somebodylovesmeblog

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


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Love Always Remains

Today’s post is one that is truly difficult to put out there in words…in black and white…which will suddenly make it all real.  My oldest sister, Patti, of whom I have written about on a few occasions, passed away on December 6, 2021, at the age of 79.  

For those of you who do not know her story, Patti was stricken with polio when she was 12.  She experienced a severe case, and almost died.  Her prognosis was not good at that time, and she was given only about 10 years to live in her condition, even after treatment in an iron lung and then physical therapy.  God had another plan in mind…she lived a full life, touching  countless hearts of all that came into her life.  Patti lived the remainder of her life as a quadriplegic, with only the use of her left hand and neck…and a brain filled with intelligence, love, trust in God, and an incredibly feisty and grateful spirit.

It’s hard to describe what Patti meant to me, and to my family.  “Back in the day,” there were no government programs in place for her or for any families that were caregivers for their loved ones.  There was no financial help, and no respite help.  Come to think of it, as far as I know, there were never any offers to help our family back then.  I am sure that most friends and family members were intimidated by the scope of what was needed for her care.

With that said, from a very young age, my other two sisters and I learned how to help care for all of Patti’s needs.  Bathing, hair washing, skin care, bedpans, turning her and changing her position so she would not get bedsores.  We also were “on call” for anything that she needed or help with the things she desired to do. We assisted her, and made sure that she had her writing tools and papers, books to read, the telephone to visit with friends and family, cups of cozy coffee, among many other things.

Patti was the center of our existence, and her role in our lives is so intricate that it is impossible to explain to others, even to other family members and friends. We grew up in a volatile, abusive, confusing and uncertain home. The kind of home where you never knew what was going to happen hour to hour, or even minute to minute.  There were wonderful times, that felt loving, lighthearted and fun.  However, those comforting times could change in a fleeting instant…and we lived in a home that the “spirit” of the day ahead of us could be felt in a palpable way. Our life was confusing, filled with the stark contrast of darkness and light.

That is one of the ways that Patti was a grounding for us.  She was a constant source of light, love, nurturing, connection, and positivity.  We spent a lot of our time as babies, toddlers, and teenagers, in her room.  She was there for us when we came home from school, to listen to whatever needed to be shared or discussed.  We watched special movies together, in her room.  (remember…there were no dvds or streaming back then so it was “a big deal”) We listened to record albums in her room, as a family.  This would include Shakespeare plays and most of the musicals.  I especially remember listening to Macbeth, all together in the dark.  Very memorable and scary!

My most precious memories spent with Patti, when I was a child, was laying next to her, listening to my favorite stories and poems that she would read to me for hours.  She most probably is the reason for my love of reading and writing.  As a little one, I experienced the stories of Poppy, Heidi, The Velveteen Rabbit, The Happy Prince, and The Selfish Giant.  I also learned about the love of Jesus and His Precious Mother…and countless stories of the lives of the saints.  She read me beautiful story poems and also whimsical, silly ones.  She was the one who helped me with homework, and also helped with special projects for school.  She offered much encouragement when I practiced for a speech or presentation…which absolutely terrified me.

Somehow, Patti knew how to touch my soul. Or shall I say that she was an open vessel for The Holy Spirit to work through.  This was evident in our family, and each person that she came in contact with.

Although she lived her life with a disability most of us can’t even fathom, she never complained or cried about her condition.  She chose a different way…the way of gratitude, love, and trust in God.  As I have said before, she was the least handicapped person I have ever known.  She forged through life, and viewed it as an adventure.  There was not much that she wouldn’t be open to, if there was a way for her to do it.  I remember the time in her life when she painted miniatures using a mouth stick.  That amazed me!  I also remember when she was strapped to the back of a motorcycle for an exhilarating ride. Yikes! (remember…she could not hold on or sit up on her own)

Actually, everything about Patti will always amaze me.

Patti, I know that you are in heaven, and are part of a world that I can not see.  But I know you are here.

You are here in my heart.  You are here when I enjoy the newness of each day and what it will bring.  You are here when my heart explodes with love for those that God has blessed me with…for your heart exploded with love into me when I was a confused little girl.  My fears and anxieties have kept me from many experiences throughout my life…everytime I am able to break through those fears and try something new or creative, you are right here with me.  You always encouraged me and loved me where I was at.  I am learning to do the same with myself and others.

