Friday, February 29, 2008

The Whole World

"If you are what you should be,
you will set the whole world on fire."

-St. Catherine of Siena
This is one of those "super-quotes" that sends a wonderful shiver of awe right through me. There are few that sum it all up so simply and so powerfully. It is both a soaring promise and an eternal challenge...
Our call is no less than this.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Conservative vs. Liberal

With all the election-goings-on, I thought it would be timely to re-share this reflection that I wrote over a year ago...

Conserve on pride;
Be liberal with humility.

Conserve on anger;
Be liberal with gentleness.

Conserve on selfishness;
Be liberal with generosity.

Conserve on thoughtlessness;
Be liberal with graciousness.

Conserve on gossip;
Be liberal with charity.

Conserve on slander;
Be liberal with genuine praise.

Conserve on complaining;
Be liberal with gratitude.

Conserve on resentment;
Be liberal with forgiveness.

Conserve on self-gratification;
Be liberal with sacrifice.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I will admit...

...though I've been saying I'm ready for Spring, the fresh white blanket we got yesterday is pretty!

"Come now, let us set things right, says the LORD: Though your sins be like scarlet, I will make them white as snow."

(Isaiah 1:18)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Picture of Faithfulness

Today, after spending some time visiting residents in a local nursing home, I sat near the entrance for a few minutes. And while I did, a very old, bent-over gentleman came shuffling into the room with tiny steps. He could barely walk, but he was pushing a wheelchair... with his elderly wife in it. Her voice came in an almost raspy whisper, but when I greeted them and asked her who the gentleman was, she said with a smile, "That's my husband." She was a resident, and he, visiting her. I couldn't help but ask how long they'd been married. "Sixty-three years", they answered me in unison.

Watching him propel his own feet and the chair as they left, and looking over his hunched back at their heads, a tear came to my eye and all I could think was...

Now that's faithfulness.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Sound of Laughter

I'm sitting in the basement at the laptop, working, and can't help but smile at the sounds filtering down to me through the vents from upstairs. Sounds of laughter. Happy, maiden laughter from a number of young ladies who happen to be here at the moment. A few minutes ago when I greeted them upstairs, I was surrounded by bright eyes, rosy cheeks flushed from the cold, excited voices, and warm hugs. How thankful I am that in a world that is increasingly broken, twisted, and troubling, there are still young girls that can know what it means to be young, wholesome, and innocent.

Young girls who know how to laugh.

The Long Winter... almost

Well, global-warming-theory aside, we've had our share of cold here lately. As in about a solid month (maybe more? I've lost track!) of frigid days, continuous new little (and not-so-little) snowfalls, biting wind, icy sidewalks, slippery roads...

And yes, I really do love snow. I always say I'm glad I live in a climate with four seasons (I love them all), and that's still true.

Despite this, I'll admit I am very ready for Spring. :) But though this winter is starting to seem somewhat endless, I know we've had it easy compared to Laura Ingalls' "Long Winter". If I'm feeling wintered-out after this, I can hardly imagine what seven months of harsh blizzards would do! Wow, folks back then had stamina. And yes, we may be trying to beat the blahs about now, but we've still got it easy.

That being said, I still can't wait to run outside barefoot and discard the heavy coats! =) All in good time...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

"Faith on My Sleeve"

My godmother Simonetta, who also happens to be a Catholic singer-songwriter (in addition to homeschool mom and Director of the Little Flowers Catholic Dance and Theatre Troupe) released her long-awaited latest album last week on St. Valentine's Day!

From her website:

Be Not Afraid!
We can wear our Faith on our sleeve to the depths it exists in our hearts! If at Confirmation, we become Soldiers of Christ: then we should go out and fight for Him with Love being our sword and the Rosary our sheild, never looking back, ever moving forward, towards Him.Find solace in the interior life, be comforted by God's ineffable Love, and be bold in showing your love for Him, because one person can change the world: You!

If you want some wonderful, connect-you-with-the-Lord and wake-up-your-soul music, look no further! This album is beautiful, with melodies that are sometimes soothing, sometimes catchy, sometimes invigorating...and always inspiring. We've already listened to ours a number of times, and each time it grows on me more, and I get something more from the rich lyrics.

By the way, my sister Sarah and I are actually on one song on the album, along with a few other girls... her rendition of the "Hail Mary".

Best of all, through the Saint Philomena Foundation, you can request a copy of this beautiful Catholic album for free. Well, what are you waiting for? Head on over!

