Not Just A New Chapter

Last summer I made a decision to blog regularly. I had even decided to work with someone to redesign the blog and move it to a new domain.

However, none of it ever happened. My laptop stopped working and a nine-day fix turned into a two and a half month ordeal; resulting in a new laptop, but a corrupted hard drive. I lost everything!

But that loss pales in comparison to several life events that began to unfold during the summer as well. I have been debating whether or not to post about this; and every time I decide to post it, the debate becomes how much to share. I love reading blogs; and getting a glimpse of other people’s lives. I have loved getting to know several people I have ‘met’ in this blogosphere. But my pet peeve is reading blogs where the author seems perfect; where it seems that nothing negative ever happens in his or her life. While I don’t believe that bloggers should reveal all the intimate details of their lives, I do believe that if you are blogging about your life you should be real. So that is how I finally made my decision to write this post. I want to be real. Please remember that I come from a Catholic background. Everything I have done has involved prayer and consultation with Godly people, as well as my priest.

So, here goes… last summer I discovered that my husband was having an affair. I certainly did not condone this behavior; and have not, as of yet, forgiven him for it (I’m working on it). I did feel that it was only right to try to fix what was wrong. I prayed, bought books, and sought out couple’s counseling. We even attended a Love and Respect video conference (I highly recommend this conference!). I tried changing to be the wife he said he wanted.

Out of respect for my children & a little privacy, I won’t go into all the details; but let’s just say that nothing made a difference. In fact, a tragedy revealed that he had never really ended the affair. The husband of the woman in question chose to commit suicide. It was this action, in combination with his deception, that began a severe downward spiral. We each spoke separately to a priest at our church, and I had hoped we could somehow reconcile this and move forward. It wasn’t to be. In fact, things began to get worse.

Something seemed to snap in my husband. He began to verbally and emotionally abuse me; in private and in front of my children. He began to get more secretive – removing my name from accounts, changing passwords, and refused any attempts to reconcile. He still went through the motions – we tried to appear ‘normal’ during the holidays and for my birthday in January, but it didn’t work. I would find out later that he was still involved with her, even after her husband’s suicide. The abuse continued to escalate and he claimed his health was beginning to suffer as a result. He blamed me.

At the end of February, I had foot surgery. I was told that I couldn’t walk or drive for three weeks. One week after surgery, he moved out; leaving me with two children unable to take care of themselves. He has been gone ever since. I don’t really know where he lives. To his credit, he continues to pay the bills; though he has mentioned that he does this so the courts won’t consider it abandonment. However, he threatens to shut something off on a regular basis; he’s even threatened to withhold our food money unless I did something he wanted. He does come and visit the kids about once a week for a couple of hours. Ironically, he spends more time with them now; and pays more attention to them, then he ever did before.

But my children are suffering. They don’t understand. I am doing all that I can for them, but it never seems to be enough. I pray for them and with them. I spend ‘alone’ time with each of them separately. I have counseling available to both of them. I’ve kept things as routine as possible. It’s all so difficult – I can’t explain to them why this happened; I can’t change it; I can’t bring their father back; I can’t give them the daddy they so desperately desire. They deserve better. So I pray for them. I remind them that God wants to be their Father. At their ages, it’s just not enough for them.

I have met with my priest and discussed all the details with him; including many not mentioned here (hard to believe, huh?). He said that the separation was probably a very good thing. It would hopefully prevent things from escalating further. He also told me that since we were married in a civil ceremony (at my husband’s insistence), the Church didn’t consider us married. I know that some of you will disagree with that; but it does help in the event I am blessed with another opportunity for marriage. Which means this one will have to be dissolved legally…

I know God hates divorce; but I also know He loves me and my children. He doesn’t want us to remain in a situation where there’s potential danger. I know some people would say to remain married and just live apart. However, that, in my opinion, just condones his adulterous behavior. It’s just not something with which he is concerned. He has already moved on. Also, remaining legally married prevents the children and me from having the opportunity to find a Godly relationship. I believe that God will provide a Godly man for us who will teach my children what a Godly marriage looks like; what God intended husbands and fathers to be.

