Sunday, March 01, 2015

Further Life-Updatery

The other day I learned this very useful term: ad hockery. It means 'reliance on temporary solutions rather than on consistent, long-term plans'. We've been living like that for this past little while, and because some of you dears have been asking how we've been, here's some more life-updatery.
Finally, my Ma went to the hospital for a psychiatric assessment (we've been waiting for this for a long time). I don't know what that looks like; I do know that before assigning you a counselor, they test one's blood and urine and then one fills out a sheet about one's behaviour and thought-patterns before answering questions in person; so perhaps it's something like that, but I can't say for sure. Anyway, the point is that she went, and she's been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. She is not permitted to come back to our house, for the time being, at least, and living arrangements have been made for her elsewhere. I've seen her once since she was asked to leave our home, and she seems as well as can be expected. She has been bullying my father over text and phone repeatedly, and once showed up suddenly without the go-ahead from the social-justice-services-people, but other than that has, to my knowledge, observed the rules. We're told that parents with borderline personality disorder often display unreasonable favouritism to just one or two of their children, which we've definitely noticed in her before, and also that this likely started in her teen years, before she even met my father (take that, relatives who blame everything on the kids). Please understand that I'm not blaming her for having a disorder (Lord knows that would be kind of awkward- my brain isn't in perfect shape, either), but what I am mad about is how she refused to be helped for so long. I'm mad about her ignoring everyone who loved her telling her that she couldn't continue to behave the way she did.
Okay. End rant. Thank you for being so supportive, loves. You're in my prayers, and I wish you a very blessed day and Lenten season. Here's to you! :)

Love,
Grace

PS
A gift for you, courtesy of Google Images. Cheers.





Friday, February 27, 2015

'Thou Shalt Love the Lord thy God'

Let's have a picture that has nothing to do with the subject-
matter at all, shall we?
Nobody can always have devout feelings: and even if we could, feelings are not what God principally cares about. Christian Love, either towards God or towards man, is an affair of the will. If we are trying to do His will we are obeying the commandment, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.' He will give us feelings of love if He pleases. We cannot create them for ourselves, and we must not demand them as a right. But the great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.
-- Mere Christianity



More Lewis- 'cause, hey, he's brilliant. Even if you've kinda failed at Lent so far (hehe, guilty of that one), now is the perfect time to realign yourself, take a deep breath, and plunge right back into the season of humbling, soul-searching, withdrawal-filled reorientation to Love Himself. (Who says Christianity isn't romantic?). 

Praying for you all,
Grace 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

C'est la Vie





"Curiosity killed the cat. And I prefer my cats alive, you know what I'm sayin'?" -older brother

"I don't have a 'wee little soul'! I have a FIGHTING soul!" -little sister

"There needs to be a movie called Marmite Mission that has no humour whatsoever, and is completely serious, and they have to get this secret object for the government. Then at the end they find out that the object is the last jar of Marmite, that the president just wants for his toast the following Friday." -little brother (I've been babysitting a bit and I must say it's been interesting)

"The next time you decide to stab me in the back, have the guts to do it to my face." -Captain Reynolds, Firefly

"I set out with nothing but my trust in God and I have brought back the riches of a cathedral." -M Myriel, Les Miserables 

The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. -Orthodoxy

Don't feel ashamed if your friends call you "prim". The world needs more people who are prim.

Saw this shed/fence and thought, "Hey, that's kinda
pretty in a weird sort of way."



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We interrupt your usual programming to bring you this nerdy joke. Enjoy.
Tertullian: "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Faith."
Enjolras: "Er, yeah, about that..."
Marius: "We kind of used it to water the meadows of France, so..."
*here, if you think you can get away with it, you could add that Courfeyrac offers the wine of friendship in place of martyrs' blood... seeing as it never runs dry*
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Recently, I dreamed that I was at a court of law being held on a little stage, over the suitability of a ratty one-piece bathing-suit, in which the defendant was the feisty Laketown fishwife from the Hobbit movies, and GK Chesterton was judge, jury, and about everything else rolled into one. Josh Hutcherson was also there, and we all ate delicious free stew. Unfortunately, the plaintiff never showed. The reason I'm telling you this is because... well, no reason, just that it's awesome. Sorry.

