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Archive for the ‘struggles’ Category

How does the act of praying for others become vainglory for me? This isn’t a decision I make, or even notice as it is happening. I love praying for others. I really do — I can’t wait to have a quiet moment to say a rosary for the Christians being attacked in India and Iraq. I love to petition our Lord for others in need.  I love to feel like I am working with the Body of Christ and praying in union with so many others for the greater good. I especially love when I see God answering prayers. Either wanted or unwanted answers, either way I love to see his work being done — it may be a joyful answer to prayers or a sorrowful answer to prayers. Either way, his will is what I want.

Did you notice how many times I said “I” in the last few sentences! Lately I have been praying for an understanding of suffering and to understand humility more. God is good and smacked me 🙂

I went to an Abortion Clinic to pray for the first time last week. A wonderful friend of mine took me and my 2 kids with her and her kids. As I prayed, I was distracted by myself asking God to send us the face of someone who needs help. I didn’t think to ask this…it just popped in my head.  I know that for me, sometimes it is nice to see a face of a person you are praying for. Selfish, but human. I was thinking at that moment of a scared young mother, a woman in a crisis pregnancy or maybe a woman who is in a financial crisis. For the life in a mother’s womb that God allowed to be there and touched himself at the moment of conception by placing the soul there, he wants to gift the world with that life made in his own Image. Now, I am in no way prepared to be a sidewalk counselor. But I was with someone who’s mother is, so I knew we could refer anyone in need to someone who could help. As this thought of putting a face to my prayer entered my head… I dismissed it because I know that it is silly to ask this, so I just ended the thought with…”Sorry God, I didn’t mean to ask that of you, I want only your will.”

As we were getting ready to leave, a woman stopped to yell something at us. With out thinking for a second I answered “No, it’s not…it is God’s work” I don’t know if it is a good example to say anything back…it just came out. I am sure God is going to help refine me in these matters. But, there it was. My face that I prayed for, only not at all what I had thought of. I am busy praying for the mothers and the babies, they need it. But what about the angered people out there, the workers, the doctors, the security guards. If they didn’t have employees they couldn’t continue the work of evil, this culture of death. Pray for the workers of abortion agencies. After all, it is easy to pray for those we love or feel for — but what about our enemies, people who hurt us, betray us, cause harm to us or others. This is just like what Jesus teaches us in Luke 6

“But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic.
Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.
And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same.
If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit (is) that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount.
But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
Be merciful, just as (also) your Father is merciful.

That was my first lesson in humility. To want to see what I want even in the midst of being prayerful is an act of pride. To even think that I would have any idea who my prayer would be offered up for is almost an act of disobedience to the Holy Spirit.  I hope I will learn to say in service to God “Take my prayer for good to be done through only your Divine Will, not my ownl”

 Then, this morning I was was reading Catholic Culture’s Saint of the Day, and admiring Waltzing Matilda’s coloring pages. I loved the St. Bruno coloring page. We are part German, so we are happy to learn more about St. Bruno and the Carthusians. Which lead me to this site that Catholic Culture linked too. I love the pics and I can’t wait for the movie to be shown on EWTN about the Carthusians. That is when I clicked on this pic

