Category Archives: Quiet time

7QT Return, Ta DAAA!

With my whole social network fasting apparently I have more time to blog…who knew???  So, I’m jumping back in with the tried and true at Conversion Diary with Jen and her peeps…of course, I’m not #1 like Grace, but she’s a new mom again and clearly not sleeping anyway…so go check ’em all out…

1.  Fresh into Lent, folks…Fresh.  Into.  Lent.  You know what that means, right?  All those sacrifices and desires to help more, pray more, do more, etc are FRESH and “technically” two days in we should be going strong.  Ammiright??  Riiiiight, so remember…no meat today. And if perhaps, halfway through that double with cheese you remember “ACK…it’s Friday!!!”, just start over.  We are imperfect people, God knows this.  His joy is in our TRYING to do better.  And when we screw up, dust ourselves off and try again….that’s what we can choose to do.  So, in the classic words of Dori from Finding Nemo…”just keep swimming”!

2.  What did you give up for Lent?  Perhaps you are instead focusing on praying and have some plans of monastic retreat or super fasting to add some oomph to your prayer life,  or maybe working in the soup kitchen or homeless shelter….what’s the plan, Stan?  I gave up Facebook and Twitter.  It’s quite freeing and I actually look forward to this each Lent.  Now, you might say, but “Tracy, your blog shows up on Twitter?”  Yes, it’s set that way automatic, but I am not CHECKING said Twitter account.

3.  Did you get your ashes?  We did.  I must say it was practically WW3 getting there.  A serious force of crazy, crappy, grumpy, tempers came over our household IMMEDIATELY prior to leaving.  We persevered anyway and let me say, people….GOD prevailed.  Oh yes he did defuse that 13 yo, 15 yo and 2 young ladies who readied themselves in their Mass finery only to see EVERY to the ONE was in their regular clothes (including yours truly, fresh off the JOB train in her scrubs).  Hubs took everyone home after the distribution of ashes and I stayed to wait for our 7th grader to take him home after his RE class.  We came home to fish and chips awaiting.  (AKA, fish sticks and fries)  God is good.  All the time.  All the time.  God is good.  

4.  Ash Wednesday I also went to Adoration (a weekly Lenten practice for me this year).  Unknowingly, I arrived during the church’s Mass celebration, therefore the Eucharist was not in the chapel, but in the church.  ENNYWAY….I still prayed the Rosary and intentions and fully enjoyed my quiet time.  If you have noise in your life (you don’t need to be a parent for this) you should take time to go to Adoration…shoot, even if you’re not Catholic….just go…it is AWESOME.  Peace, quiet.  Total gift.  I’d live there if I could.  Really.  Logistically though, just not going to work.

5.  Saved me some cash this week.  Went in to quit the gym, just not feeling it, and I’ve been working out at home (not this week so much…but mostly-ish) but they love me so much they comped me 2 months and lowered my monthly rate to $5.  Sheesh, alright.  I’ll come back.  $5, c’mon.  Who CAN say no to that???

6.  Along with my social fasting, weekly Adoration visit and prayer intentions….I am also trying to focus on some spiritual reading.  This week I finished C.S. Lewis’ “Screwtape Letters”…wow.  wow.  wow.  If you haven’t read it….do it.  Next up…”Visions of the Children” by Janice Connell.  And continued reading of Saint Faustina’s Diary (although that is taking YEARS.  Literally.  YEARS!!  tremendously rich reading.  small bites only)

7.  Finally, if you read yesterday’s post on our little Romeo and his Valentine’s flower promise…I’ll tell you how it went:  He made his first deposit to his math teacher (who, although killing him, has been incredibly helpful and challenging) and from then on out had “hordes” of ladies following him around for roses. He had them labeled and did have a couple extra (to which I was also a recipient….smart boy!)…but he admitted at dinner that it was an impossible task to please all the ladies on Valentine’s Day.  Not to mention expensive.  He’s a mess that one.  A sweet mess.  **For all you Bachelor fans out there….I asked him if he was prepping to do a teen Bachelor and he was unaware of the show/concept etc….PHew.  I don’t watch either, but have the gist of it from some of you…who will remain nameless for the obvi reasons.

Have a great week y’all and enjoy the weekend!!!  We won’t be shoveling snow…thank you, JESUS…but will be wearing jeans and hoodies this weekend here in Central FLA.  Brrr.  High of 50ish tomorrow.  Yikes!!  😉

It’s almost here…..

