Friday, November 21, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I really enjoyed Christmas last year. We had a tree, and decorated the house, and we always have an advent wreath and share the devotionals on each of the Sundays in advent. Now I never did that as a child, but it was one of the traditions of my husband's family. It has now become one of ours as a couple. I love it!
My favorite part is getting new candles to put in the wreath. I love candles and have many placed strategically in my home. I don't light them always but they bring the light of Yeshua into my home and make everything warm and cozy.
I love decorating the house too. My husband loves the blue lights and so I let him decide where to put them, inside or out. Usually they are inside in the living room and we watch TV or eat or listen to music by the snowy moonlit glow. Just thinking about it gives me a fuzzy feeling.
Our focus last year was on the Holy Family and I would like to make it more so this year. I was given many Holy Family representations last year and now I have a wonderful collection started. Adding to that collection will be my goal this year.
I am so glad God became a Man and tabernacled among us. Thank you Yeshua! Thank you Blessed Miriam for saying "Yes" to the call of God. And Thank you, Yosef for providing for the blessed mother and child. HalleluYah! The Messiah is born!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
who fulfill His commands, attentive to the SOUND of His Words!
I have been reminded lately of the Power in the Word of God. To be able to add my voice to the written word brings great power and peace to my heart. And according to the above scripture it is what causes the angels of God to move to accomplish HIS will, HIS Word!
I used to be very faithful about praying the Word, but have slacked off and lost the fervor of heart that I used to have. Thankfully, God has brought to me a group of women who love HIM and HIS Word. Their love and encouragement has brought a newfound zeal for the Word. I am so grateful that these precious women have given my soul the encouragement I needed to stand up, and stand firm in my beliefs.
And so I believe, they are some of the angels among us.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I have told God not to make me any more promises before. I am getting older and there are so many things that I would have liked to have seen or done in my life. And I have to admit, sometimes I get angry at God and wonder why I have these hopes and dreams if He is not going to fulfill them.
One of those dreams has always been to be a mom. I love children so much and I want so much to have children of my own.
God gave me that opportunity many years ago, but because of life's circumstances and my own fears I aborted that blessing. It was my decision ultimately but one made out of duress. If I could take it back, knowing what I know now, I would in a heartbeat. So now my child is in my Heavenly Father's care. Jordan Keeley is her name and I love her with all my heart.
Then I tried to make the dream come true by adopting 3 children, all full siblings, very close in age. After 2 years of love and care and psychiatrists, and doctors, and therapists, I was spent. I became physically and emotionally ill. And the final outcome was to reliquish them back to the custody of the state. This is another story that needs to be told soon, but suffice it to say trying to make things happen is not a good thing.
Just one dream of mine that I feel like I cannot risk hoping for anymore.
Lately, I was talking to the Lord about this particular dream and He told me something very precious. Every child, whose life I have touched, has been my child. I am a spiritual mother to myriads of children! What a blessing!
I am a teacher, tutor, catechist, friend, aunt...and all those children are mine spiritually. What a joy! How much better is that than just having one or two biological children? Not that I wouldn't still love to have a biological child but ... I have more children now than I could ever physically have!
So He answered that dream in a way that I wasn't expecting but that is really more fulfilling. What a GREAT Father I have! He thinks in so much broader terms than I do with my finite mind. So hope? Yes, I still hope. Think I have been forgotten or forsaken? Only when I don't see what my Abba sees.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Imagine you have just been informed that you have inherited a multi-level mansion equipped with every conceivable treasure. You run up the curving brick sidewalk, throw open the massive oak doors, and excitedly run from room to room hardly believing the good fortune bequeathed to you! However, what you discover are not the surroundings fit for a queen that you expected, but sensible chambers, adequately furnished and sparsely decorated.
In the foyer, a beautifully carved winding staircase, adorned with plush crimson carpet, beckons you to climb to the next level. You consider the steps, look back over your shoulder and decide, "Hey, the lower level's enough for me. Besides, I'm afraid of heights. I'll just stay down here where it's safe."
Unbeknownst to you, the upper levels house all the treasures intended to become your inheritance, and you're standing in the servants' quarters. Upstairs awaits a golden gilded ballroom, a chandeliered dining hall, four poster beds with down filled mattresses, a safe filled with enough gold and silver to last a lifetime, and a jewelry box brimming with family heirlooms.
All that stands between you and these treasures is the staircase. What keeps you on ground level - contentment with mediocrity, lack of knowledge, or a fear of the unknown?
I love the story but I don't think I fit into any of the questions as to why I would choose to stay at ground level. My first thought was contentment. But as I continued to read the other choices I didn't fit and was mildly offended by them. I guess there are people who would not go up the stairs because of fear, or simple ignorance. BUT what about simply humility and a lack of greed? What about being satisfied with the good bestowed?
Maybe I am fooling myself. I really didn't identify with a ballroom, four poster beds. The silver and gold ... that would be nice.
Personally, I would not like to live lavishly, but comfortably. And what's so bad about the servants quarters? After all, they are "sensible chambers, adequately furnished and sparsely decorated." Yeshua did not live outrageously but LARGE. There is a difference.
I think that this "wanting more'' mindset is worldly. We are to accept what God has for us and expect Him to give us what we NEED. And often enough, He gives us what we want because of His great love for us. We can ask for our wants even as little children, but we can count on our needs being met according to His riches in Glory.
And what would be His riches in Glory? Not gold or silver, chandeliered ballrooms, and four poster beds, but love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, kindness, faith, self-control, mercy, forgiveness, and eternal life!
