Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Denying Temptation

A Great Lent Reflection

When Christ went into the desert he was denying the temptations of the devil. The things that the devil used to tempt Christ were corruptions of the flesh: falling to one's appetites and lust for power and importance.  During Lent we deny our flesh luxuriant food. We deny not food which sustains us, but the extraordinary food such as meat, fats, sweets, alcohol.

We can also deny ourselves things that make us too self-important like social media and T.V.  These two things can deprive us of mental and physical rest. They can also deprive us of purity and spirituality.

In our denials we are capable of more. We can be more tuned to the movements of the Holy Spirit. We can pray more. We can spend more time serving others in our family and community.

We are praying more. Reading more (family read aloud). Learning more about God's holy people. And we're eating differently.

I often feel that Lent is a relief from the weight of indulgence. Lent is a blessing, a gift.

Mno hya Lita!


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Scout Sunday







Alex belly-ached this morning about having to put on his cub scout uniform and go to a different church. His parents extolled the virtues of wearing a uniform, being part of a pack and being cheerful even when you do not feel like it.  We managed to coerce him into sucking it up. But afterward he admitted it was kind of cool.  I told him that it was okay. We understood that it was not comfortable but we knew be would appreciate it later.

In other cub scout news, Alex won the pinewood derby with his TARDIS car. He and daddy plotted all year about what it would take to win. Their research and planning paid off. Alex also won "best paint job." This is his second year in a row. So we were all particularly proud of the two years of best paint job.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Peg Doll Saints

I have wanted to do this peg doll saint exchange thing for a while.  So I simply organized it this spring.  It was so appropriate too because I went on a glut of learning about various saints over Lent.  It was very inspiring.  


While we look at the saints and see that they lived great lives, they are also possible lives.  People often think, I could never be a saint.  But, the more you learn about the lives of saints you see they were just ordinary people with proper devotion to God, and then one day, by heavenly grace, they had a mission, and the accepted it.  So with proper devotion, maybe someday you too will be in that number. 

I tried to look up online to see if there were any particular method to painting the peg dolls.  There is not.  Just get some craft paint and some fine bristle brushes (0, 3/0, 10/0) and get to painting.  I bought Wal-mart brushes and had no complaints.
 
  • I will say that the saints turned out better if you do some planning.  
  • Look up Icons of the saints.  I say specifically Icons because Icons have a lot more symbology that can be used to express the saint you are depicting.  
  • Draw a little picture of the peg doll to plan out the look and symbols.  
  • Then draw it onto the doll. 
  • I started with skin and faces.  It's just my thing.  It feels friendly if there is a face.  It's an Icon thing to begin with the eyes--the windows to the soul.
  • Then I blocked in the garment and symbol colors one by one.  
  • Then I added details.
  • Done.


I used the wood color for the skin on my St. Paul. But, the varnish darkened the wood color.  
So for the rest I used paint for the skin.


 I enlisted help, because this guy wanted to spend more time with me this evening.
Help is awesome.


As you will see, there's no perfectionism here.  I figured that these little people are for little people.  I would feel badly if I put all sorts of effort into the dolls, making every detail perfect, only to have little hands destroy them.  So I kept it fast and loose.  This also works because I don't have a lot of time to paint these days. 

Here are my saints that I made for the kids:


St. Paul, the Apostle
(See how dark the wood became after varnish)


Blessed Theotokos


Christos Pantokrator



St. Basil, the Great


St. Bernadette


St. Veronica
(I wish you could see the lovely folds in her veil)


St. Patrick 
(I wish you could see his curly staff on his side in this picture)


St. Peter, the Apostle


And here are the rest we received in our peg doll saint exchange:

The Sacred Heart of Mary


St. Zita


Bl. Mother Teresa


St. John Paul II


St. Francis of Assisi


St. Claire


St. Martin De Porres


St. Pio


St. Therese, the Little Flower


Oh when the saint go marching in!
Oh how I want to be in that number!


Now I'm exhausted just looking at all the saints.