I had never been to this site and I don’t know much about it, but the pics or breathtaking. As I looked at the pic I was admiring how beautiful yet simple it is. I thought to myself how glorious it would be to serve there and to spend a life in prayer. I noticed the dust on the gorgeous wood and how the light captured the scratches and dust on the floor. I admired the grand structure and the art, but the servant in me wanted to polish the wood! I thought what a treat to work and serve there saying prayers in silence and offering up your work to Our Lord. Then what a gift to see it all shine!  Here it is again! My selfish desire to serve God in the way that would be peaceful and fulfilling for me! Now, let me just say that when it is a suffering to me, I receive it and offer it up. It is the everyday stuff that is not a real suffering but more like an annoyance that I struggle with. This is how I am — I don’t complain when I am down right cold and it is clear that I have to be cold and to be tough about it. But, if I am a bit chilly and I don’t have to be — then I am a big ole baby! (like when hubby has the air on in the car, if he is hot and I am cold…oohh I am a bear about it!)
So here is my second lesson. It is easy to pray when you are hurt, scared, lonely or to pray when you are in a wonderful prayerful, peaceful moment. But, what about when I am cleaning up spilled tea when I warned it would spill, the dust on the mini blinds that I hate to clean,  when my kids are fussing and acting up while trying to have a peaceful moment saying the Rosary, or when a child brings you a can of pringles and by the time they get to you they have shaken it into a million tiny pieces? How about those little annoying sufferings, service and work? Do I thirst to make those moments shine like I wanted to do for the wood in the Carthusian room.
Who do I serve when I pray? Is it vainglory or charity? I know that God is polishing my scratches and hopefully I will have all my rough edges smoothed by the time God calls me home.
Or at least in time for me to joyfully serve Our Lord by offering up my house work in prayer and go get those mini blinds dusted and then not complain about it to my hubby and not fuss at my children to play nicely while I do my work. Seems I have been trying to learn this lesson for a while now! 
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Have you ever wondered how much work it is for the wonderful women who volunteer to co-lead a homeschool group?  I have often marveled at them……but now, I am one of them.  Kiss your homeschool group leaders and send them a thank you email……cuz there is alot more work to it than you ( and me) thought! Thank goodness We are co-leading with 3 and have great support from the pros from the year before.

Anyway…I miss visiting with you all and I hope I will be able to sit down and write to you guys soon!

Something I am thankful for?  I fought the potty battle with my daughter and I think I am safe to say I am victorious!!! Finally, after a few months past 3 :)!!  Note to mothers still in battle – put a potty in the living room!  My little one just didn’t like me telling her to go do it. I put her in training panties and let her feel icky after dripping pee down her leg a few times when she was stubborn and wouldn’t try to go to the potty. She started going on her own when I put it in the living room. this is a lil girl that is going to try to make all her own rules!!  God have mercy on me!!!

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back home…

Thank you to all who prayed for us!! It is working so keep it up 🙂 

He was taken to the hospital and had many tests ran.  CT Scans, MRI’s, ultrasounds, chest X-rays, blood counts and work ups….tons of stuff.  What happens when you drink heavily for weeks and don’t eat much at all?  You cause your body to live of off the poison in alcohol, which poisons your heart,blood, liver and pancreas…everything. He has liver damage called fatty liver and alcohol hepatitis but not cirrhosis. His pancreas was not breaking down proteins and fat correctly, which from what I gather can cause the body to not absorb food correctly. His blood volume was very low but not low enough to have a transfusion. This is a result from alcohol poisoning that affects your bone morrow, so your red blood cell count goes down and causes anemia. His blood alcohol level has killed people before, but because he had a high tolerance he was lucky and it didn’t kill him. He is in the beginning stages of emphysema. He was dangerously dehydrated and malnourished from mostly only consuming alcohol. The list goes on but these are the most serious. He went through detox at the hospital is released to a rehab center.

Here is how the weekend went. I got to Stillwater Friday early evening. I stayed up with my dad and visited a while and then went out to grab a bite to eat. While I was out I drove by the one Catholic church they have in town (one other church but on Campus) It was locked of course but I later found they gave parishioners a code to get in if they wanted to come to pray and Adore. It was a very nice Parish 🙂

I slept at the hospital in my dad’s room in one of those reclining chairs..that are not the best, but better than the worst at least!! Woke up early the next day, around 7am and headed over to pack up my dad’s house with my brother. Did I mention that he had to be out of his house this weekend? Yes, we had to have him packed up and out of the house by Sunday at 6pm.  I was a smelly, sweaty mess all weekend packing and cleaning for 12 hours each day on Saturday and Sunday. It happened to be the hottest weekend so far this summer, at 104. This was a great chance for me to pull my hair out and feel sorry for myselfpractice growing in love, mercy,charity, humility and the power of offering up your sufferings. I was able to go to confession with the best confessor I have ever had, he was understanding and answered many questions I had that had been hard to get a straight answer in confession before. It helped so much that he has studied canon law 🙂  When I had my lunch breaks, I was able to swing by to pray before my Lord and bask in the peace I found there. This was such a gift to me. I can’t find the words to explain how wonderful it feels be in a strange town and in a tough circumstance and still experience that sigh of relief you feel when you walk in your own home, but experience that when you walk in the catholic church. I felt right at home, feeling the presence of the entire  Mystical Body of Christ, his church triumphant, the church suffering and us the Militants. Home away from home. This gave me much strength.

