No Easy Task to Trust the Holy Spirit

Tonight, I’m drinking cherry whiskey mixed with coconut rum.

Yesterday, I thought that it wasn’t worth people knowing that I drank a beer before noon to actually do it.

Training Takeover

A couple weeks ago there was a Catechist training session (week long, 45 hours) for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. The week prior the training start date, the whole thing got plopped on my lap to ensure its survival and execution.

If it wasn’t for the Holy Spirit having such a hand in this, there is no way it would have worked out. Consequently, though, my work load went from organising childcare for participants to doing that as well as organising facilities, making and serving the lunches, running the errands, and managing the registration and budget.

There was a little of Teresa of Ávila that came out that week, who once said, “Dear Lord, if this is how you treat your friends, it is no wonder you have so few!” as she nearly lost footing in a deep river on the way to visit one of her monasteries.

Trusting the Holy Spirit is no easy task. Especially when the budget portion is not solidified until the training week is finished. I’m not sure how many times in my life I’ve had moments where my attitude was, ‘Well, God, this is your doing, so you’d better figure this out,’ but this one has certainly taken the cake. It’s a weird combination of stress over the working-it-out and yet also a trust, knowing God’s hand in it meant that it was going to have success. I certainly wasn’t the cause of the success; I just managed to stay out of the way of the Spirit enough to allow the work to be done, while doing my own part.

I do feel like I witnessed miracles. Not Miracle on 34th Street or I was dying and God healed me fully type miracles. More the I never thought that would work out as smoothly as it did, God type miracles, the Wow, God, you totally changed that person’s heart about this financial need type miracle. Also, I can’t believe I caught my math error and discovered we’re not $1000 over-budget type miracles. Let me just say, I’m not a math person. I never will be.

Revenge of the Cats

Following this harrowing experience, we discovered our friends were in a very bad place, having to evict a tenant from their property who had eight bloody cats (unbeknown to them) and were desperately in need of help to clean up after this mess (oh! the smell! Ten showers won’t be enough!) so that they could acquire a property management company to take over the rentals. So Andy took a day off and we went and we scrubbed. And scrubbed. And threw things out. And washed all the darned cat hair out of the darned fridge (amongst other things). And scrubbed.

Self-portrait, a la ‘I should be watching Paw Patrol but I found the camera while my parents were cleaning’ style

Prompted by the Spirit, whose empathy and compassion know no bounds, our lives are shaped by the way we pour out ourselves for others. Not without boundaries. And not from an empty cup. Maybe we didn’t realise it, but our own cups were full enough to be able to overflow into others’ empty cups. Replenishing, giving drink, being balm. I wouldn’t have offered if God hadn’t nudged me. If I hadn’t responded, I wouldn’t have known how full my own cup was, and that, surprisingly, I could pour out for others. But, it’s no easy task.

This doesn’t mean I’ve got everything under control. Rather, there’s a wildness that runs through it all. I can’t contain the Spirit, who moves wherever she wills. To my untrained experience, it feels wild, out of control, even dangerous. But I do trust that God knows what he’s doing, even if it feels like I can’t always contain or direct it.

Neither does it mean that I am always so aware of the Spirit’s movements, or that I respond even half as well as I should. I am not a perfect vessel, and I have many cracks and breaks. I admit I’m surprised when I feel I can sense the Spirit’s movements clearly at all.

Pentecost is coming soon. An abundant outpouring of the Spirit. Fire, wild and playful, taking shape over us and inflaming us.

What wild ride is the Spirit calling you to be a part of?

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Habemus Pascham!

Happy Easter!

My best pictures of our family for Easter are our pre-Vigil “what-happened-we’re-actually-too-early” snack.

Hope you all had a great Easter day! We made Korvemaker-Vigil history with a first-ever hair catching fire incident. It all turned out fine, and is now a Vigil story.

