Bedtime Routine

One of my goals for January is to get on an eventing routine. Being on a routine to wind down at the end of the day can aid in falling asleep quicker and having deeper sleep throughout the night. So I thought I’d share with you my evening routine attempt for this month.

  1. Tidy Room: It’s hard for me to go to sleep with a messy room. Plus one of my habit tracker items this month is cleaning my room. I also light a candle at this point.
  2. Technology: It’s common knowledge that screens are the worst thing for sleep. But being a Catholic millennial, it’s hard to let them go. But it must be done. So I set my alarm, turn my phone to sleep mode, and plug in my twelve devices on the other side of the room.
  3. Bathroom Time: I wish I could be disciplined enough to take a nightly bath, my aunt does that. But instead, I brush my teeth, wash my face, and take a shower. I wash my hair twice per week. If I do, I will also blow dry my hair. I also put on one of my favorite products right now, Pacifica’s Wakeup Beautiful night cream.
  4. Coconut Oil: I like to put coconut oil on my feet and cover them with socks. My feet are so soft when I do this. I also put it on my hair ends and finger nails. Coconut oil is basically the best thing for a beauty routine.
  5. Prayer Journal: It’s super important to reflect on the day. I write down what I’m grateful to God for and where I struggled. I find both are necessary I really like to write this in my bible binder.
  6. Planner: I inevitably come up with a million things that I’ll need to remember the next day. So I have my bullet journal and blog binder with my desk ready for notes.
  7. Reading and Tea: I make myself a cup of chamomile tea with a squeeze of lemon, and sometimes a bit of honey or agave. I curl up in my chair next to my candle, with my tea, and a spiritual book. I don’t read novels before bed because they tend to keep me awake, even after putting the book down. If I read a spiritual book, it gives me something to contemplate while I’m trying to fall asleep. Right now I’m reading the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.
  8. Yoga: When I have a lot of time I like to do yin style yoga. In this style, I get into a position and stay there for a long time. In class, it’s between three and five minutes. Doing it at home, I stay in the position for as long as I can. If I don’t have a lot of time, I’ll do a quicker bedtime routine. Before I forget, I do this by candlelight only. It helps me relax and get into sleep mode.
  9. Finishing Touches: The last things I do are pretty simple and quick. I’ll turn on my fan because sleeping in a cool room helps one get to sleep. It also has a nice hum which helps down out some of the noise in the house. I’m a really light sleeper, so I need this. I also turn on my essential oils diffuser. I’ve been loving lavender and orange lately, but I change it up every so often. The last thing I do is blow out my candle. Then it’s time to crawl into bed.

My goal is to be in bed by ten, sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn’t. What is your bedtime routine? If you enjoyed this post, please consider commenting, subscribing, sharing on social media, and making a contribution to my Patreon.

Casper_wintersleep_v02

Thank you, and have a SPARKLY day!

Most Charitable Generation

Charity is so important and millennials are one of the most charitable generations. As a demographic, we do a great job of stepping outside of ourselves to help others in need. We start charities that help the homeless of our cities, we are the first to show up and protest injustices against refugees, and we are happy to raise money for environmental and animal conservation. We are a generation that does not shy away from doing hard work for those who need it.

I think this, more than our technologic savvy, is what makes our generation so amazing. We seek peace, not war, we embrace freedoms, and try to leave the world aa little better than the way we found it by opening gout hearts and our arms to the less fortunate.

Our Lord is very consistent and very insistent on the need to take care of those who are most vulnerable in our society: the orphans, widows, and foreigner. In the time of Moses, these people needed protecting; when Jesus walked the earth these people needed protecting; and still today, these people need protecting, Catholic millennials are poised to rise to the occasion to help young people affected by gang violence, support the single mother who has a husband in jail for having an ounce of marijuana on him, or to be a voice to the voiceless in other countries torn apart by war. Caring for those who can’t care for themeless is what we do as Catholics. According to St. Lawrence, the poor are our wealth as a Church. As millennials, our joy is found in this service. We love to use our time, talent, and treasure to help all people live happier, fuller, more inclusive lives.

