oh the irony

So you know how in hard times, we Christians like to say “ God is working, even if you don’t see it!” or “ God has a plan and something good will come of this!” These “motivational” sayings are meant to encourage, inspire and strengthen one another in difficult moments.

And while these statements are true, I must admit that hearing things like this in a dark time can feel unhelpful or disheartening. When your navigating the storms of life, struggling with desolation in prayer, feeling alone or isolated, not hearing the voice of God, experiencing suffering, reflecting on the evils of our times… it can be almost off putting to hear the cheery “ don’t worry, God’s in control” sentiment from yourself or others.

But irony of ironies.. God IS working when all seems lost. God’s plan is one of victory, and life. He is present when we suffer, ache, question, struggle, and fall.

I say all this because on Monday evening, as I sat before our Lord in Adoration- I remembered how one year ago, I could barely adore without intense physical pain. I was in a place of desolation that caused me to deeply question God and his plan for me. I didn’t doubt his presence, but I was so frustrated that he allowed this kind of pain, especially in my pregnancy.

I’m not 100% better, but my prayer is no longer only “ God take this cross from me” or “ why are you allowing this? but “ thank you for sustaining me” and “ thank you that I’m healing and feeling more hopeful”

Last year, the words “ God is working or he’s got a plan in this” were not consoling my heart, but they were true. On “ the other side”, I am better able to see how God has helped me through the last year. Sometimes it takes a lot of time before we start to see the glimmer of hope, healing, or answered prayers.

If your in a place of darkness, or trial, I will pray that you can trust in the ever working, presence, and love of your Heavenly Father. It’s okay if that’s hard to hear right now. I get it. I was there. And I’m sure I’ll be there again. But he will sustain you. He will deliver you. He will love you.

…he delivered me, because he delighted in me” Psalm 18:19

the Father’s gaze

It’s pretty wonderful how God uses our environment to speak to us! Whether it’s our current circumstance, our vocation, our loved ones or our hopes and dreams, He has a way of speaking to our hearts, exactly where we are.

I’m sure a lot of teachers have felt the love and presence of God while working with their students. Or artists who encounter God through a creative outlet. Priests who find God speaking through their parishioners, or a young adult hearing God’s voice through classic literature.

As a mama, I’ve been feeling God speak through my son lately. Most notably, when he sleeps in my arms after a long (sometimes challenging) day. I see his sweet rosy cheeks, his gentle and perfectly content features. I hear his soft breaths going in and out. I feel how warm he is, as he’s snuggled up close to me. It’s beautiful. It’s peaceful. Its holy.

The way I gaze at my baby boy, is just a sliver of the way the Father gazes at us. My heart could burst for love of my son in those moments- how much more does the heart of the Father burn for us?

God is holding us. He gazes upon us with a tender, fatherly love. He isn’t fixated on our weakness and sinfulness, like we so often are. He’s smiling down at us, like the mother and her child. This love is so great, so marvellous, so real. Imagine what would happen if we let this gaze truly pierce our hearts!? If we actually accepted this merciful, holy, eternal love…. it would change everything ❤️

what a love 💗

When you rock your son,

In your arms at night.

When he’s close to you,

Snuggled up all tight.

Eyes of love he has,

Looking up at you.

Time it seems to stop,

In this precious view.

What a love this is,

So pure and so true.

Endlessly thankful,

To be next to you.

words from the wise 🖋

Saint Frances de Sales was featured in the Magnificat today because it’s his feast day. I don’t know a lot about him, but after reading a small excerpt of his writing, I’m so interested to read more! Here is what spoke to my heart this morning ❤️

God will hold you in his hand, and if he lets you stumble, it will be only so that you realize that you would collapse entirely if he did not hold you, and thus to make you tighten your grip upon his hand”.

Isn’t that lovely!? God is always holding us- and whatever challenges we face are ultimately meant to strengthen our trust in him, and draw us closer to himself!

beautiful moments

Over the past few months, I’ve captured some lovely photos that bring me joy to look back on. I thought I would share a few of them with you today! Although you weren’t in the moment when they were taken, I hope you can appreciate them. God has blessed us with the natural world, and so often I feel his presence when admiring natural beauty, and perhaps you do too!? 🎨

grateful

Happy New Year 🥂

I’m very thankful to those of you who continue to faithfully read and follow my blog ✨Though I am not very active here, it’s a beautiful outlet and place for me to share, create, and contemplate topics related to faith, life, beauty, and poetry!

Lately we’ve been having weather that’s reaching temperatures as low as -45 degrees Celsius ( with wind chill) it’s insanely cold 🥶

Today’s post is just a small reflection of thanksgiving. A reminder to be grateful for the countless gifts and beautiful moments I enjoyed in 2021. An opportunity to surrender ( again or for the first time) what was difficult, humbling and unexpected.

I think I’m learning more and more the power of a grateful and hopeful heart. A positive perspective and holy hope that anchors us in Christ. It’s not a naïve or foolish optimism, but one that allows us to weather the storms when they come. This kind of heart is what separates saints from ordinary people. It’s what allows for radical love and mercy. It’s the kind of heart I long for.

Anyways.. I’m rambling now. I’m thankful for you, dear reader. For my family and friends, and for the ever constant love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It’s been a tough, incredible, beautifully chaotic year.. and I’m looking forward to the year ahead!

beauty in the mess

Each year, we find ourselves preparing for the same holiday seasons like Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving. Although the holidays are on the same day each year, we will never truly celebrate them in the same way. Last year, I was pregnant at Christmas, or the year before, I was living in Berlin. Not only are our experiences changing year to year, but how we approach them emotionally, or spiritually often changes. Some Christmases are so joyful, exciting and fun to prepare for. Others are more challenging, filled with grief or loss. Regardless of how we feel, the holidays will come no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in.

Photo by Burkay Canatar on Pexels.com

This year, I found myself thinking about Christmas in a more realistic lens. Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving the Christmas music, lights, decorations and gifts… but I feel more connected to the raw, unfiltered side of Christmas. The messy side of Christmas.

It was far from glamorous, but it was glorious.

Christ wasn’t born into a pristine nursery, complete with freshly washed bedding, cute toys and sweet clothes. Mary and Jospeh didn’t attend a prenatal course, plan the pregnancy or even know where the baby would be born. It was an unexpected pregnancy and a chaotic birth story!

The Blessed Virgin Mary gave birth in a messy barn, without a midwife or doctor, beside stinky animals, perhaps on top of scratchy hay or a cold floor. It was far from glamorous, but it was glorious. The way that Christ enters the world matters. God could have planned it any other way, but he chose this story. The raw, unfiltered version- where Divinity meets humanity in a simple stable.

Doesn’t that strike you, too?! That God enters into the mess of humanity. I was at mass a few weeks ago and the babies in the church were going crazy! (ours included!) You know when it just seems like every baby in the church is screaming, and the parents are sweating as they try and juggle their kiddos from one arm to the next, from one parent to another, or from their pew to the back of the church. Yet despite this chaos, Christ is coming to us in Holy Communion. There is no host of Angels, no perfect Choir ( in fact, the choir might be singing off key again!), and no mystical visions ( for most of us) to be seen. Yet this moment is holy and glorious.

So too was it in Bethlehem. Mary, through her work, love and endurance, alongside Saint Joseph, delivered Christ into this world in the most simple and humble circumstances. It wasn’t perfect, but it was holy. It was real life. It was Christ coming into humanity.

I am encouraged by this! That Christ comes into my messiness. The burdens and struggles I carry, He can handle. When I wish things looked more pretty, put together, or glamours… I am reminded that He doesn’t need those circumstances to work in my life. Christ doesn’t expect us to have it altogether. That’s why He came in the first place. Instead we can surrender, bow down before the King of Kings, bring him the gift of our self, and ask to be transformed by His love, His holiness, His Glory.

If your Christmas is a little messy this year, if your heart feels like that stable in Nazareth, that’s ok. Bring it all to the Christ Child. Be with Mary and Jospeh on that chaotic but glorious eve. Christ is with you. Christ came for this!

God bless

healed ♥️

Stretch out your hand,

You said aloud,

To heal the man,

Among the crowd.

What miracles,

You do perform,

So to yourself,

We may conform.

A withered hand,

Or withered heart,

You draw us in,

Nor do depart.

O healing Lord,

Come bring your light,

Anoint our wounds,

Restore our sight.

Inspired by the Gospel of today, Luke 6:6-11

getting older 🤷🏻‍♀️

The other day, I intentionally chose and thoroughly enjoyed a Coffee Crisp chocolate bar. I didn’t crave the chewy Mars bar, or the delicious Three Musketeers.I chose the hard, boring, coffee crisp. What’s going on you may ask.. ? 🤔

I’m getting older.

I’ve noticed several grey/white hairs shining through my dark and (not so) youthful locks. Even my hair is saying…

I’m getting older.

I moan and complain when I hear the teenage neighbors having another party with loud music and I say things like, “ they are going to wake the baby!!”. My reactions tell me…

I’m getting older.

If I sit too long in one position, I have trouble getting up, and feel like I’ve broken something. My body knows that…

Im getting older.

The funny thing is.. those who are 50 would laugh at my 30 year old complaints! But those who are 80 would laugh at the complains of the 50 year old.

Everyday we’re all a little bit older, potentially a little bit wiser, and hopefully a lot more joyful ⭐️