Grateful, Thankful, Blessed

Happy Good Friday! This Sunday it will be a year since I became a Catholic, and I have spent a lot of today reflecting on this past year and how it has changed me and how much still needs to change. For those who don’t know, I was raised Methodist, which is pretty similar to Catholicism in their beliefs, just has less traditional practices. I grew up going to our little, red, St Paul’s church down the street with my grandpa. I played the chimes, participated in plays as a little girl, was an acolyte and helped with charitable activities such as roadside trash cleanup and working the food booth at the state fair. However, as I got older, the more I resisted participation in church, and once college came I stopped going except on major holidays.

Then I started dating this Catholic boy, and honestly ya’ll, going to church with him and his family the first few times was intimidating. Everyone knows exactly what to say, when to say it, when to kneel, when to hold hands, etc. I would just stand there with a blank stare on my face silently waiting for it to be over. Over the years spent with Brendan, I realized how important church and faith was to him, so it became just as important to me. The year we got engaged I decided to go through the process of becoming Catholic. I went to classes every Sunday night, went on field trips and participated in various activities with the church throughout the year. Then Easter came and just like that I was officially Catholic!

Now if I’m being honest, I still don’t really “feel” Catholic. I have a lot to learn, not just about the religion itself but about where I stand with God and my faith. For me, practicing faith is more than just saying a blessing at dinner and going to church every Sunday. While these things are important to me, especially after having children, I believe your relationship with God is more personal and is a journey no one will understand except you. Your faith doesn’t need to be proven by how much you participate in church, but in how you are as a person.

Anyways, the real point of this post is how lately  I have found myself complaining a lot! I complain about how tired I am after working and being on my feet all day, my backaches, my couch that is from the 80’s and kills my hips every time I sit on it, the fact that I won’t be able to go on many vacations this summer because I’ll have a new baby, and the list goes on. Today, i glanced up at a sign on my wall that reads “grateful thankful blessed”. I thought to myself how abundantly blessed I really am. I am blessed that I even have the opportunity to complain about these silly things. Yes, pregnancy back pain is legit, but at least I am able to walk in order to feel the pain. Yes, working while pregnant as a nurse is exhausting, but at least I have a job that not only pays the bills, it helps others. Yes, my couch is a hand-me-down from Brendan’s grandmother, but at least it looks new and we have a place to sit together. Yes, I won’t have the same type of summer vacations I used to have pre-baby, but now I get to travel with a mini human and expose her to this beautiful world of mountains and beaches. Yes, pregnancy is scary and hard, but it is also amazing and exciting. I get to feel a human that I created with the man I love roll and tumble inside my belly. (You guys…Brendan and I literally were crying setting up her car seat the other night. These hormones are no joke.) Yes, growing up in a blended family can be hard, but at least they can come together and plan an amazing baby shower. Yes, it sucks I hardly getting to see my friends, but they traveled all the way from NY/NJ just to spend a couple hours at my shower. Yes, pregnancy has allowed me to gain 30 pounds and feel gross, but we had the opportunity to take beautiful maternity pictures that I will cherish forever. I am so so blessed.

 

 

So, this Good Friday on my day off, I spent it preparing for baby, relaxing with my kittens, cooking our last meatless Friday meal and not complaining! I hope you also realize how blessed your life is.

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And the adventure continues. 

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3 Comments

  1. Paula
    March 31, 2018 / 2:56 am

    I love this and I absolute love and adore you Lauren! I’m incredibly proud of you.

  2. Beth Brown
    March 31, 2018 / 3:02 am

    I am so proud and honored to be your aunt. Though we travel on different spiritual paths, I’m proud that you’ve found a path that suits you makes you feel whole. That is the entire point of spirituality. You make me proud. Love you both!

  3. March 31, 2018 / 1:44 pm

    Beautiful Lauren! And us “cradle Catholics” also have a lot to learn to – you are in good company! Gratitude changes everything, especially fear for the unexpected and I love the grace your sharing with others to look at life that way! Good luck on the final few weeks!

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