While I know not everyone will agree with my decision to divorce my husband, I have prayed about this and talked about it with Godly people. It’s not a decision I made lightly. I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mother with no income. With God’s help, I intend to maintain that. As you may know from other posts, my son is on the Autism Spectrum and he needs to have his mother home with him, as it has been for the entirety of his life. Neither of them need any more changes right now. I have decided that I am no longer going to subject them to the abuse. It certainly doesn’t teach my son how to be a Godly man; nor does it teach my daughter how a man is supposed to treat a woman. What I am trying to teach them is strength, integrity, and reliance on God. I am at peace with this decision, even if it’s not what I wanted. I am at peace with it, even if it’s difficult. I ask that instead of judgement you say a prayer for my children and me.

Thank you for reading, and not judging. Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for allowing me to be a bit transparent and real. My life is far from perfect, but it contains the most perfect thing there is: the Love of the Blessed Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to do any of this.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13

Electability – Fact or Fiction?

We hear a lot about electability during primary season. Throughout this entire process we’ve been told that Mitt Romney’s the only ‘electable’ candidate in the field. Heck, even Donald Trump endorsed Romney because he “doesn’t get Rick Santorum.” Apparently, according to Trump’s standards, someone who’s lost an election should not run for another office. So, I guess what Donald Trump is saying is that once you fail (whether it’s your fault or not) you shouldn’t try again. I guess Mr. Trump’s never failed at anything.

Yes, Rick Santorum lost his last election in 2006. Yes, he lost by a lot. But that’s not all that is important about that election. Remember that the election took place in 2006. If you recall that year Rick Santorum wasn’t the only one. That’s an important point; things were different six years ago. We are now living in a country with more debts and less safety. We are now living with fewer freedoms – our rights are slowly being stripped away from us. We are now “helping” those who refuse to help themselves.

But that’s not the only thing… it seems that the man who was endorsed by Donald Trump has lost an election as well. Let’s take a look at a side-by-side comparison of the election records of both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum and see what we find…

Source (click here for original article)

If we look at Mitt Romney first, we see that losing an election does not preclude one from winning the next. As you can see, Romney was defeated by Ted Kennedy in 1994. Then he won his bid to become governor of Massachusetts in 2003.

Now let’s take a gander at Rick Satorum’s election record. We see first of all that he has a proven track record of winning elections. Not only that, we can see that he didn’t just win them. He defeated the incumbents. And not just once – he’s done it twice! Isn’t that what we need in November? We need to oust the incumbent. Rick Santorum has the experience to do this. He has proven that this is not an impossible task.

There’s one more thing I’d like to point out that is not shown on this graphic. Mitt Romney has one other defeat on his record. He lost to John McCain in 2008. Why would we nominate the man who lost to the guy who was defeated by Obama? What makes us think he can get the job done this time? He can’t. But Rick Santorum can. He has the proven record. He has the experience of running against and defeating incumbents.

For more information about where Rick stands on the issues, please click here.

For more information about Rick Santorum, please click here.

To donate to Rick Santorum’s campaign, please click here.

Note: These are my conclusions and opinions. This is my “mom blog,” if you will. I will not tolerate (read: I will delete) any comments that are mean-spirited, profane, or contain personal attacks toward me or either candidate. All comments are moderated.

Contentment

As this holiday season comes to a close with Epiphany, I find myself reflecting on how this last month or two went. As I think, I realize that this has been one of the best Christmases ever.

  • It wasn’t because I got the best gifts.
  • It wasn’t because we hosted the best parties.
  • It wasn’t even because we attended the best parties.
  • It wasn’t because we had the best clothes.
  • It wasn’t because all the food turned out great.

I am realizing that for the first time, I really put Christ in CHRISTmas.Here’s how:

  • We participated in Holy Heroes Advent Adventure;
  • We took my daughter’s doll cradle and some shredded paper (added for acts of kindness and sacrifice) and made a bed for Baby Jesus;
  • We wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a Manger;
  • We followed the genealogy of Jesus with a homemade Jesse Tree:
  • We celebrated the lives and Feast Days of some Saints who loved Jesus long before we were alive – we discovered we can learn a lot from their faith and example!
  • We made many of our gifts, removing ourselves from the malls (we did go to a couple of stores, but were determined not to participate in the madness);
  • We made Christmas Eve Mass a priority – it was something special – we arrived early and didn’t rush out. We lingered. We studied the beautiful Creche. Then we went home and read The Night Before Christmas, but the last thing we did as a family was to read the Nativity story from the Gospel of Luke.