Thank you for all that you have given to me and to the world. Thank you for showing me what a blessing it is to open myself to the love, forgiveness, peace and mercy, that only God can give.

Thank you for teaching me what it means to be truly grateful for all that God has blessed me with in this life.  You always focused on the beauty around you and that meant that your focus was always outside of yourself.  That is where your secret of happiness resided...it lived in the beauty of God’s creations and blessings, and especially in the hearts of those that He placed in your life.

Thank you for the love that you share(d) with me…I feel you so strong right now, that my heart is overflowing.  Thank you for being there for me throughout my life.  Your love and spirit  will be carried in my heart until my life has ended…and hopefully, will then be passed on to my loved ones and those souls that God places in my life.

God is love, and we will be connected in His love forever.  Thank you for teaching me that.

Your physical presence here on Earth is missed in so many ways.  It is not the same place without you.  However, the light that you shared will always be here to comfort us. Love always remains. I love you.

Patti’s Obit https://www.dispatch.com/obituaries/b0057891

Past Post about Patti  https://somebodylovesmeblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/patti-your-life-is-a-prayer/

 


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Blessings Through Barrenness

Thought you might enjoy these thoughts that I posted a few years back:

This is the time of year that I used to dread.  Most of the Christmas decorations have disappeared from our neighborhood’s homes, the warmth of holiday music has dissipated, the air is bitter cold, and the trees are dark and seemingly devoid of life.

Blessings Through Barrenness

My husband and I commute to work together, and lately I have been struck with beauty that I haven’t noticed before.  One thought has been swirling in my mind for a few days now.

There is great beauty to be found in barrenness.

This thought strikes me as my eyes take in the awesomeness of those trees that in the past I would describe as cold, dead and dull.  What I see now is entirely different and enlightening.

As we drive home after work, the winter sunsets are almost overwhelmingly gorgeous.  Last night there were deep shades of indigo, violet, magenta, pink and blue.  The colors were layered beautifully, and could be viewed through the intricate patterns of lace and latticework formed by the branches of those “dead” trees.

All it took for me to notice and see the beauty of barrenness was to look past it, and focus on the beauty through it.

Our lives are like that.  We tend to focus on what is lacking, and sometimes just can’t understand why a loving God would allow certain things to happen in the world.  We look at our own lives, our sufferings and weaknesses, and we feel barren and sometimes even abandoned.

We are called in faith to look through the barrenness and focus on the perfect beauty and love of God.

He is the beauty that calls, amazes, humbles, and overwhelms us with love.  He is The One that works all things toward good for those who love Him.

Do you love Him that loves you?  Are you willing to look through your weaknesses, persecutions, and sufferings and focus your trust and whole being on the saving love and grace of Jesus?  Will you open your heart to His Divine Mercy?

Only then will your eyes be opened to the intricate beauty of barrenness… for only Our Lord knows the full design of the tapestry that is being masterfully created through what we view as unacceptable.

Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:8-10

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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Feeling Hopeless and Empty?

In the last few years, I have personally experienced a roller coaster of emotions and issues, which were brought on by circumstances that I did not fully understand…and probably will never understand. Trudging through the thickness of my own private internal battles, I have managed to learn a few life saving gems.

These gems are not the sparkle and glitz types that are flashed at us through clever, and somewhat deceiving marketing ads.  What I am talking about are true nuggets…the kind that are hidden in plain view.  The kind that summon and invite us in, and once these nuggets are discovered, accepted, polished and lovingly cared for, will actually sustain us for life.

I have found that when I am at my lowest, feeling hopeless and empty, there are two areas that need to be acknowledged and developed. This is true in all of us… I witness it through all of the sadness, depression, confusion, anxiety, hopelessness and despair of those around me.

At this moment in time, there is much darkness enveloping our world.  There is much that attempts to bring fear and despair into our hearts.

However, at the same time, there is always love to be found…goodness that finds a way to radiate from difficult or dark circumstances.

The nuggets that lead us to truly see and and experience goodness and love are the virtues of gratefulness and humility.

