Here is my offering for the linkup to The Simple Woman's Daybook.
Outside my window…is a line of tall redwoods blocking the view to to the mountain on the other side of the river canyon.
I am hearing…the fire crackling in the wood stove and Noah Wotila on the roof, installing 2 solar tubes.
I am thinking…about today's saint, John Damascene, and the comment in the "Saint of the Day" book that "his holiness expressed itself in putting his literary talents at the service of the Lord". I'm wondering about the time I spend blogging - it's not an activity that I am eager to engage in, but if what I say encourages others, it's worth it. Unless this activity is "put at the service of the Lord" there's not really any point in spending time on it, so I pray that God will use this offering for the benefit of His beloved people (i.e. anyone who reads this).
I am thankful…for the surprise breakfast that Julie and the girls brought over this morning. They said that it was too cold in their house (when the Pirate built it, insulation was a luxury we couldn't afford), even with the fire going full blast, so we all had breakfast in the cottage, which IS fully insulated and warms up fast when a fire is started (only wood heat when you live in the forest, don't y'know).
In the kitchen…I have started a pot of beans in the slow cooker: black, red and white beans with a ham hock and sausage, diced tomatoes, onions (of course!) and garlic, cooked in beer and broth. I may throw in some other things at the end.
I am wearing…brown corduroy boot-cut jeans, a long-sleeved knit shirt and a favorite hand-knit mohair sweater from Ireland (brrrrr! It's cold here on the north coast!)
I am creating…an afghan for our outdoor daybed in Todos Santos. The wind is sometimes strong enough, and the weather cool enough in the winter, to warrant a light cover-up when I snuggle in for a nice read.
I am going…to town to put my property tax payment in the mail, and to do a small amount of grocery shopping at my favorite grocery store in the whole world, Mendosa's.
I am learning…how to be more deliberate in offering my (VERY small) sufferings and sacrifices to God. I continually remember quite late into it that even the smallest "suffering" (e.g. stinging eyes) or the least sacrifice (e.g. skipping lunch) can be used by God to strengthen me spiritually [1 Cor.9:27] or to direct additional spiritual strength to someone else who needs it [Col. 1:24]. I got a picture the other day that helps me to "get" what offering my suffering for someone else's benefit accomplishes. Imagine someone buried under a building in an earthquake, where the opening to rescue them is too small. Now imagine the extraordinary effort to the point of exhaustion or suffering that the rescuers would use to increase the size of the opening so the trapped person could escape. That's what offering our sufferings does, but in the spiritual realm rather than the physical.
I am reading…"The Sanctified Body" by Patricia Treece. After having read her "Nothing Short of a Miracle" (PLEASE read it - it's a GREAT faith builder!), I ordered two more of her books which weren't available electronically. Whenever we come up to the States, I order books which I can't get electronically and have them delivered to our cottage in Mendocino. "The Sanctified Body", which I just started, is fascinating. It deals with the various physical expressions that occasionally mark an exceptionally holy person: luminosity, bilocation, incorruptible bodies, etc. Sounds pretty woo-woo, but she's approaching it in a very non-sensationalistic, scholarly way, relying on well-documented instances and (the real point of the book) tying these physical manifestations to God's intent to unify all things in Christ, both physical and spiritual, both visible and invisible.
I am hoping…in and relying on God's great grace to make all things work together for good and to use our pitifully weak offerings to Him to accomplish His astounding purpose for us.
I am looking forward to…my granddaughter Ayla's party for her 16th birthday, which will be on Sunday after her youth group meeting. It will be an "ugly sweater" party so the Pirate and I have to go find a couple of ugly sweaters to wear!
Around the house…we are making headway in burning all the boxes that the many books and other things we ordered arrived in. When we arrived, we couldn't even see the desk for all the boxes piled on top! As usual, it's mostly books that we'll be taking back to Mexico with us, mixed in with a few tools (the Pirate buys tools like I buy cooking spices!)
A favorite quote for today…[spoken by Father Solanus Casey as he was in the hospital dying, in response to the question, 'where do you hurt?'] "My whole body hurts. Thanks be to God. Thanks be to God. I'm offering my sufferings that all might be one. Oh, if I could only live to see the conversion of the whole world!"
And another great quote…"True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less." - C.S. Lewis
I am pondering…how to hide the C.S. Lewis quote in my heart and learn to live it.
One of my favorite things…learning what the saints have to teach me. They are such amazing role models!
A few plans for the rest of the week: just hanging out with my family!
A peek into my day…