Posts Tagged ‘Ellen Gable Emily’s Hope’
Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Jen’s Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday.
We’re technically in June now (and no longer in our anniversary month) but I figure we’re close enough, so I’d like to share seven of my favorite wedding and anniversary gifts over the years (in no particular order).
1. Embroidered “Life is Fragile: Handle with Prayer” Picture
We received this beautiful framed embroidered picture as a wedding gift. James’ cousin spent hours working on this awesome gift for us. It has remained in our living room in a prominent place for the past 30 years.
For our 25th anniversary, my mother and mother-in-law bought a robotic vacuum cleaner for us (knowing that I didn’t often vacuum). In the beginning, it was more valuable to us as entertainment for the kids and somehow or other, I lost track of it. Last year, I saw a commercial on TV for it and wondered where it had ended up. I found it a short while later when I was cleaning out the storage area. I began using it and have come to really appreciate it. I mainly use it for the kitchen floor and I must admit that it does an amazing job. It only takes a few minutes of preparing to make sure the chairs, cat bowls etc are brought up off the floor. It takes about an hour to vacuum our large kitchen, but I can accomplish other tasks while it’s vacuuming.
3. Prayer Card
In a previous post, I mentioned the prayer card that my sister and the other Dominican sisters sent for our anniversary. It continues to hold a special place in our home and in our hearts.
4. Papal Blessing
Also for our 25th wedding anniversary, our friends, Chris and Brenda, enlisted the help of a mutual friend (a priest we both know) to get us a papal blessing. This also has a prominent place in our living room.
5. 25th Anniversary Homily
When we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, a close priest friend of ours con-celebrated the Mass with our parish priest. In his homily, he said, “I note especially five wonderful persons who were not present on May 22, 1982: Josh, Ben, Tim, Adam and Paul. I don’t need to tell you too much about that evening when your mom and dad publicly vowed their love. You are the first witnesses of that love. It bought you to life and it continues to nurture you to maturity. Through the years, you have seen your parents day by day striving (and I like to add “struggling”) to be true to each other and to love and honor each other in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health...”
6. Wedding Song
For our wedding, James wrote a song called “Forever Amen.” The lyrics are included in my novel, Emily’s Hope. Below is a photo of James and our friend, Pat, singing: first at our wedding, then at our 25th anniversary celebration.
7. The Last Supper (Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, Italy)
Five years ago, when we were in Europe chaperoning 40 students, our fellow chaperones, Chris and Belinda, took us on a surprise trip to Milan to see Leonardo’s The Last Supper. This was not on the agenda for our trip, so we took a cab to Santa Maria delle Grazie. Upon arriving, we discovered that the tickets needed to be purchased three weeks in advance. Chris tried (and even begged) but the man behind the counter would not acquiesce. “Sorry,” he said (in Italian), “No tickets for today.” We stood outside the church trying to decide what to do. Our friend made one more attempt, with no luck. Disappointed, we asked the cab to wait for us while we took a few photos outside of the church. As we were getting into the cab, a man came running up to us and said, “Professori?”
“Yes, yes!” Chris said, now looking hopeful, “We’re teachers!”
“Come with me,” the man said in a thick Italian accent.
The man proceeded to take us to the ticket counter. We gave him our money and he purchased our tickets, then he accompanied us to wait with a group of Japanese tourists. As he walked with us, we kept thanking him for getting us into the chapel.
When we arrived in the room with the Last Supper, I could hardly catch my breath, it was so breathtaking. The chapel was darkened and quiet, the beautiful painting by Leonardo illuminated by soft lighting.
For more Quick Takes, head over to Conversion Diary.
Photos and text copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach
Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday.
FREEBIE ALERT! Before I get to my post today, I want to let readers know that my first novel, Emily’s Hope, is available FREE today and tomorrow on Kindle at the following link: Emily’s Hope Kindle Edition. My third novel, Stealing Jenny, will be available free this Monday and Tuesday, March 26th and 27th.
My 7 Quick Takes Friday post today is entitled “The Contents of My Mother’s Special Box.”
Last Friday, my two youngest sons and I spent the entire day driving from my hometown in New Jersey to our home here in Pakenham, Ontario. It usually takes anywhere from 9.5 to 12 hours, depending on traffic, how many stops we make and weather. We started the day with early Mass, a quick breakfast, then began our journey.
