A Palmless Sunday

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Quarantine Day 25. NYC

I’m sitting here this Monday morning, eating my breakfast at my little table by the window, overlooking the empty street below.

I never used to do this. I’ve been an eat-at-my-desk-while-I-work girl my entire life. But since the quarantine, I’m allowing myself the time to appreciate those breaks. And I’ve found that I’ve been drawn to sit by the window, and look out. Probably because it’s my link to the outside world, as we’re sheltering in place here in Manhattan. But nonetheless, I’ve found a sense of comfort there.

And this morning, I’ve noticed two things: first — the birds. For the first time – literally ever – in the nine years I’ve lived in NYC, I’ve heard birds chirping outside. The deafening silence of the deserted streets has allowed me to hear the birds singing. And loudly! They woke me up this morning!

But I’ve also noticed the constant stream of emergency vehicles below. No taxis. No cars. Just ambulance after ambulance after ambulance.

It’s the beginning of Holy Week. Yesterday – Palm Sunday – marked the start of our final preparation for Easter. And I’ve gotta say, it was surreal, watching the Mass on a little 12″ laptop from the confines of my 500 square foot studio apartment, that has become more of a cell than a home.

Growing up, Palm Sunday was one of the “stick out” Masses that I’d always remember and look forward to. Why? Because we got Palms to play with during Mass.

Yep – I remember walking into the sanctuary, and there’d be this huge mound of palms for each person to take one. I’d always get so excited – and my brothers and I would meticulously fold them into a cross, which I’d then proudly display in my room. A tradition that I still do to this day.

And to be honest, I still get that same rush of excitement every time I see the mound of palm branches at the door.

So you can imagine my disappointment this year, when instead of folding a palm branch in the pew, I was watching a computer screen while staring at a pile of laundry begging to be folded.

Later that afternoon, as I was deep cleaning my apartment, I came across my Palm cross that I had made the year before. It had fallen behind my dresser, and in my vacuuming frenzy, I exhumed it, dusty and dry.

I smiled – what are the odds? And it made me think…Why do we have that huge pile of palms every Palm Sunday. What is the significance, really?

Well, for a two-sentence history lesson: A few days before Jesus was arrested, He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, and in reverence and adoration, the people flooded the streets and placed palm branches and cloaks on the ground in front of Him. They were preparing the way for their Lord — praising Him and laying down what they had to create a “paved” pathway for His journey — ultimately to His Passion and death.

And reflecting on this, I was quite saddened that around the world, Christians are celebrating this crucially important Sunday in isolation, and without palms.

They were our participation. A physical symbol that we could join with the crowd and help to prepare Jesus’ way, and offer what we have to Him, as He began the horrific journey to Calvary, out of love for us.

And that’s when it hit me.

This year — this Palm Sunday — as we’re all trapped in our houses without palmsthis year, we are the palms.

You. Me. We are each our own palm branch to lay before the Lord.

I have nothing to offer but myself.

My life. My body. My spirit.

This Palm Sunday, I can lay myself down in front of Jesus as He makes His way towards the cross to lay His life down for me.

This quarantine has given us, really for the first time, the incredible gift of time. A luxury that most of us are never afforded in our crazy days. I don’t know about you, but even in the one hour I give to God on Sundays, my mind is still preoccupied with other things…tasks, worries, crushes, the latest Bachelor episode.

Right now, we have the unprecedented gift of time — to sit by windows, listen to birds, FaceTime our friends. And spend time with the Lord.

We can work with Him to self-reflect and identify the areas of our life that need improvement: Am I loving people the way God would love them? How can I be more charitable? Am I patient with others and myself? Have I sought forgiveness where I need to? Have I forgiven someone that I should? Do I honor my parents? Do I respect the body God gave me?

How can God use my life?

We finally have time to think and pray about these incredibly important things.

It’s pretty evident to me that God is at work right now.

I mean, everything has been stripped away as we’re in lockdown. We’re forbidden to leave our homes, and now – even attending Church itself is prohibited. Not to mention, we’re in a forced fast from the Eucharist, and that absence is felt now, more acutely than ever.

But it’s as though all of the noise in our life has been muted, and for the first time, we can hear the metaphorical birds.

“Can you hear Me now?”

Maybe God is using this time of forced quiet, to allow His call to us to become loud and clear.

Maybe we’re finally still enough to hear. And maybe our weary hearts are finally in a place where we will choose to listen.

All I have to offer is myself. All I have to lay down at the feet of Jesus is my broken, mess of a life. It’s not perfect. I’ve been in the same sweatpants for three days in a row now, but it’s what I’ve got.

I can give Him me to transform. I can give Him me to use.

Jesus is calling us to Himself, right now in this moment. They say that God will move mountains to get to our hearts. Well…we’re witnessing Him do just that: He’s brought the world to a standstill, He’s silenced our distractions (no school, no NBA, no March Madness, no movies, no TV production, no vacationing, no parties), and He’s standing in front of us with outstretched arms, inviting us into His warm, life changing embrace. An embrace to comfort us as we’re scared for our health, our jobs, our loved ones, our doctors, our economy, our futures.

He’s calling us back to Him.

I have nothing to offer but myself. And it turns out, that’s all He’s ever wanted.

