How I spent my birthday

I hate birthdays. Don’t mind getting older, but if there is one day in the year when I can count on being disappointed, stressed, and downright miserable, it is October 28.

This year was no different.

Nevertheless, some good stuff happened.

This year, my birthday was on a Tuesday – that means Chorale night. And as I was driving up the road toward that city wherein Chorale meets… I helped catch a horse.

Yep. Catch. A. Horse.

I was about 7 miles up the road, and traffic was almost at a standstill – and I was about to pass when I saw the horse galloping north (same direction I was headed) up the road. I ducked into the driveway of the house where I was pretty sure he’d come — met by about a half-dozen Dachsunds, and a misc Heinz-type hound, all barking their fool heads off… and no one was at home. I was getting into the car when a truck pulled in behind me – another neighbor! Hooray!

They went north, headed off the horse and turned him around south – I blocked the highway with my car and steered the fellow back across the road into his own people’s driveway. Then I got pulled my car back into the driveway, and got out just as he was thinking maybe he wanted to go back out into the road again. I simply raised my arms (a little more extended than the orans position, but I promise you I was praying!) and said “Whooooa!”

And lo! the horse stopped! and he looked at me, and I stood there and started talking babytalk to him (yes, I confess it) – and he walked to me and dropped his head onto my shoulder. Poor baby!!!

I was patting his neck and telling him how lovely a baby he was, and wondering how in the world to lead him without a halter – and the neighbor slipped past me, opened the gate and went into the feed room. When the big boy (gelding, probably close to 17 hands high) heard the food bucket rattle, he abandoned me and went trotting off to his feed bucket.

The neighbor’s son ran the parameters of the small pasture – no broken fence slats, so we figure he must’ve jumped. The big guy wasn’t limping and had no visible wounds, so I wrote a note and left it in their back door. Left my phone number, but haven’t heard a word from the folks – I’m going to stop by there, tomorrow, and inquire.

I’ve always loved horses, so that was a treat – even though I was in the wrong kind of shoes for tramping around chasing after one.

Remainder of trip was pleasant. Arrived early – auditioned for solo for Messiah performances with Carolina Ballet, coming up Thanksgiving weekend. I don’t expect to be given one, although I think “He was despised” went fairly well – we have some really fine singers in that group, and I was outsung every which way from Sunday. That’s okay, though – it was a good and valuable experience.

And after rehearsals, I went out with the crowd to the Irish Pub where I enjoyed a chicken club sandwich with kettle chips, and a slice of Baileys Cream cheesecake for dessert. I was the only conservative Republican at the table, which felt weird, and I grieved the loss from our group of the other Conservative who’s a LOT more knowledgable than I and always good for instructive and edifying conversation.

Filled up the car for $21.50 – $2.64/gallon, which is about fifteen cents/gallon cheaper than it is here at home.

Soon as the clock passed midnight, my very poor mood lifted and I began to enjoy myself quite a bit.

Thanks for all the well-wishes that have come to me via email, Facebook, and other blogs. I’m grateful for my friends.

God bless y’all’s socks off.

Laura, Warrior Princess

Confession: I’ve been holding out on giving God 100% of myself. There are two things I want very much, and I’ve been holding on – rather like Lot’s wife looking back at the home she didn’t want to leave – fighting giving all to Him because I want my own desires that much.

As if I could bully Him into letting me have my way by holding out on Him! HA!

Yet the people I love and long for – and my desires always involve people, not things – are even more precious to God than they are to me. I can trust Him to take care of them.

In fact, just a moment ago, listening to a course lecture on St. Louis de Montford’s True Devotion to Mary, I asked that my parental authority over my daughters, even now that they are grown women, might still be applied (after all, I didn’t know this stuff when they were growing up) – and I have consecrated my daughters to Jesus through Mary.

This shouldn’t really shock anyone – not of my Catholic friends, anyway; it is really the ultimate fulfillment of the Infant Dedication we made of them when they were under a year old. What I wanted then for my daughters is fulfilled in what I have learned about devotion to Jesus through Mary. This is just repeating and perfecting the pledge made then.

I make this devotion also of myself, and will formalize it before witnesses at the appropriate time.

In the Dedication, three major things are accomplished. They are contained in the prayer of Dedication:

First, we renew and ratify our Baptismal promises: we renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works.

Second, we choose that Mary, the Handmaid (slave) of the Lord will be our Mistress; we will become the slave of the Slave. “I deliver and consecrate to thee, as they slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future…

This takes us full circle – to the Cross: “And I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before.

This is an amazing act. I can only get glimpses of the power of it, the significance of it, in my imagination.

Thankfully, I don’t have to fully understand everything. It is enough that I recognize that I have been fighting, like a wild colt – only instead of stopping fighting for the weariness of fighting’s futility, I am coming gladly to the Master to ask Him what He wants of me.

I will serve as His bondservant all the days of my life. I will and do renounce Satan and his works, and I put on the armor provided me to fight against him forever.

Totus Tuus – All for thee, dear Lady, so that you might give all and more to your Son.