The previous six days had been a difficult, heart-wrenching time of sorting through my mom’s possessions. She passed away nearly five years ago, but since my stepdad and sister were still living in the house, there was no rush to go through her things.
Now that my stepdad is gone and my sister is a religious sister, my childhood home will likely be sold, so I made a special trip down to NJ to assist my siblings in going through her belongings.
When my siblings and I were children, my mother kept a flowered, maroon-colored box in her dresser drawer where she stored the special mementos of her life before and just after marriage. I couldn’t find it in the days after her death, so I asked my youngest sister and stepdad if they knew where it was. They both replied that they had no idea where it had gone.
Before I traveled down to NJ, I made a mental note to look for that box and, most importantly, to ask St. Anthony to help me find it. When I arrived at the house, I decided to search in the attic and through the many boxes of Christmas decorations my mom had bought and collected over the years. When I opened the second box, I gasped. Sitting at the top was my mom’s special box. “Wow,” I muttered. Then I said, “Thank you, St. Anthony.”
Here are seven of the items I found:
1. Wedding Night Receipt and Wedding Invitation. My mother was married to my father for 23 years before he died in 1978. I already had a copy of the wedding invitation, but I was thrilled to find the wedding night receipt.
2. Graduation Stole Mom was the first of her siblings to graduate high school. She was a proud graduate of Hallahan High School (Class of ’51).
4. Large Miraculous Medal Although I’m not certain, I think she received this either for her 8th Grade Graduation or her graduation from high school.
6. Corsage and head piece from her graduation from St. Richard’s School in Philadelphia. (My mom is in the front row, center, with the corsage).
7. Finally, there was a small booklet entitled “To the Graduate,” that Hallahan HS gave to all graduates. At the front of the book, a message to the graduates. The very last page has a prayer called “Our Lady’s Blessing” that I’d like to share:
May the Light of the Countenance
of my Little Child
ever shine on you.
May the perfection of His actions
be seen in all your works,
that nothing may be found
at the last day
but that for which you may be
May His Sacred Heart
be your Refuge
when beset with temptation and
tried by affliction.
May you enter the Divine Heart of
Jesus through the pierced heart
of your Queen and your Mother.
May your last hour be
your best hour and
May the Names of Jesus and Mary
seal your lips till we meet in Eternity.
I miss my mother every day and I’m so grateful to have found her special box.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary.
Copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach
Posted in birth control, Catholic fiction, Catholicity, Marriage, NFP, Pro Life, Theology of the Body, Writing, tagged Ellen Gable Catholic Fiction, Ellen Gable Emily's Hope on March 20, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
The Kindle edition of my first book, Emily’s Hope, will be FREE this Friday, March 23rd and Saturday, March 24th.
Some people have coined my book “NFP Fiction.” It’s based on the true stories of myself and my great-grandmother. Here are a few of the reviews I’ve received since my first book was published seven years ago:
“Compelling…a real page turner.”
Damon Owens, Host of EWTN’s “NFP: Embracing the Marital Gift”
“Your book is a vehicle for the whole truth behind the Theology of the Body, presented so that people can see how the teachings of the Church are to be followed.”
Joan Hon, author, “A Trip to Medjugorje”
“There is so much to love about Emily’s Hope — the innocence of young love, the beautiful, miraculous, healing power of love and the beauty of sacrificial married love and its life-giving splendor. This story is not a fantasy, but is a tender and sensitive portrayal of what makes love real and lasting.”
Jean Heimann, Catholic Fire
“This book is a must read for anyone who has ever questioned whether living the NFP lifestyle is worth it or ever been resentful of the deprivations of NFP. I loved this book!”
Christopher Blunt, author, “Passport”
“I would encourage everyone to read this book, certainly young women. It is a book I can wholeheartedly recommend.“
David Beresford, Catholic Insight Magazine
“While this book is definitely about NFP, it is also about the love of husbands and wives, the love of parents for their children and the agonizing moral choices we sometimes face. It is also about real people…and about being witnesses to a culture of life in a world overshadowed by a culture of death.”
