The Simple Woman’s Daybook: Mass for Immigration Edition

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY July 21, 2014

Outside my window… dark. It’s almost 1 a.m. It was a long day and I’m finally getting to blog this.

I am thinking… about what I’ll be doing with Daniel in a few hours when I have to get up.

I am thankful… that I got to go to the Mass in Recognition of All Immigrants at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

In the kitchen… nothing at the moment but I’m pretty sure there will be something cooking/baking tomorrow.

I am wearing… my Momcat shirt and running shorts.

I am praying for… the children being deported after being separated from their families and sent north to cross the border to escape the poverty and violence of their home countries.

I am going… to Target tomorrow for some things.

I am wondering… some things about the call processes we’re currently in at the moment.

I am reading… In This Mountain by Jan Karon. It’s a hard read for me because Fr. Tim is dealing with serious depression and I know it all too well.

I am hoping… I sleep restfully tonight.

I am hearing my “Bach and Chant” playlist on iTunes. Currently, it’s the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles.

Around the house… it’s silent as everyone else is asleep including the kitties.

I am pondering… too many things in my heart which is why I’m up blogging.

A favorite quote for today… “If you are interested enough to have read thus far you are probably interested enough to make a shot at saying your prayers: and, whatever else you say, you will probably say the Lord’s Prayer. Its very first words are Our Father. Do you now see what those words mean? They mean quite frankly, that you are putting yourself in the place of a son of God. To put it bluntly, you are dressing up as Christ. If you like, you are pretending. Because, of course, the moment you realise what the words mean, you realise that you are not a son of God. You are not being like The Son of God, whose will and interests are at one with those of the Father: you are a bundle of self-centred fears, hopes, greeds, jealousies, and self-conceit, all doomed to death. So that, in a way, this dressing up as Christ is a piece of outrageous cheek. But the odd thing is that He has ordered us to do it.” — C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

One of my favorite things… quiet. It’s a rarity with a five year old boy.

A few plans for the rest of the week: working with Daniel on school stuff as well as whatever errands are thrown into the mix.

A peek into my day… *cues the “What I Wore on Sunday” script*

I got permission to join Jon and his dad for the Mass at the cathedral on Sunday afternoon and his dad pulled some strings to get me into the “reserved” seating. I knew that receiving the Eucharist at Mass would be off-limits to me as a non-Catholic so I made plans to go to a normal worship service where I could commune this morning wearing my outfit from last week (which has been washed since).

My Sunday morning worship attire.

Dress and camisole: Kohl’s
Shoes: Naturalizer

When my father-in-law told me that I’d be sitting in the reserved section, I thought that it meant that I’d be able to get a seat in the sanctuary instead of being in the overflow outside on the plaza. (I’m on Cipro at the moment so direct sunlight is no bueno until Wednesday.) Little did I know that I’d be up on the raised part of the altar platform in the front row of one of the sections with the “ecumenical guests”. Even more surprising to me was when I was introduced with the “ecumenical guests” by name and people were applauding for me as well as flashbulbs going off. (I joke about marrying into the “Lutheran mafia” because Jon is a 4th generation pastor; but my father-in-law *IS* a big deal in the ecumenical community and this was a rare look for me into his world.) I leaned over to the diocese’s ecumenical officer who was sitting next to me and told him that I was so NOT worthy of this. His answer: “Yes you are.”

Me outside the cathedral with the cornerstone.

Shirt: Kohl’s
Slacks: Kohl’s
Shoes: Naturalizer
Sunglasses: Nike (they’re prescription ones — one of the best investments I’ve ever made)

The Mass was amazing. It was half in English and half in Spanish and I was thankful to be familiar with Catholic liturgy because I’m probably the only native Californian who doesn’t speak Spanish. (I can read it passably but I can’t understand it when it’s spoken.) It was definitely “smells and bells” worship with a very zealous thurifer (the person swinging the thurible with the incense). The priest proclaiming the Gospel was so clouded in incense that he looked hazy from probably 10 feet away where I was sitting. The archbishop preached half in English and half in Spanish and it was an excellent sermon. There were also the relics of St. Toribio Romo González who was martyred in the Cristero War with some ranking Knights of Columbus guarding the statue with the relics in it. (They did not have their swords but they still looked pretty impressive.)

