Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Christus Rex

Christus Rex
Sunday, October 26, 2011 is the feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  One may gain a plenary indulgence by the public recitation of the Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.


The kingship and empire of Christ have been recognized in the pious custom, practiced by many families, of dedicating themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; not only families have performed this act of dedication, but nations, too, and kingdoms. In fact, the whole of the human race was at the instance of Pope Leo XIII, in the Holy Year 1900, consecrated to the Divine Heart.

We institute the Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ to be observed yearly throughout the whole world on the last Sunday of the month of October - the Sunday, that is, which immediately precedes the Feast of All Saints. We further ordain that the dedication of mankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which Our predecessor of saintly memory, Pope Pius X, commanded to be renewed yearly, be made annually on that day.

~ Quas Primas, Encyclical of Pope Pius XI


Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thy altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart. christusrex

Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.

Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: "Praise be to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be glory and honor for ever." Amen.


Additional info and resources can be found here, my post from 2010.

Entering the Desert

thanks for the reflections and prayers. 
constant discernment is needed for me.  i trust that more is being asked of me.  given my state in life, i trust that it can’t be found online.  where do i go from here?  after all, He brought me to this place.  is it a lesson in detachments, moderation, serving one master…?  i’ve been tested for these before and sadly, i did not pass.  in fact, i was late to the test.  His mercy prevailed and my heart was softened.  i desire to pass this test as a small offering for the blood He shed for me.
it is my time in the desert.  how i long to hear Him.  i question my readiness and faith.  i do not coward in despair but run to my mother’s arms.  she is sure to comfort me and show me the way.  i have proven (many times) that i only know the long thorny paths.  i am lost without her.
i fear that i am becoming lukewarm and confused due to my compromise with pleasure-seeking.  i desire to be set on fire.   i must love and serve Him on His terms. 
Jesus, show me anything in my life that might be stifling the Holy Spirit (1 Thes 5:19) and driving You away.
i pray to be a little soul -- to follow Him blindly.
my prayers are being answered at rapid speed and His answers are not what I had requested. i know this is His gentle way of bringing me closer to Him but i'm definitely stuck. He will have to carry me or at least send His Blessed Mother for me. :-)

Lunch for Kids


kids lunch tray

salami, hard-boiled egg, sunflower seeds, banana, nectarine, grape tomato cherry tomato, and avocado.

glass of water flavored with orange slices.

Too Blessed To Be Stressed


i’m exhausted!  i pulled an all nighter on friday.  saturday, i hosted 2 priests plus another family.  then we headed to 7 pm mass.  we got home at 10pm.  dad unloaded us then left for work.
we had another dinner tonight with a parish family, friend and father m.  we got home at 10:30 pm and repeated our routine.
it’s been a blessing!
thanks for your gentle encouragement to “spoil” the priests.  i followed your suggestion and made steaks for our special guests.
i haven’t worked out since wed.  i’m a bit bummed that i have not met my goals.  i wanted so desperately to be at my pre-e weight for my 33rd bday.  i’m 30 lbs away.  urgh!!!  i’m offering up my disappointment, making reparation for shortcomings and giving thanks for the many blessings that i have found on this journey. 
tomorrow is a new day!

Personal experience shows, and you have often heard me tell you so, to warn you against discouragement, that our interior life consists in beginning again and again each day; and you know in your hearts, as I do in mine, that the struggle is never ending. You will have noticed too, when making your examination of conscience just as I do (excuse these personal references, but even as I am speaking to you I am going over the needs of my own soul with Our Lord) that you often experience little setbacks, which at times perhaps may seem to you enormous, revealing as they do an evident lack of love, of self-surrender to God, of a spirit of sacrifice, of refinement. Well, strengthen your yearning for reparation, with a sincere act of contrition, but please do not lose your peace of mind. ~ St. Josemaria Escriva, Friends of God, 13



keep trusting and remember that this is not our home.
He is pursing you, SURRENDER!

Marvel at Mary’s courage: at the foot of the Cross, with the greatest of human sorrows — there is no sorrow like her sorrow — filled with fortitude.  And ask her for that same strength, so that you too can remain beside the Cross.
You are not alone. Neither you nor I can ever find ourselves alone. And even less if we go to Jesus through Mary, for she is a Mother who will never abandon us.
~ St. Josemaria Escriva, The Forge, 249

Workout for the Week



biked 4.5 miles with my family on tuesday.

offered up my workout on ash wednesday.

ran 2.5 miles on thursday.

played in the park with the dad and the kids on friday.  we played tag and competed in obstacle courses.

ran the nun run - 10k on sat.

rested on sun.

Give Me the Grace


worked on being in the present moment today and not distracted with the fullness of my plate.
there were good moments and bad ones.
overall, the day was good even though...
i failed to workout today.
why do i sabotage myself?
am i not being prayerful enough?
is it something hormonal…laziness…lack of order…..?
i’m on my knees.
Lord, please lead me out of this slump!
soften my heart to the graces that You so willingly set forth for me.
help me to die to my flesh and put my self entirely in Your hands.
i just read this article from a link shared.
it struck a cord with me.
I had to share.

Fitting exercise into our busy schedules is a perpetual challenge. I know very few people who crave a cardio workout. Most of us can find a multitude of excuses for putting off physical activity. Yet, it is such an important part of our overall health and well being. Equally important for me are the spiritual, mental and emotional boosts I gain from taking time to sweat. A walk reconnects me with the incredible beauty of God’s creation and reminds me to thank Him for the bounty of blessings in my life.
i know this to be true. 
Lord, give me the grace…
to recommit to the race.
to give the effort that is pleasing to you.
to not get caught up in worldly standards but Your standards.
to love myself as You love me.
to live for You in all i do.


