I wasn’t going to do a Quick Takes post this week. Seven just seems like, well, a lot on a Friday morning that started on the wrong feet (yes, feet). But here I sit, with ten more minutes of computer time and a glimmer of motivation, so I’ll give it a shot.

A few weeks ago, I put together a rather ambitious plan for a project that’s been waiting and growing. It’s a writing project. This week, it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to (when will I learn?). And what’s amazing to me is that, sitting here, I’m OK with that. Because you know what? It’s God’s problem anyway and He will take care of it…if I will just get out of the way and let Him!

Here’s a glimpse at one of the newer voices in my head, Mr. Oompa Gloompa. He insists that’s his name, though I tried to talk him into something more, well, normal. Nope, no renaming for him, no making him mainstream or even slightly human with a “Henry” or even something exotic like “Lukorama.” His name is Mr. Oompa Gloompa. Did I mention that the “Mr.” is important? As it turns out, he lives in the glove compartment of my car, and he calls my oldest daughter “Principessa” (Italian for “princess,” and yes, it’s taken straight from the movie Life is Beautiful). He only talks in the car and he’s known to take long naps when Principessa wants to talk with him. She has found out that he’s blue (though invisible to our eyes) and that the glove compartment is a portal to his world. He will not talk to her if she’s rude or mean, and he prizes manners right up there with his naptime. She laughs a lot when he talks to her, and I enjoy that.

Every day this week, I’ve been saying a little prayer at various times during my day. I have it posted in my kitchen and my bathroom, and it helps me start my day and to realign myself throughout the day.

Take, Lord, and receive
all my liberty, my memory,
my understanding, my entire will –
all that I am and possess.
You have given all this to me.
I now return it all to you.
It is yours now.
Use these gifts according to your will.
Give me only your love and your grace.
That is enough for me, and all that I desire.

It’s May 1st! That means I have to get rolling with promoting the Mary Moments Carnival that will go live on May 15!

A friend lent me Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, by Anne Rice, a while back, and I read it in record time (for my life of late). In fact, it’s been sitting on my desk, patiently waiting for me to write a review. I don’t review every book I read, but it warrants a review (one longer than this quick take on it). I loved it and that I have felt a different (better) closeness to Jesus and Mary and Joseph since reading it. Rice did her research well, and I looked over her book listing at the end (which is done in narrative, sort of irritatingly) and am going to check out some of the books. In doing research for my weekly column, I’ve read some texts that I can tell she incorporated (The Gospel of the Nativity of Mary and The Protoevangelium of James, though she also read much more), and she brings them to life. Dare I suggest this book would make an intriguing jumping-off point for a Bible study? Oh, how I wish for a fiction reading group in my locale…years ago I was in a reading group through the library of my small town, and it was invigorating. Ah, well, someday. I am reading far less than I was then, and my reading has a different focus, and that will continue. But I can hope for that someday, can’t I? 🙂

I’ve gotten a few comments about my mention, yesterday, of Offline Evenings. I’ve been meaning to write about them for a while, but I haven’t because the sort of says it all. I’m offline in the evenings. What I didn’t foresee happening was the vast improvement in my life. It has been one of the three best improvements to my life (not wearing a watch and not watching the news being the two others). That said, I’m an early riser and I’m on the computer most of the day through my parish and personal work. Offline Evenings is just something that works for me. I think, at the heart of it, that it pointed out to me that my online and computer time is like so much else in my life, and that it can be a good, in moderation. Computer/online time has to fit into my life, not the other way around. (Now why has it taken me this long to learn that?)

Please keep my husband and his family in your prayers. There is a funeral on the horizon. Thanks!

Head on over to Conversion Diary for the full round-up of 7 Quick Takes.