for us.
Next Up: The Future of Catholic Hospitals.
Note: This is the third part in a week-long series telling this incredible and gut-wrenching true story about life, death, abortion, and betrayal. We ask all of our readers and blogging friends to help us in any way they can to share this story. Please stay with us this entire week. Posted by matthew archbold at 10:07 PM
There is a much bigger plan here and God is answering prayers left and right.
Renee called Johns Hopkins today and they set her up with an appointment for Friday morning, for an very high tech ultrasound. This will give the doctors there the information that they need to decide which way to go. They are wonderful there! They actually care about this baby, and are willing to help try to get him/her to a viable age, as opposed to some doctors, who just basically don't want to deal with a high risk situation. Better for it to just go away, one way or the other...
So anyway KEEP PRAYING!!
Praise God for the little things...Little T, we love you, keep up the good fight!
Monday, February 15, 2010
Rebecca had been on the fence for months over whether to abort her child as her boyfriend wanted her to. But through Jessica Chominski’s efforts and prayers, along with volunteers at the crisis pregnancy center, Rebecca made the brave decision to keep her baby. Unfortunately, Rebecca’s boyfriend upon learning that she’d chosen to keep the baby kicked her savagely and repeatedly in the stomach.
While treating her, doctors discovered fetal abnormalities in the 18-week-old fetus, including diseased kidneys and underdeveloped lungs resulting from a dearth of amniotic fluid. Despite being in a Catholic hospital, the doctor stunned them by saying that since the baby had no chance of living he recommended an abortion.
Jessica was stunned but managed to remind him that they were in a Catholic hospital but the doctor, according to Jessica, merely said that while he couldn’t do it there, Rebecca could come to his office in Abington where he could arrange it.
“'Utter frustration', 'Disappointing', 'Infuriating'” are still some of the only words Jessica can use to describe her feelings regarding the doctor's suggestion in a Catholic hospital.
After months of working with the baby's mother to help her choose life, the doctor at the Catholic hospital "kicked back all the work we’d done."
"We were backtracked to where we’d been in June. I was devastated,” she said. “It just seemed that there was no safe harbor for this child. This poor little sheep had no shepherd.”
Jessica knew that if she hadn't been sitting right there next to Rebecca, the pregnancy likely would've ended in an abortion. She said so many people seek out Catholic hospitals because “they believe that they’ll respect the dignity of the person. And when recommendations such as abortion come from a Catholic institution people accept it. There’s so much authority there.”
The hospital, according to news reports, insists that it follows the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. The USCCB guidelines state that “First, Catholic health care ministry is rooted in a commitment to promote and defend human dignity; this is the foundation of its concern to respect the sacredness of every human life from the moment of conception until death.”
Further along it states that “employees of a Catholic health care institution must respect and uphold the religious mission of the institution.” That, of course, would preclude abortion but here's how those rules seem to be gotten around.
Lester A. Ruppersberger, D.O., a pro-life gynecologist on staff at St. Mary’s, said a doctor at a Catholic hospital recommending abortion is hardly an anomaly. He said that Catholic hospitals cannot turn away doctors from renting space in their medical offices. He said that while doctors may not perform procedures like abortion in the hospital, administrators “draw a line” between where the hospital ends and the medical office building begins.
“They’ll say they can’t control the philosophy of the people who are renting from their medical office building, they can’t tell them what to do in their private practice,” he said. “You can have the world's number one abortionist at a Catholic hospital. They can’t legally keep him off staff.”
So doctors affiliated with St. Mary’s actually dispense contraception and can have abortions performed in another building.
John Stanton of the Pro-Life Union of Southeastern Pennsylvania said, “The people who run the hospital make a point of saying that he’s not going to do it at the hospital. So somehow it becomes not an objective evil because it’s not done there? It’s wrong to kill a baby here but somewhere else it’s OK?”
Jessica brought Rebecca to a Catholic hospital because she believed that Catholic meant Catholic. “Sadly, we had to be the ones to respect the baby because they wouldn’t,” said Jessica. “This baby needed someone to fight for her. I wonder about all the countless other babies that we’re not there for.”
Jessica had worried that after what happened at St. Mary’s Hospital, Rebecca only needed the slightest push in order to abort so she accompanied Rebecca to almost all of her prenatal visits. She says they were all the same, even those at the Catholic hospital. “She’d leave these prenatal visits crying because these doctors would make her feel so guilty that she wasn’t going to kill her baby. I had to yell at some doctors. I feel really bad about it, but I had to.”
Rebecca went to four hospitals and all of them didn’t just recommend abortion. “They shoved it down her throat,” said Jessica. Read the rest here
I have not read the story yet, just this first part. I don't know how it ends, but I will post each part as they put it up. Please consider sharing this story with others. I don't know where it is going, but I know it must be important.
The other night this was posted on CMR:
To all of our readers and friends in the Catholic/Pro-life blogosphere:
As you know, we here at CMR do not take much seriously but life issues are a notable exception.
