Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The 54-Day Rosary Novena Begins Tomorrow!!

The 54-day Rosary novena begins tomorrow. I'm so happy new people are joining in this year! This is just a friendly reminder that if you want to join in and want me to send you daily reminders -- either by email or tagging you on a daily novena post on the blog's Facebook page, you need to let me know today or ASAP so I can add you to the list.

Since the novena begins tomorrow, here are some tips and notes for y'all who have never done it before.

  • There are two versions of it, one includes the Luminous mysteries and the other has the traditional mysteries. You are free to choose whichever you like. I had done the version with the Luminous mysteries the first couple of times I did it but I went the traditional route last year.
  • Find a way to keep track of what mysteries you have to do for the day. I will be letting those of you who want reminders know which day we're on, but not what mystery to do because some people will do the "original" version and the others will add the Luminous mysteries.
  • If I'm not reminding you, please find a system that works in reminding you. I'm personally using my Wunderlist app to remind me of the day... which, in turn, will help me remind y'all. I made a calendar for my mom last year so she would just cross out the day we were on as soon as she completed the Rosary.
  • If you have a tendency to space out on intentions from time to time (*points to self*), you can write them down on a Post-It next to your screen if you're using the website I've always used or you can print out the prayers/novena and write them down somewhere to remember. If you have a booklet you're using, you can write it down on a scrap of paper or an index card and place it in your booklet.
  • Be sure to carve out time in your day to do this novena... and don't do it last minute. This novena takes a bit longer than the normal Rosary because of the additional prayers. It personally takes me about 20-25 minutes but that's because I'm used to it. It took my mother, who did not pray the Rosary regularly, 30-40 minutes. You'll soon get in the groove and it won't take you as long to complete it.
  • Don't let the length of the daily Rosary novena OR how long this novena in general (the 54 days) intimidate you. I know it seems daunting at first but it will fly by quickly before you know it.
  • Please feel free to share any big intentions on the blog's FB page if you feel inclined. Also, please pray for others' intention if you wish to. This is not an obligation.
  • If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. If something isn't making sense (and some things didn't make sense to me when I first did it), please let me know. I would be more than happy to help you out in any way I can. :)
And that's it for today. I have two exams to study for as well as a slew of other things I need to do before it gets any later in the day since Mom and I have planned to shut ourselves up for the evening/night. We're not big on Halloween (e.g. we watch Elf today instead) and we live in a somewhat dodgy neighborhood so, for safety reasons, we choose not to give out candy either. 

I hope y'all have a lovely day and week. If you're going out tonight, please be safe. Oh! And, please, don't forget that tomorrow is a Holy Day of Obligation. There. Now you can't say you didn't know. You're welcome. ;) 

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Want to Join in on This Year's 54 Day Rosary Novena?

My apologies for the long gap between blog posts but I had a crazy week last week with two exams, a quiz, and a big assignment. I have an easier week this week (it's lecture/reading week; next week is exam week once again) so... new blog posts this week! I have 3 posts in the drafts box and two other ideas that I will also get to this week. I won't post them all this week but I will schedule some for next week so there's stuff going up even when I'm trying not to drown in speech-pathology and audiology terms, facts, and procedures.

This post is going to be a quick one since I'm having a decent non-mental fog day (which are becoming increasingly rare; thanks, chronic fatigue...) and I want to get some studying done while I can.

As some of you may remember, last year we had a surprisingly large (well, large for this blog) number of people who joined in on the 54-day Rosary novena. I had a list of people I emailed, tweeted, and tagged (in FB) every day with reminders about which day we were on for those 54 days. I don't know about everyone else, but I had some amazing results almost immediately after the novena... and both Mom and I are still seeing results nearly a year later. The novena has been truly changing for us and I know it's been the same for others.

