Saving Graces

Small Things Saving Graces-0331 Last night, Jonny took the older boys to the late Mass, and we had an even later dinner when they arrived home.  Sitting around the table, they started talking about the homily.  Our pastor mentioned that lately he has been having a lot of foot pain, and that he can hear his mother’s voice in his head telling him to, “Offer it up.”  To help himself do that, he said he had made a list of people who have it worse than he does.

Seth turned to me and deadpanned, “Your name was on his list, Mommy.”

Of course he was kidding, but he said it so seriously that the little girls believed him.  It’s true that I hit a bit of a wall in the pregnancy pelvis and back pain department a couple weeks ago.  I am having to make some changes. I spend a lot of time stretching and I try not to bend over to pick things up off the floor, ever.  No lifting, ever.  I’m writing this post from my seat on a sheepskin, on the floor.  Sitting on the floor seems to be the best for me.  I don’t take long walks and I wear a support belt most of the time, though that’s a mixed bag.  Larkspur has started her garden. I’m not sure about mine this year.

My point here is not to complain, or to cry out, “Woe is me.”  I’m a big girl, and there are lessons here I need to learn (again), and there are saving graces.  I’ve never been one to ask for help, and there is a humility in asking that we all could benefit from, maybe me especially. So I learn again this time around to slow down, to let the house be messy, to give myself a break.  Sometimes that is really difficult.  I do ask for help.  My older children get frustrated with the younger ones.  “We cleaned up down here an hour ago, and it’s already a wreck.”  I thank them, and remind them that this is just how it is.  I get frustrated with my body on nights I can’t sleep because of pain.  But I remind myself of friends going through cancer treatments right now, and friends who have lost babies.  I make my own list, I guess.  I do my best to offer it up.

Last week, on a warm and beautiful day, Seth, Keats, and I went kayaking, our first time in weeks.  I felt a thrill as Silas pushed me off into the water with Jonny’s help.  I can’t get very far on foot, but I can still paddle!  Wild ducks, osprey, and bald eagles flew overhead and I couldn’t stop smiling.

Back at home, I sit on the floor and knit.  Baby things.  Tiny socks.

Little gifts, saving graces.


  1. Sorry, I meant “pain” not passion, ha ha.

  2. Oh I understand your pregnancy pain. I have had the same passion with our fifth and sixth babies. Have you tried ” binding ” your stomach with a long, wide scarf or piece of fabric? This helped me, and relieved a lot of pressure. I also had pelvic pain to the point I wasn’t able to walk since days. Or lift my leg up or to the side. Praying you feel better and that you can enjoy your pregnancy and preparing for your baby. God bless.

  3. When I pulled this post up on my phone to read it the other day, I happened to be riding in my car on a road trip home from Washington DC to my home in NC. I looked up from my phone, feeling so bad for you and for the pain you are experiencing, and the road sign in front of me happened to have the name of your town on it. I smiled at the funny coincidence and sent a heartfelt prayer your way – hoping it might reach you better since I was right down the road. I do hope your pain subsides and that life in your home will be able to find a nice, livable rhythm in the mean time! Blessings to you and baby girl!

  4. I’m not sure how I landed here on your blog but I’ve fallen in love with the gentleness and love it exudes. I’m excited to have found a new cozy blog home and look forward to getting to know you. Blessings! 🙂

  5. So sorry you are suffering with this pain. I live with chronic back pain since a really bad car accident almost 20 years ago. Trying to sleep through pain is not for the feint hearted. Sending you love and support. Take care.

  6. Maggie Gean says:

    Ouch, not having any more babies here, my last is almost 27, but a car accident 6+ years ago has left me with pain issues that will be a part of my life, for as long as I live. Hate that, feel like I should be able to ‘boss’ my body around better, but I work full time, labor in a meat packing plant and thank God daily for a good job, good benefits and a good life with many blessings. Pain can make it hard to see those blessings so I look a little harder and count even the tiny ones, like no bugs seemed to get me while I was out with the dog after work today, the gnats are here and getting thick already.

  7. Oh, boy, I can completely relate–at least I could with my last pregnancy. I couldn’t bend down at all by the end of the second trimester due to my separated abdominal muscles. It was so hard not to do all the things and to have to ask for help, especially for someone with diagnosed OCD. I truly am in awe of all you do, Ginny, and you do it so well! I love your attitude–your ability to find the good inspires me so much. I hope you find time for more kayak trips this spring! Love those tiny socks. I think my still tiny guy would like his mama to cast on a set as well. xx

  8. Wow…I have been so blessed reading not only the post, but all these beautiful comments. I rarely comment, but I could not be silent this time. This has blessed me…this seeing the body of Christ care for one another…so many people praying and lifting you up…and just the knowing that other people are or have been in a similar boat. I am reminded of the verse that He gently leads those with young. So, praying, Ginny, that you feel gently led, and that (another verse here)…you come up out of the wilderness leaning on your beloved.

