Woman at Home Daybook :: Vol. 6

JMJ1

Daybook

Read more installments here πŸ™‚

This day in the Liturgical Year . . .

Saint Boniface by Cornelis Bloemaert.jpgIt’s the feast of St. Boniface (Bishop and Martyr), as well as my youngest sister’s Baptism anniversary . . . the longer I live, the more I love celebrating one’s Baptism anniversary πŸ™‚

From the Missal:

St. Boniface was an English Benedictine monk who became the great Apostle of Germany. He was put to death at Dokkum in 775.

O God, Who didst vouchsafe by the zeal of blessed Boniface, Thy Martyr and Bishop, to call a multitude of peoples to the knowledge of Thy name: grant, in Thy mercy, that as we keep his solemn feast so we may also enjoy his protection. Through our Lord.

 

Outside my window . . .

Blue skies and late afternoon sunshine, which deserve greater appreciation after the torrential rain we’ve received over the past few weeks!

Sounds throughout the house . . .

My dad playing guitar downstairs in the living room . . . and what a familiar, comfortable, fatherly sound that is to me πŸ™‚ I’ve known the sound for, practically, as long as I could hear!

I am wearing . . .

I seem to recall I was always wearing a football t-shirt when writing Daybook posts . . . well, today I get to break the trend! I’m wearing a cap-sleeve gray blouse with a gathered neckline, with a white modesty panel underneath it; a jean skirt, and tan flats.

That was pretty fun to write πŸ™‚

Attempts in the kitchen . . .

Lena has been baking cookies . . . Mom has been cooking supper . . . I’ve had a cold and so consequently haven’t been cooking at all in the recent past. I did pour myself a cup of ginger ale earlier, but I’m not sure if that counts.

A note on projects . . .

As of a few days ago, all three of us girls have moved into the same bedroom, and it looks so pretty! I wish I could take a picture to do it justice . . . we’ll see. For the meantime, we have my full-size bed, Lena’s twin-size bed, and our youngest sister has a lovely daybed, courtesy of our grandmother. The bedspreads are all different yet complementary shades of cream, brown and blue. My desk is the only one remaining in the room. The walls are covered with all our religious artwork and holy cards . . . it really does look so pretty and organized! A big thanks to our dad and the ever-helpful Dash for helping us move all the heavy furniture around πŸ™‚

I am reading . . .

A re-read of Father Elijah has been being thoroughly enjoyed by yours truly. I’m on the second to last chapter right now.

A favorite moment towards the climax:

When he had completed this declaration, the inspector fixed his most adamantine, serene, and intimidating gaze upon the colonel (of the Swiss Guard). He had never met the colonel before. The colonel appeared to him as a member of that genre of silly old men who liked to caper about in plumes, brandishing steel blades. He was dressed in yellow hose, buckled shoes, bulging striped pantaloons, and a black cap tied with red strings. In addition he wore a theatrically oversized sword.

“I repeat: I must have this assurance before I can leave,” (said the inspector.)

The colonel returned the inspector’s gaze. If anything, his was even more serene, underpinned by an equally adamantine foundation. He peered unblinking into the inspector’s eyes until the latter began to squirm, without showing it, and looked away.

“I remind you that you are a guest on the soil of a sovereign state. It would be appropriate for such a guest to express his desires in the form of a request, not a demand.”

The inspector shrugged. “Have it your way. I request that you turn over to my office anyone who answers to the name of Schafer or who fits his description. Read this!”

The colonel accepted the sheet of paper that the inspector thrust at him. “I assure you there are no criminals here.”

“If I could have your assurance that you will report to us if he arrives.”

“I will consider it.”

“You will consider it?” the inspector repeated with the subtlest tone of mimicry.

“You are making it more difficult for yourself at every moment. Your manner has forced me to feel less inclined to consider it than when you first raised the subject.”

Contemplating authentic femininity . . .

Hmm . . . how to let womanly emotions run their course, and yet how to bring rationality to the fore, how to be both strong and gentle, how to be both brave and trusting . . . the normal challenges of living a virtuous life, I suppose πŸ˜‰ God’s grace is sufficient in all things, as long as we participate in it!

On living the Faith . . .

The Dash and I’s upcoming 9-month courting anniversary falls on the Feast of the Sacred Heart. What a special blessing! πŸ™‚

Last week, the Feast of Corpus Christi was also our parish feast. We were blessed to have High Mass and an outdoors Eucharistic Procession. During it, we sang two simply beautiful chants: “Sacris Solemniis” and “Verbum Supernum.”