The tapestries from where I was sitting.

At the end of the Mass, the archbishop came to greet all of the “ecumenical guests” and speak with us individually. I’m glad I asked how to address him before that point (answer: “Your Grace”) and I was flattered that I was able to meet him. The picture above was taken afterwards once people were leaving — it would have been offensive to take pictures during Mass.

My necklace.

The story of my necklace: A family friend and her family were missionaries in Afghanistan in the 1980′s and the beads are the famous blue glass of Herat. She doesn’t have any daughters or daughter-in-laws so she made me the necklace from the beads for my 30th birthday in 2010. It’s the equivalent of receiving the family jewels and given my heart for the Afghan people (and for their food), I was honored to receive it.

Now go see Holly and the other pretties at Fine Linen and Purple.

Hosted by The Simple Woman’s Daybook

7 Quick Takes: Answered Prayers, Cat Drama, and Science Geekery

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Answered Prayers. Do you see the precious child on my sidebar? Yep… Brett. His adoption is fully funded now and his prospective parents are ecstatic. They head overseas later this month to meet him. I’ve been praying for this for two years now. My deepest thanks go to Becki who has loved him so incredibly much for these last two years, partnered her prayers with mine, and convened a panel of a bunch of us to find him a mama about two months ago. Girlfriend brought his FSP from $7612 to $14000 with her advocating for him and her networking. I’m grateful that she could succeed where I couldn’t.

— 2 —

Happy birthday, Nicholas! Dwija at House Unseen blogged about the first anniversary of her son Nicholas being born into Heaven. I unfortunately have at least a few blogging friends who have lost children and many of them never cease to surprise me in their joy, even on really painful days for them. This is one of those occasions.

— 3 —

Prerequisite baseball take. The Giants are one game behind the Dodgers and it popped up on my Twitter tonight that Lincecum was about to “no hit” the Padres again. I started obsessively refreshing Twitter and found nothing. It turns out that they weren’t playing tonight and the tweet was just letting people know that the specific game from this year was on CSN. Oh well… it was worth a shot. Hopefully, the Giants will flatten Miami and the Dodgers will start cellar-dwelling again so Jon can stop gloating.

— 4 —

Congratulations Marie and Brian! Mi amiga Marie of Catholic Coffee Talk is getting married this weekend in Ohio. Go leave her comments to congratulate her. Do it now!

— 5 —

Cat drama. On Tuesday night, I came in after sitting on the porch and talking to my mom on my cell phone to find out from my mother-in-law that Edda had sat at the door and meowed for me for a good 15 minutes. (Someone is a bit of a mama’s panther.) Last night, we had one cat fight after another with FOUL language uttered. Today, Freya went out and refused to come back in. We eventually ascertained that she was hiding under the water tanks and mother-in-law dispatched Jon with cat treats to go get her. No luck. She crawled under my car and after I got something to poke her out, she ran under the fence into the backyard. Eventually, I sat down 5 feet from her on the back steps and the little monster surrendered but it was unnerving, especially after she vanished for a day or two a few weeks ago.

I just went to go see if my in-laws’ orange tabby patch male cat Arthur (referred to by me as “the citrus cat”) was ready to come in and the Birman that adopted my in-laws decided to waltz into the house. He saw Edda and hissed at her but I informed him that proper Birmans do not use such language. (It’s a very strange cat-centric household.) He jumped up on one of the tables in the living room and allowed himself to be petted and cajoled into staying. (There is no doubt as to who the superior creature is here.)

**UPDATE** Arthur is in and the Birman went back outside after sitting and howling at the door for 5 minutes straight. (He’s an in/out cat and has so far escaped being eaten by something so I’m hedging my bets.)

— 6 —

Geekdom. In one of the black cat groups on Facebook, someone asked if our cats like boxes. Someone replied, “My cat is called Schrodinger!! OF COURSE SHE LIKES BOXES!!!”

