I’m a sucker for Marie-Antoinette. I still remember walking the grounds of Versailles and exploring where this young Austrian woman came to be Queen of France. My fascination is rooted in a heart moved by beauty. Sure, the opulence was extreme, and led to her demise. No question there. Yet, there is still something to be said for a heart that is seeking beauty.
So often I am satisfied with what is average. Our hearts are restless until we rest in true and perfect beauty. We’re broken and we seek joy in beauty in all the wrong places, but when you find it in the One who makes all things new, all things beautiful… your life will never be the same.
So much of my life I have saught beauty in things of the world that did not satisfy. I find myself now, on my birthday, reflecting how blessed I am to know the source of life; the bread that satisfies; the well that never runs dry: Corpus Christi. I also question why armed with this knowledge, I still stumble and turn to worldly things in hopes of happiness, but I have hope, because the more I seek Him, the less I stumble. I’m far from perfect, but His grace abounds. He more than makes up for what I lack. The more I seek to find the beauty my heart longs for in Him, the more I am aware of His constant presence.
It is well with my soul. I’m blessed I got to celebrate my birthdat this year on the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Happy feast day, and may your hearts be filled with His beauty, goodness, and truth!
Well enough musings, time to go and eat some birthday cake! xoxo
This weekend I felt as though bricks were being hurled at me. Many little melt downs occurred, and I was scared looking to the future, but you know what? I was thinking an awful lot about myself and what I was feeling. Life is so much more than our hurt feelings. We are breathed into this world and offered a chance to love and receive love. There is still a rubble of bricks remaining from this weekend’s stoning of my spirit, but they landed around a beautiful garden and I saw that my favourite flowers were in bloom. So I went and cut some to adorn the dining table.
That little moment in the garden called me to grace; getting soaked by the rain which always soothes my soul, having the cat run up to me and purr at my feet as I lean over and clip off daffodils to form a bouquet.
It called me to look for all the ways that I am loved, and to seek to return that love.
Today, I am choosing to keep my gaze on love, and all the ways it manifests itself in my ordinary and simple life, because love is magic. It transforms and renews. It gives the heart a new pair of eyes. I am entrusting you, dear reader, to seek that same magic. Keep your heart open to love.
I’m a sucker for good lighting, and it’s been sparse this winter. I leave for work and it’s dark, and it’s only very recently that I’ve been coming back from work with some sunlight left in the day. The warmth and beauty of the light really took me by surprise on my train ride this weekend. I was trying to make most of the time on the train to unplug a little and do some reading (the magazine in my picture is Bella Grace, which I highly recommend because it is aaaamazing).
I haven’t been noticing the beauty around me as much lately to my chagrin. Yet, it’s in those soft quiet moments of beauty that I feel my soul lift. This weekend was eventful by the standards of many as I found my wedding dress, but that’s not where I found the most beauty this weekend. It was in those soft, quiet moments; the light streaming in my window on my train journey, my dad leading my family to pray before supper, the priest joking with the parish after Mass and inviting us to join him on a bike ride in the afternoon, my parent’s cat happy purring, strolling arm in arm with my fiancé through a cold quiet courtyard in the middle of the city.
We are free to see beauty around us, or to focus on what is broken and dark. May you choose beauty and bring light into the darkness of your own heart, and of those around you.
Happy New Year and thanks for dropping by. I haven’t been very faithful to my little corner of the internet and I want to apologize.
You see, writing brings me joy and I want to be faithful to Him who brings me joy. I want to be faithful to this space He’s given me to create what is utile dulci. I want to write and photograph beautiful things, cultivating and sharing what is useful and agreeable.
I’ve had a rough Fall on all fronts: emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I have now entered a season of joy and am so happy to see this season of grief as being behind me.
Last night and this morning I’ve been meditating on Psalm 143:
For the enemy has pursued me; he has crushed my life to the ground.
That is what this Fall has felt like for me. It was a rough season. One I am glad to say is behind me. The enemy does not have the last word. The psalm continues:
I remember the days of old, I meditate on all that thou hast done; (…) I stretch my hands to thee; my soul thirsts for thee like a parched land (…)
Let me hear in the morning of thy steadfast love, for in thee I put my trust.
Here is to trusting His love for me each and every morning. I will be faithful to His love and continue to give Him the first half hour of my day to love me through His Word. I am worthy of this love. I owe it to myself to show up to my time of prayer, just as I owe it to myself to show up on my blog.
Here’s to 2016 and a whole lot more of just showing up, because that’s the battle my friends. It’s not how you feel when you show up. God can work with our feeble hearts, He just needs us to show up and He’ll do the rest. Here’s to showing up and encountering mercy and being amazed by His love.
