#catholicmom.com · Catholic Faith · Davis Family · Gospel Reflection · Holy Innocents · Italy · Quarantine2020

Gospel Reflection – Feast of Holy Innocents

Dear Readers,
I know that it has been a month since I’ve blogged. I’m sorry, I just have a lot going on. The lockdown has been interesting to navigate (I will share a graphic so you can see what we basically have been doing)… And next week – if all goes well, School will start back up. YAY! That adds another layer of fun.

The 21st – 23rd were Orange, that is the only change.
The numbers are high and they didn’t want to open everything back up. Sigh.
Pray that we actually do go back to Yellow on the 7th.

The graphic above is a very simplified version. Basically, they want to limit everyone’s exposure by not allowing big family feasts, etc. Sigh. For us, we were basically prepared. As with Thanksgiving, we had purchased all we needed just in case we were locked down (and we were). The good news is, we have plenty to eat, and had a small Christmas. And life is good. You know?

I do have some goals in 2021. A small plan – that is flexible. I’m not sharing it because whenever I do, I honestly never seem to get to it. Pray for me. LOL Today, we mourn the innocent loss of babies and we hold in esteem all who died in Herod’s brutal search for Our Lord. As usual, I got my Gospel Reflection email from Catholicmom.com and started reading the reflection… which sounded familiar… you know, because I wrote it. HA! Boy – how sad that I couldn’t remember that I had one more for this year.

Let me get to it and share it with you, because if I do say so myself (and I do), it’s pretty good. Of course, let me know what you think…

Daily Gospel Reflection – December 28, 2020
Today’s Gospel: Matthew 2:13-18 – Feast of the Holy Innocents

Poor King Herod, and all his scribes and chief priests. What weak men they were at heart. They knew that God was powerful and that the prophecies of old were coming true. They were so scared that the coming of the Messiah (Jesus) would ruin their way of life, they schemed up a plan to have all children under the age of two killed in and around Bethlehem. 

I read that the slaughter of these innocents was the first time, in recorded history, that we see conflict between Christianity and politicians. Sadly, in our world today, the story of hatred and irrational cruelty is the same one playing out — in the murder of innocent babies through abortion; the murder of people with disabilities and the elderly through euthanasia or assisted suicide; and the systematic removal of Christian values/morals from every aspect of society by people who hate and fear God and His Church. 

The good news is, God had a plan for the Holy Family, as He does for our lives. Jesus lived! And He’s alive in us.

Our Catholic Christianity demands that we value life from conception to natural death. We are called to be bold and brave in our faith and walk as Jesus did. It is rarely easy and we often feel helpless to change things. But in our heart of hearts, we know that we cannot let past, present, or future Innocents die in vain. 

And so, in the name of the Innocents and martyrs before us, following Christ’s example: We feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick and imprisoned, ransom the captive, and bury the dead. 

In these ways, we help God triumph over evil.

Ponder: What do I need to do to trust God’s plan for me to reach out to innocents and martyrs walking in this world?

Pray: Dear Lord, help me put aside my fear and anxiety and help me emanate You and Your love to all. Please lovingly correct me when I fail to see Your plan. Amen.

As I was reading my devotion in the Magnificat, I realize that in my past I have been complicit in horrid sin. And I’m so thankful that God is forgiving, even when I can’t be every day. You know? God has a plan for us dear Readers. Trust Him. TRUST HIM!

Have a great Monday! Happy 4th day of Christmas.
And come back soon because, today, I’m writing.

Love, Hugs & Blessings,
LadyEm

#Catholic Bible Journaling · #LadyEmCrafts · Advent · Catholic Bible Journaling · Catholic Faith · Equipping Catholic Families · PrayerLife · Sweet Little Ones Shop

KICKING OFF ADVENT WITH GIVEAWAYS

Dear Ones,

Happy First Day of Advent. I love the Readings today. Keep Watch, prepare… Sigh. We need to now, more than ever.

We are excited in the Catholic Women’s Bible Journaling Group.
Today is the first day of Advent. The first day of our new Liturgical Year.
And also – a great time to shed the old and don the newness of spirit in hoping for a great year.

This is my post from the Bible Journaling Group: Please consider joining us.

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF ADVENT.LET’S KICK OFF THE GIVEAWAYS. YOU READY?

Week 1: Bible Verses – Luke 1:26–38: 26
This contest goes through Wednesday. You must upload your image of artwork by Wednesday, December 2nd. 
You can color and tip the image into your Bible (You Tube Link in Comments), draw a version into your Bible, OR simply choose to Color the image. You only need to choose one size of the image. We created it four ways, just to make sure folks had choices. 

  • If you simply print and color the image, you get one entry into the giveaway.
  • If you choose one of the harder option, you will get two entries.
  • Once you color or are finished with your artwork, please find the album associated with this week (link will be in one of the first comments.

There will be Two Winners this first week!

  1. Prompt Me To Pray Through Advent – Monica has donated her companion book to Prompt Me to Pray. https://armadei.com/product/prompt-me-to-pray-advent/
  2. Catholic Planner Stickers – Sweet Little Ones – Jessica has donated a set of planner stickers. https://www.etsy.com/…/68-catholic-planner-stickers-set…C

Mods can play along and win as well. Admins don’t play to win.

