somebodylovesmeblog

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


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Thanksgiving Memories

This is the first year we will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day without our sons.  They are living across the country with their wives, in Colorado and California.  It’s a weird feeling, because we miss them and wish we could spend this special holiday with them, but at the same time we are really looking forward to having a cozy and wonderful day.  It will be the three of us…my husband Joe, my mother and me.

Sometimes I wonder if my sons savor the memories of Thanksgiving Day in the same way I do.  Just thinking of Thanksgiving brings up all kinds of memories and feelings.

I remember waking up to the sounds of my parents preparing the turkey for roasting.  That would always include a lot of arguing for some reason, but in our house, that was normal.  I loved to watch them stuff the bird, and then pop it in the oven.

Back when I was a little girl, it seemed as though the turkey cooked all day.  I’ve always loved turkey and stuffing, and the smell throughout the house was intoxicating.  I’ve come to realize how my feelings and memories are intensely attached to the aromas and tastes of traditional holiday foods.

To me, traditions convey warmth and family.

The next thing my three sisters and I would do is turn on the Thanksgiving Day Parade.  How we loved to check out all the awesome floats and characters! We would gather together and enjoy the music and wonder of the parade.  Such simple pleasures!

As the morning headed toward noontime, my mom would pass around some appetizers to keep our bellies from rumbling.  This would always include celery stuffed with cream cheese and pineapple, and cream cheese with olives.  (I loved both) There would also be cheese and crackers, and sometimes shrimp cocktail.  And there was always a bowl of whole nuts to keep us busy.  I don’t know what I loved more – eating the nuts or cracking them open with the cool nutcracker!

Thanksgiving would usually include my Grandfather, my Aunt Lillian, and my Great Uncle John.  It was a special day, so we would pull out the tablecloth, and set the table with cloth napkins and silver.  We would light candles.  We didn’t have fancy or expensive china, but I can tell you, I loved those dinners.  It felt so special to me.

After all these years, I finally understand the true gift my mom and dad were giving us through our holiday traditions.  They were planting memories of home and family…little bits and pieces of love that will always be in my heart.

You see, it didn’t matter that the glasses and dishes might not have matched.  It didn’t matter that we lived in a little house, and our “dining room table” was actually in our living room.  To tell you the truth, I never even thought about any of that.

Our family was very far from perfect.  In fact, there were things that happened in our house that should never have been – things that were hurtful and confusing.

But looking back, I see that my parents were always trying to find ways to instill family and stability into our lives.  They gifted us with many wonderful memories, and I never want to forget any of them.

Through our own family traditions, my husband and I have attempted to gift our sons with memories that they will carry with them forever, to share with their families.

It was way more than the turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole,  cranberry sauce and pumpkin and apple pies.

 It was the blessing and miracle of family.

And I hope that when my sons smell their holiday meal cooking, and they are enjoying time with their own families, they will always feel us in their hearts, as they are always in ours.

 May we always remember to treasure our family and friends that God has blessed us with.  Have a joyous Thanksgiving!


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Beloved Daughter

Today I am especially feeling the loving touch of the Holy Spirit through my whole being.  And through that Spirit, I am being led to share some loving words from our Heavenly Father.  This is a love letter to you, His precious daughter.

Beautiful one, this is for you:

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?  Do you pick apart each facet of your physical body, and compare yourself to other women?  Do you feel inadequate or inferior; sometimes even feeling as though you are hideous in one way or another?  Do you sometimes feel ugly inside, like if people really knew you, they would know how ugly you truly are?

The next time you look into the mirror, I want you to try something different.

I want you to see yourself through MY Eyes.

You were loved long before you were formed in your mother’s womb.  Each detail of what makes you “you” is like a brushstroke on the canvas of a great masterpiece. You were bathed in my loving light as you developed and grew in exactly the way you were meant to.  You are my special and lovely jewel.

You are beloved.

When you were born, heaven rejoiced.  Such a beautiful, sweet baby you were, my daughter.  Did you know the angels held you, and you were comforted by the tender love of Jesus?  In your helplessness and vulnerability, you were being loved and carried by a power so loving and beautiful, that sometimes you couldn’t help but smile or sigh.  Such an exquisitely beautiful baby you were!

As a little girl, you grew and brought me such joy.  Your zest for life, and your amusing antics.  The way your hair caught the light when you were playing gleefully, or the way it matted up after your nap.  Your beautiful innocence was shown through your bright, clear eyes.  Those eyes that touched me deeply because they showed the honesty of what was inside your heart.

