My Spring Reading List!

After the heavier reading of Lent, I thought I'd like to continue some inspirational spiritual reading through the Easter season as well. 

Here's my book list!

Private and Pithy lessons from Scripture - Mother Angelica
Little Book of Life Lessons - Mother Angelica
Three to Get Married - Fulton Sheen
The Little Oratory
Diary Sister Faustina
Getting Past Perfect - Kate Wicker
The Words We Pray - Amy Welborn
Perfectly Yourself - Matthew Kelly 
Crossing the Threshold of Hope - Pope John Paul II

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What I learned from Mr. K!

I never met the man. But Mrs. K I have known for about 14 years. When I was a brand new mom, I took my little toddler boy with me to Jazzercise. I remember I specifically picked out that class because they had babysitting. I remember being anxious through the entire class but grateful to have the opportunity to work out without worrying about where Calvin was, or what he as getting into! Over the next few years, Calvin and Mrs. K became good friends and eventually, as he grew out of toddlerhood and into being a little kid she taught him how to play cards! Go Fish, Crazy Eights, Old Maid - they had a blast. As each of my babies was born, they would come with me to Jazzercise at about 2 months of age, and Mrs. K would rock them and hold them, tell them stories and just generally spoil them rotten for one hour, twice a week.

After four sons, when my daughter was finally born, Mrs. K was ecstatic and she has really doted on her. My daughter started calling her grandma. I think this was more a term of endearment meaning "nice old lady who takes care of me" because I noticed she used the term describes anyone in books or t.v. who seemed similar to that.

I only knew of Mr. K from the stories Mrs. K told me. I knew what he liked to eat, and what he didn't like to eat. I knew he had a bad tooth but didn't want a root canal. (I learned that when I told Mrs. K how great MY root canal had gone!) I knew he took the car so Mrs. K had to get a ride to Jazzercise with the instructor. I also knew that the onset of his cancer was as much a shock to him as to everyone else!

Mr. K was a good man, a good husband and father, a faithful employee and a veteran. But he wasn't a spiritual man. He believed in God but didn't necessarily have a relationship with Him until he got sick.

That's probably pretty typical - I've done it myself - turn to God when the going is really tough. So I'm not going to judge him for that. What touched me today was that his preacher said he got much strength from the gospel story of the Good thief. The Good Thief was a man, literally in the last few minutes of his life, his very last chance to turn to Jesus and he does! But even more remarkable is that Jesus doesn't say, "well, about time!!" But he gives him His love and grace and assures him of his place in Paradise. And when I thought about it - that really is awesome. God loves us sooo much, that He is willing to give us every second of our lives to come to him - even if it is the very last one. I was so happy for Mr. K that in this last illness he was able to find that peace of Christ and that it comforted him on his way out of this life.

The other thing I learned from Mr. K today is that in his days of illness, he loved getting cards. Loved it. Looked forward to getting the mail every day, saved every card - even wanted to send thank you cards for the cards!! Now isn't that silly?!! That little cards that cost a buck or two, plus postage could mean so much? And isn't it even sillier that if that's all it takes to make folks happy, that I don't take the time and effort to do it!!

Slightly off the subject - I always admired Jacqueline Kennedy, and regardless of her other faults, she was a very gracious and prolific note writer who sent cards and notes with great regularity. I knew that about her, admired it - but haven't been so great about incorporating it into my own life. But I'm going to start and I am grateful to Mr. K's example in showing me how those little things, those little scraps of kindness and consideration really do make a big difference! I think I'll send a little "thinking of you" note next week - to Mrs. K!

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