Monday, October 20, 2014

Change is hard

A long time ago, a friend and I would go over this quote by St. Gregory of Nyssa...we would read it over and over and talk about what it meant.

"Know to what extent the Creator has honored you above all the rest of creation. The sky is not an image of God, nor is the moon, nor the sun, nor the beauty of the stars, nor anything of what can be seen in creation. You alone have been made the image of the Reality that transcends all understanding, the likeness of imperishable beauty, the imprint of true divinity, the recipient of beatitude, the seal of the true light. When you turn to him you become that which he is himself…There is nothing so great among beings that it can be compared with your greatness."

I have been thinking about this - a lot. I know it in my head, but I don't really believe it in my heart. I have been struggling with so many things lately that really stem from my inability to see my own goodness. I have no problem seeing goodness in others - I can see goodness in even the most frustrating people. But to see that goodness in myself feels nearly impossible.

Because it is comfortable...this weight around me. It is comfortable to feel this pain. I don't want to change because I don't know what is on the other side. Or maybe I do know and I just don't trust that it will be freedom.

I think St. Gregory is right, but for some reason my heart doesn't feel that it applies to me. It applies to others and it is beautiful, but not me.

But I don't want to feel that way. I want to change - I want to believe in my heart that there is goodness in me.

And the details are there. In that change. In the ability to take a good long look at myself and say that I can be different because I deserve happiness and not pain.

So let's do this.

Friday, May 17, 2013

A really long story, but worth reading

I happened upon this story this week in all the hoopla over Angelina Jolie's news about having a preventive double mastectomy.

It is a really, REALLY long article about how we view breast cancer and if the treatments and education tactics are really working. It was thought provoking, if not a little depressing.

Happy Friday.

No, no, you don't have to thank me.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I have people ask me how I am doing wayyyy more often than they used to. I appreciate that. It does make me feel like they care. It is just a tough question to answer...that is true for a lot of people.

Multiple sclerosis is a tricky disease. One day can be very different than another, and one person's disease can be vastly different than another. I read a story one day about a group of people with MS who are literally climbing mountains. And then I remember the friend in my MS support group who is a few years older than me and can't walk anymore. So unpredictable.

I found this blog entry the other day, and it really explains some of the day-to-day feelings of having MS. Not just the physical feelings of exhaustion and pain, but the psychological feelings. It is a war between living in the moment and planning for an uncertain future. Worry versus letting go. Being aware of my body to prevent injury versus knowing not every pain is due to MS.

So if you want to know what goes on in my mind - read on!

And thank you for caring. :-)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Deep moments, brought to you by a kid's movie

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." - from Dr. Seuss's The Lorax

Occasionally, some of the movies that Bridget wants to watch have a story line that actually keeps me interested and seems to have some sort of deeper meaning. I just saw one of those yesterday - The Lorax.

Yeah, I realize I'm a little late on this...everyone else has seen it already. I'm just slow on this, folks.

But anyway, I'm watching the end of the movie, and that quote that I put above ends up on the screen and the tears started to fall.

It isn't just about the environment, or nature. The beauty of the movie is that that truth can be applied to just about anything in life. About spreading love, kindness, and truth.

Sometimes, teaching the Creighton Model System, I feel like I'm shouting at the wind. I occasionally get burned out and frustrated and I wonder why I try when it seems like the world doesn't care. Then I have moments when I am reminded that I have to care. I have to keep caring and trying. A whole awful lot.

Because I have seen this make a difference to people and bring more love, joy, and peace to this world. And if I don't care, and if other people don't care, then nothing is going to get better.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Top Ten Things Going on Right Now

I'm the worst blogger EVER. I am feeling challenged to keep this up a little better, so this seems like a good way to get back in the game.

So here are the top 10 things going on in the Harlan house...

10. We got a guinea pig! He is adorable and his name is Ollie. Wanna watch him play? My adorable techie husband set up a live webcam.

