Friday, January 17, 2014

7 Quick Takes...Volume 5

 


Hello, and Happy Friday!  This may be my quickest 7 Quick Takes.  Still sick...blech!  But I am trying to get into the habit of writing/blogging regularly...so here goes!


- 1. -


It snowed heavily, but briefly, yesterday morning.  The forecast had been for a small amount of flurries, so the big flakes and strong wind gusts were surprising.  One of my friends had posted on Facebook that she felt like she was inside a snow globe in the hands of an excited 3 year old!  What a perfectly delightful image!  I was grateful that I did not have to go anywhere (lots of accidents reported in rural areas).  But I have to admit, it was a beautiful snowfall!  Brings to mind the canticle in the third chapter of the Book of Daniel... "All you winds, bless the Lord...Cold and chill, bless the Lord...Hoarfrost and snow, bless the Lord...Praise and exalt Him above all forever!"



- 2. -


While typing this, I took a break to peek in on Facebook.  People were participating in a quirky quiz, to see what Star Wars character they most resembled.  I took the bait.  I am Obi-Wan Kenobi!  Ha!  I think I would like to resemble him most, and some days I do...but I am not nearly so level-headed!




- 3. -


This Sunday is the March for Life in Chicago.  I would love to go, but probably won't.  Unless something changes, I just cannot see myself spending hours in the cold.  But if you are in the Midwest, and cannot travel all the way to DC for the big event on Wednesday, this is a great option!  Check it out here for more info



- 4. -


I went back to the doctor earlier this week, and when I was weighed, I reached my highest weight since I was pregnant nearly 20 years ago.  Oh. No.  I have been well aware of my weight going up, and I thought I was motivated to lose weight before my trip to Italy last year...but I just maintained my weight instead.  I hope this ugly number on the scale will shake me up.  I know I need to exercise, but I hate exercise!  If you have ANY tips for getting motivated, please fill me in!  (*Update...I weighed myself this morning, and I weigh 5 pounds less.  I prefer my scale at home!)



- 5. -


Last Sunday, as I mentioned in a previous post, we had one of our former foster kids over with her husband and three kids for a late Christmas dinner.  It was the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, so liturgically, we were still in the Christmas season.  Bruce made enchiladas, and we exchanged gifts.  All three of the kids pounded on the piano at least a little bit!  Lots of fun!  I only mention the "foster" title because some people get confused when I talk about my daughter...  "Kim, I didn't think you had kids other than Gabriel."  Bruce and I welcomed 41 kids into our home over 8 years.  Some were just here for a weekend, some, like Jamie, were here for much longer (she was here over 3 years).  I often referred to this as "my other pro-life ministry."  It was some of the hardest stuff we ever did...very intense and emotional...but very worthwhile.  Romans 12:13 says, "Share with God's people who are in need.  Practice hospitality."  While this verse is talking about reaching out specifically to other Christians, there is no doubt in my mind that God would love more Christian families to become foster and adoptive parents!! 



- 6. -


Our party was NOT the last of our Christmas celebrations!  This weekend some long-time friends of ours are hosting their annual "Procrastinator's Christmas Party," and I truly hope we can go!  For one thing, how fun is that party title?  It is a great reason to get together during the doldrums of winter.  Plus, the party always features a fantastic white elephant gift exchange.  Here's hoping my new medicines kick in! 

- 7. -

Well, this was longer than I expected, but I cannot think of a Number 7.  My brain is done.  Time for some more medicine and a cup of tea.  By God's grace, I will be feeling better soon!


So that's it for this Friday!  For more quick takes, check out Jennifer's Conversion Diary blog here.  I have found several blogs that I will be adding to my blog roll...LOTS of inspiration!

Thanks for stopping by...and feel free to leave a comment.  I would love to hear from you!

Ciao!
Kim

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2 weeks into the New Year...How's It Going?

Happy Wednesday, everyone!




