Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Nature Study

Occasionally, we actually get out and do a few nature sketches.  Nature drawing gives us the opportunity to really gaze at the plant and appreciate each tiny detail.  The shape of the petals, the exact shade of green, how the center exists and the petals appear to float from it.  

April in Texas is a beautiful time for this as the temps are perfect and everything is fully in bloom.
One of my favorite plants is the Star Jasmine that we planted several years ago.  It is such a fragrant flower.  It's scent fills the air all around the house!  

I love how simple this little flower is.  Do not let it's size fool you.  It may be small but it is a hardy plant surviving the worst winters and the harsh summers including droughts, hurricanes, and insects providing weeks of beautiful fragrance and beauty to let us know that the Earth has once again returned to life!

Hearken to this, O Job! Stand and consider the wondrous works of God! 
                                                      Job 37:14

Saturday, April 21, 2012


After dealing with my last "injury", costochondritis, I have had a hard time finding my focus, specifically, my focus to running.

I miss running the longer miles, but the motivation to run long solo isn't really there right now.  I suppose this is ok as I don't have anything coming up until October.  I'm sure my legs are enjoying the time to repair and prepare for what will be coming up in the next month or so.

I have been spending more time in the pool and on the bike to add some variety to my training and get some use out of some muscles that usually stay fairly dormant.

Swimming has been a welcome addition.  I find myself really aching to hit the pool for some laps when I miss my normal times.  Cycling isn't something I can say I have enjoyed as much, but since a friend has loaned a very nice bike to me, I can see myself enjoying it more than before.  I find this very interesting because I came to running from spinning!  I did spin classes consistently for almost 2 years before I tried running.  I decided to try running and if I was able to complete a 3 month block of running, I would treat myself to a real bike.  Once I ran my first 5k, I was completely hooked on running and though I did buy myself a mountain bike, I have not really ridden it as much as I thought I would.

I have a new-found appreciation for cyclists now.  It's not as easy as I thought it looked, nor as easy as I recall it to be.  Even now, when I spin at the Y, my pace is much faster than when on the road.  The resistance of the street and the wind truly make my ride a serious workout!

Attempting to run off the bike proves challenging.  My legs feel as they have never before.  Almost as if they belong to someone else.  It seems as though I am running through cement, but when I review my pace after the run, I am quite shocked to see that my pace is faster than I typically run.  Maybe I should ride a bike before every run?!

As I muster up the focus required to get back into the ultra training, I am enjoying doing other workouts that only seem to break down more and more barriers I had previously set on myself.
One thing I know for sure, I will not back down from a challenge out of fear anymore.  Desire, definitely, but fear, that doesn't live here anymore.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Triduum Begins as does the Divine Mercy Novena

Today we remember the Crucifixion of Our Lord. There never has been a greater sacrifice made as the one made by Christ for each one of us. How appropriate that we are asked to also participate in the Novena to the Divine Mercy. 

"For by His stripes, we are healed."

May you each have a Blessed and Holy Triduum.

Divine Mercy Novena - First Day


Jesus asked that this Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena of Chaplets to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday. Say one chaplet each day following the novena intention. In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that Jesus told her:

"On each day of the novena you will bring to My Heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy... On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls. By this novena I will grant every possible grace to souls." (Diary 1209, 796)
"Today bring to Me All Mankind, especially all sinners and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges me."

"Today bring to Me all mankind, especially all sinners, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me."

Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.