A (little more than a) Week in Pics!

Here we are again... Sunday evening when I should already be tucked in bed, but I wanted to blog about something other than NAS. :)  Therefore you get some pics!  Enjoy!
Mom and I enjoyed some beach time. :)
It was a perfect day. 
Thanks to Whole Foods, I can FINALLY get a PSL
like normal people b/c they use ALMOND MILK!!!

A cloudy, yet still pretty beach sunset the night before
Momma left!

Fell in love with this cute owl candle holder thing from
Bath and Body Works!

Mom went to Christmas Eve Mass last year at the Basilica in MSP...
and they gave this book out to everyone! So, she gave it to me!

This may or may not be Zuzu's first year of life...
in Instagram photos...

First gift from a student...
hand painted ring!! :)

Zuz was choosing this night's entertainment...

She thinks she is SO  big now, that she doesn't
have to sit in her carseat. ;)
Don't you love those leggings?!

A little DC reppin' going on here! :)

Went to a fun farmer's market!
I am SUCH a sucker for the jewelry they have there.
I just can't say no.

And... guess who made dairy-free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip
cookies?!
They are... aaaaaamazing!

Yea... I have a pretty great life. :)

NAS: NFP, baby!! :)

Ahhh!!! HI!

Oh my gosh.  Wow.  It feels so good to see my "compose" screen!

Well... if you follow me on the Twitters (I always add the S... it's just what I do), then you may have seen me mention that my comp died. :( Ugh... I don't want to talk about it too much, b/c I am still mourning (seriously ALL of my pics from Italy... HONDURAS... allllll of them... gone. Just, gone).

But, it must have known something.  I mean, my comp felt better and was able to be discharged from the Apple hospital today, on TUESDAY.  I think the muscle memory must have remembered something important happens on Tuesdays.

Therefore, here I am for Not Alone Series Tuesdays. :)  Thank you, Morgan, for hosting!!

Instead of writing everything I really wanted to write... I am going to direct you to my tab above (I know... you have a few extra steps) to read allll about my journey so far with NFP.  Let me be honest... as the most recent post suggests... I have not really been charting.  What I have been doing, though... is paying attention to my signs (mucous, etc).  Do I need to be better?  You betcha.  I will, in due time.  I hope.

So, please let me know what you think about what I have written.  I think NFP is so amazing on many levels.  I just want ALL THE PEOPLE to do it. :)  I can't wait to read what you guys wrote!!  Oh! Don't forget to link-up your thoughts over at Morgan's... okie dokie?!

Now, off I go to listen to the new Audrey Assad album... and make my comp feel like my own again.

See you next week!



Next Week:
Careers as a Vocation?
(How do we know what God's call is for us if we are focused on our careers?  Is it appropriate to focus on that career and then get married/enter religious life later?  Or maybe the call/vocation IS the career and you could be single?)

October 8:
Fave Recipes... for one!
(ok, or a small crowd!)

October 15:
Chastity
(... as a single person.  Be it physical or emotional)

October 22:
Patience
(when you find yourself becoming really impatient, or struggling with your life to "really" begin, how do you combat it? Do you do anything? How can we support one another in this area?)

A humbled thank you.

Ok... wow.

I mean... when I wrote that post on Sunday, I was just writing.  Putting it alllll out there... making it real.  Giving me an out to stop hiding (and worrying my family and friends!).  I needed to do something that was kind of big and will hold me accountable.  And what's the most obvious choice?!

Dealing with your crap on the interwebz... obviously.

Right.

Anywho.  Thank you.  Thank you to all of you who took the few minutes to read it.  Thank you for all of your comments*.  Thank you for your emails*.  Thank you for your prayers.  Thank you for your love.

Mostly... thank you for reaching out and not turning away, thinking I was completely cray.

I am feeling a bit more uplifted.  Lighter.  Like I can breathe a bit easier.

I have to work on quite a bit of stuff... but that's for me.  I won't bore you and divulge all those nitty gritty details.  I promise. ;)  But, if any of you had any tinge of worry (but why would you, we hardly know each other!), I wanted to tell you that I am ok.  And, I will be bustin' through the fog soon.

