I suck at Lent

I don’t know about you, but usually around this time in the Lenten season I feel really bad because I totally suck at Lent.  During the rest of the year I do a fair job with my daily prayer, giving my time, talent and treasure. Maybe I’m just being hard on myself but by week two of Lent I realize how much I’m failing. This year I really thought hard about what I should “give up” for Lent, we all sat at the dining table on Ash Wednesday and decided what each of us would do. We decided as a family to give up pizza, something that we all enjoy a little too often in our house. The kids gave up the usual treats, video games, and I agreed but I still was thinking on something that was a real challenge for me. My husband begged me not to give up caffeine (something I’ve done in the past that obviously didn’t go well) and I begged my daughter not to give up meat (something she’s done in the past that was more penance for me than for her). After the kids went to bed I sat and thought about it some more and then I knew what I needed to give up; I was going to give up an hour of sleep each day. Anyone that knows me could affirm the fact that I’m not a morning person. I planned on waking each morning by 6:00 to spend the hour before the kids got up to read scripture and pray.  The next day my husband woke me up at 5:00am because his back went out and he needed help getting up to go to the bathroom. The rest of the day involved me taking him to the appointments and playing nurse. The following day wasn’t much better and I was up again at 1am with my teething toddler that wouldn’t go back to sleep. Needless to say I was exhausted. This is how it’s been for me the since Ash Wednesday, sleepless nights which result in me sleeping through my alarm. In a way I’m still giving up sleep but I can’t help the feelings of failure. I guess that’s the whole point of Lent, to show us how much we really need God’s mercy. I didn’t come to this conclusion until I saw Father Mike Schmitz’s video about why we fast. Fasting is about just saying “yes” to the Holy Spirit, to ask for help when we are struggling and to use the suffering that we experience to go deeper into our prayers. Yesterday I read a prayer that really helped drive the message in deeper:

Disturb us O Lord when we are too well pleased with ourselves, when our dreams have come true because we dreamed to little, when we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us O Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess we have lost our thirst for the waters of life; having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity. And in our efforts to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, O Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas where storms will show your mastery; where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.

We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes; and to push us in the future in strength, courage, hope and love.

Sir Francis Drake wrote this in 1577 before he set out to be the first man to circumnavigate the world and yet it is so true even in modern times. We all have so much and have let materialism (the glamour of evil) take hold of us and distract us from the ultimate treasure, eternal life in heaven. We get comfortable with everyday routine and we forget that it’s in the disturbances that we grow in our faith.  If you are looking to go deeper this Lent please know that it is not too late, I’ll list a few links below with options that friends of mine are participating in and I pray that you are challenged this Lent just as I am because it is in the struggles of life that we are a true witness to God’s beautiful mercy!


Dynamic Catholic – Best Lent Ever “Don’t give up chocolate this Lent

Danielle Bean author of Momnipotent – Daily emails and inspirations.

Ascension Press – Great videos by Father Mike Schmitzs explain the Catholic teachings in a way everyone can understand.




Feeling Embarrassed

“We get embarrassed that our clothes are last year’s fashion, that our vehicle costs less than the neighbor’s, or that our house is smaller than our guest’s. We apologize for the worn carpet, make excuses for the outdated kitchen, or point out specifically why we haven’t updated the counter tops yet but what would happen if we stopped getting embarrassed over the wrong things and started pursuing the right things?” Joshua Becker – Becoming Minimalist

This morning as I lay in bed I was looking at the pile of laundry that has been growing on my bedroom floor since the week before Christmas. I picked up my phone and started to flip through my Facebook feed when I came across a post from Becoming Minimalist that got me thinking about some things. I don’t always pick up my phone right away in the morning but I didn’t sleep well and I was feeling warm all snuggled up. With all of the preparations there are for the holidays I had neglected some of my usual tasks, such as taking care of my own laundry. There was a mix of some clean, some dirty, underneath hid a basket of mismatched socks and random items.  Anytime someone came over I made quick to shut my bedroom door because I was embarrassed that someone would see my mess as they went to use the bathroom which is right across the hall.  I haven’t had time to take care of my pile, everyday presented other tasks that didn’t require me to stay closed into my room but that true fact was I didn’t want to take care of it. I have been procrastinating to say the very least.

Usually after Christmas comes and goes I feel a great sense to purge. Maybe it’s because it feels good to put things back in there place and get rid of the things that don’t belong or maybe it’s because with all the new gifts from Christmas I realize we have too much stuff.  This year, as I look at my huge pile of clothes, my basement that is overflowing with stuff, my kitchen cupboards that hardly close I am feeling a major sense to purge.  I’ve been working a lot on my spiritual life and purging the things that don’t fill me spiritually. I don’t watch television, I’ve changed the types of movies that I watch, music that I listen to, people that I spend my time with but I feel God calling me to do more.  Could this be it?

