Thursday, October 8, 2015

Those AHA Moments in Life!

One of my daughters, gave a talk at a retreat several years ago that I thought was so wonderful, I wanted to share it again with you. She had an awesome way of looking at the things in life that reminds me to look at things good and bad in a different way and to not take your faith for granted. Here she is talking to her peers about that very thing:


I’ve always had a pretty strong faith life and have loved having this solid base and direction for my life and decision-making. Until not too long ago, though, I really thought I was missing something or doing something wrong. See, I had never had that one big “Aha!” moment. You know, that huge experience that suddenly puts everything in your life into perspective and completely recreates you?

Well, one sunny day, I was lounging outside between my college classes with my Cherry Coke. It was one of those rare moments when I felt like the absolute only thing I had to do right then was to be right there under the gorgeous blue sky. It was like God had reached down His hand and scooped up all my worries and stress, and there was no way He was going to let me ruin that beautiful day with any black clouds of my own. It was right then I had this sudden realization, a baby, Aha, you could say, that everyone’s faith is different, and unique and I’m not doing anything wrong just because I hadn’t had a giant Aha moment. I DO experience Aha moments, in mostly smaller, daily ways, like sitting on a bench, enjoying the sun. So as I sat there, I slowly started remembering other little Aha moments in my life:

I’m 3 years old and get my finger stuck in Mom’s sewing machine trying to see how close I can get the needle to my skin: Aha, listen when Mom warns you!

I’m 12, looking forward to a new baby cousin when my aunt has a miscarriage: Aha, WE do not always have perfect plans.

I’m 14 and in the 8th grade when one of my best friends and her entire family dies in a plane crash, causing my classmates and me a nauseating, disbelieving, confusing pain we’ve never felt before: Aha, I will not always understand.

That same year, my grandma has a series of paralyzing strokes leaving her confined to a wheelchair, her right side paralyzed: Aha, I do not always have total control.

I’m 15, learning to drive and back into a storm drain during my first driving lesson: Aha, I can pick myself up after mistakes and move on AND, curbs are a good thing!

I’m 17 when my Dad gets downsized from his job and I instantly dislike the person in charge of personnel: Aha, hate solves nothing!

I hesitantly experience a TEC retreat for the first time and leave on an excited, refreshed high: Aha, God loves surprises!

This summer I became a Eucharistic Minister at church: Aha, God is SO present He gives me shivers.

The guy I want to continue dating gives up his partying lifestyle so he can be with me: Aha, people CAN change and I am worth that change!

August 29, my Aunt gives birth to a perfect baby girl, four months prematurely: Aha, life is a beautiful struggle.

Not long ago, one of the most truly amazing men I have ever been blessed to know suddenly dies of a stroke, only halfway through his life: Aha, I cannot take a single person or moment for granted.

Don’t ever be afraid or feel inadequate for never having a single, gigantic moment in your life where your faith is perfectly, permanently connected, because faith is the constant journey of us becoming better, always learning and God always teaching. The experiences, both joyful and painful, that we go through shape us and show us how God is molding us more than one Aha moment ever could. All we have to do is let Him scoop those worries and troubles into His hand and realize He helps us through even through toughest times if we just let Him. He wants us to let Him be in control so we can see all those little Aha’s!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Everything Old is New Again...

I ran across this article again from my Civility Days and thought it was worth visiting again: 

  Civility in dress; I had a hard time finding a quote that fit this. “Modesty is important because it is that which protects the castle, yet it is also the frame that enhances the picture.”
   Why am I on this modesty kick? I know my daughters roll their eyes every time I bring this up, because they hear it so often. But when you have girls, it seems you are constantly having to help them battle the Fashion Attack where dresses, tops, prom gowns, and wedding gowns have gone way too far in the revealing side of our bodies.

   So, dear sisters this week’s Civility Lesson is on being civil in body and spirit! When we treat our bodies civilly we dress not just for comfort, but for the comfort of other people’s eyes!  If we lead men into temptation because of the way we dress or aren’t dressed, then shame on us! You see, it’s a known fact that guys are guided by what they see. Women are guided by not only what they see but what they feel. It’s that whole “sensitive side” we sometimes wish guys understood better!
   And forget arguing about it, it’s just the make up of DNA and genetics at work here and I’m not about to argue with nature.  Be it enough to say that guys react more to things they see and women don’t. You can look that up somewhere else.
   For now, as women, if we aren’t into sewing our own clothes, we are at the mercy of fashion designers who want to make us all look like ladies of the evening.  I have hardware I don’t want anyone but my husband to see. Why would I advertise that to the world?  If I want to act civilly to other men I am not going to flaunt myself in low tops or high skirts.  Even if you are not married why would you flaunt your hardware to just any guy you are meeting on the street?  Prudence would say that was not wise given that statement above about guys and them acting on what they see.  You don’t want that.
   Plus, there’s the whole living like a Christian thing which states we should not lead others into temptation.  In fact, Jesus says those who DO lead others into temptation should have a millstone tied to their necks and be drowned.  Yeowch!!!  That’s enough to scare me into covering everything up!
   While,  yes, men should have enough self control and most of them do, to just “not look” at you when you are wearing something way too revealing is that really fair? Why should they have to be the ones to “not look”.  We make up laws that say you can’t smoke in certain places because we don’t want smell it or reek of smoke, we make up laws that say you can’t kill each other or drive drunk.  Do guys need a law that says, “Hey, don’t dress that way, it’s hard for me to remain a gentleman when you are dressed like that.”
   Bringing back a civil society begins with our dress, our manners and how we, as Christians present ourselves to the outside world. Whether it’s in our cars not yelling at bad drivers or not humming in line at the grocery store or not dressing in a way that says we’re something we’re not, has to begin with you and me. If we take back civility in every way, then we become as human beings something much closer to what God intended us to be. It will be easier to love each other and help us all on the road to Heaven.