Mno Hiya Lyta!





Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Every Knee Shall Bend

Lately, I have been praying for a certain intercession very fervently.  I have come to the foot of the cross in all humility.  Although, I have found myself exceedingly restless in waiting for His answer.  My impatience leads to prayers of pleading.  Yet, in this unrest He has also showered upon me much grace (For example: I was going out to a meeting feeling very sad and so sorry for myself.  I thought I probably should not be going to this meeting.  I should probably turn around and go home.  I prayed to Our Blessed Mother, and told her I just needed a hug right now.  When I arrived at my meeting everyone gave me a hug even though this had not been a usual greeting at these meetings).

The other night, I was laying with my Annie-belle as she fell asleep.  She too was restless.  I had offered my little girls a story, but they had begun to fight over a toy and there was no way I could read over their fighting so I put them to bed.  Annie pleaded with me in a very annoying, whiny manner, to please read the story.  But, I simply could not.  It was just too noisy and already past bedtime.  There was nothing I could do.  I had to say, no.  

Then it hit me.  Perhaps sometimes this is how it is with God.  There is something that I perceive as a noble good and I ask for it from my Lord.  When the answer is, "No," I cannot understand why my Lord would not want to give me this good thing.  Why would a mother not want to read a bedtime story to a child.  But perhaps there is a very good reason God cannot give a blessing.  I wanted to read a story to the children but their behavior made it impossible.  God had wanted to give blessings or graces, but our behavior had made it impossible.  Or perhaps it just was not the right time.

I recognized then despite all my humble prayers I could not bend the will of God to my own.  As a child cannot bend the will of her mother.  This is certainly something I have known since I first learned the Lord's prayer, in which a line is, "Thy will be done." This is something I utter many times a day.  But, often when I say these words it is without connection to the true meaning.  What we pledge in "Thy will be done," is total surrender to His will.  In all my prayers, I had hoped God would do my will.  It took a little girl pleading for me to do her will to help me see that. 

My prayers do not change.  I still pray for the same intercession.  God wants us to come to Him as His children with all our worries, needs and cares.  But my intentions have changed some.  I know I must surrender to God's will and be at peace with it whatever it may be.  I must seek out His will in all my actions.  I must give thanks and praise and glory even when I cannot understand His wisdom. 

But, what if sometimes what happens brings suffering.  Does God want us to suffer?   It is a mystery.  I struggle with this.  Is it not a frightful thing to suffer?  It certainly seems many are sainted through suffering.  Mother Teresa said that when you are suffering it is the kiss of Jesus.  It means you have come very close to the cross so that Jesus may kiss you.  Remember Jesus is suffering for all the world's sins on the cross and when you come near you feel it.  But, being kissed by Jesus you are also filled with His grace and His love.  Oftentimes people who are suffering also feel very near God.

Right now, I do not know what is the will of the Lord.  I am still hoping for the best.  I think that is what is right.  BUT I am trying to bend myself humbly to the Lord, rather than asking Him to bend to me.  I am trying to not take each moment of each day for granted.  I am seeking out what is holy in all things.  Hopefully, He WILL answer my prayer with a blessing. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Costa Rican Wedding

My sister was married in Costa Rica a couple of weeks ago.  So we packed our bags and off to Costa Rica we went.  I will not wax philosophical on the merits of marriage, but rather simply share our the images of our adventure.

I will add we should have took pictures of the food, because we ate some of the finest food we have ever had in Costa Rica.



My Pineapple Baby

The beautiful bride


Pool Pals


Delicious breakfast that began everyday with a plate of fruita.




Cashew Fruit


On the bus to the river tour


Costa Rican Farmland








Iguana's Everywhere




It's a Croc!



Just minding his own business


It's a capuchin monkey! He's minding our business.








There's a monkey on the boat.






 Wedding Time











By 9:30 p.m. the children all tuckered out climbed up on 
the sofas at the edge of the dance floor and went to sleep.


Except for Alex


Mno Hiya Lyta!