Happy Thursday All. Happy First day of Google School for our DODEA Kids. Happy About to be locked down again in Italy. Happy – Happy – Happy… Small Success Thursday!
While I am concentrating on my list of things to do… I want to be sure to praise God. I was writing my last Gospel Reflection for 2021 last week, and I have to say, as God does, he knew I was going to need to hold onto it. In this Gospel, Jesus was questioned by the Chief Priests and Elders. And they always asked him questions meant to usurp his authority. What I loved about it, was Jesus calmly asked them a question, to throw them off their game.
He was not mean spirited in any way, but you see… He knows, in our humanity, we often answer questions safely – even when we know the right answer. And our Catechism/Faith as we grow in Christ, challenges us to Answer the question LIVE the right way… Not the SAFE POPULAR way, but how our Lord has taught us. He cared deeply for their souls and wanted them to think.
In our world, living the right way… doing what we are supposed to, as long as we aren’t combative and aggressive and we lead with love, is intimidating, and yet freeing. And I believe when we speak up the right way about the awful things happening in our world, we are showing truth and love. We are doing it RIGHT!
So now, I shall tell you my Small *BIG* Successes. I’ve decided that they are all big.
My successes are as follows…
Making a broader effort to get back to the Cathlicity that is missing in our home.
Answering/Living the right way, in spite of judgment.
Maintaining Sanity in the midst of what we know is coming.
Ok – I can do four – I did this post. THIS is a miracle. But an advantage of being in Italy is it’s early in the states. ❤
I would encourage you all to tighten your inner circle. Remember Jesus had a small group of close companions. We must get smaller and stronger and in these times, pray harder.
Dear Ones, Today, I am 57. Phew. We had plans to go out with friends, Covid-19 slayed that. Additionally, our son was supposed to have his wisdom teeth out on the 30th and it was moved up a couple weeks. There is a lot of fear we are moving into another lock down. It would not surprise me.
Anyway – I share my birthday with Saint Luke. As in The Gospel of Saint Luke, the Acts of the Apostles, not to mention he was one of Saint Paul’s companions. Read about him – HERE. He authored the Gospel of the Repentant sinners and Merciful Heart. I’m pretty sure he talked directly to Me in much of it. I’m not kidding. The Gospel of Saint Luke is my favorite Gospel, though I love them all. His name means “bringer of Light!”
When I found out bud was having surgery this weekend (10/16), I was like – BOO. I’ve gotta change all my plans. Sigh – you know, because in that split second it was all about me. But as a mother, there is no room for selfishness when it comes to our children’s health. No – I don’t say that because I was beating myself up. But I can’t make anyone feel badly – that’s NOT what Jesus would do. But seriously – my name means INDUSTRIOUS LIGHT (Emily Helen). And I truly aim to live up to that. I was faced with a choice… to be happy today in all it’s changes or to Sulk. And I chose happiness. I choose LIGHT. And that is NEVER a bad choice. I’ll get back to my birthday in a second.
Let me explain how things work in Italy. So – when you work for the Military, in a foreign country, you follow the Base Command’s directives as those directives are based on the laws/directives in the country you are in. If you follow my blog, you know we are in Italy. Our region was the first RED area in Italy this Fall (see Map & Link Below):
Additionally, the numbers are rising daily. In fact, if you look at the Campania Region, the numbers “Resting in Domicile” have doubled in the past three weeks. Below are yesterday’s Numbers. Todays have not come out yet.
So when the region or country changes rules about how they are approaching Covid, we have to follow suit. Further, the Command has requested we not dine out (we can do takeaway) and has given us other directives – all so we can thwart this thing and avoid another lockdown.
Why do I tell you the above? What you need to know is this… Happiness is a CHOICE. My family is here. My neighbors and friends in Italy are fantastic. My family and friends from home are showering me with love. My kitchen and home are all stocked up in case of a lock down. I could feed half the base LOL just kidding – but a lot of them. HA
I’ll admit, being here is lonely at times. But – this weekend has been quiet and full of family time. Bud is healing, though today is probably not his best day. My husband and I made a birthday cake. We took soup out of the freezer and will make some fried eggplant and zucchini later. We will have wine with our neighbors. And my 2020 birthday is NOT ruined… you know? Does it look different – YES.
