Today was like the birthday party hangover around. The kids showed up at church – for the most part. (Except for P and A. And there was much speculation as to what kept them in bed on a Sunday morning by their siblings.) So, everyone headed over to our house for spaghetti and fixings and left overs for lunch.
It is good to have the kids around, the grandkids crawling all over and wanting to play with each other and with me. I love it that the boys are old enough to just crawl up on my lap and ask if they can cuddle. I missed Ronin today because I expect he would have been right in there like the proverbial dirty shirt.
Last night, one of our invited guests gave me a huge compliment. He said that some houses he has gone into are cold and uninviting and others are warm. “You can tell there is a lot of love in this home,” he said.
That is the sort of remark that makes giving and giving and giving love again and again to a family worth all the work and self sacrifice that being a mother calls for.
I think love tends to expand and grow as it is practiced and given away. My children have given me lots of opportunities to practice. Those bumps and difficult times of family life are sometimes where love grows especially strong.
Interesting how God grows love in me at times – both towards himself as I’ve learned to see his goodness through the hard times life sent and towards my children who often took me to those hard places of life.
Protestants don’t really observe this day that marks the beginning of Lent in a very significant way. It comes and it goes largely unnoticed. It begins the season of Lent that we also let slip by mostly unnoticed due to those past efforts to distance ourselves from Catholicism. But times are changing and I think we are rethinking the reasons for that old distance and as we do so, it has narrowed from unbridgeable chasms to little cracks in the path of life that we can step over from time to time.
I am recognizing more and more my need for the celebration of seasons in my mostly unliturgical life. I am beginning to recognize that I need physical type reminders – signs of who I am and what my life needs to be about. So, in the last few years, and especially since Wednesday morning is a regular morning of prayer, I have been concious of the beginning of Lent, of Ash Wednesday. I haven’t gone so far as to dab my forehead with ashes although I think that it could have a powerful meaning for me, be a powerful reminder of my need for repentance, of my constant need for grace.
I have not ritually started “giving up” something for Lent. Last year instead, I decided to concentrate instead on some aspect of my life that needs taking up in new ways. I suppose that means giving up an old way in itself. I’m not sure just what that will be yet but I know that my life gets very busy and I tend to concentrate on my needs rather than those of anyone else around me. I need to conciously put others first and maybe that is exactly what I need to do for the next 40 days – and thereafter.
I really am. I am sure there are some thoughts in this brain somewhere.
There is just a lot of other stuff going on around me these days. Starting to set up plans for vacation. Hope to take Kieran with us on our cruise up to Alaska. Arranging that.
Tax stuff which has to be worked on soon. Starting to gather together my stuff.
Studies. Hope to hear about midterm marks.
Tomorrow is free. It feels as if the day is a gift but it is not without its limits as far as getting things done. And I have to go by the Bison for coffee. Laura was asking where I am. Lots of other little odds and ends to tie up tomorrow too.
What I would like to do is have time to put together some thoughts I have had as I’ve been reading Joan Chittister’s book Wisdom From The Daily. Daily life for me is full of work; good work and useful work but sometimes hard to see past the humdrum steadiness of it to appreciate it as God’s gift to me and to others through me. So maybe I will get some time to sketch that out this weekend too.