Am I Being Sent or Sending Myself?

Yesterday, I shared a question that has been on my heart.  Am I being sent or sending myself?  I think it’s a valid question, and one we can all struggle to answer from time to time.

You’re still welcome to click here and share anything you’re struggling with these days, too.

But the truth is that we are all being sent on a great mission.  It is a mission of mercy!  We all have a role to play in this life, because each of us is a part of the greatest story ever told.  You are a part of the greatest story ever told.

So even when we feel uneasy about whether we are carrying out God’s will in our lives, if we are seeking Him above all things, we can quiet our fears.  Even when we feel unsure of whether we are being sent by God to do seemingly ordinary things, or whether we’re just creating our own plans and sending ourselves, we can take courage.  We can rest and stand confident in the knowledge that we are loved beyond measure, and that we are all in fact being sent on a great mission of love.

Every moment brings new opportunities to embark on a mission of love and mercy.

And that’s where we’ll leave off for today.  You are being sent on a great mission of mercy.  How might you be asked to serve next?  And what does it mean to be on a mission of mercy?

More on that tomorrow!

– Kaitlyn Clare Mason

What Are You Struggling with These Days?

In an effort to better serve you, I am wondering what you’re struggling with these days?

Are you struggling to simplify your life?  Are you feeling like you don’t have enough time in a day?  Are you struggling to put down your technology and get outside?  Are you struggling to forgive someone?  Are you struggling with creating and sustaining meaningful friendships?  Are you struggling with the idea of sharing your faith with others in a world that needs to hear your story?  Are you feeling called to live more charitably but unsure of how to squeeze in anything extra?

These are just a few of the areas I’m planning to address in coming weeks.  But I’d love to hear from you.  I’m not saying I’ll be able to help, but I do care, and if you reply below, I’ll read every response.  I’ll also be praying for you for sure.

Here’s what I’m struggling with these days:  knowing whether my plans are God’s plans for my life or not… am I being sent or sending myself?  I suppose time will tell!  Peace be with you.

The 17 Day Anger to Mercy Challenge

St. Francis de Sales once said, “Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, not even if your whole world seems upset. If you find that you have wandered away from the shelter of God, lead your heart back to Him quietly and simply.”

Quietly and simply.  This is much easier said than done sometimes.  Anyone else agree?

While I do try to never discipline my children in anger, and while I try to keep the joy of Jesus, joy of Jesus down in my heart… I fall short.

We’re all human and we’re all going to make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we have a free pass to throw in the towel when it comes to reaching perfection.

“So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect,” Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:48.

I made a commitment to myself several weeks ago, that I was going to learn to control my anger once and for all.  No more snapping, yelling, or impatience – that was the goal.  I grabbed a glass jar and a bag full of pebbles.  Each day that I succeed in being only kind, merciful, and peaceful all the way until bedtime, I get to place a pebble in the jar.  This doesn’t mean I never raise my voice if a child is in danger or if I’m calling children in for dinner.  But my husband and children decide if I’ve earned my pebble to hold me accountable.

There are times when my voice needs to be firm, but my goal is to always transition rapidly from any sinful anger to mercy.  I know there’s righteous anger, and that’s not what I’m concerned about.  I’m talking about overcoming sinful anger and replacing it with mercy, which is another name for LOVE.

When I earn 17 pebbles, I purchase an Our Lady of Mercy scapular for someone who would like to start this beautiful devotion.  Why 17?  I decided that a pebble would be worth a dollar towards the purchase of a scapular, and the scapular plus shipping comes out to about $17.  Ha!  No other reason.  But I have heard it takes 17 days to break a habit…

I have earned a couple of scapulars for my friends, and I’m starting fresh today with an empty jar.  Would you like to join me?  

Use your $17 that you earn towards spreading devotion to Our Lady of Mercy – or for whatever you’d like.   More peace in your heart and home is guaranteed.

Reply “I’m in!” in the comments section below to sign up for this challenge.  And if you’d like for me to send you a free scapular when I earn the next one, send me a message on my contact page and say “I’d like a scapular!” – I’ll send one your way.

If you’d like some help along this journey, request your free 17 Day Anger to Mercy Challenge printable here with inspiration and a progress chart to keep you motivated each day. 

Remember, it’s okay if it takes you longer than 17 days to get all of your pebbles in the jar.  And stay tuned to this blog for more motivation on moving from anger to mercy in your heart.

5 Steps to a Capsule Wardrobe that Works for You

Yesterday I shared some benefits of a minimal wardrobe.  Here are 5 steps that I routinely take to ensure I’m maintaining a simple and merciful capsule wardrobe.  And I highly recommend using this 5-step process to create your own!

 

1.  Identify your style and what type clothing is comfortable and appropriate for you.

Is your style preference sophisticated?  Casual?  Are you wearing clothing that suits your shape and size?  Are you wearing clothing that is appropriate for your shape and size?  My style preference and size have changed many times over the past few years as I’ve learned what I like to wear best as a stay-at-home mother and how to dress when pregnant and postpartum. 

