Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Seven Pillars of Catholic Spirituality ~ Giveaway

Hello Dear Friends,

I have two extra copies of The Seven Pillars of Catholic Spirituality CD by Matthew Kelly that I would like to give to you. 

Just drop your e-mail address in the comments section and I'll contact you for your snail mail address. 

Matthew Kelly never dissapoints. 


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Spiritual Direction

I've been writing about my re-version to lay down the foundation of how easy thing are when we say "Yes" to God.  To remind myself how busy God was (still is) in my life when I'd just get out of the way.  There are many times when I ask myself, really, me, surely not me and why me? 
So I had my big confession, met a really great friend and I felt enlighten by how many bad decisions I had made in my life and that I didn't want to make more big mistakes.  I needed to change my way of thinking.  I kept hearing whispers of, Spiritual Director, Spiritual Director, Spiritual Director. 
Really?  Where am I going to get one of these?
I searched the web, read other devout Catholic blogs searched the word Spiritual Director in  Jennifer Fulwiler's blog and found a great article about getting oneKristen had one, I guess I'm not totally crazy.  Well, I'm sure some people would debate that, after all,  I'm pretty sure some close to me probably call me a crazy Bible Thumper and that's pure crazy.
About this same time, Fall 2009, our oldest son started pre-school at a Catholic school.  My husband, McGuyver, and I were starting to think about joining the school church.  This school is where we hope that our kids will attend school until they graduate, so attending the parish seemed like the right thing. 
It was hard to leave our friends at the old parish, my Bible study groups, all our kids were baptized there, McGuyver made all his childhood sacraments there, his Mom's funeral was there and his Dad was still there.  But in the end we decided to make the change for our kids as the school parish would be the place they would grow up in and make their sacraments.
The parish we were to join had a wonderful, devout young priest that we knew everybody loved.  With my husband's permission, I called him to ask him if he could recommend somebody for Spiritual Direction.  (This was so crazy, what in the world was I, this once Harley riding, party chick, etc. woman doing?).  The priest said he could.  Wow.  Here we go.  He asked if I was looking for spiritual direction over a least a six month period of time or did I need council over something specific.  I indicated that I was looking for something more long term to learn how to make better decisions, no specific issue, except uh, me
That's how spiritual direction started.  One nervous phone call.  Another yes.
I've been seeing Fr Tony for spiritual direction for two years.  I have no doubt that God works through, him for me and for my family.

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
I will council you with my eye upon you. ~ Psalm 32:8

Monday, November 19, 2012

Catholic Woman's Almanac {CWA} - Volume 2

Moments of Gratitude
::  Roof completed
:: Outside Ready for Winter
:: Warm Weather
:: Good Health (I say this with the flu looming over my head)
:: Rules
:: Hearing just the right thing at just the right time.
:: My Church

Beauty in the Ordinary
Just an ordinary drive to school with two sick kids (one who is staying home, one who just stays home), my Kindergartner and his sweet  friend.  They are used to me finding a gravel road to pull over to capture Beauty in the Ordinary drive.  It's nice to point out the ordinary.

From the Kitchen
Everything works so much smoother when things are planned.  There are leftovers.  There are lunches for him the next day.  Meals are better, groceries are bought.  The whole house runs smoother with a two week meal plan, even if I don't follow it to a "t".

Last week's ham carried us well.  This week is short and no turkey left overs.

I'm praying for a family I do not know, their son is going through cancer treatments.  While the husband was taking the son to / from treatments in the city, the wife was in a car accident and lost her life.  Her funeral will be tomorrow.  Please, say a prayer for them? 

What is means to be a pious person, what that can look like and feel like for those who aren't.  I don't consider myself a pious person, just so you know.

Also, what Advent is going to look like for our family.  I have some fun things and some sacrifices so as not to miss Him {like I kind of did last year}.

Raising Amazing Families ~ Matthew Kelly
Catechism of the Catholic Church ~ A lot of people
The  Bible ~ Jesus & The Holy Spirit

I'm terrible at this...did I say that, like, last week? 
After Meal Prayer with the kids.

The Week Ahead
We have two sick girls with the flu.  If they return to normal health and the rest of us remain healthy we'll be heading north for Thanksgiving.  When we return home we'll be joining another family for an outing.  Very much looking forward to that!

Joining the beautiful women at Suscipio.

