What's been happening here?
I am a slacker mom. The advent candles haven't been lit. I haven't baked cookies. I still have too much shopping left to do. We still haven't put up a tree. As a matter of fact, I don't think our tree made the move. I think it is still in the shed at the other house. But I haven't had a chance during daylight hours to get in there to see.
Actually we haven't decorated for Christmas at all. Tonight I cleared a spot in the garage so that I could get the attic stairs down. (A lot of stuff that came from the old house is still in the garage...
When I was in the attic, I smelled something....death. And then I saw it! OMG! EWWWWW! Hanging over a beam at the top of the attic was a dead R-A-T!!! They looked at me like I was going to get it down. NOT! There are three people in this house with y-chromosomes. That makes them infinitely more suited for vermin disposal than me!! Three cheers for #1 son! And #2 son who was his assistant!
Last night, our parish had its annual Lessons and Carols "prayerformance". I volunteered to read when I saw our choir director on Facebook lamenting the lack of readers. (Our local college team played in a bowl game in New Orleans this weekend [and won!!] and half of our city was in New Orleans - including a couple of readers.) I had the reading about the bud shooting from the stump of Jesse. That was all well and good until I got to the part with the ox laying down with the lamb and the lion browsing with the goat and who knows whatever else. I was afraid I was going to have the wrong animal doing the wrong thing with some other animal! And then I left my binder with the reading in it on the podium. (I discreetly retrieved it when we all stood a few readings later to sing a carol.) One of our nuns this morning - God love her - told me that I had read well (I don't usually read), but that I wasn't loud enough. She could hear me, she said, but if someone was deaf...they wouldn't have heard me! The music was beautiful....as always. Some of it in Latin, some of the songs unfamiliar...but beautifully sung by our little choir of a dozen members.
The closing song: Cantus by Connie Dover
Sometimes when I think my Advent or Lent has been kind of "blah", I need to look to see what God is doing in the lives of those around me. I have a co-worker friend whom I have known for many years - at least 10. She is old enough to be my mother. Without going into all the specifics - she has been away from the church for a long, long, long time. Decades. A lot of them. She's been coming to Mass on Sundays for the past year and a half or so. Sometimes, all you have to do is invite someone who has been away. And the Holy Spirit does his part. But always at Communion time, she moves out of the way and lets the others out of the pew. We have been talking about confession for a long time. She was one of the people that I shared my good news with 10 years ago. And she told me that she had "problems" with confession.
My friend is stubborn. If she happens upon this, she will agree. But God is God of the impossible. I doubted that this would ever happen, but she came to school last week saying that she needed to talk to that man (our priest). Scared to death of the whole idea, but willing to listen to the *something* that was telling her to do this. I didn't push right then...I waited a few days and asked if she was going to call to make an appointment or if she wanted me to email "that man" and see what could be set up. He is busy, you know, and who knows if he would have time this week. She gave me the go-ahead to email him, and the next morning I had an email from him saying that he would do WHATEVER it took for her to have peace, along with some beautiful words of encouragement, which I passed along. Long story short....Wednesday is the day, people! Say a prayer for courage for her and wisdom for him.
I have a couple of Examination of Conscience Apps on my iPad - one is really thorough. Today I wrote out detailed directions for her to access it - if she wanted - and to take some notes. I told her she could probably skip the one about nipple piercing. We laughed. Prostitution. Forgery. Blackmail. Negative for all three. She's still nervous, but feeling a little better about the whole prospect I think. God is so Good.
So even thought the presents aren't wrapped yet, the cookies may never get baked (because none of us really need the calories), and the advent candles may get saved for next year.....my friend will receive His presence on Christmas. The most important Gift that we receive. Lord, thank you for coming to save us. Thank you for giving us the gift of yourself.