Since last I checked in:
Merry Christmas! We’re still having Christmas, so I can say that.
Happy New Year. You’ll be pleased to know I took someone’s advice here, and swore off making resolutions. Which allowed me to limit it to just a couple.
Evangelizing in the Face of Dissent. My December New Evangelizers column is up, in which I think about a question a friend posed in conversation a few weeks ago: What do you do when you really would evangelize, you really do want to, but your church stinks? Which creates some awkward problems.
I would like to point out here that the two people I quote/mention in the column do not attend [_insert name of parish that jumped to mind because yes, you're jumping to conclusions again__]. Anyhow, December’s post is sort of a theoretical framework for thinking about the problem. I’m thinking maybe for January I’ll follow up with concrete things you can do to evangelize, regardless of the state of your parish / diocese / continent / etc. Or not. It’s an idea.
My January CatholicMom.com is going to be on cool science stuff. It’s already written and just needs the links filled in before I submit it (today – runs Saturday, barring a switch-around), so you don’t get to suggest things for the post. But you could suggest things in the CMom.com combox when the time comes.
I wrote something just for fun. I used to write EVERYthing just for fun. No, that’s not true. I wrote things for school, and then later I wrote things for school and work, and later, things just for work. But you know the curling up with a laptop, goofing off kind of writing, purely for my own entertainment? That used to be 99% of what I wrote. [Which gives you an idea the proportion of my writing that went into, say, my senior thesis, or my job writing a department newsletter, compared to the amount that went into pure leisure. Can we say "introvert" much?] I started blogging just for fun. To practice writing for someone other than myself.
Anyway, I spent the Octave of Christmas writing a piece of fiction purely for my own pleasure. Not gonna submit it. Not gonna promote it. Don’t want feedback on it. Don’t care that I abused adverbs. Don’t care that the scenes don’t flow. Don’t care that the setting is a tad nebulous. Look at me abusing all-caps and italics right here and now. See, that fun-thing is rubbing off. Vacation is good. Livens things up.
So that’s what I did for 8/12ths of Christmas. Back to work now, fun fiction is put away, and I’m going to take stab #276 with renewed vigor on the homeschooling book, which was coming along pre-break, but started to languish right before Christmas. I’m going to concede that I think the topic I’m biting off is hard to get my head all the way around — the organization for the book just isn’t popping out at me, like it did for the catechist book. Only way out is through. Sooner or later a structure will present itself.
Vocation trumps devotion. Last September I wrote a post on getting the kids to daily mass, which I don’t think ever saw light of day. But one of my points was that there’s no avoiding the Will of God. If God doesn’t have it on His agenda, it’s not on yours. Hence, late in the day on the first Sunday of Advent, what I thought was a mild sore throat from teaching Our Lady of Guadalupe classes all day Saturday, turned into Plague Journal Episode #487. I think we had one child who didn’t get sick all month. Didn’t see light of day again until the 4th Sunday of Advent, we made it through Christmas Day, and by the weekend had a child sick and parents had to attend Mass in shifts this past weekend and holy day.
This creates an awkward social situation, in which I volunteered to teach at the parish we attend daily mass at, and happened to have just had one of the supply priests in for dinner that week, and then promptly dropped off the face of the earth. So I would like to publicly assure everyone that:
- I do not hate the parish where we go the daily mass when the planets are properly aligned, as happened for months on end until the abrupt halt at Advent.
- I am not permanently scarred by the experience of supervising the creation of 80-some paper-bag tilmas.
- We’re still Catholic. Really. We’re just “contagious Catholics” of the wrong kind. We love you, so we are avoiding you.
Hey, look, even Juan Diego missed an appointment with the Blessed Mother because he had a sick relative. It happens. Vocational hazard.
I’ll try to check in again at some point soonish. Meanwhile, I’m leaving the SuperHusband to guard fort and farm while four kids and I take a joyful, peaceful, entirely uneventful 10-hours-each-way road trip next week. For fun — going to see my grandmother, who turns 90 this year (but later this year ). I am wildly excited though, because the way the hotels worked out, I’m obliged to drop in for a field trip in St. Augustine. I’m so stoked it’s silly. Love that town.
And see how I cleverly scheduled for St. A to be our last stop on the way home, so that I have a powerful incentive not to turn to a life of crime and abandon my four children in a ditch somewhere after breaking up the 57th argument about which DVD to watch next. Smart, huh? I am so completely planning to return to my beloved exactly the same number and kind of offspring as he entrusted to me five days earlier. I’m the picture of virtue.
That would be why I groaned when I foolishly took up Jen Fulwiler’s recommendation and went to the Patron Saint Generator to see what saint popped up for me. Yep. St. John Bosco. Try not to think about it.
But the holiness — John Bosco would never ever abandon children in a ditch on the side of I-95. And neither will I. We’re like twins.
And no, I am not going to Disney world. I’m not even driving near Disney world. Nope nope nope. Introvert + Doesn’t Stand In Long Lines = No Disney World.
Until next time, please pray for a reader who is having a difficult time with her faith. That’s all you need to know, God’ll fill in the details. And here’s the link to the patron-generator, if you’re up for adding a daily litany on behalf of this particular person, who does need your prayers tremendously. Thanks.