Friday, September 14, 2012

* BEST OF DTB #215* 7 Quick Takes in the Garden

"Every home should be a Garden of Holiness" - Father John Corapi, a priest needing prayer, like every one of them.

I have been reluctant to write on the blog. It's a daily struggle that ends with succumbing to the excuses of being too busy, too distracted, too this or that. Really, it's an absurd flush of shyness that has kicked in. Thank you for bearing with me. I'm not succumbing to it anymore, now that I've identified it, self mastery being the name of the game.

Why do this blogging and podcasting anyway? Well, that's a question I've been pondering lately. The main reason is that family life is worthy of notice, though it is mostly hidden. Even Christ Himself treasured it enough to keep it mostly to Himself. I don't have any particularly spectacular things to say. In fact, most everything that I do say is quite ordinary. As one long ago ex-boyfriend once quipped, "You have a fine grasp of the obvious." I'll take that as a compliment. My talents are in the teacherly vein: I notice something needing seeing, I sense where the trouble spots are, and I can point down the path. It's an encouraging talent that I have. So, enough with the burying of the few talents I've been given. Me and my ordinariness are back to work, pointing out the beauty and the struggle in the obvious, just in case someone has been missing it.

How's school going?

We're muddling right along. The first month has wound down into that "This again?" slowdown. It's a mild rebellion of spirit that means incentives are a bit more necessary to slog through the day. I promise you a cup of sweet mint tea, my dears, if you finish your work before lunch. Would that every job could have such easy motivation!

Humor and Autism

My son with Autism has discovered humor. He's always been funny, and loves to generate laughter in others, but now he has discovered he can do it with language. He's using his speech generation program on his iPad to do it. Teaching kids humor skills are easy with a book of Knock Knock jokes. They are formulaic, easily memorized, and the humor lies in the unexpected twist. You can point out the humor of them easily. So if my son comes up to you and pushes the button that says, "Knock knock!" be sure to laugh at the punch line. He's not above nagging with a repeated finger on the "haha!" button. "Haha...haha...hahahahaha." Fair warning.
Did you catch that we teach humor?
Indeed, it is a teachable skill. It's a necessary one. We begin with pointing out the unexpected in whatever funny thing just happened or admiring the execution of a great joke. We wait until the laughter has died down, of course, but the discussions often lead to more. We love to laugh, we Martins, so we want to ensure that the kids know how to bring laughter out, with the usual cautions of, "It's only funny if everyone laughs!" to ensure kindness. Kids are natural hams, mostly, so we want to give them the skills to take the spotlight, deliver their lines, and give it up gracefully. We think the world needs more funny people, so we're making a few more for you.

You're welcome.

Protestant and Catholic: Common Words but Often Not a Common Experience

We Catholics believe that the Church is vital--the actual Church. This is why dissident Catholics stick around so much and cause scandal by parading their personal opinions as actual dogma. Protestants on the other hand often have to suffer through being a Church of One. Many spend decades "church hopping" to find a church that teaches what he or she personally believes. Given the infinite variety of beliefs, most usually end up compromising something in favor of "at least they're family friendly" or "the music is good." It's a struggle that Catholics simply don't understand, and the difference gets in the way of many a discussion between us. When a Catholic discusses "belief," it is a belief that has been handed down for 2,000 years and the struggle has been to bend one's will to that Truth. When a Protestant discusses "belief," it is one that has been discovered and won personally. On most issues, we use the same words, but mean things incredibly divergent. We simply don't speak the same language, so be careful out there.
I'd like to encourage my readers and Podcast buddies to join me over on Facebook. I do a bit of "microblogging" over there. I try to practice those humor skills in my updates. Join me, if you like! Let's be FB friends!

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