Have I got a deal for you!

Today I’m proud to be a part of the Working Mother ebook blog tour at Will Write For Tomato Pie.  See my interview at Will Write For Tomato Pie!

My friend Erin McCole Cupp has written a short but powerful story about the struggle the Holy Family might have had just to survive in a harsh world.

I really enjoyed this short book.  It took me by surprise quite honestly.  Erin has the ability to look beyond the paintings and statues and see the real person along with their very real emotions.

Did I mention that it’s available on Kindle?  And only 99 cents!  You can thank me later.

May Your Journey Be Blessed,

S.S.

Overwhelmed? Congratulations!

Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerard van Honthorst, 1622
Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerard van Honthorst, 1622

Yes, you read that right.  I’m glad you’re overwhelmed.  Heck, I’m overwhelmed too.  After all, it’s a busy time of year with lots of places to go and people to see; plus the shopping, the baking, and the decorating. But that’s not why I’m overwhelmed and that’s not why I want you to be overwhelmed either.

No.  The type of overwhelm that I’m talking about is different.  It’s a good thing actually; something to strive for.- I’m overwhelmed that God chose me.  He chose to love me, to create me, to guide me, and to save me with the gift of His son.  If that doesn’t knock you off your feet in amazement, I’m not sure what would.

If you’ve ever watched a professional sporting event on television, you’ve seen homemade signs with “John 3:16” written on them.  In case that never made you curious enough to go look it up, that’s the verse that says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.”  That’s an amazing love!  I mean, seriously, how many of us love each other enough to share our money much less our child!

That’s why I’m overwhelmed.  It’s not because my to-do list is long and my time is short although those things are both true.  Just the idea that God loves little ole me enough to send His Son to save me makes my mind go “TILT” like an old pinball machine.

So that’s why I want you to be overwhelmed.  I want you to be so aware of God’s love that your mind can’t process the idea.  Get this, even when we get to the point of being overwhelmed, we’re still only scratching the surface of God’s love for us. *mind blown*

I wish you an overwhelmed Christmas.  You’re welcome.

May your journey be blessed,

S.S.

(Suburban Saint)

You’re Part of the Plan

Yesterday we celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  (Sorry I’m a little late.) Sometimes people get a little mixed up with the name of this feast day and think it has to do with Jesus being conceived through the Holy Spirit.  In reality, this feast day is a celebration of Mary being free of original sin by the grace and will of God.  This enabled her to be worthy to carry the Messiah in her womb.  After all, you don’t think God would let His Son be tainted by sin, do you?

As amazing as it is that Mary was spared the stain of original sin, another aspect of the feast day has recently caught my attention.  Have you ever thought about how much thought God put into His plan for salvation?  We’re talking about some serious planning here folks!  God (who, of course, is all-knowing and all-powerful) prepared Mary to be the mother of Christ even before her conception.  He deemed her worthy of the most important role a mortal could play in His plan for salvation, Christ-bearer.

Yet, with all of that advance planning, He still gave her the choice to say “yes” or “no.”  He took a pretty big risk, don’t you think?  What if she had said “no?” I guess God would have had to go back to the drawing board and find someone else worthy of the task.  But, God still gave her the choice.  Of course, He knew she would say “yes.” (See “all-knowing” above.)

So how do we fit into this plan?  What part do we play?

Well, I can’t tell you what your part is in God’s plan, that’s between you and the Big Guy.  But I can assure you that your part is unique AND important. Each of us has a part in God’s plan.  Sure, it won’t be as high-profile as Mary’s part.  Mary definitely got the lead role in that scenario but, in God’s plan, there truly are no small roles, only small actors.

Wouldn’t it be great if we all said yes just like Mary did?  Can you imagine a world full of people doing God’s will? It would be amazing!  Like heaven on earth. To me, that’s what they mean when they say, “Thy Kingdom Come!” So, if that’s what God’s kingdom would look like, sign me up!

May your journey be blessed,

S.S.

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This Just Might Catch On…

They call it “rest” from what I’m told.  Last week while most mothers were frantically planning, cooking, and cleaning I was recuperating from minor surgery. (Emphasis on “minor” with the acknowledgment that the only “minor” surgery is one that happens to someone else.  So, for me, my minor surgery was somewhat significant. Funny how minor surgery can knock you off your feet for a few days!)

Seriously, I haven’t rested this much since my last pregnancy and that’s been almost twelve years ago!  Besides the obvious benefit of the recuperative qualities of resting, I noticed one or two other benefits that aren’t as obvious.

