agnestirrito

"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe


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Sunday’s Song: Surprises

Happy Easter, dear readers!
Here we are at the end of our forty days of Lent.

Goodness, I have a lot of work to do in my life. I’m not quite where I hoped to be at the end of this forty days.
I’m hopeful though. I’ve been reading a lot of spiritual texts, praying about many decisions, thinking of the unexpected issues that make up a big part of my life right now.

I invite you to read the text of Pope Francis’s Easter homily at www.catholicherald.co.uk
I read and reread these words:
We are afraid of God’s surprises. He always surprises us.

Hmm. Yes. I have to say I am afraid of a few of the surprises He’s allowed to be in my path lately. But, I also know that since He is a God of surprises, He will see me through.

He will clear paths, provide answers, calm troubled hearts. He will meet us on the path to peace.
Blessings.


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Saturday’s Snapshot: Easter Prep

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It’s time to get baskets ready…even though we are all adults here, we are all here together this year, so the proverbial bunny shall hop.
The little brass bunny was a gift from my husband on our first Christmas twenty four years ago. The personalized eggs and the colorful glass ones are from my mom. She loved Easter. She loved us.
Happy Easter, dear readers.


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Friday’s Five

Hello dear readers,
I’m writing on this Good Friday evening, thankful for the gift of faith.
As is my Friday custom, I’ll list five of the many blessings from the past week.
More than ever, I see the value of this remembering and I’m glad to have this place to record.
So many good things…

Holy week services and connections with my sister and friend Lynn
who were praying with me in their own states thousands of miles away.

My immediate family of four all here together for the next four days. We’ve already spent time fishing and birthday shopping together.

Colorful envelopes appearing in my mailbox…oh, the preciousness of real mail.

A surprise birthday dinner complete with balloons, lei, funny headband–organized by my friend DeeAnn–who knows we keep going no matter what,
and in that knowing, gives me strength.

White irises blooming on both sides of the driveway—first time ever. Just in time for Easter.

So many good things…


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Lenten Journey: Reminders

The days of Lent have passed quickly. So quickly that I didn’t complete what I wanted to do. I see my limitations clearly. Painfully.
I’m more aware of what I need to do, though, and I learn this minute by minute through the people and events along my path.

Do I need help with limiting technology? Yes, I do…and a friend and I made a pact today to substitute a good project for a portion of that time, and to go further by reporting back each day.

Do I need to be less needy of others’
validation/concern/kindness? Yes, I do…and two friends gave me insight into remembering that all people are not put on this earth to be your friend. Some are sent to remind you that distance is good in some situations.

Do I need to organize and downsize?
Yes, I do…and friends keep getting jobs where they need things I have. It’s fun to give things to appreciative people!

There are more reminders. Reminders of the great goodness that people are capable of giving. One of my dearest friends surprised me today with an early 50th birthday dinner.
We sat and visited and know that even on the most joyous occasions, each of us has something going on: the drama of life. But we are reminded that it is our choice to greet life head on. With no fear.
We are reminded to stand straight, speak the scary sentence, ask the unaskable question, walk bravely through the dark.
We are reminded that there are good things on the journey. Good people and good memories to get us through.

I’ll attend Holy Thursday mass tomorrow as a thank you to my mother for giving me the gift of faith, as a thank you to God for His gift of mercy, as a reminder to myself that my faith never left me during these extraordinarily difficult Lenten days.
I’m thankful for the reminder that I am just human, trying to be better a little at a time. It’s good enough today.
Blessings to all.


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Teaching Tip: Ignore Them

This post is about test scores and the people who try to make teachers feel inferior when the numbers don’t add up.

Reread this post’s title for direction.

Take those two words of wisdom from a veteran teacher, a teacher who has had very good scores…and not so good ones, too. A teacher who has been applauded…and ignored…because of scores. Oh, it’s true. Ignored.

I laugh these days and I think more and more people laugh with me. Many of us are not one bit worried about test scores. We are worried about an illiterate society. We are worried that no matter what a score might show, kids aren’t reading and writing like they should.
Testing season is here. My students will sit down and work hard. And if anyone makes a comment to them about how important their scores are, you already know what I’ll say.
My students are important because they are human beings. Their teachers are, too. It’s way past time that some people remember that.


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Well

Some of my readers know that we tore down my childhood home a couple of weeks ago.
There was the surprise of a book found in the remains…and the surprises keep coming.
I asked my husband about the well out back.
Will it go, too?
No, the guy is leaving it, and the pump house.
I was comforted by that in a way I couldn’t explain… until last Friday.
Last Friday, Kimberly Willis Holt gave us a handout with the image of a well.
She talked over and over about writing about what matters: dipping into the well.
I sat in that gray university conference area, but I was home.
I was sitting inside an art studio yet to be built.
I was looking out at jonquils, Grandma’s roses, a late crepe myrtle.
Out to my well.
Intact.
Waiting.
It’s been there forever, literally my forever days.
We used it when I was little, that one and one that was uncovered down the road at a neighbor’s house.
It’s my metaphor now. My waiting place.
It’s filled with all my thoughts and stories and things that matter.
The old house is gone and she left something for me again. The backyard well…waiting.