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"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Sir Winston Churchill


So Much To Say, So Little That Matters

It's not that I have a low opinion of myself, far from it -- I just don't see how a newlywed office manager raised in the rural South has much to add to the universal collective. That said, I know I'm supposed to be blogging when I can hear the composition of a post ringing in my head at 6 am. And Tef is still sleeping. This might be my only chance to catch up with you. I have housework to do; Italian bread to proof (to go with the Azorean pot roast I'm making for Sunday dinner tomorrow); and cookies to bake for an outdoor function we're attending tonight.

But right now the house is quiet and the sun is just dawning. It's a grey windy morning dotted in orange and yellow leaves afire with the passion of Fall. Echoes of the wind chimes are making their way into the house from the backyard. The birds are waking up. It's going to be a perfectly shiny, postcard day in Beaver-Cleaver-ville.

Let's call these moments... coffee talk? Letters from suburbia? WG's corner? I dunno'. Leave your suggestions in the comments, I guess.

Let's catch up:

* I apparently have inflammatory arthritis. Something similar to either Gout, or Pseudogout. And it reared its ugly head right before a significant birthday milestone (and no, I'm not telling you which one). I spent the first day of our anniversary trip with crutches. No fun. After talking to my sister, we realized she had the same thing. *sigh* Oh well.

* My sister is pregnant -- in the beginning of her last trimester. I'm throwing her a baby shower in early November at The Cheesecake Factory. Anything with "cheesecake" in the title makes her happy -- particularly now. She's having another girl, which means I have another girl to dress and coo over who will probably look like me. (My niece is my spitting image, curls and all.) But she's still smoking... and drinking. Every family function is painful. A glass of wine here, a cup of beer there. Her marriage is turbulent. They are selling their house. Her husband is her favorite scapegoat. My advice (when I venture to give it) falls on deaf ears. I don't know what else to do but pray. And I probably don't do that enough. My mother did the same thing through both of her pregnancies with my sister and me.

* We met our Sponsors on Tuesday. I don't think we could have found a more perfect pair. (Props to our Deacon who made the love-match.) They are cradle Catholics, both. And they are so similar to Tef and me that it's a bit eerie: well-read, professional, devoted, outspoken, politically active, funny, ambitious, conservative, same age-range, married, no kids... Astounding. We're in great hands. I'm very, very pleased. We had dinner at their house and talked until 10:30. I finally have someone to spar with on Biblical interpretation who doesn't wear a priest's collar. What a treasure.

* Our priests continue to earn my love and respect. I've been to many, many churches and met some very devoted and pious people (most who tell you just how devoted and pious they are), but never felt the Presence of Christ like I do when I am with these men. They are just the humblest, funniest, most giving and unassuming gentlemen I have ever met. I feel so at home with them. I have no problem trusting them for advice or letting them baptize my children. I know other parishioners in the United States who cannot (unfortunately) say the same thing about their clergy. We are well and truly blessed. The only thing I am not looking forward to is my first confession. One of these sweet men whom I admire so much are going to hear all the terrible things I've done... I don't know if I am quite prepared for that.

* I finally told my best friend that we are joining the Church. I had to. A mutual friend reads our blog (Hi, K!). I couldn't take the chance that my BFF would find out through someone other than me. I had to be the one tell her. We had coffee. She was great. It helps that her father was raised Catholic (sort of... he's no longer in the Church) and that my BFF is a free-thinking grown-up. We grow closer and closer every day. I now know what friendship is... why it is so highly valued... what it feels like to have a confidant you can trust and share your whole life with who knows where you're coming from. She's the "safest" person in the world (other than my husband). I think I could tell her anything and she would understand and not use it as ammunition against me. Thank God for my BFF.

* And thank God for the little community that is quietly forming around me. RCIA, church and my BFF have brought so many wonderful new people into my life. I am thankful to be blessed with them. Even as active as I was at the Pentecostal church (which I attended for over 5 years), I was never very close to any of the people I worshipped with. I can speculate why... I won't go into a lengthy discussion of it but short answer: We (Pentecostals) always felt the need to hide ourselves -- our real selves -- beneath a patina of religious pretense. There seems to be no such compulsion (or proscriptive) in the Catholic Church. People are themselves, warts and all. It's easier to breathe there; easier to speak and move and laugh. There is no stifling self-censorship.
It is the same with the new people my BFF has trucked my way. What wonderful girls (yes, K, I'm bragging on you). I wonder where they've been all my life. I've missed so much fun! These are the kind of girls who can appreciate girly things, but it's not all we talk abut. We tend to talk about books, politics, relationships, art, movies -- you know, grown-up stuff. That's not to say that we don't occasionally devolve into gossip... But I feel as is I have found my version of The Inklings.

