Spitting on Jesus

It hit me like a ton of bricks. Her words rang so true, it hit me deep, and I held back heartbreaking tears and laughter at the unbelievable timing of it. But that is how God works, when you least expect it, but right when He knew you needed it.

But Lets first back up a bit, so you can understand this a bit more.

My son has been taking art lessons at our local gallery. Initially my husband was taking him, but that wasn’t working out, so I started taking him a few weeks ago. It means I get a bit of a break, can sit and read in the lounge at the gallery while he lets his creative juices flow for 2 hours. I decided to start using that time to read, and dove back in to “Where There Is Love, There Is God” by Mother Teresa. I’ve had it for years, but haven’t made it a priority to read, until now.

The book is incredible, I want to tweet quotes from it all day long, just to share all her wisdom with the world! If you haven’t read it, please do! Especially if you are a busy mom who struggles with keeping her cool, like me.

I am so quick to anger! And through each phase of life I find something else to blame it on: I’m over worked, stressed about wedding planning, it’s my pregnancy hormones, I’m exhausted from being up all night with a baby, the kids are not listening…but really it is me who is not listening. Not listening to Jesus.

When I was younger, gossip and lies were prevalent in my life, amongst other sins, but as I matured, and found Jesus, I gave those up. It seemed easy. I became Catholic, and those were sins, so I just stopped.

Yelling hasn’t been as easy to quit. I even tried giving it up for Lent one year, and said a Hail Mary for each time I yelled. And that worked for a while, but like most bad habits, it crept back in.
I don’t like that I yell. I feel shame and so much guilt after I do it. And I have tried everything to be calmer, and full of more love.

It wasn’t until today, that I read Mother Teresa’s words while I waited in that lounge for my son:
“When we are unkind, proud, or harsh, let us ask ourselves, “Why am I harsh today?” I am not clean of heart. Something is cutting me off from Jesus.”

Harsh?! Harsh words for me to hear! I often ask myself why. Why did I just yell? Why can’t I control my anger? Why am I always so frustrated? And ever since Lent started, and I pledged to myself to try my best to stay calm, I become more heartbroken as I continue to be lost in this awful habit. Her words could not have come at a better time for me!

The next page of the book is all about how our tongues are connected to our hearts. And how when we say ugly things it is like spitting on Jesus!

Spitting on Jesus!

Every time I raise my voice, and use harsh words it is like spitting on Jesus?! If that isn’t enough of a visual to get me to stop, I don’t know what is!

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I initially wrote this post nearly a month ago, and those words that I read have stuck with me. I’m still not perfect, as no one is, but I think things are so much better! I don’t know if it was Mother Teresa’s words, or finally letting Jesus in, but I have found a new calmness and peace in my heart; a new level of patience with my children that I never had before.

Have you struggled with something for years? Or maybe you are still struggling with something. I still have good days and bad days, but am getting so much better at catching myself! Each day is a new chance to start over and be a better person! Let Jesus into your heart, stop right now and thank him for today, and tell Him you hope to do better tomorrow. Pray and ask for help! Leave a comment here asking for prayers! This online Catholic community is so amazing, and we all support each other so much! I pray that you all find the strength to let Jesus in to your heart, and let him help you! He had been knocking at my door for a long time, but I had to open the door.

Dynamic Women of Faith Conference 2015

Do any of you live in Canada? Ontario? the GTA? If you do, there is an event happening next weekend that you won’t want to miss! If you follow other bloggers in the US, so many of them attend Catholic conferences, and the posts about them, and pictures on twitter and Instagram always warm my heart and make me ache to attend with them. Well, there is one right here in Toronto, and it is a wonderful day!

I have attended in the past, and it is just so inspiring being in a room filled the brim with other Catholic women who love their faith as much as you do. The stories, the laughs, it is such an incredible day, and if you live close by, I would hate for you to miss it. This years’ line up of speakers is just remarkable, Dorothy Pilarski the organizer keeps drawing in better speakers each year! Check out the poster below, and I hope you consider attending with me.

For more information on the conference as well as great articles (I’ve written a few!) stop by the Dynamic Women of Faith website.

DWF2015

Lenten Movie Reviews – A Man For All Seasons

I’m sure we are all familiar with this story to some extent. The one where Henry VIII wants an heir so bad he creates a church that will allow him to divorce his wife and marry the one that gave him a son. There are loads of movies and TV shows about it, most of which do not take into account the Catholic perspective. My husband and I watched The Other Boleyn Girl a few months ago and were shocked how little the Catholic Church and Thomas More were mentioned. Considering the entire fiasco is because of Henry VIII’s view of the Church and disregard for it’s teachings, you’d think it would play a larger role.

