Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Encouraging Words, April 29, 2013

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain.
- Vivian Greene

Ain’t that the truth, Sister?! If it’s not one thing it’s another. You could go on and on with all the little sayings in life, but one thing is sure, we are always trying to get through all the little and big obstacles in life and there are LOTS of them at times. Hence the Encouraging Words!
Dancing in the rain seems to be the norm these days. I’m sure it’s because I’m getting, ahem… a little older and know about more things than when I was a carefree kid just glad it was finally warm and sunny outside!  My hubs and I have decided that what makes us crabby as adults is the wear and tear on us as we have navigated so many years into middle age and have weathered several storms already. In our humanness we are bound to get a little weary and worn from those storms.

But maybe the whole point of getting older is a test to see just how long you can go in life without caving into crabbiness!  I mean this whole blog is about being Young, Fun and Catholic!  I personally think it’s my Catholic faith which helps keep me young and fun and not wanting to give up on hope and trust in the Lord to see us through all the rain.

And rain is good, it waters our souls, it gives us things to be grateful for, because without the trials in life we wouldn’t know we had it so good as kids! It’s the looking back that makes you realize how blessed you have been, lucky and full of God’s love.  Sometimes when you are standing in the middle of the rain storm you realize that life is about rain storms, there are many and sometimes they are flooding, but you can always count on faith to help you paddle about.

My family has a funny story about weathering the pouring rain. About ten years ago we were putting an addition onto our house. During the construction process they had to tear off part of the roof to connect it to the new roof. With the rafters in place all they had to do was lay down the plywood and shingle it. But along came a great black cloud and to this day I honestly don’t know what the workers were thinking aside from, “Let’s get off this roof from the lightning” because they left our house without any protection from the approaching storm, it was open to the rain without a tarp, without the plywood or anything to keep the rain from getting inside.

My husband happened to come home for a late lunch at that moment and it was a good thing too because the skies had opened up and it began pouring, right into our kitchen, our bedroom and in the basement which was carpeted.

I was working as a school secretary at the time and he called me, I grabbed our kids and raced home to help bail water.  The kids got basement duty and my hubs and I struggled in the ensuing storm to nail plastic tarps in place over the openings in the roof.  I have never been so drenched in my life. It was raining so hard it was washing the contact lenses out of my eyes!  My hubs was on a ladder in a shirt, dress slacks, tie and his good shoes nailing down plastic. When we finished that there was so much water on the open subfloor he had to drill holes into the wood to let it drain out.

The kids were grabbing towels sopping up water and putting them through the dryer to use again. It was a family effort!  Afterwards we had some ruined wood flooring in the kitchen, a wet carpet in the basement and a few choice words for the contractor.

Now as we look back it’s funny, but it surely was not a laughing matter when our entire house was at risk of flooding.  But we learned a lesson that day and ever since keep a handy supply of tarp around in case anything needs covering before a rainstorm.

It’s those lessons we learn in life about weathering storms, usually not quite so literally, that help us learn trust and keep us moving forward.  If you can dance in the rain, you will come out of it okay. And the help of family and friends most certainly is important. And my Catholic faith teaches me that no matter what happens God is there with you. Because of original sin bad stuff happens, but God is still there to bail you out!

So don’t get old and crabby! You can’t stop aging, or bad things happening in life, but you CAN change your attitude about all that stuff!  If you can dance in the rain, you can suffer through the storms knowing heaven is still in front of us, waiting to makes us happy!






Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Encouraging Words April 22, 103


Don’t wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel, run down there and light the bloody thing yourself!  -anonymous

   Time for a new week. Time for more positive happy news.  Okay guys bring it on…


   Another week of finding my own happiness to talk about, huh? Are you feeling like that lately? With all the bad things in the news and the news media only talking about the bad things you begin to feel the world is horrible. Well, sometimes it is, but really for the most part people are trying to be good and are helping other people.

    My quote this week focuses on doing…not waiting for others or the news media to report on it, but doing good ourselves, being the light at the end of the tunnel.   If we get nothing out of the events of the past week it should be, look at all of the people who rushed in to help those injured people! And they weren’t just First Responders although each of those people deserves a medal!  But other people helped too.  Why aren’t their names in the news? Why do we even NAME the people who commit these terrible things?

