somebodylovesmeblog

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


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An Adventure of Love

My husband and I will be married 38 years on April Fool’s Day. (funny we chose that day, huh?)  Our life together has been an adventure up to this point.   With our sons and their wives living across country, and now our first

The Beginning of Something Good

The Beginning of Something Good

grandchild being so far away from us, our lives are being lead to an oncoming  season of change and even more adventure.

This morning, as we were commuting to work together,  a quick flash of memories filled my head.

The first moment Joe and I locked eyes.

I was seventeen, and he was 18.  He always says that he knew I was “the one” since the first time he laid eyes on me, when I went in to the “Strouss Terrace Room Restaurant”, interviewing for a part time waitress position.  He was a bus boy.  We were seniors in different high schools, and were both referred to that particular restaurant through family members.  The manager of the restaurant was Esther, who had been a friend of my mother’s when they were teens.  Esther loved my mom and would have hired me without an interview.

Funny how each and every decision, and every person we meet, has a purpose in either our future, or someone else’s.

My vision this morning was the moment we first saw each other as naïve teens, and then flashes of our life together since that moment.

I saw Joe with his arm around me, pulling me in for our first kiss.  He, with his light sprinkling of freckles, and his beautiful, warm, liquid brown eyes.  I felt safe when I was with him, like I was “home.”

I saw us walking down the aisle in “The Little Chapel of Bells” in California, and vowing to take each other from that day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance.     We did not understand what those words meant at the time, (of course we thought we did!) however, we have gone through so much together since then, and understand the “for better for worse” part very well now.

I saw the birth of our two sons, and how they changed us for the better.  Change never comes easy…children are one of God’s ways of teaching us what it means to really love and be selfless.  That change and growth takes a lifetime, and the Lord works His will through us in a way that we don’t even realize what is happening.  Funny how we always think we are in charge and we think we know so much…as Our Heavenly Father weaves everlasting beauty out of  the  messes we create with the rags of our “we can do it ourselves” mentality.

I saw the misery of the times when we were both so unhappy, and were right on the edge of giving up and divorcing…because although we both knew we loved each other, we had no clue about what marriage really meant, and even less of a clue on how to be happy.  That was until we locked eyes one more time, through tears, and made the decision to stay married and learn how to be happy. 

That was also the moment that we invited God into our marriage, and asked for His help.  He did not let us down.  Even when we didn’t realize it, He was working in the unseen…leading and guiding us toward Him.  Especially when we were stumbling and falling time after time.

I saw our two sons as babies, little boys, teenagers, and as the men they are now.  They, and their beautiful wives, have brought true joy into our lives.

Blessed by Timeless Love

Then I saw the face of our new grandson, and the reality of what God started so many years ago is shining through those beautiful, clear blue eyes! 

And the thought hit me…this is just the beginning.

So many more blessings ahead for each and every one of us, as we continue to keep our hearts open to Jesus and simply trust Him, who loves us.

 

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

 

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Real Love and Valentine’s Day

From My Heart to Yours

From My Heart to Yours

Valentine’s Day is a sweet reminder in our daily lives of the love that we are blessed with.  For me personally, the day touches my heart in a special way with gratitude for all the people that have touched my life… my family and friends, and especially my husband, Joe.

The special love I speak of is not the kind that requires red roses, diamonds, or chocolates.  Those things are nice and always appreciated, however, this is much deeper than any of those types of gifts can convey.

So Joe…this is my early Valentine thank you for the real love you show me each and every day; the way that you help me to see the beauty in myself.  That true love can only be inspired and sourced in the Holy Spirit…thank you for your faith and openness to be a vessel of His love.

Some of the ways you show me that I am loved:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not  proud.

You have a quiet confidence that allows you to be happy and supportive toward others.  Even when I am off track or floundering…you are my “even keel”. 

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Your deep, thoughtful desire to help, honor and respect all the ones God places in your daily life amazes and inspires me.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

When I get overwhelmed with the negative of an event or situation, you always help me to see past it and focus on the good.  Many times you help me see past my own flaws and weaknesses, and help me to see the goodness within myself.

 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

You are my safe haven in this life, and we are united in hope and perseverance to become the people the Lord intends us to be for his divine plan.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8

The Lord has blessed us with Himself, and through his love, mercy and grace, the love we share will never fail.  You will always be in my heart… in this life and the next.

I love you, Joe!  And by the way, Happy Valentine’s Day!


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It Is What It Is…Except When It Isn’t

More and more lately, I am hearing people say a common phrase in a dejected kind of way…”It is what it is.”  I understand what they are trying to communicate, and many times they are correct in their assessment of a situation they are engulfed in.

Whenever I hear that phrase, it just doesn’t sit right with my spirit.  Because I know in my soul, the truth really is “It is what it is…except when it isn’t.”

You see, I have learned many lessons throughout my life, many of which took more years than I want to admit.  There have been countless times that my life seemed hopeless, and it seemed as though I was in a dark hole with no way to escape.  My personal reality during those dark times was filled with  seemingly hopeless situations that I allowed to rob my joy, and a life permeated with helplessness, confusion, pain, guilt, shame and no sense of self at all.   After the many times I tried to employ the “self help” teachings I learned about, and even made some progress, I eventually sunk back into the familiar black pit.

