Posted by: cmittermeier | June 5, 2017

the daily struggle: doing what you can

Today I woke up super tired, and an hour past my alarm.  My strength is less, and muscles ache as if I’d been working them to the limits (which I have not been).  Mentally, its not much better, but I had planned out in detail what I was to do for school so we muddled our way through it.  I still have to do some form of exercise and a few more prayers, my day is far from over…

Today is not the day where I was able to do the 40 minute chair dance program while the boys did independent work, and as I look forward I know my energy is so low I will focus on a 28 minute program and likely at a slower pace. Its what I can do today.  I’m not giving up.  I’m not giving in to the struggle.  I’m doing what I can.  In other words, I’m not the big stem day, but the barely noticed tiny vein in the leaf.

Those little veins are important.  In my world, I’m exercising not just those achy muscles, but the muscles of disciple.  During the weekdays my end goal is daily exercise video (to eventually be replaced by long fast paced walks once my cast is gone).  Daily discipline is my inner leaf, its where the chloroplasts make the sugars that are collected and sent to other parts of the tree. That is what I’m tapping into right now. I have to get something in today.

Posted by: cmittermeier | June 4, 2017

The Daily Struggle

Pictured is a butterfly that we raised in our homeschool a few years back.  Every year since, near the lilac bush we released them by, I see them (well, their descendants). We all know the fun fact that a butterfly must struggle to get out of its cocoon or it will die, and we often bring that fact to mind when trying to rev ourselves over a hurdle.  We know we must struggle, but we live in a very hedonistic world and so all around me is the mantra, “don’t struggle!”.  Have a weight problem? Accept it! There is a constant struggle in my daily life between “just have fun” and “hard stuff”.

You could say its a double struggle – first struggle, “are you gonna face the difficult stuff?” and then the second struggle, the hard stuff… I am a fair weather person, I want my life to be happy pappy all the time!  When things hurt, give me ice cream.  When life sucks, hand me a cookie. The nasties in my life know how to tempt me… and into this midst, what is breaking through? Reminders of the 100 year anniversary of Fatima.

What does Fatima have to do with MY daily struggle? EVERYTHING.  What was Fatima’s message? It was to do all the things I know I need to do – pray, fast, give alms DAILY.  She showed them a vision of hell. She showed them heaven. She made the consequences very real, immediate.  She did not say, “once a week” or “on the first Tuesday of every month”, she said EVERYDAY.  Fatima was, no, IS, my daily message.  It IS the way to daily victory, because I am not a butterfly that must get out of a cocoon once in my life. I am a DISCIPLE of the Lord Most High, and the word Disciple implies DISCIPLINE.  That was her message – do it every day, struggle every day, follow her son, every day.

…and so I am off to say my rosary.  I may not feel like it, I may have to struggle through it.  I likely will have to make use of helpers like images of the mysteries, or youtube videos, or the rosary CD I downloaded a while back for my iPad.  Like the exercises my physiotherapist suggested for my toes, I just have to bear up and do it. Discipline is not built by good feelings, its built by daily doing.  In time, that discipline will wind back into exercise (already I’m averaging three exercise videos a week), it will continue to improve my “fasting” (which really means getting down to the non-gluttonous line at this stage).  But it all starts with daily discipline of prayer, whether I feel like it or not.

Posted by: cmittermeier | June 1, 2017

Following God’s path

I got a reminder yesterday, one worth passing along because I think we all often forget it. So many times in our life when faced with difficulties, we want God to take care of it all. Prayers like, “God, I am overweight, wake me up in that glorious body you created me for” – instead of, “God, I know there is an exercise plan and everyday eating strategy that will help me honour the body you gave me, help me to follow the path you laid out for me”. 

When we pray, we forget that petition prayer is about finding the next step in our life journey, not a teleporter to the end.  Yes, God has a path to get us to that end, but it involves us doing stuff to get there.  The balance point is neither extreme, not the new age, “you can do anything, just believe in yourself”, nor the “God will take care of that”.  So today, when faced with that impossible hurdle, remember when speaking of salvation that Jesus did not say God does it all, the text in my bible for Matthew 19:25-26 is that WITH God all things are possible. WITH, definition curtesy Miriam Webster, “used to say that two or more people or things are doing something together or are involved in something”  indicates that we must be part of this.

So, after you pray, let’s start looking at what it is we are supposed to do… 

Posted by: cmittermeier | May 28, 2017

It starts with a salad

I promise to write soon about my wonderfully broken ankle, but for now, just know I’m at week seven of twelve non-weight bearing, to be followed by four weeks walking in a cast, and then six months to a year of recovery… and that when they say, “do not exit a moving vehicle till it comes to a full and complete stop” it includes bicycles! With the context partially set, let’s add in my son’s confirmation party yesterday. Never before have I hosted an event where I did not prepare most of the food from scratch, but this one came out of bags, boxes, and plastic trays. We have left over cake, Doritos, snack mix and of course the good stuff – leaf salad, veggie tray fixings, hummus, a well made potatoe salad. That is the context I write this: hopping, tired, healing, surrounded by crap, and of course the “option of eating healthy”.

Lunch ended with cake and a snippet of ice cream. To which I added a second slice when my son took his, and, sigh, a third. It was a super sugary cake (Carmel topped). I went upstairs and quietly prayed for help.  I told a friend to pray for me.  I knew I was in way over my head.

Eventually, as dinner time neared (we have been eating later and later as we tried to get everything done), a thought popped into my head and I told my husband, “I’d like tuna for dinner, a simple tuna sandwich.” He was surprised to find a can and so he began to fix a single sided tuna melt for me.  I took out some raw veggies from the tray and sighed as I tried a carrot or two, then out of the blue I tell my younger son, “bring me the big bowl of leaf salad,” to which he then instructs his brother to get out the bowls for us all.  I portion out a salad for myself and I can feel that God is with me, problem is, just looking at the salad has me wanting to gag.  Ugh! Salad! The words, “I made these foods for you, they will help clean you out,” gently run through my brain.  I know I must do this, and I know I’d rather not.  I look at the contents and I have to agree, it will be good for my body, lots of good stuff in there.  

And so I ate the salad.

It won’t surprise anyone that it was hard but doable. At the end of the meal I had the grace to resist the cake. Not only that, but I made sure the cake was returned to the freezer instead of left directly in my line of sight.  I portioned out a salad for my husband and myself and stored properly the rest, tomorrow’s lunch and that step in recovery is set.  And now I must get to my rosary and a bit of bible reading. Might I suggest them to you?

Posted by: cmittermeier | February 7, 2017

Sliding on ice

I can’t get a foothold. It has been, what, three, four weeks? Totally unable to get and stay on track for more than part of the day… Considering there were days when I couldn’t stay on track for any part of the day, you could say this was progress, but it certainly is not the report card I would like.

I have seen many I love slide back into old patterns, unable to get back on track. I know where this can end up.

This journey is a public one, and I don’t want to hide the rough parts.  This started with a funeral for a little boy, but it wasn’t what you think. He had a sister, twelve years old. When I talked with her at the funeral a plethora of memories, along with a burden of pain unhealed, encroached upon my heart.  I was just a smidge older than her when my father died. I was alone, in a family of seven, six.  After my mother returned to work when I was in grade two, I lost a connection with her. The age gap between my siblings, coupled with my behaviour (I was a brat), meant there never was a connection to have been lost.

Soon after the funeral, there were other draws to my past… draws to the pain. 

Back then, after he died I “bonded” with them first by food.  Who knows if We all wanted the same thing, but we certainly all ate our way through.  I wanted to be numb to the pain and to experience pleasure. Even if it was a series of instaneous taste bud moments, I survived by constantly reminding myself pleasure was indeed possible. But then I wanted to get lost in that pleasure and totally avoid the pain.  I still do.

As the tears, fears, and failures filtered through, the present began to pulse with its own difficulties. The reasons to numb and please keep adding up.  Solutions, options, alternatives… not so much.

My alarm has been set to a rosary, I have been more consistent with my rote prayers, but real conversations with God? Those I stop short after only a few words. I can’t enter into things. I know whisps of the pain I avoid, and it is worth avoiding.  My subconscious is going to great lengths to avoid it.

I have a prayer I sometimes say, a prayer to St. Michael for addicted people.  I wonder if it will help deal with the roots of the addiction? The words are aimed more at the supernatural influences of the addiction.  Time to start prayin for something…

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