I am sitting in a waiting room at a local clinic, while my husband is getting some kidney stones zapped.  As I am here, I am wearing a mask over my mouth, because I am still coughing a lot with my bronchitis.  In fact, I went to a different clinic already this morning to get checked out again.  Sometime, after Bruce’s surgery, I will have to go back for a chest x-ray.  What a day!

I actually decided on today’s post title quite a few days ago.  I figured it would be good to touch base on my New Year’s resolutions.   Oh my.

As the first paragraph indicates, life has started a little bit on the bad side at the Padan house, at least in terms of physical health.  Bruce had surgery last month also, but not all of his kidney stones have passed.  The good news is that he has still been able to go to work.  Me, not so much.  I have been trying to work from home, with varying levels of success.  I am not able to talk much, and right now, I need to be making lots of thank you calls.  Sigh.

So, when it comes to my resolution to make more cards, I could be doing okay…if I could keep my focus.  After all, I have been at home…plenty of time to stamp.  But no creative juices are flowing.

I have been reading a little more…I have also been doing my Divine Office prayers more…so that is good.  But I also have had the silly TV on too much. Hard to ignore that crutch when I am sitting on the couch so much. 

And yet…is that a reasonable excuse?   I’m not trying to get all self-righteous here, and I realize that I should cut myself some slack…I have been sick.   But perhaps this time was meant for me to use for prayer and reading.  Something to consider.

I’ll admit that one reason I am thinking about this is because of the book I have just started reading: a biography of St. Catherine of Siena (by Sigrid Undset).  What an amazing woman!  I am less than 100 pages into my book, and I am deeply moved by St. Catherine’s devotion to Christ, even as a young girl.  Her prayer life was focused, committed, and fruitful.  Of course, one doesn’t get the title “Doctor of the Church” for twiddling your thumbs!

One of the stories shared in the book tells of St. Catherine’s desire to take care of the poor in her community.  She came from a well-to-do family; her father was a successful wool-dyer, a master craftsman.  Catherine had approached her father, asking if she could give some things away to the poor, and he gave his blessing.  It was not uncommon for Catherine to take things from her father’s shop…even from her family’s own belongings.   One night, Catherine was in bed…very sick, barely able to move…and she became overwhelmed with thoughts of helping a local widow with several children.  She prayed to God, that He would give her the strength to get up, gather some food, and be able to deliver it, in secret, to this needy family.  

No self-pity.  No cranky “leave me alone!”  Instead, she was filled with authentic love and compassion for someone else.  This is what holiness looks like!


St. Catherine saw a need, and realized that she could address that need…with God’s help.  At that time, she was physically incapable of doing anything, let alone walk up and down stairs, gather food, oil, and wine, and walk on the steep streets of Siena with her generous bundle.  She actually lived as one who believes “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  She was totally dependent upon God to complete that task…a task He most certainly gave to her.  How often are we given tasks by God and we refuse them?  We excuse ourselves…I don’t have time…I don’t have the right skills…I’m not feeling well.

I don't expect any mission to come to me in the middle of the night...probably not even tomorrow.  I realize God wants me to rest up and get well, so I can return with renewed strength to my work at Women's Care Clinic.  But I do see the importance of taking the mission of each day more seriously...more intentionally.  I love the quote of this great Saint, which I included at the top of this post:  Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire!

Great words to live by...from one of the greatest women and Christ-followers of all time!

So...how are you doing on your resolutions?  Got any tips for me?


Thanks for stopping by!

(Cough, cough)
Kim




Friday, January 10, 2014

7 Quick Takes...Thank God it's Friday?



Good morning everyone!

