letting go: the sweet life.

“None of the thoughts that render us anxious, and agitated in spirit in any way comes from God, who is the Prince is Peace…” (St. Frances De Sales)

This morning while reading Searching for and Maintaining Peace (Fr. Jacques Philippe), I came across a quote from St. Frances De Sales. I find this seemingly simple and perhaps even obvious statement, so rich and compelling. These words invite me to honestly reflect on the kinds of emotions and reactions that dominate my life. Are they anxieties, fears, agitations and doubts? Or are they ones of hope, peace and trust?

I chose to write about this today because I know that I am not alone in this battle of positivity vs. negativity and ultimately of good vs. evil. We are ALL struggling, at varying degrees, with the pressure, stress and demands of “life”. It seems that now more than ever, people are crumbling under the often crippling demands to be perfect, powerful,  rich, put together, successful and flawless.

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* God speaks to me in analogies… even if they are seats on the train hehe *  This image spoke to me of the redemption and newness that comes from God. He takes us when we feel dull, faded and used, and transforms us into something beautiful again!

Even as I write this, it seems a bit crazy and naive of us to fall into this trap. But when it’s our own lives, careers, relationships and life choices… things can become a bit blurry. We often find ourselves putting unrealistic expectations on our shoulders and fighting back feelings of failure, shame or regret when we fall short.

The good news is, we are not destined to stay in these low and often dark places. It’s not something we can just wish away, and for some of us, this journey is going to require more work and care than others, but there is always hope.

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The sweet life!

As the quote above says, God is the Prince of Peace and therefore with Him comes a peace that no one can destroy. God isn’t some magician who just takes away every hardship in our lives… but he gives a different and deeper kind of peace. I think this quote says it best:

“Peace is not the absence of something, but the presence of Someone” (unknown)

I pray that all of us can enter into the deep peace that is of Christ. That we find solace and hope in He who is the Prince of Peace. Let’s pray for each other, that we can let go of the anxieties and agitations that try to hold us back from freedom, joy and peace! Perhaps a little piece of cake and tea is just the perfect place to start?!

Sweet Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Hello Again!

Today is a different “style” of blog post, because I’m not writing about any specific topic, but rather letting you in on a few moments and photos of my time in Scotland!

During the trip, I really felt my spirit being lifted as I soaked in the magical feeling, historic beauty, and stunning architecture of Edinburgh. I couldn’t stop saying “this is soooo pretty” or ” I need to take a photo of this”.  I was like a little girl again, enjoying all the sights, smells and moments, no matter how small or insignificant they were!

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Following the river through the city was one stunning view after the other!

Then today, I heard a podcast all about how we ought to marvel and wonder at the beauty of creation! We are lifted and filled with joy when we see the world around us like children again. Children aren’t over serious and bound by their schedules. They are free to enjoy, laugh, jump, sing and shout as they truly live, wonder and delight in each new day.

One of the women on the podcast shared a quote by G.K Chesterton and I think it’s incredibly profound, especially for our time when we’ve become “too busy” to rest, to watch and to wonder:

“We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders”

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Oh just a castle in the middle of the city.. no big deal!

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The gorgeous view from our apartment.

I must say, I will definitely be going back to Scotland (hopefully again soon) and I  recommend traveling to Edinburgh for anyone who is looking for a holiday destination!

Even though I’m back to rainy Berlin, I’m going to try and keep this attitude of child-like wonder in my heart. I think it’s such a great way to see the world and people around me. How do you wonder and marvel at the world around you?! Have you experienced something beautiful today that made you stop and stare, something that spoke to your heart, or something that gave you joy?! Please share below : )

 

past the facade

It’s wise not to judge,

What we see from another,

Their faults and their flaws,

Perhaps merely a cover.

Of crosses they bear,

Heavy burdens that they hold,

Things they can’t control,

Many stories left untold.

May our hearts grow soft,

As we look at each other,

Showing tenderness,

In the lives of our brother.

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Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

 

lights in the world.

 The lives that change the world so much,

are ones that live in love.

Committed to pure charity,  

their eyes are fixed above. 

