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.

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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.

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A Surprise Prayer to melt your heart

Life has been busy, but I promise I have posts about Apps for Catholics and a write up about the Dynamic Women of Faith conference…but for now, I just have a little story to share.

Today while out running errands with my 2.5 year old daughter, we were nearing the end of our journey, and about to head back to my son’s school to pick him up. As I buckled her up in her car seat, she clasped her hands together and closed her eyes; “Please let there be no dog poop at the school yard. Amen.” As she opened her eyes, she smiled and exclaimed she was praying for no more dog poop at the school, just like how she prayer for her lost soother to be found a few months ago.

I must also say when she says dog poop, she really means mud (she calls all mud dog poop), and she wanted the mud to be gone so she could play on the hill in the school yard with the big kids.

I just love that she prayed for this, instead of just saying something like “I hope the mud is all gone”. Praying at bedtime sure is paying off!

One week in…

…so how is it going? Have you forgotten what you gave up and did it/ate it by mistake yet? I’ve seen some tweets and posts about messing up after only a few days, and if that’s you, it’s ok! Don’t beat yourself up if you did, it’s not a total fail, just take a step back, pray, and start again fresh tomorrow!

I like to replace what I’m giving up with something. This year I have given up raising my voice/yelling at my kids. It’s forcing me to stay calm, be more patient, and not just jump to conclusions and yell as my first instinct. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to just stop doing something like that (did I mention how tired and emotional I am from being pregnant, and how much my kids love to whine and fight over just about everything?), every time I yell I have to say a Hail Mary. That forced me to calm right down, and remove myself from whatever the situation was that caused me to raise my voice. It’s been working like a charm! Day one I said 3 Hail Mary’s, and since then I have only had to say one or two here and there! My husband even complimented me last night how great I was doing, and how nice it was to not have me loosing my cool so much. It’s kind of embarrassing…but I know you won’t judge me right? And I would much rather focus on the great side of this; me being a more patient mother who is also a much better listener!

The other thing that we give up each and every Lent are the sweets and treats. And since Sunday’s don’t count, my husband stopped by Tim Horton’s on Sunday and picked up some Timbits for us all. They were delicious, especially after a week of no sweets! We also had brownies and ice cream for dessert that night…I was very tempted to like my plate, but I restrained myself. My son has also been really great with this one. I thought for sure he would be asking for a treat all the time, but he had no problem with the treats in the house being put away in our cold storage until Easter! He was also keeping his little sister in line at the grocery store today, announcing “no treats during Lent!” anytime her eyes strayed to a yummy chocolate snack.

I hope you aren’t stressing too much if you have fallen off your Lenten path. There is still plenty of time to get back to it and have a great turnout!

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!

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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