Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pre-Mother's Education Course

Those of you who are familiar with Charlotte Mason have likely heard of her Mother's Education Course (I hear that Ambleside Online, as one of their many irons in the fire, is creating plans for a modern MEC yipee!) and while I am not yet a mother I feel that at this point in my life if I do not continue the habit of life long learning all will be lost and I will just float along becoming duller as I go...

So I created a schedule for myself! I go the idea from Beautiful Chaos and I too adjusted AO's 12 week schedules to fit my needs. I am really excited, and I hope I can follow through!

Year 1 - Term 1 - Schedule

Just FYI, several of the sections have my weekly breakdown removed due to respect of copyrights. For the history selections I am following the Year 7 schedule exactly and I am utilizing Brandy Vencel, aka Afterthoughts, study guide Start Here and will be spending the whole term on Ms. Mason's First Principle.

For you observant people, yes my term only has 11 weeks in it. I decided to do this now, not waiting until the "proper time" instead I wanted to "just do it", and seeing as there are 33 weeks left before Christmas I decided to start off my journey by doing three 11 week terms. Next year I will do 4 12 week terms taking off for Christmas, all 12 days plus Theophany and Christmas Eve, and Pascha, Holy Week and Bright Week inclusive.

In addition I have started my very first bullet journal. Right now I only have the start of an index and the list of Week 1's readings. I found these little notebooks on sale at my local Office Max 4 for $3, not terrible during non-back-to-school season! So we will see how this all goes!

Did I mention I intend to narrate almost ALL of my readings? For those that are not an AO discussion book I intend to post my narration here, if there are any books in particular you have an interest in my thoughts let me know and I will try to oblige. And if I have any readers who are not a part of AO's forum (why not? the water's fine!) who have a special interest in a book that I plan on narrating there let me know and I will attempt to share here too!

Oh and those history readings, every third week I will be leading, my first (big gulp), discussion group on the AO site! Wish me luck!

Friday, April 24, 2015

I Did Say This Was Hard RIGHT?

Ugh...

Not long after I wrote my last post did my grandfather come out of his room and want to know *WHY* I was up all night and how that is not fair to my aunts who work all day, and no wonder I don't get enough accomplished... sigh... Then he walked over to the window, the storm clouds cleared just like that! I asked him what he wanted for breakfast, he answered, and gave me a hug and a kiss as happy as a clam!

What he doesn't realize is that he "naps" around the clock and is awake anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours at a time and he often needs help when he is up. So what I didn't tell him was that I was up all night so that when he wakes up in the night someone is up to help him, who *doesn't* have to go to work at a set time so that they get enough sleep. Otherwise I don't hear him and they, my one aunt in particular, doesn't get enough sleep. As I can change my sleep schedule I try to go to sleep when the first gets home from work, since he is not alone at that point and get up shortly after they go to bed. On a day like yesterday that was rough as he had 3 appointments in a local big city that I had to brief the one who gets home last (My mom, who sadly has a miserable bug, went with us to the appointments as he wanted two there for one of his appointments and she briefed the one who gets home first as I took him home) so that put me to bed late.

I can't say that it didn't hurt at the time, or that I didn't punch the couch while he was in the shower, but deep down, as hard as it is now, when everything is said and done the person I want to see when I look in the mirror, while she may have a few scars, is one of those who helped.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Little Bit About My Life Right Now

Daily Flow: There is no Daily Flow!

Weekly Flow: 4 days a week either my mom or I take care of my grandfather the other staying home taking care of the farm. 3 days a week (1 of which I want/try to attend church) we enjoy being together and try to move ahead on projects at home.

What this means... Well, my 87 year old grandfather, who was working full time as recently as February, has been going downhill fast. He is now pretty fully retired, is talking about quitting band (he has played the cornet since the first grade), and his mind is slipping oh so very fast. His sleeping schedule is wackadoodle... Sunday night he did not sleep hardly at all and slept all day Monday, Monday night he slept all night... Like I said wackadoodle. Thus all of our schedules are wackadoodle, but we have two caregivers who work set hours so my mom and I are doing all we can to keep them from wearing down without wearing down ourselves.

Add in fibromyalgia, a cria due in less than 3 weeks, spring chores, daily chores, trying to start up a business, and keeping up with the never ending dishes/laundry cycle and our lives equal nuts!

But!

While it is hard none of us would have it any other way. We all want to be taking care of him, this is a choice. One we made with my dad, they made with my grandmother, and the one I will make for my mom (hopefully a l.o.n.g l.o.n.g time from now). We love him.

So while there is definitely abnegation going on, it is a purposeful choice out of love. Does that make it easier? Absolutely not! Does it make it worth it? Absolutely yes!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Christ is Risen! Pascha and Bright Week

My Pascha and Bright Week was a total let down...

I was able to go to Holy Friday Vespers with the 12 Gospel readings and it was oh.so.beautiful! I left mourning the fact that my God died for me, something that was deeper and more sincere than how I normally feel at Easter. I think it has to do with how it is celebrated as most Easter events do not leave us in despair, they finish the story all in one sitting. While I knew in the back of my head that  He indeed rose again, I left knowing in the depths of my bones that my Lord was dead... If I did not have that blessed assurance I would have been utterly devastated... It has been a l.o.n.g time since the Lord's passion affected me that deeply. I should be ashamed but I am just oh so glad that I found Orthodoxy!

And then... I got the family bug that was going around from Easter and I missed all the other services and then was out of commission until the second Monday of Pascha... ugh... Maybe next year? I am oh so disappointed though... sigh...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Blog By Any Other Name...

Would not be mine! LOL!

Seriously though, I know what most of you are likely thinking, "Purposeful Abnegation, what is with that name!" and the rest are thinking "Ooo, I bet she has read Divergent." The second group is correct! :~)

Ahem, however the name is inspired not by the book, but by The Book. As I was reading the definition and manifesto in the back of the book I was struck by the strong resemblance to what Christ has called us to do. That is to "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:37-40.

The definition of Abnegation is:
1. to refuse or deny oneself (some rights, conveniences, ect.); reject; renounce.
2. to relinquish; give up.

In my opinion #1 is what God calls us to do to in Luke 9:23-24 "Then he said to them all: 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.'" We know that we are not called to lose our lives willy-nilly, we must be following Him, thus we must be, oh I don't know... Purposeful about it. :~)

However, the way #2 describes the word implies that it is not voluntary and that one is forced to do so. We cannot strong arm people into heaven, regardless how "good" our intentions... So this blog will be focused on my personal Abnegation, no guilt if your path is different, through definition #1 and we will leave the legalistic #2 right here.

The Abnegation Manifesto:

"I will be my undoing
If I become my obsession.

"I will forget the ones I love
If I do not serve them.

"I will war with others
If I refuse to see them.

"Therefore I choose to turn away from my reflection,
To rely not on myself
But on my brothers and sisters,
To project always outward
Until I disappear
And only God remains*."

While some of the practices of the faction I feel leads towards legalism if put in the wrong hands, I just love their manifesto!

I hope my Orthodoxy journey of Purposeful Abnegation helps you on your journey.

*Those who have also read the book know that "And only God remains." is not compulsory and is the discretion of each member, this one just happens to leave it in.  :~)