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Monday, March 11, 2019

To the Mama that Feels Like She is Living Lent Every Day

We are less than a week in to Lent and I see you dear mama (or anyone with a lot on their plate)! If you are anything like me you might still feel overwhelmed with the ponderings of what to do this Lenten season. You already feel like you may have lived and entire Lent in just one day on some occasions. Like I mentioned above, you don't have to be a mother to feel this way, maybe you are struggling with chronic illness or tremendous sacrifice and suffering. But I encourage you to still walk with Jesus this Lent. You may feel like you don't have much else to give up or even anything left to give.

Lent is a beautiful chance to examine our relationship with God and a time of preparation for a great feast in which we celebrate the Paschal mystery. We need this season to stop, reflect, and check that we order ourselves towards God always. 

When you are over tired, over worked, or over sacrificed, here are my three simple suggestions for a fruitful Lent. 

I want to challenge to you to offer every act you do throughout the day to God. 

It may not seem like much at first glance but if every moment is a prayer and you are constantly offering to God the little things through the day, it will become so clear where things are ordered properly and where they need adjustment.

Get to confession more than once this season. 

I have found that there are so many burdens lifted by this sacrament. It's hard to explain and if you are overwhelmed and suffering confession might be the last thing on your mind. You'll be amazed to see and feel the blessing that comes from bringing all your shortcomings no matter how trivial to Jesus there.

Make a morning offering to Jesus through our Blessed Mother and cap your day off with a quick Examen. 

Mary stood mournfully weeping at the foot of the cross and has a lot of grace to pour out for us.  She is the perfect companion for us in this Lenten season.  As a gentle mother she will hold your hand across a busy street and get you safely to your destination. She wants to guide us to the arms of Jesus, those arms so full of love they are stretched out on a cross for our salvation.

There's even a handy app to help with taking a look at your day each night: Reimagining Examen

This seems to be a season I am in because I found a old post from a few years ago that sounds similar to my musings today. My suggestion then was to try and simply:

"Love More This Lent"

You can check out the free printable I made for it in this post here.

There are some other great ideas for Lent from a few of my favorite blogs: 

To Jesus Sincerely - The 5 Minute Sacrifice for Lent

Not so Formulaic - It's Okay for Your Lent to Look Different

The Littlest Way- Lenten Devotional When You Just Cant Afford Holiness

In my last post I shared a new free printable I have for this Lenten season. It's a thank you for signing up to the e-mail list!

If you have great ideas that help you grow closer to God during Lent, please comment and share your wisdom! 

Thursday, February 28, 2019

FREE Digital Lent Prints and a Book Review

I am so excited to share this free Lent printable set with you as a gift for subscribing to emails from Life Love & Sacred Art. There are 6 different images in the PDF all sized to and 8x10 image. You can find the link to sign up at the bottom of the post. They are inspired my my new book Stood the Mournful Mother Weeping: A Simple Stations of the Cross Through Image & Song which was just released on Amazon.

As a busy mother I wanted something very simple to help me contemplate the stations of the cross. 

This book was my solution. Beautiful painterly images are paired with simple verses from my favorite Lenten hymn the Stabat Mater. The book has a short introduction followed with a large picture of each station of the cross and a verse from the hymn. There are blank notebook pages in the back of the book with a place to write down prayer intentions or record reflections and inspiration. It's not a book specifically for Lent so my hope is that it will be something one can use throughout the year to reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made for us and to encourage us to offer up our suffering to Jesus through our Blessed Mother.

Here's a quick video preview from the manuscript that was submitted. It's so new I don't even have my final copy yet!

Here is a closer look at the beautiful Lent printables I have made for you. Sign up for e-mails here and you'll get an instant confirmation to download them. You can also just click on this picture to sign up!

Don't feel like signing up for emails but still want these printables? There are available in my Etsy shop. 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Coffee and Crayons: St. Andrew Christmas Novena Coloring Page

Here is a more detailed coloring page for the St. Andrew Christmas Novena. Just click on the picture and select "save image as". After you save it you will be able to print it out. 

I am praying you have a blessed Advent!
You can find more Coffee & Crayons coloring pages here

Thursday, November 29, 2018

FREE Advent Calendar for Kids and Helpful Tips for Mom Too

Well Advent is almost here whether you are ready or not! Here is my annual Advent calendar for the kids. If you have the Activity pack from last year there are no new saints, but I have added additional pages this year: Epiphany, the Holy Family, nativity gift tags, a template letter to Baby Jesus, and the bonus of an updated easy to read St. Andrew's Christmas Novena card. You can pick it up in my Etsy shop here. 

