7 Quick Takes – Maiden Voyage! #7QT

7 Quick Takes – Maiden Voyage! #7QT

 

It’s my very first link-up EVAH! I figured it would be appropriate to begin with the hallowed 7 Quick Takes, since Jen is one of the big reasons you’re being subjected to blessed by my random musings again. So, without further ado, let’s roll!!

— 1 —

This Lady is the REAL deal.
This Lady is the REAL deal.

Gotta lead with Mary Most Holy since it’s her day, y’all! Happy Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Get ye to Mass on this wonderful Holy Day of Obligation Opportunity! Out of town? Need to find Mass locally? Go to here now. No excuses. ‘Salright? ‘Salright. ūüôā

— 2 —

Time for a cute baby pic! This little guy got some awesome chocolate bundt cake (mixed in a blender, no less) because it was his Feast Day yesterday. Sooo many reasons to celebrate! Oh, and check out the super sister photobomb. This makes my Mama heart happy. ūüôā

Personally, I think he's *slightly*  yummier than the cake. Yep.
Personally, I think he’s *slightly* yummier than the cake. Yep.

— 3 —

On Monday, Divine Mercy Academy is off and running for its first official full year of homeschooling! We have one full-time enrollee, two students who will join us after school away from home, and the Destructo Twins preschooler and toddler babies. It’s about to get REAL up in here. Did I mention we are Divine Mercy Academy? THERE IS A REASON. Jesus, I Trust in You!

Last year's class
Last year’s class
Because we need ALL the mercy!!
Because we need ALL the mercy!!

— 4 —

Today’s Gospel is one of my all-time favorites. It contains the gorgeous Magnificat prayer of Our Lady, and describes the beautiful encounter between Mary and Elizabeth. I’ve got many posts percolating around the Visitation, but for now, here’s my favorite painting by Mariotto Albertinelli. It still takes my breath away.

What real sisterhood looks like.
What real sisterhood looks like.

— 5 —

My dear friend sent me this little gem this week. I immediately thought: “Oh, so THIS is how productivity works. I just have to write things down. I’ll be sure to share this with the dishes and the laundry.”

The Key to Productivity! What I've been missing all these years ...
The Key to Productivity! What I’ve been missing all these years …

— 6 —

Speaking of productivity, my house has not recovered since I was gone to the shenanigans at the end of July. I have some major cleaning, sorting, and tossing to do this weekend. For some reason, I hold on to things for far too long for REALLY IMPORTANT reasons, such as: “I could USE this in six years!” or “This was exPENsive!” or “Someone will NEED this … probably!” Luckily, one of my friends recently provided me with a mantra of sorts to help whenever my Justification And Keeping gene (“JAK”) looms and threatens my decluttering quest. Repeat after me: “That’s what a hoarder would say.”

— 7 —

I’m really looking forward to this evening. Some friends and I went through the amazing 33 Days to Morning Glory consecration process a year ago today and will celebrate our anniversary with Mass, reconsecration prayer, and an intimate celebratory dinner. After the upheaval of the last couple of years, I know this to be true: “Totus Tuus Maria” just makes sense and brings me peace in the storm.

I'm all in, Mama.
I’m all in, Mama.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

For more stunning, delectable Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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Sweet moments

Sweet moments

I wanted to share a few sweet moments experienced over the past few days. They’ve provide me with some desperately needed consolation that has helped me get through some otherwise potentially devastating stuff. Instead of focusing on the “stuff,” I’d rather thank God for His love for me. Thank you, Lord!!

  • My youngest child spontaneously said, “I wuv you” for the first time today.
  • I was able to share something incredibly painful, a long-held secret, with someone for the first time ever.
  • My eldest child and I had a blast at the church school’s musical, WIPEOUT!
  • I enjoyed a wonderful bowl of Hungarian mushroom soup with two dear friends.
  • My youngest child, when asked his name, emphatically replied: “Beep beep” – more than once.
  • While singing the “Gloria” at Mass, I got goosebumps and knew the Holy Spirit was on the scene.
  • Most importantly, today is Pentacost – my absolute favorite Feast after Easter and Christmas. Veni Sancte Spiritus!
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In the world but not of the world

In the world but not of the world

Attention devout Catholic or Protestant working folks out there:

If you work in a secular (meaning: non-church or religious) environment, how do you remain true to your religious convictions while complying with the political correctness expected in the workplace? This is a sincere question, and I would appreciate your insight.

In my new role, I am not supposed to discuss God, religion, or anything of that nature, yet I must listen to people talk about birth control, fornication, tubal ligation, tales of drug and alcohol abuse violence, and stints in the clink because it’s part of their “journey,” and is supposed to help me get a better understanding of where they’ve been and how they can acquire gainful employment to better their lives and those of their children.

