St. Miriam Angelica + how to help

St. Miriam Angelica + how to help

Baby Miriam and MomFriends, it is with geat sorrow that I report sweet baby Miriam Angelica Ho went home to be with the LORD the day after her birth. I first posted about our prayer efforts on behalf of baby Miriam here.

Countless members of the online community didn’t hesitate to pray for the miraculous healing of this beautiful new life, but it wasn’t meant to be.

On May 23, Miriam’s father, Erik, provided this heartbreaking update via Facebook:

With a heavy heart I would like to tell everyone who has been offering their thoughts and prayers that at 12 pm today (5.23) our little Miriam passed away. She was with all of us while the NICU staff removed her breathing tube and we were able to be alone with her as she died. Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers. Saint Miriam is with our Lord and our Lady now praying for all of us.”

Later that evening, Miriam’s mother, Cassandra, wrote the following message:

Our dear, sweet baby girl Miriam Angelica has left this world. We now have a Saint in heaven praying for all of us, after all the prayers and masses said for her over the past 30 or so hours.

We are overwhelmed by all the prayers, kind thoughts, and offers of help from friends and family near and far. It is amazing how small and intimate the world becomes in a time of tragedy. Miriam’s short time with us has touched so many hearts, we could not have asked for more. We will go home with empty hands, but very full hearts.

It has been really helpful and comforting to know how quickly and widespread our news and needs for prayers has spread.

In times of great sorrow and loss, it can be difficult to know what to do to help a grieving family. Writer Laura Fanucci, who is walking the path of life after loss, provides excellent suggestions for practical and spiritual help. She has a lot of powerful, well-written entries about grief (and other things, too), as has Writer Tommy Tighe, whose son, Luke, died shortly after birth.

Specifically, there are particular ways that you, in your charity, may assist Cassandra and Erik Ho and their children during this extraordinarily difficult time.

1. Material support via gift cards

While local friends are helping with a meal train, the family has asked for gift cards to cover general expenses (ie groceries, restaurants, Costco, Amazon, etc.).

Any gifts may be mailed to:

The Ho Family
c/o Bronson Family
2126 Peaceful Garden Way
Rescue, CA 95672

2. Spiritual support via prayers and sacrifices

The Blessed is She sisterhood is gathering a spiritual bouquet for the Ho Family. Your offering of prayers, sacrifices, Masses, etc. for their consolation and peace is greatly appreciated. You may contribute to the bouquet by commenting on the original Facebook thread. If you don’t have a Facebook account, please feel free to leave a comment below, and I will gladly add your offering to the bouquet that will be presented to the family in the near future.

And, finally, if you live near the Ho Family in California, please consider joining them in prayer for Miriam Angelica’s funeral Mass. Here are the details from Miriam’s parents:

Next Thursday, June 1, at 10am, we would like to invite all who can come to a Mass of the Angels for our daughter Miriam. There will be a reception afterwards. If you are wanting to offer any assistance of any kind for the reception or anything else, please feel free to contact Sarina Bronson at 530-503-7474 via text or call, or she can be reached at sarina@bronsons.net.

Thank you, dear readers, for your prayers and support. Let’s lift this family up and remind them that the Body of Christ, the Church Militant, is alive and well. Let’s be Jesus’s hands and feet for them in their time of need.

image credit: Lena Flores

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Who Am I?

Who Am I?

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In the silent stillness before dawn, I slowly opened my eyes, reluctant to survey the aftermath of the previous night’s activities. There were empty junk food wrappers strewn about the small room, as well as myriad red cups offering up their remaining contents to the already-stained carpet. The sickly sweet smells of alcohol, incense, and smoke clung to my hoodie and jeans and clouded my memory. As I slowly sat up, I noticed about ten or eleven other teens—male and female—still sleeping in whichever spot they found themselves when they eventually passed out.

As I finally came to, my thoughts came clearly and rapidly: What am I doing here? Is this all there is to life? Is this what my future holds? Who have I become?

Read the rest here.

Photo used with permission by Blessed is She.

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Blessed Am I: An update and an invitation

Blessed Am I: An update and an invitation

Happy Thursday, friends! It’s been an especially busy and fruitful season for ye olde Real Catholic Mom. Not necessarily for this here blog, as you may have noticed; this poor thing tends to be relegated to the sidelines whenever Mom’s dance card is full with family, conference, retreatconference, retreat, and convention. Woof.

