|From Savannah - June 09|
While reading the second chapter of Lisa Mladinich's beautiful book, True Radiance, Finding Grace in the Second Half of Life I had several head nodding, aha moments. It was as if she had traveled my journey slightly ahead of me (giving her time to write it all down) and drawn the conclusion that in the end it was all going to be good. I was very happy about that because lately I've had my doubt. It only took getting to chapter two to heave this sigh of relief and let the joy of this book and it's treatment of our middle (and beyond) years seep into my consciousness.
I'm at that time of life where I am am often much warmer than other people in the room, my weight has, not crept up, but barreled forth (resulting in something of a barrel shape) for no reason that I can figure and no matter how little I eat or how much I move it has firmly entrenched itself there on me refusing to move one ounce. It has been indicated by the dear people I live with that I am a tad moody and a good night's sleep seems to be an unattainable fantasy. And did I mention the forgetfulness or did I forget to because it's really possible that did since I forget a lot of things, like glasses, keys and where the children are.
Feeling no older in and of myself than I did when I was twenty-five but feeling my body betray me at every turn has had a defeating effect on my attitude and led to this all consuming pre-occupation with myself. This is not good, cause I'm here to tell ya' a little of me goes a long way.
Enter, True Radiance. Lisa takes her experience of this time of life and makes clear that God's plan for us and our bodies is one of loving care that will end with our sanctification and eternal glory. Hot flashes and night sweats are part of that process. Lisa writes:
"It was quiet in the church at that particular moment when I began to ask him about it, once again. The heat blazing up through the core was intense and a film of sweat broke out all over my face and upper body. I opened my jacket and flapped the sides to cool myself, still prayerfully wondering. As I gazed up at the huge crucifix over the altar, it hit me: heart, burning, fire...God's fiery love!"
She makes it so clear that this is not the end of our lives, our beauty, our usefulness or even our sanity but only the beginning of a new path, a new life of soul and a purification of sorts that we need to continue to do God's work here, to bless our families and friends. I had honestly never thought that the, often traumatic, physical symptoms could be God's way of loving me and preparing me for the next chapter of my life. How much easier to bear this is when we approach this time, as Lisa has, sacramentally.
So you need to read this book. Toward that end if you click on the link and enter the give-a-way and on 10/27 if you win I will send you a copy. Winner will be announced on the 28th.
Follow along this week on the blog tour for True Radiance, as some well known Catholic women writers discuss each chapter. I was was so happy and honored to be part of this group by talking about chapter two. The schedule for the rest of the blog tour is:
"I love toddlers and I really miss the days when I had a bunch of them around.
I must confess I do like solitary trips to the bathroom and sleeping all night, but the antics of two and three year olds were such a joy to me in my mothering. Teenagers are pretty cool, but there isn’t the same joy in everyday occurrences that a toddler brings to the home.
That being said, homeschooling with a toddler (or three) around can be a serious challenge to learning as well as to Mom’s sanity..."
It's been awhile since I talked about our homeschooling and I thought it would be fun to catch up with that.
We began our year in a somewhat rocky fashion. The week we started Dave was admitted to the hospital for an ongoing condition that developed complications. He's fine and recovering nicely, thank God but it did not make for a peaceful beginning what with driving back and forth to a hospital twice a day, trying to get some school work done and all the other stuff like feeding people and such. Fortunately Katie was still home with us and she and Erin took up a lot of slack as did local friends and family.
In retrospect I should have just abandoned school until he came home but I felt that the summer had been long and the kids were a bit anxious for some structure. Or at least that is what I told myself.
Anyway, the nice weather and the somewhat unstructured first week lead to some fun outdoor homeschooling.
Most of the work was done on the deck and then the weather changed and we are back inside.
This year we have five children enrolled in Seton, I use their lesson plans and books but I tailor to each child's needs. The plans as a rail to run on but I'm the driver and I have no problem using what resources I deem best for the kids. Erin has begun her junior year of high school this year and it is very focused on music. She will be beginning the process of making audition tapes and seeking out the best schools to accomplish her goal of being a professional musician. It's very exciting to walk this path with her.
I hope your school days have begun well and I look forward to checking in more often now.
Check out my posts at Seton Magazine
"A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining." President George Bush, September 11, 2001
We have been at school for a few weeks now but we stopped to celebrate one of my favorite feast days. Mass and a special dessert mark the occasion of Our Lady's Nativity.
I hope your school year is off to a great start, please check in with me at Seton Magazine where most of my blogging is happening. I hope to start up doing more school posts here soon, we are working on a new "work schedule" for me here at the Bonny Blue House.
The pain doesn't lessen, the hurt is still fresh.
Ryan Christopher Matthew Barrett
May 11, 1995 - August 14, 2009
"The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs: :with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him." Romans 8:16-17