7QTs: Early Mornings, Journaling and a 1st Birthday

7qts talking about family

Another week has flown by! I’m linking up again with Kelly from This Aint the Lyceum for 7 quick takes on the week that was!

  1. Marriage Referendum – Next month, there will be a referendum in Ireland to redefine marriage. If the ‘yes’ side win, then Ireland will become the first country to introduce same sex marriage following a referendum. Last Friday saw the launch of the ‘no’ campaign. Its going to be an interesting few weeks.
  2. Sleeping Baby T

    I can’t believe this little girl is one!

    1st Birthday My baby is now a toddler! We had a lovely day, a walk to see some deer, a small family lunch, presents, coffee cake (homemade!). I was worried the excitement would be too much, but even though she’s only one, I think baby T had a lovely day!

  3. Early Mornings As baby is only napping once a day at the moment, I’m trying to find more time in the day to get things on my wishlist (things I would like to do but aren’t important enough to make the to do list) done. Husband suggested I get up an hour earlier… now, this seems like an obvious, fair suggestion but since becoming a mum, I have learned that I take the sleep where I can, so this was a painful suggestion. Anyway, Tuesday and Friday mornings I woke up an hour early, bright eyed and bushy tailed and crossed off a few things on my to do list and my wishlist, which gave me a great start to the day. I might try and make a habit of it!
  4. Spiritual Journal I used to keep a spiritual, or a prayer journal, and I found it really helped my faith develop. Somewhere along the way, the practice ceased, until this Lent, when I started journaling again in the Blessed Is She Lenten Journal. I vowed I would continue but there was a slight delay between finishing the old one and starting the new. I am glad to say before the delay became prolonged, I have started journaling again!
  5. Toddler Book On the subject of journaling, poor baby’s baby book has gaping holes in it and the idea of going back to fill in the gaps is, at the moment, a daunting prospect. So, while I was shopping for a spiritual journal, I also bought a toddler book, to mark the start of a new era!
  6. sewing seedsGardening Lots of seeds to be sown in April, and time is running out! I planted tomatoes and beetroot in seed trays, and put some rocket and garlic in containers.
  7. Studying and blogging Did I ever mention I am doing a part-time distance learning MA in Applied Theology? I’m currently doing a module in the socio-political context of the family. It’s incredibly interesting and challenging, and there is a lot of reading and information to take on board. I have decided a good way to process my thoughts would be to write some short blog posts about key aspects of the subject. Watch this space!

Thank you Kelly for hosting! For more quick takes, visit This Aint the Lyceum!


7QTs: Reflecting on Lent

Reflecting on LentCan you believe Lent is over? It’s crept up on me this year! After weeks of “I’ll do better next week” or “I’ll start again tomorrow”, I now look back at my attempts at prayer, fasting, almsgiving and general offering-up. It wasn’t one of those Lents where I gave up something big (sweet things, cigarettes, alcohol), and eagerly anticipated celebrating Christ’s resurrection with a Creme Egg McFlurry. I didn’t have a giving-up plan. Although my Lenten preparations weren’t perfect, I didn’t completely fail either. Here are seven quick takes…

  1. The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy

Do you know what the Corporal or the Spiritual works of mercy are? I have to be honest, I didn’t. At the beginning of Lent, I printed them out and stuck them to my fridge, so I looked at them at least a few times a day, and became more intentional about incorporating  them into my daily life.

The 7 Corporal & 7 Spiritual Works Of Mercy talking about family

  1. Visit the Sick

So I know this technically comes under my #1 point, Spiritual works of mercy, but I have done so much of it this Lent, I think it deserves its own bullet point! A few members of my family have been ill and in hospital. Poor them- Florence Nightingale I ain’t! But, with the help of God’s grace, I think I was able to bring a little help and comfort to them. Thank you, God!

  1. Giving up little thingsDeliciously Ella Sweet POtato Brownies Talksing about family

Like I said, this year wasn’t one of those Lents where I gave up something big. My diet is almost vegan, and I am avoiding sweet treats as a general rule, so giving up sugary things would be cheating, as I don’t eat any anyway. However, I recently discovered Deliciously Ella’s Sweet Potato Brownies.  Super-healthy, dairy-free, gluten-free deliciously chocolatey goodness. No, really! This was my one indulgence since I discovered Deliciously Ella at the beginning of the year. Well, around the second week of Lent, I realised this was my one indulgence that had to go!

  1. The Social Media Heroic minute?

Have you ever heard of the heroic minute? I first read about it on Brandon Vogt’s blog. The idea was that of Opus Dei founder, St. Jose Maria Escriva;

Conquer yourself each day from the very first moment, getting up on the dot, at a set time, without granting a single minute to laziness. If with the help of God, you conquer yourself in the moment, you have accomplished a great deal for the rest of the day. It’s so discouraging to find yourself beaten in the first skirmish (The Way 191).

Instead of giving up Facebook but turning to Twitter, or only checking Pinterest on Sundays, I decided to be more intentional about my social media usage. You know those times when you have a free minute and you find yourself drifting off into cyberspace? Or you think “I’ll just have a quick look at Twitter” and what seems like a minute later, you realise you have achieved nothing and actually wasted the last 15 minutes of your life? Well, the Social Media Heroic Minute was about nipping those moments in the bud. Close the browser. Put the smartphone down. Do something worthwhile instead.

  1. Reading ScriptureBlessed is She and Magnificat Talking About Family

I have never been great at doing this every day, even though my husband often reads the Magnificat over breakfast and leaves it on the table. Open. Ready to read. It. Couldn’t. Be. Easier! Some days, I confess, God gets squeezed out. This Lent, I have made an effort that no matter how long my to-do list, to put God at the top. I found that most days, by doing this first, the rest of the to-do list has handled itself!

  1. Spiritual Journaling

I was delighted to get my hands on a wonderful Blessed Is She Lenten Journal this Lent. I used to keep a spiritual journal, but fell out of practice somewhere along the way. I love getting the daily devotions from the #BISsisterhood, which prompted me to get the journal. Although I haven’t managed to write in it every day, I have been writing in it most days, and will be getting a new journal to continue after Easter Sunday!

  1. Changing plans

I  was really looking forward to the Triduum. Really really looking forward to it. After discovering that the Mass of the Lord’s Supper and the Easter Vigil clashed with baby’s bedtime, I realised I might not make all the Easter ceremonies this year. Then I read Living the Triduum. Although I may not be able to make it to the services, I’m inspired to remember Christ’s passion, death and resurrection through prayer and meditation throughout these days.

How about you? How was your Lent?

Thanks to Kelly for hosting 7QTs! For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!