Vintage RCM: The Catholic Mom’s “Drop-Kicked Into Reality” Prayer

Vintage RCM: The Catholic Mom’s “Drop-Kicked Into Reality” Prayer

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Originally published after Edel ’14, the truths and sentiments behind this prayer are timeless. While Edel’s impact on my life resonates so much more deeply than these few sentences can convey, here’s my offering of support for my sisters once we’re back in “the real world.” The best, my friends, is yet to come. <3

The Catholic Mom’s “Drop-Kicked Into Reality” Prayer

Dear Lord Jesus, King of rowdy, stubborn children, Redeemer of questionable smells and short tempers, Savior of misplaced shoes, boo boos, messy kitchens, blowout diapers, endless dishes (and laundry and more laundry), double-booked activities, practices and lessons, burned food, cold coffee, clogged toilets, and uniquely depleted Moms, I earnestly pray that the grace received through our Edel experience sustains me as I build my domestic cathedral in the hidden recesses of my home. May I reach out to my Edel sisters for unconditional support and encouragement because, after all, they *know.* May I please, dear Jesus, not allow my sister to drown in plain sight when I sense she is in need. But most importantly, Lord, may I seek You, before and above all else because, when everything is said and done (or necessarily left undone), YOU’ve got this, Lord – You’ve got me, my family, and allllll the beautiful messiness that is my life in the palm of Your hand because You love me as if I were your one and only. I offer all I say and do for Your glory through the intercession of the best Mom around, our Blessed Mother Mary. In Jesus’ Name – Amen!

+Venerable Edel Quinn, Pray for Us!+

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{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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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 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!

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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: 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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Confessions of a [former] silent retreat reject #vintageRCM

Confessions of a [former] silent retreat reject #vintageRCM

Happy Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary! Calah’s post over at Patheos today struck a chord. I, too, have struggled through the excruciating cone of silence that is a silent retreat, yet was ultimately pleasantly surprised by the experience. The following post was originally published FIVE YEARS AGO this month after my very first silent retreat. Wow. That was two children, a few jobs, and one epic cross-country move ago. Interestingly, I make a few references to writing more about the experience, but I never did. Perhaps it’s time for another silent retreat?? Mum’s the word!


Let’s just get this out of the way now – I’m a talker.

While I’m not the chattiest of all the women I know, I think I could hold my own in a talking contest. Especially if I got to talk about faith and family and the state of the world. I’m not a big fan of chit-chat; I like to go deep.

So when my spiritual director suggested I go on a women’s retreat as a kind of  “capstone” experience after meeting with her for six consecutive weeks, I thought it sounded like an awesome opportunity to connect with other like-minded Catholic women to learn some cool stuff and share about our faith. It took surprisingly little time to talk my husband into letting me go for the weekend (thanks, Hon!), and it was all set. My first retreat by myself. Yay!

The funny thing is, going in to it, I had absolutely NO IDEA that it was a silent retreat. None. I mean, there wasn’t anything indicating as such on the retreat flyer, and my dear spiritual director didn’t happen to mention it, interestingly enough.

Upon arrival, someone casually mentioned, “Ladies, enjoy your conversation with dinner, because there won’t be any talking allowed after that point.” Huh? Saywhaaa? A women’s retreat with no talking? Isn’t that an oxymoron? I quickly surmised that either this was the 3rd circle of hell, or that someone would be coming out with a video camera soon to tell me that this was all an elaborate hoax.

But, no – they were serious. And, after a brief stint of sheer panic, I genuinely smiled and had to chuckle as it finally sunk in. I thought about how, yet again, Our Lord has a pheNOMenal sense of humor. Did I mention I like to talk??

Okay, so if the younger version of myself ever heard that I would actually go to a silent retreat, let alone actually ENJOY it, I think younger me would have dropped dead from shock. Friday night through Sunday morning without saying anything out loud but prayers??? Ha! You’ll never survive, I would have told myself.

But I did. I survived. In fact, I more than survived. I – the real me – thrived. Are you kidding me??! Nothing came out of my mouth but prayers (morning prayer, Mass, confession, evening prayer, stations of the cross, the rosary, personal meditation) for almost the whole time. And it was evident the Holy Spirit was working. More on that in another post later.

