Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Layout!

Happy First Day of Advent!
I put up a new layout for the holiday season...surprisingly there weren't many to choose from. But this one is nice :) I'll be going back to school for two more weeks for finals and then I have a very longggg Christmas break. I will, however, be missing three nights of Hanukkah! I'm a little upset, because we cannot light candles in the dorms and I have no way to make latkes, but I'll have 5 more nights to catch up :) I love how my Catholic Bible has the maccabee scripture too...So I'll have at least some holiday joy/comfort during my stressful exam week!

I'll be posting again soon, but I'll leave you with this video now...

May YHVH bless you all this holiday season, whether you celebrate Advent/Christmas,
or Hanukkah. Or Kwanzaa! & I hope those who celebrate had a nice Eid!
Peace to everyone,

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Where Have I Been?

Hello bloggers!
It's been a hard month for me blog-wise and I cannot apologize enough! There have been a few things I had wanted to blog about, but they just didn't sound right when written out. However, I realize I need to write something, even if it is a little all over the place.

I know this has been beaten to death, but I heard about Kimdonesia. I almost fainted when I watched the video...certainly this was not the same girl! She had deleted me from her facebook account only a month ago for defending the fact that Jews were not going to be the dajal or antichrist...or whatever it was...and for someone who was so passionate to lose the passion so fast was scary. It made me take a look at my faith and reevaluate where I was going. I am no stranger to a loss of passion in my faith, in fact I am currently in a dry spell as we speak. However, I am diligent to stoke the flames. Today in church, as I prepared myself for the Eucharist, I could feel the heat of my tears welling up in my eyes. Being in the Lord's presence was very healing, all my emotions, anxieties, thanks, and praises were pouring out of me. It made me realize that I have some things I need to work on spiritually and despite the fact I may become lax in my faith, that YHVH is ALWAYS working overtime. Just as I wouldn't forget to show and tell my spouse how much I care and love him, I cannot and will not forget to show YHVH my heart; for He ALONE is the only one worthy of my love and time.

I also have realize that this walk of mine is all my own. I can never hope for or rely that someone, whether it be a friend or my future spouse, will help me spiritually, because humans are just that...human. We are unreliable and normally let others down. I am just as guilty, if not more so, than everyone else. If I want to know God, I need to find Him on my own time, on my own terms. The past couple of weeks have been insane. I've grown close to people I haven't talked to in over a year and I have grown apart from people whom I thought we close. To start, I was invited to a dinner party by the upperclassmen in my Catholic ministry group. I was so excited to be accepted by teens my age who took their faith so seriously. When I got there, I saw a whole different side to them. Every single member of the group had an alcoholic beverage in hand. When offered one, I said no, I didn't drink. So I poured myself some apple cider instead. Seeing as it was extremely hot in the small college apartment, I drank A LOT of cider. I began feeling a little dazed and my friend and I decided to leave early. (everyone was on the road to intoxication city anyways) As the cold air hit me I felt a little woozy and I noticed I could not walk a straight line. My friend who also does not drink normally, felt the same. We concluded that the cider must have been spiked...I felt a little betrayed. I know those kids are good kids, but I can't relate to them. My room mates have seen a few of the girls doing reckless things at parties...I don't even want to discuss it in detail. But how can one's focus be on the Lord if you go to church sunday and then continue to behave like any other secular college student? We are called to be SEPARATE! I can't even tell the different from them and the rest.

I wondered if I was doing a good enough job representing my faith to others and then I heard my room mate telling her friend (who I had NEVER spoken with) that I was going to...*and the girl chimed in* "go to a Jesus function?" So if nothing else, I'm known as a Jesus girl haha so I no longer have a true pool of serious Catholic friends any longer, but I am finally at peace with doing this alone. It's going to be a hard journey, every single step. And I know there will be countless moments where I feel utterly alone, but my suffering will be promptly given up to Yeshua. He has even brought my mother and I closer than's simply brilliant. God is so good! (I will briefly mention that I have contacted my ex-best friend. she was like a sister to me for years, but an unfortunate fight ended everything so suddenly 1.5 years ago...I feel so lucky to have mended things...pray for me that God's will will be accomplished in this situation :) )

Also, On a Quest for Plain Living posted a the Sabbath. While I have returned to the Catholic Church, I still have my heart in the Old Testament. I love the sabbath, and I'm sorry, but God gave the 10 commandments forever even if the Laws of Moses were specifically for the Jews. (this may be a topic for later...) So I will strive to keep the sabbath. I started up again this weekend. I had a buttload of homework, but I rested this Sabbath and miraculously got it all done today. YHVH blesses those who obey ;)

I hope you all have a great & godly week!
Keep God at the forefront of your heart & soul...
don't let satan to steal your faith from you no matter
how tempting or convenient it seems...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

On Being Single

For the longest time I have viewed being single as a not so important time in a Catholic's (or any Christian's) life. I had read some blogs by fellow young godly ladies who would rave about how special this period is with the Lord, and I just never bought into it. I figured that when you're single, you need to not only build your relationship with God alone, without the support of another helping you along the way, but you also have to battle the temptations that come with purity. I thought it was just one big giant test and when you've had enough YHVH will bless you and send your partner to you. That way you ALWAYS have the spiritual encouragement and love you really need to make it through this world firm in your faith.