  1. When Momma can’t do everything Momma usually does, someone else has to.  My dear husband took great care of me (as usual) but I tried to direct the majority of my helplessness toward my lovely children.  I was pleasantly surprised how capable and helpful they’ve become!  So–
    • Blessing #1-My children are growing up to be capable and caring individuals.
    • Lesson #1-Since they’re so capable, I need to let them “practice” being capable more often (i.e. Do less for them!)
  2. When it hurts to move or bend you have to sit still.  Sitting still is NOT my strength.  Just ask my dear husband in the evening as I flit from task to task to tie up loose ends before bed.  The poor guy is just trying to sit with his wife for goodness sake! BUT when you’re forced to sit still you can either fight it or embrace it.  The first few days I embraced it and I found that the time we spent as a family was much sweeter, slower, and more relaxed.  We played more board games, watched more movies, and had more silly conversations than we do when I’m completely mobile.
    • Blessing #2-Being off my feet helped me be more present with my family.
    • Lesson #2-Stop rushing around!  Sit down and just hang out.  The to-do list isn’t going anywhere.
  3. When you catch up on rest, it’s amazing how much better you’re able to handle stress.  Suddenly things don’t rattle you as easily and your sense of humor improves immensely.
    • Blessing #3-I feel rested and ready to embrace Advent and the upcoming Christmas season.
    • Lesson #3-I need to make sure that I get enough sleep day-to-day because it DOES affect me even if I don’t want to admit it.

So, in a nutshell-Rest is good.  Get more of it.  It’s good for you and for the people who interact with you. You’ll thank me. They’ll thank me.  We’ll all be happier.  Agreed? Good!  Now, go take a nap!

May your journey be blessed!

S.S.

(The Suburban Saint)

Preparing for the Ultimate Guest During Advent

Find out how your Advent preparations can be like planning a party.  For a fresh perspective on Advent check out my latest post at Catholic Mom!

May Your Advent Journey by Blessed,

S.S. (the Suburban Saint)

Do you want to keep up with the escapades of the Suburban Saint?  Follow Seeking Suburban Sainthood or subscribe by email.  I’d love to see you back here again!

A Portrait of a Saint

Maria_Magdalene_prayingToday is Halloween which means that tomorrow is All Saints Day-a day we celebrate and honor all the holy men and women who are in heaven not just the ones that have the “St.” in front of their names.

Question-When I say the word “saint”, what comes to mind?

There was a time when I would have answered that question with words like: perfect, serious, pious, and righteous.  That was when my mental image of a saint included eyes cast toward heaven, a solemn expression, and hands clasped in prayer.  I guess my idea of sainthood was pretty superficial but it had a lot to do with the images of saints that I had seen throughout my life.  You know the ones-beautiful artists’ renditions from the Renaissance with the same facial expression on most all of them, the same pose, and the same lack of personality.

Don’t get me wrong.  These images are beautiful and are beautiful reminders of members of our Christian family.  I’ve come to really love and cherish many of these images.  In many ways, though, they’re like a family portrait.  When I get my picture taken, it’s rare that it shows me in motion doing the things I do in a normal day.  You don’t see me driving my kids to school, watching TV, working on the computer, washing dishes, cooking dinner, or even helping my kids with their homework.  You don’t see me spending time with my family laughing and joking.  You don’t see me in my struggles.  You just see a very two-dimensional image of me when I was standing still long enough to have my picture taken.

The challenge for me was to get beyond those superficial images and learn about the individuals behind them and their stories; to get to know them.  Those stories are the ones that helped them become saints and inspire me to become one too.  As I started to learn their stories and get to know these amazing people, I began to relate to them and see myself in their personalities and their faith journeys.  For instance, enthusiasm and a tendency to put our foot in our mouths are two qualities that I share with St. Peter!

So now my idea of sainthood has changed.  I don’t see it as an impossible goal anymore.  I see it as an ambitious goal but a very worthy one.  It’s also a goal that I can get a lot of help on from a VERY powerful friend.  I call Him “Lord” but most of the time, He prefers “Jesus.”

May your journey be blessed!

The Suburban Saint

What IS Suburban Sainthood?

Laura2aLowRes (2)

Welcome to Seeking Suburban Sainthood!  S.S.S. is where I’ll be sharing my own struggles to attain holiness in my ordinary, suburban, mini-van-owning, carpool-driving, soccer mom life.  Given the fact that I struggle ALOT in my spiritual life, I have a feeling that there will be plenty to share with you.

But it’s not just about me.  It’s about all of us and the spiritual challenges that come with a suburban lifestyle.  It’s also about a new attitude toward sainthood.  After all, sainthood isn’t just for the dead.  St. Paul called the early Christians “saints” when he addressed them in his epistles.  In his eyes, a saint was merely a follower of Christ.  So if that’s the case, all Christians should consider themselves saints, albeit imperfect ones.

The goal here is to help each other become better saints so that, when the time comes, we’ll be ready to enter the Kingdom of Heaven together.  So, here’s the deal-I’ll help you with your sainthood if you help me with mine.  Who’s with me?

May your journey be blessed!

The Suburban Saint (S.S.)

Next Post: What’s a saint supposed to act like?