Mom Guilt 001: Morning Prayer

As of late, I have been slacking in my morning prayer. It’s a hit or miss endeavor. Is it because of the kids, or sleepiness, or pure laziness? Yes.

My morning goes a little something like this:

6:45 am : kids wake up. Husband gets them out of bed.  Every morning I want to get out of bed and get them, but my anxiety makes me ultra sleepy in the morning. It’s hard to get going within the first hour of waking. I’ve checked my thyroid – dr says its fine; so all I can assume is that it’s linked to the anxiety/hormones. Though this sounds like an excuse – its not. A real struggle not laziness. And blessed be my husband for his support in this small act of great love for me. 

7:00 am : kids come into the bedroom and play and scream and giggle and kindly demand waffles & bananas for breakfast.

7:15 am : kids eat. I stand dazed in the kitchen, microwaving day old coffee from the machine. I’ll forget about it for about 30 minutes until I think where’s the coffee?

7:16 am : sit down in my green glider by the fireplace, scroll Facebook & Insta; see what the other mom-friends are up to today. Ask myself why I’m always so tired in the morning? Contemplate getting up to brush my teeth.

7:45 am: where’s my coffee…? …reheat in the microwave…

8:00 am : kids finish up breakfast and start playing cars or chase in the house. dang it! I’ve left my coffee again. …reheat in the microwave x3…… 

The more-holier-mom-than-I would say “There! Right there! 7:16!! Do your prayers, girl! Yes. Yes I should be doing my prayers. That is the perfect time. Kids are occupied. I have a moment of “silence” and shouldn’t be spending that time on the internet.”

I should be praying. I should be saying my rosary. I should be doing that novena. I should be. I should be. I should be.

I think as a mom there is so much pressure to be perfect. As a striving catholic, its compounded. #winning. As a mother, I’m expected to take care of kids – keep them not only alive through food, shelter, and clothing, but make sure their sandwiches are Pinterest perfect and activities always perfectly curated. As a member of society, I’m expected to shower daily, have makeup on point, and a well thought out outfit that actually coordinates. As a catholic, many expect me to be in a constant state of prayer and able to always commit & follow through on multi-day prayer formats. Or even complete a full rosary in one sitting.

But I think I’ll say that that’s shit. All I hear in my head as I write that is guilt guilt guilt. Do more. Be more.

But He says BE STILL. ps. 46:10

He says  REST. ps. 62:5; matt 11:28; ex 33:14

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. – Ps 127:2

I’m not saying skip morning prayer. Not purposefully. But I want to not beat myself up over it either. By me not praying perfectly everyday, all day, it doesn’t make me a bad catholic, bad person, or bad mom. It’s ok to have a moment to ourselves with day old cold coffee, before the madness officially starts.

Because if we do it right, being a mother is a vocation in of it self. Our vocation is supposed to be our prayer.

I understood that love comprises all vocations – that love is everything, and because it is eternal, embraces all times and places. – St. Therese of Lisieux

Don’t have mom-guilt. Self deprecation is not from Our God. Have mercy on yourself. Love your neighbor AS YOUR SELF. Because only when we love our self can we truly love our husband or kids or family … or neighbor. If we love, that is the greater part.

xo, k

How a Brow Pencil Got Me Through the Morning

After putting my brow pencil on – I think the birds starting chirping and the deer came frolicking through the yard – literally.

Today was going to be a rough one.

Our A/C broke yesterday, and in a Florida winter, that’s a major problem. #snowmageddon. With little sleep, I woke to two semi-ill babies. Thanks to Hubbs, I got to sleep in since he had a late day to the office. Little did I know that that would be my one, of a handful of, perks for the day. Continue reading “How a Brow Pencil Got Me Through the Morning”

GMOs + God

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This past summer I had the opportunity to see an online screening of GMOOMG; a movie documentary about the concern of feeding our family and the efforts of the U.S. food industries to save a buck, even if it gives up the integrity of the food they are manufacturing/growing.

As I watched, I was appalled by some of the statements that this documentary was making. I’m still in my research to see how much of it is true. But if any of it is true, U.S. citizens have a lot of worry about what we’re shoveling into our bodies.