Saturday ended with a shower in an empty hospital room. (the nurses took pity on me when I found that they had no guest showering facilities and let me go to an empty room for  a quick shower) God Bless those nurses for that! I stayed up late talking a bit to dad and slept in my chair again for the night.

Sunday before starting on the task at hand I went to the early Mass, The readings this Sunday seemed just for me, the hymns seemed just for me….God is good to give us these little comforts brought forth by his hand in all things. I feel so special when he shows me little favors that help me on my way, to know that he lets me know that he is with me when I choose to do his will and receive his grace that carries me through.

When I stopped by the hospital to give my dad a soft drink, He had been reading a book that I had brought there and left on the table by the chair I slept in.  I told him that if he got bored, he was welcome to read it. So he did, and enjoyed it greatly. This is one my favorite books and I feel naked with out it, but I am so happy that he asked if he could borrow it while he goes to rehab. What a blessing that I was gifted this book by my dear friend who is an obvious tool of the Holy Spirit. Thanks be to God!!!  My dad belongs to the Episcopal church, but has not been attending for many years, so his interest in the book is a wonderful gift.

Another gift to me on Sunday was from my dad and his wife’s landlord. My brother and I worked very hard, not only to save my dad’s belongings, but to save his name and how he left things. The Landlord had seen what a terrible mess the place was left in after my dad’s wife had taken her belongings and the valuables. Mostly what was left was my dad’s and anything unwanted, or any junk to be thrown away. The lanlord left the place a few days before expecting that he would have to hall off a bunch of junk and pay for someone to clear it out. We worked hard and were able to accomplish what we wanted in that small amount of time. When the landlord came on Sunday to get the keys he was in shock he was so happy that we had left the house clean and with not one piece of trash or box of junk. He gave us great compliments and showed the true emotion of being relieved when he saw how hard we worked. What a gift to see true gratitude.

It was late Sunday when we finished putting the last load in storage. I stopped by the hospital to say goodbye to my dad and was on my way at 10:30 at night to rush to get home so that hubby could go to work.

He was released from the hospital last night and should be taken to the Alcohol rehab center sometime today. It is very hard to keep on top of the arrangements between dad, social worker, hospital and rehab…. but it is all working out. Today I am settling back to my old self and same old routine. Today there is laundry, dishes, meal prep, bills to be paid, bickering children in need of a trip to the pool and a lightweight meeting tonight….life is full, life is busy, this life is mine, and I am so thankful for my little burdens that I would have complained about a few weeks ago, but now dealing with much larger tasks lately….I am so, so, so thankful for my husband, my children and even my little sufferings.

Here are the words to the wonderful hymn that I was reminded that I love this past Sunday. Make me a Channel of your Peace, a prayer of  St.Francis of Assisi  by: Sebastian Temple

Make me a channel of Your peace
Where there is hatred let me bring Your love
Where there is injury, Your pardon, Lord
And where there’s doubt, true faith in You

Oh, Master, grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love with all my soul

Make me a channel of Your peace
Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope
Where there is darkness, only light
And where there’s sadness, ever joy
Make me a channel of Your peace
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
In giving to all men that we receive
And in dying that we’re born to eternal life

I needed to hear this hymn this weekend.  It helped me greatly hearing these words in my head when many frustrations came my way.

Please keep praying that he is committed to this and stays sober. Thanks again for all your prayers!

