Saturday, 30 July 2011

No one does accidents quite like Richard Scarry does...

Quite an unexpectedly eventful day today. A few little mishaps along the way, but all ended ok, thank God. It started out as a mundane Saturday trip into town. The whole family went in to pootle round the market and round up school supplies for Roo.

On the way home though, it became apparent I had left my phone behind me somewhere. (Quel surprise, Rodney.) And on the way to retrieve it, the car stopped dead right on the busiest roundabout in the city. Lee put his back out trying to push the car single-handedly somewhere less accident-inducing. The car door handle broke as he tried to get back into the car. And then the rest of us sat stranded with me praying we wouldn’t be the cause of a Richard Scarry-worthy pile up while Lee set off looking for a petrol station. (Yes.... I know.) That led to a few hairy moments marvelling at how there aren't more accidents on the road, the way people drive. I think Guardian angels must be so busy just keeping people safe in their cars every day.

Anyway, thanks to Lee, we got moving again. Drama over. No harm done. And now I'd like to mention the highlights of today. The bits God drops in to help you through difficult times:

The thoughtful honest man who handed my phone in and the nice man in the car park who thought to phone Lee to tell me he had it.

The lovely people who stopped in a risky spot to see if we were alright or ‘to offer us a lift’ as Poonch put it.

The three little boys in the back as good as gold despite being variously in need of the toilet, a drink or a nap.

Roo suggesting we ‘ask God to help us’ and the relief saying a prayer out loud brought.

Offers of hugs from Poonch and Roo when I got a little broken-voiced from experiencing the kindness of strangers.

The little sparkle in Roo’s eyes when he saw himself in the mirror with his uniform on for the first time ever.

Watching Uncle Bee playing with the lads and their interaction (particularly little 11 month old Toot) with him.

I will probably never get the chance to thank the people that helped just by offering to help. But I would like to ask for a little prayer for them tonight. I hope they receive many blessings for the care they showed to us. Thank you.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Ever wondered why you wake at night?

Of course, sometimes there is a clear reason! For instance, when I wake up in the middle of the night, it's usually because one of the lads has woken me. But other than crying babies, do you ever wake up at night, seemingly for no reason? This morning I read one possible explanation, which I'll tell you about in a minute.
When one of the children is awake, it can lead to quite a long period of enforced wakefulness for me, back and forth until they nod off again. Praying during such a time helps to make it seem less frustrating and even useful. Certainly, I don't get much time or quiet to pray during the day.

I do try. Lately, I have started to say the Divine Mercy Chaplet with the lads at bedtime. As they are so young, I thought it would be easier to hold their attention than the rosary, although I might try to alternate it with one decade of the rosary every second night.

Not surprisingly, the thing they most enjoy seems to be counting the prayers off on the beads. So I have decided to get them their own beads. What a great excuse to buy some of these great Lego rosaries from Memento Moose's etsy page. Aren't they great? My boys are eagerly awaiting them in the post.

In contrast to the rainbow beads: handy for when you're in the jungle and don't want to stand out

And the reason for insomnia? Maybe someone needs your prayers urgently! Here's the extract from St Faustina's Diary that I read today:

"809 During the night, I was suddenly awakened and knew that some soul was asking me for prayer, and that it was in much need of prayer. Briefly, but with all my soul, I asked the Lord for grace for her.

810 The following afternoon, when I entered the ward, I saw someone dying, and learned that the agony had started during the night. When I verified it-it had been at the time when I had been asked for prayer. And just then, I heard a voice in my soul: Say the chaplet which I taught you. I ran to fetch my rosary and knelt down by the dying person and, with all the ardour of my soul, I began to say the chaplet. Suddenly the dying person opened her eyes and looked at me; I had not managed to finish the entire chaplet when she died, with extraordinary peace. I fervently asked the Lord to fulfill the promise He had given me for the recitation of the chaplet. The Lord gave me to know that the soul had been granted the grace He had promised me. That was the first soul to receive the benefit of the Lord's promise. I could feel the power of mercy envelop that soul.

811 When I entered my solitude, I heard these words: At the hour of their death, I defend as My own glory every soul that will say this chaplet; or when others say it for a dying person, the indulgence is the same. When this chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person, God's anger is placated, unfathomable mercy envelops the soul, and the very depths of My tender mercy are moved for the sake of the sorrowful Passion of My Son.

Oh, if only everyone realized how great the Lord's mercy is and how much we all need that mercy, especially at that crucial hour!"

If you're not familiar with it, you can find the Chaplet and how to say it here.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Tall Ships, big dogs and small ones too

Continuing our whistle-stop tour of Southern Ireland, we arrived in Cappoquin to spend a night in Richmond House, somewhere we remembered fondly from our pre-sprog days. The house is as lovely as we found it before and our family room was memorable for the fact that Roo and Poonch slept peacefully and harmoniously together in the same bed. (Another memory is that of Poonch sitting regally in his potty surveying the carpark below from his lofty perch on the expansive bathroom windowsill.) A visit to Granny Daddy and her gift of a pair of cuddly plush puppies helped to tire them out, although we've had so much going these last few days that they have a cumulative tiredness at this stage.

Pictured above is by far the friendliest member of staff that we met at Richmond House. Make of that what you will. The lads were very taken with this big old bear of a dog: cuddly and quiet. And so was I.

The following morning, we drove off to Waterford to what turned into a glorious Summer's day to see the Tall Ships, or should that be, to queue up for various food items at numerous market stalls. The city was absolutely packed and we strolled around with the older lads in and out of the buggy and the Little Toot in the sling. In hindsight, we would all get much more out of it when we are able to climb on board the actual Tall Ships in a few years' time, please God. One of the more memorable things was a Sea Shanty group from Exmouth who wandered around singing a most stirring song.

Despite the fact that the lads are generally very well-behaved (do you think I would be biased, now really?), there has been the odd occasion when I haven't felt entirely, shall we say, loved by certain people we have come across on this holiday. They seem to have a pre-formed negative attitude towards children, even before they have crossed the restaurant or hotel threshold. Curiously enough, in some of these places we have been pretty much the only customers. I would have thought that in the country's current dire economic state that any customer at all would be treated like a long lost friend.