06 April 2020

Encouraging Instagram Accounts to Follow in a Time of Stress

( I hope in these scary, difficult days you and your family are safe and healthy. In the coming days, I am hoping to write a blog on what I am learning and how God is speaking to my heart in these days. I hope you are finding peace in the middle of the chaos).

Life can quickly become stressful and feel like it is going off the rails.

When you sense that shift interiorly, it can be helpful to take a step back. Give yourself a mental time out if needed. Take some deep breaths. Start counting out loud the things for which you are grateful.
Pay attention to what is happening in your life. Ask yourself, "What just happened that is causing this emotional and physical reaction in my body? What can I do about it right now?"

Sometimes when I feel anxious I catch myself mindlessly scrolling on social media (particularly Instagram) as a way to deal with my stress. It tends to be pure distraction from taking the time to understand why my body and mind feel stressed. But I am usually left feeling more anxiety, and now I'm comparing my life to what I see as I scroll as well.

But, while endless scrolling is not a tool for dealing with tress, it sometimes helps with stress to have your feed more full of people who are encouraging and life-giving to your spirit.

Here are a handful of encouraging accounts that always breathe freshness into my spirit when I need it most.

In these we're living right now, don't we all need more peace and encouragement?

Head over to Verily to get some new ideas on encouraging accounts to follow ...

Who are some of your own favorite, encouraging Instagram accounts to follow?

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26 March 2020

8 Things People Told Me About Catholic Dating - That Turned out to be Wrong

Let's acknowledge the awkward, giant elephant sitting in the living room of our hearts: Dating as a Catholic Woman in 2020 is a weird place to be.

I am 34 years old and unmarried. As I have navigated the dating scene (and learned from many mistakes), I have heard plenty of unhealthy and weird things; and just plain bad advice.

I suspect some of you can relate to this.

Maybe it was a rigorous "purity culture" that lacked pastoral compassion. Perhaps it was unhealthy attitudes from books like I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Or maybe it was an excessive focus on things like virginity, modesty, or how a Christian woman "should act."

I think for many Christian women today, that list would go on and on.

Over the years, as I have learned to date in a more healthy, self-aware manner, I have thrown away much of what I used to believe about Catholic dating - and there was a lot of garbage to toss out.

Based on a conversation in the FemCatholic Forum and my own experience, here are eight things we were told about Catholic dating that turned out to be wrong.

Head over to FemCatholic to read more ...

Would you say some of these were true to your own experience?

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12 March 2020

Erin Go Bragh (Ireland Forever!) + Ways to Celebrate Saint Patrick's Day

Many Americans hail heritage from the Emerald Isle, myself included. Some of my great grandparents (and great great grandparents) on both sides of my family emigrated from Ireland.

Growing up, my family had special traditions to keep us connected to the roots of our family history. We cooked certain foods or special family recipes and listened to stories about my great grand parents.

A picture of an Irish cathedral, because why not?! 

As an Irish American, I am struck by the importance of celebrating the feast of Saint Patrick

If he never went back to evangelize the pagan culture in Ireland, Catholicism may not have taken root and spread. Maybe it's a stretch, but I like to think my Irish relatives were Catholic because of Saint Patrick.
And, in a way, so am I.

Regardless of whether you claim Irish heritage or not, the life and legacy of Saint Patrick (like many of the Saints in the Church) have impacted the world we live in to this day.

I am over at the Blessed is She blog today sharing some fun, unique ways to celebrate the wearing of green this March 17th.

Head over HERE for some food, prayer, and music ideas.

Saint Patrick, pray for us!

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