Posts

Showing posts with the label Catholic

Entrusting My Fertility to God

Image
I did not plan on having a large family; I had never even held a baby before our firstborn. I had moved east with Michael after our first baby was born, which cut me off from daily contact with friends and family. Although I enjoyed living in the country, raising our own vegetables and later even all our own meat, it was an isolated existence. I felt like Ruth in a foreign land but without family support because Michael’s mother was busy with a huge extended family. In addition, my husband struggled with depression. Worldly opinion screamed we should not have any more children. The question we had struggled with for years was,“How could we remain faithful to Church teaching when Natural Family Planning did not seem to work for us?” continue reading

Emoji Virtues!? Guest Post: Cathy Gilmore from Virtue Works Media

Image
Emoji Virtues in our emotions? Is that even possible?
When we encounter characters in the books we read, the movies and TV we watch, as well as in the ever-unfolding story we call real life, we can witness virtues. Virtue comes alive in people’s beliefs, perceptions, thoughts, decisions and actions. But, how often do we consider the way that virtue can operate in human feelings and emotions?

A lifetime of research by a Catholic spiritual psychology pioneer, Richard Johnson, PhD. revealed that we  have special spiritual strengths, otherwise known as virtues; which specifically operate in the part of our personality whose function is emotion. He identifies Joyfulness,Trust, Devotion, Empathy and Gratitude as personality traits that we can cultivate as holy habits of virtue in a unique way in our emotions. Often, we think of emotions as something reactive; triggered by some new situation, or a recalled memory. However, through the miracle of virtue, aided by God’s grace, we can be INTEN…

The Devil's Plan

Image
I know the devils plan. 

The devil has been working up to this moment for a very long time.
You see the devil has a lot of time to think and he is constantly retracing his steps to see where he went wrong ...
TO READ THE REST OF THE DEVIL'S PLAN: CLICK HERE!

5 Practical Ways to Organize Your ADHD Life (and Feel Good about Yourself)

Image
When I first began to realize that I had ADHD, I came across an invaluable list of 50 tips for managing Attention Deficit from Drs. Ed Hallowell and John Ratey.  I still have my original copy of the list printed off from AOL! In today's blog, I am sharing not only their life-changing advice on managing your tasks but also my personal experience with Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity disorder and how I used these suggestions to transform my life. Set up your Environment to Reward Rather than Deflate. "To understand what a deflating environment is, all most adult ADD'ers need do is think back to school. Now that you have the freedom of adulthood, try to set things up so that you will not constantly be reminded of your limitations."

During the last 3 decades since graduating from High School, I have dabbled in many different professions with the best fits being the careers with task versatility and work from home capabilities. Not coincidentally, these are also the cho…

God is Not Fair - Insights and A-ha's (Book Review Reflection)

Image
"WOW" Moments  The Month of May has been trying but also one of the most spiritually fruitful of my life.  After putting off a routine mammogram for nearly 5 years, I finally went.  The test revealed an enlarged lymph node - I am happy to report it was finally determined to be due to inflammation [You can listen to the MIRACULOUS story evolving that on this special episode of A Seeking Heart with Allison Gingras - it is NOT everyday one receives a favor from a Almost-Saint]. As the Lord, slowly walked me through this valley, Fr. Horan's words were equal parts comforting and inspiring. This was a time of acute awareness to pray always with urgency but without anxiety.  Here are some other "WOW" moments gleamed during that time from the pages of God is Not Fair:
We are not better than anyone else.  Regardless of what blessings God has allowed in your life, what talents you posses, or how you use them.  Additionally, those gifts that God bestows only bless you to …

5 Practical Ways to Pray When You Can't Focus

Image
I cannot think of anything more difficult for my ADHD brain then the sustained mental focus sometimes required to pray. The good news is prayer comes in many forms and these 5 strategies are sure to help you engage in meaningful prayer - whether you have an attention disorder or not!  Here are some of my tried and true methods for conversing with God even when I am completely out of focus. Walk and TalkTwo Years ago I was struck with this crazy inspiration to get my butt outside to pray the Rosary.  Uncomfortable walking the streets alone, I decided to encircle my home. This was made easy, in my mind anyway, because I live on a fork-in-the-road and have a driveway that connects the two streets.  I am only on grass when I traverse my backyard.  Around and around I go, praying the rosary, talking with God, the Blessed Mother, my Guardian Angel and whoever else in Heaven (or Purgatory) will listen.

