Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Not Alone Series: Thanksgiving

In what ways are we thankful?! Write about anything you want under this theme! Do you have any family traditions that help you to be mindful of the blessings in your life?

I LOVE holidays. Good food, good smells, dressing up. It's all good.

But the best part? The family time.

I don't know about you, but the older I've grown, the more I appreciate the quality time I get with my family. With 3 younger siblings, each in 3 different cities and 3 different states, we rarely see each other. So you can imagine my excitement as Thanksgiving has grown closer. It's something like this:

I LOVE Thanksgiving. Autumn in and of itself is delightful: scarves, dresses, tights, boots...AH! 
Throw in some turkey, stuffing, gravy, PUMPKIN PIE, sweet potatoes, and vegging out with the fam. 

My extended family always gets together for Thanksgiving, and while there have been some modifications to this year's plans - I'm doing my best to not be all "BUT TRADITION!" - we're still all getting together and that's what counts, right? Yep. 

This year's changes, while I've been annoyed and frustrated for some time, remind me of the need to be more flexible AND that I must be grateful regardless of the circumstances. Truth be told, I do not prefer to spend my extended-family-Thanksgiving extravaganza at a banquet hall/bowling alley. However, any family time is good time and I must be grateful for that. Rather than being grumpy about the changes, I need to enjoy the time with my loved ones and thank God that I have them.

In regards to other traditions, we usually do the customary everyone-say-something-they're-thankful-for thing, but I heard of a different spin on that this weekend which I might try to implement. A friend told of how his family goes around and each person has to say something they're thankful for about each person at the table. This might get lengthy, but it might be fun for my immediate family Thanksgiving celebration!

The Church does a great job of constantly reminding us to give thanks. In each Mass we are reminded to give thanks for what we have been blessed with and just to be thankful for the Lord's love and mercy. But Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for true reflection, and real reveling in the goodness of family time.

I'm always thankful for my family, but Thanksgiving is specifically a time when I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the love and companionship in my family. It's also a good time to reflect on the past year and realize that I have a pretty great life. A good job, a warm place to live, good friends...perhaps I should have more gratitude for these blessings in the day to day....

I pray that you have a blessed Thanksgiving and hope that you're able to spend it with loved ones!

How will you be spending your Thanksgiving? Share with us what you're thankful for in the comments or attach your post below!

PSA: If you emailed Jen and I about being paired up with a prayer partner, we will contact you later today!


Next week's topic:
Preparing the Way! 
{NAS Advent post}
Happy Advent! How do you prepare your heart, home, etc. for the coming of the Lord? Are there specific recipes or traditions you partake in? Share with us how you are making way for our newborn King!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dream big, kid.

My boss asked me recently if I've ever experienced one of my dreams coming to fruition.

The dream that first came to mind made me laugh. My boss, being curious, wanted to know what I thought of. Preceding my story with "this is really silly", I told him of my dream in 1st grade to go on a date with one specific cute boy. 10 years later, I experienced that dream.


My boss laughed, and asked if I had a different, perhaps more meaningful, dream. And I do, believe me, I do. Some of these dreams have come to be. Some have yet to be fulfilled.

My dream to date that boy, well, looking back seems silly. And yet, when I think of the daydreams that occupy my mind these days, I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that they aren't too different.

How often do I dream of the day my Prince Charming and I will ride off into the sunset?
How many times have I wished and hoped and prayed that this new guy I'm talking to is "the one"?
How much brain power do I waste on willing a cute guy at the coffee shop to stop his coy glances and COME AND TALK TO ME ALREADY?

Sheesh. To quote Elizabeth Bennet, " Is that really all you think about?!"

In truth, no.
But in truth again, I think about this A LOT.

It's natural to long for the things our hearts desire. It's natural to wonder and hope about what the future holds.

But how about taking it a bit deeper?
How about dreaming about a better world around me?
Or dreaming up a new way I can serve my fellow humans?
Or what if I dreamt up a project to build the Kingdom and saw THAT to fruition?

People say all the time "as soon as you stop looking, that's when he'll show up!" The problem I have with this is that there's a big difference between truly immersing yourself in life and just pretending you are with the hopes of that "working".

I want to dream big. I want to change the world.
Yes, above everything else, I desire to get to Heaven and believe that God intends me to get there via marriage. However, I know He has many plans for me in the meantime.

And who knows, maybe I'll meet Mr. Right while seeing through a different dream.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Not Alone Series: The Struggle Bus

What ways do you run to implore the Lord's help when you are struggling? Do you always spend time in Adoration? Do you dive into the bible? Automatically go to Confession? Could you be better? How? And what about those times when things are good and you are joyous? Do you still give the Lord your time?

Ok, ladies. I have a confession to make.

When Jen and I were making this year's NAS topic schedule, I wasn't super pumped about this topic. Then with how things worked out with trading off topics, and I realized that I'd be hosting for this particular topic, I thought to myself: "well, I don't know what I'll say here...I haven't been in a slump/rut/funk for awhile..."

God knew better.

The past several weeks I've been a regular on the Struggle Bus. It's hard for me to pin-point specifically what is wrong. I hate this, because as a natural sanguine, extrovert, ENFP, etc. I feel the need to be constantly "on". At least, when I'm around people. But internally, I'm exhausted. What's the deal, Morgan?!

Maybe it's my perpetual singleness.
Perhaps it's a restlessness in my work and the unknown future.
Or maybe I simply need to get off my butt and be more physically active.

Or....maybe it's the lack of a spiritual rhythm in my life.

There was a time when daily mass was a given. When I'd spend at least an hour of my busy day devoted to our Lord. When HE was the center of my life.

Hm. Yep, that could be it.

A couple weeks ago, I finished Jason Evert's book on St. JPII. Wow.
Since then, I've been working my way through a couple of encyclicals: The Splendor of Truth and God is Love. Both have such genuine Truth.
And in teaching CCD on Sunday mornings, I'm learning more about salvation history than I ever did as a child.

This is all well and good...reading the Bible, lives of the saints, and the writings of our Church leaders.

BUT. Without our SOURCE AND SUMMIT at the center of my daily life, I'm empty. Lost.
Without our Lord LITERALLY within me, getting through the day is rough.

So I need to make some changes. And pray for the discipline to stick to them.

How do you get through slumps like this? Do you have any tips or tricks? I'm honestly asking.
Link up below!


Next week's topic:
Prayer Altar/Corner
How do you pray at home? Do you have a special place in your house? How do you make that area special? Comfy chair? Icons? Prayer cards? What suggestions do you have to make a home altar? If you don't do this, in what ways can you begin?

11/25: Thanksgiving! :)
In what ways are we thankful?! Write about anything you want under this theme! Do you have any family traditions that help you to be mindful of the blessings in your life?

12/2: Preparing the Way! {NAS Advent post}
Happy Advent! How do you prepare your heart, home, etc. for the coming of the Lord? Are there specific recipes or traditions you partake in? Share with us how you are making way for our newborn King!

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