somebodylovesmeblog

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


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Do it Yourself?

Oh, the things my thirteen month old grandson, Brayden, teaches me!

Brayden’s Sunglasses

While spending time with him the other day, Brayden fumbled through a pocket in his diaper bag, and excitedly pulled out his cute little sunglasses.  He seems to be intrigued by glasses…always reaching out to touch and pull off mine.  After a moment or two of inspecting the glasses, and then trying to open them, he looked over at me, and handed them over.

At that moment, he knew  that I would be able to help him.

Brayden sat there smiling, so I put the sunglasses on him, and he sat there for about two seconds before pulling them off and looking them over.  Then he proceeded to attempt putting them on.  No matter what he did, those glasses were not going on correctly.  They were either on his head, hanging from an ear, or around his neck.  He kept shaking his head “no” when I put my hand out to help/guide him, and literally pushed my hand away.

Evidently, Brayden’s desire to “do it himself” closed his mind to the guidance that he needed.  He lost his faith in me, and after a few minutes of trying every wrong way to put the glasses on, he threw them down, and went on to the next adventure.

That really got me thinking.

How many times do we do that very same thing?  When there is something that we desire, or need, we know that God can help us.  We pray earnestly, and then hand it over to our Father.

We expect an answer.  We expect our answer.

When our prayers aren’t answered as quickly as we would like, we start to look for ways to make it happen ourselves.  When things still aren’t going our way, we come up with countless more attempts.

As all this is occurring, the Lord is speaking to us in many subtle, and sometimes, not so subtle, ways.  He is answering our prayers in ways we don’t allow ourselves to see.  Sometimes, He may be guiding us to something even better than we prayed for.

We push His hand away.

You see, so many times, our desire to “do it ourselves” is so strong, that we close our minds and hearts to the direction and guidance that is right there in front of our faces.   Sometimes, all we need to do, is take a step back, and ask the Holy Spirit to fill us up and lead us.

Then we need to listen to the Voice that is longing to speak to us, and is waiting, in love, for us to hear.  Really hear.   Our God, our Creator, the God of the Universe, has a Divine Purpose for all of us.  Each one of us has been placed here, at this particular time, for a particular reason.

Our Lord God knows that reason, and is leading us on a path that will reveal our purpose to us at the proper and perfect time.

In the meantime, when it seems as though our prayers aren’t being answered as quickly as we would like, we must remember that when Our Lord has a purpose that is unique to each one of us…He will lead us to it.  It is up to us how long it takes for our prayers to be answered and to arrive to our destination.  How long will we keep trying to “do it ourselves?”

Don’t be like Brayden throwing down the sunglasses and moving on to his next adventure because he couldn’t figure things out on his own.

Allow the Holy Spirit to dwell in you, and have total faith that God will direct you, bless you, and bring the desires of your heart to a fruition that you can’t even fathom.

 

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

Trust in the LORD and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.  Psalm 37:3-5

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight. 

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.  Proverbs 3:5-7


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Our Journey Continues

Sometimes there is no other explanation to where life takes you, other than God is leading and intervening to make it so.

Journeying Together

Journeying Together

In early February, Joe (my husband) and I were looking at the kitchen and tile selection in our local Home Depot.  At that time, we were considering refacing our oak kitchen cabinets, and maybe updating our counter tops and back splash.  Since my mom passed away, and our sons and their wives lived across the country in  Colorado and California, we knew that sometime down the road we would sell the house, because it was much bigger than our current needs, and we had no family near us.

As we looked at the selection of gorgeous tiles and cabinets, we started talking with the couple next to us.  It turned out that the woman was a realtor, so we asked for her input on what she believed would be the wisest investment regarding updates on our kitchen…because we knew eventually we would be selling.

She offered to come to our house to take a look so she could assess and give us some suggestions.  Somehow, that initial conversation, and then her visit to our home, led to listing our home for sale.  Looking back, it is an amazing thing that transpired, because even though we knew we would be moving some time in the future, we were not planning a move.  We decided to list the house to see if we would receive any offers for the price we felt the house was worth, and if it didn’t sell, we would just take it off the market and stay in our home, which we loved.

