Tagged: Christian

Miscellany

Since I missed last week’s Friday Quick Takes (and all the weeks prior for ages), I’m compiling my own list here, link up free.

I’m not trying to brag or anything… but you’re welcome.
Just kidding.
 
Here in Wisconsin it’s typical November weather… oops, I mean April. Right, it’s the same thing.
One day I’m running in shorts and a T-shirt, and the next I’m back to wearing my fleece tights to work (and bed, honestly).
 
On skirts.
I gave this a try a while ago, and I couldn’t do it.
But now, without any official announcement or decision, I am pants-free during the work week for three+ weeks. This is my the beginning of my fourth week.
I think I just did it, and kept doing it, and not having a goal to check in on actually helped. I just wore skirts. It was actually quite simple.
 
On the man.
We have both talked (repeatedly) about how to remain pure in our relationship. It’s… kind of… working.
OK, it’s not working as well as I want, but we have drawn some lines, and we haven’t crossed those lines, and we’re working on ways to avoid being close to those lines (meaning, we’re working on not putting our selves in a situation that would allow us to do things we don’t want to do).
We have been official (“I guess”) for a few days past three weeks, but it feels way longer. In a good way. And I’m glad I still feel this crazy attraction to him – I want to be with him and hold his hand as much as when we started dating (I know, it hasn’t been a long time at all), and I want to talk to him about everything in my life.
I’m still holding some things back, protecting my heart and working on trusting God with my future.
When I think about my past, I think about that story of the little girl whose father bought her the fake pearls. And she loves them so dearly that he buys her a real pair, but he doesn’t tell her that until he’s begged her to trust him with her fake set. I love that story. So beautiful.
And so true, it’s so hard to let go of something “OK” because… what if there isn’t anything better?
Oh, but there is. God is better.
 
On the 28 by 28.
May 3 is fishing (if it doesn’t rain).
May 10 is Latin Mass 1 of 10.
May 17 is the 10K.
June 20 is the hot air balloon ride.
So I’m slowly but surely getting there.
The man said he’d take dance classes with me. 🙂
 
On prayer.
In March, I started saying the St. Joseph novena, and I haven’t stopped. I love it.
I immediately roll out of bed in the morning and say it. I added the Guardian Angel prayer about a week ago. I love that, too.
At night, last week, I started saying the St. Michael the Archangel prayer before I go to bed. That’s great. I don’t have it memorized yet, but I’m working on it.
I also bought a little notebook to right my prayer intentions in and to take to Mass. It’s a cute little thing. I also stuff some of my saint cards in there.
How awesome was yesterday… 4 popes! Enough people have written about that. It was fantastic.
 
On money.
Lord, help me.
 
On charity.
Lord, help me.
 
On forgiveness.
Lord, help me.
 
God bless, y’all.

5 ways to carry Lent into Easter

Yes, you read that headline right. Carry LENT into EASTER.

But why? It’s a celebration! A Feast! Our Savior is Resurrected!
All true…
BUT.
Check out the Code of Canon Law for a second.
(OK, more than a second.)
Canon 1250: All Fridays through the year and the time of Lent are penitential days and times throughout the entire Church.
Canon 1251: Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
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So here are the strategies I use to keep Fridays penitential.

1. Avoid meat and going out on Fridays.

This used to be SO EASY when I was dating. Friday nights are now date nights (typically). Going out, regardless of what I’m eating, just doesn’t seem penitential at all. I mean, someone brings the food to me!

     If I do end up going out on a Friday night (or for lunch), I try to get a simple, cheap meal. A salad. No soda or drink. Just water.
     It’s nice to enjoy the company, instead of the meal (not that salads are bad!).
     And of course, no meat. I really got into the no-meat Fridays last year, and I love it. It’s nice to know that I just don’t eat meat on Fridays, and I don’t have to think of something to abstain from instead.
     If I stay home, I like to make a simple meal, and eat it without distractions… meaning, no reading, no cell phone while I’m eating. Just a simple meal at my dining room table.

2. Spend some extra time in prayer on Fridays, particularly at 3 p.m.

     After Divine Mercy Sunday (the Sunday after Resurrection Sunday), I like to re-add a chaplet to my day around 3 p.m. I can’t do it every day, and I can’t even do it every Friday… but I try extra hard on Fridays to at least say the Divine Mercy prayer at 3 p.m. This helps me remember, every Friday, that Christ died for MY sins.
     If you don’t have time for the prayer, don’t have it memorized, just say “Jesus, I trust in you!” Go for three times. 🙂

3. Go to daily Mass.

   I already try to go as often as possible. I’m lucky that my work schedule and the Mass schedule at my local parish works out.
     Starting a Friday morning with a Mass just makes the whole day go better (and really this works for any day).

