Sunday, 30 November 2014

An Advent Prayer

I LOVE Advent. It is my absolute favourite Liturgical Season. It may be because it's colour is purple but I don't feel quite the same way about Lent. It is a season of waiting and I hate waiting but I love Advent so I learn to joyfully wait. I think that may be it, for a season I learn to wait with joy and almost perfect patience. I learn to wait with anticipation and not anxiety. To wait with hope and not dread or despair.

So as we begin this wonderful Liturgical season I offer this prayer that was given to me a couple years ago.

Advent Prayer

Come, long-expected Jesus.
Excite in me a wonder at the wisdom
and power of Your Father and ours.
Receive my prayer as part of my
service of the Lord who enlists me in
God's own work of justice.

Come, long-expected Jesus.
Excite in me a hunger for peace: peace
in the world, peace in my home, peace
in myself.

Come, long-expected Jesus.
Excite in me a joy responsive to the
Father's joy. I seek His will so I can
serve with gladness, singing and love.

Come, long-expected Jesus.
Excite in me the joy and love and peace
it is right to bring to the manger of my

Raise in me, too,
sober reverence for the God who acted
there, hearty gratitude for the life begun
there, and spirited resolution to serve
the Father and Son.

I pray in the name of Jesus Christ,
whose advent I hail. Amen

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Not Alone Series: Thanksgiving

The obvious and probably expected: Thanksgiving Post!! :)
In what ways are you thankful? Talk about anything you want here, folks!

"Give thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" Eph 5:20

Though life is not perfect or easy there is always so much to be thankful for and so many little thankful moments that we miss so I am very happy and thankful for this topic.

I am thankful for my family. My sister and I do not agree on many things but we slip so easily into just being in each other's company and friendship. Even when we have fought I know I can count on her to have my back when I really need it. My grandmother drove me crazy when I was younger with her "sage advice". She never stopped giving it even when we rolled our eyes and gave her bad attitude. I now quote my grandmother, a lot, when I'm trying to make a point or explain why I feel a certain way about things. She has influenced many of the things I find myself doing now. My cousins, they were my first friends and still are some of my most favourite people in the world.

I am thankful for my friends who nurture my Faith. Saturday I was supposed to do something but it got cancelled at last minute and I was not in a good mood. A friend of mine called me up to go to Adoration with her, I did not want to go and tried to get out of it but she kept at it and I went. I am so happy that I went it was exactly what I needed. Friends who pray for you and with you, send you funny messages, verses and timely quotes.

I am thankful for this online community which is also made up of friends. This community of beautiful Christian women has been a great blessing in my life in so many ways. I love how we encourage and support each other.

I am thankful for my Faith. Life gets hard sometimes and I think without my Faith it would feel so much harder.

I am thankful for the priests that I know. I have had one re-arrange a whole Saturday morning to come give Confession to a retreat group.

I am thankful that Advent is just a few days away. Advent is my favourite Liturgical season. In fact I am thankful for all the Liturgical Seasons of the church and how they are set out to help us grow and deepen our Faith and relationship with God.

There is so much we can be and should be thankful for. What are you thankful for? Leave a comment and visit Morgan for the link-up.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Not Alone Series: Praying At Home

How do you pray at home? Do you have a special place in your house? How do you make that area special? Comfy chair? Prayer cards? What suggestions do you have to make a home altar? If you don't do this, in what ways can you begin?

I'm more of an evening prayer person since mornings except for Saturday my mornings are all about getting out the door for work. In my room I have a little corner (away from my bed, falling asleep is not allowed) where I usually pray. It's close to the door which has a crucifix over it, a bible, some prayer cards and books, a candle and a pen should I choose to journal. My journal is transitory.

My living is where I get my quiet mornings (my sister is not a morning person). Again there is a crucifix over the door, images of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart plus a few other images. Saturday mornings especially this is my favourite spot for praying, journalling and reading my bible.

At my kitchen sink. I grew up with my grandmother praying and singing hymns while doing chores and I never thought I would but I sometimes find myself praying while doing dishes.

