Summer Daybook :: Big Changes Ahead

by | Jul 10, 2018 | Daybook, Forestry, FSSP, Holy Face, Moving, Roses from St. Therese, St. John Gualbert | 28 comments

Outside my window…
From my kitchen window I can see the beautiful rose bushes that my husband planted in the garden on Mother’s Day a couple years ago. Last year the garden gate was accidentally left open one night and the deer enjoyed all the buds before they had a chance to bloom and gave the bushes a major pruning… I wasn’t sure if the bushes would survive the winter, but this year they are covered in the most gorgeous roses.

I am thinking…
We have some very big changes ahead for our family. At the end of May my husband and I were sitting out on the patio, enjoying the lovely spring day, and I said to him that I felt like I could finally breathe… The past two years have been so hard. I’m finally getting a combined total of 5 hours of sleep at night on average each week, up from just 3-4 hours of sleep per day/night on average, the baby is healthy and happier more often each month, and we made it through the hardest school year ever. That peaceful afternoon was just another little calm before the next storm…

The very next week my husband found out that there was a job opening near the area where we had spent years, up through a few years ago anyway, trying to move… My husband has always wanted to live in an area with an Fraternity of St. Peter parish. (All three of my husband’s brothers are FSSP priests.) He almost didn’t apply for the job but then decided to send in his application and leave it in God’s hands. We prayed that if it was God’s will for our family to move that he would be offered the job. We asked family, friends, and the dear sisters at Carmel to pray too. A friend suggested we pray to the Holy Face for guidance. On June 1st my husband sent in his application.

“Offer to our Father in Heaven, His Sons Holy Face, and He can refuse nothing to you…”

Towards the end of June we hadn’t heard back and started to think that it wasn’t going to happen, like all the other times in the past, but then he received the call on June 29th, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, and was offered the job! Of the fourteen other foresters from around the country who applied for the job to replace the one and only forester in that office who is retiring after thirty five years, my husband was the most qualified for the job. He accepted the job and will begin on October 1st, the feast of St. Therese! 

I am thankful… 
So very thankful for little consolations from Our Lord… Roses on my bushes (thank you St. Therese!), big changes taking place on special feast days, being able to spend some one-on-one time with my parents, and little notes and phone calls from friends when I’ve needed them the most. Even though I know the move will be such a great thing for our family, it is still going to be so hard… I spent most of the first week of July crying… and not over a silly hair cut this time… The upcoming months will require so much detachment on my part from my home and extended family… Moving away from my parents will be so hard… I’m very grateful for each consolation, little reminders that God loves us all and that He will send us the strength and graces needed. Please keep us in your prayers!

Celebrating the liturgical year…
The feast of St. John Gualbert, patron of Foresters is coming up on July 12th. I think I’m going to bake and decorate some more cupcakes to celebrate my husband’s new job. I haven’t shared these here or over at Catholic Cuisine yet, but here are the cupcakes we made last year.

I’ll probably make a little something for the feast of Saints Louis and Zélie Martin too. Last year I made a Watchmaker Cake with Cameo in Lace Candy.

From the kitchen…
My kitchen. Why are the kitchens and dining rooms so small in so many homes?! I hope whoever lives here next will love it as much as I have since we finally remodeled it eight years ago.

I am working…
I’m still working part time as the corporate secretary and treasurer for my dad and brother’s electrical business. I have loved working these past few years and am especially grateful for all the extra time I’ve been able to spend with my dad and mom. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to continue working remotely for the company once we move. In the meantime I have my work cut out for me as I try to figure out just how I’ll accomplish it all and get everything set up.

I am creating…
Lists, lists, lists. If you have any moving tips and suggestions for me I would love to hear them. I have absolutely no experience with this and it is overwhelming to say the least. Thankfully we have a little time.

