Thursday, May 26, 2011

Same Words, Different Time

The other morning my youngest asked me what I was doing and I simply said, "Reading the Scripture for the day." "You read that all the time. Don't you know what it says? It's the same stories over and over." "Yes, but each time I get something different from the stories because either I find a line I never paid attention to or I am in a different time of my life." "Oh."
After I thought about our conversation, I realized that sometimes I do just skip past the parts I have read day after day, year after year. I realized that I do need to practice what I preach because I am in a different time in my life. I have often heard parts of a story that I have never heard before. I do need to pay attention. I do need to listen to what He is speaking to me at the time in my life that He wants me to hear the message.
Our lives are a journey. Every day, every hour is different then the one before and we need to pay attention to the details, to the Words, to what we may feel we have heard every day of our lives, every week, each year. There are messages we are given that we could miss. There are opportunities put before us that we pass by. There are people put in our path that we ignore. We may think we know exactly what to expect and yet if we really pay attention, something new may be placed right in front of us. Every day is a new day. The same words will mean something completely different in a different time or place. Stay open. Read and reread. Journey.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Responsibility

This week I have been in Chicago with my husband meeting with vendors gathering product ideas to put into our church goods catalog for the 2011-2012 advertising year. I admit that I usually go home on Tuesday or Wednesday but decided to stay the full week because my two oldest daughters were home from college and could take care of the kids. Well, as usual, they came through with flying colors getting siblings to school and back and taking care of laundry and lunches and going out to dinner with my father. They helped out at the bookstore while the younger ones were in school and even got one to a 6 a.m. field trip on time. Now granted, when I got home there were plenty of stories and concerns and the girls were exhausted but they handled their responsibilities beautifully. I find it important in this world not just to give people responsibilities but also to let them handle those responsibilities, to actually take care of things. This, I believe, is what helps people to grow and to bond. If we as moms and dads and teachers and leaders are constantly doing for others and taking control of every situation, we are doing no favors for the continuation of a world or a home or a workplace of fully functioning adults. If they fall, they will learn. If they make mistakes, it can be fixed. If we do it for them, we never get rest. Our kids are amazing when they are allowed to prove themselves. I'm proud of my kids and I am glad to be home.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Culture of Vocation

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As Fr. began his homily, it was obvious that we would hear about the need to pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. It was obvious that we would be asked to consider anyone we knew who may be a good candidate for either and we would be asked to say, "Ya know, I think you would be a great priest or sister. Think about it." What wasn't so obvious was the challenge that came to make our home a culture of vocation. What a wonderful challenge we received to think about what our calling truly is, what God wants us to be and to do and to become. And furthermore, as our home becomes a culture of vocation, we could spread the concept and our community could become a culture of vocation and our city and our country and our world. Think about it. Wouldn't it be awesome if we all prayed to discover and to follow what we truly were created to do and to be and to become? So, at breakfast, as my husband and I prepared to leave our 6 children alone and travel to Chicago for the week to put together our church goods catalog for the upcoming season, I challenged my children to think about what Fr. left us with and to consider that they may just be called to be the best sisters and best brothers to one another. They may be called to be good students and good grandchildren. They may be called for so much more but for this week it could be this simple. For the rest of their lives, it would take much more prayer and contemplation. As my oldest goes for another interview after taking the younger ones to grade school and as my next oldest takes her brother to high school, I pray we become a culture of vocation. I pray they think about the words they heard on Sunday.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"Faithful to the Gift"

I ventured back in my Magnificat this morning to read a prayer I had marked as important to hear again and again. "O Lord our God, you chose to build your Church upon the faith of ordinary people made extraordinary by the companionship of your Son and the power of the Holy Spirit. Keep us faithful to the gift which they received with such joy and handed on at such cost, through Christ our Lord. Amen."
Again yesterday, I enjoyed a visit from a past neighbor. Like 40 years ago, past. The last time he visited, around Christmas, we talked about the writing life. He now writes columns for our Catholic Register and is looking for another place to write, to evangelize, to pass on "the gift". He has a way of getting me pumped up to continue my own writing and he tends to wake me up to my daily opportunities. So many times I sit lax with the gift that has been handed down to me, not just from my parents, but from the "ordinary people made extraordinary". I have the most blatant opportunities day in and day out not just to offer others the gifts that would bring them closer to Christ but to listen to those who enter and who bring Christ to me. Yikes woman! Wake up. Daily. Be aware. This kid from my past cannot be expected to visit daily and remind me to be faithful to the gift. My parents are not going to always be around to sign me up for the next retreat to keep me filled with the Spirit that I have been handed down. The apostles received with joy and handed on at cost the power and the companionship. Lord, keep me faithful to the gift, daily, in my home and in my work. I am so fortunate to work in a place with opportunities not just to give but to be open to receive. I am so fortunate to be in a family of ordinary people who can be so extraordinary. The world is full of ordinary and extraordinary opportunities. All that has been handed down is right in front of us as power and as companionship. Together may we all be faithful to the gift.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Oldest Daughter

My daughter is graduating from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Al this weekend and I have all those mixed mom emotions of being proud of all she has accomplished and being sad that she will be moving along in her own life and not needing us quite as much. I know, I know, she will need us for a while but this is just the beginning of her making a new life for herself. I'd like to just tell the moms out there who have heard it said or have said it themselves that, "Life goes by so quickly" or "Wow, you blink and they are out of grade school" or "High school seemed to fly by", college is truly the fastest four years I have ever experienced. I guess it's because we may not see them as much and in some cases only at Christmas and Easter break. Beth and I seemed to keep up with one another and I feel like she came home for a lot of the family stuff but I'm tellin' ya, it's quick. I can't say how many times I had to bite my lip when she would decide to go with friends for Spring Break or her internship kept her from a long weekend visit. But, her father and I are so proud of her graduating with honors and we are so proud of all she has done in her internships, heightening awareness for the two non-profits where she worked. She is one dedicated woman and although we know that she will not want to "need" us, we want her to know that we will always be excited for her to come home, just like my parents seemed to be as each of us moved back and forth through their house for all those years. (My parents even had some move in that were not ours from the start). Anyway - Congratulations Beth! You are awesome.