Friday, June 29, 2007

"Summer Mothering" Carnival

I am hosting a Carnival! It will be my first one and will have a "Summer Mothering" theme. How do you mother in the summer? What are your favorite things to do with your family? How do you wind down and slip into that summer mode? Do you vacation or stay home and take day trips? Do you do crafts with the kids, any summer studies, or just chilling out? Do you do anything special to keep prayer in your summer? Would you like to submit a piece for this carnival? You may email it to me at DMCooperOboyle(at)aol(dot)com. If so, please hurry because the Carnival is set for July 10th! :)

God bless!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Mom's "To Do" List

How often has a Mom stopped to pause at the end of the day, lamenting that she hasn't really completed all that she has set out to do? Her "to do" list is left unchecked and she feels a bit frustrated or disappointed because she feels unaccomplished. I like to remind mothers that their true "to do" list is in the care of their children, family and household. While a mother may want to spend more time in prayer or get more projects completed, she is positioned there in the heart of the home where our good Lord has put her to care for her family. It is actually wrong to leave the family to go off alone to pray, while the family is in need of her care. Of course, a Mom should strive to seek those quiet moments with our Lord, but never while neglecting her little ones.

A mother need only reflect for a few moments about what has actually transpired during her day and perhaps she won't feel so unaccomplished. I offer you an excerpt from my book, The Heart of Motherhood: Finding Holiness in the Catholic Home.

"Each morning we open our eyes to a brand-new day full of hope, promise, challenge, and opportunities. 'How will we use this day?' we ask ourselves.

Even our best-laid plans and intentions may not see their way to fruition. The care of our family and household can mean that all of the items on what we thought should be our 'to do list' just might not get checked off. Attempting to keep up with the never-ending care of our family--including housework, mounds of laundry, and a kitchen sink that seems to automatically refill with dirty dishes--can cause us to feel tired, disappointed, or inadequate.

On the days when we do not see the fruits of our work--errands completed, phone calls made, clean laundry nicely folded, kitchen counters sparkling, and floors dust-free--we need to reevaluate what is most important in life.

When we are feeling particularly unaccomplished, it's wise to reflect for a few moments on the events that have, in fact, filled our days. We need to remember those smiles that we brought to our children's faces. after drying their tears and cheering them up. How about all the sibling squabbles we refereed? What about our role of peacekeeper and treaty maker?

Then there was the walk out in the fresh air that we took with our young ones. It was not only healthy and a welcome change, but educational as well, since we talked about nature and about God, who fills the earth with beauty.

Maybe that trip to the grocery store with the crew provided us with more than just the essentials for this week's meals. Perhaps it also served as an opportunity for a short discussion about what foods are healthy and body-building and which ones are junk foods. (I say 'short discussion' because there is not a whole lot of time for in-depth articulation as we try to put the sugar-coated, pink-and purple-dyed snacks back on the shelves and quickly zoom down the aisle before the kids grab some more attention-grabbing stuff!)

We guide our children through the course of their day, reminding them to do their homework, pick up after themselves, take their showers and baths, and then reward their good behavior with lots of praise. We can teach them about cleanliness and responsibility when we recruit them to help with household chores.

Bringing them together in prayer around the dinner table, keeping them focused on what's really important, and encouraging them to think of others are not easy tasks in today's world. Yet these lessons are invaluable in helping to build our children's characters and mold their consciences.

Let's start every day with prayer. Each time we open our eyes to a new day, we have a wonderful opportunity to start with a new resolve to serve God even more lovingly. It is a practice that takes only a few minutes but can help transform an insignificant day into something quite beautiful and even holy."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Some words to ponder

"To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood. When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women." ~Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

What is the level of our womanhood? This gives us an idea of where we are and where we should be.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Breakthrough Pro-life show premieres tonight

I received information about this pro-life program premiering tonight on EWTN.


Bryan, TX - Christians around the country have been waiting for tangible efforts to help end abortion in their communities, and now an Emmy Award winning director has produced a show about pro-life activism for the largest Christian media outlet in the world, Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). The show will air in 128 million homes in 140 countries around the world and you are invited!

The program, beingHUMAN: 40 Days for Life, is like nothing you've seen before and shows how everyday Christians from different backgrounds can unite to end abortion in their communities. This powerful documentary style program will set Christians across America on fire to peacefully work to end abortion. It reveals how communities can make a difference by relying on Christ and taking their faith to the streets to save lives from abortion.

