Life. Love. Family. Our Perfect Imperfection. Living life as a Catholic, homeschooling family with three amazing, unique boys, a too-oft serious, frustrated and anxious but also loving momma, and a fun-loving, hardworking dad.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lenten photo challenge

You may remember that I'm participating in a Lenten photo challenge. I figured I would share here for my less computer-savvy readers that may not get to enjoy my pictures on instagram, facebook or twitter but will come read the blog. (Hey, Mom!!) I will try to remember to share my pictures and thoughts once a week on here. Not only is it nice to share, but it really got me contemplating more too.

Day 1: Cross
This first picture is of a Crucifix I bought
when we lived in Ohio. A family was visiting
that was selling these beautiful hand-made
items and I fell in love with this. It's made
from olive wood. I chose this for the first day
as it's actually only on of two crosses we have
in our home. The other is a small pewter cross
that E received as a gift in celebration of his
First Communion 2 years ago. I'm sure we
have many small crosses somewhere, on the
many Rosaries we have but those are the only
"separate" crosses/crucifixes that we have.
Now that I'm thinking about it, it makes me
somewhat sad. On either side sit Angels, both bells, both gifts. They remind me of my Guardian Angel who is with Jesus!

Day 2: To Pray With
The second day we were to take a picture of something we can pray with. While I don't use it often enough, and I don't pray the Rosary nearly enough, I do carry this is my purse, along with a second one. This was a gift, and as horrible as this will sound, for the life of me, I can't recall from whom I received it! :( It is beautiful though and smells faintly of roses. The Rosary is a beautiful prayer, not to Mary but about Jesus, to Jesus, through Mary. The scriptural Rosary is a very powerful prayer, that helps you contemplate her life, Jesus' life and death, and brings you closer to God. I'm not sure why I don't pray it more, other than the fact that I just don't find time in my day to do it.

Day 3: Peace

Peace. What brings peace more than sleep? Ah, the sight of a sleeping baby. ;) This picture makes me smile, mainly because for a long time (and I very much treasure those moments!) Jackson wouldn't sleep anywhere but on my chest. Lately he's been sleeping in the crib at naptime most days, and at night for the first several hours and then co-sleeping in our bed after he wakes for that first night-time feed. Yes, he's still nursing during the night, at 13 1/2 months old. LOL. In fact, as I write this, he's napping very peacefully in our room and I am taking full advantage ;)

Day 4: Love
Love is many-splendored thing. Or something like that. It is unconditional in it's true form. This picture is of an image on a decorative plate that I found at a thrift store a few years ago. It has the Last Supper image in the center, and several images around the outer edge. It hangs in our dining room currently. This particular image, as I shared on instagram, reminds me of a mother's love for her child, the love Mary had for Jesus and the perfect Love God has for us. It is also a reminder of the love our children have for us. Jesus loves us even when we screw up, even when we sin. He knows we are not perfect, that we are "only human", after all God the Father made us this way, in His image, but not perfect or all-knowing. Yet He forgives us and loves us and encourages us to do better and "sin no more" even though tomorrow we will, and can only hope to try to do better.

Day 5: Light

I was trying to get a picture of the sanctuary lamp but as I was trying to take it, I decided it was easier to get the Tabernacle as well. It's truly fitting though, because He is in there, in the form of the Eucharist and He is the the Light of the World. The picture is blurry because I was holding a very squirmy 1 year old after Mass! Still, I think it conveys the message.

Day 6: Happiness
Happiness is bath time... (with daddy!) I only add the "with daddy" part because a.) I always just take over with the baby duties, i.e. feeding, bathing, etc, so it's a rare thing daddy gets the opportunity to do this, and last night, he just took over. LOL. He didn't even give me the chance to do it. b.) It was truly a happy moment for Jack, as he thought it was so neat that daddy was giving him a bath and was playing and giving him a mohawk with the shampoo. I love seeing my boys spending time with their dad. It really makes my day :)

Day 7: Fruit
Fruit given to us from the Earth, by God. A small harvest, truly: bananas, red grapes, strawberries, avocados, blueberries, pears, clementines, apple slices, and a mango! It's a true blessing. But what other "fruit" are we given? We will be known the fruits of our labor, our good works. This got me thinking. What fruit do I bear? Good will towards others? Surely not enough. Kindness? Nope. I argue with Jason and yell at the boys. Almsgiving? Not really, since it seems we never have anything to give. Service? The only place I volunteer is at school once in a while. Praying for others? On occasion, if I really remember to, though people I care about are always on my mind and I guess I do say a quick little prayer for them if something is going on. I'm truly grateful for all the "fruits" we have been given, the blessing from God - good, healthy food; Jason's job and paychecks; two vehicles that are safe and reliable; 3 amazing sons; all the extras that make life a little more fun; my sons' school and teachers; friends and family. But how do I give back, spread the blessings, bless others, share God's love? What can I start to do? What can I change? Food for thought...