7 Rambling Monday Takes, Vol. 18 :: All sorts of things

7Takes

Explore previous rambling installments here ๐Ÿ™‚

1.

Some Monday mornings are more welcome than others; this one was definitely more than welcome! Getting up around 6:45 gave me over half an hour of spiritual reading after morning prayers/chores, before breakfast. The quiet, rainy atmosphere made it so calm and peaceful. Just recently, The Dash bought a used copy of St. Francis de Sales’ An Introduction to the Devout Life, and when he was over here on Saturday for a football game, supper, a little dancing practice (in which we finally got to try out the moves from his dance class I’d visited last Wednesday!), and haircuts, he brought it and kindly let me start reading it first. (One of the endless perks of courtship! The sharing of books!) I’m trying to take it slowly and absorb it little by little . . . I have so much to learn.

Providentially, the book came with an old miniature prayer pamphlet for the Holy Souls tucked inside; it was printed back in the ’50s, with a prayer for each day of the week for certain souls in Purgatory, such as “the soul most destitute of spiritual aid” and “the soul nearest to entering Heaven.” Beautiful and so timely, it being November and all! I’ll try and share them on this blog somehow . . .

On a similar note, this morning I also had time to read a little bit of Hungry Souls.

purgatory

2.

After breakfast, I folded some towels, but found myself strangely compelled to grab my long-neglected camera, tiptoe outside in the 40-degree rain and take some pictures from our back deck (see my previous post), although they’ll never do justice to what it was actually like . . . something about this morning was enchantingly beautiful! (I gracefully planted the arm of my sweatshirt in a puddle of water when crouching on my stomach for one shot, but oh, well . . .)

3.

Over the past hour, I’ve been be planning for my co-op class; tomorrow is our last class before we break for Thanksgiving week, and after that, I only have two more classes before we break for the rest of the year. How has it gone by so fast?!

Our chorus is doing “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus,” and “Beyond the Moon and Stars” for the upcoming Advent presentations. My own little class is doing an Advent song from Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, “Sitting with My Brothers”; and they are just impossibly cute when they sing it!

Also, I just realized that today is six weeks until Christmas Eve! I’m already looking forward to Advent and Christmas so much, and can hardly fathom that it’s been a whole year since last Advent! ๐Ÿ˜‰

4.

Other plans for today are laundry, cleaning up the girl’s bathroom, catching up on emails (a constant process with me), reading, and whatever else it is I realize I’ve been forgetting to do. I keep having to re-calculate, but I believe today is 33 days until The Dash’s graduation! It’s getting so close now!!! I’m so proud of him and prayerfully excited for him to be able to finally transition into working full-time and having a more normalized schedule.

Speaking of The Dash (my favorite thing to do!) . . . I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this here, but he and I have a daily tradition, sometimes forgotten but eventually resumed, of always making it a point to ask one another, “What were your highs and lows today?”

It’s just a small thing, and yet it really facilitates our being able to talk about the things that made us happiest that day, alongside the things that were hardest, no matter insignificant the reasons might seem.

Personally, it can be hard for me to spontaneously divulge (without prompting) if I’ve had a hard spot in the day. A more general question, such as, “So, how was your day?” makes me just want to share the good parts in cheerful sanguine fashion and smooth over the trying parts.

However, having The Dash ask me, “What were your highs and your lows today?” specifically asks me to share the best and hardest parts with him, talking about the reasons why, and visa versa. On a smaller scale, I think it’s been a hugely useful key in growing our communication skills and keeping them honest, healthy and intimate.

5.

A random fact: I realized the other day that Benedic has over 200 posts now, has been around for two years, and has received just over 25,000 visits. That is definitely a testament to the good-will of people who visit and aren’t driven away by my incessant ramblings! God is good!

6.

A pictorial demonstration of my Sunday outfit: it was the first time I’d worn the jacket and boots either separately or together, and they’re the sharpest clothes I own, apparently . . . ๐Ÿ˜‰

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7.

