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Day 29: The Almighty A

March 15, 2018

I read today’s first reading and was like: uh oh. There’s that golden calf. You know, I always found this to be odd. People worshipping a cow made out of gold? Really doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

Until I put it into terms I can understand. How often do I worship at the altar of the Almighty A (and no I am not talking about pretty little liars)? Slaving away for hours neglecting my home, my prayer life and my friends to guarantee perfection? Day in and day out, slamming away at the macbook keyboard promising myself that if I can stay up for just a little bit longer, I will make time to pray and make time for friends and family. How many times have I said no to wonderful adventures God had planned for me these past 3 months because I so desperately NEED the A?

When I think about it like that, I am stopped dead in my tracks. Sure I didn’t melt down all of my precious metal but… I have sacrificed the things that bring my closer to God for what I think will make me a successful and happy individual.

But I am exhausted and quite frankly kind of miserable.

And so here I am.

I am here to say that I need to make a change. I need to start focusing on the things that are going to actually bring me to Him and not on the things that are making me successful according to the world. I need to accept that I am exactly where I need to be in this phase of my life, and that just because I am not doing what I view as big important work, doesn’t mean that my work isn’t important at all.

And in the recesses of my heart something is quietly saying: you can be happier. Your fight for joy doesn’t have to be as difficult as you are making it. Learn the balance then let me know how that fight for joy is going. One day at a time. Blink and the year will be gone. 3 months and 6 days until this class is done. Don’t let it absorb you body mind and soul. Make the time.

I am really going to try for the next three months to figure out what that balancing act looks like and how to spend my time doing more of what I was created to be doing.

Lifestyle

Day 28: You Have Arrived At Your Destination

March 14, 2018

“I will cut a road through all my mountains, and make my highways level.” (Isaiah 49:11)

You know, lately I have been wondering when God is going to swoop down and magically tell me what’s going on in my life and what the future holds. Isn’t that how this life thing works? The heavens open up and God says: TURN RIGHT. IN 400 FEET YOU WILL ARRIVE AT YOUR DESTINATION.

Okay not really. I feel like my conversations are more like that scene in Ferris Bueller where the professor asks if anyone knows about the Smoot- Hawley Tariff Act. Bueller? Bueller?

But today’s first reading tells me that God will clear a path if I can only wait upon His timing. I need not worry about all of the small details- He will take care of them for me.

I don’t really know about you, but this lent has been border line crazy for me. like… why in the world is it this difficult to stick to a yes you have given to God?

I seem to be wrestling with the idea of giving up my levels of control. I feel like if I could only do a little bit better, be a little bit more and find a little more time I would be the most productive person on the planet.

But today’s reading reminds me that I am not really called to be the one clearing the path. I can only be who I am. I can’t be anything more or anything less. And As long as I can be who God asked me to be, then He will clear the paths for me.

My brain gets it. But my heart doesn’t.

Here’s to many more days of prayer trying to understand how to give this yes!

 

 

Lifestyle

Day 27: Nothing Can Stop This Joy

March 14, 2018

“There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High.” (Psalm 46)

Oh man. Have you ever heard the song In the River by Jesus Culture? If you haven’t, click here and listen to it while you read this post.

This song is my jaaaaaaammmmm. I put this on in the car and I feel like I can conquer the world.

There is a lyric in the song that says: There is a current, stirring deep inside, it’s overflowing from the heart of God, the flood of heaven is crashing over us, the tide is rising, rising.

10 days ago I hosted a youth retreat for my diocese. I was a crazy person, running around in a tulle skirt and dancing with the participants with this song.

I was doing something I had never don before, and I felt more alive than I had in a very long time.

So I have kind of adopted this song as my anthem for the every day since I always want to feel alive. I turn it up way too loud in my car, and I dance along. Oh yeah. I am that person. People totally think I am cuckoo bananas crazy as I drive to and from work or school each morning =p.

Today’s psalm reminded me of my morning pump up song.

God is a loving and merciful father. And each and every part of this lenten journey has proven that to me time and time again. From an incredibly healing confession, to all of the ways God has shown me that He has a plan and that He will take care of me, these past few weeks have been life altering in so many ways.

I have been so fortunate to have so many experiences this lent that have brought me closer to God. Convivio. Holy hour at St. Joes in Danbury. Holy hour at Sacred Heart University. Mass at The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury. My BIS lenten journal. The Diary of Maria Faustina. Dinner with a friend. A journalling Bible. A conversation with a good friend.