I am typing this post late Thursday night, thrilled that it will go live on Friday, possibly while I still have my pajamas on.  It's been that kind of week.  Lingering bronchitis and bitter cold temps have kept me holed up in my house all week.  Except yesterday morning, when I actually had to venture out to do a presentation for the Sunrise Rotary Club.  Very nice people...but being up, dressed, and coherent by 7:00 a.m. in the middle of winter is a stretch for me.  Good thing Bruce is a morning guy!  Any way, here are my 7 quick takes...inspired by Jennifer at ConversionDiary.com  Check her out...seriously.

1.

We so often say "Thank God it's Friday!" but isn't that a bit sad?  Are our jobs that tedious or unsatisfying?  Are weekends so much better?  I suppose for some people this is the case.  But I hope to spend 2014 saying "Thank God it's another day!"  After all, He doesn't have to give me another one...why not be thankful for Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Thursdays... I'll work harder on the Monday gratitude.

2.

We got more snow today in Danville.  Maybe an inch.  It was a pretty sight coming down.  One of my priest friends posted a quote on Facebook the other day... "There is no such thing as bad weather.  All weather is good because it is God's."  He is unsure who said it... perhaps St. Teresa of Avila or Fr. Jean Pierre de Caussade.  Either way, it is a challenging thought.

3.

I spent too much time this evening looking at stamping websites...craving an order of new products.  You know, because I don't have enough ribbon or stamps or card stock.  Well, not enough for Valentines...and I want to make a bunch.  The good news is I only filled my wish lists...I ordered nothing.  Hopefully the urge to spend will go away while I sleep!

4.

This weekend I have family coming by for a belated Christmas celebration.  I am so excited!  Bruce and I spent 8 years as foster parents, and we are still very close to some of our kids...even though they moved out years ago.  Jamie is married, has 3 kids, and calls us Mom & Dad.  Can't beat that!

5.

Next week, I will be going to different area businesses to ask them about underwriting the upcoming Women's Care Clinic Banquet for Life.  I need about $15,000 by April 1st.  Let me know if you want to help!  (I'm only half-way kidding!)

6.

Tonight, television was really bad.  I mean, worse than usual.  I confess I watch too much TV.  One of my goals is to sharply reduce that.  It felt good to just turn the silly thing OFF!

7.

I am doing a workshop at the Heartbeat International Conference this coming March, in Charleston SC.  I will be addressing ministry fatigue and burnout...something I have struggled with off and on for years.  I know some of the things that help me...certainly more prayer, Scripture reading, even stamping.  But I have to work extra hard at staying focused during these cold months.  What do you do to stay focused on the tasks God has assigned to you?  Feel free to share them below.  We can all use some ideas, right?


For more quick takes, check out Conversion Diary


Ciao!
Kim

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

It's Still Cold, but Don't Stop Fighting for LIFE!

Good morning!  Sort of...  I woke up to another day of 10 degrees below zero.  That's air temp, not wind chill.  Brrrrrrrrr.  On the bright side, I am wearing jeans and a sweatshirt again.  I showered, but didn't do my hair.  Usually, I go into the office on Tuesdays, but we are closed again.  Our two nurses are stranded in their rural communities, and no one wants to be driving in these brutal temps, if they can avoid it.

I am also still struggling with bronchitis, so it is just as well that I keep my distance.  Hopefully, I will get some work done today.  Sanctity of Life Sunday is just around the corner.  WCC has a prayer service every year, for the entire community.  There is still a lot to do for that...oh boy.

I am also working on stuff for our upcoming Banquet for Life, to be held April 24th.  I am always nervous about the details of the event...there are many...but yet God always provides just what we need when we need it.  We have an amazing speaker scheduled for this year's event, Ryan Bomberger of The Radiance Foundation.  Pro-life Rock Star!  Now, I need to work on underwriting...the hardest part of the event.  Plus start getting my team ready for the planning: table hosts, decorations, program.  Yep, there's a lot to do!

On a day like this, when the world outside is at a standstill, it can be so easy to stop everything inside, too.  But I reminded myself today that God has called me to these tasks.  Yes, it's a job...but it is more than that:  it is a vocation.  When you want to see abortion knocked off the face of the earth, you cannot stop the work.  There is too much to do!

