Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

Unbound and Our Sponsored Child

During Lent, we focus on three areas – prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Today I want to share with you about one of the our favorite charities that we support through our almsgiving.

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Unbound, formerly known as CFCA (Christian Foundation for Children ad Aging,) began in 1981. Unbound has a beautiful history that started with three, brothers, a sister and a best friend.

The vision for Unbound began with Bob, Bud and Jim Hentzen, their sister Nadine Hentzen Pearce and their friend Jerry Tolle. Bob and Jerry were former missionaries who, while working in Latin America, witnessed the devastating effects of poverty on families struggling heroically to make better lives for their children. Guided by faith and rooted in Catholic social teaching, the founders envisioned a program that would invite people to partner with families to support, encourage and empower them.

Read more here.

Our family first learned about Unbound in 2011 from friends of ours that was sponsoring a child. I liked the fact that the program not only helped one child but their whole family and offered ongoing support for them to grow and better their lives. Unbound believes the following:

Poverty isn’t just about lack of money — it’s about lack of choices. We’ve found that families make good choices when they have support and encouragement. They invest in the education of their children. They develop livelihoods and become active community participants in the spirit of true sustainability. We work with families at the grassroots level with local staff. Our social workers visit the homes of the families and listen to their needs. They work with children to set education goals. They visit the elderly. They bring families together in small groups to support one another and improve their community.

I was impressed by the work that Unbound does and the percentage of funds that goes to the program vs the administration (92.6%.) I also liked the fact that we’d be able to write to our sponsored child and keep in touch with them through the program. (However, your personal info is kept confidential.) I talked to Brian and made sure the cost fit into our tithing budget and when it did , we prayed to the Holy Spirit to help us chose a child to sponsor.

Since we have so many boys in the house I thought it would be nice to sponsor a girl that Bella could write to as well. We chose the country of Mexico (since mi familia is Hispanic) and I picked a couple of cute little girls in need of help. Bella was ten years old at the time and I let her look over the profiles and pick the one we should sponsor. Of all the smiling faces and cute grins Bella chose a girl close to her age that looked more serious. Her name was Abigal, or as her friends liked to call her, Abi.

We took Abi’s photo and placed it on our home prayer table as a reminder to pray for her each day.

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In our first letter from Abi, she tells us about her life and her family but it is the closing paragraph that brought a tear to my eyes. The translation reads:

“I promise I will make a big effort in the school so that you become proud of me. I will pray every day for you from now on so that God takes care of you and pours blessings upon you wherever you are. I have to close for now. I love you. Your sponsored friend, Abigal”

As the years pass, Abi gets older and she shares with us news of her family – her mom, grandmother and uncles. We in turn share about our lives. This is one of my favorite letters from her.

Dear Bobbi,

Warm greetings to you and your family because you are helping me. Thank you! I love you very much and I pray for you everyday so that you may be healthy and you may always have a job and daily bread. I have the pictures of you next to my Virgin of Guadalupe so that she can take care of you wherever you are and she may cover you with her mantle.

I had a great time at Christmas because at the Foundation all the moms organized games for us so we could have fun and we could meet other sponsored children. My mom participated in the games. They gave us something to eat, gave us gifts, clothes and a small bag of candy. All this is possible thanks to you who give us our financial support. On the other hand, I would like to tell you that my mom and grandparents are very happy because you are helping me and they say that you are part of our family now.

Let me tell you too, that I am going to receive my First Communion. My grandmother goes to the handcrafts workshops that they give at the Foundation because they teach me how to make bracelets, necklaces, earrings and now they are making rosaries. My grandmother is teaching me how to make a rosary.

I am saying good bye and letting you know that I pray to God so that He may take care of you. I wish that with all of my heart. May He bless you wherever you are!

Abigail

I was so touched by her words and how our money was not only helping Abi but her mom and and extended family. It was having a positive effect on them and their community. As years passed, we continued to share about our lives in letters. When Brian was sick with cancer, Abi’s mom and grandmother were especially praying for him and placing him in the protection of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This little girl touched my heart and it was a joy to watch her grow and do well in her schooling from a little eight year old to a teenager.