I admit, I wanted to race right over to Herberger’s after Christmas for the great door buster deals, but then I looked at my growing pile of clothes and realized that I didn’t NEED anything. I wanted to buy some new boots, a few new tops to wear this winter and maybe a pair of jeans. Joshua Becker wrote about being embarrassed over the wrong things.  How embarrassed I felt when I realized that I wanted more when I already have too much. How embarrassed I felt when I thought of those that may not have enough warm clothes to wear let alone a pair of fashionable boots that will keep me warm and make me feel cute. “ What if, instead of being embarrassed over the quality and quantity of our possessions, we became embarrassed over how much money we have spent on our own selfish pursuits?” This sentence struck a chord in me but I got up, out of my warm and cozy bed to make breakfast for the babes. I thought about this while I made eggs and emptied the dishwasher. I thought about how I really needed to start just giving things away. Then I sat down to read Molly her devotion for the day and this is what I read.

“I will bless you with incredible blessings. Genesis 22:17. Have you ever begged your mom or dad to buy you something at the store? Sometimes we think we need more than what we have. But God really has given us all kinds of wonderful things. We have families who love us, friends to play with, food to eat and houses to keep us safe and warm. And we have Jesus in the Eucharist. That’s a lot to be happy about!” – Blessings Everyday

God speaks to me, all the time! Most of the time it sounds like Bumblebee from Transformers, all broken up and from different places but He speaks. I spend so much time putting things away, it is ridiculous. Time that I could be writing, time that I could be playing with my kids, time that could be spent reading meaningful books or in prayer. How could I ignore this message that is so very clear? We all have so much, couldn’t we give some of it up to those who may actually NEED it? What is God calling you to do? Could it be that unexplained desire to go to confession or the unexplained thought you had about spending time in adoration? Those thoughts that pop up and don’t go away are God. When you read something that really hits home, do something about it because that is God calling you to do more.

Update: I donated 2 garbage bags full of just my clothes and have 3 more downstairs of the kids’ clothes to give to friends!



I’m A Mess

“I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” – Philippians 4:11-13 (MSG)

Today I’m a mess.  It is 11:27 am as I write this and I am sitting in my pajamas. I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet. I’ve eaten animal crackers and several cups of Lipton tea but nothing of any substance because I just can’t pull myself together enough to even think of what I want to eat let alone prepare it for myself. The kids had animal crackers and eventually eggs for breakfast. I can’t focus.  My husband came home from an appointment and his natural reaction was to try to fix the problem. He throws out suggestion after suggestion and finally I tell him that he doesn’t need to fix this for me, I’m just having an off day. He thinks that because he’s my husband that it’s his job to make me happy. I quickly correct him and say that he’s foolish because he can’t possibly make me happy ALL the time. I tell him that I’m not un-happy, I’m just having an off day.

As I’m rocking baby George to sleep, praying that he will actually fall asleep and stay asleep, I read a short story from a book I just bought. It’s about finding contentment and being happy despite the mess and tears of being a mom. Then it really sinks in, I am truly happy. Despite the lack of sleep, the dirty dishes, the smell of poop coming from my bathroom I AM HAPPY.  I’ve struggled with depression for many years and I can finally say that I am happy.

I can laugh at myself. I can find joy in the struggle.  I can see beauty past the darkness. I can enjoy a beautiful fall day at a pumpkin patch with my family even though I’m exhausted, fighting a cold and would be perfectly content just going to sleep. It’s through God alone that this has happened and I am glad. Does this mean that my life is perfect? No, but I don’t need it to be perfect anymore. God doesn’t expect me to be perfect and when I have off day’s like today I know that everything will be ok because what I don’t do today will be waiting for me tomorrow.  So for now I’m fine with being a mess, in fact I’m quite happy to be a mess because the messy house means I have children that are happy and safe, the dirty dishes means I have plenty of food to keep me going, the lack of sleep will eventually balance itself out and I will be happy that I spent the day in my pajamas, eating animal crackers and playing dress up with my Molly.  Now I’m going to crack open a can of soup and rock baby George back to sleep while it simmers on the stove.


