Merry Christmas, Catholic Girl

... is the story of a devout Catholic woman, a mother of two children from a marriage now broken after a life of alcohol and abuse. Finding little solace in a local parish reeling from a history of dysfunction and public scandal, our anti-heroine seeks shelter from the storm at a convent where the Latin Mass is celebrated on Sunday. The story begins with a brief flashback, and continues as she moves on with her life, rediscovering the stirrings of the heart.

Little man big man what's inside?
It's all in the places
Where we find our pride.
If there was a soul lost by the road,
Who'd pass by,
Who'd take it home?

(from the song "Little Man Big Man"
music and lyrics by Glen Philips
for the 1997 album "Coil" by Toad the Wet Sprocket)

Catholic magazines don't handle stories like this. Catholic magazines don't handle the issue of divorce any better than many Catholic priests, never mind other Catholic media outlets. These stories are dirty, they are tawdry, wallowing in the seamy underbelly of life, in which many suffer, often through no fault of their own, and out of which many must climb. Stories like these tell us what we don't want to hear, that marriages are not made in heaven, that grace does not always succeed where nature is found wanting. The fighting, the betrayal, the abandonment, the court hearings, the custody battles, the supervised visits, the estrangement from children -- your Catholic cable channel won't admit to such a life out there, one that is all too real for so many, whether they "experience the healing" from the panacea of an annulment or not.

This is my fourth Christmas as a divorcee.

Four Christmases ago, my so-called husband left me with a broken-down house, a five year old Chevy van, a basement full of water and an utterly empty bank account. Plus a frightened seven year old, and a very angry teenaged girl.

When he threatened us, I made several trips to the police station to beg for help. Finally, one cop took pity on my terror. He solemnly advised me to change our locks and to keep the outside lights on.

Also, never, ever, to let my ex back in the house.

“If he, ah, does something you don’t like once he’s inside,” he told me, burly arms crossed in front of him. His warm brown eyes were sympathetic. “Then our hands are tied. Because you let him in. You understand my meaning?”

For any Catholic magazine to take this story on is daring. For the same magazine to handle it well is ... epic.

Regina Magazine began this past year as the brainchild of Beverly De Soto, a veteran writer-editor of the New York City financial world, at a time when numerous print periodicals, particularly in Catholic media, have either gone digital, or under. She has gathered other creatives of like mind, so that the beauty of truth, and the truth that is found in beauty, may reach new audiences, and revitalize old ones. There are many reasons for a Catholic woman to subscribe to Regina, and probably more than one reason for a Catholic man to at least give an issue the occasional perusal.

The result is a great Christmas gift, one that would carry the spirit of the season well into the next year.

Keeping the “Ch” in “Chanukkah” 2013

Today at sundown marks the end of the Jewish Festival of Lights, known as Chanukkah (Hanukkah, or חנוכה), which commemorates the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, following the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BC. It is observed for eight nights, as a reminder of the miracle of one night's supply of oil for the lamps lasting for eight, until a fresh supply could be obtained.

Around the turn of this century, our director of communications was a devout Jewish woman, who invited all the staff to her house in the country for a holiday celebration. A highlight of the affair was her presentation with her grandchildren, as she told them of the story of Chanukkah. As the rest of us Gentiles watched, she would lead the children in the Hebrew chant for the occasion: “Blessed art Thou, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who sanctified us by His commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Chanukkah...” While others stood around watching in varying degrees of perplexity, I found myself singing with the children ... well, maybe sort of following along.

I turned to my son: "Does this sound familiar, like what you hear in the Divine Liturgy?" He nodded, as I continued. "This is where we get the Byzantine chant, and the Gregorian chant. It came to us from the Jews." He totally got it.

A comedian named Adam Sandler first introduced this holiday classic on NBC's Saturday Night Live. The song gives a list of famous celebrities from various walks of life who are Jewish: “Put on your yarmulke, here comes Hanukkah / It's so much funukkah, to celebrate Hanukkah / Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights / Instead of one day of presents, we get eight crazy nights!”

There's more where that came from.

This is an original work by Matisyahu. “Miracle” is produced by Dr Luke protégé Kool Kojak (Flo Rida, Katy Perry, Ke$ha), and is drenched in a joyful spirit, with chiming synths, bouncing beats, and an irresistible chorus. And ice skating.

There are so many Christmas songs out there. I wanted to give the Jewish kids something to be proud of. We've got Adam Sandler's song, which is hilarious, but I wanted to try to get across some of the depth and spirituality inherent in the holiday in a fun, celebratory song. My boy Kojak was in town so at the last minute we went into the studio in the spirit of miracles and underdogs and this is what we came up with. Happy Hannukah!

Matisyahu can be found on Facebook, and followed on Twitter. The song can also be downloaded from iTunes.

Finally, on a serious note, Charlie Harare explains the origins of Chanukkah, and its meaning in daily life from a Jewish point of view, which is only reasonable as this is a Jewish holiday. Yeah, I know, Jews are not Catholics, I got that. But if the New Covenant is the fulfillment of the Old, and if Catholicism is the fulfillment of Judaism, then we cannot rule out the possibility that there is something to be learned here. And a Catholic who watches this video will learn for themselves.

However you slice it, “It's beginning to look a lot like...”

The Counter-cultural Message of St. Nicholas

"I want people to thank God, not me! Remember, the greatest gift is God's love. I am just happy to give His love to others".
The above quote was my favorite part of a post I recently published. It's attributed to St. Nicholas and although he may not have said it, verbatim, it nicely condenses the actions of his that we find so desirable. My previous post, Santa and the Elf on the Shelf - What are They Teaching Our Children? was well received and one of my most popular to date. For the most part, people agreed with the sentiments I tried to convey: putting focus on the spiritual rather than on the imaginative secular. With this in mind, I'm sharing a few ideas to get us there:

Imagination is such a great tool - why not steer it toward something (or someone) who really exists? St. Nicholas fills the bill well and has many of the characteristics that should portray the 'spirit of Christmas'. One of my Facebook friends, who steers away from Santa, shared something said by her son that I thought was so sweet. He was very curious about how St. Nicholas would come to their house. When Mom asked what he thought, he replied, "Jesus will probably fly him down from Heaven". She didn't scatter pixie dust or tell him tales, instead her son was able to imagine something mysterious about someone who is real.
Accentuate the positive. This is so easy to do, if we just live out our beliefs. Instead of only having Rudolph and Santa books and movies, why not have many more with an Advent, Christmas, or Epiphany theme in your collection? Put more emphasis on the real stories, vs. the pretend ones, and you'll be doing much to enforce the beautiful reality of this season.
Practice the 'little ways'. So many wonderful saints have given us examples of how to do great things - one small step at a time. One example might be to light your Advent Wreath when you pray, eat, or read a book with your children. These little touches tell them this is an important season, without you having to say a word!
Artist: Elisabeth Ivanovsky
Think of others. As the quote above references, doing good works is about loving God; it's not about being seen. Why not encourage little acts of kindness - in secret. Talk about how pleasing it is to God, that we love others, without putting emphasis on how it makes us feel. If we empty ourselves of the need for earthly praise, we leave room for God to fill and overflow us with His love.

On this, the feast day of St. Nicholas, let's steer our hearts (and those of our loved ones) back to thanking God, and working for His glory - not ours. Let's remember, the greatest gift is God's love, let's be happy to "give His love to others".

Find an amazing array of information, products, and ideas at the St. Nicholas Center.

Just for fun, here's a photo of the Saint Nicholas cookies I baked:

FAMW: Rembrandt Flashmob “The Night Watch”

You remember the 1642 painting by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) commonly known by the title above, but less well known as “The Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq and Lieutenant Willem van Ruytenburch preparing to march out,” don't you? Sure you do. Have you ever wanted to see the painting come to life? What devotee of the great masters of Renaissance painting wouldn't?