Then you grew, and ready or not, you were a teenager!  I know those were difficult and confusing years for you.  I was right there with you, through everything.  When you were trying to fit in, and not seeing or feeling your true worth, you sometimes wondered where I was.  There were times when you were hurting, confused and lonely. I was there, holding you in my arms, and loving you, even when you did not feel me with you.  You were a beautiful bouquet of so many special characteristics that are yours and yours alone.

You didn’t see it at the time, however, all of what you were then was evidence of the beauty that was already a part of you, deeply rooted in your heart and the love I have always had for you.   That beauty was about to spill over, illuminating your physical being…laying the foundation  of the woman you are now.

What do I see when I look at you?

I see a beautiful woman of strength and character.  You have enjoyed many happy moments in your life, and also suffered through deep pain and anguish.  You have felt so weak and powerless at times…that is exactly when I carried you through.  If only you can fully realize that every single detail of you is beautiful and deeply loved.  You were not meant to be anything else.  You were created simply to be YOU.

Do not look to the world to see your true beauty, for the world’s view is veiled and tainted.

Look to Me.

Let go, and allow yourself to rest in my peace and love.  Submit yourself to me…all of who you are.  All of your strengths and weaknesses.  Your joys, your sorrows.  Your accomplishments, your failures.  Trust me – I will work all of the brush strokes of your life into the great masterpiece of my Divine Plan.

You are my beloved daughter, sparkling with a beauty more dazzling than the most precious gem imaginable.

You are loved.

Always,

Your Heavenly Father

 

 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.   Psalm 139:14

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.  Jeremiah 1:5

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.   1 Peter 3:3-4


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A Sign

As the years go by, I can look back and see how God was always working in and through my life.  At the time, I usually could not see his answers to my prayers, but I kept on praying in faith, not understanding why “God wasn’t answering my prayers.”

However, one time in particular, I received a concrete, hit you in the face kind of answer.  For me, it was a clear sign that the Lord was directing me.

When I was in my thirties, I knew something was not right in my spirit.  I was blessed with a family whom I loved very much, but I had difficulty feeling joy.  I also needed help with internal struggles…namely impatience, anger, and extremely low self-worth.  I decided to reach out for guidance and help, and started counseling.  By the way, the intense counseling revealed many layers of experiences and hurt that I had welled up inside myself…and the counseling ended up lasting for two and a half years.

One Sunday, I was on my knees before Mass, and I was praying to God for him to send me a sign.   My counseling/therapy sessions were going well, helping me to acknowledge and let go of much pain and hurt that had been festering for many years.  I trusted my therapist immensely…his name was Tom.

I was praying because I was then a part of a Renewal Group at Church… and I felt completely supported in love.  Our Renewal Group had weekly Bible Studies, and I was praying and studying scripture like never before.

My question to God was this…should I stop going to counseling now that I had more peace in my life and had the Renewal Team to support me?

I had the audacity to ask God for a sign. 

My head was bowed, and my eyes were closed.  After my prayer, I straightened up, opened my eyes, and there was Tom, my therapist, looking at me and smiling.  I did not even know he attended my Church.  You could have knocked me over with a feather.

I knew the answer that God had sent me was to continue my counseling with Tom.  As I said before, I continued with him for two and a half years, and that experience/work with Tom  put me on the track of where I am today in my spiritual journey.  I know without any doubt that God was working through Tom to start my healing process.

God is not through with me yet, and I cling to the promise that He will complete the work that was started in me.  There were many twists and turns on my path, and I look forward to where the Lord is leading me on my journey.

As a side note…the counseling/therapy sessions were extremely difficult work.  I was very emotional, and it was very painful facing and reliving some hidden and/or forgotten realities of my life.  Through this stressful time, my husband showed me what was truly in his heart.  He was totally there for me, supporting and loving me through everything.  That was the turning part of our marriage…when I realized my husband would never leave me.  It was the time when I learned that I could trust him with my life.

All things work toward good for those who love him!

Thank you Lord for loving me, and for shining your light of love and mercy into the dark places of my soul. 

Even when I cannot feel your presence…there you are. 

Even when I struggle and fall…there you are.

Even through my suffering…there you are.

Jesus, help me to always be open to your love, mercy and grace.

And help me to be a channel of your love, so I can touch those hearts you have entrusted me with.

