Monday, February 23, 2015

What is Repentance? Not what you might think!



During Lent, we are called to repent - but what is repentance?

REPENTANCE implies CONVICTION and A CHANGE OF HEART.

When we repent, we LOOK at what we have done or said or allowed, we accept responsibility, and we CHANGE. We STOP the grievous behavior. 

There is no REPENTANCE without CHANGE.

The Hebrew word used for repentance is μετάνοια (metanoia) - a word that mean to CHANGE - to CONVERT from one state of mind and heart to another - to make a FUNDAMENTAL alteration to one's life.

REPENTANCE IS CA CALL TO CHANGE - we LAY ASIDE our old selves and TAKE ON a new self - a new me, changed by God's call.

Much has been made of being sorrowful - but John and Jesus and Paul did not tell us to be sorrowful, they told us to CHANGE who we are, to take this new heart and new mind, to take up our journey of the Cross.

I fin dit much easier to be sorrowful than to change - I'm sure many of us do. So much easier to ask, "Forgive me Father, for I have sinner..." than the say that, MEAN it, and then TURN AWAY from my sins - to live anew.

Like the Adulteress, I am asked to go and sin no more - but can I - do I?

By leaning on God, by taking the time to reflect, by praying, with His Grace

I CAN CHANGE - AND SO CAN YOU!


Friday, February 20, 2015

The NKJV Study Bible: Full Color Edition - Book Review


It always seems funny to be reviewing a Bible...but as I told my husband, I am reviewing the features of this new Study Bible, not the actual content of God's Word. And the features, in my opinion, deliver.

I was quite excited when the package containing The NKJV Study Bible: Full Color Edition arrived - I was really looking forward to diving right into the resources this Study Bible offers. I was not disappointed - color maps, articles bringing context and understanding of Biblical-era culture and times, word studies, annotations, timelines, essays, and more... 

Weekend Reading, Feb 20 15


This week, I compiled a short Lenten list for Weekend Reading - sites I visit and that always leave me feeling nourished or convicted or thoughtful.

Ann Voskamp writes a compelling Call for the Next 40 Days: To the Nations and People of the Cross. Ann calls us to examine our place in this broken world, and to examine the Cross' place in this broken world. A must-read.

Catholic Relief Services has an app! They also have a great selection of videos that explain what Lent really is.  One year - many years ago - my mom encouraged us to do extra chores during Lent, and the money we earned would be placed in our CRS Rice Bowl. We were so excited to see how the money added up - and its a wonderful way for children to learn to ACT for the Body of Christ (as opposed to resenting giving up candy)!

Father Robert Barron shares daily inspiration with his Word on Fire program - sign up for free daily Lent emails in English or Spanish. Father Barron calls us to return to the basics, and fires me up with his emails.

And this is where you can Pope Francis' message to the faithful for Lent 2015 - an inspiring message of Holy Love overcoming Worldly Indifference. Many media outlets intentionally misrepresent the Pope - weaving their own narrative into their translations of his words - so I prefer to go to the source, which is often far more inspiring!

I hope you are as inspired as I was from these stories. Have a prayerful and fruitful weekend!


Thursday, February 19, 2015

3 Questions for Lenten Self-Reflection



Lent - that holy time of repentance, self-reflection, mourning, penitence. We look at our lives, our actions, our thoughts - we see where we fall short. We take the time to REPENT, to TURN AWAY from evil thought, evil deeds.

Oh, my thoughts and deeds aren't really evil and sinful, right?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ash Wednesday 2015



Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of a season of reflection, abstinence and penitence - the beginning of Lent, the holiest season in the Church.

Today I reflect upon my sins, I examine my life - and I am overcome with gratitude to my Father who will wash away my sins and imperfections.

Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Big Changes for 2015!

I have big changes in store for 2015. 

Changes that impact this space.

I am reorganizing Blooming in Suburbia, refocusing on its original mission - which was to be inspirational, focusing on faith and wonder and beauty.

I am launching Books,Writers and More with a group of friends - so that we can share our love of the written word.

I am launching Happy Homemaking - which is where all the homemaking content that originally posted here will go, along with new articles and recipes and goodies!

Its a busy time right now - moving and revising and updating posts, designing the new sites, trimming down and refocusing Blooming in Suburbia. Its also an exciting time!

All three sites should be ready for prime time on JANUARY 1, 2015!

Friday, December 12, 2014

On the Nature of Sin and Faith - Terry Pratchett

I've been re-reading Terry Pratchett's Discworld books - two of my favorite, thought-provoking quotes are these gem from Carpe Jugulum:

"...There is a very interesting debate raging at the moment on the nature of sin, for example."

"And what do they think? Against it, are they?"

"It is not as simple as that. It's not a black and white issue. There are so many shades of gray."

"Nope."

Monday, November 24, 2014

Christmas Gifts Worksheet - FREE Printable


I like to make lists. I like pretty worksheets and cute reminders.

I like to make organizing my home and my finances and my life a beautiful task (when possible). 

Here is one of my Christmas Planner worksheets - just click on it and print it!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Reasons to Be Thankful - a Free Printable

Sometimes we need a little prompt to remember the blessings in our lives, our reasons to be thankful in this season of Thanksgiving... here is mine...printable cards that I keep on my table to fill out (or hand out to a loved one as a prompt) when I feel the need for a reminder!

Free Printable!