This Monday however, I learned something much different. At my weekly Catholic ministry meeting, a couple came in to talk about Catholic dating and marriage. (A topic right up my alley!) They laid it right out for us: marriage is not a fairy tale. Now, I knew that marriage was going to have it's hard moments, just as any relationship has. But I don't know, it must have been the way they described it that caused me to feel this wave of revelation. They said when you're single you're actually in a relationship and that's with Jesus. This period is truly special and precious, and should not be wasted, as it mirrors a human marriage. In a "human" marriage you have to give yourself, 100%, to the spouse, and vice versa, because you are one entity. You need to share your thoughts, fears, mistakes, and dreams. Everything. Naturally, us girls all "awwed" but then they made the connection: this is what we should be doing now too, but just not with a man, but God. That's where our hearts need to be, we should be pouring our everything into our relationship with God, because when we get married, our priorities change. God OF COURSE comes first! But now you have another soul to care for and share with.

This talk kind of brought me up out of my daze and I felt a little guilty. I've been severely neglecting my prayer life lately (though I have been covering everyday...weird how I let that happen). I pray every morning and everynight, but I haven't been doing a daily rosary, or read my Bible. I'm not spending the quality time with my Savior that I should be. College is really chaotic, I was worrying over my H1N1 vaccine, I've been trying to cope with my separation anxiety, dealing with my moody room mates, second guessing my French major because I am worrying if I can realistically become fluent in the 4 years here, and second guessing my school entirely...I'm so overwhelmed. These aren't excuses for cutting out God-time, but it's where I am at right now. I so desperately want to leave school, leave getting a degree/job, and travel to Norway where I can get a little cottage near the fjords and devote every waking minute to my faith. That'd be paradise. But alas, that all costs $$ and I am but a broke college student. So in reality, I need to push through this semester and make every effort to start back up.

Bottom line: all the single ladies, don't ever take for granted your single-ness (haha) because as of now, you are all God's and he so desperately wants to share every moment with you.

P.S.- What is with this Copenhagen treaty I've been hearing about!?
Pax to All
~ R.A.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

An Answered Prayer

So it's been quite some time since my last post. I really appreciated the concerns and advice you all gave me, and I'm glad to see my blog is reaching other faiths as well :) Even though we are practicing differently, we struggle with many similar issues and I hope to be more on an encouragement in the future. I need to toughen up and fight the battles this world throws at me so I don't get thrown off my journey home.

For a long time coming, I have struggled with temptations from an old friend. Before I was saved, I had a friend, we'll call him Ryan*, who struggled with alcohol and drug abuse along with sexual immorality and violence. He had a rocky upbringing and I always felt bad for him and his home situation, so you could only imagine how much more pity my heart felt after I found the love of Jesus on TOP of the love I already received at home. We were incredibly close friends and for a time, almost more than that. As I was being lifted from a life of sin, he was spiraling downward and we fought more and started to part ways. Despite the bad choices he was making and the man he was becoming, I prayed God would change his heart and bring him to the faith or change my heart and let me cut all ties with him. I missed having him in my life and I often would think of how awesome it would be to have him back as a Christian. I think I was really harming my own relationship with God by clinging to this hope because I was not letting Him take control of my life, I was trying to plan it myself. With all the progress I was making by simply trusting in His will, I was keeping myself back by not relinquishing my heart.

I was reading some scripture one morning on the topic of love and it really struck me:

Song of Solomon 8:4

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse of awaken love until it so desires.

I then read a blog about a young girl trying to keep her heart and every thought that entered her head pure. I had never truly realized how much I was sinning by hoping Ryan* would someday "come around" to the truth. But yet I still pushed it to the back of my mind. That was until a few nights ago when he out of the blue decided to call me. He brought up the good ole' times and we needed to catch up soon and get together. This felt innocent enough. He then reiterated how much he missed me and how he wanted to "hook up". I stopped it right there and told him I did not do that kind of stuff and that he knew not to talk like that with me anymore. He proceeded to ask more personal questions that I had to answer with "Not until marriage". I was getting disgusted until he said he needed a girl like me in his life and quote "I want to start going to church, I want to marry you". RED FLAG ANYONE? And yet I still let my clouded judgment get the best of me. He said church! I was floored and thought he must be turning his life around.

I prayed again, very passionately, asking for guidance. I felt in my heart that this was going to be a defining moment in this year long escapade and perhaps I'd finally be getting what I wanted: a new and improved, godly, Ryan*. I asked God to show me once and for all His will on this send me some sort of sign. And boy did I get it. I was reading something he had posted online, a song he wrote I guess, and it was basically a diss to his ex girlfriend about her leaving him and how he would give her another chance or else he was moving on. I was so angry! I had been a little toy in his scheme basically. My eyes were instantly opened. I had been forgiving these instances over and over because we had been such great friends in the past and I knew he had issues only God had the power to fix. I thought God was keeping him around for some reason, and maybe there was a purpose: to show me to let go of my own plans and let Him plan my life for me. I may have blogged about Ryan* before, but this is the first time I have felt empty of him. Rid of his pollution in my life.

The past week and a half has given me a renewed strength in my faith and a renewed power against the devil's little tricks and it was perfect timing too, seeing as I was finally able to overcome this GREAT obstacle that has been keeping me from YHVH. I asked for an intervention, and He provided it. He answered my prayer.

My Church group met yesterday too, hours after my revelation, and the military school guys came this week to visit us. Afterwards there was a rosary being held and I was about to leave when a friend of mine asked me to stay for it. I was really nervous and just seeing the guys made me feel like a fool (because of the Ryan* fiasco), but it was just the opposite. The prayer was intense and I felt so united. These were godly men, there was no temptation, no lies, judgement, or deceit. I feel so blessed once again and this time around, I will let YHVH do my planning ;)

Pax to you all!