Applause In Church Is Not Always A Bad Thing

_Emotions 02

_Emotions 02 (Photo credit: SeRGioSVoX)

If there is one thing you can get both sides to agree on in the liturgy wars, it is that applause in church is a bad thing. I heard the argument made once that any time there is applause in church, it is a sign that the liturgy has been derailed. Applause is for performances; the liturgy is not a performance; ergo, applause = bad.

In general I think that’s reasonable, but it’s not 100%.

There are many reasons why people applaud, and most of them have nothing to do with praise for a performance. Applause is a sign of support, of solidarity, of affirmation, of appreciation. We applaud when kids receive their first Communion, when families celebrate a baptism, when a priest announces he is being reassigned (and not because we’re glad to see him go!). One on one, there are many other ways to express these sentiments, but as a community, applause speaks love and fellowship most simply and effectively.

But even if we focus on applause that is a response to the music, I don’t think it’s as clear-cut as it seems. Applause speaks of emotion, and music evokes an emotional response. A few weeks ago, we finished Mass with “Amazing Grace.” The congregation sang its heart out, and afterward, they applauded. If you asked why, most people probably would say something that invokes a good performance, but I don’t think that’s entirely accurate. What they’re responding to is the fact that something touched their hearts and evoked an emotional response.

The prevalence of emotional manipulation in a lot of modern religious rhetoric tends to make Catholics suspicious of emotional response to religion. We often see Catholicism as strong because it isn’t emotionally manipulative; it doesn’t rely on gimmicks and flashy trends to reach people. Instead, it rests on a fathomless tradition of study, prayer, and big-T Tradition. This is true, but none of that negates emotion. Emotion is part of who we are as human beings, and if we try to pretend that it has no place in our worship, we’re not being true to how were created.

In New Seeds of Contemplation, Thomas Merton talks a lot about transparency and its close relationship to humility. A truly humble person, like Mary, is like a pristinely clear window offering a view of God. The view you see through that window is what receives the praise, not the window itself, which is nothing more than a conduit for the view.

Most of us, including me, are not pristine windows. Our pride and vanity smudge the glass, and all that praise catches on the surface instead of passing through to its proper destination. So we’re always going to have to wrestle with this issue. But I think our preoccupation with the topic reveals more about our own sins than it does about reality.

Published in: on October 14, 2013 at 8:01 am  Comments (12)  
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We aren’t losing people because of worship. We’re losing them because we’re hypocrites.

And you gave me to Drink

And you gave me to Drink (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

There’s a blog post making the rounds right now about the dismal record of churches, both mega- and traditional, to retain their youth into adulthood. The author and all the commenters have their pet theories about why this is–the age-old argument between “worship isn’t relevant” (i.e. it’s too traditional) and “the worship is too contemporary” (i.e. it’s too contemporary) seem to be the focus of discussion.

Although I’m a liturgist, and I have impassioned opinions on the question of musical style in worship, I actually don’t believe the style of worship has all that much to do with this question at all.

We are losing the youth–and everyone else who’s leaving organized religion–because they think it’s a bunch of B.S. A conspiracy made to pacify the ignorant and keep the masses in line. And why do they think this?

Because we call ourselves Christians, and we don’t act like Christ. We say we believe, but then refuse to act like believing changes everything. We talk big and then we talk trash about others. We act as if the aesthetics and the personal preferences are what it’s all about.

In simple language, we’re losing people because we’re hypocrites. Even, and sometimes especially, those of us who are the most involved in our churches.

In every Catholic discussion, Vatican II seems to be the lightning rod. Someone always says that whatever problem we were facing was caused by V2 because it didn’t exist before that, and if only we went back to the way things were fifty years ago, all our problems would go away. As if somehow people were intrinsically holier then, instead of simply doing what was culturally expected. Fifty years ago, people went to church whether or not they really wanted to, not because they were better Catholics, but because that’s what everyone did.

These days, church is not what everyone does, so people don’t do it. And that’s not a change caused by Vatican II. That happened in the context of a larger world. All matters of faith are lived in and influenced by the context of the larger world, and that is as it should be. We aren’t “of” the world, but we do live “in” it. We can’t possibly hope to leaven the world if we stand apart and wag our finger at it. You have to dive in.

I know that’s scary. Each of us has a vision for the way the world should be, and it’s pretty cut and dried. But the world isn’t black and white. It’s a complex, interwoven mess. You tug on one string and every other one is affected. There are no simple solutions to any of the issues we face.