My life’s been a whirlwind of insanity, but in the midst of it I’ve had a lot of peace. I know I’m only staying above the surface of the tide thanks to the time I’ve been fighting to keep for silence, for meditation. This weekend I found some of that peace exploring the Mackenzie King Estate in Gatineau Park. The pictures don’t do it justice.
Some seasons are heavy in responsibility, but it always helps to remember that we have a choice to make it that: a season. If your life feels too crazy, you can keep the crazy up and drown or you can have a mini anxiety attack to realize you need to slow down look ahead in your planner to a time that isn’t entirely booked up yet and not take any further commitments until you’ve reached that season of simplicity.
For me, that season will be Advent and Christmas. I am fighting a ferocious tendency to people please and saying no to any extra things during Advent. The Church has had these seasons all figured out for hundreds of years. We’d be foolish not to lean on Her wisdom. I really want to wrap up my Ordinary Time and have a clear transition reflect in my life.
I often speak to friends from my soap box about our need to cultivate silence and interior life to have peace. I’m going to stop my preaching and put it into practice. Advent will be a season of silence as I wait for the festivities of Christmas.
Has your life been crazy lately? Are there any ways you are intentionally guarding space to be quiet this upcoming Advent?
The weather has been a bit gloomy here in Ottawa as we approach winter (gasp!), but my heart is anything but. This past weekend filled my heart’s love tank to the brim. Friday after work I went to what might be my favourite pub (because it’s always near empty and has a great fireplace, I just wish there were no TVs) and had coffee and tea, also known as kaffe und kutchen, with my Beau. We then shared a meal of sweet potato fries, pakoras, samosas and stuffed naans at my place before heading out to an evening of adoration accompanied by some worship songs.
I really really didn’t feel like going to the sacrament of reconciliation, but I had some people keeping me accountable. Community is good that way. We need people pushing us to grow in holiness. It’s too hard on our own.
After that squeaky clean soul, Saturday morning I was in full recipient of grace mode. I attended a day long retreat with Fr. Tim Gallagher. Oh my gooooodness, the man knows how to speak truth, but with such kindness! The retreat focused on discernment. I really needed the reminder that God is NOT a jerk. When you have two morally sound options before you, God will not play mean girl when you make your choice. I have serious FOMO and need to be brave and trust God when I’m making choices. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, right? I mean, there were over 50 people at the retreat, I can’t be alone 😉
Sunday was just as beautiful of a day. Mass and brunch with lovely friends is always a winning combo to end a weekend. Not to mention I made this amazing Italian Meatball Minestrone Soup for supper, which I plan to enjoy again this evening (can anyone say LEFTOVERS I ACTUALLY ENJOY?! I CAN 😀).
The week is unfolding and my blogging schedule has not been the best, but I really want to be here consistently on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I hope to see you Thursday with a cup of tea and some more rambling. Until then, stay warm if your weather is looking anything like mine in Ottawa!
3 fois par jour magazine on my bed as I meal plan for the upcoming week. I just love Marilou and am so proud of being Canadian and having great entrepreneurs like her. Her and her husband just put out their first cooking magazine without any ads!
It’s so exhausting being sollicited left and right non stop. It’s a difficult choice, and not viable for all, but oh so nice when artists can put out their products without ads.
I grabbed some fresh mint in my parents garden on Saturday to dry it and have tea. I also had my super sweet dad pick me a box full of apples from my tree so I can do some Fall baking when I get back to the city. Saturday morning was really rough on me so it was nice to have my parents drive up to the city to bring me out to the country for the rest of the weekend.
I was suffering from a case of raging hormones and weeping fairly hysterically after Mass Saturday morning and when I got home.
I really miss Josiah and work was crazy busy this week. I was in survival mode all week and hadn’t processed any of my stress/anxiety/sadness and it all poured out after Communion. Man did it feel good. I hadn’t cried like that in a long time, but I could feel God’s tears joining mine and knew He was with me in my sorrow. Also knowing it is nothing compared to His, and that I am fortunate to love someone so much it hurts helps me have a grateful heart.
The afternoon was far less hysterical. It’s pretty hard being stressed when you’re in a hammoc with a cute kitten purring at your feet, smelling fresh country air, looking up at great big blue sky, and admiring the beautiful trees and flowers around me.
As I write this Sunday morning, I just got back from Mass and gobbled some delicious blueberry pancakes. Life is good, it’s hard, but so good. I’m feeling incredibly peaceful and grateful in this moment. I hope you’re all having a sweet weekend with loved ones.
