"God made us for joy. God is joy, and the joy of living reflects the original joy that God felt in creating us." (St. John Paul the Great)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Quick Takes - Volume 6

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The Girls had their second Little Flowers meeting Tuesday. It was my turn to host -- nine girls, ages five to eight, for two hours -- and I survived!

Actually, it went really well. The virtue we studied was faith. We started by talking about things we believe in though we cannot see them. The girls really liked my hands-on demonstrations -- I filled a balloon and then let the air out so the balloon flew around the room. We talked about how we couldn't see the air, but we could see what the air could do. ("Do it again! Do it again!") I also passed around a couple of magnets and we talked about magnetic force -- again, something we can't see, but we could see (and feel) its effects. We talked about Saint Catherine of Siena and her example of faith. The girls, most of them from large families, were amazed that Saint Catherine was the youngest of twenty-five children! The girls each made a "faith page" for a notebook they will add to each week (thank you, Jessica, for this wonderful idea!). The flower associated with St. Catherine and faith is the sunflower because just as a sunflower always looks up to the sun, so our faith is always looking to the things of Heaven. We used sunflower stickers to decorate our notebook pages, we had sunflower sundaes for our snack (vanilla ice cream, honey, and sunflower seeds), and then we made sunflowers out of coffee filters.

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(I wish I had some pictures of my own to post, but no camera yet!)

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My husband and I will be celebrating our ten-year (!) anniversary next weekend. We had been married some years when my husband read somewhere about a couple who played a sort of game with one another. They would take turns leaving the word Shmily for the other to find. What does Shmily mean? See How Much I Love You. My husband and I played the game for quite some time -- I'd leave a note in his lunch bag or write it in the steam on the bathroom mirror; he'd put a note under my pillow or in my shoe. I really don't remember why we stopped. It seems likely one of us never found the last one hidden and we eventually forgot about the game. For some reason, I remembered it recently and we started playing again. This week I came down to check my computer in the morning after my husband had left for the day and there was a big SHMILY written on the screen. Later in the day I texted a SHMILY to him. See how much you can love your spouse this week! It's a fun game!

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My best friend's husband is gone this week for work and she is home alone with her five-year-old son and one-year-old daughter. She e-mailed me that things were crazy as usual in his absence: "example #1, i had two cookies today, that's it. example #2, i don't recall when i washed my hair last. example #3, every food group is stuck to my kitchen floor." I laughed and wrote her back: "That tells me that you're a better mommy than I am. When things get crazy around here, I eat cookies in front of the kids, take an extra long shower, and yell until somebody washes the floor!"

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A dear friend called me Tuesday morning. She had box tickets to Little House on the Prairie, the musical, and couldn't use them. She was wondering if The Girls and I would like to go. Would we? We are so excited! This is exactly what we need right now. All three of us are looking forward to a girls only night out. Thank you, Mona!

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The Baby is sitting up on her own! (Drat that camera!)

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I read this on More Than Enough this week and loved it. Thanks, Sarah!

Many complain that the Mass and Rosary are repetitious. However, the repetition of the Mass and Rosary alike can work a slow but deep transformation of one's heart. One could also point out that repetition is not necessarily a sign of a lack of imagination. It may be sheer exuberant pleasure that makes us repeat an activity. G. K. Chesterton argued that repetition is a characteristic of the vitality of children. They like the same stories, the same words, time and time again, not because they are bored and unimaginative but because they delight in life.

Chesterton wrote: “Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead, for grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes each daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore. Heaven may encore the bird who laid an egg."

Pray the Rosary. Pray the Mass. Exult in the monotony. Transform your heart.

This reflection on the monotonous also made me think of how sometimes the daily routine feels monotonous. How many times have I wiped the counters off today? How many times have I asked the kids to turn off that light when they come up from the basement? How many times have I wished for a vacation this week? And on and on.

I have only been given one life. I want to exult in the monotony! Lord, transform my heart.

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The kids and I are in Chicago this weekend. The Girls are competing in an Irish dance competition tomorrow. Hubby is cranking on the dissertation. Please keep us all in prayer! And have a good weekend.

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