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 Faith · Catholic Mom · Saints

Gospel Reflection on Catholicmom.com

Dear Ones,

Happy Sunday. I pray last week was great for you, and that this week brings great things. To you and your families!

I am excited to share with you that today’s Gospel Reflection over at Catholicmom.com was written by me! Go read it! It’s not bad if I do say so myself.

Here is part of my post:
“When I was walking through miscarriages, I clung to the fact that Elizabeth had her son in “advanced maternal age”: Saint John the Baptist, cousin of Jesus, the man whose solitary purpose in life was to walk before our Lord, proclaiming Him as the one and only sacrificial Lamb that we must cling to. 
I clung to hope that God knew my heart and would give me a child of my own. Praise God, I carried my one and only living child, a son, while in advanced maternal age. While I don’t compare my son to Christ, or Saint John the Baptist, I know in my heart, the power of one! And I know that God has plans for my son (and all of our children)…”

GO READ THE REST THERE! Lol and please leave a message there if you like it!

I will be back tomorrow with successes from last week’s pantry challenge and what we are doing this week. Also I have a few crafty posts that I haven’t shared, so I’m gonna.

Today is a family day. Yesterday we had a visit from our Bishop and a small potluck, where I made these:

Let me know how I can pray for you all.

Love, Hugs and Blessings
LadyEm

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CWBN Blog Hop — How I Stay Focused During Mass…

… OR TRY TO!

To be honest with you, I can hardly stay focused in life. So much has gone on I haven’t posted in two months… I mean – my brain can hardly keep up. Enter Prayer, Essential oils, change of diet, cutting back on doing… but still – it’s hard to focus these days.  Heck, I have been trying to finish this post for days, y’all, THE STRUGGLE IS REAL! ha

Welcome to the CWBN Blog Hop.

This month’s Topic is How I Stay Focused During Mass…. And the Blog Hope can be found on Allison Gingras’ blog Reconciled to You.  
Here we go…

On any given Sunday, as you know, it is hard to get to Mass without one or more of the following happening:

  • Someone not wanting to go.
  • The toddler throwing a fit and getting something all over your only ironed skirt/blouse.
  • Family arguments.
  • Remembering you meant to go to confession and stressing about it.
  • Arguing with one or more people because you are running late.
  • Forgetting the envelope and feeling bad for it.
  • Insert your own things here… I mean we know there are more.

Add societal issues, bills to pay, major life issues and whatever else you can think of… AND while you know you need Mass, you need the Eucharist, you need the Gospel… life can be a source of chaos, even in the most pious Catholic people and their families.

Then you get to Church, boy child is on time to Altar Serve, front pews have availability, you have the envelope, everything went well that morning, everyone gets settled and you kneel to pray.  AHHHHH it’s so nice.

And then one of your people announces they are hungry because they forgot to eat, there are babies crying, someone comes late and needs to sit in your pew, someone forgot to put on their whole outfit and you catch yourself starting to be judgmental, the cantor has on leggings and when she bows, you think – Dear God, I hope she has on undergarments. Or the odd times that you are so exhausted you actually nod off in Mass and do the head-bob, etc. Sigh… Oh yes, all of this has happened (and more).  Then you think – Oh no, a bad attitude in the Sanctuary, Jesus is right there and I’m acting like this. That pesky old Satan, he needs to leave me alone. Sound familiar?  Sigh.

But we know this — we must stay close to Jesus and His Mother – our Mother. Do you remember when Mother Angelica said this?

Focus on the LIGHT! You are never closer to Jesus than when you receive the Eucharist. Focus and Faith are about discipline (clearly I lack it from time to time).

What Can You Do To Focus…

For me, I look at Our Blessed Mother, the Angels and Saints… and breathe. It’s so beautiful at Saint Patrick Cathedral.  I pray for Mary and the Angels to help me focus. I look around at all the Saint Statuary and ask them to help too. I’m serious. They know I need to be there, to listen and to learn. Because no matter how many times I hear the same readings, there is always something to learn. The sense of calm that comes over me when I know the Saints and Angels are right there with me, praying for me…. it really helps me focus.

