It’s No Use, I’ll Never Get Organized!

Ladies, we thrive when there is order.

We don’t have to be slaves to it, though. And in those years of many children, busy schedules, we need to embrace the fact that orderliness may not be “the order” of the day! That’s OK.

I think we can admit, though, that when we are able to maintain some structure in the running of our homes, everything functions more smoothly.

So…while we are to give of ourselves to the task (or child) at hand, maybe there are some things we can tweak to help us gain more orderliness in-between times. And with a little more order in our lives on the outside, we can experience it more on the inside.

The following is an excerpt from Emilie Barnes’  More Hours in My Day

Do you look around your home, room, or office and want to throw up your hands in disgust and say, “It’s no use. I’ll never get it together!”

We can help! With a few simple tools you can be organized. When I (Sheri) met Emilie, I was hopelessly disorganized. She gave me many tools to use that made my life easier. These concepts can make the difference between a stressless, organized, functioning home and one that is in chaos.

I call them “Commandments for Organization.”

  1. Break the big jobs down into manageable tasks. This may be a very difficult thing to do in the beginning for those of you who are “practicing perfectionists.”

This was a tough area for me (Sheri) because I always wanted to do the job perfectly and all at once, but since this isn’t a perfect world, I wasn’t able to do it perfectly. So instead of getting a small task completed, I wouldn’t do anything.

My home was a disaster. This was the rule that changed how I functioned at home, allowing me to go from “total mess to total rest.”

2. Do the worst job first. Once you complete what you consider the most difficult job on your to-do list, everything else will seem much more doable.

Get the worst out of the way, and you’ll be more relaxed as you take on the less overwhelming tasks.

3. Don’t put it down, put it away. This seems too simple, but you will amaze yourself at the time you save by following this rule.

If you tried to figure out how much time you waste picking up and moving the same objects from place to place and room to room, you would understand the magnitude of this simple tenet of organization.

And this is such a great thing to teach your children. Start when they’re young and be diligent and consistent. They will catch on quickly, and your workload will decrease.

4. Invest in a timer. This will be one of the best purchases you ever make. Again this may seem simple, but in the long run you will have more time if you use a timer to keep you on task.

I like to consider myself “spontaneous” when in reality I am just very easily distracted. I start out on a project but very quickly become distracted by something else–a phone call, finding something out of place and stopping to return it, etc., and soon I will completely forget what I was doing in the first place.

A timer keeps me on track. Timers will also help us get more jobs completed because many times we won’t start a project because we assume it will take more time than it actually does.

Working against the timer keeps us on task and motivates us to work quickly. Try it and see what a difference it makes for your home organization.

As you get small tasks completed, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, which will encourage you to tackle another project.

This is a great way to make a game out of picking up toys, books, games, or tidying rooms with your children. Set the timer and the first child to complete his or her chore gets a small prize.

Get creative and let the children learn the benefits of a clean and organized room. The old saying “everything has a place and everything is in its place” is a very helpful mind exercise and quickly became one of Emilie’s principles of organization.

Many times the reason we don’t put something away is because it really doesn’t have a “home.” A main reason we end up with too much clutter is because we purchase items but have nowhere to store them.

So let’s get organized!

(You may also like this related post My Rule of Life…)

“Be sweet to him. He’ll always be glad for a little of that. There’s such strength found in sweetness. And something not commonly found in our harsh world today. Be that refreshing, soul-stirring voice in his ear.” – Lisa Jacobson, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband https://amzn.to/2JZwLsY (afflink)

A Housekeeping Schedule you can use, not to stress you out, but to tweak to suit your own needs…

One of our all-time favorite sermons…. “Holy Families Don’t Just Happen”

Blessed Mother “Madonna of Heaven” Apron! Feminine and Beautiful! Fully lined, quality material, made with care! Available here.

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Make Your Child Feel Secure

Through the years our children would sometimes ask (because they knew we struggled) if we were poor? Their Dad would grin (largely) and say, “I am the wealthiest man around, look at what I have….Beautiful children, happy times, the Catholic Faith!”

Their hearts would be at ease once again, knowing that, yes, wealth is not about material things.

Mary Reed Newland, in this lovely excerpt, reminds us that material security is fleeting and that the security we must have is from God, that He will never leave us. This is something that must be taught to the children….and sometimes having less is more valuable in learning these lessons.

by Mary Reed Newland, How to Raise Good Catholic Children

According to a Polish folktale, Death was once an old woman, and she was sent by God to call the widowed mother of seven little children. The children lamented and pleaded so urgently that at last Death was moved to question God about it. Must she take the mother of the children?

God sent her to the Lord Jesus, and the Lord Jesus sent her to the bottom of the sea to fetch a stone as round as a loaf of bread. She found the stone and brought it back to Him, and He bade her bite it in two. She bit and bit, until her teeth ached; and finally she bit it in two, and there inside was a little worm.

The Lord Jesus spoke once more to Death: “Now, you see? I have remembered this little worm inside the stone at the bottom of the sea. Do you think I would forget the orphans? Go, make haste, and take their mother.”

Security is as simple as that. It’s found in God alone. When you look it up (thinking that surely there’s some more tangible definition), it’s defined as “freedom from danger or risk, from care or apprehension.”

And all a man has cannot free him entirely from these — not money, or a house, or an education, or good food, or dry shoes, or warm clothes. Not even a mother and a father are really a security. Any or all of them can be lost in the wink of an eye, and all there is left is God.

But God can care for us in spite of these things. He is our security. Assure your child that God will always provide for him.

