Welcome to this series celebrating the launch of my booklet from Our Sunday Visitor,The Handy Little Guide to Prayer!I’ve asked some friends and colleagues to share prayers and tips to supplement the information in this booklet.
Are you struggling with prayer right now? Try this!
Do you keep a journal, or have you resolved to start journaling this New Year? I’ve road-tested several options for you, including two journals that you can use with your children. Journals make great last-minute gifts, too!
CatholicMom’s own Allison Gingras created the “Stay Connected” Journal series (GraceWatch Media) this year and authored the first of the three journals from the series that have already been released. If a full-year blank journal is overwhelming, try these short journals: Each is designed to be used over the course of seven weeks and can be used individually or in a group setting. They’re pretty journals, printed on quality paper, and the line drawings throughout can be used for coloring if you wish.
The Catholic Journaling Bible (Our Sunday Visitor and Blessed is She) is the full Catholic Bible, the New American Bible, Revised Edition, so you’ll read the same translation of Scripture you hear at Mass. The outer margins of each page in this Bible offer faintly-ruled lines for writing. I begin my day with this Bible; right now I’m praying over the daily Gospel and then jotting down a few thoughts. Occasionally you’ll find a page with a hand-lettered verse: If you’re artistic, you might want to embellish that page. This Bible is a high-quality hardcover book with a linen cover and elegant design.
Above All by Elizabeth Foss (To Take Up and Read) is a beautifully presented Lenten lectio divina journal. It’s based on Colossians 3:12-17 and combines original art and essays with Scripture readings and meditations — and offers plenty of space for you to write your own thoughts. This is a slightly oversized book, at 7×10 inches. To Take Up and Read has also produced many other journals for other times of year.
For You and the Kids
Side by Side: A Catholic Mother-Daughter Journal by Lori and Ava Ubowski (Ave Maria Press) was written by a mom and her tween daughter and is a fun way for moms and young girls to bond. Each page contains writing prompts that invite users of the journal to share their thoughts and their faith while they learn about virtue through the example of biblical women and the saints. (ARC received from publisher)
The Daily Question for You and Your Child (WaterBrook) is more of a conversation starter than a journal; at one page for two people’s answers for three years in a row, each person will only get to write a sentence each time. But the questions are a lot of fun. This journal would be good to use at the dinner table to spark an interesting discussion, or anytime parents and kids have some down time together. I’d recommend this for use with children 8 and up. (ARC received from publisher)
What’s a new journal without new pens to go with it? Here are a few of my favorites:
Zebra F-301 0.7mm (the only pen I use for the journaling Bible, which has thin paper)
Poust knew what she was doing when she titled that book. I battle cravings all the time.
Usually I lose.
When I lose, my health suffers and my waistline expands.
When I lose, I feel guilty that I’m not displaying the kind of self-discipline my diabetic child has to employ every minute of every day.
When I feel guilty, I self-medicate by giving in to more of the same cravings that I’m already feeling bad about giving in to.
This book is about health, and mental health, and spiritual health, because those all go hand in hand. I’m still resisting the suggestion that I keep a food journal, because I know what embarrassment would result if I do–even if no one sees it but me. But the author of this book has my number, and I need to find other ways of dealing with my feelings–ways that don’t involve feeding them chocolate.
I didn’t gain this weight overnight, but right now I think I weigh more than I did just before TheKid was born. I know it will take me time to lose it, and I’m going to go for manageable chunks here. I’m hoping I can drop 15 pounds by my birthday in late July. It’s a significant birthday, so it would be great to celebrate it a little lighter and a little healthier and with a better relationship to cookies, gelato and Milky Ways.