Friday, November 12, 2010

What It Is and What It Isn't

I missed you! Writing brings me such joy, and I truly have looked forward to returning to this space.

Of course, if you know me, I had imagined planning it all out ahead of time. I wanted a new layout, background, header, and more, and it was just going to be perfect! Once I finally found the time to seriously plan out my posts, I would launch anew!

But, sometimes, you just throw together what you can and jump in with two feet, even if it isn't at all perfect (or what you had hoped it would be)!

I have written this post in my head over and over. For myself and for my readers, I want to quickly let you know what this blog is and what this blog isn't. That way no one is surprised or bothered by what I do and do not post. And, I will have a clear direction for my writing, while of course being open to inspiration as it comes!

What It Is...

This blog is a personal space. It is a place for me to write what touches my heart, exactly as my sidebar says over there on the right (or is it left? no, it's on the right, for now!). "This blog is about the ways God touches my heart as a Catholic homeschooling wife and mother with the intention of glorifying Him and encouraging other mothers through the joys and struggles of this incredible life." My thoughts are my own and are sincere.

I hope that through my writing, some of you will be encouraged and/or inspired in your vocations as wives and mothers. Secretly, I hope that writing to you will remind me that I am not alone and will encourage me This would work really well if you comment on my posts every now and again! :)

Here you will find thoughts that come to me in prayer, ideas for living the liturgical year, my experiences with homeschooling, practical suggestions for everyday life, what helps me to be a better mother, my favorite resources, and ways the Lord leads me to Him, both joyful and sorrowful. I also enjoy linking to other blogs (my Google Reader is obnoxiously full of much better stuff than I can write) and stealing their ideas writing about similar topics.

Most importantly, this blog is about putting God at the center of everything, most especially my daily life as a wife, mother, and homeschool teacher. As I write, I reflect on what God is saying to me, and I try to pass that on to you. In fact, my "best" form of prayer is almost always journaling. Writing is often how the Lord speaks to/through me. So, part of why I blog is to remind myself to keep Christ in all things each day!

What It Is Not...

You will not see a lot of details about my children, husband, or home. I am a bit paranoid about the online world and like to keep some anonymity, at least for the rest of my family. My pen name is Antonina. I will refer to my Beloved Husband in just those words. I have chosen online saint names for my children - Therese (8), John Bosco (5), and Christopher (5 mo.). We live in Texas. That's about all you need to know to understand me most of the time!

I will be avoiding meme or form posts such as daybooks, small successes, wordless Wednesdays, and 7 quick takes. When I did some of these in the past, they strayed too far from the intentions of my writing and felt forced, rather than led by inspiration.

This is not a place for my public confessions or debates. While I am always honest in my writing, please know that I do not feel it necessary to include the gory details of my worst days here. Hopefully, in being general, I will not give anyone the impression that things are always picture perfect around here. That is very far from the truth! And, these are my thoughts; I do not intend to force them upon anyone. If you disagree, you are welcome to say so, but do not expect me to engage in nor tolerate debating in the comments.

Finally, I am not trying to make money with this blog. I see many opportunities for this these days, but it is not my purpose. I truly do want to use this space as a place to connect with and lift up other moms. Yes, I do book and media reviews for two companies, because they send me free stuff to review (and I'm a bookaholic). I have an Amazon affiliate account, which means if you click there from my site and buy something, they give me a few pennies (again, because I'm a bookaholic). That's it.


I find it very interesting that I began my blogging year in 2010 reflecting on the virtue and role of silence in my life and then spent approximately half of the year in silence on these pages. The Lord continually amazes me with the simple yet miraculous things he does in my life. These past months have been full of great joy and a sense of wonder about why the Lord of the universe chooses to demonstrate His love for little me in such captivating ways. My journey in faith will not end until I reach my ultimate goal, but I am oh so happy with where He is leading me and how He is refining me along the way!

May you, also, find joy in the ways the Lord urges you to grow in humility, in holiness, in gentleness, in love, as He draws you nearer to Himself. Do you realize that Advent is only two weeks away? What a perfect time for us to hold virtual hands as we start a new liturgical year and step forward in faith to embrace tomorrow's joys and challenges.

Grace & Peace,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hello Again!

Some inspiring women reminded me today that I need to dust off my gifts, so I've been sprucing up this space and hope to publish my return post in the next day or two! (please kindly tolerate my amateur web design and photography attempts)

Small Steps for Catholic Moms