Readings of the Day:   Hebrews 6:13-20  &    Mark 9: 17-31

Today's gospel reading  describes the healing of  a boy who had a mute spirit and was suffering seizures at the hand of this spirit.  The reading  includes that infamous line "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"  So often have I thought these same lines, cried out this verse in tears.  We all do, don't we?  As much as we believe, we have those moments of weakness - but while we remain uncertain, we maintain our basis of faith.  We believe....we are just unsure of the details-unsure of His will. But we must continue our struggle; we must continue to climb the ladder, so to speak,  in our faith!

St. John of the Ladder

St. John Climacus (570-649 AD), known as St. John of the Ladder, was a monk of Sinai

Ladder of Divine Ascent
Ladder of Divine Ascent

and became the Abbot of Sinai Monastery.  He wrote a book titled The Ladder of Divine Ascent.  Read by many even today, it may be, according to Fr. Thomas Hopko, the most widely read book among Orthodox Christians after the bible itself.  The Ladder of Divine Ascent describes monastic virtues, monastic life, and the nature of being free from passions. The book contains 30 chapters.  Every chapter represents a step leading up to a faithful and pious life as the ultimate goal of a Christian life. The spiritual struggle of the Christian is a real one, daily, and St. John's writings encourages us to continue with that struggle. The feast day of Saint John Climacus is actually on March 30, however, as the Orthodox do not practice Divine Liturgies during the weekdays of Great Lent (other than The Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos -the day we commemorate the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary announcing the conception of Christ who's birth we celebrate 9 months from this date ) the Church commemorates this particular Saint on this, the fourth Sunday of Lent.

*This book does tend to be difficult for the laity to read as it was written with monastics mostly in mind.  There is a newer book, Thirty Steps To Heaven, that is written to aid the laity in reading the wisdom offered by St. John.  I have often been tempted to read this book myself  (as I haven't even thought of attempting the original) and would love to hear from anyone that has!  There is an Amazon link below for both books.

 

 O John our father, saint of God, you who were revealed as a citizen of the desert, an angel in a body and a worker of miracles.  Through fasting, prayer, and vigils you have received heavenly gifts of grace and have healed the sick and the souls of those who turn to you with faith.  Glory be to Him who gave you strength; glory to Him who crowned you; glory be to Him who through you grants to all men healing. 

    ~ Orthros - Hymn to St. John of the Ladder

 

References and Sources of Information:

A Journey Through Great Lent - Edited by The Very Rev. Stephen Belonick

Daily Lenten Meditations for Orthodox Christians by Presbytera Emily Harakas

Fr. Thomas Hopko - Ancient Faith Radio

The Fourth Sunday of Lent: The Sunday of St. John Climacus

 

Peaceful Reflections
Sun through trees Take some time on this day to just sit quietly, ponder on the words of God and His saints - reflect on the wonders of this life and all of creation.

 

Today's Gospel reading comes from Luke 8:41-56.  It is the story of Jairus and his daughter. The man falls at Jesus' feet and begs him to come help his twelve-year-old daughter who is dying.  As the multitudes gather around Him as he walks to the home of Jairus, a woman with a flow of blood reaches out to touch him. Jesus feels the power of healing go out of him and tells her it is her FAITH that has made her well. At this moment, a messenger arrives and tells Jairus that his daughter has already passed from this life. But Jesus tells Jairus to not fear, but to HAVE FAITH. Arriving at the home, Jesus tells the mourners the child is just sleeping. They scoff at his remark. Yet, just a short while later, the child arises with  vigor!

It was faith that saved the woman with the hemorrhage, and faith that saved the daughter of Jairus.  The power of faith is STRONG.

