Showing posts with label friendship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label friendship. Show all posts

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Special Shout-Out

Our parish has a lovely new program in place called the "Secret Sister" program.  (It's not unique to our church, but this is the first time we've done it here since I moved to the area five years ago.)  It works like this: you fill out a questionnaire about your interests, your family, your special days (birthday, anniversary, etc.), you favorite holidays and foods, and your prayer requests.  All the questionnaires are collected, and each woman is assigned a "secret sister" who sends her notes of encouragement and prayers throughout the year (with the help of the responses on the questionnaire).  So I'm someone's secret sister (and I can't say who!), and someone else is my secret sister.

My secret sister sent us some beautiful handmade gifts for Christmas: a scarf, beret, and fingerless gloves for me (in my favorite color, no less!), a scarf for Colin, and a blanket for Elise.  She also sent a gift certificate to the Green Bowl, a fantastic restaurant here in State College.  I was so delighted and grateful!  It felt funny to not be able to thank her (somehow I don't think the return address on the package from "Secret Sister Lane" was actually hers), but I was happy to know I could thank her eventually (the "revealing" get-together is supposed to take place in June).

Oh!  But then.  A few days before Easter, an adorable card arrived, with SNOOPY on it, whom I have loved since early childhood.  It was from my secret sister, and part of her note said this:
I hope your prayer needs are being taken care of.  You don't post about them very much on the blog, but I have been really enjoying your 40 Things posts!
ON THE BLOG? ON THE BLOG? YOU READ MY BLOG?  THAT IS TOO AWESOME!  I'm glad you enjoyed the 40 Things posts!

Secret Sister of Secret Sister Lane, thank you for the beautiful Christmas gifts and Easter card!  And thank you especially for your prayers.  They are beyond value.  God is taking care of me and my family in ways that I never could have imagined.  The prayer requests I wrote about on the questionnaire are still very much needed, but progress is being made little by little all the time.

Secret Sister, thank you for brightening my life.  Thank you for reminding me of what it means to be part of the Mystical Body of Christ.  I pray that God will bless you and your family always.  And I can't wait to meet you!

Love,
Louise


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Good Day!

Because I find silly, annoying problems (like low-battery smoke detector chirps in the wee hours of the morning) to be humorous, I fear I run the risk of blogging more about the negatives than the positives in my life at times.  So let me back this bus up RIGHT NOW and talk about how great today has been!

It started before 10 PM last night, when I turned out the light and fell quickly asleep.  Next thing I knew, it was right around 6:30 AM and Elise was waking up.  This is a pretty good wake-up time for her (7 is glorious, but rare), and since I'd had over 8 hours of sleep, I felt awesome!

The furnace worked!  The smoke detectors were silent!  Colin didn't get burned!  Elise and I had nowhere in particular to be this morning -- we like to get out as much as we can, but a morning in every now and then can be nice, too.  So I baked cookies for our lovely next-door-neighbor, who enjoyed some molasses cookies I made the other day and requested that I make some chocolate chip cookies for her.  She and her husband moved in with their two kids (and one soon-to-be-born) late this summer, and I am so delighted that they did.  The couple who lived in the house before were empty-nesters around my parents' age, and they were nice enough, but we didn't have much in common with them.  To have a 3-year-old little boy and 2-year-old little girl right next door is just fantastic.  And I'm very excited to meet their new baby girl when she's born!

Other than that, there isn't a whole lot to tell about what has already transpired, but my friend Fumi is supposed to be stopping by for a short while this afternoon, so I'm quite looking forward to her visit.  I met her in one of my graduate classes at Penn State a few years ago, and I'm very thankful that I did.  She is a very sweet, kind, and generous friend (she even hosted a baby shower for me last year), and we have a lot of fun together!  She moved to Harrisburg (about 1.5 hours away) almost a year ago, so we don't get to see each other as often as we used to, which makes today's visit even more special.  I was hoping to get Elise to nap earlier than she usually does so she'll be awake for Fumi's visit, and you know what?  She's totally napping now.  WIN!

