27 January 2020

Resources We Need But Don't Discuss in the Catholic Church

I think there are some conversations we have well in the Church.

However, there are certain conversations we don't have enough (or at all).

Recently on my personal social media accounts, I have spent time sharing and opening up on certain conversations we need to have better in the Church around pornography and sexual addiction.

Navigating this in my life in a very personal way has been a journey at times I wish I did not have to go on. Sometimes I wish I could just share about my favorite books or latest find at Target.

I have promised myself (and God) that I would never want another Catholic woman to feel as alone or isolated as I did when I was married and trying to decide if I was merely surviving or thriving in that relationship.

As I grew healthier, my eyes were opened. 

Over the last few years, I have begun to write, speak, and do local ministry in my diocese trying to open up a messy, sensitive issue in the Church.

The reality is that pornography and/or sexual addiction will likely touch the life of someone you know. There may be a day where you need to have recommendations for a good counselor or book titles for a wife looking for validation of her own experience.

In my own recovery work and talking to many women, I have developed a resource list that I think offers some of the best counselors, books, and programs for women and men that this negatively impacts their relationship.

With the help of local CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapists) therapists in Southeast Michigan, I have developed a detailed resource list for navigating a porn-saturated culture.

Because it is located and stored on my personal Google account, I will not share a direct link here. However, if you would like me to share and send you a copy of the information, I would be happy to do so.

My purpose of writing about it here is to see the information get into as many hands as possible.

I hope this is something you find helpful and supportive in a conversation that we sometimes don't know where to begin.

For questions regarding this, feel free to contact me under my Contact tab.

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17 January 2020

How Shame Really Impacts Us

I am bad.

I am dirty.

I am unlovable.

I am not enough the way I am.

Something is wrong with me.

Shame - it is a feeling that is part of the human condition, but inherent to the experience of it is the way it makes us avoid talking about it or facing it.

I know shame has crept into my own life and hurt me. I felt ashamed when a family member made insensitive comments about my eating habits and physical appearance. Shame hit me like a ton of bricks when I was sexually assaulted on a school bus in high school. Shame whispered at my heart when I made poor choices with a boyfriend, or when I compared myself to the standards of other women.

I hate this feeling.

It is dark and scary, like I am bad or dirty or a lesser person because of something I did or something that was done to me.

Shame is a powerful, destructive force that can twist the way we see ourselves, our place in the world, and our worth and value before God. Whereas guilt says I did something wrong, shame tells us that we are bad, that there is something wrong with us.

Shame has made an impressive comeback in culture, psychology, and popular media. Work by well-known researchers such as Brene Brown are helping men and women name and face the role that shame plays in our individual stories. People are starting to talk about something every human across the globe wrestles with.

But how do we start?

Head over to Grotto Network to read more . . .

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14 January 2020

God is Here, Too

Do you ever have phrases that seem to define certain seasons of your life?

I know I feel that way in my own life.

Your current reality is in the center of God's will.

The above sentence speaks deeply to where life finds me right now.

Friends, God is here, too.

In your present moment, the current chapter - even if it is not necessarily what you wish for or desire.

I found myself thinking about this sentence again today as the 2020 Blessed is She Lent Devotional launches.

The theme and title of this year's devotional, Here, Too: Where We Meet God, accompanies readers through the Gospels, Psalms, and personal stories from 8 different writers on the team whose experiences and sharing reveal those unexpected times and places where we meet God in life. 

Throughout Lent, we will journey together; through the desert, storm, at home, the tomb, and many more places we may not even consider.

There is also a beautiful bundle option that includes the Lenten devotional, a gorgeous rosary from Chews Life, and a tote to carry around in daily life. 

If you would like to pray through Easter, you can grab this combo deal that includes a copy of Risen: 50 Ways to Celebrate Easter. The Easter book is undated so you can use this book every year.

Where are you this season in life?

Do you believe God can meet you there, too?

I promise you, He can and He will.

Your current reality is in the center of God's will.

Wherever your life finds you right now, you can meet and find God right here, too.

I am looking forward to journeying with you this Lent.

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13 January 2020

How to Choose Godparents for Your Child

I was so excited when my sister and brother-in-law asked my brother and I to be godparents to their first child, Xavier. As all of us are practicing Catholics, my sister and her husband wanted to have my brother and I over a "godparent lunch" to discuss how they saw our role as godparents in their child's life and what we understood this important role to be.

At the end of the day, it is more than just a title.

Over breakfast quiche, homemade waffles, and mimosas, the four of us had a very honest conversation. My sister said it was important that we did not just show up for birthday parties, but were to play a key spiritual role in the formation of their son. It was important that we take seriously our role as spiritual mentors for our godchild and to be an active part of his entire life.

I was struck by this intentional way to choose and discuss the importance of the role as a godparent. 

Part of my current role as a Pastoral Associate in a parish is teaching the Baptism prep class for parents wanting to their child baptized. I have seen a lot of different families attend class with varying levels of belief or commitment to the practice of the Catholic Faith. Some know it is important to have a child baptized, but may not see the importance of weekly Sunday Mass or being a part of the parish community. Some may be well catechized and others may not.

You can find some helpful questions to consider and ask your (potential) godparents over here ...

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