Some of you know that I was diagnosed with cancer in April of 2005. I underwent six months of chemotherapy, at which time I lost all my hair and struggled to keep my faith in God and get well again. Cindy Black, who works for our diocese, asked me to share part of the struggle in a short piece I wrote some time ago called The Difficult Choice. It was when I was confronted with the choice of either excusing myself from my Catholic faith, or embracing the cross that came with it.
If you’re interested, here it is, most recently on the MY YEAR OF FAITH Catholic blog.
Awhile back, I wrote an article about my husband and Why I Make His Lunch. I thought you would like to know that while this was never my intention when beginning to make his lunch, I have enjoyed a happy result: he does really nice things back.
For example: I now wake up to hot, steaming, just-the-way-I-like-it coffee every morning. He makes me a pot of it before I am even awake, waiting for me. And he doesn’t even drink coffee.
When my children were really little, I never had to fill the car up with gas. (In fact, for years I didn’t even know where the gas latch was- true story!) As the children grew older and life got busier, I eventually learned to put gas in my car. I am happy to report however, that within the last year, the tank is always filled again and ready to go, and the car is washed. All I have to do is get in. I can’t tell you how nice that is not to have to worry about that!
What goes around comes around as they say. Or when you bless others, often they want to bless you back. It’s just the natural result.
While I started making my husband’s lunch for HIM, to show appreciation for HIM and to make his life easier and a little sweeter, I found that doing so actually made my life better too.
Have a happy day! And go do something nice for that man who put down his life for you. Start the cycle of blessing today.
Bing Crosby has a word for good, busy mamas who are conscientious about taking care of their homes and their children. From the husband’s point of view, Bing croons, “Remember me….”
Good advice. Listen for yourself, and go love your man.
This year I celebrate 26 years of marriage with my awesome husband, David. I wrote this last year in my column for Today’s Catholic News in honor of the occasion. It still fits and I wanted to share-
The night before David’s and my wedding, there was a big storm. Winds ripped through the area and blew out the electricity. As my mom was scurrying around, trying to get my younger siblings dressed in the dark, considering whether the food in the refrigerator would spoil and worrying about whether the church lights would also be out for the rehearsal, I just wanted my blow dryer and hoped the curling iron, which had been sitting on the bathroom counter, would still be hot enough to curl my hair. I know. Shallow.
After the rehearsal (lights were on in the church — thank you God), which went rather well, we headed off for dinner. Oh, but the place cards for the dinner after the wedding the next day were not finished yet, so after the rehearsal dinner David, mother and I sat down to finish figuring out where everyone would sit the next day. Personally I did not care, and David did not either, but we still threw ourselves into the task, which seemed important to my mom. God bless my dear fiancé who, finally around midnight, told me to go home and that he would stay with my mother and get the place cards done. I guess he knew me well enough to realize I’d be grumpy without sleep and who wants a grumpy bride? Either that or the poor guy looked at me and thought to himself, “This girl needs some beauty rest.” At the time I didn’t think of it, but there was also the distinct possibility he was just being thoughtful.
The next day, an Indian summer produced, in the end of September, humidity and record heat, with the thermometer approaching 90 degrees. I wouldn’t have minded but that my dress was a heavy, satin gown with long sleeves. My dad forgot to put his arm out for me as we walked down the aisle at the entrance hymn, and consequently, videos of the event make me look like I’m clutching him in fear. I suppose it didn’t help either that I was crying my eyes out. I shouldn’t have chosen the dramatic music for the entrance. Poor David. He probably wondered if I was having second thoughts.
I wasn’t having second thoughts, but I was engrossed in thinking about the serious nature of the event. Although somewhat immature and naïve, I did fully understand the commitment David and I were about to undertake, and felt overwhelmed by the beauty and solemnity of the sacrament we were going to receive. Our first date six years prior and many dates since then as well as memories of fun and friendship melted away. I remember thinking, as I walked down the aisle, “I hope he realizes I’m giving him my life.” In retrospect, I know he did.
This year, David and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. I look back and think what a forerunner that the day before the wedding and the wedding day itself were of our entire marriage. Our married life has been full of many surprises — storms when least expected, sudden and immediate demands, inconveniences, compromises to people who are important to us, things forgotten, weird emotional responses and sudden realizations. Our marriage has also, like many marriages, been filled with great joy, sometimes, unexpected, take-your-breath-away pure delight. My husband is still my best friend. In this imperfect world, with our imperfect selves, we still stick together.
The secret of a long, happy marriage, as most long-married couples know, is to simply keep moving forward with grace and in God’s care. The happy and sad, challenging and fun events of life serve as glue to the marriage, as do the gift of children, fortify a couple over many years. The secret is that there is no secret. There is simply commitment and a lot of hard work, rolling with the punches, accepting the joy with gratitude, and most importantly, relying on God through everything.
