Friday, July 17, 2015

Ordinary Days


It really needs to stop raining!  I love a good summer thunderstorm, sometimes those days where it is rainy and cloudy are welcomed here, but our backyard has been a swamp all summer long (the mosquito's are wicked awful) and although the rain makes for green grass and beautiful flowers, it hasn't really felt like summer at all.  And the poor farmer's fields all around us-I feel funny complaining about it when their livelihood depends on this rain stopping!

(photo credit to my Matthew)

School supplies are in the stores, and although it made me feel ill (really it did) and I had to replenish a few things, and I just love when crayons and markers are under $1.  I can't resist.

We make these every week.  Matt has taken over the responsibility.

This plant was lush and thriving at one time, but obviously the attack of the Sahara, Woodland, and Desert animals all at once left it quite diminished.

We enjoyed our family reunion earlier this month.  



My grandparents lived here as long as I knew them, and raised nine children (the oldest is my mother.) 

These are many of the great-grandchildren on their front porch (which has thankfully stayed in the family).  I think there are 58 and two on the way now, from the forty-four grandchildren those nine children had.

I have been contemplating so much since the reunion. Mainly sentimental thoughts, along the line of how things change so quickly, how the culture unknowingly can push and pull us along.  Change is inevitable I know, but I wonder if in our busy daily life here in 2015 we can recognize the cost of not resisting some of it.  I think of my grandmother raising nine kids, my mom remembers some really tight times, and what "tight times" meant back then and what it means now and how different those two are, and how we don't really want to admit that.  I am thinking of the value placed on material goods, versus relationships, or family life, and how that effects the choices we make.  I had a conversation with a friend about how busy parenting just a few kids is now-if we let it be, and we have let it be, can we always choose otherwise?   Half of it self-inflicted, some of it there is no getting around, it is what it is, we conform.  

I came to no profound conclusions or even a peace about it all, but I know that my life is rich because of this family, because tremendous value is placed on family life, and the love and care of children.  I am so grateful-for my unchanging Catholic faith that I was born and formed with, and I treasure it and respect it deeply.

I do know that family is the backbone of society, and if we don't treasure it and respect it also, and support and sacrifice for it, there is nothing that can take its place and the first to suffer is the weak, the innocent, and the dependent (all those little faces above).

Once strong family life disappears, I can't see it coming back, because brokenness has a way of repeating itself in generation after generation-there will be no structure for support, and that structure needs sufficient strength-the strength that comes from strong sure values based in faith, based in strong close loving marriages, based in aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents supporting and teaching and guiding and loving. That strength needs to be unwavering among the times and trends that come and go.  There is no replacement for family, history has proved it, our present times are proving it now.

When families are strong, they help not only the weak and struggling and sick and hurting in their own families, because this is life-we are all going to be those things at some time in our lives, and will need the mending and consoling and building back up offered to us-they also have the time and resources to spend it on service to others. That is what I see as a core underlying current in this family I am proud to call my own-service to our spouse, our children, each other but also service to country, service to community, service in day to day life.

I give thanks to my grandparents for that, and my parents in turn and take seriously passing on this legacy to my children.  I try to remember to pray daily for the strength to do so.


18 comments :

  1. The power of a God fearing mother and father and their love for their children is what carries society. Like you, I'm so grateful for those who came before me and led the way. Great post!

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  2. Sarah, I can't tell you how happy I am to see you blogging again - and for allowing us to leave comments. Your sentiments ring true in my heart. I come from a big, loving family and my children love being a part of it. If given the choice, they would choose being with their aunt/uncles and cousins before friends. I feel so blessed to be a part of my family. Thanks again for blogging!!

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  3. What a beautiful family. I'm sure you all enjoy those reunions. I wish my large family had had regular reunions thru the years, I miss my cousins.

    And, tell Matthew that is a great picture he took. I love those raindrops.

    And, as Susan said, I am glad you are blogging again. Even though my kids are grown, I still find inspiration from your posts and sometimes share them with the younger generation.

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  4. Sarah, I am a long time reader.
    So happy to see you here. : )
    I share your love of our common vocation...mothering, and am always inspired by your devotion to your family.
    Have a cozy weekend!

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  5. As today is my 28th anniversary, I echo strongly your words in support of the family. I am also concerned about the future for the children of the world, those who need strong families the most. I'm grateful to find other good women who value good families as much as I do. Thank you for your thoughtful words.

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  6. Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your thoughts.

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  7. I just have to tell you how much i love your blog. I keep a little notebook full of inspiring, thought provoking quotes and so many of them come from you! I wish we were neighbors. :-)

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  8. Beautifully said. Family is so important.

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  9. Your chocolate chip cookies are the best!
    You're so right about family too!

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  10. I'm a mom of 3 young children and I stay at home with them. We make sacrifices everyday for me to do so. I cannot thank you enough for blogging again and being a voice for family and "old fashioned" parenting. So often I feel alone in our families quest to keep life simple and focused on the family. Amidst the cultural "pull" to get dragged along in - I often feel sort of left out. Thank you for your words and this community that has formed to let me realize there are many of us out there!

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  11. Sarah, from the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for blogging again. I often find myself going down that rabbit hole of reading blogs or websites that leave me feeling inadequate. It is such a reoccurring theme that buying more stuff and having a fuller calendar will bring happiness. I know the opposite is true and it is such a blessing to come here and read your words. Please keep sharing your heart with us!

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  12. Thank you...it's so refreshing to hear women such as yourself in support of strong families and how important it is to our society. Thank you.

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  13. Thank you for sharing your words. I am so inspired by them. I always feel like cheering from my chair as I read, and then get up ready to live better and find more joy in my opportunity right now to build a family.

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  14. Sarah, I applaud your honesty in this post. I am cheering here, from by bed as I recover from one of the hardest things I've ever done (the clinical trial for cancer research). As hard as that 24-day hospital stay was, it did not compare to losing our first baby when I was 24-weeks pregnant w/our first child. Because of the Catholic faith that was passed on to me by my parents and grandparents, I was able to draw on the Truths I was taught, and not slip into despair as I struggled to survive each of these life-changing events (one occurred 1993; the other just recently). We have been given a tremendous gift in our faith. When my story is written I hope to describe all the ways the Communion of Saints, the sacraments, the sacramentals (crucifix, oil of the sick, etc.) helped me in ways big and small to survive and thrive. Keep sharing your perpective--you are shining a light in a world that so desperately needs it.

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  15. What an amazing family and clearly their legacy lives on. Such an important message you share about the family.

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  16. I completely agree with you in regards to family. My husband and I are raising five children and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't want to hug myself and think how lucky we are! I love being a Mom and parenting is a great joy in my life. Sure there are hard days but there are so many rewards. Your views on family and parenting are just one of the many reasons that I enjoy reading your blog. It's a refreshing place to come in a world that always seems to miss the mark when it comes to families.

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  17. I love every time you blog! This is beautiful.

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  18. So happy to be reading your inspiring words again Sarah. I'm gonna make those cookies tomorrow. We make chocolate chip cookies weekly around here too :)

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