A quote I read recently that made me smile:

Now I’m not saying all women must marry and all women must have children. God’s plans, and the working of natural laws, not to speak of social influences by the dozen, make marriage and children just “out” for many women. But I do emphatically say: We must acknowledge and teach others to acknowledge that home-making should be considered woman’s most important job.

-from Reverend Hugh Calkins, O.S.M.’s The Woman in the Home

Sig

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7 Rambling Monday Takes, Vol 17 :: November thoughts

7Takes

Explore previous rambling installments here ๐Ÿ™‚

1.

What a week! We haven’t been this sick in quite some time . . . nasty chest colds, congestion, coughing, intense fatigue, low-grade fever (for my brother, anyway), achiness, and slooow progression. Some form of this unpleasant, almost-antibiotic-worthy germ found every member of our family. First it was Lena and our youngest sister . . . it spread to our brother, then Dad (in a milder form, fortunately). Mom and I were staying miraculously well through it all, administering Robitussin and essential oils (we’re a both-and kind of family ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and managing to make it to both All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day Masses. My poor siblings didn’t get to go to . . . a big disappointment and yet a great opportunity for an offering ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

It’s been a week where the house has just felt chock full of germs, floating alongside all the dust motes. You feel invaded. Sickness mode takes over; home becomes a hospital . . . you know the environment. I was constantly cleaning and keeping meticulous watch over the hygiene of my hands, while the living room was full of coughing and misery. I love “playing nurse” and rubbing helpful things on people, and so I counted myself Divinely preserved after a while, considering the exposure. But . . .

I started feeling a tiny touch of the ominous threat of things (more like allergy symptoms) on All Souls’ Day, but I had plans with The Dash on Saturday which meant, of course, I wasn’t going to get sick. Fortunately, Saturday only saw a small amount of sinus congestion for me, and the plans remained. We had a glorious day โค Yesterday and today, I’ve just had mild cold symptoms and tiredness, so I definitely don’t think I’ll come down with the worst of things like the siblings did, and should be safe to teach tomorrow. Mom is under the weather also today, but on the whole, our clan is finally, finally on the mend. God is good!

2.

November is here! The leaves have finally turned; burnt amber, orange, gold, russet. It’s gorgeous!

Daylight Savings Time ended, that obsolete thing, leaving things pitch black so early . . .

The Dash graduates next month! A beautiful phrase! To say I’m proud and thrilled for him to the moon and back is such an understatement.

Three Sundays left until Advent is upon us . . .

3.

This All Souls’ Day Requiem Mass was the most poignant I’ve attended (although it’s only the second in my life ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) . . . I think it’s due to all the people I’ve known, or loved ones of people I know, who have departed this past year. Meditating on the reality of purgatory and the suffering Holy Souls made it impossible to feel anything other than a sober urgency to participate in the Mass as reverently as possible to bring them as much relief as I could.

From the Offertory of the Mass (taken from here):

O Lord, Jesus Christ, glorious King, spare the souls of the faithful departed from the pains of hell and from the deep pit; free them from the jaws of the lion, and let them not descend into hell to be swallowed up in darkness. May Saint Michael, Your standard bearer, lead them into the holy light which You promised of old to Abraham and his posterity.

4.

I’ve nearly finished Michael D. O’Brien’s Harry Potter and the Paganization of Culture (currently I’m in the last Appendix). At the end of it, the truth most strongly impressed upon me is the unbelievable responsibilityย that’s incurred when one has children, especially in today’s society and culture where so much corruption is so subtly pervasive in media, entertainment and literature. Parents have so much responsibility towards their children’s souls in the formative years. Books and films are not neutral influences.

” . . . {O}ne of Satan’s most effective and time-tested strategies in his war against mankind is to afflict us with a blatant evil (for example, the dark imagination of authors like {Philip} Pullman), and then to offer an apparently lesser evil (the murky imagination of authors like J.K. Rowling) as an alternative, even as an antidote to the more blatant evil. Then, we jump hastily for the quick solution, the lesser evil, forgetting that it may be the lesser evil that Satan wishes to spread through the world. Of course he desires both, and more, a sliding scale of familiarization and comfortableness with evil.”

