Mary, my mother {guest post}

I always thought that to be a "good" Catholic, you had to have a really good relationship with the Blessed Mother.

Don't get me wrong... I love Mama Mary. She is amazing. She is beautiful. I look up to her.

Yet, I am not sure I would ever say I was particularly close to her. At my young adult group a while ago, we were talking about the different Marian apparitions. So many people were sharing story after story about what Mary has done in their lives. How praying the Rosary changed them. How much closer they are with Jesus because of Mary.

I was just sitting there all.... silent. And in awe.

I don't have some profound and amazing story about how Mary radically changed my life.

And you know what? It's ok.


Ohhh... to read the rest, please click here!

I am honored to be the first guest blogger on my friend Catherine's (no, Celeste's, no CC's... she has a name identity crisis! haha) new blog, Marian Way in the Modern Day... a "gathering place for women living out their fiat to the Lord." It's such a cool place to gather as women to share our faith, femininity and special relationship with our Blessed Mother. Check it out!

Catherine is all the way up in Toronto, living life as a wife, new momma and middle school teacher! She is so sweet, funny and encouraging. I know this first hand because we had the chance to meet when I was in Boston! :)  Check out her personal blog and say hi on Twitter!


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Surviving the Florida Summer Heat




Well, it's Summer.

And it's hot.

Have you been in Florida for the Summer?

SO FLIPPING HOT. OHMYGOSH. I NEVER WANT TO GO OUTSIDE.

So, here are five things that I have learned to help me survive this crazy heat. I am no expert. I have only been a "Floridian" for 2.5 years. So, take all of this with a grain of salt. :)

ONE

Um, stay inside. The AC is your best friend.

TWO

Refer to number one.

THREE

Oh, one and two don't sound like a great time? Well, if you MUST go outside, limit your time. And if you can, go out in the morning before 10am when it's "cooler" or after 8:15pm when the sun isn't trying to kill you.

FOUR

Find the closest pool or beach. And park it. Preferably in the water. (with the proper sunscreen, of course!) And drinks LOTS of water. Lots.

FIVE

Refer back to one and two.
I mean, you don't have to stay at YOUR house. A friend's. The mall. A bar. Whatever.

It's survival mode, people. Come on! You gotta do whatcha gotta do.


How do you survive the crazy Summer heat?!


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A podcast + beauty + rambling

Happy Sunday, folks!

Listen, I have like 5 posts in various stages in my draft folder... all of them important (to me), yet I am struggling to get them finished. That happens, to everyone, right?!

But, then I am listening to a podcast on my run (such an amazing thinggggg.... whyyyyy did it take me SO LONG to do that instead of music that usually drives me cuh-ray-zee?!) and I was so excited and touched and inspired by the conversation, that here I am because I HAVE TO TELL YOU RIGHT NOW... no, RIGHT NOW.

:)

But, let me back up for a sec... mmmkay?! So, you've heard be talk about Blessed is She before (the awesome community of women that has a great social media presence and sends out the daily devotionals)?! I am sure you have. Well, Jenna (the founder) and her friend Christina (another blogger) started a podcast: Building Bridges Podcast. And because I am trying to be supportive of all BIS endeavors, I checked out the podcast. I really like it! There are only three episodes so far, but I can tell that I am really gonna get into it. The ladies are silly and funny (laughing while running, people), while going right for the heart when talking with their guests. So, things get deep and serious really quick... but it's still so lively that you don't feel like you are so drained afterwords. Does that even make sense?! It's basically just having some great heart to hearts with your friends. Anyway, check it out.

Their most recent interview was with Audrey Assad (musical artist... is that a thing?!). Everyone knows about her by now, right? If you've been here a while.... then I am sure of it. :) You guys... it was so good. So so so good.

I have so enjoyed and respected what Audrey does with her music for some time now. I read somewhere that she wants her music to be a prayer for people. She wants people to feel something. She reiterated that point in her interview, but I was first struck by it when I saw her in concert in the Fall.

I relived my college years as I visited Ave Maria University for the concert...
there are some things I don't miss about college! ;) haha

She sang beautifully, as always. I was praising and worshipping and all that jazz. She ended the night with "Lord I Need You"... stopped singing so that all of us, the audience, could sing the refrain a few times. It was absolutely beautiful. When we opened our eyes, she was gone. She had left. Walked off stage to be with her baby and end her night.

Part of me was disappointed! Ya know... because who doesn't want to try and meet artists that have influenced your life in some way. But, I was so struck by her action. I was struck because the concert wasn't about her. It was about Him. Praying. Adoring. Praising. Loving. Being in His presence. She was calling us to something more.

Her humility and grace and beauty was not lost on me in that moment.

Isn't that what beauty does?! It points us to something beyond ourselves. The way the ladies were talking about that in Audrey's interview really resonated with me. How to bring beauty to the world, when you don't feel like you have anything to offer? Obviously these ladies have such beautiful and tangible ways to do just that.

I want the world to see beauty. I don't want to be the girl that just sulks and compares and nitpicks other people's beautiful things (because as Audrey pointed out, in those instances, it's about you and not about how much better other people are). I want to celebrate beauty in all forms. I want to break free from the things that prevent me from seeing beauty and providing beauty to the world.

