If you'd like to grow in faith and spiritual strength over the next 90 days (or less, if you are reading this late), I'd encourage you join the challenge by heading on over to the Nineveh 90 page to read all the details about the challenge and to sign up for it. First, though, you may want to watch the video below (which appears at the bottom of the Nineveh 90 informational page). The video puts the challenge into perspective and helped temper the "I could never do this" naysayer in me.
Another thing that encouraged me to say "I can do this" was a blog post by Jamie, from Make Me a Saint, which had this helpful graphic in it:
|Credit: Make Me a Saint|
Also, Nicole, from Just Like Mary was kind enough to start a support group on Facebook, which encourages wives and mothers to take the challenge, while adapting it to fit whatever stage we are in while still seeking spiritual renewal and preparation.
All this worked (or rather, through all this, God worked) to make buoy up my courage to say "yes" to the challenge.
Won't you join me - in full or in part - to conquer vice and grow in virtue with the Nineveh 90? The challenge is FREE and even if taken with modifications (as I am taking it) can offer spiritual strengthening (and a healthier body and mind).
My Personal Nineveh 90 Challenge Goals
For these 90 days, I resolve to:
1. Let go of repetitive sin that I struggle with, which is between God and me.
2. Find my Brown Scapular during the 90 days, get it blessed (as I am not sure it ever was) and begin wearing it.
3. Make it to at least one daily Mass each week.
4. Get my children and I to the Sacrament of Reconciliation once a month, if not more often.
5. Participate in online Support System groups at least three times weekly and maybe form a local in-person one.
6. Build daily prayer habits to include:
- Continuing to pray a simple Morning Offering with my children and, when I am not rushed in the morning, adding a more formal one for myself.
- Praying the Angelus at least once a day, and, hopefully, building up to the traditional three-times-a-day at 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m.
- Continuing to pray a Rosary decade for the Living Rosary group I am in as well as at least one decade with my children daily, and, adding a full rosary (perhaps inclusive of the decade with my children) with efforts at the 54 Day Rosary Novena* (February 13 to April 7), a 33 Day Preparation for Consecration* (April 10 - Monday of Holy Week - to May 12), and a Marian Consecration* on May 13, 2017, the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima.
- Making a Holy Hour (or 20 minutes at least) once a week in front of the Blessed Sacrament and taking another 20 minutes or more a day for at-home "Holy Hour" time.
- Being more consistent with Bedtime Prayers and Blessings with my children (as they sometimes get rushed around here and should not be) and for myself.
7. Strengthen my body and mind by:
- getting regular (and increasingly intense) exercise by moving my body for 30 consecutive minutes a day on some days (walking, shoveling, jogging, etc.) and actually starting some more intense and -ugh for me - strength-training work outs on others.
- getting seven hours of sleep a night (even if not always consecutive, although consecutive is a great goal and will mandate corollary goals of getting myself to bed at a decent hour more often and also getting the children off to bed at an earlier hour than we have been lately).
- continuing to drink no alcohol, soda, or sweetened drinks.
- eating no desserts or sweets outside of feast days and Sundays.
- eating nothing between meals except fruits, seeds, or greens.
- watching no television or movies at home besides occasional news, faith-based programs with my children, and programs for my children's schooling.
- continuing to listen only to music that lifts the soul to God (or maybe I should stay starting to listen, as I listen to little music these days.)
- limiting recreational use of the computer (which I tend to do anyway) and, more importantly for me, being more cognoscente of actual time spent on computer for work, lesson planning, support and networking, etc. better balancing time online for work, lesson planning, networking, volunteering, blogging, etc. with the needs of my children, my body (sleep!), etc.
- and, since, watching no televised sports would not be a sacrifice for me at all as I do not care for televised sports, I will actually watch a televised sport with my family occasionally if they desire to watch one.*These are listed as elements, 8, 9, and 10 of the whole-hog Nineveh 90 and, truly, are some of the most important elements, I know. However, since I have never been good at formalized prayer habits like these I a committing to making an effort at these prayers and, if I fail to succeed with consistency, just picking up again with the knowledge that each attempt strengthens me for future success.
In addition, I am going to attempt fasting on Fridays and one other day a week using water, broth, and maybe some juice. However, if my body does not take to this well, I will likely add other liquids (creamed soups, smoothies, etc.) in or simply fast as outlined by the USCCB.
I know this is NOT going to be easy for me - especially the formal prayer, bedtime/sleep hours, balancing computer usage, and intensifying exercise, but, the point is not to have it easy, it is to conquer vice, grow in virtue, do penance, and make reparation.
If you, too, are taking the Nineveh 90 Challenge, I would love to hear about it!