Friday night, a friend brought us dinner. Veggie and Cheese pizza. AND sweet potato fries. Thanks Dawn. A few people sent cards and/or dropped off sweet presents. My husband bought flowers from he and our youngest… and I ordered a tan jacket with a burberry lining for my birthday. I mean it’s FAR from bad. I will share a few pics, then I will continue my story:
But let me tell you what made me cry. You see that purple PlayDoh. That is from my bestie Ms. C. She is a 3 year old and I adore her. We have similar spirits – which should tell you something about my maturity. Her mama, my friend Julie, left me a bag by our gate, and When she told me that me that her sweet girl had sent me something too…… Y’all, this precious girl – she gave me her play doh. And that is something — you know? How humbling is that?
So I ask you – in the spirit of Light and Salt of the earth – I’m pretty dang blessed. the people I “let in” now, they mean something… And I’m humbled and thankful. Not because of the gift of things, but because of the awareness that I care for people and they care for me too. That, Dear Ones, — THAT is the best gift. Love of others is the gift worth cherishing.
Jesus is the true light! We are to emanate Him. So I say – be humble and shine your light.
Happy Wednesday. Happy Feast Day of Saint Callistus I (Pope, Martyr)! Click his name to read more about him. Today is a sunny day here in Italy. Will be stormy later. Doesn’t that just describe LIFE? I hope you are well, wherever you are. I’m praying for you.
I’m trying to bring some regular “segments” back to my blog. Things like – Monday – Meal Plans (where I share what we are eating for the week. I talk a lot about repurposed foods and Jessica over at Good Cheap Eats. I hope to post more cards and crafts… AND Small Success Thursdays. One of the things I have been REMISS on is not reviewing books. In fact, when I moved my blog back over here, I lost most pictures and so many things… And so I’m going to recreate some of it, and start posting more. I need to get out of my head with this one… and let it fall where it may… so to speak.
On with the Review.
I’m not sure if you know this, but in 2015 a few of us Catholic Ladies in Fort Worth, went to LifeWay Christian to a Bible Journaling class. I remember feeling sad and slightly resentful that the Protestants had so many Bibles to Journal in. We started a FaceBook Group called Catholic Women’s Bible Journaling (CWBJ)… And in 2016, I started writing various Catholic Publishers asking them to create a Catholic Journaling Bible, and Non-Catholic Publishers asking for them to create a Catholic Version of their Protestant Journaling Bibles. Long story short, not because of me, but because of many Catholic Women who worked to get it done, there are now many choices of Bibles to Journal in. Many I’ve reviewed, or received and given away.
Today I am reviewing the NRSV Catholic Bible, Journal Edition by Catholic Bible Press. In June, I was contacted by Bethany who works for Harper-Collins’ Bible Division. She asked if my team and I, from the CWBJ Group on FaceBook would like to have one. I couldn’t believe it. They sent them to our whole team and gave away six in our group on top of that. So exciting.
This Bible comes beautifully packaged. The leather is soft and the binding is sturdy. So beautiful.
I wanted to show you what a page looked like before art. This is one I will journal next. Whether you are a note taker, doodler, or full-blown artist in your Bible, the pages have a good thickness to them and are a mat page (not glossy or waxy at all).
Below, you will find my artwork. I love the Crucifix stamp from Catholic Rubber Stamps. I also used:
Teflon Mat (or silicon) for keeping between pages when working
I didn’t treat the page with Gesso, and below you can see that it didn’t bleed too badly. I can still do great work on the back. I heated as I went with the Ranger Heat It Tool. Mine is American. But the one on the link above is showing as European. Go to Hobby Lobby or order from Amazon.