The world is messy, and the more you get down in the muck, the more you realize your pat answers don’t–can’t–stand unassailable in the face of the real world. You find yourself forced to reconsider, to shift your dearly-held philosophies to make room for circumstances that don’t fit neatly into the box you’ve made.

Nobody likes having to do that. But if you just keep confirming yourself in your own rightness, it pretty soon becomes self-righteousness, and self-delusion. And then your faith, strong as you think it is, ends up ringing very false to others. They might not know why, but they’ll sense the underlying conflict.

And then they figure, if this is what faith is, I don’t want any part of it.

We can’t ever stop seeking deeper truth. And that search is exercise for the soul. Like physical exercise, it hurts, because it begins with breaking down the boundaries of the muscle in order to make room for expansion.

photo by Catholic Church (England and Wales), via Flickr

But at its basic level, that spiritual exercise begins because we go out and we do something with our faith. It’s in the doing that we experience the things that challenge our presumptions and assumptions. Don’t tell me all the reasons it can’t be done. Do something about it. You may not succeed, you may fall flat on your face, but do something.

This is what Pope Francis keeps saying over and over. Sure, worship is important, but worship is not the most important thing; worship is the spiritual food for doing the real work of Christianity. Do something.

If all of us who call ourselves Christians heeded his call, it would be a game changer.

Related Posts:

A Ministry Manifesto

Published in: on August 13, 2013 at 7:15 am  Comments (31)  
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A Ministry Manifesto

Visita Papa Brasil

If you only ever share one post I write, this is the one. Because this is important.

We need you.

And yes, I mean you.

You think you aren’t good enough to join the choir. You are. You say you’re tone deaf. You’re not. We’ve known a man who actually was…and he learned to sing. (Sort of.)

We are better when there are more of us. We blend better, we carry better, we are more confident, we worship God better when you are with us, even if your voice is only so-so, even if you can’t read a note of music. I thank God for each and every one of our core members, but all of us know we are better when there are more of us.

You think you don’t have time, that ministry is a drain on your time that you can’t afford. But you will receive as much as or more than you give. Christianity was never meant to be practiced in isolation. Those who give of themselves find that the community gives back many times over.

But even if you’re not called to minister through music, you are called to minister in something else. The value of lay Eucharistic ministers and lectors is self-evident, but the basic ministry is hospitality. When you come to church, whose is the first face you see? The person who can stand at the door and smile and welcome their fellow worshipers is the person who sets the tone for the day. If a hospitality minister breaks the ice for you, it empowers you to sit in community with someone you don’t know. It enables you to reach out to the person beside you in the pew and welcome them in turn.

Visita Papa Brasil

All our gifts support each other. My husband and I can’t lead our community in sung praise when we have a toddler running around, dive bombing microphone stands and yanking on cords. Two weekends a month, we sit in the assembly with all our kids, but on our choir weekends, we depend upon the people who volunteer in the nursery. They make our ministry possible.

As Catholics, we don’t talk enough about the impact we have on each other in worship. Our tradition focuses on the vertical plane, and there’s a sense that it’s sacrilegious, too touchy-feely, too “horizontal” to acknowledge that our role is important, too.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not suggesting that the music or the hospitality is the point of Mass. But we must recognize that if the liturgy is the spiritual food that sustains Christian living, then the way we interact with it–both what we give and what we receive–is part of the equation.

The Contemporary Group singers

The liturgy engages the senses because we are souls enfleshed. We experience the world through our senses and through our emotions. What we put into to church matters. What we experience there matters, too. If we sit in our invisible box, pretending it’s just “me and Jesus” (or “me and the Eucharist”), pretending we have no responsibility to and nothing to receive from those around us, we’re deliberately cutting ourselves off from a source of grace.

If we want our Church community to be a force for good in the world, we actually have to be community. Faith is not lived in a vacuum. Far too many people simply show up on Sunday, expecting the Church to check off their little box and consider their obligation to Christian living fulfilled. If you want to be a real Christian, you have to give of yourself. If we’re going to spread the Gospel, we have to spread it to people.

Hospitality Ministry

We need each other. We need you. Yes, I’m talking to you, not the person in the next cubicle, not the person who has more time or more talent. None of us actually have time for ministry. We do it because we recognize that we have gifts that can serve the community–and through it, God.

