Where’s My High Five?

I taught CCD today (2nd graders) and the lesson was on the Last Supper and the Eucharist –very important as the children prepare for First Communion in the Catholic Church.  The lesson was… fine.

I didn’t want fine. I went to some trouble and wanted a ‘wow!’  I rearranged the room to set it up like the Last Supper, brought in a chalice, paten, candles, pictures of the Last Supper, and even sticker sets for each child to create their own Last Supper.  We didn’t get to the sticker sets—yes, the fun bit.  Ran out of time. Sigh.

Of course we’ll use it next week.  The children were fairly attentive and responsive.  It just left me a little flat.   This, on top of some other writing-related frustrations, left me low.

In other words: c’mon God!  High five me or something!  I’ve been praying.  I’ve been asking.

I was given insight, if not direct messages today.  Here is what I heard at Mass based on some excerpts from the readings:

In the Responsorial Psalm 27: 7-8,13-14

 “Hear O LORD, the sound of my call;

have pity on me, and answer me.

Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks.”

I’m calling, but is my heart speaking of God or looking for glory?  Hmmm. Do I want God to look good, or am I more worried about me?  Guess.

  “Wait for the LORD with courage;

 be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.”

 I am waiting…   Sigh.  I know.  I’m really just being impatient.  And selfish.  It’s not about me.  And God, I do know you’re not on my time.  Though I do keep forgetting that.

Then Paul’s letter to the Philippians 3:17-4:1

“…many…conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ.

…Their minds are occupied with earthly things.”

 Like recognition?  Reward?  Achievement?  (You talkin’ ta me God?)

  “But our citizenship is in heaven

 and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

…stand firm in the Lord, beloved.”

Enough said.

Boy, I’m glad you speak to me Lord.  Thank you for reminding me what is important and loving me even though I forget, often.  Strengthen my faith so that I may stand firm in your ways and live humbly in your name. Amen.

 

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Dental Freak-out (2): Friends and Toothsavers

A fair lady’s smile is worth more than a thousand ounces of gold. Chinese proverb. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Friday of my dental follow-up arrived (see Dental Freak-out) in which I was scheduled for likely extraction and implant.  I had steeled myself for tooth demolition and construction work.  I left a meeting early to make sure I was on time.  On my way, I ran into a friend, and told her where I was headed.

“Are you crazy?  Pulling a tooth — they shouldn’t need to do that.  They can save almost any tooth these days.  What kind of dentist is this?  Have you been to an endodontist?”

I didn’t know what an endodontist was.  My dentist’s specialty was cosmetic:  read, implants.  Endodontists specialize in root canals.  My friend used to work as a dental hygienist and is very knowledgeable about dentistry.   And I just happened to run into her now… Hello, God?

Her take: “You don’t want an implant.  That’s a foreign body inside your body, permanently.  Unless you absolutely have too. You need a second opinion.”

“But my appointment is in 15 minutes!”

“Don’t go,” she advised.

While I stressed, called my husband and fretted, she made a few calls and got me the name of a good endodontist.

I cancelled the appointment when I was already five minutes late.  They were not happy.

The endodontist looked at my teeth.  “I can see why the other dentist was worried.  That tooth is dead.  But you don’t want an implant back there — it’s the back molar, and too close to the sinuses and the brain.  Anyway, I can do a root canal right now.  Have you out of here in about 30 minutes.”

And, after a relatively painless procedure (how amazing is that?), it was done.  Whew.  What a relief.  Much cheaper too.

The endodontist has now referred me to a good general dentist.  Much more work is yet to be done. Ugh.  But at least I’m in good hands now.

Thank you God.  You sent me my friend in my time of need.  Thank you, thank you!  Help me to be a friend to others in your name.  And please stay with me through all this horrible dental work. I’m still scared.  Amen.

A Clear Answer, Especially for a Writer

IMG_7184 Hello again world.  After a blog hiatus during which I was co-chairing Catholic Schools Week at my children’s elementary school, I am back to the blog.  (Catholic Schools week was so much more work than I expected, but worth it.  More on that later.)   Thanks for your patience!

I had an enlightening prayer experience from this morning.  I had a simple decision to make:  should I go to my prayer group this morning (having not been in many weeks) or should I stay home and write?   I know I need to write, and I love to write, but that’s part of the problem.  I love it so much, it feels like an indulgence.  The prayer group is good for my soul, right?

Well, yes..  (Also, not going gives me a good case of Catholic guilt.)  I prayed: “God, help me. What should I do?”

As I sat down to have some breakfast, I picked up a Lenten Prayer booklet based on Thomas Merton’s writings.  Today’s entry is  The Healing Silence of Recollection, based on Psalm 62, verse 1:  For God alone my soul waits in silence; from God come my salvation.  The reflection includes this advice:

There should be at least one room, or some corner, where no one will find you and disturb you or notice you.  You should be able to untether yourself from the world and set yourself free…  O God, help me to seek silence to be with you.

prayer..

prayer.. (Photo credit: aronki)

It doesn’t get much more direct than that.  The answer to my prayers is not always so clear, but today it is, and I am grateful. There is more than one way to be with God.  And today, for me, it will be through prayer and writing.

Thank you O Lord for your help and guidance, and for noticing even the small things in my life.  Help me to write well, through your will and in your name.   Amen.