"Your Lord is Love: love Him and in Him all men, as His children in Christ. Your Lord is a fire: do not let your heart be cold, but burn with faith and love. Your Lord is light: do not walk in darkness of mind, without reasoning or understanding, or without faith."  ~  St. John of Kronstadt

“Just as the blessings of God are unutterably great, so their acquisition requires much hardship and toil undertaken with hope and faith.”~ St. Macarius the Great

"We have very little faith in the Lord, very little trust. If we trusted the Lord as much as we trust a friend when we ask him to do something for us, neither we as individuals nor our whole country would suffer so much.” ~ Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica from Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives

Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

3

 

Book Title: The Graveyard Book                               

Author: Neil Gaiman

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy

Pages: 336

Ages: 10 and up (I'd probably suggest 12 and up - see my note below)

Publisher: Harper Collins (reprint edition September 28, 2010)

Awards: Newberry Medal, Carnegie Medal, Hugo Award, Locus Award

Why Did I Choose It? Besides the obvious - this book is a Newberry Medal Award book of which I am determined to read them all - this was a 'ghost story' so to speak and as a child growing up, I was always drawn to ghost stories and those 'scary' stories of the supernatural world.  In addition, the book was recommended to me buy a blogger friend who also wrote a review and you can find that here 😉

A Bit From The Back Cover:  It takes a graveyard to raise a child.  Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy.  He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy- an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls,  the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack- who has already killed Bod's family.

Review: This was an unusual Newberry Medal book in that it certainly possessed an unusual telling (ghost story) with very unusual characters (ghosts, ghouls, and a few lone humans) for a Newberry!  Needless to say, I LOVED it! Now keep in mind, I love ghost stories...  and I love Mr. Gaiman's imagination to come up with the idea of a young human child being raised by ghosts!

The book starts a little scary...or at least could be for a young reader.  It basically tells a tale of Nobody Owens, a toddler, narrowly escaping (unbeknownst to him) being murdered and leaves behind his parents who actually have been murdered and climbing the hill to the graveyard. There the grave imagination begins.... (pun intended...sorry).  The book follows young Bod through his childhood weaving in relationships with his 'adoptive' ghost parents (not his biological parents mind you), a caretaker, a young human friend, a creature called the Sleer, and  an unjustly executed witch among others and ends....well, I won't tell anymore of the story as you really must read it for yourself.

But I will say this - It's a wonderful tale weaving in bits of fantasy, 'scariness', humor, friendship, and mystery all in one unforgettable piece. Furthermore,   the book leaves an enormous amount of possible discussions to be had with youth.  First of all is the discussion of whether ghosts exist or not....do you believe in them?  And most importantly, what does your Faith teach you? Secondly, the book shows a different relationshiop between Bod and his adoptive parents and that between Bod and Silas, another character in the graveyard.  This certainly portrays reality for youth today and the relationship they have with parents and that of other adults.  Another third discussion point is the goodness displayed by what would typically be seen as 'evil' type characters (Silas, Miss Lupescu and Eliza) - what can be said about how we judge others according to appearance and social status? Can those who are good do something 'evil'?  Can those who appear 'evil' do good or actually be good at heart? There are many other points that can be made and discussed, of course.  But these stick out to me the most.

Other Books By This Author: The Ocean at the End of the Lane,  Stardust, Coraline, Sandman, Unnatural Creatures (Stories selected by Neil Gaiman), Anansi Boys and others.

I am actually rather eager to read more by Mr. Gaiman now- I will admit, until now, I had not.... (horrors, I know...)

*Special Note for Parents - The novel does contain  bits of  violence, murder, and death. If  I were to rate it comparative to movies of this day, it would most likely be PG.  I 'm certain that teens could easily handle the material in the novel. But parents of younger children, say below 12, should probably read it for themselves to judge their child's ability to handle the story.

On another side note..... it IS being turned into a film directed by Ron Howard.....  hmmmmm......  always a dilemma.... should I go see the movie when it comes out? Will it just totally ruin the book??

Read the book.... and let me know if you're going to go see the film!

 

5

"As parents we are concerned about building whole people- people who are alive emotionally, spiritually, intellectually.  The instruction to train up a child in the way he should go has enormous dimensions.  It is to teach a child to think, to influence character, to give high ideals, and to encourage integrity.  It is to provide largeness of thoughts, creative thinking, imaginative wondering."  ~ Gladys Hunt in Honey For A Child's Heart

I am reading Gladys' book Honey For A Child's Heart.  It's a wonderful guide for parents to assist in finding quality books for their children.  I am only part way into the book and yet I can tell that Gladys shares my zeal for the importance of reading to children and what quality literature can offer to the child.