Here it is for your viewing pleasure, at a shopping mall in the Netherlands, complete with some guy stealing a chicken, guards rappelling down from the ceiling, other guards carrying big sticks not knowing what to do at first, still other guards riding horses in the aforementioned shopping mall, and a soundtrack written one-hundred-and-forty-three years later -- all for this week's Friday Afternoon Moment of Whimsy.

**JINGLE BELL GIVEAWAY** Author Interview-Christine Rimmer- Holiday Royale

To continue my celebration of the holidays I'm so pleased to welcome an author who I love, a personal favorite who writes for Harlequin Special Edition, Christine Rimmer. Her Holiday romance Holiday Royale stars a royal and his soon to be Princess.
Enjoy the interview and some holiday cheer then Christine has graciously offered a signed copy of The Rancher's Christmas Princess which was last year's holiday Bravo Royale Story.
Details Below

Christine has graciously offered
one signed copy US & Canada Only
of her Royale Bravo Holiday Romance
from last year

To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below
Thank You Christine!!
Good Luck!!

A playboy prince is roped into giving love lessons to a young, innocent woman—only to find himself falling for his eager pupil, in USA TODAY bestselling author Christine Rimmer's newest addition to her Bravo Royales miniseries

 MY Review courtesy RT:
In this pseudo-Cinderella story, the nemesis of the adventurous heroine is illness, not wicked stepsisters; and her Prince Charming is the perfect royal playboy with the heart of gold.  Rimmer’s formal dialogue fits the characters and regal backdrop like a glass slipper.  And the love scenes ignite.” 4 ½ stars, TOP PICK! Debbie Haupt, RT BookReviews

Christine Welcome back to The Reading Frenzy – Happy Holidays!!
Thanks so much. I’m very happy to be back.

Tell us about your latest Special Edition release Holiday Royale.

Holiday Royale is book 6 in my Bravo Royales miniseries for Harlequin Special Edition. This one is Damien’s story. He’s the player of the family. In fact, they call him the Player Prince. I love Dami. He’s actually a very fine, loving, generous soul. But he doesn’t give himself enough credit.

Enter Lucy Cordell, who’s been ill for most of her life, but has finally had the surgery that allows her to get out and try her wings. Dami is Lucy’s friend and he can refuse her nothing. And Lucy has a very special favor to ask of him…

Actually, I think of Holiday Royale as my “Very Special Favor” story. I’ve always wanted to write such a story, since way back when I read a Silhouette Intimate Moments by Kristin James (aka Candace Camp) called…
You guessed it. A Very Special Favor!

I loved that book! I still own my original copy. The heroine’s a virgin who’s secretly in love with her hot lawyer boss and he catches her crying at her desk on her 30th birthday and makes her confess that life has passed her by and she’s a virgin and she’s thinking of going out and just picking up some stranger and getting it over with. Well, of course hot but tender-hearted boss can’t have his sweet, virgin secretary defiled by some guy in a bar. So he volunteers to do the job. Oh, just…yum!

In Holiday Royale, Dami is hesitant to do what Lucy asks of him. He just doesn’t think of her that way, doesn’t want to seduce an innocent. At least not at the beginning…

In this book, I had a lot of fun exploring the holiday traditions of my glamorous imaginary principality, Montedoro, on the Cote d’Azur. The first half of the book takes place there. And the second half? Manhattan! Nothing like New York City at Christmastime.

I Love the cover.  Tell us about where it was taken.
It’s on the Bow Bridge in Central Park.  Some say it’s one of the most romantic bridges in the world.  I so agree.  Especially dusted with winter snow.

What’s you favorite part of Dami and Lucy’s story?
I had a ball writing the opening, where she comes to him to ask her special favor.  And the scenes at the Prince’s Thanksgiving Bazaar in Montedoro were great fun.  And I did love the scene when she finally admits what she really feels for him.  It’s as much of a surprise to her as to him.

Do you have special holiday traditions?
I love decorating the tree, making and eating my mom’s special fudge—and the music. I love Christmas music.  I buy a new Christmas CD just about every year—yes we still have CDs at our house. ;)  I have about 25 Christmas CDs now—everything from jazz to pop to heavy metal to new age and classical and country.  I love ‘em all.

