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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7-Quick Takes - Gethsemane

1.  This week we get ready to enter into Christ's passion as we journey through Holy Week - from the Upper Room and Gethsemane on to Calvary and finally the tomb.

It seems to me that women who are pregnant with their second, third or more child have a unique understanding of Christ's physical agony in the garden. A woman who has experienced labor and childbirth knows the pain that is before her and knows that it is coming to her again. Just as Christ went through Calvary to get to the Resurrection, the expectant mother has to go through labor and. or surgery and childbirth to get her baby. Maybe that is why the scriptures refer to that aspect of motherhood so frequently.

2.  I also believe that God gives us certain experiences in our life to prepare us for some other trial or suffering that we have to face later on in life.

My parents separated when I was 15 months old and I was raised in a home where my maternal grandmother was a true matriarch. My sister and I adored her and in some ways preferred her to our own mother.

She fiercely loved us too and protected us. But I think some of things that she did to protect us were toxic and maybe even coming from a place of hate towards my father. It wasn't until my late teen years and early adulthood, and maybe even later that I started understanding the depth of the brainwashing she inflicted on my sister and me against our father in an effort to protect us from... well I'm not exactly sure what from. Against our father? or against us moving across the country away from her again? or maybe just out of bitterness because my mother married him in the first place. I don't know. But I see now that she did it and even as I understand why, I think it was wrong.

me and grandma

3  Fast forward 50 years, and now I'm the grandma. My son and my granddaughter's mother have broken up and are in the process of separating the household - and  I find myself in a situation similar to my grandmother all those years ago. I'm in Gethsemane and I can see what's coming and I know we have to go through it.

Now that it's my turn, I want to try to do something different. I don't want my granddaughter to think I was full of bitterness and hate and that I tried to manipulate her. I want to be a loving caregiver, and I want her to think of grandma and grandpa's house as a place of fun, books, music, movies, snuggles and adventure. I want her to know that she has aunts and uncles that love her and grandparents she can count on, but without an agenda.  I think that's the cross Mr. Pete and I have to pick up this Holy Week.

I still love my grandma very much. I hope to see her again in the next life and thank her for all she did for me. But in this way, I don't want to emulate her. I want my granddaughter to figure these things out for herself when she's old enough and I want her to know that we gave her the freedom to do that.
Can we do it?  I hope so.

Charlotte and her grandparents

4.  So that all said, I also heard from my prodigal son this week. We never had a fight or a disagreement, or anything like that. He just started a job working 40+ hours a week in an upscale restaurant and in his spare time he does work for his girlfriend's business. There are only so many hours in a day right? So I don't pester him with phone calls or texts. He came over for his birthday and he was also over when Calvin and Sarah were in town, but other than that I never see him.

But when I heard that he went on a road trip down to Georgia, I was surprised. In fact, if I hadn't heard he was going I wouldn't have known he was gone.

OK, so maybe this is a remnant of a messed up childhood, but when I was growing up, we told each other where we were going. Even as an adult, I would tell my mom as a courtesy when we were going away for a trip or a weekend.  My sister and I check in with each other before we leave town. I kind of figure if anything happens to us, at least someone will know where to start looking for our dead bodies.  But isn't it a nice thing to say, "Hey, I'm going away for a couple of days so take care and I'll see you when I get back!?" And now you don't even have to actually TALK to the person  - you can just leave them a text message!!!

I texted my son and told him it would have been nice to know he was on the road this weekend, just to know he was gone. I wrote a bunch of other ranty stuff too, but I deleted that part- I just had to get it out of my system.  A few hours later he called me to say, "Hi Mom!  I meant to call you. You were on my list of things to do before we left but I never got around to it."

Well - at least I made the list.
Sam and Mom
We made tentative plans for Easter.

5.  I gave my last lecture to my Logic Class last week.  It was a little challenging for a couple of reasons. I had originally hoped to show two lectures about inductive reasoning and polling from the Great Courses. But Noah's computer doesn't have a working DVD player, and Mr. Pete's Chrome book doesn't even have a DVD player. I considered bringing my desk top and getting that all hooked up, or streaming the lecture through my phone, but in the end I decided to just watch both talks myself a couple of time and write my own lecture. I just wasn't sure if I could do the topic justice and get the information across while keeping everyone's attention.

To make it more challenging, another teacher was setting up her science experiment in my class space and so there was some extra distraction that wasn't usually there.  I'll admit- I was a little nervous, but I decided to just take my time, read my notes, and not think about this as "teaching" the class, but instead try to "TALK" to the students. And I think it worked. They seemed receptive to the material, we had some good discussions and there were even smiles and laughter. All and all, I felt pretty good about it.

This weekend I am making up their final exam - which is almost as challenging as taking the exam!

6.  Izzy and Rosie were both accepted into the Library's art program next month. Three of their pieces will be displayed. In addition Rosie will be playing a piano piece.  What a nice opportunity for them!

7.  Tomorrow, Izzy, Rosie and I are participating in our parish's presentation of  The 7 Last Words Of Christ by Dubois.  It's really more the "7 Last Phrases of Christ", but I guess this is artistic license.

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I actually am a little more involved than my daughters although they have had more practice! The choir has worked on this every week for months, but they only sing in six of the eight movements. The orchestra plays all the time and we haven't met together once, although we will have one big practice tomorrow before the performance.  I am particularly concerned about the Seventh Word - which is practically all orchestestral.   From a practice session this week.