Author's Posts

Lately I’ve been contemplating the mis-match between my wants and what I’m prepared to receive – including God’s grace.

We hear stories of saints who suffered greatly, but were also open and able to recieve abundant Grace. That ability to RECIEVE God’s grace is not to be overlooked.

In St. Faustina’s diary she writes of this message she received: “Souls without love or devotion, souls full of egoism and selfishness, proud and arrogant souls full of deceit and hypocrisy, lukewarm souls who have just enough warmth to keep themselves alive: My Heart cannot bear this. All the graces that I pour out upon them flow off them as off the face of a rock. I cannot stand them because they are neither good nor bad.”

So if God is pouring out abundant graces on me, am I even capable of receiving it?

The sixth day of the Divine Mercy novena begins with God’s request to bring Him meek and humble souls because “Only the humble soul is capable of receiving My grace.”

Well… I guess the good news is that I certainly have room for growth, and I’m grateful for that little roadmap of how to be able to receive more Grace!

Love to all,

This small booklet by Father Michael Gaitley, author of 33 Days to Morning Glory and Consoling the Heart of Jesus gives you a brief but comprehensive introduction to Divine Mercy including, its history and context, the essential elements of the devotion, and how you can live this profound and beautiful message. 

It also includes two bonus appendices: Valuable Divine Mercy prayers and Divine Mercy wisdom from Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

This book has everything you need to know about this important message and devotion. 

Creating a habit of constant growth in one’s faith isn’t easy. It starts with tiny steps. That’s why I love this series of books. It doesn’t demand massive amounts of time or brain power. Instead you get to spend an entire year with a single facet of the Church:

Church Fathers
The Angels
The Saints
The Eucharist
The Bible

What do you want to learn about this year?

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Love is an action.

It’s not a feeling that you sit around and wait for.

You are also a bottomless vessel of love. You are capable of so much more love than you even know – because you are made in God’s image, and God is Love.

It’s one thing to understand this intellectually, but a whole different thing to understand it in your heart and soul.  

Perhaps an act of Faith and Love is to “do it anyway”. Love those around you anyway. 

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t mean that you subject youself to harm and abuse, but only that in those situations instead of reacting in kind, you find compassion for why they are hurting, pray for their healing, and love them from a distance. 

Looking for God inside a person that drives us nuts is an act of love, maybe even a radical act of love especially in today’s world where we are so quick to write someone off as “other” or “them”. 

Look for God. Pray for healing. Love them anyway.

Love to all,

This nativity is stunning!
Each figure is wrapped in cloth and the detail is amazing. Click here to see the stunning wire sculptures that make up the background pieces of camels and angels.

Stunning Nativity

Illuminate your home with this hand-painted, hand carved Tree of Life icon set.

Handmade in Kalambaka, Greece by experienced and skilled artisans, this icon set includes two 9″ x 12″ beautifully detailed icons with genuine gold leaf. 

Bring a new light to your home’s sacred space (and to your own spiritual life) by including these pieces of art as your focus for meditation and prayer.

Tree of Life Icon Set of Two

A modern take on the Advent Wreath 🙂

Pillar Advent Set with Tea Lights

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This morning totally got away from me, so I can’t even wish you the regular “good morning” today. 

That’s the 3rd time in 2 days that I’ve noticed my time is slipping away. Yesterday I called it a “calendar fail”.

Today I acknowledged that if I don’t take ownership of my calendar mess, I’m setting myself up for a not-so-Merry-Christmas.

Yesterday I read in my devotional that as we are called to act boldly, we have to be prepared first. And as Advent is the season of preparation, the next step is to be bold!

(Honestly, I don’t know what the Bold part looks like, but first thing’s first: preperation.)

A few weeks ago I felt a tug to clean off my calendar for 2 weeks. I did and it was magical. Since then instead of keeping it up, I went the other direction and neglected good calendar hygiene.

This advent, my preparation is being aware of my time obligations too – protecting time to spend with Jesus, enjoying time with our little family since we can’t get together with the extended family, and looking at my calendar and asking “Is this helping me get ready to be bold?”

I hope you have a wonderful Advent season and find a way to grow closer to God.

Love to all,

Silver Oxidized Visor Clip – Shown in Brass – Available in Silver only – With metal clip on back.

