31 January 2019

With Lent in Mind

It's here!

On January 30th, Blessed Is She released their Lenten journal To The End: the story of sacrificial love

If you have the paid membership, your own copy will be arriving in the mail soon unless you have already received it. If not, head over to the BIS store and order yours now. We always run out, so don't sit on it too long!

There is also beautiful bundle option which includes the journal, tote bag, and a hand lettered print.

Hopefully you find something you like in either option. :)

This year's journal focuses on the Gospel of John and a deeper look at the sacrificial love of Jesus.

Written by Jenna Guizar (with co-authors Beth Davis and Nell O'Leary), this year's Lent Journal examines seven characteristics of Christ's sacrificial love. We see this most clearly in the Passion and Death of Jesus. Each week of Lent has a theme to reflect upon:

  • Vulnerability
  • Generosity
  • Courage
  • Humility
  • Faithfulness
  • Surrender
  • Presence

The layout is similar to previous Advent and Lent journals with a mix of Scripture, personal essays, reflection questions, and space to journal and write.

I am really excited to be doing the journal with a couple of close girlfriends throughout the weeks of Lent. Whether you do it on your own or in a small group, I hope you'll join our community in prayer and reflection as we keep this season.

Here's my affiliate link so you can order yourself a copy of To The End or gift a special lady in your life with one. And thank you very much, for using it.

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02 January 2019

2018: The Year of Surprises

Almost a year ago today I was reflecting on some new things going on in my life.

I was about to start a brand new job.

I went to some very life-giving conferences where the Lord worked powerfully.

I was enjoying spending time with my new baby nephew and dating again.

Jennifer Fulwiler's Saint Name Generator matched me with St. Therese, to which I slightly inwardly groaned. 
My word of the year I was assigned was present. 

It turns out even though St. Therese and I have wildly different personalities, there were some lessons she had to teach my stubborn little heart. My word of the year was a gift to me in more ways than one. 

I went on a date in mid-January that turned into something very beautiful and healthy I could have never imagined. We were set-up by a few, very involved players: a mutual friend, some Facebook stalking, the Holy Spirit, and two good ol' Catholic Match profiles.

I was not expecting this nor was I looking for something really serious. But over the last year, I have come to experience what it means to be in a healthy relationship with a man who is truly worthy of me. I know what it means to be completely myself and have learned to ask difficult questions/have conversations that I never had before I had gotten married. 

People who held hope for me were right, yes, there are still good men out there in the world.

2018 was also full of other good surprises.

I began to do some speaking at conferences and was offered a few more opportunities to write online.

I went on a few travel adventures to London and Chicago.

One of my best friends got married and I went on retreat with women I dearly love.

I ran my second marathon and was interviewed on some podcasts.

2018 was the year God revealed to my heart, "If you try to control your life, you will never be truly happy." It is a truth we've wrestled with together over the last year, but it has been so, so good for my heart.

Living in fear or trying to control whats coming up the pike, is not how God wants me to live. But rather, with open hands of receptivity.

It was very interesting because one of the days in the Blessed is She Advent Journal this year was looking at Mary and Elizabeth. How in many ways, there were very ordinary Jewish women of their times who probably imagined or had an idea how their life would turn out. 

But then God presented them both with opportunities to participate in something they never could have imagined or dreamt up. There lives looked radically different. I found myself sitting with these two women looking at their lives, and finding a lot of comfort for the place God has me at this season of my life...especially as it has looked so different than I ever imagined.

This year I chose a word, open. I also was assigned one at random which was, still.
Already I am sensing God has more to teach me where He has me in life right now through these words.
My patron saint of the year will be St. Philip Neri, and I am looking forward to getting to better know the patron saint of joy and humor.

I don't know what 2019 will hold.

But I am sensing I have more to learn and grow in being still.
I think God has lessons to teach me on what it means to be open to my life as it unfolds.

Whatever comes, I am waiting in expectant faith with my fists open...not clenched.

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