Monday, October 30, 2017

Grandbabies...

So with only a few weeks to go, I've been talking to my grandbaby already much to the dismay of my daughter who doesn't appreciate when I talk to her child via the womb. Why?  Because, and I have to laugh, really hard, when I say, "Hey Baby!  Grammy loves you! How are you?" My dear little grandchild begins jumping and kicking her momma like crazy. She is so excited to hear her Grammy's voice!  I can't hardly help myself to 'see' her get so excited to hear me say, "I love you!"
  But my daughter is less enthused at times especially after a long day of Braxton Hick contractions and the baby stretching and thumping in an ever close binding space.  She'll stick her hand out with another hand on her belly and say, "Please, Mom, don't."   I just sigh and try to behave.  But then the imp in me takes over and I have to remind my own daughter that it was she who permanently bruised my lower right rib by her incessant kicking while SHE was in the womb.  I know it's a cheap shot to play, but hey don't I get something?  All I want to do is remind my grandbaby I love her even before she is born.  "There's plenty of time for that AFTER she's born, Mom," my daughter reminds me.  I chuckle and agree.  But as she gets ready to leave our house I can't resist one more, "Grammy loves you!" and I wrinkle my nose and smile sweetly at my daughter as she doubles over grunting once again getting kicked in the spleen, "And I love YOU too, sweetie!"   'Thanks Mom, love you too."

Friday, October 13, 2017

Little Ditty

I’ve been playing this song a lot lately. It’s not a song anyone would really know except its author. But I like it.  I like it not because it has wonderful lyrics; it’s just a melody with no lyrics. I love it not because it’s a beautifully orchestrated piece of art; it’s a simple melody played on a kiddy piano and ukulele.  I love it because of its simplicity. It reminds me of being a child playing one of those little toy pianos and the ukulele reminds me of Hawaii, a state I’ve never been too but have heard about and seen so much in photos. 

What this piece of music does for me is lift me up.  Hard times seem to come crashing in more and more these days, worries, anxieties and fears.  And this little simple song reminds me of peace and lightheartedness, much like hearing that first robin in the spring singing out his lungs because he’s just figured out how to build his first nest!

It reminds me that I need to rely on Jesus to get through my day, that I need to forgive those rushing around me from their angry honks, gestures, weaving in and out of traffic. It reminds me to smile when seeing a squirrel crossing the road overhead on high wires and actually praying that he makes it safely.

It reminds me of my children playing in the backyard when they were young and of me playing in my own backyard when I was young.   You can never be too old to remember those things and smile. 

Oh! Yes, and it reminds me to smile.  It lifts my eyebrows, moves my shoulders back and forth and waggles my head.   It gives me inspiration in a world that threatens to scare away all inspiration, creativity and joyfulness.

That’s why I love this song.  It reminds me of my kids and their playfulness and how I still need to be playful and fun and happy.  Thank you, little song…for being a very beautiful, inspirational piece of art for the cost of $1.29 which lifts my soul, makes me hum along, think happy and pray for the world.

 

‘Make It Shine’  by Sophonic Media

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Forgiveness


‘Forgiveness is an act of the will and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.’ Corrie ten Boom

Have you ever wondered what the difference was between St. Peter and Judas?  Both of them betrayed Jesus, yet only one sought out forgiveness and became a great leader and shepherd of the Church. Only one was humble enough to approach the Lord after the Resurrection and meekly say, “I do believe, Lord.” And Jesus forgave him by asking him three times, ‘do you love me?’

 The power to ask forgiveness is not talked about much in the news these days.  People yell and scream at each other, no body apologizes.  We hurt someone’s feelings, no body apologizes.  People think it’s their right to say what they want, to kill with words or guns and it’s their right to free speech to not worry about how it hurts another person.   It’s almost like apologizing has become like a plague we must avoid. It would mean we were wrong, that we have to lower ourselves, demean ourselves, and God forbid admit we might have been wrong.

 Yet when nobody apologizes, we die inside.  Little by little we become hardened and our souls darken, getting dirtier and it gets easier to do more wrongs and be more hurtful.

Do we think we have to beg to receive mercy?  All Peter did was answer Jesus question, the same question three different times asked by Jesus. ‘Peter do you love me?’

It does take humility to be forgiven or to ask forgiveness.  It takes even more fortitude and heart to forgive someone who hasn’t even said they were sorry, yet Jesus did that too right from the cross. ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.’

 Some people do it too, without asking for an apology, without closing their hearts. They just forgive, because that’s what Jesus did.  Members of a church did it in South Carolina. They forgave a man who murdered nine members of their church community.  They forgave a man who had been so filled with hate that he killed nine people who had invited him into their bible study group.  Yet he received forgiveness.  I am positive these people in this church were still hurting, still grieving over the nine lost members, yet somehow they realized that by being like Jesus and giving forgiveness it would help them to heal.

Do we think we are better than Jesus when we don’t ask forgiveness, when we don’t forgive someone who has hurt us deeply?  Forgiveness is an action that has ramifications far beyond how it makes us feel. It’s like ripples in a pond when someone forgives another person.   It’s like the sun shining out following a tornado, or a bright colorful rainbow peeking out from the storm clouds to signal to the entire world that God is there and everything is okay.  Because someone forgave, and someone said they were sorry.