Motivation Reflection

this is in response to your motivation post.  i read it after walking in the door from of day full of shopping for rose’s party.  i was physically exhausted and stressed.  your words pierced me.  in fact, i’m still mulling them over in prayer.
this is what was on my heart after i read your post and took a moment for discernment, prior to my break down…
i have been in the same place you describe.  it’s happiness was fleeting.  i fear that i may return to that place (that was far removed from Him) so i turn and run the other way, thinking i will find Him there.  instead, i run right past Him.  it’s a different place but the same result, it becomes all about me.
satan is loving it.  the spiritual warfare has begun.  i do not enter battle on my own.  i have learned this the hard way.  i call upon our blessed mother.
  • i desire to be thin.
    • He calls me to be healthy.
      • that means moderate exercise and a healthy intake of food – not excessive daily exercise outside of my state of life and no starvation.
  • i desire to get out of this stage in my journey and move onto a maintenance stage.  a stage which i perceive to be an easier road.
    • He calls me to embrace where i am at and find Him in all the struggles.
      • that means that i must seek to glorify Him in everything i do.  this includes my failures as well as my successes.  they are all his.  he is pleased with my faithfulness to Him alone.
  • i desire to gain order and control of my life and family.
    • He calls me to surrender it all to Him.
      • that means that i must not seek a worldly standard of success but embrace my crosses.  i must be a joyful servant and be right ordered.  my every moment should revolve around Him.  i should seek his face in those around me.
i desire to…
  • learn how to desire only His will for me. 
  • be content where i am.
  • find JOY (Him) in all i’m surrounded with.
  • live each moment as though it were my last so that i can make it HOME!


i'm running on 2 hrs sleep. 
i haven't worked out all week.  i'm not sure when my next wo will be.  i leave for mass in 2 hrs, will run a little flowers meeting for 2 hrs, drive 1 hr home, return home with 12 girls (15-17), make lunch, cook dinner, bake dessert.......

Barefoot Long Run


i fell short of my 14mi run.  i only made it to 11.44 miles.  my feet were in pain since i ran a new path on mixed aggregate.  i tried calling dad at mile 6.   i wanted him to pick me up at take me to jamba juice.  i’m serious.  i got a small open sore on my foot that was collecting gravel.  he wasn’t home from his walk.  bummer!

i offered it all up and continued to run.

2.26.11 right foot

papi stretched me when i got home.

papi strecthing me after 11.25 mile run

then i took an ice bath.

2.26.11 ice bath


Finding the Time


i went to bed at 9pm on monday.  i  woke up at 12am and remained awake the entire morning, caring for sick boys.  i had to alternate between boys since dad was at work.  His graces showered me.

dad arrived home at 7am and immediately helped with the kids.  he cared for baby g throughout the day while i laid in bed to monitor papi.

dad giving papi a treatment

dad giving papi a breathing treatment while he napped.

dad let me nap at 1pm while baby g napped.  i was able to sleep for 2.5 hrs straight.  then it was off to a birthday dinner for my niece.  it was bed time when we came home.  dad left for bball with father, after the kids were put to bed.  i was tempted to throw in the towel and not complete a wo.  it wasn’t until i began this post (at 9:27pm) that i realized, i was falling into my old ways, “all or nothing.”

i decided to stop typing and complete a simple wo (at 9:31pm).

Tabata intervals (8 rounds of 20 secs work/10 secs rest) of the following:

the wo was short and sweet.  it lasted about 10 min.  it wasn’t much but it was a step in the right direction.  i pray to do what i can, when i can--not to throw in the towel because it does not meet my standards. 

i thank God for the grace to get me out of bed and out of my stupor.

the boys seem to be improving.  either way, i’ll put my plans in His hands.


"As I feel a great attraction toward prayer I asked God, by Our Lady's intercession, to give me the grace to go on increasing in love of this holy exercise until my death." ~St. Claude de la Colombiere

I Return It


You have given it all to me. To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and grace. That is enough for me.  ~St. Ignatius of Loyola

I’m still here and in the race! I took some unplanned time to regroup. I needed to regain focus on my priorities. My temperament is to go all out or nothing. I’ve been diligently and prayerfully addressing this weakness to rid myself entirely of this vice. Nonetheless, it is deep rooted and comes to the surface when I commit to a new exercise, spiritual or physical.

During last week, I was able to see in what ways I have been wrong order since committing to this journey.

  • My formal prayer life became secondary and began to waiver. I began to covet my “free time” and would exercise first so that I did not miss the opportunity. I do acknowledge that my daily life is a prayer and I seek to remain constant in prayer during all I do. However, I need my formal prayer time to better serve Him.
  • My school day was dictated by my exercise plan. My school day has not been back to “normal” since the birth of baby G. I’m called to regain order in all areas of my life, especially this area.
  • My mood was altered by the numbers on the scale. I weigh daily. It is a great way for me to regulate what is working and not working. It helps me not to let the weight creep back. I consider it an equivalent to a daily examination of conscience. The practice in itself, is not bad, it’s my response to the results. A gain or loss, I will offer it all for the intentions of Our Blessed Mother. I will make the necessary changes in my daily exercise & eating plan but I will not take the joy of a loss or defeat of gain for myself.
  • My time was monopolized by inputting the numbers into the computer. This was extremely helpful for me to regulate my eating but it is not conducive to my current state, need to mother and HS 5 children. I plan to keep a paper journal throughout the day and input at noon and post dinner.

Dad and I are recommitted to this journey. We will pick up at week 6 of the program. Rose and I will be at week 11 – MT. I’m going to work through the pain in my foot (even if it means that I wear shoes). Hopefully, I haven’t loss too much muscle and can get back on p90x without too much difficulty.