Not set on what this world can give, 

They seem to stand apart.

A gentle peace and humbleness,

Comes reigning from their heart. 

Their source of strength and guiding light,

Of which they move towards,

Is He who was and who will be, 

Their Saviour and their Lord.

 

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Monk Wisdom; lesson on love ❤️

The reflection in the Magnificat today by Dom Augustin Guillerand, O. Cart ( French Carthusian monk) is really special! I won’t quote the whole thing, but just a couple lines that I think are so relevant and beautifully put:

” Why does God, who is love, keep us waiting? Because he is love, and seeks love. Love that does not know how to wait is not love.To love is to give ourselves…”

How many of us are asking God to answer our intentions, hear our pleas, send our spouse, send our baby, speed up time, slow down time…

It’s such an overwhelmingly human experience. Many times, it’s very good reasons that we pray these things. But even still, sometimes God demands that we wait. When we learn to wait, we learn to love! I find this so beautiful and helps to give more purpose to our seasons of waiting.

God has a loving plan for our lives. It might not feel that way right now- but he does. These times of waiting ( as painful or confusing as they might be) are an opportunity to grow in love.

And when that prayer is answered (on our terms or in another way) we will have used this time of waiting to prepare our hearts to love our spouse, baby, vocation, new life circumstance even more. And this love will be ever deeper and more beautiful.. because it was grown I’m waiting and faithfulness.

One thing (…or three!)

Happy Saturday!

So, does anyone else out there love podcasts? I know I’m a little late on the whole podcast thing, but that’s because the headphones on my old phone didn’t work, and anything with audio was on permanent loud speaker…haha!  But things changed a few months ago when I updated to a newer phone. I’m now listening to podcasts almost daily. I feel like a kid in a candy store! There are so many options and treasures to be found.

So far, my favourite podcast is called Abiding Together- it’s just a fabulous combination of three women (one religious sister & two lay women) who speak about their Catholic faith through the struggles and joys of daily life. It’s so inspiring, and while it’s three women speaking, the topics are applicable for men and women alike.

IMG_0580.JPGAt the end of every podcast they share their “one thing” for the week. Something that they are enjoying, something that inspires them or something that they want to recommend. There are no rules for a one thing! 

So today I thought I would share a couple my one thing(s)! I would love if you shared yours as well in the comments below. What is making you smile these days? What is something you want other people to hear/know about?! Let’s share the good news, the happy moments and what is inspiring us!

1. My Orchid– This little guy is a new addition to our kitchen, and I love the element of beauty it adds into our home. I’m seriously becoming an orchid person. They are a ton of fun and gorgeous : )

2. The book “ Searching for and Maintaining Peace; A Small Treatise on peace of Heart” by Father Jacques Philippe. This is a small book, jam packed with so much wisdom. I am constantly highlighting sections of the book.

3. Letters from friends/family– Sending a letter is one of the nicest things you can do for someone. The joy of receiving and sending a letter is incredible! This week I received two letters; from a friend of mine and my 6 year old niece. Man- I’m still feeling the happiness “high” of these letters. It inspired me to buy some cute paper and keep the letter writing train moving.

So, as always. I think it’s truly the small things that count in making our days a little brighter, our hearts a little lighter and the world a little bit better. Let’s receive His love and spread it, ya’ll.

God bless

the very bad, terrible, no good day.

Is it just me, or does it seem like a lot of people right now are going through a hard time?

It’s like that kids book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst on repeat. Ugh. And while this Alexander kid in the story had a pretty rough go, I feel like the adult version can be a lot more bleak. Sometimes I just wish it was gum in my hair, no toy in my cereal, or no one liking my painting in class…

I can name quite a few people in my own circle (me included), who just seem to be handed a very crappy set of cards these days. Whether it’s external circumstances, or things in their inner life being brought up, they are swimming upstream.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sometimes it’s really a fight to stay positive, focus on the good, and resist the temptation to despair or give in to the unhappiness. I read a blog today and she posted one of my favorite bible verses!  I really needed to read it today. I think it’s worth keeping in our hearts, especially in these troubling times.

