Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thank You, Jesus

Dear Jesus,

Thank You for the joy of Easter.  Lent seemed so long and Eastertide will rush by in an instant.  Thank You for the joyful season to follow the Cross.  Thank You for the reason for my hope.  Thank You for listening to my prayers.

Thank You for the hard road to forgive my sins.  Thank You for mercy and grace.

Your beloved daughter,

Mary

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Five Favorites, Spring Flowers

Hallie Lord, the Moxie Wife, hosts this carnival.  It is fun to go around and see the great variety of favorites.  Today, I will consider spring flowers.  Spring flowers are my favorites.  These are the favorites of the favorites.

1.
My daffodils were just outstanding this year.  These were late to open, but aren't they fancy?  To me daffodils are a hope for the future, because I have to plant them in the fall.  Sometimes they don't bloom well the first year.  But, after a few years, they need to be divided and thinned out.
 
2.

The grape hyacinths went completely crazy this year.  They are a blue ring around the maple tree.  They come up year after year.  It is clear to me that they need to be thinned this year.




3.
Tulips are perfection.  I have never seen an ugly tulip.  These red ones in my garden almost shine blue, don't you think?


4.
Lily of the valley are sweet and precious and taking over my flower gardens this year.  I need to chop them back.  But they smell like Heaven.




5.
I was going to include the crocus as the last one, but then this dandelion caught my eye just out of my garden.  We have the yard treated with toxic chemicals, so we don't have as many dandelions as we once did.  So, the few we have are precious.
 
My confirmation saint was Saint Therese the little flower.  So, I honor her with these posies.  Happy spring! Happy Eastertide!
 
(And, yes, I do my own photography.  Flowers are easy subjects.)
 
 


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bonus Treasure--the Skillet


(I am re-visiting this old Tuesday Treasure from 2010)
For as long as I can remember my mom used this little cast iron skillet. It is a 6 inch cast iron skillet, but heavy. I think my parents may have received it as a wedding present in the 1940s.


I included a small cast iron skillet on my Christmas wish list for a couple of years, but never got one. In the mad dash in May 4 years ago to rescue items from the junk man who was cleaning out my mom's house before she sold it, my mom said, "Here take this old skillet." So I did. I really like the way it cooks sausages and potatoes and anything that needs high heat with oil. The best part is, it came already seasoned through years and years and years of use.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Prayer of Jabez

1 Chronicles 4:9-10   "Jabez was the most distinguished of his brothers.  His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I bore him with pain."  Jabez prayed to the God of Israel: "Oh, that you may truly bless me and extend my boundaries!  May your hand be with me and make me free of misfortune, without pain!" And God granted his prayer."

My circulation desk area is larger than the classroom I had to teach reading in at the other school before I came here 7 years ago.

My library is as big as a gym and it is all mine.  I am the only employee of my large room.  It is hard to keep up with it all.
 
But for the last two weeks I had to move out, while some special groups used the library for state testing.  Not the whole school, just some groups.  So I packed up a book cart or two or more....
 
And I rolled out into the entry of the school.  I called it the Annex.

These pictures were when I was still keeping it neat.  By the last day I looked like a home shelter for librarians.
 
My spiritual director likened it to the Prayer of Jabez, above.  The thing is, I never prayed to increase my boundaries.  I didn't need any more space.  I have pondered the "without pain" part of the prayer.
 
It was noisy in the hallway and the air was bad and the cafeteria smells and sounds from lunch really bothered me.
 
But, the good news is, it is finished.  I am back in my library this week.  I have a lot of cleaning up to do.
 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

He Is Risen!

Sing praises!  Sing thanksgiving!  Sing joy!  Sing hope!  Let the earth resound with praises!  He is risen!  The best person who ever lived, our loving God has returned to us. He is risen! Sing out with loud praises!  Let the singing never end! Amen.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Taking Stock on Holy Saturday

I sat at Adoration after the service on Holy Thursday and felt so disappointed in myself this Lent.  In part I was just exhausted, and I tend to beat up on myself in those circumstances.  But, in part, I didn't achieve the Lenten growth I had hoped for.  I am not sure what that was, but I didn't feel that it had happened.

Some years I give something up that becomes a permanent habit.  Some years I find a real devotion to prayer.  Some years I have found ways to be charitable and kind.  But, some years, like this one, I just feel a little unfocused.  I sat in Adoration asking Christ what I was supposed to learn?  What was there for me this Lent?  I never really heard the answer.

My spiritual director this week asked what I wanted for Eastertide.  I didn't have an answer.  But, perhaps that time in Adoration on Holy Thursday was not in vain, because while I am a little unsure exactly what I learned or how I grew this Lent, I am sure that this Eastertide I want another measure of the Holy Spirit.  I want more of the gifts and talents and I want to use them to bring forth God's Kingdom.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday (Reposted from 2008)

I remember asking once when I was a kid what was so "good" about Good Friday. From my kid perspective it seemed that it was bad Friday. We had to fast and eat no meat. Usually we went to church and had to be really quiet and prayerful for what seemed like hours and hours. The central theme of the day was that someone was brutally killed, murdered really. That someone was God, so it didn't make any sense to me. It seemed like the very worst of days so I couldn't see calling it Good Friday.

I don't remember what I was told when I asked why it was called Good Friday. Obviously, I wasn't able to grasp the answer or maybe there was no answer. The question has stuck with me and I asked myself today. Why is it called Good Friday, when everything that is commemorated on this day is so awful?

It is fitting that we fast and control our eating today. It is right that we spend some time in church or at least some time in prayer. It is a solemn day, a holy day. It was a sad day in human history, that we did this to God. That I did this to God.

Good Friday marks the day we were rescued. The day that our salvation was put into motion. Without Good Friday we would be nothing, have nothing to look forward to in eternity. Jesus saved us by His death. That makes it a very good Friday for us all. It is Good Friday because without it we are nothing. Because of it, we are God's own children.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thank You, Jesus

Dear Jesus,

Thank You for walking the walk. 
Thank You for the love and stories and care and concern.
Thank You for the sacrifice.
Thank You for loving me even though I don't deserve it.
Thank You for the Passover meal that gave me Your precious body and blood.

Thank You!

Your beloved daughter,

Mary

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

5 Favorites, Lent


This isn't the kind of week when I have much to say.  Five favorites about Lent as it comes to a close.  

1. Lent is a great time to go to Confession.  Usually Penance is offered more than normal.  We have 2 parish Penance days and I went to a conference that offered Confession, so I am good, for now.

2. Lent is a great time to up the ante on my prayer life.  It is time to think about prayer more and practice different forms of prayer.

3. Lent is a time to take stock of my health.  Losing weight is a continual struggle for me.  Remembering that I am fighting the inclinations of the flesh, is a good Lenten practice for me.

4. Lent is a time to be thankful for the abundance in my life and to be mindful of those who are less fortunate.


5. Lent is a time when there are extra opportunities to grow in faith either by study or in a program offered in the parish.  I have been studying women in the scripture and how they use their gifts and talents to bring forth God's kingdom.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tuesday Treasures, Russian Dolls

This was an old feature I used to do on the blog.  This post was originally from 2010.
 
 
This little Russian doll is my treasure for today.  I bought it in Brighton, England while I was a student at Brighton College of Education (Go, Dolphins!).  It was special and unique and I was immediately drawn to it.

And fun to play with because as you can see, It is not one doll, but four.
And here they are all put back together.  They are my little Russian girls. While they perhaps look old, they were new to me, so not really an antique.  They keep fading over the years and they look antique these days.