I have to point you

to my goddaughter Amanda's Mom's (new) blog: Homeschooling with Joy. Her reflections are lovely! I especially love today's on The Heroic Minute... so very relevant for me. :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Children of Fatima

Today is the feast of Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta Marto of Fatima, who at the ages 9 and 7, were graced with visits from the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.

“Give my greetings
to Our Lord and to Our Lady,
and tell them that I am ready
to suffer as much as they wish
for the conversion of poor sinners.”

–Bl. Jacinta to her brother Bl. Francisco as he was dying

Lord, make us so ready to suffer for the salvation of souls!
Little Francisco and Jacinta, pray for us.

For more about the children of Fatima, click here.

Monday, February 18, 2008

He didn't miss a beat

Overheard at the lunch table yesterday...

Me: Hey family, did you know that Barack Obama's middle name is Hussein?

Everyone: What???

Me: Yes, his middle name is Hussein.

David: You mean insane?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Solo soy el instrumento

In my morning prayer, I've been reading a little book called "Mother Teresa and the Beatitudes". This morning, I read her quote about being God's pencil— I've heard the first part many times, but never the second before. So beautiful!

"I am only a pencil in the hand of God...
God writes through us,
and however imperfect instruments
we may be,
God writes beautifully."

Let Him write through you today!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Beloved's Bouquet... to Me

Last year for Valentine's Day, I reflected on a dozen roses from my Prince. This year, I've felt as though He's showered me with gifts the past few weeks. They may seem small or insignificant to some, but they are very real and very powerful to me!

...He's brought me toward a discipline which I've desired for a long while but really, really struggled with; namely, early bedtime and early rising! Dad's work schedule recently adjusted, so our schedule did too (this was big for us). The 9:30 bedtime and 5:30 rising time for 6:30am Holy Mass have been such a blessing!

...After a several-month unintended sabbatical from my own violin lessons due to busyness (though I continued teaching and quite a bit of playing), I was able to start back this week.

...He's sent bright, beautiful sunshine! After lots and lots of gray skies, the past two days have been gloriously sparkling! The white blanket all around is turned to glitter under its rays...

...This season of Lent. No, I'm not jesting! Unlike many other years, I actually welcomed Lent this year with much anticipation. I wrote in my journal, "I was so ready for Lent this year". This time of cleansing and growth is indeed a gift. If the remaining weeks are as blessed as this one, I will be more joyful at Easter than ever!

...He has brought much peace into my soul. For a long while I was overwhelmed and over-stretched. In recent weeks I've been able to bring order into a number of areas of my life that have caused me struggle and exhaustion for months. This order that I have longed and strived for in my daily life has finally started to take hold this Lent. For this, I have only His goodness to thank. And that, indeed, is a fragrant bouquet.

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

A couple of my favorites

of the insights shared on Huck's Army Forum the last few days:

"You know, every time I remember God moving mightily in my life, it has always been at the 11th hour. I have learned to like it that way, makes things more exciting. And, like a previous poster reminded us, God gets all the all the glory that way - love it! This is the first time I've ever been involved in a campaign, and it is because it is first time I've ever been presented with a candidate that I can get excited about - a genuine person of character, who unashamedly stands for the right things. There is no question in my mind that Mike Huckabee is the best candidate to lead this nation, and that is why I became involved in this campaign. Never mind that when I started, he was behind - but I didn't care. I wanted to look back and be proud that, regardless of the outcome, I did everything I could to help get this nation on the right track with the right candidate. Nothing's changed, I still want that! We're still in this folks! Let's buck up and stand our ground, and after we have done everything, to stand! "


"Governor Huckabee is not speaking the idle words of a dreamer when he says he will continue until somebody reaches 1191 delegates. The Lord has trained him all his life to persist against all obstacles until victory is achieved. Statistically, he should still be back in Hope, Arkansas, having quit high school to make a living and raise a family. Statistically, he should have been a Democrat instead of one of the handful of Republicans in his entire county. Statistically, he might be a pastor in a struggling little church of 100 or so. Statistically, Republican pastors never run successfully for public office...

Statistically, Governor Huckabee should never have been reelected again and again to serve 10.5 years [as Governor of Arkansas]. Statistically, nobody loses 110 pounds and starts running marathons in middle age. Statistically, this should not now be a two-man race with the Baptist pastor as one of the two. Statistically, God does not do miracles on the basis of statistics!"