    Let’s begin looking at the good in people, the people who go exploring down dark places and remember to bring a candle, match or flashlight so they can illuminate the way for those following! Are we like them?

    To be a leader these days means having a lot of courage. It takes guts to not only stand up and run into a burning building, a place where bombs could go off, but also to know your values and morals and not be afraid of being make fun of for speaking up or against things that go against those values.  To not be afraid of being considered a “judgmental” person or a non-tolerant person because we believe in certain morals truths.

    That light at the end of the tunnel, the one we help light is there to lead people on the straight and narrow way, not the lemmings falling to their deaths in the sea of moral waste!

   That tunnel in the quote reminds me of a long, unending tunnel I biked through several years ago while on a ‘rails to trails’ path in Southern Illinois.

    My family loves to bike and about ten years ago we packed up the bikes and headed to the Vienna, Illinois bike trail, an old railroad line that had been turned into a walking and biking trail. It’s about nine miles long and it goes through absolutely beautiful country, meadows, woodlands, and crosses bridges with waterfalls and rivers. It is gorgeous! At the northern end of the trail is a tunnel. A very long old train tunnel which, if you were traveling by train, you would get through much more quickly than walking or riding a bike.

   This tunnel had no lights, you went into it like many railroad tunnels where the hill begins to rise up on the sides so there are rocks or timbers holding in the hill as you head toward the entrance of the tunnel.  It almost looks like you’ve entered the point of no return. Once you entered the tunnel, there was a point of no return because it was so completely dark inside you had to keep going forward toward that teeny speck of light, the opening on the other end because if you risked stopping inside the tunnel a myriad of things might happen to you, there were bats overhead and you felt them swooping over your head, the gravel over which your bike tires crunched was a little thicker inside and tended to grab at the rubber throwing you off balance so going forward was the only thing keeping you upright. You realize that you are in a point of no return because claustrophobia sets in and the only way to keep from hyperventilating is to not stop!

    Not all tunnels have lights at the end of them, not all lights at the end of the tunnel will illuminate your way, but sometimes if you are stuck in a tunnel you may have to keep going and light the way for yourself and others. It may not be a tunnel you want to go down, kind of like paths in life. We are forced into certain situations whether of our own making of someone else’s but we find ourselves having to be the ones to help get us and everyone else out. Keeping our heads and trusting God to guide us is the only way to keep going forward, keep speaking out, keeping being the moral truth-teller in this world and to help celebrate the other people who rush in to bad situations to help!  I want to be that person who helps!




Friday, April 19, 2013

Encouraging Words April 15, 2013

“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Essayist and Poet


I found this quote especially applicable this week as we seem to be hearing about one tragedy after another in our country.  It’s hard to write about encouraging words without sounding trite at times like these, but we really do have to remember that God is always with us during these times. And to remember that it isn’t God that brings on these tragedies, sin and the choice of Adam and Eve for us to have to live with the consequences of sin is what makes mankind’s behavior so awful at times.


But God did promise that He would be by our sides during these times and we can see His work among the hundreds of good people who help those hurt or injured and among the prayers that so many of us are pouring upon all those victims in these tragedies.  Please keep praying for our country.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I Love This!

From Happy Catholic's blog:  She is commenting on a passage from "The Gospel of Mark" Edited by William Barclay:

There is a very lovely thing here. In the gospel itself, "Maid! Arise" is "Talitha Cumi," which is Aramaic. How did this little bit of Aramaic get itself embedded in the Greek of the gospels? There can be only one reason. Mark got his information from Peter. For the most part, outside of Palestine at least, Peter, too, would have to speak in Greek. But Peter had been there; he was one of the chosen three, the inner circle, who had seen this happen. And he could never forget Jesus' voice. In his mind and memory he could hear that "Talitha Cumi" all his life. The love, the gentleness, the caress of it lingered with him forever, so much so that he was unable to think of it in Greek at all, because his memory could hear it only in the voice of Jesus and in the very words that Jesus spoke.
The Gospel of Mark
(The Daily Bible Series, rev. ed.)
I love it too, and it's beautiful to think about Peter remembering these words of Jesus.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Encouraging Word April 8, 2013

"Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible. "

~ Cadet Maxim

…and be defiantly thankful!  Yes, thankful for the adversity in your life, when others put you down because you stick up for your moral values, be grateful for their taunting. When others ask you to join in something you know is not right, and you refuse, be grateful for the test.