What this chapter proposes is that it’s possible to raise children so convinced of their security in God’s love that they need not fear what the world may hand them. And the way to such security is complete faith that everything and anything that happens, happens with the knowledge of God and is permitted for some reason. He knows, which is for our best good.

We learned about material security the hard way, by being very poor. Nor are we the only family who learned this way. Like others who did not understand how safe God is, we were afraid.

We learned because He made us, and if we had not been poor, perhaps we would never have learned. There were incredible lessons.

We learned that when your children have no shoes, and they ask you, “When will we have shoes?” you face a choice of two things. Either you tell a lie, or you tell the truth. To lie is never the answer to anything. To answer that He will send what is needed at the right time is not so easy as it sounds, but even so (even when you’re amazed to hear yourself speak with such daring), it is the only truthful answer.

It’s a tremendous act of faith, even when He has to wrench it out of you, and He rewards even the small acts of faith with the grace to have more faith, and more simple faith. “Right now,” we told them, “God knows you have no shoes. And He sees you on the grass and the driveway, and He sees the stones and sharp little sticks. He’s asking a very big thing of you. He’s asking you to wait a little longer until He says the time is right for shoes. You’re His children, and He loves you and will care for you. Today He’s asking you to show your trust in Him by going barefoot, without any shoes.”

Some weeks it was pea soup all week, and some days berries. Or no gas, or heat, or stamps. These things are not unusual with the poor, nor will the poor say they don’t pinch and hurt. But they hurt only the part of you that doesn’t trust, and if learning to trust is bought with such pinchings as these, it’s hardly any price at all, because in the end, you discover you’re always cared for. Then you learn once and for all that it’s foolish to be afraid.

Even so, it seems hardly possible that children could live through all this, accept it, and remain unscarred. But children believe that God is loving and caring for them. They are pure, untouched by sin, radiant with grace.

Why is it so hard to believe that faith can sustain them? We judge them by ourselves all the time. Filled with fears we have acquired because we lack faith, we assume that children will have the same fears. We even think that if they don’t fear, it’s because they haven’t enough sense to fear.

And all the time we forget that Christ said unless we have childlike faith, we won’t even get into Heaven! They are the wise. It is we who are foolish.

But God is very patient, even with our foolishness. Every family that has ever been poor has its own private collection of small miracles by which it has at last learned to trust. And there’s always a favorite one that becomes a part of family lore, handed down to the untrusting to remind them they must trust.

Our favorite miracle was particularly lovely. It happened on a day when we had no food left but four loaves of bread, which had used up all the supplies in the house. There was nothing to spread on it, but it was bread. It was all that stood between us and being completely bereft.

We sat down to supper, and said grace, and when we were about to eat, there was a knock at the door. It was the little girl from across the road with a bundle wrapped in newspaper. Had we eaten yet? No, wouldn’t she like to come in? “No. I can’t. But Johnny thought you might like these.”

And she thrust the bundle into my husband’s hands and darted off into the night. When we opened the newspapers, there were four fishes.

Say if you wish that it wasn’t even a miracle. All right. He did not multiply our loaves, nor miraculously provide our fishes. But He put them in the brook. He bade them bite the line. He inspired our neighbors to share them.

If being as insecure as we were that night is necessary before we see God’s hand providing, then praise be! It’s the final casting out of all fear.

But even when intuition senses the truth of all this, souls will hold back from so complete a surrender for fear of the pain that might follow. This is too bad, because there’s going to be pain no matter what. It can be fruitful and sweet when we surrender with trust. It can be bitter and breed fear when we refuse to trust.

A child’s way is the best: to love God and know that He loves you. One alternative is to build a bulwark against fear.

Once when I was in the hospital, there was a mother in the bed next to me. Her youngest daughter was visiting for the length of her mother’s confinement, but she was unhappy and wanted to come home. Her father explained that she couldn’t, not yet, but if she would be patient for a while longer, she could have a reward.

“What reward?”

He couldn’t say at the moment. But something she wanted.

“Then I want a bicycle.”

But there wasn’t money for the bicycle.

“Oh, yes, there is. In the bank account. Go get it out of the bank account.”

The mother groaned. “Now what to do? We’ve been telling them there’s a bank account. You know — so they’d feel secure. But there’s no bank account.”

How easy it is to sacrifice something good for something sentimental. That mother was good, and she wanted her children to feel secure, which was good. But God is security, and it’s up to us to decide just how much faith we can afford to place in God.

Riches aren’t bad in themselves, and it’s a mistake to cast aspersions on those who have no material needs. It’s harder for the rich (now someone will say, “Yes, but I’d like to try it for a change”) to know God, precisely because they do not need His care the same way the poor need it.

For the poor, there’s a delicate perception to be formed in their children about riches. Too often a child, absorbing his parents’ bitterness, will sum it all up with “They think they’re better than we are, because they have money.”

And again we must show them that security does not depend on what you have, but on what you are. We’re all the same, the rich and the poor, precious and beloved in the eyes of God, purchased by the blood of Christ. If we differ, it’s in degree of love: one is rich or poor, really, in terms of his love.

Riches are an accident. “Do the Joneses have more money than we have? Are we poor?” Childhood is the time for learning that only in one sense is poor synonymous with no money.

“If you mean, do we have only a little money, why yes, then some people would think we’re poor. But we’re really very rich in more ways than we’re poor. We have God, and we know He loves us. We have the Church to teach us how to save our souls. We have the sacraments, such riches that money can’t ever buy. And we have fun together and love each other. Our Lord said (and He chose to be poor) that having all the money in the world was nothing, if you should lose your soul.”

I heard the children talking one day about “being rich.” “Well, it depends what you mean,” said someone. “Money? Or something like grace?”

