Lessons I Learned From an Advent Wreath

Lessons I Learned From an Advent Wreath

Every year, when I take out our Advent wreath, I cannot help but smile. The Advent wreath is one of my family’s favorite traditions! Our wreath, in particular, has a story that I enjoy reliving—and retelling—each Advent, for within the story of our Advent wreath is a lesson that I need reminding of each year. In fall 2009, I finally purchased an Advent wreath online. Prior to this, I had made one each year with pillar candles and greenery. But…

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Jesus’ Invitation to Come to Him This Advent

Jesus’ Invitation to Come to Him This Advent

This summer, I attended a three-day silent retreat. I entered into the retreat with an agenda! I anticipated receiving very clear direction for the next phase of my life as a wife and mom. You see, my family was about to begin a new school year, and it was going to be the first time in 14 years that all six of my children would be in school. I was going to be a stay-at-home mom with no kids at home, and I…

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Advent Prayers for the Weary Woman

Advent Prayers for the Weary Woman

How are you spending Black Friday? I am looking toward this Sunday—the first Sunday of Advent! This weekend, my family and I will set up our Advent wreath, Jesse Tree, and manger scene. But as much as I am looking forward to Advent, the season of hopeful waiting, I am starting to feel a bit anxious about my growing holiday to-do list. Maybe you are feeling the same way—a bit weary before the busyness of Advent and Christmas even begins? The…

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An Advent Plan for the Weary Woman’s Soul

An Advent Plan for the Weary Woman’s Soul

I am so excited to be part of CatholicMom.com’s 2016 Advent Guide, a collection of articles and reflections to help you prepare for the Advent season. Today, I shared An Advent Plan for the Weary Woman’s Soul. *** Sitting across the table from a friend, she sensed my tension. After making small talk, she asked, “OK, what are you holding back?” As she invited me to be real and honest, it all came pouring out. How life just seemed really hard,…

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7 Advent Prayer Companions for the Weary Woman

7 Advent Prayer Companions for the Weary Woman

With Advent right around the corner, I know there are some of us who are feeling a bit weary before the season begins. We want to enter it fully and prayerfully, but that is coupled with a to-do list that seems impossible to accomplish. My encouragement for you—and me—is to remember that Christ came down at Christmas time to save the weary ones. And it is important to carve out a little safe-haven where we can find rest, refreshment, and…

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“Ornamental Graces” Blog Tour Stops Here … And a Giveaway!

“Ornamental Graces” Blog Tour Stops Here … And a Giveaway!

Every year, I look forward to watching those fun holiday movies on Hallmark Channel. Yes, they are formulaic and predictable, but they are sweet and light-hearted and just what I need to unwind after a busy day of Christmas prep. Well, I just read a book that surpasses any romantic Christmas movie I have ever watched. And it wasn’t predictable at all! It was quite a page turner that left me guessing what was going to happen next and certainly got…

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Your Turn: Seeking Reader Feedback

Your Turn: Seeking Reader Feedback

As 2016 winds down—with only 10 days until Thanksgiving, 13 days until Advent, 41 days until Christmas, and 48 days until 2017—I am starting to think about what is in store in the new year. What are my goals—personally and professionally? Perhaps you are starting to think about goals, too! For the past 14 years, I have been a stay-at-home mom, and I have cherished every moment. The days were definitely long, but those years—wow!—were short. Starting this fall, all…

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Christ is Our King

Christ is Our King

True confession: I am lousy at praying novenas. I have great intentions, but very rarely do I make it past the third day. It was somewhat humorous that I attempted the 54-day Rosary Novena this fall. Why did I think I could pray a 54-day novena, when I can’t even pray a traditional nine-day one? But upon finding out today begins the Christ the King Novena, something convicting welled up within me. And I set out to pray—and complete!—this novena….

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Four Ways to Cultivate a Spirit of Thanksgiving All Month Long

Four Ways to Cultivate a Spirit of Thanksgiving All Month Long

A wave of discouragement rushed over me, as I walked out of the doctor’s office. News of another health issue left me down and discouraged. I felt tired of following the breadcrumb trail. I wanted to be done with diagnoses, recommendations, feeling fatigued and in pain. The sadness lingered as I pulled myself out of bed the next morning. It was business as usual for this mom. The children needed me, whether I felt good or not. As I pulled…

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Day 31: #31 Days—Trick or Treat?

Day 31: #31 Days—Trick or Treat?

It is hard to believe this is the last day of my Write 31 Days series on Dyslexia Awareness. I was nervous to take this on, as I stated in yesterday’s post, but God has given me so much grace to endure. To endure during these 31 days of writing. But also to endure in this journey I am on with my daughter. “… for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and…

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