#LadyEmCrafts · Card Making · Uncategorized

Hope Anchors the Soul – a Quick Card

Dear Ones,

It has nearly been a month since I’ve posted. I really should stop promising to post more often. What I think I’ll do instead is surprise you. This way, I sound less like an idiot… ok ok, I judge myself harshly, but still.

I’m going to try to post crafty posts more often. This way, I will fill in where my lack of write-ability currently fails me. I said TRY, so don’t hold me to it.

The word HOPE is mentioned 192 times in the Bible. And recently one of my favorite stamping companies created a Stamp set, and is giving a percentage of the proceeds to victims of Hurricane Dorian. I am on a budget, but I bought the set because of it. I try to do my part – wink. LOL

1Peter 1:13 Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed.

And, so, I created a card, and I’m thinking about HOPE! I hope you like it.

The final card pictured with some of the tools I used.
Inside of Card. The caption is popped up.
I stenciled the first layer to place the Anchor on.
I used the Water-color markers to color the image, then spritzed
it with water, let it dry, and fussy cut it. So fun.

Things I used:

I hope y’all like it. I have made a few cards this past year, and will hopefully get them on the blog soon.

Love, Hugs & Many Blessings,
LadyEmCrafts

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Dear Saint Martha…

Happy Monday All!

I was reading this morning about Saint Martha, as it is her Feast Day. I am so thankful for my Magificat Subscription here in Italy. It’s a little slice of Heaven. I glean so much from my conversations with God that almost always come from the daily readings.

Anyway — A Part of One of the prayers in the Magnificat was this:

You have called some to the service of work and some to the service of prayer: grant us mutual respect and support as we seek to further your kingdom.

You have called some to serve in public ways and some to serve in the privacy of the home: keep us all faithful to the tasks you have given us.

You have called some to serve in active ways and some to serve by suffering: Sustain us all in faith, hope, and love.

I love the reminder to serve in the ways God calls us to serve and be Faithful to Him in our service. I also love the reminder not to, say, judge others for serving differently… because if they are being faithful to God, it’s none of our business (my interpretation). I don’t know what it is about human nature that causes us to ask about why other people do or don’t do things. Truly – it’s none of our business.

There was a time in my life I was more Martha than Mary. But as I’ve matured, I understand I need to balance my natural affinity to serve all the people and do all the work like Martha does, by ramping up my prayer and contemplative life as Mary would have. But my natural instinct is Martha – all the way. And I think we all have seasons of doing and seasons of suffering/praying, etc. In the end it’s all DOING something, just not physically serving. You know?

I thought I’d share a couple Articles about Saint Martha.
Regina Magazine- Saint Martha, Virgin
Saint Martha’s Story
The Martha and Mary Balance

There are many others. I hope you enjoy them.

As women we really need to give ourselves and others the grace and support to live out the seasons of life we are walking through. I love discovering the peace of Mary, whilst still being able to host an event like a champ, you know? I am learning to give myself the grace of not doing something every moment of every day. Where are you in the Martha-Mary conundrum? I’d love to hear.

Saint Martha – Pray for us! That we may strike a balance between service and prayerful contemplation that is pleasing to the Lord. Amen!

Until next time, sweet readers.
Love, Hugs & Blessings,
LadyEm

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CatholicMom.com – Gospel Reflection – Luke 5:1-11

Happy Monday ALL!

I meant to have this posted for yesterday, Sunday the 10th, but in my usual fashion (and due to the time change in Italy), I didn’t have the schedule right.

And so – I wanted to share with you my Gospel Reflection:

Here is the link to the post on Catholicmom.com (if you want to leave a comment there, I’d love it).
Or you can leave one here. I don’t wanna boss you! ha

Daily Gospel Reflection for February 10, 2019 – 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Here is the text:

Daily Gospel Reflection for February 10, 2019 – 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 by Emily Davis

Today’s Gospel: Luke 5:1-11 – 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
As I read this Gospel passage and contemplated its deeper meaning, I felt a guilt of sorts. As a woman of a certain age, I can tell you that life is complicated and hard to understand sometimes. Like Simon Peter, I catch myself and obey God to the best of my ability, but I really don’t feel great when I doubt or feel forsaken or think “Why, God? WHY?!” 
I also understand why Simon-Peter wanted to leave God’s presence – because it’s embarrassing to have doubted Him. However, we are human and capable of redirection. God is looking for us to redirect our humanity toward His Glory.
This passage is about the reward of following Our Lord and obeying His call in our lives. Poor Simon Peter and his team had such a bad catch and were probably cleaning up to go home. Can you imagine how sad and downtrodden they were? Their families and their livelihood depended on the fish they caught. So worrying for them.
Then Jesus came and asked that He be taken out a little ways so He could speak to the throngs of people. It is no fluke that Jesus then tells Simon Peter to go out deeper and cast the nets. Jesus went out a little ways but knew His disciples would have to go deep in order to reach more people. When Simon Peter obeyed our Lord, his nets were overflowing with fish. It is not lost on me that many of his disciples were fishermen. What a great and vivid lesson for them to see. 
The rewards for following Our Lord are so big, you cannot even imagine how abundantly you will be fed, spiritually and physically, once you learn to trust and follow Him humbly and wholly.

