somebodylovesmeblog

Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.


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It’s Not All About Me

There was a long time in my life, where I was searching for my “purpose,” and trying to figure out what it meant to be me. Day by day life was sometimes a struggle for me, and I constantly compared myself to what the world deems as important, or successful.

Since I lived a simple life, and chose to be a wife, mother, and homemaker, versus a successful business woman or rocket scientist, I was lead to believe that somehow I was a failure as a woman.  That I was a let down to the feminists of this culture…who seem to thrive on the “me first” philosophy of life, and the idea that children or family should never hold a woman back from the glory that she is…or should be.

I was being pulled in two opposite directions.  The world was pulling me in the direction of finding what “I” needed to be happy, and my heart was pulling me in the direction of striving to find ways to make my family happy.

Searching…

This constant battle in my heart and mind caused discontent and confusion.  I had no idea what it was that I needed, and certainly did not know who this elusive “me” was.   Down deep, I knew that there was much to learn about myself, and knew that it would not be an easy thing…to find my true purpose, and to feel comfortable in my own skin.

My main struggle was that I honestly believed that I needed to be perfect…look perfect, act perfect, and have a perfect family who lived in a perfectly clean home in order to be even close to the level of anyone  else in the world.  So I tried day after day, week after week, month after month, and then year after year, to look like all was good.

Except that I knew I could never be perfect in any area of my life, and so I could never be “ok.”  It was a conundrum.  And I went round and round, searching for who I really was, and what I was doing on this planet.

Even though I wasn’t yet aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life, he lead me to the first steps of reading self help books, and then to therapy.  Book after book, and each therapy session  taught me one tidbit after another, teaching me to love myself and not to be afraid of asking, and sometimes demanding, what I needed to be happy.

When I found my “power,” I realized that I was ok the way I was, and everyone else needed to know what “I” needed to be happy.  It was a time of selfishness…it was all about me.  In the midst of this process, I learned to accept and love myself unconditionally…both my strengths and weaknesses.

When I learned to accept and love myself, somehow I was transformed.

Without conscious effort, I began to accept both the strengths and weaknesses of my family, my friends, and the people who were placed in my daily life.  I learned to focus on the good, and overlook the bad in others.  Miraculously, my happiness level rose exponentially.

It seems to me that Jesus was there every step of the way, leading me to continue learning  one more thing after another  that would ultimately bring me closer to the power of Love…to Him.

I started out as feeling inferior and empty, and then realized that I am a  child of God, with unique gifts.  The error that I made (and the same one I am seeing over and over in others) was to think that my happiness is the most important thing in this life. That I needed to focus on myself, and in that way, would find happiness.

That was a deception.

True joy and happiness is realized through reaching out and helping other people.  It is opening our hearts to the power of the Holy Spirit, and asking Him to fill us with himself.  It is looking for ways to be a blessing to others, and to be humble in our dealings with those who hurt us or cause us to be uncomfortable.  When filled with the Spirit of God, it becomes easier to see through hurtful words and actions, and see the hurting heart that lies beneath.

In knowing your true worth…that you are loved totally and unconditionally by God…it is easier to stand your ground in a more loving way.  Without anger, jealousy, or bitterness.

I now know that I “found myself” when I learned that my true identity lies in the Lord.  His love surrounds me and fills my heart.  This love begs to be shared!

It’s not all about me.  It is all about Him… that lives within me.  And my purpose is where He leads me.

 

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.  John 1:12-13

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.  Romans 15:7

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

 


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No Eye Has Seen

But as it is written, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.”  1 Corinthians 2:9          

 

This bible verse has been one of my favorites for many years.  The mere thought that as humans, our senses  can not even fathom the wonders that await us…prepared by God who loves us and desires to draw us to Him!

Imagine the most magnificent sights you have ever enjoyed.  They are countless, however, a few stand out for me.    The faces and smiles of my husband, sons, grandson, family, and friends.  Gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.  Never ending stars twinkling in a black sky.  A rainbow. Niagara Falls.  The beauty of one rose, or the splendor of a field of wildflowers.

Imagine the most beautiful sounds you have ever heard.  For me, that would include the consoling and refreshing sound of the waves breaking on the shore, the musical notes and harmonies of birds singing in the morning, and the pure delight of hearing babies’ giggles and the sweet voices of my loved ones.

