It’s 2017! And I only have 12 months left until…

It’s 2017! And I only have 12 months left until…

Hello, 2017! And Merry Christmas, Day 12.

I have so much to share with you all, but I need to get this out of the way first.

I’ve now entered the last year of my 20s.

Yikes!! I know that sounds so young to many of you, but I have a history of freaking out before important milestones:

  • I was terrified of 1st grade because I didn’t yet know how to read. There was nothing my parents could say to convince me that reading wasn’t a pre-requisite for beginning school.
  • I had a panic attack the night before I turned 25. My life was a quarter over and I thought I had nothing to show for it. Nevermind that I had already bought a house, traveled to Europe, and gotten engaged to the man of my dreams.

So, my New Year’s resolutions are also a bucket list of things to do before turning 30. Um I did not just type that number, did I? Ok, here goes:

Personal:

  1. Go to Fatima. (Portugal and Spain trip is happening!!)
  2. Learn image editing and graphic design skills.
  3. Finish the draft of my memoir.
  4. Stop being a perfectionist and just publish stuff.

Spiritual:

  1. Keep up First Friday and First Saturday devotions when possible and totes get to Confession at a minimum of once a month.
  2. Stop worrying about other people and be more confident in my own life.
  3. Forgive those who have hurt me in the past.

Bloggial:

  1. Write more mini-posts (150-200 words).
  2. Share YOUR stories (more on this to come!).
  3. Do more guest-blogging.

I have NO idea if I’ll actually be able to keep most of these. It’s more of a wish list, but I’m putting this here so you all can keep me accountable.

Now, enough about me.

What about you? Does anyone else have milestone freak-outs or major bucket lists for this year? What are your New Year’s resolutions?

Looking forward to a wonderful 2017 with all of you!

 

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Blessed are the Invisible

Blessed are the Invisible

You know that dream, the one where you’re screaming for help but no sound escapes your lips? It’s terrifying. You desperately need help, but no one sees your plight. You are invisible.

Many of us feel this way in our suffering, especially if that suffering is infertility, singleness, or difficult marriages. We have a hard time finding spiritual support, and we feel completely alone in our journeys. We feel like we are forgotten by our fellow Catholics. Why?

The Church is made of humans, and humans fall into judgement. Humans beings make assumptions like, “The more children you have, the better Catholic you are,” and “Anyone without a happy marriage and several children must be in a state of sin.”Amidst these assumptions, those who suddenly find themselves single or without children tend to shrink back and hide. They’re ashamed and embarrassed, though they did nothing wrong. And you know what happens when good people are ashamed for no reason? They keep their mouths shut. They’re afraid to be outed as a misfit. They accept their invisibility, and the shroud of secrecy is allowed to grow. When the secrecy grows, the judgmental stay ignorant, and the stereotypes continue. This is not what God wants.

JesusNeverSaid

I’m here today to tell you, all of you who are invisible, to have hope. Rejoice in your invisibility. Yes, it is awful to be one of the misfits, the different, the hidden people on the margin. But we have a God who sees what is hidden. Ours is a God of the marginalized.

Jesus spent much of his earthly ministry saying over and over again that those who are smallest are the most precious to him. He lifted up the powerless: women, children, and backwater fishermen. He ministered to the lepers, the sinners, and the poor. His message wasn’t for those with perfect lives. It was for you.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.” You are suffering, you have a problem, you are powerless, you need God. Therefore you are blessed, because he has promised you his kingdom.

“Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.” I’m sure you’ve done your share or mourning. You will find comfort, even if it’s not in the way that you would expect.

And when people judge your cross, remember this:

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Each of us is called to something different. God wants us to live our lives for him, whatever that entails. If your life doesn’t fit the mold, live it anyway. He loves you just as much. In fact, he has a soft spot for you.

Jesus always roots for the underdog. ❤

Connie Ann’s blog is getting a new name!

Connie Ann’s blog is getting a new name!

Dear Readers,

Connie Ann’s blog finally has a name!

Tales from the Valley was inspired by my current journey through the depths of infertility, but it represents my life journey from the beginning. “For though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for you are with me.” -Psalm 23.

What originally began as a personal blog to highlight some of my writing has now turned into so much more. I’ve known for some time now that the next step was to give this site a proper name of its own.

One of my goals in 2015 is to give this blog a makeover. I’ll be playing with the backgrounds and layouts for a while until I’m happy with it, so please be patient with me during the process.

Thank you for your support! You all mean so much to me.

Love,

Connie Ann

“One small step…”

Knowing that I will never be pregnant, no matter how hard I storm the gates of heaven, is something that has taken me many years to accept. I still have my off days. Some days are smiles, some days are tears, some days are calm, and some days are far from it. Some days, the best days, are beautiful opportunities for growth.

It might not look like much, but it was a milestone for me today when I created my adoption board on Pinterest. “Adoption is the new pregnant” is my title, after a shirt I saw on the site. It may be a little overly cheery for those facing the sharp pain of infertility (including me on my off days), but I think I am finally ready to embrace this line. Pretty sure. I hope.

While attempting to focus on the positive and scouring Pinterest for adoption pins, I found the blog of this amazing woman. She’s in her 20s, like me, and she’s been down the same road. Like me, she has known since her teens that she could never be pregnant. I’ve only read some of her blog so far, and I find it to be well beyond inspirational. It was exactly what God needed me to see at this point in my life. Thank you, Mrs. O’Brien, if you ever read this. And thank you, God, for helping me and James along this road.

Dealing with Writer’s Block

What do you do when you can’t think of anything to write about? There are a million topics floating through my head right now. I can’t seem to get my brain to chill out for a sec and pick one. Actually, my stomach has just now decided to join my brain and tense up in a knot, making me severely stressed and uncomfortable.

How are you supposed to be a writer when every time you get a second to sit down and write, you freeze up? I have an hour lunch break at work, and whenever the shop is slow enough, I spend the time writing. Right now I only have 15 minutes left and I’m starting to hyperventilate. The worst part is, the more time I lose, the more I think about how I’m wasting the only fun time I have every day. I like my work environment, but I don’t like what I do. Writing during lunch is the only fun thing I do during the day.

The problem right now isn’t that I can’t think of a topic. It’s that I can’t settle on just one long enough to write anything interesting about it. Does this ever happen to anyone else? What do you do when that happens?