Kitchen Self-Care

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Meal planning and cooking for tiny people {who insist on eating every.single.day.} can get pretty tricky for moms with big families, moms who work, moms who sleep, moms who swim, moms with purple hair…ok, it’s tricky for a lot of moms. My theory is that the process – of meal planning and shopping sales and chopping veggies and cooking, stirring, and sauteeing and everything that comes with it – is all a lost art. No one around us really knows how to do it. Many moms lack the support of someone to help them embrace the deliberate, ordered steps of planning and preparing meals, so the whole idea seems incredibly daunting and unnecessarily time consuming. The catch is, if  behavior isn’t modeled for us, we miss out on seeing the tangible fruits that come from such a discipline. And so, we lack motivation. Frozen pizza sounds a heck of a lot easier (and oh gosh, IT SO IS. And that’s ok, sometimes!) We tend to scoff at those online who sing the praises of meal planning and the beauty found in preparing a meal. We shrug it off because we “don’t have our sh*t together” like those other moms. We have enough to worry about without adding the stress of meal planning to our already crazy lives. Right? Well…maybe. Continue reading

When Your Company Downsizes: 3 Steps To Take

The first time I experienced the terror and uncertainty of a “reduction in force,” I was on a short break away from my desk when I got a frantic text from a coworker. “Joe is gone,” it read. “Sandy is gone, Joe is gone, and I think they just called James from his office.” My stomach dropped. My palms were sweaty. Facing cutbacks is never easy, and until this point our department had remained relatively untouched. The afternoon wore on, and the cuts kept coming. In those fearful moments, I stayed relatively calm. I prayed that I might keep my job, but that if God had different plans for me, I was on board. Like, literally on board. I visualized myself in the boat with Our Lord, who has authority over the wind and the waves and the storms of our lives. I saw myself riding out the storm with Him at the helm, no matter what. Practically speaking, I also packed up my office, just in case. Continue reading

St. Joseph the Worker and Rerum Novarum

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To all you working Catholic women out there – away from home, in the home, part-time, full-time, PRN, shift work, nights, days, and everything in between – happy feast day! The feast of St. Joseph the Worker was established in 1955 by Pope Pius XII in a time when labor conditions around the world were being experiencing upheaval and revamped to become fairer to workers. The promulgation of the feast was inspired by the need for workers to look to St. Joseph as a heavenly friend and intercessor for needs related to their work. Additionally, the Catholic Church has historically been quite vocal on workers’ rights throughout the modern age, as agrarian and trade economies slowly gave way to industrialization and the ensuing changes we’ve seen over the past 150 years. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that a day was set aside to honor this saint, who was the breadwinner for the Holy Family and exceptional example of sanctification through the simple embrace of his labor and state in life.

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I See You, Hardworking Mama

Path to sainthood

Maybe, just maybe, God calls mothers to different stations in life for the benefit of their souls. Maybe I benefit from working outside the home because God know it’s the best way for me to provide for my family since I have more earning potential than my husband. Maybe it would be a temptation to spiritual pride if I was a SAHM (pretty sure it would be. Like 100% sure, because I know me…) Maybe the searing pain I felt for the vast majority of my working years – the anger and jealousy that I couldn’t stay home with my newborns – gave birth to an understanding between me and God that I was squandering the opportunity He was giving me to embrace where He has me “right now,” versus pining over what I thought was best for me, at the time. I slammed the door to holiness in His face, every day, as the opportunity for embracing my Cross of being a working mom was wasted. I spent many years being angry, bitter, and sad. In part, it was resentment that my husband couldn’t find better work, so it made me angry and resentful towards him. In that respect, it drove a wedge into our marriage. In part, it was because I kept reading on the internet (usually in the swampy muckiness of the comboxes) that anything but being a SAHM would irreparably harm not only my soul, but the souls of my kids.

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Two Thousand Eighteen: A Game Plan

2018 goals

 

It’s the last day of the year, and we wanted to make sure to end 2017 with Confession and Mass. Experiencing the cleansing mercy of absolution, closely followed by the reception of Our Lord in the Eucharist, was just what my soul needed on a day when the temperature outside is dropping like a rock and the hours of the year dwindle to a close. We went to one of the only parishes in Houston that offers Reconciliation on Sundays – Our Lady of Czestochowa on Blalock. Would you just look at this gorgeousness?

Our Lady of Czestochowa, Houston

Without further ado, here’s where my head’s at we venture in 2018, knowing full well that the Lord is the one in charge and there’s no telling where I will actually be 365 days from now. Continue reading