We do not have to protect our children from feeling poor. With a Christian set of values, they need never feel poor.

 

And St. Francis De Sales says: “The measure of Divine Providence acting on us is the degree of confidence that we have in it.” This is where the problem lies. Many do not believe in Providence because they’ve never experienced it, but they’ve never experienced it because they’ve never jumped into the void and taken the leap of faith. They never give it the possibility to intervene. They calculate everything, anticipate everything, they seek to resolve everything by counting on themselves, instead of counting on God. -Fr. Jacques Philippe, Searching For and Maintaining Peace http://amzn.to/2u1NCTd (afflink)

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Marriage and Sacrifice – Christ in the Home – Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J.

No matter what vocation we choose, the word “sacrifice” follows close behind. It is part and parcel of being a pilgrim in this world that is not our final home.

Sacrifice has its rewards….in this life and in the next. The sooner we learn to embrace our crosses, the happier we will be!

1934, Walter Biggs

From Christ in the Home, 1950’s by Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J.

It is not only the highest Catholic doctrine which requires the spirit of sacrifice of the married couple but more immediate common experience.

To live mutually in the closest proximity, in constant forgetfulness of self so that each of the two thinks only of the other requires something more than mere human attraction.

“Do not believe those who tell you that the road of love offers only the softest moss for your feet to tread. There are some sharp pebbles on the trail blazed by Adam and Eve.”

The married woman who wrote those lines in verse, said the same thing in prose, a prose strangely poetic:

“To enter into marriage with the idea that someday they will be rid of self is like putting a moth into a piece of wool. Whatever may be the embroidery, the gold threads, the rich colors, the piece of wool is destined to be eaten, chewed with holes and finally completely devoured.

It would be necessary for two saints to marry to be sure that no bitter word would ever be exchanged between them; even then it is not predictable what misunderstandings might crop up. Did not Saint Paul and Saint Barnabas have to separate because they had too many altercations? Then, can these two unfortunate children of Adam and Eve destined to struggle in life with all that life brings in our days of recurring difficulties expect never to have any temptations to wound each other and never to succumb to such provocations?”

If marriage is difficult even when the husband is a saint and the wife is a saint, how can we estimate the sacrifices it will require when the couple are to put it briefly but “poor good Christians.”

Here however we are discussing the case of two who are sustained by dogma, morals, and the sacraments. But suppose one of the couple is a sort of pagan, or if baptized, so far removed from his baptism that nothing recalls any longer the mark of the children of God. What a secret cause for suffering!

Such was the suffering of Elizabeth Leseur who was happy in her married life in the sense that her husband was completely loyal to her but unhappy in her home because on the fundamental point for union, there was disunion, a separated life, the wife being Christian to the degree of astonishing intimacy with God and the husband remaining perfectly satisfied with the superficial life of so-called society.

Even when souls live in closest harmony, there will always be, even in the best of homes, a hidden cause for mutual suffering, which one author calls, “the eternal tragedy of the family, due to the fact that man and woman represent two distinct worlds whose limits never overlap.“

For woman love is everything. For man it is but a part of life. The woman’s whole life rotates about the interior of the home, unless necessity forces her to work to earn a livelihood.

The husband lives whole days much more outside the home than in it; he has his business, his office, his store, his shop, his factory.

Except for the early days of his married life, he is absorbed more by ambition than by love; in any case, his heart alone is not busy throughout his days, but also and frequently more often, his head.

Sometimes the wife suffers from not having her husband sufficiently to herself; the husband suffers because he appears not to be devoting himself sufficiently to his wife. Over and above other causes of tragedy, here is the eternal and hidden drama. Much virtue is needed by both to accept the suffering they unwittingly cause each other.

A MYSTIC MORAL BOND

Aside from the helps of Faith, two things especially can aid the married couple to practice mutual forbearance and to accept the sacrifices inherent in life together.

The first is the fact of their mutual share in the birth of their progeny.

Saint Augustine speaks beautifully of the two little arms of a child which draw the father and mother more closely together within the circle of their embrace as if to symbolize the living bond of union the child really is between them.

Even when one’s choice of a marriage partner has been perfect, when ardent tenderness is evinced on both sides, there can still develop a period of tenseness and strained relations. Who can best reconcile the two souls momentarily at odds, upset for a time, or somewhat estranged? The child.

Someone has said it well: “Life is long, an individual changes in the course of ten, fifteen, twenty years shared with another. If the couple has had a fall out, it will not be so perilous if they have known love in its fullness. I mean by that the love of hearts and souls above all…, if the two have the noble and deep memories which constitute our true nourishment during our voyage on earth, if they are above all bound together by the children that their love has brought into the world, then there is a good chance that even though they are caught by the undertow of passion, they will emerge safe and sound.”

In addition to having children . . . that bond of love between the father and mother even in the greatest stress and strain . . . what most contributes to a speedy reconciliation after the clashes that eventually arise or the misunderstandings which set them at odds is the thought that they must endure, they must remain together.

What is to be thought of the following practice which is becoming quite customary? In the preparation of the trousseau, only the bride’s initial is engraved on the silverware or embroidered on the linen. Does it not seem to be a provision for the possibility of a future separation?

By the constant repetition of the idea that man is fickle and that “her husband is the only man a woman can never get used to,” the novel, the theater, the movies, set the stamp of approval on the “doctrine” of the broken marriage bond as something normal, something to be expected.

“On the contrary,” says Henriette Charasson, who is a married woman and an author quoted before, “if husbands and wives realized that they were united for life, if they knew that nothing could permit them to establish another family elsewhere, how vigilant they would be not to let their precious and singular love be weakened; how they would seek, throughout their daily ups and downs, to keep vibrant, burning, and radiant, the love which binds them not only by the bond of their flesh but by the bond of their soul.”

