Inspire. April.

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Some things have changed since March’s Inspire post. A lot of things across this country and across the world. We can still move forward while in isolation though. I’ve seen online that some people are using this time to learn a new skill, a new language, write the Great American Novel, learn to cook. And some of us are simply trying to get through another day while trying not to suffocate in the constant presence of our families. I am somewhere in the middle. I am not taking up any new skills, but I am thinking about writing more. I’ve been cooking more in the last two weeks than in the last two years, which is a welcome change to both my family and myself. I will share some of our recipes as the days go on, just as I would in a regular year. I usually spend my mornings attending daily mass (on Facebook Live) and then watching and screenshotting Governor Cuomo’s daily press briefing. It makes me feel as if I’m doing something to help my community, and I have received positive feedback from it.

On the other hand, I’ve also found myself full of anxiety, with my brain going into overdrive, and not being able to shut down for sleep. Even in the dark, I’m wearing an eye mask. I think the light pressure on my head helps calm me down enough to fall asleep. Our family has been very lucky in our circumstances so far, and I will probably write and share about that another time. Easter and Passover are around the corner, and we are preparing for both. My next shopping trip will be Thursday to gather all the goodies for Easter dinner and Easter baskets. I am hoping to see my son, but time will tell. (He is a first responder and so he is working every day. I don’t know his holiday schedule yet.) I started a new book called The Boston Massacre. You know, some light reading.

Stay Home. Save Lives.

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.

Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

– Helen Keller

Graphic provided by NAMI on Instagram. (c)2020

Inspire. March.

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Some of my tools for this year’s Lenten Journey, including art from Bro. Mickey McGrath, my rosary, a key tab from my church, journal and Scripture gift, and really thoughtful and and prayerful daily devotions for Lent from Michelle Frankl-Donnay. (c)2020

“…the road that we seek is often the road we have already found.”

– Fr. James Martin, SJ, My Life with the Saints

Thoughts

One of things I’m learning through the Cursillo movement is how I can grow in relationship to Jesus through the three principles of piety, study, and action. These are key components of Cursillo, and while I did my weekend this past October, it is still taking me some time to regularly incorporate these into my life. I believe that I’ve always done them in varying degrees, but Cursillo has given me new eyes to see what it is I’m doing.

Lent is another way, a time of the year, to reflect on my relationships and what I do for myself in spiritual ways. The picture above illustrates some of my tools for my Lenten journey.

We are all obsessed, those of us who practice with giving up something for Lent. It is usually a food or a technology – social media, cell phone during dinner, etc. A lesser known thought is to add something to your life during Lent. This is only the first full week, and I am still discerning what I will add in addition to reading the daily devotional book my church gives us.

What have I given up?

Pizza. And bacon.

I didn’t even think about it. It just appeared in my head, and once it was there, I knew it was the right choice. My family still can’t believe it.

Adding?

I’m trying to journal a bit more, and heeding Brother Mickey’s advice to take fifteen minutes a day to just be with G-d. I’ll let you know how all of that goes.

In addition to prayer and fasting for these forty days, there is also almsgiving. I always support my church and my St. Vincent de Paul Society, but for this Lent, I will also be supporting RAICES, and I encourage all of you to take up that mantle. There are still children in cages; there are still families separated. RAICES is on the front lines with all kinds of help, and have been since the beginning of this nightmare.

Fandom Friday – In This Family…

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I won’t be posting the monthly pages this year, but I thought I’d share the first month of The Women of Supernatural’s 2019 Calendar, In This Family. There’s space for writing a thought to go along with the theme of the month or I can add a picture of my and my family. I love the Supernatural family!

Happy New Year!

Books I’ve Read in 2018

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What follows is a list of all the books I’ve read in 2018. You can find them all through Google or your local library. Most of them were library books that I borrowed as e-bookis on my Kindle. The library is a great resource and it’s free!

I am currently reading four books; two will go into the 2019 “pile” and two are meant to be finished today, having read them daily throughout 2018:

The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction by Neil Gaiman

 Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination by J.K. Rowling​

Women of the Bible: A One Year Devotional Study by Ann Spangler and Jean E. Syswerda

Continue reading

June: School’s Out: Photo/Art

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The photo on the right randomly happened when putting spaghetti into the pot to boil for dinner. It struck me as an interesting compostion so I photographed it.

Weeks later, I thought it would make an interesting coloring array, so I repeated the composition in six different colors using Sharpie markers and then coloring over it with matching colored pencils.

It made me think of Warhol, without the obvious talent.

It was enjoyable and relaxing, and I’m thinking about doing it again with a different subject.

Abstract Art. I’m calling it Spaghetti-Warhol. (c)2018

Abstract Art. (c)2018

Sundays in Lent – 6th Sunday, Palm Sunday

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​”The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them…”

Isaiah 50:4

How often have we ignored our well-trained tongue and have just spoken whatever’s on our mind? How many have we offended in so short a time? How many times would it have been better to simply not say anything at all?

I am forever giving my kids advice to think first, then speak, but how often am I in need of such advice? Or admonishment?

I’m reminded of a quote from The Walking Dead television series where Rick tells his son, who’s about ten, maybe slightly younger, “Don’t talk. Think.” I know many people, myself included who needs to remember this.

Another quote comes to mind from Aaron Burr in Hamilton: An American Musical when he tells Alexander Hamilton to “talk less, smile more.”

As we follow Jesus, stepping on and side-stepping palms being tossed as his guide, find some solitude and think about his journey and our own journey throughout this week beginning today as he, and we, enter Jerusalem and meet G-d’s will.