That initial meeting with the realtor that we “happened” to meet at Home Depot, started  a chain of events that led to us moving from Virginia to the West Coast!

We started deep cleaning and “de-cluttering” so the house could be staged for prospective buyers to walk through.   Which really meant we needed to paint, repair, and part with at least half of our possessions, which had been accumulating for 38 years of our life together, and also cherished, sentimental  items from our growing up years.   You see, we are at the stage in life of downsizing, and we would be  moving into a place less than half the size of the home we grew to love.  The stress of parting with so much of our “stuff” from our life, and the physical, intense work that needed to be done, while we were both still working our full time jobs, was overwhelming.

While we were working through the house part of the process, we still didn’t know if our move would even be feasible.  We knew that if it was possible, we would want to move to California, to be near our son, his wife, and our new grandson!  However, a move all the way from Virginia to California, along with the uncertainty of job situations or the high cost of living on the Central Coast of California seemed nearly impossible.  Even while we were going through the motions of the needed tasks, we really didn’t believe it would happen.  Too many things needed to “fall into place.”

Which was exactly what happened.

Looking back now, I still cannot fathom how we physically and emotionally accomplished  everything that was needed for our move.  Because, added to the stress of all the tasks was the emotional pain of leaving our home, neighborhood, friends, and our family that lived close enough to travel to by car.  A move to California would mean seeing them even less than we already did.

However, the pull of being closer to our sons and their families was our focus.  We did not want to live out the rest of our lives without family nearby.

We prayed and placed it in God’s hands.

So our home was listed in the beginning of March.  We went for about a month without any real offers.  We didn’t feel that our realtor was marketing our home in the proper way, so we decided to end our contract and the house was taken off the market. The next morning, at about 7:30am, we received a call from another realtor, who said that he would love to sell our home.  To make a long story short, he listed the house on a Friday night, and we had 3 offers on Saturday.  One offer was our asking price and no closing costs.  When our realtor called to inform us, he asked my husband, “How fast can you move?”  After the call ended, Joe and I just looked at each other…with unbelief, and I must admit, a little fear.  It was becoming real to us!

Joe spoke with his managers at work, and the next blessing was that he was ok’d to work his job remotely.  Which meant we did not need to worry about his employment as we continued on with our plans.  We decided that I could look for employment once we were all settled in our new home.  The company I worked for in Virginia is a family owned business, and they were wonderful and supportive regarding our move.  It warms my heart to think of the going away party they surprised me with, some very unexpected gifts and the kindness and love offered to me.

Each step of the closing process went smoother than the realtor or we could even imagine.  We were able to sell all of the furniture that we could not use, and the few pieces that were left, along with odds and ends, were either given away, sold or donated.

We will never forget the support of all of our family and friends.  The unbelievable help that was offered, the cards, gifts, prayers, and good wishes.  All is a sweetness that will live in our hearts always.

Our new home in San Luis Obispo was waiting for us…sight unseen.  Of course we saw some pictures of the little condo online, but never physically saw it until we arrived there.  It is perfect for us!  And the amazing thing, is that we found a special place for each and every piece of furniture that we chose to bring to our new home.

So, hopefully, I will have many stories of our journey that continues here, in California.  God brought us here for a purpose, and we are open vessels to all of the experiences and people He places on our path.

And it goes without saying, we are feeling extremely blessed to be able to enjoy our Grandson, Brayden, and our son and daughter in law.  And an extra bonus…we are also closer to our other son and his wife!

Thank you Lord for each day you gift us with, and for all the people you are placing in our life now and in the future.  Thank you for our whole family, and also for our dear friends that are further away in distance, but will always be close in our hearts.

Our journey continues…

 

 


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Listening for His Voice

IMG_2728Being that it’s a gorgeous sunny day today…in the eighties, I decided to take a walk during my lunch hour.

As I stepped outside and breathed in that amazingly warm and comforting air, I asked God to speak to me.  You see, usually I pray (talk!) the whole time I am walking, so I asked the Lord to do the talking today.

And I was listening for His voice.

For a few moments I was hearing the common drone of cars humming down the main road, and those sounds gave way to the gentle whirring of the breeze around me.  All of a sudden, there was the sound of a bird squawking.  The sound was getting nearer and nearer to me, and I looked down.  The bird was running in circles right in front of me and making all sorts of crazy sounds.  Then I saw it.  Her baby was off to the left of me, running toward the grass.  I realized that the mommy bird was protecting her baby!

Seeing the natural instinct of a mother protecting her little one really warmed my heart.  I thanked God for showing me such beauty, turned the corner and stepped up to the sidewalk.  Then I saw something I wish I hadn’t.  I saw two little furry baby birds, all soft and downy, lying dead on the ground.  I asked the Lord why He allowed me to see that?  Why did I need to see those sweet little birds that looked as though they just died?  And why did they have to die in the first place?

He answered, “there is beauty to be found through both life and death.”  After a few more steps, once again I looked down, and I saw it.  A bookmark had flown over and landed on the side of the path I was walking on.

I saw the words…Jesus is Alive! And I understood that because of Jesus, death holds no power over us.  In Christ Jesus, we are saved.  He is waiting for us to invite Him into our hearts and our lives, and accept the precious gifts He offers us.  Love, mercy, and salvation.  These are not merely words to bring us comfort.  Jesus is truly alive…He is right here with us now!

Lord, there are so many times I don’t understand your ways.  I don’t understand why some people suffer more than others, why some seem to attract the good things of the world, while others struggle just to survive.  Help me to understand that you are present in all of our lives, and in all circumstances.  Help me to trust that your grace is sufficient in all things, and that suffering, even death itself, can bring us closer to you.  All we need to do is open our hearts to you, and ask that you fill us with your saving holy presence.

 


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Searching for Miracles

Hello World!

Hello World!

Many people are on a never ending quest for miracles… looking for evidence that the Lord is working in their lives.  They wonder why God is not revealing himself to them, or to the world in general.

I see things much differently.  Our Lord communicates and speaks to us constantly.  He reveals himself to us in many different ways, and if we invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts, and ask that he open our eyes and ears to him, we will discover the never ending  miracles and blessings of each new day.  The miracles are always there, we just need to expect and be open to them!

This is a little miracle that God blessed me with today.  If I didn’t keep a journal, I would have missed it.  The knowledge that the Lord is ever so close, and sometimes chooses to reveal himself through unexplainable events in my life, just overwhelms me!

So, here is what happened:

My husband and I have been re-watching the old series “Lost.”  Although I know it is not biblically correct, there are many interesting characters, and the story line is filled with symbolism and spirituality.  This series is making me think even more than usual about how our lives all interconnect, and how the Lord is always working all things toward good.  While I was thinking yesterday, I remembered a dream I had in the past about my son and his wife. My curiosity about the dream led me to pick up my journal to investigate.  I randomly opened the notebook to the correct page.

The entry was written on February 4, 2015, and I described the dream I had the night before.  The dream was kind of silly…my son and his wife were telling me excitedly that they were being sent baby powder every day for the rest of their life.  At the time, I remember knowing in my heart that the dream meant a baby would be coming soon!

I had the dream on February 3rd, exactly one year from the date little Brayden was born into our world!  Wow!

This is just a little reminder from God that he is with us always, and there is always more going on in our “unseen” than we are aware of.  The dream was a gift to me, and I would have missed the significance if I did not write it down, along with the date.

Dear Lord, help us to open our eyes of faith, so that we can see, hear, and feel your presence in our lives.  Fill us with your Holy Spirit so that your love touches all the hearts that we encounter in our daily lives.  Help us to always believe, even when we don’t see, hear, or feel you in our lives…for you are always with us.

