Sunday, December 30, 2018


I had an expectation of myself this year, to write, publish on this  blog, if not weekly, bi-weekly, but as I look back at my postings, which were few, I can honestly say I have failed my own expectations.  I am honestly quite embarrassed at my own failure. I believe if we fail our own expectations, how do we meet the expectations of our closest friends, peers at work, and our dearest family members? 

The word 'expectation' when said, has a very firm sound, definitive, persuasive, and yet its' definition is inclusive of a strong belief that something will happen, realistic or not, and failure of this expectation gives way to an emotional disappointment. I am most certain that all of us have experienced some sort of disappointment relating to an unfulfilled expectation. I have had many!

Christmas Day just recently passed.  This is the first time in 6 years that I have had my entire family reunite at Christmas.  In my heart, I wanted it as it used to be, with wonder, joy, love and excitement.  All of these factors, especially including the past, would  be difficult, but I tried extremely hard to eliminate any items that would not make this possible.  The refrigerator was full of food, meals cooked, music playing, Christmas decorations galore, the list checked twice, all the packages wrapped, so what could possibly go wrong? Had I not painted this picture perfect in this picture perfect world that live and know all too well?  

Each of us, at some point, have been caught up in and have been victims of,  wanting the 'perfect Christmas' with expectations galore.  Unfortunately, each of us have our own expectations, never letting the other know what his/or hers expectations are,  so we all eventually fail, setting the stage for emotional disaster. This Christmas, as much as I tried to enjoy, wonder, love and excitement, my demeanor was actually anxious and preoccupied with a lot of 'what if's' and quite frankly, I was a nervous wreck.  Why? Well, my daughter who left our family six years ago, returned. She returned with her now husband and their 2 1/2 year old son. I love her and was glad she returned, but I wanted everyone to love her and accept her and forgive her as I did.  My expectations were high.  Not all were as welcoming as I was and not all had forgiven her like I had as portrayed in the story of the Prodigal Son.  Each of us have different understandings of the meaning of love and forgiveness. We are all on different personal journeys, emotionally and spiritually, and we all have different, deep seated expectations of each other. 

Tonight, as I reflected on the spirit of Christmas and of Mary, our Mother of God, who willingly accepted what God placed before Her, with no expectations, just acceptance of the beautiful gift that she accepted for us and the world, I ask myself, why did I have so many expectations of the gift that God gave me this Christmas Day with all members of my family present? Why did I set myself up for an emotional disappointment? 

I removed all of the Christmas Decorations in my house the day after Christmas this year.  I emotionally wanted to move on.  I did not want to look back. I typically wait until after Epiphany.  This year was different.  The joy was not present.  I did not feel the love, the wonder and the excitement. And, normally, after Christmas I would find a comfortable chair, warm cup of coffee and gaze at the Christmas lights on the tree and reflect on the time spent with family.  This year, I am reflecting, but gazing upon two pictures of clouds and sea, both of which, in a different time and place, gave me joy, awe, wonder and excitement. These pictures represent to me God's promises of eternity and they give me clarity as to why I need to be freed from earthly expectations which will move me from self fulfillment into sin fullness. You can not serve the flesh and the spirit at the same time.  My only expectations should be my faith and trust in my God.  

When Christ is our focus, everything else becomes clear, even with a few clouds in the sky.


Saturday, November 24, 2018

Putting the Pieces Together

Over Thanksgiving this year I decided I would try to put this puzzle together with attempts to draw my family together at the table in unison of a group, time tested activity.  I was successful at bringing 4 of the 7 that were there that day, however not all choose to freely invite possible frustration and challenge into their lives.  The other three milled around us watching, making comments that they were glad we were putting this together not them.  In their eyes, they made the smart choice.  

We had to set the stage for the project.  First, dumping the contents of the box out onto the table and flipping all the pieces right side up.  Second, we sorted all the pieces and placed all edge pieces to one side and thirdly, we arranged all the pieces by color into different sections on the table.  This in itself was tedious.  However, it made the entire next step easier as we started putting the pieces together.  

Over the course of several hours we each individually made progress working at our own speed, conversing, laughing and taking temporary breaks to nibble on the food that was being prepared.  There is no finished project yet.  Those that have partnered on this project have since gone home.  My table continues to have an array of cardboard puzzle pieces on them and I imagine these pieces will be here for some time.  I am however, determined to complete the puzzle at a rate comfortable with my willingness to sit and endure the complexity of this project.

As I look at this picture, I see a little bit of my self staring back at me.  Parts of me are put together and many parts of me still very scrambled. The little pieces on the edge wanting to cling to the completed portion, but not knowing how to arrive at the center. Wanting to be whole, complete, but not really knowing what complete and whole really means.  Maybe this is who I am designed to be, scattered or in His eyes, a continued work in progress.  What does being complete really mean, feel like or look like here on earth?  If I were complete, would I keep searching for and working towards a better me, a greater good?  Would I be content and give up on my growth, my journey, and expose  my vulnerabilities?  

Many of us hide our vulnerabilities and pretend that we have it all together on the outside, but all the while on the inside, we are very much scattered and lost.  Jesus said "A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home.  You will leave me all alone.  Yet I am not alone , for my Father is with me.  I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."  John 16:32-33

Our final destination here in this life is to find the center, to cling to the center, to find those lost on the edges and help them and allow them to help us find our way, our way to our Lord and His ways.  We must cultivate that relationship by spending time in His Word, taking time for prayer, having relationship with his family and surrendering our will to His even when it is uncomfortable and challenging, much like putting the pieces back together within the framework of the puzzle.  Life will be a puzzle, a mystery, but it is in this mystery that we strengthen our faith in Him, trusting and allowing to receive and to be open to receive the graces that are poured down upon us from Him. We are not in control, we are only truly centered when our will is aligned with His and to become vulnerable with others on this journey towards growth with Him and with each other. 

Before God reveals what His will is for you,  we must be committed in doing whatever it is that He desires for us to do.  We must first take the challenge to be open to His will, like putting the pieces together, the arduous task of sorting through what we think we know and want and yet allowing something different from what we previously envision.  God will reveal his plan, but will we allow our eyes to see it? God's plan may be revealed slowly, but every challenge does not necessarily come easily and quickly. It is a step by step process of putting one piece by one piece together to become whole, centered and one with God. 

I don't know about you, but I'm taking the challenge.
I'm completing this puzzle.
One piece at a time. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Final Frontier - Humility

He tells me to Breathe, to breathe in and to breathe out.  I inhale and I think of Him.  I attempt to get as much air as I can with each breath, inhaling slowly, filling my lungs to capacity and I think of Him.  I exhale slowly releasing life, slowly letting go, all the while wondering if He is going to give me another, breath, another day.  In and out. In and out. In and out. Each breath a gift.  I try to imagine how many gifts of breaths He gives me each day.  Each time I breathe in and each time I breathe life out, Him, only Him.  The gift of life given to me, to you, every moment of each day. 

I am humbled. I am so small yet, so big in His eyes.  I tremble at His power and I tremble at His love.  

