My family is multi-racial.
I am “white”
My hubby is “brown”
My kids are “mixed”
My granddaughter is “black”
I have a stepmom who is “yellow”
You name the color, and we got it in my family.
We are all different colors, different races and different cultures.
Yesterday, I tripped on unlevel concrete and took a nasty fall. The palms of my hands took the brunt of it and got banged up pretty bad. Tore off skin, bleeding, pebble embedded into flesh I had to remove with tweezers., etc. Ouch!
But once I did that and cleaned my wounds, I reached into our medicine cabinet to grab some bandages. I reached in my “diversity” pack of bandages and grabbed these three – all different colors. And that made me wonder….
How many households in America have a package of bandages that are multi-colored for different skin tones?
Do we have it only because we are a multi-racial family?
Should a “white” family have a box like this too, even if all of their skin is the same color?
In my opinion, YES.
A while ago I posted about multi-racial toys and how all races of people should have all colors of representation of toys. I think this falls along those same lines. Having “diversity" bandages (totally my nickname for them) in your cabinet helps keep the idea of representation and inclusivity ever present in our lives and at a pivotal time in our society. How great would it be to have your child’s friend of a different race/skin color over who needs a bandage to be able to pick one closer to their skin tone? It’s the little things that go a long way, trust me.
It also exposes your children to the inclusivity mindset of other races. If your “white“ child has only ever seen “white” skin tone bandages all their life, then what response do you think they would have when they see the “diversity" bandages for the first time?
My point being is that you do not need to personally have a multi-racial family to buy, use and support multi-racial/diversity themed products and services.
I know lately there has been a lot of hate being passed around when someone of a particular race wears, uses or participates in another culture’s stuff (cultural appropriation). And obviously, I am totally against someone making fun of a person’s race and/or culture and doing these things in a mocking and disrespectful way – but for those of us who want to show our children the beauty of these differences between us all and do it to give honor to and respect them – then by all means let’s do it! That is not appropriation, it is APPRECIATION!
My skin tone may be “white,” but I’ve lived my life around many different races and most especially different CULTURES (Italian, American Black, West Indian and I married a Hispanic). I believe there is so much more room to grow in being able to tell the difference between race and culture. Just because you are a certain skin color, doesn’t mean you have to do certain things, believe certain things, and act certain ways. Those things are related to culture, not color.
Lastly, in my opinion, DIVERSITY of THOUGHT, regardless of the color of your skin, is even more important than diversity of color! But we can tackle that one another time.
#mommaletics #randomthoughts #diversity #inclusivity #diversitybandages #diversityofthought #culturalappreciation #race #culture #multiracialfamily
Yesterday we celebrated WORLD MARRIAGE DAY and today ST. VALENTINE'S DAY! What an excellent moment to share these photos with everyone.
In celebration of our "Emerald" wedding anniversary, my husband and I stood at the same altar we stood at 20 years ago and renewed our wedding vows!
02.02.02 ---> 02.02.22
We didn't invite anyone, it was just him and I (and the people required to have a Holy Mass celebrated and a professional photographer).
We ate dinner at the top floor restaurant that we had our reception in and stayed the night in the same hotel we stayed in for the first night of our honeymoon.
We then started a road trip just as we did for our honeymoon, except this time we went South (Baja) instead of North and did it on a motorcycle instead of our car!
Holy Matrimony is to be celebrated, as it is a true gift to the world, and we had an amazing time doing just that - thanks be to God!
The life of a married couple is about what my husband always says - iron sharpening iron. (Proverbs 27:17)
Because the truth about being married is that it is not easy, it is a cross.
It is not always agreeing and even sometimes feeling like walking away - there was a time in my own marriage I thought of giving up. It is about persevering no matter what.
Because on your actual wedding day, you are truly loving and accepting the goodness of your betrothed's heart.
And being married is about reminding yourself in the hardest moments the beauty of the person/heart you married in their lowest moments too.
It's moments of disagreements and heartaches.
It's moments of pet peeves and struggles.
It is even moments of impossible feelings of how you two can both go on together.
