Finding Joy Update Six: Rejoice in the Lord Always

Rejoice in the Lord Always, Again I say Rejoice. Philippians 4:4

We are exhorted by Saint Paul to rejoice always, no matter what our circumstances. And, I think this is a lesson the Lord was trying to teach me this week.

In many ways it was a rough week. So rough, I almost didn’t write this post. There was stress upon stress, culminating with my husband landing in the emergency room – where he is now as I write this.

Still, there has been joy. Joy in little moments. Joy with my son. Joy with the family. Joy in the Lord. The joy comes from the understanding  and peace knowing that God is in charge.  I can’t control the craziness surrounding me, but I can control how I respond.

Surrender. Trust. Believe. May HIS will be done, NOT mine.

**Just to let you know that my husband is finally home from the hospital. They didn’t have to admit him, thank the Lord.
(If you want to know why I’m looking for joy or missed an update you can find previous posts here.)

Finding Joy Update: Week Five

Wondering what the Finding Joy series is about or missed a week? Here’s week one, week two, week three and week four.

This was not a good week. I feel like I took one step forward last week and three back this week. {sigh}

Finding joy in God:

In spite of getting to bed earlier this week, I still struggled in the prayer department. I am taking my friend Anne’s advice and “NOT SWEAT IT” (her words 🙂 ). As prayer is proving to be dry and difficult, I am relying on short aspirations and lifting my heart to the Lord during short moments during the day. I try to do my regular prayers (meditation, rosary, etc) but can’t so, I’m trying to offer up my dryness to the Lord. May His Holy Will be done.

On top of this, my cousin’s wife passed away last Friday. She died of cancer at the age of 56. I take consolation that she died at 3:10PM, during the hour of Divine Mercy. Still, my heart breaks. She was such a good woman and someone I cared about. Besides that, we have had 5 close family members die in  a little over a year. I have faith and trust in the Lord, but it is still hard…

Finding joy in my husband:

My husband was on the road again most of this week, so we didn’t have much time alone; but he should be home for the weekend. I am continuing with my goal to find little ways to make my husband’s life easier; which has been easy since he hasn’t been home!

Finding joy in my son:

Things have been better this week. Not great, but better. He still is having more “moments” then he has had in a while, but I’m doing a little better staying calm. My son had a day and a half trip with his grandparents, which helped! Gave me some alone time. I also took (am taking) the week off of school just to have some summer fun – in spite of the wicked heat.

Finding joy in self care.

I exercised twice this week and I know that I have to make some improvement in this area. I’ve also been experimenting with my intermittent fasting window. I’ve tried different times and am finding that my best window time is 4pm – 9pm, so I am going to try and stick with that time frame.

Little ways I’ve found joy this week.

My husband and I spent time with my cousin on Sunday. He is holding up okay. It’s hard but he is comforted by the fact that he was with her when she passed and for the time they had together. They were married 20 years.

I enjoyed the peace and free time I had while my son was with his grandparents and my husband was at work. Although, I did feel weird sleeping alone with no one in the house.

How did (are) you finding joy this week? Come share your joys with us over at Angie’s Many Little Blessings.

Finding Joy Update: Week Four

Wondering what the Finding Joy series is about or missed a week? Here’s week one, week two and week three.

This was not a good week. I feel like I took one step forward last week and three back this week. {sigh}

Finding joy in God:

Oh my, my prayer life this week was quite sucky and I have no one to blame but myself. I took out a bunch (well, 5 to be exact) of books from the library and wound up staying up way late (for me) reading them – 11:30 or 12. Basically, I read 1 full book a day and they weren’t all small books – Pride and Prejudice was one of them.

Staying up late meant I had a hard time getting up in the  morning, so I overslept and everyday seemed like a race to get done the things I needed to. Then I’d settle down in the evenings, start reading and of course, ran into the same thing the next day. So, I’m sorry to say that I missed  my meditation time, missed Mass and feel asleep while trying to pray the rosary.

Finding joy in my husband:

My husband was on the road, so we didn’t have much time alone; but we did have some fun family time. I am trying now to find ways to do little things to make his life a bit easier. I’m continuing this goal. I’m noticing my husband responding positively; and, I’m noticing that I’m changing in my view of my husband – in a good way. 🙂

Finding joy in my son:

My son, my son. He was in a rare mood this week that made dealing with him difficult. He was cranky and tantrum-y. He gave me a hard time about everything and anything. Even the lure of reading to him didn’t work and he gave me a hard time at bedtime. He was disagreeable and annoying. I was at a point where I didn’t even want to be in the same room with him. Nothing worked, not the discipline jar, time-outs, losing privileges. I yelled at him more times than I want to admit.

Finding joy in self care.

I made time for the eliptical machine 4 times this week, which is good. Did okay with the intermittent fasting. I’ve been gradually increasing my fasting and I made my fast until 4pm yesterday. Today I broke my fast at 1:30, but closed my window at 6:30 and didn’t succumb to  any late night eating, so that was good.

Little ways I’ve found joy this week.

This past Sunday we went to my husband’s cousin’s house to celebrate her daughter’s graduation from high school. Met (or got re-aquainted with) some of Michael’s family. I always thought I had a large family; but, wow, his family is huge!

In spite of the late nights I mentioned above, I read some good books this week, which always bring me joy. I love to read. If I could, I’d do nothing but read. 🙂

My mother-in-law took my son to the beach which gave me some alone time to get some work done, including a video for my business.

How did (are) you finding joy this week? Come share your joys with us over at Angie’s Many Little Blessings.