Looking up at Mary above the Altar @ St. Patrick Cathedral, Fort Worth


Put Electronics Down at least 1/2 hour before Mass.  You don’t need news, weather, email, FaceBook, etc.. when you are walking into Mass.  It’s truly not the right time to be on electronics. You know this.

Read the Readings before Mass. I try to read the Daily Readings before Mass, and I also follow along while especially the Gospel is being read. I have to be honest, there are times we are in Mass and we can’t hear or understand the Priest, so  preparing ahead and reading along are great ways to stay focused. We go to Mass to learn and preparation always helps the message sink in better. You remember high school/college right? I mean you didn’t go to class unprepared did you? Don’t go to Mass unprepared either.  I use my Magnificat, but there is also an App called the iMissal. My husband uses it.

Wear the Veil. One thing that helps me is wearing a veil. I wear the veil because Mary lead me to wear it, but one of the benefits of it is that you can hide behind it and you can wear it so that you can’t look around you. This truly helps me some days.  It has helped me focus on Jesus and the Altar.  Here are some in my collection.

I love them all. Four Veil Companies represented here. ❤

Get to Mass Early and get settled. This is essential, especially if you have littles. You want to get the bathroom breaks and the who’s sitting by whom’s out of the way.

Sit Towards the Front Near Jesus. First of all JESUSis physically present at Mass. The same Jesus who healed the sick, turned water into wine and died for our sins. You must concentrate because He calls us to be there. And, the Priests, Deacons, Cantors, and Altar Boys can see you, and in our case the Bishop… you pay attention in Mass. I mean – it’s just the truth.  You want to be both a good example and a willing participant, which brings me to…

Require Participation. You must participate and you must require your children and spouse to participate too. For some reason it’s very distracting to me if they are not participating
too. Participation breeds focus. You have to look up the pages for the songs. You have to follow along in the Hymnal/Missal.  You know what is coming next and you are ready for it.

I will leave you think about this…

Don’t you just love her?

I don’t focus every Mass, but I try…. and when I falter in Mass, I redirect myself quickly. God knows your heart. Do your best.  Focus takes Perseverance. Remember the old saying, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!” That, for infinity…

Thanks for joining us on the CWBN Blog Hop this month. Please check out the other bloggers and leave them some love. We are all so busy right now. And they need it!

Hugs & Blessings,

Em

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CWBN Blog Hop – Why I Love My Catholic Faith

Happy Tuesday!

Today I am joining up with Catholic Women’s Bloggers to share with you our experience on how our Catholic Faith has shaped our lives in a Blog Hop titled Why I love my Catholic Faith.  The hop is hosted by Allison Gingras at Reconciled To You. And y’all, these women are super talented. I’m not sure why they let me hangout with them, but I’m thrilled they do.  Go check out their posts for inspiration and great stories.

Welcome back to my sorely neglected blog. Y’all, I’m in a season of neglect. The evil one has thwarted several attempts to draw closer to God, by seriously causing chaos – in my life and in my mind. I have so much to do, I do nothing. For example, I don’t finish a Bible study. Why? Because I’ve taken on three, and  have so many other things on my mind, I end up not doing any.

Rest assured, this is a season. If you have not walked through something like it, you will. So know that you are never alone in anything you walk through. Currently, in our life season, my husband continues to travel, our house is up for sale. Our realtor is not great… I could give you a list, but in charity, I shall keep it to myself. My child is needy – because he can sense the tension and therefore, I don’t get things done – like blog posts, card making, baking for friends catching up on reading, AND to top it all off, an old injury creeped up on me and I’m having surgery tomorrow.  I seriously feel like I may have lost all or part of my mind. HA

So many things have gone wrong, I actually said to my husband, “I give up. I can’t do this anymore. I’m a good person. I thought God was on my side, but you know what – I’m over it all. Why do bad things keep happening?  God has forsaken me/us!” I thought to myself, “I never deserved the life I was given… the abusive mother and all that entailed, the miscarriages, the lack of money, etc. etc. etc.” I was a very abused child, and made bad decisions in my life – and all of it came bubbling to the surface in an angry and emotional hour or so.  I could go into more detail, but I’m hopeful we’ve all had those moments and I don’t really need to give you a bigger picture of my little hissy fit/breakdown, etc.

