How I Pray

Yes, I am technically writing this on Saturday and backdating it to Friday. Yes, I stink at doing Lent. Oh well.

As I am trying to figure out what to write about each day, I thought I would talk about some of the prayer resources I use in the event that people need something.

Also… I am an Amazon affiliate, so there will be Amazon affiliate links in this post.

So… here is what I like.

[+] Pray As You Go: This is what I mainly use right now. They give you some beautiful sacred music and a guided reflection based on Scripture. You can listen on the website, download it onto your computer, or get each day’s devotion on iTunes. I’m mostly listening on my laptop at 7 a.m. while I wait for my oatmeal to cool, but I’ve also listened in the car and it was my go-to when I lived in Montana and had an hour-long commute to and from work.

[+] Sacred Space: My best friend Rebecca introduced me to them 21 years ago. It’s guided reflections and they also have a prayerbook you can buy and keep on your e-reader.

[+] Devotional pamphlets: I used to use Our Daily Bread for 20 years, and I stopped using it in 2016 for reasons… which was also when I stopped praying as much. My church distributes Forward Day by Day, which is what we use on the occasions I actually make it to Mary’s Guild on Wednesday mornings. I based the Lenten devotional books around the format of these two. (If you want to download a copy of it, go here.)

[+] The Jesus Prayer: This is how I get through painful medical procedures. It’s simply “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” I also do this a lot while I’m doing things like stripping the sheets off of my bed, cooking something that takes a long time, and on the drive home from Trader Joe’s in Bellingham. (That last one started when Daniel was being difficult on one trip up there, and I found that it calmed me so much that I made it a habit.) I find that things come into my mind to pray about when I do it.

[+] Extemporaneous prayer: Anyone who has ever spent time with me in a work environment has seen me randomly cross myself. It’s usually when I find out about someone who really needs prayer… so I pray for them. 🙂 It is also what I am doing as part of my kneeling prayers during Lent.

[+] Daily Devotions from the Book of Common Prayer: Again, anyone who has spent time with me at the college has seen me do this. I used to do it a lot while sitting in the hallway waiting for my Accounting class to start during my first year there. I had one person freak out because they thought I was in a trance and when I whispered “praying”, they got super apologetic. 🙂 Almost all of my classmates knew I prayed for them, and a number of my students know as well… and it’s actually been something really positive because it has started some interesting conversation and many of them have prayed for me during health crises. I have the BCP app on my phone, so I just use that.

7 Quick Takes: Long Time, No Write Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Just a head’s up that there may/may not be Amazon affiliate links in this post because I am an Amazon affiliate.

Good news regarding the kid. We saw Daniel’s actual G-I specialist instead of just her PA this week for the first time in 18 months, and she was giddy to see him with actual weight on him. Kiddo was 59.96 lbs at weigh-in (we’re going to say 60 lbs because 0.04 lbs is basically the difference of a cup of milk), and he is now 4’7.5″ tall. I’m 5’1″, so kiddo needs to knock it off with getting taller!

— 2 —

Cleanse this weekend. His G-I specialist did feel a bowel blockage, so we “get” to do a cleanse this weekend in the form of senna and lots of Miralax dissolved into apple juice. I’m giddy… NOT.

— 3 —

A song I have had in my head lately. I’m working on my church’s Lenten devotional book and the name is “Agape”, so the following has been stuck in my head.

— 4 —

Update on the perimenopausal dysphoria. I saw my doctor about it a little over 2 weeks ago, and she put me (the girl who can’t get pregnant except involving an angel and the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit along with miraculously regrowing three organs) on birth control because she had never had a patient go into menopause this early and the thing she’d give me for the dysphoria is already a medication I take. It seems to be helping… when I’m not hitting grief wells inside of me because of my writing subjects for the Lenten devotional book and my students aren’t triggering PTSD-related panic attacks. (Yeah, that day was a freaking joy. My therapist had never seen me cry before my appointment that next day.)

