Slow Down Mommy

My kids, my spouse and my God want my undivided attention and presence.

My mind is on 1000 things at any given time.

Minimalism has helped me simplify lots of areas in my life and I still have a long way to go because life is so full of EXCESS and busyness.

Once all the junk is gone , we have to re-discover things that really matter. I have found that to be just as great a journey as simplifying. Honestly, I don’t know what this will look like… but I’m excited to find out!

Make sure to click “follow” at the bottom and enter your email address and CONFIRM the email so you can get future posts by email.  Hope you enjoy the journey and do some of these challenges with me!

Radical Contentment

I love Beauty, decorating and organizing!

I love taking junk and making it beautiful!

For a year or two i have been on Instagram following designers. Honestly, i have found it very inspiring!!!

If their post ever made me feel negative for any reason i would delete the account.

Now I’m at a creative point that i think i can let go of instagram…

I bought some new couches and this is my radical prayer…

“God, fill me with feelings of love and beauty from my house. Even if no one likes it, better for my soul and pride if no one likes it! Lord i ask that no one like my living room, but that i absolutely love it! Fill me with contentment in the cozy beautiful home i have designed”

What freedom?

Content with my home and the beauty around me!

No more searching, no more inspiration.

I’m inspired by the blessing of God. Women have the ability to make all things beautiful!

A vase of flowers, a dinner plate, a photo album, a baby’s room, an organized refrigerator, a well kept patio, well groomed children, flowerbeds, a Christmas tree.

I will probably get off of Instagram until after Christmas.

Contentment is a good antidote for pride. Thank you God for humbling me.

I’m Too Busy For God

We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves. – Pope Francis in Gaudete et Exscultate

When i first had children, i tried to go to daily Mass with my kids. IT . was .so .difficult. And by difficult, i mean horrible. Juggling a nursing baby and toddlers in Church is a feat of great proportions! So i had to slowly let that go.

I was used to going to Adoration and i had to let that go.

I loved going to prayer meetings, retreats , or speakers but as i had more littles i had to let that go.

I loved to get to Sunday Mass early and sit near the front. I had to adjust.

My prayerlife changed a great deal. My mornings are always accompanied by an infant.

At first, i often considered all these Changes ..

as motherhood was “taking” from my spiritual life.

I took many years for me to realize i was in the active night of the soul. God was calling me not to distance myself from my life to connect with Him but to invite Him into my daily grind.

God wants to help me find the perfect couch. He wants my white beans to come out delicious. He wants to help me train my 5 year old to sit calmly. We have this image that God is up high and distant. It’s so hard to realize we find Him when we draw inward and become aware of HiS Presence.

For all those years, i looked at myself in self pity. Now i realize that was such a spiritual journey in self denial (even of Holy things.)

It also forced me to find God in my home instead of a Church.

Now i am slowly finding ways to go to prayer meetings, or Adoration. My appreciation for these quiet times is indescribable. Looking back i realize it was only a season. God wasn’t “taking” anything from me.

He was preparing me. Stretching me. Honestly, stretching me for more joy and Love !

God is so good.

4 Levels of Happiness, Which Level are You?

We all want the same thing. To Be Happy.

We do everything to this end. (Who we marry, choosing a career, and choosing our friends.)

General definition of Happiness is fulfillment of desires. Therefore unhappiness can be NON- fulfillment of desires.

Philosophers have narrowed in on 4 levels of Happiness.

Which are you?

I’m sharing this info because if we are stuck at one level, that fact that we know there are higher levels we can choose to move to a higher level.

If we are stuck at a level and don’t know how to get greater happiness we plateau. If we think “this is all ???” “ nothing matters”

This is all based from a book / YouTube videos by Father Spitzer. He studied 136 Doctors, philosophers, and psychologists and is reiterating his findings to us.

1st level is physical

Food, shelter, thirst

These things are very biological. They are simple desires.

We feel “happy” when we get an amazing meal. This desire is fulfilled with instant gratification however the effects are short lived. In an hour you are hungry again.

Children are born trying to fill these desires

Safety , food, comfort.

Children have an inner self. They believe they are the center of the universe, so much so that they think the sun is following them.

