Reflective…

People can be cruel.  They say things about you that aren’t true -not caring that what they say and do, not only hurts you, but your entire family as well as other friends that get caught in the middle.  I used to think that people eventually grew out of such behaviour.  Unfortunately, there are some who continue to be jealous despite having so many blessings.  They would rather alienate  someone they view as competition than work together to build the community up.  And there are still adults who make it their mission to hurt someone for the sake of protecting one friend from the perceived wrongs of another – without bothering to reflect with a loving heart and critical mind.

We are taught, as Christians, to offer the other cheek when we are slapped, to suffer with dignity the persecutions of others – even when that persecution comes from people you thought loved you, whom you trusted.

This last year has been a stark, painful learning experience for our family.  My naiveté has been slightly shaken, perhaps I am a little more jaded, but certainly much more aware.  I won’t let it harden my heart.  I have kept my counsel, bowed out of situations that might result in other people being made uncomfortable.  I have been saddened, angered, and prayerful.  Always, and most ardently prayerful.  I have prayed for those who have hurt us – that they would turn their hearts toward us, I have prayed for our family’s healing from this injury, and most of all, I have prayed for guidance.  We have taken every step in slow, faithful deliberation.

My lack of defense to the nastiness being bandied about is not an admission of guilt, my silence is not a show of immunity to the pain.

Friends have drained away.  It has been so quiet.  I miss the kinship I shared with women I respected.  In many circles I feel as though I am persona non grata . Brian keeps reminding me of the passage from Mark, chapter 6, verse 4:

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.”

So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.

He was amazed at their lack of faith. He went around to the villages in the vicinity teaching.

Brian is right of course.  These women are ‘my own kin’, ‘of my own house’, that is to say, from my own Catholic community.  I am still amazed at their lack of faith in me.  Had I not shown love, support, honesty?  Still, people sometimes forget their garments of grace and become bitter, – believing the worst about you even when their experience of you would tell them otherwise.  It becomes more important to be right than to show true charity and see the truth.  In the end, their behaviour is a reflection on them, and not on me or my family.

I have read and re-read messages trying to find a shred of the true Christian charity they purported to convey.  Sometimes with surprising success, often with absolutely nothing.  People who are dear to me have offered wise and holy counsel.  My prayers, and those of my family for clear guidance have been repeatedly answered in the same way.  “Take joy, carry on, this is your mission”.

Keep the joy of loving God in your heart and share this joy with all you meet especially your family. Be holy – let us pray. ~ Mother Teresa

Recently, I have felt the stab of pain again – not by anyone’s actions, but by their inaction, their complete and utterly deafening silence.  I will carry on, prayerfully, and with the absolute conviction that Brian and I are answering a direct call on our lives.  He will make all things right, in their time.

ECCLESIASTES 3::
There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them; a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
What advantage has the worker from his toil?
I have considered the task which God has appointed for men to be busied about.
He has made everything appropriate to its time, and has put the timeless into their hearts, without men’s ever discovering, from beginning to end, the work which God has done.
I recognized that there is nothing better than to be glad and to do well during life.
For every man, moreover, to eat and drink and enjoy the fruit of all his labor is a gift of God.
I recognized that whatever God does will endure forever; there is no adding to it, or taking from it. Thus has God done that he may be revered.
What now is has already been; what is to be, already is; and God restores what would otherwise be displaced.
And still under the sun in the judgment place I saw wickedness, and in the seat of justice, iniquity.
And I said to myself, both the just and the wicked God will judge, since there is a time for every affair and on every work a judgment.
I said to myself: As for the children of men, it is God’s way of testing them and of showing that they are in themselves like beasts.
For the lot of man and of beast is one lot; the one dies as well as the other. Both have the same life-breath, and man has no advantage over the beast; but all is vanity.
Both go to the same place; both were made from the dust, and to the dust they both return.
Who knows if the life-breath of the children of men goes upward and the life-breath of beasts goes earthward?
And I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to rejoice in his work; for this is his lot. Who will let him see what is to come after him?

