Monday, March 30, 2015

lent // asleep in gethsemane

40 days and 40 nights. Almost come and gone. Already! 

Every year I find myself whispering that at some point. This year my whispers that turned into exclamations started last week.

Easter is near. Palm Sunday is when? A few days? Tomorrow? Nooo. Then Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. The Holy Triduum!!

I whispered and exclaimed all of this and more with excitement, exhaustion, joy, sadness, discouragement, and gratitude.

What have I done all season? Did I grow? Did I learn? Did I meet Him? Did I see Him when He met me as He always does? Did I say thank you?

Every year, we're called to move deeper into a season that leads us straight to His Cross only to celebrate with joy and gladness over His Resurrection.

His Cross. His Cross is everything! Do I know this? Do I really know this?

Every year on Palm Sunday we read all the ways He loved us through this Cup that He had to endure. His confidence, His obedience, His desire to keep us from harm and how obviously it hurt Him anytime any of the disciples were en route to trial, His breaking of bread and giving us the Eucharist, and so many other moments of kind love and gentle preparation twined with a pain that only His knowing heart could suffer.


Every year something different strikes me. This year, it's all that takes place in Gethsemane. 

Matthew 26: 36-46
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane,
and he said to his disciples,
“Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee,
and began to feel sorrow and distress.
Then he said to them,
“My soul is sorrowful even to death.
Remain here and keep watch with me.”
He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying,
“My Father, if it is possible,
let this cup pass from me;
yet, not as I will, but as you will.”
When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep.
He said to Peter,
“So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?
Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again,
“My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass
without my drinking it, your will be done!”
Then he returned once more and found them asleep,
for they could not keep their eyes open.
He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time,
saying the same thing again.
Then he returned to his disciples and said to them,
“Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?
Behold, the hour is at hand
when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners.
Get up, let us go.

Look, my betrayer is at hand.”


I'm surprised this portion hasn't struck me before. Or maybe I'm not surprised? Either way, as many times I've read it, as many times I've thought of His kindness and gentleness, I've never seen myself there as Peter or the two sons of Zebedee. But the truth is, I am them and I am them often

My lackadaisical approach to life often has me feeling as if I'm sleeping my moments away. Not seizing all the moments that I could love and serve Him through my family, friends, loved ones, and strangers alike. On and on I go, erring on the side of love but never seizing nor preparing.

In that I go on in my little ways, there are often times I easily find myself in a rut that is covered and obstructed with all the things that my easy-going self has left to the side. Those times can be paralyzing. Those times make me feel like I've been asleep through it all. And I'm sure, on some very teeny-tiny level, comparable to what Peter and the sons of Zebedee felt when they saw Judas and the large crowd nearing them after being awakened by Christ for the third time

The panic. The fear. The anxiety.

What have I been doing? Why have I not been preparing myself, praying more, or being present to all He has for me?

After spending some time on this portion of the gospel, I started to wonder if Peter and the sons of Zebedee knew what was to come. Maybe the seeds He planted in their hearts were starting to stir? Starting to make more sense?

Maybe, because they knew, sleeping the moments away seemed like an easier thing to do? Right? I'm going to go with probably not. Even still, maybe because they knew the One that they loved so deeply was about to endure an unimaginable suffering, they let their minds hide away in rest only to be awakened by Love Himself each time. Maybe?

And as Love awakened them each time with a gentle call to begin again, to stand watch, prepare, and pray, Love has met me in my 40 days. Stirring. Awakening me to prayer and fasting. Quiet and obedience. His Cross and His Resurrection. He has met me in my weakness just as He always met those who loved Him in scripture.

Get up, let us go.
Look, my betrayer is at hand.

He beckons us to enter into this week, gently and lovingly. All the while teaching us how to live through suffering and through joy in a way only He can. Helping us prepare ourselves one day at a time to know more deeply His ultimate expression of Love. Meeting us where we are and revealing to us His Truths so that we may come to more deeply understand what happened that day so long ago. 

“My soul is sorrowful even to death.
Remain here and keep watch with me.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

11/52 Better Late Than Never

Linus. 2. Is his brother's shadow, loves being silly, and imaginative play.
Bigfoot. 3. Loves drumming with a passion, creating with playdoh, and making his brother laugh.
I didn't pick up my camera last week. Not once. And then it was Sunday.

Oops!

The smiles and fun that can be found in these photos are definitely sunshine induced. We've had sun the past couple days and it has been absolutely glorious! And it doesn't hurt that these sweet boys have been pretty sweet (for the most part) these past weeks. I'm drinking up their goodness because there's just so much of it. Even a midst the tantrums or whining, the goodness and joy and love abound.

