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Here are this week’s must-reads:
+ “All work can glorify and honor God — because it’s our hearts, rather than our hands, that determine whether something is done for God’s glory.” — Elise Koufos
+ There is purpose to your season: “There is purpose to your season. What feels insignificant, meaningless or really hard is actually going to become your preparation to step into something beautiful in a future season. Know that nothing in God’s hands is wasted. God sees the whole picture. He sees from the beginning to the end. You can trust that what God is building inside of you is going to be beautiful, and it’s going to be powerful and it’s going to give him all the glory. I feel the Lord asking you: “Will you trust me? Will you surrender what your idea of what this season needs to look like and know that what I’m doing is far greater than you can ever imagine.” — Jennesa Wait
+ A few days ago, I shared a little bit of my heart for what I share online — what I share and why I share it — here.
+ “A consistent theme [lie] I hear from women & struggle with myself: we think we’re alone when it comes to our challenges or less-than-perfect lives. Objectively we know it’s not true, but internally, boy do we believe it and repeat it. It might feel like everyone else has it all together except you, but they don’t. They’re just adept at disguising that fact.
You’re far from the only one whose house isn’t perfectly clean or renovated or decorated. You’re not the only one who feels like you’re waiting on a vocation… seemingly forever. You’re one of millions of women who question whether they’re a good mom. You’re not the only one who sees another women’s accomplishments and immediately despairs that you’re a failure – that you have nothing of value to share with the world…” — Megan Hjelmstad
+ “Instead of mulling on our worries, let’s meditate on His Word. This is the resolution every new week needs — a revolution: A turning every day to Christ. The only hope of a new me, is *Christ in me.* — Ann Voskamp
+ Scripture verses to pray when you have the winter blues
+ “A lot of the self-loved that’s pushed these days falls a little flat because it fails to recognize that our beloved-ness — our worth & our dignity — come from the Lord. Not from what we accomplish, how productive or successful we are, or how we look. We were made good and we are loved by Him… To accept and embrace this — to realize our true identity — is the kind of self-love that we all really need.
“So when I heard this audio message earlier — about how “you’ll never look into the eyes of someone that isn’t loved by God,” I thought about those moments when we look at ourselves — or think to ourselves — and fail to realize that God loves *us.*… And I thought… how healing it might be to intentionally look at ourselves — and think to ourselves — that the eyes staring back at us, that face in the mirror, is one that He loves immensely.
“Sometimes, I think we need to practice this just a little more with ourselves than with others… though I certainly know we need to do it for others too! Today’s Gospel reading was the perfect reminder of that — love your enemies and all… But then again, sometimes we’re our own worst enemies, aren’t we?
I can go on and on, but I’ll leave it with a prayer for you to see and embrace your belovedness.” 💜💜💜 — here
+ “The fragility of life has my attention. There are seasons in life where we ponder success, education, retirement accounts, vacations, health — there’s always something that preoccupies the largest portion of our attention. But … what if choosing love preoccupied the largest portion of our attention? At the end of life, what else matters?…
“How am I choosing to love today? If I am married, do I give my spouse that look of love that reflects God’s lavish love for us? At the end of each day I must ask myself, “Was I open to the little things, the little ways that God is calling me to love?” On our last day at the end of this life there’s nothing else that matters.” — Mary-Rose Verret
+ Decorating During Lent: I know it might seem weird to decorate for Lent — because it’s a season of detachment and all, but… the things that we surround ourselves with and the pieces we’ve thoughtfully placed around our home do have an impact on our heart as we go about our days, so I think there *is* a way to decorate for Lent — in a way that reminds you to return to the Lord. Every hour. Every day.
Consider how the Church changes linens, cloths, banners and vestments for the different Liturgical seasons… Decorating in our homes can have a similar impact on our minds and our hearts at home, especially because we spend so much time here.
So here are some examples of pieces that I think would be appropriate to place out during Lent…
+ “Every time we pray, God hearkens to our heart, to our souls seeking to be repaired in all the ways our souls need. He offers to restore everything we allow. Jesus tells us to “ask” and receive, “seek” and find. Every time we pray, it is asking, it is seeking, and our Lord loves to come to us whenever we call. Every time we pray, it is an active act of seeking God. Every time we pray, we are turning back to God and away from the world. It is why we should pray without ceasing, so that we never turn away from him.” — Sherry Antonetti
+ Daily prayer for the grace to avoid a particular sin
+ “Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his crime. It has everything to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim – letting go of the pain and transforming oneself from victim to survivor. — C.R. Strahan
+ “Let the Lord take care of those whom you think have harmed you. All you have to do is love and forgive.” — Mother Angelica
+ “God’s delays are mysterious; sorrow is sometimes prolonged for the same reason for which it is sent. God may abstain for the moment from healing, not because Love does not love, but because Love never stops loving, and a greater good is to come from the woe. Heaven’s clock is different from ours.” — Fulton Sheen
+ “When it comes to pain, God isn’t often in the business of taking it away. Instead, he adds to it. He is more of a giver than a taker. He doesn’t take away my darkness, he adds light. He doesn’t spare me of thirst, he brings water. He doesn’t cure my loneliness, he comes near. So why do we believe that when we are in pain, it must mean God is far?” — Nightbirdie
+ 10 Simple Suggestions for a Successful Lent // + 30 God-centered things we can do for Lent
+ The Pray More Lenten Retreat begins next Wednesday! All the details here.
+ Lastly, here’s what’s featured in this week’s Catholic Wife, Catholic Life Newsletter. I share these every Monday and they always include: two gluten-free recipes, a reflection & prayer based on Sunday’s Mass readings, and links to budget-friendly fashion & Catholic home decor. This week’s reflection is about offering forgiveness, and how its a path to freedom for us.
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