looking Back.

I really dislike New Year’s resolutions. Years ago I decided they were pretty dumb and I hardly ever kept them, let alone remembered them by the end of January, so I stopped making them. Instead, I’d rather reflect on what I’ve learned in a year’s time. I’ve come to realize once again how important it is to take time and reflect, and learn – to learn about our own hearts and the hearts of others, it is a source of great growth if we allow for it. So here it is, a list (however long or short it ends up being) of the things I’ve learned this year:

A job isn’t everything, but it is a nice thing to have.

Money, even in large doses, can’t really make you happy.

I will probably never really like Valentine’s day, and even though I’ve claimed to be a hopeless romantic, I’m okay with not liking Valentine’s day. After all, true love doesn’t just have one shining day a year – it should occur every day of the year.

I love road trips, with or without people, they allow my soul room to breathe.

I discovered I actually like camping, not just in campgrounds. There is something in my soul that comes alive when I’m out in the wilderness – it connects me to the wild heart of God.

Sometimes the things we think will be great turn out to be horrible and the things we never expected turn out to be the best things in the world. Remember, God laughs when you make plans.

There is something about surrender, not surrender to other people, but surrender to God. It is a mystery I may never understand in this life, but it is one wrapped in beauty and love.

Sometimes we have to lose ourselves to really find ourselves.

Every decision we make creates ripples and every now and then we are blessed to see the effects of those ripples. I like to think that when we see the effects of our ripples we are getting a peek at life through God’s eyes.

The person you think you will end up with is probably not the person you’ll end up with. Remember, God laughs when you make plans.

When you find your soulmate, you really will know it, as cliche as that sounds. You’ll know it in your soul, you’ll know it so deeply that at times it will feel like it is the only true thing in the world you know. It is a gift from God that keeps on giving.

Trust is one of the hardest things in life to come by, and one of the easiest things to lose. When you find it, hold on tight.

Satan is a nasty little jerk and I’ve found that just as God is preparing for something wonderful to happen in your life, Satan throws a bunch of crap in your path. Just before Mr. Irish and I began courting there were a number of guys (and I say this because its true, not because I’m being arrogant about how awesome I think I am, and if you think that’s the case, read my last blog) that popped back into my life. Old boyfriends, nice guys, weird guys, they seemed to come from everywhere. Satan threw a lot of crap at me in a lame attempt to keep me from Mr. Irish, but if you keep your heart open to God, He won’t allow you to fall into Satan’s potholes.

Some wounds are buried deep, wounds from old relationships, wounds from our parents, wounds from God only knows where. They only get healed if we ask God to show them to us, and then walk us through our pain.

We were created for more, for glory. We were created for Eden. We weren’t created in original sin, we were created in original glory and that fundamental truth is too easily forgotten.

Music will always move my soul. Whether its classical music without words, or beautiful lyrics written by just about anyone, music never fails to inspire me and lift me up.

Men are severely lacking in this world, but so are women. We’re both accountable and we’ve both failed; we are fallen creations desperately in need of grace.

On occasion, the best answer to a question is “no.” It may be hard, but it can often be the best thing for us, and for the person asking the question.

The desert, real or proverbial, is only a scary place if we allow it to be.

The past is over, and yet it often finds its way into the present. Tell it where to go.

There is nothing wrong with taking it slow. “Just A Kiss” should be the theme song of every relationship.

I’m convinced there is nothing more intimate on the face of this planet than prayer. Whether it is just you and God having a chat, or you opening your heart with others in prayer, there is nothing more intimate. I also believe that if everyone sought this kind of intimacy the world would be a far better place.

God doesn’t make junk. He doesn’t give you more than you can handle. He even takes our poop and turns it into something beautiful.

Love is not a fight, but it is perhaps the only thing in the world worth fighting for. The love of God, the love of family, the love of your soulmate, they are worth the fight, they are worth the struggles, they are worth your life if it comes down to it.

You can’t live this life with half of your heart, you might as well be dead. God calls us to live our life fully, with our hearts awakened and alive, not just with half of our hearts, but all of our hearts. It brings Him untold glory.

Patience is a virtue I’ll be learning for the rest of my life.

God’s timing is perfect. He’s shown me this countless times in my life, and yet I still struggle to trust His timing over my own. (See above.)

Love is a dance. Dance it with God first and always.

Blogging has come to be one of the greatest joys in my life. It is a release for me, it allows me to reflect, and by His grace, it touches the lives of others. I pray it is a ministry, a tool He continues to bless. I’m eternally grateful that He uses me in this way and I’m eternally thankful that people tune in week after week to see what I’m rambling on about.

We never come by stability in our lives, we only find it in God, in the Eucharist, in the Sacraments, at the foot of the cross.

Mary is the best model of true womanhood. Period.

He is always trying to teach us. He is always near to us. The only question is, are you willing to learn? Is your heart open to Him?

This year turned out to be…nothing like I thought it would, but I’ve learned so much along the way. I pray my heart continues to stay open to Him, I pray yours does too. Remember, God laughs when you make plans; I like to think of myself as God’s personal comedian. Find the joy in life – it is all around.

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