It has been months (literal months) since I last posted. I don't believe in excuses, but the explanation is actually very simple. I needed to rest in the Lord and step back for a bit. In January, I realized how long it had actually been since I had last posted and I was so disappointed in myself until I took stock of everything that had happened in the last six months...
Started a new job, weaned my son, had an early miscarriage, house-hunted, moved, finished my last college course for my education degree, was offered and accepted a youth ministry role, and even began prepping for my education certification exam
That's a lot for anyone! And here I was, trying to pull out the words to share and guide people to God without even having a good prayer routine in place! Truthfully, I was out of water to give anyone and needed to take time to seek out God and refill my own soul before trying to fill another's. I've written some here and there for Blessed Is She and for work (hello, parent newsletters, Week of Christian Unity posts, Faithful Fridays, and Caitlin Shepard+). But mostly, I focused on renewing my prayer routine and just being with God, rather than trying to share about God constantly. Even Jesus needed a break from the crowds occasionally (boats, deserts, etc.). Now, I'm no Jesus and I don't minister to thousands, but I also know that sometimes we need time just with God.
The truth is, whether its inconsistent or scheduled, I love to write. I'm back and feeling inspired yet again to create beautiful content that glorifies and serves God. Alleluia!
So, here's what's new for me while I've rested with the Lord that last few months...
My word of the year is "Celebrate" which pairs perfectly with my desire for more liturgical living in my home and classroom. I'm slowly making my way through Kendra Tierney's Catholic All Year Compendium and I love it. Her writing is engaging and witty. You could literally read the whole thing, cover to cover if you wanted to or use it as a life-resource to flip through when scheduling what life is going to look like over the next month or two. I'll be writing more about the impact her book has had on me later, so keep your eyes peeled.
My focus for 2019 is to continue to develop the virtues of humility and self-control. I began focusing on them this past Advent and have realized, paired with Matthew Kelly's Resisting Happiness that these two virtues are ones that are underdeveloped in my own life. I will be sharing more about this later on too.
Finally, my saint of the year is Blessed Sara Salkahaze, the only modern-day Hungarian saint. She was a World War II era woman and although there isn't a ton about her, she has become a part of my litany of saints each evening. I've been saving her, so to speak, for Lent and will definitely dive more into her and what she can teach me then!
Alright, now I'm curious! What's new for you? Word of the year? Saint of the year? New way to pray that you're loving? Let me know in the comments below.
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Our son has been a pretty easy baby, but the first two months were more difficult than I liked to admit or share but one of the first things I learned as a new mama was how much help I needed. My own mother came and stayed with us for the first week or so after he was born and I can't imagine doing that first week without her. Just the fact that someone was there preparing meals for my very hungry self was such a blessing. I also found help in my spiritual mother, who is truly the Lady of Perpetual Help and a new mama's spiritual best friend at 2 am.
Early on, our little guy wasn't gaining weight has fast as the doctors would have liked, so they recommended we breastfeed every two hours. This is much worse than it sounds for two reasons:
One rough, sleep-filled night, I finally hit my breaking point and knew that I needed help. I wasn't being the best mom this little one deserved. I was mad at an infant. A helpless baby. Which sounds ridiculous, but its the truth. I was furious with him for his very nature that depended on me so deeply. I was ashamed of how selfish I felt.
But when I saw my rosary, dusty and untouched for months, sitting on my bedside table, I knew who I needed help from in the 2 am stillness that had been shattered by my son's wails. As I walked him around the room, I murmured the rosary in his ear, dedicated each decade to my need for the patience and grace to be a better mother. I was confident that my mother, who always heard our cries, would hear the urgency in my prayers for help now.
Just as Mary was able to help St. Juan Diego has his mother, she was also able to help me. Motherhood is such a transition, but after my 2 am rosary, my transition really did become much easier. I've felt myself become more nurturing and patient over the last year (that's right, my son is almost a year old!!)
My devotion to Mary has grown over the last year because I felt so connected to her as a fellow mother. The next time you feel yourself running out of patience and grace, reach out to Mary through the rosary or just humble, intentional prayer and ask her to help you. Trust her, she is always there to help her children.
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