Sunday, October 30, 2016

New Shop Products

Some updates on Handmade Catholic Shop!

First, thank you to everyone out there who has purchased from the shop! Your orders have enabled us to make two quarterly donations to the Church so far, and we also reached 50 sales last month, so we sent out a large care package with lots of black baseball caps and warm socks for our soldiers, along with hand-written letters to thank those who are deployed! Thank you for your purchases that make these gifts possible!

Second, we have some new products! We just listed new rosaries to our shop! You can now choose from gray/silver, navy, turquoise, white, and green, in addition to the other seven colors we already have. We also particularly chose to add a rosary for Our Lady of Fatima for the upcoming 100th anniversary of her apparitions. There are 16 centerpiece options to choose from as well!

Third, our future thoughts. We recently added chapel veils, available in two styles, both white and black. In the next couple months, our goals are to add the following products: Catholic stationery, Christmas ornaments, and wooden crucifixes. They are all still in the works, but some will be added by Christmas and others will be added in the new year. 

Lastly, our shop growth. It's always amazing how God leads. This shop started out as a simple hobby, just making a few scapulars and rosaries on the side. Then I thought of chapel veils and added them. And all of a sudden I had all these ideas for more products. It got me thinking, perhaps God wants this as a full time business. I would appreciate your prayers that the business grows, and I am able to give glory to God through making these sacramentals and providing them for all who come to the shop.

Side note, I am still writing, but the shop has taken more of my time lately. I have half of my next novel, The Christmas Picture, finished, and hopefully it will be done in December or January. I have two books planned for 2017, one in the Amanda Case Files Series and the other a Catholic novel. So, look forward to those!!

That's all the updates for now! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 23, 2016


I was looking for a good picture about friendship, and I saw this shot I took of chocolate chip blondies. Does that go with friendship? Well maybe not, but it gave me the thought of friends being sweet and as exciting as a great dessert. ;)

Friendship is one of the best things in the world, and true friends are a rare find. When you have one, you should never take it for granted. Having someone in your life who you can talk to about anything is invaluable. A good friend wants what is best for the other. They will the highest good possible for their friend.

For myself, I've been blessed with many amazing friends. Friends who have been there for me in times of trial, friends who have shared similar interests together, friends who have supported me in whatever ideas I tried to put into action, friends who have spent the greatest times together making memories, friends who have most of all remembered me in prayer and have been united with me in the Faith.

Having a friend is the most precious gift. To have good friends, you also have to be a good friend, meaning you have to make sacrifices sometimes. This may mean calling your friends out once in a while if they are wrong about something significant, and helping them to continue on the right path. Or it might simply mean being there no matter what for your friend when they need you.

Sometimes we might feel really alone, when our friends don't always come through. That is the best moment to remember our friends in Heaven--the saints. They are our true friends too, and desire above all else that we enter Heaven to be with them. We should concentrate always on becoming close to the company of saints. I heard once that the reason we are particularly devoted to certain saints is because they actually are very close to us and pray for us often.

Lots of times when we move away or develop other interests, we lose touch with certain groups of friends. Sometimes this just means we are growing and going in a new direction with our life. But more often than not, we are just making excuses for not taking the time to stay in touch. We shouldn't pass up good friends lightly and make the extra effort or go the extra mile to preserve our friendships.

Here's a great quote that sums up a true friend by William Shakespeare: "A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow."

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Family Vacations

Everyone lives very busy lifestyles, and coordinating schedules can be nearly impossible sometimes. When each person has a million things to do, it seems like quality time together rests on the bottom of the to-do list. Free time for one person is hard enough, try combining ways for everyone to spend time together.

Family time is really important. Setting aside time for family and friends means the people in your life are your priority, rather than the work in your life. One great way to do this is going on vacations together. Getting away from stress and day-to-day worries by spending time in a relaxing place is the best medicine. Not only is it a good way to release from work, but more importantly it is a great way to be with family.

Maybe you can only do this once or twice a year, or maybe you can't get somewhere because of work or finances. But whatever you can do to spend time even at home, it's important to make sure you have that time together. Life is too short not to make time for family. Family is everything. 

