It’s hard to be honest all the time. You may be thinking “say – WHAT?” But I’m serious.
I come from a generation who was raised to make everything sound good. And I feel like I can’t be honest, or I may lose the three readers of my blog – but y’all… I’m gonna come clean…
Y’all, after years of battling demons, brought on by childhood and some life-long trauma, I realized through a couple of good doctor, that I have work to do to get healthy – Not just “oh I have work to do”, but actually DOING the work.
I really am hoping to blog more. I really am hoping to craft more. But I am currently and uncomfortably concentrating on me. God is really working with me too. I’m so thankful.
If my falling off the face of the earth hurt you, please forgive me. I promise you, the few friends I have who follow or comment, I pray for you and think of you daily. I miss you all and I’m so sorry.
It has nearly been four months since I’ve blogged…
Currently, I am participating in Mary Lenaburg’s 30 Day Encouragement Challenge “You Can Do Hard Things”. And I write this to her in the comment of her Day 4 video… “I’m walking out of a season where I simply was tired of being bold/courageous. Tired of putting a smile on my face and pretending all was well. Just exhausted with the hard things in life. This is truly a time of refocus for me and I really appreciate that you have put this together. Thank you again Mary!”
The funny thing is, in my mind I had been dealing very well with everything life tossed me. And, as a Catholic, I had been performing well. Do you say performing? Yes after much thought, even though the love for God is there I was somewhat going through the motions. I told myself I had to do certain things in order to be a good Catholic. But I was not taking care of myself.
I gave up my career many years ago to care for our youngest child who is autistic and anxiety ridden. And I even began to speak words of anger to him and my husband as well… As I became increasingly resentful that all of my life goals and dreams seemed to be disappearing. Embarrassingly, The evil one was starting to creep into my mind and tell me lies.
No matter what I did, I could not shake the overwhelming feeling that I was never gonna be good enough for God. And I think somewhere along the way I stopped believing that He cared. Even as I thought children that God was love… I did not believe that He loved me. Because I have been through so much I allowed the insecurities of my past to convince me that I was not a good mom or wife or even a good person…
In the sessions that we have with Ms. Mary, she asks us basically to determine the HARD thing we need to overcome. Mine is learning to love myself; To Deem myself worthy, And to know deeply the love of God again. In order to do this I have to allow Him to love me and build my relationship with Him. In order to be a better mother and wife and friend… I need to relearn how to love myself. It’s weird to say out loud it almost 58 years old that I will battle the demons of my past and my present… But I intend to do so with the full armor of God.
If I’m not here, lol it’s not because I don’t have a lot to say or things that I want to write about. I just need to make sure that I’m writing in the correct spirit. I don’t want to be a negative person. The anxieties and stresses of life have caused me to not be well physically and mentally. And I need to concentrate on regrouping for me and my family.
I want my legacy to be one of ministry, not misery. I want to impart the right wisdom from growth. I need to listen for God’s plan in my life. And I’m excited to see what He needs me to do for Him.
I don’t say these things to worry you. Honestly I say these things to encourage you because I know that I’m not the only one who is walked through childhood abuse, incest, self degrading behaviors, loss of children, and this overwhelming need for life to look perfect for others… P.S. – it’s not. Lol
I’ll be fine. There is much good in life. And I will be back at least weekly. I have some work to do in order to get my mind right…and I will be praying for you.
As I was reading my Magnificat this morning, it occurred to me that there’s a difference between being protected from harm, and walking through inconveniences. So in my human mind I get the two mixed up. I say to myself, “why would God let this happen? Why would God allow me and the people I love to be harmed in this way?!”
Here are the first few passages I read… and literally stopped to post, after being thoroughly convicted
“Exodus 14:19 — The angel of God, who had been leading Israel’s camp, now moved and went around behind them.
God’s providence is powerful indeed. Christ, who has led the way through death to life, now shield us from all harm and feeds us with the Bread of life, Himself, as He continues to lead us in our own exodus from slavery to the promised land of eternal freedom.
Psalm 34:1-9 — 1 I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. 3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. 4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.5 Look to him, and be radiant; so your[a] faces shall never be ashamed. 6 This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord, and was saved from every trouble. 7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8 O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him. 9 O fear the Lord, you his holy ones, for those who fear him have no want.”
In the italicized portion above, you see that it says Christ shields us from harm. And as I was reading it I thought to myself, “duh, harm… Not inconveniences.” You may be asking yourself why this is a revelation to me. And if I’m being honest with you I don’t know why it’s still Is. I guess because I’ve been through so much in my life that the battle in my mind is sometimes so overwhelming that I need the constant reminder. And so when I feel strongly convicted I share… and I guess that’s what God wants me to do.