 

 2. Consider all activities where you’ll need different types of clothing, and how often you do each.

In my life, I need clothing for church, home care tasks, homeschooling, garden and homestead tasks, and workouts.  Occasionally I’ll wear an extra fancy dress to an event, or go somewhere to swim – these are extras. 

 

3. Plan out 7 days worth of your favorite clothing for this season, plus 2 extra days as backup (just in case).  Do the same for other seasons.  You’ll create a 7-day + 2 capsule for winter, spring/fall, and summer, and overlapping some items is great!  

You don’t need more.  If I get spit up on every day of the week, I’ll need to wash each item once weekly.  Plus, I’ve got about two backup outfits if needed.  I like to have about 2-3 skirts, 2-3 pairs of pants, 3 dresses, and 5-7 shirts on hand.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you don’t need 2 weeks worth of clothes if you do wash at least once a week.  Your 7 days will include everything you do each day, so make sure you keep 3-7 days of workout clothing if needed, etc. 

 

3.  Add your extras.

This may mean one scarf, one winter coat, one rain/light coat or jacket, one dress coat (optional – I prefer not having one… you know, the 2 coats thing…), one swimsuit, a few sweaters for cold days, a hat for gardening, etc.

 

4.  Add only the shoes you need.

For my life, this means 1 pair of running shoes, 1 pair of navy heels for church, 1 pair of everyday black flats, 1 pair of everyday closed toed shoes for winter, 1 pair of work boots for homestead tasks, and 1 pair of brown outdoorsy sandals for homestead tasks in extreme heat (all second hand except running shoes & work boots).  I could pare it down a little more.  I rarely end up wearing my heels – but this works well.

 

5.  Last step – I ask myself this question:  Am I approachable to someone who is homeless, in poverty, and to all those most in need when I am wearing these clothes?

And I believe this is really the most important thing.

 

What questions do you ask yourself when editing your wardrobe?  If you’ve been trying to get to a minimal wardrobe, what’s making that difficult for you?  

Benefits of a Minimal Wardrobe

I love the concept of owning just your essential items of clothing, which is also known as a capsule wardrobe – but not necessarily just for the reasons you may think.  Sure, owning less makes things easier on us, but it also makes things easier for others. That’s because capsule wardrobes are: a. simple, and b. merciful.

Wait – did I just say our clothing can be merciful? Yes. Read on!

How are capsule wardrobes simple?  They allow you to own less and to manage your items efficiently.  They allow you to spend much less time picking out what you’re going to wear and much less time caring for your few items of clothing.

They really streamline laundry – especially when you use this concept for your whole family!  I now look forward to laundry… seriously.

Okay, maybe not all the time, but it’s definitely way easier to get it done these days!

So, how are capsule wardrobes merciful or kind?  They free up resources for others in this world.  They are kind to the environment and kind to others.

“If you have two coats, one of them belongs to the poor,” said Dorothy Day.  “Live simply that others may simply live,” said Mother Teresa.  Every time we free up material resources in the world (ie: let them go), others can benefit from those resources.

When we free up our time, we have more time to use to extend mercy to others – which I’m pretty sure is the reason we exist.

Also, I consider my clothing merciful because (aside from things like camisoles, socks, and an occasional gift) – it’s all second-hand.  Second-hand is always my preference!  A benefit of a capsule wardrobe comprised of used items is that it is easy on the environment.

Every time we purchase a new item of clothing (or of anything for that matter), it’s like we’re saying to the world, “Yes, world, you need one more shirt!”

Granted, clothing eventually can wear out.  But at least in America, we’re pretty quick to toss garments into a “donate pile” rather than stick with them until the end.  There are tons of clothes out there in the world not being worn.  So, can’t we wear those used items and free up resources for something else?

I’ve owned too much clothing, and I’ve owned too little.

I define too much as having so many options I have to think for a minute about what I’m going to wear, and I define too little as waiting for a clothing item to dry because I need it to leave the house.

As a mother of 4 children ages 5 and under, I prefer to have a simple, easy to manage, merciful wardrobe.

So, tomorrow, I’ll be sharing 5 steps I like to take to ensure I’m maintaining a simple and merciful capsule wardrobe.  I highly recommend using this 5-step process to create your own!

Have you ever tried reducing your closet to just a week or so of essentials per season?  If not, what’s held you back?

Here’s a great little video from Jennifer L. Scott about her time living in France that may give you some extra motivation – click here to view!

Ransom Prayer to Our Lady of Mercy

This prayer has been on my heart for some time now, and I had trouble articulating it for a very long time.  Then one morning, the words were all there.  I would like to share it with you today.  We are all held captive to persuasions of the devil at times, we all struggle with these persuasions (and they sometimes do lead us to sin).  We are all in great need of prayer.  So together, let us pray for each other:

Our Mother and Lady of Mercy, we come to you fervently seeking your aid.  Our loved ones are falling, our dear friends ensnared, and those without anyone to pray for them stand at the brink of destruction.  Extend your mantle of refuge and protection lovingly to cover mankind, to cover all sinners.

