Welcome to June! Let’s belly flop into the deep end of the pool with some Quick Takes!
1. My #31DaysofMary series will start back up in October, the month of the Holy Rosary. I really enjoyed learning about all the international titles of Mary, but with all the other obligations this month, I quickly got behind and then felt overwhelmed and grumpy (about something that was supposed to be fun!) when I tried to catch up. I hate when I can’t live up to the grandiose ideas in my head, but after a brief bout of allowing myself to feel like a failure, I’ve forgiven myself and am moving on.
2. School feels like it will never end. Except for Addie. She wrapped up finals this week and is now a free woman until the end of August. Thanks to snow, and a fire at Teddy’s school, neither Fulton or Teddy finishes until June 26th. Edie and Byron are scheduled to finish schooling the same week as the boys, but thankfully, we all get a week off when MDA camp rolls around on June 17th!!!
The boys are actually admitting their excitement about another year at camp (this year in the same cabin!), my parents are looking forward to having the older three stay with them, and once again Tony and I are counting down the days until our return to Atlantic City for a few days of undisturbed sleeping, reading in total silence on a clean bed, and lying on the beach and not worrying about anyone drowning/ getting sunburnt. Since Tony no longer works from home everyday, I’ll also have a couple of days at home ALL BY MYSELF. I’ve created a mental to do list of home and craft projects but, I might also make time to watch a movie! Or read a book! Or leisurely eat a meal! The possibilities are endless – I’m not sure I can wait. Although, if the kids ask I’m sure I’ll say something like, “Oh, it was so boring here without you! I missed you all constantly! My life is meaningless without you!”
Me all week:
Ha ha. JK
3. Fulton wrapped up his first Challenger baseball season this week. Unfortunately, rain and wet field conditions meant it was a shorter than expected season, but he really enjoyed himself and I think will want to play again next spring. The same organization offers soccer in the fall so we signed both Fulton and Teddy up. Since I still don’t have a date for Fulton’s surgery, I’m not sure how much he’ll get to play, but Teddy is looking forward to having a good excuse for driving full speed around a field and bumping into things.
4. Tan Publishing, the creators of some of my favorite history books, has started a new venture; the Catholic Courses Institute. The offered me the opportunity to sample a few courses and I jumped at the chance. We use a lot of online classes and learning tools in our homeschool, so I’m looking forward to trying CCI and seeing how it fits into our lesson plans. Addie is not taking a religion course through Queen of Heaven next year, so she selected ‘Introduction to Theology: Tradition, Doctrine, and Culture’ to work through at her own pace, as her academic work allows. I selected ‘Shakespeare’s Catholicism: A Critical Analysis of the Bard’s Life and Plays’ to share with Edie and Byron. We’ve read and watched about a dozen plays now, so in addition to simply watching more plays, I thought we would enjoy looking at Shakespeare’s work through the lens of our faith. The eight lecture series uses examples from a few plays we’ve read and a few we haven’t, plus it includes a study guide with discussion questions, and quizzes for review. There’s seventeen total courses offered currently, and CCI has a certificate program as well. I’m super impressed with the materials and production quality upon first glance; I will keep you posted as we move through the courses!
5. I little while back I discovered some older blog posts by Meg about different prayer types related to the Myers-Briggs personality test. After having a few dollars left on an Amazon gift card, I purchased a used copy of the book she mentioned, ‘Prayer and Temperament: Different Prayer Forms For Different Personality Types’, and quickly read through it, folding numerous corners. I’ve since started using the Lectio Divina method of prayer, and the suggestions in the book for my personality type (ENFJ – Augustine Spirituality) and I’ve loved it! Which is not an exclamation I thought I would ever attach to a form of prayer. I found it so helpful to be told “this type of prayer will be easy for you” or “you won’t get much out of this type”, but also to realize how I can eventually, with practice, really embrace different forms of prayer that I may struggle with now. I’m still working through all the scripture suggestions in the book, but I’m probably going to jump to using Anne’s devotional ‘Nailed It’ next, starting with verses and reflections that struck me the first time I read them in her book, but now using them as a starting point for deeper meditation and reflection. If you feel like you just don’t “get” prayer, learn your Myers-Brigg type and see if you don’t find the suggestions of ‘Prayer and Temperament’ a help.
6. in the midst of this spiritual awakening, I finished reading Rebecca Frech’s new book ‘Can We Be Friends?’ and felt like the relationships I’ve formed with others needed a similar upheaval. I could see where I’ve been spreading myself too thin for years, trying to maintain friendships with ALL THE PEOPLE which is ridiculous and exhausting and not possible in the least. I simply can’t form deep friendships with all my readers, followers, and social media “friends”, and doing so depletes the energy I have for those people who really matter in my life. I’ve always had a large circle of acquaintances, and several close friends at any given time, but I think my tendency is always to try for quantity over quality. Not because I don’t enjoy the friends I have, but my extroverted side just loves meeting new people! Even when I’m introduced to those I ultimately don’t click with, I find I often maintain a relationship with them even when hanging out isn’t that fun or enjoyable for me. Motivated by all the great, no-nonsense advice in Rebecca’s book, I’m pruning my social media followers. Not unfriending, but only unfollowing the 150 or so family and friends I can realistically hope to stay actively involved with, and then make a better effort to nurture the in person relationships that matter most to me, while not worrying so much about growing my list of followers. At least, the desire to grow my social media presence has to come from a purely practical (it will help sell my book) standpoint, vs “Look at this perfect flat lay of everything this lady uses for her morning circle time!! I want to be her new bestie!”
7. There’s really not much written about the importance of friendship these days, which is surprising given how apparently lonely everyone seems to be. I think there’s also talk of the importance of community, or a large group of supportive friends, but I appreciate Rebecca talking about the intimate, one or one friendships we all need to find and grow (or end) to fulfill our lives.
Have I convinced you to read this yet??? How about a giveaway?! (Open to readers 18+ in the USA.)
Where does maintaining friendships fall on your daily to-do list? Comment below, or write down your own post and link it up below! Be sure to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Seven Quick Takes! I look forward to reading your posts!