Thursday, February 24, 2011

The pressure we put on ourselves

One day my husband (who is my best friend) and I were talking about life and the unnecessary pressure we put on ourselves.  I especially see this in us women.  We have this ideal image of what a woman, wife, mother, friend, etc should be.  Plus, the media does not help us.  So we fall into a trap of trying to be someone we are not meant to be.  
I think the problem is that we try to be perfect.  The scary part is that we sometime want to be perfect like God.  Only God is perfect.  We are humans.  We are sinners.  We can never be like God or the ideal image we have in our mind.  Why?  Because we are not perfect.  Once we realize that we are not perfect and release that ideal image from our mind, we don’t have to put up this front anymore.  It is a liberating experience! You feel free!  You actually start to live life.  I speak from experience.  I remember when I was younger, I would try to be this perfect person.  Once I realized (thanks to the Holy Spirit) that I was just kidding myself, I started to appreciate life.  You see, I’m a work in process.  We all are.  The Lord is not done with you or me.  If He was, I would not be blogging and you would not be reading this blog.  So lift up the pressure off your shoulders and live.  Instead of trying to be perfect, practice on being present with the Lord.  You will be at peace.  You will start to live life.        
You might be thinking, yeah Lisette, but my friend has the perfect life.  She is happy.  All her facebook/twitter post are ideal.  Why can I not have that life?  
God has a different path for everyone.  My friend, we all struggle in life.  We can be happy and blessed but we all struggle with something.  Why?  Because we are not perfect.  The Lord has blessed us all with different gifts.  If you are struggling to find or see what gifts the Lord has blessed you with, pray.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see and understand the gifts the Lord has given you and how you can put them into practice.     

It all starts at the dinner table

February is the month dedicated to the Holy Family (Joseph, Mary and Jesus).  The Holy Family is a perfect example for all Christian families.  Make sure you take time to meditate and celebrate the great example of the Holy Family.  One of the best ways is at the dinner table with your own family.  I follow this blog called, Catholic Cuisine, which includes great recipes you can prepare for every feast day.  You should check it out.  They already have recipes for March.  

Friday, February 18, 2011

Motherhood is a humbling experience.

I remember when I was pregnant, every parent would warn my husband and I to sleep as much as we could because once the baby arrives, no more sleep.  I heard it so many times, I was like ya ya ya.  Well, they were all right.  Once my daughter was born, I did not sleep much.  My cuarentena was tough.  La cuarentena is what Hispanic call the 40 days after you give birth.  Don’t ask me where it came from because I have asked and searched and the best answer I found was that it is a tradition.  Maybe they thought of it when they herd of Jesus praying in the desert for 40 days.  Who knows.  According to tradition, you cannot clean, cook, in another words, you cannot do anything.  The only thing you need to do during the cuarentena is rest as much as you can and attend to your child.  If you do not practice this tradition, you should.  It is awesome.  
OK, back to what I was saying.  My cuarentena was tough.  My daughter had her days and nights mixed up at first.  Our family lived 900 miles away and most of our friends worked. I was trying to figure out how to nurse, which was one of the toughest things I have ever done.  Yes, more than birth.  Nursing every two hours can be exhausting.  I was not use to it.  It was a challenge for me.  I was ready to throw in the towel so many times.  Thank the Lord for sending me an angel, Bree, who listened, advise and encourage me to keep going.  She even helped me to set small goals for myself.  She was awesome.  I thank the Lord and her for helping me get through it.
I had to give you a bit of the back round of what was going on with my life (during my cuarentena) to help you understand why I say motherhood is a humbling experience.  After almost 30 something years, it was not about me anymore or my husband, our attention was now to this beautiful fragile life who was counting on us.  God entrusted us with our amazing daughter.  We have to sacrifice everything for her.  Work twice as hard for her.  All in the name of love.  I thank the Lord for blessing me to be a madre (mother) because it has humbled me.  I have mature not only as a woman but in my relationship with the Lord.  I love being a madre!  It is truly a blessing.     
I hope I did not scare any soon to be madre.  It is challenging at first because it is all new.  The saying is true, you do not know what it means to be a parent until you become one.  But once you get the hang of it you will be great.  If you are a first time madre, hang in there you are not alone.  The Lord is with you, always.  There was a verse that helped me get through my cuarentena.  

“Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed; I am your God. I will strengthen you, and help you, and uphold you with my right hand of justice.” -Isaiah 41:10

Thursday, February 10, 2011

We are all called to be saints. Yes, even you!

