Monday, February 7, 2011

And...Cue the Holy Spirit

I have an overactive imagination and at times I find myself contemplating my life the way a writer would think up a plot. The way a director might say, “Let’s see if it works saying that line this way and then you walk to stage left.” This great “ACT” has so many characters, scene changes, intermissions… let’s put some good music to it as well (for happy times I would choose “Jupiter” from THE PLANETS which I heard for the first time performed by the Juneau Symphony…WONDERFUL)!
So, as I am trying so hard to have a nice phone conversation with my sister Emily and I might be, I don’t know…perhaps…unloading a dishwasher (this is a stretch…I rarely multitask). Everything is good, I am enjoying myself, I like having a clean kitchen, I like catching up with my sister. Then, (music....dun dun dah…doomsday sounding), irritable cranky just woke up from a deep nap Lioness walks in, rubbing eyes.  She is doing a potty dance and whining and incoherent..ugh she’s at her WORST!  I try to keep talking with Emily, she was telling a great story about her beau.  I only have the upper rack of the dishwasher left, the utensil basket and lower rack are done. Errr..but in comes Lioness and at the same time…cue the Holy Spirit.
verb (used with object, also can be used as a noun)
to provide with a cue or indication; give a cue to; prompt: Will you cue me on my lines?

Holy Spirit, “Will You cue me on my lines?”
The Holy Spirit says, “In this particular scene you politely and quickly say good bye to your sister. She will learn what mothering is. Close the dishwasher, focus on the eternal. Listen to your child and be attentive.”
Attentive – We have been working on that character trait for over a month in this home.
My friend Angela told me around the campfire once as we were eating our oatmeal that I was so proud to have cooked in the cast iron pot, “You have to follow the Holy Spirit. If we have something planned in our family as an outing and even one person is very upset or tired and things aren’t really working out well..we have to pause and really focus on where the Spirit is guiding us. This guide might be in that child who needs us at that moment and all plans go away and then the plan is clear…the child.  The same goes for if everything just seems to be falling into place, miraculously, that is also the Holy Spirit saying…yes! This is a great idea!”
Perhaps as I learn to listen for the divine cues I receive for some of the little scenes, I can be ready for the bigger cues. You know when the PLOT thickens, when there is a TWIST to the story. Like…hmmm…a fourth?  Ah….wait…wait for the cues.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Merry Candlemas!

Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.
Southeast Alaska is not getting the winter storm pounding that the rest of the country is experiencing. Actually, last Wednesday was so beautiful the girls and I went for a walk to Rotary Park.  During this walk, I reminded them of the four “baths” that hygienists recommend we have daily (oh, yes I did),
1.       A rinse and good brushing of the mouth (twice a day)
2.       A wash of the body (wash cloth wipe downs count)
3.       A bath of fresh air for the lungs
4.        A bath of sunlight
My children and I can successfully accomplish the first three most of the time, with three children five and under…let’s be realistic, we are a little grimy at times…but it is very rugged I think (ha).  The bath of fresh air for the lungs ALWAYS feels so good, we take deep breaths, even though the girls sometimes blow out when I insist it is about inhaling. Deep and penetrating breathes!  The bath of sunlight in Juneau is very rare but there is hope for more of it…as Candlemas draws near.
The coming of this special feast truly hit home for me as the strand of icicle lights on our house were already lit automatically when we finished our walk that day. The lights have been on a timer to turn on at 3:00 pm during December when it was dark.  However, as the days grow longer, they are flicking on when it is still light out, not even twilight yet!   I have made a tradition for our family to keep our Christmas lights up until the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord.  My two beautiful balsam wreaths with the lovely red ribbons are still very sturdy on our doors. Tomorrow, though, all must come down.  I wonder if our neighbors will sigh a sigh of relief as they realize that, no, we won’t keep our lights up all year…very tacky perhaps.   We will truly embrace Ordinary time and say farewell to any remnant of Christmas. I thank the Church for helping me keep time in this way, otherwise the beginning of February would be rather sober.  I even have a beautiful plate to put out this year on the dinner table that I found for a dollar at St Vincent’s thrift store.  I pray, let this plate be something my girls will find on a shelf in my kitchen in years to come and think fondly of Candlemas in our home. Dinner by candlelight, making sure all the Christmas d├ęcor is gone…even the arts and crafts on the kitchen door leading to the garage. Bringing our candles to mass so that the priest may bless them…my children are not grown and gone, but I am convinced traditions matter.
My thoughts for tomorrow, for this year’s Candlemas are lifted to this….
Ever so often, throughout my day with my girls, I find I am drawn to my bookshelf in our family room.  At one time I have a several books that I am reading, but it is always nice to peruse the shelves and see what strikes me, and my hand went to Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly. I read about a chapter in, and was happy to find some inspiration.  His words resonated with me. People in society crave to see true authentic Christianity, and being truly Catholic is a lifestyle. They do not want to hear about your experiences, or your conversion stories…they want to see you live your life as an aunthentic Christian. They want you to SHOW them.  Thank you Matthew for the reminder and praise God you write so well, I was convinced in only a few pages.   January is a trying month at times, and the lights of the candles, the sunlight of these longer days, reminds us of our very serious responsibility as Christians to be a light to others. Merry Candlemas!