Friday, May 22, 2020

Holy Spirit Friday, settle in for a short chat :)

TGIF everyone, and this being the Friday of Memorial Day weekend in the U.S., I have to say that I'm happier than I've ever been before about the long holiday weekend. I mean, I know that there aren't exactly a lot of places to go (though that is gradually easing; here it is easing a bit more slowly than in the rest of the country), and a big BBQ is not exactly in the plans, but there is still something inherently soothing about this particular weekend. It's a good time to reflect on a lot of things, and to enjoy your loved ones.

To that point, my biggest struggle in our current crisis is the way that it has led to our social interactions being significantly cut away. Despite being an introvert, I'm very social, and love talking to people! I'm grateful for modern technology that allows to chat virtually, but a screen does not replace actual human interaction. It's definitely taken a toll on me (and I expect most people) as we are well into our third month of managing all this.

This is a roundabout way of getting to the fact that I have felt very spiritually dry since this all began, and not being able to receive the sacraments certainly isn't helping. I was watching the streaming masses at first, and's just not doing it for me. I mean, of course it isn't, nothing can replace receiving the Eucharist. But I know that many people enjoy the streaming masses. I just find it so difficult to concentrate on them, and next thing I know, mass is over, and all I can remember is the row I'm on in the shawl I'm currently knitting. It's a struggle, for sure. We're dispensed from attending mass, the streaming services are simply a way of trying to fill a gap right now, but for me, I'm finding that I need to fill the gap in other ways. My daily rosary is out the window since I'm barely in my car anymore (and you all know how I love to drive and pray the rosary), but I've been trying to focus on novenas more. They keep me centered and provide a sense of purpose in coming up with intentions for them and keeping track of the days.

I've also picked up my Great Adventure Bible and have been using the reading plan in the front to make a scripture study for myself each night before I go to sleep. There is a little spot to check passages off as you make your way through their recommended sections pertaining to salvation history, and though I don't get through an entire segment every night, within 3 nights I will, and so I check it off then. It'll take me longer than the suggested 3 months to make my way through the plan, but no biggie. If I read a chapter every single night, I am happy, and feel like I'm making positive progress towards a goal. This has been helping me A LOT. I'm really enjoying it.

So I'm doing the best that I can. It seems like public masses won't start back up in my diocese until late June or early July, so I just have to keep hanging in there. I'm mourning the loss of Anne's traditional springtime First Holy Communion (no word yet on that being rescheduled), and on Henry's altar serving days. The diocese has said that when masses resume, there will be no altar servers, and he was reaching that age when kids want to step down from doing it. This was probably going to be his last liturgical year. Those are small things, but with a lot of emotional resonance.

In the meantime, we have the Holy Spirit novena starting today, and I'm so glad that we'll be praying this one together! You can sign up with Pray More Novenas to receive the prayers in your email inbox each morning, which is how I'm praying it. I'll also paste the prayers for Day 1 down below. If you'd like to leave a comment with your intentions for the novena, we can all join you in praying for them!

Novena to the Holy Spirit - Day 1

Charity (tomorrow is Joy, we can all look forward to that! :-))

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Let us bow down in humility at the power and grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Let us worship the Holy Trinity and give glory today to the Paraclete, our Advocate.

Oh Holy Spirit, by Your power, Christ was raised from the dead to save us all. By Your grace, miracles are performed in Jesus’ name. By Your love, we are protected from evil.

And so, we ask with humility and a beggar’s heart for Your gift of Charity within us. The great charity of all the the host of Saints is only made possible by your power, Oh Divine Spirit. Increase in me, the virtue of charity that I may love as God loves with the selflessness of the Saints. Amen.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord, Amen. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Pentecost novena upcoming!

After considering some ideas based on my call out for novena submissions last week ;-) I decided to highlight the Pentecost novena! The timing on this is quite perfect, as it will start next Friday May 22nd, and run through May 30th - the feast of Pentecost is May 31st! I'm excited! I even have a Pentecost rosary all lined up  for it, hee hee. It's bright orange with a Holy Spirit centerpiece. 👼

So! What we'll do is that next Friday I'll put up a post with the prayers to begin the novena. I'll also feature a Holy Spirit themed post (of some kind, I'll figure the specifics during the week) and everyone can chime in with their novena intentions and Holy Spirit moments. :-)

I love praying community novenas! It cheers me up so much. So I'm looking forward to this. Be compiling your Holy Spirit reflections for use next Friday, yay. See everyone then!