Brian Doyle (picture insert) choose choice words by saying "Sprint away from being important, famous, powerful".  "That is what we are here for:  to bring love like a searing weapon against the dark, and to do so without fanfare and applause, without a care for sneers."
'By Brian Doyle; The Word Among Us  

My prayer this year has been for the grace of humility.  This undertaking of silence, self denial, self resignation, all are very overwhelmingly difficult and, I would not say it is not because I boast or am prideful, but it is often times difficult to silence the tongue when I want to be esteemed, or praised or consulted or loved or approved or understood.  I pray for the desire of not wanting these things in my life and on my heart and in doing so, I ask Jesus to free me.  I pray that others may be loved more than I and to be preferred over me.  This prayer is easier said than done. 

My heart, my tongue wants justice when I feel unjustly appreciated or misunderstood. My outside is not like my inside.  My inside is much more complicated and it is for this reason that I feel so misunderstood. I know God has lessons for me and the one lesson is the silence of my tongue.  I want to scream at the top of my lungs, I want to scream until I can't scream no more, I want to scream to the world and make sure that all the wrongs in my life are right and understood by those who wronged me.  But in my silence, I have to put aside my autobiography and seek the soul of another and it is in seeking the soul of another that I walk on Holy ground with my Father God.  This is what He wants for me now.  Silence. Silence to learn another's soul.  To listen even if misunderstood.  He understands.  God humiliated himself to the extreme  by dying on a cross for all those who didn't understand. Let me learn from Him.  Let me be lowly here on earth so, all the rest of my days may be in humble joy knowing that the only esteem goes to Him that gives me the breath of life.   Make it oh Jesus, make this my desire. 

The final frontier. 
Breathe in, breathe out.
Give Glory to Him. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015


I have been scheduling doctor appointments right and left lately, which include everything from my head to my toes.  I have completed 4 appointments thus far and I still have 4 more to complete. Most of these appointments are already scheduled, I just need the final approval to be released from work to attend to these visits. These doctor appointments are kind of like taking a car into the shop to get that car 'tuned up', except I'm not a new car, just an old clunker that is starting to squeak in more than one place.   I am grateful that I have the opportunity to be examined for all my defaults or to possibly get a thumbs up on my health, however what annoys me most though is the anticipation of waiting for the arrival date of the appointment and the anticipation of the results that make a one hour appointment go on for days and weeks.  The sense of relief, once everything is said and done is pretty much manageable, assuming that everything went well.

Most recently I went to the heart doctor.  Not the real heart doctor where you get the EKG's and so forth, but someone that I could go and talk to about personal and spiritual thoughts.  Even if everything else is working just fine sometimes the heart needs guidance too, making sure the right path is being taken, and to acquire balance so your heart can be squeaky clean too. The beautiful thing about our bodies is that we can not hide or kid ourselves when we do not feel good.  Our bodies give us clues.  I was having all the clues and or signs of not being in balance lately.  Things were starting to become a little foggy for me in my relationship with my family which effected my relationship with my God.  One thing always leads to another. The domino effect.   So, I went in for an adjustment for my heart, my spiritual well being.

My heart was foggy about several issues. First, when I got married I moved into another state, far from the family that raised me.  And in the last 31 years, I can count on my one hand the visits I have received from my sister and brother. They were minimal at best.  It is sad, at least in my perspective, that in my 31 years of marriage, my siblings not only chose to not become part of my family by visiting us in our home, but that they expected me to visit theirs and to visit frequently, on their terms, on their turf.  I'm not the kind of person to rock the boat, or at least I didn't for many years, mainly for fear that if I stopped trying, stopped traveling back home, I would not have my family in my life, but also because I have forgiven them every year quietly in my own mind for their selfish behavior and tolerated the situation.  I loved them and I put love above everything else.  Every vacation, every chance I had I hauled my family in the family car to visit them.  When we lived close, meaning several hours close, I visited monthly. When I lived further away, I usually visited twice a year.   The visits became more strained as the years passed and my visits have not been as frequent.  I am tired as is my husband.  These last two years I have not been home and my family is disgruntled with me for not visiting and they think I have indifference towards them.  I don't think I have ever had indifference, just sadness that they didn't want to share in my life.

The fog started to clear up when I got my heart checked out the other day.  It is painful for me to accept my family and their choices over the course of many years.  I am hurt, lonely and sad.  My heart doctor told me recently that I can't replay the past and most certainly I must move on to those that are dear to me and want to share in my life and in the life of my family. I can't hold onto something that does not exist.  My love for them does exists, but their love for me is questionable and certainly does not hold the same definition as mine.  I am not desiring to be understood as to understand their actions over the years and my heart doctor reminded me that it is not about being 'understood as to understand".  This is pure spiritual maturity.  

As I drove home one Sunday morning from 7:00a.m. Mass, the fog that was thick when I went to church was clearing off a bit making it manageable to see further on down the road.  I drove slowly, squinting my eyes making sure I was on the right path.  I am seeing much clearer on my personal journey, freeing myself from the bondage that my family has held me to over the course of 30 years.  I feel as if I can breath better and the weight of the load of always being the responsible one to maintain the relationship has been lifted, as well.  I do not love them any less, I just understand them better.

Slowly, the emptiness of my heart will fill up again with those that are willing and ready to love me and my family.

My step is lighter now and my song is stronger.
And as the song goes, "I can see clearly now, the rain is gone."  I mean, the "fog" is gone".

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Battlefield

In the last month or two I have encountered, and when I say encountered, I mean, almost stepped on, reached for, and looked upon the most terrible creatures on this earth, at least in my opinion they are the most terrible creatures, and this would be snakes. Snakes of all colors, sizes, poisonous or non, I think every last one of the are horrible, despicable creatures on this earth and although they may serve a purpose within the circle of life in nature, I think it would be wonderful if they all just slithered into a dark hole, we light a match and watch the whole slithering mess go up in flames and die.  Yes, that is what I think.  It would probably have to be a big dark whole because there are a whole lot of them on this earth and it would probably have to be a big match to get the fire started and it would probably take awhile, all in all, I think this would be a grand idea from my perspective and probably most of you would agree.  These slithering creatures remind me of sin and the ongoing battle with the devil and the earth and our flesh. I didn't capitalize the word that began with a 'd', I would never give that slithering creature such credit and this will be the first and last time I use that word in my writing, no reason to give him any attention free of charge.

So, where am I going with this....  Well, one day I was in my front yard pulling weeds out of  my flower garden enjoying the fresh air, the silence of nature and I might add, the beautiful moment I was having with God.  I know you say 'what?', a beautiful moment with God?" and I would reply "Yes, a beautiful moment with God", pulling weeds in the silence of nature."   Most of you might also think I am crazy with the thought of 'pulling weeds' is my type of enjoyment with God, but in my season of life, well most of my life, I love being outdoors working God's earth.  It is refreshing, invigorating and most certainly I always feel a sense of accomplishment with my work when it is done.  Unfortunately, this one particular day my work was interrupted while reaching down to grab some pine needles when and I encountered a snake.  It was not that big, and I have encountered them a lot in my life, particularly in this line of work/enjoyment, but it became a reminder that even in God's most lovely design in nature, there slithers the snake that can and did interrupt my time with God.  He is sneaky, slithering and viewed as the enemy.

Above:  This is my front yard where I seek weeds and God.

Above:  This is the slithering snakes hiding place.

