Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

Lenten Family Activities and House Decor

Happy Ash Wednesday! Today on Instagram’s Stories I was talking about decorating our house for Lent. A couple people asked me to share how I decorate so I thought I would do a quick post about how we set up our Lenten decor and family activities.

Normally, our home already has Sacred Spaces – tables or tops of shelves where we have icons, candles, a Bible or statues. I share about the various spaces in our house in the post Creating a Sacred Space for Prayer. Today I’ll just be focusing about Lent.

First, I love putting wreaths or seasonal welcome signs on our front door. For Lent, I made a simple Lenten wreath to mark the season. I used a grape vine wreath and purple ribbon I purchased at a craft store. Super simple.

In our home’s entryway we have a prayer table that pretty much stays the same year round (except during Advent.) During Lent, I drape the Sacred Heart icon with a purple piece of cloth that was material remnant from a craft store. I use a purple vase and usually have purple flowers.

Also in the entryway we have a small bookcase and I placed the Blessed Is She “She Who Believed” Print in a frame with a statue of Our Lady and some flowers. (There were lots of Valentine flowers from my Sweetie to put around the house!)

The family room is where we are the most often to eat, watch TV or say our family night prayers. I use the top of a low shelf to make this seasonal prayer space. For Lent we remove the St. Michael the Archangel and St Therese icons and place John the Baptist and Padre Pio to remind us of the importance to repent and turn back to God.

This photo was taken last year when I also set up a candle centerpiece using a long rectangular tray filled with six votive candles for the six weeks of Lent. (This year I forgot to buy more votive candle at Target so I’ll do that this weekend.)

I purchased tiny wreaths from Michael’s Craft Store that fit around the candle. We add a wreath to a candle on each Sunday of Lent. We light the candles in the evening during our family prayer.

Two years ago I purchased/ printed off this Lent Calendar from Do Small Things with Great I placed it in an inexpensive frame from Ikea. (It was made with plastic front, not glass.)  At first we used a dry erase pen to mark a cross on each day as it passed. It is great for the kids, who have no sense of time, to see how many more days until Easter. After a few years of use, however, the front of the plastic frame was getting beat up so I removed it and they mark straight on the paper.

We also like Kendra’s idea of using Sacrifice Beans. Every time a family member makes an Acts of Love or makes a sacrifice they put a dried kidney bean in the bowl. On Easter Sunday the dry beans are changed to jelly beans (or some other treat.)

Another activity the kids enjoy is the Act of Love Jar. They are able to make their own sacrifices but if they need a little inspiration, they can choose something out of the jar. It will say things such as: I will share a toy with my brother. I will not complain today. I will clean up my room without being asked. I will make a card for someone to cheer them up. I will be nice to someone I don’t usually talk to at school. Things like that.

The Prayer Jar has a special intention for each day. During our evening prayer we pick out a petition to pray for such as: For pregnant moms. For our firefighters. For our priests. For those entering the Church on Easter. For the souls in purgatory. For people sick in the hospital. For the homeless. Etc. Anyone can also add their own intention into the jar too.

When we first started family prayer time the boys were younger and a lot more wild. There were nights when prayer ended with boys literally coming to blows and screaming over who got to blow out the candle or pick the prayer intention, which then followed with me yelling at them and Brian sending them to their rooms for misbehaving. (Aw, peaceful prayer time.)

Since they are used to having a “Student of the Day” in school so we took that same concept with the “prayer helper of the day.” The name rotates and that person is in charge of leading prayer, marking the day on the Lent calendar, picking the petition, blowing out the candle etc. It’s our third year doing it and my then 3, 5 and 7 year olds are now 6, 8 and 10 doing prayers without a single punch or fight. LOL. Frankly, they are doing an awesome job. (Although we are still battling a few “do we have to pray” attitudes now and then…. and, truth be told, its not always from the kids… she admitted guiltily.) 😉

A couple years ago we started using the Blessed Is She stations of the cross cards. I added them to the prayer space using a little stand and rotating them.