So here’s my challenge. If you aren’t committed to a ministry, call up your parish today and ask where the greatest need is–and sign up!

And if you recognize your parish in this, share this post. I never say that, because it feels bigheaded, like I think my little corner of the blogosphere is the center of the universe. But in this case, I’m willing to take the risk. I’ll make it easy. See that little “share” button at the bottom? Hover over it and see all the ways you can share it.

God is the source, the center and the end point of our worship, but that doesn’t mean He has to do all the work. If we expect to build the Kingdom on earth, we have to do something about it ourselves.

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

–Teresa of Avila

Published in: on August 6, 2013 at 7:50 am  Comments (9)  
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Alive Again

Michael and I went to the Newman Center for Mass last night. That wasn’t how the day was supposed to be. I was supposed to be at 10:00 Mass across town, with the choir and my husband. I was supposed to conduct an a cappella piece and sing harmony on the psalm. But Nicholas’ illness peaked in the night, capping off three days of whining and bloody noses with a night of fever and four hours’ solid dry hacking. At three a.m. I said blearily, “He can’t go to church tomorrow. I’ll have to go later, before my meeting.”

So there I sat at five p.m., in the section beside the choir, at my old stomping grounds. As accustomed as I am to the constant jostling for position, it was disorienting to sit alone (well, alone until the baby woke up). But restful, too.

Although this was the Sunday evening liturgy I directed for one short year as a newlywed, the parish repertoire has moved on. I knew very little of it, but I learned, enjoying the sound of a contemporary ensemble that is most of what I would like ours to be, leading a willing assembly actively engaged. (Can I just say…wow.)

There’s something special about that church, and although I love my parish and the community to which I have dedicated the last twelve years, somehow whenever I walk into the building where I met my husband and where I married him, it feels like coming home. So much of my growing-up-in-faith happened within those walls, and sitting there, the memories seemed to leap up in greeting.

There were evening choir practices and prayer circle in the cry room, and the heartfelt hug and prayer of a wonderful woman who could see that something was troubling me in those early months of my anxiety, even though I didn’t have the courage to tell her what it was. There were Sunday morning prayers before Mass, twenty people crowded into a music storage room not wide enough for two to pass each other. There was the day after our wedding, when I stood up to ask for  volunteers for my Life Teen music ensemble. It was the first time I ever referred to myself as “Kate Basi,” and the whole assembly, which had seen us grow together for four years, applauded.

Photo by Niccola Caranti, via Flickr

There were earlier memories than that, even. I remember sitting with my parents on a Saturday evening in the days when the church was arranged “in the round,” and the slanting rays of the evening sun blinded, the light searing my soul, flaying it open. It flayed open again last night as I watched my fourth baby stare, mesmerized, at the warmth glowing on polished wood.

I was awake to the holy last night in a way I haven’t been for a long time. And it was beautiful.

Published in: on April 23, 2012 at 6:59 am  Comments (3)  
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Let Everything That Has Breath (or: Beating a Dead Horse)

Just before my alarm went off, 5:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning, I had the most amazing dream. We were attending Mass at the Newman Center, and singing the new Mass parts. They were chants, as a matter of fact, but the most gorgeous, melodic chants I’d ever heard, and expanded into gorgeously rich harmony that made the very air hum. And ringed around the exterior of the church stood dozens of people, children and adults, bearing small percussion instruments—agogô, cabasa, güiro, and others I know by sight and sound but for which I know no names. It was a tight ensemble; I looked around and marveled at the way even the children kept the complex rhythms locked to the voices, the joy filling up the space, and my heart lifted up in gratitude not only for the existence of God, but for the power of what He created here on Earth.

It is sometimes suggested that what I describe crosses into irreverence. It is called banal, feel-good, happy-clappy, and so on. People I deeply respect in all other areas use the word “beauty” to mean “high church,” unable (or refusing) to acknowledge that beauty crosses aesthetic lines, finding itself equally at home amid chant, praise bands, contemporary ensembles, solo cantors and classically-trained choirs.

