Wednesday, December 17, 2014

5 Favorites: Musical Tastes {Advent}

For most of my 30+ years on this planet I had no idea there was "Advent Music" that was separate from "Christmas Music".  Sad, but true.  Over the last few years I've been trying to find more music to play at home to get me in the Advent Spirit, as I already have my favorite Christmas tunes.  This year my options exploded with the discovery of religious music on Spotify (Not an affiliate with them, like it, use it, done.).  I'm also a religious music noob.  Anything that wasn't part of the Christian pop trend of the earlier 00's I'm woefully ignorant of.

To prove my point, I've messaged numerous friends over the last couple of weeks asking if I was going to get in some sort of trouble for listening to Gregorian chants or sung Advent Masses when I was doing laundry or the dishes.  "Is this kosher?!" was repeated more than once.

I still don't know too much, I don't know what's considered good or hokey in the grand scheme of things, but these are a few of the cd's I've been enjoying this year.

1. Veni Emmanuel

 2. Gregorian Christmas

 3. Sacrum Mysterium

 4. Carols from the Old and New Worlds

 5. Advent at Ephesus

Linking up with Call Her Happy

*pictures are Amazon Links, but you can listen to these on Spotify with some commercial interruptions in their entirety. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

{Postcards} St. Lucy

Sometimes on a Feast Day you have to be at work by 6:30.  So special breakfast treats happen at 4:30 in the afternoon right before the church clothes battle.  Still counts.

Kept it simple this year - cinnamon rolls from a tube braided into a crown and swirls.

If you have a point click over to this post for a little some extra you can do to make another families Christmas shine brights.

Be Strong and Take Heart

For those of you who follow me in person or via the blog on Twitter or Facebook you've probably seen me share about my friend Kathleen and her family this week.

For those who don't know, my dear blog friend Kathleen's new baby boy Felix was diagnosed with Severe Combine Immunodefiency.  It's a very serious disease which was caught early by screening.  Immediately upon receiving this news Felix was hospitalized, two hours away from his home to keep his very fragile immune system safe as he awaits the results (and hopefully a transplant) of their bone marrow scans.  A successful bone marrow transplant would essentially cure him.

Kathleen and her husband do not have to worry about the costs of the stay, but because she is a SAHM and her husband runs his own business they will essentially be without income for at least three months, but most likely six.  You can read more of her ups and down here on her blog.

There is a fundraiser that as of Friday night is already 70% funded.  It is my personal goal that this is funded 100% by Christmas Day so that they can spend Christmas free of at least one of their worries.

If you cannot currently donate financial the family welcomes any and all prayers.  Kathleen's faith has already been amazing so far, but there is a long road to go.

For my Catholic friends, family and readers I've felt specifically called to ask the Intercession of Our Lady of La Leche.  I would love it if you would join me in this prayer:

O Lord Jesus Christ, through the intercession of Your tender Mother, Our Lady of La Leche, who bore You close to her heart during those long months before Your birth, I place Felix and the Quiring Family entirely in Your Hands. Free them, I beseech You, from useless and consuming worry. Accept the sacrifice of my aches and pains, which I unite to Your sufferings on the Cross. Above all, most merciful and loving Jesus, protect this child You have given to them from all harm, bestowing the health and vigor every baby needs. Implant in my heart and on my lips the words and prayers of Your Mother and mine, our Lovely Lady of La Leche. All this I ask that Felix may live to praise forever Your Holy Name. Amen.

For all of us I offer Psalm 31:24

Please share this post using the share buttons below - twitter, google plus, facebook, email.  Any financial help is greatly appreciated, but we also have complete faith that Faith and Prayer can move mountains.  At the moment our biggest prayer is to keep Felix safe from infections until a Bone Marrow match is made, ideally this will come from his immediate family.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Messy Grace.

"Grace is surprising by definition.  We do not earn it, we cannot control it, we will not tame it."

"Sacraments have their own rhythms that beckon us back.  Take and eat. Repent and forgive.  Bless and heal."

"And yet I do not believe this road ends anywhere else but the alter of unexpected suffering.  We lose control of our lives once a baby is placed in our arms, and we do not let go of love even when the pain is too great for us to bear."

"They sorrowed with me: it wasn't supposed to be like this.  They turned over my palms and smoothed a blessing into the creases of worry.  They lifted up my head from the ground of grief and spoke grace into my red-rimmed eyes.  Their words were oil and their hands were holy."

"When I remember that this calling is about sacrifice, then I unclench my frustration and soften into open palms.  When I remember that this sacrament teaches us to bend low in love and rise up together, then I turn back toward the spouse I've promised to honor.  When I remember that this marriage was never just about us, that we were never sent off alone to make this life a reality, then I welcome back the God who was here all along and ask for the help we need to love each other well."

"Yet without fail, the maddening days are also the ones when a tiny gem of a moment - a baby who smiles for the first time in the middle of bedtime bedlam, a toddler who blesses my door-slammed finger with a sloppy kiss, or a boy who throws his arms around his brother's neck in an unprompted hug - peels back the scales from my eyes.  I catch my breath in wonder at how good this parenting work can be, how full of astonishing beauty and joy.  My own cliches scramble to capture the truth already fleeting before my eyes - 
that God is here, that this is holy, that all is grace."

These quote were all taken from my friend Laura Kelly Fanucci's new book "Everyday Sacrament:  The Messy Grace of Parenting".  I knew this was going to be a special book when the item I fished out of my very messy purse for a bookmark was a St. Gerard "Prayer for Motherhood" prayer card lost deep in my purse.  Every section of her story rang true to some part of my life.  The love, the loss, the messy grace that is it all.  I think you would find just as much truth in this lovely collection.

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