Muffingate 2019

🚨 🚨 🚨 BREAKING NEWS 🚨🚨🚨

Breaking news

📍Ten month old female is a prime suspect in The Muffin Mayhem incident that just occurred in the public square (living room) of Chicoineville.

📍 Stay with PRNT TV 📺 to receive full coverage on this new scandal “sweeping” across this small town.

📍Text “antics” to 55555 to get text updates and exclusive interviews with the sheriff, eyewitnesses, and first-responders.

📍 Finally, this Mysterious Mayhem has some speculate: are shenanigans a learned behavior or something innate, natural to the human condition?

📍This has been I.M. Shocked with PRNT News reporting. Thank you for watching (reading)!

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Thank you for sharing!

3 Husband Hacks to Up Your Marriage Game in 2019!

💡Husband Hack #7 💡—💙Leave an unexpected note for your wife to cheer her up during a stressful week.

Example: I left a post-it note 📝 on the bedside dresser on my spouse’s phone. Included with the note was a small piece of chocolate 🍫.

🔷I have learned that showing simple and spontaneous gestures of love toward my wife go a long way.

🔷You don’t need to over complicate things when it comes to surprising your spouse. The key is following through on those random acts of kindness.

💡Husband Hack 19💡—💙Use your natural skills to show love towards your spouse. Do something creative and unique for them.

Example: I am a storyteller and writer. My wife is an avid reader—she loves fiction books and especially Harry Potter.

🔷 I started telling a whimsical take on the marker board in our kitchen. Real simple. A paragraph or two at a time. This unique gift is helpful in making the best of us working different schedules.

💡Husband Hack #58 💡—💙If your wife tells you not to play video games because it is the kids bedtime (she is out doing errands or having a girls’ night), keep in mind two things:

1️⃣ Listen to your wife. Happy wife= happy life! 😉

2️⃣ Be creative—you can still get the kids ready for bed while having fun!  See example below 👇

Wife: Matt, remember the kids need to be in bed by 8:00 pm. You can’t play Mario Kart with them now.

Me: Okay! Got it. I won’t “play” video games. [I need kids their bedtime snack, brush their teeth, play a YouTube video of the Dr. Mario Championship match on the the background with subtitles and low volume to prevent kids from being distracted.]

Results:

✅ Kids in bedtime on time. 🙌

✅ Brushed up on my SNES Dr. Mario 💊skills and learned new strategies!

💊 I enjoy Dr.Mario because I am a puzzle nerd and I love Mario Kart because it is an easy game to play with my 8 year old!

Reflection Questions

🔷How do you surprise your spouse?

🔷 How have you utilized your natural talents or skills to strengthen your relationship with your spouse?

🔷 What kinds of games do you like playing with your kids (or your friends if you don’t have kids)? What makes them special?

🔷 Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for sharing!

Pretzelgate 2019

Control reactions

🤔”Life is 10 percent what you make it and 90 percent how you take it.” ― Irving Berlin

🔶Reactionary responses rarely are the best—especially if you are in a stressful situation. 

🔶Yesterday, I was trying to get some rest as I worked the overnight shift. Thankfully, I got a solid short nap in. I woke to the sight of the contents of a 20 Oz pretzel 🥨 bag scattered on the living room floor. 

🔶Immediately, I fretted. I got angry. In hindsight I realized it was actually a bit humorous. 

🔶The kids were just trying to get a snack without waking me. Plus, Avila did benefit from Pretzelgate! 

🔶She crawled swiftly over and took a fistful of pretzels for her snack. Grinning from ear to ear she held up her delicious trophy triumphantly.

🤔”Life is 10 percent what you make it and 90 percent how you take it.”

🔶In the Chicoine House life is 10% of what you make of it, 90% of your perspective, and 100% about 🥨 . 

Pretzel day the office

🔶I needed not get salty in  attitude. I should have merely went to work cleaning up by enjoying the crunchy and salty snack.

🔶How has time changed your perspective on a negative event for you?

Share your thoughts in the comments below. 😊

 #perspective  #chicoinecontent  #lifequotes  #lifelessons

Thank you for sharing!

A Personal Litany of Saints for 2019

November 1st—the Celebration of the Feast of All Saints—among my favorite feasts in the Church’s liturgical calendar. Only the Feast of the Holy Trinity and the Most Precious Body and Blood eclipses All Saints Day in significance for me personally.

Who are the Saints?

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness. . . . They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus . . . . So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped” (CCC 956).

In other words, the reason we honor the holy men and women in union in Heaven with God is because they draw of closer to unity with God. November 1st is not meant to be a Holy Oscars or a rolling out of a theological red carpet.

The Saints Point Us to God

Saints are witnesses to the faith and reflect the light Holy Trinity. I am reminded St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney when he said, “We are all like little mirrors, in which God contemplates Himself. How can you expect that God should recognize His likeness in an impure soul?” This likening of the human soul as a reflection, a mirror of God’s love can be found even earlier in Church tradition. St. Theophilus of Antioch [circa 2nd century A.D.] declared,

A person’s soul should be clean, like a mirror reflecting light. If there is rust on the mirror his face cannot be seen in it. In the same way, no one who has sin within him can see God.

reflection of gods love.jpg

Below I formed a list, a sort of personal litany of saints, and applicable holy writings that have helped me grow in holiness and polish my soul to better reflect the love of the Holy Trinity.

Along with the names of canonized saints who personally influenced me, I outlined several Christian writers who lived fairly recently or are currently alive and are not officially canonized. Nevertheless, the books from the suggested reading still helped me grow in my Catholic faith.

***Note: I added the book(s) that I have actually read that have impacted me and deepened my relationship with God through the saint. This is in no way an exhaustive list –it is merely a list of saints whose writings and/or witness influenced me positively***

minions excited gif.gif

November Nourishment for the Soul

  • Mary- The World’s First Love: Mary, Mother of God by Venerable Fulton Sheen
  • Joseph
  • Athanansius: On the Incarnation; Life of St. Antony
  • Pope John Paul II: Fides Et Ratio; Redemptoris Misso; Veritatis Splendor
  • Maria Faustina: Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul
  • Francis de Sales: Introduction to the Devout Life
  • Augustine: Confessions
  • Louis de Montfort: True Devotion to Mary
  • Terersa of Avila: Interior Castle
  • John of the Cross: Dark Night of the Soul
  • Therese of Lisieux: The Autobiography of Saint Therese of Lisieux: The Story of a Soul
  • Luke: Acts of the Apostle; Gospel According to Luke
  • Josemaria Escriva: The Way
  • Pope Pius XII: Humani Generis
  • James: The Letter of St. James
  • Maximilian Koble
  • Bernadette
  • Pope Pius IX
  • Pope Leo XIII
  • Thorlak
  • Francis of Assisi
  • Ignatius of Loyala
  • Ambrose: De Incarnationis Dominicæ Sacramento [on the Incarnation and Sacraments]
  • Jerome: Homilies
  • John Chrysostom
  • Thomas Aquinas: The Summa Theologica

Suggested Reading

  • G.K. Chesterton: Orthodoxy
  • S. Lewis: Mere Christianity; Screwtape Letters; Space Trilogy
  • Bishop Robert Barron: Catholicism
  • Peter Kreeft, P.H.D.: Socrates Meets Jesus: History’s Greatest Questioner Confronts the Claims of Christ; Prayer for Beginners; Between Heaven and Hell
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: The Hobbit; The Lord of the Ringsmass not boring.jpg

 Now these readings aren’t replacement for the Mass. Hopefully you find this list helpful in your spiritual journey!

Thank you for sharing!

Share Your True Story Today

“What matters isn’t storytelling. What matters is telling a true story well.” — Ann Handley

true story gif

💡The most engaging content I have written does not include the best grammar, language, or most philosophical ideas.

💡A common thread I noticed about posts that get more comments, likes, and views are about actual events in my life.

💡Truth. What is truth? For me it is something that matches reality.

💡The truth about me is that I am a devout Catholic, husband, and father. I enjoy writing (this should not be a shock to anyone 😊), running, reading, and geeking out over comic books and anything Tolkien.

💡The truth is my work schedule is not ideal. My wife and I get only a few times during the week to talk, actually talk about our day, hopes, and dreams.

💡 I have wanted to give up or at least take a long time off from my work as a writer. In hindsight, I know that it was sleep deprivation talking.

💡The truth is I am grateful. On my worst days I am at least grateful for my faith, family, and friends. On my best days I see literally everything I encounter as a blessing. We are blessed to have  the ability to use blogging and social media as a platforms to share our truths with others.