Finding Joy Update: Week Three

Wondering what the Finding Joy series is about or missed a week? Here’s week one and week two.

This was a good week! I still have a lot of progress to make; but, in spite of some big stresses this week, I was able to stay grounded in the Lord. This has helped me begin to re-discover the “joy that surpasses understanding”. 🙂

Finding joy in God:

I’ve been praying the decade of the rosary every day this week. Now I feel called to add another decade. So my new goal is to pray two decades of the rosary – not necessarily in a row.

My in-bed meditation continues. BUT, I’ve been more focused and able to stay mostly alert during the the meditation time. Twice I’ve stayed in meditation for 15 minutes. 🙂

My biggest stride has been getting to mass. I’ve been to mass everyday this week so far except once. My goal was to make to Mass twice this week, so I happily surpassed this goal. I am going to make it my new goal (to play it safe) is to make it to Mass four times a week. I can’t even say how wonderful it feels to be able to receive Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist!

Finding joy in my husband:

My husband was on the road, so we didn’t have much time alone; but we did have some fun family time. I am trying now to find ways to do little things to make his life a bit easier.

Finding joy in my son:

Last week i complained about how impatient I get when it takes him so long to get dressed or ready for bed. This week I built in that extra time into our routines. He wasn’t too happy about starting his bedtime routine earlier, but it has been working. I’m not as pressed to get him to dress quicker. I’ve also been spending even more time reading to him, which has been an incentive to get him moving!

As for focused fun time, I finally got over myself and spent some time playing with him. I’ve played hide and seek, and our version of one-on-one basketball. And you know what? It was fun! I enjoyed the time with him and I love his enthusiasm, spontaneous joy and laughter.

Finding joy in self care.

Still sucking in the exercise department. It is just so not fun for me. I enjoy the elliptical machine, but even that gets boring after a while. {sigh} I have been doing better in the food department. I’m gradually working up to full Fast-5 Intermittent Fasting, and right now I’m eating two meals a day. My new goal is to postpone that first meal by one more hour.

Finding joy in the home.

I am dropping this goal temporarily while we are staying with my in-laws. I am still learning not to be such a perfectionist, and I’m moving this goal to self-care.

Little ways I’ve found joy this week.

On Sunday my sister invited us to join her to the pool club she belongs to. It was a blast. My husband, son and I had long moments of alone time in the pool and it was so much fun!!

Lots of laughter this week. My son was heavy on telling corny jokes which brought many, many smiles.

Had some moments of quiet and peace which gave me much joy.

How did (are) you finding joy this week? Come share your joys with us over at Angie’s Many Little Blessings.

Finding Joy: Week Two

So, we are on week two in our journey to finding joy. I did okay, not great, but okay. I’m not going to kick myself in the head over it, though. I am going to rejoice over small successes. Here are this past weeks ups and downs:

Finding joy in God:

I’ve been doing the decade of the rosary almost every day. Missed only once.

I’ve been doing well in spending quiet time with the Lord; however, I need to push myself to get out of bed. Yep. I’ve been trying to do the 10 minutes as soon as I wake up before getting out of bed because it seems like my son has a radar and knows I’m up – even if we are several rooms apart! Then he’s up interrupting my prayer time. The problem is, though, that when I start to pray while in bed, I soon after fall into a daze. I don’t fall asleep but, zone out. Not good for prayer, is it?! Not sure about how to solve this quite yet. Any ideas?

I’ve made it to a daily mass once. It truly was the only day I could make it, so I’ll be satisfied to do that. Next week I’ll aim for twice a week and work my way up.

Finding joy in my husband:

My husband has been working late and tired, so date nights have been out of the question for now. I have been trying to say (authentic) nice things about him to him and not complain when he leaves the closet door open and his clothes lying around. It is such a small thing so I don’t know why I get so crazed that he leaves the closet door open, but I do!

Finding joy in my son:

I think I’ve been a bit more patient, but need to work on this more. “Why does it have to take 5-10 minutes to put on a shirt? Just put it on already and stop jumping around the room!” is an often repeated in a loud voice…

As for focused fun time, I haven’t sat and played a game with him this week; but, we had a weekend of activity during the 4th of July holiday. And yesterday (Wednesday) he was sick with a fever so I spent extra time cuddling and nurturing him. Thankfully it was a 24 hour thing and he’s better now!

Finding joy in self care.

Well, a couple of days after writing last week’s finding joy post I started menstruating. Not a good time for starting a diet and exercise plan due to the cramps and generally feeling yucky. I did try to watch what I ate and stretched a little bit. I’m going to put this goal in high gear in a few more days.

Finding joy in the home.

We are staying at my in-laws until we find a new place (long story), so my goal of creating a loving atmosphere is a bit limited. Will do little things when I can and go into high gear when we move into our new place.

As for accepting the imperfect, well, I have to do that whether I like it or not. 🙂 I’m theoretically closing my eyes to the “messes” or “imperfections” I see and keeping my mouth shut.

Little ways I’ve found joy this week.

Had such a blast visiting my cousin last Sunday. I hadn’t seen her in a long time and we all had a great day.

Had fun at my niece’s 8th grade graduation party. She’s about to be a high schooler now, wow!

Enjoyed some quiet time when my husband and son went to the beach for fireworks and bonding time July 4th evening.

Although my little guy was sick yesterday, it was nice to cuddle and have little conversations. He is so cute and sweet when he’s sick!

How did (are) you finding joy this week? Come share your joys with us over at Angie’s Many Little Blessings.