Amando a Dios: al Diario

Amarás a Dios sobre todas las cosas…

– ¿Creo todo lo que Dios ha revelado y nos enseña la Iglesia Católica? ¿He dudado o negado las verdades de la fe católica?

– ¿Hago con desgana las cosas que se refieren a Dios? ¿Me acuerdo del Señor a lo largo del día? ¿Rezo en algún momento de la jornada?

– ¿He recibido al Señor en la Sagrada Comunión teniendo algún pecado grave en mi conciencia? ¿He callado en la confesión por vergüenza algún pecado mortal?

– ¿He blasfemado? ¿He jurado sin necesidad o sin verdad? ¿He practicado la superstición o el espiritismo?

– ¿He faltado a Misa los domingos o días festivos? ¿He cumplido los días de ayuno y abstinencia?

… y al prójimo como a ti mismo.

– ¿Manifiesto respeto y cariño a mis familiares? ¿estoy pendiente y ayudo en el cuidado de mis padres o familiares si lo necesitan? ¿Soy amable con los extraños y me falta esa amabilidad en la vida de familia? ¿tengo paciencia?

– ¿Permito que mi trabajo ocupe tiempo y energías que corresponden a mi familia o amigos? Si estoy casado, ¿he fortalecido la autoridad de mi cónyuge, evitando reprenderle, contradecirle o discutirle delante de los hijos?

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Brittney’s Career Tips: Part 1

Hello people of Julia’s blog! My name is Brittney and I have known Julia for three years! We met on a retreat in college where Julia was the leader of my small group and since then I can call her one of my very best friends. Graduate of the University of St. Thomas, I work in marketing for an electronics part’s manufacturer. Today I am going to talk about how to nail that interview you have coming up and the best way to get a recruiters attention with your resume and LinkedIn. I’ve had my fair share of interviews and job so am semi-qualified to be writing this post. Feel free to keep reading to land WHATEVER job you want including that dream job!


Suzy Welch. She is a legend. Wife of Jack Welch, business executive and author, Suzy is very knowledgeable when it comes to knocking the socks off of your interviewers. I suggest watching as many videos from her as you can to take in her techniques. The videos are also short, sweet, and always less than 2 mins. A summary of a few tips I have learned from her:

  • Do not let your guard down too soon especially in the 2nd This means keeping it on professional basis – do not ask the interviewer where they live or what they are getting for lunch. These sorts of things.
  • Don’t go in to the interview to answer questions, go in to have a conversation. For example: “What is your weakness?” you may respond, “My weakness is public speaking and something that I have never been good at naturally but am taking an online class to improve my skills.” Don’t end there proceed to ask/say, “I’d love to hear about what kind of public speaking this job involves.” Explain your tactics, then ask a question and converse like a colleague.
  • Be an energy giver. Pour your energy into others and always leave people feeling invigorated. How often do you initiate events for others? Pizza lunch, weekend hiking trip, holiday gathering. Also, when was the last time you call up someone just to encourage them, with no agenda? Be the one who pours energy into others’ success. (this tip is to think about for after getting the job as well)

Looking for some inspiration on how great you can be?

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Waiting to Learn From God: Knowing 1% More of His Ways

358 days ago, A and I had our first date after exchanging emails for a few weeks while I was away in Spain and France for a grad-moon (I coin this term now: the big trip you take before your life becomes consumed for 2.5 years from a medical graduate program).

Around that time, I wrote down these words of encouragement:


Today, we celebrate the result of many of our decisions made to turn toward God and allow His work to come first. Our cooperation got His work to where it needed to be- imperfectly as we make our lives- all the same giving full effort (and tons of errors, mistakes, and sin that needed to be considered and forgiven by Jesus in between).