We must thank God if He has blessed our home by giving us many precious children; thank Him also for the Christian conviction which we received formerly in our homes, convictions which will never permit us to consider the possibility of the least fissure in our own family now.

A FATHER’S ANSWER TO HIS DAUGHTER

      In the book “My Children and I” by Jerome K. Jerome, which is as full of humor as of common sense, a young girl tells her father that she is frightened at the possibility of love’s brevity.

“Love,” she says, “is only a stratagem of nature to have fun at our expense. He will tell me that I am everything to him. That will last six months, maybe a year if I am lucky, provided I don’t come home with a red nose from walking in the wind; provided he doesn’t catch me with my hair in curlers. It is not I whom he needs but what I represent to him of youth, novelty, mystery. And when he shall be satisfied in that? . . .”

Her father answers, “When the wonder and the poetry of desire shall be extinguished what will remain for you will be what already existed before the desire. If passion alone binds you, then God help you! If you have looked for pleasure only, Poor You!

But if behind the lover, there is a man (let us add a Christian); if behind this supposed goddess, sick with love, there is an upright and courageous woman (again let us add Christian); then, life is before you, not behind you. To live is to give not to receive.

Too few realize that it is the work which is the joy not the pay; the game, not the points scored; the playing, not the gain. Fools marry, calculating the advantages they can draw from marriage, and that results in absolutely nothing. But the true rewards of marriage are called work, duty, responsibility. There are names more beautiful than goddess, angel, star, and queen; they are wife and mother.

Marriage is a Sacrifice.

In order to live these four last words, “Marriage is a sacrifice,” it is not enough to have started off on a good footing, to be enthusiastic about fine ideals, to put all hope in mutual tenderness.

Since marriage calls for more than ordinary sacrifice, it will be necessary in order to remain faithful to the habit of sacrifice, to have more than ordinary helps.

We have already meditated on the similarity between the Eucharist and marriage; we have seen that not only is there a bond of resemblance between these two sacraments but that there is in the Eucharist, above all in participation in the Eucharistic sacrifice and in Holy Communion a singular help for the married.

Prayer together must also be a help. Someone has rightly said, “The greatest sign of conjugal love is not given by encircling arms in an embrace but by bended knees in common prayer.

In his “Confessions,” Saint Augustine describes his last evening with his mother at Ostia. It is worth quoting. When a husband and wife have reached such a degree of soul-union in God, they can face all life’s tempests without trembling.

“Forgetting the past and looking toward the future, we pondered together in Your Presence, O my God, the living Truth, on what the eternal life of the elect would be like. . . . We came to this conclusion: The sensible pleasures of the flesh in their intensest degree and in all the attractiveness that material things can have, offer nothing that can compare with the sweetness of the life beyond, nor do they even deserve mention. In a transport of love, we tried to lift ourselves to You there….“

I must understand more clearly than in the past how essential it is to be rooted in prayer and if possible in prayer together.

The choice of a name for the child is important to a mother’s heart. It may be hers or the father’s, one of the godparent’s, or any other, as long as it is the name of a saint whose life she knows, and has a great devotion. She waits for “the little newcomer” asking for the namesake’s loving and powerful protection. The moment will come when she will tell her son or daughter the beautiful story of the life of their patron and the great love and care that they have for him and how he/she watches all their steps . A mulher forte

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Beautiful Quote from Padre Pio

St. Pio looking at His Jesus

Do you want peace in your life? Are you hard on yourself and tired of taking the baseball bat out of your hands so you quit beating up yourself with it? Maybe Padre Pio can help today. 🙂

“Peace is the simplicity of spirit, the serenity of conscience, the tranquility of the soul and the bond of love.

Peace is order, it is the harmony in each one of us, it is a continual joy that is born in witnessing a clear conscience, it is the holy joy of a heart wherein God reigns.

Peace is the way to perfection, or, even better, in peace dwells perfection. And the devil, who knows all this very well, does everything possible to cause us to lose our peace.

The soul need be saddened by only one thing: an offense against God. But even on this point, one must be very prudent.

One must certainly regret one’s failures, but with a peaceful sorrow and always trusting in Divine Mercy.

One must beware of certain reproaches and remorse against oneself which most of the time come from our enemy who wants to disturb our peace in God.

If such reproaches and remorse humble us and make us quick to do the right thing, without taking away our confidence in God, we may be assured that they come from God.

However, if they confuse us and make us fearful, distrustful, lazy or slow to do the right thing, we may be sure that they come from the devil and we should consequently push them aside, finding our refuge in confidence in God.”

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Love – Christ in the Home

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By Father Raoul Plus, S.J., 1950’s

Why does a woman desire a man? Why does a man desire a woman? What is the explanation of that mysterious attraction which draws the two sexes toward each other?

Will anyone ever be able to explain it? Will anyone be able to exhaust the subject?

One fact is certain: Even aside from the physiological aspect of the problem, the effeminate man does not attract a woman; she makes fun of him, finds him ridiculous. So too the masculine woman weakens her power of attraction for a man, and ends by losing it entirely.

The age-old spell which each sex casts upon the other is closely allied to the fidelity with which each exactly fulfills its role. If woman copies man and man copies woman, there can be comradeship but love does not develop.

In reality, they are nothing more than two caricatures, the woman being degraded to the rank of a man and a second-rate man at that, and the man to the rank of a manikin in woman’s disguise. The more feminine a woman’s soul and bearing, the more pleasing she is to a man; the more masculine a man’s soul and bearing, the more pleasing he is to a woman.

