Just one week away

Have you given Lent any thought yet? My husband and I have been throwing ideas around for a couple days now, I just can’t decided what to give up/take up for those 40 days. The standard one in our house are “treats”; candies, chocolates, chips, pop, takeout…all those yummy extras you don’t really need, and shouldn’t be eating regularly anyways. My husband and I also give up one other thing that is more specific, and usually take up something as well, here are a few ideas that we have done in the past, in case you need some ideas:

Give up:

– video games

– TV

– social media

– caffeine (my husband did this when I was pregnant with our son, sort of as a personal challenge for himself and supporting me in my caffeine free 9 months)

– shopping (not for necessities, but new clothes, home decor stuff, items you don’t *need*)

– swearing

– yelling (this might be topping my list this year. I gave up swearing one year and it finally broke that bad habit for good…perhaps this Lent will make me a better mother who doesn’t yell anymore)

Take up:

– the Bible (ok, maybe not all of it, but a few pages a day would be great!)

– other Catholic books

– volunteer

– going to Mass an extra day each week

Of course we will also be attending Mass on Ash Wednesday, abstaining from meat on all Fridays (which we do all year round anyways), and my husband will be fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday (I’m pregnant, so I don’t have to do that one this year). Confession is also a must for us during Lent, our Parish usually hosts a large event with priests from other parishes, making it easy and accessible for everyone. And maybe I will even cover our crosses with purple fabric this year as well.

I would love to hear about your family’s traditions surrounding Lent. It seems so many people have family traditions for Advent and Christmas, but not as many for Lent and Easter. We go big when it comes to Easter, just as we do for Christmas. Presents, egg hunts, brunch at our house with my family, Mass, and dinner with my in-laws. So I like to make Lent just as significant as Advent. My son has been asking more questions this year, and we are more than happy to talk to him about it all, so I feel like some activities for the kids this year will be a must! Perhaps making the rosary a weekly or even daily thing will happen, as my son is a little obsessed with it right now (couldn’t have a better interest!), maybe a count down of some sort as well, just as we do for Advent. Oh I see lots of pins happening on Pinterest this week!

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Stop and pray

Have you ever had a moment when you felt something pulling at you. You are in the middle of something, but deep down inside you feel the need, the calling, to stop and pray. Never ignore that!

Today wasn’t my best parenting day. More yelling and arguing than I would have liked. Fights over having soothers (she’s two, and still hooked on it, but house rule is it’s only for sleeping!), where to sit at the table for lunch, eating lunch, and of course arguments over toys. Most of these instances were fairly typical in our house, and I don’t usually let them get under my skin, but today they did.

After I got the kids settled down for their naps, I sat and ate about 7 cookies. Chocolate covered digestive cookies are a weakness of mine. Sadly I didn’t feel any better afterwards. I turned the tv on hoping to just “veg out” and forget about my bad mood, but I couldn’t shake the feeling. Every channel I flipped to had a story of someone who was going through something tragic. Something actually worth being upset about. Me, I was grouchy because my daughter didn’t want to sit in her seat at lunch…I stopped what I was doing that very second to pray.

I gave thanks for the blessed life that I have.

I asked for forgiveness for the words I spoke in anger to my children.

I prayed for the courage and grace to be the mother that I know I can be, and that I know He wants me to be.

When I was finished, of course I felt a million times better. But it also hit me at that moment; I couldn’t remember the last time I stopped to pray. I pray with my kids before bed, and before each meal, but I hadn’t been praying on my own, either before I went to bed or randomly throughout the day. Was this the true source of my grumpiness? Most likely. I have been so tired and drained from this pregnancy, and going to bed early most nights, that I guess I just stopped…I fell out of it way to easily, but thankfully, it’s even easier to start back up again.

Have you prayed today?

Have you felt Him calling you? Never ignore His call.

 

Dynamic Women of Faith Conference – April 12th in Toronto

I never understood the excitement that I read from other bloggers who attended conferences. That was, of course, until I attended one myself. I never went to a blogger conference, or one that was required by my job, but I did attend a truly inspiring Catholic one last year: The Dynamic Women of Faith Conference.

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I’m talking about sitting in a room full of kindred hearts. Like minded women of all ages, sharing their Catholic faith, listening to incredible speakers, praying, and occasionally breaking into song. It was a truly inspiring day, hosted and organized by a very inspiring woman, Dorothy Pilarski. Dorothy is an incredible woman, she lives her Catholic faith out loud and very proud of it! She writes on her own blog Gutsy Catholic Mom, also over at the Catholic Register. She is the author of Motherhood Matters (one of my favourite books, and one that has really led me to explore my Catholic faith more) as well as a children’s book. She is a professional public speaker, and helps women start mothers groups in their Parish with her Salt and Light TV series Mothering – Full of Grace. That really is quite the resume! And not only do you hear her speak at the conference, she finds some incredible men and women to speak as well.

Past years, speakers have included bloggers, TV personalities, priests, and mothers. This year there will be two keynote speakers, and I couldn’t be more excited as they are two of my favourites: Lisa Hendey and Michael Coren!

I’m sure you have heard of Lisa, and if not, perhaps you have heard of Catholicmom.com (one of my favourite websites!)?! Lisa Hendey is the founder of Catholicmom.com and author of The Handbook for Catholic Moms. She is going to talk about how saints can strengthen us during our spiritual journey. I love learning about new saints, and how they can help me, so this talk sounds fantastic! She is flying all the way from California for the conference, and will also be speaking at the mother/daughter evening on April 11th.

If you are a Catholic/Conservative in Canada, you may have heard of Micheal Coren. My husband and I both love his TV show on the Sun News Network, The Arena. He is an award winning columnist, radio host, and best selling author as well (we have several of his books!). He is going to talk about his personal journey of faith and how he deepened his relationship with Jesus Christ. I’m afraid I may be a bit star struck when I see him.

There are also so many other great speakers going to be at this event. Registration is now open, and Dorothy told me I was actually the first to register! Can you tell I’m excited about this event?! The first ten to register will receive a gift too. Please stop by the website for more information, Dynamic Women of Faith. Even if you can’t attend, maybe you know someone who would like to go, so please share this with others as well. It is in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Saturday April 12th at the International Plaza Hotel. I hope to see you there!

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Below are links to the PDF files of the Brochure, feel free to view them and share them!

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New Reading Material…and the big announcement

So, things have been quiet around here, and on twitter, so a little while. I sure do have my reasons. While I have been busy playing with my kids, learning to crochet, baking, and just enjoying our blessed little family, I have also been reading some new books!

I know there of lots of you out there that just love a good Catholic book, and boy do I have two great ones for you:

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Can you make out those titles? The first is Prayerfully Expecting by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle. The second is A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy by Sarah A. Reinhard.

So I bet you guessed the big announcement, huh? I’m pregnant! We are so truly blessed, and thrilled beyond words to welcome our third child this summer!

So far I have beel feeling downright awful, which I expected since that is how I felt with the other two. These books have been such a saving grace, reminding that this baby is a true blessing and gift from God. Remembering that while I throw up for the 5th time that day is very comforting. It’s all for a great cause, and as hard as it can be on my body, I really do love being pregnant!

I hope you will pray for me and my baby as we continue this journey. Saint Gerard sure has been hearing an awful lot from me lately 🙂