Joy Battista

"Joy Battista" stands for the Joy of John the Baptist at the presence of Christ.

"And how have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, the moment that the sound of thy greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leapt for joy." Luke 1:43-44

This blog is dedicated to all who seek the Joy of Christ's presence in their own lives.
This blog is also dedicated to the unborn, for John the Baptist was an unborn when he leapt for joy at the presence of Jesus who was also unborn at the time.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010 - It's Only Dinner - It's Only Dinner
Click onto the above link for an absolutely beautiful article about the power of simply eating dinner! Your meals will never be the same.

Monday, September 27, 2010

"An Angel is Kind of Like a Diamond"

Last week I was passing the nursing home where my grandmother lived and died. I was on my way home from picking Michaela up from golf practice. I had Daniel, age 3, along for the ride. As we passed by we pointed out to him that there was great grandma’s nursing home. He remembered visiting her just over a year ago and he immediately said, “let’s go in.” Michaela and I explained to him, grandma is no longer there, she died and went to sleep and will never wake up again and she is like an angel now.

I reminded Michaela that I told her the same thing when my mother passed away when she was five days away from turning three. As we talked I mentioned to Michaela that Daniel probably doesn’t really understand what we are telling him. But out of curiosity I asked Daniel, “do you know what an angel is?” His reply was, “an angel is kind of like a diamond.” I wasn’t sure I heard it right and I asked him, “what did you say?” he confirmed, “an angel is kind of like a diamond.”

This statement seemed to roll right off of Daniel’s tongue and I was surprised he would put the two together: angels and diamonds. We hadn’t recently talked about diamonds or angels and I wasn’t aware that he knew what a diamond was. This thought stayed with me the rest of the evening and I thought, wow, that was actually a pretty profound statement by my three year old. Two things crossed my mind about the comparison: angels are very valuable, and they always see God’s light which makes them bright. So I thought he was onto something.

Just two days before the little angel talk with Daniel I had a brief conversation with a friend at my “You Can Become a Saint” study group. We had just covered chapter five that night at our meeting. My friend told me she read ahead to chapter 6 in the book which was about angels. She loved the chapter. So after Daniel went to bed I got out my book and began reading chapter six.

I got three pages into the chapter when I read this: The angels were created with outstanding beauty. The mystic priest, Pere John Lamy, said of them: “The angels are a great deal better as a spectacle than the Blessed Virgin. With those fine sparkles which change perpetually on their white robes, they look like brilliant officers beside Her, who is so simple. ”

When I read this I was astonished at Daniel’s statement. I saw all the things about a diamond in this passage, especially these words: beauty, sparkles, white, brilliant. Daniel was right on.

My heart was so warm after reading the passage that with amazement I began wondering how did Daniel know to say what he said?

I will explore this question in a future post.

What do you think? Has your child ever astonished you in this way? If so please comment.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Faith & Family Live! : Life Without Television

Faith & Family Live! : Life Without Television

The above link is a little story of another family who has turned off the TV. We turned ours off back in August. At the time it was off until football season began. Football season is now here and we have been watching football mostly on Saturdays. It's kind of a family tradition, the football viewing that is. Other than football, my older kids have done pretty good at adhering to the new TV free life. It's been good just like the article I have linked above. Hope you find some inspiration to do the same. Good Luck!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pictures of a Domestic Church

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, I couldn't stop at just one picture of my three boys playing church. I've posted six to inaugurate my new ability to download pictures for this blog. Enjoy!!

Three year old Daniel is on the left. Cole, the priest, is 11. Alter boy Eric is 8.

Cole has wanted to be a priest since he was about 6 years old.
He was inspired to hold this mass, which is one of many he has held, because he had just completed his first week of serving as an alter boy at our Church.

A few years ago old neighbors of ours found out Cole liked playing church and so they gave us a beautiful child size mass kit with a book and vestments and all.

Daniel rang the bell for the consecration. Eric was very serious at his alter boy duties.

Our piano bench served as the alter. The window curtain behind the boys served as the tabernacle and crackers and bread were used for the hosts.

