Sunday, February 24, 2013

On the Lenten Road ~or~ Lent isn't just for Catholics

The season of Lent is upon us!  
Even though this is a desert season, I'm always excited to begin this journey!  We begin Lent in the cold and darkness of winter and pilgrimage towards the spring of Light and Life which is Easter!
Each of us have those habits or inclinations that we know, are keeping us from becoming the husband/wife/father/mother/friend/person, that we were created to be!  Whatever that thorn in your side is, if you're anything like me, you've made resolution after resolution to get over it!

The world gives us New Years Day!  After a busy holiday season, we all are eager to get started on our New Year's resolutions!  Jan1st, we tell our selves, that's the day!  I'll change this for good!  And within a short period of time, we fall back into old habits.

In her wisdom, the Church has given us Lent!  Where New Years Day is just a starting block.  Lent is a gym!  We spend 40 days praying, fasting, and giving!  In the Church we are given the equipment to work out, in the sacraments and traditions of our Lenten practices.  And day after day, for 40 days we're in this gym together!  Talk about accountability!  Every Catholic you know, is working out right next to you!  And coaching!  Man, have we got the coaches and trainers to keep you on track!  There is a wealth of 2000+ years of coaches to keep you motivated!  In the biographies of the holy men and women who have gone before us, you can see the merit of sacrifice, the joy in suffering, and the reward of perseverance!

{Having never really been an athlete, the irony of my analogy is not lost on me... but it makes sense}

Lent isn't just for Catholics

Yet, while Catholics are the ones who keep Lent,
and the Church is one who began this tradition, there isn't any reason non-Catholics can't join in!  The beauty and practicality of this tradition has value for anyone who desires more for their life!  We could all use 40 days in this gym!  40 days to stretch, strengthen, and grow!

Like working out at home, you can practice Lent outside of the Catholic Church.  There are those who have the self motivation and self discipline to stick to a work out plan at home.  But for many of us, we need the accountability and equipment we gain when we join a gym.  Also, the converse is true! There are MANY who join a gym, but never take advantage of all it has to offer.  I hope you see the analogy to the Church here ;)

Like all of the Church's teachings and traditions, the practice of Lent is based in Natural Law.  Natural Law governs all of humankind.  Catholic or Protestant; Christian or Atheist... Natural Law is written on our hearts.

The Law of Sacrifice
In nature, there is a law of sacrifice.  It states that in order to gain something that you want, you must give up something in return.

We all know this to be true!  Lent formalizes this natural law!  And the Church equips us to be successful in our efforts!

What do you need to get rid of in order to become the person you were created to be?

Set the World on Fire

St. Catherine of Sienna said "Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire!".  God created us all for something great!  What that great thing is, is different for each one of us.  That is our journey, to work, to sacrifice, in order to be who God meant us to be! 

While looking up that St. Catherine quote to make sure I got it right, I found another amazing quote!  She also said "All the way to heaven is heaven, because Jesus said, I am the Way."  So this sacrificial road that we are on, is joy because we do not travel it alone, and all of our suffering and sacrifice will bring about changes in our lives that bring us closer and closer to becoming that person who will set the world on fire!  
So now, while we are just at the outset of this Lenten journey, in this cold, dreary, claustrophobic winter season, we start with the end in mind.  We know that sacrificing for today will change us and bring us closer to becoming the person who will set the world on fire!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Back to School Shopping!?!

I know I say it every year, but can it really be back to school season already!?!?!  I feel like I'm just getting into the swing of summer... I haven't even gotten a chance to go camping or to the beach yet {yeah, I know that makes me a bad Michigander, but no... Something about 5 kids + sweaty sandy sun baked skin, just doesn't appeal to me, but I know beach outings are obligatory when you live in the Great Lakes State!}  So instead of focusing on the impending school year, I've decided to spend a little extra time in my shop this week ;)  That's a good thing for you, but a bad thing for my mounting to do.  But ah, I'll worry about that later... 

So while I'm working on some new earring flavors, why don't you do some back to school shopping Mama style ;)  With a new piece of jewelry, you'll be ready to face the change of season with a smile on your face!  
Not like you need an excuse for some new jewelry ;)  But the next 2 orders placed on will receive a free Nursing Necklace!

If you found your way here via Pinterest or some winding way through the interwebs, don't forget to visit me on Facebook and add me to your news feed for the latest giveaways, sales, and other helpful Mama info!

And just as a little teaser, I'm going to try to post some pics later this week from my newly 9yr olds Narnia Birthday party!  It was wonderful and tons of fun, but pretty simple and very un-pinteresting ;)  But that's a good things and I'll tell you why!

Comment below and tell me I'm not the only one ready to think about back to school!?!

Hope you all have a beautiful week! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

A little fun to get back in the swing of things!

After a much needed break, I'm back :)  
While I work on a little shop keeping this week, let's have a little fun!!  I posted on FB last weekend and told you that however many like the post got, that would be the value of our prize pack!   
65 of you liked it!  

So the prize this week will be a gift certificate worth $65!!  

Here's a few suggestions ;)
Zebra Jasper
 A new Deluxe Mama Nursing Necklace
"Mama Blues" Deluxe Necklace
 Or what about...
Fancy Jasper Nursing Bracelet

And speaking of Nursing Bracelets, did you know that they're not just for nursing?!?  Right now I'm using my to keep track of how many glasses of water I drink :)  
I don't know about your part of the country, but up here in Michigan, it's been nearly 100 degrees for the past MONTH!  
{We Northerners are not used to this!!!} 
So I've been trying extra hard to get plenty of water!  
How about you?  Feeling a little dehydrated?  This might be just what you need :)

Here's my first attempt at rafflecopter ;)  
So if you hit any snags please let me know asap!  