Lately I’ve been really battling depression over the fact that here in Italy were still locked down, my friends are leaving, and I can’t find a job. I think the real truth is that we all become cheerleaders for other people and we forget to tell ourselves the same thing. One would think if you could articulate to someone else that things are going to be OK he would buy it yourself but that is apparently not always the case. When things are terribly out of my control in life, because of some of the damage that was done In my childhood, it is, simply put, extremely difficult, to re-route my thought process away from the negative.
This mild depression is compounded by the fact that my husband wants to stay here for a few years, because he does have a very good job, and our youngest goes to college in the fall of 2022. To say that I dislike Italy and being this far from family is an understatement. There are some very good things here. Of course we always look for the good. But it’s lonely in a way that I can’t describe well without sounding crazy. We will be going to Texas for about six weeks this summer, spend some time with family, look at a few colleges, and visit with friends. It will be a battle for me to get back on the plane and come back over here.
I know that I have walked through worse… And that God has brought me to the other side. I just pray that by my example, on my good days, that I can make a difference in someone else’s life. I am a worrier. It’s one of my biggest sins. I know that things are gonna turn out OK because God has always provided for us… But I can’t seem to stop my mind from going to dark places on occasion.
I am stronger than I sound in this post, for sure. And I do praise God in good and bad times. Let me end this post with a positive… 10 days ago our washing machine broke down. The water is so hard here it had rusted the whole front of it in 2 1/2 years. Luckily the Navy exchange had two washing machines one being a Toploader. This is important because the rust on the front loader was caused by taking the clothes out of the washer and the hard, unfiltered water. Long story short I didn’t have a washing machine for a few days and I did lament spending the money on a new one. But the good news is folks we had the money to buy a new one and it is a superior washing machine. It is a 220 V machine for Europe, However the instructions are written in English. Her 2 1/2 years I’ve use the machine or the instructions are written in Italian and I kid you not I guessed which Load I should use. Haha
Check out the pictures of the old one.
It may sound like a lame example… But truly I believe God helped us choose a better washer for our family. It’s been a dream actually.
So you see you sometimes inconveniences turn out for the best. And even walking through harm, on occasion can mold you into a person that fits more with what God wants you to be. We cannot drink the water in our homes, but we can afford bottled water. I cannot physically reach my friends and family in the states but I can speak to them and see them over the Internet. There are so many things that can feel harmful. But there are are truly many more blessings in life. It’s about getting your mind straight… Let’s help each other do that!
Being far away is inconvenient. Many things about life are inconvenient. But we are not in harm’s way! Praise God!
Happy Monday! Happy 24th Day of 2021! I hope it’s going well so far, for you.
I’m sorry it’s been three weeks since I’ve blogged. What you need to know about me is – when I get worried or life gets busy, I don’t tend to come to my blog. Why? Because I don’t have a lot of nice things to say sometimes. The boredom of not working and being shut down in a foreign country, the lack of Mass and normalcy, and all the political and COVID news has stunted my brain. Our home is full of angst-ridden people. Sigh.
Take heart… there is so much HOPE! Today we celebrate the Conversion of Saint Paul. And I have to say, when I was reading this morning about him, I was reminded how awful he was to Christians. He sought out Christians to have them out to death for following Our Lord. And as I sat there reading about his conversion in The Acts of the Apostles, I thought to myself – “Look what God did with Saul/Paul! There is HOPE FOR ME!”
You know, my WORD OF THE YEAR is TRANSFORM (Thanks @Jennifer Fulwiler). And while I know it must seem lame to y’all that I just can’t get it together, I can assure you that it’s no joke to live it. When Mama is out of sorts – the house crumbles, y’all. Sigh. And while I am working hard to remain positive and get things done, I also keep things REAL!
After much prayer… it’s clear that this is the year of ME. Now wait a minute – you know, if you follow my blog that I do many things for everyone else, to the point that I don’t always get done what I need to get done. I need to take a step back from humanity… and I need to get healthy mentally and physically and take back my life a little bit. In a way that may sound selfish but is completely necessary. God has really put on my heart that I need to transform the way I live… the way I think… the way I pray…. I need a conversion of heart and mind. In all the woes of life, I really have lost sight of my purpose. Which sounds entirely ridiculous. But it’s true. Things I am working on in my conversion…
Putting Catholicity First – Living Liturgically — in a way that we have not done here.
When we homeschooled and were super plugged in to our great Parish in Fort Worth, it was so easy. But the transient Military Catholic Church is not the same. Sigh.
