At the eventide of our lives, we shall be judged on love.
~Saint John of the Cross
Moments of Gratitude
The new year found me thankful, upbeat, and hopeful. There were so many things to do, but I was going to get them done. Grace abounded as the first month of the year quickly moved on. And grace abounds still. Some days ran as I had planned them, some days merely tangentially touched what I had written on my planner, and some days were well, just off-days. But there was grace. Always.
Beauty in the Ordinary
Over the Christmas season, I decided that solitude was going to be the word that I would be living by this year. I may find myself in the midst of noise and emergencies and chaos, but I would still find the resolve for solitude.
Last weekend, I sought a special kind of solitude. I wanted to be in a special place where peace and prayer come very easily to me. Husband, two of our daughters, and I took the hour's drive from the city to that special place accessible by major highways and roads and ultimately, a narrow road and a short driveway. At the end of the driveway is a small church graciously shared to the public by an order of contemplative nuns. The structure and its interiors are simple and unassuming. There is nothing grand in the place, save for the Blessed Sacrament that is exposed for adoration. A solitary nun in a pink and cream habit knelt directly before the Blessed Sacrament. Grills separate the pews of the nuns and the visiting laity.
And in that exteriorly ordinary place, peace and prayer came easily once more. And it was beautiful.
Pondering and Praying
I pondered about and prayed for how my family and I should live 2013. I especially thought of my role in my children's studies and formation. Some moms say that different parental challenges come with each stage in a child's development. I forgot ask what I should do if I have to deal with four distinct and dissimilar stages all at the same time!
Then I wrote down a short note to drop in the nuns' petition box. Now, doesn't the thought of the religious joining you in prayer make challenges a bit more surmountable?
Even in a country where the Christmas Season seems to go on and on, the Ordinary Time has to set in somehow and be welcomed. Honestly, I kinda like that. The comforting rhythm and predictable linearity and welcome stillness. Not that life becomes stagnant; oh, no! But there is the rich opportunity to process what one experienced over the Christmas Season and prepare one's self for Lent...
Around the House
While I am generally happy with our house, I will also admit that it needs some fixin' up (more like cleanin' up). At the start of the year, I listed 12 "house project zones", one for each month of the year. The zone for January is the garage. Yup, do first that which you dread the most. I can only hope that when I am done with this dreaded zone, I will still have energy left for the remaining 11 zones!
This school year is a landmark time of sorts for our family. Eldest Daughter entered college and Only Son started attending a "regular" school after seven years of homeschooling. The situation left me with a high schooler and a grader to homeschool. So many kinds of adjustments for all of us... academic and otherwise.
So at the end of this school year (April), I am so looking forward to having the whole family go to some place new and exciting. Maybe the beach since it would be the peak of the dry season. Or a mountain city in the north. Or a historical and culture-rich city also in the north.
I guess we need to have a family meeting for this. Democracy is very important in vacation planning :-)
Where I sought solitude for an hour or so over the weekend. It is the church of the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters (also known as the Pink Sisters) in Tagaytay.
This post was originally linked with the Catholic Woman's Almanac, a Monday online linking activity started by Jenny who now blogs at The Littlest Way.