Only in the constant frustration of trying to moderate the online rhetoric do I finally realize how blessed I was to grow up in a small, rural parish where there was little pretension and a great openness to all forms of beauty in music (even though, being a small parish, we were incredibly limited in what we could do). It wasn’t until much later that I realized how strongly so many people equate God with solemn, humorless sternness. I’ve never understood it. Why must reverence equal silence, holiness equal formality? Why do we shush children, try to make them behave (defined as sitting still and being silent, things utterly not in their nature, things which cause them to yell “church is boring” and help them not at all along the road toward understanding what’s going on and becoming active in participation)—why, when Jesus very clearly said “Let the little children come to me” and “whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it”? Why do we use worship as another venue to drive wedges between people, to separate them into groups that can be labeled “Us” and “Them”?

Don’t get me wrong. You know how I crave silence, how I find God in it. I think the lack of silence in modern life is a real problem, one that people are reluctant to address. And certainly I’m not suggesting that we should abandon the pomp and grandeur of high church. I know, without a doubt, that the ideal held up by the aforementioned people has real power to lift the heart to God, when it’s well done. But so do other forms. Look around the world. God created kangaroos and slugs, mountains and valleys and deserts and oceans, skin in black and white and all variations in between, and inspired people in all of them to create unique forms of beauty. How can we claim that there is only one way to worship the God who created such diversity? When any of us try to set up our own personal preferences (whatever form they take) as the only way or even the best way, we put God in a box.

Well, thank God He won’t stay in that box, that’s all I have to say.

What I experienced in that dream would be hard to achieve this side of Heaven. But it reminds me yet again that the human race, in all its diversity of custom and culture, truly is good.

Today I am grateful for all the things that support the song of the people of God:

hand drums and drumsets

electric guitars and keyboards

pipe organs and glorious trained choirs

chants and Renaissance polyphony (okay, so that last doesn’t support assembly song, but it can still lift our souls)

Handel and Haugen

Pope Gregory and Rich Mullins

for the inSpiration that touches all artists, whether they choose to make good use of it or not

for the constant renewal of the Church in the gifts of its members

for the constant tension between embracing what is good from contemporary culture and holding on to truth—however imperfectly the balance is held

for online arguments that remind me never to take for granted the blessings I’ve been given

Counting to a thousand with the Gratitude Community at A Holy Experience

7 Quick Takes, vol. 119

___1___

First out of the box: I am writing a short magazine feature on marital communication and natural family planning. I’d love to have some quotes from some of you NFPers out there on how you think NFP has helped, hurt, or otherwise affected your spousal communication. Email me at kathleenbasi@gmail.com, or just leave a comment!

___2___

For reasons I won’t go into, I’ve been thinking about texts for liturgical music lately. There are “horizontal” texts and “vertical” texts. Horizontal focuses on our relationship as community of believers, although there remains an implicit (and sometimes overt) vertical dimenion. The other is simply directed upward, pure praise and worship. (Now that’s interesting. I didn’t set out to use a term associated with praise bands. Vertical texts generally are associated with traditional hymnody, which is what I meant. But the juxtaposition indicates that the various schools of thought aren’t as far apart as they think they are! Hmmmm.)

Anyway, I’ve been thinking that the objections to horizontal texts (the “we” songs: They’ll Know We Are Christians, We Remember, etc.), or on texts that focus on me and my response to God’s call, don’t really hold up. Faith isn’t lived in some cerebral, vertical vacuum. It’s lived out in a messy world. God doesn’t force us to follow him; he offers the choice to live a holy life. How is it inappropriate to sing “I will choose Christ”? Worship is focused on God, yes, but implicit in any worship of God is our response. After all, God doesn’t need us to worship him. Our worship doesn’t make God greater. But it does change us.  If what we do on Sunday doesn’t affect the way we interact with each other the rest of the week, then we’ve missed the point altogether. And horizontal music makes those connections for us. So…in summary, both vertical and horizontal are important.

___3___

The third trimester of my last pregnancy was awful. It got to the point where I couldn’t support my weight on my legs; I walked around the mall one day leaning on the stroller. Finally I realized that it was the result of two C-sections; my core muscles were just weak, and I’d never done anything to strengthen them. So the last year or so, I’ve been doing Pilates and situps and stretches. But that problem in my right thigh reared its ugly head again lately. My massage therapist tells me it’s a result of pelvic tilt. So I decided to do stretches and see if I could ease the pain. So far, it’s helping. Not perfect, but it’s helping. I’m also thinking about posture more.

