Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bright Maidens: Dragon's Treasure

June topic: Charitable Giving
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A mighty dragon sprawls on top of a mound of gold and stolen trinkets, reveling in the feel of every bump and inch of silver, gold, diamonds and more...feeling so content and smug and full, totally satiated with the feel of all that treasure below.  He knows every trinket and will fight to the death to keep them, even though the treasure has no purpose, no value for his life.  That which he loves becomes his downfall, for in all the stories of dragons, a small, determined man weaves his way through forest, river, and rock to slay the dragon and take the treasure back to mankind.
Sigurd kills Fafnir


I want to hoard.  I find it hard to spend money, and even justifiable, worthwhile purchases that I can afford make me anxious.  I'd rather have the money locked up tight, available for me to ooh and ahh as the small pile builds.  But there's never enough, it seems, to find total security and total financial peace. 

Should it have taken me so long to realize that money cannot bring that?  There were a few years that I was truly bitter about my financial standing.  Many people heard about my anxious budgeting and saving (sorry if you were one of them!).  I should have stayed focused on the blessings, of which there were many!  

In a twist I didn't expect, I find a lot of joy and hope in giving to others.  God has cracked my hardened heart!  When I donate to my Diocesan Annual Appeal, my neighbors receive direct support that no one parish could provide on it's own.  That's amazing!  A gift to Catholic Relief Services helps men, women, and children around the globe step closer to clean water.  Praise God!  Catholic Charities USA continues to be a source of compassionate aid to those in our country.  Ave Maria Radio is fantastic to listen to (and support), and of course, my local parish needs steady offerings for maintenance, the faith life, and evangelization. 

The promotional videos of the larger charities can be so moving, and I'm always brought to tears at the impromptu stories those helped tell.  So many of them say, "When I came to this charity, they treated me like a person."  Like a person, not a number.  Our culture can be so cruel and cold.  I try to support charities that continue to value each person who walks through their door.  Every gift, no matter the amount, makes a difference in the lives of others.  My husband and I are no where near tithing (10% of our income) but we're taking small steps each year to get to that amount!

When the Prince of Peace comes, will he find me as a dragon, sitting atop the treasure I've been given, hoarding it for myself? 

Each day I pray I take small steps out of the cave and into the light.

Monday, June 9, 2014

My View {baseball}

Linking up with The Corner With a View to share {My View!}


For the months of May, June, and July, Sundays for us mean:
   the crack of dawn Mass (otherwise known as the 7:30 am Mass)
   a large caramel coffee from DunkinDonuts (for me)
   2 ham and cheese sandwiches (for breakfast)
   a free donut
   hours of watching my husband's baseball team!  

This past Sunday, they won their first game, woohoo!    


Want to join in? 
Instructions:
1. Post a picture (or vlog) and write a description and/or reflection on said topic of interest.
2. Add your specific URL link below.
3. Link back to The Corner with a View!
  

Monday, May 5, 2014

{NAS} Let's Talk About Saints, Baby


Joining with Jen and Morgan for this week's Not Alone Series!
Topic: Favorite Saint related to marriage or chastity

As women, it's no secret that we like to talk and analyze...well...everything.  There's nothing more enjoyable than a long chat over coffee, chatting about this and that, how someone said this, how I responded with that, how maybe I should have been more ---insert whatever---.  There's a downside, though, in that we can over-analyze things to death, interpret things as truths that aren't there, and worry, worry, worry, especially when it comes to chastity, dating, and men.

Here are three Saints I relied on heavily while dating and praying for my future husband.  Even now, our friendships haven't ended.  They continue to inspire and guide me as I plod along, trying to love my family, friends, and strangers as God does.  I love chatting with them!
 
