Wrapping It Up
March has been a busy month and honestly, I almost forgot to do my wrap up post! I was so excited that I found the time to write a post last night and was working on getting time to work on another upcoming post, that it almost slipped my mind that my monthly wrap-up was due! I haven't written much, I know, but I do want to touch base with you all and ask how the rest of you faired this month?
My Writing World
Well, for those of you that follow the blog, you know the blogging part of my writing world isn't all that much these days. I've kept up with my Sunday posts but that's almost all I've done. My manuscripts have suffered with even less time. I didn't even send anything in for critiques this month, but am currently working on something for April. I didn't get my two days away last month for writing (I used them for some spiritual reflection instead) but am in the middle of that two day get away for March right now. So that's why I had time to do the extra post on food (see below)the other day, the one on reading aloud to your child and am able to write this one now.
My Book World
Here I've kept busy! In the area of fiction, I finished up A Prayer For Owen Meany. I'm not sure how I feel about the book. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it all either. It was a good read and certainly different from my regular genre which was a nice change of pace. It certainly had quite a few twists and turns and left one (me anyway) thinking about some various things in life. I didn't rest well with the idea of another 'virgin birth' but...it's fiction, right? So my current piece is much much shorter and more relaxed! It's the 1923 Newberry Medal winner, The Voyages of Dr. Doolittle by Hugh Lofting. What a charming tale. I can't believe I've never read this book. What with my love of books AND animals? If you or your children haven't read it, it's a must. I'll be sure to write-up a review at some point but I'm only about 2/3 through and I am doing a lot of other reading too.
I'm still reading Love & Respect. I completed the Language of Love and Respect but am taking my time with the other book while I also listen to podcasts from their website. I am so enamored by this material!
In addition to the above, I am reading several books during Lent this year. One is the newest book by Fr. Andrew Damick titled, An Introduction to God: Encountering the Divine in Orthodox Christianity. It's an easy to read yet philosophical address of the fundamental mysteries of who God is, why we go to church and worship him, and why Christian morality matters. I only read bits at a time to allow myself time to ponder it over. I highly recommend it. The other books I'm reading is If you Want to Walk On Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero. All of these books are delightful reads and I love how their messages are overlapping and resonating with my soul at this time. I'm reading the Ortberg book with my Godmother during this Lenten season and am enjoying writing back and forth with her sharing our thoughts and insights by letter as we live several hours apart. What a lovely thing it is to get a handwritten letter these days and to keep up with correspondence in such a personal way. The Scazzero book is one I'm doing with a book club I joined back in the fall when we started with The Emotionally Healthy Woman - both of these books are speaking such profound truths to me and are books I will need to revisit probably throughout my life as I work on the goals covered to continue my walk with God, always attempting that closer relationship that leads to Theosis.
Our Homeschool World
My oldest son has, for the most part, caught up with his academics. It's that time of year now to start thinking about NEXT year...ugh. Part of me loves the thrill of planning new things and part of me is overwhelmed at the idea of figuring it all out, wading through tons of information on credits, courses, curriculum, and how to make it all useful and meaningful to him and prepare him for whatever it is that's coming his way in life- with so many unknowns! I'm sure all my homeschool readers can relate. I really hope we can find a way to balance academics with life and make them meaningful and without it seeming so tedious and almost painful at times.
My youngest son is blowing my mind with how quickly he's picking up on his word recongnition. We haven't even done near as many things as I have wanted to. I make it a goal that each day we read his bible storybook after prayers, go over his bible/church word cards (about ten at a time - then we hang up the ones he's gotten right ten times in a row on the side of a cart we use in the prayer corner and play I spy to review the ones he already has hung up), his regular sight words and read about 3 books (in addition to the 3 he gets read at bedtime). If I can do that, I feel I've at least covered what's most important. When time allows, we try to do a little math (Math-U-See Primer Level), read about animals (magazine or the K Book of the Christian Liberty Nature Readers or a variety of library books), a nature walk and drawing in his nature journal, Kid Writing, handwriting, or various other activities. This past week we planted daisies in a pot! Praying for success! We've signed up for a second set of swimming lessons too! He's at that stage where he is feeling a bit TOO BRAVE for his own good and really needs to master some skills for his own safety! YIKES!
