Family life and all that comes with it is a happy, busy, mess. There are
so many spinning plates: people to chase, chores to do, appointments to keep and a hundred little fires to put out throughout your day.
Throw in spiritual practice, work, self care, time for your relationships and any other projects and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Intention and attitude is everything while managing family dynamics, home making, school, errands and performing mundane tasks. If you’re not making a conscious effort to find joy in your daily life, it can be easily lost in endless responsibilities that can feel like drudgery without it.
I have been crushed by these weights before, of comparison, of
resentment, but I’ve learned to catch on early and pull myself out of the muck before I’m stuck! 2020 was a tough year for many, so I’m excited to share how I recharge, reset and reclaim some of what was lost.
I don’t mean for this series to be advice or counsel, I’m just sharing the wholistic approach I take to find and maintain balance in all areas of my life (or at least try!)
Join me each week as we dive in and discuss how we’re Reclaiming Joy.
It’s funny how certain things come back into fashion. When I was teaching my oldest daughter to string popcorn garland years ago I referred to it as Old Fashioned Christmas. I suppose it goes along with the 2020 vibe of quarantine and sourdough starters that handmade holiday decor is back in a big way.
I’ve always loved a rustic aesthetic for the Holidays here in the forest. This year I knew I wanted even more handmade elements included in my decor and gift wrapping-a natural tree deserves as much!
I knew I needed an activity to entertain the littles while we strung the garland, so I included their activity here as well.
“How did we get here?” I thought as I entered the empty sanctuary of my home Church. I barely recognized it. The doors were flanked by sanitizing stations, the holy water fonts long dry. The pews were vacant with many rows taped off by yellow plastic reading “Caution”. Bright post-its were left where people had touched so others would not; a flag for disinfection.
I cleaned my hands & grabbed a post-it on the way in but I didn’t sit. Instead I went as close to the tabernacle as I could without stepping onto the altar. I dropped to my knees, genuflecting. Then taking a moment to stare at the small, glistening doors and the flickering candle reminding me of Jesus’ presence therein. I began to pray and before I knew it I was laying flat out on the floor. I put my hands on my forearms, tucked my face into the crook of my bent elbow & tried my best not to think about viral shedding.
At that moment, I handed everything to the Lord. All of my anxiety, all of my pain, all of my uncertainty and my deepest longings. For healing, for light, for change but most of all for Him.
Continue reading “Reuniting with the Eucharist”
When your car pulls into the driveway after work your little fan club gathers at the windowsill, shouting & squishing their round faces into the pane of glass. They wave eagerly when they see you climbing the porch stairs, & jump for joy if they spot the occasional surprise treat in your hand. You open the door slowly, since the dog is always barking happily, wagging her tail at record speed as you attempt to come inside.
You barely squeeze through before the kids take their running leaps into the stronghold of your arms. They giggle & squeal as you lift them up high for big bear hugs. Even our big kid can’t wait to tell you about her latest drawing or video game obsession.
Yeah you’re their hero. & you’re mine too.
Continue reading “Essential Worker Husband, You’re My Hero”
This Lenten season started like any other for Catholics. We buried the Alleluia, celebrated somber Masses & began our fasting. With Churches all over simplifying decor, drawing nearer to Gethsemane. We are making our way through the desert when we hear the news that the pandemic sweeping across the globe is upon us.
Continue reading “We Are an Easter People”
Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord: Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; Though they be red like crimson, they may become white as wool. -Isaiah 1:18
Daily Mass Reading for 3/10/2020: The day of my tattoo removal
Loving the skin I’m in. I’ve gone through phases with this concept. Over the years I’ve come to embrace my milky complexion, my freckled cheeks, even the silvery stretch marks on my thighs but one thing I always loved was my tattoos. Continue reading “All Things New”
As parents we know that reading with our kids is important & research has shown that even the youngest children benefit from listening to their parents reading out loud. Not only does it aid brain development & refine language skills, it also introduces important concepts to kids in an age appropriate way. I am always looking for ways to incorporate spirituality into our daily routine & faith-based books for younger kids are a great way to do just that!
With St. Patrick’s Day coming up & Easter just around the corner these seasonal picks are perfect companions for chocolate coins & Easter baskets. Without further ado, here are 7 favorite reads on our bookshelf right now (& links to get them on yours too!)
Continue reading “Catholic Books for Younger Kids: 7 favorites on our bookshelf right now!”
Sunday morning I bundled up the kids & headed to Mass solo while my husband worked his 8th day in a row. I asked my oldest to help me wrangle the littles & prayed that things would go smoothly. Mass has been an exercise in humility lately trying to keep my 18 month old boy from bouncing out of the pews & not having my husband there as usual meant I was on my own this time.
Continue reading “See Yourself Through The Eyes of Love”
The first time I remember praying the rosary as an adult was for a silly, vain intention. My wedding was approaching & I had my heart set on a beautiful, sunny day. My mother has always been close to the Blessed Virgin Mary & had given me a little fold-up card with the prayers and mysteries on it. She told me to pray with an intention and make it something big. That way, if God saw fit to deliver, I would know that my prayers were aided by the devotion.
Continue reading “Mystical Rose, My Missing Puzzle Piece”
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that my love for coffee is well documented. Keeping up with my family of five requires a little pep in my step & I love nothing more than to start my day with a cup (or two!) & get moving.
Continue reading “At-Home Teeth Whitening: Getting My Smile Back With Smile Brilliant! (Review & Giveaway!)”