Thursday, November 20, 2014

Small Success Thursday


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Grace of Yes Day

Lisa Hendey is a longtime friend of mine. She published my pieces at Catholicmom.com back when I first started writing in the blogosphere and she put up with a lot of experimentation.  She helped encourage me to continue and pound out a style and cadence.  She's been a virtual friend for going on 7 years, though I hope one day we meet in person.

She's written several books, the most recent of which is decidedly both poignant and personal while touching on what I think is the universal means by which we begin to walk down the road of Holiness.  Her book is called  The Grace of Yes.

The little fish is named Fiat, and represents each of us jumping out of our comfort zone, trusting wherever we land with our "Yes" is where God intended.  It isn't a fatalistic leap, but a leap of faith, jumping from the safe controlled bubble tank of our constructed lives, into the ocean of God's love. Who wouldn't trade a tank for the Ocean?  Who wouldn't want the more of God?  Us.  We like our comforts, our control, and the safety of being where we have the illusion of being in charge.   Saying yes means expanding our world and encountering others, and the unknown, being stretched and grown by more than we would opt to do on our own.  

I've only plowed through the first two chapters, but she asks the big questions and recognizes when she's not asked the questions.  She reveals the need to discern why are we saying yes and what are we saying yes to?  And what should we be saying yes to?  The answer of course is, to God.

The vocation of our lives is the How business of saying "Yes" to God, or no to other things.  So I'm trying to say "Yes." to my children first, and to my husband, rather than "wait," or "Not yet." or "I'm tired." or "I'm busy." It's too easy to put off people for things that often aren't important.

Last night, my daughter said, "Come play Heart and Soul with me Mom."   I didn't want to, I was in the kitchen, cleaning up from dinner.  I need to learn to stop.  I should stop and play.  She was working on "Heart and Soul."  I hate that song.   But she loves it. She's just learning it.

"Come and play Mom." she asked, which is really, "Come and waste time with me."  Wasting time is the surest proof of love, the willingness to do nothing or anything, with someone else, not because of what it is we're doing or not doing, but because of who we are with.   I missed out last night. I stupidly chose dishes over duets.  How dumb am I?  Very.  So Very!

So today, I'm dusting off the piano, and I'm hoping I get the opportunity today to receive the Grace of Yes.


P.S. I have an extra copy, if you would like to have it, leave a comment in the box and I'll pick a winner!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Why These Moments Matter

It has taken forty-eight years to grasp the reality of how good things happen, they are an act of the will on the part of someone.   As a child, Mom made dinners happen and took us from point a to point b and Dad would orchestrate game nights and visits with cousins and aunts and uncles, but as kids, we drifted from big event to big event. So to us, as kids, it felt organic, natural, ordinary. This was simply what you did.  

As an adult, I began to see the effort involved in reunions, especially in deliberately gathering for non event events.  Parties became tied to reasons for parties, like weddings, baptisms, birthdays and sadly, funerals.  The ordinariness of getting together with family became less ordinary as we all grew older, moved, and began establishing lives that focused on lesser things like jobs, homes, and school.  It wasn't a lack of love for anyone, but there was a lack of will to practice that love, a form of familial sloth that crept into relationships, rendering them a collection of fond memories, rather than an ongoing experience of each other.  

Going to a wedding, one of the last weddings of the generation of cousins, everyone began to feel the hard march of time, and how the hardening of familial arteries could cause ongoing damage if left unchecked.  We would have to will ourselves out of that funk, to will ourselves beyond our comfort zone if we were going to have connections not dominated only by whenever someone had a wedding, baptism or funeral.  We'd have to have moments of ordinary time, and to have those, someone would have to "Will it."  

So we made a start, an invitation to do things, which is again, like anything else, a beginning, hopefully of a greater experience, of all of us growing closer together.   What I hope, is everyone will make that brave start, issue beginnings, so that we turn what is a momentary inspiration born of recognizing we want to have relationships that are more than in name only, into a willful habit of fellowship, and tie us as family beyond the cumulative memories of past events.   

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!