Another 7 Quick Takes roll. For more Friday Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diaries.
1. First writings. Some days I feel more than daunted by the paperwork that comes home from school. But whenever I take time to go through those piles, I almost always find some little treat awaiting me. Today, it came from my son’s kindergarten papers. It took me a few minutes to decode what he was trying to say about the dinosaur, but eventually, I figured it out. (Answer at the bottom of this post.)
By the way, this is the first photo I’ve posted to have been taken by my “new” camera – an extra camera my mom-in-law lent us a while back that I’ve embraced wholeheartedly since the dying of my Canon. This one’s a Canon as well.
2. Learning about babies. Speaking of my kindergartener, his teacher is in the hospital as I type, preparing to deliver her third child, a boy (her other two are girls). It’s been an exciting experience for the class this year to observe their teacher’s growing belly. A few weeks ago, we threw an in-class shower for her. One of her favorite gifts (and mine as well) was a “onesie” T-shirt that had been imprinted with an art project made by the class: a caterpillar made of thumbprints of all the students.
3. Digging Donna. What a treat to find the latest book by my friend Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle in my mailbox last week. I’d won it through a giveaway on her blog, “Embracing Motherhood,” and its arrival was perfectly timed with my Lenten mission of seeking spiritual food. Any mother needing a little injection of encouragement in facing the seemingly mundane tasks of motherhood will be refreshed by Donna’s latest, Grace Café: Serving Up Recipes for Faithful Mothers. In the introduction, Donna alludes to the importance of mothers connecting with other mothers in today’s world: “Like-minded women are feeling a vital and even urgent need to communicate with one another, comparing notes to discover the best approaches to mothering with grace as is very apparent in the many Catholic mothers’ blogs that have been popping up all over the Internet…” (I would add that this applies to mothers of all faiths and types.) Regarding prayer, Donna says, “The busyness of our motherly vocation may cause us to fear that we cannot be as prayerful as we should. However, we need to remind ourselves that our Lord certainly knows about our lives. After all, isn’t he the one who has put us in this place, the heart of the home, as mother to our children?” In other words, we need not feel guilty if our prayer life is not as we wish it to be. As long as we are seeking and praising God in our everyday tasks, we are praying!
4. Buffalo-City-bound. I’m thrilled to be making last-minute preparations this weekend for a three-school author visit in and near Jamestown, North Dakota (a.k.a., “Buffalo City”). While there, I’ll be giving numerous school presentations as well as one addressed to the community. I look forward to my author adventure with students and adults alike. Though I won’t recount all the details that will involve my getting away for a few days, let’s just say it’s always a monumental effort to leave the nest. But I know I’ll come back invigorated and ready to dive more fully into my roles here at home.
5. Summer dreaming. There’s a chance I might be spending some time at St. Benedict Monastery as a Studium scholar this summer, same as last. My week there last year was fruitful for many reasons, both in what I was able to accomplish in my writing and also in having the chance to rest and tune into my inner world a little more. I’ll share more as details come into focus. In the meantime, I encourage mothers out there to consider searching out even a small oasis in the coming months. It is vitally important that we take time to replenish ourselves in order to give our best to our families. (Photo from last summer’s Studium week.)
6. In the meantime… I met this morning with a spiritual director from the Presentation Prayer Center. I’ve been pondering the idea of having a spiritual director for several years now. I view the role of a spiritual director as someone who helps guide someone in their spiritual walk; not so much a counselor as mentor. We’ll see where this first step leads.
7. Flood watch. We’re having a bit of deja vu this week in Fargo as we prepare for what could be one of our worst flooding events yet. The stress is mounting citywide, and many are recalling the horrendous flood of 1997, which followed a record-setting 100-inch snow accumulation winter. Our older kids may be released from school for bits this coming week to help with sandbagging throughout town. I’m thinking it’s time to start hauling some of our more valuable possessions (office items and musical equipment, to name a few) from our lower level to the upper level. Prayers are always welcomed.
(Answer to Adam’s writing:”This has a pointed head.” “This has a big tail.”)
Have a wonderful weekend!