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234 thoughts on “A Palmless Sunday

    1. Thank you Jeff! You’re so right! We are all He wants! Stay well my friend. Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much! You’re so right! The distractions have been done away with! (Well, except for Netflix lol) stay well! Hugs and love xox

  1. Even in these troubling times we can find hope. We can relearn how to Trust Him. We can examine our hearts and see if there are any barriers there that keep us from fulling committing our selves to Him and His purpose.

    God bless you and thank you for always having someting inspiring to say.

    Peace
    Eric

    1. Hi Eric! Thank you so much for your kindness. Amen amen to that! There is ALWAYS hope to be found. Love that so much. Stay well! Hugs and love xox

  2. We indeed have nothing but time! All the things we said we didn’t have time for, you surely do now. There’s no excuse. If someone in your life still hasn’t reached out to you, its simply because they don’t want to, you’re not a priority. Make God a priority now! Hopefully most people get that. I too listened to the birds sing and it was quite lovely 💕 Made my heart smile. This is a beautiful post my friend! Stay safe my friend and God bless

    1. Thanks so much Lane! You’re so right! We can make Him a priority!! Aww there really is something special about a bird’s song! Haha stay well! Hugs and love xox

  3. Caralyn! I’m happy to hear you are well and keeping your wits and faith working in unison with the program in place; but most important God’s will. I’ll be back on this blog shortly. God Bless You. Amen.

      1. Hi, I’m just trying to collect my thoughts about all you said here which I find extremely interesting and of course most important like nothing I’ve ever read from you here to be frank! This is MOST UNPRECIDENTED and I’m really picturing you doing what you said and seeing the dramatic probably surreal difference in daily life there which will have ripple effects on you for a long time to come! I want to think and i need to try hard because I’m still not right here and it drains me but I have no clear understanding as to what has happened to me and try to stay positive and trust Jesus to lead! This is all so devastating and I know you must be swamped with connections or family constantly texting or calling so I will try hard to be economical in what I say to be as pertinent as I can.

      2. 🙂 you’re too kind, thank you – yes – the ripple effect will be felt for quite some time, i’m afraid.

      3. Caralyn! You really touched my heart deeply with this explanation of what is going on with you in this crisis and amazingly you honed-in on something immediately that is so special about this Palm Sunday/Holy Week. Just how you explained the palm being such a joyous focal point for you and with your family making the crosses; I knew you were going to say that as you wrote because I know how important it was for my mother growing up and throughout her life carrying that joy of receiving some palms and then transforming them into crosses with me and my siblings all the way up to adulthood I always loved how my mother makes them so perfect! This brings a tear to my eyes and is so beautiful to hear you in this writing speaking to this significance of the palm and Jesus! How this visceral connection with a tangible item that was so abundantly present in that last week of the time our Lord and Savior actually walked this earth with we humans and we His family are so precious to Him, I feel this Palm the way you described it and my dear mother’s solid connection to it and how much she expressed the joy like you are as we were growing up has been buried deep in my heart until now, I feel a resurgence of the actuality and significance of it, how you spoke of it being a metaphor and this is a real physical tangible connection now that I think about it with you, that we have with our Sweet Lord! WOW! I feel so blessed right now even if I die and drop like a stone to the floor; I’m glad I realized this and shared it with you who sees it like my mom and how vital this link is! Just spectacular and monumental! This Pandemic has brought this to the fore via your insight and interpretation which is spot-on; so beautiful! God Bless You and Yours! Happy Palm Sunday and Holy Week Dear Caralyn! Thank you from my heart to yours. Amen.
        Brother in Christ Jesus,
        Love and Hugs! XOX
        Lawrence
        💞🤗❤️ 🙏 🙏 😇 😇 🙏 🙏

      4. i’m so glad this resonated with you, Lawrence! Praying for you! Hugs and love xox

  4. Finding your palm on Palm Sunday was not a coincidence. I love the Albert Einstein quote, “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” Keep writing, and Happy Easter!

    1. Thanks John! You’re absolutely right about that! It was definitely meant to be! Hugs and love xox

  5. It was so odd having Palm Sunday at home. It has revived my spirit and determination to make sure that my children understand the meaning of this Holy Week and why we celebrate Easter. I have prayed that we all will, after this over, cherish the little things and time spent just as you are doing, a meal break, outside, fresh air, and just…quiet and stillness. I hope that whatever our ‘new normal’ becomes is much slower! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your days!

    1. wasn’t it just surreal?! Wow — i love that so much, you’re right – it’s an awesome opportunity to really get to the heart of the meaning of these Holy Days. I love that. thanks for stopping by! praying for you and your family! big hugs and stay well! xox

    1. oh gosh, thank you John – I appreciate that 🙂 ((And that’s what my mom said too!) hehe stay well! big big hugs xx

  6. Prayed for you
    As Jesus said when asked by the Samaritan woman where to worship. he said God is seeking those who worship in spirit and in truth. We can worship him at home, online, in a church building with others it doesn’t matter. What matters to God is what is in our heart as we worship

    1. aw, thank you for your prayers! know that you’re in mine as well! yes!! God just wants our hearts, and worshiping can look a whole bunch of different ways! stay well! Hugs and love xox

  7. I “resurrected” a poem I wrote last year and sent it to my school families yesterday morning after I participated in a virtual service. It was a great reminder to me of the beauty of Easter even though we are unable to participate in the pageantry and the communal fellowship that we are usually able to enjoy. I hope it brings you some encouragement as well:

    EASTER VICTORY

    A colt emerges from the barn
    Playfully on this early morn
    In the month of May.
    He leaps, he trots, he kicks the air.
    He finds his mom, a brownish mare,
    Feeding on the hay

    I pass the colt while on a ride,
    And thoughts of Him who for me died
    Fill my heart and soul.
    He rode a colt like this through town,
    Palm branches raised, some on the ground,
    Onward to a goal.

