Friday Five: Leaping Edition

Hello from your Fifth Friday Five team, will smama and Songbird~It's Leap Day!!

Whether you're one of the special few who have a birthday only once every four years, or simply confused by the extra day on the calendar, everyone is welcome to join in and play our Leap Year Friday Five.

Tell us about a time you:

1. Leapt before looked
I was much better at doing this when I was younger. (I'm not that old now-- how did I get so dry and stodgy so young?) The summer between my freshman and sophomore years in college, my mom moved back to CA from MD (where I'd graduated high school). My girlfriends and I had a wonderful last night together, and ended the evening up sitting and splashing IN a fountain in front of Barnes and Noble. It was very, very fun.

2. Leapt to a conclusion
I regularly leap to the conclusion that what people in positions of authority are telling me is true (even when it feels wrong). I'm working on this one.

3. Took a Leap of Faith
I think marriage qualifies. I felt very peaceful about the decision, but it's a scary thing to do, and it's certainly something that one can't control entirely on one's own.

4. Took a literal Leap
Well, I was a cheerleader in high school and college, does that count?

5. And finally, what might you be faced with leaping in the coming year?
I'm not sure. I have a feeling that this is going to be a Big Year for me. It's about time to start researching seminaries again, and I'm still in training for spiritual directors, and I think there may be some family changes coming. All in all, a lot of leaping. (Pray that I have soft landing spots!)


Friday Five: Heavenly Stuff

Singing Owl is a marvel of generousity, giving us this warm and lovely FridayFive during an important time for her family.

What is your idea of a heavenly (i.e. wonderful and perfect):
1. Family get-together
This might be a contradiction in terms for me. Or rather, a wonderful and perfect family get-together would be the families that have chosen me, rather than the one I was born into. It would be partly wonderful people who parented and encouraged me while I was growing up, and partly college reunion. There would be laughter and hugs.

2. Song or musical piece
There's a recording of "Let All Mortal Breath Keep Silence" by the King's College Choir that is the closest thing I can think of to heavenly music. The arrangement breaks into stunning chaos at one point, andTHAT is magnificent.

3. Gift
Time. Time is always the best gift. Time and adventures with loved ones.

4. You choose whatever you like-food, pair of shoes, vacation, house, or something else. Just tell us what it is and what a heavenly version of it would be.
Mr. M and I are planning our (very, very belated) honeymoon for this summer. We're figuring out whether our puny budget will stretch all the way to St. Martin. If this comes together, it will indeed be a heavenly vacation.

But wait, I want 2 tries on this question. A heavenly home? I yearn for a little Arts and Crafts bungalow.

5. And for a serious moment, or what would you like your entrance into the next life to be like? What, from your vantage point now, would make Heaven "heavenly?"
I don't think I can get past just wanting a warm welcome on this one.


Tainted Saints

And in line with my last post on bologna,I'd like to remind everyone that those lovely stained-glass pictures we carry in our churches and in our hearts are also a little bit of bologna.

One of my biggest concerns about church is that we go there trying to make ourselves look as much like stained glass as we can. Everyone's ironed. Everyone's doing fine, the kids are great, the job is good.

And if it really is, then by all means: Thanks be to God!

But most of the time, it isn't. Most of the time, we're struggling a little. Wouldn't it be helpful if we were more aware that the saints struggled too? For those of us who are familiar with the Bible, this might seem obvious. But a lot of our congregations aren't very scripturally literate, and we ALL need the reminder that God uses those who aren't perfect. God uses those who do crazy, ridiculous things. (This really is a cue for a hearty, "Thanks be to God!").

Our friend gracie (can I call you that? I should have asked permission before now, I've been doing it for a while...) is thinking about the purpose of sermons over at her place. Today I'm wondering if it might be helpful just to linger in the stories for a while. We've been theology-heavy, and I think the congregation is drawn to that (we're a highly educated group, generally feeling more comfortable with our heads than our hearts). Our congregation prides itself on a priest who gives smart sermons, but I'm not sure we need smart. We might need real.

And those glossy saints in our windows? They're not real. Peter would laugh (possibly at an inappropriate point in the sermon) if he could see how we're whitewashing him. Even Mary, whom I'm wild about-- she might have nagged a bit. Odds are not at all good that she was all sweetness and light.

We should start using the title "saint" for each other. We are, after all. Miriam-Webster assures me that the moniker is not reserved for those who have passed away. We could start using it when we really need to be reminded that we're the beloved of God. I can see it now:

when the kids track mud in the house:
Could you please get the mop, St. Annie?

when someone can't find The Important File:
Have you tried looking on the S: Drive, St. Linda

Sounds funny, but it's the truth of sainthood. The kingdom of God is a big ol' mess. I pray we can respect the sanctity of the shambles.

Peace and blessings to you,
St. M


Growth is exhausting, my friends. No wonder little kids sleep so much. Maybe instead of bragging about how little sleep we can get by on, we should consider how much is needed in order to grow. Just a thought.

If I sum up the stuff that's going on in my neck of the woods, there's definitely net growth. But I'm tuckered out by it, and there's so much more to do! It seems like every time I get a little bit of clarity, the road to wisdom stretches even further out.

And what does all of this have to do with processed lunch meat?

I'm glad you asked.

In the midst of all this growing and stretching and learning, I've been feeling a bit... well, incompetant. A little overwhelmed. I am learning both of these things at the same time: I know more than I think I do AND there's an awful lot to learn. This can be confusing.

But, here's the thing, my little peapods: everyone is full of bologna. Everyone has a lot to learn. Maybe this is part of why we have such puny little lifespans. It levels the playing field.

So chin up! There's a lot of room for improvement, but you're doing ok. God is with you. God knows that you don't always feel up to the task at hand (can we get an "amen" from Moses on this one? Also Jonah, Paul, Timothy...). God also knows that those polished, perfect people you're comparing yourself to are full of bologna.

Grace to you today,
Mrs. M


Missing in Action

Quicker action than usual, actually. Yesterday Mr. M and I ran our first 5K together, and I shaved about a minute/mi off my time. Yes, it's still very, very, very slow, but it's no longer very, very, very, very slow.

I have, simmering somewhere in my head:
2 memes (1 very belated for gannet, 1 recent for RevDrKate)
At least one post on Mary
At least one post on fairness.

Bear with me. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed these days-- church and spiritual directors training and work and (thank heavens, finally!) spending time with friends.

But all of it is very, very good.

Hugs and kisses,
Mrs. M

ps-- don't forget, more primaries tomorrow. Wear those lucky knickers for safety on the way to the polls, and a good turnout, regardless of political persuasion!


No Matter Who You Vote For, Make Sure You Vote!

In a time where people are literally dying for a fair vote in Kenya and Pakistan, our freedom to participate in a democratic process is precious. All you SuperTuesday friends, you get out there and use your voice and vote!

It's just killing my to be in a state that doesn't hold it's primaries until April. I'm doing my part by wearing my lucky underpants.



Just a quick reminder-- tomorrow is Super Tuesday. Don't forget your lucky knickers. I'll be wearing mine.

Meanwhile, when googling "red underpants," I found this. Hilarious way to take action, friends.

Very, very nice.

Great Story from The Post

I've stull got a couple of posts floating in my head, but for the moment I wanted to share this great story from the Washington Post about a young Catholic girl. I think you'll love it. Hurrah for her bishop, and three cheers to this girl.