Anniversary Memoire: Our Story

Happy_Anniversary

Five years ago we said “I do.” Funny that I’ve never posted our whole story here, so without further delay…

The Abridged Version:

Congratulations  eHarmony, yet another success story!  God, thank you for answering many, many years of prayers.

The Unabridged Version:

Captivated by her fascinating profile during the Spring Break free communication weekend in March 2010, Mike initiated communication with Lisa. Unable to see his photos, yet impressed by his choice of heroes, Jesus and Superman, she reciprocated. The normal progression of technology-based dating thus ensued:  emailing, texting, phone calling, all leading up to the hot-beverage based first date.

With entirely too much in common and always an abundance of laughter, the connection grew deeper. This man, who was very attentive to this woman’s interests, planned many memorable dates in a wholehearted effort to woo and pursue her.

In April, shortly after the relationship began, issues began to arise with Lisa’s Mom’s health. When Lisa received the news that the Doctor wanted to do more testing that fateful April night, Mike separately but simultaneously could not shake the inclination to go light a candle in St. Monica’s Marian Chapel. Without even talking that night, the Lord was moving within and through Mike to help Lisa. A help-mate. In May, the test results confirmed that the Breast Cancer that Eve had courageously battled against in 2006/2007 had returned in her bones.

During this intense time, it was the prayer and support purely given and received that revealed the truth. It showed what was in heart of hearts of these two people that had both been in search of a great love for many years.

A whirlwind of travel and events were next set into motion.  Here are the highlights:

  • In July, Lisa took Mike to Florida to meet the parents – a first! Obviously it went well.
  • In August they went to New York where she felt moved to return his “I love you’s” a top the Empire State Building, just like in Mike’s favorite classic black and white movies.
  • In September, a family wedding provided the perfect opportunity to meet more family and friends in and around her hometown in Michigan. After meeting him and seeing them together, several proposed that Mike & Lisa’s wedding would be next!
  • Over Halloween weekend, Mike took Lisa home to meet his parents. Something tipped her off that the family approved when Josie, his Mom, said she wanted “babies” and his sister wondered what the hold up was?!
  • Thanksgiving was spent at Lisa’s parents’ home, during which Mike asked for her hand in marriage. Her Father’s only request to Mike was that he could call him son instead of son-in-law, since he was like his fourth son.  Her parents later confessed that they had bought Champagne prior to their arrival, in the anticipation of celebrating their Engagement
  • Mike & Lisa returned to Florida with nephew, Abraham, to celebrate Christmas. On Christmas morning, before Richard, Eve and Abraham, Mike asked Lisa to marry him. It was a magically memorable day.

Mike’s love and support became vital for Lisa and her family during the hardest part of Eve’s journey. As Christmas approached, her Cancer took a turn for the worse. And over the course of the next month, Lisa and Mike were called to really support her parents. Special arrangements were made, and many family and friends all rallied around Eve as she spent her last days on Hospice, waiting to cross more things off her bucket list. On January 23, 2011, Eve Sanchez was called home – 2 days after her 64th Birthday.

Our family and friends, yet particularly our Mothers played a key role in this journey of the heart. Eve came to love Mike during that short time, and it was a great comfort to her that he would be there to take care of her little girl – something she had prayed for since she was a baby. Mike’s Mother had prayed for the very same thing, and had encouraged him to not lose hope—that someone was out there for him. And Mary, Our Mother, continually was there to lead and guide them closer to love.

Dallas Arboretum

On June 24th, the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, we took the next big step along the way: we professed before God and our closest family and friends our love and life-long commitment in the Sacrament of Marriage.  And thus the journey has continued, and more chapters will still be written to chronicle our story.  We invite you to be the characters that fill those pages as well…

Tagged , ,

Tribute to Mom: Behind The Bucket List Wedding Dress Story

verily magazine

 

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, this is your story…

There are many treasured moments that I shared with my Mother, and then there were moments that have changed me — even though it has taken time for me to truly understand how. I first wrote this piece that Verily magazine just published back in 2012. Part of my grieving process a year after my Mom passed, I wanted to capture the beauty of that experience. My desire was also to have the story published, which I attempted a few times that spring without success. I knew that in its due season it would be shared, but it likely would still be lying dormant in my archives had the Verily Editor not reached out for another story and my husband not encouraged me to give it another shot. I’m grateful to him, and my friends and family that have shown their love and support.

