Sunday, January 30, 2011

I teach.  Well, kind of.  It's more like I share.  For the past year, I've been 'teaching' second year JYM students about our faith and preparing them for the sacrament of conformation.  I have a class of all girls and I try to make the classes fun.  I say I share vs. teach b/c I don't know how to teach, but ask me about my faith, yea, that I can do!

We're on week three of five on the Mass.  Dude, there are so many parts of the Mass that I love!  The Gloria, certain Scripture readings that day, quite a number of Homilies, a bunch of the prayers, the Eucharist! There's just bunches and bunches to love.  Today's lesson was about scripture.  Why it's so important.  We broke up into small groups and each was assigned a reading, i.e., first, second, Psalm, Gospel.  They were to read it and then give a Homily on it, or a book report as I like to call it.  Now, keep in mind, we had a longer class today as a parent meeting was going on, so while I normally have around 40-50 minutes, today I had about an hour and a half.  I had to make the dry boring stuff come alive.  How to do that?  I did what I usually do.  I let Bob lead me.

These girls were only slightly interested, even when we broke into groups.  Then, I did something different.  After reading a particular Psalm, I had them read Psalm 142.  It's one of my very favorites.  Poor, poor David, he seems to be in the depths of despair (despite Marilla Cuthbert's claim that to despair is to turn your back on God (from Anne of Green Gables).  We talked about this Psalm for quite some time and reflected how we have all had bad days.  Then, I had them slide back in their chairs, relax their bodies and clothes their eyes.  Then, I read to them two of my very favorite scriptures.  One, from the book of Isaiah 43:1-just about the end of 1 I can't remember the exact number and Psalm 139 (shout out to Sarah Ryan my Psalm buddy!)  I read these two scriptures with all the feeling and weight that I could muster.  I implore you to read them yourselves.  When they opened their eyes, one girl was wiping away a couple of tears.  Yea, she got it.  I told them one of my favorite, favorite sayings is if you're feeling Psalm 142 try Psalm 139.  I implored these young women to realize that there is absolutely nothing, NOTHING that they can go through that hasn't been gone through in the Bible.  I told them it's got everything...murder, mayhem, sword fighting, romance, and love!  We talked about the two readings I read to them and they understood how much God truly loves them.  How there is nothing they can do that would stop God from loving them.  It's really cool to see when their lights come on and they get it.  I told them, that it's okay, there's gonna be times when you forget how much God loves you and how He's always there for you.  We're human.  Heck, I forget it tons of times!  But, that God always welcomes me back and they will always be welcomed back.

I love how awesome God is.  My favorite, I think, at least today (it changes what I love about Him the most) is how when I am not ready to be accessible to Him, He keeps making Himself known to me in different ways.  God is good all the time!

I know I said I started walking a couple weeks ago.  I've taken a few steps.  Nothing of great lengths, in fact, I'm still on the steps of the house.  At least I'm no longer on the porch. lol  Sometimes as of late, I am tempted to go back up a step or two, but I haven't.  It helps when you have my angels talking me from going back up the steps.

I wish you all a wonderful nights rest.  May you sleep in heavenly peace!
Until next time, pray for those who are preparing to make their conformation :D

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tents and Angels

My Tent is small, but it's big enough for me.  It's warm and dark.  It's quiet and somber.  It is my hiding place.

Sometimes, when I'm there I only visit for a few hours.  Other times, like as of late, I can stay for days, or weeks, or months at a time.  This camping trip was only for a few weeks.  While I'm there, sometimes, my friends come and peek inside and check in on me.  Sometimes, they check in and then let me be and just be me.  Sometimes, they drag me out.  Sometimes, they come in and sit with me and stay for a while.  Then, sometimes, like today, God sends His angels inside.  They gently take me by the hand and speak God's loving words to me and gently open the flaps of my tent and lead me outside.  They don't drag me out into the bright sunlight.  No, they understand that inside my tent it's dark and coming outside, the sun shines blindingly.  They stand with me outside of the tent and let my eyes slowly adjust to the light, all the while, never letting go of my hands.  They continue to walk with me and then, when I can see, they let go of my hands, but they are always beside me.

I like to live in my head.  I like it there, b/c it's a happy place.  I like to pretend that everything is okay.  And, sometimes in my pretending, it spills over to real life.  I act like I'm okay.  I tell people "I'm fine.  I'm good".  When in all actuality, I am not.  These last few weeks I've spent curled up in the fetal position in my tent crying a million tears, with a million more to come.  The loss of Mema has been so profound that there are no words to explain.  There is nothing to compare it too.  One of my favorite times of the year, the Christmas season, actually blew chunks this year.  I didn't feel any Christmas Spirit, only great loss.  My poor, amazing husband has been at a loss at how to help.  "Tell me what I can do." he says.  But I tell him there is nothing he can do.  "Give me something to fix for you, except for Mema, I can't fix that."  And, I tell him that I'm alright, that I will be alright.  That's it's just Mema.  And, maybe someday I'll be okay.  He remembers.  He remembers how hard his mom's death was for me.  How still, four years later, I still have moments of grief.  Mema.  Well, it's only been six months.  So far, she's missed my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and in February, her birthday.  But I digress, I was talking about my tent.

Last week, God sent His angels to keep watch over me.  Then today, He sent me another one.  They are telling me it is time.  That my loss, as deep and profound as it is, is okay.  They prayed with me.  They gave me scripture.  They spoke great words of love. Words that make me uncomfortable to hear.  The one angel looked right through my soul and described to me why they know I'll go to heaven.  The angel used many adjetives to describe me.  Good ones.  Ones that surprised me.  But how they saw me.  Funny thing is, I'd rather hear the not so good stuff, that's easier to believe.  Which is why I know God sent this particular angel to me today.  So here I stand, outside my tent.  Still depressed, still crying sporadically, but standing with the angels nonetheless.

