Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Five Favorites Vol 2 - Favorite quotes edition





1. FAVORITE LOVE QUOTE





#2 FAVORITE LOVE QUOTE FROM THE BIBLE 


yes, this is above my bed! I purchased this decal for 12 bucks on ebay.



#3 BEST ATHEISM QUOTE OF ALL TIME. 

Makes me laugh every time





#4 My NEW FAVORITE PSALM. 

Find out why here. I just wrote a blog post about it earlier today.



#5 Favorite Quote on suffering



From Fr. Walter Ciszek's book HE LEADETH ME
(For more quotes on suffering from Fr. Ciszek, read my blog post here)

"Somehow then [through suffering], God must contrive to break through those routines of ours and remind us once again, like Israel, that we are ultimately dependent only upon him, that he has made us and destined us for life with him through all eternity…that we must look to him and turn to him in everything. Then it is, perhaps, that he must allow our whole world to be turned upside down in order to remind us it is not our permanent abode or final destiny, to bring us to our senses and restore our sense of values, to turn our thoughts once more to him—even it at first our thoughts are questioning and full of reproaches."



Have a BLESSED day!

Psalm 27; Trust in God; difficulties; Chastity, marriage

So, last week has been a very difficult week for me. 
In fact, the entire last month has been very difficult for me.
This is our final crunch
5 more months of feeling lonely and sad...
then I finally get to enjoy the presence of my husband
....at least a little more than I do now. 

As you may know, for the past 1.5 years, my fiance has been working the night shift. He leaves the house at 4pm and gets back home at about 3-3:30am. On the other hand, I have been in pharmacy school for the past 2 years and so I am out of the house by 6-7am and don't get home until late afternoon. Then, when he's home on the weekends, I work (10 hour shift on Saturday) and study for exams (usually all day Sunday). And so.....for the past 2 years, we have been pretty separated from each other, at least physically. Of course, our hearts have still been connected together and we call each other every day and send multiple text messages....but I have certainly been feeling lonely....sometimes super lonely. Physical presence / contact around my beloved seems to be very important to me (I don't think I could ever do a long distance relationship...I'd probably die of loneliness haha). And with our opposite schedules, we are almost never around each other. I have been missing his hugs, cuddling, kisses, just watching movies and holding hands...there is never even opportunities to have real face to face conversations about things that truly matter. And there are some things that we really need to talk about and address ASAP, definitely before the wedding day. And that's a part of the reason why I've been feeling down and depressed. There are so many things I want to communicate to him...so many things I need to inform him about, since I am the one that reads all the Catholic books and blogs on sex & marriage...and I just have not had the right opportunity, nor the courage. And that just depresses me.
Thankfully, God has been my source of comfort in those lonely and difficult times. He lets me rest in His arms and assures me that I am infinitely loved and that I am certainly not ALONE. He also tells me to TRUST IN HIM, including in HIS TIMING....and so...no matter how hard it is for me and how much it hurts inside, I continue to wait on God and for his solutions and his timing.



I just cannot wait for our wedding day to come. I mentioned this before, and I have to say it again...this waiting is driving me nuts! I am crazy about our wedding. That's all I've been thinking about, daydreaming about, praying about. And when I imagine Greg and I standing in front of God's altar and the holy spirit coming upon us in this beautiful, invaluable sacrament of marriage, my heart is just lifted up to the gates of heaven! It makes me feel so wonderful inside...it's so comforting to know that FINALLY, after over 6 years of dating, God will hand us over to each other and make us ONE. God will hand over his child (my fiance) into my hands, into my care...How special am I? And after 6+ years of chastity (YES, I AM SERIOUS! 6 YEARS! Talk about chastity being hard.... most blog posts I have read, people say that their 8 months or 1 year and x months of chastity while dating was hard...then they got engaged and married! well, we have been together since sophomore year of high school! Gosh,  it feels like we've been dating for half a century, like we've known each other forever! On our wedding day, we'll have almost 7 years of dating & chastity behind us. Gee, I honestly don't know how we did it...I'm sure it was through some miraculous intercession of the Saints and the Blessed Mother...I know we didn't do it on our own). SO FINALLY, in less than 5 months, we can finally begin loving one another in self-giving love. AND IT WILL BE ALL THE MUCH BETTER BECAUSE WE WAITED! IT'LL BE A TRUE GIFT OF SELF TO EACH OTHER.

Ok, so I digressed. My point was to write specifically about last week's difficulties and how God lifted my spirits.


So last week, I have been feeling especially lonely...even praying to God has not brought any comfort. 
I felt like my heart was crying out: 
"Eli Eli, lama sabachtani?"
(O God My God, why have you forsaken me?)