Do you look forward to the holiday season ending or does it depress you?
When I was younger, I remember feeling let down at the end of the holidays.  Nowadays, not so much.  I love the many joys of the season, but then I like going back to real life, you might say.  And of course experience tells me that the season will come around again as bright and full of love and joy as ever.

Christine what are you working on now?
Now I’m writing a Montana Mavericks story for Special Edition.  It will be out in July 2014, part of Montana Mavericks’ 20-year celebration.  That’s right.  The first Montana Maverick hit the stands in 1994! 

What’s your favorite quiet time activity this time of the year?
Curling up with a good book—with Christmas music playing.  :)

Thanks Christine, I hope you and your family have a wonderful season and that Santa brings you your heart’s desire.
Thanks so much, Deb.  And to you and yours, as well.   Everyone, have a beautiful and blessed holiday season.  XOXO!

This is Christine's Favorite Tyke enjoying the Tree

Connect with Christine Website - Facebook 

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[Our Friday Five] Jodie Edition

01|  Handmade District Holiday Craft Show
(This is our friend's show...if you're local, you should check it out!)

Easy and Cute Rudolph Treats - the kids would love these!
 Can't wait to make these cute little Rudolphs with the kids.

03|  Photo Printing App

I love this app and actually think I'm addicted.  It's so easy to pick and order your pictures from your phone.  A few days later...your cute little polaroids show up in a little orange envelope.  So cute!

Fun & Festive Christmas Prints from
LOVE these from Mique at Thirty Handmade Days.

05|  Story of My Life - One Direction

We are loving this bout you?

What's on your Friday 5 this week?


This post is sponsored by: 
The Twinery

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

It is a snow day around here, and I could not be more excited!  

I spent all evening in a group text with teachers panicking and praying.  It went something like this:

Teacher 1: We won't have school tomorrow...right?  Like give me a percentage for this likelihood.
Teacher 2: We're always one of the last to call it but surely!
Teacher 3:  The district to our north is closed.
Teacher 4: The district to the west is too.
Teacher 1: GUYS! The district to our east just call it!  That's a big one!!! (emoji, emoji, emoji)
Teachers 2, 3, 4: Woohoo!  Come on, come one!  We want to turn off our alarm!!
Teacher 4: NO SCHOOL!  I just got the automated call! NO SCHOOL!! NO SCHOOL!! NO SCHOOL!
Teacher 3: I'm literally crying tears of joy.
Teachers 1, 2, 4: We believe you!  Hahah! Congrats everyone!!

Hey, it's Texas!  We overreact.  We can't drive in snow or ice no matter how small the amount.  But it's really, really working for me now.

Now to what you are really interested in...the WINNER of our first week's giveaway!  Drum roll, please. Brummmmmmm....
And the winner is...
Tina M.

Congrats!  If this wasn't your lucky week, check back Monday for our new curly prize.  Click here to purchase your own set of English I Shared Readings.  

Have a cozy weekend!

Father Nicholas: The REAL Santa Claus

When I was very young, some of my classmates would leave their shoes outside the bedroom door on the night of the fifth of December, so that Saint Nicholas would leave them treats.

We never did that at our house, but I did ask Mom how it was that Saint Nicholas got to be called Santa Claus. By this time I had already determined a connection between the two. But while my mother was salutatorian of her high school class -- there were ten students at most, but that's not the point -- she was not one to wear her erudition on her sleeve. So, rather than go into an entymological treatise on the subject, she simply told me: “Say ‘Santa Claus’ three times real fast.” That carried me over for at least a few years.

No good Catholic home is without an answer to the question of whether there is such a thing as Santa Claus. There is, but that is a corruption of his real name, one that developed over the centuries. By the time devotion to Saint Nicholas reached Europe, he was known by different names. In the British Isles, he was known as "Father Christmas." In the Netherlands, he was known as "Sinterklaas," which is how we got the name that people use today. Whatever people call him, the Bishop of Myra in the fourth century is a real person, and he presently dwells in Heaven with the Communion of Saints.

