Alaska Calling

“ A girl like you should see the mountains” – those were the words he said to me while on our long telephone conversation .

You see we had just starting dating ,after our chance meeting at Ohare airport but we were separated by distance for the next several months until graduation. He was doing a sub internship in Alaska and I remained at my school in St Louis.

Not withstanding our busy schedules and the time zone differences, we made time for our evening long distance phone calls. This was before the days of cellular phones popularity , and he had let me borrow his bright green telephone with the longest rippled cords I had ever seen . The long cord allowed me flexibility to be able to walk around my townhouse while we chatted the night away.

We conversed about any and everything! This is one of the beauties of a new relationship. Each conversation is magical and everything is so brand new and intriguing. It’s a wonder we both were able to keep up with our personal daily obligations!

It was also during the Lenten season and as Catholics, it is commonplace to choose “ a Lenten obligation “- that year I decided on the challenge to say my rosary nightly. This was a complicated by my more natural inclination and enthusiasm to converse with my favorite human nightly .

I had shared my Lenten quest with him , and he decided he’d join me in praying the rosary nightly. I didn’t quite expect this , although I wholeheartedly welcomed his offer to join my nightly prayers.

Praying the rosary (a beautiful meditative prayer by the way, typically takes about twenty mins and is filled with many spiritual rewards . Most nights , we started strong and finished together.

However, there were also nights that my tired self was lured to sleep with the repetitious prayers, only to be awakened by the louder voice on the other end, announcing that “ we “ were done praying the rosary and it was indeed bedtime. You mean, you just let me “ finish “ the rosary and hopefully getting some credit for keeping “my” Lenten obligation for the day, all while catching some zzzs?.. wow! thank you!

I was starting to fall more and more in love with him!.

On a recent trip out west, I was exploring the google maps of the states as we drove our now family of six across many state lines. I remarked at just how far across the world Alaska seemed on the map. You see, incidentally I did take him up on his invitation for me to see the mountains of Alaska – over a weekend!

The truth is that I had Nooo idea that I had just agreed to travel almost half way around the world just for a weekend🤨

He was living and working in a remote part of Alaska , which also meant that he had to drive 8 hrs just to come pick me up from the Anchorage airport . Our reunion and time together was magical albeit too short , but totally worth it . We whale watched, hiked, listened to music, saw more wild life such as mountain goats , visited ski slopes and cliffs, dined and it all was pure bliss!

We packed a lot into barley 48hrs together and my only wish was that I could have seen the heavenly magical dance of the Aurora borealis too.

Almost 20 yrs later , and with our growing family, I would still make this “ crazy” decision to travel across the world to see mountains with you because you’re right … “ a girl like me should see the mountains…with you♥️

What “ crazy” gestures have you made for love – both young and old love?

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by clicking the follow icon, so you can get notifications on future blog posts and not miss out !💕

Where does YOUR heart need to BURN with LOVE?

I encountered these words during my morning meditation and prayers on the Hallow App today, and I must say it kinda burned!

These inquisitive words were invasive, as if searching for my own vulnerabilities. The inquiry also appeared to imply that this would not be an easy process, I mean BURNS tend to hurt right?

So I wasn’t sure I especially loved the inquiry, however I valued and welcomed the challenge to at least explore further …

You see, I also don’t particularly love roller coaster rides simply because it requires relinquishing ALL my control and trusting . Trusting that the mechanics of this piece of giant metal that promises thrill and excitement will also land me SAFELY on solid ground.

I still DO get on rollercoaster rides from time to time with my family , and I am always glad I did, once the ride IS over lol.

I value that I challenged my fears and insecurities and allowed myself to become vulnerable and therefore more free.

This is what this chance encounter with these words is doing to my heart.

It is like the invitation of a shiny rollercoaster inviting me to take a chance, take a leap into the most vulnerable parts of my heart and explore.

Where does my heart need to BURN with LOVE?

I don’t know about you but I could find at least a few places where this needs to happen in order to cultivate a more enriched soil for my soul’s growth.

How about you my dear reader , Where does YOUR heart need to BURN with LOVE?

Is it in forgiveness? AND forgetting ( A work in progress for me)

Is it in generosity and charity?

Is it in kindness?

Is it in patience?

Is it in alms giving?

Is it in impulsivity and self control ?

Is it in courage to find and USE the gifts we are given?

The list can go on and on…

Ultimately, I am grateful for this chance provocative thought and welcome the challenge of where the exploration takes me.

Much like those thrilling rollercoaster rides with the kids and DH* , I look forward to conquering my fears , landing safely AND looking back to be glad I challenged myself.

I DID THAT! Thank you Disney’ s Everest or Six Flags’ Mr Freeze 😏😅

I hope you too choose to get on your own version of your rollercoaster and be triumphant in conquering vulnerabilities!

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by clicking the follow icon, so you can get notifications on future blog posts and not miss out !💕

*DH ( Darling husband)

Mother Of Multiplies ( M.O.M)

I have belonged to a Facebook group of Physician Mother of Multiples for many years . On this platform women physicians swap helpful advice with each other, related to raising multiples – twins, triplets, quadruplets etc etc

We share advice on a variety of topics ranging breastfeeding advice to dilemmas about having twins graduating from different colleges on same weekend… how do parents manage the need to clone themselves in two different states?🤔🤔

On this platform and others alike , I have made new friends and reconnected with old friends as we navigate being working mothers of multiples( M. O.M)

In general, I have always felt blessed to share space with mothers of ALL types, whose wisdom are pearls and our common experiences , reassuring and comforting.

Mothering is a BIG task that can leave us at times questioning our abilities. Therefore any time one gets reassurance that they are not alone in whatever struggle/ challenge/puzzles OR even Joy equals a good thing!

Thirteen years ago today, my DH * and I joined this beautiful club of Parents of Twin Boys, ( with our 17 month old daughter who already blessed us with our original Parent title status !)

Life WAS busy AND beautiful!

I vividly recall my LONG twin pregnancy complete with a medically indicated bed rest beginning at 19.4 wks EGA which “ interrupted “ my residency training program at the time . My family supported me in more ways than I can even enumerate! Thank you 🙏🏾

My SIL helped nanny our 17 month daughter, while helping me stay off my feet. My mother came into town and supervised that I was eating enough calories to gain appropriate weight for the twins , Incase I go into preterm labor and they “ come early”.

My DH was my ROCK- relying on him literally for both physical and emotional support when I was weakened physically or fighting my own doubts.

I was scared but hopeful.

My wonderful Obgyn referred me to an amazing high risk Obgyn who was God sent in EVERY way and managed my pregnancy till we delivered two healthy wonderful boys into the world close to midnight on June 24th 2009!

Interestingly they were almost born on different dates since they were born 8 mins apart through a natural birth at 11:37 pm and 11:45 pm.. and we even avoided any NICU stay… phew and alleluia!

Grateful for twin actually born on SAME day!🥰

They turn 13 yrs old tonight and I couldn’t be more grateful to God for their light in our lives! They are healthy, brilliant, kind and handsome young men and I get the blessing of being their mama♥️♥️

I am giddy with excitement to celebrate them this entire weekend and in the meantime as I await the sun rising on this glorious day .. I lift them up in prayers and ask you to join me in sending up a prayer of thanksgiving and blessings on their lives.

Happy 13 th birthday to our Double Blessings ♥️♥️, pray lines always fall in pleasant places for you both.

With All My Love,

M.O.M

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by finding and clicking the follow icon, makes it easier to share these musings with you and ensures that you can get notifications on future blog posts and not miss out !💕

*DH ( Darling Husband)

Champions For Christ

How do you respond to compliments about your children?.. Aww thanks, OR that’s sweet of you to say, OR yes we’re lucky they’re great kids, OR we thank God for his blessings? etc etc

All of these are appropriate response in my opinion, however I especially like to return the praise to GOD.

You see, last week a dear friend was going to be one of the leaders of the music ministry at a local Parish’s VBS (Vacation Bible School) . The theme of the VBS week was Champions For Christ.

This friend had inquired about having our oldest daughter assist her in teaching the VBS younglings. After I wrote her to inform her that she was already committed elsewhere that week, a lightbulb moment occurred to me!

It went something like this in my head…. “Well she couldn’t do it Buhhh , what if our younger three ALL could?.. I mean why not send our twin 12 yr old boys with very little dancing experience, to lead music and dance ministry at VBS?…..

It continued…

“I mean ,sure , they played little Joseph In the musical Joseph and the technicolor dream coats years ago,that ought to count for something right? Besides, they will have their younger sister who is mostly a “grandma” with her 12 yr old wisdom and her fantastic dancethletics ( I know , I know it’s not a real word lol)😉 shepherding them.”

My friend jumped on the idea once I shared it with her, maybe because she was part desperate for helpers to help her teach those random praise songs and dances she was charged with teaching preschoolers to 2nd graders, OR just a lovely friend and a great supporter of our family. I personally vote for the latter.

In any case, she bought and loved the idea and I was thrilled to unglue my kids’ eyes off their video games and TVs and get my three tweens out of the house for a few hours each day that week!

WIN- WIN!!!

A few hours after I dropped them off bright and early , the first morning, ofcourse not before I double checked that no one forgot their deodorant or water bottles. I began settling into my clinic when I got the most lovely surprise.

It was a text , filled with compliments for my kids! I have to be honest with you , my dear readers..I was glowing internally, because in my humble opinion… As parent , OUR Children can truly be OUR biggest compliment in life .

Throughout the week, the compliments kept pouring in, at times extended from people I hadn’t even met! , who told my friend, how much our children were blessing them, and how well behaved they were … HEAD SWOON☺️

Then came this layer of awakening, …I began to wonder whether I was surprised by the compliments?.. not entirely. Then I wondered if I too , give my children the evidence of my TOTAL belief in THEIR abilities consistently?.. hmm🤔. The truth is that as a mother , I find myself charged with DUTY.. duty to raise good citizens of the world. This is a duty I take very seriously, heck I even make my living (as a Child and Adolescents Psychiatris) helping others raise good citizens for our world.