And then, on wednesday, as I was in the midst of my difficulties...my friends and I walked into a study room in one of the academic buildings on campus, so we could study an hour before our medicinal chemistry workshop.... And as I walked in, I noticed the study room's white board that was completely filled up with colorful notes of what seemed like the Kreb's cycle from Physiology class...and then in the upper left corner, in the same handwriting, was Psalm 27:14: 
"Wait for the Lord, Be Strong and Take Courage. Yes, wait for the Lord."
And one of my friends jokingly said that someone must have been praying to get a good grade on their physio exam. But I knew that this message was there for me! I just knew that God led me to that particular study room to encourage me...to lift up my spirits and strengthen my faith. All of a sudden, I felt so much better. I was so thankful that God did not forget about me...that he sees my every trouble and my every tear.


What was even more amazing last wednesday, was that right before I went to bed, I grabbed my smartphone so I could open up my bible app. I am subscribed to 2 different bible reading plans right now...one on suffering and one on fasting...since I thought those were appropriate for lent. And I open up the reading for today...the reading ESPECIALLY for that day...and guess what it says? PSALM 27!  And I'm sitting there thinking...why does the number 27 sound so familiar? Psalm 27? Do I know Psalm 27? and I begin reading it. And what was the very last verse? Psalm 27:14! THE SAME ONE THAT GOD SHOWED ME EARLIER THIS MORNING on the white board in the school study room! I thought: wow! God must really want me to get his message! God must really want me to be strong, to take courage, and to wait on Him...to fearlessly trust in Him. Not only did God show me this psalm TWICE in one day, but the psalm itself, says "WAIT ON THE LORD" TWICE in one verse:

"Wait for the Lord, Be strong and let your heart take courage, yes, Wait for the Lord. " Well, I guess the Lord wants me to wait on him, to not become discouraged and disheartened. He will take care of us, in His proper timing. 

How amazing are You oh Lord. 
How mysterious are your paths.
How blessed are those who trust in Your ways!




Psalm 27: A Psalm of Fearless Trust in God.
1The LORD is my light and my salvation;
  Whom shall I fear?
  The LORD is the defense of my life;
  Whom shall I dread?


2When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
  My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.


3Though a host encamp against me,
  My heart will not fear;
  Though war arise against me,
  In spite of this I shall be confident.


4One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek:
  That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
  To behold the beauty of the LORD
  And to meditate in His temple.


5For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
  In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
  He will lift me up on a rock.


6And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
  And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
  I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.


7Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice,
  And be gracious to me and answer me.


8When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You,
  “Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.”


9Do not hide Your face from me,
  Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
  You have been my help;
  Do not abandon me nor forsake me,
  O God of my salvation!


10For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
  But the LORD will take me up.


11Teach me Your way, O LORD,
  And lead me in a level path
  Because of my foes.


12Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries,
  For false witnesses have risen against me,
  And such as breathe out violence.


13I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD
  In the land of the living.


14Wait for the LORD;
  Be strong and let your heart take courage;
  Yes, wait for the LORD.






HAVE A BLESSED DAY.

P.S.
4 MONTHS, 4 WEEKS, AND 1 DAY TO GO
I will gladly suffer and persevere with You through it, oh Christ.
Love You.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

In love with his smile! Hello Pope Francis


LOOK AT THIS SMILE! 
It so sincere, so humble, so beautiful! 
I am IN LOVE. 
I am truly so excited and my heart feels so delighted to meet Pope Francis. 
I feel as if I gained a father!
 I have already read so many great things about Pope Francis, especially his strong and wise words at today's mass. 
I must say, 
I LOVE HIM.  
And This will be MY POPE, as was John Paul II. 
So far, the main things I learned about this wonderful man is that HE IS VERY HUMBLE AND HE HAS A SPECIAL LOVE FOR THE POOR.
Now I really want to travel to Rome to see him.
Maybe next year.
Or maybe even for our honeymoon.
NOW, THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!

God Bless You Father!

Friday, March 8, 2013

7 QUICK TAKES #7 Lenten Resolutions Update




 So I know it is kind of late....everybody already posted about their lenten resolutions a few weeks ago..but I have had this post saved as a draft for a couple of weeks now and it was just hard to finish it up and post it in the midst of this pharmacy school / wedding planning / working craziness! But now I finally get to reflect and share with you my lenten resolutions.....but before I do that.... 

#1 First of All, Shouldn't you keep your lenten resolutions secret?


Well, Yes.....

MT 6:16 "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

LK 12:1 Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.


BUT..... my intention is not to share my suffering and lenten struggles and my "noble resolutions" in order to be praised or what not...I want to share them to inspire someone, to be an example, to put ideas of lenten resolutions out there that maybe someone, somewhere, someday will like and undertake.

