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.