GETTING HIT BY BRICKS

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.

THE FULLNESS OF GOD’S LOVE (and how I found Him in my mailbox today)

I had such a heavy heart this morning all throughout this afternoon. Some health issues regarding my fertility had me frozen in fear and anxiety, but a ray of hope was carrying me through: every morning I start my day by spending some time reading my Bible and my devotional.

This morning convicted me of the great need in my life to let God love me. Not only love me during my morning prayer time, but all throughout the day, come what may.

Boy did it “come what may” today, and yet I knew I could get through it because of His grace. I was glad I had resolved the night before to go to Mass after work. Usually this doesn’t work out for me, because I constantly work later than I am meant to. This is self inflicted, and really unhealthy.

My spiritual director has been encouraging me to be bold, and entrust my “urgent” and incomplete tasks to God at the end of the day; especially at home as to ensure I get 7-8 hours of sleep.

Mass was of course the most beautiful way to be with God and let Him love me, and yet, though my yoke was lightened, I still walked out feeling heavy hearted. I cast my fears unto Him on my way home, willing to trust His plans, and knowing that He knows the desires of my heart.

The fullness of His grace was in my mailbox. I was too blind to see Him in the most precious and holy Eucharist, but Jesus runs after my heart without any reserve.

Shortly after getting engaged, I wrote a letter to Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, asking for his prayers for my upcoming wedding. I was certain the letter had gotten lost in the mail, or would be read by some nun who would write my name on some crazy long intentions list, and proceed to shred my letter. Gosh, as I write this I’m floored by my lack of hope and my cynicism. God prooved me wrong.

In my mailbox was a letter sent on behalf of His Holiness Benedict XVI. He assured me of his prayers and his blessing, and also enclosed two beautiful rosaries for me and my fiancé. My heart was overfilled with God’s love and the assurance of His personal and passionate love for me.

If you do one thing today, let it be a small prayer of thanksgiving for a personal way in which God has shown you His love. If you are willing to open your eyes, you may even find it in the most unlikely of places, such as a mailbox.

WEDNESDAY MORNING

A look at my Wednesday morning: cutest puppy husky on my walk to Mass; beautiful street art; cutest baby in the pew in front of me during Mass; Jesus; communion; hot chocolate and breakfast burrito, courtesy of my Beau.

Something Josiah told me when I asked him what he was most looking forward to today: “This is it. My morning Mass date with you is the highlight”. I still struggle to accept love, but he teaches me each day the truth of my worth, and with every day, I grow closer to acknowledging my infinite dignity as a daughter of Christ.

I hope you know how good you are and how so very loved you are. If there isn’t someone who’s told you out loud today, take it from me:

You are good. You are loved.

No matter what.

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SELF CARE

I hate the label, because I loathe how it is a lie, and does not truely define who I am, but it’s true; so very often I am a perfectionist. I can’t put things down/away. I keep working and working, and my mind is  constantly thinking of the next task that needs to be accomplished, and when I’m really burning out, I try and accomplish many tasks at once. Like writing this blog post way past my bedtime, because I need to be more consistent. Oh, the irony…

This is usually when my stress levels fuel me to be really productive, but also dangerously close to having an anxiety attack. I don’t like living in such an extreme state; thus comes the importance of self care. I cannot preach enough about it. See, the father of lies, Satan, makes us cringe at the term (at least I do). I so readily believe, and judge those who do, that practicing self care is selfish or lazy. WRONG.

28 One of the scribes who had listened to them debating appreciated that Jesus had given a good answer and put a further question to him, ‘Which is the first of all the commandments?’ 29 Jesus replied, ‘This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one, only Lord 30 and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. 31 The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’

Mark, Chapter 12

You must love your neighbour as yourself.

You must love (…) yourself.

The love you have for your neighbour is limited to the love you have for yourself.

In order to really love, we need God. Let yourself rest in Him. Resting and taking care of yourself doesn’t mean being lazy, it simply means adopting a changed pace for a little while, in order to let yourself breathe and find the love you have for yourself (that comes from Him), in order to take on the next crosses with a renewed sense of hope, faith, and love.

MOMENTS FROM MY WEEKEND

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.