Tuesday, October 27, 2015

On Smiling

A smile costs nothing, but creates much.  It enriches those who receive it and does not impoverish you in the least.  It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts a lifetime.  A smile creates happiness in the home and fosters good will among men.  It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and Nature's best remedy for trouble.  A smile is no earthly good to anyone till it is given away. None of us are so rich that we can get along without it, and none of us are really poor as long as we can smile.  Nobody needs a smile so much as the one who has none to give.  So get used to smiling heart-warming smiles, and you will spread sunshine in a sometimes dreary world.  This sunshine is the sunshine of God's love, if you smile from the motive of loving your neighbor and making him happy for God's sake.

 Become a member of the Apostolate of Smiling.  Your smile has work to do for God, because it is an instrument for winning souls.  Sanctifying grace, dwelling in your soul, will sweeten your smile and will enable it to do much good.

Smile to yourself until you notice that your seriousness, or even severity, has vanished; until you have warmed your own heart with the development of a cheery disposition.  Then go out and radiate your smile.
With a smile you can bring new life and hope and courage into the hearts of the weary, the over-burdened, the discouraged, the tempted, the despairing.  Your smile can prepare the way for a sinner's return to God.  It can promote contentment, joy, satisfaction, encouragement, and confidence in the hearts of others.


Smile on the lonely faces, on the timid faces, on the sorrowful faces, on the sickly faces, on the fresh young faces, on the wrinkled old faces, on the familiar faces of your family and friends.  Let all enjoy the beauty and inspiring cheer of your smiling face!


Above all, smile at God in loving acceptance of whatever He sends into your life, and you will deserve to have the radiantly Smiling Face of Christ gaze on you with special love throughout eternity.

~Kindness, Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik

*I am blessed with many smiling children (most of the time :) .

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Complaining About My Day (You Really Can Just Move On To The Next Blog)

Some days I think I may actually lose my mind. Today is one of those.

Thinking I was being a cozy mom on another rainy day, I decided to make a yummy coffee cake for breakfast. I had this picture in my head of a happy family sitting around the breakfast table eating their eggs and coffee cake and talking about what saint feast day it is today. Instead breakfast wasn't actually edible until 9:00 when we were all starving and after the kids had finally been put in front of the TV because I had to focus on finally getting breakfast done.

Can I just say TV before school never works out in my favor?

During this time, I realized we had forgotten to run the dishwasher last night, so that had to get put on a quick wash which meant it didn't get unloaded at its regular time, which of course meant it didn't get loaded at its regular time.

Because breakfast was so late, as soon as we were done eating it was time to start school. Sunflower asked if she could do some of her "preschool fun books" and I reluctantly said yes.  This meant Froggy also wanted to do "pwescwool". I got Fritter started on handwriting so I could give Ladybug a quick math lesson and simultaneously find rectangles with Sunflower and keep Froggy from destroying the schoolroom.

I am not good when pulled in this many directions.

Eventually I put Froggy in the playpen, set Sunflower up with Daniel Tiger (yes, more TV. My kids are turning into zombies), and tried to establish a bit of sanity back into our day. While Ladybug finished up her math page, I turned to give Fritter his math lesson (always a joy *snark*). I suggested we play four corners with his flashcards to help with his drill. This is usually met with excitement. Today he gave a blank stare to half of the cards and stomped around for another quarter of them. His lesson today was just review (thank goodness) so I crossed off half the problems on the page and set him to work. It should have taken 15 minutes max to finish. It took an hour.

Meanwhile I turned to Ladybug, who had finished her math, to do a phonics lesson. She did well, as usual, but by this point I was so frustrated I had very little patience to teach. We managed to finish her lesson (while listening to wails from Fritter) quickly, and I gave her the rest of her assignments.

Turning to Fritter, I knew we were in for trouble . His face in a scowl, he proceeded to let me know just how horrible one particular long division problem was. I asked him to set it aside so we could work on other things and when he came back to it, it would probably be easier for him. This turned into a verbal argument between me and my almost nine year old son that I should not have allowed to happen. (And yet another two steps back).

We finally were able to proceed with our religion lesson, which (ironically) happened to be about the fourth commandment: honor your father and your mother. That went well *more snark*.  But by the end of the lesson we had both calmed enough to continue with at least a little bit of grace.

Finally my teaching part was over and I handed Fritter his list of assignments and went off to make lunch (because somehow it was now time to eat again). In the kitchen I found Sunflower digging her hands into the coffee cake and shoving in mouthfuls.


Assuming she had enough lunch I sent her off for an early nap. After lunch I realized my kitchen was still a mess (remember the dishwasher hadn't been loaded) and there were toys and trains everywhere. Three baskets of laundry needed folded, and the one item I gave myself to do today (clean the fishtank) was never going to happen. My two older children were obviously not finishing up their schoolwork (though they had already been admonished to please be quiet thank you very much) and my two year old was desperately trying to get into every possible thing within his reach.

This is the point where I realized I could possibly lose my mind. I locked myself in my bedroom for a good cry and quick text to a friend to ask for her prayers (we had promised each other we would do that if we needed to). And then decided I hadn't blogged for awhile and this seemed like an excellent time.

I have to remind myself that not every day is like this. In fact most days are not like this. I am 36 weeks pregnant. And my back hurts and my feet are swollen and I'm so tired.

And next week is our last week of formal school until January (praise God!). Then I can focus on the house that seems to be falling apart around me.

This whole called to be virtuous in our home life thing? I'm pretty much failing right now.