Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tuesday Talk #47

I can't believe this week we'll begin the month of September!! Anyone else feel like this year is flying by? Although September means fall is coming...and that means lighting candles, decorating my porch, long walks with Little Dog and Baby G, and cooking with pumpkin!!

Are you ready for fall or are you wishing the summertime would last forever?

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Mercy Mondays!



It's the Year of Mercy for the Catholic Church. Oftentimes a pope will declare a special year for the church in order for Catholics to focus on a certain aspect of God or a specific virtue or theme (Year of Faith, Year of Jubilee, Year of Mercy). We are slowing winding down on this past Year of Mercy, but I have to admit I'm only just beginning to really focus on mercy. 

And I have to thank this book for it! Somehow when I thought of the Year of Mercy, I tended to think most about God's mercy in the sense of forgiveness for my sins and encouraging others to come to Him to receive forgiveness as well. While this is true about mercy, it's only the beginning!! 

I had forgotten that mercy is so. much. more. It's not just about forgiving sins or withholding punishment, but rather mercy is about God's overwhelming love for each one of us, the way He reaches down to us and attends to our needs

There are two Hebrew words used for mercy in the Bible and their meanings give us a better idea of how to truly receive God's great mercy. The first word is hesed-- "steadfast love." The second word is rachamim-- "tender, compassionate love." These meanings warm my heart when I think of our great God loving us tenderly and steadfastly. I think when we have a better understanding of God's mercy for us-- that powerful yet gentle love-- we are so much better able to share His mercy with others.

Divine Mercy for Moms, by Emily Jaminet and Michele Faehnle, has been such a gift this past month as I adjust to motherhood and begin to contemplate ways I can serve God in this very new and different role. However, the ideas in the book are definitely applicable to any woman in any state of life. My favorite thing about the book is how practical it is! Sometimes I'll read a book and be inspired but not quite be sure how to apply the inspiration to my daily life. This book is chock full of ways to show mercy to those around you. 

As I continue to read the book, I'd love to share some of these inspirations with you, and I'd also love to keep myself accountable to giving and receiving of God's mercy! Thus, I created Mercy Mondays on my blog! I plan to intentionally and purposefully do one act of mercy each week and share it with you as well as what I'm currently reading in the book! I'd love to have you join me and we can learn to experience God's mercy more deeply and share it more generously!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wisdom for Wednesdays

"Was it a bad day? Or was it a bad five minutes you milked all day?" 
-TobyMac

(Been there, done that! It's like he knows me... ;) Happy Wednesday, all!)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Motherhood doubts...and grace

For as much as I've wanted to be a mom my whole life...for all the times I dreamed of these days...

It's amazing how inept I can feel at this whole mommy role sometimes. How much I can doubt myself and my abilities. The lack of sleep, the postpartum hormones, and just my general lingering perfectionism have all played a part in my questioning if I'm doing this right, if I'm caring for her well, if I'm a good mom.

I didn't expect that.

But I also didn't expect the grace. The grace that has nudged me out of bed every few hours through the night to feed and change our little one. The grace that kept me breastfeeding every couple hours every single day despite the beginner's pain that accompanied it. The grace that makes me want to give all that I have and all that I am for this precious little girl in my arms. Truly I'm learning that this vocation of motherhood is a surrender of self, an offering of your very body to another, just as Christ offered His body for us on the cross..."my body given up for you." (Luke 22:19)

Yesterday at Mass I knelt after communion, singing one of my favorite songs with the worship band-- "Good Good Father" by Chris Tomlin. My husband was holding the baby so I was able to fully enter in to this beautiful song. As the words to the first verse appeared on the screen, I felt God speaking to me in that moment-- speaking to me as not only the mother to my daughter...but also to me as His daughter, His child. 

But I've heard the tender whispers of love in the dead of night
And you tell me that you're pleased
And that I'm never alone 

I started crying. I didn't realize it but I needed to hear that reminder. That when I'm up in the dead of night nursing my daughter and feeling alone...I'm not. I'm not alone. He is whispering of His love. And He's telling me He is pleased. He is pleased with my feeble attempts at motherhood, with my offerings of my flawed self to raise this beautiful gift He's given us. 

He is truly a good, good Father.

And because of that, I have hope that with His grace I can be a good mother.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tuesday Talk #45: Book Reviews

Welcome to Tuesday Talk! Make sure to check out all the great posts below in the link-up!

With recovery, breastfeeding, and just general baby snuggles, I have LOTS of time for reading (although sometimes I can't keep my eyes open long enough). The two particular books below are looking to be worthy ones to add to my collection. What have you been reading this month?


This book is fabulous! It truly is a comprehensive guide for feeding babies and toddlers yet it's not overwhelming. My favorite part is the way it's divided-- by age, starting with 0-3 months and finished with the toddler years. This is so much more helpful because you can simply reference the chapters that refer to the age of your little one in the present season. Each age section includes useful Q&A, growth expectations and milestones, nutritional guidelines, medical concerns, and even some fun recipes. I appreciated the breastfeeding section and am quite tempted to make the Oatmeal Power Cookies for a snack today!! I would recommend this book as a great reference for new parents or a creative baby shower gift! 5 stars.

[Thank you to Blogging for Books for providing this book at no cost in exchange for a review. This post contains my honest and original thoughts concerning the book.]




Ah yes. You know how much I loved Snuggle Time Prayers. I couldn't resist checking out Snuggle Time Psalms! The illustrations are just precious and I love the size and texture of this cute little board book. Each page contains a psalm paraphrased for little ones. Some of the words seem challenging or difficult for young children to understand but that could also be a good thing to provide opportunities for learning. I like Snuggle Time Prayers better than this version with the Psalms but it is still an adorably sweet book and I look forward to reading it to our little girl! 4 stars. 

[Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for providing this book at no cost in exchange for a review. These are my honest and original thoughts.]


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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tuesday Talk #44: Oh Baby


Our precious daughter arrived earlier than her due date and we've been in the throes of those first few weeks of parenting. Sometime soon I'd love to share my labor and delivery story with you (it was fast and furious and included some scary details like the cord wrapped twice around her neck, some funny details like my water breaking in the car, and many grace-filled details like the Chik-fil-a employee praying for us at our restaurant table while I had contractions). 

These days are surreal. When I look in my daughter's face and realize she's ours, created by the goodness of God through the love of me and my husband. I think of all the injections I took throughout the pregnancy to prevent clots and keep my progesterone levels safe for her to grow inside. I think of the months of negative tests when I wondered if we'd have a little one on earth or just our little one in heaven. Yet here she is, so beautiful, so innocent. "All God's grace in one tiny face."

We are thankful. In the midst of new mommy worries, sleep-interrupted nights, breastfeeding pain, and cabin fever, we are so thankful. And life is beautiful. 

I'll share more in the coming days about the birth as well as our first week adjusting after bringing baby home, how the Lord taught me that it doesn't matter if we're walking on water or if we're sinking in the waves-- as long as we're moving towards Him, He'll take care of us. (Because if I'm being real, I felt like I was drowning some of those days and still do at times!)

In the meantime, check out all the fun links below! I always find a few fun ideas or recipes or encouragement each week with the Tuesday Talk ladies!



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