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



#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!

  • WHAT I LOVE:
    • 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.
  • ONE THING I WISH WAS DIFFERENT:
    • 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,
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

Catholic · Catholic Faith · COVID · Davis Family · Italy

COVID INSANITY… it’s a thing y’all.

Dear Ones,

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.

Love, Hugs & Blessings All!
Lady Em