As much as I absolutely love traveling and sharing The Good News with other women and experiencing incredible, Holy Spirit-infused Visitation moments (#myjamforlife), there’s something rather precious and sweet about having nothing (okay, well, almost nothing) on my calendar leading into the holidays except for “normal” Wife-of-one-and-Mom-of-five stuff, which, quite honestly, is plenty for any soul, especially a former (ugh! I cannot tell a lie!) current Martha-holic like me with uniquely challenging and beautiful children like ours. I feel like these blessed blanks on my calendar are God’s way of gently guiding me closer to hearth and home, allowing Him to expertly guide this busy ship to shore for a bit of leave.

My challenge: To honor the blanks and not rush to fill them to overflowing like the recovering human doing that I am.

But y’all must know by now that I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t share a bit of what’s coming up, and they are good things, friends – very good things. To that end, here are my personal invitations to you and yours:

living-abundantly-workshop

Please join me LIVE for my very first online workshop with the wonderful Blessed is She ministry next Wednesday. The workshop, called Living Abundantly Through Forgiveness and Healing, streams live at 6 p.m. PST // 9 p.m. EST or can be downloaded after the event closes if the live time doesn’t work with your schedule. My prayer is that you’ll leave the session encouraged and strengthened to completely release any nagging bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness behind so you may close out this glorious Year of Mercy with a renewed sense of healing and wholeness.


Speaking of slowing down and digging deep … Advent is coming. I know, I know. But! As with everything, it is an opportunity to draw closer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. From the Blessed is She website:

You want to dive deeper into the season of Advent, you desire to lay aside the busy-ness this season can become, and you yearn for a deeper relationship with our Lord. Here is your chance. Here is your time to grow closer to Him, to learn more about Him, and to fall more in love with Him. “Together, let’s prepare our hearts and our very lives for the coming of the Baby.” // Elizabeth Foss, author of By the Manger in the Morning Prayer Journal

***Please note: Clicking through to the BIS website via the above image or the hyperlinked title financially benefits, in a small yet meaningful way, my friend and fellow prayer warrior/speaker/writer/uplifter, Mary Lenaburg. Thank you kindly for your generosity!


For local friends, I’ll be at St. Cecilia Parish again this year for their Women With Spirit Advent Recollection on Tuesday, December 6th at 7 p.m. Stay tuned for more details!


Finally, dear friends – would you please pray for me? The Holy Spirit has really been working on my heart these past few months, and even more intensely these past few weeks. I want to be able to be still (neither my best nor my most natural posture) to listen to and, more importantly, cooperate, with His leading.

Until next time, please know of my prayers with and for you.

heather

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What’s the truth?

What’s the truth?

August 4 2016 image @s_mckendrick

Lots of crazy stuff happening in the world today, right? “Crazy” seems like an understatement. I can’t believe the headlines and the feeds and the videos and the photos … it’s just too much.

Sometimes the noise from the media and society at large is enough to make me want to ditch this suburban existence and go off the grid to live in a yurt somewhere in rural someplace.

But then I wonder where I’d get my fancy coffee and a wifi signal and how we’d fit all the kids in such a tight space.

Details, details.

Even when everything seems to swirl around me at justtoomany miles per hour, there are, contrary to what the culture tries to shove down our throats, some absolute truths (and Truths) to which I cling, including:

God is good.

I am His.

I am loved.

Everything is grace.

The Catholic Church is my home.

Christ is present in the Holy Eucharist.

Mercy awaits all who enter the Confessional.

Being a wife and a mother is good, holy, and thoroughly exhausting work.

Heaven is real.

Music lifts my soul.

Almond milk lattes make me happy.

My husband is hilarious.

I love a good bass line.

Each of my children are wonderfully, fearfully made, and I’m lucky to be their Mom.

Jesus Christ is real and I need Him.

***

Today, I have the honor of contemplating today’s Gospel reading over at Blessed is She. Basically, I’m asking myself – and you – if I truly have the faith to believe that God is Who He says. And, if I do believe it, what am I so worried about? 

