Friday, March 16, 2012

Detox Week

Hubby and I are on a new diet.  We are currently on Transitions, which is a meal plan that follows the glycemic index, while providing an exercise regime, and utilizing behavior modifications.  I had joined another diet group last November (and lost 24 lbs), but with the move and other factors, I realized it was too far of a commute.  I've switched to this diet in the hopes the momentum will continue.

I started a weigh loss group in my home.  We call ourselves "The Big Losers", and we have a friendly competition going.  Whoever loses the most weight at the end of 10 weeks will win $100.  The pressure is on!  Not everyone in the group is on Transitions, but a majority of us are.  We had so much fun at our first meeting (yes, I just used weight loss and fun in the same context!)  We're surrounding ourselves with support and affirmation to go out into an otherwise hostile environment when it comes to health.

This first week of Transitions, hubby and I are on detox.  We're on an all vegetable/fruit diet.  No processed foods, no protein, no caffeine, no alcohol, no grains or starches, no sugars.  When we get hungry we eat, drink, and breathe vegetables.  The first day was really hard on me, as I was detoxing from addictions not only to caffeine but to sugar and carbs as well.  It was a rough day! Tomorrow is day three.  If we feel we must re-introduce protein, we can.

Isn't it funny how Americans must deprive themselves of food so readily available and taken for granted?  How almost shameful it is that we must pay to understand how to do with less?  How to take our bloated forms and make them healthy and viable again.  Jesus forgive me, and may I continue this fast for the entire week in small reparation for my many sinful acts of gluttony.

Please keep me in your prayers as this week will end next Tuesday evening, with our first weigh in.  I've been doing fine, but after all, tomorrow is St. Patrick's day.  And has been told in the story of St. Patrick, I'm beginning to feel like those sailors did when they turned to God in desperate hunger for any food.  No, I'm not that bad, but I'm beginning to relate!

Friday, March 9, 2012

If I had all the money in the world...

...I would help people.  I know that sounds so like a "Miss America" answer and all, but I mean it.  I love helping people.  Providing people with the things they need to live better lives.  Today I found an amazing deal for a dear friend of mine who recently started a home business selling cosmetics.  She's been doing an amazing job, scheduling appointments, doing makeovers, meeting with salon business owners, going to trainings, all the while homeschooling and keeping house.  Amazing!  I found her a "director's chair" and some lights, a makeup apron, and a makeup bag.  Nothing brand new, but all in decent shape and with "a lot of miles left".  I felt so good dropping my gifts to her house today.

You have to wonder if everyone has these best of intentions.  I mean, if you look at it, I'm sure Obamacare started with the best of intentions, just as Romneycare did and No Child Left Behind.  Just as the New Deal did.  Helping people.  But you know, that''s not the point of our government.  And the very organizations that exist in our country solely for the purpose of helping people are being hurt by our government's over-reach.  I think Obama, with his background in community organizing would have made an excellent philanthropist.  But he's not.  He's our President.  And the ways in which I see him disregard the Constitutional structure that our Founding Documents put into place is disheartening to say the least.  He is systematically dismantling the same Constitution he was sworn to protect.

But its Lent.  It's a time in the Church when we're supposed to be looking more at the sacrifices we can make to make lives more blessed around us.  Rice bowls, sacrificial giving, tithing and alms giving.  All of this is increased, or asked to be increased, in this rich time of dryness in the Church.  How can the Church promote a spirit of giving and goodness, and then reject the government's following suit?  Is it a double standard.  I really have to look deep within myself and wonder if, as a Catholic, I'm not developing a Messiah complex and insisting that I have to be a Catholic control freak.  Salvation can only be found in the Catholic Church.  But what about health care?  Faith and actions, they meet at the Cross.

Contraception is not birth control.  I appreciate the few cases of women that "need" birth control to hide their symptoms for their reproductive ailments.  Yes, I use my words carefully, for really that's what birth control does.  Taking birth control to help regulate the pain associated with endomitriosis is like taking aspirin to regulate the headaches that come with a brain tumor.  Artificial birth control does nothing to confront the real issue, to attack the disease.  There are treatments, holistic medical treatments that can help a woman in the long run.  Sadly, most women are on artificial birth control for so long that by the time they recognize these other treatments exist it is too late for these same treatments to be effective.  Women get duped and buy into the birth control lie, and they pay the price of years of pain when they might have had healing.  Even when its not intended to regulate births, the lie of birth control is being sold to desperate women nonetheless.

