Even though I’m very drawn to praying the rosary, I always seem to have the hardest time fitting it into my schedule. But I love the focus it provides, I loved how close to the Lord I felt on my retreat and how many rosaries I was able to complete while there. Of course now that I’m back to real life, things were bound to change. But I was inspired to try something a little different for me. Instead of fitting in an entire rosary at once, I have started praying one decade at a time throughout the day. So my intent is to post each decade as I pray it, over at theStepping Into It Facebook page.
So, if you care to, please join me over there throughout the day and we can keep each other inspired.
I’m still going through my notes from the retreat last month, and trying to digest all the goodies that I received. Here’s another one. “You don’t always have to be searching for the next big thing. God is right here, right now and quite capable of bringing to you all that you need. Just wait on Him!”
This was actually the most impactful message that I received while there. To just be really present to the moment…even if it seems inconsequential, or on the other extreme… even too painful to handle. God is enough. We don’t always have to be reaching out in order to control everything…which all it does is cause distraction anyway. It’s not that entertainment is bad…it’s not…as long as you are fully present for that as well. We need to stop doing things half heartedly. And by ‘we’…I totally mean ‘ME’. This constant distraction is robbing us of the intensity of life that we crave. By turning to counterfeits that can never provide what we seek, we end up with a shallow existence.
“Enter the madness and laugh. Go in the deep and feel the fear. Experience the darkness and cry. But know that through all of it, I am with you.”
This was another message from my retreat…I needed to hear them again. I suffer with episodes of severe depression and as I stand here this afternoon on the precipice of another pit…He reminded me of these truths. Yes the tears are flowing freely and yes He is with me. Even here…in this dark place…this dark road…He is with me…and there is light and vibrant colors ahead.
I want to take a few minutes to thank everyone who has put their trust in me and has helped to further my photography business. Particularly those closest to me who had a hand in its inception. Like my friend Kristin who asked me to shoot an event even before I had inklings that I could actually do this. Rick from R.J. DeSanctis Entertainment who was great at encouraging me to give this thing a go and gave me a wonderful start in event photography. The great Wendy Cukierski who hired me early on to handle some of her advertisements. My sweet cousin Luisa, who always goes above and beyond in her support of me. My dear friend Kety who has become a loyal client. And other friends galore, who have either hired me, spread the word about my business or helped with some part of it…Cassie, Kristen, Mel…gosh…the list is way too long to mention everyone. And last but not least, every single member of my family…including my husband who has been incredibly supportive. So please know that I love and appreciate you all so much! I’ve decided to do this drawing in honor of all of you. I hope that I can continue to do you all proud. I still need each of you securely in my corner…son don’t go any where. 😉
Please click on the rafflecopter link below to enter. The winner will receive a coupon from me for a FREE 11X14 photo from the following Landscape gallery.
Go here to enter the giveaway –> http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/32d87c5b1/
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“You think that you are here to just receive. But your presence here is a gift also. It brings life to those who live here. Thank you for bringing My Mother to them, through your femininity and piety.”
At times I wondered if our presence there was an imposition…I felt like I was treading on Sacred ground. The Lord assured me that this was not so, that I was very welcomed there and an important part of the picture. He also made me aware that my attire was pleasing to Him. I veil and I also specifically felt called to wear longer skirts throughout the week. Unlike what many people think…that veiling and such brings attention to those who wear it, in actuality it does the exact opposite…the attention goes back to Him who is present before us.
I was reminded this morning that I’ve gotten a little behind in posting my reflections. All in God’s timing though, right?
So the next ‘message’…I’m calling these messages, but I’m assuming that you all know what I’m talking about, right? Nothing audible or too out there folks. 😉 Just what I was feeling God speak to me, in my own heart at that special moment. I’m just feeling lead to share these…and hopefully they can inspire someone else to listen to Him also. If anything, I want to lead you to Him and not to anything of my own thoughts or ‘messages’…got it? Ok…here it goes then. 🙂
“Whatever you feel you need…bring it to the “offering table”. It is in giving that you receive!”
As a Catholic, I’m quite familiar with the concept of ‘offering it up’…but the idea of an ‘offering table’…which I’m assuming is the ‘altar’…was a new one for me. This also made me think of the widow’s last mite. He was telling me to not be afraid and to just give it all to HIM! To let go and to trust Him with my needs.
For example I’m often plagued with loneliness. In my heart He was telling me to stop clinging to relationships. To just ‘give’…to love others without needing them to love me back…and to start with those closest to me. Not in an unhealthy way of course…because sometimes the best way to love someone is from a distance. 😉
“They are living a life of total self giving. I ask it of you also.”
This was another ‘message’ received during my time in the chapel during my retreat. These monks live a regimented life of self negation for the love of God and their fellowman. Am I called to this too? Yes, perhaps not in the same form that they are living it…but yes. I was convicted of how often I live in search of love for myself, instead of looking to give it away. Wherever we may find ourselves, we are there to BE Jesus to these folks, to GIVE love. And remember the message I posted earlier…a call to love is a call to serve! In our homes, in our jobs, in our churches, in our schools, even in our social networks.
Prayer of St Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Once while sitting in the dark chapel listening to the monks chanting, the Lord spoke to my heart again. “What you are witnessing here is my heart pulsating strongly. Its echoes reverberate across the world, right into your own homes.”
This message was reaffirmed later in the week, someone else who had done the retreat had received the very same message.
While we busily go about our life out here, we have spiritual warriors interceding for us at all ours of day and night. Hold on to that thought when you feel alone.