It's the most painful experiences of your life coupled with the most joyful.
But moments are just that...a moment.
This too shall pass.
Holy Matrimony is the work of two souls joining in one flesh together to carry the CROSS of MATRIMONY and doing everything in their heart and soul to get the other one to Heaven.
#worldmarriageday #emeraldanniversary #renewalofvows #thisistwentyyears #myheartandbreath #mybestfriend #holymatrimony #letsgettoheavenbabe #crossofmatrimony #yougottaworkforit #nevergiveup
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 †
I never set out to know, love and serve God, let alone to become Catholic. I spent most of my life angry at God, upset that He would allow such terrible things to happen to me; I didn’t want anything to do with a God that would let me hurt so much. I had a lot of hurt and hate in my heart.
But eventually I came out of homelessness, escaped the abusive relationships and even met the man of my dreams! Well, truthfully I was so wounded I didn’t even know that someone like him was actually the man of my dreams – I didn’t even dream anymore. And in that relationship which turned into marriage I was being loved in a way that I had never felt before – authentically. My husband made me feel like a treasure; a beautiful flower - and as he would say - but with thorns!
Slowly I began to trust, slowly I began to care and slowly I began to heal. But I never went rushing to God. Actually, I looked elsewhere for further healing and peace. I went to secular therapy for over 7 years, studied Eastern religions and New Age spiritualities. All in search of this interior peace I so longed for. I would get so close to feeling it, but I never quite felt fully there.
Until Jesus himself called me to Him in a New Age Temple in Pacific Palisades, CA. You can read about that mystical experience here. And then I did go running to Him and found Him in the Catholic Church.
But I knew nothing. Seriously, I knew absolutely nothing about Catholicism and barely anything about Christianity. I was like a newborn child when I was obedient to Jesus Christ and came fully into His Church in May 2008. I relied solely on His Church to teach me, to guide me and to feed me – I was an ignorant, helpless infant Catholic Christian.
And in His great humor, even before I became Catholic, God arranged it somehow that I would teach Kindergarteners about him in the Catechism class on Sundays at our parish. I believe the conversation between myself and the Director of Religious Education went something like this one Sunday after Holy Mass…
DRE: “Hi Jessica! I watch you in hospitality after mass every Sunday and see how you engage with all the little children. Would you like to fill in for our Kindergarten Catechist teacher, she is going on maternity leave soon?”
Me: “Me? I am not even Catholic.”
DRE: “Oh, well…do you believe in Jesus?”
DRE: “Do you love Him?”
DRE: “They are 4 and 5 year olds, that's all you really need to know and do!”
Me: “Well, if that’s the requirement, then sure!”
And that is how my time teaching little ones about being Catholic and loving Jesus began. It was so much fun, but it was weighing on me that I knew basically nothing and so I started researching “What to teach Catholic children in Sunday School” and that is when God began teaching me.
God used me, a little one in my faith, to learn and then teach them, actual little ones in the faith!
I ended up teaching Catechism classes to little ones for 3-4 years. I created and implemented a “Little Church” program for 3-5 year olds in two different parishes. It was such a blessing and a time in my life that I truly cherish (and miss).
In looking back, it was confirmation to me that God truly calls the unqualified and then qualifies those He has called! 1 Corinthians 1:27-29†
I stumbled across this picture today. It is a picture of one of my Little Church classes and me posing together after making St. Juan Diego tilmas and taking roses to the Our Lady of Guadalupe painting in the Church. I remember that before this class I knew nothing about Our Lady of Guadalupe and that through the grace of being called by God to share Him with the little ones, I learned so much!
May God allow me to always be like these little children, always wondering and eager to know, love and serve Him all the more!
I “rescued” this brass crucifix from an antique shop this weekend and waited to put it up until today.
Happy Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross!
It was through His passion (suffering) and death on the cross that my soul is saved!
On the holy cross Jesus said, “Forgive them Father…”
At the foot of the cross speaking to his Mother Mary and St. John he gave the world His own mother to love us.
