Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Who Do You Look Like?

Every night at dinner we pass at least one question around the table. "What was your favorite part of the day?" The first person answers and then asks another and so on. My older son even reminds the family to do it when we are out to dinner and if guests are with us, they gladly join in. It warms my heart that we actually have a special family tradition!

Sometimes when we are home we throw in a second question from a game called Table Topics (they actually were giving away travel editions in Chick-fil-A's kids meals for a while). It's just a cube filled with question cards, but it leads to some interesting conversations.

 Last night's question was, "What part of you resembles one of your family members?" I saw a look of confusion on my boys' faces so I explained, "Is there anything about the way you look  that looks like somebody else in our family?"

Both of my boys have my eyes, Liam looks like his daddy in every other way and the little one and my mom are basically twins.

But Liam spoke up as the first to answer and said, "My love looks like you."

Confession - I was tempted to correct him and say, "No - I mean physically what about you looks like me or dad," but thank goodness I had the peace of mind to just look back with an inquisitive head-tilt. He said, "When I love I look like you" and he even hugged himself as he said it.

What in the world did I do to deserve a kid like this and how, in all of my imperfection and mom-mess-ups, is this possible?

I am grateful that God has allowed me to experience love in such a deep and fulfilling way. The best part - I look most like my Heavenly Father when I love. I'll tell you what, that moment of shared love quickly became my favorite part of the day!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Celebrating Awesome Sisters this Women's History Month - And a giveaway!

When you hear, "Women's History Month" do you think about religious sisters? Honestly, I usually don't. Until now! Here's a guest post from Davis Studio Publishing to share a story and a giveaway!

March is Women’s History Month, and the perfect time to celebrate the contributions of women religious. Theirs is a poignant history of faith-guided compassion toward those suffering. This history needs to be woven into the fabric of women's history and into U.S. history as a whole.  Yes, it is time to examine history and its stories through the lens of kindness.

That would sum up our mission, to give kindness the fanfare and remembrance it deserves.   We call ourselves Davis Studio Publishing, but we are really just six women working diligently in the front room of a tiny...ahem...cozy... house. We've recognized that history's stories so often leave out the role kindness plays. Just think about this for a minute, how often did your history book consider the impact of kindness? 

Currently, we are working to tell the important stories of Catholic Sisters who served as nurses during the Civil War.  We are honored to share their stories of kindness, which have changed our lives. But wait!  We are telling these stories in quite a unique fashion.  At Davis Studio Publishing we are pioneers in storytelling using the digital format of an "app" or application. Imagine immersive books with photographs, movies, music, voice-overs and more, all contained in a very meaningful story.

Our first app story is called Civil War Truce — Remarkable Story of Sister Lucy, SCN. Sister Lucy was a young Sister of Charity of Nazareth, and a musical prodigy. As a Novice, she was somewhat isolated in rural Kentucky, and the possibility of civil war in the United States would have seemed very remote. Nevertheless, when war erupted, it would be Sister Lucy's voice, a songstress voice, which would cut through the carnage and disease of war, leaving an indelible mark. She was so beloved by her soldier patients — well — the rest of the story can take your breath away.

Just released, Willing Hearts is the second app in our series, and was built with the help of the Sisters of the Holy Cross. Their Sister-nurses’ service is a remarkable story of faith, kindness and finding joy amidst an angry, divisive time in our country. Yes, within days of volunteering to serve as nurses, Sisters of the Holy Cross found themselves in the middle of civil war, with little or no supplies and in challenging times nearly impossible to envision. It is impressive how the Sisters faced these difficulties head on, and by doing so saved countless lives. 

Before the war, most Catholic Sisters were young women of prayer, with little direct nursing experience. Yet when called they kindly volunteered their service, and their faith carried them through very trying times. Courageously, the Sisters never hesitated to go onto battlefields to succor the wounded and dying.  Additionally, they were not afraid to nurse patients suffering from a multitude of contagious diseases in the “pest-houses.”
                                                                                                                                                              Sister M. Paula (Casey), CSC, wrote about her arrival, “Of course we never knew what war was until that 7 [sic] day of Dec 1861.  Then we tasted it to the fullest extent.” 

In the mid 1800s “nursing” was only beginning to become a recognized profession. The Sister-nurses helped establish protocols and procedures that became the roots of the modern nursing profession.  Those that served on the naval hospital ships became the Foremothers of the Naval Nursing Service.

“There was no distinction of North and South in the wards of the soldiers, and the closeness of death taught the lessons of love.” — Original diary in St. Mary’s Archives

At Davis Studio Publishing, we are grateful that both apps won gold medals from the Illumination Book Awards — Shining a Light on Exemplary Christian Books, awarded by the prestigious Jenkins Group.  Civil War Truce and Willing Hearts apps can be found on Amazon for Android mobile devices and on iTunes for iPad and iPhones. So, take a moment and look through the lens of kindness and give these apps a try. For the first five who request it, we are happily giving away five free copies of our newest app, Willing Hearts. To receive your copy, please email your request to willingheartsapp@yahoo.com and put FREE APP in the subject line. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and to the Sisters of the Holy Cross ministries.