So here they are...




#2 Fasting from 6pm to 6am M-F

Basically, NO EATING PAST 6PM. Snacking late at night is very, very tempting for me and distracts me from the things I have to get done....even from prayer and studying...So it's time to conquer it!


#3 Full day fast on Fridays

...since I am new to full-day fasting, I had to ease in with at least 1 tiny meal and 1 drink. I forget where I read this advice, but this advice really helped me:

"A full-day fast means nothing to eat from Thursday after supper until Friday evening. It is difficult to begin with a full-day fast. Better to break yourself in gradually. Start by skipping lunch on Friday; then, after a week or two, skip breakfast as well. Start at first on just bread and water.After a few weeks of bread and water, shift to just water and fruit or vegetable juice or light broth. Then, eventually, fast on just water for that full day"

I am definitely not at the point of fasting on just water all day. So far, my usual Friday routine is coffee in the morning...which usually gets me through til about noon. Then, in the early afternoon, I have been eating 1 orange..and then fasting for the rest of the day, until 6pm, when I had my first real meal of the day. It hurts while I'm in the midst of it, but feels so good afterwards when I have that feeling of accomplishment! I know I did something hard and I did it for God...I know that I was able to defy the needs and wants of my own body and make sacrifice for my Lord! Fasting really is great and it really does sharpen your senses, especially your awareness of the presence of GOD!

#4 Stations of the Cross on Fridays


So far, I have prayed them by myself at home on Fridays twice, and I have attended them at church last Friday, which was First Friday of the Month. I also went to confession last Friday which was so relieving and great, since there was this one sin that was laying heavy upon my heart these past few weeks. Thank God for the sacrament of reconciliation.

#5 "Gorzkie Zale" aka "Bitter Lamentations" on Mondays

Yep, you've probably never heard of it, even if you are Catholic....Unless you're a Polish Catholic. This is a set of prayers that originates from Polish Catholicism and is usually sung every Sunday of Lent. I have never heard of any American churches doing these but I still remember singing these during my childhood in Poland, and my church here, which has masses in Polish, also offers these every Sunday. Each of the prayers is SUNG to a different and very, very sad melody. They are so sad, they literally make me cry. My favorite one is the last part, which is an exchange, or a conversation, with Our Lady, about her sadness and suffering while she has to watch her beloved Son tortured, made fun of, and spit on. They consist of 3 major parts. You go through 1 part per week. Each part consists 5 prayers and also each part focuses on a different set of events of the Passion of Christ. These prayers are a very, very good way to MEDITATE and RELIVE the passion of Our Lord.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorzkie_zale

#6 I GAVE UP FACEBOOK!!!!!!


Yes I did! And I don't even miss it. Life is much more peaceful without it! And I'm not wasting so much time. I now have more time for prayer and for reading Catholic books! WIN! :-)

Oh, and this is my profile pic at this time:



#7  I gave up listening to music in my car


I have been increasingly doing this over the past year anyways, only occasionally turning on my radio. And I have been falling more and more in love with silence, because silence lets me focus and meditate on God and on myself. Throughout the past year, I usually kept the radio off during parts of my morning commute so I can pray....then I kept it for for the WHOLE commute, then I noticed I would sometimes even keep it off on my commute back home...then I noticed that music really distracted and disturbed me when I did turn it on. SO for lent, I decided to go all out and keep that radio turned off for all 40+ days and just meditate in silence. Silence really IS GOLDEN. BELIEVE ME. SILENCE HAS CHANGED ME!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Five Favorites Link Up #1

Visit Moxiewife.com for more FIVE FAVORITES.

#1 MY FAVORITE CREATURES 


My pup & 2 kitties





#2 MY FAVORITE SALAD  

My own home-made LAYERED CHICKEN-GYROS SALAD. 
Will post recipe soon. It's my fiance's favorite too and he keeps asking me to make some more!



# 3 PUTTING CHECKMARKS ON OUR WEDDING PLANNING CHECKLIST


 (This is not the latest picture, we have more checkmarks by now with a little over 5 months left!)




#4 ORGANIZING MY NEW STUDY ROOM!

FEATURING: BOOKSHELVES FROM IKEA, PHARMACY SCHOOL BOOKS on the left side, and my CATHOLIC BOOKS (as well as my Harry Potter collections in English and Spanish) on the right side. This is also not the latest pic: I have put pictures from our vacations and my dolphin collection in the middle behind the glass. 




#5 Dinners cooked by Greg :-)

This was the first dinner he ever cooked by himself...from scratch. It was delicious and it assures me that he'll be a good hubby!



Have a Blessed Day!