Humility is understanding that God is everything.  We are alive because God wills it…every grace and blessing in our lives is gifted to us by God.  It does not matter what the world thinks of us, or how human eyes view us.  God created each one of us, and He alone knows our souls, and knows our true purpose.  He loves us with a love that we cannot comprehend.  

Humility is understanding and accepting that we are nothing without Him.

Gratitude, naturally flows from humility.  Once we know with our minds and hearts that life is truly a gift from God, and that all good things come from Him, we can’t help but to thank Him for every blessing and grace in our lives. One way to develop gratefulness is to thank God every night for each blessing that we experienced that day.

I once read something profound that posed a question to my heart.  “What if you lost all the things that you did not thank God for?

I try to thank God for everything in my life…starting with the fact that I am still alive. Listing out each of my senses, and how they are a blessing to myself, and can also lead to being a blessing to others.  I can walk. I have clean, running water. Hot showers. A cozy home. Food. Drinks. My husband. Friends. Family. Heat. Air Conditioning. We all have different blessings.

Once you get started thinking about all the goodness in your life, and know that God is the provider of all that is good…you start to see the world in a different way.  You start wanting to align yourself with God…and you learn to look up toward God for your joy and happiness, rather than continuing to search in all the wrong places for peace, joy and love.

Life is not easy, and never will be.  We are here to learn how to know, love and serve God.  And until we truly understand what it means to open our hearts and souls to the perfect love of God, we will struggle.  We must keep our faith in God, and know that we are saved through Christ Jesus. No matter how we continue to fall, and no matter how much we struggle and suffer…our hope and joy is in Him.

 

 

 

 


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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

 

 

 

 

 


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The Monsters We Create

The other night, I happened to see a discussion of the movie “The Bride of Frankenstein.” Upfront, I need to let you know I have never seen a Frankenstein movie and have never read the book. It just did not interest me. Although I usually do not put any credence in what “stars” say, Drew Barrymore’s  words interested me. She said it was a beautiful movie, with lots of symbolism. She also inferred there was a strong ethical and moral theme throughout the story, and a person could not help feeling sadness and compassion for the “monster”.

My curiosity was aroused, so I watched the movie.

Then I had to watch it again with my husband. This movie was filmed in 1935. There are many scenes that modern movie enthusiasts might laugh at, because of the acting and low technology, according to today’s standards. However, what I saw was a truly beautiful film, with much symbolism and reference to God, good, and evil. That kind of shocked me…I was not expecting that. Here was a monster that was created from dead bodies, and given “life” by crazed scientists. When the monster acted like a monster, the people were horrified, terrified, so of course they turned against him. They did not understand him, and were too afraid to even be in his presence. The monster stumbled his way around, because he simply knew no other way. He killed a few people indiscriminately, some of them by accident.

One truly beautiful scene, was when a lonely blind man was playing his violin in his little shack. The monster heard the music, and was drawn in by the beauty. He opened the door to the shack, and expected the man to scream and run. Since the man was blind, he did not do that. He literally prayed to God in thanksgiving…thanking God for sending him a friend in his loneliness. The man nursed the wounds of the monster, provided him with food and drink, and even tucked him into a comfortable bed, so he could rest. He accepted the monster as he was, without preconceived judgment. Not only did the man minister to his new “friend’s” needs, he also taught him to talk, and shared some finer things of life with him…namely wine and cigars. They became friends to each other. Because of the man’s blindness, he was able to show love without fear; he did not see the monster in his friend.

At that time, some men who were lost, happened to come into the man’s shack and saw the monster. They tried to kill him, and pulled the man out. The shack was left burning, and you see the monster escaping out of the flames, sadly calling out for his friend.

I won’t tell you the ending of the story, because I don’t want to completely ruin it for you. But let’s just say, the monster ended up having more humanity than the humans that created him had. I know it sounds weird, but that movie truly touched my heart. How many times do we create “monsters” and then turn our backs on them?

We allow the removal of God from our schools, and then are shocked when throngs of young adults turn their backs on God and the Church. And then, because of political correctness, we allow them to continue on their Godless path without a word, because we do not want to “offend” anyone.

We allow and condone the killing of unborn babies, the “innocents”, and then we wonder why there is so much violence and murder…and such disrespect for life in general. Again, we remain silent, after all, isn’t killing a baby in the womb a woman’s right? Really???

