Thursday, July 23, 2015

random life lessons on my birthday- part 2

....a few more things I have learned in my long life....I'm not telling exactly when I learned them! 
26. The crowns in the Byzantine Catholic marriage service symbolize martyrdom, not being 'king and queen.'
27. Oh yes- and the Catholic Church does not allow priests to marry! But the Church does allow married men to be ordained deacon and -for the Eastern rites- priests.
28. You will learn the theory behind 'how to be a perfect priest's wife.' Will you succeed? No! But you will usually try.
29. Advice is dangerous- like this to a future priest's wife:
"And specifically about your question of "Does a priest's wife need the call?" Yes and no. You must be called to be married to a man who will be ordained deacon and priest, but after that, your vocation differs according to your state in life, talents and abilities. Every priest's wife is different. 
About feeling like you don't have a choice...this gets into sticky personal territory, but as a marriage team you need to be in agreement with these huge decisions and changes. It is similar to a spouse wanting to be a doctor. Just because it is the 'dream' of one spouse to pursue something that is time-consuming and expensive for a greater good does not mean that the other spouse has no say. The other spouse should have 'veto power' and the spouse with a dream should accept this with no bitterness. This is easier said than done. I know one married couple who were married for over fifty years. Although they were Roman-rite, he changed rites and became a deacon in the Byzantine-rite. The wife was very supportive, making him sets of vestments and being supportive of time spent away from the family. When he was ordained a priest, it was too much for her and they divorced. 
There will be times when you feel unimportant. The Sacrament of Holy Orders is an eternal mark while marriage is not. You will need to humble yourself. You will need to find your own ministry within the Church and a hobby outside of it. You should cultivate friendships outside of your parish- this is a difficult one for me because I am painfully, increasingly INFP. I pray that you succeed.
It seems to me that you feel like you are on a roller coaster, powerless to get off. I hope you can shake this feeling and make the decision together. It will be a sacrificial journey of faith, but he, who feels called to the priesthood, is married to you. So his vocation is an incredibly specific one- marriage to you, then the priesthood. Although the priesthood is eternal, you come first. It's a paradox, and this is a reason why some people say that a married priesthood cannot work. You need to work on your family's identity. Your attitude and inventiveness, as the mother, helps determine the success of this endeavor. I hope this post helps a little and that every person who read this far will be praying for you!"....
30. I learned that I need to read (and try to follow) my own advice.... Now that the baby is six, life in church is much easier...
31. The southern border of Arizona is not coast line. 
32. Ask for what you want, and you might get it- even those awesome hunter green penny loafers from Nordstrom (I paid half).
33. It is okay to be a tourist sometimes. It is silly to be in Paris twice and stubbornly refuse to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
34. It is not healthy to eat a 'cup of soup,' red licorice whip, and milk every day during high school.
35. Gaming, Austria is beyond beautiful in all seasons.
36. Every time you go to Trader Joe's, buy a 4 pack of avocados. They will ripen eventually.
37. Buy cold medicine, chest rub and tissues in October before anyone gets sick.
38. His priestly ordination day- even more so than our marriage day or his diaconate ordination- is the day that the evil one painted an enormous target on both of us. It is what it is. I believe it is better to realize that and fight than to pretend nothing changed.
39. Children remember a lot.... I was 'helping' my father in his wood shop. Maybe I was in 3rd grade. He said, "you are a jack of all trades." I still remember how happy that made me feel.And why is 'On Eagle's Wings' not hated by me? It was the theme song of the mother-daughter retreat I went on with my mom.
40. Don't cook eggs with peanut butter, but graham crackers with yellow mustard are pretty tasty.
41. You definitely do not need to wear your Catholic school uniform skirt on the orientation day before the school year starts and students will be in jeans or shorts.
42. People will think you want women to be ordained Catholic priests because you are married to a Byzantine Catholic priest.
43. People will think you are anti-public school and want everyone to homeschool because you do so.
44. Try to stop assuming and being an insecure jerk and you will be happier....for example, a fellow Catholic mom in the area calls her child a 'hipster' sort of name. And I judged her in my mind. She is hipster- she is tall and skinny with great hair- she is cool (what is wrong with that? Well- I am not those things). Well, I found out the story of the name, and she named her child that for a beautiful, faith-filled reason and I cannot give details except that I was a jerk for assuming anything (just internally). 
45. Be not afraid. It is going to be alright. Our Lord has won the victory.