Friday, March 20, 2015

currently // all the little things

I've been around. At home mostly. The boys and I have continued to hunker down during this bout of dreary weather. We have gotten out some too, but mostly just taken it easy at home. Learning, loving, and enjoying each other on the daily. It's been good. There's been time for quiet. Time for reading. Time for crazy. Time for snuggles and hugs. Time for little things. All little things really. And it's been good.

As much as I'd love to be the kind of person that is always on the go (Which I do try to be sometimes, especially when we all are feeling the need to get out.), I do appreciate when my home-dwelling heart gets to just sit in the goodness that is our little family. It's good for me. It's good for my soul. And in turn I think it's good for my family too.

With the slow and (mostly) intentional moments of our days, this little blog of mine is what has been even more slow and quiet. When I would normally blog before, I find myself just wanting to sit in silence, resting in His Word through some scripture art...

...or if I wasn't resting in the drawing and silence, I crafted a little...

...and, if I wasn't crafting with fabric, scissors, or my random tidbits of fun at home, I've been crafting through foods.

Finally, when I wasn't crafting with foods, I was crafting with my boys to help bring home feast days, our Lenten journey, or just the little building blocks of life and play.
St. Joseph Italian Cream Puffs for the Solemnity of St. Joseph.
Play. {Happy}
Crafting Candlelit Prayer Cards.
The giraffe that gets built on the daily over here. {Funny}
Our little treasures found on St. Patty's day. {Pretty}
Hunting for four-leaf clovers and ants.
Making Lenten Prayer Pretzels. {Real}
And when I wasn't doing all of these little things that encouraged me in being intentional and present, I was learning how to live love one small way at a time. There really is grace in the now and as each day passes I learn that more and more. 

I have failed, I have done well, and everything in between.

It's the season. The season of Lent. The season of little things. The season of beginning again. The season where I seek Him, not only in His Word or the gifts of my family, but in my moments of quiet and in my moments of chaos. In all the little things.

I'm finding He is there ready to meet me. To share with me His Love and Gift.
Blogging hasn't been happening a ton this season and that's okay. I have little posts swirling in my head and I do yearn to capture and share more of our little tidbits of life on this little space of mine. But till I find my rhythm again, I will keep popping in to share little moments. Kind of like I'm doing now. 

Just know, underneath the cloudiness of allergies and all the head pressure that come with rainy days and changing seasons, there is a mama keeping on in her little ways, finding peace in that, and praying the same for you.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Lenten Crafts for Littles: Candlelit Prayer Card

I'm back for another little craft for your little ones on up to your big ones!

Rosie from A Blog for my Mom came up with the wonderful idea of hosting a Lenten Craft Series and I'm so excited to be a apart of it!

Lent is such a beautiful time to slow down, be more intentional, fast so that you can be emptied and then filled back up again with more of Him, and to pray more. Our liturgical rhythm is such a good one and I know I am forever thankful for the way it draws me in, every. single. year!

For this craft, I was thinking about prayer meanwhile mentally sifting through all the leftover random craft supplies we had at home. When we craft around here it's usually with what we already have. It's just kind of how we do.

While I was doing my mental sift, I remembered these little cards for Priesthood Sunday that the boys had such a fun time making. I got to thinking more about prayer and cards and glue sticks and torn paper and easy and...Voila! I present to you Candlelit Prayer Cards for friends and family.
Continue reading this little piece over at Rosie's and make sure to check out the other fun and wonderful crafts in this series!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

wiws // laetare sunday

Okay, I am normally really awful about getting pictures of what we wear on Sundays. Normally the day just gets away from me. Or, maybe we planned to get to a morning Mass but then one boy has fever and everything doesn't go as planned. Or, as soon as I get home I have all the little things to do and the first thing my comfort-loving heart does is change into even more comfier home clothes. Or,  or, or...

Either way I snapped a couple pics and even caught a family photo using my little timer before we headed off to evening Mass.
How do you ladies snap those awesome beautiful pics of yourselves in long mirrors??? You know what I'm talking about! The really flattering ones that look awesome. I've got nothing so I can only present to you the top half of my knee length-comfy dress and then my shoesies.
Dress: JCrew Maternity (Gift a from my aunt when I was pregnant with Bigfoot)
Shoes: DSW (Gift from my mom)
Necklace: James Avery (Gift from my Mother-in-Law)
Earings: James Avery (Gift from my Husband)
(haha, I'm spying a trend here)
Cardigan: Victoria's Secret (Many moons ago when I was in Grad School. Gift to myself.)

Onto the boys.

I'll be adding the below photos of our boys to my 52 project.

