I blogged earlier about how having a schedule helps me stay on track and accomplish more. I'd forgotten how much I really need a list to get things done. Now I need to work on getting the list in front of me here, at the computer, so when I'm finished with work, I'm less tempted to stay online and fool around.
Which reminds me of this: I have a long way to go to be a better mother, to get where I want to be. I have a tendancy to be very selfish with my time, wishing for more "alone" and "for me" time than my schedule and responsibilities really allow for. Everything around us tells us that we need to have XYZ for ourselves. "Your needs shouldn't be put aside!" culture tells us at every turn. But that is completely the opposite of what God asks us. Again and again, Christ tells us to put our needs last, not first.
And that brings me to what I hope will help me. I have ordered a copy of In Imitation of Mary. Travel Man read In Imitation of Christ and found it to be quite the humbling experience. I'm sure that I am nowhere near where I ought to be, let alone at the point where I resemble the most perfect creature in the history of Mankind! So I anticipate some very painful humbling. I'm ready for that two-by-four, Lord. Sock it to me!
And I know ... be careful what you wish for. But I really do wish for this, to become more like the Blessed Mother. Our Lady has so much to teach me, and I've really felt her reaching to me recently. Whenever I pray the Rosary, I find myself thinking, "What can Mary teach me through this Mystery?" (And, admittedly, it is not often enough. I need to stop putting it off each day.) I've actually learned a lot and found new things to meditate on when I approach the Rosary in this way. Let's face it, I've been praying the Rosary, off and on, for more than 30 years. Seeing something new is a wonderful way to renew my love of this beautiful prayer.
As an example, with the Joyful Mysteries, when I contemplate the Annunciation, I think about Mary's obedience to God. She had absolute trust in God and that He would provide for her. There was no question from the Blessed Mother about what would anyone do to her if they discovered her unmarried and pregnant. No question about if she'd be safe, or if Joseph would still take her in as his wife. No question about any of those things. Nor did she hesitate, except to wonder how it was going to happen that she, a consescrated virgin (scroll down to "Presentation of Mary"), would have a baby. "How can this be?" she asks. This is the kind of trust I must strive for with God. This is what Mary wants me to learn from her when I contemplate this Mystery. I can do this with nearly every one of the Mysteries of the Rosary, and it's a process through which I can learn quite a bit.
Jennifer mentions the funny images on the cat food bag at her mother's house here. I have had questions about pet food, too. How do the people making the food know it's delicious and juicy? Do they have testers who try it and report back? And how bad is your life if you are the guy who eats cat food and dog food to try out the tastiness and juiciness of the different formulas?
Speaking of pets, our hopes for killing off the chipmunk population by getting a cat have been dashed. While visiting my grandmother, Big Girl suddenly came down with a very nasty cold that suddenly disappeared the morning we left again and were about an hour away. The only thing I could think of was that she was playing with Nana's kitty. A lot. So we are pretty sure that Big Girl is allergic to cats. Bummer. I'll have to work on my death-looks more and see if I can't kill the stupid pests by staring at them really hard. So far I haven't had luck with this method, but I'll let you know if it works.
Little Girl's dance recital date has been announced, which means that we're going to try to get her First Communion date set up to be the same weekend. Her big wish is for the family she loves to be able to come and see her perform in the end-of-year show. Hopefully, not too many of the other kids want the same date, since it's all scheduled so that no more than two or three children receive at the same Mass. But I'm looking forward to searching for her First Communion dress. If Big Girl's dress doesn't fit (and this is the ideal to the girls - to share the dress), we'll hit the stores in late March and see what we can find.
When she thinks about it, Little Girl actually vibrates with happiness. It's really a sight to see.
Have a super weekend, everyone. God bless!