Today I am starting on a battle plan that I hope will gird my faith more tightly to me; improve my mental, physical and spiritual health; and renew me, body and soul.
A friend of mine has done this faith challenge, called Nineveh 90, and she swears by its benefits.
It is basically a program of prayer, diet and exercise designed to bring you into greater communion with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Because of health challenges and knowing what will and won’t work due to my fibromyalgia and related autoimmune disorders, I will have to adapt it. Twenty years ago, perhaps I could have taken the program on as written. But that was 20 years ago. Maybe.
Okay. In all honesty, I would have never attempted this 20 years ago. My work and commute schedule would have precluded it. But now as I enter what I am calling my “second retirement” a month before my 65th birthday, I want to kick it off right.
So getting up at 6 am is a little early for my body to function due to bedtime meds designed to put me into deeper, more restorative sleep. But, I can move bedtime to 10 pm and get up at 8 am. That is doable. So then I will do Morning Prayer. Then again at noon. Then at six pm. Then at bedtime.
My routine of saying a rosary/Divine Mercy Chaplet and various other prayers dear to me will continue, as will my perusal of the day’s readings and reflections in the Laudate and the devotionals that always seem to speak directly to that day’s needs.
I was also delighted to listen to today’s “Heart of Mary” podcast on her virtue of patience, which is not one of my own great virtues. And it fits with my dedication as an auxiliary member of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception.
Fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays may be a challenge. I may need to just follow my nutritionist’s diet plan. Giving up sugar – well, that will challenge my Coca Cola addiction. But I will do my best.
Walking a mile each morning and riding my recumbent bike for 30 minutes each afternoon to start – doable if I keep a good mindset about it.
I can keep the TV off and my mind focused on reading and music. I may work some cleaning chores into the mix for the added exercise benefit – and because my house desperately needs it.
Giving up a number of ministerial leadership responsibilities will hopefully free up time and head space to focus on a more contemplative, interior spirituality. Not that I am leaving all the ministries themselves. I just don’t want to be the person responsible to meet any more deadlines or plan any more workshops or fairs of any stripe.
My second “career” as professional volunteer is over. From now on my hands will just be among the many trying to lighten the load.
Daily Mass attendance? We’ll see. But definitely rejoining my prayer group after a more than two-year absence because I always had some committee meeting or another to attend is a doable goal and has been a much missed grounding in my life.
Consistency in First Friday Adoration is something I definitely will be adding, however.
More time to write? Well, let’s see what God produces through the Holy Spirit at work in me.
Today is a fresh start.