Act of Consecration

In honor of my family’s recent renewal of our Total Consecration, I am sharing with you a printable Act of Consecration.

You are free to print and share this printable.

AD JESUM PER MARIAM

~~~

Act of Consecration - Feast of the Annunciation 3.25 - full color

Full Color – Printable Act of Consecration

White – Printable Act of Consecration

~~~

After Consecration

from Fish Eaters

Once you have consecrated yourself to Jesus through Mary, live that consecration. St. Louis-Marie de Montfort recommended the following:

  • Keep praying to develop a "great contempt" for the spirit of this world

  • Maintain a special devotion to the Mystery of the Incarnation (e.g., through meditation; spiritual reading; focusing on Feasts centering around the Incarnation, such as the Annunciation and the Nativity, etc.)

  • Frequently recite the Ave, Rosary, and the Magnificat

  • Recite, every day if it is not inconvenient, the "Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin" -- a series of Paters, Aves, and Glorias -- one Ave for each star in the Virgin's Crown. St. Louis has a special way of praying the Little Crown, which is recommended.

  • Do everything through, with, in and for Mary for the sake of Jesus, with the prayer, "I am all thine Immaculate One, with all that I have: in time and in eternity" in your heart and on your lips

  • Associate yourself with Mary in a special way before, during, and after Communion (see Supplement of the book, "True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary" above)

  • Wear a little iron chain (around the neck, arm, waist, or ankle) as an outward sign and reminder of holy slavery. This practice is optional, but very recommended by St. Louis. The appearance of this chain is not further specified.

  • Renew the consecration once a year on the same date chosen above, and by following the same 33-day period of exercises. If desired, also renew the consecration monthly with the prayer, "I am all thine and all I have is thine, O dear Jesus, through Mary, Thy holy Mother."

  • Optional: Join the Confraternity of Mary, Queen of All Hearts. Their address:
         Director, Confraternity of Mary Queen of All Hearts
         26 South Saxon Avenue
         Bay Shore, NY 11706

My MarchBaby

IMG_1464

My MarchBaby and I went to view OctoberBaby for our birthday retreat date night.  We invited friends, another mother and her two teen daughters.  Dad and I usually do not permit any social dates during Lent but we thought that this occasion and cause warranted an exception.

I opted for this simplified birthday retreat as soon as March rolled in.  The budget was already stretched and a heavy heart was made.

It was much more than just a retreat.  It was an almsgiving of sorts.  Dad and I knew that we would eventually watch OctoberBaby but we wanted to make a difference.  We wanted to send a message to the entertainment industry that there are people out there who want wholesome movies and are willing to support a prolife message.

October Baby jumped into the overall top 10 despite its screen count, taking in $1,718,427….The film's total is actually now $1,917,869… -IndieWire.com

OctoberBaby is a powerful movie that hit me on many levels.  It had a similar impact on Rose and her girlfriends.  I encourage all teens, parents, youth ministers,…all prolifers to take the time and money to view this movie. 

everylife is beautiful

Eating Out

Day 5: 7 Day Challenge

 

I took it easy for majority of the day, only doing the bare minimum with three of the littles.  I was trying to stay rested for my date with Rose.  Dad took Rose and Sweetie to church for the morning.  Sparkles was sick and the boys needed to be home.  It was a very uneventful morning.  Dad returned with the girls around 3:00pm.  Rose and I ventured off for our birthday date.

I realized that I was running a bit low on fuel but didn’t want to stop for a quick fix/bad choice of food.  Rose and I shopped for 2 hours then we went to eat Mexican food.  I didn’t choose my normal cheesy dish.  Instead, I opted for the kiddie plate with shredded chicken, mole, beans and lettuce.  I also enjoyed some chips and salsa.  I followed my plan loosely and tried to make the best out of our night out.  The food was delish.  My only noticeable side effect was immediate gassiness.

Rose and I went to the movies to watch OctoberBaby.  We went with friends, another mother-daughter couple.  Both of us opted to pass on the snack bar.  I’m not sure that I would have had enough will power had it not been for Lent.  I despise movie popcorn—it always makes me sick.  Nevertheless, I usually can’t refuse it.  Praise God that I didn’t bat an eye.  It worked out, too, because the movie wasn’t a popcorn type of movie.