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Abi over the years and with her mom and grandmother. We finally see her smile. 🙂

We spent the last five years getting to know Abi and her family. Unfortunately, it had to come to an end. The Unbound program in her area had to close due to its remote location, the challenges of providing adequate supervision and support and the risks to the staff presented by the growing violence in the region. We are sad that we can no longer support Abi financially but we continue to pray for her and her family every night.

I her last letter she wrote:

I write these lines to thank you for all your support during these years. You chose me among many. Your support was useful in my life. Thanks a million for caring about us! I also pray to God and the Virgin and I will make an effort to get ahead. My studies helped me to learn to share my things and to be a better person. My family is proud of you. I have to say goodbye but I thank you for the support you gave me five years ago. It was a foundation that helped me a lot. Love, Abi

Our chapter with Abi has closed but she will always have a special place in my heart.

We wanted to continue to support Unbound and their work so we decided to chose another child to sponsor. This time I let the boys choose. I picked out a few boys from various regions and we looked at their profiles.

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They finally decided on Kevin Andres from Columbia. His profile states that he is an active five year old boy living with his parents and two sisters. He likes to explore and playing with his friends and toys.

We just received our first letter from Kevin’s father who says:

Dear Bobbi,

I greet you very affectionately wishing that when you receive this letter you are well of health and being.

I am Bernardo, Kevin’s father. I am writing this letter because Kevin is only 5 years old and he will begin school in January, God willing. Kevin is very affectionate. He likes to sing very much and to play with his toys. He is very intelligent and likes to ask many questions. He has a dog that he loves very much. Kevin does much and he does it heartily. Kevin lives in a rented house with his mother, his father and his two sisters who are 12 and 14.

I heartily thank you for having sponsored Kevin now that he needs it. Many, many thanks and God will bless you always. Cordially, Bernardo.

We look forward to our new adventure with Kevin. We pray he is blessed by Unbound just as Abi was.

For information about how you and your family can sponsor a child in need, visit Unbound.

Also, if you follow me on Instagram, on Friday 3/17/17, I’ll be on the Blessed Is She account talking about Almsgiving for Lent and our experience with Unbound. Then at 6PM PST/ 9 PM ET, I’ll be LIVE to anser your questions and to pray a decade of the rosary with you. Hope to see you there!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉

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Lenten Goals 2017: Put on Love

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Happy First Week (days) of Lent! In years past, I didn’t really buckle down until a couple weeks into Lent but each year I get a little better. Not perfect, mind you, but better.

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Ash Wednesday started out with a bang – a more stressful than usual morning with me upset and frustrated, the boys more wild than usual (or at least they seemed it) and I was already dreading Lent without making it an hour into it. Thankfully, I made it to morning Mass early and had some time to cool down and pray and get my mind and heart in the right attitude. And the rest of the day was lovely, right?? Well, yes and no.

If you follow me on Instagram and watched my instastories that day, you saw how I spent the first half of the day getting the house cleaned and decorating for Lent. It all looked so pretty! Yeah, it looked great but then I was given a little reminder that Lent is more than just getting the pretty prayer journal, and putting up the purple flowers and Lenten activities, it also meant actually putting my Lenten practices to work.

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What you didn’t see on the instastories was the second half of the day when things started to go downhill. I got a call from Brian about a work project that needed to be redone. Pronto. There was another issue with a family member that needed to be dealt with, also pronto. My car was on the fritz and they called to say the bill would be over $500. Add that to a number of other things that  went wrong in a few hours. Combine all this with being food deprived from fasting and well, let’s just say that mama had a meltdown by the time the evening was over. I hit that “don’t even look, talk or touch me!” zone, all the while thinking, “Damn it! I can’t even get past Ash Wednesday without screwing up royally.” Sigh.