This year, Blessed Is She put out new Mary’s Way of the Cross Cards. I pinned them to some twine I hooked to the wall next to our prayer space.

During the week we pray a decade of the rosary. This lent we will pray Stations of the Cross on Fridays. We will use this book The Way of the Cross from Magnificat/Ignatius.

What about you? Do you have a favorite Lenten family activity? Do you decorate your house during Lent? Share in the comments. 🙂

Have a blessed Lent.

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify. 😉

She Who Believed: The Blessed Is She 2018 Lent Journal

It’s January 12 and I am still taking down the last of the Christmas decor. However, I’m also looking at the calendar in disbelief. Is Lent really only a month away?? It’s not possible! But the package I just received in the mail says IT IS possible because my Blessed Is She Lent Journal has arrived. Yay!

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Okay, so part of me dreads Lent ( and part of me loves the chance to stop, reflect and draw closer to God. Having the Blessed Is She journal to guide me along the way makes it all that much better. The journal was written by Laura Fanucci of Mothering (who also wrote the Advent 2017 journal) so you know it will be good.

Each day we will follow the same format – Read, Reflect, Respond and Pray. I especially love that the book explores the stories of women in the Bible (Old and New Testament) to learn what they teach us about prayer.

Laura explains it this way:

The journal also looks at four common types of prayer—adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and petition—and how real women wrestled with God about their struggles, their joys, and the deepest longings of their heart. My hope is that this Lent can be a season of entering into renewed relationship with God. Learning from the wisdom of those who have walked this way before us.

Another beautiful aspect of the journal is that Laura integrated “pause” days that would allow us to catch up (because, you know… life!) or to spend more time reflecting a favorite passage.

Lastly, although this book is called a journal, do not think that you are obligated to write or draw in it. It is a beautiful devotional on it’s own without ever having to life a pen. Plus, it is simply lovely to look at, thanks to the incredible talent of  Erica Tighe of Be A Heart Design.

Photo credit: Blessed Is She

If you have a Blessed Is She Membership then the Lent journal will be auto-shipped to you. Otherwise, the journal is available in the BIS shop to purchase. There is also a gorgeous Lent Bundle that includes the following:

The Journal

Photo credit: Blessed Is She

The 8×10 She Who Believed Print and

Photo credit: Blessed Is She

Mary’s Way of the Cross Cards

So, will be joining me on this She Who Believed Lenten journey? I hope so!

I’ll be posting my thoughts throughout Lent and you can follow along in the Blessed Is She community using the hashtags #BISLent and #BISsiterhood. Let’s do this together and encourage one another. 🙂

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify. 😉

Lenten Goals 2017: Put on Love - cwa_lent_3

Happy First Week (days) of Lent! In years past, I didn’t really buckle down until a couple weeks into Lent but each year I get a little better. Not perfect, mind you, but better. - cwa_lent_2

Ash Wednesday started out with a bang – a more stressful than usual morning with me upset and frustrated, the boys more wild than usual (or at least they seemed it) and I was already dreading Lent without making it an hour into it. Thankfully, I made it to morning Mass early and had some time to cool down and pray and get my mind and heart in the right attitude. And the rest of the day was lovely, right?? Well, yes and no.

If you follow me on Instagram and watched my instastories that day, you saw how I spent the first half of the day getting the house cleaned and decorating for Lent. It all looked so pretty! Yeah, it looked great but then I was given a little reminder that Lent is more than just getting the pretty prayer journal, and putting up the purple flowers and Lenten activities, it also meant actually putting my Lenten practices to work. - cwa_lent_1

What you didn’t see on the instastories was the second half of the day when things started to go downhill. I got a call from Brian about a work project that needed to be redone. Pronto. There was another issue with a family member that needed to be dealt with, also pronto. My car was on the fritz and they called to say the bill would be over $500. Add that to a number of other things that  went wrong in a few hours. Combine all this with being food deprived from fasting and well, let’s just say that mama had a meltdown by the time the evening was over. I hit that “don’t even look, talk or touch me!” zone, all the while thinking, “Damn it! I can’t even get past Ash Wednesday without screwing up royally.” Sigh. - cwa_cm_1

Thankfully, God is patient and his mercy is ready to pick us up and dust us off. After apologies and hugs were given to the family and after I checked the calendar to see when my next confession was scheduled (in a couple days) I was able to go to bed knowing tomorrow would be a fresh, blank page ready for me to start a new story. Happily, today was a better day.

