hannah's wisdom

Nothing is as satisfying at seeing your adult children growing in love for Jesus, their Catholic faith, and wisdom. Today I want to share what my daughter, Hannah, just shared on Facebook. She is well spoken, bright, and articulate, but it's the wisdom that makes me smile.

She writes: Flora dawn

This is my daughter, Flora 💐 She is our third child and is already an absolutely delight. Right now she is just over 7 weeks old (on the left is a picture of her today). Just a few weeks ago she was brand new, as weak as you can imagine after being suspended and sustained for nine months in the womb. She was born a few days before her due date and was a little on the light side, weighing 7lbs and 4oz. My oldest, Holly, was 7lbs 11oz and one time, someone even asked me if she was premature! That's just ignorance, but the point is that babies are startlingly small...
 
Here in Canada, a baby can be aborted up until the moment of birth. We have no abortion legislation. Flora, as well as both of my other kids and many others, were born before their due date. Depending on who you talk to, they may or may not have been people before then. There is no decent or remotely scientific reason why babies like mine are not considered babies, or even human beings, while they are still in the womb. Most people in this country will tout a "woman's right to choose" -- a sterile euphemism for killing a fetus pre-term. What other choices do we have? We all have choices. Every criminal in prison chose to commit a crime. Humans have always had the capacity to make choices, even if those choices are evil. The question is not whether or not women have a choice, because they have always had a choice. But do women have a right? When does another person ever have the right to do something evil just because they have the ability to do it? Having the capacity to kill a fetus in the womb does not translate into the right to do it. Does a criminal have a right to kill someone because they hate them, or do they just have the choice? The answer is obvious. Killing is a choice, not a right.
 
My newest daughter was herself from the moment she was conceived. Her DNA was her own and she has never been my property because human beings are not property. Her own personal DNA rendered her an inalienable right to life since before she was born. She belongs to me only insofar as I have a responsibility to raise her, love her, and educate her. She was truly herself from that very moment of conception. Flora was never just an extension of me or of my body, she was herself: precious, independent, and valuable because she is her own person. Her personhood is as inherent as her DNA and it was there since the beginning.

happy birthday, hannah

Han collageHappy birthday to our Hannah Kathleen. She was a delightful-beyond-compare child, and thinking about her childhood floods my soul with sweetness. She was - and still is - articulate, compassionate, and a thoughtful, deep thinker. She had a noticeable piety, even as a child, knowing spiritual things mattered. That awareness seemed to go dormant for a number of years, but it returned with a studiousness that is rare. Even in her childhood, I used the phrase “still waters run deep” when describing her.
 
Her life still exemplifies that depth; depth of character, conviction, and purpose. She was named Hannah Kathleen after “Mrs. Hannah” (that’s what we called Samuel’s mother from the Bible) and Catherine Marshall, a godly woman whose spiritual writings greatly influenced me. Hannah has honoured her namesakes well. She is a praying woman, and a godly wife and mother just like “Mrs Hannah” in the Bible. And, I feel sure if Catherine Marshall were to meet my Hannah Kathleen, she’d be most honoured to have played a role in Hannah’s story.
 
My heart overflows with thanksgiving for Hannah, Darian, and their kiddos. Our world needs more families with their convictions and values.

pius-vasyl assumptio

PiusMy cup runneth over with goodness.

Rachael and Kyle had their baby last night. Meet Pius-Vasyl Assumptio Wirachowsky. I don’t think he could have a more Catholic Ukrainian name had they tried. Pius is after Popes Pius the 10th and 12th, godly popes they admire. Vasyl is after a Ukrainian priest martyred for his faith. Assumptio is for Mother Mary as August contains the feast day of her assumption. Welcome to our world Lil’ Pius. I think we’ll celebrate tonight by having perogies and sausages for supper.


deborah shares some of her story

My Deborah writing about her journey. I'm so thankful. She writes:
 
Debs on drugsI’m coming up on two years clean and sober, and I just wanted to take a moment to glorify God and all that He has done in my life. He held out for me, and showed me the love that I had been searching for throughout those many years of my life. As many of you know, I struggled with drugs and mental illness all throughout my youth. There was scarcely a time between the ages of 11-19 that my life was not at risk. I had very little regard for my safety, and absolutely no concept of my own, God-given, value. I was trying, in all the wrong ways, to cope with trauma and to get through each and every day by the skin on my teeth. I committed grievous sins, and lived my life for the enemy with very little knowledge of the fact that I was doing so. Debs not on drugs
 
I held a lot of hate in my heart, and I resented God. Always funny how that works hey? I didn’t believe in God, but I hated him. Anyways, God never left my side. Through all my anger, and hurt, and disregard, He never left me. I am here now alive and well, with a beautiful son, a roof over my head, food in my cupboards, and no struggle with addiction or mental illness. You know how we often talk about being bathed in the Holy Spirit? I do believe that my life is a testament to that. My soul was made new, and I was given a new identity in Christ. Though very undeserving, the Lord showered me with His Grace and Mercy and Love. I am so very thankful, and my life belongs entirely to Him.

happy birthday, deborah

Debs and atlasHappy birthday to our beautiful daughter, Deborah Elizabeth. She is 21 today.