Next up in our Lenten movie journey: A Man For All Seasons

A_Man_for_All_Seasons_(1966_movie_poster)

 

I just love learning about the saints! Especially ones who are seemingly normal people just like you and me. Thomas More was a family man, trying to earn a living and be loyal to the King of England. He was a man of deep faith, and was held in very high regard during the time he was alive. That was until Henry VIII went against the Church, and Thomas refused to follow.

I would love to think that if I was placed in a similar situation I would stand firm with the Church like he did. But at the same time, risking being taken away from my family, and facing death? I don’t know what I would do. But I guess that is why he is the saint.

This movie is a great period piece, with wonderful costumes and scenery that draws you in to England in the 1500s. It focuses on the events leading up to More’s eventual conviction and beheading, as King Henry VIII’s advisers scramble to find a way for him to marry Anne Boleyn. As Catholic’s, they know the Pope will not grant a divorce, so the King declares himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England, and allows himself to divorce and remarry in that church. More refuses to accept this, and cleverly avoids being tried for treason for some time, by never uttering the actual words. He will neither deny nor confirm what everyone assumes to be true, and is locked in the Tower of London as punishment, until they can prove that he has committed treason. If it is possible, it is quite the comical portrayal of More, as he avoids being convicted of any crime. As a lawyer, he knows the power of perfect wording, and they have some trouble finding him guilty of anything. But in the end, once he is finally convicted of high treason, thanks false testimony, he admits that he does not acknowledge the King as the head of a Church saying “no temporal man may be the head of the spirituality”.

Upon the steps before his execution, he calmly uttered his famous final words, as he declared he was “the king’s good servant, but God’s first.”

A fantastic film, and must watch for all Catholics, and especially those that love shows like Downton Abbey and The Tudors, it gives you a great Catholic perspective on that time in England.

movie reviews

Lenten Movie Reviews – Lillies of the Field

When this movie started I may have cringed a little. I’m not the biggest fan of old movies, mostly because I feel like people only like them because they think it makes them cool. But if it’s a good movie, then is really doesn’t matter when it was made, or if it is black and white! And this one was so good, so I didn’t even mind it was black and white!

Second on our Lenten movie journey: Lillies of the Field

lillies of the field

A very young Sidney Poitier plays Homer Smith, a handy man traveling through the Arizona desert, when his car over heats. He finds a place to get some water, but doesn’t realize God has a bigger plan for him than just a quick pit stop. The farm he finds, is home to a small group of German nuns, who speak very broken English. They think he has been sent by God, and sort of trick Schmidt, as they call him, into staying and doing a few repairs, and eventually building them a chapel.
This movie is categorized as a drama, but my husband and I both agree it is much more a comedy. As you can imagine, hilarity ensues as the young free living Baptist reluctantly helps the very poor German nuns. From him teaching them English and a Southern hymn, to them teaching him that God often has greater plans for us. He arrives a very selfish young man, but learns to think of others, to trust in God, and to have faith in the community. God will provide, if it is his will to do so, and the nuns teach him that very important lesson.

It is very funny, and very heart warming!

Poitier won the Academy Award for Best Male Actor for his role in this movie! The movie is based on a book by the same name, and there is also a squeal to the film, Christmas Lillies of the Field, though Sidney Poitier doesn’t play Homer, and since he is so good in this, I’m not sure I would enjoy it as much. The chemistry between him and the nuns really makes the film.

movie reviews

Lenten Movie Reviews – The Mighty Macs

My husband and I often joke that my favourite genre of movies are sports movies. I love a feel good underdog story, even more if it is based on a true story! The only thing that can make it better is keeping it wholesome. Which as you can imagine, is pretty rare in Hollywood!

So it made sense to start this Lenten movie journey with a basketball underdog story, The Mighty Macs.

Mighty Macs

Cathy wasn’t ready to be a housewife, and loved basketball, so she took a coaching job at Immaculata College. The school had no gym, out dated uniforms, and only one basketball. A dim future in general, the school was struggling with admissions, and the possibility of being sold. Sports were not big on the list of necessities until Cathy came along. But with team work, a lot of faith, and plenty of perseverance, they manage to come together and inspire not just the college, but the entire town.  It’s a heartwarming movie, fit for the entire family. Teaching everyone to dream big, have faith, and trust your team mates.

It is based on the real story of the women’s college basketball team at the small school just outside Philadelphia. Apparently some of the original team even makes an appearance as nuns, cheering on the team at one of the games!

My only negative on this film is it the emphasis it places on being your own woman and not needing a man. Careers and your own dreams are important, but so many women do want to find a husband and start a family. I do understand that this movie taking place in the early 70s has something to do with that, and the real struggle women faced at that time. And in the end, Cathy and her husband learn to support each other, so I guess I can let that part go. There is also a scene where the coach gets the nuns to pass a note to a student during Mass, which I doubt any nun would actually do, but it is more to show the lack of understanding from Cathy, and it is kind of funny.

