Without Words

I do apologize for my great delay in posting anything new.  To be honest, I became a little discouraged when I had to remove several of my posts about Essential Oils.  The FDA has strict guidelines and sent this letter to Young Living and other sellers of E.O.’s.  Since my posts were my testimonials and not scientific studies approved by the FDA, I had to remove them.  The whole incident left a bitter taste in my mouth and knocked the wind out of my writing sails.  In addition, my health took some small steps backwards with a round of Laryngitis and I spent eleven days in bed at about 15% of normal functioning.

I am doing tons better now.  I do appreciate your continued prayers and please know that I am still praying for you as well.  I am continuing to teach classes on essential oils and I love learning, learning, learning as much as I can about them.  I am having to do a little more digging to site studies and to make sure that I am saying things the right way.  For instance, I can say that Frankincense supports hormone function; but I can not claim that it relieves the pain from ovarian cysts in fifteen to twenty minutes.  Pubmed is a great on-line database of medical studies in case you are interested in researching anything on your own.  The studies really make my head spin because I am definitely not a medical expert of any kind.  I just typed in Frankincense and cancer and had more information at my fingertips than I ever dreamed of.  The internet continues to amaze me.

On the home front, we have been chugging along with our school year.  We will finish the first quarter of our year this week, so it is looking like mid-January for our half-way point.  It is not exactly how I envisioned things would be, but we are making progress.  Accepting reality is a healthy thing to do and I am slowly learning how to make realistic goals instead of idealistic ones.  As far as blogging and goal setting go, I am making an effort to write at least one post each week.  Be sure to check in again soon!  Who knows, I may even blog about oils again with footnotes and references.  It could be like a mini college refresher course for me.  or not.


Something Other Than God

I wish I could take credit for the incredible title of this blog post, but it is actually a reference to Jennifer Fulwiler’s freshly released <a href="“>book Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness And Accidentally Found It. I haven’t read the book yet because I am not one of the privileged few who got a preview copy, but I did pre order the book last December and am scanning my mailbox daily awaiting its delivery.

Jen Fulwiler is a Catholic blogger who writes for the National Catholic Register but has been on hiatus since the birth of her last child. I strongly recommend reading her archived articles at NCR. In addition to NCR she continues to blog on her personal site at Conversion Diary. Jen is inspirational, down-to-earth and full of creative insights. She has even answered a few of my personal emails, so I feel like I could meet her for a cup of coffee the next time I’m in Austin; but, she is probably just being really polite. I promise I’m not a stalker, Jen. I pinky swear it.

Some of my other favorite reads in the blogosphere are Fr. Z, Simcha Fisher, and Camp Patton. Fr. Z keeps me posted on the current news as it relates to the Pope, the Catholic Church and me. He promotes frequent confession and the Mass in the Extraordinary Form (Latin Mass), and he is not shy about standing tall for the teachings of our Faith in the face of opposition.

Simcha Fisher, also a blogger for National Catholic Register and Patheos, is a witty, funny and snarky blogger that gives me food for thought and laughs for the journey. She also released a book recently that I think every married and engaged Catholic should read. It is called The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning. It is a very realistic look at Natural Family Planning and doesn’t hide the fact that to practice NFP is a form of carrying the cross. There are lots of benefits, but it ain’t all butterflies and rainbows. Living our faith out loud is not easy, but Simcha’s book gives us insight and inspiration with real and practical advice. And she’s funny too.

Camp Patton is really a diary of this young mother’s life with three toddlers and a newborn (Congratulations, Grace!). She shares her fashion favorites and funny quips and pics of her adorable children. When I first clicked her link I didn’t think I would read her blog again, but somehow I just get pulled in and come out feeling like I just chatted with a comrade in battle. Her little Julia reminds me of a couple of my own cutey-patooty girls. In addition Grace’s husband is a resident doctor and so her life reflects the life of my nephew and niece: also parents to three toddlers and a newborn, he is a resident doctor, and she is a SAHM. This is my just for fun, light reading enjoyment. I am in awe of how many posts she has done with a less-than-two-week old baby!

In addition to Fr. Z, Simcha and Grace, I also love to read Bad Catholic on Patheos. His reading takes quite a few brain cells and his posts are not as frequent as I would like, but when he does post he really hits the nail on the head and helps me to think about current events on a whole new level. Matt Walsh is also on my daily read feed. He can be offensive to some because he is often sarcastic and straight forward, but overall he really says what I often feel and I find myself cheering him on. Lastly, Heather at Momma Knows Honeychild makes me laugh out loud every time I read a post. I wish I could make people laugh like that. She just got a fancy shmancy new blog site and illustrates all of her posts with stick figure drawings that really help to round out her hilarious tales.

So, there you have a list of new books and blogs to read and check out; but, don’t leave me behind. I’m just getting my feet wet with this blogging expedition and I cannot even begin to tell you how much I am enjoying it. I hope you are too. I would love your feedback and input, and if you share my blog with friends and family that would be awesome too. Happy reading!