In December 2016, I was finalizing my termination of discernment of the religious life with the inspiring religious sister that had woken me up to the possibilities of bravery and listening first and foremost to Christ’s voice for my life. These months led to a stronger conviction and action to get daily mass into my schedule, much more participation in Pro Ecclesia Sancta activities (the AMAZING group to which I was discerning- their work is outstanding and maintains an excellent tradition of service and integrity to the true, theological meaning of Catholicism), had I not been open to all forms of a vocation to Heaven, I would not have made it here to find my vocation and wait all the time it took for God to set up life in such a beautiful way despite so many problems, and sins, I create during any given day.

(I still have a special place in my heart for PES, learn about them in St. Paul, Minnesota- although they are originally from amd founded in Peru: )

On that very same day as my morning meeting to finalize my decision to move forward with a vocation of marriage, I received a call of acceptance from the grad school I had loved the most.

Months later, I was getting nervous about this new grad school idea and I had been going on dates with a couple of fantastic men that respected me and grew my God-given faith, hope and love by their example, but I couldn’t find the person with whom my heart belonged to cheer each other to Heaven.

I was definitely about to eliminate a months-old account on a Catholic dating site and again try a more ‘regular’ dating style- I did live in a great city with tons of young adult events for faithful Christians seeking Christ in the life of a layperson.

I was 90% ready to eliminate my account, but there was one lingering message I thought I wanted to know more about the person who had kindly sent it, so I messaged back…it was that message that dropped me into the many situations that answered each A and I’s prayers by a sweet, loving, caring, prayerful relationship.

A is the love of my life, and it took God to find A and recognize his importance in my life: so many quiet, faithful decisions guided by mental prayer, spiritual guidance, and confession with priests acting on behalf of the real living presence of Jesus’ mercy for us.

Once you found him, once he takes you to morning mass at your childhood parish and takes you back to that Mud Lake park bench where you sat during your first date, and gets down on one knee to my WILDEST surprise (he had been ‘planning on Labor Day’ for some time now), and you enjoy those minutes alone in a park and share your first dance as an engaged couple…once you have been blessed by these moments forever imprinted in one’s mind, you get to celebrate with those who love you and support the process of prayer and blessings around us– but enough with words, let’s share smiles:

picmonkey first photo couple engaged 072118.jpg
Our first photo as an engaged couple in Mud Lake Park (West St. Paul, MN): July 21, 2018

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Past Musings: 2016 ‘Super Senior’ College Student

Back in 2016, I started writing a blog post that was never finished and never published. However, to look back at that draft is to bring the concerns of that time alive again; let me share with you what they were-

  • Wanting to see more people sanctifying themselves in the world.
  • “In a certain sense, these final two difficult Accounting classes are already a part of my calling in occupational therapy; they allow the undergraduate degree necessary to continue to grad school.” (I was just trying to consider anything to get me through a final semester I was not externally motivated to complete. In this sense, it was a blessing because I had to pray more to find my strength in God to give everything the most work I had to offer).
  • “So much ‘extra’ to work on aside from classes and work: perfecting Spanish grammar, vocabulary, English vocabulary, and Math skills, GRE studying, EXADEP studying, more volunteering under U.S.-licensed occupational therapists, three more pre-requisite classes (Abnormal Psychology, Anatomy, and Physiology), re-locating either my state or to a U.S. territory, likely studying within a new culture and language.”
    • At this time in my life, I was considering an OT master’s program in Puerto Rico accredited by the U.S. OT educational program organization. Though family members did not want to see me go due to the Zika virus current there, I stayed in the Midwest for many reasons ultimately. However, the subsequent year was one of the hardest for Puerto Rico: terrible devastation via Hurricane Maria, and a financial crisis that had overtaken much of the presidential campaign which was to only worsen after the state of emergency and long process of re-building infrastructure. I pray especially for all individuals affected, because although I want to be with them to care for whatever needs remain, I realize that this would have most definitely halted or negatively impacted my schedule for studies. Once again, God shows his faithfulness in my life: a plan I did not even want from the outset was the plan that is getting me far closer to the deepest desires of my heart. God sees the whole picture that I cannot- I am human and my imperfection can limit the understanding I have of the extent of reality and my surroundings beyond earth- it can even limit someone’s ability to recognize that their is our God and how much Love he gives us through his teachings and us respecting them- difficult as they may be for ALL of us! This brings me to my favorite book of the year so far:
Made For Love by the (now famous) priest in Duluth, Minnesota: Fr. Mike!

