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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking.” — George MacDonald

+ “Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.” — Mary Jean Irion

+ “To be conscious of one’s weakness and to trust in God’s help is the way to authentic strength and victory.”

+ “The crucifix is in the center of human experience, and it transforms everything.” — “Why is God letting so many of us suffer?”

+ “Maybe this is exactly the home you wanted before you knew Pinterest exsisted… Maybe you were a wonderful mom before fifteen internet sensation parenting experts told you, you were doing it all wrong, in all different ways… Maybe your house felt kept up, before you fell down the rabbit hole of tap to tidys and marathon extreme deep cleans… Maybe the birthday parties you hosted were sweet, until you found the YouTube videos of gender reveals more elaborate than your own wedding… Maybe what you’re consuming is what’s consuming you… Maybe half the battle for contentment could be won, simply by choosing to live joyfully in the reality of our own lives, and not the snap shots of someone else’s… Enough is enough.” — Stephanie Rudas

+ “When suffering from a core wound, the most important first step is identifying it. Then, you can invite God to help you start the healing process.”Jeff Cavins

+ 5 things St. Gianna and her husband teach us about dating, marriage and love

+ About spiritual motherhood & biological motherhood: “Both biological and spiritual parenthood are desperately needed in this world. Don’t downplay your spiritual motherhood. Don’t downplay your biological motherhood. Both give new life – to the child and to the mother”

+ “When God called Ananias, he replied “Here I am Lord,” but then was reluctant to complete what was asked of him. Saul?? The persecuting solider who’s coming here to drag people like me in chains back to Jerusalem. I think not! How many times does God ask something of me and my initial reaction is the same reluctant response. But God persists, “Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel.”

“In this story, Saul is the main character, but he wouldn’t have been able to play his part if Ananias haven’t played his. Whether God has chosen you to be an instrument of widespread evangelization or an instrument in one man’s conversion, he has chosen you nonetheless. Let’s ask God today for the courage to get up when He calls us, and the discernment to know where to go.” — Tina Heinan

+ “It is not to remain in a golden ciborium that Jesus comes down each day from Heaven, but to find another heaven which is infinitely dearer to Him, the heaven of our souls…” — St. Therese

+ “When faced with stress and tension, there is a process we can take in order to allow God to transform our anxieties. The acronym for this process is G-I-F-T.

G – Gage what the stress or tension is. Sit with God and discern what is at the root of this stress or tension.

I – Invite the stress in. Our tendency is to push stress away. However, when we face our stress, we are able to lessen its power over us.

F – Filter this stress/tension with the gaze of God. God looks upon everything with eyes of love. If we can look at our stress or tension through the filter of his gaze, we can reach the next step.

T – Transform the tension. Act with God and transform your stress or tension.” — Claire McGarry

+ Did you know there are four different types of novenas? I broke down the four categories here 🙂

+ Combatting dryness in prayer

+ “Bartimaeus, having full faith in Jesus, was not discouraged when others tried to silence him. He believed in Jesus and with great courage “sprang up” to go to Him to be cured. Have there been moments in your life that you were full of courage and “sprang up” to come to Jesus?” — Becky Eldredge

+ “Our gospel today shows that sometimes our past and those we have known the longest have the most difficult time accepting the changes in us as we begin to live out our faith. Jesus is telling us to not be surprised when this happens to us because if this can happen to the prophets and the Son of God, it can happen to us.

As we grow in our faith, we will begin to live it out. This will change how we talk, how we act, and how we treat people. This can be difficult for those who know us best to understand – but do not be deterred – live as the Father is calling you.” — Unleash the Gospel

+ “Do you know the “de profundis” prayer? It comes from Psalm 130: “Out of the depths, I have cried to you, O Lord. O Lord, be attentive to the voice of my pleading.” It is the prayer we should offer at the darkest times of life, when we find ourselves lost and in the shadow of death, when, in our desperation, we feel utterly incapable of helping ourselves.” — Bishop Barron

+ It’s the feast of St. Brigid, who is known for her association to butter & beer 🙂 … Which also reminds me of this song from our good friend, Kevin Heider: St. Brigid’s Fire. I think you’ll like it!

+ “Walk with your feet on earth, but in your heart, be in heaven!” St. Don Bosco (his feast day was yesterday!)

+ “People are hungry, and one good word is bread for a thousand.”

+ “Comfort is so good in marriage, but we can’t let that comfort turn into complacency. Stay tuned in. Be intentional. Keep pursuing one another. Your marriage will thrive when you do!” Stronger Marriages

+ This is a short reflection about decorating your home — based on *your* history, your family, your preferences — rather than on trends 🙂 I love what Paige shares about it: “Styling a home is story-telling.” And the story is about you & your family. 💕

+ Speaking of home decor, I shared a peek into our living & dining room here!

+ Lastly, here’s what’s featured in this week’s Catholic Wife, Catholic Life NewsletterI share these every Monday and they always include: two gluten-free recipes, a reflection & prayer based on Sunday’s Mass readings, and links to budget-friendly fashion & Catholic home decor. 

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