Add a Flower or Shield to Our Map-Register today!

 

LittleFlowersGirlslogo2LittleFlowersGirlslogo2LittleFlowersGirlslogo2LittleFlowersGirlslogo2LittleFlowersGirlslogo2LittleFlowersGirlslogo2

Our map of registered clubs is blooming flowers across the country and the world…even if spring hasn’t come yet! We’ve just finished updating our registered clubs map and each Little Flower club is marked by an adorable flower and each Blue Knights club’s marker is a shield and knight. bkmarkerbkmarkerbkmarkerbkmarkerbkmarker

Check out our new map here or click o the “Find a Club” tab.

Don’t see your club on the map? Registration is free an easy. You can register your club here: www.beholdpublications.com/RegisteredClubs Registered Clubs not only get their very own marker on the map, they get access to some awesome free material on the Registered Clubs site and special offers throughout the year.

Club of the Month FebWhile your there, don’t forget to fill out the application for Club of the Month. The Club of the Month get featured in our newsletter, blogs and social media and gets some great cool swag including pens, magnets, mugs and more!

God bless you in your work for His work!

 

FREE Webinars by Little Flower Creator

FREE Webinars by Little Flower Creator!

Don’t miss these great live seminars by Rachel Watkins, Little Flowers Girls’ Club Creator! Hosted by Homeschool Connections. Check out all their free webinars at their Refresh Virtual Conference site.

Title: Giving Thanks at All Times
Date: Monday, 3/7
Speaker: Rachel Watkins
Description: Thanks – focusing on how becoming more thankful for everything – including illness, unemployment – gives you the grace and strength to handle those, and other challenges. Challenges – Adapting your homeschool schedule and attitude when facing illness (yours or child’s), loss of employment, lack of support, etc.

Sponsor:
Behold Publications
https://www.beholdpublications.com/home/

 

Title: Little Flowers – How to Start and Run a Group
Date: Monday, 3/21
Speaker: Rachel Watkins
Description: 
Little Flowers Girls Clubs introduce you and your daughter to a life sown with the flowers of virtue. Starting and running a program from your home or your parish is easier than you might realize. Come with any questions about how to start this international, Catholic to the core program. Already have a group? This on-line workshop is the perfect place to let us know what is working or not working for you. We can help you get started as well as stay excited about helping your family grow a little holier – one virtue at a time!

Sponsor:
Behold Publications
https://www.beholdpublications.com/home/

Short Term Memory Loss – Spiritually, that is…

Beautiful small white snowdrops flowers. First springtime flowers blooming.

Today’s reading of the forgetful servant always makes me laugh – out of second-hand embarrassment.

The servant leaving his master, having just been released from a true debt roughs up another servant up even having them thrown in jail.

How could someone whose just been forgiven of a great debt, go out and demand a much smaller debt from someone else?

What? Did he completely forget the conversation he just had with the master and the mercy and forgiveness afforded him? Is he just mean or really that forgetful?

In my world, it is clearly forgetfulness. I am pretty good (usually) at forgiving others, BUT, I regularly forget – from one moment to the next – the mercy and love of my Master, God the Father. Just as we can forget that spring will ever come and bring flowers when we are in the midst of a miserably cold winter. When we are enduring struggles – spiritual, mental or physical – we can easily forget that God loves us and is taking care of us and our concerns.

It is stunning (almost shameful) how easily I can forget how much He loves me, along with His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. He really does. Not only does He love me enough to send His only Son (John 3:16) BUT He also loves me enough to give me…..

-a husband who is prayful and cute
-children who love God, each other and me
-a home
-great friends
-Easter is coming
-chocolate chip pumpkin muffins (being made later today)
-and on and on and on….

He has taken care of my family through illness and poverty. He has answered so many prayers directly and indirectly. He has to, because He is God and He cannot, cannot, cannot break His promises.

From 1 Cor. 2:9 it is written:

“What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard,
and what has not entered the human heart,
what God has prepared for those who love him,”

which is taken directly from Isaiah 64:4.

And I HAVE seen it, and heard it but still I forget.

In other words, God has proven Himself, time and again, as a good and loving God but I forget that regularly and worry, fuss and fret over so many things, too many situations that I can really do nothing about.