I highly recommend that ANYONE and EVERYONE order their book here. This guy can clarify a lot in relatively few pages. (No, I am not paid or influenced ahead of time for this post- except by personal experience alone!)

To have courage for whatever comes in life – everything lies in that. -St. Theresa of Avila

2015 Archives Part 3

From the October 2015 archives-

  1. If you need an argument to start writing down your thoughts and journal a bit about your life, the UMD Newman Center 10/5/15 podcast (‘As If Your Life Matters’) at 18:00 minutes explains some crazy reasons for doing so! Other reasons to listen to this podcast:
    1. Relationships and Excellence are meant to last. MANY other things in life aren’t. “Am I living as if my time matters…concerning relationships and excellence?” We are all producing results from our life decisions, so will it pass away, or will it endure, even if you’re the only one who knew about your choices when no one was looking…but you chose Excellence and maintaining healthy relationships out of your sacrifices?
  2. Real faith isn’t a feeling. It’s based on the fact that Jesus conquered death.
  3. What does God want to be true for me in 5 years? (*You need a vision but you also need a plan).
    1. Primary relationships, relationship with God
  4. Focus on relationships now: HP, girls in Minneapolis, my family
  5. In the moment of integrity (when it’s hard to show up on time, or do the right thing), do I maintain integrityy?
  6. There are no ordinary people (St. John Paul II seeing God in every person he met).,.

From the 2015 Archives: Part 2

I pasted this writing in October 2015 and it is arriving you now in July 2018 with no source attached to it; however, the meaning rings just as true today so let’s be thankful I get to post it for us all to learn from today:

I have to believe that the simple beauty of nature – something we all long for – could and should be a model for the way we live our own lives. Our complicated lives, plagued by problems of our own making, could  be so less complicated if we let God be God and us be us.

Recognize and embrace what God has given you. Use your free will to act on the things God has given you … stop wasting time second-guessing God’s plan and regretting things you may have or have not done.

As  Christians, we are challenged to accept ourselves as God has made us. Even when we don’t think it was the best choice – and, frankly, we can see ourselves being something completely different – our true challenge in life is not to try and become our own god of creation.

Instead, be a man. A woman. A child. Be yourself and let God bring to fruition the plans he put in place  when we were first mended in the womb.


(For me, this applies to nature):

God speaks through all of creation, and all his gifts are meant to get our attention and turn our thoughts to the loving presence of the Gift Giver. When a gift is given us, we are touched not by the object given, but by the love that it expresses from a friend. Paul is telling us that God does not hide himself but manifests himself in so many ways that we cannot miss him. Somehow, however, as humans we can let our uncomprehending minds miss out on the reality of God’s love and expressed beauty. We may not be “sun worshippers,” but we may have turned into “TV worshippers,” “food worshippers”, or even “children worshippers.”

As Christians we have the ever-presence of Jesus, the greatest of all gifts, to remind us to see his Father in Him and in all creation. Have our minds been darkened by the propaganda of the world? Do we need to resolve again today to see God in his creatures, and rerecommit ourselves to being “Son Worshippers?”


Both my wife and those who would be judgmental have similar starting points: They witness a seeming problem. They formulate a mental mindset: “This isn’t right.” But then – and here’s the key difference – the judgmental cast judgment, while my wife actually tried to help solve the problem.

There is no contradiction. Jesus himself sums this up in today’s Gospel selection, in his rebuke against the scholars of the law: “You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.”

Paul agrees in today’s reading: “You, O man, are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment. For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the very same things.”

