in the wind.

Your in the wind,

the flame, the light.

Holy Spirit,

Our souls ignite.

Set us ablaze,

With your own love,

Decend on us,

O Holy Dove.

More than ever,

We choose anew.

In these dark times,

To trust in you.

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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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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!

 

Eternal love & a wild goose.

Last night I watched the first two episodes of the ” The Wild Goose” series (the link will lead you to episode 1 and you can view episode 2 & 3 for free as well!) and wow! It is so powerful to hear men and women speaking about their encounters with the Holy Spirit and how He has changed their lives. The personal love that our Triune God has for us is so real.  A few things that touched my heart while watching:

  • The Holy Spirit wants to give us peace. Fr. Dave Pivonka said ” Peace is not the absence of something, but the presence of someone”  #truth
  • God doesn’t want us to remain in the “upper room” of our hearts; afraid or dejected. He wants to send us, as he did for the Apostles, His Holy Spirit. He wants to set us ablaze with love and courage to speak the truth about God.
  • Living with the Holy Spirit is not only reserved for Pentecost Sunday. We can invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts daily, minute by minute.
  • When we feel like: “something is missing” “I don’t feel I am living my full purpose” “There has to be more to this life” “My faith life is dry” it usually means we need to invite the Holy Spirit (for the first time, or once again) into our hearts.
  • The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives can change us profoundly. He can bring the gifts of joy and peace that we are longing for.

    black goose flying

    Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Father also spoke about the story of the Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37:1-6) and how the Spirit breathes life into us, like he did the bones. We all go through this valley; the times when our positive emotions fade, the consolations from God seem far away, the struggles of our daily lives and sinfulness seem to weigh us down. But God says, ” … Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord” ( Ezekiel 37:5-6). Our spiritual life is NOT meant to be dead, hopeless, dry and bare. It’s meant to be fruitful, vivid, joyful and promising. What a wonderful hope this is!

PS. I still don’t know why it’s called ” The Wild Goose”- I’ll have to keep watching and find out : )

back to the Author of beauty

Happy Sunday All,

So my first plan was to write about the Maria 2.0 protest that is taking place in the German church right now (#facepalm). It’s extremely frustrating to watch these women tell the media that this is how they see the future of the church. I have a lot to say about this topic, but I’ll save that for another day.

Instead, I am choosing to write upon something entirely different and so needed right now. Something positive. It’s time to speak words of life, truth, beauty and goodness. It’s time to take the focus off the horrible news articles for a moment and fill our minds and hearts with something uplifting.

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Beautiful flowers from my thoughtful husband!

I’m not implying that we become ignorant citizens or hide from the realities of evil in the world, but I’m encouraging us to take a break from the bad news. That’s why I want to simply list my top 5 blessings over the past few weeks. The little or big moments that spoke to my heart about the beauty of God through his creation and creatures.

I would be SO happy if you also shared a few of yours in the comments below. We need to hear the good news, the blessings, the mini miracles, and the triumph stories of one another. We are playing on the winning team! We need to remind ourselves that the evil and darkness of the world does NOT have the last word. Jesus does!

  1. Hearing “my” First Communion kids singing along at mass- Although that sounds extremely ordinary, I have been so touched to hear the sweet little voices of these boys and girls singing along to the hymns on Sunday. The openness of their hearts to praise God is touching.
  2. Wasp Nest Crumbles- We were so devastated to find a diligent wasp building his nest on our balcony!  I decided to bless the balcony with some holy water, and I kid you not, the wasp nest fell down (a few days later). The wasp decided to move out I guess?! We found the remains of the nest on the floor. Halleluja!!!
  3.  Friendly Drivers- It is so refreshing to have a friendly drivers on the road! I have noticed lately, a lot of drivers who have made room for me on my bike, waited a bit longer, or even smiled at me! For Berlin.. thats big.
  4. Stunning Sunsets- As spring arrives we have the opportunity to enjoy the sunsets them from our balcony! It’s warm enough to sit outside and watch the glorious colours and shades dance around, changing from pink, to orange, to blue and purple. It’s easy to feel God’s greatness in these moments.
  5. Enjoying spaghetti bolognese & wine with my husband-  I feel the blessings of God so clearly in my marriage to my wonderful husband. It is such an exciting journey as we grow deeper in love with one another!

 

 

Hope in the flames

Wow. I praise God that something beautiful could come out of something so tragic. God is real. He is moving. He is thee sign of hope in our dark times. The Cross is victory. The Holy Cross of Jesus saves! What a beautiful sign on this Holy Week.

Let’s pray for the conversion of hearts through this great sign and miracle.

JP 2- we love you!

O.K Seriously– how true, wise and beautifully written are these words of the late Saint John Paul II?IMG_0984.JPG I stumbled across this quote in a Confirmation preparation book this afternoon, and after reading it over, I realized just how important this quote is for everyone: every person who is searching for meaning in their lives, every person who is longing for something more, every person who is questioning and searching. Let us find peace and strength in the words of this holy Saint:

” It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices; The choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal” 

Saint John Paul II

 

 

 

Chained to our Choice.

In light of the recent abortion laws passed in New York, I find myself struggling with how to react. With an angry, devastated, and confused heart, I bring my prayers to the Lord and his Blessed Mother- asking that they change the hearts of stone, into hearts of flesh.

 

We’re free to choose, yet

Chained to our choices.

Nothing to loose, but

Can’t shake the voices.

With pink lights aglow,

The papers all signed,

Smiles on their faces,

 To kill humankind.

Does freedom now reign,

In body and soul?

Women empowered,

And made to be whole?

Our hearts are aching,

So we ask and pray,

That your will be done,

And all find their way.