The practice has become so much more than I ever anticipated it to be.  The exercise has he…

PODCAST: A Confession Chicken Comes Clean

Image
Once incredibly fearful of the Sacrament of Reconciliation - my experience with a friendly, enthusiastic priest changed all that.  Have you ever been called back into the confessional?  

While I still get butterflies before a Confession [discomfort is good indication of contrition - more of that in the podcast below] over the years, the Holy Spirit has shown me what a true GIFT participating in this Sacrament is.  Do not thin of it as being made to go but of actually BEING ALLOWED to go to Confession!  God provides this amazing experience of actually HEARING the words, "Your sins are forgiven."  That is not all He gives us - he also takes our guilt, shame, and pain and fills us GRACE! His Holy Spirit within us, that Spirit which helps us to strive closer toward holiness, and so much more! 

Ad/hd & Anxiety How the Catholic Faith Helps me Cope

Image
Ad/hd as an Asset

My Ad/hd went diagnosed throughout my childhood and young adulthood.  Unfortunately, that resulted in some major self-esteem issues, among other things we'll be discussing in this series in the weeks to come.  The realization that I was blessed (and it is a blessing) with Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder came in my early thirties when I was a young mother and an early childhood educator. My oldest was showing signs of Ad/hd so I began researching to learn more about the signs and symptoms.  I started with the book, Driven to Distraction by Ed Hallowell, in audio version on cassette from the library. Clue number one this wasn't just about my son should have been my reliance on audio books to finish books as staying focused reading has always been one of my biggest challenges.

I will never forget having to pull over and rewind the cassette to re-listen to Dr. Hallowell list the 15 possible symptoms of Ad/hd.  I took out a scrap piece of paper from my purs…

Letting Go: A Chance for Sparks

Image
James squinted, taking a moment to truly look at her. 
Beryl's black hair was tugged into a tight ponytail. She'd shielded her figure in a snow white sweater, black leggings and ankle boots. The sleeves were tugged past her wrist, hiding every inch of skin, even her fingertips. Her arms were folded tight. Her balance kept shifting. Her striking eyes, in the rare moments they rose to meet his, looked more bruised-violet than true blue. He'd seen other students addled during finals week, but none who looked like this.  Read the rest of the excerpt from my newest romantic novel here! A Chance for Sparks

Film Review: The Spirit of Christmas

Image
My Christmas film reviews conclude with The Spirit of Christmas (2015) directed by David Jackson, and starring Thomas Beaudoin and Jen Lilley. This is an unusual addition to Lifetime's Christmas film catalogue---still a romance, but one that's part ghost story/part mystery.

It seems an odd blend of genres for a Christmas film. Or perhaps not so odd when one considers the famous ghostly Christmas tale we're all familiar with, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carole. There are huge differences, of course. This is no Dickens classic, though it is still enjoyable. Also, this film's hero, Daniel (Thomas Beaudoin), is already dead. His journey of self-discovery, however, is similarly focused on exploring the ghosts of his past.

The plot summary: big-city lawyer Kate (Jen Lilley) is tasked with arranging the sale of a deceased client's property before the new year. The house is actually an antique mansion in a small, snowy town upstate.

Read the rest of the review here!

Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval Recipient

Image
With excitement, I share some great news with all of you! Please celebrate with me! Adventures of Faith, Hope, and Charity – Finding Patience, received the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval. The Guild awards this honor to literature that embodies and reinforces teachings of the Catholic Church.

The Guild’s Seal of Approval provides retailers, and the public, with assurance that what they purchase contains quality. Seal of Approval books are known for their Catholicity and editorial quality. Each submission goes through much scrutiny. The Guild prides itself in only recommending those books that positively add to the spiritual life of the reader, in accordance with Catholic teaching. Therefore, I am humbled and honored that Adventures of Faith, Hope, and Charity: Finding Patience now counts among what the Guild considers quality, Catholic literature.
FREE Giveaway – Kindle Version  Read more...

How to Prepare Yourself and Teach Your Children about Divine Mercy

Image
Should you prepare yourself and teach your children about Divine Mercy? Jesus’ words to Saint Faustina about the requirement to be merciful leave no room for misinterpretation: “Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy … I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it”(742). To read more about St. Faustina and how Divine Mercy Sunday was conceived, please read our last post: 7 Facts about St. Faustina and the Conception of Divine Mercy Sunday (This will open in a new tab so you can click in now and check it out after you read this post. 
Resources for Moms: For the entire post and to read more resources for moms and your children, click here.