It was such a beautiful time this year. There was no stress. There were no worries about the ‘perfect’ gift. There was just family and love. From the First and Holy family, to our immediate and extended family.

I am convinced now that this is a lot closer to the way things are supposed to be. It’s amazing that the more I let go of the way the world thinks I should do something, the more I feel at peace. How about you? How did you make your Christmas season centered more around Christ? Happy Feast of Epiphany!

Feast Days

Growing up we didn’t celebrate a lot of feast days, so I never really thought about it. It wasn’t until a few years ago, when we really started homeschooling, that I thought about celebrating feast days with the children. However, they always seemed to creep up on me and I was never prepared. I would find a great idea here or there, but it would be too late to do, or I wouldn’t have the right supplies/ingredients to make it happen.

But I decided to change that this year. Since Advent is the beginning of the Church year, I thought it was a good time to start and we actually began celebrating some feast days. Keep in mind that we are new at this, so our celebrations are not huge or elaborate in any way. However, I’ve also realized that they don’t have to be – the children enjoy the celebrations and they learn something about someone who loved Jesus. Just stopping the ordinary, changing the routine, is a way to signify that this is something to remember.

So far, we’ve celebrated St. Nicholas (December 6th), The Immaculate Conception (December 8th), St. Juan Diego (December 9th), Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12th), and St. Lucy (December 13th). We’ve also made our very first Jesse Tree.

For St. Nicholas (sorry I didn’t take pictures, but it’s pretty explanatory) tradition has it that he helped a poor man with dowries for his three daughters and that perhaps one of those ended up in a hanging stocking. For this reason, the children put their shoes out overnight and received a small amount of chocolate (wrapped, of course). Throughout this feast day, we read several books about the life of this generous, Christ-loving man.

For the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, we attended Mass at a local church. Our church is a little farther away, so when we have a Holy Day during the week, we usually attend a more local Mass. We remember at this Mass that Mary had to be without sin in order to carry Jesus as fully God and fully human within her womb.

The feasts of St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe are intertwined and tell a beautiful story that resulted in the conversion of Mexico. Mary appears to a humble widower and asks for a chapel to be built. The local bishop asks Juan Diego to ask for a sign. Mary shows Juan Diego where God has allowed roses to bloom in the winter, and he gathers them in his tilma. When Juan Diego shows the roses to the bishop, that’s not the only amazing thing: a beautiful image of Blessed Mary is imprinted on the tilma. That image still exists and scientists have not been able to figure out how it got there. We enjoyed some Mexican tostadas and recalled the story as told on Glory Stories at Holy Heroes. Diva even colored some coloring pages.

For St. Lucy, it is a tradition (Scandinavian, I think) that the youngest daughter wakes the household dressed in white with a wreath of candles on her head (if you have Kirsten’s Surprise by American Girl, this is the image on the cover). She brings with her sweet buns and coffee/cocoa. While this is a great thought, Diva is not quite old enough to accomplish this on her own. Nor do I want lit candles on my daughter’s head! So, we compromised. She woke us up in an almost white dress with a paper wreath on her head. {This is where I know I’m not a professional blogger yet – I didn’t have my camera on my bedside table to get a photo!} Then we made some biscuits, cocoa and coffee and we all had a nice breakfast together.

Lastly, we have begun making our very first Jesse Tree. This tradition follows the lineage of Jesus from Creation through His birth. Each day there are Bible stories and a new ornament to make. We kept it simple this year and are making everything out of paper. I went to get a piece of poster board and the only green they had was neon, so our tree is neon. As we discuss each day’s readings, either LegoFan or Diva draws the day’s symbol and attaches it to the tree. I love how they can look at the ornaments they have made and can tell the Bible stories in order. This auditory, visual, and tactile project has enabled them to internalize Biblical history even more! We are getting our ideas and explanations from the Advent Adventure Series by Holy Heroes. Now, please don’t laugh at my crude tree drawing or the neon color…

I really think these traditions have helped my children to learn more about people who have loved Jesus before them, as well as more about Jesus Himself. They are doing much more this advent then just making lists and succumbing to the commercialism and greed we see so much of nowadays. I pray that with Advent seasons like this, my children will grow up with the true “Reason for the Season” in their hearts.