Above: This is the slithering snake that welcomed me one morning.

In my attempt to kill the snake, I took a large tree branch laying nearby, that was after I took a picture of it,  I took that branch well over head and plunged downwards only to miss the dumb snake and in the process about got my toe.  Thank God, that was my prayer, that I did not get my toe. I can't believe I missed!!!!! It slithered back into the hole in which it came out of and that hole was far to deep for me to find that slithering, gross creature.   I am sure it is still there.

Moving forward.....
My family and I went one Saturday morning to go pick blueberries.  There was some grumbling from my clan about the time that I insisted that we leave to travel to this blueberry farm.   They always think that I am over excited and overly pushy about getting some place too early.  They usually thank me later for my perpetual insight into these sort of incidence of traveling early. It was a wet dewy day, early 6:30ish and there was a crowd of people at this hour, doing the same thing we were going to be doing, (picking blueberries) and of course, I have to admit, I was not the only one that had the intuition to rise early and be there at the crack of dawn to fill our buckets with blue balls.  I believe in this one instance, my intuition was confirmed as NOT being crazy.  We scooted back to a back area of blueberry trees to have some quiet family time and pick blueberries by ourselves.  I particularly didn't want to share my morning with strangers.  We all gathered around one tree, it got kind of crowded and so I moved along.  I found a tree that seemed to be filled with blueberries and thought I had struck gold.  I reached up to grab what I thought to be a bunch of blueberries (I didn't have my glasses on) and low and behold, I reached for a snake.  See below:

He raised his head high and hissed at me.  I have never seen blueberries move or hiss so, I took this as an indication that this tree was already taken, no blueberries to pick here.  He blended in well, coiled up into a tiny ball of gunk, and managed to not only watch me, but all those who also entered his space to grab those tiny blue balls called blueberries.  Yes, it was a reminder that I was not alone. I might have been alone with God while praying as I picked berries, but the evil was lurking around trying to steal that moment that I was encountering with God.  Again, sneaky, slithering, slimy creature on earth!!!

However, if you will see my buckets below, I and that of my family managed to acquire 6 large buckets of blue gold.  And oh, they were mighty tasty.

Next, during a walk, a short walk with my husband around our block, just about a half mile or so, I turned a corner and jump, out of the way of a small, rather injured snake that managed to get into my path.  I could not tell if it was stunned, waiting for the kill or if it was really just injured.  I told my husband to move along and informed him that I was going to jump on it to make sure it was not going to move ever again.  Of course, this was not the first time he thought I lost my marbles and most certainly it was not the last.  I practiced. I jumped high and landed hard.  I thought this type of movement would not only stunned the snake even more, it might actually kill him.  So, I planned my move and jumped on the snake.  I was not sure where my feet were actually going to land, but my goal was to land on its' head so I would not get bit.  I took the plunge and landed and then took my feet and pressed real hard moving my body downwards so that my body weight would squish his head into the pavement.  Then I quickly jumped back off the snake to see if my work proved successful.  It did.  A dead snake. An "A" for the day.  See below: 

My heart was racing, but I felt good and sooooo glad that snake was dead.  My husband shook his head and kept walking.

I kept walking too.  I walked across the bridge that entered into my neighborhood and purposely stopped to gaze at the flowing water that was underneath me.  It had just rained and the little creek had a bit of water that was actually moving quickly.  I wanted to stop, I usually never do, and take a picture.  It was rather kind of pretty with the dew on the blades of grass and the birds were chirping.  What a moment.  Or so I thought.  As I was focusing my lens on my camera, I noticed what I thought to be a stick floating in the water, probably washed up from the storm the night before, actually as I focused my lens, saw yet another snake.  See below:

I had had enough this day.  I told God, I get the picture.  The slithering thing is in battle with me and I need to put my armor on a little more securely.  I saw the snake as the    _ e v i l.  I am not going to put his name in my writing as mentioned before, but if you look at his name without the 'd', you can see that it spells evil. We must know our enemy.  Everyone of us must know our enemy.  No matter where you are, at any time and at any place, you have a mortal enemy and he wants to take you down and destroy you.  You can not escape the conflict.  You have to put on your armor of God.

Be sober, be watchful! For your adversary the _ e v i l, as a roaring lion,(in my mind a roaring snake) goes about seeking someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.... 1 Peter 5:8-9

Some of the most demonic activity in our life can be and is very subtle.  They are ideas planted in our minds through the evil one.  If we allow those ideas to take over our thought process, then he is winning the battle.  God is good and loving.  Placing those evil thoughts with love and by being alert to these schemes and in being in constant prayer with our Lord, the evil one will flee.  The evil one will tempt us with doubt, accusation and he will entice us into the temptation itself.  Look at Eve and how he won her over in temptation.  All we have to do in moments of temptation is ask our Lord if this is what he wants and pray in His name.  The evil one will do all kinds of things and maneuver situations to make us be be attuned to his ways, to be tempted and to fall into sin.  Through our weakness we fall prey to the evil one and fall further away from our one true God.  We can become oppressed, depressed, obsessed and lastly possessed by the very thing that slithers.

Snakes have been on my mind lately, actually not just snakes, but the continual occurrence in my encounter with them lately.  I feel warned and most certainly, I am very cautious as I ponder on some of the negative circumstances and situations in my current life. I am reminded that I need to put on my full body of armor and pray unceasingly.  Prayer, fasting, and adoration are my first defense and having faith that God will protect me, hope that I will surpass these attacks and love in knowing that I am a child of God and I must protect my will in choosing what is right and good and acknowledging that there is no other God greater than Him. "But with God, all things are possible."  Mt. 19:26  

Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation.  The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  Mk 14:38

Now the seventy-two returned with joy, saying "Lord, even the devils are subject to us in Your name."  But He said to them, "I was watching Satan fall as lightning from heaven, Behold, I have given you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the might of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you.  But do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; rejoice rather in this, that your names are written in heaven."  Lk 10:17-20

There are many pictures above of snake encounters.  There will always be instances of evil lurking in unknown places and we must armor ourselves with the Lord to guide and protect us.

Evil is out there. I get the picture, do you?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Breathe and be Attentive

Mourning the loss of someone, whether it be a pet, friend, family member, an acquaintance, or even the possibility of something tangible, the loss gives us reason to stop and remember.  Each of us at some point in time have felt the impact of loss.  We also know that our loss is not going to impact everyone.  We have our people, our people peoples, acquaintances, those that we just say "hi" to, strangers and those that are in the world that we will never know.  Life continues to move forward. Life should move forward for us too, unless we allow the stress of the loss to hold us down, as we bury ourselves in grief.

I can say for the last month, I have buried myself in grief when I loss my beloved dog, my two aunts, my uncle and when my husband lost his job all within a months time. All of this was much to much for me to hold in my heart.

In the process of our mourning, we must immerse ourselves with our 'peoples' that raise us up when we are down by moving us emotionally, spiritually and intellectually.  We must keep these "peoples" in our inner circles so we can continue to grow and in the growing we must allow God inside our hearts.

