Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

the great morale boost

Hopefully, this will be my last post lamenting the craziness of multiple-language-learning at once, as Greek ends on Tuesday (thank God) and Aramaic a few weeks after.  But, alas, it is Wednesday night and tomorrow looms ahead, filled with multiple quizzes and commitments. Thursday is my least favorite day of the week.

I got home from work tonight and sat down immediately to study…successfully, until about 15 minutes ago. My eyes had begun to droop and I was getting sleepy, needed a little pick-me-up. I have virtually no time to do anything. So what did I decide? I decided to make whipped cream!

I know this is probably the most random post yet, but there is a point (sort of!) I wanted some sort of dessert but I have very little dessert-like situations in my apartment, but what I did have was some heavy cream that needed to be used.  I never noticed that said cream happens to be called “heavy whipping cream” and thus, I never really knew that one could make one’s own whipped cream (my best friend, who just graduated from culinary school, is probably laughing at me right now!). But nevertheless, I wasted a good solid 10 minutes whipping up some cream, and proceeded to make myself a little strawberry shortcake, sans the cake. Just the little morale boost I needed. Sure, I felt like a crazy person sitting in my kitchen, furiously stirring this cream, never actually believing it was going to come out well. And I really shouldn’t have taken the time.  But it was delicious! New favorite time-user-upper.

So, that served as a reminder that, as Forrest Gump would say, “Sometimes we all do things that well, just don’t make no sense.” So here’s to being random, and to the inevitable moment of happiness that follows.

there is a light

Despite feeling optimistic on Sunday night, and ready to take on the week and all of its challenges, yesterday I hit a road block. I was feeling utterly discouraged, tired, broken. I felt like there was no physical way I could finish the things I needed to finish, learn the things I need to learn.
 
Last night as I was falling asleep, I began to pray, and for some reason, I just said out loud “I need some light!” Have you ever done that–completely surprised yourself by saying or thinking something like that out loud? So I just laughed and thought to myself again, I need some freakin’ light.
 
And today, light is exactly what I got!!
 
I have this little booklet with Daily Devotions, and each morning before I start my day, I skim the reading for the day. Today’s entry: “Searching Out the Salt and Light,” referring to Matthew 5:16 “Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”
 
Now, let me be clear about one thing: I am in no place to “let my light shine” right now, because my little light is flickering right now. But, this particular entry talked about how important it is to seek out that light in others, and to be inspired ourselves. This I can relate to right now. So I decided to try to look for some light today.
 
Then, in Greek class (the least likely place to find “light”) the professor announced that we were going to do something a little different today. Rather than go over endless paradigms and translate meaningless sentences, we were going to actually read from the New Testament, in Greek, for the first time. So we open our Bibles to John 1:1-5…and what is John, chapter 1, verse 5?  “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
 
So, I get it. No point in wallowing in the darkness, complaining and worrying about how there is never enough time. Instead, today, I’m actively searching out the light, and shining in the darkness…no matter how dim my light is!

more than enough

This morning, I heard this week’s Gospel reading (Luke 9:11-17) in a new light.

Today’s Gospel is the story of the loaves and the fishes. After a long day of preaching, the apostles ask Jesus to send the crowds of people away…the people are hungry, and they are in a deserted place with no provisions. Jesus replys simply “You give them something to eat.”  The apostles probably looked at each other increduously at this point…after all, there were about 5000 people in the crowd, and only 12 apostles.  They answered Jesus, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish.”  I can almost see Jesus roll his eyes at them lovingly  as he says, “Make the people sit down and bring me your five loaves and your two fish.” We all know the story from here. Jesus takes the little food and blesses it, and there is enough food to feed the thousands of people, with baskets left over.

When I heard this gospel this morning, I smiled to myself. After all, I can picture myself exactly in the position of the apostles in this story. Sometimes, the things I hear God ask me to do seem ridiculous, and nearly impossible.  “Sure, God, you’d like me to take intensive Greek this summer and teach myself Aramaic at the same time. Ok, great. No problem.”  Except thats never my response. My response sounds more like “What?! There’s only 24 hours in a day…not enough time for all that. Why me? Don’t I deserve a little break here? Seriously?” And that is just one little  example of God pushing me to do crazy things. After all, we all have moments when we feel like what we have to offer just isn’t enough.

But, Jesus takes what we have. Even though we think he’s nuts and that there is no way it can work, Jesus takes whatever we can give. And then he blesses it, and it is always more than enough.

Bob Rice

Catholic speaker, musician, author, teacher

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