My mom came for an impromptu visit, even!! :)
yay!!
We haven't seen each other since MAY!  Ugh.  So, this will be some much needed mom and daughter time!  Love you mom, thanks for coming!! :)

*I will try to respond to all you... just be a little more patient!! THANKS!

NAS: Fave "Mom" Blogs!!!

Ok, here is the deal.

All of us who participate with the Not Alone Series are single, as in, not yet married.  We came together because we felt that there was a need to talk about the things that WE deal with every day.  BUT... we have all come to know and love all the people who have blogs out there who are married, have kids and talk about the blessings and struggles of that vocation.

A vocation that most of us feel called to.

So, we shouldn't just stop reading them!  And trust me, I have not! :)  It's a great way to learn about our vocations AND feel encouraged... they have all been where we are.  It's true, they have.

This week, we are giving them a shout-out!  To all you "mom" blogs (yes, I realize this is a generalization, but married-but-may-or-may-not-have-kids blogs, is a bit much!) out there... WE LOVE YOU!  We enjoy reading about your lives and learning about the Lord just by you living your vocation.  It's beautiful and encouraging.

Ok... here we go!

Seriously, I love her.  Kathryn is hilarious, loves the Lord, a great writer, has 5 beautiful kids, adores her hubby and is just real.  Realer than real, you guys.

Ok, yes... Mart is my best friend, BUT, I would read her blog no matter what.
She approaches the faith in such a great way that is delicate, but challenging.  It's been SO fun to watch her navigate through becoming a wife and now a mama.  It's just beautiful.

I am not sure how I found this one, but I am so happy I did.
Rahki is just the sweetest and has some AMAZING reflections.  She is funny and writes really well.
Plus her two littles are just ADORBS!

Um, Brianna has an incredible story.  She is a devout Catholic mom with 8 kiddos, 4 of whom are adopted, 2 of whom have Down's Syndrome.  She is an amazing writer, talking about all sorts of things related to the faith AND motherhood.  Seriously, check her out!

Another Martha, but I do not know her in real life. :)
I found her randomly, and have really enjoyed her writings.
She is also navigating through married life AND becoming a momma.

Well, I could go on and on.  I should probably add Conversion Diary and Camp Patton and House Unseen, but I feel those are just givens.  Ok... annnnnd Savor His Goodness (Caitlin is always SO positive which is great, and she and her hubby are expecting their first babe!) and Captive the Heart (ok, this is more of a wedding type blog, BUT Stephanie does write about her personal life, too. She and her hubby are ALSO expecting their first babe!)!  Ok.  I am stopping now.

What "mom" blogs do YOU love?!

Next Week:
NFP, baby!
(So, who has begun charting?!  How is it going?  What advice do you have?  If you haven't, why not?  Are you considering?)

October 1:
Careers as a Vocation?
(How do we know what God's call is for us if we are focused on our careers?  Is it appropriate to focus on that career and then get married/enter religious life later?  Or maybe the call/vocation IS the career and you could be single?)

October 8:
Fave Recipes... for one!
(ok, or a small crowd!)

October 15:
Chastity
(... as a single person.  Be it physical or emotional)

October 22:
Patience
(when you find yourself becoming really impatient, or struggling with your life to "really" begin, how do you combat it? Do you do anything? How can we support one another in this area?)

Morgan is doing the linking up today! :) Head on over!

*Deep Breath*

I am about to be realer than real with you all.

I am feeling a bit vulnerable and embarrassed... so bear with me.  Please.  And, say some prayers.  That would be great.  Martha encouraged me to blog about this.  She thinks I will feel better.  Let's see if she is right.

