Welcome back to “7 Quick Takes Friday,” an occasional feature that offers a glimpse of where my thoughts have been lately.
It’s hard to say goodbye. Usually, fall is one of my favorite seasons, but I’m having a harder time saying goodbye to the beauty of spring and summer this year. I think it’s because of what we went through in the spring with the flooding, and how late our summer seemed to come afterward. There were hardly any mosquitoes this year, which was nice, but along with that, there were fewer butterflies. The flowers of those warmer seasons were like life itself to me and I breathed them in with an inordinate amount of pleasure. I’m not quite ready for them to go. Nevertheless, the weather is saying it’s almost time to prepare for another winter.
I took this shot of a weed while at my writing residency in August, but it hadn’t seen the light of day until now. It seems more appropriate now and reminds me that sometimes, even a weed can offer a hint of beauty. In this case, the raindrop on the weed reminds me of my reluctance to say goodbye to blooms and brightness, even while fully aware that the retreating seasons are just as valuable as those that draw us out.
Pilgrimage photographer. I’ve cleared my Friday schedule to be a photographer for my son’s eighth-grade pilgrimage from the northern part of our city to the southern part. The journey is intended to earn money for the God’s Child Project. Students will stop at various Catholic parishes along the way, say the Rosary, have lunch, and end with Mass back at their school in south Fargo. When my son’s religion teacher asked for volunteers and noted that the photographer would get to try out her Canon, I piped up. However, at this hour the weather is not looking great. I’ll come back later and post a photo if the pilgrimage comes to pass. (You’ll know if we didn’t get to go.) Either way, please keep the God’s Child Project in your prayers. (See link at bottom for more details.)
[Later…] It came to pass!
Party time! My daughter Olivia is so funny – she LOVES her birthday, and every year since I can remember, she’s begun plotting the next year’s party as soon as the presents have been tucked away from the current one. Though I truly thought this extra affinity for her birthday would change in time, it’s as strong as ever. But now I am beginning to see that it’s not just about gifts and cake but more about gathering up her friends and planning an event. I am seeing the organizer in her at work. She created her own invites and has made several lists to help it go without a hitch. The other day, I went with her to buy a few supplies, including this fish piñata. Truth be told, I am LOVING not having the be the one to plan it this time. You go girl! (Olivia will be 12 on October 7.)
‘Spotlight on…” series to start Wednesday. I am so excited! I’ve gathered up twelve treasured mama-writer friends and they have all agreed to take turns being featured as guests on my blog starting this next week, with continued features every first Wednesday of the month for a year (and beyond a year if things go as planned). You can read more about the series, as well as an interview in which I was featured recently with my friend Mary on the Stories for Children website.
What I’m reading these days: The Domestic Church: Room by Room, by my friend, author and speaker Donna Marie Cooper O’Boyle. Here’s an excerpt that jumped out at me from p. 24:
“It would be a lie to convey that a mother’s daily life is only one of blissful loving embraces and constant “warm fuzzies.” Motherhood is intrinsically beautiful, but while she is in the “trenches” with whiny demands, diapers, overflowing hampers of dirty laundry, and the constantly refilling kitchen sink, a mother knows that the feeling of love for her family may not always emerge easily in every circumstance. It will, at times, come through the sacrifice of giving of herself and her decision to remain faithful to her vocation. A mother decides to love and to continue to love her family in God’s plan for her salvation and the salvation of her family. Through a mother’s loving service, God is at work sanctifying her soul when she thoroughly surrenders her heart to his holy will.”
And speaking of Donna… She’s been in Alabama this week taping for a new series that will be presented to television audiences worldwide on the subject of motherhood for the Eternal World Television Network. It’s been amazing watching Donna go from humble author of one tiny book to becoming nationally and internationally known through her good works. Learn more on her blog, View of the Domestic Church.
Reading Rainbow fades away: I was bummed to read that the PBS-featured Reading Rainbow series is being discontinued. This offering brought the love of books and reading alive to many, many children, but as with the rest of the results of changing times, lack of funding has prompted a new direction. I doubt there’s a pot of gold at the end of this particular rainbow, but it certainly was vibrantly colored while it lasted. “Take a look, it’s in a book, Reading Rainbow.” (Are you humming with me?)
What was a highlight of your week? Try to describe it in THREE words.
For more “quick takes,” see Conversion Diary.
Here are the rest of the links connected to sites mentioned above: