Friday, June 27, 2014

The Feast of the Sacred Heart

When we were planning our wedding, June seemed like a reasonable month to get married. We were leaving campus as FOCUS missionaries in May, so we figured that would give us a month to get settled and do some last minute wedding planning. I remember going to mass and then going to McDonalds for one of our regular breakfast dates. We sat down with the calendar and then pulled up the liturgical calendar online. Nathan attributes most of his conversion back to the Catholic faith to Mother Mary, so naturally he picked June 20 that year which was the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It was on a Saturday and we thought it would be great to dedicate our marriage to Mother Mary. So we called the Church-yes they were free that Saturday. We called the reception hall-no they were not free that Saturday but could do Friday. Friday? Did anyone get married on Friday? We thought about it and then looked up the feast day for that date, June 19th. It was (duh) the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We rolled our eyes as we said of course Mary would never want to steal the show from her son and we felt her pushing us towards His Feast day instead of Hers.

So we went for it. It was all practical at that point-cheaper everything because of a Friday wedding. We did have one freak out when we realized the Feast of the Sacred Heart was not only a Feast Day but a Solemnity, which meant we weren't sure if we could use our wedding readings or if they had to be the ones assigned to that day. Turns out you can get married on a Solemnity and you can have your own readings-yeah! So June 19th came and it was special to celebrate our marriage on the Feast of the Sacred Heart. As the wedding day went on I noticed how many images and statues of the Sacred Heart were around our parish.

Can you see his statue-in the right corner? 

I knew little to nothing about the Feast Day but it was nice to have the image of the sacred heart and the immaculate heart as a symbol to represent our marriage. And I'd say at that point, that's all it was, a symbol. I didn't understand it but I liked the idea of a heart being so passionate with love that it was on fire. I also loved the roses on Mary's Immaculate Heart. What I failed to see on both were the thorns and sword, something that is also part of marriage-suffering.

When we moved into our home a year later we felt called to put an image of the Sacred Heart up in our home. We read up on the tradition of Enthronement to the Sacred Heart and we knew it was something we wanted,

The enthronement will restore the family to Christ because the family is putting Our Lord and His interest first. In return the Sacred Heart takes over the interests of the family. Our Lord Himself has promised that He will bless and sanctify those families who enthrone Him as King. He asked St. Margaret Mary, to whom He revealed His Sacred Heart, that He be allowed to reign over the homes of the rich and the poor; that He be solemnly received as King and Friend and that His Sacred Heart be honored and loved. Consider Our Lord's beautiful promises carefully and then full of trust and confidence, sincerely and devoutly follow step by step the Enthronement Ceremony.

So we bought a statue and invited some friends and family over with our priest friend and had a big party to celebrate along with the beautiful prayer that goes along with the enthronement. Whenever someone walks into our home this is the first thing they see:

Over our 5 years of marriage I can see how and why God had us marry on this Solemnity. The love, the suffering, all of it together just makes sense. I love the Feast of the Sacred Heart and the way it shows us how much Jesus understands us. How His heart burns with love for us but is also suffering because of sin. I love that the Feast Day is followed by Mary's Immaculate Heart, also filled with love but suffering as well. 

I still don't have all the words to explain why this Feast is so important to us, but it just is. I love belonging to a Church that acts as a good mother. She knows her children and what they each need. We needed this Feast Day and we needed it to help shape our marriage. Every time I see that statue in my home I am reminded that I vowed to not only love Nathan, but to suffer with him and for him as well. 

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy on Us. Most Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary-Pray for us!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

10 Things I now know

Since our 5th wedding anniversary is tomorrow, I thought I would do a post about a few things that I now know about Nathan that I didn't 5 years ago. Here it goes (and in no particular order):

1. I married the Muffin Man. He loves muffins. When we got married he brought with him his regular 12 count muffin pan and also his 6 count jumbo muffin pan. Since then we have gotten a mini muffin pan as well. He could eat muffins all day, every day. I married the muffin man.

2. He loves packets. It's interesting being married because you start to understand how the other person learns things. Not only are we married, but we also do ministry together. And something I learned early on is- he loves making packets for any sort of event. I'm guessing its because it helps him understand and learn better? Whatever the reason, he loves packets. And since we have been married we have gone through 3 printers in an effort to find the perfect copy for the perfect packet.

3. He's driven. When we got married neither one of us had jobs because we had just left FOCUS. I knew he would provide, but I didn't know how or how much. I watched this man deliver phone books, dog sit, and wait tables all in an effort to provide. Once he landed his actual 9-5 job, it didn't stop there. Within 2 years of working he was already looking into going back to school for his Masters Degree. Right now he is set to graduate with his Masters in another year. He is driven and he's constantly looking toward the best way to provide for our family.