I just read this post and in it the author states that you can't have a relationship without vulnerability.  She was talking about romantic relationships, but I feel this is true with any relationship that is really important in your life.  Therefore... friendships.  And you, lovely blog readers.  Because, let's be honest, you are all super important to me, too.
Then I thought of something: God is the ultimate example of vulnerability. He came not just to give a piece of His heart to us, but all of it. He allowed the Romans to arrest Him, spit, slap and beat Him. He opened Himself up to be scourged out of love for us, as His flesh was torn from His body and blood spilled out. They roughly submerged a crown of thorns on His head, which penetrated into His skull. Then he lovingly picked up His cross and carried it to Calvary. Along the way He thought of you and I, because we were why He chose to suffer. But He never regretted a moment of His bitter and sacred passion, He only kept loving us. When He arrived at Calvary, the soldiers violently stripped Him of His garments to the point of tearing His flesh. As they pounded nails into His scared Hands and Feet, He thought of you and I, and He kept giving until He expired His last.
I feel embarrassed about what I'm about to reveal, because, well... the Not Alone Series.  I feel, because I am the one that is co-hosting... I should have all of my crap together.  But I don't.  And, I want to be honest with you all.  And to remind those who are feeling alone.. that you are most definitely not.

Deep breath.

Ahem... well, I am overwhelmed with feeling very very unloveable and unworthy and not confident.

And... it's horrible.  It's a horrible way to feel.

I am 28!  I have a great job!  I am working day shift!  I live in FLORIDA!  I am part of an awesome parish!  I have food, a house and the latest gadgets.

Yet... here are the things that I am struggling with.

I know I just started my job... but I am not feeling very confident.  I can't really tell if it's just "new job anxiety" or something more.  I feel like all the things that I once knew... have nothing to do with my new role.  The people I work with are very cliquy and I am not part of the "cool" crowd yet.  I feel like I am always "on" trying to make the right decisions, say the right things and talk to the right people to prove that I am doing a good job.  Boy, it's draining.

I am scared to death that I am going to be alone... forever.  This is a biggy.  I know I am supposed be all trustin' the Lord and His plan and all that good Catholic/Christian stuff.  Well, right now.  I don't.  It really terrifies me, sometimes, that I won't ever get to experience the joy of being a mom... and being able to give my mom some grandbabies.  I know, in my head, that whatever vocation God eventually reveals to me, will be what makes me happy and brings me peace.  But, at this point, my longing for marriage/motherhood is so deep, that it hurts and scares the sh** of me thinking about it NOT happening.

On top of all of that... I am feeling so flipping ugly.  My acne is out of control.  I realize this is a small thing, but it affects my self image.  We all have something like that, I am sure.  I am still running, but barely.  I have hardly been keeping up with Weight Watchers.

Ahhhh!  I don't want to be talking about this!  I don't want to feel this way!  I HATE IT!

But I have to.  I have to get it out.  I can't let Satan in anymore.  The more I let the darkness out... Light will begin to flood in.  And, boy do I need some Light.

Listen, I know in my head that God loves me and cares for me and has a plan for me.  I know.  I really do get it.  But, sometimes... that isn't enough.  It doesn't always get me through the moments I decide to binge on some ice cream.  Or not leave my house.  Or just stare at the television.

Sometimes my mind and heart need ample time to catch up.  They need some healing.  They need some extra love.  And, I think that is where I am at right now.  As Martha pointed out, of course, "so much of this journey and search is about God asking you to be happy with just Him, to depend on Him, to be satisfied with Him."  I guess I am searching for that happiness.  Something I thought I knew, but I may have just been lying to myself.

Where do I go from here?  No idea.  Do I have next steps?  Nope, I got nothing.  Am I praying?  Well, I am trying.

Please pray for me.  That's all I can ask at this point.

Do I feel better?  Actually.. I do.  I feel like a little weight has been lifted.  I am not hiding anymore.  Good job, Mart.  It's like you know me or something. ;)

And for the record... not every day is bad.  I am not holed up in my house, never leaving.  Please don't worry, Mom! :)

Quick Takes... when did I do these last?!

