My Sunday Best {2017}: New Dress on the Narrow Way

Sunshine after the rains! It’s a beautiful Sunday here in Virginia!  We were in Maryland visiting my in-laws, and we went to Mass at the church where Grace was baptized.  She was very excited to see the Baptismal Font where she became a member of the Body of Christ!  We took a picture, and in humility I decided to post it, since it didn’t turn out very well!  I’m wearing my favorite new LulaRoe dress!  Gracie wanted a picture of her too!

I don’t usually share a reflection on the Gospel and homily, but something really struck me this week.  The priest spoke on seeking the narrow way, searching for the pearl of great price, and not being distracted by the world (screens, sins, etc.)  And that Christ promises that when we seek, we will find.

However.

What about when we find the narrow way?  What about when we have sold everything to obtain the pearl of great price?  What then?

Then, we need to walk the narrow way, persevering through the brambles, rocks, hills, valleys, deserts, crossing rivers and get up again when we falter, stumble, fall.  We may hold the pearl of great price, but if we gave up much to obtain it, we have to figure out how to live with that loss of income, position, perhaps relationships or opportunities or favorite sins or failings.  Stepping onto the narrow way only begins the journey.

So often, it seems homilies just scratch the surface, inviting people to the seeking, to the searching, hoping to inspire an encounter with the person of Christ, or to open eyes to the very real encounter with Christ that will come just a little later at Mass, in the Eucharist.  Therefore, my conclusion, the reminder I needed, was that I need to take the initiate to cultivate, nurture, work on my Faith and relationship with Christ.  Sunday Mass, a brief homily, and prayers before meals should be a beginning.  Daily prayer, spiritual reading, retreats, study groups, Confession, Adoration, daily Mass; there are so many other ways I need to walk along the narrow way.   Every day, I need to seek, knock, ask for grace to live this life in Christ.

Several days late, but I’m joining Rosie this week for My Sunday Best.  Visit My Sunday Best, Volume 65: Old Favorites for more linkups!

It’s not at Mass, but here’s my favorite picture from this past Sunday, as we enjoyed the gorgeous weather at the splash pad!

My Sunday Best {2017}: New Church and Unplanned Haircuts

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Back to blogging!  My husband is away for two weeks, starting another Masters program with an intensive 6 credit session!  So, my evenings are free and what better way to get back into blogging than with a link-up!  Joining Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best, and hoping to post regularly again.  So I’m starting the weekly count again, although I have a few past posts in this category.

We moved seven weeks ago, and our new church is both great, and an adjustment!  The priests are all reverent and good homilists, but the church is more casual than our last parish, with no Latin.  Besides, we’d been going regularly to the Extraordinary Form Low Mass, which is very quiet, and I miss the silence.  Still, the parish is very large with lots of ministries, and I’m hopeful we will find the right groups to be involved with!  If by chance you read this and you go to St. Mary’s in Fredericksburg, I’d love to connect with you!

I have to give my daughter credit for finally getting a Sunday Best picture.  There are gorgeous flowering trees outside of church, as well as flower beds, and she asked to take a picture with the flowers.  You can’t really see them, but it was a cute picture of all us girls!  This skirt is the first LulaRoe I ever picked out, and I love it!  I think of it as my Lady of Guadalupe skirt, although it’s technically covered in flowers, not stars.

If you notice Theresa’s bangs look rather short, that’s because she decided to give herself a haircut this morning!

The trim I gave her looks a but silly, but I guess it fits her!

On a reflective note, the readings today reminded me of how I’m trying to plow, water, and rejuvenate the soil of my soul.  I’ve been reading a new book out called Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life.   Right now, for me, its amazing!  Just what a need to hear and reflect on and work on, in terms of seeking God’s will for my life and learning to cultivate and thrive in the life I’ve been given.  The author relies on a lot of garden analogies, and also says she learned many of these lessons from having a garden, and so today’s readings really spoke to me.

What I took away today was that I need, through God’s grace, to cultivate the soil of my soul and heart and mind to that it is the “good soil.”  And not only does the word need to fall on good soil, but the Word itself creates the good soil!  Finally, I loved what our pastor said about the harvest: the “hundredfold” harvest Christ speaks of is a miracle, more than those seeds would produce on their own.

Maybe I’ll write more about this book, definitely a new house post in the works!  Until next week!

 

Theresa Rose, age 3

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A beautiful smile.

Happy birthday to my Rosie Roo.  My precious third daughter turned three today, and I’m so proud of this sweet little girl.  She is different from her older and younger sisters, and its amazing to watch her and wonder what is going on in her little head.  Although she talked sooner and better than Grace, she is much more quiet and reflective.  I suspect she is partially melancholic.  For the first time, I think I understand why temperment books describe melancholic children as having “old souls.”  Often, she seems much older that just turned three, and she’s definitely more serious that her sisters.  But she also has a very silly, spunky side, and will run and jump (often on Daddy!) and laugh and giggle and give big hugs.