Dating: St. Raphael the Archangel
   In the Book of Tobit, we meet Sarah.  Let's say the marriage scene hasn't been going her way.  Although she's been married seven times, the demon Asmodeus keeps killing her husbands on their wedding night, and the maids have been gossiping.  (Sounds like a plot for Downton Abbey.)  Sarah would like nothing more than to be dead.  She pleads with the Lord,
"Seven husbands of mine have already died.
Why then should I live any longer?
But if it does not please you, Lord, to take my life,
look favorably upon me and have pity on me,
that I may never again listen to such reproaches!”

And have pity on her, He does.  St. Raphael is sent to guide Tobiah on a journey that takes him to marry Sarah and to rid her of the demon's haunting!  He is powerful!  Pray for his guidance while dating and to meet your spouse.

St. Raphael, you were sent by God to guide young Tobiah in choosing a good and virtuous spouse.  Please help me in this important choice which will affect my whole future.  You not only directed Tobiah in finding a wife, but you also gave him guidelines which should be foremost in every Christian marriage: "Pray together before making important decisions."   If through prayer we keep God as the "third Partner" in our marriage, we will have the strength and grace we need to always accept and do His will.  Amen.

Chastity:  St. Joseph
   He's the most chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mm'kay?  Enough said.  
Saint Joseph
Noble son of the House of David
Light of patriarchs
Husband of the Mother of God
Guardian of the Virgin
Foster father of the Son of God
Faithful guardian of Christ
Head of the holy family
Joseph, chaste and just
Joseph, prudent and brave
Joseph, obedient and loyal
Pattern of patience

Lover of poverty
Model of workers
Example to parents
Guardian of virgins

(From the Litany to St. Joseph.  Emphasis my own, of course.)

Living life, vocational discernment, marriage:  St. Gianna Beretta Molla

Oh, how I love this lady!  She is such a Saint for our times.  Dying at 40 years old, she spent the majority of her life living in a single state.  Only the last 7 years of her life were spent married.  What happened before then?  She lived as a daughter, a sister, and a student.  She was active in Catholic lay groups, led retreats, went hiking, and graduated in medicine and surgery.  Doesn't she seem like one of us?  For a long time, she prayed about becoming a missionary in Brazil, like her brother, but was turned down because of overall poor health.  Imagine how disappointed and confused she must have been!  

And then, in her early thirties, she met a man - a kind, responsible, Godly man.  Within a few months, she wrote to him, saying, "I must tell you right away that I am a woman who wants affection very much; I have found you, and I intend to give myself totally in order to form a truly Christian family."  

Patron Saint of #CathSorority, I'd say!  I just have this sense that she gets us.  She's one of us.  And she looks at us like dear friends.  I've talked with her about everything.  As a woman, wife, doctor, I'm sure she's heard it all.

Join the Not Alone Series link up at Jumping In Puddles!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Stuff My RE Students Say: Lenten Edition




Student 1:  Wait, abstinence?  Isn't that when you can't go poop?
Student 2:  That's constipation...
Student 1:  No, I've heard it used a different way...
Me:   You might have heard "abstinence" used to mean "not having sex."
All students:  *huh?!*
Me:  Yes, I can see how it's confusing that the same term is used for not eating meat and not having sex.

***
Student 2:  Excuse me, what's almsgiving again?  Giving your meat to your neighbor?


***
Student 3:  So no meat on Fridays?  We're good, guys!  School lunch meat isn't even meat.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Being Nosy! Joining the Big Purse Dump




My new purse was bought with Christmas money from Charming Charlie's, an awesome chain we have in the area!  Love the blue, the studs, and the option to hold it on my arm or wear around my body (the chain is folded inside the bag).

Here's what's in my purse:

Because I'm old-school: a planner
Because my eyes and lungs need stuff: my inhaler and my glasses case
Because I like make-up: CoverGirl powder, lip gloss and lipstick from my wedding, and chapstick
Because I'm a girl: emergency tampons in the side pocket (unpictured) and a comb
Because I need a place to hold my $$$: sparkly wallet
Because I love to read: my library book
Because I'm messy: 4 pieces of gum, 3 tissues, 1 Stop & Shop receipt, and a random to-do list
Missing because I needed it to take the photo: my iPhone

This isn't a fair picture of what I have with me every day, though.  Somehow I'm the crazy person who brings 3 bags to work each day: lunch bag, purse, and (thanks to the snow!) a bag with my snow boots to switch into every time I have to go outside.

