Anxiety and Fear · Catholic · Catholic Faith · Currently · Emily (Me) · Faithsanity · Italy · Mental Health

Faithsanity – We All Need It!

Dear Ones,

#truth

Did you ever experience heartbreak whilst praying a Novena or Listening to a suggested video?

Ahem, I have a point.

Well yesterday I had one of those moments. I was reading the forward for the St. Therese Novena, and it was suggested we listen to a video from the Pray More Novenas Retreat. Y’all – it was overwhelming. My chest and heart were heavy with sorrow at how lacking I am in my trust for God. But it was AWESOME and NECESSARY! And it took every fiber in my being to not beat myself up for being weak.

I really do try, every day, to look on the bright side. And I find that actively praying and being involved in Catholic Community is essential to my Faithsanity. You say, “what is Faithsanity? That’s not a word!” I say, “yes it is, I just made it up!” To me it means – being present in my faith and having good and faithful people around me that keep me on the right track. No – it’s not their job. But when you spend your time with quality, uplifting people, your attitude and angst can turn around. I promise you that. And anyway – the back and forth mentally can make life feel insane. Without my faith – on days I doubt and turn my back – I feel insane. Therefore, the word Faithsanity stands. I’m gonna say it’s an ACTION VERB! The art of purposing to stay active in the word and surrounded with Faith so that you won’t lose your mind. How’s that? You’re welcome!

I won’t bore you with everything I’ve walked through in my life. If you have read my various blogs the past nearly 20 years, you know the craziness of my childhood, and all the details that brought on a monumental lack of confidence in myself and my talents that God gave me… And sadly, my lack of trust for God himself.

I don’t know if you are like me, but for as long as I can remember, my mind, when any little thing goes wrong, spirals very quickly to a dark place… Not a place where I would harm myself (though I have thought of it at times in my life)… But a place where the doubt and the “well of course things won’t go right, how could it… no body cares about me…why do you hate me God?” thoughts trickle in. And I’ve made a lot of bad decisions based on how little I thought I was worthy of God‘s love. It could be the smallest thing and I spiral. So weak – right? In my mind, I’m so weak… and yet, in HIM I am strong! Come Holy Spirit – help me remember.

I am here, in Italy, separated from a truly faithful community. Even though I teach CCD and am involved, I do not feel close to these folks, many who truly do not put God first. I’m sure there are people here who would take offense, but it’s very weak Catholicism here. Very weak indeed. Our Catholic Community at home was close and strong and lived liturgically. And it was awesome… Admittedly, I did not always see it. But that’s not the point. The point is – I need that close Catholic Community. I need to stay in the word and bridge the gap of being away from home whenever and however I can. Because this whole hiding thing I’ve been doing – it doesn’t work! lol

Anyway – before I talk your heads off, Let me lead y’all to this clip I watched yesterday… If you are struggling with self worth, self doubt, and any kind of spiritual negativity – Please click the link (look for the study sheet too)… and LISTEN to this. Memorize it. God knows our world and knows how much we need him. I implore you!

I may listen to this daily for the next several days. I want it to really sink in. As I was watching, I became hopeful that I will once and for all, really take the words in and realize that I am special to God and That I have a purpose. If you are walking through a period of time, be it daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly or just randomly periodic… where you need assurance that God loves you and that he doesn’t need you to be perfect he just needs you to trust him…

This is for you: The Gift of St. Therese and Her Weaknesses

Additionally – Please sign up at Pray More Novenas for a great spiritual experience. John-Paul and Annie are spectacular and bless us all so much. I always get so much out of it. Being honest, there are times I miss a day, and that is ok. God knows your heart. Catch up and keep going. Without great and encouraging people like these faithful two, I’d be lost. I’m so thankful.

I just thought I’d share that with you! It may make absolutely NO sense to you.
But I am struggling – obviously… and I am going to keep coming back and reminding you that there is hope in God and our Faith! We are blessed and we are strong. And our Weaknesses will teach us what we need to learn – therefore to view them as gifts is necessary!

1 Peter 5:7 –   Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you. 

Be blessed Dear Ones. I miss you all.

Love & Hugs
LadyEm

Angels · Catholic Faith · Counting Blessings · Currently · Davis Family · Faith · Family · Italy · LadyEm

Harm vs. Inconvenience

Unsure whose image this is.

Dear Ones,

As I was reading my Magnificat this morning, it occurred to me that there’s a difference between being protected from harm, and walking through inconveniences. So in my human mind I get the two mixed up. I say to myself, “why would God let this happen? Why would God allow me and the people I love to be harmed in this way?!”

Here are the first few passages I read… and literally stopped to post, after being thoroughly convicted

“Exodus 14:19 — The angel of God, who had been leading Israel’s camp, now moved and went around behind them.