Too Tired To Blog

My apologies if you have been waiting for a blog post! The truth be known I am just too tired to blog. Ever since we started back to school it has been non-stop activity on the home front and by the time dinner is over I’m lucky to string a complete thought together in my head. Speaking intelligently is an even loftier accomplishment. Writing a coherent blog post is actually a monumental task that is only occurring tonight because of a hot Epsom salt bath followed by clean sheets, soft pillows and a heating pad. In other words I got out of kitchen and kid duty because I pulled my back moving the two-year old to his own bed last night. This break from my regular duties left me just enough energy to peck out a post in a kid-free zone. Being kid free is critical to forming complete thoughts these days.

My other excuse is lack of inspiration. Every time I start a blog it just fizzles. But tonight I read Jen’s post over at Conversion Diary and scored a fifty (cause I was too tired to do the math) and it made me realize that my fatigue is my inspiration.

I often hear the expression “I don’t know how you do it!” I take it as a compliment because I say the same thing all the time out of admiration for others. At the Pro-life Banquet in Ft Worth last month I ran into some old friends. One had mistakenly understood that I would be hosting the “Lock In for Life” and was eager to volunteer to help me. I was immediately in shock because there is no way on God’s green earth that I am hosting anything that requires me to stay up past 11pm (which is two hours past my bedtime) or get less than my required 10 hours of sleep and so I just blurted out the truth. I felt horrible saying these words, but it was the truth and the mix up had to be made clear–my sanity depended on it. I went on to explain that since the birth of my last child I have suffered from severe adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism and hormone imbalances that keep everyone on their toes at my house. I shared some of my more harrowing moments which I will not repeat here. My friends were shocked and said I sure put a good face on. Which brings me to my point: anyone can put on a good face for an hour or two. Just remember the next time you think someone is super mom or super woman, that she is a human just like you who has strengths and weaknesses. If she is doing something remarkable it isn’t all her own doing and you can be certain that God has his hand in it. So now you know how I do it. By the grace if God go I.

I Did It

He stacked his bananas!

He stacked his bananas!

That is my toddler’s favorite exclamation, “I did it!” He is so proud of the smallest achievement and wants to make sure that I was witness to it. “I did it, Mom. I did it”. It just makes a mother’s heart melt and then overfill with love and pride, even when the achievement was to stack his cut banana slices into a tower. Well, that is how I feel today: like a toddler who has just achieved a task that was daunting to him, but simple in the eyes of those with lots more experience. My success? I wrote seven blogs in seven days. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but I will let you in on a few secrets.

1. My brain doesn’t work as well as it used to. I have trouble putting my thoughts into coherent sentences and my husband often says, “Can you finish a sentence so that I can understand you?” So, writing one post in a week is really an achievement for me these days.

2. I have seven kids at home, most under the age of nine. Finding the uninterrupted time to write was a real challenge, especially since I don’t function before 9 am or after 9 pm.

3. I am terribly self-conscious and concerned with what others will think, if I will offend someone, or if I just sound totally stupid. I love to make other people laugh, but not necessarily at me. This is much more easily accomplished face-to-face than in the printed word. Kudos to Simcha Fisher, Jen Fulwiler, and Rebecca Frech! They are my favorite reads and inspiration and make me laugh, cry and sometimes do both simultaneously. A special thank you to Jen for putting the challenge out on her own blog, Conversion Diary.

So, you may be wondering why I blog at all. Maybe not, but I’ll tell you anyway. The reason I do it is for myself. Not for you, not for my husband and not for my kids. For the first time in nearly twenty years, I am doing something just for myself. Don’t get me wrong. I love being a stay-at-home mom. I really enjoy my kids and watching them grow into confident, independent young adults, and I love every aspect of homeschooling: the lesson plans, the teaching, and the school supplies. But, everything else that I do is motivated out of service to my husband or children and this is just something that I enjoy, just because. Of course, I hope you enjoy my writing as well. I pray that it inspires or lifts up my readers, or at a minimum makes you smile. But, at the very core I am doing it for me. It helps me to be grounded and self-aware. It is challenging me to step out of my comfort zone and the little bubble of a world that I live in. It makes me think about my thoughts and about how others perceive experiences. It gives me a way to share my Catholic faith and my little way of life in this great big world. So, I will definitely keep on writing; but, not at the record rate of one blog per day. Once school starts back full force, I’ll be lucky to type a post each week! I hope you enjoyed my marathon blogging and I would love to hear which post has been your favorite so far. The reason I started the blog was for me. The reason that I will continue to do so is because it is making some small difference for someone else. Thank you to all of you who have encouraged me and for those who have chimed in with comments, especially on Facebook. I’m open to suggestions for future posts as well.

And, Oh! Mom, I did it! Look! I really did it.