Wednesday, December 26, 2012

and... we're back!

After a long hiatus, the blog has returned!  I'm sure you're all very excited.  I know I am.  I look forward to 2013!

I had a wonderful Christmas with family this past weekend.  Much, too much, food was had.  My diet consisted of fritos and something my sister named "Christmas crack," as well as loads of various types of fudge and other candy.  My stomach will not recover for weeks.  I also had a wonderful time going to Mass with my father both Sunday and again on Monday to the Christmas Eve service (though not the Midnight Mass - we were both asleep by then).

Christmas Eve I also was able to go on a hike at a local conservation area.  It was quite cold, but well worth it!  The trail was considered difficult, and went for 3.25 miles. It took me just over an hour, and my legs were feeling it the rest of the day.

I find the woods a great place to pray and focus my thoughts.  All too often I am distracted by my surroundings, and hiking takes away a lot of that other material that can draw me away from my conversation with God.  It seems like I have ADD when it comes to prayer.  Anything and everything will throw me off.

The New Year is coming next week, and I've already been thinking about areas I'd like to work on:

1.  Pray more.  Pray daily.  Pay attention when praying.  The funny thing about prayer is I love it.  I know my day goes better with it.  I know that although life still goes on much as it always does, when I pray I find the day to be so much more peaceful.  I find I react better and think on the eternal perspective versus the right now perspective a little more often.  And then my alarm clock goes off and I hit snooze up until the point I have to walk out the door, leaving no time for prayer.  Instead of praying in the car, I'll turn on the radio.  Instead of praying at work over lunch, I'll play with my phone.   I find a lot of reasons to avoid something I know I want to and need to do.

2.  Read more.  In this I primarily mean my Bible and other spiritual things, but any books would be good. 
  • I started a "read the Bible in a Year" plan in October of 2010.  I'm just over halfway done.  Not very impressive!  I've been reading, but not really following the plan so there's significant chunks I miss as I just go back to the same things over and over again.  So I need to do that daily.  
  • It is also important to dig in and read a bit deeper, so I'd like to go through one book at a time with a little more detail.  I've decided to start with John.
  • I also want to read the Catechism along with the Year of Faith.  I started on that already and am about 20% complete so I'm hopeful that will go well.  To compliment my reading, I've started watching Father Corapi's Catechism Series.  Yes, I am aware he's been accused of some awful things and has basically disappeared.  But the series came before all that and is just fine.  Once that's done I'll move on to the Vatican II documents.
  • Other items in the line up include the Catholicism series (book, DVD, workbook) by Father Barron and the early church fathers' documents my Bible study software have.  We'll see how far I get!
  • Finally, I will for sure be doing a study with my sister.  I can't wait!

3.  Work out more.  I now have a membership to the Y and want to make sure I take advantage of it.  I'd like to increase my running endurance and then speed, do some lifting, and generally improve my fitness level.  I don't want to lose weight though, so I think that probably makes me the odd duck.

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