The above quote struck me as truly of utmost importance.  I think that too often in this hustle and bustle focused on earthly cares world in which we live, we as a society miss what is important in the training up of a child.  We forget that it does include teaching the child to think and that emotionality and spirituality are IMPORTANT! Indeed, I deem these things, especially faith and spirituality, to be the MOST important.  When one reaches the end of one's life - be it at age 89 or 9, it does not matter what one gained academically, what job title you held or how much money you made- it only matter's what one gained in life on an emotional and spiritual level which one applied to their relationship to God that is of the utmost importance.

Quality books are  part of  this training.  A quality book can be the gateway into more wonder and beauty in a child's world.  Books give a child a very large view of the world and can fill a life with truth and goodness.  It opens the door to experience and gets their ideas flowing!  Offer your child a quality living book today...read it with them...talk about it.  If you don't have any children at home, be your own child 🙂

Random Thoughts For Saturday:

  • Beatrix Potter books and A. A. Milne Books should be read to every child!  You don't recognize the authors?  Tsk. Tsk.  Silly Old Bear!  None other than Peter Rabbit and Winnie-The-Pooh
  • Life is short....enjoy chocolate!
  • Do the right thing....because it's the right thing.
  • Just how on earth do you fold a fitted sheet?  I've watched videos...they make it look so easy...but how on earth do you really do it without it taking up a great deal of time?  LOL
  • My husband is the best husband imaginable... I know I'm biased...but...IT'S TRUE  🙂

2

Our story is a personal story.  Why anyone chooses to homeschool always is.  There could be a single or mixture of reasons given:  religion, health, curriculum choice, academic failure in the public schools, and school violence just to name a few I hear the most often.  But each  makes a decision that is personal to them.

We pulled my daughter out of the public schools in her 5th grade year. (We kept our son in public school for the rest of that year, despite his yearning to be home with us to try to meet our daughter's needs at that time.  The following year, we were glad to keep him home with us as well.) She desperately wanted to be homeschooled at that time for various reasons.  It was a decision that changed our family....  little did I know at that time how much it would and that I would be truly grateful for God leading us to do that.

Our family is closer.  We talk often. Not just at meal times, though our family dinner hour is always sacred, but here and there throughout the day.  It's an advantage most families don't have. And we spend lots of quality time together - time we simply wouldn't have if we had to obey the public school schedule and our children were whisked away by a bus early in the morning and not brought home until late afternoon with their backpacks full of homework for their evenings.

We have flexible schedules.  While my years of teaching in the public schools have lent their dent on me in still trying to maintain a bit of a 'typical school day schedule for academics', my kids don't have to get up in the morning until the public school kids have already been on the bus allowing them more sleeping time and they are typically finished with their work before these kids get back on the bus!   And if we are sick.  or want to go somewhere?  We just don't have school. (Yes, we DO fill the 180 days required by law, but we do it according to OUR schedule, not someone else's.) And if we want to take a full week off for PASCHA?  We do!  We can attend more church services, more field trips that are of interest to us (not another entity) and visit family a little more leisurely.   Now this flexibility IS harder in the higher grades with more inflexible choices we make such as volleyball, piano lessons, gym classes with the local homeschool co-op, online classes, etc. but it still remains more flexible than the public schools schedule.

Flexible Curriculum/Classes: Naturally we teach reading, writing and math but we are not held to the rigidity of particular curriculums or particular classes for particular years.  If my child would rather study zoology in 8th grade rather than general science, he can.  If he wants to take Russian rather than the typical French or Spanish, he can.  If he wants to do two histories in one year, he can.  If he wants to take an online class or even an online college course or a college course at a local university, he could!