I don’t trust God enough to take care of everything. I give Him my struggles and worries and, within minutes, I take them all back – as if I am in charge. And, even worse, I often take out my stress, my worries on my husband and my kids. I rough them up with my attitude and worries.

If I were the servant in the story, I would be before my Master who just told me that He will not only forgive my debts, but he will take care of all of my problems, everything that is worrying me will be taken care of – in His time. My job? Let Him do it.

As I stand before Him, I am able to say “Yes! Great idea. You are in charge.”

Then, I walk away, leave His sight and before the door has a chance to hit me on the backside, I am worrying all over again, “But what about this child’s situation…”, “What about my health….”, “How will I do this….solve that….and on and on….whining and complaining, albeit silently, making my mood just awful.

I have, in that instant, become the forgetful servant.

My real job is not to worry but trust Him. My real job is to let Him know my concerns, then do what I can when I can. I don’t sit idly by, but be the mother He has given me the grace to be and let Him be the God He is.

To that end, I have begun a Trust List in my prayer journal. I have begun listing all those struggles I have where I really can’t do anything more than I am. I am leaving them with Him, and His Mother, Mary, Un-Tier of Knots and St. Joseph in his workshop. Together with God, my Father, they will take care of everything in God’s time.

My job is to remember and be grateful.

Make this Leap Day extra special

Leap Day is almost like a free day – an unexpected day that comes only once every 4 years. What would you do if you had an absolutely free day with no responsibilities or expectations? What might you do to make it special?

We have a cousin in the family who was born today – so, while Zack is over 6’4″ and has been on the earth 29 years now, we joke that he has only celebrated his ‘real’ birthday only 7 times, so today is a really special for him and his family.

Also today we read of Namaan who hesitated to wash in the river Jordan as instructed by Elisha as it didn’t seem special enough. His servants call him out: “if the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary, would you not have done it? All the more now, since he said to you, ‘Wash and be clean,’ should you do as he said.”

Today is a great day to start something new, something you’ve been wanting to do but have been putting off – something that might seem to be so ordinary but can become extra-ordinary.

Some suggestions:

Read a chapter of the Bible every day starting today.

End each day saying prayers with your spouse – an Our Father, a Hail Mary, or just a “Thank You God for…..”. Praying with your marriage partner – you were sacramentally one at your marriage – might seem odd at the beginning but becomes truly transformative.

Make sure to physically touch your children and spouse – every day. We crave physical touch and do not get enough; just google it and you’ll see support for this lack, and its impact, everywhere from Psychology Today to the Huffington Post! A hug, a kiss, a cuddle on the couch or a simple holding of the hand.

Do an evening exam of conscience. Checking in with God by yourself, silently, before you fall asleep makes your next day start much better. Straight from St. Francis de Sales – Evening Exam

Make today worth something a bit more….

-Rachel Watkins

 

 

The Catholic Alternative to Girl Scouts

….that is, according to the Archdiocese of St. Louis website.

Little Flowers of VAThe Archbishop of St. Louis came out a week ago encouraging parishes to find alternatives to Girl Scouts. There are many reasons outlined on their website. But the great news is that the archdiocese recommends two alternatives: American Heritage Girls as a Christian alternative and Little Flowers Girls’ Club as the Catholic alternative. We are so humbled by this recommendation. When Little Flowers was created over 25 years ago in Rachel Watkin’s rowhouse in Baltimore, MD, we had no idea God would take it so far. Back then, we were just looking for a way for our Catholic girls and moms to get together and celebrate their beautiful Catholic Faith. It was much more “action” than “reaction” against the winds of change that were coming in Girl Scouts and society as a whole.
 We are entering a new phase of Little Flowers Girls’ Club, having added new depth and breadth to our program offering while keeping that same joyful Catholic world-view that makes the program so appealing to Catholic girls and moms alike. We now offer patron saint badges that allow youth to work on everything from woodworking to cooking, service to the poor to standing up for the right to life, from a uniquely Catholic world view. Our program has always had the Faith as its core, and will always. We have recently launched a non-profit corporation to serve our clubs, built a new website, added camps and retreats to the Little Flower experience and are currently working on a leadership rank program for girls to make the programs we offer a vital part of their maturity and formation.
We want to introduce you, your parish, your diocese, to the beautiful gift of Little Flowers Girls’ Club. Please contact us with any questions, comments, suggestions or donations. God bless you in your work for His work!