He was no lightweight. He was in attendance at the Council of Nicaea when the Arian heresy was being debated. At one point, he became so enraged with the Bishop Arius (whose errors were supported by the majority of bishops up to that time, remember), that he supposedly punched Arius in the nose. That's right, kids, Jolly Olde Saint Nick cold-cocked a heretic. (Some accounts say that he merely slapped him, but that's so pansy, who'd believe it?) Anyway, many of the bishops there, including the Emperor Constantine, were scandalized by the assault, and given their sympathies, had Nicholas thrown in the dungeon. That night, the Emperor had a dream where Nicholas appeared to him, adorned in his finest liturgical vesture, and holding the Book of the Gospels. Awakened with a fright, the Emperor summoned his guards, who joined him as he raced to the dungeon, to find Nicholas unchained, with ... you guessed it.

The story varies in certain details. Some accounts tell of Our Lord and Our Lady appearing to Nicholas in the dungeon. I heard the above account from an "Old Calendar" Russian Orthodox priest. It is also said that Nicholas, now restored to his rightful place in the council, slept through the rest of the proceedings. I can't say I blame him.

At the little Byzantine Rite parish where my son learned the Faith, as it had been taught to his mother, the Feast of Saint Nicholas is a really big deal. He is the patron of Byzantine Catholics, and his image graces the iconostasis on the far left side as viewed from the assembly. There is a special hymn dedicated to "Father Nicholas" ...

O kto kto, Nikolaja l'ubit,
O kto kto, Nikolaju sluzit.
    Tomu svjatyj Nikolaj,
    Na vsjakij cas pomahaj.
    Nikolaj, Nikolaj!

O who loves Nicholas the Saintly,
O who loves Nicholas the Saintly.
    Him will Nicholas receive,
    and give help in time of need.
    Nicholas, Nicholas!

... and the children in the School of Religion program do a pageant in his honor every Sunday closest to the sixth of December. It culminates in the arrival of an elderly man with a long white beard, dressed in the robes of an Eastern bishop, with whom the children meet in much the same manner as they would his commercialized counterpart.

Paul used to get special icon cookies to take home, much like the ones that appear in the photos, emblazoned with the words "O Holy Nicholas" in Slavonic. These unique gingerbread cookies are from a recipe which appears at the website.

I dearly miss that little parish. It has changed over the years. My duties at St John the Beloved have prevented me from attending there, and they have completed a new and larger place of worship next to the original, one that emulates the style common to Eastern Europe. But with every successful building project they have -- the parish hall, the rectory -- the place seems a little less homey, a little larger than life. Still, the spirit of Saint Nicholas reminds them every year, of the things that are passed on, and that remain the same.

Now, enough of this self-indulgent soul-searching. Let's go bake some cookies already!

St. Nicholas’s Day.

Santa Claus is based on an actual guy. He’d be Nikólaos of Myra, whom we also know as St. Nicolas. His feast day is today, in honor of his death on 6 December 343.

While a lot of people know about the Santa Claus mythology—whether it comes from Clement Moore’s poem, the Rankin-Bass animated specials, or the various movies which play with the Santa story—they tend to know little to nothing about the person at the back of it all. So let me rectify that.

Read more…

The Magnificat.

The prophecy Mary gave to Elizabeth during her visit is called the Magnificat [män•YĒ•fē•kät] from the first word in its Latin translation, Magnificat anima mea Dominum…. It’s a Hebrew poem in that it repeats concepts. Some have wondered whether it’s a hymn which Mary composed on the spot. Or maybe she composed it beforehand, and came out with it now.

Those who don’t understand how prophecy and inspiration work, tend to think of the Magnificat as something the Holy Spirit said through Mary, rather than something Mary said, empowered by the Spirit. They see her as some illiterate, uneducated peasant girl. In reality, the Spirit takes our innate abilities—the ones we have all the time, not just when we’re inspired—and points them at God. The Magnificat isn’t just a one-time freak of nature. Turns out Mary was a poet. Perhaps even a musician. Maybe untrained, with strong natural talents God put in her long before she said this. But maybe someone had trained her; we don’t know. All we have is her poem.

