Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Marriage, Marriage is What Brings Us Together...Today

  Because I myself am married, when I run across articles that sound interesting concerning marriage I try to read them. I found one today as I was reading a website called ,"Catholic Link" and I liked this article so much I'm linking it here.  It's about the Wedding at Cana and Jesus miracle of the water turned to wine.  But what is most interesting is it is written by a priest who discovered the reason why the image of marriage is so frequently used in the bible.  Here is just a short excerpt :

"In all sincerity, married couples impress me with their courage and they are teaching me what it means to give one’s life for the other. I’m always left marveling at their desire to gamble their lives for the sake of another’s: another that can always change, betray, fail. To marry is to put limits on one’s life: allowing the other person to become a boundary for me. To marry is to diminish oneself in order to make room for another. It is to accept being pulled out of our own radical egoism every day. In other words, to marry is to incarnate love!"

Many married couples may not see their marriage in this light, and yet it is true, marrying another forces you to think less selfishly, at least that's how it's supposed to be.   The whole idea of marriage is two people joining with God to become a family. Even if they are not blessed with children, they are still a complete family.  The team of God, husband and wife is an unstoppable superhero force.  There's a very good reason God created man and woman because they go so well together with Him.  Kingdoms ruled by a King AND a Queen usually ran for the better because all the aspects of helping your subjects were covered, what the man doesn't think of the woman does, what the woman overlooks, the man remembers.  The God, Man and Woman team is an awesome power.

  If you get a chance, go check out the entire article!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How Moms Were Made

I ran across this this morning, I don't know who the author was, but I know my dad gave me this copy when I was a young mom and I thought it was I am sharing it with you. If you are a mom or know a mom, pass it along.

How Moms Were Made
   By the time the Lord made mothers, He was into the sixth day working overtime.
   An angel appeared and said, "Why are you spending so much on this one?"
   The Lord answered, "Have you read the spec sheet on her? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic, have 200 movable parts, all replaceable, run on black coffee and leftovers; have a lap that can hold three children at one time and that disappears when she stands up. She must have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart and have six pairs of hands."
   The Angel was astounded at the requirements, "Six pairs of hands? No way!"
   The Lord replied, "Oh it's not the hands that are the problem. It's the three pairs of eyes that mothers must have!"
   "And that's on the standard model?" asked the Angel.
   The Lord nodded, "Yep, one pair of eyes to see through the closed door as she asks her children what they are doing even though she already knows, another pair in the back of her head are to see what she needs to know even though no one thinks she can. And the third pair are here in the front of her head. They are for looking at an errant child and saying that she understands and loves him or her without even saying a word."
   The Angel tried to stop the Lord, "This is too much work for one day, wait until tomorrow to finish."
   "But I can't," the Lord protested, "I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart. She already heals herself when she is sick AND can feed a family of six on a pound of hamburger and can get a nine year old to stand in the shower!"
   The Angel moved closer and touched the woman, "But you have made her so soft, Lord."
   "She is soft," the Lord agreed, "but I have also made her tough. You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish."
   "Will she be able to think?" asked the Angel.
   The Lord replied, "Not only will she be able to think, she will be able to reason and negotiate."
   The angel then noticed something and reached out and touched the woman's cheek. "Oops, looks like you have a leak with this model. I told you that you were trying to put too much in this one."
   "That's not a leak," the Lord objected, "That's a tear."
   "What's the tear for?"
   The Lord replied, "The tear is her way of expressing her joy, her sorrow, her disappointment, her pain, her loneliness, her grief and her pride."
   The Angel was impressed. "You are a genius, Lord. You thought of everything for this one. You even created the tear."
   The Lord looked at the Angel and smiled, "I'm afraid you are wrong again, my friend. I created the woman, but she created the tear."

Monday, January 18, 2016

We Are What God Made Us

I am borrowing from fellow Catholic blogger today, Julie Davis over at Happy Catholic, a quote she had from Caryll Houselander.  I thought it really described my mood the last several days and helped me over the edge of disgust with myself:

"There is one big thing we can do with God's help, that is, we can trust God's plan, we can put aside any quibbling or bitterness about ourselves and what we are.

We can accept and seize upon the fact that what we are at this moment, young or old, strong or weak, mild or passionate, beautiful or ugly, clever or stupid, is planned to be like that. Whatever we are gives form to the emptiness in us which can only be filled by God, and which God is even now waiting to fill."
                                                                               Caryll Houselander
Because you see we all have one or several of those days when we feel we're just not getting it right; getting what we are supposed to be, what God wants us to be, or even what we think we are.  Sometimes it's a fight to just get up in the morning!
  Yesterday was just that day for me. I was going to teach my Confirmation class all on my own, my own way and I was looking forward to it. I had everything ready; my lesson plan, activities, enthusiasm...and I fell flat.  Yes, flat. I have no idea what happened. I began my lesson and instantly I knew it wasn't there, 'it' being whatever was supposed to burst out of me from the Holy Spirit and inspire my talk.  I had prepared, I had prayed.  I have no idea what happened. But 'it' didn't happen.  I felt like I was drowning, my head kept bobbing up to the surface for air, but I wasn't getting anywhere.  It reminded me of my panic when, during my family's trip down the Arkansas River in Colorado, two of my kids and I were thrown out of the raft we were riding in.  Thankfully my two kids surfaced right away but I got stuck under the boat and it took me few more seconds to get to the surface.  My talk was beginning to feel like that feeling I had under the boat, panicked, struggling for air.   Come on Holy Spirit, what am I doing wrong? By the time class ended I was exhausted, near tears and never wanted to teach a class again.  I felt I had failed God miserably. 
  There are times when even if we're in the place God wants us to be, we still aren't going to get things exactly right at least in our way of thinking. But we have no way of knowing what His plan is for us or how He is going to use us.  We just have to keep going, doing His work and hope He can make the best out of what we have to offer.  It's hard not to feel like giving up, yet we cannot do that. Just like Jesus, we follow the Father's call and do what He asks.  It's not up to US to make it useful, that's God's doing. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thy Will Be Done

From St. Teresa of Avila:
  There is no danger, brothers and sisters that when you say to God, 'they will be done.' that you will be showered with riches or pleasures or great honors or any earthly good. God' s love for you is not so lukewarm.
God places a higher value on your gift, wishing to reward you generously since you have been given a share in the heavenly kingdom even in this life.

  Would you like to see how God treats those who say this prayer without reservation? Ask Jesus who in the garden uttered it truthfully and resolutely. You will see my brothers and sisters, what God gives to those he loves best.

  See the prayer of Jesus answered with trials, sufferings, insults, and persecutions until at last his life ended on the cross.

  These are heaven's gifts in this world and God grants them as a sign of affection for us- to each of us according to the courage and the love we bear for God.
  Fervent love can suffer much, tepidity very little. For my part, I believe that our love is the measure of the cross we bear.

Let me not forget how God answered the prayers of his own son.

My Mission...

Getting everyone to Heaven is the mission I’ve been charged with.  He didn’t say it would be easy. At times I’m not even sure  if I can get myself there much less anyone else. But it’s a mission I’ve been given...I have to keep trying… Some day I want to be able to say: Mission Completed!”


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Chase Away the Dark Clouds

  Do you ever have one of those days when seems like a dark cloud is hanging over your head? When you feel down, sad, almost despairing for no reason?  Those days make it hard to get your faith mojo going, like that little devil is sitting on your shoulder whispering how little you are, what good is what you do?
  What is the solution to one of these days? Pray, pray, pray. I know that sounds simple and it truly is not because sometimes the last thing you feel like doing during one of those days is praying, because that dark cloud sitting on your shoulder is whispering, "why bother?"
  Chase that dark cloud off your shoulder, away from your head and look up to the heavens and pray. And keep praying. One little prayer is not enough to chase away the dark moments.
  Yesterday was such a day for me, yet I kept bugging God to help me through it. I was praying Hail Mary's all day long. By the end of the day I felt the darkness finally lift. 
  Don't ever give up or give in to those dark clouds, don't let them take over your thoughts. Don't give up until the scales fall from our eyes and we see the brightness of God's love again. It's is there, but the storm clouds overshadow it sometimes.  Finding the opportunity to get to confession can help too because that sacrament assures us of God's love and mercy for us.  Whatever you do, don't give up or give into the darkness, never, ever!

  God loves you and so do I.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Spreading the Gospel of Love and Joy

  Last week in addition to all the holidays activities, my husband and I were invited to a very special dinner.  My husband teaches at our local university and is well loved by his students.  Because our own children are still close to that college age, my husband understands the power of listening to his students and being compassionate and understanding.  It was precisely because of those qualities we were invited to this family's home last week. This family has three daughters and one son in college and the three daughters were all in several of my husband's classes.  Their parents flew in to attend the graduation of the son and one of the daughters.
  We had never been invited to the home of any of his students before so this was something new to us, oh and in case I didn't mention, they are of the Muslim faith from Saudi Arabia.  What cultural differences would await us? Were we dressed appropriately, bringing the right hostess gift, how do we introduce ourselves to their parents and shake hands or not?
  We should not have worried. All of our nervousness disappeared when one of their sons met us outside in the driveway practically jumping up and down from excitement of our presence.  We were ushered in with hugs and smiles, laughter and hand shaking. We were introduced to their older brother, littlest sister and then to dad and finally mom.  It was like being at the home of our own family.
  While the children spoke English very well, Dad and Mom did not so everything had to be translated throughout the evening. But that did not stop us from sharing wonderful, parenting moments. It was one of the most beautiful evenings I've ever experienced with total strangers.  We shared a meal sitting on the floor around a beautiful setting of Saudi Arabian dishes including chicken and rice, fresh salad, baked vegetables, potato/carrot soup and joy. They wanted to know about our family and our children. We all nodded in commiseration at how hard it was to have kids so far away from home and how much you worry about them.  They shared movies and pictures of Saudi Arabia and what it is like living there. They wanted to know all about our martial arts school and how we began in martial arts which led to a hilarious story about us dating.  As one of sons began to translate my husband's story to his father, he was laughing so hard we all began laughing at him trying to translate and crack up at the same time. 
  It was very late before we  pulled ourselves away from the laughter and warmth of that home that evening. At the very end of the evening as we said our thank you's I handed out several of my hand knit bears to the girls.  They were a hit not only with the girls but with Mom and Dad too. They were proud their children had made such a great impression on us.  We were touched that they showed us so much love and hospitality.  I thanked God that we could share such a beautiful evening with a family who despite our language, culture and faith differences, showed that family love brings us all to common ground.  That is truly what God wants us to have for one another. 

Smiling Goal

  My goal this new year is working on smiling! I have a wonderful smile but I forget when I go out into the world to wear it more often. If we are Young, Fun and Catholic we must also Smile!  What attracts people to faith more than if they see you happy in your own faith?  So get on that smile everyone!  It's the next step in bringing civility to the world!!!!