My Christmas present arrived early this year. As a matter of fact, it was delivered to me right in the middle of Communion at Mass on the Fourth Sunday of Advent.
In the Hendey family, as in my family of origin, our tradition is to open our Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve. So, some of you may argue that my present was right on time, but Adam and I would argue the point with you. Adam asked yesterday morning to have a friend over after our 9:30 am Mass. I told him no, pointing out that Christmas Eve is a family day and that his friend's family likely had plans for the day.
"Mom, it's not Christmas Eve yet," Adam debated. "It's the fourth Sunday of Advent. It's not Christmas Eve until we go back to Mass at 4:00." Score one for my son's knowledge of the liturgical calendar and for his potential future career as a lawyer.
So back to my present...
This year, Greg and I made one of those "no present" pacts. These are, indeed, my favorite types of Christmas celebrations. We both have everything we need, and then some. So I knew that my name was not on many of the gifts around my tree. My biggest prayer as Advent was winding down and as we stood on the doorstep of Christmas was for the gift of peace. Peace in our world, peace in my family and my parish, peace in our Church, and peace of mind. I wanted a Christmas free of hustle and bustle, free of lists, and free of stress. As I approached the altar to receive communion on the Fourth Sunday of Advent (yes, yesterday morning!) this was my Christmas dream.
Santa delivered early.
I looked up at the altar and watched my son and husband prepare to receive the Eucharist. For those of you who don't know already, let me explain that my husband is a convert to Catholicism. He joined the Church a little over three years ago. For the past several months, he and Eric have joined the music ministry at our parish, playing guitar together for our 9:30 mass. Watching the two of them together at the Eucharistic table filled my heart with joy. They have transitioned faith into weekly service and have become part of the heart of our parish. People stop me all the time to compliment their music and the joy they bring to our liturgy. My joy in watching them play together, receive Jesus together and bring others closer to God, redoubles weekly. It's a gift that never gets old, but rather gets even more precious to me each week.
Nestled next to me in the Communion line was Adam, who had just returned from his "duty" of junior teacher at the Children's liturgy of the word. He, too, is a role model of service for me. Each week, he arrives at mass early to vacuum and prepare the room used for Children's liturgy. He shepherds the younger children to and from their liturgy of the word. He frequently has a more complete comprehension of the Sunday readings than anyone else in our family. Adam feels his part in our parish's Body of Christ - he can't miss...they need him!
As we walked towards the altar, our good friend Christopher began playing the strains of Ave Maria on his French horn. Chris is a music major, home from college and back playing at mass. I could hear the progress a semester of intense classes had made on his playing. His tone was even more sweet than ever as the sound of his horn filled the parish, lifting our hearts to Our Lady.
Kneeling after Communion, my heart filled with prayers for my parish friends and family as they walked past me on the way to receive our Lord. For years, my wish was to feel a part of my parish - not just someone in attendance on Sunday. Growing up, Church was a second home to our family - I wanted this same sense for my own little tribe.
They passed by me, members of my parish family, each a special blessing. Those I see weekly but have never met personally. Those I have lifted in prayer and petition. The young widow with four sons. The high school senior I'm praying will get into Notre Dame. The mom with six kids who never miss Mass even though Dad doesn't come. The man with dementia who shakes each person's hand on his way back from communion. Our school friends. The Sisters who work with me in the parish office. The good friend who instructed Greg during his RCIA journey and his sponsor. The ones I know, and the ones I don't...
They all brought me my Christmas gift - that peace for which I'd been praying. Sadly, my prayers for peace in our world will continue to be lifted for Our Lady's intercession. But in my own little corner of the world, in my parish, my family and my heart, peace was hand delivered by my community. "To do" lists may continue to beckon and my goals may continue to exceed my capabilities, but I am blessed beyond measure.
