Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Thank you for all of your kind prayers. I'm actually starting to see the light at the end tunnel in regards to my morning sickness. (Of course, I'm so neurotic that my first thought at not feeling nauseous 24/7 was not "Thank you Jesus!" but "Does this mean I'm having a miscarriage?" See how much He loves me? He gives me frequent morning sickness so I do not lose sleep about possibly losing another baby). Now that I'm at the 12 week mark, I have SOME morning sickness still but I no longer have that emotional fog of depression that seems to accompany a constantly upset tummy.


Now, it's time to move onto my struggles with seasonal allergies. (Why did I volunteer to sign up my son for soccer if that means sitting outside for long periods of time in the Fall when pregnancy denies me use of Claritin? Oh yes, it's because I completely forgot that I now live in the country with actual mountains full of fall foliage.)


total doubts about making my temporary promise to my lay Carmelite order in November.

I had a stressful, intense weekend--which ended with one of the most awful, stressful Carmelite meetings ever on Sunday. I went to my husband in tears at 4 PM and said "I think I totally lost the ability to communicate." He said that I was extra sensitive because of my pregnancy and just noticing things that I wouldn't normally see--but that it was still totally cool to go home early.

Later, that Sunday night, while we walked our sick, non-sleepy baby in a stroller outside our house, my husband was so patient with me. My husband calmly explained to me "We've been going to Carmel meetings now for two years and ten months. If it was truly "completely impossible" and a "total waste of time" like you feel, I think we would have figured that out before now! Instead, it's slightly coincidental that all of these doubts are suddenly hitting you eight weeks before we make our temporary promise."

I admitted to him that the timing was slightly suspect. Still I was confident that the thoughts and feelings that I was experiencing were the truth.

Then I went inside and read an email that was sent at 9:30 PM on Friday night. My extreme agitation during Sunday's Carmelite meeting caused me to ask my husband to take me and the kids home at 4 PM in the afternoon. This previously unread email was asking Jon and I to come to our profession "pre-interview" between 5 PM and 6 PM.


Thankfully we can make it up on October 16th.

However, I now have to stay calm for the next four weeks while my whole psyche is screaming "this whole thing is impossible" and "I do not need this extra grief and agitation in my life."

Will Abigail make it up Mount Carmel? Or will Johnny be climbing this Holy Mountain alone? I don't know. Tune in and find out.


  1. the devil's temptations is always strongest at the last hour

  2. Got it. "Say...rosary...for... Abigail." On my to-do list for the coming weeks.

    I think Kaitlin's right.

  3. Oh great! So I'm going to be the one who LOSES her Christian Faith to the Devil ten seconds before her death. That whole "giving up right before the goal is reached" weakness is so me! :-)

  4. Your husband has a very good point. Why after almost 3 years would you suddenly think you couldn't do it? Could it be related to a recent feeling of failure? Baking a baby is a huge undertaking and takes a lot out of any woman, especially if she already has other children to take care of. It is easy to lay on the sofa, look around at all the things you could be doing and completely forget that while you are lounging you are also BUILDING A HUMAN BEING! Is it any wonder that anything added to your responsibilities right now would seem too much? When you are pregnant getting out of bed can seem too much!

    But you've been here before. And you've been to the other side. You've juggled routine responsibilities and juggled around crises! God gives us the grace to handle what we need to handle only when we need to handle it.

    We've never met in person, but judging from your blog, I'd bet that if you didn't make your temporary vows, after the baby is born, you'd regret it. Because once the balance is restored and you can go a few hours without needing a bathroom, I bet that carmelite zeal would return full force.

  5. I think it's the pregnancy working on you. (Well, and of course the evil spirits would love to take advantage of a weak moment in your life - pregnancy.) Ask the Blessed Mother what to do. My advice would be to go along as you've planned with your vows unless the Blessed Mother CLEARLY communicates to you otherwise.
    I'll pray for you too. Pregnancy is hard. Especially with 4 other kids. (I myself haven't gotten up the nerve to try for #5 yet!) God bless.

  6. Hang in there love! I love you to pieces and know that I am praying for you every chance I get, my Carmelite sister!

  7. Praying for you. And I'll ask my dad and his Carmelite community in Austin to remember you in their prayers as well.

  8. I'll keep you in my prayers. I think the other ladies have given excellent advice.

    It is probably a spiritual attack when you are tired already. But hang in there!!

    I'll say some rosaries for you and ask Mother Mary to help you.

  9. I think that your spirti would benefit greatly from going to confession and spiritual direction. You will get graces from that Sacrament to be strong in case of temptation and as you know, it will help you to get out of any desolation you might be experiencing. Thank you for your blog! it is a gem!

  10. Wow, so many people said it so much better than I, but I agree. Prayers coming....God Bless you and your beautiful family!

  11. The move, the pregnancy, Tess' scare just a year ago- you have been under tremendous physical and emotional stress. Hubbies are great during this time. He's objective and yet can understand your pain. Praying that the stresses ease up for you and that you find the still small voice of God. You are such an amazing example to all of us by sharing your journey. Thank you for willing to be vulnerable. Hope baby feels better. Nighty, night.

  12. St Ignatius gives some clear guidance in his rules for the Spiritual Exercises.
    The 4th rule is of spiritual desolation. I call desolation all the contrary of the third rule, such as darkness of soul, disturbances in it, movement to low and earthly things, disquiet from various agitations and temptations, moving to lack of confidence, without hope, without love, dinding oneself totally slothful, tepid, sad and, as if separated from one's Creator and Lord. For just as consolation is contrary to desolation, in the same way the thoughts that come from consolation are contrary to the thoughts that come from desolation.
    5th rule. the firth in time of desolation never make a change, but be firm and constant in the proposals and determination in which one was the day preceding such desolation, or in the determination in which one was in the prededing consolation. Because, as in consolation the good spirit, with the counsels we cannot find the way to a right decision.
    My OCDS (Carmelite Secular)community is praying for you.