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Thankfully, God is patient and his mercy is ready to pick us up and dust us off. After apologies and hugs were given to the family and after I checked the calendar to see when my next confession was scheduled (in a couple days) I was able to go to bed knowing tomorrow would be a fresh, blank page ready for me to start a new story. Happily, today was a better day.

I tell you all this because I know someone reading this will be a little encouraged that none of us have it all together and that we are all dealing with our own struggles and inadequacies. I also want to encourage you that no matter how many times we may fail, God never, never, tires of picking us back up.

Choosing My Lenten Fast

Each year I usually share with you what I am working on during Lent, mostly because I know my mom will read it and ask me how I am doing when she calls me. This holds me accountable. 😉

I was actually having a hard time narrowing down what I should give up or do for Lent but I was reading Kathryn’s blog post This, *This* Is Your Lenten Fast and her words kicked me in the arse. She said:

Rather than telling yourself, “Oh, Lent is coming, time to give up sweets and Dr Pepper,” let’s do something different instead.

Dig deep. Start with what you take to the confessional every time. Or, if you haven’t been in a while (hey, no judgment) start with something that takes your time away from God. Start with the thing that’s your barrier – maybe it’s social media, your attitude, the crap in your house or the junk in your heart.

Like a big neon sign was the words “Start with what you take to the confessional every time.” I know what that is.

Later I read Blessed Is She’s daily devotion for Ash Wednesday and Jenny said:

This Lent, don’t give up chocolate. Don’t set your alarm 15 minutes early. Not before asking Him what He wants from your heart. Ask Him how you can best make a sacrifice to become who He wants you to be. The fasting, prayer, and almsgiving of Lent are all for the sake of bring our whole selves, body and soul, closer to Him. Lent is about offering ourselves to God anew, asking Him to strip away the facade and, in His great mercy, to reveal to us those parts of ourselves that look the least like Him.

I opened up my Blessed Is She journal and it said in bold letters:

PUT ON LOVE.

Ugh, stop it, Lord! You’ve made your point. Yeah, yeah, yeah. “Put on Love.” It makes a great prayer journal title and a great #hashtag for my IG photos but it is so hard to actually LIVE.

I’d rather just give up chocolate. (And for me, that’s saying a lot.)

However, when I look back at my little meltdown earlier, my self-love is glaring. Everyone was bugging me. Everyone was making me work harder. Everyone was stressing me out. Me. Me. Me. It’s all about me. Okay, so I was exceptionally selfish that afternoon (I blame it on the lack of food!) but I know myself. I know that I can be selfish and self-centered and that is what God wants to continue to root out of me. He’s been working on it for so dang long, and although I am better than I was in years past, I’ve still got a loooong way to go.

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So for Lent I am doing some things that will help me curb my self-love. I’ll not bore you with the specifics but I’ll gladly take any prayers you can send my way. I, in return, promise to pray for you this Lent too. We’re traveling this journey together.

How can I pray for you this Lent?

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram. 😉

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February Fun: Letter Writing, Love Notes (& Free Printable) and Prayers to the Holy Family

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February is here and in my mind, I can’t help but think of it as a month of Love, when I especially show other people that I care about them, whether it is my husband, child, a friend or a stranger in need of an act of kindness. There are a few things I like to do to share that love. Here are some of them.

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Letter Writing

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Ever since I was a kid, I loved writing letters and having pen pals. I would collect stationary and stickers and well, fast forward a couple decades and not much had changed.I still love stationary and collecting stickers.

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That’s right! There are sticker clubs for adults! Just check out Pipsticks. When you sign up, you can get an envelope of stickers to decorate your planner, bullet journal, note cards or use them as treats for your kids. It’ll make your inner 10 year old squeal . 🙂

Although I love technology and always have my iPhone on me, I still love to write a love note to Brian or slip a note of encouragement to one of my kids or send a note in the mail to a friend. It may be a kindness to them but it is also beneficial to me because I love the sound and feel on pen scratching paper. It is a balm to my soul.  🙂

So imagine my excitement last year when I found out that February is the International Correspondence Writing Month (known as InCoWriMo.) Participants take this pledge:

“I, [insert your name], clearly see the benefits of InCoWriMo participation, not only to me personally, but also to those who will receive my correspondence. InCoWriMo is a beneficial endeavor and worthy of my full attention. I hereby pledge to hand-write and mail/deliver one letter, card, note or postcard every day during the month of February.”

