|We won't be sitting on these benches for a while!|
Well, to all you homeschoolers out there, we made it! February is almost over. I have to admit that I did not make it through the whole month without losing my patience on more than one occasion.
|Physical education and home maintenance classes=shoveling the driveway, again and again.|
I have been struggling with several things lately, none of them life-threatening or anything, just "stuff." I felt down, but I didn't know why. I stopped doing things I used to enjoy immensely, and again, I wasn't sure why. It was not to the point of medical depression, but it seemed to be heading in that direction. Part of the problem, I know, is the cold. I really don't enjoy winter. I know many people truly suffer in the cold and the snow--the homeless, those who cannot afford the high cost of heating bills, the elderly and disabled individuals whose travel is seriously impeded by poorly cleared walks and parking lots. I feel guilty about complaining when I think of others who are truly suffering.
|The twigs behind the mailbox are the top of a mostly-buried crabapple tree.|
One bad habit I recognized in my life was procrastination, a.k.a. work avoidance. I would find many interesting or seemingly important things to keep me from grading papers or prepping lessons. Then, I'd wonder why my children weren't mastering math concepts. As Kelly says, "Our lives change when our habits change," and I realized this month that I have some changing to do. To begin, I have been pulling myself away from the internet and getting things done. I've done a better job meal planning this month--and I kept the budget under $500 for the first time in a long time, and we ate quite well. (Last month I spent about $700 on groceries.)
I realize I can't attempt to change too much at once, or I will be destined to fail and to quit trying. I have been working on simple and attainable goals. For instance, I focused on staying within my grocery budget, and it worked.
The second change this month is two-fold. Instead of wasting time searching for recipes and decorating ideas online, I've been reading books (like Rediscover Catholicism) and getting work done for our homeschool and for my outside teaching job.
I'm still working on better time management and will continue to work on the meal planning/budget stuff. For March, though, I have some other habits I plan to change. I know that if I say it here, it will motivate me, just like the food budget post motivated me this month.
I'm not a patient person. There, I said it. I keep wondering what I need to do to become more patient. I know, I know: "Pray for patience." I get that part, but Rediscovering Catholicism and Three Moments of the Day: Praying with the Heart of Jesus by Christopher S. Collins, S.J. (the book my women's Bible study is currently reading) have helped me recognize that I have all the tools I need. I just need to use the tools. Kelly's chapter about the rosary reminded me that when I was regularly praying the rosary and running, I was more peaceful. Fr. Collins reminds us that God sees us as his "beloved sons and daughters with whom he is well pleased" even when we aren't all that lovable. I can't sit around complaining that I'm impatient, thinking that I'm a lost cause. God knows what I need. If my heart is open and ready to receive his grace, I will find the peace and patience I desire.
So, by March 31, my hope is to report the following: Lent is going great and I'm ready for Holy Week, I've coninued with the spirtual reading, I'm staying in budget for groceries, and the Rosary Runner is back to work.
Thank you for the many blessings in my life--my family, my friends, my students.
You meet all of my needs. Without you, I am nothing.
With you, I have everything.
You are all-good, all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving.
Help me to know your love and show your love.
Bless all who read this prayer. You know their hearts and their needs.
Help them to have the grace to seek you in their lives.
In this Holy Season of Lent, help us to recognize the greatest gift,
your Son and Our Lord, Jesus Christ.