And just like that, the last month of 2017 is upon us!
It’s also the first weekend of Advent, which I am so excited about. Advent is one of, if not my absolute favorite, season of the Church. I actually didn’t know that much about Advent until about two years ago, and since learning more about what it means for us as Christians, I look forward to it all year.
There is so much joy in the season, but I think oftentimes we forget that it’s also a season of penance. While we are focusing on the joy and happiness that is the baby Jesus entering our world, we are also called to examine ourselves and evaluate where we are in our faith. Are our hearts prepared for this coming of Christ and His next coming? Are we living out our lives in a way that reflects our love of the Gospel and our faith first? Are we allowing others to see Christ in us and do we seek Him in them? Or are we like the women in the readings a few weeks ago, who are unprepared for what is to come?
I know I for one am falling short in a lot of these areas and I regularly find myself unprepared to encounter Christ. But I love that Advent provides an opportunity to take stock of and work to change these things before the joy of Christmas and also a new year. It’s almost like an opportunity to set goals and “resolutions” for your faith for the next year.
Continue reading “Hello Advent”
Jesus isn’t calling us to do the easy thing. He is calling us to the Cross.
1 of 1 Doodles
Talk about a mid-week wake up call! I opened my daily e-mail from Blessed Is She (which you are majorly missing out on if you don’t subscribe to!) with the readings for the day and devotion and was hit with this reminder. It came at the best time, as God tends to do and made me immediately think of this Psalm as well.
The Christian life, if lived the way it’s meant to be, is not easy. The Christian life calls us to be painfully uncomfortable at times. It calls us to do something that the world regularly shies away from- to be totally and utterly selfless and humble, and to love in authentic way. To know that our life is not just all about us and what we want, but about what His plans for us are. (Which are almost always wayyyyy better than we could have ever thought of). There’s nothing more humbling than surrendering our lives and decisions to God when we get overwhelmed and don’t know what to do.
But the idea of authentic love and faith that we see in the Gospel is the part that calls us out the most. It calls us to put the good of the others in our life before all- namely, to love those most closely to us so much that we have those hard conversations with them because we desire Heaven as the ultimate good for them. It also asks us to put God before them. This was something I struggled with until I took a class in Christian Marriage and did Engaged Encounter with my husband and realized how much sense it makes. I can’t love fully and authentically if my love and life are not completely grounded in Christ first because He is the only example of perfect love. What better way to learn how to love better and more fully than from the one who does it better than anyone?
So how do we find the strength to live this life we are all called to? I think prayer. Making prayer such an important part of your day that it becomes embedded in everything you do. Prayer in the morning, offering up our day and struggles throughout it, making the sacrifice of time and company to pray the Rosary, read our Scriptures and go to Mass. It’s making these things a priority that empowers us to unshakable and unstoppable faith.
To wrap up a rambling post, these readings left me feeling called to do better. To ask myself every day how I am embracing my cross and how well I am loving. To be striving for holiness everyday and know that I can only attain it in love and consistent prayer life. Because even though the Christian life is a hard one at times, it also brings the most perfect joy.
When I was in school, I looked at the start of a new school year almost like New Year’s Eve- a time to make new resolutions, re-define my goals and reevaluate everything I do or don’t do.
Now that I’m not in school, I find myself using a shift in seasons to help me hit the reset button. With this week being the start of fall (YAY!) and the weather starting to change, I’ve been taking time to assess where I am and where I want to be.
It’s important to be constantly reevaluating these things. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in everyday life- in the work/life balance, relationships, trying to keep up hobbies, having time for yourself, etc- that the goals we were hoping to achieve can become less tangible or become lost altogether. It’s not just a saying that time flies – I still can’t believe we’re heading into the last few months of 2017.
I’ve thrown myself into different projects the last few months without focusing on time management as much and I’ve noticed that a lot of other things have fallen to the wayside as a result. I’ve made less of an effort to make sure that I’m exercising regularly, spent less and less time in prayer and haven’t properly read a book for leisure in months. And even though I’m starting to reach goals and small milestones in my projects, I feel tired, overwhelmed and stressed a lot of the time because I’m not giving myself “me time.”
Continue reading “Fall Refresh”