Monday, April 15, 2013

Profound, Private, and Me

Well, another silent retreat has come and gone.  While I am sad that it is over, I am blissfully happy at the quiet and all the time I had on the retreat.  It's such a lovely time.  I always learn something about myself, whether it's something I need to do, stop doing, or change what I am doing.

This time around, I learned something very profound.  Very private.  But, I will share it.  I've heard time and again that Jesus is all I need.  I've sang the lines "Jesus be my everything".  I guess I'm so thick, things don't always click with me.  Over the weekend, Fr. Ron talked a lot about forgiveness.  Giving it, receiving it, why it's so important, etc.  I thought about one of my closest familial relationships that have gone astray.   There is nothing I haven't tried to do to repair it.  It just is what it is.  While meditating and sitting next to Jesus on the beach (sometimes it's in church, sometimes on the beach), my head on His right shoulder, He asks me why I am so hurt over this relationship.  I explain all I ever wanted this person to be to me.  All I thought they were suppose to be to me.  How I would look to this person in my life.  Every scenario I came up with, every one, Jesus said to me "I can do that!"  I miss my brother terribly.  More than words could ever describe or pictures could paint.  Jesus said "I AM your brother."  I said "but I want to talk with him and share things with him."  Jesus said "I can do that.  Share them with ME."  It was quite moving actually.  Everything I wanted out of a relationship with my younger brother, Jesus said He'd handle it.  It never dawned on me that Jesus really can be my everything.  God is the most amazing dad I've ever had (not counting George's dad, he's the most amazing father a girl could ever want and I'm truly blessed to have him and  he comes here on Wednesday!!!!) why shouldn't/couldn't Jesus be the most amazing brother to me? 

The other thing I found out, not really profound mind you, was when again I was meditating and talking to Jesus and He asked me what would make me happy.  Now, my first thought was a new bed.  Then the more I thought about it, sure material things make me happy but not nearly as happy as my very close friends and my immediate family.  My guru's Sharon, Patti, Julie, Mary P; my bunco sisters; my chrp sisters; my best friend Tina, my sister Carol; my husband and kids and my mom.  I can happily say that I have many friends now, when I used to have none.  Zip.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  That is not an exaggeration.  Those above are my nearest and dearest.  My podmates, my spiritual guidance, my everything.  They are what makes me happy.  To be truthful, it felt quite odd going through a list of things off the top of my head that would make me happy and then boiling it all down to what truly makes me happy.  Love.  Giving my love to all of you.  That makes me happy.

What makes you happy?

Until next time,
Take some time for yourself and just be.


While the retreats are extremely lovely, they are also very emotionally exhausting for me.  I prayed, I laughed, I cried.  I seriously need the next day off just so I can reenter the world so to speak. lol  I wish all of you could experience it!  I prayed for all of you.  Yes, you!  I prayed for many by name and if you can read this, then I prayed for you too!  I love my retreats because they overflow my cup with blessings and grace and love and prepare me to deal with whatever life has in store for me.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Me, Mac, and Sheila

Last night was years in the making for me.  Finally, after about eight years, I was able to attend my first Third Day concert.  I fell in love with them after I attended a retreat at my church 8 1/2 years ago.  Last night, I stood most of the evening with 5,000 of my closest friends.  One very close friend, Sheila, right beside me.

It was such a beautiful experience.  At times, my eyes filled with tears that didn't escape.  At one point, they sang Revelation, one of my favorites by them.  I looked up, arms outstretched and sang the chorus:  "Give me a revelation, show me what to do, I can't seem to find my way, I haven't got a clue.  Tell me should I stay here, or do I need to move?  Give me a revelation, I've got nothing without you."  Then, at another point in the show Mac (Powell) talked about how God is a God of miracles and how we can ask for a miracle.  So I did.  I asked for a miracle for me, and for my friend.  I was specific.  I even reminded my friend something that I tend to forget often:  Faith isn't knowing that God can, it's knowing that He will!

Last night I was in my own little world.  It was me, Mac, and God, and Bob and Sheila.  I was the happiest I've been in a while.  While Mac didn't sing my ultimate favorite Third Day song, "When Love Sees You", I felt loved.  The love of my friend Sheila, the love of my God, it was awesome.