I've decided to try the individual link format thing again.
We shall see if it works. :)
I am tired.  Wow... the whole getting-up-at-5:30am, constantly learning new things, not knowing what I am doing at my new job and still trying to help the childrens is exhausting me. 
By the time Friday night comes... I am beat.
How do you people that work every day STILL have energy to go out on Fridays and such?
How?  This way of life is still very new to me... so, any tips would be great.
Is it because I am older that I am feeling the 5:30 wakeup more?
I mean, when I was in high school I had to be out the door by 6:30ish every.single.day and I don't remember being tired. ha. I am suuuuure that I was, but I don't remember feeling like it.
Man oh man. This late 20s business is rough. ;)
(I kid. I kid.)
I am getting a little drained from the blogging world these days.  I feel like I am not receiving much from it.  Is it me?  Is it what I am choosing to read?  I have done a bit of purging of some blogs and such... I think it's helped.  I think.
Because of that... I haven't written much of anything lately (partly due to #2), but I don't want to just add to the noise.  I realize that everyone can choose to read my blog or not, but still.
I dunno... something to ponder, yet again, about why exactly I am writing.
BUT! In exciting blogging news...
I had my ONE YEAR blogiversary on Tuesday! :)
I did nothing to celebrate, but I am working on some things.
Maybe a blog redesign?!
Maybe one of those posts that highlights different achievements, if you will, on your blog?! Different, of course, than my refection of my year in real life. :)
Wait and see...
Ok, so I la la la la LOVE Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  Like, adore them.
BUT... Starbucks (and anywhere else) does not have non-dairy options that are NOT soy.  They call the allergy flag (they do... I have emailed them).  I mean, COME ON!
Ugh. Anyway... so, I have to come up with another way to get my fill.
It is September and all I want is ALL THINGS PUMPKIN!
You can take the girl away from Fall, but you cannot take the love of Fall out of the girl!

Ok... I digress.  I was satisfied for a bit with a black coffee, and two pumps of the pumpkin spice syrup, and then adding my own milk.  It was fine.  Then I thought that I might need to invest in my own frother so that I can enjoy the latte at home.  But, it was more of a passing thought.
THEN! I saw the Pumpkin Spice Via packets. YES! It's not the same, at all, but they are still yum-o!
I tried it with warm almond milk... blah! Not impressed.  I will have to try the vanilla almond milk, maybe?  OR... coconut milk. Duh.  I was just reading Sarah's (Amongst Lovely Things) post and she uses coconut milk AND has a handy-dandy frother!! :)  Not expensive, and easy to use?!
Yes, please!! :)
Because I am in the car so much lately... I have been listening to Catholic radio a lot.  The FM stations, not on satellite, although that would be nice.
Anywho... it's been great!  I have been learning a lot.  It's not always very engaging, but for the most part I am really interested in the topics that are discussed.
Yesterday there was an interview with Dr. Edward Sri about his new book, Walking with Mary.  It sounds like a very cool book.  I am always in need of getting to know Mary better!
So, isn't it funny when I am reading Rakhi's 7QTs, and she mentions that her hubby is giving AWAY a copy of the book?! :)
Go check it out, if you want to know more... and don't enter to win! (I really want to win! ha)

Well, that's all from over here.  I guess I had a lot more to say than I thought.
That's always how it happens! :)
Have a wonderful weekend!

For more Quickity Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

NAS: Can a Woman Pursue a Man?

I feel like this week's topic and the whole being-friends-with-guys thing are two topics that can generate some serious opinions, and differing ones at that.  I am super intrigued to read what everyone thinks about women pursing guys.


So, is it possible?  Should a girl take things into her own hands?

I actually don't have much to say on this because I truly believe that we, as woman, are worth pursuing.  A guy should be the one to make the effort, to take that step, to fight for us.

Now, I realize that the culture we live in doesn't actually make this easy for them.  Women today are more independent, career oriented, outspoken, etc.  These are all good things, but when it takes away from what God's intention is of our feminine hearts... it can be a little off-putting.  Our hearts are meant to be pursued, to be sought after, to be loved.  God does all He can to pursue us... in the Mass, with the Eucharist, with all the beauty around us.  If we are open to it, He can completely knock us off our feet!

Same thing with men.  Our hearts are meant to be sought after, and the heart of a man is meant to fight for us!  We have to be open to it.  We have to believe that we are worth it... because we totally are.

