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Advent

Even though Advent ended over 3 weeks ago, and Lent is going to start in a couple weeks. I still wanted to share how my Advent went.

If you’re not familiar with the term “advent” don’t worry. Advent is pretty much the month of December. It is a part of the liturgical year, for many Christians it is meant to be a time for expected waiting and preparing for the arrival of baby Jesus.

Advent and Lent are two of the main seasons in the church. One leads up to the birth of Jesus (Christmas) and one leads up to the death of Jesus (Easter). The times or seasons in between these main events are called ordinary time. Are you still tracking with me? It can be a lot.

Advent and Lent are both important seasons obviously for two separate reasons, but both are a time for reflecting and preparing. Advent is also important because it begins the beginning of a new liturgical year.

So now that I gave you slight, shorten version to the liturgical year. Sorry about that- Let’s dive into this Advent.

Advent, 2019- was exceptional. The amount of growth I felt with the Lord was outstanding. I grew up in the Catholic Church, went to Sunday mass every week and attended weekly Wednesday classes too. God’s presence in my life has always been there.

However once you move out of your parents house and you are the one getting yourself to church every week, it’s a completely different devotion to the Lord. It is now YOUR commitment not just “a ride along, because it’s convenient” and your family is already going. It’s actually up to you, to get to church every week.

At the end of November I was watching Brighton Keller IG stories, (she also has a blog- BrightonTheDay) and she mentioned reading the book of Luke this Advent season. One chapter of Luke everyday til Christmas. So December 25 is Christmas, that means 24 days til Christmas, hence the idea of the “Advent calendar.” Throwing that out there. But turns out Luke has 24 chapters.

I do read the Bible, but I’m not exactly fully devoted as I should be, with the Bible. I don’t know all the books of the Bible or by that means how many chapters are in each book. Shocking, I know.

Anyway, I’ve read some chapters, even books of the Bible. Not all the way through or anything like that but here and there. When I would come across a verse, I would usually read the chapter it was in, just to get context of the verse itself. Does the verse have more meaning that is initially missed by just reading the one verse? Reading the whole chapter always gives me more understanding.

When I came across the idea to read the whole book of Luke, I loved the idea. Reading God’s word daily as we lead up to the arrival of his son’s birth, Jesus.

I was all in.

Also the idea of actually starting and finishing one whole book in the Bible has always seemed so long and extensive but a chapter a day seemed do-able.

So I began. I wasn’t expecting a huge movement in my life, or anything life changing. But I wanted to pull closer to the Lord during this Advent season and I felt this was a great start to doing that.

However reading a chapter a day, really did give me a big push. To do more, be more present, actually spend the time with God daily and things changed.

You don’t see the change daily just like when your losing weight. You don’t see the small things happening but then a month down the road, boom. You see it.

Reading Luke opened my eyes to things I already knew about the Bible but at the same time I really didn’t. Or maybe I had just skimmed over it and didn’t take the time to actually acknowledge the meaning.

Mostly what I got out of reading Luke was that in the Book of Luke “your faith has saved you” was said a ton of times. Maybe not a “ton” like four times. Haha regardless……Each time, it stood out to me, I would stop and be like there it is again.

The word faith is said 12 times in Luke. The phrase “… your faith has saved you,” in different ways -was said four times. He said your faith has healed you, or your faith has made you well. That’s not that many, but in all of Jesus healings he left each person saying just that.

“Your faith has saved you.”

The season of change I am currently experiencing in my life, is tough. It’s a transition I’ve been wanting and waiting for something but always feels like it’s never coming.

I think God pushed me to read the book of Luke. To see these words said over and over again.

And to remind me that, it is my faith that will do just that. Save me. God is here to guide me through if I allow him to.

God was telling me I need to lean on him, put him first and my faith will provide. It will save me.

Advent finally came to a close January 5th, just after the new year. As the Baptism of Jesus is two weeks from his birth or Christmas.

And I feel renewed. I feel like I have fresh start.

But mostly I am reminded that with God, every new day is a fresh start. A new week, a new month, or a new year. It doesn’t matter because with God you have a clean slate every single day.

Everyday he wakes up and loves you and loves me. He wants you to seek him always and that- that is why I am so thankful for coming across reading the Book of Luke.