Also, as part of my Total Consecration, I’m still attempting (this attempt began last month) to pray the Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin Mary every day. It is so beautiful and so simple. One Our Father, four Hail Marys, one Glory Be, and you repeat this three times. This accumulates twelve Hail Marys in all: her crown of twelve stars. Four are in honor of her excellence; four are in honor of her power; four are in honor of her goodness.

Prayerfully . . .

Conformity to God’s Will (Pius VII, 1818)

Lord, do with me what Thou wilt. May Thy will be ever done; I only desire what Thou wilt. I desire to suffer what Thou willest; I desire to die in Thy love and in perfect conformity to Thy holy will. Into Thy hands I commend my body, my soul, my life, and my death. I love Thee, O my God, whether it pleaseth Thee to send me consolations or afflictions, and I desire to love Thee always. Will of my God, Thou art my love.

Amen.

Sig

 

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7 Rambling Monday Takes, Vol. 13 :: Resuming life

JMJ1

MondayTakes

Enjoy previous rambling installments here πŸ™‚

1.

cuttingcake
My parents cutting their lovely anniversary cake, made & decorated by Lena. Picture taken by my brother πŸ™‚

Two weeks ago, we prepared for and celebrated my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary, and it was both a lovely and exhausting stretch of days in which I gained a big dose of party planning/coordinating experience . . . last week, thusly, was mental recovery week. Today proved to be recovery day from recovery week, especially in the region of my half of the bedroom, which had become a positive landing zone and, while not exactly messy, was cluttered. I did begin by wiping out the family microwave, since a miniature explosion had occurred there recently. But eventually I retreated into mine and my sister’s bedroom and went to war πŸ˜‰

At long last, I situated all my tutoring supplies into their bin; I stashed away bags of handmade party decorations; I sorted books and shelves, finally updated all my monthly calendars, plowed through the Mines of Moria (also known as my desk drawer), went walking by the lake for an hour with mom and siblings, came home, cleaned off my desk, dusted and vacuumed nearly every surface, and have now collapsed with immense satisfaction. There is nothing so domestically marvelous as sitting in a dusted, vacuumed, de-cluttered space πŸ˜€

2.

May is already winding down . . . and getting hotter . . . we’ve seemingly already entered our summer weather pattern down here of hot, muggy days with scattered thunderstorms at any time. But there has also been plenty of sunshine and breeziness to keep things nice.

Around the house, schoolwork has largely wrapped up for the school year and tomorrow, most likely, will be the first day of celebratory swimming with The Dash’s family πŸ™‚

3.

I have been compiling a list of summer goals . . . some smaller, some bigger, some random, some obvious. One goal, however, is to brainstorm and figure out how to blog more consistently about courtship (and eventually, God-willing, betrothal and wedding planning) topics . . . so we’ll see what happens here starting early summer!

4.

The Dash and I were messaging earlier about automotive troubles, and in the course of our conversation he gallantly asked me if I were looking as beautiful as ever . . . I replied that I was in workout clothes, holding a can of furniture polish, and that I had mildly frizzy hair, so I would leave him with that mental image in order to make a decision.

I presume it is natural for any person to default towards putting a nice photo of themselves on their blog. Being sanguine, I am particularly geared towards appearances and impressions (which holds its own mixed bag of potential virtues and inherent vices, but that’s for another post . . .)

Not that I am a frequent selfie-taker, but it seems to me that a self-taken photo revealing your current post-cleaning state prods one a little more towards virtue than a selfie when you are all fixed up. I did have to pull in the cherry blossom cup (a lovely gift from one of my students!) to add a little femininity, though πŸ˜› Here’s to cleaning and to enjoying it!

WIN_20180521_14_40_46_Pro

5.

Currently, we are in the few-weeks-long break between the end of The Dash’s semester and the beginning of his summer internship . . . it’s like one huge holiday and has been so wonderful so far to spend extra time with him! πŸ™‚ Time truly is a gift from God, and when you are able to live it well and full with those you love, it becomes a joy!

6.

For most of this blog post, I have been clicking back and forth between my internet browser and my graphic design software as I attempt to finish up one of three jobs lined up for me to complete by the end of next month, and get the final products off to be printed. It might not make for the most coherent of posts, but, hey, I’m multitasking πŸ˜‰

7.

