Tuesday, March 31, 2009

For the Anonymous Readers

I haven't been on here much lately, but I just got an anonymous comment which I am sure he or she would love to be seen... and I would be thrilled to comment on. So here it is...

I think sometimes things are meant to be kept to yourself. One would
think that you would learn to keep things to yourself as it gets you in trouble
and has many times in the past with your family and friends. I think you spend
too much time blogging on how sad you feel, your obesity and family issues. Some
of those issues, like being poor, etc. should be kept to yourself. You can speak
your mind, but don't like hearing what people have to say about you and that is
a big part is giving your opinion. You say manything things that I don't believe
in. I think if you can't afford to have another child, then you should avoid
pregnancy, if you issues with your weight...start exercising and go on a diet.
You have GD because of our weight...IVF helps couples have their own child when
they cannot have one the natural way, Obama is trying his hardest to get us out
of this mess. After finding your blog, I can't believe half the stuff you blog
about. You need to find something better to do with your time and spend it with
your children.

You can't expect to always speak your mind without getting critized for
it. People are entitled to their opinions, but sometimes those opinions are
meant to be kept to yourself, even on a blog. You seen very unhappy with
yourself and you need to do somethng about it. Your comments are pushing you
away from you family and friends. I see a lot of pictures of what looks to be
your family, but do you not hang out with your husband's family? You have lost
friends for a reason, so if you want them back, bite your lip and keep those
comments to yourself.

I certainly agree that I have a hard time with knowing people don't like me. But fortunately I am able to see past these people who hardly know me, and focus on the love and fellowship of those who are truly a part of my life. This lent I have really experienced humility, sacrifice and reflection of my faith and family life.

I am enjoying some wonderful days with my children lately, as I have written on my family blog. Our homeschooling has been doing excellent, and we just finished creating a fabulous schoolroom and hope to enjoy years of joys and challenges in here. We cherish all those simple moments, so much, I often forget my camera - which is odd for me. Our current trials are helping my family come together in a new way, making us stronger and happier.

My husband has a great job that not only provides for our necessities, but because of our new habits of conserving learned from our hardships, we are able to give bigger donations to local charities as we had always hoped. Our future looks brighter today. In our toughest year last year, we actually came out better than ever financially and spiritually. We were able to sort out the true friendships and true values we'd been searching for. We feel truly blessed, and are grateful to an amazing God who provides in all times.

God has even given us a beautiful gift of another child, which we welcome with open arms. He or she is kicking stronger every day, and although it will be a challenge to care for another child with three others already under my wing, I look forward to all the blessings that will come from this incredible gift. I couldn't imagine my life without my children, as I am called by God to be a mother, always have been. My life isn't certainly for everyone, but it's just perfect for me. God knows I can handle it, so I Trust Him that I can.

I'll make my comment on the weight issue as short as possible. There are many reasons that I have become overweight over the years. Whenever I've made big strides to lose the weight, I become pregnant. No complaints, I just start up again when I recover. After years working with programs such as 6 Week Body Makeover, local dieticians, Biggest Loser Club, Atkins diet, etc.... I wanted to take a new approach. Last year I joined LA Weightloss and Golds Gym. I even got a personal trainer. I followed their programs to a T for 6 months total. Imagine their shock when I didn't lose a single ounce. They were baffled and said they had no other suggestions. Just keep trying. I did everything right from counting points and calories, exercising, food journals, measuring food, etc. Imagine my shock when I got pregnant later in the year, and lost 10 pounds. I am over 5 months pregnant and am still down those 10 pounds. Still in the obese category I knew I would be prone to getting Gestational Diabetes again, as I did in my last pregnancy. In the past few days it's finally at a stable point, for now. My mother had GD when she was pregnant some 14 years ago, and was no where near overweight. So that is certainly not the reason for getting GD, it's just a factor. I am excited to restart my weightloss adventure in October, which I have decided to go on my own way - since no professional has been able to help. But I am certainly optimisitic and ready for all the hard work ahead.

Okay, I could comment on the Obama issue, but I think his recent failures speak for themselves. And in regards to his fight for abortion rights and embyonic stem cell reasearch... it certainly saddens me that so many are oblivious to the master design of human life.

I kind of wrote about family/friends that aren't in my life anymore in other blogs, but I'll say that my life didn't include them on a regular basis before, therefore their absence doesn't bother me one bit. Though I wish it wasn't that way. I would hate to pretend to be their buddy, and fake a friendship when I can better focus myself on my truly productive relationships. Regarding my husbands family.... they are not a "get together" type. However we do speak to his parents on a regualr basis over the phone or visits. They live on a farm just 5 miles away. His only sibling is a brother who works a lot of hours all over the state, but we get to see him for all the holidays and occasionally at the farm since he helps there. The kids love their grandparents on that side very much, and love Grandma's homemade goodies and canned goods along with her love, and Grandpa's tractors and cows on the farm are great learning tools for my kids. My side of the family gets together a lot more often, and they are a big part of our life. But we have genuine love for both sides.

I haven't been blogging much this lent, because of this new focus. I began this blog to share my story and share my feelings about my daily struggles and contemplations. It has been a true blessing, and I've made some fabulous, supportive friends. Of course there have been some challenges along the way from anonymous commenters, but that's okay. It has helped me look deeper into myself and build confidence on what I have to say. I remind myself that they are not forced to read my blog if they don't like it. So, I certainly will continue to share my PERSONAL JOURNEY of ups and downs, including my struggles with evangelization and depression, defending the innocent unborn, etc. I will welcome any comments, even those in disagreement, in an effort to spark postitive conversation. Just don't expect me to agree every time.

So in conclusion, I do have friends, I do have supportive family, we spend lots of time together, and I blog to share with them our adventures, and I blog here to create discussion for those who are struggling as I am. I know I am not alone in this fight for happiness and God's abounding graces. For those who continue to read, please share a tid-bit of what you like about my blog. For those who do not, I think we get the picture - you simply don't agree with me. That's okay, it's just in most cases I wish you did.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Lenten Reflection

By Fr. Campbell
Associate Pastor at Epiphany Catholic Church

At times, almost unnoticed by ourselves, we drift away from God. We get caught up in practices and routines that lead us away from prayer and God and into a lifestyle focusing primarily on ourselves. During lent, Jesus calls us to rededicate ourselves to the gospel values, focusing our efforts and attention on God and others.

Somebody said to me once, "I am giving up my New Year's resolutions for Lent." We have often thought of Lent in the context of giving up something. Jesus' invitation doesn't seem to be about giving up something, but rather changing the momentum of our direction away from self interest activities toward self giving. Before Lent begins, I always like to take an assessment on where I am and what God is asking me to improve upon. I have always found this little prayer helpful in getting the right frame of mind to do so and I would like to share it with you.

What to give up...
Give up complaining——focus on gratitude.
Give up pessimism——become an optimist.
Give up harsh judgments——think kindly thoughts.
Give up worry——trust Divine Providence.
Give up discouragement——be full of hope.
Give up bitterness——turn to forgiveness.
Give up hatred——return good for evil.
Give up negativism——be positive.
Give up anger——be more patient.
Give up pettiness——become mature.
Give up gloom——enjoy the beauty that is all around you.
Give up jealousy - - pray for trust.
Give up gossiping - - control your tounge.
Give up sin - - turn to virtue.
Give up giving up - - hang in there!

God bless you all and I hope you have a grace filled Lent.

HT: Thanks mom for passing this one onto me!
(it is also found here)