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Posts Tagged ‘food’

I’m not even sure if that is a word…but it is now.  It’s been ages since I last posted and that’s for a variety of reasons.  Since Easter I’ve had a funeral, a wedding, have met with two couples who are getting married.  Spent time in hospital at bedsides, attended meetings, and contracted a devastating 48 hour ‘flu.  Aside from that there’s been not much happening.

This Spring I’ve been overtaken with the need to de-clutter.  I’ve been consumed with the need for open space, for clean shelves, uncluttered tabletops.  In short, everything in it’s place and a place for every thing.  I decided two summers ago to empty the room that was, at one time, my home office.  It became a storage wasteland for all the things that entered the house but didn’t have anywhere to go…so they ended up in that room.

That room is now empty of my stuff.  There’s a growing pile of garbage at the sidewalk in front of the house because this week is the community garbage collection.  There’s broken clothes racks, broken glass, broken chairs…just about everything but broken hearts…

And while there’s been a great deal of space opening in the house, there’s still boxes of things that need to be sorted through…books to be returned to friends or put in the box for the Church Yard sale.  There’s more stuff than space, even though there’s a whole empty room.  Thus, the discombobulation.

In the course of a couple of extremely busy weeks, I reached for Coke Zero, my go-to caffeine kick at Seminary…and in short order I was guzzling a horrifying about each and every day.  I’ve also been eating a great deal of food that is little better than garbage and not drinking nearly enough water.

So last week I decided that I needed to get my unhealthy self back to healthy..

I purchased a Fitbit that tracks my sleep patterns, steps, stairs, water intake, calories in and out. So far I”m using it to track steps, stairs, sleep and water…will work up to the caloric thing eventually.  I know I feel better when I drink water.  I can motivate myself to drink enough with Fitbit.  I”m not competing with anyone or anything but myself…even though that is an option.  I need to spend less time in my head and more time outside, moving my fat ass around.

And while I am learning to love myself, I am in need of health and that will come by caring for as well as loving myself. It’s not about losing weight, although that is something I want to do.  It’s not about scoring points on a chart.  It’s about doing all these little things that will help me to feel better, look better and be better.

If I don’t lose one pound, that will be okay, because I know with more water, more movement, less stress and better eating, I will be healthier.  And my body will thank me for that.

So while the de-cluttering of the house continues, the cleansing of the body begins.  As the garbage goes out and the treasures go to the Yard Sale, I will still and quiet my mind.

I believe it will be then that my discombobulation will begin to lift and I will feel more like myself.

Oh, how I have missed myself…and as soon as I find where I tucked my yoga mat away, that will be another goal realised.

Time to get up and get moving, the administration will wait until later.

Now where’s that water bottle…

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It is true that I am my own worst critic.  I don’t hold anyone to the same standards I hold myself.  The last few days have been unbelievably difficult, and I’m not really sure why.  I am scheduled to undergo laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgery (gallbladder) on the 23rd of January.  We have our annual Vestry meeting on the 25th.  I have no idea what kind of reaction I will have to the surgery, so I am attempting to get as many things done, ahead of time, as I can.

This includes putting together the Vestry book.  Organizing baptism meetings, pre-marriage counselling, pre-surgical appointments, pastoral visits and bulletins.  Oh, and there’s writing homilies.  Right now the pile of things I need to do feels overwhelming.  Between that list and the housework, child-care, spousal support, I am having difficulty seeing daylight.  And my  motivation has dissipated…in other words, my get-up-and-go has got-up-and-gone.

I am beginning to think that my work/life balance is off-balance again.  I haven’t even sat on my yoga mat in weeks.  I am not drinking water like I was doing.  I’m not eating properly.  In short, I’m not caring for myself.  And that’s wrong.

Tomorrow I am meeting a friend for coffee.  I haven’t seen him in years.  This week was his birthday so we are meeting for a birthday-week hot drink.  I’m excited to see him as he always fills my day with light.  I have a list of errands I’ve been putting off all week, mostly due to weather.  So after I see him, I will get my list of things done.  And in the afternoon I will set a list of priorities, and put them in proper order.

Lists and organization soothes me.  I cannot work in chaos.  So I plan, prepare, clean, file, dust, organise, and while I do this I breathe.  I’ve not been breathing properly for awhile.  All shallow breathing.  It’s affecting my sleep patterns and my mental health.