I just want to share with all of you, whatever you are going through right now, and it's always something, no matter how little it might seem, or how big, God loves you and so do I.

Until next time,
Pray for a miracle for yourself!


Friday, April 5, 2013

The Tortoise and the Hare

I'm a hare.  I can't help it.  Blame it on the ADHD or just plain excitement, I'm a hare.  I want everything NOW.  I want the house clean NOW.  I want a new bed, NOW.  I want a new house, NOW.  I want to be out of debt, NOW.  I want the remnants from my accident to be done, NOW.  I want my house to sell, NOW.  NOW!  NOW!  NOW!

I'm reaaaaaaaaaly tired of hearing 'you didn't get into this overnight', 'things take time', 'patience' and 'God has a plan'.  This does nothing but irk the heck out of us hares.  I've got things to do, places to be, I want what I want and I want it...NOW!

Apparently, God is not a hare.  He watches me, day after day, spin my wheels in the mud.  He watches me as I try to help Him along, after all, God helps those who help themselves, right?  Sigh.  My spinning, sadly, accomplishes nothing.  It upsets me because no matter how hard I try, nothing works.  People don't return calls when I need them too.  Who knew I wasn't the only person my insurance company is dealing with (joke people, I knew that)?  If people would stick to the script I have in my head, things would work so much smoother.  But, life isn't like that.

I spent last night with 16 of my closest friends saying good-bye to one of them who is leaving for two years.  We laughed, and laughed, and laughed!  At one point in the night, sitting on the couch with two of my friends, looking around at my other friends, there was no doubt in my mind that I was home.  Sometimes, even to this day, I still feel in spinning my wheels and trying to control situations, I am looking for acceptance.  I try to be what I think other people need me to be.  Sometimes, it's really very draining.  Then, God graces me with moments like last night.  Almost nine years ago, he put me with some of the holiest women I will ever know.  I looked around the room last night, and all I could see were hearts and arms that were wide open.  They accepted me warts and all.  Fourteen calls a day, snoring, excited, no idea what they were getting into.  They accepted me (along with quite a few others who aren't in my group from last night).  So, while I spend most of my days spinning and spinning and spinning, God graces me with tortoise moments like last night.  A time where the spinning stops and the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  It is moments like that in which I can physically see and feel exactly how much He loves me.  It is a beautiful thing. 

So, today, I was back to spinning, being my normal hare self.  However, I think I'm going to work on being more tortoise like during my days.

Until next time,
Pray for safe travel for my dear friend


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bills, Hillary Clinton, and Servants

Most of us, as little girls, were sold a bill of goods.  Scratch that, we weren't sold, we were given the bill.  Two of them in fact.  One, we were given a prince suit when we are little girls and told to find a guy and make it fit.  Squish him in there if you have too, but make it fit.  Second, being a mom is a glorious, wonderful time filled with Leave it to Beaver moments.  Good thing both bills were free or I would be requesting my money back!

I've hung out with too many frogs (my father as one) twisting, turning, and squishing them into the prince suit to realize, they were too small, or too big to fit the suit.  It took 30 years.  THIRTY YEARS before I married my prince.  The suit didn't fit, so I had one tailor made, by God. 

Now, this mom thing.  When I was little, I carried around baby dolls and played in my fake kitchen.  Among things I wanted to be when I was little (teacher, lawyer, chef) was a mom.  Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom...most days.  Here's what no one tells ready?  It's HARD!  There's all the hoopla surrounding the delivery of your baby or child.  It doesn't matter whether the baby gets here sliding down the canal like a ride at a water park, c-section, or you adopted, you are now a mom.  All the congratulations,  no one tells you, it's HARD!  And here's what else they won't tell you, each stage they go through is harder than the next!

When my kids were little, I couldn't wait for them to hold the bottle themselves, walk, talk, sleep through the night.  Then, each milestone that passed, I was all "what was I thinking!"  I think the worst part when they get to be older teens and have their own visions for their life and not yours.  Being a mom is constantly banging your head against the wall.  Change spots often and it will look like an art piece vs a I can't do this anymore moment.

