Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real...Two Sheep

Thank goodness for Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real! I want to keep things going in this little corner of the web and wow when I don't have a completed post it is nice to reflect on moments.


White wonderland here in Southeast Alaska...

The Governor of Alaska opens up his home every Christmas season with treats and goodies.  So we enjoyed meeting the Governor and his wife and getting to go inside the White House of the North.
So pretty I think...


For St Lucia's Feast Day the girls and their friends went to Mass and then served cookies and hot cider to everyone. Red and green and happy.


The girls made these guys and they are a sweet reminder of the fun we have homeschooling...


Can I share an atrium moment with you?

Two Mondays ago I settled down next to a sweet five year old girl in our atrium who wanted to work with the Good Shepherd parable, specifically the Found Sheep.

I have been part of the Catachesis of the Good Shepherd training since April and have been in our parish's atrium since September, so I'm a rookie. My own daughters are "seasoned" atrium children of this absolutely holy beautiful work. this little girl was preparing the sheepfold she said to me, "Miss Stephanie, today two sheep are going to go missing from the sheepfold."

Ok. I had a smile on my face but my insides were panicking...just a little. I wanted to say, "That's so sweet, but the parable says one goes missing and He leaves the 99 to find the ONE." You know, you just want things to be as they should be when you are new to these things.

However, we follow the lead of the child and I sat and watched as one sheep went under the prayer table across the atrium and another went in a corner.

We settled down to read the parable and she said with a brightness in her eyes, "Miss Stephanie, don't worry, He will be able to find both sheep."

I read, in the glow of Christmas lights in our atrium,

What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?

The Good Shepherd did find the first sheep under the prayer table, and he placed this sheep on his shoulder.  The two dimensional wood cut outs of the Good Shepherd do allow the children to have the shepherd carry a sheep.

And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy...

But the Good Shepherd had two to find this time, and the little girl took the Good Shepherd to the corner for the other one. The second one. I just watched and then was in awe of what was proclaimed to me by the child,

"The Good Shepherd can't put this sheep on his shoulders but its ok Miss Stephanie, the sheep knows the Good Shepherd's voice, so he is going to follow him back (to the sheepfold)."

And I watched as both sheep made it back to the sheepfold and were safe. The little girl and I were both very content and at peace.

Later the Holy Spirit gave me the gift of a reflection...that perhaps these two sheep were a married couple...or Stephanie and Justin.

God Bless You this Advent as we wait for the Good Shepherd.

More moments here at Like Mother, Like Daughter.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real November

The Holy Spirit is building an Atrium for the young children of our parish.  I have been privileged to be part of this endeavor. I have been meditating on a recent lecture on signs at my most recent Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training. 


We live in a winter wonderland and I am reminded of how...

God reveals Himself through nature and yet He conceals Himself.

We can know God through mountains yet I know He is not a mountain. 

He reveals and yet conceals in signs.


He revealed Himself to Moses in a burning bush and yet we know...God is not "just" a burning bush.

He reveals Himself in the smallest snowflake... in each one.

This morning!


He reveals Himself in people. He comes to us through the Body of Christ. 

We can say...this Child showed me another Face of God today.

This is FUNNY to me because my husband and his crew are all participating in "Movember" hence the mustache...and I can't help but laugh at his. And yet...I am the one with a bad case of pink eye right now so...I have to look at his mustache and he has to look at my gross pink eye and we call that romance xxoo.


When the Lord reveals Himself to us in a nature, in the Eucharist, in a face...we must give THANKS. 

It is not our own genius that allows us to see Him, as if we can think our way through the signs.


It is a particular grace in a particular moment He gives us. 

He blesses us throughout our day, constantly reminding us how very near He is. 

In signs.

I often feel that if He revealed Himself even more to me then He does now in these sweet signs I might explode from the intense Love.

As a mortal I feel my senses can only physically take small doses....He is so good to us.


God Bless! Please head over to Like Mother, Like Daughter for more signs!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

MANALIVE Large Family Vision

Time goes.  The house is full.  We are living.  I can hardly believe it has been a month since I sat down to take care of things here on my own little spot in the world wide web. 

Speaking of our spots...your how G.K. Chesterton spoke to my heart through his literary masterpiece "MANALIVE."  It is a rather thin book that I'm surprised took me so long to finish.  It was one of those classics where you pick it up and read a paragraph and stay a bit paralyzed while your brain tries to figure out the new wiring it received in the sudden siege of WORDS that opened new pathways.

I was around the kitchen table sharing this particular passage with my dear friend Janet last night, and I apologized for sharing as we were both rocked by the words because I felt I robbed her of the discovery on her own.  She said it might be years before she sits down and has a chance to read the whole book, so she was grateful for the profound tidbit I shared.

And so...I thought...perhaps I could share it here too???? 

It will definitely shape my "Large Family Vision" from here on out.

