Archive for the month “September, 2010”

here

i am.

staring alternately between the computer screen and a most glorious sunset.

the sky is pink. and purple. with bits of grey. and wispy clouds.

it was a gloomy stormy day. i woke up to the pitter patter of rain. made my way to mass. came home and stared at a dark. still sleeping house. dirty pots and pans littered the kitchen counter. plates were left on the table from dinner last nite. never cleared. because i was just too tired.

and i then i was mad. mad because things are always falling apart around here in one way or the other. it seems like i can’t turn my attention elsewhere for one second or chaos takes over.

you would never know that i had received Holy Communion just minutes earlier. it doesn’t take me that long to get home. what is wrong with me you might say. or maybe you feel this way too.

spiritual dryness perhaps?

or i am in need of a good cry?

i am.

the immense responsibility of homeschooling is a heavy, heavy burden.

but burdensome and beautiful. sweet and sour. agony and ecstasy.

so many contradictions, huh?

it is something i often have a hard time putting into words without someone misunderstanding me.

after all i chose this cross didn’t i?

well, sort of.

because there really was no other alternative.

the schools here are bad. in a very bad way.

and so this is the right thing to do.

read:

“when your soul is crushed with sorrow, know that it is crowded with God. a man or woman without suffering of some kind would be like a world without Divine Revelation. they would know only the twilight of God, but see dimly His vestiges and know Him almost not at all.”

not my words. but oh so consoling.

i am crushed. sorrowful.

and yet i am constantly, albeit very gently reminded that it is ok.

there are still rainbows and sunsets. promises and hope.

i have not thrown the towel in yet.

i am still trying to get used to being in the passenger’s seat. in more ways than one.

as of today we officially have our first young driver here too. one more reason for me to forever remain sorrowful. and crushed.

but it’s all just part of this season.

this season of raising children. big and little.

an exhausting season wherein quite often i, weakly raise my hand…

still crushed and sorrowful.

and say “here i am….”

and i wait for HIM to pick me up.

again.

and again.

 

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hardly bereft

the Good Book. an old one, albeit. but after much thought and consideration i decided to take all of our lessons this year from the beginning….Genesis to be exact. and oh, God is so good. the parallels between the old covenant and the new…the words of the mass have so much more meaning…this morning when Father spoke of the sacrifice of abel it was so vivid to me after reading the stories and soaking them in…i’d love to do something with this someday. possibly making it available to all the Catholic mamas who want to teach from the bible like this. there really is nothing like it on the market. the concept and ideas that were born in my mind were purely heaven-sent. and as for a living book, well, it doesn’t get much more “alive” than this! 

kitchen help. cheerful. free. enthusiastic. this kid is enthusiastic about everything.

particularly about dinosaurs and fencing at the moment.

he wants to take up fencing…but the jury is still out on that one.

i just don’t know about giving the baby a sword.

inspired. or perhaps prodded a bit by jenn’s yummy looking pictures, i finally made some oatmeal bars. not using any real recipe in the end. they just sort of morphed together. and though they weren’t very sweet, the pan(s) was/were empty by the end of the day.

obsessed by the phantom of the opera, as of late,  i stole my title from one of the songs. it keeps playing through my head.

i had forgotten how powerful good music can be and how cheerful i become while working if something upbeat is playing in the background.

it helps that the 2 little ones can still appreciate truly good music too. it’s nice that they are on my side and keep wanting “more”.

i have been wanting to make a pot roast. so i am making one in my slowcooker. it smells so yummy. with homemade bread. veggie soup and mashed potatoes to go with it. fall cooking is so pleasant!

i am so warmed by your sweet thoughts and prayers. i really hesitate to write too much about the nitty-gritty.

but then i feel guilty if my posts are too lighthearted when my real heart is heavy.

writing always makes me feel better in the end. and it is really my intention for you to feel better too when you are done with my words.

otherwise i’d feel like this whole experience of being here on the web was a waste of time for both of us.

the apostolate of the pen(or rather keyboard).

that’s what this is.

signed.

me. hardly bereft.

ps. isn’t hardly bereft a nice phrase?

using big words makes me feel good too!

a sentimental journey

finding a thoughtful spot in a house full of people isn’t easy.

and yesterday i really needed to think about nothing. everything.

like how my days as of late are delicately balanced between taking care of all of the needs of the vibrant young people here and visiting a fragile little woman who is very near the end of her life.

my grandmother.

a woman who has sadly lost her words.

when all i seem to have are words.

floating through my head day and nite.

in the form of thoughts. dreams. sighs.

mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.

and yet i can’t really seem to find the right order for them either.

hence my absence for the past *gasp* 6 days.

i’ve changed this post title 4 times.

forgive me for rambling.

being so close to death does strange things to a person.

i’ve seen the numbers on the machines go up and down. beeping loudly. annoyingly.

i’ve felt her grip. as she struggles with understanding this process that is happening to her body.

that knowing . gnawing. grip that one has when the sands of time are running out.

refreshed. i return home and ferociously grip the ones that i hold so dear.

putting my own needs aside. i can paint my toenails another day.

that’s what flats are for, right?

they need me.

behold the handmaid of the Lord.

and so on tired. bended knee i fold clean towels. 8 hail marys in one load of towels. i walk to the bathroom to put them away. that’s another. and out again. that is the tenth.

be it done unto me according to THY word.

i say that at least a few times a week.

but stubbornly the words don’t always process very well.

and frankly, His will scares me sometimes.

eyes of mercy….

i am ever so grateful to have an intercessor who was a mother too.

a mother who had a sword pierce her heart.

a heart that beat solely for HIM.

do i dare expect anything different or easier for myself?

a poor. banished child of eve.

life. sweetness. hope.

things aren’t so bad.

the leaves are falling. a store clerk gave me 4 old metal baskets(which i have been needing so badly to organize my craft supplies). i found 3 hardcover nancy drew books and 2 vintage quilt tops at a yard sale.

in fact, things are good.

as always, i am just being overly sentimental.

