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Category Archives: Prayer

The Shortest Advent

This year, Advent will be the shortest it could ever be. Christmas Eve falls on the same day as the Fourth Sunday of Advent, so we’ll be lighting that last purple candle in the evening…and heading to Mass to celebrate the birth of our Savior just a few hours later! It’s incentive to get my ducks in a row beforehand, so I’m making plans as it will be here in just two short weeks!

Advent may be my favorite time of the year. I like the preparations for Christmas, almost as much as the holiday itself. It’s not the hustle of the season that draws me, but the opposite that we are called to: the quiet, interior preparation for Jesus’ coming. I suppose it is a bit like nesting. A mother joyfully awaiting the arrival of her precious child. She cleans, she cooks, she prepares sweet “gifts” for her babe. She wants all the things to be just right when her little one comes.

I feel this way, too, waiting for Christmas. I want to prepare the hearth for my family celebrations, but I also want to prepare my heart for the coming of the Babe. There is goodness and peace found in the preparation as equally the celebration.

There are a few tools I shared in last year’s post on Advent that we will using once again, but a few different ones as well.

In the mornings before dawn, I will start the day with Laura‘s lovely words from Blessed is She’s In the Beginning 2017 Advent Journal. I will journey through the beginning of each Gospel, steeped in thoughts of how God is calling me to begin this new liturgical and calendar year.  It seems a fitting way to begin the day, no?

The beauty of beginnings is how they invite us to behold with fresh eyes. This is why newborns are a wonder. Why gardeners love spring. Why fans cheer at kickoff. Why falling in love makes your heart flutter. Why you can’t sleep the night before a new job. Why the start of each school year sparkles with promise

All that hope and energy buzzing in the air. Anything could happen.

~Laura Fanucci, In the Beginning 

Afternoons will be spent with my daughters reading through and reflecting on Take Up and Read‘s Rooted in Hope. During our tea time, we will follow along with their outstanding children’s guide. With its Lectio Divina style, it will be an excellent way to pray together. I will also gather with girl friends once a week for fellowship using their group guide, perhaps trying out a recipe or three from it to accompany our meetings.

I pray that it will be a fruitful Advent for our household, as well as yours!

“A voice cries out: In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our Lord.”
Isaiah 40: 3-5


7 Reasons to Inspire Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus ~ {SQT}


Throughout most of my life, I’ve had a strong devotion to and love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus. There are many reasons why, but I’ve picked seven today to help inspire you to the same.

1. It is a human heart which understands our own. {and vice versa}

Christ is fully man so His is a divine love capable of being expressed in a human way. Learn from Him. He also understands in a very human way what we are going through.

2. It is the “fount of mercy”.

No matter how many mistakes we make, how many times we fall, this Heart of our Lord wants to forgive us and have us return to Him. His mercy is never-ending and all-encompassing.

3. It inspires Heart-to-heart conversations with Our Lord.

How much easier it is to speak with God when we discover a heart like our own! The humanity of Christ makes those heart-to-hearts that we would have with a close friend so much more easy.

4. It is a place to rest your weary heart.

Rest in His Sacred Heart when you feel overwhelmed, beaten down, sorrowful. He understands as He has been there Himself and will help you find a way to overcome.

5. It is ardent and constant Love for YOU.

The Love of our Lord is so IMMENSE! And He loves you as if you were the only person on this earth. He will always be there for you.

6. It is what unites all Christians — the Heart of the Body of Christ.

To be an authentic witness and member of the Body of Christ, it is important to connect with the Heart of the Body for He is our Lifeline.

7. It is the author of all that is beautiful and good in this world.

To see beauty, to create beauty, to appreciate what is good, to choose what is good–this is the place to learn.


Linking up with Blessed is She on the topic of ‘Heart’ this week and with Kelly for Seven Quick Takes. 

Fr. Junipero Serra: A Vital Part of California’s Heritage

Sometimes I find myself complaining that the United States seems to be lacking in heavenly friends {i.e. saints of the canonized variety}. But, in truth, there are more than I realize. Actually, one happens to be resting in the terra firma {although I’m not sure how firm it is due to those shaking quakes} of Northern California.

He’s kind of a big deal here out West.



Blessed Junipero Serra {soon-to-be SAINT come September} started the movement and founded many of the beautiful missions that run up and down the coast of California.

I’ve long had a devotion to this California missionary. He truly is “one of the founding fathers of the Unites States” as Pope Francis recently called him, having established community and culture here in California during the 1700s. These little communities erected around the missions helped in both the material and spiritual welfare of its citizens, providing refuge from an oftentimes hostile environment out on the frontier.

The Franciscans of the missions provided instruction on useful life-skills. They aided in the development of technology of the day. They provided medical services for those who were ailing. And like many of the monks who came before them, they helped preserve texts and the sacred music of the Church too. All of this in addition to sharing the Gospel of Christ with those they encountered.


Recently, the US Senate proposed and voted to remove Junipero Serra’s statue from the nation’s capitol, claiming he wasn’t a suitable representative of California. It is a great insult to our nation’s history, and especially that of California, to even suggest removing it. His influence was great in the founding of this state, and as San Diego’s Bishop McElroy recently pointed out, he is representative of the ever-growing Hispanic population residing in our state having come here from Spain himself.

