Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Interior Castle ~ Prologue & General Introduction

I am going to blog my way through The Interior Castle by St Teresa of Avila, Study Edition. I am sharing on another forum and thought as long as I am already typing my thoughts out there I would also include them here in case I ever wanted to print anything out for a binder or journal book (via blurb).    I wasn't sure that I wanted to publish it as a blog post or as a page.  Originally I thought page so as not to bore anybody.  However, pages don't all for separations and it would get very lengthy, not to mention the fact that I lost a "post" because it didn't auto save.  So here it is.  I will post once a week.  More than likely Sunday once I get myself all caught up after today's fiasco.

If you like you are welcomed to join in comments section whether you have read the book.

In the General Introduction:

"the important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." In Teresa's thinking, love "doesn't consist in great delight but in desiring with strong determination to please God in everything, in striving, insofar as possible, not to offend him, and in asking him for the advancement of the honor and glory of his Son".

"One so intimate with His Majesty must walk with special care and attentiveness in the exercise of virtue and with particular emphasis on love of neighbor, humility (the desire to be considered the least), and he faithful performance of ordinary tasks."

"The works of service may be outstanding ones as in Teresa's case, but they need not be. One must concentrate on serving those who are in one's company. 'The Lord doesn't look so much at the greatness of our works as at the love with which they are done.' "

~ something to really think about when I scrub floors!

From the Prologue:

"...the strength given by obedience usually lessens the difficulty of things that seem impossible, I resolved to carry the task very willingly, even though my human nature seems greatly distressed."

~ What a great example to march forward through our human nature, even when we are distressed, or unwilling.

"It's nonsense to think that what I say could matter to other persons. Our Lord will be granting me favor enough if some of these nuns benefit by praising him a little more."

~ So humble.

"...if I mange to say something well the Sisters will understand that this does not come from me since there would be no foundation for it, unless the Lord gave it to me; otherwise they would have as little intelligence as I little ability for such things."

~ Again humility in her praise for our Lord, knowing all good comes from Him and dare, I say caution, to for us (or the Sisters) to make her greater than Our Lord {"they would have little intelligence"}?

Interpretive Notes:

"The reader can be sure that it is Teresa passing through the rooms of her interior castle..."

~I will think of myself passing or hoping to pass through my own Interior Castle.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gluten Free for SAS ~ Six Weeks

We have a about six weeks completed in going gluten free for Karley.  I think it's too early to tell if there have been any changes.  I say this because if there has been any growth, which I think there has, it would seem to me that there would be growth anyway. 

Really the goal would be growth without it falling out rapidly.  That is hard to determine over six weeks.  We originally said we would do this for about three to four months and I can see that it would still be necessary to at least get to that point.

Overall, I can't believe how easy it has been.  As much as we could, we were not speaking about gluten free in front of the kids.  We would say that the doctor didn't want her to eat certain things so her tummy would feel better.  Then one night on our way home from a benefit the kids were asking for movie night and popcorn.  From the third row of the suburban, Karley who never said the words gluten free asked, "Mom, is popcorn gluten free".  I guess the cat was out of the bag and we were the last to know.  We don't really say why she's gluten free, but I guess she probably has figured that out too.  Kids are smarter than we think.  As I said, it's been very easy because Karley has been so good about this.  She doesn't ever complain about not being able to eat cookies when the other kids have them {I do always try and keep gf cookies} or when we are somewhere and she can't have something.  She was really good about not having her Valentine candy from school.  We are amazed at what a great sport she has been. 

I have asked a couple of friends what they think of her progress.  The two comments I received was that her hair looked darker and thicker.  I would love your honest thoughts if you see any results.  If you don't see anything it's okay, really we'd rather not be gluten free so if it's not working, it's easier for us to not be gluten free.  But if we can help her with this by diet, we are all game.  As I said, we will keep going for a couple more months. 

I did not edit these pictures beyond cropping.  I need to make sure I am getting better "same" shots.  I think my model doens't look too happy about doing this for me. 

When I first looked I thought there was a lot of growth but the more I look the more I think not a lot has really happened.  I've been looking too much.

What do you think?


Monday, February 27, 2012

Counting It All Joy

She called for my help.  Wet everywhere, she missed the toilet.  A soft, "sorry" was said from her two year old heart.  Did she worry I was going to be frustrated?  We have to hurry up, get to school, the fury theme of the morning.  Have my past actions or some small word make her tender heart think I was unhappy with her, her mistake?  Did she wonder if she just created more work for me?  I already have enough to do.

These weren't my thoughts yesterday, or today, when it happened for the second day in a row.  My heart melted, like hers, only different.  Thankful each days brings new light and joy.  I am surprised by the joy in my heart yesterday and today when I cleaned my daughter's mess.

A joy that I could serve Him, right where I am, doing exactly what he asked me to do.  Take care of the people entrusted to me, with joy, with gratitude.  And suddenly so easy.  My burden gone.

Make no mistake, I take care for them these people I've been entrusted to.  I cook, clean, launder, drive, read stories, correct, brush teeth, any and all the things a mother does for her children.  A wife does for her husband.  But somewhere along the way, in the busyness of our life, these things became a job.  Each thing became a task to complete, only to get to the one.  If everything is a job yet to do, is there joy?  A job not a passion, me not serving.

I love them.  They are a blessing, a true gift, to which I am most thankful.  Yet, sadly, my thanks and my actions weren't one in the same.

By recommendation of my Spiritual Director, I attempted a three day/two night retreat.  I left the retreat just prior to the close of the final night, with one full day remaining.  The format was uncomfortable for me, I knew it after an hour of being there and struggled through the retreat.  There were many aspects that I did enjoy, meeting a new friend, digging deeper into the Pascal Mystery, being in the candlelit Cathedral, and reconciliation. 

I wondered if I made the right decision but knew all too well where I needed to be after seeing the joy in my husbands face, the squeal in Sophie's laugh when she heard my voice in the dark of the morning.  The big kids were equally as happy but there was something about that squeal of laughter.  There were many other reasons I knew it was the right thing, my coming home. 

I let go over the next few days, grace surrounding.  Grace showing me the way to a happy, joyful heart, here in my home.

Many thanks to the Lord for all my joys, blessings and the Grace the Holy Spirit showers me with.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bible Emergency Numbers

This came by way of my Mother's Group {thanks Mary!}, just had to share.

 Bible Emercency Numbers

- When you are sad, call on John 14
- When you don’t feel loved, call on Romans 8:38-39
- When you have sinned, call on 1 John 1:8-9
- When you are facing danger, call on Psalm 91
- When people have failed you, call on Psalm 27
- When God feel far from you, call on Psalm 139
- When your faith needs encouraging, call on Hebrews 11
- When you are scared, call on Psalm 23
- When you are worried, call on Matthew 6:25-34
- When you are hurt, call on Colossians 3:12-17
- When you feel no one is on your side, call on Romans 8:31-39
- When you are seeking rest, call on Matthew 11:25-30
- When you are suffering, call on Romans 8:18-30
- When you feel you’re failing, call on Psalm 121
- When you pray, call on Matthew 6:9-13
- When you need courage, call on Joshua 1
- When you are in need, call on Philippians 4:19
- When you are hated because of your faith, call on John 15
- When you are losing hope, call on 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
- When you are seeking peace, call on John 14:27
- When you want to do good works, call on John 15
- When you want to live a happy life, call on Colossians 3:12-17
- When you don’t understand what God is doing, call on Isaiah 55:8-9
- When you want to get along with others, call on Romans 12:9-21