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 · 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 · CCDTeacher · Davis Family

Dear God, Could YOU Repeat That?

Hello Dear Ones,

It’s been three busy weeks since I posted and I will catch up up soon, but suffice to say between traveling to Germany to take Bud to Baseball Camp, getting ready for the first day of school, and Meet The Teachers for CCD, as well as our Italian Rental having issues, I had no mental fortitude for posting, because people – I’m really trying not to complain. You’re welcome.


It’s CCD Season. This year in my class, my husband and teen son are my aides. I have another teen too. I’m so excited. We teach 3rd Grade. So first, I wanted to say, I’m praying for all of you who are CCD Teachers. Pray this prayer with me, as we start our CCD Year.

Stay with me…

Last evening, was day one of the Military Archdiocesan Catechist Training Class where we are learning the methodologies and best practices. And our teacher said these things that stood out to me, last night…

The Church exists to Evangelize. I exist to Evangelize. Catechesis is an essential moment in the process of evangelization. Catechesis is the responsibility of PARENTS first.

Do you ever hear something and think… “could you repeat that?” Not because you don’t believe it, or because you didn’t hear it, but because it SO resonates with you, you really want to hear it all again so you don’t miss anything. The Holy Spirit was in that classroom with us last night. It was awesome. And I want to tell you that this is my 10th year of teaching CCD and I am good at teaching children about our Faith. Not to pat myself on the back, it’s all God – in the form of the Holy Spirit! But this class is awesome and is encouraging me to dig deeper. So thankful.

But last night, more than ever before, I REALLY grasped, the importance of the task at hand in the world today for Catechists. Naples is Different y’all. And the Military Families here – so many are great, but their passion about and obligation to the faith seems to take a backseat to their desires to travel Europe, and for their children to participate in sports, etc. And it’s HARD to understand the WHY’s given the very passionately Catholic Diocese I came from. It’s hard because the world is politically correct and we are fearful of saying anything to parents. Souls are involved here, and it’s a serious business.

And yet, the humble reminder every day to Evangelize and meet people where they are… I can’t think of a better way to give back to Our Blessed Father and His Church than to teach CCD (for me). And I’m so thankful for all the children I have taught over the past ten years. In fact, last year, I met with the Priest here in Naples, it was about my son’s confirmation, and I had NO PLANS to teach CCD because I wanted to sit out a year. However, he said “we need you” and I said YES! It is a small FIAT, but there is such a GRACE in saying yes. That is the best decision I made because the children are everything!

I’m going to share with you a couple passages from this week and circle back to the title of this post, I promise. Let’s talk about Sunday’s Gospel Passage, Luke 14:1, 7-14. In this passage, God reminds us to be humble and not assume we are the most important or highest on a perceived rung. Right? Jesus instructs the host of the dinner, where he is sharing this Parable about Humility, not to invite friends and family so they might extend him an invite (in other words, don’t try to impress people so you will be good enough to be invited to their homes), instead invite the poor, crippled, lame, blind, etc… and be blessed by their inability to repay you.

Another reading that stood out for me this week, is 1 John 4:10-11. This was from today’s readings, that I read yesterday – because I thought it was the 4th all day (just being honest). The passage reads:

In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we must also love one-another.

You know this. And if you don’t – I’ll repeat it. Because I love you – you beautifully and wonderfully made, child of GOD! Amen!

Give your gifts freely and lovingly, not expecting anything in return. Do it because you serve our God – who loves you and taught YOU to love others as He loves you. We are called to love and evangelize – IN Jesus’ Holy Name!

I’ve rambled enough.
Praying for you all! 
And if you want me to pray specifically for an intention, leave me a comment. 
Love, Hugs & Blessings,

Lady Em

Catholic · PrayerLife · PrayerLifeStruggles

Prayer Life — There Will Be Dry Spells

…there will be DRY SPELLS!