So, my outrageous requests would be:
1. more real abiding peace in my soul
2. more of Him and less of me
3. those comfortable, adequate servant's quarters because that is what I am. While I am on this earth, I am His servant-daughter. When I stand before Him in Glory then...I will have all the riches of heaven.
I mean really! If I got everything I wanted here, what would I have to look forward to in Heaven?
Monday, October 20, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Not sure I can do this but I am going to try. I have to stipulate, these are in no particular order.
- Tea set given to me by my grandmother when I was 5 years old
- Earrings and pendant given to me by my mother
- My wedding ring
- The Life Book given to me and made by my mom
- My wedding video and album
Now, if all those things were lost, stolen, burned, or destroyed in some way, how would that effect me in light of eternity? It wouldn't.
Oh, don't get me wrong I would be devastated and grieve immensely but I would be so grateful that my loved ones were okay.
There is nothing so important in this life that I would want to lose my eternal life with Yeshua.
This was good for my soul. How did you fare?
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Deep breaths. Slowly moving thoughts weaving in and out of my mind and heart. A quiet conversation with my maker about the upcoming events of the day.
Asking, seeking, for the important things. Trying to prioritize. Looking for serenity and wisdom for the day.
Oh, how I love this time alone with HIM. Sometimes I sing. Sometimes I voice my prayers. But most of the time I just sit and listen to the quiet and feel His love and comfort.
Time a precious gift spent with the King of Kings, my Abba!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
St. John Baptist de la Salle"
I don't know about you, but in this day and age of technology, this is an almost impossible task. I guess you would have to be a hermit or in a cloistered situation. Most people have TV of some sort whether local, cable, or satellite. And, of course, where would we be without the internet superhighway!? MP3 players, cell phones...the list goes on.
Noise, noise, noise everywhere. It is almost inescapable. Maybe that is why the Lord tells us to go into our 'closet' and pray! Even then our minds are racing with all the things we have to do, the appointments we must keep, the concerns we have for our loved ones. It is never-ending!
In Psalm 46:10 the Lord bids us; BE STILL and know that I am God. Achieving 'stillness' in our heart and mind takes work. We have to PLAN it into our day. The assaults on our senses have to be silenced and that takes effort on our part. But it is definitely worth it.
On my 'vision board' I have posted FIT CHOICES. This is a list of goals that I try to achieve daily. Now mind you I am not always successful but here is the list:
1. BE STILL
2. Move on purpose -- meaning, don't just sit around on your duff. Get some exercise of some sort. Most days I fall woefully short on this one. hmmm perhaps this would be the day to make this a focus item.
3. Eat 'consciously' - I know that sounds weird, but here's the thing. Most of us are gluttons and we are not aware of it. By glutton I mean, simply overeaters. We don't really pay attention to the food we put in our mouths at all opportunities and occasions. The family dinner table is almost obsolete as we opt for sitting in front of the TV or the computer. That leads to not being aware of what and how much we eat. And so we overeat. So, I have put that on my list of daily goals to remind myself: turn off the computer (we don't have tv), and sit at the table to eat.
4. HAVE FUN! Do something you enjoy doing every day. Laugh. Tickle someone. Read a book. Just do something that makes life enjoyable and not so serious.
And so I know you are wondering...where is she going with this? And what does any of this have to do with purity of heart?
My first goal for each day is to BE STILL. Spend some time with Jesus. My favorite part of the day and the part of the day that ALWAYS gets done. It is the one spiritual goal I have on a daily basis. The rest are temporal and affect the quality of my physical life, but spending time with Jesus is the most important part of my life.
I step all over people's toes, and wound their tender sensibilities most of the time. I don't mean to. It is definitely not intentional. I do this because of the NOISE of the world and it's temptations. I am human and I fall prey to "disordered bodily desires, disordered desires of the eyes, pride in possession"** just like everyone else.
And so, in the quiet space of my life when I am alone with Jesus, I find strength to be a little more aware of the world and its pleasures. He gives me strength to overcome these earthly sins so that my heart is made more and more pure in HIS eyes. And after all He is who I am living for.
**I John 2:16 New Jerusalem Bible
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Septmeber 10, 2008
Chastity"If you wish to prevent evil thoughts, let your eyes be modestly reserved, and make a league with them never to look upon anything which is not permitted you to desire."St. Gregory of Nyssa
For Reflection: St. Gregory of Nyssa recommends taking "custody of the eyes." What does this mean? To what extent do I take in through the senses that which is morally illicit - especially regarding chastity? How can I best follow St. Gregory's advice?
Monday, September 8, 2008
How lovely a thought is that? Before we acknowledge Yeshua and begin to try to walk in the ways of God, the Holy Spirit; the Ruach Ha Kodesh...the Holy Breath of God HOVERS over us.
I just love that word HOVER. It brings to mind the way a mother watches her newborn sleep in the crib. Just watching with love so overwhelming that she cannot take her eyes away from the miracle at rest. Lovingly, making plans for the child's life. Imagining what they will grow to be and seeing a wonderful, bright future for this tiny bundle of helplessness.
And in a moment, the mother vows, to battle to the death, anyone or anything that would try to harm this precious little life! A fierce love that can turn on a dime from sweetness and life to turbulent fury. Woe to the culprit who comes against this child!
And then, at the slightest sigh from the infant, her reverie is broken and her focus returns to the caring, compassionate gaze that held her there in the first place.
And such is our GOD!
He sees us in our helplessness and need and sends the comforter to console us and let us know...He Hovers Over Us.
Blessed Be He!