2020, 26, COVID-19

2020, 26, COVID-19

 

“Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.’” – Luke 1:38

 

There is an old saying that goes, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”

I think now more than ever we all know how it feels to see our plans go out the window – and maybe even our second or third draft of those plans followed right behind. Many of us are probably on plan E or F now.

Yet while plans are being cancelled, people are being quarantined, and life as we know it has flipped on its head, the world just keeps on spinning.

Yesterday was the Feast of the Annunciation, the day Catholics celebrate Mary’s glorious Fiat. The “yes” that brought our Savior Jesus Christ into the world. Mary was young and unmarried, betrothed to an older man she did not choose for herself. Meeting an angel and getting pregnant were definitely not on her to-do list. But she said yes. Unselfishly and trusting fully in God and His plan for her, she said yes. She knew what was at stake, and she was probably scared, but she said yes.

I don’t think it was any coincidence that I was born on the Feast of the Annunciation, which was also definitely not the plan. I was born by emergency c-section 6 weeks before my due date.

For a little less than a year now, I’ve made Fiat my motto, my word to live by, and if I am being honest… it. is. so. hard. I’ve got faith, sure. Pixie dust, of course! But trust? Trust is hard. Especially, sometimes, trust in God and His plan.

My plan for years, before I even got married, was to have my first baby by time I was 25. Yesterday, I turned 26, in isolation (#socialdistancing). Last year, shortly after I turned 25, my husband and I decided to start actively trying for a baby. As Catholics, we practice Natural Family Planning and have always been open to children. Since I have been tracking my cycles for several years, I honestly thought this would be pretty easy. Well, it has not been. Again, my plans have been foiled.

Even before this long journey of trying to conceive, I have struggled to trust God’s plans for me. Life hasn’t always moved at the pace or in the direction I would like it to go. But this journey has really tested my faith and trust more than anything. And now it is being tested even more during this time of the coronavirus, a pandemic unlike anything any of us have ever experienced in our lifetimes.

I think this pandemic can teach us to really appreciate what true Fiat is and how to live it out in our lives. Now more than ever we need to put our faith and trust in God. Something that many Catholics online have been saying, and that I’d like to echo here, is that this is the time to become a saint. We need to trust God and let this time of suffering and isolation work in our lives for good and make us saints. This is the time to work on ourselves, our prayers lives, our faith, and help each other out. The only way we can get through this is by sacrificing our plans to save others.

I have faith that the world will come out on the other side of this a better place, with more love and appreciation for our neighbors, a little more selflessness, and maybe a few more saints.

I hope you can use this pandemic to practice Fiat in your own life. And know, I am praying for you.

 

“And if not, He is still good.” – Daniel 3:18

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” – Proverbs 3:5

Mindful and Intentional

Kon-Mari is all the craze (thanks, Netflix). Minimalism is everywhere (thanks, Pinterest and Instagram). Thrifting is chic (as it should be!) and living slowly, mindfully, and purposefully is on trend (again, as it should be).

If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you may already know that I began this process myself by deleting about half the people I was “friends” with on Facebook and then deleting my Facebook app all together. I also made a new Twitter account and now follow mostly #CatholicTwitter accounts. I’ve been unfollowing a lot of accounts on Instagram and following those that bring joy and meaning to my life, and I try to be mindful about what I post on any of my own social media accounts.

There’s many reasons and benefits for all of this. I’m trying to live more minimally. Yes, I was one of those people that binge-watched Marie Kondo’s Netflix show. I began applying it to many areas of my life. Sparking joy should apply to ALL areas of our lives. We can declutter our homes, our minds, and our hearts. It’s literally good for us, healthy and healing.

There are several accounts I now follow on Instagram that have an emphasis on more mindful and intentional living. I will share them on my Instagram story for anyone that is interested!

They’ve also introduced me to a concept called slow fashion. I had honestly never heard of it, but it’s pretty self-explanatory. Fast fashion follows the practically weekly changes in fashion trends and supplies tons of options at low prices so consumers can, and will, buy more more more. WalMart and Target are big contenders here. The thing about fast fashion is that it’s not always ethical. What do I mean by that?

Well, I’m sure we’ve all seen at least one documentary about the working conditions of those who make garments for WalMart. When you really think about those prices, it makes sense. Those pair of shorts are just $12? But, how much does it actually cost to make them? I mean, just stroll over to the fabric department to see how much different fabrics cost. Plus thread. Plus buttons. Plus zippers. Plus time and energy put into cutting and sewing those shorts. Now how much do they cost?

Listen, I’m as much a bargain shopper as anyone else. I have a limited budget I can spend on clothes. My personal closet has several WalMart and Target items. This is a new concept to me. I also don’t want to seem like I’m talking down those that shop at these stores; they are legitimate options for those that have to shop on a tight budget. I’m slowly beginning to shift my perspective on how I shop and am not here to judge or tell anyone else how they should shop.

As a Christian, I see my calling to shop responsibly. Christians are called to care for their brothers and sisters in Christ. Since following accounts that have taught me more about slow fashion and shopping more ethically, I am now shifting gears in how I approach shopping.

As I am minimizing my wardrobe, I also see value in spending more on a higher quality item that will last a long time over stocking up on cheaper items that will need to be replaced more often. For example, I have two pairs of jeggings from WalMart that I love and wear often, but my first pair (less than 6 months old) is already beginning to fray in areas. Whereas my more expensive Victoria’s Secret leggings I’ve had for years are in great condition.

Shopping ethically on a budget can be difficult, but it’s not impossible, and it’s certainly worth it. I’m new to this, so I recommend this blog post from Just a Handmaiden. On her instagram, she has highlights for her OOTD and on her blog, she talks about modestly, slow fashion, and shopping ethically. (Like I said before, I will also share some other accounts in my Instagram stories).

A big step in my journey of living intentional is coming up in June. I will be participating in 30 Days to a Hobbit at Heart by Tea with Tolkien.

Here’s what that entails:

This summer will be a summer of self-improvement and growth. This first day is being celebrated with a blog post! (Yes, I may be in bed while writing it, but hey! It’s summer break AND it’s not even 9 AM yet!)

I plan to write more about this topic as I go on this journey. I will definitely write more about ethically shopping as I learn more about it. I also hope to write about my Hobbit journey at the end of June!

Please comment below to share your experiences. If you have recommendations for ethically sourced clothing stores, share those as well! Thanks!