Let It Go…at Confession

Frozen’s song “Let It Go” …converted 2 Catholic by Fr Ariel Valencia

God’s Heart for You!

Book Badge Review, Doodle Summary and {Giveaway}

This is a treasure of a book. The form factor…its small pocketbook size, padded, board-book cover make it a special little gift with a big message. Affirming and personal and grounded in Scripture, this book offers a reminder of our dignity and preciousness as daughters of God.

Sprinkled with personal stories that we can relate to, assigned Scripture to further articulate each of the 40 days of messages, reflection questions to ponder and a prayer to complete the daily sojourn, this book provides a wonderful devotional or 40-day retreat, reaffirming our Scripture-confirmed worth and identity.

Written by a woman, for women, this is definitely a ‘chick-book’…although the affirming reminders that we belong to God and are cherished by Him are no less applicable to the male population of King’s Kids.

This is an excellent devotional…and the perfect gift…especially for the women in our lives.

I took a long time to create this Prayer Doodle! Pacing myself by reading only ONE devotional chapter a day, I slowly updated the Prayer Doodle as I worked my way through the book over at least 40 days. Yes, I may have missed a day or two, here and there. Extracting my most memorable message from each chapter and translating my notes to doodles, offered a great way to review and retain these basic, affirming messages. I enjoyed capturing all 40 days, all in one Prayer Doodle.

I deliberately didn’t color the doodle, in case I can leave that up to you…to color as you read the book after you WIN it in my special God’s Heart for You Giveaway below!

Miscarriage, Mass and Music

I will come to you in the silence
I will lift you from all your fear
You will hear My Voice
I claim you as My Choice
Be still, and know I am near
Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow Me
I will bring you home
I love you and you are Mine

A few years ago, I attended a Memorial Mass for my best friend’s mother, just a few days after I had lost Baby Gabriel at 19 weeks. Another friend of mine sang a special hymn ‘You are Mine’ by David Haas, accompanied by my Mom at this Memorial Mass. Tears streaming down my face, I actually hid in the public washroom after Communion until long after Mass, not ready to face any familiar faces or condolences…and not yet able to give my friend nearly enough support through the recent loss of her Mom.

That summer was the season of ‘you are mine’ at church!

Those eight weeks of Masses…were filled with the hymn ‘You Are Mine’. I hadn’t remembered hearing it before….and now all of a sudden, it was the Holy Communion hymn of choice…no matter where we attended Mass!

Tired and embarrassed about repeatedly crying at Mass at my familiar
parish, we even did a little Catholic Church hopping, visiting neighborhood
parishes of some of our favorite priests. Communion time would come and my eyes
would begin to tear up with the first 3 notes of accompaniment…even before it
registered that it was that song again!

By the end of that summer, we attended a Catholic conference…and do you know what Hymn Mark Forrest sang beautifully, EACH DAY of the conference for the Communion hymn? You guessed it….and yes, I continued to cry like a baby.

7 years later, I chase 2 more kids in my house (one who could not have been born if we hadn’t lost Gabriel). I also lost another baby in this time….for a total of 5 kids in my house and 3 babies in Heaven.

Last April, we were at Mass at our Parish and I was surprised to hear ‘You are Mine’ begin. Bill squeezed my hand with a ‘you okay?’ to which I confidently shrugged that I was fine, clearly having healed after such a long time. Maybe I was just a little smug…because I then looked across the Church to see a couple I recognized, sitting beside their First Communicant. It was then that I remembered that they had been expecting their first child when I was expecting Gabriel….and that this Sunday would very well have been Gabriel’s First Holy Communion day. OK, so maybe I just needed one more little cry to ‘You are Mine’. Pray for me, Gabriel!

I just read these comforting words in a Facebook group from Madeline to another Mom who has just suffered a miscarriage. Sometimes people don’t know what to say to another experiencing loss, but I think this wonderful lady has just the right words.

I know you had dreams of holding him close, seeing his smile, holding his little
hand as he took his first steps, sitting him on your lap and telling him all the wonderful things about God, but He had a different plan. I hope you find comfort, one day, in knowing that you have a beautiful, perfect little boy in heaven who is now taking care of your family until you are able to join him, and that God instead, has your little boy on His lap and is telling him the wonderful things about you.

to Jesus through Mother Mary

Mary, Mother of the Eucharist by Tommy Canning
Mother of the Eucharist by Tommy Canning
We have a print of this in our living room and it is absolutely beautiful!
Visit the Art of Divine Mercy Gift Shop!
I’m on an official quest to draw closer to Mother Mary. I realized that although I think I know about Our Lady and I have many friends and family with strong devotion to her, I don’t naturally go to her to draw closer to her Son. I have thought of her as the ultimate model for motherhood which is true, but her perfect motherhood (you know, born without sin and all…and raising Jesus, the Son of God) … intimidates me. I found myself wondering how she must see me in my little impatient Mom shoes, getting tired of the continuous demands of our precious little humans and being not so gracious about it.  If it weren’t for her being so perfect, I would think she might be shaking her head, or at least sighing deeply…
But she’s OUR MOTHER! I’ve heard how much she loves us (you and me!) and that she is our Mother ever since Jesus assigned her to us (alongside Apostle John). I’ve heard from others with deep devotion …of her unfailing love for us, gentleness, compassion and her desire to draw us ever closer to her Son.
So I’ve been reading 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration (I’m on Day 28!) with a little Under the Mantle: Marians Thoughts from a 21st Century Priest on the side…and had some spiritual direction with my favorite priest.

I’m going to keep trying to remember to pray for her help…and learn how to entrust myself completely to her so that she can bring me closer to Jesus.