Click the file below to download Kristee's handout.
Having Kristee Flynn with us last month was quite the treat! She shared her heart-warming testimony, telling her raw and real battle with sugar, relationships and how she shares the love of Christ with others. Plus, she made many of her favorite recipes and brought them to share with everyone! Kristee wanted all who could not be there to have access to her "meal" handouts and the recipes for the food she shared.
Click the file below to download Kristee's handout.
What a beautiful morning for a retreat on Friendship last Saturday! Thank you for visiting "Jackie's Front Porch" with us! Here are some resources if you missed them AND details about a new Scripture study for women coming to our Stillwater parishes in the fall.
ONLINE ARTICLES ON FRIENDSHIP:
How Can We Be Friends with God If We Don't Have Time for One Another
How Christian Companionship Helps Us Become Holier
BETH KNOBBE'S HANDOUTS BELOW.
DOWNLOAD THE PDF FILE:
WALKING WITH PURPOSE SCRIPTURE STUDY:
If you have been seeking an opportunity to meet faith-filled women in our parish AND explore the Catholic faith in a deep and meaningful way through Scripture and one another, OPENING YOUR HEART (LINK), a weekly study coming this fall, could be for you!
Details on date/time are TBD, so stay tuned! If you have an interest in learning more or want to be more involved, contact Becky Thomson firstname.lastname@example.org.
A BREAKFAST RECIPE FOR YOU! Many thanks to the women that provided food and hospitality for the morning. We are so grateful to Joanne Vacek, Jen Smith, Debbie Kratbauer and Cheryl Schulte - who was asked several times for her sausage breakfast bake. Here's the RECIPE!
Jimmy Dean Sausage Breakfast Casserole
2 (12 oz each) pkgs Jimmy Deal sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2/3 cup uncooked regular rice - cooked according to pkg directions
4 1/2 cups Rice Krispies (reserve 3/4 cup for topping)
1 lb shredded cheddar cheese
5 large eggs, beaten
2 cans cream of celery soup
Brown onion and sausage together and drain. Spray 9X13 pan with Pam. Layer 1/2 of the rice, 1/2 of the rice krispies, 1/2 of the sausage and 1/2 of the cheese and repeat the layers. Beat the eggs with the soup and pour it over the casserole. Sprinkle with the reserved rice krispies. Refrigerate overnight so flavors blend. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, uncovered.
INVESTING IN YOUR KIDS USING THE 5 "T"s:
by Becky Thomson
First, a DISCLAIMER! Imparting my wisdom as a mom does not ensure your kids will remain strong in their Catholic faith! I pray that my own do, but, there's no guarantee. The one thing I can guarantee is that your kids are going to mess up sometimes. And, SO ARE YOU. And that’s where we learn. That’s where God’s mercy comes in. Come to rely on His TRUTH and GOODNESS and our response to the mess-ups will be grace-filled.
HOW DO WE INVEST IN OUR CHILDREN – BOTH EMOTIONALLY & SPIRITUALLY? Based on a few articles, personal experience and some wonderful scripture studies I've witnessed throughout the years, here are 5 Ts to investing in your children.
TEACH: Teach your children to pray, teach them the sacraments, teach them about their Catholic faith at each stage of development every, single day. An article from Our Sunday Visitor called "How Can You Keep Your Kids Catholic." states, "Beyond Catholic schools, CCD programs, books, apps, Church youth organizations, etc. — PARENTS have the primary responsibility before God to ground their children in the faith." Teach them bible stories. Teach them that they are unconditionally loved by God. Educate yourselves as mothers too - join a scripture study, read great books by Catholic authors, listen to Catholic and Christian radio.
TIME: We know that raising children takes a lot of it. Carve out time, be available, ask them tough questions, have family meetings, play old fashioned board games or catch … just make time!
TRADITION: Walk the walk as parents. "Exemplify credible Catholic living — regular family Mass attendance and sacramental participation, adherence to Church teaching, daily individual and family prayer, support and involvement with their parish. When faith practice is interwoven into kids’ lives just like other customs — favorite vacations, holiday get-togethers, leisure activities — it implants as a comforting seed in their soul and psyche." Celebrate saint feast days or holy days - IE: Make angel food cake for the Feast of the Holy Angels. Make a holy habit of taking the family to reconciliation - then go to the park for a picnic! Get creative and your kids will look back fondly on the memories and may even pass them on to their own.
TRAIN. By this, I mean discipline and setting boundaries by training their HEARTS. The article said, “'Allowing kids to grow up in idleness or in wasting inordinate time with TV, internet, cell phones, or with friends makes them lazy and irresponsible," says Father Chad Ripperger, Ph.D., from the Diocese of Tulsa. He said, “Not only should kids be made accountable for their errors and behavior, they should have ongoing commitments in the form of chores or work.'" These are tough words, but, take them to heart. Challenge your kids to work hard and overcome complacency.
In Lisa Brenninkmeyer’s book "Walking with Purpose", she has a chapter on children and said, “if we are disciplining our children inconsistently, OUR authority in their lives becomes less and less relevant. (And teaches our kids that listening is an option.)"
It’s possible to train and discipline with great love and still be firm. Lisa says to ask your children when they’ve misbehaved, "What was in your heart that caused you to do this?” Ephesians 6:1-3 says “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother.’ This is the first commandment with a promise, ‘that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on earth.”
TRUST: In doing these things, children learn to Trust Jesus in everything. A great constant prayer to teach them and use yourself is, "Jesus, I trust in YOU!"
In doing these things with and for your children, the hope is that TRUTH is what will become the forefront for their motivations in life.
TEACH + TIME + TRADITION + TRAINING + TRUST = TRUTH
by Becky Thomson, Christian Moms Coordinator
The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows was this past Friday, September 15. Seven deep sorrows proclaimed through Simeon, would pierce Our Lady’s heart throughout her life. Contemplating on these sorrows can bring us into a more intimate relationship with her – leading us to her Son, Jesus. I planned to find time throughout the moments in that day, to walk through the sorrows in remembrance.
What I wasn’t expecting, was my own brief “heart piercing” on this memorial. A great day had started with my five-year-old son and his friends at the park, I helped prep my older boys for a camping trip and enjoyed a rare few moments chatting with my husband. I even received a phone call from my college boy. Later, my day would take an unexpected turn. I decided to go to Mass in honor of Our Lady's memorial and planned to enjoy a Friday evening with a glass of wine and listen to my husband and some of his musical cohorts jam out in “the barn” – an outbuilding next to our house. The five-year-old and I were having a great time listening and playing around to the music.
He spun on his stomach on an ottoman with wheels and was thrust by his own force, chin first onto the concrete floor. I heard the hard crack and knew he’d be in for stitches. I told my husband I’d take him to the ER. My son was a trooper, but once the procedure started, the pain and anxiety set in. He flailed about and would not cooperate. Sedation was proposed. I was unsure about this, but, the doctor felt it best. I was warned the shot given as a sedative would work quickly. He would be groggy and unaware and his eyes would get hazy. I wasn’t, however, expecting my son’s breathing to become labored and his oxygen levels to rapidly sink. I didn’t know at the time, but, he was having a reaction that caused his vocal chords to spasm. The staff was extremely calm and reassuring, but, as the beeps on the monitor continued, I began to mutter softly aloud, “I really don’t like this. He doesn’t look right.” As they suctioned saliva from his mouth and hooked him to oxygen, I tried to sing to my baby and continued to talk to him – unsure if he could hear me.
I held his hand and realized that I had to put all my TRUST in God at this moment. There was nothing I could do but hold his hand and pray. After a few eternal minutes, my son was stable enough to get five small stitches in his chin. The wait for him to regain full consciousness was longer than expected. It was well after midnight when I held my very limp, fifty-pound “tough guy” in my arms to go home. He was going to be fine.
While carrying him in my arms, I contemplated on the sorrows Mary endured – especially holding her lifeless son after he died on the cross. I breathed a deep sigh of gratitude and realized this was a small hiccup in our life. I wondered how many mothers around the world were also holding their children in the middle of the night --- moms holding newborn babies, moms holding sick children, moms perhaps wishing to hold a child that was lost or one that was longed for.
I brought home my blonde-haired, battle-scarred boy and put him in his bed. We said our "I Love Yous" and then ... he vomited. (Just what I needed, right?) Then, he fell fast asleep. I was reminded how much our Savior gave for us to be a part of this world and how much his own mother endured. This certainly wasn’t my first or even my worst “heart piercing” to date. I know it won’t be my last.
It’s hard to see our children struggle with life’s challenges. There are illnesses, homework challenges, relationship struggles and so much more. As mothers, we often feel the stab wounds more deeply than they do. Yet, our hearts as mothers cannot be completely broken for those who have Christ. Through Him our hearts can be mended - our piercings can scab over and scar.
After my contemplation, I now see that my one-day walk with the Blessed Mother is really one I take daily. I walk with her in solidarity and friendship. She has helped me to see that there is great hope amidst the daily sufferings and thankfully, there are SO MANY JOYS that come with motherhood too! We must not forget that Mary experienced SEVEN GREAT JOYS as well! Most evidently, there is a woman who will intercede for us and bring to her Son all that we ask for.
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us. Amen.
If you want to learn more about Our Lady of Sorrows, here are a few resources:
ABOUT OUR LADY OF SORROWS
HONORING OUR LADY OF SORROWS
Just because we love to get women together! You are invited to An Evening at South Hill Vintage! Bring a $10 cover and your wallets if you'd like to do a little more shopping for SPRING! Think Mother's Day, First Holy Communions, Confirmations, Birthdays and more!
FORMAL EVITE WITH DETAILS: HERE.
VENDOR FLYER: HERE
Don't miss our next event hosted by St. Croix Catholic School. PLEASE RSVP to Diane at email@example.com (or me - Becky at firstname.lastname@example.org) IF YOU NEED TO USE THE CHILDCARE. Childcare will most likely be in the St. Michael's Nursery. Depending on numbers, we also have reserved the after-care room in the school (which is by the cafeteria). If your kids like to be by you during these presentations, or, just struggle in childcare --- we get it. Kids can be by you too! We'll have tables in the back. Just bring quiet activities for them to do -- you know when/if you need to step out if the kids get rambunctious. Emma plans to be there and I'm also seeing if her high school brother can come and 7th grade Sarah. I will go back and forth and check on kids and leave my cell phone number with the sitters so they can let me know if someone needs their mom.
Our Mom's Morning discussion in January was on "simplicity" and although I'm not posting a follow-up until two months later, perhaps it was meant to be --- as we have now started the Lenten season. My personal goal for Lent is to focus more of my energy on my family through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Many of my prayers will be for them, much of my "fasting" -- like giving up Facebook -- will come back to benefit them (not seeing me on screens, more intentional time with them, getting more laundry done, etc...) and together as a family we are placing "dollars" in a jar with a simple goal of $40 in 40 days. We have some other little things we've instituted and have multiple discussions with our kids throughout Lent on how they are doing and reminding them that when giving something up, they should also pray -- especially when they are really missing what they want to have!
So ... ON to simplicity! Although many moms may have come to the morning anticipating ways to have a cleaner, more efficient home or de-clutter their lives in some way; it was incredibly humbling to research the Christian view of simplicity. What I discovered is that although doing all of the above is well and good and can have many benefits to bringing us peace and calm; the TRUE MEANING OF SIMPLICITY is SEEKING ONLY TO DO THE WILL OF GOD (without regard to self-sacrifice or self-advantage).
What I didn’t see in my research, is that leading a SIMPLE LIFE doesn’t mean that there won’t be chaos and that life can’t be BUSY. The busy-ness of life is going to happen regardless, BUT, certainly there are ways (even small ways) to help us as moms LIVE in a way that will help us to do the will of God and in turn, help our children to want to live God’s will for them as well! For some of us, that might mean slowing down … for others, it might mean speeding up!
We discussed a number of ways and had several resources to share on how to seek to do the will of God by living a life of simplicity. (And of course I left the paper from our discussion behind, BUT, hopefully this will allow you to come up with some ideas on your own AND there are numerous suggestions in the PDF file below!)
Blessings & Peace to Your Day,
· If you would like to download the PowerPoint presentation, it is located below!
· The PDF document with my notes (which contains a lot more info), including items that were not presented that day is also below. ENJOY!
· Want more? Look up Catholic, Simplicity, Moms in a web search ... lots of spiritual and practical info out there. This article (from the UK) was my original inspiration.
Moms who LOVE.