4. Can’t make it to Mass? Liturgy of the Hours!

     Yes, the Divine Office. Say it. Say the morning prayers, say the vespers. Say them all. Say what you can.
     They’re online, I think there are apps for smartphones. I don’t know. This is something I want to start doing this Easter season (and ordinary time!).
     I don’t go to  Mass on Thursday mornings… my parish only has Liturgy of the Word with Communion. So I usually sleep in (if I can), and spend some time enjoying a cup of coffee before I go to work.
     So I plan to start saying the Divine Office on Thursdays. Well, I want to try.

5. Examination of conscience.

     I do the examen from the Jesuits every night, but Fridays are a great day to review the past week and see what keeps popping up.
     Lust? Greed? Worry? Fear? Am I getting hit with the same sins? Have I done what I planned to do to avoid those sins? To work on them? Fridays are a great review day, and new plans can start on Saturday.
     For example, I’ve been feeling very fearful about my financial situation the past few weeks. I got hit with double electric bills after moving, and the money was just a little bit short.
     But of course, God provided… through my mom. She gave me some cash when I helped her with her taxes, and I was able to buy some groceries. Praise God.
     So while I know I still need to budget my money, I know that God isn’t going to leave me starving. It will work out, if I use my money wisely.
     I recently started tithing a full 10 percent, and the first paycheck, it really hit me, but I can already see the blessings coming back to me. God provides.
Those are just some of the ways I do… or plan to make sure every Friday is a penitential Friday.
God bless.

Slow and steady

I am a runner.

I have worked really hard to be able to call myself that.

I am not the fastest runner or the longest-running runner, but I am a runner. I lace up my shoes and map my routes like the best of ’em.race bib 6
In return, I get a ridiculously-low resting heart rate and big calves (hills). My resting heart rate is so low that whenever I give blood, the tech asks me if anything is wrong with me. It’s quite funny to see their reaction when I say that I run… I don’t look like a runner (besides the calves). I look like I eat too many cookies and too much ice cream.
But I am also learning to be patient (Lent, anyone?) while I run. I know that I can’t make my watch (or GPS) go any faster. I can only go as fast as I can talk my legs (and brain) into running. The corner won’t come any closer to me. I have to RUN to it. And that hill won’t get any smaller by complaining or by walking up it.
Running is the only answer.

Slow and steady. Easy pace. Keep going. Don’t quit.

These are the mantras that run through my head as I run. I also turn around (just my head) sometimes and look at how far I’ve come. Wow. I impress myself.
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So, I know slow, I know how to move slow on a running route.
But when it comes to the men in my life… I don’t know how to go slow.
So another mantra I use, in the rest of my life, is:
“Wait for the Lord with courage; be stouthearted and wait for the Lord.”
Psalm 27:14

Last Thursday, the man in my life gave me a book.

It blew my mind. We had only gone on three dates – coffee to meet, dinner, dinner again – and he gave me a book.
A book, first of all, goes straight to my heart. I mean, you can’t buy a book without being thoughtful about the person you’re giving it to. You have to think about what they like, about who they are, about how they think.
When I saw it was a book, without knowing what book it was, he won my heart. Already!
Then I realized it was a book about Croatia! What?!
A travel book about Croatia…
let me give you some back story. His parents were both born in Croatia. He’s a first generation American, and he still goes to a Croatian Mass and is a member of a folk lore group.
When we met and he told me this, I was fascinated. He’s actually passionate about something.
So I asked him all sorts of questions about it when we met for the first time.
I gave him a hug when he gave me the book. One of those hugs where you don’t want to let go and just lay your head on his shoulder, right? One of those.
He told me later that he bought the book before we had gone out the second time.
He bought it after we had that awkward coffee date? Mind blown again. Wow.
I devoured most of the history and culture sections of the book the night he gave it to me. I am just amazed by the beauty of this country.
I am also amazed at my ability to put him and I there in a few years. Together. Married. Thinking about our kids back home, or having them with us.

WAIT. WHAT?