Ponder: How deep and how far are you willing to go to reach people and bring them to the Lord? 

Pray:  Dear Lord, let us always redirect our humble gazes and lives towards you. Let us not guard our senses so we may hear and feel you near. Let us trust you and be a good example to others whilst we walk our paths towards Heaven. Amen!

http://fralfonse.blogspot.com/2012/09/luke-51-11-peters-hell.html
I saw this picture a while back and wanted to use it today, but give Father Alfonse credit for it. Thank you Dear Father!
It’s always fun to write things that will help others think. I pray that is the case! It is also a reminder to me that I have work to do!
Hugs, love & Blessings,
LadyEm
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Word of the Year…

Dear Ones,

Italy has broken me…

what do I mean?

Well, I had a pretty rough two years since my daddy died, surgeries, etc…. I became depressed and had to take meds on a regular basis. We thought Italy was going to be just what we needed… and we were very overwhelmed and disappointed in the beginning, to say the least.

If you knew me when I was working, you’d be in shock to know I’ve forgotten birthdays, been late or totally forgot about meetings… I forgot that I’d signed up to take visiting Deacon’s to breakfast. I accepted and then turned down a hospitality position at our little Military Parish. SERIOUSLY!

I really was falling further into the rabbit hole of self-doubt and depression, of feeling unloved by people and by God… it’s a strange place for a grown up Christian to be, one who prides herself in loving and following God.

And then it hit me, and I was believing the Father of lies and it was affecting my family. Broken, I turned back to God. I have promised him to stop letting the people and things of our world come between he and I. I have a lot of work to do… which is why it’s no coincidence when I went to @JenFullwiler’s link to choose my word of the year, it was… Are ya ready….

RISE!

No, I’m not joking.

You might be saying, “hey Catholic blogger who rarely blogs, shouldn’t you have shared this at the beginning of the year?” – to you I say – well, I thought about it, but I wanted to wait until I knew I could rise. You see, I have a monumental Ego (which you know) and I feared I would fail. But it turns out, the joke’s on me and I am RISING!

You might be wondering how I will rise? Well, I have committed to praying more, trusting God more, and allowing him to work through me more. It’s not easy because I love being in charge. HA. No, it’s not really funny… but I laugh when I am nervous or fearful. Oh and that brings me to getting rid of the fear.

And it’s amazing when you stay in the word more, how much you are inspired to RISE! Let me share two of the MANY things I have found lately to inspire me in my daily readings.

Life is a whirlwind y’all. Wear a twirly skirt so the wind makes ya look pretty! LOL No, but seriously, we are born to bear the storm. It’s NOT easy, with a capital N, NOT! We do it because God asks it of us.

Do you SEE the promises in this passage?  I WILL GIVE FULL COMFORT TO THEM – y’all God is talking to you and I. NO ONE is without turmoil. I love it when people say to me, “your life is so chaotic”. DUDE, I am no different than anyone else. Your life will be chaotic if it isn’t now… learn from me and my poor handling of things… my mistakes! Handle life’s turmoils with grace and trust in THE LORD!

What am I gonna do? For starters… I’m gonna:

  • Rise to the occasion.
  • Rise above the fray.
  • Rise up off the couch and get things done even if I don’t wanna!
Italy/hard times will NOT win. I will be whole again. I know this, because GOD said so. He is the ultimate Father. Amen!

What is your word of the year?
Share it with me. Link it in the comments if you are a blogger.

Let’s hold each other accountable.  I’m rising… what are you gonna do?

Love and hugs to all, and MANY blessings too!

LadyEm

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Don’t Bear Hatred… AACK

Happy Thursday All,

The Saint of the Day today, January 10th, is Saint Gregory of Nyssa. Read about his life by clicking on his name. St. Gregory of Nyssa – Pray for us!

I am sharing the below with you because:

  • …it is real.
  • …we all have periods where we revert back to middle school feelings of “not good enough”.
  • …those of us who move across the world from friends and families have days where we feeling almost as if we are trying out for friendship with people… “hey, am I good enough?” “are they always going to nix my ideas?’ 

I’m sharing this with you because I know I can do better, and I want let you know it’s ok if you feel these things. I want to encourage you to BE YOU. Be the light God made you to be. People will eventually see the light, don’t let them snuff You out. In other words, don’t make the same mistakes I do.


Leviticus 19:17-18 was the first reading today. I have to admit, this is hard for me sometimes. 