The date night ended with a visit to McDonalds.  We were just looking for a place to visit.  Not much will power was needed for me there since the food is a complete turn-off to me.  I had water

I returned home at 11am with little energy but wanted to share everything with dad.  It was 1am before I knew it.  Shame on me, I need to make sleep a priority!

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I’ve been thinking a lot about my trainer’s critique of my food log.  I’m not sure what he’ll think of today’s log.

image

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Breakfast: 

  • 1.5 slice – paleo pumpkin pie
Snack:
  • ---

Lunch: IMG_1455

 

  • 1 cup – carnitas
  • .5 cup - guacamole
    • .25 – avocado
    • 4 – grape tomatoes
    • 1 tsp – red onion
    • lime juice
    • .5 tsp – green chilies
Snack:
  • .5 slice – paleo pumpkin pie

Dinner:

I ate out with Rose for a birthday dinner.  I opted for Mexican foods.

  • 1.5 cups – shredded chicken with mole
  • .5 cups – refried beans
  • 1 cup tortilla chips
  • salsa
  • lettuce
Drink:
  • 6 cups – water

Exercise:

  • walking/shopping

Sleep:

  • 1am– 7:00am (6 hrs)

More Food & More Prayer

Earlier in the day (on Sat.) I read my trainers critique of my food log for the past 3 days. He has urged me to eat more calories and up the veggie intake.

“I was very careful to err on the heavy side and I still only came up with 1,223 calories for day 1. That is way too low. Also, you only have 26 grams of carbs, not including your honey mustard dressing. If you are suffering from lack of energy, the first thing to do is increase your carbs. Try to get between 50 and 70 per day (I'm talking to Lena here!).
Your sleep looks great, so lets start with just adding a bunch more vegetable and getting some more calories and not changing anything else yet. We need to do this systematically. One change at a time. “ ~ Jason S, EPLifeFit Trainer

Sadly, my trainer overestimated my caloric intake for Wed.  Here are my stats according to FitDay.

fitday log 3.21

Eating enough food has always been a challenge for me. In fact, I agree that it may be a big culprit in my current decline of health.

----

I kept his advice in the back of my mind the entire day. I didn’t want to change anything, I just wanted to be aware of what I ate, when I ate, and why I ate.

I realized that I’m waiting to eat when I’m hungry, have energy to get my food, and or the time.  I tend to stay away from foods that require some prep in fear that the prepping will zap my energy. 

My finances may be another factor in my current diet. I’m currently very limited financially and that has greatly affected the food that is available on any given day. I have help from my family and that goes a long way. I’m learning how to stretch the budget. I often set my mind on the ideal food choice, if that doesn’t fit within my budget, then I opt for the secondary choice that fits within the guidelines. This usually means that I end up with some sub-standard form of protein.

Fruits and veggies are a different story.  My father brings a bag of fresh produce to my home on a daily basis.  Still, I can never keep up with my kid’s veggie and fruit intake.

In conclusion, I have real limitations.  Yet, I desire to do what is necessary to get healthy.  I pray for His providence and grace.

Pancakes & Weights

Day 4: 7 Day Challenge

Dad led the crew today as I took my sabbath.  The boys cuddled with me in the early morning.  It was nice while it lasted.  They ventured off with Dad.  He served me up breakfast in bed and experimented with more paleo pancake recipes.

He tried a pumpkin pancake and another coconut pancake.

photo-5

(Dad forgot to take pictures and had to pull these pancakes off the littles’ plates.)

These pancakes were delish.  The kids ate them without any toppings.  I’m excited that we found another food option for Dragonfly, he loved the pumpkin pancakes.

2.25.12 - my littlest guy has been making some great improvements. he is slowly venturing away from his pureed squeezies. wednesday it was carrots and friday it was fish mixed up in shredded cheese, of course. we’re taking baby steps!

photo-4

The overall winner by 5:2 was the  Pumpkin Paleo Pancakes from Primal 30 Day Challenge.

It was my first time tasting almond butter.  I think I am officially over my almond allergy.  Yea!!!  However, I’m still not brave enough to test other nuts.