And I have decided that instead of wishing my life away, starting tomorrow, a fresh new day, I am going to put myself higher on my priority list.  Do what is right for me, instead of giving myself what is left.

And while that will mean a trip to the grocery store, which is always an emotional land-mine, I have a list and a plan.  So I’m ahead of the curve already.

Starting tomorrow, I will get it right.

And, exhale.

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As a rule I generally don’t feel compelled to respond to articles I read, but this one made me cringe with every paragraph.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathleen-brooks/being-fat_b_6097544.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

What upset me most was the undertone of self-loathing and helplessness.  It devastates me that people walk by this delightful human being and don’t recognize her humanity.  It’s a basic feeling that everyone needs and deserves…to be recognized for our inherent human dignity.  I am not skinny.  I haven’t been since high school.  I look in the mirror and most days I am comfortable with what I see.  Yes, I’d like to lose weight, but I don’t think weight defines my personhood.

I have called myself fat.  At times I still call myself fat.  And I am fat, by society’s standards.  My mother is underweight, significantly so, and is the first person to notice any weight gain.  It bothers me, but I don’t see her every day so I can usually shake off what she says.

There are times when I get looks from people, but I don’t care.  I know skinny people who have body dysmorphia, the same as me.  I am a food addict and I work at making healthy choices every single day.  Some days are better than others.

But I am more than what the scale tells me.  I am a gifted preacher and pastoral presence.  I connect with people on a spiritual and individual level.  I am an attentive and mindful listener.  I work hard at what I do.  God has blessed me in many ways.

I have curves, I have cellulite, I don’t like having my picture taken because I have not learned (yet) how to smile without looking artificial.  I am not as active as I should be.  I know I should get off my ass and move more than I do.

Yet I refuse to be judged because I cannot shop the petite section of a store and my dress size is in the double-digits.  I like my curves (for the most part).  I like how a dress hugs my hips and shows off my breasts.  I like feeling sexy.  And sometimes I actually do feel sexy.  I don’t think I would if I was as skinny as I was in high school.  Back then, I was built like an ironing board…and ironing boards are not sexy.

Don’t get me wrong, I applaud women of all sizes.  I know women who have struggled with  and are currently struggling with eating disorders.

Being fat is not a sin.  While it may be seen as socially unacceptable, so is smoking in public places.  So is child abuse.  So is ignoring the homeless and refusing to see them as anything other than a nuisance and burden on society.

To Kathleen Brooks, know that you are a beautiful and remarkable woman.  Stop projecting what society is saying and making it baggage to carry around.  it is not your burden or cross to bear.  You are a talented, remarkable warrior woman. You have curves and hopes and dreams.  You have lived a remarkable life.  You have an incredible story to share.

Live your life out loud.  Don’t wait for someone else to make it okay.  Please stop putting yourself down.  You have a great life NOW.  You are successful and have survived kidney disease and transplantation!  That is no small feat.  You are woman, learn to roar…and share that roar.  Live your life larger than life.  And live it out loud.

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All my life I have struggled with naming my emotions. As a child I was not allowed to be angry. Raised voices were a “no-no” in my house. We were to be bright, happy yet silent as children, an interesting combination.

As a child I learned to be a pleaser, and if my Mam or Dad were angry/upset, I would do everything I could to make them happy; overachiever, overworking, entertaining, being the clown, etc.

Growing up, if I was presented with an angry or upset person my first instinct was to make it better for them. Recently, I’ve found myself feeling a heightened sense of outrage at the injustice I see around me. I am experiencing emotions, without really understanding what they are.

For example, this morning I was driving in the village and as I approached one of the two intersections with traffic lights, I had the green light, so continued through the intersection. At that exact moment an elderly man was making a right hand turn against the red light. He did not see me. Thankfully I was able to stop before we collided.

As I sat in the intersection he gave me a disgusted look, yelled “bloody women drivers” and waved me through. I had stalled my car on an incline, so it took me a few seconds to get the car running again. Instead of waiting for me, he continued on his way, making a sharp right turn at the next street.

I was fuming, and felt that I had every right to be angry. But it wasn’t until several hours later that I could actually name the emotion of anger. I had every right to be angry. But I also had every right to be grateful that we did not collide and nobody was injured…other than egos and pride.

Lately I am realising that the predominant emotion I am feeling is anger…almost to the point of rage. By nature I am a caring person. I take satisfaction in doing for other people. It is in my vocation to give emotionally, spiritually, etc.

