Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Trip to St Gianna

Earlier this week, my mom sent me a link to a parish on the other side of our diocese that would be hosting the relics of St Gianna Beretta Molla.

The article didn't contain much more detail than the parish, but we decided to make it an adventure and hit the road Saturday to make the afternoon mass - 3.5 hours away. 

I packed Sweet Pea and Little Bean in the car, picked up my mom, and off we headed. 

Sweet Pea is not known for her napping these days and hasn't fallen asleep in the car in ages. She slept almost the whole way there. Don't discount the everyday miracles!

We arrived at the church about 45 minutes before mass, unsure of what to really expect. The church had a rosary that started half an hour before mass, and as I stood walking SP back and forth in the back of the cry room-less church, the priest walked by. 

I hadn't seen him in 20 years, but he had been an assistant at our parish when I was a teen. As he walked by me, he stopped, turned and said, "you're a {maiden name} aren't you?"  He asked if my parents were there and I pointed to my mom and LB near the front of the church. 

A few minutes later, as we were settling back in our pew for mass, Father came up and asked LB and my mom to bring up gifts. 

After mass, the President of the St Gianna Molla Society in Pennsylvania spoke for a few minutes. 

He brought with him hundreds of rosaries, prayer cards, and two sets of St Gianna's gloves. He also told us a beautiful story about a young girl being healed from cancer after touching a glove - and the unusual request of St Gianna's husband that the relics not be enclosed. 

If you're at all familiar with relics, you may have seen the container (reliquary) housing and preserving the relic. It is tradition that relics be enclosed and so protected. But, honoring the request of her husband, the relics of St Gianna were not enclosed and we were encouraged to pick them up, touch them to an area that needed especial healing and take the time to pray as we stood there, holding her relic. 

As they were preparing the relics to be presented to the congregation, the president became very insistent that my mom help. Not in an unkind way, but just in a very direct, "you're the one who is supposed to help" kind of way. 

LB, SP and I were in the first row to go up. We prayed together and then returned to our seat. 

Before we had gone up, I whispered to LB to ask healing of her many allergies and food sensitivities. As were standing up there together, I prayed for a healing from infertility, and said the names of a few friends who are struggling greatly with infertility and pregnancy loss, then asked a general intercession for anyone I know who might be suffering with infertility and pregnancy loss. 

When we returned to our seat, I asked LB if she had prayed for her allergies. 

Her response made me tear up, "I forgot Mom, I was just praying so hard for you to have babies." *cue the water works* Seriously, that girl. 

Since my mom was assisting, we waited as the people went through the line. There was one couple in particular that really pierced my heart. A younger couple, no children, with tears in their eyes as they walked forward to touch the relics. I felt especially compelled to pray for them as they held the relics. 

After the line was finished, I told LB we were going up again so we could say a particular prayer for her allergies. At this point, my mom was finished assisting and was able to pray with us. 

I held the glove to LB's mouth and prayed for her healing. As I kissed her forehead, the priest snapped a photo. Hopefully the glove over her mouth doesn't look like I'm trying to smother her if that photo shows up in the diocesan paper :)

One the second trip up, I also grabbed a rosary for a friend who couldn't make it because she had to work. As I held it to St Gianna's relics, I prayed for her healing. 

The drive home felt about twice as long with the girls getting a little squirrely until SP, thankfully, fell back asleep. We arrived home late and exhausted, but with a story of an adventure for sure.

+ St. Gianna, pray for us +

Friday, April 17, 2015

Eleven Years Ago Today

Eleven years ago today, it was 75 degrees and sunny on a Saturday in April.  I remember being very hot putting on layers of crinoline and heavy satin. 

The day went by so so fast, but the best advice I got was to block out everything but Hubby and I at the moment of our vows.  I can remember standing there, imprinting it into my brain as I cried a little through them. 