Because it gave me a reminder, when I needed it the most, that it truly is “my faith that has saved me”

Thanks for reading- stay tuned for more. January 9th I started reading a couple chapters of the Bible a day. Following along with the “Bible Recap” on podcasts or Spotify and on the BIBLE App, there is a plan called the Bible Recap by Tara Leigh Cobble.

It’s super easy to follow along- and it keeps pulling me closer to God every day.

I’ll update you all with how it’s going after a few more months! 🙂

XOXO.

For the LOVE of your Soul.

With “Mental Health Awareness month” coming to a close I want to reflect with you all. 

First let’s start with those struggling.

We are all struggling, some more than others. Some don’t even realize they are struggling because they have been living with “this mess” for far to long. Others, you may continue to wake up every morning and sit in your sorrow or whatever the case is, you know where you are in your journey and you know where you would like to be. Do not let this stop you from waking up every morning. Do not let this stop you from doing the best YOU can. 

Do not let the struggle defeat you. You are strong, and you are capable. 

Do not let others tell you what is normal and what is not.

There is “a standard” but by all means you do not have to measure to that.

None of us were created the same. In God’s vision in his eyes we are all unique which means everyone’s mental health is different, should be different, and will be different.

I can not compare my health, to my brothers, or my sister; because we are not the same -regardless if we all grew up in the same household. You are different, your health should be treated different.

You may think you need therapy, others may not. OR others may think you need therapy, and you may not. See that’s the beauty, it is your life, you get to choose what is best for you, what is best for your mental health. Some of you, your therapy is the gym, or doing a hobby. While others of you going to therapy is therapy. I want to congratulation all of you though for realizing what helps you be strong mentally. But I also want to keep pushing you to grow and realize what is Not good for you mentally. Grow, Learn, and explore- keep fighting to complete your journey.

Do not compare where you are, to where someone else is. 

I want you all to allow yourself to realize where you are right now, in your mental health, or in your life. You are doing the best you can with what you have. Which is amazing, you are doing great. Regardless if you feel that you are not, you are! If you ask others in your life how they are doing, they may admire where you are- or how you are taking on your life situations. Meanwhile you may be admiring others. But please realize that your journey is just that, YOURS. 

“Which is amazing, you are doing great. “

Keep fighting

Fight the fight. Wake up everyday, breathe, say a prayer and thank God for allowing this day to be a gift. Later in the day, it may seem as if this day is no longer a gift, BUT realize God does not give battles to those who cannot fight them.

So for the Love of your Soul…..

Connect with your inner self. Find love for yourself. Wake up every morning and smile, even if that is a small victory. Find people in your life that help strengthen you and show you love all the time no matter where you are in your journey. Start a routine, find a new hobby, learn to love aspects of you’re life you never have.

Find peace while conquering your chaos, because after all it is YOURS. 

And for all of you who cannot, I realize it is much deeper than you can handle. It may not be in the grip of your hands. I ask you to pray. Pray that God guides you in the dark until you see the light. For he is the one who can help save you.

Here are a few of my favorite scriptures to help guide you.

Thanks for reading!

You all made it through May. You made it through the school year. Keep pushing, you’re doing amazing. I love you all. 

XOXO.

Can you pray with me?

I truly believe God places you right where you need to be, at the right time. He has you in places where you will see the things he needs you to see. He has you in places where you hear what he wants you to hear.

He has you hit every stop light in town, even when you’re late just for you to slow down.

You miss a big car accident by 30 minutes.

You barely miss a deer running into the road, by a split second.

You get out of work late to see that perfect sunset you may have missed otherwise.

All things happen because of our God, Your God, my God.

Isn’t it amazing. God is an almighty power that is beyond any earthly thing.

Okay, so Holy Thursday. Kind of a big deal right,It was Jesus’s last supper. The agony, the anticipation, the confusion of that night. Overall,it is such a large important part in the gospel.

And for everyone participating  this Lenten season, we know we are close to the end. The big event, Jesus’s death and resurrection.