LOVE that last sentance! So very true.

From the Governor

Governor Huckabee had a great personal message on his website Tuesday night, after Virginia's results...

The first question I am often asked these days is: "Why are you still
running for President?"

It is because I believe that I am the best candidate to represent you in
the fall against the Democrats. Why? Because I have core conservative beliefs
that I have never wavered from:

I believe in the Human Life Amendment and I will fight for it from Day 1 of
my Presidency.

I believe in the Marriage Amendment.

I believe in massive tax reform and am an advocate of the FairTax.

I believe that President Bush's tax cuts should be made permanent.

I believe in the Surge, our troops and General Petraeus.

I believe the 2nd amendment is one of the best ways to protect us from
tyranny and I will work tirelessly to protect it from activist judges.

I believe in real border security and have proposed a detailed 9 point plan
to secure our borders.

I believe the best judge is a conservative judge that won't legislate from
the bench.

These are some of the reasons why I am running for President and let me
also say that YOU are another reason. I am running to give you a voice in the
process. To lift up your voice with mine and to tell our Party and our
government that we need to do better. We need to think big and fight for our

There’s lots of voting left to be done before our Republican Party’s
nominee is decided.

Share this blog post with your friends and family and spread the word. We
are still in this race and we are running hard.

And his message from yesterday...

The path before us is clear: a primary in Wisconsin on Feb. 19 and then
four primaries in Texas, Vermont, Rhode Island and Ohio on March 4. Our
challenge moving forward is to redouble our efforts on the ground and raise the
money we need to compete.

Last evening I explained in my email [the text above] why I am
running for President and what issues I am fighting for. I am also running to
give you a voice in the process. To lift up your voice with mine and to tell our
Party and our government that we need to do better. We need to think big and
fight for our ideas.

Thank you to everyone for their words of support and encouragement. I
am truly humbled by the faith you have placed in me and reinvigorated for the
race ahead.

Keep praying!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pray Today for Huckabee!

It's interesting that the after-Super-Tuesday elections that no one thought would matter severals months ago are actually highly important. No one nominee emerged with 1,191 delagates that day, so the race is still on. It's now a two-man race between McCain and Huckabee (with both Romney and Paul suspending their candidacy over the past week). And though McCain remains leading in delegates, Huckabee's campaign is far from over. On Saturday, he swept Kansas with 60% of the vote, also won the Louisiana primary, and was within 200 votes of McCain in Washington. In fact, the daily tracking Rasmussen poll from yesterday reports that "among Republicans, McCain is viewed favorably by 66% and Huckabee by 67%." Finished? Hardly! Huckabee's momentum and funds have been growing by leaps and bounds!

Virginia holds their primary today. Will you all please join me in praying? 68 delegates at are stake— winner-take-all.

My favorite quote from Huckabee this week, in answer to the many media personnel trying to say it's "mathematically impossible" for him to win the nomination (which it isn't, by the way):

"I didn't major in math... I majored in miracles."

Go Virginia!


I haven't gotten into the whole texting thing myself, but thought this was pretty neat!

Catholic Online:

Last week, the Catholic Church contributed once again to a
bit of history. B
enedict XVI became the first Pope to utilize
the technology of SMS texting services to broadcast a papal message.

What makes this really quite extraordinary is the
instantaneous nature of this type of communication. Benedict texts and
potentially faithful Catholics can read and respond to his words in seconds.

That really lends a new interpretation to the Gospel
mandate to, proclaim the Good News to all nations. Beyond the initial novelty
aspect of this mode of communications, is the underlying importance of utilizing
technologies for mass communications to teach and evangelize truthfully through
technologies that are bringing the planet closer together.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Lenten Message 2008 from Pope Benedict

"Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Each year, Lent offers us a providential opportunity to deepen the meaning and value of our Christian lives, and it stimulates us to rediscover the mercy of God so that we, in turn, become more merciful toward our brothers and sisters. In the Lenten period, the Church makes it her duty to propose some specific tasks that accompany the faithful concretely in this process of interior renewal: these are prayer, fasting and almsgiving."

