Wonder & Whimsy: Monkfruit?!

Now and then I like to share the helpful, enjoyable, and inspirational things that I have come across lately. Perhaps some of these might be just the thing you were looking for…

#1 — Gerard Manley Hopkins

I’ve been reading the poems of Catholic poet Gerard Manley Hopkins for one of the Catholic Reading Challenge categories. (Stay tuned for the upcoming blog post on that category at the end of the month.) They’re so beautiful and inspiring! Here’s a stanza from one poem titled, Easter, speaking of Mary’s anointing of Jesus’ feet with expensive ointment:

Break the box and shed the nard;

Stop not now to count the cost;

Hither bring pearl, opal, sard;

Reck not what the poor have lost;

Upon Christ throw all away:

Know ye, this is Easter Day.

#2 — Meal Plans (using Excel)

I’ve been frustrated lately with my (lack of) meal planning. So the other day I buckled down and created something that seems to be a keeper. I got the idea from this blogger, and tweaked it to fit for me. Basically, I created a meal planning and grocery list all in one Excel file. Continue reading “Wonder & Whimsy: Monkfruit?!”

Just Around the Corner

We’ve all heard the expression: “Spring is just around the corner.” Well, today is officially the first day of Spring, and I’m staring out my window at beautiful………snow……..several inches of it. The blossoms and birds will be a little while longer. It’s Winter’s ironic joke and last hurrah.

Looking at the tree limbs and deck covered in piles of white, one would never think of Easter being a week and a half away. It’s hard to imagine that in a very short time we will have sunny 60-70 degree weather. Though the view from my window tempts me to think that Winter will be here for awhile, a glance at my calendar tells me otherwise.

I find this phenomenon — this contrast between the weather now and the weather soon coming — to offer a particularly timely meditation for the transition from Lent to Easter in our lives as Christ-followers, especially since we are almost to Holy Week on the liturgical calendar. Continue reading “Just Around the Corner”

Remember Your Song…A Playlist to Help!

Happy Easter! And happy Easter for the next 45 days! Remember that the Easter season is the longest liturgical season in the Church year. It lasts for 50 days, ending on Pentecost Sunday. I love the Church tradition and theological significance behind the liturgical calendar, and I found a helpful summary article for those who want to understand better the calculation of the Easter season and its impact on the rest of the liturgical year.

Obviously, Easter is everything for us Christians. Easter is the reason for our faith and the fulfillment of every promise throughout salvation history. We need to keep celebrating the joy of the Resurrection in intentional ways throughout this season. I find that one of the best ways to sustain the focus and meaning of a liturgical season is through music. Well-selected playlists help to create an atmosphere in my home that reflects the current liturgical season; so I have made an Easter playlist, and I’m sharing it with you!

I created the list on Spotify, and you can play it there by clicking the link. If you don’t use Spotify, the list of songs is below for you to either purchase or find in a different subscription music service. I have selected songs that celebrate the joy and hope that we have in the Resurrection, from a variety of musical styles and artists.

Each of these songs is a beautiful reminder to me of the endless reasons to praise God throughout this season — and always! We have a redeemer; his name is Jesus. Because he lives, we have eternal hope. Because he lives, our whole lives can be a beautiful melody that praises him in the present and looks forward to the promise of eternity. We are meant to make a joyful noise to the Lord, and these songs are ones that fill me up to overflowing and help to fix my heart on what is really important, what is central.

Sometimes we forget to sing; sometimes we forget that we (in our daily lives) are supposed to be participants in the eternal song of praise to our Redeemer. That’s why the 50-day liturgical season of Easter is really a gift from the church, as every liturgical season is. These seasons help us remember our song and remember to sing it. Let us not forget St. John Paul II’s words:

“We are an Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”

He is risen! Hallelujah!