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Sometimes I think, when things are feeling overwhelming, the best thing to do is to get away from it all and focus on the things that are really important.  You know, like God and stuff.  Luckily, Saturday just happened to be the day of the Young Adult Lenten Retreat put on by the Midwest Ohio Frassati Society up at the Maria Stein Center.  I was planning to attend, mostly because I know the people who were putting it on, but to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from the day.  However, as always, God had plans to far exceed my expectations.  During the first talk Sweetness (one of my favorite people whom I hardly see anymore since she moved up north) used a quote from John Paul II that really hit me where I live.  The quote was

“We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son.”

John Paul II

You see, one of the things I continually struggle with is a deep awareness of my many, many failings, all the mistakes I’ve made, all the ways I’ve hurt or been a burden on the people around me, and my powerlessness to fix myself on my own.  I try and try to make things work, to be a better person, but there are some things that are just too big for me, some messes I just can’t clean up on my own.  And then my pride gets in the way, and I start masochistically insisting that I have to take care of this myself, because it’s too much to ask for help, other people have done too much for me as it is, etc.  And then I don’t ask for help from the one person who really can help, who really does have the power to not only help me become the person I want to be, but also help me deal with all this stuff in my life that gets so overwhelming sometimes.  At this point I really hope you know that I’m talking about God, but just in case you didn’t pick that up: it’s God.

There were some other excellent talks after that first one, but I spent pretty much the rest of the day thinking and praying and writing about that one quote, seeing how deeply it applied to my life, and acknowledging again the rather mind-blowing truth that God loves me, even though He knows better than anyone else just how big of a screw-up I really am.  And, you know, it was good.

If Saturday was the day to take care of spiritual things, Sunday was the day to take care of physical things. On Sunday we had our first ever Roommate Cleaning Day.  You see, Rosie, Johnnycakes and I used to divide up the house chores monthly, which each person being responsible for a different area of the house.  That was nice in theory, but in practice people got busy, and procrastinated, and sometimes months would go by without anyone doing their chores.  It got to the point where each of us actually felt discouraged from cleaning because, well, no one else has done their chores, and I don’t want to the only one, etc.  And then when one person did clean, they felt like they were the only one doing any house work, which led to resentment and a generally unacceptable level of frustration.  So we decided that we needed to all work together at the same time, so we could both hold each other accountable and also appreciate each other’s work.  Sunday was designated as the Day of Cleaning.  Miraculously, we actually started pretty much on time with Ritual Reading of Cleaning Standards (everything that needed to be done in order to consider a given area as “clean”), and all dove in.  And it worked!  No one feels put-upon, and our house is currently at a level of cleanliness hitherto only dreamt of.  Miracles do happen, my friends!

Speaking of miracles, it looks like my little car might be getting fixed sometime pretty soon.  Sunday evening I was talking with Fitz, and I told him about my adventures with overheating on Friday.  He told me that he’s replaced radiators in a couple of his cars, and he’d be happy to do the same for me.  He even offered to buy the radiator himself and have me pay him back when I was able.  It was an incredibly sweet offer, and after some deliberation I decided to take him up on the first part (installing the radiator), but only if I could find a radiator locally available for a price I could manage to pay.  I spent a good chunk of this morning calling around various auto parts places, and I found a radiator for a price I could, well, afford is kindof a strong term here, but you get the picture.  At first Fitz was all ready to drive straight up to Dayton this morning and put it in right away, but we decided that it would be easier to wait until Thursday.  So if all goes well, on Thursday before CL, while I am giving ‘Sup Doc her second knitting lesson inside Panera, Fitz will be outside Panera putting a new radiator in my car.  Which is, you know, amazing.  Like Fitz.

Special mention also goes out to LM, who spent part of the weekend also doing her best to get me a new radiator.  She had something all lined up, but I ended up talking to Fitz first, so we’re going with his plan.  But it’s the thought that counts, and she was thinking of me in the sweetest way.  So thank you, LM.  You’re awesome.