Read, “I Learned the Secret to a Happy Marriage While Fulfilling My Mom’s Dying Wish” here.

BONUS: Scroll down below the pictures for an unpublished bonus part of this story, an exchange that reminded me God’s loving care and tender mercies in the final weeks of my Mom’s life. It is the Year of Mercy after all.

This story really is a tribute to the woman, mother, wife, sister, daughter, Godmother, Aunt, cousin, friend — all of who she was, and the profound impact on our lives and the imprint that she’s left on our hearts. These are pictures captured while I was trying the dresses on for my Mom, as well as a bridal portrait with my Sweet Mother Mary and my Mom’s Rosary, wearing my wedding dress and my birthstone jewelry that she gave me. Also, I had to include a shot with Mary Katherine, the sweet dress shop owner, that made it all possible. {Bridal shot by John Wehlage}

wedding dress hospicemom bucket listmary katherines fine ladiesmonth of maryMary Katherines wedding dresses

STORY BONUS:

…Changing out of the last dress, my heart had expanded.  Humbled, I confided in my new friend, “My mom loves Angels. There are over seventy that she has collected, all over this house. Mary-Katherine, you were our Angel today.”

“No, it was my blessing,” she responded, without hesitation.

“I am a one-year breast cancer survivor,” she told me. She had been a Medical Social Worker for about twenty years, and had served on the Board of Hospice for five years. I was now making it a habit of crying to Mary-Katherine.

Throughout her second battle with cancer that eventually claimed her life, Mom reminded us that we can laugh and find joy amidst the suffering of life. She cherished the opportunities to celebrate life and love in all circumstances. I hardly expected to have a profound experience of love while trying to cross one more thing off Mom’s Bucket List; yet I discovered a love that draws people together and carries them through good times and bad, in sickness and in health.


As it is Mother’s Day, I send love and blessings to all the mothers in their many faces: moms, godmothers, foster moms, adoptive moms, moms-to-be, grandmothers, spiritual mothers. Happy Mother’s Day! I also send my love and prayers to those whose mothers have passed, to grieving mothers, and women who grieve to become mothers – the Lord knows your suffering, may you know His peace.

If you haven’t read my previous article at Verily, 6 Pieces of Hard-Earned Advice I Gained From My Single Years,” check it out.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

5 Books to Advance Your Spiritual Journey

Spiritual-JourneyCan you believe we are halfway through our Lenten Spiritual Journey? It serves as a great checkpoint, and opportunity to provide some inspiration.

My 40/40/40 Prayer Pact has been a more intense experience this second time around. Within the first few days, there was a feeling of a mounting Spiritual Battle, and an ensuing attack. Then, one friend that had signed up asked me to pray for an extremely ill family member. Five days after the day that I prayed for this intention, that family member passed away — may perpetual light shine upon her. This all reinforced the need for daily prayer and spiritual nourishment.

In order to allow the Lord to guide us through the ups and downs of our daily walk, it’s vital to find ways to truly nourish ourselves spiritually. One easy and effective way to advance in our spiritual journey is through reading. The Bible is the ultimate book – obviously it’s our Spiritual Superfood. Reading other books should supplement and compliment your Scripture reading, not replace it.

I have shelves of spiritual books, even ones from back in the day studying Theology at Franciscan University, but I have some staples. I do have books on my shelf that I’ve been wanting to read that may be rivals for some on my list, (to name a couple: “Consoling the Heart of Jesus” by Fr. Mike Gaitley – an old college friend; and “Be Healed” by Dr. Bob Schuchts – a Catholic Therapist that led the Healing retreat that I went on in 2014). While I could pontificate on the many spiritual books I love, the five below are my tried and true list.