If we do not love, we will not experience suffering.  It is in suffering that we can recognize our love in the loss.  I have suffered much and I have loved much.  I have no regrets.  But, in my suffering, I am most guilty in failing to breath and be attentive to Gods love for me.  I fail to breath in the Holy Spirit and be attentive to His word.  I am human, but I am His daughter and He has great things planned for me, and for you. We have to be attentive to the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit and let the grief transform our love.

When my dog passed, I particularly felt like my heart was being crushed by a freight train, continuous movement by all the moving freight cars, with no sight at the end of the tunnel.  My love for my dog was a love greater than no other love that I had for any other animal that I owned throughout my life time.  She was my "people" and there is no way to measure someone's love for their "people".

Most recently, it was expressed to me that as I enter my new stage of mourning I must "breathe and be more attentive" to God's love and His calling for me.  And, as I take in God's words and breath His breath, I will feel renewed and blessed that He gave my life such beautiful memories to move forward with as I continue to grow with Him.

May your love for one another be strong, passionate, unbridled, unconditional, unfailing, unselfish, forever forgiving, and one with God and may God continue to bless all of you.

Breathe and be attentive.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Mutual Love

Trying to take a Christmas picture, but Hannah kept giving me kisses

Sleepy Hannah resting on her favorite spot, my bed. 
Sunday morning listening to the birds.

Sisterly Love, Hannah's best friends, "Wendy Anne and Millie"

 It has been three weeks since I lost my beloved Hannah.  I have had the earthly pleasure of enjoying this beautiful creature for nine years, a gift to me by God.  I have had the most incredible journey with her during her lifetime.  Her death was quick, unexpected and most certainly painful.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would loose her so suddenly with no signs of illness.  Never did I think I could love her as much as I loved her and never did I think it would be so painful.  I loved her with my entire being and I know for certain that she loved me the same.  We knew each others soul, and yes, I believe she had a beautiful soul.  When I felt sad, she felt my pain.  When I was happy, she was overjoyed.  

It has taken me three weeks to address how much pain I am actually feeling since she died.  I believe everyone in my house feels somewhat the same, as no one speaks about her because it is just too painful.  I had her cremated and her ashes are in a beautiful box alongside a candle that I keep burning, and her paw print that is set in plaster sits next to her ashes in the entry way of my home.  One day I will bury her, but I am not sure yet of her final resting place.  Her life is a beautiful testimony of God's love for us.  God gifted me with her, at the time, I was not sure why, but as I look back, I understand that God knew what he was doing because he knew I would need someone to share my thoughts with, play with and love me unconditionally in this transitional part of my life.  She carried many of my burdens and continued to love me unconditionally everyday of her life.

Hannah was my shadow.  Everywhere I moved, walked or explored, she followed.  When I laid my head down to rest, she too laid next to me, every night for nine years, close enough that I felt her breath and felt her heart beat when I rested my hand on her chest. She ate right alongside me, sitting next to me by my feet.  She walked beside me and swam along side me in my pool.  When I was tired, she would sit and wait for me to have the energy to stroke her head.  She just knew.  She was patient, kind, loving, and polite.  This was the most amazing gift that Hannah was blessed with by God, which was her gift of "knowing" and her gift of giving back to me and to those around her.  She will be most missed.

I am numbed by the pain, but as I try to move forward, God has given me so many wonderful memories of such a beautiful dog (my 5th child).

I loved you Hannah with my whole heart and soul.  I loved you in all the big and small moments of you life.

I believe, one day, in another time and in another place, we will see each other again, and I will listen to your breath and feel your heart and we will be one again.

"Let all that you do be done in love"   1 Corinthians 16:14

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Sometimes it is my desire to just disappear, into silence , and to only be submerged in God's embrace, His peace, His love, to be content in only Him.  It is easy for me to type all of these feelings and or thoughts down on paper, but it is actually hard  for me to just let go and allow God to let me feel His presence.  Often times I feel that these feelings in my mind could only occur in  heaven, because true bliss would only occur in heaven, right?  And, because we are dealing with life here on earth and all the many tugs of war going on in life, this true bliss and contentment with God could not possibly occur here on earth, could it?   The tug of war in my daily life makes it easy for me to NOT listen to His voice and to share in the true contentment of God's embrace here on earth.  And in this darkness of 'whatever' is pulling me in the opposite direction that is surrounding me with doubt,  sometimes this is where I fail to listen to God's voice.  I believe I could win the blue ribbon for this mistake and yet, as I fail each time and repent, I continue to repeat the same pattern over and over.  I need help in the area of listening to God's word.  It is this, the practice of  listening,  that my spiritual director has most recently shared.  She is guiding me to pay closer attention to what God is sharing with me; God IS very present in my life and I need to practice the art of listening. 

It is hard to verbalize my experiences with God because  I, first and foremost, start crying because the encounters are very overwhelming and hard to explain.  Yes, I cry like a baby and then I don't make sense.  I did this the other day when I met with my spiritual director.  I'd start sharing about something, I started crying, which led to something else and then I started crying again which led to something else and on and on.  I get emotional when I open up about how God is so present in my life and even harder when I deny this fact that God isn't listening to me.  I too deny Him, sometimes unknowingly, like Peter.   

When God speaks to me, why don't I listen?  Why don't I recognize God's voice?  And, when I speak to Him, does He listen too?  Is what I have to say to God important enough for Him to listen? And my thoughts and doubts creep in and then I begin to offend the one that I love the most.   

And, this point, thinking that God doesn't listen to me and me not to him,  would be the actual point of my conversation with my spiritual director this week when she commented to me, "And, why wouldn't He listen to you and you to Him, you too are God's child, created in His image and loved most especially by Him".

Sometimes we don't always like to hear what we don't believe and we don't always like to listen to what we hear, especially when we think we know what is best.  Sometimes God comes and puts the brakes on those thoughts and shares something entirely different, it is at this time that we have to listen.  I was told the other day that I need to listen better to God's word.  I was not happy about my directors' comment because I thought I DO listen to God's word.  She pointed out otherwise.....I did not like being told I was wrong. I have much to learn. 

Sometimes I have an impoverished method of praying, at least this is what I think.  I am working on my conversations with God.  I am not only thanking God, loving God and asking God for forgiveness in my prayer, but I am trying to really ask God for what I need, 'supplication'.  This is difficult because it is the word "I" that I struggle with in my prayer.  What I think I need may not be what God thinks I need and who am I to think I know better than God.  

"Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask me anything in My name, I will do it. " John 14:13-14

 "This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him." 1 John 5:14-15

It is in asking that we receive and it is in asking God, and trusting in God, that God will hear our prayers.  I am still a student, learning to refine my prayers.  Adoration, thanksgiving, forgiveness will always be my prayer, but adding supplication to my prayer and listening will be my homework this week and yielding myself to the power of God's grace and meditating on his life will assist me in seeing how much God loves me and how I need to improve in my conversation with God. 

Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. 

"Say, WHAT?  I didn't hear you"?

Sunday, May 31, 2015


St. Michael the Archangel
Defend us in battle. 
Be our safeguard against the wickedness
and the snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, 
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking to ruin of souls.

The picture above is a hand painted picture of St. Michael, painted by an artist in Peru and hand delivered to me to place in my home.  It is in my entry way of my home along with other religious paintings and pictures as holy reminders to all that enter my home.  

I have a St. Michael prayer card on the dash of my car by my speedometer.  By placing this prayer card in my car, I remind myself daily as I enter and exit my car to pray this prayer.  I also have this card on my computer at work, in my prayer journal and of course, the prayer is in my head.  I ask for assistance daily from St. Michael to protect me and my loved ones. 

The devil is sly, cunning, and conniving!  I will take all the help I can get each day to ward off any of his attempts to ruin my soul.  My flesh is weak and often times I allow the temptation to filter in my life.

Lately, I am struggling with fear and worry. First, I have been worrying about my son and his rehab of his most current shoulder injury and surgery.  I really don't know why I am worrying so much because it seems that my son is openly embracing the many changes that have occurred in his life. Maybe, it is my mother instinct to dust them off, bandage them up and continue to protect them as they move along their way and when I can't do this, this facilitates worry. He is 'all grown up' and I am most blessed that God has allowed me to watch him grow up...I still worry. 

Secondly, my granddaughter just 'graduated' from preschool.  What a celebration it was to see her walk across the stage and know that she is going to enter Kindergarten.  But, in the midst of knowing that she is going into kindergarten, it also means that five years have passed and I am now 5 years older, as is she, and the clock is ticking fast....  We are all getting older.......  I should be most blessed that God has allowed me to see her graduate, but my mind wonders about getting old and it scares me. 

Lastly, with the most recent event of my husband losing his job, I fear the unknown and I am quite frankly scared to death.  I have experienced this before and it put many trials on my marriage and in my efforts to continue to have faith.  We both have to work.  We live simply at best, rarely going on vacation, rarely having extras, just enough to be comfortable and to provide for our daily needs. Thank you God. But, the fear of the unknown has crept inside my head and I worry and do not sleep at night.  I am tired of worry. 

I AM....

resistant in what God has placed before me today.  I am resistant to what God expects me to do, which is to place total trust in Him.  I am resistant to think that He is going to help us. I am resistant in knowing that He thinks this is best for us.  I am resistant in loving Him right now because life is not as I had imagined, life is hard, life is not fair and I wish God would make it just a little bit easier for my family. 

I AM RESISTANT in just 'letting go' and accepting the gifts he has for me today. 

The resistance is the Devil's work.  The resistance is my weakness.

I have allowed the devil to beat me down with doubt.

I pray, but I must increase my prayer, because the devil is coming at me with a vengeance. 

I must put on my full armor of God. 

I must resist him, not God. 

Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 

St. Michael, I implore your help to defend me in the battle.... TO RESIST!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Before and After


I've been a little busy lately.  Things keep getting in my way of my writing.  My thoughts however, still remain and sometimes when I don't get them written down, my mind gets overwhelmed with all the things that clutter my mind, it is hard to continue on without being able to share or write or pray on paper. In the evenings, I lay under my covers and shut my eyes to shut out all the distractions and then I just pray.  Sometimes that works for me and other times not so much, especially when my family barges into the bedroom, forgetting to knock and interrupt with questions like, 'hey mom, can I borrow your mascara tomorrow morning?, or 'mom, would you go over my schedule with me?' or 'what is for dinner tomorrow?'.... and on and on...  I admit, I do get very annoyed when they don't knock, as do they when I remind them to knock.

There is always a before and after situation.  Nothing is constant on earth.  Life keeps moving.  What is, is not always.  Ever changing.  Moving. Transition. Transformation. Alteration.....

My son just had shoulder surgery.  What was,will not be the same for him.  He use to swim miles upon end. Moving his arm in a motion above his head repeatedly for hours.  He now can barely move his hand equal to his elbow.

My daughter who has played the violin for over 5 years, (the first two years were painful to hear), but now the most beautiful sounds come from the little piece of wood and she has now chosen to not play due to her increasingly busy schedule.

My husband, once again, has lost his job.  A new 'boss' came into town and released all administration.  He is administration.  He does not have a job.

I wake up each morning thinking and expecting and preparing for what I think I am going to encounter in my day, all the while, God has other plans.   Life is ever changing.

I never know.  He only knows. He has it all planned.  I am His servant.  We are His instruments.

What was before is only temporary.

In the midst of change, I do enjoy helping my son dress his wound, assist him in his inability to manage his daily living skills and to listen to him as he processes the change in his life and watch him watch me love him as I serve him.  This is one thing that will not change, I will server with love.

In the midst of change, I sit and watch my daughter find herself as she moves through life adjusting her schedule and interest that she sees fit.  It is difficult as a parent thinking that we always know what is best for them when they were young, but not always knowing what is best for them as they grow older.  It is in letting go and allowing them to design their life as God sees fit that we fall in love with them all over and over again as they change.  There is one thing that will not change, I love watching her grow into a beautiful young lady.

In the midst of change, I have watched my husband age alongside me. We have been marred for 31 years this month. What was 31 years ago, is not today.  Our lives have changed. His career has changed.  I have supported him.  He has supported us.  I have served him.  I am his wife.  Jobs come and go.  God always provides.  There is one thing that will not change, I will always love him.

I am nervous.  I am anxious.  For what is not and what is to become, I rely on God.

"God, I praise your promise;
in you I trust, I do not fear".  Psalm 56:5
"Happy those whose trust is the Lord,
who turn not to idolatry
or to those who stray after falsehood.
How numerous, O Lord, my God,
you have made your wondrous deeds!
And in your plans for us
there is none to equal you.
Should I wish to declare to tell them
too many are they to recount.
Sacrifice and offering you do not want;
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts and sin-offering you do not require;
so I said, "HERE I AM;
your commands for me are written in the scroll.
To do your will is my delight;
my God, your law is in my heart!
I announced your deed to a great assembly;
I did not restrain my lips;
you, Lord, are my witness.
Your deed I did not hide within my heart;
you loyal deliverance I have proclaimed.
I made no secret of your enduring kindness
to a great assembly.
Lord, do not withold your compassion from me;
may your enduring kindness ever preserve me. 
Psalms 40:5-12

My prayers under my bed covers now include courage to be open to what God will give me today and to accept his gifts openly and with love.

Before and After, the only thing that is CONSTANT, is HIS LOVE.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Keep Rockin' on.....

Today, on Mother's Day, after I went to 7:00AM mass, I went to the grocery store and bought a dozen orange roses and a vase for myself.  I thought they were beautiful and I never buy flowers for myself, but today, I thought 'why not"?  The store was having a special on roses, a dozen for $7.00 and I thought I deserved it, after all, my family didn't bother to get up to go to church with me, there were no flowers for me when I woke up and my children are not really children anymore.  They are grown and the 'Mother's day' thing I thought has probably worn its' course with my family.  My feelings were hurt just a bit especially when our priest asked the families to lay their hands over their mother and pray over them.  I had no one to lay hands on me.  The roses made me feel better, until I got home.

When I got home, my son called and wished me a happy day and he told me he loved me.  I love it when he calls me 'mom' because I love being his mom.  I called my mom and wished her a Happy Mother's day too. Then my daughters and grandchild came into my room and wanted me to go outside, and my youngest daughter was so excited.  She had "present" written all over her face.  I hesitantly went outside to find my rocking chair with a big bow and a vase of flowers and card next to it waiting for me.  My husband had sweat dripping down his face as he explained later, it took a while to assemble this chair together.  I was surprised of my precious gift, but more importantly, the gift that I loved the most was their excitement in giving it to me.  My daughter told me she picked it out.  We all took turns rocking in this wonderful chair.

