I made this video today as a Mother’s Day gift to myself–celebrating my babies, my treasures, my jewels. Everyday with them is a gift I am so grateful for.
Over the past five years, our family has had the wonderful privilege of having our pictures taken by our amazingly talented friend Brittani. She is seriously amazing. And talented. I got so tired of taking my very opinionated and occasionally feisty girls to the mall to get their pictures taken by a stranger in a sterile, unnatural setting. The very first time we went out with Brittani to get our family pictures taken, I knew she was magic. She literally followed the girls and captured the smiles and unique characteristics of each of them the way I would want to capture them to remember for years to come. She wasn’t ever put off by their fussiness or feistiness, or this last time when Miss Isabelle insisted on wearing her silly glasses and flamboyant scarf. Brittiani totally went with the moment and captured it in a magical way–with joy and grace.
If you are in the market for a family photo session, I’d highly recommend Brittani. Her website is phenomenal. She does weddings and lots of other fun stuff too.
Check out this amazing deal:
I’ve been having a gradual epiphany of sorts. I know the words ‘gradual’ and ‘epiphany’ are sort of oxy-moron’s but it’s been a thought gathering strength over time. The thought ended with me staring straight into the Beatitudes in the Bible, Matthew 5. The words Jesus said,
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
I realize that each of us is on a different spiritual journey. Some live their faith out loud for all to see. Some live their faith quietly, shyly, but very, very strongly. Those who live their lives the loudest with the most notoriety and attention are not always those living the Beatitudes the loudest.
Celebrate yourself, in your little corner of your world. Celebrate that you are living the way Jesus called you, in your own way, with your own voice. Your voice is strength in His ears. Your joy in serving Jesus in whatever way you know how is His joy.
Be loved. Be strong. Just Be.
What happens when we set up a moment and step back and watch…
We took the girls on a walk around Notre Dame last Friday night. It was not a game weekend, so it was eerily quiet on campus, the moon was shining, the breeze was cool and everything just seemed right in the air.
I don’t think any of the girls have ever been in the Sacred Heart Basilica before. The doors were open, so we walked in. A bride and groom were just gathering in the back for a wedding rehearsal –the wedding coordinator gave us a stern look over her glasses, but no one stopped us so we went in and grabbed a pew.
As parents, we have learned that we can’t always control what our kids retain when we try to teach them, but we have also learned that part of our responsibility as parents is setting up moments as best we can in order to help our kids receive a “moment.” After the “set up” we know our job is also to “step back” and watch as they learn something on their own.
We hope and pray that our girls will get a glimpse of holiness, of Jesus, of their Heavenly Father…and sometimes everything just snaps into place and there He is in all his glory, revealing himself to our children in a way only He could.
Friday night was one of those nights. Our girls were enraptured by the sense of wonder and holiness that comes by standing in front of a place like the Grotto at Notre Dame, seeing all those candles lit, representing prayers lifted to Heaven.
Isabelle is just eight years old, but she had a very special moment with Jesus I thought I’d share with you.
At her school, one of the rewards for especially good behavior is a purple “Live Strong” bracelet. She was able to get two of these in the first few weeks of school, which is a pretty big deal when you’re in second grade. She was devistated when she lost one on Thursday. She came home crying and crying, so very sad that it was gone. She is a very tender hearted kid, and it’s hard to console her when something is just “gone” and can’t be replaced.
On Friday when we walked past the “Touchdown Jesus” muriel on the Notre Dame campus, Belle said that she “felt God move around in her heart in a special way”. Then, when we walked in the Sacred Heart Basicilla, she wanted to go over by herself on a pew to pray. She came back over to us with teary eyes, just pouring her heart out to Jesus, in awe of the beauty of that place.
When we walked over to the Grotto, she said that she wanted a few minutes to pray. She knelt down, closed her eyes, and when she opened her eyes, A PURPLE BRACELET WAS ON THE FENCE POST RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER! She could not believe it. The bracelet was almost identical to the one she had lost. She wasn’t ecstatic or anything, just happy. “Look at what God gave to me”, she said with such simple child-like faith.
There was no doubt in her mind God put that bracelet there, just for her.
Moms and Dads can set up moments to teach their kids about the holiness of God, but when we step back, we stand amazed at what God does to teach our children about Himself.
I am in awe. And more in love with my Heavenly Father than ever.