NOTE: I’ve linked the books to Goodreads so you can learn more about them. Incidentally, all of these books have over 4.5-star ratings there. I always recommend that you support your local Catholic bookstores first if you want to buy any of them – shop small whenever possible!

  1. I Believe In Love by Jean C.J. d’Elbée, “is a guide to happiness based on the teaching of one who found it entirely: St Thérèse of Lisieux.” I’ve had this book since I was in college, and by the looks of my copy, it shows. It is like taking a personal retreat about the interior life based on the childlike spirituality of St. Thérèse – probably because it’s derived from the retreats of the Priest that’s the author. There are powerful insights – such as on humble confidence and total abandonment to Christ – in this beautiful book.
  2. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis. A classic, this book is almost a manual for spiritual development. The meditations by this 15th c. Augustinian monk on the spiritual life have inspired many through the years, including great Saints and Popes. “No book has more explicitly and movingly described the Christian ideal.”
  3. Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart by Jacques Philippe. An old Priest friend of mine recommended this book to me, and I can’t hold onto it because I keep giving my copies away – it’s THAT good. A small book, it’s one you could easily finish before Easter. But it has profound spiritual wisdom that really helped me: I can now see how the Enemy attacks with the aim of disturbing my peace as an entry point. Everyone craves peace – this book will help you in the spiritual practice of maintaining peace in your heart.
  4. Abide: Keeping Vigil With the Word of God by Macrina Wiederkehr. Recommended to me in Spiritual Direction, the book leads you through how “to make the Word of God your home through the practice of lectio divina.” It is about going deeper into the Word, meditating, and thus going deeper into your relationship with Christ. It’s full of meditations, reflections, and prayers around numerous scripture passages. If you want to learn to pray the Scriptures, this is the book to help you.
  5. The Inner Voice of Love by Henri J.M. Nouwen. If you’ve never read Henri Nouwen before, you need to change that. This book, his “secret journal”, was written during the most difficult time in his life. He published it at the urging of friends, as it felt it was too raw and private. But his vulnerability, sharing “the fierce inner battle that lies underneath so many of [his] spiritual insights”, provides consolation. If you’ve suffered through any type of anguish and despair, you will find solace in the pages of this book.

What books would you recommend as guidebooks along our spiritual journey? Add them in the com box!

What to give up for Lent? It’s 40/40/40 Prayer Pact Time!

Let me interrupt your week with a Catholic alert: Lent starts next week.

As in 6 days from today.

If you’re thinking about what to give up for Lent, and chocolate comes to mind, lend me your ear (or eyes in this case) – please.

lent prayers

Last year that Holy Spirit inspired me to start something that transformed my, and others, Lent: The 40/40/40 Prayer Pact. You can read about how it started here and download graphics I designed, but I’ll give you the recap and breakdown here too. {P.S. I designed some new free 2016 downloadable graphics + calendar, they’re down below.)

MY 40/40/40 LENTEN PRAYER PACT:

40 prayer intentions

40 people

40 days

I will pray for 40 prayer intentions, given to me by 40 people, each of the 40 days of Lent. Whoever signs up by Fat Tuesday, February 9th (or before my list is full – whichever comes first) will be on my 40/40/40 list that I commit to praying for this Lent. Note, I will never share or publish your prayer intentions, unless you want me to share in thanksgiving a prayer answered with your express permission.

Last year folks starting their own prayer pacts too, even Catholic teachers using it with their students — thanks be to God! I hope you’ll join by starting your own prayer pact – it’s easy – I provide everything you need to know and use right here.

WHAT IS THE 40/40/40 LENT PRAYER PACT?

Over 40 days, I will be devoting a day to pray for each participant and your prayer intention during my Lenten journey. A pact is defined as a formal agreement between individuals or parties, and I formally agree to pray for 40 people’s intentions over 40 days.

WHY DID YOU CREATE THE PACT?

There is such a power and gift in intercessory prayer. Offering prayers on the behalf of others is also a way to be focused on the needs of others. It reaps graces for those in need. My hope is that the 40/40/40 will help me focus on others more, create a positive prayer movement, and help others along their Lenten journey.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO HAVE YOU PRAY FOR ME?

