Friday, January 11, 2013

7 Quick Takes- A Novena Isn't Like Fight Club

I've been keeping a little list in my super sweet planner of things I might want to talk about in my Quick Takes.  Right at the top of the list it says "A novena is isn't like Fight Club".  Yep.  Pretty sure I should start there.



(1)
A novena isn't like fight club.  I don't have to keep it or my prayers a secret for it to be valid.  I mean, right?  Because mostly I suck at remembering to do it and then I suck at being as reverent as I imagine I should be and then I tell myself that because of my shortcomings, obviously my prayers won't be "real" so why be a poser?  Oh my gosh I have issues.

So I've been praying this novena.  The never ending novena because on two different days I completely failed to pray it at all, so it's really going to be sort of an Eleven-a by the time I finish.  Or something like that.   But some of the things I'm praying for are so important that I can't bear to keep them a secret because I, or rather they, need your help. And forcing myself to pray it has been so peaceful-making in my heart.  So that's why I'm telling you about it even though I don't like to.



(2)
I have a friend named Nina.  Her husband was in a horrible snowmobile accident last Saturday.  Nina and I were due-date buddies when I was pregnant with sweet baby Mary.  She is a lovely, wonderful human being and so is her husband and they are enormously grateful that he's still alive.  But they...and I hope she isn't embarrassed when I say this....they have nothing.  He was their sole breadwinner and now he's in the ICU at a hospital instead of working.  He doesn't qualify for FMLA because he hasn't been at his new job for long enough.  She has to take care of their two small children and her injured husband and despite their insurance, the medical bills will pile up on top of their daily living expenses that they do not, cannot pay for.

(3)
I know there are a lot of bloggers and friends of bloggers who are hurting right now, who need our prayers and our financial help of we can manage.  I would ask for you to prayerfully consider if you can help Nina and her husband Tom.  Even a few dollars can buy them lunch or a new pair of shoes for their little boy.  Click the widget in the right sidebar or click here to visit their donation site.  And pray pray pray, for her peace and his recovery.

(4)
Okay, another thing on my not-secret-anymore not-Fight-Club novena list: adoption.

Oh my gosh.  It makes me nuts to think about all the abandoned, lonely children all over the world who just need to be loved.  Loved.  That's all they need.  Food, water, medical attention, hugs.  The conditions they are expected (or not expected) to survive in are so horrific and I just want to save them.  And then I do crazy things like look up the federal requirements to become adoptive parents and discover that for our family size, or would-be family, we don't make the required minimum income.  And plus they frown on caving-in, dilapidated ceilings.  Ugh.

(5)
So even though I've never adopted anyone, I'm going to share this beautiful video that I saw last night on the blog Blessed and Broken.  It is beautiful and heartwarming and uplifting and you will love it and be in awe.

(6)
Wow, has this Quick Takes been a downer, or what?  Well guess what?  Here's more!  Both my word of the year: Patience and my saint of the year: St. Paul the Hermit, have me thinking we'll somehow be living in a soggy cardboard box and eating dandelion greens out of the center divide of the highway within the next few months.  Either that or, because St. Paul is also the patron of clothing designers, that my dream of being on What not to Wear will finally come true.  Option B, God.  Option B, please!

(7)

Unrelated!  Lizzy took this photo of a barn out of the passenger side window as we careened down the road yesterday.  I think I'm going to create a set on Flickr called "Barns out the Car Window".  How about that?  I think it'll go nicely with "Mug Shots" (photos of mugs) and "Woof" (photos of dogs) and all the other foolishness I plan on putting up there now.

Okay.  Enough.  Go see Jen and read some takes that are quick and fun!

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 202)

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32 comments :

  1. Love you. This is really neat. Good luck on the novena. I am HORRIBLE at them.

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  2. Thanks for your prayers and support and encouragement for Tom and Nina. I've been doing all I can, too, to support them in whatever way I can. This morning an online columnist for Minnesota Public Radio picked up their story (from my blog), sharing how all of us bloggers are working together to help this family. Pretty sweet, huh?

    Also, I take lots of photos as a passenger in a moving vehicle. Clean windows are a must as is setting your camera on a fast shutter speed (AKA the "sports" mode). You never know what you're going to spot when you're out on the road. I've gotten some interesting blog materials via this type of photography.