___4___

Here’s one of those things that a mother “treasures in her heart.” A few days ago, I went out to get Julianna off the bus, and the bus driver–incidentally a woman who loves her job so much that she wears T shirts that are all about being a bus driver, and (even cooler) a bus driver for special kids–shook her head and said to me, “You know your little girl just charms everyone she meets?” Sniff, sniff!

___5___

I’m attending my first writing conference in a few weeks, and so I’m trying to put together a novel pitch. Intimidating, and exciting. I realize I know exactly how to pitch certain of my works–the Advent book and my first novel, for example–but not all of them. I know all the elements, however, and so it’s a matter of arranging them in a pithy sentence or four. And I take comfort remembering that my first novel pitch I played around with for about ten years. :)

___6___

Chicken Soup for the Soul: New MomsI spy, with my little eye… …. … At the grocery store last week, I saw a whole rack of these babies in front of the pharmacy. It was totally awesome to see something with my writing in it featured–without my having to lift one finger to put it there! Anybody need a gift for a new mom? :)

___7___

The sun has cleared the horizon in a gorgeous liquid orange-yellow, throwing a fuzzy glow across the wall opposite me, and my daughter is scooting down the stairs in her jammies and her diaper, which means it’s porbably too late for the toilet. Time to say:

Have a great weekend!

Published in: on March 11, 2011 at 6:46 am  Comments (3)  
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Ending the Liturgy Wars

With the changes to the Mass less than a year away, it seems like a good time to address a topic that’s been bothering me for quite a while.

They’re called the liturgy wars, and they are as ridiculous as their name.

Today I’m guest posting at Catholic Mothers Online, and my topic is liturgical music–something that, as a church composer, a choir baby who now has choir babies of my own, is near and dear to my heart. Come on over and join in the discussion!

Published in: on February 9, 2011 at 6:57 am  Comments (1)  
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Broken, Humbled, Part 2

Psalms of Queen Jadwiga in three languages (La...

Image via Wikipedia

There’s a prayer I say every time I go up to sing the psalm: Lord, speak through me today. Use my voice to reach your people.

This is a humble prayer, and with good reason…because I’m not. I think pride is built into the makeup of artistic people (imagine the ego: I put my words or music or voice or flute playing out there, and I expect you to sit and listen, read—and enjoy!)

I know what I’m good at, but I also know my failings. I spend an inappropriate amount of time worrying about whether my dress is hiked up in my pantyhose in the back, or whether there are perspiration spots under my arms. Stuff that has no place in the sharing of Scriptures, because it’s not about me.

On Sunday, I was even more distracted than usual. I’d been at church for two hours on Saturday night signing books, and I’d arrived that morning at 7:30 to do the same. So by 10:10, after running into church just as the Gloria was starting and slipping into place in the choir area, I barely had time to catch my breath when the reading from 2 Maccabees ended and it was time to go up to the ambo.

Part of the job of a psalmist is to pray over the words I am to sing ahead of time. I’ve never been very good at taking the time to do this, and in the kid era, it’s even worse. But this was a setting I wrote, and that makes a difference. The act setting Scripture to music—especially when it’s word for word, the way a psalm is—imprints those words in my consciousness, even if it’s buried somewhere beneath layers of busy-ness and distraction.

Sunday morning, I said my prayer as I walked up the steps. And I knew almost as soon as I started singing that I was in trouble, because the Spirit was staking me literally—speaking through me, to me.

“Hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit,” I sang, and humility rode the flat ninth straight to my core. Really? Lips without deceit? Aiya!

“My steps have been steadfast in your paths; my feet have not faltered.” Ouch! Really? Seriously? Surely the psalmist couldn’t have meant that! Whose steps haven’t faltered? Can’t I rewrite it to say, “I stumble around in your path, and hope I manage not to fall off it altogether.” Okay, so it’s not poetic, but it’s more authentic.

By the time I reached “But I in justice may behold your face…I shall be content in your presence,” something had happened, a musical alchemy in which knowledge of my own unworthiness to sing these words seared me. And as my soul cringed away from the light, I got out of my own way, and the Spirit took over. Suddenly, everything gelled—piano, drums, choir, assembly, and me—the music waxing and waning with the words of Scripture.

And it changed the celebration for me. Most Sundays, I lead the assembly in song, and lose my own spiritual food in the process—a true musical Martha, that’s me.

This week, I experienced music ministry.

