This Lent, all we need is love.

This Lent, all we need is love.

We’ve barely scratched the surface of our Lenten journey, which means I’ve faltered at least 462 times in my observances so far, with approximately 2,954 failures to go until we finally reach Easter Sunday.

It’s a good thing we serve a merciful God, isn’t it?

I’m cut from the “all or nothing” cloth. Let’s just say moderation isn’t my thing, and compiling Lenten observances is no exception: My biggest temptation during Lent is to do ALL THE THINGS. 

During the season of Lent, I want to quit hitting my snooze alarm, read more spiritual writing, get in shape, pray the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet and at least two novenas every day, eat better, stop spending money, go to adoration every day, go to bed sooner, pay off that debt, attend daily Mass, spend quality time with the kids, go to Stations of the Cross every Friday, attend confession more often, mail off all those thank you notes, keep up with the laundry and dishes and meal planning, and, of course, purge my family members’ closets, dressers, and souls.

I want to stop eating out and give that money to the poor. I want our family to volunteer at the local soup kitchen, St. Vincent de Paul, and the memory care facility. I want to give up strife, impatience, and lack of kindness in our home. And, last but not least, I want to sing hymns as I sort through the endless piles in the attic and garage and other hidden places, paring our material possessions down once and for all by recycling, repurposing, and donating as much as possible. And I want to accomplish all these things (and more!) with joy and energy, while wearing sackcloth and ashes. Surely, once I have accomplished all these things during this ultimate season of penance, I will finally get holy! 

But …

Read the rest here.

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Freaks are family, too

Freaks are family, too

Growing up in a multi-racial adoptive home, I often felt l didn’t quite fit in — my nose was too big, my voice was too loud, my dreams were too crazy. So I did lots of stupid stuff to try to fit in. Eventually, I realized the differences within my family were opportunities for sanctification, not despair and annihilation. 

Even today, I get the feeling my particular brand of extroverted evangelism isn’t exactly what folks are hoping for as they’re paying for their jumbo-sized toilet paper pack at Costco. Hahahahaha. #truestory See Twitter. It isn’t uncommon for me to feel like a sojourner in a strange land.

Do you ever feel like an outsider? Do you wonder if you’re worthy enough to claim a seat at the table? Wonder if you’ll be seen and accepted and loved just the way you are? Me. Too. A lot.

But. No longer! The GOOD NEWS of God’s Word breathes truth and life into my doubt: I can be a misfit and a Jesus Freak all day long in the eyes of the world, and sometimes even in the eyes of my community, but with Christ as my brother and Savior, Almighty God as my good Father, and Mama Mary as my loving Mother, there will always, always, ALWAYS be a place for me in God’s Family as beloved daughter.

And so it is with you, my friend. Be not afraid to be *who you are.* Why? Because He made YOU. He wants a relationship with YOU. He loves YOU. Beautiful, messy, courageous, timid, amazing YOU. 

Sister, we may never be everyone’s cup of tea or glass of sangria, but that’s okay! We’re alive here and now for a particular reason according to His glorious purpose. You matter in an unspeakable, unshakable way to the Sovereign King of the Universe. And that, my dear sister in Christ, is what REALLY matters.

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Speaking of not fitting in, if you are a fan of hip hop/rap, Lecrae has a hard-hitting track that has been on repeat over here for about two weeks now. Even if you dislike rap, the lyrics are worth checking out. But you should listen to it at least once, too, IMHO #newthingsareokay #outsiders #anomaly

If you’re so inclined, head on over to Blessed is She and read the rest, which includes today’s Scripture readings for Mass.

God bless y’all!

photo used with permission from BIS. 
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He truly is I AM

He truly is I AM

2017 0404 BIS ImageIn today’s First Reading, the Israelites are complaining to Moses. Again.

Oh, those ungrateful Israelites. Shame on them!

Almighty God sent incredible plagues to thwart the Egyptians and split the Red Sea in two. He provided a way so His chosen people could leave the chains of slavery behind and enter the Promised Land. And still they grumbled and murmured against Him. I can practically hear them whining now: “We’re tiiiiiiired. We’re huuuuungryyyyy. This is awwwwwful. Are we theeeerrrre yet??” [Sounds like a few (or five) kids I know.]

Their lack of faith was not without consequence; the Lord sent deadly serpents to attack them. When they turned back to God and prayed for relief, He provided a way out. Only those who looked upon the bronze saraph mounted on a pole by Moses survived the serpents’ deadly attacks.

Yes. It’s easy for me to shake my head in disbelief at the immature and clueless Israelites. They grew weary and impatient and frustrated and doubted that God was making a way for them not only to survive, but to thrive.

Yet, if I’m honest with myself, am I any better than the grumbliest of grumblers in the desert?

Read the rest here.

photo credit: (c) blessed is she // used with permission

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Who Am I?

Who Am I?

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In the silent stillness before dawn, I slowly opened my eyes, reluctant to survey the aftermath of the previous night’s activities. There were empty junk food wrappers strewn about the small room, as well as myriad red cups offering up their remaining contents to the already-stained carpet. The sickly sweet smells of alcohol, incense, and smoke clung to my hoodie and jeans and clouded my memory. As I slowly sat up, I noticed about ten or eleven other teens—male and female—still sleeping in whichever spot they found themselves when they eventually passed out.

As I finally came to, my thoughts came clearly and rapidly: What am I doing here? Is this all there is to life? Is this what my future holds? Who have I become?

Read the rest here.

Photo used with permission by Blessed is She.

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