The FSSP ordinations are this Saturday, May 26th, streaming live from LiveMass.net! God-willing, Lena and I will be able to watch them! What beautiful memories from last year, and what spiritual joy.

http://fssp.com/wp-content/uploads/2018-Ordination-Flyer.pdf

Have a lovely rest of your Monday!

Sig

On the eve of May

JMJ1

I’ve been waiting to find it again for what seems like so long.

Before today, I’d seen it only once before: and that was several years ago, on EWTN’s Litany of Loreto, quickly passing by in a slideshow of other sacred Marian images. They were all beautiful. But this one . . . it struck me silent. I have never seen anything like it, before or since. I have never seen anyone paint her in this way. Her hands are clasping Him tightly. Her head is tilted back so far. Her face is suffused with intensity and bliss.

But even more simply, it’s her look. It’s her inhalation. Her pure mouth is partially open with it. It’s as if for one moment, we see her as only Christ ever saw her: full of ecstasy, full of grace, completely possessed by God, and possessing Him with an intimacy that surpasses our understanding: Theotokos. Truly, it’s a portrait of total possession and total surrender, manifested beyond compare in the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady.

Anyway . . .Β  as I watched the Litany of Loreto, in the span of four or five seconds, this painting came and went — and I had no idea whatsoever of how to find it again! I searched on and off for a few days across the internet, but eventually the research petered out.

Vaguely, in an honestly more whimsical than prayerful way, I entertained hopes that Our Lord might nudge it back into my life somehow . . . maybe someone would give it to me in a moment of significance, etc. It was strange how several years went by, and yet occasionally the memory of that painting would come back to me. I was silly enough to never make a direct, prayerful request to find the painting again. Possibly because it felt a little trifling. And yet at the same time, I kept sensing a recurring combination of humorous mystery and certainty that Our Lord most probably would bring it back to me, when I was least looking for it. (Most likely, this is totally a woman thing. But I digress.)

This morning, I casually clicked onto a website, and there it was.

Right in front of me!

Virginandmothermostholy

These past few weeks have been consumed with busyness; planning, projects, responsibilities, and the mental clutter that comes from it all. Today has certainly been a microcosm of that! Because of this busyness, I had completely lost sight of the fact that today is the last day of April. Which means, obviously, that tomorrow is the first day of May. Her month!

What a blessing to be sent such a heavenly reminder as this! Tomorrow is especially busy, and as it’s also the feast of her blessed spouse St. Joseph the Worker (which The Dash and I have been looking forward to, with the novena ending today!), this fact thatΒ herΒ month is beginning tomorrow might have totally slipped past me if it weren’t for finding this painting again, and eventually realizing on what day, exactly, I’d been given it. God is very good. It’s come at such a sweetly perfect time, when all is busy, when my prayer and life of virtue suffers in little and less-little ways because of my own laziness and lack of courage, and struggle and discouragement begin to creep in. It’s time to give it all to Our Lady, again, and re-embrace my Total Consecration (a good preparation for when I start my annual renewal on September 4th!).

So I’m off to reflect a little on what I, a slave of Mary, can do to make this upcoming month a gift to Our Lady. I’m not sure what it looks like yet. I’ll be taping this image in my Missal, for a start!

I pray your May is blessed with Our Lady’s choicest care for you, and that your devotion to, and love of her is deeply renewed. I would be so grateful if you prayed the same for me!

Sig

 

7 Rambling Monday Takes, Vol. 12 :: Weddings, Rain, and Oven Cleaning

MondayTakes

Explore previous rambling installments here πŸ™‚

1.

“Was this lovely song I hear ever heard before?”

Well, it’s yet another Monday, and after a morning spent scooting around the house, catching up, scheduling, planning, and laundering, I am digesting lunch (which is a wonderful sensation) and contentedly listening to John Davidson and Leslie Ann Warren jubilantly sing “Are We Dancing?” while crafting a quick Rambling Takes post. (The Happiest Millionaire has at least a dozen of my heartstrings, by the way.)

This song, you see, is part of a 90-minute dance playlist concocted and self-arranged for a particular celebration still in the works (I have nineteen days [only nineteen?!?] left of planning . . . ) . . . oh, but now the song has just passed over to “My Girl” by The Temptations . . .

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day . . .”

Yes, indeed, cloudy . . . I texted The Dash this morning, telling him (optimistically) to enjoy the sunshine (yesterday had been cloudy/drizzly/downright pouring all day), and yet inevitably it has already been pouring here again. So much for the optimism! Hopefully this deluge will bring some May flowers πŸ™‚

“It’s very clear our love is here to stay . . .”