Business As Usual

Life has been so busy lately! I don’t know if it’s just me but August this summer has flown by in almost an instant. We’ve been super busy with work at the ballroom, the kids have been busy with summer activities, family has been visiting from California and I feel the time is just racing by. Maybe it’s because I’m constantly planning for the next month/months ahead but I just want to slow down for a few days. I have a lot of book work to catch up on but I just want to do my laundry. Yes… I WANT TO DO MY LAUNDRY! Change the sheets, put my clothes away, take some time to read and pray. I’ve been enjoying my time at adoration and I feel like I just want to go to church ALL the time. It’s crazy, the closer I feel to Jesus the more time I want to spend with Him. I tried explaining this to my 13 year old the other day but he just looked at me like I was insane but the truth is my heart is on fire for Jesus Christ! I feel like I’m 14 again and have my first boyfriend. I just want to talk to Him all the time, spend time with Him, think about Him. It’s not exactly like having a new boyfriend, that would be a little weird but that’s the closest thing I can relate it too. The more time I spend with the Eucharist the more I can feel the will of God, life events are making more sense to me, I actually feel God’s love for me and I’m becoming more childlike in my trust for Him. I have a lot more to say about some events that have happened in the recent month concerning St. Therese but I’m still trying to sort it all out. Life has been really awesome lately despite being super busy. I am so greatly BLESSED and I just want everyone to know that it’s all because of God!



We just returned from a road trip to the Wisconsin Dells with our 5 children. The trip started off on a bad note, stress had gotten the better of me and I lost my temper with the kids, who were only excited about leaving. I think most of my anxiety was in anticipation of how bad it could be. I had been prepping things for weeks, itineraries, games for the car ride, spending money, packing for everyone, snacks for the car, food for the hotel. Then there were the preparations for home and work; making sure the laundry was all done, the house was clean, sheets were changed, bills paid, bank deposits made, I had paperwork that needed to be taken care of before leaving. Also, it was not my ideal place to take a vacation; a loud waterpark, full of loud kids people, only after a 5 ½ 9 hour car ride (we had to make a few stops for the babe). My anger and frustrations leached onto my husband, we were crabby at each other and for a good portion of the ride we held onto that anger. It wasn’t until the saint of the day came on the radio, Saint Rita (patron saint of difficulties in marriage) that I prayed for the first time all day. We both laughed and it really lightened the mood from that point on.  The trip turned out to be better than I had expected, despite forgetting my well planned itinery on my desk. The kids had a great time, we at least got to be away from the telephone for a few days and are planning another trip in a few months but looking back on the whole thing makes me a little sad.

I’m sad because I let stress and worry steal my joy. My faith must not be as strong as I thought it was because I didn’t offer any of that up, I kept it inside and I let it eventually erupt into a big ugly mess. Jesus said in Matthew 6:27 “who of you by worrying can add a single hour of this life?” I think most moms can agree that there is so much to plan for when traveling with kids but I know after this whole experience that I need to focus more on the joy and less on the to do list. It is frightening how easily the devil can distract me from the Lord, especially frightening in the ways he distracts and tempts me. My To Do List rarely includes playing with my kids or spending intimate moments with my husband and when I can’t get EVERYTHING on my list done I become discouraged which leads to stress and worry. I get so wrapped up on getting everything done that I allow the devil to steal my joy. I understand that there are things that must be crossed off that list but I need to work on discerning what is important and what is not so important.  The kids won’t remember how nice it was to come home to a clean house after vacation, they will just remember that mom was so crabby before vacations and I don’t want to be remembered as being a crabby mom. I want my kids to remember the joyful, fun loving mom that didn’t worry about the little things. I’m also sad because I didn’t take a single picture the whole time we were gone (I definitely need to work on that).

A quick side note, I’ve decided to start writing/blogging again for those of you that have been waiting. After I had baby number 5 I really needed to take some time off but I definitely feel God pulling me to write again. Sadly, when I stopped blogging at http://www.ismomhome.com I lost all of my previous posts when I didn’t renew the site.  I don’t know what I will write about now or how often I will post but thank you for following me on this journey!




ISO: A Friend

ISO: A Friend

Female, age 31 in search of a true friend. Someone to have coffee with and go shopping on occasion. Someone with a “different” sense of humor that likes action movies. Must be honest, trustworthy and have a positive attitude. Must like kids and beer.

I often struggle with relationships. Perhaps it’s a character flaw or maybe just a personality trait but I’ve never had a lot of lasting friendships. When I was growing up I got along with everyone, played kickball with the boys and jump rope with the girls. I preferred playing with the boys actually, they were less dramatic, but as I got older this became a problem and I seemed to have alienated myself somehow from the girls and the boys, well their hormones started kicking in. Middle school was a nightmare. I switched schools and didn’t know many people so I hopped from group to group trying to find where I fit in. Being in Band and having headgear made me less than desirable amongst most middle school girls and I was a little weird so that didn’t help me either.

