You got me right between the eyes, Pope Francis.

You got me right between the eyes, Pope Francis.

Wow.

I just read the Catholic News Service story about Pope Francis’ homily at his residence this morning. I was particularly struck by these words:

Being generous toward the church, but selfish and unjust toward others “is a very serious sin: It is using God to cover up injustice,” he said

And these:

Some people may regularly make financial contributions to the church, but, the pope asked, how generous are they toward their loved ones and their dependents? Are they generous and just to them, too, he asked.

People cannot “make offerings to the church on the back of injustice,” he said. “It is not a good Christian who doesn’t do justice to the people who depend on him” and who does not “deprive himself of something essential for him in order to give it to another who is in need.”

The parallels to social justice and fair and equal treatment with neighbor and employee/worker are clear … but what about for me as a wife and mother? Am I soooo very busy with my “important” church-related / faith-related deeds that I fail to show charity and justice, necessary time and attention, to my husband? My children? My parents? My friends and neighbors and extended family?

God is using His Holiness’ words to remind me that when I choose “The Church” or “My Ministry” over the needs of my family, I’m just like the Pharisees with their hollow cleaning of the cups all over again. It all looks well and good on the outside, while the inside is decayed and ineffective.

It’s a delicate balance, this earthly tightrope walk of vocation and avocation, but I’m sure God wants me to not be, as our dear friend would say, “so heavenly minded” that I’m “no earthly good.”

Goodness.

I have a long way to go in rending my heart this Lenten season.Thank you, Papa, for the reminder. Time to go change another diaper and play some Legos.

Rend-Your-Hearts_wide_t_nv-586x250

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7QT: LIFE (??) WITHOUT THE INTERNET

7QT: LIFE (??) WITHOUT THE INTERNET


When the ginormous thunder boomers hit town earlier this week, I thought the worst case scenario would be an endless parade of wakeful children piling into our bedroom in the middle of the night, resulting in Project Coffee IV Drip the next day.

That's what they tell me.
That’s what they tell me.
It was worse.

You guys. We lost our Internet connection and our landline. THE WORSTEST!

Ree ree ree ree!
And, to make things even more craptastic, I couldn’t find my phone. Granted, it’s not a smartphone, but still. Here are my seven quickish takes on LIFE WITHOUT THE INTERNET.

— 1 —

Here’s a pictorial representation of the metaphorical Zombie Apocalypse which, regardless what Calah says, is happening right now. I realized that, with an internet connection, I sometimes look a lot. like. this. Gross.

The Zombie Apocalypse, folks. I mean it.
The Zombie Apocalypse, folks. For realz.
 

— 2 —

Here’s the note I had to handwrite – with a pen no less – to our kids’ principal because I couldn’t just dash off a quick email last night or this morning:

It's only the first full week of school and I've contacted the principal twice. I rule.
It’s only the first full week of school and I’ve contacted the principal twice. I rule.

— 3 —

Here’s the great book I tried to give away here, then had to adjust expectations here because of aforementioned lack of connectivity. Lucky you – there’s still time to enter. 🙂

The wonderful book in question!
The wonderful book in question!

— 4 —

Here’s how I was able to see who signed up for the homeschool field trip I scheduled tomorrow, and how I was able to view homework and event updates via my kids’ school’s online system:

Oh, the humanity!!!!!!
Oh, the humanity!!!!!!

— 5 —

Here’s how I listened to Catholic radio, checked and sent e-mail, perused Facebook, Twitter, online prayer requests, event registration totals, and etc. ad nauseum, et al:

Nothing, I tell you!!

Annnnnnd …

— 6 —

Here’s the time I spent on fun math word stories (FIVE CHAPTERS’ WORTH) with my homeschooler, and here is dinner on time and all the dishes almost completely done and the kids bathed and me going outside and weeding the front flowerbed and then meeting the new neighbors and actually reading a really good book for fun.

Okay. I admit. It was pretty cool.
Okay. I admit. It was pretty cool.

— 7 —

Truth time. While I have never been officially diagnosed as addicted to anything, I can imagine my perma-jones for wifi recently (complete with eye twitches and tightening chest as I desperately whine at random passers-by: “Duuuude, I gotta log innnn!”) might be a sign of something, well, slightly problematic.

