Saturday, October 20, 2012

yes, i can

I was twice touched today.

Dropped by the confessional this afternoon.  My good priest was sitting there reading a book in the dim light.  I had nothing earth-shattering this time, it was just "time".  Kind of like you get your oil changed before it stops working.  My kinda-sorta rule of thumb is once a month or so and/or before I serve as a Eucharistic Minister.

Sometimes I know that I am a prayer-slacker.  Especially during weeks like this when everything is out of sync.  So we discussed prayer in depth.  Or rather, he gave counsel on prayer and I mostly listened.  Quality over quantity, he says.  Even if it's just five minutes that you give to the Lord.  It's more about listening, than's about the relationship.

So, prayer is not just something whereupon you think back at the end of a day, "Well, my life today was a prayer...."  No, giving love, sharing love, which is what prayer is, requires a conscious choice. Some days, the prayer may be offering everything to God, but it is a conscious thing.

I struggle with a routine, with making prayer a conscious choice, a conscious part of my day.  Mass is a given of most days, and on most school days, a stop at the church across the street for a few minutes of quiet in front of the Blessed Sacrament is easily done.  But beyond's a wasteland.  I know I could put down my iPad and say the Rosary.  Especially in light of current events in this country or even in my family.  But another game of Bingo Bash holds so much promise. Or just checking that Facebook status one more time.  Good in their own right, but a pain in the larger picture.

And, as he pointed out...I am not him.  I am not Teresa of Avila.  I am Karen of ThisPlace.  My prayer, his prayer, her prayer....all differ in structure and routine.  If only I knew what my routine needed to be...

And for your penance...he has a twinkle in his eye...."when you hear the Gospel today, and you hear Jesus ask if you can drink from the cup, you say, 'Yes, I can.  And I will.'  But you will have to wait to find out what is in the cup."

The Cup that we must drink...the same one that Jesus drank....self-emptying love.  And what does that mean?  When we forgive and empty ourselves of anger and hurt;  when we say 'no' to temptation or sin; when we come together to offer fitting worship - not just going through the motions, and empty ourselves of distractions; when we do an act of kindness for another, especially when they don't deserve it.  All drinking from the cup.  The questions is....are we thirsty?

So a two-sacrament day.  Jesus reaching out and touching me.  How awesome is that?

blessed fall break

First of all...I think the lack of laptop is causing the fall off in my blogging.  I've had stuff all week to post, but the best vehicle is my laptop.  If I hook it up to the monitor in the computer room when no one is occupying the desktop computer, I am almost c.o.n.s.t.a.n.t.l.y interrupted by my loving family.

For the first time ever, my school system had an entire week off for Fall Break!!  And to say that we surely needed it after the circus that the first nine weeks has been, is an understatement.

My family and I took advantage of the pleasant fall weather and rented a cabin at a State Park not far from our home. 

  This was the view from our cabin, which featured a screen porch overlooking the water.

We rented a canoe one day, and one of my children humored me and we paddled around on the Inner Canoe Trail.

We saw small alligators, bunches of turtles and random birds.

In  the evening, the grill masters bar-b-q'd.

A crane flew over to check it out...

We finished off the evening with s'mores and child #2 rearranging the furniture to have a good view of the television for the Presidential debate.

Dear hubby, bless his heart, had never made s'mores before, but had seen a recipe on TV.  He had bought semi-sweet chocolate earlier in the day, which he melted in a pan and spread on the marshmallow-graham cracker combos.

It was tres bien!

We spent two nights in the swamp and then made our way home where we had time to catch up on things that seem to get left in the dust during school...Eagle Project, blogging, haircuts, attending school board meetings,  Boy Scout things.  It has been a lovely week.  Trust me when I say that the time has flown!

Happy Fall Break!

Friday, October 19, 2012


Just documenting some family history....

The much awaited letter jacket, arrived a few weeks ago, and my dear child has been anxiously awaiting a chance to wear it.  Some mornings we are in the 50's, but still hitting the 80's most days.

Growing up way too fast. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

undoer of knots

A while back, a friend told me about a Mass that she had attended where there had been reference to "Mary, Undoer of Knots" in the homily.  We both quite aware of many of the titles that our Blessed Mother claims....Our Lady of Guadalupe/Kibeho/Fatima/Lourdes, Mary Queen of the Universe, Mother of Perputal Help, Mary Mother of God, and many, many more.  But Mary, Untier (or Undoer) of Knots was a new one for both of us.

About a month or so ago, I got an email from a friend, who asked for prayers for her stomach issues.  Knots.  My mind went back to this particular Marian title, and I did a quick google search for it, so I could send her more info.  I came across this wonderful website.  And there was this image of Our Lady, undoing the knots in our lives which hold us bound. 

As I read the description, I was pretty sure that this novena fit my life every bit as much as it did hers - maybe more. 

But what are these knots?

There are the problems and struggles we face for which we do not see any solution … knots of discord in your family, lack of understanding between parents and children, disrespect, violence, the knots of deep hurts between husband and wife, the absence of peace and joy at home. There are also the knots of anguish and despair of separated couples, the dissolution of the family, the knots of a drug addict son or daughter, sick or separated from home or God, knots of alcoholism, the practice of abortion, depression, unemployment, fear, solitude…Ah, the knots of our life! How they suffocate the soul, beat us down and betray the heart’s joy and separate us from God. (from 

Not one for novenas, and not a totally committed Rosary pray-er, I felt drawn to this one.  And besides, October is the month of the Rosary, I reasoned.

Each evening for 9 days, I made time to say and mediate on the mysteries of the Rosary and added in the designated Novena prayers at the end of the 3rd and 5th mysteries.  I don't know if you are supposed to have a different knot for our Blessed Mother each night, but mine was pretty much the same one every night.  I couldn't tell much difference from day to day.  On the ninth day, the prayer was one of Thanksgiving, thanking the Blessed Mother for untying whatever knot, and I couldn't help but think, "but I don't think anything has happened yet....I'm not even finished with this rosary."

Oh, me of little faith.  It HAS been better.  Can't explain it.  Can't say how long it might last.  But, as has often happened, grace entered my life when I least expected it, and at least for a little while...that knot is no longer holding me bound.

Your mileage may vary.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for us.

(PS - I know how long it has been since I blogged.  Insert random excuse - broken laptop, busy crazy life, lack of subject matter.  Take your pick!)