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Being Present to November: It’s Not Christmas Yet

Being Present to November: It’s Not Christmas Yet

If I had to guess the calendar date based on my favorite store’s décor, I would get it wrong. Fall pumpkins, cornucopias, and leafy garlands are nowhere to be found. Only messy remnants of Halloween remain on the clearance racks. Instead, I see Christmas trees, twinkle lights, and stockings. Signs and symbols of December, not early November. Whenever I see Christmas coming too early, I feel rushed and anxious. Suddenly, I think I am behind, as if I’ve missed a…

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Jesus Approaches Review: Learning From Women in the New Testament

Jesus Approaches Review: Learning From Women in the New Testament

If my bookshelves could talk, they would tell you of my love of books. Yes, I am a bit of a bibliophile, and I enjoy reading a good book with a steaming cup of tea. And while I have read many good books over the years, very few enter the category of “best books.” You know the ones. The books that are more highlighted than not, the ones you return to again and again, the ones you praise from the rooftops. When…

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Five Simple Ways to Savor the Last 10 Days of Advent

Five Simple Ways to Savor the Last 10 Days of Advent

Ten more days! Are you feeling overwhelmed about getting it all done? Do you feel like there is still too much to do? Is there an internal struggle between getting things done and remaining prayerful and focused on Jesus? This reminder that there are only 10 days until Christmas Day is not meant to make you more stressed out or anxious than you already feel. No, this reminder is to encourage you (and me) to take a breath, to pause,…

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Advent Traditions My Family Loves

Advent Traditions My Family Loves

With Thanksgiving just two days away, there is a lot to do. My plans include cooking, baking, and cleaning. I have always liked the Thanksgiving holiday. To be with family and friends, to pause in gratitude for God’s abundant blessings. It’s a good day. Often, the Advent season begins the Sunday right after Thanksgiving. We have just a couple of days to transition from pumpkins and fall hues to our Advent wreath of purple and pink. This year, however, Advent…

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Celebrating the Feast of St. Lucia

Celebrating the Feast of St. Lucia

For as long as I can remember, December 13 has been an extra-special day in our family. It is the Feast of St. Lucia, which is my daughter’s name-day. She has loved this day and the saint we celebrate ever since she could grasp its specialness. We have cinnamon rolls for breakfast and read a favorite book about St. Lucy. Since her birthday is in the summer, she usually brings treats into school on this day. But six years ago, a…

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Day 29: #31 Days—Saturday’s Saint

Day 29: #31 Days—Saturday’s Saint

The last saint in my mini “Saturday’s Saint” series within this 31-day writing series is St. Bernadette Soubirous. She is a most beloved saint in the Catholic Church, because the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her and asked her to build a grotto for healing in her honor. St. Bernadette was born in Lourdes, France on January 7, 1844. She was the oldest of nine children, but some of her siblings died at a young age, and even Bernadette became sick as…

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Day 22: #31 Days: Saturday’s Saint

Day 22: #31 Days: Saturday’s Saint

Today’s saint is St. John Vianney, one of the greatest parish priests in the history of the Catholic Church. Many might be surprised that he struggled in school, because he is such a beloved priest and saint in our church. But he did, and his story of perseverance is inspiring. Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney was born and baptized on May 8, 1786 in France. He was raised in a Catholic home, and his family was often found helping the poor. During the French Revolution,…

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Day 15: #31 Days—Saturday’s Saint & Giveaway

Day 15: #31 Days—Saturday’s Saint & Giveaway

I probably should be writing about St. Teresa of Avila today, as it is her feast day. But today’s saint is St. Joan of Arc. Why? Well, this past summer I was on retreat, and I found this lovely holy card of St. Joan of Arc. I was drawn to it because of the prayer on the back, and I thought, “Wow! St. Joan of Arc is a perfect intercessor for my daughter!” Joan was born in France in 1412….

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