Revamp my prayer life.
Get mentally and physically healthy
Get back to Blogging for the Lord
Get back to working a job (any job)
Get back to crafting more. I miss it.
I think part of my exasperation comes from feeling separated from Jesus in the form of the Eucharist… Yes, we do say the Spiritual Communion, but I feel like HE IS MISSING from the Mass when we watch from home. Because of our lack of Eucharist and Sacraments, I believe we ARE distant from our Faith – in a way that I can only describe as climbing a mountain that keeps getting taller. You just can’t reach the top. Sigh. We do go to Mass every couple weeks. And we count ourselves blessed to be able to receive Jesus. Pray for Us!
Funny enough, my SAINT OF THE YEAR is ST. TERESA OF AVILA. It is not lost on me that she is the patron of People in Need of Grace, amongst other things. People are always saying, “Emily, you need to give yourself grace!” Sigh. Part of my giving myself grace is transforming myself back into a more organized, self-healing kind of lady. I’m going to spend my year getting to know her.
Back to Saint Paul’s Conversion… if you are feeling low, and full of angst, anger, doubt about faith, our world, and other things. Put yourself on the path to Damascus with Saul (now Paul – Paul is the Greek translation of the Hebrew name Saul, fyi) and ask God to help you transform whilst you walk with Him. God took a murderous atheist that was hunting Christians and not only forgave him but converted him into one of the Apostles, and builder of His Church. And God will certainly come to us when we call on him as we walk our own continued conversions. But it’s up to us to listen for and act on God’s plans for us. We must learn to control our thoughts. We must put our pasts behind us. This is the hardest for me. But it hit me today that I am JUST AS FORGIVEN and malleable as Paul. And I am so thankful for the Saints before us and their great and HOLY examples.
I am hopeful and determined today, Dear Ones, and I hope you are too. No matter what – Jesus loves you. Walk with Him!
I’ll be back soon. Love, Hugs & Blessings… Lady Em
I am writing this at about 5pm Italy time. It’s morning in the states.
As we face New Year’s Eve here in Italy, we are in a Red Day. It means we are “forbidden” from going anywhere. Curfew is at 10pm for take out/delivery of food, etc. But we did manage to go buy a dog crate today for our little girl (three months old) as she gets out of the play yard and into the boy’s bed. HA
Facing 2021 has be going between these two memes. First this…
But I knew I wanted to share with you a way more uplifting message than that… And I never really have to look further than my Magnificat. Y’all. Seriously – I could just regurgitate it all day look. Read John 1: 1-18 and then read the below!
2020 was a hard year in MANY ways… However; in our home, many great things happened during 2020:
my husband beat cancer he didn’t know he had.
we had time to clean and toss.
we learned we were tougher than we thought.
we made a list of things we need to do – as individuals and as a family.
I lost 10 of the nearly 20 lbs I gained.
I found my voice again and made myself a priority.
Our children are healthy.
Our grandchildren are healthy.
Most of our friends have beaten cancer and Covid and other things they have faced.
Please continue to pray for all who have not beat these things.
Today is New Year’s Eve. It’s the end and the beginning in one 24-hour period. Let us all work together to keep our minds sharp and positive. How blessed are we that God loves us so much he comforts us and guides us? He never leaves us. We can be certain of this! And whatever test we are walking through – HE is with us. Reach for his hand…
Let me quickly tell you how I intend to do stay positive, get more organized, AND concentrate:
I am using several videos to stretch/strengthen and tone. I need to move more – PERIOD. Moving helps your energy level and your mind. It really does.
I am on a 100 day fast from purchasing things I want vs. really a NEED. Sigh. that will be hard – but good.
I have my meal plan in place.
I’m going to try to figure out sales here and buy on the economy more because frankly the base is so expensive.
I’m looking for a job.
I am formulating a plan to be purposefully Liturgical. You say, WHAT? Y’all when I homeschooled, I was on it – Feast Days, etc. Between Italy and how we feel about being here, and the COVID Shut Downs… it has drained my brain and hope… Base Church is weak at best… and my disdain for it all has helped me understand we need to live more purposefully as Catholics.
More family time.
More positive mindset.
Increase my prayer life. I’m trying. I have books and things (I will talk about them later). But mainly it’s about concentrating.
I’m serious – is there a prayer for concentration or a Patron Saint for concentration.
I will find a job.
There will be more goals. That’s a good beginning.
Listen – I’m praying for you in 2021. We are all going to do our best to have a great year. It’s all we can do. Pray for me too.