Beauty in Action

Tonight I went into the city for my community group. I am really enjoying this new ministry. Since all the members are girls, mostly quite a bit younger than me, I feel like it's a great place for me to be able to use my gifts of mentoring and hospitality. And it's lots of fun too!

For the next five weeks we are going to be doing Godly Play which is an awesome program that was developed for kids. But it works great with adults too. Tonight I did the story on the Holy Family, which is basically the story of the birth of Jesus. After the story, there is a response time. I sat on the couch, and after I had written my response, I just watched these young women respond to God. Many of them did arty stuff with pastels, and I really wished I had taken my camera so I could post photos here. The results were beautiful and as unique as each of them. I felt really privileged to be part of their lives and spiritual journey.

My two favorite parts of the story are these:
About the message the angels brought to the shepherds in the field "Run. Hurry. Go to Bethlehem. Something has happened there that changes everything."
And about the Christ Child: "Here is the little baby reaching out to give you a hug. He grew up to be a man and died on the cross. That is very sad, but it is also wonderful, in an Easter kind of way."

Here is my response...a poem from Mary's perspective. Not by best but who cares? :)

Aching back
Struggling to breathe
Can't walk or ride
and be comfortable.

So late now,
And dark.
Don't know where
We'll sleep tonight.

Somehow I know
it's tonight.
it's soon.
It takes my breathe away
Because I'm scared
and because
I can feel it
Out and down.

I can feel his eyes
Anxious and wide.
I turn to smile.

Dear God,
Don't leave us alone out here,
Under the night sky
With this impending, frightening


We should be in the funny papers

I had just started writing a post which I will finish after this when the phone rang. I turned around to answer (I have a phone right behind my computer) and saw by the number that it was my friend Sarah.

So I answered.
"Cheeky Madam!" (It's her nickname. I don't feel bad, because she calls me CC, short for Canadian Cow. You see where she gets her nickname?)

Small pause. "OH!"

Hysterical laugher from me. "Who did you mean to call then?"

More laughter.
I warned her I was going to blog about it. She pleaded and begged me not to, but I resisted.


Role Reversal

Today was a day of role reversals for my children. Meaghan is usually the easy one, the one that is cheery and mostly agreeable. Nic is the one that sometimes makes me want to tear my hair out.

For example, today he started the day with a bang. Literally. He came and
crawled into bed with us and immediately began whining about not wanting to go to school. I warned him that he shouldn't say it again or I would spank. "But Mooooooooooooom..." so I spanked him. Sigh. Not the best way to start the day.

When I went to pick him up from guarderia at 1, he came out with the class puppets, Ana and Manolo. Apparently the boy behaved remarkably well today; the best in the class. As a result, he got to bring the puppets home overnight to play with. He also got TWO suns on his paper. Wow. He was grinning from ear to ear and proudly told us repeatedly that he had made Jesus VERY VERY happy today. We agreed!

At 4:00 I had an appointment
with the head teacher in the Spanish department at Meg's school to discuss what I can do to help her at home with her Spanish. She really struggles with it and it stresses her out quite a bit. I haven't been overly happy with the lack of help she has been getting.

Instead, I hear again that despite some serious conversations, Meg still tends to be a loner on the playground. Even when other kids want to play with her. Now I can relate to this; I was just like her when I was a kid. Not anti-social; but happy to entertain myself when neces
sary. Because she had a rough start at school, and because most of her class speaks Spanish on the playground, she got into an early habit of playing on her own.

So now we have to work on breaking this habit, this hesitancy to engage with the other kids on the playground. All her teachers agree that it's the root of her struggle with Spanish.

Sigh. Anyway, Meg could use your prayers a
s we really start working hard on changing this behavior.

My two blessings at bed-time tonight:


Rainy Days and Mondays....don't always get me down but there are moments of annoyance

Most of today has been good, even though it has been rainy all day. There was about an hour of general crabbiness though, between 5:30 and 6:30.

I came home from doing the school run feeling crabby, Meg came home dejected and Nic was mopey. I was crabby because my daughter didn't listen to me when I asked her to do/not do something several times in the car on the way home. And because some random woman pulled up beside me, honked and gesticulated wildly for some unknown reason. I have NO clue what she was mad about but that kind of stuff gets under my skin. And because once again Meg came home without her teacher diary or her spelling book, and with no idea of what the homework she is supposed to do tonight is. So I was "cross."

Meg was then dejected because I was "cross" about the car behavior and the leaving important things at school and Nic was mopey because he wasn't winning on his computer game. Sheesh!

Peace is restored now. It's still raining steadily outside. The kids are in bed, I have eaten my Monday night sushi and talked to Kelly on skype. (She will be home in Madrid on November 29 so we are all happy happy happy!)

Before Meg went to bed tonight I started reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to her. I'm glad she is old enough to share these books (which I still read at least once a year) with.

And even though it's been fairly rainy, I'm glad about it. We have needed it so much, and it makes for lots of cozy days inside by the fire.

It's 8:51 but I am headed to bed in my flannel pajamas to read a bit and wait for a phone call from my kindred spirit Mati.