Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

A Favorite Advent Tradition: A Christmas Letter to Baby Jesus (Instead of Santa)

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For couple years we have been doing letters to Baby Jesus instead of Santa.

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The boys were hard at work with their letters last night. I posted this photo on social media yesterday and have gotten many requests for a copy of the letter. I am reposting the original post where I give the details and links to print out your own letter.

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We have the boys fill out their letters and put them in their empty shoes by the door on the eve of St. Nicholas Day. They wake up to find their letters gone and treats instead. One St. Nick’s day we didn’t get our letters done so we left a little note telling St. Nick thanks for the treats and to please take these letters to Baby Jesus with him.

Also, there is no need to tie this into St. Nicholas Day. These letters can be filled out any time during Advent. You could stick them in Jesus’ stocking (if He has one) or make a little gift box for Jesus where you place the letters inside. Or just place them under the tree or on the mantle to be found missing in the morning. Do as much or as little as fits your family right now. πŸ™‚Β  Either way, enjoy!

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Happy feast day of St. Nicholas! My Instagram is overflowing with lovely photos of Catholic homes displaying children’s shoes filled with treats. My home? Not so much. It seems I am always a day late and dollar short and in our home St. Nicholas works in a delayed time zone and we put out our shoes the NIGHT of his feast day because Mama Elf was not quite ready. Truth be told, we are trying out a new Advent tradition today and I wanted it to coincide with the feast of St. Nicholas so our shoes will go out tonight.

A few years back, I asked some fellow Catholic moms how they keep Christ in Christmas. A friend shared with me how she has her kids write letters to Baby Jesus instead of Santa. She wrote:

An old Catholic custom is the writing of “Christmas Letters” by the children. These letters, addressed to the Child Jesus (NOT Santa Claus) are written or dictated by the little ones some time before Christmas. They contain their wishes concerning Christmas presents, petitions for various intentions, and a promise of sincere effort to please Our Lord in preparation for Christmas. When they go to bed, the children put their letters on the windowsill, from where “angels” take them during the night to bring them to the Child Jesus in heaven.

This charming custom helps the parents to impress on the minds of their little ones the importance of a sincere spiritual preparation and at the same time great confidence in God who is concerned with our temporal and spiritual needs. Parents who favor this custom will often be deeply touched when they discover that some of their children put more stress on spiritual graces than on material gifts even on an occasion like this. It can also alert parents to the need for more guidance and direction toward this goal. (From LD of CA)

I loved that idea and every year I said, “This year we will do the same!” I think I’ve since had two more kids but still have not tried it. But today is the day!

The boys still believe in Santa and they wanted to write their wish lists but I liked the idea of a letter to Baby Jesus so I incorporated the two. I put together a simple form letter that I could print off and give everyone to fill out. Here is what it looked like. (The link for the PDF is below. There is also a second version with no reference to Santa.)RevolutionofLove.com - rol_baby_jesus_letter

They spent time today thinking about what they would do as a gift to Baby Jesus.

revolution of love blog - jesus_letter_2John-Paul’s gift was to set the table without complaining. (I’m looking forward to that one.) πŸ˜‰

They chose a person they would especially pray for during Advent.

revolution of love blog - jesus_letter_1Andrew chose his Uncle Mick stationed in Afghanistan.

Lastly, they wrote what gifts they would like Santa to bring them on Christmas morning when we have Jesus’ birthday party (complete with cake. ;-))

revolution of love blog - jesus_letter_3Matthew has his heart set on Ezra from Star Wars Rebels.

When they were done, they folded up their letters and put them in their shoes for St. Nicholas to deliver to Baby Jesus. Tomorrow morning they will find their letters gone and their treats instead.

If you’d like to print of a copy of the Letter to Baby Jesus for your little ones, I posted the PDF here. Also, I made a second version for those who don’t want the Santa aspect. It can be found here. Enjoy. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ˜‰

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Online Daybook / 7 QT (11/15/16): Saints, Voting and Fave Links

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od_logo_quiet2Grateful for…

  • A quiet morning without a packed schedule where I could spend a few moments blogging.
  • The grace of Confession. ( I needed it!)
  • A productive weekend, catching up on many of my To Do’s.
  • A date with my honey.
  • This morning’s school assembly where Andrew won a “Good Citizenship” award for the First Quarter.
  • For the love of family and friends.

Praying for..

  • Many special intentions from friends.
  • Victims of violence, racism and abuse and for the conversion of their oppressors.
  • Healing of our country and for our president-elect, that he helps facilitate that healing.
  • 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, friend and those most forgotten.

Pondering…

In November, I usually post new goals for November and December but I really want to just continue working on my Fall goals until the end of the year. I will evaluate my progress and update those goals in January.

 

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Around the House…

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Yesterday I was complaining to Brian about how much time I spend in the kitchen – I feel like my whole evening is consumed with making dinner, which takes longer when you try to cook with more whole foods, and then all the time to wash all the pots and pans and dishes before I turn around and immediately start making lunches for the next day. I was fed up with it but as I was grumbling and washing, God nudged me and reminded me that all these dirty dishes meant that we had plenty to eat, we had lots of people gathered to share a meal and conversation with and I had running water and my own kitchen to get everything done. Suddenly I started feeling like I had little to complain about and much more to be thankful for. I guess I need to keep working this month on an attitude of gratitude!

