Posted in Faith, Family, Jesus, Lent

Today is not Ash Wednesday

You probably already know this by the fact that today is a Friday. If Lent is about failing and learn that is not the end of the world, I am doing spectacularly well.

Between a sleep-regressing, teething baby and a toddler whose world collapsed because the ashes accidentally got on her nose during Mass (“I don’t like church! I’m going to run away! I’m upset!”), we are offering up a lot over here…and not via our planned daily rosary. Failing with style.

I feel full of extra complaints welling up within me. I see the items on my to do list remain unchecked. I hold the stress in my neck and shoulders from the lack of continuous sleep and my worry lines deepen.

But I will not be dissuaded from the process. Lent is not about me after all.

 

P.S. The Litany of Trust is breaking me down spiritually in the best of ways. I will go into more depth at some point. But, man, if you do not know about this prayer already, I highly recommend approaching it with caution. You will not be the same.

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Posted in Faith, Family, Jesus, Lent

Here comes Lent!

I have a sick baby. And a sleepy brain. Combined, this makes me pretty foggy. I had a grand post planned out for today. My sleepy brain lost it. So, instead is a list…I love lists.

Lenten promises 2019, let’s do this.

  • Daily family decade of the rosary-This is my high aspiration. Vivi knows the prayers for the most part and she loves counting, so I’m hoping that will keep her attention. I also ordered her a new ChewsLife decade rosary and printed out colorful versions of the mysteries to teach her those as well. Gianna will just get the grace from being in the room and chewing on Viv’s old rosary that she has now claimed (#teethinglife) If you need something to pray for this Lent, pray for our family rosary time.
  • Setting limits on my phone time- If I was really hardcore, I would just give it up all together. I’m not ready for that. But I am ready to set some hard boundaries and focus my attention on things more important than mindless scrolling.
  • To the End Catholic Devotional for Women from Blessed is She– Super pumped for this one. The Blessed is She Advent and Lent journals always seem to kick my butt spiritually and awaken a new understand of Scripture and my relationships. I need a good wake up call and I’m fearfully awaiting one in the pages of this beauty.
  • Gospel of Mark- I need to get back in my Bible, since I did finally find it after months of searching. I had great ideas of daily rosaries and renewing my Marian consecration this Lent, but in prayer I felt Jesus inviting me to know Him better, since I’m already pretty close with His mom. I put this off a lot. As a person who earns a living from ministry, I get embarrassed by the fact that my relationship with Jesus is so weak. God the Father is my go-to person of the Trinity and I’m learning more and more about my relationship with the Holy Spirit, but Jesus and I need some work. That’s where I want to put my heart this Lent: in the hands of Jesus.
  • Daily Litany of Trust– Transition is our norm of the moment and I need more trust. End of story.
  • Writing- I want to write more and I have for a while. (Something other than my thesis, that is…so over that at this point.) I really just need to kick start myself back into the habit and Lent seemed like a pretty good time to do that. So, I’m resolving to post something here every day for Lent. Doesn’t have to be good, doesn’t have to be long, and if we’re honest, most days will be some sort of list…have I mentioned my love for lists? And that’s ok.

You’re in my prayers this season. See you tomorrow.

Posted in Faith, Humility, Jesus

Past me can be so wise and thoughtful

Today is one of the days where one of my Gospel Reflections is published on Catholicmom.com. Having to write these way in advance, I always forget when they are coming out and get surprised when they pop on my feed. Especially because, they are normally words that I am needing to hear (read) at the moment.

Thank you, Holy Spirit, for taking over my typing and allowing me to reflect in a way that, hopefully, invites others deeper into the Gospel.

 

Link to reflection: https://catholicmom.com/2018/06/25/daily-gospel-reflection-for-june-25-2018/

Posted in Faith, Family, Jesus, Motherhood

I’m actually NOT doing it all

People ask me that a lot. “How do you do all of that!?” They are being kind or nosy or are genuinely curious whether or not I can bilocate (I can’t…sad but true).

And I get it. From the outside, my season of life right now does bring on those questions. Three jobs. Finishing my degree. Pregnant. Toddler at home. Believe me, it makes my head spin too.

But, I’m going to let you in on a little secret…it’s not me.

I gave a talk at my parish during Lent about my experiences in ministry. I like leaving people with small succinct takeaways during my rambling, so my first point of interest during that talk was this: I am desperately, desperately, DESPERATELY in need of a Savior…and that Savior is not me.

It sounds obvious, and it is, but, do you want to know the other secret? I forget this ALL the time.

And then I try to do it all. The results of this type of work are frustration, exhaustion and hopelessness. The biggest reason this happens is, that when I try to do everything all by myself, I try to become a person I’m not. I’ve had a whole lot of practice trying to be someone I’m not and I fall into this hole all the time. And I dwell there. I, with help from the Enemy, fill my head with the lies that I’m not good enough or smart enough or pretty enough or (insert adjective of your choice here) enough.

