Outside my window...
hints of Autumn everywhere.
I am thinking...
. I can't read the mainstream media's diatribe and I can't read the Conservative's claims, either. Even the Catholic commentary is on my nerves.
(Didn't you hear? Pope Francis isn't Catholic enough for the "real" Catholics. It's because he loves gays and divorced people and people who use contraception. Guess he didn't get the memo to love everyone except "those" who don't deserve it. )
I am laughing because...
one of my Grammar students asked if he could call me 'Sarge'.
I'm taking it as a compliment.
I am thankful...
for my mom's help this weekend. We switched over the kids' summer wardrobes to the fall/winter stuff. It took all day but it was nice to have the company and the extra set of hands. She also took home the baby boy bins of clothing that need washing. God-send.
I am creating...
order in this house. Until I have this baby, I'm going to be creating some order.
I loved these pieces:
John was out of town one night last week so I kept myself company late into the night by perusing the Internet. I found all kinds of beautiful stuff! Here are some of my favs:
A dear person in my life asked the question, "How do you know God's plan?" At the time, I didn't have an answer but I do now, "If it stretches you beyond your own perceived capacity to love, it is God's plan. If it makes you devote your whole self to others, it is God's plan. If the fruits of your actions include joy, laughter, lightness, mercy, healing, hope, forgiveness, patience and peace for yourself and/or others, it is God's plan." All we have to do, is be willing to say "Yes."
I'm praying for:
I am wondering...
about the people who seem so sure of everything.
During my first year of homeschooling, I met with my Spiritual Director and confessed I didn't know if this particular educational approach was a good idea for my kids and me. I gave him my laundry list of reasons why and this is what he told me:
"Elizabeth Ann Seton was unsure about what God was calling her to do, too, Colleen. She was a mom, trying to raise her kids and start a school at the same time. She wasn't sure that the situation she was in was really His will. But, with prayer, she persevered. You need to persevere right now, too. Re-visit the question, "Is homeschooling God's will for me?" at the end of the year. Don't do it now. Now, you just need to persevere."
That advice was so helpful because it lessened my desire to constantly ask, "HOW CAN HOMESCHOOLING BE YOUR WILL, LORD?" (which I was tempted to do
after challenging parent/child interactions or after interacting with overzealous homeschooling parents).
I'm not one of these women or parents who has it ALLLLLLL figured out. I meet these types frequently (the ones so convicted about certain childbirth methods or breastfeeding or parenting practices or the homeschooling-only/anti-homeschooling advocates or whatever) and sometimes I'm envious of their confidence, but most of the time I find myself wondering, how they can be so sure of everything? How come they have
such strong opinions
about even the littlest issues?
Because when it comes to my parenting, I'm not sure of many things except I love my kids and I'm trying my best.
I struggle everyday.
I fail and I fall everyday.
But I get back up and try again, hoping against hope the entire time I doing the right thing.
Which is why I found the Pope's remarks about doubt so consoling:
“Yes, in this quest to seek and find God in all things there is still an area of uncertainty. There must be. If a person says that he met God with total certainty and is not touched by a margin of uncertainty, then this is not good. For me, this is an important key. If one has the answers to all the questions—that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself. The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt. You must leave room for the Lord, not for our certainties; we must be humble. Uncertainty is in every true discernment that is open to finding confirmation in spiritual consolation.
“If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God. Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists—they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies. I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life. God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else—God is in this person’s life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life. Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.”
I am reading...
. I had no time to read this past week. I think one of those books listed is due back to the library on Wednesday. I might have to do some binge reading.
(Wishful thinking, perhaps.)
I am learning:
some people will find something wrong with almost everything I do, so pleasing difficult people should not be my primary goal.
Around the house...
I read this
Mainly because I have felt like she has so many times but I lack the courage to actually do anything about it. I love her idea to invest in things that only spark creativity: Legos, dress up clothes, pretend food and grocery store items, art supplies, etc.
I'm re-thinking some of the Christmas purchases I've already made because we just don't need any more stuff.
A few favorite quotes for today...
(all from the
I ask Pope Francis point-blank: “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?” He stares at me in silence. I ask him if I may ask him this question. He nods and replies: “I do not know what might be the most fitting description.... I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.”
The pope continues to reflect and concentrate, as if he did not expect this question, as if he were forced to reflect further. “Yes, perhaps I can say that I am a bit astute, that I can adapt to circumstances, but it is also true that I am a bit naïve. Yes, but the best summary, the one that comes more from the inside and I feel most true is this: I am a sinner whom the Lord has looked upon.” And he repeats: “I am one who is looked upon by the Lord. I always felt my motto, Miserando atque Eligendo [By Having Mercy and by Choosing Him], was very true for me.”
On Common sanctity and patience:
“I see the holiness,” the pope continues, “in the patience of the people of God: a woman who is raising children, a man who works to bring home the bread, the sick, the elderly priests who have so many wounds but have a smile on their faces because they served the Lord, the sisters who work hard and live a hidden sanctity. This is for me the common sanctity. I often associate sanctity with patience: not only patience as hypomoné [the New Testament Greek word], taking charge of the events and circumstances of life, but also as a constancy in going forward, day by day. This is the sanctity of the militant church also mentioned by St. Ignatius. This was the sanctity of my parents: my dad, my mom, my grandmother Rosa who loved me so much. In my breviary I have the last will of my grandmother Rosa, and I read it often. For me it is like a prayer. She is a saint who has suffered so much, also spiritually, and yet always went forward with courage."
On healing the wounds of the people:
"What does the church need most at this historic moment? Do we need reforms? What are your wishes for the church in the coming years? What kind of church do you dream of?”
Pope Francis begins by showing great affection and immense respect for his predecessor: “Pope Benedict has done an act of holiness, greatness, humility. He is a man of God.
The thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle.“I see clearly,” the pope continues, “that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds.... And you have to start from the ground up.
One of my favorite things...
Mary Bernadette's dinner announcement:
"I don't play with my friends at recess. I play with Patrick because it's the only time I see him at school."
I'm listening to:
I know, I know.
I don't know what we were thinking either gifting a first grade child with that kind of electronic device, except that she loves music and she always asks to use our i-pod. So we decided to buy one for her and carefully select the music. I hand-picked Broadway show tunes and oldies. The music is wholesome, entertaining, and she loves it.
So do I.
A few plans for the rest of the week:
homeschooling, Cub Scouts, Soccer practice. Rinse and repeat.
A peek into my day...
Happy Monday, friends.