(so i am off to change that title one more time…and scrounge up something pitiful to feed my hungry children)

really, all i do is cook.

and all they do is eat.

this should’ve been a cooking blog.

the swing of things

funny we should end our first week of school in the same place we started.

only this time we brought friends.

and shared some of our favorite things with them.

and they shared some of their favorite things with us.

there was lots of good food and music.

but just when we were really getting into the swing of things. it was time to come home.

sometimes it is hard to bring yourself back from moments like these.

to face real life.

the dishes. the laundry. the schoolwork.

the repetition. the monotony.

it can be such a pain.

especially with all of the stuff we’ve got going on ’round here lately.

however….

“when the Divine LIFE came to this earth, He reechoed the lessons of the Thrill of Monotony. St. Peter asked how many times we should forgive. Peter thought seven times was enough. Our Lord said, “seventy times seven”. there were three sweet monotonies in His Life-thirty years obeying, three years teaching, three hours Redeeming. He passed on to us the thrill of being born again, which was made a condition for entering into the Kingdom of Heaven.

because God is full of life i imagine each morning Almighty God says to the sun, “do it again”; and every evening to the moon and the stars, “do it again”; and every springtime to the daisies, “do it again”; and every time a child is born into the world asking for a curtain call, that the heart of God might once more ring out in the heart of the babe.

LIFE is full of romance and thrill when it has one overall purpose, namely, to be one with a LIFE that is Personal enough to be a Father; one with a Truth that is Personal enough to be the Wisdom from whence come all Art and Science; and one that is Personal enough to be a Love that is a “Passionless Passion, a wild Tranquility”.

life is worth living when we live each day to become closer to God. when you have said your prayers, offered your actions in union with God, continue to enjoy the “Thrill of Monotony”, and “do it again”!                  

~Fulton Sheen, Life is Worth Living

and so off i go…

to “do it again”!

seriously

and so very official.

all this homeschooliness.

finding the right spot to do an art lesson.

it’s not easy, you know.

especially if you have to take your shoes off.

and put your finished masterpieces on exhibit.

then there is the issue of socializing with friends.

who are sometimes in need of water.

or quite possibly a place to live.

and what about those conservation causes and clubs?

the ones that take up so much time and energy?

like this one for the trees.

the care. conservation. and observation of baby pine and cedar trees to be exact.

oh, yes.

it’s serious stuff .

that i hope y’all aren’t taking too seriously.

happy days!

and remember:

“how can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the rule of Three and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe?”

~G.K. Chesterton

floating….

first grade. math 6. pre-algebra. and algebra 2. oh. my.

the school bell.

it all begins here. with creation….

the reading room is de-cluttered.

the couches are comfy.

the books are as organized as books can be.

and i am feeling a bit nostalgic as we begin frog and toad again.

the year was 1998 when i started it with my oldest son.

that seems so long ago. 

i guess i’ve really just been floating ever since then….

glass half-full translation: smooth sailing.

not by my own hand though.

never by my own hand.

“let not the labors which thou hast undertaken for My sake crush thee, neither let tribulations, from whatever source, cast thee down; but in every occurrence let My promise strengthen and console thee. I am sufficient to recompense thee beyond all bounds and measure. it is not long thou hast to labor here, nor shalt thou always be oppressed with sorrows. wait a little, and thou shalt see a speedy end of suffering. the hour cometh when all labor and trouble shall be no more. all is little and short: labor faithfully in My vineyard: I will be thy reward.”

~III. 47. from the Imitation of Christ

ps. btw. thank you for all of your kind words.

sink or swim?

i feel a lot like that little frog.

i wait for someone to wind me up. and then i swim. but the minute i am left to my own devices, i sink.

until someone winds me up again…..

it happens during an impatient. flustered. mama moment.

i raise my voice. does he really need to eat all. day. long.? is he truly hungry or just fidgety? is fidgety even a word? if he was in a classroom setting he’d surely be diagnosed as ADD.

then he gives me a mayonaisey kiss. “i love you, mama.” and he sticks that post it note on my breast. close to my heart. i pause to read it.

holy. it says holy. “why did you write that?” i ask.

“because you are,” he says. confidently.

i don’t even know how he knew how to spell it.

and even though i am not. it means the world to me that during this small window of time. he thinks i am.

i struggle to get through these first few days of school with a very heavy heart. my grandma (my mom’s mom), suffered a stroke saturday morning.

severe enough to go to the hospital. severe enough to alter her speech and limit the use of her right hand.

this is not new by any means.

this starting a new school year with family tragedies and or difficulties staring me square in the face.

i’ve done this many times before.

so maybe i’ll just have to settle for sink and swim.

as long as Someone keeps winding me up now and again…. 

what doth anxiety about the future bring thee, but only sorrow upon sorrow? sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. it is vain and useless to conceive either grief or joy for future things, which perhaps shall never come to pass. but it is the nature of man to be deluded with such imaginations; and it is the sign of a soul as yet weak to be so easily drawn away by the suggestion of the enemy. for he careth not whether it be with things true or false that he abuseth and deceiveth thee; whether he overthrow thee with  the love of things present or with the fear of things to come. let not therefore thy heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. believe thou in ME, and trust in MY mercy.”

 (III. 30)~from the Imitation of Christ on worry.

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