Thanks for peeking into my purse!  It feels fun to be a little nosy!

Monday, February 10, 2014

14 Ways to Celebrate February 14th...for Everyone!





1.  Head to Adoration and get some one-on-one Jesus time!

2.  Call your grandparents or parents to say "hello" and "I love you."

3.  Offer a spiritual bouquet for a friend/spouse/future spouse.

4.  Host an easy pasta dinner for friends!  Dessert is BYO-chocolate, of course.

5.  Thank a priest or religious for their yes to God.

6.  Light some candles and spend time with God's word.

7.  Leave a surprise treat for a neighbor.

8.  Let a friend know how much you value their friendship.

9.  Wear your favorite outfit and feel good!

10.  Spend time volunteering.

11.  Pay it forward.

12.  Pray for single men and women who are called to marriage.

13.  Eat your favorite dessert!

14.  Call that friend you always mean to catch up with!

Enjoy!

Friday, February 7, 2014

#7QTs: How to Not Hate Winter





This is a handy guide to not hate winter, written mostly to myself.  Maybe next year I'll remember these tips!

1.  Shower at night: I lie to myself a few times a week and promise that I'll wake up at 6:45 and shower.  When the alarm goes off, and the house is a brisk 55 degrees, I reject that plan and pretend that dry shampoo will mask my limp hair, or I wait until 7:20, which is much, much too late to be fully ready by 8:20. The easily solution?  Shower and dry my hair at night. 

2.  Stock up on decaffeinated tea: then I can drink it all day and keep warm! 

3.  Change the scenery: it's worth spending some money to get out of the house!  Visit a museum, peruse the library, or crochet at the local coffee place.  Do something to stop looking at the living room.

4.  Start a gratitude blog: in the works!  Soon I'll be able to show it to you, too!  Gratitude makes you more happy.

5.  Move: nope, not to another state.  Carve out time to stretch and sweat. 

6.  Cook: find recipes for hearty soups and breads you've never made before. 

7.  Wear real clothes: for some reason, you'll feel much better about yourself and will be less inclined to complain you "did nothing all weekend and wasted your days off." 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

This Wasn't Mentioned During Pre-Cana

I've heard of married couples who can't sleep well without each other.  Well, we're at a different stage: 

10:19 pm (it's always 10:19 pm for some reason):*lights out*
Trista and Bryan: *kiss goodnight*

10:20 pm
Trista: *sleep mask engage*
Bryan: *closes eyes*

10:25 pm
Trista: *awake*
Bryan: *almost asleep* 
T: *rolls over; tries to get the cover to fold around her the way she likes*

10:27 pm
B: *leg twitches*
T:  *whispers, "Are you asleep?"
B: *asleep*

10:30 pm
T: *feels like bed is tilting her towards B; is annoyed*

10:31 pm
T: *is annoyed at being annoyed while trying to fall asleep*

10:32 pm
T: *fumbles for glass of water; takes a sip; rolls the other way*
B: *rolls around; still asleep*

10:40 pm
B: *breathes deeply*
T: *wishes for total silence; turns to other side; wonders if she should use the bathroom*

10:45 pm
B: *still breathing deeply*
T: *internally losing it; pokes B; asks, "Can you breathe on the other side of the bed?"
B: *turns over, annoyed*

10:46 pm
B: *asleep*
T: *awake*

10:50 pm
T:  *finds rosary under pillow; starts praying; tries to ignore bed tilts and breathing and whatnot*

Sometime after 11 pm
Trista and Bryan: *asleep*


Maybe it's time to bring back two twin beds!