God’s providence is powerful indeed. Christ, who has led the way through death to life, now shield us from all harm and feeds us with the Bread of life, Himself, as He continues to lead us in our own exodus from slavery to the promised land of eternal freedom.

Psalm 34:1-9  — 1 I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. 3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. 4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.5 Look to him, and be radiant; so your[a] faces shall never be ashamed. 6 This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord, and was saved from every trouble. 7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8 O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him. 9 O fear the Lord, you his holy ones, for those who fear him have no want.”

In the italicized portion above, you see that it says Christ shields us from harm. And as I was reading it I thought to myself, “duh, harm… Not inconveniences.” You may be asking yourself why this is a revelation to me. And if I’m being honest with you I don’t know why it’s still Is. I guess because I’ve been through so much in my life that the battle in my mind is sometimes so overwhelming that I need the constant reminder. And so when I feel strongly convicted I share… and I guess that’s what God wants me to do.

Lately I’ve been really battling depression over the fact that here in Italy were still locked down, my friends are leaving, and I can’t find a job. I think the real truth is that we all become cheerleaders for other people and we forget to tell ourselves the same thing. One would think if you could articulate to someone else that things are going to be OK he would buy it yourself but that is apparently not always the case. When things are terribly out of my control in life, because of some of the damage that was done In my childhood, it is, simply put, extremely difficult, to re-route my thought process away from the negative.

This mild depression is compounded by the fact that my husband wants to stay here for a few years, because he does have a very good job, and our youngest goes to college in the fall of 2022. To say that I dislike Italy and being this far from family is an understatement. There are some very good things here. Of course we always look for the good. But it’s lonely in a way that I can’t describe well without sounding crazy. We will be going to Texas for about six weeks this summer, spend some time with family, look at a few colleges, and visit with friends. It will be a battle for me to get back on the plane and come back over here.

I know that I have walked through worse… And that God has brought me to the other side. I just pray that by my example, on my good days, that I can make a difference in someone else’s life. I am a worrier. It’s one of my biggest sins. I know that things are gonna turn out OK because God has always provided for us… But I can’t seem to stop my mind from going to dark places on occasion.

I am stronger than I sound in this post, for sure. And I do praise God in good and bad times. Let me end this post with a positive… 10 days ago our washing machine broke down. The water is so hard here it had rusted the whole front of it in 2 1/2 years. Luckily the Navy exchange had two washing machines one being a Toploader. This is important because the rust on the front loader was caused by taking the clothes out of the washer and the hard, unfiltered water. Long story short I didn’t have a washing machine for a few days and I did lament spending the money on a new one. But the good news is folks we had the money to buy a new one and it is a superior washing machine. It is a 220 V machine for Europe, However the instructions are written in English. Her 2 1/2 years I’ve use the machine or the instructions are written in Italian and I kid you not I guessed which Load I should use. Haha

Check out the pictures of the old one.

It may sound like a lame example… But truly I believe God helped us choose a better washer for our family. It’s been a dream actually.

So you see you sometimes inconveniences turn out for the best. And even walking through harm, on occasion can mold you into a person that fits more with what God wants you to be. We cannot drink the water in our homes, but we can afford bottled water. I cannot physically reach my friends and family in the states but I can speak to them and see them over the Internet. There are so many things that can feel harmful. But there are are truly many more blessings in life. It’s about getting your mind straight… Let’s help each other do that!

Being far away is inconvenient. Many things about life are inconvenient. But we are not in harm’s way! Praise God!

Pray for me! I’m praying for y’all too!

Hugs and Blessings,
LadyEm

Catholic Faith · Davis Family · Family · Health · Italy · Lent · Marque

ALL CLEAR – We Can Finally Breath…

Dear Ones,

Did you ever have a time in your life where you just couldn’t breath right? I feel like the past year has especially been that way for us.

My husband had surgery to remove colon cancer one year, one month, and five days ago – but who’s counting. It has not been easy. But today y’all, today – we got the ALL CLEAR.

Yep, after a morning of beautiful outfits and needle sticks from hell – three tries on the IV y’all, but I digress… the surgeon came in with what I can only describe as, and you’ll have to take my word for it, beautiful pics of a pristine colon. You’re welcome!

Y’all when we walk in this Navy hospital, they know us. That is and isn’t a good thing. “M’am, you’ve been here before haven’t you?” “M’am how’s your husband (or son)?” My husband still holds the record for most days in the hospital on the base, and longest surgery…

This past year in lockdown has been particularly hard on us…. but we are bouncing back and we are hopeful… Admittedly I am great at lifting others up, but I really need to be better about doing that for myself.

We can breathe. We are so relieved. And we are clinging to the words of Our Lord….

I thought I’d share with you our decor this year. We don’t have a lot of extra room AND we have three animals (and a teen) haha. So – we are creative with it.