9. Client follow-ups. I have so many Creighton Model FertilityCare clients! I am swamped! Don't know what I'm talking about? You better go to my website, mi amigos. 

8. Diocesan work. I write articles and design ads for the Office of Family Life. Have a good idea for an article about building a culture of life or the Catholic Church's teachings on married love? Share it with me. Don't leave me hangin', peeps.

7. Kindergarten continues. Bridget is learning to read so much more everyday. She says she hates math, much to the dismay of her Uncle Scott who is a math teacher. :-) She has also developed a devotion to St. Francis of Assisi. LOVE THAT.

6. I should start a cooking show...Cookin' with Crazy. It will star me, my darling husband, and all the poor souls I enlist to help me as I cook for all the big dinners at St. Isidore's. We are a barrel of fun in that kitchen, let me tell you. The last big dinner of the year was this past Wednesday, so I'm breathing a sigh of relief.

5. Annual MRI to check for more MS lesions on my brain...was good! No additional lesions, all was stable. So my brain isn't melting like a science fiction novel. Cool.

4. We have all developed a strange love for the show Duck Dynasty. This world definitely needs a little more laughter, amIright?

3. Bridget and Gabriel. My bestie, Mandi, has a son Gabriel who is in Bridget's class (God is so smart, isn't He?!). Bridget and Gabe have been forced to spend craaaazy amounts of time together for their entire lives, and they occasional drive each other nuts, but now they are like peas and carrots. They want to play nearly everyday and I love getting to chill with Mandi even more.

2. Women's basketball games. We went to nearly every single one with Bill's parents. Bridget really loved them. I do, too. Sadly, the season ended in the WNIT semi-finals, but it was a ton of fun.

1. Busy, busy, busy! Bill said today that he is thinking of going with me to a meeting in Salina on Saturday because he just wants to spend the time with me...things have just been going a mile a minute. Before we know it, summer will be here and FFA convention and birthdays!

So that was a lame number 1, but I ran out of stuff. Cut me some slack. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Back to the Blog

I haven't blogged in a long time...things have been so crazy here that there aren't even words to fully explain it all. A blog post would hardly do justice to the changes in our lives, but the big one is this: in February, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. 

To say we were surprised is an understatement, so maybe this blog can be a way for me to share our journey with others, especially those who are on this path, too. 

I am humbled by God's hand in all of this. By friends who have shared Christ with me and my family. May he be glorified in all things, in every way.

Monday, March 22, 2010

What's Going On

If life was any busier, I think I'd forget to breathe. Heck, I think sometimes I DO forget to breathe!

First off - Lent. Wow - I started off with such great intentions and doing really well, and now I feel like I am struggling. I am focusing on the theme "Pray+Fast+Give," but I sure feel like I'm becoming more aware of how much more growing I need to do. Praise God we serve a merciful Savior.

This past week, Bill and I had the stomach flu. YUCK. And for some reason, this particular illness really frustrated me. There was so much I had planned for spring break, and so much that needed to be done. I did NOT handle it gracefully. Again, I'm thankful I can start over tomorrow.

After being encouraged by my friends, I started training for a 5K. I just have to get in shape! I've been running for more than a month, and I still can't run very far, but I think I'm improving. I'm having some serious knee pain, so that's kinda slowing me up, but it is really pretty fun to run. I've been praying for motivation to keep running, and the Lord is answering my prayers.

In the next few months, I'm hoping to finally get to go to training to become a FertilityCare Practioner with the Creighton Model of FertilityCare. I'm so excited! It will be a lot of hard work, and I hope I can handle it. Any prayers for this journey are appreciated.

Last weekend, I went to a conference to learn more about God's Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage. It is a marriage preparation/enrichment program based on JPII's Theology of the Body as explained by Christopher West. Fabulous stuff! I was familiar with Theology of the Body, but hearing it again was great. I hope to get to work with the program more in the future.

Here's to hoping this coming week is filled with peace, health, and a big win for the K-State Wildcats! Go State!