I find myself:
::noticing God's glory
The maple trees on Freedom Street took a very long time to fill in last spring. Now it is summer's end and they look like they might turn straight to brown. I'd be so sad. I love that treelined street...
The microwave defrosting the lamb roast I forgot to defrost last night (and the night before and the night before that). I'm determined we'll have it for dinner tonight.
On White's Ferry on the way to Maryland. Mike and I have spent the last two days driving all over Maryland and Northern Virginia.
And questioning our sanity.
::clothing myself in
A super-cute skirt from Open Arms. At Open Arms, refugees earn a living wage taking recycled t-shirts and turning them into seriously adorable skirts. Open Arms is not a charity, but a "social enterprise", a sustainable, for-profit company working to achieve a social purpose through the materials they use, the products they sell and the impact they have. As such, Open Arms measures its success against a triple bottom line that is economic (employ), ecologic (engage) and social (enjoy). Win. Win. Win.
::thinking and thinking
About a comfortable suburban existence and how this ^ is keeping balls in the air in my world. Thinking a great deal about social justice and how the gospel calls us to live. Are these the stresses He intends for us?
"The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” . ~Blessed Mother Teresa
::Carefully Cultivating Rhythm
As the seasons change and I try desperately, frantically to make my calendar behave, I find myself again drawn to the rhythm of the Liturgy of the Hours. Could it be that living that rhythm gives meaning and direction to the secular rhythms in our lives in a real and tangible way? More on that on Wednesday.
::creating by hand
I'm going to knit this week. I made the To Eyre shawl shortly before I stopped knitting last year. It was way too small. It's been re-drafted into a larger "outdoor" shawl. I think I'll give it a go.
::learning lessons in
Doing things that terrify me. Much, much more on that next week.
Is there anything lovelier than a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils? I think not.
for all the people who have joined our weekend prayer community. I carried your requests with me to Mass and I will keep a candle lit for you throughout the week.
for a dozen personal intentions--each of them precious and urgent.
Mindset. I just downloaded the audio version of this one, so I haven't much to report.
I'm listening to this book. It was highly recommended by a soccer mom from Nick's team.
Someone asked how I manage my listening books. I'm super auditory, so I love to listen to books. It's what I do when I clean and when I drive and when I sew. I find them on Amazon and click through to Audible (I have a membership there). I download to my Kindle or to my iPhone. Kindle audio quality is really good--and I just have the basic Kindle.
Mary Beth and I worked on daily school and extracurricular schedules; now to work on the chore chart. It's been a long time since we've had a really workable one. This is the season we nail it.
::towards being unplugged
This week, I'm going to try not to use my phone for social media at all. And I plan to be away from my laptop a lot. We'll see how that balances things. I've noticed that since getting an iPhone, I'm on Twitter more. I still don't really like Twitter, so that's probably not the best use of my time. I'm also on Pinterest a lot less (likely because Pinterest's app is not all that great). I'd like to be better at making all my online time meaningful and none of it mindless. I'd like to make my writing time a set chunk, worked into the schedule, all written down with everything else. I tend to try to wedge writing in around everything else. And that is making meeting deadlines pretty awful. If I had a set time, I could get to work, get it done, click the laptop shut and walk away.
::crafting in the kitchen
Mary Beth is cooking this week. All week.
weird iPhone self-portrait
::loving the moments
Last weekend, Patrick and Hilary gave Mary Beth and me their Brad Paisley tickets. Patrick proposed the idea late Satruday afternoon. We had just spent the whole day out in the rain at soccer and being outdoors in more rain didn't appeal to me so much. But...it was Brad Paisley and a chance for a Girls' Night Out with my favorite girlfriend. So my girl and I stood huddled under a Neat Sheet (I forgot my umbrella) and took in a really good concert. And the whole time, I kept thinking that I must be the luckiest mom in the world to be standing there so close to my teenaged daughter, sharing music and deep conversation. I'm ever so grateful.
Seven--count 'em-- seven ponytails. I love this picture.
for my "village." My boys play soccer. My girls and I have a community of friends forged on the sidelines. I'm grateful for these people. The girls see soccer games as many kids do weekly play dates. And there is an abundance of soccer siblings their ages to keep them company. Heck, together, my friend Becca and I have 18 kids. And that's just two families! (Truth: no one else's family is mega like that but there are lots of soccer friends for them.)
::living the liturgy
For years, our mission church has met in the elementary school gym across the street from my house. This weekend, it moved to an auditorium at a nearby new high school. It's a good change--the acoustics are a million time better. We've traded bleachers for real seats. Much, much easier to concentrate without the posters encouraging us to work out and eat right. But we all miss being able to walk to church. I'm seriously eyeing the houses being built near the new permanent church site.
::planning for the week ahead
I'm going to spend the entire day today making lists and checking things off.