When it comes to ultimate judgment, God takes no joy in condemning souls to Hell. Ideally, we’d all work together to ensure that everyone makes it into Heaven. Christ died to make everyone’s salvation possible, and the fact that some people won’t take advantage of that opportunity should sadden us all. The impulse to judge should not be the end of our obligation toward others, but rather the beginning.

How many times do we full prey to fear? You know, the fear that robs humanity of the peace Christ offers in the present moment. The fear that causes us to “live” in the future. After all, fear is typically nothing more than a thought focused on the future combined with a belief that the future will be painful. Fear robs us of the blessings God wants to bestow upon us in the present moment – his peace, his love, his joy. No wonder the evil one wants to keep us fearful! He doesn’t want us to experience the multitudes of blessings God so deeply desires to bestow upon us right now – don’t believe the evil lies.

I know this may sound a bit esoteric; however, I believe we have the ability to create a life of happiness and wholeness when we align our heart with the heart of God – a place where fear is obliterated. This does not mean life will be easy, it does not mean we will not experience pain and heartache; no, it means we can become virtuous and our heart can become filled with love. This is much different from the New Age concept of “manifesting” and creating our dream life – there is a lot of “me” going on there. Rather, when we co-create with God, we serve others because it is about the other – our fellow brother or sister in need. We turn our life over to God, surrendering all to him, giving him control. Then what could we possible fear? God, the creator of the entire universe, most certainly has the power and ability to direct our life.

Once we become renewed Jesus so beautifully directs our next steps. He warns us of the leaven of the Pharisees, an unrealistic adherence to the law. Leaven is the small, yet mighty substance, that causes bread to rise. The leaven of the Pharisees, akin to our modern-day religious legalists, set individuals up for failure. Not one could follow the law as they preached it. Their preaching, while they believed to be rooted in the Ten Commandments, was sterile and cold – lacking the love and compassion of God. God calls us to love and serve one another, to lighten one another’s burdens. Even Jesus broke their laws when he healed on the Sabbath. God, who knows the number of hairs on your head, God who calls you to not be afraid, God who alone offers us eternal salvation is the only one who can perfectly guide our hearts and show us the way to love more.

So the next time fear tries to steal the peace, love or joy God has for you turn inward, examine your conscience and visit your confessional. Your priest, God’ servant, will meet you there and you will become more fully aligned with the love God has for you.

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Draft Being Published: October 2015

It is stunning, and in many ways even beautiful, how time flies.

I know (in ways I can’t speak to a public blog audience) of where I was in October 2015.

I will forever talk about that time of my life as painful because it is a type of pain that most people will never take the path to finally face. A revealing of Christ, which makes you realize everything you’ve never been to the world, to your loved ones, to yourself, to God, above all else.

There was profound pain in my heart that was new, seemed hopeless, and made me feel like my life was no longer my own.

I had always been so blessed, but in that time I watched my dear friends keep moving, climbing upward in their lives…and I was just watching them climb a forest while I sat on the ground. Stagnant and cold.

Life feels stagnant and cold here in grad school more often that I would like to admit. However, looking back at my heart that was so shattered, I am feeling tears to imagine that place in my emotional life.

I know God is faithful even if I can’t feel peace as often as I would really, really like in my life now.

I look around to those I love and I see that I do get peace from God that others have never known, yet here I am investing substantial time into considering all that I lack. I claim that this is a piece of striving for excellence: to know one’s faults inside and out.

However, to know one’s tendencies may be a better route…

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Some Future Day (A Girl Can Dream!)

Some happy events God gave us as His blessings to plan:

<p><a href=”″>SAVE THE DATE Janina &amp; Sven</a> from <a href=””>Sven Hartmann</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

<p><a href=”″>Jhe and Wilson/Save the date</a> from <a href=””>Cinemaworks Art Film</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

<p><a href=”″>Save the Date: M&aacute;rcia + Thiago</a> from <a href=””>Duo Filmes</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Engagement photo inspiration board:

engagement 5engagement 8engagement 9

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