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It is a long story about my father, so I am just going to post a copy of my recent prayer request below:

Please pray for my father, David who has a broken soul and has no hope or faith and is full of despair. My dad has been an alcoholic for about 10-15 years now. He got sober at the request of his fiance about a year ago. They got married after he was 2 months sober. He made it 6 months, but began drinking again after they began to have marital problems. He has now lost his job and she has left him and has been binge drinking every waking moment for the last 3-4 weeks  4-5 weeks now. To have such a high blood alcohol level for so long can be life threatening. I talk to him everyday about this and he says he is ok with loosing his life. He has already began to loose control of some bodily functions and has extreme dementia. I have called the police department in his area and they say they can’t force him to get help from alcoholism. If he threatened his life with a gun, pills, knife etc…they can take him, but not alcohol because it is legal to drink.

Please pray that satan’s grip on him is loosened, so that my dad will let us help him. Please pray that I can find a way to get the state to help me have him forcibly taken to be mentally and medically evaluated. Lord, please help my father see the graces you try to give him and help him hear your voice and feel your love and mercy.

Update– Since this was written I went back home a week ago to have him taken in. I caught him before he was able to go the liquor store so he was somewhat sober and not belligerent. I cleaned up what I could  and my brother and I talked to him for hours. He promised us that if he couldn’t stop drinking on his own he would go to the hospital in 2 days. He stopped drinking for several days and could hardly walk from the shakes and couldn’t eat for days, he had no energy at all. His face was puffy and his belly is swollen…. many more symptoms. After a few days of that his wife came to move out and took most all of the household items and the dogs too. He just wanted to keep his recliner and massage chair, so that is where he sleeps because he has no bed or furniture now. He took this really hard and began drinking again and  is on his 4 day of back to binge drinking. Please pray for him.

Thanks for your prayers!!!

St. Mary Magdalene here on your feast day, please pray for my father to see how sweet our Lord’s mercy is and how tender his love can be when you trust in him.

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Please pray for the soul of Daniel. He was my husband’s 24 yr old cousin who was found beat to death at his home. The only details we have so far is that a baseball bat was used as the weapon and the killer is in custody. Daniel met with a young man that he was going to sell his vehicle to. Daniel decided not to sell the vehicle to him and that is when it happened. No other details are known.Please pray for Daniel’s father also, he has not been found to be notified of this tragic news. My husband’s aunt, Rochelle was close to them and is having a hard time with, as well as my husband’s mother and all the siblings and family.

Please, if you can say the Divine Mercy Chaplet for Daniel. If you do not have that much time to devote, please say this prayer from the Divine Mercy. Please ask our Lord to apply your intentions to Daniel’s hour of death.
Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Also, nothing can take away the pain out of such a terrible tragedy. We ask God’s will to be done and if good can come of this, to give grace to all who need it to serve his Holy Will. Please pray for the soul of the man who took Daniel’s life. If there can be a conversion sometime in this man’s life, than that would be Daniel’s victory over satan. For satan to win the soul of a sinner is a tragedy for our Lord also, if our prayers can defeat the works of satan then it can be done in Daniel’s name and give our Lord his victory.

St. Catherine of Sienna, this is your feast day. Please pray for Daniel and his family. Mother Mary, please ask your son to comfort this family, and pray for Daniel.

St. Rita of Cascia, patron saint of the impossible, please pray for the man who took Daniel’s life.

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You know you are living the simple life when your kids are happy to sit forever just watching tiny sugar ants come through a little crack, then smooshing them.

 

(not to self, they aren’t going to go away on their own as longs as crumbs are picked up!)

 

 

 

 

“Hey mom, I think one just stood up and waved at me!”  Smoosh….poor little guy!

 

 

 

You know you are beginning the warning signs of MSO (Mom Spacing  Out)

When you go to put your almost 3 yr old in her pj’s and lift her shirt over her head, but it gets stuck. You think to yourself…..I know she has a kind of a big head..but dang….it can’t grow in one dayYANK…YANK!!  Then you hear her say “Mom…Buddom…Buddom!!!” Translation- Button, Button!!!  Oh…oops…that’s right,this shirt has a button in the back!  Poor daughter!!!  Bad mommy!

You know you are having another MSO moment when:

Son- “Mom, can I get a drink?”

Mom- ” Sure, you can have some T.E.A.” but don’t let your sister see, she has all ready had her tea for the day.

