Humbled 

This lent has been a difficult one.  We’re only 9 days in and I feel like it’s been an eternity!! Not being on social media is lonely.  I feel like I don’t have very many people to talk to, and the truth of the matter is, I don’t.  How sad has life become when you base your friendship off of Facebook posts or random pictures being shared by strangers?  Why is it even necessary to have social media any more?  I understand the thought process of keeping up with people you used to know, but lets be honest, I wouldn’t say hello to you on the street, why would I want you to know about my life on social media.  And then there’s the idea that not everything you read on social media is true, so this “happiness” you’re jealous of could be completely false.  

I feel like for the past 9 days God has taught me that he is my protector.  He’s been showing me that my life is all kinds of messed up and that I need him and him alone.  He’s shown me that I really only have two real friends that I’ve gotten closer to because the only way we can communicate is through text.  He’s shown me that I might feel alone, but I’m really not.  The past couple of days my devotions have been ON POINT!! Yesterday’s verse hit me right where I needed to be hit.  

Laminations 3:22-27: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are great every morning; great is your faithfulness.  “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”  The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.  It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.  It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.  

I’m really having a hard time on waiting on the Lord.  I know that he has my life in his hands, but I don’t see it.  I’ll be 30 at the end of June and I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing in my life.  Additionally, I feel like I’m never going to get my dreams.  I can’t be the only woman who wants, no longs, to be a wife and a mother.  I can’t be the only one who feels that clock ticking down to doomsday.  I feel like I have no time left.  I know that I have to trust that God’s plan is bigger than mine, but when you look around you and almost everyone your age is in a committed relationship with plans for the future and/or married with kids, it’s so upsetting.  I’ve cried every day these 9 days of Lent over the fact that I feel like I’ve failed at everything.  I mean the only thing I’ve accomplished is being my District MVP… as a supervisor… at 29 years old… I’m not even in mid level management anymore.  I work my butt off for this company and I’m almost 30 with not much to show for it.  And it really stinks when I want to look for a new job but I have no skills for any of the jobs out there that would pay me what I’m worth.  I’m complaining again.

God knows my pain.  He sees my anguish.  He knows what keeps me up at night.  And he’s working on it, on my behalf.  I have to trust that I’m not going to be in this place any longer, because that’s all I have to hold on to.  I can’t focus on what I don’t have.  I have to focus on what I do have, but the list keeps dwindling. I know he is sovereign and that he has a reason behind what I’m going through right now, I just don’t see it.  I’m so stuck in this rut and I keep digging myself into a bigger hole.     

How many time have you heard me cry out , God please take this. How many times have you given me strength to just keep breathing.  Oh I need you, God I need you now. (Need you now [How Many Times] by Plumb) 

I’ve been listening to that song on repeat while writing this post and it’s hitting me in the face.  I’m praying that God will show me how to be content in him and not with anything else.  I’m praying that this season of loneliness is a short one.  I’m praying that I can get my mind right and stop complaining.  I’m praying for all of you, too.

May you be blessed! 

Lissie  

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Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday… I feel so humbled when I receive my ashes. From dust you came, to dust you return.  How humbling is that though?! I loved mass tonight.  I think I finally found my home parish and I’m so excited to celebrate the wonderful mystery of God’s love and sacrifice here.  Father talked about why we put ashes on our heads and I loved it.  He explained that these ashes are reminders that we are not our own.  That we are God’s.  He also talked about having a visual reminder of our Lenten sacrifices.  I’m not doing it justice but it was really wonderful.

Today has been hard.  I realized how dependent I have become on social media.  I kept grabbing my phone and looking at it hoping there was a notification from Facebook.  It also reminded me that I’m in this journey alone… it’s just me and God and that’s scary.  I don’t like being alone. I don’t like feeling like I’m walking through this alone, but I love that I have a God that will ever leave me nor forsake me.

Today’s verse for my Lenten Devotion was Isaiah 6:1-7.  My focus verse was “And he touched my mouth and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.'” (Verse 7).  How amazing is it that our sins are forgiven?! I’m so happy today.  Hungry, but happy.  I have an amazing God who stands by me and leads me to follow him.  I wish I had the words to describe how in love I am with God.