My prayer for those of you who may pass by this place in the next week is that you find it in your own hearts - that Christmas peace which at times feels so elusive. I will be away from my computer for the next week, vacationing with my boys and taking a small break from technology. I thank each of you for all you have given and shared with me in the past year. I thank the writers who contribute their hearts and souls to make CatholicMom.com all that it is. I thank those who visit and those who pray for me. I thank my faith community, who continue to inspire me to try to be a better person. I thank my family for putting up with a mom who'd rather type and program than cook and clean. And I thank God, for His many blessings and for the gift of peace. Merry Christmas everyone!
Monday, December 25, 2006
My Christmas present arrived early this year. As a matter of fact, it was delivered to me right in the middle of Communion at Mass on the Fourth Sunday of Advent.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Most of us are scurrying around doing our last minute preparations for this weekend, but I know that there are many who suffer from depression and sadness during the holiday season. If you or someone you know suffers depression, you may want to visit the new blog by Therese Borchard "Beyond Blue" over at Beliefnet. Therese is an incredible writer and a very strong woman. I always enjoy her work.
Monday, December 18, 2006
You know that bad dream, the recurring one, where you wake up and you're late for your final? You've overslept and you're running through the halls of your school, looking for the classroom. You can't find it, because you've missed almost every class of the semester. You arrive finally to find the class handing in their papers...you're in big trouble!!!
I had that dream last night. I was the star, but it wasn't my final for which I was late - it was Eric's Biology final. In the dream, he was sick and I had to go take his final for him - the problem is that I've never taken Biology!!!
How much of a neurotic nutcase mom are you when you start having nightmares about your children's finals???!!!!
Today marks a rite of passage for Eric - his first high school finals. He has an easy schedule today: start school at 9, take two tests (Bio and PE - I can't believe there's a PE final) and be done by 12:15. He was actually pretty relaxed and prepared this morning on the way to school. Adam, on the other hand, was lamenting the injustice of Eric only having three half days of school this week when he has to endure a regular schedule through Thursday. I reminded him that while he was busy eating too many candy canes and doing "secret Santa" swaps his brother would be off studying for and enduring several hours of testing.
Quite honestly, I think I was way more nervous than Eric this morning. Perhaps that's because he's a much better student than I was in high school. He spent three hours with a friend this weekend, tutoring her for the English final. It was a joy to overhear their indepth discussion about the literature they'd read this semester. Eric is not only succeeding in high school - he is actually enjoying the process of learning, which is a thrill for his Mom.
Our morning prayer today was for Eric and all of the other students like him who face academic challenges this week - for their peace of mind, for the ability to give their best, and for bright futures. I know he'll do great, but tonight I'll probably be dreaming about that pesky Geometry test tomorrow!
Sunday, December 17, 2006
I finally got around to signing up over at Catholic Outpost, a new Social Networking site for Catholics. I've formed a group and signed up with Chuck Stevens and Sharmane Adams, since I'm one of their groupies! I'm still learning the ins and outs of it, but it doesn't seem to be too complicated. If you have a group there, let me know!
Posted by Lisa Hendey at 5:00 PM
I've just posted a few new great articles over at CatholicMom.com - one of them, "Santa's Peppermint Brownies" sounds particularly decadent! Thankfully, I also just posted two new Fitness Focus articles including "Six Week Holiday Survival Plan: Stay Fit and Stress Free".
Those two articles should counter-balance each other right? I'm pretty sure eating those brownies will help me stay stress free! Seriously though, I'm not a huge baker and I am going to try to schedule a bit of extra time this week for a long walk - with all of those "to do" items on the list, my workout is frequently neglected at this time of the year. I know it's a big part of my strategy for staying sane when things get too crazy, so I personally would rather go to the gym than bake those brownies.
But for those of you who LOVE to bake, feel free to send your spare Santa's Peppermint Brownies to my PO Box!