 


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The Fullness of Spirit

For a few years now I have been feeling something that I could not put my finger on, or explain to myself or anyone else.  Experiencing my mom’s last few days with her, before her death, intensified that mystical feeling within me.  Those days with my mother, truly a blessing, could only be described as overwhelming, intense love; a fullness in the physical space around me, spilling over into the interior of my heart and spirit.

That is the word to describe the feeling…fullness.  Since I have become closer to Jesus, and filled with the Holy Spirit, my being feels more dimensional and “full.”  No matter what is happening in the world, or around me in my personal life, that fullness inside me helps to keep me grounded in The Truth.  It helps me to look past whatever the physical or material reality is, and try to look at things through the eyes of the Lord.  Or is it the eyes of the Lord, who lives within me, looking through mine?

This fullness in the Lord helps me to react in a different way than when I was more hollow and one dimensional.   There are many dark spaces in my heart that the Lord is continuously revealing, forgiving, and healing, and  I know there is much spiritual growth ahead of me.  However, this feeling of deep love and joy…this fullness…

Helps me to see beyond:

The ones who arrogantly defy Jesus Christ and the Christians who follow Him.  It used to frighten me, and cause me to feel intimidated and angry.  Now I can see past their anger and pride.  When I look into their eyes or see the fruits of their lives, I see the hollowness.  I see the empty hole that they allowed to be filled with the demons and darkness of Satan.  And instead of judging them, I have empathy and compassion for them and pray for their conversion.  I pray for their hearts to be filled with the tender mercy and saving grace of Jesus.

People who are hard to be around; the ones who only see negative in all situations and just can’t seem to ever be happy.  I used to try to stay away from these people, because their negativity seemed to transfer straight to my core.  Not only could I not help them, but I would internalize and feel their darkness, and could not even help myself.  Now I have learned that I can not heal or fix them or myself.  The Lord reveals their heart to me, and helps me to look past actions or demeanors.  I pray that the Lord touches their hearts and illuminates the darkness that they are not even aware of.

Those that stand proud, because all in their lives is going “just as planned.”   They planned, did the work that needed to be done, and now they are basking in their accomplishments.  They are under the impression that they are the total reason for their success.  That all those other “less fortunate” people just didn’t do the right things…just didn’t work hard enough.  Their education, status, decision making skills, or their “genius” is what sets them apart from everyone else.  With no inkling at  all that “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” James 1:17   Knowing what I know from living the years of my life and seeing the ebbs and flows, I know that life will not always be “just the way they planned.”  I know there will be struggles and heartache.  So, I pray that the Lord reveals Himself to them, and opens their eyes, ears, and hearts to His saving love. And that they will have a solid foundation of faith through the storms that will come.

The evils that are evident in our world every day.  Those who are in rebellion against all that is Good, through blatant acts of sacrilege, perversity, unspeakable horrors of torture, abuse, murder, and the sacrifice and murder of babies in the womb.  When the evil of their actions are called out for what they are, the vileness of their spirits are revealed.  Have you ever witnessed the evil and hatred that spews out of the mouths that defend these behaviors?  You can actually feel a demonic presence, hear it in their voices, and see the blackness in their eyes.  In the past, I would have felt intense anger, fear and would have been judgmental.  Now, I am aware of the demons that reside in their spirits, and I am sad for them.  I show my love by praying for the Lord’s mercy on their souls, and for their conversion and healing.

Those who live their lives in quiet faith; that even though they stumble and fall along the way, they try to always live in the Lord’s Presence.  They seem content in their hearts and have a peace about them that is undeniable.   In the past, I would actually look for flaws…to make them more “real” to me.  Sometimes I still do that at times, I am ashamed to admit.  However, the Lord is guiding me to look beyond the physical, and focus on the hearts.  Everyone, no matter what their circumstance or what their life appears to be, needs prayers.  They need the Lord’s strength and grace in their lives, and I feel called to pray for all the Lord places in my life.

This fullness of spirit calls me to grow in His Love and His Presence.  It calls me to appreciate the communion of saints, and the power of prayer.  It calls me to follow and imitate the mercy of Jesus.

