Fear not! Advent help is here! (+ giveaway)

Fear not! Advent help is here! (+ giveaway)

Advent begins in six. days. Y’all. SIX.

I wish I was joking. But I’m as serious as a profound case of Vitamin D deficiency right now. SIX. 

Personally, I’m sure I will be scrambling to get some half-way decent Advent decorations up on Sunday afternoon before we have company over for dessert, and it won’t be pretty:

Where’s the Advent wreath? Why is it bent into the shape of a trombone??!

Why does this purple candle look like someone took a bite out of it? It’s a candle, people, not an apple!!

What have I told you about opening up Day 24 of the Advent Calendar on Day One of Advent??!

Okay – WHO STOLE BABY JESUS FROM THE LITTLE PEOPLE NATIVITY SET??!

(Side note: While I cannot vouch for the rest of the comedian’s content, this particular video about house cleaning before company comes is SPOT ON and hiLARious. My belly jiggled like Santa’s I was laughing so hard.)

(Side note #2: Those of you who read through this post ’til the end will be rewarded. 🙂

There is good news, though, friends. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the impending holiday season, there is always good news. The good news in my world this year is that I don’t have to scramble for something to help me draw closer to the manger as I await the Christ Child this year. I am so very, very excited to dive into Scripture with the incomparable Elizabeth Foss, who wrote Blessed is She’s amazing Advent Journal.

advent-journal-2016
Used with permission by Gina @ Someday Saints

Not only is this journal beautiful to behold, my friends, but its contents … ahhhhhh! The contents I’ve allowed myself to peek at are like a warm cup of cocoa with your snuggie pulled to your chin sitting in your most comfortable chair on a chilly day with no one bothering you. It’s that good, y’all. Better, even. I can.not. wait to start. In fact, I am giving myself a teeeeensy weeeensy longer sneak peek tonight. Not too much. Just a taste. Because I, for one, want to savor and remember and really live the most important part of this season – that Jesus was born for you. And for me.

This Advent, I want to be overwhelmed by a huge God who came as a tiny Babe and Who knows me intimately*.

Will you join me? Today is THE last day to purchase in the U. S. for your journal to arrive in time for Advent.

So … no more anxiety about Advent, okay? Let’s breathe deeply the present of this time of waiting. Let’s journey together and breathe Him in.


*Be overwhelmed by a huge God Who knows you intimately. -Elizabeth Foss



Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through this post to purchase the Blessed is She Advent Journal, a small portion of the proceeds go to my friend and fellow writer/speaker Mary Lenaburg. Thank you!


And now, as promised, here’s even more good news for you who’ve made it this far! Any RCM readers (please be sure to subscribe on the sidebar of my home page!) who click through and purchase the BIS Advent Journal through Mary Lenaburg’s affiliate links in this post (see above) between now and tomorrow, November 22nd at 5 p.m. PST will be entered to win their very own pack of original Blessed is She Jesse Tree Calendar cards! I used my own cards as a daily meditation last year with my family each day of Advent. So good!! Comment away, friends! One randomly selected winner will be announced*** on Wednesday, November 23rd.

jessee-tree-cards-advent-2016

***UPDATE 11/23/2016: Congratulations to Sofia B.! She won the Blessed is She Jesse Tree cards. Happy Advent one and all!

 

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So much awesome: Series launch | Celebrating Rebecca Frech | Giveaway Time!

So much awesome: Series launch | Celebrating Rebecca Frech | Giveaway Time!

TIME FOR A NEW SERIES!

I am suffering from a raging case of bad news fatigue, my friends. It’s everywhere I turn; it’s unavoidable! Sometimes all the evil, false, and ugly becomes a bit too much for my little brain to process. So, rather than curling up in the fetal position on my couch with a bottomless tub of ice cream and posting pictures of kittens on FB, I decided to shine a little light on some pretty amazing Catholic women who are making this world a better place in their own unique way. Without further ado, welcome to the very first installment of Celebrating Real Catholic Women! Because sometimes, we need permission to ponder the good, true, and beautiful. Sometimes we just need a break from the bad.

CELEBRATING REAL CATHOLIC WOMEN: REBECCA FRECH

Ain't she purty??
Ain’t she purty??

I first “met” Rebecca online by way of her underrated blog, Shoved to Them. Soon thereafter, this homeschooling newbie had a copy of Rebecca’s latest book in my hands, and, imagine my surprise when she not only generously responded to each and every one of my petty and profound homeschooling questions, but proved to be somewhat of a kindred spirit. Rebecca is extremely talented and resourceful, and she is fiercely intelligent and wickedly hilarious, which I truly appreciate. We finally met “IRL” at Edel, and I can honestly say she is even more awesome in person! I recently caught up with Rebecca for a quick conversation in between history lesson planning, writing, and laughing about cultural differences.