My cyber buddy, Catholic musician Chuck Stevens, wrote me this week to announce that he has entered the world of podcasting! This is great news for all of us who love both Catholic content and wonderful Catholic music, as Chuck's podcast contains both. Click here to download Chuck's premier podcast
Chuck's CD, Bethlehem Morn, is one of my Advent favorites. I recently reviewed it for Grapevine Magazine and have been listening to it a lot during the past few weeks to prepare my heart for Christmas. When you listen to Chuck's podcast, you will be struck by the soothing quality of his voice. I think he's a podcasting natural! Great job Chuck! When can I subscribe at iTunes?!
I know it seems like every time we turn around this month, we're being asked to donate to someone's "Annual Fund" or emergency appeal. I wish I had unlimited funds to donate to all of the worthy causes that come asking. So many of them do such wonderful work! I frequently have good intentions, but sometimes just don't "get around to it".
I've been intending for over a month to donate to the Rosary Army Fund Drive and I finally found time today to head over to Paypal and make my little donation. I know it's not much, but I do believe that every little bit can help - I know this from my own experience with CatholicMom.com. When I receive a donation, regardless of the amount, I rejoice because that money goes back into helping my site to sustain and grow. Greg and Jennifer at the Rosary Army do wonderful work - both through their Rosary Making apostolate, and their wonderful Rosary Army podcast. I can't tell you how many loads of laundry they've helped me get through as I listen to their twice a week show. They are seeking funds to continue their work and for Greg to be able to devote full time to running Rosary Army and focusing on other SQPN efforts. I listen to SQPN shows frequently and have intended since November to make my donation - better late than never I guess!
Is there an organization you want to support this year? Before the year ends, in fact right now, grab your checkbook or paypal account and spring into action. The dollar amount doesn't matter as much as showing support and care for worthwhile organizations.
Can you help with the following reader query? If so, post a comment or drop me an email!
I have just ordered a subscription to True Girl, a new magazine for Catholic teenage girls, for our daughter. I would like to order a similar Catholic magazine for our 18 year old son. Does Catholic Mom have any suggestions?
If your child uses the Accelerated Reader (AR) program at school, you'll be happy to know that several of author Max Elliot Anderson's books are now available for AR tests. Click here to read my interview with Max.
Max's books are great for reluctant readers, as you can't help but get pulled into the plot lines and characters. Check out Max's site for the new AR titles.
Catholic musician Rafael Brom wrote me a lovely Christmas message this week, offering free downloads of his Christmas Carol mp3 files. Eric and I especially liked the xylophone effect on "O Holy Night", my favorite Christmas carol.
If you're looking for some music to enjoy online while you're getting in the Christmas spirit, check out Rafael's website.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
New out and just in time for Christmas is the debut CD Come to the Light by JoAnn Crichlow. Born and raised on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, JoAnn currently lives in Canada and is the mother of five. Come to the Light goes beyond just being a wonderful Christmas CD – it is also destined to call attention to important social justice issues in today’s world.
Come to the Light opens with a djembe solo entitled “Following the Star” performed by JoAnn’s son Johnathan Crichlow. The entrancing drum beat is the first hint that this is not your typical Christmas CD. “My Ghosts of Christmas,” a fictionalized narrative by JoAnn Crichlow, is performed to lovely piano music by Anne Hurley. The story evokes the feelings of a young immigrant woman during the holiday season.
One of my favorite tunes on this disk is “The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy”. This traditional West Indian Carol, performed by Johnathan Crichlow and Armando Prinn filled my heart with Christmas joy from the first listening. Another wonderful musical interpretation of a standard carol is JoAnn Crichlow’s version of “Mary’s Little Boy Child”.
“For the Love of God” is a story devoted to Crichlow’s father-in-law and looks at the customs surrounding holiday giving in Trinidad and Tobago. It reinforces the true nature of how we should celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus. The “Trinity Children’s Song” calls each of us to seek Christ’s light during the holiday season.
