Heaven Help Me!

Heaven Help Me!

Life with six kids, my soul-mate, a bunch of books, a cat & a dog.


The other blog

Here is the link for my other blog, Many Green Acres . Think of it as part two…picking up where Heaven Help Me! left off. I am not sure about the title – it may need to be reworked, thought over, etc. That will all come with time.



Did she move the blog, too?

Hello dear friends! I have not written in some time. There is much to write about, but since moving is like a new chapter in our life I am considering starting a new blog to mark this transition. It will be accessible via our family’s home page www.lundmolfese.com, so don’t worry, it won’t be hard to find. Until then, please keep coming back here to see what’s new!

Far from home, yet so close

I am nine and a half hours away from my former home near Chicago, living on a farm in the middle of nowhere. Today, the transmission on our van gave out and I needed a taxi. My taxi driver was from Elmwood Park. What are the odds of that?!

And so it happened…Moving

“The Catholic faith is not reducible to a moral theory, or social activism, or an even an intellectual system; it is a life of complete cooperation with a person — Jesus Christ. It is this life with Christ that defines the Christian and involves his or her entire life. This proposal is for a place of prayer, evangelization, Christian formation and service for the Diocese. This would be a center for forming persons committed to advancing respect for both human life and human dignity by prayer, word and deed and for giving witness to the Gospel.”
Such were the words that got the ball rolling.
My husband had been unhappy with his job in Chicago for several years. But like any good responsible husband, he was not about to quit because he found his job unpleasant. Who says providing for one’s family should be without its hardships? Speaking to some colleagues, he was directed to speak to a certain bishop who might possibly be interested in his ideas. What came out of this was beyond our wildest dreams.
God never gives you more than you can handle; and it is true that when things get to be too much, He provides a way out.
Two months ago, on the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Nick drove down to Missouri to meet the bishop and to talk about evangelization. The kids and I had renewed our efforts to attend daily mass and pray for our personal vocation. The main prayer of my heart was that God would give Nick a way out of his former job situation, as well as a way to use his talents that seemed underused in that position. I remembered how happy he was on the farm and wished for a return to that life.
Every time the kids and I were successful going to daily mass (meaning against all odds of last minute diaper blow-outs, squabbles and meltdown amongst the younger children, and insistent toddlers insisting they did not need to hold my hand on the way to church, only to fall down and end up with a skinned knee which would further sabotage our chances of getting to mass that day), the mass readings centered around detachment to the things of this world and being open to a new kind of life.
The morning after I argued with Nick about how safe our community was, we found gang graffiti, for the first time, on our neighbors’ garages in the alley. Later that week, I spoke of how I did not want to move away from Chicago, my parents, and my “home”. The next day, I heard this reading at mass: “Whoever is not willing to leave mother, father, sister or brother for the sake of my kingdom is not worthy to follow me”
And later that week, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.”
As for the pull on my conscience to do more to help the less fortunate, the Gospel for that day was, “And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Just a few months ago, I was firmly attached to my current life. After hearing these readings, I felt I could go anywhere.
February was a time of waiting to hear back about various job options. One of them was in West Virginia, another was downstate Illinois, and last but not least, the final one was near Springfield, Missouri. At times, it seemed nothing would come through for Nick, and we resigned ourselves to staying in Chicago, with him continuing to work downtown, but we both quietly hoped there would be a change for us in the future.
One day, as I was homeschooling the children, I suddenly felt the need to stop and pray. I took a fifteen minute break while the girls were working on their schoolwork, and called the Poor Clares of Rockford, and the Missionaries of Charity of Chicago with my prayer intention: “Would one of the sisters please take upon herself the prayer intention of giving Nick some clarity on the job situation.” I hung up the phone, knowing that something was going to happen. Five hours later, Bishop Johnston called Nick and offered him a position!
So fast forward to today, everything has worked out. In our Christmas 2010 letter, we asked our friends and family to pray for us, as we felt we were being led back to the farm, or at least to a life where it is easier to be good. The property that we get to live on has worked out (it is a 100+ acre farm called Trinity Hills). It is a beautiful, peaceful, serene place. I am in awe of what has happened to us, and I am humbled by this great responsibility to further the New Evangelization. All is packed and we are living out of boxes, eagerly waiting for the date when we get to go “back to the farm”.

Words to live by

Last night I watched Rocky Balboa. I was struck by the scene with his son when he said these words:

“the world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows; it’s a very mean and nasty place. I don’t care how tough you are – it will beat you to your knees and keep you there, permanently if you let it…but it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth, go out and get what you’re worth. But you got to be willing to take the hits and not point the finger saying you aren’t where you want to be because of him or her or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that! I’m always gonna’ love you no matter what. No matter what happens. You’re my son (daughter*) and you’re my blood. You’re the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, you ain’t gonna’ have a life.”

~ Rocky Balboa

* I added daughter, because I have four of them.

Gourmet Food

Any mom can tell you that once an infant becomes interested in food, eating becomes a foolhardy challenge. I have broken this down into “stages”:

First, they stare at you with a longing that makes you want to share/

Then, they do their best to reach for it with their wiggly, not yet expertly coordinated, fingers (so cute)!

Next, they start to grab food off your plate, examine it in detail by staring intently at it while turning it around at every possible angle, and eat it (this is a pattern for many years to follow).

Finally, they grab food out of your mouth and put it straight into theirs.

Then, you start to eat all meals when the baby is sleeping! 😛

I had to giggle the other day when I realized that I do the same thing to my kids! I will make them a sandwich, but I don’t usually make myself one, since it makes no sense to do so. I know full well there will be leftovers of some sort – crust or otherwise.

So, I’m sitting there with my three year-old talking about all her stuffed animals and what they’ve been up to these days, when I notice she has taken the “cover” off her six cracker sandwiches. She has eaten the cheese entirely out of some of them, others she has scraped a partial amount of the cheese off with her teeth, and left both sides of the cracker untouched. I pick one up. I examine it. I start to bite it, chew it; it tastes ok.  So, I ask her why she didn’t want them, as I continue chewing the one I picked, and she answers while continuing to partially scrape the cheese off another.

3 y/o: “Well, Mommy, I spread chocolate milk on them and then they didn’t taste so good.”

Me: <Gag, gag!!!> “What?! Did you do that to this one?”

3 y/o (calmly with a smile): “Well, yes, Mommy, I did!”

I think I have learned my lesson now. Next time, I will make myself my own sandwich.

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