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The gift of emotion....

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Dr Greg Popcak:

"’s important to remember that your emotions are God’s gift to you, and not the people around you."

Whatever happens, good or bad

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God is very pleased with those who recognize his goodness by reciting the Te Deum in thanksgiving whenever something out of the ordinary happens, without caring whether it may have been good or bad, as the world reckons these things. Because everything comes from the hands of our Father: so though the blow of the chisel may hurt our flesh, it is a sign of Love, as he smooths off our rough edges and brings us closer to perfection. -- St Josemaria Escriva

Te Deum laudámus:
te Dóminum confitémur.
Te ætérnum Patrem,
omnis terra venerátur.
Tibi omnes ángeli,
tibi cæli
et univérsæ potestátes:
tibi chérubim et séraphim
incessábili voce proclámant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus,
Dóminus Deus Sábaoth.
Pleni sunt cæli et terra
maiestátis glóriæ tuæ.
Te gloriósus
apostolòrum chorus,
te prophetárum
laudábilis númerus,
te mártyrum candidátus
laudat exércitus.
Te per orbem terrárum
sancta confitétur Ecclésia,
Patrem imménsæ maiestátis;
venerándum tuum verum
et únicum Fílium;
Sanctum quoque
Paráclitum Spíritum.
Tu rex glóriæ, Christe.
Tu Patris sempitérnus es Filius.
Tu, ad liberándum susceptúrus hóminem,
non horrúisti Virginis úterum.
Tu, devícto mortis acúleo,
aperuísti credéntibus regna cælórum.
Tu ad déxteram Dei sedes,
in glória Patris.
Iudex créderis esse ventúrus.
Te ergo quǽsumus,
tuis fámulis súbveni,
quos pretióso sánguine redemísti.
Ætérna fac cum sanctis tuis
in glória numerári.
Salvum fac pópulum tuum, Dómine,
et bénedic hereditáti tuæ.
Et rege eos, et extólle illos
usque in ætérnum.
Per síngulos dies benedícimus te;
et laudámus nomen tuum
in sǽculum, et in sǽculum sǽculi.
Dignáre, Dómine,
die isto sine peccáto nos custodíre.
Miserére nostri, Dómine, miserére nostri.
Fiat misericórdia tua,
Dómine, super nos,
quemádmodum sperávimus in te.
In te, Dómine, sperávi:
non confúndar in ætérnum.

15 Days From Today...

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I'm doing this:

Why? I wish I had a deep reason, but mostly because it looks like fun. It looks like fun. OK, it started back in April or March, I was in the kitchen with my former Marine brother and my husband and I said, "have you hear of Tough Mudder?" "No." I showed him the video and he became very animated, said he was going to get a bunch a Marine buddies, we were going to get a team together, do it, and get a beer. Wow, all that and a beer.

Let's backtrack. For years I have tried to cheat, get around, minimize, excuse the one plain fact: I need to exercise. I need to eat right. I had gestational diabetes three times, my parents both had high blood pressure, so I'm an at risk group.
The catalyst though is it has been a rough past year in my family. I've lost four family members. I have also started work as a CNA and was confronted with death on a pretty regular basis, where as before, my life was sanitized from it. as a matter of fact, I say most of us are sanitized from what it is to grow old, I mean really old or really sick. It's not pretty, but it's there and it's a part of life that's unavoidable. My father, before he became ill was a runner. When he developed cancer, the type of cancer he had caused constant microscopic bone fractures. He lost a good 3-5 inches in height before he passed. I know he wanted to get better and hoped he could go back to running and being active again.
Later in my work as a CNA, the generation I took care of was the smoking generation. I had so many residents hooked up to oxygen condensers, who couldn't walk a few feet without being out of breath or who went into fits of panic because they couldn't breathe.Like I said, I know that just like everyone else, I will depart this world. There are things that we know for a fact, if we do now, it will give us a better shot that our last years we can spend in the company with our grand and great grandchildren going on outings with them. No guarantees, but more of a chance. After all, our bodies are Temples of the Holy Spirit.

So back to my Dad, I knew he would've loved to lace up his shoes and just gone out to run. So I figured if Dad liked it so much, and he couldn't do it, I'll give it a shot. There isn't a cheaper work-out. I decided I couldn't stand one more Zumba class. I wanted to not just move, but become a bit more athletic.(I was also egged on by my son Ian, who is a runner as well. Every other day he would say "Mom, you should run a race. Mom you should run a race."). In June 2011 I started the Cool Runnings Couch to 5K running plan and in August 27 of that same year, I completed my first race in 30 minutes flat. Wow, that was a rush. I ran the whole thing, and I completed it without stopping. I didn't think it was possible.

