third trimester thoughts 💭

Being pregnant is such a beautiful adventure! It is a 40 week rollercoaster ride both physically and emotionally. Approaching the end of my third trimester, I find myself reflecting on the past months of pregnancy, and how I’ve grown ( literally and figuratively speaking haha!) as a person, a woman and a mama.

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Just a few little lessons/blessings/take aways that I thought I would share. Regardless of if you are pregnant or not, I think these can be appreciated by all:

  1. People love babies/new life- The degree of friendliness/love/generosity that I have received throughout my pregnancy, has increased with each passing month. The bigger I am, the friendlier people are!! The respect and love that total strangers ( and friends/family) have showered on me, is a testament to the power and sanctity of life. Humans are designed to welcome and love new life, and they do it without even realizing it.
  2. Pregnancy is proof that God exists- If you don’t believe that God is real, just watch the process of a growing baby in utero. It’s the most amazing and underrated miracle taking place every day around the world. The fact that this tiny, perfect, functioning human life grows from the fusion of a sperm and egg and is able to live in a woman’s womb for 9 months…. is incredible. Even as I carry my own son, I am often baffled at God’s miraculous and mind-blowing creation. How can you explain such a perfectly designed process without God?!
  3. We need to advocate for life- It doesn’t matter if a baby was conceived 1 minute ago, or 9 months ago… a beautiful life with a unique soul was created, and has the right to live, like you or I do. The lie that has crept into our society, claiming that abortion is a women’s right, a freedom, a choice… has to change. These tiny miracles from God are our most vulnerable humans that ought to be protected, fought for and loved. Let us keep praying for an end to abortion, and the conversion of hearts who control legislature and media.

There have been so many other beautiful and memorable moments, but those are stories for another day! Perhaps we can take some time today to thank the Lord for the gift of our own lives, and the fact that our parents choose life. I think we often forget to thank the Lord for this most fundamental gift, and this miracle that we were apart of.

God bless!

hope is greater

A little while back, I wrote a post about the limitations of the English language, particularly for the word love. How is it possible that this rich verb can be used to describe the most beautiful union between man and women, while at the same time describing affection for a pair of shoes?!

It recently dawned on me, that the same goes for the word hope. This was the word I received for the new year, and the Lord keeps revealing to me how necessary hope is for the world- especially in these confusing times.

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It’s funny though, how often we use this word for everyday, simple experiences.”I hope it doesn’t rain today”, “I hope we make it on time”, I hope she likes the gift”… you get the idea!

Yet in reality, hope is so much more than these simple desires we ascribe to it. Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church writes about hope:

The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men’s activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity.

CCC #1818

Isn’t that beautiful!? Hope is like the compass that points us to our heavenly home! It’s the antidote against discouragement, depression, despair. Hope leads us to happiness, opens our hearts, and reminds us that we are journeying towards Christ himself.

It is my prayer, that you, wherever you are, and whatever you might be going through, are renewed and strengthened by this promise of authentic hope. Let us all fix our eyes above the current situation, and hope in what is to come, and in He who is the source of our hope.

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healing love.

O Spirit of God,

On us descend,

So that we might see,

The hearts to mend.

Those broken and lost,

Or crippled with fear.

The lonely and hurt,

O let them hear:

That God is alive,

His Word stands true.

His power to heal,

Is meant for you.

Full freedom from chains,

Authentic peace.

A place to call home,

Will never cease.

Let Christians proclaim,

This healing love.

A message of hope,

Sent from above.

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a story book life?

You know that cliche analogy that compares our lives to that of a chapter book? The many events that unfold in our lives can be likened to new chapters, filled with exciting adventures, new beginnings, tragedies, unexpected events, life, loss, despair and hope.

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I think this analogy works quite well, and over the past years, I’ve found myself starting several new chapters along the way. For the most part, I’ve been “writing” my chapter book since early adulthood ( well co-writing… I mean, God is the ultimate author and I’m doing my best to follow His plan). I’ve played the leading lady in this exciting novel of life, and generally speaking, my decisions have dictated the direction of the plot and adventure. It’s been a great and wonderful journey, and I’m so happy with the way things have unfolded for the most part….

But what about the chapters that we didn’t choose for?

What about those events that are thrust upon our story, that we never asked for, never planned on, never wanted? Those chapters that completely mess up the plot that we had anticipated and hoped for?

Of course, Covid would be the easiest example at the moment. But I also mean those personal crises that we all face throughout our lifetime. The moments that bring us to our knees, have us questioning God and His plans, have us searching for answers yet finding none.

I’m in one of those chapters at the moment, and it’s been extremely hard to accept. I’m going through a physical diagnose that I never imagined, which is causing me immense pain and discomfort most hours of the day. It’s something that I never dreamed would ” happen to me” and something that makes me angry at times. I’m sure if I asked you reading this, you could think of a time in your life that was similar. Perhaps it wasn’t physical but emotional, social, psychological etc.