I believe there is a huge market for appealing to level 1 – commercials!! Advertising!!

Most of us move out of level 1 and into level 2.

70% of us are in level 2

Level 2- Ego/ comparative

This usually comes around in teenage years .

When we are hyper aware of our peers .

Who’spopular?

Who’s prettier?

Who’s smarter?

The comparative game begins.

We start to be aware that there is a bigger world ( the outer world). In this level , We feel the need to bring the outer world in our inner world to dominate it.

As we become adults we often default to this level.

Who is more powerful?

Who is more successful?

Who is more important?

This level we feel “happy” when we get promotions or awards. We are striving for superiority.

We don’t mind sacrificing level 1 desires for level 2 happiness. Example- Sacrifice sleep to get a good score on test.

When we are at this level , we are very jealous. “Oh well you are very successful but you are so unattractive. You are so attractive but a jerk. “ We feel the need to bring down the other person that is threatening your status or even bring down inferiors in their small successes.

When this level becomes your dominant level. You become very negative.

You can’t help it .

You always feel judged, or jealous. Then when you have everything you could want, prestige, talent, beauty, you feel overwhelmingly… empty. No what ? You also want the accolades from others to keep coming. When they stop or you make a mistake, you feel like a failure. Why? Because you have based everything on this or that thinking this is what you desire. It’s yours, now what??

Perhaps your don’t know there are 2 more levels of Happiness?

Perhaps there is a social engine that dominates every hour of your day, throwing you back into level 2 over and over and over again…(social media)

Fear not!

You can get out of this !

Have you asked yourself these questions?

Why are some people happy and unhappy at the same time?

Why do teenagers who have great potential have suicidal feelings?

Why are some of the most beautiful and talented people seem to be so cynical?

Why do we sometimes we move from a sense of superiority to a feeling of inferiority in the course of just a few minutes?

Why do some people get a promotion, new car, and esteem of others and yet feel profound loneliness?

Upcoming posts:

Level 3 and 4

3 Things to Tend to Everyday

Don’t know what to do with myself?

I have often felt overwhelmed/ bored at the same time. Please message me i you have felt this way!?!? It’s a strange combination of emotions.

This is how i boss myself around lately and it’s so simple and obvious i can’t believe i have t considered it earlier.

Everyone. Everywhere. Is dealing with 3 things.

Food ( everyone eats)

Dishes (because everyone eats)

Laundry ( because everyone wears clothes )

So if I’m not handling these 3 things , they will back up.

So now everyday i have been asking myself about these 3 areas of life… and get to work on them. I can’t ignore one of these areas of my life will suffer

Jealousyj

What a yucky feeling!

I hate that feeling!!

I can distinctly remember feeling jealous twice in my life. Both times i was mad at myself for feeling that way!

I found myself wanting to come up with failures in that person so i could justify why everything they did and had seemed so amazing.

The first time i felt this was when i lived in Baton Rouge and i had a friend that i hadn’t seen in a long time invite me to her house.

First off she was stunning. Like I’m talking magazine stunning. Her house was gorgeous. And immaculate. She had made this gorgeous lunch for us then when i left she mailed me a gold glitter note thanking me for my visit?!?!???

For real?!?!?

How can someone be so amazing???

At the time i was big (gained 40 pounds) with my first baby. I lived in a little condo first married and i went home and felt like crap. I felt like my clothes were crap, my house was not nice. It was a terrible terrible feeling!!

I didn’t even recognize myself and the way i was feeling.

I would now identify that as jealous. We may all crave different things. Maybe we want to be stylish, popular, exciting, neat, wealthy, motherly. Whatever it is. There are others that do it so perfectly and can make you feel like your efforts are so worthless.

This is partly why i had to get off of Facebook. I found myself thinking: “ sure that’s a gorgeous picture of you and your friends—- but i know you and your spouse don’t get along”

Or

“That vacation looks amazing—- but i know you were yelling at your kids the whole time”

In my head i was justifying why they were so good in one area of life.

That’s terrible!

My niece recently taught me something. She is 16 and her friend got a new car. She found herself slightly jealous. She said “wait a minute, i love this person! What’s wrong with me” i need to be happy for them. So she called and shared the excitement about the new car.