This journey is much more to me (and my family) than just physical. We all have accepted the call to stretch ourselves – to commit and stay committed. We pray that He make us new!

Everything is yours; do with it what you will!


I can relate to having a wrong ordered relationship with food. I’m not sure how I got to that point since I never had I weight issue before having children. Regardless, I seek to make it right ordered.

I started my shift in thinking of food for its true purpose about a year ago when I attend an Ignatius retreat. I was renewed to give it ALL to Him. Since then, I have attempted to see food as fuel. I would not but coffee in my car’s gas tank and expect it to run. Why should my body be any different?  My body is a gift and temple.  I must glorify him with it.

I agree that there is nothing wrong with socializing over a meal. However, if there is a wrong-ordered relationship with food then I believe socializing around a meal should be avoided. Just the same as an alcoholic should not be socializing in a bar. I had to remove myself from such instances until I could better relate to food as fuel. I adopted a practice of the Missionaries of Charities, for the times that socializing with food could not be avoided – do not eat in public. That’s right, they do not eat in public and at times, I will not eat in public. I’m forced to plan ahead and gain control of what I consciously put into my mouth. Many of my sacrifices are centered on food.

I was reminded of my poor relationship with food last year (about a year ago to this date). My family was invited to celebrate the birthday of a friend/Priest/Spiritual Director. There was lamb with the complete spread. I’m drooling as I type. I watched Father accept what he was served and politely decline seconds. There I was, inhaling my food as though I hadn’t eaten in weeks, and then eagerly going back to the marinated tomato salad, grilled bread and roasted potatoes. As I reflected, post dinner, I was humbled. Here was a grown man eating less than me. This was a meal he had requested and still he refrained from indulging. Father clearly exemplified a right order relationship with food. He enjoyed a delicious meal in a social setting so as to fuel his body and partake in fellowship. (Disclaimer: I was pregnant at the time of the meal.)

I often put myself in the Lenten season when I approach food. 2009 was my first year that I could completely follow the laws of fasting during Lent. Prior to then, I was always pregnant or nursing during Lent. That year was radically different. I experienced a miscarriage a couple of months prior to Lent. I was raw and desired to be transformed and renewed. I fasted according to tradition the entire Lenten season. It was all by His grace.

My loss and daily discomforts were nothing, are nothing, in comparison to His sufferings. Yet, when offered back to Him, I trust that they are perfected and pleasing to Him.

Give me only your love and grace. That is enough for me. 

Strain Ahead


I have not been working out.  I’m definitely in a slump.  I can’t seem to muster up the energy or make the time to fit in formal exercise.  I was just beginning to feel strong.  I haven’t felt that way for years.  Did I subconsciously sabotage myself?  Is there where the Good Lord wants me to be or does He desire me to get back to my exercise regime?  I’m not sure, but as I discern, I will be making a valiant effort to return to where I was before these doubts were formed.

I have, however, been adhering  to my priorities – prayer life, family and homeschooling day.  Praise be to God!  The Daily Examen helps me to stay focus on how I’m answering His call and in what ways I’m failing.  I carry around a little black notebook and take note of what triggers my falls, when I fall,  and I make an immediate resolve to do better. 

I knew this journey would be both, physical and spiritual.  I knew it would be difficult.  I give thanks that He brought us together.  Your partnership and prayers have helped to sustain me.  I trust that we are glorifying Him on this journey and pray to persevere through all obstacles.

‘I forget the past and strain ahead
for what is still to come.
I am racing for the finish,
for the prize
to which God calls us upwards
to receive in Christ Jesus.’
(Phil. 3:14)



rose and I ran today.  I’ve now logged 50mi for 2011. 

It’s been over 9 days since my last run.  I was winded and sore but managed to set a personal record (PR).  I ran a magic mile (MM) of 9.32 and averaged 10.26min/mi. 

I was working on my foot strike.  My foot didn’t hurt during the run but is hurting now.  I may attempt my next run with shoes.  I think my foot pain is being caused by a bunion and arthritis in my toes.  Both are soccer related aliments.  I found out that I had arthritis in my toes when I was 17yo.  I was used to playing with pain.  I’ve definitely soften up.

I hope to get it all figured out before my next big run, 11mi this Sat.

I’ve been using the Crossfit as my backup plan to the program.  It’s intense and brief.  I love it but feel like I’m cheating.  I had originally committed to the program and would like to see it all the way through.  I hope to make a better effort tomorrow.


Priorities & Perseverance


…PRIDE is definitely the root but there are many branches. I regret having to learn many of His lessons, the hard way. There is nothing like an ounce of corrective suffering to give you a much needed wake up call. I desire to no longer trust in my own ways but to go down the most easiest, surest and the holiest path to Our Lord-- Mary.

"The Saints claim that whoever prays to the mother of God during temptation will surely not sin. Whoever turns to her throughout life with confidence will surely be saved." ~St Max Kolbe


Do I compare myself to others, and think "Oh, I'm not that bad compared to others." -----I try not to, but often fail. I like to think that I'm making an honest assessment of the facts for purposes of discernment and growth, however, my intentions are not always pure. Often times, I fail to give everything back to Our Blessed Mother for Jesus. I falsely, build myself up or tear myself apart based on the findings of the comparisons made. Instead, everything should be used to glorify Him and nothing should be kept for personal gain.
I’m going to add this to my prayers so that I better discern when I have failed in this area.


My energy is low and I have not worked-out faithfully or eaten well. I don’t want to be unrealistic with my goals but I do believe that I need to be stretched. I need to get out of my comfort zone and do something that requires slight physical discomfort. It is a small sacrifice that I offer for reparation for my sins and to glorify Him.
Priorities & perseverance are my focus for this week.

