Gathering My Thoughts








I find myself:

::noticing God's glory

It's eighty degrees today! And perfectly beautiful. Now it's easy to believe that really, truly it will be spring. Kristin rallied the troops yesterday and we all got out and started weeding. They did a huge job. The front bed looks nice and tidy and I'm eagerly awaiting the appearance of tulips. Now, I'm looking forward to doing some planning. And some planting:-)

::listening to 

Crazy ridiculous noise in the dance studio. There is jazzercise in one studio and four-year-olds tap dancing in another and a crowded lobby full of moms and dads and siblings. This was the only window I could find to write. My girls think it can't be done. We shall see.

::clothing myself in 

Khakis and a linen shirt with a lightweight sweater. Bliss.


::talking with my children about these books

Karoline had a major burst into chapter books in the past week. Chapter books! We are having some serious fun getting to know Junie B

::thinking and thinking

About renewal . I had a nice, long talk with Aimee and we've got it all figured out ;-).


::pondering prayerfully

from CNS

Pope Francis preached about the Gospel story from St. Luke about the two disappointed disciples on the road to Emmaus after the death of Jesus.

“They were afraid. All of the disciples were afraid,” he said. As they walked toward Emmaus and discussed everything that had happened, they were sad and complaining.

“And the more they complained, the more they were closed in on themselves: They did not have a horizon before them, only a wall,” the pope said, according to Vatican Radio.

The disciples had had such high hopes that Jesus would be the one who would redeem Israel, but they thought their hopes were destroyed, he said.

“And they stewed, so to speak, their lives in the juice of their complaints and kept going on and on and on with the complaining,” the pope said. “I think that many times when difficult things happen, including when we are visited by the cross, we run the risk of closing ourselves off in complaints.”

When all people can think of is how wrong things are going, Pope Francis said, the Lord is close, “but we don’t recognize him. He walks with us, but we don’t recognize him.”

Like the disciples joined by the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus, people can hear beautiful things, but deep down, they continue to be afraid, the pope said.

“Complaining seems safer. It’s something certain. This is my truth: failure,” he said.

But the Gospel story shows how very patient Jesus is with the disciples, first listening to them and then explaining things step by step, until they see him.

“Jesus does this with us, too,” the pope said. “Even in the darkest moments, he is always with us, walking with us.”

Complaining and griping — about others and about things in one’s own life — is harmful “because it dashes hope. Don’t get into this game of a life of complaints,” he said.

::carefully cultivating rhythm

I have resigned myself to the fact that, for the remainder of soccer season, my gym time will be limited to two super early mornings a week. And I've worked out a way to work out at that same time at home on the off-gym days. There is peace in that. 

I've also come to some big conclusions about online time, particularly time on a Facebook feed or browing Instagram or clicking Pinterest. I have a life I want to live. I have a vision and I like to be itentional. Actually, it's really, really important to me to be intentional. Sometimes--often--I think the lives we want are ours for the taking, but attaining them is hindered by the clutter of the lives we see on screens and the room they take up in our brains. What if I limited myself to five or ten minutes each on Facebook and Instagram every day during the week? Just long enough to check in and offer a word of encouragement or see if someone is wanting to talk to me about something in particular? And what if I refrained from social media altogether on the weekends? Then, what if I chose only five blogs to read regularly? The others will be there for the rainy afternoon of binge reading or if there is something in particular I'm seeking. And Pinterest? It's a great filing system and a good place to go if I have a specific question. Otherwise, I recognize how important it is for me to keep it on the outer margins.

I love the Internet. I appreciate it so very much. There are countless ways it's made my life easier and enriched it with friendships. But I love the look on my child's face when I click the computer closed even more.

::creating by hand

Mostly, we're all about altering dance costumes this week. Competitions begin on Saturday. After a rough beginning, I'm learning to love like Velcro.

::learning lessons in

asking for help.

::encouraging learning 

There will be a decided shift in the next few weeks. We've wrapped up our writing courses for the year. I'm going to hyperfocus on math and nature study. We're heading to the woods with our sketchbooks soon. Can't wait!

::begging prayers

For my friend Barbara's new grandson, Isaac. (So far, both our homeschooling-friends-grown-up who have had babies have named them Isaac.)  He was born Saturday, by emergency c-section, six weeks early. He and his mom are doing fine, but your prayers for recovery and growth and NICU grace are very much appreciated.

And for Rick Warren, his son, and his family.

::keeping house

Spring sunshine is casting light on the dust. I'm totally up for some spring cleaning.

::crafting in the kitchen 

Kristin's birthday is this weekend. Per family tradition, she gets to pick dinner. But the cake? Oh, the cake is all about the girlies and creating and crafting in the kitchen.

Also, we had a great Facebook conversation about grocery bills and how to plan and budget. God willing, I'll bring that conversation here this week.

And I'm pondering treats for the trail, or in this case, for the dance competition. I'm going to pack and go with the girls this weekend. What do you like to pack in "lunchboxes?"

::loving the moments

when I find myself in an old, familiar place, decades later, and smile to myself because really, it all worked out very well. We went to Charlottesville for Friday night and Saturday. It was beautiful and so, so much fun to watch Paddy play and to take my little girls on a walking tour of "back when Mommy was Paddy's age." I wish I could have stayed longer. There's no place quite like Charlottesville in the springtime...

::giving thanks 

for sunshine.

living the liturgy

We're focusing on Divine Mercy.

Easter is a season. My intention is to live it as such. Throw open the windows; let light flood our lives. He is risen! And we, too, can run and leap and shout for joy:-). So let's get after that...

::planning for the week ahead

Big deep breaths. I worked hard on sketching out all the commitments, hopes, plans, meals, chores... I feel better for just having put it all on paper. Now, to make it all work and not lose my peace. 

Instagram recap: