A Time For Everything

Friday, September 23, 2016

First Reading: Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 144:1B AND 2ABC, 3-4
Gospel: Luke 9:18-22

Today’s readings are all about timing.  The perfection of God’s timing only makes sense to us in retrospect and God. Is. Never. Late.

If there’s one thing that I am consistently, it’s being late.  Recently, I read an article in the New York Times that said people who are chronically late are not trying to be rude but they are overly optimistic about deadlines. 

And it’s true.  I get a rush from accomplishing a large of number of tasks in an impossible amount of time.  I used think that I felt this way because I’m “doer” and an “achiever”.  Smugly, I would observe how many things I have accomplished in the same 24 hours as others who were clearly sitting on their bottoms and watching reruns. 

Now, I understand my smugness and sense of accomplishment for the millions of tasks are all related to the sin of pride. 

Accomplished tasks were confirmation that I was better than other people, and it was how I gained my sense of worth. A day with undone tasks was a failure, which meant I too, was a failure.

But there is one thing I am learning slowly but surely and that is I am perfectly loved by God.  Tasks don’t define me, my failures (real or perceived) don’t define me. Even my shortcomings, like being consistently late and overly optimistic are things God probably finds endearing, He made me this way after all.

I am not perfect but He is and He uses my imperfections if I allow Him, for a greater good.  I may be late for everything but His timing is perfect. 

Years ago, I attended a wedding reception.  As usual, I was late.  The only seat left was in the back next to a young man I didn’t really know at the time and who in a few years would become my husband. 

God’s timing is perfect.

My timing is not. 

God does not ask that we be perfect before He can love us.  He simply wants us to grow each day in love for Him and He is perfect enough for all of us.

Where have you seen the perfection of God’s timing in your life?

Seven Quick Tales (7QT) - And a Free Printable! (vol. 1)

Saturday, September 3, 2016

I'm participating in a blog link up called 7QT or Seven Quick Tales hosted by Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum.  It's a fun way to share seven things with you...books, random stories, oh and this week includes a printable.  WHAATT?!!  I KNOW! I can't wait to tell you about it below.

Oh, and if you're looking for more fun bloggers who've been doing this a lot longer than I have, you can scroll to the bottom of her page and see all the link ups and bloggers who participate.

1. Divine Mercy for Moms - What I'm Reading Right Now 

Our parish hosts a wonderful ministry for moms called...are you ready for it?...The SJA Moms' Group.  We're all about simple marketing, mom brain and pregnancy brain are very real things, so the easier the better right?  Actually, we just couldn't think of a better just makes sense.

This year we are focusing on a book called Divine Mercy for Moms by Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet.   They are two moms who want to introduce the idea and origins of Divine Mercy and show us how this applies to our lives as mothers.

It's wonderful for both the well versed in this subject and the novice. It even comes with discussion questions and suggestions for activities that are simple to help you carry out works of mercy.

Read it before the Year of Mercy is over!!

2. A Printable Prayer 

In the Divine Mercy for Moms book they highlighted St. Faustina's Prayer for Divine Transformation.  In it she asks God to help her live and breathe mercy in her thoughts, actions and her whole being.  It's really beautiful.  

While reading it, my mind immediately went to my role as a wife and mom.  Sometimes the most difficult thing is to show mercy to those you are closest to.  

As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live.                                      St. John Paul II 

St. Faustina's prayer is so lovely and calls to mind our neighbors (which means everyone around us including our family), but I'm slow sometimes, and I literally need to be reminded that "neighbor" means my child and husband.  I wrote a  Prayer for Divine Transformation for Moms based off of her prayer.  I am unqualified to adjust her beautiful words so I pray that she takes no offense.

I wrote it because I need it.

I need to be reminded daily that my vocation is my family and I must practice mercy in the place where God has placed me at this point in my life.

Here is St. Faustina's Prayer.  I urge you to pray hers and when you need extra special instruction (like me) from time to time try the Mom's version.

Prayer for Divine Transformation (St. Faustina)

O, Most Holy Trinity! I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection O Lord...

Help me, O Lord that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbor's souls and come to their rescue.  

Help me, that my ears may be merciful, so that I may give heed to my neighbors' needs and not be indifferent to their pains and moanings. 

Help me, O Lord that my tongue may be merciful, so that I should never speak negatively of my neighbor, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.  

Help me, O Lord, that my hands may be merciful and filled with good deeds, so that I may do only good to my neighbors and take upon myself the more difficult and toilsome tasks.  

Help me, that my feet may be merciful, so that I may hurry to assist my neighbor, overcoming my own fatigue and weariness. My true rest is in the service of my neighbor. 

Help me, O Lord, that my heart may be merciful so that I myself may feel all the sufferings of my neighbor.  May your mercy, O Lord, rest upon me. Amen. 