I continued to stay up stairs until 2pm to give my body some much needed rest.  Then dad took me for an errand a date drive.  We drove to pick up some starter equipment.

starter rack

I needed to have some basic equipment in the convenience of my home.  It was too difficult to take a drive to my brother-in-law’s for my training.  By the time I got there I was too tired to get much done.  Now, I can work out whenever the energy strikes.  The best part is that my littles can be with me.

Dad and I left for our date drive without packing food—that’s a big no-no for us.  We stopped at a Safeway along the way to check their deli.  We  found some breaded cod and broccoli slaw.  Both selections were not ideal but it beat stopping for fast food or picking up some processed food junk.  I took off the breading and gave thanks for my cod filet.

We headed home and enlisted the help of my 17 year old cousin.  They straightened out the garage to clear an area for the squat rack.  It’s tough to find space when you have a garage filled with boxes from, homeschool storage, and seven bikes.  Dad has finally accepted the reality that he most likely will never have a garage to park a car.  It took about 1.5 hours for the mini purge thanks to my cousin.

The day ended with a hot bath and I was off to bed like a baby by 10:30pm.

 

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Breakfast: 

  • 2 – free range/organic eggs
  • 4 – bacon (I have a dispensation to eat meat on Friday)
  • .25 – pumpkin pancake
Snack:
  • ---
Lunch:
  • 3 – BLTA wraps
  • 1 TBLS Mayo
Snack:
  • .5 orange
Dinner:
  • 1.5 – cod filet
  • .1 lb – broccoli slaw
Drink:
  • 6 cups – water

Exercise:

  • cleaning the garage

Sleep:

  • 10:30pm – 5:30am (7 hrs)

{pretty, happy, funny, real} Health & Fitness Edition

{pretty}

Camp Sacred Heart

Dad is getting ready for Camp Sacred Heart (in June) and has been going through the camp album.  (this picture was taken by Papi’s Godfather)

{happy}

home brewed kombucha

I successfully brewed my first batch of kombucha tea

{funny}

IMG_1411

My carnivore Papi didn’t skip a beat after his bath.  He went straight to the left-overs from dinner, tri-tip.

{real}

back squats 2.28

I’m working on getting strong for health.

I’m keeping it real at my other blog – Health & Fitness ALL FOR!

