Tag Archives: God’s love

Humbled…


humble-heartHumbled seems to be the word of the year.  In every way, humbled.

I must humble myself to write this now, after taking so long away.  And this entire year has been…well, horrifying and amazing.  No other way to describe it.

But I won’t make this a summary.  I am just humbled to God for his care, guidance and love.  I praise and thank him for his answered prayers; and for the pure love and joy lifting my soul…a sensation only God can provide.  In a year full of uncertainty, hardship, and mental chaos, God did provide.  He provided for me, and for Ashton.  He provided for us in so many ways…even when I had nothing to give back but my heart.

My soul is on fire for the Spirit.  I know I am not worthy, but I also know that God is working through me and for me and for those I love.  It is an amazing place to be…particularly when your world has been turned upside down over and over.  I am so grateful for all of the opportunities this year to come to God and surrender.  Surrender is humbling, but also can be mind blowing.  It is amazing the plans God has for us compared to our own attempts of imagining and dreaming.  Make no mistake: You must be open to the blessings and God’s guidance.  But when you are, it is powerful and life changing…no words to describe.

This is one of those moments of thankfulness.  A privileged moment of insight and clarity.

I have been having troubles with Ashton.  He has hit puberty and turned into a monster almost overnight.  He is making a hobby out of testing boundaries and joyfully expressing defiance.  I literally found myself on my knees two weeks ago.  On my knees to God, praying for some sort of help.  Some sort of guidance.  I am so ill equipped for dealing with a 12 year old son hitting puberty.  I don’t even know what is normal…I prayed fiercely for an answer.

Then in less than two weeks, my prayers are answered in multiple ways by multiple people from across the United States.  Now, I don’t mean that Ashton is fixed, and the problem is gone.  That is not what God is all about.  God is about helping us get through the difficult times in life.  He has sent some Angels to interfere and guide.  Some of the people have been part of my life forever.  Some are brand new popping into our lives like magic…out of thin air.  Some are helping and guiding me.  Some are helping and guiding Ashton.  It is like we are all of a sudden surrounded by God’s Angels.  I know there is no magic potion that will help Ashton, but I do know that God is helping.  If God is helping, I know Ashton is going to be okay, and so will I.  I know our Great Father will provide for us, both directly and indirectly through others.  God’s presence strengthens me in the present and helps me vision tomorrow with peace.

For this, I am completely humbled, amazed, and in awe.

I needed some sunshine today


I needed some sunshine today!

It has been one of those mornings where nothing seems to have gone right.  I woke up late, so Ashton missed his bus, and then I had to chase Cupcake around the parking lots this morning. 

So, when I pulled in to work and saw the full parking lots, I realized I was going to have to walk in from the “back 40” and there was no chance of being on time.  It was like God was telling me, no forcing me, to be in His light for a morning meditation while absorbing the healing light of our earthly sun.  I needed to pump up my heart rate and create some natural energy.  I needed to find a moment of peace and calm before continuing my day.

He even provided what I needed.  I realized I had my big scarf on and could wrap it around my wet head for protection against the Winnie-the-Pooh-like blistery winds.  I glanced over to the passenger seat of the van and saw the bottle of water from last night that I had not finished.  It was nice and cold from being in the car overnight, and would help if I began choking halfway up the hill (This kind of weather likes to play with my bronchial asthma).

No excuses.  Just a morning walk in the sunshine.  I so needed that!

Let Go and Let God…


Long ago, at a previous job, I had a friend (one of My Angels) who battled lots of difficult pains and struggles, one of which was addiction.  Now, before you jump the boat and immediately begin defining her addiction, I want you to take a step back and just look at addiction for the sake of what it is: addiction.  Many of us have chemical addictions to caffeine.  Um…hello to all of you who sleep in “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” jammies!  An addiction is an addiction, whether it is emotional, chemical or whatever.  Period.  Let’s move on.

I watched my friend struggle her addictions, sometimes on a moment by moment basis.  I was able to see within her spirit the desire to continue on.  The fight to keep on fighting.  The defeats that she sometimes crawled through.  From her perspective, she only saw the failures and mistakes she made each day.  From my perspective, How, I didn’t know.  Then one day she shared with me.

Every morning, she would get up early and give her day to God.  She would ask God to carry her burdens for the day and guide her actions and thoughts.  She described to me the sense of peace that would help her through the day.