We do not mean to say that between two poor specimens of either sex there will never be any casual or even lasting sexual appeal and experience. But we can hardly, if ever, call it love.

If men and women are no more than two varieties of the same sex, a sort of neuter sex, the force which creates love disappears. Normally, as we say in electrical theory, opposite charges must exist before any sparks will shoot forth. Bring into contact two identical charges and there will be no effect; electricity of opposite polarities must be used; then and then only will there be reaction.

In the realm of love, the general rule is the same. In fact, man and woman are two different worlds. And that is as it should be, so that the eternal secret which each of them encloses may become the object of the other’s desire and stimulate thirst for a captivating exploration.

That is love’s strange power. It brings two secrets face to face, two closed worlds, two mysteries. And just because it involves a mystery, it gives rise to limitless fantasies of the imagination, to embellishments in advance of the reality. So that one finally loves all toward which one rows.

Whether that toward which one rows is an enchanted island or one merely believes it is, what ecstasy!

Comes the meeting, the consecration of the union by marriage; each brings to the other what the other does not possess. In the one, delicate modesty and appealing reserve; in the other, conquering bravery. A couple has been born. Love has accomplished its prodigy.

Yet, how true it is, that having said all this, we have said nothing. The reality of love is unfathomable.

Could it be perhaps because it is the most beautiful masterpiece of God?

“Marriage has been chosen as the image of the perfect union between the soul and Christ because in marriage, likewise, the center and core is love. No other earthly community is constituted so exclusively in its very substance by mutual love.” -Dietrich von Hildebrand

🌸💞I want to be able to lay my head down at night knowing I have connected with those things that matter most…..
So that when my life is at its close it can be said, “You have run the race, you have fought the good fight.” and I will be remembered, not for what I have accomplished, but for HAVING LOVED WELL….. -Finer Femininity


7 Ways to Gain Wisdom

illustration by www.apoia.se/lizdesouza

My own rendition based on an excerpt from the book by Helen Andelin, All About Raising Children

Wisdom! How much we should strive and pray for this gift of the Holy Ghost! We need it so much in our everyday lives….living with our spouse, raising children, dealing with elderly parents..and in our own personal lives.

So many choices have to be made each day and if we do not have wisdom we can make some pretty big mistakes along the way!

The qualities of wisdom – sound judgement, right values, wise priorities, common sense are very important in being a balanced, prayerful, Catholic woman.

We need wisdom to “light the way”…to have discernment, insight and keen judgement.

How do we gain wisdom?

  1. Within ourselves.

Our Lord tells us that the Kingdom of God is within us. We do not have to look “out there” to find it.

“Never shall we have peace until we are interior men and united with God. Repose of mind, joy, solid contentment, are found only in the interior world, in the kingdom of God which we possess within ourselves. The more deeply we enter therein, the more happy shall we be. Without this we shall always be in trouble and difficulty, always discontented and murmuring; and if any temptation, any rude trial, come upon us, we shall not overcome it.” – St. Francis de Sales

2. Gaining Wisdom from Others

If we seek wisdom from others, we gain a great deal. We must learn to listen…and in this day and age, there are so many opportunities to “listen”.

In present times men and women gain wisdom and share it with us in the form of books, lectures, statements and even personal conversations. We have, at our fingertips, online sermons and podcasts, good books…many written by saints, support groups, etc.

Wise men through the ages have given us a rich heritage of wisdom. Philosophers, through careful meditation, have discovered wisdom and handed it down to us in books. Moved upon by the Holy Spirit, the apostles and prophets received wisdom which they recorded in the scriptures.

Sometimes a person whom we would not suspect of having any profound thoughts will come up with a statement of wisdom.

Even a small child is capable of wise thought. If we seek wisdom from others, if we read a great deal and are alert to gems of wisdom spoken, we can gain a great deal of wisdom from others.

3. Experience

….Ah yes, that most important attribute of experience that is not given to us easily. The wisdom of experience comes through our own lessons learned. If we learn from our mistakes, and allow ourselves to grow, a wide variety of experiences will gain us wisdom.

4. Reasoning

We can also gain wisdom through reasoning and logic. Through careful thought we can find answers to problems, helpful ideas to guide us to better living.

This can be hazardous, however.

Our reasoning can also lead us into error. This can be avoided if we develop the skill to check our reasoning with what the Church teaches, what the Fathers have taught, what the saints say, etc.

When it is in harmony, we can come to know that our thinking is true.

I like this prayer and use it often in this regard:

Holy Ghost, inspire me, love of God, consume me, to the right path lead me, Mary, my mother, look down upon me. With Jesus bless me. From all evil, all illusion, all danger, preserve me. –St. Mariam of Jesus Crucified

5. Inspiration from God

This is something that we should be seeking at all times. It is true, we can gain knowledge from good books, great websites, podcasts, etc. But wisdom is a gift of God and we must ask for it. “But if any of you want wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth to all men abundantly and upbraideth not. And it shall be given him.” –James1:5, Douay Rheims

6. A Life of Integrity

What is in our heart overflows into our actions. We must live a life of pure and noble thoughts…this is a journey but it is something to strive for each day. Our inner life, one of purity and integrity, will help us to gain wisdom as we will be an open channel to receive grace.

7. Health

We have all experienced it. When we are being temperate in our food and drink, when we mortify our senses, we gain more spiritually. It is easier to make our spiritual life a priority, we are more in tune to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and we have the strength and energy to do God’s will instead of just being in survival mode.

All efforts toward health, both physical and mental, will increase our ability to gain wisdom.