&

I’m taking the 7 Day Challenge in hopes to make it through my physical Lenten Program.

~~~

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
Every Thursday, here at Like Mother, Like Daughter!

A Blessed Good Day

Day 3: 7 Day Challenge

My physical aliments have returned and escalated.  They range from MS/adrenal/fibromyalgia-like symptoms.  I have dealt with these aliments for many years, thinking they were all in my head and that I could push through them.  They have come to point where I can no longer mask them.  I desire a complete healing but pray only for His will.  I’m opening up now about my health to seek healing, to give comfort to others who may be going through similar issues, and to ultimately glorify God.

Today was one of the tougher days.  I was barely able to pry my body out of bed this morning.  I said an ejaculation to the good Lord to give me the strength.  I managed to get out of bed and tend to the littles.  Dad and Rose were scheduled to be gone the entire day.  Dragonfly needed some attention but I couldn’t muster up the energy to walk down the stairs.  I was able to buy some time by giving him a bath.  Dad came to the rescue and took over for me.  I slowly ventured my way to the kitchen.

Everyone had already snacked on some fruit so breakfast was not an immediate concern.  I decided to shred the pulled-pork that dad placed in the crock-pot last night.  I knew it was going to be tuff for me to get food on the table without Dad and Rose the next day so I planned to make carnitas using a recipe found at Paleo Eats.  I couldn’t even begin the task so Dad sent me straight to bed while he fixed the crockpot meal.
IMG_1422
The meat was absolutely delish.  I couldn’t resist having a bowl for breakfast.  Papi, my four year old carnivore, had a bowl too.  Rose made eggs and sausage for everyone.  I sat to eat and was feeling good getting some protein.  I went for my glass of water but something was seriously wrong—the glass felt like it weighed a ton.  I couldn’t hold my glass of water.  I did my best to drink without my hands.  I’m sure that Dad and the kids thought I was nuts but they did not say a word.  They have learned not to question what mom does since it generally sends me in an emotional downward spiral.  Dad, especially, does a great job showing sympathy but not smothering me.  He leaves me to fend for myself as he keenly watches over me.  He knows that I desire to fight these moments of weakness and he gives me room to gain my strength.

The day moved on and not much improved.  The kids set up an indoor playground and I schooled from the couch.  The carnitas was the staple for the day.

I dear friend called me to chat for a brief moment.  It was a sweet consolation.  Then I came across a great inspirational story found at EveryDay Paelo.  It was another consolation that helped me get through the rest of my day.  God is good!

Finally, we ventured outside when Dragonfly knocked down the front door.  I bird watched while they raced down the street.  We ate at 4:30pm since I had some energy and I wanted to be certain that no one went without.  The girls took note of the early time.

Everyone enjoyed their indoor playground for one last time before the tear down was ordered.  It was seven  when I skimmed the clock, praise God.  I ushered everyone upstairs for the rosary and bedtime routine.  Sweetie started a load in the morning and had fresh pjs for everyone.  (She is being trained for laundry duty by Rose.)  The littles were on the ball, listening the first time and joyfully serving.  We said only one decade of the rosary since the intentions lasted just as long as the complete recitation of the rosary.  Off to bed at 8pm, exactly.

Sparkles noted during the bedtime routine that today was a good day.  When I asked her what she meant, she replied, “Today was a good day, mom.  No one was sent to time-out, praise God.”  Papi was not there when Sparkles gave that praise.  However, he noted the same thing as I tucked him into bed.  He gave praise, “Today was a blessed.  I love you.”  It was indeed, a blessed good day!  Sure it had challenges but everyone worked together.

It’s 9:45pm, Dad and Rose are still on the road.  Dad had a special appointment and Rose tagged along.  Then they  went to Adoration and a Solemn High Mass for the Forty Hours Devotion.  I trust that they were lifting me up in prayer.  Deo gratias!
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Breakfast: 
  • 1 cup – carnitas
  • 2 - pork sausage
  • 2 - -scrambled eggs
Snack:
  • .5 cup – carnitas
  • .5 - apple salad
Lunch:
  • 1 cup - carnitas
  • .5 – all beef frank (gluten free)
Snack:
  • 1 tablespoon - sunflower seeds
  • 2 - cuties (mandarin orange)
Dinner:
  • 2 cups – carnitas
  • 1 - all beef frank (gluten free)
Drink:
Exercise:
Zip
Sleep:
I’m waiting for Dad to return.  I estimate that it will be 11pm.

~

Living on Grace

Day 2:  7 Day Challenge

My day started great.  Dad served me my usual breakfast in bed.  I said my prayers and got ready for the day.  I was a bit nervous to be left without my support team, Dad and Rose.  I sent them off by 9am.  Rose had a Career Shadow at the local university and Dad went to study.  I tried to remain on my feet for as long as I could since I often can’t pry myself off the couch once I sit.  Things were looking promising and my energy was stable.  I served up the kids and got them working on school.  Again, I wanted to avoid sitting.