To print the calendar click on it and save it as an image then you can select to print it. 
There is an Advent Activity Pack group on facebook you can join where others and I share ideas and links for Advent.

Advent Activity Pack Resource
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A place to share and talk about Advent traditions and activities.

Help for the Mamas...

1. YES Dec 8th is a Holy Day of Obligation even though it's Saturday. It might be helpful to look at your church's Advent schedule and see what times they have set aside for Mass. If they offer a vigil, going Friday night for Immaculate Conception and then Sunday Morning or afternoon for your Sunday obligation may be a pleasant way to spread it out.

2. My lovely friend Ginny at Not So Formulaic has written this beautiful Mass Journal for moms. This Advent, one of my goals is to pay better attention in Mass as I am busy keeping an eye on my children. The older girls are pretty great now in Mass, but golly that two year old! I am hoping to kick start my Advent this weekend with Ginny's book Until I Rest in You. You can pick up a copy at Amazon or buy a digital download from Not So Formulaic here.
Here is a peak at the inside of this beautifully simple Mass Journal. 

Help for the Kids...

1. Advent is a time to focus our hearts on Jesus more. If you are not already volunteering and helping find something as a family you can do to help others.  Ginny also has an awesome Works of Mercy printable advent calendar with suggestions for Advent prayer, sacrifice, and service.

2. Encourage little acts of kindness in your family. There are a bunch of awesome ways to do this. The straw for Baby Jesus thing, Natalie the Nativity Angel, Abigail the Altruism Angel (she is retired this year maybe she'll make a come back next year after a thorough proofreading and editing of the file), The Shepherd on the Search, or Christmas Countdown as you follow the star (This is my new

3. I have really wanted to jump on the Jesse Tree train because I feel it is a tangible way of unfolding Salvation History for children. I stumbled upon this beautiful Jesse Tree printable from Marginalia Books and it's only $4!!!!! It only lists the reading and you need to look them up but can be a great activity to help kids become more familiar with the bible. Make it special by lighting a candle as you break open the Word of God and read from the Bible together.

If you are looking for Jesse Tree ornaments and a little more substance check out To Jesus Sincerely and Sara's Mosaic Jesse Tree. The meditations are beautiful!

Monday, November 26, 2018

FREE St. Andrew Christmas Novena Coloring Page

I have an update for the St. Andrew Christmas Novena card and also a new coloring page!

I updated the old card with a less scripty font to help young readers follow along. This year I have added a coloring page version of the novena prayer, perfect for little ones. They can follow along the dots with their fingers or you can laminate the page and mark off the dots with a dry erase pen. I have uploaded the images as large files, you can just save them and print them out.

Do you have older kids that need an activity? Here is a cursive practice page with the text of the novena!

If you love these free printables consider supporting them by doing some Christmas shopping over at Etsy in our little Catholic shop featuring rosaries, printables, and religious jewelry. It takes time to make these free resources available and your patronage is much appreciated. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Rosary Giveaway and Book Review Too!

I'd love to introduce you to Annaliese Harry who has written this beautiful Advent devotional called Journey Through Advent

Anni is a proud Army wife, mamma, blogger, and author. A Beautiful Camouflaged Mess of A Life is her blog. She also writes inspirational pieces for Every Day Ediths, Catholic Sistas, and Catholic Mom. I think you would really enjoy following Anni for some inspiration in your life. The beautiful Advent cover art was illustrated by Caitlyn Anderson, you can check her stuff out on her Blog Lime & Lungs and over on Instagram @limeandlunges  

Although this devotional is written with the military woman in mind, it's  a great resource for moms like me because it is written beautifully simple. The little hand in the picture is my toddler and I don't have a lot of time to spend reading, but I desire to be nourished and fed at a pace that fits my station in life at the moment. 

I love how Anni organized this devotional with a meditation on the theme of each week in Advent and then how she lays out every day simple and to the point: Readings, Reflection, Prayer, and Action. 

One of my favorite parts is the little call to action at the end of each day's reflection. Sometimes you just need a little push to get going or to think of how to put into action your faith. I know I get stuck at times in the rut of survival just saying my go to prayers and making sure everyone is fed and reasonably content at the end of the day. 

I was thinking that it would be super fun to add this special edition pinkish purple Camo Rosary for a giveaway. It has a St. Michael medal center and is pretty sturdy. I make these in green camo and offer them over at my Etsy shop. The Giveaway for this Camo rosary is open to US Residents. It will run from now to November 21st. Enter the Giveaway through Rafflecopter below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway