Saturday, April 30, 2011

Living Healthy, Being Well & Praising God

My husband and I got got back from an amazing workout at the YMCA where we go to work out... (this was our first Bootcamp class together), followed by a wonderful, healthy breakfast... and we both feel great! Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and so it's really important to treat them with the utmost respect and honor, love and care. For when we do so, we are not only showing our honor, respect,  love and care for ourselves, but for those we love and take care of and for God as well.

It's taken me some time to get back into working out and exercising again, like I did before I was pregnant with my daughter, Audrey, and I was told by one of my fitness instructors that it takes a woman's body a good 9 months after delivering her baby to begin getting back "to normal," since it goes through such a transformation in every way, both during pregnancy and in giving birth. And it was only just a few months ago that I found myself really beginning to regain my strength to really work out as strongly as I used to before becoming pregnant.

Something that I have found really helpful in my workouts has been, "Praise!" I love to praise God while I am working out... especially for creating me in His image and likeness of Love and for giving me the strength and desire to live and be healthy, fit, fully alive and well!

God is truly the center of my life! And it is in Him that I find all the strength I need to live the very best and most beautiful life that I know He has created me to live! God Loves us so much, and wants us to be healthy and well, and He knows that by doing so, we will be all the more happy because of it!

May God continue to bless us with the desire to live active, healthy, happy lives and continue to bless us every step of the way with His Grace, Love, and Joy!

Blessings in Christ!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Lord, Make Me A Blessing To Others Today

Something that I've been praying about for a while now and also trying to put into practice and apply to my life is on a daily basis is... "How can I be a blessing to others today?"  It's a great question to ask ourselves and it's one I am sure makes God very happy as well.

It's important, I believe,  to pray that God will bless others, that He will bless the world with His Love & Grace.   It's also important to ask God to not only bless us, but to make us a blessing, so that we may bless others by being the beautiful, fully alive people that He's created us to be.

We are all sisters and brothers in God's family and we are all interconnected in endless ways. We need each other, just as much as we need God. By living our lives to honor, serve and follow God's ways we may never even know how our kind actions and witness to our Faith may touch and bless the lives of others.

The greatest example and role model we have for this kind of living... (asking God to make us a blessing to others), is truly, Jesus Christ.  He was and still is the One Who we should follow to live our lives as fully alive as we possibly can, to glorify God and praise Him in doing so. 

When Jesus walked and graced the earth, He couldn't help but be a blessing to each and every person He came in contact with. His very life was an eternal blessing to all the world. And now here we are, over 2,000 years later and we are continuing to be called by God to carry out His mission of Love & Blessing as well.

Just imagine all the good we could do in the world by asking God to make us a blessing to others each and every day! I believe that the more we continue to do this... the more it will catch on and like beautiful ripples in the water, endless blessings will flow throughout the earth and perhaps, even reach Heaven as well.

And so, a prayer for today and every day to come: "Lord, Make me a blessing to others today... so I may bless, praise and glorify You in all ways! ~Amen.~

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Prayer of Jabez: Make It Your Own

Have you ever heard of, "The Prayer of Jabez?" I hadn't until about 13 years ago when it suddenly seemed to become really popular and there were different books showing up for it in stores, both Christian and secular.  It's a rather short prayer, quite simple, yet, very profound, deep and well rounded.  It's a prayer that asks God to bless us... to bless the person praying it.

Here's the short prayer, (a hidden treasure), found in Sacred Scripture: Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, "Oh, that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that you would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!"  So God granted him what he had requested.  1 Chronicles 4:10

How often do we remember to ask God to not only bless others, but ourselves as well? Of course, God wants us to pray for others and it's good that we do, because they need our prayers and God hears us when we pray.  And so the same goes for ourselves, we need prayers too, and even if we have people that are already praying for us, still, it's so important for us to pray for ourselves as well. Especially to pray that God's blessing be upon us.

I really do love this little, yet powerful prayer of Jabez... and like with many other formulated prayers, I have personalized it to fit my own life and made it my own. Having recently re-discovered this beautiful prayer, my heart grows more and more fond of it and wants to pray it more and more... at least every day!

If you're not familiar with this prayer, why not try applying it to your own life and making it your own.  Just give it a try... and see how God will  bless you and work special wonders in your life!

Call on the God of Israel, the God of Love and Giver of all good Gifts and say... "Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!"  Allow God the blessed opportunity, by praying this prayer... to grant you, also, what you request of Him.

Endless Blessings in Christ!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Holy Week 2011: A Time of Great Grace and Redeeming Love

Holy Week 2011 is here and my heart and soul are filled with a new Light and Hope that I've never quite had before.  I believe it's partly because my beautiful daughter, Audrey is here with us. More and more each day, as I continue on in my journey through motherhood I come to realize how long complete my life has become now that my daughter is here with us... I waited so long for her, and now I feel as if I've always had her with me. She feel's as if she's always been a part of me and me her.

Though, still, I know that this new Light and Hope that I see and feel comes not just from having my daughter here with us, but from Jesus Christ, Who truly is the Light of the World, Who has come into the world to save it and redeem it with His unfathomable Love, to give it sight with His Glorious Being and to give it Life eternal with His boundless Grace.

I've learned so much from being a mother and my daughter is just little over 1 years old, and much of what I have learned already is a direct correlation to the relationship that God our Heavenly Father has with us his beloved children.  Just as I feel as if my daughter has always been here with me, in my heart and in my life and that she is just as much a part of me as I am her, so too do people feel and even more so, that God has always been with them in their lives and hearts and souls and that He is just as much a part of them as they are He when they find Him at last, when they surrender their hearts, souls and lives to Him and when they acknowledge Him as their one, true God, Creator of the universe and Savior of the world.

I felt very much that way when I came "Home" to God over 14 years ago, though, for me, it wasn't as if I had ever left God, though, I had stepped away, momentarily from my Catholic Faith for a few short years, during a very painful, sorrowful time in my life... to see if I could find God beyond the four walls of the Church. In the hustle, bustle and craziness of New York City, a young woman in my early 20's I was, I truly can say that I found God there beyond those four walls of the Church in the faces of people I met, in Sacred Scripture which He led me to really discover and understand like I had never before... and most especially in my emptiness, and loneliness in my own heart.  I had moved to New York City a couple of years prior, all by myself to follow a dream of becoming "A Star!" I was accepted into the one of the most prestigious acting schools in the world and thought that I would soon be discovered and make it big!

Well, I was most certainly, "discovered, to soon shine like a star, though, it was not at all how I had imagined!"

It was not some big Broadway producer who had discovered me, but, even better, it was the One True "Producer" and Creator of all, God Who had discovered me and found me... lonely, brokenhearted, hungry for His Love and thirsty for His Mercy!

It's quite a long story that I don't have time to tell of of today, but I will say that it was very real, profound and life-changing... for, God came into my life and saved my life in the most mysterious way!!! And since then I have never been the same. I had died, and yet, just like Jesus died up there on the cross for each of us over 2,000 years ago... my life did not end there... it was just the beginning! Through Jesus Christ, God gave me the Gift of His forgiveness for all of my sins, Grace and Mercy and Love and restored to new and even better Life in Him.

As I result, my heart was led back in the most beautiful way to my "Home," my Cathodic Faith, where God not only let me know I truly belonged, but, Gracious as He is... He let me know in a real special way that He had been preparing a very special place for me within it all the while!

I love my Catholic Faith very much... and I stand by it all the more, during these challenging times that we are going through, just like God stood by me throughout my challenging times.

I look forward to this Holy Week, the last part of my Lenten Journey for this year and strive to make it all that it can be and is meant to be! It's a true time to grow in Grace, holiness and God's redeeming Love and of course, to grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ Who has made Eternal Life possible by His eternal sacrifice on the cross.

I will be keeping all of you in my prayers, especially this Holy Week and ask you to please do the same for me as we continue to journey with Jesus to the cross, to the tomb and into the resurrection of New Life in Him!

I praise God and Jesus for this amazing experience of Love and Grace and endless Blessing! May He continues to bless you and your loved ones in ever way! ~Amen! ~