Little Bit O’ Lagniappe [Vol. 2]

**In Cajun French, “lagniappe” (pronounced ‘lan-yap’)  is a term that means “a little something extra,” or a happy surprise. From time to time, I will write a post that has a bunch of little thoughts all captured in once place; a veritable “snapshot” of my life in the moment. Hopefully, something in the mix catches your eye and you can take a little “lagniappe” with you to brighten your day!

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Natural Beauty
Last weekend brought coolish temps to the Houston area, if only for those two days, and I couldn’t be more grateful.  One of the things I love about the house we’re renting is our simple deck.  My husband and I relished the opportunity to wake up with the sun, sit out on our porch with some hot coffee, and just breathe deep the cool air and the sights and sounds of morning breaking.  So simple, but so good for our souls.  Unfortunately, it’s back to the muggies this week.  I can’t wait for that next cool front!

Soundtack of my life

Lately, the song “Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)” by Don McLean has been stalking me.  Every time I get in the car, go into a store, or put my music player on shuffle, that song turns up.  I had never really listened to the lyrics, but since the song is following me everywhere I go, I decided to just sit still for four minutes and three seconds to see what Don had to say about Vincent Van Gogh.  In doing so, I was surprised at the poetry in McLean’s words.  In a way, this song is a work of art itself.  The word choice is beautiful, describing Van Gogh’s famous work: “Shadows on the hills/Sketch the trees and the daffodils/Catch the breeze and the winter chills/In colors on the snowy linen land”  The whole song is like that. Of course, the sadness inherent in the melody is reflective of the sadness of Van Gogh’s life and eventual suicide.  Reflecting on this, I’m reminded of those we’ve lost to suicide throughout the centuries – Marc Antony, Judas, Ernest Hemingway, and most recently, Robin Williams – and reminded to pray for their souls.

Book Nook
In the midst of the book of Romans.  Over the past year or so, I’ve really grown to love St. Paul!  I’m also reading St. Faustina’s Diary for the first time.  I started it last Labor Day (yes, as in 2013) but I keep picking it up and then laying it aside, because I find that I need time to meditate on many, many thoughts contained within. This book about God’s love limitless mercy is so timely for our troubled times.  I wish more folks knew of Our Lord’s tender, Divine Mercy.  I wish they cared enough to know.  Here’s a sample little nugget I stumbled upon just this week:

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Sittin’ and Thinkin’
About the 30th anniversary of the National Night Out against crime.  Our little neighborhood hosted a gathering at the playground, complete with live music, hot dogs and nachos, face painting, police officers with their horses, fire trucks, and a moonwalk.  It was great to see so many friendly faces gathered together to celebrate where we live.  In a world where we hear such horrid stories of kidnappings, molestations, shootings, murders, and all types of horrendous crimes, isn’t it nice to have a designated night to hang outside with your neighbors, enjoy some food and fun, and know that we are members of our own special communities?

My Rush Hour Commute

…has been just that – rushed.  I’ve been leaving late for work almost daily, and construction in my area has made my commute more nerve-wracking than normal.  Need to get back into my prayer zone, but until then, it’s my praise and worship music on shuffle!

Pursuing Physicality
I kinda fell off the Couch to 5k wagon, though I am back on as of last week.  These somewhat cooler temps are removing the last nagging excuses I had left!

Handcrafting, Cooking, or Creating
I’ve recently decided I am going Paleo, so I’ve been wading into the world of Paleo information and recipes.  For me, I know the key to succeeding will be meal planning, so I’m enjoying coming up with new things to try!  On the agenda this weekend is to create a canvas decoration listing each of the street names we’ve lived on as a married couple.  Pics when it’s done, I promise.

Around the Water Cooler
I enjoyed a lively conversation last week with a coworker who asked why we Catholics pray to dead people.  Though I often get nervous when opportunities for office apologetics arise, I truly enjoyed being able to explain that saints are not dead at all.  In fact, they are more alive in Christ than we are – they are in Heaven!  Since she’s often asked me to pray for her in various life situations, I asked her if she thought the saints’ prayers for her might be a bit more effective, seeing as how they are enjoying the Beautific Vision.  Praise be to God for her thoughtful and kind acknowledgement that what I said made sense!

Caught in the Web
Honestly, not a lot of clicking lately.  I’ve been absorbed in some Facebook groups, which has inadvertently ramped up my prayer life for strangers.  I think this is a good thing…but sometimes I forget to pray for pretty basic stuff.  HA!