Before I go on, let me share with you the definition of Forsaken:

I looked it up because I wanted to prove to myself, you see, that God had in fact forsaken me.  And then I laughed and cried…  Do you get why?  I’ll explain… staring at me from the page was ME! I was so frustrated, I actually said aloud that I was done with God – in that moment, I meant it because I was so upset. Sigh. Um – I’m the one who was forsaking Our Lord.

Reading the Magnificat the next morning, the first Bible verses was Jeremiah 29:11 (I’ve added 12 & 13 as well(:

Jeremiah 29:11-13:  For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and com and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart.

The Psalm was #38. With this explanation: The penitential psalms very often speak of sin as a sickness brought on by the attack of enemies. Their vivid descriptions of the sinner’s sufferings, remind us again and again that the misery of sin is not what God wants for His beloved children.

I could go into a long explanation of my Faith and why I love it. I could talk to you about The Rosary, Confession, Mass and the beautiful Prayers and hymns… I could tell you about the Body of Christ – both His body and blood He gave up for us, AND the Body of Christ that is His great Church. I could tell you about how I thought I was Catholic, and when I found out I wasn’t I embraced Lutheran Faith, and how glorious and right it was when I finally came back and brought my husband with me. Our son was already Catholic.

However, what I want you to know is that every day, I am reminded how much God loves me. No matter what I have been subjected to in my life due to someone else’s poor choices or mine, God loves me!  We live in a great time, where social media brings Faith to our inboxes; bloggers like this group of faith-filled  Catholic Women Bloggers, The Magnificat, and so  many other books – DAILY, minute by minute – I am reminded that God is all around me.

The Catholic Church has given me a zillion tools to hone my faith and be closer to God, whether I feel close to him every moment or not. I don’t know why my faith is so immature sometimes. I wish I did. But I know that God always reminds me of His presence – and I am so thankful for that. Daily reminders y’all! ❤

Personal Request:  Prayers needed. Things will be difficult in our home the next few weeks. I am having surgery on both feet. Let me explain. In the left ankle – an old fracture needs to be fixed, some bone spurs need to be shaven and arthritis cleaned out. Currently it’s bone on bone. On the right foot, the big toe joint will be partially replaced, arthritis cleaned out and the bone shaved.

Through the weekend, I will be in bed, legs propped up and icing my legs one hour left, one hour right – only getting up to go potty and such.  For the following 3+ weeks, I will not be able to drive or do a whole lot – though I am allowed to walk. I will be on major meds – which I am not good at taking.   Soooo – In your charity, please pray for my husband as he endeavors to take care of me after surgery.  That the house runs smoothly and he and my child survive. I know they will. But I do everything, so it will be interesting. You know how it is, Mamas.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. I would love your feedback. And please, stop by the Original Post, and check out the others!

Oh and let me leave you with one last thought. Last night, I said to my husband, “I’m afraid. I’m afraid of the surgery and how much pain I’ll be in and how you guys will do, etc.”  I literally then opened my email, and this was there:

Ok, it’s not a great picture, but you get my point, right?  God works fast y’all. There are reminders everywhere.

Photography by Emily Davis

One last thing – one of the best parts of the Catholic Faith, to me, is the study of Saints. They struggled, they went through awful things.. and they managed to serve the Lord in such glory they were canonized for it. Amen! Let’s be like them.

Why I love my Faith, is because all day, every day, there are so many examples of how much God loves me and how blessed I am.

Pray for me – I’m praying for you!

Many Blessings, love and hugs,

Emily

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Mother Teresa – My Friend, My Mentor, A Saint

Happy Canonization Day Sweet Saint Teresa of Calcutta.
I’m so happy for you and proud of you, you dear, sweet lady!

Your love and sweetness live on all over the world – thank you for being salt & light! Sigh!
Of all the pictures I’ve ever seen of her, these are my favorites:

I love these pictures because you can see the love. It’s a great reminder to BE THE ONE! BE THE LOVE! BE THE HOPE! BE THE SMILE! BE THE LIGHT! 

For the past week or so, everywhere we look, as Catholics people are giving the History of and listing the Quotes of Mother Teresa… which I have thoroughly enjoyed re-reading. Bloggers and artists and stores, they want us to buy the things they have depicting this great Saint… and we do… and I did!  And to tell you the truth, I had a similar post written, but I don’t want MY post to be like everyone else’s, so I want you to hear my heart on this one.

