Monday, March 28, 2016

the side of love // claiming the good

"Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life. Therefore, the servant of God ought always to be in good spirits."

-St. Philip Neri

Prior, the saints were so good at claiming His Truths and sharing wisdom with their words. That was their gift! They weren't random ramblers like I. So when I read St. Philip Neri's words, my heart leaped, rested in them, and tried to claim them. 

In my efforts to claim Neri's wisdom and encouragement, I rambled in my own little rambling way which is now in the form of a draft post on my dashboard. After I got my rambles out, I decided that the best way I can claim my moments today, filled of cheerfulness and good spirits, is by sharing these moments of love that happened over our last month.

So here I am claiming my moments filled with cheerfulness and good spirits through my lens. It's what I have and I'm thankful for it!

Our precious napper.
It was somebunny's first Easter!
Family photo for the win!
These boys in all their awesome brotherness.
Seriously! I love their love for each other!
Days outside.
Big brother snuggles.
St. Joseph's feast day was hit.
Love this man and how he loves us.
Days spent doing what he loves to do - dragons and knights, knights and dragons.
Meanwhile, our little athlete enjoying the sunshine, sports, and racing his shadow.
The first time Linus held Dandelion was a sweet one.
Sweetheart was baptized and it was filled with all kinds of beauty and love.
Gifts from family, friends, and loved ones have been generous and kind!
Her smiles! Her giggles! So much good!
Rainy days are best together.
Bigfoot is growing so quickly! This moment below, my husband and I thought the exact same thing...he won't be small enough to pick up for much longer. Oh. my. heart!
My happy place is definitely one filled with sunshine and snuggles.
Our sweet sleeper.
Park days have been the best!
Mama hasn't been experiencing her typical creative outlet of blogging but she has been crafting up a little comfy storm over here and loving it.
Milk drunk smiles.
A girl after her mama's blanket loving heart.
Open windows, cool breezes, and all the bugs this little container can manage.
More mama crafting fun!
More of our sleepy angel who has been such a treasure in this department. As much as I'm tired and physically achy from healing, regaining my strength, and wanting a bit more sleep, she really has been such a good sleeper!
Finished projects feel so good!
And this moment, this day, was definitely one of my favorites over this last month. She giggled every time he poured water over her head. It was the sweetest.
Happy Easter, friends! May your days be filled with little moments that share His Face and Goodness!

Friday, March 11, 2016

words of wisdom // now is a very acceptable time

This Lent, the one thing I've been most consistent about is intentionally seeking and reading wisdom from those who have traveled the road to Heaven. Holy men and women are such treasures for our faith journeys!

These disciples walked with hearts that yearned for all that is good and holy all while fighting their own temptations, striving to grow in virtue, experiencing dark nights, rejoicing in pieces of Heaven on earth, and so much more. It's refreshing to read their words of encouragement as well as to dive into scripture more consistently than I had been.

During my readings today, I thought I'd drop in on y'all and share some of the bits of wisdom that have stirred my heart. It really was so hard to just choose these bits so I'm going to plan on sharing more next week!

In this post there is wisdom from St. Frances de Sales, Holy Scripture (One of my regular reads this Lent.), St. Clare of Assisi, and Thomas A. Kempis (my other regular read!).

ENJOY! and, Pray these words stir your heart the way they have mine!

1. "Behold, now is a very acceptable time; Behold, now is the day of salvation."

-2 Corinthians 6:20

2. "God takes pleasure to see you take your little steps; and like a good father who holds his child by the hand, he will accommodate his steps to yours and will be content to go no faster than you. Why do you worry?"

-St. Frances de Sales

3. "Always keep in mind that all are frail; but none so frail as yourself."

-Thomas A. Kempis

4. "What good will it do us to learn many things, the knowledge of which will not help us on judgement day nor hurt us if we do not know them?

It is foolish not to learn those things which are necessary for us and to waste our time on those that merely satisfy our curiosity and hurt us in the end. For if we do so, we have eyes but cannot see."