If you’re looking for a refreshing departure from the old Christmas standards this season, you’ll definitely want to share “Come to the Light” by JoAnn Crichlow with your family. With a few classic favorites and some wonderful new tunes, this CD will have you singing along and dreaming of a sunny Christmas. For more information or to order this CD visit JoAnn Crichlow’s web site at www.peaceandbread.ca.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Last night, we opened our home for Greg's annual Emergency Department Christmas party. We've hosted this event multiple times, and I'm always grateful for the opportunity. Those days of fierce cleaning and decorating pay off when I see our home filled with the ED Residents, doctors and their families. I can remember clearly the days when I was married to a young resident, living in a tight apartment with a young baby. A night out on the town with someone else preparing dinner was a real treat. The event also reminds me to count my many blessings - we have come so far and are so richly blessed with abundance in our lives. It's truly a treat to welcome and visit with such compassionate and talented doctors every year. Today, I'm sleepy and trying desperately to get caught up on work that's been put off the past few days, but the party has me in the holiday spirit.
Do you entertain during the Christmas season? I need to remind myself to invite friends over more frequently. It's always such a treat.
Posted by Lisa Hendey at 12:32 PM
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Every once in a while, every grown up should be forced to do something that makes you so nervous that your heart pounds, your palms sweat and your fingers tremble.
It's just not a great idea to play a violin in that condition...
Seriously, the recital was very fun. Thank goodness for my accompanist Eric, whose stellar guitar playing covered my mistakes well enough to make my "performance" better than I would have been solo. I was the only one to have accompaniment, thanks to the fact that I have my own posse of musicians at home. Eric and I played "Liberty" and then I performed "Ashokan's Farewell" with my quartet. The quartet performance was a breeze and so fun - definitely easier than standing up there alone.
I need to work on my "stage presence" a bit to lose that jittery feeling. I tried to do the old "Marcia Brady" trick of imagining the audience in their underwear, but alas, I was still very nervous. Maybe next time (if I subject myself to this again), it will be easier. We do have a video that Adam recorded, so if I'm feeling truly self-deprecating perhaps I will post it here later.
At the end of the evening, Patrick (my music teacher) thanked the parents for providing lessons for their children and for encouraging their practice and dedication. I thanked my boys for listening to and bearing with a mom who dreams to learn something really hard even though she's too old and a tad tone deaf. Patrick's closing statement made me pause and think about why I am willing to invest the time and effort into my fiddle lessons:
"We come here to learn about more than just music."
What have you learned this week? I've learned that I frequently ask my children to do things that greatly challenge them, and that I need to remember how tough that is. I've also learned that chasing dreams is worth the effort!
Today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I was too sleepy to get myself out of bed this morning for 5:00 mananitas at my parish, sadly. We have some resources for today's feast at CatholicMom.com
Posted by Lisa Hendey at 6:31 AM
Congrats to our columnist and friend Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur who is today's Touched by Grace columnist over at Catholic Exchange.com.
Great job Patrice!
Posted by Lisa Hendey at 6:26 AM
Monday, December 11, 2006
Why should a 43 year old woman subject herself to standing on a stage, playing a fiddle badly in front of perfect strangers?
If the answer doesn't come to me by 7:00 tonight, I may let nerves get the best of me! Just kidding, I'm actually strangely looking forward to my first Violin Recital tonight. I know I won't be the best, and perhaps I won't be the worst, but I'm hoping to keep it fun. Eric is going to play my solo piece with me on guitar, so that helps tremendously. I know when he gets excited, he tends to play louder than I do...perfect strategy! I am also playing with a quartet of other "grown ups" and we've had fun practicing together the past few months. Last week, we told our teacher we were going to sneak a flask into the recital to sooth our stage fright...I'm pretty sure we were just kidding!
Today, I will be busy updating CM, fiddling, and preparing my home to host Greg's work party tomorrow night. Should be a great day. I will report back on the big performance (if I survive!). If you have a spare prayer around 7:00 pacific time, could you say it for the crazy lady with the violin?!
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Sometimes you want to hit the "pause" button on life just to savor it's awesomeness - yesterday was one of those days for me. It really was just a normal day, but somehow my boys seemed even more wonderful than usual to me.
It was a big day for Adam - my sixth grader slept in until almost ten, and probably would have kept going if he hadn't been rudely awakened. Mom was the alarm, because Adam had a big test to take. He has been invited to test for a special summer program for talented students, a summer camp of sorts. Eric went three years ago - his brother would like to follow those footsteps, so off he went to take the test. Eric's test three years ago was your typical "fill in the bubble" version, but technology has advanced since then. Adam had to go to our local "Prometrics Center" where tests are given on the computer. My twelve year old marched in, registered himself, and sat down amidst electricians and medical professionals at a bank of computers to take his test. I watched some heads turn as he walked in the room, but he didn't seem to notice. He emerged after the test with a grin on his face, asking for Orange Chicken from Panda Express. He had done his best, given it his all, and was ready to move on. We'll see how things go, but in that moment I was incredibly proud of my son.
Eric, who is now solidly fifteen, spent the day with me. First he voluntarily helped me decorate the Christmas tree. Maybe this is typical for some of you, but for the past few years my sons haven't been too interested in decorating our tree. They've been known to join me for a few moments and then move on to other pursuits. Yesterday, Eric stayed until the very last ornament was placed. He asked about several of the handmade ornaments and laughed with me at our picture ornaments with their baby and preschool photos. Moms of toddlers should know that when a child helps you decorate a tree, you don't get that "Martha Stuart" effect - what you get are clumps of ornaments, especially on the lower portions of the tree. Perhaps not surprisingly, the clumps have moved a little higher up the tree (he's now taller than I am). I appreciate Eric's sharing this moment with me so much that I will likely leave them intact - he's old enough to notice if I start moving things around. Sometimes I wish for the Norman Rockwell type moment with our entire family gathered around the tree, decorating together - but I'll take what I had yesterday...a fifteen year old and his mom, with Led Zepplin and Santana playing in the background.
After decorating, Eric and I went off to the mall, but not to shop. In the car, we started listening to a CD Eric's been pestering me to listen to with him. He has joined me in becoming an avid podcast junkie, and has recently discovered a podcast version of Plato's Republic. I'm pretty sure that if I ever read it, it was only the Cliff Note version, so I told Eric I'd be happy to listen with him. We're midway through Chapter 1, and it's actually a very enjoyable listen. The narrator does an excellent job. As we pulled into the crowded mall parking lot, I reflected to myself that most of the fifteen year olds in that lot were probably listening to hip hop rather than philosophy. I gave my son a squeeze and said a silent "Thank You" to God for the blessing of my children. Eric went off to his mission - two hours of bell ringing for the Salvation Army. His student government friends decided to commit all day Saturday to this project, so Eric spent his afternoon at the kettle. loudly clanging away on his bell. When his shift was over, I took him to the food court for something to eat. "Do you have some money I can borrow Mom?" he asked. I rarely have cash, but I told him he could have the change from the sandwich we'd just bought. We'd passed three SA bell ringers on the way to buy his food. Backtracking to the car, he put an identical amount (down to the penny) in each kettle as we passed them. "It's not the amount of money that matters Mom - I was so grateful any time someone would stop, no matter how much money they donated." I think he learned a big lesson in his two hours with the bell - if each of us does a little to help those around us, the results can be wonderful.
My boys are amazing every day - they are precious gifts from God. It's up to me to stop, notice, and say thank you!
