Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Beautiful Order

I enjoyed this post by new blogger Sarah on "Beautiful Order." After spending a snowy day organizing all her children's toys, she discovered how "transient" such beauty is! But as she writes,

Well, there is a point in organizing our homes, in teaching our children about order and trying to make our homes beautiful. These things teach our children, and remind ourselves, that God created the world and all things in it in an orderly fashion, and He continues to create things of pure beauty all around us. We can honor and glorify Him by creating and ordering in our homes, which He has given us to care for. These lessons give us hope and encouragement during those times when everything is a mess and we slowly begin to bring order out of the chaos. These lessons will bless our children not only now but in their future vocations, whatever they may be. For these lessons will help them grow in understanding and appreciation for God's desire for order and beauty, and their mom's steadfast quest to follow His will.

Be encouraged!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Theology for Infants

A long time ago I promised to post on this and never did: my apologies for the delay.
Ever since I learned about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, I have been fascinated by the task of teaching very young children about God. I received training in this method to catechize children aged 3-6 some years ago, and although I haven't taught in an Atrium in years, knowing the method continues to illuminate my thinking in this area. I have also thought a lot about pre-catechesis: what I can I do with my own child to prepare them to learn about God?
The most foundational thing I can do is to teach my children about God and His love. The first message must be: God loves you! I start doing this as soon as possible. Whenever we are in church, I whisper in my baby's ear: we're in God's house! He loves you! During the Eucharist, at the moment of consecration, if I am holding my baby, I whisper, Jesus is here: He loves you!
If a child can know that his parent loves him, can't he begin to know that God loves him as well? I think so, for as I told this over and over again to each of my infant children, over time I would see them start to listen and respond: first with just looking, and then slowly, with smiles, almost as though they saw something of God that I myself could not see...
The most important thing to teach my child remains the most important thing of all in the end: for we never get beyond the love of God. For teaching religion is not merely the passing on of doctrine, but an invitation to a relationship: to prayer, to searching, to receiving, to loving. And it all begins and ends with love.

Photo from Jessica Sheguit

Christmas Nativity 2008

Since I neglected to do this earlier, I wanted to post several pictures of this year's dressertop Nativity, which I think turned out unusually fine. One daughter had painstakingly made tiny snowflakes of paper and sprinkled them with glitter. I used them in the Nativity with old lace, bottlebrush trees, pearls, and vintage cardboard houses, together with topiaries made of dried hydrangeas and Spanish moss. Maybe the topiaries weren't the same scale or season as the evergreens, but both are among my favorite things... On the bookshelf, even my jewelry tree looked festive with bird ornaments and white and silver jewelry. I admit I love little things!

A Blessed Little Christmas season to you!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Magical Christmas

We decorate our tree on Christmas Eve, which means sometimes decorating is a little haphazard, when done by two tired adults after hours. But this year some friends who joined us on Christmas Eve helped out, and things went more smoothly. Here's the final result, surrounded by presents. Notice the playstands, which some blog readers helped me to acquire by patronizing my brother-in-law's store. My children were delighted to discover them the next morning. Many thanks to all of you for reading. May our Lord bless you during this new year.