NOTE: Today is the last day to sign up for the Restore Workshop. I am about a week behind the schedule. Some elements I like to take a little more time to work on and some days I simply run out of hours in the day.
You can read my other post about the workshop here –
* * *
When I first talked about my Lenten goals with Brian, we both agreed that I needed to do a better job at taking care of myself – sleeping more, eating better, getting my exercise, etc. In the spiritual department my goal was to spend more time talking with God and doing a better job at spending quiet time with God. I think God was trying to put an exclamation point on those goals since many of the first lessons in Elizabeth Floss’ Restore Workshop dealt directly with those issues.
Tracy over at Making the Trek has a Day in the Life link-up and I thought it would be fun to join along. I wanted to combine the post with the lessons learned through Restore because it would be a good way to show you how I’m trying to incorporate it into my daily life. I am great at reading the books and making the perfect planner and finding cute printables but actually getting my butt in gear and DOING what I’m planning is a whole other story. I’m still learning and fumbling but you know my motto – baby steps. 😉
A Day in the Life of A Mom…
6:20 AM – My first alarm goes off. Elizabeth encourages us to “embrace the first heroic moment of the day” and get out of bed immediately. (Spoken like a true morning person. hee hee) 😉 I have not mastered that step yet. My first heroic act is not throwing the alarm clock against the wall. 😉 Instead I hit the snooze and make the sign of the cross and thank God for another day of life. I reach for my iPhone and open iMissal to say my morning offering & morning prayer.
6:30 AM – Second alarm. Out of bed. I get ready to take a shower and right on cue Matthew knocks on the door. All the kids are still asleep but Matthew is an early riser and is ready to greet the day. I let him stay in the bathroom with me since I know Brian is in the family room saying his prayers and I don’t want him disturbed. Matthew lays down on the bathroom rug and watches Max and Ruby on my phone while I take a quick shower, undressing and dressing behind the shower curtain.
7:00 – Wake the kids up, say morning prayers with them, feed them breakfast and pack their lunches. The boys’ favorite weekday breakfast is a piece of toast, a half slice of cheese and fresh fruit. We have all increased our fruit and veggie intake. Luckily, we have plenty of options this time of year with our local organic farmer’s market that sells at reasonable prices.
7:40 – Brian watches the two little guys while I take Bella and Andrew to school. They are excited because it happens to be free dress and a special hot lunch day. (If you went to Catholic school, remember the excitement of a free dress day? LOL)
8:00 – On the days John-Paul goes to pre-school (T,W, & TH) I have a small window to read the day’s scripture/ quote, say a short prayer and plan my Act/ Resolution for the day. (Right now I am using the prayers from the Restore Workshop but when it is over I will go back to my favorite mom devotional books.) I also look over my planner quickly and see what I need to get done for the day. Then I finish getting the little boys ready.
8:35 – 9:00 – I take John-Paul to preschool. On the drive I say a decade of the rosary while the boys talk and giggle in the back seat of the mini van.
9:00 – My mid-morning prayer alarm goes off. (I have Time for prayers and my reminder to drink water.
In Elizabeth’s essay on prayer, she spoke about the beauty of the Liturgy of the Hours, which consists of breaks in the day when you pray in the morning, mid-morning, noon, mid-afternoon, evening, night and (for the hardcore) midnight. My first reaction was, “What?? Ain’t nobody got time for dat!” But then I thought about Elizabeth’s podcast with Sarah from Amongst Lovely Things. Sarah mentioned how she prayed the L of the H and she has three bigger kids she homeschools, a toddler and twin babies! Dang, if that girl can do it then why the heck can’t I??? Elizabeth explained that depending on what season of life we are in, some of us can’t make complete stops in our day to pray but we can stop for a few seconds and turn our heart to God saying,
God, come to my assistance.
– Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
– as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
Ugh. I could hear God speaking to my heart. I kept pushing it aside but he’s tenacious in his love. I relented and said I would give it a try but I wasn’t ready to say the actual prayers and readings. I would set my alarm for the times and then turn my mind to God and say a short prayer. Maybe in the future I’d add on more. In the meantime I also ordered the book Elizabeth recommended The Everyday Catholic’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours and am almost done reading it. (More on that later.)
