Saturday, March 11, 2017

Saturday Morning Reflection (27): The Flu

This week was a blur of illness, the flu to be more accurate. More on that below.

Outside My Window... Though the clouds are breaking to reveal a blue sky, the sun remains hidden and the air is cold at 22 degrees. The wind seems calm for once, and the birds quiet.

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School Time... Due to the flu we had an unexpected week break, one I would rather have taken in a few weeks and enjoyed it! It will mean figuring out a school schedule for holy week so we can still take off the week after Easter. Originally, I had both weeks off. We are, of course, behind in history and science. I'm trying how to fit that in better next year and still have a summer break.

We did, however, start a new co-op this week before I knew we had the flu. The families are mostly young, but the kids seemed to enjoy themselves. I volunteered to teach a Magic School Bus science class and a Legos one.

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Prayers...

...for continued improvement in health from this flu.

...that my husband doesn't get the flu.

...that we can get our home ready and up for sale within the next month.

...for a financial situation of someone close to me.

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Health News... The flu: 3-4 days of fever, body pain, and sleeping for days. The only one spared so far is my husband. Mr. D came down with it first. From the time it took to leave co-op and arrive home (30 minutes) he was shaking and starting on a fever. He had been absolutely fine all morning. Of all of them, he worried me the most with the amount of pain he was in, the intense headache, the vomiting (not keeping liquids down), and high fever. Thankfully, he is back to his sweet, sometimes funny, sometimes annoying ten year old self. The one I thought I would be most worried about did absolutely fine. While the kids are starting to bounce back and be themselves, I am definitely still fatigued by it, and I expect that'll be the case for a bit yet.

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Today... I really need to get to a store. We have one roll of toilet paper left, one box of kleenex, and less than a day's worth of cat food. That's where I'll be, using up my energy, and trying not to spread germs. I'm also washing bedding, blankets, towels, etc. to start clearing out the germs.

This Week... Get back on track with my Nineveh 90 challenge. The flu threw that out the window. We have another co-op class and the regular weekly commitments. Otherwise, a fairly free week to recuperate and get back on track.

A Final Thought...

No thought this week. Too much TV. Too much sleeping. My brain is mush.


God bless.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Mom's Nineveh 90: Week 3 Reflection

Today ends the third week of A Mom's Nineveh 90. I'm not even sure why I'm reflecting on the week. It was a big FAIL as far as the checklist of goals. Wait, it was just a big fail. I won't lie. It was a difficult week.

Goals vs. Reality

  • Monthly Confession - Yeah, I didn't get in before Lent started. How is that kids get a day of "I don't feel good" but they can still play and jump around while I'm on the couch for four days as if I have the flu when it's only a "simple" virus? Anyhow, I spent the second half of the week knowing I should go but finding all kinds of excuses not to. Today, I am happy to say I went after Mass. Isn't that Sacrament just amazing? How easy it is to forget how much God loves you and wants to forgive you.
  • Accountability Partner & Group (my facebook group) - This could have been better. I was having a pity party this week and didn't utilize the group as I should have. 
  • Food (no fasting because I'm sticking to the AIP diet - no cheating!) - I didn't change a darn thing, just ate what I wanted (when I was able - I was sick after all for half the week). I obviously cannot eat what I want and certainly not whenever I want. I definitely need a big push with this. I know I can't handle full AIP as much I want so I really just have to bite the bullet and get the big ones out of my diet (dairy - I'm sobbing, legumes - eh, I don't much care but it means greater vigilance for all the hidden soy, and eggs which again, isn't a big deal but more pre-thought for some gluten-free items).
  • Music - Eh, I played some Godly music and I played some dancing music. The kids and I have fun dancing around the living room. Any suggestions for Godly dancing music?
  • TV - I watched TV. I did. I was sick. Reading was tiring. So was lying there. So I watched.
  • The Computer - So easy when sick. Still, the phone game. I have this one game I just play when I need something to do but my mind is a mess. I play too much. What's that say about my mind?
  • Sleep... All over the place with being sick. Have felt wired the past few nights leading to sleepy days. Feels like this is never going to be a steady or easy thing to fix.
  • Exercise - Bleh. Granted, I was sick and so very tired for most of the week. But even the thought of it caused ugly feelings to arise. (It really was a rough week - physically, mentally, and spiritually.)
  • Prayer/Reflection - I'm a broken record. Failed it. Know when you get behind and quitting seems more appealing than going on? That's how I felt about prayer this week. As if I could just simply stop praying. Ridiculous. More on prayer below. I also put aside The Screwtape Letters for my Lenten reading: Divine Mercy for Moms: Sharing the Lessons of St. Faustina by Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet and also picked back up The Diary of St. Faustina. I read this in snippets until something just screams at me. Sometimes I can read a few passages until this happens but it's usually only ever a few sentences. It takes me a LONG time to get through this book.

