We haven't really been much for New Year resolutions in our house. We know all too well that for us, a resolution only reminds us of failure when we are unable to meet it - and really, who needs that?
However, New Year aside, we are enthusiastic about implementing positive changes. As you know, there have been many personal and professional changes going on already, but I'm still craving more...
What I'd like to "resolve" to do this year is concentrate even more on my home life (both working on the renovations, as well as making more time to slow down and meal plan). The first few months on a Paleo diet, I was cooking up a storm in my kitchen. I even had the gall to come on here and tell all of you that it's easy to meal plan, even if you work outside of the home. Well, as it turns out, it does require a little more diligence than my energy levels could handle.
But, no more laziness. No more excuses. As a Christmas gift to DH, I bought him 5 pretty awesome books to start his Nutrition Library (and, ahem, I also personally wanted to read them!):
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, by Weston A. Price
Know Your Fats, by Mary G. Enig
Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon
Real Food, by Nina Planck
Real Food for Mother and Baby, by Nina Planck
We are now motivated more than ever to really get back into more complete meal-planning, no more skipping meals, and making sure we get veggies with every meal instead of settling for the leftover meat-only lunches.
Of course, motivation doesn't equal an implemented change. We actually need to sit down and come up with a plan - I would like to do a 12-month plan for the house renovations as well as set-up a monthly meal plan. And yet, it's like trying to pull teeth. It's already 9 days into the year and we have yet to do it.
Speaking of teeth, we have been seeing a "holistic" integrative biological dentist for about a month now (decided to take advantage of the dental insurance I've been paying for over a year!) and DH is getting his amalgam fillings replaced this month :) Soooo happy about that, since amalgam fillings leak toxic mercury into your bloodstream. Anyone with fillings should seriously consider doing the same for your health.
This dentist is awesome. He's also a Naturopathic Dr and an ozone provider. We've chatted each visit about Weston A. Price, David Browstein (whom I had not heard of, but have since ordered his book Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It, and will report back once I've read it), NaPro Technology (which he had never heard of but has hopefully done some research on it since we last spoke), Vitamin D3, K2, vaccinations, MTHFR (a clotting disorder we both share!) and ozone. Very cool to be able to hold these conversations with a medical Dr outside of NaPro who understands and even fosters alternative health therapies.
And, I am happy to report, 31.5 years and counting with no cavities :)
I also plan to change my spiritual life this year. I hope to get to daily Mass every Friday, or at least every other Friday, since my schedule will now allow for it. I hope to get back to my daily rosary and just a better prayer life in general. To that end, I was mulling over an idea and would love your input.
Prayer Buddies is still going strong, (thanks to the tireless efforts of Mrs. Henderson), and one of the reasons it has been so popular, in my opinion, is because I think we all understand that prayers offered on another's behalf are somehow even stronger than those offered for self. And, prayer buddies is no longer just for the childless - any intention close to your heart can be prayed over by your Prayer Buddy.
But, I would also love to organize something similar to the idea of Prayer Buddies which offers even more prayer, support, daily offerings, and spiritual warfare for couples specifically suffering from childlessness. We have all seen first-hand how the prayers of others have quite literally worked miracles to help bring about a first pregnancy or bring an adopted child home against all odds.
My idea was that we would all - bloggers and readers alike - "ADOPT" a childless blogger* for an entire month. Then, similar to a spiritual bouquet, offer all prayers, daily challenges, struggles in our own infertility or adoption problems, etc. for that blogger. I would even go so far as to say we could offer that month/that cycle TO that blogger.
For example, and I'll use our beloved JellyBelly as the example since her name was the one on my mind when I had this vision. Let's say during the month of January we were all to "offer our cycle" (or month) for JellyBelly to overcome all odds and become a mother. OK, so for many of you, this thought might sound a little scary. Especially if you are cycling, in treatment, and actively trying to conceive. But, this offering can be done in a number of ways. We may decide to offer up all of the anguish of the daily injections, ultrasounds, traveling to and from NaPro offices, etc. involved in a treatment cycle. We can offer a poor diagnosis recieved during that cycle (a luteinized unruptured follicle LUF, a low P+7 progesterone, an anovulatory cycle, etc.). Additionally, and here's where it will seem the most scary, we can offer the OUTCOME of the cycle over to JellyBelly - in other words, SACRIFICE our cycle as a prayer to heaven that JellyBelly may benefit and become a mother.
This does not have to be as scary as it sounds. God, as we well know, works in mysterious ways. First of all, I believe that if we make this sacrifice with the most selfless of intentions, it can move mountains. But, if a child was "meant to be conceived" in a given cycle that we then turn around and sacrifice, I believe that God will reward this selfless prayer by using it to doubly bless. In other words, I don't think that we need to worry that by sacrificing our cycle for someone else, we will possibly be missing THE CYCLE in which we were meant to conceive.
And, we can choose to use this sacrifice however we choose. Maybe some couples are in-between treatment cycles and decide that it is time for a "break cycle" from treatment. It may be a cycle of surgery or the cycle before or after. In these cases, it might be easier for someone to sacrifice the outcome of the cycle already knowing that the likelihood of conception is low.
But for others, (and this I think is perfectly normal!), it might be easier to sacrifice the outcome of the cycle RETROSPECTIVELY. Once a BFN or the period arrives, at that point the cycle can be sacrificed and we can use the pain and suffering of that failed cycle to turn into beautiful prayer for JellyBelly to achieve motherhood. Rather than succumb to too much wallow and self-pity, we can see it as an opportunity which will be (I think) SOOOO very pleasing to God.
And for those not actively trying to conceive, not currently cycling, single women, and those hoping to adopt - you can offer, in place of your cycle, your month of daily sufferings to the same intention.
The reason why I think this will be so mutually beneficial for those praying and those being prayed for is that I believe it will give ALL of us a higher purpose in our daily struggles, especially the sufferings that just don't seem to make any sense at the current time. Instead of wasting these opportunities with Whys and Whens, let's turn them into something so beautiful.
I think to be as strong as possible, we should do this in monthly installments. I propose doing this for the "Childless and Waiting" camp first. I will alert all of the readers as to which childless blogger* is being spiritually adopted in that given month.
So, thoughts? Is this spiritually sound? Other ideas for more ways to make personal sacrifices and offerings?
* I think it is best to keep this, for now, to childless bloggers, as the media being used to promote and begin it is the blogosphere. That way, those participating can follow along with the adopted blogger's journey and more powerfully align their offerings with the blogger's desire for motherhood.
UPDATE: Sarah said it best in her comment:
"How powerful would that be for so many of us to be praying all together for someone in particular?!"
YES! The point is that we will ALL be sending prayers at the same time for the same person... graces will abound, I am counting on it :)
We will start this on February 1st. Stay tuned!!