Kate Taliaferro is an Air Force wife, mom of 4 under 6. She enjoys homeschooling her two oldest while chasing her exuberant almost 3 year old and snuggling her sweet baby. She has a Masters in Religious Education and tries to find God's presence in all parts of her day, be it cooking, cleaning or just the everyday ordinary. Follow her blog, (link: dailygraces.net) Daily Graces to join her crazy, adventurous, God-filled family.
I really should have been doing this all along. For almost 2 years now I’ve been a contributor for CatholicMom.com. It’s an amazing website full of encouragement for moms of all ages and stages – parents in general really. Contributors from all over the country – moms, dads, grandparents, single adults, priests, nuns, brothers – all share Gospel reflections, posts about parenthood, sainthood, daily living, theology, even sharing recipes and movie reviews.
I’m going to *try* to remember each month to share here the beginning of my monthly article. Click the link to view the whole thing at catholicmom.com and check out what other articles are there for you to discover.
Be Glad God is Like Stoplights
I was sitting at a particularly long stop light the other day. My kids were chattering in the back, asking when we would be moving again. I swear it felt like we had been waiting for five minutes, though in reality it couldn’t have been that long. A white truck pulled up next me and within two seconds the light switched to green. One of my kids shouted “That’s not fair! We had to wait longer.”
This got me thinking about the parable Jesus told about the workers in the vineyard. It’s the one where the landowner hires workers at dawn, agreeing to pay them the usual daily wage. Then hires more workers at mid-day, afternoon and evening, agreeing to pay each of them the usual daily wage. At the end of the day, those hired first are outraged that inflation didn’t happen when everyone was paid the same amount.
I have such an exciting project to share today! I absolutely cannot wait to have this little book arrive on my doorstep in November. Yes, November, I know it’s a ways away, but trust me, the wait will be worth it.
Kassie Manning and Christie Vaughn are launching a brand new journal designed specifically for Catholics called Every Sacred Sunday. This is a Mass journal. It has all the Sunday readings in it (identical to the lectionary, they have gone out of their way to ensure that the readings in their journal are the exact same translation, with proper permissions), plus space to write and reflect on what spoke to you that Sunday, what is a verse or word that stood out to you, any homily or prayer notes, and even a space for how to take the lessons you learned and put them into practice that week.
This journal looks absolutely stunning. Christie, an artist, has drawn some incredibly beautiful illustrations that kick off each liturgical season. I was able to get a sneak peak at Advent’s and I know I am going to spend a good deal of time just praying with that. It is simple, but very profound. I can’t wait to see the others!
I used this journal for yesterday’s Feast of the Assumption (because these girls have solid Catholic roots and also included all the Holy Days of Obligation). I loved the lectio divina quality it gave to my Mass experience. I was able to read the readings before Mass, then listened to them during Mass, and could reference back to them after as I journaled. After almost 3 complete read throughs, I definitely felt like a specific verse was standing out to me in a way that was new and different. I appreciate that there was a defined space to write. It kept me concise and to the point while still giving me plenty of room to say what I wanted. What might be the most important piece is on the very bottom of the page where Kassie and Christie have included a “Go Forth” section. How will I take what I heard and learned and use it this week? Now I have accountability and frankly, have a thought out, intentional, specific plan instead of a general “I need to try to be nicer/more helpful/etc.”
Kassie and Christie are using Kickstarter to get this project off the ground. In their first 24 hours of launching, they met their goal (this means guaranteed printing)! How incredible is that? In my opinion, it speaks to a need, a hunger people have. We, I, want to be able to carry Mass with us through the week. We want to take the time to reflect on what we heard and how to implement it in our lives. Every Sacred Sunday is taking these desires, adding paper, beauty and creativity, and transforming them into an incredible resource.
In the time since the launch, Kassie and Christie have added (and met, whoot!) a stretch goal so now each journal will also have a ribbon placeholder. There is still time to pre-order your journal(s). It is available through kickstarter until August 31. The journals will start to ship in November and should be in everyone’s hands for the first Sunday of Advent, December 3, 2017.
Head over to everysacredsunday.com to learn more or pledge your support for your own journal now. Kassie and Christie also put together this great video that talks about them, their journey and how awesome Every Sacred Sunday is.
This is going to change hearts and lives in ways we can’t even imagine.
A few weeks ago I made a ravioli dish for dinner. Chicken, mozzarella, and rosemary. Now don’t get too impressed, it was frozen from Costco. But good nonetheless. We have made them before and usually I toss them in olive oil. This time, however, I happened to have some basil pesto about and pesto is one of our favorite pasta toppings, especially since we figured out Clare can eat it as well.
As you might have guessed, something went wrong with this meal. Though I love rosemary, and I definitely love basil, for me and my palate the two do not mix well. When I made the choice to use basil pesto I forgot about the rosemary in the ravioli filling. Too focused on the chicken and mozzarella I guess. So when we started eating, there was a war in our mouths between the basil and the rosemary. For those who like to keep tallies, the rosemary won.d
Doesn’t life feel like this sometimes? Especially if you are a family with kids, nights and weekends fill up fast with practices, games, recitals and playdates. How do we pick? How do you choose what activities to participate in, which ones to say no to? How do you prioritize?
We are just entering this stage of parenthood. I know things are going to get busy and I know we are going to have to make tough choices. It’s one of the joys and sorrows of having kids spaced so closely together. They do so much together, which is great, but there are only so many hours in the day when they start doing their own things.
We are going to need to evaluate and reevaluate our priorities each time we add or let go of an activity. The key is striving for balance.
Have you ever noticed how on a teeter-totter there is a center point on which the arm rests? It’s easy to focus on one end or the other, or try to find the exact weight needed to achieve perfect balance. But here’s a secret for you – it will never balance if that center point crumbles or is removed. If our lives are likened to teeter-totters, can you guess what the center point is?
Hopefully that isn’t too big of a surprise. Before we can achieve balance, we need to have a sturdy foundation to balance upon. Mass, prayer (both personal and communal), service, sacrifice, thanksgiving, forgiveness, praise and adoration – all these and more help us to build our relationship with God, the foundation for our lives.
In light of this, one of my goals for our upcoming school year (yikes! it’s August already?) is to attend daily Mass at least once a week and, if things continue to work out, go to Confession every other week/once a month minimum. We are homeschooling, so 1 daily Mass should be well within the realm of possibility. I am so thankful we have found a couple other homeschooling families that also want to attend. The goal is to try to get to Mass early one day every other week or so and take turns watching all the kids so the moms and those kids old enough can go to Confession. It’s happened twice so far and it has made a huge difference in my accountability, my responsibility and how I am going about my day.
Balance. Be it on the plate or in our life, is difficult to achieve. But difficult does not mean impossible and it is certainly worth working toward. How do you achieve balance? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas!