Advent · Catholic Faith · Davis Family · Emily (Me) · Italy · LadyEm

Lady Em’s Been Featured…

Me, serving a sailor on Thanksgiving Day. I was the gravy and roll lady! lol

Dear Ones…
I have been meaning to hop on and say hi for several days.
First – I sure hope your Thanksgiving was fantabulous (if you celebrate Thanksgiving).

Thanksgiving week, I had the honor of serving with the USO. I welcomed people to the Naples Base at Area Orientation, and I served the single and unaccompanied sailors on Thanksgiving Day. Then I came home and we hosted about 12 total people here at Casa Davis.

Friday, we drove to my favorite Winery – Cantina di Solopaca and bought some vino….. and then to a Christmas Market at Castello Limatola. The rain ruined the Christmas Market trip, but I’ll share a few pics…

But one of the most exciting things that happened this weekend was that Anni at A Beautiful, Camouflaged, Mess of a Life featured me in her Bold, Brave, Catholic series. I’m so excited. Check out the post here – Bold, Brave, Catholic — Focusing on Forward. As Catholic Women, we sometimes sugar coat things. But y’all, we need to tell our stories. So many people hurt, because they feel like others have it all together, or have perfect lives – and nothing could be further than the truth.

I pray your Advent is going well. We are reading a Chapter of the Gospel of Luke, and I will be all decorated by this weekend. It’s a long story, but things in Italy are a constant challenge. And so – I do what I can.

And to tell you the truth, I’m not bold and brave… some days, like today, as I’m having a small health issue (stupid kidney stone)… I am in sweats and I just stay determined. And I’m so thankful for my faith and for good people who lift me up. And who “see me” for me.

Praying for you all. Truly – I am.

Love, Hugs & Blessings,
LadyEm

#LadyEmCrafts · Card Making · CoffeeLovingPapercrafters · PaperCrafter

Cards – Living on Coffee

Happy Thursday Dear Ones!

Many of you know I am a paper crafter. And recently I found a group that posts coffee/tea everything. And it’s encouraging me to make more cards. I was looking through my things for coffee and tea related stamps and I came across an old set called Living on Coffee, that I’d never even used, from a company called VERVE Stamps. They closed up shop, but I always loved their products.

Recipe for Cards:
Paper Used: Cardstock is Navy, Tangerine, and Ivory – either from PaperTrey Ink or StampinUp. Design Paper is from the Orange Envy pack by The Paper Studio.
Ink: Black Amalgam Ink by GinaK Designs. Copics to color images. Tangerine Tango sponged on the layers and inside the cards.
Embellishments: I used a corner punch to make the inside layer pretty. And I used orange flowers and little sparkly embellishments on the flowers.

I hope you liked the cards. I’m having fun creating these days. It feels good.

Love, Hugs & Blessings,
LadyEm

Catholic Book Reviews · Kids & Teens Books · Pauline Books & Media · Uncategorized

Book Review Wednesday – A Single Bead

Happy Wednesday!

Happy Feast Day of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. Mother Cabrini had such a big heart and a beautiful and determined faith. She had so many hardships to overcome, and she is such a great example for me, personally – to never give up! Love her story. Check it out.

Years ago I wrote this review. But – when I moved my blog here, I lost so many great posts, but I decided to repost these. I’ve taken out all irrelevant text. And I’m hopeful you will still like the review. I have two copies of this book at all times, because I have lent many to others and none have come back. I’m not complaining. It’s a fantastic book and touched me so much. Sigh.

Now, here’s my book review.

512x8R9hD4L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_A Single Bead, by Stephanie Engleman, is indeed a very powerful book. Written with teen girls in mind, I feel it is appropriate for the whole family, age 6th grade and up.  The story is about losing hope and faith, and finding a way back to the Church through a series of miraculous events.

The death of a parent or grandparent is devastating, to say the least. Kate, the leading character in the book, finds herself the target of her mother’s anger and depression since a plane crash took her grandmother’s life a year earlier. While Kate is at the Memorial marking the First Anniversary of her grandmother’s death, she feels the need to walk away from her family and, in her own words, 

“I keep walking toward the trees, and it’s almost like I’m being drawn by some kind of invisible force. Stooping down to push the flowers aside, I discover a small, silver bead, and my heart flutters. I have to hold it, touch it-feel the ridges of the letters imprinted on three sides, and run my nail along the cross on the fourth. Everything I am zones into that tiny, little bead. . . . It’s just a little fragment of a piece of jewelry, right? But it’s not. It’s a bead from Grandma’s rosary. And not just any bead. My bead.”

Through a series of miraculous events, Kate talks to and meets other people who find her grandmother’s beads. Through their stories, which are true miracles, not only Kate, but her father (a non-Catholic) are growing closer to God. One of my favorite devotions is praying the Rosary and I am thrilled that the power of the Rosary is woven into this story.  Kate realizes how blessed she is to have a faith-filled family, and turns to the Rosary to calm and focus herself on the tasks ahead.
I think what appealed to me most was the honesty in the story. My mother suffered from mental illnesses and much of what this character feels, I have felt. Honesty may seem like an odd word here, but it is so important to me that the book acknowledges that people fall away from the Church and that they come back…. that we question our faith, and get great answers from the history and Tradition of Catholicsm… that people with mental illness can get help, and so can the people their illness affects…. That prayer REALLY comforts, inspires, and heals. In short, PRAYER WORKS!
Additionally, I can not tell you what it meant to me when I came into the Catholic Church and acknowledged our Blessed Mother Mary as MY Mother. I did not feel the loss I had for decades, and it was freeing. This book touched my heart, and lifted me up. For that I am so grateful.

Bravo to Mrs. Engleman. She is clearly a fantastic story-teller and I can not wait to read more of her books. If you want to know more about Stephanie Engleman, please check out her website — Stephanie Engleman.
 
As always, thank you Cathy @Pauline Books & Media, for sending me this book so that I could write a review.  I can tell you all, I have not met a Pauline Book that I did not love. I’m so blessed.
 
I hope you enjoyed this review.
Hugs & Blessings,
Emily
Catholic · Catholic Faith · Catholic Mom · Davis Family · Knowledge/Learning · Me · Virtues

Do You Look for Jesus in Others?

View from about halfway up of Ischia and the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Dear ones,

Imagine this… I celebrated Veteran’s Day by having a family hike with my Veteran and our youngest son, in the ruins at the Cuma Archeological Park. The history is awesome, the views are spectacular, and just being with family is priceless (especially when your teen is 16 and your hubby works so hard).

This was my second visit to Cuma. The first time I went with one of my besties and her mama who came to visit. Cuma was a bustling port town, and the history dates back to 900-850 B.C. Did you see that date? WHAT! That was my reaction. You walk up hill and around. There are burial sites, places where you can see wagon tracks indented in the rocks, and there is even a Holy Water Font in a Temple. I really have no words. Check out the link above.

After we spent a few hours there, reading, imagining, and standing in awe of God’s creations, we went for coffee and came home. The rain started shortly after, so we timed it well.

Part of the Ruins they are still working to uncover.
My little family standing in the Temple of Apollo. I kid you not. Amazing.

I can not imagine a better way to Honor Veteran’s Day than to thank a Veteran. And for us, it was a perfect day.

But now it’s time to get to my post… When I got home and read the Magnificat for yesterday, I cringed. That brief – “AACK – I’m so imperfect” cringe. I love Saint Therese of Lisieux, I really do, but dang I wasn’t ready to come face to face with this Meditation of the Day. This daily feature in the Magnificat usually relates to the Gospel, which was Luke 17: 1-6.

The Gospel was about forgiving someone as many times as they ask. And about our Faith, and how it can seem so tiny (mustard seed) and yet be so strong because Jesus is in us. Sigh.

Read this real quick and we will chat on the other side:

This is from a page in my Magnificat. I give them all the credit. And Saint Therese of Lisieux for writing the passage.