We had friends over on Monday and cooked up two legs of lamb (our annual Easter Monday meal)(but usually just one leg, two cause we had a lot of people), and tonight I made homemade pizza: ham and pineapple, and Mediterranean lamb. Sooooo good.

Andy’s running Confirmation rehearsals tomorrow and Thursday night, so the kids and I will be on our own for Easter meals. I’m not yet sure what we’ll do, but one way or another, I’m certain it’ll be fairly tasty. 🙂

Happy Easter Octave!!

If you’re looking for a few tips on how to celebrate the Octave with your family, I currently have an article up at CatholicMom that you can check out and get some grand ideas!

And in a bizarre twist, I was contacted by Relevant Radio to do a quick interview on how to celebrate the Octave with your family, which will be airing tomorrow, Wednesday April 4th at 4:45am SK time. Early, right? I’m not sure if that morning show re-airs later in the day, but if you happen to be up, you can listen for free here.

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When in Doubt…

When in doubt…cook some bacon.

Things usually go uphill for at least a little while.

Food is on the Mind

My non-Lenten-but-feeling-Lenten diet has been quite the battle. Most days it has been a sad experience. I still miss cheese the absolute most.

All things considered, I am mostly managing, often without complaint! It is difficult to come up with something to eat if I’ve left it last-minute. However, I’ve found a millet-based muffin (quickbread) that is something I can eat without any guilt. This is awesome. My first bread-like product! Unfortunately, I ate them all before I remembered I could snap a pic. Next time, my dear folks. I’m sure you’re riveting with anticipation. Sure. Of. It.

My new favourite (but perhaps not the most healthy) meal is bacon topped avocado with a roasted tomato.

I think I need to use ham instead of bacon most of the time. Just cause, you know, the animal fat is super high in this version. I’m not opposed taste-wise! Just calorie wise and combined with the avocado. But boy, is it ever delicious.

Conferencing and Travel

I attended our SK homeschool conference last weekend in Regina. We worked it into a family visit (inlaws), and I also went to three parishes to promote the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program, as we’re holding a training session for Catechists in April *squee!* [If you’re in the area and would like more information, you can check out the website for SK Atriums.]

I’m not terribly impressed with the SK HS conference; it has a very strong Evangelical push with a decidedly creationist view of history, which I find distasteful and wrong. There were two sessions I appreciated – one was on Autism and the other was regarding managing anger and working from logic rather than emotions during problems that happen at home. I was very happy with both of those presentations. I just wish there were more I would be impressed with at the conference. In my opinion, religious sessions should be kept to workshops rather than keynotes when the association is meant to be for everyone, regardless of faith or non-faith.

That being said, I’ll be going to the Western Canadian Catholic Homeschool Conference in Edmonton again this year. I didn’t think it would work initially because they have it on the weirdest days ever (a Thurs-Sat rather than Fri-Sun). I think it’s because they decided to host it right on the weekend of Palm Sunday, which perhaps might not have been the wisest choice. But it might have been the only choice for them too, I don’t really know. At any rate, it’s the one weekend of Lent that Andy doesn’t have anything major going on at the parish, so he’s free to stay and watch the kids without concern. I’m thrilled to go back and hopefully chat with the nice nun who runs the Paulist Press vendor table. I love her so much, and if my memory would serve me better, I’d have her name memorized. This year will be my year, though, I’m certain of it.

All this is to say that life is still continuing on. We’ve had a change in school expectations for the year, which I’m writing about I’ve written about at CatholicMom, so be sure to watch for that.

As you can tell, we’re full of the cra-to-the-zed life here. How’s your crazy going?

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Attempted Recipe: Fail

I became all inspired to attempt a cauliflower-pizza “dough” recipe thanks to Pinterest, only slightly disheartened by the number of recipes that used cheese or egg as a binder. Quick recap:

I’m currently not eating:

-dairy
-egg
-nuts
-yeasts
-gluten
-peas
-soy
-beans
-lentils
-rice
-potatoes
and for some reason
-cabbage

As you can see, my options are limited in regards to what I can use for the bottom of a pizza. Nevertheless, I persisted. And, at least this time, it was a fail. I have an idea for trying again, but it makes it more time-consuming and this was already time-consuming enough. Ultimately, it is the cauliflower to blame. And further to that point, also my non-dairy cheese, which is okay when sprinkled in soup, but not great on a pizza-type dish.

