Category Archives: Rosary

7QTs, Blog Challenge version

 

It’s Friday people and not ONLY is it my FAVORITE day of the week….seriously….favorite!!!  It’s also 7Quick Takes link up with JEN ANNNNNNNNND day 5 of the blog for 7 days challenge with JEN.  It’s been a good week of blogging, I mean hey, my daily views are up to at least 20 average everyday….don’t hate….it’s also forcing me to sit down and blog…short and sweet or not, the point is to blog!  Here’s my weekly wrapup:

  1. Leaving in a few minutes to get my workout on.  My rear end is still sore from Wednesday so hoping for limited lunges and squats.  **update:  watch what you wish for, we used the TRX and hit the WHOLE bod, especially arms.  My forearms are dead…typing will be a problem today.  OY.  
  2. Family rosary last night.  Perfect?  Nay.  Not even close.  Improvement?  Vast.  Continue?  But of course!!
  3. Hubs and our youngest boy are planning on kayaking this evening.  Hoping the afternoon thunderstorms cooperate and allow this quality time activity/male bonding time.
  4. Oldest boy and myself are heading on a little road trip to our old town tomorrow for a surprise birthday party for my dear friend’s 16-year-old son.  I’ve promised him driving time ON THE INTERSTATE, Starbucks, a trip to the Vans store for school shoes and Old Navy to finish up his school shopping for pants.  After all, he IS giving up 2 WHOLE  days of skateboarding…..
  5. I napped before dinner yesterday.  30 minutes.  Rest/nap.  GLORIOUS.  Can’t even tell you the difference it made in my evening.  Uninterrupted recharging after a day at work before starting evening activities  Highly recommend it!
  6. Started re-logging my food for the day.  <smh> the hardest thing about me eating healthy and exercising is the diet portion.  Not BEING on a diet…just PLANNING the meals and LOGGING the intake.  When I am consistent in these things, along with my exercise….success.  Why?  Is?  It?  So?  Hard?????  **on the upside, one of my friends from the gym has been my tracking accountability partner and is down 5 pounds….now my competitive juices are flowing!!
  7. Finished up my 5th Ginger Garrett book in 3 weeks and started Mere Christianity last night.  This should have been linked to Cari and Jessica for “What we are reading Wednesdays” but….better late than never?!

Have a great weekend.  I’m off to sweat!!  Now to shower and get the ball rolling for FRIDAY!!!  Happy Weekend and keep those blogs rolling!

5 Favorites of ADORATION

Joining in with Hallie and the lovely ladies all sharing their 5 faves this week…for a smile on your face, for some “GO GOD” in your heart, you really neeeeeed to visit and start with Hallie, K?  K.

5 Favorites @ Moxie Wife

5 Favorites @ Moxie Wife

This week I was able to head over to Adoration during lunch and as always it’s truly my favorite lunch spot.  Ever.  Really.  Here’s why.

5.  Like most of y’all, I live a pretty busy life.  Husband.  4 kiddos.  Full time out of the house job.  Ever searching for the always elusive “perfect” balance between family and work.  Adoration IS as close to “perfect” as my life gets.  The profound sense of peace, joy and love when I walk through the door instantly soothes my heart and mind of whatever is jumbling it up at that moment.  Perfection.

4.   I may not ALWAYS  get immediate answers, direction and resolution of any given life challenge, however, I’ve received clarity, wisdom and peace over the years in answer to prayers during Adoration with much fruit in return.  Just ask my friend; one day I called her after Adoration and told her I felt their family was to home school.  She laughed. (nervously I think, since this was an announcement straight out of the blue).  They start their 3rd (?) year homeschooling this year.  Adoration don’t lie.

3.  I like to pray for people.  God hasn’t seen fit to fill our bank accounts to overflowingness (one can still hope though….) and I can’t always help people materialistically, however, I.  CAN.  PRAY.  Countless friends and family over the years have been the recipients of my prayers, some known, some unknown (but God ALWAYS knows), I’ve even prayed much for this sweet lady and her unborn baby.  You can’t underestimate the power of prayer.  Ever.  You might be too tired, angry, hopeless to pray, but I’ll pray for you.  I know I’ve been the recipient of a jillion and ten prayers and if my own give back even a tenth of intercessory love…I’m in.  Anytime.  Just say the word.

2.  This world is a wild and rocking and crazy constantly go-go-go world.  Sometimes I just need to be still.  I have my morning quiet time with the Daily Readings and that is phenomenal.  Coffee.  Word.  Start the day.  But sometimes….I just need to be still, quiet and listen and thank God for everything I don’t always remember to thank Him for.  Sometimes I just need to be still.  To listen if He wants to talk to me.  and one time ……..

1.  ONE TIME…….I’m telling you…….the monstrance and altar moved.  Throughout my time at Adoration.  I thought I was tired and cleared my eyes, but it kept happening.  Finally I just watched.  It was weird.  It was goosebump-giving.  It was mind blowing and heart filling.  Afterward I texted two friends who also attend Adoration and asked them a vague “have you ever had weird things happen at Adoration?” .  In the end, I’m not sure WHAT it meant, but perhaps He just wanted to say, “Hey, thanks for coming….check this out….I love you….I’m with you….come on back again, my love!”  And so I do.