    A substitutionary plan:
    Shed blood poured out for every man.
    Battle lines are drawn.
    His body wrapped and then entombed,
    Three days hence the lilies bloomed…
    Jesus Christ had won.

    1. Hi Patrick! oh wowwwww what a powerful and beautiful poem! i love that so much. What a gift to your school families. praying for you! stay welL! Hugs and love xox

      1. Thanks 🙂 oh gosh – yeah that sounds like a blast right about now haha

  8. Yes, that’s it exactly! He is calling us back to Himself. All of us. To give Him all of ourselves. He is our great, great Love, because He loved us first, last, always, and with all of Himself. Will we finally run back to Him?
    Thank you, Caralyn, for your beautiful, soul-inspiring words here. I pray they will touch the hearts of everyone who reads them. <3 <3 <3

    1. Hi Mindy! You’re so right about that! He gave all of Himself, and now it is our turn 🙂 I love your reflection, thank you so much for sharing that! stay well! and thank you for your prayers! big big big hugs xox

    1. Thank you so much Robert! Glad it resonated with you 🙂 stay well my friend! Hugs and love xox

  9. Yes, I do think God is using this time to speak to us. What a beautiful post. I never thought of us being the palms, that’s beautiful.

    By the way be careful with your mask. You have openings on the sides which means you need to conform it to your nose better to draw it in some.

    Also does your Mom or you sew? Handmade ones work beautifully. My wife has started making them.

    1. thank you so much – i really think He is. And yes! I had it on wrong in the photo — i didn’t realize there was a metal wire on one side to conform to my nose! haha On behalf of my brother who’s a doctor and incredibly low on masks, thank you and your wife for sewing those masks — that’s so incredibly helpful!!! stay well my friend! Hugs and love xox

  10. Caralyn, I didn’t get a Palm branch this Sunday, but as I walked my dog in my gated community (full of tropical plants and palms), I fetched a small palm branch and put it on my door through the peep hole ring. And I thought to myself as I walked back, “ Hosana, Hosana, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”👏🏻 May the Lord keep you safe! 🙏

    1. oh that’s so awesome! and from God’s beautiful nature! oh wow, how beautiful. I love that moment you had with God. Thanks for sharing that 🙂 stay well my friend! Hugs and love xox

  11. Soon young, yet so thoughtful and wise. Appreciate your heartfelt sharing. May God Bless You, this week, as we soberly face Jesus’s death and celebrate his resurrection this Sunday. No virus can ever take that away from us……..because HE LIVES! and for those who surrender, we will live with him too for All of eternity.

    1. oh gosh thank you so much 🙂 Ament to that -Easter is going to have an incredibly meaningful place in our hearts this year. Amen! HE LIVES! Hugs and love xox

  12. Love both your writing and your insights – all we have is ourselves – the simplicity and yet how profound

    1. Hi Glyn, oh my gosh thank you so much 🙂 You’re right – we can give Him ourselves! a simple and incredibly meaningful gift! glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  13. Amen 🙏🏿. I agree with everything. God wants our hearts. I’m loving this quarantine because I get to spend more time with my friend Jesus. Hearing the birds chirp is a daily thing on my side of town. It’s pretty quiet and it’s a joy hearing the chirps of the birds. It’s sad that we aren’t able to gather in church but God is aware of everything going on. Like Mary, we must position ourselves at the feet of Jesus. We are the church. In spite of everything going on, God is still Good. We can only put our hope and trust in Him. To see New City in a state of quietness, is unusual. I love the stillness but I miss seeing people and interacting with them. May we continue to pray for our nation and all around the world. I enjoyed this post Caralyn. God bless you and that Palm tree is beautifully made 😊✨

    1. Hi Karen! oh thank you so much! yes! i will join you in those prayers! there is power in prayer! and amen – i love that – yes, like Mary at His feet! stay well! Hugs and love xox

  14. I had the great opportunity to walk down what they call the Palm Sunday Road in Jerusalem. It was a great feeling. As for Palm Sunday, I enjoy palm trees. There are not many of them in D.C., but I still enjoy them, and I always enjoy them on Palm Sunday.

    1. oh wow what an incredible experience. thanks for sharing that, JB. stay well my friend. Hugs and love xox

  15. I listened to the live stream from CTK yesterday. It’s so strange to not hear everyone give responses – only the other pastor. No Communion. I really miss that. The sense of community is gone. Palm Sunday hasn’t hit me other than it’s a preview of Easter. That’s the one that’s going to be truly surreal!

    The bleakness of these streamed services will do well on Good Friday. But Easter? I know both pastors will do their best to bring some energy to it, but it’ll still be just them; one pastor says his piece and one voice will greet him. Bleak.

    That’s about it. We’re doing well here, each working in our own space. It’ll just be so nice to eventually get out and see people again! Hang in there!