I Surrender


this journey is not for me, i am nothing.


energy has been zapped.

eating is out of whack.

workouts have been sporadic.  my motivation is fleeting and I'm a bit bored with the WO.

foot is injured from my 9.5 barefoot run.  I'm not sure what happened.  i thought it was just a strain.  i purposefully took a break from my MT on mon. and tues.  i attempted to run on wed. but did not last.  i did, however, walk for 15 min.

time management has been poor.  i've been procrastinating, leaving me with little time for anything.  it is on the verge of being stressful.

weight does not what to leave me.  i haven’t been below 159lbs  for the past 5 years.

…..the list goes on.  still, I'm ready to lay it on down and move on.

today is a new day.  i surrender! i need less of me and more of Him.

Jesus, I offer you my hands and my entire body as weapons for righteousness (Rm 6:13).

"In Him my heart trusts, and I find help." —Ps 28:7

"Take delight in the Lord, and He will grant you your heart's requests." —Ps 37:4

Father, stir into flame the gift of the Holy Spirit in my life so that I will not be cowardly (2 Tm 1:6-7).


Father, may this journey be as You have planned.

Jesus, I surrender all!

Music or No Music


ran 2 miles and completed (majority of) the k wo.  i used additional weights, g baby, for the first 15 min of the wo.  all my children enjoy the k wo.

finally, i had to serve up dinner since i missed papi’s dinner call by 10 min.  he has an internal timer for dinner at 5pm.  i had planned to complete the last 12min of the wo after dinner but that didn’t happen.  our prayer time and family superseded. 


i’m thinking about putting together a workout playlist.  i’ve never used music for training.  i never needed it and never desired it.  i enjoy having quite time to pray, reflect and/or keep company with my training partner.  i think that some music may come in handy now that my longs runs will be pushing 10 miles.  i would only record Christian music, chant, prayers, homilies and other reflective audio.  what are your thoughts?  do you have  a playlist? 

Stay in the race!


Things are not going as planned in the weight loss department.  In the past, this would derail my efforts. 
I’m moved to my knees.  I do not want to be disqualified!
I yearn to persevere through all trials.  This fitness journey is an exercise for my perseverance and will.  Much prayer is required for me to stay in the race.  In addition, I’m revisiting my initial goal that I set prior to starting this journey,  “get fit, gain energy, lose weight...all to glorify God.”

Offering it Up


We were not able to attend the WC Walk for Life.  It was a sad and difficult decision for us.  We trust that it was not God’s will for us to be in attendance this year.

We watched EWTN for live footage (after our workout) and were united in prayer.

Our scheduled run was for 3 miles at our “magic mile” time.  We opted to run wind sprints for an additional mile, as an offering for the end to abortion.

  • 10.50 – mile 1
  • 10.52 – mile 2
  • 10.52 – mile 3
  • 10.52 – mile 4 (interval run w/ sprints)

I completed the program workout when I arrived home.  The k and the plyo workouts are my favorites.  The time flies with both workouts.  I look forward to switching up my workout next week (week 4). 

I have been having difficulty staying motivated and on task.  I’m sure it’s just a weakness in mu flesh and I need to seek to die to self, one small step at a time.

I’m praying to persevere on my journey to be fit and serve Our Heavenly Father.  I pray to live out my (our) motto throughout my daily routine so that I can glorify Him in all I do.

Be Charitable. love others, especially our family the way He loves us.

Be Useful. serve always.

Be Gentle. have the loving heart, tongue and hand of Mary.

Be Joyful. stay rooted in the true JOY – JESUS.  share the JOY with all.

Forget about yourself. die to self, live for God alone.

ALL FOR!…Jesus through Mary with the intercession of St. Joseph.

Time Management


I have the same challenge. However, I feel I’m fighting my flesh more than anything else.

Some of the things that have worked for me in the past are:

•Mid-day WO/kid's PE time
•WO during the kids required rest time. This is around 1pm in our home. It is a time for kids to do whatever they want to do in their rooms, on their own. The only rules are; they must be quite and not get out of their rooms until I get them.
•Late night WO, after the kid's bedtime
•Do what I can, when I can. Break up the workout into smaller segments. Although, this is not ideal, benefits will be had.

I’ve not been able to master the art of rising early enough to work out before everyone rises.

I was given spiritual direction (at 3-5 months postpartum) to nap! He stated that I must give myself adequate time to re-fuel and rest so that I can better live out my vocation, serve my family. My feelings of neglecting my children and husband were not valid. This was a short season in my life and more rest was the best direction.

I have carried this direction to the area of fitness. I trust that my 1 hour of exercise will fuel me to better serve my family. The time spent on physical exercise is actually a means to better serve my kids and husband so that I do not neglect them.

Finding the right rhythm is another story. I’m not certain that “balance” will ever come. So for now, I pray to embrace what I have been given & where I am and to persevere in all circumstances.

Do what is pleasing to Him always, within the circumstances you have been given!



i struggled through the back  & shoulders work out this morning.  i wanted to quit on several occasions.  i can’t tell if i’m disinterested with  this workout because i’m weak in those areas or because i’m actually bored with the wo.  with no good reason to quit, i put all my focus on Mary.


gotta love a picture – it keeps me humble. 

rose and i before our 8 mi run on 1.15.  my feet after my barefoot 8 miler.  it felt like i was walking on razor blades when i stopped running.  the grueling part was cleaning the dirt out of the already popped razor cut blister.

i ran 2.6 mi while dad took the kids to the park.  i attempted to go barefoot but didn’t last more than 5min.  my feet look worse today than they did on sat.   i had to swing by the house to pick up some shoes.  my run was miserable with shoes.  my back instantly began to hurt.  my knee, shin and ankle chimed in at 1mi.  again, i was ready to quit.  meditating on the passion helped sustain me.

i’m definitely taking tomorrow off from my MT and hope to be barefoot again on wed.

