…it gives you an excuse to have a pretty notebook like this one in your purse:
Then you can fill your notebook with all sorts of things you want to remember. Train schedules, addresses and phone numbers that you need all the time but simply can’t remember. Random thoughts. Snippets of conversations you want to think more about. Bad poems written by yourself; better poems written by others. Quick little prayers. Things you have observed around you and pondered, and will want to revisit when you have more time. The name of the artist playing a jazzy piece you heard on the radio.
I’ve just filled this beautiful book, which my husband gave to me, and as I prepared to put it on the shelf, I leafed through it. Here is the arcane and random jumbling of my mind:
If you remain in me and my word remains in you, then you can ask for anything and it will be given you. — Gospel of John.
“The dumbest boy in the world is the one who, offered a dollar or a quarter from his Uncle, chooses the dollar. He is stupid because the Uncle will never play that game with him again. If he chooses the quarter, the Uncle will play it again and again. If the boy can put his ego aside, and allow his Uncle to believe he is the smarter, the boy will be the richer.” –Sermon
Priest: ‘I think I’ve lost my faith.’
Cardinal Cushing: ‘Don’t flatter yourself; you’re just bored.’ — Sermon
We are not meant to ‘succeed’ at Lent, but to fail and know our dependence upon Grace.
At Adoration, I came to see the greatness and all-encompassing nature of God’s love for us. This is no illusion; it is the only reality.
Some days I completely understand the sense of abandonment. I know I am not abandoned. Intellectually I know it. But my heart feels abandoned, still. Like a child left behind in a marketplace. Everyone goes about their business and no one sees me alone, skittish and awkward and so very afraid. The feeling will pass; it always does, aided by both the intellect, and the knowing, but…here in this busy, sad, ill-swept marketplace…I am quite alone and horribly abandoned. And my grief is almost too much to be borne.
Send card to Julie. Don’t forget, stupid.
Know-it-all-son: I don’t pray; I don’t need to because God knows all.”
Me: But even Jesus prayed…
Psalm 73: “I was stupid and did not understand; no better than a beast in your sight. Yet I was always in your presence.” That’s my whole life: blind, confused, obstinate, selfish, embittered, stupid as a beast. Yet you loved me. What a radical you are, O Lord, so counter-intuitive. Please teach me; my heart is ready.
One is surly and unpleasant. One is angry because he hates his job, even as he knows he should be thankful to have one. One can’t find a job and complains that he cannot play guitar because his fingers “have become stupid.” Lord, what is going on? Don’t trust Lizzie!
Will you please make use of that baptism, Jesus, Your Majesty. Make use of that portal, to illuminate our understanding of your great love for us, your mercy, your constancy and your plan. Opened at baptism, never to be closed (even if we think we are closed, even if we actively hold the opening tightly shut) -there is still a minute way in, a crack between fingers. Our closing off is never perfect. Blast through our closing, via the slenderest slivers of access, with your radiant light, that we may find the plans you know you have for us. Plans of fullness, not of harm, to give us a future, and a hope. You, of course, are all of these things: light, love, plans, fullness, future, hope. Guide us to you. Amen.
I am being asked where my husband found such a beautiful notebook. He says he picked it up at Borders Books and Music, but I know you won’t be surprised to learn you can purchase it through Amazon. When he realized I was close to filling it, he bought me another book -slightly smaller and with fewer pages- that he thought would fit my purse more easily. This one he got at Barnes & Noble, but you can read about it here too.
It is beautiful too, and I liked the red ribbon page marker very much (it’s red…what more need I say?). Like the first book, it has a magnetic closure which keeps it from getting sullied and unlovely. Is it more beautiful than the first? I guess that’s a totally subjective view. I have an especial warmth for the first one, because it was so unique, and took me by surprise, I think.
These and other really lovely designs can be found at the manufacturers website.
Buster -who has kept a journal, on-and-off, since he could write, and who always has a small notebook on him to jot down a thought or a lyric, keeps telling me I should pick up one of these moleskin books he swears by He says they’re durable and of excellent quality.
But they’re not pretty. Perhaps that is why he prefers them!