Don’t worry; be happy – easy for Bobby McFerrin to say!

I may be dating myself here but I love this hit from 1988 by the marvelous Bobby McFerrin doing what he does – without any instruments!

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

Now this secular song doesn’t really speak of what we know about Christian truths, but then again when we remember the many verses of the Bible that speak of the same thing, maybe it does:

Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 

Or Colossians 3:15, or 2 Thessalonians 3:16 or Psalm 55:22, maybe Proverbs 12:25 and 1 Peter 5:6-8, and Proverbs 12:25 and on and on and on. With Psalm 23 as, perhaps the most familiar:  Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

This week at my parish’s VBS, with a Shipwreck theme the kids are learning Jesus Rescues!; which is shouted at each turn and every gathering. No matter what the situation or concern, Jesus is there to lift us up and carry the burden with us. Worries are those things, those anxieties over which we have no control and we refuse to trust that God’s plan is the best.

With this inspiration, I’ve been going over my prayer list and realizing a lot of what I am “praying” for are actually worries and anxieties. There is a difference praying for my children’s futures, their vocations and possible spouses and letting that same unknown future keep me up at night as if God does not have their best interest in mind. Silly me!

So I made two lists this morning, breaking my prayer intentions into those I easily hand over to God such as pregnant friends and family members or world issues and a second list of those things I am anxious about – everything having to do with my own children and money! From now on, I am keeping the worries under this Scripture verse:

Jeremiah 29:11:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I am going to strive to not worry so much, pray a little more and remember this song from VBS:

Won’t Worry About a Thing!

 

How have you been? How is your school year winding down?

My last homeschool co-op event (a student showcase) was last night and I woke up this morning feeling lighter and better than I have in months. I did not realize just how stressed I was feeling about the event until it was over. I also smiled seeing the bright blue sky and no rain which has not been the case here in Maryland for the past few days…weeks….months. The sunshine was so, so nice to see.

I will also admit that some of my burden was undeserved guilt about not blogging/posting more frequently. But this morning, when I offered my morning prayer for all of you (as usual), God inspired to write the the headline above; ‘ask them how they are’. So I am – How are you all doing? How was your year? Please let us know if you’d like.

I then lifted even further when the first song I heard on my Pandora Christian station was Matt Maher’s, “What a Friend we have in Jesus”:

Everybody has fears, everybody got worries
Everybody knows sorrow, devastation
But we can lay our burdens down (our burdens down)
Lay our burdens down

This is not my grandmother’s version of this familiar phrase/song but an upbeat, infectious reminder that we are never alone.

Give it listen here: Matt Maher’s “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”

I headed off to Mass with a real bounce in my step that can’t seem to stop; I’m working on laying my burdens down at Jesus’ feet.

So, I hope our school year is winding down and you are looking forward to the summer. I certainly am!

We’ve Finished Wreath IV….Now What?

Many Little Flower Groups are unsure of what do to when they’ve finished all four Wreaths. The girls and leaders love the program so much they want to keep going. So what is a group to do? There are many options available.

1. Start over with Wreath I. Many times girls have joined the program in the middle of the four years and have not earned the first set of badges. For girls going through the Wreath a second time, and they already have patches, they could earn the buttons associated with the virtues instead.

2. Take a break from the virtues and work on the patron saint badges instead. These badges help the girls learn different skills from a Catholic world-view. You could work on one a month, or take a couple of months to earn one of the major badges.

3. The Confirmation Study Program is also a good option if you have girls who are close to receiving that sacrament. The girls also can earn the badge for this program. 

4. The Hospitality Program is a good option for girls who are over the age of 10 and want to continue with a club with a slightly different focus. In this program, the girls earn charms to add to a bracelet or necklace as they practice different aspects of the virtue of Hospitality. The program is a virtual Catholic Charm School!

Best of all, Patron Saint badge and all Hospitality materials are on sale 25% OFF from now until June 15, 2018. Order now, be ready for the fall and SAVE!

 

New Items! Last Day for Early Bird Camp Prices!

25% OFF HOSPITALITY PROGRAM ITEMS, AND PATRON SAINT BADGES! HURRY, SALE ENDS JUNE 15, 2018

 

Register TODAY! Early Bird Registration Ends May 31st!!

Join us for our 5th Annual Mary’s Garden Party-The unique camp retreat experience for Little Flowers Mothers and Daughters. Cost of the camps is very reasonable and includes all lodging, food, activity supplies and smiles for the ENTIRE WEEKEND!!

Leesburg, VA July 13-15 (Early Bird Registration is $150 for both mother/daughter; $70 for each additional daughter)

Pine Island, MN July 27-29 (Early Bird Registration is $75 for both mother/daughter, $40 for each additional daughter)

Crestwood, KY Aug 17-19 (Early Bird Registration is $125 for mother/daughter, $70 for each additional daughter)

More Information and Registration

Celebrate 25 Years of Little Flowers Girls’ Club with a Retro 1990’s Silver Jubilee Celebration!! 