    1. Hi Jeff! Yeah, isn’t that rather haunting? An empty church…but you know what? The community is there — just online. So that’s a comforting thought. I know, i miss communion as well. Easter without it is going to be so surreal indeed. Yeah, I think the energy must come from within too. I know i’m still going to put on a pretty dress and facetime my parents as we watch the same service! it’ll take some creativity, but gosh what a day of hope in this bleak time. And wouldn’t you know that easter lines up with the “peak day” they’re projecting for NYC. Talk about timing. Glad to hear you’re doing well. Praying for you. Email me with any updates if you have any!! 🙂 SEnding so much love to you and your family! stay well!

  16. A beautiful writing. I love the last sentence and the picture beneath. Made me cry a bit. Blessings!

    1. Thank you Ana, I appreciate that 🙂 and oh gosh – that’s what my mom said too about the last line! 😍 hope you’re hanging in there. Stay well my friend. Hugs and love xox

  17. Okay going to try this again. Having trouble with computer today. Let’s see, wind and birds, maybe God is trying to tell you, you need this stillness and quietness. Maybe at times some relief from the noise. You know that is where He meets us at. I want to let you know also, your blog is showing you are not secure. Love you more. SR

    1. i think you may be onto something — in the stillness He is there 🙂 stay well my friend! Hugs and love xox

      1. You too. Go read my post today if you have time. Think it might help you get through this, a little easier, not that you are not doing a great job. How is your Mom by the way? Love you more

    1. haha i’ve never seen that musical!!!! i can’t believe i claim to be a musical theater buff and I don’t even know that!

    2. oh my gosh I’ve never seen that musical! i can’t believe i claim to be a musical theater buff and yet have never seen that classic! yikes! haha stay well! Hugs and love xox

  18. True indeed- He has silenced our distractions and given us the gift of time and made us realise that all we take security in can be pretty much so easily blown over. May we realign what we value, how we spend our time, how we worship even( not in a rush). And also makes us realise what a blessing the people that God has placed in our lives are.
    May we give more of ourselves to Him.
    Blessings Caralyn 😊😊

    1. yes! realign what we value and give more of ourselves to Him. I love that! thanks friend! praying for you! Hugs and love xox

    1. oh my gosh, thank you Amy – I am so touched 🙂 Hope you’re hanging in there! stay well! Hugs and love xox

  19. you have a gift for drawing a profound message out of simple artifacts like last year’s palm cross. and making a story of the message rather than presenting it as a “lesson.” a rare gift.

    1. oh my gosh thank you Tom! what a kind thing to say 🙂 i am truly so touched, thank you 🙂 Hugs and love xox stay well x

  20. I’m appreciating this time of “captivity” so to speak. I’ve been able to return to doing something I’ve always enjoyed: reading and writing. Somewhere during the past year or so, I’d lost the passion. Those moments were my special time to talk to God. I guess, for me personally, this was how He focused my attention again on reading and writing about Kingdom things.

    1. thanks so much for sharing your heart – yes! a great time for reading and writing! stay well! Hugs and love xox

  21. It wouldn’t be a surprise if your writing on the morning gracing the day after Palm Sunday created a picture for your readers. The photo of your mask shielding you brings home the reality and keeps the reality connected to something happening in your life.

    I realize that you wish you could have participated in Palm Sunday. It is a little like again feeling like a youngster holding a palm.

    1. oh gosh thank you so much – yeah, it is going to be a bit of a surreal Easter and Holy Week. Praying for you, Odell! stay well! Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you so much Veronica! Yes! We are what He wants! stay well my friend. Hugs and love xox

    1. yeah, it’s a special tradition 🙂 thanks for stopping by! stay well my friend! Hugs and love xox

  22. Great reflection! I love this line, “We are each our own palm branch to lay before the Lord.” That’s a powerful statement! Stay healthy and hopeful!

    1. thank you so much Maichael! Glad it resonated with you! stay well my friend! Hugs and love xox

  23. So true, Caralyn… All He ever wanted was our hearts loving Him. I, too, “have nothing to offer but myself. And it turns out, that’s all He’s ever wanted.” God Bless you, Happy Holy Week. <3

    1. Oh my gosh thank you so much 🙂 I’m so glad it hit home with you! Stay well! Hugs and love xox

  24. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this post! YES… we are the palm branches! The Lord bless you for using some of that extra time for reflection, and thank you for sharing the insights you gain.

    1. Oh my gosh thank you so much Jan! I’m so glad it resonated with you! Amen to that! Stay well. Hugs and love xox

  25. Lovely post. So often I take for granted that which I would miss the most if I did not have it — my family, God, the sounds of the world like the chirping birds that are God’s way of reassuring us.

    1. Thank you so much. I can definitely relate! And yes! He’s always reassuring us of His love! Hugs and love xox

  26. We never knew of Lent, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, etc We are Afrikaans people and Dutch Reformed, while anything Catholic was mostly English. And, after the oppressive British occupation of 1806 where Apartheid really began, people lost suffrage and anything not ethnically British was sub-standard, the anti-English sentiment ran deep.

    To add insult to injury, thirty thousand farms burned to the ground by the British, thousands upon thousands of innocent women and children succumbed in concentration camps. Livestock had their tendons cut and millions were left to die in agony. 1899 to 1902.

    Given that history, imagine the anti Catholic sentiment. Yet, time heals wounds and the reformed tradition slowly is putting on a more Catholic cloak. By 2020, that church denomination even had Palm Sunday and me, aged 58, learned of kids playing with toy palms.

    I have yet to see it, as I’m also hiding from that hedgehog looking bug in my own holding cell, fifty feet above the ground, on a narrow strip between Table Mountain National Park and the obscured cold Atlantic ocean 293 metres away.

    As we cannot earn, breakfast is unimaginative, it won’t even make a good photo as, like the taste, there is just a bland, white blob of cruelly ground maize pips. Pulverised pips become staple diet in Africa.

    So it is good to hear that you are well and holding out, perched on your concrete rock in high Manhattan. And we keep our little blogsister in our thoughts and prayers.

    1. Hi Pete, Thank you so much for sharing that. Wow – what horrific history. It breaks my heart to hear that. I’m sorry to hear that things right now are hard right now. Know that you are close in my heart and in my prayers. Hang in there. Sending so much love xox

      1. Jesus didn’t own a mansion on the hillside, overlooking the Bay Area. He didn’t show up in a Lear Jet, but rode an ass. He depended on several ladies to feed and clothe Him. So, I won’t demand luxury.

        Thanks for every good thought and prayer, as that is how wealth is measured.

        Lots of these new detached hugs…….🙃😁🙃💝

  27. My dear Caralyn,

    In these difficult times for all of us we learn to be thankful and attentive again to little things which normally and earlier in the rush of our busy lives this was not possible. Now we rest and see things with different eyes. How many things we have overseen? So many little things that now come to our mind and consciousness. How many times we had no time to be thankful for all those little things that God shows us in our everyday life? Now this is the time and when the quarantine is over, we may all take this as a treasure – yes, it is a time of contemplation, of going within and allowing to see things we normally do not see. This gives us all an opportunity to become a better person to handle the moment in our life with more attention, more awarenes, to see that all is connected in Him, that we all sit in the same boat, rich or poor, small or big, black or white etc. May we be thankful each moment, to be aware that all little things are part of our great Father, then we can start to bow down in gratitude to the One who has given life to us…

    I embrace you from heart to heart, my dear Caralyn
    Stay healthy, dear friend
    Didi

    1. Hi Didi, oh gosh thank you so much for this beautiful response. You’re so right – we can use this time to grow and deepen our gratitude to and relationship with the Father!! Hope you’re doing well! Hugs and love xox

  28. Borrowing from the Bible: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” So impressed by your candor and direct grasp of what I believe the Lord intends by this time. I am no stranger to silence, so this isolation doesn’t affect me. I have been praying Psalm 91 and quite a few others. With God’s grace we will prevail. The question is will we have learned anything?

    1. Amen. With Gods grace we will prevail. Profound question. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

      1. The thing about New Yorkers is we may get knocked down but when we get up we are stronger than ever. Be safe my friend #NewYorkStrong

  29. Isaiah 58 comes to mind. The Lord is telling us through that prophet He notices our hearts and actions more than our rituals no matter how sincere we may be in following those rituals. Maybe in our quest for self actualization we have relied on the form rather than the substance of Christianity but our heart has been focused on ambition and pleasure so the substance takes second place. You certainly have made us think in this blog. Thank you and stay safe!

    1. Thank you Ian – yes!! This is a time for heart renewal for sure. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you’re hanging in there! Hugs and love xox

  30. I know what you mean, Caralyn. It feels so strange and so wrong. But God is the one in control of this, whether it’s from Him or not. He knew the events we should be celebrating about now. And He chooses to allow us to celebrate Him alone… thinking on Him and His Son.
    Our Pastor preached a sermon on Palm Sunday saying we all had 2 “palms”… in our hands… that were perfectly designed to wave and praise just like palm branches. It was so awesome to realize how God designed that long before He even created that day with His Son coming through on that donkey. God just amazes me every day. I look forward to spending eternity being amazed by Him every single endless day! <3
    I loved your post, but I pray over the unpleasant. I appreciate the Lord allowing you to check in so that I can see how you are doing!
    Me and God love you, Caralyn!

    1. Hi Gail, thank you so much. You’re so right about that – God is in control. What a powerful reminder. Thanks for that – I needed to hear that!! Love you too my dear friend! Keeping you in my prayers! Stay well!!! Xox

  31. Powerful Caralyn, just powerful…

    I beseech you therefore, brethren (Anthony, Caralyn, and everyone reading this message), by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And Anthony, Caralyn, and everyone reading this message, do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God…Romans 12:1-2

    1. Thank you so much, and gosh I’m so touched by that prayer. Means so much!! Stay well! Hugs and love xox

  32. First of all, I love that you read this and I need to figure out how I can read my posts too my friend. Any tips?
    It’s interesting that you started with the birds because that is something I reflected on this morning in my personal journey and gor my own post that I will publish tomorrow. They are happy and singing! I live in a hig city too, Dallas. I love that you found your Palm, I remember making those crosses and keeping them. It was definitely something meant for you to find and reflect upon. You are exactly right, this is a time for surrender. A letting go, a shedding, a renewal of faith and spirit.
    I so enjoy your posts my friend and am really happy I can now match your voice to your face and all the beauty you are. This is a purging of the old ways to be cleansed anew. So inspiring and full of hope❤🙏 much love, peace, health and safety to you my dear🙌

    1. Thank you so much 🙂 yes! It’s through Patreon! Yes! A time of surrendering and renewing our faith. I love that so much 🙂 stay well my friend! Hugs and love xox

  33. Hidden, there is the midst of your life, you have been given a true view of what is important. All that we have as a part of our lives become the auger of looking for truth and meaning.

    1. oh gosh, thank you so much 🙂 You’re right – we all just need to look for it! stay well! Hugs and love xox

  34. It is so weird that you have used that phrase. I keep having ‘In The Bleak Winter’ and ‘Little Drummer Boy’ playing in my head.
    ‘What can I give Him,
    Poor as I am?
    If I were a Shepherd
    I would bring a lamb;
    If I were a Wise Man
    I would do my part,
    Yet what I can I give Him,
    Give my heart.
    Similar lyrics in ‘The Little Drummer Boy’.
    Take care Carolyn

    1. oh wow – that is quite the similarity!! how interesting! i’ve never read that before! stay well! Hugs and love xox

  35. Yes, He wants only our hearts. Did you know the left-over palms are burnt and mixed with blessed oil for the following year’s Ash Wednesday? I think that’s a neat cycle and all reminds me at the start of Lent, of the ‘joy set before him’! Joy that the world didn’t give so the world cannot take away. Thank you for your post – I too still have last year’s palm cross on my fridge, so I put it out and celebrated communion on Palm Sunday, with my son and with the whole spiritual church. Happy Holy Week. xxx

    1. Hi Dawn! yes i did know that! i love that beautiful full circle of the palms. stay well my friend! Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you so much Mike!! oh wow, i’m so touched by that 🙂 glad you thought so! stay well my friend! Hugs and love xox

  36. Hey Carolyn! I love your post. God put you on my heart this morning as I was praying and enjoying the birds myself. Praying that He protects you and your family and guards your mind with His perfect peace. I’ve been thinking the same thing about God removing distractions. Yesterday, I felt impressed on my heart that now is the time to listen. Now is the time for us to tune our hears to the sound of His Voice, no longer the distractions of the world. Keep up your amazing posts!

    1. Hi Rachel! oh thank you so much! and gosh, i so appreciate your prayers more than you! especially for my family! my brother is a doctor and is on the front lines right now without adequate PPE. it’s really worrisome. Amen to that! thanks for your encoruagment! know you’re in my prayers too! Hugs and love xox

  37. Wow. That is amazing you found that cross behind your dresser. The timing… wow.

    This is so good Girl! I love your posts about God. 💕

    I pray this is all over soon and we emerge closer to God and stay that way. 🙏🏻

    {{hugs}} ❤️

    1. thank you so much! i know what timing! thank you for your prayers! joining you! Hugs and love xox

  38. This is beautiful! Blessings to you in Manhattan. God is there with you as well as with me in California. You shine, girl. I can see it from here.

    1. Thank you so much Amy! Praying for you and your community 🙂 Stay well my friend! big big big hugs xox

  39. Such a beautiful post… You have captured my feelings exactly! Palm Sunday was always one of the most exciting Masses for me as a kid, after Midnight Mass on Christmas, and Easter Sunday vigil, Palm Sunday was a close 3rd! It’s so sad to see all of the changes that are taking place in our world today, but as you put it, this time, WE are the palms! Thank you so much for that! I was beginning to let all of this get to me. I began to question why. But no more. Thank you! You have pointed out what I have known all along, but somehow I let it get lost amidst all of this. While watching the Palm Sunday Mass on TV, I couldn’t help but make the comparison to what happened that day all those years ago, to what is happening today. Then: they released Barabbas; Today: they are releasing prisoners in some states ; Then: They tortured our Lord with unthinkable cruelty. Today: They have closed churches – even through Easter Sunday; it is as if they were trying to stop the Resurrection itself. (which of course, we all know can’t be done) Well, sorry if I’m too long winded here, basically, I just wanted to thank you for putting it all into perspective for me! Oh, and have a blessed Holy Week!

    1. hi friend! oh thank you so much! yes!! We are the palms! and haha i agree — it was always my close third as well! 🙂 i appreciate all your powerful thoughts in this reflection. stay well! Hugs and love xox

  40. Friend: What a great post! This is one of the best, to me, that you have ever written. The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.(Psalm 24;1-2) It seems we as children of God, as well as writers are all on the same page. When you get a chance stop by https://rhemalogy.com/2020/04/05/christian-writers-really-need-to-be-writing-now/ I think you will really appreciate it and be blessed. Blessings and Peace to you this Holy Week.

    Love Always,
    Claudia

    1. hi Claudia! oh wow thank you so much! i am so touched by your generous words! amen to that! looking forward to checking out your post! Hugs and love xox

  41. Just beautiful, Caralyn! This unreal time is certainly teaching us all so many valuable lessons. Thank you for sharing yours – this one is especially powerful. Surrender. So much hinges on our surrender to God. Take care and be safe!

    1. Hi Patty! thank you so much 🙂 You’re so right – the timing of all of this is surreal. especially becuase NYC’s “peak” is projected to be this Easter Sunday. Just wild. stay well Hugs and love xox

  42. https://youtu.be/vYUmY7erfzI

    Your post is so beautiful and so right!! -We give ourselves to Christ.