That hole is not where I’m called to live. When I remember my real calling and surrender the work that I have been given back to the One who entrusted it to me, that’s when the pieces fall perfectly into place. The work day flies by with high levels of productivity and family time increases in both quantity and quality. My peace is found again.

When I re-calibrate my perspective to remember who is really in control, I also remember that I am incredibly blessed by all of the above. Jesus has entrusted many people and tasks to my care so that I can be the little pencil in the hand of God. (Momma T shout out!) I am privileged and humbled to share in this work of building the kingdom.

So, the newest plan I have to remember who I am, whose I am and who I work for is to take a cue from Momma Mary and constantly turn it all back to my loving and merciful God:

And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness;
behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
The Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is from age to age
to those who fear him.
He has shown might with his arm,
dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones
but lifted up the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things;
the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped Israel his servant,
remembering his mercy,
according to his promise to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
(Luke 1: 46-55)

PS We go to the doctor to see Baby Won 2 and find out his/her gender today! Prayers are welcome!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Faith, Humility, Jesus, Learning Confidence

The Sunshine Transition

 

Has anyone ever told you that  “things will look better in the morning”?

I was never a fan of that saying…I’m not a huge fan of any of those phrases that people throw out there when they really don’t know what else to say. “It is what it is.” “Whatever will be will be.” And don’t get me started on “everything happens for a reason”…gag

But, getting back to the hand at order, I’m so bad at see things better in the morning. In fact, its usually the opposite for me. I’ll have all my great ideas and dreams in the evening and, come morning, when I’m reviewing them in the shower…where all good reflections occur… I begin to crumble. My resolve weakens and, when faced with the actual idea of putting my thoughts into actions, my confidence plummets.

I’ve termed this personal phenomenon the “sunshine transition”, as if any ray of light that touches my hopes and dreams turns them into the scared mice I try to ignore the signs of in my pantry.

It happens more than I would like it to. Apparently, I’m a very brave person after the dinner hour and can solve all of the world’s problems, but only in theory. Because when the sun comes up, the doubt comes with it.

What if I don’t have all the facts? What if the person I need on my side doesn’t agree? What if I make a fool of myself? What if I fail?

The last two are the hardest: failure, or even the appearance of failure, have kept me from many things and still haunt most of my decision making processes. I feel that today. I will probably feel that in some way 20 years from now.

But what does failure do? It proves that I’m flawed and broken and vulnerable. It shows that I’m not in charge. It reminds me that I’m in desperate need of a Savior.

So, I will try to choose to let the sunlight in and not be afraid. I will remind myself that it’s not my job to be perfect, it’s my job to try. And, most of all, I will once again surrender to my calling to let Jesus be my Savior, because I would be a really bad one.

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Posted in Jesus, Love

Jesus is taunting me…again

In one of my two offices for my (paid) jobs, there is a bookshelf that I pace in front of. I’m a telephone pacer, a bored pacer and an “I need to get my steps in without leaving this office” pacer. And while I pace sometimes I look over and every time I am guaranteed to see the cover of this book.img_2724

I don’t know why it surprises me every time…I never move it. I never even pick it up. I just look at it and feel the Lord taunting me.

Ok…I guess taunting is a bad word. Testing? Checking in? Reminding? Throwing pebbles at my head à la Romeo and Juliet?

He’s trying to get me attention.

And I give it to Him. But,usually just long enough to think: “Ha, right! I’ll think of loving you and, Jesus, you can go ahead and catch up on my laundry, plan these five events, get the baby to sleep through the night and get me to lose an undisclosed number of pounds that are hanging out around my waist. Nice try, buddy. I’m not falling for that.”

Today, though, I stopped and tried not to be sassy with our Lord and Savior. I thought about what the cover is really asking of me, what it really means to love Jesus, why He wants me to do it more than anything else.

A quote attributed to St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta (Is that what we call her now? In our house, she’s still Momma T.) comes to mind:

“I see Jesus in every human being. I say to myself, this is hungry Jesus, I must feed him. This is sick Jesus. This one has leprosy or gangrene; I must wash him and tend to him. I serve because I love Jesus.”

With Valentine’s Day being right around the corner, its easy to equate “love” with the cheesy cards, gifts and movies that are attacking all of our senses right now. The good feelings and pretty hearts and happily ever afters aren’t what book-cover-Jesus and actual Jesus want from me.

He wants me to serve: my family, the people of my ministries, the people I forget to pray for, the people the world forgets. He wants me to think of myself less and of them more. He wants me to open my eyes and my heart to the suffering around me and offer to help in my own small way. He wants me to stop complaining about things that don’t matter and work to change things that do. (OK…that half of that might be more what I want. I’m getting really annoyed by my own complaining lately. And you know its bad when you are annoyed by yourself.) He wants me to trust that He will take care of me, and everything else for that matter, even when I spend half my life worrying about the outcome.

Ok, book-cover-Jesus, you win. Today, I will let you think of everything and I will think of loving you. And I will continue to learn what that love means for me.