I tell you all this because I know someone reading this will be a little encouraged that none of us have it all together and that we are all dealing with our own struggles and inadequacies. I also want to encourage you that no matter how many times we may fail, God never, never, tires of picking us back up.

Choosing My Lenten Fast

Each year I usually share with you what I am working on during Lent, mostly because I know my mom will read it and ask me how I am doing when she calls me. This holds me accountable. 😉

I was actually having a hard time narrowing down what I should give up or do for Lent but I was reading Kathryn’s blog post This, *This* Is Your Lenten Fast and her words kicked me in the arse. She said:

Rather than telling yourself, “Oh, Lent is coming, time to give up sweets and Dr Pepper,” let’s do something different instead.

Dig deep. Start with what you take to the confessional every time. Or, if you haven’t been in a while (hey, no judgment) start with something that takes your time away from God. Start with the thing that’s your barrier – maybe it’s social media, your attitude, the crap in your house or the junk in your heart.

Like a big neon sign was the words “Start with what you take to the confessional every time.” I know what that is.

Later I read Blessed Is She’s daily devotion for Ash Wednesday and Jenny said:

This Lent, don’t give up chocolate. Don’t set your alarm 15 minutes early. Not before asking Him what He wants from your heart. Ask Him how you can best make a sacrifice to become who He wants you to be. The fasting, prayer, and almsgiving of Lent are all for the sake of bring our whole selves, body and soul, closer to Him. Lent is about offering ourselves to God anew, asking Him to strip away the facade and, in His great mercy, to reveal to us those parts of ourselves that look the least like Him.

I opened up my Blessed Is She journal and it said in bold letters:


Ugh, stop it, Lord! You’ve made your point. Yeah, yeah, yeah. “Put on Love.” It makes a great prayer journal title and a great #hashtag for my IG photos but it is so hard to actually LIVE.

I’d rather just give up chocolate. (And for me, that’s saying a lot.)

However, when I look back at my little meltdown earlier, my self-love is glaring. Everyone was bugging me. Everyone was making me work harder. Everyone was stressing me out. Me. Me. Me. It’s all about me. Okay, so I was exceptionally selfish that afternoon (I blame it on the lack of food!) but I know myself. I know that I can be selfish and self-centered and that is what God wants to continue to root out of me. He’s been working on it for so dang long, and although I am better than I was in years past, I’ve still got a loooong way to go.

Revolution of Love Blog - lent_psalm_51

So for Lent I am doing some things that will help me curb my self-love. I’ll not bore you with the specifics but I’ll gladly take any prayers you can send my way. I, in return, promise to pray for you this Lent too. We’re traveling this journey together.

How can I pray for you this Lent?

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram. 😉




Lenten Update: When We’re Carrying a Cross Not Meant for Us - When We Are Carrying A Cross Not Meant for Us (cross_W)

Well, ladies (and perhaps the one random guy who stumbled here by mistake), it’s been two weeks since Ash Wednesday. How is your Lent going so far? I have mixed emotions about mine. As my kids would say “it’s kinda good and it’s kinda not.” There were a few days where I felt like I blew it but thankfully there is still plenty of Lent left to make improvements!

This morning as I was reflecting on the Blessed Is She devotion of the day, Joan was talking about the cross and seeing it as more than a decorative fixture in our house, but rather, as something that we live. But then I started thinking that sometimes we give ourselves crosses that God did not intend for us to carry. For example, the other day I woke up extremely tired because one of the kids was sick with a fever in the night and I was up taking care of them. I finally got back to bed and it seemed like moments later the alarm clock was ringing way too soon. This was a normal cross of motherhood. You take care of your babies and sometimes it leaves you sleep deprived but God gives you the grace to endure.