I decided to take advantage of the glimmer of energy so I started a batch of homemade mayo.  This is my umpteenth attempt.  I was inspired to give it another shot by Michele.  I followed the recipe from The Clothes Make The Girl.  I was confident that I would have success with the mayo since I have had great results with other recipes found at that site. 
homemade mayo2012-03-21
I spent longer than desired at what many have coined, a simple task.  The outcome was an unfinished product.  Not only do I lack energy but I also lack patience.  I stopped the mixing and refrigerated the liquid mayo for a later time.

It’s a sad reality when standing in a kitchen for 20 minutes with an emulsion blender can completely zap one’s energy – it’s my reality.  I was sidelined for most of the day, praying for enough strength and grace to care for the littles.
"Jesus, may I be 'impelled by that energy of' Yours 'which is so powerful a force within me' (Col 1:29).
---
Food:
I keep a food log for my health management.  I’m trying to dial in my aliments.  I must be certain that I don’t stress my body unnecessarily.  Wellness Mama introduced me to FITDAY.  Fitday has some great tools.  I'm finding the nutritional breakdown to most helpful.  It serves as a wonderful visual for me.   Before Fitday, I used LiveStrong’s My Plate.  Please note that I do NOT recommend measuring food for everyone.

Breakfast:  IMG_1408
  • 2 – organic, free range eggs
  • 3 – bacon
Snack:
  • 2 – bacon
  • 3 – grape tomatoes
Lunch:
  • 4 – B.A.T.  Bacon, Avocado, Tomato
  • 1 – TBLS salvaged homemade mayo
Snack:
  • 3 – fresh strawberries
Dinner:
  • 1.5 cups – Spinach Salad
  • 1 – TBLS Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing using the homade mayo
  • 1 cup – Tri-tip
Drink:

Exercise:
My focus has been completely transformed from what it was six months ago.  Ideally, I would be working on increasing my strength and avoiding any exercise that makes me huff and puff.  Currently, I can only focus on not stressing my body.  I have not been able to take the advice of my trainer--to work on getting strong.  It’s s fine line for me to listen to my body and work through aliments to a healthier state.
If you think you might be suffering from adrenal fatigue, workouts that cause you to huff and puff might be making things worse (more cortisol = more stess and cravings). I'm going to suggest a change of plans for you (I'm talking to Lena here!). I've seen your squats and they are fantastic. I think it might be a good idea for you to take a break with module 3 and move into the heavy lift rotation and walking, no huffing and puffing. Let's focus on getting you strong and lean by not creating any more stress and not worrying about your stamina for the moment. Send me a video of your deadlift and back squat when you can. Are you in?   ~ Jason S., EPLifeFit
    I was able to get in a 30 min walk around the block with my entire family.  Praise God!

    Sleep:
    This is a major component of my life that I have neglected for far too long.  It’s been a vicious cycle of sorts.  My aliments have caused me much difficulty with sleep and my poor sleep has caused me great difficulties with my aliments.  I have experienced some improvements in my sleep since going “paleo” in Sept. 2011.  I must continue to work on making sleep a priority.

    I went to bed at 9:30pm.  The dishes weren’t done, the house was a mess, lesson plans were incomplete, and dad was left to prep food for the following day.  It’s one of those things that I’m learning to offer up. I pray for His grace! 

    We all are inadequate to live the heroism of life in Christ, but God's grace is sufficient to make His power perfect in us in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9).

    Kombucha Tea

    I’m grateful for a little blog encouragement.  Michele introduced me to the 7 Day Challenge.  I needed another re-start and have gladly accepted the chall7-day challengeenge.  I’ve applied to the challenge to my physical Lenten program.

    Today was Day 1 for me since Monday was the feast of St. Joseph, also known as dad’s day in my home.  I was called to a day of prayer and fasting for healing and reparation.  I share that with others only to give glory to God.  It is through fasting and prayer that I am brought closer to Him.  His grace is poured over me at my times in the desert.

    I have said it many times before, this journey that I have been brought to is much more than physical.  I desire a complete healing if it is His will for me.  Most of of all, I desire to completely and joyfully surrender to Him.  I must keep my eyes on Him, for I can do nothing without His grace.

    ---home brewed kombucha

    Up until now I have eliminated many items from my diet and that of my family’s.  I have been gearing up to add nutrient dense items back into our diets.  I’m fighting my nature and trying to take it slow.  I don’t want to become overwhelmed or zap what little energy I currently have.  Instead, I want to enjoy the process of restoring my health and patiently follow His lead.  I do it all in prayer.