So far, Theresa has been our only child who resembles me.  Her brown eyes and hair and sweet pointed chin look a lot like me or my sister when we were little.  But her brown eyes are wide and clear, like her Daddy’s.  Theresa has always been the most independent little girl, playing well and happily by herself even before she could crawl.  She loves her baby dolls, blankets, and finding and gathering all sorts of things, then leaving them in piles around the house.  Her favorite drop spots being the middle of my kitchen and her bed.

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Dressed up and carrying a baby doll.

Theresa goes here and there around the house and yard, wandering around the yard or swinging by herself on the swing set.  When she visits other people’s houses, she often finds a spot by herself to play there too.  She can sit and amuse herself for hours, and has a short attention span for books, but she still will rarely sit still to watch TV or a movie.  I suspect she has her own world in her head, and doesn’t need to see one playing out on a screen.

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First haircut from Ms. Shoanna.

Theresa loves babies.  Whether she sees a picture, a baby in an advertisement, or whether we’re at the store, she will always spot the babies and want to go see them.  She is generally gentle with babies, and now that her own baby sister is big enough to play, loves hugging and coddling her.  Of course, she is a good mommy to her baby dolls, and loves putting them to bed, nursing them, and singing to them.

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Although Theresa likes to play by herself, she also spends a lot of time playing with her sisters.  They do argue and clash quite a bit, largely because Theresa has a hard time communicating to her big sister that she needs space, and because her little sister is always grabbing stuff.  However, many days Theresa and Grace will get busy playing together for long periods of time.  They love the swing set in the new backyard, and recently have been making “tents” in their bunk bed and in their playhouse, every day.  Yesterday I went outside, and was told they had a “stable” and Theresa was Joseph.  So I guessed Grace was Mother Mary and the doll was Baby Jesus.

This summer, there has been no doubt that Theresa loves the water! She enjoys jumping and splashing in the waves, playing in the sand, and walking out into the gentle surf.  At the pool, she prefers to not wear a floatie, even if it means dunking under and getting her head wet sometimes.  She likes jumping off  the side and going down little slides.  Happily, she has very little fear of the water and I wonder if she will learn to swim before Gracie (hope to get them both in swim lessons this fall).

Most of the time, Theresa is a great eater, and we call her the “stomach”!  If asked, she’ll say her favorite food is chocolate, but she also loves fruit and pasta, but will eat just about anything.  She will occasionally help with baking, and especially likes to lick spoons!  Sometimes, she will help sweep or clean up, but this takes a good bit of prompting.  Theresa is also a night owl.  While she hasn’t napped regularly in a year, she will still fall asleep in the car or when she is very tired.  But then, she can’t fall asleep.  Even on most nights, she takes awhile to toss and turn before drifting off, while Grace lays her head down and goes right to sleep.  Sometimes, Theresa will cover her bed with books she gets out to look at, probably falling asleep an hour after we leave her room.  On the flip side, she’s the only one who sleeps in!  If not woken up by a sister, Theresa will sleep until 8 or 9, and if she comes into bed with me, that’s the only time of day she is really snugly.IMG_5313

She communicates much better at this age than her older sister did, which has been wonderful for me to hear her little words and also be able to communicate better with her! I was very excited to be able to do the “Birthday Quiz” with Theresa, and actually get answers!  (Borrowed this from Rosie at A Blog for My Mom.)

1. What is your favorite color?    Rainbow.

2. What is your favorite toy?    Penguin, baby doll.

3. What is your favorite fruit?   Strawberries.

4. What is your favorite television show?   Tinkerbell.

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?   Nut-ting! (Nothing) (Then she started answering nothing to everything, so we finished later 🙂

6. What is your favorite outfit?    The pink dress she is wearing, that she picked out this morning.

7. What is your favorite game?  Birthday.

8. What is your favorite snack?   Chocolate.

9. What is your favorite animal?  Cat.

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10. What is your favorite song?  *Vocalizes at a high pitch*

11. What is your favorite book?  Baby books.

12. Who is your best friend?  Daddy

13. What is your favorite cereal?  Joes Os

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Play with her new water table.

15. What is your favorite drink?    Water.

16. What is your favorite holiday?  Easter.

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?   Baby doll.

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?   Joe-joes and oatmeal.

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday?   Nothing.

20. What do you want to be when you grow up?  Like Daddy.

Bonus: What’s your favorite vacation place?  Outside.

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Of all my children, Theresa sort of fascinates me the most.  I often wonder what she is thinking or pretending.  Although she looks like me, I think she is quite unlike me, and I hope that I can be a good mom to her and treat her with a great deal of love and understanding.  Because she is smart and quick and clever, its so easy to think of her as older that she actually is, and underneath her independence, I know she is also sensitive.  When she smiles, I see a dear, sweet soul, one who will hopefully grow into a beautiful and smart girl.  I love you, my daughter.

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