Oatmeal Season

This morning Joseph asked for oatmeal for breakfast. We’ve had two 40 degree mornings in a row. It might actually be fall.

The first time one of the boys asks for oatmeal signals the unofficial start of an unofficial season: oatmeal season. It’s the season when our after-school sports fall off  and the days are shorter and we spend more time hunkered down in the house. It also means the start of super-illnesses, which is why Joseph got his flu-shot Monday (Shelby has an awful sounding head and chest cold which she rarely gets). I’ll follow suit for the first time in years when I get paid next week and the other kids will get theirs eventually.

Last week a friend deactivated her facebook account and when I texted her she told me she craved a simple life. A day or two later, I hung my “Gone Fishing” sign on facebook and logged out. See, for me, oatmeal season is not just about warm food and hunkering down from the elements, it’s also also about hunkering down with my Domestic Church and growing away from the world and closer to God. Turning my face to the Son as it were.

This past Sunday our parochial vicar gave a homily on the Gospel reading that described the prayer of the Pharisee as praying to himself. He then went on to explain how people still do that today. “I’m a good Catholic, I don’t need to go to Confession.” “I pray everyday, I don’t need to receive Jesus in the Eucharist.” Sadly, I’ve known more than a few who’ve fallen into that trap. Even more sad, I’ve felt myself pulled that way more than a few times in my life.

And it’s at a time like now, just before this election of all elections and prior to Advent, the need for oatmeal season has felt right on time. This is really exciting for me as rarely do things EVER time up like this in my life. Here are some things that I am looking forward to during oatmeal season:

  1. Getting closer to God through prayer, scripture and worship.
  2. Getting closer to my family with more activities both inside and outside our home.
  3. Having a clean(er) home.
  4. Having less “brain clutter.”
  5. Reading more books.
  6. Exercising more often.
  7. Being outside when possible.
  8. Helping with our parishes first Advent Family Day.
  9. Cooking and baking (two things that rarely happen during the five+ months of triple digit heat index)
  10. Preparing for the celebration of Jesus’ birth

During Advent, I may deactivate a lot of social media, but I may just stay away like I’m doing now. It’s important to note that I’m not burying my head. My husband is an evening news junkie both local and national and adores talk radio and cable news so, I really don’t get an escape from any of that. And I’m still playing along on my facebook blog page through my shell account, there’s no true getting away from it totally. And I’m around on snapchat and instagram…so there’s that too. And Google+ where no one else is but I’m a-ok with that.

But right now there’s a nip in the air and oatmeal for breakfast and that’s right where I want to be. This is the sweet spot, for me at least. It’s already given me my Bible verse for the coming  year, John 3:30. I also have already selected my saint for 2017, Saint Cristóbal Magallanes Jara (thanks in part goes to Tracy at A Slice of Smith Life for that one). I’m thankful God has taught me to embrace this time and let the world do what it does while I do what I’m supposed to do, follow Him. Oatmeal and all.