We pray explicitly for the ransom of all souls held captive to the devil’s persuasions.  Many have been persuaded, but mighty is God’s merciful hand that saves, reaching out to the very gates of hell to rescue all repentant souls.

With you, O Blessed Mother of Mercy, we ask that God’s graces illuminate souls to clearly see His Will.  May God grant courage for all to amend their errant ways, and may the peace of God perpetually accompany all who return to the right path, fixing them Heaven-bound.

For all souls held captive to the persuasions of substance abuse and addiction… we pray for their ransom and return.

For all souls held captive to the persuasion of abortion…

For all souls held captive to the persuasions of contraception and sterilization…

For all souls held captive to the persuasions of pornography and eroticism…

For all souls held captive to the persuasions of trafficking and abuse…

For all souls held captive to the persuasion of suicide…

For al souls held captive to the persuasion of euthanasia…

For all souls held captive to the persuasions of violence and terrorism…

For all souls held captive to the persuasion of heresy…

For all souls held captive to the persuasion of atheism…

For all souls held captive to the persuasions of promiscuity and immodesty…

For all souls held captive to the persuasions of active homosexuality and gender confusion…

For all souls held captive to the persuasions of lust, pride, and all sin…

And for all those in turmoil who care deeply for these captive souls, we pray for their healing and restoration.  May the rays of your Son’s infinite and unfathomable mercy shatter the devil’s snares, redeeming all held captive to his empty persuasions.  We ask this of Jesus through your tender and Immaculate Heart.  Our Lady of Mercy, Pray for Us!  Jesus, we trust in You!

Request your free printable copy of this prayer here!

You can place it with your prayer cards or somewhere in your home so you can remember to pray for the ransom of all souls held captive to the devil’s persuasions. 

This prayer can accompany the white scapular of Our Lady of Mercy, also known as Our Lady of Ransom.  This is the scapular that I have felt called to wear, and I have found that it is a powerful and beautiful form of devotion to Our Lady.  You can join me in this mission of mercy and purchase one of these special white scapulars here!

*This prayer was first published on YouAreMadeNew.com here.

Here’s the Full Audiobook!

Episodes of this audiobook are all together below for your convenience.  You can play them during your car ride to Grandma’s, at bedtime as children are settling down for the night, or listen in whenever it works for you.

And if this series has been helpful to you, or if you have suggestions or ideas for another series or topic, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!  Thanks for your patience with my technical glitches, too.  😉  Wishing you a beautiful Advent and a wonderful Christmas!  And keep watching the horizon – Jesus is coming back!  Peace be with you.

Love,

Kaitlyn Clare

 

Episode 1:  View Text Here / Play Audio Below

 

Episode 2:  View Text Here / Play Audio Below

 

Episode 3:  View Text Here / Play Audio Below

 

Episode 4:  View Text Here / Play Audio Below

 

Episode 5:  View Text Here / Play Audio Below

 

Episode 6:  View Text Here / Play Audio Below

 

Episode 7:  View Text Here / Play Audio Below

 

Episode 8:  View Text Here / Play Audio Below

 

Episode 9:  View Text Here / Play Audio Below

 

Episode 10:  View Text Here / Play Audio Below

 

Episode 11:  View Text Here / Play Audio Below

 

Episode 12:  View Text Here / Play Audio Below

 

Episode 13:  View Text Here / Play Audio Below

 

Episode 14:  View Text Here / Play Audio Below

 

Episode 15:  View Text Here / Play Audio Below

 

Extra Content:  Matt Maher’s Chaplet of Divine Mercy / Lacy Rabideau’s A Picture Book of the Mass (Illustrated by the Masters!)

 

[Audiobook] Watching the Horizon: Advent Series for Toddlers – Day 15 – Last Day!

*This is a Divine Mercy themed Advent series created especially for toddlers.  If you’re eager to share the joy of this season with your littlest ones, keep on reading!  Subscribe to this blog to continue receiving these posts in your inbox throughout Advent.  Continue reading “[Audiobook] Watching the Horizon: Advent Series for Toddlers – Day 15 – Last Day!”

[Audiobook] Watching the Horizon: Advent Series for Toddlers – Day 14

*This is a Divine Mercy themed Advent series created especially for toddlers.  If you’re eager to share the joy of this season with your littlest ones, keep on reading!  Subscribe to this blog to continue receiving these posts in your inbox throughout Advent.  Continue reading “[Audiobook] Watching the Horizon: Advent Series for Toddlers – Day 14”

[Audiobook] Watching the Horizon: Advent Series for Toddlers – Day 13 – 12/14

*This is a Divine Mercy themed Advent series created especially for toddlers.  If you’re eager to share the joy of this season with your littlest ones, keep on reading!  Subscribe to this blog to continue receiving these posts in your inbox throughout Advent.  Continue reading “[Audiobook] Watching the Horizon: Advent Series for Toddlers – Day 13 – 12/14”