Here are my tweets about the movie:

  • knmarkford Wow!!! #GMOOMG was an amazing, eye-opening documentary. I will be researching more!! See it when it comes out! Be educated. Get educated.
  • knmarkford Scientific studies show Breast cancer & human sterilization linked to consuming GMOs. 😔 #gmoomg We are killing ourselves. ???
  • knmarkford You have American Cos like Heinz making non-gmo products like Ketchup for other countries but don’t offer it here. #whattteheck #gmoomg
  • knmarkford RT: JeffLeatherwood Traces of Round-up pesticide are now found in human urine. Maybe the best way to fight cancer is to fight @MonsantoCo #GMOOMG
  • knmarkford Oh variety!! We can eat corn from turquoise colored corn seeds too! 😳 #GMOOMG
  • knmarkford RT: Diana1968 Food to feed 14billion is produced yet so many starving. Doesn’t add up! The US has to stop poisoning us.#GMOOMG
  • knmarkford RT: gena382001 When you have to spend $45 million to defeat a bill… you ARE hiding something! #GMOOMG
  • knmarkford Over 60 countries require labeling of GMO food (or ban it altogether) #gmoomg NOT THE US! 😳😣
  • knmarkford “Whether you believe in creationism or evolution, don’t you think we’ve altered something…” We’ve changed the dynamic of nature. #gmoomg
  • knmarkford “I’m uncomfortable with the patenting of seeds- it like owning life.” #gmoomg
  • knmarkford RT: RYTPA “The corn we see growing here is a registered pesticide.” Scary. #GMOOMG

All my tweeting lead to an interview about my opinions. But what was interesting was that a Jesuit brother was asking for the interview. He wanted to discuss my thoughts on GMO and God. Not just the OMG part of the title but how eating GMOs can or cannot affect our spiritual lives, and the well-being of our bodies in the context of Catholicism. See 1 Cor 6:19.

Here is a link to his notes on our interview. I want to thank Santiago Rodriguez, SJ for the opportunity!

So, have your seen GMOOMG? What were your thoughts?
Even if you haven’t, what are your thoughts on GMOs, or GMOs+Religion?

xo, k

Mass Journal – Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

Every week we get the opportunity to hear God’s Words to us at Mass. And every week we also get the opportunity to take in, absorb, meditate upon, learn, heal, and grow through these words. Here, at times, I’ll be transposing my handwritten notes from my Mass Journal. Sometimes there may not be complete sentences or full thoughts. I am literally rewriting what stood out to me in the readings/homily so that I can mediate on them later.
To learn more about Mass Journaling, click here.
9-7-14 Sunday Mass
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF
It’s concern of soul, not vanity. The Only reason we exist is to worship God – not to work, play sports, not be be active in the world.
If we harden our hearts there is a wall between us and God. We need to open our hearts and read the Word & share the Word.
Ezekiel was a prophet & a priest. “Appointed watchman of the House” -> typology for priests, bishops, popes – the hierarchy of the Church.
Others may or may not want to hear the truth. But that’s ok because we, the sharers of the truth, must share anyways. If we do not share the truth with others then their sins are held against us.
We do not get to escape the responsibility of evangelization; it’s not just for the “hierarchy”. This is part of our baptismal call. When we are baptized, we are baptized Priest, Prophet, & King.
But we must share the truth in love. “Owe nothing to anyone except love.” We cannot be pompous when we share the truth.
Anyone breathing on this planet is loved by God – because He created them – therefore they must be loved by us.
We correct the wicked & admonish the sinner not because we are above them – WE ARE NOT, WE ARE ALL SINNERS, but because we love them. and have concern for their soul.
When I finally fully appreciate the love God has for me, then I can go out and love. Mother Teresa was so motivated by the love of God that she was able to see God in every person she met.
We often harden our hearts because we are challenged to change. Being a Christian is not like joining a country club, it is difficult and painful, causing conflict & division.
We cannot just say love, love, love. Love is blood, sweat, and tears.  It is a decision.
We are called to be the watchmen to help those who have fallen away. We want them to live in life. We want them to come home & go home.
Jesus was constantly in the presence of sinners so that He could love them & convert them.
 xo, k

Let Me Walk Upon The Waters

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me.” – Oceans, Lyrics by Hillsong United

This past weekend I attended a Young Adult Retreat in High Springs, FL. I was part of a group of about 75, looking to see what what in store in a retreat titled “Trust in the Lord.”

Many beautiful things happened during this weekend. And many memorable things too. I camped. ( I don’t camp – so this is quite memorable. Thank goodness it ended up being more like glamping!) I got food poisoning. Yikes! I took the beautiful 2 ½ hour drive solo and got to enjoy the Central Florida roads in springtime. We participated in mass everyday and read the Liturgy of the Hours. My small group leader was a smart, hilarious, devout, sassy nun from Connecticut (Sisters of Life) & we heard testimonies from other young adults & CFRs. Confession was offered all day (12 hours) on Saturday. A healing Eucharistic Procession took place. Of it all, the most impactful part of the weekend was both the Eucharistic Procession (a story for another time) and our 30 minute session of Lectio Divina.

Grab a cup of coffee & come back. I’m going to re-rewrite my exact words of what I journaled from Lectio Divina. This will be a little bit longer of a post, so really, grab that cup of coffee. I’ll wait.

…ready?