    My most recent addition to my diet has been kombucha tea.

    Kombucha is a living health drink made by fermenting tea and sugar with the kombucha culture. The result can taste like something between sparkling apple cider and champagne, depending on what kind of tea you use. It's not what you'd imagine fermented tea to taste like.

    Many of the benefits reported include improvements in energy levels, metabolic disorders, allergies, cancer, digestive problems, candidiasis, hypertension, HIV, chronic fatigue and arthritis. It ‘s also used externally for skin problems and as a hair wash among other things. ~ Seeds of Health

    SCOBY

    I started brewing kombucha at the start of Lent.  I had planned for my kombucha to brew for 20-25 days but decided to cut it short in efforts to kick-start my Lenten program renewal – 7 day Challenge.  My kombucha brewed for 15 days.

    I started my kombucha with a scoby that was gifted to me by a friend from church.  It’s been fun to have another family at my parish who gets what I am trying to do for myself and family.  But I digress, I followed the recipe found at Cultures for Health and my team (Dad, Rose and I) watched their video - How to Make Kombucha Tea.

     

    kombucha supplies

    Little is needed to brew kombucha.  IMG_1135

    The process was much easier than I had anticipated.

    kombucha day 15IMG_1334

     

    kombucha home brew

    I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of kombucha tea.  It was not as vinegar-like as I had anticipated it to be.  I will definitely be having a glass or more a day.  As for my kids, the reviews are mixed.

    Recently Updated74

    Can you guess who likes it and who doesn’t?

    Like:  Sweetie – 6 and Dragonfly – 20 months

    Dislike: Sparkles – 8

    Tolerate: Rose – 16

    Absentee:  Papi – 4

    (He is still dramatized by his bout with organic apple cider.  I have the children drink small amounts of ACV on a regular and as-needed basis.  Papi must have experienced temporary amnesia because he demanded that he be served more.  Dad honored his request.  Papi was thrilled that he was being allowed to have juice.  He downed the ACV without a breath in his flurry of excitement.  I’m not sure how long it will take for him to recover from that episode.)

     

    I plan to add the kombucha tea to smoothies, dressings, and anything else that I can think of.  I also, have plans to flavor my kombucha tea.  My second batch is brewing as I type.

    Prayer & Fasting

    I continue to fall and He lifts me up.  I trust it is His will for me.  It requires me to keep my eyes on Him.  I can do nothing without His grace.Holy Slavery

    I have recently experienced another miscarriage.  This is my second miscarriage in six months, fourth in two years.   I continue to grieve and pray for a complete healing, Thy will be done.  I will continue to journey down this path that He has led me, a healthier lifestyle that will help me to better live out my vocation.

    I took some time “off.”  I didn’t binge or completely deviate from eating healthy.  Instead, I accepted what was before me and prayed that it would nourish me in the way that He desired. 

    I find myself right where I started, physically and spiritually. I am vulnerable and in great need of His grace. 

    Sept. 2011 - My flesh was weak and the trails continued. I was not able to make the necessary radical changes in my lifestyle. My sad normalcy continued. Eventually, my prayers were answered in the most undesirable way—I miscarried for the third time. My heart was broken and my womb ached. Still, I trusted that the Good Lord was leading me to something more. I prayed to surrender completely. I could not go on alone.

    "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong. ~2Corinthians 12:9-10

    I needed to be in full union with Our Lord. He called me to fully unite myself to Him. I sought direction and rallied my prayer warriors. I went forth to the desert to hear Him speak to me.

    "Jesus Himself has shown us by His own example that prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil (cf. Mt 4:1-11). As He taught His disciples, some demons cannot be driven out except in this way (cf. Mk 9:29)."  ~Pope John Paul II, Gospel of Life, 100

    I will return to the desert, where He calls me and where I am able to hear Him most clearly. My flesh is weak and my stay will solely depend on His grace.

    Please keep me in your prayers.

     

    Ad Jesum per Mariam,

    Lena

    Thy Will Be Done

    Holy Slavery
    It is with a sad but joyful heart (only His grace could make that possible) that I announce the following news.  My beloved unborn baby, Maria Luisa has returned home.

    I give thanks and praise to the good Lord for blessing my family with another saint in heaven.  I pray that we will all be reunited with the five blessings that have gone before us.   I have not shared this reality with the littles, yet I pray that they will find peace and joy knowing that their family is not bound to this earth.
