1. What's the scariest thing that's ever been in your yard?
We haven't had any scary yard things in our current house, that I can recall. In our last house, our beehive got a bit aggressive and later swarmed into a tree. That was a little scary! But our scariest yard experience was when I was startled late at night by police and their flashlights walking around our yard. Apparently there was a police chase ending in a wreck nearby, and the (drunk?) driver was running through our neighborhood and was spotted in our yard!
2. Beards. Thumbs up or thumbs down?
Thumbs down. Steven once tried to grow out a beard and it was rather unimpressive. I'm a fan of a clean shaven face.
3. If stuff breaks, can you fix it?
No, but my husband usually can. Sometimes he can explain to me how to fix something over the phone if he's not home. But generally I'm not very handy, and he has fixed everything from the air conditioner to plumbing issues.
4. What was your first car?
I was spoiled with a white Ford Probe on my 16th birthday. I drove it up until Mary Clare was a toddler. And Blanche the Probe had no AC for the last couple years. I drove around in the scorching Texas summer with a spray water-misting contraption to stay cool!
5. How often do you eat out?
Way too much. Some weeks I do great and cook almost all our meals at home, but recently my weekly meal planning has been nearly non-existent and we end up eating out or picking up takeout a few times a week. I really enjoy restaurant food and don't really like cooking, so this has always been a challenge for me. Thankfully I have a husband who enjoys cooking, if only he got home a little earlier in the evening! I need to get back into my Monday Motivatjon posts with weekly goals and meal plans.
6. Why is your hair like that?
I've just had long and straight hair for pretty much all my life. It's what I'm used to. I had it highlighted while in college, up until I started dating Steven and he asked me to stop. So it's just long and brown and straight. I usually use some hot rollers every few days to give it a little body, and sometimes I have it layered. But overall it's pretty boring hair!
What I Wore Sunday: Me with the boring hair.
I was a bit more casual for mass than usual (simple maxi skirt and Target tee), because the day and really the whole weekend didn't quite go as planned. We did make the ballet recital and the piano recital, but the rest of the weekend's events were changed and canceled for various reasons, and we even had to miss our once-a-year dinner fundraiser date night! So I ended up going to an evening mass with the baby and Ellie, who was sick yesterday but fine today. We went to the church down the street, which has a pastor who is a wonderful homilist!
Let me preface this by explaining for any non-Catholic blog readers that as Catholics, we believe that aside from being a tenet of our faith, attending Holy Mass every Sunday allows us an encounter with the living God. We believe that we receive many graces whether or not we're able to focus, to hear, to really pray, or to understand what is going on. We believe that we receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion, and believe it to be his TRUE presence (not a symbol), as he stated in scripture: "This is my body" and "This is my blood."
And so we receive Him into our bodies and souls and have this encounter with the living God, whether or not we hear a good homily (sermon) or sing heartfelt worship songs. In fact, many Catholic masses don't even include music! Don't get me wrong, I love the bells and whistles like beautiful hymns and sacred Latin polyphony, incense and candles, beautiful priestly vestments, reverent altar servers, and challenging homilies. I also enjoy a good teen mass with praise songs every now and then. But my encounter with Jesus happens at Mass no matter what the externals are, because His True Presence is there in Holy Communion.
Okay, so back to tonight's mass. Father R had a beautiful homily and I was able to hear it because I wasn't wrangling a preschooler and 6yr old. The gospel reading was from John (Chapter 14:1-12) where Thomas and Philip are questioning Jesus as to where the way is to this place is that he is going, and how they can see the Father. Jesus explains that he is the way, and that he and the Father are one. Philip says, "Master, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." Jesus responds, "Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father."
Father R was challenging us to have a real relationship with Christ. He shared about how in an interview someone asked Pope Emeritus Benedict, one of the most brilliant theologians of our time, who Jesus is to him. He could have answered with a deep theological explanation but instead he responded, "To me, Jesus is my lifelong friend."
Father R asked if Jesus is our lifelong friend. Or is he is just recalled in rote prayers, in looking at a statue or painting, or in times of great need? He reminded us of how we might keep an ongoing conversation over text messaging with our close friends. And that's how it should be with Jesus. Constant conversation and sharing and communion with Him throughout our days. It was an eloquent and beautiful homily and very touching for me.
With the children I am doing better with simple prayers and reminders of God throughout the day, but they need to know of the importance of having a friendship with Jesus. And they need to see that in me. In the little baby steps, we can be growing together as a family and individually in friendship with Jesus. Beautiful.
This week begins our last full week of school! The kids will still have a few subjects to finish up, but we won't be working on checklists and I won't have to nag them all day. I'd like to do some schoolwork throughout the summer, but I am so worn out and I know we all need a break for awhile.
The sickness this weekend just did me in, and we have some upcoming decisions that are an added stress for Steven and me. We have more upcoming traveling than I'd prefer. The behavior issues with the preschooler feel like they're getting worse and I really need some time to focus on him. I'm ready to close out the year and start looking towards the new one as I have a consultation with my Mother of Divine Grace advisor coming up. We also have friends coming to visit soon, if our family can stay well.
We are tired, but there is a lot to look forward to, and a lot to be thankful for in this time. But most of all I think we all need some time to quiet our hearts and minds and spend some meaningful time together in play and in prayer.
Hope it's a blessed week for all of you!
Linking up with Haley for Answer Me This