This past weekend was a pretty lazy one. Sometimes those are the best, but it definitely requires me to put in the effort of relishing the slow. I am always go, go, go…looking for the next thing to check off my list. I think this is what God is calling me to give up this lent. I feel like he is calling me, not so much to cease working, but to do everything for his glory, to worry less, and to take time to rest in him.
One thing that I have been doing for 3 weeks now is really paying attention to how I spend my Sundays. Usually, I don’t merely reserve the day for just worship and family, but for tackling a lot of my “to-do” list around the house. It’s been a nice change of pace to really try and relax, pray, and focus solely on my family on Sundays. Giving that time to God has shown me, yet again, how truly wise he is. Resting on Sundays has better prepped me to tackle the rest of the week with love and joy.
The one thing that is a daily source of annoyance and work is laundry. I never feel like I am on top of it! We’ve already worked really hard at paring down everyone’s wardrobe, but I still find myself bathing in socks and clean underwear on a daily basis.
In an effort to lighten my load during the week, and quit using Sundays as my laundry day, I decided to try something new: I’m doing all of our laundry on Saturday! My rule is, if I don’t get through it, I don’t touch it until Monday.
This has already lightened my load incredibly because clothes are no longer piling up and we always have what we need, folded and ready to go in our closets.
This week Father Jim Sichko came to the parish where I teach RCIA for a parish mission. He was commissioned by Pope Francis to go to parishes all over the country to talk about mercy, the gospel, and Catholicism. He was really enthusiastic and charismatic, and he did an excellent job of sharing the faith through the context of his funny and heartfelt stories, as well as through song.
My absolute favorite part of his nightly talks was his ability to get the whole church singing! I mean it, everyone who was there (and there were a lot of people there–the Church was overflowing!) was singing loudly. Together, the Church felt so very alive and thriving. Though people mostly sing in Mass, to hear everyone excitedly singing out a lenton hymnal was incredibly beautiful. It made me tear up, so very proud to be apart of this Church.
Monday, Joe and I ventured out for a much-needed date. In a thunderstorm. A severe one. With a tornado warning.
For me, going out in this weather is just crazy talk, but my husband and my 14-year-old babysitter assured me, it’ll be fine! We never see tornadoes around here!
Though the weather was pretty bad, it wasn’t that bad, yet poor Joe had to spend the evening with me twitching and checking my phone every few minutes. We made the mistake of sitting at the bar, so I had a perfect view of the weather. At one point, the wind picked up and slammed a chair into a window. I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest!
In our part of the city, all ended up ok. We made it safely through our whole date, and by the end of it I was forced to reflect on Matthew 8:24. I couldn’t help but think of Jesus’s disciples on the boat in the storm. Most of these men were skilled fishermen, so a storm that would cause them much fear must have been an awful one. Yet, when Jesus comes out from his slumber, he asks them: Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?
These big storms are big reminders for me to give myself to God with reckless abandon, especially when I am shaking like a leaf in fear. He is always with us. We need not worry when he is at our side.
Also, we need not go on dates when the weather’s so bad, but that is neither here nor there.
Joe and I saw “Logan” on our date. It never takes any convincing for me to go to an X-Men movie because I always know I’ll like it. They are almost always good, or at least always entertaining.
The one thing that was different with this particular X-Men movie was that it was rated R, which is different from the usual PG-13 rating X-Men movies normally get. We didn’t think much of this change, especially since the movie got a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. Yet, as the preview for the next “Deadpool” movie came on—which was altogether graphic and lewd—I started to realize that Logan was going to be much different than we anticipated.
Though the X-Men movies always include some level of violence, Logan was packed with scene after scene of explicit, realistic depictions of violence. It was incredibly hard to watch, more or less to stomach.
(Warning: Spoiler Alert!) The movie followed a dark and hopeless Logan, walking through life wishing to accomplish nothing but abandoning himself to obscurity and a life of loneliness. Early on in the movie he is forced into taking care of a little girl, whom he soon finds out is of his daughter. Though he doesn’t want to love her (because all of his loved ones end up dead), by the end of it we see Logan learn what it means to love again, even at the cost of his own life.
Not a terrible story line, but it absolutely wasn’t something I enjoyed. When we walked out of the theater I felt like I had been through the ringer. I spent half the movie hiding under the veil of my shirt! There were many moments throughout where I thought, we should just leave, but I never said anything to Joe. Honestly, though, we should have walked out. The glorification of graphic violence is not art, and really isn’t entertainment. As one Catholic reviewer put it, it was nothing more than a “dreary killing fest.”
Next time, at least for rated R movies, we’ll resolve to visit a Catholic Movie Reviews source as opposed to a secular one like Rotten Tomatoes.
This week we went to the zoo with a friend of ours and her little girl. It was a really great day! Noteworthy event: I got attacked by a Gibbon! Well, sort of. We were watching the gibbons in their cages, who were especially hyper that day, when all of a sudden one swung towards my back slamming his feet into the window. I turned around to see this ornery monkey looking straight at me as I let out a scream. Pretty funny!
Right after we made good and became friends.
Joe went out of town for a few days, so my bed had been a little colder than usual. In the morning, Eli likes to wake us up abruptly by knocking on his door saying, “Mommy, I need to go pooottttyyyy,” so I decided to leave his door slightly cracked so he could come in my room whenever he needed.
Well, at 4am, I woke to what I thought was the baby monitor. When I went to reach for it I found a foot instead! It took me a second to realize that the noise I had heard was actually my sneaky-ninja son snoring next to me. How did I not hear him? I don’t know. But I just rolled over, hugged him fiercely, and went back to sleep thankful that I had him to cuddle.
This girl is still cutting her molars. Poor baby, I can feel how swollen her gums are so I know that’s what is causing all her extra fuss and pain. She is kind of a wreck at times. She’ll go from laughing, to fall apart crying in an instance. She’s had a harder time eating, and some days she is completely inconsolable for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. All I can do is hold her and caress her little face.
It kind of reminds me of when she was little. I sometimes joke that I have a bit of PTSD from her colicky phase, or rather, post traumatic colic disorder—but I really do think that I have some slight form of it. When she resorts to full on screaming now, I still find myself wanting to recoil, then rushing to give her what she wants because her cries trigger something inside of me. It’s silly, because she is nothing like she was when she was a newborn, but still, whenever she screams for long periods of times I am automatically taken back. However, since we got through that awful 5-month phase a long time ago, things really are much easier. It’s nice that she finds comfort in her mama. I don’t mind that at all.
I’ll hold her all day if that’s what helps her feel better.