If you’d like to be included on my 40/40/40, fill out the form below. The first 40 I will commit to pray for you by name, lifting up your intention. If you are late signing up and the list is full (there are only 40 spaces after all) I may be able to coerce my husband to take you on 🙂 Or, I would encourage you to do the prayer pact with your friends and relatives yourself.

SO, HOW DO I START MY OWN 40/40/40 LENTEN PRAYER PACT?

  1. The simplest way to compile your list is to create a sign up form, like the Google form I am using below. For help, here’s a YouTube Lynda.com tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IxFeVXBwaQ. Then embed it or share it with others via email, Social Media, carrier pigeon, etc.
  1. Share information (here’s my permission to utilize my text and graphics in this post) on the prayer pact with your friends and family. Share though email, Social Media, and a blog if you have one. You can use my 40/40/40 Graphic at the top of this post too.
  1. Begin your prayer challenge on February 10, 2016 (Ash Wednesday) and continue through March 26, Holy Saturday. To keep yourself on track, your participant signups through Google forms can be compiled in a Google document. Click to download the FREE 2016 Lenten Prayer Pact Calendar that I designed, fill in the 40 names on each day, and hang it where it will remind you daily. Or just print out your list and you can keep your list with your Bible, tape to your mirror, or wherever/however you’ll remember to pray for your 40 participants.
  1. While this takes bit of coordination, but how nice if you take the time to remind your participants on the day that you’re praying for them. That could be an email, text, post-it note, Facebook message/Tweet/Snapchat/whatevs, or something to say, “I’m praying for you on this day of the 40/40/40 challenge” or send them my Ephesians graphic at the bottom.

The premise is simple, but the fruit born from the 40/40/40 last year was beautiful (read about that here). So, I’m thrilled to invite another 40 people along on my Lenten journey through intercessory prayer — which is POWERFUL!

UPDATED on 02.10.16 {ASH WEDNESDAY}: The form below is no longer accepting responses, as my prayer pact is now closed. It was funny that this year it took longer to fill up – putting out several requests and personally reaching out to people via email and text. Then an influx of last minute requests came in that put me over my 40. I knew y’all had prayer requests…don’t sandbag, folks {wink}.

SIGN UP HERE SO I CAN PRAY FOR YOU THIS LENT:

Need to get people to pray for? Use the graphics {Facebook cover, Twitter Cover, Social Media post grapic} that I designed last year, or download the Social Media covers that I designed and am using this year, below.

FACEBOOK COVER

What to give up for Lent

TWITTER COVER

Lent Twitter Cover

Let’s do this – bring on the 2016 Lenten 40/40/40! I will be sharing some posts on prayer this Lent. I’ll take you into my prayer nook that I set up in our new house, and what I use to create an atmosphere for prayer. I’ll also share insights I’ve learned on prayer over the years – through retreats, books, Spiritual Directors, Theology Professors, Priests, the Saints, and my own experience – for better or worse. I want to hear about what works, and doesn’t work for you too – so use the com-box, please!

May God richly bless your Lenten journey!

Tagged , , ,

Writing Goal Achieved!

Get published — it’s been a goal on my unwritten “Bucket List”. Start with a magazine, work my way from there, and eventually get one of my book ideas published. Yet I haven’t been very proactive about achieving this goal, until about a month and a half ago.

I was home alone one evening, thinking about what I want to be when I grow up. I concluded that if I wanted to be considered a writer, I not only have to write more, but I need to get published. Don’t put it off anymore – write. Right now.

I started to draft a couple of things, but nothing was popping. I know that writing from experience, particularly from the heart – when it has suffered, that’s what connects emotionally with people most. Something began to take shape, and I submitted it. And then waited for a few weeks.

Then the good news came! So, if we’re not connected on Social Media (for the love of God, at least follow me on Twitter would you?!) then you missed the smattering of announcements. I submitted a relationship article to Verily Magazine in November, and it was published!

IMG_6236

{Photo Credit: Rachel Haslam Photography}

Cruise on over to Verily and give it a read, “6 Pieces of Hard-Earned Advice I Gained From My Single Years.” Then hit a com-box and let us know what you think.

