Tuesday, May 29, 2007

This Olde House...

Welcome to the state of organized chaos. You can find parts and pieces of the living room in almost every room in the house. Reminds me of the remodeling of the Bicknell house. This, however, will not take as long to remodel. Ron had already removed all the wall paper from the hall and entry. It is amazing how bright the room has become...


Then Saturday evening the carpet came up. That was not a difficult task. EVERYONE was happy to help get IT out of the house. (Part of it sits on the curb, even as we speak, to be picked up by the garbage collectors this morning.) There were staples to remove and the floor to be swept. Wooden plugs to be put into the base of the railing and all was set for the next big task. It seems there is nothing, once again, that can stop the "wrecking crew". We just missed the contributions of the other two members that could not be here.


And through it all the kids seemed content to stay out of the way!!!


Ron and Wes painted the walls of the living room. And today Ron is taking the first step in the "laying of the floor". He's cutting the piece that will connect the dining room to the living room. Come again and visit "this olde house".


And in gratitude to the one who gives all, we say,

"Thanks be to God!"

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I Found a Treasure!

While I was looking for my copy of the Collegeville Biblical Commentary for Marianne I ran across this in another of my resource books. What a wonderful surprise. It is my pleasure to share it with you. Wishing all a safe and happy Memorial Weekend.

Thanks be to God!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Top o' the Mornin'

What a glorious day it is here today. Just wanted to say, "Good Day" to you all!!!!
"May our lives be
by the steady radiance,
renewed daily,
of a wonder,
the Source of which
is beyond reason.
Dag Hammerskjold

Thanks be to God!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Dance Recital

This last week at work has been a real challenge. Having new "tools" to use and others that must be given up to the new technology have caused me to be tired, frustrated and sometimes, as I was yesterday, just plain sad...SO

Last night was Kellie's dance recital. It was a short program, not elaborate, and great fun. It was such a treat to see the talents of each of the kids in the show. It's especially delightful to see how Kellie has improved in all her skills since I first saw her perform as a small child. I reflect on this because this week my oldest grandchild has become a teenager. She continues to bloom, as we are all meant to, into a young lady now on the threshold of young adulthood. These thirteen years have flashed by. And in those thirteen years Kelly has been so very good at entertaining. Singing and dancing and now ,starting next school year, as member of the Memorial High School Marching band as a member of the Color Guard, she will again be sharing with all of us her talent to entertain.

Thank you, Kellie, for all the smiles you bring to others through your beautiful smile and "happy feet", especially to your Grandma.

I was allowed to share last night, also, in the world of Laura's "school" life, as some of her students arrived to take pictures of the recital, much to her delight. But that wasn't the only thing I noticed. Not only at the recital, but at the Dairy Queen after, when students of hers are around her she is treated with much respect and she shares in their fun without relinquishing or diminishing her role as teacher and mentor. She was able to cajole and they could respond without fear of reprisal...Was a sight to behold. Makes me wish I could be a mouse in the corner one day to attend one of her classes.
Another of those "Christ" moments when I can be aware of his presence in my life.

Thanks be to God!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Another Pot of Gold

Gold can be found just about anywhere.
Take one of your favorite books from the shelf
and "re-read" it this week.
As Wes used to say as a very small boy,
"Wouldn't that be a good idea?"

The lost has been found...

I am on a journey. Yes, a journey. And on this journey I have been guided to different sources of reflection and meditation. A couple of years ago I found little book called Set Aside Every Fear, Love and Trust in the Spirituality of Catherine of Siena. I picked up the book in the first place because St. Catherine of Siena is the saint chosen by my parents as my namesake. Knowing of her determination and her wisdom, I wanted to learn from her example. She was advisor of Popes and Bishops and as a woman of her time this was nearly unheard of. She was one of the original "liberated women." And finally, a Doctor of the Church.

It is a book that allows short reflections in which first God speaks to the reader as she begins the day. She is given a verse to reflect on through the day and then at the end of the day she responds in prayer. Well....I have been searching high and low for this book and today it has "been found." In this text is my favorite "reminder" of how we are called to love. And so now, I can share it. too. I hope you will find it, as I have, to be a profound statement of who we are as Christians and how we are called to be Christian.

