Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Better Challenge...

Cecilia practicing her letters for Kindergarten!

A few weeks ago, Holy Name of Jesus elementary school (where my two oldest attend) announced a contest. Each homeroom was to collect as many Box Tops for Education (you'll see them on many things in your kitchen!) as possible, and the winning classroom would get a prize!

First, I felt awful. My mom religiously collects these box tops and she had just sent me a couple of hundred of them a few weeks prior for me to send in to Holy Name. This was before I knew there was a contest, so I just sent them in with Gianna and told her to give them to her teacher. I was sad that these box tops would not count toward the total for Gianna's class. Come to find out, Gianna's teacher must have known the contest was coming because she told Gianna that she had held on to them and they would count for the contest. Hooray...Go 1B!

I went crazy trying to find Box Tops for Joseph's homeroom! I think I did pretty well! Granted, I didn't find hundreds in our kitchen, but I did find a lot more than I expected. Go KB!

I was joking with my husband that I just love a challenge! So, half-joking back, he gave me another challenge. He simply said, "Make money!"

Hmmm!!! The wheels in my head were turning. I do pick up mystery shops as often as I can (I think I look kind of obvious dragging all these small children into stores and talking to employees, but it's pretty easy money!). Other than that, I am not able to make money as it's just not feasible (my husband's job often requires him to teach classes or attend meetings at night in addition to the 9 to 5 day). I would absolutely love to find something that I could do at home at night after the kids go to bed (but it would have to be pretty brainless...ha!).

I decided to try something that I had quickly ruled out in the past. A few friends of mine make money on a website called swagbucks. After completing lots of tasks (like taking short surveys, viewing advertisements, or signing up for goods and services), you are awarded "swagbucks" that you can turn into gift cards once you accumulate enough of them.

I had tried it in the past and did not find it to be a good use of my limited "time off" (nap time). In light of my new challenge though, I thought I would give it another try. As I tried it yesterday, and I was not wracking up the swagbucks nearly as quickly as I thought I should've been (!), I got what I call my "sinking feeling." It is a feeling that I am just not doing what God is calling me to do. I'm not sure if it's the Holy Spirit prompting or more just a gut reaction, but either way, I am left feeling discouraged and heavy-hearted.

I was actually happy when Lucy woke up a little early from her nap and I could stop swagging :). Later, I discerned (again!) that this is definitely NOT what God wants me to do for my family. I may finally earn a gift card or two, but how many hours of my life will I have wasted!? Is the reward worth my valuable time? I found the answer to be a definite no!

So, I am giving myself a new challenge as Lent begins tomorrow. I am going to try to say the Rosary (or at least make a good effort) during nap time...at least during Lent. I know that the Blessed Mother could take my prayers and take away all of our financial concerns for a lifetime (not that I am asking her to, mind you!). And, who knows what effect these prayers may have today, tomorrow, forever!? This a much better use of my time...and I know for a fact that I will feel the opposite of discouraged and heavy-hearted!

Wishing you all a most Blessed Lent! Don't forget that tomorrow is a day of fasting...not just abstinence from meat. I say this to encourage myself (ha!). I can't do a real fast as I am breastfeeding and it would not be healthy for me or my baby, but surely, there are many, many things that I can fast from (I am thinking of giving up Facebook for Lent...again, saying this outloud to encourage myself...ha!).


I guess we're done practicing our letters for Kindergarten!

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