    I wanted to share this video with you because, believe it or not, there is a church that claims to be Christ’s restored and true and living church on this earth and a Moses-like prophet in our time. I wanted to share that because ALL are invited to listen to the voice of the Lord through his servants who hold the true keys upon the earth -in preparation to his Second Coming. It is a church that preaches clearly our purposes as literal children of our Father in Heaven and that not only will we be resurrected as Christ was, but we can receive salvation AND exaltation as found in the last chapters of Revelation. We can live together in eternal family units with God, with the covenants we make in temples that now dot the earth. To learn more go to ComeUntoChrist.org. I can witness that this is REAL and true. I know for sure and for real that Christ came and restored His church in it’s fullness (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) because true priesthood authority is important to our Father who wants a house of order and a people ready to receive him. You too can join that cause, if you desire. But if not, this is really great to know about at least. 💗

    On Palm Sunday we got to participate (with our hankies as palms) over the internet together as a world of believers doing the Hosannah shout during a solemn assembly. Hosannah means God Save Us! We also are holding a fast on Good Friday for healing and for the protection of those working on the front lines -anyone can participate.

    Also, I always love your posts. You are a strong woman and an awesome influence out there. 💗👍👍

    Lots of love,
    your friend,
    Millennial Believer.

    1. Hi friend! oh gosh thank you so much! And thank you for sharing about that organization. sounds truly powerful! stay well my freind! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much Penny 🙂 I’m glad it resonated with you. yes! we are the palms! stay well! Hugs and love xox

  43. Your posts are very inspiring and uplifting! I haven’t been able to read many of them yet, but all the ones I have read are really good and uplifting!!

    1. Hi Claire, oh gosh thank you so much 🙂 i’m so glad you’ve enjoyed them! stay well! Hugs and love xox

  44. Love your post. I have the blessing of space inside and out, and plants. I cut a few small palm branches and put them on my front door. A silent waving, but waving nonetheless.

    1. Hi Katie! thank you so much! aw, i love that so much. what a beautiful thing to do to brighten up your neighborhood! stay well! Hugs and love xox

  45. Thank you, Caralyn. As always, for me, you think and feel and write with an introspective depth of integrity and insight.

    Your word, “This year, we are the palms” (for) “I have nothing to offer but myself” is both compelling for me and comforting to me as an existential encouragement to see myself, indeed, my self as something…someone to give unto God. Though such self-rendering is always something…someone God seeks, it is in a time like this, as you point out, when all else – distractions, preoccupations, etc. – is stripped away that, as you can hear the birds chirping, I, more readily (perhaps, too, more willingly) listen to and for “the still small voice of God.”

    With gratitude and love, be well, stay well,
    Paul

    1. thank you so much Paul, i really appreciate that. glad it resonated with you!!! yes! we’ve to to really listen for that still small voice! stay well friend! Hugs and love xox

  46. My goodness, we are the palm branches! Seriously, nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling. This post hit!!

    1. yes we are!!! thank you so much 🙂 glad you enjoyed it! big hugs to you xox

  47. Hello BBB. I just wanted to thank you. In recent months I’d lost my connection to God and spirituality… and I’ve been spiralling down into depression. But this post of yours about palms helped to prod me back towards God. I’ve just written a big post about this experience. It wasn’t anything in particular that you wrote, it was much more the spirit and feeling which runs through your writing… something about your work touched my heart. And it helped begin a healing process for me. I feel like God is showing me the path out of my depression. So thank you!

    1. Gosh, Thank you so much for sharing that. I’m sorry to hear that these last few months have been difficult. know that nothing is ever final with God. He is always waiting for us with outstretched arms:) we are so dearly loved. I’m humbled by your generous words. Thank you my friend. Stay well.

  48. Hello Caralyn!
    What a beautiful thought that we are the palms….
    Jesus did say, “I am the vine and you are the branches…”
    But I never thought of us as being “palm branches”!! Love it!
    One of my favorite children’s sermons on Palm Sunday is to tell the kids, “On Palm Sunday, with Jesus riding in on a donkey and having a parade, everyone was “high-fiving” each other, hitting their palms against one another and that is why it is called “Palm Sunday!”

    Another one with the kids is, “Everyone place out their hands, palms up!” (The kids love this) Then I pull out a can of whipped cream and spray it all into their hands.
    See?
    This is a Palm Sundae!!!

    Have a blessed day. Thank you for faithfully “liking” my blogs! You’re the best!
    Hang in there on those quiet streets of NYC!
    Peace,
    David!

    1. Thank you so much David. Oh I love that kids message!! So sweet. Stay well! Hugs and love xox

  49. It’s been a while since I last visited your blog, but I am so glad I did.
    I haven’t done it in a long time, but I have spent the first lent EVER maintaining abstinence from meat on Friday and I have prayed my Rosary every evening for the past three weeks.
    I say this, although, I am someone that is tarnished by sin and question everything about myself, but reading your posts are always a welcome blessing.

