Ten Reminders of God’s Love for You

(I am reposting this because I think we all need reminders of God’s love every now and again. When we are struggling or hurting in various ways it is easy to forget that we are not alone. So, if you are struggling, I hope these reminders will give you some hope and courage. God bless.)

Reminders of God's Love

Image by albertobarquin0 (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain:

This post is dedicated to my Aunt Miriam who passed away a few years ago. She was one of the first people to encourage me to read the bible and to dedicate my heart to Jesus. I loved her so much and still miss her dearly. She loved God and understood His great love for us. She also loved to read her bible and did so faithfully. The Bible is God’s love story to us, so if you need a reminder of how much God loves you, here’s ten of them:

1. “O Lord, your love reaches to heaven; your faithfulness, to the clouds.” Psalm 36:6

2. “With age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you.” Jeremiah 31:3

3. “The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in His love, he will sing joyfully because of you.” Zephaniah 3:17

4. “As the Father loves me, so I love you. Remain in my love John 15:9

5. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15:13

6. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal live.” John 3:16 (My personal, all-time favorite verse from Scripture!)

7. “What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:35-37

8. “For I am convinced that either death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38

9. “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the holy ones, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” Ephesians 3:16-21

10. “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet we are.” 1 John: 31

I pray that you are touched by God’s love today. I pray that whatever you are going through you will have the courage and faith to stay strong. Never forget: You are loved. You matter. Your presence makes a difference in this world!

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Ten Meatless Meals for Lent

Note: I am reposting this with the express intention of highlighting the COMMENTS. Lots of people chimed in with their own ideas/recipes over the last couple of years, so if you haven’t checked them out, scroll down and please do!ย 

10 Meatless Meals for Lent

Do you find it challenging trying to come up with meatless meals each Friday of Lent that doesn’t consist of fish or pizza? I do. And for our family, we don’t eat meat on any Friday of the year, so it can be particularly difficult to not fall into a rut of eating the same thing every week.

So, to spark some ideas for you here’s a small list of our favorite meatless recipes. (Click on the recipe to go to its recipe instructions.)

1. Macaroni and Cheese. This is my sister-in-law’s recipe. Not only is tasty, it is SUPER easy to make.

2. Lentils: lentil Soup, lentils with rice or Honey Baked Lentils. (addition: As noted in the comments, this is a DELICIOUS way to eat lentils. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

3. Egg Balls. (Yeah,ย  sounds weird I know, but it is delicious! You just have to try it to believe me!)

4. Peas and Macaroni. This is my mother-in-law’s recipe.

5. 5 Can Soup. I got this recipe a long time ago from some friends in Ohio.

6. Veggie Omelet. (Or any egg dish such as fried, scrambled, souffle, etc.)

7. Potato Pancakes. This is a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes.

8. Beans and Macaroni. Another delish recipe from my mother-in-law.

9. Ratatouille. A classic French dish but easy to make.

10. Vegetarian Lasagna. Yum!

Other meal ideas would include, eggplant Parmesan; tuna casserole; cereal or other meatless breakfast food (such as pancakes, french toast, oatmeal – who says you can’t have breakfast for dinner?!); veggie burgers and vegetarian chili.

What are your favorite vegetarian and/or meatless meals for Lent?

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(Linked to Sunday Snippets)

10 Quotes About God’s Mercy From St. Faustina’s Diary

(Repost with revision)

Today I am going to share some quotes from St. Faustina’s Diary about God’s infinite mercy (in no particular order). As we embark on the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, let’s remember all that Jesus undertook for our salvation, and the great love the Father has for us. His great mercy is truly inexhaustible!

10 Quotes about God's Mercy from Saint Faustina's Diary

These quotes are the words Jesus Himself spoke to Saint Faustina, which is why they are in bold. The couple quotes in regular type are the words of St. Faustina. The numbers in parentheses refer to the paragraph number in the diary.