How is the Lord Jesus calling you?

Thank you, Jesus, for the mercy and love you bestow on me each and every day!  Please work through me to touch other hearts in need, especially when  I am at my weakest.

 

Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.  Ephesians 6:11-13

 

 

 


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A Glimpse

Today I would like to share something that actually gave me chills when it happened.  There is really no exact explanation, however, I do believe it was one of those blessings that come as a glimpse from heaven…allowed by our Heavenly Father.

My three sisters and I are working through our grieving processes regarding our mother’s passing pretty well, at our individual paces.  Honestly, I feel as though my mom is a part of me, and for the most part, any tears cried now are tears of joy for who she was, and the love she brought to our family and all those that she touched.  The only way I can describe the way I feel, is that my mom’s spirit permeates my whole being.

My husband and I are enjoying our time together…the first time we are “alone” since our sons were born.  We are having fun going out, spending quiet time together, just enjoying each other.  Although my mom is in my heart, I am not dwelling on her passing away.  It just IS.

About a week ago, I wore one of the special pairs of earrings that I had given my mom as a birthday gift.  They are small flowers made of sparkly crystals.  Each petal is a different color, and my mom LOVED color!  The day after I wore them, for some reason the thought went through my head that my mom was wearing those earrings when she was dead, and those same earrings were in my ears.  The thought came and went without much thought.

That same night I had a dream of my mom coming back to our home.  In my dream I kept thinking, “Mom you died, how can you be back here?” but I couldn’t bring myself to say those words to her.  I felt bad because all of her clothes and things were gone, so I told her I had given away most of her stuff.  But I went downstairs to retrieve the little miniature case with the miniatures that represented years of memories for her.  I wanted her to have something that belonged to her and would help the room to be “homey” for her.  When I came upstairs, she was outside running in the grass.  With no cane or walker.  You see, she had used a cane when she first came to live with us, then progressed to a walker, then a wheelchair.  When I saw her outside, she was carefree and happy.

When I woke up, I was filled with a warm feeling about my mom being in heaven with Jesus.  I described the dream to my husband, and then went on with my day.  I didn’t think much about it after that.

A few days later I was talking to one of my sisters.  She told me that she had a troubling dream a few days before, and that she didn’t understand why she would dream something like that.

She told me that in her dream there was a woman that died, and that someone took the earrings out of the dead woman’s ears and put them in hers.  She didn’t know who the woman was or what the dream may have meant.  The hair on my arms and neck stood straight up and I got chills as soon as she said it.  I remembered my thoughts about mom’s earrings on that same day, and shared it with her.  I also told her about my dream about mom.

There was a moment of silence while my sister processed what I said.  She then soulfully said, “Mom visited you that night to let you know she is ok.”

I am not quite sure how or why these kinds of things happen.  However, I do know that the kingdom of heaven is a real place and state of being.  I also know that God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit reside there with all the angels and saints.  And sometimes, I believe, we are allowed a glimpse of the joy of that kingdom.

 


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God’s Vessel of Love

Last night I finally followed through on something that has been on my heart for quite some time.  There were two reasons that held me back from doing what I knew the Lord was calling me to do.

Right before my mom passed away, she was in rehab for about a month.  She enjoyed her time there.  Being the social person that she was, she forged a friendship with her roommate, Elizabeth.  Elizabeth had been in rehab for quite awhile, and the center was now to be her home.  Her eyesight started to get worse, and she was not able to walk on her own.  She was confined to her wheelchair, which she sat in most of the day, listening to her television.  She had not participated in any of the activities offered to her.

Enter my mom…she invited and prodded Elizabeth to attend Bingo with her, and also some worship services and the Rosary.  They ended up going together, and Elizabeth ended up really enjoying herself.

When Joe and I visited my mom each day, we would bring treats for her, and also for Elizabeth.  Things like chocolate milkshakes, candy, homemade guacamole, and cookies.  We also brought two of my mom’s small wooden crosses…one for each of them.  Elizabeth instantly held it in her hand, feeling the smoothness of the wood, and tracing Jesus on the cross.  Every time we came in, the crucifix was either in her hand or on her bedside table.

