{SQT} So Much Awesome, So Little Time

{SQT} So Much Awesome, So Little Time

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Sometimes life is so busy you don’t even have time to catch your breath and tell anyone what’s going on. Thank God for the opportunity, a day late (natch), to exhale for a minute (brushed my teeth – promise!) and share some of the incredible stuff that’s been happening in my little corner of the world.

 1. 

Recording with these ladies was a tremendous blessing. We laughed waaaaay more than is likely legal in the contiguous United States and abroad, yet we still managed to complete everything on our production schedule (thank You, Holy Spirit!). I’m so incredibly grateful to them for their generous friendship and I’m especially excited to spill even more beans about The Visitation Project in late April.

 2.  

And that’s a wrap for our first round of recording – time to celebrate! Bottoms up!

 3.  

The last few weeks have been so great, but honestly, also pretty stressful for me. There’s a ton of stuff I feel called to do, but I don’t want my family to suffer, you know? Although I worked outside the home the majority of our marriage, I’ve been a SAHM the past two-plus years, and it appears I’d forgotten the specific struggles working-outside-the-home Mamas face. My hat is off to those valiant women who work outside the home and still manage to hold everything together en casa. Ladies, I salute you, and pray God blesses the work of your (seriously full) hands.

 4.  

Taken at a local Lenten prayer retreat … So beautiful, meaningful, and necessary during this penitential time of the year.

 5.  

The Rock and Worship Road Show with Mr. Matt “I speak Elvish” Maher and the glowing Shaina.

 6. 

 The Enforcer and I took turns attending a days-long Lenten Mission led by our dear brother in Christ, Richard Lane. We even took the whole kit and kaboodle to Adoration and Benediction the second-to-last-night, and against all odds, there were no casualties!

 7. 

    
After so much awesomeness and no real sign of the jam-packed “to-do” list letting up anytime soon, I was grateful to steal away for a little while to our beloved local retreat house not once but twice this week – yesterday with just my babies and our friend with her babies, and today with the whole family. I’ve always felt it to be a place of genuine refuge, and today’s visit, albeit super brief, didn’t disappoint because (of course!) God is faithful.

Bottom line? No doubt I’m an incredibly blessed child of God. I pray for the grace to wholeheartedly glorify Almighty God, the Giver of all good gifts, through all the various times and seasons of my life.

Until next time,

Peace.

heather

Linking up with the ultra-rad homeschooling, Whole30ing, mic-dropping Kelly Mantoan at This Ain’t the Lyceum. See what other amazing people are writing about right here.

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{7QT} On filling the void left by fb

{7QT} On filling the void left by fb

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So, I bit the bullet and gave up the ‘book for Lent. I mean, detachment is good. Deep breath. Repeat after me: detachment is good. Give something up, though, and it’s usually best to take something on, right? Like, a GOOD thing to fill up the hole left by the thing that, maybe, in its own Fbook-y way, has become, well, not-so-good. So while it seems reasonable that I should be filling my extra time with more prayer, family togetherness, extra Masses, plus this, and this, and definitely this, I present to you how I’ve actually been filling the fb void so far:

 1.

More blogging here. And, by more, I mean six posts published since Lent began. Which, by comparison, is double the posts I concocted in all of 2015 leading up to Lent. So, while I’m not posting here every day, it is more than usual, which I predicted. And I am glad! I just … truly didn’t intend to blog this much more during Lent, but there you have it. We’ll see if I can keep it up.

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 2. 

More tweeting. Yeah. I said I wasn’t going to shift my (hyper) focus from fb to Twitter, but what can I say? I’m an extroverted stay-at-home-Mom going absolutely crazy bananas over here some days. I neeeeeeed people and interaction and it’s not always possible to leave the house. And I can stop this Twitter business any time I want to. Really.  I need to just pray more, don’t I?

As usual, too many open tabs.
As usual, too many open tabs.

 3. 

More instagramming. Okay. This social medium is new and shiny to me. I just joined, um, this year (I know, I knoooow). But I haven’t been on horribly much. Really. Honest!

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 4. 

I’m trying not to work on the upcoming Catholic women’s conference too much. But shoot, man! It is going to be AWESOME!! I CAN BARELY CONTAIN MYSELF!!

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 5. 

I just accepted an invitation from Deacon Tom Fox to contribute to the long-running podcast Catholic Vitamins beginning in April (after Lent is over, people), and I couldn’t be more excited! A couple of times a month, I’ll be reflecting on real J  O  Y. Hopefully Dcn. Tom won’t regret his decision after the first broadcast. We’ll see. I will link to new episodes here, of course, so please stay tuned!*

Catholic Vitamins

 

*If you’re feeling particularly magnanimous this tax rebate season and would like to help me purchase some recording equipment, I am gladly accepting donations! RealCatholicMom {at} gmail {dot} com. Seriously. Please. And thank you very much.

 6. 

A super, secret and AMAZING project that is in pre-production as I type! I can’t say anything more here now, but will on March 3 – which is NEXT WEEK! AHHHHH!

