Super Girls and Halos: A Book Review

We’re so excited to be a part of the Super Girls and Halos Blog Tour! We’re stop #11 on this tour. Check out yesterday’s stop over at Life in Every Limb and be sure to check out the next stop at our friend Ginny’s Not So Formulaic. To catch all of the posts on the tour, head over to our other good friend, Allison Gingras’ website Reconciled to You to read them all! And now, without further ado, here’s Bridgette’s review!

Supergirls and Halos When I talk about the saints with anyone who doesn’t really understand what place they have in the Church, I like to say that they are like a the Christian Hall of Fame – people who have exemplified the Christian life and heroically lived out the virtues we are all called to embody, often in extremely difficult circumstances.

I find that that analogy comes alive in Maria Morera Johnson’s book. She takes the women our culture tells us we should emulate and look up to and pairs them with a real life heroine of our faith and shows us how we can find virtue (and heroes) literally anywhere we look. Virtues of justice, prudence, fortitude, and temperance are clearly defined using Catholic sources and Merriam-Webster to give us a full understanding of what these virtues mean – which is good, because how often do you hear words like “prudence” and “temperance” used in our world today to describe someone’s character? – and then gives us examples in pop culture women and saints to show those virtues in action.

The fictional characters are generally science-fiction, comic book, and fantasy characters and span a wide range of familiarity. Some younger ladies might not know who Dana Scully and Lt. Uhura are, and some more experienced ladies might not have gotten into Harry Potter and Hunger Games. But whatever your level of knowledge about these superheroes, this book will give you an in-depth character study and a thorough introduction into the world of each woman in a passionate and conversational tone.

The tone gets a bit more pragmatic as the discussion turns to the corresponding saint, but these stories are still full of inspiration and give real life examples of heroism in our own world. Some of the saints are well known and beloved by many like Sts .Mary Magdalene and Clare of Assisi. But how much do you know about Sts. Cunegunde, Marguerite d’Youville, or Mary MacKillop? I just met them in this book and I love them!

If you or someone you know struggles with understanding the saints and their importance, but you love comic books or Star Wars, this book could help bridge that gap. It could also help you to seek and find the virtue in every hero you come across, real or fictional, and inspire you to live out these virtues in your own life to become the saintly heroine you are called to be in Christ Jesus.

There are so many Super Saints in the Catholic Church. Men and women who lived in castles or among the poorest of society, those called to the religious life and those called to marriage, young and old, quiet and contemplative or fierce and saucy. Anyone can find a Saint or eight that feel so familiar or inspiring for whatever life has you dealing with.

My patron Saint is St Bernadette because of her love for Mary and the healing I received from waters of Lourdes at a very young age. But if I had to pick one Super Saint it would be Mary Magdalene, my Confirmation Saint. The things that made me love her when I chose to take her name still ring true today.

She is discussed in the book so I don’t really want to give anything away, but her humility and courage in following Jesus, her love and care of Him in His life and death, and her joy upon seeing Him after He rose from the dead all inspire me and give me hope that I too can live as she lived and gain the reward she received – being with Jesus for all eternity in Heaven. Of course it might have been easier for her since He was physically there for her, but I need to remember that He is also inside my husband and children and I am called to heroically love Christ in and through them.

Who is your Super Saint? Let us know in the comments and on social media using #SuperGirlsandHalos. We can’t wait to hear who you love!

FIAT: A Child’s Take on “The Star”

The Star

Little Miss is back for a child’s take on a new movie! Today she joins Kristi to talk about the animated film that was released TODAY from Affirm films and Sony Pictures Animation, The Star. Like when we reviewed I Can Only Imagine, we were given advanced preview tickets to a screening of this movie a few weeks ago, and Little Miss was able to come, too!

The Star

 

There are a few spoilers in the story here, but then again…its’ a very well-known story. It’s a perfect Advent family film…but don’t take our word for it! Take the word of a child. Grab your beverage of choice and join our conversation!

 

As always, if the media player doesn’t load, you can go to Libsyn to stream it or visit iTunes where you can subscribe and never miss an episode!

We mentioned a Catholic discussion guide to the movie in the podcast. You can find that here.

The movie website also has an animated coloring book and several other activities you can download and do with your kiddos. Be sure to check them out!

Have a great week!

What’s on Your Plate?

‘It’s the season of food and family: the holidays! This can also be a time filled with stress and anxiety. Now is a perfect time to examine what’s on your plate.

MyPlate

This is the United States’ recommended balanced diet MyPlate. Long gone is the food pyramid. This cute, easy-to-follow plate has replaced it. Each meal, according to this, should be comprised of these components. 

Don’t you wish you had a guide for life like this?!

Since we don’t, I attempted to create a current picture of what’s on my own plate using a blank MyPlate diagram.

My Plate

My own balanced life on a MyPlate.

This is a current, quick snapshot of my life. I knew that I was busy, and I was fully aware that my stress level is slightly…elevated. But seeing it like this, each thing crowding out the other was eye-opening. 

Saying No 

I have a problem saying no when asked to help out. It’s one I’ve been painfully aware of for, I don’t know, decades? I’ve also struggled for about that long trying to fix it. 

You may have the same problem. If you say no, you feel badly because you are fully capable to help. You feel guilty for putting your own needs above others. The worst? Saying no means you’re a bad Christian.

False.

Here’s the thing: you can’t pour into an empty cup if you, too, are empty. It is impossible to use your light to light another’s if you’re burning the wick at both ends: you’ll run out of light.

Finding Balance

There has to be balance.

Today, after work and dinner, a family trip to confession followed by a meeting at church, but before my nightly Epsom salt bath and ultimate glorious bedtime, I will sit down with my prayer journal.

In it, I will list each thing on my plate with a dash beside it (picture a matching test from junior high). Then, I’m going to number it in order of importance. 

Once that’s done, I’m going to write about what each category looks like for me now and what I’d like it to become.

Less on the Plate=Better Me

None of what’s on my plate is going to vanish, and I have to honor commitments made (its just who I am). Still, I can do so knowing where my priorities lie and using them to say no, without guilt, in the future if the request of my time doesn’t fit with my priorities.

Maybe then my plate will be empty, like in this picture, and I can choose only that which truly matters from the buffet of options competing for my time and attention.

This Vocation

This vocation is hard, ladies. It takes patience, love, understanding, creativity, grace, forgiveness, humility, and a whole lot of prayer. Why add a cluttered to-do list to all of that? 

How do you handle everything life throws at you? Are you, too, a serial “yes” sayer? I’d love to hear from you! 

Feminine Genius: the Gift of Sensitivity

This post is a part of a Feminine Genius series written by four different bloggers. If you are just joining the series now and want to learn more you can start here: Introduction to the Feminine Genius Series. The series will conclude on November 27. Want more? Last week’s post was Receptivity at Little Tabernacle and next week’s will be on Generosity at Strengthen My Heart. This post features a giveaway from Rose Harrington. Please keep reading to find out more!

Sensitivity

I am going to say that the topic of sensitivity is probably my favorite!  First things first I would love to explain Feminine Genius expression.

From the Endow Bible Study A Letter to Women:

“Pope Saint John Paul II instituted the adage, Feminine Genius. It speaks to a woman’s capacity to make room for “the other.” This capacity manifests itself in four different areas: receptivity, sensitivity, generosity, and maternity.”

That is a little wordy; my interpretation is that our Feminine Genius has four major topics that our true dignity as women shines in our everyday lives. How we as women use this wonderful sensitivity trait to lighten the world.

Sensitivity, according to Webster’s dictionary, is as follows:

“having or displaying a quick and delicate appreciation of others feelings.”

I used to view being sensitive as a bad thing. When I was small, I was labeled for being sensitive and a crybaby; it wasn’t until I was an adult and saw how my sensitivity made me a better person and set me apart.

Power in Sensitivity

Sensitivity is power trait; it makes you see beyond the walls others put up. It enables you to see when a friend is hurting, a child is frustrated, or a hubby who just has a ball of anxiety in his heart. Possessing this trait is an awesome superpower. I know how cliché this sounds but I’ve said it before on the blog, and I want to say it again now anyway: “With great power comes great responsibility.”  Uncle Ben from Spider-Man.

It is true. God gave us the awesome gift to share and to offer others comfort, advice, or a voice.

Using Your Voice

I am passionate about the pro-life cause. I am a product of adoption. I grew up with an awesome family. My family and I are forever grateful to my biological mom for choosing life. She gave me a voice and an opportunity to do God’s Will.

With that one choice from her (and a lot of training from my mom), I grew up advocating for the voiceless.

I am a heavenly mother to multiple children and my hubby and I do not have any children on this earth. My voice is forever going to be for the babies that never got a chance. My voice is in constant prayers that the mothers that are choosing this hard decision will turn around and give their child up to a willing family. I know that, personally, I would take any child into my home that needed to be cared and loved on.

I want to challenge you to use your voice for good.

Sensitivity is always a good thing whether for comforting, giving Godly advice, or for fighting for basic human needs when others cannot.

It is an awesome gift and, as women, we all have this gift.

~Rachel

One lucky reader will win an 8×10” print which depicts Edith Stein’s quote, “The world doesn’t need what women have, it needs what women are.” Hand painted and digitized, the design is printed by a local printer on 100 lb white linen paper for a classy, elegant finish.

Sensitivity Feminine Genius Rose Harrington Giveaway Old Fashioned Girl

Katrina Harrington is the designer behind the shop, Rose Harrington. The shop began with early morning hour musings back in December 2014. It was created to fill a void that Katrina had found in the art world. She desired hand-lettered designs and prints of Scripture and inspirational quotes, but couldn’t find any. The self-taught painter decided to create the own shop as a way to offer beauty and support her family. Today she is exploring the depth of historical flower theology and Mary Gardens, leading her to create botanical rosary art. Each piece is hand painted (usually with a child on Katrina’s lap!) and printed at high quality shops in the United States. 

Check out the giveaway here on Rafflecopter!

Please support this beautiful Catholic artisan and continue to join us in the Feminine Genius Series. 

FIAT: Little Miss Has Something to Share…

Hello, lovelies! In today’s FIAT: Faith in All Things podcast, Kristi is joined by her daughter, Little Miss, who has something to share with our listeners.

Last time Little Miss joined the podcast, she shared her feelings about how things had changed since her mom married Superman and talked about the St. Patrick’s Day tea she was hosting. Today she wanted to share something a bit more personal.

Fair warning, this was recorded in the early morning hours of her day, and you can hear the sleepy. That said, there are also a few times she moves away from the microphone, but fear not! Little Miss will be back in a few weeks to talk about Advent, sharing, and random acts of kindness.

For now, grab a cup of something warm and delicious and hang out with Kristi and Little Miss for a bit as she shares her news with you.

You can stream it here in the media player below, on Libsyn, or on iTunes.

Let us know what you think about her news! If you missed our post on No-Spend November or last week’s podcast (both of which were mentioned in this week’s podcast), be sure to check them out by clicking on the purple titles in this sentence.

Kristi