Friday, March 30, 2007
I have some friends that are in a very real spiritual battle. This is the first time in my relatively short life that I have been this close to something like this. It is heart-wrenching, to say the least. I feel so small and unable to help.
Back to God's greatness.
I read the morning reading, the Mass readings, and the readings for evening prayer all at one time this morning. These readings are read by Catholic religious all over the world every day. They come to our home in a handy monthly book called the Magnificat. Anyway, on to the point (there really is one).
A major aspect of the aforementioned spiritual battle is a feeling of abandonment or distance from God. Knowing this was especially burdensome to me last night and this morning. This morning I turned to Scripture (I have been doing that anyway, but felt the need to more so this morning). Anyway (finally!), every single reading spoke to the matter at hand in some way.
"I turned every way, but there was no one to help me, I looked for one to sustain me, but could find no one. But then I remembered the mercies of the Lord, his kindness through ages past; For he saves those who take refuge in him, and rescues them from every evil. So I raised my my voice from the very earth, from the gates of the nether world, my cry. I called out: O Lord, you are my father, you are my champion and my savior; Do not abandon me in times of trouble, in the midst of storms and dangers." Sirach 51: 7-10
A touch of hope when our stores run low. A reminder of God's faithfulness, even in the face of our unfaithfulness. A gentle nudge telling us to cry out to God. God does not barge in on us (not without being invited anyway) but will come to our aid if we but ask.
"How long, O Lord, will you forget me?
How long will you hide your face?
How long must I bear grief in my soul, this sorrow in my heart day and night?
How long shall my enemy prevail?
Look at me, answer me, Lord my God!
Give light to my eyes lest I fall asleep in death,
lest my enemy say: "I have overcome him";
lest my foes rejoice to see my fall.
As for me, I trust in your merciful love.
Let my heart rejoice in your saving help;
Let me sing to the Lord for his goodness to me,
singing psalms to the name of the Lord, the Most High." Psalm 13
Pray that we might have that trust, even in the midst of longing and despair. Remember that God's time is perfect for us, in His own plan.
"Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James1: 2-4
Thursday, March 29, 2007
As to the junk, it is abudant. If I didn't know better I would think I was about to enter a 9-month craving. But I'm pretty sure that is not the case. Instead, I just have no will power when in Target with 4 kids at lunch time. I bought cookies, cupcakes (Hostess 100 Calorie Packs Carrot Cake--I'll get back to you with my opinion) and ice cream! And sugary cereal for the kiddles. They are in heaven. If you see my backbone, let me know, because clearly I have none at this point.
But, hey, we went to story time and the kids are fed and that is all that matters. At least until the next meal.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I have seen a need for structure in our days and have resisted it for too long. I need to have an answer when Princess asks what we are going to do tomorrow and "tomorrow after the day," instead of telling her "I don't know" all the time. Honestly, I just get bored and turn to the computer too much. Yes, I said it: I get bored. I can only color, play puzzles, pretend to be a princess, and so on for so long. And housework is an entirely different struggle. I realize some people like to clean, but I am just not one of those people. I know that ordering my days will bring a growth in my prayer life too, instead of relying on good intentions.
And finally, here is something I have come to realize lately. We women have a tendency to compare ourselves to others far too much. Whether it be physically, spiritually, or whatever, we spend way too much time worrying about how we measure up next to others. However, I have come to know that God does not care how I compare to other women. Instead, he wants to see improvement compared to myself! He wants to see growth in my life compared to where I was a year ago, or whenever. It is not about how I measure up to those around me that are deeper in their spiritual growth. I need to measure my growth on one scale--my relationship to my heavenly Father and nothing else. I know this is not earth shattering insight, but it has brought me a kind of peace I needed.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
- we watch far too much tv
- I'm online more than is reasonable on any given day
- sometimes the kids only get fruit or veggies once a day
- I am short on patience and long on complaining
- I could potty train my 3 1/2 year old, but I'm too lazy right now
And there is so much more. But a lot of it is internal and more about my attitude than tangible problems. The first two on the list are the biggest problems right now. I would honestly be embarassed to log how many hours are spent in front of the tv or the computer. I'm going to try working on that in the coming days and weeks. I'm just looking to take baby steps. Things didn't used to be this out of control and I'm determined to get them back on track. I'll still be online, but I am really going to try to give myself a schedule and stick to it. I'll let you know how it goes.