25th Anniversary Badge!

Congrats to Beatrice Skulley of St. Paul, Minnesota for our winning Silver Jubilee badge design! Badges are now available for purchase at our ONLINE CATALOG.



Our newly redesigned Confirmation Study Badge is now available!! 

Are we ready to forgive? Everyone?

Today is when Lent gets real – are we ready to forgive? The gospel for today is the parable of the ungrateful servant who is unable to forgive the friend who owes him a pittance after the master forgive him “a huge amount.”

The Magnificat offers us a list asking us to ‘Give peace to….’

-those who have destroyed our peace

-those who have refused us love

-those who have done us injury

-those who have compete with us to our loss

-those who have taken what was ours

I added a particularly difficult one for me “peace to those from my past whose memories still cause me pain and embarrassment”.

The concluding prayer is – as always – eloquent:

“You know, O Lord, how hard we find it to forgive those who have offended us. Yet you ask us to forgive without restrictions. Make us capable, Lord, of the love you ask of us, for alone we cannot do what you have asked. Help us through Christ our Lord. Amen”

May this point in Lent bring you peace as you seek to forgive those who have hurt you.

Happy Feast of St. Katharine Drexel

 

Our patroness for generosity, Katharine’s parents were generous from the start, opening the doors of their Philadelphia home to the poor every week. When her father died leaving a fortune of approx. $400 million to be shared with her sisters after a number of charitable donations were made, she committed herself to the care of the Native Americans and African-Americans living in the southwestern United States. She had several suitors but decided that Jesus was her one, true love establishing the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament

In honor of her generosity and this season of Lent, you might talk to your family or LF group about what aspect of almsgiving you might undertake as a reflection of St. Katharine’s own love for the poor.

 

 

Lent and Blind Spots

Happy 1st of March!

I was reminded today in one the prayer books I am using this Lent that today – the first day of the month of March – as a good time to evaluate your Lent and see how it’s going.  We are a bit more than 2 weeks in, with just more than 3 weeks to go.  Are those fasts you’ve undertaken actually sacrifices or just chances to lose some weight? Are we looking at turning back to God with our whole heart and whole soul or are we still holding something back? Maybe you’ve developed a blind spot to your own behavior.

Today’s Gospel tells us the story of Lazarus at the gate of the rich man – LK 16:19-31

The homily at daily Mass today was directed on the ‘blind spot’ the rich man had developed towards Lazarus. Lazarus had been at the gate so long, the rich man didn’t even ‘see’ him. He kept eating his banquets while a man died outside of his door.

While this parable is, in part, a reflection on the sins of omission (what we chose NOT to do) versus commission (what we DO), this is also a good time in our Lenten journey to examine the blind spots we have developed in regard to our behavior (what we do) and our neglect (what we aren’t doing).

Having the image of a blind spot was new for me and I left Mass with much to think about. As the busy Mom of a large family, I know I’ve developed a good number of blind spots – cobwebs in the furtherest corners of the basement, the fingerprints on the door jams that are waiting to be wiped off and the pile of stuff at the end of the kitchen counter that magically rebuilds itself moments after it is cleaned off! You know what I mean – we all have blind spots in regard to what is around us externally.

But, now I am thinking about the blind spots I’ve developed in my soul – cobwebs, fingerprints and piles of stuff I am loathe to approach, much less attend to.

I’m glad there still some time in Lent…….

(If you are a Scripture nerd who has always puzzled over the two Lazarus’ in the Bible – check out Mark Shea’s column – Lazarus in Mark and John)

 

Learning to love a bit stronger on social media – Special Books by Special Kids

I’m am not very tech savvy and probably never will be, so I rely on my children to let me know when they discover something that just needs to be shared and that happened yesterday.

Have you discovered Special Books by Special Kids? What a living, breathing display of our need to promote life!

This powerful site and accompanying YouTube channel and Facebook page introduces you to children, young people and even adults with a variety of diagnoses, struggles and special needs. Hearing their stories, seeing their faces and realizing the love that God has for each and every one of them is a wonderful opportunity to learn compassion, love of neighbor and yes, even joy.

Perhaps you or your children encounter such special people in your regular lives, perhaps even in your own family. But, perhaps you’ve not had many such meetings. Watching these videos either alone or with your children (based on their age and tenderness of soul) will surely help stretch your heart. At the very least, it will introduce you to some new friends and families who can always use some extra prayers and happy thoughts.

I suggest you first watch the videos on the website as an introduction to Chris Ulmer (founder) and how and why SBSK got started and then dive in. With 100’s of videos, you won’t run out of smiles any time soon.