Married. Kids. A home. Vacation together.
Slow down, lady. What are you trying to do?
Just what I know how to do, go fast and ruin things.
In my last relationship, as I’ve shared before, I didn’t go slow. We slept together right away. We didn’t date. We didn’t get to know each other.
With Robert, I want to date. I like dating, I’ve found out after the last few weeks. I like talking to him on the phone. I like getting his “good morning” text message every day… or beating him to it.
I like thinking of date ideas and organizing our schedules. I like learning about his friends and talking about running plans. I like this. I like where we are right now.
For our most recent date, we were going into the restaurant and he reached in front of me to open the door and put his other hand on my back.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt like I did for those few seconds. I imagine that he’ll be the kind of guy that waits for me at the end of the pew so I can go through the Communion line in front of him.
THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT OF. COMMUNION. Of going to Mass with him.
Not of how his hands would feel on my bare skin, but of Communion. I can’t really chastise myself for thinking about that, can I? He and I have talked about going to Mass together soon, probably after Easter.
I think that most of the time my head and heart are in the right place with this relationship, I know that he wants to take it slow to and see what happens.
But there are just some things, some moments that shoot me way ahead of where we are.

He asked me, yesterday morning, if I had read any more of the Croatia book.

I told him no, because I couldn’t afford to go and I didn’t want to get excited about a place I couldn’t go to for a while… AND I told him I felt like I was getting ahead of myself with “us.”
I think he knows what I mean.
We talked about a road trip I’m planning for myself in July. I told him I was thinking about inviting him but that it might not be a good idea.
It’s NOT a good idea for a lot of reasons:
1.  the car ride is six hours.
2. we’d be sharing a hotel room.
3. I don’t want to give up my goals for his goals.
I know that in my last relationship, I was so READY and willing to give up my goals to help with his goals.
I forgot about what I wanted to make sure he got what he wanted.
And while in a marriage, goals become “ours,” right now, I’m only a week into dating the man, and these need to stay my goals.
I’m going on a road trip in July, by myself, to see the Apostle Islands and to run a 10K. It’ll be great.
By myself.

So how am I going slowly?

I have to constantly remind myself that we are DATING. We are not engaged.
I remind myself to be STOUTHEARTED and to WAIT FOR THE LORD.
I still don’t know this man THAT WELL.
And I can enjoy this time. I get to learn more about him, I get to learn about his family and his past. I get to hold his hand and be happy when he texts me good morning.
It’s all new and happy and I want to enjoy it NOW instead of enjoying the FUTURE now.
I am also planning on weekends, sometimes, maybe once a month, that we don’t get together.
Planning retreats, more of my bucket list goals, going out with my friends.
Gardening.
Any advice on taking time to fall in love is much appreciated.
God bless.

Skirts and being a girl

On Friday, I wore a dress and told one of my coworkers that I was thinking about doing it “all the time.”

He laughed and asked if it was a slap in the face of feminism. Yes! He’s the good Catholic that I have as my in-office role model.
Saturday, I wore pants. Sunday… I wore pants.

But I wore a skirt to Mass. If that counts.

I decided Sunday night that I was going to do a “test week” of wearing a skirt all week. I checked the weather. 23 degrees on Wednesday, supposedly.

OK. I have some fleece-lined tights. I can do this. The rest of the week is supposed to be really nice.

Well, it’s half way through Monday, and I love wearing a skirt! I feel like a girl!

This is probably not startling and amazing for some of you. Well, it is for me.

I posted about it on my Tumblr account (jaderuns), and seriously, the feedback was great! Skirts, skirts, skirts.
So I am going to be scoping sale racks and thrift stores to find more.
I don’t know what specifically started me on this test week, and I don’t know if I’ll continue it forever. I know that I have been seriously interested in MODESTY since the breakup in December.
I feel like I want to … start over with a chaste life. Modesty is a key to that.
Wearing a skirt makes me feel more modest, for sure. But I also feel feminine.
I have a weird body shape (doesn’t every woman), so pants never really fit me right, you know what I mean? They were baggy in the wrong places, tight in the wrong places… I just never felt really good in a pair of pants.
I feel that way in a skirt, and I’ve always felt that way in a skirt, so I don’t know why I haven’t made this leap before.
I’ll let you know how the rest of the week goes, and if it continues.
I had a… kind of… sort of… date on Sunday night, and I wore jeans because I wanted it to be super casual (which may have made it not a date at all). One of my friends suggested the jeans, so I went with it.
Skirts just still look dressy to me. I’m sure once I start wearing them in more casual situations, I’ll get used to it.
Any thoughts on wearing skirts all the time?