This week on CMR, we are going to be doing something different that we believe to be very important. We will be running a week-long series telling an incredible and gut-wrenching true story about life, death, abortion, and betrayal..
This is a story that needs to be told because it details the heroic efforts of those dedicated to life, the affirmation of the value of every life no matter how small or short, and the betrayal of institutions that are supposed to be dedicated to the culture of life.
So I write this now as a special request. If you have a blog, please follow and link these stories. If you do not have a blog, please email this story to your pro-life friends. If you have access to an Internet forum, please post a link to these stories.
We believe this story is incredibly important and we ask you, our readers and friends, to help us make it known far and wide because at the end of the series we will be issuing a call to action.
The series, "The Baby Gianna Story" will begin on Monday, so please check back and do whatever you can to help.
Thank you in advance.
Matthew and Patrick
Part I- Answering the call:
Jessica Chominski fights for the lives of others. Little lives. The ones many don’t think are worth fighting for. She is the sole full time employee of the Bucks County Community Women’s Center, a crisis pregnancy center in Pennsylvania.
About once a week a woman calls or walks into the center asking about abortion and Jessica asks them why they feel the need to abort their child, she tells them about other options, explains what abortion is, and tells them about the dignity of every human life. “Hopefully they leave thinking twice,” she says.
It’s nerve-wracking work. At 24 years old, Jessica works daily under the weight that lives depend on her. Every phone call. Every conversation. And she knows that she can’t control what a woman does when she walks out of the center so she just does all she can. And when there's no more she can do she prays. But to her it’s all worth it because in the end Jessica knows, “there are babies crawling around right now because of the work we do. And that is miraculous.”
Last June Jessica's phone rang. It was the call that would change her life. Jessica had no idea how her struggle for one baby would change her forever. And in the end, that one little baby may change many more lives than hers. All Jessica knew was that every time the phone rang a life might depend on her. She simply answered the call.
“Do you guys help out with abortion?” a woman nervously asked.
Jessica informed the woman that they didn’t perform abortions at the center. She offered to discuss options. “We can provide information,” she said. “Would you like to come by?”
Sometimes Jessica fills the silence. Sometimes she just gives space. Jessica waited for a response. She heard breathing. But she knew that as long as the woman stayed on the phone there was hope. She knew what a sudden dial tone would likely mean. She listened to the breathing on the other end of the line until she heard a barely breathed “OK.” Read the rest of the story here.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
by Thomas Peters on February 12th, 2010
If you want to get in on the Petition to ask the USPS to keep the Mother Theresa stamp, go to
CatholicVoteAction.org , read the article and updates and follow the links to sign the petition.
Brendan is at an age where the idea of romance makes him nauseous, but he wanted someone to call his Valentine, so he decided that he would ask Mary.
He brought me this little card that he had made yesterday. I think it is probably the sweetest thing I have ever seen. I'll bet Mary thinks so too.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I was a bit skeptical because, whil he has read all the "Percy Jackson" books, the movie "Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief" is marketed as a teen movie, and well, it is rated PG-13.
I thought we would try it. We could always leave.
Well, the special effects were stunning enough that, between a substitute teacher that turns into a very realistic demon-type thing, a monstrous and ill tempered Minotaur, and Hades in a bon-fire, Paul was done in before the first half was over.
Just as we were getting to the part where the heroes meet Medusa, he said "We should go", jumped up and he was out of there!
However, there was one very interesting line in the dialog that caught my attention, and may explain a lot of the mysteries of our times.
The best friend of our hero Percy, is a Satyr by the name of Grover. In one part of the movie, he is filling Percy in on the "facts of life" as they apply to a world inhabited and overseen by the Greek gods of mythology.
You see, as it turns out they really weren't myths. They are actually ruling the world even today.
Of course they still "get around", as always, so there are apparently a certain number of demigods, "half bloods" running around and they have all these amazing powers.
So...Grover tells Percy that there are hundreds of them, they are in all walks of life, even famous people, even "the White House". I kid you not. He really said that.
Now this would actually explain a lot of things.
See, I could never buy the whole "Messiah" thing because well, I know who that is and it ain't Obama.
But the Greek demi-god angle actually makes a whole bunch of sense.
For one thing, the whole missing father thing. Yeah, I know there is a father that was apparently showing up off and on. Demigods seldom know their dads, because the gods are always up on Olympus or out carousing.
The birth certificate? Nope, not for a demi-god.
Another thing...the Greek gods are notoriously selfish and egotistical.
I asked Paul who the most proud and egotistical god that he could think of was and he said Hermes, the god of roads and thieves...now does that sound like anyone you know?
So...since we have a guy in the White House who desperately craves deification, this is the perfect opportunity to feed his fantasy.
He can believe what he wants, and he will anyway, and we know it's not true. Perfect.
I'm just glad that our God is the One, True God.
So good that we don't have to depend on those Greek guys...
