My Lent 2019 Book List Plans

Is this the year you really want to dive into Lent? Do you want to come out of this Lenten Season and truly feel that you've had a small share of living in the desert with Christ for 40 days? I know that I do. Maybe it's an upcoming birthday that's making me have more of a now-or-never type of attitude towards Lent. Or maybe I just acutely feel the necessity of truly modeling this for my children, and living it with my husband. Whatever it is, these are the books and resources I'm going to use this Lent to really LIVE the season from Ash Wednesday all the way through to Easter Vigil. Look them over. If something looks helpful to you, use it. If it inspires you, go with it. I hope all of these bless and encourage you.

This content uses referral links. That means if you make a purchase or click a link, I may make a small commission - just enough to support my diet coke habit. And there is no extra charge to you. It's
 a win/win! Read our disclosure policy

1.The Links to r…

7-Quick Takes

1. A baby gorilla died during birth this week at a South Carolina zoo. One of the Facebook groups I recently joined had a picture of the mama gorilla with the caption, "Next time someone tells you about safe natural birth, show them this."

I saw this  as I quickly scrolled down my newsfeed, standing in line at the grocery store and the thought popped into my head that a gorilla giving birth in a zoo isn't exactly "natural."

So I casually posted that using my phone, and then quickly put it all away so I could check out my groceries.

Which is not to say that there is anything wrong with it, or that the baby would have survived in the wild or anything like that. It's just that in the truest sense of the word, natural for a gorilla would mean in its natural habitat.

You would have thought I just committed a first-degree felony or slandered the Pope - or worse, Obama or Hillary because my Android started pinging with responses so rapidly that it almost sounded like a mini machine gun. My innocent little throw-out comment apparently triggered a lot of people.

I'll admit - when I got home I had fun with it for about an hour, but I eventually had to block one individual and then leave the group. Life is too short and I wasn't really that interested.

2. I was watching the #inamaygaskin hashtags on Twitter and Facebook, as well as the #inaaintshit. The firestorm seems to have fizzled out.  The petition against her has stalled at 1400 or so signatures, there are only three tweets on Twitter with that hashtag (one of them was mine!) and there hasn't been anything new on Facebook for days.

I did have one interesting exchange with a young woman who posted

I haven't had a reply since then.

3. Melody at Blossoming Joy wrote:

I had nothing left to give to my family and to myself. So tired. So discouraged. So needing to step away and find the courage again to give the next 20 years of motherhood the same passion that I had given to the first. I was more discouraged in homeschooling than I have ever been in over 15 years. Something had to give.
For the first few weeks, I detoxed from the internet beast and experienced alternating feelings of isolation and self-recovery. Ah yes… I remember how to think for myself! I remember how to allow space that isn’t given to every little and big cause, product, friendship, breaking news story. All of so good in many ways and also so fatiguing in mind and soul.
I don’t believe that God designed us to absorb the sorrows, joys, and busyness of the entire world. That’s His job! Rather, in the example of Mother Teresa, we are asked to expend ourselves serving those 1) with whom we have been entrusted, and 2) with those whom He sends directly into our path.

I think that is a great observation. Arguing on Facebook, even for a good cause, is exhausting and it doesn't really make me feel enriched or satisfied. Most of the time I feel beaten down and exhausted. I think Melody is on to something in taking a break from social media.

4. Today is the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of Fatima.  You can read a bit more about that here.  This anniversary is extra special because two of the  young visionaries, Jacinta and Francisco are also being canonized.

I heard on the radio that the place of Fatima has a special story and then I was able to find it online. 

      IThe Woman and the Dragon: Apparitions of Mary by David Lindsey, he says Fatima begins with the legend of the origin of the town's Arabic name.  He relates  that during the crusades against the Moors, a Christian knight by the name of Don Gonçalo Hermingues captured the daughter of the Muslim prince of Alcácer do Sal.  Her name was Fátima.    This beautiful princess who converted to Christianity, was baptized Oureana, and married Gonçalo.   It's from her Baptismal name that the village of Ourem received its name.

But, tragically it's stated, his wife was taken in death soon afterwards.  A heart-broken Gonçalo joined the Cistercian abbey of Alcoba
ça,3 devoting the remainder of his life to God.  The Cisterians founded a priory in the near-by mountains where Brother Gonçalo was sent.   He took along the remains of the wife he so loved, and named the place Fátima, honoring her Muslim name. 

Very sad, but still romantic.   I am doing a wedding today at church and I think it is so neat that they are getting married on this 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima.

5. I regret not really having a devotion to this feast day growing up.  I think sometimes when the church shrouded things in gauze and flowery language to mystify the mystical it added a lot of confusion and put things out of reach of the common person.

In my opinion, the visions at Fatima should have been promoted more as a contemporary, 20th century miracle. Maybe it was in some places, but in Michigan in the latter part of the century, Catholic school kids were taught about Fatima in the same lessons with Lourdes and the crusades, and the martyrs. To a kid, anything that didn't happen this year is ancient history.

But now with the perspective of an adult, I realize that my grandparents were only 15 when this happened. My grandmother was Catholic then, and I realize mass media wasn't as fast as it is now, but still, I wonder how she learned about Fatima and how the news of the apparitions reached her ears. 11 years after the first apparition, my mother was born. The first of my husband's siblings came just a few years after the 30 year anniversary.

And yet, Fatima to me was something that happened in the way distant past. perception is a funny thing.

6. This was interesting - the miracle that made Jacinta and Francisco saints!

7. Tomorrow is also mother's day.  Every year I run out and get cards for my kids to send to their godmothers. I make them write a note and I try to include a recent picture. I trust that my 24-year-old (although I doubt it) and my 27-year-old do that on their own now. Noah surprised me by telling me that he indeed DID buy his own mother's day card for his godmother and I saw him send it!  So hopefully that will be something that sticks with them in the years to come. They no longer have a living grandmother, so I'm grateful they have their godmothers.

The first year after I became a grandmother, I got Miss C's mom a charm bracelet with a charm. My plan was to add a charm to it every year until Miss C became 18 years old. But things change and I thought instead, now that Miss C is 3 1/2 maybe something that she helped to create would be better, and certainly more educational too!  So this year, my granddaughter helped decorate these flower pots.  I wanted her handprints on them to be like butterflies (and Izzy painted in the butterfly body between the wings).  Miss C though, also wanted bumble bees. In fact, she was quite insistent that bees be included, so we used yellow paint and her thumb to make the bee bodies and then Izzy drew in the rest of the bee details with black paint.

We wrote her name and the year at the bottom of the pot in black marker

Next, we made flowers from coffee filters. Miss C. had a blast coloring those with markers and then making the colors bleed with a spray bottle. Izzy and I then created the flowers with scissors and pipe cleaners and then let Miss C. put them into the pots. We did put something into the bottom of the pots for the flowers to stick into.  I think they turned out well.


Birthday Cupcake Delivery