We teach our children according to OUR beliefs. We teach them God is first, ALWAYS.  We are human, of course, and sometimes fail in demonstrating this.  I have. in the past, missed attending a feast day at church or other event because we are behind in academics.  But in this too, we are teaching God forgives.  But we must always, ALWAYS strive to do better.  This year I blocked out the feast days first on the calendar when I planned school days. So we teach them our faith.  We teach them the teachings of the Orthodox Christian Church.  And we teach them to love and forgive.

We maintain our HEALTH. My family has completely eradicated illnesses that conventional medicine claims there is not a cure for through eliminating MSG, other neurotoxins, and artificial additives and preservatives from our diet.  Because of homeschooling, my children were an integral part of our conversion from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to a more whole foods approach and eliminating dangerous toxins from our daily consumption in food products and other sources.  They enjoyed finding new recipes and trying new foods.  They learned to read labels and make determinations on what to consume and realized the detriment these food products had been causing us.  Because of homeschooling, my children were able to delve deeply into our learning process and do not need to be fed nonsensical information in a public school health class.  Nor do they need to fight school policies on school cafeteria food that is full of the very toxins we avoid.  (More on our food habits and our food choices in posts to come!)

These are the highlights of why we homeschool.  I wrote this, I have realized, as though I'm still homeschooling both my older children.  It's a hard habit to break.  My daughter is actually not at home this year because she is attending college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. (Yes, homeschoolers CAN go to college - this in answer to an actual question my husband received recently from a well-educated man.)  Currently, it is only my older son that is being homeschooled.  Of course, while he's only 3 1/2, my youngest is also being educated...but in a much more relaxed, fun approach and not really 'school'.  We are enjoying just exploring his world and teaching the concepts that come up as they come up.  He actually has learned a few words already!  Nothing like GOOD BOOKS to captivate a child and give the desire to find out what those letters on the page are doing!

My older son is in 9th grade... his first year of 'high school' and keeping track of credits.  It's a challenging year but he's keeping up well and still active in Scouts and got a doe while hunting the other day (while public school kids were confined in a brick building).

So again, these are the highlights.  I'm looking forward to sharing more about what we do and what we have learned.  There's so much to tell!  🙂

4

Well, way back in April of 2012, I wrote about what to blog about and that has been on my mind again.  I read that post back from April of 2012 and it seems that I'm sticking to the same basic thoughts.  I'm not a person who can read just one book at a time so I can't imagine just focusing on one subject like so many of the blogs I love do.  So just as I posted back in 2012, I think I'll try to blog about various things:

 

Our Faith... my family is Orthodox Christian.  My husband is cradle Orthodox while my two older children and I converted about 10 years ago.  It was the most important decision of my life.  I love Orthodoxy.  I love all Christians...and all non-Christians... but I really feel Orthodoxy is the True Faith, the Church begun by Christ and his apostles upon his resurrection and Pentecost and I'm so thrilled to have found it to allow it to guide me in my relationship with Christ.

Our Food Lifestyle.... it's truly not a diet...it's a lifestyle.  For really good reasons and that's what I'll start writing about next week (at least that's the plan.... I actually wrote out some notes the other day when I had time about how we got started on this path).  Everyone has told me I should write a book on it...  I'm not so sure about that...  I prefer creative writing...  for kids...  but perhaps I can tell our story on here in a more brief format.

Homeschooling... We started homeschooling not long before our adventures into discovering the difference between real food and food products and it's been quite an adventure of it's own.  It's an important aspect of our life.

WRITING!!!  That's why I'm on here.... because I love to write!  And my dream is to become a children's author... though I'm not sure anymore what I want to write... what age group or genre.  I am thinking of writing an Orthodox Picture Book...but I want to write for the general public as well.

BOOKS!  What's a writer without books and what's a book without writers?  They go hand in hand and I read quite the varied selection.  I like to talk about them all.

Random Stuff.....  My thoughts are generally non-stop and full of randomness so why not include that here?  I like to share thoughts I have based on things I've read, heard, things that are going on in my life or in that of my children and others I know.  I like to read quotes by famous authors or other people and reflect on what it means and how it applies to me...  all of that and more fits under this category.