Jen Norton’s painting of The Our Father is printed on a 8×8″ Cradled Birch Panel Base, Archival print on paper adhered with matt medium, 2-tone painted sides, protective varnish top-coat.

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Recently I picked up my paintbrushes again, and I started experimenting with water colors. 

The best part is that I did this in the middle of the day. I played with paints in middle of a work day and it was so delightful! And I only did it after some prodding from a friend.

She told me something that struck a cord – and I hope I don’t botch her words too terribly: When we play, we are trully ourselves as God meant us to be.  Giving ourselves permission to play brings us closer to God.

And with her permission to give myself permission, I have been having such a joyful time creating things. I’ve painted tiny root vegetables, written a children’s story, and been more imaginative in my prayer than ever before.

I’m not playing to be productive, but to feed that part of me that wants to create. Creating without judgement is delightful! And it’s a form of prayer.

Give yourself permission to play, and see how God meets you there.

Love to all,

12 Days of Christmas Ornaments

I was SO excited that these ornaments arrived the same day we had our first snowstorm! I could take the snowy pictures that these 12 ornaments really needed to pop 🙂

This isn’t just one ornament – it’s 12. Each of the 12 Days of Christmas are represented in this gift set. 

12″ Wood Grain Texture Nativity Set

Enter into the beauty and the mystery of the Christmas season with our 12” Wood Grain Texture Nativity Set. Displaying a Nativity scene in your home during the Christmas season is a long-standing and well-loved Christian tradition. This gorgeous Nativity is sure to become a beloved tradition in your home and a treasured family keepsake. 

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I love Advent!

And I think it’s a little scary. When it comes up on the horizon, I feel like change is in the air… like something BIG is going to happen, and God is expecting me to be a part of it.

And that means I’ll have to change.

And change can be scary.

The truth is that something big IS in the air. We are going to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. We are stepping out of Ordinary Time (which, let’s be honest, is when I get a bit lazy about by spiritual wellbeing).

We are told to stay awake and be ready. We need to prepare the way of the Lord. His coming is more imminent.

Now I’m asking myself – am I going to resist what God is asking of me, thus making it harder on myself, or am I going to lean in and trust?

So outside of all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, make sure you make time to pause, ask God what He wants from you and listen. 

I’ll be praying for you!

Love to all,

Magnetic Mini Nativity Set in Stable

This adorable little set is perfect for small spaces! And it stores itself nicely with magnets so the pieces don’t get separated from the stable. 

Add a little whimsy to your Catholic Christmas display this year! Perfect for tweens and teenagers to have their own nativity in their room to remind them of the reason for the season.

Please note that because of the small pieces, this set should be kept away from small children.

24 inch Our Lady Of Grace Garden Statue

These vinyl garden statues are a popular gift for mothers during the Christmas season. If have a hard time finding gifts for someone who loves to garden or takes pride in their landscaping, these beautiful hand-painted statues may be worth looking into.

Hope, Peace, Love, Joy Advent Mini Candle and Wreath

Ok – maybe I’m a little obsessed with mini things this morning, but this advent wreath is super adorable. 

It’s less than 4″ across, but is still made with quality pewter. The candles are 4″ tall. It’s small, but it’s a great way to start a family Advent Wreath tradition.

(And yes – we have larger, traditionally-sized wreaths too)

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Lately I’ve been wondering how to spread love. 

LIke – if I can’t just go out in the streets and start hugging people, if posts on Facebook get lost in the noise, what do I do?

My husband started playing Christmas songs yesterday because we have 7″ of snow on the ground – which is beautiful. And my heart grew 2 sizes. It reminds me that I get to have my little family all together for 2 solid months.

I’m so ready for family time. I can’t wait for my oldest to come home from college and the 4 of us to be together, getting on each other’s nerves, teasing, playing games, eating popcorn while watching movies, and simply being in the same building together. 

But outside our little bubble, how can we make sure we’re leaving this world better than when we came in?

Or is that too much to bite off?

I’m diving back into the book “Only Love Creates” this weekend. In it, Fr. Fabio Rosini talks about it’s not the body that causes the most suffering, but the heart. 

