Thy Will Be Done

thy will be done blessed is she linkup projectblessed thy will be done

I wasn’t going to write a blog post today. I have so much to do. I wasn’t even going to read my Magnificat until bedtime. Then something came over me… Slow down. Put God first. Make time for Him… The rest will follow. So in the gold dust that is toddler naptime, I am ignoring the piles of laundry, the toys strewn on the floor and the messy counter top in the kitchen and I am pondering …

Thy will be done

When I was in my twenties, I was a surfer. Not a good one, but I could catch a wave, pop up and wobble on my board for a few seconds before spashing into the sea. Those moments were amazing… catching the wave and feeling like you were going from 0 – 60 in 3 seconds flat. I can still remember the exhilaration. Then, after falling off my board, there was the long, arduous swim back out to where the waves were breaking, swimming against the tide. It was haaaarrrd work. Sometimes I was battered by the waves. And that’s just how life feels sometimes.

Thy will be done

Society tells us we can be whoever we want to be and do anything we want to do. “If you believe, you can achieve”, right? There are women who have it all and do it all. Our culture is instant: instant messaging, instant answers, instant gratification. We have our jobs to do and errands to run and we want everything done, well, yesterday! But sometimes, when we are working through our to-do lists, it feels like we are swimming against the tide, as every possible obstacle life could throw lands at our feet.

Thy will be done

I am not saying if we choose to do God’s will that life will be easy. No way! To live as a Christian in today’s secular world is to live a counter-cultural life. Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection began with His agony in the garden. As the sweat of blood poured down his face, Jesus prayed to the Father,

‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, let your will be done, not mine.’

(Luke 22:42)

Thy will be done

I am not going to offer answers. I couldn’t. I don’t have them. But, as I sat down with my Magnificat I remembered the opening lines of the St Teresa prayer,

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours…

So, as I gather myself to prepare lunch, feed my daughter and call my husband, I remember that I am not doing my will, but God’s. I pray that through my words and actions I will be like Christ to my daughter, my husband, and everyone I meet today.

Thy will be done.

St Teresa of Avila prayer Christ has no body but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which he looks Compassion on this world, Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good, Christ has no body now on earth but yours. Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, Yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which compassion on this world.

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Making time

Making Time #BISsisterhood Blessed is She

Do you ever feel like life is a treadmill? Like life is a series of events, meetings and endless to-do lists? I am the kind of girl who likes to get to the bottom of her to do list before she sits down with a cuppa so oftentimes, that means I never sit down! There is just so much to do, that if I just keep going, it will get done eventually.

Well, that’s the theory but, as you can imagine, it never pans out that way. Discontent surfaces on two fronts: my unfinished to do list, and never getting round to putting my feet up and unwinding with my husband…

In our fast-moving, multi-tasking, tightly-scheduled lives, the idea of making more time sounds like an impossible dream. But, is it?

If I were able to make more time, I would watch my daughter go to sleep, instead of running through my mental lists while I am at her bedside… I would pick up the phone and call a friend, instead of pinging a text message because its quicker… I would sit down with my husband and immerse myself in his favourite TV show, instead of concentrating on my knitting, and not really watch the show at all.

And what about God? I confess,  I often run out of time with Him too. There are times when I fall asleep while reading my Magnificat. Sometimes, I am so tired I say a very truncated night prayer. Often, I rush through prayer without giving God a chance to say something to me. And spending time with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament chapel seems like it’s no longer an option with a one-year old toddler at my side…

How can I make more time? By putting God first; I could forgo a lie-in to read my Magnificat. I could spend that coffee break reading Scripture instead of a magazine. I could turn off the lunchtime news and pray the Angelus. During a jog or a walk, I could pray the rosary before I let my mind wander. I could make an effort to get to daily Mass on a regular basis. I could even co-ordinate nap time with adoration, and sit in silence with Jesus. Making time can seem impossible, but if we are able to make time for God, then He’ll help us handle the rest.

