Monday, July 31, 2017

That is enough for me

The gentle warmth of the May sun shines upon my face. I cannot help but smile. My heart knows a deep peace in this moment—that abiding peace which only Christ can give. God’s praises swell within my soul and I sing out in joy to Him with my pen on the paper of my journal. My voice does not ring out now—though it soon will. I have not spoken in six days.
Well, to be completely honest, I have spoken a little—once each day to my spiritual director, and the responses in Mass. Amen. Alleluia. And with your spirit. But otherwise I have spoken only to God in the quiet depths of my heart. It is one of the most profound spiritual experiences of my life.

The rest of my Blessed is She devotion can be read here.


All the pictures in this post are from my time on silent retreat at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House.

In my reflection, I share the Suscipe prayer from Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Below you can see a glimpse of my first encounter with this prayer while I was on retreat.



Amen.


Isn't it amazing to recognize that the fruits of Saint Ignatius' life are still being revealed today? His Spiritual Exercises and Ignatian spirituality have been such a gift to me. The holy Jesuit priests I have been blessed to know have played a pivotal role in my Catholic faith formation. I can't imagine how different my life would look if Saint Ignatius had not followed the Lord's call for his life! We may not even have our dear Jesuit Papa, Pope Francis! I am so grateful to God for the gift of the saints.

And to think we are all called to be saints! What can you do today to continue on your journey to becoming one? Might I offer a humble suggestion? (It's one I need to heed myself.) Start with silence. Put down your smart phone. Shut your laptop. Be still before the Lord. Quiet your heart. Practice listening. For it is in the silence that we can more clearly hear His voice. 


Saint Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us!

AMDG – ad majorem Dei gloriam – for the greater glory of God...

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Baptism Party for our Precious Boy

It's high time I shared the sweet details from the celebration of our son's baptism. I figured the anniversary of that special day would be the perfect time, so without further ado, here we go!

"Children are a heritage from the Lord, 
they are a reward from Him. 
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior 
are the children born in one's youth."
// Psalm 127: 3-4 // 

The art print is a printable from Lindsay Letters. We also displayed his baptismal candle in a crystal candlestick holder (a wedding gift from my grandfather).

We decorated with all white flowers for the celebration - beautiful hydrangea, pictured below.

One of my favorite elements of the party were these prayer cards. The cards gave guests a place to write their prayers for our son on his baptism day. When he is older he will be able to look back and know the prayer intentions of his loved ones who were there for this sacred event.
The white afghan above and the booties below were knit with love by my husband's granny for the occasion.
The love is in the details...

We decided to serve all-white snacks and desserts for the party, too.

// M E N U //
powdered sugar mini donuts
freshly-popped popcorn
yogurt covered pretzels
sugar cookies with white icing
cake

I used this recipe for the sugar cookies (using this cookie cutter) and this icing recipe. Delicious!


"Peter said to them, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ
for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'"
// Acts 2:38 //

It was such a special day celebrating one of the most beautiful moments in our son's life. Keeping the party simple kept the focus on the Sacrament, and the reason for our celebration.

Praying today that the graces of baptism may continue to be nurtured and lived out in the lives of all Christians, for the greater glory of God.

Blessings to you...


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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Whose image do you bear?

I invite you to grab your Bible and open it up to read Mark 12:13-17. It's a passage I have read or heard many times, but in writing this devotion, God opened my eyes to some new insight.

"Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God," we hear Jesus instruct in the Gospel today. This is a familiar line from Scripture, yet what does it really mean for us?

For me, the key to unlocking Jesus' message is not so much in Jesus' above answer, but in the way He first poses the question.


Read the rest of my devotion here at Blessed is She.



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sweeter Than Honey // A 1st Birthday Party

Celebrating our boy's first birthday was oh, so sweet! Bumblebees are one of his favorite things to spot when reading books, so we settled upon those yellow + black honey-makers as a theme. I've always called him my little love bug, so that made it feel even more apropos! 

Let's get to the details, starting with the good stuff – the food! 

ON THE MENU //

Bee-Bee-Q PULLED PORK

CORNBREAD with homemade CINNAMON HONEY BUTTER

SPINACH SALAD with APPLES, CRANBERRIES, ALMONDS + WHITE CHEDDAR,
served with a HONEY DIJON VINAIGRETTE

BUZZY BEE FRUIT SKEWERS with PINEAPPLE, BLACKBERRIES + BANANAS
And, of course, the drinks!
SWEET AS CAN "BEE" LEMONADE
The yellow + white cloth napkins, the black + white party straws, the yellow chevron cups – party details are my jam.