Sometimes we need to snap out of it and say “that’s so awesome I’m so happy for you!” “You look so good!” “Your house looks beautiful “

It truly does release you from the nasty grip of jealousy.

Purposely Eating

Wow what a tough area to simplify and not indulge!!

I think it must have been almost 3 years ago, i posted a discussion with my friends.

How do you think God wants us to eat?

That was the beginning of my quest for how am i supposed to eat?

It really is a terribly confusing, and emotional topic. The way we eat covers health, psychological, emotional, our past, our self image, pretty much every aspect of our lives is linked to food.

Over the last few years of breaking down the “lies” around food, i think that I’m finally on to something that makes sense. Most of these ideas have come from a Catholic based eating program. (It’s a parish led program that revolves around the Eucharist)

These are the main principles i am kinda collecting to practice.

I believe that if i can keep practicing these principles for about a month, it will become my natural way of eating. The first week i did this, i lost 6 lbs.

I can actually feel the weight shedding off of me…in a very spiritual way as well. It has changed my gaze from wanting to be thin , to wanting to bring God into that area of my life as well. I’m in a sense letting go of the bondage of the modern diet.

Here are my self imposed rules for eating…

(Ideas from several sources)

  • First day, fast. Fast for as long as i can. (4 hours, 6, 12,20 whatever) trying to know what hunger pains feels like as well as shrinking my stomach.
  • I can only eat sitting down , with a plate , and a glass of water. If i don’t have time to do that, I’m not that hungry.
  • I can only serve the size of my fist of food. If there is a salad or veggie, i can serve a second fist size amount of that too.
  • Never go for seconds, if I’m still hungry after my plate, glance at the clock and wait 20mins. If at 20 min I’m still hungry, i can serve another plate.
  • If I feel hungry at wrong times, i will turn to prayer. Say a prayer for hungry people around the world. Drink water. Say a Rosary.
  • If i have a day full of overeating or holiday feasts( perfectly acceptable because the Bible is all about feasting!) then the next day i will fast.
  • When i fail, and eat a whole bag of chips. I will apologize to God for my gluttony and offer it up for someone with an addiction problem.
  • When do eat, i will eat the food I’m looking most forward to. I will eat slowly and calmly. Trying not to take a new bite until i finish the previous bite.
  • I will say the blessing and truly thank God for the food and the ability to feed my children
  • Always save a bite for my guardian angel

Last week i wanted chocolate so bad. So i asked myself why do i want this? What am i REALLY looking for ?

The answer was Joy.

So i sat down and asked God to give me Joy.

About ten seconds later my son comes in the room with a make shift head bandage and i popped out laughing. Then my daughter comes in the room , she had made me a pop up card. God sent me joy!

How to Choose the Garden over the Apple?

Ask yourself is this real? Is it authentic?

My son wanted coffeemilk this morning. He has never asked to have coffee with me before. I went to serve him coffee in a paper cup and i thought “No, he needs a glass coffee cup”

Because what he really wants is to experience drinking coffee with me. He is grasping for the Garden i shouldn’t short change his desire. Is it more aggravating to wash the coffeecup. Yes. Is it real? Yes.

I want fresh flowers in my living room. Should i buy fake flowers ? No. It’s not real. It’s not authentic. I want the artificial to feed my desire for nature indoors but it can’t. It may look decent for a little while. But it will collect dust and look old very quickly. I can A. Spend the proper money on real flowers and sacrifice something else B. Not put any flowers if i cannot do real c. Buy seeds for $0.50 and grow my own flowers D. Cut greenery from my yard and trees.

But i have to dig through the muck , determine what my heart is really after and don’t settle for the fraud. Even if it’s only $3.99 for a bundle of artificial flowers.

As I’m decluttering the toys, i need to ask myself what is desire in my heart. For the kids to play, be creative, and have fun. So does a plastic Dora encourage those goals? Maybe , maybe not. I know wooden blocks do. Balls, chalkboards, baby dolls and toy cars seem to do those things. The rest maybe overkill. The fraudulent toys do all the imagining.