    I will continue to seek Holy Slavery and to joyfully conform to His holy will this Lenten season. 

    My beloved children and saints; Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Teresa Agnes, and Maria Luisa ~ orate pro nobis


    ~~~

    St. Louis De Montfort's Prayer to Jesus

    O most loving Jesus, deign to let me pour forth my gratitude before Thee, for the grace Thou hast bestowed upon me in giving me to Thy holy Mother through the devotion of Holy Bondage, that she may be my advocate in the presence of Thy majesty and my support in my extreme misery. Alas, O Lord! I am so wretched that without this dear Mother I should be certainly lost. Yes, Mary is necessary for me at Thy side and everywhere: that she may appease Thy just wrath, because I have so often offended Thee; that she may save me from the eternal punishment of Thy justice, which I deserve; that she may contemplate Thee, speak to Thee, pray to Thee, approach Thee and please Thee; that she may help me to save my soul and the souls of others; in short, Mary is necessary for me that I may always do Thy holy will and seek Thy greater glory in all things. Ah, would that I could proclaim throughout the whole world the mercy that Thou hast shown to me! Would that everyone might know I should be already damned, were it not for Mary! Would that I might offer worthy thanksgiving for so great a blessing! Mary is in me. Oh, what a treasure! Oh, what a consolation! And shall I not be entirely hers'? Oh, what ingratitude! My dear Saviour, send me death rather than such a calamity, for I would rather die than live without belonging entirely to Mary. With St. John the Evangelist at the foot of the Cross, I have taken her a thousand times for my own and as many times have given myself to her; but if I have not yet done it as Thou, dear Jesus, dost wish, I now renew this offering as Thou dost desire me to renew it. And if Thou seest in my soul or my body anything that does not belong to this august princess, I pray Thee to take it and cast it far from me, for whatever in me does not belong to Mary is unworthy of Thee. O Holy Spirit, grant me all these graces. Plant in my soul the Tree of true Life, which is Mary; cultivate it and tend it so that it may grow and blossom and bring forth the fruit of life in abundance. O Holy Spirit, give me great devotion to Mary, Thy faithful spouse; give me great confidence in her maternal heart and an abiding refuge in her mercy, so that by her Thou mayest truly form in me Jesus Christ, great and mighty, unto the fullness of His perfect age. Amen.

    ~

    {pretty, happy, funny, real} Lenten Edition

    {pretty}

    IMG_1302

    My littles have become an assembly line for Empty Tomb Gardens every since they I introduced the craft for a Little Flowers meeting.  They’ve been creating gardens as gifts for family and neighbors.

    I managed to veer them away from wheat grass long enough to help me with a different type of Easter Garden.  This garden was inspired by Ann @ A Holy Experience.

    I love to turn off all the lights and let the candle light of this garden illuminate my living room.

    It’s a beautiful reminder that through the suffering and crosses comes beauty – beauty that only He can provide.

    {happy}

    photo-2

    Dragonfly initiated his move from closet crib to big boy bed in brother’s room.  He couldn’t be happier. 

    He has slept for the past 13 days in his big boy without a fuss – dad and I couldn’t be happier.

    {funny}

    3.12 papi praying at the clinic

    I could classify this picture under all the categories but it gives me a chuckle every time I see it. 

    We’ve been praying a hour at the local clinic every Monday for 40 Days for Life.  Papi hold’s a sign when he want’s to and prays from his stroller prime spot when he’s not walking the sidewalk in prayer. 

    He used to hold a sign that read “I vote PROLIFE first.”  Papi refused to show the reverse of the sign that read, “I am the PROLIFE generation.” 

    Here’s from a prolife voter who is only 4 years old, your baby loves you!

    {real}

    There is no picture to reflect the reality of my soul.  There is an emptiness that only His grace can fill.

    I entered into Lent meditating on the following words of St. Chrysostom, "What folly to leave our goods where we cannot stay, instead of sending them before us where we are going — to heaven!”  This meditation has taken on a whole new meaning for me this Lent as I face the possibility that I have one more treasure going to heaving.  I pray that I accept His grace and truly surrender.  I desire to see Him and all my treasures.

    I pray…

    Hail Mary…

    As for my part here below, I wish for no other than that which was thine, to believe sincerely without spiritual pleasures, to suffer joyfully without human consolation, to die continually to myself without respite, and to work zealously and unselfishly for thee until death, as the humblest of thy servants.

    The only grace I beg thee, for me, is that every moment of the day, and every moment of my life, I may say “Amen, so be it, to all that thou art doing in heaven. Amen, so be it, to all thou did do while on earth. Amen, so be it, to all thou art doing in my soul,” so that thou alone may fully glorify Jesus in me for time and eternity. Amen.

