Tag Archives: Matthew Kelly

Five Favorites (vol. 11)

1 Jul

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It’s time for another Five Favorites with Hallie!

I mentioned a couple weeks ago, that I was in the middle of reading Matthew Kelly’s The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic. I have now finished it, and there were a handful of quotes that really stood out to me, although most of the book is highlight-worthy! So, here are five of my favorite passages from this book!

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I just love all of these quotes – so inspirational and so true!

Have you read The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic yet? What inspired you?

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Five Favorites (vol. 10)

18 Jun

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Happy to be back for another week of Five Favorites with Hallie!

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MAKE UP FOR EVER 5 Camouflage Cream Palette

MAKE UP FOR EVER - 5 Camouflage Cream Palette

I usually don’t spend a lot of money on makeup, but one of my must-have items is this concealer pallete. I bought it nearly a year ago and will still be able to get several more months of use out of it! I love how all of the colors are in one compact – salmon to neutralize under eye circles, green for red areas and blemishes, and skin tone shades. There are some great YouTube tutorials out there and those videos are actually what convinced me to invest in this product. I’m glad I did!

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PB&J Smoothie

Recipe: PB&J Smoothie - 100 Days of Real Food

This recipe is delish! It sounds kind of weird at first, but it is one of the best smoothies that I’ve had! My husband thought it was a little too peanut butter-y for his taste, but I had no problem with it! My girls loved it, too! I even snuck some spinach in there and it still tasted amazing!

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Clearblue Fertility Monitor

I’ve been doing Natural Family Planning now for about eight years. Two years ago, after my second daughter was born, I decided to invest in the Clearblue Fertility Monitor as an extra measure to make sure I was reading my signs of fertility and infertility correctly. I am pretty aware of my bodily symptoms, but sometimes I’d forget to take my temperature at a certain time or whatever and my chart would be a little incomplete. I love that there is a three-hour window each morning to, er, tinkle on a stick so it can check hormone levels. I’m sure several women reading the post are familiar with this, but for more information on how to use this product for NFP, check out the Marquette Model.

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The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic

The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic

I’m currently reading this book by Matthew Kelly, one of my favorite authors/speakers! I love what he is doing with The Dynamic Catholic Institute! Anyway, I’m about halfway through the book and there are so many great passages worth highlighting, as is common with many of his books! I really love what he has to say about prayer. I’ve been reading/listening to some great stuff on prayer lately and plan to do a post in the near future about this essential element of pursuing God’s will!

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Speaking of prayer, here is a great visual metaphor…

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Have a great week!

Embracing Our Vocations: The Key to Joy

8 Feb

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sometimes pursuing dreams can be selfish.

We may be so focused on achieving what we want to accomplish so that we can make more money, be recognized, feel valued, etc., that we risk damaging relationships and destroying our faith.

So, how do we know when our dreams are good or when they are detrimental to us or others?  I think the answer comes when we take a look at what it means to have a vocation.

The past few days especially, I have been thinking about this quite a bit.  It’s been a consistent topic of conversation between my husband and me as we navigate what God is calling us to do.  And guess what?  I received a newsletter from DynamicCatholic.com this past Saturday with a special message from Matthew Kelly regarding this exact thing.  Here is what he wrote:

The Peace and Joy of Unique Ability

A few nights ago my little girl, Isabel, came into my office at home after her bath. With a huge smile, she walked over, grabbed my phone, held it to her ear, and said, “Call me, daddy!” I played along for a few minutes and then she came over, got up into my lap, buried her head in my chest and gave me a big hug. It was one of those times when I was able to be completely in the moment… and I was happy.

If I think back a few years, I was not so happy. I wasn’t unhappy. I loved my work, but something was missing. I didn’t have the deep peace and joy I have today. What was missing? Vocation. We talk a lot about it, but too often our talk is sterile and dispassionate. But vocation really is a thing of beauty. It is that thing that helps us make sense of everything. It is the feeling of finally being at home in our own lives. It is that place where your unique ability explodes usefully. It is the thing of great worth.

It also requires tremendous work.

How are you doing with your vocation? This Lent, I would like to encourage you to either search more rigorously for your vocation or give your vocation another look and recommit to it. Take it to the next level.

The world and the Church need more people who love life and live it with passion and purpose. Vocation animates us – brings us to life. Vocation fills us with a peace and joy that is immeasurable if we embrace and dedicate ourselves to our call.

Pretty powerful stuff!  Being an involved parent and spouse requires a lot of sacrifice, but it is also extremely fulfilling! This is exactly why my husband Adam tells people that he is the happiest that he’s ever been!  I’m sure the same can be said for anyone who has responded to God’s call for their life.  This is where we find our purpose, passion, and as Matthew Kelly stated, “peace and joy.”

Maybe, though, you are still saying “What is a vocation or how do I know what my vocation is?”  I did a quick little Google search to find a definition and stumbled upon the website Vocation.com.  While it is geared to those contemplating religious life, I found a great little article worth sharing titled, Is it a vocation or a job or a profession?  Below are a few paragraphs…

[…] when we use the word vocation we introduce a vertical dimension into our life, especially into our thinking process and decisions, since the point of reference when we talk about vocation is God’s will – what we believe he is calling us to do with our life, the purpose for which he created us as it relates to the salvation of our own soul and the salvation of others. So a vocation is not something you switch out of on a whim, since it is not something you go into lightly. In following a vocation the main question is: What does God want? and not: What do I prefer? So it would be a major mistake to approach a vocation to the priestly or consecrated life, or to marriage, thinking only of ourselves and not being willing to commit ourselves to it, “for better or for worse” because we know God wants us to see it through.

