Thursday, October 24, 2013

Small Success Thursday {vol 2}: Blessings abound...

Happy Thursday all! I'm trying to settle back into a normal routine following my CNMC Hangover, and every day it's getting a little bit better. Overall, the whole experience has made me realize how blessed I am and how much I have to look forward to.

So what are three things today that I am very grateful for?

(1) Fellowship - I am lucky enough to have found Catholic fellowship both in real life and online. It sounds strange to say, but Twitter has been a huge blessing for me. (@CatholicTiffany for anybody who would like to follow me there ;-)) And in real life, I have a group of friends I met in a prayer group following graduate school whom I have stayed in touch with. We all discerned our vocations together, and ultimately all got married save for one who went on to seminary. :) And so I was invited over last night to attend a house Mass with our former chaplain, whom we haven't seen in 10 years. It was *wonderful*. The only issue was that I had Anne with me, and let's just say that she didn't see a Mass said in someone's dining room as "church," where we're quiet and (somewhat) still. For the first time in my history of Catholic parenting we had instances of the following during Mass:

(a) Removal of pumpkin-shaped sippy cup from right off the altar surface where Anne set it.

(b) LOUD exclamation of: "LOOK MOMMY, A KITTY CAT!!"

(c) A chase sequence in which I desperately grabbed at Anne, who was pursuing a cat around the back of the altar.

Lovely. But I tell you, Anne antics aside, it is fabulous to have supportive fellowship. And they all told me that they thought Anne behaved beautifully. Because they love me.

(2) Our Priests - One of the things that Fr. Mark mentioned in his homily is something he took away from a recent message of Pope Francis. That message is that our faith cannot remain stagnant; we can never just stay frozen within one moment in time. We always have to be moving forward, always taking what we learned and putting it into practice in a new way. This really struck a chord with me based on my CNMC experience. When something wonderful happens, we all wish that we could just stay in that place forever. But of course, life does not work that way. We have to keep moving on, trying to do even better and create more wonderful experiences. And that is never more important than in the spiritual life. Remaining stagnant means that you are moving backwards in your relationship with Christ. And *relationship* was a key theme at the CNMC this year, in every session that I attended, and even at the homily of the Mass at a random suburban Boston parish that I attended before heading back home. Relationships are what make life most meaningful. Relationships with our family and friends, relationship with our blog readers and other social media connections, relationship with Christ. The priest this past Sunday morning said: "It's not about *learning about* Christ. Anybody can do that. It's about forming a relationship with Christ, and He with us." That's a significant distinction.There is certainly a lot of priestly wisdom to think about in this paragraph.

(3) You - This blog just passed it's 5 year anniversary. It's hard to believe, really. And this blog has always been a blessing to me. This morning, I went back through my post list so that I could get a feel for the most popular posts based upon views. My numbers have definitely increased this year, but I've never worried about the numbers per se. It pleases me to know that people read what I write, because I love to write, and if two dozen people read a post, I'm more than happy with that. Back when I first started blogging, my numbers were quite modest. Truly, they still are, though they have mostly tripled, which is wonderful. Some posts though, really do take off, and *that* is a huge thrill for me.

I would say that this blog has changed a bit in the past few years, as I myself have changed. It's interesting how that ties into item (2) above, no? It has gotten more focused and more spiritual, and so have I. :) Hence, I honed my efforts in post analysis from 2010 onward. So what are the most frequently read posts from that time period?

Catholic Women's Almanac {No. 8}, in which I reveal my lamb prototype for the Jesse Tree swap.

My review of Fr. Roderick's (then forthcoming) book, Geekpriest: Confessions of a New Media Pioneer.

A particularly spirited edition of 7 Quick Takes Friday {Take 15} in which I get all emotional about the series finale of Breaking Bad and blather on about other family and dance-related antics;

AND, by far the most read post on this blog at over 700 views (!!) is my post on modesty and the Catholic belly dancer.

We have a few honorable mentions. The Thanksgiving of the explosive poo incident, and my post on becoming a Third Order Dominican are also quite popular.

It's been a great 5 years. And I look forward to many more. With all of you. :)

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