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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I am enough.

Oh, ya know... it happened. Again.

I was emailing with a guy for a while, which turned into phone calls and a video chat.

And then... nothing. No call. No text. No email. Nothing.

Which was surprising, particularly because this guy was very purposeful, very confident in who he is and what he is looking for. For him to leave things hanging... I mean, come ON! If you aren't interested (which was very obvious due to the aforementioned lack of contact), then just say so. Get to the point so we both can end things and move on.

But, no.

Instead, I emailed and let him know that it was clear things weren't going any farther.

He wrote back a very nonchalant email with no regards or apology for leaving me hanging.

And it stung.

This post is not about what he should or shouldn't have done -- although for the record, guys, MAN UP and tell the girl you aren't interested. It's fair and respectful to do so. And appreciated, really-- no. This post is more about the feelings and emotions this has stirred up in me.

This has happened to me many times before. It's never fun, but some of the times were easier than others. This time... it has affected me way more. Perhaps because it's happened so many times, it finally hit me. Perhaps because I was disappointed in his response, given previous behavior which led me to believe he was a stand up guy. Perhaps because I was reminded again that I don't have a guy who is willing to fight for me.

And we all want that guy.

The doubt began to creep in. So many things rolling around in my head. I will never have that. Of course no one wants to fight for me. I'm too emotional. I am not outgoing enough. I am not Catholic enough, or I'm too Catholic. I'm not fit enough. 

It's just so silly, isn't it? Thankfully these days are far less than they used to be. But, they still happen. These are lies. Satan sneaks his way into something that he knows can have an affect on me, and BOOM!

But the truth is...



All of me.

Every fiber of my being. Every feeling. Every scar. Every belly laugh. Every freckle. Every pimple. Every worry. Every doubt. Every awesome day. Every horrible one. The love I have to give. The heart that I wear on my sleeve. My family. My friends.

Every part of who I am is completely and totally enough.

That is the Truth. There are no ifs, ands or buts about that.

I am enough because I am human. I am enough because I was created out of love. I am enough because I am worth more than this earthly world. I am enough because... I am me.

There is so much beauty and peace that comes with that, ya know? It makes me feel a bit empowered... I want to scream, "screw you, people! I AM AWESOME! And, what are you gonna do about it?!"

So, to all of you ladies (and men?) who may be having some similar doubts (with guys, a job, a big decision, etc)...

YOU are enough.

Breathe that in. Own it. Believe it.

Blessings and hugs,
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Pics + Clicks

Arleen Spenceley spoke at my young adult group!
WHAT?!
It was crazy and awesome to meet Arleen IRL! 
This is quite possibly my fave group pic. It makes me laugh so much.

My mom sent me a text, asking what I was doing... that's what I sent her.

National Donut Day AND the last day of school (for the kids, anyway) made for a good day!

Started Saturday morning off with confession and some prayer time.
Nothing quite like that, huh?!

Blogged, enjoyed some coffee and a snack.
And gave a stranger a stamp b/c he was asking where the post office was.
Just so he could get a stamp. I had some. :)

Doing a little shopping through texts... with a friend. :)


Enjoyed some great margs and yummy food with a friend!

Daddy and daughter enjoying some organ time.

CHOCOLATE FACE!
 I took a TON... a ton... of pics of the babe today, here is a smattering:


THIS FACE!

A beautiful double rainbow tonight!




  • We celebrated TWO YEARS with the Not Alone Series!!! I can't believe it! So amazing.
  • This article and this post have some great thoughts about self-harm and our culture's celebration of it in some situations, but not others.
  • This post on Blessed is She really spoke to my heart... I have been where she is, and I still struggle with many of the things she talks about. So good!
  • I don't think I am good at flirting... but this post makes it seem doable. Smile and good eye contact... I can DO that. I just have to commit to it. :)
  • Ummm.... you guys. I gave in. I gave the blog a FB page. Ah! Who am I?! I just... I know that I am really bad at replying to your comments and reaching back to you, and I'm hoping that FB will be a bit easier?! I am not sure. So, if you're into that sort of thing, will you 'like' the page?! Thank you so much! And say hi to me! :)

Read anything good lately?!

Tomorrow is my OFFICIAL last day of work (b/c my school district likes to drive us crazy and make us come in on a MONDAY!) and then I'm off to DC for a bit to see family and such! :) Can't wait!

Have such a wonderful week!
Blessings and hugs,
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