So that's what I've been contimplating over the last week and that's what I hope to make a habit of writing about very soon!  If you are following me, thank you.  If you like what you see, let me know.  I'm a bit of a shy introvert with not as much of a high self-esteem as people tell me I should have so I'm often wondering why people do view my posts and what they like about them.  If you have time to drop me a note and tell me, please do!

3

That's the title of a book I read a few months back. The author is Byron Katie. She's not orthodox. That's saying something because I rarely pick up self help books anymore as I worry about reading things by non-orthodox authors and how they may not be teaching something that is right or truth in relation to The Church. But this particular book was recommended to me by my homeopath during a very trying time for me.

The book did help me. I have to look past the fact that she's not a Christian, not my definition of Christian anyway. And not Orthodox for sure. But her four questions that she poses as questions that can change your life... well, they do change how one looks at things. The four questions are:

Is It True?
Can You Absolutely Know That It's True?
How Do You React When You Think That Thought?
Who Would You Be Without The Thought?

I tell you, when you are wrapped up in anger, judgement, and negative feelings, those four questions can really help set a better perspective. So it has helped me in those situations. Especially in dealing with my thoughts about other people or myself.

It doesn't help in terms of spiritual questions. One shouldn't be asking God if something is true or doubting whether our faith is true. YES. It is True. And it doesn't matter what I think in terms of that.

But for those everyday things in life when your thoughts are making you stir crazy... it's not God putting those thoughts there and these questions, if used well, can certainly help put a stop to the demons within.

I haven't exactly explained the whole process here very well. One would have to read the book, listen to the book or at the very least, explore the Katie Byron website... I think it's called The Work? I still haven't figured out how to put links on here. I think I did it once but it's been months. If I start writing regularly (hey, this is two days in a row now... woot!) I will spend time learning to do that.

I had a few moments to spare so I took it. This book is on my mind because I think I need to revisit it and I want to loan it to a friend that may benefit from it. Anyone else ever read it?

3

It has been forever since I have written here. So this may be long, seeing as a certain little man is not here to interrupt, nor are the other men in my life, nor my daughter.... I have taken advantage of my husband and son being away at a conference to ask our dear sweet neighbor to take my little one for several hours today so that I could have some 'me' time. And what I miss the most about 'me' time is being able to just read or write uninterrupted. I catch a little reading time here and there, so at this moment I'm going to make a cup of tea and WRITE. It's not enough time to start any fiction writing.... but I can at least start catching up here.

So..... Where to begin??

HOMESCHOOL

My daughter is not here this year. She is at IUP doing incredibly well. I am really proud of her. She seems to be adjusting well and enjoying college life for the most part. I am happy with that she still texts and calls home sometimes though sometimes I feel horribly guilty for not being able to talk to her the way I'd like when she calls because, unfortunately, life goes on here at home....

My son has started his 9th grade year, his first year of high school here at home. He is having a hard time adjusting to all the reading required and balancing that between scouts, hunting, and all the things he likes to do (distractions) through the day but still doing very well. We've made some adjustments. I will be reading his history lessons to him for awhile and verbally doing the questions with him to help save time in the day and my husband downloaded his biology onto his Audible account ( I got the account for my husband for his birthday and he LOVES it.... has been 'reading' a lot!) so that he can listen to it as he reads, enabling him to go faster. He's a good reader as far as comprehension goes, but is a bit slow. So hopefully, these two adaptations will help shorten his school days.

My smallest is too young for official school. He's only 3 1/2 but is incredibly smart. I have been investigating the Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling for him. We spend LOTS of time reading. He knows his alphabet (has known it since before age 2) and a lot of sounds and about 7 'sight' words. He can count to over 50, including one to one correspondance, and has an incredible imagination. (I just wish it would turn off at 7 when bedtime arrives!)
I'm having fun with him.... just wish I had more time in the day to give him more attention.