Feels good to wrap 2015 achieving this goal. Excited to see what 2016 will bring!

Christmas Letter + Bonus Pics from 2015

“Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Big 10 Martinez Memories of 2015

  1. Mike Celebrated 10 Years at his Job

On November 14, 2005, Mike began working in the operations center. Ten years later Mike is a Senior Nerd InfoSec Analyst, and CEO of our Digital Marketing Co, illuvint. {Hey, like us on Facebook, would ya?}

  1. Learning to Slow Down

Distraction + walking down stairs = A dangerous combo. Lisa took a tumble down the condo’s outdoor stairs, landing on top her foot, resulting in a severe midfoot sprain. Impeccably timed, our move was pushed back since this happened the week before. 3 Doctors and 2 PT’s later, she’s still in Physical Therapy, with hopes to be back to 100% soon!

  1. On the Road Again

Almost all our travel was in Texas this year. There were San Antonio weekend trips to see both Sanchez + Martinez families. Many Austin house-hunting trips from March through May – thanks to the generosity of our friend + cousins in housing us then. In June, we went to our nephew’s, Dustin, high-school graduation in San Benito and smuggled him back to Dallas. In early September, Lisa was in Alabama for the Delaune’s wedding, Mike was in Austin when his Tio Americo passed, and then back together in S. Tx for the funeral.

  1. Fixer Upper {And gratitude for the help of family and friends.}

Our condo needed some TLC before renting it. From the bathroom renovation, to adventures in plumbing, painting, repairs, and kitchen refresh – there were long and laughable moments.

  1. Redeeming Mother’s Day

After 3 offers on 3 homes and 3 “NOs”, our house-hunting began to feel like a beat down. A wild turn of events led us to a lovely 2-story home in North Austin. We made our offer on Mother’s Day (we were 1 of 3.) Late on May 11th, our Realtor + cousin Myrna Garcia, congratulated us on our new home!

  1. Not Saying Goodbye

We haven’t had to say goodbye to Dallas, especially since Mike travels weekly to work in the office a few days, w’re grateful for the Kahlich’s generosity in housing him. Lisa’s visited the D a couple of times too.

  1. From Porch to Plot o’ Land

We moved on up from a cement slab porch to a big, green backyard. Still adjusting from watering 2 plants outside the door to having 5 flower beds, a garden, compost, covered porch, and lots of grass. Living on a Cul-de-Sac, with a dead end street and open land behind us, it’s a peaceful place of beauty. We love it!

  1. New Ventures

In November, Lisa opened Little With Great Love, an online Etsy shop to feature our handmade goods – currently Mom Martinez’s crochet. She’s also been working with her partner, and their Mentor, on a new initiative to serve religious organizations that will officially launch in 2016.

  1. Settling In

Mike’s wanted to live in Austin for many years. We’re learning the Austinite ways + making new friends!

  1. Visitors to Our New Home!

What joy to have our friends + family visit our new home. We had Lisa’s brother, Paul, and nephews, Dustin and Jacob, during move-in weekend. In July we hosted the Florida Sanchezes, and had our House Blessing + Warming then. The Martinezes have come to stay a few times. Weekenders with friends have been great!

DIY Hilarious Fail

Pinterest DIY looks so tantalizing and simple. In your own home, away from the perfectly staged online pictures, DIY can be a quite opposite experience. If you are looking for a Martha Stewart Pinterest-worthy DIY episode, move along dear heart.

First, let’s set the scene. My husband and I were hustling to prepare our Dallas-area Condo to become our rental property prior to our move in June. A big project was our small kitchen. We had already replaced the hideous fluorescent light fixture, and the 1980’s kitchen faucet, microwave, and fridge. Never bothering with the cream laminate countertops and stark white walls, they desperately needed to be bothered with now.

One of my closest girlfriends came in our time of need to join me in a “DIY Adventure”, the kitchen refresh. It quickly spiraled into an “I Love Lucy” sketch. She interviewed me afterwards to recount our DIY Hilarious Fail — video below.