Their dad and I were the lay faithful that attended this fine service. This really was a domestic Church. What a joy!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Faith & Family Live! : The Best Kept Secret of the Kitchen

Faith & Family Live! : The Best Kept Secret of the Kitchen

I learned a few years ago, through a study titled "Called and Gifted," by the Catherine of Siena Institute, that every person has at least one charism. It is our job to discern what charism God has given to us. I learned we may have one, or a few or many charisms. But to find your charism you must look at what you are drawn to and how others are drawn to you and practice that possible charism. Whatever comes naturally and draws others to Christ through you is likely your special charism. There are 24 charisms listed in the bible. Some of them are: administration, craftsmanship, Faith, healing, hospitality, pastoring, service and writing.

I had posed a question while I was taking this study as to whether mothering could be a charism. It is not one of those listed 24. The study taught that there are as many charisms as there are people. Further, when the question was posed to our Parish priest, he was confident that mothering was indeed a charism.

I am still discerning, and have been for quite some time, whether writing is one of my charisms as well. That is why I write this blog. It is my way of practicing a possible charism.

I came across the above article today about cooking in the kitchen being a charism and I wanted to share it with you. It seems that anything, such as the simple act of cooking for our family, can be a charism because it is a gift of Christ's love.

Click onto the orange Faith and Family link above for the great article that every parent should read. And for more information on finding your other charisms go to Or write to The Catherine of Siena Institute Press, PO Box 26440, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80936.

Do you have a charism? If you know, please comment.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blaze a Trail

I was introduced to St. Josemaria Escriva's book "The Way, Furrow, the Forge" at a retreat I attended in August. The retreat was an introduction to the Opus Dei apostolate started by St. Josemaria Escriva and I attended the retreat because it was put together by the facilitator of the study I began called "You Can Become a Saint."

The book was available for purchase at the retreat but since I hadn't been to a retreat in over 18 years I didn't realized you could purchase books. I had not brought money so I had to wait to get my book. About three weeks ago I went over to my local Catholic book store, Gloria Deo, and ordered the book. I received the call over this past weekend that my book had arrived and I finally went and picked it up today. This book, I can already tell, was well worth the wait! And God's timing was perfect.

Just yesterday my good friend Lucy posted a facebook quote by Karl Rahner that said, “The Christian of the future will be a mystic or he will not exist at all.” So I commented back, "What is a mystic?" I ran into Lucy today and she explained that a mystic is somebody who encounters God. It is all about love and loving others. So when I saw the following quote in the Editor's note at the beginning of my new book I knew the Holy Spirit was with us: "We are confident that this publication will be a practical and effective instrument in the hands of those who already have discovered, in each separate work (the three original titles), a help in their personal encounter with God."

The book is three of St. Josemaria's titles combined into one book. It is a classical book about fostering a personal encounter with God. The book is a set of 1,055 counsels which are each numbered. They are indexed by topic in the back of the book with every conceivable topic from abandonment to zeal.

I'm already thinking, what Christian wouldn't benefit from this book? I'm also thinking, the world will benefit from anybody who reads and puts into practice what is in this book. And Lucy, who posted the facebook quote and answered my question, also pointed out that having a personal encounter with God was the first thing that was impressed upon the world when Pope Benedict XVI was introduced as the new Pope after the death of Pope John Paul the Great.

St. Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975) is a modern day Saint who was canonized by Pope John Paul the Great on October 6, 2002. The main theme of the Opus Dei apostolate is holiness in everyday life through the sanctification of ordinary work.

Here is the very first counsel by St. Josemaria Escriva, "Don't let your life be sterile. Be useful. Blaze a trail. Shine forth with the light of your faith and of your love. With your apostolic life wipe out the slimy and filthy mark left by the impure sowers of hatred. And light up all the ways of the earth with the fire of Christ that you carry in your heart."

This first counsel is so deep that I know along with Scripture the book will be a beautiful and practical help along my road to holiness. I recommend you check it out at your local bookstore too!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Passionate Perseverance: mary's book basket ~ "choosing to see" by mary bet...

Passionate Perseverance: mary's book basket ~ "choosing to see" by mary bet...: "'I’ve told my kids for years that God doesn’t make mistakes,” writes Mary Beth Chapman, wife of Grammy award winning recording artist Steven..."

Click onto Passionate Perseverence above for a touching story about the loss of the adopted child of Steven Curtiss Chapman and his wife Mary Beth. Be sure to click on the videos. You'll see an inverview on the first video and hear a great song on the second video.

Friday, September 10, 2010

"Battle Techniques for War-weary Saints"

I’m giving you a powerful piece of inspiration from another unknown author that teaches practical and spiritual ways to battle the enemy of God. I found this piece in my late mothers things many years ago. Mom passed away in 1998. I think she may have attended some sort of conference or retreat where she received this incredible outline packed full of Scripture and great wisdom on the spiritual battle we all face. Because my mother lived her life 100% Catholic I am 100% confident and can tell that this is from a Catholic source. But even if you are not Catholic you can apply all that you read because it is all based on Scripture! Take it in and know that you will succeed in the dreams and miracles God has planned for you.

“Battle Techniques For War-weary Saints”

A battle is:
*Any opposition, pain or difficulty that you encounter while attempting to obey instruction from God or complete His dreams in your life, or to receive a desired miracle he has planned.
*Any pain produced during your efforts to satisfy God’s expectations of you.
*Simply meeting opposition on the road to a miracle.

The nature of your enemy:
Satan despises God. And he hates anything that receives God’s affection. He is quite aware of God’s unusual care and protection of us and reacts with unbridled resentment. (Job 1:10)

He is deceptive, cunning, manipulating, and the father of all lies. He opposes you because you are a potential source of pleasure to God. (Rev. 4:11) His real enemy is God, but because he is powerless against God, he attacks that which is closest to the heart of God--you and me.

His main purpose of warfare is to pain God’s heart--insult Him, to frustrate His purposes in your life. He wants you to grieve God’s heart by doubting His integrity. (Numbers 23:19)

Satan’s favorite weapons:
*Delays, a delay can weaken your desire to keep reaching (Dan 10:2-14)
*Distractions, a broken focus is the goal of all his attacks. (Prov 4:27)
*Disappointment, with yourself and others. When discouraged, seek sources of encouragement through reading or praying or with a spiritual director.

Predicting your seasons of attack:
*When you become physically exhausted.
*When you face major changes in your life.
*Birth of a child destined to become a spiritual leader.
*When a specific miracle has just left God’s hand toward you.
*When you make an effort to launch a new ministry for God.
(The intensity of the warfare usually indicates the degree of potential that a project possesses.)
*When you are next in line for a promotion from God. (Joseph)

Your most effective weapons: (2 Cor 10:4)
*You must know and speak the word of God.
*Your conversations should reflect the mentality of a conqueror. (Prov 18:21)
*Take your authority over Satan in the name of Jesus (Prov 18:10, Phil 2:9-10)
*Spiritually clothe yourself in spiritual armor in prayer. (Eph 6:13)
*Respect the power of prayer and fasting. (Jos 5:16, Isa 58:6)
*Pursue and extract the wisdom of God from the spiritual mentors He places in your life. (Prov 1:5)
*Holy Mass *Confession *Stations of the Cross *Chaplet of Divine Mercy *Mary intercession, the Rosary and Memorare

Four forces that shorten your season of struggles:
*Your speaking, Faith is explosive. It builds you up in the spirit. (Prov 18:21)
*Your singing creates a climate Satan cannot tolerate. (1 Sam 16:23)
*Your sharing in prayer and agreement with others (Mt 18:18-19)
*Your seed-sowing creates a partnership with God that involves Him in your adversity. (Mal 3:10-11) Praise

Your battle is always for a reason.
Your battle is always for a season.

