We are Half Way Through the Year. How is it going?

Can you believe that we are half way through 2017? I can’t believe it is June 1st already! It is crazy how time is flying by so fast. I think it is a good time to take a look at how things are going and revamp some things.

It is funny how everyone makes goals and plans in January just to abandon them a couple (or few) months later. But, the thing is, every day is a chance for a new beginning – and so is every month or quarter. So let me encourage you: If you have made plans or goals in January that haven’t planned out, take a little time to create new ones or to tweak the old ones. Don’t be discouraged and think that it is all down the drain. It’s not. God gives us the gift of each new day and new chances to start over. He is so good!

Every Day is a New Beginning

For me, this year is definitely not panning out like I had planned at all. In some ways, I feel really behind, but in other ways, I feel like I am growing and evolving, which is a good thing!

My word for 2017 is courage. I thought that meant doing certain things for growing my business but it has turned out to be more personal. It was a tough school year for my son, especially academically, and we had to navigate and adjust to the challenge. It wasn’t easy but we got through it! On top of that, Andrew had a lot of activities and events – as well as other events in our family – which forced me out of my introverted self and into the world a lot of the time. I am learning that challenge (and change) can be a good thing.

Business wise, it has been interesting too. I haven’t spent much time on my writing website like I had expected, but at the same time, I have been growing and changing Simple Catholic Living in ways I didn’t expect. For starters, I joined a coaching mentoring program and I am now beginning to offer personal life coaching! This is definitely out of my comfort zone but also something that has been in my heart for a long time. It is my greatest desire to help women live purposeful and enriching lives (however that looks like for each person) and I think coaching will be a wonderful catalyst for that.

I’ve also created a Catholic Encouragement and Accountability Group on Facebook! It is free, of course, and I hope for the group that it becomes an active and safe group for like-minded Catholic women to support each other in our faith and lives. Now, I have to confess, that I have been absent from the group the last few weeks because I was away twice, finishing up Andrew’s homeschooling, and torn in many different directions. However, now that things are calming down, I plan to do Facebook live videos, challenges, themes, and more. Soooo, do consider joining the group and participating in the fun!

Therefore, even though I didn’t get the writing or publishing done that I thought would have been completed by now, I am giving myself grace. I am doing my best to let God lead and direct me, even when it means my plans go out the window. 😉

Now it is your turn. I would love to hear from you. Is 2017 shaping up the way you expect? Is it better than you expected or have you been thrown a curve ball or two? How will you tweak the rest of the year to make it what you want it to be?

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My Word for 2017

For the last couple of years, I have followed the example of Chris Brogan and set “3 words” to focus on for each year. This year, I am doing it a little differently. As I was praying for my words, only one word stood out:

COURAGE

No matter how I prayed or thought about it. It is the only word that stood out for me so I guess God is telling me something here!

My Word for 2017

Thus, 2017 will be a year of courage for me. It will be a year of action and a year of getting out of my comfort zone. I don’t know for sure what this will look like but I know it will mean some stretching and growing on my part. It makes me nervous but I know it will be a good thing!

I do know that I want to put myself out there more in an authentic and helpful way. This blog is all about encouraging and supporting women in their journey of faith and I want to do just that. And that leads me to my question:

What do you need? What struggles or questions of faith are you having? Would you be interested in coaching, retreats or courses about our Catholic faith? How do you think you can best be supported in living out a flourishing Catholic life? You don’t have to answer publicly in the comments. Feel free to use the contact page or email me a carol (@) simplecatholiciving (dot) com.

You are All Awesome – Thank You!

Over the last couple of weeks, I have gotten a lot of encouraging emails from readers letting me know that they were praying for me and my family.

Thank you!

I’m not sure what brought all the emails but I am so deeply grateful to each and every one of you! Thank You. It means more than you know.

One of the main reasons I started this blog is because I firmly believe that we are all in it together. We all struggle, have doubts, or feel like we want to give up at times. I believe that there are times when we lose our faith – or at least want to let our faith just go away.

And sometimes, we all need is a little encouragement, even from a stranger or online friend. 🙂 And, that is what the emails (and the comments I receive) did for me. They have encouraged me and blessed me so much. I just hope that through this blog, I can do the same for you and be an encouragement and source of hope to you.

God bless!

Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours!

I wish all of you a blessed, wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving! We all face trials and tribulations but we also have so much to be thankful for. I know that I am thankful for many things and one of those things are you! Thank you for reading and connecting with me here at Simple Catholic Living. You are all such a blessing!

Thanksgiving

Image by johnhain (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

The Little Paris Book Shop Book Review

I am slowly fazing out doing book reviews here at Simple Catholic Living and will be posting them on my new website, carolda.com, which is dedicated to book reviews, grammar tips, and all things writing. I love doing book reviews and I think my writing website is a more appropriate venue for them, as I really want to focus here on faith-related topics.