Now, without reservation, imagine what would be the “perfect heaven” for you.  Our imaginations can run wild with this one…all of the things that we feel would make us perfectly happy.  What are those things for you?

Anything that our eyes, ears, and mind can reveal to us, will never even come close to what God has already prepared for us.  His love, mercy, and vision for our lives and our future with him are out of our realm of understanding or discovery.  Wow…we are so loved by God, that he has made preparations for us so wondrous, that we can not grasp the full beauty of it!

Now read the verse again…“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.”

“For those who love him” jumped out at me a few days ago while reading this verse.  I had never thought about that aspect of this verse before.

Many times, those that consider themselves “saved” will nonchalantly answer “Jesus loves me just as I am, no matter what I do” when confronted with the truth regarding sin in their life. Essentially, we tend to make excuses for our behavior, believing that Jesus will love us know matter what our actions or thoughts are.  And he will.

However, this verse does not say “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those that he loves.”  It specifically states…for those who love him.

Think about that…in what ways do you love Jesus?  In what ways do you attempt to grow closer to him?  What are the ways that you show him you care for him and want him in your heart…in your life?

In a true loving relationship, the focus is not on “me.”  The focus is, “what can I do to please my loved one?”  What changes in my life would  bring joy and happiness to the one I love?  How do I make a conscious effort to love God?

Dear Lord, please fill me with your Holy Spirit.  Open my eyes, ears and mind to the ways I can show my love for you.  Engulf me in your mercy and love, and allow me to open my heart as a vessel for your love to flow through to all who live in darkness.  Teach me to love you.

 

For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.  Isaiah 64:4

But as it is written, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.”  1 Corinthians 2:9  

 

 


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How Does Your World Change When Your Father is Gone?

How does your world change when your father has passed on, and is no longer with you?

“Papa Bill” with Grandson Joey

I cannot speak for all of you, for what your story is, or what you are feeling.  All I can do is share what my personal reality is…with the knowledge that as I continue to walk my journey, that reality may change.  As it has changed in the last fourteen years…since my father, Bill Makosky,  passed away.  To read my tribute to my dad, written a year after his death, click here.

When my father died, I went numb, and then into auto pilot.  So many things to do, so many people to interact with,  and so many reasons to stay strong for my mother and family.  Although my heart knew the grief, anger, sadness, and confusion that  lurked beneath the surface, I instinctively protected the depth of those feelings…and chose to reveal only a facade to the world around me.

My mother was alone after his death,  and needed to be with loved ones.  A year after my dad died, my husband and I  invited her to come live with us…which meant she had to make that very hard decision to leave all she knew, and the home that she and dad had lived in for most of their married life together.  She moved from the small town of Youngstown, OH, to Manassas, VA…which is essentially the crazy Washington D.C. area.  And my sisters and I, all did what we needed to do to help her purge most of what she owned, sell her home, (the home we all grew up in) and then move in with us.

Mom ended up living with us until her death, in 2015. During that time, I kind of took her lead, regarding her grieving the loss of my dad.  In the beginning, she talked about him a lot, and was kind of living in her own reality regarding the man he was.  It was obvious to me that they have always loved each other, through any storm that hit them or our family.  However, when she talked about him, refusing to aknowledge his weaknesses, or the way some of his words and actions affected my sisters and me, it touched a place inside of me that I could no longer ignore.  

Carefully, I would remind her that I grew up in our house, and I knew the truth.  As the years went by, she was more able to accept the goodness of my dad, and also the darkness that he harbored.  We were able to talk about it at times, and although we made that breakthrough, I focused mostly on my relationship with her, and kind of put the death of my father on the back burner.

That changed when my mom passed away, for then I was orphaned.  The foundation of our family, and the roots that connected us no longer existed.  No reasons left for me to gloss over the fact that my father is dead.  

He is gone. 

And I miss him very much!

How did my world change when my father passed on?  A few things come to mind…

No more “hi dads,” and “hi Buns” (he called me Bun) and seeing his face light up when he saw me and his grandsons.

No more seeing him at our door, carrying his paper, and anything else he decided to bring over…like coffee cake or donuts.