So let us pray for this most important gift of wisdom, that in all of our undertakings we can be assured of the guidance of the Holy Spirit!

Every day you need to lift your husband up in prayer. Ask St. Joseph to help him to be a good husband and father. He needs you, who are his closest companion, to lift him up each day to our Heavenly Father. Ask Our Lord to protect him and to protect your marriage. What a wonderful gift a praying wife is! -Finer Femininity

An excellent sermon!

“When a father sends his children out into the world, he wants to still be a father. He wants to give them things to cling on to, things that will keep them safe. And sadly, sometimes, it is the father that is the one that has to leave. But again, he wants to leave his children with things that he thinks are important – ideas and ideals that he hopes will serve them and keep them well in his absence. So this won’t be comprehensive today. Certainly there is more to say as the weeks roll on. But this does come from love, and comes from the heart….”

It can be found here.

Little Lady’s Charming Crocheted Garden Party/Church-Going Hats!

Your special little  lady will look charming in one of these beautiful handcrafted crocheted hats! Every flower, petal and bow is hand made with care. The unique combination of colors will add the final touch of elegance to your little girls outfit!

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This post may have affiliate links. Thank you for your support.


Family Spirit-Christ in the Home (And the Winner Is…)

From Christ in the Home, Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J., 1950’s

Parental Responsibility

It is worth considering more than once the responsibility that can rest with the parents when some children do not achieve their full possibility or even turn out badly.

Let us of course give due blame to the evil concupiscence which can provoke a painful transformation in children even when the parents have done everything possible.

It remains true just the same that in a good number of cases, the father and the mother or one or the other must plead guilty.

A boy is sent to college. He gets along fine until the sophomore year. From then on he bungles everything, abandons right conduct, falls in with dangerous companions, carries on high to such an extent that he has to be expelled.

And when a professor expresses astonishment, the dean will give this explanation: “It’s his background; unfavorable heredity; his brothers were just the same.
The mother is a saint, but the father is one of those unfortunate individuals who is ruled by his senses; he has caused much suffering to his wife. It is just the traces of the father showing up in the children.”

The explanation can be taken for what it is worth. The law of heredity is not a mathematical law. There is no doubt, however, that it is operative, more operative than one thinks.

When heredity is not to blame, it can often be a matter of bad training. How good parents are, how very good, too good, too weak!
It is their own formation which is faulty; it should be done over.

A mother brought her young son to the doctor for an examination.
The doctor prescribed a remedy. “The medicine was not pleasant to take but it was very potent,” he said. Well and good; they had the prescription filled.

Sometime later they returned to the doctor.

–“Well, now, how’s our patient?”

–“Not any better, doctor.”

–“How’s that? Didn’t the medicine take effect?”

–“No, doctor, it was too hard to take; he wouldn’t touch it!”

How much botch-work of that kind goes on! Parents satisfy the child’s every whim. They recoil before the first tears, before the mere signs of an outburst, before less than that–a frown, a pout, or a dejected look. They are lost!

Reversing the scriptural phrase, “Cain, where is thy brother Abel?” an author speaking of social problems, which can well be duplicated in the family and in education asked, “Abel, what have you done with Cain?”
In other words: “You good people, are you not responsible through your faults or your incapacities that some good individuals have become bad?”

I have charge of a soul; I may have a plural charge–several souls.
What has been my conduct until now? Do I not have to reproach myself with many faults or at least many weaknesses? And I am surprised at the results obtained! Are they not the logical outcome of my bungling?

Let me examine myself; consider the whole problem seriously; if it is necessary, let me reform.

The Family Spirit

Before the war, family spirit was on the decline and on the verge of being lost. There were exterior and interior reasons.

Exterior reasons: Means of travel had become easier and encouraged people to go out as much as possible. At times, the whole household would take the train or auto for an excursion but more often than not one or other member of the family would go off for himself with the car.

Young girls began to leave home more than formerly for purposes of study, Red Cross causes, Social Service training or simply to take a position. Many who had no such need at all left home for no other reason than not to have to remain at home. Anything rather than stay home!

Various activities and organizations were always sufficient excuse or pretext for absence. Household activities held no appeal for these young women and often repelled them. The remembrance of confidences from their mother in some of their intimate sessions frightened some of them.

The world with its perpetual and superficial and useless activity drew many young men and even more young women into its crazy dance and encouraged the desertion of the home.

Interior Reasons: Some homes make no attempt to be attractive; life in them seems too austere to the children; the mother is too busy, the father is always grouchy, upset by the least noise, easily irritated and perhaps, even without knowing it, frigid and abrupt in his manner of speaking . . .
Sometimes there is an unfortunate lack of harmony between the parents. The atmosphere is always charged with a threatening storm. There is no relaxing, no peace, no trust . . . Each one wants his liberty, to go his own way.
The children caught between two fires do not know to which saint they should dedicate themselves. Therefore they too go away, or if they can’t they close up within themselves . . . Each one in the house stands on his dignity.

It is quite true that children have become more difficult to train.
They always have been difficult but they are more of a problem today than in the past. A tendency developed to give them greater leeway which created a greater distance than was wise between fathers and sons and especially between mothers and daughters; it was an imaginary difficulty rather than a real one in many cases but only too frequently it gave rise to a cruel estrangement.

No one can prevent the difference of twenty years more or less between father and son or mother and daughter; that it should be a difference is to be expected; but that it should be a barrier, no! And while there are parents who cannot remember that they were once twenty years old, most of them can.

“I dream of a daughter who will be like me but also very different,” wrote a mother; “because I should not like to produce only a duplicate but neither should I like to be only a rough draft of a more perfect pattern.”

