5 Favourite Things I’ve Learned In My #heroicminutechallenge

So, I started the #HeroicMinuteChallenge that was started by Arleen Spenceley and Leah Darrow a few weeks ago (I waited a full week before I joined in), and I’d be lying if I said I woke up at 5 am every single morning (I have more often than not though! And every day this week, so far) but I’ve been enjoying.

The purpose of the challenge, as I understood it, was that by waking up early in the morning we are able to carve out some time to do something we may not have time to do later in the day (pray, read, blog, etc) and I used it as the kick in the pants I needed to get to the gym in the mornings. I always mean to, but then I don’t. Then I mean to go after work (and then I don’t do that either).blog 5 faves

But it’s safe to say that in the last 2 weeks I’ve gone to the gym in the morning about 7 or 8 times, the mornings I don’t go to the gym I usually read).


I actually have time to make my bed in the morning. The first one is a little bit ridiculous, but I’m usually so rushed in the mornings that I’ve never mastered the art of making my bed every morning. Now I have the time, and it’s true what people say about how your room will look neater and it is more relaxing to have a made bed. So there, waking up 2 hours before my regular alarm, gives me time to be an adult. And that is awesome.


Immodest male clothing does exist. This isn’t a favourite persay, but it is something I learned. Since rejoining the Church a few years I’ve been trying to really grasp the concept of modesty because there is so much information out there, and I never really understood how a man’s clothing could be considered immodest. Then I started going to the gym at 530 am and there is a man that also goes that early who wears the tightest, shortest man-shorts ever. Like athletic boxer briefs. So yes, I’ve learned that sometimes men’s clothes can be immodest and that both men and women have to consider what they wear and more importantly, what they look at.


It’s easier to be at work. I don’t have kids, or a spouse but I do have a nasty habit of letting my work seep into every part of my life, and the last few weeks have been so busy that I didn’t even notice that the stress had started to interfere with my sleep and my life in general.  Taking some time in the morning for myself has made it so much easier to deal with work and stress.




Getting to 10,000 steps is not that hard. I joined a weightloss/diet group just after Easter and one of the statutes is to get 10,000 steps in and it is so much easier when I do 40 minutes on a treadmill in the morning. By the time I am done at the gym and walking to work I have about 2500 steps to get which isn’t hard at all.



The feeling of accomplishment. Even if I spend the rest of my day doing stuff of little importance, at least I’ve accomplished one thing for the day. I love the feeling of accomplishing something, even if it is just a 40 minute walk on a treadmill.


So, I’m not sure if I’ll keep this 5 am wake up thing forever, but so far it has been nothing but beneficial for me.





Linking up with Efficient Momma!


The #MarchforLife and Overcoming Fear

Yesterday I told someone where I worked.

This isn’t unusual for most people, but I don’t like confrontation and I’m timid and tend to avoid it. I can post stuff on Facebook and I try to keep it non-controversial, but on Facebook I can turn off the notification.

Today I told someone where I work, face to face, and it was terrifying.

I work for a right to life organization, and I’m okay with telling people when I know they are allies. For everyone else, I just say I work for a non-profit and pray no follow up questions are asked.

But today, I just said it without hemming and hawing and it felt natural.

I was shocked.

Fear is something I’ve dealt with forever. I’m fearful, anxious, and constantly worried about saying or doing the wrong thing in social situations.

Today, however, it just felt so natural. I stared at the woman and her face reacted a little bit but she said nothing: no confrontations, no accusations about being anti-choice or anti-woman.

Lately, my faith life has been…not the greatest. I’ve been busy at work, and there have been so many setbacks and it has been so discouraging. I have said the odd prayer here and there, mostly for strength.

I was asking for the strength to be courageous in the fight for life.

I was asking for strength to proclaim life to strangers, even if I’m hated, yelled at, and ostracized.

I’m still not perfect (obviously), and I’m still not sure that today meant anything. Maybe it was just a fluke. I don’t know.

But maybe, just maybe, it was the start of something.

Today in my province is our March for Life; tomorrow we gather to stand up for life from all stages, in all circumstances. Today I’m a face in a crowd, but still, we march.

