I’m excited to announce that The Homely Hours has published my submission for their Book of Common Prayer in Daily Life series! Click on the image below (or link at the end of this post) to read my thoughts on how the BCP has been helpful to me in my Christian journey.

Thank you to Kelli Ann Wilson for submitting this guest post to our series on Family Prayer. Kelli Ann lives in Walpole, NH with her husband Damian and their two children. She works as a writer, and in her free time enjoys reading, gardening, and photography. Kelli blogs at OurCommonHours.com, and shares her family’s faith journey […]

via There’s a Prayer for That — The Homely Hours

I recently came across this quote from a Mary Oliver poem (in the image below), and I immediately felt that it really captures something true about the gesture behind Ash Wednesday, and the season of Lent, generally.

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

As Christians, we are both of this world, and not. We are both beholden to our mortality, and not. In other words, we should love our lives while we are here, but just the right amount—not too much—for we are called to love the lives of others even more than our own, and we are destined for something greater still in our lives to come.

Transcription: For years and years I struggled just to love my life. And then the butterfly rose, weightless, in the wind. “Don’t love your life too much,” it said, and vanished into the world.—Mary Oliver

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Zane 5 of 52 (2017)
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Zane 7 of 52 (2017)
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Zane 8 of 52 (2017)

Lillia: This month it seems like you didn’t spend very much time in school. Between snow days (we had four), holidays (at least one), and school vacation (an entire week), you had it easy in February! The snow days also pushed the end of the second term off for another week, which gives you some extra time to solidify your grades. Not that you really need the extra help—your grades are always stellar. The week before vacation you informed us that you will be starring in this year’s school play again. You said you requested to be the villain—you always like playing the bad guy, I think largely because they are more interesting characters. You start rehearsals this week, and I’m looking forward to running lines with you.

Zane: I wasn’t sure if it was ever coming, but winter finally showed up in February. Because of all the snow days we got to spend more time together than usual. Our snowbanks got so big that we were able to slide down them on a saucer sled. We also made a snowman, but he’s since disappeared under more snow. But, just as quickly as it arrived, it seems, winter is on its way out! We have really enjoyed watching the drama at the bird feeder now that the red-wing blackbirds, grackles, and brown-headed cowbirds are back. Every time a squirrel tries to sneak into the mix, the birds take flight in a noisy flash of black and red and the squirrel high-tails it back to the safety of the trees. It makes you laugh hysterically.

Here are a couple of Zane quotes from the past month:

Peering into his glass of water . . .
Zane: This magnifying glass is so strong that I can see the hydrogen and oxygen in my water!

One morning I was woken up by Zane poking and prodding me, repeatedly. When I finally acquiesced to his demands . . .
Me: Okay, I’m up, I’m up. What do you want?
Zane: A hug! I can’t hug you while you’re lying on your side.

Lillia 1 of 52 (2017)
Zane 1 of 52 (2017)
Lillia 2 of 52 (2017)
Zane 2 of 52 (2017)
Lillia 3 of 52 (2017)
Zane 3 of 52 (2017)
Lillia 4 of 52 (2017)
Zane 4 of 52 (2017)

Lillia: This month you’ve been planning and scheming about fun things to do with your friends. I am really happy that you are interested in cultivating your friendships – socializing can be fraught with peril at your age and I think sometimes you are intimidated by that prospect. I can’t say I blame you, and I think you are right to be cautious (but optimistic). You’ve been working on setting up a Dungeons & Dragons group for your friends at our house, with your dad serving as the Dungeon Master (he has some experience in this area). It finally came together one Saturday afternoon and you all had a great time. Your next big plan is to go to New York City with your friend to see a musical – how exciting! We’ll do our best to make it happen.

Zane: This month brought you many “firsts.” You made your first gingerbread house; you welcomed your first baby cousin, sweet little Kyla; you made kolacky (pronounced “ko-loch-ky”), a yummy Slovak cookie, for the first time with Mémé; and you attended your first dance class at Moco. What a busy month! You also received your very first “Academic Best” award from the school principal—you are so proud of your medal. This year I’m going to try and share more of the things you say. Here are a couple of recent gems.

A conversation we had:
Zane: Sometimes Joe has peanut butter and Donatello sandwiches for lunch.
Mama: Donatello? I’m not sure what that is . . .
Zane: You know, it’s like melted chocolate?
Mama: Oh, Nutella!

A quote from Zane:
You know what I love about living on the Earth? That my feet aren’t actually touching the ground – there’s a tiny crack between my feet and the ground. So, it’s like I’m floating.

It’s my last chance to say, “Merry Christmas” to all of you! While the secular Christmas season ended on December 25th, those of us adhering to the liturgical calendar (or, trying to, anyway) are just winding down what is known as Christmastide or the 12 Days of Christmas (from which the carol derives its name), which came to a close yesterday on Twelfth Night. We’ve entered a new season today with the Feast of the Epiphany, or Three Kings’ Day, which celebrates the visitation of the Magi to the infant Jesus. We had a peaceful Advent and a joyful Christmas here at our house, and we hope you did, too.

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