another lenten post!

Lent is such a hard time for me, always.  I hear and see what others are doing and always feel as if I could be doing more, which then leads to the guilt associated with not doing or being enough.  We’re not living our faith as well as so and so and whozit over there.  I end up nearly giving up on what little I feel I am doing because it’s not enough, I’m not enough and there’s no use.  I become upset at myself and then, in turn, upset at the family, for not living up to this image I have in my head of what we should be and do as a Catholic family during this amazing time.  It’s such a horrid and evil trap to slip into and it seems as if you’re there before you realize where you are.

I’m learning something this year, slowly. It’s a difficult thing to learn, and a lesson I’ve had more than once over the years, but obviously needs repeating.  I’m right.  I’m not enough.  I can’t be.  I’m merely a sad and desperate sinner wanting only to be near Christ.  But that’s the funny thing, I’m not enough, not me, by myself.  Not without Christ.  He takes my imperfect gift, my imperfect sacrifice, imperfect love and adoration and makes it new and beautiful.  He fills in the gaps.

We once, years ago, went to a sheep farm in the NE of our state.  It was spring time and the shepherdess did Bible tours of her working farm.  The tour started as we emerged from our vehicles, beginning with an explanation of the shepherd’s crook and then weaving through the 23rd psalm and speaking on the duties of shepherds and what sacrifices they had to make to protect their precious lambs.  Then she would stop, mid-step in the middle of the pasture and say  “okay, now everyone just stop and breathe.  Take a big deep beautiful breath, in through your nose, and smell that wonderful sweet smell”.  She was speaking of the smell of the pasture, the manure and wet sheep and sweet, damp air.  She asked us what we thought of that smell, horribly stinky, right?  Only not to her, not to the shepherd.  That smell was her way of knowing her sheep.  She could tell everything she needed to know by that stench and it was a sweet and beautiful smell to her.  The scent of her flock.  Christ is like that, he is our shepherd, he, too, walks into the pasture, near the still water and breathes deeply of the stench that is us.  He knows all about us, everything.  We can hide nothing, and still our stench and our ugliness makes Him smile because we are His. 

Without Christ, I am not enough.

But with Him, oh with Him, all my efforts and attempts are blessed and beautiful.  I can be everything He has called me to be as long as I remember it is He who has done the calling, not I and not the so and so’s and whozit’s. 

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me

Philippians 4:13

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lots of things to remember

Okay, so the weight loss thing has taken a back seat to driving fourteen hours to be with an ailing grandmother.  A trip I hope to not ever take again without my nuclear family with me.  I missed them terribly and it made the trip all the harder not having my hubs and kiddos there to “get my back” so to speak.  I am hopeful to get it (the weightloss, not the trip!)  started back again this week.  I know what I need to do but have fallen again into the trap of eating because I have an emotional need.  A friend’s recent pregnancy announcement has shaken me a bit out of my funk though!  One of the biggest motivations for this weight loss journey is to be healthy just in case God decides to bless our family yet again.  I need to get my rear in gear!! 

My grandma is doing better, they’ve pinpointed what was causing the paralysis, a swollen disk pinching her spinal cord.  We’re not sure about the unresponsiveness and confusion yet, but are praying hard that it resolves.  It was incredibly wonderful to see her again and my only wish was more time, seems to be the mantra of my life.  She did talk a bit to me and let me know how proud she was of myself and my family.  She also said my great-grandma would have been proud as well.  I can’t even begin to tell you what that has done for me.  I struggle with feeling like I have worth, that what I do is appreciated and understood by people whom I’ve always only wanted approval from.  It’s not likely to come from them now, or anytime in the future, but knowing that my grandmother, the woman I want so desperately to be, is proud of who I have become and who my children are is rapidly filling in the void the other has left.

I am trying very hard to remember, with my own children, that all they want is approval and love.  They want to know I am proud of who they are and what they’re doing.  They need to know that I see a reflection of Christ in them that is unique and wonderful and awe-inspiring.  They need to know that they leave me speechless and amazed at the beauty of their souls and that they are bringing a Christ-light to all they encounter.

I am trying very very hard to remember. 

Because that is not something I could forgive myself for forgetting.

an Ave, please?

My grandma is sick.  She’s in a hospital twelve hours from here and I feel helpless to the situation.  I want to be there.  I just want to sit in the room with her, be near her. 

