Catholic Faith · Emily (Me) · God's Plan · Health · LadyEm · Self Improvement

Season of Me? Building a Relationship With God…

Dear Ones,

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.

Thanks for understanding.

Love & Hugs,
LadyEm

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Don’t Bear Hatred… AACK

Happy Thursday All,

The Saint of the Day today, January 10th, is Saint Gregory of Nyssa. Read about his life by clicking on his name. St. Gregory of Nyssa – Pray for us!

I am sharing the below with you because:

  • …it is real.
  • …we all have periods where we revert back to middle school feelings of “not good enough”.
  • …those of us who move across the world from friends and families have days where we feeling almost as if we are trying out for friendship with people… “hey, am I good enough?” “are they always going to nix my ideas?’ 

I’m sharing this with you because I know I can do better, and I want let you know it’s ok if you feel these things. I want to encourage you to BE YOU. Be the light God made you to be. People will eventually see the light, don’t let them snuff You out. In other words, don’t make the same mistakes I do.


Leviticus 19:17-18 was the first reading today. I have to admit, this is hard for me sometimes. 

For instance when I first moved to Italy, I encountered a couple people in the Catholic Parish that were very unwelcoming. There’s a lot more to the story but I’ll leave it there.  I am not saying that these people were the only ones at fault, they were unwelcoming and quick to judge on several occasions, and I was ugly about it. I’m not normally an ugly person but I think being overwhelmed about moving to another country, being nervous, feeling like a junior high girl that has to prove that I’m worthy of friendship, and frankly just being lonely and bewildered lent to my reaction to these women. When I apologized for my part in it, it was not well received as they did not see their part. I am not good at conflict.
I was an Event/Meeting planner at one point in my career and excel at putting together Events/Parties. And Hospitality/Welcoming people is my specialty, which is why I am very conscious of other people’s lack of hospitality/welcome. Plus, some people just put off airs that they can’t be bothered with others. Lastly – I never lived the actual military life as an adult, where you move every few years, and that has to be hard. So I really am not here to pass judgment on them, just giving you background.
I am feeling guilty this morning and have been for a week or so. You see, I went to the Priest and another Church Council member about the lack of community/hospitality/communication at the Parish.  And eventually we decided that I would head up the Hospitality Committee, and then I noticed things Father had talked to me about were being done by these women who I perceived did not like me and would never accept my ideas, or me in that position…  and then I panicked about past experiences with women who bully and decided that I had severe dislike for these women and thought all kinds of uncharitable thoughts. I took the position because I believe welcoming people and creating community is one of the most important things. I excepted, and then a couple days later I declined. What this all amounted to was that I chickened out.
I was here, without my lifelong friends, without family for the holidays, I felt self-conscious and unwelcome and I decided I hated it here, and hated them, and I started walking down a path where I was allowing myself to pick it all apart, instead of learning how things run here and helping institute positive change. Hate is a strong word, but the devil is a strong force. So much has gone wrong here that it’s hard to put the angst I felt even into words. The roller coaster of feeling like I wanted to leave my husband and our faith and that no one cared… and having to fake my way through it like I was the happiest person on earth… Sigh. Let’s just say it was all bigger than me. I was spiraling. The couple years of BAD had finally broken me. Italy broke LadyEm!
Yesterday, was the first women’s meeting I have attended since my first unwelcome experience. In the previous meeting, I will share with you that several of us new people stood there, and then sat down, and not one current member of the women’s group greeted us. No one had on name tags… honestly no one even spoke to us. It was not a great experience. And when I suggested name tags and other things, privately, I was rebuffed. It was hard for me to walk back into it. But I invited a new friend and I knew that there would be one other person there I knew. So I went anyway. And I survived. There were even name tags, and Father came by to say hi. Did the leaders introduce themselves to new people – nope. But that’s ok, it’s on them. I guess it’s just not who they are, and I can’t let it diminish my experience here. 
This evening is the first meeting of the hospitality committee. Our Priest wants me to come. I really want to head it up, but after backing out, I know I will take a support role and I’ve been battling my ego for a couple weeks. Yesterday at the above-mentioned meeting, I said I probably would not be there because I hate to drive at night. This is true, I have no depth perception and could easily back out. But I don’t want to further let Father down, and I don’t really know what to do.
But I do know this. I broke more than one commandment with my thought process and actions. It’s weighing so heavy on me. Confession is not readily available here in Italy. One Priest, three bases, 1/2 hour confession a week, unless you make an appt. sigh… but I need to go and I will make that happen.
I share this with you because I want you to know that when you are spiraling out of control – as depicted above with my train of thought – that God still has you. You are NOT alone. Why else was the meeting scheduled today? When God knew I would read the above and know that I have been very wrong…. and then encourage me to get up and come down to my cold office to write this up, to help someone else who needed to know:
God loves you and wants you to live bravely and assuredly in His word. Fear not, my brothers and sisters in Christ… He is with you. Don’t fall into the sin of self-doubt, for it is lead by EGO and PRIDE! And you know the saying, Pride goeth before the fall. 
I don’t really know how to “get over myself” because I am a work in progress. BUT – I can tell you that I feel God working in me. I know I don’t have to LIKE everyone I meet, but I must not HATE or show contempt either, because that is a sin against God. And really, when you think you aren’t good enough, that is self-hate, and it’s also a sin against God.
Sigh. Pray for me. I don’t know if I will serve on the committee or take a role of helping when I can.
But I know I need your prayers. I want to be the Light I am. I don’t want to give into fear, angst and ego. I’ve been here before and it’s NOT pretty.

Can you relate? Let us love one-another. If someone is not welcoming, you be welcoming. If someone is not nice, pray for them. Don’t let Hate seep into your thoughts, it affects your heart and soul. God commands us to LOVE! Be the One who LOVES!

DO NOT BEAR HATRED FOR YOUR BROTHER (and Sisters) IN YOUR HEART!
As I told someone recently – Italy Broke LadyEm! Sigh. Pray for me. I’m praying for you, I promise.

I promise to be back and on a happier note soon.
I hope this helps at least one person. 
Love, Hugs & Blessings,
Lady Em