Tag Archives: Prayers

Seven Quick Takes Monday

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Seven Quick Takes Monday! This is Reesa.

— 1 —

Isn’t it weird that Rachel and I share a blog? I mean, have you read our posts?? So different. SO different. And they attract, I think, very different kinds of readers

…Or at least they would. If the majority of our readers weren’t… our friends and family members (Hi, Mom!!)

But, whatever, judging by the commenters on Rachel’s recent Les Mis post versus the (less sizable group but still consisting of non-real-life-acquaintances) commenters on my recent Quick Takes… they would be really different.

And yet, Rachel and I feel it is entirely (if inexplicably) appropriate and not-weird that we share a blog! How can this be? How can I articulate this reality-of-the-shared-blog?? I guess I will have to be overly self-reflective and figure out what exactly makes it work… or not work?!

I’ll return to this in another post. Or Rachel will. Since, you know, we’re so simpatico.

— 2 —

I have an announcement! And let’s just get it out there: I’m not pregnant. Sheesh people. It hasn’t even been a month. That would be wonderful. But, it is not the case.

Announcement: My dear friend Meredith is in love, is getting married next year, and… has asked me to be her maid of honor. I almost cried when she did. I was all like, “Meredith… I can’t be your maid of honor. I’M MARRIED.”

bride and bridesmaid

Imagine this picture, but reversed!

SO Matron of Honor it is! Really though, I am so so so excited, and I did almost cry. Meredith is going to be a RADIANT bride, she has been such a good friend to me, and I am  so honored and happy to get to be with her on her wedding day.  Also I am excited to live vicariously through her, since weddings are so much fun and mine is O to the VER.

— 3 —

Speaking of pregnancy, my brother Joseph (age 8) has been pretty vocal on the subject lately. He keeps on saying, “Man, I’m going to be an uncle soon!” or, “Wow! I’m going to be an uncle by the time I’m thirteen!” This makes me very suspicious of what my parents say when I’m not around.

Also, when my sisters were in town for Christmas, Dan and I went over to play Apples to Apples with the fam. We were in the middle of a game when Joseph jumped out of his seat to run and show Dan and me the card he’d just drawn. It said: “Babies.”

Apples to Apples

Dude. Seriously. In God’s time.

— 4 —

Deborah asked me this weekend if I had any book recommendations that were “meaningful but not to heavy.” I came up with one:

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
By Donald Miller

Which has been my go-to recommendation for about a year now.  Jennifer Fulwiler wrote a completely fantastic review and endorsement for it in her article Living an Awesome Story.

My good friend Jenn (different Jenn) also recommended:

The Saints' Guide to Happiness

The Saints’ Guide to Happiness

which she described as a book instrumental in her re-conversion to Catholicism and re-commitment to being a more authentic person. It’s been sitting on my bookshelves, but I’m going to try to start it this week.

DEBORAH, DO YOU READ OUR BLOG?? I recommend this book, too.

Fun fact: I was looking for this book at Barnes and Noble, and I kept on asking for “The Saints’ Plural Possessive Guide to Happiness” (because that apostrophe placement is tricky). The girl who was helping me wasn’t getting any results online, because she kept searching for the title: “The Saints Possessive Guide to Happiness.” What?!

— 5 —

Moira (the teensy baby I am lucky enough to nanny) is taking a music class! This sounds crazy, since she can’t yet walk, talk, crawl (well)… anything. But: I LOVE IT. No talking allowed. The teacher makes us sing the entire class. So you have to sing, not say, any questions you have, e.g. “Whaaaaat page-are-we-onnnnn?”

I don’t like singing in front of people as a rule. But if those people are babies, it’s kind of nice!

— 6 —

Dan and I are trying to decide something important (SPOILER: not a baby) and would super appreciate prayers right now ifff you happen to have any extra room on your prayer list. Humility is key in this decision, so if you have a spot for that specifically it would be much appreciated thankssss!!

— 7 —

Possibly since we’re trying to decide something important (or, alternatively, because I’ve been reading too many Catholic blogs) I’ve lately been interpreting basically everything that goes wrong in my life as a form of spiritual attack. Had a bad dream? Spiritual attack. Lost my phone? Spiritual attack. Spilled my coffee? SPIRITUAL ATTACK!!!

I may be going overboard here.

Catholic Scrupulosity Meme

What else is new.

Love,

Reesa

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Help with Gratitude.

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I wrote this post for Thanskgiving. Please mock me, because it is super late, but I just couldn’t post it right away.

This has been a difficult post for me to write, and I have to warn you, it is long.

 On the Monday morning (before Thanksgiving), my father had a serious stroke. It started with sudden double vision and quickly progressed not only to inability to move the left side of his body, but also ignorance of its existence.