I am far from the finish line.
But I am on CHRIST'S TEAM.
His love ignites me.
...His power fuels me.
His mission compels me.
and to this race.
I will run STRONG and run LONG.
Who will join me?

Running Barefoot


woke up early to get ready for a run.  dad decided to forgo the yard work at church so rose and i could get our run in.  thank you Lord for dad.

i ran 8 mi. barefoot!  i attempted to keep my focus on Him the entire run.  i felt good for most of the run.  at the end of the run was a different story.  let’s just say, i have plenty to offer up.  no blood, yet.  i’ll share a pic later.

completed the program when i returned home.  feeling good and tired. 

off to a hot bath.


Time is a treasure...TRUST IN HIM


“Time is a treasure that melts away. It escapes from us, slipping through our fingers like water through the mountain rocks. Yesterday is gone, and today is passing by. Tomorrow will soon be another yesterday. Our lives are so very short. But what a great deal can be done for God in this short space of time!” ~ St. Josemaria Escriva, Friends of God, 52

I trust that He is diligently working on me.

"If you don't get up at a fixed time you will never carry out your plan of life." (The Way, 78)

This quote helps me solve my concern about sticking to my goal. It's a no brainer, I know, but I have fought my flesh to rise at a set hour and regain order in my home.

I have felt unworthy of all His gifts. I sometimes, jokingly, tell my husband that I will sanctify my whole family by the crosses I provide them with.  His generosity brings me to my knees and His mercy covers me.

I no longer seek to have His plans revealed to me. I've been there, done that.  I can’t be trusted with that either.  I only ask that He be patient with me as I attempt to blindly follow him.

Scheduling???? What is that? I've been struggling with it for some time. I have read, purchased and studied many resources. I have even had a moment of grace where I was able to implement a plan with success, only to have it slip away with the arrival of a new baby. I want to embrace this season of my life but I also don’t want to miss any opportunity to glorify Him. I’m going to have to take baby steps.  I pray for the intercession of the Holy family.

"....may I never yearn for....may I finally learn to be happy and have patience with the constant changing rhythm of this ordinary time….I  am vain and weak but surely, I will try." ~ Marie Bellet, Ordinary Time

All I need is Him….trust….and complete surrender.  Easier said than done, I know.  I need to take one step at time.  He will meet me right where we am.

This has me thinking about a reflection at Presentation Ministries that I read many years ago. This has stuck with me and provides me great consolation.

“You, as the parent, have the grace to disciple your children for Jesus in a way that no one else can have. The question is not who is best "qual-ified" but who is "call-ified." The one who is called has the grace, the anointing from God, to do the job.”

I can do this, I am call-ified!


Magic Mile


I held my marathon training (MT) for later in the day.  Gary helped motivate me by ordering that we all go outside.  It was cold outside (low 50s) but we all needed the fresh air.  Rose and I were cheered on our merry way.


We ran for our Magic Mile MM.  It was awesome.  We prayed before the run for graces to grow in virtue, to reflect on Christ’s passion, to make it to the finish line, to go all out for Him, to seek Blessed Mary’s intercession……

I logged in 2 miles today.  My Magic Mile time was 10.58.12.  This is 1.42 min less than my MM time from last week.  My predicted  1/2 marathon pace time is 13:47 min/mile (3:00:31).  I’m not too concerned with this pace time--my goal for the race is to FINISH.

I opted out of running barefoot and  have more battle wounds because of it.  I hope to get a pair of these soon for the cold weather.

jan 5 work outthe wound was not as bad as the sock led me to believe.

Rose had a MM time of 9.41.59.  She missed her MM run last week.

I’m blessed to share this time with her.  She shared her running experience with me while we cooled down.  She reflected on Mary’s intercession for her during this run and throughout her life.  She is confident that Mary never fails her.  It makes me think of her younger days when she was eight or so.  We attended the National Catholic Family Conference. She was turned onto Sarah Bauer, a young Catholic Musician.  We bought her the CD and matching shirt with the Miraculous Medal with the words “Mary’s Got My Back.”  May God Bless Sarah for helping Elissa grow in her devotion to Mary. 

I pray for another grace-filled day tomorrow.  It will be a bit of a challenge to get my workout in since Thursdays are my errand days, Adoration days and we will be celebrating the Epiphany.  I pray that “Mary’s Got My Back.”



(this is a response to a post by my friend/accountability partner)

You have a gift for writing.  Deo gratias!  You seem to say everything that I feel but cannot articulate.  Your post on Gentleness led me to revisit the word that has been lingering on my heart. 

My word is Charity.   I think we have the same application of the two words, to treat others the way He has treated us.

    • Do ordinary things with extraordinary Love.
    • Let us love one another as God loves each one of us.  And where does this love begin? – In our own home.  How does it begin? – By praying together.
    • “God told us, “love your neighbor as yourself.”  So first I am to love myself rightly, and then to love my neighbor like that.  But how can I love myself unless I accept myself as God has made me?” ~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Thank you for your gentle words of support and encouragement.  I pray to have all my JOY rooted in Him so that I do not lose peace over any trial or accomplishment.

Once again, I’m taking your lead.  I too, will post the following in my home and all prominent places so that I can be constantly reminded of His call for me.  I’m thinking it may even become a new set of family rules for 2011. +AMDG+

Be Charitable.

Be Useful.

Be Gentle.

