Joy Battista

"Joy Battista" stands for the Joy of John the Baptist at the presence of Christ.

"And how have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, the moment that the sound of thy greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leapt for joy." Luke 1:43-44

This blog is dedicated to all who seek the Joy of Christ's presence in their own lives.
This blog is also dedicated to the unborn, for John the Baptist was an unborn when he leapt for joy at the presence of Jesus who was also unborn at the time.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sad News, Good News and Pictures!

I'd like to give a little update on BJ, the boy I blogged about on December 22nd. He passed away that night. I couldn't bring myself to update his fate until now because of my emotions and because I wanted to spare you the sad news the week of Christmas.

The news hit Will, Michaela and I hard. Michaela remembered BJ from camp last summer and his cancer was the same kind she had. She has been blessed to survive her cancer twice. We feel so bad for BJ and pray for his family now.

But the good news is that I realize, because of BJ, that the best Christmas gift I received this year was good health for all of my family!! Literally all of my immediate and extended family enjoyed Christmas without much more than a sniffle. As far as I know family from far away also enjoyed the holidays with good health too. I do not take any of it for granted!! It is a gift from God.

I've not put a picture gallery together of my family on this blog yet, so I thought I would do a sample of photos to celebrate God's gift of good health. Thank You Baby Jesus for blessing us abundantly this Christmas season!!

You will be treated to the kids enjoying the holidays and also baptism pictures of my new Godchild Graham Michael! Graham was baptized December 26th. This was another gift from Baby Jesus to our entire family!! Enjoy

Christmas eve morning frosting cookies

Happy 3 year old Daniel

Pretty and Healthy 15 year old Michaela

This was a picture I plugged in from our Christmas card (not mailed yet, yikes) because after Christmas Eve services Cole and Eric changed too fast for me to get them in their church clothes.

Will playing cards with Cole and Michaela Christmas Eve

Christmas morning the kids each found two presents from Santa and one more from Will and I.

Christmas Morning Breakfast

Graham, held by Michaela, is getting ready to be baptized while cousins Carlin and Sydney look from behind.

I'm in the red watching Graham get baptized!

Such a happy moment with my sister Ann and her husband, proud daddy, Matt.

My brother Chris, on the left, stood in for the Godfather (a friend of Matt's) and we all posed with Father Jirosvsky of St. Johns Parish in Lincoln, NE.

Big brother Charlie is the cute two year blonde in the picture

Annie and Graham gaze at each other with delight after his baptism that Christmas weekend. Oh what a blessing!! Can you imagine the gazes between Mary and Jesus that first Christmas. This picture is maybe a sliver of that love....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Take A Deep Breath Right Now

Ten year old BJ probably won't recover from the illness that he is fighting. He is in critical condition and in an intensive care unit in Omaha right now. He also has leukemia. I read this message on an e-mail just moments ago and it sure put life into perspective.

If you have been feeling the pressures of the season maybe you can take a deep breath right now and really contemplate the reason for the season. It's not so much about gifts and food and decorations... It's about Jesus and the comfort and joy of knowing that his birth was, aside from Mary's yes, the first thing that had to happen to open up the gates of heaven so that when we die we can be there with him for the rest of our lives!

No gift given to BJ can surpass the gift of Christmas! The real meaning of Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Five Days Until Christmas, Five Things to Do!

I heard the following on KVSS Spirit Catholic Radio today from Fr. Al Lauer of Presentation Ministries. He listed five things to do to prepare for Christmas:

1. Pray and Fast
2. Forgive, Confess and Repent
3. Witness & Evangelize
4. Be Silent, So you can think straight and reflect.
5. Accept Mary as the Mother of Christmas and your mother.

Fr. Al Lauer summarized this and said, Obey God, let Jesus be in charge.

Wishing you Joy and Blessings as you prepare for the celebration of Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

"A Mother is as Happy as Her Unhappiest Child"

I’ve heard a repeated saying lately, “A mother is as happy as her unhappiest child.” How true. I read a friends face book post a while back that said, “The kid's disappointments are my own and so are their joys. With 7 kids that means a roller coaster every day.” So true!