💭What is your story?

💭How truthful are you about sharing it?

Let me know your thoughts below.

Thank you for sharing!

How is Your Marriage Game

An excerpt from the upcoming book, “God Moments” by Orlando Javien Jr.


For those who have ever golfed or know someone who golfs you may have been asked a time or two this question, “How is your golf game?” This is just simple way of asking how have been playing.

Today I’d like to ask you, “How is your marriage game?”

Marriage, like golf, is very humbling. I don’t play golf all that often, but when I do, it’s always the same. At some point in the round, I hit that ball so well it makes me say “Wow! I did that?” Then I do it again and start thinking, PGA, here I come.

Once God hears me thinking that I can do it on my own, he brings me back to reality. The next shot I top the ball, then I totally miss the ball, and to make things worse, I then lose the ball. “PGA, I think not!”

Marriage is the same way. I read a few books (The Five Love Languages, Every Man’s Marriage and the instruction book of marriage: Ephesians 5:21) and started to see my marriage improving. Then complacency set in. I stopped showering my wife with love; I thought all the things I did yesterday or last week would carry over to today. Then I was reminded that it doesn’t.

I don’t get it! What do I need to do to love my wife? I prayed and asked God, “Lord, please show me how to love my wife.” Sure enough, he answered quickly. I was led to the book Fireproof: Never Leave Your Partner Behind. I read the book and found the answer I was looking for.

Love Unceasingly

The story was about a firefighter that was so engrossed saving lives that he neglected his marriage. Caught up with an addiction to pornography and only living for himself he forgot about the special gift that he had in a wife.

In a nutshell, the book taught me that whatever you put the time, energy, and money into will become more important to you.

I’m not good at golf because I don’t practice. If I don’t continuously practice loving my wife, I won’t be good at loving her either. So practice loving your wife. Get books on how to better love them and don’t get complacent.

“Remember, you wooed her to get her; you better woo her to keep her.”

How is your marriage game?

 

Thank you for sharing!

Thinking About the Box (of Creativity)

Cardboard Boxes

📦📦📦Think outside the box! Don’t box yourself inside the walls of your situation. But what if you thought ABOUT the box itself??

I found an empty cardboard box 📦 at work last night—I work part-time a grocery store so I see hundreds of boxes daily. Two things made this box different:

  • The box was not for me it was for my six-year old daughter. Her favorite class is art and she has made countless cardboard creations at home. My favorite and the one I think was the most creative was a “living room” out of an empty shoebox. She made a TV, remote, couch, and food area for her stuffed animals. Boxes have overtaken sticks and rocks as the new favorite toy in the Chicoine household.

 

  • This box was uniquely shaped. Still rectangular it contained an opening on the front and extra cardboard pieces (they were used as dividers to separate the different flavors of the cereal).

Don’t Over-analyze Creativity

Thinking about the “box” or situation before you can actually help to generate creative or outside the box ideas. Boxes generally carry (no pun intended) the connotation of conformity, uniformity, or sameness. People want to stand out. Be unique. Individuals. It is just part of human nature.

The times I most often struggle with creativity are when I box myself in. I believe I have to re-invent the wheel (or box). Desiring to develop a 100% brand new idea without reference to others is not only ambitious it is selfish. Ideas don’t occur in a vacuum. Every thought, idea, project, or endeavor was influenced by someone: your parents, children, spouse, friend, boss, society, books, music, or the information sea of the Internet.

Who Influenced You?

My daughter was that influence for me in picking up that box. As I passed by the cardboard box I asked my co-worker who was stocking items for Aisle 8, “Hey, it is alright if I take this box? My kid loves creates things from cardboard.” He replied, “Sure! It is good to know there is creative people. That is what we need more in school individuals going against the grain. Thinking for themselves.”

💭 How have you fostered creativity in your work and hobbies recently?

💭Have you thought about the “boxes” in your life? Why or why not? If you, what did you learn?

💭What type of cardboard creation do you think my daughter will create with that box today?

Empty boxes provide us opportunity to examine our situations from multiple perspectives: internally, externally, and even simply neutrally about life. Give yourself time this week to be reflect on your goals. You will be surprised how creativity will spring forth!

Thank you for sharing!