How can we show love in deaply meaningful ways? That’s what the spiritual works of mercy are for:

To instruct the ignorant.
To counsel the doubtful.
To admonish the sinners.
To bear patiently those who wrong us.
To forgive offenses.
To comfort the afflicted.
To pray for the living and the dead.

Love to all,

Only Love Creates

Common do-good-ism is all around, but Fr. Fabio Rosini says, we no longer know what mercy is – and mercy is more essential than ever before.

We confuse mercy with generic compassion, forgiveness, or acceptance.

But mercy is something completely different. It is an act, a work, a knowledge, a care, the fruit of a relationship with other people. It springs up not from humans but from one’s relationship with God.

It is therefore a work of God, and not of ourselves.

Nativity Scene Pocket Coin with Color Glitter Epoxy

The hustle and bustle in the days leading up to Christmas can easily distract from the joy and love that is meant to accompany this holy and sacred season. However, this pewter coin fits perfectly into your pocket or purse and serves as a gentle but persistent reminder that you can carry with you throughout Advent.

12 inch Pearlized Nativity Set – 11 Pieces

I love the detail they paint on this nativity scene. The colors and the pearl finish are gorgeous!

We have a photo of each of the individual pieces, and the scenes come in the following sizes:

8″ – the most common size

12″ – beutiful in larger rooms and under Chistmas tress

18″ – great for large space like in a church or school

And the added benefit that they are resin, so are actually quite durable.

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Whether St. Francis originated this prayer or not, it still does a wonderful job of calming my heart and reminding me that I can actively bring peace into this world, even if it’s in my own small way. 

Read through this prayer. Sing this prayer. Take and revel in this prayer. It will bring your blood pressure down and give peace and love more room in your heart.

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon,
Where there is doubt, faith,
Where there is darkness, light,
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;

To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we are pardoned;
And in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Love to all,


Saint Francis Prayer for Peace Laminated Prayer Card

Find inspiration to help the weak, poor and less fortunate with our Saint Frances Laminated Prayer Card. As a young woman, Saint Frances wanted to become a nun but poor health kept her from entering a convent. When she finally took her vow, her Bishop requested her to form a group to care for poor children in hospitals and schools. Like many Catholic saints, Saint Frances devoted her life to helping the poor until her death in 1226. Saint Frances is the patron saint of immigrants.

Peace On Earth Pewter Ornament with Crystals

Modern and Graphic, this ornament features the words, “Peace on Earth.” The green and blue, sparkle enameled world in the center from the “O” in “on” for a lighthearted look. Blue and green crystals are scattered through the rest of the letters.

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Come Holy Spirit.

Come Holy Spirit.

Come Holy Spirit.

This little prayer has been on my lips since it was taught to me by a dear friend a few years ago.  It comes easily, and it gives my heart, head, and soul space from whatever is directly in front of me.

And that little space – that little crack is all God needs to pour His graces out upon us. 

This last week I’ve been so full of gratitude, and when I placed my petitions before God in prayer last evening I had an image of what I wanted a year from now: to fully embrace a new friend I’ve made in a full hug. 

And I don’t know that she’d ever consider me a friend or just an acquaintance, but her presence and her words have been so comforting to me these past few months. I don’t even know if she remembers our conversations.

But in reality, that doesn’t matter to me. Her faith comes so easy to her –  I stand in awe. 

I read somewhere that as you grow in faith, so does your willingness to talk about your faith.  I had never thought about that, but it certainly makes sense.

And she really draws me out of my thoughts and into deep conversation about Jesus, and for that I am so grateful. She didn’t try to put words in my mouth, or try to rush the conversation. And in that conversation I recognized how far I have come, thank God.

I pray that you have someone in your life that you have have heartfelt conversations about your faith in ways that feed your soul.

I have to admit something to you:All these years I thought this nativity set was ceramic. I thought it was extremely fragile. I mean – look at it! Doesn’t it look just like the nativity set your mom had, but without the hands of the wise men dripping in the glue from where you dropped it and broke it when you were little?Well… as I opened one of the boxes last week to take some new pictures of the individual pieces I came to realize that this set is unbreakable. It’s made of a resin. So all these years – I’m fretting about breaking in shipping – and there is little to no chance of that happening. I’ve SEEN the pieces, I’ve just never grabbed one. I’m a natural klutz. Sigh….But there are beautiful new photos online with the 12″ version, and we also have 8″ and 18″ sets as well.

