Getting Ready for Advent

We have two November birthdays in our house, plus Thanksgiving, which this year we are traveling for (hopefully, ahead of the forecasted blizzard for Tuesday night). Advent will be upon us by the time we get home!

Our family always reads from the Bible about the story of salvation history during Advent and puts an ornament for each reading on our Jesse Tree. And we love to light the candles on our Advent wreath. My goal for Advent is to enter in the busy season prayerfully and cheerfully. So, for myself I always pray with the Blessed is She Advent devotional.

I would like to invite you to join me this year in praying with the Blessed is She Advent+Christmas devotional. It goes through the story of the family of Christ, from Genesis to Jesus’ birth, to the birth of the Church. Each of us on the Blessed is She team wrote a reflection sharing our story and inviting you to enter into Advent and Christmas with your story, of your family, of your life as a daughter of God. You’ll find my story on Day 7 of Advent!! Today (Monday, Nov. 25) is the last day to order to get it before Advent starts! But since it goes through Christmastide, don’t worry if you order it a few days late!

The Blessed is She Marketplace is having some great sales this week!

bissales

So, click on over if you have been waiting for a sale to get the planner, our virtue book for kids, or any other product!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving week!

**This post contains affiliate links**

NCRegister Blog: Catholic Women Want Community (Even in a Blizzard)

Two of my friends and I set out one blustery Friday April afternoon from St. Paul, Minnesota for Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We were excited to spend a weekend together at the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls women’s conference despite the forecast a blizzard sweeping through the upper Midwest. We managed to make it to our hotel a couple of hours before snow began to fall, but when we woke up on Saturday morning the blizzard had arrived in full force. It took until the end of my sixth winter living in Minnesota to see my first real blizzard, and I ended up being in South Dakota for it. Perhaps the flatness of the prairie intensified the winds, but I heard that the Twin Cities looked about the same as Sioux Falls.

Read the rest at the National Catholic Register…

BIS Devotion: You Are Set Free of Your Infirmity

I was blessed to write the devotion on today’s daily Mass readings for Blessed is She.

The ability to call God, “Abba, Father!” has been a very sweet thing for me in my life as I look back at the way our Heavenly Father has carried me ever closer to Him even when I have been the little lost sheep forgetful of His care. He has freed me from so many spiritual infirmities and I know that He will continue to do so as long as I stay close to Him. But even when I do turn away, He is always there waiting for me, pursuing me with His everlasting love.

https://blessedisshe.net/devotion/you-are-set-free-of-your-infirmity/

Check out my “mini-conversion-story” over at BIS!

Blessed is She: When We Pray

I am over at Blessed is She today reflecting on the Mass readings for today:

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https://blessedisshe.net/devotion/when-we-pray/?mc_cid=eb68429ed0&mc_eid=e8f0452374

In today’s reading from Acts, Saints Peter and John, just released after being arrested for healing a lame man, were threatened by the chief priests and the elders and told to not preach about Christ anymore. Rather than comply with the wishes of their enemies, they prayed for courage to continue to spread the Gospel, and the Holy Spirit responded by filling them with boldness. They went on to begin the evangelization of the whole world.

God likes to help us in response to prayer; He wants us to get to know Him, to talk to Him. When we spend time with Him, we grow to love Him more…

Read the daily readings and the rest at Blessed is She…

BIS Devotion: The Struggle in Our Hearts

 I am over at Blessed is She today with today’s devotion:

https://blessedisshe.net/devotion/the-struggle-in-our-hearts/?mc_cid=e2615a3f01&mc_eid=e8f0452374

I have a time-wasting problem. One that I have confessed again and again for years, and I know that to remedy the problem I simply have to use my time well. I use a planner, allocating time for each thing. It goes well in the morning, but then I get to the afternoon.

My children are napping or resting, and I waste that time. I scroll through the social media, justifying it to myself. Then I see the late hour, and I scramble to do the things I meant to do. I usually end up irritable with my children, and take out my impatience with myself on them. I start dinner late, we eat late, the kids are in bed late, and then my husband and I still have to clean the kitchen instead of having a nice evening. What seems like a simple moment to relax actually has an ill effect on my whole family…

Read the rest and today’s daily Mass readings at Blessed is She…

Christ Did Not Say this Call was Easy…(BIS and NCRegister Posts)

Today is my devotion day over at Blessed is She. When I wrote this devotion about making sacrifices and the challenge of living out the Gospel in our daily lives, I did not know that would have also written about a very challenging application of it in loving our enemy and those in need at the Register this week.