Well I suppose it’s more like just one moment because I really didn’t have my camera out while I was doing some mega introverting this weekend. Apart from sharing this cake with a friend down the street and Mass, I didn’t do a whole lot of socializing this past weekend. I desperately needed that time to ache and long for Him. To be still.
This weekend I went out to the country to spend time with my parents. They’ve lived in their current home for 25 years. I never knew any other home until I moved out for university. To say I am attached to their house and the community is a vulgar understatement. My roots are here. When I feel lost, I have always been extremely blessed in being able to return home to people who know me and love me and find a place where the workd stops tuening so fast. That yummy ice cream for instance, was served to us desite the general store being closed on Saturday afternoon. My mom and I got a few extra scoops on the house and were allowed to loiter despite the owner closing down the store and riding off on his tractor. Yes, tractor. He only opened up briefly because he was delivering some corn to the store for Sunday’s post Mass brunch crowd. Things are simple and beautiful where I come from. After a beautiful visit to see a friend and her newborn daughter, I decided to enjoy the last bit of my time out in the country by eating an apple from my apple tree and swaying lazily in the hammock. It’s a good life. My parents planted an apple tree for me in the front yard when I was a little girl and every year my dad makes apple sauce from it.
Finally, I got back to the city, ready for the week of work ahead. I felt inspired and revamped my nightstand by layering an old tray on top and stacking some books and adding candles. I’m not sure if it’s the promise of autumn, but I have a strong urge to redecorate my entire apartment with warm rich hues, nixing my usual white and pastel shades. Here’s to a new week and a soon new season. What were you all up to this weekend?
I haven’t been out of the country for the past six years. Blame it on a student budget. Last weekend I was fortunate enough to have a weekend adventure with my best friend in Boston. Here are a few pictures from our trip.
We stayed on the prettiest street, lined with trees and beautiful flowers.
Looking like a tourist is my specialty. Also, MY LEGS ARE SO WHITE. Moving on…
Most of Saturday was spent exploring Harvard in Cambridge. The scholar in me was drooling over all of the books. In another world I’d have been an impeccable university student and progressed to a PhD in Classics and would now teach Latin and Ancient Greek at Harvard. It’s good to dream, right? 😉
Sunday, it was raining cats and dogs. My friend and I found refuge among books at the Boston Public Library. Quite frankly, I always find refuge among books, even on sunny days.
The rain let down and we were able to take a stroll in the court yard.
This library took my breath away. I would have been a much better student if I was studying here when I was in university (excuses, excuses…).
Seriously, THIS LIBRARY. *insert eye heart emoji*
All in all, this was a beautiful trip and I’m so glad I was able to spend time with one of my best friends giggling and exploring a new city.
Friday night I found myself completely alone for half an hour at St Theresa’s. Just able to sit in His presence, in absolute silence. It was amazing. I know He’s everywhere, but there’s something beautiful about knowing He’s physically present in the tabernacle. That God is right there, in front of you. So often I do the talking in my prayer, it’s really important for me to carve out that time to just sit and BE in His presence. To let Him love me, right there, as I am. To not try and pray/say the right things in order to earn His love, because there’s nothing I could do for that. He already loves me and it’s by sitting in His presence that I grow in that understanding. That is where I find my peace and joy. In a total and selfless, absolutely undeserved love.
Saturday during the day I really indulged in my introvert side. I spent a good twelve hours completely alone and it was wonderful. I got myself a chai latte, my favourite treat. I worked on a speech I’ll be giving in a couple of weeks about modesty. I wrote a letter to one of my best friend’s. I read from God is Love.
Saturday evening I didn’t get out of my comfy sweater, but I did finally leave the house. I went to adoration and it was AWESOME. I can be a bit of a fool and I don’t always guard my heart the way I should. I have a hard time finding balance between being ice cold and wearing my heart out on my sleeves. I spent that time in adoration offering Him my heartbreak, my vulnerability and my naive ways. It’s good to be vulnerable, but our hearts are precious. We should recognize the value we have and know that it’s good to keep some parts of our hearts for God alone.
Sunday I travelled back to my parent’s home for a few day’s visit. I picked some daffodils in the garden and I can’t wait to see them bloom. They’re my favourite flowers. Daffodils and hydrangeas. This winter has been cold and long and with Easter, I’m ready for some joy and new life. Alleluia!
Yummy snack I put together for mom yesterday as we hung out. Bananas, pineapples, blueberries, graham crackers and greek yogourt. Can’t forget some maple syrup, we ARE French Canadian after all.
Seriously though, my mom’s reproduction of Manet blows my mind away. She is a fantastic artist and in so many different mediums and creative outlets, not just in oil paining.