And now comes a crooner . . . *sigh*, it’s going to be a good afternoon πŸ˜‰

2.

CoupleI feel as though I perpetually exist in a romantic frame of mind, but when I’ve made a list of 90 musical minutes of old-fashioned, classic romance, am planning a celebration for married love, and when I’ve just attended a wedding over the weekend . . . why not delve into those happy thoughts a little more deeply than usual? πŸ˜‰

“Unforgettable, that’s what you are . . .”

(This playlist isn’t helping much, I suppose.)

This wedding I attended with my family and The Dash was the first wedding I’d been to in years. It was the first fully Catholic wedding I’d been to since I was around sixteen, and that wedding, I sang for (I actually sang for a string of about six weddings in a row when I was fifteen years old; a unique phase of life!). So, really, it had been quite a while since we’d all gotten dressed up in expectation of a wedding. I pulled out a long floral dress I hardly ever wear–it comes to the floor, but miraculously I managed not to trip over it or downright rip it. And to be able to go to a wedding with The Dash! Bliss! πŸ™‚

“I can’t help myself; I love you and nobody else . . .”

But . . . an Extraordinary Form wedding is indescribably gorgeous, moving and so very different from anything I’d attended previously. Granted, I’ve read the old Rite of Marriage only a thousand times since owning my Missal. I’ve only gushed about it with Lena three thousand times.

But to be able to witness it with Lena, The Dash, and my family, filled me with so much joy. It was at our diocesan Cathedral; every one of the altar boys was a good friend; the priests were all dear to us; the bride and groom were just beaming, radiant, full of love and right intention. The liturgy had the solemnity borne of ancientness. It was amazing in so many respects.

“Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars . . .”

That, by the way, was their first dance song at the reception . . . ahh, fellow Sinatra lovers! I could have hugged them both! They were so precious together. Truly, I’ve never seen a more joyous and delighted bride (and she was beautifully modest, too).

3.

In an Extraordinary Form wedding, the entire marriage rite takes place before the Mass even begins, which means that the very first act the married couple makes as husband and wife is one of worshiping together at Mass. That is so beautiful! πŸ™‚

While I’m on this thought, let’s have a read-through of the traditional vows as found in the ’62 Missal, shall we?

Priest: N., wilt thou take N., here present, for thy lawful wife (husband), according to the Rite of our holy Mother the Church?
R. I will.

(Groom, then bride): I, N., take thee, N., for my wedded wife (husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health, till death do us part; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

The last phrase is just deliciously old (in my opinion). In my limited experience, sometimes it’s omitted (maybe depending on the tastes of the bride and groom), and so I figured I would research the exact meaning of the phrase before I go trumpeting it to everyone as something I would appreciate saying in my own wedding.

Dictionary.com’s definition of “troth” is as follows:

Noun
1. faithfulness, fidelity, or loyalty:

by my troth.
2. truth or verity: in troth.

Aha, well, it all sounds worthy so far . . . delving a little deeper, I visit Yahoo!Answers. Not that it’s exactly a paragon of authority, but as this search is propelled by mere curiosity, I am going easy on myself with regards to sources.
“Troth” means a promise of truthfulness, and is derived from the same word as β€œtruth”. “Plight thee my troth” – The groom pledges his truthfulness, faithfulness and loyalty to his promise. “Give thee my troth” – The bride likewise gives her word.
And to round off this clarifying experience, an extract from Answers.com:

“Troth” means a promise of truthfulness, and is derived from the same word as “truth.” Plight means pledge.

So, judging by dictionary definitions, to plight one’s troth simply means to pledge one’s truth: one’s fidelity. While all of this is already more than implied, of course, in the vows themselves, I think it’s still something beautiful to say!

4.

https://5.api.artsmia.org/full/47.jpg

Today, I’ve just started reading Venerable Fulton J. Sheen’s Three to Get Married. I feel badly because, up until this point, and merely by accident, I’ve never read any of his works or seen any of his old shows (to the shock of The Dash, who is now completely convinced of how sheltered I am)–I don’t think I’ve even heard his voice! And, judging by the first chapter, what a poverty that is.

Even his dedication for the book is so profound:

It takes three to make Love in Heaven – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

It takes three for Heaven to make love to earth – God, Man, and Mary, through whom God became Man.