Monday, March 26, 2007
**Update** I did finish reading the chapter, but did not prepare the test review before the session. When I got there, my student was not prepared anyway. I had done more reading than he had! So, I got an extension and so did he.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
1 1/2 hours of sheer bliss last night! And, no, that is not what I mean--get your mind out of the gutter. :) I got to go to Target by myself! Yes, that's right, no children touching everything, asking to buy everything, wanting to look at shoes, and on and on. Nope--just me. And can I say something? It is a good thing I don't keep a credit card with me. Because last night, I would have charged that thing right up. Not exactly a model of will power over here.
Also, I have been wanting these shoes since Thanksgiving. I would have to order them online to get them. I'm pretty sure I won't be buying them, as I want an IPod more than shoes. It is too bad though, really. They are super hot and the brand is a comfy one, so I know I would get lots of use out of them. Oh well, there are greater things than shoes, right? Right?
**Update** I did exercise. Once again, blogging got my lazy self moving. I don't know why I can't motivate myself sufficiently, yet talking about not exercising on my blog gets me moving. Whatever the reason, I don't care. I'm just glad I got going and did my usual running.
For those who have been exercising/running for a long time: is it normal to hit a wall at the 6 month point? I have been exercising regularly (3 times a week) for about six months now. The last couple of weeks I have had a really hard time getting started again. Give me some encouragement please!
**2nd Update** I just remembered that I have a paycheck coming from a wine party I did recently. If the shoes are still available in my size I am definitely going to get them. Otherwise, the hunt for the next perfect pair of shoes will go on.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Jewel by Brett Lott
Eldest by Christopher Paolini
Cane River by Lalita Tademy
Second Draft of My Life by Sara Lewis
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
More to come.
Go here to see more lists from other bloggers. Thanks to Katrina at Callapidder Days for challenging us all to read more.
Update: Okay, after all of the comments on Harry Potter I must share something. I have not read any of them, nor have I seen the movies! I know it is hard to believe, but it is true. I just never felt all that interested, and in some ways still do not. But, it seems like I am missing out by not reading them, so I will tackle them now. Besides, my mom has the first 5, so I don't have to fight to get them at the library.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
Monster has his 18-month checkup today. I believe there are no shots. Yea! I'm not thrilled about taking my gaggle of children to the doctor, but they usually behave well and the office staff know us and are kind. Still, I like to think that outings that involve waiting in a small room with limited entertainment with 4 children on hand lessens my time in Purgatory.
Oh yeah, two statements to describe a middle of the night event that occurred this weekend.
We're so Catholic, even our vomit is green on St. Patrick's Day!
We're such devoted fans of the Mean Green that even our vomit is green!
Apparently a day full of playing followed by a piece of cake with a lot of frosting causes one little Nutball stomach troubles. Thankfully it was a one time occurrence and cleanup was minimal, thanks to the help of my mom. O.H. got to sleep through it all, lucky guy that he is.
That's all I have to offer. Sad. Maybe I will be struck by inspiration later today. But don't count on it!
Thursday, March 15, 2007
IT IS SO HARD! My first attempt, on Tuesday, only lasted 15 minutes before I gave up and got off the treamill. I didn't even try yesterday. Today I was determined to get a workout in, no matter how miserable I was. And boy was I miserable. But I did it. I ran my 30 minutes without stopping and I'm still alive. And, the feeling at the end of the workout was great. I know when I start that I won't like the process, but I do know that I will like the result. I am having serious doubts about running a 10K at the end of the summer, but I know that it is far enough away that I will have time to train for it.