"...Dear brothers and sisters, Lent invites us to “train ourselves” spiritually, also through the practice of almsgiving, in order to grow in charity and recognize in the poor Christ Himself. In the Acts of the Apostles, we read that the Apostle Peter said to the cripple who was begging alms at the Temple gate: “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk” (Acts 3,6). In giving alms, we offer something material, a sign of the greater gift that we can impart to others through the announcement and witness of Christ, in whose name is found true life. Let this time, then, be marked by a personal and community effort of attachment to Christ in order that we may be witnesses of His love. May Mary, Mother and faithful Servant of the Lord, help believers to enter the “spiritual battle” of Lent, armed with prayer, fasting and the practice of almsgiving, so as to arrive at the celebration of the Easter Feasts, renewed in spirit. With these wishes, I willingly impart to all my Apostolic Blessing."

Read the whole thing here.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Deb kindly tagged me, so I am supposed to (1) Link to the person that tagged you. (2) Post the rules on your blog. (3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself. (4) Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. (5) Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

Six random things about me? Hmmm...

1. I was born nine days early. And I daresay it's about the only time I've been early in my life. (I'm working on it, though!).

2. My mom tells me I sat at our kitchen table at 12 months and said distinctly, "Cheese, please, mom!" Her follow-up comment is always that I started talking at a year, and never stopped. (A funny aside is that I still love cheese, but am sensitive to dairy!).

3. My mom tells me that I sang "Jesus Loves Me" from memory at 18 months. :)

4. The first time someone told me I was "charming", I was eight years old and didn't know what they meant. I had heard of (never tasted) "Lucky Charms", and so thought they were somehow talking about that!

5. I have a great weakness for garlic bread.

6. I rolled off the top of a bunk bed once during the middle of the night, was found by Dad and put back, and never woke up!

I'll admit that was a little fun. :) Okay, so now I'll tag...

Lady Rose, my goddaughter
Malori, my bosom friend
Lisa, a pen pal (even though I've not written you in a long while!)
Both Anna and Miriam from Maidens of Worth
Either Leah or Therese from the Miller family :)

If you were tagged, follow the instructions 1-5 above!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ash Wednesday

"Remember, man,
that thou art dust,
and unto dust thou shalt return."

And so Lent begins...

Lord, purify our hearts.
Cleanse our desire.
Strengthen our wills.
Increase our love.

Beautiful daily Lenten mediations at

Dispelling Huckabee Myths

I seem to have heard from an awful lots of folks lately who have taken their cues from the secular news media and either thought Huckabee had dropped out of the race, or that he didn't stand a chance.

For once and for all, let's clear things up: Huckabee is still very much in the race. And yes, he is still competative! (I'm amazed at how many folks actually listened to the media's claims that he was out of the race or didn't stand a chance. Come on, people! :) Don't believe everything the liberal, biased, secular media tells you!).

The scoop: Huckabee took five states yesterday, which is way better than any of the pundits predicted. They're calling it his "Southern sweep" (Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia). Romney did worse than expected yesterday (especially for the amount of money he spent). McCain took a number of states, but even though delegate-wise he is in the lead, the analyzers have sat up and acknowledged that Huckabee's campaign has the momentum to still take the nomination. Or to end up with a brokered Republication convention (in which no one candidate has a majority of delegates, and so the decision process could actually come out in favor of either).

There are about 20 states that haven't had their primaries yet. Huckabee's strong showing yesterday has kept him very much a contender in the race (and finally after a few weeks of ignoring/discounting him, the media is acknowledging that he's still in and still strong).

To quote an article today in the Washington Post:

"Huckabee stormed back into the race yesterday with wins not just in
his home state of Arkansas but also in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and West
Virginia, complicating the race for the Republican nomination all over

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who had expected to emerge from Super
Tuesday with the nomination virtually locked up, was left facing still more
questions about his ability to win in deep red Republican states. Former
Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was left wondering why he could not win the conservative votes McCain was losing."

(I find it almost humerous that they say "stormed back into the race"... as if he left it and returned! That's our fair and balanced media for you.) =)

In regards to the second paragraph: many of McCain's wins have been in states that "go blue" (Democrat) in the general elections. All of Mike's wins have been in states that go red (Republican). This is significantly taken into consideration at the convention...

In closing this post, I have to say that I've learned so much about the electoral process while following this election! And about how much we need to pray and sacrifice for our nation!

Today's great article: 5 Reasons Huckabee Can Win Despite the Current Delagate Count

Today's wonderful link:

"Huck's Army" was founded by Alex and Brett Harris (19-year-old twins; the same guys who founded, and it has over 17,000 members (all volunteers)! Incredible people, incredible site. Amazing effort. Check it out! And consider getting involved!

Huckabee is far from over!