-Thomas A. Kempis

5. "Who has a greater struggle than those who labor to overcome themselves? This should be our daily labor: self conquest, so as to make steady progress in the spiritual life."

-Thomas A. Kempis

6. "Go forth in peace, for you have followed the good road. Go forth without fear, for he who created you has made you holy, has always protected you, and loves you as a mother.

Blessed be you, my God, for having created me."

-St. Clare of Assisi

7. "If only you would think of the great interior peace you would have and how happy you would make others by doing good, you would be more eager to grow in virtue."

-Thomas A. Kempis

Now to pray that this little new habit of mine sticks with me after my 40 days!

Do tell! What treasures of wisdom have you come across this Lenten season?

Also, be sure to join Mary for her annual St. Joseph Novena that starts today! What a blessing to be able to pray this Novena for our husbands, fathers, brothers, priests, and men in our lives!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

the side of love // my Lenten companion

The darkness of the night slowly departs. Another day, another hour, and another moment to intentionally live. 

Morning light, heavy eyes and tired arms with a soul not yet awake. 

Every morning, my little heart is met with light. The same light He created ages, and what can seem like, worlds ago. Yes, my little heart is greeted each morning with the chance and opportunity to say Here I am Lord, I am listening, but instead it's usually met with grumble, grumble, sigh, toss and a just five more minutes, please.
Thomas A. Kempis and I have become friends this Lenten season. A friendship my heart and soul are pretty thankful for! After reading this bit of his wisdom, I was sure that my new friend, Mr. Kempis, was looking me straight in the face with one of those faces.

Me, with my negligence and constant wasting of time, often forgetting that all these little daily fiats are the very building blocks of the same virtues my soul so desperately desires.

Morning light? Grumble. Daily dishes? sooo tired... Breaking up an argument here and cleaning up an accident there?...Bah! Again? Laundry? All the Grumble. Grumble. Grumble.

I'm good at grumbling my way through a day. Good at being tired with life before the sun hits my sleepy eyes. Ha! And if we're being honest, I'm so good at it that my grumbling for the next day of life often can start the moment I lay my head down on my pillow the night before! I'm that good, people!

And yet, as much as my failings are true, His goodness is even truer!


There's no pausing life. It continues with oodles upon oodles of similar moments and choices and opportunities to say YES, Lord, show me! I am ready to do Your Will! Form me! Change me! Let your light shine through me so that others may know your goodness!

But then there's me and my grumbles. Again. 

One of the reasons I love the saints and holy men and women - past and present - is because when I'm at my worst, grumbling my way through life, there they are saying, been there, done that, let me pray for you as only someone who understands can! or Hey, let me show you what I thought and did that changed my every little breath into love of Him!

It's a beautiful thing to not have to go it alone. It's an incredible thing to not have to figure it all out by ourselves. He knew. He knew we would need help and so He sent us these holy men and women to share their hearts with us. To teach us. To show us the rugged paths that their feet have touched. The same path that led them straight back into His arms.

It's such a good thing!

Little by little, Lent is honing my heart into something more. I fail, I grumble, but I keep on keeping on in my own personal little dessert. Just as He did. One step at a time. One temptation at a time. Taking my friends with me and a whole lot of JESUS.

"Adversity is the best test of virtue. The occasions of sin do not weaken anyone; on the contrary, they show that person's true worth."

- Thomas A. Kempis

So let's Lent on, my friends, one trial at a time! Let's continue upward and onward in the face of adversity, offering our little fiats when we can, seeking wisdom from those who have walked before us and those around us that are so good at sharing His Goodness already! But mostly, let's allow Our Almighty to wrap us in His Morning Light again and again and again and Again, because that's how virtues for love of Him are formed!

Mr. Kempis has been my companion throughout this Lenten season thus far, who has been yours? Share who and how and let's encourage each other in the combox!

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