Blogging Vacation

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I’m going to be taking a blogging vacation for the rest of July. I’ll be working with some high schoolers, and I really want to be present for them during that time. In the meantime, check out these blog posts from some amazing Christian bloggers. There are a variety of topics below: from joy, to suffering, to anxiety tips, to Pope Francis memes, there is a little bit of everything.

I’ve included a short summary and my favorite quote from each post.

Have a blessed remainder of July!

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Annie at Catholic Wife, Catholic Life wrote a wonderful reflection on an intentional attitude of joy. The post does an excellent job of talking about joy while also staying grounded in the reality that it can be really difficult at times.

So I know that I need to intentionally work on being a joyful person. Because it’s what we’re called to do, actually. Because it’s a part of being Catholic.

 

Sara of To Jesus, Sincerely wrote this fantastic post about a spiritual work-out. She draws connections between Catholic spirituality and physical health and gives practical tips for shaping up our spiritual lives.

In the Rosary, we have Our Lady by our side like our weight trainer.

She’s there guiding us, spotting.  She’s got our back.  She knows what we can and cannot handle, and she intercedes with God on our behalf.

 

Ginny wrote this fantastic post on Everyday Ediths about prayers for crises of faith. I love her humorous (and totally relatable) introduction to this post which is followed by some awesome prayers.

I’m not sure I could have been an apostle. Jesus was kind of a weirdo. From the objective standpoint of a nonbeliever, his words were brash, his actions counter-cultural. He probably looked like a narcissist to some: a charlatan with delusions of grandeur.

And yet, the Apostles loved him.

 

Alicia at Sweeping up Joy wrote Accepting the Ugliness of Suffering. She gives an honest, entertaining, and insightful perspective on how God can work through our trials.

I have read quotes from the saint-iest saints.  They are, in fact, grateful for their sufferings.  They appreciate the solidarity of being able to share (however minuscule-y) in Christ’s suffering.  Perhaps someday I might get to that point.  That day is not today.

I don’t want to be grateful for the bad stuff that’s happening now.  The bad stuff hurts.  It’s hard.  However, I trust with my whole being that at some distant point in the future I will be able to look back and connect the dots.  That somehow this suffering is useful.

 

Desiree from The Green Catholic Burrow shared 7 things she was wrong about Catholicism from the time prior to her conversion. This is an interesting and entertaining post full of resources.

I used to have a lot of misconceptions about the Catholic church, back in my Protestant days. I am constantly blown away by how crazily inaccurate my ideas about Catholicism really were.

 

Amy of Passionate Purpose encourages us to smother evil with beauty in this great post where she shares her personal experience with evil and why it is so important to have beauty in our lives.

 At the beginning, I told you that what I chose for a degree has led me to hear, see, and experience evil. I knew that it would and I was willing to take that risk, because sometimes we have to go into the fire to fight it. What I didn’t fully understand is that evil has to be combated with beauty and goodness. It must or we sink.

 

Kirby wrote an awesome post on Everyday Ediths about hope being honesty. She acknowledged that we don’t need to be an “eternal optimist,” but we can have hope in our lives because of Heaven.

I have come to the conclusion that I should not desire a life without fear – at least not good fear. I want a fear that brings me hope. This hope is developed with habits of mind and soul that lead me to choose God in all things.

 

Jessica of Sweet Little Ones shared how she found peace in an incredibly difficult situation. I am so impressed with the bravery and hope expressed in this vulnerable post.

But I do know in my heart, that for reasons unknown, God gave me this one reprieve, this one consolation, this sweet taste of peace in the storm.

 

Leslie from Life in Every Limb talked about not just being a spectator at Mass, but if you’re looking for a shorter read, I recommend her post with Pope Francis memes we can trust.

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Anni from A Beautiful, Camouflaged Mess of a Life wrote a beautiful reflection on showing compassion for ourselves. Her focus is on chronic illness, but it is an important reminder for all of us.

I have forgotten how something so innocuous to others can so drastically and radically alter my ability to function “normally!”

I have forgotten to extend compassion and mercy toward myself!

I’m not writing this post for anyone to feel sorry for me…

Instead, I’ve finally realized what the issue is, and I will focus on tackling it – I need to go back to basics and give myself some compassion.

 

Adrianna at My Little Felt Friends gives some practical tips for managing anxiety. Her post is a great balance of physical, spiritual, and mental health.

One of the biggest things that has helped has been to listen to the Rosary on Youtube. The songs are very soothing, and the repetition gives me something to focus on. When I was going through the worst part of my anxiety, I fell asleep to the Rosary every night for almost a month.

 

Amy at Prayer, Wine, and Chocolate shared her beautiful, heartfelt letter to people who left the Church.

I share this with you, because holding onto my faith during dark times has allowed me to experience joy, peace and hope for the future.

I know I haven’t carried crosses as big or heavy as others.  I don’t know why God has allowed some people to carry certain crosses.

But I see some people carrying crosses with faith and hope . . . and they inspire me.

 

Bethany of Strengthen My Heart shared an incredible perspective on suffering. It is raw but also encouraging.

when we numb ourselves to pain, to differences, or to suffering, we numb ourselves from what makes life worth living, from what makes life worth fighting for, from happiness, and from love.

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