Thursday, August 20, 2015

PHFR~ Whirlwind Trip, Good Reads, and School Starting


the rain and the trees were pretty! :-)

The week before school started was absolutely crazy.  We decided to take a whirlwind trip down to the Gulf Coast of Florida for the weekend, as a last hurrah before the hubbub of school began. It was the best decision, and yet, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were three of the busiest days of my life. I was like a headless chicken, running errands, doctor visits for me and the girls, haircuts, returning Summer Reading books to the library, shoe-store runs, cleaning, organizing, and school-supply shopping... and the whole bit!

The trip though? The trip, guys. It was worth it.

So much fun packed into three days.
And then this happened: 2nd grade and Pre-K.

Meanwhile, these two have been having a time of it at home, on the days Frances doesn't have Pre-K.


everyday contentment :-)

I'm in my last two weeks of pregnancy, so of course I'm watching Cupcake Wars, Good Eats, and the Pioneer Woman cooking show with any free time I can find. :-D

In the notfunny category, I watched a really, really, really good movie with my husband recently. Far From the Madding Crowd, starring Carey Mulligan (you might remember her from The Great Gatsby -- she was Daisy)... .  It is just really good... go see it. On iTunes ;)

oh yeah... my paris mug, one of the 3 mugs that broke this month  past week.

I finished In This House of Brede.

A lot of time in the car (once again- Summer how I love thee!) meant a lot of time to finish reading my book!

Rumer Godden became Catholic in 1968. She spent the next three years living at the gates of an Abbey, doing research on life in a monastery for this book.  I enjoyed it, but I will tell you in a minute why it won't be going on my Favorites list. Let me at the outset say this: she is an intelligent and thoughtful writer, with a gift for storytelling.

But my one - count it, one!- critique of the book was when I got to the Discussion Questions at the end and it said, "What about living in a convent appeals to you after having read this book?" I wanted to say "Nothing."  I know that sounds harsh. But let me explain.

I wrote this after reading a really tough chapter in the book (if you've read it and you hear "tough chapter," you probably know what I'm talking about):

I had a new peace recently. It was just a thought: this thought: You're working it out.  And it made me feel so much better.

The angst-leading-up-to-catharsis was the result of this book.

It made me face all kinds of things I wasn't ready to face.

At first I was like UGhhh. And then I was like: UGH!  And then I was like, Hmm.  I'm working this out. 

You know when the thought of something, or a really intense story or a day- or a book- like a roller coaster just leaves you spinning? The rawness- utterly unexplicable- that you weren't expecting?

Sometimes I just need to cry. Sometimes I'm actually sick and I didn't realize it. Sometimes my mind is wound up, but my body is exhausted and it's hard because I actually need to get things done.

Be patient with yourself. You're working it out. You're working something out. And that's ok.

I say this because her perspective- while touching, and thoughtful, was really rather sad..... to say the least!;)  She seemed to understand that there is a lot a person gives up in order to be a nun, that it is a life of renouncing many things, that there is sadness and deep pain about our lives in this world. But by the time I reached the book's conclusion, I realized that it where it seemed to stop, for her... at least from where I'm standing.   Sure, she does touch on the good things, but she dwells on a  lot of sad themes, in my personal opinion.  It was just so sad. She seemed to sort of miss the sweetness and the joy that surely must come from this life... for her, the sweet friendships are marred by sin, the conversation is often cold, she's fighting the angst but she hasn't worked out exactly what they are living for. Apparently these sad, tragic, exhausting situations need no closure, either.  Her descriptions, however, are quite beautiful. And if there is anything, although it may not be appealing, it is often very beautiful. Just missing that Peace piece. (for me). (I know).;)

I also just finished reading this eloquent book, Grace For the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life by Emily P. Freeman. She actually just had a new book come out, to boot. To be blunt, I'm going to give the one I'm reading this subtitle: "How to not lose your mind as a Southern woman."  Because it resonates with my Southern-girl so, so deeply, I'm just not sure you can fully grasp it in its depth without being a Southern woman living in the South.  A good quote: "If I am trying to please God, it is difficult to trust God. But when I trust God, pleasing Him is automatic...Anything we do to get life and identity outside of Christ is an idol, even service to Christ. He doesn't want my service. By all means serve. But don't do it behind a martyr's mask of duty or self-righteous obligation..." There are just pressures here, guys. Pressures you don't find anywhere else. Coping can make you go cra-zazy (cray, cray, whatever you want to call it) sometimes. For this, this book is helpful.


Just getting ready for the birth of our baby!
Linking up with Like Mother, Like Daughter as per usual!


October Rose said...

Oh, I loved that book so much! I just finished it for the first time also. :) For me there was sweetness and joy ... and yes, it was marred by sin. But I find in my own adult life, my sweetness and joy *is* all marred by sin. I think to be a religious means confronting that all the more baldly, which she portrays quite well in this book. I really appreciate that all the characters are continually succeeding at overcoming that sin--although it's a journey that never ends.

Tacy said...

I'm glad to find someone else who has just read it. Oh but didn't the sad part make you wish for closure and more resolution?!

Sarah Denley said...

Interesting perspective about Grace for the Good Girl in respect to being a woman living in the South. I haven't read it but it's on my list of things I want to read (along with Emily's new book!). I think I may have to bump it up after seeing how it can be read from that perspective. Thanks!

Dawn Rebekah said...

What is it about kiddos and boxes. What a blessing to get away for one last hurrah!
Blessings, Dawn

Tacy said...

Sarah Denley- definitely check it out. It is really good!

Dawn- thank you! I enjoyed your blog in this round of Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real.

Marcia said...

First of all, I hope that the rest of pregnancy will be happy, peaceful, and with minimum discomforts. Second, thank you for your book reviews because I am on the lookout for books recommended by people whose blogs I do like! Third, you have a beautiful brood there, and may it keep growing in God's love. Finally, I hope to visit often! Thank you!