She was the sweetest child who gave us nothing but delight. Then adolescent years hit and she went off the rails so bad we didn’t know if she’d survive - and I’m speaking very literally. God be praised, He sent her little Atlas. We were so scared, afraid of how the drama would play out. God used Atlas so powerfully. She got clean and sober and began the work of putting her life together. Now we once again have the incredible Deborah back. She is strong, stronger than we ever knew she could be, funny, a devoted mother, a student of the Bible, a leader, generous, empathetic beyond compare, and just generally a most delightful soul.

I’m so thankful she survived. My world would be radically less bright without her in it. Thank you, Jesus. Happy birthday to my darling Deborah.


dear darian, humility

Dear Darian,**

As I meditate on the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary, I’m often struck by how each mystery has a strong current of humility. Everyone represented in the mysteries is humble. Mary, of course, is the humblest of souls. In her Magnificat she proclaims her low estate, her low degree, and her neediness. Elizabeth proclaims, “who am I that the mother of the Lord would visit me?”. Joseph accepts Mary even though he may have known he’d forever be in her shadow. Aged Simeon and Anna desire to see Israel’s Messiah even though they’re near death and probably won’t experience their nation’s improved status. The shepherds were among the lowest ranking in society, yet the heavenly host appeared to them, not to the religious or well-taught Mother teresa

One would be hard-pressed to find a saint who wasn’t humble. Pride and sainthood are mutually exclusive. They don’t reside together.

Mother Teresa said, “Humility is the mother of all virtue . . . It’s in being humble that our love becomes real, devoted and ardent. If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know who you are. If you are blamed, you will not be discouraged. If they call you a saint, you will not put yourself on a pedestal.” She even had a “humility list” for her order, the Sisters of Charity:

  1. Speak as little as possible about yourself.
  2. Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others.
  3. Avoid curiosity.
  4. Do not interfere in the affairs of others.
  5. Accept small irritations with good humor.
  6. Do not dwell on the faults of others.
  7. Accept censures even if unmerited.
  8. Give in to the will of others.
  9. Accept insults and injuries.
  10. Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded.
  11. Be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone.
  12. Do not seek to be admired and loved.
  13. Do not protect yourself behind your own dignity.
  14. Give in, in discussions, even when you are right.
  15. Choose always the more difficult task.

That list drives home just how badly I need to grow in humility.

Consider Jesus: He chose to be born poor. He could have chosen to make Mary and Joseph wealthy prior to the annunciation, but he didn’t. He chose a humble earthly life. Jesus, “being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage.”[1] Jesus “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”[2] 

How do we humble ourselves?

Both Old and New Testaments are replete with encouragement to choose humility. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord.[3] …. “He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted"[4] “Humbles himself,”- it begs the question, how does one humble himself.

Sainthood can only grow in a humble person. Holiness and pride are diametrically opposed. To be holy as Jesus wants us to be, we need to choose acts of humility and graciously accept humiliations. Like a muscle, the more we practice humility by choosing acts of humility and accepting humiliations, the stronger our humility will become. But the paradox of humility is we will never know when we have it.

When I was a kid, my grandmother gave me a card that said, “Humility is the strange possession that you lose the moment you find out you’ve got it.” Like Jesus – who emptied himself – we can practice emptying ourselves. We can empty ourselves by embracing any item on Mother Teresa’s humility list. Practically, that could be saying, “Today I will speak as little about myself as possible.” Or, “Today when a slight is directed toward me, I won’t respond.” Or, “I’m not going to argue, even if I know I’m right.”

Ironically, sometimes it’s pride that drives the desire to get rid of pride. Really, when you think about it, aren’t the proudest people the hardest to be around? Isn’t it pride that says, “Who wants to be like him?” Pride is a tricky thing and it inserts itself into everything. We always need to be on our guard against it. While on this earth, we will have to battle pride. But to become who we were created to become, we must not abandon the fight.

Love,

Valerie

**My dear son-in-law, Darian, was the first person I sponsored into the Catholic Church. He was the first in my family to see the Truth I saw. I wanted to help him along the way and started a book called, "Dear Darian."  In it I wrote about things I was learning, especially things I was learning through praying the rosary, hoping it would help him on his journey too. Well, Darian's spiritual life was on steroids and my little essays didn't seem needed as he was reading much greater minds than mine. So, my "Dear Darian," has instead become blog posts. 

