Monday, October 26, 2015

My Little Curly Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month

Whew! Its been a long time since I wrote. Since then I've gotten an 'all clear' from the oncologist for another 6 months and started a whole new endeavor as an illustrator. What initially began as a hobby-turned child entertainment has now become somewhat marketable since I've illustrated a First Holy Communion book with another woman named Erika. As I worked on those illustrations, I doodled for Rachel since she is insatiable about coloring and loves horses as much as I do. Her insatiable appetite for horse coloring pages plus my knack for drawing horses combined with our new adorable American Curly Horse equaled the series I've named 'My Little Curly'. So far I have about 60 illustrations of cute curly horses in various poses and seem to always have an idea for creating new ones. This month, I adapted one to reflect the sad reality of Pregnancy and Infant Loss. The cuteness is still there, but the message remains starkly clear as well. Without further ado, here she is...

This month I'm offering 4 My Little Curly illustrations free, as I feel out this new endeavor. This one is available here, my Miracle Journey blog has a Breast Cancer Awareness one, and my Benedict Catholic Creations blog, the home of all of these illustrations has 2 Halloween themed Curlys available. So you can visit those blogs to print each Curly for your own enjoyment. Rachel and my nieces have already tested and approved them as great fun to color. I take requests too! Just contact me and I'll do my best to make your wish a coloring page! 

In addition to the My Little Curly series and the Catholic First Holy Communion book, I've drawn many wheeled vehicles for my son, and just started a series of flowers. I use my creations as a focal point for some of the handwriting pages my children use in their schooling and also plan on authoring a book (or more) featuring the My Little Curly series. I plan on offering all of these illustrations (and even handwriting pages or worksheets based on them) on my Creation blog eventually. I'm hoping to use this to supplement our income since we're still financially strapped since my job loss in 2013. 

If you like this Curly, like the sound of my other creations, or would just like to contact me for something else, please do so! I love hearing from you!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Jesus I Trust In You!

Right now there is so much fear, anger, confusion, and disharmony in the US and world. It is difficult to turn on the TV, scroll through Facebook, or read blogs without bumping into a negative piece of information. To serious Catholics and other Christians, it seems like the world is happily riding to Hell in a hand basket of their very own making and dragging us with them. 

As a penance a month or so ago, my confessor asked me to read Michael Gaitley's book, Consoling the Heart of Jesus. However, he told me I was to read only one page or section at a time and really reflect on the spiritual message. I am also writing a reading diary of sorts of the key points in a journal my mother-in-law got me with Biblical quotes and other inspiration quotes on each page facing a ruled page. 

Often, I don't pay attention to the quotations, but my reading in the Gaitley book and the Bible quotations mirrored one another perfectly the other night. The section in the Gaitley book instructed the reader about how to trust Jesus not to overburden us with suffering. It also pointed out that, out of all the sins in the world, rejection and mistrust by those closest to Jesus wound His heart the most. Then the journal's biblical quotations from Hosea 14:8, Luke 12:29-32, Phillipians 4:5-6, 2 Corinthians 9:8 all spoke of The Lord giving us what we need and for us to not be anxious. 

In this time of confusion, people need to know that even though everything seems topsy-turvy and opposite of God's will, He will not leave us orphaned. God loves His own and will be with us to the end of time if we just let Him. When things get too difficult, often we shut God out (sometimes by blaming Him) and try to do things 'ourselves'. It is those times that Jesus bleeds and hurts the worst because we don't trust Him enough to seek His strength. The world isn't about us living for ourselves, it is about us learning to live for God. The first thing we need to do is accept what we have, both the good and bad, as gifts from God that He will help us with if we let Him. 

I'm trying to let Him work in my life. Won't you?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Seeing the Priesthood in the Loaves and Fishes

I just had an "Aha!" moment reading something about the miracle of the loaves and fishes. The book I'm reading (The Greatest Prayer by John Dominic Crossan) is discussing this miracle in detail going over how Jesus ensures the disciples' role in the miracle. Through this miracle, Jesus is basically guiding the disciples in their duties as priests down the road. Jesus is constantly asking the disciples to go to the people and ask them questions or for things. Jesus Himself never just knows as we know He could. Nor does Jesus just go straight to the source and ask Himself. 

The authors of the Gospels also repeatedly use the same formula each of the 6 times this miracle is mentioned to describe the multiplication of the food. In all cases, Jesus 'takes' the food, 'blesses' it, 'breaks' it, and 'gives' it. Sound familiar? Yeah, me too! Powerful witness to the Biblical nature of the Consecration of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass isn't it? Even later at the Last Supper (again, the Consecration of the Eucharist) and after the Resurrection, this same formula of 'take', 'bless', 'break', and 'give' is used. 

In several cases, after the Resurrection, the disciples don't recognize Jesus in speaking with him (road to Emmaus, anyone?), but only in the breaking of the bread. In other words, it's not enough to just hear about Jesus through reading the Bible or listening to preaching, you must experience Jesus through the Breaking of the Bread - the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist. 

Jesus told us He was the Bread of Life.  Jesus told us His Flesh was real food and His Blood was real drink - you don't get much more real that bread and wine. Paul exhorts us not to receive the Bread of Life, Jesus, unworthily. The Eucharist is TRULY Jesus present for you and me. Some of the disciples turned away from Jesus when He said this - they understood that He was being literal. The disciples that became priests understood and accepted Jesus at His word and passed their belief down to us.

At that point, I'd say the disciples were probably deacons well on their way to becoming priests once the Holy Spirit descends upon them at Pentecost. They don't really know it yet, but they're in one heck of a Seminary!

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Smiling already at 2 weeks

Smiling already at 2 weeks
Rachel has been smiling as a response to other people since day one.

And two shall become one...

And two shall become one...
In 2006, Andrew & I became one before God and family! Shortly thereafter we became 3 with the birth of Simon in 2008... Then 4 with the addition of Rachel in 2009!

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