Be Joyful.

Forget about yourself.




JOY helps me to better reflect on my internal JOY for Jesus, the JOY that needs to be freely shared with all, especially my family. Mother Teresa has not failed to guide us. it has been providential that our family's patron saint for 2011, St. Josemarie Escriva, shares a very similar message.

"May you know how to put yourself out cheerfully, discreetly and generously each day, serving others and making their lives more pleasant.  To act in this way is to practice the true charity of Jesus Christ." ~ St. Josemaria Escriva, The Forge, 150

A Phase Filled With Healing

My last phase update was in May.

This phase extended far beyond beyond my expectations, in more ways than I can list.  I prayed to grow spiritually and produce His fruits.  He provided many opportunities to go to my knees and always reminded me that this is more of a spiritual journey than a physical one.

Here’s the quick run down of this phase.

  • weight loss
  • lost training partner due to injury (Rose)
  • lost 2 toe nails
  • injured ankle that took 2 months to heal
  • gained a training partner and friend--sister in Christ
  • weight gain
  • pregnancy
  • more weight gain
  • miscarriage
  • prayer & fasting
  • spiritual healing
  • detox
  • weight loss
  • complete food overhaul
  • major lifestyle changes
  • restored health and relief from long-time ailments (partially due to my new lifestyle change*)
  • lost training partner due to injury
  • inspired my Mom to get moving.  She participated in the 5k on my race day.
  • ran a 1/2 marathon (barefoot)

Here’s a more detailed look at my accomplishments that the Good Lord has allowed.

Plan of Action:

  • put the focus on the journey (spiritual and physical fitness) not the end result (weight loss).
  • ditched the all or nothing attitude
  • took it one week at a time.  focused on weekly goals so that I did not become discouraged.


  • 30 min exercise 3x 2x week in addition to my running program.
  • passed on the races and donated the entrance fees to worthy causes.
  • lost a total of 20lbs including all my gains and losses but I’m not anywhere near my goal weight.  I still have 20lbs to go.
  • lost inches.


  • *After prayer and discernment, I made a major overhaul in my (and my family’s) diet.  I’ve adopted a no gluten, sugar, grains, legumes and dairy diet.  I eat only meat, fish, fowl, vegetables, fruits, roots, tubers (with modifications, of course).
  • ate small meals throughout they day – before I got into hunger mode.
  • only water. 10-14+ glasses a day.  - O.k., I did add the occasional coconut milk to the list.

In addition to the above, each day of sacrifice was dedicated to a specific intention - many of which were provided by fellow bloggers. 

I’m still re-grouping at this time and I’m not sure where I’ll go from here.  I pray to remain focused on my ultimate goal, to glorify Him!


Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

~Proverbs 3:5-8


The Prompting

It has been a long time coming.  I told my husband sevGFGeral years ago that I wanted to run a marathon by the time I was 30.  Needless, to say it never happen.  I was too busy being open to life.  ;-) 

The marathon idea soon became too far fetch so I settled for a 1/2 marathon.  That too became out of reach when I was constantly sidelined due to injuries.  Finally, I settled on a 5k. 

My first race was a part of my Lenten program in 2009.  I was riddled with pain from training and tried to desperately work through mNike 5k Juney aliments.  I soon became convinced that 5ks would be the longest race that I would ever participate in.

I continued to run sporadically.  I quickly learned that being outdoors, soaking in some V-D and increasing endorphins was just what the doctor ordered for me.  I would go on date walks/runs with Dad.  I recruited a training partner when my need for more consistent outdoor exercise peaked.  Rose was hesitant to run but more than delighted to get some mother-daughter time with me.

Before you know it, we were training for a 1/2 marathon.  That goal was out of reach when we Rose was injured in a soccer game.  I lost motivation.  Nonetheless, I managed to raNununNunlly the troops and run for a cause, another Lenten program of mine.  I ran a 10k with Dad for the NUN RUN – Shadow Run.

I continued to train on a irregular basis while Rose went to therapy to heal.  I picked up my training over the summer.  That too, was short lived due to an ankle injury.  However, God sent me some motivation to preserve through the injury and stay on course. 

I met up with another mom at the kid’s swim team practice.  She was challenged by her sister to run a marathon in a year.  She shared her desire to find a training partner since her sister lived out of state.  The best part, she lives down the street from me, is a homeschooling mom and Sister in Christ.  It was completely providential that we came together.

The Training

I started training with K within weeks of discussing our plans.  I followed a  modified version of this training plan.  I took my long runs on Friday and had the weekend off.  I woke up every morning at 4:30am to prepare for a 5am run with K.  (The Good Lord knew I was having trouble rising early in the morning for my family so He found a way to get me up.)

I trained for several weeks with my ankle only at 60%.  It wasn’t pretty and my time reflected it.  I remained committed and focused on the progress I was making in regards to the intangible; an increase in energy, less moody and I was motivated to get an early start on my school day. 

There were many obstacles that continued to riddle my efforts.  I spoke about some of them here.  I give thanks to God for giving me the grace and strength to stay committed to the race.

Pre-Race Jitters

urban cow logo

I waited until the very last min to register for the race because I wanted to be certain that I could run--entrance fees are not cheap.  The reality of what I signed up for began to set in on Friday when I picked up my race packet.  I got the pre-race nerves.  I recalled my last long run, it was shortly after my miscarriage.  That run was humbling and painful in many ways.  It was definitely part of my healing but it left me with doubts about my ability to complete the 1/2 marathon.  Dad walked me through my grief and prayed over me. 

Despite my efforts to focus on just finishing the race, my competitive nature led me to set a time goal.  Crazy, I know, but I did unite it to Him--all for His glory.