Friday, December 08, 2006
If you pray about something long enough, sometimes it happens! For several years, I've been pestering the Holy Spirit to get busy sending me a Homeschooling columnist. We have so many homeschool families that visit CatholicMom.com, and I wanted to do more to meet their needs. Well, apparently the HS, in his own good time, got busy and sent me one of the best: Maureen Wittmann! Maureen is the author of The Catholic Homeschool Companion (Sophia Institute Press) and A Catholic Homeschool Treasury: Nurturing Children's Love for Learning (Ignatius Press) and a homeschooling mother of seven. I'm so happy to be sharing her new column at CatholicMom.com - even if you don't homeschool, you'll still want to read Maureen's column for inspiration and edification!
Click here to read the first installment of our new Homeschool Companion.
OK, Holy Spirit, now could you please get busy on a Spanish Translator???
The holiday season prompts us to stop, recollect and share with our children stories from our own childhood. Each year, as I pull ornaments from boxes and place them on our tree, I recount their origins and special meanings. I love reading stories with my children, and especially those that were read to me in my youth. A hint of a Christmas song on the radio can bring back a flood of memories from my own youth and a tale of life in the 1970’s for my children.
This year, I’ve discovered two special books that capture the importance of family love, commitment and tradition. Both would make a lovely gift for any special child in your life, but will also be a heartwarming treat for the grown-ups who share them with children.
Making Heart Bread (Paulist Press, September 2006, hardcover, 32 pages) by Matthew Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn and Dennis Linn is not a holiday book. But the themes of love, security and nourishment are very appropriate to this time of the year. In the book, a grandmother and her granddaughter share the experience of making two kinds of bread: tummy bread and heart bread. In making tummy bread, they share together the fun of baking and providing physical nourishment. Grandma then recounts to her grandchild the origins of making “heart bread”, something she learned as a refugee child in war. Without giving away the story, I want to share that “making heart bread” involves sharing with your child a time of quiet prayer and reflection at the end of each day, based on the Ignatian spiritual process called “the examen”. Making heart bread encourages you and your child to look back at the best and most challenging aspects of each day. This wonderful picture book, featuring delightful illustrations by Francisco Miranda, reminds us that a time of daily reflection with our children is both essential and blessed. Making Heart Bread is available at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/
Christmas Turtles (Purple Sky Publishing, October 2006, hardcover, 32 pages) by Sara Ann Denson is another wonderful story of a grandmother’s love and a special holiday tradition. In the story, with adorable illustrations by Tara McMillen, four young children engage in their annual tradition of enjoying Christmas turtles at Grandma’s house. Many families have these special, food related traditions. At Grandma’s farmhouse each year, the children race to find the turtle treats that they think have been magically prepared by elves. One year, they learn that it has in fact been Grandma who has lovingly prepared the treats, despite the physical pain she must endure to prepare the turtles. A wonderful “Christmas Turtle” recipe is included at the end of the book so that you can start the tradition of making this treat with your children. Christmas Turtles teaches that the best gifts are those given in the spirit of love. Christmas Turtles is available at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/
Take a few moments this holiday season to share a story with your children. Whether is comes from your memory, or from a picture book, this time together is a special gift to both of you!
This is relatively old news, but in case you missed it, the USCCB now has a new Podcast of the daily readings. I've been a fan of Verbum Domini, so I'm not sure I'll switch to this, but I will definitely check it out when I get iTunes back up and running.
Click here for more information.
Catholic Mom Sherry lives up in the Bay Area and is the hostess of a wonderful online Celtic and Nature Advent Calendar to which I've linked for the past few years. She wrote me this week about a wonderful new project she's created to give an emphasis to charitable giving during the holiday season.
This year I have added a new feature called Charity Gift Boxes. Eight gifts each symbolically represent a charity. When you click on a gift, you can read a profile of the charity and decide whether to visit that charity’s website to give time or money. I have selected a range of charities to reflect the wide interests of visitors to the website. You can visit Charity Gift Boxes at this link: http://www.sherrysknowledgequest.com/giftbox.htm
Sherry's reminder is very timely - there are many wonderful charities that rely on our giving at this time of the year to provide services to those in need year round. As you're giving gifts this year, contemplate a gift to a charity in the name of a loved one as an alternative to the traditional route - it's the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks, Sherry, for setting a great example!
