Tuesday, April 30, 2013

May Planners!

It has come to our attention that our family's favorite planner is sadly by a sedevancist family.  While we would love to continue supporting them, we didn't feel comfortable continuing to use their products.  We will, however, be praying for them to return home to Rome.

In the meantime, this left quite a void in our family.  We LOVED the layout they used as well as the thought put into it and are seeking to create something similar, but for a family using the current Church's calendar.  We hope to have a Mom's planner in the works in the next week or so, but we would REALLY like your feedback on the Boy's and Girl's Planners we created today.

Our entire family worked on this project together and is very excited about it.  We tested both printed in color and grayscale and they worked well on our printer.  Unlike the original planner, we omitted the pictures since our son has sensory processing disorder and said he found them distracting.  This gave us a bit more space for quotes from Saints in a larger, easier to read font as well as room to write comfortably with his dysgraphia.

This is JUST the rough draft and I hope to be able to keep these free to all of you and available for your use.  I really enjoyed researching the Saints and having fun with the project.

For the families out there, including the Dads, the Saints listed on the calendar are directly from the list at American Catholic.  By clicking on that link you can subscribe to their Saint a Day emails and have pertinent information to share with your child and discuss over dinner as a family!  We hope you enjoy these planners and are blessed by them and we greatly appreciate your feedback as you make try them out so we can make them better for everyone!

Boys Planner - PDF
Girls Planner - PDF

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Thought On Prayer and Your Time

Who remembers prayer time at bedtime?  I do.  I also remember occasionally praying before meals - usually because we were in the presence of people we thought we should pray in front of or people who usually prayed before a meal. I remember praying at church and I remember praying before meals when I went to camp.

How much of your daily time do you spend in prayer?  Let's run through some "basics" and how long it takes to say them.

"Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep and if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen." ~ 9 seconds (this was the start of my bedtime prayers as a child)

"Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.  May angels watch me through the night and wake me in the morning light.  Amen." ~ 10 seconds

"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.  Bless us O Lord and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord. Amen.  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen." ~ 20 seconds

"God is great. God is good.  Let us thank Him for our food.  Amen." ~ 5 seconds

Okay - so since this is a Catholic blog we'll go with the Catholic option for meal time and the longest "standard" bedtime prayer you can get away with in public. 

One at each meal and bedtime = 1 minute, 10 seconds

1/1440th of your day in prayer.

I will freely admit that fitting in prayer is hard, especially when you aren't used to it or fell out of the habit.  I will also share that there have been days that the only addition to the above prayers has been "Lord, help me get through this!!!!" and that's okay too.

But outside of chaos and especially IN chaos, we need to be in prayer.  The word "prayer" occurs over 100 times in the Bible, the word "pray" another 100+ - so one could easily surmise it should be something we take seriously.  1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to "pray without ceasing".

Now, I'm a HUGE fan of the Rosary and that's what prompted this post.  I have family coming in 2 days to my home who are not Catholic and I was discussing with some other Catholic ladies how to approach our "Family Rosary" with them here and I began to muse on the amount of time it takes to pray a Rosary vs. the amount of time in a day.

For the record, it is 1/72nd of your day.  That's it.  Just 1/72 - less than 1 minute per hour of the day when it's all crunched out.

Is that really too much to ask?  I 1/72 of time for the Lord and His Blessed Mother too much of your time?  Can you think of a better investment for your soul you could make with 1/72 of your day?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

My Guardian Angel Wears Combat Boots

I am so blessed.  There is not one single doubt in my mind that I have a Guardian Angel - I know who he is and where he came from.  I know exactly what he is telling me and precisely when he is sending that message.

My Guardian Angel is the man who saved my husband's life in Iraq - and lost his own life in the process.  "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." John 15:13 NRSVCE That passage meant so much to me, even before this happened.  Now it is my very favorite Bible verse, and one that drives me every day of my life.  This man sacrificed himself, and his future, so that I would have a husband.  This man gave everything so that my son would have a father and that some day we would be blessed with another child.  His love saved me from being a 24 year old widow. 

Now, how do I "know" this is my Guardian Angel?  Let me back up a minute here.  In August 2001 a particular song was released on the radio and no one paid much attention - it debuted at #55 on the Billboard Country charts and even though I was a disc jockey at the time, I hadn't even heard it or if I did, I hadn't paid attention.  The fate of that song changed drastically when the attack on America happened on September 11, 2001.  This song spoke volumes and quickly rose to #2 on the charts. After the rush of songs hit the airwaves a few weeks later from artists across the country, this song quickly faded back into obscurity.  It's rarely played and at times I've gone over a year without hearing it - and I listen to a LOT of radio. 

Ever since my husband was wounded, when there is a time that I am struggling - when I am at my lowest.  When I get in my car in tears and I don't know what I'm going to do.  When I have no idea how I'm going to make it through the next hour, much the less tomorrow, this song comes on the air.  I may not hear it for months between airings - but when I need to know that what I am doing is right, there it is.  When I need encouragement so bad I could scream, it's right there.  When I can go no longer, it "magically" appears on the air waves...

...and this sense of pure calm comes over me.  I can't describe it, there are no other words.  Someone in Fiddler's Green airjacked the station and there that song is.  

I stop crying.  I stop having a panic attack.  I know, deep in my soul that whatever I was fighting with, whatever demons are out there trying to attack me it's going to be okay because he's still got my family's back like he has ever since that fateful day in Iraq. 

My Guardian Angel wears combat boots.  He still loves us from beyond the grave enough to reach out and help us through.  I will always be grateful to him, and to that song and the peace it gives me. 

Today my Guardian Angel hijacked the radio again.  I'd been struggling with my husband's migraines and various commitments I have made.  I'd been concerned with doing too much and at the same time not doing enough and over the airwaves it came, the familiar opening chords immediately soothing my soul.  Maybe today it can help soothe yours too. :)