It takes three to make love in the Holy Family – Mary, and Joseph, and the consummation of their love, Jesus.

It takes three to make love in hearts – The Lover, the Beloved, and Love.

To that Woman who taught the sublime mystery of Love, Mary Immaculate, this book is dedicated.

That nations, hearts, and homes may learn that love does not so much mean to give oneself to another to that Passionless Passion, Which is God.

5.

I took a break while writing this post to go take another walk with my mom at our nearby lake. Yes, it rained today. Yes, all things were squelchy, muddy, dirty–but they were also glistening, rich, perfumed and intense. As we walked and chatted, the cloudiness dissipated under warm sun and the air grew slightly humid. My hair didn’t appreciate it much, but nevertheless, it was a peaceful, invigorating half-hour spent with my mother πŸ™‚ I am so determined to make regular outdoor walks a part of the normalcy of my future family life!

6.

Ah, yes, the aforementioned oven cleaning. I’m a complete novice when it comes to oven cleaning, and if I hope to be the queen of a particular castle sometime in the not-too-distant future, it stands to reason that I had better know how to clean one. And so, today, I’ve sprayed it, left it to sit for two or three hours, and am going to begin scrubbing away within the next half-hour. Hopefully there won’t be any disasters. We have egg rolls scheduled for tonight, and I refuse to be the one to ruin everyone’s dinner πŸ˜‰

7.

A letter from a pen pal came in today! I am delighted πŸ™‚ And it’s made me reflect on how blessed I am with the all correspondences God has placed in my life. Here’s to rebuilding a culture of actually writing to one another, of taking time to craft paragraphs, to ramble, to express hopes and dreams, to make jokes, to be genuine. To use words, and to mean them. That’s how some of my dearest friendships today started out. It’s how The Dash and I started out. It doesn’t necessarily have to be pen and paper (although it’s wonderful and so authentic if it can be done!), but the time is what is essential. Before you know it, thousands and thousands of words have crossed the space between you and another soul, building understanding and friendship as you pursue truth together; the truth that comes only from Our Lord.

Have a blessed Monday, everyone, and . . . a very happy feast of dear St. George, Martyr! I know Lena is excited today πŸ™‚

Sig

Labora (A Woman at Home Post)

The_Lady_Clare

Happy feast day of Pope St. Julius! πŸ™‚

It just occurred to me how easy it is for me to cheerfully describe the joys and interests of life as a young woman at home. The Faith, family life, courtship life, friendship, tutoring, femininity . . . all of these things absolutely delight me. Writing about happinesses and about blessings is so necessary, and is the default for the sanguine, I’m thinking.

But . . . womanhood at home is hard, too. It is work. Labora. It is labor–the labor of pursuing virtue, the labor of struggle, and of making choices between little things, in which reside either heaven or hell. I am slowly learning that, if choosing young womanhood at home means choosing joy (which it does), it also means choosing labor, struggle, and sometimes suffering. If remaining at home (by which I mean in the family atmosphere) augments that which is beautiful about being feminine, it also emphasizes that which is most difficult. If it enriches a girl’s natural good inclinations, it also sharply highlights her habitual failings. It isn’t my nature to bring difficult things to the forefront . . . and yet they are there, nonetheless! Choosing to remain a young woman at home is simultaneously very beautiful and quite hard.

In my life right now, labora means something like these things . . .

It means battling for the heroic minute. It means rolling over in bed, turning off the alarm, and confronting Self lying in the bed beside me, fuzzily whispering at me not to get up, because I need rest, because last night was a late night, because today will be a long day–or, at least, because I can simply lie here and rest briefly without going back to sleep. I’ve chosen to be home, I don’t have “a job,” so why get up until I want to? It means mumbling through the Regina Caeli, it means wrestling with myself. It means getting up . . . or failing to.

It means going downstairs and finding dimness, chilliness (if the morning is cool), and observing the silhouettes of scattered throw pillows and unfolded blankets and other little piles from family time the night before. It means turning on the lamps (and the heat) and straightening things up (one of my chores here at home). It means making coffee if I forgot to assemble it the night before. It means either fully waking up to my good mood (fortunately, I usually wake up happy in the morning, or at least peaceful!), or dealing with an unexpected groggy/cranky/stressed mood and contemplating how I’ll present myself to my siblings and mother when they get up (my dad already being gone to work). Sometimes it means practicing my expression and my words for when they’ll walk into the kitchen.