Yes, sometimes we might have to help them out by letting them know we are interested.  Because of our culture today, so many men are knocked down from pursuing us, they are constantly getting rejected.  The more rejection, the less they want to try.  It's a sad thing, really.

So, I get it... I get letting them know you are interested, starting the first conversations, hinting at getting together, etc.  But, if that guy is interested, he better be trying to win your heart!  Asking YOU out.  Planning things for YOU and doing all that he can to woo YOU! :)  And, honestly, if he isn't doing any of those things, he most definitely is not interested, and you don't want to get involved.

You can call me old-fashioned or traditional or stuck in the '40s... it won't bother me.  I believe there are good men out there who want to pursue us, they just need to be reminded that they can, AND that we will hold them to it!

What do you think??  Do you think we, as ladies, can pursue the guy?  Or, are you more like me?  I can't wait to hear!

Next Week:
Fave Mom Blogs!
(Yes, we can't always relate to them, but we can learn a TON! Plus, we want them to know how much we love them, too!)

September 24:
NFP, baby!
(So, who has begun charting?!  How is it going?  What advice do you have?  If you haven't, why not?  Are you considering?)

October 1:
Careers as a Vocation?
(How do we know what God's call is for us if we are focused on our careers?  Is it appropriate to focus on that career and then get married/enter religious life later?  Or maybe the call/vocation IS the career and you could be single?)

October 8:
Fave Recipes... for one!
(ok, or a small crowd!)

October 15:
Chastity
(... as a single person.  Be it physical or emotional)

October 22:
Patience
(when you find yourself becoming really impatient, or struggling with your life to "really" begin, how do you combat it? Do you do anything? How can we support one another in this area?)

Morgan and I are so still SO thrilled that the Not Alone Series is still going so well. :)  Have you been enjoying it?  Do you think anything needs to change?  Frequency of posts still good?  Is letting you know the topics ahead of time helpful?  We just like to check-in every so often to make sure this is actually fruitful for you.  We are always open to other ideas/changes/suggestions.  Please don't hesitate to email/comment/tweet/sos/anything. :)

Edit to add: IT'S MY ONE YEAR BLOGIVERSARY!!!!! How the HECK did that happen?!
the.end.

A Week in Pics + Fasting

As always... if you follow me on Instagram or are my friend on FB... then you have seen these pics. But, I can't help but share them everywhere... b/c that's how I do.  Plus, I know that I have family that do not have either, and love to see my pics, too!  So, please enjoy! :)

Officially an EM for my parish! :)
Can I just say that I la-la-LOVE wearing scrubs everyday?!
New hair!!! :) I just loooooove it.
My stepmom suggested making my own tortilla chips from actual tortillas!
Delish!
Cut, brush (or dab with paper towel like I did!) some oil, sprinkle some salt
and bake until crispy/golden! :)
Just the girls.
Then we decided to get fancy and make something special the other night!
What do you think?!
My running has been a little... blah lately.
But, this morning was PERFECT!
The weather was great and the run was good, too!
As most of us know, yesterday Pope Francis called for a day of prayer and fasting for peace, specifically for Syria.  I got up yesterday with the intention of running, but then I got up late and was gonna still go... but, I decided going to Mass would be more important.  Even though I was late, it was a great way to start out the day.  I had a good confession, too.  I decided to give up all social media.  Now, I realize for some this isn't a really big deal, but I had never actually done it before.

So, I did.  No FB.  No Instagram.  No reading/writing blogs.  No Twitter.  No Pinterest.

Let me tell you... it was hard.  It's amazing how intertwined my life has become with all things social media.  It's something that I would like to ponder a bit more.  Every time I wanted to 'gram a cute pic of the babe, I offered up a prayer.  Every time I had the urge to tweet something silly, I offered up a prayer.  Whenever there was some downtime and I wanted to grab my phone to look on FB/read blogs, I offered up a prayer.