Daughter- “I want tea”

Mom- gasping in astonishment “How did she know I spelled that?”  wow, I must be doing a great job homeschooling if my almost 3yr old can spell !!!

Son- “Duh, the letter T alone says TEA!!”  

Mom- I am a Goober!

 

You know there will be no sympathy for you and temptation will not get easier. When you are coming home from the first meeting with your friends, doing the lightweigh program to loose weight, and your family calls you and ask you to stop at sonic for some strawberry malts on the way home! 

A wise man once said something like “Your loved one’s may be a pain in your side to help get you to overcome and to earn sainthood” LOL Father Corapi 🙂   I guess redemptive suffering can come in small ways too 😉 

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I woke up this morning to fix hubby’s breakfast at 6am.  My first thought was…why does he have to eat sausage, eggs and toast every morning…I want to go back to sleep.(was up till 2am playing catchup on my housework, lesson plans and peeking at blogs for inspiration)  I let out a sigh and MADE myself get out of bed, grumbling on the way to the kitchen. I made his breakfast and packed his lunch and ran around like a crazy fetching stuff to help him get out the door on time. (we forgot to get gas last night, so his commute time will be shortened because he will have to get gas.) I grumbled some more….then he was finally off.  I packed away the extra eggs and sausage to re-heat for the kids when they wake.  My first thought was finally…peace, I am going back to bed.  Then I looked at the dinner dishes from last night that were calling to me.  So, I started to begin dishes while I watched EWTN.  The Gospel reading was about the road to Emmaus, one of my favorites.  So, I left my nagging dishes and sat, watched and listened. 

It hit me how I am so blind in my walk with our Lord.  They had a long seven mile walk with him and didn’t recognize him.  They were complaining to him.  They were shocked that their chief priests turned Jesus over and had him crucified.  Then they said “they were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel”  Then talked to him about the women who reported they went to the tomb and didn’t see his body and saw angels that said he was alive. But they had gone to the tomb and found things just as the women said, but him they did not see.  Then Jesus was telling them how foolish they were, did they not believe what all the prophets spoke, and was it not necessary for Christ to suffer these things to enter his glory?  Then they got to Emmaus and asked Jesus to stay with them. He stayed, then Jesus gave the blessing and broke bread giving it to them. That was when they finally realized that it was Jesus. Then Jesus vanished from them! They ran back to tell the eleven and said that they recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread.

This really hit me hard!  Do I recognize my Lord with me on my long walks through the day? Do I see how when I serve my family…that I am serving him.  Would I grumble…if JESUS asked me to fix him sausage and eggs?  How about when I want to go back to sleep?  Would I grumble to myself when I had to get out of bed to serve him?  Or when I try not to wake the kids cause I just want them to sleep a bit more so I can steal some peace?  This is my 7 mile walk with the Lord….and I too don’t see him!  I too am complaining that I just want some peace sometimes, so I can sit, pray and “see” him. I too find myself not “seeing” him until the breaking of the bread. The redeeming gift he gives me when he consumes my soul the moment he is placed on my tongue at Holy Communion…..marveling…I think to myself…ahhh… how good it is to be with my Lord, finally…. Peace. Then when I hit the pew, there is my toddler shuffling hymnals, licking her shoes…(ick!!) and my 9 yr old giggling aloud at that sight. I give them both that mother’s glare with stern eyes…and then, it begins again.  The longing for that brief moment of peace, when he is with me.

I can “see” today, that he is always with me.  I am serving him when I grumble to get out of bed, when I run around like a crazy fetching things, when I scold giggling and licking  children in church.  He is there, that is my road to Emmaus with my blinders on.  God reaches out to be with me through my children, husband…all my duties. After all If I hadn’t listened to the dishes calling me and went back to bed… to steal a moment of peace, I wouldn’t have heard the Gospel today, reminding me that I can sometimes have my blinders on. Did God call out to me through dishes?….hhhmmmm  I need to take my blinders off and hear and see God in my daily duties as a mother.  I don’t have to feel him, I don’t have to see him. I just have to know he is there, always there in little ways, in my little life, on my little 7 mile walk to Emmaus.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings…I am off to wake the children and steal some kisses and finish those dishes!

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