Friday, January 31, 2014

Maintaining Peace and Reasons for Happiness - 7 Quick Takes

As they say, there is Always something to be grateful for.
Like the fact that in my part of the Midwest we have not suffered from the terrible weather like so many areas of the country have.
Prayers for the unprepared southerners who endured this mess.  And God bless the family who brought their newest little girl into the world in their vehicle on that Atlanta highway.  Cannot imagine.
As each day of this very, very cold winter goes by I am trying to have gratitude that it has not been as bad here as it could have been.  We really haven't had any snow or ice since right before Christmas.  Cold, yes, but no mess.  That could be changing this weekend however.
Taking Notice

I came out of a meeting of catholic school parents last evening to a cold but stunning night sky.  I was kind of walking slowly to the van, sauntering even, because I could sense a stillness and peace (and I wasn't much looking forward to homework checking either).  My eyes beheld such a scene of nighttime beauty as hundreds of thousands of stars shone their hope.  It gave me pause in which I imagined great things.  It was the darkness of that sky which enabled those stars to shine so brilliantly.  No matter the darkness we are all encountering in our world, the light shines brighter still.
" Never be in a hurry; Do everything quietly and in a calm spirit.  Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset."
-- St. Frances de Sales
The life of a mother does not lend itself to this kind of tranquility.  I used to think that.  About a year ago, however, upon reading this quote in a book, I decided to start trying really hard to stop rushing about so much and to stop rushing the kids as well. I didn't do this as much when they were all little. So, I made various efforts in this regard, which is it's own post maybe.  Although, I have not had perfect success because I am not a perfect person, I can say the rewards of the efforts have been huge.  It required leaving multi-tasking behind, but I have not regretted making these efforts.  The kids have responded positively as well. Even with unavoidably packed days, more days than not, it has been possible to go a bit slower and breathe more deeply.

Thanking God for Catholic Schools

Catholic Schools Week was this week and it was a time for being appreciative all over again for the kids' wonderful, faithful Catholic school.  When so many Catholic schools are closing around the nation we are beyond fortunate in our diocese to have thriving Catholic education that is affordable due to our system of stewardship. Hearing my very "all boy" 9 year old son, JP, tell about how he prayed in adoration for his twin sister who was home sick drove it home for me that we are so blessed to have this kind of education available.

 Go RCS Ravens!


Speaking of the school, it has been a funny, albeit, touching situation watching 12 year old daughter, BC, play basketball with her team this winter.   These girls have really done well considering this is their first year playing.  But, they are such caring girls that while playing they have been known to stop plays to check on a teammate who might have gotten hurt or shaken up or even to help a member of the other team up off the floor.  They got called out on this by a referee finally and they looked at him, shocked, that he could be so callous and non-understanding.  What's the big deal if the game was temporarily stalled anyway?  Sheesh - so their demeanors seemed to say. lol  Oh well, in the long run it's their virtue they'll need more than an aggressive 6th grade season.  That said, they're going into the tournament in 2nd place  :)


Around the house this weekend: 

~ 1st Saturday confession and meditation. Pizza and movie night after. 

~ picking up a couple of new candles and resupplying the tea.  There's still a lot of winter left and I rely on these kind of perk-ups.  I don't do well with too many of the gray days.

~ working on my closet / mudroom project some more.  I am adding the baskets this weekend and deciding what will and will not be allowed inside them.
~  giving away shoes I haven't worn since I went through a Bjorn phase. 
~ re-organizing the linen closet so the kids will stop grabbing sheets to dry off with after showers just because they don't want to pull them out of the way to find the towels.

~ making some fun food for a Superbowl Watch night...  bbq whiskey meatballs, buffalo chicken bites (both from Pioneer Woman's Holiday Cookbook) and some kind of cake which was Opa's  request.  We are going for Denver simply because one of my brothers and his family live in the Denver area.  Also, my son, JP, is a big Peyton Manning fan. 

Speaking of the Denver Broncos, the Archbishop of Denver is holding Mass with them before the game.  Very cool.  Watch out Seahawks.


Keeping Peace Quote

"Acquiring and maintaining interior peace, which is impossible without prayer, should consequently be considered a priority for everybody, above all for those who claim to want to do good for their neighbor.  Otherwise, more often than not they would simply be communicating their own restlessness and distress."
Fr. Jacques Philippe

In my life, at this season, I think most directly of my family as my neighbor.  I cannot give them what I do not have.  If I want their peace, and what mother doesn't, then it needs to live in me first.

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