How hard is it to ALWAYS try to see the good in others. If you have read my blog for a while, you will know that I struggled when I first moved here. There were two women who really enjoyed their “perceived” power. Not only that, they blatantly started rumors about me that were not true (like that I reported one of them for leaving her children in her car, when I a) wasn’t on base and b) don’t even know how to call security… or that I yelled at their children! – neither ever happened. And yet, small-minded “good” Catholic women chose to believe her/them. and very few even speak to me due to the gossip, etc. .

I backed out of everything I was asked to do by the Priest just so I wouldn’t have to deal with them. I am not involved in the women’s group either, though I am working on re-entering on some level. I just don’t know if I can be nice to people like this. I say that – and then I read this passage and I think – “I have to look for Jesus in her?” I apologized for things I didn’t do, to keep the peace, and she still goes out of her way to be ugly to me… and I have to find GOOD in her/them?

One thing Italy has taught me is I have to master humility. I don’t think of myself as a prideful person. But I really am. And life is NOT all about me. We all want to be given chances in life. And we want for people to see Jesus in us, even when we mess up. We need to remember that when we stand in judgement of others. None of us is perfect. And if we are truly doing GOD’S work, we need to give Him the Glory and stop being bratty. (That last part was for me).

It’s hard to smile in the faces of people who you know do not like you. Seriously hard. But it seems, that this is something we are called to do. Sigh…

I leave you with this… armed with the Commandment to Love everyone as Jesus loves me, I am going to be working on this flaw of mine. Love kept Him on the Cross for me (and you all), and I can set my ego/pride aside and follow His Commandment.

And if you have any tips for me, please share them in a comment. Pray for me too. I’m so flawed. Sigh.

It’s rainy here in Italy and I have chores to do (don’t be jealous). I have a pot of beans on the stove and I believe I’ll bake some bread.

Love and Hugs All,
LadyEm

#LadyEmCrafts · All Saints and All Souls · Card Making · Catholic · Purgatory · Spirituality

Confirmation Cards

Dear Ones,

May you be blessed as you pray for the souls of the faithfully departed on this All Souls Day. Last night, before Mass, I prayed the Litany for the Poor Souls in Purgatory. the link is HERE. You can also find it on the Laudate App and other places. I will pray it again today. I didn’t always think it was important to pray for the faithfully departed, when my faith was much less mature; however, as I get closer to being with God, I know the importance of this task throughout the year. Please pray for the souls in purgatory. Selfishly, when I get there, I will want you all praying for me.

The past two years, I have created cards for our CCRE and Priest to give the confirmands. Last year my cards were much more artsy. This year they were simpler. I pray you enjoy both.

This is May 2019 Version. I used Brusho Crystals and water to get a galaxy-like affect, and sparkled it up with Wink of Stella, by Stampin Up.
The Confirmation Set is from Sweet N Sassy Stamps
This is a picture of the mess that is crafting… I love a behind-the-scenes-peek.

Each card is slightly different, and I love that. They took a little while to make, but labors of love are fun, and a blessing.

The new Military Bishop started his post this past Summer. And he decided this CCD Year’s confirmation was going to be in October. Usually, they are in the Spring here, but we pulled it all together. Our youngest was amongst the Confirmed (the day after his Birthday). Here is his picture:

Father Lito, St. Michael Christopher, and Bishop Muhm
October 25, 2019

This card was way simpler. I simply stenciled on the rays, stamped a quote on the front, and added a sentiment to the inside. God is colorful and He is simple –

This is the end result of the card. Simple orange grosgrain adds a pop of color. God is Light. The Holy Spirit is fire. I love the simplicity of this.
This is a Misti Stamper, so fun to use. Positions the sentiment on the inside so easily. I’m blessed to have it. Makes aligning things so simple.

One last image. Each year, we make Holy Spirit cupcake toppers. After they dry, the Confirmandi’s names go on them, and a toothpick is glued to the back. Of course, they are cut out. You get the idea. Picture is below (before name and cutting out).

May you have a blessed rest of your Saturday!