The Year of Mercy Logo

Year of Mercy Badge ContestIf you are like I am, you probably were not overly impressed with the abstract-looking Year of Mercy logo. I thought this kind of cubist-minimalist-inspired art was left in the 1970’s and 80’s, so what are we supposed to do with it in 2016? Well, as with pretty much everything in Holy Mother Church, she is wiser than I. Every item in the logo has a specific meaning, and, just as with stained glassed windows, icons, statuary, and the very church building itself, the Church uses all our senses to teach and guide us toward heaven.

Here are the some of the meanings of each item in the logo (for more info go to Catholic Link by clicking on the image):

The Almond Shape: An important figure in ancient iconography. It represents to union of two circles representing the two natures of Christ: Divine and Human.

The Colors: Red: blood, life and divinity; White: the light of Christ; Blue: represents man; Golden: Adam and each one of us is in a process of becoming like God through Jesus Christ.

The Concentric Ovals: The suggest the movement of Crist who carries humanity out of the night of sin and death.

The Motto: The motto of the Year of Mercy is taken from the Gospel of Luke: “Be merciful like the Father.”

The Gaze: Jesus and the man share one eye. This means that God communicates himself in such a way that man is able to see as He sees

The Good Shepherd: Jesus is the Good Shepherd who carries Adam and all of us, on is shoulders.

For more details on the symbolism in the logo go here: https://catholic-link.org/2016/01/11/6-things-you-didnt-see-the-year-of-mercy-logo-explained/

As you are putting your finishing touches on your own Year of Mercy Badge Contest entry, take into account how your images could have meaning and instruct others on Christ and his mercy.

Download your official Year of Mercy Badge Contest application here.

 

 

Looking for a comfortable seat?

antique padded armchair isolated on white background

Today is the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. No, we are not celebrating furniture so much as honoring Peter’s declaration before the other apostles that Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Mt. 16:3-20)

Many ideas come to my mind when I think of chairs. I think of Goldilock’s and her three chairs – one too hard, one too soft and one – not even really hers – that was ‘just right’.

I think of Mary Englebreit, one of my all-time favorite illustrators, who turns the phrase, “Life is just a bowl of cherries” into a delightful Life is just a chair of bowlies…

On a retreat once I was reminded that the Lord told us to ‘pick up our cross and follow Him’; not ‘pick up your beach chair’!

All very good, but today we honor Peter’s elevation above all the other apostles as the rock on which Christ would build His Church. Peter became the first pope and all the men who followed him sit in authority on “The Chair of St. Peter”, an image of the teaching authority of the Church. We can trust God and His Church not to lead us astray.

But, some days that isn’t so easy to believe. While we may not doubt the great big universal Church per se, we may doubt the rock of our small personal church.

This is the church that exists around the dinner table, and in bedrooms. Our church doesn’t meet polite, gift-bearing dignitaries or give interviews on airplanes but has to endure tough telephone calls in the middle of the night, rude neighbors and the mean friends of our children.

Days of struggle can shake our belief in the strength of our rock and the stability of our chair. We can wonder about God, Himself. How much does He expect us to endure?

When we have one, or two, or more of those days we can draw strength from the promise Jesus gave Simon when he became Peter: and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

Does this mean we won’t have struggles? Does this promise mean we won’t face real temptations and problems. Of course, not! But, we know we will be given the strength to handle them – not perfectly, maybe not even easily – but we will endure.

Those are the days when we can take a moment to imagine just what our Chair of St. Peter might look like and then put God the Father in it. Picture Him there on the seat, ready to take us on His lap and assure us of His deep, abiding and protective love. Hear Him whisper in our ear, “I know what I am about.”

How about a slice of bread?

Sliced fresh bread on wooden background,vintage

I’ve been thinking of quite a bit about bread lately. With a few friends who themselves or their children have celiac disease and others who are throwing bread to the curb due to carb and gluten concerns, I think yesterday’s gospel has a certainly irony – Jesus reminding Satan, “one does not live on bread alone”.

