Three Reasons to be thankful this season – and some thrilling news!!!

24 Nov

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(My first pecan pie was a success!  Ps., I kinda cheated and bought the crust, but the rest is all home-made.  YUM!!)

With Thanksgiving Day just hours away, I’m sitting surrounded by clean laundry waiting to be put away, running shoes, books, and card-making supplies.  I feel overwhelmed, but in the peaceful sense of the term.  My heart is overwhelmed with grace and gratitude.  The rain is trickling down from the trees outside, cars rush by splashing through puddles, and the scent of baking lingers in my kitchen.  There is a certain quietness in the air and my heart thanks my Creator for this peaceful moment.

This holiday season might already be filled with cheer, or perhaps not, but either way, allow me to share with you three reasons you should allow yourself to be thankful this season:

  1. In choosing to focus on what we have instead of what we don’t have, we find our attitudes and perspectives shift immensely.  We have more peace and less stress by our attitude of gratitude.
  2. Blessings surround us.  I may have a lot to accomplish around the house (laundry, dishes, bills, etc.) but I can’t complain.  I have a washer and dryer, money to pay the bills, and warm house, a roof over my head.  The world is a messy, crazy place to be, but God has filled it with family, friends, the beauty of nature, stunningly beautiful architecture, great music and delicious food.  We all have our dislikes and annoyances, but that’s expected and that’s okay.  There is so much good to focus on in the world and so much good happening, that rather than zooming in on the craziness, let’s zoom in our focus on the blessings and the goodness that we would otherwise miss if we didn’t stop to look around.
  3. We have a God who loves us – each and every single one of us in the entire world – with His whole heart.  His heart thirsts for our love.  He calls us out of our sin into his loving, merciful arms – who can resist???  This is the best blessing that we have.

 

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There is something else I am incredibly thankful for this season.  A month and a half ago, my boyfriend B., took me on a hike.  It was a beautiful day, and the falls leaves were just starting to change color.  We started out at the park with a picnic lunch.  We then hiked through a beautiful woods, up the mountain to the top where we climbed up onto boulders to get a view of the valley and the deep blue lake below.  Then B. took me to a lookout where we were surrounded by the beauty of the woods, overlooking the lake.  While we took in the beauty of nature and the peacefulness of the moment, he asked me to MARRY HIM!!!!  I said “YES!!!!!!!”  AHHHHH!!!   WE ARE GETTING MARRIED!!!  We couldn’t be more excited!!!  My heart is so full of love for B.  He is a man of virtue and he is courageous, prayerful, strong, and handsome.  He is so much fun and always makes life an adventure.  He challenges me through his own example to be patient, kind and generous.  Please pray for us as we prepare for marriage that we continue to be sacrificial and selfless and that we may glorify God in all that we do.

Here we are the day of our engagement feeling like we were on top of the world

(cause we pretty much were on top of the world while on top of that mountain😉 )

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My prayer for you, my dear reader, is that you may know how blessed you truly are and that you count your blessings this Thanksgiving season.

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing;

that you may abound in hope, and in the power of the Holy Ghost.” – Romans 15:13

Happy Thanksgiving!

Worthy Of A Beautiful Marriage

27 Sep

It is 1:03 AM.  I can’t sleep.  So, I got up and put my laundry away, put my room in order, and decided to blog.

Life has been amazing.  Amazingly good, amazingly stressful, and amazingly blessed.  Everything to becoming an insurance agent over the summer, to answering phone calls about insurance questions and claims (EEEK!) to dating the man of my dreams and growing as a couple, to planning our future together.  This summer has been incredibly wonderful.  There are so many things I could write about at this wee hour of the morning.  I could write about my job, or I could write about the presidential debate, or I could write about my new hair-do.  But, I have something far more important I want to write about right now.  I want to write about marriage.

Although I am not yet married, I love talking about marriage.  I see it as an opportunity, a journey, a cross, a blessing and a GIFT.  I hope to always see marriage in this way.

Marriage is a journey whereby a man and a woman commit their lives to each other to grow in holiness and share in the joys and struggles together – to help each other carry their crosses and rejoice in their blessings – to help each other get to Heaven.

In my opinion, there are far too many people who see marriage as a day where the couple signs up for long-term misery.  In the past several years, I’ve had co-workers tell me not to get married because “life is much easier when you’re not married.”  That is so sad to hear because that gives marriage a bad rap.  I’m not denying the fact that marriage is hard.  That is a given.  Any noble cause such as marriage is hard.  It takes a lot of work and a lot of selflessness.  I just had it on my heart to write about marriage and remind you that it’s good, and imperfect, and even though it’s hard, it. is. beautiful.

Once a very wise man told me that marriage is not 50/50.  It is 100/100.  We give everything for the sake of the other person.  We withhold no generosity, kindness, charity or patience even when we are tired and feel like we have nothing left to give.  If life were more about giving of ourselves as much as we could, can you imagine what an amazing world this would be?  It would be simply amazing!