It is unfortunate that our Senate must engage in revisionist history in order to push their agenda. And all of this is happening just as Pope Francis is preparing for his trip to Washington D.C. in September to canonize Serra.

“What made Friar Junipero leave his home and country, his family, university chair and Franciscan community in Mallorca to go to the ends of the earth? Certainly, it was the desire to proclaim the Gospel ad gentes, that heartfelt impulse which seeks to share with those farthest away the gift of encountering Christ: a gift that he had first received and experienced in all its truth and beauty.”

Junipero Serra had a missionary heart. He gave up much to serve the people of the Americas and bring the Good News to this nation. I’m sure his actions were not always perfect, but his intention to bring a better life and share Christ with others was full of greatness.

Let us pray with the Holy Father for an extension of this upon our country once again as we prepare for Fr. Serra’s canonization.

“We ask the Risen Jesus, Lord of all ages, that the life of our American continent may be rooted ever more deeply in the Gospel it has received; that Christ may be ever more present in the lives of individuals, families, peoples and nations, for the greater glory of God. We pray too that this glory may be manifested in the culture of life, brotherhood, solidarity, peace and justice, with a preferential and concrete love for the poor, through the witness of Christians of various confessions and communities, together with believers of other religious traditions, and people of upright conscience and good will. Lord Jesus, we are merely your missionary disciples, your humble co-workers so that your Kingdom may come!”

Wait for the Lord : Blessed is She

kayleigh in prayer

“Some days I wanted to let Him go, to lose faith in His promises. But He kept me tethered by a glimmer of hope; He did not let me go.

I waited for Him.

I waited for His healing. I longed for His embrace.

He did not disappoint.”


to read more go here

Christ on the Cross

I recently joined a group of talented women who bring you the devotions of Blessed is She. A wonderful ministry dedicated to filling women’s lives with His Word, each day on the site we bring you the daily readings of the Mass along with a short meditation based on them (or you can have it sent directly to your email). It literally takes five minutes of your day. I have the hardest time fitting in times for prayer throughout the day, but this definitely helps keep me on the right path.

It is a wonderful way to join in the Liturgical Year and take some time out in conversation with God each day. I love it as I can pull it up on my phone while nursing my baby to sleep or sit with a cup of tea and journal while I meditate on His Word.

In order to build one another up and support each other in the Faith, we just began regional Facebook groups. It is a great way to meet other women in your area who are striving to live out God’s mission in their daily lives. We’re hoping that this will allow some to meet up in person in order to build friendships face-to-face.


What are you waiting for? Join us.

Finding Time For Prayer as a Mother

I tend to be a fan of structure. Not quite Type-A level, but I like when things are organized and when there is a plan. However, since having children, I have been learning the difficult {on occasion} lesson of being more flexible with my time and expectations.

{This is not to say all has gone by the wayside. A certain structure to the day is essential (and necessary) with little people. Even if it is crashing down around you from one minute to the next.}

As a single person, with only my own needs to attend to, I tended to more strict with times for prayer scattered throughout my day. In an effort to not leave my relationship with Our Lord merely in the margins now as a married person with children, I still need intentional places and times of prayer in my day. But these often have to be more flexible, as my saying a Morning Offering upon rising is difficult when rising might happen several times throughout the wee hours of the morning.

Here are five times in my day that connect me back to Our Creator and help me to continue to build my relationship with Him.

1) At meal times // We pray together as a family at each meal whoever is at home {or if we are out — awesome method of evangelization!}. It is also a great way to teach my daughters to be thankful for the gifts we are given. {Evelyn loves to say, “Thank you, Jesus…AMEN!”} We spend the time before dinner taking turns with intentions for those who have asked our prayers throughout the day.

2) While nursing the baby // I tend to have my cell phone with me while I nurse my little one. At least one nursing session is spent reading these daily devotions from Blessed is She. Through them, I am able to participate in the Church calendar by reading the readings of the day from Mass {going to daily Mass is just too much for us right now} and spending some time with a short meditation which accompanies and is based upon the readings.

3) In the car // I don’t know if it is just me or if drivers are becoming more hostile lately. I spend quite a bit of time praying for the people I encounter on the road who either must be having a bad day or need prayers for a change of heart in their attitude about the way the drive, endangering their life and the lives of others.

4) When I awake in the night // This is almost guaranteed with my little one still nursing through the night. I pray for my husband who is sleeping by my side, for his protection, and that God will be His strength the trials of the following day.

5) While putting the children to sleep // I love these quiet moments as they are drifting off to sleep to remember to pray for their little souls. I offer prayers of thanksgiving and petition for these sweet ones entrusted to my care that they may grow up to be good girls and that I may follow the Spirit’s prompting in how to guide them.


When do you pray?

Remembering the Little Ones Lost

pregnancy-infant-loss-remembrance-dayThis is strongly on my heart today.

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

I have not lost one of my own children, but I do have two siblings in heaven whom I have never met — one who would be two years older than me and my brother, Seth’s, twin. Just writing that down brings tears to my eyes. I miss them although I have never seen them. My heart aches for their loss.

My heart is also aching for all my mommy friends who have lost a little one through a miscarriage, still birth or infancy death. I know too many. I am thinking of each one of you and praying for you today. Know that your little one is loved and remembered. He or she is your little saint in Heaven watching down on your family. I’m lighting a candle this evening in their memory.

wave of light

If you would like to leave your child’s in the comments, I will pray for him or her by name.

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