No more dad to call when my life was in turmoil…like when my marriage was young and stormy.  He would listen to my cries of anguish, then comfort and support me…while at the same time, never once uttering  a negative thing about Joe…my husband and his son in law.

No more dad to call when I was excited about something in our life, or when there were troubles or sadness.

No more father’s day cards or gifts to choose…or birthdays or holidays to celebrate together.

No more dinners together, and waiting for his reaction to the dishes I prepared.

No more arguments with him, and no more chances to view him from the eyes of one flawed adult to another…no more chances to pray for him, and for the healing of his hurting soul.

The world is still turning…hours, days, months, and years spin by.  And although it is a beautiful world, created and gifted to us to enjoy and treasure, I have finally come to the place where I feel the emptiness of being fatherless in this world.

It is a void that cannot be totally filled by memories.

However, my heart is miraculously filled with an intense love that includes the hearts of my mom and dad.  That love pierces through the pain and grief of losing our loved ones,  It is a love and warmth that could only come from the source of love itself...Our Heavenly Father.

May God bless you on Father’s Day, and each and every day that you are blessed to live and love, in this beautiful world!

 

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.  Deuteronomy 5:16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Let Us Kneel Before the Lord

Yesterday, the daily devotional from “A Catholic Woman’s Book of Days”  really touched my heart.  

O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!  Psalm 95:6

The author recounted a time when she took a group of high-school students to a retreat day at a Monastery.  Part of the day involved attendance at Mass.

Afterward, some students remarked that the experience had been different from Mass at their home parishes.  “Here, it was like the focus was all on God.  At home, it’s more like it’s all about us.

Wow.  Such insight from young minds.

For many years, I was the one who was sometimes bored, thinking that Mass was supposed to entertain me, or that it was meant as only a fellowship time with my Church friends.  If the music was “good,” and the homily was “catchy and interesting,” I considered myself “fed.”  Otherwise, I really just went through the motions, fulfilling my Sunday Mass obligation.

Then I read “The Lamb’s Supper” by Scott Hahn.

How misguided and totally selfish I was.   You see, the Mass is not intended to be of entertainment for us.  We can be entertained anywhere in this world.  The Mass is a gift offered to us…to share in the Eucharistic Table together, in humble worship of Our Lord and Savior.  How blessed we are, that we have been invited to share in this banquet feast…The Lamb’s Supper.

During Mass, we are led to turn our minds and hearts to Our Lord, Jesus.  We worship through hearing His Word, singing praises to Him, and receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus.  Through the Eucharist, Jesus becomes one with us. He is in us, and we are in Him.  What could be more spirit filling than actually receiving Jesus into our bodies…into our beings?

How does that miracle of love even remotely compare to being “entertained?”

When at Mass, we are in communion with The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  We are also accompanied by  God’s angels and saints.  The Communion of Saints…how mystical and beautiful!

How blessed we are to have a tangible way to be intimate with our Lord.  To be totally one with Him, and through Him.

Lord, I thank you for gifting us with your Church on Earth.  Thank you for inviting us to this Loving Banquet.  Please send your Holy Spirit to infuse our hearts, minds and will with your amazing and unfathomable love, joy, and mercy.

 

Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.  For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.  John 6:52-56

 

 

 


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My Second Mother’s Day Without my Mom

Today is my second Mother’s Day without my mom.

I never thought I would be the one to continue to grieve, to be overcome with emotion, and to miss my mother so very much.

Since my mother passed away, about a year and a half ago, I have felt her presence with me…a love that fills me and sometimes overwhelms me.  All of the moments that are precious and a treasure to me now, at the time were experienced as normal everyday moments.  Not realizing the memories that she was gifting me with…going through my days, as though each one was just another day, and not having the eyes yet to perceive true beauty.

My mother lived with Joe (my husband) and me for about eleven years.  Through those years, I was the one that would help her make purchases for gifts.  When it came to gifts for me, she would usually tell me what she would like to give me, and would ask me to choose and purchase.  Needless to say, I was never surprised!

Mom’s Final Gift to Me

When she was in rehab before she died, she was thoroughly enjoying herself.  One of the activities she loved was Bingo.  One day, I walked in to her room, and her face was all lit up.  She told me that she won Bingo, and was able to choose her prize.  She chose a beautiful flower arrangement so she could give it to me.  She was so excited and happy that she was able to surprise me with some beautiful flowers.  I was very touched at the time…but as time goes by, that one simple gesture touches my heart in the most deep way.