I don’t need to write too many tips on today’s topic because this is just who we are, as a generation. It is written in our DNA to extend our arms to the needy. They only thing I will say is that Pope Francis said not to just give to the poor, but to encounter them. Whenever I give money, I like to look a person in the eye and remember their eye color. If I walk away from that person without remembering their eyes, I din’t encounter them, I didn’t recognize their unique human dignity. But to look someone in the eyes is to say they are your equal, equally loved by God, equally worthy of love, and an equal citizen in this country. We all need to feel equal so try to encounter people when you are serving them.

  1. How do you care for others in your community?
  2. How can you do more to use your time, talent, and treasure in the service of your neighbor?

Challenge: Look someone in the eye today.

Modern Crafty Queen

Before we get started today, I should probably define distaff and spindle. Both are tools used for working wool and flax.

Whenever I read this verse, I see the Proverbs 31 woman is crafty. I love crafty women, my grandmother is crafty and my childhood babysitter was crafty. They always made us things and let us help them with projects. Being crafty is important for a few reasons:

  1. You can make great, cheap, gifts for people which is important because we are always trying to save money. Plus gifts made of love are more cherished.
  2. Idle hands do the devil’s work. So rather than being mischievous, we can teach younger generations different crafty skills.
  3. Selling projects at craft fairs, online, or anywhere else, can be a good way to make a little extra cash. Remember, the Proverbs 31 woman is always hustling.

I think crafty arts are bring lost today to digital media, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Although I would recommend all young people learn handicraft skills like woodworking, sewing, and knitting, I think it is just as important for this generation, and future generations, to learn about coding, blogging, and e-commerce. As millennials, we are more technologically advanced than previous generations and we have found ways to monetize and build businesses around technology. We should embrace that and use laptops and wifi the same way the Proverbs 31 woman uses her distaff and spindle.

  1. What handicrafts have you always wanted to learn?
  2. What technical skills do you know and how can you use them to build income?
  3. What are some practical ways you can spend less time being idle, and more time working?

Learning Through Liturgy

Learning Through Liturgy is a bible study I have created to help share the beauty of Catholicism with people. I am a convert and one of  the things I found during my conversion journey was that there is a lot of information out there about Catholics. Some of it is good and true, some is ugly and incorrect. I wanted to provide a resource for people who were like me and walking on a spiritual journey searching for answers to why the Church does the things she does and teaches the things she teaches.

I found that each week in the Mass, the readings inspire a particular theme that can help answer questions the faithful may have. I used the readings as the foundation for Learning Through Liturgy. Each day we study a different reading from the week and use it to discover more about the Church. Each week, I have created a video to help fill in the gaps and explain the answer to the questions. I do this using our beautiful 2,000 years of Church history by quoting saints, popes, the catechism, and the scriptures. One of the things you will hear me say often is that the Church stands on a three legged stool: Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium (the popes and bishops). I believe standing on a three legged stool is a lot more safe than a pogo stick of just Scripture. That is why I utilize so many references in the study.

If you would like a preview of the course you can check out my free Advent study which is the same format at the rest of the Learning Through Liturgy course.As a thank you for those who are coming from my free Advent study, you can use the coupon code ADVENT to get a 75% off when you buy the full package.

Go to learn.thegenesisfeminist.com to find Learning Through Liturgy Year B and other studies for the spiritually curious.

Strength and Vigor

So my first thought when reading this verse is, “do you even lift, bro?” For me, yes, I love lifting because being strong is awesome and it’s great for the metabolism. But I don’t think that’s what the Proverbs 31 woman is about. She is a hard worker, someone focused and devoted to her tasks. She has  a vision of what needs to get done, and she gets down to business.

I’m a dreamer. Sitting here in chapel as I write this, the Lord said to me, Princess, if you spent less time worrying and more time working, you would have what you dream of. I love a quote by Pope Francis where he says, “You pray for the hungry. Then you feed the hungry. That’s how prayer works!” It’s almost amusing in its simplicity but it is a very important lesson to learn.

I think too many fantasy books and television makes us think prayer is magic. We wish we had something really bad, we visualize it, then we click our heels together three times and suddenly we have it. The Proverbs 31 woman is wise and knows anything in life worth having is worth working for, so that’s what she does, and that’s what we will do.

