Hi, <<First Name>>.

The 12th Love Letter...


I've been much more intentional in + devoted to my prayer life.

I start every morning with
The Lord's PrayerHail Mary, and a prayer in Hebrew for the loss of my Dad (a variation of The Mourner's Kaddish).

I also begin with, "Lord, what will you have me do?" (Acts 9:6) and "Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine." Praying the full Litany of Humility has been a game-changer in my life.

I attribute my growth in patience to this prayer.


I loved Advent and the Christmas season this year.

In the beginning of November, with pen and paper, I mapped out how I wanted December to look and feel for my family. I knew--with this being the first December without my dad--I needed to say "NO" a lot and I needed time and space to grieve.

The rather annoying thing about Grief is that it comes with little-to-no warning. I didn't want to have too many commitments, in fear that Grief would leave me feeling like a flake, or disappointed when I couldn't meet my expectations.

I stripped back the season to its roots, exploring how to l
ive more liturgically.

I prayed, asking God to show me what it was He wanted me to do this season. Using my planner, I wrote down the things I wanted to try. Scratch that--I wrote down things I wanted to try this year. I knew going into the season I wasn't going to be able to do everything I wanted to do. I needed baby steps.

I knew Grief was lurking behind every corner and I didn't want to dramatically take on too much.

So I picked what I felt I could handle. This year. Most of it worked out--like putting up our (fake) Christmas tree December 1 and decorating it purple for Advent. And other things didn't--like keeping our tree up until the Epiphany. (Type A got the best of me and I just went crazy with packing everything away so my house was a clean slate again. I love me some Outer Order, Inner Calm.)

But that's okay!

What worked for me this year may not work for me next--and who knows--maybe next year I will have the mental capacity to add more to our holiday?

I'm just grateful I surrendered and trusted God to lead me this season, while honoring my body, mind, and soul.


I learned a lot in 2019. Did you?

I learned the importance of asking for help.

The importance of community.

The importance of prayer.

I learned that if you put God first you will be okay.

I repeat: You. Will. Be. Okay.

I'm still--and I imagine I will be for the rest of my life--learning how to grieve. I read
The Blessing of Sorrow: Turning Grief into Healing by Rabbi Ben Kamin and it has been a phenomenal resource.

I highly recommend people read it before losing a loved one. There are pieces of insight that would have added such value ahead of time.

Of course, Americans don't typically want to think about or deal with loss and death and tragedy until someone is six feet under. Literally.

While there's no way of skipping or getting ahead of grief--we can only go through it--I think this book would have helped me a lot with "fear of the unknown."

I pray, friend, that your holiday season was filled with joy. And if it wasn't, why not? What did you learn? What will you do differently next year? I'd love to chat about it!
After realizing I watch way too much TV, I tried reading more books instead.

Here are (some of) the books I read in 2019:

City of Girls
The Little Prince
Today Will Be Different
A Man Called Ove
On Turpentine Lane
The Body Keeps the Score
The Next Right Thing
Story of a Soul
Man's Search for Meaning
When Bad Things Happen to Good People
You'll Get Through This
Daisy Jones and The Six
Into the Water
The Futilitarians
Dark Matter
Rediscover the Saints
The Mindful Catholic
The Blessing of Sorrow
The Book of Luke (from the Bible)
We Should All Be Feminists
Mother Teresa - In My Own Words

Currently Reading:
Genesis (from the Bible)
Where the Crawdads Sing
Intimacy With God: Introduction to Centering Prayer

So, tell me, what things are you currently loving & learning? And how can you be more loyal in 2020?

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"A loyal girl, with a loving heart, who will never stop learning."

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