As I’m decluttering my wardrobe or buying new pieces , they need to reflect my vocation. Questions like: is this actually clothes ? Will this fall apart when i wash it. Does this color look good on me? Is this age appropriate. Does this show that i have dignity and am loved by God?

I’m just thinking about different ways we can live authentically…

God doesn’t want to short change our desires, He wants us to live rich and full lives.

So maybe we can empty the garages, closets and toy boxes. We can pull our cars up and use the garage. We can utilize toy boxes for management of playthings.

We can pull the reigns back on never ending buying, and accumulating Stuff, stuff stuff.

We are Choosing a Fake!

So as I’m contemplating…

Modern Abundance, Obesity, and Social Media Obsession….

The Devil, and Plastic keeps coming to mind.

So i look up when did plastics become widespread?

It seems like it was invented in 1907 but it became widespread in the 1940’s and 50’s.

Exactly when i suspected…

My grandparents would have grew up without plastic- therefore making Christmas ornaments, making mattresses out of moss

My parents grew up with the beginning of plastics…

Our children are growing up with almost no items without plastic… toys , clothes, housewares, plumbing just about everything.

So plastic takes the place of traditional materials for a fraction of the cost.

( wood, cotton, metal, glass, ceramic)

As I’m pondering 🤔 this … i keep hearing- fake.

Is that the devils tactic- you don’t have to do such and such … just fake it.

Genesis: “Eat this Apple, you don’t have to be a God , you can be “like” a god , just by eating this”

1920- Mom and child would sew a doll and doll clothing.

2020- kids have 45 dolls they never play with.

Fake

1920- create Christmas decorations

2020- Buy new Christmas decorations by the cartful at hobby lobby, pay someone to decorate your tree. Throw away lights when they are too knotted

Fake

1940- Couple splits a coke on Saturday night , talking all afternoon.

2020- couple goes on vacation, takes hundreds of pictures, and don’t talk to each other the whole time

Fake

1920- kids help garden , cook and eat simple meals together.

2020- order take out from 2 different places, no one eats at the same time. No one cooks. No one cleans

Fake family meal

The abundance is a fake!

We have so much crap because we want

Happy kids

Family meal

Be good Mothers

Be healthy

Happy Marriages

We are choosing the “Apple” over the Garden of Paradise!!

Who loves Shopping? Me! Me!

I once heard that Social media can produce this “high” when you get a bunch of likes. So a person can end up trying to repeat that high or get more likes etc. Milestone events as well as pictures of the event become sort of Trophies. Some people that get really attached to that internet endorphins try to collect more and more of these trophies.

I’ll never forget this… a few years ago, we went to a seafood restaurant in Florida. We sat next to a couple. I swear i did not see them talk to each other even once. They were both on their phones , i remember thinking wow that’s so strange… they aren’t speaking. Well when the food got there. The guy went sit next to the girl for a selfie. They put on the Bibs , and were pretending like the crabs were pinching them. Took a selfie as if they had the greatest time at that restaurant then went back to their silent meal. I kept thinking”oh my goodness “ anyone who sees this picture would think it was so much fun. And i wondered when they saw the picture 5 years from now, how would they remember that dinner??

Was the picture the most fun part of the evening?

So what if clutter is the same thing??

Do we collect kitchen things and cookbooks because deep down we want to be a great cook? Do we collect and store a bunch of board games and books because we dream about family game night and reading to our kids. Do we keep buying and buying decorations because we want to capture the style we saw on Pinterest. Do we keep and keep buying holiday decorations because deep down we want to experience that holiday. Our kids have about 300 too many toys because we wanted them to have the most fun childhood, wanting for nothing.

Our closets are brimming with clothes because we want to be that smaller size. We want to look good in yellow. We wish we had pretty legs or tan shoulders??

We have all that camping gear because we want to have a family vacation.

Do we own tons of baskets and organizational items because we want to be organized.

Are we trying to “have” this experiences/traits by owning the objects ???

Have the objects taken the place of the real life thing.

Tons of books but we don’t read to the kids.

Tons of kitchen items but we don’t cook.

Just like Facebook pictures taking the place of the actual event.

Can we come to terms with who we really are??