I believe part of the reason I am now on a medical leave is because I am feeling such great anger and frustration. I feel that many of the people in my life, especially in my immediate family, are taking much more than they are giving. Instead of seeing that I am doing for them because I want to, I am feeling anger that they are not reciprocating and/or they are not appreciative.

I am not supposed to do things to receive thanks. And yet, right now, it is something I need.

Why is that?

I am, by nature, an optimistic, balanced, happy person. But not lately. I’ve been surly, miserable and downright snarly. I raise my voice much more often, I feel an emptiness inside and I’m looking for something to fill it. Most often, it’s chocolate. But the thing is, the chocolate isn’t filling the void. It’s expanding my waistline.

Slowly it is dawning on me that I am looking for everyone else to make me happy, instead of seeking to make myself happy. I want everyone to behave the way I feel they should; instead of accepting them for who they are.

One of the most destructive enabling behaviours is the phrase “It’s just the way s/he is”. There is a parishioner who is a bully. He shouts, insults, bangs his fist on the table, in order to be heard and to get what he wants. It is hard work to deal with him. And when I challenge him on his bullying behaviour I am taken aside and told “It’s the just the way he is”, or “he’s much better than he used to be”. Neither of which are acceptable.

I believe that everyone should be held accountable for their behaviour and that everyone should do their best to understand how the other person is feeling. Seldom is this behaviour extended to me and, I have to admit, it upsets me.

Slowly but surely I am realising that there are very few things I can control. The only emotions I control are my own, especially once I name them and own them.

The Canadian Mental Health Association came out with this great chart meant for children, to identify what it is they are feeling. I think I need one for my office, so I can identify what I am feeling. It’s strange to be 46 years old and unable to identify basic emotions.

Life is a learning curve and lately the curve has been steep.

If I were to make a list of the things that make me happy they would include taking a bike ride through the village; walking the dogs; doing yoga outside; yoga inside; dancing around the house like a fool; writing letters to friends; reading a novel; writing in my journal; taking a warm, soothing bath with epsom salts and baking soda; blogging.

As I look at this list, I realise I don’t do any of these things as often as I should.

I will do more things on that list on a more regular basis.

Starting now.

Some realisations that have come to me are: My happiness does not depend on anyone other than me.
I have every right to be angry and express that emotion. Further, I can express anger without guilt. I can disagree with someone without being a bad person. And if that person thinks I am a bad person, that is their emotion to own; not mine.

I do not have to be held hostage by a crippling fear of doing or saying the wrong thing. It never stopped Jesus. And aside from the crucifixion, it worked out alright for him (in the end).

I have been mired up in anxiety, angst, frustration, anger and rage. It’s time to do, say and live in a way that makes me happy.

That’s not selfish; it’s self-care, and self-loving.

So that will be what I focus on for the rest of 2014…and perhaps longer than that.

Starting now.

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I’ve not been blogging much because I’ve felt mired down in crap. I was feeling good, but tired, when I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. Since learning what it is I’m feeling overwhelmed. I had to have a mammogram last week, which is an annual event for me as I have an extensive family history. The doctor’s office called to say that the screen is irregular and I need to have more investigative tests. That’s got me somewhat concerned.

It doesn’t help that I’ve not been mindful of my self-care. I’ve not eaten properly. I’ve not exercised. I’ve slept. Ate. Slept. Worked. Slept. Not good for me at all.

I was having lunch with a friend the other day who could see I was struggling and he said to me that I looked “blah”. I realised that I’ve been waiting for the bounce. I know I’m on a downward trajectory, waiting for more test results, and knowing that it’s going to get darker before it gets light again. At some point I will hit my low point and bounce back up again.

The hardest part of a depressive episode, for me, is waiting for the bounce. I recognise that now is not a good time. I recognise that there will be light again, but before that, there will be a great darkness. And that, simply, sucks.

Today I self-medicated with food. And man did it feel good. There was no guilt…only enjoyment. I think maybe I need to loosen the “rules” I have in place for my eating habits. Listen to my body and if it wants something unhealthy, then have it. At the end of the day, does it make that much of a difference, if I fall off the wagon for a little while? Who knows?

I am going to take a walk with a friend of mine. We were going to go to the mall and walk around, but decided instead to walk the local indoor track. Healthier and less expensive than going to the mall.