FOOD

Food is a big part of our lives. Really, it's not about food but about HEALTH.
We gave up artificial ingredients a long time ago.... things like MSG (total poison), artificial dyes, flavors, preservatives, etc. We moved closer to more whole foods and more natural ingredients. Though the more I studied the more I realized that even a lot of those things we were trying to convince ourselves were natural, just weren't. So lately, my husband and I (and kids much to their dismay) have been getting further and further away from those processed, so called 'natural' food items...even the organic ones and coming closer and closer to real food... truly what God created. Most of what we eat falls under the Paleo diet plan, which isn't really a diet but a way of life. Some call it Primal. Whatever one calls it, it gets one away from the grains that causes inflamation leading to so much horrible disease (probably if you are reading this and suffer from anything thats not 100% health, grains play a really big factor in that whether you realize it or not). I admit, I started looking into it because of my hairdresser. (strange that I've even started seeing a hairdresser that I actually talk to.... still a bit of an introvert here) But she and I started talking about her lifestyle and I thought...hmmm... wonder if this would work for my DH to lose weight? So I started reading..... and reading... and wow, read some more. So the first books she recommended was The Paleo Diet by Robb Wolf and the Omni Diet by Tana Amen. I don't know if I'd recommend Robb Wolfs book to anyone.... he came off as rather super sarcastic and I'm not sure that if I wasn't really really super interested by the things I heard and read about Paleo eating that I would have kept up with it. I wasn't really offended by Mr. Wolf's writing, but could imagine that others might be.... Anyway, the book was very informative if you could get past his higher than mighty attitude. I really liked the Omini Diet book. It was very informative as well. But then I stumbled upon IT STARTS WITH FOOD by the creaters of the Whole9 website, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.
WOW. Great book. I'm sure to read it again and again. It's a wonderful book and program that has truly cured many many many people from all sorts of illnesses, including diabetes, bipolar and immune disorders and so many others. And I want to do the Whole30 program... just not yet. It may drive my son bonkers. Anyway, the food plan addresses the importance of really good animal protein, stressing to strive towards as organic as possible and understanding that some people can't so explaining what to eat if one can't get the best quality meat sources. The Whole30 program also addresses what to do if you are vegan though they state outright that they don't feel one can achieve total health if vegan. But they were not cocky about it at all. So we are eating a lot of meat, lots and lots of veggies, a little fruit and avoiding grains and most legumes. We are not there 100%. I still have quite a few perogies out there in the freezer and I am not willing, at least at this point, to make life any more difficult for friends and family that like to feed us. We already have to ask these people to cook without artificial stuff that actually causes us allergic reactions now... I can't further complicate and say, Oh, by the way, we won't eat your bread, your rice, your lasagne, your...... yeah, you get it, right? So we are eating it a little here and there... a couple times a month in smaller quanitities, to make sure if we can, that we can tolerate small portions without getting sick. At least that's the plan.

The results? Well, we've done this for about 6 weeks. My DH has lost, last checked, about 16 pounds or more 🙂 and is feeling a lot better! I've lost about 6.... I don't really care if I lose... I just don't want to gain anymore. But I feel really good. I have energy! I have started exercising again and actually have the energy to do it. I'm sleeping better. I feel less achy. There's no swelling in places I was starting to feel some, like my fingers, etc. I could go on but this is pretty long already. I'll save it for another day when I update this again... hopefully it will be a LOT sooner!!!

By the way.... this is not another LOW CARB DIET!!!!! I can't stand when people count calories, carbs, fat, etc. It's not about that!!! It's about eating good quality food that gives the body nutrients and doesn't cause inflamation or other problems. We don't count carbs. We don't care what vegetables we eat or stay away from fruit. While we try not to make white potatoes a staple anymore and know that berries are the better fruit, we will not say no to those things or worry about counting the carbs if we do. We eat a large variety of vegetables! I tried parsnipst the other day....mashed... we prefer mashed cauliflower...but hey, they weren't bad.

Anyway, enough about that for now... other than if this continues working, and I highly suspect it will, I have no idea what to do about fasting and Great Lent!!!!