* NONE of these links are affiliate links.

First Day of Homeschool

Let’s try this again. I’m a little less stressed than I was last night (or early this morning) when I apparently deleted my entire post about our day. I still have no idea how I did it, but life goes on.

Our first day this year went very well. They enjoyed their new school supplies – personal dry erase board, notebooks, long floppy erasers, and a little gift. LegoFan got a box of erasers shaped like puzzle pieces (He loves the Autism Speaks logo!); and Diva got a mini notebook and pen, decorated with butterflies.

Then we had one of their favorite dishes for breakfast: French Toast! While I”m sure it has a bit too much sugar on it, I didn’t hear any complaints!

Then, before the academics began, we started both our year and the day with a little scripture. We decided that we would read one Psalm a day, in order, and the Proverb chapter that coordinated with the date. (We actually skipped #5 as I did not feel it was appropriate for young kids getting ready to start school!)

On to academics! For history we do <a href="Click here to visit RC History.” target=”_blank”>RC History and love it! I cannot say enough good things about this program. We have completed Volumes One and Two; and are currently working on Volume Three.  It’s great to know that all the living books suggested in the program have been pre-screened; so I’m not afraid to give either child any book on the list. We are working at the Grammar Stage now, but it’s set up so that we can spiral back through and delve deeper into history as the children get older.

This week, so far, they have done two map exercises. I don’t expect them to know how to fill everything in at this point so we talk about it and they fill in the important boundaries, names, rivers, etc. Then they get to color! We use Knowledge Quest’s Blackline Maps for the ancient world and the Americas.

We also learned a little bit about a couple of saints from the same time period. One was St. Anthony who is said to have been blessed by a visit from the Infant Jesus.

The second one was St. Hyacinth who was saving the Holy Eucharist from and invasion when he heard the Blessed Mother call out for him to save her statue as well. Apparently, this statue was much too heavy for him to carry, but it became miraculously weightless as he carried it out of the church. All were safe from the attack.

Science is Exploring Creation Through Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day. We’ve been through their Astronomy, Botany, Zoology 1, and Zoology 2 courses as well. The kids enjoy the short lessons and activities; and I enjoy the fact that God and His creation are at the center of the program.

For Language Arts, Diva is finishing up with First Language Lessons of the Well-Trained Mind, Level 4; but since there is no Level 5, we had to find something else for LegoFan. What we found was Lingua Mater. We haven’t started it yet, so I’ll have to report on that a bit later.

Our spelling program is also amazing: All About Spelling. This program works great for LegoFan who had Asperger’s and ADHD; as it is a multi-sensory program. He gets to learn to spell words through magnetic tiles, color-coded cards, speaking, and writing. Diva likes all the different activities too. In fact, this program has eliminated many of the, “Mama, how do you spell…?” questions.

Math is Singapore Math. The spiral format, again, is great for LegoFan as he gets just the right amount of one topic and then moves on to another one. With each book, they delve deeper into the various skills.

We are also doing Art (Artistic Pursuits), Music (Classics For Kids – Free online course), Religion (Faith and Life), French (a free program from the BBC), Geography (using Holling C Holling’s books), and an introduction to Shakespeare. It’s a full year, but the kids and I are looking forward to it!

We found, and are following, a curriculum put together by Michele Quigley and Kathryn Faulkner called Mater Amabilis. I wish I would have found this curriculum earlier.

But back to our day… after the academics were complete, we had a dinner of the children’s choosing – pizza!

All in all, it was a very good beginning to our school year. After their prayers, they each told me that that they enjoyed their day; and that they were looking forward to more. That sounds like a first day of school success!

This post is being linked to Building Our Homes Together and Women Living Well – hop on over to see what these other ladies are doing this week! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links; and they are all for books we have actually used and enjoyed.