Looking back, I can see clearly when the changes started happening, although while I was living those years I did not “see” it.  When my oldest son was a year old, my husband and I had been married for three years.  We were going through trauma in our marriage, and at that time I was really sinking fast.  I loved my son, and my husband, but I was miserable.  Yes, the situation “was what it was”, but my eyes and heart were blinded to the miracles that were happening in the unseen.

While I was swirling around in the darkness, I was guided to attend a Renewal Weekend with my best friend at our Church.  I did not fully understand the concept of totally accepting Jesus into my heart and life on that weekend.  What I did understand was that God loved me and wanted the best for me.  All weekend I prayed only for my marriage.  I remember that I prayed that God would help my husband to love me even half as much as I loved him.

A simple prayer.

After the Renewal Weekend, our marriage and my life did not seem to change much.  I often  questioned why God wasn’t answering my prayers.  However, there were more little “miracles” that peeled layer upon layer of gunk from both of our hearts.  I was led to another Catholic Renewal Weekend, about 10 years later than my first one, and this time my heart and soul was touched in a way that is indescribable.  I understood what my stumbling block was from listening to the testimony of one witness.  My whole wall that I had built up around my heart was shaken when I heard one sentence that she spoke…

“I forgive you, daddy.” 

These words tore into me so hard that I ran out of the room, and was not only crying, but heaving and releasing pain from deep within my being.

That weekend started a new journey of healing and trust in God, and the decision that my husband and I made to dedicate our marriage to the Lord.  We made the decision to trust him to guide us, and teach us to be happy in our marriage…for neither of us had a clue how to be happy, and did not understand what the sacrament of marriage truly was.

This April, Joe and I will be married 37 years.  We have a marriage and relationship that I never even could have imagined or comprehended.  The Lord blessed me with a husband that is loving, kind, patient, trustworthy, and lots of fun.  We are best friends, and although enjoy spending time with our family and friends, our favorite place to be is with each other.  Our marriage is the crowing glory of our lives…it is our vocation and an important part of our ministry to share Christ’s love.

Now I look back and know that all through the years, the Lord was working all the stuff and gunk in our lives into good…totally in the “unseen.”  He was weaving a beautiful tapestry from the tiny little scraps we were able to offer him.  Because he loves us THAT much.

He loves YOU that much too! 

Always remember, “It is what it is…except when it isn’t.”  For the Lord works all toward good for those who love him…even when you can’t “see” it.

 

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.   Hebrews 11:1

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.    Ephesians 6:12

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.    Colossians 1:16;

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans  8:28

 

 

 

 


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Evangelizing With Our Daily Life

My husband and I have been blessed to commute together each morning to our respective jobs.  We have formed a daily ritual of stopping at McDonald’s for our morning coffee, and we see many of the same people every day having breakfast.  It’s kind of developing into a “community” of sorts, and each day brings a new surprise.

First, let me tell you, it’s a weird thing…I am usually the only female customer during those breakfast hours.  I’m really not sure of the reason for this lack of females, but I’m leaning toward the “guys” taking a stand to consume lots of bacon, sausage and cheese without anyone looking over their shoulders.  That’s just my assessment!

Anyway, this morning we walked in as usual, and the happy McDonald’s team members already had our medium coffee, medium decaf, and two creamers sitting on the counter before we even ordered.  And as usual, they started our day with the blessings of smiles and joy.

We made our way over to our usual, kind of secluded, spot.  As we passed two guys that we have been saying hello to for a few weeks, we smiled and greeted them.  As we sat down, my husband started talking with them.  We all proceeded to talk about our jobs, and the state of our country and the world in general.

Out of the blue, one of the men (Tony) started telling us about how he and his family are Christians, and how they read the Bible.  He was sharing about how crazy things are getting and that you have to arm yourself with the Spirit of God within you.  He then shared with us that his two children had an experience (at different times) of seeing an angelic presence which filled them with peace.  He said that they described everything about the apparitions in detail, and he wrote everything down, including a drawn picture of what they had seen.

When Tony was sharing his faith and his children’s experiences, my husband and I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.  He went on to share that he and his wife at first questioned if the apparitions were from God, however, as they realized the peace that came over their little ones due to the experiences, they felt more at peace themselves.

I shared my experiences of the times my guardian angel spoke to me in times of danger, and also the flash of light that surrounded both my husband and me at different times.  I also shared with him that when I spoke with my priest about those experiences, he said that if the event brings peace to the spirit and draws the person closer to Jesus, it is God sent.  Tony affirmed that he felt the same way…that the family is at peace and drawing closer to The Lord.

As my husband and I were standing up, getting ready to leave, Tony looked at us and said the following.  His words still warm my heart when I think of them, and once again reminds me how we are all being watched.

We are evangelizing with our daily lives without even saying a word, without even realizing it.

What he said was this:  “We watch you two together every day and see how much you love each other.  What you have is special and more couples need to have what you have.  There are so many couples giving up too soon, and too many people who are struggling with their marriage.”

