aromaRosary: Where Grace and Wellness Meet

This post is sponsored by aromaRosary. I received a free Nativity Rosary and Bracelet set in exchange for an honest review (and I honestly love it to death).

The excited laughter grew louder as my children ran from mailbox to front door, arms filled with papers and envelopes – and a package!

They couldn’t wait to see what was in it, and neither could I. The return address read “aromaRosary” and I knew I was in for a treat. My lovely friends at aromaRosary sent me a gift to experience, and to share my experience with you.

Continue reading “aromaRosary: Where Grace and Wellness Meet”

Finding Jesus in a Springtime Walk

A meditation on discovering God through nature.

I pull the laces tight on my sneakers and stretch my legs for a springtime walk in the woods.

As I follow the dirt path, hard packed by many feet before me, I keep my eyes fixed downward to avoid tripping.

My focus is on the path before me. Bumps and twists fill my view. Rocks crop up out of the ground, threatening to stub my toes. Continue reading “Finding Jesus in a Springtime Walk”

Family Move? How to Pray the Joyful Mysteries

A meditation on the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary for a family who will be moving soon.

We’re counting down the days until the big move.

Everyone has something to be excited for: a new job, a new house, a lovely yard, and a welcoming neighborhood. We have an ice cream store and a beach right down the road. Five plus parishes to choose from.

But the upheaval in our life is undeniable. We’re all feeling the stress of moving away from family and friends. The house is a mess. And our emotions can be even messier. Continue reading “Family Move? How to Pray the Joyful Mysteries”

Inspired to be the Heart of the Home

Lessons from Mary: how I reconciled with “A mother is the heart of the home.” 

My birthday was coming up and I had big plans.

I was going to do all the things I wanted to do for me. It was going to be a whole day of me-ness. I planned to take off first thing in the morning, meet a friend for breakfast, do some shopping by myself, have a nice lunch in a coffee shop, maybe even do some writing, and come home to a quiet dinner with my husband.

I had been feeling overwhelmed with meeting everybody else’s needs, and I was sick of it. For once I wanted to just do what I want. To not have to answer to anyone else. I was becoming more and more short-tempered. Less engaged in effective discipline. More shouty than problem-solvey.

So I was going to escape. For an entire day. Happy birthday to me. Continue reading “Inspired to be the Heart of the Home”

A Mountain Meditation: practicing Catholic mindfulness

A mindfulness-based meditation, exploring and appreciating the beauty of God’s creation.

What do you see?

I see the hills bumping up against the sky. They’re crowned with trees. A vibrant red dominates the leaves, but it’s softened by warm yellows and oranges. A hint of green still remains here and there, a remnant of the fading summer.

I see the paths cut through the foliage. Cleared away to make room for roads and power lines and buildings. Evidence of civilization. But I wonder what it was like in its original state. A wild sort of order. The chaotic beauty that God created it to be. Continue reading “A Mountain Meditation: practicing Catholic mindfulness”

Christlike: don’t give them leftovers

A reflection on Sunday’s Gospel

At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.”  But he did not say a word in answer to her.  His disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”  He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”  But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.”  He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.”  She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.”  Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.”  And her daughter was healed from that hour.  – Matthew 15:21-28

What are You trying to teach me, Jesus? Continue reading “Christlike: don’t give them leftovers”

How to See God’s Message

When you can’t hear God’s words, look for them instead.

Lord Jesus, I struggle to know what You’re saying to me when I can’t hear Your voice.

I close my eyes.  I take a deep breathe.  I’m listening.

Nothing.

I don’t hear anything.  But in my mind’s eye I see something. Continue reading “How to See God’s Message”

Embarrassing Confessions: How to Leave the Past in the Past

How to reduce the anxiety caused by digging up memories of your most embarrassing moments.

To my 10-year old brother, it was a funny question.  “What is your most embarrassing moment?” he asked, “Mine is when I asked my friend to marry me and she said no.”  His thin frame shook in laughter.

I tried to think of a moment to share.  As I sifted through the memories, I felt my heart beat faster  and the heat rise to my cheeks .  Each new stupid thing I had done spun me further down the vortex of anxiety.

I had to get this game over with before I broke out in a sweat. Continue reading “Embarrassing Confessions: How to Leave the Past in the Past”

How To Live the Dream the World Doesn’t Understand

What looking back at a sacrificed career can teach you about your vocation as a wife and mom.

Forget the perfect Pinterest project, by the time you change every diaper that needs changing, feed the starving animals you call your children, put the cushions back on the couch for the thousandth time, toss every LEGO block back in the bin, feed those children again, teach them their letters, feed them again, brush their teeth, tuck them in bed, tell them to get back in bed – you don’t have the energy left to stay awake until a reasonable adult bedtime, so you’re passed out in your spit-up-covered jeans on top of the bedspread at 7:59.

Well I give you credit, you almost made it to 8:00. Continue reading “How To Live the Dream the World Doesn’t Understand”

Why (And How) to Bring Your Kids to Adoration

Jesus waits in the Tabernacle, saying, “Let the little children come to me.”  Bring your kids to Mass and Adoration!

I can almost feel the disapproving glares of the parishioners behind me burning holes in the back of my head, but I don’t dare turn and look.

Continue reading “Why (And How) to Bring Your Kids to Adoration”