Calm After the Storm

I’m sure everyone’s done talking about Hurricane Irene; some feel it was hype, while others are still cleaning up. My thoughts and prayers are with those who got hit hard and are still struggling.

We were kind of in the middle – a huge amount of rain, many trees and branches down, and power outages galore. But for the most part, we were safe; and I am grateful.

But I want to talk about a different effect Irene had on me and my family. We got hit with a majority of our rain on Saturday night, into Sunday morning. Once the rains stopped, the wind didn’t. We made it through Saturday with only a few flickers; so we thought all was good. We were going to try to go to Mass at noon. However, that was not to be the case. The winds were just too strong for my car; and we decided we’d better not risk it.

We are fortunate to get the Catholic television station, EWTN, so we planned to participate in Mass via the TV. It’s not exactly the same, but we can hear the readings, participate in the prayers, and learn from the homily. Mass was due to be televised at noon, so we made plans to gather around the TV at that time. But that was not to be the case either.

The power went out at 10:49 am. It remained off until 1:30 pm on Monday. Then we had a fire in a transformer across the street and lost power again at 9:00 pm on Monday. It remained off again until sometime Wednesday afternoon. It was an interesting couple of days, but I want to get back to Sunday…

I had awoken early Sunday morning (probably due to loud wind gusts), and began the day reading my Bible. {I am participating in reading the Bible in 90 days} Then, when we couldn’t go to Mass, or even participate via TV, I gathered the kids around me and we did the Sunday readings ourselves – Diva wanted to do two of the readings herself {love that!} – and we prayed the Lord’s Prayer together. The rest of the day, even without power (and maybe because we didn’t have power), was one of the most peaceful days I have ever experienced.

Don’t get me wrong: I love my church and my faith; wouldn’t trade them for anything! But I spent so much of the day, in little chunks here and there, in God’s word, in prayer, and reading another book based in His word (I will be reviewing that book very soon, so come back and check it out – you’re gonna wanna read this one!!!).

There was no work; only rest. There was no noise; only peace and quiet (ok, the kids weren’t exactly quiet all day, but you know what I mean). We read, we prayed, we laughed together. It was a wonderful day – it was a Sabbath.

Now that I’ve re-stocked the fridge and freezer, and cleaned up parts of the yard; it’s time to get ready for TS Lee and TS Katia – they should converge on our area very close to one another, between Thursday and Saturday.

We’ll head to Mass in the morning as usual this week, but as these two storms approach, I can’t help but wonder what next weekend has in store for us…

This post is being linked to Building Our Homes Together.

Word on Fire – The Catholicism Project

The other night I had the opportunity to preview Episode One of Catholicism. Catholicism is a ten part documentary created and hosted by Father Robert Barron of Word On Fire.  The website’s description:

Soon you can discover the rich heritage of the Catholic Church in an epic media experience. Word on Fire Catholic Ministries offers a vision of the Catholic Faith, which has never before been seen. This vision seeks to explore, through a global journey, the living culture of the Catholic Church. From the lands of the Bible, to the great shrines of Europe, to the shores and heartland of America, to the mysteries of Asia, to the rich landscapes of Latin America, to the beating heart of Africa – and beyond, witness the passion and glory of the faith that claims over a billion of the earth’s people as its own.

If the first episode is any indication, this is going to be one great series! Fr. Barron narrates on location from Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and more. Through this series, we visit places central to our faith; places most of us would like to see, but may never get the chance. Fr. Barron takes us to the birthplace of Jesus, the site of the Crucifixion, and the site of the Resurrection.

Fr. Barron takes the Gospels and makes them come alive; while walking in the path of Jesus. He uses his extensive knowledge of Scripture and helps us understand what it was like over 2000 years ago. He brings Jesus to life and makes it very personal.

One of the things that stood out to me was his description of both Jesus and His angels being warriors. Jesus came to fight; but perhaps not in the way the Israelites, or us, think about fighting.