Do you have a special spot to pray at home? How do you make that area special? Leave a comment and visit Jen for the link-up

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Ten Things About Living A Godly Life

This past weekend I attended a Catholic Women's Conference where Teresa Tomeo was one of the speakers. Now I listen to her on her Catholic Connections radio show some mornings and I have watched her on the Catholic View for Women so I may have gotten a little fangirl. She is very friendly and personable, a great speaker and pretty funny in person. I hope to do a review of the Conference soon, in fact Teresa mentioned the conference on her show on Tuesday.

One of her talks was "Ten Things I learnt about living a Godly Life" so with her permission here are the 10 things:-

1.Offer it up to God and put it at the foot of the cross

2. Remember the Blessed Mother is watching you. (and we need to be watching her)

3. Remember, it's the Ten Commandments and not the ten suggestions.

4. Pray and go to Mass

5. Think of the word Bible as an acronym: Basic Instructions before Leaving Earth. (Dusty Bibles lead to dirty lives)

6. Give thanks. (an attitude for gratitude)

7. Say God spares or God willing. (In Trinidad we say Please, God)

8. Be Nice

9. Remember it's not all peaches and cream you know. (all sunshine makes a desert)

10. Keep Smiling (even if it hurts)

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Not Alone Series: Feeling Down

What ways do you run to implore the Lord's help when you are struggling? Do you always spend time in Adoration? Do you dive into the bible? Automatically go to Confession? Could you be better? And what about those times when things are good and you are joyous? Do you still give the Lord your time?

"Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

I try. I really, really try. I'm not perfect at it but I try really hard and sometimes get it right.

Daily Mass, great for starting the workday. My job consists of 10 people asking for different things at the same time on top of regular deadlines and another 10 coming in right after for yet more things. Patience was not my go to virtue but since I've started going to Daily Mass I've noticed a change in my attitude. Patience is still not a perfect virtue but I'v learnt to take a deep breath and call on the Lord more often.

Adoration. I love Adoration and I'm getting good at getting there every week. I've picked a date and a time unless it's a life and death emergency I tell most people that I'm busy. Last year I thought about weekly Adoration but didn't see how I could fit it in. Now I try to get there more than once for the week if I can. Sometimes all I do is sit and many times that is all I need, an hour or so sitting with Jesus.

Bible. Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. I've read the whole thing at least once. I've pulled out verses that really touched me at the time and written some down, underlined others. I hate writing in books, really really do but my bibles are underlined, highlighted and scribbled all over. I just go out and buy a new one (different version) when I need more space. I have four so far but really only use two most of the time. In times of struggle I have my go to verses written all over the place and if I sort of remember one that I don't really know it I google the part that I remember and usually find the full verse. I repeat it to myself, I think about it, I pray it, I hold on to it to get me through.

Music. Sometimes I don't even want to think because even that is too hard so I just put on some christian music really loud and let it play. When I feel like singing along I know I'm feeling better. Surrounding myself with positive words and messages is so much better for me than the music I used to listen to, to match my mood.

I'm constantly learning new ways to run to the Lord when I'm struggling and the best time to learn them is in the good times so I'm working on doing these things all the time.

How do you handle your struggles? Do you remember the Lord in the good times? Leave a comment and visit Morgan for the link-up to see what everyone else is saying.

Friday, 7 November 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday #61 Birthday Edition

--- 1 ---
It's my birthday today!!!!!! In my world my birthday is a holiday, one of the great things about having a birthday at the end of the year is frivolously using one of P.T.O days without worrying that an emergency will crop up and my days will have run out. The kid part of me is happy that my birthday is close enough yet far away enough from Christmas that people still remember to get me two presents and I don't have to wait to long between the two. My sister is 21 days before Christmas. and a cousin is 5 days after.

--- 2 ---
I am not alone celebrating my birthday today. Arlene Spencely is celebrating today. Her book Chastity is for Lovers comes out in a couple of weeks (a little book plugging for a birthday buddy). Apparently it is also Billy Graham's 96 birthday today.

--- 3 ---
I've been to Mass this morning and followed that up with some time in Adoration starting off this new year of life right. I'm having a special birthday lunch where I plan to indulge in 3 desserts this is in addition to the mini cupcakes and ice-cream I have waiting at home for me.

--- 4 ---
Tonight and the rest of my weekend will be spent at a Catholic Women's Conference. A couple friends I and will be having a very Spirit-filled girls weekend.