And then it means kneeling down and offering my full morning prayers, which normally seem at least slightly longer than I have initial willpower for. It means either persevering, or cutting them short with some excuse that seems quite reasonable. It means sometimes getting consolations: sometimes not. It means fighting the imperfections in my prayer, those mainly of distraction. And then it means either choosing spiritual reading, or reading up on my phone. And then it means having breakfast and either being generous with my time towards my newly awakened siblings, or not so generous and rather distracted. It means choosing to watch Mass if I have legitimate time for it, or postponing it “just a little while.” It means starting my laundry or waiting an hour. It means embarking on my work and various obligations, or peeking at blogs. It means adhering to a hierarchy of daily priorities, or randomly following whatever is my newest interest or desire. It means choosing work first or choosing leisure first.

It means choosing to deny myself something small throughout the day, or simply eating whenever I want to. It means giving my attention and care to a sibling who is hungry for a little time, or finding an excuse to get back to the computer. It means embracing the present work with contentment and purpose, or it means constantly living in futuristic expectation of what may never come.

It means going out for my tutoring work, but coming home again and–despite my lack of energy–making up for all the time I’ve spent away from a family who misses me. It means choosing cheer and not tired reclusiveness; it means choosing the funny stories instead of the vague details.

It means scrubbing algae out of a shower, getting soggy food scraps out of the sink, folding underwear, rubbing shoulders.

It means crying from hormones; it means hugging someone else who is crying for the same reason; it means offering to cook or clean or assist with school when I really don’t want to, and before I’m asked; it means being patient when someone else is having a bad day; it means making someone’s bed when they deserve to make it themselves. It means trying to use my feminine intuition to sense if someone needs to talk, needs a shoulder to cry on, needs a break, needs a defender, needs a helper, needs a joke-maker, needs a prayer . . . although sometimes it might feel like I’m the one who needs these things. It means choosing to accept sicknesses and potential medical issues with trust, and prudently combating them when to not combat them is far easier.

It means using my funds unselfishly when I want to save it all from the motivation of having security: putting gas in the car, buying someone a snack. It means serving when I am tired; it means choosing against irritation. It means remembering to pray whenever, wherever I or someone else is in need, especially spiritually. It means imitating Our Lady when all I want is a fuzzy sweater, a bar of chocolate, and a bed to curl up in. Sometimes, if there must be a choice, it means dressing modestly instead of comfortably, or instead of what appears to be slightly cuter or newer or just simply different when all your clothes begin to appear the same to you. It means eventually leaving my hair alone and choosing to leave the mirror. It means defending the purity of my thoughts and resolving, again and again, that reason would rule emotion.

In family, in friendship, in courtship, it means having conversations I don’t want to have. It means being honest when I would rather not be honest. It means forgiving and guiding and listening and submitting. It means developing my femininity concretely through tasks, through creativity, through reading . . . without being lazy and without being guided solely by my own whims. Again, it means remembering and choosing to pray forΒ  grace.

Most of all, sometimes, it means choosing (through an act of will!) to not be wistful or even envious towards someone who is ahead of me; of young women who are married to their beloveds and building homes and raising children of their own. It means absorbing and enjoying the pictures and words of others that capture the beauty of traditional life and of virtue so well . . . and yet being mindful that life is far more than pictures and words. It means striving to be compassionate and encouraging, choosing just the right words for those who are not even where I am. It means not settling for where I am in my own courtship, but striving to become a better woman for God’s sake, and the sake of the wonderful man who asked me to court him!

So yes . . . labora can mean all these things for a young woman at home . . . and far beyond. It really is simply the Christian calling; it is the laying down of one’s life, it is the carrying of the Cross. It is always a battle for virtue and holiness–for me, specifically, it always seems to boil down to a battle against laziness, against a day that is steered by what I want to do, instead of what I should do. May God give me renewed grace to combat my faults, and let us all pray for one another!

But even with all these difficulties and trials, my life as a young woman at home has had, and continues to have, beauties and graces that far exceed the struggle! Again and again, Chesterton’s words breeze into my mind, filled with truth and with challenge:

“Women were not kept at home in order to keep them narrow; on the contrary, they were kept at home in order to keep them broad. The world outside the home was one massive narrowness – a maze of cramped paths, a madhouse of mono-maniacs.”

Indeed, being a woman at homeΒ demandsΒ that she becomes broad, broad in virtue and in heart! And what a beautiful thing that is πŸ™‚

Sig