Good Will Always Win


As a mother of adult children in these days of civil unrest, natural upheavals and general mass confusion about what is safe and right in this world, I find myself turning again and again to our Lord to ask, how do I help my family and my neighbors to be safe?  How do I help souls get to Heaven?

 There is so much anger and shouting in our country right now, so many tears being shed, so many lives being upended by natural causes and  by a human lack of respect that sometimes I find myself scared of what each day may bring. 

  I’ve grown up in a life of faith, always secure that God loved me.  Sometimes I haven’t understood that even though God loves me, bad things may happen in my life to me or loved ones, but somehow I still know He loves me.  I know many people don’t feel that way. Maybe they’ve never been shown the love of a secure family life, had relatives and friends behave loving and caring. I was truly blessed.  As a lover of history,  I have read about the beginnings of our country and other countries.  Freedom always comes with a price.  The price is sacrifice, worry, anxiety and not having things perfect.  Politics change, people change back and forth,  good people hurt, bad people get ahead, but through all of the history of the world, one thing was always constant:  our Creator was always there, people, maybe not ALL people, but many people kept the light of faith alive.  Sometimes they were killed for it.  Sometimes they were enslaved because of it, sent to prisons, restricted in some way, but they still lived their faith.  Sometimes they sought out other new lands or countries to live in and not always found freedom there either. But they held strong. 

The point is, they didn’t give up knowing God loved them. And we cannot give up that knowledge either.  No one, not some random killer in a hotel room, not a rapist, not gangs of rioters,  angry mobs, underground drug rings, uncivil and unethical political leaders, no one can take away God’s love for you and for me.  When people ask where is God when this evil happens,  we need to answer, in those helping during those times.  God is in the people running to help those hurt, to help others escape. God is in the people who remind us that God loves us, and evil will never win.

Each day I wake and ask God to watch over my family and my friends. I ask that each of them always feel God’s love for them and I pray that knowledge helps them in their lives to not give in to believing evil can win. It cannot.  When we give in, evil flourishes and good people run away instead of running into the fight.  We must keep running into the fight each day, believing and knowing good will always win because God loves us.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Fight Evil; Love Your Neighbor

  Evil, that's what is going on in this world and especially right now in our own country. We need to call it for what it is.  Totally evil instigated by Satan.  But we can fight evil. We can't stop it from happening but we can stop it from hurting our souls by praying and staying close to God.  There is a good reason the Blessed Mother is asking us to pray the Rosary every day. It helps us stayed centered on her Son and to focus on God and not our anger.  It's hard to not get angry about all the evil that is happening. And while our anger may be justified letting ourselves stay angry does not help anything at all, especially not own souls.  We can help ourselves as well as others by calming down and praying. Prayer is the best and most important thing we can do in a crisis. Not all of us are called to be First Responders nor are we in a place where we can physically help. But we ARE all First Prayer Responders.
  So remember to Fight Evil by loving your neighbor. Stop the hate and anger. Calm down. Pray for everyone affected by a crisis.  And Love Your Neighbor. Pray.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Good Night Lights!


Want some good news in the world?  Read about "Good Night Hasbro Children's Hospital" where the town of Providence RI joins in every night to assure the children in the hospital that people are caring about them and thinking of them!


http://www.rimonthly.com/video-good-night-lights-at-hasbro-childrens-hospital/

https://www.hasbrochildrenshospital.org/good-night-lights

Civility Still Matters


All of civility depends on being able to contain the rage of individuals  -   Joshua Lederberg

 Maybe contain is a strong word; keep at bay, reduce to a minimum, reduce, because at any one moment in this world there are things that cause us to lose our cool, and yes, maybe even have some rage in our lives. There are times when it seems impossible to expect all of humanity to not be raging at something, especially when wars are going on, the weather has caused a multitude of problems as well as other human beings not acting so, well, human. 

The thing to remember, in working on our civility, is that trying counts. None of us is perfect. We don’t have to be perfect. We leave that to God. But we are asked to try to be better people, to work on being civil toward each other.

 I can’t help but think, that as a Christian, reading and listening to the scriptures, that we are supposed to be focusing on that whole LOVE thing. Not the free love of sex with whomever, whenever, but the love of looking and listening to the world and knowing we are still on a journey to something better, that this is life is not all there is. 

We’re always being told that we need fame, fortune and we need it now. It is so easy to get sucked up in that pursuit. But I was listening to a Rascal Flatts tune the other night called, “Mayberry” and it reminded me too of days not long ago when life was slower, stores weren’t open on Sunday, you could sit outside and listen to the crickets and not be interrupted by the sound of loud leaf blowers, lawn mowers, your neighbor’s car stereo or perhaps worse of all your cell phone beeping.

Containing our rage or even just reducing it comes about by finding peace in our lives, having the strength to love everyone, and knowing that with all the bad things going on in our world, there is a better world we will enter someday. Look through your history books, people were always managing through horrible wars, leaders who went control crazy, people who made slaves of each other or debased them, hedonistic living. There were still people living with love and carrying on the spiritual aspects of life and helping others learn it.

Trying to be civil means holding on to that peace and happiness of knowing that God is always there. We always have Him to turn to even if elections don’t turn out the way we want or bad people abound and scare us, nature gets really crazy and destroys things.

Rascal Flatts Mayberry