Read more…

Santa Claus is Coming Town

So excited to show off our Santa Claus's that we made today : ) I absolutely LOVE Deanna Jump's Christmas Unit because it is filled with fun activities for math and literacy.  She is very detailed and knows what the kiddos like!

Something else that I have fallen in love with is the wonderful Rachelle's Holidays Around the World Unit.  This is worth every penny and definitely focuses on the basics and importance of holidays in many countries.  You can click HERE to purchase Units 1 and 2 bundled at a discounted price!

Clogs from the Netherlands

The poinsettia from Mexico 

And just for fun, here is my Lily after her bath yesterday.  Poor thing.. but she's so good : ) And then lets me (tolerates me) blow drying her so she's not a shaking little peanut!

 I also baked cookies... yum! It's always important to take time for yourself (ha, I should take my own advice!) especially around the holidays : ) Take care, love you all!

My Christmas Unit is on Educents right now! 43% off! I hope you can check it out : ) Click HERE if you would love to purchase it on TPT... ho ho ho!

**GIVEAWAY** Reel Stuff- Author Interview Don Bruns

Help me welcome Don Bruns who is celebrating the 7th novel release in his "Stuff" series. Then after enjoying our interview enter the contest for an author signed copy of Reel Stuff.

  • ISBN-13: 9781608090969
  • Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/3/2013
  • Series: The Stuff Series , #7
  • Pages: 295


Don & His Publisher Oceanview is
Offering one Autographed copy
US Only of Reel Stuff
Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter
Thanks Don & Oceanview
Good Luck!

Is it suicide or murder when Academy Award winning actor Jason Londell leaps to his death during the filming of a TV show in Miami? Londell's actress girlfriend hires private investigators James Lessor and Skip Moore to investigate. They uncover a plot loaded with twists and fueled by money and greed. The case sends James, Skip, and Skip's girlfriend Emily to Los Angeles where the blonde beauty goes undercover in Hollywood and is "discovered" by a talent agent.

Don, Hi Welcome to The Reading Frenzy
Tell us a little about Reel Stuff
The idea behind Reel Stuff came about when I was in Miami and saw Charlie's Angels being filmed in a city park. Security guys were keeping people out of the park, and it looked like the kind of work Skip and James, my two young detectives, would get. A couple bucks for a couple days work. Then I wondered what would happen if someone were to die on that set under mysterious circumstances.

This is your 7th in the “Stuff” series
Is there an end number
Skip Lessor and James Moore are young and have a lot of life left in them. If they don't get killed! 

How are the novels connected? 
There's a very strong friendship between Skip, James and Skip's girlfriend Emily. The reviews and the readers are always commenting on how close the three are, even though there are always surface tensions. Anyone who reads this series is going to immediately identify these relationships. We've all had friendships that are strong, and we've all had some rough patches with those friends. 

Don on your website you mention that Sue Grafton mentored you when you were a fledgling writer.
Do you still keep in touch with her?
Does she still read your manuscripts?
Yes and no. I see her from time to time and we catch up. Her career seems to be somewhat stronger than mine. 

Don you describe yourself as a “road weary musician”.
Is the road where you pick up your novel ideas?
I traveled with a friend from college, doing music and standup comedy back in the seventies. In many ways we were Skip and James. We always had each other's back. We worked Playboy Clubs, Vegas, Holiday Inns, and warmed up acts like Ray Charles, The Four Seasons, Ricky Nelson and others.

Don, which is more difficult to write a song or to write a novel? 
A song doesn't take as much time. But often times there's almost as much thought given to a good story song. You have to compress so much into such a short space. Harry Chapin's Cat's In The Cradle takes a life from birth to adulthood in under five minutes and describes characters, weaves a story and develops a pretty good plot.

Your website also tell that you and three friends opened a used bookstore.
Tell fans here about it.
We had the store for about six years, in a 1905 grocery store. We were victims of the ebook craze. We had a lot of mystery writers stop in for signings, but after six years it was time to close it down. Also, in my small hometown in Ohio, no one reads!