So what now? Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer. I think that sometimes in life there are chapters that we just can’t disappear from. Where we can’t devise some amazing escape plan, because we have to live and fight through this chapter to the end.. .I’m trying to stay hopeful, stay faithful and stay positive. I do know that God is in control, even though it feels like I’m slipping from His hands at times. I know He doesn’t want our suffering, and that this pain can be redemptive and it can bear an eternal fruit.

To all of you suffering right now: I know I can’t take it away. Nor can anyone else. But I want to validate what you are going through and say that I’m sorry you are going through this. Remember that you ARE a beloved son or daughter of the King. You don’t have to force yourself to be happy when your hurting, but keep the hope and remember that this too, shall pass.

Much love,

Jenny

hello stars ✨

Hello stars, I’m still awake,

My thoughts so clear and deep.

Many hours will it take,

Till I am fast asleep?

Shining brightly in the sky,

I’m captured by your light.

Like a lantern I rely,

For you to guide my sight.

Soon enough the sun will rise,

And you will fade away.

Colours painted in the skies,

Will welcome the new day.

dancing before the King

Do you ever feel like God is being a little too quiet in your life? Despite your prayer times, participation in the sacramental life and various missions… it just seems like you can’t hear His voice anymore?

I’ve been feeling like this over the past few weeks, and it was starting to get really discouraging. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit reminded me of something this past Friday during adoration:

God does not hesitate to use others to communicate His love and presence with us.

We attended an adoration evening on Friday, and we came late so we sat in the very last pew! Due to our seating, I could see the whole church and in particular a little girl with gorgeous blond hair near the front.

As the choir started to sing, this little girl stood up in her pew and started to sway back and forth to the music. There was something so peaceful and innocent about her movements and her presence before the Lord.

Immediately, I was touched to tears as I watched this young girl, so powerfully free, dance before her King. At one point, her sister tugged on her jacket to sit down, and she just pulled away and kept on swaying.

I knew exactly in that moment, that God was calling me to be free like this little girl. To find my comfort, my peace and my joy in Christ alone. To be so wrapped in His love, that I could even dance before Him.

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This little girl modelled what radical and pure love for Christ looks like. It’s unafraid, it’s bold, it’s present, it’s pure and it’s contagious.

So, even though I didn’t hear God in my morning prayer or the mass readings, I sure heard Him speaking through His precious child, who beautifully danced before her King and her Lord.

wise words in unexpected places 📕

So I’m just finishing up the first book in the Lord of the Rings series and loving it! If you enjoyed the movies, you HAVE to read the books. I would argue that the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien far outshine the Hollywood movies.

Anyway- last night I came across this passage that struck me;

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all the lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater“ ( p. 454, Fellowship of the Ring)

The quote is from a secondary, less important character, so I won’t focus on who said it, but rather what was said. Doesn’t this sound like our times? Peril, dark places, grief…. I have to think of recent elections, disunity, extreme weather emergencies, hateful speech, pandemics, radical movements, angry protests, evil laws being passed…

Yet even in the darkest of times, there are things that are fair and love that is greater. Though these words come from an elf in a storybook, they are profoundly true today. We can fix our eyes on the dark, chaotic and oppressive events, or we can seek out the beautiful, lovely, life giving and authentic events that continue to take place.

Perhaps a good question to ask ourselves is: What do I choose to see in the world each day ? Am I contributing to the darkness, or do I shine like the stars that give light in the night ?

washed clean

Hi Again!

During these crazy times, access to the sacraments have been scarce. We’ve had to adapt to streamed masses, reserving spots for mass online ( if your quick enough!) and a whole lot of hand sanitizer….. Let’s just say, it hasn’t been easy.

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But there is something that has brought me (and perhaps you, too?!) A LOT of peace and comfort during the past months and that is:

Confession!

Confession has been the one sacrament that has been relatively easy to receive during the chaos of Covid-19. I don’t know about your experience, but we could make appointments with our parish priest anytime and every Saturday morning from 11:00-12:00 there was “drive through” confession!

I found so much solace in the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it was the closest I could get to Jesus when our masses weren’t taking place.

The Lord knows how painful these times have been and still are. He wants us to receive him again through the Holy Eucharist. He wants to be united, heart to heart. But if we are unable to go to mass, don’t forget to encounter Jesus in confession, as well ! It is a powerful encounter where Jesus himself, through the priest, can heal all our sins, anxieties, mistakes, fears and missed opportunities to love.

I can testify to the power of this healing and life giving encounter with Jesus through confession! Every time I went to confession during the “pandemic”, Jesus was speaking so clearly through the priest about my heart and the areas that needed deep conversion. That kind of realization is humbling, but I drove away every time feeling more loved, joyful, peaceful, motivated and light. It’s a feeling you cannot buy, and one that comes only from the healing touch of Jesus our Saviour.

God bless you all!