Of course, I'm going to throw a word of caution: this novena is not for everyone. Some people (including myself; I've done this novena several times over the years) have experienced a continuous Murphy's Law streak during the entirety of the novena. If someone can go wrong, it will go wrong. Not everyone experiences it (Mom didn't and I only had one thing go wrong throughout the novena last year). I've known people who've done the novena with us over the years and they've only seen the good that the novena brings. Still, I have also heard of people who've abandoned the novena because they've gotten overwhelmed with the bad they've encountered. However, in my experience, the good always outweighs the bad (in hindsight) and if you have a huge intention that you really feel stuck on, I would highly recommend doing this novena. Please don't let what I've just said scare you off; I'm only informing you that this novena can really test someone so that you're prepared if you want in. Keep frequenting the Sacraments and you should be fine. ;)

Having said that (and potentially scared some of you who've never done this novena before, lol; sorry!), I'm wondering if anyone of you would like to join us this year. Again, we're starting on November 1st (All Saints' Day) and we're ending on Christmas Eve, which is the recommended time of year to do this novena. Yes, it's exactly 54 days (Sundays included) between All Saints' Day and Christmas Eve. Amazing, right? ;) I obviously can't tweet reminders this year but I would happily tag anyone who wants to join in on this blog's Facebook page or even email you if you think you'll need daily reminders. I certainly don't mind.

I already posted this invitation a couple of weeks ago on the FB page -- and we've got a couple of people who will be joining in -- but now I'm blogging it for those of you who are not on FB (neither following this blog's page nor on that site at all). If you would like me to email you reminders, please let me know where to email you reminders. I'm really sorry, Twitter folks, but I've already explained why I needed to close down my @nerdwriter account in the last blog post.

Anyway, please let me know by All Hallow's Eve (next Tuesday) so we can all start together next Wednesday. :)

I hope y'all are having a lovely start of your week and that you had a great weekend! :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Friday, October 13, 2017

The End of the "Nerdwriter" Era

(Happy 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun! This is the third of the three-part series I started last weekend.)

"Yes, I did."

"I'm fine."

"It was a long time coming."

These are a few of the responses I gave to those who asked about my (now defunct) @nerdwriter Twitter account in the first couple of hours and days after I deleted it. What, you didn't know? You hadn't noticed? That's what I had hoped and expected.

Most of you know I have a serious love-hate relationship with social media, especially Twitter. Just search "social media" on this blog's search button and you'll see plenty of posts on it. For months, I'd been considering deleting the account due to several reasons, all negative. As I said in the last blog post, I've been praying to become more detached of worldly things (which I firmly believe was why I was tempted with returning to my former life earlier this year; lots of superficiality in the entertainment business) since the 54-day Rosary novena last year. I've made some strides in that area but I decided to ask once more, during the St. Therese novena. I wasn't sure why the intention came to mind (at the time) but it did so I went with it. I had no clue that it would lead me to delete my nearly decade-long Twitter account.

I opened up my Twitter account in January 2008. I never changed the username. I rarely changed the avatar/picture. I became known as the "nerdwriter" before Evan (the famous "nerdwriter" from YouTube) did since I've had "nerdwriter" as my username in various places since my reversion in 2006. It became part of my identity. I met so many wonderful people through Twitter. I hope that I used it to spread some goodness out into the world during those 9+ years that I had it. Lots of prayer requests... lots of love and support during difficult times... and lots of good conversations.

All but one person have asked me "why?" Why did I do it? I would vaguely reply that there were so many reasons but it all boils down to it being the best option for me; one that became clear last week. Here comes the most humbling part (for me) of this post: giving you the real reasons why I deleted the account.

I was becoming vain about the account. "Look at all my followers!" "Look at all those 'favorites' and retweets!" I would try to think of witty things to tweet to get more retweets; to try to keep up with the (far more) clever folks on Twitter. If I thought something was clever and no one (or a handful of people) liked it, I'd be bummed out. While I tried to stay on the site to try to help spread good, my vanity was flattered more than was healthy... especially when I had some compliments that were (perhaps) more harmful than helpful for me. This was just the tip of the iceberg of all the negativity that social media has brought into my life so, you know, "If your hand or your foot should be your downfall, cut it off and throw it away: it is better for you to enter into life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire." (Mt 18:8)

Jealousy reared its ugly head. I would get constant reminders that other writers (some of who've been blogging or on social media less time than me) were getting so much success while I could barely find freelance work outside the Catholic world. I tried to not be competitive about it but the constant reminders (which were also good because it humbled me) fed into my own doubts of being good enough. The devil knows how to attack, especially when it comes to your self-esteem. I'm so happy for those who have success... but it makes me sad that I've been at this for longer with no/little success. See why this is problematic? The comparison to others (whether I did it on my own or whether it was shoved into my face by others) is so unhealthy and it made me not think about the gifts that God has given me. What ingratitude jealousy was bringing out in me.