In looking back, I see many weaknesses in my 23-year-old self who married her husband in the fall of 1986. Thank God that He did not require perfection before marriage or I’d be not following my vocation — although well rested and with perfectly curled hair — right now. God takes us where we are. He bestows many graces and forms us in His image, gradually and suddenly, even more than we can imagine when we first say, “I do.” If couples can offer a willing heart and a humble disposition, if they frequent the sacraments and call upon God’s help, they can, despite their own imperfections, despite many twists and turns, challenges and unexpected events, easily find themselves joyfully celebrating marriage for 25 years … and beyond. What a gift. What a God.
I do it because I love him.
I do it because it gives me pleasure.
I do it because it is cheaper than the alternative.
What is it?….
When the babies were little and kept coming every other year, it was sometimes a challenge to keep them dry, fed, and happy, the house organized, and myself reasonably rested and motivated. Some days it was 11 a.m. and I was still in sweats with breakfast dishes piled in the sink., running with the toddler for the third time into the bathroom for a ‘dry run’ and juggling the baby on my hip. I gave great effort, prioritized the best I could, but I put “people before things” so the house wasn’t exactly House Beautifulor Good Housekeeping material. Back then, my prayer life consisted mostly of “please God let them nap at the same time” or a deep sighed “thank you” at the end of a busy day, and when I made it with them out to Mass on Friday mornings, it was a BIG DEAL. Work got done, but slowly and interrupted. My husband and I took shifts to get everything done. We kept to the essentials. It was all we could do.
Now that my babies are older (youngest just turned seven) the physical strain isn’t so much, I am a bit more organized and can do some things that I have wanted to do for a long time. In the morning, I exercise and can say a good solid “quality praying” rosary on the sofa alone before I really start my day. I also have been making breakfast for my husband and lunch for him to take to work each morning.
We’re all at different stages in our lives, sometimes more able to do this or that and sometimes less so. I preface this because I don’t want anyone feeling guilty for not doing the extra things if the time in her life is not right for that, if it is the very busy season of babies every (other) year, breastfeeding, mothering little ones or whatever keeps your feet tapping in responsibility and love. There is a season for everything and sometimes it’s the season of tag-teaming with your husband. If that is your season, do not feel bad. Move forward and maybe consider this for the future. But if the time is ripe and you feel you can swing it, maybe you’ll want to start doing this one little thing for your beloved-…………..Read more here.
What have I done for my spouse today?
What have I done to help make his life easier, more meaningful, happier?
How have I supported him/her? Have I prayed for him/her? Have I spoken an encouraging word? Have I hugged him/her? Given an encouraging pat? A gentle kiss? An eye-lock with the message of my devotion and even yearning?
In what way have I helped him/her on this journey of life and eased the natural burdens of it?
Does he/she know I love him/her?
If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury. It does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1Corinthians 13: 1-7
My grandfather was very devoted to my grandmother. Whenever we gathered at their home for a holiday meal, everyone crowded around the table and then Grandpa Kloska said grace. Then, with Grandma (who had worked very hard in the kitchen preparing the large Polish meal) sitting down, he promptly served her FIRST. This made an impression on me. Amidst many guests, Grandpa put Grandma first. I hope to set a similar example to my children and always put my husband first, as my spouse and greatest helpmate.
Click here to read about your influence on the man you love.
My friend Jenny created a beautiful woman’s magazine- read the latest article by following the link below. The article starts like this:
“I remember the first time I ever heard her call her husband a name, a name I had never, ever, heard a woman call her husband. I was taken back. “Was she serious?” “Did she say that to shock me?” I was 25 years old. I had not just fallen off the turnip truck or joined the Catholic Church. I had heard many a woman, many a Catholic woman, call their husbands many a name. But never this. She said…….” continue reading HERE.
Saint Joseph, pray for us!
Oh, St. Joseph,
whose protection is so great, so prompt, so strong,
before the throne of God,
I place in you all my interests and desires.
Oh, St. Joseph,
do assist me by your powerful intercession,
and obtain for me from your Divine Son
all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power,
I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most Loving of Fathers.
Oh, St. Joseph,
I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms;
I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart.
Press Him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me and
Ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath.
St. Joseph, Patron of departed souls – pray for me.
Imprimatur: September 25, 1950
Hugh C. Boyle, Bishop of Pittsburgh
Saint Joseph, patron of fathers, workers, the universal Church, a happy death, carpentry, selling houses….and a model of a strong, holy man who is humble and gentle and guides his family by following God’s will.