-p. 211

I believe it’s essential for couples, especially in the early stages of courtship/engagement and particularly newlywed life, to read these kinds of books about culture and children and to converse about them. (One that Iย reallyย want to read with The Dash isย We and Our Childrenย by Mary Reed Newland, and maybe something likeย 10 Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Childย by Anthony Esolen.) Because the question is there: how, rationally and virtuously, are you going to defend your children? What choices and sacrifices are you willing to make when the alternatives are universally easy and normal?

5.

My dad’s and brother’s birthdays are next week! We’ve all gotten a kick of how we can re-use the numerical birthday candles this year . . . 15 and 51 ๐Ÿ˜‰ The romance of thrift!

6.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been really trying to cut down on inflammatory foods. I can’t make it a perfect 100% but am aiming for a solid 70, and so far, it’s going fairly well ๐Ÿ˜‰ I deal with endometriosis symptoms (and have been for several years) but the severity is often reduced if I cut out things like bread, sugar, and dairy. My hope is to get into a consistent habit of eating more mindfully, to improve my female health as much as I can, especially in this stage of my life when I’m still young and looking forward to marriage. I pray I can keep it up!

7.

Time for supper . . . I have no other thoughts to offer at the moment ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a blessed week!

Sig

7 Rambling Monday Takes, Vol. 16 :: On my mind . . .

MondayTakes

Explore previous rambling installments here ๐Ÿ™‚

JMJ1

1.

Too much time gone by, too many thoughts to recount . . . oh, well, something is better than nothing!! July is ending and I’ve only made three posts this month?!

I’ve been pondering the task of stress management over the past few days. For a variety of God-given reasons, the past few months have contained the most mental/emotional stress I’ve personally experienced. (Which honestly isn’t saying too much in the grand scheme of things, I suppose, given the fact that I’ve lived a relatively happy and sheltered life ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Maybe that’s why I haven’t blogged so often recently . . . I’ve been too busy losing hair rather than writing (which might have actually helped me . . . )!

In observing myself, I’ve been honestly astonished at how easy it can be to become imprisoned inside my own feelings of stress and worry, to where simply feeling stressed makes me feel stressed simply because I’m stressed. (Isn’t that delightfully circular?!) Also, it’s been so easy to become so tired, and to lose motivation for combating my stress and anxiety, to where the stress simply becomes my very draining “norm.” However . . . I’ve recently realized that this isn’t sustainable. (*Cough*) Even with prayer! Even with a ton of prayer! I’m having to take physical steps to remedy this . . . so, you might ask, what’s a body to do?

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I’ve committed to some relatively hard daily exercise (no surprise there), fresh air, hydration (because I never seem to subconsciously manage to drink enough fluids on a daily basis), limited sugar . . . but also enough time to read fiction (for reasons explained below), to listen to music that elevates my thoughts a little (at the moment, stirring ballet-like film soundtracks) and to ponder things in a reflective but calm frame of mind.

And I also came to an epiphany recently that accepting stress as part-and-parcel with becoming an adult, and acknowledging that stressful situations will regularly arise between now and the time of my death, is actually incredibly helpful. I’m not sure what was holding me back from that realization, but I’m sure glad it came when it did. Yes, this is stressful, but there are going to be stressful trials all throughout my life and God’s grace is sufficient for all of them if I do my part. These are Crosses (oh, right! Crosses!) that refine and purify and strengthen you, if you accept them and offer them back to God. Marriage and children, while sweetly and supremely beautiful and my heart’s dream, will still be incredibly stressful sometimes! (You have my permission to giggle at me.)

2.