Both of my grandmothers had a rocking chair and I remember sitting on their laps as they rocked me. I had a rocking chair when I had my four babies and passed it down to my daughter.  So, the thought of another rocking chair was most certainly embraced and I am so excited about the possibility of sitting on my front porch in the morning in my rocking chair drinking coffee and watching the birds and the squirrels.   However, I really underestimated their love for me this day.  Here I bought my own flowers and thought that they were just carrying on as if it was another day.  I always jump to the wrong conclusion and I feel horrible about my thoughts, especially about the fact that I bought my own flowers, this is most pitiful.

As time rocks on, I will be rocking my grandchildren on the front porch with hopes that they will one day have the same beautiful memories that I cherish. It is not so much about the rocking chair, but the beautiful moments we have with our mothers and grandmothers here on earth and the strength and wisdom that we acquire from them.

Mary, our heavenly mother imposes wisdom to all of us when Mary said, "My heart praises the Lord; my soul is glad because of God my Savior, for he has remembered me, his lowly servant!  From now on all people will call me happy, because of the great things the Mighty God has done for me.  His name is holy; from one generation to another he shows mercy to those who honor him.  He has stretched out his mighty arm and scattered the proud with all their plans.  He has brought down mighty kings from their thrones, and lifted the lowly.  He has filled the hungry with the good things, and sent  the rich away with empty hands.  He has kept the promise he made to our ancestors, and has come to the help of His servant Israel.  He has remembered to show mercy to Abraham and to all His descendants forever!"

I will ask my heavenly mother to guide me in sharing the wisdom of our Lord to those that I rock in this white, wooden rocking chair gifted to me this day on Mother's Day.

I will probably never buy myself flowers again on Mother's Day because I know my children won't forget and even if I don't get flowers, their presence is most important gift of all.

You kids Rock!

Now, I'm going to rock on, too!

Sunday, April 26, 2015


We had a few chilly nights this winter, several nights dropping below 32 and of course, since this does not occur as it might up north, I had to take several precautions with my sprouting flowers and plants by covering them up with blankets and sheets to protect them from the freeze.  I was hopeful that the coverings of my plants would benefit their life. I took great care in covering the many plants and placing rocks at the corners of each blanket to hold the covering in place.  I had a few neighbors do the same, those that have taken pleasure in their yards like me.  I was not able to cover all my plants, only the ones that I felt would certainly benefit from coverage.

The bitter night had come and gone and I, being buried in other projects and chores, I left the blankets on for several days to come.  I am sure my neighbors wished I was as prudent in taking off the blankets as I was in putting them on, but I did not take them off until it warmed to 50 degrees.

It was a nasty job removing the blankets.  The blankets with heavy with dew and dust and so I carefully pulled each blanket off so as to not cover myself in the dirt and moisture.  On my last plant that I uncovered, underneath there sat a large snake coiled up waiting to greet me.  It was the perfect warm environment that I had blessed him with and he had made this his home to my surprise.  I was shocked to say the least and most certainly surprised to see him pull his head back to strike at me. I believe we were both in shock at one another's presence.  I, nor the snake moved.  Both of us were measuring each others' position.  I reached into my pocket and took out my phone and snapped a picture.  I am not sure what provoked me to take a picture versus the alternative which would be to run, but I took the picture. The snake did not move.  I then analyzed my placement to the broken branch nearby and reached for the broken pine branch that had fallen off my tree and proceeded to slam the branch down onto the snake only to watch as the branch broke into two pieces and then witness the snake slither back down into the ground.  

I pounded and pounded the ground, again and again, stabbing the earth over and over until I thought there might be a slight chance that I might have killed the snake and that it would never enter my territory again.  All the while, I knew that the snake went way under the earth's surface into its' home, safe and secure, waiting until I reach my hand into the soil again to garden my flowers.

My heart was racing, I was angry at myself for not having a better aim and for not having more power or force to kill the snake.  This encounter with the snake on my turf literally "rattled" my cage.

In retrospect, as I look back upon my encounter with the slithering snake, I am reminded of the evil force, constant wicked and crafty ways of the devil.  The snake is a reminder to me of the spiritual powers of evil and how I must constantly persevere to overcome any temptation that would separate me from God.  I know my God will protect me and give me power over the enemy.

Luke 10:19  "Behold, I have given you the power 'to tread upon serpents' and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you.  Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven."

The snake slithered back into its' hole and I wait in anticipation of the snake striking again.  I will cautiously protect myself physically when I again garden, as well as armor myself spiritually.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The prophetic words

It has taken me some time to gather the courage to write about a conversation that I had with a priest just recently.  I have many instances in my life that I would consider 'miracles' in my ordinary day, all of which I believe God was speaking directly to me regarding my life and my life situations.  I am very open to God and His messages, however this day, I was just not expecting this particular message.

There is no way that I could possibly relay the entire message given to me over the course of the hour that I had this conversation with this priest, but I would like to share or impart part of his message, with the idea that God always does and always will speak to us if we open ourselves to listen to the message.  It is in this conversation that I had with this priest that gave me a new message of Hope and in writing my experience, I offer you a sense of hope, that God is listening and that God loves us dearly.

I would like to share some background information regarding my conversation with this particular priest.  The background information is essential in understanding the divine nature of my conversation with him.

The background information is listed below:
1.  I have never had a conversation with this priest, other than several days prior, we bumped into one another and I asked him to pray for my children.  I then introduced myself to him.
2.  I have never told him anything about my parents, brother or sister or of my own children
3.  I have never expressed to him anything about my 'lost daughter'.
4.  I have never shared with him that I go to Adoration weekly.
5.  I have never shared that I do not like sitting in the chairs at Adoration.
6.  I have never shared how I physically, mentally and emotionally prepare for Adoration each week.
7.  I have never shared about any emotional discomfort and or disagreements that I have encountered over the course of my life regarding my siblings or parents.
8.  I have never share how I pray during Adoration.
9.  I have not shared about my particular prayers regarding my 'lost daughter'.
10.  I have not shared my fears, hopes and dreams with this priest.
11.  I have never gone to confession with this particular priest.
12.  This was the first time I have ever encountered a conversation with this priest.
13.  I have not shared with him the emotional and spiritual struggles that I have encountered in the last four years of my life.
14.  Do you understand?  There is no premise that this priest would have any knowledge about my life, thoughts, prayer life or anything in general.
15.  What did occur in the hour of conversation was a moment with God, expressing to me my most intimate concerns and love for him and my family.

Please read on if you will...

Prior to Easter, our office was booming with visitors, phone calls and numerous staff coming to my desk for various questions.  There had not been a dull moment in my office space and most certainly not at the noon hour. Noon hour was the craziest because people always came in on their lunch hour needing assistance for one thing or another.  This particular priest came to my desk and asked to speak with me.  I told him that I was the only one at the desk, there may be interruptions, but most certainly he had my most undivided attention when there were not interruptions.