I’ve talked to many moms lately who have all shared stories about being at the bottom of the roller coaster ride. The stories have been harrowing and these mom’s hearts have broken along with their children’s. I have also heard these same moms tell stories of how they have started the ride back to the top of the roller coaster. Is there a roller coaster that gets to the top and then stays there? I know from experience that there is one that somehow hangs out at the bottom for a long time and these other moms know about it too. But, it is a reality, for us all that life is indeed a roller coaster ride. Not only physically but spiritually as well.

Here is the great thing that I have been hearing from these moms though. They have all actively worked to make their roller coaster ride as smooth and even as possible. The number one thing that each of these mothers have done is they have prayed for their children. All of these particular mothers (I’ve talked to 4 of them) have had a daughter or two who have really struggled with their social lives. I have to tell you how humbled and inspired I have been by talking to these women of strength! They have been absolutely determined to change the course for their daughters through the power of prayer. And it is working!!

One mother has a daughter who did not receive an invitation from a friend for three years straight. These were the junior high years. In desperation she began a novena to Saint Rita which goes like this:

O Saint Rita, Holy Patroness of the impossible and advocate of the Hopeless, under the weight of hardship, I beseech you.

Free my heart from the burden of my sorrows and restore peace to my tormented spirit. I implore you, whom God elected as Advocate of the Hopeless, to obtain for me this request……..If my sins hinder the realization of my most cherished wishes, obtain for me the grace of sincere repentance and forgiveness, for which I promise a good confession. In any case, Intercede for me so that I no longer have to live in such affliction. Have pity on me!

O Lord, see the hope I am placing in You! Listen to your Blessed Rita. May your Holy Will once more grant her the favor she is asking on my behalf.


The child finally, this school year, has two friends. The mother continues to pray but is no longer tormented and afflicted with sorrow for her daughter.

Another mother not only makes prayer a priority but she has made practical life changes for her children. She has made a point to surround her children with positive influences outside of school. She has utilized family and friends to form a warm and friendly community for her children to give them a true sense of belonging, thus growing their self confidence. She has also worked very hard to give her children opportunities to be charitable to others. O how wise this mother is. I can tell you that I hope to blog more in depth about this mother and her family!! Stay posted.

The third mother has been praying to Mary for her child. This child is in junior high and has struggled with an entire class of friends. Not only has her mother been praying in earnest but she has also been actively engaged in the community and school to find solutions to the problems that have beset an entire class. This child has recently admitted to her mother that she feels included with a nice group of friends. Again, prayers answered for the child! The mother has been motivated through this experience to work for a turn around in our culture to put aside materialism and bring back the virtue of chastity and faith for our world. I look forward to praying with and working with this wonderful woman who is on fire for Christ.

The last mother I talked to in the past week said she had a daughter who had gone outside of her school to another school to seek out friends two years ago because she had none. Last year she finally found one friend inside her school and this year, her senior year, she has an overflow of friends. This mother had been praying daily for her child, specifically to be blessed with at least one really good friend. Now, her cup runneth over!

Please comment on how you have handled the heartbreaks that come with raising children! You may really help another parent and child with your story.

To read other peoples comments just click onto the word comment below.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Click on to this article about Saint John of the Cross. I love the little biography of his life! I feel like if he could become a Doctor of the Church with his background I can be successful too. If I could have just a tiny sliver of his success I'd be happy. His life gives me hope!! I pray it touches you as well.

ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Faith on the High Wire: YMCA Manhattan Restores Religious Significance to ...

Click on the link below!! It's interesting, newsy, original, informative....not so surprising in this day and age and all about Santa Clause!

Faith on the High Wire: YMCA Manhattan Restores Religious Significance to ...: "In a strange twist of reality, a YMCA in Manhattan has decided to let their Christian roots shine -- which is not the take of most who have ..."