There are many Christians who do not like and/or disagree with crucifixes, but after discerning and praying about it I realized that the cross without the CORPUS CHRISTI (the body of Christ) is just that - a cross, an ancient Roman torture pole that criminals hung from as they slowly died - many many criminals on many many crosses for many many years.
But this cross, this "criminal" was different!
The crucifix shows me the PERSON who made the SACRIFICE- He wasn't just another criminal on another cross hanging and waiting to die. He is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
And in my hardest moments, in my own sufferings, when I look upon the CRUCIFIX, seeing the PERSON and the SACRIFICE reminds me that I must take up my own cross and suffer too! And that I am never suffering alone and that my suffering now has purpose when it is joined with His.
So lift high your cross fellow Christians and declare with me the saving power of Jesus Christ!
What a blessing it was to attend a most reverent and beautiful Holy Sacrifice of the Mass this morning at St. Patrick's in Columbus, thank you Lord!
As I was sitting in the pew listening to the Holy Gospel being proclaimed, this particular Scripture (Mark 18-23 †) that was shared made its way into my heart...
“Hear me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile."
My thoughts immediately took me to my childhood traumas - molestation, rape, abuse - all things against my control that happened TO me (my interpretation of 'enters one from outside'). That Scripture brings me peace. Many, if not all, childhood survivors experience feelings of shame and blame themselves for what happened to them. But that is a lie and when we begin to feel that way, we need to ask Jesus to rebuke those feelings and pour His Truth and peace into our hearts and minds.
The Scripture continues with...
..."but the things that come out from within are what defile." But it does not end there as it explains...
“From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.”
In my own experience within myself and in serving others, I have come to learn that many of these behaviors that defile stem from unhealed woundedness from traumas. In my darkest moments - these were my behaviors. And even when I began to see more light, little by little, I still would get caught up in some of these behaviors as well.
God in this Holy Scripture is telling us that we are not what has been done to us; but we ARE responsible for what we choose to do in response. If we hold anger, resentment and malice in our hearts, then these are evils that are from within that defile us as well as others.
No matter how our hearts got dirty to begin with - we need clean hearts. <3
The great news is that He gives us everything we need to cleanse our hearts - to turn them from stone to flesh!
But we must first acknowledge our own behaviors for what they are, accept God's love and mercy in our own lives and then commit to living a life faithful to God and His decrees. This is what each and every one of us was created for.
For new, fleshy, clean hearts to know, love and serve Him. <3
I <3 Sundays.
I <3 the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
I <3 Holy Scripture.
I <3 God.
I <3 His mercy and forgiveness.
And I <3 you.
You are NOT what has happened to you, but you are responsible for what your heart does next.
Happy Sunday y'all!
#columbus #stpatrick #holymass #noshame #donotdefile #stonetoflesh #cleanheart #restlesshearts #mommaletics #forgiveness
It is important for me to share this today. It is important for everyone but most especially all women to see this image and read these words for the sake of everyone, for the sake of the dignity of ALL persons.
This is an image of a young girl holding her high school graduation cap that she decorated. (I know her personally and have permission to share this). It includes all of the typical girly things like fur, rhinestones and pretty butterflies. But it also includes something that was not around in 1973 - ultrasound pictures. Her cap proudly includes pictures of her unborn child with the words, "I did it for us!"
This young girl is my hero and I know that her little daughter due in October will look up at her and call her hero too one day.
Why you ask?
Because in a society that tells you to terminate a life so that you can still have your "hopes and dreams and aspirations," to get an abortion so that you can "succeed," seeing this show of motherhood, of solidarity with the unborn child and quite frankly the courage of someone so young going against the tide makes me drop to my knees and thank God for His unending mercy.
Our young people today are being lied to.
Our young women today are being lied to.
Our society screams out that you cannot succeed if you get pregnant. That you cannot accomplish your dreams and aspirations if you carry a baby to full term and give birth. That you are not strong enough. That you are not brave enough. That you are not courageous enough. That we as your family and friends are not able to support you. That we as strangers are not charitable enough to support you. And instead of encouraging you to bring forth life and fulfill your dreams, our society is trying to convince you that you just cannot do it.