There are 2 products I comically review in this video: Peel and Stick Wallpaper (purchased at Target), and Behr Premium Plus Paint (purchased at Home Depot).

This is unedited and a low-budget shoot (she uses a paint roller as a microphone.) It adds to the raw emotion of the DIY misadventure. The last 8 seconds kill me. I hope that this will bring you a much-needed laugh too, as we all really need one after the tragedies of last week.

What DIY fails have you had? Share them with me – leave a comment.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Follow Francis: Pope in US!

popeinus

The dove has landed! It’s the first time the Holy Father, Pope Francis, has stepped onto American soil. #popeinus

If you’re interested in Pope tracking, like we are, here’s a few resources:

STREAMING 

http://ewtn.com/multimedia/weekly-schedules.asp — The EWTN schedule to see when you can LIVE stream

http://www.catholictv.com/pope-america  — The CatholicTV schedule to see when you can LIVE stream

http://www.relevantradio.com/relevant-radio-pope-tracker — Relevant Radio coverage

http://blog.siriusxm.com/2015/09/14/pope-radio-america/ — The Catholic Channel on Sirius coverage

INFO WEBSITES

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/usa15/ — Catholic News Agency is all over the Pope’s visit to the US

http://www.popefrancisvisit.com/  — Good overall resource

http://www.worldmeeting2015.org/ — Info for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia with the Pope

http://wheresthepope.us/  — A good tracker, and where I got the nifty background image for my graphic

http://www.usccb.org/about/leadership/holy-see/francis/papal-visit-2015/ — USCCB lists 10 ways to participate in his visit

http://catholicmom.com/author/lhendey/ — Follow Lisa Hendey at CatholicMom.com share stories from the ground

lovewins

Join me in welcoming and following Pope Francis in the US. First stop — #PopeinDC

A Sketch of my Lifelong Companion: Happy Birthday Hubby!

A spouse, a lifelong companion and path to holiness, is not something stumbled upon. It is a hard won quest for unconditional love, and once discovered, it becomes the work of a lifetime to nurture and grow with each other.

We certainly aren’t perfect, as like every couple we have our challenges; but, I have never encountered another heart filled with such a deep love and a desire to do good for God, Our Lady, family, friends, and me – as humbling as that is. I am a better version of myself today because of you, and even amidst the moments where the dying-to-selves part of life may become palpable, always know that I am thankful for the gift that I, and many people for many years, prayed for — YOU.

So, in honor of your 40-something Birthday today, drumroll please… a poem for my beloved husband.

A Sketch of my Lifelong Companion

As I am pensive, he is dreaming.

As I am eager, he is enduring.

As I am consumed, he is consuming.

As I am riotous, he is calming.

As I am solid, he is bending.

As I am abrupt, he is deliberating.

As I am spicy, he is moderating.

As I am strategic, he is improvising.

As I am trustful, he is protecting.

As I am witty, he is conjoining.

As I am sentimental, he is romanticizing.

As I am cheerful, he is reveling.

As I am creating, he is supporting.

As I am beloved, he is loving.

As I am blessed, he is blessing.

©Lisa Martinez, August 13, 2015

 

A little photo montage of our earlier days, moments where you found your way deeper into my heart…

Mike + Lisa CanoingTiger Stadium DetroitRose Mike LisaBack CameraBack CameraIMG_2060Mike + Lisa Kissing at SunsetMike + Lopez'sMike Lisa + San ParentsProposalMike + AnnaIMG_3418IMG_4850Mike + TimIMG_4036IMG_4055IMG_4103211437IMG_4472IMG_4009IMG_5076Love One Another

 

 

Keeping Still In A Frenzied World

inspirational scriptures

The past several months have been brimming with activity. Much of life for everyone these days feels like this – a frenzy of hustle. In my younger days, hustle and flow was my routine – push it until it is done or it breaks me, whichever comes first. But the Lord has been taking me down a new path, teaching me that there is a time for everything, and everything in its time. Not that I still do not get after things, but He has been showing me to put more of a strategy and wisdom into what I do, when, how, and who.