And now for a confession.  I am a failure as a mom.  Yea, yea, quit with the no you're nots.  Thanks, but not true.  I compare myself to everyone in everything!  My kid doesn't like to read, there's is reading three grade levels ahead!  Their kid keeps their room immaculate, I can't get my kid to pick up dog poop in his room!  DOG POOP!  You get where I'm going with this?  You know why their kids are better?  I'll tell you why.  They're not.  Somewhere, that kids mom is lamenting to their bff about something the kid isn't doing.  Hillary Clinton once said that it takes a village to raise a child.  Now, I'm not a fan of Hillary.  Never have been.  And, when I heard that, I was all "oh please!  That's the lazy persons way to parent!"  Now, I'm not saying Hillary was right.  But, I have a group of friends that I regularly go to for support for everything,  parenting is just one of them!  See, God puts people in my life at different times.  There's those whose kids are graduating college, just entering college, still in high school, still in grade school, and not even in preschool.  We all help each other out from 'it'll get better' to hugs, to 'man that's a hard one, we'll get through it together'.  The hardest thing is to find friends with a parenting style close to yours.  God sends those too :D

Currently, I'm dealing with an 18 year old who from my view has no direction (from his view he does); a 17 year old who is has her first boyfriend, and is starting to look at colleges, and an about to be 16 year old (in 16 days thankyouverymuch) dealing with everything.  While my kids are lovely, beautiful, smart, et al and I wouldn't trade them for the world, this s&)$ is HARD!  Let me tell you now, commercials lie!  Calgon doesn't take you away.  Herbal Essence doesn't have that side effect to me in the shower, and those coffee commercials, please, I've never been that awake to have that euphoric look on my face, I haven't had my coffee yet!

What isn't hard, is the love.  I love my kids and you love yours.  We are here to support each other.  We can do this!  And, in the words of one of my favorite songs (the servant song) 'We are pilgrims on a journey, we are travelers on a road, we are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load'.  "I will weep when you are weeping.  When you laugh, I'll laugh with you.  I will share your joy and sorrow till we see this journey through'.

Until next time,
Will you let me be your servant?  Let me be as Christ to you.  Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant too.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Spell check, Easter, and my faith

So, apparently, I spelled Triduum wrong.  I had it with one 'u'.  Apologies, my dear husband, but it's not in the spell check.

For as much as I sung the praises of the Triduum in my last blog, I did not go.  Call it life or laziness, I didn't go.  However, I went to Easter Vigil Saturday night and it was beautiful.  Let me explain.

Picture it, a quiet church, the sun is setting.  I am in a pew with my sister Carol and my niece Elizabeth.  We're saving seats for the rest of our brood who is on their way.  It's a peaceful time, filled with anticipation of what the night is going to bring!  Then, it is time.  The Vigil begins.  At one point, the church is completely dark, save for the lit candles that everyone possesses.  Prayers are said and it is a beautiful sight to behold.  People are baptized and confirmed and welcomed into my Catholic faith!  The Holy Spirit descends upon them and me. 

As I sit in my pew, I have a front row seat to everything.  I watch as a newly confirmed woman is so excited, that walking back to her pew after being confirmed, she throws both her fists up in the air with a big smile on her face as if to say "YES!"  I got to witness another woman, a few minutes after being confirmed, sing the Ave Maria in front of the entire congregation!  I watched our two new Deacons serve in the Mass.  I received communion from my friend Kevin who will become a Deacon in three weeks (on his journey to the Priesthood), and I got to see my friend Russ, assist in serving the Mass as well.  Then, as if things couldn't get ANY better, when the Holy Spirit cam upon the confirmed, I felt my Bob (aka the Holy Spirit) with me.  I welcomed him and told Him how much I have missed Him.

The Vigil flew by...two hours and forty minutes and it flew by.  It was filled with prayer and love and ceremony.  It was filled with incense and songs and joy.  I wish for each of you to experience it once in your life.  It is a truly moving experience.  Parts of it bring me to tears.  For example, the renewal of my baptismal promises.  I don't remember my baptism and I suspect most of you don't remember yours either.  But every year I get to renew my promises and it is moving. 

Then, yesterday was spent cooking and enjoying my sister Carol and her family.  There was a lot of laughter.  Seriously, a ton of laughter.  I'm pretty sure yesterday was the stuff that legends are made of.  I know some of the events will go down in our family history! lol  It was a great time to spend with our family as with life, things have been getting hectic.  It was so good just to be together.

I am sated.

Until next time,
Pray for those who have joined the Catholic faith this weekend.