Don, thanks so much for answering a few questions.
Will there be a physical tour with this book?There will be a tour. We start in New Orleans in December and all dates are on my website at 
Connect with Don Website - Facebook

Don's Music

  a Rafflecopter giveaway USA, LLC

If You Have Veiling on Your Mind - Advent Veil Giveaway

Has there been a little nudge, maybe a whisper on your heart, about veiling during Holy Mass? That’s how it was for me. After years of pushing these thoughts out of my consciousness, I finally found my resolve when I re-encountered on old friend at a 50th anniversary Mass for a priest friend. She was wearing a veil and so I asked her about it at the following reception. Not only did she lend one of her veils to me, she gave me the insight to make my decision. If you've had veiling on your mind, maybe this post - or one of the others in this linkup - will give you that final little push.

Win this beautiful black and silver veil!
So why veil? What makes veiling a desirable practice and why is it that the urge seems to be hitting more and more women these days? Let's look at our current state of affairs for a plausible (in my opinion) answer. We're seeing an across the board tone of disrespect, selfishness, and casual attitudes unlike any in my lifetime. From the barrage of  shocking 'celebrity' antics to the commercialization of even the sacred, we are being inundated with negative human characteristics. Abortion is backup birth control, children play violent games, and clothing is far from modest. It's enough to make me feel downright negative sometimes - but then I stop and raise my thoughts to God, and all that He is and all He has given us. This world is ours - to make of what we will. The gift of Free Will is ours and all we need to do, to make the world a better place, is within our own grasp. 

I've been on a quest of sorts, to improve my own little corner of the world. As one of my friends likes to say, 'bloom where you grow'. Instead of focusing on the negative, that can be found all around us, I deliberately choose to create an atmosphere of the positive. I am a Gift of God. He made me and gave me the means to share my gifts with family, friends, and the world. If I obsess about the negative, I will leave a negative imprint on those with whom I interact. But if I choose a cheerful heart, it might just prove to be contagious - thus improving life for myself and others.

So, what does all of this have to do with veiling? For me, veiling is an outward sign that I have respect - respect for myself as a godly woman and respect for Jesus, present in the Eucharist. While I don't veil to please others, it is a sign that others can see. Veiling, for me, says that I acknowledge that I am in the Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am not of the earthly world, I belong to the Eternal Life to come. As I lift the veil to my head, I become acutely aware that I am entering the Divine Presence. The weight of the fabric, the curtain it creates, gives me feeling of inspiration - a calm comes over me and I feel much more able to focus. In turn, the worldly concerns fall away - my soul lifts up to the divine. In veiling, I join a long line of women - like the Blessed Mother Mary - who practiced veiling. While it is no longer mandatory, veiling is still an optional, devotional act that is pleasing to God.

With Advent just beginning, why not consider veiling as a devotion to try - as a preparation for the coming of the King of Kings? As a 'little Lent', this time of anticipation and preparation would be a great time to humbly step out of our comfort zone. Like me, you might just find that it's not as difficult as you suspected. My daughter and I are still the only ones who veil at our parish, yet we find it to be a blessing. After a year and a half now, I doubt that our fellow parishioners even notice anymore - and even if they do, we are comfortable in performing this act of reverence for Jesus.

If you're considering veiling (or already do), be sure to check out the VEIL GIVEAWAY going on From Thursday, December 5 through Monday, December 9 below. If you're the winner, it might just be that extra nudge you need!

SURPRISE second item to be given away! Josiekat's Trunk has donated a beautiful Mantilla Pouch from
their Etsy shop. Since my chapel veil comes with its own organza bag, I'll draw a second name for this new item.

Follow this link to Veil Designs by Birgit to see some of the veils available for sale.

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town // NEW Christmas Print

We have a new print to share with you today!!
One that will have you singing every time you pass by it.
And, it's a good little reminder for the kiddos too. ;)

There are three different color options to choose from...
Which one will you pick?


download these 16x20 prints
(remember these can be printed as 8x10's too)


this post is sponsored by:
sweet potato shop
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