Bigfoot. 3. Loved wearing pink because Father T was wearing pink today too, really loves running inside the house which gets him in trouble (which he does not love), and all things music.
 Linus. 2. Loves snuggling with Daddy (especially more lately since we are pretty much 99.8% weaned), following Lily around, and drawing dragons, circles, squares, giraffes, and horses.
And here we all are. Linus was hilarious. He kept watching the blinking light and then laughing and smiling after the camera snapped. As you can see below, he's wearing his disbelief face of anticipation while we are all smiling like crazy in hopes to get a smile-filled family photo.
That's all for now, friends and family. Just dropping in super late on this Laetare Sunday to share some pink and some smiles.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

moments of faith // grace in the now

"There is no moment at which God does not present himself under the guise of some suffering, some consolation or some duty... 
Could we pierce the veil and were we vigilant and attentive, God would reveal himself continuously to us and we should rejoice in his action in everything that happens to us. At every occurrence we should say: Dominus est. It is the Lord; and in all circumstance we should find a gift from God."
 -Fr. J.P. de Caussade, S.J., Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence

You're little ones wake you up in the morning, whether it be with smiles and giggles or tears and dirty diapers. Dominus est.

You make eggs and toast with a nice side of bacon or you scarf a breakfast bar on your way out. Dominus est.

You sit still for a moment or you're running around chasing toddlers. Dominus est.

You meet God in prayer or plea for the Mother of our Lord to share the prayers of your heart with her Son because you haven't had a moment nor do you have the words. Dominus est.

You meet with a friend you haven't seen in awhile or you hunker down for one more day because you have sick kiddos. Dominus est.

You have a day that puts a smile on your face or you have a day that makes your shoulders slump. Dominus est.

Day-to-day ups and downs, storytimes, driving, playing, going for walks outside, making it to a conference call, making puzzles, building blocks for them to be knocked over again and again, tending to bumped heads and boo-boos, going to work, staying home, comforting, refereeing, being late or being on-time, hugging, struggling, holding hands, cooking again and again and again, dishes, laundry, discernment, loving, sleeping, sharing, reading, studying, stillness, fellowship, praying, laughing, dating, kindness, and everything under the sun.


Dominus est. It is the Lord.


There is grace in the now.


When we seek to meet Him, He will meet us. When we turn our eyes toward Him, we will see Him. In every moment. He will be there.

Let's be vigilant and attentive today. Let's meet our moments by saying Dominus est. It is the Lord!

And with thankful hearts, let's embrace the sweet little gifts Our Loving Father is always sharing with us.


Linking-up with Embrace the Ordinary.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

currently: brother sun

Currently: The boys are having some snack time while I clickity clack away. They rested well, Thanks be to God, and are enjoying snacking with a side of Leapfrog drawing time.

Reading: 
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein, Courageous Women: A Study on  the Heroines of Biblical History by Stacy Mitch, The Snakebite Letters: Devishly Devious Secrets for Subverting Society as Taught in Tempter's Training School by Peter Kreeft, Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence by Father J.P. de Caussade, and all the books the boys bring me. Probably more of their books than mine, really.

Praying: 

Praying for all intentions that have recently been shared with me.

Praying for my husband's Aunt who went into surgery just a little bit ago. If you could please join me in praying for her too. She went into the hospital earlier this week for severe abdominal pain only to find a cancerous mass on her colon. Surgery was supposed to begin somewhere between 2 and 3 PM today. Please pray for her, all doctors and staff that will be participating in her surgery and aftercare, and all her loved ones.

Joining Mary for the St. Joseph Novena that starts today for my husband, sons, and other men in my life, as well as priests and other women's intentions for this novena.

Praying in Thanksgiving that our boys are on the mend. There's a little cough that is lingering and some snot but other than that they are healthy! Thanks be to God.

Praying for some dear friends of mine that have either entered a very trying season recently are have been enduring a trying season for awhile. Praying for all transitions and praying for healing and strength and peace.

Praying for all pregnant mamas and mamas suffering with infertility and/or miscarriages.

Lots of praying over here lately.

Thankful: I'm sooooo thankful we should be getting sunshine more consistently starting tomorrow! Oh, how I've missed consistently warmer days.

Thankful that my husband watches the boys so I can attend a woman's bible study at my parish. It really has been a gift to be able to anticipate meeting with these lovely women over scripture every week.

Also thankful my husband encouraged me to meet up with a friend I haven't seen since before she had her baby. Some friends just feel like home and she is definitely one of those friends. We've been in each others' lives for over 13 years. It's beautiful the love we have for each other and I'm forever grateful.

Thankful for all the women in my life that help and encourage me in my vocation. They are all such good examples and beautiful souls that nourish me and encourage me in so many ways!

Thankful for our little family. These boys of ours are growing so quickly! I love them so and am grateful for their goodness.

