I have a very elite playlist on my iPod. It’s entitled “Heaven” for a very simple and obvious reason. Those pieces of music are what I imagine heaven sounds like. The vocals or the instruments or the lyrics move me closer to God. In the same way that a beautiful Cathedral lets me see the greatness of my faith, so does this music let me hear it. So, I thought I would share some of those songs with all of you.
1. Hallelujah – written by Leonard Cohen (covered by many artists)
2. The Prayer – Andrea Bocelli & Celine Dion
3. Fix You – Coldplay
4. He Lives In You – Cast of Lion King on Broadway
5. Below My Feet – Mumford and Sons
6. Divinire – Ludovicio Einaudi
7. Every Heart – Sara Haze
8. Overture – Franco Dragone
9. See You Again – Carrie Underwood
10. Today My Life Begins – Bruno Mars
- Download a banking app.
- Drink more herbal tea. It will save your life.
- Making your own coffee/tea instead of buying it will make you a rich woman.
- Always have at least 6 chap sticks stocked up.
- Check out thrift stores. You may have to wash things three times before you get the old lady smell out, but it’s well worth it.
- Never buy cheap jeans.
- Buy cheap sunglasses instead.
- Don’t chase boys.
- Wrinkle spray and a hair dryer erase all need to ever use an iron for all of you lazy ironers like me.
- Wear slippers when you have to drive in heels.
- Wear slippers when you’re travelling.
- Wear slippers at all moments that it’s even slightly acceptable to wear slippers.
- Spend a little extra money on your make up; it’s so worth it.
- Get running sneakers that are actually…
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Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing hallelujah
Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the hallelujah
You say I took the name in vain
I don’t even know the name
But if I did, well really, what’s it to you?
There’s a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken hallelujah
I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the lord of song
With nothing on my tongue but hallelujah
Rewind to 3 months ago, and you’ll find me sitting in the parish office of my church with my priest. I visit with him and have sought spiritual guidance for a number of things both good and bad, but on this particular occasion, I was seeking sanctuary. I think it’s pretty obvious what a priest would suggest as sanctuary, but I needed more than a place. I needed to feel peace and God’s grace in my life. Action. For lack of a less cliche’ phrase, I needed a sign. But Father couldn’t give me one, in fact he advised exactly what you might expect a priest to advise: Spend more time in the church.
I am a firm believer in the power of the Eucharist and the sense of fullness it brings to your soul. I attend Adoration regular and sit before the body and blood of Christ and find deep and true solace in His presence. But I need something more.
It wasn’t until I found myself in the mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico, that I realized that spirituality is so much more than time spent in the walls of a church. It is even more than prayer and good works. I experienced the fullest potential of my spirituality the moment I experienced the beauty of the world God created. The moment that I stopped and listened and saw what God can and did create. I could spend hours staring off into the Sangre de Cristos mountain ranges with complete content. Yes, because they are inarguably beautiful, but also because their grandness emulated God and heaven and hope and possibility and beauty. I am convinced that heaven consists of remarkable landscape.
I received my sign when I stopped expecting it to come traditionally. I will always find solace in the walls of a church, but I find peace in the knowledge that I found God in the every day world, too.
Each day I have grown closer to God, I think about what I can do to glorify Him. I think about each action and how it aligns with who I am. And yes, that includes how I dress. Questions riled up in me. I know what I want to portray. I know that I want to emanate class and dress respectfully, but fashion is what it is. Do I need to dress down to fulfill some fictional good Christian status quo? Why should I? I prayed over such a simple question. I needed help. I sought spiritual guidance, because somehow along the way of knowing and being, I still felt like maybe I was not good enough. Like so many women, afraid I was not good enough, not desirable, to another. The most important another there is.
The answer I received was as simple as the question. Modesty, while about glorifying God, is also about me. It is about what reminds me of the beauty I carry. It isn’t about the clothes themselves, but why I choose to wear them. Yes, there will always be a part of me, like any woman, that wants to be attractive to the opposite sex. But knowing that I do not wake up in the morning and select the favorite outfit I love for anyone but me is not only empowering, but exactly what I believe God intends for us to be able to do. To see beauty from the inside out. Beauty in confidence and self-worth and respect. So no, I do not and will not dress down. My modesty rests in my intention to love God and to love myself as He made me.