This post is part of the Blessed Is She link-up on the theme of making time. Head over there to read more posts in the link-up.

7QT: Encounters, Books and Prayer

encounters books and prayer
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1. A blessed meeting
– Have you heard of the Blessed is She community? It’s a community of women online, who connect via blog and Instagram. Every day the Mass readings for the day and a short reflection by a member of the community arrive in my inbox. It sets me up for the day. Through this online community, I connected with a Blessed is She sister who also lives in Ireland, and we met for the first time at the weekend! A happy encounter and the first of many, I hope!

2. Park life– the sun has been shining this week so we have replaced indoor play with outdoor play and trips to the park. Sometimes twice a day! Little T loves the swings and the toddler slide. And watching the other kids, the dogs, and the man cutting the grass… happy days!

3. Longer runs– I’ve mentioned before I recently completed a couch to 5k programme, and I am hoping to run a 10k at the end of the month. Well, I have no official training plan, other than do a couple of 5k runs and one long run per week. The few weeks, I have started doing those longer runs (6k, 7.5k and 8k) and I love them! Changing my route really distracts me from the fact that the run is longer and running up hills I thought I could only roll down has made me appreciate how much my fitness has improved.

4. #UNIRL– #UNIRL, UN Ireland, was trending on Twitter this week. Why? Because a UN committee have said that Ireland must have a referendum on abortion to ensure women and girls in Ireland can fully realise their economic, social and cultural rights. The Committee said that the Irish Constitution appeared to “elevate the unborn to the status of a citizen” and said there was a “contradiction between” the Irish Constitutional right afforded to the unborn and the rights guaranteed by the Covenant “to a woman’s right to life and to health”.

This is being pushed further by so-called human rights organisation, Amnesty International, who fight for human rights while simultaneously denying a person’s first right- the right to life. It’s sad and disheartening to see UN agenda being played out in our small country.

walk softly5. Walk Softly and Carry a Great Bag– Teresa Tomeo, host of EWTN’s Catholic Connection, published this devotional book at the end of last year. I have been dying to get it and it finally arrived through my letterbox this week! Yey! I have only read a few of the reflections, but lets just say, I won’t be putting this book on the bookshelf, I will be carrying it round with me in my bag so I have it to hand when I have a few free minutes for some reading

6. Dawn Eden– speaker and author came to Ireland this week and I managed to catch her on her tour. She is a faith-filled, inspirational woman who has overcome a difficult start in life and is now a convert to the Catholic Church, and writes and speaks about chastity and healing wounds. She shared her testimony on EWTN’s The Journey Home. I’m looking forward to reading her new book- the Thrill of the Chaste- Catholic Edition!

7. The Sacred Heart Novena- The novena for this great feast began last Thursday, so I should have been praying the novena all week. Well, I thought about praying it every day, and desperately wanted to do it, but it didn’t quite work out… until Thursday, one week later. I did all the readings, prayers and reflections for every day in one go. I know, its not an ideal way to pray a novena, but I am learning that, as a mum, prayer time and Mass time are different!

How was your week? Post me a comment in the box, I would love to hear from you 🙂

Head over to This Aint the Lyceum for more quick takes!

7QTs: Jogging for Beginners

comes Jogging for beginnersI was never a runner. It’s hard to believe I am now, but I have just finished a Couch to 5k (C25k) plan, and can run for a full 30 minutes! This is the second time I have done this plan. (My first time was a few years ago, before my wedding, but I didn’t keep it up.) Jogging has three main attractions- it’s free, all you need to get started is a pair of runners, and it gets results! I figured it was the best way to get back into shape after having a baby- I could do it with baby in tow, at a convenient time and with minimal expense. So I started again…. Here are seven tips I have learned along the way:

  1. NHS Choices Couch to 5k

    My couck 2 5k programme

    Find a good Couch 2 5k programme You can find them online, on podcasts, apps, and in books and magazines… I used the NHS Couch 2 5k programme, which consisted of 9 weeks worth of podcasts. Laura, the narrator, told me when to walk and when to run, as well as giving tips and motivation.