We allow our children to play violent, gory, evil games for hours on end, and then wonder why they cannot relate to people in a normal, healthy, loving way. In extreme cases, they play out their killing games in real life. Again, we make excuses. It’s only a game, it’s only a movie, it’s only music. Again I say…Really???

We allow the infiltration of our society’s minds, including our children’s innocent minds, with immodesty, promiscuity, and disgusting behavior. Then we cringe and back away when we see the results. Physical disease and debilitating emotional and spiritual sickness, unwanted pregnancies, suicide. But we often just want to turn away from what we have created. We judge and point our fingers at the “sinners.”  After all they chose that lifestyle, and need to repent. Right???

Because of busy work schedules and lifestyle choices, we spend less and less time together as families. Family meals are far and few between. Because of “smartphones” and other technologies, we have lost the art of personal communication and relationships. Families communicate through pithy and clever phrases, and don’t take the time to truly discuss feelings, dreams and beliefs. Our children are floundering…they are hungry for unconditional love and attention. But we are doing as much as we can; our family needs our two jobs, and we all need to be “active” and involved in community and recreational activities. We are exhausted…no time for anything else. Right???

Maybe we should all step back, and breathe in the love of God. Maybe then we will realize all the monsters we are creating on a daily basis…once created, the monsters we would like to ignore. The monsters we would like to destroy.

However, those “monsters” are our children, our friends, our family, our community, our country. The monsters are us. Instead of going with our first instinct of turning away in fear and disgust, we need to  look toward God for the grace to love His children in blindness to their circumstance and guilt, and love them for the beauty that  He sees inside their hearts.

Jesus sees the hurt, pain, sin, and darkness that we all have in our hearts. He is waiting for us to open ourselves in faith, submission and humility.

That is how our world will be converted to a much more beautiful place. With less monsters.


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Trust and Acknowledge The Lord

My husband and I have been living here in Colorado for about two months.  Of course there are many stories that led up to this moment, and hopefully, many more stories and memories to come.

What is amazing to me, is the absolute beauty of this place, and how God led us one step at a time, to arrive at this very moment…surrounded by the sights and experiences that reveal His signature and His plan in our life.

Although, on the outside, it may have appeared as though my life has been easy and simple, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Actually, even I believed my life was “perfect” in every way.

I believed my family life growing up was loving and closely knit, and then I strived for what I felt was perfection in my marriage and while raising my sons.  I unknowingly created a type of “happy place” in my heart and mind, and did my best to bring peace, love and nurturing to my sons and husband.

Peace is the magical word for me…life was peaceful and happy, and peace is what I thrive on.

I started noticing glimmers that there was something wrong, when I would feel funny or icky when I was around my parents and sisters.  I first noticed this when I was in my twenties, and when I felt those strange feelings, I didn’t understand where they were coming from.  My family was close, and I loved them, so I attributed those negative vibes to my own character flaws…that I didn’t love them enough.

So I stuffed down those feelings…burying them deep.

This is how I traveled down the path of my life. Surrounded by the daily joys and hardships of marriage and raising a family, I focused on the day to day and tried to create a loving home, that was peaceful and welcoming.

What I was doing, was trying to give to my family what I did not have growing up. I guess that is what we all do.

I pushed past the many fears that I had (and still do) by avoiding them, unconsciously avoiding the anxiety and panic attacks that would be triggered.  Although I was starting to realize some of the realities of the childhood trauma I had suffered through along with my sisters, the revelations only came to me in unconnected bits and pieces.  As a layer would be peeled away, exposing a truth, it would take me quite awhile to comprehend and accept what was revealed.  Once I worked on that issue or memory/feeling, I would happily stay on that plateau…until another layer was exposed.

This has been my life for over thirty years. Working hard to deal with issues that keep popping up, and wondering why I can’t just let the past go and face my fears, which I have been admonished for by family members more than once. (this question was finally answered for me in this book)

I always believed in God…that was never a question for me.  What I was missing, was a relationship with Him, and strong faith.

When I was in my early thirties, I attended a renewal weekend at my Catholic Church.  One of the women was giving her witness of faith, and all I remember of her talk was “I forgive you, daddy.”  When I heard those words, pain and tears that I had buried came tumbling out in a torrent of anguish.