The verse I journaled is Philippians 1:19 – For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
I wish I had more time to Bible Journal. Here is the Video of me making the page on a FB Live for the group. It’s on my YouTube Channel: Philippians 1:19 for CWBJ
My bottom line is this – I really like this Bible. The size, the sturdiness, and the room to write and draw. I think you will too. It’s a great price. It’s on Amazon.com too.
Please join our little group on FaceBook. Have a blessed rest of your day.
Hugs, Love & Blessings, Lady Em
p.s. – here’s a tease…next Wednesday there will be another New Bible Journal review. Ignatius Press y’all. WOOHOOOOO
Do not read this if you are not Pro-Life or Conservative, it will just irritate you and baffle you. I’m sorry to say that but it’s true.
You can call yourself whatever you like. But there are two things that you need to know if you are Catholic and want to remain IN GOOD STANDING:
Eight years ago, I had the fantastic Privilege of signing up to speak on behalf of unborn babies at the State Capital of Texas. I have switched blogs since I wrote the below post. I have changed it slightly to update year count and things. However, in light of one of the most important reasons to vote for President Trump, and against Mr. Biden – who has recently said he would “make Roe V. Wade the law of the land”, I am resurrecting past abortion posts.
Written in 2013 – WHY WENDY DAVIS IS NOT MY HERO – TELLING THE TRUTH!
Here is an article today about Wendy Davis. Apparently she is a hero to some. I feel that I can not let that stand. I feel like I have to speak out for myself and others like me who do not think she is a hero… and here is why:
Let’s be honest folks…
1) If Ms. Davis was really concerned with what the women of Texas wants, she would have allowed the vote to take place. She knew the bill would go through and filibustering was the ONLY way she’d keep it from happening.
2) If Ms. Davis cared about her constituents then she would not have allowed her team to delete all the Pro-Life comments from her FaceBook page. All the women who asked her to sit down. All of her constituents who did not want her to do this… completely ignored. She turned her backs on us. She silenced us. Well – she tried to. But I can tell you – she will NOT silence me. And she will NOT silence thousands of women like me.
Oh no, she is NOT my hero. She is not a friend of women and she should not be your hero either. Like many other politicians, I believe Ms. Davis did what she did yesterday because she has higher aspirations and wanted to draw attention to herself. Time will tell if I am right.
Do you ever wonder why 40 years after Roe Vs. Wade, many states are restricting abortions? Yes, it is true. In 2012, 19 states enacted 43 provisions…. mandatory waiting periods, parental notification, and banning of 20+ weeks abortions.
Did you know that people who have abortion have major issues with depression, suicide, etc.? This doesn’t even include the infections people get. Google infection after abortion… you will be grossed out and dismayed if you read the articles you find.
I had mine 38 years ago on November 10th, 1982. I ended up in the hospital weeks later with such a bad infection I had to stay there for over a week. I had to be carried into the hospital by a friend. I was 19. I was alone. My dad out of the country, my mother long since out of my life (it was an off and on thing). I had PID. I had scars the rest of my life. I had several miscarriages because my uterus never worked right again. I ruined my chance of having children. What pro-abortion women don’t admit or don’t understand is how much damage they do to themselves. And as their families find out as their friends find out – how much damage it does to relationships and to the psychology of who you are.
People – Tell the truth. Life after abortion is hard. It’s belittling. It’s judging. It’s beating yourself up. It’s crying in the hospital after a miscarriage at four and a half months because you know you caused this. It’s a hole in your heart that God fills, but the devil never lets you forget. It is grappling with forgiving yourself. It is many conversations with a Priest who finally tells you that God forgave you long before you will forgive yourself. THANK YOU FATHER HENRY, Melbourne, FL – 1984.
If you have had an abortion and you say that don’t remember every moment of the day, every second of that moment, and if you say you haven’t mourned that child thousands of times since then – then you are lying. I know the pain because I LIVE IT! Tell the truth.
I don’t know how I finally got lucky enough after many miscarriages and so much struggle to have my child. I wanted 6+, I have one… .and he is a gift from GOD! A true gift. God knew how sorry I was and how much I wanted a child. He blessed me… not because I deserved it, but because I am forgiven.