Now head on over to Hallie’s for more fun things!!

 

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!!  😉

A decade of sobriety.

10 year coin and copy of AA founder's actual prescription to his patients.

10 year coin and copy of AA founder’s actual prescription to his patients.

10 years ago this month our life was forever changed.  My dear Hubby’s drinking problem finally came to a head and he hit his “rock bottom”.   This post isn’t about that moment.   However, just to give you a SUPER brief overview:  there was an event fueled by an alcoholic binge, the event led to prison…for 7 years.  I moved in with my parents for 5 years to have help with the kids (1,2,5& 7).  Later I bought a house (awesome God story in that one!!).  Hubby came home roughly  18 months ago.  I have stories galore of God and His plan and the countless mercies and graces He rained upon us through our family and our friends but those are for another time (or when I feel led to copy them over from my prior blog); this is about my Hubby.  About staying sober.  About losing everything and gaining even more.

Immediately following the event, Hubby went to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).  In the midst of losing his job, draining our retirement account and preparing to sell our house to prepare for what lie ahead, he continued to attend meetings;  everyday, sometimes twice a day, faithfully trying to figure out how to repair his life, our marriage and live without alcohol.  He also went to an inpatient rehab center for 28 days.  Though it was difficult (to say the least) with him gone, we both knew there was no other option if he was going to make sobriety a priority first for himself, secondly for our marriage and family.  He was in it for the long haul.

The time apart was good since it gave me time to process everything that had happened, was happening and would likely happen.  It gave me time to choose if I would throw in the towel or stay and fight for our marriage.  Neither would be easy, but the fight would be A. FIGHT.  In the end, God gave me the amazing gift in the ability to forgive my husband.  The peace that followed lit a firestorm in my faith, gave me amazing strength and removed the weight of grief weighing my heart down.  It was at that time I received a clear and concise promise through my quiet time:

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, for a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

It’s become our family’s Scripture.  Our mantra.  Our lifeline.  His plan is not always ours, but He can most certainly use ANYthing for good.  And He most certainly did.

From rehab Hubby and I both learned that Alcoholism is a hereditary disease.  In talking with the kids, we explained it as an allergy; ‘some people can drink alcohol with no problems, other people can’t’.  It may not BE an allergy, but it’s a realistic analogy.  We also learned it takes hard work, not to mention that family and friend support is crucial.  This was a HUGE help for me in not being resentful at the time he spent at AA meetings and with his sponsor.  These times away were for the long run and this was a marathon for our entire family.

For my Hubby (and I know this doesn’t hold true for everyone), drinking alcohol is a non-issue.  He has no desire or urge whatsoever.  He lost his job, career, financial status, friends, and years in prison to alcohol…no amount of Miller Lite is going to wash that taste out of his mouth.  Ever.  As for me, I can take it or leave it.  On that note, we keep our house “dry”, it is a small sacrifice for me in supporting him.  On occasion, I do meet up with my girlfriends or my mom or my sister and have a glass of wine.  Just not with my husband.  And it is rare.  Maybe once or twice a year.  Seriously.  Guess what?  It’s no big deal.  However, everyone is different and I know that for us, we chose to seek God in showing us the way to work it together.  It works for us.

The thing is when you are an alcoholic and choose sobriety, your life changes.  Even if you don’t go to prison, but have come to your “rock bottom” or close, it is a lifestyle change; sadly not everyone will be on board.  Our family recognizes this and respects our dry house and go on about their business in their own homes.  Some family members just don’t get it.  at all.  period.  They can’t understand why it’s even an issue.  Often they are the ones steady hitting the bars and/or regularly “tying on one”.   You just have to be ready to change and willing to put in the sweat equity.

For us, ten years later, our marriage is stronger because we can communicate–even if we disagree on something–and respect each other’s opinions and work toward a compromise.  We are setting an example for our children in pushing through difficult times and staying true to your self, even if that choice is contradictory to everything the world tells you.  Our health is good (knock wood, we are getting older you know!) and Hubby even ventured back into triathlons at the end of the season last summer.  We have jobs (although in this economy and uncertain job market that can change at any time for any one) and are thankful for them.  Our finances are improving and recovering from our total drain.  Our faith grows.  Everyday.  So many ways.  We take each day, one day at a time.  Today is all we have.

Honey, I’m proud of you.  Of all your hard work.  For every effort you make at improving yourself for us and for yourself.   You are an awesome Husband, Father, and Friend and I look forward to every day and am excited to see what God has in store for us for the next decade…and so on and so on!

So far, so good, so much better than it was.  10 years later.

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.

Screen shot 2012-12-15 at 7.20.44 AM

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.

 

 

Friday! 7 ways to recap the week

It’s been a busy week for the kids at school.  This week was the FCAT, standardized testing (quite controversial, though if we didn’t have FCAT we’d have another brand…), and it’s always stressful because the entire year is geared toward this test.  The school’s rating, federal money, etc are just a couple of things riding on the outcome of the test.  So, needless to say, we are ALL quite thrilled to see Friday this week!