Another morning I also woke up extremely tired but that was not because of a sick child. Rather, it was because I was binge watching The Walking Dead to catch on episodes I missed. I went to bed way too late on a school night and the next morning I was tired and grumpy. That tiredness was a cross I then had to carry but I was never meant to. I was supposed to go to bed at the appointed hour and get a decent night’s sleep so I wouldn’t be acting like a Walking Dead myself the next day.

Is That Cross My Own Making?

As I considered this, other moments came to my mind with similar outcomes. One afternoon I was busy helping my in-laws and by the time I got home I was rushing around to get dinner on the table. I knew God wanted me to be a loving and helpful daughter-in-law at that moment and I’d just have to deal with the stress of getting dinner on the table in time. It was the sacrifice God was asking of me at that moment.  Another afternoon, I was also rushing around frantic to get dinner on the table but that was because I spent way too much time on the computer when I was supposed to be cooking. That cross should never have happened. Instead my sacrifice should have been turning off the computer and getting my butt in the kitchen.

Or how about the day I was feeling ill because I came down with a flu bug? Sometimes illness is unavoidable. But what about the time I was feeling sick and run down because I was overindulging in junk food or desserts. That was not supposed to happen. Get what I’m saying?

Take a Second Look

So while there are unavoidable things in our lives that will go wrong or will be hard to deal with, sometimes it’s helpful to take a second look and ask ourselves if there’s something we can do to ease the chaos or lighten the cross.  Are we overly stressed because we are mismanaging our time or over extending ourselves with outside activities? Are we upset that our husband isn’t pitching in yet we don’t actually tell him specifically how he can help us out and instead are resentful because he can’t read our mind? Are we running around crazy in the morning getting ready for school because we don’t have any kind of morning plan or order in place? Are we angry because there is so much stuff to organize and put away and we’re not dealing with the fact that we might just have too much stuff?  Are we grabbing a pizza again because we failed to make a menu plan ahead of time? Are we going crazy at work or school because we are getting sucked into someone else’s drama?

Only you truly know your situation. You may be doing everything as well as you know how and life is still chaos simply because you have babies and toddlers running around the house. That’s pretty much comes with the territory. You are carrying the expected cross of motherhood. Or maybe you have a stressful job and you can’t really avoid it. Whatever the situation, it doesn’t hurt to ask God to show you if there are any areas in your life where things could be eased up a bit if you just changed a few things around or did something differently. That way we can put our energy into the following the path God gave us and not stray onto difficult roads that weren’t meant for us.

Well, here’s to a blessed rest of Lent! Keeping you in my prayers. Please remember me in yours. xoxo

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope or Katch (past Periscopes), GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉

Lent Resources for Catholic (and Christian) Women and Moms - logo_lent_2016Can you believe that Lent starts in less than a week?? There have been far too many Lents when I didn’t really get my act together until a couple weeks past Ash Wednesday. This year, I’d like to put in the extra effort to prepare before Ash Wednesday so I can make the most of these weeks of prayer and spiritual renewal.

Would you lie to do the same? If so, here are four resources for Catholic (or Christian) women and/or moms. I have benefited from each of these ministries in previous years so I can wholeheartedly recommend these women to help you on your Lenten journey.


Blessed Is She

bis_on-the-way-sneak-peak-1_zpsf4wtavasPhoto credit – Blessed Is

Some may call me biased since I am one of the contributes at Blessed Is She but let me tel you, I receive far more out of BIS than I give. The daily devotionals and the community of Catholic sisterhood has been an enormous blessing in my life. They have awakened a desire to read God’s word more and to apply it to my every day and sometimes messy life.

bis_on-the-way-digital-version-400x400Photo credit – Blessed Is

There is a beautiful Lenten journal that contains the following:

  • Goal setting every single week of Lent
  • Reflections to help you pray through the week
  • Journeying with and learning about Saints
  • Gospel readings every day of Lent
  • Journal space for prayer and tracking your personal Lenten sacrifices and goals

The hard copy of the journal is sold out but the digital download is available. You can print out your own copy and stick it in a binder or take it to your local office supply store and have them print and bind it into a hard copy.