Yep, the week was not better than last. In fact, it was worse. Thankfully, one can only pity oneself for so long before disgust sets in. I'm so glad I went to confession. If I hadn't... This coming week might have been as ugly. I need to pray for an increase in the virtue of obedience.

A Thought from the Week...

In Confession, the priest suggested something so simple to me: just be with Jesus every day. Life is busy, and even our prayers can add to that busyness. He said to just sit and be in His presence, to just listen, that some days I may not get to pray or do as I like, but it isn't about us, is it? I should just sit with Him and go to Mass, no matter how I feel.

This suggestion isn't anything new. Why then is it so easy to forget, so easy to not do some days?

That's one reason why I created this group instead of following the original Nineveh 90. I wanted it to be about the journey, not necessarily a list of to-dos. Not that a list can't help us with discipline and obedience. But sometimes you have to chuck the list and just listen to what He's calling you to do.

"Make known to me your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.

"Guide me by your fidelity and teach me,
for you are God my savior,
for you I wait all the day long.

"Remember your compassion and your mercy, O Lord, 
for they are ages old.

"Remember no more the sins of my youth;
remember me according to your mercy,
because of your goodness, Lord."

Psalms 25:4-7

Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Mom's Nineveh 90: Week 2 Reflection

Today ends the second week of A Mom's Nineveh 90. This past week really went downhill in pattern I am coming to know only too well.

Goals vs. Reality

  • Monthly Confession - I still need to get my February confession in. It never fails. I plan confession and something always happens to stop me from going. Always. Monday morning found one of my children sick and it just snowballed from there. Now I am sick. I want to get here before Lent starts. (Lent starts this Wednesday!!!)
  • Accountability Partner & Group (my facebook group) - This is still good. With moving, the extra activity, and going to bed early most nights, I didn't check in as I should have each night. 
  • Food (no fasting because I'm sticking to the AIP diet - no cheating!) - Oh boy. A big F-A-I-L. The week started off ok. Actually, I was so nauseous that it wasn't difficult. But the feeling wouldn't go away and my stomach was bothering me so I had a small bowl of gluten-free pasta (an AIP no-no). It helped so much. I suppose that would have been ok if I hadn't then allowed myself to have pizza. Sigh. I so want a balance in this. I don't want to be so ill that I never feel well but I also don't want to obsess about it. Two things I know: the AIP diet is good for a lot of things so obviously something in my usual diet is a problem and I do know a few of those items. I think that I'm going to compromise by taking out the known offenders and a possible offender for a week and try testing it on Sunday. Repeat with other possibilities through the weeks. Hopefully this works, doesn't screw my stomach up too much, and it's doable.
  • Music - My kids have taken over the music. With the small space most times I feel a need for silence. Maybe it was just my mood of last week.
  • TV - Haven't brought any hobbies to light yet. I did watch TV with the family and found myself starting up a movie to watch with them. Yeah, I'm actually surprised by the pull of the TV. I really hadn't thought it was that strong prior to this challenge.
  • The Computer - Putting the computer in the school room has actually found me on it less, which is a good thing! I still get on at my check-in points of the day and a touch for school work but I haven't spent much time on it overall this past week. My phone, however... too easy to lose time on that.
  • Sleep... Thankfully my sleep is changing to a better schedule. I would like to go to bed earlier to wake earlier if I can, but even so, our schedule worked out just fine this past week.
  • Exercise - I dropped it the second part of the week. With submitting to the pizza, I had a little pity party. But then I just hurt and have been tired. Part food, part virus coming on, I'm sure. What I've learned about NOT exercising... I feel more tired. I don't always get my prayers done (on time or at all). I feel frumpy and moody.
  • Prayer/Reflection - Despite the bumpy week, I did mostly ok with this. Yesterday was nonexistent. I do have some novena prayers to catch up on. I didn't always pray my written AM/PM prayers but I free-prayed them. I'm still rereading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.

So yeah, not the best week. Not the worst week either. Next week has to be better. It will be better.

A Thought from the Week...

Starting. Falling. Starting again. Failing. Picking up the cross. Again and again and again. Picking it up out of obedience, out of faith, out of love when you feel no love, and out of hope. How many times must I do this? I wonder. Time and again, I answer. This I know. And I fight to make my path God's path for me. Again and again, day after day, minute after minute.

"Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love;
in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions.

"Thoroughly wash away my guilt;
and from my sin cleanse me.

"For I know my transgressions;
my sin is always before me.

"Turn away your face from my sins;
blot out all my iniquities.

"A clean heart create for me, God;
renew within me a steadfast spirit.

"Do not drive me from before your face,
nor take from me your holy spirit.

"Restore to me the gladness of your salvation;
uphold me with a willing spirit."

Psalm 51: 3-5, 11-14

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saturday Morning Reflection (26): Getting Back on Track

The last Saturday Morning Reflection was nearly a year ago! My poor, neglected blog.

Outside My Window... Though I woke to clouds and sun it is now a dull, gray sky with cold-looking clouds and a good wind blowing the treetops. After a week of gorgeous 60-degree weather and sun, it is now back into the 30s and looks it.

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School Time... We moved house to a small apartment and are in the process of selling our house. Last week, after a weekend of moving, we were able to stick to a normal school week. (I had to as the previous two were lighter weeks because I wasn't feeling well and prepping for the move.)

The "school room" is smaller and I can shut the door on it. It's funny how I went from "let's school anywhere" to I need a room to hide it. :) Really, though, the space is good. I had tears from one child because of how I placed desks, but it's worked well for this child as I put the desk off by itself, facing a closet door. No distractions!

Our gerbils are happily sleeping, digging, chewing, and building as we school so it's always fun to watch them.

Now's the time of year I start thinking about next year because I want a summer break too! It's always fun to plan. I keep debating over homeschooling with the girls, even with Mr. D this next year. Keep them home or send them? Then I hear a mom complaining of this or that and I think of being tied to a schedule, and I just don't know. I think if I were healthy and full of energy, it would be no question of keeping them home. But I'm not, so I doubt and I feel guilty.

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Prayers...

...for continued thanks that a loved one has overcome addiction (it's been almost 5 months) and for continued prayers that he remains sober.

...for continued health for my kids. We've had a very lucky year amidst some yucky bugs in our town.

...for marriages.

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Health News... The doctor changed my dose for my thyroid which has helped with symptoms. Health will always be a struggle. I am far from where I was last summer. I can actually say that most days are at least OK, if not good and occasionally great. I've started walking again which feels good. I'm sleeping better. Diet junk is a headache. I tried AIP again and while it does awesome things to my body in so many ways, it kills my stomach. So I need some kind of compromise. Still trying to figure it out.

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Today... Get a promised basketball hoop. Do some light cleaning in the apartment followed by heavier cleaning at the house. Finish prepping for Little Flower's group tomorrow. Go see the Lego Batman movie and out to eat for an early birthday celebration for Mr. A.

This Week... Get back on track with my Nineveh 90 challenge. Lent begins! I need to whip up some quick family plans. Finish putting away the last stuff from moving. Clear out the house a little more so we can put it on the market. School of course (two more weeks and quarter 3 is done).

A Final Thought...


I'm trying! I'm trying!


God bless.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Mom's Nineveh 90: Week 1 Reflection

Today ends the first week of A Mom's Nineveh 90. It's also the end of a very long weekend spent moving house into a smaller apartment.

Goals vs. Reality

  • Monthly Confession - I still need to get my February confession in. This past week of moving did a number on any outings. I think tomorrow would be a good day for this. The kids and I can spend time outdoors at our local shrine, enjoying this beautiful weather we're having.
  • Accountability Partner & Group (my facebook group) - so awesome. The Facebook group is at 155 members but a nice handful communicate daily. It definitely helps my day knowing I have to post to everyone how well (or bad) it went.
  • Food (no fasting because I'm sticking to the AIP diet - no cheating!) - This went so well. I had a very brief transition/detox period. I have lost pounds of inflammation, my mind is clearer, energy is up, and my reflux is totally gone. Obviously something in my "normal" diet is causing problems. I really, really wanted pasta tonight but mostly my cravings are simply gone. Prayer? God? It's definitely not me.
  • Music - It's been fun finding new favorites. On my own, I did well except for one slip-up (but it ended up being fun with the kids). I did listen to other music if my husband had it on in the car or my kids were listening to something.
  • TV - This was harder than I thought, particularly at night when I couldn't sleep or didn't feel like doing anything. I think it's time to bring out some old hobbies. Maybe knitting for a cause? (I can't just do it to do it.) Or some woodburning?
  • The Computer - Yes, this was difficult. I wasn't 100% on this but I did go on way less than normal. I had to readjust with 3 check-in points of the day due to the group. So, as long as I got on there for that and off quickly, I was good. Hopefully this next week is even better!
  • Sleep... I'm sure the diet change and moving in the morning is helping with this but it was highly more likely my decrease in thyroid meds kicking in. It's amazing how a slower heart rate will let you sleep. :) It's still a struggle though - either getting to sleep or waking up. Last week we had a "light" school week to make up work and start moving little things so I felt I could get everything for the challenge in. This week will definitely test it as we're back to a full schedule, which means I need to wake up on time.
  • Exercise - Yes!!! I did it. Two days I couldn't quite do 30 minutes and yesterday I didn't do it all knowing how much "exercise" I'd get moving. I do this with my morning prayers which helps me to finish both.
  • Prayer/Reflection - Spot on but could increase adoration time (at home). Twenty minutes feels like an eternity! This really highlighted my short attention span lately. I do tend to do better if I'm doing something with my hands so maybe I can tie it in to a hobby? I'm also rereading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.
All in all, a good week I think! The energy and enthusiasm of the Facebook group helped, and I only hope it remains for the 80 days left of the challenge.

