St. Patrick, Drew Brees, and Adversity – Or, Engaging 5th Graders During CCE

https://cajuntexasmom.com/2017/11/04/st-patrick-drew-brees-and-adversity-or-getting-5th-grade-boys-to-pay-attention-in-cce
St. Patrick probably would’ve liked football. Drew Brees probably likes green beer. They’re practically bros.

I’ve taught Continuing Christian Education (CCE) for about 10 years, give or take a year. During that time, I’ve taught pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st, and 3rd-5th grades. Each grade level is special for different reasons, but three years ago I realized that 5th grade is my super-fave-favorite. They’re old enough to ask smart, intelligent questions about the Faith, but young enough that they are still (mostly) innocent and carefree. Junior high looms large  around the corner, but for now, these kids are filled with the confidence of being the eldest of their schools. They have a sense of their budding responsibility to be good examples to the younger kids, and they relish the opportunity to live up to the high expectations we set for them. Seriously. Fifth graders are the BEST age for teaching religious education. FIFTH GRADE IS MY JAM.

Here’s the thing, though. I don’t connect, like, AT ALL, with the 5th grade boys. The girls and I get along well, because they’re more generally more mature and interested in spiritual ideas. Not necessarily so with the boys, though there have been a few notable exceptions. I have four brothers, so you wouldn’t think I would have trouble talking to these kids, and yet, I think I revert back to awkward-around-boys-5th grade Wendy and just fail miserably engaging and helping them understand how the study of Christ, the Scriptures, His Church, the Saints, etc., have any relevant connection to their lives. Until last Sunday. *mwahahahaha* Continue reading

Bold. Permanent. Indelible. – Harvey Makes His Mark

Mail
My mailbox on the 28th of August, 2017.

Funny thing about Sharpie markers. On their website, the product description offers its use for “paper, plastic, metal, and most other surfaces.” It’s that “most other surfaces” part that gets me. You know what surface I never dreamed I’d be using my trusty fine-tip Sharpie on?

My kids’ arms.

Turns out, Sharpie writes well on skin – even if your hand is shaking like a leaf. And it stays there after several days of baths and soapy scrubbings, as a bold, indelible reminder of a hurricane that still haunts my dreams, almost two months later.

Continue reading

How’s Your Lent Going? (A Letter to God)

How's Your Lent Going?

Dear Lord,

I feel like I am already failing at this Lent thing. You know what I planned to do, what my intentions were. You also know that I haven’t consistently done any of the things I set out to do.

Give up all to drink except milk and water? I fell on Day Two when a coworker brought me a fancy drink from Starbucks. Pray a Rosary or Chaplet of Divine Mercy every day of Lent? I fell on Day One. Really. Ensure that I set aside 15 minutes a day to read Scripture – and then actually do it, reflecting on what I read and prayerfully pondering Your Word? I fell on Day Four, because it was the weekend.

I’ve fallen a lot.

I know there’s still time. I know the season is young. It’s only Day Six (not counting Sunday.) But this, this is the time I usually start to rationalize my failures.

“Well, that penance was really too hard.” “That prayer routine is too unrealistic.” “That self-improvement plan was too intense.”  And on I go.

It’s so easy to do this when I fail. To console my ego. To lie to myself.

Remind me, Lord, that on your Way of the Cross, you fell – not once, but three times. And you’re the Messiah, so it makes sense that I fall waaaaay more often. How humiliating, how hard that must have been for You. And yet – and yet you struggled to Your feet, balancing your crushing cross, and You got back up. You kept moving forward.

Help me keep going. Help me persevere.

Love,

Wendy