 

 

                                                                 Snowy Morning Musings

Lifestyle

Day 26: The Believe and Leave

March 13, 2018

“The man believed what Jesus said to him and left.” (John 4:50)

Wait I’m sorry… what?!

The man believed what Jesus said and left. 

Let’s go back to the rest of the story though because this gets even more wild!

The man’s son is very sick, and is probably going to die. He begs Jesus to heal his son, and Jesus says go he is healed. And this dude just believed it. 

*inserts astonished Dean Winchester GIF here.*

If I could even have a fraction of an ounce of this trust my life would be far more rich than it already is.

All of the times I have trusted in His plan and followed His direction, I have been happy, calm and at peace. All of the times I have held on with a vice grip to my plan of attack I have been miserable, tired and lonely.

I am seeing a trend here…

But why do I keep reverting to the way of choosing my way over His way? I want to have some big awesome answer for you. But the truth is? I actually don’t know beyond the fact that I am somewhat of a perfectionist, and that I like to be in control of my life.

But what freedom there is in the idea of not having to have everything right and figured out. What peace there is in being where my feet are, and living my best life that I am supposed to be living right now. What joy there is in knowing I am following the path created for me before all time.

I do not need to keep up with anyone around me. I do not need to find my value in what the world says is valuable.

All I need to do is trust that He will make it right.

And if He will make it right, then I have nothing to fear.

 

I am making these sneakers have a come back. It’s gonna happen. 

Lifestyle

Day 25: “Good is The Enemy of Great” (Jim Collins)

March 12, 2018

“Let My tongue be silenced, if ever I forget you.” (Psalm 137)

I played a mass at a new church today. I spent a lot of time with this psalm, trying to find the perfect chord progression to sing the “refrain” and then chant the verses.

Gonna be honest here- seems like a scary prayer to be saying over and over. If I forget you, make it so I can never speak again.

Wait What?! This sounds like a bad plan.

But how often I forget what He has in store for me.

A dear friend of mine introduced me to the Marian Virtues. Ever since we were roommates in college, we have picked one virtue a week to focus on, and try learn more about and how to be more like Mary in our day to day lives.

This week I really felt that I wanted to be focusing on remembering Him more. As I was looking through the virtues, I stumbled across Lively Faith, and saw it from a a new perspective.

Lively Faith: Always seeking the will of God and never settling for complacency.

How easy it is to forget God and His plan when my plan seems so good. But why would I settle for good when I could have greatness? Why settle for mediocre, when I could be living abundantly? Why would I choose complacency when I could choose absolute joy?

This week, I am really going to try to focus on the saying yes to His plan, and seeing the greatness that lies within that plan, rather than the okayness of my own plans.

 

New to the Marian Virtues? Click here for an amazing list of them. I keep this up on my iPhone permanently so I can always refer back to it. You should totally check it out!

 

 

(SIDEBAR: when did my hair get this long?!)

Lifestyle

Day 24: Certain as the Dawn Appears

March 11, 2018

“Let us know, let us strive to know the LORD; as certain as the dawn is his coming, and his judgement shines forth like the light of day!” (Hosea 6:3)

Mmmm. Today was a day. Today was a day I was grossly underprepared for.

I stayed up really late last night catching up with my brother in law, his wife and their adorable little baby. It was so great.

But I had a paper to write and then had to go meet up with my group to work out the details of this presentation that is due on Monday.

So I woke up extra early today, threw my headphones on and worked out the last parts of the paper while slurping down some coffee.

I then drove to school dejected to be leaving my family but knowing that June 21 is just around the corner.

Let’s just say the meeting didn’t go the way I had hoped.

I got in my car, a flustered hot mess and literally said: Jesus, where the heck are you? I am trying so hard here, but you’re really not helping me out at all. Hello… can you hear me? Bueller. Bueller.

How ironic that today’s readings would remind me that his coming is certain. His justice and mercy are a sure thing. And his love is not going anywhere, even though sometimes I cannot feel it.

Tonite, before I crash, I am going to try to dive into Hosea a little but more deeply. I want to know the Lord. I want to know his unrelenting and unsurpassable love. I want Him. I just need to figure out how to ask him to meet me where I am.

 

 

 

Lifestyle

Day 23: RSV vs. NAB

March 10, 2018

“I will be like the dew for Israel: he shall blossom like the lilly…” (Hosea 14:6)

Can we talk about an ironic moment in my life today?

I am in the throes of a very difficult project and feel like I have been thrown out into the desert with no water and no oasis in sight. I know that June 21 is fast approaching, but honestly? In the day in and day out of my life I wonder if I will every make it out of this barren wasteland alive.

