A pretty good one with my fifth graders. I don't know why.
Our Curves didn't close. Rumor (grounded in fact) had said that they would close on Monday (Oct 31). I didn't go last Friday because I was in the twilight zone of a high school lockdown. On Monday, our Mass schedule was rearranged, which meant that my routine was out of sync, so I didn't even go for the "last" day. On Tuesday, though, after dropping my kids off at school after attending Mass for All Saints Day, I decided to pass by Curves and see what had transpired. I was surprised to see the lights on. And people inside. I hadn't planned to work out - just to be nosey, so I sat in the car for a minute before I decided just to stick my head in to say "hi". There was a sign on the window that said, "Curves Ladies, your prayers have been answered." And inside I got to meet the new owner...the angel. She was a former member who - at some point in the last couple of weeks - had come to sign back up. When she was told what was happening, she decided to buy the business. My pastor is fond of saying that there are no coincidences in God.
The kids got haircuts last week. My rock-star wannabe child had to cut off his Slash-like curls in order to try out for the wrestling team at school.
The hair on the floor when they were done looked something like a poodle. Regrettably, I don't have an after picture of him....yet.
And then there was the one who wanted "hair surgery". In the last few years, his very thick hair has become very coarse with curls underneath. It is just a mess - a "poof". Nothing much can be done with it. Mine also has a coarser, frizzy texture - especially as it is getting grayer, and last time I had it cut, my stylist told me about a new Keratin treatment that had good results on hair like ours. It was a little pricey for me, and my life doesn't revolve around having "good hair", but for my dear teenager, life is ALL about the looks. So he has been begging for this "hair surgery" ever since I told him about it.
Part of the treatment involved straightening his hair. (It didn't stay straight after he washed it, and I'm not sure how well the treatment actually worked...) But here he was with "normal" hair for a couple of days.
Saturday morning found us doing the church parking lot painting gig again. We knocked it out in a couple of hours. The weather was a little chilly, but I do think it was better than the hot June morning that we picked last time.
Have I mentioned that our dog likes citrus fruits? Especially the oranges and satsumas?
Oh - and about connecting the dots. My fifth graders drive me absolutely out of my mind this year. They do not want to do a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. Sometimes copying the answers (yes...COPYING the answers) is just too much effort for them to undertake. And show up at school with a pencil? Oh my gosh...that is *really* asking too much.
Lately during my prayer times - my time alone in the Lord's Presence - I haven't really "felt" much of anything. I "know" that He is still there. I'm pretty sure He's awake. But other than that intellectual knowing, there's not much right now. We discussed this a bit last time I went to confession, and I got some good feedback - reassurance that it is normal - that it happens when God wants to draw forth something from us...when He wants us to seek Him.
So this week, I have thought more about actually "seeking". That's an active thing - seeking. And it occurs to me that sometimes in my spiritual life I am like my fifth graders. I show up. I am there. But beyond that, I find myself sitting back and saying to God, "You do it. Go ahead. I'm just going to sit here while you do your thing!" I wonder if He looks at me like I look at my fifth graders and thinks, "You are just sucking the life out of me?" as I do with them sometimes.
Which leads me to my next [unanswered] question. I know that "surrender" is almost synonymous with "faith". But what, exactly, is the difference between "surrender" and "laziness"?
And last, but not least, one person who embodies the difference between surrender and laziness is one of the moms from my children's elementary school. She was diagnosed with lung cancer about 2.5 years ago, just before her 40th birthday. She has already outlived expectations, but the news is not good. Last summer, lesions were found on her brain and treated with radiation. Last week, scans showed that the radiation had not helped. That was the last treatment. She asks for prayers for her children (ages 8, 13, and 16) and for her parents.