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Easter Sunday

Goodmorning.

I hope last night you were all able to digest all that God had given to us. His sacrifice. Jesus. The crucifixion.

If not. Don’t worry, I wasn’t able to digest it all either. It’s a process. And something I’m not sure I will ever be able to completely understand. But for me that is the Joy of every Lent. I get to revisit this. Every year.

And every year I grow in my faith, I get to focus on something new about Easter.

This is what I love about Faith.

About religion in general. You never reach a full understanding -which means growth. It means you can never stop learning. That there is always more to learn. More to understand.

That is truly amazing to me.

Anywhooooo… back to Easter Sunday.

Things and ways to keep you focused on Easter, on God and all he has given us. And Focus on the amazing celebration God has provided us.

***Do what you would normally do.***

For example: do you normally go to church? Yes, then find an online service. If your normal church does not have an online mass to watch, search Facebook or Google- there are a ton of churches that are live streaming their services weekly. And today will be no different. (I’ll link some below) Sit down and watch church as if you are in the actual pews. If you don’t normally go to Easter mass, maybe this year is the year to start cause it’s in the safety of your own home! I say that’s a perfect time to fully commit.

***Dress up***

Yup, you heard me. I normally dress up for Easter Mass, so today will be no different. I am going to get ready as a I normally do. I am going to plop myself on the couch. All dressed in my Easter Best with no one to see it but my sister and God. But who cares. I am going to participate, praise, and worship as if I am actually sitting in my church. After all the church building itself is not actually the church, The People are.

***Start Easter Sunday “like normal”***

I know I keep reinterating this. but seriously, God slowed down your life on purpose. He wanted us to experience Easter different this year. And it will be just that, different. You will be in your home all day. BUT- do your same routine.

That may mean for many, something totally new. Maybe you live alone? Maybe you still get to wake up to your family? It will be different for everyone.

Unfortunately I will miss waking up to my whole family. To my dad cooking breakfast, us all coming downstairs and eating and then getting ready. On off years we are up at 5, yes 5AM preparing for the Easter Pageant we hold in our home town. (I’ll link our FB page below for those who want to watch last year’s performance) On the other years we wake up late 9am or so and all go to mass together.

This year, won’t be the same. It will just be me and my sister. But atleast I have one family member to keep things close to the same. I plan to still get up and make breakfast, drink coffee and then get ready. You all should do the same.

This year will be different. You will have to find a normal in the not so normal. But take this all as a blessing. Take it as God wanting to show you something new. Something different. Slowing down and being able to enjoy and see things from a different point of view will be amazing. This year you may be able to see something that normally you would have missed out on because well, we too often are moving too fast. Going in too many different directions, We are always on the go, always on to the next place and next project.

This year will be different but JUST MAYBE, just maybe. God will show us something new, something amazing that we have missed out on.

Today I ask you to be present. To rejoice. To love. And to pray. Ask God to show you things you may have been missing out on. To show you gratitude of what you do have right now. And to be grateful of what you have been able to do in previous years.

Maybe this year is meant to show us we should not take things for granted as much as we do. That every day is a gift, that our family is a gift, that holiday, Easter, family gatherings on holidays are a GIFT. Be grateful.

But most importantly, sit and enjoy Easter. Realize what miracle God has given us. That Jesus was crucified and three days later, he rose from the dead. Say it loudly ……. and rejoice……

HE IS RISEN!

HALLELUJAH!

HALLELUJAH!

May God bless you all, may he provide you the peace you need during this time. Enjoy those who are around you this Easter. And thank God for all he has provided.

Church service Links|||

St. Isidore’s Student Catholic Center **9:30am CST**

Elevation Church w/ Steven Furtick

Transformation Church w/ Michael Todd **11am CST**

Easter Sunday at the Vatican w/ Pope Francis -my favorite choice- It will be Rome time so you won’t be able to catch it live.

T.D. Jakes Ministries **9am CST**

Chris Tomlin – he has an amazing Good Friday service.

Lauren Daigle – also had an amazing Good Friday service.

These are my top picks. just a few places to easily find a service to watch. There are a ton more I am sure. Just search around!

Lastly… Easter Pageant link |||

Pawnee Rock Easter Pageant – we will re share the Live of last years pageant.

XOXO.

Holy Saturday

Or as I refer to it as, Somber Saturday.

I would have wrote this earlier but today is meant for silence. You are supposed to spend this day in a solemn, sad, somber state. As Jesus has just died on the cross and been laid in the tomb.

His followers, believers, friends, family, all had no idea of what was to come tomorrow. They felt a very deep and heavy loss. They were confused. And I’m sure very lost at how this could have happened.

For me it is hard to feel that exact feeling or try to relate to that as I already know the outcome. But I tried to grow in my religion a little more today and to try and think differently than previous years.

Today I spend most of my day searching for a silence. Searching for slowing down and feeling the sad and sorrowful feeling of what his followers then must have felt. I should feel that same way today as well.

It was hard.

Hard for me to find silence. Or honestly to sit in silence. I am always busy and on the go. Running errands, getting groceries, picking up projects to complete. Saturday’s are busy for me in the sense so that on Sunday I can rest. So usually I spend my Saturday’s running around

With the current world state or pandemic we are facing being at home is one way to force you into silence. But I tried to change that mindset and look at it as an opportunity or a chance for God to slow me down.

Today I really did try to focus on slowing down and finding that. I’m not sure I succeeded.

But my walk that I went on today, I walked an extra mile more than I usually do. I listened to his word. I prayed. I focused on God.

