Spiritual Sunday: Hail Mary, Holy Baby

Spiritual Sunday: Hail Mary, Holy Baby

Junebug LOVES Mother Mary.  Like, it’s almost on the weird side how excited she is.  It’s pretty cool!

She chats with and hugs our Mary statue on our front porch.  She says hi to the big Mary statue on the way into church.  She points out Mary in the statues inside of church… She’s definitely a Mary lover.  She calls her Marys ❤

Today after Mass, she had to stop in front of the Mother Mary statue, stand on the landscaping bricks and she and Dada prayed a Hail Mary.  I was tired, hot and feeling uncomfortable from being at church (wooden pews and no ac don’t go well with pregnancy) so I watched them and then started heading to the car.

Junebug insisted that I come back and pray another Hail Mary with her.

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I said to Joseph on my way back over to the statue, “She makes me holier every day”.  I truly believe that is the case.  This little two year old has encouraged my prayer life to grow every day.  I’m not only praying with more frequency, but more creatively.  We recently added a new prayer element to bedtime prayers (because she wasn’t quite ready for the actual nuhnight prayer) and I asked her what we should thank Jesus for.  We then list all the fun things we did during the day and any friends we were able to visit with.  This has been a huge blessing for me and I’m hoping that it’ll be a blessing for her as well.  If we’ve had a rough day, being able to reflect on the positives really brings me back into a better mood.  I’m hoping that this “Thank You, Jesus” reflection will help Junebug to be grateful and recognize her blessings in daily life, even for things as small as seeing a bird on the bird feeder or splashing in the pool.

I’m so blessed to have Junebug in my life, just generally speaking, but her influence on my spiritual life has been amazing! What a cool little kiddo I have!!!

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Spiritual Sunday: Ordination Celebration

Spiritual Sunday: Ordination Celebration

This weekend, the Diocese of Green Bay ordained a new Priest!  That in and of itself is SUPER awesome, since there is a shortage of Priests, but what’s even cooler is that I know the new Priest and he’s from our new parish!

So, congrats to the newly ordained Fr. Edward Looney, and THANK YOU for saying yes to the call to the Priesthood!

We had hoped to go to the actual ordination yesterday, but we thought it might be too much for Junebug.  We decided we’d go to Fr. Looney’s Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving today at our parish and participate in the Eucharistic procession.  It was such an awesome experience to see his first Mass!  We’re really glad we were able to go to it!

We ended up going to the reception afterwards and ate dinner next to one of the Priests I grew up with at my home parish, so I got to do a little catching up with Fr. Bob!  He’s celebrating his 50th anniversary in the Priesthood this year.  How cool!

Congrats again, Fr. Looney, and great job today 🙂

Spiritual Sunday: “Oh crap, she’s up”

Spiritual Sunday: “Oh crap, she’s up”

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I’ve seen this quote before on Pinterest and it always made me giggle.  I’m sure I have some form of this image pinned on one of my boards.  It has never really been in the forefront of my mind, but I think that should change.  I think this IS the sort of woman I should be.

I started thinking about this today while reflecting on the events of my day yesterday.  It was my second year participating in the event called “Walk to Mary”, an approximately 21 mile walking pilgrimage from the St. Norbert College campus in DePere, Wisconsin, to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, Wisconsin.   My husband and 3 of his cousins/friends started the walk at the 7 mile marker at a church in Green Bay.  I planned to join them in the afternoon with Junebug at the Family Walk start, which is 2 miles away from the Shrine.  Lets just say, my plans ticked off the devil.