For instance when I first moved to Italy, I encountered a couple people in the Catholic Parish that were very unwelcoming. There’s a lot more to the story but I’ll leave it there.  I am not saying that these people were the only ones at fault, they were unwelcoming and quick to judge on several occasions, and I was ugly about it. I’m not normally an ugly person but I think being overwhelmed about moving to another country, being nervous, feeling like a junior high girl that has to prove that I’m worthy of friendship, and frankly just being lonely and bewildered lent to my reaction to these women. When I apologized for my part in it, it was not well received as they did not see their part. I am not good at conflict.
I was an Event/Meeting planner at one point in my career and excel at putting together Events/Parties. And Hospitality/Welcoming people is my specialty, which is why I am very conscious of other people’s lack of hospitality/welcome. Plus, some people just put off airs that they can’t be bothered with others. Lastly – I never lived the actual military life as an adult, where you move every few years, and that has to be hard. So I really am not here to pass judgment on them, just giving you background.
I am feeling guilty this morning and have been for a week or so. You see, I went to the Priest and another Church Council member about the lack of community/hospitality/communication at the Parish.  And eventually we decided that I would head up the Hospitality Committee, and then I noticed things Father had talked to me about were being done by these women who I perceived did not like me and would never accept my ideas, or me in that position…  and then I panicked about past experiences with women who bully and decided that I had severe dislike for these women and thought all kinds of uncharitable thoughts. I took the position because I believe welcoming people and creating community is one of the most important things. I excepted, and then a couple days later I declined. What this all amounted to was that I chickened out.
I was here, without my lifelong friends, without family for the holidays, I felt self-conscious and unwelcome and I decided I hated it here, and hated them, and I started walking down a path where I was allowing myself to pick it all apart, instead of learning how things run here and helping institute positive change. Hate is a strong word, but the devil is a strong force. So much has gone wrong here that it’s hard to put the angst I felt even into words. The roller coaster of feeling like I wanted to leave my husband and our faith and that no one cared… and having to fake my way through it like I was the happiest person on earth… Sigh. Let’s just say it was all bigger than me. I was spiraling. The couple years of BAD had finally broken me. Italy broke LadyEm!
Yesterday, was the first women’s meeting I have attended since my first unwelcome experience. In the previous meeting, I will share with you that several of us new people stood there, and then sat down, and not one current member of the women’s group greeted us. No one had on name tags… honestly no one even spoke to us. It was not a great experience. And when I suggested name tags and other things, privately, I was rebuffed. It was hard for me to walk back into it. But I invited a new friend and I knew that there would be one other person there I knew. So I went anyway. And I survived. There were even name tags, and Father came by to say hi. Did the leaders introduce themselves to new people – nope. But that’s ok, it’s on them. I guess it’s just not who they are, and I can’t let it diminish my experience here. 
This evening is the first meeting of the hospitality committee. Our Priest wants me to come. I really want to head it up, but after backing out, I know I will take a support role and I’ve been battling my ego for a couple weeks. Yesterday at the above-mentioned meeting, I said I probably would not be there because I hate to drive at night. This is true, I have no depth perception and could easily back out. But I don’t want to further let Father down, and I don’t really know what to do.
But I do know this. I broke more than one commandment with my thought process and actions. It’s weighing so heavy on me. Confession is not readily available here in Italy. One Priest, three bases, 1/2 hour confession a week, unless you make an appt. sigh… but I need to go and I will make that happen.
I share this with you because I want you to know that when you are spiraling out of control – as depicted above with my train of thought – that God still has you. You are NOT alone. Why else was the meeting scheduled today? When God knew I would read the above and know that I have been very wrong…. and then encourage me to get up and come down to my cold office to write this up, to help someone else who needed to know:
God loves you and wants you to live bravely and assuredly in His word. Fear not, my brothers and sisters in Christ… He is with you. Don’t fall into the sin of self-doubt, for it is lead by EGO and PRIDE! And you know the saying, Pride goeth before the fall. 
I don’t really know how to “get over myself” because I am a work in progress. BUT – I can tell you that I feel God working in me. I know I don’t have to LIKE everyone I meet, but I must not HATE or show contempt either, because that is a sin against God. And really, when you think you aren’t good enough, that is self-hate, and it’s also a sin against God.
Sigh. Pray for me. I don’t know if I will serve on the committee or take a role of helping when I can.
But I know I need your prayers. I want to be the Light I am. I don’t want to give into fear, angst and ego. I’ve been here before and it’s NOT pretty.

Can you relate? Let us love one-another. If someone is not welcoming, you be welcoming. If someone is not nice, pray for them. Don’t let Hate seep into your thoughts, it affects your heart and soul. God commands us to LOVE! Be the One who LOVES!

DO NOT BEAR HATRED FOR YOUR BROTHER (and Sisters) IN YOUR HEART!
As I told someone recently – Italy Broke LadyEm! Sigh. Pray for me. I’m praying for you, I promise.

I promise to be back and on a happier note soon.
I hope this helps at least one person. 
Love, Hugs & Blessings,
Lady Em
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