A Thought from the Week...

When does charity trump diligence? This challenge calls us to greater scrutiny and reflection of our daily lives, and deepening our relationship with Mary, and through her, God - which is a beautiful endeavor! But when does our "checklist" become a burden to others. Say, for example, a friend offers a handmade treat to share in good company. Is it better to refuse (because of personal goals such as this challenge presents) or to graciously accept and enjoy that moment? We should "never cease praying" and offering our day to God, but perhaps we should ask God to help us be aware the moment that our goals become a simple checklist. 

It's definitely something to think about, especially in doing such a challenge. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Mom's Nineveh 90

When I first heard the story of Our Lady of Fatima, I felt an instant attraction to it. Imagine my surprise when I learned she first appeared on May 13th - my birthday! It is also the day I chose for my consecration to Jesus through Mary.

With it being the 100th anniversary of Fatima, I wanted to do something special. Then, a friend posted an image and a link on her facebook page. My soul instantly said yes. My mind and body were hesitant. I mean, look at what I have to do:

Image may contain: 1 person

Still, I went to bed thinking about it and woke with it in my head. I knew I wanted to do something, but could I do this?

Many other ladies felt the same so I created a facebook group for these 90 days, with each woman adapting the above to better fit her vocation as wife and mother, whatever stage that is at the moment, with the idea that this is a spiritual renewal and preparation and we are to support one another.

With that in mind and the above outline, my goals are as follows:
  • Monthly Confession
  • Accountability Partner & Group (my facebook group)
  • Food... I've been weaning myself to go fully back on the AIP diet as my hashimoto's keeps swinging wildly so my goal is not to fast but simply to eat only AIP foods for 90 days (which of course limits sweets, no alcohol, no coffee, etc.). 90 days is enough to know if it's something to pursue. I can do this. I really can. I haven't figured out about the no meat part. Maybe I'll leave that for Lent (in nearly two weeks!).
  • Music - I have a playlist ready to go. I hope to find new favorites. This is easy. Unless I'm in the car with my husband.
  • TV - not on my own but I will watch a show my family watches every week and if my husband wants to spend time that way, I will not say no to him.
  • The Computer - oh, this will be hard. I guess I'll be reading more. There's plenty I want to do and need to do, but when my body doesn't cooperate... Well, let's just say I spend plenty of time on the computer or my phone. For this, I will give myself ten minutes in the morning for my facebook group and then a max of an hour at lunch while the kids eat and break from school.
  • Sleep... has been so difficult lately. I'm either not sleeping or sleeping too much. I sleep through alarms. This is so hard. So hard. But many days I am most alert in the evenings so I do a lot of work then (especially on the computer) so hopefully by reducing screen time that helps. I also have a plan to begin to relax around ten to hopefully sleep by 10:30. I know how well my day goes if I'm up before the kids, which is hardly ever lately.
  • Exercise - I am going to try getting on the treadmill every day while I do my morning prayers. I can't promise this as some days I have a lot of pain and others my heart rate is too fast, even at rest (the thyroid again). It's a vicious cycle.
  • Prayer/Reflection - 54 day rosary novena, 33 days for the consecration, morning/lunch/evening prayers with extended evening time for the adoration part.
When I write it out, it really doesn't seem too bad. Easy? No, but not impossible. I am most worried (not even the right word) about sticking to the AIP diet. I'll definitely be prepping and freezing as I go so if a string of bad days hit, I am prepared.

For full details on the original Nineveh90, go here. Join us on facebook if you'd like or in spirit.

Tell me, are you planning to do anything special for the 100th anniversary of Fatima?