Saint Michael the Archangel dime-sized medal made in the USA by skilled artisians. The vintage-style medal depicts St. Michael defeating the devil in battle. “St. Michael Pray for Us” is egraved over the Archangel’s head.

Choose from Sterling Silver or Gold Filled.

Supplied with a chain in a deluxe gift box.

– Lifetime warranty
– Handmade
– Made in the USA
– Deluxe Gift Box 
– 18″ Chain 

The National Catholic Register says: “Catholic social teaching could become a tremendously effective tool for making that better world — where justice, peace and love would be the norm — if we would commit to regularly reading it, praying with it, teaching it, preaching it and living it.”

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I remember when my dad turned 40 we made a special scavenger hunt with rhyming clues. I didn’t think it was old then. And I guess I don’t think it’s old now.

Oddly, 26 was a really tough birthday for me. It was like I was being forced to acknowledge that I was a grown-up (even though I already had 2 little kids). It could have also been tougher back then because I was not grounded in my faith. I was a leery at best, but kept going through the motions.

My saving grace was sending my oldest child to Catholic school, and as she became educated I was dragged along for the ride. 

God knows what He’s doing. 

And as I sit here now and do a Year-40-Inventory of what’s going on in my life right now, I am so grateful for the faith I have, and still frustrated that I can’t literally hear God. 

Yes I see His signs (I think) every now and then, but what I really want is to hear His voice – like sound entering my ears – not just a whisper in my heart.

I don’t know if I’ll ever grow out of that desire.  And on the other side of that token, I’d probably be so frightened I’d be unable to believe it anyway.

So yeah, I guess God knows what He’s doing.

Heavenly Father, we ask You today for Your truth as a belt tight around our waist. We put on the zeal to announce Your good news of peace as shoes for our feet. We put on Your righteousness, O Christ, as our breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet for our head.
Father, we take up faith as a shield, which is able to put out all the fiery darts of the enemy, and the sword of the Spirit, which is Your Word, O Lord.
Father, may the love with which You have loved Jesus be in us, and may Jesus be in us. We ask You for the grace of a servant heart. Amen.

I’m going to be completely honest with you:

I only included this medal here because I’ve never heard of this saint in my life and I just happened across it last night. 

As it turns out, St. Lidwina is the the patron of ice skaters and the chronically ill. 

The more you know…

Track the days until Christmas with this re-usable magnetic Advent Calendar. Add bulbs to the Christmas tree every day until He Comes!

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I don’t have witty metaphor for you this morning.  But – I do want to remind you that there is no expectation of perfection.

You are a work in process. I am a work in process. And the “work” won’t be completed in this lifetime.

We have our ups and downs. Instead of raising our “ups” to higher levels, what if we were to simply concentrate on making our “downs” less down?

Here’s what I mean: In Isaiah 40:4 we are told that “The rugged land shall be a plain.”

Instead of trying to maintain our highest on-top-of-the-mountain days, what if instead we still let those moments come and go and be wonderfully high highs, but our lows weren’t as low and were fewer in-between?

What if we built a habit of laying our lows at the foot of the Cross, put our trust in God, and let Him help us raise our lows?

What would that look like?

Love to all,

Each Flameless LED Advent Candle Set includes 3 purple and 1 pink candle. Price listed above is per set.

Each candle requires 2 AA batteries, not included.

Saint Michael the Archangel nickel-sized medal made in the USA by skilled artisians. The vintage-style medal depicts St. Michael defeating the devil in battle. 

Choose from Sterling Silver or Gold Filled.

Supplied with a chain in a deluxe gift box.

– Lifetime warranty
– Handmade
– Made in the USA
– Deluxe Gift Box 
– 18″ Chain 

Heavenly Father, we ask You today for Your truth as a belt tight around our waist. We put on the zeal to announce Your good news of peace as shoes for our feet. We put on Your righteousness, O Christ, as our breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet for our head.

Father, we take up faith as a shield, which is able to put out all the fiery darts of the enemy, and the sword of the Spirit, which is Your Word, O Lord.
Father, may the love with which You have loved Jesus be in us, and may Jesus be in us. We ask You for the grace of a servant’s heart. Amen.

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