These are the moments that stay with us.  Snapshots of time that keep us grounded in love.  The miraculous scenes of life that play and replay through our minds and hearts of times gone by.

Moments spent with those we love.  As I sit here thinking and honoring my mother for all she was, and all she did for us as a family, many of those times come to mind.

Some of those moments that will always be with me:

Watching my mom through the window of the Senior Center when I arrived to pick her up.  Seeing her sitting at a round table with five of her friends, laughing so hard that she had to lay her head down on the table.  I had never seen her laugh like that.

Seeing her in her cute reading glasses, looking up from her book at me, when I came home from work and popped my head in her room to ask her how her day was.  She usually said, “I had a beautiful day.”  I will never be able to part with those glasses.

Watching her eyes light up when Joe or I served up one of her favorite meals.  Or favorite desserts.  Come to think of it, most everything was “her favorite!”

Getting beat royally by her when playing Canasta, Skip-Bo, or Sequence.  Sometimes it was downright mortifying how bad she beat me!

Losing my temper and yelling about our differing politics.  Feeling awful afterwards, I would apologize, and she would just say, “Sometimes things just need to come out.”  She would never hold those outbursts against me.

Strolling through Costco pushing my mom in her wheelchair with a cart in front of us…stacked so high with items she wanted to purchase, that we could not see where we were going!

Her excitement upon learning that she was going to be a great grandma.  That was one of the things that was holding  her back from passing on…she wanted to see her grandson’s baby that would be coming in five months.  I said, “Mom, you know that in heaven you will be able to see your grandson.”  She looked in my eyes and smiled.  She said, “I know, but I am not ready to leave this Earth yet.”  She didn’t make it to see Brayden’s birth, but I KNOW she is with him now.

The privilege of assisting her to shower, wash and style her hair, and put lotion on her.  In the beginning, she was embarrassed to have me help her in that way.  However, it became comfortable and natural for us.  And I enjoyed helping her to feel a little pampered.

Seeing the joy on her face when looking out her bedroom window and seeing three snowmen that the sweet neighbor girls built for her.

Sitting next to Mom at Mass and special worship times, feeling so close to her.

Seeing my mother, as she was near death, look me straight in the eye and tell me that I had the most beautiful blue eyes she’d ever seen.  Then proceeded to call me “Jan,” telling “Jan” that her daughter and son in law take good care of her, but she worries about their health.

A few days before she passed away, I climbed into bed with my mom, and put my arm around her,  I asked her if it was ok that I was there with her.  Her answer?  “We should do this more often.”  Yes, we should have….

Once I asked her if there was anything she would have done differently, being that she had a hard life.  She told me she wouldn’t change a thing.  She said that her family is her blessing, and when things get difficult, you just need to “offer it up to the Lord.”

I have learned to do just that, Mom.  I have finally learned to offer my life to the Lord.  And a large part of myself is the part that came from you.  Thank you for loving me.  Thank you for being you.  Thank you for loving the Lord.

 

 

 

 


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Jesus People

There is a cute little house on the corner of our street that has an amazing sign in the front yard.  When I walk by I can’t help but “feel the love.”

The words that call out to me by my humble neighbors are “Pray for America…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14

Being that we live in a mostly liberal college town…it takes a very strong believer to be willing to publicly profess what they stand for.  

A few weeks ago, I introduced myself to the owner of the home, and shared with him how thankful we are that he has the sign posted.  He said that there aren’t too many that share our faith in this community, and he appreciated my stopping by.  I let Him know that there are probably more of us around than we realize …however, most practice their faith in a quieter fashion.

So… today is a gorgeous, sunny  California day, so hubby and I took a walk to the library.  As we passed the “Pray for America”  sign, the next driveway was a busy yard sale.  We started talking with the woman who was the “seller” and I assumed she was the woman of the house with the sign.  I introduced myself, and I asked,  “Are you the one that posted the “Pray for America” sign?  She kind of stared at me in a blank way, and then blurted out, “No, those are “The Jesus People.”  She looked toward her neighbor’s house and kind of rolled her eyes a second before I jubilantly answered back, “Well, that’s awesome, because we are Jesus People too!”