From that moment, I knew what the truth of my life was, and I knew that Jesus was with me …that He would never leave me, and that I would do all I could do to develop a relationship with Him.

Colorado Sunrise

It has been a long journey for me, and Jesus has never let go of me.  He has blessed me with my husband who is always there to love me, two sons and their beautiful families, and wonderful friends I have met along the way.

He has also blessed me with the gift of faith, that infuses me with the knowledge that all things work toward good for those who love Him.  I know that all joys, and also the suffering that is part of my life’s journey, will ultimately bring me home to Him.

This is true for all of us.

If you are not at that place of trust yet, take a moment to thank Jesus for all the blessings in your life, and ask Him for the gift of faith.  Everything will fall into place, but most probably, not in the way you would expect.  That is where the faith comes in. Click here for my post “Trusting the Winds of Change.”

So…back to our move to Colorado.  We grew up in Northeastern Ohio, and then lived in Northern VA/DC area for over twenty years.  autumns were beautiful in those areas, and fall is my favorite time of year.

We lived in Central CA for five years, to be near our first grandson. To learn how that fell into place, click here.   In that five years, another grandson was added to our family, and also two granddaughters in the Denver, CO area.  My son in CA just accepted a wonderful job opportunity in Denver, so their family moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, and so did we! The Lord orchestrated (through our other son and daughter in law) a way for us all to be living near eachother again, and my husband and I get to enjoy all of our grandchildren!

Central California has no fall…maybe a little tree or bush here and there.  So, I have been missing my favorite time of year…the colors!

When the beauty and colors of autumn exploded here, my heart just about exploded with it!  Jesus directed our path, and we ended up living in the most beautiful place I have ever seen in the fall!  Colors everywhere, and sunrises and sunsets that take my breath away.

Thank you, Lord, for the beauty of your creation, and for leading me in such a gentle way, allowing me to access the truth of my life, and for opening my mind and heart to your love and mercy.

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

 


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The Desire of Our Hearts

Sometimes we forget that God knows our hearts better than we do.  

We trod along each day, searching for those things that we believe will make us happy.  As we attain our dreams and goals, we usually find that when we reach those goals, and actually have exactly what we were desiring, life still isn’t the perfect place we imagined it to be.  So, not understanding the truth and reality of life,  we move ourselves once again toward another imagined perfect scenario of happiness.

We all do it in one way or another.

It’s hard for us to understand that in many of life’s circumstances, there will always be a struggle…and with struggle, there is usually suffering.  We try to skip over the suffering part of life, because it can feel like the twisting of a knife in our soul.  It hurts so deeply, that sometimes we deal with it by ignoring or burying the pain.

That’s what I did for most of my life…ignored and buried the pain. I buried the memories and  feelings that I couldn’t bear to face, into different sections of my mind and heart…and lived  the life that I created for myself…my “happy place.”  For so many years, I strived for my own peace of mind, and to create a warm, inviting, loving home for my husband and sons.  All of my heart and soul were directed toward finding ways to make my family feel safe, loved and nurtured.

For many years, that goal brought me deep happiness, and I felt loved and at peace…until I didn’t.

Somewhere along the way, I started to become aware of a forgotten reality that would show itself to me in flashes and bits and pieces. Like the layers of an onion, the illusions that I held of my life started to peel away, one layer at a time.  As with an onion, the revealing truths that were exposed, caused stinging tears, pain, and heartache.

As I become more and more aware of my own feelings that I never allowed myself to feel,  and remember the reasons for the many issues that I struggle with every day, I am becoming closer and closer to Jesus.  Although sometimes things are unclear and confusing to me, I trust that I am being led to developing certain knowledge and virtues through the suffering.

No matter what life brings, or what pain I may be experiencing, I trust in the Lord. All things work toward good for those who love him.

God has always been with me.  He was there as I was suffering abuse and trauma as a child.  He was there with me as I shut down my feelings, and left my body, so I wouldn’t  experience the pain and horror that my little mind and heart could not fathom. He surrounded me with the gentle love that kept me together, until the time came for me to face all of what happened in our family, as my sisters and I were growing up.