So yesterday, I went about my daily routine and made my way to Holy Thursday mass, which was at 7pm. Normally I am home, preparing for the next work day and winding down for bed. But during Lent, I have chose to make time for God. Mornings I didn’t want to get up for mass, I made myself get up and make it early mass instead of waiting for the later evening one.

This Lent I focused more on Him, instead of myself.

However, I was awfully tired, as this week has been draining. I would have rather stayed home and went to sleep early but, remembering the importance of Holy Thursday I sat back and thought did Jesus get to go to bed early.

As I’m sitting in the pew, praying and waiting for mass to start. The family behind me was trying to settle in their children. There was an adorable curly-headed little girl, probably about 2 or 3 years old, playing with her mom’s car keys and asking her “how she starts the car.”


Her mother trying different ways to quiet her down asks her “can you pray with me?”


The little girl, makes a big *sigh* goes “um no, sorry, I am doing other things”

Wow. Just re read that real quick.

“can you pray with me?”

*sigh* “um no, sorry, I am doing other things” 


That question from the mother and the answer from a little 2 year old girl, just really took me back.

Not only back to the story in the gospel of Jesus asking the disciples to stay with him and pray. (Matthew 26:40-41)

But to my own life, where I can imagine God is constantly seeking me to stop. Stop and pray with him. To take time to pray in general. Asking me like that mother did, “can you pray with me”

It really shook me up honestly. How many times has God asked me to stop, stop and pray with him. How many times have I denied the invitation. A personal invitation to stop, sit, and reflect with the Lord.


Although this Lent I really tried hard to focus more on God. There were times where I was still selfish. Still chose sleep or social media over saying a prayer or reading my devotional.

Isn’t it funny how God will help you reflect, simply by having you hear something, something so little. Hearing that really made me sit down and reflect on this Lent season. How even when I try my hardest to focus on him, he still wants more. And when we think him asking for more is such a hard task, he is only asking for you to stop for moment and give it all to him.

So I urge you all, reflect deeply these next few Holy days. The three we have left, sit and think of all you have given to God and everything you still have to give. What more can you give to him, and what can you do less of that will free up more time for you to give towards praying for example.

Stop and smell the roses. Stop and enjoy the sunsets. Stop and pray with God, listen for him. Listen when he asks you “can you pray with me?” God is always asking something from you, maybe we should just give him that moment of our time.

I hope y’all have a blessed Holy Week, and a lovely Easter! May the Lord be present with you and your family, and I hope you all stop and pray with him.

XOXO.

Oh Valentine’s.

February Fourteenth.

A date everyone is either annoyed with or dreaming of in every detail. Being 25 I have learned along the way the importance of this day and how to go about it single or in a relationship. This year Valentine’s was on a Thursday, so for adults just another day of the work week. And for single adults – just another normal night at home, alone.

Last year I wasn’t uber depressed about being single and “alone” on that wonderful Wednesday. I decided to embrace the day or week as every other week && choosing to love myself the best way I know possible. But this year things have changed a little, so I get to enjoy the other end of the spectrum. 🙂

But for those of you who are still single….. Here are a few ways to love Valentine’s and to spread the Love instead of hating the day.

Be a secret admirer.

For someone you know probably needs it more than you. Last year, I left a note in one my coworkers work locker, just a simple note and some homemade cookies. She was going through a divorce and I cannot even imagine the pain she is experiencing so I decided to do a small thing that would make her feel loved. And it did, she was so surprised and she actually said she never had received a valentine’s before. I made a small gesture that made a big impact on her day and probably week. AND she deserved it too. So send your best friend a card, or call your momma, or have lunch with your papa. Share love with your family, your friends. This day is about love – and it doesn’t have to be with a significant other!

Buy yourself the damn flowers.

You do NOT have to wait for a man to come along to get you the flowers you want. LOVE YOURSELF! However I live on a budget, lol. So I do not suggest buying yourself the 50$ bouquet of roses, unless you really wanna spoil yourself. *shrugs* your choice of course! I wait a few days and buy the left over flowers at target. I paid $5 for a bouquet that was $25. And yes they were a little under watered BUT put them in vase with water and boom – as beautiful as ever ! & let me tell ya my purpleish bouquet of roses were stunning.

Enjoy Love from those who love YOU.