The show premieres on Monday, June 25 at 5:30 P.M. Central on EWTN, and you can help spread the word about this inspirational program by encouraging groups, churches, bible studies, listservs, and clergy to be part of this exciting event. The buzz of this program has been spreading for weeks and NOW the premiere is here. Watch previews at:

Churches and organizations across the nation have been awaiting this never before seen pro-life episode that has the potential to transform the pro-life movement. Make a difference today and spread the word:

Monday, June 25 at 5:30 P.M. Central

Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Mouths of Babes

I just found this beautiful and insightful post about motherhood over at Real Womanhood.

Ela Grace said, "Without a doubt motherhood is an efficient path to holiness. Our days are spent clothing the naked and feeding the hungry. We cannot effectively teach without example so it becomes imperative that we embody patience and kindness; that we forsake jealousy, boastfulness, arrogance and rudeness. Any mother will tell you that, all too often, insisting on ones own way is an exercise in futility."

Read the remainder of her post here.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friends on Friday

Our mother friend and blogger, Sarah from Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering is offering us some words to ponder today about cuddling our toddlers and children. She beautifully illustrates the sublime privilege of spending time with our little ones, cuddling and loving them before they grow up oh so fast!

Benefits of Cuddling with Toddlers

If it’s a half-hour before the alarm clock’s going off and you’re not ready for Noggin yet, there are worse things than letting her into your bed.
You never knew you needed so little pillow to fall asleep.

The Laws of Toddler Physics state that the toddler shall own twice as much blanket and pillow and bed space as the adult to whom she is closest.

That small head, nestled right under your chin with Einstein hair, will only be that small for approximately five more minutes.

Few things will make you as alert early in the morning as a razor-sharp knee or an oak foot in the small of your back or the top of your tummy.

Who needs an exercise regime? Keeping out of the path of her limbs will take off the pounds of five Der Dutchman donuts. Easily.

“Lub you, Mommy.”

The symphony of Someone’s snoring on the other side of the bed and Toddler’s almost-asleep breathing, punctuated with a few kicks from the one who can’t yet demand a place anywhere on the bed, is sweeter than anything composed by Beethoven.

Starting the week with cuddles never hurt anyone.

No one else in the house carries the particular aroma of being two. Whiff it in. Smile. Quick, before it’s gone.

It won’t be long and she won’t want me to cuddle with her. In any way. Ever.

(Incidentally, Sarah is expecting baby number two!)

Dear Sarah,

You are so wise to reap the benefits for you and your children in your cuddling now while they are young. There will be a time when our young ones, as they are growing may pull away from our signs of affection for them; embarrassed in front of their peers or just much too busy for our hugs and kisses. We should give those hugs, caresses, and kisses to them anyway, being mindful of our timing, of course. But, don't worry, will get the hugs back later on when they are older, too! Thank you for your beautiful words that remind mothers to pause and live in the present moment to enjoy their precious gifts from God!

God bless!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Please help me LIVE my prayers, Lord

Dear Lord Jesus, please help me stay focused in the mothering of my children, knowing the importance of my actions as well as my words in raising them. Help me to see that because I can not easily break away from the task at hand to seek the silence to formulate prayers and lift my heart to You, You will help me to transform my life into a prayer. Help me to be patient as my children grow, not trying to rush them, enjoying the time we have together. Please help me to remember that You know how busy I am with my family, and that although I want to devote more time to prayer, I have to be patient with this season of my life, knowing my acts of loving service to my family are very pleasing to You. Please help me to live my prayers, uniting my heart to Yours. Amen - (excerpt from my book Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Newsy Wednesday

Infant formula recalled:

Visit Catholic Exchange for an article about an infant formula recall.

Planned Parenthood reaps lots of cash by killing innocent babies:

Visit Catholic Exchange today for an article about Planned Parenthood and their profits from killing babies.

Don't allow abortion funding in family planning programs:

Visit Catholic Online for an article about family planning programs and abortion funding.

Could we perhaps afford a dollar, too?
Please visit Catholic Online for an article about a Boston shrine (existing on a shoestring) that ministers to the body and spirit.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tips on Tuesdays

Tip # 1: Our friend and blogger, Karen Edmisten offers a formula of prayer that she finds helpful. Visit Karen here to read her post on "Pirate Prayer."