* I'm almost finished with "Surprised By Joy" by CS Lewis. I sometimes wonder if Jack (as everyone who knew him called him) is in Purgatory or in Heaven. I'm sure he had lots to atone for (as we all do) and maybe the fact that he was Anglican meant something (strictly from the Catholic point-of-view, you understand). I say this because the more I read, the more I want to believe that there is a "Saint Jack" I can talk to. What a wonderful man. What a delicious idea. I don't think I have ever felt the compulsion to hug any author the way I want to hug him. He's just brilliantly adorable. We would have been great friends.

* I have the sneaking suspicion that my Saint has chosen me, not the other way 'round. I wonder why this is and if it's ever happened to anyone else. I see little reminders of my Saint's presence all over the place. I'm reminded of her life almost all the time. I find myself thinking about her mission and how hard her work must have been almost unconsciously. She's sneaking up on me little by little. Other Saints have been suggested to me for my Confirmation Name... but none of them have tugged at my mind and heart more than Blessed Mother Teresa. More on that later.

* Tracey has new digs! If you haven't been over to Beyond the Pale, you should go. Congratulate her on her new house. It's beautiful and worth all the effort she's put into it. I wish I were as prolific a blogger as T.

* Jennifer is doing great! New pictures up of her pregnancy thus far. This is baby number 7 (isn't that an interesting number?). The first 6 babies are surely praying for this one -- wherever they might be. Please continue to pray with us that God will bless her pregnancy and continue to keep this little one safe and keep Jennifer and Jim safe as well. She has been uncompromising in her stance on natural family planning. Her courage and sacrifice are to be applauded.

* The Anchoress (one of my role models) has a link you might want to check out about the state of "Christian" art which echoes more of my sentiments than I have time to expound. Interesting. Check it out.

I've run out of time -- Coffee's cold; Tef just started clattering around; and I've bread to bake. Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend and I'll check back in with you later.

Peace be with you,



Anonymous karen said...

Thank you so much, WG. I was searching for words of persuasion, to keep you posting; the fact you're composing at 6am is the best encouragement you need, i'm hoping.

When you write- when i read your words- you could be facing me across that cold cup of coffee and looking me straight in the eyes. That's so cool.

And when you write, i read growth- and it makes me want to grow, too. Too get out of this rut that my own looming milestone of an age is pinning me under and to do more and be more.

So, thanks.

1:04 PM  
Blogger WordGirl said...

Aw. You're welcome.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

Great post. Sorry about your arthritis. My daughter had a bad flair up of Juvenile Rhumetoid Arthritis back when she was 17 months old. Her knee contracted and we had to have 12 weeks of PT to help straighten it out. NO FUN.

Thankfully she's been in remission for many years. Praying your flair up subsides as well.

IT was nice to see an update on how you're doing. Been missing your amusing comments over at MBFS. Take care--xo

8:48 AM  
Blogger WordGirl said...

Thanks, Missy. I'm sure I'll have more time to check soon! (I hope, anyway...) :-)

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Kate P said...

Hi WG, I'm not sure if I've commented before, but I've been reading for a little while--that hubby of yours is a smart cookie. You both seem so vivacious and passionate.

Best wishes and God bless you in your conversion. I'm a (cradle) practicing Catholic. Something struck me as you mentioned sorrow on having to confess your sins. It's hard enough confessing to our beloved parish priest, but he is acting in the Person of Christ--how much more awful do we feel that we have to tell Him how we have sinned against Him? Maybe if I remembered that, I would be less inclined to give into temptation. (But the good thing is, we receive absolution and our sins are forgiven--they are no more.) Thanks for giving me something to think about.

And your cooking sounds absolutely wonderful. :)

11:11 AM  
Blogger WordGirl said...

Oh, thank you! Yes, please do comment more often. We absolutely live for comments. I'll remember you when we sit down to dinner tonight!

Funny... the Catholics fall out of the woodwork every time I do one of these little posties. Why are you all so quiet?

1:41 PM  

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