Month: February 2015

Day 10: Good Friends

Today’s Saint: St. Gabriel Possenti Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:20-26 Everyone needs a friend. And I am so, so, so thankful for mine! After spending the afternoon doing homeschool workshops at Kickapoo Valley Reserve, I began the semi-long commute home with six tired and hungry kids.  It’s a […]

Day 9: Hearing Jesus

Today’s Saint: St. Alexander Gospel Reading: Matthew 7:7-12 Want a sure fire way to hear Jesus? Go get some of last year’s plastic Easter eggs, a few unused beads and buttons, some plastic spoons (or forks, if you’ve run out), and tape (preferably some colorful […]

Day 8: Clean Teeth

Today’s Saint: Blessed Sebastian de Aparicio
Gospel Reading: Luke 11:29-32

I took all six of my kiddos to the dentist today.  It was a memorable first moment for my 2-year-old and she was such a trooper!  

I love that they all go in to get their teeth cleaned at the same time, after which I get called in to do individual consultations with the dentist. I liken this to the way in which we all gather at mass on Sunday to receive the Eucharist, then go our separate ways to bring the light of Christ into our everyday lives.  Every Sunday is an opportunity to cleanse our spiritual teeth; every day is an opportunity to have individual consultations with God to take preventative measures against the decay of sin.

Every day is certainly an opportunity to envelope ourselves in God’s love and trust that he will cleanse and care for us, each according to our own needs.  

“I will not live an instant that I do not live in love. Whoever loves does all things without suffering, or, suffering, loves his suffering.”-St. Augustine

May the season of Lent provide daily reminders of the importance of accepting God’s love and paying it forward – no matter the cost or the amount of suffering – to those who need our love (the very love of Christ) the most.

Day 7: Twelve Virtues

Today’s Saint: St. MontanusGospel Reading: Matthew 6:7-15 We have been using the We Choose Virtues program in our homeschool for a couple of years now. I love it for it’s simplicity, and my children love it because it “speaks” to them from a child’s first-person […]

Day 6: Little Warrior

Today’s Saint: St. Polycarp Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:31-46 My 4-year-old started karate today. She was so proud, finally able to follow in the footsteps of her four older siblings. She doesn’t have a uniform (called a gi) yet, but that didn’t stop my little Jelly […]

Day 5: Most Important

Today’s Saint: St. Margaret of Cortona
Gospel Reading: Mark 1:12-15

We have attended 8:15 a.m. mass since our oldest two sons were young enough to be morning nappers. It’s amazing how much has changed since then (they are now 7 and 8 years old). And yet, four more children later we still attend mass at 8:15 a.m., even on special days like Christmas and Easter. It’s simply been of great importance for us to put God first in our family.

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After church , we enjoy a late breakfast, participate in any number of faith-based pursuits (reading the bible, doing religious education, playing hymns on the keyboard, etc), and indulge in much-needed family time.

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Monopoly has become a family favorite, although it usually doesn’t end as well as it starts for three boys who have difficulty dealing with the losing side of playing the game – losing money, selling houses, and mortgaging properties. As in real life, being comfortable often correlates with our being happy. Having a house to live in, food in the cupboard, and clothes to wear should make us happy enough, right? But, inevitably, we find ourselves needing…desiring…accumulating more stuff. We feel happy enough at first, but later – when the responsibility of having more stuff grows larger – we begin to suffocate; we feel cut off from the things that really truly matter most.

So what truly matters most? Answers may vary, depending on where you are in life, but my personal top three are God, family, and health.

During Lent, I am spending more time with God in prayer and more time with my family by abstaining from social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). And with the help of my new best friend, Fitbit, I am taking care of my health by staying active, better hydrated, and more conscious of my desire to snack between meals.

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By the way, if you stay away from Facebook for more that two days, they begin sending emails like the one below to convince you to come back. Sorry, Facebook, you’ll have to wait, I’ve got all I really need right now!

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May Lent be a time of reflection, a time of discerning what is truly most important!

“Go where thou wilt, seek what thou wilt, and though shalt not find a higher way above nor a safer way below than the way of the Holy Cross.”-Thomas A. Kempis

Day 4: Water Park

Today’s Saint: St. Peter Damian Gospel Reading: Luke 5:27-32 After a well-intentioned morning of cleaning rooms, playing outdoors, and visiting friends, we ventured to one of our new favorite places: Lost Rios Indoor Water Park at Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells, WI. We went […]

Day 3: Nuturing Nature

Today’s Saint: St. Sulfuric Gospel Reading: Matthew 9:14-15 Each Friday in February, my children attend nature workshops at Kickapoo Valley Reserve in LaFarge, WI. The four older children attend two workshops each while the two younger children participate in nature play. Even on the coldest […]

Day 2: Four Years

Saint of the day: St. Barbatus
Gospel reading: Luke 9:22-25

I feel like the best part of the Lenten journey each year is exploring traditions – some new, some old – with my children. For the most part, we try to keep things as simple as possible because we all know that with children, too much often leads to “tune out” which, in turn, leads to one very frustrated mom (or dad, or teacher).

On the simplest level, we start each morning by reading a quick devotion before breakfast. This year, we are reading through 365 Saints: Your Daily Guide to the Wisdom and Wonder of Their Lives by Woodeene Koenig-Bricker ((affiliate link)). Then, if we do nothing else during the day, we at least read the daily Lenten Gospel Reading after gathering for dinner.

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The wonderful Lenten Table Talk document shown in the picture above is from Family Formation in St. Paul, MN. It can be easily laminated and used as a placemat, though I have chosen instead to keep ours on our devotion table. I’ll write more about that later.

The other resource that I use daily, and not just during Lent, is the Catholic Digest. Toward the back of every issue you’ll find inspirational quotes, one for each day of the month. It’s the first thing that I pick up in the morning after filling up my coffee cup. I let each quote guide my day, re-reading it often and reflecting on how best to carry the message into my daily life.

Today, we added some extra joy to our lives by celebrating a Happy Birthday at Build-A-Bear with my now-4 year old. Don’t let the photo fool you, though! When it came to selecting bears, our pink princess picked a Batman bear and named it Superman. She later dressed it in the most girlie looking tutu she could find, but still, the fact that she has three older brothers can not be denied.

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The hardest part of my day, inevitably, was not being able to share birthday photos and sentiments with my Facebook friends. It was really the first time in two days that I missed having that social media connection. As today is the last day of my Colossians study with the Hello Mornings Twitter group, I am saying “See you later” to Twitter as well. After Easter, we’ll reconnect and catch up!

Blessings to all…

“Let us then remember one another, United in mind and heart. Let us pray without ceasing, you for us, we for you; by the love we share we shall thus relieve the stain of these great trials.” -St. Cyprian of Carthage

Day 1: Ash Wednesday

Saint of the day: Blessed Fra Angelico Gospel Reading: Matthew 6:1-6 The Lenten season begins today on Ash Wednesday. The ashes remind us of the eternal cycle of life and the invitation we have been given to join Jesus in heaven after our earthly lives […]