Friday, March 2, 2012

some prayer requests in the guise of a post

I'm not a regular blogger. My life at present is just way too full for that kind of pressure. Ideally I like to blog once a week, but if it doesn't happen I don't worry about it in the slightest. However, Richard "observed" that it has been more than two weeks since the last post - and threatened, oh! I mean offered, to write a post himself if I didn't update the blog soon. I called his bluff - it was a bluff, of course - but you never know when he might actually get serious about something like that. So here's a little hodge-podge - my hasty scrambling for something to write before calamity could strike.......

our Lenten cactus 

"Lent" means "spring" - allegedly. Here in New Zealand, Lent always comes in autumn, but this year, autumn seems in a particularly big hurry to wrap its chilly, gloomy, blustery arms around the liturgical season. One is free to debate which type of weather lends itself more appropriately to the theme of these forty days, but after enjoying only about four days of sunny warm summer weather, we are a bit crushed to be welcoming fall already. I only got to swim in the ocean once! Still, it's nice to dig out all those warm things knowing that in just three months we'll be doing "Summer, Round Two".

In addition to the Lenten cactus, we also inadvertently acquired a Lenten caterpillar this year when a fat green caterpillar hitched its way into our home in a cornstalk. I thought it would be a nice symbolic addition to our Lenten season. I imagined it entering its tomb-like cocoon in a few weeks and then resurrecting with a glorified body. However, after spending over an hour on Google Images staring at photos of hideous larvae and grubs in every shade of disgusting (all while trying to determine what kind of caterpillar/future butterfly we have living in the glass jar on our table) I'm actually now just overcome with repugnance and revulsion for the thing and wish I had never ever thought to get the kids all excited about making a pet of a green maggot. At minimum, I'm moving it off of the dining room table.

Wednesday breakfasts

The ministry is humming along nicely. Fr Michael has added a Mass at 7:00 AM every Wednesday for the duration of Lent. Our youth have made a fantastic effort to get up early and attend. Afterwards we have a simple breakfast together and then off they go to school. James and Matt (the seminarian-hopefuls  who came up with the idea of the Wednesday morning Masses) are fantastic additions to the youth program and have enhanced the youth nights greatly. Both are pictured below - James near the center with spiky blond hair and Matt is bottom right in a white shirt with a red oval on it. The youth love having them around and they both contribute a level of "coolness" to which Richard and I aspire only in our wildest and most youthful dreams.

Some of the Tahu Youth & helpers 

Some of the Lighthouse Youth & helpers

Sealy Family Updates:

No, nobody's engaged. However, in the unlikely event that anyone was wondering about the sequel to the story of Maria's ring and my overly complex parenting theory about grace.... Maria did finally get her ring. She then went promptly back to all of her old habits of interacting with her sister. She then put the ring in her mouth in bed one night and very nearly choked on it. In other words, the entire affair was a complete disaster from every possible vantage point. The ring is back in my possession, along with a large helping of humble pie. 

Also on the "family" front - the whole family weathered the aforementioned seasonal changes quite poorly. Joseph got tonsillitis while Maria, Richard and I had bronchitis - we were all ill at the same time. Bernadette stayed healthy for almost three weeks before succumbing yesterday to "something." Meanwhile, Maria is still not 100% and is getting a chest x-ray to check for pneumonia. I think (or hope?) she does not have that, but would appreciate prayers nevertheless.

We are also asking/begging/groveling for prayers that Richard would hear about a job (and sooner, rather than later). Truly, we are both completely confident that the Lord is going to provide. He has done nothing but flex His mighty muscles for us over the past two years. I feel like if we don't understand His power and His goodness by now, we never will. All that said, it would just be really nice to know what we are going home to in three months. Especially because the moment we get off that plane on May 31, Joseph will need medical coverage for his frequent forays to the doctor. But the Lord knows that. He also knows that we gave away a lot of things before we came here, like, for example, our car. So if others could join us in trustfully and gently reminding Him - reminding Him not that we need a job, but that we are totally counting on Him to arrange it all! We also need prayers that we would remain trustful and at peace. Like Peter on the sea, we walk joyfully on the water while we keep our eyes fixed on Christ - but also like Peter, we are easily distracted by the winds of mortgage payments, health insurance and minivan acquisition that waft our way from the States. Sometimes we sink! Pray that we hold steady and grab instantly onto the strong, faithful arms of Jesus in those moments of panicky what the heck were we THINKING giving up the security of our sturdy little boat for this crazy tempest we are living?!?!?!! 

Speaking of "what the heck were we THINKING", there is a lot of THIS going on in the house. 

(Richard's son)

Poor guy. He's not nearly big or strong enough to defend himself, nor cognizant enough to realize that he ought to at least try. But his first birthday is coming up this month, so those sisters of his better watch out....  His liver is humming along well, but his growth has slowed down a bit again. The upshot of this return to the second percentile line is that I didn't have to get him any new winter clothes for the fall weather since almost all of his older stuff still fits. The downside, of course, is that his sisters will be able to have their way in dressing him up for a lot longer. And really, at this point, that is the only downside and so praise the Lord for that!