Angels · Catholic Faith · Counting Blessings · Currently · Davis Family · Faith · Family · Italy · LadyEm

Harm vs. Inconvenience

Unsure whose image this is.

Dear Ones,

As I was reading my Magnificat this morning, it occurred to me that there’s a difference between being protected from harm, and walking through inconveniences. So in my human mind I get the two mixed up. I say to myself, “why would God let this happen? Why would God allow me and the people I love to be harmed in this way?!”

Here are the first few passages I read… and literally stopped to post, after being thoroughly convicted

“Exodus 14:19 — The angel of God, who had been leading Israel’s camp, now moved and went around behind them.

God’s providence is powerful indeed. Christ, who has led the way through death to life, now shield us from all harm and feeds us with the Bread of life, Himself, as He continues to lead us in our own exodus from slavery to the promised land of eternal freedom.

Psalm 34:1-9  — 1 I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. 3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. 4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.5 Look to him, and be radiant; so your[a] faces shall never be ashamed. 6 This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord, and was saved from every trouble. 7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8 O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him. 9 O fear the Lord, you his holy ones, for those who fear him have no want.”

In the italicized portion above, you see that it says Christ shields us from harm. And as I was reading it I thought to myself, “duh, harm… Not inconveniences.” You may be asking yourself why this is a revelation to me. And if I’m being honest with you I don’t know why it’s still Is. I guess because I’ve been through so much in my life that the battle in my mind is sometimes so overwhelming that I need the constant reminder. And so when I feel strongly convicted I share… and I guess that’s what God wants me to do.

Lately I’ve been really battling depression over the fact that here in Italy were still locked down, my friends are leaving, and I can’t find a job. I think the real truth is that we all become cheerleaders for other people and we forget to tell ourselves the same thing. One would think if you could articulate to someone else that things are going to be OK he would buy it yourself but that is apparently not always the case. When things are terribly out of my control in life, because of some of the damage that was done In my childhood, it is, simply put, extremely difficult, to re-route my thought process away from the negative.

This mild depression is compounded by the fact that my husband wants to stay here for a few years, because he does have a very good job, and our youngest goes to college in the fall of 2022. To say that I dislike Italy and being this far from family is an understatement. There are some very good things here. Of course we always look for the good. But it’s lonely in a way that I can’t describe well without sounding crazy. We will be going to Texas for about six weeks this summer, spend some time with family, look at a few colleges, and visit with friends. It will be a battle for me to get back on the plane and come back over here.

I know that I have walked through worse… And that God has brought me to the other side. I just pray that by my example, on my good days, that I can make a difference in someone else’s life. I am a worrier. It’s one of my biggest sins. I know that things are gonna turn out OK because God has always provided for us… But I can’t seem to stop my mind from going to dark places on occasion.

I am stronger than I sound in this post, for sure. And I do praise God in good and bad times. Let me end this post with a positive… 10 days ago our washing machine broke down. The water is so hard here it had rusted the whole front of it in 2 1/2 years. Luckily the Navy exchange had two washing machines one being a Toploader. This is important because the rust on the front loader was caused by taking the clothes out of the washer and the hard, unfiltered water. Long story short I didn’t have a washing machine for a few days and I did lament spending the money on a new one. But the good news is folks we had the money to buy a new one and it is a superior washing machine. It is a 220 V machine for Europe, However the instructions are written in English. Her 2 1/2 years I’ve use the machine or the instructions are written in Italian and I kid you not I guessed which Load I should use. Haha

Check out the pictures of the old one.

It may sound like a lame example… But truly I believe God helped us choose a better washer for our family. It’s been a dream actually.

So you see you sometimes inconveniences turn out for the best. And even walking through harm, on occasion can mold you into a person that fits more with what God wants you to be. We cannot drink the water in our homes, but we can afford bottled water. I cannot physically reach my friends and family in the states but I can speak to them and see them over the Internet. There are so many things that can feel harmful. But there are are truly many more blessings in life. It’s about getting your mind straight… Let’s help each other do that!

Being far away is inconvenient. Many things about life are inconvenient. But we are not in harm’s way! Praise God!

Pray for me! I’m praying for y’all too!

Hugs and Blessings,
LadyEm

Catholic Faith · Davis Family · Family · Health · Italy · Lent · Marque

ALL CLEAR – We Can Finally Breath…

Dear Ones,

Did you ever have a time in your life where you just couldn’t breath right? I feel like the past year has especially been that way for us.

My husband had surgery to remove colon cancer one year, one month, and five days ago – but who’s counting. It has not been easy. But today y’all, today – we got the ALL CLEAR.