  9. Reading this is an encouragement to me. Im expecting my 7th and the aches and pains are such a difficult thing to explain or for others to understand. I don’t like to complain either and know that the sacrifices will be worth it and I’m so grateful for this new life but it’s definitely a struggle. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone!! Thanks for sharing and posting.

  10. I wish I lived close by to help and get that garden in for you. You just sit on that sheepskin and let the big kids do for you. Just think of all the lessons they are learning!😉👍I love that you went kayaking…….it must have been so soothing. Take care mama.

  11. those little socks are so dear. praying for you. I know all to well of pelvic pain. one of my babies dislocated my hip the last 2 months of pregnancy. take it easy my girl. Love those photos. I always enjoy seeing a glimpse of your world….

  12. Praying for you, Ginny!
    And I love those tiny socks! So precious.

  13. No one who has been pregnant is going to stop you from a bit of complaining — especially when you are in deep pain! You always find the grace in a situation.

  14. Hope your pain is eased soon Ginny, I will pray for you! And so glad that you already have flowers and green leaves to brighten your heart!

  15. Please look up Katy Bowman A lot of women have been able to have pain-free pregnancies following her advice. It’s somewhat unconventional, but when you’re in that much discomfort, it might be worth it. Also, look for the Spinning Babies website. This one is specially geared toward pregnancy (and no, it’s not as “out there” as the name might sound). Hope you get relief.

  16. Lots of love to you Ginny! I can relate to having a hard time asking for help, sometimes life forces us too, and some surprising blessings can come of it.

  17. I had severe pelvic pain in all my pregnancies but particularly my last one. It is such a trial. I hope you find some ease. You have a beautiful family and a beautiful blog. Wishing you well.

  18. Shannon Dennis says:

    What a wonder you are, Ginny. ❤️

  19. God bless you! and baby! Yes, good to look on the ‘bright side’ as thanksgiving can really pull us through. God keep you and bless you this Holy Week and Easter! (those are such cute socks, btw!)

  20. Ah be kind to yourself mama! I love how that pink is progressing x

  21. I will pray for your pain in that it goes away. I try to focus on the positive and sometimes it’s hard when your default is being negative (for me). My husband and I were in NYC for two days and each day I walked over 8 1/2 miles. My RA was painful and I was having difficulty walking. Once I was at the hotel I kept thinking all I did do in spite of the pain ( look at me a positive thinker!). keep on keeping on Ginny! Those wee socks are adorable 🙂

  22. Baking a baby is much more important work than cleaning house 🙂 Beautiful, as always. I hope that you find a way to manage for your remaining time. *hugs*

  23. So sorry you’re in so much pain. I do hope it settles down very soon. Do try and take it easy. I know it’s not at all easy though. Best wishes Ginny. CJ xx

  24. I loved this post–your beautiful words and beautiful photos. ♥ I hope you will find ways to relieve your pain in the weeks ahead. There is no greater work than what you are doing. Sweet tiny socks.

  25. A beautiful post. I try to remember that there is always someone worse off than I am, that others suffer always, not sometimes… it helps to put things in perspective. Thank you for such a lovely post.

  26. I’ll be praying for you Ginny. I have trouble bending and picking things up and I’m not pregnant, but I do remember that as well. Whoa. Hope you feel better. Your garden is inspiring, the pictures beautiful.

  27. Oh my goodness, those socks are SO tiny. I can’t even imagine a little baby foot that tiny. But I guess they are. You are a very wise woman. Slow down. Ask for help. Take it. It’s good for everyone, right?

  28. Elizabeth says:

    First time commenting, long time reader here. I am sorry for your suffering. I am just about 39 weeks and I feel your pain. About 4 weeks ago I picked up a book and it turned out to not only be the best Lenten reading for me but also the best book I could have read during this pregnancy. It’s called Chiara Corbella Patrillo: A Witness to Joy. It’s about a woman who experienced the deaths of two of her babies less than an hour after they were born(she knew they were going to die) and after a third successful pregnancy, she herself died of cancer. I hesitated reading the book while pregnant fearing that it would be too sad and too emotional. But it is an amazingly beautiful (and short!) story of joy, hope, faith, and trust in the midst of incredible sorrow. I am copying several passages to have available to read during labor, actually. It is a great book for moms about offering up our little and big sufferings and how to have joy through that. And I have needed that so much these last weeks of pregnancy. If I had your address i’d send it to you:)
    In lieu of that, I will offer up my back pain for you! God bless you, Ginny. You are such an inspiration.

    • Yes!! I received that book the day before I found out I was pregnant, completely by surprise (it was a review copy that I wasn’t anticipating). So providential. We had been avoiding another pregnancy because of my previous issues. I found Chiara’s story to be exactly what I needed. She has been a very important person to me during this pregnancy. Thank you so much for writing, and I am so glad to hear from someone else so touched by her story!

