Friday, February 26, 2010

What's in a Name?

This week, I thought I’d share with you some words from Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, as quoted in a beautiful book I was given by a friend at work called "Prayerfully Expecting: A Nine-Month Novena for Mothers to Be" by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle. (I highly recommend it!)

“What was the Good News that Christ had come to give? That God is love. That God loves you. God loves me. That God has made you and made me for better things to love and to be loved. We are not just a number in the world. That’s why it is so wonderful to recognize the presence of that unborn child, the gift of God. The greatest gift of God to a family is the child, because it is the fruit of love.

"And we read something very beautiful in the Scripture, also, where God speaks, and He says: ‘Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of My hand. You are precious to me. I have called you by name.’

"That is why as soon as a child is born, we give it a name, the name God has called from all eternity—to love and be loved.”

There is so much in Mother Teresa’s words to wonder at. One thing that struck me is at the very end: that the names we choose to give our children are the very names that “God has called from all eternity.” That is amazing!

And speaking of names (since I don’t think I’ve shared them yet), Daniel and I have decided on “Charles Edward” for a boy—our fathers’ middle names put together—and “Samantha Mary” for a girl—“Samantha” just because we like it and “Mary” for a number of reasons.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, February 19, 2010


I have been thinking a lot this week about how happy I am. Seriously. I am very, very happy. I have to admit that sometimes when I think about it too much I worry that I’m too happy, that I have it too good, that I haven’t struggled quite enough. I don’t know quite what to do about that worry except attempt to dismiss it with a prayer (any suggestions on that?). But what I do know is that although I can’t say that my life is 100% perfect, and there are times when I wish for more than the abundant blessings I have been given, I am always happy—even when I am momentarily sad or frustrated or angry on the surface.

The truth is that I have everything that I ever wanted for this point in my life. I remember thinking in high school that about a year or so after college would be a good time to get married, possibly to someone I would meet and date in college; I met Daniel almost as soon as I arrived on campus, and we got married one year and five days after graduating. We both already had jobs lined up for after graduation, and that very summer we purchased a house on a beautiful piece of land less than ten minutes from my parents’ house; I had always wanted to live close to my family.

I always wanted to start a family soon after getting married, and we hoped that I would get pregnant in the fall of 2009; I got pregnant in September. If you have been following my blog for a while, you know by now that I am a worry wart. So, early on when the risk of miscarriage was still very substantial, I was so afraid that because it had happened so easily, something was going to go wrong. But I am now twenty-four weeks along, and so far so good, thank God! Our plan to have me stay home to take care of our baby seems also to be working out, even if our budget will be a little tight; I always wanted to stay home with my children like my mom did and does with hers.

As you can see, everything is exactly as I would want it to be. Not everyone wants to be settled down with a home (and mortgage), husband, and family of their own at my age. But I always did. And although everything is not always picture perfect, I am always happy. The other day while I sat by myself at home just feeling my little one’s enthusiastic kicks, I sang my baby the blessing that my mom always used to sing to me and imagined blessing his forehead once he is born. And I was so overwhelmed with joy that it brought tears to my eyes. I have been so very blessed.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snowed In

Daniel and I have spent a good part of the past week and a half at home, with our cars buried in the driveway. We have gotten nearly four feet of snow between two major snowstorms/blizzards only three days apart, and it took a while for a county plow to even make it to our road. Thankfully our power never went out, which is what I had been most worried about; I even added a fleece blanket under each of our window curtains last Friday just in case we lost heat.

Since Daniel works at a school, he was off all of last week plus Presidents’ Day, which made it pretty much a second winter break. Most days we couldn’t go anywhere, so we got to spend quite a bit of time together just the two of us—this included sleeping in every day, watching several movies, drinking plenty of tea and hot chocolate, working around the house, and being entertained by our baby’s acrobatics.

Our little one is very active and can be unquestionably felt from the outside now, which makes Daniel happy. We can even see him or her squirming around under my shirt! It really is amazing how much time we both can contentedly spend with a hand on my belly (and how much we can laugh over a flip or a double kick/punch).

In other words, although we were stuck at home for so much time, we were certainly not bored. It was surreal, as though time stopped for a week, but it was perfectly wonderful. I’m really going to miss Daniel now that he is back at work again. Of course, I know that parents around here are probably overjoyed to be sending their kids back to school after so many snow days!

Lent begins this week, and it seems to have snuck up on us. Christmas was just yesterday, wasn’t it? I still need to decide what sacrifices I will be making this year—since I am pregnant, I won’t be fasting on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday, which will be strange.

Anyways, I don’t have much else to say for now… since this is a delayed entry from last Friday, you will be hearing from me again very soon!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Words of Wisdom from St. Francis (but not really)

As a pregnant woman, I am finding that it can be easy to fall into thinking that my husband should be taking care of me by shouldering more than his “fair share” of household work. Of course, I believe that a man should show his love for his pregnant wife by understanding that she is more tired than usual, etc. and helping her where he can.

Daniel is doing an excellent job of this, yet there are times when I find myself wishing for even more, thinking that I “deserve” even more, as all of us imperfect people so often do. So, as a way of keeping myself in check I have been repeating the portion of the Peace Prayer of St. Francis (which I learned today actually originated sometime around World War I and was not written by St. Francis at all) that I have always thought was particularly applicable to marriage. I liked it so much that I even considered putting it in our wedding program, but there wasn’t space:

“…O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled
As to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.”

That’s it for a very short entry this week. For those of you in the path of the big winter storm headed for the Mid-Atlantic and North-East today and tomorrow, stay safe and warm! I’m just crossing my fingers that we don’t lose power, and thus heat…