I’m wearing a shirt with a bold slogan; it’s not exactly subtle.

And today I march for my little brother who is years younger than me and has special needs, but whose life is just as valuable as anyone else’s.

I march for a friend’s sister who happened to have Down’s Syndrome, because upwards of 90% of Down’s Syndrome children are aborted.

Today I march for those who are elderly, lonely, and suffering. Canada has removed its restrictions for euthanasia and, unless we end up with a miracle, euthanasia will end up in the same legal vacuum as abortion in Canada, with no laws at all governing it.

Today I march for women, all women, because our equality is not dependent on giving up our femininity. Our power lies within our ability to bear children and bring forth life.

Life is filled with less than perfect circumstances, but our ability to love those around us, at every stage of existence, regardless of age, location, or abilities should not be governed by circumstance. Love is a choice and it is stronger than death.

So today, above all, I march for love.

Being Catholic Is Awesome (Explained by Disney Princesses)


I am a young woman in college. Those who know me would say I’m a rain-loving and beanie wearing hipster, coffee addict, and bookworm. They would also say I’m passionately catholic. Of these identities, the most important is my faith. Being catholic is literally my favorite thing in the world and I thought I’d share some of the things I get a little excited about with my faith. (Through Disney characters of course).

1.) Praise and Worship– Basically a time to get crazy and praise Jesus like he deserves. No judging is accepted. You just sing and dance to worship the most amazing God. So beautiful.


2.) Confession– Where your soul gets a new start. We sin, we’re human. The good news is that God loves us so much, He forgives us. You walk in as a sinner, weighed down by guilt and the nastiness that is sin. You…

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#No2Trudeau – A Reflection

Monday night was the Fredericton stop for the #No2Trudeau campaign. I was a little bit apprehensive because I was the local organizer and no one was really committed to actually showing up. I was certain it would be just me and 3 other people in attendance.

The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness amongst the silent and not-so-silent pro-lifers that, in Canada, it is no longer possible to vote in good conscience for a federal Liberal member of parliament. Why? Because:


Source – CLC Youth

(Justin Trudeau has also said a number of other disparaging things about Canada. There is an entire website dedicated to his habit of putting his foot right into his mouth. But I digress.)

The focus of last night’s event was clear: pro-lifers need to rally and actively and vocally let people know that in Justin Trudeau’s Canada, pro-lifers are persona non grata. Thousands of children are being killed in utero. Children with beating hearts, unique DNA and human dignity are being slaughtered, torn limb from limb, and suctioned out of what should be the safest place for them.

The tactics used by the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform & Campaign Life Coalition – Youth  in their End the Killing Campaign are controversial. To be perfectly honest I was extremely on the fence about using graphic images of aborted children to further an agenda. (I’ve discussed this a little bit before after I assisted in the postcard campaign against Brian Gallant in New Brunswick in September).

These children have dignity. They have worth. They did not deserve what happened to them. No one deserves to be treated like this because every person is equal and worthy of life and love, but does that make the use those pictures appropriate or necessary?

In short, I would say “yes”.

These images force people to reconcile the idea of abortion with the reality of abortion. It forces people to see what they support. It forces people to confront the humanity of these children and their own culpability in legalized abortion, and most importantly, it forces a discussion. Change is ultimately made through discussion and public outcry.

At the campaign stop last night, Jonathon Van Maren, talked about how graphic image campaigns have been successful in the past. It takes perseverance, tenacity and ultimately, just constantly reminding people that every year in Canada 100 000 preborn children are killed.

He spoke of William Wilberforce and his mission to take down slavery by using images of slaves and their treatment on slave ships. Wilberforce was ultimately successful because he changed hearts and minds of the public by awakening them to the reality of what slavery looked like and how slaves were treated until the public outcry grew so loud it could no longer be ignored.

Jonathon spoke of Lewis Hine and his use of photographs of children in child labour situations. He showed images of children who were maimed because they were using machinery meant for adults. Like Wilberforce, Hine was ultimately successful because he refused to give up. People were, rightly, horrified by how these children were treated.