We are all human beings, and capable of failure, setback and burnout among many other things.  Sometimes it is hard to accept our humanness.  The worries and anxieties of everyone’s expectations (including your own) overwhelm you.  They sure worry me.  Now, in the mornings, I open my morning with prayer and thanksgiving to God.  I pray for strength to get through the day, and for the wisdom to make good decisions and be good help to many.

I challenge you to try the same…Each morning, spend a few minutes and pray.  Give your day to God.

Each and every morning,

I give my concerns to You, God.

I acknowledge my weaknesses.

Please guide my hands,

And my decisions,

And my perspectives,

And my compassion.

I ask that You work through me.

Love and inspire others through me.

I will listen for Your voice.

And I will know,

The richness of Your Love,

And Jesus’ Sacrifice,

And how the Holy Spirit lives within us.

I will listen for your voice.

Amen.

Unreachable


Wow.  I survived.  By the sweet grace of God, I survived Thursday night.  I cannot even begin to explain.

I know that I woke up on Friday morning still grumpy, bags under my eyes, hating life in general.  I felt as if I had survived an exorcism.  I had just faced my life’s issues…my demons, if you will.  All of the parts of me that hide away, as well as how my decisions do effect and have effected my family, everyone around me, and myself.  How I truly feel like I had let everyone down.  Then couple that with a family counseling class that has forced me to look at my family on paper and notice patterns and blah blah blah.

Point is…I came to direct terms with the very real fact: I am broken.  We all are.  We are all victims of the behaviors of others, and we all take turns victimizing one another, whether we know it or not.  It is human nature.  It is inevitable.

God had given me all of these miraculous blessings in my life and I had hurt them all and was not as grateful as I could have been.  I took a lot of true blessings for granted.  I felt such shame and unworthiness.

Then, this song played…

The words spoke everything I was thinking and feeling.  The overwhelming sense of peace began to bring reassurance and comfort, love and protection.  All of my human fears vanished and once again I felt the truest of truth, I felt God within my soul.  I knew we would be okay if I just stayed focused on His guidance.  When I am weak, He will give me strength.

Not only did the blessings continue to pour down on us, but the awareness of God’s great and abundant love became ever so clear again.  I had been missing that sense of fullness and faith.

Yes, Uncle T., I heard your message, Let go and Let God.  It is easier said than done, AND it is necessary.  When you turn your life over to God and allow Him to work through you, He will provide for you.

It is simply amazing.

My Prayer for YOU Today


Let our inner beauty shine through.

This morning, the spirit moved me to pray with someone (One of My Angels).  I was very nervous to do so, because I always seem to be so nervous at public or personal speaking.  Writing is definitely an easier medium to use.  I wanted to pray with her in person (or rather, via phone, because she is in transit), but I was too afraid to call her and ask to say a quick prayer with her.

So, I closed my eyes and prayed, typing out the words as I felt them.  My intent was to just send a quick email.  Problem solved, mission accomplished, and I didn’t have to leave my own personal comfort zone.

However…as I finished the prayer, and went to click send, the very person about to receive my prayer email, called me!  Evidently, God had other plans for me and wanted me to face that inner challenge…to face the real reason of why I was afraid to pray it with her in person.  Together, we prayed over the phone.  I hope my nervous words carried their heartfelt intent through the lines of communication.  🙂

In that spirit, I prayed the prayer again with YOU in mind.  All of you who are reading my blog, or are supporting my life decisions, molding my future and nurturing my soul.  Thank you for being who you are in my life.  I am praying that God send Angels to each of you for guidance and love and encouragement and hope.  I would like to share my prayer (i.e. Spiritual wishes from a Baptist Monk)  with YOU also…

Dear Heavenly Father,
May Your light shine from within deep in our souls;
from the place You reside within our earthly bodies.  
May it spring forth hope along our journeys and struggles
and mold our human tendencies and capabilities;
May it be seen by others so that we may be an example
of Your beautiful grace and unconditional love;
and share the message of being good help to all in need
just as did Jesus.  AMEN.

The beginning of Women’s Wellness


This past weekend, I was privileged enough to have the opportunity to volunteer for the Women’s Wellness Retreat at work.  There were several aspects of this retreat that were amazing this weekend, but honestly, I don’t have the energy to blog it all tonight…so I will just tell you the beginning.

The first night of the retreat (Friday) we had a yoga session after the opening.  The intent of course was to calm us and open us up to God’s sure presence in our lives.  Last year, the yoga was so awesome and powerful.  I had big expectations for that same calming effect this year.

