Catholic Faith · Catholic Mom · Davis Family · Gospel Reflection · Italy

Blog Purpose & Gospel Reflection.

Dear Ones,

If you are here reading, I implore you to stick around. I have a lot to say, about the world and life. I’m just trying to find my purpose in blogging.

When I started blogging in 2005/2006, I had one blog – a crafty blog. I was on design teams for stamp companies and paper crafted daily. Now my craft stuff sits quietly waiting for me to play (for the most part). Then, in 2006 I started a family blog to inform my husband and father, both in Iraq, on different bases, about my son and I and our lives because it was easier for them to read my blog, than it was to email or talk. When I started homeschooling, I regularly blogged about that, and also linked up with other Catholic moms. But the link ups have largely gone away and I missed them. Anyway… I changed blog names a few times and platforms too. And with all the changes in the past few years I’ve gotten myself confused about my blog purpose. I will be back. It may just all look different. I’ve merged my blogs now and I’m trying to come up with a balance and goal/purpose.

I’ll tell ya what though, for the past few years a constant has been writing Gospel Reflections for Catholicmom.com and I’m so thankful they keep inviting me back. Today, my Gospel Reflection on the Exaltation of the Cross, today’s Gospel in John 3:13-17 was published, and as I read it, I’m hopeful it will touch you. Here is the Gospel reading from the Magnificat.

Here is an excerpt of my reflection on their post:
Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today’s Gospel.

Reflection by Emily Davis

Today’s Gospel: John 3:13-17 – Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus asks us to believe in something that we cannot possibly understand, except through our relationship with Him.

Shortly before I wrote this, my husband and I had the opportunity to chaperone a confirmation retreat. We live in Naples, Italy, and were at a beautiful, 1600-year-old monastery, run by the Order of Saint Brigit of Sweden. The grounds and buildings were spectacular, and the views of the Bay of Naples breathtaking. But my photographer’s eye kept landing on the cross at the end of the path. 

I could see the cross almost the entire time we were outside, and there was something comforting about knowing it was there. As I was editing my pictures, I noticed there were many of this cross, some in the distance as I was taking pictures of other things. A simple metal cross, on a large cement stand, right at the end of the intersection of the paths, before the wall that protects you from falling down a mountain. 

We are called to keep our eyes on Jesus on the cross, living in the knowledge that if we obey and him and live our lives in the ways of our Catholic faith, of the Church He founded, we will one day be reunited in Heaven. God answered so many personal prayers on this retreat, and in the weeks after. I’m rejuvenated by Our Lord’s love and the way He trusts me, in spite of my humanity, to have blind faith in Him and the lessons He teaches us by His example.

I also wanted to share with you, the cross I speak of in the text above. The old Monastery is now run by the Order of Saint Bridget. You can read more by clicking on the link attached to her name.

Thank you for reading my post. Thank you for cheering me on. I promise I’ll be back soon with some semblance of regular blogging. I am being called to write and craft again. Pray for me.

Also – please subscribe to the Gospel Reflections. So many people write them. I love the perspectives and thought-provoking posts. We are truly blessed as Catholics.

Blessed Week to All.

God is great ALL THE TIME! 
Love and Hugs,
LadyEm

Fridge or Pantry · Fridge/Menu/Pantry/Recipes · Good Cheap Eats · HomeMaker · Homemaking · Pantry Challenge · Repurposed Food (Leftovers) · Uncategorized

New Year – New Pantry Challenge

Dear Ones,

Happy First week of January 2020! Are you a good steward of your money? Sadly – I suck at finances. 2020 is my year to be on a better path to fixing it. God has really laid people in my path to help. I am hoping to memorize Bible verses about self-restraint and being a good steward. I have to focus and live better within our means. Sigh.

This is from snailpacetransformations.com

One of the ways is with the Pantry Challenge. What is a pantry challenge? Well, Jessica over at Good Cheap Eats started doing these about 2008, or so.. You can read her explanation of the Pantry Challenge, and I’ll explain how I view it/use the challenge for our home! I have been doing it for 10+ years and it just feels comfy now.

If you’re like me, you need to purge your freezer/pantry shelves after six weeks of entertaining. First of all, January’s budget is always super tight… but more than that, since my hubs and I like to entertain, and typically cook for others from before Thanksgiving to after New Years. AND, in Italy, I’ve noticed that can mean you have way more extra than you need. Seriously! Because of where we are, we have learned to buy for “just in case”… because if ya see something and don’t buy it at the commissary, you may not get it. Bottom line, we have food for weeks… and we’re about to get creative!

For me, it represents, using what I have (aka minimal $$ spent on groceries); weeds out what I don’t normally keep as pantry basics (aka holiday entertainment items, extra flour, etc.) thus leaving room on our “pantry” (shelves we bought from IKEA) so that it’s not so unorganized looking; AND it allows me creative. Additionally, it allows me to really look at EVERY item in the pantry/fridge/freezer that may have expired, etc. (y’all do not want to know the science experiment-looking things I’ve found).