What I take away from every vacation spent with family is that each person in my life is irreplaceable and special to me. Spending extra time together reminds me that I wouldn't trade those moments for anything. The people you share your life with makes you the person you are. If you have kids in your life, their joy is contagious. If you have elderly parents, you are able to take care of them like they did for you. If you live with your siblings, you share a lifetime of memories.

God puts you in a particular family for a reason because they will help you get to Heaven and you can help them get there too. Be grateful for the people around you, even if close quarters can sometimes cause friction. Not everyone is close to their family, but family is family. They should always be in your thoughts and prayers, and if you can, spend as much time with them as possible.

Make time for those important moments. They pass by too quickly.

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Little Flower

Everyone loves St. Therese of Lisieux. She is the favorite saint of millions of Catholics, and her Little Way is known throughout the world. The saint has granted countless favors to men and women, assisting them in their sufferings and helping them grow in love for God.

Her teachings on sanctity have made her recognized as a Doctor of the Church. So many see her ideals of growing in heroic virtue through the everyday ordinary moments as the perfect way to advance in union with God. 

It is amazing that a young cloistered nun hidden away from the eyes of the world can become the saint that everyone asks for help, only some short years after her death. Her witness has inspired so many and proves the invaluable worth of an individual soul, who can accomplish so many extraordinary things for God.

My favorite thing about St. Therese is her peace and joy in the midst of so many sufferings. She endured very heavy trials and persevered in fidelity to the Faith. She shows that the Cross is the way to Heaven, and we are called to embrace the difficulties we experience in life as opportunities to become holy and save souls.

I want to share a poem of St. Therese that helps us remember to take one day at a time, one moment at a time, not thinking too much of the future.

~ My Song for Today ~
by St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

My life is but an instant, a passing hour.
My life is but a day that escapes and flies away.
O my God! Thou knowest that to love Thee on earth
I only have today!

Oh, I love Thee, Jesus! My soul yearns for Thee.
For just one day remain my sweet support.
Come reign in my heart, give me Thy smile
Just for today!

Lord, what does it matter if the future is gloomy?
To pray for tomorrow, oh no, I cannot!
Keep my heart pure, cover me with Thy shadow
Just for today.

If I think about tomorrow, I fear my fickleness.
I feel sadness and worry rising up in my heart.
But I'm willing, my God, to accept trial and suffering 
Just for today.

O Divine Pilot! Whose hand guides me, 
I'm soon to see Thee on the eternal shore.
Guide my little boat over the stormy waves in peace
Just for today.

Ah! Lord, let me hide in Thy Face.
There, I'll no longer hear the world's vain noise.
Give me Thy love, keep me in Thy grace
Just for today.

Near Thy divine Heart, I forget all passing things.
I no longer dread the fears of the night.
Ah! Jesus, give me a place in Thy Heart
Just for today.

Living Bread, Bread of Heaven, Divine Eucharist, 
O sacred Mystery! That Love has brought forth
Come live in my heart, Jesus, my white Host,
Just for today.

Deign to unite me to Thee, Holy and Sacred Vine, 
And my weak branch will give Thee its fruit, 
And I'll be able to offer Thee a cluster of golden grapes
Lord, from today on.

I have just this fleeting day to form
This cluster of love, whose seeds are souls.
Ah! Give me, Jesus, the fire of an Apostle
Just for today.

O Immaculate Virgin! Thou art my Sweet Star
Giving Jesus to me and uniting me to Him. 
O Mother! Let me rest under thy veil
Just for today.

My Holy Guardian Angel, cover me with thy wing.
With thy fire, light the road that I'm taking.
Come direct my steps, help me, I call upon thee
Just for today.

Lord, I want to see Thee without veils, without clouds,
But still exiled, far from Thee, I languish.
May Thy lovable Face not be hidden from me
Just for today.

Soon I'll fly away to speak Thy praises
When the day without sunset will dawn on my soul.
Then I'll sing on the Angels' lyre
The Eternal Today!

(Taken from The Poetry of St Therese of Lisieux)

Happy Feast of St. Therese!