As you all can tell I’m new at blogging.  I was not sure how to start it, design it, etc.  One day when I was trying to figure something out on my blog, I came across another blog called Our Catholic Life.  So I’m checking it out, enjoying the music and read the “about mesection.  Which reads:
“My name is Grace, I am a Roman Catholic, and homeschooled along with my seven brothers and sisters. I was inspired to do this blog because I love to learn and share about the richness of my Catholic faith, particularly the saints, because we are all called to be saints.”
My first thought was, wow it’s a young girl.  When I clicked on the “My Family” tab I found out that Grace is 13 years old and would like to be a religious sister when she grows up.  I was so impressed.  A young girl, serving the Lord through her blog.  So, I became a follower.  Every day Grace will post the Saint of the day and she does a great job.  We could all learn from the Saints.  I know you might think, I’m no Saint, I can never live up to those expectations.  No one is born a Saint.  Like Grace mentions, we are all called to be saints.  When you read about the Saints, you realize they were regular people just like you and me.  St. Paul prosecuted Christians before he converted and now he's a Saint.  I'm not saying to go harm someone.  What I'm saying is Saints have sinned too.  It was in the little ways they serve the Lord and lived their life that made them Saints.  Like Grace with her blog.  
We are all called to be saints (yes I’m talking to you) and we are all called to help one another to be saints.  You can start be learning about the Saints and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.
You can become a follower of Our Catholic Life and say a little prayer for Grace and her vocation.  Here is the link.
(When you check out her blog, the banner on the right top corner might look familiar ;-) Thanks Grace)  

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Check your attitude

Last year (2010) was an interesting year.  We moved out of state with our precious baby girl when she was only 3 months (I do not recommend moving with an infant).  We stayed with my parents (for 5 months) while we looked for a place.  Once we found our home we had to move again.  At least this time we didn’t have to pack everything.  Did we have this planned?  No.  We thought we were all set.  We had our home, updated a few things around the house, had the nursery ready, we were set but life through us a curve ball.  Sometime I would complain.  It can be a challenge moving back to your parents house after 7 years.  Ok, maybe I complained a lot.  I would ask God to help me with my patience.  One day I was loosing my patience and I was trying to stay cool.  So I decided to visit Jesus himself at the Adoration Chapel.  So there I was trying to not be selfish and be present with God.  I complained a little and asked why I was being so impatient.  I had my pity party but I felt at peace.  The Holy Spirit help me realized that I was being blinded by my negative and selfish attitude.  I started to thank God for all His blessing.  Blessing our family with a job, food, shelter, great health and most of all the love from our family and friend.  I thanked God for letting me see that I had nothing to complaint about.  I needed to put on my big girl panties (I think the new term these days is "man up") and be a woman in God's spirit.  
I think we all have our days when we want to feel sorry for ourselves but it is nice to know you have friend, Jesus, who is going to tell you how it is.  He is there to listen to you even when you are complaining about life.  Here I thought I was a positive person, when only negativity was coming out of me.  I had to change my attitude.  With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I was able change my attitude to a positive one.  Now I ask myself every morning, what is your attitude today?  We need to keep our attitudes on check.  I know I do, if not the poor me attitude will appear and she is not pretty.
It is a life lesson I am still working on.  It reminds me of a joke I once herd.  You probably heard it.  It goes like this, if you want to make God laugh tell him your plans.  God knows what is better for us.  Thank God!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Stay focus

I remember when my daughter was first born a few people told me to turn on the TV so she could hear voices in the house since it was only the two of us at home during the day.  So, I turn on the TV.  Sometime I would tune in and sometimes it was really just on so she can hear voices.  Recently, my husband and I noticed that our daughter now sometimes stops and watches TV.  What I started to do during the day is,  no TV, turn on my computer and tune in to either Sacred Heart Radio or Catholic Juke Box.  We also listen to children music CDs and dance silly.  

One thing that I did notice from tuning into these radio stations is that it has helped me to stay focus.  Focus on our Lord and what it means to be a wife, mother and homemaker.  We really do need to fill our minds with positive and faith filled information.  There is too much junk out there and it easy to get wrapped up in it.  Stay focus my friends and be present.     

I really like Sacred Heart Radio because they have the daily reading reflection, the rosary and you can listen to Daily Mass from the EWTN Chapel.  They even have a segment called Women of Grace.
My daughter loves to dance so she enjoys Catholic Radio Jukebox.  Plus the music is great!! 

So, I just wanted to share with you the links for Sacred Heart Radio and Catholic Radio Jukebox.  You can tune in anywhere there is internet connection.  I tune in from home, but if you are at work and you can listen to music, consider one of these stations.

Check them out.  Enjoy!  (Catholic Radio Jukebox)