I am going…
There is a chance that the kids and I are going to be staying here for the upcoming school year. At least that is what we had discussed before my husband even applied for the job. We are keeping all the options open though and it really all depends on how quickly the house sells. The older boys are both getting ready to start their senior year and are really looking forward to hopefully returning to state next spring. Especially after the ordeal we went through this past golf season. Moving out of state complicates things a bit…

I am hoping…
I’ve been hosting Annual Curriculum Sale Blog Hop for years and am hoping to pull together another one this year. Anyone interested? Hmmm… I wonder just how many thousands of pounds of books we will need to move to our new home. Tons!

I am praying…
the Prayer of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face to the Holy Face:

O Jesus, who in Thy bitter Passion didst become “the most abject of men, a man of sorrows”, I venerate Thy Sacred Face whereon there once did shine the beauty and sweetness of the Godhead; but now it has become for me as if it were the face of a leper! Nevertheless, under those disfigured feature, I recognize Thy infinite Love and I am consumed with the desire to love Thee and make Thee loved by all men. The tears that thou hast shed so abundantly appear to me as so many precious pearls that I Love together up, in order to purchase the souls of poor sinners by means of their infinite value. O Jesus, whose adorable Face ravishes my heart, I implore Thee to fix deep within me Thy divine Image, to set me on fire with Thy Love, and to make me worthy to contemplate in Heaven Thy glorious Face. Amen.

I am reading…
The Golden Arrow: The Revelations of Sr. Mary of St. Peter (1816-1848 On Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus) by Sr. Mary of St. Peter which was just given to us from a friend.

Enjoying a quiet(ish) afternoon outside on the patio with a new book from a friend and cup of roasted dandelion root tea… while the baby tries to sneak a bite of my lunch! #thegoldenarrow #holyfaceofjesus #srmaryofstpeter #offeritup #13monthsold #shelovessweetpotatoes 

Pondering these words…
from Divine Intimacy:

“We must not seek the cross in extraordinary sufferings, seldom, if ever encountered; we must look for it in the duties, the life, the difficulties, and the sacrifices of each day and of each moment.”

Around the house…
Our home…. Oh how I will miss this home… We have lived here for over eighteen years, by far the longest I’ve lived in one place. We bought it when I was pregnant and on bed rest with our oldest son. The original “little house with so much potential” has changed so much and grown with our family over the years. I’ve been searching for new homes online and just can’t picture living somewhere new. It will be an exciting adventure, right?

One of my favorite things…
Roses. My husband keeps refilling the vase in the living room with roses from our garden.

Shortly after my husband was offered the job I went to look for a holy card from my closet to use as a bookmark… This Holy Face holy card was loose next to where I keep all the others. So fitting after praying to the Holy Face for weeks. It also happens to be my bil’s ordination card and he is the pastor of the parish where we will be moving.

This week’s plans…

  • The older boys are over on the east coast this week getting to Experience Christendom! Can’t wait to hear all about the camp when the boys get home next weekend! Hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since I was a student at Christendom… The girls and I are enjoying looking for the boys in the various videos and photos posted over on Facebook
  • Our oldest daughter is getting her braces off tomorrow morning. She is pretty excited!
  • The little boys will be attending a birthday party for one of their friends.
  • We’ve all been enjoying summer! Hope you are too!

A little peek at my day…
This blog post was made possible by an afternoon off work and nap time… Shhh!

DockATot Grand • 100% Pro-Life OnesieJellycat Bashful Bunny


  1. Jennifer Gregory Miller

    Wow, wow, wow, Jessica!!!! Praying for your even more through all these transitions. Are you moving north, south, east or west? Will you be within a day’s drive back to your parents? Hugs and lots of love!

    2018-07-10 23:38:46

  2. Jessica Gordon

    Thanks, Jenn! It's about an eleven hour drive from here, in decent weather anyway, so still doable in a day.

    2018-07-11 00:17:18

  3. Barbara a Stein

    Praying it all falls into place for you, and you have peace through it all.

