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 · 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!

#LadyEmCrafts · Book Review · Catholic Bible Journaling · Catholic Book Reviews · COVID · Italy · Quarantine2020

Book Review Wednesday – Ignatius Press Bible Journal

Dear Ones,

I hope this post finds you well. It’s been two weeks since I posted, but y’all, I have had a busy two weeks.
I’m the PTSA President and I was at school nearly every day. Between Teacher/Staff Appreciation, our spirit gear coming in and needing distribution, “spirit week” – which I will show you later this week, and school pictures… it was a lot of fun! I’m so thankful we could bring fun into the school.

I meant to get this up early this morning but today’s been a rather long one. You see, we are about to be told we are closing till January and going to a Google Classroom setting. UGH. I’m heartbroken, and also relieved at the same time. Now, we know and we don’t have to deal with “is it happening” thoughts. Ya know? Here is the latest Italian Decree. It’s not great. But guides the command on how the Italians expect the rest of us to act. It’s their country, after all. If you open it in Google Chrome, you can see the fun… You’re welcome. HAHA

But you didn’t come here for that. You came to see the new Bible Journal I was sent to review. I love it in so many ways… there is just ONE thing I wish was different, but it won’t stop me from using it. I’ll explain. First and foremost, I have literally been praying that Ignatius Press would create a journaling Bible. And when my friend Monica told me about it, I knew I wanted to review it. So thrilled to have been sent this Bible. Because I’ve already given the last one I reviewed away – even though I said I wouldn’t. I’ve loved the Ignatius Bibles since I homeschooled through Seton. And I agree with Mr. Scott Hahn, who said that the NRSV Second Catholic Edition is the most beautiful translation of the Bible. Hands down – agree!

    • This Ignatius Note-Taking and Journaling Bible a sturdy Bible- in fact, the leather is beautiful.
    • The pages are thicker than a regular Bible and easy to work on.
    • My artwork didn’t bleed through too much, but that doesn’t bother me anyway.
    • I love the off white color of the pages.
    • The maps are great too.
    • I love the size of the Bible – its 6.25×7.25 and maybe 2 inches or so thick. I have super small hands and it’s easy to hold.
    • Font Size. 7 pt font is too small for this 57 year old.
    • It’s not their fault I wear trifocals like Mr. Magoo… But that is truly my only issue.
    • Luckily I have access to a bigger version so I am clear on the verses I am working with.

This is my new favorite. In the pictures below, you will see the cover, the comparison of size/font to the last Review from Catholic Bible Press, a blank page, and a page with artwork.

When I journal, I try to plan it out beforehand, and I always try to write a note.

On this page, I used:

  • Sharpie bright yellow highlighter
  • Various gel crayons, water, and paintbrushes.
  • Tim Holtz Sunrise Stencil.
  • Various Stamps from Sweet & Sassy Stamps. One item each from three sets.
  • Gina K Amalgam Ink
  • Distress Ink

The verses I journaled are Psalm 43:3-4 –

As always, I washi-taped a plastic mat under the page I worked on, so that the Bible wouldn’t get wet. I air dried this one, and then I stamped on it, and wrote out: Let Me bring light to the world through God, who’s light and love I share with others! Meet me on the Holy Hill! Walk with me, I am NOT alone!

Dear Ones, I have to hop off to go watch the explanation of the latest decree by our Command Staff. Pray for us over here.

Love, Hugs & Blessings,

Davis Family · Emily (Me) · Fridge or Pantry · Fridge/Menu/Pantry/Recipes · Good Cheap Eats · Homemaking · Italy · Pantry Challenge · Prayer Request

Pantry/ Grocery Challenge Update

Dear Ones,

Happy Monday! Happy Feast Day to Saint Sebastian! Check out the Saint of the Day Calendar @Franciscan Media, and learn something about a Saint every day. Saint Sebastian stood up against Cruelty to Christians. We could all learn from Him. Saint Sebastian, pray for us!

I’m here today to UPDATE you on my Pantry/Grocery Challenge Progress. If you are NOT familiar with this challenge, go to Good Cheap Eats and follow Jessica on FB, Instagram, etc. Most “make sense”, real person… I mean – no hoopla, she really cares and tries to help.

If you recall, on January 7th, I created some goals for my family and I to stick to. It’s really been going well. I am happy to say that we are REALLY sticking to it. Here are the basic rules (I screen shotted it for ease of use).

This is a pic of the Calendar/Grocery List in my kitchen. It’s not neat. But I can read it. LOL

In the kitchen, I keep two white boards on the wall, next to the fridge. One is a calendar, so that we can make a meal plan, and one is where we write our grocery list. Taking stock of what meats and things we have in the freezer has really helped us plan the dinner meals. Much of lunch is leftovers, or bento-style boxes (which I will explain below), or maybe a protein smoothie, so I don’t have to put a whole lot of thought into that. Taking stock of the pantry, has reminded me that I have plenty to make bread, pizza dough and other things. Also – I apparently am a cheese and a spice hoarder. Who knew!

This past couple weeks, we only bought water, eggs, creamer, milk, and produce. Not a lot of produce. Just supplemental.

For Dinners we had:

  • Stuffed peppers
  • Rotisserie Turkey
  • Sword Fish
  • Chicken & Veggies
  • Stir Fry (code for throw all the extra into a pan)
  • Hot Dogs with various toppings

For Lunches we had:

  • Bento Style:
  • We use these two containers, depending on what we have: Container 1 and Container 2.
  • If the boy child has a practice or goes to the gym, we also add a protein bar or shake to the mix, and an extra water. Here are some of our lunch favorites.
    • Boiled Eggs
    • Raw Veggies/salad.
    • Various Fruit
    • Wraps
    • Cheese Sticks
    • Tuna or Chicken Salad
    • Thai Chili Dipping sauce (or ranch or salad dressing)

For Breakfasts we had:

  • Whole Grain Cereals
  • Egg Cups
  • Bacon/Sausage
  • Wraps

If I am being honest, lunches and breakfasts are basically the above during the week. Occasionally I make pancakes or waffles. But we are all watching our non veggie/fruit carb intake. And so – that is not we actually took a meal to a family in need AND took desert to a Pot Luck and didn’t have to grocery shop for extra because I had extra on hand. Let me explain — I keep all kinds of crazy baking things for holiday baking…. so – that is where much of it comes in. But, in the pictures below…

Pics 1 & 2 were for a potluck at our Parish. 1 – Deep Dish Brownie (scratch) with white chocolate chips, roasted coconut, and maraschino cherries baked in them, chilled and iced with vanilla whipped cream (scratch), and embellished with cherries, chocolate syrup, coconut and almonds. 2 – The M&M covered brownies are the rest of the deep dish brownie batter, baked with mini m&m’s in them and then on them. The other half of the tray is a bag of Betty Crocker Peanut Butter cookie mix (I swear to you they are fantastic), baked in an 8×8 pan, and melted chocolate chips as the topping. Pics 3 & 4 were for a family. Pic 3 is MacNCheese, the same Peanut Butter brownies, and french style green beans. Pic 4 is chicken cutlets – some for their family, some for ours. Pic 5 is the fantastic stir fry I made from so many veggies – onions, garlic, yellow bell pepper, parsnips, and zucchini on top. We added some beef marinating in teriyaki sauce and it was divine.

We are enjoying using what we have. And we aren’t missing anything. Y’all, the fun we have trying new things.

Tomorrow I will be making bread. My husband’s birthday present came in and y’all we are excited to use it. It’s a slicer…. I have found one of the best things to do to ensure we love Italy, is to make sure we have what we need to cook like we did in Texas. We are truly blessed y’all. I’ll share how it goes. But first…

May I ask for prayers y’all? My husband is having a medical procedure tomorrow. It’s a normal – I’ve turned 60 – kinda test. But pray the outcome is good. Additionally, and probably more earnestly – pray peace and comfort and healing over my friend Nancy. She is starting Chemo tomorrow. I hate not being there. And I love her so. Standing with her – praying with me, I’d sure appreciate it.

I’ve gotta go get dinner for my son and I. We have a great neighbor who gave us a pasta dish, so we won’t have to cook since the hubs can’t eat today as he’s prepping (and now you know what the tests are). HA

Love and hugs, Dear Ones.
Praying for you!

Emily (Me) · Granny Talks · Unsolicited Advice

Lady Em – Granny Talks

Granny Talks
Installment 1

Y’all I tried to do a live Instagram video today – Oh my word, it’s hysterical. HAHA
So, I decided to use my phone and just upload it. I thought I’d share it here too.

First of all – I need to know what app to use to video and edit and what equipment to use, etc… because clearly this lady in her mid-50’s is way behind the curve. WAY BEHIND.

So in honor of my being in my mid-50’s and wanting to help others, I thought I’d give some unsolicited advice. I think I will do them regularly. You know – because I can. HA

Also – I don’t know what TED Talks are, but I say – Granny is the new Ted. You’re welcome.

Y’all gave a great rest of your day.

Love, Hugs & Many Blessings!
Lady EmG