In that vein, I have written an in-depth review of the lovely book, The Little Paris Book Shop over at carolda.com.

LitteparisHere is a snippet of the review:

“The best way to describe The Little Paris Bookshop is satisfying. It is the consummate book for book lovers. At 370 pages, not including the recipes and list of books recommended by the protagonist, Perdu, it is a long book. However, once I started reading, I didn’t even notice the length. In fact, it could have gone on for another couple hundred more pages and I wouldn’t even have noticed! It did take me a long while to get through the book, though, because I had a strong desire and need to savor every word…Continue Reading

A New Year and a New Focus

A New Year and A New Focus!

Another year is over. Wow. Where did the time go? It went fast, I tell ya. 🙂 In looking back over my goals from 2013, there are many goals achieved, and of course, some that weren’t. In many ways it was a year of growth. I got through two semesters of college and I only have about two more to go! Andrew grew in many ways and accomplished a lot in homeschool. We moved and added a new addition to the family by way of a  dog (we are actually picking him up tomorrow, New Year’s Eve).

Blogging was another story. Classes took up a lot of my time and so the blog suffered post wise. It was what it was and I am okay with that. However, now in looking ahead, I feel called to go in a slightly new direction with the blog. I feel the Lord is calling me to use this blog as a form of ministry to busy Catholic women. I want this blog to be a place of refreshment and spiritually uplifting to women who are pulled into many directions on a daily basis. I also feel the Lord is calling me to challenge women to grow in their faith and in their relationship with Him.

How this new focus will look like in the coming months, I’m not sure. The Lord has been nudging me to share my faith and faith journey is a more personal way. That’s hard though, isn’t it? There is a risk in letting oneself be vulnerable, in showing one’s true self, but if it is what God wants, it is worth the try. 🙂 I also want to find ways to encourage women to read the bible more and will probably offer up my own reflections on scripture from time to time.

One thing for sure, there will be less “filler” posts. I won’t be posting much  about Andrew’s homeschool, recipes or home management tips unless it relates to what I am writing about. I will be sharing about those things on Facebook and Pinterest, though, so if you aren’t following me there, please do! By the way, if you haven’t already, I encourage you to sign up for email updates. I will be sharing exclusive content with subscribers on a regular basis that you won’t want to miss (as well as the free ebook “Six Unique Ways to Find Time for Prayer” you receive when you sign up). To subscribe, fill in your name and email address in the box on the side bar or under this post.

As far as the blogging schedule, I will probably focus on one or two posts a week. Classes start up January 20th so I will feel less pressure (a pressure I put on myself, I know!) to blog or feel (unnecessarily) guilty if I miss a post or two.

My desire for 2014 is to be more intentional, purposeful and to grow and be all the God wants me to me. I want this for you, too. My prayer for each of you during the New Year is that you be filled with all the blessings, joy and peace that only God can bring!

(P.S. If you are regular reader/subscriber to Simple Catholic Living, THANK  YOU! If you commented on the blog or emailed me during the year, THANK YOU. I truly appreciate the opportunity to share with and connect with each of you. 🙂 )

 

E-Book Review and Giveaway: That Works for Me!

I have been participating in “Works for me Wednesday” for a long while now. You probably have noticed the link at the bottom of many of my posts. Even when I don’t have a tip to share, I head over to Kristen’s blog We are that Family to browse the list of tips gathered there. I *always* leave learning something new or find an idea or I’d find a new recipe to try.

So when I heard that Kristen and freelance writer Jennifer De Root were compiling the many tips linked up at Works for me Wednesday into an e-book, I was thrilled! I couldn’t wait for the book to come out because I knew it would be a great way to have easy access to all those great tips that have been shared over the last five years. (And, I was also excited to discover that a couple of my tips made its way into the e-book. How cool is that?)

My Review

The e-book did not disappoint. As a matter of fact, it’s fantastic “That Works for Me!” is a whopping, 180 page, interactive e-book chock full of “tried and true tips from Works for me Wednesday.” It is brilliantly organized into 24 categories ranging from baby, to cleaning to recipes to travel and everything in between. You can see a sample page here.

One of the great things about this e-book is that a part of the proceeds will be going to Mercy House, an organization that helps pregnant girls in Kenya, Africa.

More about “That Works for Me!”

The Giveaway

I am happy to be giving away TWO copies of the “That Works for Me!” e-book! To enter, all you have to do is leave your name and email address in the comments.

There are also lots of other ways to get extra entries, too. You can

1. “like” the “That Works For Me!” Facebook page and then leaving a comment here letting me know you have.

2. Follow @works4mebook and leave a comment here letting me know you have.

3. Sign up for blog updates here at Simple Catholic Living (on the side bar) and letting me know once you’ve clicked on the confirmation link.

4. “Like” the Simple Catholic Living Facebook Page and letting me know that you have.