"Love is a debt you owe to everyone."
Why is it a debt I owe everyone? Because the salvation of my immortal soul was purchased at a very high price. This verse is profound to me because the debt I incur comes from our Savior, when He gave his life in my name. Yes, in my name. A debt I can only repay by loving as he loves me. I was awakened to the truth that love is no longer passive (saying you love your neighbor), but an ACTION in which we are to participate at all times (finding a means to participate in the sharing of that Divine Love). It is not an easy debt to repay, but then I owe a great deal through the purchase of my salvation by the death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I have been called to reflect this Easter Season on the ways I must actively participate in my own salvation.
Nothing can be more difficult and simple at the same time. Some days the love comes easy and we can smile in the presence of the Lord. Other days we are tested in our love and those are the days when it is most difficult to say "thank you" for the challenge to love in the presence of the Lord. But by reminding myself that I am in the presence of the Lord at all times makes me appreciate even more family, friends and co-workers. Because, on any given day, these are the one who can be the hardest to love.
And so in my indebtedness, I say Thank You, Lord, for this day in all its goodness. Thank you for the gift of tomorrow. I get another chance to get it right.

Friday, May 11, 2007

It's GG' s Birthday

I just want to say thank you, Mom. Thank you for the countless dresses you so lovingly made for me. Thank you for the sweaters you have crafted with such love. Thank for being a model of grace, courage, and perseverance.

You offer to others yourself in so many ways and I have been privileged to grow up seeing you share your gifts and talents with others. You are the teacher who taught me to speak the English language and use it with skill, because you knew how important is was to use it well. You taught me to knit, embroider, and sew (though, I know, teaching me to sew was a real challenge). You tried to teach me to swim, though I am sorry to say, without much success. Thank God all my children can swim. You taught me the importance of humor and laughter!! Thank you for the times we have laughed so hard together...

You taught me compassion and caring for others by example. I saw it in how you cared for us as children and as adults. I saw how you cared for others when you would take them grocery shopping. How you cared for the Aunts when they needed you by visiting and doing their laundry. You showed your love in the small things, by cleaning the church, mending cassocks for the priest, laundering the alter linens and crafting rosaries (as you did when I was a child).

You are skilled in listening. That is probably the reason you have so many friends and family who even today, will call you and visit with you.

You, Mother, are a competitor...You LOVE to play games and you enjoy it most when playing with your children and their families...Although, I suspect, if called to be a 4th in pinochle you'd have to pass on a game of Canasta.

Mom, thank you for 82 wonderful years that I will cherish. God blessed me when he allowed me to be your daughter. And GOD BLESS YOU!!!!!

The Gifted With a Talent for Patience

The skill of the craftsmen...
and the work of their hands...

and the talented use of the tools.

The railing is in place and the curios are empty. Won't be long before the carpet is gone. The back bedroom has all the Precious Moment figurines in it and the dining room table has all the cut glass and the Wedgewood. It was so exciting to see the transformation of the the pieces of wood into the railing that Roy and Ron assembled. Not an easy task, as making and putting up the railing requires a lot of patience. "Measure twice, cut once." Roy and Ron worked steadily and with skill. I really admire this in a person as I am not patient by nature. My reflection today even coincides with this lesson in patience.
"Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding,
but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly."
Proverbs 14:29
Amy Welborn says, "I am not the most patient person in the world, and whenever I am tempted to lose it, I think of the Amish woman at the airport.
She was going through security and she set off the alarm. Repeatedly. They ran the wand over her, back and forth, although she assured them she had no metal on her. An still she beeped.
Watching this, I was relieved that so much energy was being exerted to protect me from the dangers of fifty-year-old Amish women. But I also had to admire her patience; there was no logical reason to keep examining and searching her, and it was even a little insulting. But through it all, her smile never faded, for as she probably well understood, anger would have accomplished nothing."
"Loving God, build up my patience"
To that I say, "Amen!" For as long as can remember to smile when my computer at work is not behaving well; I smile when I am reminded often that my computer skills are not yet honed enough on E-Clinical; and I smile when unloading the curio when I'd rather be reading or doing counted cross-stitch, I am trying to emulate the Amish woman realizing there is nothing to be gained in anger. And, too, I smile when I thank God in His patience in loving me.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Gift of Friendship

The Neighbors
by John Geoge Brown
Rhonda, Fay, Kay, Martha and I have on a number of individual occasions, when we were much younger, joked about growing old together and sitting on the front porch with nothing to do but rock in our chairs and chat. This picture evokes such memories. I first saw this picture at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta when we went to visit Jimmy.

