With a Raphael, a Gabrielle, and a Michael (middle name) in the house, we can hardly let this day pass by without a little recognition. We might bake an angel food cake (from a mix this year) later on, but for now, I really liked today’s “Quiet Moment” from Catholic Digest:
The world is a battlefield of angels.
– Ven. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
I hope you will enjoy your day!
Yup, it’s true. Today I turn 40. It’s supposed to be a milestone, I guess, but I’ve been thinking of myself as a “grown up” for so long now that this new old age fails to impress me.
I distinctly remember turning 30, though, and how the largeness of that number burdened me. I could not be 30. Inside, I still felt 23. And now that I am 40, I still feel 23.
Well, I don’t quite feel the same physically. 23-year-old me wore her favorite (verysmallsize) jeans home from the maternity ward with a day-old baby in tow. At 40, I need to eat a lot of salad and do a lot of Kenpo Karate to maintain a healthy body size.
But it’s not so bad. I like salad. And I like Kenpo Karate.
And I certainly don’t feel the same emotionally. 23-year-old me hemmed and hawed, weighed the consequences, and took a poll before she changed a baby’s diaper. At 40, I have learned so much about myself, marriage, parenthood, and human relationships that I make many important decisions with confidence. I have learned to trust myself and my instincts, especially as a mom, but also as a wife, daughter, sister, and friend. Instincts, especially when they’ve been prayerfully and sometimes painfully developed through real-life experience, are a gift from God. There’s just no way of knowing that at 23.
I have been blessed to do much of my grown-up “growing up” in a marriage to a strong, faith-filled man while surrounded by the blessings of our family. I am blessed to have family and friends who know me. They know me well because they have been right here by my side me, even while I was getting to know myself. I am known, and loved despite the knowing. That’s something I couldn’t have had at 23.
So now that I think of it, I guess I don’t feel very 23 after all.
I once heard the joke that the key to aging gracefully is to pick an age you like and stick with it, and 23 might still be tempting in its own wrinkle-free way.
But today? Today I pick 40.
the helper of the helpless,
the hope of those who are past hope,
the savior of the tempest-tossed,
the harbor of the voyagers,
the physician of the sick.
You know each soul and our prayer,
each home and its need.
Become to each one of us
what we most dearly desire,
receiving us all into your kingdom,
making us children of the light.
Pour on us your peace and love,
O Lord our God. Amen.
— Orthodox Liturgy of St. Basil
We made these houses on New year’s Eve. I thought I should take some photos before the little guys give in to the temptation to snack on them.
Our “gingerbread” is really graham crackers. These ideas were helpful. As was having a husband with knowledge of how a real house gets put together and stays together. Also, royal icing makes for perfect “concrete.”
Merry Christmas (Day 9)!
When our pastor stopped at our pew a few minutes before the start of the Midnight Mass last night and asked, “Would your daughter like to carry Baby Jesus in the procession?” I did not hesitate.
“Why yes, she certainly would!” I replied, and then turned to sweet Gabby who was doing her very best to be up to the moment in spite of her tendency toward shyness.
I whispered her through the basics and told I would walk her to the sacristy and stay there with her until the procession started. She put on a brave smile.
I worried a bit, but I need not have. Gabby was more than up to the task.
She carried Baby Jesus with tender care and presented him to Father with solemnity and grace. I can’t take any credit for that, though. Her confidence was not boosted by my words or presence. It was her older sister who made all the difference.
“It’s a good thing …” she whispered to her little sister as we left the pew, “your hair looks fabulous!”
Good thing, indeed. Sometimes all a girl needs to be ready to carry the Prince of Peace is to be reminded that she is having a good hair night.