Well I say, "Not today Satan, not today!"
Today I show you a young woman who has embraced the life inside of her no matter her circumstances. I show you a family who has chosen to support her AND I show you a city, a state and a nation of people who are willing to step in and help her when those close to her cannot. That is the true strength and power and courage of a WOMAN. A woman in relationship with her community. She absolutely CAN do it!
I also show you the sonogram photos. The ultrasound that when introduced should have changed our minds about legal abortion, it should have revealed the truth of the humanity and personhood of the unborn fetus. But instead, we now use it to locate the unborn in the womb in order to tear it apart and discard of it. May God forgive us.
Be a mother no matter the cost if that is where you find yourself.
Knowing that the true purpose of a valedictorian speech is to INSPIRE OTHERS to go out and accomplish their goals, THIS young high school mother is a valedictorian to me!
Personally, I lost my second child to abortion.
I should have been a hero to my child just like this beautiful high school mother is to hers right now! But I wasn't.
So now I join in spirit with every teenage mother who has chosen life for her child! Please know that your decision to be strong, to be powerful and to be courageous so your child can live is a balm for my aching heart, a salve for my soul.
Your choice for life helps heal all of our broken hearts.
You are the true valedictorians, you are the true heroines of our time - our hope for the future is in you and the fruit of your courage. THANK YOU!
#motherhood #teenagepregnancy #highschoolmom #capandgown #truevaledictorian #unbornlivesmatter #strengthpowerandcourage #wecandoit #chooselife #trueheroines
I was going through old photos last week to make a video for our son's high school graduation and I found this- my high school Senior picture.
But here is the thing...I never actually graduated from high school.
That is correct. Actually, I dropped out of high school in 10th grade because I became pregnant and eventually on and off homeless.
I took some classes while pregnant in a special home for unwed pregnant teenage girls...that was awkward.
I took some classes at a high school when I was shipped out to Northern California because I was so severely abused by my boyfriend at the time that we all feared for my life...that was traumatic.
But I never graduated.
Finally, at around 20 years old and only a 10th grade education, I heeded the pleading and begging of a dear friend's mother (who was a teacher) and I took my GED exam. Thank you Ms. Gail Purvis, you were a sprinkle of hope in my life at that time.
I remember sitting in the GED counselor's office after taking the "prep test" to see if I would actually pass the GED exam or if I needed to take some classes and listening to the counselor say, "Why aren't you in high school finishing your diploma? Your scores are so high you could go to college on scholarships!"
I muttered, "No, thanks, just give me the damn test please."
And there it was. I took the GED exam and passed with a score that made the counselor shake his head as I walked out of there that day.
But I never graduated high school, so when I come across this picture I tend to laugh inside. And then it makes me sad because it reminds me that...
I have never heard the graduation march play as I walked across a stage.
I have never been on the stage, receiving my diploma and shaking someone's hand at the same time.
I have never turned and looked into the stands and smiled as all of my family screamed and cheered for me.
I have never turned my tassel or have thrown my cap up in the air.
I will never have a high school reunion.
So that is why I go big when my children do all of the things I never was able to experience. When my children walk across that stage, they take me with them in spirit - not just as a proud mother but as an 18 year old street kid who dropped out of high school but who is now living in this moment with them!
My children provide so much more for me than I could have ever imagined and I am so thankful to them, my husband and God for this amazing life I have.
Congratulations to all the graduates out there this month! Appreciate it deeply, not everyone gets a chance to experience it. You are truly blessed.