This photo is from a couple weeks back but the scene was the same. 😉
Okay, back to the day…my alarm went off during the pre-school’s morning prayer and assembly so I turned it off knowing I’d be making a chapel visit in a couple minutes. Even if I wanted to skip stopping into church I couldn’t because Matthew INSISTS that we “go see Dedus.” He kneels with me before the tabernacle and I can hear his little prayer. “I lub you, Dedus. Pwease make Daddy better. I pray por Bewwa, Andoo, Bom-Paul and Mama.” He them
smacks pats my cheek and tells me it’s my turn, in which I have to say, “I love you Jesus. I pray for Daddy and Bella and Andrew and John-Paul (at which point he excitedly points to himself) and Matty.” He beams a smile and then furrows his brow becasue I forgot someone. He points to me…I say, “and I pray for Mama.” Happily, he scoots me off the kneeler, says “Bye, Dedus, see you next time” and pulls me by the hand over to the candles where I light one and he blows out the match. It’s a morning ritual I’ve grown to love and cherish. 🙂
9:20 – 10:00 – Matthew and I go for our morning walk. I’ll push him in the stroller for 3/4 of the route. Then the last 1/4 he gets out and walks with me. Getting exercise, and particularly getting outside in the fresh air, is emphasized in the workshop. When JP is at school it is easy to get outside and walk because but I need to work on the other days when I’m not driving around all day. I have to make sure that I spend at least 15 – 20 minutes outside walking up and down our long deck or the driveway.
I always feel better after walking and I relish these last months with Matthew by my side before he starts preschool too!
The new planter of succulents outside our local Trader Joe’s.
10:00 – 12:00 – Time to get some shopping done. I have to run because I’m stopping at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Costco. My mom calls me while I am in line at Costco so I tell her I’ll give her a call when I am back home.
12:00 – My noon prayer alarm goes off. I say the Angelus while I unpack groceries from the car. Shortly after my father-in-law brings Andrew home from school. When I am done unpacking the cold items I go in the kitchen and pack a lunch for Andrew and John-Paul that they eat in the car while I go to pick up John-Paul. I grab an apple and re-fill my water jug. We are off again.
1:15 – 2:00 – We are finally home. We get settled and take a look at the sink. I can’t deal with that right now. I need to eat first. I have lunch and take a quick breather. I tell myself that I’ve got to get up earlier to have time for a bigger breakfast or pack some healthy snacks for the road because by the time I sit to eat lunch I am starving and I want to trade my healthy salad for a greasy burger and fries and piece of chocolate cake. Ack! Something to work on. I get a few bites in and I hear “Mama, I’m done. Can you wipe me?” I walk down the hallway and hear, “Me too.” Wow, a double hitter. I’ve only had triple toilet/diaper duty once or twice so far.
I finish lunch and call my mom back for a quick chat while I get all the dishes washed and cleared away. My kitchen is a happy place again. The boys are playing outside and not giving me too much trouble. God is being merciful to me. I better keep moving before the tide turns.
Can you even tell this is a dining room table?
2:00 – I throw in a load of laundry and tackle all the dishes that have accumulated in the sink. I also wanted to do my best to tackle one bigger project in the house before I had to start dinner. Yesterday I had a mini-break down because there was so much junk accumulated everywhere. There are pockets of clean & organized and pockets of disaster. I heard a priest once say that the devil hides in the mess and clutter. Well, a devil was certainly there yesterday because I was yelling and having a fit like the old BC-Bobbi. (As in Before Christ). One of those breaking point triggers is our dining room table. It is a catch-all for everyone to dump all their junk. It would be okay if it was emptied off every night but a few busy days of not being home or doing other things and disaster strikes. So today I was striking back. The boys are tired from playing outside so I put a movie on for them and bribe them with crackers and cheese sticks (and maybe a couple of non-Lenten chocolate chips) if they sit quietly so I can finish my cleaning project. I also made a mental note to give them some extra playtime with me tomorrow since I was so busy today. Tomorrow is Friday and I don’t have to leave the house (much.) yay! Okay, back to work.
By the time it was over I could hear the angels singing. 😉 And I only had to yell, “Boys stop fighting/ wrestling/ screaming/ jumping off the furniture” 20 times in an hour. Getting better. Note to self – Write that down in your gratitude journal, baby!
3:00 – My alarm for my mid-afternoon prayer goes off. I hear Matthew yell from the other room, “Time to talk to Dedus again, Mama.” I say a decade of the divine Mercy chaplet and refill my water jug. My father-in-law brings home Bella from school. I wash more laundry and have the kids pick up their toys that are scattered everywhere before they continue playing or do homework. I make a mental note to add that to my gratitude journal – I didn’t lose my temper when I saw their mess and I didn’t just quickly clean it myself but made them do it. (I’m getting make-the-kids-do-more-chores inspiration from my sis.) 😉
4:15 – I set up my laptop in the kitchen so I can listen to this week’s Restore podcast that I missed on Monday. I start dinner while listening. I have to stop frequently to jot down notes but luckily I had leftover Sneaky Spaghetti Sauce so I only needed to make the pasta and salad. I’m glad for that because I am running out of steam. (Where are those chocolate chips?)
