Month of Mary

May is the month of Mary.

As a woman and mother, I look to Mary so often for guidance. As the mother of Christ, she had a crucial role in His life. She was entrusted with the task of raising Him, with patience, love, and tender care. She knew what an enormous undertaking this would be, she consented to carry Him in her womb and raise Him, she was by His side at His crucifixion, and was there when He resurrected. She knew intense pain and sorrow, but also great joy. She followed God’s will and dedicated her life to Him, trusting Him even in difficult and dangerous times, even when her only Son was taken from her. And she was well rewarded for her complete faith and obedience to His will. 

I look to her as an example of perfect motherhood, womanhood, and as someone who surrendered to the unknown, trusting in His plans for her. In truth, these are all things I struggle with. I struggle with balancing motherhood, I struggle with discerning His will and following it even if it goes against my own desires, I struggle with surrendering to the unknown and trusting in Him. When I struggle with these things, I pray.

The rosary is my favorite prayer because it takes us through the life of Christ with Mary, where we meditate upon key events in their lives and recall the words from scripture she was greeted with by the angel Gabriel and her cousin Elizabeth during each Hail Mary. I lose myself in the Mysteries, and every time I pray the rosary I feel closer to Christ and His mother. I feel more at peace, as though I have a clearer focus and am able to see His hand in all things.

She is one of our most valuable guides in our faith, a mother to all who seek her. I love that we just had Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, and now begin the month of Our Lady.

To Christ through Mary

Statue of Mary at St. Clement Catholic Church in Chicago, IL. 

Statue of Mary at St. Clement Catholic Church in Chicago, IL. 

Small Potatoes

Today was one of those days. First, I dropped my new ring and popped out the Moissanite. Then I had multiple frustrations at work, had a headache, it was raining and I had to get groceries, I saw my heating bill for the last month, I have a bunch of projects to do...the list goes on. It was a rough day, and I let myself become irritated and frustrated and overwhelmed with everything. 

It’s easy to do, to allow ourselves to become overwhelmed or irritated or frustrated. It’s easy to succumb to negative thoughts. On days like these, I ask myself what my prayer life looks like. Is He the center of my life? Is the relationship that matters most taking priority? You know what I need? A rosary. A full twenty uninterrupted minutes of prayer and scripture and conversation with Him. After a prayer session, even a small one, where I ponder His life and sufferings, His triumph and mercy and grace, after I’ve looked to Our Lady and the saints and ask myself how they would handle these situations, you know what I realize?

It’s all small potatoes, friends. All those problems are small potatoes, and I let them distract me and stress me instead of using them as opportunities to learn and grow in patience, charity, or discipline. I allow them to bring me down instead of using them to build myself up.

It makes a world of difference, whether I’ve started my day with prayer, ended it with prayer and thanks, appreciated every blessing and thanked Him for opportunities presented to me throughout the day. It takes more effort to be upset than it does to take a step back and contemplate, to return to what matters. 

Take a break, take a breath, say a Hail Mary and come back to your center, regain your focus and remember, it’s all small potatoes. 

#librasgarden #catholic #rosary #prayer #morganite #sterling #rosarymaker #morganiterosary #gemstonerosary

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Why I Don’t Share My Apothecary Recipes

Why I Don’t Share My Apothecary Recipes

Herbalism is both an art and a science. If I just handed out a recipe to someone, they aren’t making art, they aren’t using their own creativity and knowledge, but are merely replicating what’s been handed to them, and aren’t putting their own love and labor into it. And if they use that recipe and begin to sell to their friends and greater public, they aren’t selling their original product, but capitalizing on the work of someone else.

Goldenrod

Goldenrod

Goldenrod (Solidago spp.) is in full bloom here. It certainly brightens up the landscape! This is a plant I tincture, dry for tea, and infuse in body oil. Goldenrod is astringent, diaphoretic, vulnerary, and antimicrobial, and can be ingested or applied for a variety of ailments. There are many species, all are medicinal, though each species will have a slightly different scent, taste, and potency.

Focus on Him

Focus on Him

I joined the Church of my own volition, as an adult.  I did not join the Church to witness the weakness and errors of man, but the strength, Love, and mercy of Christ. Have we forgotten about the numerous faithful priests and bishops who had no part in this evil? You will never find a perfect institution, free from corruption and sin, because man is not free from sin and corruption.

When Herbs Become Commodities

When Herbs Become Commodities

When we lose connection to nature, we fail to respect and appreciate the limited gifts of the earth. We commodify that which is trending, and the land suffers for it - we all suffer for it. This season, and every season, pause and reflect on your needs before consuming. Consider how you can foster a connection to the earth and be an active participator in your food and medicine supply.