Thirdly, Jonathon spoke of Emmett Till, and how the photographs of Emmett’s dead, mangled body sparked the civil rights movement which ended segregation in the United States. After Emmett was killed and his mother saw what had been done to his body, she insisted the casket be left open and those images spread through news publications across the United States. Those actions inspired Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycotts.

Jonathon then spoke about how graphic images are used in the Amnesty International Campaign entitled, “It’s not happening here, but it’s happening now“.

These images enlighten and educate. No change has ever happened by people remaining comfortable. At a certain point everyone of us will be forced to see something we’d rather ignore.


Once we are confronted with these horrors, we can no longer say we don’t know. Sure, some people ignore them and explain them away; others can pass them off as someone else’s problem. Or we can start to raise our voice and make a change.

JVM no2trudeau

Viewing these images and the inevitable discussion that they cause can be used to engage in civil discussion. This will, in turn, change hearts and minds.

Prolifers cannot afford to stay silent; sometimes we have to force the issue. The longer we stay silent, the longer we assume that others will eventually come around to the idea that abortion is a violation of basic human rights and the longer the bodies of abortion babies will continue to pile up as medical waste.

The #No2Trudeau campaign’s goal is precisely this: to educate, inform and to push people to act on behalf of the victims of abortion, to signal to the federal government that pro-lifers will not be silenced and that we will rally; that we deserve fair representation. Justin Trudeau is not offering that to the Liberal Party and the Liberal voters.

They were guillotined 72 years ago today. And they deserve remembering.

Well, This Is What I Think

The White Rose Sophie Scholl and members of White Rose

One of the most disturbing, heart-rending and thought-provoking films we have ever seen was “Sophie Scholl – The Final Days”.

The movie covers the efforts of a resistance group fighting the Nazis called “White Rose” Although the White Rose is well known in Germany, it is not well known overseas.

Der Weissen Rose was a group of mostly students at the University of Munich in Bavaria. Some were studying philosophy. Most, but not all, were religious in some way. Some of the boys had done military service but were allowed to do stints at university between stints on the Eastern Front. This experience provided them with more knowledge of what was actually going on than the average person living in Germany at the time, and it appalled them, but in their courageous resistance they still come across as young and somewhat naïve. It is this…

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7 Quickies: Whole30, Lent and Shoes! Oh my.

Does anyone else feel like Lent snuck up super friggen fast this year?! I’ve been a spectacularly crappy Catholic of late, so I’m thrilled it is Lent so to begin a journey to get my soul in order.  So I went to Confession today to start things off right, and now, I can focus on growing in spirituality.



My prayer life has been severely lacking of late. I skim through the Blessed is She devotions, but I don’t read the bible verses just the reflection, and that is about it. I was really good about nightly prayers throughout January but the last week and a bit I’ve not been doing as good.

So, for Lent:

  • I ordered the Blessed is She Journal for Lent. I’m just waiting for it to show up! I’m so excited to work through it and I often journal when I pray in the evenings anyway so, match made in Heaven. Hopefully. (Also, I’m thankful I ordered it as soon as I heard about it because they sold out. They still have a digital one though!
  •  For the mornings, I really want to get into the habit of praying through the Lorica of St. Patrick as well as just a general morning prayer. I fail at praying in the morning.
  • Daily Mass! The Church near my work offers daily Mass on Thursdays and Fridays conveniently at lunch time. I plan to adjust my lunch hour to make it possible to go to Mass on those days.




Ah Lent, the time where people suddenly decide to give things up. And occasionally partake on Sundays. Or not. Whatever floats your fancy. (As an aside, I really liked what Mr. Bearman Stewart wrote on that topic the other day).

I’m giving up Netflix (and streaming) for the entirety of Lent. Even on Sundays. Anyone who knows me, knows this is kind of a big deal. I have Netflix on ALL the time. But, as of Wednesday, deactivated. Until Easter. It will suuuuuck, but I think it’s important. And I’ll probably be able to polish off one or two more books. 