That nasty dude had his hands ALL OVER my day.  Almost from the get go, things just didn’t end up panning out the way I had planned and things kept popping up to delay me.  I got a late start on our way out of town to get to the meet up point, since we had lunch at my mother and father in law’s house.  Then I had a hard time getting my GPS on my phone to pick up where the meet up point was, because the website gave an intersection and my GPS isn’t that cool apparently.  Once I finally just settled on finding one of the roads and guessing my way to the meet up point, we got on the highway and started out.  About 20 minutes from the Shrine, traffic on the highway was more or less at a standstill.  Apparently, a car accident had JUST happened ahead of us (THANK GOD we weren’t involved!!!) and it took us about 15 minutes to make it through that area.  I finally got out to Luxemberg, where the Family Walk meetup was, and asked event staff to help me locate the meeting point.  They didn’t let me know however, that I wouldn’t be able to park there- they had busses shuttling walkers from the Shrine to the meetup point.  SO, once I finally got there, I had to turn back around go to the Shrine itself.  As we were pulling into our parking spot, the last bus left the parking lot to go to the Family Walk meetup.  Junebug and I were less than impressed with our timing.

I considered just hanging out at the Shrine and waiting for the walkers to arrive, but I said to myself, we paid for me to walk, and dang it, I’m going to walk.  The devil has been messing with my day ALL DAY and I’m not going to let him ruin this.  So Junebug and I got ourselves ready and started what I fondly refer to as my Walk Away From Mary.  It was about a mile away from the Shrine, when God sent us an amazing gift.  14 whitetail deer came bounding across a farm field and crossed the road directly between us and the event staff.  Junebug and I enjoyed watching them running and counted them all.  In the distance, I also saw a sea of white t-shirts approaching.  My heart was so overjoyed!  I stopped and chatted with a lady who was directing and encouraging the walkers and waited until we saw Joseph running towards us (how he was running after 12 miles of walking, I don’t know).  We then started our Walk to Mary.

The devil did not win yesterday.  God did.  Junebug and I persevered so that we could honor Mary.  I think the devil said “Oh crap”.  Heck yes.

If you’d like any information regarding the Walk to Mary, or if you would like to join our increasing numbers, you can visit the walk’s website at http://www.walktomary.com.  Every year there has been an increase of about 400 people!  How amazing!  You could join in next year and make it even more impressive!  (PS, we even had protesters this year!  You know you’re the cool kids when people protest!!!)

Spiritual Sunday: Prayer Sticks and Theology of the Body

Spiritual Sunday: Prayer Sticks and Theology of the Body

Part 1: Prayer Sticks

I’ve been loving the joy that praying for others has been bringing to our lives lately, especially little Junebug.  I sat with her yesterday while dinner was in the oven and we went through family and friends and prayed for each one individually for intentions that we knew they needed prayers for or prayed for intentions that we thought of.  She got the greatest kick out of me suggesting new people to pray for and she would decide if she wanted to pray for that person next or if she wanted me to make a new suggestion.  She’s got her own bold little mind!  Her personal favorites to pray for are Boompa (my dad), Puppa (Joseph’s dad) and Uncle John (Joseph’s younger brother).  So cute!!!

I sometimes struggle to come up with new names or with remembering who we’ve already prayed for in our litany’s, so I decided to turn to an idea that I had found on Pinterest a while back.  Here’s the original post: http://www.lubirdbaby.com/2011/12/prayer-pail-update.html

The idea was a Prayer Pail, essentially a container full of prayer intentions to choose from.  The momma that I got the idea from wrote on jumbo craft sticks with colorful markers and put the sticks into a metal pail labeled “Prayer Pail” and decorated the handle with colored ribbons!  How cute!

I decided to do a spin off, and used what I assume to have been a glass candle holder (Goodwill find), washi tape, jumbo craft sticks and permanent marker.

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I spent some time writing down family members, friends and some prayer intentions that our family could pray for together.  My plan is to bring our prayer sticks out before mealtimes and to include an intention after our traditional meal prayer.

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(Yes, I did this with a glass of FAKE wine…  I miss real stuff :/ )

I did decorate the sticks in the colors that I was hoping to decorate Junebug and Pumpkin’s room once we get around to getting Junebug a toddler bed and putting the crib wall back up on the crib Junebug is currently using as a bed.  I’m hoping to keep these in their room and also use them for bedtime prayers!

