random musings on the passage of time + birthday giveaway!

random musings on the passage of time + birthday giveaway!

Hello! It’s me. It’s been a while since I’ve written any of length here rather than asking you to click away to something written somewhere else. Don’t worry – I’ll make my click-away request later on. But for now, a few things have been on my mind lately.

If there’s one thing I’m learning in my older age, it’s that time can be a big bully. One minute you’re seven years old, begging your parents to buy you a new pair of clear jelly sandals and a Strawberry Shortcake baby doll, the next you’re on the cusp of 20 years’ practice being 21. How does that even happen?? I mean, other than the imminent passage of chronological time, of course.

Last week I thought about creating a list of 41 things to do in my 41st year to make things (my life? the blog? your life?) more colorful. Upon further consideration, however, it sounds 1) kind of cheesy, TBH; 2) like a lot of work to conjure; and 3) do I really need to add more things to my plate?

Bobbi’s recent post for Blessed is She got me thinking about the things I truly should be doing, and the things I bring on myself. Sure, it’s common sense (biblical, even!) that each day has troubles of its own. But for whatever reason that I still haven’t thoroughly worked out, I have a bad habit of piling other troubles upon my plate today, tomorrow, and for the foreseeable future. I’m not a complete masochist, mind you. I get into a pickle because, usually, aforementioned troubles are impeccably disguised in fun/important/urgent/ministerial/good citizen’s clothing.

I’m currently reading Shauna Niequist’s bestselling book Present Over Perfect, and it’s been eye-opening. I can relate to a lot of what she writes about striving vs. abiding, doing vs. being, etc. I’m hoping to take part in a free online study beginning next week; that is, if it doesn’t interfere with the rest of my plate. #LOLOLOLOL

So, while I can’t promise that I’ll ever get aound to that 41 Things for Year 41 post, I can promise that, as has become tradition, I’m giving something away to you, dear Reader, to celebrate my birthday! Thanks to my friends at Catholic T-Shirt Club I’ve got some fun things to give away to one of YOU! Check out their awesome monthly subscription boxes, chock full of faith-filled goodies to share and live the Catholic faith for adults AND kiddos ((super cute Divine Mercy t for kids in my instastories today!)).

Birthday giveaway 2017

To enter yourself, head on over to my Instagram account and say howdy! You may also tag up to five friends (one per comment) to enter them to win. If you share my IG post, you get five extra entries, just like that! One lucky and blessed winner will be randomly selected and announced on Monday, May 8th and receives allll the stuff pictured over on IG (and here … except you can’t have my birthday coffee ☕️😂). Shipping in domestic US only, please and thank you ever so much.

Thanks again to my friends at Catholic T-Shirt Club for their generosity. And – one last thing – In honor of my birthday, if you can, please thank God for something He’s given you. Eat or drink something delicious. Kiss someone you love. Do something that makes your heart sing. I’ll be praying for y’all. Please pray for me.

Love,

heather

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Whatever you do, PLEASE read this!

Whatever you do, PLEASE read this!

I know, I know. I’m the world’s worst blogger! I wrote every. single. day. last October, and then … I think I must have hit some sort of mental block posting quota.

Mea culpa. 

Never fear – I will (hopefully) be posting more regularly soon, but for now, you may be wondering what in the world would compel me to break my 9+ week blogging drought?

33 Days to Merciful Love cover.jpg

BOOM.

Y’all.

Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. ORDER THIS BOOK. NOW. PLEASE. Pretty please.

33 Days to Morning Glory was such a huge game-changer for my spiritual life, I can only imagine what amazing fruit will come from Fr. Michael Gaitley’s latest offering.

While you can read the book and do the at-home or with-a-friend or with-a-group retreat at any time, the first “official” retreat begins March 1 and ends with Consecration on Divine Mercy Sunday. I cannot imagine a better way to spend those 33 days! Click here for more information.

And, what’s more, the Marians of the Immaculate Conception (Fr. Gaitley’s order) are offering this book for a small donation plus $5.25 – the shipping cost – for a limited time!

