Good morning! I've missed this space:-). I've been thinking about it a lot, but the actual keyboard time hasn't presented itself very much. The days have been full; we're working hard as a team here in my house to right the ship and get back on course after a season of considerable turbulence. I doubt our days will ever be smooth sailing, but I'm not feeling quite so seasick this week as last.
Enough with the seafaring analogy.
Sewing is slow-going. I finished Sarah's pajama pants. I made her a Size 5, which is clearly too big. I'm trying to decide whether I want to take off the waistband and cut off an inch or so and then re-attach it. I'm definitely going to re-do the cuff and cuff it up the entire width of the contrast fabric. I don't want the pants to drag. I'm toying with the idea of making the shirt in a 4. If she were a big sister, I'd make the 4 and know I could hand them down when she outgrew them. But, she's not and I'd kind of like to see her wear them forever...
I'm on a C. S. Lewis binge these days. Actually, I've been on a C. S. Lewis binge for quite some time. I bought the C. S. Lewis Bible when we renovated the house in late 2012. It matched the living room paint and looked so pretty perched there. I did read it, however; it wasn't just for show. I kept thinking of my cousin Ellie's reference to pretty Bibles perched in family living rooms of our childhood and didn't want that. However, I didn't write in it. It's out there in open space and I encourage the kids to use it whenever they want, so I didn't really want my notes and highlighting in it. At the beginning of the year, I bought another so I'd have one to highlight. I'm using these pencils to highlight and I do kind of love them.
Mary Beth, Michael, and I have all reading through A Grief Observed. Mary Beth and I come together occasionally to think on it together. Grief is a strange thing and I've found we are approaching it very gently with one another. At the most recent funeral (yes, our funeral-going has extended into the new year), the priest quoted from Lewis' book. I think Mary Beth was surprised to hear that; Lewis wasn't Catholic after all. This observation has led to some good conversations about truth and about the man-made divisions in communities of faith. It's also led me to pull C. S. Lewis and the Catholic Church from my shelves and read it again with my current crop of teenagers.
I want to raise these children to know and love and understand the gift of the Church. I also want them to grow to be the kind of genuine Christians who meet people of all denominations in the place where Jesus is and to both share their own heart stories of His goodness and hear the stories others bring. Pearce's book is an excellent one for understanding how pride and prejudice of the denominational divide can affect the sense and sensibility of even the most brilliant and holy thinkers.
Homeschoolers have a reputation for hunkering down, for raising children in a bunker and not exposing them to either the secular world or to other religions, even other Christian religions. I think this is a mistake, especially in the high school years. Instead of avoiding anything that contradicts or challenges a family's belief system, it's important to come alongside them as they discover those things. They will discover them! If we leave that discovery to a time when they are supposedly more mature (and so, away from home), we might be surprised to learn that they have neither the wisdom nor the tools to navigate the confusion. It's far better, I think, to explore together and open a dialogue that will hopefully continue as they grow.
I'm also reading Lewis' The Problem of Pain with a friend. It's good to have a grown-up theological discussion right now. I'm in a place where I really want to dig deep and think some things through. And not just theological things. As I've pulled away from social media, I'm reading longer pieces--whole books, long articles, the slow, thoughtful pursuit of Scripture. I'm spending a lot of time with my Bible open and I'm journaling pages and pages on paper. I'm kind of obsessed with paper and pens these days. I think after years of tapping at keyboards, I've missed the feel of paper and the sense of order and satsifaction that comes with seeing my thoughts in front of me in my own handwriting. To be sure, those are the scribblings of pondering in my heart. I write them knowing that they are mine alone. Perhaps it's the assurance that I will protect them from exposure that has opened the floodgates. Or maybe it's just I really, really like using these pens;-).
What have you been sewing lately? Or are you embroidering? Pulling a needle with thread through lovely fabric to make life more beautiful somehow? Would you share with us just a single photo and a brief description of what you're up to? Would you talk sewing and books with us? I'd love that so much. Tell me about it in the comments or leave a link to your blog. I'll be happy to come by and visit!
You can get your own needle & thREAD button here in your choice of several happy colors.