He took five states today! ...West Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama, Tenessee, and Georgia. Quite a shock and shake-up to the secular news media who tried to count him "out of the race" in the last few weeks...

Remember, our Lord loves to use the "underdog" to manifest His power! Deo Gratias.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

FoxNews: Huckabee Wins 1st Super Tuesday Contest, Capturing West Virginia

Get the full scoop here. Praise the Lord!

Our pastor gave a wonderful homily on Sunday before the Super Bowl, about how our Lord loves to use the "underdog" to show His power. After the Giants went on to stun everyone by rising against all odds to victory on Sunday, I think we have a great example of what can happen today for Huckabee, by God's grace!

Pray for America! Interview with Huckabee

Here's the link to a great interview that did with Huckabee a few months ago...

Why Huckabee... and not Ron Paul?

It seems that at least a few of my readers are staunch RP supporters, based on some of the comments to this post. Rather than respond in the comment section, I'd like to here. (An aside: I do appreciate the very courteous civility with which they "disagreed". Thank you!)

I know plenty of “Ron Paul people”. I respect them. But I don't think they are backing the best candidate in this race.

Biggest reason why:
State's rights are a good and necessary thing. But I find Ron Paul's views on them, and on Constitutionalism, disturbing in their extremeness. When questioned about his stance on many issues, including the life issue, he answers that yes, he is pro-life, but rather than support a Constitutional amendment to protect life or nationally overturn Roe vs. Wade, he believes in placing this completely in the hands of the states. The problem I see with that? Our government is too corrupt at too many levels. Ideally, the above mode of action could be a great one, but only if our executive and judicial systems at local levels were less corrupt. Look at what a mere local judge was able to do in the case of Terri Schiavo! For an issue as vitally important and gravely serious as the abortion issue, we cannot afford to "give it back to the states". That is saying that 50 states can have 50 different stands on a moral issue. It just doesn't work. If there's anything that the United States of America must be united on, it's the standard of truth and morality that begins with respect for the worth of every single human life. There is a delicate balance between infringing on states' rights, and over emphasizing them. We were founded the United States of America.

In addition to that, Ron Paul just hasn’t generated the national support he would need to win the nomination. Meanwhile, Huckabee is still very much contending with the other two GOP candidates (despite the media’s dishonest attempts to shove him out the last few weeks).

Is Huckabee a “perfect” candidate? No. I disagree with him on Immigration and the Death Penalty. However, on what are the big fundamentals for me: Life, Family, Marriage, and Homeschooling, he is solid. And I firmly believe that he’s the only GOP candidate who has a chance at beating Hillary or Obama in November. Huckabee has the tact, freshness, honesty, wit, and humility that is absolutely crucial for the above to happen.

And to respond to the criticisms of Huckabee and homeschooling, I say this. I personally think it is very, very foolish of us to pick apart this candidate’s record on homeschooling and criticize it, instead of uniting to support him as the one who is closest to our values AND still has a chance of victory over those who would really make things hard for us. I found it distasteful and somewhat petty to see the large amount of Huckabee criticism going on at some prominent homeschool blogs. I mean, who is more dangerous for the homeschoolers: Huckabee or Hillary? I know that things may not have been “ideal” for homeschoolers in Arkansas under Governor Huckabee, but he did help them. He does not intend nor want to work against us.

HSLDA, who endorsed Mike Huckabee for President, released a very helpful article last month to help clear up this subject. Check it out.

Monday, February 04, 2008

"Queen of Virtues"

I love these beautiful quotes I found over at A Maiden's Wreath (the picture, too!).

"The state of grace is nothing other than purity, and it gives heaven to those who clothe themselves in it. Holiness, therefore, is simply the state of grace purified, illuminated, beautified by the most perfect purity, exempt not only from mortal sin but also from the smallest faults; purity will make saints of you! Everything lies in this!"
- St. Peter Eymard

"Every virtue in your soul is a precious ornament which makes you dear to God and to man. But holy purity, the queen of virtues, the angelic virtue, is a jewel so precious that those who possess it become like the angels of God in Heaven, even though clothed in mortal flesh."
-St. John Bosco

Friday, February 01, 2008

My Dad is the Best

I mean, how many guys would volunteer—cheerfully and instantaneously—to go out into a blowing, frigid winter storm at 11:30pm just to get a couple items that I said I needed from the van?

I'm one lucky girl. Rather, one blessed girl. Love you, Dad!