April 5, 2014. Lectio Divina
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Lectio: Matthew 14:22-33 Walking on Water

It’s 4 am. Salty, cold air hitting the boat; whipping the face. Hands burning from pulling the ropes so hard. Sails blowing in the haphazard, wild gusts. The sea is charcoal, its jaws of white tipped waves biting at them.
When Jesus walked, though the waves hurled and the wind blew, they did not effect Him.
Peter yelled out “Command Me!”
Peter pulled up his robe. With both hands on the side of the unstable boat, he put one foot out onto the water – which felt even and sturdy. Then another foot. The disciples stood in silence. Peter walked. There was no noise. The waves could only be seen in his periphery.
Then Peter looked down.
He started to sink.

Medidatio

Peter asked Jesus to command to do something extraordinary. But Peter doubted Jesus – doubting that God could really perform a miracle using him, for him. Peter sank. Peter needed to be saved from his own request of the extraordinary.

Oratio
“Command Me”

Contempatio

Jesus, I ask you to commission me. Recently, I’ve asked that you give me a mission as the missionary spirit has been stirring.
But I see Peter’s response and realize that I worry – once I get the extraordinary I doubt it – its truth, its awesomeness, its beauty, its grace.
I doubt the extraordinary. It’s so easy to distrust the extraordinary. I feel like extreme faith is needed. And that’s a faith I don’t think I have.
Help me to believe and trust the extraordinary. I live my life ignoring it. What about You in the Monstrance? What about all the graces You & Mother Mary provide? I act like it’s no big deal – no, I act like I say it exists but treat it like it really doesn’t. I don’t glorify You in these things. I do not boast  of You. I act egotistical. I act “too cool”. Let me soak in them and be drunk in them. Let me cherish them and appreciate them. Let me yearn for them and recognize the gift that they are when I encounter them.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Throughout the retreat the song “Oceans” followed me. And on the drive home. And I’ve heard it everyday on the radio since. I think God is calling me to hike up my robe, grab hold of the boat, and flip my feet over to the other side. Because “in oceans deep, my faith will stand.”

xo, k

#SheSharesTruth – Reflections on Jonah 3 & 4

“For You love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what You have hated, You would not have fashioned.” – Wisdom 11:24

So many things are swirling around in my head right now. In the last half of Jonah, there are so many directions which I could have focused on.

  1. Fasting. Sackcloth. Repentance. 40 Days. Chapter 3 is oozing with Lenten symbolism. I love it!!
  2. Chapter 4 looks at Jonah’s tantrum when the people Jonah feels are “beneath him” get God’s mercy.
  3. “…and announce the message that I will tell you…” (Ch 3, vs 2). Will tell you. Hmm. God sends us on our missions sometimes withholding all the info. Does He do this to be mean? Does He do this because He has not planned out every step? No – rather, He does this because He asks us to continue to TRUST Him in every step AND NOT LET OUR PRIDE GET IN THE WAY. Oohhhh pride. I laughed when I read this verse. If I were asked to go tell/teach/preach something, I’d want to plan it all out, know everything I am going to say ahead of time. I’d want to be prepared & knowledgeable. I. I. I. <– That’s the point. When we’re on God’s mission, it’s not about “I”. A lot of LOLs here.
This is a post for the #SheSharesTruth blog collaboration on the study of Jonah 3 & 4. Yes, we are sharing & reflecting on God’s truth, but today, I’m going to focus on KristinaSharesTruth.
Back to point 3 – Pride. My truth is that I am a prideful person. But aren’t we all on some level? (enter  semi-embarassing hand raise, light chuckle, and smirk)
Even as I write this post, I’ve already written & deleted it several times, trying to come up with the perfect words so that I can come across intelligent, witty, and likable. But this isn’t what I’m called to.
I am called to the humble way. I am called to die to self. This means then, that I need to be honest & actually write about what is standing out most in all of chapters 3 and 4 – “… and announce the message that I will tell you….” That’s it. Not the repentance of the people of Nineveh, not Jonah’s toddler like fit about the sun on his forehead.
So, I’ll be focusing on pride in my personal prayer. Praying that I get out of God’s way and be a vessel  and not the main attraction. And trust. Trust in His way, His guidance, and that He provides the words.
xo, k
P.S. Speaking of toddler like tantrums & trust, I have another Praise God Timeline!!
  • March 19th: I tell my co-worker passively “You know, I need to go on retreat. It’s been almost 14 months.” <– there’s that “I” again…
  • March 22nd: I tell my husband passively “I really want to go on retreat.”
  • March 23rd: A retreat crosses my mind several times. But then I remind myself that I do not have time, I don’t have money, and there aren’t any being offered in my area anyways. Whoa is me.
  • March 27th 830am: I get a Facebook message that I am invited to a retreat about 2.5 hrs from my home, hosted by Friars (my favorite retreats are hosted by religious).
  • March 27th 9am: Call the coordinator to see if any spots are left. Leave message on voice mail. ((sigh))
  • March 27th 130pm: Get a call from the coordinator. She invites me to the retreat AND IS COMPLETELY PAID FOR BY SOMEONE ELSE! ((gasp))
  • March 27th 2 pm: Get email with retreat application and see that the retreat is titled “Trust In God” with a focus on the Eucharist & Jesus’ Sacred Heart.  <– another set of LOLs. Isn’t God hilarious?!
  • And did I mention, the retreat is NEXT WEEKEND! April 4-6! MIND. BLOWN.
P.S.S. If you don’t know, Margaret Mary Alacoque is associated with the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus – my most beloved and favorite devotion! It focuses on His immense love & mercy. ((clap clap clap, happy dance)) I cannot contain my excitement!