  • We must pray every day for women to choose life
  • We must support our local pregnancy resource ministry with our prayers, our treasure, our time
  • We must educate our family and friends about the truth of abortion...and then educate them on REAL solutions, such as adoption or parenting with help from places like Women's Care Clinic
  • We must utilize the tools available to us, like blogs, Facebook, Twitter...or even old fashioned approaches such as Letters to the Editor or an actual face-to-face conversation over lunch
  • And we must pray again...without ceasing!

Later this month, the National March for Life will be held in Washington DC...and other marches will occur in San Francisco and Chicago.  Many in the media will try to avoid these huge events, but the truth is, our country is waking up!  Abortion is not a solution...it is just another problem being handed to women all dressed up in pretty words like choice.  The young people who march proudly call themselves the Pro-Life Generation.  I cannot wait to see what miracles God will be doing through them this year!

So, I am going to get back to my work.  All I have to do is picture someone's baby, and I know I am doing the right thing!

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Kim



Monday, January 6, 2014

7 Quick Takes...on a Bitter Cold Day


Well, it's not Friday, so I am a bit late on the "Quick Takes."  I have been sick for a week with bronchitis.  I am fortunate to be able to work from home, but even that has been tough since I feel so crummy.  Today, most our county is shut down due to insanely cold temps after heavy snowfall yesterday.  The air temp was 15 below zero when I got up this morning...wind chills are 30 below or worse.  Crazy cold!


But I haven't posted for a few days...and I decided today would be a  good day to get back on track.  Here are my 7 Quick Takes:

1.

Bronchitis stinks.  No one wants to be around you when you are coughing and hacking (can't blame them) and it is really hard to work when TALKING is a big part of your job.  Sigh.

2.

Yesterday, I saw 2 episodes of a show on HGTV where couples were buying homes in Hawaii.  Considering we got over 8 inches of snow, then blowing winds and record breaking temps...Yeah, I think Hawaii sounds REALLY good about now.

3.

I did a lot of reading yesterday...compared to recently.  It felt good.  I truly hope to read a lot more this year, like I did when I was younger.

4.

We usually host a 12th Day of Christmas party at our house for the ministry, but had to cancel this year due to my illness and the storm.  While I missed the party, I did not miss the clean-up, before and after!  (But my house is a mess right now since we didn't have company.  Eventually, I'll have to do something about that.)

5.

My husband has been cooking a lot during these cold days.  He loves to cook; I love to eat.  I hate to exercise.  That's a problem.

6.

I had a phone consultation scheduled this morning at 9 a.m.  My throat was scratchy, but I know this woman, and she was aware of my illness.  What she didn't know is the fact that I was in my jammies, and I had serious bed head.  The advantages of working from home!

7. 

I wonder if I can just stay home all week again.  Sick or not, I hate leaving the house in the winter.  Bears have the right idea.  Hibernate!


Thanks for stopping by again...Stay Warm!!

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Kim

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! How do you top a Hug from the Pope?

Good Morning!  (Or should I say, Buon Giorno!)

Here it is, the start of 2014.  Looking back on last year, it is hard to imagine how we could top 2013! I usually send out about 100 handcrafted cards with a Christmas letter inserted.  But my stampin' mojo was missing...at least the last 2 months of the year.  I barely got birthday cards done for the family (and many were late...very late.) However, I still can do a letter...but for the New Year.  Technically, we are still in the 12 Days of Christmas, so I am NOT late!  Ha!  (Today's post is my letter, with just a few minor adjustments.)

Work was quite busy for me and Bruce.  He worked a lot of overtime at Quaker again.  Unfortunately, he was switched from 1st to 2nd shift in May.  We are not thrilled with it, but in this economy we are counting our blessings.  His enjoys it, it pays well, there is a very short commute, and he has good benefits.  We would take ANY shift!

Kim began the year at Women's Care Clinic with the Sanctity of Life Sunday prayer service being hosted at their own church, St. Paul Catholic Church.  The rest of the year was filled with the usual fund raisers, and the ministry actually broke a record for the spring banquet.  The BIG news is that the ministry purchased a huge building for future expansion.  Kim tells everyone, "It needs a lot of love!"  In the coming year, she will be working with the board and staff on a capital campaign.  While she is nervous about it, she trusts that God will provide...2014 promises to be intense!

In April, Kim began attending a small group of Lay Dominicans that meet monthly on the Purdue University campus.  She was invited by her friend Kari, and felt this new prayer/study format might be what she really needs to dig deeper in her faith.  She is still an "Inquirer," and plans on making her temporary profession sometime in 2014.  Dominicans are known as the Order of Preachers, and while she won't be preaching at Mass, it definitely fits her love for sharing both her faith and her commitment to the sanctity of human life.

Those Quaker benefits mentioned above came in quite handy this year.  In February, Kim needed minor surgery to correct a developing hammer toe on her right foot (a common issue with Dejerine-Sottas.)  It's amazing how something so small can be a big issue!  Bruce also had health issues; experiencing kidney stones for the first time in 5 years, just before Thanksgiving.  In early December, he had out patient surgery to deal with a very large stone, and it looks like he will be fine in 2014!

Many people know what REALLY topped the headlines for our year..our 3 week vacation to Italy!!  Celebrating 20 years of marriage  with a big trip was more fantastic than I can express.  Doing it in a country filled with so much Catholic history made it even better!  We saw beautiful churches, ancient ruins, world class art...and then there was The Hug!  One October 23rd, we went to a General Audience at St. Peter's.  If there is ever a good time to be in a wheelchair, it is at the Vatican!   We had amazing seats in the middle aisle, and the "Pope-mobile" went passed us twice!  After the audience, we stuck around for a bit (the crowd was huge, so no rush, right?)  Good thing we waited, because Bruce saw that Pope Francis was greeting everyone who was in wheelchairs!  There's more to the story, which you can read HERE.  But suffice it to say, we both felt remarkably blessed!! There were numerous photographers, and one company allowed for orders of digital files...that is why you get to see this pictures.  I look at them, and still can hardly believe it!

I am guessing next year will be a bit more "ordinary," but in all reality, if you try to see the blessings, all the blessings, than life is always EXTRAordinary!  You don't have to go around the world to see something (or someone) amazing.  We pray that 2014 will be filled with blessings for you and your families.  May you experience all the joy that God has in store for you!


Merry 8th Day of Christmas...and Happy New Year!!


Kim & Bruce




Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Breaking Blog Rules

I did something over the last few days that may be "against the rules" in the blogosphere.  But since I am new at this, and I really don't "know" the rules yet, I am doing it anyway!

I wrote several posts and back-dated them.  Yikes.  That way it looks like I have been writing all along.  To be fair, a few of these posts were started weeks ago, but not finished.  (I still have more to do!)

Why did I do such a crazy, time-consuming thing?  It's because of my "Year in Review" letter.  You know, the kind of letter that gets mailed out with Christmas cards.  I didn't finish Christmas cards this year, so I decided to just send a letter by itself.  In that letter is a tidbit about this blog, primarily because of vacation.  I wanted people to be able to come here and check things out.  It was fun to look back, any way.  Plus, Bruce & I talked with our pastor, Father Nelson about doing a presentation at church sometime in 2014.  We will probably do something during Lent.  We have lots of pictures and memories, but I want to be able to present more information, such as the significance of certain churches.

Oh, and I'll talk about that Hug from the Pope.  'Cuz I still can't believe it.  It still amazes me.  What a blessing, right?

I will post the content of my 2013 letter here tomorrow.  Stop by again!


Blessings, 
Kim