As for myself, I’ve re-discovered my bread machine and have been able to give my family fresh rolls or bread almost every day for the past few weeks. This warm bread eaten on a cold winter’s day has made everyone quite happy. Last week, one of my children remarked, “Mom, I could only this every day and be just fine…”

Bread – both literally and metaphorically – is scattered throughout the Bible. Just in Genesis we have Melchizedek lifting bread and wine, Jacob and Esau’s birthright was decided with bread and soup, Joseph interrupted a dream involving a baker and a basket of bread and God gave the Israelites bread in the desert as manna. In Psalm 78: 17-20 we know,

“But they continued to sin against him,
rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High.
They willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved.
They spoke against God; they said,
“Can God really spread a table in the wilderness?
True, he struck the rock,
and water gushed out,
streams flowed abundantly,
but can he also give us bread?
Can he supply meat for his people?”

We know He did. He does.

God provides us bread and meat – both within the sacrifice of His Son. His flesh is real food (John 6:55) which we consume hidden in the wheat of a communion wafer.

So, what do my meanderings about bread mean?

I’m wondering if I am letting God through His Son satisfy me or am I looking outside of Christ and His Church?

The world seems to offer a banquet of opportunities to feed and be satisfied – through wealth, power, fashion, fitness, the right clothes, the right look, the right house, the right…..whatever.

If we only do…this…or that…we will feel satisfied – but are we?

Of course, this doesn’t mean we can’t be healthy, exercise, be wealthy, powerful, and on and on and on –

But is that all we want to the exclusion of Christ?

Or, if you are more like me, are we refusing to be content and accept God’s plan for our life even when that mean I live without those things?

If that is the case – either case – then, we are trying to live on bread alone.

Deuteronomy 8:3, the verse which Jesus is quoting, tells us we live not on bread alone, “but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”

And one of God’s words for our lives is from Hebrews 13:5, “be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

So, should I be giving up bread for Lent or maybe giving up an inordinate attachment to or selfish desire for the bread of the world because I already have the bread of life (John 6:51) whenever I want it.

Just wondering……

5 Patron Saint Badges: Bringing Lent to Your Clubs

Lent is all over my Facebook feed, inbox, and tweeting madly. But what can Little Flowers and Blue Knights leaders do to bring Lent alive and relevant to their Catholic Clubs? Let’s ask our brothers and sisters in the faith–the Saints! These Patron Saint badges are great, simple ways to bring Lent alive to your Catholic Clubs, learn something new, change a life or two, and earn a cool new badge to add to their sash, vest or breastplate.

Each badge has five fairly simple tasks associated with it. The first item on the list is to learn about the saint and their connection with the subject of which they are patron. This first item is mandatory in earning the badge. Younger participants can then choose two more, so that three of the five items are required to earn the badge. Older children can do four or all five of the items to complete the badge. Of course, as with all the Behold Christ Clubs badges, the requirements are flexible and up to each individual parent or leader. The suggestions here are guidelines, rather than hard and fast rules on what must be done to earn the badge. Parents and leaders are also welcome to add other requirements they feel may be more effective in teaching the youth always in the context of a Catholic world view.

Check out these top five Patron Saint badges for Lent:

  1. stelizabethbadgeSt. Elizabeth of Hungary, patron saint of bakersSymbol: bread and rose1) Find out about this saint and why she was chosen as patron of bakers. Give a report—either verbal or written—of what you have learned to your parent or leader.2) Baking is different than cooking. Baking includes food that is baked in an oven. Breads are the most common food associated with baking. Find out what ingredients are used in several different kinds of bread. Research different types of grain and leavening agents used in different types of bread. Give a report—either verbal or written—of what you have learned to your parent or leader.

    3) Choose a bread recipe that uses yeast as a leavening agent and prepare it.

    4) Choose a bread recipe that uses another leavening agent besides yeast and prepare it.

    5) St. Elizabeth fed the poor with her baked goods. Make something special for someone in need and deliver it to them.

    Lenten bonus: Make homemade pretzels and research why they are a Lenten food!

  2. stvincentbadgeSt. Vincent de Paul, patron saint of charitySymbol: three coins1) Find out about this saint and why he was chosen the patron saint of charity. Give a report—either verbal or written—of what you have learned to your parent or leader.

    2) What religious orders did St. Vincent de Paul found or inspire? Make a list of at least three religious orders that include the word “charity” in their name. Also include the name of their founders and date of foundation in your list.

    3) Raise money for a charity of your choosing. Some examples of good charities are: your local crisis pregnancy center, a religious order, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Food for the Poor, and many others. Make sure that you investigate charities before giving money to them to make sure the money won’t be used to support something that may be against our Catholic faith.

    4) Find at least three Bible verses where Jesus talks about serving the poor. Copy those verses on notecards you’ve decorated. Put them up in your room as a reminder.

    5) Clean out your dressers and toy box. Fill up a bag of usable items to give to the poor. Challenge yourself to not only give items that are of no use, but ones that have value. Remember that when you give something to the least among us, you give to Christ.  Lenten bonus: Research “almsgiving” and why we do it especially during Lent.

  3. stmarthabadgeSt. Martha, patron saint of cooks
  4. Symbol: spoon crossed with a fork
  5. 1) Find out about this saint and why she was chosen as the patron saint of cooks. Give a report—either verbal or written—of what you have learned to your parent or leader.2) Cooking involves meal planning, shopping, food prep, and food presentation. Locate a food pyramid and record your diet for a day. Compare your daily diet with the food pyramid. Did you eat a correctly balanced diet? If not, how can you change your diet in order to eat more balanced?

    3) With an adult, plan a meal, shop for it, and prepare it. Don’t forget to use your food pyramid for good nutrition. While shopping, make sure you read food labels and compare prices.

    4) Ask your mother, grandmother and others for their favorite recipes. Copy them and put them in your own cookbook.

    5) Find a prayer for cooks. Copy it into your notebook or on a notecard and memorize it. Teach it to your family and say it with your prayers before meals.

    Lenten bonus: Research “fasting” and why we do it during Lent.

  6. stcamillesbadgeSt. Camillus de Lellis, patron saint of first aid and health care workers
  7. Symbol: red cross
  8. 1) Find out about this saint and why he was chosen as patron saint of first aid and health care workers. Give a report—either verbal or written—of what you have learned to your parent or leader.2) Learn what needs to be in a basic first aid kit and make sure that you have one in your home and in each of your vehicles. Assemble your own first aid kits if you don’t already have them.

    3) Make sure you have emergency numbers posted near your phone. Practice with a parent what you should do in case of emergency.

    4) Learn basic first aid through a Red Cross course, Safe-Sitter course, or something similar.

    5) Find a prayer for those who are sick and suffering. Copy the prayer in your notebook or on a notecard and memorize it. Say it daily for at least a week.

     Lenten bonus: Research formula, meditative and contemplative prayer and why we concentrate on it during Lent.

  9. stgiannaroseSt. Gianna Molla – Pro-Life Work
  10. 1. Find out why this saint was chosen for thistopic. Share what you found out either verbally or in writing.2. Read one or more of these pro-life books and

    share how they show the dignity of every human life. Angel

    in the Waters by Regina Doman, On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman, Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss.

    3. Gather as many baby pictures of family members as you can find, especially of parents and grandparents. Gather pictures of how they look now. Bring the pictures to your Behold Christ Clubs meeting and see if others can match up baby pictures with their adult counterparts. Even though we grow and develop throughout our lives, we all started as babies. Share what you learned about the value of life through this game.

4. Visit a nursing home or elderly neighbor and spend some time with them. What can you learn about and from the elderly. Share what you learned either verbally or in writing.

5. Attend a pro-life or pro-family rally, March for Life, or prayer vigil for life.

Lenten bonus: 40-Days for Life is a pro-life prayer vigil held in major cities during Lent. Participate in prayer or in person at your local 40 Days for Life.

Order badges HERE

 

 

 

Are you ready for Lent? Time to clean house?

scene in an old cellar room

It is coming tomorrow – Ash Wednesday – no avoiding it.

At Mass today, Fr. Jim focused his homily on cleaning house. Using today’s gospel he reminded us that we all need to be careful we aren’t saying one thing with our words and another with our actions.

I have a few things in mind in regard to tidying my own interior house – cleaning out my own cups and jugs as it were.

What about you and your house? Is it all in order – don’t worry – Lent begins to tomorrow. So while you are getting ‘dirty’ with the ashes, let’s work to ensure our souls are as clean as they can be; a worthy place for Christ to dwell throughout Lent and into Easter.