3. Canonization Party - Celebrating the life of Mother Teresa on Earth AND in Heaven

Sunday September 4th is the big day!  I'm joining a friend to watch the canonization mass for Mother Teresa on EWTN.  I'm planning on making this dish:

4. We Broke Up...With Our Cable Company

We've been threatening to do this for months (maybe a year?) now.  Comcast is just sucking money out of our wallet and we had 700 channels and nothing to watch besides American Ninja Warrior.  So far, I haven't really felt missed it or longed to turn on the TV.  

We did purchase Netflix and got a subscription to Sling TV (which came with a free Roku!).  The Sling TV account will allow us to watch our beloved Sun Devils play a little foosball. saves us about $150 a month in cable/internet fees.  I could probably feed a small village with that, it's shameful how much we've wasted. 

5. I Walked 129 Miles Last Week...Sort Of

Portland to Coast is the world's longest relay race.  I joined a team of 12 women, each person took 2 legs and together we walked from downtown Portland all the way to Seaside, Oregon.  Our first walker began at 5:45 am. and my first leg started around 9:30 am and my second leg began at 2:30 am. Walking in pitch black darkness with the stars shining overhead was such a thrill! 
It took us about 33 hours to complete and oh my goodness was it fun!

6. Frivolous But Fun 

This Melody Susie nail lamp is one of my favorite things.  A gel manicure costs at least $30 at a nail salon and this LED nail lamp costs $31.99 on Amazon right now.  I can do my nails and they last for about 2 weeks with no chipping. Cost saver and so pretty! It's totally frivolous but it makes me so happy when in the middle of washing dishes, or washing my hands I see a pretty color on my nails.  It's the little things. 

7. School Begins 

I'm squeezing the last bits of summer into these next few days.  So sad to see it all end.  I keep feeling like I could seriously use at least one more month of sunshine, garden tomatoes and sitting on the porch in the warm evening air.  But I suppose it really is time to move on since school begins next week.  I hope to get out my "end of summer blues" by embracing a few autumn projects.  Maybe I'll knit a scarf... 


Command Center

Monday, August 29, 2016

The fall season with its crisp air and notions of pumpkin pie spices, apple picking, and warm scarves used to bring me such joy.  It used to mean slowing down, but over the last few years, it now makes me anxious just thinking about how busy we will be.  I will go back into the classroom to teach, our son returns to school, which brings additional activities and expectations, holidays consecutively hit with a vengeance and by Christmas, I wonder, “how the heck did we get here”? 

Not to mention, my prayer life, reading, and creative pursuits go out the window with all of these activities. 

So here I am watching August quickly slip away, a little worried about how I will manage to juggle everything properly.

A priest told me recently that many great opportunities come your way, all of which are truly good and would please God.  The thing to remember is you don’t need to do all of them nor does God truly want you to say yes to all the things.  For a person like me who feels a certain satisfaction checking off a really long to-do list, his advice is tough to follow.

Thankfully, this wise priest left me with very practical advice, he instructed me to pray this very simple prayer:  Lord, help me to know your will for me today.  And then really pray it. Every. Single. Day.

I also created a small command center for our home because organized systems help me feel sane.  It’s a place for important papers and items that need to be signed or sent out soon.  There’s a board for messages or reminders, a menu planner and includes the most important command of the command center: the prayer I need to see each day to remind myself to listen for God’s voice and filter out the noise of my life.

The gold frame simply has a piece of pretty scrapbooking paper behind glass so I can use dry erase markers on it. 

The weekly menu planner is printed on paper and taped to the back side of a clear clipboard, again so I can use dry erase markers each week. 

I did not include a calendar to my command center because our calendar with all of the fun feast days of the church and other liturgical year information resides on a wall nearby.  

And just for fun, I have a FREE copy of the menu planner for you:


I'm curious to hear about you! 

What do you look forward to the most about the fall season?  How do you stay sane and slow down during the busiest times in your life? 

Think Once Again Of A Piano

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

We were lucky enough to receive the gift of a piano from a friend.  She simply didn't use it much and figured it was time to give it a new home.

It arrived wearing a homely shade of brown some out of date "jewelry" so I decided it was due for a face lift.

I'm going to share with you something that may change your painting and DIY projects forever.  It's a little thing called Chalk Paint.  And let me tell you, I've heard about it before and dismissed it as a complicated fad but I was wrong.  

It happens sometimes.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is the original brand and if you have a Stockist (a person who sells the brand) in your area you're in luck!  The thing that makes it great is you don't have to prime.  Can I say that again with more enthusiasm?  YOU DON'T HAVE TO PRIME!

