I didn’t really anticipate writing beyond Lent, but sometimes the thoughts and words are just bursting out of you and you want to speak… you want to say the words out loud, or at least put them on paper.  Not just because you want someone else to hear them or read them, but because you don’t want to forget what you’re feeling.

I turn 32 today.  Never in a million years did I think 32 would look like this… I thought 32 meant marriage and kids and sharing responsibilities of a family with another person.  I thought 32 for me would mean carpools, clothes from the “Ladies” department and bedtime at 10:00 regardless of the day of the week.  Boy, was I wrong… While 30 was my favorite birthday to date, thanks mostly to the amazing family and friends I shared it with and the two AMAZING people who threw me the best party a girl could ever ask for, I feel such a sense of internal happiness and security as I turn 32 today.  I genuinely love my life.  I don’t look at the things that haven’t happened (husband, kids) as things that are missing but as things that are yet to come.  I’m comfortable and okay with the notion that I might be a mom before I’m a wife.  I see my siblings and their beautiful creations (Joshua, Olivia, Jack, Roman, Noah and Gianna), as well as my friends’ children, and know without hesitation that I’m meant to be someone’s mother. 

I’m comfortable ending a relationship because the chemistry is lacking and while he might be a great guy, he’s not the right guy.  In a life filled with common sense, I’ll take passion over what’s rational any day.

I’m proud that I have enough money to live on my own in a fabulous apartment, enjoy delicious meals, dress like I want, take vacations whenever and wherever I want, and spoil my family and friends when I want. 

I am in awe of the circles of friends I have created and that I have the ability to get all of them together once a year for a pretty rocking Christmas party, if I say so myself.

I say it often and I mean it – my life is not hard.  I have absolutely no real concept of what it’s like to struggle to get through a day.  My bouts with depression, self-loathing and a general sense of “Why me, God?” feel ages away.  I don’t expect life to always be perfect or beautiful.  But when I talk to God at night, I am thankful.  When things feel difficult, I try to remember the things that come so easy. 

This is 32 to Jenny Roman.  And it’s lovely.Image 

God Only Knows

Holy week is considered to be one of the most, if not THE most, reverent week of the Catholic calendar.  This is a blog about my faith and about God and about religion, so excuse my swearing when I say that I usually feel like shit for the span of Holy Week.  Not physically ill, but spiritually ill.  You go to church and each and every homily is about abstaining from worldly things that bring you satisfaction, but don’t really bring you true joy.  One priest tells you to see if you can spend the week not gossiping… another challenges you to a week of staying off of Social Media… and yet another asks if you can set aside the money you would have spent on alcohol or chocolate and give it to the less fortunate.  The readings and gospels are about the end of Jesus’ life on Earth – how he was betrayed by his friends, but loved them regardless.  How He, even as the son of God and the believer of all things sacred, asked his father why he was being abandoned in his final, heart-wrenching moments.  But above the pain and the suffering, he asked his father to forgive us because, “They know not what they do.”

We do the best we can do at the time we’re presented with a decision to make.  I believe that with every bone in my body.  When Judas decided to turn Jesus over to Barabas, he believed he was doing the right thing.  When Peter denied knowing Jesus three times, as Jesus predicted he would, he was trying to protect himself even though he loved Jesus.  Both of these men felt instant regret and detriment over their decisions.  Judas chose to end his life… Peter was devastated and wept bitterly because Jesus’ prediction had been accurate, even after Peter told Jesus his accusations were impossible.

As Lent draws to a close and Easter Sunday approaches, I cannot tell you that these last 40 days have made me into a better person.  I am likely a more aware person – a more awake person.  I know that I am just one person in this great big world and my needs are few.  As I like to say, “My life is not hard.”  I know I have a lot to offer those around me who aren’t as fortunate.  I know I want to build a life that makes God happy.  And I know that God knows that.  There is nothing in the bible that tells you God wants you to suffer.  To quote my favorite biblical passage:

Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV)11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

In your times of trouble, please do what you can to believe this is true.  You are likely to receive more by giving than by asking.  Life is easier if you let go and believe God is with you to guide you, help you and love you.  The next time you’re stressed, stop – breathe – and pray.  Stand with your hands behind your back so you can open your heart to the world and the blessings that surround you.  Wake up and enjoy this beautiful world.

May God bless and be with all of you.