Empty me

I am currently lost in what might just be my new favorite book.  One of those ones that you cannot put down once you pick it up.  I Believe in Love by Fr. Jean C. J. D’elbee is a “personal retreat based on the teaching of St. Therese of Lisieux” and it is simply magnificent.

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It is filled with wisdom and truth – two things that this heart of mine needs in abundance.  St. Therese fascinates me. She entered into the convent at age 15 and died at only 24 years old. And boy, did she love Jesus.  She is known for her “Little Way” – the way to holiness for little souls.  She was so fully aware of her brokenness and smallness and it was exactly that which allowed her heart to love Jesus so deeply. Because she was so little, she needed Jesus so desperately.

“The elevator which must raise me to heaven is Your arms, O Jesus! And for this I had no need to grow up, but rather to remain little and become this more and more” -St. Therese

The more I read about St. Therese, the more I witness humility.  Humility that seems impossible to attain. How am I supposed to make myself small in a world that tells us we need to be big? How am I not supposed to take offense or complain when I am wronged?

Jesus. That is how. 

“Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled; and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” -1 Peter 5:5

The type of humility that I see in St. Therese and desire in myself can only be given to me through Jesus. He will transform this prideful heart of mine. My prayer has been “Empty me, O Lord.” Empty me of everything from this world, so that I may filled only with you.  Help me to love my brokenness and littleness; it is those two things that allow me to love and be loved.

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“The vacuum which humiliation makes in us when we receive it rightly is an emptiness which attracts him irresistibly. He bends over the soul who loves its littleness and nothingness; He bends over it with an unspeakable love.”  -Father Jean C. J. D’elbee

Emptying myself,

Lily

Here. Now.

“…for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” -Phil 4:11

Jesus always seems to lead me right where I need to go in the bible.  This morning, it was to the wise words of St. Paul in Philippians.  I am in a transition season of life. It is hard. Mainly, because I know what life looks like a few months ahead but I am not there yet.  And that means waiting…my least favorite thing.

Oh how Jesus knows exactly what I need. He is strengthening me through this waiting period. And it is such an answer to prayers…I ask Him everyday to help me attain the virtue of patience!  Yet here I am, still pouting at the fact that I have to wait a few months to move and start a new teaching job.

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So as a came across Philippians 4:11 this morning, it struck my heart deeply.  I am constantly looking for the “next thing.” Whether it is a new ministry I want to get involved with, a trip that  I want to go on, or a new job, my mind is always searching for something new.  And this is dangerous. When we are constantly looking ahead, how can we possibly be receiving the graces God wants to pour out to us in the present moment?

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Yet our world loves to make us think that we always need to be striving for the “next best thing.”  I fall to this in so many ways. I am human, broken & weak. I set my eyes on earthly things and so quickly forget that the only important things come from above.

But it is okay. Because I have God and His mercy. I have His living word.  I have a relationship with Him in which I can pour my heart out, begging Him for patience, an ability to be present and content, and to have a heart that can receive His graces. Here. Now.

Thank you, Heavenly Father. I praise you for your unconditional love and mercy, even when I make the same mistakes over and over again. Help me be present today, in every moment and in every situation. 

Contently waiting,

Lily

The Comfort of Control

I love to be comfortable.  I love knowing what will come next, where I’m supposed to be, and what I’m supposed to be doing. I love CONTROL.

Over the past few months, I’ve gotten my world rocked with the realization that God does not call us to be comfortable nor does He call us to be in control. How humbling!

Thankfully, I have had a change of heart recently in regards to control.  Now, when I think about it, is control really that comforting? Initially, I said yes. But then when I thought about it more, really started to ponder it, I changed my mind. We live in a broken, fallen world. Imagine trying to control anything in it?  Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

However, I am human, so in the heat of the moment, I forget to give things to God and suddenly I am grabbing at something, trying so desperately to control it. And then I fail. And then I go back to my prayer journal and reflect on what happened and come to that consensus that is so easily forgotten…God is in control. Not me.

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Example A: I’m currently looking for full time teaching positions starting in the fall. Cue CONTROL.  I fall into the trap of believing that I’m going to find the perfect school and I have to do all the things to make sure I get there.  And then I come back down to reality and realize that I need to trust God wholeheartedly and believe that whatever school He wants me at, He will clear the path and remove all obstacles. The control is completely His.  I do what I can, and let God take care of the rest. And He will.  Now THAT is comforting.

“Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time.  Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7

Humbling myself,

Lily

 

Interior Freedom

Interior: located in the inside of something

Freedom: the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved

Interior freedom. Two words that I know and understand separately, but have never put together. Until recently. And boy…am I glad I did.  It all started with the book “Interior Freedom” by Father Jacques Philippe. I bought it months ago and it has sat on my book shelf until this past week. God put the desire on my heart to pick it up and start reading it; it never ceases to amaze me how perfect His timing is.

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So what is interior freedom? “Its purpose is simple.  Every Christian needs to discover that even in the most unfavorable outward circumstances we possess within ourselves a space of freedom that nobody can take away, because God is its source and guarantee.” (Interior Freedom, 9.)

How amazing is that? This freedom cannot be touched by external circumstances.  Nothing that is going on in my life can be rob me of this freedom. PRAISE GOD, because we sure do live in a messy and broken world.  I imagine this perfect little box over my heart, protecting it from anything and everything that could take away my peace and freedom.  How amazing is that? When God is the source, it cannot be touched. No matter what is going on in our lives, this interior freedom that we possess never leaves us. Even when we don’t feel it..it’s there. Because God is bigger. Always.

So this morning I am praising God for interior freedom. When I cling to Him, I am protected from the brokenness and evil that wants to rip it right out of me.

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Clinging to Him,

Lily

Audience of One

Over the past 5 years, I have sat down and tried to start a blog several times.  At first it was a blog about running, then it shifted to a blog about nutrition, and then somewhere in there I thought I should just blog about my life. Five years later I finally feel like I have found the right topic. A blog, which I am sure will be sprinkled with random life at times, but that mostly focuses on my faith journey and the ups and downs that it brings.

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The one thing that feels different about this fourth attempt is that for once I am not heavily focused on how popular I can be in the blogging world; whether or not I am “good enough” to attract crazy amounts of readers or “talented enough” to make my site look pretty and appealing to anyone who stops by.  To be honest, I am not even sure how one goes about getting anyone at all to read their blog.

I want this space to be therapeutic; a space where I can be raw and honest.  I want my words to speak the truth. I feel great relief knowing that I do not have to write a certain way, talk about certain topics, or present myself in a perfect light; that is certainly NOT the case!

So although it took 5 years to finally realize it, blogging is not about the amount of people I can attract. I have an audience of One: Jesus Christ. And if it happens that He uses me through this blog, then AMEN to that.

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It’s for Him

The first post is always hard.  I’ve always had a desire in my heart to start a blog yet I have found myself fighting resistance when it comes to actually starting.  But, here I am.  My hope for this blog is that God can use me as an instrument to share His love with anyone who wants to listen.

So, thank you for stopping by. I’m excited to begin this journey!

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