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There Are No Shortcuts

There Are No Shortcuts

  The other day, I was searching, for a solution.  I was on website after website on how to clean the oven.  Yes, my brand new oven that had baked on grease stains from me failing to clean it up sooner.  I searched for days, honestly looking for the perfect easy solution.  I was even determined to pay for an oven cleaner, if that will return my oven back to new condition. Finally, I accepted the truth.  I had everything I need, and instead of just wasting my time on the internet looking for a solution, I should have spent that time cleaning the oven. There are no shortcuts when real work has to begin   In my search, I was looking for a shortcut.  I was looking for a way for me to clean the oven without me having to “work.”  I was hoping, that I can find that perfect cleaner that will not only clean the oven, but do it quickly–like 5 minutes right after I spray it. In the end, I used a cleaner that I had. I had to let it soak, then “work” at removing the grease.  My oven is almost like new again. In our spiritual lives, we always hope that there will be an easy solution to grow in holiness.  A simple prayer ever morning should do it–we think.  Maybe it’s a quick skip of breakfast on Sunday morning and we feel like we are climbing that mountain called holiness. Let’s be honest, we spend more time trying to figure out how not to “work” on something, meanwhile wanting the results as if...
Lenten Reflections After 1 Week

Lenten Reflections After 1 Week

  I don’t have the free time like I did in the past to blog. That’s okay though. I understand that I’m in a different season, and whatever season is going to be thrown at me I’ll just enjoy for now.  As of now, this post is about a week late than I would like. This year for Lent, I decided to give up something seemingly simple. I stopped adding honey (or any sweetener) to my tea.  For my family that knows me, I am I huge tea drinking fan.    Earl Grey in the morning, Jasmine green tea in the afternoons, Chamomile tea in the evening right before bed. Every time I drink something, it’s most likely tea. So, a huge sacrifice for me is to stop adding sweeteners my teas. That way, when I drink my tea, I am fully aware of the sacrifice that I’m making.  One would ask why not give up tea for Lent, and the answer is simple: it’s supposed to be my sacrifice, not make everyone around me unhappy. So, no honey in my tea for Lent it is.    Every day of the year is a sacrifice   Another reason for this seemingly simple sacrifice, is that I feel every day of the year is a day for mortification, and penance.  Not just six weeks.   In the past, I have not given up anything, but tried to create new habits that would help me grow in holiness.  I vowed to pray the rosary daily, now I’ve done it for years.  Another year, I vowed to pray the Liturgy of the Hours,...
Photography Baby Steps – Sunday

Photography Baby Steps – Sunday

  Baby steps, baby steps, I keep telling myself that I’ll get back into photography when I have time…   But it wasn’t until lately that I realize that all I have is time.  I may not do everything that I want to do with my time, but that has to change.  I have to (of course) take of my family, but I also need to take care of myself.  Last year, I wrote about how the body is a temple, and now I’m getting back into the things that calmed my mind. While I love to read, and that will always be my first passion, I have also decided to take up photography.  While I started when my middle baby was young, I slowly slid off my chart of seemingly impossible projects, to snapping pictures of us on the go. What I failed to notice that everyday there is an opportunity to just be and enjoy the life that God has given me.  I have to admit that I am not as thankful all the time.  Children screaming, fighting, and me praying for bedtime, but I really need to take a look around and appreciate what I have. So, while I won’t make promises that I’ll do it often, I will take account and enjoy the everyday that is around me.  I don’t live in a house, nor do I have expensive equipment, but I know I don’t need all of that.  What I need is to look at my life with my children, and just be thankful. My everyday is boring for some, but to me (and us) it...
How To Read The Bible In One Year Review

