A Can’t Do Attitude

For as long as I can remember I’ve been told all about the power of positive thinking summarized by many an older and wiser person telling me, “the trick is to have a can-do attitude” in order to achieve everything from my short-term goals to my deepest held dreams and desires.

The older I’m getting (I turn 27 in ONE MONTH) the more I’m discovering that this well-intentioned advice may have missed the mark. Or maybe it’s just that my goals have changed. Regardless of the reason, I’m finding at the forefront of my desires is a desire to love that far exceeds my actual capacity to love. In short, I want to love like God does, and I can’t.

I just can’t. It’s something I’ve lamented to my spiritual director to varying degrees over the course of last year and I’ve had about a million temptations to discouragement. Not the kind of discouragement that tempts me to stop altogether, the kind that tells me to lower my aim, shoot for the middle, keep my head down and be “normal” (never my forte I admit). Yet the desire persists.

And with the help of many, I am finally coming to understand that I have come to end of what I can do and it is time now to let God do everything for me. It’s time not for strength but for weakness, because God’s power is made perfect in weakness, it’s time not for success but for humility, a time of total surrender and not control, but most of all a time to empty myself totally to receive unconditional love so that I may give it as totally and as generously and mercifully as God gives it to me.

It sounds counterintuitive and it may be the hardest thing I’ve ever done after a lifetime of plans and project management, of selfishness and pride. But as I join Christians around the world in preparing for Advent I can’t help be full of joyful hope and a sincere desire to wait in confident expectation for the coming of my Lord. And I hope this can’t-do attitude remains with me as I grow in deeper trust. I hope you have a blessed season of Advent!

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The Latest in the New Evangelization

Hi all!

So while this title like most of my titles past lacks inspiration creativity and pleases probably no one but me due to the ever so slight pun, it does capture my current emotion pretty well.

The internet gets a lot of flack for being the source of all evil in society and, as a millennial who grew up with the internet, I can see the validity to points of the argument. However, as I’ve been blogging and getting into the New Evangelization I think it can also be a really incredible tool for evangelizing and bringing people together who otherwise never would have met. For example, now you can even Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I really like blogging, so much so that a few months back I opened up a forum for guest contributions to absolutely ANYONE who felt they had something to say about their own faith journey and how it’s played out in their life.

It has yielded such amazing results including an awesome guest post from my very own amazing little sister A.C. Wilson which I am more proud of then I can say.

The offer still stands open to ALL and I am pleased to announce that there is now another guest post will be ready for publishing Thursday 2/23 at 6 PM eastern from Sr. Christina from the community of Dillingen Franciscan Sisters in North Dakota. NORTH DAKOTA. Points for the internet for making that happen. I’d never met anyone from North Dakota to that point.

I told her that my blog community is probably the equivalent of a loving small town like the ones I imagine are in North Dakota! (I will eventually get over it I promise) I also told her that posting wouldn’t get her a million views overnight or make the community an internet sensation. But I told her I do have something far better, at least in my mind.

I told her that those who read these blog tend to be the type that are seeking: seeking happiness, seeking to be challenged intellectually, seeking to be inspired but most of all seeking God in the everyday whether they have admitted it to themselves or not. The people that I know read this blog are my favorite kind of people, people that are open to letting things outside themselves touch their heart. Only in this environment can truth and beauty resonate.

So in the coming weeks I am going to post a short bio about Sr. Christina and her community. Then I will publish the beautiful piece she submitted to me. I encourage you all to read it and maybe even to check out their site because why not?

And lastly I wanted to thank you all for inspiring me with your readership, your thoughtful comments, and for making this blog possible in the first place. I am truly humbled that anyone actually takes the time to read it and it has given me such joy not only to share little pieces of my walk with God but especially in hearing about yours as well.

And in that spirit should you ever want to share in a more profound way I am posting the link for submission again here. (#shameless)

Have a blessed rest of your Thursday!

Things Great and Small

Lately, I’ve been having a lot of fun at my job. Ironically, it hasn’t been because I have an especially fun work environment, it has been because my work environment sometimes feels like the ER but with crises of a housing variety and I’m the one who coordinates all the staff, among other things.

No, the reason I’ve been having fun is because in those moments where I’m being contacted many different ways simultaneously and doing a thousand things in immediate succession, things that would not normally strike me as that big deal seem like the end of the world. So, instead of dealing with them immediately and/or being a jerk about these things to my coworkers (and dealing with the subsequent guilt of that) I decided to do something new.

Since I confess on this blog frequently about what an impatient person I am, I decided to wait. Instead of doing things in the heat of the moment I make a note and wait to do it until later once my emotions or frustrations have blown over. I take a break when I need to and do other basic things to take care of myself on the job (which is easy for some people but not always so easy for me).

And the funny part is how a lot of my “crises” take care of themselves. This little method has been shaking me out of my own perfectionism, which creeps up on me more than I care to admit. I do what I can with the tools I have and sort of go with the flow. Stepping away is helpful. While this all probably sounds rather obvious it’s not something that I see easily or frequently put into practice in the schools I attended or the places I’ve worked. With the speed and interconnectivity of everything it’s harder to get away, things are more easily blown out of proportion and most of all we live in a society that worships the act of doing.

It’s kind of a bold claim but I can point to many instances where prayer is majorly criticized by secular society because it is not seen as enough of an action. And I would go so far as to argue that it doesn’t matter what we do or how well it works in accomplishing our objective so long as it appears we are “doing” something. It’s the calm, the inaction that really offends because it shakes off that sense of urgency and importance and, as in my case, reveals that humbling and humorous truth that the world is a lot bigger than we are, and stretches far beyond the little problems and difficulties that we encounter in our day.

Even the larger scale problems that affect not one, but many, lose that sense of doom when I remember to have a perspective that stretches beyond myself and my limited abilities to include frequent prayer and trust in God to do even what feels impossible. To be glad that God is bigger than me and believe that He works everything out for good in its time.  Maybe the trick is just being willing to wait for it; to stay in tune with the graces He gives only in the present moment as we live it together.

This is what I think I like the most about prayer not that it changes God but that it changes me.