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Here are some of our prayer intentions:

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Right now our prayer sticks are living up on our religious shelf, sitting next to our bowl of Rosaries…  You know you’re Catholic when you not only have Rosaries, but have enough to fill a bowl in case friends are over and you want to pray together 😉

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Part 2: Theology of the Body

Friday night I went with some friends to a young adult event put on by our diocese.  They brought in Christopher West, author and speaker on the topic of Theology of the Body.

What a blessing it was to be able to hear him speak!!!  I’ve only ever gotten through the first few pages of his “Theology of the Body for Beginners” book, because the book would get lost or another new book would spark my interest.  I can see it sitting on our bookshelf right now, and let me tell you, that is the book I’m going to be reading tonight!  If you’ve never heard of Theology of the Body before, it is Pope Saint John Paul II’s teachings regarding human sexuality and the true design for the human body as God created us.  I was so inspired to delve deeper into TOB and to discover more about the words that JPII spoke to us. Once I get further into TOB, maybe I’ll do another post, but I just wanted to share how much I loved hearing Christopher West speak.  I ended up purchasing another one of his books while I was there and I’m looking forward to getting into that book as well!

xoxo Megan

Spiritual Sunday- Bible Study Bag

Spiritual Sunday- Bible Study Bag

Recently, I’ve realized that my prayer life and knowledge of my faith are kind of lacking.  I decided to make some goals to remedy this.

1. Intention List: I’d like to keep track of the intentions that I say I’ll pray for (through a conversation, text, Facebook post, or any other means). I’d like to remember to actually pray for people, instead of just saying I will and forgetting by the end of the day.

2. Daily Prayer Message: Every day I’d like to choose a Facebook friend and send them a message saying that I’m praying for them for anything that may be going on in their lives.  This may be something specific that I know is going on or just offering general prayers being sent their way for any intentions they may have.

3. Bible Study: I’d like to take time out at least once a week to follow a Bible reading plan. I want to underline, highlight, take notes and put tabs on pages of my Bible.  I want to learn about my faith.  I also want to do some journaling with it.

In light of my goals, I’ve put together some items that I need to make them “doable”.

1. The Bible.  I’m currently in the process of putting those fancy gold tabs into the pages so I can find the books easier, but in the moving process they were misplaced so that project is kind of at a standstill.

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2. The journal.  I bought this journal a few years ago at Walgreens after a Women’s Conference I attended with the ladies in Joseph’s family.  I’ve been using it for devotional journaling and general prayer journaling.  I now have pages devoted to keeping track of intentions (and how the prayers have been answered) and my Facebook Prayer Messages.  I also do my Bible study journaling in here now.

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3. The hardware.  I’m currently writing with black ink for my journaling but I’m using the colored pens to underline on the Bible pages and make underlines and circles to accent important ideas that I have while writing in the journal.  The colored tape I used on my Facebook Prayer Messages and Prayer Intention pages to mark a line between what I was praying for and how the message was received/how the prayer was answered.  Right now I’m storing them in a simple SUPER CLASSY plastic sandwich bag.  I’m on the lookout for a cute little pencil case or little clutch that will match the bag. (As I mentioned in my Menu Planning Station post on Friday, I’m anal matchy :P)

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4. The bag.  I picked up this bag on my most recent Goodwill shopping trip.  It was only $2.99 and fits everything I need for my Bible study inside of it.  It unfortunately doesn’t clasp, since my journal is too big, so next time I need a journal I’ll take that into consideration.  Junebug was TOTALLY fascinated by the cords that make up the handle.  She was super busy this evening trying to separate them all and had her fingers all sorts of twisted up.  What a kid.  ❤

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Here’s the inside look of my bag!  Maybe once I get a little more comfortable with my journaling I’ll show you a page out of my journal so you can see what that looks like.  It is still very much so a work in progress.  I love having everything together now so that I can just grab my bag and have all of my tools right at my fingertips whenever I have a moment.  Momma life is all about convenience- having things put together really makes life a whole lot easier, at least for me!!!

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What are some things that you do for Bible study or journaling?  I’m always up for new ideas to keep things fresh and new so that I stay interested!  Even though this idea is only about a week new!