Lastly, please check out the Elizabeth Clare Shop on Etsy. She has given our group a 10% Discount through January 1st. How nice is that? Here is her link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ElizabethClareShop
And the code is Bible10.

For those of you who need help with Tip Ins, this is an easy video. Scribbling Grace Tip In Video –
Scribbling Grace – Tip In

Ladies, we can not wait to see your artwork.

Blessed Advent all!

I truly hope you had a great Thanksgiving – if you are American. I also pray that you have a Blessed Advent and that you use your Advent Wisely. Prepare your hearts for the coming of Our Lord. Amen.

Love, Hugs & Blessings,
LadyEm

Catholic Book Reviews · Catholic Faith · Catholic Mom · Emily (Me) · Equipping Catholic Families · Prayer Journal · Uncategorized

Book Review Wednesday – Prompt Me to Pray

It is NO exaggeration to say that life is BUSY. Even in the midst of a COVID shut down here in Italy, I am still mom, wife, dog walker, animal feeder, PTSA President, friend, writer, paper crafter, family taxi, counselor, secretary, janitor, schedule coordinator, menu planner/shopper… you get what I mean – right?

I have told myself for years that God understands the busy-ness of motherhood and wifedom. God wants more from me (from you too) – and that is what this book will help each reader accomplish. Wherever you are in your prayer life, this book presents ideas and prompts to help you focus and grow your daily prayer into a better relationship with God. 

I purpose to read the Magnificat and pray Novenas, and Rosaries, etc. Many days, these things happen, but I will admit to you dear readers, that sometimes I get busy and forget….

Enter… Prompt Me to Pray

I have read many books about praying, but really, the tagline in that picture above, where it says “A Practical Plan for More Consistent Prayer from the Heart” – NAILED IT! Just saying.

This book encouraged me to start a prayer journal — not just writing out prayer requests for other people, but actually stopping to think about what I am asking, praying for and waiting on guidance. In essence, this prayer journal I am creating is like recording my conversation with God and the action plan He sets forth.

For some readers, this book presents a plan to find prompts and notice what prompts you (the reader) to pray throughout the day. I love that part, but I am already there. So when I told Monica I’d review this book, I thought – this is going to be my “dig deeper” resource. And it is. 

I am a prayer warrior. I constantly pray for other people. It’s a gift. But what I forget to do is purpose to pray for my needs, my family’s needs, our world, and every little thing.

I write down prayers for others, but I don’t take the time to write out my prayers for ME. And that, dear readers, is what is missing in my Prayer/Conversation with God. Yes, I pray for things I need. I’m human.  But I don’t converse the way Monica writes about in this book. And that has to change.

If you ask me who should read this book, I’d say anyone over the age of 11. I think it will appeal to teens learning to implement prayer journaling and purposeful praying into their everyday lives. Certainly would be a great book for Confirmandi to use.

Because of how the base chapel is run, I need to become the DRE (Director of Religious Ed) here at home. When I homeschooled, I was so good about it. Life has really overtaken us, and I am going to purpose to pray and use this lockdown the take back our Catholicity. I know that God will lead me. Pray for me, dear Readers.

I almost forgot. 

I am super excited about the Catholic Mom Bundle for Advent 2020. It can be overwhelming to even broach the thought of an organized and Liturgical Advent when you have littles. BUT – I promise you there is something in this bundle for everyone. For me, it’s the Prompt Me to Pray Advent eBook. It’s NOT available online yet, but is free with the purchase of this bundle, using Monica’s Affiliate Link.

This picture below is from Monica’s Website – Arma Dei – Equipping Catholic Families. The Affiliate Link mentioned is here – Catholic Mom Bundle Advent 2020

And don’t forget to check back on her website where I am sure the Prompt Me to Pray This Advent will eventually be sold as a standalone purchase, along with Prompt Me to Pray with the Saints !

Dear Ones, thank you for reading my post as always. May you find the path to God through Prayer – like the Saints did. Who is your favorite praying Saint? I mean – they all prayed, but we all have personal favorites. Let me know.

Love, Hugs & Blessings,
Lady Em

#catholicmom.com · Catholic Faith · Catholic Mom · Emily (Me) · Italy · Small Success Thursday

Small (BIG) Success Thursday

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…

  1. Making a broader effort to get back to the Cathlicity that is missing in our home.
  2. Answering/Living the right way, in spite of judgment.
  3. Maintaining Sanity in the midst of what we know is coming.
  4. 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.

I hope your Thursday’s are great.

Love, Hugs, & Encouragement!
LadyEm



Catholic Faith · COVID · Family · Italy · LadyEm · Saints

Happy Humbling Birthday!

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:

Marque is in fact a leprechaun! haha
Flowers from my guys.
From top left – Wine glasses from Dawn, cards from Kelly and Dawn, Gift bag from my friend Julie and her family, and Flamingo Assortment from my friend Gen.
Literally the best gift ever. Purple Playdoh from the heart of a 3 year old. #imnotsharing

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.

Love, Hugs, & Blessings,
Lady Em