4. He's an introvert, no really more like a Hobbit. In the movie, The Hobbit, Bilbo mentions how much he misses his books, arm chair, and garden. All three are quite possibly my husband's 3 favorite things. He would much prefer to stay at home with his books, arm chair, and garden than go anywhere. We have learned to adjust and I've found its actually a good balance to my crazy social personality. And the plus side-our garden is great! I would never have put as much time and energy into it as he has!

5. He's strong. After our son died, Nathan held everything together. He paid the bills, tended to the house and yard, worked full time, did the shopping, cooked the meals. He did it all when I couldn't do any of it. Not only was he strong, but he never hung it over my head or expected me to "get with it." He just kept being the strong one and taking care of everything. I will forever be indebted to him for the care he gave me during that hard time.

6. He's a visionary. I knew this a little before we got married, but have come to see it fully now after 5 years. He is a dreamer and is always thinking things up. The area that I can help with is actually making those dreams happen. Yup, we make a good team!

7. If he's angry or upset, let him be. See, when I'm angry or upset, I need to talk about it, usually to at least 3 people. But I've learned how different my husband is. Often when he is upset or in a bad mood, I've learned not to even ask why, just plan something on my own in order for him to have alone time. Usually anywhere from 24-48 hours later is when he will finally come tell me whats been bothering him. It took me a long time to get used to this, but I'd like to think I have it down by now. Give him time, and eventually he'll talk.

8. He's a crazy sleeper when it comes to dreams. Did you know that the "normal" person's body is temporarily paralyzed during nightmares so that you DO NOT act them out? My husband's body does not paralyze him and therefore he often acts out or plays into his nightmares. Typically they are always about him trying to save me from some terrible thing- live wires, snakes, fires, spiders, you get the idea. He even carried me once when I was 6 months pregnant out to our front porch because he thought I was "on fire" and was trying to rescue me. I've learned a few things from this: 1-I can't take him seriously when he wakes me up in the middle of the night. 2-If you keep asking him questions (what kind of snakes, how many, are they biting?) he will usually snap out of it within a minute. 3-We can never co sleep with any of our future children=not safe! 

9.  His idea of "vacation" and mine are completely different! We learned this on our honeymoon when I was up and ready by 8 a.m. and he was no where near ready to move. His idea of the best vacation is one in which you do nothing but lay around and read books. I had always grown up thinking vacations were about doing and seeing the local things! We have a good compromise now, but its taken a while!

10. And last but not least, he's a great dad. Alright, maybe I guessed that or hoped for that before we married, but getting to see it lived out is awesome. He's the best!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Answer Me This

1. Do you have a land line?
No, but we have talked about getting one. I think when Abigail gets old enough to be able to call 911 should something happen, it would be a good idea. Also, I can never find my cell phone so getting a land line would be nice as a safety back up when the cell phones are lost!

2. What is your least favorite food?
Chicken Salad...

Or Potato salad, both make me run the other way! I think its because I don't like mayonnaise, which both dishes contain. I can't even fake like I like these, I always just deny them, which is rude, but I can't do it!

3. What's on your summer reading list?

The Giver. I had no idea there were like 5 books in this series. I've finished the first two and am waiting for the third to open up form the library. More and more Im getting my books from the library but on my Kindle. I love being able to "borrow" books for free form the library and read them on my kindle!

4. Is there something that people consistently ask for your advice on? What is it?

Pregnancy Loss. And its because after losing our first son to stillbirth I sort of set myself up for it because of how open I was with our story. Im happy to do it and feel called by God to this ministry, but sometimes its hard to be the first one someone calls to tell about the sad story.

5. What's the most physically demanding thing you've ever done?

Raft and Hike out of the Grand Canyon.

I was 22 at the time and it was a 4 day rafting trip down the Colorado River through the Canyon. Each day we would wake up at dawn, raft all day through rapids, then set up camp for the night. I'm NOT an outdoors person, so the whole trip I was out of my element. The final morning we all got dropped off at the BOTTOM of the canyon and had to hike 10 miles to the top (I think it was 10, not sure, felt like a 100). It took close to 8 hours and by the end I was in tears because I was so exhausted. I ended up falling down the huge flight of stairs at the visitor center, which made me more emotional. The only thing that would console me (remember I was 22, not 2) was my mom telling me to get in the car so we could go to McDonalds. We all ordered the double quarter pounder meals and they have never tasted so good. I have not been back since and don't plan to.

6. How do you feel about massages?

Used to think they were weird, until I had my first one! Then I fell in love with them. I've only ever had two professional ones, but they are the best! I just wish you could take a nap afterwards when you are all relaxed and under the warm covers!

Thanks to Kendra for the link up. Head over to Catholic All Year to join up!