Then she continues to explain that her daughter will be able to come to her in all confidence to tell her about her first infatuation; she will understand her and will even tell her how she herself at about the age of eighteen fell madly in love with a violinist of exceptional talent and that her own mother so completely entered into sympathy with her that she helped her daughter compose the burning letter of admiration in which her newly-born ardor was poured out . . . Together mother and daughter waited for the fervent response . . . which had never come!

Poor children, who feel that their parents do not understand them!
But if they do understand! It is their duty not to approve of everything, but they understand!

Then they are ready to help, not always by writing a love-letter, but to encourage, to warn, to support the children in their undertakings, to sustain their enthusiasm, to lead them to their goal.

“A desire to be beautiful is not unwomanly. A woman who is not beautiful cannot properly fill her place. But, mark you, true beauty is not of the face, but of the soul. There is a beauty so deep and lasting that it will shine out of the homeliest face and make it comely. This is the beauty to be first sought and admired. It is a quality of the mind and heart and is manifested in word and deed.” – Beautiful Girlhood, Mabel Hale http://amzn.to/2pOKmtj (afflink) Illustration by http://www.genevievegodboutillustration.com/

And The Winner of the Giveaway is….

Elizabeth VanderPutten!

Congratulations, Z! We will be in touch!

Beautiful brass wire-wrapped, durable rosaries!

Wire wrapping is one of the oldest techniques for making jewelry or rosaries by hand.

Frequently, in this approach, a wire is bent into a loop or other decorative shape and then the wire is wrapped around itself to finish the wire component making that loop or decorative shape permanent.

Not only is it quite beautiful but it makes the rosaries sturdy and durable.

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If you purchase items through my affiliate links, I receive a small commission but your price doesn’t change. Thank you for your support.


Christ and Women- Fr. Daniel A. Lord

This is very beautiful and touches upon the depths of a woman’s soul and the loneliness within. We are reminded that our husbands cannot fill our every need and longing…they are human, too, and have their own battles to fight…

The loneliest thing in all the world is a woman’s heart. Human hearts are all, it is true, doomed through life to a certain amount of loneliness. Separated from the rest of the world by a thin but impenetrable wall of flesh, their deepest emotions, their moments of supreme exultation and crushing grief cannot really be shared by anyone.

We humans may express fluently enough our surface feelings, those momentary enthusiasms or joys; but the things that are of deepest concern remain for the most part locked forever unuttered in our secret hearts.

Great love, great sorrow, great joy leave us inarticulate, silent.

If this be true of all mankind, as it surely is, it is particularly true of women. There have been great men who caught the essence of their loves or sorrows between their two hands and imprisoned it forever in a poem for the whole world to see.

Dramatists have with rough fingers stripped their hearts naked and made them play their parts upon the stage. Musicians have turned inarticulate cries of pain and sorrow into the terrifying harmonies of a great symphony. Men have even, at rare times, dragged out their secret selves to walk through the pages of a diary.

But for every hundred men who have given the world the secrets of their hearts in drama, poetry, novel, or music there has scarcely been one woman who did so.

Men have tried in literature to tell the secret emotions of women’s hearts (as if for a moment they really could divine them); but when one reads these studies of women by men, one wonders if the most brilliant of them has touched ever so lightly even the surface of woman’s soul.

At any rate, self-revelation by a woman is rare in literature and rare in life. Her heart is an unentered sanctuary, a sealed casket, a secret garden guarded from all intrusion.

Whether from shyness or from fear, woman has kept to herself the feelings that concern her most deeply. Her moments of truest emotional significance she keeps hidden in her locked heart. She shares them with no one.

Who Knows Her Heart?

Who but the girl herself knows how she feels as the day of her wedding draws near and she faces the realization that soon she will place her whole happiness in the keeping of one who, for all the fact that he is dear to her, is still almost a stranger?

No nun, as far as I have read or heard, has ever told the emotions that filled her heart when on her vow day she went to meet her invisible Bridegroom.

Men have written beautifully of motherhood and given us the glorious Madonnas: but what mother has really been able to share with a curious world the glory, the deep peace, the sense of blessed accomplishment, the flood of maternal love that suddenly overflowed as her first-born child was laid against her breast?

Priests have attempted, badly in most cases, to describe the emotions that exalted them on the day of their first Mass; but the little mother kneeling there in the first pew and looking up with joyous astonishment as her son brings her God down upon the altar is mutely inarticulate.

And though the world is full of Pietas, statues of the Mother holding her dead Son in her arms, not the mother of Christ nor the bereaved mother of any first-born has told us the anguish of her heart at that terrible moment of loss.

In its sharpest joy and sorrow, in its supreme happiness and grief, the heart of a woman is alone and lonely. Certainly no man understands it—least of all, perhaps, the man who is surest that he does.

No One Who Understands

Yet loneliness is not only a sad, it is a perilous thing. Pent-up emotions are explosive; sometimes they are poisonous. God gave us our instinct for human companionship and our possibilities of social intercourse and confidence just because we all, men and women alike, need someone to share our emotional life and help us bear burdens too heavy for us to bear alone.

Yet with women this outlet is almost always extremely limited.

Man, her natural companion, is, by the very force of his nature, preoccupied, intent on the ruthless fight and hunt that is life.

He must give so much of his physical and mental energy to the crude problems of food, clothes and shelter. Even in the most civilized man there is something of the warrior and hunter going forth at dawn to beat back the enemies that close in about his home and to bring back at the day’s end the food and skins he has gathered.

This is a desperately tiring and engrossing business, and it kills, often enough, the finer responses of his emotions and the keener sympathies and sensibilities of his soul.