Relocating to our new city of Austin is an adventure and exciting, yet intermingled with the sadness of moving on from our beloved Dallas home and community. And then there’s just sheer exhaustion. But the joy of even sitting in a home of boxes, and the peace of a beautiful yard that was lovingly planted before our arrival, it makes all the sacrifice and struggle worth it. The yes to the open window and desiring a home where more blessings can be outpoured outweighed the tears in closing the door that was no longer where we were called to be. I still miss my Dallas friends and family very much. And my Louisiana and Michigan friends and family for that matter. #sigh

Bigger picture though, there is one. I’ve become a student again (Teacher = God), being taught a lot lately about something that I don’t do very well, keeping still. And keeping silent (or at least trying harder to) when there is every desire and reason not to be. I come from a line of people that work hard and are industrious, and we are not afraid to tell you what is on our mind, so raw hustle is in my nature. But it can become at odds with the humility with which the spiritual life needs to be nurtured.

Inside it is like a tug of war most days. Ego: I want, I need, me, me ME! Spirit: Relax, surrender, let GOD do it!

If my Grandma called you a hard worker, you had won her respect. It’s in my DNA – go, go, GO! If I don’t know how to do something, I work until I figure it out. If I set a goal, I chase that sucker down. If I am on a mission, kindly move aside or you’ve been forewarned.

And then boom, a week from moving, a silly distraction and I misstep into a badly sprained ankle. Noooooooooo.

Years of horseplay and sports, and I nab my first sprained ankle comes right when my hustle was in full swing. Now I realize that there are far greater physical sufferings that my community may be dealing with (I am praying for you!), but I do not like to compare, as I’ve read and it’s resonated that “comparison is the thief of joy.”

I’ve had on my big girl pants for a good deal of the past five weeks, yet the inability to walk for me right when that big dream we’ve been readying ourselves for at least the past five years to enjoy, well, it has brought me to the cross in a new way. Even after only experiencing just a taste of it temporarily. I have deeper understanding and appreciation for the suffering of the immobile, particularly my Mother when Bone Cancer robbed her of even being able to cross a room without aid. #deeprespectandprayers

It becomes even more painful when the noise of our age comes into play. The world tells us we need to work harder, faster, better, stronger. We need to stretch and press and go after everything and be more. You need to accept, go with the flow, do not question the world but be accommodating and always be whatever is the current thought or expectation of the day. Pull yourself up and make yourself something that the world cannot deny. Get after it!! And yes, we need to do our part. Yet what did the Lord tell the Israelites in their fear and complaining.

“The Lord himself will fight for you, you have only to keep still.” – Exodus 14:14

God wants to do everything for us, but there are moments when we must keep still and allow Him to do it. How must we participate in this act?

By giving our consent, “Lord, fight for me.”

There is a discernment as well as spiritual + mental maturity that comes into play here. Knowing when to move, when to be still. When to speak, and when to be silent. When to fight for something, and when to walk away.

I’ve had to fight my way through many things in life, and as the only girl in my family with three older brothers, my brain programming says, “Fight for it.” But in reality, the surrender to lay things down and leave them in the Lords hands to do the bidding is the source of my true battle. Can you relate?

The Lord has shown his glory and power many times throughout history, but people take it for granted. There is so much happening in the world right now that reveal deep woundedness that is festering and bleeding out. There is a darkness that can feel as oppressive and obstinate as Pharoah and the Egyptians.

But was it not the Lord that raised up Moses? Didn’t he take the Israelites, HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE, through slavery, forty years in the desert, and through the Red Sea? And in the end, HE TRIUMPHED!

Much has been in my mind and heart these days. The time for writing is scarce, yet the Lord moved in my heart to share a bit for now.

Holy Trinity, Sweet Mother Mary, fight for us!!

Taking on one more thing whenever I feel stretched often may feel like a monstrosity, but in these times, God has been moving in mysterious ways. I look forward to sharing more about a great work that has been developing out of established partnerships with a small, faithful, uber talented group of people that I deeply respect and admire. Stay tuned for that.

Until then, I pray that God will remind you of his power and glory, and that you will allow him to fight for YOU.

Tagged , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: