Today is the feast day for Our Lady of Lourdes. Is it a coincidence that today is also the day I decided for sure that I am going to Europe this summer...to visit Lourdes? I don't think so. The movie "Lourdes" that just so happened to be on EWTN when I was looking at the guide. And even though it wasn't the most well-made flick ever and it was entirely subtitled, I cried and loved it. I also stumbled up the movie "The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima" complete on youtube. Also amazing. I cried, and I also found out it was nominated for an Oscar back in the day. Anyway.
As you know, today was one week on the diet and detoxing from caffeine and soda. I have only had water and milk in the past week. It took a while to get used to it, but then I began to crave the water. Well, today, as a reinforcer, I let myself eat chinese food for dinner with a regular coke. Bad idea. I knew I would feel sick, but I guess I just wanted to see if the food tasted as good when I wasn't craving it. Well, it didn't. In fact, I think I only ate about a quarter of my order before I was searching the house for a bottle of water. And now I feel sickly and can't sleep because of the caffeine. Wonderful. So, drinking the water is helping to heal my body and make me physically healthier.
If simply drinking normal water can do this for my physically, what can the water of Lourdes do for me spiritually and emotionally (or even physically as well)? I'm curious to know.
I'm still not sure why I feel like I should go on this pilgrimage. I didn't even really know much about Fatima or Lourdes before researching it in the past two weeks. But then again, that is how God works in me sometimes. He puts something amazing on my heart or kicks me in the head. But for some reason, I am feeling strongly called to go on this trip in June...and that is why I have decided to go. Now, if only I could locate my passport...it's around here somewhere!
Although, I don't know why this should surprise me. My devotion and relationship with Mary the Mother of God has deepened so much in the past year. She is my spiritual Mother, and I ask her to pray for me more than ever before. It really began with the women's retreat I went on last year at Our Sorrowful Mother's Ministry in Vandalia, Illinois, last year.
Something really special happened at that retreat. I feel that God spoke to me at that place and had two main messages. The first one was: fall before the Rosary. Well, I had never really been that person who prayed the rosary daily. I'd cycle through doing it for a week a couple times a year. But here I am, about 10 months later, trying to pray the rosary daily, closer to Mary, and I own a small business designing and creating handmade rosaries! I would have never guessed that in my wildest dreams! And now I'm going to visit two of the most important Marian sites in the world? What great plans does God have in store for me? Why me? Why such a little soul? Who am I to even speak of Holy? I'm just me.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I really don't know where to begin. I haven't blogged in a while, and things have been happening. Let's start with the fun, shall we? Tonight I baked cookies for my colleagues for Valentine's Day. I, apparently, cannot make cookie-cutter cookies on my countertop with success. I don't know what is wrong with it (or me), but it wouldn't work at all tonight. I decided to just slice and sugar instead. Still tasty.
But I might have eaten one or two (or cookie dough) myself...
I have a lot of colleagues in a LOT of school buildings. I always want to do nice things for them and feel like a part of each school community. However, that would require me to plan for about 20 buildings in 6 school districts each week. That's realistically not going to happen. So I'm doing Valentine's Day to show how much I love everybody. I might even take some to my boss. ;)
Besides the cookie goodness, I've tried to get back on track with my nutrition plan. You might not know it, but in November 2005 (seems so long ago), I joined a local gym and paid (a lot of $$$) for nutrition counseling and personal training. I lost 40 pounds in 3 months. As a result, my self-esteem increased dramatically, I started dating like crazy, and then I gained the weight back. I just couldn't pass up free drinks and desserts from cute boys. I now find myself in the reverse situation. My confidence is pretty high, and I'm dating, but I want to be healthier and try to get back to my fighting weight. :) So...I'm going to try it without shelling out all the moolah. I've already started detoxing from soda. I didn't do this last time, but I'm pretty sensitive to artifical sweeteners, and diet soda really messes with me. So, I'm doing the water thing. I've never really been a big water drinker, but I'm starting to get on the bandwagon. I'm already feeling better. I'm also getting back to my nutrition plan diet. It's kinda boring, but it does the job. Here's what I ate last night:
Oh yeah. That's a spinach salad with oil and vinegar. What you can't see is the grilled chicken and tomatoes at the bottom of the bowl. It was quite tasty. Tonight I had something a little off the diet, but not crazy bad for me: homemade turkey soup from my Mom.
I only ate about a third of it because I was full pretty quickly. Other than the diet change, the only other thing I'm trying to do it remember my vitamins and supplements each day. I'm BAD about taking vitamins, but I'm trying! The exercising will come along as soon as I get the food routine down. I don't want to set myself up for failure, so food first, then exercise. In all honesty, the diet part is the most difficult. I had gotten into a bad routine of eating breakfast at McDonald's every morning and eating fast food for lunch when I was out and about at work everyday. It's no wonder I felt like poop a lot of the time. I remember how I felt when I was working out and eating better - pretty good!
Wish me luck! I need some encouragement!