Family Chit Chat…

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For the feast of All Soul’s Day Andrew’s class did a presentation at Mass. Here is my St. Andrew. I am so proud of him for memorizing his lines, bravely going up in front of the church and speaking clearly about his saint. For someone who has gone to speech therapy for years, this was a huge accomplishment. πŸ™‚

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On All Souls Day we prayed for family and friends who have died, especially our beloved Dad/Opa.

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I spend hours pouring over all the numerous propositions on the California ballot. (You seriously want me to vote on whether porn actors should wear condoms?!!) Sigh. Pass the chocolate.

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I voted. A week later I am still in shock over our president elect. I keep waiting for someone to jump out and yell, “Psych!”

There has been so much commentary about the election, I am not going to say anything different from what I have already stated. Our mission remains the same – love God and each other. We can change the world one heart at a time.

And for a bit of humor, if Leslie Knope moved to California, she wouldn’t have to worry about the marijuana issue any more.

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Source

 

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In the Kitchen…

I haven’t made my weekly menu yet but over the holidays, I’d love to try this recipe – A healthier version of carrot cake banana bread with cream cheese frosting. Yum!

 

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Reading…

I only have two months to finish the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge. I still have these four categories left to fill by the end of the year. I’m working on these two this month:

A book you should have read in school. – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

A book published before you were born. – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Next month I’ll have to tackle these last two categories. πŸ™‚

  • A book you can finish in one day.
  • A book you own but have never read.

 

Watching…

(TV)

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

I finally gave up on The Walking Dead. I kept trying to hold on and hope it returns to it’s former glory days but I give up.

Next on my “that sucks” list is Poldark. I used to looooove the show and the Poldark character but after Sunday’s episode I am ready to join Demelza in giving him a few slugs. Ugh.

To make up for it, we have been enjoying the glories Netflix show The Crown. Minus the few bare butt shots they had to throw in (really?), it is an excellent show so far. (We just finished episode 4.)

 

(ONLINE)

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And for some spiritual nourishment, last night I watch Elizabeth Foss’ Blessed Is She Workshop about Advent. So good! Oh, and if you still haven’t order the Blessed Is She Advent Journal, I share more about it here.

 

(YOUTUBE)

Do you want to laugh and smile like a fool? Then watch this video all the way through. Fr. Romke, Fr. Manno and Bishop Malloy from the Diocese of Rockford, IL made a parody ofΒ  the β€œCarpool Karaoke” segments made famous by James Corden’s β€œThe Late Late Show.” It is hilarious. (I especially like when they forgot to say grace before eating their ice cream and the look on Bishops’ face as they were singing at the end. LOL. πŸ™‚

 

Listening to …

During the holidays I don’t listen to my usual music. Instead it’s Christmas carols 24/7. This song from Sixpence None the Richer is still my favorite version of O Come O Come Emmanuel. When I am in the car and the boys are being loud with raucous yells, I press play on this song and they suddenly quiet down and sing along like an angelic boys choir. It’s a freakin Christmas miracle, people! πŸ˜‰

 

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Recent Posts:


From the archives…

RevolutionofLove.com - Creating A Sacred Space in Your Home - altar_collage_2A Sacred Space for Family Prayer (Nov 2015)

Revolution of Love Blog - tt_lean_maryW.jpgA Week in My Life 2014 – Tues & Wed: Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This (Nov 2014)

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Pinned…

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I’d love to try something like this for the kids’ Christmas school party.

 

Around the blogosphere…

 

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RevolutionofLove.com - cwa_11_15_16_oceanWe don’t have snow here but I can handle a chilly day by the sea. πŸ˜‰

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

I’m linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes.

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, πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚

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Preparing for Christmas with the Blessed Is She Advent Journal

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love Christmas and I’m one of those annoying people that starts celebrating the day after Halloween. I haven’t put up any decor yet but it’s been non-stop Christmas movies and carols so far. (I’ve got Charlie Brown’s Christmas soundtrack playing as we speak.)

However, I want to make sure that I am not only enjoying the “fun” parts of Christmas but also taking time to prepare my heart for the coming of the Christ Child. That is where the new Blessed Is She Advent Journal comes into play.

The text of the jourmal was written by one of my favorite Catholic bloggers and fellow BIS team members Elizabeth Foss. Elizabeth’s wise words always have a way of challenging me but she does it in a gentle and loving manner that touches my heart. She describes the journal like this…

The Blessed is She journal is a Bible study. There is an abundance of scripture, an essay every day related to the scripture for you to think about, a prayer, and a journaling prompt. It’s designed for your morning quiet time or a small group Bible study.

As a wife, mom of 9 (ages 8 to 20’s) and cancer survivor, Elizabeth has a unique perspective of living the Catholic faith in everyday life, and here specifically, during Advent. Her words are beneficial to Catholic women in various vocations – single, married, mom of little ones, mom of older ones and grandmother.