Friday, December 10, 2010

"A Baby Changes Everything"

A friend posted a song and video on face book called “A Baby Changes Everything.” I wish I could figure out how to post it here. I shared it on my face book page if you’d like to go there and watch it. It has video clips from The Nativity Story movie and The Passion of the Christ movie done to a beautiful and moving song called "A Baby Changes Everything." If you have not seen it, you have got to find it before Christmas. It is fabulous!! You can also find it on GodTube which is where it originated.

The thing I have been contemplating and pondering after watching the video is how overwhelmingly difficult life was for the Holy Family. You know, I complain a lot. Much of my complaining is in my head. I think to myself…I wish I had this, or I wish I could do that, or I wish I could go there, or be able to buy such and such… and on and on.

I find myself pondering, this advent, thanks to that video….how Mary and Joseph had nothing but a donkey when it came time to give birth to God. I actually wish I could empty myself and my home of so many things so I could experience them fully.

I have a little book called “Mothering, Becoming the Heart of the Home.” by Rosalie McPhee. It describes The Little Mandate which was given to Catherine Doherty from the Holy Spirit as she listened intently to hear how God wanted her to live the Gospel. The very first mandate says, “Arise-go! Sell all you possess. Give it directly personally to the poor.” The next mandate says, “Take up My cross (their cross) and follow Me…going to the poor…being poor…being one with them…one with me.” Next, “Little, be always little! Be simple…poor…childlike.”

When I first read these mandates I didn’t understand until I really thought deeply about the Holy Family. They are my example.

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Hope Pregnancy, Part II

Last Sunday’s holy hour was my first since finding out about my molar pregnancy. I have to admit, since I last blogged, I’ve had a couple waves of sadness come over me. I’ve also experienced a sense of dullness in life, I’ve been pretty unmotivated. Food has barely turned me on, planning ahead has been a chore, preparing for Christmas hasn't been appealing. Thank goodness I had a great head start on Christmas planning before I had that fateful OB/GYN appointment last week.

But these dull unmotivated feelings are contrary to the virtue of hope. As I mentioned in my last blog post, Will had a strong inclination to name our baby Hope. Because of that I knew I would begin to study the topic of hope because I was convinced God set me up for it. So one thing I felt motivated to do, finally, was read up on this virtue at my holy hour. God definitely moved me past my frail spiritual infirmities that I was also experiencing along with my dull sense of being and put a little spark into me with what I learned.

The first thing I was moved to do was read over the journal I had started the day I took the positive pregnancy test. It happened to be October 7th which was the Feast of our Lady of the Rosary when I began journaling and here is how it began: “Well, I begin a new, beautiful and joyous chapter in life. It is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. This is a most glorious day to learn, at the age of 41, that I am pregnant again. It is a complete surprise, but I am at peace. I have many concerns but am confident that as the days of the blooming of new life proceed that Jesus and Mary and all the Saints in Heaven are with me. My angels, God the Father and the Holy Spirit are firmly on my side.”

I think most of that paragraph sums up how I felt the whole time I thought I was pregnant. I actually realize that it was a genuine sentiment of Hope! This was confirmed to me as I searched the Catholic Catechism for what it had to say about hope at my holy hour. Paragraph 2657 says: “The Holy Spirit, who instructs us to celebrate the liturgy in expectation of Christ’s return, teaches us to pray in hope. Conversely, the prayer of the Church and personal prayer nourish hope in us. The psalms especially, with their concrete and varied language, teach us to fix our hope in God: “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.” Ps 40:2. St. Paul prayed: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Rom 15:13Paragraph 2658 begins: “Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Rom 5:5.

After contemplating what I had written and then finding the above scripture passages I am truly comforted after the sadness I have experienced. My own words and those passages confirm to me, yet again, that God is with me at every step no matter the outcome. And though I was not with child, I was completely impregnated with God’s Hope that filled me with his joy and peace.

May you also be filled with hope and excited anticipation this advent, for the coming of baby Jesus this Christmas! And may you hope and rejoice at his second coming when he will fulfill his promise of everlasting peace and joy to those who love him!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

My Hope Pregnancy

I’ve missed writing on my blog for about a week and a half now. Last week was to be an exciting week for me starting with hosting Thanksgiving in my home for my side of the family and then traveling across the State to visit Will’s parents the Friday after Thanksgiving. And then I was to head off to Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Monday with my three year old Daniel to help my sister and her new baby for a week.

The only thing that happened was that I hosted my families Thanksgiving dinner. Daniel woke up with a fever and cough Friday morning and we made the decision that I should stay home with him for the weekend while Will went ahead and took the older three children to see his parents.

All along I had planned on finally revealing to all my friends and family, upon my return from Milwaukee, that I was three months pregnant. My big announcement would happen after I got to spend time with my sister and her newborn. Surely this would put me in the mood for a baby! But God changed my plans again and on Monday morning when I went in for what was to be a twelve week appointment with the OB/GYN I found out that there was no heartbeat and no baby! I experienced a molar pregnancy. Here is the definition I pulled off the internet:

What is a molar pregnancy?
A molar pregnancy happens when tissue that normally becomes a fetus instead becomes a growth, called a mole, in your uterus. Even though it is not an embryo, a mole triggers symptoms of pregnancy.

What causes a molar pregnancy?
Molar pregnancy is thought to be caused by a problem with the genetic information of an egg or sperm. There are two types of molar pregnancy: complete and partial.

Complete molar pregnancy: an egg with no genetic information is fertilized by a sperm. The sperm grows on its own, but it can only become a lump of tissue. It cannot become a fetus. As this tissue grows, it looks a bit like a cluster of grapes. This cluster of tissue is called a mole, and it can fill the uterus.

Partial molar pregnancy: an egg is fertilized by two sperm. Normally this creates twins. But in a partial molar pregnancy, something goes wrong. The placenta grows into a mole instead. Any fetal tissue that forms is likely to have severe defects.

While at the doctor’s appointment on Monday I had an ultra sound to find out why we couldn’t hear a heart beat. There was no heart beat because we couldn’t see a baby. So I was scheduled for a D&C the following Wednesday to clean out my uterus. I still don’t know if I had a complete or partial molar pregnancy.

I now await test results from the tissue to see if there were any cancer cells in it. In that case, life will take on another twist. I am told that cancer is very rare so am crossing my fingers and praying for an all clear. I will for sure have to continue being monitored for HCG levels in my blood for at least a year to make sure nothing grows back.

This, I guess, has been another lesson to show me that God is in control and that I will just have to go for the ride of all his twists and turns in life. I don’t know what his plans are for me next, I just pray that he gives me the strength and wisdom to trust in his divine providence no matter what his plan is.

As for my emotional feelings, I was only slightly sad at first, but not heartbroken, especially since it appeared that there simply was no baby, just symptoms of pregnancy. My feelings, I'm sure, would be different if this was a first or second pregnancy and if I was lots younger (I'm 41). When I took my positive home pregnancy test back in October I was truly at peace and had a feeling of joy with the result, yet nervous as to the future and the health of myself and baby. But those fears have mostly subsided and I'll move on with a fresh outlook of what adventures God has in store for me now.

Will was shocked that there was no heartbeat. He was originally shocked at the positive pregnancy test too but had come to fully accept that we would have another baby. Towards the end of October he had called me from work one day and told me, "I know what we will name the baby! Hope!" Something he saw lead him to that name and he was inspired. So, if indeed we had an early conception that didn't go anywhere but Heaven, we have a beautiful name for the soul, Hope. I'd venture to warn you, I'll probably have a blog post or two about the virtue of Hope in the future. It only seems natural to move on to Hope, after all my writings on Peace.

I "Hope" this finds you doing well, and I "Hope" you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are having a blessed Advent!