How can I do that? Well, first... by being exactly who I am. I was created by the one who is Beauty. So therefore, when I am being and striving for the person God created me to be, I am being authentically beautiful. I am beautiful. And the world deserves to see that. The more the world sees our true beauty, the harder time they will have at denying it for themselves. We are all beautiful in our own unique and awesome ways. True, even if it is cliché.

Other ways? No idea. :) I am still pondering this. By sharing the beautiful parts of the world around me? Being creative in some way (this is an area that I LACK)?! Continuing to love others as the beautiful people they were created to be?!

All of these things?

Perhaps.

All I know is that I have been rambling on and on in a direction I wasn't planning on taking. Something is happening here... and I need roll with it. As Jesus says in today's Gospel from Mark, "Little girl, I say to you, ARISE!" We are all given new life each day we arise. God isn't done with me yet, just as He still had plans for that sweet girl many years ago, He has plans for all of us.

So, here I am, Lord... being open to your plans. To love. To grow. To bring beauty to others. I arise to meet you today. Where should we go?!

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Vacation Mode


Well, hello there!

Yep... I've been in full on vacation mode around here. Right when school was out, I went straight up to DC to visit family and hang out around my beloved city.

Then I was home for a night before I whisked myself away to Orlando to spend time with the Orams.

I've been home for a few days... catching up and pretty much doing... nothing.

And it's been awesome. :)

I am feeling really good these days.
Life is good.
God is so awesome.
Some possible big transitions coming up... and I am ready.

So, here is a snapshot of how Summer 2015 has been in my life! :)


Basilica of the Immaculate Conception... I love you.


How sweet is this?!



I enjoyed lots of quiet moments at my grandparents house. It was perfection.
Also... These Beautiful Bones... AMAZING. You must read it. I will review it once I'm done.

I call this a GRILLED Cheese Sandwich.
Grammy on the other hand, TOASTED Cheese Sandwich.
What about you?

Aren't they the cutest?!

One of my dearest, dearest friends.

DADDY!

Skyping with the brudder, SIL and nieces!

Roadtrip with Blackacre up to Orlando!

We enjoyed our day at Blizzard Beach.
Where Zuz continued to prove to all of us, that she is growing up. REALLY fast.

So many cuddles with this dude.



I love sunsets.

She crawled right up in my bed and said that I could go sleep in the other one.
Well, ok then.

Life with kiddos. Stuff everywhere :)

I love watching them get used to one another, learn and grow to love each other. 

This kid.

I started running. Again. ... please pray it continues this time.

My personal hair stylist ;) Totally kidding... kind of.

What do you think of my "Pinterest" photos?!
Also, isn't my hair just great?!

Actually... these are WAY better!

So happy to be back to my morning prayer/journal time with coffee routine!

Well, that's life lately for me.

I'm working on a few other posts... maybe I will actually finish them one day! For those of you that read regularly... is there anything that you would like me to write about? Update on?

Let me know!!

Abrazos y amor,
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The Desires of my Heart

It's so... cliché isn't it? The desires of my Heart.

"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." ~ Psalm 37:4

There are so many things on my heart. So many desires. So much so, my heart aches badly for them sometimes.

I desire to be fully at peace and content.

I desire to love perfectly.

I desire to be married and share this life with someone.

I desire to experience the joys (and frustrations!) of motherhood.

I desire to serve overseas again.

I desire to love my job.

I desire to be unabashedly confident in who I am.

I desire to be able to speak my mind in a loving way.

I desire to be more creative.

I desire to be loved fully and completely.

I desire to laugh first, then cry.

But mostly? I desire you, Lord. I desire to love as you have commanded. I desire to do your will.

Could that life encompass all that I desire?! Absolutely. But, the thing is... my desires may change. They will change. They have changed. Sure, I think most of these will always be on my heart, but others not so much. Isn't that what happens, though?! As we grow and learn and stretch from all of life's experiences, so, too, do our desires.

As I focus more on God and truly take delight in Him, my desires will change to reflect my love for Him. So, yes, He will give us the desires of our heart. But don't be surprised when those desires change, or are completely different from what you had ever thought possible for your life, when you start focusing on Him and Him alone.

Is that scary? Is that stressful? Will we be happy?

Yes... and, yes. :) Trying to figure it out isn't always easy. Sometimes we don't know what we are doing. Is that a desire of my heart, or a desire from someone else? Am I doing enough?

All I know is that I need to keep on keepin' on. Praying. Serving. Loving. Confessing. Praying. Building community. Praying.

:)

This of course isn't to say that just because you have a desire and it hasn't happened yet, that it isn't what God desires for you. Of course not. I guess all I am saying is that, for me, I have found that my greatest desire is God himself, and hope that the rest of my desires lead me to Him, ya know?


Jesus, gentle and humble of heart. Touch our hearts and make them like your own. [from the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus]


With all this heart talk (because when I saw "heart" as the topic this week, "desires" is the first thing to pop in my head!)... joining #BISsisterhood and the Blessed is She linkup!



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