Ahhh, apparently that is the million-dollar question over these past couple weeks! As we read all over social media “your silence is compliance” and we feel the judgement that follows: in many ways it feels like a national bullying party and you are the poor kid who is at the end of the hit. I know for me, a Christian, this has left me in a very uncomfortable position. One that has sent me into study, research, prayer and discernment. #silenceisgolden
And now I will speak. But not because someone’s hashtag told me to or because a private message from someone who “cares” about me has pressured me into it. Certainly not because social media will label me as they please if I stay silent – nope. None of that is more important to me than God and what He has asked of me as His daughter and disciple. #donotbeafraid
My absence or silence on social media for the past week has been a blessing. It has allowed me to withdraw from the world and connect more closely with Heaven, with God. I am not of this world; I am merely in it. My true home is Heaven and all that I do and say here is part of my journey to my everlasting home. What I do here is important because what I do and say here communicates to God what I want, and where I would like to be – WITH Him or WITHOUT Him – for all of eternity. It reminds me of that saying YOLO, you only live once. True. But you live once for ALL OF ETERNITY, so I better try my best to get it right! I want God to know without a doubt that no matter what #ichooseHim
Some people are offended by my withdrawal from social media. Some people have issued threats on our relationships. Some people have made it perfectly clear that if we do not necessarily agree on what I should say and when I should say it that our relationships are over and even worse, they hope harm comes to me. My answer to them is this – I LOVE YOU. And my love for you is not conditional, regardless of what you do, say or believe. If and when you want my friendship again, please do not hesitate to come back to me – I will welcome you with open arms, no questions asked. It will be like you never left – you will always have my unconditional love. #lovelikejesus
I am choosing to speak right now because I want to share a few things that I feel are important.
Racism is evil. As a Christian, I denounce and reject all things that are evil. How I go about denouncing evil is my choice as well as my responsibility and I answer to God alone through His Holy Church. I discern what God desires of me, and I do my best to be an obedient child of the Father.
Black lives matter. Every single black person who has ever, is now and will ever exist carries the dignity in which God alone has bestowed on them and no one, no matter what they do or say, can take that away from them. With that being said, I do NOT align myself with the organization known as Black Lives Matter (BLM) as they do not hold the same Christian values as I do and even though we may be united in the goal of dignity for the lives of black and brown people – there are stark differences with what they believe and how they propose to achieve it and what I am called to live as a Christian.
ALL black lives matter. My Catholic faith has taught me the importance of the FULLNESS of things. God is the fullness. His love has no empty spaces, no missing parts. To that end, the absence of unborn black lives from this movement is something I cannot support. The fullness of this “movement” for the dignity of all black lives MUST include unborn black children. If your group or organization supports the killing of black unborn children, then I cannot be a part of it.
Defund the police? After spending years being homeless and in the welfare system as a young person and after more than 20 years working with low/no income families, I absolutely believe that reform; an absolute change should be made to all public service departments. The biggest job I have outside of street outreach is accompanying our families on the social services journey. I have also witnessed mistreatment of homeless on the streets by police officers, especially in regard to homeless women, regardless of color. Sexual crimes and harassment of women is real out there. I testify to it. Change needs to happen. The system is definitely flawed and needs major reform. How to do this? Last year, SOFESA, began researching a new care model for our mission in helping families. The first thing we realized is that change happens in healthy and trusting relationships. So first and foremost, the answer begins with RELATIONSHIP. And I believe that relationship is also the foundation to the issue of policing as well. I feel like there is a relationship between our current police force and local organizations who serve those in need that needs to be foundational. But, with this being said, I am in research mode right now. I am reading, listening, studying all sides of this issue. And I welcome you to email me studies, models, research on what you believe should happen. I want to read it all, I want to hear it all, I want to know it all because then I can process it and come to an educated result of where I stand on this issue. I am not there yet. Important issues need time, they deserve time to be properly discerned and evaluated.