Anger seeped out into my offline life. You can't talk about social media without mentioning disagreements and anger. How people treated each other -- what they said about others -- made me angry. What people said about Catholics (and even the infighting on Catholic Twitter) upset me. Arguments I wasn't initially a part of but was dragged into ticked me off. Comments about how I'm this and that... how I fail to do this and that... They hurt. Look, I'm human. Negative comments affect me, probably more than others because I'm admittedly a very sensitive person. At first, they used to make me cry because they hurt. Then, somewhere along the way, sadness became anger that lasted for only a short while. That developed into unhealthy anger that lasted all day and affected how I interacted with my mom, friends, and neighbors offline (read: grumpy, irritable Emmy for the rest of the day). Those who've known me for years know this is me at my worst; Twitter brought out the worst in me.

It became an addiction that took over my life. I tried moderation but I couldn't do it. I thought I could do it but I obviously couldn't. I would take breaks (during Lent or whenever I felt I needed a break) but I would still log in because it was a compulsion. I thought I was immune to FOMO (fear of missing out) -- and I did have good stretches in which it wasn't an issue -- but ultimately, it was too much for me. I used the excuse that it was the way I socialized when I couldn't leave the house... which is nearly every day. What an excuse to keep the addiction alive, eh? I would check Twitter multiple times a day, even if I didn't post anything. I woke up and immediately checked Twitter. When I had a study break, I would procrastinate on Twitter until it was too late (and I was too tired) to continue studying. I would check Twitter twice "just in case" before I went to bed. Step away from the Twitter, Emmy!

I failed to love others and be as charitable as I should have been. This isn't just a problem for me; it's a problem that nearly (if not) all of us face when we use social media, especially on a platform as massive and divisive as Twitter. There was a lot of criticism (even if it's just done internally), a lot of griping; complaining about things others said that bothered me. Because I'm so perfect, you know. /sarcasm. Basically, I was doing a lousy job of loving my neighbor. I don't want to keep adding to that list when I go to the confessional. It's personally much easier for me to be more patient and give others the benefit of the doubt away from Twitter.

Of course, deleting the account wasn't easy, even in spite of knowing that it was bad for me. I didn't want to delete the account because I had developed an unhealthy attachment to my nerdwriter "brand." I was worried someone would take over my username once they knew it was available and get me in trouble. I was worried that people would stop reading this blog because they weren't getting linked updates. I was worried that my friends would forget about me, dooming me to further social isolation that would send me into depression. Stupid, silly fears, I (now) know.

I reached the point where I thought, "How about worrying about the stuff that mattered?" "How about taking another step towards repairing my relationship with God by cutting off what was being harmful to my soul?" "How about recognizing what my faults are (instead of criticizing or judging others) in order to work on my interior life?" (Mt 7:1-5, anyone?) It was at this point where I knew Twitter was history... and that I needed to delete it. That's why one of my last tweets was asking for prayers to find the courage to do something that was hard but necessary.

The first person I told of my plans to delete Twitter was my mother. Of course, she supported me because she was a firsthand witness to how much Twitter affected me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I waited a while before I broke it to the friends who know me the best. I was planning on waiting until November 1st to delete my account until a trusted friend (who is a seminarian) suggested I do it right then and there. No announcement, just deletion. I thought about it and it made sense to me. It would keep me from having my ego stroked by people who might tell me they would miss me or might try to convince me to stay. I did tell a couple of people (in private) whom I trusted but, overall, nearly no one knew I was going to do it. Then, I did it. Odds are, you probably didn't even notice until now because I'm writing about it.

Deleting Twitter was predictable (yet surprisingly) freeing. Remember how I mentioned that I wanted to become detached from worldly things? This was one of the biggest culprits; one of those things that kept me attached to many earthly and superficial things and feelings. I was too attached to how people thought of me. I was too attached to my "brand." I had become too attached the addiction... to the things that fed my egoism... to being "known" (even though, let's me real, I wasn't really "known.")

I thought about Sr. Mary Magdalene of the Divine Heart (formerly known as Channing Dale) who gave up her podcast and social media accounts to enter the Discalced Carmelites Nuns in Elysburg, PA a couple of years ago. She wished to be forgotten in the world but I haven't been able to because she was the first person who I knew (even if it was through social media) who wanted to give everything up for God. I still pray for her every single night and I know that she prays for me.