I said quite a bit of prayers for peace yesterday. :) After the morning, though, it did get easier.  I made myself walk away from my phone and keep a distance between us.  Really, when I didn't see it, I didn't think about it as much.  It was so nice.  It was freeing.  And, let's be honest... I didn't miss much. :)

It was such a good experience for me... I might try to do this weekly.  Because what's the veryfirstthing I did when I woke up this morning? CHECK ALL THE THINGS!  And, so it begins.  It was a great reminder of what is important.

I hope your day of prayer and fasting was just as fruitful.  Just b/c the day is over, please don't stop praying for peace.  Peace in your heart.  Peace in Syria.  And throughout the world.

I hope you all have such a wonderful week!
Blessings and love,
Jen

Happy 3rd Birthday, Charlotte!

Dear Charlie-girl!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!  I know you don't realize this, as you are still so little, this is the first year that I am not with you on your birthday.  It makes me a little sad.  You won't ever remember your first and second birthdays, but you might your third, and I won't be part of those memories for you.

One month old.
Even though I am not there, I want you to know that I love you so very much.  You have brought so much joy into my life.  Before you even entered the world, I knew you were going to change mine.  And, then when I finally got to meet you... oh man.  You just blew me away.

You were just so tiny and delicate and bald... but perfect.  Oh so perfect.  I loved you even before I got to hold you, but you seriously took hold of part of my heart when you smiled at me for the first time.  There is something special between an Aunt and her niece.  I love my Aunts so much... and I hope that I can bring half of what they have brought to my life for you.

One year old.
I have loved watching you grow up.  Even though we don't live close to one another, we have such wonderful technology where I can still see you, and sometimes even hear your adorable, soft spoken voice.  To see you smile and run and climb and swim and be a kid warms my heart more than you can imagine.  Your mommy and daddy have done a wonderful job of letting me know how you are doing!  I will forever be thankful for that.

Two years old.


Today, on your 3rd birthday, I want you to know how special you are to me.  Yes, I know I have a few other babes in my life, too.  And, soon, your sister will be here.  But, you, my dear, are the first.  You are the one who entered my heart and showed me what it is to love completely.  I will never be able to thank God enough for the gift of you.

I pray for you today, and always.  I pray that you will continue to grow and learn and love life.  I pray that you will grow to love the Lord with all your heart, all your strength and all your might.  He loves you.  I pray that you will be the best big sister in the whole world... which won't be that hard. :)

Almost three years old!!



I love you very much, Charlotte Estella!
Happy Birthday!
Love,
Auntie Jen

NAS: What Brings You Peace?

We like to keep you all on your toes... something a little light and fun, and then something that requires a bit more reflection!  This week, hopefully, required a bit more reflection!

Peace.

This is a followup to my post a while back, the excerpt from He Speaks to You by Sister Helena Burns, FSP.  I think it's so important to stop and reflect about what brings us peace in our lives, especially during our discernment process.  I think it could be very indicative of where God might be leading us.  Or, at least help us know a concrete way in our lives that God can speak to us.
 For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
So, I love kids.  I always have.  Always will.  From the time I was young, I loved the younger people around me.  When I was in elementary school, I became a patrol and was stationed in a kindergarden class.  When I was old enough, I began helping my swim coaches with the younger kids on the team.  I babysat.  I wanted to become a pediatrician (until I realized I didn't want to go to school for that long).  I worked in childcare at the local gym.  I eventually became a nurse... a pediatric one at that.  And volunteered overseas at an orphanage.

Whenever there are kids around... I'm usually right there.  They bring me so much joy AND peace.  I am so fortunate to have a profession that involves kids every.single.day.  They teach me so much about life.  About love.  About God.  There is no question in my mind that I am supposed to be working with kids.

This also would lead one to believe that I am called to be a mom.  Yes, I do believe I am.  But, as we all know, this has yet to happen.  So, if for whatever reason God finally reveals to me that maybe marriage isn't what will happen... then I know what I continue to do, working with kids, will bring me a sense of peace.

Hmm... what else brings be peace?  Spending time in Adoration.  And, going to the beach.