Suffering brings us closer to Jesus (if that is what we choose) and helps us to develop love and empathy for those that we meet that are suffering.  Our eyes and hearts become wide open to knowing and seeing the deep pain and needs of those around us…especially when they experienced the same struggles that we did.

Our Lord doesn’t always protect and keep us from harm.  However, I believe that he is always working in ways we cannot fathom…giving us the opportunity to grow in faith, love and hope here on earth, leading us to the true desire of our hearts, which is eternal life with Him.

 

Take delight in the Lordand he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

 

 


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Angels All Around Us

I would like to share an experience with you. This is not the only spiritual event that has happened to me, but for some reason, I am feeling compelled to share this one. My faith does not require any litmus test or miracles to prove God’s existence. I have complete faith in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I also believe that God’s angels are all around us, continuously doing the will of God. Sometimes, I believe, we catch a glimpse of the angelic world. This is one of those glimpses.

When I was about 25 years old, I would drive across town to Mass early on Sunday mornings. My husband would stay with our son, who was about two years old, and very “active”.  Actually, our priest called him a “live wire”. Needless to say, I looked forward to my time alone with God.

It was a quiet morning, around 8am, and there was no traffic at all. The roads were empty. I was getting nearer to the Church and saw that the light was green up ahead. It did not just turn, it was clearly green. As I was getting closer to the light, a male voice said very sternly, STOP NOW. I didn’t even think about it. I obeyed and slammed my foot on the brake, and stopped right before the green light. A car flew through the red light. I am sure I would have been killed if I hadn’t stopped.

I have always known it was my guardian angel that protected me that morning. Really, what other explanation could there be? I have no doubt that heaven, hell, angels, and demons exist. There would be other spiritual events in my life that intensified my faith.

So, my question to you is, have you ever had an experience that cannot be explained in worldly terms? I believe that angels are all around us, and are working in perfect harmony with God. Sometimes, for a reason unknown to us, we are given the privilege of experiencing the spiritual realm. For me, the experiences confirm and strengthen my faith. I think sometimes people are afraid to share their experiences with anyone…maybe they just try to ignore what they know happened…because they cannot explain it.

Your experiences, together with your faith, can be a blessing that allows you to touch a heart in need. Whether or not angels are involved…

Psalm 91:11-12 “For He will give His angels charge of you, to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

Matthew 18:10 “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in Heaven.”

Psalm 34:7 “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them”


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New Eyes

This past post touches my heart in a way I did not understand when I originally wrote it. Hopefully, it will touch yours:

I love to go for walks during my lunch break at work.  It is a wonderful time to pray the rosary and meditate.  There is a beautiful, quiet open space toward the back of the building, and I usually feel drawn to that area.

For many months, while walking, I heard the words “Open your eyes and you will see”.  I knew the words came from God, however, I did not know what they meant.

While at a prayer meeting, the words were made crystal clear to me.  One of the women there spoke a prophecy…and I knew it was directed at me.  I actually got goose bumps. She said “There is someone here who is looking to see with new eyes.  I am telling you to stop praying in the old way.  Pray in me and through me.”  I understood that meant for me to stop praying to a God that is “out there somewhere” and start praying in Him and through Him…in and through my own heart and soul.  He is as close as my own heart. Isn’t that amazing?  I never thought of it like that…

Fast forward a few weeks…it was a beautiful Spring day…about 80 degrees, and I just HAD to go outside in the sunshine!!!  While on my walk, at my favorite place, I received a new message – “Are you ready to see?”

Up until today, I believed that the Lord was guiding me to open my eyes to the need around me.  I still believe that, and am working on being aware and keeping my eyes and heart open to see the opportunities of each day…and to show love in any way I can.  But I believe it goes further…

I believe that He is reminding me to be prepared.  As in “Are you READY to see”?  Hmm…am I ready to be used for God’s purpose?  That can only be achieved by becoming closer to Him, through scriptures, prayer, and meditation.  So I am really working on the preparation, so the Lord can use me, according to His Divine Plan.

Each one of us plays an important part of His plan, to share the Gospel of Christ and build His kingdom.  Are you feeling Him drawing you closer?

I am trusting that God  will complete what He has begun in me, and have chosen to turn my life over to Him.  “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to His word”.

Luke 1:38   And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Philippians 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ

Ephesians 6:11-18