” … faith isn’t reserved for some moment in the future when we have a minute to spare. It’s for today—it’s for right now. God is on His throne today. Jesus is saving us today. We are His children today. Do we believe?”

God’s got this. He’s got me. He’s got you. If only we have the faith to believe.

Read the rest here.

God bless y’all.

heather

Photo credit: Shannon Lacy for Blessed is She

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{SQT} Writing, Advent, radio, conferences, and (yes!) slowing down

{SQT} Writing, Advent, radio, conferences, and (yes!) slowing down

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Today’s installment of Seven Quick Takes Friday should be known as the  #HASHTAG version, because, sweet fancy Moses, this post is rollin’ in ’em. Let’s dig in, shall we?

31 days of unexpected joy

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#write31days

For the past 30 days, I’ve been writing about the same topic – unexpected joy – every. single. day. as part of the aptly-named 31 days. Wowza. It’s been a huge leap of faith for me to participate – an exercise in creativity, discipline, and sheer guts, and I am dang proud (and, truthfully) more than a little surprised that I’ve actually made it this far. I’ll show you what I purchased for myself to commemorate this feat as sooooon as it arrives. So excited! Meanwhile, please check out all of the posts here.

TVP on itunes (2)

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#TVPRadio

Since last I participated with SQTF, The Visitation Project has made its debut on iTunes! We are super excited, and can’t wait to share more episodes with y’all. We’d love it if you’d bless us with some happy reviews. Please and thank you so much!

journal-and-cards-on-table (2)

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#BISAdvent

People get ready – Jesus is coming! Friends, the season of Advent is, as of today, LESS THAN ONE MONTH AWAY. Stop screaming (please – you’ll hurt your nice singing voice) and get ye over to the huge blessing that is the Blessed is She shop, where they are pre-selling an Advent journal with devotions by none other than Catholic recording artist Audrey Assad. There’s also some amazing Jesse Tree calendar (with some Scriptural reflections by yours truly and other fabulously talented writers) that will inspire you on your journey toward Bethlehem. Buy the bundle (journal + calendar) and save!

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#DiveInLiturgicalCalendar

Speaking of calendars, my friend Meg has created this gorgeous liturgical wall calendar for 2015-2016 that will knock your socks off! Each day offers the Mystery of the Rosary, Advent ountdown stickers,  Saint of each day, liturgical season color coding, Advent & Lenten Meditations, two Novenas,  and much more. If you’ve been itching to live a more liturgically Catholic lifestyle, this is the calendar for you, and at 12″ x 18″, it will surely be a focal point in your home. I can’t wait to use mine!

My second post is up at CatholicMom.com on Monday. It's a doozy.

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#CatholicMom

Speaking of writing about the same topic for 31 days, I plan to write a wrap-up piece about my experience to be published on the CatholicMom.com website this coming Monday if I don’t collapse beforehand. UPDATE: read all about it here.

CWR15 Social Media 72215 (2)

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#CWR2016

It’s hard to believe, but tonight (Friday) marks the first organizational meeting for next year’s Catholic Women Rejoice conference, our 5th (!!) annual. I’ve joked that conference planning is a bit like pregnancy + childbirth – it’s simultaneously hellacious and rewarding to live through. Within a few (several?) months, you’ve forgotten the bad parts and are ready to do it all again. Please keep watching the blog and especially the Facebook page for more details. It’s gonna be great!

Retreat feet.

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#projectslowdown

Okay, so this hashtag isn’t really a hashtag, but dang if it shouldn’t be. I’ve been going at a pretty brisk clip in a lot of areas for quite a while now, and I am starting to feel it in a variety of ways. I went on a silent retreat at the end of September, and while it wasn’t horrible, it was really hard because it became quite clear that I am living a much too stressful existence right now, and something has to give, or my brain and body will eventually give out. I am going to be talking to Jesus and Mary quite a bit in the next season about being more intentional about this.  And, yes, I get the irony of talking about allthethings (above) and talking about slowing down (here). I’ve never pretended to be someone who makes sense. 😉

Alright, then – I think that’s it for now! Thanks to the amazing Kelly for hosting yet again; please check out all the other fantastic SQTF entries here. Until next time, God bless y’all!

heather

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