When my mom was discharged,  we all felt bad leaving Elizabeth, and I knew she felt the same sadness.  We gave her a hug, and I made the decision to continue visiting her once my mom was settled in at home.

Two weeks from the date of discharge, my mom passed away.  During the whirlwind of what transpired once we  brought mom home, and then Hospice Care in our home, I didn’t have time to even remember or think about Elizabeth.

Once life settled down a bit, I started to feel the draw again to visit Elizabeth in the Health and Rehab Center.  However, as I mentioned before, there were two things that held me back.

I knew that Elizabeth really bonded with my mom and I also knew she would ask about her.  Being that Elizabeth was in failing health herself, and felt so close to my mother, I was reticent to tell her of my mom’s death.  I am not the kind of person that could lie about a thing like that, and I was concerned about how the truth would affect her.

The other issue that was lurking in the back of my mind was that I was not sure I could handle the emotions of walking into the room where my mom enjoyed the last month before her struggle and then her death.  I can still see her in that bed by the door.  She would be sitting up, with her cute reading glasses on, and doing word search or reading.  When I asked her how her day was, she would say, “I had a beautiful day!”  Then we would visit and she would force me to stash all the sugar packets, snacks, and cookies that she collected from her dinner trays into my bag.  It was our daily ritual!  So I was not sure what emotions might come up if I visited Elizabeth in that same room.

The Lord kept nudging me to make the visit, and yesterday was the day!  The room that my mother and Elizabeth were in was visible from the outside walkway.  I looked in through the back door window (locked from the inside) to check for Elizabeth’s name that was posted by the room.  Her name was gone.

I had a sinking feeling that maybe I was too late, and that she passed away.

Even though my heart was fluttering, I made it to the front desk, and asked about Elizabeth.  The receptionist smiled and told me that her room was moved, and pointed me in the right direction.

Breathing a sigh of relief, I walked down the familiar hall, and made a left turn.  When I walked into the room, Elizabeth was sitting in her wheelchair, looking ahead, in waiting for her dinner to be brought in.  I made sure to get close enough so she could see me, said hello, and introduced myself.

What a beautiful moment for me when her eyes and face brightened up in recognition and remembrance!

We started talking, and she related to me that my mom, and our family have been in her thoughts.  She talked about the treats we brought her, and how she enjoyed getting to know Mom, and the visits we shared.

Then she asked the question.  “How is Mary?”

As gently as I could, I let her know that she passed away a few months ago, and that she died a peaceful death.  I told her that it was my mom’s time.

Elizabeth’s eyes started to tear up, so I comforted her, and let her know what a wonderful time Mom had with her, and that Mom appreciated her friendship.  Elizabeth told me that Mom brought sunshine into her life, and that because of my mother, she still goes to Bingo and the Rosary.  She said my Mom was fun and feisty, and that was a good thing!

I remember when Mom would wonder why she was still alive at such an old age…much older than she expected to live.  I always let her know that she touches many hearts just because of who she is, and that all the prayers that she offers for everyone is part of her Divine Purpose.  She literally prayed for hours and hours for everyone she knew.

Now, it is being revealed to me one person after another, what my mother meant to them and how she touched their hearts.  She left love, and a piece of her heart with all that knew her or crossed her path.

Through my mom’s journey, I am learning that we all strive to understand God’s Divine Purpose for our lives, and we all believe that we fall short.  However, our Divine Purpose is revealed many times through our daily interactions and choices to love and forgive.  It is in taking the needed steps when we hear the Holy Spirit’s familiar whispers to our hearts…moving past the fear and uncertainty that we feel and making the choice to reach out to those hearts in need of validation and love.

My prayer is that the Lord fill me with the humbleness and purity of heart that my mother possessed.  And I pray for Him to use me as a vessel to hold and pass on His love to all He sends me.