Real Catholic Mom: So, Rebecca, you’ve had a blog for quite a while and even wrote a book. Why and how did you start writing?
Rebecca Frech: I started blogging out of boredom and loneliness. We had just moved to a neighborhood of elderly people; it was just the blue haired women and me. I needed people to talk to, so I started a blog. I never really thought that anyone would read it or that I would have much to say. I figured I’d blog for a few months until I found real life friends, just to help me over the hump.

Writing the book was definitely a calling. I had never read a single homeschooling book before I began homeschooling. It’s crazy but true!

Several years later, a friend began looking into teaching her children at home, and would call me just bawling. After reading the “best books on the market,” she was convinced that she could never homeschool. I was curious and began reading those same books, and quickly determined that there had to be something better out there. When I couldn’t find it, I decided that I would have to write it myself!

RCM: You write about a bunch of different things, but what is your most favoritest thing to write about?
RF: I love to write about politics. If I could get a good back and forth debate going, without nastiness and name-calling, I would do it every day. It makes me so energized! I was a poli-sci major in college and on the debate team, so I think it must just be in my genetic make-up.

RCM: Obviously, your faith plays a major part in your writing.
RF: My faith is the prism through which I see the world, it informs and helps to form my world view. I sit down to write and offer a silent prayer to do no harm. That’s always where I start. I’m not a theologian. I’m just a mom who writes things down in an effort to make sense of the world around me. My great fear is of harming someone else’s faith in my effort to explore my own.

That said, I try to walk in the memory of St. Catherine of Alexandria. She was a great talker who led many people to Christ through the example of her life and the power of her words. If I can, through exposing the imperfections and trials of my own life, help to bring other people to Christ with me … that would be my ultimate dream.

RCM: Okay, so you’ve already got one saint in your corner! If you could spend the day with any saint, who would it be?
RF: I’d spend time with St Philip Neri and his fat, farting dog. He was hysterical and loved to make people laugh. I think a day with him would be one well spent.

RCM: You’ve gotta tell us something about yourself that we don’t already know. You’re interesting!
RF: Is it possible that people don’t know something about me at this point?? I pick up accents when I talk to people. It’s a habit of being a Navy brat. Sounding like people helped me to blend in, so I can drawl and twang along with the best of them. It also means that my kids can tell you who I’m talking to on the phone just be listening to how long or short my vowels are.

If, like me, you need more Frech, connect with Rebecca via e-mail at shovedtothem {at} yahoo {dot} com, and be sure to listen in to Archangel Radio Friday, August 22 from 7-8 a.m. CST when Rebecca chats with the Live Hour guys about all things good, true, and beautiful.

GIVEAWAY!!

For homeschooling newbies everywhere!
For homeschooling newbies everywhere!

It seems particularly appropriate to kick off a new series with a giveaway, yes? Yes! The gracious and unstoppable Rebecca Frech (see above), who officially began blogging over at Patheos this week, also wrote a wonderfully helpful book I cannot recommend highly enough called Teaching in Your Tiara – a homeschooling book for the rest of us. And she is generously offering a signed copy to one lucky Real Catholic Mom follower!!

Here’s how to win: follow the Real Catholic Mom blog here on WP and Twitter and Shoved to Them on Patheos and Twitter and leave a comment on this blog post by 5 p.m. EST Friday. This isn’t a fancy-shmancy Rafflecopter giveaway – we trust you when you tell us you’re following. A winner will be randomly selected and announced in this week’s Real Catholic Mom 7QT link-up on Friday night.

Good luck!

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Shout out to all the Catholic Moms out there!

Shout out to all the Catholic Moms out there!

Just a quick post today, but I have to share this one quick thing: I am so, so, so happy and blessed to be in the Mom’s Group at our new parish!

These are imperfect, funny, friendly, welcoming, REAL women who are seeking God’s will for themselves, their spouses, and their families. I leave every Tuesday morning inspired and uplifted. And it’s NOT just because it’s the only day during the week that I have “caffeine” in my coffee, although I’m sure that doesn’t hurt my enthusiasm!

Anyway, if you have a Mom’s Group at your parish, why don’t you check it out? You just might learn something about your faith and yourself, and I’m pretty sure the other women won’t bite. Heck – you just might make some new friends who are trying to swim against the cultural current, just like you.

If you’re in a Mom’s group, what benefits do you experience from being a part of that particular fellowship? Your comments and thoughts are most welcome!

If you don’t have a Mom’s group, would you like to start one? I am so happy to pass along a few ideas I’ve picked up along the way for putting something together. The returns on your small investment of time and energy could far surpass your wildest imaginings and have unbelievable eternal ramifications for the women in your parish – and their families. Ask God if this is a way He is asking you to serve your parish community.

So, to all the Catholic Moms out there – YOU ARE LOVED!! YOU are a blessing just because you are YOU, a unique child of God! Thank you for being a light to those around you. The world would be less if YOU were not in it.

God bless!!!

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