Hugs & Blessings All,
Communion of Saints – Pray for us as we are praying for you.
LadyEm

Catholic Faith · Knowledge/Learning · Saints · Spirituality · Virtues

Entrusted With Much…

Dear Ones,

Happy Feast Day of Saint John Capistrano. He is the Patron Saint of Military Chaplains.

Happy Wednesday. Please join me in praying for good men to join the Chaplaincy. We need Catholic Priests to serve the military. If you knew how taxed our Priest was. Sigh. Saint John Capistrano PRAY FOR US!Let us ponder the Gospel of Luke today… Specifically Luke 12:48. Here are a couple translations:

“Much will be required of the person entrusted with much.” or “To whom much is given, much will be required.” What does it mean?

 If we have been blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, time, and the like, it is expected that we benefit others.

When I was young, people used to always tell me that as a leader, others looked up to me so it was so important I act a certain way, dress appropriately, etc. I used to think the things school administration, teachers, and my parents & grandparents said to me were manipulative. But you know what, they were for my own good – mostly. I say mostly, because… I am the person who puts a LOT of pressure on myself to get things right. I am a naturally anxious person who likes for things to go a certain way (aka a Control Freak)… So much so, it’s a regular item in confession because at this point I am so stressed out with it, my quality of life can be diminished by it.

I say to you all, MUCH HAS BEEN ENTRUSTED TO ALL CHRISTIANS! Yes yes it has. We must be vigilant in our faith. We must memorize prayers and parables, and as much of the Bible as we can. Why, you ask? Uh – because we don’t know when Jesus is coming back to get us and we need to get this right. In today’s reading from Saint Luke (12:39-48) the bottom line is – those of us who know better are held to a higher standard and WILL be punished for not doing the right things in a much harsher way than those who do not know.

We must remember we are sealed by God and have made vows, through our Confirmation as Catholics to be disciples and live a Godly life – to the best of our ability.

Additionally, I believe these verses tell us what not to do – but in a bigger way, they tell us what to do. And I tell you – no matter where you live, you must do for others. You must live like the Saints before us. You must buy that cup of coffee for a stranger, or pick up the items someone dropped, give clothes, groceries or even cash to those who don’t have. All of them, no matter what they look like, no matter what you THINK they may have or may do with the items you give them – YOU MUST serve them as if you were serving the Lord.

My grandmother and all the influencers in my life, taught me to do for others. I love to serve…. and I’m good at it. Truly – it’s such a blessing! I can’t always spend $$, but I can give my time and talent for CCD or in volunteering in umpteen ways. And remember… I don’t do things because I always want to or because I am a great person. I do things because GOD said to do them…. The Glory is GODS! Trust me.

I leave you with two things.

  1. We serve a forgiving God. But forgiveness is NOT an excuse to go sin. We, through the Sacrament of Confession, promise to try our best NOT to sin.
  2. We must be vigilant.

Have a great rest of your day sweet readers.

Love, Hugs & Blessings,
Lady Em

#LadyEmCrafts · Card Making · Uncategorized

Hope Anchors the Soul – a Quick Card

Dear Ones,

It has nearly been a month since I’ve posted. I really should stop promising to post more often. What I think I’ll do instead is surprise you. This way, I sound less like an idiot… ok ok, I judge myself harshly, but still.

I’m going to try to post crafty posts more often. This way, I will fill in where my lack of write-ability currently fails me. I said TRY, so don’t hold me to it.

The word HOPE is mentioned 192 times in the Bible. And recently one of my favorite stamping companies created a Stamp set, and is giving a percentage of the proceeds to victims of Hurricane Dorian. I am on a budget, but I bought the set because of it. I try to do my part – wink. LOL

1Peter 1:13 Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed.

And, so, I created a card, and I’m thinking about HOPE! I hope you like it.

The final card pictured with some of the tools I used.
Inside of Card. The caption is popped up.
I stenciled the first layer to place the Anchor on.
I used the Water-color markers to color the image, then spritzed
it with water, let it dry, and fussy cut it. So fun.

Things I used:

I hope y’all like it. I have made a few cards this past year, and will hopefully get them on the blog soon.

Love, Hugs & Many Blessings,
LadyEmCrafts