I think my brain just exploded. #sciencegeek #catlover

— 7 —

Prayer request. If you’re following along with the whole “special intention” thing at home, keep praying and add on that I need help praying to forgive someone. Please and thank you. :)

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.

Five Favorites: Miscellanea (XXI)

Five Favorites


My mother-in-law. I’m not saying this just because she watches my kid on Saturday mornings so I can sleep in. (OK… it’s more than just Saturday mornings.) The woman is freaking brilliant, generous with her time and energy, spoils my two cats, and bakes me the best chocolate-peppermint vegan cupcakes on the planet. She also has yet to whack me upside the head with a pillow to get me up in the mornings and I appreciate her restraint.


OPI Nail Polish. The stuff on my toes right now is “Princesses Rule!” and it’s a nice light pink color with glitter. I’m also a fan of “Pedal Faster Suzi!” which is usually what I end up with if I get gel on my hands and lacquer on my toes. (For the record, I had never had my nails done ever until I turned 29 and was down in southern California on a call interview for Jon. My 16 year old self is rolling her eyes.)


“Tacky” by Weird Al. It’s awesome as all of Weird Al’s music is. (It’s a parody of Pharrell’s “Happy”.


“Hedge of Protection” by Tim Hawkins. I quote this one at least daily. I also have to make sure I’m not drinking anything when certain friends of mine are praying for me because I *will* spit out whatever I’m drinking when they pray for a “hedge of protection” around me. (This would be the source of the chai on my dashboard.)


“Just, Just, Father, Father” by Tim Hawkins. I am totally guilty of using the word “just” too often in prayer.

Go love up Heather and the others.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: July 14, 2014

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY July 14, 2014

Outside my window… muggy and humid and hot. It feels like the Midwest instead of southern California. It rained on us a bit when I was at Trader Joe’s earlier.

I am thinking… about the issues we’re having in finding an ABA program down here for Daniel. The school is required to provide one but it might not be in this school district so they’re having to make a referral. And no, homeschooling is not an option. We’re already dealing with a home teacher and I’m having to figure out how to structure her time so that it’s actually useful. I have the patience and temperament of a drill sergeant which is why I didn’t become a teacher in the first place. Additionally, I’d prefer not to have to get a Master’s in Education focusing on ABA in order to educate my kid correctly so I’d really rather find people who already have the training.

I am thankful… for my mother-in-law who made me vegan chocolate-peppermint cupcakes yesterday and who is doing everything in her power to support what I’m doing with Daniel. I am seriously blessed to have her and my father-in-law.

In the kitchen… I finished up my scampi from Saturday night for lunch today. Dinner has yet to be decided.

I am wearing… my Run for Courage t-shirt and jeans short.

I am praying for… a special intention, grace to forgive certain people, wisdom to know how to structure Daniel’s days at the moment, for friends who are dealing with a lot right now, and for Hevel’s safety.

I am going… to hopefully go visit my boys this week with tuna so that their new mommy can get them acclimated to her. (Tuna will bribe them to come out.)

I am wondering… how to teach certain things.

I am reading… A New Song by Jan Karon.

I am hoping… the house cools down. My mother-in-law just turned on the A/C so that should help.

I am looking forward to… finding out where God is calling us to go next.

I am hearing Daniel and his teacher working on counting. I’m having to intervene and make him actually say the names of the numbers because otherwise he’s not getting any speech connection or practice.

Around the house… laundry going and my mother-in-law is probably cleaning something.

I am pondering… too many things to list.

