I find myself:
::noticing God's glory
I love the way the sun sets at the soccer
field. It’s happening earlier and earlier each evening. Next week, we might
miss it altogether. I am determined to bring my camera tomorrow in order to
attempt to capture it. The iPhone just isn’t cutting it.
::clothing myself in
Denim shorts and an orange shirt, neither of
which I owned last spring. When we first saw possibilities for the cover of
Small Steps, I didn’t much prefer the one that was chosen. It’s been a few
babies since I’ve felt comfortable in shorts and orange isn’t really my
color;-). When I received word that the “shorts cover” was indeed the cover
chosen, I went shopping. I try really, really, super hard to be wholly authentic.
If my book had a picture of a lady in shorts with an orange shirt and her feet up
drinking coffee, by golly, I was going to make every effort to try that whole
scene at least once. So, I did.
I still rarely put my feet up. I don’t drink
coffee regularly. My couch does not match my orange shirt. And the orange shirt
still isn’t really my color. But the denim shorts?
I kind of love them.
::talking with my children about these books
we spent a lot of time talking about 9/11 books
last week. The kids seemed to keep revisiting them, much more so than in years
past. We haven’t yet talked about the recent D.C. shooting. I put a ban on all
television where they might be exposed. I spent a fair amount of time making
telephone calls in my car so that I was safely out of earshot. I need to figure
out how to approach this one. This time, it’s going to take me a few days to
::thinking and thinking
About God’s unique call. I wonder sometimes at
the damage done by a women’s movement that fought so hard and so long to
persuade the culture that women can do it all—be wives, mothers, employees, employers,
artisans, crafters of the ideal life. No ceiling, no boundaries, no
limitations. But there are, aren’t there? Natural law makes it so. There are
only so many hours, so much energy. We can’t do it all and we likely will burn
ourselves out trying. The culture tells us we can. God doesn’t. God calls us
uniquely to live as He created us and He grants us abundant grace to do it. He
didn’t create us for burnout. That feeling of being stretched too thin, doing
everything halfheartedly and nothing well? That’s not of God.
Let yourself be seen by all as you really are. Just as we are in the
sight of God, so let us be in the sight of all.
~ St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
::carefully cultivating rhythm
We are in the second
full week of the total schedule. I’m finding my writing pockets. Those are like
little nuggets of gold. Writing does for me what knitting does—it calms me; it
organizes my thoughts; it leaves me feeling full. I get a little stressed out
when I’m not sure how I’ll fit it in. It relaxes me to see those golden nuggets
of time reveal themselves.
::creating by hand
I did the things Monday that keep me from
sewing. I prewashed a whole bunch of yardage. And I traced. I ordered some
patterns (that I thought I’d already ordered but apparently in my sleepless
stupor last week I never sealed the deal). I’m planning some shirts and dresses
for my girls and a little love bundle for the mail. Now, I might actually get
::learning lessons in
appliance maintenance. Just in case there is
someone else out there who doesn’t know: Take the cover off your dryer every
month. Vacuum out the inside. I’m not talking about the lint screen. You have
to clean that every time you switch loads. I’m talking about the innards, where
the heating element warms the drum. Lint gets in there. And it can catch fire.
When it does, it causes the thermostat to overheat, igniting the safety valve
which shuts the whole thing down. That’s the best case scenario: you get a load
full of dried clothes that smell like you had a wild time in a smoky bar and
you have to replace the thermostat.
The worst case scenario is the stuff of
Really, go vacuum out the inside of your dryer.
We’re hitting that sweet spot between planned
lessons and following rabbit trails. I’m not an unschooler; been there, done
that, paid a huge price. I have a plan and I have some non-negotiable
essentials. But I do love a good jaunt in an area of interest that reinforces the
whole notion that learning is fun and has purpose.
for the victims of the tragedy in Washington,
D.C., both those who lost their lives and those who lived through the horror.
My stepbrother works in Building 197. He saw unspeakable things.
for all the intentions of our prayer community.
And yes, for that intention I was keeping
quiet; it’s still very close to my heartJ
I am nearly caught up after being without a
dryer for 9 days. Go me.
::crafting in the kitchen
This morning I made a quick decision to return
to Monday Night Football Geography. With that decision, I committed to cooking on
Monday nights according to the cities that are playing. Tonight’s dinner was
::loving the moments
It’s been a rough couple of days. I caught some
sort of virus late last week and it has hung on. That, coupled with a lack of sleep, a mountain of
laundry, some great ideas that I don’t have time to get into print, an unintentional
oil spill and cleanup to rival BP in my driveway, sewing projects that are not
yet begun awaiting the magic moment, and the very tragic news of Monday morning
had all combined to bring me way, way down. I sent a friend a quick note around
midday Monday and she stopped and spent an hour just talking and sharing and
understanding. I love the moments when I feel understood. We really need to do
that for one another, don’t we? We need to understand.
for the safety of the people I love tonight. Really,
it’s not to be taken for granted.
living the liturgy
We are approaching my favorite stretch of
liturgical feasts. I’m so grateful for the way that the liturgy aligns with
birthdays in my life. Five years ago, we began the novena for St. Therese on the
September 23, the feast of Padre Pio. I began to bleed that night and the
doctor in the NICU told me that birth was imminent. My baby was 28+ weeks in
utero. I didn’t deliver. Instead, I spent several days in the hospital and then
I returned home where I was forbidden to get out of bed. I surrounded myself
with the saints. I’m going to tell you more about that tomorrow. Just know that
those saints kept me safe in their prayers. My daughter was born –early, but
healthy—on the vigil of All Saints. So very appropriate. And, not long after,
when my world crashed and rocked and I began to question the Church because of
the people in the Church, I could not walk away. Because I could not leave the
communion of saints, I could not leave the Divine Office, and I could not live
authentically without living the liturgy.
::planning for the week ahead
I return to the eye doctor Tuesday at noon. I
would dearly love for her to tell me that we’ve made progress on this whole
warped eyeball thing. I only have one ear. My eyes are working at about 50%.
Just know this: I have an incredible sense of smell. So there’s that.
Mike is taking a bunch of boys to watch Paddy
play Tuesday night. It’s absolutely beautiful soccer weather. That’s a good
thing because we’ll return to Charlottesville Friday and then we’ll begin State
Cup for Stephen back here on Saturday and there is a match for both Stephen and
Nick on Sunday.