He sat down, facing me, and grabbed my hand and held them in his palm.  He closed his eyes and said "I have been praying for you (he said my name)".  I felt an awkward, uncomfortable feeling, if you will, that I in the middle of my office building, for all to see and hear, I was having a conversation with my priest and I was not sure what the conversation was going to entail.  I was distracted, waiting on the next phone call, visitor or staff to appear.  However, it was unusually quiet, no calls, no visitors, no staff and he reminded me that we will not be interrupted.  I found this to be rather funny because I knew this was not going to be true.  I just wanted him to hurry up and say what it was that he had to say.   I looked around and at that moment I noticed that all that staff had left their offices, no calls were lit up on the switchboard and the reception area was vacant.  I thought to myself that this is really weird, spooky if you will.   He brought my thoughts back to him when he reminded me that he wanted to speak with me and that he can not speak to me when my thoughts are wondering and when I am not focused.  He told me to forget about the interruptions, as there would be no interruptions.  He was right, because for a solid hour, there were absolutely no interruptions during my time with this priest.

In the hour that he held my hand, I did not feel the weight of his hand, sweaty palms or anything uncomfortable.  I only felt a sense of peace by his touch.  Once I was focused, the hour conversation felt like 5 minutes.  He often times would close his eyes, taking deep breaths, and there were periods of silence as he was gathering the words to share with me. The uncomfortable feeling at the beginning went away immediately and I had the most heavenly experience ever imaginable.

He began, "I have been praying for you and mostly your daughter "_ _ _ _ _ _". " (I am not sure how he knew her name, but I listened. ) He stated "you always pray for protection for her and this is good, (I do not know how he knew that I pray for protection for her) but I want you to also pray for God's providence for her. It is in God providing for her that she will be well protected.  Your word in your prayers will now be 'providence or provide'.  It is also in God's providence that she will come to know God again and will return."  As he finished this sentence, tears started streaming down my face, I just could not hold in my tears.  He paused and said "my prayer as a mother is strong and my relationship with God is right and God listens to our prayers.  We never know when our prayers will be answered or how they will be answered, but it is in praying that God listens.  God hears your prayers and most certainly hears them about _ _ _ _ _ " (my daughter).

He continues and indicates that I have emotional distress with my family (indicating my parents and siblings).  He indicates also that I have a large amount of love for them, love that they will never understand.  He said my love is like the love of a mother for her children except they are not my children.  He indicates that God loves that I love.  He said that I have been distressed for sometime, back when my daughter was very young and I have carried this emotional stress and the lack of receptive love from my family and have placed this stress upon my children and spouse (he is right, as I have carried the feeling of abandonment from my family for many years)".   He told me "that I can not 'do' what they have 'undone', but the only thing that I can continue to do is to love." He told me "you need to let go of the ones that have hurt me and embrace those that want to love me".

He moved on.... pausing... praying... and holding my hand.

He proceeded in telling me that the Lord loves for me to go to Adoration.  (By the way, I have never told him I go to Adoration, nor have I ever seen this priest in Adoration...)  He shared with me how he wants me to prepare my body when I go to Adoration. (But first, I will share my private ritual prior to going to visit the Blessed Sacrament; My Adoration time is at 7:00PM weekly, and it takes 20 minutes to get there so I leave usually at 6:30PM.   Often times when I come home from work, usually I get home at 5:00-5:15, I make myself a meal, then I love on my dogs, and then take the hottest shower I possibly can to relax my muscles and to put me in a comfortable state, dress comfortably, usually in sweat pants and T-shirt or a long skirt and T-shirt and flip flops.  If it is winter, I take a blanket with me, as well.  I grab my bag with my prayer books, bible, journal and pen.  Then I mosey on to church.  No one, not even my family has any idea what my ritual entails.  I am sure they know the general idea, but most certainly not the details.) So, the priest began by saying, "when you go to Adoration, do not eat first and take a hot shower, take a cold shower then eat a 'lite' snack lastly.  It is in taking a cold shower and eating a lite snack that the body will automatically warm itself back up and certainly leave room for the Lord to feel me with warmth once I arrive at Adoration.  If  you take a hot shower, the body will cool off leaving you cold to God's message".  When I heard the priest tell me this I ask him how he knew that I did this, and he immediately stated "_ _ _ _ _, (my name) I told you that I have been praying for you.  Please listen".  Again, tears welled up in my eyes, my unbelief became belief.

The conversation continued on the subject of my visit  to Adoration. Most recently,  my time in Adoration and my prayer in Adoration has been contaminated with outside thoughts, interruptions and most certainly with lack of focus.  I have been distracted with the uncomfortable seats in the chapel, wishing that I could sit on the floor, but worrying about what others would think.  I also was distracted because my son had called me the evening prior to Adoration asking me to help him write a paper.  And on this note, I thought I would write the paper once in Adoration. I would pray, then sit in quite and begin to write part of his paper.  And, I did just that, ruffling papers and probably distracting the others that were actually there to pray.  The priest mentioned this in our conversation.  He said " why do you ruffle papers in the presence of our Lord?  Why don't you just sit on the floor instead of in the chair. The Lord does not care where you sit and you should not worry what other people think.  After all, it is just between you and our Lord".  He stated  " you must make yourself comfortable when you go before the Lord and in your prayer you will also hear".  He continued to tell me how he wanted me to sit on the floor, how to hold my hands and how to be open to the Spirit.

As my mind started to drift back to the moment of me being in the chapel and my thoughts that he confirmed, he reminded me again to remain focused and to listen to him.  He said to listen to the Lord we have to not be distracted.  We have to give all of our attention to the Lord.

Many other private prayers were shared and discussion took place about my hopes, dreams and most certainly, many  fears and thoughts were confirmed during his prophetic words.  I listened, cried, and hung on to every word he said.  After all, God was speaking, I had to listen.

He told me to write the word 'providence' down on a piece of paper and pray this word over and over.  I wrote it down and stuck it on my computer.  I don't think I will ever forget this word or his words to me this day.

The hour passed in what seemed to be 5 minutes.  There were no interruptions, not even one. There was no one in the office, no calls, no staff, just him and me.

He got up, took a deep breath and thanked me for letting him pray with me.

I was a mess.

My mascara was down my face.

Tears kept streaming down my cheeks.

My nose was all stuffed up.

I was not sad.

I was just in a state of bliss.

He walked off.

I was numb.

The phone rang.

The interruptions began again.

The day proceeded.

The prophetic words were replayed in my head all day long.  I cried on my way home.  I cried telling my family.  I cried because in that particular moment of that day, I had just asked God to please give me a sense of peace about everything.  I had just prayed and was feeling like my prayer was just another prayer, and a prayer unheard, or so I thought.  I needed to know that on this particular day, after a most unsettling prior evening in Adoration (mainly because I was unfocused), that God was at my side, loving me and accepting me with all my flaws.  I needed to know that my prayers were not selfish.  I needed Him to know that I just wanted to do everything that he designed me to do and that I did need His help in doing just this and I just wanted to please Him.   I just wanted Him to love me and for Him to make me feel loved particularly in my bouts of loneliness. In my years of feeling abandoned, I wanted confirmation that He has not abandoned me.    

This day, He fulfilled everything that I needed peace about and this is why there were so many tears.

How could I have ever doubted?