 

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It was so much fun last year! Although, I have to admit that more often than not I was writing notes every three days and mailing them at once BUT I still sent out 29 notes (thanks, leap year) in February. I am joining again this year and made my bullet journal spread to mark the letters I write. If you want to know more about #InCoWriMo, visit the main site or Kara’s great round up of info. If you want to know more about writing letters in general, check out my previous post – The Joy of Letter Writing: 5 Favorite Things about Snail Mail.

Love Notes

For those who aren’t up to writing 28 pieces of mail, maybe this idea would work better.RevolutionofLove.com - love_notes_1

A couple years back when Brian came home after his cancer surgery, I really wanted to let him know all the little things I loved about him. So I made a list of 14 things I loved about him, then I made little love notes I could fill out and leave for him the 14 days before Valentines. I would leave them on his night stand, on his laptop, taped to the bathroom mirror. It was a little something to remind him each day of why I loved him. The idea went so well, I repeated it every year but instead of 14, I do the six days leading up to Valentines Day.

If you really want to kick things up a notch, you could pair these love notes with acts of kindness. For some inspiration read my previous post – 25 Acts of Kindness for Your Husband.RevolutionofLove.com - love_notes_2

I also wanted to do something similar for my kids so I made a different version to let them know what I love about them.

If you’d like to do the same, you can find the love notes printable for the hearts here and for the mama and baby owl here.

God Is Love

Lastly, because God is the source of all love, as a family we try to live that love out in our faith and in our prayer life. In the evening, when we sit down to eat dinner, we say grace, which includes each of us saying a prayer intention. That is followed by a litany of our family saints. (St, Joseph, St. Anne, St. Isabella, St. Andrew, St. John-Paul, St. Matthew, our baby saints Victor and Joseph, St. Michael for our military and policemen, St. Florian for our fire fighters, St. John Vianny for priests and religious, St. Gerard for pregnant moms, St. Peregrine for those fighting cancer, and St. Junipero Serra for our petitions.) Lastly, we end with an invocation that matches the Church’s monthly dedication.

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Photo credit: churchpop.com

January was the month of the Holy Name of Jesus so our invocation was – “Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.”

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Since February is the month of the Holy Family, we now say a simple – “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you.”

It’s a small way that we foster a love of God and our faith. In doing so, it helps us to have the right attitude in sharing that love with others around us, especially since we are six non-perfect humans living together as a family. We need all the help to be loving than we can get! 😉

What are ways you like to show the people in your life that you care about them?

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope or Katch (past Periscopes), GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉

PPS – Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo 🙂

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Book Reviews and the 2017 Reading Challenge

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This post has been sitting in my draft folder for over a month and since it is the last day of January, I feel like it was finally time to sit down and get it done! 😉

I never posted the books I read the last couple months of 2016, so I’ll do that here. Then I’ll share about my reading goals for 2017.

 

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What Alice Forgot

  • Author: Liane Moriarty
  • Length: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Books; Reprint edition (April 24, 2012)

Amazon Summary:

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child. So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over—she’s getting divorced, she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over…

My Thoughts:

I first heard of Liane Moriarty when I read her book Big, Little Lies. I was so completely engrossed with it that I picked up What Alice Forgot for a plane ride. While I did not love it as much as the first book I read, Moriarty still managed to keep me guessing and wondering and not wanting to put the book down until I figured out what would happen next. It was intriguing to see how a couple could go from being madly in love to being so different and hating each other in a mere decade. I was wary of how the book would end but I was pleased by the way the story was wrapped up. I rated it 3.5 stars out of 5. (Parental warning: The book is definitely written within a secular worldview. There is language and adult subject matter but nothing explicit.)