I thought about Br. Joseph of the Holy Family (formerly known as Mike Gannon) who, like his best friend, Sr. Mary Magdalene, gave up his accounts when he entered the Discalced Carmelites Friars of Holy Hill in Wisconsin. He briefly returned to the world of social media but gave up his accounts once again in recent months. He, like Sr. Mary Magdalene and other religious, have an immensely fulfilling life without the need of social media. (side note: I've had the immense privilege of counting him as a pen pal for a couple of years so I, at least, have that as a way to keep in touch with this great young man.)

I thought about three very inspiring women (one who I have the honor of calling one fo my best friend) who are three of the most social media-detached people I have the pleasure of knowing. One of them doesn't have a Twitter account (nor has she ever had one) and the other two rarely use it. They do have Instagram and Facebook accounts but their posts aren't frivolous and, while all three are very different, they both inspire me to grow closer to God. They share the beauty God has blessed us with, both in pictures and in words. Two are wives and mothers, one is a fellow single gal. One is known in Catholic social media circles while the other two aren't. I actually told my bestie (who hasn't tweeted in several weeks) and she was happy with my decision because, as she said, stepping away from Twitter makes her feel a lot better and helps remind her to live the life God wills for her without comparing herself to others. Amen, my sister (in Christ)!

When I asked God to help me become more detached to the world, I meant it... and, to this day, I still mean it. I want to do good, even if it goes unnoticed. Like Sr. Mary Magdalene and my friend who doesn't have Twitter, I want to live my life with simple honesty (and occasionally hidden from the world) and glorify God with my efforts. Like Br. Joseph and my friend with Twitter, I want to occasionally be out in the world and do some good for His greater glory. Like my bestie, I want to do God's will and if that means stepping away from social media than I must do that.

The best way I could think of "resetting" my interior life -- to remember just how unimportant I am and to eliminate those things which could continue leading me astray -- was to delete Twitter. THAT is ultimately why I deleted the @nerdwriter account; it became just another obstacle that kept me from growing in my relationship with God and that kept me from living a life worthy of Heaven. I'm sure there are other reasons that I can't see right now, but when I made the decision I had the feeling that when I looked at it, in hindsight, I would see that it was for the best.

It's been less than a week since I've written (and added) to this blog post (wrote most of it on the 7th but added to it on the 11th) but you can already see the immediate change. I just asked my mother and she confirmed that I'm less stressed, less irritable, and a lot more calmed and relaxed. She said, "you can just see it on your face/in your being." I think that, alone, is worth losing my username and that part of my identity.

I became "nerdwriter" upon my reversion to the faith, 11 years ago. As of now, I only have "nerdwriter" as a username on Last.fm and Goodreads because I can't change it on those sites. Otherwise, the username will never be used by me on any other social media platform. I don't plan on ever having a "public" Twitter account, especially not at the capacity I once had it. I will keep this blog's FB page open because I love interacting with y'all and you can always leave me comments on here; I'm not fully cutting myself off from y'all! I do have "catholicnerdwriter" as my username and as part of the title of this blog because I'm still Catholic, I'm still a massive nerd, and I'm still going to write; I'm just retiring the username from social media.

As I start this new chapter in my life -- which I hope means that I'm maturing in both my personal life and in my faith -- the "nerdwriter" chapter has officially closed. It's the end of that era... and I couldn't be more excited to see what the future holds! I look forward to seeing the fruits of this decision and (mostly) seeing what God has in store for me, in all areas of my life.

That's it for now. I hope some of you aren't too upset with me; I made sure everyone had a way of contacting me if they needed to. I will try to blog more often, especially now with one less (massive) time waster in my life. Back to the basics... even if no one ever reads this blog again. lol. :)

I hope you had a lovely work-week and have found a way to celebrate today's wonderful anniversary! :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

St. Therese Has Been Schooling Me

(This is the second post of the three-part series I started last weekend.)

I wanted to do something special for St. Therese of Lisieux's feast day last week but, sadly, things did not go as planned. I didn't go to Trader Joes to get some roses (the blog post picture is from a couple of years ago). I did not make any delicious French food. I was not able to watch Therese. The only thing that I was able to do was the novena and that was because Pray More Novena sent me the daily prayers/reminders every day. Little did I know that that novena would bring on a couple of changes... including one big one that was a long time coming.