As well as listening to the podcasts, I would use an app like Map My Run or Endomondo to track my progress. This is a real motivator as you can see how many calories you burn after each work out and see your distance increasing as the weeks go on.

  1. It’s just a light jog C25k programmes usually start with interval training- walking for a bit, then jogging for a bit. The girl on my podcast often said, “Remember, its just a light jog”. I found this really helpful to remember as it took the pressure off.
  1. Route It’s good to vary the route. This comes naturally as the weeks go by and you are running further. If you are running on a treadmill, why not run outside? If you are already running outside, why not try a lap of the park instead of sticking to the pavement. Sometimes I go for a short drive and run somewhere beautiful, like a nature park or the beach. Changing the scenery mixes things up. Variety is the spice of life, right?
  1. My running buddy

    Equipment The first time I did a C25k programme, I knew by week 4 – 5 that I was going to stick with the programme, so I invested in some trainers, fitted at a specialist running shop. This made the word of difference to my feet.

The second time I started the C25k, I would bring baby T along with me. I didn’t need a special buggy for the first few weeks as the running distance was short and I was slow… again, when I knew I would stick it out, I bought a second hand jogger buggy online.

  1. Take a break I began to enjoy running so much I wanted to run consecutive days. However, it is really important to give your muscles a rest and chance to recover, and avoid injury. Why not do something else with that energy? Go for a walk, or a swim…
  1. Prayer Initially, I started praying when I was looking up a big hill, praying a decade of the rosary to get me to the top! Towards the end of the C25k, I found that jogging was a good way to incorporate prayer into my routine. Now, I often pray a whole rosary during my jog. And I offer up any suffering! Its also a good way just to get some head space and think about any ideas / problems or figure out what’s for dinner!
  1. Believe in yourself I am not a natural-born runner. I will never forget the time I ran for two minutes for the first time and looked back on the distance I had covered. I had a real sense of achievement! C25k programmes are designed to build you up gradually, minute by minute, not drop you in the deep end with a 30 minute run. I trusted in the programme and believed in myself. If I had a bad run, I wouldn’t beat myself up- a bad run is better than no run. If I didn’t feel ready to move on to the next week, I would repeat the week. By recognising your progress and believing in yourself, you can do it!

I finished the Couch 2 5k plan this week and I have already set myself a new goal- a 10k run in two months. Watch this space!

Would you like to take up jogging, but have a question? Or, are you a already a runner and have a comment or tip? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks to Kelly from This Aint the Lyceum for hosting 7 Quick Takes. For more quick takes, head on over there!

A 1 Year Old’s Schedule: Eat, Sleep, Play, Repeat

eat sleep play repeat sample schedule 12 month 1 year old talking about family blogEver wondered what a one year old does all day? Here’s a typical day for Teresa. She’s just turned 12 months old and has always had a baby-led schedule!

7:30        I wake up, usually in my cot, ready to start the day

8              Breakfast time talking about familyDaddy gives me milk while he has his breakfast. I nibble his toast, Weetabix or fruit too, depending on how hungry I am. Then Mummy changes me and dresses me for the day

10           If the weather is good, we sometimes walk to Mass. I fall asleep in my pram. Otherwise, we play at home. I am good at independent play in the mornings. I also like to crawl about, pull myself onto my feet and flick through some of my favourite books. This is when Mummy gets jobs done, like tidying up, doing the laundry and sometimes cooking the dinner in advance, if she’s really organised!

11           Milk time again! I often have a little snack too, especially if I didn’t eat much at breakfast.

11:30     If we stayed home, I tend to have a nap now, and wake up just in time for lunch! If I have already had a nap, I play play play!