I see color. A few years back I saw a billboard that said God does not see color, and it had a picture of people of all races and colors on it. I hated it. It was wrong. God not only sees color, He created color! Teaching our children to be “colorblind” is a lie. It goes against Truth. What needs to be taught is human dignity. Human dignity applies to all colors, all people. It represents the holiness and love of God in each and every single person. What we should teach is how beautiful all of these colors are and to love each and every single human person just as God loves us. God sees the beauty in all of the colors He has created us to be, now we need to see it too. #notcolorblind
Lower your expectations of me. I am a sinner. I have killed someone as well (RIP Esperanza). I will disappoint you. I will not meet all of your expectations. I will make mistakes. I am not perfect. But my desire to do what is right and good for every single human being I encounter is who I am. And when I fail at it, please know that I will get back up and try again with every ounce of my being. #iamnotmyfailuresormysins
Peace without Justice. Being a victim to child sexual abuse, as well as many other crimes, created in me a strong desire for justice. My anger demanded it. There was a time when in despair for not finding this justice I even attempted suicide, twice. My journey led me eventually to forgiveness, and I wanted to share with you one of the books that helped me along the way, A Just Forgiveness: Responsible Healing Without Excusing Injustice by Everett L. Worthington, Jr. There can be peace without justice. Not a single person who committed crimes against me was ever caught, none of them even so much as apologized. I never received “justice” from any of them - but I did find peace. I know that in our hearts, we cry out for justice, as it should be. But we should cry out to God, because Justice is His to give. He is the Lord of Justice. I hope that you do not believe that without justice you will be unable to find peace. That is just not true, and my life’s journey is a testament to that fact.
Lastly, I want to leave you with a prayer that was my father in law’s favorite (may he rest in peace). You probably have heard it before, some of you may be very familiar with it, but I feel very strongly that its words, its message should be heard right now, in this time we are in currently and I pray that in all that we try to do to fix our society’s problems, that these words are what encompasses each and every one of our hearts as we move forward in our efforts.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it's in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it's in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us! †
**Trigger Warning: This article discusses the effects of child sexual abuse on adult survivors. Some may find its content difficult to read. I do encourage everyone to read it even if you are not a survivor yourself, chances are you are a partner or friend to one.**
As many of you are aware, I am a child sexual abuse survivor (CSAS). I was molested at 10 and raped at 12 years old. I have also survived homelessness and other forms of abuse in my earlier years. All of which have resulted in dysfunctional and maladaptive adult behaviors. In my 30s I struggled terribly with low self-esteem and control issues, which is most common in CSAS. “Among the problems and symptoms that have been associated repeatedly with a childhood sexual abuse history are symptoms of posttraumatic stress, low self-esteem and guilt, anxiety, depression, somatization, dissociation, interpersonal dysfunction, eating disorders, sexual problems, substance abuse, and suicidality.” (Briere, 1989; Browne & Finkelhor, 1986)
For me personally, control was a big issue. Needing to have control of myself and my environment started immediately after my rape occurred, I recall the exact moment and time I swore to myself that I would die before I let anything like that happen to me again, I was 12. The need for control was what kept me from doing drugs and drinking. I was the only one in my group who never got high or drunk. Which turned me into everyone else’s caretaker and gave me a sense of empowerment! Here I am keeping myself safe and now protecting others who are vulnerable too. That created many instances of fighting, stealing, lying and petty crimes – all for the sake of “protecting” the ones around me. Flash forward to my 30s now married with children. As an unhealed CSAS, I demanded control over my household and family members, including, if not especially, my husband. He nicknamed me Jessica “The Master Planner” Echeverry. God bless him for his patience! Everything had to be a certain way (my way of course) all in an effort to “protect” my people. But it was a very unhealthy behavior that was slowly ruining my marriage and my personal relationships. I was struggling.
Eventually, I experienced around 7 years of therapy which helped me tremendously. I also found Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church which combined with a healthy marriage and loving husband I was able to finally find healing of my early childhood wounds and abuses and get ‘control’ of my control issues. But healing of wounds does not take away the truth of what happened. The reality of actions. And so yes, I still suffer from flashbacks. I am still triggered by certain things. I still “suffer” from the recall of the heinous crimes that were committed against me as a child.
As a Christian, I feel a closeness with God that allows me to surrender myself completely to Him when it happens. I say yes to it and embrace it, knowing I am suffering with Him on the cross He has allowed for me. I think of it similar to St. Paul’s own labor for the church, “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church.” (NIV Col 1:24) For the sake of the church. Just like Jesus.
But it still hurts.
It is still real.
Just as the day it happened.
Because we don’t change the reality of historic events.
They will always be there, like 9-11.
We learn to deal with them and hopefully we heal from them.
But they never actually disappear.