So, for all of you struggling with your workouts, it is okay to hate having to do it. I don't know if I will ever like running, but I do love the feeling of taking care of myself. Don't be discouraged. If you have a bad day, start again the next day. IT IS WORTH IT!
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Katrina at Callapidder Days is hosting a Spring Reading Challenge. As if I need encouragement to read. Anyway, you can join in. Come up with a list of books you want to read and make a post about it on March 21. I won't be joining the challenge until after Easter, because my list is primarily fiction and I gave that up for Lent. Also, feel free to put any suggestions in the comments. I'm always on the lookout for good books.
bold - did read
italicize - want to read
strike - won't read or read but hated it with a passion and if I could burn every copy so that others wouldn't be exposed to such terrible dribble I would do it and people should not be allowed to get paid for such awful writing
underline - own
* - never heard of the book
colored - loved it and would recommend it to others
If there is nothing done to the title, then that means I'm indifferent to it or I haven't decided about it yet.
Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)*
A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)*
The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Rowling)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire(Rowling)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Rowling)
Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
The Stand (Stephen King)
Ulysses (James Joyce)
Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
The Hobbit (Tolkien)
The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
Dune (Frank Herbert)
The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)*
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (Gregory Maguire)
The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
The Blue Sword (Robin Mckinley)*
She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)*
Great Expectations (Dickens)
The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)*
The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)*
The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)
Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
The Hiding Place (Corrie Tin Boon)
The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
Les Miserables (Hugo)
The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
Shogun (James Clavell)
The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
The World According To Garp (John Irving)
The Giver (Lois Lowry)
Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)*
Of Mice And Men (John Steinbeck)
Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)*
Emma (Jane Austen)
Watership Down (Richard Adams)
Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)*
Blindness (Jose Saramago)*
Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer) *
The Talisman (Stephen King)
Lord of the Flies (Golding)
The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
Lightning (Dean Koontz)
Looking over the list, I realize I did not underline those I own. Guess what? I'm not going to underline any of them. I have read through the list too many times as it is.
Story about Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I had no idea this book was considered youth or teen fiction when I bought it. Back when I worked I had a lengthy lunch break (1 1/2 hours) and I often read during my break. I found myself without a book one day, so I walked over to the book and gift shop across from the University. They had a bunch of books on sale and not categorized. I picked up the book and started it on my lunch break. I quickly realized it was for a younger audience, but I read it anyway and passed it around to my college girlfriends. Now we have all read it, but I don't know if any of us read the sequels. I felt kind of silly once I realized what it was. But not too silly to not see the movie. Several of us saw it when it came out. I'm sure the young girls there wondered what a bunch of old women were doing there with no kids.
Monday, March 12, 2007
The title has a double meaning. I am going to give you, my gracious readers, an assortment of thoughts and stories. Some relate to cleaning up messes. Also, I'm kind of cleaning out my brain. Sounds nice, I know.
#1: By noon today I had already used a roll of paper towels. My sons are apparently in league to clean my kitchen floor by any means possible, even if it means pouring milk onto the floor. Buddy dumped his sister's milk on the floor at breakfast. Monster dumped his brother's water at lunch. Yes, we have sippy cups. However, they are limited and some are dirty. And really, a 5 year old should be drinking from a regular cup most of the time. I probably use too many paper towels when I clean up liquid messes like those, but I don't care. I just want the floor dry.
#2: We had potential visitors this morning. I was talking on the phone to my best friend. The doorbell rings. Princess yells "Mom, the doorbell is ringing!" I think "Thanks for the alert, I hadn't noticed the charming chime of the doorbell, my sweet, precious child" or something like that (yeah right). I take a look through the peephole and see two young men. I opt out of answering the door. One, because I was in the middle of a fairly important conversation. Two, because I don't often answer the door when it is two young men of indeterminate age standing there with no obvious evangelization tools. All I could see was a soda bottle in the hands of one. Well, apparently Princess was devestated by my refusal to answer the door. She goes to her room and cries in her pillow. The drama never ends, as you can clearly tell.