I first saw Mother Teresa, she was with Saint (then Pope) John Paul II.  I had heard of her here and there… but I was young and she was on the other side of the world, and I was still pretty non-committed to living my life FULLY the right way. Sigh. The next time I remembered seeing her was with Princess Diana. I knew a little about her, other than articles I read here and there.  Everyone was fascinated with her. She brought the plight of the poor in Calcutta to the forefront, in my opinion. And she was always smiling.

It wasn’t until I dug deeper that I learned about how scared and lost she was just like me. Not because of the same situations, but still – we have that in common. You see, God is not always OBVIOUS in our hearts and minds.  And she didn’t even know for sure He was with her. She couldn’t feel HIS presence… “not even in the Eucharist”.  She had a huge crisis of Faith and she kept on serving and giving because THAT is what she knew how to do.  None of us ever knew it. When I read this about her, I was so deeply and personally touched by that.

Can you imagine how scared she was? How lost she felt? And she persevered. We could all see God in her. We could all see Him all around her. No doubt He was there all along, but she could not feel Him. Scary! God blessed her heart though. He showed her. And I’m so happy for her.

I will share with you that I have been there. I have had crisis of faith moments, days, weeks, months… I know God is here. But I can’t feel him. I push away because I feel so very unworthy.  My life has been full of strife, abuse, etc… and there have been many times it sure was hard to even feel like there was a God. I used to say to myself, “how can you possibly really be a Christian if you doubt so much?” “Maybe you really are NOT a good enough Catholic for God to embrace  you!”  “After all, I thought I was Catholic, and practiced for decades, and I wasn’t.” “Was God angry with me that He let so many bad things happen to me?” And my sweet friend and Mentor came into my life when I needed her most.

Mother Teresa was instrumental in helping me TRULY forgive myself for having an abortion. I thought I had forgiven myself with the help of Father Henry, but it wasn’t until I read her speech on abortion that she gave in DC, where I realized no matter what I did, God still loved me. He made me… He loves me. HERE is a blog post I did where I include that speech (It’s long, look for the blue lettering).

Look at her face, how loving she is in the pictures. When I think of her, I picture her rough hands around mine, her wrinkly sweet face with the loving eyes, saying, “come with me child, walk in my steps. Don’t give up on yourself, God won’t. I won’t. It’s ok!”

If I was going to write her a letter, it would look like this:

Dear Blessed Mother Teresa,

You were a living Saint and now your day has come that you will forevermore be Saint Teresa of Calcutta. We all knew you were going to be a Saint.  I’m so sorry that you lived your life scared and in a dark place. But I’m so thankful that you share this part of your life so that people like me, who have dark periods, can be assured that God is with us.
Thank you for your example. Thank you for your love of God.  Please continue to watch over me. Pray for me and all our brothers and sisters. Congratulations!

Love you dearly, Emily

I am still a work-in-progress. I need more humility, less ego. I need more patience (ACTUAL patience, not trials to learn it)…. I need to keep busy in better ways and get things done. I need to believe God when He says he loves me and put the past behind me… boy, I have so much work to do. Sigh. But through Saints like her, I know I am not alone. They worked, they struggled, they went through everything I did and more… and they are SAINTS! It gives me so much HOPE!  She’s my friend, She’s my Mentor, She’s a SAINT! Glory be to God!

I’m so excited for today. I already have these things at home. It’s a Saint Teresa of Calcutta Back Pack Zipper Pull and Card. SaongJai is one of my favorite shops on Etsy. Anyway… The card is in my son’s room and the pull is on my Bible Cover.  YAY

Additionally, I wanted to tell ya’ll about an Instagram giveaway that Adrianna at @Mylittlefeltfriends is having with a group of Catholic Crafters.  The items are pictured below. Go visit her on FaceBook to learn how to enter at My Little Felt Friends!
Thank you for reading my post. Saint Teresa of Calcutta, PRAY FOR US! May we live our lives in love and mercy like you did, even in the dark times.
Hugs & Blessings, Dear Ones!
Emily