Life, The Great Adventure

This blog is about my search for freedom.

I’d been at a standstill for a while, but I think I started gaining some momentum about a year ago.  I went to the CL advent retreat (pretty much just to get out of town rather than Joe going and leaving me with the kids).  The talk by Father Alex was inspiring and moving for me and it got me going to CL more regularly because I finally saw the need for it.  I need people around me who will challenge me and help me face my faith.

Fast forward to a couple months ago when I read the book Kristin Lavransdatter.  This book moved me….but I can’t fully explain why.  It so truly captured the human condition. The human experience.  Our fallen nature.  At the end I didn’t know how to feel.  I felt a little despair that it seems so impossible to overcome our faults, but also moved. Moved by something I couldn’t put my finger on.  There was much beauty in the book. So I got another book by the author, Sigrid Undset.  I read her book Catherine of Siena.  Catherine herself was a little hard to relate to because of her mysticism and strange life; but I was still convicted and inspired.  This book showed me that it is possible to be a saint.  By the grace of God, by the desire for Christ.  At CL we talked about this and my friend Marta said that at first you may think of Christ a couple times a day, but then 4 times and 6 times and 20 times until with every breath.  By the grace of God I have the desire to not only take my faith seriously, but to make it my whole life.

I recently finished a book on Chiara Corbella Petrillo, who exemplified joy while facing the deaths of her children and finally her own life.  It makes me long for Christ that much more.  I want the joy and peace that comes with placing my life, my plans, in the hands of God, who has the most beautiful journey planned out for me.  Life is looking like an adventure again.  Who knows what God will ask of me?  It’s exciting to discover my destiny and to remember that I’m not in control.  Letting go of the fear of all that I cannot control (violence, changes in life, destruction in the world, loss of loved ones)…..letting go is so freeing!  Because there is an Other who is taking care of me.

 

Advertisements

The Beautiful Twists in Time

Time is passing all around.

It passes with the sunny wind

and the rain on my roof.

It whispers in my ear…

My children are fighting gravity, growing up, up.

Their eyes grow brighter, their mouths smarter.

A little baby kicks in my womb.

The circle of life, going round again.

My God takes care of me.  He knows every corner of my heart.

I praise Him for these gifts I was once reluctant to take,

and for this life I didn’t think was right for me,

is more beautiful than I’d imagined.

20141017_192135 (1)

An update before I settle back into writing.

Well, I took quite a hiatus from blogging.  I think that before I jump back in to thoughtful posts, I need to fill you in on my ever-changing life to give you some perspective on my experiences.

Real quick like:

-It’s been a potty-training summer, but success with both of my toddlers

-Leo turned 3

-Silvia turned 2

-We’re having another baby in February (already halfway there)

-I’m working for my friend a couple days a week as a nanny.  I bring my 2 kids.  And her 3 kids are all younger than Leo, so it’s a crowd of miniature people.

Those are the biggest changes, but here’s some photos:

IMG_7818

Leo’s 3rd birthday party!

10413357_1480560462228975_4390451066342546434_n

What we did on Silvia’s 2nd birthday.

10550904_10101193034346674_3968724419067416716_n

At a baseball game in July

10377617_10101610323046516_8160583378978762478_n

IMG_2968

Indiana State fair in August

IMG_2908     IMG_7810

Last night we finally got a babysitter and went out for dinner on our anniversary.  A beautiful evening

Our 4th Anniversary in June

Moments to be Grateful For

How blessed I feel to be spending these days with my children.  We’ve been getting out of the house almost every day on an adventure together.  We’ve gone to the zoo, the park, a coffeehouse (which has toys for kids), a walk to the market, partly around the 100-acre woods, the splash pad, friends’ houses…and more.

Trying to climb into the polar bear's lair

Trying to climb into the polar bear’s lair

Yesterday morning, I had plans to go to the zoo with my friend and Joe said he was jealous.  There was a time when I was jealous that he got to get out of the house and go to work.  Times have changed, and the kids have grown and gotten easier to take on outings or play by themselves in the yard.  I know that I am so lucky to be home with them.

