365 Days of Joy: Week 13

I’ve decided to do 365 days of joy this year (inspired by the wonderful Raquel Kato, author of the Story of a Rose blog).  Some posts my be long, some may be only a sentence, but the important thing is finding joy in your everyday life, because there are so many things to be joyful about, and I tend to forget that. I’ll be posting one every week, and hopefully, along with joy, I can gain a little consistency in my life. 😉  So here we go, week 13!


BYS

I don’t know about any of you, but I am constantly looking for fulfillment, yet I can never seem to find it. It doesn’t matter how many places I go, people I meet, compliments I get, likes on Instagram, whatever, they are never enough–I’m never fulfilled. C.S. Lewis wrote,
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
That’s it! That must be it–my fulfillment won’t come because it’s not possible obtain it through worldly goods. Well, now I’m set, right? I know my fulfillment will come from something greater than me, greater than all humanity, greater than the universe, so now I just have to sit back and let the fulfilling take place, right? Well, so far, it hasn’t exactly happened that way for me.  Just like any relationship, one with the Lord takes work. You can’t just walk in, day one, and expect to have a perfect, open, stress free relationship. While he is ready and willing to begin with us, it’s harder for us to begin with him than we think it will be–building a lasting relationship does not come in 3 simple steps. I have focussed this lent on building that relationship with Christ, and what I have learned is that our relationship is like a constant wave, and it’s all my fault.  Some weeks I keep it up so well, I’m constantly praying, I’m going to adoration, I’m focused and attentive during mass, and I physically feel the connection with Christ. And then there are other weeks where I am the worst friend in the world, I don’t start conversations, I don’t reply, when He’s right in front of me, I look away and pay no attention to Him. During those weeks, I feel very alone, but for some strange reason, I know it’s not because He left me, but it’s because I left him.
Now, many of you may know this about me, but my friendships usually start off slow and then escalade really really quickly. Usually I meet a person, barely talk to them for two months or so, and then a breakthrough happens and boom, we are best friends in a couple of hours. Well, with God, that is a difficult approach for me because that “breakthrough” happened over 2,000 years ago when he died for me, so I feel like I’m constantly playing catch up in our friendship. This knowledge causes me to feel guilty for not being good enough, so then I avoid Him even more, because I don’t know how to apologize for not being a perfect friend.  This is where I have been so wrong. First of all, God doesn’t just want to be my friend. No, He wants me to be IN LOVE with Him, because He is Love. Secondly, God doesn’t need me to be perfect, he knows I can’t be. He knows it’s physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally impossible for me to be perfect on this earth. He doesn’t care. He made me not so I would be perfect for him, but so that He would be perfect for me. He is my perfect companion. I’m not made to be perfect, I’m made to know, love and serve Him. He is enough for me.
The quote I chose above is from the band, Tenth Avenue North. Not only do they know how to sing and rock like any Top 40 artist, but they also have countless songs about God’s unfailing, never ceasing love for us. They focus on taking our fears, doubts, failures, etc., and giving them all to God. They really are a wonderful, inspirational band. I’m pretty sure their new CD “Cathedrals” was written about me. This quote has been my unofficial motivator this lent, my constant reminder of what I am striving for. In addition to that, the band has also given me a prayer to end lent with and bring in Easter (and it will be especially relevant come Pentecost). So, before I begin my week of joy, I would like to share this small prayer, found at the end of their song “We Won’t Numb the Pain” (It sounds much better in song form than just read out, so you should just go listen to it).
“Let me get a taste of Your sweetness
Give me one glimpse of Your lovely light
Lord, be my joy, treasure, my delight
Let me have a sense of Your presence
May I trust Your mercy all my life
I just want to be a fire burning in the night

Fire in my heart
Fire in my soul
May the fire of Your love
Burn away control
Satisfy my heart
‘Cause I don’t want to steal
Or give in to my lust just to feel”

3.26.15

The kids were all sick today, but that just means all they want to do is snuggle and read books–which is an ideal day for me! I also got to talk to the cute Gonzalez family, and Maria waved to me!

3.27.15

A bunch of Seminarians arrived at the castle from the North American College in Rome. They were mostly from the mid-west and it turned out we knew a lot of mutual people, which was really random, but very cool. It was kind of a culture shock to be around American guys again after being away for so long. I have a feeling coming back to the States will take a little getting used to.

3.28.15

Skype date with Katlin that was full of wonderful laughter.

3.29.15

Talked to my Mema and Opa today for Mema’s 91st birthday. They both sounded so lively and happy on the phone, it was such a joy to talk to them! Then later I got to catch my Aunt Bridget at Kilty’s at quite a few family members were there too!

grouphug

Also, with it being Palm Sunday, I got to experience yet another dutch tradition. Instead of the traditional palms, they have these hedge looking branches and they also give you a sweet bread in the form of a roster, symbolizing the cock that crowed when Peter denied Jesus.

palm sunday

3.30.15

I received proof that my nephew takes after me 😉

pepeandmaria

3.31.15

We had a hot chocolate and yogurt party and it was adorable.

hightea

4.1.15

My joy came from Mary, Grace, and Joe meeting Tenth Avenue North and getting to hear them play acoustic for an hour after the show. They were all so excited, I couldn’t help but be excited with them, even if I was extremely jealous. Oh also, Elisabeth almost has the entire song of “Itsy, Bitsy Spider” memorized…and she is so cute when she sings it!

As I was writing this post, I realized how horrible I am about writing down cute things the kids do every day! They have been so adorable the past few weeks, and I always mean to write down funny things they say, but then I forget–I’ll try to be better in the future.

Ok, well that is my final lenten post! I wish you all a holy Holy Week and a wonderful Easter. I will for sure post lots of pictures of our Easter activities, so stay tuned!

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