The notion of Saintly Seasons has been a long time in coming. A long, long time ago, I spent some time discerning my vocation in a wonderful convent, and that is where I learned what it is to really LIVE the Liturgical Year in a way I never had before. Some illustrations of that would be how we spent Friday and Saturday cleaning the house so that Sunday could truly be a day of rest and recreation; food was more delicious and everything was more "at ease" on Sundays. We even got to sort of sleep in (I loved Sundays)! We didn't eat meat on Friday OR Saturday, and during Lent, Wednesday was an added day of abstinence...which made Easter even more special. During the penitential seasons of Advent and Lent, preparations were made for Christmas and Easter at times that are more appropriate to the Church than to the world and it really did hone my sense of what it was truly about...but what really got me - and this may sound silly - was celebrating the Octaves! The Octave of Easter particularly struck me because I remember the fine china being taken out for the entire time; it was like Sunday every day for all eight days! Did I mention that I loved Sundays in the convent? Living the Liturgical life of the Church was like breathing... There is so much I miss about it - the Divine Office (communal prayer) and the deep sense of living the Liturgical Year are what I miss most. When I left, I wanted to maintain some of that....but it faded...
When my husband and I got married and we had our first child, I was so excited to share the Liturgical life of the Church with our family, but I couldn't figure out exactly how to do it. I was tired and stressed and so "out of practice" doing it myself that all of my efforts floundered. I would watch how other mothers celebrated with their children - especially via online blogs - and be so envious. They made beautiful things with and for their children that looked like so much FUN!
You see, I am NOT a crafter. My mother was a crafter-extraordinaire who would try any craft, and not only enjoy it, but she made beautiful things for us and for our home (she was really good at everything she tried). Alas I did not inherit that gene. Earlier in my mothering years, I tried to force it. I thought it would just "come to me" or that I just had to be more patient or whatever. Then I started talking with other mothers in real life and found out something amazing! I'm not alone!!!
It still took a while to stop feeling guilty about it and I've learned a lot from watching the mom who organizes the crafts for our Little Flowers group (like if you prep the materials ahead of time, things go more smoothly...duh), but there is nothing wrong with not being a crafter. It doesn't make you a bad mother or a bad Catholic if that just doesn't work for you...and if you are a crafter? Well, you need to know that there are lots of of us who admire what you can accomplish with your tremendous creativity! Keep up the great work and you know what - sometimes you help the un-crafty to pluck up the courage to try something new and maybe even succeed! See? The Body of Christ helping each other!
So how does this all tie together in Saintly Seasons? Well, our family was praying a novena to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots and part of my petition was answered at the end of the novena when the name of the company and a bunch of ideas came upon me in a cohesive little package just waiting to be unpacked - it was a type of epiphany and the "conception" of Saintly Seasons. All of these things I have loved about Our Faith - the Communion of Saints, the Liturgical life of the Church, family (the domestic church)...to make it more effortless....more seamless...more natural. So whether you are a crafter or not, we hope that you will find something here along the road to help you in living the Liturgical life of the Church in your own family. We have products and more on the way, but also lots of links to help you out over in St. Andrew's Corner. Please check back there often as more resources are added on a pretty regular basis :)
May God bless you and your family!