Total time saver.  Because if you're like me, you are cramming in projects during a child's nap time, nighttime, or early morning hours while they're still in bed.

Also, the paint adheres to metal, plastic, glass, wood, and fabric!

Steps for Successful Chalk Painting


Clean your item with a damp rag and dry.

2.  PAINT 

Using a basic paint brush (I used the cheap chip brushes you get from Home Depot) apply 2 coats, allowing it to dry in between coats.  You can use more if you feel like you need it, but truly for this project I only required 2 coats.

It seriously takes 20 minutes to dry each coat Walk me to the confessional if I'm lying because seriously this stuff is miraculous. Disclaimer: if you're in a super damp climate or it's really rainy and humid out this time will increase.  I'm in Oregon and it still took around 20 minutes.

3. WAX  

Wait 24 hours and then apply wax.  Don't skip this part.  This is what seals in your color and protects your piece.  And it's easier to apply than you may think.

You have options with the brush you use.  The first option is using the official Annie Sloan wax brush.  It's a little pricey but if you are planning to do more projects it's worth it.  Also, the pointed tip prevents you from applying too much.  The second option is to hit up a craft store like Michaels and look for a very similar brush.  It will probably have a flat top.  I voted for the latter to save a little cash and it worked great.

Use the wax very sparingly.  I brushed it into my piece using a circular motion.  Once I finished one large area, I wiped and buffed it with a clean rag.  Your paint will appear darker but since the wax is clear, it will dry to the correct shade.

At first your piece will feel satin-y soft, each day the wax coating will continue the drying process.  In fact, it takes about 30 days for it to completely cure although, it's dry to the touch and useable pretty much right away.


Added bonus.  If you need to touch up your paint you can still apply it even after you've waxed.  Allow it to dry 24 hours and you can always go back and add a little wax if needed to those spots.


Clean brushes using mineral spirits.

My neighbor Sharon stocks Annie Sloan at her shop in Big White Goose in Canby, Oregon.  Nope, this is not an affiliate link, I'm not getting free paint or anything else, I just like the product and I think she's a kind and brilliant business woman.

What do you think of the finished product? 


A Childlike Love

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

We all give and receive love so differently. 

For example, I know that my mom loves me or anyone else for that matter through cooking.  Food is her love language. If she really, really loves you she’ll make you egg rolls.

I discovered this test called “Five Love Languages” not too long ago and it’s such a great resource.  The premise is that we all feel love in very specific ways.  Some of us need quality time with our loved ones, some feel loved through acts of service, others through physical touch like hugs and hand holding, still others through thoughtful small gifts, and some recognize love through words of affirmation.

My husband and I took the test and we found it eye opening.  It helps us understand how to intentionally show appreciation for each other in a way that we know will truly reach the other. 

I never thought much about how Henry shows us love aside from the sweet kisses and hugs he gives until we picked him up one day from childcare.  Our friend Jenny, did a craft with Henry and a few others in childcare while we attended a bible study.  She asked each child how they show love to others.  What I saw surprised me. 

Written on one of the hearts was:

How I Love My Mom
Hide and Seek

Hide and seek?  The week before the only game Henry wanted to play was play hide and seek.  I count and he hides in the same places over and over giggling the whole time.  I roll my eyes but play anyway and admittedly, I’m bored after a few games. 

I looked at the craft heart with surprise.  In disbelief, I uttered, “You mean every time he asks me to play this ridiculous game he’s saying he loves me?!” 

Instead of looking at this repetitive game as an inconvenience this was such a good reminder to me to take a minute and really pay attention to my child and what he’s telling me through little things like the games we play.

My friend smiled and reminded me of a quote I love from GK Chesterton, and here’s the full text:

A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony.  But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

So much of our days are filled with repetitive acts.  Put in the laundry, take out the laundry, fold the laundry, do it all again tomorrow.  Or if you live in my house, let the clean laundry sit in a tall pile until you just can’t take it any more and then you maybe put it back in the wash so it at least it’s doing something other than sitting in a pile on the floor. The monotony or the attitude of monotony ages us.  

We are too busy because often the root of it is we feel we are too important to do this pointless task…the laundry, the cleaning, counting to 10 and seeking out a child a million times.

Today’s reading (what is read in every Catholic mass throughout the world today) is taken from Matthew Chapter 18: 1-5, 10, 12-14.

The disciples were arguing about who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Which is pretty funny if you ask me.  If I made it to Heaven I'm pretty sure I'd be wearing a t-shirt that says "Just Happy To Be Here".   

Jesus says to them,

Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.
And so that leaves us a lot to ponder.  

What does it mean to be childlike?  What qualities do you think Jesus was talking about here? And how can we become more childlike in our daily life?

Feel free to jump in the comments below, I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

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