There have been a precious few who have reached out to lift me, and our entire family, up.  And that has made all the difference.  I thank God for your love and support, and wish you God’s choicest blessings.

If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive. ~ Mother Teresa

More from the beach

Eastham Windmill.

Beach Houses on the Bluffs

The little kids got quite a kick out of the seagulls - wheeling and screaming overhead.

A little boat anchored near the beach.

The little boat after the tide was out.

GORGEOUS hydrangeas!

Jamie's footprint in the sand.

The tide brought in some gorgeous green seaweed which exactly matched the seagrass in the background.

No visit to the beach is complete without a sandcastle.

The salt marsh at First Encounter Beach.

I'm not altogether certain what these boxes are for. Wildlife? I love the intense blue against the greens and russets.

Happy {Family} Birthday

Yesterday we celebrated our family birthday, a tradition we started in the last couple of years.  It is technically Brian’s and my anniversary, but it is, more importantly, the day that our family was born.  Interestingly, matrimony literally means “the making of a mother”.

We had planned a  beach day last year, but Sophie went down with the stomach flu, so we opted for a picnic in the garden at home.  This year we were rewarded with a beautiful day on Cape Cod Bay.

After lunch at Arnolds in Eastham, we headed down to First Encounter Beach, opting for the tamer bayside of the Cape, though we would have loved to have seen the National Seashore on the oceanside.  We agreed that it was better to be safe with the wee ones, especially since the tide had just come in.  First Encounter Beach is the place where the Pilgrims first encountered the Natives.  The beach is amazing – it’s fairly shallow, and the waves are small and gentle. When the tide goes out, you can walk a mile or more out on the sand.  There are crabs and snails to be picked up and admired, and put back, shells to be collected, plenty of wet sand for castle-building.

Here are some photos from our day::

Fit for a Queen

I went out to run some errands with the girls, leaving Jack in charge of his three little brothers.  I suggested he have the little boys build something with bricks at the table in order to keep them occupied and out of trouble.  I returned to this::

Our little architect... He insisted on adding the train tracks around the castle.

I’m lucky, no?

An Outing with Papa

It isn’t very often we can get Brian to take a day off – it isn’t often he has the opportunity.  Which is good since that means that his business is… well… very busy.   So you can imagine the delight when he announced that he had a WHOLE DAY with no teleconferences, no tasks pending.  He suggested we take the three little ones out for the day while the older four were at VBS.  Cate agreed to drive the bigguns home and fix them lunch while we were gone (SO nice to have an adult child!).

After some back-and-forth about all the wonderful choices for outings with wee ones, we settled on Mystic Aquarium, which is a little over an hour from our house.  We actually managed to get the kids dressed in coordinating outfits and pack the bag without any help. \o/ Yay us!  However, we were a little behind schedule because the morning was spent chasing our cranky rooster Gaston back into his run after an evening of traipsing around the neighbourhood.

The weather was gorgeous – in the 70s and dry after a week of nailing heat and humidity.  What a fantastic place – really well planned in every way.  We all had a super time.  See?

After we packed the kiddoes back into the bus, we stopped for some cold drinks.  As we were placing our order, the cell phone rang.  It was Cate who began by saying “everyone is OK”.  Is that ever followed by good news?  She had taken the kids to pick up some photo prints she’d ordered when a tire on the car blew.  Seriously, I’d never had that happen to me in 20-something years of driving.  She has her license for a month and POW! Literally.

Fortunately, Grandpa (Brian’s dad) was only about 15 minutes away and ran out to help.  We were still over an hour away.  But if we thought it would be an easy fix, we were in for a disappointment.  The tire was stuck fast and despite Grandpa’s (and two other kind-hearted men’s) best efforts, they couldn’t budge it.  We called roadside assistance to help and arrived several minutes before they did… toting a BIG hammer.  The chap knocked the old tire off and the gal replaced it with the donut in no time.

Everything else after that is a blank… We were all home together, safe and sound, with quite a story to share.

Wonder what will happen the next time Pa gets some time off?  We’ll be expecting big adventures ALL the time now. 🙂 Oh, the pressure.

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