To clarify: this is NOT an affiliate post. I’m not making anything when you order the book. I simply want each and every one of you to know about it. Also, if you’re reading this and hear the Holy Spirit’s prompting to prayerfully participate yet genuinely cannot afford $5.25, would you please let me know?

God bless y’all and may Lenten blessings abound!

In Christ and His Mercy,

heather

P.S. I’m speaking at a sold-out retreat this weekend in the area – if you could say a quick prayer for me and the women attending, I would be so grateful! xo –h

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The day I cried, “Mercy”

The day I cried, “Mercy”

stressed

My “to do” list is longer than it has probably ever been in my entire life, so why don’t I just write a blog post about it rather than actually tackling my tasks? Ha, ha. You think I’m joking.

So, you may remember a game from your school playground days called, “Mercy,” or maybe it went by the name, “Uncle.” Pretty much the same game, just different names. You don’t remember it? Well, God bless your socks off – you are one blessed individual. Seriously.

Whatever it’s called, “Mercy” was basically a test of feats of physical strength or pain tolerance or cruelty or lying to one’s self about what was actually going on. Or something. Anyway, two (usually) boys would just go at it, forcing each other’s fingers, arms, legs, etc. into unnatural and contorted positions until one of them just couldn’t handle the pain any longer and cried out, “mercy,” and the game would be over.

The first person who admitted he couldn’t take it any more was the loser.

Now, there’s no way a teacher in today’s schools would allow something like this to go down. And, honestly, I think the only times I saw it as a kid was when a teacher was otherwise occupied on the far other other side of the playground. But still.

What does this cruel school-aged activity have to do with me? Great question.

Well, right now, I sort of feel like I have put myself into a situation where I’m playing a game of “Mercy” with myself. Specifically, my desire for a strong home life and a strong “outside-the-home” life are battling it out over here, and it’s slowly but surely crushing the life out of me.

Things are shifting over here, and I think – no, I know – that I need to make some wholesale changes and take things in a radically different direction. But here’s the problem – I don’ t really know how. And yet, I don’t want to cry, “mercy,” because I don’t want to lose – and I don’t want anyone around me to lose, either.

Especially my family.

See, here’s the truth: I want to be a good mother. And a good wife. I really, really do. But I am struggling with how to actually, practically be a good wife and mom given my current life circumstances and commitments. Some days, man – I just feel like I am not cut out for this mothering gig. I know my husband and my children are a gift. I know they are.

But the truth is also that I have this radical zeal – this desire – to serve God in His Church in so many other ways. He put desires on my heart and talents in my toolbelt. And I just feel completely ill-equipped many days to be the sort of mother they need and deserve while spinning all the other plates that are currently in the air.

And sometimes I wonder what sort of mother I’d be if I put down some of the “other” plates that I find so personally fulfilling. Would I have enough? Be enough? And sometimes I sort of wish all the plates would crash so I could just start over. True story.

My youngest son’s godmother posted this article on my BFF’s FB timeline today and I just read it and cried.

I have read many books, many blog posts, said many prayers (including the Divine Mercy Chaplet novena that just ended yesterday), and talked with many people about finding that ever-elusive work/ministry/home “balance.” I’ve also sought guidance via spiritual direction, a counselor, and even asked around for a Mom mentor (a position that has yet to be filled!!). And some good has come from all this praying, reading, talking, and searching. But I still haven’t been able to figure it all out. Yet.

So, maybe this quickly-typed blog post that no one will ever read is my cry for help – my shout of, “Mercy!” – as difficult and humiliating as it may be, before my fingers … or my toes … or my soul … gets crushed.

Hi. My name is Heather, and I have way too many things going on. Mercy.

P.S. Don’t worry, dear friends and readers – I am not suicidal, chronically depressed, or even remotely in despair. Just going through a rough patch of yet more transition that is tougher to navigate than I expected. I would greatly appreciate your prayers, words of wisdom and encouragement, but especially your prayers. I am one of those crazy souls who is very much helped just by knowing that I am not alone. Peace! <3

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Rejoice. And be free. {My testimony at BiS}

Rejoice. And be free. {My testimony at BiS}

Several weeks ago, when I saw the request, “Can anyone write the devotion for March 7?” it was as if something supernatural compelled me to respond in the affirmative despite my crazy schedule. “I will,” I responded, half-cringing and silently chiding myself for my lack of self-restraint. But then I read the Mass readings upon which I would write my reflection: “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us” from the Psalm, and the story of the Prodigal Son – and I almost laughed out loud.

