At the beginning of each day, I try to spend about five-ten minutes reading the Gospel reading and reflection. Well, I felt compelled to share my reading today because it goes along with training the body physically, as well as spiritually:
“Mass offers us an opportunity to have our eyes opened to see Jesus more clearly. All we have to do is be alert and fix our hearts on him. All we have to do is ask the Spirit to help us, and we will get a new taste of God’s love. So whenever you pray or receive the sacraments, try to sense the Spirit at work. You may feel love for Jesus rising up in your heart. You may feel moved to repair a wounded relationship or to tell your family that you love them more often . God wants to give us demonstrations like these so that we can all become great witnesses to his power in the world”.
The Lord wants us to take care of our bodies and if we fix our hearts on HIM , the Spirit is who leads us to improving our lifestyle. How about taking it one step further & ask the Spirit to help you during your workout?
While training clients, I ask them to really focus on the muscles they are supposed to be using. They visualize that particular muscle working & I notice their form is much better!
God created our bodies & knows exactly what it needs and when. If you focus & really listen, the Spirit will tell us EVERYTHING we need to know and will help you perform the exercises correctly.
Imagine what we could do if we just focus & allow the Spirit to move us while we are doing any task, even exercise! It is not magic. It is not a coincidence. It is the power of the Holy Spirit !
It is your responsibility to do what the Holy Spirit is moving you to do!
I think most of us can agree that life can sure throw some curve balls. I am a mom and have been for over 12 years. I never thought I’d have 4 children. But as that saying goes, “expect the unexpected”.
Even though I never thought I’d have several children, they were really all planned. Not one of them was unplanned, including my angel baby, Tyler. He would have been number four but passed away at 16 weeks in the womb.
Right after having my youngest, who is now 9 months old, people ask would if we are done. I replied, “I’d love to be done but ultimately it is up to God”. I mean, how can I say absolutely not when we should be open to life. Besides, I was ready to restart my fitness journey and move forward with the MMF organization, 110%. Well, God sure has a sense of humor!
I expected my period early December and even though I felt like it was coming, it just was not happening. For my piece of mind, I took a leftover unused test from my pregnancy with Skylar – my youngest. I knew it would be negative because I had tracked my cycle and was not showing signs of ovulation. Much to my shock & surprise, it came out very positive. I cried and cried. I called my mother and cried some more and just laid numb on the couch for the rest of the day. For days, I did not believe it and was adamant that this was not real. I felt embarrassed, helpless and alone. I was afraid to tell anyone, including my sisters who are my best friends.
After several weeks, I finally decided to go to the doctor. By this time, I was over 10 weeks. This certainly is not too late to go to the OB but with other pregnancies, I’d go as soon as 6-8 weeks. I think a part of me was expecting a false positive pregnancy or a miscarriage.
My husband and I went for the first initial visit. My OB/GYNis a practice of great doctors and I’ve had them all a part of a delivery or a procedure. Needless to say, they know me well and I am very comfortable with all of them. For this particular visit, I had Dr. Maute. She has got to be the sweetest doctor ever &I could talk to her for hours. She was with us when when delivered our Angel Baby and has the greatest bedside manners. Dr. Maute walked in the room and just smiled. With a very positive attitude and outlook, she helped ease the tension and fear I had and reassured me everything would be okay. The ultrasound began and I waited to see if I really had a another little life inside of me. As soon as the ultrasound began…..THERE IT WAS! A strong heartbeat and lots of movement from this little one.
After this appointment, I accepted that God has created this life for a reason. Though I’m unsure why, He has the ultimate plan and I’m just going with it.
Since the initial prenatal visit, I have been back about twice. The baby is still growing and so is my belly. Am I happy ?? Well, I am happy God has chosen me to carry out His plan. But I’m not going to lie, I’m scared! The WHAT IF’s and HOW’s haunt me daily.
Despite my griping and moaning, I do believe these little guys have a reason for being created. It may be a “whoops” on our part but not for God. He doesn’t make mistakes.
Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, is literally marked on the forehead of observant Christians. During Lent, the Church asks us to surrender ourselves to prayer and to the reading of Scripture, to fasting and to giving alms. The distribution of ashes reminds us of our own mortality and calls us to repentance. In the early Church, Ash Wednesday was the day on which those who had sinned, and who wished to be readmitted to the Church, would begin their public penance. The ashes that we receive are a reminder of our own sinfulness, and many Catholics leave them on their foreheads all day as a sign of humility.
To start off the Lenten journey, I have gathered a few misconceptions and things I was not aware of earlier in my Catholic Faith Journey.
Is NOT a Holy Day of ObligationAll Catholics are encouraged to attend Mass on Ash Wednesday in order to begin the Lenten season with the proper attitude and reflection, Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation.
It’s A Day of FastingAsh Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence. Unlike fasting in some religions, which require abstaining from all food and drink during fast dates, Catholics are permitted to eat one full meal and two smaller meals. Read here for the differences between abstinence and fasting.
Where does the Church get the Ashes?Ashes are from the Palm branches of the previous Palm Sunday. On Palm Sunday we celebrate Jesus’ return to Jerusalem when he was greeted by crowds waving palm branches. The ashes used on Ash Wednesday are burned palm branches mixed with holy water or oil.
You MUST keep the Ashes on ALL dayWearing ashes throughout the day on Ash Wednesday helps us remember why we received them in the first place. Those who feel uncomfortable wearing their ashes outside of church, or if they get in the way of your daily duties, should not worry about removing them. Also, if your ashes naturally fall off, or if you accidentally rub them off, there is no need to be concerned.
I do not claim to be nor am I a Catholic Expert . I am your average Catholic exploring the Faith and sharing things I have learned throughout my journey. I’ve included links to help you read explore into each subject and beyond. If you have further questions regarding the Church, I highly recommend you talk to a Priest, Deacon or other person of authority and proper training.
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