I mentioned before that this series was filmed on location. Over the course of all ten episodes, Fr. Barron will take us to the following places:

  • Chicago
  • Kentucky
  • New York City
  • Philadelphia
  • Mexico
  • Ireland
  • Florence
  • Spain
  • Lourdes
  • Rome
  • Kampala, Uganda
  • France
  • Poland
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Turkey
  • Israel
  • Egypt
  • Kolkata, India
  • Philippines

The Catholicism Project will dispel myths and take you on a journey of our Christian faith that you will never forget. The Catholicism Project, while Catholic, is for everyone. It is for Catholics who want to learn more about their faith, Catholics who have left the church, all Christians, and even those of other faiths. Fr. Barron has comments on his site, testimonials of his work,  from people of other faiths who are learning what the Catholic church is really all about. There is one from a Mormon who is considering what he has to say; and one from a former atheist (who ironically found Fr. Barron while searching for Bob Dylan!). I encourage everyone to give the Catholicism Project a chance. It will be available on TV and on DVD.

Here’s a list of the titles of the ten episodes:

  1. Amazed and Afraid: The Revelation of God Become Man
  2. Happy Are We: The Teachings of Jesus
  3. The Ineffable Mystery of God: That Which Nothing Greater Can Be Thought
  4. Our Tainted Nature’s Solitary Boast: Mary, the Mother of God
  5. To the Ends of the Earth: Peter, Paul, and the Missionary Adventure
  6. A Body Both suffering and Glorious: The Mystical Union of Christ and the Church
  7. Word Made Flesh, True Bread of Heaven: The Mystery of the Liturgy and the Eucharist
  8. A Vast Company of Witnesses: The Communion of Saints
  9. The Fire of His Love: Prayer and the Life of the Spirit
  10. World Without End: The Last Things

So, check out Fr. Barron’s Catholicism Project at Word on Fire. It will be well worth your while. It isn’t just about one religion – it’s about Jesus, His reason for His humanity on earth, His teachings, His reasons for dying, His reasons for the Resurrection, and what He wants us to do with it.

 

VBS – Vacation Bible School

Last week we had our own VBS right here at home. While I know it’s typically enjoyed as a day camp type of experience, we couldn’t afford our church’s VBS this year. So we opted for Holy Heroes online version. It’s called Summer Faith Adventure and you can click on the title to find out more about it. I believe they’re offering it for another week or two. These aren’t affiliate links, I just enjoyed what the kids and I did last week, so I thought I’d share. Also, I love to be able to support small, family-owned, Christian businesses whenever I can.

Anyway… This program consisted of a daily email for the five days. In each email was a link to the day’s activities; which included video lessons, crafts, games, and snacks. There were also audio links to daily songs, a decade of the Rosary, and the Angelus. Also within the link was a pdf file of the suggested order of the day, questions for the Biblical instruction, song lyrics, recipes, and instructions for the games and crafts. For older kids, there was a section with a list of Bible passages for them to read and determine the main theme.

The message for the week centered around the Kingdom of David; both the original one and the new one established by Jesus. We discussed the the Old Testament stories of Jesse, Samuel’s anointing of David, and more. Then the children learned what Jesus did and how it mirrored or was related to the Old Testament. Throughout the course of the week, the children were introduced to the sacraments and taught how Jesus instituted them for us. They were able to see how each one came directly from the Bible.

On Monday, we discussed the “Keys of the Kingdom” and the “Master of the palace.” The children learned about the role of the master of the palace in Old Testament times and how Jesus gave Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven, making him the master of the palace here on earth. Our craft of the day was to make a Papal Miter, similar to the one described in the book of Exodus.

Ya never know – could be a future Pope…

Our snack that day was to take sugar cookie dough and make crowns and keys. Well, these aren’t popular cookie cutter shapes, so we did get some interesting cookies (though I forgot to to a picture of how they turned out).

On Tuesday, they made stained glass windows. One of the things they learned was that originally, stained glass windows were used to help those who couldn’t read to better understand the Bible. These windows told stories.

See the cross?

This is supposed to be a dove, but she said it looked more like a duck when she was done!