When these dear friends and family and I shared this hope I really did not picture myself as anything but my youthful self sitting on that porch...but then I look in the mirror and the truth is revealed. I may only feel 40 on the inside but on the outside greater "maturity" is revealed.

Why this talk of friendship? I don't think this is Best Friend week, but I could be wrong. I speak of friendship now for a couple of reasons. First, all the above friends no longer live close enough to sit on that front porch, though we do chat. Then, I reflected on what it has been like to have lost a dear friend to death, who you just knew would "live forever", and the void, unfilled yet, by her absence.

Then, last night, Fay and I had a chat. Pete has been very ill again and yesterday they found he has pneumonia. She and I would agree that this was a time when we needed to talk and again we would both agree that somehow I listened to the promptings of the Master to make that call.

On the other hand, I dropped the ball yesterday, when I realized, too late, that I had missed Martha's birthday. OOPs! And only the day before she had sent me a card telling me how thoughtful I am. OUCH! This too will be rectified.

Kay and I, with Allen and Ron along for the ride, will visit soon for a chat over dinner...That's when we do our BEST chatting.

And...then I read this reflection by Henri J. M. Nouwen.

Friends and Their Limitations
We need friends. Friends guide us, care for us, confront us in love, console us in times of pain. Although we speak of "making friends," friends cannot be made. Friends are free gifts from God. But God gives us the friends we need when we need them if we fully trust in God's love.
Friends cannot replace God. They have limitations and weaknesses like we have. Their love is never faultless, never complete. But in their limitations they can be sign-posts on our journey toward the unlimited and unconditional love of God. Let's enjoy the friends God has sent on our way."

So now I see that my "front porch" has been replaced by just making sure these special people continue to be a part of my life by simply connecting with them; connecting with those beautiful women with whom I share my faith life every Tuesday evening; bonding with my Bible Study groups and sharing the love of God; meeting or "chatting" with faraway friends whenever the need arises; making those family calls to chat whether online text messaging (which is a lot of fun) or by phone just to hear their voices; and most importantly making sure those "chats" with the Lord, whether in prayer or with your faith community, be on the TOP of our BEST FRIENDS list.

Finally, knowing and accepting that I am not the perfect friend I'd like to be is part of my journey. I forget to say thank you, put off calls I know I should make, and forget birthdays sometimes...but even with these flaws I know I am loved by God and those Dear Friends and Family he has sent to me.

Thanks Be To GOD!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Another Pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow!

This treasure is call: A Catholic Woman's Book of Days by Amy Welborn. She offers daily meditations that are short and thought provoking. Even bring back memories of times past. Today's was especially personal to me because I have walked in her shoes. How about you?

"A certain Woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul." Acts 16:14

Amy says, "None of my babies have been good sleepers. When they're little, I see a lot of the middle of the night. What always fascinates me is the quiet. It's so still that when a train passes on tracks two miles away, it sounds as if it is in our backyard. I suppose this shows me that there's a lot more noise out there during the day than I realize.

When we pray, we may be convinced that we're listening to God. But are we? Or have we just grown so accustomed to the continual drone that we don't even know it's there, muffling, and distorting God's voice? And then we're startled when God's voice resounds like a train through the night, unfamiliar but at last unmistakeable, and we must, like Lydia, open our hearts and listen eagerly.


Loving God, help me really quiet myself and listen.


I can really identify...4 of the 5 children didn't sleep through the night until they were about 2 years old. And then when the youngest did, I couldn't sleep for fear something was the matter with her. So the middle of the night on many occasions has been a time of prayer for me. I also know that I do indeed talk too much and there are so many times the only time the Lord can get a "word in edgewise" is when I am asleep. Then He wakes me to show me the way...He truly knows the way for us all...We just have to "awaken" to it!!!