St. Therese, like Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati and St. Francis de Sales, has been randomly popping up in my life lately. She and Bl. PGF were my patrons during my time at my CINO college alma mater so it seemed appropriate that she should once again pop up during my (hopefully) last academic year of this degree/program. When I started the novena, I had no particular intentions. On the first day, I winged it. I asked for her intercession on a couple of things including vocation patience (something we single gals in our 30s occasionally struggle with), motivation in school, and for help from my mom's physical pain.

The three big ones were:

  • that I become less selfish and more selfless
  • that I learn how to be more detached from earthly things
  • and that I do and see the joy in the little things as she did. 
I'll get to these intentions a little later in the blog post since you're probably wondering how St. Therese schooled me this past week. No, it was not a clickbait title; she really did show me a lot of things that I need to work on.

In the past, I've received the compliment that I've reminded people of St. Therese. To be honest, I usually don't believe these kind words but I thank those who say them to me nonetheless. It wasn't until this past week that I wondered if they saw something I did see... and not necessarily in a good way.

Most of us think of St. Therese as being selfless, gentle, meek, child-like, innocent, and deeply pious. That's how I thought about her for the longest time. A lot of people (a surprising amount of people from what I've seen on Twitter) have an intense dislike of St. Therese because of her "flowery words" and "saccharine personality" rubs people the wrong way. I guess I kind of see that but I tend to sort of lean towards that myself (trust me, these blog posts could be a lot worse, lol) so I think of her as a kindred spirit.

I'm willing to bet that many people either don't know or (most likely) forget that St. Therese went through periods of depression and was extremely sensitive. She suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder and was scrupulous as a result. When she was a child, she threw epic temper tantrums, she had a lot of "excessive self-love" (as she describes it in Story of a Soul), and as a spoiled, selfish child. A question to those who've known me for years and have seen me at my worst: does that remind you of anyone? Yeah...

Like St. Therese, I've always been sensitive. We now have the term "highly sensitive person (HSP)" which my own childhood doctor. My system is just more sensitive to things, emotional and physical stimuli such as foods and medications. (I've even written a blog post on this topic). I express intense joy, anger, and heartache in tears. I've battled with depression and anxiety (on and off) for years, though it has lessened in recent years. I've definitely struggled with falling into scrupulosity if I'm not careful and don't constantly remind myself that God's love and mercy are greater than my sins; it's something I've been trying to work through for years. According to my mother, I also threw my fair share of tantrums (though she says it's because I was brought up as an only child).

I wasn't materially spoiled... but I was spoiled in other ways. My parents asked me not to work while I was in school so I could focus solely on that (and this was prior to my health issues). I've never had to pay for rent or anything like that though I do financially contribute as much as I can when I have an income. My mother, as much as she means well, will shoo me away from the kitchen (she will literally, yet gently, push me out of the way and take utensils out of my hand at times) and cook my food when she's home (and not in physical pain).

The sad thing is that I didn't realize these things until recently... around the time that St. Therese started reappearing in my life. Like I said in last Saturday's blog post, struggling with schoolwork is something that (still) challenges my academic pride and vanity. My breakdown two weeks-ish ago had nothing to do with that but it certainly didn't help to be reminded of how things once came much easier to me. I've recently been trying to work on things that have made my ego much larger than was healthy... and which will part of tomorrow's blog post. Let's just say that the St. Therese novena and having her presence in my life have been helping.

Like I said earlier in this post, I just asked for whatever came to mind when I started the novena. I'm sure the Holy Spirit was behind that because I've come to realize, a week and some days later, that it was exactly what I needed. I've actually been praying to become more detached from worldly things since I did the 54-day Rosary novena last year but I thought St. Therese would be another good intercessor for this particular intention. Obviously, she did not disappoint. lol.