Teresa Tomeo will be one of the speakers, tomorrow I think and I am really looking. She also has a new book releasing soon Walk Softly and Carry a Great Bag (I'm all about the plugs today)

--- 5 ---
On the Not Alone Series we discussed our deal breakers again. How and why we hold on to our standards in dating. I mention my birthday in my post so this counts as a birthday take  Come check out the link up.

--- 6 ---
I usually celebrate my birthday for a whole week anyway, it's on the 7th it's practically a must, having it fall on a Friday I get to give myself a bonus weekend of celebrating. This past year has a great one, there were more ups than downs. I made new friends and kept most of my old ones. I tried new experiences and have been better for them. I grow daily in my Faith, my walk with God and my attempts to live a saintly life. Looking forward to what this year going forward brings.

--- 7 ---
A song has been stuck in my head every time I've been to Adoration lately (I've managed to get there 3 times this week including today) but I didn't really remember which song it was. "All to You I surrender. ALL to You my blessed Saviour. I surrender all." I knew I knew the song but couldn't remember and thought it was a great prayer for Adoration so I let it play in my head for a while. Today I remembered which song it is "More of You" by Colton Dixon.

So a song to end the week and words that make a great prayer to start my new year of life

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

33 Days To Morning Glory

I'm finally doing it!!!!!

Earlier this year when Joan invited a few of us to do the Marian Consecration with her and I really wanted to join her. I have been thinking and praying about it for a while but it was just not the right time for me.

However as the year continued Marian Feast days came and went but I was either swamped or I forgot. There was the added wrinkle of not being able to get the book "33 Days to Morning Glory". The e-book version was always available but I wanted the actual book. Even amazon kept running out, at least when I was checking.

I finally picked January 1st as my Consecration date and that I would get the e-book if I had to. Then some time in August I was talking about it with a couple friends they were talking about the book by Montfort but I mentioned 33 Days, so one of them sent me an email a little while about a group's 33 Days starting today, November 5th for a Consecration date of December 8th. She also gifted me with the book "33 Days to Morning Glory".

God sometimes has to knock me on the head a few times but this time I got it really quickly this time around. I am now planning for a Consecration date of December 8th and I started my 33 day journey today.

Please pray for me as I dedicated myself to this retreat with the "intensity and zeal of a Celtic warrior".

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Not Alone Series: Deal Breakers Again

We have chatted about our deal breakers/non-negotiables before, but how do you keep from letting your standards fall? What prevents you from just dating any guy out there? What keeps you going?

God wants the best for me so I should also want the best for myself.

My birthday is Friday. "Another year older, still no man." "You are not getting any younger." Lovely words to hear this last week and although I some times I think similar thoughts the people who do say these things to me don't know me very well.

Last year I was talking to a friend whose birthday is just after mine, wishing each other happy happy, lamenting getting older and being the only two from a particular set of friends still single. In the last 2-3 years everyone else has gotten married, entered the Seminary or Religious Life and one decided just to do it her own way and had a baby. Dani said "God's timing is perfect and it will happen when it's time to happen." She is very wise and I hold on to her words.

God's timing is perfect and even though the old clock seems to tick faster I'm not about to become desperate. I don't just want a husband to say I have a husband. I want the right man. A godly, prayerful man. A man who shares my Faith and values. The Eucharist, the Body of Christ is very important to me and when I go to receive Him at Mass I am walking towards Jesus so I want my husband walking with me. Not left behind in the pew or even worse not even there but back at the house watching football, cricket or hockey.

I think that if I just grabbed the next available guy even though he is totally unsuited to me I just may be happier single than married.

I want to be happily married. I know we may disagree and everything will not be perfect or even happy all the time but the guy I envision will work with me and pray with me so we can keep figuring it out.

Having friends like Dani and the NAS community is really helpful. Looking around sometimes it feels like everyone is paired up even 10 year olds (rant for another day) it's great to have people in your corner who also have similar standards, who are waiting or have waited.

I had a co-worker ask me a few months ago if I thought maybe my standards were too high and if I really thought there was a guy out there like that. I said yes and it was a really easy yes for me to say. Sometimes I doubt and lose patience but I keep trusting God and His timing.

What helps you to not let your standards fall? What keeps you going? Leave a comment and visit Jen for the link-up to see what everyone else has to say.