You know you should be grateful. You've heard about keeping a gratitude journal. Listen to this to find out the ins and outs of why this practice is powerful and exactly how to practice it!
Stuck at home with your whole family? Here's how to have real peace even amidst the chaos.
The internet will no doubt be covered by hearts, candy, balloons, and more today. Once again a Catholic holiday (holy-day) has been co-opted by our secular culture. I don't mind the pictures, actually. We have a lovely book about St. Valentine and I think he would be proud that people stop and do nice things for their loved ones today.
Where we get in trouble is when we believe that the absence of candy and balloons means an absence of love... or that love means warm and romantic feelings at all.
I looked up the definition of romantic/romance and it was funny. A lot of it talked about books, movies where characters fall in love. Even the verb definition said, "to invent or relate romances; indulge in fanciful or extravagant stories or daydreams." The definitions all seemed to be circular... romantic referenced romance which referenced romantically which then referenced romance.
If the dictionary is a bit confused about romance, it's no wonder we are with all the characters that surround us, both real and cultivated online.
It's no secret that my marriage is going through a rough patch. Can we still say patch if it's been three years? Maybe we're in a rough orchard. On the outside, I'm sure we look okay. We function extremely well as partners taking care of our home, our business, and our kids. We even do a good job taking care of each other, doing nice things for the other person.
It's the feelings that are missing, the warmth. And that's not surprising with 8+ months of abstinence... again. But since today seems to be about celebrating feelings, it's okay if you feel crummy. It's okay if your marriage is strained and the site of all the heart garlands and frosted cookies makes you feel a little bitter.
Let those feelings bubble up. Notice them. Name them if you can.
"I thought there'd be more sacramental grace. What does grace feel like?"
"How can this be the person God meant me to be with?"
"I love my family so much but I also feel trapped."
"I'm so lonely."
I've felt all manner of things these last three years and here's what I do. First, I share those feelings with God. He's my best friend. He wants to hear everything about my day and all my hopes and fears. I simply tell Him.
Next, I remind myself that love is about sacrifice. True love always has deep sacrifice. I think that's one of the reasons Frozen is so popular. It's one of the only movies that shows true sacrifice simply for the love of another. We're so drawn to stories about real sacrifice for love.
And last, I serve. I get up and clean the dishes. I make sure the towels are the way he likes them even if my heart feels cold. I remind him of an appointment even if I don't remember what flirting is like. I hold his hand every night when we pray because we serve God first and foremost.
I love my husband a great deal and he loves me. We don't know how to navigate romance in a world of abstinence, six babies, entrepreneurship, and our current major house projects but we know how to love each other. We serve each other when the feelings aren't there. That's real sacrifice and it's real love.
I have no idea if we'll figure out the feelings but I know we are honoring what God asked of us. My deepest desire is for Heaven and for sainthood and so I hope this is at least on the narrow road in that direction.
I'm praying for all of you who may be feeling left out or hurt this Valentine's Day. I feel you. Remember St. Valentine and his bravery. He fought hard for marriage and we certainly need more of that attitude in the world these days.
On a TOTALLY unrelated note... maybe slightly related since taking care of our bodies and our souls is a great way to honor our marriage... the Fit and Holy Challenge is back and this year it's happening over Lent!
It's a six week challenge that encourages you to pray, drink water, exercise, and connect with the Lord. Plus there's a sweet points tracker and who doesn't love a points tracker! There are awesome Catholic prizes each week although I've never won one and I still think this challenge is awesome!
I love this challenge and this year I super duper promise to not get pregnant so I'm going to work really hard to beat my personal record from past challenges!
If you want to join me, visit www.fitandholychallenge.com and sign up. Registration closes at midnight on Feb. 27th.
As we head into a new year, there can be some scary things looming ahead. Sometimes there are unknowns as we walk by faith not knowing what's ahead. God gives us clues in the Bible for how we should not be afraid. Joan of Arc and Padre Pio help out too!
Don't blow all your goals in the month of December waiting for January to arrive. Anchor yourself to what's important now!
Fall is my favorite but partly because I say no to a lot of the activities going on!
The daily grind of motherhood is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen and I don't think we talk about it enough.
We've lost the art of changing our minds and doing it gracefully. Let's talk about how we can educate ourselves and stick to our opinions, even if they change.
I was inspired recently by a quote. "Find a hero, marry him, and then cheer him on every day." How many of us are doing that for our husbands?
When you're leaving a season of survival, how to do you get your life back on track?
An episode dedicated to how we manage screens in a household with kids ages 8, 6, 4, 2, 1, and almost born!
We know we're drowning in screen time but we can't seem to pull away. Here are 5 ways screens are ruining us and why we should fight against them!
Spiders, snakes, and ticks - oh my! Let's talk about things that frighten us including drowning, whether or not sunscreen causes cancer, and more!
There are some crosses God has given us and we can't get rid of them, we can only learn how to carry them. In this episode we talk about big life transitions, being pregnant, not having AC, when your skin hates the sun and more!
Let's talk about kids who say, "I'm bored," sibling fights, messes, and all the noise, noise noise!
We talk about over-scheduling your summer, not having structure for your summer, being called a party pooper for not wanting to go camping with little kids and more!
Tired of not knowing what you're going to have for dinner? Let me help you streamline food for your family!
Let's tap into our own agency to boost our self-confidence!
How you can incorporate scents in your family prayer life! Check out www.aromarosary.com. I share my experience with their wonderful product and how I think we should all be incorporating scents into our prayer life!
I was putting together a webinar for my Marian Mastermind group about how Catholic women who do business online can get more stuff done in less time when I realized... most all of it applied to moms even if they don't have businesses! I pulled all the relevant parts and put it in this week's episode of Coffee & Pearls!
Do you wish you could get more done in less time?
Do you want to know how moms can get things done even with little kids around?
Do you wish you could stop wasting so much time on your phone or online?
This is the Coffee & Pearls episode for you!
And in this episode, I also explain that even though all the business books say NOT to let people into your course after you've closed it, I got so many emails and Facebook messages saying people were out of town and missed out on signing up for Catholic Women Shine and guys, it crushed me. I felt so bad. Then I decided, who cares what the man says? I'm my own boss and I say I can reopen it!
So, I SUPER DUER MEAN IT THIS TIME! Catholic Women Shine is open until midnight PST January 8th. You have to sign up by Tuesday night and then it closes FOREVER. Or at least for many, many months.
I hope you love this episode of Coffee & Pearls. If you have any other "getting stuff done" challenge that you want help solving, reply to this email and I'll make an episode about it or answer it in a Seven Quick Takes!
P.S. I'm not sure if you should bother since I plan on winning the whole thing but if you were interested, you can join me for the www.fitandholychallenge.com that starts January 16th.
P.P.S. If you happen to be a Catholic mom who wants to do business online (or already does), then sign up for this Catholic Women Crush It webinar!
This episode is about why we need to stop breaking trust with ourselves and instead set silly small goals so we can build a momentum of wins and rebuild that trust. I also talk about the importance of setting small dreams that are anchored in love.