One small step at a time. One small decision at a time. Waiting for the phone to ring. Waiting for the test to be scheduled. And knowing that no matter what else happens, I am, and will always be, a servant of the Lord. Patience may not be my strong suit, but I can try it for a while.

Saturday will be a very interesting day. I have a memorial service at 9:30 a.m. Another one at 11:30, a marriage counselling session at 3:00 and a 50th birthday party at 7:00. I should sleep very well Saturday night.

So between now and then, I wait. For the phone to ring…for the next food craving to hit…for the bounce to indicate that things will get better. Because they always do.

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Juicing seems to be going okay. I invented my own juice this morning and I quite like it. I even saved the recipe for later. It’s 2 apples, 2 stalks of celery, 2 carrots, 1 lemon, 1 thumb of ginger. Tangy and tasty. Not sweet, but not bitter. Yummy.

I have slacked on walking because the weather has been so cold and my schedule has been such that I’ve not made time for the walking track. I am sure, once the weather improves, that I will get back to walking with the dogs every morning. Even 20 minutes with them made a difference. Come on Spring!

I am enjoying cooking at home, and we are going through a lot of groceries, but this is a good thing. The positive things is the groceries are being consumed, not rotting and having to be thrown out. I have made a commitment to 30 days of juicing, but I already know I will be juicing every day for a very, very long time.

The downside of juicing is the mess with the juicer, but it makes life much easier to have the juicer. So I guess its worth it.

As we approach Lent I am determined to make this my healthiest Lent. Every year I pick something up that is good for me, and set down something that is not. It’s not about deprivation, it’s about living life to the fullest. Taking on things that scare me. Trying my best to take one day at a time.

This year I am going to eliminate all processed foods from my diet for the 40 days plus Sunday’s of Lent. I am going to juice every day. And I am going to move my body in some way for at least 20 minutes a day.

As far as the Spiritual side of Lent goes, I will spent at least half an hour in meditation or prayer, as I want a closer relationship with God. Every year I try to follow a devotional for Lent, but have yet to complete one within the 40 days. This year I am not putting that pressure on. I will read every day, but it doesn’t need to be from a specified Lenten devotional.

Tuning up my body as well as my mind, heart and soul. It’s going to be a challenge, but I am certain I can get there.

One step, one sip, one bite, on prayer, one moment at a time.

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I have not written in a while because I haven’t really had much to say. Well, that’s not exactly true. I almost always have a lot to say, I couldn’t find a way to properly express myself. And that’s not exactly true either. I’ve been in a slump as of late. Eating was way out of control. What I was eating was way out of control. My yoga mat actually collected dust. Yes, it was that bad.

This weekend I decided to regain control of myself. I can’t expect anyone to do it for me. I have to do it myself. The good news is, I have not had a drink of alcohol in nearly six months. The awesome news is I almost never miss it. The bad news is, I’ve been eating processed garbage and wanting more. The horrible news is, I’ve indulged in that unhealthy want.

A few weeks ago I watched a documentary film called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”. It was an “oh shit” moment watching it. Joe Cross, a wealthy Australian, decided to try a 30 day juice fast. He flew to the US and drank nothing but water and his juices. And lost a phenomenal amount of weight, became healthier and inspired a lot of people. I saw this film and wanted to try juicing. And getting healthier. Instead, I drove to the grocery store and instead of buying fruit and vegetables I bought cookies, ice cream and chocolate. And then I ate them.

Yesterday I want to a discount store and bought a juicer. I’ve been pricing them out online and at various department stores and decided that I didn’t want to spend $100. So I checked the discount store and got exactly what I wanted for $40. I then went to the grocery store next door and bought parsley, spinach, lemons, cucumber, apples, and carrots. I came home, washed the juicer and tried one of the recipes I found online. I won’t lie. It was pretty bad. I drank almost all of it, but was having difficulty getting over the green colour. And the smell. Ick.

I found a 30 day juice challenge that I signed up for. Each day I get a new recipe to try. The idea is to gradually build up to more exotic juices and to gradually revamp your diet and lifestyle to be healthy. I like it! I don’t know that I could make a 30 day commitment to juice fast and look after this family. A lot of the meetings I have are during a meal.

This way I can make the commitment to have the juice, either for breakfast or for lunch, or perhaps even both and see what happens. I’m going to give it a try. I’m going to commit to juicing every, single day for the 30 days. Then I may try a 5 days juice fast as a Lenten discipline. We’ll see how it goes.