1. “Tell souls not to place within their own hearts obstacles to My mercy, which so greatly wants to act within them. My mercy works in all those hearts which open their doors to it. Both the sinner and the righteous person have need of My mercy. Conversion, as well as perseverance, is a grace of My mercy.” (1577)

2. “Let Souls who are striving for perfection particularly adore My mercy, because the abundance of graces which I grant them flows from My mercy.” (1578)

3. “I received a deeper understanding of divine mercy. Only that soul who wants it will be damned, for God condemns no one.” (1452)

4. “I have opened my Heart as a living fountain of mercy. Let all souls draw life from it. Let them approach this sea of mercy with great trust. Sinners will attain justification, and the just will be confirmed in good. Whoever places his trust in My mercy will be filled with My divine peace at the hour of death.” (1520)

5. “And I understood that the greatest attribute of God is love and mercy. It unites the creature with the Creator. This immense love and abyss of mercy are made known in the Incarnation of the Word and in the Redemption [of humanity], and it is here that I saw this as the greatest of all God’s attributes.” (181)

6. “Let the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. They have the right before others to trust in the abyss of My mercy. My daughter, write about My mercy towards tormented souls. Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight Me. To such souls I grant even more graces than they ask. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion, but on the contrary, I justify him in My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy. Write: before I come as a just judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justiceโ€ฆ” (1146)

7. “The flames of mercy are burning me. I desire to pour them out upon human souls. Oh, what pain they cause Me when they do not want to accept them!.” (1074 – paragraph 2)

8. “Tell My daughter, that I am Love and Mercy itself. When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls.” (1074 – paragraph 4)

9.” There is no misery that could be a match for My mercy, neither will misery exhaust it, because as it is being granted-it increases. The soul that trusts in My mercy is most fortunate, because Iย  myself take care of it.” (1273)

10. “Today the Lord said to me, Daughter, when you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My heart always flows down upon your soul and ennobles it. Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself entirely in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity. The torrents of grace inundate humble souls. The proud remain always in poverty and misery, because My grace turns away from them to humble souls.” (1602)

You can download a pdf version of this list here (no opt-in required): 10 Quotes About God’s Mercy From Saint Faustina’s Diary

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Ten Simple Ways to Beat the Heat

Hot enough for ya? ๐Ÿ™‚ It felt like July this summer has been one of the hottest ever and it looks like August is going to be quite a scorcher, too. Thank God for fans and air conditioning! Besides those, here a some other things we are trying to stay cool:

1. Close some vents and open others. In a lot of houses, at least the ones I’ve lived in, the upstairs is usually hotter than the first floor. It makes sense, giving that heat rises. To counter that, we open wide all the vents on the second floor and partially cover (and in some places completely cover) the vents on the first floor. I got this idea from my father-in-law and at first I was skeptical. However, once I actually did this, I discovered that it actually does help.

2. Close the curtains. I love the longer natural light that comes with summer, but the burning sun can add extra heat to a house. To counter this, I close the curtains during part of the day and in some rooms, all of the day.

3. Shut the lights off. Light generates heat, so except for the light I need when I am in a given room, I keep the lights off as much as possible.

4. Don’t use the oven. I don’t have to tell you how much heat the oven can bring into the kitchen and possibly other rooms in the house. However, one can only eat so much salad. You can grill just about anything, so that’s definitely the way to go. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you don’t have a grill, you can just as easily throw something into your slow cooker for a simple and yummy supper.

5. Wash the dishes by hand. Gasp! Believe me, I *love* my dishwasher; but, on the hottest of days – like when it was over 100 degrees – I’ll wash the dishes in the sink. Washing the dishes isn’t my favorite chore, but it does help.ย  Better yet, get one of your kids to wash them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

6. Don’t use the dryer. Again, the clothes dryer, like the oven, can generate a lot of heat. That’s why I often use a clothes rack or line in the summer. I love the smell of clothes drying in the fresh air! If it’s not practical or you can’t use a clothes line for whatever reason, dry running the dryer in the early morning or later in the evening.

7. Give the kiddies a bath. When it’s too hot and humid to be outside at all – even at the pool or beach, I’ll turn the bathtub into a mini-pool. I’ll fill the bath with cool water and throw in a few beach toys. Then I’ll put on Andrew’s swimsuit and let him play in the water.

8. Have some indoor fun. When you want to get out of the house, but it is way too hot to be outside, then it’s time to resort to other indoor activities. We don’t have tons of disposable income at hand; so, we have been utilizing the library A LOT. Our local library has many different programs going on right now and we have been attending many of them. Other options would be free or discount days at a museum or going to a matinee at the movies.

9. Stay hydrated. We all know how important it is to drink lots of water. In the summer, it’s paramount. Drinking lots of water is important to avoid dehydration but can also helpย  you stay cool. Try and at least drink a glass of water every hour. Besides regular water, sucking on ice chips or using an ice pack on the back of your neck may help you stay cool.

10. Cover up. It sounds counter-intuitive to cover up with clothes to stay cool, doesn’t it? However, wearing light-colored cotton tops or clothes, particularly moisture wicking fabric, will actually keep you cooler when outdoors for long periods. The fabric provides a protective layer against the sun (and skin cancer!), and allows for your sweat to evaporate to help cool you off. (By the way, I’m not saying you should never wear short sleeves, or shorts or a bathing suit. I’m just saying that covering up is one valid way to help stay cool. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

What are you doing to stay cool this summer? Please share!