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Stick in the Mud Meets Spontaneity

 

  • Author: Rachel Anderson
  • Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HEA Publishing (June 12, 2015)

Amazon Summary:

Home for the summer, Samantha Kinsey is ready to step into her role as pseudo-nanny for her two favorite charges. But when she realizes she’ll be playing chauffeur more than playmate, her summer outlook quickly turns from fun to bleak. That is, until she meets Colton McCoy–a genuine, hard-working cowboy, who’s as set in his ways as he is handsome. Although he claims he doesn’t need any spontaneity in his life, Sam’s determined to help him find it. But she’ll soon discover that cowboys are about as easy to change as wild mustangs. 

Stick in the Mud Meets Spontaneity is about an adaptable girl and a not so adaptable guy. It’s about learning to accept people for who they are and realizing that sometimes who they are is exactly who they should be.

My Thoughts:

This is the third installment of Anderson’s Meet Your Match series. I enjoyed books one and two more but this was still a fun and quick read. Like a Hallmark movie, this is something you would read when you want a sweet romance without too much drama or questionable material. It is perfect when you need a nice distraction to warm the heart. I give it 3 stars out of 5.

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

  • Author: Betty Smith
  • Length: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics (May 30, 2006); Original book published in 1943.

Amazon Summary:

The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness — in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience.

My Thoughts:

I’ve watch the movie version of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn a number of times and often wanted to pick up the book and read it. I’m glad I finally did because it has definitely made my top ten favorite books list. While there is sadness to the story and within the trials the characters have to endure, it is treated with such honest emotion, you can’t help but be touched by its simple beauty. The characters are never portrayed as back and white but, like people we know in real life, they have good qualities and weaknesses. Smith masterfully explores universal emotions that touch the human heart. It is no wonder that this book has stood the test of time and still remains a favorite to so many readers today. I rate this 5 out of 5 stars. (Parental note: There is some adult subject matter.)

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The Christmas Shoes

  • Author: Donna VanLiere
  • Length: 144 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press; Reissue edition (November 9, 2001)

Amazon Summary:

Sometimes, the things that can change your life will cross your path in one instant-and then, in a fleeting moment, they’re gone. But if you open your eyes, and watch carefully, you will believe….

Robert is a successful attorney who has everything in life-and nothing at all. Focused on professional achievement and material rewards, Robert is on the brink of losing his marriage. He has lost sight of his wife, Kate, their two daughters, and ultimately himself. Eight year old Nathan has a beloved mother, Maggie, whom he is losing to cancer. But Nathan and his family are building a simple yet full life, and struggling to hold onto every moment they have together. A chance meeting on Christmas Even brings Robert and Nathan together-he is shopping for a family he hardly knows and Nathan is shopping for a mother he is soon to lose. In this one encounter, their lives are forever altered as Robert learns an important lesson: sometimes the smallest things can make all the difference. The Christmas Shoes is a universal story of the deeper meaning of serendipity, a tale of our shared humanity, and of how a power greater than ourselves can shape, and even save, our lives.

My Thoughts:

To complete the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge  I needed a book I owned but hadn’t read yet so I looked through my book shelves and found this book I bought at a garage sale. I thought it would be the perfect short read during the Christmas holidays. I was vaguely familiar with the plot but forgot that a main character was sick in the book. So while I was supposed to be wrapping Christmas presents, I instead was crying my eyes out over a mom fighting cancer. (Cancer is one of my tear triggers.) However, there was still a lesson to be learned and a happier ending to one of the storylines so I was pleased that I read it. I rate this 3.5 out of 5 stars.

buy_from_amazon

 

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Completing the 2016 Reading Challenge

One of my goals for 2016 was to watch less TV and read more. I pledged on Goodreads to read 12 books in 2016 and I smashed that number by reading 30 books. Yay!

I also completed the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge. Here are the books I read for each category.

Starting the 2016 Reading Challenge

I am doing the 2017  Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge this year and I pledged on Goodreads to read 24 books in 2017.