I typically start my challenge after my hub’s birthday (January 5th). This year, he turned the big 6-0! We had dinner with friends and ate leftovers. Y’all we’ve been eating so much he literally asked for no cake. HA – Serious business y’all.

So Monday, I spent the whole day in the kitchen prepping bento lunch items, and looking into creative ways to use leftovers. Here is what I did:

  • Cleaned and chopped carrots, celery, cucumber, onion, bell peppers.
  • Made stuffed bell peppers with beef, Italian sausage, chopped onion, and leftover rice and tomato sauce..
  • Made egg cups with the meat mixture that did not fit into the bell peppers.
  • Made chicken salad with leftover grilled chicken, boiled eggs and veggies.

For me, the rules are as follows:

  • Take stock of what I have using the worksheets Jess provides (Free). If this is your first time, buy the eBook. It’s the best $6 you will spend – trust me.
  • Use what I have.
  • Only buy needed items. Here it’s water (you can’t drink the water, though we do have a Berkey – and we use that for cooking), dairy, produce, and paper items.
  • No restocking till February 7th. We hit it super hard for a month.
  • After Feb. 7th, plug in more meatless meals and keep folks on track with lower carbs. We have weight to lose. BLAH!

To show what I mean about creativity, I took meat out of the freezer and create dinner and a week’s worth of breakfast with it. As a side note, I’m volunteering with the USO tonight, and my guys have choices for leftovers. BONUS!

It will never be my goal to lecture you about finances or show you what an idiot I’ve been. But when I find something good to share, and a lesson learned, I will do that from time to time. I pray you learn from this old lady’s mistakes.

I hope and pray your Tuesday is blessed. Join me in the pantry challenge if you want. I’d love to hear your tips too.

Love, Hugs, & Blessings,
LadyEm

PrayerLife · PrayMoreNovenas

We Pray, He Heals…

Happy August 1st y’all. Can you believe it’s already August? In 25 days, our youngest starts his first day of Sophomore year. In two days, we will have been in Italy for two years and are having friends over to celebrate.

Today starts a month of Holiday here in Italy, and much of Europe.

Ferragosto, the Italian name for the holiday, comes from the Latin Feriae Augusti (the festivals of the Emperor Augustus) which were introduced back in 18 BC, probably to celebrate a battle victory, and were celebrated alongside other ancient Roman summer festivals.

https://www.thelocal.it/20180815/everything-you-need-to-know-about-ferragosto-assumption-august-15th-italy-national-public-holiday-

Most small shops, restaurants, etc are closed in August. And if they are NOT closed the whole month, they are definitely closed the 14-18 (roughly). This is a largely Catholic country, and while I have noticed, Catholicism seems liberal around the Naples area, where we live, everything will close on August 14-15 at least! August 15th, we Catholics celebrate the Assumption of Our Blessed Mother. It’s a Feast Day and a Day of Obligation, where we celebrate Mary’s Assuption into Heaven. We will have to go to Mass out on town, as I’m not sure the Catholic Community will have Mass on Base – Sadly. But I digress.

The purpose of the Title of this post is to draw you to The Pray More Healing Retreat, put on by Pray More Novenas. You can find them on FaceBook and their Website. I have prayed Novenas along with many thousands of people for years. If I am not mistaken, this Apostolate was started by a young couple and has grown by leaps and bounds. I don’t always communicate it well, especially given the trauma of my last few years, but they have made so much difference in my holding on to my faith. They really just don’t know. And yes, I do agree that I should tell them.

In the spirit of all they do – which is to bring people to prayer and conversation with God, they are putting on a self-paced, pay if you can, retreat called The Pray More Healing Retreat. Have you ever or do you know anyone who struggles with the enormity of the bad that has happened in life? It sounds like an Ad, and I promise I’m not getting paid, but if you answered yes, you need to join us. It’s self-paced and in the privacy of your home. It starts up on August 6th. I hope you will join us. And please contact them if you have ANY questions.

Life breaks our hearts and leaves us wounded. We are so blessed in our Catholic Faith to have the Eucharist and to have so many Saints guiding us to the Lord. Please know that when you pray in a group your prayers are so much more powerful, because when we pray for one-another, God hears our prayers many times, and each one is counted. I’m probably not saying it right. But – I know that HE HEALS!

I placed a few Bible verses that mention Healing in this post. There are so many more. But I want to draw your attention to Exodus. Y’all – in the beginning of the Bible, before Christ, God – our Father God, promised healing. We know our Healing is through Christ.

Take it from this very broken lady on the other side of the keyboard. He wants to heal you. No matter what you’ve walked through. And I would be honored to pray for you, and with you, if you ever need it – there is NO requirement to join this Retreat – FOR SURE!

I pray your August is fantastic.
Love, Hugs & Prayers,
LadyEm

Uncategorized

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