random life lessons on my birthday- part 1

It's my birthday week! No- I don't have anything luxurious planned that needs a week, but as a clergy wife and a homeschooling & work outside the home mom, I have to be flexible when any family celebrations are- Christmas included.  
Here are 45 things I have learned in my lifetime- in no order- some are just opinions- and I am not going to tell you how old I was when I learned it (and I am not 45!):
1. Recipe for best summer drink anywhere: 6 sprigs organic lavender, 6 mint leaves, place herbs in just-boiled simple syrup of 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water, let steep until cool. Strain herbs. Add 1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Add 6 cups of water or sparkling water. Serve over ice and some fresh lavender. 
2. If Thorin's dying words -"If more of us valued food and cheer and song over hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world"- were tattooed onto all politicians' and CEOs' foreheads, the world would be a better place. 
3. The last time I taught English to truly advanced non-native speakers, I was 25. So, it has been almost twenty years of teaching simple present/present continuous/simple past. So, I haven't learned much about that...
4. Confession is good for the soul; sacramental confession is even better. Catholic guilt? I don't understand that phrase....
5. 'Judging' and 'condemning' are two entirely different things. If we don't make daily judgments on how our day is to go, we will just be floundering. 
6. Teachers play videos and give tests in class to save themselves the grief of preparing an actual lecture/discussion class.
7. Children remember a lot. I remember the pride I felt when I received a flower for reading in the first grade. I remember the second-hand humiliation when our 3rd grade teacher was jeering at a student for mistakenly saying he was born at the 'state hospital.'
8. I prefer Wings and John Lennon's solo career to The Beatles. Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins don't need Genesis. I still cannot decide if I prefer Sting alone or with The Police. Have Hall and Oates ever sung apart? I hope not to hear it!
9. Going to the ballet in the big city with friends is much better than being asked to prom and it is much much better than just sitting at home during Junior year's prom. 
10. The Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy is quite different than the Novus Ordo Roman-rite Mass. No- they don't stop singing and no- there isn't a 'responsorial psalm.' 
11. In some traditional Latin Masses, the laity say and sing almost nothing. 
12. It is too late to get LASIK- but I wish I had.
13. The insect is spelled 'beetles'- not Beatles.
14. Stormtroopers are actually soldiers inside armor, not robots.
15. A squeeze of lemon and some freshly ground pepper can make almost any dinner taste yummy. 
16. Angela Lansbury is Mrs. Potts and Jessica Fletcher (and National Velvet's big sister!). 
17.  It really will not matter that one did not get asked out on dates- except for that one invitation to see Cats because his girlfriend couldn't go and you are the only girl she would trust him to go with. 
18. That man in the gold catsuit with gold eye lashes and wig at the David Bowie concert? He was not hitting on your big sister, but her boyfriend. 
19. Have holy water in the house at all times. Some incense doesn't hurt, either. 
20. It is good to be kind to all, but many times it will not matter and you will get thrown under the bus. Try not to let it happen again.
21. Everyone is experiencing their life from their own perspective. They might not be telling you everything, and perhaps they are manipulating you. Try and be objective and learn from those manipulative people....
22. Stop all extra activities for the kids that they are not enthusiastic about. Yes, just quit tae kwan do already.
23. You will be surprised at how many devout practicing Roman-rite Catholics know nothing about the Eastern rites of the Catholic Church. And you will be a bit hurt when most of them really do not want to know about the Eastern rites. 
24. That Orthodox nun who hissed, "Unity with the Catholic Church? God forbid!"- not an anomaly... 
25. Don't forget- 'be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.'- or perhaps better said: "You have never talked to a mere mortal." (CS Lewis)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

strongly opinionated priest's wife: Jurassic Park for teens or Jurassic World for 5 year olds?

It was daughter #2's birthday. She would be 15 like her older sister for some days. Then daughter #1 turns 16. I had heard rave reviews of Jurassic World, so I thought they could go see it after they saw the first Jurassic Park. Lavender-mint lemonade in hand, we watched it on our small screen, and my girls were ....
" brontosauruses"...and then...
Image result for jurassic park raptor
 "nooo....that dino ate the guy...tell me what happens....I can't look"....
The next morning, I told the office manager about the girls' reaction. I said, "And to think there were five year olds in the theater when I saw it new." Open mouth, insert foot. She said, "yes, I took my 6 year old to Jurassic World and she had nightmares." This child has suffered divorce and deaths in the family in the past year. How about a steady diet of Kipper, Trotro and Beatrix Potter videos? Why does society think that it is good to expose small child to images such as in Jurassic World? Are there no standards to protect children anymore? Cannot a child's early years be filled with beauty, truth and wonder?
If I were a perfect Christian, I probably would not watch it myself, but at least I am an adult and I can make choices for myself. The world has decided that children should see and do everything with no moral or developmental limits, but also that adults shouldn't really ever grow up.

awesome random links to better bloggers than I....

Setting up Housekeeeping, Building a Home (Like Mother Like Daughter)

Homeschooling with rigor and diligence? (Amongst Lovely Things)

The 6 Lesson Schoolteacher (John Taylor Gatto)  

Free math & other lessons! (Khan Academy) 
 (throwback Tuesday...)