Although I did not find complete silence today. I did try to find God more than I usually do on Easter Saturday. I hope you all found time to do that today as well.

This time we are all living in might be new, might be a challenge and hard to understand. But this time thousands and thousands of years ago Jesus’s friends all were experiencing this same feeling.

Tonight, let what your feeling exist. Acknowledge it. Feel it. Journal about it. Think about it deeply. Take it all in.

And pray. Pray to God to help you through this. Pray to God and thank him for giving us his only son. Thank him for giving us the greatest miracle to date.

Be grateful.

Be thankful.

And know that when tomorrow comes. When we wake up. God is going to show us a miracle. We may not know exactly what that miracle is. But he is going to provide.

XOXO.

Good Friday.

Have y’all ever pondered on the thought of why in the world we would ever call it Good Friday?

How is it Good? Jesus Christ was crucified today. On the cross for our sins. How am I to sit in silence and solitude today knowing he was put on the cross for me, for you, for all of us.

Luckily for all of us today we know that He will rise in three days. But back then his people, his followers, his friends- none of them knew.

For those of you who are dealing with death in your life right now. I hope you are finding the peace you are needing. This Holy Week is full of grieving and then it is celebration. A time to rejoice.

I know it is hard to deal with loss in our lives but God has a purpose. God has a greater plan. We may not know what it is today or next month but he will reveal it in time. He will provide you grace, peace, guidance, and love. God’s love is unconditional we just have to show up and believe.

Holy Week and Easter are a perfect time to realize that with loss. God brings greater things. He provides a greater joy and the deep grief we experience. He always provides more and better than the sadness and grief that we have to go through.

Find joy in that today.

Easter is such an amazing time for me. I love every bit of Holy Week. Yes including each day we are called to go to Mass, to sit in silence for hours and search for God. To simply show up.

I love Good Friday just as much as the other days, even though it does bring sorrow. Just because every year it brings me back to ponder- God really gave us everything he had. He sacrificed his only son for me. For you. That is just crazy.

Sometimes I may not feel good enough, I may not feel like I know who I am completely but Holy Week always pops me out of that mindset. God gave his all, his one and only son to show that I am worth it. My sins are forgiven. And that he will always love me.

In the light of the current times know that God is good. He is always good. All the time.

Remember He is always the same, yesterday, today, and forever.

He will never leave you.

Today I hope you all take time for silence. For prayer and reflection. I hope you are still searching for the “normal” in everyday and asking God to show you what that may look like in each new day.

Have a blessed Good Friday.

XOXO.

ONE Hundred Days!!!

I made it.

I finally made it to 100 days of reading the Bible. Every. Single. Day.

Okay okay. I started January 6th and I caught up by the 10th. So technically in 6 days I will be 100 days in. But regardless- a milestone to remember! A milestone to celebrate.

And what a beautiful day it is, to do it on.

Holy Thursday!

Yes it is just that- Holy Week. And today is Thursday, for all of you who are WFH, and are unsure of what day it is. Or for those of us who are still working everyday in this chaos. Yes it is Thursday.

For those of you who missed my previous blog post. This year 2020, I decided I wanted to invest and indulge myself in the Lord and into my religion more that I ever have before. The easiest way I found to start and do that- is to focus on his word. The Bible.

So everyday on my Bible app. I get a Notification at 6:30am. I wake up. I open the app and I read or listen to that days chapters, in the book we are reading and then I go to Spotify and I listen to the podcast set for those chapters. It explains it in a simpler way and summarizes what I just read. I love getting a “recap” just to make sure I understand a little bit more of what just happened. Because trust me the Bible can be confusing sometimes.

So far I have not been overwhelmed with reading the Bible. Probably because it’s only a few chapters a day and it’s all laid out for me. That way I just listen along and the chapters are already planned out for me. Super easy.

I also love how understanding the whole experience is. They always throw in there “don’t worry if you are behind… you are still reading the Bible. Probably more that you would have been anyway” like good job for sticking with it and still being here.

They help make “feeling human”and missing a day or two seem realistic or not such a huge mistake. They give you room to breathe and not take it as a big mishap for missing one day of reading.

After all, God is grateful that I am reading his word. God is grateful that I am connecting with him daily and building my relationship with him.

This is a milestone for me. Committing to more time with God and actually following through. Finally deciding it is time to put God first and then everything else will find its own time.

I hope you all are staying home. And staying safe. I also am praying for you all. I am praying that this all ends soon. But I am also praying that everyone slows down a bit.

God is searching, reaching out his hand. Wanting you…. yes, You to slow down and call out to him. The battle is His, not yours. * 2 Chronicles 20:15 *

During this time of uncertainty and chaos, I hope you all are finding time to slow down. I also hope you all are taking time to find “the normal” escpecially during Holy Week.

Today being Holly Thursday- normally I would be getting ready and blocking out a time to go to mass. To sit in the pews and be at the church with God to relive what he experienced during these next three days. For me finding normal meant still getting ready for mass even though I’d be watching it in my own home. It meant still preparing and praying prior to the mass time. Still showing up and watching the mass as if I am at the church and in the pew.

Creating normal is hard, especially when nothing is normal right now. But if you change a few things around and switch your mindset. Things are still the same. God is still the same. * Hebrews 13:8 *

God is still the same.”

Hebrews 13:8

May God Bless you all, may he protect you during this time and may he show you the love and peace you are searching for.

I hope to write another blog tomorrow for Good Friday and hopefully one Saturday in ways you can still keep Easter “the same” while staying at home instead of being at the church.

God Bless

XOXO.

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.