Becoming hat woman takes dreams, yes, finding your dreams is very important. Then pray about it, asking God if this is in his plan for you and how you can participate with the blessings he will bestow upon you to help make your dreams a reality. Next, make a plan. Gather your dream, the Lord’s grace, then form an executable plan to help you get from where yo are to where you want to be. Finally, execute said plan. God helps those who help themselves to get to work like the Proverbs 31 woman, gird yourself with strength and exert your arms with viol.

Things won’t always go according to your plan but take comfort knowing they will always go according to His plan. If you did step two, consulting with the Lord and inviting his Spirit into the planning process, you will find success in whatever you are looking to achieve. We have a God that always finishes the work he starts in each one of us. Be stubborn about your dream but flexible with the plan. Allow Jesus to wrk in you and your situation to bring to fruition the goals you have in mind.

  1. What are your dreams?
  2. How do your dreams fit into God’s plan for you?
  3. What’s your plan?

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Kind

A wife should be kind, especially in the difficult moments.

It is easy to be kind when someone is being kind to you, when you wake up on the right side of the bed, and it is a beautiful sunny day outside. It is far more difficult to make the choice each day to be kind to the person that knows where all your buttons are and how to push them. When married, a husband will be that person. At times he may wish to be playful and push those buttons for fun, he may be angry and choose to push those buttons out of spite. Regardless, it is important to react with gentleness and kindness.

There are people in our lives now that know how to push our buttons. They may be parents, siblings, or best friends. My brother knows how to push my buttons, luckily he is too afraid of me to do it often…or ever. I trained him well when we were children. My mom knows how to push my buttons, but often doesn’t realize she’s doing it. After I take a minute to cool off, it is easy to move past things wit her because she truly means no harm. My father can be a different story. He likes to push my buttons on purpose when he’s angry, at me, my brother, his boss, he just likes to pick at me.

It is very difficult and very sanctifying to remain kind when you know someone is purposely trying to hurt your feelings or get a rise out of you. What I usually do, but don’t recommend, is disengage, bottle up my feelings, and smile. This isn’t kindness, although many think it is. Some think being kind is about walking on eggshells around another person as to not upset them. This isn’t true kindness, and it isn’t being kind to you. You have a voice, given by God, to use to advocate for injustice. But you must speak with a gentle tone and kind words.

I would like to work on being kind, especially with my dad. First, it is important to recognize what the other person may be going through which has led them to treat you with unkind behavior or words. Second, humble yourself before that person and before God to see things from their perspective. Third, consider how Jesus would want you to respond to that person with honest loving kindness.

The people closest to us are the most challenging people to practice virtues on. They know us so well and we are comfortable enough around them to reveal our deepest self. Unfortunately for many of us, our deep self is sinful. Thankfully, we have a God in heaven who shines his grace into the hears of those who ask for more virtues like kindness and patience so that we are better equipped to love those he has placed in our path. I pray God will bless you and me with kindness, especially with those who intentionally push our buttons.

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WQ kind

Acquisition and Investments

Again in today’s verse we see the Proverbs 31 woman does her homework when she picks out a field. I notice she acquires it; although we know this woman already has a husband, I think this can communicate a lot to us single girls. I often hold myself back from certain things because I want a partner to participate in the process with me. I don’t want to travel alone, buy a car, or a condo without a companion to be part of the selection and accession process with me. But his is self-sabatoging and I don’t know how God’s plan for me will unfold, so I should be making steps in the right direction now.

Working hard for your money and using it wisely is very important for money awareness particularly when it comes to saving; here we see investment. There are a lot of different ways to invest your hard earned dollars: stocks, bonds, real estate. After doing your homework, and assessing your current financial situation and financial goals, see how you can begin making investments. Property has long been an investment, so much so we see the Proverbs 31 woman investing in property. She plants a vineyard on her land, but you could also rent a room or fix it up for later use. Regardless of how you choose to invest your money, it is important to do your research, calculate risk/reward, and pray before you make any moves. The Lord will tell you where your money, time, and effort will be best spent.

  1. Are you holding back from making big steps?
  2. What are your financial goals long term?
  3. How can you achieve those long term financial goals?

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Gentle

A wife should be gentle with her words and demeanor.