Cauliflower pizza dough failure

The first thing I did was toast quinoa. Why? Because I made quinoa flour to help fill out the dough. So, I toasted then ground.

Next I shredded the cauliflower. We have a handy attachment to the food processor (best use of Air Miles ever). Another option would be to use a ricer and rice the cauliflower. I don’t have one of those things.

I also didn’t cook the cauliflower because I wanted to try the base made from raw cauliflower first.

Then I sifted the quinoa (top right photo), mixed it into the cauliflower, added rosemary, basil, and salt, and two “eggs.” I used Bob’s Red Mill egg substitute, which uses no gums, and it seemed to work really well for the purpose of binding. I included a close-up of the ingredients.

Then I flattened it out on a baking sheet (on parchment) and baked it for 20 minutes at 400F.

First pic is what it looked like after 20 minutes, unflipped. Second pic is what it looked like after being flipped and cooked an additional 20 minutes.

All this is to say, DON’T TRY THIS WAY AT HOME.

The cauliflower was way too pungent. It held together well, so the substitute egg mix worked. It might have been crispy if it had been flattened thinner. But the smell and the taste – too strong for me (and the next day, the house will still smell like cauliflower cooking)(in case you were wondering).

I read about using shredded chicken as a base instead (which would get crispy, and much less work). I might try that next. Or I might try cooking the cauliflower and wringing out the water (but oh! what a pain that sounds like!)

Have you tried anything new in the food department?

 

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It’s 2018! Amazing!

It’s crazy to think that people born in 2000 will be 18 this year. What’s up with that?

Quick-o Update

We had a GREAT Christmas and remained HEALTHY despite my mum having a cold, and heard from relatives at the in-laws that everyone got sick there. While I missed their company this year, I did not miss their lingering virus friends (it sounds like everyone swapped illnesses).

I’ve selected a saint and a word for the year, using the esteemed Jennifer Fulwiler’s tools: Word of the year

Saint of the year

My results are:

I’m looking forward to learning more about my new friend Iggy this year, and discovering what this strength might be all about for 2018.

And now, for something completely different

My body has decided it hates food.

And I miss cheese the most.

Now, jumping back a step, last year (or the year before? I can’t even remember anymore) I started having digestive issues, which I thought were related to pork. I waited months to see my doctor (not really, but close), then waited more months to see an allergist, who confirmed that I have no allergy to pork! Well, isn’t that great (bacon!), but I was still having issues. So, months later I see my doctor again, who sends me to a gastroenterologist.

While I waited months to get in to see him, I went to my naturopath who collects my blood for an igG food sensitivity test. A month later (November of this year, now), I discover that my body hates food.

My naturopath has recommended eliminating especially all the red foods for the next two years.

BUT my question is this: what do I eat? I am perplexed. She said to start with breakfast (which, for the past 20 years has been 2 eggs, without fail). I’ve managed to change that. I wouldn’t say it is nutritious, but I can meet my restrictions. But lunch? Supper? I already modify meals for Spencer (for whom we give gluten-free foods to), and I need to further modify to meet my own restrictions.

So far I’ve succeeded in eliminating eggs. I fail at the remainder of the meals. Especially because all the cheap vegetables are on my red list. I have gravely reduced everything, but I have no recipes that are dairy, wheat, nut, seed, egg, rice, lentil, yeast, and starch (mostly) free. 

Unless I eat only expensive veggies (which I can’t afford on a regular every-day basis) and only meat, I’m not sure what to do.

And I miss cheese like something crazy.

So, anyone have some good ideas?

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