*vitual hug*

Friday, May 8, 2020

Eyelash malfunctions, and need community novena ideas!

Happy Friday everyone, and I hope that you all are doing well on this May day.

*group hug*

May is one of my favoite months of the year, plus it has my baby's birthday in it, so that's helping to keep my spirits up. We're nowhere near being out of lockdown where I live, so it's been an endeavor to continue working on a new sense of normalcy in our household. I've been crafting a lot, as I've written about the past few weeks (and more to come, but I figured I'd give you all a crafting break ;-)), and dancing a lot. I had another online show last Saturday, in fact. It went very well, but as is so often the case with The Dancing Life, and with Clumsy Me generally, the instant I stepped out onto my "stage" (aka my living room) one of my new magnetic false eyelashes became dislodged. I spent the rest of my performance obsessing in my head over whether the eyelash set would fall off and stick to my face in some horribly awkward way (it didn't btw, but it was terribly distracting!). You know, these are the ways normal people spend their Saturday nights. :-0

I'll take that problem any day though! It was really fun. But I've also been trying to instill a sense of peace within myself of late by praying novenas. Novenas provide me with a built-in timeline and sense of structure and purpose, and I really love that about them. Currently, I'm praying the Our Lady of Fatima novena, and her feast day is coming up on May 13th. After that, is there any interest in praying a novena together, at the end of May or beginning of June? Maybe I could design a short series of posts on themes surrounding whatever novena we choose. I'm rather excited about this idea! Let's see, coming up we have Pentecost, feast of the Sacred Heart, the feast of Corpus Christi...

*thinking face*

If you have a suggestion, please do leave it in the comments! I'll decide next week and post about it then. :-)

Friday, May 1, 2020

Crafty times in quarantine...

Hello all! And we've made it through another week, I'd say that's a win at this point. ;-) Plus, we made it to May 1st! I have to admit, I'm a bit apprehensive about what this month will hold, but I do feel like we'll be a bit more emotionally prepared than we were in April. This is all positive news!

My family and I are also adjusting a bit better to our "new normal." In many ways, I feel like it'll be difficult to go back (which we've all been longing to do!) because it will mean a big change again, and the change is what I struggle with the most. But it's still an improvement over where we all were back in mid-March when this first began. The kids are much more adjusted to doing school from home. Henry, in particular, being a teenager, is completely fine. He's happy to sleep in, do his school work in his pj's, and socialize with his friends via the online games they play together. Anne, on the other hand, has definitely been suffering more. But we've been doing what we can for her to set up online things for her to enjoy, and she's doing a little better.

For my part, I've been keeping up with my dance and fitness classes, and I'm performing in another online dance show tomorrow. Although it all feels a bit weird, it's what we have for now, and I'm enjoying them in their own way. I'm trying not to think about what I miss about performing and taking classes in normal, in-person situations, because I have no control over that and I have no idea when that will happen again, so focusing on it only makes me unhappy. I'm doing what I can, and it's helping!

I've also been crafting up a storm. I mentioned this Breathe and Hope shawl last week:

...and I received the yarn that I ordered for it yesterday!


This was all in support of National Local Yarn Shop day, and it makes me so happy to support that! Relatedly, the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival was supposed to be this weekend (cancelled, of course), so it's going online this year, and one of their big vendors is putting her coveted, special festival colorways online. I partook in that too, naturally. ;-) I just joined the online festival group on Facebook, and am excited to experience a little crafty community time this weekend!

I've been working along on my Find Your Fade shawl, and it's about 85% done at this point!

That's the second to last color I just added in. I also started a new Crochet -along, and this is my first block:

Pattern is Renata and is currently free!
This is all contributing to my quarantine happiness, to be sure. *halo*

How have you been keeping busy in isolation this week? I think things will start opening back up in the next 1-2 months, and suddenly that doesn't seem as long of a time as it did back in March! We'll take it. I'd love to hear from you in the comments!