 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”- Romans 12:2

Yessss! We are not to be conformed to this world. The world right now is preaching a lot of stuff that can lead us astray. Money will bring happiness, the rich and famous are more happy, perfection looks like a beauty blogger with the perfect body, you need to have impressive material goods to show off on your Instagram account, life is about cool holidays and eating fun food and documenting them on social media.

Don’t get me wrong, some of these things in and of themselves are great; taking care of our bodies, enjoying traveling (which I love to do!), and celebrating the gifts God has given us through food and experiences. But so often these things become the ultimate goal.

However, God calls us to renew our minds, to discern with Him, what is good and acceptable and perfect! The joys that He has to offer are so much greater than any mega yaht, beach body smoothie mix, perfect instagram worthy scene and amount of money sitting in our bank accounts.

God wants our ultimate HAPPINESS and that is found in Him alone. Even as I write this, I am not necessarily “feeling” completely happy in Him. But I also know that this is true despite any feelings I might have. Even in these darker seasons, God is still rooting for our happiness. It might not come with bright snazzy lights, and warm fuzzies, but it’s going to be a beautiful final product. I guess were like that clay that the Potter is working on. It might be messy, unclear, and a little bit uncomfortable as things are moved around, but that final masterpiece is going to be worth saving and treasuring!

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So if you find yourself a little like Alexander on your no good, terrible, horrible, bad day; its alright! Seasons come and they GO, and your not alone. Right around you is someone else who is suffering, working through stuff, and figuring out life just like you. Pray for them, and they can pray for you! Let’s continue to renew our minds in the truth that is of God and His Kingdom!

 

He is good, you are loved

The Holy Spirit can move in the most small and wonderful ways sometimes. It’s been a really tough few days, with lots of things coming up and trying to steal my joy.  But randomly, during my morning jog today I looked down at my pointer finger and gazed on it’s print. I reminded myself that this finger print is one of a kind, non-repeatable, and uniquely mine. It’s simply there as a sign that my Father has chosen me and loves me.

A little later,  I needed to listen to some praise songs to lift my soul. It was a new song that I hadn’t heard before, but I decided to give it a try. The first lyrics were:

“Through your story is My fingerprint” 

Cool hey!? I guess God wanted to continue speaking through this theme of finger prints & identity. God will use even the smallest of things to speak His truth to us. We are apart of His story, and He apart of ours. He wants to speak love, truth, and joy into our hearts!

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For anyone struggling right now, finding themselves in a dark place, finding it hard to remain motivated, feeling lost or unable to pray, take a moment to listen to this song:

Good & Loved- Travis Greene & Steffany Gretzinger

This song is upbeat, truthful and inspiring. I just felt that they could praise with the words I couldn’t say, and they helped raise my spirit to a higher place. Sometimes when we can’t do it ourself, we need to let someone else do it.

So today, I want to pass along the message that God spoke into my heart. He wants you to know, wherever you are, and however you are feeling in this moment:

YOU ARE LOVED.

You have a Heavenly Father who crafted and formed you in your mothers womb (Pslam 139:14). He has never left you, nor will he ever leave you. No matter what we have done, no matter how far we have walked away, he is loving us with an incomprehensible love. For those times that it doesn’t feel like it, just look down at your fingerprint. There is only one of you in the world, carrying those precious fingerprints, and that is not an accident.

God bless xxx

 

truth is telling.

“I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody, all about somebody who saved my soul”

 

Wow. These lyrics are SO perfect. I really like this song “Nobody” by the Casting Crowns ft. Matthew West, 

It’s capturing exactly what my heart is feeling. I want to tell people about Jesus- even if I am nobody in the eyes of the world. God doesn’t require years of studying, a few letters after our last name, or being religious to speak about him. The story of how he has saved us, changed us, and blessed us is enough!

“Ever since you rescued you me. You gave my heart a song to sing. I’m living for the world to see nobody but JESUS”

 

I think thats going to be my anthem and song this week: “living for the world to see nobody but Jesus”. Let’s let the love, peace, goodness, mercy, faithfulness, honesty, generosity, forgiveness, and joy of Jesus shine through us!

 

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