Tip # 2: I'm also offering you this tip today: Here's a simple tip for Moms regarding "Getting there on Time." Do you feel like you are always late for Church or appointments? We all know that Mom's don't usually have much control over their time - youngsters have a way of "throwing a wrench into the works" when we are trying to leave the house with them. There is also the notorious diaper change that has to be done even though you had just changed your baby in anticipation for leaving the house! :) I think you get the picture! This strategy may sound too simple to work, but I have found that if I subtract about a half hour onto my anticipated time to leave the house, this generally gets me to my destination on time. If I have to leave the house at 1:30 PM for instance, I tell myself that I have to leave by 1:00 PM. So, if you are running late due to an unforeseen circumstance, you may not really be running late because you have subtracted mentally that half hour of time. This strategy is just simply adjusting the clock mentally so that you can allow for all of the things that always seem to crop up at the last minute. I don't have babies in diapers anymore, but the telephone rings, the dog gets lost, and there are so many "important" things that crop up with any age child that may need immediate addressing. I hope that extra half hour helps! :) I know it sounds simple but it works!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Topics, topics, topics!

Hello Moms,

Feel free to leave a comment for a suggested topic for a future show on my "Mom's Corner" segment with Teresa Tomeo on "Catholic Connection" on Ave Maria Radio.

Thanks and God bless!

Mothers, children and prayer...

"We know that it is our duty to teach our children to pray. Pope John Paul II reminded us of this when he said, 'By reason of their dignity and mission, Christian parents have the specific responsibility of educating their children in prayer, introducing them to a gradual discovery of the mystery of God and to personal dialogue with Him.'

Therefore, for eternal happiness for the family, a mother needs to develop her own personal prayer life, a family prayer life, and also encourage her children to have their own individual prayer lives.

Each morning as our children are leaving for school or work or play, we can send them off with a Morning Offering and a prayer to their guardian angel, asking for protection and guidance throughout the day.

We should get then in the habit of looking to God when they first wake up to face a new day, a fresh start, more blessings, and more chances to spread his love to others. It takes only a moment to drop down to our knees in humility before our Lord. Our children should be taught to take a minute out, no matter how much of a hurry they are in, to greet the Lord at the beginning of a new day. And when they forget, they will know they are welcome to speak to him as soon as they remember."--excerpt from my book, The Heart of Motherhood.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A few words on family...

"The family--above all--is the special place of the human person, it provides the environment in which the person is conceived, is born, and grows...the context of the person's earthly happiness and human hope."--Pope John Paul II

"Peace and war begin at home. If we truly want peace in the world, let us begin by loving one another in our own families. If we want to spread joy, we need for every family to have joy."--Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Should a Mom feel guilty for staying home and caring for her children?

"It is a disservice not only to children but also to women and society itself when a woman is made to feel guilty for wanting to remain in the home and nurture and care for her children. It is also necessary to counter the misconception that the role of motherhood is oppressive to women and that a commitment to her family, particularly to her children, prevents a woman from reaching personal fulfillment and from having an influence in society. No response to women's issues can ignore a woman's role in the family or take lightly the fact that every new life is entrusted to the protection and care of the woman carrying it in her womb."--Pope John Paul II

In my book, The Heart of Motherhood I said, "Staying at home and caring for your children when it is possible is not a luxury it is a decision."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tips on Tuesdays

Recently while giving a spiritual talk to a group of Moms, the subject of safety came up during our question and answer segment. One Mom noted that parents shouldn't call 911 for an ambulance from their cell phone when calling about an emergency from home, but rather call 911 from their land line because the land line should be connected with all of the information the ambulance people would need; especially your street address. Of course, if the cell phone is all that is available, by all means call from the cell phone and give accurate directions.

Do you have a parenting or safety tip that you would like to pass on? Feel free to leave a comment and it may be used on my "Tips on Tuesdays" to benefit other Moms.

Monday, June 11, 2007

"Mom's Corner" on "Catholic Connection" radio show

I invite you to listen in to the "Mom's Corner" segment on Ave Maria Radio show, Catholic Connection with Teresa Tomeo. Feel free to call in and share with us how you pass on the faith to your children. I will be doing this segment monthly with Teresa and will keep you posted as to when it will be. Feel free to send in comments about topics for our discussions regarding motherhood.

God bless you!

Embracing Motherhood!

I felt inspired to start this new blog dedicated to motherhood. You can visit it here. If you would like to submit a verse or piece you have written about motherhood that will edify and inspire, feel free to email it to me and it may be posted on my "Friends on Fridays." Feel free to stop by often for motherly sentiments!

I hope and pray that Embracing Motherhood will edify mothers everywhere!

God bless!

Not Perfection, Just Peace

I have come to realize that
My house may never be perfectly clean,
Or aesthetically correct.
I may not always be up to date
With the latest fashion.
Perhaps my nails are not always nicely manicured.
But I do have consolation in knowing
My children are happy And on the correct path,
Because I put in the time,
The patience, the sacrifice, and the love.
Thank you, Lord for the grace
To see the meaning and significance in a mother's love.
(excerpt from my book, Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers)