Wednesday, July 24, 2013
I am feeling a bit nostalgic tonight. My ten-year-old daughter lay on the floor reading the book she checked out this afternoon at the county library. The scene transported me back to a different time and place when I was ten.
The year was 1978. My favorite part of the summer was spending every other week on my uncle’s little farm off Highway 57. My father worked for the company in town. Instead of “commuting” every night back to our hometown 56 miles north, he stayed in the cabin next to his brother’s house. I cooked dinners for him during my weeks at the cabin and cleaned. I spent my free time tagging along behind my older cousins going to movies, horseback riding, doing chores, and going to the bar for soda pop. I really think no kid on Earth had better summers then I.
In the house resided a magic closet. Walking down the hallway, I would pass the bathroom, Worth’s room and Crystal’s room. Family photos lined the walls. Shag carpet silenced my footsteps. At the end of the hall stood three doors. To the right, the door opened to my aunt and uncle’s room. I loved going into the room to the left. Cath and Carol, whom I idolized, shared this room. The bright deep purple walls helped shape my love for color I am sure.
Stepping across the threshold of the middle door transported me into a magical world. Now this compares to the magic tree house, but alas it doesn’t compare to the amour in the Narnia series, but for a small town Montana girl, I felt I found heaven.
Walking into the closed, I turned on the overhead light. All three walls held numerous shelves from the floor to the ceiling all lined with books. I spent hours perusing the titles. Many times my cousins suggested books like The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I read for hours.
Today books clutter my house. I have sold books, given them away, and stored them in the shed and garage. A couple of years ago my husband gave me a Kindle for Christmas. I love that I am not storing more books; plus, I can take hundreds of books with me weighing less then a pound.
Yet, I am saddened. Will magic closets exist in the future? I believe when my daughter leaves home, I will turn one of the extra bedrooms into a magic room. I want my grandchildren to have such an experience. Of course, hopefully they love to read.
Monday, July 15, 2013
My morning started very rough. Either the fibromyalgia or the rheumatoid arthritis was causing my body to ache. My energy level with a scale of 1 to 10 stood at about -2. I trudged to the kitchen to pour myself a cup of coffee. I decided to go out on the patio to do my daily Bible reading hoping the cool morning air would revive me. God sat with me for a time. The music of the birds played in the background. I knew I may not conquer the day, but I would make it to church.
As is Father’s style, three points were pulled from the readings. I loved the first point of simple faith. As humans, we try to complicate everything when really we are called to just love. The first part of the Gospel reading states, “’You shall love the Lord, you God, with all you heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself’” Luke 10:27. Loving God is very simple. Loving my neighbor? The concept is very simple; yet, I find it hard in practice. I tend to not even be good at loving myself. I complicate the love. I put rules into the equation. Instead, I need to simplify.
I want to deviate a bit here from the Mass. In my daily reading yesterday, I came across a passage that warmed my heart. In Paul’s letter to the Romans he writes, “I’m eager to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. In this way, each of us will be a blessing to the other” Romans 1:12. Again, simple! In our loving each other, we need to also encourage each other in our faith. I knew when reading the passage I would be encouraged when I went to Mass. And I was. Hopefully I encouraged others as well.
The second point I took from Father’s homily was simple charity. We shouldn’t wait for the big stuff. We shouldn’t think we have to have money to make a difference. Simply apply our love to our neighbor. As I mentioned, I had no energy and my wrist felt like fire kept coursing through it. Pain shot through my knee. Two friends gave me comforting hugs, simple charity. They knew I was struggling and helped me in my stress. I received other hugs and kind words. Yes, we are to step out of our comfort zone and help those less fortunate, but we can’t forget those around us. Giving charity to each other encourages.
Simple sight is the final point. Our daily lives become so weighed down with negatives. For me, I struggle with chronic pain. I want God to fix it. I ask Him to take away the pain. Eventually He does, but not when I want it done. I could easily only see Him when the pain leaves. I could only look for Him in the sky or across the sea, Deuteronomy 30:10-14. Instead, I need to look all around me. I see Him in the flowers that bloom in my gardens. I hear him in the twitter of the birds or the buzz of the bees. I saw Him on the altar as my son stood next to his babysitter of years ago. She took care of him after school, now they minister together through the Eucharist. God is right there. Don’t look past Him.
Blessing to you all.