Tuesday, April 24, 2012

First Communion: Preparing Her Heart for the Bread of Life

The Consecration: The Words
Many years ago I purchased books and materials for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. I was intrigued by the ideas and philosophy behind this introduction to the faith for young children. In particular, I was drawn to their preparation for receiving Our Lord in the Eucharist. I quickly discovered that an atrium in my home, "by the book" was not a realistic approach. In my typical fashion I gleaned, pruned and plucked what I thought would work best in our home. The past few years, I had drifted away from these lessons. I felt somehow inadequate and for some strange reason lamented that I couldn't recreate the perfect atrium in my home. And yet, I knew these lessons were beautiful and had indeed cultivated a personal love and intimacy with Christ, particularly in one of my older children. I resolved to return to these lessons. I found myself once again creatively adapting, using what was available in my home and rewriting to make it work even better.

The Consecration: The Gestures
I am so glad I did. Helping Kay prepare has been a beautiful work. I have been privileged to see the moments when her eyes light up as she makes her own connections, makes the lesson her own. And just as exciting has been having Agnes along with us, taking it all in. Agnes is in love with the Good Shepherd. Every single time she sees our little icon of the Good Shepherd she says "There is Jesus, and I am his little lamb." Yes she is and I am so glad to be able to bring her to Him.

Look here for resources. There are, I am sure, other online resources. I am not a trained instructor so I make no claims about the accuracy of my own personal lessons or how I have chosen to use the materials.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Making It Count: Something Pretty in the Kitchen

Several years ago, I knitted some kitchen dishcloths for my mother. They were a sturdy cotton yarn and sized in such a way that they could be very versatile. Not as large as a dish towel, but not as small as a washcloth. They are still in her kitchen, holding up remarkable well. She uses them in all sorts of ways. Since they are a thick cotton, they wash beautifully. I have lots of kitchen towels and wash cloths that are well, gross. They are old, stained, falling apart. I have been thinking I should knit up some dish cloths for myself. I always seem to have supplies of cotton yarn in all sorts of colors. I went pattern hunting and found this. I love it. The pattern is simple enough to memorize with enough interest that I don't get bored. I'm sure I will play around with lots of color combinations and sizes. I'm calling this one Fiestaware. Soccer season is upon us again so it will be me, my chair, and these while Carmen practices.

For more moms making it count, visit Sarah.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

(I wrote this a year ago, shortly after Mara was born. My sweet baby girl turns one today. And later this year my oldest will turn eighteen. The year has flown by. These years are so precious.)

As I lay in the bed, medication meant to speed my baby's entrance into the world pouring through the I.V., I was afraid. We had already had to stop and restart labor, as the force and frequency of contractions was too much for our little girl. As I listened to her heartbeat on the monitor, I could hear once again the slight deceleration with each contraction. I was scared. There were only two possibilities. One was that this labor, brought on by synthetic hormones, was truly too stressful for the baby and I would be faced with my first c-section after eight vaginal births. The other possibility was that we were actually getting close to delivery and very soon I would be holding her. I did not want to fear. It was all in God's hands. This whole pregnancy had been a grand lesson in trusting Him. Looking for peace and courage I turned to Our Lady and started whispering urgent Memorares. Please, I begged her, let me hold this little girl, safe and healthy, before this hour is up. Over and over, I whispered that prayer. The nurse came in shortly, checked my progress and announced what I now definitely suspected in my body, our baby was ready to be born.
And so, within that hour that tested my courage, my Mara was born.