So, bear with me as I slowly begin walking again.  I'll be okay, I'm walking with my angels.

Until next time,
Give someone a hug.  You never know how bad they need it.


Monday, January 10, 2011

God, Patti, and the new saint

The last week has been weird.  It's been fraught with plumbing issues, normal kid issues, and my general anxiety maladies.  In the midst of all my crap (and my 'x' button sticking on my laptop) I had a few wonderful conversations with my Patti.  In the course of one of our great conversations, she lays down some major words of wisdom.  She says she's not worried (about what was bugging her) b/c she knows God has her back.  That was such an a-ha moment for me.

During the day the followed, whenever anxiety hit or things weren't going the way I'd like them to, I chanted my new mantra "God has my back".  This brought me much peace.  Then, my Patti called again.  And, I told her how much I love the new mantra, thanks to her.  Then, I asked her if she got a chance, if she would pray for something specific for me.  In true Patti fashion said "let's pray right now" and we did.  She is the most awesome prayer.  She even shared with me about a new saint.  Saint Andre.  She was saying how Fr. Tim was saying how St. Andre was new and that we were to put him to the test.  So, I have been.  Half the time I can't remember his name, but I call him St. New Saint Whose Name I Can't Remember of St. New Guy.  I've been coming to him and giving him stuff to do.  I know he's done one thing for me already.  Don't ask me what it was because I can't remember.  All I remember is when the answer came I said "did I ask St. New guy for help with this?  I think I did.  AWESOME!  Way to go St. New Guy!"

Then, last night, Patti and I were talking and she asked if I had any prayer requests.  When I gave them to her, she said "Great, we're about to say a Rosary right now!  I'll add it to the intentions!"  Who does that?  My Patti, that's who!

I realized yesterday, in the course of events, that I have been being attacked.  I hate that.  More so, I hate the fact that I don't see it coming and don't realize what's going on till I'm in the thick of it.  On one particularly weird day, I needed to talk to someone.  I just needed to vent.  George's line was busy, Carol was at work, Tina was busy, my Mom wasn't answering, and Julie and Alyssa weren't available.  I must confess, my second thought was that there was a conspiracy going on and that they were all screening their calls and had no desire to talk to me.  I tried George one more time, his line still busy, then I got the message.  God wanted me to come to Him.  He does that sometimes.  He wants me to come to Him first, which I sometimes, if not rarely, do.  So, He works His magic and after a round of playing no ones home, I realize He's calling me.  You would think I would realize that much sooner than I do, but for some reason I don't. 

So, here I am, marveling at the beautiful snow, asking for a snow day from work and a Steelers win on Saturday!  I love the cold weather and I love the white sky.  It's so beautiful.

Until next time,
Please pray for some dear, dear friends of mine.  They're foster parents and the children they have been fostering went back home today.  It's heartbreaking for them and the children.  Please pray for peace for all of them.  Also, please pray for marriages that are in trouble (no, not mine, George and I are fine).  And, lastly, please pray for Mema.  I miss her so much today is one of those I can't breathe days.



Monday, January 3, 2011

Trust Me

Did you ever play the trust me game?  No, not the trust fall, the trust game where someone blindfolds you and takes you by the hand and leads you around and promises not to lead you into a wall or a building.  "Trust me" they say.  So, with my eyes closed, blindfold on, as I'm being led, I would walk slow and arch my back, pulling back, wincing b/c even though I kinda trusted the person leading me, I didn't trust them 100% 

One of my major downfalls that I have is also one of my best attributes, I think.  I trust people 100% off the bat.  I just meet you and we become friends and I automatically trust you.  Why would you want to hurt me?  We just met.  Now, that doesn't mean I tell you my deepest, darkest secrets, those are only reserved for my small group of very close friends.  But, trusting people right off the bat has bit me plenty of times.

I've never thought I had trust issues other than the fact that I trust everyone.  Well, everyone but my dad, Joe.  My brother, and the devil.  Sure, I trust my dad and brother with my life if it was in danger, but that's about it.  But, it turns out I've got some major trust issues with God.  One of my really close friends shared something with me today.  Actually, she nailed it perfectly on the head.  See, I’ve had things in my life that have given me plenty of reasons NOT to trust.  Things that are woven deep within my psyche.  So deep, that apparently that lack of trust feeds my anxiety and the two of them together are having a good time wearing me out.  She's so awesome.  It was a total a-ha moment for me.  After this realization, I thought about it most of the day and then laid down for 20 minutes.  Just me and God.  He has never given men any reason not to trust Him.  Ever.  I however, give him a gazillion reasons not to trust me, everyday. 

See, I get anxious pretty easy.  Too easy actually.  I know God has a plan for George's job and everything else that's going on in my life.  And, I know that His plan is what's best.  I don't have to trust in that, I know that.  But sometimes, I want to know.  I have a lack of patience and I want my situation of the moment fixed!  I realized that I tell God "either way this goes, I'm okay.  I'll be fine."  But, what I realized today is that's not exactly true.  Sure, I'll be fine and deal with it, but I'm not exactly happy if His will doesn't go my way.  He's got lots of plans for me.  Not just one.  He's in control, I'm not.  I only think I am.  When I forget this, that's when the system goes haywire.  So what's an anxiety ridden, adhd, ocd, control freak with fear and trust issues suppose to do?  Pray.  Pray?  Surely that can't be it.  That simple?  That easy?  Just come to Him and give it all to Him?  Even though sometimes I might take it back?  Yes.  That's all it takes.  So whether I'm in my tent, or anxiety ridden, loaded with fear, or doing great, He is only a prayer away.

Until next time,
I'm working on breathing and walking at the same time, Carol.