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So … you’re probably saying to yourself, “Um, Heather, this is all well and possibly good, but this post seems a) pretty heavy on self-promotion and b) pretty light on, well, holy stuff.” Okay. You got me. Truly, you’re mostly right. You are. If I’m being brutally honest with myself about all the ways I’m filling my time, it does seem, on the outside, that it might not be any better for my eternal soul than all the time I was spending on FB before Lent began. But I assure you, my friends … God is working on me this Lent. I am processing and working and pondering upon things that are not intended for public knowledge – they’re really supposed to be just for me and Jesus right now. God alone knows my heart. He knows if (okay, when) I’m wasting – or abusing – my time. And I can’t say that I’m being The BEST steward of my time at all times, but I truly am trying. I’m trying to be more intentional about what I’m doing and when I’m doing it. I admit I have a long way to go. But thankfully, I don’t have to go much farther any longer to get here:

 7. 

My husband and I just received our keys for the Adoration Chapel nearest our house. I am so, so, so very much looking forward to spending more regular time here with Jesus again. No computer, no phone, no babies who need me – just Him and me. Because, at the end of the day, at the end of Lent, at the end of our life, there is only one thing that matters. And it is right here. At the foot of the Cross. I pray I have the courage and self-awareness to choose the better part this Lent and always.

Jesus, please help me. Saints and angels, hasten to my aid.

Adoration

Linking up with the ultra-rad homeschooling, Whole30ing, mic-dropping Kelly Mantoan at This Ain’t the Lyceum. See what other amazing people are writing about right here.

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{SQT} It’s never too late to Lent!

{SQT} It’s never too late to Lent!

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Since I’m usually running behind on most things (hellooo, recovering perfectionist/adrenaline junkie/busy mom of five/late bloomer), I thought there might be others who are struggling with what they can do this Lent and scrambling to choose easy yet edifying resources. I realize Lent has been blogged about to death already. But, if you’re like me, and you sometimes think, “I’m so late to the party, I might as well stay home,” this post is for you. While my list isn’t exhaustive, I’m not listing anything I wouldn’t do, haven’t done, or am not attempting to do right now. ‘Salright? ‘Salright.

7. ONLINE RESOURCES: Lenten goodies on the interwebz, part one

Best Lent EverWord on Fire

  • Lots of friends are signed up for Matthew Kelly’s Best Lent Ever program, and if it’s like the rest of Kelly’s offerings, it’s bound to be excellent and transformative.
  • Although not Lent-specific, Blessed is She offers daily readings and devotions directly to your email box. The great news is, once you’re hooked on the practice of meditating upon the daily readings this Lent, you can continue the practice all. year. long. Winnnnning!
  • Fr. Robert Barron from Word on Fire will send you daily emails this Lent to keep you on track, too. Really good stuff, and it’s free!

6. JOURNALS & MEDITATIONAL HELPS: 

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  • Blessed is She Lenten Journal – While the paper versions sold out, the super good news is you can still download a digital version for under $15! The other good news is, I think there will be another journal available for Advent. Woo hoo!
  • The Little Black Book – Maybe your parish already stocked up on these bad boys and is offering them for free. If not, you can order one (or many) for waaay cheap in regular or e-book format. About five minutes a day is all it takes to read the scripture and short meditation, and I love that it fits easily into a small purse or, let’s be real, my diaper bag.

5. BOOKITY-BOOKSYou know – the kind you read. 

consoling the heart of jesus

loved as I am

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I like to have a few titles available to read for Lent just in case one is awesome and I race through it or if, for some reason, God isn’t calling me to read one selection just now, or, frankly, I find I just don’t like one I’ve chosen. You may notice that the following titles aren’t even explicitly about Lent. And that’s okay. Pick what speaks to your heart. Here’s my short list:

  • Consoling the Heart of Jesus by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC. This do-it-yourself retreat has, sadly, been sitting on my bookshelf for months. I have picked it up a few times, yet never dove in. After being completely transformed by the 33 Days to Morning Glory consecration process in 2013, however, I know I can trust Fr. Gaitley’s material to bring me closer to Jesus and His Church.
  • Loved as I Am by Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT. I’ve been putting this off for several months now because, as I skimmed the first few pages, I realized I wasn’t reading the words of a typical memoir; rather, I was reading words that were going to challenge, pierce, and potentially convert me. Sounds like a good choice for Lent to me.
  • Walking with Purpose by Lisa Brinninkmeyer. The author’s last name might be tough to pronounce, but it’s easy to get ahold of this well laid-out book from Dynamic Catholic. It’s only $5.95 for shipping (U.S.), and there’s a free downloadable study guide here. Whether I’m able to do it this Lent or not, I’m reading this book. Oh yes, I am.