On a personal note, I’m loving my veil!! It’s taking a lot to push past my unnecessary anxiety about wearing it to mass, but I love when I do.  It helps me focus on the homily and what God is asking of me.  If you’re looking to start veiling, or just looking for a quality veil, check out http://www.veilsbylily.com!! She’s amazing!!

Happy Ash Wednesday, and may God Bless you this Lenten Season!!

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The Bells

Ringing loud and clear. A very tangible reminder of all I hold dear. Your love and mercy shown on the cross, being displayed for me in the bells. 

The sweet, high pitched ring. Three in it’s count. Serve to show us that you’re still around. Never knowing when you’re near, this ringing proves that you are here 

Getting blessed by your body, and saved by your blood. I know that in you I am loved.  

I love to hear those bells. The glorious ringing, ushering you into my heart. I feel ashamed that I would ever be worthy enough to be near you. Accepting your sacrifice, the promise of everlasting life, hoping that some day I can partake of your glorious mystery in heaven.  

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Lent

The Lenten season is upon us!! This is the time of year where we make these “promises” to give up something in order to help us focus on our relationship with God and the sacrifice his son showed us on the cross.  This time of year is a time of renewal and Lent is a way for us to start new ourselves.  

I have to be honest, I never actually complete Lent to the fullest.  I have the worst will power EVER!!!! I usually try and give up soda, or chocolate, or meat for the whole 40 days and I always, ALWAYS, cheat.  This year, my Lenten sacrifice is three fold.  I feel like this is a time for me to completely focus myself on God and his plan for my life: emotionally, spiritually, and physically! 

Emotionally: I will be giving up all of Social Media for the 40 days (and possibly beyond).  I find myself getting jealous and frustrated about the way my life is going (not being married at almost 30, not having a child at almost 30, living in a house that makes me physically sick when I’m in it at almost 30) so I need a break.  I need a break from all the baby announcements, marriage announcements, political posts, hatred, and anger that seem to fill my time line.  I need to work on myself and not focus on the things I don’t have.

Spiritual: I will be praying the rosary everyday during the 40 days.  This is something I wanted to do last year for Lent, but like I always do, I gave up only a few days into it.  It’s hard to find 10 to 15 minutes to just sit and pray, but with social media gone, I should have plenty of time to devote to devotions and prayer.  So I’m going to be focusing on my relationship with God in hopes that the depression and anxiety I feel on a daily bases gets better.  

Physically: This one is a hard one.  I need to get back to the gym and eating better so that I can feel and look better.  Might seem a bit conceited, but there’s something that is directly tied to self esteem and going to the gym.  I’ll be thirty in June and I want my birthday to be filled with happiness and not sadness that I’m 30 and none of my dreams have been realized.  

I do have plans on keeping this blog going during the 40 days, even though my social media accounts will be frozen.   So if you’re interested in following along with my Lenten journey, stay tuned!!!

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Valentine’s Day

Beautiful roses, boxes of chocolate, cuddly stuffed animals, romantic cards, a wine filled dinner… this is what you think about when you think “Valentine’s Day”.

But what happens when your SO isn’t the tradition romantic type?

As a very emotional, high strung women, I get offended when my hopes for something get up and nothing happens. I expected a bouquet of flowers or at least a card today. I mean, I made him cookies and a cute, nerdy card. It’s not wrong for me to expect a $20 bouquet!! In fact, most would say that I should expect something that small. But I didn’t get flowers. I didn’t get a card or a teddy bear. But what I got was so much more.

I got Love. My amazing boyfriend filled up my gas tank, made sure I had some extra money to get through the week, took me to a nice lunch and even better dinner. He kissed my forehead and held my hand. He hugged me and held me and told me he loved me all day. And in the beginning I was such a B word. We yelled at each other and cried at the things we said. I had allowed these unforeseen expectations, these facebook posts and Instagram pictures, define how I thought Valentine’s Day should be. And I almost ruined it.

It was so hard for me to come to terms that when I got out of my car and into his there wasn’t at least one flower waiting for me! When did I become such a shallow and ungrateful women?! I’m ashamed of myself for allowing these outside influences gauge how my day was going to go. Once the yelling and crying stopped, the day was amazing. I had to remind myself that he loves me the way he loves. And I love him the way I love. I gave him homemade cookies and a homemade card. And he made sure I had everything I needed to have a good rest of the week.

I’m so blessed to have a man that is patient and kind to me. I’m blessed to have a boyfriend, and a God for that matter, that loves me the way I need to be loved, not the way I want to be loved. I need to get out of my own way and allow my boyfriend to love me the way he loves and to stop trying to change him.

I had a great Valentine’s Day. And I’m looking forward to more days like today.

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Too

Too… I hate that adverb.  It’s used to describe things and it’s usually not a good description.

“You’re too loud.”
“You’re too needy.”
“You’re too emotional.”

“You’re Too Much.”

I don’t want to be labeled as being “too much”, but I am.  I am too much for people to handle, too much for people to love, and too much for people to want to be with.  It’s a problem and I don’t know how to fix it.

And it’s not just in relationships.  It’s in work, too.  I was told that I was too focused and too fired up.  I’m sorry, shouldn’t I be focused and fired up about my goals!?  Isn’t that what got me where I am??  I always thought it was a good thing to take work and what not seriously, but apparently I was wrong.

So, how do I not be “too” much?  How do I live my life that doesn’t annoy those around me?

These are the questions that keep me up at night… and I don’t have the answers…

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This is How I Worship

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I mentioned yesterday that my favorite site to purchase veils is Veils By Lily.  She states on her homepage that:

Like a religious habit, your veil is a public proclamation of your desire to submit to the will of God for your life, and of your commitment to answering the universal call to holiness and continual conversion. Your veil is also a sign of the great dignity inherent to a woman, who has the potential to receive life within herself… both human life and the supernatural life of God.

I love this.  I love that wearing a veil is a sign that I desire to live my life in accordance to God’s will for my life and that it signifies my commitment to try to achieve holiness.

But there’s an argument I’d like to present to the court.  In 1 Corinthians 11:13 it poses a question that stumps me today:

Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a wife to pray with her head uncovered?

In this particular translation of the verse, it states wife.  However, in other translations it states “woman” instead of wife.  So does this mean that a woman, or a wife, can’t even pray with her head uncovered?  Now 1 Corinthians 11 goes on to explain that a woman’s long hair is considered her covering.  Basically saying that because you wear your hair long, it is considered your “veil”.  I know that many Protestant denominations dislike their women to cut their hair for this particular reason.  But is it really that important to God that women keep their hair long, or wear a veil at all times?  I pray daily, and I don’t cover my head, nor do I have long hair.  So, do my prayers get heard even though I don’t have these things?  So I asked my boyfriend, a man who was on his way to become a priest but felt that God was calling him elsewhere.

I don’t see why not.  God hears prayers period.

I personally believe that you don’t need to have your head covered to pray.  I think wearing a veil is more for the fact that when you walk into mass, you’re walking into the very presence of God.  Catholics believe that when you take Holy Communion you are eating and drinking the very literal body and blood of Christ.  It’s a very traditional and serious moment.  There’s so much reverence in the church when the Eucharist is displayed.  When the priest lifts up the body or the blood, inviting the Holy Spirit into the host and bell rings, I feel the uplifting presence of God enter that holy place.  I immediately bow my head, thanking the Lord for his goodness and mercy.  It wasn’t something someone had to teach me.  It was that feeling of unworthiness that lead me to reverently bow my head.

It’s in thinking about those moments that I decided that wearing a veil would help me with my relationship with Christ.  Knowing that when I walk through the doors of the sanctuary I’m walking into the presence of God has led me to look into the practice of veiling.  I believe that by covering my head in mass I am bringing glory to God and God alone.

There’s still that nagging sense of anxiety in my heart when I think about it, though.  Like I actually care about what others will think of me when I veil.  I constantly have to remind myself that the way I worship God is the way that I feel is best.  By wearing a veil I show those around me that I am serious about my calling and about presenting myself to God to use in his ministry.  Mass is about worshiping the one, true God.  Not showing up to impress those around me.

I pray that the Lord our God grants you peace and understanding as you walk through life with Him.  Be blessed, my friends!!

Elisabeth Ann

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