    2018-07-11 00:09:00

  4. Joene Merlo

    What an amazing answer to your prayers! I love that all the feast days lined up so beautifully! Can you share where you’re moving to? Praying for you all!!

    2018-07-11 01:03:46

  5. Mindy L

    Thank you for being so honest, humble. I appreciate that. God only gives us what we can handle and He sure has His eyes on you! You will be so blessed in your new home, community I just know it. Prayers for your peace momma and for family during this tough transition. I'm in for the book sale, swap. I will keep an eye out for details.

    2018-07-11 01:29:38

  6. Christine M

    Congratulations and many prayers for your upcoming move! May God guide you and keep you in His care,and our Lady watch over you. Our FSSP parish has been such a blessing for our family, and I am sure it will be for yours. 🙂 One of my moving tips is to number the rooms in your new home (using a sticky note) and number your moving boxes with the corresponding numbers ( on a taped down sticky note). This means you don’t have to take the time to write kitchen or what is in the box, unless you want to. It also means no one needs to know where your kitchen or school room is. They just follow the number order until they get to the room with that number and place the box in it. It really speeds up packing and unpacking. Hope that makes sense. Let me know if you need me to do anything for you. God bless!

    2018-07-11 04:01:01

  7. Christy Runnion

    Oh, Jessica, how bittersweet for you! We just left our PNW community a week ago and moved south for my husband's job. I loved our parish and community so much. We were there for a long time. I had to abandon myself to God's will. There is peace but I miss my community and the Redwoods. Some of the things we did to make the move go smoothly is purge and purge some more. About a month or two before the move we had a garage sale, pulled things out of storage and closets and made multiple dump runs. I was amazed at the things we had been holding on to. We sold so many things via social media. My husband was worried about not being able to fit everything into a 26 ft. truck and trailer. We got it all in a 26 footer, no trailer necessary. It took about 3 days to load the truck. That was a good amount of time; not too stressful. The most stressful part was still having to pack boxes the day people were coming over to help load the truck. Try to have as much packed as you can before the truck comes. Our heavenly Father will bless this move. You are being obedient to His will. "The earth is thy ship and not thy home." That has been my prayer through this. My heart is with you in prayer.

    2018-07-11 04:07:26

  8. Penelope

    Such an unexpected answer to a long held prayer! Congratulations and prayers, Jessica! It must seem overwhelming, but — Deep breaths, lots of prayer, small steps. All will fall into place. What a joy that this dream is at last coming to fruition for your family!

    2018-07-11 10:10:47

  9. Jennifer Lundgren

    Praying for you and your family during this transition.

    2018-07-11 10:13:14

  10. Rosemary

    I am so happy for you and your family. I will be praying for you as you prepare to move. Would you please pray for my family? My husband was laid off from his job, which he had for 14 years. He is having a hard time trying to find another job. Our oldest is named Therese, and we have been praying to St Therese continuously. God bless you and your family. We live about 10 min from Christendom. I hope your boys are having a good time in FR.

    2018-07-11 12:21:01

  11. Jessica Gordon

    Oh, Rosemary! I'm sure this must be very stressful for you. I will absolutely pray for your family!