Lent, that is.  The week started off with a bang with Pope Benedict’s announcement of retirement/abdication/stepping down (listen, call it what you will…we are all a little confused, it’s been 600/700 years since this has happened, the protocol is a little hazy); anyway Lent is among us.  A time to sacrifice, pray and serve others being mindful of WHY Christ came to us as a mere MAN and rejoicing in God’s ultimate sacrifice for us and the hope and joy of Easter that sacrifice brings.  Add to this 40 days (Monday through Saturday, people…every Sunday is a mini-Easter) we have Spring….absolutely my favorite time of year.

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Tweet by Matt Swaim…have you read his book,”Prayer in the Digital Age”, it’s a good read, so timely in this technological era we live in.

And so, the big dinner talk last night and to be continued tonight is, “What are you going to give up?”  Young minds are busy working on their strategy, preparing to receive ashes Wednesday night, no meat on Fridays and an influx of fish sticks to the freezer.

As for me, my sacrifice will be giving up Facebook and Twitter, and I’ll also be heading to Adoration once a week, in which I invite you to send me any prayer requests.  I did that a couple of years ago and it was quite fruitful.  As for acts of service, I’m still discerning.

However, the whole “giving up FB and Twit” generally gives me more time to blog as well as increased quality (IMHO) of blogging…go figure.

Happy Fat Tuesday y’all.  Enjoy those pancakes and king cakes, for tomorrow the journey begins!

Blessings!!

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Starting over on a Tuesday…

That is so wrong!!  Everyone knows all new things start on Mondays.  Yet, we bring in 2013 on a Tuesday this year thus causing a conundrum of when to begin new habits, etc, etc, etc….Tuesday or the following Monday?  In all reality, it doesn’t really matter, does it?  Today is January 1, 2013, like it or not and the day will come and go whether we have “New Year’s Resolutions” or not; so….no time like the present, eh?

Last year, my plan for 2012 was:

  1. Eat healthier/exercise more….pretty much #1 on the list EVERY year and one year I will actually succeed.  “You never fail until you stop trying” Albert Einstein  And try, try again I will.  In reality, I did succeed at this, I’ve made MUCH healthier choices in my diet and have tried many new exercises, just haven’t succeeded in actually losing weight–however, I never said losing weight was my goal.  I shall mark this up to a success.
  2. Have more Quiet time.  My quiet time has evolved.  Hubby and I have been reading the Catechism with Flock Note and discussing it every few weeks.  I’ve been to Adoration more frequently and my spiritual reading has picked up with Choosing Joy by Dan Lord and Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.  Both books are great for one chapter at a time to mull over and ponder.  I shall mark this up in the success column as well.
  3. Finances.  Clueing in Hubby and getting on the same page.  Done.  While we haven’t climbed completely out of the hole yet, we’ve stopped (so far…) the continued addition to debt and have begun backing up the train with a good plan to head into 2013.  Aaaaaand a 3rd success.  Of course, we will continue this journey together and I’m sure Dave Ramsey will be involved at some point (I hear what he’s saying but I just don’t know if I’m ready to jump in just yet), or not, Hubby’s pretty good at $stuff, either way…2012 was a good start, 2013 will be solid…I feel it.

Mentally, I really thought 2012 was a big fat FAIL on the resolutions, however, looking back I see that I actually succeeded in what I set out to do.  Sweet.

Heading into 2013 I’ve been mulling over my Goals/Resolutions/Plan for a couple of days and have also come across a few great ideas I may incorporate into reaching my own success in 2013.

Jennifer Fulwiler gives an analytical view of reviewing one’s “areas for improvement” and how to problem solve those areas.  I honestly never gave it a thought as to WHY I might not be succeeding in certain areas.  Seems so logical, I’m a little embarrassed.  Only a little though.

Jon Acuff gives a man’s view (but truly EVERYone can use this method) of breaking the year into smaller bites and attacking each goal one at a time within those small bites.  Brilliant and so realistic…I CAN do anything for 52 days.

Ann Voskamp challenges us to look for the Joy in everything and TO WRITE. IT. DOWN.  Finding 1000 Joys in 2013.  Even a chance to win a camera at the end of the year.  More importantly, Ann tells us that in focusing our eyes and heart on Joy we are certain to reap the rewards of:

1. a relative absence of stress and depression. (Woods et al., 2008)

2. progress towards important personal goals (Emmons and McCullough, 2003)

3. higher levels of determination and energy (Emmons and McCullough, 2003)

4. closer relationships and desire to build stronger relationships (Algoe and Haidt, 2009)

5. Increased happiness…. by 25% — (Who wouldn’t want 25% more      happiness!) (McCullough et al., 2002)

After all that…what are YOUR resolutions?  Or do you just opt out and chalk it up to another day on the calendar?