And so, if there is ever a conflict between our profession and our vocation, it is always the vocation that has to win. A married person who knows that a career opportunity that opens up to him will most probably destroy his marriage must opt for his marriage vocation even if the price is his career. A baptized doctor who risks losing his license if he refuses to do certain immoral procedures will follow his Christian vocation and even at the cost of his medical career. A priest who is a great success in a particular field of ministry and is asked by his bishop to serve in a different area must follow his priestly vocation which includes obedience to his bishop, rather than his “success” in a particular field.

I think the key when evaluating our dreams, is to always be sure that our aspirations are under the umbrella of our vocation.  Just as the article above mentions, if our goals are at the expense of living out our vocation, then they must be abandoned or reconstructed.

For us personally, the re-working of goals is why many of you may have been wondering why Adam’s website isn’t up yet or why we haven’t been promoting any new songs.  In addition to a lack of ample time, we have been going through a process of identifying priorities, finding nuggets of truth and wisdom, and assessing how everything fits in with our vocation of helping each other get to heaven and raising holy children.  I firmly believe that God wants to use Adam’s musical talents to reach people, but just how that all is going to happen  is still in the works!  I have already seen how much grace and peace he has given us especially in the past year, so even though the road ahead is a mystery, I have no doubt that we are on the right path.

When we stop trying to do things our own way and embrace God’s plan for our life, we will find true joy that is unattainable anywhere else!

9 Years of Dreaming

7 Jul

This month will be 9 years since Adam packed up everything and moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue his dream career in music!  He has often said that he would give himself 10 years to make it, and we are approaching that mark pretty quickly.  This time limit doesn’t really mean anything, though, because we are not going anywhere and Adam is not giving up on his musical aspirations.  Adam would not be “Adam” without his musical talents.  He does not have a back-up college degree.  This is what he was born to do.

Adam Lee singing with The Players in 2006

While thinking about this today, I recalled what Matthew Kelly writes in the beginning of The Rhythm of Life (pgs. 9-11):

If you don’t know what you want from life, everything will appear either as an obstacle or as a burden.  But one of the great lessons of history is that the whole world gets out of the way for people who know what they want or where they are going.  Be assured, if you don’t know where you are going, you are lost.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Do not say, “I am too old.”                                                            

Do not say, “I’m too young.”

Tiger Woods was three years old when he shot 48 for nine holes on his hometown golf course in Cypress, California.

Julie Andrews was eight years old when she mastered an astounding four-octave singing range.

Mozart was eight years old when he wrote his first symphony. […]

Bill Gates was nineteen years old when he co-founded Microsoft. […]

Thomas Jefferson was thirty-three years old when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. […]

Oscar Hammerstein II was sixty-four years old when he wrote the lyrics for The Sound of Music. […]

Nelson Mandela was seventy-one years old when he was released from a South African prison.  Four years later he was elected president of South Africa.

Michaelangelo was seventy-two years old when he designed the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. […]

Dimitrion Yordanidis was ninety-eight years old when he ran a marathon in seven hours and thirty-three minutes, in Athens, Greece.

Ichijirou Araya was one hundred years old when he climbed Mount Fuji.

Whether you are sixteen or sixty, the rest of your life is ahead of you.  You cannot change one moment of your past, but you can change your whole future.  Now is your time.

I love what Matthew Kelly writes about here.  I think we often give up on our dreams too soon because we don’t value our gifts enough and truly believe that God can do anything at anytime.  In Adam’s case, he often feels like his weight is holding him back.  He has struggled with this for a long time and it prevents him from thinking he deserves his chance to be successful yet.  Even though he writes amazing songs, has an outstanding voice, plays several instruments, and is very knowledgeable about different aspects of music and performing, he still lets this one thing hold such a significant place in his mind.

People are capable of amazing things with God’s grace.  He wants us to use the talents that he has given us.  Our dreams are what make us unique and give us purpose.  We just need to learn to have faith in God’s timing and have confidence that he will lead us to where we are meant to be.  This, of course, is easier said than done, but Adam and I are not going to lose hope!

Discerning God’s will

29 May

Overall, I guess my blog deals with the question of God’s purpose for my life and my family.  Today at mass the readings dealt with this specific topic, so I think it is the perfect time to discuss this a little more…

Adam and I have been focused on God’s will a lot lately, especially in regards to his career path.  He is starting to make decisions based on using his musical talents to bring others closer to God.  Adam wants to be a positive artist who writes/sings about the real life day-to-day struggles that we all have as human beings and show that there is hope even when things may be tough.  So I was definitely thinking about this when 1 Peter 3: 15-18 was read today, which says, “But in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence; and keep your  conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.  For it is better to suffer for doing right, if that should be God’s will, than for doing wrong.  For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.”

I’m usually not one to throw Bible verses around, but I feel that this really shows where Adam and I are at right now.  In Adam’s case, he is finally aligning his “artist image” with his “real life image.”  I feel excited about what God has in store for us, knowing that we are trying to keep our priorities in check and we are striving to be better individuals.

One author who talks a lot about being “the best version of ourselves” is Matthew Kelly.  A book that he has written, The Rhythm of Life, is focused on this topic and encourages us to have dreams and discover our talents.  Adam is currently listening to it, since he is not much of a reader.  I’d been encouraging him to read it for the past couple years and finally I broke down and got the audiobook.  It’s all in God’s timing! Matthew Kelly is a great motivator! He also encourages parents to frequently ask their children, “What do you think God is calling you to do with your life?”  In his book, Building Better Families, he states that as a society, we often ask kids, “What do you want to do when you get older?”  Many of us grow up to be unhappy with what we are doing.  Maybe asking a different question will bring more fulfillment and purpose.

For more about Matthew Kelly, you can check out his website:  www.matthewkelly.org.

Good night!  This mommy needs her sleep!