Archive for the month “February, 2011”

free samples.

it’s why my kids help me make things.

they like to have their fingers in everything.

sometimes clean. sometimes not.

the other day the baby made his sister a glass of strawberry lemonade and i happened to mention: did you remember to wash those strawberries first?

and all i heard was a quiet: oops.

horrified at this culinary faux pas, she didn’t finish said glass of strawberry lemonade.

she didn’t finish the sweetness.

because the bitterness of what might be in there was too much to swallow.

if i must glory i will glory in the things that concern my weakness…that the power of CHRIST may dwell in me.

those words leapt off the page and into my heart during mass.

they reminded me of his sweet little offering.

and our intentions.

and i can relate.

because lent is coming.

am i ready?

yes and no.

i feel a lot like the baby.

like i have something to offer.

but my hands are dirty.

and i am too weak to head into the desert of contemplation.

for forty whole days.

whole being the key word.

but that is really the reason for the journey, is it not?

that we will be made whole.

without diminution or exception; entire, full, or total.

the Church in her wisdom knows we’ve been feasting too much. and not exercising enough. and there is no glory in that.

that doesn’t make us full.

containing all the elements properly belonging; complete.
 
i have never properly belonged anywhere.
 
and quite often confuse who i am with what i do.
 
undivided; in one piece.
 
the idea of being in one piece greatly appeals to my innate sense of order. yet achieving order is another thing.
 
not broken, damaged, or impaired; intact.
 
yet…
yet HIS power is made perfect weakness.
yes, that means in my broken. impaired. damaged heart.
 
uninjured or unharmed; sound.
 
the idea that we can somehow get through this life uninjured and unharmed is something i cling to.
especially as my kids get bigger and venture out further and further away from the safety and ideals of here.
 
the simplicities of childhood become a mixed-up. dangerous tangle of boyfriends. girlfriends. friends with cars. driving. motorcycles. ipods and cell phones.
 
iworry.
that’s what i call it.
 
things they once played with so innocently become more real
bigger. and important.
 
bigger than me.
 
 

life and things are so easily muddied. and muddled.

a mess of dirty offerings.

they’re all i have.

flustered. i find myself reaching through walls as they leave.

some literal. others figurative.

to give a blessing.

in the Name of the Father. and of the Son. and of the Holy Ghost.

they can’t see me.

is it still effective?

this hidden, imperfect blessing of mine?

sometimes settling is all one can do.

when circumstances and obstacles seem overwhelming.

resting assured that those same circumstances and obstacles are not accidental.

i taste and see His goodness constantly.

He is THE sweetness that never ends.

a free sample if you will.

for our grubby fingers to partake.

HE is unimpaired. undiminished. perfect. complete.

and i can be those things too.

in spite of the millions of oops that are mine. (some quiet. others not so.)

daring to grasp and to finish that sweetness.

even if it means swallowing some of the bitterness too.

standing myself on the outside waiting for an unseen blessing.

because the power of Christ dwells in me.

and you too.

happy monday, friends!

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lacking a conclusion

i gather the lace tablecloth into a ball.

little bits of crumbs fall back onto the table.

even lace has holes.

pieces of the weekend come spilling out of my heart.

a heart overflowing with happiness for healing and grace freely given.

it is late monday but i can feel the love that is still here.

i recall the taste of a glass of shared orange champagne.

smiling  i think of the way it tickled my tongue.

two spoons and one serving of tiramisu.

a movie with my mama.

venturing out again. together. alone.

she holds my arm. a sign of her fragility. and vulnerability.

shadows from her fall lurk around every corner. and with every step.

all of life is so fragile.

we are bones. flesh. blood.

i remember: even lace has holes.

holes are the weaknesses.

things fall through.

yet the delicate fabric of who we are is durable.

and we can soak up so much goodness.

the goodness that is:

::falling asleep to the sound of rain.

the downpour a soothing symphony to the places that ache.

::sunday holiness. awe. praise.

early morning mass.

adoration. contrition. thanksgiving. supplication.

Spirit Food.

no crumbs there.

only Wholeness. and Completeness.

and strength in HIS Flesh and Blood.

i pause and ponder:

how is it that we so quickly outgrew that stage of fitting in just one pew?

my loves are sprinkled throughout the small chapel.

how does such a small chapel contain so much love?

because love is not something that can be contained.

it manifests itself in so many different ways.

and when i am not looking it slips right through those holes and sinks down into my deepest. darkest places…and resides with me.

even in my crumb-iness…

there is an echo of voices and i snap out of it.

stories are being read by my girl and my mama.

they fumble. trying to figure out where they left off last.

so much of life is fumbling and trying to figure out where you left off last….

the read aloud: the swiss family robinson.

so many interesting things to make small talk about.

there is a catch in my throat.

i had hoped these days would come again.

days where we’d hear and feel all of these things again.

will it all fall through again?

maybe. probably.

yes, definitely.

i take those words and set them aside for now.

life has too many holes and crumbs to think about.