Now, please, don’t get me wrong – I am not about to start throwing stones at anyone. I know that, given just slightly different circumstances and choices at various points in my life, I could be right there with them. I have some logs in my past, and I am not about to condemn anyone for some splinters.¬†

Maybe this is¬†an absolutely tremendous opportunity for me¬†to exercise Christ-like patience, compassion, kindness, restraint, and¬†unconditional love¬†with my brothers and sisters in Christ.¬†I’m just wondering – how to evangelize without overtly evangelizing?¬†I’m thinking about St. Francis of Assisi and his exhortation to preach the Gospel always, and when necessary, to use words.

What say you?

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Welcome to “The New Normal”

Welcome to “The New Normal”

Well, it’s 8:55 p.m. and my eyelids haven’t permanently attached themselves to my eyeballs yet, so that’s a good sign. Good thing, too, because I need my eyeballs for the¬†new full-time job I started today.

Wow – it’s pretty crazy for me to even type that last sentence, let alone be living in the midst of this new¬†reality. After working either part-time or on a per-project consulting basis for the past 8 years, I am a full-time employee outside the confines of my own home.

Despite our economic circumstances, I have been (nearly 100%) satisfied with being a volunteering, ministry-working, consulting-from-home Mom, working on projects for clients on a case-by-case basis, and supplementing our unemployment income while my husband seeks full-time employment and manages the ministry. With three small children, it didn’t seem like a good idea for me to seek employment outside the home, so I didn’t. God had other ideas.¬†And He¬†cannot be outdone in generosity. So, during this, the 9th month of my husband’s unemployment, when hubby’s job prospects still are in the dumps and the finances aren’t getting any better,¬†God sent me a job that I hadn’t been looking for.

As of today, I work for the local community college as a Career Specialist. For the next three months (phew – it’s a short-term position), I will be helping people with significant barriers (think childcare issues, homelessness, drug/alcohol addiction, physical and mental instability, etc.) to find gainful employment. After today’s indoctrination, I know I’ll have my work cut out for me.

Please don’t get me wrong – I am thoroughly grateful for what I’m anticipating will be a sigh of relief come bill-paying time, when, for the first time in a long while, I won’t have to squeeze my eyes closed as I fervently pray that we’ll have enough to get by until the next month. We have been just barely scraping by, and not without the generous¬†assistance of others. It has been very humbling to be receivers rather than givers.

But as we settled in for sleep the other night, after the job offer had been made, and we reasoned – it’s only for three months … we aren’t in a position to turn down employment – I started to panic. “What about the kids?” I¬†said to my husband.¬†“What if they need me? Or you need me?¬†What if I miss something?” And, in fact, today, my husband told me that I missed our 20-month-old’s singing debut of “Holy, Holy, Holy” in the car. Anyway, my husband reassured me that he could bring the kids to meet me for lunch once a week, that he would keep looking for work, that he wished he was the one working full-time and not me, that he was proud of me.¬†That was all good enough news that I was finally able to fall asleep.

Trying to help me look on the bright side,¬†a girlfriend enthused, “Think of it as freedom. You’re building up your career! You’ll have a lunch break for the first time in who-knows-when!” But you know, after the novelty of¬†such glamorous concepts as “lunch breaks” and the like¬†wore off, I decided that I don’t want to be free from my kids or my husband. I belong with them, and they with me. They are my path to holiness. In this “new normal” of 8.5 to 9 hours per day away from my little family, how do I get to be the kind of wife and mother God¬†has¬†called me to be?

Don’t expect any answers from me on that last¬†question¬†just yet – I am still working¬†it out¬†with fear and trembling.¬†And a rosary or nine. And some walks around the block. And maybe a Girl Scout cookie or two.

What I do know is this – while my husband does the “stay-at-home Dad” thing, St. Joseph, whose Feast is this Friday, will be getting some extra-special prayers from this newly-minted work-a-day gal: “Please,¬†St. Joseph¬†– ask Jesus and Mary to watch over my family while I’m gone. Let them know I love them and I miss them terribly and that¬†I’ll be home – where I belong –¬†in time for dinner.”

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What the?!!

What the?!!

It appears that this blog is getting some unexpected love in our parish bulletin! It is so neat / weird / cool to have a quote-unquote secret admirer, but I sure wish I knew who submitted the announcement encouraging people to check out this silly little blog of mine! I have always been a curious type. Once, I couldn’t go to sleep until I remembered that Lt. Houlihan’s¬†nickname was “Hotlips.” Never mind that I was 11 years old and had barely heard of the television show “M.A.S.H.,” let alone watched it! Needless to say, I didn’t do well on my spelling test the next day.

Anyway, if it was YOU who put the announcement in the bulletin, THANK YOU! Your kind words really¬†touched me. And I want to return the favor. Don’t worry – I will use hand sanitizer first. Seriously, may I buy you a cup of coffee? I’d love to thank you in person.

Well, at the end of a long Sunday, this is just proof positive that God can take anything – even the over-long, seriously demented musings of a tired 30-something Mom – and make it into something beautiful for Him.

Vivat Jesus!

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