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A friend of mine has recently started a business to help others declutter and organize their homes and their lives. A perfect nitch for her, she has proven a master in her advice, offering life-changing tips that seem to stem from both the Franciscan and Minimalist viewpoints. Perhaps because she approaches this business with a sense of ministry, her genuine care of others as she offers direction is inspiring and uplifting.
When one considers looking at life in this way, living these principles exceeds and affects far more than just our physical dwelling. In truth, decluttering the physical world around us declutters our mind as well...and a decluttered mind is an amazing thing.
So many of us long for focus and crave clarity. Not only would this help us in functioning on a day-to-day basis, but our spiritual lives would change exponentially. There are so many products available on the market that promise to assist in promoting that clarity and focus. Many, especially in the natural form the way God intended, are successful in delivering on that promise. Still, if we were willing to "get down to brass tacks," we would be remiss if we didn't admit that no matter how many remedies we take and how much we have naturalized our diets, our focus and clarity will continue to be off until we have decluttered our lives to the point that our spiritual life is healthy. (In case any eyebrows went up during that last statement, please understand that I fully support and urge everyone to work towards a diet that is healthy and full of the goodness that God created, as well as to fully acknowledge the use of the natural remedies He has given us, including herbs, homeopathy, essential oils, etc!) :)
The point that I am trying to make is that our physical and spiritual lives are linked more closely than we sometimes want to admit. By working on decluttering our lives, rooting out the things that we don't necessarily need, and focusing on the things that we do, we find that our real priorities come to light, often in a surprising way. Understanding the way that our brains prioritize in reality offers much insight and can greatly assist us in making changes that can improve our clarity and focus, allowing us to develop a spiritual life that can take us to levels of depth that we could have never predicted.
As we continue on in this "Extra-ordinary" Time, let's take some time out of each day, even if it is only 10 minutes, to attempt to declutter our physical lives around us. May God bless us in this effort and remind us that, in the end, all we really need is Him.
God be with you!
She's back!!! We have received more requests for another Super Peculiar Scripture Girl video than most of our other videos. So...here it is!
Even with the limitations of Imovie and the recent extremely disappointing changes on YouTube, we felt we that just had to do this video.
Enjoy looking at scripture like you never have before...
And yes, if you are wondering (and translations taken into consideration!), these are REAL scripture verses! :)
If you know some crazy verses that we should use in another video, feel free to let us know.
God be with you!
Well, we're back to Ordinary Time. This year, of course, Ordinary Time is short, since Ash Wednesday falls on St. Valentine's Day. After coming down from the spiritual high from Christmas, this period of "in between" can seem unappealing, and even downright boring. We may find our humanness kicking in, searching for the next high, convinced that it can't be achieved during the time of "green."
There is a trick we can follow, however, to keep Ordinary Time a bit more interesting, and this trick is pretty simple. All we need to do is to go straight to our Catholic calendar. Feastdays abound during the seasons of Ordinary Time, and are amazing treasures of inspiration, joy and intellectual stimulation if we are willing to take the time to notice them. There are countless wonderful sites online that can guide us: Catholic Online, Franciscanmedia.org, CatholicSaints.info, etc.
Many parishes offer a Church calendar for their parishioners that serve as a great guide to the "saint of the day." Although the calendars do not have enough room to provide a saint's story, the internet makes it beyond easy to find it quickly ourselves, serving as a daily injection of spiritual inspiration, wisdom, and affirmation. There are also countless books that provide the daily saint and story as well.
As we go out and about our lives during this Ordinary Time, let's not be confined to the limited definition that the word "ordinary" implies. It is up to us to make this time extraordinary. One way we can do this is by taking note of the daily feastdays of the saints and be willing to apply any lesson learned to our lives. In doing this we will come to recognize that the stories of the saints are gems, waiting to be observed, each reflecting the love, joy, and peace of ordinary people living extraordinary lives of service to the Lord they love and adore.
To help prove my point, you may want to take a look at St. Anthony the Abbot, whose feastday is Wed. Not to give anything away, I will only say that his is a story certainly worth looking at, portraying one who built his life with the intention of "becoming," while persevering to a degree that is rarely seen today.
God bless you as you go forth during this time of "ordinary green." May your soul grow as you unearth each daily gem and become closer to the saint you were called to be!
Ahhhh...the unexpected. It's the spice of life, right? Sometimes the unexpected is fantastic, and sometimes it is, well, not so much. This past week took another unexpected turn with a hospital stay and other family illnesses to boot. Needless to say, our blog and YouTube channel went on the back burner again.
It never ceases to amaze me how I can be so completely sure of God's plans, yet find that suddenly life has taken a turn that confounds my previous expectations. Before Advent started, we had a promising line-up of videos to make and updates to the blog to do. However, unexpected commitments and projects piled up, and I found myself only getting by with the minimum. Despite the craziness, though, there are good things that came out of this period of disappointment and questioning.
Number one, it forced me to stop and examine priorities. With all of the commitments building, I desperately needed to schedule. Sadly, I realized that some things that should have been scheduled as priorities had not made my list. In his book, Resisting Happiness, Matthew Kelly talks about his dealing with corporate executives in an attempt to help them better organize. Assigning them a scheduling exercise, he found that most people don't put the most important things in life on their lists. Things like family time, prayer, and going to Church are rarely added as priorities to their schedules. Why is this?
He explains that this is mainly because the most important things in life are hardly ever urgent. When our lives are busy, urgency rules the day, topping any priority list we might create. If life is over-the-top crazy, some would term this as going into "survival mode," a phrase I would have definitely applied to the last 8 weeks.
Still, despite this need to survive, it is imperative that we keep in mind that the things that are the most important to our lives, our families' lives, and our very souls, are still hanging out there waiting for attention. They will never disappear just because they may lose their urgency temporarily. This reality is never more clear than when our health or life is at stake, or when we talk to a loved one nearing the end of their earthly journey.
Reality checks are important, especially when we are running on empty. If there is one thing I would like to beg you to do when you are in this mode, it would be to take 5-10 min. to pray in silence each day. If you can do more, then even better! For some, this might seem impossible. If you do find it it difficult to grab that moment of silence, attempt it in the car or, if all else fails, in the confines of a bathroom (and for young families there is no guarantee here either!).
However you can find it, make it happen. The difference in your day may honestly be astounding. And, if you don't believe me, try it and see! :) Just remember...the results will only be as good as the fair trial you give them.
May you feel God with you during all of the different periods of your life. And, no matter what, let us praise God through each one, whether we are holding loosely to His hand or are grabbing it tightly!
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Hi! I'm a Catholic mom who loves to encourage and support others in their journey to live the beauty of our Catholic faith in a modern world. It can be a struggle, no doubt, but God has given us the tools we need! Join my family (both immediate and extended!) and me as we take on this incredible journey of our path to holiness.
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