Men are frequently so busy with the fight for their own existence and the existence of their dependents that women find them, even the men who tenderly love them, absorbed, abstracted, matter-of-fact, out of touch with the thought and emotions that fill a woman’s life.

The most devoted husband, the most affectionate son, the most loyal brother is still the hunter and fighter of the family; and hunting and fighting, even in their very civilized forms, do not fit a man to be consistently gentle, understanding, or sympathetic where a woman’s emotions are concerned.

Besides, about a woman’s heart God has placed as a protective armor her natural modesty and reticence. She draws back instinctively from giving her real confidences.

Men will, she feels, be bored by them. Some men will be cruel enough to take advantage of them. Her sad experience has made her wonder just how far she is safe in trusting not merely the casual stranger but even the close but thus far untested friend.
Can Any Man Satisfy?

“Is there anywhere in the world,” women have asked from the depths of their lonely hearts, “anyone who will give us the sympathy, understanding, and response that we crave?”

That question has been at the back of all the yearning for romance that fills a woman’s life, a yearning that does not die from the dawn of girlhood to the golden glow of far maturity.

Its answer would be, of course, the perfect man, who could receive confidences without abusing them, understand scarcely understood hearts without troubling them, give affection without presumption, strength tempered with gentleness, and a sympathy that could be accepted with safety.

The unceasing search of a woman’s lonely heart is for the ideal man. Is there such a man? For a long period in the history of the world there was not.

Now, thank God, there is—the man to whom women turn trustingly, who understands them better than they understand themselves, who fulfills in every detail the ideal which women carry in their hearts, who is strong but kind, heroic but gentle, never impatient, never abstracted or self-centered, who knows women so thoroughly that they hardly need to tell Him their secrets, and who unfailingly solves the problems that they bring to Him —Jesus Christ.

Forgive. “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” ~ Ruth Bell Graham. This is one of the truest statements ever made. Decide you’re not only going to be his lover – you’re going to be his forgiver. Be quick to forgive and get good at it. You’ll probably have lots of opportunity to practice it. -Lisa Jacobson, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband https://amzn.to/2EkBO3F (afflink)

Strawberry and Tea Apron! Feminine and Beautiful! Fully lined, quality material, made with care and detail!

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If you purchase items through my affiliate links, I receive a small commission but your price doesn’t change. Thank you for your support.

 

The Call to the Priesthood by Fr. Kenneth Walker, R.I.P.

Father Walker is second from the left…at Winchester.

This was written when Father Kenneth Walker was 18 and still in College. His assignment was to write a piece on a marriage proposal. Here were the words on the  paper:

The Call to the Priesthood

The marriage proposal may be a beautiful event, and the most wonderful emotions are aroused, but it is just possible that the call to the priesthood is equally as beautiful.

It may be that a man discerns the priesthood over a considerable amount of time, or the decision may come upon him, by God’s grace, all of a sudden.

A good example of a momentary decision would be a young man praying during Mass, asking God what His plans are for his life. The answer comes at the elevation of the Sacred Host as he gazes intently upon Our Lord in the form of bread.

He hears a voice calling to him from the depths of his soul. It is not a material voice, but simply a feeling deep down in his very being.

As he listens, he begins to notice that this is beyond any ordinary occurrence in prayer. He realizes that God is asking him to become a priest.

His focus is immediately put on the responsibilities, benefits, joys, and sorrows of the priesthood. It is evident to him that the answer he gives may be a major turning point in his life.

Change is difficult, but then it occurs to him that he only wishes to please God above all things in this life.

Then, his heart brimming with joy, and eyes filled with tears, he tells God “yes”.

“Mothers, as far as possible, be at home with your children. As you nourished your child before he was capable of eating solid food, so in the early formative years, nature has determined that you must nourish your child in virtue.” -Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook http://amzn.to/2lCqRG5

For many good reading suggestions, visit….

My Book List

Book List for Catholic Men

Book List for the Youth

 

Tids ‘n Bits June 2018

Here’s a goodie. This is on the steps of a church in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan…maybe 1967? This is me and my three brothers….two more came along later. There were six of us.

I look very sweet there, don’t I? Well, I was really a tough little gal, growing up in the middle of the big city, with three brothers I had to defend myself from. (I loved them dearly, but really didn’t like them…haha…at least not at the time).

I played tackle football right along with the rest of them. I was small but I could run! They couldn’t often tackle me! I was very good at track and field and took away some of the cheesy (yet much coveted) trophies that were given during grade school.

It was not a world of “Finer Femininity”, that’s for sure! More like a world of survival. But I made it through and am grateful to God for lessons learned (through crosses…isn’t that the way?) before I made that big step of marriage!

Anyway, enough rambling….

We’ve had some chuckles about Dad. Some say he looks like Buddy Holly, some say Dennis the Menace’s dad or even a Russian spy! I always thought he looked like Mr. Dress-up. Have you ever heard of Mr. Dress-up and his Tickle Trunk? It was a show we watched growing up in Canada. Your children would like it. Here’s a sample:

Here’s another very popular children’s show from Canada…The Friendly Giant!

Here’s something I’m excited about and have been working on in the past months….

The All-New, Full-Color Catholic Mother Goose, Volume Two!! Stay tuned…

I have photos that I’ve been meaning to put up. A very busy weekend is ahead with the Traditional Family Weekend so I will tune in again on Monday. Maybe I will even have it together enough to do the drawing for the Giveaway (but maybe not)!

Here’s the updated flyer for the TFW. The venue has changed, take note if you are coming!

And before we go on, if you would like to sign up for the Giveaway, go to this post and make a comment.

A Gallery…click on the first picture to read the caption, etc.