We're having leftover chicken curry that I made yesterday, so I don't have to cook tonight. We might go to Barnes & Noble tonight to do the last of our Christmas shopping -- that's dependent on Elise's teething disposition.  Colin doesn't have to tutor anymore this semester.  After about a month hiatus due to traveling and illness, the book club I'm doing with a couple of friends has been back up and running for the past few weeks, and we should be on for this Saturday, too.  I've been going to a Bible study at my church for about the past month and a half now, and I'm really enjoying that.  There is much to be happy about!

I hope that your mid-week finds you steeped in blessings.  Is that a completely bizarre way of saying that?  Oh well, that's weez for ya. Anyway, it's a joyful Wednesday here, even though I mistakenly thought earlier that it was Thursday and was a bit disappointed when I realized my error.  Hump day happiness!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Risky Business

[Source]
I've never been much of a risk-taker.  It was obvious from early in life that I'm athletically untalented, so I never played any sports.  I've always shied away from activities that could potentially invite public humiliation, like singing alone in public or competing publicly in contests I had little chance of winning. I've never had a desire to do any "daredevil" stunts like skydiving or riding a motorcycle.  Even on this blog, I tend to avoid writing about controversial topics.  It seems I just don't deal well with the possibility of failure, so I carefully avoid situations that aren't reasonably safe.

Naturally, nobody can live entirely risk-free.  Going to graduate school turned out to be a much bigger risk than I had anticipated, but I'm still glad I took it.  The position I held for the year and a half prior to Elise's birth was an uncharacteristically risky choice -- I had no teaching experience whatsoever, I was working in a geographic area that had significant cultural differences from the one where I grew up, and I'm terrified of being the center of attention.  I know I wasn't perfect, and I'm sure I would have improved had I done it longer, but I was still pleased with how I did, and extremely grateful for how well it all went.  Certainly a worthwhile risk!

Not long ago, I remarked to a couple friends of mine that I don't really take many risks anymore.  Despite its  trials and hard lessons, motherhood does not necessarily entail much day-to-day risk, at least not in the public sphere.  Nowadays my biggest risks are all teensy little social ones -- will I find someone to talk to at La Leche League this month? Will that mom email me back about scheduling a playdate? Will I get shy and tongue-tied for some silly reason during a mommy-baby excursion and alienate myself from the other others forever?  -- etc., etc.  For an oft-lonely, socially-awkward, lifelong introvert, these are genuine fears, and I suppose I could avoid all social risks by just staying home all the time.  But even I recognize that they don't amount to much.

So here's what I'd like to do to kick-start the amount of risk in my life (um, among other reasons, of course): try to start a mothers' group at our church.  Incredibly, despite having a membership of 5,000 people, our parish does not have a mothers' group.  (We had a small Elizabeth Ministry chapter for a couple years, but the leader recently moved away, and I fear it will probably cease to exist.  I did go to a meeting and it was a lovely group, but as its focus was mostly on infertility and child loss, I did not feel it was the right group for me.  Don't get me wrong, that kind of support is awesome and very much needed, but those sorrows have not been my cross.)  The risk, of course, is that the project will fall flat on its face and I will look like a miserable losery failure...or wait, I won't, because if it does blow up that badly, it will be because nobody was paying attention anyway. :)

There are other risks, too: what if it does take off, but a power struggle ensues?  What if it gains members, but I don't click with any of the other moms and feel like an outcast?  Or if someone else doesn't click and feels like an outcast?  Am I paranoid or what?

Of course, there would be no reason to bother if there were no possibility of reward; that's what makes risks worthwhile!  I can see great potential in terms of reward.  Admittedly, this idea is the brainchild of my own selfish desire for more friendship and camaraderie (that's gotta be at least a $50 spelling word, whew), but there have got to be more women at my parish pining for such an opportunity.  And is it really selfish to want more friends?  More fun?  More spiritual connectedness?  I don't think so.

So please pray for me that I can muster up the courage to take this risk, and that, if it's meant to be, it will work out.  If nothing else, it will allow me the opportunity to focus on something other than my wife-and-mother duties, which, while certainly the focus of my vocation and life, have comprised the entirety of my life for a bit too long.