Our Food and Health World
I did get a bit irritated this past week upon reading an article on another blogsite that someone posted onto Facebook- that sparked one post in this area. If you didn't catch it, you can read that here.
We are in the midst of Lent and while for most Orthodox Christians that means a typical fast of giving up animal foods and products (meat, eggs, dairy, etc.) we, due to health reasons, have elected to follow the Whole30 program for the whole duration of Lent. I almost feel like it's been harder for me this year - the sugar aspect of it- though I really don't know why. But we are in that final stretch- only about two weeks and I am finally at the point where it's not occupying my mind constantly and I can look at chocolate without drooling (much) and I'm enjoying a cup of tea without sugar a bit more than in the beginning. I won't say it's easy, but during Lent there's that added measure of knowing if I give in to the craving it's turning away from God as well so it's a good time to practice saying no to those things that are not healthy for my body any more than they are for my soul.
I posted about the use of lemons not long ago and am also finally trying to make it a daily practice of drinking lemon water every morning. I don't know if I've noticed any particular changes from this as doing a Whole30 is so full of changes already but I do look forward to the water much more so than my normal drudgery of attempting to get 64 ounces of plain water in a day.
I've also been working on healing my adrenals with my homeopath and I really think I'm feeling a difference. Getting out of bed still isn't fun in the morning (lol) but I have noticed some energy that has been missing for quite an extended time. I've even mustered up the energy to start exercising again. Nothing fancy or super hard or long. Consistency is my only goal right now- oh , and if my husband or myself can actually tell I HAVE muscles somewhere in my body, that would be a big plus. 😉
Our Faith World
As I stated above, we're in the middle (well, almost the end) of Lent. Pretty much all of my recent posts have covered the Sundays of Lent. You can see a few here, here, and here. In addition, a lot of my books are centered around my faith for that very reason (see above). I started Lent with the goal of memorizing some bible quotes, doing my evening prayers consistently and praying throughout the day more often- I haven't done exceedingly well with those particular goals but I am praying more often. I've gone back to a habit I tried to keep up with awhile ago with setting an alarm for the hours and using that time for a small amount of prayer or devotional reading (The Jesus Prayer at the very least if I'm doing something I can't really stop) and I am doing well with this. I also have taken the habit of praying while I wash my hands (The Jesus Prayer again or a small prayer of intercession for someone). With these small changes and my reading, I feel I am growing more spiritually and am more aware of His presence in my life. Everything we do to bring ourselves closer to God counts. We must make Him first. Always. But we must also be emotionally healthy to do that well.
Other Parts of Life
Sometimes I wonder what other parts are there? I suppose I could list a million though if I set my mind to it! LOL! But let's see- what's going on recently that I haven't covered in the above categories? I have mice in my house! ICK! - I was so thrilled thinking we got through all of fall and winter without having any and what happens? The FIRST day of Spring I open up the cupboard under the sink to see my rags covered with bits of seed (from the compost bin)and yep, little mouse droppings.... UGH. We caught one of them but one of the traps was licked clean the next morning so there must be at least one more still lurking....
Tax Season is upon us and my dear husband went to H&R Block today to take care of that very 'taxing' task. Thank you Sweetheart for being the wonderful breadwinner that you are and taking care of our family!!! 🙂
Our daughter has made more trips home recently from college. It's nice to have her around more and watch her sit and study and work on her school projects. It's a joy to see how she's maturing and developing into such a fine young lady.
We celebrated my little guy's 5th birthday! It was a lot of fun. It was his first birthday party with lots of little friends 🙂 I love having friends over to our home, despite the massive cleanup afterwards!
Oh, and I ordered LOTS of RX bars this past month and was delighted to get an email for a Spring Discount. I'll have to look into the company and see if they have an affiliate program. I LOVE their coffee cocoa bars! Oh, the joy.... 🙂 They ARE on amazon and here's a link:
They can also be found at RXBAR.Com