what is the third leg of the stool you’re sitting on?

Jesus Christ

The title of this post is an interesting question, isn’t it? This is a concept that I first heard when I went to spiritual direction a couple of years ago. This is an important analogy that everyone should evaluate in their lives.

Think of a stool and the stability of it. The third leg is key here. If that third leg is wobbly, loose or unstable, your whole stool is unstable and not suitable for sitting, right? Well, this stool can be thought of as your life and the stability is your spiritual safety and happiness. It all depends on what you use as that third leg, or to put it more plainly, what you use to fill the voids in your life.

All of us are born with a longing for something. Some may have certain wounds that further drive this longing. Unfortunately, many fill the void with unstable, worldly things: sex, drugs, shopping, money, fame, even other people. The common denominator here is none of these things withstand time because none of these things are Jesus Christ. People come and go, sexual relationships come and go…. material things, money, fame… they all come and go and are always changing. Jesus Christ does not… He never changes, He never falters…. He is stable. 

This is why we must always have Jesus as that third leg. This is not to say that you don’t need other people in your life, or that material things are bad (of course, in moderation), but do not put all your weight on these things as they will not hold you. Only He can!

That longing we all have deep within us is a gift from God and is meant to lead us to Him. Let it! Though I heard this years ago and it really put things into perspective, I falter in it and must constantly be reevaluating what I am truly using to support my life and spirituality. I invite you to evaluate your life today keeping this analogy in mind as will I!

ways to prepare this advent//3 ways

A little late with this, but there’s still ample time to prepare. I just stumbled upon this infographic from Our Sunday Visitor with great ideas to do with your family.

From Our Sunday Visitor

I don’t have children, but I’m super excited to implement these things into my future family’s way of preparing for Christmas during Advent. For now, I took to seek some inspiration not only from this graphic, but from Pope Francis’s words from earlier today regarding his appeal to end global hunger (read more about it here).

idea #1//blessing bags

One thing I’m going to try this Advent is something called blessing bags. These are simply plastic Ziploc bags that you keep in your car to pass out to those you see who may need it while you’re out and about. There are many variations of these all over the internet, but I’ve come up with my own ideas on what want to put in them. I plan to put some travel sized toiletries like toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, deodorant, a toothbrush, tissues. Maybe a protein bar or some other non-perishable food item. I’d also like to put in a pair of gloves or socks. I really love this idea and can’t wait to go to the store tomorrow to pick these items up!

idea #2//go to confession

I was once asked by a priest, “If our Blessed Mother told you to do something, would you do it?” I without any hesitation said, “Of course!” He then proceeded to tell me that though the Catholic church requires one to go to confession at minimum once a year, Our Blessed Mother asks that we go once a month. I know, weeks fly by and before you know it, it’s been a couple of months or more since you’ve received the sacrament. What better time than now to truly prepare the way for the Lord into your heart by going to confession? Many times, I start to  feel weighed down and sad… then I know it’s been too long! If you’d like to find out when a parish near you is offering confession, go here and type in your zip code. A little inspiration from St. Thomas Aquinas which really hits the nail on the head for me:

In the life of the body a man is sometimes sick, and unless he takes medicine, he will die. Even so in the spiritual life a man is sick on account of sin. For that reason he needs medicine so that he may be restored to health; and this grace is bestowed in the Sacrament of Penance.
–St. Thomas Aquinas

idea #3//set a daily goal of forgiveness

This one is especially hard for me. When I find myself struggling to let go of something, I remember one line from the Lord’s prayer, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” That really gets to me! I have to show forgiveness to others as I would want the Lord to show to me. To better prepare for Christ’s birth, I’m making a daily goal to really focus on showing grace and mercy to everyone in my life; even when they hurt me. This is something I hope to carry on permanently, but… baby steps! I feel like it’s a great time to really begin a focus on this because if it wasn’t for the birth of Jesus, I would not have the opportunity to be forgiven in the first place.

Murillo: The Return of the Prodigal Son

Those are the 3 things I’m going to try this Advent. What are you trying? Anything new or old you are implementing into your life this Advent?