Principles and techniques to remember:
*You will never outgrow warfare; you simply must learn to fight. (Eph 6:12)
*God’s purpose in your crisis is not your survival but your education. (Dt 8:1-2)
*Nothing is ever as bad as it first appears. (Ps 138:7-8)
*Failure is not an event but an opinion. (Lk 23-35)
*Failure cannot happen in your life without your permission (Josh 24:15)
*All great men of God attract Satanic attention. (Job 1:9-12)
*All men fall, great men get back up. (Ps. 37:23,24)
*Satan always attacks what he fears the most. (Mt 2:3)
*Struggle is the proof you have not yet been conquered. (2 Cor 4:8-9)
*Warfare always surrounds the birth of a miracle. (Mt. 2:13)
*Crisis always occurs at the curve of change. (Gen 13:1, 6-7)
*Stop looking at what you see and start looking at what you can have. (Numbers 14:8)
*No one has ever been a looser longer than Satan. (Rev. 12:9)
*Never speak words that make Satan think he’s winning. (Dan 3:17)
*Those unwilling to loose rarely do. (Ps: 55-22)
Accurately assess your struggle. Name your real enemy for who he is.
Make a quality decision to go on with God.

And I say persevere!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Love Never Ends

giving a mother
her child,
gives her
she gives
and the
receiving of

Happy Birthday Mary, Virgin Mother of God!

Happy Birthday Katy, mother of my husband!

Love Never Ends!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September Feature of Successful Home Based Business Mom

I interviewed Sarah Long, owner/operator of Brown Dog Studio, for my first monthly special feature of a successful business mom. I discovered Sarah had a thriving jewelry art business last fall when I purchased my first charm of hers at an art show here in Lincoln, NE. I soon learned that every time she held a table at an art or craft show her table became swamped with customers. So I decided to find out what lead to Sarah’s success!

Sarah was a great “first” interview for me. I showed up to her home with a set of questions, asked my first one, and she started her story from her early years until now without me having to hardly ask another question. She made it so easy for me and I think this is indicative of the type of business person Sarah is. She is very giving and all about helping people.

Sarah earned her Bachelor Degree in French and lived abroad for a year and a half. She then moved back home to Lincoln, NE where she began a Masters program and taught French at the University of Nebraska. Sarah completed the Masters program two weeks before the birth of her first child William, who is currently a junior in high school. Right at about this time she received a very enticing job offer from Wesleyan University where she had to make a decision. This started a pattern, as her family grew, of choosing to stay home or accepting lovely job offers. Her French degree provided many opportunities but she always chose to stay home when she had each of her three babies. Sarah has never stopped using her French and has tutored and done translating on a part time basis when opportunities have arisen. It has been two years since she last worked with her French as a mentor for the Lincoln Public Schools, but she has kept her certification to teach current.

Sarah has always been crafty and her first taste of working with jewelry happened about 12 years ago when she purchased a Victorian style silver plated bracelet. She liked the feel of the bracelet but wasn’t satisfied that it was her personal style. She then learned how to craft her own bracelet and embellish it with beads and silver. Since that time she dabbled in many other arts and crafts including: knitting, making wood cut outs and painting them, painting rustic tins, and sewing cell phone totes. If she saw something that she liked she would figure out a way to recreate it to her personal taste. This caught the attention of others and they began asking her to make things for them.

Sarah made her own slip cover for a couch using upholstery material one time and began receiving requests from others. This was too time consuming to do for other people but out of this experience Sarah began creating purses made from upholstery material.

Seven years ago Sarah started selling some of her creations at a local coffee shop that she frequented. She sold hand knitted wool slippers and her purses. It was at about this time that she learned the stained glass technique which is the basis for her charms. She saw different ways stained glass was done on jewelry. Her first pieces using this technique were photo glass charms that she made for herself and family members. When Sarah wore her charms she started receiving comments at the coffee shop which prompted her to set up a little display to start selling them as well.

One day the owner of the coffee shop asked Sarah if she would like to join her in selling items at a craft show. Sarah said yes and took along her slippers, purses and set up a little stand with her glass and silver charms. She said she had her charms tucked away off to the back of the table but people still noticed them. She found people getting excited about these charms and she sold what she felt was a huge amount. By comparison to today the sales were very small, but she was giddy at the time with her wonderful experience.

