This weekend, my in-laws are in town from Florida visiting us. And it's been a great visit, but as you will be unsurprised to learn, I get very anxious about house visitors. I feel like I always need to be "on," making sure that the house is tidy and welcoming, preparing meals and assuring that everyone has everything that they need. And my in-laws are so nice that, that with regard to the aforementioned Type A daughter-in-law behavior, it actually backfires. I feel *more* anxious because they won't let me do nice hostess things for them.
"Do you need anything? Can I make you some tea?"
"Oh, NO! We're, FINE! In fact, why don't we go out to eat so that you don't have to cook."
"But. *sniffles* I don't mind cooking, really..."
"oh, NO! We want you to enjoy yourself. Let's go out to eat."
So, basically, I'm crazy. We knew this already, so moving on...
This weekend, I also embarked on week 3 of my lenten headcovering experiment. This week, I wore the brown lace covering, and as expected, I *loved* it. It stayed put like a champ, and the covering is just so beautiful. I also feel fairly unobtrusive in it, especially with it being brown and matching with my hair. So, after wearing all 3 of the original coverings that I purchased for 1 full Mass, I think that I can safely say that I prefer the ties in the back. Those stay put better. The brown lace one ties, as well as the black velvet headband. If I keep covering at Mass (and I suspect that I will), after Lent I'd like to pick up a black lace one, and another of the same style in cotton that ties in the back. Then I should be all set. I can match anything :)
Henry has been intrigued by my headcoverings, but then again he's always loved my hair, which has always driven me crazy. His pulling and playing with my hair is a habit that I've never been able to get him to break. So he was all strokey with my brown lace yesterday. But overall he was good in church, and he went back with the big kids for Children's Liturgy of the Word like a good boy.
My mother-in-law was with us, and Henry managed to finagle a strawberry cereal bar out of her while I wasn't looking. I don't bring snacks to church for Hank anymore, but my mother-in-law doesn't know that, so no harm. Henry is the one that should know better, but we know how well that works with 4 year olds. So, right in the middle of the consecration, I hear all this crinkling, and I just know that my son is responsible. Sure enough, he triumphantly squirrels his cereal bar away and begins munching. I kept a half an eye on him as he proceeds to drop crumbs all over the kneeler. Sigh. We clean them up, and I go back to my Missal, but the crinkling continued. I felt bad, because there were people *right* there sitting behind us, but hey, when you sit right by a child you have to expect a certain amount of non-adult noise. Mercifully, Hank finished the bar and we were able to move on with him looking through his books.
I read a few Living Faith pages while we waited to go up for Communion; I was a few days behind. I liked this one, and it brought to mind my perpetual anxiety:
Severing Our Shackles
They had weighed him down with fetters, and he was bound with chains... Psalm 105:18
"The shackles and chains that held Joseph captive when he was enslaved are symbolic of whatever keeps us unfree. What might hose shackles and chains be? The list is unending. Some of the shackles include: always needing to be right, constant self-pity or self-doubt, blaming others instead of taking responsibility, endless criticism, refusal to leave the painful past behind, happiness at other's misery, *continual fretting and worrying* (emphasis mine), arrogant put-downs and opinions, an ungrateful heart, avoiding forgivenes, thinking only of oneself. Whatever keeps us from being at peace and from accessing our innate goodness - this is what chains us and holds us captive. Lent focuses on breaking these shackles, on freeing us to be people of deep and lasting love. "