This post is a participation of the #SheSharesTruth collaboration where the participants from the Jonah study share what the Holy Spirit has been stirring up in our hearts. 

#SheSharesTruth – Reflections on Jonah 1 & 2

 

But Jonah made ready to flee to Tarshish, away from the Lord. He went down to Joppa, found a ship going to Tarshish, paid the fare, and went down in it to go with them to Tarshish, away from the Lord. – Jonah 1:3

Have you ever seen a map of Jonah’s travel? I did recently.  And it surprised the heck out of me. Why was it a surprise? It was a map of my heart.

How many times have I run from the calling of the Lord? How many times did I go above and beyond to avoid His voice – err maybe even the whisper that He gives – calling me to something.

– – –

I have been in hot pursuit of a bible study. As an at home mom of a 9 month old, I need something available online. But many that I found, though Christian, are outspokenly anti-Catholic. I need something that would fill my soul with God’s word and balance it with my Catholic faith. Enter SheReadsTruth. It is this perfect balance. I see Protestant & Catholics alike on the site. And they are welcoming, open about their hearts, encouraging, and also in pursuit of the Lord. All of this came from my active anti-participation of Lent in 9 years. (see backstory here.) I thought I would just take it easy and read from St. Faustina’s Diary: Divine Mercy in my Soul & from a book called “In Converstion with God” by Francis Fernandez. Boy, was I wrong.

God wanted to fill me with His Word & consume/overflow my heart with His love. He put scripture study on my heart. So in pursuit, I found SheReadsTruth and it’s first study I am participating in is on Jonah.

God wanted Jonah. He pursued him until he couldn’t avoid Him any longer. And God came at him strong, but in full love. God met Jonah where he was at, even if that’s in the middle of a raging storm.

I’m realizing that God is pursuing me – in the middle of my storm. Lent is a time to turn to the Lord and seek him. My heart hasn’t been able to do that these past 9 years and recently I asked the Lord to meet me in this place. I didn’t/couldn’t/was to scared to come to Him. So He found me where I am and is speaking to me through Jonah.

This post is just on chapters 1 & 2. I am understanding now that I, like Jonah, have an awesome God who loves me unconditionally. When I say understanding now, it’s not that I have just accepted my Jesus. Rather, it’s been a reminder or rekindling of this relationship that I have had all along. It’s like, “oh yea, I do have a merciful, loving, compassionate God who forgives and accepts me – how did I forget that? Duh.”

God could have let me drown, just like he could have let Jonah drown. He could have let the waves crush me and let me be forgotten into the endless sea of the lost. But God didn’t do that to Jonah. And He hasn’t done that to me.

“But I, with a thankful voice, will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed to pay: deliverance is from the Lord.” – Jonah 2:10

God is delivering me from what I thought Lent would be: a dry desert, abandoned by God. (again, see backstory) Rather, He is delivering me from those lies and showing me that I am never abandoned – I just have to say yes to Him and willingly obey.

I’d like to add here the timeline of finding this study:

  • March 7th: Made a reluctant agreement with the Lord that I will try  to participate in Lent.
  • March 11th: Spoke with a friend of mine that bible study was on my heart.
  • March 11th – March 18th: Searched Google, Facebook, and Pinterest high and low for an online bible study. Nothing. (rather, nothing called to me)
  • March 18th a.m.: FINALLY wrote in my prayer journal (this makes it an actual request in my mind for some reason – weird, I know) that God must give me a bible study because I’m at a loss.
  • March 18th p.m.: Discovered a study on Jonah that just so happens to start the next morning.
  • March 19th: MIND. BLOWN.

xo, k

.today I visited the sea – what a visual gift from the Lord that serves as a reminder of Jonah’s story.
This post is a participation of the #SheSharesTruth collaboration where the participants from the Jonah study share what the Holy Spirit has been stirring up in our hearts.