With the first signs of spring popping up all over town, the girls and I have been spending oodles of time outdoors these days. When we find ourselves inside, I'm either in the kitchen, at the laundry, mopping something or sewing.
Until I make more computer time for myself, posting will continue to be light here at Small Treasures. In the meantime, have a terrific weekend!
.....and more of this, and more of that, and still more of the same. Well, here's a hint at what I've been up to recently. I'm having so much fun with my newly discovered creative outlet, I wonder how I ever got along without it.
These vintage-inspired playclothes are some of what I've made, and yes, they are essentially the same outfit - just different fabrics and trims. With a number of requests for custom jobs, I'll have some of it online soon, hopefully within a few days. And you'll be the first to hear about the when and where. For now I'm just having a little extra fun in my free time. :)
....inspired by this season of Lent and Father Basil conferences on audio. Not a real post (I apologize for the recent lack of these), just musings:
~The first Station of the Cross: Jesus is condemned to death. The first day of Lent: Remember you are dust, and unto dust you shall return. The first step in the spiritual life: Knowing that we are condemned to death - we will indeed return to dust. How does knowing this truth inspire and guide all we do? Do I live every day as though it were my last?
~Silence of speech: Not engaging too much in idle talk. Not even trying to speak too much of good and sacred things. Speaking less with creatures and more with God. Silence of other senses, of taste: Gluttony is not simply about eating too much, it also applies to those (like me) who only like to eat tasty and appealing foods. Silence of touch: How I always find myself seeking comfort - soft blankets, instant warmth when cold, sitting in my comfortable chair when there is work to be done.
~How many times in a given day am I doing what I ought? How many times do I neglect a responsibility in favor of an activity more pleasant?
~Years ago, a good and pious priest said something to me and my husband that's been on my mind since the start of Lent. He said frankly, "If you're aiming for Purgatory, you're probably not going to make it."
We are having a good Lent around here. I know I don't give up as much as I should. Life is so easy for us here with the pleasant weather and the abundance of pleasant things to do every day. I'm so grateful for all of it. But Lent is good too, and reserving oneself from certain pleasantries for forty days - reminding oneself again of that first step: realizing the imminence of death; the last step and ultimate goal: Heaven, and everything in between.
On a side note, I've been sewing up a storm and have some fun things to show for it. The girls are wearing their outfits everywhere, and I'm making ensembles for friends. I might have some of it available online soon too. What fun!
....from Ash Wednesday last year. Would you believe I have to run errands today?
After spending the afternoon watching the girls play, laugh and bicker with each another with ash crosses on their foreheads, I was struck by the firm and eternal bond of this black symbol. It bonds these two babies together more firmly than their relationship as sisters, and it bonds them to their parents more strongly than the relationship between parent and child. For this bond is eternal. It is the bond of Christ and the bond of the members of His Mystical Body.
I have always been moved by chance meetings that occur on Ash Wednesday. Not that one should be out galavanting, but for some reason every year I have an errand or two to run on this day. Perhaps it could be considered poor planning on my part, but I rather think God might like to use these visible symbols as instruments in bonding His Church together.
Like the bond of glue, our ashes visibly unite us to other members of the Church, who give a nod or a smile when they see the mark on our foreheads. And we do the same when we see the stain on their foreheads. It might cause us to say a quick prayer for some of them in our minds, "Lord, grant her a fruitful Lent", or "Jesus, have mercy on him".
Like the bond of a magnet, the black cross attracts others. For some, when they see your mark they remember it is Ash Wednesday and resolve to go to church, while others might simply wonder what truth is behind the cross, what it means and Who you must love so immensely that you would stain your own face that way. Perhaps it is only a passing moment of wonder. Perhaps it turns into a lifetime of change. We won't know until we meet our Maker. But I like to think this sable cross is not only for the believers and not only for those in the state of God's grace. His Infinite Goodness wants all to know, love and serve him, and to grant everlasting happiness to as many souls as He can.
As I see the marked foreheads at the grocery store and the post office today, I can't help but wonder which souls He is bonding to Himself this day for all eternity. Perhaps it's yours.
....briefly to say hi, and that this household has been taken hostage by the flu. First time we've ever had three or more running fevers at once here. My husband - let's just call him Lazarus - rose from the bed (ha! get it?) after three days of solitude. And poor Madeleine. Wrapped in a million layers of clothes and blankets keeps whispering, "I'm cold, Mama. I'm cold." But she still laughs when I tickle her. I thought Gianna's incredible immune system would fend this one off as it has so many others, but the fever struck her tonight.
Remarkably everyone's in fairly good spirits, considering.
Hoping you enjoy a delicious feast today before your fast tomorrow! I can't believe Lent is already upon us.