#3: Unexpected changes in programming are not well-tolerated by Buddy. He was happily watching Pooh on Disney when all of a sudden the channel changes! This is because I had set the DVR to record a new Little Einsteins on the other Disney channel. Much wailing and crying ensued. 30 minutes later Pooh was back on and Buddy was recovering. Hard life when you're 3 1/2 I guess.
#4: Hostess 100 Calorie Packs Chocolate Cupcakes are not that good. I bought two boxes because they were on sale and I had a coupon. I have a sweet tooth that just will not quit. But with all of the running, I'm thinking I don't need to be mainlining chocolate the way I usually do. So I do the responsible thing and buy low-cal desserts. Well, after I eat what I bought, those packs of low-cal desserts will not be crossing this threshold again. I'm just going to eat less of the real stuff.
#5: Speaking of running, we're already planning our next group outing. We're going to run in an Earth Day event here in our neck of the woods. The run is on a flat, unpaved, wooded course. I am thinking I can improve my time and get it down to 30 minutes. Oh, it is another 5K. And, as a true sign of my tumble into insanity, I also said I would do a 10K at the end of the summer! That's right. I said I would run 6 miles without stopping. Who am I?
And finally, this.
#6: "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." Romans 12: 15 We are praying for you and yours. If your faith is shaken, if you are feeling despair, then our faith and hope will carry you to the feet of Christ. We will believe and hope for you, and one day, in His time, we will be united in our belief and our hope again. The trials of this life unite us as much as the joys in life unite us. We are here until the end.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
I ran 3.1 miles without stopping! I even managed to improve my time, finishing in just under 33 minutes. It felt so good to run across that finish line. I was definitely encouraged by all the people thinking about me. I couldn't let anyone down.
So, now I'm off to shop for new shoes or a new dress for our night out.
I DID IT!
Friday, March 09, 2007
But really, it is a tedious process and one I am not terribly fond of, and yet it has to be done. Further complicating the issue is the fact that I still have about 3 loads of laundry to sort and fold and put away. So the whole process will probably take the weekend and then some. And we have boxes and bags of clothes all over the house, as O.H. and I tend to get rid of things every time we do a good cleaning of our closet and bedroom. If I had the patience for garage sales I would have plenty of stuff. But I don't. Instead, we just give it all away. Really, we didn't buy a lot of the kid clothes, so we don't feel like we should sell it either. We need to pass the blessings along.
Spring is definitely here in our neck of the woods. It is time to get our house in order. Unfortunately, most of that ordering will fall to me. And I hate housework. I know I shouldn't complain, as I am lucky to be at home and really, it is just part of life. But I'm not that mature yet. So I'm going to complain.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
So, on Saturday, at 8:30 a.m. central time, the race begins. My goal is to run all 3.1 miles. Please pray for my endurance if you think about it between now and then, and especially then. This has been my goal for about six months, and if I do it, I know it will motivate me to set even bigger goals, healthwise. Thanks for all of the encouragement up to this point.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
GO MEAN GREEN! GO MEAN GREEN!
Is there room for one more in our family? I'm beginning to feel that there is. Maybe it is just that I am surrounded by women having babies right now. Perhaps it is the realization that my baby is 18 months old and doesn't snuggle with Mommy the way a newborn does. 18 months is the longest stretch of time I have not been pregnant since January of 2001. So maybe it is just my body thinking something is missing.