Children's museum

Children’s museum

One afternoon this week, it was a beautiful sunny day and we were in our backyard when the storm clouds appeared.  We went inside to change into our bathing suits and then the three of us went back outside to play in the rain.  They threw rocks in puddles and I showed Silvia how fun the slide is when it’s wet.  We went inside and I gave them a bath and when they were done, it was hailing balls about a 1/2 inch in size!

rain, rain, it's ok.  you can stay for just today

rain, rain, it’s ok. you can stay for just today

She was walking away, but every time I said "smile", she would walk back and get in the camera's face before the picture would take

She was walking away, but every time I said “smile”, she would walk back and get in the camera’s face before the picture would take

Today, I had to catch up on dishes and make a big lunch, so the kids played outside by themselves for a long time.  I would check on them every so often, and they’d be crouched down making a mud pile or playing with rocks.  When I came outside, I found the broom from the front porch on the outside of our front fence.  Leo must have tossed it over.  When they came inside, they put blankets over their heads and walked around, bumping into things.  Leo kept saying “hewoh (hello) ghost guy”, since they were pretending to be ghosts.  Then they spun themselves around in circles until they were dizzy and laughing and falling over.   I told them to tell each other night-night before their naps, and they gave each other a kiss.  Leo frequently asks if Silvia can nap in his bed with him, but we say she’s not old enough yet.

Leo spinning Silvia's chair and saying "baby go wost (fast)" and "hold on tight"

Leo spinning Silvia’s chair and saying “baby go wost (fast)” and “hold on tight”

Thankfully, my little beauties are napping well today 🙂

 

Maybe Introverts who Hate Phone Calls and Don’t Have Time For Email Updates Shouldn’t Quit Facebook After All

So, (awkward chuckle), you know how I wrote this post on quitting Facebook? Yeaaa…about that. Well, my plan seemed like a good one and I really do think it’s ideal to keep up with people in more personal ways, like phone conversations, meetups or emails/letters. But I don’t really have or want to spend my time updating a few people via email with pictures and notes about my life. I practically fear phone conversations (so why I thought I could commit to regular ones…I don’t know). And I’m kinda busy for frequent meetups. Ah who am I kidding? In the four months I was off of facebook, I didn’t meet up with anyone who I’d hope to catch up with. So my experiment with having more personal relationships just doesn’t work very well for a busy introvert like me. I’m back on Facebook. I do at least have a renewed sense of purpose on it. Since I’d permanently deleted my account, I’m starting over with a clean slate and I hope to keep my friends’ list to people who I actually consider a friend (even if we’ve only met through blogging). Also, after reading that Narcissism book, I am keenly aware of how I present myself. I don’t want to be all like “look at my life and admire me”. I hope to be as real as I can be rather than showing some glossed over representation of my life. And I don’t want to be an attention-grabber or even to care who “likes” things on my page. I just want to share things that I think people who are close to me can appreciate. When I left Facebook, a few people were almost upset with me because they wanted to follow me and my family’s life since we don’t live near one another. Facebook seems to be the easiest medium for me to share pictures and updates, so there ya have it. The other side of the coin for Facebook usage. It’s both a blessing and a curse.

Depression, Despair, And How to Have Hope

One of my favorite quotes is by the Italian writer, Cesare Pavese: “But a man’s life is down there in the valley, in the fields, at home. Beside a hearth and in a bed. And every day that dawns confronts you with the same toils, the same failures. In the end it wears a man down… The everlasting, grinding toil, the effort to stay alive from day to day, the recognition of evil in others, petty evil, as tiresome as summer flies–that’s the life that cripples a man.”