Oh boy. I have decided to complete a Whole30 (Whole47?) for Lent. No Sundays off (not allowed) and no breaks until Easter (or Holy Week, I’ll be travelling home for Easter and I am truly terrible at eating healthy while flying/travelling).  I even joined up with Kelly as part of her Lenten Whole30. 

Between this and giving up Netflix, I may be thoroughly miserable for the first week until I figure out a new normal.




Phew, no more Lent talk. I FINALLY got new gym shoes. I was doing so well at the whole gym thing and then, my old shoes started to show their wear. It was hurting more to run with them than without them. So I stopped running (just as I was starting to find my groove again) and I strictly did my bootcamp classes at least once a week but I did them in sock feet. Super good for my feet I’m sure.

But I got new babies to wear out, so excited to get back at the whole runnin’ thing.



I re-read Pope Awesome by the always entertaining Cari Donaldson. I even convinced my Books and Breakfast group to read it. Although, I’m thinking most of us just show up for the mimosas because only a 1/4 of us ever actually finish the books we choose.

I have to say though, re-reading the book gave me an opportunity to highlight some of the things I like (and notice that Kindle tracks how many people also track the same passages you do. And then tells you. Which is….weird).


I love this quote, because when you honestly and openly start searching through the Church’s teachings they are beautiful and some of it is really hard to grasp but it’s all so good.



Some links I loved this week:

On the importance of Sacristans. 

Oh my gosh. Jenny knocked it out of the park with her post “Such a Time as This“. Home freakin’ run. So good. I just, I love it.

On why the Church needs a leader and the problems with Sola Scriptura.

On Celibacy and Valentine’s Day


Links unrelated to Catholicism:

Snape is my favourite character (aside from Hermione) from Harry Potter and this video. The feelings!

On why pro-lifers need to focus more on being pro-life and not just anti-abortion & euthanasia. Building a culture of life is more than just legislation.



I love this. I like Mean Girls and art and I found this so entertaining.




Head over to Kelly‘s for more Quick Takes!


5 Favourites: Pope Benedict Quotes

It has been 2 years since Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation. Those 2 years, for me personally, have been a time of great growth and discovery in my own Catholic faith. When Pope Benedict announced his resignation I was shocked (who knew popes could even do that?!) but it didn’t really affect me. I was still tiptoeing around being Catholic and still misunderstood so much about the Church and still wanted to believe, so strongly, that the Church’s teachings on same-sex marriage were wrong. I was still resistant to being Catholic when he resigned.

That is no longer the case, of course, but now as I’ve started reading his writings more I can honestly say, I wish I had been Catholic while he was still the Pope. I love Pope Francis, but Benedict XVI is quickly becoming one of my favourite Catholics even if he is often misunderstood, but, most good Catholics are.

So, here they are: my 5 favourite Benedict quotes


The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in work, in action and in law.

I love this quote. It comes from “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons,”. I feel like it’s beautiful and succinct in describing the Catholic position on people with same-sex attraction. First and foremost, we must always remember that people are not their sexual preferences. All people deserve equality, all people are invaluable, and all people deserver our respect. One facet of someone’s entire person does not negate any of this.


Unlimited trust should only be placed in the real Word of the Revelation that we encounter in the faith transmitted by the Church.

Followed quickly by this one:

“I think we must reflect more on what democracy in the exercise of authority would mean. Is truth determined by a majority vote, only for a new ‘truth’ to be ‘discovered’ by a new majority tomorrow?”


We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as definitive and has as its highest value one’s own ego and one’s own desires… The church needs to withstand the tides of trends and the latest novelties…. We must become mature in this adult faith, we must guide the flock of Christ to this faith.


The ways of the Lord are not comfortable, but we were not created for comfort, but for greatness, for good.

This quote is often shortened into the oft quoted “The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness!”

Either way, I love this quote. So much. It’s one of those quotes you can fall back on when things get hard and life feels difficult and demanding.


Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.

The infamous Regensburg lecture. He was wise, he saw what people often missed. The legacy of fundamentalist Islam, back to the source, is a legacy of the sword.


Check out other favourites over at Jenna’s!