Because one of the things I learned on my recent retreat is that less really IS more. I won’t go on and on about the retreat itself, but here are a few nuggets I picked up:

  • God is present in the silence. If you don’t allow silence, it will be much, much more difficult to hear God’s voice.
  • In the silence, your heart and soul can be nourished in ways you didn’t know you were hungering for.
  • When the only words you say are prayers, you realize that many words aren’t necessary whatsoever, including “Please pass the salt,” which I thought would be pretty important at mealtime.
  • Solitude can be an amazing time of self-discovery. When you are alone, you’re never really alone, because God is there, too. I took Fr. Dave Pivonka’s Spiritual Freedom with me into my times of solitude and would recommend it to anyone seeking a closer relationship with Christ.
  • Silence takes discipline, but we are all called to be obedient as disciples of Christ. Our obedience can allow God’s presence to be evident to us and those around us … more on that in a later post.

If you don’t yet understand why we need silence and solitude as an integral part of our spiritual journey, I suggest you read The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen. It is a wonderful, pithy text that pulls from the wisdom of scripture and the Desert Fathers to draw us into a deeper connection with God our Father.

Watch for another post soon that will humbly tackle practical ways in which to live out the lessons of the silent retreat.

Pax Christi!

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Pondering all that is good, true, and beautiful | Blessed is She

Pondering all that is good, true, and beautiful | Blessed is She

If this fleeting summer had a theme, it would be “pondering.”

Okay, so maybe “stealing quick moments between doing all sorts of things to briefly think about a bajillion other things” is more apt, but “pondering” sounds so much more civil, well-mannered, and holy, don’t you think?

Anyway, this summer, I have specifically been pondering (ahem) my intake in its various and sundry forms. What am I eating and drinking? What thoughts am I entertaining? What am I watching? What am I taking in physically, mentally, and spiritually? Am I consuming things that are bringing me closer to Christ or, if I’m being brutally honest with myself, possibly pushing me further away from Him?

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With those thoughts, however imperfectly swirling about in my mind, I was delighted to learn about Blessed is She, a daily devotional experience put together by the phenomenal Jenna Guizar of A Mama Collective. To truly ponder His Word every day was something I could confidently consume without one little bit of anxiety that I was headed in the wrong direction (hello, social media).

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Well, friends, it gets even better, because I am so blessed to be just one in a bouquet of gorgeously brilliant, Jesus-seeking contributors for this new endeavor, which launches TODAY!! It isn’t everyday that a lil-cracked-pot-of-a-gal like me is able to make a contribution to something so beautiful, so lovely, and so worthwhile! The timing seemed to perfectly coincide with my desire to serve God through the written word. How serendipitous that I am able to offer my humble words about His Word?

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I hope you will join us over at Blessed is She every day and feast on God’s living Word that awaits you. It’s easy to do so! Here are all the details for engaging with BiS via my fellow contributor lifesaver, Megan Hjelmstad, who knows a thing or two about getting blogs posted whilst chasing kiddos on Labor Day:

How Does It Work?
You can:

  • Read the daily devotions on the website by clicking here: Daily Devotions (we’ve also been posting the daily readings each day, and now that the devotions have started, the readings will be linked so you can read the scriptures that inspired each devotion!)
  • And/or subscribe on the website to receive an email every day with that day’s devotion by clicking here: Subscribe to Email
  • Follow our Instagram feed with some beautiful images and the verse of the day (based on the daily readings) here: com/blessedisshe__
  • Chat via Twitter with the Blessed Is She team here: com/blessedisshe__
  • Like the Blessed Is She Facebook page to stay up to date on news or interact with the Blessed Is She team by clicking on this link: com/blessedisshenetwork
  • Check out Blessed Is She’s inspiration on Pinterest: pinterest.com/blessedisshe__/
  • Learn about our fun little cast of characters (seriously amazing women, all of them!) here: http://blessedisshe.net/about/
  • Or just browse the beautiful website: blessedisshe.net

See? I told you Megan is super awesome!!

Also awesome is tonight’s Blessed is She Twitter chat! Follow me and the rest of the BiS team and join us LIVE at 9 p.m. EST to celebrate the Blessed Is She launch. Formal attire is completely optional. 😉

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And, please, friends – spread the word near and far – we as Catholic women need to feed on the Eucharist, absolutely, yet we also need to take time to consider all that is good, true, and beautiful in the living and effective Word of God and truly ponder it in our hearts.

Keep fighting the good fight of faith.

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