This year, once again, we are locked down for Holy Week. Just as we recently found a Latin Mass Parish to attend, and then the lockdown came. Keep in mind, here in Italy, we can not leave our yards without permission except to walk a dog or exercise. And so – we are thankful to at least have a Parish on base where we can go and be with OUR LORD!

The picture above is on my buffet in the dining room. The Olive Branches is what our Parish gave us this year instead of Palms. This is the tradition in Italy. The crosses are from Hobby Lobby and we’ve had them for years… and the cloche is probably from there too.

I hope wherever you are, you have a great Holy Week. More soon.

Love and Hugs.
LadyEm

Catholic Faith · Conversion · Davis Family · Italy · LadyEm · PrayerLife · Saints · Word of the Year

Word & Saint of the Year…

Dear Ones,

Happy Monday! Happy 24th Day of 2021! I hope it’s going well so far, for you.

I’m sorry it’s been three weeks since I’ve blogged. What you need to know about me is – when I get worried or life gets busy, I don’t tend to come to my blog. Why? Because I don’t have a lot of nice things to say sometimes. The boredom of not working and being shut down in a foreign country, the lack of Mass and normalcy, and all the political and COVID news has stunted my brain. Our home is full of angst-ridden people. Sigh.

Take heart… there is so much HOPE! Today we celebrate the Conversion of Saint Paul. And I have to say, when I was reading this morning about him, I was reminded how awful he was to Christians. He sought out Christians to have them out to death for following Our Lord. And as I sat there reading about his conversion in The Acts of the Apostles, I thought to myself – “Look what God did with Saul/Paul! There is HOPE FOR ME!”

You know, my WORD OF THE YEAR is TRANSFORM (Thanks @Jennifer Fulwiler). And while I know it must seem lame to y’all that I just can’t get it together, I can assure you that it’s no joke to live it. When Mama is out of sorts – the house crumbles, y’all. Sigh. And while I am working hard to remain positive and get things done, I also keep things REAL!

PLEASE NOTE THE WORD CONVERT!

After much prayer… it’s clear that this is the year of ME. Now wait a minute – you know, if you follow my blog that I do many things for everyone else, to the point that I don’t always get done what I need to get done. I need to take a step back from humanity… and I need to get healthy mentally and physically and take back my life a little bit. In a way that may sound selfish but is completely necessary. God has really put on my heart that I need to transform the way I live… the way I think… the way I pray…. I need a conversion of heart and mind. In all the woes of life, I really have lost sight of my purpose. Which sounds entirely ridiculous. But it’s true. Things I am working on in my conversion…

  • Putting Catholicity First – Living Liturgically — in a way that we have not done here.
    • When we homeschooled and were super plugged in to our great Parish in Fort Worth, it was so easy. But the transient Military Catholic Church is not the same. Sigh.
    • Revamp my prayer life.
  • Get mentally and physically healthy
  • Get back to Blogging for the Lord
  • Get back to working a job (any job)
  • Get back to crafting more. I miss it.

I think part of my exasperation comes from feeling separated from Jesus in the form of the Eucharist… Yes, we do say the Spiritual Communion, but I feel like HE IS MISSING from the Mass when we watch from home. Because of our lack of Eucharist and Sacraments, I believe we ARE distant from our Faith – in a way that I can only describe as climbing a mountain that keeps getting taller. You just can’t reach the top. Sigh. We do go to Mass every couple weeks. And we count ourselves blessed to be able to receive Jesus. Pray for Us!

Funny enough, my SAINT OF THE YEAR is ST. TERESA OF AVILA. It is not lost on me that she is the patron of People in Need of Grace, amongst other things. People are always saying, “Emily, you need to give yourself grace!” Sigh. Part of my giving myself grace is transforming myself back into a more organized, self-healing kind of lady. I’m going to spend my year getting to know her.

Back to Saint Paul’s Conversion… if you are feeling low, and full of angst, anger, doubt about faith, our world, and other things. Put yourself on the path to Damascus with Saul (now Paul – Paul is the Greek translation of the Hebrew name Saul, fyi) and ask God to help you transform whilst you walk with Him. God took a murderous atheist that was hunting Christians and not only forgave him but converted him into one of the Apostles, and builder of His Church. And God will certainly come to us when we call on him as we walk our own continued conversions. But it’s up to us to listen for and act on God’s plans for us. We must learn to control our thoughts. We must put our pasts behind us. This is the hardest for me. But it hit me today that I am JUST AS FORGIVEN and malleable as Paul. And I am so thankful for the Saints before us and their great and HOLY examples.

I am hopeful and determined today, Dear Ones, and I hope you are too. No matter what – Jesus loves you. Walk with Him!

I’ll be back soon.
Love, Hugs & Blessings…
Lady Em

#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