As for me, my focuses for this year are:

  1. Losing weight.  Hubby has agreed to help me  and so with his help, our P90X library and various other weights and miscellanea I’m ready.  I mean, sheesh, the baby will be 10 this year for crying out loud!!
  2. Spiritually to be more Joy-focused and applying it to how I live my life, my marriage, my parenting and so on.
  3. Learn to use my REAL camera more efficiently and Photoshop Elements…which has been on my computer for 2 years and I still don’t have a CLUE what to do with it.  It’s time.  I love my iPhone but my real camera rocks.

Blessings and a Happy New Year to you and yours!

 

Precious life

Photo via Sometimes Martha, always Mary...whose POST gave peace in my heart in the midst of yesterday's tragedy.

Photo via Sometimes Martha, always Mary...whose POST gave me a slice of peace in my heart in the midst of yesterday’s tragedy.

I don’t know if I’ll write more or if this is it.

Yesterday’s news was incomprehensible.  I can’t imagine nor do I WANT to imagine.  When my mind starts to go there….it just can’t.  Can’t.

We live in a culture of death.  The media will feed on this for weeks.  Each story will bring new knowledge and grief.  Only time will bring healing.

Political agenda on guns?  Some will turn this into it.  The reality is:  You can’t legislate morality.  Stole that from my Hubby…he’s brilliant, BTW.

As for me, I went to Adoration at lunch yesterday.  Cried, prayed and cried some more. A pattern I’m certain to repeat in the coming days.  Lord, have mercy.

I hugged my kids and my Hubby.  Hard.  Long.  Even my 13 and 15 year olds did not pull away.

We let our son go skate with his friends.  We let our daughter go to her birthday party.  You have to live.

We watched Elf.  Our son ate spaghetti and syrup for dinner (in preparation for Elf).  I joined in with this gal and this gal as they hosted a “Twitter party” during Elf.  I made peppermint milkshakes and let everyone finish the leftover luncheon “Cherry Cheesecake Dip” (Pinterest WIN!!)  Laughing felt great.  Therapy.

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I texted with my mom and my sister.

I read the news sparingly.

Today.  I’m up.  I’ll walk.  I’ll pray. Hubby and I will decide how to proceed with broaching this topic with our kids.   We’ll make a more concentrated effort at living each day as a PRESENT.  We’ll live our lives with RESPECT to LIFE.  All life.  We will trust in God even when we don’t understand, even when we are furious, confused, scared and anxious.  Our children and our lives are not our own.  We belong to Him. Let us love one another.

Jesus, come quickly.  Until then,

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.

 

 

Quick Takes…quickly….

I’ve been MIA for the last few Fridays with various activities and blah, blah, blah, but I’m here for this one….super quick…I hope….otherwise go visit Jen @ Conversion Diary for a look at a Domestic Monastery and various Quick Takes from all over the world!

1)  Heading into Advent and the holiday pace is picking up quickly….small moments of panic and overload, making “quiet time” even more important=less blogging. for me.

2)  With the Christmas season of shopping, parties, baking, etc. I decided that I need to work in exercise DAILY and really focus on what I’m eating so I can keep it in check and not head into 2013 one size larger…however, this weekend IS baking for my annual cookie swap.  Hey, balance, balance, balance!

3)  My cardio=P90X and walking, however…..before you think I’m psycho cray  with P90…let me assure you, I call it my “20 minutes with Tony”..I work up a good glisten, I’m sore for  a few days and I haven’t stressed myself over how to fit it in…maybe I’ll graduate past 20 minutes eventually; at this time, 20 minutes is working for me and I’m good with that!

4)  Oatmeal, raisins and flax seed for breakfast and chicken and spinach for lunch…a little boring and repetitious, however, tasty and both seem to keep me pretty full and satisfied keeping the Oreo intake WAAAAAAY down.

5)  Sick kid (again??!! thought she kicked this 2 weeks ago!!) and Hubby’s back is out—tho’ slowly getting better, therefore  the boys will be on Attic duty and ladder duty for operation Christmas decoration this weekend, bring on the lights!!

6)  Christmas cards are mailed out which means I can mentally begin shopping and decorating and enjoying Christmas…I don’t know, OCD?!?!  I just can’t do anything until they are sent out.  Period.  End.

7)  Santa’s in the house….our youngest just handed me her letter to review and it melted my heart.  We can safely resume Friefel…our elf on the shelf.

I’m out.  It’s late.  I’ve got a date with Tony before work….y’all have a great weekend!!