    2018-07-11 15:50:34

  12. Lucia

    Congratulations! As someone who moved incessantly as a child (my father was in the Navy) and who later on had 6 moves in 5 years, you can say I am pretty good at moving. Here are my tips: – I strongly second the recommendation to purge. My experience is that you can half your posesions to prepare for moving, then half them again for the next move a few months later, then half them again a year later… and still have too many things! If you sell them, you get money for the movers. Everything else can go to charity. – The idea of numbering rooms and matching them to the boxes is excelent. My mother, a moving expert, used to position herself at the door and direct movers as they arrived, but this idea is even better. – If you can afford it, get a moving company that packs and then unpacks at your destination. Worth every penny, if you have it. Make sure to purge first so you don't pay to pack, move and unpack clutter. – Prepare luggage as if you were going on a vacation with essential clothing, baby stuff, select favorite books/toys, any medicines, legal/medical papers, bathroom essentials, etc. Take them with you in your car. This is so you don't have to be opening boxes at random looking for important stuff. – Unpack the kitchen first: a hard move and unfamiliar place is much more welcoming if you've had a good meal. Moving day itself is take-out day, though. Do not attempt to move on a empty stomach. Repeat: do NOT attempt to move on an empty stomach. – Unpack the kid's rooms second, starting by the youngest or whoever will need familiar things more that the other kids or the adults. – Unpack the bathroom third so you can be clean in your messy house. – Don't open a box unless the piece of furniture it's destined to is available or else the whole house will soon be a mess. – Involve everybody. My brothers and I were in charge of our own rooms as well as hanging pictures in the whole house in every one of our moves, as I result I am very good with a drill. Kids can do more than you think. I hope these tips help. Moving can be difficult, but you are going to a better place, so it's like labor pains (worth it in the long run). Cheers, Lucía

    2018-07-11 18:09:00

  13. Marion

    Prayers for you and your family in the transition. Grace is a beauty. Marion

    2018-07-11 20:03:20

  14. Joan

    Jessica you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers for your move. Joan

    2018-07-11 20:04:31

  15. Marilyn

    Congratulations to your husband on getting his new job. Moving can be exhausting. I will keep you and your family in my prayers and thoughts for an easy move. I love that photo of Grace. God Bless you and yours. Marilyn

    2018-07-11 20:14:58

  16. Elena Bresee

    Beautiful post Jessica! May God continue to bless the Gordon family.! We are so happy for you and will keep you in our little prayers over the next weeks and months. Elena

    2018-07-12 00:15:42

  17. Meredith

    Congratulations to your husband on his new job, and on moving to an FSSP parish! We just sold our beloved homestead in Maine to move to the new(ish) FSSP parish in Nashua, New Hampshire and it was THE. Hardest. Move. EVER. But it was the best move, too, because now we can walk to daily Mass with instead of driving an hour each way. God made the struggle so worth it! We will keep you in our prayers during this transition time!

    2018-07-12 12:47:24

  18. Denise

    July 12 is also the feast of St. Veronica! It is so inspiring to see how throughout the challenges God guides and provides! My moving advice (in addition to the great advice above) is to give each room a letter and number each box. For example, K-1 means Kitchen, box 1. Inventory each box as you fill it on a page for that room in a spiral notebook or binder. At the new location I tape a sign (with painters tape) above each doorway with the letter (K-kitchen). Signs can also be posted in the garage along the wall to store boxes until you have time to unpack them. That way your house looks clutter-free during the time it takes you to unpack. I keep a short list of the numbers I need soonest and watch for those to go straight to the rooms. If you are covering your moving expenses Mayflower offers a "U-pack, We ship" move. We have done this three times and it is wonderful. You pay for the miles, not the weight so you know what the cost will be ahead of time. This is great when moving books and heavy tools and things that would be simply too expensive to replace. Many things are cheaper and easier to just buy on the other side. That said there will always be expenses that pop up and it will always cost more than you anticipate. Every time. I prefer to do all my unpacking but definitely use the movers to set up your beds and table legs etc. I also sketch out the kitchen cabinets and plan my zones before the move. When unpacking I know precisely where everything is going to go. It is essential to get this room functioning well and fast. We are in the middle of a local move to be closer to our FSSP parish. Moving is a bit like childbirth and you can (sometimes) quickly forget the pain and difficulties once settled in. It helps me to remember that at times it will seem like the sale is going to fall through, we won't have a place to live, it won't all fit on the truck (in my experience it never has!) the check will be late for closing…the list can go on and on. I just take it as it comes and hold onto whatever verse is speaking to me for that particular move. (All things work for good…God's mercies are renewed each morning…etc) Count it all joy! Many congratulations and prayers for you and again, thank you for sharing your life with the online world for all the inspiration and beauty it brings us.

