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.