    1. Thanks Shelly! Amen to that! He is the best Guide! Hugs and love xox stay well x

  50. Hi Caralyn, how are you doing there in NYC today? I hadn’t been writing at my site in a long while (Life’s busyness …) but this Covid19 isolation has me reaching out and also reading your thoughts here more often. This is kind of a conglomeration of replies to your past several posts, I hope that is ok. First of all, I’ve been praying for you (whom I have known only as an online acquaintance but for a long while, it seems, as I’ve followed your journey, or journeys) because I can empathize with the isolation especially for a person who is used to being out and about, busy and walking the city and traveling as you (and I) normally do. When you wrote of the morgue truck down the block, I felt ill for you. Yes, Nature is some consolation (the Lord sends the cheering sounds of birds), the city cheers en masse, and family and friends connect via social media – but of course it is not the same. When you wrote so eloquently of missing the pulse – yes! Even I as an occasional visitor of NYC get that: it was always a delight and a thrill to walk for hours, catch the architecture, people, food, parks, a show… I’ve always had so much fun in New York City! It never mattered that the hotel rooms in the best locations were rather small; I was only in them to sleep and shower. I imagine your apartment is similar in that way, too, and gosh all dwellings seem smaller these days. I empathize. Before I write a novel here, thank you for the concept of We the palms (what I most miss, even from childhood, is the silky smoothness of them and quietly appreciating holding that blessed beauty of nature right in my hand all during mass!) and also, to end with a bit of levity here, thank you for the tip (which I have since passed on to several friends & family): when ordering from instacart or similar, specify 1 Bunch of bananas rather than 6 bananas. (Fwiw, I have frozen sliced bananas for future use in smoothies…they stick together so you can package small, if you want.) Stay well, keep your chin up and a smile in your heart. We’ll get through this. (Feel free to delete this rambling comment… or you could just leave this: Saying hello & thank you, thinking of you, and keeping you and all of NYC in my prayers! ~ Peri)

    1. Hi Peri, thank you so much for sharing your heart in this thoughtful reflection. you’re right – we’ll get through this. NYC is tough and will persevere 🙂 thank you for your prayers! know that you’re in mine too! and thanks for the great instacart trick! i just did the same with broccoli! hahahah oh boy…stay well! Hugs and love xox

      1. Thank you so much for the hugs, love, and prayers! Always welcomed of course, but last night I had a delightful turn of events, something I’ve been praying about for a long while (a family thing; aren’t we always praying for our families?!) so… I am especially grateful for your prayers. Stay well, keep your chin up and joy in your heart. Oh and – your generous spirit is a gift. Don’t fret; with the Lord, all in good time, for sure. : )

      2. thanks friend 🙂 oh that is so wonderful! glad to hear it! 🙂 xoxoxoxo

  51. Thank for continuing to come to my blog faithfully I thank God for you.. I love your writing.. I feel a softness or spirit in you.. it’s been a long since I heard birds that must be so nice for you to hear that which is not normally evident in busy streets, we are all learning something from this period. A few more beautiful souls are reading along on what I’m doing. It’s a miracle really.. usually only the one or twos. Blessed be HIS name.. ❤️

    1. Thank you so much Sharon. Your encouraging words mean the world. You’re right – blessed by His name! Stay well! Hugs and love xox

  52. God is at work, speaking to our hearts, my sister. He’s trying to quiet our heart, giving us a moment to truly listen. To what His love, needs our hearts to know. For a time, such as this! Yes indeed, lay your heart, at the foot of His love. Be blessed, you’re forever in His care! Nice share, blessings!

    1. Yes He really is Warren. What a beautiful and comforting note! Thank you! Big hugs to you xox stay well x

    1. thank you so much, same to you, my friend! praying for you! Hugs and love xox

    1. Hi Dawn thank you so much 🙂 amen to that! Hosanna is our song!! hope you’re having a blessed Good Friday! Hugs and love xox stay well x

  53. Hi, Beauty!

    This is so beautiful! It resonates with me. I truly think He is reaching out, whispering and beckoning to us. He’s never wanted much. Just us! So simple and profound! I pray we will hear and heed Him!

    Be safe, may the Lord continue to bless and protect you!!

    Peach

    1. Aw thank you so much Peach!! So glad this resonated with you! I think you’re so right – He is calling us to him! Stay well! Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you!!! Amen! that’s the best thing we can do: surrender our hearts to Him! stay well! Hugs and love xox

  54. True story! Especially today, Divine Mercy Sunday. We must believe Jesus LONGS for us, as imperfect as we are! God bless you today as you rest in His boundless love! 🥰🙌🏻🙏🌹❤️

    1. Thank you so much Ashley! Yes! I so agree – Divine Mercy Sunday made my long for Mass in a particularly acute way stay well! Hugs and love xox

  55. AMEN AND AMEN!!! So true sis. Well written and I agree with every convicting questions that you asked yourself and that we all should use as a guide to examine our hearts. He has put everything thing that had taken away our focus and time being spent and stayed on Him. He wants us and needs us for the fulfillment of His will/purpose on the earth. What a Father of compassion! i <3 Him! "this year, we are the palms." So true. Everyday we must lay at His feet and allow Him to transform us more into the likeness of Christ! Blessings and more strength to you sis! 💛

    1. thank you Tammy!!!! you’re right, this is a unique time to truly get our minds right and focus on Him! praying for you! Hugs and love xox

    2. You’re on a reading roll!!! thank you friend. Yes! Lay at His feet to be transformed! love that! Hugs and love xox

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