"I heard a voice from heaven saying, 'Son, let this woman be a bride to you in the restoration of my people. Let her be a mother for these people, regenerating souls through the salvation of spirit and water.'" (Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias)

Friday, August 5, 2016

With Grit and Grace: August Goals

Excited to join two monthly goal link-ups for the first time! A warm welcome to anyone who comes to visit from there and don't forget to visit others. Not sure how to obtain the button so I will link to With Grit and Grace via Waltzing in Beauty, and Gratitude and Goals via FabWorkingMomLife

Since we move across the country in two weeks there are plenty of tasks possible and necessary in August--the trick will be keeping them to manageable level.

My categories will probably evolve, but I think I will start with Holly Pierlot's priority-ordered "Five P's" from A Mother's Rule of Life.

1. Prayer: The summer, and the move stress, led to a lot of spontaneous conversational prayer but a loss of a daily rhythm of formal prayer. I have been getting back in the game the past couple weeks and want to continue that process. I am especially happy with my nightly candlelit Examen prayer before our couple Netflix time, and want to maintain that, but I would like to do a little more in the morning as well.

I have resumed my personalized version of the morning offering first thing, which feels great, and did my first sunrise rosary walk by the lakeshore today in a long time. But I miss the psalm-based Lauds/Morning Prayer which I have only done once, last week--yet know that it is too lengthy for this time of preparation and especially while we are sharing hotel rooms, staying with my parents while awaiting the moving truck, etc.

So my goal is to follow through on a wonderful suggestion from a really great Pentecost confession last year and create a much shorter and more streamlined version of Lauds that I can easily fit in on a busy day--ideally from memory if I need or want to be on the go. I have the opening verses I created and the Benedictus/Canticle of Zachariah and closing prayer memorized, but for the middle I only know one psalm by heart--27--and it's a long one.

So this month's prayer goals are 1) to create and print out a simple ordo with a couple of short psalms and 2) to memorize one of them, which come to think of it was a Lenten goal that didn't happen though some did.

2. Person: Healthy enjoyable eating and exercise also fell by the wayside as I dealt with some depression and PTSD triggering coming from the forced and sudden nature of the move (work transfer for ComputerGuy) as well as the great expense of the new area reawakening grief and anger at the concrete cost to me and my family of the mommy track sexism my academic career has faced. I felt loved by God as I rested, lamented, read YA literature, and ate treats but am grateful that as the energy comes back and the doors open for ministry and scholarship and community in the new area the joy flows over to the physical self care as well.

I have swim several times and luckily the apartment has a pool open till Halloween so I hope to continue as the move means losing my kickboxing dojang and, at least at first, our health club membership due to finances. The prayer walk this morning felt great too and I would like to add in some abs and stretching. I am also enjoying getting back to healthy eating and the big challenge is taking the time to shop and prepare things that are really enjoyable--worked great today when I had a smoothie (Silk Dark Choc Almond Milk, heavenly) and a banana for first breakfast at 6 and when I was hungry again at 9:40 a baked egg with a tiny bit of sharp cheddar, half a baked sweet potato, and half an apple!

So this month's person goals are 1) to rotate between the three exercise routines--swimming, walking, abs and stretching--so I do one per day and 2) to take the time to eat lovely healthy foods as well as, always, little treats.

3. Partner: This one is pretty much covered as I handle most of the move logistics to support his career transition--and, thankfully, as we enjoy work together on the process and continuing to rebuild our relationship after some tough years.

4. Parent: It's an endless joy to sit in the living room doing my work on the laptop and see homeschool maiden doing the same--and occasionally sharing FB fun with each other--to get ahead on her online second semester chemistry class before, God willing, adding in Stats at the community college in the new area. I have spent a ton of time sorting out their system and calling people and guiding her through her own app (like teaching chores when they're little--takes three times as long but worth it for the independence and putting ourselves out of a job!). We have mapped out a plan for high school graduation and progress towards the A.S. in two years using all four terms (intensive January intersession along with fall, spring, and summer), including a semester of Japanese so anime/manga lover can earn a graduation gift trip.

Just like last summer with Shakespeare, we have also started Literature a bit early equipped with the excellent new translation of the full Iliad by Caroline Alexander and the corresponding Audible recording which we listen to and discuss in the car while she reads along, juggling her Kindle and mine for the two modalities. We had a long trip to the mall with the Krispy Kreme and have heard much of the long but useful introduction--though it really beats into the ground "this does not glorify war, they hated it!". But we are both looking forward to "Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus’ son Achilleus...."

So with things in great shape with Katie this month's parent goal will be continuing to build/transition the relationship with Nick, the young adult--especially as we drive out to Lansing to take him to dinner tomorrow before bidding farewell till we met up at my mom's at Christmas!

5. Provider: Professional work is another resurrection joy as I move toward exiting the mommy track--complicated by two of my four dying young and tragically and one being a non-neurotypical and alpha male adolescent. Happily he is fully launched at 19, staying in his apartment here for college with some extended family assistance, and we are getting along great. So even with picking up more maiden chauffeuring in the new area with Dad going back to the office all day--how we will miss telecommuting!--I should continue to build my spiritual direction and retreat practice as well as shift my scholarly focus from medieval women's theology to Ignatian spirituality and ministry. I am working on a marvelous grant application which is due Oct. 1, with an optional submit for feasibility critique Sept. 15, for a project start Jan. 1 if awarded.

So my provider goal for the month is to make major progress on both my correspondence and writing toward that application--fitting in work as I can during move prep and then really immersing myself in the week to two weeks where everything is in route and I can't start unpacking!


  1. So wonderful that your child and you can sit and do your work side by side on computers. You've got some great goals here, personal and professional. Would love to see you link this up to GratitudeGoals :)

  2. Thanks Julie, I will! I noticed it at your blog, I think, and meant to join that linkup as well but was juggling a lot so didn't come back till after cooking dinner, and talking to the partner, and cleaning up the kitchen, which turned into culling the cupboards for the movers who will be here to pack two weeks from yesterday! I love the double focus on gratitude and goals and it's really very Ignatian. St. Ignatius who founded the Jesuit order recommended a prayer called Examen that looks back over each day (or week or month) and begins with gratitude before looking at what could have gone better and opening to healing and transformation. It's a great way to stay positive and balanced and self-caring even while striving to excel and grow.