 

[1] Philippians 2:6

[2] Philippians

[3] Psalm

[4] Matthew 23: 11-12


easter morn

RisenHe is risen indeed. He is the great and glorious redeemer. He is the greatest joy and love in my life. He is not an imaginary friend. There are numerous historical proofs of his existence, that he was indeed crucified and rose from the dead. If I am wrong, what have I lost? If I am right and you view him as unimportant, you have lost the greatest blessing in this life and will gain an horrible afterlife. Please look into the historical proofs of his existence. He is a great source of love, joy and peace. Jesus, I trust in You.


no regrets

Stephs famThirty-five years ago today a little bundle just over 8 ½ pounds gushed into my world. My life was changed forever. I was only 19 and had spent nine long months hating my life. Pregnancy was the last thing I wanted, and I was convinced I’d ruined my life. In early pregnancy the thought of an abortion comforted; I imagined it a solution. I received a poem from someone – who knew nothing of my situation – and one of the lines of the poem was “I want this day to bring good, not evil.” Somehow, even though I had a hard heart and a thorough hatred for my situation, that line spoke to me and I knew I couldn’t abort her. I still loathed my circumstances and spent the remainder of the pregnancy hoping for a miscarriage. When a miscarriage didn’t come, I hoped for a stillbirth. The darkness in my soul was profound and had I had the courage, I would have committed suicide. There was not a fiber in my being that wanted to be a mom.

Imagine my shock when they laid that squirming warm body on me and I was immediately head-over-hills in love. I still had more emotional issues than I could shake a stick at, but one thing was certain: I was madly in love. I had no words to articulate my thoughts, but I knew I wanted something better for Stephanie than I presently had to offer. I know now that those thoughts were a prayer. God took those thoughts – which I couldn’t even unravel into words – and drew me to Him. I didn’t have a clue how to start, but that’s when my journey to God began. Since that day 35 years ago, my journey with God has sustained me through everything. I’ve committed horrible, grievous sins, but God has never shaken me off. Journeying with Him is what gives my life meaning. Abortion crisis

So today, when normally I’d want to wish my sweet baby Stephanie a simple Happy Birthday, I wanted to share something a little deeper. My crisis 35 years ago turned into the greatest watershed moment of my life. It turned into one of the greatest blessings and sources of joy in my life.

For those who have had an abortion, I do not judge you. I say everything I’m saying not to condemn those who’ve had abortions, but rather to extend hope to those who find themselves in that situation now or in the future. Because of Stephanie, the topic of abortion is personal. Where would I be without her? She changed the trajectory of my life. I cannot imagine this world without her; the good she’s done, the life she’s chosen, the lives she’s touched . . . My crisis passed and nobody had to die. If you find yourself in a crisis, please know, it will pass. It may be excruciatingly difficult, but no one needs to die. Choose life.

Happy birthday, my darling Stephanie. Thank you for letting me share a bit of our story. I love you.


debs on abortion

My daughter Deborah has been through a lot. Here’s a piece of her story. I’m so incredibly thankful she chose life for our little Atlas and that she didn’t heed all the advice to get an abortion. Our lives will never be the same again; we adore Atlas.
 
Written by my daughter, Deborah:
 
Atlas 7moYou know, after years of being an abortion advocate (regrettably) I finally sat myself down, away from the crowd I was following, and did some in depth research on abortion. I have watched the debates, I have watched Planned Parenthood lie repeatedly to appeal to the eyes of its audience, and I can safely say that there is not a single argument in defense of abortion that cannot be refuted. So I recommend to anyone who believes that abortion is "empowering" to rethink your beliefs because it is ultimately setting us back whilst committing mass genocide. The dismemberment and starvation of humans at ANY stage of development is morally and ethically wrong. And to instigate such a radical attack on our own species in the name of empowerment is absolutely ridiculous. I read a post recently that said "telling women that they need to employ their "right to choose" in order to have a successful career is the opposite of empowering", and I could not have said it better. I make this post because I know that many people on my page are pro abortion or pro choice, I know this because I have had many conversations raving about how it is "only my right". I can give you dozens of reasons as to why this "right" will contribute to the collapse of any civil society that we have.
 
This is my son who would have been starved of his nutrients or ripped apart had I decided that it was within my rights. Luckily, Grace saved him as I was already 8 weeks pregnant when I called the abortion clinic and they told me I would have to get an invasive surgical procedure done. I couldn't go through with that. People said it was within my best interest to abort, even called me an idiot for choosing to keep him, but it was the smartest thing I've ever done and not only was it definitely NOT in my best interest to abort, but more importantly it wasn't in his. And it is our responsibility to care for and protect the innocent and helpless.