Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Tuesday #2: Warte Chöne (Able to Wait) / Decompression Bingeing

The theme for this week was Advent. It was a very busy morning, as Oma and Wendi were also leaving for --. I drove them to the airport at around midday, and got home just in time to get ready for Unti (what the catechism classes are called in German). The girls and I left home at 2:50, and we leave the Schulhaus at 5pm. I am a bit exhausted. We put an Advent wreath together, talked about what the various pieces meant, made stars for the Advent window at church, crafted a little wreath for their pinboards at home, and worked on their Unti memory book sheets. Ten kids are a lot. At some stage, Antonio, Cedric, and Diego were shouting out that they can’t understand me. At the end of the 45 minutes, the room is a mess, and my nerves are fried. Nicolai and Diego have unintentionally left their names on the tables with indelible ink (we were writing on thin paper and the ink went through). I spend the next 15 minutes scrubbing vigorously, mentally composing the letter of apology to Frau Baumgartner, whose room we are borrowing. In the end, the scrubbing seems to have worked, and the names (which for me had taken on significance as visible signs of how unsuitable I am for this “job”) are almost gone (or at least, blend in better with the other scratches and scribbles on the table).

Saturday, 24 November 2012

For His Greater Honor and Glory!

These days, it seems like it is very unfashionable and totally uncool to talk about God. When the topic of faith comes up, one is often met with the “this is the 21st century, you’re an adult now, stop believing in mumbo-jumbo” sort of attitudes. Fortunately for me (though perhaps unfortunately for my husband and children), I neither care particularly much about fashion, nor about being cool. As is the title of the second part of Richard Feynman’s memoirs so irreverently says, “What do you care what other people think?”. (The first part, of course, is “Surely you must be joking, Mr. Feynman”. I highly recommend both.) In any case, about God, well, I love God. I want to shout out from the mountaintops, “Honor and Glory be to God!” I love Jesus. He is my most faithful and reliable friend. At Mass today, a line from one of the hymns said something like “it pains me that I knew your love so late”. I was teary-eyed. I love Mother Mary. She hears my prayers, comforts me, and covers me and my loved ones under her Blessed Mantle of Protection. She is our Co-Redeemer. She fully surrendered herself to the Will of God, and thus allowing our Savior Jesus to be born into the world. I want to follow her example. (Obviously, this is much easier said than done.) I want to fully surrender myself to God’s Will. (The hard part is knowing exactly what God's Will is. But I do believe that with faith and courage, we will find ourselves on the path He intends for us.) I love St Michael the Archangel, who is at my side at all times, and all the angels and saints.

I have as my profile picture an image of the  Hubble Extreme Deep Field. This image was released sometime in September 2012, and shows galaxies from 13.2 billion years ago (according to Wikipedia). When I first saw these images, I thought to myself, “How beautiful, wondrous, vast, and unfathomable is His Creation!”. I have framed a copy of this image above the kitchen sink, where I happen to spend a significant part of the day. It helps to remind me of God’s awesomeness, and that whatever “problems” I am fretting about are totally insignificant in the grand scheme of things. (“That’s so 90s, Ma”, Luke says about the usage of the word “awesome”.)

Friday, 23 November 2012

"You must do the thing you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt

I find myself signed up to teach a weekly catechism class to a group of 9 first grade children. Given that I live in a German-speaking country in Europe (I won't say exactly where, as my husband has asked that I blog anonymously), these classes will be in German, a language that I speak very badly. "You can't yell at the other kids the way you do to us at home," warns our 7-year old Maeve. "It'll stress you out, Mom. They'll be bored and naughty," cautions our eldest, Luke, 11, who himself was bored and naughty when he went through these classes years ago. What on earth have I gotten myself into? It involves 20 Tuesday afternoons. I'll be bringing Maeve and Olive, our littlest one, with me to a neighboring town to teach these classes. I sometimes wonder/worry how this will go, with my German being so poor. However, I have it on Good Authority that everything will be fine, and that I'll have all the help and graces I need to accomplish this task. So here we go!

PS. I'll also post about my favorite books, and how the transition from career scientist to full-time stay-at-home mom is going. (Another thing I thought I couldn't do, but here I am!)