— 5 —

Slacker mom Valentines. Are your kids in school for the first time and having to do Valentines for their class? Here’s the slacker mom way: address labels + a template from Avery.Com + appropriate fruit snacks = Valentines for everyone in 10-15 minutes. You’re welcome.

Slacker mom Valentines

— 6 —

Early morning panther selfies. Now that I’m usually up early and praying, I tend to acquire a needy panther who thinks it should be a “stay home and snuggle your panther” day. (He got one today because my morning student canceled.) This leads to some interesting selfies where my eyes aren’t fully open yet.

Early morning panther selfies.

— 7 —

Gifts from my grandfather. My grandpa sends me rainbows from heaven when I really need to know everything will be OK. This week has been no exception.

Rainbows from my grandpa.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: I Love the Pacific Northwest Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Bucolic joy. On Sunday morning, it was raining but the sun came out around noon. I was on my way to Trader Joe’s in Bellingham and was driving down the hill on Broad Street to get to I-5 North when I saw the most stunning sight. The sky was clear, the sun was shining, and I was high up enough to see a stretch of the Skagit River with the sunlight shimmering on the water. It filled me with awe and joy to see it. I love the Pacific Northwest.

— 2 —

First snow. We got our first snow of the year here in Mount Vernon last night and this morning. 95% of it is melted off now (just before noon), but it looked like a giant hand had sifted powdered sugar on everything this summer. It was also nice and wet snow, which was great as it made it SOOOOOO much easier to clean off my car this morning.

— 3 —

Joy from today. In the interest of keeping my intention on making time for prayer daily (other than saying grace), I’ve made sure that I have various things at my fingertips like the prayerbook from the nice folks at Sacred Space, the Trisagion, and the podcasts from the Pray As You Go folks, so that has been helpful. Today’s Pray As You Go meditation was on Luke 5:12-16, which I know better in the Gospel of Mark. It’s the story where a leper tells Jesus that he can heal the leper if he chooses, and Jesus says “I choose to.” It is one of my favorites because Jesus looks on the leper with compassion when he tells the leper that he chooses to heal him. The reflection was interesting as it was talking about whether or not we choose to let Jesus in to heal us and what we ask to be healed.

— 4 —

The Iran situation. I go to church with a couple who taught English in Iran prior to the 1979 Revolution, so the news lately has been distressing me. I’ve seen the country through their eyes, and what I’m seeing is that we just assassinated a general in another country’s military. That is a war crime. I’m angrily stunned at what has taken place.

— 5 —

The cast of MASH on this situation. This describes my feelings well.

The best explanation of my take on the impending hostilities.

— 6 —

Daniel. We’ve had a couple good days with Daniel that are like what we had prior to the beginning of 2018 when his behavior started declining, he gradually stopped eating, and we think the bowel blockage was continuing. It’s always nice to get a brief glimpse of gaining back lost ground.

— 7 —

Our anthem for Sunday. We sing this during Epiphany every year at my church and I thought I would share. The words are from a hymn sung during Lauds at the feast of the Transfiguration, and the translation is:

O Light born of Light,
Jesus, redeemer of the world,
with loving-kindness deign to receive
suppliant praise and prayer.

Thou who once deigned to be clothed in flesh
for the sake of the lost,
grant us to be members
of thy blessed body. (Source)

The recording of the hymn is here.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Intentions for 2020 Edition

7 Quick Takes

Since Quick Takes are happening just a few days after the start of 2020, I figured that I would share my intentions for this year. Several of these intentions are getting a bit of a boost from one of my local readers (who I don’t know if I’m allowed to name) who sent me a fairly substantial Amazon.Com gift card. (The thank-you note for that is in the mail!)

Also, there will be Amazon affiliate links because I am an Amazon affiliate.

— 1 —

Word of the Year and Saint of the Year. At Rita’s suggestion, I got a saint assigned to me and a word assigned to me for 2020.