For more information and to order your digital copy, visit here.

Cost $15.



Waiting in the Word: A Mother’s Lenten Journey

Lenten_20Study_20Book_20coverDuring Advent I participated in Waiting on the Word: A Mother’s Advent Journey and I have to admit I was a little intimidated at first. The study was based on lection divina and although I had heard of that from my prayer-loving husband, it definitely was not something I had ever tried. However, I just loved the women who wrote the study – Nell from Whole Parenting, Laura from Mothering and Nancy from Do Small Things with – so I decided to give it a try.

I am so glad I did! They explained the process so clearly and beautifully that I was soon meditating on Scripture in a deeper more meaningful way. Plus, the fact that the reflections were written towards moms with young kids only made the points all the more relevant to my life.

I am pleased to see that the lovely ladies have written a new study for Lent!

They describe it this way:

Join us this Lent as we dive into scripture and deal with some of the struggles we all share as mothers: selfishness, frustrations, judgment, envy, failure and anxiety. This study is based on lectio divina, an ancient practice of slowly and deliberately reading scripture, a practice that can be so fruitful! Together let’s work to leave these sins behind and instead embrace sacrifice, forgiveness, love, gratitude, humility and surrender.

The Mother’s bundle includes:

    • A 55 page study that will guide you through lectio divina as well as offer you reflections from mothers who are right there in the trenches with you.
    • Journal pages.
    • Bookmarker

This is a digital product.  You can print out your own copy and stick it in a binder or take it to your local office supply store and have them print and bind it into a hard copy.

For more information and to order your digital copy, visit here.

Cost $11.


restore+(5)Photo credit: Elizabeth Floss

The Restore Workshop is a seven and a half week online course geared towards adult women who have struggled or are struggling with or want to avoid burnout. It is for any woman who wants to nurture joy within her life and the lives of those around her.

When Elizabeth Foss first created her Restore Workshop it was a couple of years ago and I desperately needed it. I was burnt out with the stress of Brian’s cancer and the toll it had on our lives. Restore renewed my spirit and strengthened me to keep fighting without losing my sanity.

This year Brian is still cancer free and although there is the normal every day stress, I am not experiencing burn out. However, I am going to register for the workshop because the content is so rich and edifying and I want to make sure I am doing everything I can to not only avoid future burn out but to unite my heart more fully to God and his will this Lent.


This is what you will receive with the Restore Workshop:

  • Exclusive online access to the author and the Restore community for support and encouragement.
  • All the content in Talking Together About Restoration.
  • All the content of Quiet Time for Lent.
  • 11 heart-to heart craft tutorials.
  • Printables with quotes and organizing templates for your home and your life and lock screen reminders.
  • 7 Downloadable podcasts with transcripts.
  • Community after the workshop ends.

I’ve got to say I am especially looking forward to the podcasts! And the transcripts make taking notes so much easier. 🙂

For detailed information about the Restore workshop and to sign up, visit here.

Cost (reduced from last year’s $65) now $49.


Think, Pray and Act for Lent 2016

crossOkay, so maybe the thought of workshops and blank journal pages to be filled is making you break into a cold sweat. Maybe you are in a phase of life when you literally only have 5 or 10 minute snippets of time to yourself but you still want to make an effort during Lent.

For you, I  recommend Danielle Bean’s Daily Emails with short 5 minute reflections. If you are familiar with her book Small Steps for Catholic Moms: Your Daily Call to Think, Pray, and Act then you already know her Think, Pray, Act format. I subscribed to her 40 Days of Lenten emails because they are perfect for those super busy days when I only have 5 minutes to pray before I have to head out the door.

For more information and to order, visit here.

Cost $7.


What Lenten resources will you be using this Lent?

(Note: For ideas of things to do as a family or with your kids, refer to last year’s Lenten Post.)

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope or Katch (past Periscopes), GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉

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In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo 🙂