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  3. "A Novena isn't like fight club".
    Oh my gosh. Best post title ever.

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  4. An 'ElevenA'. I like that. I can totally relate to failing on novenas. But, like my sweet dear mother-in-law used to say, "your guardian angel will finish your prayers for you if you fall asleep"... or forget a day or two? I will pray for you. It's okay to have a downer week. We all have them sometimes, and when we see that someone else does too, it makes us feel less 'alone'. I will go now to help out your friends...

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  5. I'm SO with you on #5 - I would love nothing more than to adopt a couple of the kids from Reece's Rainbows (there are two in particular) but alas, the UK does not 'do' international special needs adoption. End of. Want to create a republic with me? Could start a glorious orphanage of loveliness for those kids...

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    Replies
    1. That's so infuriating that people like you want but can't adopt for such dumb reasons:(

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    2. From point of view of the government, I suppose it makes sense in a money-grabbing way - the NHS would naturally fund medical treatment of anyone granted citizenship, which these children would certainly need. They are protecting already stretched monies, however, I totally agree with you - it's infuriating and the reasons are dumb; I daresay there are few enough who desire this.

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    3. Wow, that is an argument against a single payer system if I've ever heard one! Oh my gosh. Makes me so angry.

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  6. Hey, sometimes QTs need to be a little down because sometimes that's how life is. Prayers all around for everything all the time :)

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  7. ...and words cannot express how much I adore that video. Thanks so much for posting it - I couldn't access it on Blessed and Broken x

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    1. I cannot stop watching it. Over and over and over I've watched it...

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    2. It is wonderful. I've shared on fb and want to show everyone. Those guys are just living the dream - good on them. Bring on more people with their mindset. I only hope I can live up to that kind of standard one day.

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  8. I'm with you on the failing Novenas, too. In my whole 9 months of being Catholic I've had to fight off the guilt of my right brained self clashing with the discipline of prayer. Especially difficult is the pressure I've put on myself to follow a structure that I've superimposed onto God that really isn't God's at all--at least not what he's calling me to do personally.

    I'm so thankful for all of the priests who show me silliness of my scrupulosity. Is it common for priests to laugh at your confessions or is it just me?

    I was talking with one of my priests about my struggle focusing while praying the rosary and he told me to keep trying my hardest. When your intentions are right, even if you fail at it, it is still sanctified time. How awesome is that?

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  9. Umm...I am doing that same novena right now (different intentions) and have failed miserably. I was supposed to start last Saturday and finish this Sunday. Well, I started on Saturday well and good and then...Sunday happened and I missed it and I made a deal with myself (or with God - I don't know anymore) that I would do 2 on Monday - epic fail? Do you see a pattern. So in exasperation, I just started the whole thing over again on Wed and hopefully I will finish sometime before Valentine's day. My not so secret intention - a sibling for our little Elizabeth. Like here on earth. I find I have to be VERY specific with God. This whole letting us get pregnant and then miscarrying...it has been a huge downer over the last couple of years. Plus some other secret intentions that should stay secret.

    Your friends - I will be praying for them!

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    1. Hi Joy, I totally know what you are going through. It took "forcing" my husband & I to hold each accountable for prayer. Seemed like it was taking God a long time to let us keep a child on Earth. Our solution? Run to Mary! Because we both were saying a novena, we held each other to it. Sometimes he would fall asleep, sometime I would, but we made it through the 45 Day Rosary Novena and - miracle! Half the days are in petition and the other half in Thanksgiving whether you've received an answer or not. Turns out I became pregnant halfway thru. God Bless!

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  10. That video! I've watched it a hundred times. My husband has as well. It looks like God may be calling us to this. I don't know yet, but we've always felt a tug and our life circumstances are that we might be able to say yes to this vocation and as they say in the video "ransom a child" but I can't help think that in some ways an adopted child saves their family in so many ways. So glad you posted it.

    Also, I've definitely slacked on novena. I didn't finish a novena I started to St. Terese of the Little flower and guess what? On the 9th day, I received so randomly a massive bunch of red roses. My mom always used to say that our angels finish the rosaries we don't, I can't help think the same might apply to Novenas.

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    1. so cool Kathleen! "I can't help think that in some ways an adopted child saves their family in so many ways." YES!

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  11. We adopted two of our five from foster care. Families are in great need!!! If this isn't an option for some reason, consider checking out the Dave Thomas Foundation to see if there is some other way to help. I hope that anyone who feels called to do it, some day gets to fulfill that dream!

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  12. Dwija, I struggle so much with wanting to adopt. Then I think we have too much on our plates as it is, and we both work full-time, and we could still have unexpected (but welcomed) babies, and I talk myself out of it. I truly need to discern if God is calling me to adoption. I think He might be. I just feel like if people like me don't do it, who will?

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    Replies
    1. Colleen, you should research some more! Sounds like you have a heart for adoption and that might be God speaking. Have you looked at all the sweeties on Reece's Rainbow?

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    2. Hi Colleen,
      I just caught up on your blog. Love your love story. My husband and I got engaged a few feet from where you did...over at the creche. Not FUS graduates, but big fans. I wanted to encourage you too. We came to adoption from a very different place (with IF). Becoming foster parents has been an amazing gift...and we have our two littles as a result. Even if not today...one day! There are many kids in the foster world, and it can be...economical, to say the least. God bless you.

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  13. Adopting from the US foster system is sometimes more flexible (re: family size, house size, income) than international adoption -- and the US adoptions are very much less expensive, plus there are often benefits for your child after the adoption (such as free or hugely reduced medical care). Something to think about!

    Our daughters' country is pretty rigid about family size, and we will be maxed out with our 4 kids . . . which always makes me think, "Yeah . . . being child #5 would be so much worse than being in the orphanage." ;) But -- many countries will relax the rules for special needs adoptions. So if you feel like God is pointing you to a particular child on RR, it can't hurt to talk to a social worker and ask a few questions!

    Dwija, even if you can't be an adoptive parent right now, your advocating for chilren is a worthy end in itself. You are helping stir others' hearts to financially support adopting families, give to RR, etc.
    Nancy

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  14. Oh to the snap, Dweej. You don't know it, but you wrote this post for me. For reals. I need to start that novena. This is proof that when I avoid prayer because I don't want to deal with the issues in my life that God gets on the internet & speaks to me via Seven Quick Takes. And that video? Oh my Lord. We have been talking about adoption a lot lately.

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  15. Do you know what is worse? I have never prayed a novena. Not only that, up until about five years ago, the Rosary gave me the heebie-jeebies because we used to pray it after my Dad died when I was five and I associated it with fear, loss, and my Mom sobbing. And I still consider myself a faithful (if not a "good") Catholic.

    I will pray for your friend and send what I can.

    I love you for wanting to adopt more children. We know several adoptive families in our parish...five in a parish of about 300 families. Tonight I am going to a baby welcoming party for another adoptive family. Adoption saves lives, pure and simple.

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  16. #4: This is why I'm a Guardian Angel for Reece's Rainbow.

    As for Nina and Thomas, have them fill out hardship paperwork with the hospital. The medical bills might not totally go away but the hospital might be able to forgive enough of the debt that they're manageable. Trust me on this -- I have a million dollar baby.

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  17. Praying for Nina! What is the minimum required income?.

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    1. It is variable based on family size. You can see the chart here: http://reecesrainbow.org/new-family/income-requirements

      As we would become a family of 8 (or 9 or 10 if we got a sibling group!) we are just under the income minimums. Maybe someday if God has it in His plan for us :)

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    2. Dwija, uscis also factors in net worth. Furniture, cars, house, life insurance policies, savings, etc.

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  18. I watched that video on her blog last night, too. Beautiful. I really hope we can adopt one day. Praying for your friend and her husband.

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  19. I joined praymorenovenas.com because when I pray a novena with them, I get an email reminder every day. It really helps!

    Praying for these needs-wish we could do more.

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  20. Looking forward to watching that video when I won't wake anybody up :) Adoption is something that's been on my heart and mind for a while!!
    Praying for your friend...
    And on a less serious note, you definitely do NOT need to be on What Not To Wear. I DO. Notice I've never done a WIWS link up??


    Fine. You nominate me, I'll nominate you. Deal??

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