There are monetary effects on our economy – as in we taxpayers are funding a lot of abortions. There are mental and physical effects/affects on the women who have them for decades to come. I am not judging anyone who has abortions. Clearly I am in no position to do that. What I am doing is trying to make you think about the long-term affects of abortion.
If you have had an abortion, you need to know this:
God will forgive you.
You are not a hypocrite if you stand with Pro-Lifers later.
All of your Catholic and Christian friends do not hate you. We love you. We are not judging you. They did not judge me – even though I really thought they would. I kept my secret for decades, never thinking I was good enough or that my friends would still love me. They do… and so will yours. The ones that don’t – and there will always be some, they will answer to God. Believe me… in the same way we all answer for our sins.
You are lessening your chances to have children and could cause many physical and mental issues for yourself. Research it.
Please, please get all the facts before you do this. I’ll be praying for you and if I can help you, if you need to talk to me – contact me via your comment.
Oh and Ms. Davis – you may want to check into this: The Texas Senate Bill you tried to stop was voted on and passed – Thank you GOD!
God is powerful and HIS WILL BE DONE!
I leave you with a link to and a quote from Our Blessed Saint Teresa of Calcutta’s 1994 Speech to the audience at the National Prayer Breakfast. Saint Teresa’s Speech
But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.
By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And, by abortion, that father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. The father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.
Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today — abortion which brings people to such blindness.
I am not afraid of retribution. I am not brave for telling my story. I am an instrument of God. And He lights my way…
I don’t talk about a whole lot of politics on my blog, but I just want to remind anyone (you know, the three of ya) who reads my blog to research and look at conflicting views on things. Don’t just take your favorite news channel’s views on thing. And mostly – choose the view of The Church. YES – we have to follow the law of the land, but we are bound by our Faith to stand with God’s Rules. Currently there are so many infringements on our rights going on in our beautiful America, that my head is about to explode. More than that, common sense and logic are GONE! I feel like I am in an Eagle’s nest watching my beautiful country implode.
I think the isolation and fear of it all have gotten to so many otherwise sane people. I really want to believe there are a lot of good people left in the world. Let’s PRAY for that to be true. Because – COVID INSANITY… it’s a thing y’all.
I am framing a few posts about race and things, given that my family is bi-racial and I’m not going to be forced to choose which child I like better based on the color of their skin. I mean – who would do that? But I will be waiting to post them until I can state my position in a classy way, because it all kinda makes me angry. And I believe in tempering my words.
Which got me thinking… we need to teach our children to be good people, good listeners, and loyal friends. In the past week or so, I’ve been thinking about negative people… you know the kind who NEVER have a positive thing to say. It’s all about their way or what they desire and they are NEVER wrong. You know the type. The scatter the earth with rumors and lies and are narcissistic adults that bounce from friend to friend because they can’t keep friends long term. It’s so sad. I judge myself harshly for being so lost in the mire of life where you feel stuck in the negativity after so much as gone wrong – bogged down in the mud and much. But we must lift ourselves out of it brothers and sisters, by clinging to basic truths taught to us by Jesus.
Surround yourselves with good and loyal Christian people. Be the kind of spouse, friend, parent, family member others will admire and respect because they see Jesus in you. And for those you come across who don’t really know Jesus, use their ugliness as a reminder to pray for them. Truly – it will soften your heart.
Many of us are isolated. I’m in another country, for heaven’s sake. Mass is televised. It’s a sad time for us all. But we have the Saints and so many others to look to. Get out your Saint Books. Read your Bibles. Play Family Games. Bake for a neighbor. Exercise. But please, bite your tongue and say a Hail Mary or just call on the Holy Spirit instead of saying or doing something ugly. It’s enough already. For the record, if you feel like COVID is making you a bad version of yourself reach out to someone who will listen. I’m here. AND maybe look away from the news and insanity.
I pray your week is great. We spent the day cooking and prepping for the week yesterday – so I am feeling organized – Kinda.