Here is a short video of Elizabeth explaining a little more about the journal.

 

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Advent Print

The beautiful artwork was done by the talented Erica Tighe. (See my interview with her here.)

I love the BIS journals and they always motivate me to take some quiet time with Our Lord and spend it in prayer. If you’d like to purchase one for Advent, I’d recommend doing it sooner than later since last year we completely sold out!

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In the BIS Shop, you can order the Advent Journal ($20), the Advent Print ($15), the Jesse Tree Cards ($20) or save $5 by purchasing all three in the Advent Bundle.

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Note: The Jesse Tree cards are the same ones from last year. They are great because once you purchase them, you can use them every year. Last year I used them with our Jesse Tree.

Lastly, don’t forget you also have the optionΒ  to sign up as a Blessed Is She member.Β  You get to view the numerous workshops and will receive a copy of the Advent (and Lent) journal automatically. Cost is $99 for a year. (Or use the payment plan of $9.99 a month.)

Want to take a peek before deciding? Jenna has you covered. Here you go…

I look forward to connecting with you on social media as we journey through Advent together. πŸ™‚

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 – This post contains affiliate links. Any monies made are used to keep this blog online. xoxo πŸ™‚

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Speaking of the Blessed Is She workshops, be sure to join us for Elizabeth’s workshop By the Manger in the Morning on Tuesday, November 14 at 9:00 PM EST/6:00 PM PST. I hope to see you there!


Now That the Election Is Over…

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Now that the election is over, I have friends who are rejoicing and friends who are weeping. Whether you feel victorious or punched in the gut after last night, our mission has not changed – love God and love one another. So be especially kind without gloating or complaining. We are still one family and have to learn to respectfully get along and work together. Spread some love, people.

One things we can all do together is say this Prayer After an Election from the US Conference of Bishops.

God of all nations,
Father of the human family,
we give you thanks for the freedom we exercise
and the many blessings of democracy we enjoy
in these United States of America.

We ask for your protection and guidance
for all who devote themselves to the common good,
working for justice and peace at home and around the world.
We lift up all our duly elected leaders and public servants,
those who will serve us as president, as legislators and judges,
those in the military and law enforcement.
Heal us from our differences and unite us, O Lord,
with a common purpose, dedication, and commitment to achieve liberty and justice
in the years ahead for all people,
and especially those who are most vulnerable in our midst.

Amen.

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, πŸ˜‰

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#BISgrateful in November: A Special Time with My Girl

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Photo credit: Blessed Is She

For the month of October I participated in #write31days with my own 31 Days of Gratitude. It was a great exercise in being thankful, especially when I am prone to complain. It is easy for me to get frustrated and upset when things go wrong and it takes the grace of God and my taking a deep breath to instead look at the enormous blessings that surround my life. Practicing gratitude is something I want to continuously cultivate in my life so I am excited that I have the chance to be intentionally grateful this month of November with my sisters at Blessed Is She.

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Meagan wrote a great piece (that girl can write!) on the BIS blog and this week we are being challenged to share our gratitude! If you are a blogger, link up here. If you are on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or whatever your social media preference, share the gratitude and use the hashtag #BISgrateful. There is a lot of stress these days – from our own families to the upcoming election to world events. We could all benefit from taking a deep breath and focusing on the positive in our life.

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Last month I talked about my boys and how after years of secondary infertility and miscarriages, they were truly a blessing from God. I shared how life is loud, messy and filled with giggles about bodily functions but that I am love with my sweet little guys.

Although I talk a lot about the boys and their antics on the blog, I don’t talk as much about my first born and sweet daughter Bella. That is simply to give her more privacy as she gets older. But today I am mentioning her because I am especially thankful for the time we shared this weekend.

Bella was scheduled to attend a Confirmation retreat/hike at the beach on Saturday. In the days leading up to the retreat, everything was going wrong and life was extra stressful. (You can always tell when things are stressful. The blog is quiet and I don’t post to IG. πŸ˜‰ ) Then at the last minute, a call came in and I was asked if I could chaperone for a couple of hours at the retreat since the the other person had an unexpected situation come up. It meant changing plans and moving around schedules but I could feel God tugging at my heart that I should go, so I did.

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I may have been reluctant but I am glad I went because Bella and I were able to talk, share and pray together. (Not to mention that the beach was especially gorgeous that day!) We laughed that I felt like I was dying hiking up some of the hills and that I kept lagging behind the group (and got lost once) because I was taking too many photos. Plus, Bella is more like Brian, in that she tends to be more quiet about what she is thinking (whereas I post it for all the world to read) and it was touching to have her open up about things on her mind. It was good for both of us.

So not only am I thankful for our time together, but I’m thankful for the grace to answer the Holy Spirit’s prompting when I wanted to say NO. Sometimes things don’t go as I had planned but more often than not, when I surrender to God, He works things out even better than I could have imagined. For that I am truly thankful.

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, πŸ˜‰

 


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