The contest will run until Saturday the 21st at midnight!  
You can enter every day :)  
So have fun and let me know if you have any questions or would like to place an order!  

FREE SHIPPING at the main store!!  
{not valid on etsy shop in sidebar}

So thankful for you all!  And you are always in my prayers!!  Thanks for allowing me to do what I love ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 1, 2012

31 Day Mama Challenge!

I saw this idea on Pinterest about a 30 day Mom challenge.
There were 30 simple things to do to help you become a better Mom.
I thought it was a great list, but some of the challenges lacked
something tangible to do, like "Focus on Joy".
Great thought, but in practice, I know I'd get to the end of the day and think,
"Oops, I forgot to focus on joy today!" I need something more specific I could do.

So, here's my plan! I'm going to use that list as a starting point and come up with a daily challenge and something small that we can all do to help us become a better Mom!

Who's in??

Day 1: Think of an activity that everyone in your family would enjoy then go do it!

Schedule a date and mark it in stone! No excuses! Even schedule a rain day {or more likely this time of year, a sick day!} Don't let anything get in the way of this awesome family adventure!

It could be something free like...

  • Drive in Movie @ Home!

  • DIY Talent Show! Everyone must plan an act! Or come up with some story starters and choose 2 family member to act out the rest of the story. Include a concession stand for fun!

  • Sledding (plan a nice hot snack or meal for afterwards)

  • Snowman Building Contest (complete with prizes for most creative, biggest, ect...)

  • Plan a scavenger hunt! (around your house with the final clue being an ice cream sundae bar, or around your neighborhood!)

If you've got a little money to burn...

  • Laser Tag! {remember how much fun that was when you were a kid?!}

  • Bowling {relatively cheap, and even the little ones will get a kick out of bumper bowling!}

  • Visit a Museum you've never been to! {Road Trip! Plan question and answer game or slug bug for the car ride)

Do something charitable together...

  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen

  • Visit a children's hospital and volunteer to lead a story time or craft activity

LinkWhat other ideas do you have?

Now, spend 5-10 minutes, maybe quickly poll your family, and decide what you'll do and put it on the calendar! If you need to make arrangements, put it at the top of your to do list for Monday morning :)

Don't forget to report back! I'd love to hear what you guys decide to do? And I'd love it if you post an action shot on my FB page :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Homeless for Christmas?

I've seen this image posted and reposted on facebook for a few weeks now... it tugs at my heart. It makes me sick to my stomach... And when I really examine myself, it brings tears to my eyes...

We are a nation of excess... despite these hard times we're in, which are the hardest my generation has ever faced, the restaurant parking lots are full, the Toy R Us lines are long, and the Christmas wish lists are even longer.

Many of us are scaling things back this year out of necessity. Everything is just more expensive this year! {anyone else notice the 20%+ hike in groceries?!?!} But there are many families in my own little world who aren't just struggling, but seriously hurting. Not just living on a tight budget, but living on nothing.

Every year we do something charitable at Christmas. In years past, we take the kids shopping to pick out a toy for the Toy for Tots campaign. It's been a good lesson for our kids. They want it, but they learn the joy of sacrifice. But this year I had to ask myself, what do hurting families really need? How can I do something that will teach them to fish, instead of just handing out fish?

Both acts of charity are necessary! You can't teach someone to fish on an empty stomach! But in the long run, what can I do that will impact another family and put them back on the road to self reliance.

I've been very blessed! In more ways than I can count! My husband and children are all safe and healthy! We have a roof over our heads and food in our cupboards. We have the love and support of extended family. And a faith that will take us through any storm!

What kind of person am I, if I take what I've been given, and bury it in the ground? Like the servants and the talents from the parable Jesus told.

{Matthew 25:14} 2 servants were smart and invested what was given to them. They were able to give back the Master more than was given to them. The 3rd servant, wasn't a total fool. He didn't gamble his talent away. He didn't want to loose it, so he buried it. Left it. And waited for the Master to return...

I'm no fool either {at least not usually after a cup of coffee}. I know better than to take what I've been given and waste it completely. But I do really identify with the servant who buried the talent. If he was able to make it grow, then he could have given the Master something more to use to bring about good things for others. If I'm able to take what God has given me {my talents, abilities, treasures, and time) and invest in others, I can do something that will really help someone who's in need...

Last week, my husband found a video on Youtube about homeless families in Florida, a place that's been one of the hardest hit in this recession. It really hit home... seeing good, hard working, families with nothing... just trying to make it to another day.

It pierced my heart.
How could I spend $100 just to fill the stockings of my 5 kids, when $100 could feed another family for a week!

So there's my heart... It's been weighing on me all weekend. I've been praying and asking the Lord, what He wants me to do. What He wants us to do!

After watching that youtube video, my husband had this wonderful crazy idea about spending the night in our car, to bring awareness to the difficulties of the homeless in our area. I'm putting all this in God's hands and asking him how he wants me to invest myself.

Maybe it is something as simple as giving a toy, He could somehow, use that small gift to affect a huge change in someones life.


Maybe He's calling me to something that would require a much more difficult outpouring of myself...

Either way, I can't wrap my heart around a bunch of stuff this year...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Small Business Saturday!

Now through Monday you can snag some incredible deals in my shop

Organic Mama's Shop

~One of a kind necklaces

~Design your own earrings!

~Big deals on bracelets

~and MORE!