Gaudete in Domino!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cirlce of Friends

A short time after I made the biggest longest confession of my entire life (literally of my entire life), I met one of my neighbors at a town festival.  I was pretty certain this pregnant woman was at stay at home Mom (toys in the yard, during the day), and Catholic (number of kids & Miraculous Medal) and I was pretty sure I was to meet her.  
We were packed wall to wall in a small city office room with delighted kids who were about to receive a prize from the parade they were just in.  My husband and I help her get her five kids their prizes and we small talked. 
Shortly after that meeting we became friends on facebook (facebook, you are good for some things) and schedule a play date.  The kids and I went to her house for the first of many play dates.  It was a beautiful summer day and we talked about being mom's and a little bit about faith & Jesus & His Blessed Mother.  Nothing heavy.  But one thing I remember is bringing up was a book I had read a few months before called, A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot.  I read the book and wondered if by odd chance she had ever read it.  SHE HAD!  I couldn't believe it.  That was the point to which I knew she had things to show me.
Since that day we've spent many afternoons together, rides to Mother's Groups, a mini-retreat to Our Lady of Good Help, dinners, lunches, and coffee talking about our love of Jesus, His Blessed Mother, Saints, books, our families, our parenting, our church and just how wonderful life is.  She's helped me sort through my journey and has taught me many wonderful things.
I truly think God placed Kristen in my life at exactly the time I needed a friend and example of a faithful, devout, Catholic, Christian woman.  Hindsight tells me that God was continuing His work from my "Yes" or my "Deal".  Thanks be to God!

 I took this photo at Our Lady of Good Help

“The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.”  ~ C.S. Lewis
I also like this quote but instead of fire I think I'd say with a cup of coffee.

“Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?” ~ C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Name & The Picture

I'm still working on how things look.  I find that getting things they way I'd like them takes a lot of time.  Time isn't abundant, so please bear with the work in progress of this blog.
I thought I'd share the how I came up with the name Gaudete in Domino.  I started with a website that translated Latin phrases into English, which was very helpful.  There are so many great phrases to chose from.  But guess what?  A lot of universities think there are great Latin verses as well.  It also means a lot of graduates like those verses too.  My goal was to find something that the e-mail address and blog name could be the same, or at least similar, and had some meaning to me.  My pickings became very slim. 
It was between In Ordinary Things or Gaudete in Domino.  I was heavily leaning towards the former because of all things, a somewhat local priest had  I was worried that I would be infringing on his title and after all he's a priest.  Then a good friend mentioned to me that he would, most likely, be flattered that somebody else would like this phrase as much as he did. 
Gaudete in Domino or Rejoice in the Lord, I liked it because it reminds me to be happy in the Lord, trust, be not afraid and to give thanks.  The times I feel closest to the Lord are when I am giving thanks and am joyful.  Thank you, Ann for showing me thanksgiving!
The photo.  My goal was to use a photo that I captured.  Obviously this is the SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera) and needed a lot of help.  I fiddled and fiddled but couldn't get it to look linear.  I have a terrible habit of taking pictures with a slant, it's my own poor vision or posture, perhaps both.  I finally figured it out and got the image to be cropped and the lines correct.  At least the best I could.  Reminder to self:  Make sure to take a picture like this straight on

The picture was taken at Our Lady of Good Help in Wisconsin.  I went there with my good friend Kristen and her sweet, then six month old, son P.  I don't remember but I think it might be the door to the confessional?   It's against the wall of the church and I think there were people standing to my left in the main aisle that I didn't want to disturb.  So I snapped from where I was.   
There you have it, The Name and The Photo.
Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
~ 1 Chronicles 16:10

Monday, November 12, 2012

Catholic Woman's Almanac {CWA} ~ 1

Moments of Gratitude

:: Mother's Group
:: Saturday morning coffee with a dear dear friend
:: Catching up with the Flocknote group reading The Catechism of the Catholic Church
:: Rosary with Mother's Group
:: Raking leaves with my husband
:: Children doing chores ~ Joyfully
:: Husband who so willingly allows the time for Mother's Group
:: Having wonderful friends who inspire me
:: Son who is sweet and loving
:: Daughters who are just as sweet and loving
:: Council of Catholic Women
:: Reading a book with my husband
:: Safe travels for my family who recently visited
:: I've said it in cyberspace before but it's what I'm most grateful for this week.  My three year old was chokin on a polished pink rock.  Panic struck.  I'm grateful her grade four tonsil weren't in the way of this rock coming back up.  Thankful that in a split second while wondering what I was going to do, I scooped her up, arm around her belly running for the phone I heard the rock hit the tile floor.  I think the pressure on her belly helped, without intent. 

Beauty in the Ordinary
As I folded laundry today I looked at his little clothes, really looked.  While they are still little, they have grown over the last six years.  I sat remembering a time when I was very pregnant with my first baby, folding white onesie after white onesie.  I had such excitement, peace, and joy.  Sitting on the edge of bed, my pile of white growing next to me, smelling sweet baby laundry smells, waiting for the baby with sheer happiness.  It was such a nice memory today.
From the Kitchen
I've been semi-following a two week meal plan.  Mostly trying to hit dinners.  Some days are better and some days are filled in with the usual stand-ins, spaghetti, tacos, etc.  We did have a delicious ham yesterday and the big people are excited for a casserole with pineapple and ham on Wednesday.  Tonight and tomorrow the Rule calls for menu preparation and grocery lists to be completed for upcoming shopping.
Yesterday, I prayed specifically for the souls in purgatory.  I'd like to share more about where we went yesterday and why later this week.  This week I am praying for Christian marriages and Archbishop John Nienstedt.
Self Discipline, in addition to God's will for me and my family.
Bible RSV-CE
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Raising Amazing Families ~ Matthew Kelly
Serving in Clarity ~ Ann the Lay Apostle
Absolutley terrible at this.  There are a number of things I could pick.


