Category Archives: Beauty

Finding The Little Flower

l owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to a little soul. I have never met her, but she has deeply impacted my life. When my husband and I were in need of tenderness and gentleness, she not only welcomed us with warm kindness, but brought us home with her. She made sure that we were not only well cared for, but that our children were embraced, too. She knew how hard life could be, so she sat with me and told me many stories that would prepare me for the years to come. She had a way of telling stories that made you feel as if you were there. I just knew whatever story she shared from her life, it was going to be important in my life. We became very close friends. At one point, when I least expected it, she introduced me to her best friend. It was just like her to sneak up on me and spring this friend upon me. I loved her so dearly already, how in the world could I not love her friend!? And he was amazing. The more time I spent with him, the more I wanted to spend time with him.

As the years went by, I discovered that I was going to be moving away. She had been a very important part of our lives. I really didn’t know how to tell her, but I think she already knew. I introduced her to many of my friends, hoping that they, too, would get to know and love her. I also wanted them to meet her best friend. Some of my friends were very thrilled to meet him, too. About a year ago, I had a chance to go back and visit her. She was just the same, but this time it wasn’t so hard to part ways because we had become so close that she was always with me in my heart. A few months later, a good friend surprised me with a special gift from her. It was a rose petal from her writing desk. Wasn’t that just like her to send her love in the form of a rose petal? It sits on my bedside table and reminds me that I have a dear friend who loves me.

St. Therese of Lisieux, pray for us!

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For the birds

Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? (Matthew 6:26)

I think the birds have it right. They wake up around 5:25 a.m. and start singing with a zest for life. I mean, they really and truly let it out with chirrups and tweets, trills and whistles. This morning, I was tired, but I couldn’t stay asleep. The birds just sounded so happy. Right outside my bedroom window is giant pear tree. I have no idea how many birds’ nests are tucked away in that tree, but it sounds like a symphony of song each morning.

This afternoon, I decided it was time to tackle the front garden with weeding, trimming and de-bugging. Luckily, my children and I had already weeded a few times, so that part didn’t take so long. And the trimming went quickly, too. However, the de-bugging was another story. I had to wash each leaf of my holly bushes because they were loaded with eggs. I agree with my daughter. If I had to guess, I would say Japanese beetle eggs. I am spraying each leaf and thinking to myself, “Why don’t all those birds eat these eggs? I bet they are full on protein and easier to catch than a worm.” Of course, the eggs smell horrible and look like dirt. Okay, maybe the birds aren’t so dumb after all.

Tonight, as the sun begins to set, and I am typing this blog, the birds are back in their nests. I have no idea what they are chirping about. Maybe it’s the feral black cat that just had kittens in the woods. Or I imagine the conversation goes like this:

Mom-Bird chirps, “Hey, honey, where are you? I am sitting with the babies and I am hungry. I need a break or some food.” but it sounds like, “Chirp, chirp-chirp? Twit-twitty twit. Chirpy, chirp, twit, chirp chirp.” (You get the idea….)

Dad-Bird replies, “Coming, Dear!” and thinks to himself, “That gal is always hungry. Doesn’t she realize what hard work I have done building her nest? I’m hungry, too. I know she doesn’t want me to drop over dead from hunger with our babies in the nest. I think I will eat one more worm before I head back.”

Mom-Bird chirrups, “Honey, I’m not kidding. I need a break. When you gotta go, you gotta go, you know? Get here now!”

All the Baby-Birds join in, “We’re hungry! We’re bored! We’re thirsty! We’re tired! We want food now!”

Dad-Bird swoops in to relieve Mom-Bird.

Suddenly all is eerily quiet….

“Hooo, hoo.  Twit-twoo.” The old owl lets them know he is around and the birds all lay low.

As the sun descends, the last sound I hear is the gentle coo of turtle doves.

Good night, birds. Sleep tight, birds. Don’t let the bed bugs bite, birds.

Holy Wood or Hollywood?

“Putting on Christ” changes everything. It changes the way we see other people, it changes the way we spend our day, it even changes the way we act! My son just finished his role as Jesus in the Passion of Christ. We had two requests for the children to bring the play to other groups. I found this a bit odd because our group is just a group of 14 children with very limited resources and no real acting experience.

However, an email arrived this morning that explained why there was so much interest. Our director, a professional actress who is on the national scene, explained that she learned a tremendous amount from our children. “Really?” I thought to myself. As she explained the details in her email, it all started making sense.

Apparently, there are two significant problems for professional actors: 1) Memorizing their lines and 2) Delivering those lines with sincerity that fits the character.  Our children did the “impossible” by conquering both of these quickly.

Our director spent some time explaining how modern acting has really moved away from Stanislavski who encouraged his students not to manipulate the scene but to find the truth of the scene and to be open to the truth each time that a scene is performed. If you and I go to most theatrical shows, we will see the actors manipulate the scene in a way to manipulate the audience.  As an audience member, we might not even realize that we are being manipulated, because some directors and actors are very good at this craft.  Also, if that is all we see as an audience member , we just accept that is how it is supposed to be.

Stanislavski did not know that when you put this discipline in practice that what you are in fact doing is opening yourself to The Truth and allowing the Holy Spirit to cooperate with it using the actor as an instrument.  I think this is what happened when our innocent acting troupe took their memorization and listening skills seriously. I also saw how many people wanted their photo taken with my son, “Jesus” after the play. They just wanted to share in the moment of Truth which we all had just experienced. What a blessing we had a Director who showed us the truth and beauty of the art of acting!