making the trek

Trekking through life: Faith, family, friends and a whole lot of coffee!

Lent, life, loss, hope March 13, 2014

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Once upon a time, there was a couple who had been married a long time.  Blessed with 4 children who were happy, healthy and going through the usual ups and downs of childhood.  No complaints, just normal life.  This couple was open to life.  Even though they are both approaching mid 40s, they were healthy and open to God’s plan in regards to their family.  Lo, and behold one day it happened.  The woman suddenly and without warning re-gained her sense of smell during Mass whilst seated next to a woman who clearly hit the garlic rolls the night before,(heavy emphasis on garlic).  Confused with this return of olfactory sensation and accompanying nausea, a quick count on the PeriodTrackerApp prompted a visit to the local CVS.

Confirmation post peeing on a stick.  Twice.  And the world began to spin.

Fast forward through the week of sudden shock and awe at this life turn of events as the couple quietly processes the news with prayers, trepidation, joy, laughter, wonder and trust.  Clearly God has a plan here; who were they to question.

Then.

Just as the reality settled itself and planning stages were to begin:  when to tell the kids, the family, friend, etc., doctor’s appointment, bedroom rearranging, financial rearrangement, etc, etc, etc..  The woman began to bleed.

And cramp.

And reality readjusted.  And plans were undone.  Tears were cried.  A mental day was taken.  And with Lent upon them, they clung to the promise that God’s plan is infinitely better than their own.  Despite the temporary confusion and fog, He has great things in store.  In addition to His promise of hope and plans and future, He has given this family, this couple a special soul to intercede on their behalf.

Thanks be to God.

imgres Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

 

Fast First Friday aka #7QuickTakes March 7, 2014

Filed under: Catholicism,clean eating,Faith,Lent,weight loss — tracye1 @ 5:13 AM
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Burnout.  7 days in a row of blogging and nada this week, until today, because everyone in my casa is occupied (for the moment), so here I go…all Fast like….on this First Friday in March AND in Lent…woot, woot!  (see what I did there?)  Therefore, jumping back in (for today), with author and speaker of many hours in a row…Jen@Conversion Diary for a weekly wrapup…go see!

  1. So Lent is here, how’s it going for you?  For me, so far so good.  I haven’t felt called to fast from any particular thing but I have been called to prayer.  Lots of prayer….I mean:  Adoration, weekly, and prayer journal for prayer requests.  So, if you are in need of any extra prayer (and aren’t we all), feel free to drop a note in the combox or email me (found on the sidebar).IMG_3716
  2. The other thing I am committed to is finishing some spiritual reading:  Mere Christianity, The power of persistent prayer, St.Monica.  I have a bad habit of having too many books going at once, so this is a great time to actually focus on these!
  3. Meatless meal time.  This year is going to be a little less trying since we have a boy/man in the house interested in veganism and willing to help me out with finding new and fun recipes for the fam.  He’s good in the kitchen and tonight picked out and helped make a (non meatless) homemade version of Hamburger helper with roasted cauliflower and peas.  Makes dinner much less a chore for Mama!
  4. Ash Wednesday ended up being a date night with the Hubby and I.  The only Mass we can make it to is the 7 p.m. and opted to allow the kids to stay home and shower and settle in.  Sometimes you just have to exercise common sense in knowing when it’s forcing too much.  I missed them, but enjoyed the one on one with the Hubs.  We even took a selfie afterward!  Love an unexpected date time with my honey!669831106177617683_3843666
  5. Providing our son wakes up in the a.m. and we make it to the gym, it will have been a full week working out.  Spin this a.m. was with Crazy Courtney (as I like to call her) and I was soaked, so a good workout and start to the day.
  6. Clean(er) eating this week has been going well.  Perfect?  No.  However, definitely have been getting in more fruits and veggies and avoiding miscellaneous crap food at work that seems to show up unannounced and at the most ravenous times.  Planning is key.  Will just keep planning and plugging along.imgres
  7. The end!  Blessings on the weekend and praying all north of Florida will thaw out soon and welcome spring most joyfully.  Until then, I will do my best to appreciate the Vitamin D for you!IMG_1970
 

Finally Friday February 28, 2014

Home stretch!  Friday is my FAVORITE day of the week.  Yes, I do have to work, but the light…the LIGHT is so very, very BRIGHT at the end of the tunnel!

Still blogging for the 7 days with the Conversion Diary and friends!!  Woot, woot!  In honor of blogging 7 days, here’s 7 Quick Takes from the week!

1.  Blogging every day is HARD!!!!  Even Jen had a fail day.  Perhaps a fail at ONE missed blog day, but reading her post on her “Day in the Life” made me remember just how hard those years are with littles and I honestly don’t know how you young Mamas blog at all!!

2.  Blogging every day is QUICK!  If I want to do it, I have to sit down and get to it or it’s not going to happen.  Good thing?  Bad thing?  Either way, it’s a blog post.