*

Joining Emily at Chatting in the Sky

Published in: on November 9, 2010 at 9:33 am  Comments (4)  
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Second Home

Twilight comes early these days. When choir practice ends on Wednesday evenings, we press the touch pad on the wall and full darkness descends, leaving the holy spaces heavy and silent, a comforting closeness that can only be found in vast spaces, beloved and intimately known.

There’s something about the feel of the church as  footsteps pad on wine-red carpeting, noiseless (or perhaps buried under the gleeful squeals of our children, who are well past their bedtime), that brings into the present a segment of my life that usually seems much more distant than five years.

I’ve always loved the church at night, when streetlights twinkle through stained glass, concealing and revealing images by turns. I spent hours there every day. I felt so at home there that during the summer I would run across from my office barefoot. And yet it wasn’t until nightfall that the cavernous space finally felt like mine. Because, although I worship in song, I touch God in silence and in solitude.

I think of stolen moments of quiet before rehearsals, when the world ended at the edge of the lights in the music area, and holiness pressed in from the darkness beyond. Of sound whispering back from darkened distance, echoing melodies only heard in my head until my fingers touched the white keys. Of incandescent globes gleaming in black lacquer.

We came to this church ten years ago, most unwillingly. Called to serve—that we didn’t doubt—but heartbroken to leave a community we loved. I missed the neutral walls and arena acoustics of our old home, which transformed every splash of color into a burst of glory. I missed the drums and guitars, the questing spirit. Two years, I told myself. I’ll serve the Church for two years. Then I’ll have babies, and we’ll go back home.

Only it was four years. And by the end of the first, we knew there was no going back. We had thought we knew what it meant to put down roots, but this community opened its arms and enveloped us. We found our own drums and guitars, our own questing spirits, and our roots grew deep among theirs.

I spent so much time there that I used to joke about moving a mattress in during Holy Week and Christmas. I watched two long, pale lines form on the burgundy carpet, pooling into great pinkish blobs before the sanctuary, as week by week, people came forward and paused with their children to receive the bread of life. I sang people into the Church, into married life, into Heaven. I hung greenery, arranged flowers and rice bowls, traded jokes with singers, bickered with sound personnel. I stumbled into offenses, apologized, hurt them again, apologized again. They grieved alongside us through infertility. They flooded us when Alex was born, and that was nothing compared to what we got when Julianna came along.

This is how I learned: The more you give of yourself, the deeper the roots go. The more of yourself you give away, the more comes back to you.

And although we don’t give nearly as much of ourselves as we once did, it’s enough. Today I stand before the choir on a chilly Sunday morning, conducting Bernadette Farrell’s poignant interpretation of Psalm 139, and the word “radiant” catches on the image of light coursing down upon an empty tomb. I flash back to another grace-filled moment, and I know that I will spend the rest of my life unpacking the messages delivered within these walls.

***

Linked to On, In and Around Mondays with L.L. Barkat.

Published in: on October 31, 2010 at 8:11 pm  Comments (5)  
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Thursdays are for being tired

Thursday mornings can be hard in this house. Wednesday nights, we get out of choir practice at 8:30 (half an hour past the kids’ bedtime) and go pick them up and take them home. Every week, kids shove books in our hands and protest violently because we say, “No, not on choir nights, honey, you know that.” (Alex has this half-funny, half-maddening habit of responding to a no: “Fine! Then I’m NEVER having a book AGAIN!” Ha!)

Last night it was 9:20 before the lights went off. The irony is that Christian and I usually go to bed earlier on a Wednesday night than usual, because we’re so exhausted after choir practice that nothing seems as productive as collapsing in bed after putting the kids down. Leading the choir is energizing and draining all in one. Last night moreso than usual, because we had our first rehearsal for Christmas Eve.

Anyway, I launched that explanation to explain why I’m late posting this morning…Christian’s alarm went off this morning, he smacked the snooze. Three minutes later, my alarm went off, and we both remembered we needed to take my temperature. But I could not get out of bed to go running this morning. Or do Pilates.

I had intended to do a little writeup about Nicholas this morning, but at this point I’ve been so wordy with my explanation that I kind of think I’ll have to save it for later. What an un-inspiring blog post I’m writing today. Oh well, after the heavy topics all week, I was due for something entirely lacking in profundity. Aha, I know how to salvage this post. I’ll tack on my two favorite pictures of Nicholas from our fall portraits:

Isn’t that just the cutest thing ever? :)

Published in: on October 21, 2010 at 6:59 am  Comments (1)  
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