I am in the process of detoxifying. Feeling lousy, headache, no energy, poor skin. Within the next week or two I will feel much better. And within that time I will be making healthier meals at home. Keeping my hands and body busy, when not working, with exercise or stretching. I would love to say I will walk every day and do 30 minutes of yoga every day. But the reality is, I’m not yet there, the key word being “yet”.

I will get there.

This summer I will buy a two piece bathing suit and wear it in public. Knowing I won’t ever have a bikini body, I will still wear it because I will have a healthy body and an awesome attitude. I know I will never be a single digit size and be healthy. But I do know that I will be a healthy double-digit size with a bit of attitude to spare.

I am who God created, and I am treating my body as a thing of beauty and something which must be respected.

Yes, I fell off the wagon and I fell hard. But now I have a shiny stainless steel juicer sitting at the ready on my kitchen counter. That makes me feel good. I made the prescribed juice with carrots, apples and celery (all of which I really enjoy) and it was pretty good. My Beloved even drank some as well.

The 30 day juice challenge is for me. And only for me. Because it is time. And I am ready.

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It’s the time of year when so many people say “I can’t wait for this year to be over, next year is going to be so much better”. And what does that really mean?

Yes, 2013 has been a tough year for the community in which I live. There have been so many deaths and looking out at the congregation on Christmas Eve at 7:00 pm I had a catch in my throat through nearly the whole service. Looking out and seeing the families who are at their first Christmas Eve service since their loved one died. And feeling lost. I understand that feel very well.

On the radio and all over the internet, there are top 10 lists and “Best Of” lists and montages of 2013. Many people find it necessary to make Resolutions, as though the new year isn’t really a new year unless there is a list of often unattainable resolutions. THIS is the year I will run the Boston Marathon (and yet, getting up to the fridge during commercials makes one winded). THIS is the year I will lose 100 lbs (and yet not change eating habits or exercise in any way). THIS is the year I will meet Mr or Ms Right (and never leave the house) etc.

For me, resolutions are a recipe for disaster and I refuse to make them. What I do, instead, is look at my lifestyle from time to time, usually every 3 – 4 months and see where I am physically, spiritually, mentally, etc and decide if there are changes I should make or new habits I should incorporate. And then I do them.

Putting pressure on one night, New Years Eve, is crazy. It’s too much pressure. And it sets us up to failure. How many gyms has fantastic “resolution” specials, and by the first of February they are back to near empty? How many people have gym memberships that are virtually untouched? How many of us have exercise equipment that collects dust or holds unworn clothing?

This year I refuse to bend to pressure to make and share resolutions. I will live my life as healthy as I can. I will continue to reduce stress and to put myself higher on the priority list. I will be more diligent at taking care of myself and my family. I will continue to stamp out negative talk and self-shaming chatter, in my head and in the mouth of my daughter. There will continue to be no room for H8 in my house, and plenty of room for LOVE.

I still struggle as a food addict. I still have days when I hurt. And yet, these addictions and abuse do not define who I am. Or what I do. They are a part of my life, and likely always will be. And the living will be in the tension of finding the correct balance. Some days will be easier than others, just like always.

Live your life, love who you are. Make adjustments because you want to, not because of society’s pressure to do so. Eliminate H8 and love with all you are and with everything you have.

THAT is how we will change the world. Not with resolutions, but with love.

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You may wonder why this Christmas post is actually the 26th of December? Well, after three services on Tuesday, one yesterday followed by Home Communion I was physically, emotionally and spiritually spent. I was empty. And so I slept, and slept, and slept. I likely could have slept longer, but at some point you are expected to return to the world.

Christmas is about gathering. Gathering with congregation, with family and friends. It’s not about gifts, and if the day came that there was absolutely nothing material given to me, I wouldn’t mope. I am fortunate, to be in a place where I can buy myself, most of the things I need and want. If there’s something I can’t afford, I wait until I can afford it, or I don’t buy it. I didn’t always feel this way. Most Christmases past were financed by my credit card. And it would feel good to buy with relative abandon. Then I’d add up the receipts and be gobsmacked and furious that I had spent so much.