Can i get rid of all the fabric ?- i will never sew.

Can i get rid of the workout equipment?? That’s not me.

Can we love ourselves for who God created us to be?

Can we let go of objects that represent what we wish we were. So we can have space in our homes and hearts for what we are good at.

Maybe by buying and buying and buying and buying we actually think we are being better housekeepers, better wives, better spouses, better decorators, more outdoorsy, more athletic, more sophisticated. When actually all we did was buy the items.

The manufacturers are just supplying our fetish to be good at everything.

Tactic: Well this person wants to smell nice and be pampered. Even though she is sleep deprived and took a 3 min shower she can smell like she is totally taking care of. The market says : if the wealthy buys luxury body washes at $25 a bottle. The average person will buy 3 bottles for $5.99 each. What a deal!

You can “pamper” yourself for $5.99.

Are you actually pampered? Are you actually any more soothed or calmed that a spa experience would give you?

No.

However your bathtub rim has 12 different products saying you will.

What about farmhouse? Pioneer woman and Joanna Gaines make farmhouses look like elegant resorts. Do you live on a farm? No. But you can buy a hand painted sign that says “farmhouse” for $12 at Target.

Are you any closer to living on a farm? Absolutely not. But when you purchased deep down you want that feeling of living on a farm.

Shiplap wallpaper- what a lie!!

Perhaps this is the Abundance. This is why we have garages filled with junk?

Closets that are avalanching out.

We are trying to purchase a life.

So if we determine that we can’t purchase a certain life.

How can we get the life we really want or we are designed for??

I’m not sure yet … I’ll keep pondering…

This may answer why we are keep clutter and ridiculous amounts of things but it doesn’t answer how it is so cheap and available?

I feel like God is telling me it has to do with 2 things… the devil and plastic.

?!?

( note: how strange this idea is ? My favorite ideas from God are ones that make NO sense, it is so satisfying to have a notion from God that needs to be unraveled)

Putting Two and Two Together

Saint Luke, describing the events of our Lord’s birth and recounting the story told by the shepherds of the Angels apparition, says that “Mary kept all these words pondering them in her heart.” “Pondering them in her heart” means, in the Latin and the Greek, what we may describe by the homely phrase, putting two and two together.

( This is taken from a Homily on today’s Laudate App)

This is a confirmation to me about something i have been pondering 🤔.

It has only happened to me maybe 3 times… God puts something on my heart and He wants me to ponder them and work them out.

⁃ Once He told me not to buy things on sale anymore.

⁃ Once He told me that all man made things have straight lines and all God creations have no straight lines. ( Humans, nature)

This is the latest…

(I have not fully worked out the details yet, but this is what i have been pondering for a long time)

We live in such unbelievable abundance. Never in the History of the planet have people had to declutter, own storage units, and fight obesity. Since the beginning of time, humans worked to provide food for their families. Now the poor, are plagued by mountains of stuff, and junk food is 1/12 the price of fruit and vegetables.

My mind can’t wrap around this. In the Bible, abundance and prosperity are blessings. Now, the wealthy enjoy minimal possessions. We pay lots of services to keep all our possessions. However more often than not, possessions are disposable and it’s easier to buy more things than to keep, manage and repair the original.

What has happened???

Seriously, how can the pendulum shift so far in 80 years?

My grandfather talks about making Christmas ornaments out of bubblegum foil. His mother making beds out of dried moss inside quilts.

I recently went through my linen closet and fill up a truck with extras for donations

Is God letting us live in our own gluttony?

Perhaps Our sins have personified…

Our Generations sins are visual now- selfishness, greed, pride, and lust.

Our culture says – “Treat Yourself”

God says “Deny Yourself “

Our Culture says- “Feast always”

God says “Fast”

“I am the Bread of Life”

Bible says “ Feed the Hungry”

Culture says “Get on this new diet for only $140 a month , we will deprive you”

“ this invention makes you look 10 pounds lighter , even if you are in terrible shape”

The culture worships celebrities in their sinfulness.

God wants us to study the lives of Saints not the Kardashians.

I believe we are so deep in this life of abundance we can hardly make coherent thoughts.

I will keep pondering my friends.