  29. Ah, that sounds so painful! It sounds like you’re taking it in stride, though. Thinking of you, and sending you all the best, as always :)!

    PS. Pictures of the earless goats (I am completely forgetting their names right now) always make me smile. They are so sweet-looking!

  30. Bonnie Schulzetenberg says:

    Hi My Ginny girl – we just returned from Rome on Saturday and I sit here in a stup with traveling pains of getting so far behind and never catching up. I say this cause I am going to do your list of people whom have it worse than I do. Missing you and just saying “you are on my list”..

  31. Oh Ginny, how I feel for you! I could have wrote these exact words several months ago, during my pregnancy. I was in so much pain, feeling so humbled because I was having so much trouble doing the smallest physical movements. I found a chiropractor who practices the Webster Technique and that, coupled with lots of k tape, took much of the pain away. Good care is worth every penny! You are in my prayers.

  32. Somehow I had goosebumps at the end of this post, Ginny. I am not really sure why – but it also reminds me of my own situation. I have 4 weeks to go and sometimes I do far too much, lift heavy things and wonder at the end of the day why I actually have problems walking.
    I like doing things and I like being strong. But sometimes we are weak and that is also okay.
    I find it hard to ask for help … but I have to. My kids are able to do so much to help.

    I also started doing yoga every day now – and I feel the difference.
    But yes, I still have 4 weeks to go and right now I wonder how I will manage – seems like a long time still.

  33. I had horrible pelvic pain with my pregnancy as well to the point I could barely walk and had to leave work early. It was so so bad. I feel your pain. I borrowed this book from my midwives and the physio exercises helped immensely.

  34. Brittany says:

    I can relate! I’m currently 30 weeks and my body has been so much more worn out this pregnancy than during the previous ones. I was starting to feel truly awful and after some 28 week blood draws, my midwives discovered that I’ve become pretty anemic this pregnancy. With a new routine of extra supplements, including cal-mag citrate with vitamin D (and some extra magnesium via Natural Calm) I have been feeling significantly better. The cal-mag helps especially at night with the cramps and aches in the leps/hips. I’m sure you have thought about these things and that your midwives are full of wisdom! I’m so grateful for mine 🙂 Prayers for rest and peace and comfort this pregnancy!

  35. Have you tried one of those big balls to sit on. It really helped me and I could gently rock and slow bounce to move just a little.

  36. Sorry to hear the pains returned with this pregnancy, Id been hoping it would stay away this time round for you …I never had children but have had bad back pain (until an operation a few years ago) and wouldn’t wish it on anyone … Those tiny socks are so amazing , so so tiny ….. And Grace would be a lovely name for a little girl …..

  37. I had a really hard time last time. My body is worn out after so many babies and C-sections. Those last months were so hard and very humbling. I had to ask the kids for a lot of help, too. It is good for them. I also remember being so slow, even just walking from the car to the grocery store, and realizing how impatient I am, thinking of the elderly that move so slow all the time and tend to annoy me when I am stuck behind them. I was convicted. Yes, those final months were very painful, but God definitely used that time to work on my heart. Keep up the positive attitude! (((HUGS)))

  38. I had horrible pelvic pain during pregnancy and was bed ridden for twenty weeks. The one thing that really helped was acupuncture. I took this study to an acupuncturist and she followed the protocol. Hang in there!

  39. Melanie King says:

    Oh, Ginny, I am sad to hear that you are in so much pain again! I have been praying for you and your family since the first hint of pregnancy against fear and against pain and for the endurance you will need. I will continue to pray!

  40. Beautiful Ginny! So glad you got to go out on the water! Father John Riccardo talks about reminding the people he ministers to to “suffer well” since there are so many graces available to us and the world when we do unite our sufferings with the Lord’s and they often go wasted. May you suffer well but I’ll also be praying that if God wills, you get some relief from the pain. <3

  41. The tiny socks are enough to make me smile today! But seriously, I am weighing everything against the reality of a wife and family left with out husband and father when Dad died suddenly last Saturday at the young age of 55. And a young mother and children and baby to be born who will never know his police officer father because a 17 yr old gang member blew him away on Friday here in our area.

  42. It’s all Grace! Much love Ginny!

  43. Ginny, you are an inspiration. I love how you are always trying to come up with new ways to view situations in a positive light. My condolences for your pregnancy taking a hard turn, I pray that you’ll be able to get through it with strength and grace. I am due with my 5th in 4 weeks and this has been a tremendously harder pregnancy physically than my other children, so much so that it’ll be my last. I love that there are women out there that continue to sacrifice their bodies physically to bring more children into the world, what a gift and a challenge it is, I stand in awe at what mothers of very large families are able to endure, you are among them. Best wishes.

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