FAITH

In Eastern Orthodoxy, we fast from animal products for the entire duration of LENT. This means most of our protein comes from legumes! Which is one major thing we avoid now.... hmmmmm..... well, we are not there yet. The Fast is not supposed to center so much on the food as growing spirtiually so maybe our Spiritual Father will give us some guidance if we sit and talk with him. Though my spiritual father is different than my husband's who is our parish priest.... but we'll probably just talk to him. We can use seafood.... but I know that a varied animal protein diet is important.... but I can't drive myself crazy about that yet. For now, we use fish and seafoods on Wed and Friday which are days we always fast all year.

I'm doing better spiritually. I had a really really hard time with it spiritually after the miscarriage last year. It's been a year. It's been a really long year. It's been such a very very incredibly long year. Full of struggles in so many ways. But things are better. I can at least pray now with my heart in it. I'm not where I was before that... or maybe I'm stronger in some areas and weaker in others? I don't know... but it's a day to day challenge but I guess that's what it is supposed to be.

Miscellaneous

Well, what else is new? My DH thinks I'm paranoid. (Wait? Is that new? lol) There was a murder that took place about ten miles from our home a few weeks ago. This brought back lots of old feelings of 'paranoia' or nervousness about being home alone (without husband), locking doors, safety, etc. that I know stem from an experience I had as a young college student in my home one summer. Without going into details, let's just suffice it to say that I think waking up with a strange man in your room once is enough to call this extreme caution and not paranoia. Okay, maybe the first week of the murder was paranoia.... but I have moved back into a much calmer sense of mind now and I would just call it cautious. They may have the lady in custody now...not for murder though (yet) for something else... but it wasn't really ever about just thinking that particular lady was going to come and kill me too.... it was about awareness. It was "oh, yeah, just because we live in this beautiful low crime area does NOT mean it can't happen and yes, we really should lock all the doors and windows at night and we should take precautions". My DH thinks locking the dog door at night is overdoing it. (though he thinks we need a handgun... which I have considered but can't get past the saftey issues regarding the little guy). So yes, I lock the dog door. Sue me.

Let's see... what else? I'm trying to keep up with my gratitude journal. My goal is to write two things in there each day. I don't always get to it but I am keeping up with it much better than I was. Recent entried have included : My Godmother, Nutrients of abundance in the foods God has created for us, A smile on the face of a friend that's been down, A friend who calls me cautious rather than paranoid and A sunny October morning! Writing in my gratitude journal is one of my 5 goals I set to create better healthy habits. Gratitude is a wonderful habit!

Well for someone that hasn't written anything at all for months (aside from in the gratitdue journal) I'd say I did pretty well here. Now if only I can keep it going! I need to pick at least one evening a week to try and do that. I just always hate saying no to my older son who always wants to play a game or watch something with me. Who else has a 14 year old that wants to spend quality time with their parent(s)??? Not many, I'm sure.... so it's hard to say no. But once a week shouldn't be awful...

Well, wish me luck with that!
Have a wonderful blessed day and go start a gratitude journal if you haven't already!

🙂

7

Well I’ve put a lot of thinking on this blogging thing. Wondering if I should limit it to just a couple topics?
Some people seem to just write about their WRITING….others just on FOOD, others on their FAITH.
Well, I can’t. There’s just too much that’s important to me. So I’m going to keep writing about it all….but it will most likely be the following topics:

1. Orthodoxy (My faith)
2. Food (Our lifestyle, What We’ve learned as a family and why we eat whole foods and avoid artificial ingredients)
3. Books I’m Reading (or read, or want to read, or…..)
4. Writing
5. Home schooling / Parenting
6. Randomness (I like sharing random thoughts….they make up a good deal of my day 😉 )

I thought about assigning each thing it’s own day…and maybe someday I’ll do that….but for now I think I just need to do it as it comes, especially since I know I can’t keep up with this everyday just yet.

Well- that’s it for now.

Everyone have a nice day. I’m hungry….I need to go find food…..REAL food…..