The coffee shop eventually went out of business and Sarah lost her outlet to sell her creations but people were still interested in her purses and charms. So Sarah decided to hold an open house in her home where she set all of her items out on her six foot dining room table. The open house was a success and a new beginning. Her youngest child was about 4 ½ -5 years old at the time, which was about four and a half years ago, and along with holding open houses she began selling her items at craft and art shows. Year after year her business grew and with each passing year Sarah would add one more craft or art show to her schedule. Early on Sarah also started placing her items in a few stores but her favorite source for sales were through calls for orders, friends of friends and word of mouth. She prefers the personal touch and does not sell her products in stores anymore. But starting out slow fit her lifestyle as a stay at home mom and helped her target her niche audience and allowed her to narrow down her marketing methods.

Sarah’s departure from working part time to full time in her business was when she displayed her jewelry in the Lincoln, NE annual Cathedral Art Show two years ago. This is also the time when she began calling herself a jewelry artist. She no longer sold the slippers and purses.

This fall Sarah has 12 art and craft shows on her calendar as well as private trunk shows that she holds for groups of 5 or more in the evenings and on weekends when she is not working a craft or art show. This past spring and summer she was busy with the Piedmont farmers market every Saturday, the Jazz in June series in downtown Lincoln, a Rockbrook Village show in Omaha and the Hastings Art Show. Sarah also tries to open up her studio on Thursdays for her customers to shop. Calling ahead for the studio hours is Sarah’s preference.

The business has become a family affair for Sarah, her husband Todd and their three children, William, Lucy and Anders. While Sarah now works 40-60 hours a week she gets help from the whole family. Sarah does all the creative work, marketing and sales. Her husband Todd just took over the books one month ago. Lucy, who is now 14, attends all of Sarah’s shows and is hands on with the customers. Sarah prides herself in working personally with each customer to help them purchase the perfect piece or ensemble, or to help them in choosing or custom ordering gifts. Lucy has learned how to help women accessorize and choose gifts just like her mother. Sarah proudly says that Lucy can hold her own with a room full of women. Lucy also helps do the artwork for the jewelry and helps Sarah select designs for new lines from season to season. Todd, William and Anders load up the van at home before all the shows and assist in setting up tables and displays at all Lincoln events.

Sarah admitted to one struggle with her thriving full time home based business and that is balancing time for work and family. Often, in the evenings while the children are doing homework she will work on her pieces to craft them just right or to polish and clean them. But overall this business affords her the flexibility to drive for school field trips or to be home with a sick child when necessary.

The Brown Dog Studio, where all the creations happen, is in the basement of Sarah’s home. I asked Sarah where the name for her business came from and she said “It came from the brown dog we have.” She takes a picture of the dog to all her shows. She chose the name back when she was knitting and making purses. The name has just stuck and she has no intentions of ever changing it because it works. The unusual name does bring about many questions and conversations from her customers. She has been asked, “Is this jewelry for dogs?” The answer, “no, it’s for people?” and “Is the dog still alive?” The answer, “Yes.” and even “So what does the dog do in the studio?” The answer, “nothing, it usually just lays there.” Sarah has found the name of her business is unique and helps people to remember it.

The core products of Sarah’s business are the glass charms. These charms can be custom made with any picture or saying or artwork that one can think of. Along with customizing the charms there are hundreds of pre made charms to select from in many different sizes and shapes. There are charms with every initial of the alphabet, seasonal charms, sports team charms, religious charms, word charms and on and on… They can be used as necklace pendants, Christmas ornaments, lamp ornaments, key chains or they can be displayed on a window.

My personal favorites are the charms Sarah creates using the religious artwork of Sue Kuoma Johnson. Sue does mostly iconic paintings of Catholic saints and symbols. The first charm necklace I purchased was with Sue’s Rose painting, and I gave it to my mother in law last Christmas. She truly loved it, and wore it right away. I also purchased a charm necklace with Sue’s Holy Spirit Dove painting and gave it to a dear friend of mine. I also own and wear three charms myself, one says Peace, one says Faith, and the other is a picture of Saint Francis of Assisi. I wear them all the time!