So, how goes it with you? Pull up a chair. 

Love,
Grace 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

It's Already the First Sunday of Lent?! WHAT!

Technically, it's only been five days, but for our intents and purposes, this has been Week 1.Perhaps you've dropped something since Ash Wednesday, or taken something new up that wasn't in your original Lenten plan. However Lent has gone for you so far, I think there's one thing most of us, at least, can agree on: this is going to be one long liturgical season.
Sometimes we have a tendency to pass Lent off as peach-pie and sunshine, something that is easy and lovely, all the while tidying up your heart and mind and making you into a fulfilled and holy person. The thing is that most things that tidy up your heart and mind are, in experience, neither easy nor lovely. So while the end result may be great and the process itself something good, there is no denying that Lent can give you a roundhouse kick to the face, reminding you that you're actually a wuss who doesn't have as much willpower as you thought, while simultaneously calling to mind that you actually aren't very good at trusting God and are far more attached to candy, Facebook, or what have you than you probably should be. The first week of Lent is, for many (er, me? And I hope some people reading this?), one long, endless, "ouch" of humility checks, and trying to work out a new routine that lacks some comfy things you'd rather have, and fills their place with more prayer and works of service.
I gave up Twitter this year. I actually wasn't, I think, overly addicted to Twitter until this past year, when I went through a radical change in environment: from being in the company of other people for about six hours, five days a week, to spending most of my time in the back room of a small library with a computer and unprocessed books, and the rest of my time in my little Hobbit-hole in a basement. All of this is quite good, but I haven't got out much at all this year, and even socially-anxious introverts who, despite their best efforts, often come off as quite rude, sometimes want human company. So, if one's friends are in school and the highlight of one's social calender is the monthly diocesan young-adult event that mostly consists of sitting in silence before the Blessed Sacrament (and I'm not complaining- if anything should be the highlight of one's calendar, it should the Sacraments, right?), what does one do? One tweets more! And it is truly astonishing how, even through screens when each message is limited to 140 characters, great conversations can be had, about everything from knitting to tea to Firefly to sex to Jane Austen to worldly standards of aesthetic beauty to religion to education to breakfast foods to regional stereotypes (eh?).
Twitter does train you in brevity, which can be good, but also a hindrance: you get out of touch with your ability to expand on things. Being able to convey thoughts concisely is valuable, but so is being able to delve deep, deep into topics and discuss things at length. Twitter also gives you the perfect platform to let your vanity run wild, be unnecessarily pedantic, and- horror of horrors- provides the temptation to subtweet.
[What is the subtweet? Subtweeting, for those of you who don't know (I only recently found out, so I'm not trying to be unnecessarily pedantic, hehe #blamethewoods), is a way to talk about someone behind their back... on the internet. It refers to a particular unnamed personage, directed at them without mentioning them explicitly, and is usually used in a mocking or cynical way. Now, there are few things more annoying than passive-aggressiveness. But there are few things more tempting than subtweeting someone. It's a grand conundrum, to be sure.]
This has been all the unnecessary information you never wanted to hear. Do come again sometime.
Since Lent began, I have learned that the first step to successfully letting go of whatever it is you aren't indulging in this Lent is accepting that you do want it. Much like the first step to humility is realizing you're proud, the first step to untangling oneself from something is acknowledging one's tangled-up-ness. When I was telling myself, "No, you don't want to go on Twitter! No! No!" I was a lot less successful at keeping up my Lenten penance than when I said, "Hmm, I really do want to go on Twitter right now, but I don't have to."

How's your Lent going, loves? And what have you learned so far, if you want to share?

God bless,
Grace

Unfortunately didn't take any pictures of the building that Rose and I
were in, which was quite beautiful. (I also realize that we look kind of like
 little kids, but that's okay).