At that point, she changed the subject.

My husband and I got a chuckle out of the encounter, and although she may not have the same belief/faith system we have, she was a nice woman and we enjoyed visiting with her.  But it got me thinking…

Do the people in our daily life look at us as “Jesus People?”  Do they know by the words that come out of our mouths, the way we carry ourselves, the entertainment we partake in?  Do they see Jesus in us through our love, kindness, charity, and mercy?  Do they see something different in us..different from what they are accustomed to according to world standards?  Do they see us standing firm as Christians?  Not afraid to profess our Faith in Jesus and our love for Him?

Or are we Christians in words only, and continue to live as the world does?

I pray that in my life, Jesus works through me as a vessel, and I am identified as one of “The Jesus People.”  For that would be a blessing and the most wonderful compliment I could ever receive:-)

 


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The Luminous Mysteries

This is the fourth in the series of “How Praying the Rosary Changed my Life.” Please click here for the background of how I was led to The Rosary, and also to learn about The Joyful, Sorrowful, and and Glorious  Mysteries.

Today I will cover the Luminous Mysteries, which are prayed on Thursday.

My prayer is that The Holy Spirit will open your heart to these great mysteries, and fill you with the love, joy, and peace of Our Lord, Jesus.

There are five meditations associated with the Luminous Mysteries. I will cover each one.

  1. The Baptism of Jesus  Matthew 3:13-17  (For the Desire to Live my Baptismal Promises)  Dear Lord, you did not need to be baptized…for you are God.  Thank you for submitting to your Father, and allowing John to baptize you.  How unworthy he must have felt.  However, you accepted his baptizing you, in total love and humility.  We hear our Father’s words, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  Help me Lord, to follow in your foot steps.  Even though I am unworthy due to my sin, help me to always look to you to help me to live my baptismal promises.  To live my faith each and every day.
  2. The Wedding at Cana  John 2:1-11  (For the Desire to do Whatever Jesus Says)  Lord, thank you for performing your  first public miracle at the wedding in Cana.  The first thing I think of, is that you and your Mother were celebrating a holy marriage!  Imagine the wonder and joy of having God Himself in attendance of their wedding feast! Help me to understand that it was your Mother that informed you that there was no wine.  She interceded for the need of the wedding hosts, and when you answered that your time had not come…she proceeded to tell the servants to “Do whatever he tells you.”  It is the same when I bring my needs, prayers, and sufferings to Mary.  She intercedes on my behalf to you…guiding me to “Do whatever he says.”
  3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God  Mark 1:14-15  Matthew 5:3-12 (For the Desire of God’s Forgiveness)  Dear Lord, help me to know that your kingdom is as close as my own heart.  Help me to open my heart to you, always desiring that you fill me with your love and mercy.  Help me to stay strong in this world that we are living in…allowing my eyes to be open to your truth and to be very aware of the existence of sin.  Please help me to seek your forgiveness and mercy for my own sins, and also that I may look at others who are living in darkness, with that same love and mercy.
  4. The Transfiguration  Matthew 17:1-8  (For the Desire to be a New Person in Christ)  Dear Lord, thank you for  revealing  your glory through your transfiguration…allowing us humans to experience the glory and radiance of your Godhead.  Help me to always look to you to transform me into a completely new person in you.  Thank you for infusing my heart with your love, and shining your love through me.
  5. The Institution of the Eucharist  Luke 22:7-20  John 6:50-53 (For the Desire for Active Participation at Mass)  Lord Jesus, we are so blessed in the privilege and honor of celebrating Mass and receiving the Holy Eucharist…your body and blood. Please help me to always remember, that each and every Mass is a miracle, for you are truly there among us.  Help me to realize that it is your precious body and blood that I receive…making us one.  You are in me and I in you. We are joined together.  Thank you for inviting  me to your table,  The Lamb’s Supper.  

 

Pray the Rosary  A Saint Joseph Edition  A wonderful little Pamphlet

For information on how to pray the rosaryClick here

May your day be blessed in the love and light of Jesus, Our Lord. May your heart be touched through these Luminous Mysteries.

Remember, that these meditations come from my own heart.  When you pray the rosary, the Holy Spirit will reveal the truth of the mysteries directly to you.  Please feel free to comment with any questions or thoughts.