How To Read The Bible In One Year Review

  It’s been a while since I posted anything here.  Life has been busy with a newborn, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. One plan that I made for the New Year, is to read the Bible cover to cover.  Actually, I had already started this goal, but like everything when life gets hectic, we promise to do it later, then never comes.  But this year, I wanted things to be different.  I wanted to really start and get through a reading plan, that wasn’t overwhelming.   While I am familiar to all the stories in the Bible, as I read and hear it often, I have never actually made it a goal to read the Bible from front to end.  Reading it from front to end, is much different than following along with the readings for the Mass daily (although I attempted that as well). Of course, I would pick a time when I have a newborn, but I see it as the perfect time.  This is the time that I need all the grace that I can get.  Homeschooling my oldest, potty training my middle, and being sleep deprived is the most perfect time 😂.    There are so many reading plans out there, that one could be bogged down with just making a decision to start.  I ended up going with  How To Read The Bible Everyday by Carmen Rojas. I’m loving book this so far because: It breaks down the reading on how you can manage it Read on one year, two year, or three year plan. Has extra readings for Lent and Advent. Breaks everything...

He Came As A Child

  This Advent, we prepared for so many things. We were getting ready for Christmas, and the huge celebration. We were looking forward to meeting with our families, and reconnecting with people whom we have been distanced from.  Most important of all, we all prepared for the return of our Saviour.  During this time of year, there always seems like there is breeze of finality in the air, and when January 1st comes around, we should have said all the things that mattered, and did all the things that truly meant something to us. I don’t get like this at the end of December. I feel like that in the Fall, the school season, but that’s for another post. What this Advent has meant for me, especially this year, was children. Breaking apart the Advent story, we know how important the Savior to come was to all people. For hundreds of years after the prophet Ezekiel. Awaiting for Jesus to come, everyone was waiting for him to come with a big fainfair. Then There Was The Annunciation   The Son of God could have come in any form he wanted. He could have come as a adult. He could have come with an army of angels, but he came in a way to sanctify our human existence. He allowed himself to be conceived. To grow from a tiny egg into a baby.   This has a huge impact on us!   There were no debates discussing when did Jesus’ life as the Son of God begin. Not at 6 weeks, not at the moment of birth, we knew that...

Would The Real Saint Nicholas Please Stand Up

  I look back on some of my older posts, and I laugh to myself about myself about how I was going to defend or refute the infamous Santa Clause.  I laugh because while I am  always seeking truth, I didn’t want to lie to my children in the name of a holiday tradition. nor did I want to take the fun out of the season by saying he’s not real. A few years ago, I came to the beautiful conclusion on how to handle it, and this year we are just taking it further.   The Catholic Bishop   Not many people are aware of this but Saint Nicholas  (15 March 270 – 6 December 343)  was a Catholic bishop around the year 300AD. He is also known as the patron Saint for children. He also loved to hand our gifts to children. The story goes: There was a man who had three daughters who wanted to get married, but he had no money. He was going to sell them into slavery (I know right!) but Nicholas saw this, and him being very wealthy, he waited for them to fall asleep and left money for them by the chimney. Of course this is such a simplified story, but you can read more about him here (in better details).   The Feast Day   December 6th is the feast day of Saint Nicholas. That means it’s a special day to hide little treats or candy in stockings for little kids. By the way, the tradition of the stockings by the chimney also comes from Saint Nicholas! This year, we are separating...
Getting What I Think I Needed

Getting What I Think I Needed

  Have you ever told yourself that if you just got that one item everything would be better? You feel like your whole well-being was wrapped up into purchasing, or consuming that item. You build that item,  look forward to that item and end up coveting that item. But when you finally get that item, yeah, you’re excited for that moment, but then the excitement wears off, and you are just left with that item looking forward to consume and covet something else.  We all know it, yet we all fall prey to the same idea.  Sadly, it becomes a vicious cycle, until we learn what will really make us happy.   Knowing True Joy Lately, I have been thinking about “joy” that we surround around items–things. I’ve been thinking about the minor things that can make or break a day, and try to understand what are my breaking points.  However, no matter how far I look, and how much I can say that something is not right, I cannot help but remember how well off I am. Every time I say to myself, “Ohh, I can totally be happy with….” I know that it’s only for the moment.  And I’ll be completely honest, there is no real happiness that we can have surrounded by things.  It took years to figure out that it doesn’t matter about the model of my camera.  What nail polish I have, how many books that I have on my book shelf.  True happiness, for me,  is tied with my love for Christ, and knowing that I am a child of God. Life is so much...
A Closer Look At The Deadly Seven – Anger

