Story: Thankful 

When my youngest son was born he was a month early. On the day we were packing up our boxes to move from California to NYC I was 34 weeks and started having major back pain. After he came via emergency c-section I somehow knew he would be my little heart ache.

Ever since then we have been back to the ER and urgent care with him more than anyone else in the family. This week in preparation for Lent I was trying out different recipes and what do you know turns out this little man has a severe allergy to cashews.

As his body and face began to rapidly swell up I knew I had to act fast. The nurse in me had to think quick because I know first hand what happens in these situation if people don’t act quickly. Off into the car I put him race as fast as I can to our local urgent care, they don’t even check me in and just rush me and my son to the back so he can get his Epinephrine shot and steroids. He is shaking at this point. I know he will be ok but it is still hard to see my own son like this. 

A few moments later the storm has passed. He just wants to be held by his mama and I am so thankful so this moment. There we were again yet another stay for 6 hours in the hospital for monitoring to make sure he dosent react again. I had a lot of time to think about life during that time and could not stop thinking about timing. If only my husband wasn’t home and I didn’t have help what would I do? If I couldn’t get him there fast enough what would have happened. If he had an allergic reaction again during the night what would I do? 

I started being so thankful for small moments again. Those kisses I am able to give him again in the morning, thankful for my husband being there for me and being my backbone. Thankful for my community getting that Epi pen for us when it was going to be too expensive for us. Thankful.

It is the small things folks. What are you most thankful for today?

Christmas

  
I think the hardest thing about Christmas this year is not being able to be in California to spend it with friends and family. We are stuck here in New York our first year in seminary generally because we fulfill the stereotype of all seminarians being poor. 

Yes this year we are going to have to cozy up and share our Christmas with fellow seminarians that have been left behind and be thankful to God for our new friends. I have always really been a complainer about visiting so many family members during the holiday season back home but now I see that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

We are officially saving up to go back home for the summer.

Thanksgiving 

        
After rushing to the urgent care with my infat I knew this was going to be bad news thanksgiving after the doctor diagnosed him with croup. 

As I watch my little bear cub receiving his second inhalation treatment I loose it and start crying. He came into the world unexpectedly and every single memory of that horrific day came flashing back. All the stress came back of not being able to help him like I wanted, to make his pain go away, to have him smile at me. 

Yes this thanksgiving I spend in urgent care with my 4 month old son, and maybe I needed to have this experience to grow as a human.

Most of all tonight after finally getting home and finally having this little man sleep, I am truly thankful for my family and friends. All the people that support me and encourage me. That give me strength and laughter. I’m thankful for the health of my family and friends. I am thankful for life.

Enjoy your day everyone.

Changes

   
 
The hardest thing about seminary life is the part where you miss your family back home. Yes there is an occasional moment or two of loving living in NY, but in the end all our friends and family is back in CA. There are people that fit the criteria of potential friendship in a new place but in the end your true friends can’t ever be replaced. 

“At least we have each other,” my husband states. Yes that is true. As I watch my son riding away in Central Park and take in the magnificent fall that seems to surround you in NY, I think to myself… Family is all that matters. 

My hopes and wishes grow up with my boys and I hope that we will always be close. I hope my sons don’t hate me and I make good decisions for their lives. I hope…

Ever feel like…

You are between a rock and a hard place?

Sometimes life can be a bit crazy. Overwhelming. Chaotic. Stressful. Happy. Sad. Depressing. All the above? At times it feels like that happy saying “when it rains it pours” applies to moments in our own life. During times of trial and tribulations I try to stay positive as long as I can until I loose all the faith in the world and always blame Christ for my problems. If only I had this or that or this then life would be so much easier. I forget the main focus in life which is life in Christ, His teachings, His Church. Sometimes when my son refuses to eat the meals that I prepared, cries about putting on clothes or diapers and other wonderful things kids seem to do to drive us mad, I forget the main point.

Fr. Seraphim Rose said that we should always think of our live as a pilgrimage here on earth. We are guests of the King of kings, so we must behave as guests are expected to behave. How easy it is for me to not focus on the center and just focus on the rock and a hard place instead. Oh Heavenly King, the comforter the Spirit of truth. Who art everywhere and fillest all things. Treasury of good gifts, and giver of life. Come and abide in us. Cleanse us from all impurity, and save our souls oh good one.

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Chaos

I never thought in my life that being a parent is this chaotic. My son is now almost 8 months old and who knew that this little person would have to much energy. “You ever wonder if we will ever be used to it?” asks my sleep deprived husband. I am not sure if it ever gets better or if you just become more immune to the chaos that seems to build up as my son becomes more and more mobile and the energy level just keeps escalating. I find myself constantly comparing myself with other moms. “How is you kid sleeping? How are you doing things? Do you have a schedule?” I am not sure of anything anymore.

What I am thankful for is the great support that our own little church community provides with lots of moms willing to talk about their experiences and lots of ideas of how to channel kids energy into good little projects. I am working on the jealous factor that comes in from myself towards other moms that do seem to have everything together. The moms that have their kids sleeping through the night and just never seem sleep deprived and tell me that its all just so wonderful. Yes I am working on organizing the chaos within my heart.

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Summer is here!

Yes it is that time again to plan vacations, camping trips and summer marshmallow roasting. It is summer time. I love each season for its own great season feel, but summer is one that is very special. Besides getting together with friends and watching this years World Cup, there are weddings to go to, people to see, and pools to swim in. The weather is just right… time to get playing.

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Reflection

This life is a spiritual struggle. To conquer or to be conquered! If we conquer, we will enjoy the fruits of victory through all eternity. If we are defeated, we will endure the horrors of destruction through all eternity. This life is a duel between man and all that opposes God. God is an almighty Ally to all who sincerely call upon Him for help. ” This life is not a joke or a plaything,” says Father John of Kronstadt, ‘but men turn it into a joke and plaything. The capricious play around with the time given to us for preparing for eternity; they play around with empty words. They gather together as guests, they sit and chatter and after that they sit and play this or that game. They gather in theaters, and there they entertain themselves. All of life is an amusement for them. But woe unto them who do nothing but entertain themselves!”

St. Nikolai Velimirovoc

What a great reflection to ponder on while we go on about our daily lives. How easily are we distracted by media and worldly cares. Even if we walk into McDonald’s there are TV screens. The other day I pulled up to a gas station and my son in the back seat was fascinated by the flashy screen that was showing the latest entertainment gossip while I was pumping gas, all in a short section just enough  time to get into your head the headlines that don’t matter. It is at these times that when I read things that were written centuries ago makes me really realize that the book of Proverbs is true when it sates “vanity vanity, all is vanity. There is nothing new under the sun.” Lent 2014 024

Contemplation

As I get my fingers dirty in this world of motherhood, I start rethinking about what my priorities are. It seems like when I was single, life was so fast and nothing that I wanted to do could be stopped. Now everything that I wanted to do has stopped and focused on a little tiny person that has changed my life completely. I do not mind this change of heart. It makes me realize that all my plans that were made previous were not as important as this commitment called motherhood. Even if I do work on 4 hours of sleep and have a meltdown when I realize there is no more coffee in the house. I have not been thankful lately. I have been taking for granted everything that has been given to me. Thank God for His endless mercy. Without it I would have perished a long time ago.

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