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There are two challenge categories to choose from and I will be doing the “Just for Fun” one.

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If I finish that and am feeling ambitious, I may tackle some of the “Reading for Growth” categories as well.

Now I just need to make a list of the books I want to read this year. I have a few in mind but I’d love your suggestions as well! 🙂

What you you be reading this year? Or what do you recommend?

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PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉

PPS – Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo 🙂

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Online Daybook / 7 QT: January 2017

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od_logo_quiet2Grateful for…

  • Hopefully, that my blog is working now. (It was down for a few days.)
  • A break of warm sunshine after weeks of rain.
  • All the much needed rain.
  • The love of family and friends.
  • Food on the table, a roof over our head and material blessings we often take for granted.

Praying for..

  • Many special intentions from friends.
  • Our divided country.
  • The unity of all Christians.
  • Those fighting addiction and mental illness.
  • Victims of violence, racism and abuse and for the conversion of their oppressors.
  • For peace in the heart of all men/women.
  • All pregnant moms (especially family members), those trying to get pregnant, those who have lost their babies and for moms contemplating an abortion.
  • The souls in purgatory, especially family, friends and those most forgotten.

Pondering…

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The need of sisterhood. Over the month of January, Blessed Is She has sponsored the prayer pledge where we’ve pledge to start the new year right and take time to pray every day in January. There is a daily prayer prompt for inspiration and members of the Blessed Is She team took turns each day to do InstaStories on Instagram showing you how we incorporate prayer into our daily lives and to lead Live Prayer in the evening at 6:00 PM PT/9:00 PM ET. I led twice this month and I was touched by how many ladies sent messages and prayer intentions. They were grateful to be in solidarity with us and each other. They opened up about their struggles in hopes that we would join them in prayer to God.

Yesterday morning I gathered with other moms at the kids’ school to pray the rosary together. It has become a weekly activity and I can’t tell you how beneficial it is to my soul to stop and pray with like minded sisters. It means a lot to know that they are praying for me and I am praying for them. When I am feeling lazy and think about all the other stuff I need to get done in my day, I am tempted to skip it but knowing they are there gives me that nudge to put in the extra effort. I am always thankful that I did. So whether we find out community of sisters online or in your own backyard, I do hope you are able to connect with other women who can support you and pray for you. And if you need someone to lift you in prayer, you are always welcome to leave a comment or email me at rol(at)revolutionoflove.com and I’d be happy to add you to my prayer list. 🙂

 

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Around the House…

I haven’t been able to work a lot on my decluttering list since Brian has an extra work project that I have been helping him with and it has taken up my free time. However, I have been working on one of my other 2017 goals and letting the kids cook with me in the kitchen more. Granted there have been some days when I had to ban them out of the kitchen because I seriously just needed to get the meal done ASAP but most days, I let them join me.

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My master chef.

Yesterday was Matthew’s turn and when Brian came home from work, he ran to the door and excitedly exclaimed that it was his day to make dinner with me that night. Brian smiled and whispered to me that he guessed dinner will take an extra half hour or so. Well, maybe 15 minutes. 😉 Truthfully, Matthew actually really did help with getting veggies washed and some easier prep done.  At least I’ll have two sons who will feel comfortable in the kitchen. The other son has little interest in domestic work so I still need to work on him. 😉

 

Family Chit Chat…

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On a field trip with John-Paul.

Life is busy but going well. We’re half way done with the school year and the countdown for summer vacation has begun. It seems a little early to be excited about swimming and trips to Lake Tahoe but John-Paul has been praying each evening that Grandma would be well enough to come to Lake Tahoe with us this year. (Last year she was waiting to have her surgery to remover the cancer.) So far my mom is doing well, and we pray she continues that path.

Speaking of cancer, next week (on Monday 1/30) Brian goes for his cancer testing to make sure he is still clean. I can’t help but nervously hold my breath as I wait for the test results. Frankly, it’s damn scary but I’m trying to not let it take over my thoughts and instead leave it in God’s hands. Your prayers for Brian (and my sanity) will be appreciated!