3.  Blogging every day is helping me to re-prioritize my daily activities and prepping for Lent.  Truly.  I am seeing where and WHEN I can be more productive in certain areas and that is oh-so-helpful in making me a wee bit more organized!  Which I love.

4.  On to other topics…because I need to be quick here!

5.  Last week I shopped CASH ONLY.  Saved about $50.  I’m doing it again.  It’s a little scary, but truly empowering!

6.  Lent is coming and I scheduled my annual physical right in the middle of it.  Perfect time to add eating simply to my goal of keeping Lent simple, eh?  Because who doesn’t get a little motivation from the thought of stepping on the scale for an annual review?  Who?

7.  It’s Friday.  EVERY.  ONE.  OF.  THE.  KIDS.  WILL.  BE.  OUT.  OF.  THE.  HOUSE. TONIGHT.  ALLATONCE!!  You know what that means, right?????  Yesssss, we are catching up on the last two Downton Abbeys!!!  Although we may save the finale and savor it.  Gotta say, I still love Downton, but truly not the most exciting season….nonetheless, I will be having withdrawals and ready for next season!!

Happy Friday, y’all and make it on over to Conversion Diary for other better blogging spectaculars!

Blessings!!

 

 

Taste of Tuesday February 26, 2014

Filed under: Catholicism,encouragement,Life — tracye1 @ 6:17 AM
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Day 3 of the marathon that is 7 days in a row of blogging with the masses……

Having missed my spin class (on purpose) to enjoy some sleep due to going to bed too late on Monday night…details, details…..I packed my gym bag for a lunch time workout.  Woot.  Woot.  Then work happened.  Schedule, schmedule…c’mon in when you want, people and bring some friends.  And so lunch went RIGHT out the window along with my gym bag.  Good new is, it’s packed for today!  #winning  #tryagaintoday

My thoughts have been on Lent and preparation in hopes of getting the most out of Lent and suddenly I realized that the aspirations I was leaning toward were quickly becoming full-time job numero dos and was shaping up to be the big Lenten #fail, so I am now re-evaluating.  I know I’m not alone here, we do this during Advent, Lent, life.  Overthink.  Overplan.  Think beyond reality and leave little room for life and then end up all disappointed and angry and resentful.  So THIS Lent is going to be simple.  Thoughtful.  Prayerful.  Mindful.  The details are still being worked out, but I am embracing KISS…you know Keeping it Simple, Silly.

What are your Lenten plans?

 

7QT Return, Ta DAAA! February 15, 2013

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!!  😉

 

Ash Wednesday February 13, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 7:45 AM
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“All are from the dust, and to dust all return”  

Ecclesiastes 3:20

And so it is the time of year where “we” will sacrifice, pray and serve.  All three take many forms and there is no “wrong” way to do any;  it is a HEART choice and a active decision in seeking a closer relationship with Christ. 

I’ll take my annual sabbatical from Facebook (and this year, Twitter).  It’s generally a little weird the first day or so, but absolutely freeing and by Easter I contemplate deactivating it all, except that I love the pictures too much;  kids grow so fast!!!

I’ll also spend more time in Adoration.  Feel free to send my your prayer requests in comments, anon or otherwise 😉

We will serve.  Wherever a need arises, it’s not a hard and fast decision.  It’s not black and white.  The opportunity to serve others is always present, we will just be more mindful of that during these 40 days.

And so, even though it is a not a holy day of obligation, we will receive ashes tonight as a reminder……visible….tactile….spoken

He died for us, so we might live. 

2 Corinthians 5:15

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It’s almost here….. February 12, 2013

Lent, that is.  The week started off with a bang with Pope Benedict’s announcement of retirement/abdication/stepping down (listen, call it what you will…we are all a little confused, it’s been 600/700 years since this has happened, the protocol is a little hazy); anyway Lent is among us.  A time to sacrifice, pray and serve others being mindful of WHY Christ came to us as a mere MAN and rejoicing in God’s ultimate sacrifice for us and the hope and joy of Easter that sacrifice brings.  Add to this 40 days (Monday through Saturday, people…every Sunday is a mini-Easter) we have Spring….absolutely my favorite time of year.

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Tweet by Matt Swaim…have you read his book,”Prayer in the Digital Age”, it’s a good read, so timely in this technological era we live in.

And so, the big dinner talk last night and to be continued tonight is, “What are you going to give up?”  Young minds are busy working on their strategy, preparing to receive ashes Wednesday night, no meat on Fridays and an influx of fish sticks to the freezer.

As for me, my sacrifice will be giving up Facebook and Twitter, and I’ll also be heading to Adoration once a week, in which I invite you to send me any prayer requests.  I did that a couple of years ago and it was quite fruitful.  As for acts of service, I’m still discerning.

However, the whole “giving up FB and Twit” generally gives me more time to blog as well as increased quality (IMHO) of blogging…go figure.

Happy Fat Tuesday y’all.  Enjoy those pancakes and king cakes, for tomorrow the journey begins!

Blessings!!

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