However sometimes, DUTY can drown us from perspective. We forget to be PRESENT to all the good that is already around us, all the yield that our DUTY is already producing. We keep focusing on doing more and more, including inspecting for water bottles and double checking that deodorants have been applied lol.

It could be like missing the forest for the trees!

Well, this week’s Catheletics VBS at Incarnate Word Parish , reminded me to be MINDFUL of my yield as a mother . I am very grateful to be raising young citizens of the world whose inner light shines bright, even when I am not right there MOTHERING them. I am also grateful that they seem to be humble to their abilities too.

Therefore , I have received those compliments graciously AND return the praise to the one who made ALL of this possible…GOD!

Ultimately, VBS ended with a bang! Catchy songs and dances were learned by so many younglins ( and hopefully by some young at heart folks too), my lovely friend and her colleagues, did a fantastic job leading an amazing music ministry at VBS , our children got to spend more time together and grew closer this week – an unexpected gift all around!

I must say, I had hoped the week would go well, however I mostly trusted without any real evidence that our kids will emerge as real Champions for Christ. This was total bonus!

Of course they’re not perfect (yet)lol, but they danced , served as techno guy for audiovisual and bogeyed for Christ, all while mentoring young ones in the process.

I marvel at how the orderer of the universe knows EXACTLY what we need and when. We certainly ALL needed the JOYS and WINS that came from this week’s VBS.

My DH * and I very proud of our kid’s hard work and service to others this week.

Dear reader, when was the last time you took a chance and leaped with trust? How do you respond to compliments of yourself or your children , if you have them? Where is your perspective taking lens these days? I sure hope it’s PRESENT to all the blessings around you , versus muddled with DUTY.

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by finding and clicking the follow icon, makes it easier to share these musings with you and ensures that you can get notifications on future blog posts and not miss out !💕

*DH (Darling husband)

Mothering with the gifts of the Holy Spirit

Some seasons of our lives feel heavier than others however motherhood is not typically seasonal. Once a mother always a mother , regardless of the season of life we may find ourselves .

Thankfully some days , we may feel like we are winning at this mothering thing, and then there are other days that I know that I feel like I’m frantically grasping for where the motherhood manual is hiding🤪

Typically those days feel exhausted with emotions, why am I loosing my patience? was I as supportive as my children needed me to be today, was I joyful in moments spent with them? was I firm enough in my instructions and guidance? did I get ANY time for my own self care.

Basically am I doing this mothering thing right?Perhaps you have experienced days like this yourself .

We could despair about days like those or we could look for strength through the hardships.

Luckily Enter the Holy Spirit!…complete with the gifts of the spirit to lighten our load and illuminate our path through motherhood.

I wanted to study the gifts of the holy spirit and how it’s application could enlighten my calling as a mother.

Here are the list of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit wisdom, understanding, knowledge/counsel , right judgment, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord.

While each one , may have numerous definitions. According to Catholic.com, the following standard interpretation is based on the work by St Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century.

Here are some thoughts on how I am choosing to apply these gifts of the Holy Spirit , as a mother . Of course , this is a work in progress and I may need to re orientate and focus my eye on the prize many times over whenever I miss the mark.

Wisdom is both the knowledge of and judgment about “divine things” . Pope Francis defines wisdom as ability to see everything through the eyes of God.

Therefore , knowing that God IS love, we strive to mother through the eyes of LOVE no matter the situation. This means mothering our children with all the descriptions of love as kind, patient , not envious…. never failing ( Corinthians 13:1)

Understanding is essentially the ability to “see” God.

Yup! That means seeing God through the messy bedrooms , the siblings bickering and choosing to respond as we would to God. I guess it’s gonna be a bit hard to imagine loosing our patience and yelling at God to feed the dog …. hmmm.🙄

Counsel allows a man to be directed by God in matters necessary for his salvation .

This means consulting frequently with God to help illuminate our path of motherhood so that we can be triumphant in our calling , all the way to the salvation of the souls of our children.

Fortitude denotes a firmness of mind in doing good and in avoiding evil, particularly when it is difficult or dangerous to do so..

This means courage to do what is right. It means teaching our children courage to stand up for justice and for those who are oppressed.

Knowledge is the ability to judge correctly about matters of faith and right action, so as to never wander from the straight path of justice (II/II.9.3).

Ultimately God is the giver of knowledge and wisdom. Using our “ wise “ mind requires constant consultation with God to assist in our daily discernment.

◦ Piety is, principally, revering God.

We should help our children develop a relationship and a loving reverence for God who is the creator of all things.

◦ Fear of God is, in this context, “filial” or chaste fear whereby we revere God and avoid separating ourselves from him—as opposed to “servile” fear, whereby we fear punishment (I/II.67.4; II/II.19.9).

Rather then having the type of fear that makes us want to hide shamefully from God, we should teach our children to allow them to develop a respecting and trusting relationship that deepens their connection with God.

While there is no motherhood manual , I am grateful that we can rely on these precious gifts of the Holy Spirit to help us transcend our human limitations ( John 14:23)

That certainly feels like WINNING in this beautiful yet , oh so demanding call of motherhood.

Happy International Women’s Day to all the strong mothers.. We salute you!💕

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