This involuntary radio silence that was like a big, dark, truthful mirror: I am attached, dependent upon, perhaps a teensy bit, um, reliant, and perhaps a smidgen, dare I say, addicted to the world wide web.

Duh. I like the Web.

So. There it is.

I promise to look at my online habits and try to dial it down a notch if you promise not to throw this post in my face every time I complain about not having enough time. Oh, and you also can’t tell my husband I think I have a problem. Deal?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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This isn’t going so well …

This isn’t going so well …

I just looked at my blog for the first time in a while and saw that I didn’t really post anything in July. And now it’s August 1st. Excuse me – August 2nd (just looked at the clock).

So, my priorities have been a bit topsy-turvy lately: full-time job, husband, children, prayer life, everything else. In that order. I am so backward right now, it’s not even funny. Well, I suppose it could be funny. In fact, I shared with a friend the other day that I was laughing so that I wouldn’t cry, because if I cried, I would collapse in a sobbing mess on the floor until the second coming … and no one needs to witness (or even hear about) that!

So – I am thinking about a lot of things. Like why I haven’t been blogging. And why I spend 40 hours a week at a job that I am not in love with and only about a fraction of that with my family, whom I do love. Which is why it’s a work night and past midnight and I haven’t been able to fall asleep yet.

My Mom always used to tell me that if I couldn’t sleep, it was probably because God wanted me to pray about something. Trouble is, there are so MANY things for me to pray about, it just makes my mind go all squirrelly even attempting to pray. For some reason, Simeon’s prayer comes to mind – you know, the one about “And now Lord, let your servant go in peace …” that Simeon prays after meeting Jesus, the Jewish messiah, as he was presented in the temple. Except that, I’m not really in the mood to die just yet. Too many things to do. Maybe that’s the problem; too much doing and not enough being.

Well, I suppose I can just as easily “be” in my bed next to my peacefully sleeping hubby as being here on the computer boring the tears out of those souls kind enough to read what I have to type this late – ahem – early day.

May God be with you … and hopefully I’ll have something better to write about – and soon, at that.

Peace.

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Lost? Who’s Lost?

Lost? Who’s Lost?

Here’s a sure clue that I’m starting to become overwhelmed: This week I’ve been so busy tending to my family’s needs and  various obligations and responsibilities and my never-ending “to-do” list (and, yes, those multiple haphazard scraps of paper strewn across  kitchen countertop do count as a “to-do” list in my world) — that I missed my favorite television show.

Is it a sure clue that I’m becoming overwhelmed, or that my priorities are finally settling in as they should?

  1. Relationship with God,
  2. spouse,
  3. children,
  4. friends,
  5.  job,
  6. ministry …

… and distant, distant next: everything else, including TV.

Something to think about during this season of detachment.

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What’s your REALLY IMPORTANT THING this Lent?

What’s your REALLY IMPORTANT THING this Lent?

Too much of a good thing can be … bad? Here are some sure signs it’s time to reconsider all the time and energy you’re spending on that REALLY IMPORTANT THING in your life:

1) When it turns your attention away from your relationship with God: “Don’t worry, Heavenly Father – I’ll be right there. I just have to work on this REALLY IMPORTANT THING first.”

2) When it sucks away energy you need for your relationship with your spouse: “Sorry, Honey – no time to chat; I’m off to such-and-such meeting for my REALLY IMPORTANT THING for the second time this week. Be back soon!”

3) When it hijacks your thoughts and renders you “here yet not present” with your kids: “What were you saying, Jack? You got a prize in the math competition today? I’m sorry, Mommy it is a bit distracted with her REALLY IMPORTANT THING lately. We’ll go to Burger Hut later – after I catch up on my to-do list – to celebrate.”

There are, certainly, many truly important things that God wants us to be doing. We just need to prayerfully discern which things are important to Him first.

In Scripture, it tells us that where our hearts are, so will our treasure be. I want my treasure to be in Heaven! Because, even though there are so many REALLY IMPORTANT THINGS to do here on Earth and so little time to get them all done, I want to serve my Heavenly Father in Spirit AND in Truth … in word AND in deed.

Which REALLY IMPORTANT THINGS in your life is God asking you to cut back on, detach from, give up this Lenten season so you may draw closer to Him?

As for me, I need to close this really important blog so I can go change a REALLY stinky diaper.

God bless!

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