Friday, April 22, 2011

Toasty Cockles - Faithful friday

Longtime readers of this blog know that I have been taking classes to become a full fledged Catholic for nearly 2 years now.

I wrote a few posts about my religious upbringing and how I fell completely away from all organized religion. (that can be found here in order #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5. I intended to keep going and explain why joining the catholic church was the right thing for me, but every time I attempted that post I came across as preachy, judgmental, or self righteous. I simply could not convey my thoughts into words. A sad thing for someone who considers themselves a writer.

That is not to say I have ever wavered on my decision. in both my heart and my head I am steadfast that the path I have chosen is the correct one for me.  the process of accepting and converting is a personal one and i suspect no two faith journeys are the same.

Saturday night I will be baptized and take first communion.

For years now I have been active in both St Mary's Church and school. My wife teaches there. My boys attend and i love volunteering to help in all maters with the kids. I've coached a variety of sports, led a literacy club, and taught storytelling as well volunteering at many other activities. I know nearly every kid in the school and they know me.

And yet I never expected to be overwhelmed with the gift the 2nd grade class gave me in honor of my upcoming baptism. the kids made me a book and despite this post already being long. I'm going to share the pages of that book as well as my comments. I'm not sure what a cockle even is, but this unexpected gift sure gave me the warm fuzzies.

In most of the pictures including this one my goatee makes an appearance.

 This one is my son's page. He always goes camping over Easter weekend and since I'm a Chatecumenate and my wife is a sponsor the boys would have had to to sit with someone else for the 2 and a half hour mass so we decided to let them go camping as usual. Not the last line. The one he erased. it read "You are a good dad." When i asked him why he erased it, Zalen said he already had written enough.

My goat is REALLY big in this one. 

Note the halo people.

This girl has better handwriting than I do.

No goatee but I'm proud she said I'm good at "writeing stories."

The uber beard and sideways cap is a look I might go for soon.

Perhaps the most accurate depiction of me. And yes it will feel good to get all those sins forgiven.

I've always wanted to smell like oil.

This one is tough to read because he wrote lightly, but to paraphrase I am a great person and a funny guy.

And entertaining.

Love the spelling and message of this one but come on dude my goat looks better than that. 

No, that is not Fidel Castro with a halo. That is me thank you very much.

I'm not sure but I think I was hogtied to the baptismal font in this one.

I hope that is a candle in my hand and not a machete. A tall bearded guy like me would never cut anyone. 

Only in the eyes of a 2 graders would I be considered a great football coach for winning 2 games in two seasons.

This book is a gift which i will always cherish. Thank you Mrs Jager and the St Mary's 2nd grade class.

Y'all truly brightened this convert's heart.


The Happy Whisk said...

Oh my gosh, I laughed reading those. How great is that. I read these to my husband. We enjoyed the laugh. Great stuff.

Congrats on all your hard work. Just be yourself. You don't sound preachy, judgmental or any of that.

Enjoy your first communion and being baptized. And again, great great post.

the walking man said...

Cool...have a good day Travis. Just remember of you think it's angels singing before you know for sure check the choir loft first.

Old Kitty said...

Oh wow. What a great way to usher in your baptism and communion!!! These kids are super duper thoughtful and talented and creative!! Yay!!

CONGRATULATIONS!!! What a fab way to celebrate Easter too!!!!

All the best, take care

G. B. Miller said...

An excellent gift and a excellent tribute from a group of kids that you apparently made a positive impact on.

Happy Easter.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

The kids' book is just wonderful although are you REALLY sure that isn't Fidel Castro? They were handing out those halos pretty freely too, so nice to know you'll have a collection now to wear on special occasions.

There is nothing more fulfilling than finding your true spiritual path. I'm happy for you, Travis! I know this ceremony will speak to your heart.

Deborah Elliott-Upton said...

I loved this! When Zalen edited his own work, I thought about how often we strike the best lines sometimes just for word count. It's nice to know what he was trying to erase isn't really gone and was shared with you. Congratulations!

The Romo's said...

Beautiful.....Alyssa told me about it yesterday and I am so glad you posted it for us to see! Congratulations!!

WordVixen said...

Awwwww! That is so sweet!

Dang, some of those kids are deep thinkers (I'm thinking particularly of Castro Kid).

Also of note: Halo Kid is mighty precocious. The line about smelling like oil is probably the best line that I've read. Zalen already understands editing. I think your work here is done.

Charles Gramlich said...

Wow, that is so cool. What a wonderful tribute to the kind of man you are. Excellent.

laughingwolf said...

warm fuzzies indeed, travis... grats on finding your path!

jjdebenedictis said...

D'aw, those are sweet! I do love all the depictions of you--the size of your beard waxes and wanes remarkably!

DrillerAA09 said...

Like the gift of eternal life, the gift of children is priceless. I have received handmade cards from the grand kids over the years and they are ALWAYS better than the store bought variety.
Congratulations on your journey. May the God of all creation live in your heart now and forever. Happy Easter.

Melanie Hooyenga said...

This is so wonderful. Thank you for sharing, and congratulations!!

Carol J. Garvin said...

Happy Easter, Travis! It will be a particularly meaningful one for you this year. Making a public confirmation of one's faith and making a commitment to the church that nurtures that faith is a milestone in your life. The children's letters are delightful... treasures to keep, for sure! Thanks for sharing them. Blessings to you.

Danette Haworth said...

The words and drawings are so absolutely wonderful and touching. I think my favorite is the one where you and your guardian angel are holding hands and smiling. Neither of your feet are touching this earth.


BTW, I'm not Catholic, but I was baptized as an adult in a Baptist church.

Annie said...

Dude! This is the most awesome post ever! Congrats man. He's a great God and you won't be sorry.

Lisa Pawlowski said...

Oh, Travis. What a special gift that book is. You will treasure it always. Welcome to the Church, Brother!

Suomi said...

I’m a huge fan already, man. You’ve done a brilliant job making sure that people understand where you’re coming from. And let me tell you, I get it. Great stuff and I can’t wait to read more of your blogs. What you’ve got to say is important and needs to be read.

David Cranmer said...

Great post, Travis. And congrats.

Unknown said...

Congrats Travis! That book was great!