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"Ora et Labora" Put Into Practice with an Unknown Future

Hello hello!! I hope you're having a fabulous weekend! This weekend I'm bringing you a good ol' fashioned blog post with a little life update and some faith thoughts I've had lately.

My family is finally back from our month in South Carolina, and it was truly wonderful as ever. As much as we looove the beach lifestyle, being back to our Pennsylvania routine is nice too, as we get to work with some real work, cross country training, and art creation. I've gotten back to work as a lifeguard for my local YMCA, and while that can be rather monotonous at times (and exciting at others), it's given me lots of time to reflect on the upcoming year of my life, and what the past has taught me. Lately I've been experiencing the real beginning of the college search, which can be just as stressful as everyone says it is, but I've also found it to be very exciting. My search for an inspiring art school/program with viable athletics has been a challenge that has lead me in many different directions, but I truly can't wait for the future that God has in store for me, and to see how He leads me there.

Yesterday I was listening to a podcast that really impacted me, and I have to share. This episode of Fr. Mike Schmitz's podcast was about the balance between let God take over your life, and also working hard for your goals, which is something I've definitely had trouble balancing lately. The host reminded us of the Latin phrase "Ora et Labora", meaning "pray and work", and how those two should go hand in hand in a healthy spiritual life. He shared how Saint Augustine once said "Pray as if everything depended on God. Work as if everything depends on you,", and boy did that HIT ME. If you think about that phrase, it really defines how our faith in God can operate. We work very hard for the things that matter, but we can also put full trust in God that He will provide for us the fruits of our labor. And, the phrase can work both ways, as saying "pray as if everything depends on you, and work as if everything depends on God", can expose our need to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and "commit your work to the Lord" (Proverbs 16:3). That's just something that I've been trying to focus on lately, and when put into practice it definitely helps me personally to even out that balance between work and faith.

I'm so so excited for the next year of life and to joyfully await what God has in store, no matter how hard that faith can be. While we'll never be perfect, this faith journey is so fulfilling and I'm so thankful for it. ❤️

These photos were taken back in SC, and they're just a few of the many fun pictures I still have to post from the past month, haha.

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