But I can’t.  We’re too far away and there are too many unknowns in the situation right now.  She is aware of the people around her, she knows she’s in a hospital, but thinks she needs to leave to tend to the children graduating from her class right upstairs.  (she’s never been a teacher that I’m aware of)  She ate well this afternoon, but refused food this evening. 

I miss her.

We’re praying and hoping.  It is what we do.  I am trying to remind myself that there is no place for worry or sorrow now, only hope and prayer. 

It’s a difficult thing to remember sometimes.

Please, if you have an extra Ave, would you send one up for her?

a small lenten post

No huge lenten post just yet.  It’s working, slowly.  We’re doing things for lent.  Trying to anyway.  I always feel as though I’m falling so terribly, terribly short in this area.  

The big boys put together the “Lent A journey toward Easter” lapbook from lapbooksforcatholics.com.  I’m quite impressed with it and have bought others to use later on.  The printing process is a bit time consuming and involves some strategic planning, but it’s been worth it thus far.  I’m hoping to start some lenten reading for myself, soon.  Still praying about which direction to go in with that one. 

 There have been some events in our lives leading me to a place I know I need to seek Christ, but the first instinct I have is to turn into myself and hide as best I can.  I know that’s wrong.  I do.  So, I’m working on it.  I just can’t seem to figure out what a starting point would be.  Obviously prayer, fasting and all the good stuff.  Time in God’s word is also incredibly beneficial.  I think I’m seeking out a bit of guidance and wisdom.  Praying I can find what I’m looking for in that regard soon.  I have Fr. Dubay’s book Prayer Primer and that might be a good stepping off point.

Anyway, that’s my lenten post for you.  A bit discombobulated, but it’s where we are at this point.  Here’s hoping the next one comes a bit more prepared and with a bit more insight.

poison ivy

I guess I’m not responding well enough to the opportunities God is giving me to offer it up.  I’ve got some learning to do on that front, I’m certain of that.

I’m thinking maybe this is a little extreme?  I know, I should suffer the small things with much love and joy.  But, poison ivy? 

Dh’s legs are covered, behind his knees, and in spots up and down his calves. 

Evidently now I have a bit on my arm.  Just a small bit, but still.

Is there an “anti-poison ivy” saint?

Nope?  Yeah.  I feared so. 

Hmmmmm, here’s to “offering it up”!

totally worth it

Well, I am back on track with my weight loss, after a year and a half off due to pregnancy and nursing, I have gained all that I had previously lost back and am ready to shake it and move on.  Started tracking foods on Livestrong.com and am hoping that will start helping.  I still have twelve prepaid sessions with my trainer, but my schedule isn’t one that I can squeeze another thing into.  Not sure what I’m going to do on that front.  We’ll see what happens.  We’ve got a treadmill here, I can’t run on it, the belt will slip if it goes too fast, but it was free so hey, no complaints!  I’ve also got several Gilad exercise programs recorded and countless other videos.  I just need to make a specific time to exercise every night and just do it! 

So, I am thinking I’m going to post here, at least once a week on my progress.  Weigh in day will be on Sunday or Monday and I’ll let you know how I’m doing.  I am also going to try to figure out how to post my daily calorie intake from Livestrong on here.  There’s got to be a way to do it. 

Anyone want to join me?  Exercise and calorie counting, weight loss the old fashioned way!  Not easy, but totally worth it.

see, I really am here!

Nothing since January???  Yikes!  I have so many posts blogged in my head, I think I forgot that I haven’t typed them in yet!

It’s lent.  I want to say something profound and beautiful.  I don’t have that yet.  It’s just not in there.  I’ll work on it, and before Easter I’ll have a lenten post for ya. 

Until then, I thought I would share a “funny” from my wonderful #4.  We were putting together a lenten lapbook from lapbooksforcatholics.com  and I was trying to fish out of my children an answer to one of the questions (which was contrition, or sorrow for sins, something, anything along those lines) .  Finally I asked “what is the first thing you need to make a perfect confession?”.  Know what my wonderful #4’s answer was????  “Sin.”

Really son? 

Loved the reminder of  the reality of our condition.  In my pathetic attempt to teach my child he taught me so much.

And made me laugh. 

a lot.

I love my kids!!