Saint: St. Isaac Jogues, patron of the Americas and Canada
Word: build

Last year, my word was “faith” and my saint was Joseph of Cupertino. I can understand “faith” because I was graduating from my degree program and looking into a lot of uncertainty, but I’m not sure how St. Joseph of Cupertino played into things except for maybe getting me through my Document Production class?

Both generators, by the way, were created by Jennifer Fulwiler.

— 2 —

To dare to be creative with my bullet journal. I used to love to draw and do art until 6th grade when I got a B in my art class in school. I’m a complete perfectionist, so taking up bullet journaling has been an exercise in letting go of that. I made the decision to take some risks with my January layouts after watching Mary Beth’s video and finding out where she got her images.

I ended up spending my New Year’s Eve in my jammies, and I worked on getting my January calendar spread done. It’s not amazing and I know that the “let it snow” quote box is crooked, but it’s heads and tails above what I’ve done before. I also have this, this, this, and this on order!

Left side.
Right side.

— 3 —

To lower the volume on my parenting. Daniel is having a hard time expressing anger without hitting and screaming, so I am trying to model good behavior for him. When he was asking for a new tablet, he would scream “I WANT” and that was not making me happy. I decided to try whispering to see if he would copy me… and he did! In the last three weeks, I have managed to train him to whisper his tablet requests to me, and I am trying to lower the volume on how I talk to him in general in hopes that it might stop some of the screaming.

— 4 —

Pray in an intentional way daily. I was commenting to our parish webmaster that the only prayer I remember to say on a daily basis is grace before meals, so I decided to add that to my intentions for the year. I now have this on my phone, and I’ll try to remember to take my iPod out of the car on Sundays so I can download the week’s Pray as you Go podcasts on it.

— 5 —

To find opportunities to move more. I’m really bad at finding opportunities to get up and move, so I appreciate that my Fitbit buzzes every so often to remind me. Still, I’ll be parking across campus from where I have to be so I intentionally get a walk in every day that way (which isn’t hard given that there is a serious shortage of parking on the west side of campus), and I will be taking walks on days when I don’t have work.

— 6 —

To clean up my diet. I have been wanting to try the Mediterranean Diet for a while now, so I just got this cookbook and this cookbook. I’m a perfectionist, but I know that it takes a few weeks to set a habit, so I am trying not to kick myself too much .

— 7 —

Read more. I tend to either stare at my laptop or phone while I eat, so I’m trying to read while I eat instead. I have both the Kindle and Nook apps on my phone, and the Kindle app is on my Nook. I restarted Good Omens and I am trying to get one book read per month.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: December 15, 2019

For Today… December 15, 2019

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… dark. It was in the 30’s today with scattered showers. No snow yet.

I am thinking… about the Lenten devotional book for church. I meet with my priest tomorrow to talk about it. I’m also thinking about the church website and how to include all the information that needs to be included and visible on the first page.

I am thankful… for a wonderful church community. I think the reason I haven’t swum the Tiber yet is that my church is so amazing and feeds me spiritually every week.

One of my favorite things… quiet. I’m waiting for Daniel to go to sleep because I need some. Thankfully, I don’t have a terribly crazy week, so that should help.

I am wearing… a long-sleeved charcoal ribbed shirt and jeans. I’m barefoot as always. Church clothes were a black and green pinstriped t-shirt dress, a black cardigan, black tights, and my black flats. I’m incredibly happy that I can get tights on Amazon.Com and that I know my size so I can get them off of Target.Com instead of having to go into the subpar Target location we have here.

I am creating… *.txt files for when I transition the church website to WordPress on Thursday.

I am listening to… the sound of the washer and dryer so I can know when to move laundry around. I also need the pajama bottoms in the dryer before I shower.

I am hoping… this week goes well and that the new dishwasher gets installed tomorrow. We’ve been without a functional dishwasher since the day after Thanksgiving.

