Confession: I have a new addiction.
It's with the Pioneer Woman (aka Ree Drummond) blog. Especially her section on cooking. If you're not familiar and not afraid to become a fellow addict, I highly recommend taking a peek. I didn't realize how bad of an addiction it has become until dinner tonight when I realized I had made a 4-piece meal with three out of the four being Pioneer Woman recipes. But seriously they are way amazing (totally fattening-I'm pretty sure it accounts for 20 lbs gained since I found the blog in June besides my pregnancy weight gain).
On the menu tonight:
Crispy Yogurt Chicken-http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/08/crispy-yogurt-chicken
Buttered Rosemay Rolls-http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/10/buttered-rosemary-rolls
Pioneer Woman has the greatest, sarcastic humor EVER. At the end of one of her fabulous bread recipes she writes "now, quick run to the treadmill!" She is also a woman of deep faith, using her God-given talent to the fullest.
Back to reality...
I celebrated my 25th birthday yesterday. It was fabulous, except that Chris was missing. He left for his new job in Brillion and we're doing OK. As in the opposite of great or terrible. I had an amazing night at youth group with ten awesome middle schoolers. I had FINALLY gotten them deeply concentrated in prayer about Lent with their eyes closed. SILENCE. Then I broke out the cans of silly-string. They were totally shocked! I felt like such a little kid. I'm pretty sure they did too.
It seems like Lent always comes at a perfect time in my life, spiritually speaking. I need to clarify that last sentence: I actually feel VERY spiritually full right now, but I can feel the weight of temptation to doubt creeping in. Namely about Chris and I's decision to welcome new life into our family. Just for example, I always feel awkward "telling" or rather "waiting" for the doctors at the CF clinic to know that we are expecting. It has always bothered me. More so because I didn't know WHY it bothered me at all. Two years ago I read the beginning of "The Life of Alex" a story about a young girl who died of CF many, many years ago when she was just 7. The author of the book, Alex's dad, made a startling statement that sent shivers up my spine. He said that people who choose to continue having children knowing that they are carriers of the CF gene are ignorant. Confession: I stopped reading the book right then and there. Granted this book was written when a CF patient's life expectancy was 10 or 15 I felt his finger pointed directly in my face. Shame on you!
And now I understood why it was so awkward to tell the staff at the Children's Hospital with a cheerful heart that we were expecting. For me, ignorance equaled carelessness. And it's not that I care what other people think or even if they judge me (ok, so I do!). A long, long time ago at the beginning of this journey Chris and I made a very large decision not to let CF define us. We have decided to live our life, for the most part, exactly the way we had planned. Chris and I always talked about a large family. At least 4 kids and maybe more. But our hope is to someday be able to adopt. It has been something pressing on our hearts more and more in the past couple of years.
Reading my Magnificat tonight, my eyes fell on the page for Thursday's Mass. The reflection read "Jesus declares, 'Whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.' This is sacrifice, handing our imperfect self over to the One who responds by handing us back our true self through his gift of self on the cross. The Lord sets before us life and death, and asks us to "choose life" by obediently taking up Christ's cross of death. 'Without dying,' without the demise of what is simply our own, there is no communion with god and no redemption." -Pope Benedict XVI.
I continue to pray for Christ's strength especially facing the new life we have been asked to care for. I am so grateful to have our Mother Mary to attach my worries and fears to. She endured so much. She desired God's honor and salvation. Regardless of the cost.