5:00 – My evening prayer alarm goes off. John-Paul calls out from the other room, “Time for you to say your prayers, Mama!” I’m glad everyone is keeping me on my toes. 😉 Frankly, I am starting to get the hang on this stopping and turning my mind to God. It no longer seems foreign and ridiculous for my life. After three weeks of saying my own quick prayers and after almost finishing The Everyday Catholic’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours book, it’s making a lot of sense to me. I was moved by the part of the book where Daria Sockey says…
“This [Liturgy of the Hours] symphony – a melody of praise, sometimes sung, sometimes spoken – travels from time zone to time zone, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year. It is like a flaming torch of prayer being passed around the globe, relay style, by spiritual athletes. This is what attracts so many people to the liturgy of the Hours: the idea that, when we pray these daily psalms and readings, we are praying in unison with our fellow believers around the world.”
I love that image of the torch being lit. Each of us doing our bit, uniting our prayers to God, pleading for ourselves, for our loved ones and for those most in need of God’s mercy. The visual image I have in my head is from The Lord of the Rings when they light the beacons.
Each of us are in our own home/life lifting our hearts and prayers to God, lighting our beacon and joining others as they light theirs. From the heavens there are rows and rows of flaming beacons as we are united in our praise and united in our fight against the evils of this world. It makes me want to go a little deeper so I scheduled evening prayer at 5:00 PM when I am cooking dinner. I open up Divine Office.org on my computer and they have an audio option to hear the prayers being said. It’s only about 15 minutes and has worked great so far. They also have phone apps but my phone is maxed out and I’ll have to delete some stuff before I can download it. (Maybe I should start with the 1500+ photos. Even my phone needs some serious spring cleaning!) Anyway, I am going to try using the audio for some of the other daytime prayers, particularly when I am in the car.
6:00 – Time to eat. We light our Lenten candles and say our Lenten prayers together before grace because night prayers haven’t worked for us but dinner prayers has. Today it is Matthew’s turn to lead the petitions and pick out the new Act of Love and Prayer Intention for tomorrow. There are still a few “But that’s not fair” muttered by those who have a hard time waiting their turn but not as many as there used to be. We make it through the prayers and dig in.
6:30 – Dishes, dishes and more dishes. Yeah, I’ve gotten to enjoy making home cooked meals but all the clean up, not so much. I add a bean to the sacrifice jar. 😉
7:00 – Showers, PJ’s and teeth brushing. I can see the finish line….
7:30 – We hear the usual protests that it is still light outside but they know by now we don’t care. It’s bed time. The boys get a story read to them, brief night prayers, kisses and then lights out. Bella is allowed to stay up an extra hour in her room reading or drawing. I realize I haven’t taken any photos after dinner but I’m too tired do anything about it.
8:00 – My night prayer alarm goes off. I open up Divine Office.org but instead of listening to the audio I read the prayers myself and say my act of contrition. I write down my five things in my gratitude journal and jot a few thoughts in my prayer journal. I thank God for the grace to spend this time with him in prayer since I have always struggles with my prayer life. Prayer does not come easily and it still doesn’t but by taking small steps each day I am slowly making progress and that’s what counts.
8:30 – We kiss Bella good night then Brian and I catch up on the news about work and what went on during our day and how he’s feeling. (BTW, he’s feeling relatively good and survived his first cycle of chemo. He starts round 2 on Monday.) We then sit down and pick something to watch from the DVR. Tonight it is The Blacklist, which always makes me want to watch Pretty in Pink. 😉
10:00 – Brian goes to bed since he likes to get up early. I stay up for another 45 minutes and work on this post.I’m tempted to stay up later but I know I’ll be crying in the morning if I do, so I call it a night.
10:45 – I grab my camera and get ready for bed. I try to decide what I could shoot with all the lights off and everyone asleep. I take a snap of the bathroom sink and then get ready for bed.
11:00 – I say my good night to Our Lord and thank Him for such a blessed life.
* * * * *
If you want to know more about the Liturgy of the Hours, I recommend these resources.
Book – The Everyday Catholic’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours by Daria Sockey
Website – Divine Office.org
Website – Coffee and Canticles