Politics has gotten brutal.  The name calling, the lack of respect to both men and women out there is terrible.  Friends have turned against friends, family members attack one another in the name of "being politically opposed".  Where is Christ in all of this mess?  Where is the love of Christ shown in the way we treat one another in the political arena?  Where are the ways in which we build one another up, where we leave one another in 'the peace of Christ'?  I can't believe the dishonesty and the brutal attacks on people from both sides.  It's shameful:(

If I had all the money in the world, I would help people.  But if I had all the money in the world, I know I couldn't help those people who just don't want to be helped.  I think often, when dealing with a liberal minded person, of those dwarves in the last battle, the epic end of the Chronicles of Narnia series.  They made it into Aslan's country, and yet they could not see the splendor of the truth that is around them.  All they could do was look in on the circle they had created during the battle, and continue to comment and be negative about their situation.  I sympathize with the Left in this regard.  How often have I been here in my Faith journey?  Seeing only the bleak points of life instead of the majesty that is this world that God created for us.   How do I reach these people?  Even through my own scrim of pain and intolerance.  How do I show them that life is beautiful and should be loved and accepted as a gift from our Creator?  Does my attitude make them want to live more or less in the light of Truth, in the light of God?

Lord, thank you for making me have no money that is solely my own.  Thank you for my poverty and my inability to control anything financial.  I see so much now within myself that I need to fix.  That I need to heal before I can become responsible for the many gifts you have waiting for me.  Lord, if I had all the money in the world, it would still be as nothing compared to the help, and the life, that you could lead all people too.  May I stop and wonder more often what I might do to help your kingdom here on earth.  Here in my own little way.

My son and I finished our first Fr. Lovasik book "My Day with Jesus" today with this prayer:

Jesus is my God

Jesus, my Friend,
Son of the Eternal Father,
make me His obedient child.
Son of Mary,
make me love her as my Mother.

My Master, teach me.
Prince of Peace, give me peace.
My Shepherd, guide and care for me.
My Bread of Life, feed my soul.
The true Way, lead me.

Eternal Truth, I believe in You.
Life of the saints, live in me.
My Judge pardon me.
My King, rule me.
My Hope, strengthen me.

My Redeemer, save me.
My Helper, protect me.
My Model, make me like You.
My only Joy, take me to You.

St. Frances of Rome, pray for us!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ebb and Flow of Life

Lent is here.  I'm really feeling it this year.  No, we didn't commit to super huge prayers or sacrifices.  But the Lord in His goodness has seen to it that every day this Lent has been just a little more difficult for me.  Nothing catastrophic, just little humiliations and tests of my patience to remind exactly where I need to focus my virtual attentions:)  It's like that small headache that reminds you to get your eyes checked.  Or that bone itching ache that reminds your fractures to rest and heal.

We gave up Netflix.  I have to admit it was becoming a distraction.  The house would go post-explosion.  My poor husband would go hungry into work at night.  I would sit on the couch and watch Netflix with my kids.  "At least we're together." is what I reasoned to myself.  Sure, we were in the same room, but we were hardly connecting.  Every one of us was staring at the electric boob tube entranced, until it was bedtime and supper was still yet to be on the table.  While its harder, I feel this Lent has helped us to move away from our electronic distractions and grow closer as a family.  We craft a lot more (we've already made Lenten windsocks, sacrifice mice, and bookmarks) and we read and pray and talk more.  It's these times that I hope my children will remember...

We are praying the family Rosary at night again.  What a difficult and most beautiful habit to get into.  What a peaceful way to calm us all and remind us of what's most important before we retire for the evening.  It's about building habits.  And relying on those habits.  Yesterday we were running late for Church...Again...Rather than bicker with my husband the entire ride to Church I grimacingly said a decade of the Rosary.  And then when that was over we started battling again over the power struggle of who was at fault...So of course we both started in on another decade.  If you can't speak peaceably, then at least make an attempt to pray peaceably.  It did help.  It was a good change of habit for us both.  And it began with our Lenten practice of saying the Rosary as a family.

How to navigate the ups and downs of life.  If we continue to clean and cook and feed and dress and kiss and discipline and teach and sew and bathe and bandage, you would think a routine would develop.  But it seems to be the routine of the unroutine in this house.  I start everyday with the best of intentions and end every day with the firmest of resolutions.  At least when a family life is centered around public school you have the routine of a bus route to keep you up on time every morning and home at the same time every afternoon.  We don't have that so we slip into school and we slip out of school and it seems very amorphous between meals.  I would love to have a definite start time and a definite end time.  I wonder if I'm alone in look up nonplussed that all of a sudden its lunchtime and I'm not even done with my Kindergartener's first subject?  And how do we fit in the music lessons and the sports and the personal hygiene and the personal time and fitness for mom...And the laundry and the dishes and the floors?  And I want to start a garden this year and maybe some chickens next year...How do I keep it all straight?  At this rate I can hardly keep a straight face!

Prayers are yours my dear readers.  And I'm hoping as we reach into the desert journey together that we offer some small Lenten sacrifices and prayers for one another.  I'd love to hear of your family Lenten traditions too!