(Linked to Top Ten Tuesday and Works for me Wednesday.)

My Top 10 Fondest Memories From Childhood

In this past Sunday’s Sunday Snippets, I read one of Kathleen@ So Much to Say, So Little Time‘s posts about her experience in looking for a new car. In her post, she shared some awesome pictures of the vehicles her grandparents used to cart around 10 children before the days of SUVs.

Reading her experience and looking at those pictures brought back some wonderful memories; so for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I thought for fun I’d share a few of them with you. ๐Ÿ™‚

1. Going to the Drive-in. This was the first memory I thought of when I read Kathleen’s post. This was back in the day when seat belts were non-existent and drive-in movie theaters were the norm. (I’m giving away my age here, aren’t I?!!) My parents would jam-pack me, my sister, my brother and a bunch of my cousins (along with beach chairs, blankets and snacks!) and head to our local drive-in. It was a steal. Once price per car for TWO movies! Truth be told, most of us wouldn’t last through the second movie; our eyes just wouldn’t stay open. ๐Ÿ™‚

2. Hide-and-go-Seek in the dark. This was a double thrill because we got to stay up late AND play one of our favorite games. ๐Ÿ™‚ We usually played this game inside, but sometimes we’d play outside, too. Playing in the dark definitely made finding the “hiders” that much more difficult!

3. My First Holy Communion. After all these years, I still remember my first communion like it was yesterday. I was so excited and nervous beforehand, and so happy. After the mass, my Aunt Virginia, who was a waitress at the time, brought me to the kitchen to sow off my communion dress to her co-workers. I have a picture of my dad scooping me up in his arms and gave me a big kiss. I felt like such a princess!

4. Thriller with Aunt Flo. Some of my (ahem) younger readers may or may not be familiar with Michael Jackson or his Thriller album. Well, me and many of my cousins were big Michael Jackson fans in our pre-teen years. My Aunt Flo (may she rest in peace), had the Thriller video and would do the most hilarious imitation of the graveyard scene!

5. Hitting the boardwalk with Papa. Growing up my parents would go in on renting a bungalow for a week with some family and friends in Keansburg, NJ near the boardwalk. One year, right before I started high school, my godfather’s dad (whom everyone called “papa”) came with us and one night he took me to the boardwalk. I don’t remember going on the rides, but it was a special time of playing the games, getting something to eat and just talking with him.

6. Rockin’ the rides with Big Aunt Betty. Speaking of the boardwalk: As kids, we always thought Big Aunt Betty was old; but, looking back she must have only been in her 60s. Anyhoo, whenever she came to an amusement park with us, be it Coney Island or Great Adventure, she would go on almost every ride with us – including the roller coasters! It was so amazing to us! Then again, Big Aunt Betty was an amazing lady. ๐Ÿ™‚

7. Early mornings at Sandy Hook. You can’t be raised in NJ and not go the beach. During the summer, my dad would get us up and out by 6am on many of the weekends to get to Sandy Hook beach. It gave us the opportunity to beat the traffic, get a good spot near the water before the crowds, and enjoy a little of the cooler weather before the sun came bearing down.ย  we always had such a blast – in spite of the sun burn I’d get EVERY TIME.

8. Walking to the roller rink. (Or riding our bikes.) The roller rink has been long gone from Airport Plaza, but before we had a car, my parents would sometimes walk us the 3 miles (seemed so much longer!) to roller rink to skate. This was even before the days of [gasp!] roller blades, when we skated on 4 wheels. It was cheap fun and good exercise. The hard part was walking back after we tired ourselves out from skating!

9. Family barbeques at Veteran’s Park. Between Veteran’s Park and the swim club next door, we had hours of fun over the summer growing up. The best were the years we had family gatherings with the extended family and friends for a day of swimming, eating, and games.

10. Sledding in Holmdel Park. The hills at Holmdel Park have always been perfect for sledding – and still are! The best part of sledding of course, was the hot chocolate to warm us up afterwards!

I look back and I realize what a grace it was to have such a good childhood. My parents weren’t rich, and struggled at times, but managed to provide us with what we needed – and more. There were definitely more good times than bad. I am truly blessed.

Now it’s your turn. Come share your fondest memories with us in the comments. I’d love to hear them!

(Also linked to Works for me Wednesday, since remembering the good ole times works for me!)