    2018-07-12 13:01:43

  19. Jessica Gordon

    Oh, that is such a perfect quote for me to remember at this time. Thank you! I will MISS being a short drive away from the Redwoods and the Oregon coast… The PNW is sure a beautiful place to live! Thank you for the tips. We are hoping to get started preparing for a yard sale as soon as the boys get back home. I hope you are loving your new home too!

    2018-07-13 00:19:56

  20. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Mindy ♥

    2018-07-13 00:20:57

  21. Jessica Gordon

    Still not sure exactly where yet, but it's about an 11 hour drive from where we live now, at least in decent weather. Thank you for the prayers!

    2018-07-13 00:22:51

  22. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Christine! That is a great tip! We aren't sure if we will be renting first, or if we will find a home to buy before we move. I'm worried that we may end up needing to move twice… At least the second move would be locally.

    2018-07-13 00:23:59

  23. Christine M.

    I understand. When we moved, we rented first too. Prayers will continue. God bless!

    2018-07-14 03:39:42

  24. aussiethreads

    Prayers Jessica, wow oh wow, massive, massive news!!!! Praying for you. Can't believe it is finally happening!!

    2018-07-15 10:10:39

  25. Karen H

    Dear Jessica, my heart goes out to you as you face so many changes and departures and all the attendant feelings that come with such a move. I have great faith that your great heart in Christ will not only see you through, but will be there to comfort and encourage your loved ones as they cope with all the changes. Not only that, but you have such a gift to make all your days extra special – I'm thinking of your countless blog posts I search for inspiration to make OUR days special! – that I look forward to seeing how you transform the days to come into sweetly memorable occasions. God bless you, dear Jessica, for your precious faith in all seasons!

    2018-07-16 14:25:00

  26. travellingwith8

    Congratulations, this is wonderful news for the family, so many memories you have recorded on this amazing blog that has really helped me in raising Catholic children in the faith. And the FSSP parish will be amazing. We have one 30 – 40 mins from our house and the sermons are worth every bit of the drive. I am sorry you will be leaving your extended family. I will be remembering your move in my family pilgrimage coming up especially if we make it to St Therese's home town in France, from Australia. God bless you in this time of change but be assured of our prayers. Many thanks for all this joy you share on this great blog.

    2018-08-03 06:11:09

  27. Cynthia

    Oh, my! I don't check in that often but just read this post! We went through a very difficult move just this summer. After living 21 years in Florida and attending an FSSP church there, we moved where we not only have no FSSP, but no dedicated church for the TLM. It has been THE hardest move for us. BUT, we've learned the TLM group here has been trying for years to get a dedicated parish. We hope we are instrumental in making that happen and feel we may have been called here for that reason. We are praying, praying, praying for our bishop to allow it and the FSSP to come! We've decided we aren't going to wait too long, though. Ironically, Idaho and New Hampshire are two locations we've considered (go figure…from the beach life to the extreme opposite)! Prayers for a smooth transition!

    2018-11-14 04:06:46


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Prayer of Mothers

Father in heaven, grant me the grace to appreciate the dignity which you have conferred on me. Let me realize that not even the Angels have been blessed with such a privilege—to share in your creative miracle and bring new Saints to heaven. Make me a good mother to all my children after the example of Mary, the Mother of your Son. Through the intercession of Jesus and Mary I ask your continued blessings on my family. Let us all be dedicated to your service on earth and attain the eternal happiness of your kingdom in heaven. Amen.

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Sean & Jessica, Captain-23, Ranger-22, Twinkle Toes-20, Chiquita-18, Snuggles-16, Rose-14, Bud-12, Grace-6 and Joy-4 (blog nicknames)

A Little About Me

Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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