Mathematics and Mysticism

Image
The Catholic Church calls those that have extra-ordinary revelation, "mystics." 
I do not like this term, The mystical is shunned and looked down on in our society because some people look on the mystic as someone unbalanced, or if their revelations are believed, then they are looked upon as a person who has attained a friendship with God to which no one else can attain. There is nothing farther from the truth...

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE.

Little Sisters and other resisters

Image
Being a Catholic American is certainly a privilege, often a joy. I make no claim that a U.S. government policy will do what the very gates of Hell can't do: prevail against Christ's church. Certainly nothing I experience here can compare to what our sisters and brothers in other parts of the world are suffering for the faith.

Even so, a federal policy that calls contraception "basic preventive health care" gets my attention. Federal efforts to force me to pay for contraception and abortion-inducing drugs challenge the religious liberty I have thus far been afforded as an American. And I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Little Sisters of the Poor, my sisters in faith, who are asserting their religious liberty in the face of federal policy. The Supreme Court has just accepted their case for consideration.

Read more at Leaven for the Loaf.

The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

Image
“A tree has destroyed us,…….

Another has brought us life.  To read more, go to The Sincere Gift

Christian Meditation in Contrast to "Mind-Emptying" Meditation

Image
My husband and I were watching the investigative reporting program 60 Minutes recently, and one of the segments had to do with Buddhist "mind-emptying" meditation. The reporting journalist told of how he'd decided to try to immerse himself in the practice as part of a week-long journalistic piece he was preparing, but that he'd not ever given it much thought and didn't expect much to come of it. 


"Teach your children how to pray!"

Image
Two weeks ago, Pope Francis used his General Audience to implore parents to teach their children how to pray:
“There are children who have not learned how to make the sign of the cross!” the Holy Father lamented. “You, mother, father! Teach your children how to pray, how to make the sign of the cross!” Many parents I know make family prayer a joyful priority in their homes. They pray with their children at church, at bedtime, at meals, and at random moments throughout the day. But most Catholic parents in this country are shy about praying with their children.
Georgetown University's Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) and Holy Cross Family Ministries are gradually releasing a four-part study on young Catholic families. More than 1,000 adults aged 25-45 responded to the survey, providing insights into faith and family that the Family Feud show would never have dreamed of.

Read excerpts from the CARA study and discover a new book that will help adults pray with the…

Why I Remain Catholic: the Funerals

Image
Many Catholics are writing about "Why I Remain Catholic." Besides the good answers given elsewhere, here is one reason of mine: for the funerals. I came into the Church in the Easter Vigil of 2012. A year or so ago I attended a funeral for a man in the parish whom I did not know, but whose wife I knew. I had never seen a Catholic funeral and did not know what to expect. So what follows are my impressions of what I saw, being a Catholic but still a very new one and one who did not grow up in an environment with any Catholicism near it. This was a funeral Mass, not a Requiem Mass. The casket was brought to the front of the church, to rest at the base of the lit Baptismal/Paschal candle. What a symbol, to remind us of the man's baptism and ours, and of the Resurrection. The vestments in this case were white, also a reminder of the Resurrection, and instead of a big spray of flowers made by a florist, the casket had a pall, a drape of the same material as the priest's v…

Father’s Day Through The Eyes of Art, St. Joseph and the Church

Image
Fathers are so important in the development of their children.  The Bible is clear that Fathers are to be spiritual leaders in the home and has much to say about both our earthly fathers and God our heavenly father. Psalms 103:13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
Deuteronomy 1:29-31you have seen how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.’
Modern sculptures and paintings of St. Joseph, emphasize his strength and protective attitude for his young wife and vulnerable infant son. A model for modern dads.
continue reading

Connecting To Heaven

Image
As a Mathematician I have a great hunger for knowledge.  I seek knowledge in Mathematics like a bulldog would, I dig in, latch on, and don't let go until I have what I want.  Because this is the method I have used to acquire knowledge, it was no surprise that I would employ these same techniques when it came to seeking after God.    

It is written, "there is no one who seeks God", well I did.  I went after God, and sought Him diligently and by God's grace I will tell what I found.  .....

TO READ MORE...CLICK HERE!