I feel this sentiment so frequently.  I’m someone who despairs or gets depressed easily.  Every day I’m confronted with the repetitive daily chores and tasks that are required of me.  If I’m in the wrong mood, it all seems impossible.  Sometimes it makes me want to lay down and give up.  In difficult times, the thought of an escape (death/running away) sounded easier than going through the motions of another day.  So where is my hope?  Well, for a little while I lost hope and I thought that it would be better if there were no God, so that death would be The End.  But I just couldn’t convince myself that there’s no God and no life after death, as if death is not a mystery, but something already known.  And if there’s a God and a heaven and hell, and I only have one chance at life, I don’t want it to be this way.  So I need hope.  I look for hope.  I place myself in hopeful situations.  That is how I came across the author, Walker Percy.  I went to the New York Encounter, hoping to have an encounter with God.  And He gave me someone to follow.  Walker Percy feels like a grandfather to me.  He died an old man in 1990.  He struggled with depression his whole life.  He was agnostic until he converted to Catholicism as an adult.  With his new faith, he was able to keep a fascination for the human experience and write about it. WalkerPercy (1)

“The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life. To become aware of the possibility of the search is to be onto something. Not to be onto something is to be in despair.”
― Walker Percy, The Moviegoer.

I think this quote is very similar to Pavese’s quote about the everyday toils we face.  But it goes further and suggests that the only way out of this “everydayness” is to always be searching for something (God, truth, the meaning of life and so on).  And if we don’t search, we despair.

Well, I was curious about who Pavese was since I related to some of his thoughts.  I looked up his bio and discovered that he was a brilliant writer, an atheist, and had committed suicide in 1950.  He had several quotes which I think Walker Percy would have identified with as well, but their lives ended so differently.  Pavese despaired in the end.  Percy fought the good fight and died triumphant.  He was always searching, always questioning and he struggled his way through this life until death claimed him by cancer.

2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight.  I have finished the race.  I have kept the faith.”  This verse has always been comforting to me since it was in a song I listened to as a child.  I hope I can say these words at the end of my life.

“Losing hope is not so bad. There’s something worse: losing hope and hiding it from yourself.”
-Walker Percy, The Moviegoer

And one of my favorite quotes, which I recently used in another post:

“You live in a deranged age – more deranged than usual, because despite great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is or what he is doing.”
― Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book

Do you struggle with depression?  What helps you?

Why I Deleted My Facebook Account

Yep.  I did it.  I took the plunge and deleted my Facebook account after being a member since 2005.  That was way back when it was just for college students.  It’s been almost a daily part of my life for the past 8 years.  But you know what?  I haven’t regretted it or missed it these past few weeks.  It’s quite freeing.

From what I can tell, many people have a troubled relationship with Facebook.  On the one hand, you have all these people (some of which are friends) that you’re connected with and can easily share/receive information with, but on the other hand they tend to drive you crazy at times.  Facebook is ever-evolving and it’s gotten to the point where it was too distracting, frustrating and annoying for me.  People are always sharing links, some of which I found interesting, some of which I found infuriating.  I’d tell myself I would get on Facebook for a couple minutes, but then the shared links would catch my eye and I’d end up on it for much longer.  Clearly a fault of my own, but I’m glad the temptation is gone.  Also, I think people are more opinionated and louder on Facebook than they are in real life.  Jen says here that people who don’t have Facebook tend to view their friends more positively.  I can understand that for the same reasons she talks about.

I plan on keeping in better touch with people than I was when connected with them through Facebook.  It is too easy to have shallow friendships with people in which maybe you keep up with their life by reading their posts, but you don’t actually have face to face or phone to phone conversations.  As was mentioned in a talk at the New York Encounter (that I attended this past weekend), “the bonds of society are getting weaker”.  We’re less attached to one another.  Face to face encounters build relationship rather than passively keeping up with someone’s life (or what they feel like posting about their life) through the internet.  And if I think of someone and it’s been a while since I’ve seen them, it’s a reminder than I should call them to get together.

So yes, I’m excitedly trying to simplify my life, but I admit, it’s hard not to just switch out Facebook with some other online addiction, like keeping up with multiple bloggers.  But if I get this under control, I’ll be one step closer to freedom.  Freedom from the grasp of the internet.

 

Previous Older Entries

The Art of Making a Home

Finding that elusive thing called freedom

Our Family's Blessings

Finding that elusive thing called freedom

Camp Patton

Finding that elusive thing called freedom

momocular.wordpress.com/

because moms have eyes on everything

janyceresh

If sarcasm and self deprecating humour were an Olympic event I'd definitely qualify.

Simple Life Happenings

Finding that elusive thing called freedom