" Nineveh 90 – the 90 days from February 13 to May 13 – is inspired by the excellent program – Exodus 90 – designed exclusively for men by Fr. Brian Doerr and others. I strongly encourage men to sign-up for Exodus 90 (sign-up HERE), and use it for our 90-day journey.
For our Nineveh 90 journey, which includes both men and women, we are embracing the great values of mortification, a support system, and the research in the behavioral sciences that says 90 days is about the time needed to change bad habits. We will also be using some of the tried and true supernatural elements. Namely, the Brown Scapular, 54 Day Rosary Novena, and the 33 Day Preparation for Marian Consecration."
(taken from the Nineveh90 website)
There are ten elements of the Nineveh 90 Challenge (check them out on the link listed above). But, here's the kicker, it is super duper intense and scared me right away. However, a friend of a friend opened my eyes (in a discussion on FB) that we, as moms, are already doing the Nineveh90 but in slightly different ways. For me in particular, I'm doing the Nineveh 9-kids. Ha!! She is exactly right!
So I thought I'd come up with a list of sacrifices that many of us moms already do on a regular basis, but maybe grumble about more than we should, instead of accepting them more gracefully and putting in the love that we should. Here's what I could come up with (and a huge "thank you" to my friends that helped me add to this list and complete it)...
Nineveh 90 Challenge for Moms:
- Taking more time to snuggle my baby and enjoy her being little
- Stop what I'm doing and watch and listen to kids play (stopping and slowing down to hear them jabbering and playing can be an opportunity of prayer and thanking God for them)
- read aloud to kids (this snuggle and bonding time is priceless)
- play with kids
- cook for and feed kids three meals a day
- teach kids
- Eat last every time
- Eat cold food (which was once warm)
- Drink cold/lukewarm coffee (which was once hot)
- Trying harder to find joy in the everyday and in the littlest of things.
- Having a schedule that is completely controlled by the demands and needs of these littles (ex: all our plans for today are canceled b/c stomach flu hit - ugh!)
- sleep - huh? What's that? Sleep is for the birds! I play "whack a mole" all night with babies and toddlers that wake up at random times
- accepting the un-done.... the messes, the laundry, the dust, the cleaning, the grading, etc.... you can't get to it all regularly. Accepting this as normal is huge.
- accepting the "fluff" of carrying many babies that just seems to stick around and lack of time/energy to get rid of it
- making eye-contact with each child and smiling at them at least once a day
- finding little ways to let your husband know you love him and do not be offended when he doesn't return or notice your kindness
- love our husband and tend to his needs
- praying together as a family - seems more like a wrestling match. Definitely not the quiet serene moments you hope and long for.
- do stealth fasting...fast from whatever works well for you, but if you refrain from something and are invited into that thing, accept. Like give up sweets, but if a child offers you a bite of their cookie, accept (I actually had an opportunity to do some fasting last Lent - I wasn't pregnant and I wasn't nursing. Here's what I did)
- facing many struggles and feelings of inadequacy in parenting
And most important of all - do all this with JOY and a smile upon your face!
And, obviously, maybe some of these items do not apply to you. Maybe you are already gifted in one of those areas and it isn't really a struggle for you. I wanted to include many items - items that I do face on a regular basis and/or something I have had to wrestle with at one time or another. Maybe you could pick a few of these items and work on doing them more cheerfully and lovingly, as if doing them for Christ himself.
"And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection." ~Col 3:14