My credit card always carried a balance. And after Christmas was usually at its maximum limit. So when the bill arrived in January I would open it with a sense of dread. Then I would pull out a piece of paper, a calculator and figure out what money was coming in, what bills needed to be paid and how much I could put on the credit card to try to pay it down as quickly as possible. But I didn’t learn.

In September my beloved and I decided we wanted to make debt reduction a priority, and so we applied for a loan and paid off the credit card and both of our lines of credit. We still have an overdraft because sometimes we the loan payment comes out before he has a chance to deposit his paycheque. At first I thought I’d miss being able to plunk down the credit card when I saw something that I had to have. But I don’t.

Instead of wandering around a store when I want to pass time, I meditate or go for a walk. I spend time on my yoga mat or in my sanctuary, reading, being still or simply breathing. And it’s awesome. I am going to take a garbage bag into the home office, as the dog got in there recently and tore apart of whole lot of stuff. I am going to fill the garbage bag with things that are broken or simply not needed and get rid of them. Either to the garbage or to the back of my car and off to an agency that will use them, such as Neighbourhood Closet, Goodwill or Value Village. And it will be awesome.

Since I have been lightening my financial load, I notice that my waistline is thinning somewhat as well. I think I have finally learned to stop self-medicating with food or shopping. Could it be that I am finally learning, after all these years? Imagine that!

So this Christmas has been very Merry. I didn’t get a chance to see my Mam or my brother and sister-in-law and nephews, but soon I will. I don’t have to eat all the things put in front of me. I don’t have to spend my way into a coma to feel good about myself and how much I can give away. All I need to do is give of myself and that will be a good thing.

Because I am enough.

And so are you.

My wish for you is that your Christmas be content. That you feel joy, hope, peace and especially love. And that you realise that you have everything you need within you.

God Bless xo

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There’s always just one more thing…to buy, to bake, to eat, to send, to make, to write, to mail.

I remember being a student minister in a very challenging multi-point parish and my supervisor piling more and more on my plate. About a month into the summer I pushed back, saying I couldn’t do any more than I was doing. And for the first time all summer he smiled. He said he had been pushing me because he wanted to teach me a lesson…you will never get it all done.

I struggle with the separation of Advent and Christmas. With Christmas and Epiphany. It seems every year, no matter how well organised I am, the Seasonal letter doesn’t get out until Advent III. It should be out Advent II. I’m working on the letter this week, getting them printed, folded, envelopes addressed, etc. Sunday is Advent III “Joy”.

I’m looking at magazines and websites for healthier Christmas baking alternatives. And I have to say, my heart isn’t in it. That may also be because I’ve been struggling with a chest cold for nearly a week. I don’t handle being sick very well. I’m incredibly impatient with what I want to do, and what I need to do. Then there’s what I feel I have time to do, etc.

My Beloved and I made a decision a few months ago to give up our lines of credit and credit cards. We both know the tendency we share to overspend this time of year. We simply cannot afford it. Recently I was invited to partake in a Mission Trip in April 2014 to Haiti to visit our Parish Prayer Partner. I would love to go, the experience would be life changing, but the reality of it, is that we cannot afford it.

We are on a repayment plan through a consolidation loan so that we are actively paying down debt without incurring any new debt. Bottom line. If we don’t have the money, we can’t buy it. Simple solution, eh?

We have a Visa Debit card, so if we need to make a purchase on-line for something i.e train tickets, we can do that with our Visa Debit card. Yay! A good friend of mine got rid of her credit card years ago and it was the best thing she ever did. All purchases are made from what is available in her bank account. If there isn’t enough money, she simply cannot buy it. IMAGINE!

I’ve done some decorating and I’m pleased with what has been done. I still need to finish up outside, but it’s been too cold to do much of anything. Hopefully Thursday the weather will be a bit milder so I can finish hanging the green. I don’t put up lights because I don’t think it’s environmentally responsible for us to do so. And with the age of the house its a fire hazard as well.

We burn lots of candles this time of year, celebrating Advent and the shorter days. By the end of this week I plan to have our Christmas cards made and mailed. It’s a very short list this year. Most people will be receiving Christmas cards via email. Some folks get a physical card. It’s not fair, but that’s simply the way it is.

I plan to have the dining room table, once again used as a dining room table, by the end of this week.

Slowly but surely, I’m seeing the changes in myself as we move through the season of Advent, a season of anticipation, of waiting, of wonder and of awe.

There will always be pressures of the season, with every season. But I don’t have to succumb to them.

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