Prayer Journal
Please continue to pray for my childhood friend and her health issues.  She is seemingly getting more questions than answers, and I’m begging prayers for her comfort, peace, and trust in the Lord.  Prayers too, for a dear friend whose paternal grandparents’ home burned to the ground today.  Also, pray for two specific marriages in trouble, that the couples may grow closer to each other through Christ.  Finally, for a dear reader and friend’s newly discovered pregnancy, that she carry the baby happily and healthily to term.

Grateful to God
For answered private prayer intentions, for beautiful sneak peeks of weather to come, for a husband who brought me Starbucks on his way back from Adoration last Tuesday, and for the beautiful inspiration of the Holy Spirit as I wrote and presented a talk recently.

Our Little Domestic Church
Thursday is Howie’s feast day, that of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman.  Last year, when I was listening to Mass broadcast from EWTN on my local Catholic radio station, the priest in his homily shared this beautiful prayer of the good Cardinal.  I found it today on this webpage, along with several other wonderful reflections.  I leave you with this beautiful meditation on what God calls each of us to do here on this earth.

The Mission of My Life

God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission—I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. Somehow I am necessary for His purposes, as necessary in my place as an Archangel in his—if, indeed, I fail, He can raise another, as He could make the stones children of Abraham. Yet I have a part in this great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connexion between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling. Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life, He may shorten it; He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends, He may throw me among strangers, He {302} may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me—still He knows what He is about. O Adonai, O Ruler of Israel, Thou that guidest Joseph like a flock, O Emmanuel, O Sapientia, I give myself to Thee. I trust Thee wholly. Thou art wiser than I—more loving to me than I myself. Deign to fulfil Thy high purposes in me whatever they be—work in and through me. I am born to serve Thee, to be Thine, to be Thy instrument. Let me be Thy blind instrument. I ask not to see—I ask not to know—I ask simply to be used.

 

What’s going on in your world?  Give me a lil lagniappe!

9 thoughts on “Little Bit O’ Lagniappe [Vol. 2]

  1. I found your blog because of your C25K tag, but I’m following because I’ve enjoyed your posts and it seems we have a few things in common.
    I just moved from Houston (I now live in Ave Maria, Fl) and I’m a Catholic mom with a Divine Mercy Devotion.

    I don’t do Paleo, but I made a recipe last week that happened to be Paleo, and it was DELICIOUS. It’s a beef, mushroom, mashed cauliflower, and mashed sweet potato casserole topped with bacon (I used maple bacon)
    If you like I will give you a link to the recipe.

    Have you heard Josh Groban’s cover of Vincent? I don’t want to say it’s better than the original, but it’s pretty darn good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Running Heartless, my sister is at Ave 🙂 It does sound like we have a lot in common…welcome to my space on the web. So glad to have you here!

      Yes, please send that scrumptious-sounding link my way! My mouth is watering just imagining it.

      I LOVE Josh Groban, so I will have to track down his version and give it a listen.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh awesome! Is she a student at the University or does she live here full time?
        I graduated class of 2012, and now we are back for my husband to get a second degree (it’s a stepping stone to finish he pre-requisites for grad school), so I’m wondering if either my husband or I know her.

        Here is the recipe. Next time I make it I’m going to use maple breakfast sausage instead of beef. http://fedandfit.com/2014/06/10/four-layer-beef-bacon-casserole-giveaway/

        The Josh Groban version is on his first (self titled) CD. IIRC it might also be on his first In Concert CD

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      • She’s a junior this year. Thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to try it! Aaaand it’s apparently my lucky day – Josh Groban’s version is on Amazon music and since I have Prime, I just downloaded it for free. I will gice it a listen soon. Happy Wednesday!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ok so she entered after I left.
        Hubby has mostly freshman & senior level classes, so depending on her major, he may or may not have interacted with her.
        You are welcome. I gave the recipe a go because it sounded good, but the best thing is it broke my 2 year old’s pickey eating “chicken nuggets, ramen, oreos, & chips” streak. He couldn’t get enough of this casserole! And now he is back to eating almost anything we offer him.
        That’s great that you got the song for free, hope you enjoy it!

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  2. I have heard that we can appreciate books more when reading exactly how you describe your reading of St. Faustina’s book…over a long time and taking time to ponder what we’ve read.
    Also, good luck with the 5K training! I have completed two 5Ks, and they are fun. Stopping by from the Catholic Women Bloggers on FB

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Gina! I hate dragging the reading out so much, because typically I devour books, but this one really lends itself to slow, purposeful reading. Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  3. I’m such a sucker for “Vincent.” I’ve loved that song since I was a little girl. It always captured my imagination. I love your take on it though, next time it finds me, I will be sure to remember to say a prayer for those who’ve become lost and left before their time.

    Like

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