Do you read the bible? I don’t read it often enough. The times I do are really fruitful and help me to hear God, but most of the time it just sits on my shelf.

I love the RSV translation. Something about it just speaks to my soul. But when Blessed is She put out a journalling bible I felt a stirring in my soul that was telling me: YOU NEED THAT BIBLE.

But I paused. Because this translation was the NAB. This was not my translation.

I hemmed and hawed and eventually I thought.. what the heck?! I can always go back to the RSV if I hate this one.

The Blessed is She bible finally arrived today… and I am in awe of the beauty found there. Seriously in awe. It was like a refreshing drink of water for my barren soul.

Do you need a new bible? Click here to order this new bible. It is absolutely stunningly beautiful, and I am so looking forward to diving into it this beautiful tool.

 

 

 

Lifestyle

Day 22: Blessed Is She That Believed

March 8, 2018

“Come Let us sing Joyfully to the Lord; let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.” (Psalm 95)

Happy International Women’s Day!

I am really learning what it means to be a woman these days.

For so long, I wore black pants, and beat up chucks with scary emo tees and a studded belt. I felt that this made me cool. It allowed me to keep a wall around me that separated me from other people. They just couldn’t possibly understand me.

Then I gradually moved to a more hipster look. There was a lot of flannel and I still own almost the entire stock of neff beanies that Zumiez carried. I had a “literally don’t even care right now” attitude and the clothing to match it. If you were worried about your appearances or thought women should wear skirts and dresses I wanted nothing to do with you and thought you were probably trying to hinder the human race from moving forward.

And here I am. I don’t really know that I have a style any more. I wear what makes me feel comfortable, confident and beautiful.

One thing I can tell you? The outfit in the picture below is something I never in a million years would have seen myself wearing. When I ordered the skirt, I put it in my cart and looked at it for a while wondering if this was ruining any last shreds of my image that were already nearly gone. But I purchased it anyways and decided to take a chance on this outfit.

And I felt most truly myself wearing that outfit. *GASP* I felt so beautiful in my twirly skirt.

I spent all these years putting other women down for supporting the patriarchy by wearing skirts and there I was… loving every second of it.

This lent has been a season of changing a lot of my views. A season of softening my heart and learning to love who I am in this current moment and live my best and fullest life.

My heart is learning how to sing joyfully, and for that I am ever grateful.

 

Photo Credit : Michelle Babyak, Diocese of Bridgeport

Lifestyle

Day 17: Carry On My Wayward Son

March 3, 2018

Today’s gospel is one of my favorite. The story of the prodigal  son. Do you know what the word prodigal means? It means to lavish.

This kid. He takes his half of the inheritance and spends it all. Then he has no money and realizes he has messed up. So he gets a job and wants to eat the gruel he is feeding the pigs. Then… BAZINGA! What if he could go back to his dad and ask if he could be treated like a servant?!

You know what happens though? The father lavishes love upon his wayward son. The father runs to his son and embraces him. He clothes his son with the finest robe and puts rings on his fingers. He slaughters a fattened calf and prepares a giant party for his son whom he has missed so much.

Say What?! 

This is by far the most unpredictable outcome I ever could have imagined. And yet, this is how the story reads. The son asked for forgiveness and was lavished with love.

This is how our heavenly father views us each time we return to him. No matter how far we have gone, if we turn back to Him, he will lavish us with love.

I went to confession for the first time in three months (#pagan) and as I cried deep and healing tears my priest friend said to me: Lady, you know that He loves you. You know that these are lies you are believing. Turn to Him. You are worthy of love.

 

You are worthy of love. Each and every one of you reading this are worthy of love, and have a Father who wants to lavish that love upon you.

Do not forget it.

Lifestyle

Day 16: Mind Blown

March 2, 2018

“Remember the Marvels the Lord has done”

These readings are getting more and more intense. They are pointing us to the reality that our sin is what is going to put Jesus on the cross.

They aren’t even thinly veiled any more. A father sent people to help. They killed them. That father sent his son thinking that would work. They killed him. Knife to the heart my goodness.

Through it all though, God is doing terribly wonderful things. He became man, and offered himself to us to offer us a chance at heaven. What kind of person offers to allow humanity to kill him? Seems pretty insane to me.

But it happened. Straight up happened. God loved us so much that He gives us Himself.

As I prepare for Convivio, I am remembering the Marvel of a God that could love me and you this much.

Stay tuned for a Convivio Update soon!