Once I started high school I was suffering with my emotions, trying to deal with a crazy mother and the loss of my rock, my grandfather. I went into a dark place and most of my friends didn’t understand, what 14 year old does? Needless to say, I alienated myself again and became the quiet loner. I had my pals in band, they were fun in class but I never bonded with anyone closely. Then there was Rebecca, we met in one of our classes, maybe math now that I think of it. We became really great friends. We liked things that other people didn’t understand. We hung out, listened to Blink182 and dreamed about all the tattoos that we would get when we turned 18. We were great friends, shared everything with each other, supported one another. Then graduation came and my parents snatched me up and moved us to another town, hours away. Rebecca and I lost contact eventually and our once strong friendship fizzled into the atmosphere.

As an adult, I have not made any lasting connections with anyone other than my husband. He is my best friend and the only one that I have to talk to about life. I look at women my age that have these groups of friends, women that they can hang out with, go on trips with, have coffee or an occasional beer with to talk about life and lift each other up. For so long I convinced myself that I didn’t need that in my life, that I was self-reliant and I could entertain myself. Well I was wrong, it sucks being alone!

Lately I feel God calling me to work on my relationships.  I would love to have a true friend, just one. Someone that I could go shopping with, that is positive and fun to be around. Someone that encourages me, supports me and I would do the same for her. Someone that likes the things I like, someone to take girl weekends with and talk to on the phone once in a while. Truth be told I’m a little envious of the groups of lady friends because I don’t know what that’s like, to be loved and cared for by a person that doesn’t expect to have sex at the end of the night (no offense babe). So if you are out there and you’re truly looking for a friend, a sister from another mister, give me a shout because I could really use someone in my life that wants to be my friend.

Body, Wellness, Wellness Journey

Candida what?

Shortly after I stated my plan for waking up at 5:30 every morning I had a visit with my midwife. It was my yearly lady physical and when I showed her the rash on my arms she suggested that I had a problem with yeast overgrowth. I told her that my chiropractor had mentioned the same thing a few weeks earlier and so she recommended I started a Candida Diet for a while until I get my yeast under control.  It has been a nightmare. I did what I do best and started researching this diet and began eating the prescribed items. Which is basically just vegetables. Then I began agonizing over all of the things that I couldn’t eat! I’m trying to have a better attitude but it has been nothing short of torture. Getting up early was not going to be an option for a while.

“It is easier to change a man’s religion than to change his diet.” -Margaret Mead

I don’t know if it’s only a man thing because take away this woman’s chocolate and someone might get hurt. No dairy, no bread, no pasta, no beer, no sweets…pretty much everything that I eat on a typical day is no longer okay for me to have. I like vegetables and I’ve been telling myself that I need to adopt better eating habits. The funny thing about God is when you ask for something He gives it to you even if that means an overgrowth of yeast in your body.

It has been a few months now since I’ve started this Candida Diet, I do allow myself to eat treats occasionally otherwise I end up binging and feeling like crap for about four days. I have noticed a difference, especially when I eat something that I shouldn’t have. Today for example I ate two hot dogs from the gas station, nine hours later and I’m still feeling like crap. I wish I could just throw up and start over but I can’t and now I have to wait this yucky feeling out until tomorrow. Feeling like crap is motivation in itself to eat better.

I know that I have a long way to go because I still have cravings. What I have learned is that when you are having a craving, that craving is your body’s way of telling you that you need something. Have you ever craved a banana? That means you need potassium. Have you ever craved steak? You need iron. When you have a candida overgrowth the yeast craves sugar in a bad way. The sugar feeds the yeast and the cycle goes on and on. Add some stress to the mix, a few doses of antibiotics and now you have an overgrowth of candida yeast.  Then once you start starving the candida you get these horrible “die off” symptoms that make you want to just give up and eat the cupcake. The symptoms that I have felt are fatigue, nausea, body aches, headaches, moodiness, pretty much feeling like shit bad all the time until the yeast dies off. There is a little more to it but that sums it up.

I’ve have found a few different sources of information on the subject but I’ve found the book titled The Candida Cure by Ann Boroch to be the most helpful, along with www.thecandidadiet.com. Also, for some food inspiration (because you can only eat so much chicken, rice and veg) I’ve been following different hashtags on my Instagram account, check out #candidadiet, #candida, #plantbased.

On a different note, anyone who may be following this blog can find me now at www.ismomhome.com. I’m trying to step up my game a little bit and try out this self hosting business. Hopefully everything switches over but I’m not quite sure how to get all of my posts transferred. So far I’ve learned everything by watching videos on YouTube and I really haven’t had much luck in this department!