The Night Before the Race

I had my pre-race dinner with family after a busy day with Little Flowers and house hunting.  I kept the race a secret from my parents and sister because I didn’t know if I would be up to running. 

My beloved children let the secret out of the bag.  My mom was excited for me to be racing.  She tried to rally the troops and form an impromptu cheering squad.  I convinced her that I needed to do this on my own.  She conceded but could not accept that fact that I would be traveling solo.  My mom volunteered to drive me and signed up for the corresponding 5k--another answered prayer.

I went to bed early, after reviewing the course map, one last time.

course map

Race Day


On race day, I woke up at 5am to prep.  I had to keep telling myself, “It’s no different than training, just follow the pacer.”

I arrived about 45min early and the place was flooded with cars.  Mom managed to find a nearby parking spot.

We headed to the start. 

Urban Cow prerace

I warmed up and stretched before finding my pace marker.  I prayed as I waited with joy and nerves.lena race start

First Miles 1-5

I was stuck to the pace marker like glue.  I felt great and was certain that I could pick up the pace but I knew I lacked experience so I stayed where I was.

I wasn’t ready for the commotion caused at the water stations.  It caused me to lose some ground from my desired spot by the pacer.  Still, I wasn’t too worried by the distance.

The streets were filled with cheer and MOOs.

Miles 6-9


I was feeling great.  I was drinking Nunn and popping Sports Beans and Zingers as needed.  The pacer was still nearby at the start of mile 6.

Shortly into mile 6, I could see the road surface change.  This was a concern for me since I run barefoot.  I’ve trained on many surfaces for varying distances but mixed aggregate remains by nemesis.  It has a way with pinching and bruising the soles of my feet. 

I was discouraged but continued to run.  My pace decreased and I began to loose sight of the pace runner.  I found my back-up running course, the painted linestemp photo until receipt of the digital file--they’re always smoother than the rough aggregate and provide me with a brief reprieve. 

I tuned back into my iPhone so I could follow the pace provided by the app Joggy Coach.  (The free version is great for all types of workouts.)  According to the app, I was ahead of where I initially planned.  Still, I felt great and wanted to push myself.

Miles 10-12

The morning was cool but I began to fell the sun settling.  Or was that my muscles becoming over heated.  My quads were burning and my lower back had a slight ach.  I adjusted my stride and foot strike.  I carried on at a faster pace since the road surface was favorable.  I hoped to make up for the previous miles and possibly catch the pace runner.

(Note to runners who run with partners:  other runners can hear your conversations.  There were many conversations that I was able to tune out while remaining in pray but there was one that I was allowed to hear.  I trust that He allowed it.  It was close to mile 12 and I was worn but pushing myself.  I could hear the gawking of two female runners.  “Look!  Look! She doesn’t have shoes on.”  To which her friend replied, “She’s an idiot!………..”  Together they carried on to criticize me.

The words seem trivial as I type them but they pierced my at the time I heard them.

I wanted so desperately to speak up to defend myself but I couldn’t--my tongue was tied.  I returned to my normal running mediation, the Passion of Christ.  I reflected on the verbal insults that Christ endured on top of His physical suffering.)

As I view the scene, I become moved by outrage, anguish and gratitude.  I look at Jesus.  His face.  The crown of thorns.  The blood.  His clothes stuck to the wounds on his back.  This is for me.  That I might be free.  That I might have eternal life. I ask to be with Jesus.  To follow his journey. I express my love and thanks. 

Mile 13

I could hear the announcer at the start/finish line.  Yet, it seemed like I had many more miles to go.   The spectators assured us runners that we were on the home stretch.   I debated if I should pick up speed all the way to the finish or hold off a bit longer.  I decided to hold off.  I turned the corner and thought, oh no, I waited too long.  I saw the finish line and sprinted to it.  Steps away, I realized that it was the .5 mile mark.  I wasn’t about to continue my sprint for another .5 mile since I could feel the tightness from the lactic acid buildup. 

The Finish

crossing the finish line

I reserved what was left for my last sprint during the .2 mile.  I crossed the finish line in a sprint at 2 hours and 23 min. 

marathon finish times v2

I later learned that my actual time was 2 hours 20 min 45 sec--10 mins faster than my goal time.

I give all praise and glory to God for allowing me to cross the finish line.


Sacred HeartI knew that this would be much more than just a physical journey but I never could have envisioned the extent that He would bless me.  The Good Lord, the ultimate physician, has worked on my whole being through this physical journey.  He has allowed it to strengthen my spiritual life.  He has healed my aching heart and brought me to a place of better health.  He has reminded me of my severe limitations and led me to a closer union with Him in prayer. He showed me the way and reminded me that He is always with me. 

I must turn to Him for strength and trust that He will provide exactly what I need, when I need it, in the manner that is needed.  I must always seek to radiate Him to others and find Him in all things. 

Jesus is my everything!


In His JOY,

A Phase Filled with Healing

My last phase update was in May.

This phase extended far beyond beyond my expectations, in more ways than I can list.  I prayed to grow spiritually and produce His fruits.  He provided many opportunities to go to my knees and always reminded me that this is more of a spiritual journey than a physical one.

Here’s the quick run down of this phase.

  • weight loss
  • lost training partner due to injury (Rose)
  • lost 2 toe nails
  • injured ankle that took 2 months to heal
  • gained a training partner and friend--sister in Christ
  • weight gain
  • pregnancy
  • more weight gain
  • miscarriage
  • prayer & fasting
  • spiritual healing
  • detox
  • weight loss
  • complete food overhaul
  • major lifestyle changes
  • restored health and relief from long-time ailments (partially due to my new lifestyle change*)
  • lost training partner due to injury
  • inspired my Mom to get moving.  She participated in the 5k on my race day.
  • ran a 1/2 marathon (barefoot)

Here’s a more detailed look at my accomplishments that the Good Lord has allowed.