My dad, who has run every other morning for the past 30 years of his life, could not walk. My dad, who loves good food and wine, could not swallow. My dad, who loves to read everything from Homer to Henry James, could not see straight. My dad, who teaches not only his students and in class, but everyone and always, could not speak.

I found out all of this on Monday evening, and I can say, bar-none, it was the worst feeling I have ever had. Yet as my mom described all of this over the phone, I received the first of a series of calls to GRATITUDE.

This is the story and the list of things I am grateful for this year.

My parents’ marriage


When he suddenly developed double-vision, the first thing my dad did was call my mom and tell her that he needed her to come. And she did. Immediately. When she got there, she knew something was wrong and was about to take him to the Emergency Room. However, seeing that he had lost his left side, she called UD campus safety for an ambulance instead.

UD Campus Safety

Rather than simply calling and directing the ambulance to the correct building at UD, the head of campus safety rushed up to see and help my dad. As soon as he got there, he called back to warn the EMTs that it was a stroke so they would be as prepared as possible.

Dallas EMTs

When they arrived, the EMTs knew not to take him to the nearest hospital or to the the hospital where his GP practices, but rather to the Parkland stroke center.

A Forest of Neurologists

Because of the advance warning of a stroke, my dad was met at the door of the hospital by no fewer than 10 neurologists whose sole responsibility was to figure out the exact time and severity of onset of his stroke BECAUSE…

Miracle Drugs


No. Really. There is a drug that I do not understand, but if taken within a 3 hour window of stoke onset can work miracles. Outside of that window, it is extremely dangerous and can make things worse.

God’s Timing

My dad made the window. But, lest you think that 3 hours is plenty of time, let me stress something: he BARELY made the window. Moreover, if he had been taken to the ER, they would not have had access to this drug. If he hadn’t been taken directly to the stroke center, they would not have had access to this drug. If they hadn’t known he was coming, the neurologists would not have finished the necessary tests in time and they would not have had access to this drug. If my mother had not had the courage to say yes to this drug, he would not have had access to this drug.

Prayers


Remember Dr. Roper? The professor who has been so important both to my and to Teresa’s lives? He has the office down the hall from my father, so when he found out, he called his wonderful wife, who sat her two sons down and began to pray a novena for my father. My mom has the exact time-line, but that is when the miracle medicine began to actually work and my dad began to come back. (Also, my mom would like for me to add that Dr. Roper was also at the Emergency Room 10 minutes after she was, making ready to help in any ways necessary.)

My dad

Since that time, my dad has recovered completely. He can read, walk talk, speak Italian, and see. (Actually, just as the double vision was the first to come, and it was the last to go. His double vision finally went away just as he was looking at my mother, and so, paraphrasing something he said after they first met, he said,“You are (the) one.”)

The Church

On Tuesday, priest from my parents’ church came, expecting to perform Unction for the Sick. Instead, all there was to do was simply say prayer after prayer of thanksgiving. Because there he was.

My mom said something last night, and it seems so important: “The church understands that we need help with gratitude.”

Really, you would think my father sitting there reading and smiling and talking would be reminder enough of gratitude. Yet, I cannot help realizing that “needing help with gratitude” has two meanings.

1. Employed, blessed, loved, and sheltered as I am, I constantly forget to be grateful.

2. Even when we remember to be grateful, sometimes it is so terrifying to know how. Gratitude is frightening.

Somehow I always forget the root word of both “grace” and “gratitude” is gratis – free gift.  

 There is nothing more frightening than to receive a truly free gift and to really feel the freeness and unmerited-ness. To be truly grateful.

There is a wildness in God’s mercy and grace. 

I think that is why it is so important to have a day set aside for Thanksgiving. Real gratitude is terrifying. In giving thanks, we are placing ourselves in the hands of God, to receive his gifts, awesome  (and I really mean the “AWE” part) though they be.

It should be easy for me to simply accept the simplicity of by blessings this year: my daddy is still here. Yet, that is not enough.  I think that there is a wild and terrifying abandon in real gratitude, reflected in the benediction of Job:

“Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21

So, in this Year of Faith and season of preparation and thanksgiving, I would like to ask your help with gratitude. For the Grace of the Lord is free, unfettered, unmerited, magnificent, and there can be only one response – gratitude.

In my conversion to Catholicism, there was a professor who would repeat over and over “100% grace. 100% human effort” as his explanation for salvation. I totally agree, but sometimes, I think that the human effort part is the effort to recognize everything as a gift and a potential grace.

Happy (BELATED) Thanksgiving and Blessed be the Name of the Lord!