Monday, September 5, 2016

Finding a Balance

I personally struggle with finding the balance between being excessively prideful and having an extremely low self esteem. I think I may have found a visual analogy to help keep me in check. 

Stand up, feet together, hold your arms straight out to the side, parallel to the ground. You should be standing like a cross. 

Look down at your feet, you shouldn't think of yourself as equivalent to dirt. You shouldn't let others and even yourself walk all over you. In God's eyes you have value and worth, you are His. If you think you belong that low, depression will rob you of joy, meanwhile it inhibits you from living life to the extent God created for you.

Your feet are too low. 

Let's go up to your head, you don't want to get a big head. Pride is something we all struggle with, it is the root of all sin and it isn't pretty. 

Too high I guess.

All things should be done for God while acknowledging that God is the giver of your gifts and they need to be used to glorify Him not yourself. 

So where is a healthy balance? Look at your arms, what are they level with? Your heart. God made each person beautiful and unique. The deepest desire of every human heart is to belong, have a purpose, and to be loved by God. When we sin, however, our vision gets clouded and we look to satisfy our heart's desires in other ways. We begin to worship things, feelings or actions instead of God. When we look at the core of every heart, only God can satisfy our desires.

If your vision is clouded with sin what can you do? Most importantly celebrate the sacraments on a regular basis, daily if possible. 

I'm by no means an expert at finding a balance between excessive pride and thinking I'm equivalent to dirt, but here is a short list of things I have found helpful in my life:

  • Go to reconciliation, most churches have reconciliation once a week and if you can't make it at your churches scheduled time, make an appointment with your Priest.
  • Go to Mass on Sunday (or Saturday night). Even go to daily Mass. You can go everyday, once a week, once a month, what ever you can do. The Eucharist is spiritual food and we need it.
  • Go to Adoration. After/before work you can stop at the closest Catholic church and spend ten-twenty minutes at Adoration. 
  • Read the daily readings in your bible. If that seems like a lot to start with, you can start with bible verses; you can sign up HERE to have a bible verse sent to your email daily. 
  • I highly recommend getting a spiritual director. Talking to someone can be very healing. It is healthy to talk, otherwise we end up bottling our feelings up; which doesn't get rid of the pain, only makes it grow with time. 
  • Journaling has been a beautiful practice in my life. I've learned and grown so much through journaling. I can better understand what it is and why I'm feeling the way I am. I find that the Lord often speaks to me through my journaling and helps calm me down.

These are just a few different things you can do to stay heart-level. There are many others, but the ones listed above I have found beneficial in my life. We are all different and all called to different kinds of prayer at different seasons in our lives, see what works for you. :)

God Bless,
Meg Marie

P.S. I was writing this post while sitting in front of the Mary statue in the grotto at my church and the sweetest retired gentleman came up to pray a Hail Mary (which we ended up praying together). Then we talked for a short amount of time. I am lifting him up in my prayers today and would like to invite you to as well. :)

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Little Update

So as most of you know I just completed my first week of college. I was so nervous. I have been homeschooled K-12 which means I have never been in a classroom up until now. Thankfully and to my surprise everyone was really nice and helpful.

Change is still really hard for me though. After my second day I came home and cried because I felt so overwhelmed with all of the new people, places and experiences. Adjustment is just really hard for me, but I think this is a good change. Your prayers are so greatly appreciated as I step into the unknown here, trusting God and His plan.

On a different note, I had the opportunity to perform at the Alaska State Fair last night. I had such a great time. Life can be so stressful and overwhelming, but one thing I realized a couple days ago is that the Lord has blessed me with some incredible people who sincerely care about me.

I have been ballroom dancing for three years now and my older brother, who I love so dearly, was just being his goofy self. He is always joking around and despite some of the things he has been though, he is one of the nicest and most loving guys I know. I don't even remember what he was doing, but my heart was so happy that he is who he is and wasn't afraid to be who God made him to be. I started looking around the room and noticed that about everyone there.

I realized the same about myself too. That I could come to class just the way I am and know that people wouldn't expect me to change and people would delight in me being me and I in them. The sincerity and the kindness of everyone on the dance team is really beautiful. I love to dance, but it is the people that make dancing so incredible.

It took me three years before I saw this. I challenge you to look at your life, no matter how you may feel and look for someone, place or thing that the Lord has blessed you with/by that you took for granted or simply didn't notice and don't forget to tell Him thank you. ;)

I love you all so much and you are all in my prayers.

Meg Marie