-1-From Womb to Tomb “My dear friends, you are called to care for human life from its beginning stages. Remind everyone, through actions and words, that in all its phases and at any age, life is always sacred and always of quality. It's not just a matter of faith, but of reason and science!” –Pope Francis
-2-Heartstrings Michele Morris, my friend who entered a cloistered Carmelite monastery this past August, has been on my mind and heart a lot lately. I’ve been wondering how she’s doing, then out of the blue I received an e-mail from her mom in which she included the following message for me from Michele: “Hi, The glory bee you gave me has been adopted by all the Sisters. Love, Hugs and Glory Bees........Michele” I’m taking this to mean that not only has the community been accepting of the little stuffed animal “glory bee” I gave her, but that they are also, and far more importantly, welcoming her warmly, lovingly, and enthusiastically into their fold.
Can He? Could He? Would He? Did He? These are some of the lyrics to a catchy little song I learned and had to perform in front of the other teens and chaperones at a lock-in I attended with a Christian friend of mine back when we were in high school. It seems a good time to get back to the basics, which I see as returning to ALL we have and ALL we need: God.
Kevin and I have both been feeling lost and wondering what’s next for us in pretty much every single area of our lives. A major consolation is that there are some things we are sure of: 1.) we want to do God’s will 2.) we’re not quite sure what that entails as of yet, and 3.) we both need to be grateful that the Lord has brought us together and is bringing us closer to Him and one another (which is part of my prayer for the two of us every day).
Walking with Mary My husband and I both relished the approachability, wisdom, and the subtle humor found throughout Walking with Mary: A Biblical Journey from Nazareth to the Cross. Edward Sri is a very knowledgeable, well-read, and engaged student of the Blessed Mother. His approach is intriguing and far more compelling than a strictly academic study of Mary’s role in salvation history.
Walking with Mary is so insightful and inspiring that I read it twice. I rarely reread a book unless I absolutely love it and/or really want to share it with my husband Kevin. The second time through, I read Walking with Mary aloud to Kevin, and we were both fascinated by how author/professor Edward Sri explains the role of Mary in God’s plan for our eternal salvation through close examination of Old and New Testament Scripture passages from G-R (Genesis through Revelation). A clearer picture and more in-depth explanation of the culture and customs of families and society in the time she lived are what really set this book apart from others about Mary, who is the ideal model for all Christ’s followers…Read more here.
Soap Suds This evening I finally did something Kevin and I have considered doing for 15+ years and had never gotten around to: I melted down the bar of soap we gave him with a tugboat in the middle of it. My mom, sisters, and I presented this gift of soap with tugboat in it after Kevin had been so kind to take all of us out on his family’s boat while we were there visiting. We chose this particular bar of soap from one of our favorite shops in Rochester, Parkleigh, because one of the times Kevin had taken us out on the boat, he’d been intent on finding a sunken tugboat he assured us was in the area. None of us ever spotted it, so we hassled him by getting him this submerged tugboat soap. I think it’s really adorable that he kept it all these years. (Don’t worry he’s used lots of other soap since.) We presented him with this gag gift before he and I were even dating. Now I have unearthed the tugboat (the one pictured-isn't it cute?!), and it’s on one of our corner shelves along with some other items from soon after we first met and became friends.
-6-My Mama Showed Me There have been a number of things that I’ve learned from how my mother has lived since we were little. Praying, reading, writing, listening to God, respecting life from conception to natural death, finding joy in spending time with the young and the old, singing, dancing, laughing, having fun, being silly, hanging out with friends, and encouraging others are all important aspects of life I have learned from the way my mom lives her life.
Lord, I ask that you would inspire all parents, caregivers, nannies, child care providers…to take joy in the gift of their children, and turn to You for guidance and the unconditional love necessary to do what’s best for the little ones entrusted to our care.
If you love little ones and are a person of prayer, see what you can do to support parents and young ones near you.
How to Listen so Kids Will Talk I read this book a while back as part of my training hours for the school where I work. I know some of you are thinking that you’d really be more interested in finding out how to get kids to stop talking, but I have found this to be one of the very best books I’ve ever read in terms of listening. I highly recommend getting a copy of this book to read and reread and read again. Most communication problems have to do with people’s inability or unwillingness to listen. This book covers the steps and necessary aspects of active listening. If you want to improve your relationship with anyone—not just children—read this book and do what it says. Actually, the companion to this book How to Talk To Kids so They Will Listen is a good read as well, but interestingly enough, it wasn't nearly as life-changing for me. One of my favorite pieces of advice from the woman and her son who started Applebaum Training Institute is: "The more you connect, the less you correct." It's so incredibly true!! The more you connect, listen, and really interact with kids (and anyone else in your life), the more likely they are to listen to you and what you have to say.