You do not need a MAN. When you have family who love you, friends who love you and Yourself. Let’s be honest – you have YOU. And there is no one better for you than…. You. Surprise! If you don’t live close to any family or friends – then take time for yourself on this lovely day, or any day for that matter. Self- Love has become a big topic for a reason, and if you haven’t taken it seriously – I strongly suggest you do.

So… confession. Most of this was actually wrote a year ago. Now I am happily in a relationship and boy was I spoiled this year. I know not everyone gets to enjoy this holiday with someone, but last year I really embraced loving myself as I think everyone should. Enjoy the day of Love!

Anywho, I hope everyone spends this Valentines happily in love with themselves and their life. And if you do get to be spoiled by your significant other, take time to actually enjoy each other. Love yours.

XOXO.

41 days in.

Well…. I feel like every year it seriously feels like January is the longest month ever. Like how does 31 days seem to last four months? But now we are 10 days into February and it finally actually feels like 2019 is beginning. Alot has happened in the month of January and honestly, I think my change in habits has alot to do with it.

For the start of 2019 I wanted to really start focusing more on God’s plans for me, rather than creating my own plan. Because trust me when you start planning your own life, it gets pretty frustrating when things are not going the direction you want them to. Turns out, if you would just hand over everything to God, things will magically fall into place. Seems pretty easy to do, but it has taken me a long time to give all my worry to God and let him handle things.
My plans for 2019 I wanted to really grow in God, get back to my faith, stand firm in the roots I was raised, and also give my time to God and not “find time for God”

January 1st, I began looking up bible verses and posting one every day.I usually go to Pinterest, search and scroll through the “bible verses” and the one that pops out to me, look up the verse maybe read a couple verses before and after and then I post, I usually post it to my Facebook and Instagram story. Now I know that seems silly and I know what some of you are thinking, why do I take time to scroll through Pinterest to “find one that grabs my attention” instead of just using the daily verse I get from my bible app? Well personally, I really believe God provides what you need for each day. I also firmly believe that God leads me to certain people, signs, jobs, etc. so that I may get to where I am going. So I choose to search for the verse that “finds me” because this is a way for me to come closer with God, by allowing him to show me verses daily.

For some with little to no knowledge of faith, this may be hard to understand or seem confusing. But pretty much every day, one verse sticks out more than another. I will click on the first one that stands out and then I usually will scroll through a few more But I always end up going back to the one I found first, it never fails. For others, I know this is really not that hard, to “look up” a bible verse and read it, and then post for the whole world to see, some may thinks its a way of “flaunting” my religion. I really am doing it for my own benefit and growth with the Lord and in hopes of maybe the verse he shows me that day, will reach someone in need of some uplifting. Overall all I would say it has really helped me take time out of my day to read a verse from the bible, and to intentionally set aside time to focus on the Lord.

“My growth and relationship with God over the last month has flourished.”

Which leads me to my progress… My growth and relationship with God over the last month has flourished. Not only am I becoming more trusting with the Lord but my life is showing it in so many ways. Taking time every day to read a verse from the bible, to pray, to be present in waking up each day allows me to find the joys in life. I have always been committed to going to church on Sunday, but not until not have I committed to giving time to God every day. And if I am being honest, he should have been getting my undivided attention a long time ago. The reality is without him, I would not wake up every day, so who am I to not give my time back to him. These last 41 days have been overflowing with new opportunities, finding happiness again, and connecting with my purpose.

I have since gotten back into my career by starting a new job. I have a boyfriend who makes me a better me, helps me stay focused on my dreams and goals. Things really do feel like they are just falling into place, and this may seem weird but waking up every day is just so much easier, when you aren’t “fighting with life.” I honestly feel like I am so surround by love these days, God is just showing me more and more that the people in my life are truly amazing. And God never seizes to amaze me with his timing.

So yes I am 41 days into 2019, with a positive mindset, life seems to be going really well and my relationship with God is amazing. I plan to keep giving time to God daily and hopefully by taking time to give him time, my posts will reach others who need that influence from God as well.

Thanks for reading and sorry for being MIA, more to come!

XOXO

If you’re looking for some daily inspiration or just want to follow me you can find me on Facebook FB danettejune  Or on Insta at @danettejune