My boyfriend B. and I pray for each other every day.  Even though he lives out of town, we still find ways to have date nights on a regular basis.  We love each other through the good and the bad, the laughs and the misunderstandings.  We carry each other’s crosses and work stresses, and we share each others joys and blessings.  We pray together and ask God’s blessings on our lives and our future together (and we pray for our forthcoming engagement this year!  I’m so excited I can hardly wait!!!!)

I have been praying for my future marriage for years.  I have dreamed of my wedding day over and over again, and have dreamed of having my own children. I want it so badly that it sometimes makes me cry.  I pray that I may be a good and holy wife and mother, and an obedient daughter of God.  I pray for married couples and for couples who hope to be married someday.  Marriage is good, beautiful and holy.  It is hard and it is difficult.  It is all a GIFT from GOD.

I pray that you may find peace, love and joy in your marriage.  God is there with you through the good and the bad.  Because He loves you.

You are worthy of a beautiful marriage. 

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Cherry blossoms in Washington, DC, photo taken spring 2016

Saint Rose!!

24 Aug

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Yesterday was the feast day of Saint Rose, my patron saint for confirmation.  As some of you may know, earlier this year I dedicated my blog to Saint Rose.  For some reason, her name comes up a lot in searches on my blog, and so I think that was kind of a little nudge to talk about her more.

Saint Rose was known to take small sufferings upon herself, and through the suffering, she offered it all up to God for his glory.  Let us also offer up little sacrifices and our daily crosses and joyfully glorify God through the crosses that come our way!

There was an article published yesterday on catholicexchange.com that I would like you to reference to get to know her a little more.

As we journey through life, let us lift up our hearts in prayer, and pray to God in the words of St. Rose, “Jesus, be with me!”

 

 

Guess who turned 92 yesterday?!

5 Aug

He lives on his own, drives his own car, buys his groceries, and attends Mass every day.  He is one of the most godly men I know.  He puts God first, no matter what, and treats everyone in the way that Christ would treat them.

I am honored to call him my grandpa.  If you know my grandpa, then you know that he is one of the most thoughtful men in the world.  He is a self-taught handy man.  He can fix pretty much anything.  When I was little, he and my grandma, (who passed away a few years ago) would come visit.  He would work on projects around the house for my mom, and would read to us kids.  One day when I was about fifteen, grandpa was outside in our backyard, and came back in the house with a rose and gave it to me – a simple gesture of love.  He has always been that way – thinking of other people and putting their needs before his own.

One of my most vivid memories of my grandpa is from when I was about 8 or 9 years old.  I was spending the day with him and my grandma and we were in the car driving near their house.  My grandpa saw a car pulled off to the side of the road with car trouble, and my grandpa pulled off the road to help him.  He looked at his car with the guy He helped him and gave him some cash to get supplies for his car.  I remember thinking how generous and selfless my grandpa was to that man.  He is like that to his friends, family, and total strangers.

My grandpa and I have “date nights” at his house where he fixes us dinner and we talk and sometimes look at the atlas and talk about history, or watch an old timey tv show.  A few years ago, I taught religious education once a week at the Catholic church near his house.  I would drive over after teaching, and we would talk about everything from the Catholic faith, to geography, to the economy, and politics.  To this day, I love going to his house for our Grandpa/granddaughter date nights.  He refuses to let me wash the dishes, and he cooks everything before I come so that it’s hot and ready to eat when I get there.  For dessert we almost always have ice cream – we both LOVE ice cream :-)  He tells jokes and we laugh until we have tears in our eyes.  His favorite phrase is, “Are we having fun or WHAT?!!”

Yesterday we celebrated grandpa’s 92nd birthday!!  We met up for dinner – we, as in all six of his children, their spouses, and most of the 40 grandkids!  Below is a picture of one of my cousins, my grandpa, and me.  My cousin shares a birthday with my grandpa.  She turned five.  (She was soo proud of her earrings and the pink ring on her finger🙂 )

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Here’s to my grandpa!!!  May God continue to bless him with health, happiness and holiness!!

I PASSED!!!!!

3 Aug

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The exam for my insurance license took 2 hours and 32 minutes to complete – whew!!  The questions were complex, so I took my time, using nearly all of the allotted time for the test.  When I pressed the button that said “finish” I thought to myself, “I sure hope this is right”  and proceeded to exist the test room.

I walked nervously to the desk where they printed my results, praying that I passed.  The gentleman at the counter looked up my test results, printed them, and handed them to me.  I took the papers, glanced down, and walked it of the room and out of eyesight.  I didn’t want to cry I front of anyone.

As I entered the hallway to get my car key from my locker, I looked down at the test results and read he word in bold “PASS.”

I was elated!!

As I left the test center, tears of joy and relief started trickling down my face. I. PASSED!  I prayed, “Thank you, Lord!”

You guys!!!  I did it!!!  Thank the Lord!!  And thank you for praying for me!!  I am now a certified insurance agent!  WOHOOO!!!

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