Friday, February 12, 2010
I know that most of the people that read my blog read Laura's and so you have probably already started praying for Renee and "Sweet T". I just want to encourage everyone to keep up the prayers and if you can do a meal, that would be great too. I am going to go up for a visit soon and if you are in the area, I could take frozen meals up with me.
We know that God can do anything and that He uses us as His instruments. Whatever Renee and her baby are going through, it will be for the Glory of God. That is just how Renee and Shawn are. They have given their lives to the Lord, and He is holding all of them in His hands.
I know that they believe that everything happens for the good of those who love God, and I know that good has already come from this situation. I have heard from several people that have friends or family that have been through similar situations and they have shared stories that give me great hope. That's what it's all about...hope. And Faith.
Other people are so drawn to the solid Faith of this family, that it is making them stronger in their own walk.
Renee's firm refusal to "terminate" the life within her, is a gift to other moms who might find themselves facing a scary pregnancy. She knows that she is a mom to this baby, whoever and however, and being a mom, she is only concerned with protecting her child. Such a witness.
I have a link on my blog now, to Laura's blog, that will provide updates and ways that people can help.
Prayer is the most important thing anyone can do...Don't Stop.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Of course we appreciate the things that God has created for us, and we want to take the best possible care of them, but those things are not God and we cannot love them. They are material.
I can't put it any where near as well as this writer...I have posted an excerpt, but the whole article is well worth taking the time to read...
The problem with both views of the environment, the commercial/exploitative view on the one hand, and the "man is a disease on the planet that ought to be (mostly) eradicated!" view on the other, is that each one contains at its core a fundamental misunderstanding about the proper place of humanity in the universe. The mainstream environmentalist view puts man as no more or less important than any other living creature on Earth; he is a purely material being whose control of the planet over less-sentient creatures is a kind of oppression that can only be ended when man himself agrees to become less numerous and thus less dominant over the other forms of life on the planet. But the commercial/exploitative view also sees man, and everything else, as materialistic--it sees man as the ultimate Darwinian survivor, whose fitness means that his tendency to exploit the material world for his own profit and gain is inherently justified.
In order to have a properly balanced view of nature and the environment, and of the duties of Christian stewardship of the planet, though, we have to be aware that man is not merely a material being, and that creation itself is not the result of a random accumulation of matter, but the work (however He chose to accomplish it) of a Divine Creator. Since creation is His work and reflects His glory, we are not free to exploit and destroy whatever we choose. But since humanity is His utmost creation, created in His image and likeness, we are also not free to elevate nature, animals, plants, and the like over the right of human beings to live and to survive. The intrinsic right to life of every human being takes precedence over lesser environmental concerns; people must come first in the hierarchy of creation.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Parenthood Pushes Intensive Sex Education for Kids as Young as 10
Monday, February 08, 2010
By Ed Barnes
A new report by the International Planned
The report, "Stand and Deliver," charges that religious groups, specifically Catholics and Muslims, deny their young access to comprehensive sexual programs and education.
"Young people's sexuality is still contentious for many religious institutions. Fundamentalist and other religious groups — the Catholic Church and madrasas (Islamic Schools) for example — have imposed tremendous barriers that prevent young people, particularly, from obtaining information and services related to sex and reproduction. Currently, many religious teachings deny the pleasurable and positive aspects of sex." the report states.
The report demands that children 10 and older be given a "comprehensive sexuality education" by governments, aid organizations and other groups, and that young people should be seen as "sexual beings."
"Young people have the right to be informed about sexuality and to have access to contraceptives and other services," Bert Koenders, the
The report argues that sex education should be "recast" to show sexuality as a "positive force for change and development, as a source of pleasure, an embodiment of human rights and an expression of self."
Much like a U.N. report released last August that advocated teaching masturbation to children as young as 5, "Stand and Deliver" has set off a wave of protest among religious and conservative groups.
Ed Mechmann, spokesman for New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, charged that Planned
He said religions like Catholicism and Islam teach sex as part of a much bigger picture and that Planned
"It is part of an effort to get children to reject traditional values and accept a liberal American-European view," he said. "In many traditional countries — Catholic and Muslim — it won't work and should be seen as cultural imperialism."
Mechmann also charged that Planned
Michelle Turner, president of the Maryland-based Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, said Planned
"What are they trying to do? They are trying to eliminate the role of mom and dad in the family," Turner said. "For Planned
"It is part of a bigger push to change the way we think about sex," she said. That sex is all about pleasure and there are no consequences. They are wrong. No matter how much we teach children, some will make mistakes. They will forget. And Planned
"They see religious groups, especially those that counsel abstinence and waiting until marriage, as bad guys," she added. "We aren't."
These are unconscionable motives, but they are becoming more and more obvious.
PLEASE explore these issues for yourself.
Get all the information for yourself and don't allow the networks, tabloid reporting, and Hollywood to inform your conscience.
Your kids' innocence is on the line and you have to be the guardian at the gate.