Another craft we did was a prayer book. The pdf file had a couple of pages of prayers typed out for us. All we had to do was cut them out. The kids made small booklets out of colored paper, and stapled the spines. Then they took their prayers and glued one to each page. Diva even used some fancy scissors to make hers more decorative (she is her mother’s daughter!). Then they had the option of illustrating each page. Both of them did a cover page for their book. Now they have a small-sized prayer book to help them learn and remember some prayers they may not have known before. It’s a convenient size to take anywhere!

Obviously I didn’t include everything that they did this week – this post would be way too long! But if you like what you see, hop on over to the Summer Faith Adventure and sign up for one of the remaining weeks! Did I mention that the online version is offered at no charge?

How was your Vacation Bible School this year?

* This post is being linked to Women Living Well WednesdaysBuilding Our Homes Together with Jesus, Women in the Word Wednsedays, and Thankful Thursdays.  Please click on over and see what other ladies are doing in their homes!

Thrive90 – Half Way Point

I have officially completed six of the twelve weeks of Thrive90! This means I have two more weeks of Phase Two and then four weeks of Phase Three.

Phase Two has definitely been more challenging than Phase One, but that’s a good thing. I am doing more; challenging myself. My muscles may not like it at first, but I know it’s working.

For example, in one of the new videos I had to do two sets of walking lunges. Now I had never done these before, and I had to do two sets of 20 each. The first part was ok, but it really burned toward the end of each set. The next day, I felt like my muscles were on fire! Fast forward to this week when I had to do the same thing again. They were still difficult to do toward the end, but the next day there were fewer fires to put out! Progress.

The other new thing in Phase Two is Power Yoga. Now I was a bit leary of yoga given its association with Hinduism and Buddhism. And being Catholic, I was not interested in the spiritual aspect of this form of exercise. But I remembered that either Dustin or Tony (co-creators of Thrive90 and FitMarriage) had emphasized that  they were making use of the fitness aspect of these moves only as they were Christians themselves. So I put my “pre-conceived” notions aside and gave it a try. It turned out to be a great workout! I got my heart rate up a bit, broke a sweat, and worked my whole body. Even the next day, though my muscles were still a little sore, I felt more rested than I had in a while. This has turned into one of my favorite videos to do.

** Links to  Thrive90 and FitMarriage are affiliate links.

Media and Me

Today Courtney over at Women Living Well is beginning a series called Media Mondays. The topic this week is Media and Our Walk With God.

I will admit that there are times that I have rationalized to myself that I am walking with God while I am on the internet. How, you may ask? Well, I subscribe to faith-filled blogs; I read articles on social justice issues and their Biblical implications; and I blog about my faith (sometimes). However, as Courtney points out, there are always chimes that call my attention away from what I’m doing, or should be doing. Those chimes do come in the form of sounds, but they also (at least for me) come in the form of colors and pictures and more articles. Sometimes I can find myself following rabbit trails for hours if I allow myself.

But that’s not the only reason that my time on the internet is not really time with God. Many times, what I am reading is someone else’s opinion, explanation, or theory. Yes, many of these people are more qualified than I am to interpret certain passages; however, they are not an adequate substitute for actually reading the Bible myself. The internet is not a substitute for quiet-time or prayer-time.

I also have to think about the behavior I’m modeling for my children. If I am on the computer all day, what am I teaching them? Let’s see, I could be teaching them that:

  • the computer is more important than they are;
  • the computer is more important the God and prayer-time;
  • the computer is more interesting;
  • this is how a wife and mother is supposed to behave;
  • they are an inconvenience or a burden when they ask me to do something.

I’m sure there’s more, but I think that’s bad enough. I’ll admit that I’ve passed more than one of those messages to my children at one point or another.

While my walk with God is important for me, I also have to realize that it’s important to my family. I need to model the behavior that I want to see from them. In order for me to raise children who love God and love to serve Him, I need to demonstrate that in my own life.

So there are many things – and inherently none of them are bad. The problem lies when I let the things I do compete with and surpass the needs of my family; and more importantly, my Walk with God.

I cannot seem to get the button to work! So this post is being linked to Media Mondays. Please hop over and check out what the other ladies have to say about Media and their Walk with God.

This post is also linked to Prairie Flower Farm’s Building Our Homes Together with Jesus. Hop on over to Linda’s place and find out we’re all doing!