We let him know that we went through many struggles, however, only through God was it possible for us to develop the loving relationship that we now have.

Marriage is a blessing…and so are the new friends God placed in our lives this morning.

Thank you Lord, for once again placing such beautiful people in our life.  Help us to always see through your eyes, hear through your ears, feel through your heart, and allow us to work and show love through your guidance.

 


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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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The Circle of a Wedding Ring

This morning, I came across a little piece of paper I saved with these wise words written on it:  “How many memories lie in the circle of a wedding ring?”  I don’t remember where I found the quote, but the words hit home for me.  What a perfect way to acknowledge the awesome wonder and the “sacrament” of marriage.

Marriage and relationships are my passion.  I think we all learn from each other’s stories, so I thought I’d a share a little with you.  Maybe something I say will be of help to you or someone you know.

My husband, (Joe) and I have been married for 35 years.  I would be lying if I told you we were always happy and things always went smoothly.  Not only would I be lying, but I would be leaving out all the reasons why our marriage is now so blessed and rewarding.  The struggles, and the overcoming of the struggles together, weaved the strong fabric of our lives together…intertwining our hearts and minds as one.  Our life together…our marriage…is truly a miracle.

Joe and I married young – I was 20 and he was 21.  I have to be honest with you; we did everything wrong.  We “fell in love” when I was 17 and Joe was 18, meeting at a restaurant where we worked together.  Joe was a musician in a rock band. (a very naïve me thought he was in his High School Marching Band – didn’t realize he was the lead singer in a rock band!!!)  We had no planned goals, except for his rock star dream.  Neither one of us attended college. Well, I made it through one semester, before deciding that my career would be wife and mother.  Once we were married, the next ten or so years consisted of ups and downs, with some “very” down times.

On about three occasions, we were on that dangerous precipice teetering toward divorce.  We had two sons, and loved them very much, but did not know what to do.  We were miserable, each of us blaming the other for the unhappiness.

I could clearly remember our defining moment, that happened about 22 years ago. That moment came while we were holding each other on the couch, both crying, because we “knew” that we were headed for divorce.  You see, we loved each other, but didn’t know how to be happy within ourselves, and knew nothing of what glued together a relationship.  When we looked into each other’s eyes, we decided right then and there, that we would stay together and LEARN how to be happy.

God blessed that decision.  I attended a “Christ Renews His Parish” weekend retreat that opened my eyes and heart to God’s love.  Joe decided to do the men’s retreat the next year. His heart was touched that weekend in a profound way. He was a different man when he came home.  I started counseling that helped me see my own weaknesses and strengths, which led me to appreciate Joe’s strengths.  We started focusing on the goodness in each other, and somehow that helped us each to grow into better people.  We became better parents to our wonderful sons.

I am sharing a little of our story with you because I believe that many people do not understand what marriage is, and why they are not happy.  When I see married couples struggle, I wish I could do a mind meld with them to let them see what they could have if they just hang in there.  But hanging in there is just the start.  Marriage is much more than just “being there”.

“The sacrament of Marriage signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Beautiful thought, but how do we attain this love?  I’ve been mulling this question  since I found that piece of paper this morning.

Here is what I have discovered.  When two people “fall in love” and get married, hopefully they have taken the time to truly get to know their spouse in the dating and engagement process.  However, there are many layers in each of our hearts.  There are secret layers of fears, emotions, life memories (good and bad), and insecurities that reside in all of us.  What each spouse needs in the marriage is unconditional love, so they can feel safe enough to slowly peel away the layers that are masking their true heart and God given identity.

Therein lies the problem.  We are merely human and not capable of unconditional love.

The secret to a truly loving and joyful marriage is that the husband and wife both open their hearts to Jesus.  

When you make the decision to have a personal relationship with Jesus, and open your heart to Him, His Holy Spirit abides in you.  No longer are you floundering on your own…He fills your heart with love, compassion and empathy.  No longer are you just seeing actions or hearing words.  You learn how to love the whole person, and look for the root causes of the behaviors that hurt or irritate you.  Instead of pointing fingers and accusing your spouse (or anyone for that matter), you learn to overlook weaknesses and focus on strengths.  Forgiveness and acceptance start to become much easier for you.

I don’t mean to make this process sound easy…it isn’t easy at all, and will not happen all at once.  It is one of the hardest things you will ever do, but so very worthwhile!

Marriage is a covenant, a sacrament, and a miracle.  The real miracle is the changing of two hearts into the heart of Christ, and then the two hearts will become as one.  This oneness happens gradually, through love, support, loyalty, trust, commitment and forgiveness.  Once this heart and soul connection is forged, the marriage relationship is so much more wonderful than you could have imagined on your wedding day.

I recently heard a pure and simple truth from a newly married couple who went through the Pre-Cana Marriage Classes at Church.  They said that a married couple’s job was to guide each other to heaven.  How beautiful!  When that is your mission, imagine all the unique memories that will be contained in the circles of your wedding rings, on your way to Eternal Life!

May God bless your journey!

Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”  Matthew 19:4-6

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8