Living in the weeds and other updates

Living in the weeds and other updates

woman-outside-a-window-staring-into-a-roomThis is just going to be a relatively quick entry – and I apologize for that. I am quite behind with a number of things (hello, unfinished Christmas cards staring me in the face) and, of course, posting here is one of those things.

I won’t attempt to fool you or myself by promising regular entries from here on out; we all know that’s a pie crust promise  – easily made, easily broken.

What I can promise: I am praying for you. Each and every one. You are dear to me – even those of you whom I’ve never met face-to-face and I dare say that’s the majority. Your patience with me as I work out with fear and trembling what I should say – what I am able to say – in this space and your acceptance when I finally get around to actually saying it has done my heart such good over the years. And for that, I am so very grateful.

May I ask a favor? If you think of it, would you please, in turn, pray for me? I could sure use it. Due to a strange mix of circumstances, I’ve been feeling rather low and quite overwhelmed since the end of November/beginning of December, and the usual remedies don’t seem to be working. Thankfully, Christmas was beautiful. For that pocket of grace, I give thanks.

But on balance, things have been hard – so very hard. Unfortuntely, I am no stranger to the vice grip that can be clinical depression, although I am not sure if I’ve ever written about it in much detail before. Whatever the case, I find myself, yet again, researching and attempting and crying and fighting and starting and stopping and trying once more. ‘Tis the human condition overall, is it not? Sometimes, however, even the normal difficulties of daily life are magnified a million times over when one is trudging through the weeds of it all.

What I know to be true is this: my faith in God continues to be the most precious gift I have and will ever possess. Even when things are at their bleakest, I believe that God is here with me, holding my hand and counting my tears and encouraging me forward one step at a time in ways both seen and unseen. I thank you for your prayers. Truly, I do. They are precious to me and mean more than I could express.


In all honesty, I didn’t plan to write this much about my struggles today, but I think I am going to hit the “publish” button anyway, if only so that any of you who struggle with depression, anxiety, loneliness, or any of the accompanying symptoms may be encouraged by knowing you are not alone.

Let me say it again: You are not alone

Also? There is no shame in seeking help, whether via professional counseling, conversation with a trusted friend or priest, or via medication as prescribed by a medical professional. A resourceful friend reminded me of this wonderful book about Catholics and depression, and I whole-heartedly recommend it to you without reservation. If, God forbid, you are struggling in the most difficult of ways, help is available 24/7 via telephone: 1-800-273-8255 or via online chat. You are unique and precious and unrepeatable, and this world needs you. I believe this with all my heart, my friend.


And now, if you’ve hung on thusfar, you will rewarded with the originally intended main topic of this post: Fr. Michael Gaitley is coming! To our state! Next month!

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A little bit of history might be in order so as to explain my enthusiasm.

Fr. Gaitley’s books 33 Days to Morning Glory and Consoling the Heart of Jesus had a profound impact on my life, as well as many others’, I’d imagine. Over the past four or five years, I’ve made numerous attempts, via official and unofficial means, to lure invite Fr. Gaitley to Oregon (and even Alabama) with no luck. Thank the good LORD for the persistance of my friend Betsy at St. Cecilia Parish. At her suggestion, we both submitted two separate yet official inquiries to his office last year in an effort to gang up on convince him that the Pacific Northwest is beyond ready to receive the message he stewards. I don’t presume to know the mind of the Holy Spirit, but apparently, he agreed that the time had come. Because Fr. Gaitley is indeed coming. I believe the fruit of this retreat will be manifold for our local church, and I praise God for what He is doing in the world, in our community, in me. Seen and unseen. Weeds and all.

God bless y’all,

heather

Photo credit: Priscilla Westra used with permission via unsplash.com

#7QT: Needing prayer + beauty in the mess

#7QT: Needing prayer + beauty in the mess

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There are so many things I want to write about in this space, but I just can’t. Yet.

The earth is moving, the sand is shifting, the color of the sky is deepening, and all that I survey is primed for change.

God is moving very powerfully and very quickly in our lives right now, but I still stand before y’all as a sinner – a fellow sojourner – a sister – a person in the need of some serious prayer.

And, when all is said and done, we need a miracle. We need grace to change, to move, and to act according to God’s will.

We cannot do it on our own.

So. We need a miracle. A legit supernatural intervention. We would so VERY much appreciate your prayers.

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This little beauty landed on our patio door just before lunch yesterday, and stayed a good, long while. Undoubtedly this winged creature was rightfully intrigued and compelled by its biological instinct to hunt down the love bugs that have returned for their biannual frolic before the temperature gradually shifts downward. Anyway, Sweet Butterfly Friend was lovely, and we enjoyed her company while it lasted.
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My dearest friend told me today that scientists have discovered that, prior to hatching, butterfly cocoons are filled with an oozy goo. It’s almost as if the caterpillar is completely liquified before being built up into its glorious new butterfly creation. She noted how perhaps our family’s time here has been our liquid time, preparing us for our impending metamorphosis. I choked up as I sincerely and unironically thanked her for being the protective covering around my ooze. It was a beautiful moment.

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Fr. J, my military chaplain friend stationed in Alaska, sent me this shot of the Northern Lights early Thursday morning. It took my breath away.
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More from Alaska …
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And another …
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Practicing detachment – from things, from people, from expectations, dreams, and desires – is challenging for me. It occurs to me that change, while inevitable, forces us to detach to one degree or another.

As St. Francis would tell his fellow brothers each morning, “Let us begin again.”

Indeed. Let us begin the new season of change.

 

Por más Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Holy stressballs, Batman!

Holy stressballs, Batman!

Hello! I have been stuck in a very intense, all-consuming women’s conference and other significant life events vortex lately. Please pay no attention to the caffeine-riddled, dangerously sleep-deprived woman behind the Real Catholic Mom curtain!!! All shall be well. Prayers (and maid service and ice cream treats) gratefully accepted!!

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Meanwhile, please listen in tomorrow from 7-8 a.m. CST to the Live Hour on WNGL for an interview with the sassified Cari Donaldson, author of this fine book. Her Celebrating Real Catholic Women post is forthcoming, complete with (ooh! ahhh!) giveaway … Just you wait and see.