Links that I do hope you enjoy (not all Lent-related):
When Waiting is Really Hard  | Ignitum Today
Being Single is What You Make of It, So Be Positive | Verily
From Joel: a Lenten Sonnet | Thoroughly Alive
5 Ways to Jumpstart Change in Your Life | Carrots for Michaelmas
Simple Ways to De-Stress at Your Desk | Verily

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Little Decisions

Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.
-- Mere Christianity



Lent is here! So have some wisdom from Lewis. Stay strong, loves!

Ta for now,
Grace

Sunday, February 15, 2015

About What Happened Recently: Life Update

Hello, good people. I hope that you all had a lovely Singles Awareness Day Feast of Saint Valentine! And, gosh, Lent is almost here. Where has the time gone? Didn't last year's Lent just end?
I'm just writing to let you know something that happened about a week ago (no, this has nothing to do with boys, calm yo self, believe it or not I do talk about other things). And I am sorry that I've been a little crazy of late.
So, you might know that my Ma is a sick woman who needs lots of help, but for the longest time (read: almost twenty years) she refused to get it, and as time went on, she got worse and worse and more and more keen on making life nightmarish for everybody. This past summer, I wasn't living at home, but I heard that social services had gotten involved, and once I had to move back home due to unforeseen circumstances, they had begun making regular visits to make sure everyone was alive and hopefully help improve the situation. Anyway, about a week ago, they came (and they're absolutely lovely people, by the way) to see myself, some of my siblings, and my parents. Ma was behaving badly, and they decided that they didn't feel she should remain at the house after they left, especially since two of my siblings are kids. She had to leave for a relative's house; she's there now, I don't know for how much longer. But I must say that we feel so much safer and able to cope with problems now. It's refreshing to be able to worry about work or studies, and not what she might say to my brother/sister or dad.
I would like to thank you all for all your prayers and words of encouragement. You are so kind. If you could pray that she doesn't return, that everyone is safe, and that the right decisions are made, that would fabulous of you. Thanks again. <3

Love you,
Grace

PS
Seriously, happy late Valentine's Day.


Saturday, February 07, 2015

What We Should Be Giving Up For Lent

Is it a breach on blogger etiquette to disappear for a few days and return with the exact same subject-matter as the last post? Eh, let's hope not.
Here is what we should actually be giving up for Lent this year.

1.) Martyr complexes.
We're really good at assuming we've got the worst of everything. Only, here's the thing: real martyrs didn't hang around thinking they were unlucky. They were too busy getting stuff done. Before they could die for the Kingdom, they had to die to themselves. 
**Please note that by this I do not mean your problems aren't worth addressing. See #5. Love you.




2.) The snooze button. 




3.) Praying for an easier life. 
I pray for an easier life pretty much every time I pray. But funnily enough, I very rarely pray for the strength to live the one I've got. Hmm. That might explain a few things about every Confession I've ever made.



4.) Being too busy.
Productivity is good. But having too full of a schedule usually results with not being able to remember the last time you prayed, barely talking to friends and family, and developing a magnetic attraction to pillows along with an unreasonable loathing of alarm-clocks.



5.) Not getting help if you need it. 
Courage, dear heart. You are in my prayers.



6.) Praying that you meet your spouse right away.
Why don't we change that to praying that said spouse becomes a healthier, more virtuous, happier person? Or how about that we become good future spouses, ourselves? What a concept!



7.) Procrastinating. 
You ever get that feeling when you realize how much you procrastinate? It's akin to the feeling of stepping outside into the minus-forty-five air on the first really cold day of winter. Wince-o-rama.


8.) Not saying thanks for good things.
Not even 'great goods of life'; just little things, like nice-smelling soap, chocolate-covered almonds. Marmite, if that's your thing.


9.) Not showing love.
The intended recipient should be asked before being touched (yes, even in a purely platonic, non-sexual way). But why don't we ask if we can hug someone? Why don't we say, "I love you"? Why don't we go to Adoration, Reconciliation, and Mass? Why don't we be a little kinder than we have to be?




Love,
Grace

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