A favorite quote for today… “The Christian idea of marriage is based on Christ’s words that a man and wife are to be regarded as a single organism—for that is what the words ‘one flesh’ would be in modern English. And the Christians believe that when He said this He was not expressing a sentiment but stating a fact—just as one is stating a fact when one says that a lock and its key are one mechanism, or that a violin and a bow are one musical instrument. The inventor of the human machine was telling us that its two halves, the male and the female, were made to be combined together in pairs, not simply on the sexual level, but totally combined. The monstrosity of sexual intercourse outside marriage is that those who indulge in it are trying to isolate one kind of union (the sexual) from all the other kinds of union which were intended to go along with it and make up the total union. The Christian attitude does not mean that there is anything wrong about sexual pleasure, any more than about the pleasure of eating. It means that you must not isolate that pleasure and try to get it by itself, any more than you ought to try to get the pleasures of taste without swallowing and digesting, by chewing things and spitting them out again.” — C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

One of my favorite things… Trader Joe’s Iced Tea-Lemonade

A few plans for the rest of the week: speech therapy for Daniel on Tuesday morning, lessons with his home teacher Tuesday – Friday, and various errands.

Hosted by The Simple Woman’s Daybook

What I Wore on Sunday: July 13, 2014

What I Wore on Sunday

I decided to be a good wife this morning and dragged myself out of bed to go to the early service at Christ Lutheran Church where Jon was supplying this morning. (He preached well.) It was good worship and I got to see some people that I don’t normally see unless I’m down here visiting family and head there for Sunday. (I’ve been sticking close to home the last few weeks and going to church in La Verne.) We used to be members at Christ so I do know a number of people there.

My usual photographer is currently celebrating the 10:30 service so my mother-in-law took the pictures this week. I chose to go with my standby church outfit — my Easter dress from 2 years ago (which also works for weddings, funerals, and Broadway shows) with a black camisole to make it church appropriate. I wish I had other versions of the same dress in different fabrics because it flatters me and makes me feel good about myself. (And yes, that’s my “palm-jousting” picture from Palm Sunday. My mother-in-law loved it so she had it printed as a “family picture”.)

Me with the Edda Puss.

Dress: Kohl’s
Camisole: Target
Shoes: Naturalizer
Cat: Edda the Puss

Here’s a mirror shot.

Me in the mirror.

Now go see Elizabeth and the other pretties at Fine Linen and Purple.

Wisdom from C.S. Lewis

From my C.S. Lewis email this morning:

Those Divine demands which sound to our natural ears most like those of a despot and least like those of a lover, in fact marshal us where we should want to go if we knew what we wanted. He demands our worship, our obedience, our prostration. Do we suppose that they can do Him any good, or fear, like the chorus in Milton, that human irreverence can bring about ‘His glory’s diminution’? A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell. But God wills our good, and our good is to love Him (with that responsive love proper to creatures) and to love Him we must know Him: and if we know Him, we shall in fact fall on our faces. If we do not, that only shows that what we are trying to love is not yet God— though it may be the nearest approximation to God which our thought and fantasy can attain. Yet the call is not only to prostration and awe; it is to a reflection of the Divine life, a creaturely participation in the Divine attributes which is far beyond our present desires. We are bidden to ‘put on Christ’, to become like God. That is, whether we like it or not, God intends to give us what we need, not what we now think we want. Once more, we are embarrassed by the intolerable compliment, by too much love, not too little.

Because My Actual Friday Was More Exciting Than Quick Takes…

My actual Friday ended up being exciting. In fact, it was more exciting than my Quick Takes which is rare. Here is a list of all the news that is fit to report.

[+] I got to see my boys. The woman who adopted my boys called on Thursday to tell me that they were refusing to be visible and asked if I could come over and call them to see if they would stop hiding. Jon and I went over in the morning and brought some tuna with us. Ideally, I should have come over a couple times after I dropped them off with her to see them but they came out (with a little prompting) for us and were more than happy to have “people tuna”. We’re going to go see them weekly until we leave for our next great adventure. It was good to see them again though I was covered with peach fur from Finian afterwards.

[+] Daniel said the words “eight” and “ten” today. He put the vowel and consonant sounds together and said the actual words during the time he was working with his home teacher. He got lots of praise and hugs from me and he repeated the feat while going over flashcards at bedtime. He got lots of praise again. :) He is also vocalizing his letters better since we started going through those cards at bedtime.

[+] My special intention was partially answered. I can’t give any details but it’s good news and it is alternately terrifying and exciting me.