Yep, after a morning of beautiful outfits and needle sticks from hell – three tries on the IV y’all, but I digress… the surgeon came in with what I can only describe as, and you’ll have to take my word for it, beautiful pics of a pristine colon. You’re welcome!

Y’all when we walk in this Navy hospital, they know us. That is and isn’t a good thing. “M’am, you’ve been here before haven’t you?” “M’am how’s your husband (or son)?” My husband still holds the record for most days in the hospital on the base, and longest surgery…

This past year in lockdown has been particularly hard on us…. but we are bouncing back and we are hopeful… Admittedly I am great at lifting others up, but I really need to be better about doing that for myself.

We can breathe. We are so relieved. And we are clinging to the words of Our Lord….

I thought I’d share with you our decor this year. We don’t have a lot of extra room AND we have three animals (and a teen) haha. So – we are creative with it.

This year, once again, we are locked down for Holy Week. Just as we recently found a Latin Mass Parish to attend, and then the lockdown came. Keep in mind, here in Italy, we can not leave our yards without permission except to walk a dog or exercise. And so – we are thankful to at least have a Parish on base where we can go and be with OUR LORD!

The picture above is on my buffet in the dining room. The Olive Branches is what our Parish gave us this year instead of Palms. This is the tradition in Italy. The crosses are from Hobby Lobby and we’ve had them for years… and the cloche is probably from there too.

I hope wherever you are, you have a great Holy Week. More soon.

Love and Hugs.
LadyEm

Catholic Faith · COVID · Davis Family · Emily (Me) · Family · Italy · LadyEm

Happy New Year 2021

Dear Ones,

I am writing this at about 5pm Italy time. It’s morning in the states.

As we face New Year’s Eve here in Italy, we are in a Red Day. It means we are “forbidden” from going anywhere. Curfew is at 10pm for take out/delivery of food, etc. But we did manage to go buy a dog crate today for our little girl (three months old) as she gets out of the play yard and into the boy’s bed. HA

Facing 2021 has be going between these two memes.
First this…

Basically just be cool and get things done – quietly… but don’t try to get too excited.

Then this…

Yes! Every day we start again. Just like every Saint and wanna be Saint before us and beside us. Never give up. Sigh…

But I knew I wanted to share with you a way more uplifting message than that… And I never really have to look further than my Magnificat. Y’all. Seriously – I could just regurgitate it all day look. Read John 1: 1-18 and then read the below!

2020 was a hard year in MANY ways… However; in our home, many great things happened during 2020:

  • my husband beat cancer he didn’t know he had.
  • we had time to clean and toss.
  • we learned we were tougher than we thought.
  • we made a list of things we need to do – as individuals and as a family.
    • I lost 10 of the nearly 20 lbs I gained.
    • I found my voice again and made myself a priority.
  • Our children are healthy.
  • Our grandchildren are healthy.
  • Most of our friends have beaten cancer and Covid and other things they have faced.
    • Please continue to pray for all who have not beat these things.

Today is New Year’s Eve. It’s the end and the beginning in one 24-hour period. Let us all work together to keep our minds sharp and positive. How blessed are we that God loves us so much he comforts us and guides us? He never leaves us. We can be certain of this! And whatever test we are walking through – HE is with us. Reach for his hand…

Let me quickly tell you how I intend to do stay positive, get more organized, AND concentrate:

  1. I am using several videos to stretch/strengthen and tone. I need to move more – PERIOD. Moving helps your energy level and your mind. It really does.
  2. I am on a 100 day fast from purchasing things I want vs. really a NEED. Sigh. that will be hard – but good.
    • I have my meal plan in place.
    • I’m going to try to figure out sales here and buy on the economy more because frankly the base is so expensive.
    • I’m looking for a job.
  3. I am formulating a plan to be purposefully Liturgical. You say, WHAT? Y’all when I homeschooled, I was on it – Feast Days, etc. Between Italy and how we feel about being here, and the COVID Shut Downs… it has drained my brain and hope… Base Church is weak at best… and my disdain for it all has helped me understand we need to live more purposefully as Catholics.
    • More family time.
    • More positive mindset.
  4. Increase my prayer life. I’m trying. I have books and things (I will talk about them later). But mainly it’s about concentrating.
    • I’m serious – is there a prayer for concentration or a Patron Saint for concentration.
  5. I will find a job.
  6. There will be more goals. That’s a good beginning.

Listen – I’m praying for you in 2021. We are all going to do our best to have a great year. It’s all we can do. Pray for me too.

HAPPY, BLESSED AND WONDERFUL NEW YEAR!

We’ll chat soon.

Love & Hugs,
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