Unfortunately... I don't do these things as often as you would think.  Which is weird... my parish has perpetual adoration AND I live not even 5 minutes to the closest beach entrance.

Really I have no excuses.

After adoration, I always feel so good.  There is nothing better than being in His presence... I usually feel like I am getting a really good hug from my dad, but my Heavenly Father.  I love being able to just be.  To talk... to listen... to be still.  Life is always go go go GO... but when I am just chillin' with Jesus... I have no choice but to just stop.  Let Him fill my heart with love and peace.  So I can continue to go out into the world and love those around me.

Oh and the beach.  I have also loved the beach for as long as I can remember.  The beauty of the beach reminds me of God's beauty, even though I didn't always know that growing up.  The sand, the ocean, the waves are so miraculous to me.  It's just so much bigger than me.  To look out into the water... to feel like the ocean never ever ends... it boggles my mind.  Just like God boggles my mind, too.  He is just so big and majestic.  His love goes on and on and on.  It's mind-blowing.  And I love being reminded of that every time I enjoy some time at the beach.  There is just nothing better than sand between your toes, gentle waves and a nice breeze to bring about a wonderful sense of peace!

Why don't I do these things very often?  One word.  Laziness.  There are no other excuses.  Sometimes it's more enticing to just be a coach potato.  Or hang out at Martha's and play with the babe (although... it's a kid, so she does bring me peace, too!!).  But, it's so important to incorporate the other things in my life that will bring me peace, as well.  Because who knows if I will have to switch jobs, or Martha moves, or I move.  All of these things are not out of the realm of possibilities.

I think that's why we wanted to explore this topic this week.  It's so important to find those things in your life that really bring you peace.  It doesn't have to be your job, but you should be able to find one or two things that you can do, read, visit, or play that reminds you of God's love and fills you with peace.  Once you are married or in a religious community, it will be those things that continue to bring you peace, even amongst the daily grind of life.

So, what brings you peace?!

Next Week:
Is it possible for a woman to pursue a man?
(what do you think about THAT?!)

It's that time again!  Please let us know what things you want to talk about!!! :)  Seriously, ladies, we can't continue to do this without your ideas!!!

Head on over to Morgan's to linkup!

One Year

One year is a long time.

But, also, one year is so flipping short.

One year ago, today (I tried to post this yesterday, but life happens, ya know?!) yesterday, I left Honduras.  I cannot believe it's already been ONE YEAR!  How does that happen?!

Leaving was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make.

And, today... one year later... there are times when that decision weighs heavy on my heart, and other times I don't think much about it.  Either way, me leaving, was the best thing for me to do and I can't imagine my life not being what it is right now.

I was able to celebrate my niece's second birthday, and spend some quality time with her.

I was able to have a quick road trip and see some family and friends.

I got to meet, love on, snuggle, fall in love with my goddaughter.

I officially became a Godmother. :)

I went to Italy!!

I started a new job.

I was able to find theeee perfect little house to rent.

My mom was able to visit her kid that LIVES IN FLORIDA!

All the while, continuing to meld into Martha and Tom's family... like I had been part of it forever.

I struggled at my job, and by the grace of God was able to find another one!!

And so many other things, however quick, that have impacted me and led me to where I am right now.  Yes, I left Honduras.  It sucked.  But, without leaving, I wouldn't have been able to experience any of the things that I have this past year.  No way.

This is not how I thought things were going to play out... but, God sure did.  He has guided me, encouraged me, loved me and brought me to this point exactly.  Reflecting on this, it sure is amazing all the things that I have been able to do.  Really.  I sometimes feel like my faith is lacking, that I should be better (and yes, I should!) at praying more.  I get down on myself for it.  But, listing all these amazing things... times when I really questioned everything... He is the only constant.  Even when I didn't feel Him... He was there.  He pushed me.  He stretched me.  He challenged me.  From here on out... there should (key word) be no question of my trust.  Trust in the Lord's plan in my life.  It will always be slightly different than the plan I have for myself... and that's ok.  God knows me better.

And that... is pretty darn awesome. :)
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