Paying Attention During Lent: Encouragement for Exhausted Parents

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In this terrific reflection over on God In All Things, Tony Krzmarzick reflects on how busy he is and how this affects him spiritually. He works intensively as a campus minister all day, then he returns home to face chores, cooking, and other duties. It seems unending to him: “Between work and home, I could spend all my time working on something. All of this
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Meeting Christ in Our Mess

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Last Friday at noon, I finally accomplished the unthinkable: I sat with Jesus for an hour at Adoration. Now, it wasn’t the peaceful hour I’d hoped for. I’d envisioned that my one-year-old daughter, who had to accompany me, would take her nap during that hour. That I would be able to hold my sleeping baby girl in my arms as I gazed at Jesus and
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My Kid Is a Special Snowflake . . . and So Is Yours

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I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that you’ve almost certainly encountered the following attitude, whether it’s a post on Facebook, a self-righteous HuffPost article, or even in conversation on the sidelines at your kid’s soccer game: The world would not be such a screwed up place if everyone stopped telling their kids that’s they’re such unique, special little snowflakes.  Basically,
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Lenten Sacrifices: How Do We Explain Them to Our Kids?

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As we begin Lent, I’m thinking this week about Lenten sacrifices. What is the purpose of our Lenten sacrifices and how do we communicate to our children about that purpose? When I returned to the Church many years ago, I had very gloomy image of Lent.  I saw Lenten sacrifices as something very negative, something to dread. I am grateful that my spiritual director helped me understand Lenten sacrifices in
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Wise, Humorous Survival Tips from Mother of Nine 9

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The following original tips for parents are child proof, child tested, and  guaranteed to turn any child-created disaster into a comedy in minutes. Kids need time to be bored; that is how creativity is born. Ignore the bad and praise the good. The only thing that could kill you as a mother of a large family is pairing socks. My ceiling is my children’s floor. Don’t get
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The Problem with Over-Praising Your Child

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How dare I throw cold water on praise? Doesn’t every loving, caring parent praise her child? Yes!  And for the most part, praise is great for kids but overpraising (constant, exaggerated praise even for small efforts) can have unexpected negative consequences on our child’s well-being. Let me say right up front, every parent probably over-praises on occasion (including yours truly), so if you have this habit,
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Feeding the Kids with My Eyes Closed (and Other Reasons to Love Co-Sleeping)

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Not long after my first child was born, I found myself in a discussion with another new mom about how (not so) well our babies were sleeping. Really, what else do new mothers talk about? It was inevitable that the topic would come up. What wasn’t so obvious to me – though perhaps it should have been – was the discouragement I’d be met with
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All Dress-Shopping Fathers Go to Heaven

My husband and I learned how to depend on Divine Providence to meet out kid’s needs, especially our fashion-conscious teenage girls because we had nine children and little extra cash. With the grace of God, we lived through scores of tragic-comic dramas as my saintly husband, Michael, shopped with our  six daughters. Since I was at home with a crew of little ones, dad was
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The Little Way of Lunches and Laundry

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“The world lies to us so readily, telling us that the work of God is outside our homes. That the Lord’s work is gloriously big and newsworthy. That to find those who need us, we must look elsewhere. But, the reality is that the work of God begins inside our homes, for those who need us most are those we share our homes with. Because
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When Your Two-Year-Old Crawls Like a Dog Down the Communion Aisle (and Other Pathways to Holiness)

God I Love You by Hazel

Christmas Eve Mass was a disaster this year. At least it seemed that way. With my husband and two oldest children involved with the music at Mass, I was left on my own to manage a six-year-old, four-year-old, and two-year-old. I should have known that things would get messy when, upon pulling into the church parking lot, my two-year-old promptly got out of the van
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The 12 Days of Christmas (Catholic Style!)

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Happy Christmastide! Did you know the “Christmas season” for Catholics is not the weeks prior to Christmas (as advertisements would have us believe) ending on Christmas Day? Nope, we’re just getting started with the celebration! Christmas Season in the Church begins on Christmas Day and lasts for 40 days, ending on February 2 (“Candlemas”). “Christmastide” is the 12 days following Christmas, including the Solemnity of
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TENDER TIDINGS Winter 2015 Now Available! Free!

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The winter issue of our beautiful, free magazine, Tender Tidings, is now available! Our topic: grandparents!