Lent: This Lenten season is going. I feel with sick kids time has flown and my offerings have skidded a little here and there as well. Trying to buckle down though. Now is the time. It's always now. I keep reminding myself that time has not been lost because it is always time to begin again.
"Prayer, mercy and fasting: These three are one, and they give life to each other. Fasting is the soul of prayer; mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. Let no one try to separate them; they cannot be separated. If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing. 
So if you pray, fast; if fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others. When you fast, see the fasting of others. If you hope for mercy, show mercy. If you look for kindness, show kindness. If you want to receive, give."
-St. Peter Chrysologus
Scripture Art: When I find myself in need of peace or calm this has been my new go-to. This is probably the reason I haven't been here on the blog as much lately. At the end of our days, I've just been feeling so tired.

Our boys haven't been sleeping well since they have all the snot and a tricky cough at night and my sinuses have been getting the best of me as well. All of it combined has left me exhausted at the end of day, both mentally, physically, and emotionally.

These times of emptiness have led me to these little drawings of prayer and quiet.



Capturing: Our Kiwi Crate came in! And it was sports-themed to-boot! Seeing the boys love all things sports, this crate has really come with hours of entertainment.











Things are starting to fall into rhythm again. I think once we consistently get more sunshine, our days will take a turn for all the fun outside. As much as I love the slower pace of winter and cold weather, I adore days of sunshine, running, and just being outside.

After all this talk of sunshine, both on my blog and in my home throughout the day, I imagine St. Francis of Assisi and I would have been good friends.

Canticle of Brother Sun by St. Francis of Assisi
Most High, all powerful, good Lord, 
Yours are the praises, the glory, the honor, 
and all blessing.

To You alone, Most High, do they belong, 
and no man is worthy to mention Your name.

Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures, 
especially through my lord Brother Sun, 
who brings the day; and you give light through him. 
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor! 
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Praise be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon 
and the stars, in heaven you formed them 
clear and precious and beautiful.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind, 
and through the air, cloudy and serene, 
and every kind of weather through which 
You give sustenance to Your creatures.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water, 
which is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire, 
through whom you light the night and he is beautiful 
and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Mother Earth, 
who sustains us and governs us and who produces 
varied fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

Praised be You, my Lord, 
through those who give pardon for Your love, 
and bear infirmity and tribulation.

Blessed are those who endure in peace 
for by You, Most High, they shall be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord, 
through our Sister Bodily Death, 
from whom no living man can escape.

Woe to those who die in mortal sin. 
Blessed are those whom death will 
find in Your most holy willl, 
for the second death shall do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord, 
and give Him thanks 
and serve Him with great humility.

AMEN

Linking-up with Jenny for a Daybook Aimee for Finding Beauty.

Friday, March 6, 2015

9/52 More snow and all the link-ups

More snow! More and more snow! 

But hopefully the last of it because this mama is ready for some Spring!

Either way, efforts were made for a little fun and the bonus was that the sun was finally out! We had only 6 hours of sun for the last 10 days. Good night, that is just not nice! But the more sun, even with the new layers of snow, shared so much good and beauty.

I got the boys layered up because we have no snow gear. No snow gear means lots and lots of layers. I was even tempted to wrap their shoes in plastic bags. I opted not to because it was hard enough getting my little squirmers layered. 

Off we went into our little winter wonderland.
It really was so beautiful outside. It was the kind of pretty that is filled with the perfect balance of warmth and cold with soft fluffy snow beneath our feet.

The boys were so happy. So so very happy.
And I was happy because our awesome neighbors who built these incredibly legit snowmen (They built three.) took a picture of me with our boys. There are so few photos of me (memory-capturer problems) so I jumped at the offer!
Happy Snowman.

This boy was so fun and funny about all the snow. It's like I could see his heart jumping from how excited he was to play, make snowballs, and snowangels.

Which brings me to my 9/52. I'm picking this photo of Bigfoot. 3. Loves snowball fights, our pup Lily, and pumpkin muffins.



This little guy was a little on the clingy side.
He eventually settled a bit more and which gave my back the break it was really needing.
After a little hand-holding, he was on his way. I'll choose this photo below for 9/52. Linus. 2. Loves hugging mama, hand-holdling, and pumpkin muffins.
Linus eventually started playing alongside my little Jack Frost.
Who was all too thrilled to have an additional snowball fighting target.
Once that fun dwindled we were off to build another snowman.
The effort was all theirs. I watched and encouraged while they ultimately had three stacked snowballs...
...only to knock it down as they do to all. the. things. they build.

Yay, pretty snow and double Yay to the sunshine!

Linking- up with Kelly for some quick-takes, Aimee for Finding Beauty, and Amy for Embrace the Oridnary, and with Like Mother, Like Daughter for {P,H,F,R}. Tons of linking-up today to share all our bits of beauty and happy on our last snow day of the year.

These days it's the little things. Always the little things and I'm thankful for these lovely link-ups that help me remember that!
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