    ~ Excerpt from St. Louis De Montfort’s Prayer to Mary

    ~~~

    {pretty, happy, funny, real}

    ~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
    Every Thursday, here at Like Mother, Like Daughter!

    Empty Tomb ~ Easter Garden

    Almighty and ever living God, whose Son Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene in a garden and called her to be the first witness of his Resurrection:  we beseech thee to bless this humble garden wherein we have a remembrance of the mighty acts by which we have been saved; grant that all those who see it may ponder and adore the glory of the Cross and the mystery of his Resurrection and may sing with joy the victory hymn; through Jesus Christ our risen Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen ~Station at an Easter Garden

    ~~~

    IMG_1189

    This a wonderful Lenten/Easter project for the entire family.  All ages will enjoy it.  I recently used this as a craft for my Little Flowers’ study on the virtue of fortitude. 

    The Empty Tomb Garden provides a visual reminder of what we are preparing for during Lent, Christ's Resurrection.  

    An Easter garden has three essential features:  a mound with at least one cross to represent Calvary; a stone or stone structure to suggest the empty tomb; and lots of live greenery/flowers.

    The children will have an opportunity to tend and nurture their gardens during Lent and beyond.  They can meditate on Christ’s passion and offer an ejaculation while tending to their garden.

    We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
    Because by Thy holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

    The grass will grow within days.  It is wheat grass and can be eaten.  It symbolizes new life.

    The children will remove the stone on Easter morning and rejoice.  

    ~~~

    I found my inspiration throughout the internet and Pinterest.  House of Joyful Noise provided a great tutorial.

    ~~~

    IMG_1214

    Supplies:

    Garden

    • Seed Starting Jiffy Mix ($3.80/bag – 1 bag made 14 mini gardeIMG_1052ns)
    • Decorative rocks ($5.59/large bag of Mountain Granite from HomeDepot - 80+mini gardens.  $1/small bag of decorative rocks from the Dollar Store – 2-3 mini gardens)
    • Gravel (this is used as a bottom layer, not much is needed.  I took my rock from my home gardenIMG_1048)
    • Wheat Berry ($.77/lb – 2lbs – 40 mini gardens.  I found my wheat berries at Winco in the bulk bin foods.)
    • Dessert Plastic Plates or shallow pots ($9.89/100 plates.  I used plastic plates because they were the most economical choice for a large group.  I found my plates at Smart-n-Final)
    • Mini Terracotta Pots ($.24/ea at WalMart)

    Crosses

    • Popsicle sticks ($1/150 sticks at the Dollar Store)
    • Brown Paint
    • Hot Glue Gun

    Misc.

    • Water
    • Bucket
    • Spray Bottle
    • Hand Shovel
    IMG_1107

    Directions:

    Garden

    mix the seed starter with water

    IMG_1217

    position tomb/terracotta pot in desired location on plate/pot

    lay down the gravel on the plate, securing the pot into place.slightly build up the gravel for your hill.

    IMG_1220

    top the gravel with soil

    IMG_1221

    cover the entire soil with the wheat berries.  press the wheat berries into the soil.

    IMG_1225

    add a layer of soil on top of the wheat berries.  press down firmly.  (this step is optional.  it will slow the growth of the wheat grass.)

    clean the plate.  remove the wheat berries from areas that you do not want grass to grow. 

    IMG_1227

    create a path from the tomb with decorative rocks.  this represents how the disciples ran to the tomb on Easter morning. 

    add decorative rocks as desired

    IMG_1230

    insert the crosses

    papi

    IMG_11601 week

    The grass grows faster with less top soil.  The garden in the left of both pictures had a thick top soil packed tightly over the wheat berries.

    Crosses

    Paint the popsicle sticks your desired shade of brown or create crosses from sticks and twine.

    I chose popsicle sticks since I had to make over 100 crosses.  I did not hand paint each stick.  Instead, I created a paint wash.  IMG_1041

    add water to brown paint in a plastic pin.

    run popsicle sticks through the paint wash.

    IMG_1044bake at 350 for 5-8 min for a quick set of paint

    IMG_1046

    break off the tips of the popsicle sticks for the small cross section.  break the stick in thirds.

    break off the tip of the popsicle stick for the vertical piece.  the round part will go into the soil

    IMG_1047

    hot glue the cross together

    ~~~

    We made larger Easter Gardens for the home.

    IMG_1301

    inspired by Ann @ A Holy Experience

    IMG_1275

    This garden sits on our front porch.  It will serve as a reminder to all who enter that we are preparing for Christ’s resurrection.

    ~~~

    Empty Tomb/Easter Gardens:

    Lenten Link Up ~ Catholic Icing

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