But I feel like it is something more than that. Just last month I was irrationally worried that I was pregnant (irrational because I wasn't late and I had my chart to show that everything was normal). How have I gone from worrying that I was pregnant to contemplating the idea of purposely getting pregnant? That is what it means to let God in I guess. Of course, it takes two to make a baby, and O.H. is definitely not on the same page as me. And I'm not saying I want to get pregnant tomrorow or anything. Just that my heart is beginning to stir. The thought of a fifth child is not quite as overwhelming today as it was last month. If you had told me I would even consider having a fifth child six years ago, I would have laughed in your face. In fact, I would have laughed in your face just a few weeks ago.
But, today, my heart jumps a little at the idea of adding to our family. And it could be a fleeting thing--next week I might be reveling in my non-pregnant state and wondering how I could have ever thought I wanted to add to our family. But I don't think that will happen. I think this is truly an area of my life that I have been able to give to my Creator and I want to see what He has in store for us.
In the meantime, that space in my heart that seems to be there for a little one will just continue to grow.
Monday, March 05, 2007
**UPDATE** I did get on the treadmill. Blogging about my laziness was just the push I needed. I even increased my running time, just to 29 minutes though. I was hoping to increase it to 31 (roughly 2 1/2 miles) but started to feel a twinge in my knee and immediately quit. I don't want to hurt myself before the race. Thanks for all of the encouragement.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Seriously, I found out that most of the people from my past that I might want to know about, check in on, etc. are all already there. So I joined them. I'm sure they will note my continued nerdiness and move on, which is as it should be.
Did anyone else do something lame this weekend?
Friday, March 02, 2007
I don't know how to introduce myself, at least in any coherent manner. So, I guess I will make a list of things about me that may or may not be unusual.
- I have subscribed to Sports Illustrated for the last 15 years.
- I saw Pope John Paul II in St. Louis in 1999.
- I got my degree in Political Science.
- I actually asked for a subscription to The Sporting News for my birthday one year. I got it and read it for a year but didn't renew it, it is not that great in my opinion.
- Every year for my birthday we go to a Texas Rangers baseball game.
- For my anniversary this year I wanted to go to Spring Training. We couldn't go beacause we had to fix O.H.'s truck; maybe next year.
- I tutor student-athletes.
- I lost all sense of rhythm upon graduating from high school. Seriously, I was in choir and could keep a beat and clap on a different beat and all that stuff, but can't even clap with the beat now. It is sad really.
Okay, now a story. I will tell y'all how I met my husband. It is embarassing and not a reflection of who I am most of the time.
We met at his brother's birthday party in the spring of my freshman year in college. His brother is older; I had become friends with him through campus ministry. I had heard all about this guy who was in a Christian rock band and had purple hair and earrings and was so alternative it hurt. :) At the time, I was dating a boy back home (lame, I know) who was still in high school. O.H. was also dating a high school girl (and he is one year older than me; extra lame!). So I arrive at the party, more than fashionably late, with my best friend from college. We meet and start flirting shamelessly. I mean, really, people were probably laughing at us we were so obvious. But, we were still dating other people, so it was just flirting. We took a not completely sober walk with the crowd around the neighborhood. We went to the store for cigars (yes, I smoked the occasional cigar in college--gross now). Then, I continued consuming adult beverages. Not a good idea. At some point I consumed too much and ended up putting it all back into the porcelain throne and excess pans. Then I passed out on a couch until the next morning. My awesome friend held my hair back and took care of me. And apparently talked me up to O.H. because he was smitten from then on. I guess he figured he had seen me at my worst and still liked what he saw (or so I tell myself). We courted through snail mail throughout the following summer and started dating when we were finally both in the same vicinity that fall. One day we will have to tell our children that we met and I puked my guts out and he still wanted me. Sweet, right?
By the way; this was one of a few incidents in college involving overindulgence. Seriously, it only takes a couple of times being sick like that to help you keep it in check in the future. Do kids really get that way every weekend?
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And the picture is a bonus for my already regular readers. Taken about six months ago, with my little monster. (I know--so cute you could eat him!)