Daybook: Quiet

Outside My Window::

::The big thaw has begun in earnest. There are still 8-10 inches of snow on the ground and it's becoming really ugly. But outside my back window, there is a single set of tiny little tracks where our sweet friend Isabel made her first journey since the blizzard, across our joined yards to my back steps. She wanted to visit the dollhouse. It's good to have her back with us! 

I am Listening to::

::nothing. We've been besieged with ear infections lately and I'm no exception. Last week was a blur of painful ears and fevers and all sorts of febrile shenanigans. Now, my left ear still has that weird cottony feeling. Since I only have one ear, that makes for some definite "quiet" in my life:-).

I am wearing ::

:: pajamas with roses on them. All the girls went to sleep last night with rose pajamas. Sometimes it is an exceedingly happy thing to find myself in this sorority.

I am Thankful For::

::wise friends who keep filling my inbox with nuggets from their Lenten readings. It is such a blessing to help each other along in quiet contemplation:

Doubtless the terrors of the Lord are often the beginning
of that wisdom, which we name conversion; but men must be frightened in a kind
way, or the fright will only make them unbelievers. Kindness has converted more
sinners than either zeal, eloquence, or learning; and these three last have never
converted anyone, unless they were kind also. In short, kindness makes us as Gods
to each other. Yet, while it lifts us so high, it sweetly keeps us low. For the continual
sense, which a kind heart has, of its own need of kindness, keeps it humble. There
are no hearts to which kindness is so indispensable, as those that are exuberantly
kind themselves.
Frederick William Faber Spiritual Conferences

I am so certain God calls us all to kindness and quiet. And I am so grateful for all the ways in which the Church encourages and enables us to overcome our particular Lenten temptations.

I am Pondering:

::St. John of the Cross

"Wisdom enters through love, silence, and mortification. It is great wisdom to know how to be silent and to look at neither the remarks, nor the deeds, nor the lives of others."

This quote will define my Lent. And, of course, the St. Ephrem prayer is  back at the forefront for this holy time. Plenty to ask God's help with here:

O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.  But give rather the spirit of  chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother; For Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen

I am Reading:

::I have three different books that I'm eager to share with you here. I'm hopeful this week will present some pockets of time for that.

From the Kitchen::

::I made Carmie's cream of corn soup last night. Big hit! Perfect comfort food for a cold, raining, melting kind of night.

I am Thinking:

::about this post. Words are limiting in this world. Sometimes I feel as if we are gathered around the Tower of Babel. Lent is such a gift, because it does beg us to stop. talking. so. much.

I'm thinking about recent news, all in the past week:  about two of my husband's colleagues who face terminal cancer in their early forties, about Rod Dreher's sister, and about a very dear friend who's cancer news is not good at all. I'm a cancer survivor. It doesn't take a very big leap of imagination to know how my world would reel upon that news. I don't often let my mind go there. But Lent does ask us to think about our last days. How would we spend our time? Honestly, I think I would want to live St. Ephrem's prayer as well as humanly possible and then take to heart and live out Fr. Faber's counsel on kindness, focusing intensely on those dear souls in my own home.

So, that's what I'm thinking.

I am Creating::

::some plans for spring. As soon as the thermometer crept above 40 and that incessant melting drip noise began, my children starting talking about Bull Run and my husband starting talking about the beach. Both good ideas. We've got an advanced case of cabin fever here.

On my iPod::

:: This song. I'd never heard it or the artist until I saw it on Kim's blog. Very inspiring.

Towards a Real Education::

::We're buckling down and being productive. Patrick and Mary Beth are focused on their confirmation notebooks, due to be turned in early next month. Nicholas has taken a little rabbit trail to study birds. Stephen, who is a dutiful student and absolutely always completes each day's work just as planned, declared he is utterly bored. So, I'm going to try to enliven things for him a bit.  And the little girls are reluctant to leave "P" week--what with all that pink, and princesses, and paper dolls. They rather like being there.

Towards Rhythm and Beauty:

::The conversation about rhythm continues between the grown ups in my house. It is interrupted frequently by Olympic hockey games, basketball tournaments in far away towns, and makeup ballet lessons.

::To Live the Liturgy:

::have I mentioned how grateful I am for daily Mass?

::I am Hoping and Praying:

::for Colleen and for Elizabeth deHority. Some people don't get to choose their Lenten sacrifices.

In the Garden:

::the laurel took quite a hit under the weight of all the snow. I wonder how it will bounce back. I saw hydrangeas at Costco last week. I'm very tempted to give them a try...

Around the House:

::the floors are finished:-) Now, the great basement cleanout begins.

On Keeping Home:

::I find myself sweeping and vacuuming all the time. Fortunately, I like sweeping and vacuuming.

One of My Favorite Things:

::quiet mornings

Sarah Annie this week:

::she give kisses! Sometimes. If you're very lucky;-)

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week:

::Christian's basketball team made it to the state final four, so we'll all travel to Winchester on Friday. The championship is on Saturday. I think I might miss it because everyone else has basketball here at home and Mary Beth has her confirmation retreat. 

A Picture Thought I'm sharing:

Mothers at home don't often finish something that stays finished.

Pretty cool.