And, this is why I share my story with you today, so that you too will LISTEN to His words.

Please take time to pray, but more importantly, in your prayer, Listen.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Injured Wings

This morning I walked out onto my front porch to find this butterfly struggling to stay on this flower in my flower garden.  I ran inside to grab the camera to take a picture with hopes that I could capture its' beauty and then watch as it struggled to fly away.  We always have butterflies in our front garden, however it seems a bit early this year that they are out so early, so  I was quite delighted to find one to greet me this morning. I snapped the camera quickly.  I wished I had my better camera because I am sure it would have captured the delicate wing structure and its' beautiful color against the purple flower in the background.  At any rate, I am thankful for my quick movement and the butterfly's slow decision to fly away.

If you look closely, you can observe a slight imperfection in the right wing of the butterfly.  The imperfection appears to be an injured wing which is almost certainly why it was struggling to fly.  Although, it appears to be injured, the butterfly continued its' flight path towards another flower and on and on without a slight hesitation to quit and give up.  Its' wounded limb did not stop the butterfly from attempting to and successfully continuing its' flight pattern.  Its' adaptation to the injury and the acceptance of its' injury and its' motivation to not quit amazed me.

I'm not fond of quitting.  I believe if the opportunity exists, the skill is accomplished and the tools are available, take flight, adapt and succeed, but don't quit because of the unknown of tomorrow or something may require extra effort.

I had a long conversation with my son this past week.  He's injured.  He is down, and he is ready to quit. He has let other people place doubt into his mind about his healing, rehab, abilities, enthusiasm, his drive, purpose and his life long dreams.  He has placed himself inside a dark tunnel to which he can not see beyond the darkness.  I, over the course of a week have attempted to share a most positive outlook on the situation and have also attempted to help him see the benefits of an official rest during his healing, rehab and or recovery and future success.  He is too down to listen.  I am most saddened by this turn of events and his attitude of no resolve.

At 4:00 this morning when he left to go back to college, we had a disagreement and an exchange of words.  I have not spoken to him since and most certainly do not regret my words as a mother, but regret the way in which he left.  I prayed for 5 hours that the angels and saints would surround his car until he was safely home because I knew he was not driving peacefully.

We as parents, give our children wings to fly their own path, or feet, so to speak, to walk their own journey.  But, we as parents also want to make sure that they stay on course, with hopes that they do not make any drastic detours that will effect the course of their life.  We want them to understand that sometimes the easy path is not always the path to take because it is in the difficult journeys that we discover who we are, how strong we can become, the wisdom that we will gain along the way and the endurance to endure the hardship of the journey which essentially prepares us for the rest of our life's choices and decisions.

I do not think my son heard me in our conversation. He was determined for me to hear him.  And in our exchange of words, our words were lost in the challenge of hearing and listening to one another.

As a mother, we are intuitive and we place their burdens on our hearts and on our sleeve.  They do not understand how much we love them and want the best for them.  I just wanted to shake him until he understood, but as he stated, it is his life.

I wished my son could have seen the injured butterfly this morning soar through the sky.  The butterfly might have fluttered a bit, not as graceful as most, but it soared, injury and all.

Do you not know
     or have you not heard?
The Lord is the eternal God, 
     creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint nor grow weary, 
     and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny.
He gives strength to the fainting; 
     for the weak he makes vigor abound.
Though you men faint and grow weary, 
     and youths stagger and fall,
They that hope in the Lord will renew their 
   they will soar as with eagles' wings;
They will run and not grow weary,
     walk and not grow faint.
                                          Isaiah 41:28-31

I pray that he makes the right decision.  I pray that he listened.  I pray that he prays.
You give them wings, you have to let them fly......

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Moment of Surprise

Yep, that's my dog. I love every inch of her.  I love all the slobber, hair balls, piles of poop and last but not least, her love.  But today's topic is unfortunately not about my dog.  It is about the expression that you see in this picture, a 'surprised" expression. This expression is what brings me to my prayer writing today and how I felt about a comment made at our Easter dinner table.   

My son brought home a friend from college.  Yep, his roommate.  He is a good roommate/friend to my son.  My son also brought home his dog which is shared with his roommate. I'm not sure what is going to happen with the dog once they graduate from college, but for now, their dog "Lucy" is their loyal companion.   She's cute, but four dogs in my house.... well you get the picture, it is quite busy. Lots of slobber, hair balls, piles of poop and of course, four times the love.  I don't mind the dog or the my son's roommate visiting, all is well.  We don't even think of my son's roommate as a guest, more like family, he blends right in with us.  We hope he accepts us as such.  Gee, I think my son thinks of him as a brother.  Okay, moving on.....

I'd like to think that our Easter was amazing.  We had a marshmallow artillery (archery) battle, we hunted Easter Eggs, (and oh yes, my 20 year old son hunted them too with his 20 year old roommate) and we hunted Easter Baskets, and swung at a pinata.  We had a huge meal, watched lots of movies and took care of dogs, might I add, four dogs....

Once we gathered around our dinner table, we prayed and gave thanks to our Lord and then we began our tradition which is to go around the table, each taking turns, to tell one thing that we are thankful for and one thing that makes us happy today.  We do this routine so everyone will have a chance to share their heart and to keep the conversation moving along and so the conversation does not linger in one direction with one person all the time.  We do have some in our family that would hog the entire dinner table conversation all of the time, and all of us know who it is, and so do they, and we really don't mind after all, I guess.  There is always lots of good information.   This time, at the table however, I asked each person to share one thing that they like about the Easter festivities.  Some said the marshmallow fights, the smashing of the pinata or the attempts of smashing the pinata was mentioned as a favorite, and then finding the Easter baskets and the contents of the baskets were also their favorites.  We finally reached our guest and I asked him what he thought about everything we had done in the past several days and his comment took me by surprise.  He did not mention egg hunting, basket hunting, pinata smashing or the marshmallow fights, but he very thoughtfully mentioned how he thought his favorite part thus far was the fact that all of us came together at the table with the table decorated in the spirit of Easter and shared our thoughts as a family.  This was his treasured moment thus far.  

When our guest mentioned that 'sharing a meal' at the table was his favorite event, I was stunned.  I thought for sure it would have been the marshmallow fight since he was so good at it, but it wasn't.  I looked around the table to see the expression of my family.  I believe we all had a moment of surprise. I also believe that as he thought our dinner table experience was special, I think my family might have taken it for granted.  His comment gave me reason to ponder about what a special blessing we have to be able to gather around the table and to count our blessings.  After all, it all started on Holy Thursday with the Last Supper and sharing thoughts and sharing a meal.  

God wants us to gather as a family, to share thoughts, to share food.  He wants us to form bonds, unity and experience each others day.  Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday gave way to a new beginning in our attempt to come to know Christ better, a new chance to better ourselves with our relationship with God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  With 40 days of reflection, an Easter dinner should be reason to celebrate Christ resurrection and our new life.  

My favorite thing that made me happy Easter day was when my son's friends came to celebrate with our family and the fact that my son wanted his friend to celebrate with us.  I think my son likes our tradition, our sharing and he wanted someone else to share in our table of thanks.  

Thanks son. Thanks roommate. What a wonderful moment of surprise at Easter dinner.