Plan of Action:

  • put the focus on the journey (spiritual and physical fitness) not the end result (weight loss).
  • ditched the all or nothing attitude
  • took it one week at a time.  focused on weekly goals so that I did not become discouraged.


  • 30 min exercise 3x 2x week in addition to my running program.
  •  passed on the races and donated the entrance fees to worthy causes.
  • lost a total of 20lbs including all my gains and losses but I’m not anywhere near my goal weight.  I still have 20lbs to go.
  • lost inches.


  • *After prayer and discernment, I made a major overhaul in my (and my family’s) diet.  I’ve adopted a no gluten, sugar, grains, legumes and dairy diet.  I eat only meat, fish, fowl, vegetables, fruits, roots, tubers (with modifications, of course).
  • ate small meals throughout they day – before I got into hunger mode.
  • only water. 10-14+ glasses a day.  - O.k., I did add the occasional coconut milk to the list.

In addition to the above, each day of sacrifice was dedicated to a specific intention - many of which were provided by fellow bloggers. 

I’m still re-grouping at this time and I’m not sure where I’ll go from here.  I pray to remain focused on my ultimate goal, to glorify Him!


Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

~Proverbs 3:5-8

Becoming Right Ordered


I decided to forgo my workout for the day since it was my off day for running, I was already off on the classic plan, and I had a house full of sick little ones.

I was going to offer it up and then......I recalled something I just heard on EWTN.  Mother Angelica was holding an interview with someone.  I'm not sure, it may have been Raymond Arroyo.  The question asked went something like this, "How do you know if you are doing God's work?”  Mother Angelica responded, "...does it give honor and glory to God?  Is it for the good of the family?  What are the fruits?"

I assessed my situation.  Dinner was done, the baby was sleeping, the other children were relaxing in the schoolroom with a movie, and Dad was napping (he hadn't slept all day since his night shift from the previous day).  I knew that it would be easy for me to remain on the couch in a stupor but that more would be gained by working out.  I prayed that the results of my workout would give glory and honor to God, that I would attain more energy to better serve my family, and that I would become a better steward of my body.

I chose to complete my workout video.  I'm not sure what I was thinking.  The workout was just as demanding for me as the program.  I had to modify many of the exercises but I persevered and completed the workout.  My lower back needed the extra stretching.

Tomorrow, I plan to return to the program.

As I sit here and recap about my day and discernment, I'm left questioning my choice to workout.  Not that my working out was a bad thing, but, perhaps it was wrong ordered.  My family did not pray our family Rosary today.  Perhaps a better choice, more pleasing to God, would have been to gather the kids, wake dad, and pray.

Tomorrow is a new day!  I will keep Mother Angelica's simple discernment close and remember the words from my Spiritual Director, "Don't make greater expectations than we should."  I pray to be right ordered and pleasing to Him, always.

This is NOT Our Home

We have prayed to simplify all areas of our lives.  The Good Lord has answered our prayers in ways that we did NOT desire.  Yet, we remained steadfast in His providence and He has showered His mercy on us.

We have been brought, once again, to a place of physical and spiritual detachment.  It has been met with an outpouring of charity from family, friends, and strangers.

Through it all we have been reminded that this is not our home.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever. ~ 1 John 2:15-17

We will be moving soon.

Please keep my parents and the S & P families in your prayers.  Their charity towards us was a sweet consolation that has brought us to our knees in thanksgiving.  Our God is a faithful God, He will never abandoned us.  Trust always in Him and be open to the gifts that He places right before you.  They are often in disguise and found in the most unexpected places.

Sancta Familia ~ Ora pro nobis

Living for God


I’m going to be working on not letting my fitness consume me.  I do not want my prayer time to suffer.  Nor do I want my time with the children to be compromised.  I’m prayerfully going to take each step and remember that, although, I’m called to be fit (take care of my body), I’m also called to lie down my life for my family.  I’m prayerfully seeking the intercession of Our Blessed Mother to guide me in this area of my life.  May she show me what is too much and not enough.  May I follow her example and wholeheartedly serve those who’ve been entrusted to me, without holding back for anything.

I will continue to meditate on the quotes below, I do not want to be disqualified.


We should not be surprised to find, in our body and soul, the needle of pride, sensuality, envy, laziness and the desire to dominate others. This is a fact of life, proven by our personal experience. It is the point of departure and the normal context for winning in this intimate sport, this race toward our Father’s house. St Paul says: “That is how I run, intent on winning; that is how I fight, not beating the air. I treat my body hard and make it obey me for, having preached to others, I do not want to be disqualified.” ~ St. Josemaria Escrivia, Christ is Passing By, 75


A disciple of Christ will never treat anyone badly. Error he will call error, but the person in error he will correct with kindliness. Otherwise he will not be able to help him, to sanctify him. We must learn to live together, to understand one another, to make allowances, to be brotherly and, at all times, in the words of St John of the Cross, ‘where there is no love, put love and you will find love’; and we have to do this even in the apparently uninspiring circumstances that arise in our professional work or in our domestic and social life. You and I must therefore seek to make use of even the most trifling opportunities that come our way, to sanctify them, to sanctify ourselves and to sanctify those who share with us the same daily cares, sensing in our lives the sweet and inspiring burden of the work of co-redemption. ~ St. Josemaria Escrivia,Friends of God, 9


Forget about yourself. May your ambition be to live for your brothers alone, for souls, for the Church; in one word, for God. ~ St. Josemaria Escrivia Furrow, 630

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