18 June 2019

The Power of Self-Affirmation Statements to Recover from Past Hurts

Growing up, I had a sensitive, tender little heart. 

In elementary school, I struggled a bit with girls sometimes being mean or playing the games of "fair weather friendship," which I found confusing or hurtful. When it was difficult for me, my mom always provided a safe haven to come to talk about those situations and help me work through and process my feelings.

One of the things my mom told me in our heart-to-heart chats was to practice saying kind words to myself to help undo the mean, hurtful things said to me by my classmates.

I remember standing in front of the bathroom mirror and trying to say loving, positive words to my reflection. I felt a bit silly (perhaps even a little ridiculous) talking to myself in the mirror. I was also worried my brother might barge in and wonder why in the world I was talking to myself. 

It was years and years before I began to believe in the power of saying loving words to myself, but today, I am grateful for these mirror exercises my mom had me practice.

I can acknowledge now how healing and restorative it is to say affirming, kind words to ourselves.

We know there is great power in the words we say to ourselves and to each other. Our spoke words have the ability to encourage and uplift, and at the same time, they can also be used to criticize, judge, or shame. Very often how we talk about other people reflects an inner reality: how we view and speak to ourselves. Sometimes when we are harsh, critical, or judgmental of other people, it reflects a deeper reality of how we feel about ourselves.

We often grow to believe what we say to ourselves, whether they are gentle and loving words or harsh and critical. While my mom had me practice saying kind things to myself all those years ago, it has only been in the last five years of my life that I radically changed my own inner dialogue by using self-affirmation statements in my daily life.


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17 June 2019

Foodie Shows to Watch on Netflix (and How They Show Us the Beauty of Creation + Community)

I like food, especially a good sweet treat. 

But I know I need the personal accountability of a plan like following Weight Watchers. I find it helps me have a healthier relationship to food, how I choose to eat, and remember that food is fuel for my body not my emotions.

I am trying to get better about attending my weekly Weight Watchers meetings and marking my planner as to what day each week I will go. Having a healthy relationship with food is not a one time thing, but an ongoing relationship of paying attention and being dedicated.

But a deeper connection beyond eating yummy food, is seeing the power and beauty of food as a force of community. There is something about sharing a table with people you love over laughter, good conversation, and delicious food.

It is powerful, life-giving, transformative, and even healing.

With warmer summer weather arriving, we are in the time of year for outdoor parties, BBQs, and bonfires. I have noticed there have been a lot of good foodie shows I have been enjoying on Netflix that reflect these things.

Head over to the Blessed is She Blog to read the rest  . . .

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14 June 2019

You Can Always Go Deeper in Forgiveness

God has a very funny, interesting sense of humor sometimes.

Over the last three years since my divorce, I have grown a lot in my understanding of forgiveness and living that out by forgiving my former husband over time. Honestly, I truly thought I had "worked through" all of that stuff with God.

Well apparently, this past Lent, Jesus saw fit that I needed more practice; that I could grow deeper in the grace of forgiveness.

Early in Lent, my Mom and I went to a nearby Catholic parish for a night of prayer ministry. While getting situated, I realized my former husband was also present. The last time I saw him was the day our divorce was finalized, almost three years to the date.

I was shocked and a little overwhelmed to see him. I was also nervous, thinking he would approach me and I did not really want to speak with him. At first, I was not sure if I wanted to flee the scene or stay for the time of prayer.

There was a time of praise and worship before ministry began, and the worship team was leading the people in one of my favorite songs "Reckless Love."

As they sang, hot tears ran down my face.

Inside, my little heart was hard and sad: "Why does HE have to be here, Jesus? He does not deserve to be here, he should not be here. Why do I have to run into him here, now during Lent, and recently after a break-up?"

Almost instantly, I sensed the bitterness and resentment rearing their ugliness in my heart.


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06 June 2019

There is No "Right" Way to Become a Saint

The Internet can be a confusing, harsh, even judgmental place sometimes.

I am sure you know what I am talking about.

More times than I care to admit, I see fights and mud slinging about the "right" way to be a Catholic woman - like it's all or nothing, a competition to win - homeschooling vs. conventional, working vs. stay at home, married vs single, organic vs. non-organic food. The list goes on and on.

It is sad to me more than anything. I get that we all have different thoughts and opinions on what works best for your own life and family. But when we become harsh, unloving, and judgy towards what works for other people it is neither kind or how Jesus calls us to treat each other.

What can get lost in the process, is the beautiful fact that holiness is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It looks different for every woman and that is a-okay. 

The point is that we are called to be holy, to be like Jesus right where God has placed us. No striving or comparison needed.

For all the above reasons, I am most excited about the newest Blessed Conversations study, Misericordia.  It is based on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy and the study follows the examples of 12 different Catholic saints (11 lay and 1religious). 

Each of these holy women had different careers, vocations, backgrounds, talents and passions, and countries of origins. To me it is a sweet reminder that the universal call to holiness will play differently in each of our lives.
I am particularly looking forward to learning about a handful of female saints and blesseds that I have never heard of before!

Four women in different walks of life on the Blessed is She team beautifully make these holy women come alive by reflecting on the works of mercy. They all bring a unique perspective bringing to life the lives these saints.

The study is broken down into 12 sessions (one for each woman) and is bound, which is a different style from our previous studies. 

My copy arrives tonight and I cannot wait to open it up after work!

And for the love, can we as sisters in Christ just stop fighting amongst each other on how to best be Catholic?

I am looking forward to diving into the Works of Mercy more, and hope you will also join us!

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