Fiction . . . Particularly, Sophia House. Good, true, beautiful (though not necessarily happy) fiction lifts you out of your pains, hopes and weaknesses . . . and yet simultaneously escorts you deeper into your pains, hopes and weaknesses. Truth is always ordering and healing. You are reminded you are not alone. You perceive your human condition, the continual presence of Providence and the necessity of supernatural hope, in the stories of others.

The act of reading good and true fiction . . . it ushers order back into my perspective of my own struggles and the struggles of others. Sophia House is one of the finest novels in existence. All of my children are going to read it one day (well, I hope so, anyway!) . . . and The Dash, too, if I can force him to ever read fiction, that is ๐Ÿ˜‰

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“Everything I do is worthless,” Pawel sobbed. “Even my play! My stupid, stupid play!”

S O P H I Aย ย  H O U S E

The fact that we have a nicely cleared out piano/sitting room full of sunshine in which to read a book during the afternoons is quite consoling, also ๐Ÿ˜‰

3.

One of Lena and I’s close friends just passed through the Crucible on Parris Island and became a Marine. He didn’t merely survive; he excelled in it and was nearly named Iron Man of the whole company. Our happiness and pride are beyond words!

His mom texted a recording of their first conversation with him post-Crucible, and hearing his voice (for the first time in months) describe his experience of completing the Crucible, as well as hearing the changes and aging that had come into his voice across that gap of time, filled my heart with things impossible to express.

4.

I’m slowly gearing up to tutor for the upcoming school year, and have also been immersed in a few more paid projects with deadlines that have kept me nicely busy–as well as provided me the thorough enjoyment of getting glimpses into the lives and hearts of others who are living out the vocation I desire ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s been a blessing!

5.

Okay, I can’t hold it back any longer . . . I have finally, finally, been able to attend Mass and go to Confession to a priest from the Fraternity of St. Peter. What a blessing!!! Lena and I would never embarrass them by gushing, but in private, they are absolute celebrities to us ๐Ÿ˜‰ What a joy it’s been to watch this particular priest visit our parish and work in tandem with our wonderful parish priest for the past few weeks.

6.

Yesterday marked a whole year since the first day The Dash and I really spent getting to know one another as new friends in the company of our families. At the end of it, I was decidedly smitten.

Remembering that day fills me with so much gratitude! It is such a joy to reminisce about all the things that went into that day, like swimming and volleyball games, dancing and having our first legitimate conversation together because we happened to be able to sit beside one another during lunch (a total coincidence of course, ahem . . .) ๐Ÿ˜‰

God is so good. He is the source of every happiness and the only End towards which our hearts journey in sincerity and truth, and yet He loves us so much that He also sends us friends and companions to love and be loved by, to know and to be known by: to be a shadow and a mirror of His Divine and wholly generous love–to pursue Him in one another’s company, to grow in virtue together as members of His Body. Our Lord has such gentleness and patience with my weaknesses and it amazes me, how willing He is to watch over my feeble attempts at perfection and slowly guide me towards Him through the tiniest events in my life, through all my stumbles, and especially through this courtship: all of these, in ways I could never have expected. Few things are sweeter this side of Heaven than what The Dash and I have been given together in our friendship and courtship ๐Ÿ™‚ Deo Gratias!

As a side note: it pains me that I don’t have any pictures from that day! However, on a whim, I just looked to see if I’d taken any pictures at all around that time . . . and sure enough, the day before that visit (if the picture is dated correctly . . .), I was out in the backyard, experimenting with my CANON and trying to get some of the sky to reflect in my subjects’ eyes for better light.

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Anyway, I guess I eventually ran out of subjects and had to resort to taking awkward pictures of myself as I tried to master the technique. However funny the photo is, it’s still a documented photo of my face the day before . . . well, the day before I started falling in love with The Dash โค

7.

mon1

And this is me, just a couple of weeks ago, getting ready to go through a few training webinars and, meanwhile, sending The Dash (at work) a funny face as I attempted to express my nervousness of the Unknown World of Webinars . . . But happily, they were pretty fun; although not nearly so fun as having The Dash to send that picture to ๐Ÿ˜‰

I pray you have a blessed Monday and a very happy feast of St. Apollinaris!

Sig

 

 

 

 

7 Rambling Monday Takes, Vol. 15 :: Photo journal edition

MondayTakes

Enjoy previous rambling installments here ๐Ÿ™‚

JMJ1

1.

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Today has been fairly busy . . . I got up, somehow managed to wash all my laundry by 10am or so, dusted and vacuumed the bedroom, cleaned the girl’s bathroom (and finally scrubbed the shower! Ugh!), ran errands with my brother, talked with The Dash on his lunch hour ( โค ) and then settled in for an afternoon of catching up on multiple correspondences (which I’ve neglected pretty badly, and I’m still not caught up all the way . . .). I also continued work on a project due next month . . . and I played around with *guilty cough* an iPhone that was generously given to me by my aunt (Mom and Dad were also given ones).

Currently I can use it for anything other than calling or texting, as Tracfone is still engrossed in transferring my phone information to the new SIM card. (Earlier, I actually did my first online chat with a worker, trying to troubleshoot . . . a new experience! And now I am doing it again. First it was Genevieve, now it is Rick. It is much better than being on the phone . . . sanguine though I am, I’m still too shy for that!)

However, right now I can use the phone to take pictures! (And eventually text them!) I find this rather ridiculously exciting, as this has been something I’ve been unable to do previously.

But anyway. I’m rambling way too much, even for aย Rambling Takesย post. I took this picture while taking a quick rest on my bed. Over the past few days, The Dash and I have had conversations about courage and St. George: how, in a certain sense, courage isn’t something you receive that then enables you do something you’re afraid of, but is rather something you gain after acting while afraid.

Last Advent, Lena was my Kris Kringle, and she secretly left me this beautiful holy card of one of most well-known and best-loved of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. Just simply looking at this image inspires me with the courage that comes from Christ; the courage St. George exemplified by his holy martyrdom: the courage I need today and always!

2.

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There were lots of thunderstorms today . . . but now we have a lovely, tranquil summer evening! It reminds me of the prayer of Sarah out of the book of Tobit: the prayer I prayed so many times while waiting to meet The Dash, and the prayer we have started praying together recently:

For Thy counsel is not in man’s power. But this every man is sure of that worships Thee; that his life, if it be under trial, shall be crowned: and if it be under tribulation, it shall be delivered: and if it be under correction, it shall be allowed to come to Thy mercy. For Thou art not delighted in our being lost: because after a storm Thou makest a calm, and after tears and weeping Thou pourest in joyfulness. Be Thy name, O God of Israel, blessed forever!

It is a prayer of beautiful trust in the midst of any difficulty.

3.

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A goofy picture, taken by my (obviously taller-than-me) brother while I was cooking supper.

My hair: as of a few days ago, I’ve been trying to wash it less. For years upon years, I’ve been in the habit of washing it every day (which, of course, makes it produce an insane amount of oil after just one day sans washing). I know that if you go a little longer and only wash it a few times a week, it helps your hair grow healthier by improving and regulating oil production. In fact, I’ve recently really enjoyed showering right before bed, pulling my hair back, and letting it air-dry overnight. I wake up and the curls are softer and bouncier and easier to style.

In this picture, however I’d done neither of those things ๐Ÿ˜‰ A mid-morning shower and a blow-dryer. Such is life.

4.

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Ahh, our blueberries. I have literally been having homemade oatmeal (with almond milk), a little granola, and blueberries almost every morning. They are too good. Thank heavens the couple who owned our house before us had the inspiration to plant numerous blueberry bushes. If we’re blessed with a good year, we get gallons and gallons of them.

Needless to say, this is a good year!

5.

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This was my aftermath of prepping chicken strips to go into the oven. (I am notorious for cleaning as I go [and annoyingly cleaning up after people when they aren’t], but this was one process in which I couldn’t…)

It took longer than I thought it would . . . but it’s a good recipe. For us, we cut three chicken breasts into strips, then season them with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Dredge the strips in a little flour, dip them in 2 eggs beaten together with a splash of milk, and then dredge again in breadcrumbs. We bake them on 375 degrees for 25 minutes or so, on cooling racks placed over our cookie sheets (which are covered with aluminum foil) and are sprayed thoroughly with nonstick spray. (Although I never seem to spray thoroughly enough. I’ve had a rash of things sticking lately . . .) We also spray the chicken with the nonstick spray. It may seem weird, but it does help it get crispy.

I couldn’t seem to decide if using my hands or metal tongs was the slower method of doing all the dry-to-wet dredging . . . either way was messy . . . but delightfully domestic. It’s the third meal in a row I’ve cooked (Lena and I went in together Friday night, though). My siblings are being heroic in enduring my “it’s-not-quite-Mom’s-cooking.”

6.

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However, the chicken strips turned out pretty good! We cut them up and ate them on salad with homemade chipotle sauce . . . long ago, my uncle let us in on the secret that you can replicate it wonderfully by mixing Ranch dressing with Louisiana hot sauce.

They stuck to the racks, though. And I won’t entertain you with the Story of the Homemade Fries I Baked On Aluminum Foil On Friday Night, Thinking Olive Oil Was Enough to Keep Them From Sticking.

7.

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The Dash bought me some dark chocolate the other day . . .”Just because I love you.” โค He couldn’t be more wonderful, I know.

The funny thing about these chocolates: they have “inspirational sayings” printed on the underside of each foil wrapper. I am tickled by them (and their relative, well, lameness). In fact, yesterday after Mass, I was so tickled by one that I had to text The Dash while sitting at the kitchen table and snickering at the little foil wrapper. Our paraphrased-from-memory exchange was as follows:

Me: My Dove Chocolate of the Day states: “If life isn’t going right, go left.” I knew you couldn’t live without that priceless gem of wisdom.

Dash: So your chocolate is telling you to become a leftist?!?

Me: I presume so . . . or at least a terrible relativist.

Dash: I don’t think this chocolate is a good influence on you.

Me: I know. But what’s the alternative? Give this bag full of bad advice to (younger sister)? I couldn’t do that with a clear conscience.

Dash: It seems the only clear way to preserve the minds of your loved ones is to ensure you’re the only one influenced. You’ll have to sacrifice and eat all the chocolate yourself.

Me: That’s what I was thinking. Since I’ll be acting in the face of fear, I’ll expect that with each chocolate I eat, I’ll receive the courage to eat another one. By the bottom of the bag, I’ll be super brave.

Dash: . . . or, if not, we’ll try again with another bag.

This guy knows what he’s doing ๐Ÿ˜‰

A blessed feast of St. William to you all!

Sig

 

 

7 Rambling Monday Takes, Vol. 14 :: Mondays are for . . .

MondayTakes

JMJ1

Enjoy previous rambling installments here ๐Ÿ™‚

1.

Mondays are for . . . Falling asleep during a thunderstorm and waking up to quiet, and being so blessed as to feel happy, refreshed and well. Getting up, offering morning prayers, carrying down my dirty laundry, and spending a few minutes with Lena at the kitchen table while I eat breakfast and read a few paragraphs from Sophia House and she works on a book of recipes.

“Up those stairs, quickly,” he said, pointing to the back of the room. The boy ran through a maze of floor-to-ceiling shelves loaded with books, found the staircase, and scrambled up frantically, leaving a trail of wet shoe prints. Staring through the dusty panes of the display window, the shopkeeper watched the soldiers working their way long the street toward him, banging on every door, smashing those that were locked, and entering each one. It would take them a few minutes to arrive at his door. Losing no more time, he wiped the floor with a rag, and when the trail had been erased he seated himself at the sales desk by the front entrance. When the soldiers threw open the door with a bang, he looked up from a book, met their eyes over the rim of his spectacles, and asked politely in German, “Ja, mein Herr?”

“Bookseller,” one barked, “have you seen a Jew boy run this way?”

2.

Mondays are for . . . Washing dishes at the sink and enjoying it. Last night Mom and Lena cooked an amazing meal, fit for both a Sunday and for The Dash and I’s one-year anniversary of having met for the first time. (After swimming for a few hours, the entire family was famished.)

Anyway, a few dishes had to be soaked overnight: two glass 9x13s, crusted with oven-fried chicken remains, and our two-handle pot with the remnants of homemade macaroni and cheese (maybe because of the way we make it, this always, always has to be soaked overnight). Methodically wiping and scraping and scrubbing until everything’s clean. Then cleaning off the cluttered island and sweeping up a little, and then starting on my laundry loads before sitting at the table (again) and chatting with Mom about planners and such.

3.

Mondays are for . . . Dusting my desk. Somehow, whenever I thoroughly dust my desk (or almost thoroughly: a thorough dust job entails taking off all the books. An almost-thorough dust job entails dusting around the books, but taking off everything else. I chose #2.), I find the need to change my lock screen picture, wallpaper picture, accent color, etc. on my computer. I guess it’s the closest I can come to digital refreshment.

And then cleaning the girl’s bathroom . . . everything gets wiped down, scrubbed over, and swept up. It’s so satisfying (even if I can’t get our shower as miraculously spotless as I would like to).

And then folding more laundry . . . my laundry, as well as all the swimwear from yesterday, which gets put away into the plastic bin in the laundry room until we swim again. (Soon, I’m going to try and make a post about the swimwear we Donellan girls use . . .)

4.

Mondays are for . . . Humming while I clean, listening to Frank Sinatra (just because) and J.J. Heller, because her sweet simplicity and gentleness of voice have been such a balm to my soul lately. She has some gems, including “The Very Thought of You,” “Control,” “Boat Song,” and “Until You Came Along.”

 

5.

Mondays are for . . . Reading various articles and blogs, trying to expand my mind, and somewhat failing to avoid galloping down multiple rabbit trails of interest and indulging in general skimming (I should try to be a more disciplined reader . . . sanguine weaknesses). However, recently, I’ve come across Mariette at The Natural Catholic Mom and I have wholeheartedly enjoyed her posts and been so uplifted by her perspective!

6.

Mondays are for . . . Thinking about how grateful I am for The Dash and our courtship. One year of knowing each other and nine months of courtship have seen a lot of beautiful things. Our nine-month milestone fell on the Feast of the Sacred Heart (which I knew was going to happen) as well as Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom (I did not know this was going to happen; we’ve had a special devotion to her!). Being able to spend a joyful day together yesterday only renewed my gratitude for all God has done for me and for both of us!

7.

Mondays are for . . . Thinking about how much I enjoy I Am David. I had heard of the film years ago, but was reminded of its existence earlier this week while browsing through The Natural Catholic Mom. We wound up streaming it off Prime on Friday night.

I’ve never seen a movie like it. If you look up reviews for it, you’ll find a mixed bag of moderate enjoyment of the story, along with fairly heavy criticism of its execution/ acting/ story portrayal. There might, admittedly, be some technical flaws to the film (and it isn’t a big movie; if you go in expecting it to be a smaller effort, you’ll be much more pleased, I think), there is a quiet, persistent thematic beauty to I Am David, and enough layers of character, interest and emotion to the story, all of which I find entrancing and warming. I would rank it in my top 10 favorites. Watching David’s inner and outer journey taps into my maternal instincts . . . I just want to hug him! But honestly, I love the cinematography of the film most of all.

And as for Jim Caviezel . . . after watching his character in David, I am convinced that he would make the perfect cast for Pawel Tarnowski, the bookseller and main character of the aforementioned Sophia House.

7.

Mondays are for . . . Getting off the computer and back to more important things ๐Ÿ˜‰ I pray you have a blessed rest of your Monday!

Sig