If you would like to browse Sarah’s blog to see pictures of many of her charms and other jewelry offerings go to This is a place where you can sign up for give-aways, and find out when and where Sarah is showing and selling her jewelry this fall. You can click onto my profile over on the right bottom of this page and look at blogs that I follow. It is listed there and if you click onto it you will be taken right to Sarah’s blog. Sarah can also be found at, her jewelry can be viewed at or you can e-mail her at

Check Sarah’s pretties out for yourself or for unique holiday shopping ideas, you won’t be disappointed!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

When You Feel Lonely..... You Are Not Alone

Even amongst friends, family and neighbors I often feel lonely. Many times in a crowded room I feel inadequate and unsure of myself. Writing this blog and sharing it makes me feel very uneasy most of the time. But something pushes me to do it anyways. I have a feeling there are other people out there in this world that have similar types of feelings and this post is for them.

If you are a regular e-mail user you probably receive powerful messages and stories that are forwarded to you. Sometimes you may get annoyed at those that are chain letter prayers that warn you not to break the chain. I’m one of those people who usually breaks the chain. Maybe that’s why I feel lonely so often (not really). But sometimes something comes across those forwarded messages that is worth sharing and the following is one of those. I received these inspirations many years ago when my printer was not working. I loved them so much that I hand wrote them all out and went and had them laminated. The only problem is I have no idea who wrote them or if they have a copy write to not copy them. So if I get caught publishing these much needed messages of inspiration, I pray that the author forgives me and appreciates that their words are still circulating, and if I knew who the author was I would certainly give them credit for it and would have asked permission if I had their name.

So if you ever feel lonely, or worried or even confused sometimes like I do, I hope you find comfort with these words from an unknown author, and God:

You say, “It’s impossible,”
God says, “All things are possible.” (Luke 18:27)
You say, “I’m too tired,”
God says, “I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:20-20)
You say, “Nobody loves me,”
God says, “I love you.” (John 3:16-John 13:34)
You say, “I can’t go on,”
God says, “My grace is sufficient.” (II Cor. 12:9-Psalm 91-15)
You say, “I can’t figure things out,”
God says, “I will direct your steps,” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
You say, “I can’t do it,”
God says, “You can do all things in me.” (Phil. 4:13)
You say, “It’s not worth it,”
God says, “It will be worth it.” (Romans 8:28)
You say, “I can’t forgive myself,”
God says, “I forgive you.” (1 John 1:9-Romans 8:1)
You say, “I can’t manage,”
God says, “I will supply all your needs.” (Phil 4:19)
You say, “I’m afraid,”
God says, “I have not given you a spirit of fear.” (11 Tim, 1:7)
You say, “I’m always worried and frustrated,”
God says, Cast all you cares on me.” (1 Peter 5:7)
You say, “I don’t have enough faith,”
God says, “I’ve given everyone a measure of faith.”
You say, “I’m not smart enough,”
God says, “I give you wisdom.” (1 Cor 1:30)
You say, “I feel alone,”
God says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Heb, 13:5)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Time to Write

A pile of dark clean wrinkled clothes
lie here by my side.
All I want to do is write.
Another pile sits on top the dryer,
Words tumble inside my head.
On the rocking chair there’s another pile.
These lines I’d rather pen.
Dust covers the wood throughout,
I’ll get to that tomorrow.
Thank God for the dishwasher,
it’s humming sound a comfort.

The children received their meals all three,
teeth brushed, bodies clean,
homework done, conversations had,
games played, prayers prayed,
sunshine visited.
They sleep soundly now.

But those piles still remain.
How plentiful are they.
They realize,
the lavatories were scrubbed today.
So they wait for me,
Longing for me,
Yet, they know,
I’d rather
And I do,
I deserve to
before I forget these words
that have tumbled inside my head.

(I'm still trying to make time to write my inspiring story on home based business woman Sarah Long. I interviewed her yesterday. Until then I hope you enjoyed this poem that I wrote several months ago. Check back soon to find out how Sarah started her successful "Brown Dog Studio" business.)