Great, clean family movie, would be perfect for girls aged 6-12. 

movie reviews

And just like that we are back for Lent 2015!

This little blog has been horribly neglected over the past year. I apologize for being so absent! But with the birth of our third baby, other writing opportunities, a small part-time job, a local tv appearance, and life in general being busy, something had to give! I just recently starting posting somewhat regular at my other blog, and my husband has encouraged me to give this one a little more attention now. So enough with the excuses, and let’s get right into it!

Lent 2015!

Giving up, taking up, what have you decided?! We do the usual giving up of “treats” (junk food, take out, baked goods etc) but also like to give up some thing a little more challenging and replace it with something better for our soul. This year my husband is giving up video games, and I am giving up my current guilty pleasure Gossip Girl. First lets say that I am horribly embarrassed to even admit on here that I have been binge watching it on Netflix for a while now. I am 31 years old, a mother of 3, and I am watching a show that is meant for high school girls. And frankly just the name of it is so sinful! I don’t gossip, yet here I am crazy for a tv show that is all about gossiping, and ruining he lives of the ones you love with gossip!

So, in our free time, usually in the evenings once the kids are asleep, when we would normally do these activities, we are going to watch Catholic movies. And not just historical depictions, but Hollywood ones that show Catholics in a positive light.

My husband is currently making a spread sheet with them all! Ones we own, ones we will get from the library, and ones we can find on Netflix!

So where does this blog fit in? What do you readers have to do with all of this? Well, I am hoping to share a little review and write-up about them all. Share our thoughts on how we feel the Catholics were portrayed, how historically accurate it was, and just if it was a good film. I hope this idea interests you, and that you will stick around for it! I would love to hear what you are doing this Lenten season! In addition to this, I am also hoping to get back into morning prayers, especially as a family. Mornings always seem so hectic and stressful, I am hoping if I can get my children to slow down even for a moment, and we can all pray together before leaving the house, the day will be off to a better start! It seems to settle everyone down at the end of the day, so why not start the day calmly as well!

movie reviews

For those curious about my other writing obligations you can find me on my other blog Not A Coupon Queen, occasionally at Real Housekeeping, and Dynamic Women of Faith

A Room Full of Dynamic Women

Several weeks ago I attended the Dynamic Women of Faith conference. It is held in Toronto each year, and is a day full of talks, prayers, songs, and joy.

Have you ever walked into a room and felt instantly at home? That’s the warm welcoming feeling that I get each year walking into that big conference room. A room full of women, most I have never met before, but all so very dear to my heart. A room full of dynamic and strong women who love their Catholic faith, and love having a relaxed social day full of inspiring stories and great talks. And of course, there are a few men as well; Priests, musicians, and a speaker or two have shown up over the years to offer their testimonies and share their perspective on being Catholic.

This year, the line up of speakers did not disappoint at all. I knew several of them before hand, and have grown to adore the others as I learned more about them that day, and read up about them afterwards. Talks about being a mother in every sense, homeschooling, entrepreneurship, the Dignity and Vocation of women, so many incredible women sharing about their struggles and successes as Catholic women.

For me the highlights were Michael Coren, Lisa Hendey and founder and organizer of the event Dorothy Pilarski.

Michael Coren shared very personal stories from his life. Moments that helped shape his faith, he called them those extraordinary moments within the ordinary days of life. He of course made us laugh, but he also made us cry. My husband and I have been fans of his for years now, so seeing him speak in person was just incredible.

Lisa Hendey flew all the way in from California for this event! I have also been a fan of hers for some time, reading CatholicMom.com as well as her books. She was also so very incredible live. She talked about Saints (oh how I love our Saints!) and how they are there for us and can help us heart, mind, body, and soul. She mentioned specific saints that I knew very little about, and have now become some of my favourites! Such a moving and educational talk!

The lady responsible for this conference, Dorothy Pilarski, also spoke. Every year she is a highlight, both in her talk, and her introductions of the other speakers. She is so very full of passion and love, it is incredible to be in the same room as her! Dorothy spoke about making your mid life the best part of your life, but as she pointed out, since we do not know how long our life will be, we do not know when mid-life is! She encourages us to look and see how we have been blessed and restored. She also talked about understanding suffering, and how we need to learn to suffer because life is never going to be perfect, and we need to use that time to become closer to Jesus. So inspiring!

If you ever get the chance to attend a Catholic conference, I highly recommend it! Even if the idea of going alone terrifies you, do it! I did, and it helped to break me out of the shell, you will never be in a more welcoming setting than a room full of Catholic women! My only regret from the weekend was not sticking around afterwards to chat and take pictures! I left right away, assuming traffic would be bad getting out of the city. I missed the chance to chat with Dorothy, with Lisa, and with Terry (of 8 Kids and a Business, among other things) who chatted about entrepreneurship. But, there is always next year, right?!

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