I am seeing that what it comes down to is radical love and a willingness to sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel. Here are the posts and links to them:
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The Temple of God

Every moment of even the slightest suffering that we bear, we can unite to His One Sacrifice. We can choose in our daily lives to habitually participate in Christ’s One Sacrifice, and through His suffering our suffering can bring grace into our lives and the lives of those for whom we pray. For we are temples of God, and as temples, we are a place of sacrifice.

In the Gospel today Christ asks of us some very hard things: turn the other cheek, give away your cloak, go the extra mile, give to the one who asks of you, and love your enemies. These decisions are sacrifices. These choices unite us to Christ…
https://blessedisshe.net/the-temple-of-god/?mc_cid=8f13b8ffd9&mc_eid=e8f0452374&v=7516fd43adaa

I think about the kind of nation I would want my children to live in, and while I would love for them to have peace and prosperity, I worry more about their immortal souls than whether or not they will be persecuted. I know that they will be. There is no denying that. Christ told us so: “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). The Christian has always been persecuted. The model of radical love is one that I want them to follow rather than that of cowering in fear behind the secure borders of our country.

It is time to overcome our fears and meet those different from us with radical charity, so that we might hope to be among the righteous.

Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink?
 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee?
And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’
And the King will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.‘ (Matthew 25:37-40)

BIS Devotion: Discerning God’s Will Everyday

I am over at Blessed is She writing today’s devotion:

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I spent the entire semester I was abroad in Europe during college trying to surrender my will to God’s will about a particular man in my life. He very clearly liked, almost loved, me, but he was conflicted about his vocation. I tried desperately to not interfere in his discernment, but also to accept God’s will, come what may. The hardest thing for me was figuring out for what exactly I should be praying for this dear man. I wanted him to choose God’s will for his life, but I also felt that my own destiny was already tied up in this man’s destiny. In my very depths I felt that we were meant to be with each other, but I had to wait for God’s will to be made clear to him. The only prayer I could pray with any peace was this: for this man to discern God’s will for him. That letting go and letting God was one of the hardest things I have done in my life…

Read the rest at Blessed is She…

Blessed is She Devotion: The Love You Had at First

 
This devotion I wrote back in September for today on the daily Mass readings is full of my own advice that I really needed to hear. My prayer life has been a bit of a struggle these past few weeks; it has been harder to pray, to want to pray, and to focus on prayer. But I am reminded that I need to continue on in my own resolutions despite my difficulties, and focus on kindling the love God first gave me for Him.

Read today’s readings and the devotion at Blessed is She...

Only a Few Quick Takes…

It’s Friday! It’s Friday! This weekend we are going to winterize the yard, which means raking, bush trimming, composting the garden. It has been so mild this Autumn that we had been able to put this off until mid-November, and I am not complaining! We actually still have broccoli, cabbage, and brussel sprouts still growing. We are going to start our sauerkraut fermenting tonight.

I just wanted to let you know about two awesome things coming up.

First, if you have not ordered your Blessed is She Advent journal, do it. And do it soon. It is amazing. As a theological editor for BIS, I have read it all through and it is soooooooo good. Elizabeth Foss did an amazing job with the writing. I want to hurry up and get ready for Christmas materially before Advent so I can sit back and pray with this journal. Head over to Elizabeth’s blog to see her introduce the journal.

Second, Anna, Jacqui, and I will be running the Catholic Women Bloggers Network Midwest Conference on March 25, 2017 in St. Paul, Minnesota. If you are a fellow Catholic women blogger, we would love to see you there! Registration starts soon, so keep an eye out for the details and join our Facebook group.

Have a blessed weekend.

Blessed is She Devotion: Being Who You are Called to Be

I love that I was assigned to write about St. John the Baptist today. I have a special connection to him my whole life having been born two weeks past my due date on his Nativity in June. Today is the day in which we remember his martyrdom at the hands of King Herod. And as always happens when I write devotions, what I drew from the readings is so relevant to me today. I pray that I can be more like St. John the Baptist and allow Christ to use me despite my littleness.

Here is my devotion:
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Two things stand out to me in today’s readings for the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, the first being how King Herod felt about John:
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
King Herod knew that Saint John was a righteous man, and that he was speaking truth. But the truth put King Herod into a funny position. If he listened to Saint John, he would have to completely change his life. He would have to admit that he was wrong, and give up the women that he had taken as a wife from his own brother. He was stuck, and he was very attached to the life that he had, and because of this he was forced to kill a man who he knew to be holy and righteous.

https://blessedisshe.net/being-who-you-are-called-to-be/?mc_cid=db41a06672&mc_eid=e8f0452374