So what does quarantine have to do with all of this? Lack of control. For many CSAS being in quarantine has triggered (knowingly and unknowingly) our need to feel in control. Stay at Home orders remove freedoms, remove a person’s control over one’s self – something very important for a CSAS to feel. Wearing a mask can trigger a flashback if the abuse was violent in anyway, if the CSAS was held down or smothered in anyway (my attacker placed his whole hand over my nose and mouth to keep me from screaming). For the first few weeks of the quarantine I felt weird. I felt aggression. I felt depressed. I felt like I had no control. I felt suffocated by the facemask now required in order to go out into society.
I struggled so much through prayer and trying to find a reason for all of these feelings. And after much prayer and research I realized that it is the quarantine that is the trigger. Once you realize you have been triggered, then you have the awareness to start the process of working through the trigger and memory. Awareness is the key and it is the start to finding healing and peace to what it is you are suffering from.
So yes, quarantine is difficult on people for all of the regular reasons. But please be mindful, be aware that for the CSAS it brings about another deeply profound level of suffering and stress you could only imagine, especially for those CSAS who have never told anyone what has happened to them or hasn’t had the opportunity to find the healing they so deserve.
If you are a victim of child sexual abuse and need help, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673. Live Chat (safe and confidential) available on their website as well: https://hotline.rainn.org/online
Easter Sunday (Resurrection Day) is the holiest day of the year for Christians. It is a moment in time where all hope is realized – death has been made a slave to love and is overcome. God has redeemed the world.
And so on this day we do our best, wear our best, give our best – for God. We don our finest suits, fanciest dresses, richest foods, elaborate decorations, feasts and parties!
And every year, on this day, since becoming a Catholic Christian, I have adorned our front steps and our home altar with Easter lilies – rows and rows of them! Beautiful, fragrant and perfect white Easter lilies which find a permanent home in my yard after Eastertide each year.
But this year, this day was different. Our domestic church has taken front and center. Most Christians went without receiving the sacraments and our ability to buy the best and present the best was debilitated. I felt like my hands were empty. My cupboards were bare. My porch steps were naked and exposed. And the most important house guest in the world (and outside of it) was coming over! For me, it left me feeling a sense of absence or closeness from our Savior in the moments I was looking forward to and cherishing the most. I got used to giving only the best that I lost sight of what the best gift to give God is – my heart, my true desire for Him.
In anxiety, I dug out old Easter decorations and started hanging fake flower strings, slightly molded Happy Easter signs and brushed off cobwebbed baskets. I made it work. It was all I had.
I went out in my yard in hopes that my previously planted lilies may have miraculously bloomed overnight, having a quiet conversation with God about how He is capable of making it happen, and hoping He did so that I would feel like I had something valuable, something beautiful to offer Him.
But they hadn’t. He didn’t.
And then I looked in my grass and saw the small yellow petals popped up and out of place and happy the lawnmower had failed to come by this past week, opening up to the Sun. Dandelions. Flowering weeds.
This time, instead of pulling them and tossing them in my green recycle bin, this time I handled them delicately, put them in a vase with water (and other flowers and weeds) and gave them the center place on my Easter table.
This Easter Sunday, there was no taking in the fragrant smell of lilies or seeing the proclamation of the King in their trumpet shaped petals. No, this Easter I only have weeds for the King.
And the King is happy. Because even though perfect white Easter lilies are beautiful, it is the moment when we are left with nothing, we are poor and we scrape together whatever measly offering we have and we say, “Here Father, these are for you because I love you. It is all I have. Forgive me.”
And He says, “Thank you for these, they are the most beautiful Easter flowers I have ever seen.”
Even at our lowest, at the moments in our life where we feel we have absolutely nothing to give, God reminds us that the most valuable gift we can give him is our heart, weeds and all.
#weedsfortheKing #easter #heartsdesire #jesuslives #iamsaved
Catholic convert. Deacon's wife. Nana. Homeschoolers. Mama of 5. Advocate. Author. Speaker. Foodie. Apron wearer. (Oh I love aprons!) Don't judge.