and after much fumbling myself:

i leave this post without a conclusion…

a sursum corda

teetering on the precipice of cold. shadowy. february. and too much work. and not enough work. and keeping up. and not enough willing hands.

preoccupations and adolescent murkiness: while not horrible they nevertheless trouble me.

and so i seek solace in HIS Words:

I {Christ} am the Lover of all purity, and the generous Giver of all holiness. I seek a pure heart, and there is My resting place. Make ready for Me a great chamber, strewn with rushes-that is, your heart, and with My disciples I shall keep My Easter with you. If you desire that I should come to you and dwell with you, free yourself of the old filth of sin and cleanse also the habitation of your heart. Exclude the world and all the clamorous noise of sin, and sit as a solitary sparrow on the eaves of a house, and think upon your own offenses with great bitterness of heart, for a true lover will prepare for his beloved the best and fairest place he can, for that is a sign of the love and affection of him who receivest his friends.

~ the Imitation bk. 4 no. 12, p. 226

my own heart is lifted.

i do desire HIS coming.

but before He can enter there needs to be a cleansing.

a warm shower. tears.

what is wrong? 

nothing.

everything.

an offering is made. a purification of sorts occurs.

i am so sorry.

this tired mama body. surrounded by people. little. big. young. old.

yet solitary as a sparrow.

all those responsibilities.

sweet. heavy. burdens.

i don’t mind being ordinary. and mundane.

 i’ve grown rather attached to the duties which i enjoy.

i don’t mind living in a world where darkness and light coexist.

the darkness rarely lasts too long.

and in the stillness HE continues to speak to me…uttering things hidden in God and unknown to the world.

and together we find PEACE.

peace and reconciliation with the burdens.

and the responsibilities.

making home and mothercraft offered to God is never a drudgery.

or so i am gently reminded.

it is holy. sacred. and precious. the parallels with the Mass are uncanny.

the ordinariness is gone.

HE transubstantiates my pitiful offering and changes it into something beautiful.

hearts are not only lifted. but transformed.

fruits spread abroad.

but always starting here first.

with me and HIM.

just me and HIM.

and i settle down into HIS embrace. cradled and comforted like a child by the gentle rhythm of HIS heart.

wanting so badly to make every beat of It my own…

and there is nothing mundane about that.

undone

there is a false spring here in cA. i am in full-on de-cluttering mode. literally grasping and seeking out a place for everything…..

yesterday i found an old to-do list that read: re-paint the cradle. it is a doll cradle mind you. it was given to me as a gift the year she was born and then she used it for her baby dolls.

now here we are. two years later. and that same cradle remains unpainted along with a pile of a few other things ready to be put away. 

the little wooden high chair is there too. how did that happen?

some things shouldn’t be left undone.

but they are. because other things and happenings take their place.

and then one day you are sitting in the midst of a pile of stuff and you want to cling to it not because of what it is but because of what it symbolizes: the love.

where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

my treasure isn’t the pile of old sports jerseys. a nana-made batman cape that we left in the movie theaters once and had to return to look for it. a cub scout kerchief and book. pajamas that my husband, their daddy, painted with glow-in-the-dark paint, telling them they could have anything they wanted…that time i left on retreat…7 1/2 years ago. or the t-shirts they made the summer we went camping. reminding me of that summer when my mama and i walked in the dark and watched a thunderstorm. in awe of the beautifully lit night sky and the power of lightning.

my treasure isn’t even that old cradle.

my treasure is all those souls who have crossed their paths with mine. their hearts and bodies entwined so intricately with mine.

some mornings i find their blankets and socks in my bed. tangible signs that they’ve been there. with me. with us.

i don’t know why i need these tangible signs so much.

i won’t even get started with how i parted ways with the last of the baby clothes….

there is just something so sacred and precious about these years.

the parenting years.

and they are so fleeting.

and holding on to what is fleeting is impossible.

we are meant for what is eternal.

so i hate it that much- if any-of my time is wasted doing things like de-cluttering.

but it’s all part of the struggle: the martha/mary struggle.

both the work and the contemplation call out to me.

there must be a way to bring some sort of harmony and balance. reconciling the two.

yes, de-cluttering can be a prayer.

that is what He tells me.

simplify. simplify. simplify.

it is a theme that keeps running through my head.

it’s your job. He tells me.

to remove things and happenings from your life and theirs.

you can put some things in a box.

to remember.

but let the rest of it go.

let it bless someone else.

the real things that should never be left undone aren’t really things anyway.

and it is your responsibility to figure out what those things are….

with collections and knick knacks in every corner…i ponder. daily.  just what is it exactly that He is wanting me to remove?

it’s easiest to start with what is broken and mismatched.

what about the baby clothes?

yes.

but what if there is another baby?

do not worry about what that baby would wear.

you cannot and will not reconcile the tangible with the Eternal.

He wants to be the center of it all.

and that’s just not possible when there is too much stuff.

so much to contemplate. this de-cluttering thing.

especially when it applies to so many areas of my life….

i suppose i’ll always be the most undone thing in my life.

broken and mismatched.

gently i unite this thought to the hearts of Jesus and Mary.

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