4. OTHER STUFF: Things I found helpful and/or pretty aka Lenten goodies on the interwebz, part twoglory of god bis

  • Lacy over at Catholic Icing always has amazing resources for families with children.
  • Kendra at Catholic All Year has a big, fat post chock full of Lent-y goodness right here.
  • Bonnie has some Sheenazingly beautiful graphics at her site. Not specifically Lent, but apropos all the same. Plus, she’s coming here next month (see below). Y’all better come!
  • Sarah wrote one of my most favorite posts on repentance (don’t be afraid; it’s probably not what you’re thinking – it’s about self-care and it’s completely awesome).
  • Last but not least, Sterling created this awesome worksheet – 40 days of suffering – that she kindly offered permission for me to share with y’all. It is BRILLIANT in its simplicity: indicate a person, organization, or cause for whom you’ll be offering up your suffering for each of the 40 days of Lent.

3. COMMUNITY Do something more, different, or new this Lenten season.

Power of PrayerRichard Lane Mission

  • Is your parish or one nearby having a Lenten retreat? Even Jesus had to take time away in the desert! Make plans now to attend!  Here’s one for women in the Pacific NW featuring my friends Bonnie Engstrom from A Knotted Life and Sterling from Beauty in Belief. I hope to see you there.
  • Here’s a Lenten mission for the whole family with my brother Richard Lane. I guarantee it will be Holy Spirit-filled!
  • Many parishes offer a light soup/supper and/or Stations of the Cross, especially on Fridays (that’s tonight, by the way). Find one in your area, and make it so. If nothing like these events are happening in your (Arch)Diocese, perhaps you’re being called to organize something for next Lent! Think about it.

2. CHURCH Go hang out there more.

  • Go to Confession. Too afraid? Tell the priest. There is an ocean of Divine Mercy awaiting you in the confessional, my friend. What better way to celebrate Jesus in all His resurrected glory than in a state of unblemished grace?
  • Add an extra daily Mass at least once a month, twice a month, once a week, or as often as you are able.
  • Adoration. Find the Adoration Chapel nearest you and go. to. there. as often as you can. I’m trying for a couple times a month, but hope to get to once a week. And, finally:

1.  FRIENDLY ADMONITION Here’s where I beg.

I implore  you: please, for the love of God and all things holy, do not attempt to do all of the things on this list. Lent isn’t about checklists, remember? It’s about rending our hearts and being in closer relationship with Christ. Put down the mental and/or physical checklist and pray. Ask your Heavenly Father to speak to your heart, and choose to do only one thing, like Mary in the Gospel.  And stick with it.

Peace!

heather

{SQT} SUPER GINORMOUS AMAZING FANTASTIC #CWR15 ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

{SQT} SUPER GINORMOUS AMAZING FANTASTIC #CWR15 ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

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It’s been so long since I linked up with Seven Quick Takes that Jen’s not even hosting the party any more! But no worries. Jen’s spirit lives on. And Kelly is awesome. I saw her literally drop a mic last summer and not bat an eyelash. Lady has skillz.

But I digress.

Please, be my guest and follow me down the rabbit hole for just a moment …

  1. Guess
  2. what
  3. is
  4. happening
  5. in
  6. 28 Weeks????
  7. No, no, no – it’s not a baby. C’mon guys. LOOK!!!

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I am totally freaking out!!! It is going to be fan-FREAKING-tastic awesomeness. And that’s just the beginning.

See? Told ya Jen’s spirit lives on. 😉

xoxo,

Heather

 

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#7QT: Needing prayer + beauty in the mess

#7QT: Needing prayer + beauty in the mess

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There are so many things I want to write about in this space, but I just can’t. Yet.

The earth is moving, the sand is shifting, the color of the sky is deepening, and all that I survey is primed for change.

God is moving very powerfully and very quickly in our lives right now, but I still stand before y’all as a sinner – a fellow sojourner – a sister – a person in the need of some serious prayer.

And, when all is said and done, we need a miracle. We need grace to change, to move, and to act according to God’s will.

We cannot do it on our own.

So. We need a miracle. A legit supernatural intervention. We would so VERY much appreciate your prayers.

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This little beauty landed on our patio door just before lunch yesterday, and stayed a good, long while. Undoubtedly this winged creature was rightfully intrigued and compelled by its biological instinct to hunt down the love bugs that have returned for their biannual frolic before the temperature gradually shifts downward. Anyway, Sweet Butterfly Friend was lovely, and we enjoyed her company while it lasted.
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My dearest friend told me today that scientists have discovered that, prior to hatching, butterfly cocoons are filled with an oozy goo. It’s almost as if the caterpillar is completely liquified before being built up into its glorious new butterfly creation. She noted how perhaps our family’s time here has been our liquid time, preparing us for our impending metamorphosis. I choked up as I sincerely and unironically thanked her for being the protective covering around my ooze. It was a beautiful moment.

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Fr. J, my military chaplain friend stationed in Alaska, sent me this shot of the Northern Lights early Thursday morning. It took my breath away.
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More from Alaska …
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And another …
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Practicing detachment – from things, from people, from expectations, dreams, and desires – is challenging for me. It occurs to me that change, while inevitable, forces us to detach to one degree or another.

As St. Francis would tell his fellow brothers each morning, “Let us begin again.”

Indeed. Let us begin the new season of change.

 

Por más Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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