— 1 —

Monday was the Boston Marathon.  Hot, hot, hot.  My girlfriend ran in it.  Being from sunny FLA, she is heat-trained and ran that puppy in 4:22, but some 4,000+people opted out for the automatic spot in next year’s race.  It wasn’t my race, but it was really cool to text the race and have it send me her updates along the way.  Very inspiring considering the girl has only been running since her late 30’s, early 40’s!

— 2 —

Monday was also free McDonald’s breakfast for the FCAT kids.  We got up early, grabbed the breakfast and came home to eat and get ready.  It was a good motivator to get the kids out of bed quickly on a Monday morning!  (The breakfast was:  apple slices, OJ or milk and an egg mcmuffin, in case you were wondering…)

— 3 —

So, so workout week.  I’ll get day 2 of strength today and I did get cardio, but for some reason I was distracted with appointments this week at lunch.  Urgh.  Yesterday’s post @ Socially Fit was a good reminder that we don’t get results from haphazard efforts and good intentions.  It takes actual participation and commitment.  I’m down 9 pounds in 8 weeks, but that doesn’t mean I’m done! Far from it, moving on…one day at a time!

— 4 —

Got my hair cut this week.  OK, trimmed.  But you KNOW how great it feels to get your hair cut.  And shampooed.  And blow dried.  By someone else.  Heaven.

— 5 —

In prayer the other night and after listening to my Among Women podcast, I realized I needed to make an Adoration visit.  Time to charge my spirit.  I did that yesterday at lunch, instead of going to the gym.  It was a good move.  I definitely needed it.  I took some time while I was there to go through my prayer journal and its sporadic entries over the last 5 years and PRAISE GOD for the answered prayers.  Some not in the way, I might prefer, but to look back and see how He works.  AWE inspiring.  Truly.  Our God is a good and gracious God and sometimes we need to step back and see the big picture.

— 6 —

One of those long prayed prayers was answered this week.  A dear friend who has been unable to conceive for the past 8 years gave birth to a sweet baby boy.  After a 36+ hour labor!!  Mom, dad, big brother and baby are doing fine.  There was quite a text bomb going early on and it was exciting to see prayers in action and the community of friends and love surrounding them.

— 7 —

Ya’ll have a great weekend!  Be blessed.  Enjoy every minute.  Life is short.  Embrace it!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Mary is MY Homegirl….or Love me some Rosary!!

October.  And if you are Catholic, like me, you may know it’s the month we celebrate Mary and the Rosary.  If you aren’t Catholic, or you might want to be or even if you just are curious as to what in the world I am talking about, you can Google more info on this or even check this link for more information; and in a week or so, one of my favorite podcasters, Pat Gohn will be featuring Rosary stories on her podcast, Among Women.  

When Pat was asking for contributions of “What the Rosary means to you…”, I was really kind of surprised at what a HUGE impact Mary and the Rosary have in my life.  Don’t get me wrong, I am FULLY aware that my Faith and trust in Christ have gotten me where I am today, however, when I put it into words, it was pretty apparent that Mary has my back, and has for quite sometime.

The Rosary has been one of my favorite prayers for many years now, probably taking hold of my heart since a “Christ Renews His Parish” retreat 11 years ago.  A great way to focus on Christ’s life as it pertains to my own.

  • On 9-11 I sobbed my way through as my husband and I prayed at the end of the day.
  • During EVERY 7 hour trip to and from visiting my husband in prison.
  • For every 45 minute commute to work/school the first year of his incarceration.
  • Sunday evening family Rosary time with the kids–even amidst the squabbling, wrestling, exhaustion and mayhem 4 kids can create during “prayer” time, by the 3rd decade we almost always hit our peaceful stride.
  • During Lenten Adoration time.  A time when I put away MY concerns and focus on others…..though I do my best throughout the year, during Lent I am FAR more consistent…but don’t worry….if you ask me to pray for you, I’m ON it!!
  • When our 2nd oldest struggled with night terrors at age 10 (terrifying for ME, especially when he hopped on the couch on his haunches and stuck his tongue out!), at the suggestion of a friend who had similar experiences with one of her sons, he began to sleep with his Rosary; we put the Rosary on his iPod and 2 years later he and his brother fall asleep with it almost nightly; not to mention the terrors ended almost immediately when introducing the Rosary on “repeat” all night long.
  • With our youngest child and “diva” at bedtime–our most NOT favorite time, but improving with Mary’s help, we’ve had a great run several nights in a row!
  •  And now with my husband home, and our family re-united,  we work toward establishing our new Rosary routine!

We have Rosaries in the car, my purse, the kid’s rooms and several in a desk (see picture above).  So anytime you want to pray the Rosary, come on over…we’ve got plenty!!  Now if  you’ll excuse me, my procrastinating self has a lot to do in the next 45 minutes to get ready to get out-of-town on a girl’s weekend!

Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.