Happy Monday Dear Ones,

When you think of your heart healing, what do you see? It’s funny, I googled “healing hearts” and there were so many images, but this one to the left is what I feel like my heart looks like. It’s patched, and cracked and worn, but red and has light around it. God is healing me! Thank you Lord.

I have prayed my whole life, as long as I can remember. I have lived through things that I pray most people don’t experience. I’m one tough cookie. But I have a fatal flaw… ok, a couple.

Before I point out my flaws and talk about Dry Spells in Prayer life… I wanted to say this…

It is not enough to say to a person who walks through tragedy, loss, a move across the ocean (read: this is also about me) “Pray About It”. It’s like telling a Catholic person they should go to Mass and receive the Eucharist. DUH! Right? WE KNOW!

Yes – people mean well, they do. But most of us have prayed all our lives. The thing is, we must be effective in our prayers. We must allow ourselves the chance to listen to God. We must take a step back from things (read: also people) that cause us to sin, and regroup so we can focus on the message. In short, we must keep walking through the desert of the dry spell when it seems like God has forsaken us, is not listening to or communicating with us in any way. These are the times he is most effective in teaching us.

This brings me to yesterday’s Gospel — The Gospel of St. Luke, Chapter 12: 32-48. Bottom line – we don’t know when our time will come. We have to be ready for it. We have to live our lives the right way, and love our families/friends and even enemies. Did you just hit that brick wall with me? Sigh ENEMIES. I have to love them too? YES! Yes you do. Welcome to my fatal flaw. I’m sick of ugly people that cross my path. SICK of the judgment. SICK of them. Thanks for listening. God doesn’t care that I am sick of them. He needs me to see something in this. He needs me to pray for them and learn from them. (Is being too dramatic a FLAW?)

God never promised us that life would be easy. Those of us who are faithful struggle as much or perhaps more than those who are not. Because when we can see the truth, we know what we are supposed to do – AND we all have a conscience. We always feel bad when we FAIL. And we fail. Don’t we? We condemn ourselves as not good enough; not thin enough, smart enough; not worthy of friendship; or even not a good enough Catholic…. (MAJOR FLAW). I hope it’s not just me (also a flaw).

I really feel like I am in a prolonged dry spell where my prayers, seemed unanswered. To make it worse, here in Italy, I have come across many who are only kind/helpful to people they perceive to be in authority. The rest of us are just in their way to perceived glory. It’s both sad and overwhelming at times to never be good enough for people like that. But I know this… I am in a DRY SPELL because I am not listening (FLAW). But I heard him recently, and I have learned this:

I have to stop letting other people’s perception of me define me. God made me. And their opinions don’t matter. They can’t. I am supposed to ONLY rely on and listen to God. THIS IS MY ITALIAN LESSON. I am ready to “get it” and move past it so I can stop driving myself crazy to be good enough for everyone else, when all I really need to concentrate on is God and His Love, and His Guidance and the good people HE placed in my life to love me – in spite of my flaws, because they are HIS people and they are MY people.

Let me turn now to a wise Priest’s words from the Magnificat. Words that I hope help you understand that we can’t ever stop trying to hear God’s words and on God’s Plan for our lives.

These are clearly the words of Father Haggerty and not mine.

What I read in this Meditation of the day is perseverance, silence, indomitable spirit — in short, blind faith, is what gets us through these dry spells. If you are in a Dry Spell, YOU are not alone. Keep Walking towards God. I am here with you because God needs us to see and feel others walk through things so that we can see and feel HIM in those of us lucky enough to be His Vessels.

Dear Lord,
Help me be a good enough person to acknowledge my flaws and help others not feel so alone. Help me listen when I don’t want to hear. Help me focus on what is important – YOU!
AMEN!

I hope in some way this post helped you. I want to face my flaws and acknowledge my dry spells so I can conquer my humanity through Him.

Praying for you all!
And if you want me to pray specifically for an intention, leave me a comment.
Love, Hugs & Blessings,

Lady Em

Uncategorized

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