Then winter came and my work-outs started slowing down, after I all, I did the race. I realized I needed new motivation. With my personality, and I think with many folks, I can't just say "I'm going to work out today to keep my heart healthy and lose a few pounds." I needed to set a goal, lock myself into a date with a deadline (as in pay $$ for the registration) and train. Again.Other things in life, especially a life involving care of seven children will push that out of sight and out of mind.I started to do a ten-week half-marathon training plan. That didn't go so well. It was too intense and I over trained. Also, the half-marathon I had in mind (which I picked simply based on date and location) was kind of ridiculous. It wasn't filling up despite a good price, and when we looked at the course,we understood why. It was all hills. Not a good choice for a first half-marathon. So I passed.

That brings me to standing in the kitchen with my brother. We signed up. Initially I started doing Cross Fit WODs. Then Josh and I started a 12 Week Training Plan that we just completed last week. We started eating clean. My brother has since bailed on me because he moved to Texas to go be with the love of his life, which I suppose I can forgive, but we picked up another couple who are old friends and as crazy as Josh and I.

So what can I say about this crazy training? First, I have suffered from various anxiety issues since the onset of motherhood. I don't know if I can contribute the benefits of feeling better to the clean diet or to exercise, but I tend to think both. This is the BEST anti-anxiety drug I have come into contact with. Now, I am not giving any advice or telling anybody what to do, but simply testifying to my own experience. Second, skin, hair (not including the greys)-just awesome. I have yet to come into contact with someone who can guess my age. Third, my husband had high blood pressure. He has horrible genes in regards to blood pressure, diabetes and all those fun 1st world disorders. We donated blood yesterday, his was 118/82 (mine was 92/62). His HA1C has dropped tremendously. Yay, Husband.We are also having a lot of fun training together. I want to say I lost a lot of weight-about 20 pounds. I'd like to lose more, but that scale doesn't like to move. However the tape measure tells a very different story. I'm a size 4, which I can't believe. I haven't been a 4 since high school. If I check the size charts, that's what it says, but I still couldn't comprehend that. A few days ago I purchased a pair of Size 4 skinny jeans to test it. I tried them on and they fit!

So, after 15 days from now, what's next? I plan to keep up the work and make eating clean and training a lifestyle, not just until an event, and then I'm done, but always. I have a couple of events lined up. On December 2, I'm doinga half marathon with a fellow blogger. In April, the game plan is to do my first marathon in Gettysburg with my crazy TM girlfriend who is also a history geek.

For a long time I would put taking care of myself on the back burner because I would associate it with simply being cosmetic as opposed to an important piece of a fulfilling life. Or more importantly, taking care of myself physically and mentally so I can better take care of others.

Hallie Lord:

Scientists have long believed that when people experience stress, a hormonal cascade is triggered compelling the body to do one of two things: (1) stand and fight or (2) flee. New research out of UCLA shows that – for women, at least – it may not be quite that simple. As it turns out, there is an additional reaction that takes place within a woman’s body – the release of oxytocin – that buffers the fight or flight response and encourages her to tend to her children and gather with other women. Once she does this, even more oxytocin is released, further countering stress and producing a calming effect.

I realize this will surprise no one....


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Lots and lots of linkage!

One of the signs of the genuineness of inspirations, especially extraordinary ones, is peace and tranquility of heart in those who receive them, since the Holy Spirit is indeed powerful, but with a strength that is gentle, mild and peaceful...

On the contrary, the evil spirit is turbulent, bitter and restless. Those who follow his hellish suggestions in the belief that they are heavenly inspirations can usually be recognized because they are unsettled, headstrong and haughty. Under the pretext of zeal, they silence everyone and find fault with everything...In the name of zeal for God's honor they indulge in the passion of self-love.

-- T.L.G. Book 8, Ch. 12; O. V, pp. 100-101

spotted here

A few weeks ago, Jennifer Fulwiler had a great article at the Register about the spiritual attacks converts may face. I promptly forwarded it to one of my favorite catechists; she commented that she'd also received it from two other people, and she would be SURE to tell her catechumens about it.

Dear Monsignor Pope, who contributes to the Archdiocese of Washington's blog, also saw that article::

I must say, this article caused me to pause and repent. For I, who know better, have not made it a practice to speak to my Neophytes and Newly Received about this. That has to change. And I also need to extend longer care to those who have newly entered the Church.

I once read a book on the spiritual life in which the author warned that any attempt to grow in love of God could lead to spiritual attack. (Maybe someday I'll remember which book it was.) So whether we're new converts or old-timers who are trying to step it up a little -- we need to be ready.

Now, have I experienced this myself? I truly don't know -- I'd have to think about it. What about you?

Resolution Linkapalooza!

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Kathy is hosting a New Year’s Resolutions Linky Party, and I’m up for a party, even though I’m not really big into New Year’s resolutions.

Part of it’s past failure, I suppose, but I think that’s because for me, New Year’s just isn’t a natural time to make grand resolutions. I also don’t seem to have the attention span for them — I’ll make a list and promptly forget about it.

I seem to do better with focusing on principles and teeny-weeny goals. For example, the principle of the undefined amount of time might be “finishing what I start” and the teeny-weeny goal might be “always putting the keys on the hook.”

So for purposes of this Linky Party, I’m going to focus on the principle of Being Ready. Teeny-weeny goals will include tasks like stocking the freezer, keeping the kitchen clean, keeping up with the laundry, and tidying the spare room.

But which mini-goal to work on first? And how long should I focus on Being Ready? For these and all other resolution-related questions, I turned to technology:

I “pulled a saint” using Jennifer Fulwiler’s new Patron Saint Generator. And I’m honored to report that I was chosen by none other than…

Our Lady of Guadalupe!

OLG face.jpg

Many of the commenters chez Anchoress noticed immediate links between themselves and their 2011 patrons. For myself, I’m not seeing anything obvious (or *did *I pray for an increase in devotion to Mary?) I’ll just wait for further instructions.

So: Resolution #1: Be Ready!

Resolution #2: Ask Our Lady of Guadalupe about everything else.

And thy ears shall hear the word of one admonishing thee behind thy back: This is the way, walk ye in it: and go not aside neither to the right hand, nor to the left. — Isaiah 30:21

“Am I not here, who am your Mother? Are you not under my protection? ….Are you not happily within my fold?” The Great Mother of God, Mary most Holy, to Juan Diego

Venerable John Paul II on marital infidelity:

"The strength of such a (mature) love emerges most clearly when the beloved stumbles, when his or her weaknesses or sins come into the open. One who truly loves does not then withdraw love, but loves all the more, loves in full consciousness of the other's shortcomings and faults, without in the least approving of them. For the person as such never loses his/her essential value. The emotion which attaches to the value of the person is loyal," Love and Responsibility, n. 135.

I just stumbled on this site. Lots of wisdom here.

Can we not express our excitement over the things that day in, and day out, they so selflessly accomplish? Can we not keep from questioning whether a woman could have done more? Can we not see that oftentimes, women do much more than you or I could ever, or would even want to do? I can't speak for you, but as I ponder on the women in my life, a truly lazy or lacking woman has been rare indeed. Men, on the other hand... we have some things to work on.

Read the whole thing.

Another great article by Monsignor Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington:

Scripture does give some answers as to God’s delay and to his “No.” And while these explanations may not always emotionally satisfy us, they do provide a teaching which can ultimately assist us in not allowing our sorrow, anger or disappointment to interact with our pride and lead us away from faith....

When God Says No

Confession: The Hidden Sacrament

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I've been thinking a lot about this sacrament of late. I feel I forgot to mention it in my last post, and I happened on this post on The Anchoress on Confession:

Writes Mills:

. . . we need to recover the use of the word “confession,” while quietly dropping “the sacrament of reconciliation.” We need to hear the blunt word, because, before everything else, we want to say, “I did this and I’m really sorry.” That’s the appeal of confession, the chance to get it all out in the open. To emphasize the result is a bit like renaming the emergency room the “healing center.” It’s true, but not as helpful or as encouraging as you’d think, particularly when you really have an emergency.

Emergencies. Sin makes you stupid. When you are in a situation where you need graces, when you need to keep your wits about you, when you need a confessor to help you through, this sacrament has so much to offer.

The problem in my diocese is this (along with Confirmation) has become one of the scarcest sacraments. Of course you can request it. Yes, there's a chapel that does Confession nearly constantly 25 miles away. But a 45 minute window on Saturday afternoon? Is that really enough?

Why is this sacrament so brushed under the carpet?

For the Staple-to-Forehead file:

The life of prayer is much deeper than the intelligence or the senses can perceive. Even when prayer is poor and distracted, provided that it is made with sincerity and faith, God can communicate secretly with the soul. He puts into it the treasures of light and the power of peace that is often made manifest at other times in life instead of just during prayer itself. And if one perseveres despite times of aridity, there will always be moments when God visits and makes his presence felt.

Di Fattura Caslinga: Pansy's Etsy Shop
The Sleepy Mommy Shoppe: Stuff we Like
(Disclaimer: We aren't being compensated to like this stuff.
Any loose change in referral fees goes to the Feed Pansy's Ravenous Teens Fund.)

Pansy and Peony: The Two Sleepy Mommies