5. Follow me @simple_catholic and letting me know you have.

I will be picking two winners on Tuesday afternoon, April 24th. I’ll be doing this the old-fashioned way and having my son pick the names out of a hat. 🙂

(This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for details.)

7 Quck Takes: Random Stuff Edition

— 1 —

I accidentally missed the voluntary blackout to stop SOPA/PIPA on Wednesday. 🙁 Are YOU familiar with SOPA and the possible consequences it could have for you? For your blog? For your freedom of speech? Or your access to many different sights on the internet, such as Youtube, Wikipedia and popular mainstream sites?

— 2 —

If not, I URGE you to take a look at the following sights. Or, do your own research. Consider writting to your representatives and ask them to STOP SOPA or PIPA from passing into law.

Stop Online Piracy Act

PDM Editorial

Video ( A little over the top, but explains SOPA very well.)

— 3 —

Another thing weighing on my heart is the plight of this little girl. Apparently she is being denied a transport to save her life because she is disabled. I don’t know all the details. I don’t know both sides of the story. And know that many people are denied transplants for many different reasons. But, if what this girl’s mother is saying is true, than shame on the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. To deny a person the chance to live or to to have a better life because he or she has a disability is sick.

— 4 —

I think I’m a little over sensitive to the above because I am disabled. I have mild Cerebral Palsy. I’m fortunate. My condition is more mild than most. At first glance, you wouldn’t even notice that I have CP. But I do, and I  have physical issues that I have to deal with. So, I guess the thought of any disabled (or “challenged” person – be it mental or physical) person being denied care strikes close to home.

— 5 —

On a happier note, I got a Kindle Touch for my birthday! It arrived on Tuesday and I couldn’t be more thrilled! I’ve been wanting a Kindle for a while now. I’m having a blast finding books upon books to download. It’s going to take a lot of discipline NOT to snuggle in a corner to read all day! 🙂

— 6 —

My son starts back up with karate tomorrow. Well, if we don’t get the freezing snow and sleet we are supposed to get. I hate driving as it is and I won’t drive in snowy, freezing weather unless I.HAVE.TO. And with karate, I don’t have to! In any case, it has been hysterical listening to him practice: jumping around the house “karate chopping” everything within reach, and screaming “KEEYI!”

Karate stance

Taken a few months ago after one of his Karate classes

— 7 —

Finally, I’d like to wish one of my closest friends, Terry, a happy birthday today. 🙂 We have been friends since the summer of 1982. (Yep, that’s almost 30 years we’ve been friends, folks!)  She is a great gal and I am blessed to have been her friend for all these years.

Terry & Jen

Terry is on the left and my other friend Jen is on the right

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Simple Catholic Living Monthly Check-up (December 2011)

Like I expected, my stats went down in December (20% to be exact). I didn’t post or link up to other sites very much, so it wasn’t a surprise. My demographics were pretty much the same they had been over the past few months. So, all in all, I don’t have tons to report this month.

google analytics dec 2011

This month’s top referrers: This has been the biggest change except for Google and “search engines” continuing to be my biggest referrers.

We are That Family (Works for me Wednesday)

Conversion Diary

This That and the Other Thing

Oh Amanda

Ehow

I also got a small amount of traffic (4 – 10 visitors) from KathleenBasi.com/blog, catholicmothersonline.com, and sarahsdeals.net

This month’s top posts: (Besides the home page which gets the absolute most)

How to Make a Spiritual Bouquet

Slow-Cooker Ham and Cabbage Recipe

Words to Live By: Life Lessons

Ten Fun Craft Ideas from Pinterest

Ten Family Game Night Ideas

A few honorable mentions include: Ten Reasons I Love my Husband; 10 Prolife Charities Worthy of Donations this year; Our Ten Favorite Christmas Movies.

Monthly (and yearly) goals:

I am keeping my goals for this blog very  modest this year. Like I mentioned on Tuesday, I am going back to school to finish getting my bachelor’s degree. This endeavor is going to suck up a lot of my time and energy, so my main goal is to maintain my almost daily posting schedule and current readership. Of course, I’d love to increase my readership, but my goals in that area will be minimal.

As for other goals, I want to write 4 e-books this year: one each quarter. My plan is to spend 30 minutes a day writing so achieve this goal. I also want to a weekly series of posts based on a monthly theme.

 

Thankful Box

Thankful Box

This is Andrew’s version of this idea. We are going to put the box in a prominent place. Each day everyone one in the family can write what they are thankful for on a piece of paper and put it in the box and then I’ll have Andrew read each one aloud on Thanksgiving Day.

(I know our box isn’t nearly as nice as the one I linked to, but our version of the box was Andrew’s idea and craftsmanship. He’s happy with it and that’s what matters! 🙂 )

(Linked to Wordless Wednesday and Wordful Wednesday.)