Monday, November 5, 2012

God knew what He was doing...

{Forgive the huge run-on paragraph here. I'm having some really frustrating spacing issues with Blogger right now. Imagine this post with lovely spaces between thoughts and paragraphs.} Just some thoughts that have been kicking around my head - and heart - lately... Ten years ago I was living in community with consecrated women, waking early and beginning my day with prayer before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and Mass, spending every minute giving my all for love of Christ and to bring His love to young women and girls. I was sure that God was asking me to give Him my life, setting myself aside for Him alone, and I was prepared and joyful, even if a little fearful, of the sacrifices to come in choosing consecrated life. However, it wasn't His plan. I sadly left my year of service and returned home to finish school and wait to see what He had in mind for me. I thought that maybe God knew I wouldn't be able to cut it in consecrated life; that the Cross would be too heavy for me to carry, so He gave me an "easier" vocation to marriage and family life. Turns out He knew all along what would make me holy, what would make me surrender every moment to Him in ways I never knew possible. If I'd chosen a different path, I wouldn't have been able to unite my prayer with that of Christ, "Let this cup pass from me, but not my will, but Thy will be done," as Tom and I suffered the loss of two babies to miscarriage. If I'd chosen a different path, I wouldn't have been able to have my patience tested (and tested, and tested, and tested) by little people - and big people - who rely on me to show them the love of God our Father. If I'd chosen a different path, I wouldn't have the opportunity to forget myself at every moment of the day and night with nursing babies, sick kids, trips to the ER, and bad dreams in the middle of the night. If I'd chosen a different path, I never would have understood my own powerlessness, or experienced the peace of surrendering someone you love completely to Providence of God. Holding both a 4-year old and an 11-month old in the throes of seizures I was helpless to control has made me realize so clearly that indeed, HE is the One in control, we are in His hands, and that no matter what the outcome, HIS love is what will sustain me. Are these lessons I probably could have learned in another vocation? Sure. But recently it has become so very clear to me (6 years after embarking on this vocation - I'm a slow learner) that God truly does know what is best for me. He alone knows in what ways He is going to test my trust in Him, He alone knows what trials and joys can make me the saint He wants me to become, He alone knows how to stretch my heart, push me out of selfishness, and love Him in my husband and children every day. And in Him alone should I place my trust.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fall = Carrie's favorite season

And how could it not be my favorite season, with the wind and rain outside my door, leaves turning brilliant shades of red and gold, jumping in puddles, a cozy warm house for our family, and the holidays quickly approaching? Here are some snapshots from Fall at the Herring house...
All the trick-or-treaters at Grandma & Grandpa's for Halloween.
Our little fairy girl
I can't even begin to say how excited James was to be Spider-Man.
James wanted Andrew to be a "big fat alley-gator," but he said that a little dragon was good enough. And here are a couple of shots of our Fall mantle decorated. I love the warm colors of Fall; they just make me feel warm and cozy by looking at them!
I saw the idea for the "thanks" candle holders on Pinterest. Cost about $6 in glasses from the Dollar Tree, and it's a good reminder that we should be thankful for all that God has given us. This is the wall behind our couch. After we re-painted, we had an enormous empty space, and I had fun filling it. :)
And what would a blog post be without a picture of a recent injury? James was pushing around the lower rack of the dishwasher and tripped and fell on his face -- on the tines that stick up to hold plates. When I saw his eyes bleeding, I immediately thought that we would have a blind child for life, but THANK GOD the wounds are just superficial cuts on his eyelids. His eyes are fine.