(I know I am pulling a piece out of a whole, forgive's just too exciting to keep to myself right now)


The man silently stretched out his rake in that direction; and before he spoke I knew what he meant.  Beyond the great green rock in the purple sky hung a single star.

"A star in the East," he said in a strange hoarse voice like on of our ancient eagle's, "the wise men followed the star and found the house.  But if I followed the star, should I find the house?"

"It depends perhaps," I said, smiling, "on whether you are a wise man." I refrained from adding that he certainly didn't look it.

"You may judge for yourself," he answered, "I am a man who left his house because he could not longer bear to be away from it."

"It certainly sounds paradoxical," I said.

"I heard my wife and children talking and saw them moving about the room," he continued, "and all the time I knew they were walking and talking in another house thousands of miles away, under the light of different skies, and beyond the series of the seas.  I loved them with a devouring love, because they seemed not only distant but unattainable.  Never did human creatures seem so dear and desirable:

but I seemed like a cold ghost.  I loved them intolerably; therefore I cast off their feet for a testimony.  Nay, I did more.  I spurned the world under my feet so that it swung full circle like a treadmill."

"Do you really mean," I cried, "that you have come right round the world? Your speech is English, yet you are coming from the west."

"My pilgrimage is not yet accomplished," he replied sadly, 

"I have become a pilgrim to cure myself of being an exile."

Something in the word 'pilgrim' awoke down in the roots of my ruinous experience, memories of what my fathers had felt about the world, and of something from whence I came.  I looked again at the pictured lantern at which I had not looked for fourteen years.

"My grandmother," I said in a low tone voice, "would have said that we were all in exile, and that no earthly house could cure the holy homesickness that forbids us rest,"

He was silent a long while, and watched a single eagle drift out beyond the Green Figure (some rock figure) into the darkening void.

Then he said, "I think your grandmother was right," and stood up leaning on his grassy pole.  "I think that must be the reason," he said, "the secret of this life of man, so ecstatic and so unappeased. But I think there is more to be said.  

I think God has given us the love of special places,

of a hearth

and of a native land,

for a good reason."

"I dare say," I said, "what reason!"

"Because otherwise," he said, pointing his pole at the sky and the abyss, "we might worship that."

"What do you mean?" I demanded.

 "Eternity." he said in his harsh voice, "the largest of the idols - the mightiest of the rivals of God."

"You mean pantheism and infinity and all that," I suggested.

"I mean," he said with increasing vehemence, "that if there be a house for me in heaven it will either have a green lamp-post and a hedge, or something quite as positive and personal as a green lamp-post and a hedge.
I mean that 
God bade me love one spot and serve it,

and do all things however wild in praise of it, 

so that this one spot might be a witness against all the infinities and the sophistries, 

that Paradise is somewhere and not anywhere,

is something and not anything,

And I would not be so very much surprised if the house in heaven had a real green lamp-post after all. 


Paradise is right here and now my friends.  Step outside your home and look at it. See.  Long for it if you just circumnavigated the globe to find it. Burst through the door and love the man and press your ear to his chest and love that sound.  Wrap your littles in hugs and smell their hair and skin. Do not make an idol of eternity, love the hearth here and now, your place, your spot.

God Bless! xxxooo

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real September

I have not been very good at keeping up with the blog lately, but I HAVE been keeping up with the schooling of my littles and so that feels good. 

When we lived in Cape Elizabeth, Maine we had GLORIOUS autumns and so I have been feeling that New England has RUINED me when it comes to my seasonal expectations. But...Southeast Alaska has been sweet this year. I went for a run yesterday through the campground and I saw all sorts of warm oranges and pale yellows. There was a nip in the air and a slight grey of the sky and I felt like Juneau was saying, "See! See! I'm trying!" Let's just say I had a good warm and fuzzy and a grateful heart that I live in such a beautiful place that does have a little stretch of fall.

So, here is far.


We spent Labor Day having a family picnic and fishing in the evening.


I have concluded feasting is even more satisfying when done OUTSIDE!


Mmmmm....iceberg chunks.


Fishing 101

Thanks for joining! Link over to Rosie's post for more PHFR. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real


Justin and I went kayaking to the glacier for a date night.  The glacier is always moving and melting and there is a certain cave in the ice that adventurers can go into.  I did not go all the way in, as I saw my children's beautiful faces pressed upon my mind, should the ice move while I was in the cave. It was exhilarating though and the blue of the ice is a Blessed Mother blue.

Ahhh...take a quick selfie and get out of the cave!


Late summer lake swimming makes us all very happy...cold...but happy.



Wow, you have your hands full?! Are those some neighborhood kids or all they all yours?  Oh so you finally got your boy! Are you done or are you going to have more?

Lord, thank you for each one. Thank you so much for choosing this family for these littles. 
You are so Good. 
Trust in the One Who gives GOOD GIFTS.

Happy late summer! Head over to Like Mother Like Daughter for more!