However, the yoga was very difficult this time.  I was not physically comfortable.  And here is my super-confession – I have gained back 18 of the 80 pounds I lost since I took those pics in June.

And I feel it, and I see it, and sometimes it runs my thoughts – like while I am sitting in a chair trying to do yoga, and being focused on how my stomach feels bloated and my dress feels a bit tight around my middle.  I could NOT focus on entering the peace that is yoga.

All I could do was think about how I’ve failed at sticking to a consistent exercise regiment, and I have taken to drinking soda again and popping the occasional chocolate mini-muffin.  I’ve failed myself.

I could feel my legs as I lifted them for the yoga moves.  The sense of failure I had created in my head actually convinced me that my legs felt much heavier to lift than before.  My flexibility was not the same.  My breathing was labored, and I could not tell whether it was because I was so unfit, or because the anxiety was pressuring me to calm myself.

Before I knew it, the yoga was over.  I was secretly relieved.

I turned to the women sitting next to me – a return attendee to this retreat.  She smiled at me, obviously remembered me from the years past.  “Hi.  How are you doing.  You look like you’ve lost a lot of weight, have you?”  She became one of My Angels.

I then heard God’s comforting voice tell me to stop bashing myself and to remember where I have come from…remember how far I have come, and to be at peace with that.

Let me clarify…when I say that I heard God’s voice, I am not some crazy person who hears voices.  What I mean is that I had a feeling from deep within my soul…the place of true love and light…the place where God lives within me.  It is a feeling so sure that you could not imagine anything more true.  It is an amazing experience, possible for anyone.

Anyways, the first night of the retreat certainly calmed me and helped me to realize that  I am moving along the path that God has provided for me.  Thank you!

God is Within You


My “day job” is as a Project Coordinator for the Vocation and Formation Offices at a local convent. Which, in case you are taking notes, makes me a divorced Baptist Monk who recruits Catholic Nuns. And yes, my wonderful Sisters love making fun of my name. I digress…

The other day, I began to work with a volunteer. The young girl, fresh out of high school, is also not Catholic. In fact, she doesn’t boast any religion in general…her words.

The more she walked around our offices at the Provincial House, the more she seemed to soften in awe and wonder.

After day two of volunteering, my newfound friend had time to walk the grounds by herself and meet the people.  She had visited the Peace Garden.  She had some time to ponder…

Somehow, whatever topic we were discussing just rambled.  Until.  She said the sweetest, most heart melting words.

“I wish I had that thing inside that people have when they know who God is and, like believe in Him for real.  I mean, that is like a really cool thing to me.”

I didn’t know how to respond at the time.  And quite frankly, I don’t even remember how I actually DID respond.  All I remember is how her words hung in the air like music.  So innocent.

I know, um, hello?  McFly?  That was my chance.  But for some reason, I didn’t even think to witness to her.  The thought seriously never crossed my mind at the time.  I was literally enchanted.  (I know, it sounds goofy).  Come to think of it, maybe it would have been too much for her if I had started talking about God at that time.  Obviously, I wasn’t ready either.  Timing was not right?

I have never been one to pro-actively witness to folks.  I have never felt comfortable being pushy, or even talking as though “I know” all the answers.  I guess in some ways, I don’t feel worthy a teacher to share of God’s love, because I don’t know all there is to know, and I cannot explain that which is unexplainable.  I have always had an internal struggle about how I do not witness like the Bible says I should.

I stop in my thoughts…

I do know how to live in and give God’s love and light.  I do know the gifts and blessings in my life, and I know that God is a part of my very being, in each of us.  God is in our faces and in our hearts and souls.  He created us in His image.  And we are to try and live our lives in His love.  THIS is the only way I know to witness.  Just being who I deep down feel like I am meant to be.  I mean, sure, I am human and I am known for some pretty epic failures, but at least I am trying.

This “flat out talking to someone” about God is a bit intimidating.  I guess I will just say a prayer and put it all in His hands.

Dear God, my Father, please give me the words to speak to gently nurture a basic understanding of her own spirituality and You within her soul.  When the time comes, please God, help me to have the nerve to approach and talk with her.  To be caring, but not pushy.  Lord, hold my tongue so that my babble does not overwhelm or confuse.  Lord, I also pray that you give me the peace within my own heart that I will not seek validation or response…that I will be focused on being myself: a loving, caring person.   I will pray again to You beforehand to turn over to You, God, my body and mind.