Amen.

 

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28


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Letting Go

It is a beautiful fall day – a little crisp with the sun shining brightly.  My favorite kind of day.  Except that it is rather windy, and you can ask my husband…I do not like wind at all.

I am sitting at my desk at work, looking at the little tree that is right outside the window.  It is my little piece of heaven at work…I love trees and I have the privilege of being able to view them during the day.  So happy I am not stuck in a “cubicle” situation.  It would be extremely difficult for me to be imprisoned in an office all day with no windows!

My little tree is currently covered with gorgeous hues of yellow, gold, and burnt orange. As the wind blows, the leaves shimmer and dance in the breeze, trying so hard to hold on to their branches.  Of course, in time, the leaves will finally submit to the power of the wind, and they will eventually drop to the ground.  As we know, the tree will appear dreary and dead all through the winter, and then burst forth with new life in the spring!

Watching those leaves hanging on for dear life, reminds me of myself.  Most of the time when I go on my daily lunchtime walks, it looks like a completely still day. No wind.  It never fails, once I start walking and praying, the wind picks up and blasts me.  It almost makes me laugh out loud, because in my soul, I know it is God speaking to me.  He is trying to get my attention, to let me know that I should stop trying to hide from the winds of change and growth.  Just like the leaves, I am trying to hang on to what I know, and trying to keep things at an even keel.

I need to stop hiding from Him.

What I am learning is that I need to just let go…and let the wind carry me…stop fighting it.  Stop fighting what God has planned for my life.  I need to submit to the Lord and just let go….why is that so difficult?

Lord, thank you for blessing me in so many ways!  You are the source of all that is good, and you are my comfort through the pain and heartaches of this world.

Please send your Holy Spirit to open my soul to your will, and fill me with the grace to let go of my fears and submit my life and my will to You. 

Help me to let go of all that is holding me captive. 

For I have faith, that just like the leaves letting go and falling to the ground are an indication of the beauty  to come in the spring…so is your loving plan for my life. 

The beauty comes in letting go.

 


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Lord, Forgive Us

Yesterday was Election Day.  So many thoughts are going through my mind today.

How could there be so many with their eyes closed to what is happening right before them?  This country, and the world, would be a different place if we really lived our Faith.

How can a Christian support the killing of innocent babies in the womb?

How can a Christian support homosexual “marriage”?

How can a Christian support the government’s right to forcibly take away money, through taxes,  from its citizens and hand it out to others?  Shouldn’t we be loving and charitable with our money and possessions, in the ways we are personally called?  Have you seen some of the disgusting ways our money is being used? (take a look at what they are doing and teaching in our schools)

How can a Christian trust, support and give the right to the government regarding our healthcare?  Why would we give up our God given freedom and hand it over to the government?

How can a Christian support the government’s right  to be in charge of dispensing our hard earned money?  Why would we trust the government to use our money in any way they deem fit?  Wouldn’t a Christian want to support causes that the Lord leads them to…and choose the way he is led in charity?

Why do we support a government that is chipping away at religious freedom?  Why would anyone accept that “Heather has Two Mommies” is ok, however, “The Bible” is not?  Why is it ok for the government to force companies or Churches to comply with the government’s truth concerning areas of religious faith?

Why do we blame guns for the wickedness that is running rampant in the hearts of men, however, we are unable to teach the Saving Power of God, or even mention His name in our schools…when HE is the only answer to the blackness that is overtaking souls?

Please, let’s take a step back and look at what is happening all around us.  The questions I just asked are just a small portion of what has been sneaking into our country while we are sleeping.

Or are we just pretending to be asleep so we don’t have to take a stand?

What I see is a government that is phasing God out, and stepping in to take God’s place.

Is that what you want?  Is that what we desire for future generations?  Something to think about, isn’t it?

 

Lord, please forgive us for our laziness, complacency, and sinful pride. 

We ask that you send your Holy Spirit to search our hearts for the sins in our lives that need to be acknowledged, and ask for the humility needed to allow us to beg your forgiveness.

We throw ourselves at your feet, and rest in your healing mercy and grace.

Jesus, have mercy on us.  Jesus, save us.  Jesus, lead us to fulfill your purpose.

Amen.

 

Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,  Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations   Jeremiah 1:4-5

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.   I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Psalms 139:13-15

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.   Romans 1:26-27

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.  Genesis 2:24

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.  Luke 6:38

But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.   Acts 5:29