My mother is not gentle…at all. She always has a harsh tone in her voice. I know she doesn’t mean it, she just has an aggressive disposition. Unfortunately, I inherited this harsh edge from her. I don’t know where this comes from because my grandma is gentle. She’s tough, but gentle. I think a common misconception is that gentle means weak. I strongly disagree! One can be gentle with a toddler but when he or she hits their younger sibling, one can still discipline accordingly.

Being gentle is a disposition, a natural tendency to use a calm tone regardless of the situation and kind words even when under stress. It is a difficult thing to cultivate, but it’s something I’ve been working on for years and have actually made some improvement. Like with anything it wholly depends on God’s grace: my prayers and my cooperation. The Lord always blesses those who are trying to increase in virtue.

Part of my doesn’t want to say this because I think it may come off rude. But men are sensitive creatures. Sometimes more sensitive than women, and certainly more sensitive than they want any one to think they are. To a man who loves you, one harsh word or one aggressive tone can break his heart. Our awareness of the things we say and the way we say them is very important. We should always strive to be gentle, but not weak. Stay firm in your convictions but articulate them in a way that is sensitive to his sensitivities.

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WQ gentle

Why Read the Saints

This is one of those “Catholic things,” I know. There are so many saints that you’ll probably find one that has a journey similar to yours. The reason we have Confirmation saints is because we can get encouragement from learning more about them. They have walked this earth just like we are and thy have reached the great prize, Heaven! Heaven should be the goal for all of us, but that takes some effort. Reading the lives of the saints can teach us so much. Here are some things I’ve learned from some of my favorites:

  1. Pray through the mundane: St. Catherine of Siena was forced to do chores rather than pray. So she decided to pray while she worked.
  2. The worst sinners make the best saints: St. Francis of Assisi was a mess, and I mean a mess! But by the grace of God, he has become of the Church’s most popular saints.
  3. It’s okay to aks questions: St. Augustine has taught me that we can ask God questions. We can observed the world and people, ask questions and explore the things around us.

Too many people think the saints are all perfect. The truth is, they all started imperfect, just like us. But by the grace of God, spiritual practices, and supreme virtuousness they were able to become perfect and receive their heavenly prize. God’s grace is in the heart of each of us. We need only listen, and reading the lives of the saints can help!

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Early Bird

Early to bed, early to rise, makes you healthy, wealthy, and wise. The Proverbs 31 girl is definitely healthy, wealthy, and wife, as we’ve already begun to learn. Waking up early and starting the day strong is such an important habit to have. So many people talk about how vital it is to start the day off right. As I write this, the Lord has given me the task of developing a strong morning routine. Routine is very important, for me at least. Some things you may want to include in your mooring routine are:

  1. Making the bed
  2. Morning offering/devotional/prayer/bible study
  3. Healthy breakfast
  4. Journaling (especially if you are someone blessed with dreams)
  5. Workout
  6. Daily Mass
  7. Eucharistic adoration

We all know how important mornings can be to the rest of our day. When you wake up late, everything is behind schedule. So waking up early should become a priority for us now, because when the day comes we need to pack lunches and backpacks, we’ll appreciate those few minutes of quiet time before they wake up. To train yourself to wake up early, you’re probably also going to need to train yourself to get to bed early. Establishing a night routine can go a long way in your mornings. Here are a few things you may want to do in the evening to prepare for a good morning:

  1. Set out tomorrow’s clothes and anything else you may need
  2. Clean the bathroom/kitchen/fold the laundry
  3. Take a relaxing bath or hot shower
  4. Read a spiritual book
  5. Do an examination of the day
  6. Journal things that went right and things that went wrong throughout the day, things to learn from
  7. Make a to-do list for tomorrow

Routines are so important of us, so get into a morning and night habit that helps your body and mind associate with winding up and winding down for the day. Use these lists as a jumping off point but don’t be limited by them. My greatest tip for you is to include prayer in both the morning and evening. This will help you view your day through the eyes of God.

Challenge: Establish a morning and night routine

  1. How do/can you include the Lord in your morning?
  2. What prevents you from waking up earlier?
  3. What keeps you up at night and how can you put it at the foot of the Cross?

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