Gathering my Thoughts


I find myself:

::noticing God's glory

I slept in the girls' room last night because Mike is sick. I awoke before the alarm as the room filled with pink light. The sunrise was so stunning I woke Karoline, because she's a big fan of sunrises. It was well worth it.

::listening to 

Kari humming to her cereal.  

::clothing myself in 

A tshirt and yoga pants. There's a morning class I'm very eager to take today. 


::talking with my children about these books

some of our favorite books by and about the Pope:

Lolek, The Boy Who Became Pope. (my favorite)

Joseph and Chico 

Max and Benedict

Be Saints

Friendship with Jesus

And some books for Lent.

With the bigger kids, I plan to use Consoling the Heart of Jesus again this year. I cannot say enough good things about this book. It's life-changing. I read it last year, on an unexpected and unusual "retreat," and I shared these thoughts:

I spent Holy Week reading Consoling the Heart of Jesus. There are a small handful of books in my life where I remember exactly where and when I read them because those times and places are turning points. This book is one of those. It is easily at the top of that list. This incredibly readable volume makes some of the most beautiful truths and devotions of the Catholic faith understandable (at last)  and accessible (even to busy mothers of large families).  Fr. Gaitley brings together fine threads of several spiritual traditions and weaves them into a beautiful and exceedingly useful tapestry of a do-it-yourself retreat. It is Ignatian spirituality made accessible. It is the Little Way of St. Therese for all of us. It is consecration to Mary and devotion to Divine Mercy explained in plain language and made clear to little souls. Mostly, it is a rich volume of Merciful Words that brings Merciful Love to its readers. You don't have to have a weekend to make the retreat. You can just read a little each day until you are finished. If it's your heart's desire to get to know and understand Jesus better, tell Him.

I'm so looking forward to re-reading this book this year.

::thinking and thinking

About renewal and Lent.

::pondering prayerfully

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, People may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, They may be jealous; Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;

It was never between you and them anyway. 

(This is an adaptation of the Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent M. Keith, adapted by Blessed Mother Teresa)


::carefully cultivating rhythm

Woohoo! Yet another new rhythm this week. This one's a keeper. As I posed in a compromising position on my mat at the gym on Sunday afternoon, the instructor stood over me and offered, "I know you. We're friends on Facebook." Turns out she's a homeschooling mama of many and she teaches some morning classes and brings her kids. This could be just perfect.

::creating by hand

More prayer journal covers. And Easter dresses. I'm still in the trace-the-pattern-stage, but I hope to have something to show on Thursday


::learning lessons in

Listening well. I've found that often God has Lent planned for me; I just need to tune in. In the past week the little girls all had a stomach bug, three or four of us had colds, then the middle kids got the stomach thing, Stephen sprained his ankle, then Mike got the stomach thing... Lent began with disruptions of my plans, Valentine's Day was pitiful, and I had plenty of opportunity to think about what God might have in mind--while I folded mountains of laundry.  

::encouraging learning 

I'm feeling a bit of midyear pressure. I really, really want to finish the year's math for everyone. We might need to double-time math for the next few months.

::a little link for you to click ASAP

Please, please, please, check in here and see what the folks at Give Bracelets are up to. They need your help feeding orphans. And if you can't actually give right now, register for the huge GIVEAWAY and help spread the word. Usually the GIVE giveaways are enormously popular. This one is kind of fizzling and I'm concerned.

::begging prayers

for all the intentions of our prayer community.  

::keeping house

I absolutely blitzed through the pantry last week and cleaned and organized. Now, I just want to stand there and look at it.

::crafting in the kitchen 

I have begun Heather's workshop. The virtual classroom space is beautiful. Of course it is; everything Heather touches is beautiful. Mary Beth is taking the class with me and most of our "discussion component" is with my friend Katherine in Texas and her two girls. I've been adding grains and legumes back into my diet, very slowly. The jury is still out. I'd really like to have a more plant-based foundation. Paleo is counter-intuitive to me. But I'm very respectful of a plant's potential for inflammation and paleo has taught me that there absolutely are certain things I cannot eat. In the meantime, I'm really loving playing in my kitchen and at grocery stores again, so that's a very good thing.

Oh, and I discovered homemade almond milk. I will never miss dairy again. Ever. Ever.

::loving the moments

when friends share big news and you dream babies all night long.

::giving thanks 

for daughters-in-love who try to rescue Valentine's Day with a care package of kombucha, gluten-free cookies, organic chocolate, and a bottle of gummy vitamins. She knows where to shop to fill my tank.

living the liturgy

We definitely didn't do all the right things on all the right days last week. There are mantel letters to replace, a crown of thorns yet to make, an Alleluia to hide, and more journal covers to make so we can record our gifts. God's got a plan for us this Lent. I'm letting Him lead.

::planning for the week ahead

Basketball playoffs this weekend and dance doings, too. I just want everyone healthy.