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

#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

#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