I am learning… possibly how to create a MySQL database from scratch.

In my kitchen… God knows. Probably my favorite pesto pasta from Trader Joe’s.

Post Script… I tell my students this soooo often! I also tell them to date any handouts they get and read their syllabi carefully.

Shared Quote… “Read all the words, not just the ones you like.” — my Accounting instructor

I may or may not quote this to my students daily.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: My Plate for the Last Few Months Edition

7 Quick Takes

I was going to just post some videos from my “Advent Songs” playlist, but I have some spare time in front of my laptop, so… here’s what my plate has looked like for the last few months.

Amazon affiliate links may/may not be here because I am an Amazon affiliate.

— 1 —

Put an Advent devotional book together for my church. This involved recruiting people to write reflections, scheduling posts on the church Facebook page, MailChimp, and trying to get them up on the church website. Oh yeah, I also put together a manuscript in *.PDF format for people with e-readers, and I made paper copies for our shut-ins. Because I love going down YouTube rabbit holes, I put together YouTube playlists (here and here) for people who find that music brings them closer to God.

If you want a copy of the *.PDF file, email me (jen [at] this domain) or fill out the contact form.

— 2 —

Crocheted some stuff. I’ve finished three hats and my nephew’s baby/big boy blankie. I’ve started hat #4 and will be starting socks for my mom tomorrow.

— 3 —

Made a bunch of food. I did two batches of cookies for my family’s distribution night for Grandma’s ornaments, did two dishes for Thanksgiving, made a family recipe for people so I’d have lots of leftovers, and I will be baking two batches of cookies next week to fulfill a gift certificate donated to a silent auction for my church. Did I mention that most of this was without a functional dishwasher? My hands are so dry and yucky that they look like I put them through a blender.

— 4 —

Retaught myself some Accounting skills. Oh hai inventory valuation in a perpetual inventory system! I can expound quite a lot on FIFO, LIFO, weighted-average, and specific ID methods now.

— 5 —

Tried to make Daniel’s current bowel blockage go away. We find out how I did with that tomorrow.

— 6 —

Tried to get people to use their computer mouse properly. If your mouse motions are jerky as if you are shifting a Formula 1 car, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG AND NEED TO PUT DOWN THE MOUSE AND PUT YOUR HANDS IN YOUR LAP!!!!!!!!!!! (I might be a little stabby about this…)

— 7 —

Figured out stuff for a super secret project. I’ll know if the project is a go in a few days.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: My Grown-Up Christmas List Edition

7 Quick Takes

This is not related to the Amy Grant song. I’m in bed with a cold and needed something to write about this week, so this is my Christmas list as a 39 year old.

Also, there may/may not be Amazon affiliate links in this post because I am an Amazon affiliate.

— 1 —

For this cold to go away. Seriously, I’d like to be able to sneeze and not feel like my throat is having the cilia sandblasted off of it.

— 2 —

For Daniel to stop randomly YELLING when HE IS MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so over this. Like really over this.

— 3 —

Talent at calligraphy. I’d love to make my bullet journal look like something made by Boho Berry or Amanda Rach Lee, but that’s not my strong suit. I’ve done 3 months of consistent bullet journaling, so I got myself this for next year, and I would really like to come up with a more interesting layout than this:

My bujo.

— 4 —

A job. I do love being a tutor, but I would really like to able to start working in my field and moving on with my life. However, Daniel is looking at more therapies, so I’ll be tutoring for at least another quarter to have a flexible schedule. At least I get to do some fun stuff with Excel!

— 5 —

Work clothes. I have some clothes on my Amazon wishlist toward which I’ll be putting gift cards. I should also maybe make a Kohl’s wishlist or something as well.

— 6 —

Interweave Crochet magazine subscription. I’d love a subscription to this magazine.

— 7 —

Yarn. I’d love a gift card to Michael’s or Herrschners.Com. I mean, YARN!!!!

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.