somebodylovesmeblog

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


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Thanksgiving Memories

Awhile back, I shared some of my Thanksgiving memories…it was the first time my husband and I celebrated without our sons with us. I would like to share these memories again with you.

This year, our whole family, grandchildren and all, will be celebrating together! I will be sure to share the new memories and blessings of the day!

Hope you enjoy:

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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All the Pieces

Today I completed a rather challenging 1000 piece puzzle.  It was especially fun for me to piece together this particular puzzle, because it pictures what I imagine as the epitome of a welcoming, vibrant autumn day.  And, I must add, autumn is my favorite season.

Working through the process of this puzzle got me to thinking…about life.

I can only speak from my own life experience, however, maybe you can relate.

When my puzzle arrived, the top of the box revealed the beautiful image of the finished product, and nestled inside, was a bag that contained all the pieces thrown together.

Isn’t that like life?

We were created by a loving God, who knew us before we were formed in the womb.  He knows the finished product of who we were created to be.  He knows the beauty of what we truly are.

The first thing I did to start my puzzle, was to dump out the pieces, turn them all over, and then separate the frame pieces from the rest.  Being a 1000 piece puzzle, this took considerable time.

We go through life unaware of the pieces that we are connecting together.  As we experience life as babies, toddlers, children, teenagers, and finally adults,  there comes a time when we realize that there is a heap of puzzle pieces of our life that we can’t find, or can’t figure out where they fit in.  We search and search to find the complete picture of who we are, however, there are many empty spaces, and from our perspective, we are incomplete and rather shabby.

We wonder if we will ever be whole.

Then the process of piecing the puzzle together starts to show the faint makings of what the final result will be.  Slowly, as each piece is found and added, we start to see glimmers of clues that pop up in different areas.

As we live our lives, our memories and our experiences fit together, and reveal snippets of who we are…or who we are becoming.  This often feels as though it will take forever, and there are many times we feel hopeless, and we get very impatient and frustrated.

We want to give up.  We are SO tempted to give in to despair and to JUST GIVE UP.  It is so hard to see the complete picture of who we are meant to be. After all, we are made in God’s image, right?  Why is it so hard to trust Him and have faith that it will all come together?

So, as I look at my completed, beautiful puzzle, I am reminded that God looks at us in that way.  He sees what we are meant to be.  He sees our purpose.  He sees our beauty…and only He knows all the pieces that will fit together in our lives to transform us and make us whole.

 

Only He can see the whole, complete picture.  It doesn’t matter that we can only see the partial image…we need only to trust Him.

Jesus, I trust in You!

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5 

I am confident of this: that the one who began a good work in you will bring it to completion on the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

 

 

 


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What a Father Should Be

Since our move to the area, my husband and I have found a new church here in Fort Collins, CO at St. Joseph Parish.  It is a beautiful, traditional Catholic Church, and the reverence of the Holy Mass pulled me right in, including beautiful bells being rung during the Eucharistic Prayer, and an altar rail.  (which I have greatly missed)

I felt completely at home from our first visit, and realized that many things at this Parish remind me of my childhood Church.  (St. John the Baptist in Campbell, OH) Even though we are new members, I feel community, connection, and most importantly…I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.

One of the first things that I learned, was that we are in the midst of The Year of St. Joseph...December 8, 2020 – 2021.

After Mass, we offer this prayer:

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,

Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

To you God entrusted his only Son;

in you Mary placed her trust;

with you Christ became man.

Blessed Joseph, to us too,

show yourself a father

and guide us in the path of life.

Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage, and defend us from every evil. 

Amen.

I  never heard of this prayer before, and being perfectly honest, I never even thought of St. Joseph and his so very important, blessed role in the Holy Family.

The first time I attempted to read the prayer outloud, my eyes and heart filled with tears, and the words could not be formed out of my mouth.

It took my breath away.

This prayer conveys the perfect example of manhood and fatherhood.  What a father should be to his family.

A concept that I was never able to fully grasp with my own father.

St. Joseph took on the will of God with submission to The Father, total love, and humility. He was worthy in God’s eyes to be entrusted with the care and guardianship of The Blessed Virgin, and her son, Jesus, Our Savior.   

The words touch my heart because the prayer describes what a true Catholic father should be for his children and wife. What an important and blessed calling it is!

“To you God entrusted his only son”  To you, God entrusted his child (children.)

“in you Mary placed her trust;”  In you, your wife placed her trust.

“with you Christ became man.”  With you, your daughter or son becomes a woman or man.

“Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life.”  Show yourself a father and guide your children in the path of life.

“Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage, and defend us from every evil.”  Pray and Live in a way that your children will be blessed with grace, mercy and courage and defend them from the evils of the world.  

Be sure that you, as a father, are never the source of evil in their lives…but the protection from it!

May we always be open and willing to follow the perfect examples of Jesus, and the role models of parenthood that God the Father blessed us with.  

May God bless you and your family on your journey to Him!

 

St. John the Baptist Church