A Closer Look At The Deadly Seven – Anger

This post was originally posted on Oct. 20, 1014, and added to the #WorthRevisit linkup hosted by Theology is a Verb, and Reconciled to You.       Welcome back to my mini series.  Last week, I discussed Pride.  If you haven’t read it yet, you should jump over there and take a look at it.  If you want to take a look at all post for this series, you can start with the Introduction. This week, I plan on looking at anger.  Now, I’ve talked about anger before on this blog.  But today, I’m going to try to look at it from a different perspective. What is Anger?   an·ger ˈaNGɡər/ noun a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. synonyms: rage, vexation, exasperation, displeasure, crossness, irritation, irritability, indignation, pique; More antonyms: pleasure, good humor So what’s wrong with anger?  Well, nothing by itself.  Actually, angry is a very normal emotion.  The catch is the passion of anger that we’re usually caught up with.  That is when we usually go from being angry to doing something in anger. For example, someone can cut you off in line, and yup, that would make me angry too, but it’s how we choose to redress an evil then it becomes a sin.  Why? you wonder…well, if we don’t work through our angry and seriously calm ourselves, then our angry can and will lead us towards hatred, resentment, and the desire for revenge.   The Sins of Anger   The sins of anger are the following: hatred, revenge, impatience, denial of the truth to others and self, self-righteousness, and desiring to harm others.  To be quite honest,...

The Deadly Seven — Lust

  If Wednesday is the hump day of the week, then Lust is the hump sin of the series — okay,  bad joke.  You can check out the rest of the Deadly Seven, by clicking here for the list. Moving right along now, Lust.  Most of us have a pretty good idea what Lust is.  I mean, we see it talked about a lot, and in our society that is a sexual society, it’s hard not to know it.   What is Lust?   The dictionary defines lust as: Very strong sexual desire: he knew that his lust forher had returned. • [ in sing. ] a passionate desire for something: a lust for power.    Other Forms of Lust   Using Someone To Get What We Want.  Yes, lust is usually defined in the sexual definition, but even in the basic definition of lust we can use someone to get what we want.  It may not be sexual, however, we sometimes make friends with people because of what they can offer us, not what we both can bring to the table.  At this point, we don’t see them as a person but as an object to get what we want.   Not all lust is sexual; using other people to get ahead is lust too. Click To Tweet   Lust In Marriages   Lust or Desire?  I think in our society we are very confused with the idea of lust and desire.  Lust, satisfies itself.  There is no greater meaning for it, since it starts and ends with itself.  So lust can enter a marriage if all we think about is what our spouse can do for us.  If our thoughts primarily focus on our own pleasure then it is indeed lust....

Getting Through the Trials of Life

  Something happened to me recently that made me question so many things in my life–the easiest way to say it, is that it was a trial. I ended up questioning my purpose, the reason I’m here, and even the sacrifices that I have made over the years for the family. This event has shaken me to the core, and I’m still recovering from it.   My many distractions…   Now, writing on my blog is a great comforter. I can get lost in the words, and try not to deal with the issue at hand. In fact, it was the great distractions I had, but suddenly I couldn’t log into my blog to write—I can only view it as read only. This persisted for weeks, as I couldn’t post, edit, or do anything online to my blog.  The only thing I could do is to just sit there and watch it.  Many times, I found myself just going back to older posts just to read what I wrote. Who would have thought that my many words would give me comfort for the trials I face today.     Not being able to access the admin of my blog caused me to face the issue that was a problem head on. I couldn’t retreat into something else to take away hurt and pain, instead I had to deal with it, and not run from it. I could have lost hours online, but that is not where I turn to when I need to sort through emotions.  In many ways I just felt stuck, with no choice but to face the elephant in the...
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