My oldest child, Gabby turns 10 today. Double digits. Just from the word ‘turns’ I can tell I’m still in denial. That’s because I’m working hard at being the best for my husband Pat, and my kids Gabby (10), Patrick (8) and Molly (4 ).

With that, I attended my weekly bible study group this morning, and I’m not sure how I didn’t see it coming, but God has delivered me a powerful message today. The importance of prayer. It begins with me. I used to say the same prayers every night as a child. They meant a lot to me then, but now I find myself buried in thoughts and distractions (the work of the devil?) that I do not spend quality time each day in prayer. Unless it’s with my rosary group once a week.

So for the next 10 days, I am going to get up a little bit earlier (5:00AM, instead of 5:15AM-not much of a difference really-and pray. I will plan my prayer the night prior, work through my Walking with Purpose scripture lessons, prayer, and in silence talking to God asking him for what I need help with each day. Having that guidance throughout the day, and setting the tone for the day has got to make a huge difference. I know working out does. It’s amazing how much we can change when our hearts are open to receive the Holy Spirit. Last week I said fitness was the best start to the day. This week, I’m switching things up. Prayer and fitness at the beginning of each day. It’s sure to provide me with the best mental outlook to take on my busy day.

This is the example I want to lead for my children. But communicating and showing things to children has to take on a more physical nature. So here’s what we’re doing:

Sticky notes are at the ready- to be placed on things, little things we all at Casa Gonnelli take for granted. Oh yeah, they’ll be everywhere. This is so on!!

We’ll put together items to put in a crate going to Macedonia for the refugees of Syria (thank you, Susana Santos) and we’ll pray together for the families who have left their homes and all of their belongings behind. Our whole family will feel good knowing they sent warm clothes and blankets to people who have lost everything. That feels so much better than spending! Right?

I love being a lifestyle hack, helping people live more fulfilling lives, and this is the one for me. It will allow me the presence necessary to receive gifts and guidance from the Holy Spirit in my daily life. And man do I need it!

Care to join me for 10 days beginning your day with prayer? Email me at for ideas for Catholic Moms prayers and meditations. Go to to find a bible study group in or near your parish. It’s a very special community of women.