Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Travel Bug: An Analysis


Overview: The travel bug is transmitted through a small insect called the peripateticus perigrinator (very literally: traveling traveler). The insect hovers consistently over its victim, waiting for the perfect time to land and bite. The disease is highly contagious to others and can last for years. At this time, there is really no hope for a cure.

Symptoms: Primarily, this bug causes moderate to severe itching, which may become unbearable. The only relief is to move from place to place and see new places or meet old friends--in short to "see the world."

Side effects:  Side effects are a mixed bag. While on the one hand it includes a rather large hole in your wallet, the travel bug also involves having a good time and enjoying yourself.

Complications: Unfortunately, if the travel bug persists, a complication may arise that includes groveling to your boss for extra time off work.

When to go to the doctor: If symptoms persist, the only help is Dr. Common Sense. He will tell you that if you go too many places, the side effect of hole your wallet will become so severe that it becomes a black hole and there is no hope of recovering your leather companion.

Prevention: It is advised to avoid travel brochures, email discounts, and browsing your past photo collection during the early stages of the disease. If this is done successfully, the travel bug may pass by without infecting you.

Treatment: While in the overview, it stated there is no cure, the best treatment is to respond to the itchiness and take a vacation. If there is enough relaxation and enjoyment, the bug may gradually remove from your system without any further treatment.

Analysis: While the travel bug is neither seriously harmful nor deadly, it can take too strong a hold on your immune system. Recommendation is to treat the travel bug a few times a year by visiting favorite vacation places and stepping back to see life in a new light.

N.B.: This is not medical advice. Be sure to always consult your doctor about treatment of the travel bug.

                                                                              ~ Therese

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Grace


Last year I wrote about Easter joy, but this year I want to write about Easter grace. God gives us so many opportunities to receive grace in our lives, but the Sacred Triduum is such a special time in the Church. Her liturgical life throughout the year is awe-inspiring, but the Triduum liturgies are unique in their own right.

St. Therese says, "Everything is grace." God is so generous with His gifts--He cannot be outdone in generosity. When we offer up our sorrows and sufferings, He in turn gives us grace to carry those crosses better. At Easter we are reminded that Christ has the final triumph. His Resurrection gives St. Therese reason to say "everything is grace." Every moment of our lives God is taking care of us through His Divine Providence. There is a quote I love and I forget the author but it goes, "Between God and the individual soul, there are no insignificant moments." Every moment of our lives is an opportunity for grace.

The Sacraments are the best means of receiving grace, but followed closely by prayer. We can pray wherever we are at any moment. All God asks is a simple gaze, a lifting of our mind and heart to Him. He is ready and waiting to give us the gift of His grace and love.

Let us take advantage of this glorious Easter season to become more like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, whose hearts "burned within them" by being in Christ's presence.

                                                                              ~ Therese



Saturday, April 8, 2017

Wonder of Coloring

(image source: topcoloringpages.net -- used with permission)

Ever think about the wonder of coloring? For children it is like opening a new world. For adults it is like remembering a world they once new. It enhances creativity and makes you think outside the box. Coloring stimulates the brain and enables people to express themselves through art. What child doesn't say when they grow up that coloring was one of their favorite pastimes as a kid?

So coloring books can get kind of pricey right? Especially when younger kids destroy each page by scribbling random colors all over the picture without paying any attention to the lines. But that is my darling's work of art you will tell me. Yes, I understand that no matter what it looks like you will hang it on your fridge--and so would I. But let's get a little realistic here. ;)

If you are looking for a good website that has wholesome and exciting coloring pages completely FREE then here is a link for you. Topcoloringpages.net is the place to go! They have a wide variety of pages that you can print and reuse again and again. Want images of your child's favorite superhero or character from their favorite movie? Top Coloring Pages has everything from Superman to Star Wars to Winnie the Pooh that your child will love. They also offer a Christian section, which is a great feature for bringing religion into the picture.

So instead of letting your kids play with an iPad or watch another t.v. show, pull out those coloring pages to let their imagination soar. You may even find yourself joining in!

                                                                                 ~ Therese

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Fools Day


Do you love surprises? Today really proves who loves surprises or not. Birthday surprises are the best. Christmas surprises are fantastic. An engagement/proposal is every girl in love's favorite surprise. But there are some surprises people will deny they like. 

Everybody has a love-hate relationship with April Fools Day. It seems like the point of the day is fruitless because everyone knows that tricks, jokes, and "falsehoods" will be coming. They are expecting it. So why pull pranks in the first place? Everyone is already on their guard, unless of course they forget or don't care and then you can be successful in calling them out. Of course it is never all that fun to be on the receiving end of April Fools jokes. It makes you feel like you are outwitted or someone got the better of you. However, to be the one pulling off a successful joke makes you feel on top of the world. 

This day can have a positive effect on people. If you want to look at it deeply, it makes one think seriously about the concept of truth--whether to believe people at face value, whether a sarcastic spirit brings out the best in others or not, or whether we think enough about the most important objective truths. 

April Fools Day gives people a chance to have a little fun when it's done with good intentions and also to laugh a little about life so we don't take ourselves too seriously. Of course after all is said and done, it isn't really a holiday, but everyone seems to nationally recognize it for what it is or isn't. I like to look at it as a day to smile a little more because we all have to try to catch what life throws at us.

What was your best April Fools Day prank?

                                                                           ~ Therese

Monday, March 27, 2017

Rejoicing in Suffering


Rejoicing in suffering has to be one of the most difficult things in today's world. Joy and suffering seem like oxymorons. Yesterday we celebrated Laetare Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Lent. That word "laetare" or "rejoice" does not seem like it fits with Lent either. Lent is a time of penance and fasting, and the Scripture passages throughout the Masses of this season are filled with mention of man's exile on earth. We can see by this Laetare Sunday, which occurs right in the middle of the Lent season, that the Church is telling us to look ahead. To look beyond the immediate pain and suffering and focus on its purpose.

To rejoice in suffering means to understand the purpose of suffering. It does not last forever and it is not an end in itself. If we understand suffering in relation to being united to Christ on the Cross, then we will willingly suffer everything God sends--Who only sends suffering so that our souls may be more intimately united with Him and bring a great many souls with us. This can only be accomplished by taking one day at a time--or rather one moment at a time as St. Therese said, "If I did not simply live from one moment to another, it would be impossible for me to be patient. I look only at the present, forget the past, and take care not to think too much of the future."

When suffering seems to engulf our lives, we need only look at a crucifix to know that God understands everything we are going through. There is nothing we will suffer that Christ has not already suffered. He has taken every pain, every sorrow, every heartache with Him of each individual person to Calvary. If we unite those everyday sufferings with Christ's then they take on infinite value because God is infinite. It is the lack of acceptance of suffering that really makes us suffer. If we accept and embrace God's will, we will be content with whatever happens to us.

Let us renew our vigor during this second half of Lent by accepting and even rejoicing in our trials because we have been counted worthy to resemble our Savior on the Cross.

                                                                             ~ Therese

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Book Signing!


Hi Readers! I am having a book signing in Nashville, TN because Handmade Catholic Shop is a proud vendor for IHM Conferences! You will be able to view all our handmade products, and I will be signing books as well. 

Come to Aquinas College on March 25th from 12pm-6pm! Our booth will have a free raffle. It is a great opportunity particularly for homeschooling families and those who would like to learn more about this great method of education. I spent all my high school years with Seton Home Study School, and I highly recommend it! I learned so much about all different subjects, especially the Catholic Faith, and the program was very preparatory for college. 

There are so many methods of education, but when it can be kept in the home it is very formative. Receiving education amidst your family and from your parents growing up is so valuable. At the same time, so much can be learned just by reading books and articles on your own time. And even more can be learned through personal experience and getting through tough times in life. But, I am especially grateful for all those high school and college writing assignments because it helped a lot for becoming an author! 

Visit: http://www.ihmconference.org/tennessee/ for more information about the TN conference. Hope to see you there!

                                                                             ~ Therese

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Celebrating Birthdays


One thing that always bugs me is when people are depressed about their birthday and turning a year older. Growing a year older is a chance to look back on the previous year and thank God for the gift of the life He has given us and the graces that accompanied us amidst the sorrows and joys we have experienced. Birthdays are so special and unique and only come around once a year. They are particularly meaningful for those who are celebrating that person because a birthday is a day to thank God for the gift of that person's life.

I absolutely love birthdays and celebrating them! Birthdays are very important because we are given a chance to celebrate someone who means a lot to us in our lives--someone who has touched people's lives in ways they may never have imagined. It is the day we should really appreciate that person and show we care by spending time with them, giving gifts, and enjoying laughs over a great cake.

Granted I can understand someone not liking all the attention and fuss that a birthday can bring (but why not? ;) It is the one day a year that you don't have to make food or wash dishes or do all the usual chores that more often than not someone will pick up because it's your special day.

So next time you groan because your birthday is here, stop and think that it gives your family and friends the chance to celebrate YOU and rejoice in all the wonderful ways you have blessed them in their lives!

                                                                               ~ Therese