I shook my head with disbelief and then a knowing smile. Man, I thought. I guess it’s time to share my story. Okay, God. Here we go.

Today I share a little piece of my story – a glimpse into how I was seeking God in all the wrong places, yet He beckoned me to journey more closely with Him in spite of my rebellious sinfulness and doubt. 

What He said next forever changed me. Referring to His saving mercy, His redemptive suffering, His unique and total love for me, a wretched sinner, He imparted this command: “RejoiceAnd be free.”

I welcome you to read the rest of today’s reflection at my home-away-from-home.

God bless you as you seek to rejoice in Him, and be free.



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7 Quick Takes – Maiden Voyage! #7QT

7 Quick Takes – Maiden Voyage! #7QT

 

It’s my very first link-up EVAH! I figured it would be appropriate to begin with the hallowed 7 Quick Takes, since Jen is one of the big reasons you’re being subjected to blessed by my random musings again. So, without further ado, let’s roll!!

— 1 —

This Lady is the REAL deal.
This Lady is the REAL deal.

Gotta lead with Mary Most Holy since it’s her day, y’all! Happy Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Get ye to Mass on this wonderful Holy Day of Obligation Opportunity! Out of town? Need to find Mass locally? Go to here now. No excuses. ‘Salright? ‘Salright. 🙂

— 2 —

Time for a cute baby pic! This little guy got some awesome chocolate bundt cake (mixed in a blender, no less) because it was his Feast Day yesterday. Sooo many reasons to celebrate! Oh, and check out the super sister photobomb. This makes my Mama heart happy. 🙂

Personally, I think he's *slightly*  yummier than the cake. Yep.
Personally, I think he’s *slightly* yummier than the cake. Yep.

— 3 —

On Monday, Divine Mercy Academy is off and running for its first official full year of homeschooling! We have one full-time enrollee, two students who will join us after school away from home, and the Destructo Twins preschooler and toddler babies. It’s about to get REAL up in here. Did I mention we are Divine Mercy Academy? THERE IS A REASON. Jesus, I Trust in You!

Last year's class
Last year’s class
Because we need ALL the mercy!!
Because we need ALL the mercy!!

— 4 —

Today’s Gospel is one of my all-time favorites. It contains the gorgeous Magnificat prayer of Our Lady, and describes the beautiful encounter between Mary and Elizabeth. I’ve got many posts percolating around the Visitation, but for now, here’s my favorite painting by Mariotto Albertinelli. It still takes my breath away.

What real sisterhood looks like.
What real sisterhood looks like.

— 5 —

My dear friend sent me this little gem this week. I immediately thought: “Oh, so THIS is how productivity works. I just have to write things down. I’ll be sure to share this with the dishes and the laundry.”

The Key to Productivity! What I've been missing all these years ...
The Key to Productivity! What I’ve been missing all these years …

— 6 —

Speaking of productivity, my house has not recovered since I was gone to the shenanigans at the end of July. I have some major cleaning, sorting, and tossing to do this weekend. For some reason, I hold on to things for far too long for REALLY IMPORTANT reasons, such as: “I could USE this in six years!” or “This was exPENsive!” or “Someone will NEED this … probably!” Luckily, one of my friends recently provided me with a mantra of sorts to help whenever my Justification And Keeping gene (“JAK”) looms and threatens my decluttering quest. Repeat after me: “That’s what a hoarder would say.”

— 7 —

I’m really looking forward to this evening. Some friends and I went through the amazing 33 Days to Morning Glory consecration process a year ago today and will celebrate our anniversary with Mass, reconsecration prayer, and an intimate celebratory dinner. After the upheaval of the last couple of years, I know this to be true: “Totus Tuus Maria” just makes sense and brings me peace in the storm.

I'm all in, Mama.
I’m all in, Mama.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

For more stunning, delectable Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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