It's still too early to see any noticeable results when it comes to my petitions but I have been trying to get better at these in little ways that I can do. I made a massive step towards getting better at the second big intention one... but you'll have to wait until the next blog post for more on that because this post is already too long. ;)

Before I wrap up this post I just want to say that I'm grateful that God continues to use saintly examples, like St. Therese, to help us become better versions than ourselves. While I don't anticipate ever being compared to St. Therese again (especially not when it comes in the form of a compliment because I'm nowhere near as awesome as she was), I'm also grateful to those who've helped me see that I have a kindred spirit in her... and that she can serve as a wonderful reminder of how much a person can change for the better once we place all of our love and trust in God.

I hope to have the third (and last) part up on Friday. I've actually written this the afternoon (into the evening) of the 7th. As I write this, I don't know if it'll be scheduled ahead of time (like this one has been) or if I'll just write it on Friday but that is the goal and I hope I can pull it off. :)

May God continue giving y'all a lovely week (or may He grant you a better week than you've had thus far).

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Breakdown That Led to a Breakthrough

This is the first of a (planned) three-part series that I hope to post over the course of the next week.

September 28, 2017. That's the day I had my first school-related breakdown this semester. Say it with me, "Well, that was fast!" It took exactly one month before I felt so stressed and overwhelmed that I broke down in tears. I cried because I hated how I felt: yes, stressed and overwhelmed, but also forced and trapped to finish the academic program I'm currently in. I tried not to question things -- to not dwell on the feelings -- but it was hard. I placed my forehead on my laptop (on my desk) and I cried.

Almost immediately, Our Blessed Mother popped into my mind. I imagined that she was there, being there for me during that emotionally draining time. I somehow started imagining Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati (my chosen patron for this degree) kneeling down next to me, on my right, with an expression on his face that was trying to comfort me; as if he was telling me that everything was going to be alright. Then I thought about my Guardian Angel, also beside me, bringing comfort.

Somehow, the images of Mama Mary, Bl. PGF, and my Guardian Angel (thank you, healthy imagination God has blessed me with) gave me the strength and courage to push through the rest of the lecture videos -- 2+ hours worth of videos -- that I was trying to finish when the breakdown happened. I no longer felt overwhelmed. Instead, I felt a peace and consolation I could've even imagine when the tears began. Furthermore, I felt (deep down) that this was truly the path God wanted me to take. I let that peace and consolation wash over me as I kept repeating, "This is what God wants me to do. I can do this."

A quote by St. John Bosco popped up one of my social media feeds during this time, "When tempted, invoke your Angel. He is more eager to help you than you are to be helped! Ignore the devil don't be afraid of him; he trembles and flees at the sight of your Guardian Angel." With the feast of the Archangels coming up the following day, I felt like God was telling me what to do in situations like that -- feeling overwhelmed and stuck doing something I didn't want to do even if I knew it needed to be done.

That breakdown was what led to the breakthrough that has led me on my current path. As I said in the beginning of this post, this is the first part of a three-part series so all I'm going to focus on in this post is the fact that it took me breaking down to realize that I was probably doing the right thing... and gave me the courage to push forward.

I've somehow managed to gain the motivation to do well and work through all the academic obstacles that have come my way. As I shared in a previous post, schoolwork had always been easy for me... to the point where my pride and vanity were greatly affected by it. Having to repeat a class for a third time, not having things come as easily for me, dealing with random health issues (stomach problems, fatigue, physical pain, etc) while trying to study and/or do exams -- all of these things were beating me down in the first month of the semester.

I wasn't doing well on my exams because of the intense mental fog I've experienced on and off (mostly on, on a daily basis) wasn't helping. I would study for hours on end and yet I couldn't remember what I was studying. My highest grade in an exam (in my classes) has been a 78% up until now. It's hard. It discourages me.

I was studying for two back-to-back exams when I had my breakdown so I understand why I was feeling the way I was feeling... yet God reminded me that this is part of His plans for me (or so I'm interpreting it this way after receiving signs over this summer). I remind myself that God will give me the fortitude and graces to continue because I am doing His will. If He wants me to do something else, I know He will make it known to me. For now, I have to keep reapplying the war paint and keep moving forward, even when I feel like I did on September 28. Thankfully, now I know that I have some amazing Heavenly allies who will intercede for me during my darkest moments.

Anyway, that's it for now. I hope to have parts 2 and 3 posted between Monday and Friday of next week. I have to figure out when I can write and post (or possibly schedule) them. I will give two hints: St. Therese for part 2 and social media for part 3. :)

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and are currently enjoying your weekend!

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D