 

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In the Kitchen…

Dinner has been a little ho-hum lately. I’ve reached that point where I am so tired of cooking the same handful of meals each week. I need to look though my recipe book and find some old favorites I haven’t tried in awhile. What’s some of your top go-to meals? Maybe I’ll discover a new favorite.

 

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Reading…

Okay, I seriously need to sit down and write a post about my 2017 reading list and review the last few books I’ve read, which includes these…

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

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The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani

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Lady Maybe by Julie Klassen

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Haley and Christy at Fountains of Carrots.com are reading this book next for the FofC book club so it is next on my list too.

The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery

 

Watching…

(MOVIES)

lalaland

My first movie of 2017 was La La Land. I’ve got to admit that I’m not a huge musical fan. I have some favorites but I wouldn’t count musicals as a favorite genre. I went into La La Land with some trepidation and when the opening sequence began with a full on scene of people leaping out of their cars to sing and dance, I thought, “Oh, no, what did I get myself into?” Luckily, it took only a few minutes to win me over and get my feet tapping. I landed out loving the movie and all the nods to old school Hollywood. The music was infectious and I’m listening to the soundtrack as I am typing here. My only complaint is that while I loved Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in their roles, their singing was less than stellar considering that it was a musical. I’m guessing their star power trumped their musical abilities. With that said, I still loved the movie even though I was hoping for a Hallmark happy ending (and didn’t get it.) (Parental note: Rated PG-13 for language. The main characters live together but nothing is shown.)

(TV)

The usual faves including: This Is Us, Speechless, Big Bang Theory, Lethal Weapon, Designated Survivor and American Housewife.

Sadly, we just finished two shows. (Sad, because I didn’t want them to end!)

We finished  The Crown this week and I’m missing it. The acting, cinematography and costumes were top notch and I highly recommend it. (Parental note: Rated M for mature but I thought it rather tame for an M. The only thing I can recall is a couple bare butt shots at the beginning of the show.)

In my last Daybook, I had just started watching the show The Man in the High Castle. The premise was interesting and Brian thought some of the alternate reality scenes were weird but he both enjoyed it and I LOVED it. I thought it was well done, well acted and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I can’t wait for the confirmed Season 3, most likely in late 2017.  (Parental note: Rated M for Mature. There is some violence, language, brief nudity and a sex scene towards the end of season 2  that we fast forwarded through.)

Next up on the list is Victoria.

 

Listening to …

The latest added to my playlist – Your Heart Is a Weapon by POP ETC.

 

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Recent Posts:

I finished all my End of the Year Recaps, including:

I finished Lara Casey’s 2017 Goal Setting Series and posted about it here:

Lastly, for my fellow planner lovers there’s – How I Use a (Blessed Is She) Planner and a Bullet Journal

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Pinned…

 Lenten Journal by Blessed Is She (These journals are on sale until Sun 1/29.)

Jesus-Tree-Scripture-Based-Lenten-Activity

The Jesus Tree by Do Small things with Love.com

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Penmanship and Beginning Creative Lettering Guide Sheets by Creative Lei.com

Around the blogosphere…

Here are some posts I’ve been reading…

 

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I’ve been participating in the Dogwood Photography 52 Week Challenge and these are my photos so far.

Week 1: Rule of Thirds (Basically, keep your subject out of the center.)

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When the storm winds blow, the palm trees dance.

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Week 2: Straight out of the camera, no editing.

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Signs of Spring

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Week 3: Land

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I shot this with my iPhone but the subject matter was so pretty, it still came out nice. 🙂

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Week 4: Mirror

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Two of my favorite bracelets on a mirror.

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. What about you? What’s currently happening in your life? Any recommendations? Do share.

I’m linking up with Kelly for  7 Quick Takes. (Technically the link up doesn’t start until tomorrow so I’ll add the link then.)

Have a great week!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉

PPS – * Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo 🙂

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