   For without adversity we learn nothing. Without testing, we fail. Without questions, faltering, or temptations we are falsely lead to thinking life is easy. We get spoiled. Then something comes along and knocks us flat on our behinds. 

   When I was in my twenties and thirties I thought if you just lived as you ought, everything should work out, be okay. If you are sick, you get well; if you get hurt it won’t be a lot. Now in my fifties, I finally see life is not about avoiding all those things. It’s about building your faith to the point that WHEN those things happen you will trust in God to see you through it.  

Jesus was tempted by the devil to give up all his suffering and enjoy a kingdom here on earth. We too are tempted by the devil to the very same thing. Give up moral values, live temporary in this life and get all your want. Whether it’s greed, all the sex we want with whomever, all the drug taking, fast life choices, and never, ever paying any gratitude to the one Creator who put us here.

   But Jesus didn’t take that bribe.  Jesus, while carrying a hundred pound cross, fell three times. He was God, why did He fall? Why didn’t angels just hold that up for him?  Could it be He was showing us how to get up every time we fall? That’s we can always look to God to help us when we fall?
   While getting lashed with  nasty bone crushing whips, Jesus hung on, didn’t die on the spot, but waited for more horrors lashed on the cross to die, he didn’t give up until it was time, until he knew he had finished His mission on earth; to offer himself up as a sacrifice for sin.

How can we hear the story of Jesus and not think of what he did for us? How can WE not do more for others, for ourselves, by living a moral, value filled life after what He did? We don’t want to be made fun of, yet He was. We don’t want to suffer, yet He did.  And it was all for us, not one iota was for himself.

   People made fun of him for risking more than what was safe, for caring more than others thought wise, for dreaming of His Father in heaven who knew and loved Him. And Jesus left behind 11 apostles whom He expected to carry on His Father’s church on earth and even expected Peter, who had denied Him three times, the power to get people to heaven.

   Risk more than others think safe, care more than others think wise, dream more than others think practical and expect more, both out of others and out of yourself because, my friend, we are on a journey that does not end in this life.  It’s not all about what I want in life. It’s about looking forward to a better place where all the trials are gone and life goes on forever!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Encouraging Words April 1, 2013

“I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah” ~ David, King of Israel & Judah


Yesterday, while leading a Communion Service with some of the students of our parish grade school, I had a most embarrassing moment. At least from my point of view it was.  I was proclaiming the gospel, the one where Mary Magdalene had come to the tomb and could not find Jesus. Then when she turned, she saw two angels and there stood Jesus. But she didn’t recognize Him until He spoke her name.

While reading the part where she recognized him, I began crying.

I cannot explain why this happened except I was so caught up in the thought of losing Jesus then finding Him again that I broke into tears.

While I was hoping the students and adults sitting in the pews would think I had just lost my voice for a moment from the same allergies plaguing all of us this season, it wasn’t until today, while reading an article on Catholic News Agency that I know what happened.

Pope Francis, during his short homily on the very same gospel I read that day, was telling the faithful to “Pray for the gift of tears” to see the Risen Christ, just like Mary Magdalene.

Suddenly I began crying again. I should not have been embarrassed when that happened to me yesterday, I had received a gift from Jesus!  I was awestruck.  It’s one of those moments you want to shout to everyone around you, “Oh my gosh! Listen to this! This happened to me!”  And yet, even though I work in a parish office, I felt funny calling attention to myself about this, it felt self centered.  So while I write this to you in this blog, I’ll figure out how to inform my office mates because I don’t want to hide a God moment from anyone. Like miracles, we need to share God moments in our lives to help each other on our faith journeys.   Thanks for sharing in my God moment!