Eleven Things for Eleven Years:
  1. Our song is What a Wonderful World
  2. We started dating on June 19, 2002
  3. We got engaged August 30, 2003
  4. We got married April 17, 2004
  5. Our first child was born July 1, 2005
  6. That second glass of champagne in the picture is a scam - Hubby doesn't drink
  7. We had a morning wedding - 10 am
  8. I had a maid of honor and a matron of honor
  9. All of my (5) sisters were in the wedding party
  10. We honeymooned in the Smokey Mountains
  11. We made it back home just in time to see my baby sister make her First Holy Communion - in the dress she'd worn as a flowergirl the week before
Marriage has taught me more about who I am and what I need to work on than anything prior.  Truly, it is more than a feeling, it's a daily choice to walk through thick and thin, sickness and health, on the path we are paving for each other to Heaven.

Hubby took the day off work, and I'm looking forward to breakfast out, a movie with the girls and a date night to ourselves (thanks to my matron of honor babysitting!). 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Easter 2015: A Photo Recap

Found on my camera
Our Easter day was busy busy!  We drove about 30 minutes away to see our friends' daughter make her First Holy Communion - and that same family celebrated the baptism of their youngest daughter! (#7).

Godfather/godson suited up for Easter!

It was a multiple sacrament day!

Opening presents - knitted roses for family rosary time - made by me

I also embroidered a rosary and name plaque for the newest member of the Church - it was such a wonderful, busy day!  

After the celebration, we headed back into town and celebrated Easter with lunch at my brother's house where my sister-in-law served up ham she'd butchered herself.  Renaissance woman, I tell ya'.
Looking forward to a wonderful spring/summer!  Prayers for a blessed Easter season for you and yours!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Easter Hunts 2015: A Photo Recap

Easter Week was a busy time in our house, full of fun and sacraments with friends.  Breaking all the pictures in two - today I'm sharing all the fun, running around, hunt pictures :)

I pray you're having a blessed Easter!

Our local park board hunt

Our backyard hunt

 I love her hair :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What We've Been Up To: An Instagram Recap

Lent was a really hard season for me this year.  My main spiritual goal was to really find peace in the size of my family right now, as is.  To find a place of contentment where I was doing my best in all things, but not pushing against some of the natural confines of right now (ie infertility).

I vacillated my whole way through Lent going back and forth between peace and grief and came out on the other side of Easter feeling new and clean and revived.  Walking a hard road led to a place where now I'm feeling more peace than I have in the last few years.  Grief still sneaks in, and has a place in this time of healing and growing, but I am feeling grace in my life.  I credit lots of intercessory prayers for that, and I thank you.

As the world outside has come back to life, the speed of life has increased.  If you're over on IG, you may have seen a few of these, but here's a recap of what antics and celebrations we've been up to at our place.  I pray your Easter season is blessed and if you have any special intentions, please send me an email, leave a comment, or post to my FB page and I'll keep you in my intentions.

Celebrating this guy's birthday!

Participating in a Saint Doll Swap with 19 other mamas

 Sweet Pea loves them, she calls them her "Mary Dolls"

So. Much. Raking.

But it looks so great!

All that space was just missing a fire pit

I used some leftover pavers and about 8 hours to get a great little hangout

 We also decided to tackle organizing the attic this spring


Which included bringing this solid wood table up the attic stairs.  By myself.
I like to give my guardian angel a heart attack occasionally.

Then I got to cleaning the kitchen up for the new table.
Which I thought was supposed to arrive Monday, April 13th.
I read the paper wrong.
It's going to be here Monday, April 20th.
I'm not moving the old table up and down the attic stairs again.
We're eating in the living room for a week.

So what are you up to?  My summer goals include:
  • The fire pit
  • Fixing the front gate on the fence
  • Cleaning up the yard
  • Seeding the bare spots in the yard
  • Moving the shed across the yard
  • Cleaning out the attic
  • Sorting through stored items for donations
  • Moving the sewing supplies up to the attic