Joining the beautiful women at Suscipio.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Moment of Grace

Even though there doesn't seem to be a lot of Grace happening in our country this week, it's all around me.  He's all around me. 
I hear Him asking me if I'm the best mother, wife, and friend I can be.  Am I the best daughter in Christ, the best servant? 
The elections our country didn't turn out the way I had asked in my prayers.  I asked, like many, for this cup to pass us and just like His, it didn't.  Now, we will align our suffering with Jesus on the cross. 
We move forward as Easter people. 
I've read many things post election.  In the end my heart tells me that the key starts from within, then branches out to those in our homes, our extended families, our friends,  schools, communities and even our churches.  We need to teach and live our faith to our children until until the day they return safely to Jesus.  We can't wait for somebody else to do it, there isn't anybody else.  We owe it to them to teach and live our faith.  Always.
Where was my Grace this week?  It was in realizing I can do more, be more, teach more and live more for the Glory of God through the obedient, faithful servants that surround me, and lift me up.  Thank you Ladies! 

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.             ~ Proverbs 22:6

Joining the beautiful women at Suscipio.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Healing & Forgiveness

Sad but true, I had only been to the Sacrament of Reconciliation once prior to my promise
{You might wonder how I had the Sacrament of Confirmation?  Me too.  Way back when, did First Reconciliation happened before First Holy Communion?  I could be wrong on all accounts I could have had a Reconciliation twice prior, but I don't think so.  I can remember being a high school student deathly afraid of confessing and huge relief that I didn't have to. }
I poured over a small booklet that broke down anything and everything I could have done to offend God and his commands.  I so needed this booklet and a large piece of paper. 
We were going to church in the neighboring town at the time, it was the church my husband grew up in, I was way to scared to have our priest hear the pages of my sins so I called the local priest for an appointment.  He was very nice and said to come in after Mass on Thursday night.  At the time I couldn't believe I was going to have my life long confession heard by Fr C.  From the couple of times we'd been to the local church I thought of him as a little intimidating.  He was just so smart and devout, you could just tell and that frightened me.  In the end I think I figured if he could get past all my sins then there would be a chance God would too.  That sounds silly, I know.  
It was saddening how offensive I was or am.  I stopped to think of this list, in my heart of hearts I knew I could do better but wasn't.  I wasn't a very faithful servant.  We attended church about 50% of the time.  Rarely met Holy Day Obligations and praying was non-existent unless I needed something.  On the other hand, I still felt a need to belong to church, help in an organization there and I did attend Bible Studies {some Catholic, some not}.  I thought of us as Catholics but not really the best Catholics we could be, after all how could we be if we didn't even go half the time?
List in hand, I drove over to church, waited my turn and went to the confessional.  It wasn't at all like you see on tv.  A small wooden partition was pulled out to make an "L" shape alongside the wall of the sanctuary.  Not a private room, but I think there was music playing softly.  That would muffle my sins.  {I can't believe I'm doing this, remember to speak quietly.} 
I shook and I cried my way through my laundry list of sin.
Fr C was very kind.  Looking back I can say, loving, just like Our Father.  He said a lot to me but I honestly don't remember what exactly he said, except that I didn't feel he judged.  I only remember really feeling forgiven, not by Fr C but by Jesus.   
Jesus worked through him. 
I was glad to have my Sacrament over and vowed never to have another one like it.  Today, I think it was one of the most beautiful things.  That was the start of my life living as a Catholic, not calling myself a Catholic. 
It was only the start.  It took more Reconciliation and spiritual direction to come to fully understand ancient teachings.  I'm work in progress.  Sadly, I'm still a sinner.

October 2011
The Sacrament of Reconciliation has been a place of healing and forgiveness.  I didn't know there would be healing.   I went to the right place.  God is good....

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.  The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.  ~ James 5:16

Joining Suscipio's Moments of Grace

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I Asked & The Door Opened

I was struggling.  I didn't know if I would finish well, if I'd have to start walking, if my body would hold up until the end.  It was after all seven years and three babies since my last feat of this caliber. 
Your mind wanders, you think of all kinds of random.  Most of all you don't think of your body, if you can.  If you can't, you'll overwhelm yourself.
I was thinking of my body and being able to finish.  Then I starting thinking about God.  I wondered what I could do for Him, if he would help me finish this race.  What would please Him?
I know, if you allow me to finish this race, I promise, I'll go to confession.
Yes, I really did say that.
Two and a half years ago in June I finished the half marathon, with my family all waiting for me down by Lake Superior, all thanks to God.   
It took another month or so to finish my part of the promise.  That's when the ball really started rolling or should I say running?

June 2010

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.                                                                                                ~ Matthew 7:7

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