Great news from two of my favorite Catholic recording artists! Treat yourself to a few minutes of music this morning, and support all of our Catholic Musicians.
Karl Kohlhase wrote this week to let me know that he is offering his new Christmas CD, "He is Born" as a free download over at his web site. Karl's talent, and his generosity, are astounding. Download his CD today and share it with your family for a special Advent treat.
In related news, the wonderful Gretchen Harris announces the release of her 6th CD, Sing to the Lord. Gretchen writes: It's full of beautiful songs sung TO God... gorgeous settings of well-known and loved tunes that touch the soul and lift the heart, including "Prayer of St. Francis," "You Are Near," "Shepherd Me, O God," "Breathe," and many more! This album also features three very special duets, with Matt Maher, Robert Kochis, and Carl Herrgesell! Visit Gretchen's website for additional details.
I'm hoping to feature new interviews with both of these great talents after Christmas, but wanted to let you know now about these new releases in case you're buying the gift of music for Christmas.
This morning, I was blessed to attend Mass with our school for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It is such a blessing to gather with our school community. The children's voices, as they sing and pray, never cease to lift my spirits.
Lord, help me today to seek forgiveness for the sins that separate my heart from you. Like our Blessed Mother Mary, may all my responses to you be "yes" and may I live my life in service to others.
Click here to visit our Immaculate Conception page at CatholicMom.com
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
I'm not sure why, but this week I find myself craving silence - absolute, profound stillness.
It could be the crazy schedule I've been keeping, burning the candle at both ends with work and fun. It could be the fact that my goofy violin recital performance is next week and my songs keep running through my head in that slightly off key way I have been practicing them. It could be that my boys seem to have Spring fever in the middle of December - Eric has been busy writing and recording loud new originals and Adam seems even more talkative than usual. It could be the phone that keeps ringing, the meetings that need attending, or even the sound of the timer on my overworked dryer.
Whatever the cause, I recognize the symptoms. I'm longing for an hour of solitude - time spent in the Eucharistic Adoration chapel, a long walk under the stars, or even a soak in the bathtub. Time spent just doing nothing more that what Advent is meant to be - preparing my soul to rejoice at Christ's coming.
How are you preparing? Are you feeling the same longing I am for stillness and a sense of peace? How do you find the time you need each day to carve out prayer and meditation time?
Part of my plan for the week is to turn things off: the radio, the computer, the television. The second part is to tune in: to my boys, to my husband, to my friends, and to those prayers that remain deep within my heart.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
For those who may have passed through here and wondered at the lack of posts this week, it's because the Catholic Mom has been running around like a Tazmanian Devil. I have so many projects, emails, writing assignments and web design chores my head is spinning. On top of that, a good friend and I are "hostessing" a table at the High School's Christmas Tea fundraiser on Sunday. I thought hostessing meant being gracious and pouring tea, but it really means designing and decorating a table, providing individual "themed" favors, and coming up with an adorable centerpiece to be raffled off. At times like this, I wish I were one of those moms who enjoyed shopping. But, to tell you the truth, I'd rather be at my keyboard!
Set up for the event is tomorrow morning and I have curling ribbon to curl, tea cups and china to clean and a big Right to Life fundraiser to attend in less than two hours, so I will limit this post. The amazing thing about this is that all of you are probably doing the same things. When I worried earlier today about my lack of posts, it occurred to me that most Moms have probably been too busy this week to even pop in here for a visit. This is a wonderful, but hectic, time of year.
As we anticipate Advent's commencement on Sunday, I will offer a prayer for each of you - for peace, sanity, and not too much scurrying around. Could you do the same for me?
Posted by Lisa Hendey at 3:37 PM