Weekend Ponderings…

simeon-and-annaIn the coming year, I’d like to spend more time reflecting on the Scriptures through the lens of extraordinary motherhood.

Throughout the Gospels, we encounter figures who are largely hidden, taking center stage for the briefest moments before returning to the shadows. Their reward, you see, was not an earthly one … any more than ours is. And yet, there is much we can learn from them if we only have “ears to hear.”

And so, on this the last weekend of the year, I introduce you to one of the EMs of the Gospel: Anna the Prophetess. From this weekend’s readings, taken from the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke:

There was also a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

According to tradition (as recorded in the “Protoevangelium of James” par 7), Joachim and Anne (called “Anna” in this account) took their precious daughter Mary to the Temple at the tender age of three. There she remained, learning to serve God with purity of heart until she was twelve, when her protector Joseph was selected.

In today’s Gospel, we read of Anna — a widow who remained in the Temple after being widowed as a young bride.  When she saw Mary enter with her Son and husband, Anna was irresistibly drawn to the Holy Family. Was it simply the guidance of the Holy Spirit … Or was it something else?

Could it be that, as a young widow, Anna had tended to young Mary in the Temple, as her own spiritual daughter? Did she teach her to pray, and guide the delicate Rose of Sharon to attain full bloom? Was she for Mary … an extraordinary mother? And was it this attachment … that caused Anna to see with the eyes of faith the special calling God had given not only this beautiful young woman, but her Son as well?

Might Mom … Wednesday: Merry Christmas!

A mother’s letter to Santa  (from Sarah … A.K.A. “Mighty Mom”)


Dear Santa,
I’ve been a good mom all year. I’ve fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor’s office more than my doctor, and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground.
I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son’s red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I’ll find any more free time in the next 18 years.
Here are my Christmas wishes:
I’d like a pair of legs that don’t ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have), and arms that don’t hurt or flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.
I’d also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.
If you’re hauling big ticket items this year, I’d like fingerprint-resistant windows, and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn’t broadcast any programs containing talking animals, and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.
 
On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, “Yes, Mommy!” to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don’t fight, and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.
I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting, “Don’t eat in the living room,” and “Take your hands off your brother,” because my voice seems to be just out of my children’s hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.
If it’s too late to find any of these products, I’d settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a styrofoam container.
Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would also be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.
 
Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don’t catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table, but don’t eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.
Yours Always,
MOM…
P.S. One more thing…you can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.

Mighty Mom Monday: Giving Thanks…

Sugars (21 months)Gator Boy (3-1/2)Sonshine (5)
Mighty Mom is back, feeling very thankful … As we enter the

Advent season, let’s join her in a moment of giving thanks.

(I’m especially thankful that the holiday weekend is over and

the kids are back in school!)

Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look

around once in awhile, you could miss it.”

So, what has Mightymom been doing for the last two weeks while

she wasn’t writing Mighty Mom Monday posts?

Cue the music! Sing along with me folks, the tune is

“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”…

There was retching and puking and cleaning the carpets.
washing the sheets and changing the diapers…
But the best of all …. are the blessings that I can recall!

(Ba dum dum dum)

Sick kids are very snuggly
Even those who usually aren’t
Husbands are very handy
Renting carpet cleaners fast.

Bath time is lots of fun
even several times a day
it makes you smell so yummy
and washes all the sicks away.

Then there’s one more very big… Blessing I must share
I would up and go to work… Leaving hubby there (he’s the best)!

Now all the kids are better
Eating all the food they can
Running around like banshees
Playing hard and chasing cats!

Yup, life moves pretty fast, remember to stop and count your blessings

during this busy season, folks.

Photo credit: Church Candles Online; also photos from Mighty Mom!

Mighty Mom Mondays: Lessons Grandma Taught Me

As is our custom here at EMN, Sarah has chimed in with her weekly post of wisdom and took this month’s EMN Carnival on extraordinary moms to a whole new level! To catch more of Mighty Mom, go to her blog “My Wonderful Life.” Thank you, Sarah!!!

 

My Grandma taught me …

To speak softly and carry a big jar of cookies.

The amount of time it takes to put on a pair of knee-highs and keds is exactly equal to the amount of time it takes to start a conversation that’ll last all day.

There is never any reason to be jealous, for you will always have a special place in the heart of someone who loves you, a place that no one else can ever take.

Homemade pickles taste better.

The best beginning to any sentence is “Say, how’s so and so doing (or such and such going) these days?”

How to handle walking in on two kids (my brother and cousin) after they’ve used the wheel of your stationary bike to grind an entire package of cheetos into a big pile of dust…on your white carpet….”Well, you’ve been having fun!”

Talking about your hurts doesn’t make them go away, but focusing on your happys will make the hurts smaller.

Rolls can be bought frozen ….but cookies must be made from scratch.

Every morning when you wake up, you decide if you’re going to have a good day.

Make each child feel as if he or she is your favorite. (This from a woman with 5 kids and 11 grandkids.) 

Putting a lit match behind your teeth only makes you look like a jack-o-lantern if you have a really big smile (she did).

You can get glad in the same shoes you got mad in.

Spraying perfume on your grandchildren’s homemade yarn flowers makes them “just like real.”

Life is a grindstone, and whether it grinds you up or polishes you up depends on what you’re made of.

Lorraine Hartsook: An Extraordinary Mom

Lorraine Hartsook is an extraordinary woman by any measure — adoptive mother, recording artist, speaker, and grandmother-to-be. She has a voice like Patsy Cline … and a heart for hurting souls.

I met Lorraine at a meeting of Catholic authors and speakers hosted by Stan Williams last spring, and was immediately struck by her compassion for and desire to serve women who feel “stuck” in the past and who need to experience the love of Jesus.

Today I’d like to share one of Lorraine’s songs with you: Lorraine Hartsook – Bring That Child to Me, from her album “Embrace the Cross.”

You can order the album ($15) through Lorraine’s website, or directly through EMN.  If you order it through me (just drop me an e-mail if you’re interested), all proceeds go directly to support EMN.

Mother’s Helper: Guest Post by Allie O. Williams


“Look what we found!” exclaimed our son, Rob. As the oldest & tallest he was the default spokesman, thrusting a muddy mitt in my face, his fist clutching a clay encrusted hunk of plastic. “It’s Mary and I found it,” cried our littlest neighbor Maggie firmly asserting her role. “But it was in our yard,” hollered our daughter, Elizabeth.

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