It has been months (literal months) since I last posted. I don't believe in excuses, but the explanation is actually very simple. I needed to rest in the Lord and step back for a bit. In January, I realized how long it had actually been since I had last posted and I was so disappointed in myself until I took stock of everything that had happened in the last six months...
Started a new job, weaned my son, had an early miscarriage, house-hunted, moved, finished my last college course for my education degree, was offered and accepted a youth ministry role, and even began prepping for my education certification exam
That's a lot for anyone! And here I was, trying to pull out the words to share and guide people to God without even having a good prayer routine in place! Truthfully, I was out of water to give anyone and needed to take time to seek out God and refill my own soul before trying to fill another's. I've written some here and there for Blessed Is She and for work (hello, parent newsletters, Week of Christian Unity posts, Faithful Fridays, and Caitlin Shepard+). But mostly, I focused on renewing my prayer routine and just being with God, rather than trying to share about God constantly. Even Jesus needed a break from the crowds occasionally (boats, deserts, etc.). Now, I'm no Jesus and I don't minister to thousands, but I also know that sometimes we need time just with God.
The truth is, whether its inconsistent or scheduled, I love to write. I'm back and feeling inspired yet again to create beautiful content that glorifies and serves God. Alleluia!
So, here's what's new for me while I've rested with the Lord that last few months...
My word of the year is "Celebrate" which pairs perfectly with my desire for more liturgical living in my home and classroom. I'm slowly making my way through Kendra Tierney's Catholic All Year Compendium and I love it. Her writing is engaging and witty. You could literally read the whole thing, cover to cover if you wanted to or use it as a life-resource to flip through when scheduling what life is going to look like over the next month or two. I'll be writing more about the impact her book has had on me later, so keep your eyes peeled.
My focus for 2019 is to continue to develop the virtues of humility and self-control. I began focusing on them this past Advent and have realized, paired with Matthew Kelly's Resisting Happiness that these two virtues are ones that are underdeveloped in my own life. I will be sharing more about this later on too.
Finally, my saint of the year is Blessed Sara Salkahaze, the only modern-day Hungarian saint. She was a World War II era woman and although there isn't a ton about her, she has become a part of my litany of saints each evening. I've been saving her, so to speak, for Lent and will definitely dive more into her and what she can teach me then!
Alright, now I'm curious! What's new for you? Word of the year? Saint of the year? New way to pray that you're loving? Let me know in the comments below.
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In an ideal world, dismissal ends promptly at 3:30 and I am able to scoot upstairs for maybe 30 minutes of organizational work before briskly walking across the parking lot to my son's school for pick up. My personal goal for this second quarter of school is to be walking out the doors by 4:00 each afternoon (barring extenuating circumstances like meetings or insanely high piles of papers to be graded...)
Upon arrival home, we put away shoes and jackets, let out dogs, and dress down into something more comfy for the evening. I tend to start meal-prepping within the first thirty minutes of arriving home because my son is ravenous by 5:00 or 5:30. I strive to offer him healthy and lighter meals, because his lunches tend to be very filling at his school. Think meatloaf, mashed potatoes, pizza, etc. Depending on his mood, dinner can be anywhere from oatmeal with fruit and milk to chicken or fish with more traditional dinner sides. To save my sanity, Mondays are always, always breakfast-for-dinner. He loves any sort of breakfast food, so scrambled eggs or French toast are always a great option after a long and wild Monday.
While he eats his dinner, I sit with him, have a glass of water, and eat a small snack like cucumbers and cheese or hummus and crackers. I'm generally not hungry enough for dinner when he is but I value and understand that quality time together, which is why I sit and eat with him. Oftentimes, Josh will be home between 6:00 and 8:00, so I have someone to share dinner with anyways. I will also use this time to grind beans and load the coffee maker before bedtime I need recommendations for a better grinder... ours is so loud!
Once dinner is wrapped (around 5:30-45), it is either bath/play time or it is just playtime. I am striving to leave my phone behind during this time together as we play. He really enjoys stacking blocks, playing with age-appropriate puzzles, and chasing or wrestling. If Daddy is home, you can bet it is wrestlemania for the next 30 minutes.
I try to let him dictate his bedtime to some degree, but he tends to start acting very tired by 6:00 or 6:30. When he starts resting his head on his dinosaur rather than tackling it, I know it's time for our bedtime routine. After several months of work, I'm so proud of his ability to fall asleep on his own each night after some time calm, gentle time together.
Once he is down, I will prepare adult dinner while listening to a podcast. I also try to maximize my time by picking up while things are heating up or baking. Laundry, sweeping, dishes... a little bit each day goes a long way. After dinner is done and cleared away, I allow myself time and space to relax. I try to avoid any work after 7:30 in the evening, giving myself two hours to enjoy a show, book, or podcast. Sometimes I will color, fold laundry, or another less demanding task while enjoying some form of entertainment.
By 9:00, I park myself in bed and start winding down by reading. I'm working on less scrolling while waiting for sleep to come (working on being the operative phrase here...)
When Josh is home, it is a similar evening although I tend to stay up a bit later with him and am less likely to clean because we don't get every evening together. Regardless, at 9:30 is my ideal lights out time in preparation for tomorrow's 5:30 am wake up call.
All together, I can get between 2 and 3 hours of quality time with my son before bedtime and additional two with my husband when he isn't working. I know one of the concerns of working while raising little ones is the time spent together. However, I think purposeful time spent is much more valuable than passive time spent all day disengaged with our little ones. I'm by no means great at it, but I always feel better about an evening disengaged with my phone and engaged with my sweet little family.
Okay, that's all! Thanks for hanging with a longer post! I hope you found some tidbits of faith, mindfulness, and love in our evening routine. Let me know if you have any coffee grinder suggestions, ours is seriously louder than a vacuum.