1              Lunchtime! Mummy sings grace, which makes me smile. Sometimes I put my hands together. I am a pescatarian, which means I eat fish but I don’t eat meat, just like my Mummy. Now that I have 7 teeth, I usually have what she’s having; salmon, broccoli and cous-cous, Spanish omelette, vegetables…. I like to be able to feed myself, so finger food is the best! I have a little drink of water with my lunch, and sip it throughout the afternoon. I like to have fruit for dessert too. My favourite fruit are blueberries, grapes and apple slices. They make good snacks too.

2              We are often out and about in the afternoon. Sometimes we run errands, and sometimes we meet Daddy during his lunch break. It is nice to see him during the day, and sometimes he shares a little bit of his lunch with me!

3:30        Nap time again! I sometimes nap in my pram, but prefer to nap in Mummy’s bed. She is studying and has a lot of books to read, so I snuggle next to her.

annabel karmel sweetcorn fritter talking about family blog5:30        Dinner time. I eat what Mummy and Daddy are eating… tuna pasta (I like a bit of garlic bread too!), lentils, fish fingers, vegetables and a few chips. My new favourite food is Annabel Karmel’s sweetcorn fritters. After dinner, we say our prayers together.

6:30        I play with Daddy. He is so much fun! We build blocks, roll a ball back and forth, go through my activity book, ride on my pink horse. We also do walking practise! I can’t wait to get moving on my own! I usually have a bath in the evening too.

7:30        I have my last milk feed of the day. I have been drinking cow’s milk for a month and I love it! I am usually in my pyjamas at this stage. If I have lots of energy, I play a bit longer and sometimes have an extra drop of milk

8              It’s almost bed time. Recently, Daddy has been reading me bedtime stories. I like to help by turning the pages.

8:45        Off to the land of nod. I dream about the adventures tomorrow will bring!

7QTs: Praying, thrifting and books!

7QT: Praying Thrifting and Books Talking about family

Another week has gone by and its time for the seven quick takes on the week that was, hosted at This Aint the Lyceum!

1.parish talking about family Daily Mass: There are so many excuses not to go to daily Mass, a toddler and a to do list being two of them. I read somewhere recently that if you make time for God, He makes time for you. Well, God definitely made time for me this week. Thank you, Lord!

2. Prayer alarm: My husband and I are yet to nail couple prayer. We started a renewed effort this week, as we agreed on a set time of 7:30pm to pray together and I set a daily alarm for this time. However, the way the cookie has crumbled, we have only been together once when the alarm has gone off and at 7:30pm every other day of the week at the most inopportune times… in the middle of Pilates, while reverse hill start parking on a busy street… we must pick a new time!

3. Praying and running: Continuing on the theme of prayer, I am currently doing a couch 2 5k programme. My podcast tells me when to run and when to walk, as well as playing ‘running music’ for the duration. This week, I turned the volume of my podcast down and prayed a rosary each time I ran. Bonus extra prayer time!

4. benedict xvi mother teresa talking about familyThrifting: I went into an SVP charity shop to look for a wooden chair to upcycle. Instead (and much to my husband’s relief!) I came out with two books about Blessed Mother Teresa, and one about Pope Emeritus Benedict. €2 each, and they were three for the price of two! Win!

5. Shopping my wardrobe: When I became pregnant two years ago, I stashed away a blue Ikea bag full of clothes that I knew I wouldn’t wear for a while. Well, I retrieved said back from the attic this week. It was like going shopping, for free! And with all the running I’ve been doing, the clothes fit me better than before!

6. Essay writing: I have an essay due for my course next month and I am on a new study schedule, trying to write a few hours a night every night, instead of spending one day a week on it. So far, things have worked out well. I hope it continues…

7. extra virgin kitchen talking about familyBook loan: Another free perk this week, a friend lent me a copy of The Extra Virgin Kitchen. At the moment, I am simply savoring the recipes of the delicious wheat-free, dairy-free, sugar-free treats, before I decide what to try first.Praline cupcakes and 6am toddler cookies are top of my list!

Thanks Kelly for hosting the 7QTs link up! For more quick takes, visit http://thisaintthelyceum.org/