Kristie Wellman, One More Soul
To read more reviews, click here: Emily’s Hope Kindle Edition.
Emily’s Hope will be available for FREE this Friday, March 23rd and Saturday, March 24th!
Posted in Catholic fiction, Catholicity, Chastity, Marriage, NFP, Pro Life, Theology of the Body, Writing, tagged Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship, Ellen Gable Emily's Hope on February 9, 2012 | 6 Comments »
Join me and other Catholic bloggers at Hallie Lord’s Blog for 7 Quick Takes Friday. Thanks to Hallie for guest hosting.
1. Emily’s Hope Kindle Edition is available for FREE for the next three days (Friday, February 10th till Sunday evening February 12th). Just click on this link to download the book. You don’t need to purchase a Kindle …you can just download the free Kindle app to your iPod, iPad or computer. If you want to read more about my first book, the novel’s website has an excerpt, reviews, a Catholic TV interview and a Sacred Heart/EWTN radio interview. One reviewer called this book “NFP Fiction,” although it has also been called “Pro-Life Fiction.”2. Come My Beloved Kindle Edition will also be available for FREE on Valentine’s Day. If you like reading true love stories, you’ll probably enjoy this book. To read reviews, watch a book trailer or read excerpts, visit the book’s website.
3. Sarah Reinhard is holding a “Beat the February Doldrums a Book Giveaway”. For more details, click on the link above.
4. Here is a great website that has many free Catholic e-books (mostly non-fiction).
5. If you’re looking for more free print books, check out Bud Macfarlane’s novels.
6. Idylls Press has Kindle and epub editions of a variety of free Catholic classic novels at their website.
7. If you’re looking for some free books for your Kindle, this website lists free daily Kindle books and deals.
For more Quick Takes, visit Hallie’s Lord’s Blog.
Copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach
Posted in birth control, Catholic fiction, Catholicity, Chastity, NFP, Pro Life, Theology of the Body, Writing, tagged Ellen Gable Emily's Hope, NFP Fiction, Pro Life Fiction on February 7, 2012 | 3 Comments »
My first novel, Emily’s Hope, will be FREE for three days beginning this Friday, February 10th and ending Sunday night, February 12th (at midnight). All you need to do is go to the link below and click on “purchase.” It’s free so you won’t be charged anything:
To read an excerpt and reviews, to listen to a radio interview, or to watch a Catholic TV interview, go to the novel’s website.
If you’re heading out to the March for Life and looking for something to read on your Kindle, the Kindle edition of my first novel, Emily’s Hope, is currently on sale at only .99! Great bargain! That’s a 15.00 savings over the print book! But you’ll need to act fast because the sale will be over tomorrow evening at 9:00 p.m.
You can read an excerpt and reviews, watch a Catholic TV interview and listen to a Sacred Heart Radio interview at www.emilyshope.com
Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday.
Today I’d like to do a 7 Quick Takes devoted entirely to Natural Family Planning (NFP). NFP is safe, healthy, effective and morally acceptable. To read a bit of how I came to be such an enthusiastic promoter and teacher of NFP, click here.
1. The beginning of a new year often prompts the making of resolutions. My latest column at Amazing Catechists talks about including NFP in healthy habits for the new year.
3. The Couple to Couple League has been offering NFP classes online/virtually for two years. James and I have taught more couples virtually in the past year than in the past ten years combined. While it’s not a perfect system as yet (internet problems do happen), it is an ideal way to learn NFP if there are no classes within driving distance. We’ve taught couples from Florida, Utah, North Dakota, Colorado, Ohio, California, Virginia, Ontario, Newfoundland, Wisconsin. For more information, check out this link: http://register.ccli.org/virtual
5. My first book, Emily’s Hope, is the fictionalized parallel stories of myself and my great-grandmother. In telling my conversion story, I also wanted to illustrate the beauty of NFP and the Church’s teachings on sexuality. For more information, or to watch an interview, to read reviews or an excerpt, check out the novel’s website or the Amazon page.
6. If you like to read good old-fashioned love stories, you’ll probably enjoy my third book, Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship. Earlier this week, I offered copies on Amazon Kindle and was surprised at the response (nearly 700 people downloaded the book on Kindle). I’ll be offering another free giveaway on Kindle closer to Valentine’s Day. Of course, it’s only 2.99 on Kindle so it’s a bargain either way.
7. Finally, if you are interested in learning more about Natural Family Planning, there are many different methods and organizations that teach NFP. Here are just a few: Couple to Couple League, Billings Ovulation Method, Serena (Canada), Creighton Model Fertility Care System.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary.
Cartoons copyright 2012 Full Quiver Publishing
“If you say the Rosary faithfully unto death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins, ‘you will receive a never-fading crown of glory’ (1 St. Peter 5:4).” Saint Louis de Montfort
I am blessed to be the mother of five sons ages 12-24. However, my journey to motherhood has not been an easy one. I have lost seven babies through miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. When my third son was 10 months old, we were overjoyed to be pregnant again; that is, until it became apparent that the baby was in my fallopian tube once again. I nearly died from complications of this ectopic pregnancy.
Below is an excerpt from my first novel, Emily’s Hope, and is based on the true story of my near-death experience, written in the third person. Fortunately, I survived and later gave birth to two more sons.
The following illustrates the powerful intercession of Our Lady, especially when death is whispering in one’s ear:
The pain in her abdomen became more excruciating with every passing moment. She sat on the sofa and dialed the number of the high school. It seemed like an eternity for the line to connect. One, two rings. Please, someone pick up, she silently begged. Hearing the secretary’s voice, Emily could barely speak, but she uttered enough to make it clear that she needed her husband. She dropped the phone and tried to take a deep breath. Feeling an overwhelming need to vomit, she rushed to the bathroom just in time to spill the contents of her stomach. She gripped the cold, hard toilet, as if in some way, it would make her pain bearable. Disoriented, she thought of her baby and quickly glanced at his smiling, inquisitive face, oblivious to his mother’s pain.
I’ve got to stay conscious for my baby, she repeated over and over again in her mind. She moved back to the floor next to the sofa, trying to sit upright with her young child next to her, while drifting in and out of consciousness. Keeping a death grip on him, she woke up as the paramedics were prying her hands off her son and placing her on a stretcher. It all seemed like a dream. She overheard the paramedics talking about what a “little thing” she was.
Too weak to make a sound, she wondered where her young son was. She caught a glimpse of her husband holding him at the back doors of the ambulance.
His right arm cradled their son’s little body, while his left hand clasped his small head to his chest as if to shield and protect him from the turmoil that surrounded them both. But her husband’s face. . .his face was so broken and distraught that Emily felt the anguish of a wife and mother abandoning her family. Tears welled up in her eyes and for a moment, Emily forgot her pain.
Then his eyes caught hers and he realized that she was watching him. Everything changed. His chin lifted as if for courage and penetrated her being with a look of tenderness, of confidence and reassurance. Whatever happens, I will be strong for you and for the sons we both love and for God, who has asked so much of you. He seemed to say all of this with his eyes, all of this and more. As his love reached out to her through the shouts of the paramedics and their frantic procedures, the beeping of machines and the overwhelming wail of the siren, its light already flashing, her terror began to fade and her heart surged within her. Now reassured, she allowed herself to fall back to sleep.
Emily’s eyes opened again this time as the paramedics were inserting an intravenous needle in her arm. Although it felt like they were stabbing her with an ice pick, all she could manage was a wince and a quiet moan. It seemed as if every ounce of energy had been sucked from her being. This is what it feels like to die.
Then she imagined her little boys’ faces, and suddenly the possibility of dying weighed heavy on her heart. Please, God, I can’t die, she silently prayed. I don’t want my little boys growing up without a mother. All at once, a feeling of warmth surrounded her, then she felt at peace. There was no bitterness, only acceptance, a calm that was huge enough to quiet an ocean. She silently recited a Hail Mary. . . .now and at the hour of our death. Amen. Those last words took on powerful meaning with the possibility that this could be her hour. She knew that whatever happened would be God’s will, and she would submit to that, whatever it was.
Drifting into unconsciousness, the last thing she heard was “We’re losing her…”
Emily’s Hope is available in print form and on Amazon Kindle. Leave a comment below before Friday, October 28th, to be entered to win a free Kindle copy of Emily’s Hope.
Copyright 2005 Ellen Gable Hrkach