ROOT BEE-R
and for the grown-ups, the real deal ;)

Saving the best for last - dessert!
BIRTHDAY CAKE
VANILLA ICE CREAM served with HONEY and a sprinkle of SEA SALT
OREOS (the springtime Oreos with yellow frosting were a perfect fit for the party!)
I loved making a sweet little smash cake with the #1 candle for my boy. Of course, he wanted nothing to do with it. (insert crying laughing emoji here) Go figure!

Take a peek inside the cake - I alternated layers of dark chocolate and yellow cake mix to create a bumblebee effect. I love the way it turned out!

As an activity for our guests, I filled an apothecary jar with honeycomb cereal and had them guess how many were inside. As a fun touch, I cut the golden cards for guessing into the honeycomb shape. The winner got to take home a big jar of organic wild-collected raw honey. 

I purchased yellow tulips, daffodils, geranium and white ranunculus with yellow centers to use as decoration. Fresh flowers within your party's color scheme brighten the atmosphere in a simple, yet beautiful way. All of mine were purchased at Trader Joe's – my favorite budget-friendly place to buy gorgeous blooms!

Speaking of which, aren't these billy balls (craspedia) flowers coming out of these tree stumps just the cutest? All thanks to my mom! They added such a fun touch of whimsy to our celebration.
 And a close-up on the party favors – a little jar of honey for each family of guests in attendance.
As my friend (and party-planner-extraordinaire) Kathryn says, love is in the details. They bring me such joy! I cut little hexagonal honeycomb-shaped stickers out by hand and found some yellow + white baker's twine to tie on for an extra sweet finish.

Best part of all? No question: being together with those we loved to celebrate our boy. Such a gift.

We were busy as bees in year number one of his life! Turns out the first year of parenthood is an emotional roller coaster, and I know the ride has only just begun. So grateful for God's sustaining grace through it all.

If you have questions about party details, please ask in the comments!

Thanks for being here (or should I say bee-ing here?). Have a bee-autiful day! (I couldn't help myself!)


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

One thing I know

"A season of big changes is coming up in my life. If I try to imagine six months from now, I cannot; there are so many unknowns looming ahead. Of course, none of us can really know what our lives will look like in six months – or tomorrow, for that matter, as every breath is a gift from God – but many of us probably have a decent guess. 

As for my family, we hope that my husband will successfully complete his Ph.D. program, receive a job offer, and we’ll pack up our lives and move to who knows where. (The Lord knows where.) I don’t know if we will move closer to our families, as we both so desire, or farther from them. I don’t know what the opportunities for my own work will be in our new location. I don’t know what parish we will attend, what community we will be a part of, or where my son will go to preschool. But, one thing I do know."

Read the rest of my devotion at Blessed is She today.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Let's catch up, shall we?

You know those friends whom you don't get to talk to as much as you would like? The friends whom you can go months, even years without seeing, yet when you are back together it's as if you had never been apart? That's kind of how I feel about you as I sit down to write this blog post: like I'm talking to friends I haven't seen (at least not in this space) in a long time. Too long!

So I'm imagining we are together and about to catch up over a pretty latte or a hot cup of tea, whatever makes your heart smile.


The blog is (subtly) a little tidier and cleaner – did you notice? (I've watched a few episodes of Fixer Upper since we last chatted. If only you could shiplap a blog...)

And my goodness, we have so much to catch up on, I hardly know where to begin! I want to show you pictures from milestones celebrated  – my son's birthday parties and his baptism party, too. I want to tell you how the Blessed is She sisterhood has changed my life (did you see theirLiturgical Planner is now available for pre-order?). I've read beautiful books that I want to share, and had some experiences that are just aching to be written.

For today, though, I just want you to know how wonderful it is to see you! Whether you are an old friend or you're new to my blog, I am delighted that you're here. Your companionship is truly a gift.

More very soon –
your friend,



         


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Anchor Yourself in Him

"Newspaper headlines tell us the future looks grim: Division in our country and our world are apparent. Sin freely abounds (Lord, have mercy on us all.). Being a Christian, let alone a faithful Catholic, is far from celebrated in the eyes of our modern society. It can be difficult to be a witness to our faith, and it is then that our weary hearts so desperately need to hear – really hear – the words in today’s first reading from the Letter to the Hebrews.

'God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.' God doesn’t miss anything you do."


Click here to read the rest of my devotion over at Blessed is She today.


Blessings to you, my friends. Praying your hearts are full of hope this day.



           



P.S. In case you missed it, here is my last Blessed is She devotion, Flickers of Light and Dark, written for New Year's Eve. I pray it will bless you!

P.P.S. Have you seen the Blessed is She Put on Love Lent Bundle is now available for pre-order?
It. Is. GORGEOUS. Don't miss it!



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