Be Not Afraid

A Story of a Doll & a Nightmare 

Little Miss received a very neat doll for Christmas last year from her “church grandma.” The doll is from the 1980s and is a blinking, mouth-moving, doll version of Teddy Ruxpin,  complete with books and tapes. Her name is Cricket. Little Miss loves to pretend she’s her little sister. Superman likes to pretend she’s scary. Jokingly, we sometimes call her Creepy Cricket.

Last night, Little Miss let out a scream so shrill both Superman and I sat straight up in bed. I quickly made my way to her room and she began to share her nightmare. Basically, at a sleepover, Cricket named Little Miss and one guest as girls she admired and then began to turn on the others. Not a pleasant dream.

Yestersay’s Mass

I’d be lying if I said I was 100% focused on everything in Mass yesterday. My mind wandered. We were distracted by a tiny beetle crawling around that Little Miss named Billy Beetle. I didn’t feel well. It was the first day of faith formation. 

But the second communion song drew me back. It was Be Not Afraid. It’s a song I’ve loved since about age seven, when I memorized it alongside my aunts and mom in the choir. 

Be Not Afraid

It’s a great message. Angels often say it to initiate contact with those in their presence. St. John Paul II reiterated this simple statement. 

All the things distracting us yesterday, the bad dreams…they are not of God. We are called not to live in fear, but live in hope. 

In closing, I’ll leave you with some of the lyrics: “Be not afraid. I go before you always. Come, follow me and I will give you rest.

FIAT: A Back-to-School Break

Hello and happy Friday!

As you may have read, we’re deep in Back to School here this week!

Little Miss, the Scientist, and Superman have all returned to school and helping them adjust to their schedule has made us a little, well, crazy!

We apologize for the missing podcast this week, but we’ll be back to air one next week as usual!

Thanks for your understanding as we adjust to new schedules!

Kristi & Rachel

St. Rose of Lima

About My Girl, Saint Rose of Lima

Her feast day is today, August 23. Saint Rose grew up in Spain and, according to history, she was quite the looker. They nicknamed her Rose because she was really beautiful.  Saint Rose definitely did not like the attention and wanted to dedicate her life to God. Her parents wanted her to marry (and quick!). She refused and kept on asking to go into the convent…her parents refused the request. 

Saint Rose then did the only thing she could do: obey, but with a twist. She stayed in solitude in her home with her parents. She dedicated her life to The Third Order of Saint Dominic. She cared for the elderly, homeless children, and the sick. She still got offers to marry, though, so she quickly did things to make herself less beautiful. As we all know, though, beauty is on the inside. 

Saint Rose covered her face in pepper, which caused sores. She also wore a silver crown with thorns that cut her head and she cut her hair in a displeasing way. Her beauty shined through her everyday obedience to God and to his will helping out the locals. When she died, multiple men from the community carried her casket.

A Saint for Me

Saint Rose’s story made me (and still does make me) cry. slShe lived her life in a way that was beautiful. She obeyed her parents and God’s will for her life. She went through many sicknesses and employed extreme self-discipline tactics that really put her health in danger. 

What I love about her is that she stayed the course and she got stronger in her convictions. Saint Rose never gave up her faith and dedication to God.  She knew that she would have to have discipline in her life to do her vocation. 

St. Rose & My Marriage

In every marriage, I feel there is some area that needs growing and attention more than the others.  There might be more than one area, to be really truthful.  In my marriage we don’t have a ton of self-discipline. You are probably wondering why  you need that in marriage, right? 

When I read Saint Rose’s story I was thinking to myself, “How I can apply this to my life?” God definitely used this cool Catholic woman to show me a lot of areas where I need self-discipline.

1.       Prayer

It was a huge surprise for me when I started to deeply think about self discipline; that prayer was an area that I needed help in. I pray every day and I make sure to say certain prayers. So why was God pointing out the hubby and I needed more disciplined when we pray? Well you know how sometimes you want to do things quickly so you can hurry about your life? Hubby and I do that with our nightly rosary, or we only do a decade because we are exhausted.  I read her story to the Scientist and the first thing he said (without any prompting for me) was “We need to be more intentional with our nightly rosary.”  I was in shock that he thought the same exact problem that God showed me.  Our solution? Move it out of our bed and into the family room,  in front of our home altar.

2.       Family Time

The second thing I dwelled on in this conversation with God was my family time. The Scientist and I spend every waking minute together, whenever we have the chance, so it didn’t seem like we needed anything here. However…we need to be more intentional about what we are doing in those moments together. We love to play cards, chess, and board games; listen to music; watch YouTube videos, movies, or TV shows; plan our dream house; talk about budgeting and frugal living; make plans with our friends and  family…you know how it goes. What it comes down to is that we leave our door open to other distractions when we are together. When we play games, our phones are out and Facebook is also there, playing with us. We need more discipline to put our phones up and away when we are together. We can check emails and social media when we are not spending quality time together. Our focus is on quality time rather than distraction by our beautiful little piece of technology.

3.       Mass Times

I am going to be honest with you, Sundays are one of the two days, The Scientist and I like to sleep in. We are fans of the weekends. The Scientist not only works during the day, he also coaches football, so usually we are up at 4:30 a.m. each weekday. We like to spend time together working out, praying, and eating together before he heads out. The team he coaches usually practices in the morning, before school.  But on Sundays, we like to sleep in until 8:00 or 9:00. I know it is still early for some, but it’s late for us. The mass that we love to go to is 8:00 a.m. Mass. It is wonderful and I just love it.  Growing up we always had one set Mass time that we went to. I feel it adds structure to your day and week, but lately The Scientist and I have been sleeping in and Mass-hopping and rushing to get there. The solution here  is to tighten our belts and make sure we get up right away when the alarm rings.

One Last Nugget of Saintly Wisdom 

My favorite quote from St. Rose is “The gift of grace increases as the struggle increases”.  I love this so much because it is the truth. When I intentionally pray, put my phone down, and stay with the planned Mass time, my marriage improves one hundred percent.  

Back to School 

It’s back to school today, and my sweet Little Miss enters the third grade today. Third grade! That’s insane. I can remember this day four years ago, when she excitedly hugged me as I walked her into her Kindergarten class and only called me back to open her Play-Doh. I cried.

Today, while I doubt I cry, she’s entering the phase of school where she has a homeroom and switches classes. How did she grow up so fast? Her amazing Kindergarten teacher says, “Don’t blink!” because it goes so fast; and she’s right.

My wonderful husband starts school today, too. He’s teaching 5th grade and is having his first first day of school in this capacity. I’ve watched and supported him on this journey and am so proud that he’s arrived at this moment.

We’re up earlier today and have a strict schedule and routine to stick to. It’s the first day of school. But I know that today is going to be the beginning of an amazing year.

The Scientist starts school today, too. Would you keep our three in your prayers today? What do you do in your house to simplify this hectic back to school time?


FIAT: Faith in All Things The Friendship Project

We are big fans of friendship here at Hail Marry, having been founded by two best friends, so when we were offered the opportunity to preview the new book The Friendship Project by Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet (authors of Divine Mercy for Moms, too!), we jumped!

Not only did we get to read the book (which is great!), we also got to chat with the lovely ladies on this week’s podcast as part of their Friendship Friday Blog Tour to promote the release of this great book.

Make sure you listen closely for wonderful conversation, a super deal on bulk buying The Friendship Project, and how they make it so easy to read together in community as a small group.

If the media player doesn’t load, click here to stream or download on Libsyn or subscribe and listen on iTunes!

Have a phenomenal weekend and a great Friendship Friday!