 

adorable baby baby feet beautiful

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing in the Psalms

So I don’t believe in coincidences, or fate, or luck, but I do believe in the Holy Spirit, and that’s who arranged the blessing of today. Allow me to explain!

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We are Beloved Children of the King! Let us never forget. Though this photo when taken in “healthier times”, its a reminder to always hope in the Lord! He is our sustainer and our stronghold!

Earlier this afternoon I had two separate conversations with women very dear to my heart. They are women whom I trust, who support me, who encourage me, and most of all, who love me! In our chats, I opened up about how I am feeling/doing these days. At the moment I feel a lot of things (mostly health problems) are piling up on my shoulders and weighing me down. I suppose you could say my faith is being tested a little, or I’m just not learning the lesson of surrendering to God… so I keep getting new opportunities to do so. Yay? Being stubborn is not always a good thing. Maybe its never a good thing? Still not sure about that….

Anyways, these are both women of God and they were able to encourage me at a faith level. This is exactly what I needed and both of them said the same thing:

“Why don’t you read and meditate on the Psalms?”


They challenged me to really live and pray with the Psalms during this heavy time. The Psalmists are often lamenting and crying out to God for his help, his protection, his mercy. So if the Psalmists are so free in their prayer, why aren’t I?

So, I did it. I opened my bible to the Pslams and started reading. The verses that struck me the most today were actually from the very beginning. Pslam 1: 1-3:

 

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seats of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he mediates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers”

 

Isn’t this imagery wonderful! We can be that tree- soaking up the graces of the Lord, and not withering away in despair or sadness (as I am so often tempted to do). In these streams of life and hope, we can be renewed both in body and spirit, and yield fruit. I guess it isn’t a calling to plant fruit trees on my balcony this summer ( although that would be lovely), but he wants to help us (me) grow in the virtues; in love, in charity, in patience, in humility, in perseverance!

red and yellow coffee berries on branch

Photo by Daniel Reche on Pexels.com

I think I am going to start reading the Psalms each day. Maybe I’ll share a few more of the verses that speak to my heart as this journey in the Psalms continue.

What are the verse(s) that speak to you?! I would love to hear how you live with the Psalms right now. Let us encourage one another in faith & hope!

 

Whoops!

Baking Tip # 1: Never let dough (containing yeast) thaw overnight with the lid on! Waking up to this doughy-monster-mess on my counter, was hilarious. It looks like it grew legs overnight and tried to walk away! So much for my perfect buns for breakfast….

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Baking Tip #2: When making black bean burgers, be sure to use black beans!! I kept telling my husband I was making these delicious black bean burgers, but used kidney beans the whole time. It wasn’t until they were in the oven that I realized I had used the wrong beans!

Sometimes the whole cooking/baking world can be harsh. You check out a nice recipe on Pinterest and buy the right ingredients, but when it’s finished, it looks or tastes NOTHING like what it was supposed to! Or perhaps your like me. You set out to make a new recipe but make so many mistakes that your left with kidney bean burgers, and monster-dough!!!

Isn’t life a little like this though!? We have areas in our lives where we expect flawless results (diets, relationships, marriage, Church, gym, even cooking). We have this “perfect” vision of how something should be, but in reality, things turn out differently. Perhaps we fail that diet with whole lot of snacking, or we choose the wrong words in the argument with our spouse or our colleague.  We all fail each other in one way or another. We see their flaws, and they see ours.

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Photo by Lynnelle Richardson on Pexels.com

Life is always throwing us curve balls, and we are often going to drop the ball. I’m trying to learn to take the road of humility. The road that learns from mistakes, is quick to say sorry, laughs it off and moves on! I think this sort of perspective is in line with what Jesus meant for us. He knows we are imperfect. He knows we make mistakes. He knows we will fail each other. But he calls us out to live a positive, and fulfilling life which includes accepting our moments of weakness and failure, and letting them change us for the better. So whether its failing our colleagues at work, our family at home, or failing in the kitchen with those dang kidney bean burgers… we are invited to see these moments with eyes of hope, and a sense of humour doesn’t hurt either 😉

 

 

To be honest.

A few weeks back, we received a gift certificate in the mail for 15 free euro at a clothing store. At first I was really excited! The store was very nice, and had the kind of clothing I was looking for. Very quickly however, that feeling of excitement faded as I turned the ad around and located the small print. Our free 15 euro would only be validated after a purchase of 25 euro or more. I shook my head a little and thought to myself, I should have known. These advertisements never mean what they say.

It’s incredible how dishonest our society has become. 25 euros is not that much to spend before receiving 15 euro off. The money is not the problem. I am talking about the underlying dishonesty here. When did it become socially acceptable to claim that something is free (in bold and obnoxious print) when its actually not? This happens literally EVERYWHERE. There are magazines with pictures so dramatically edited, that what they are advertising is no longer real. In our grocery stores, we find food labels with false claims about health and ingredients. The news often reports jaded information, fuelled by their own agenda rather than facts. Even our clothing stores try to give us free money, thats not free.

men s gray and black button up shirt on mannequin

Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

Why are we a society that functions around dishonesty? We play word games with each other, and pretend that it’s okay because that’s “how you make money”. This is wrong.

The people that we trust the most in this world, are definitely going to be people who are honest. We know that if they say something, then they will do something. This virtue of honesty is so valuable in our present times. To become people who strive for honesty above all. That we don’t find ourselves, caught up in webs of lies, or half truths. That we find freedom in being true, authentic and real with ourselves and others. I guess that is my prayer today. That we, starting with ourselves first, pray for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, to become more and more truthful. In our hearts, in our minds, and in our words. That we become men and women of integrity. That what we say, becomes what we do. That we start changing this dishonest world, into one that is honest and full of light and truth. Let’s pray for one another.

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” Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit” Psalm 34:13