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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Welcome to Our World!

Brayden1

Yesterday our first grandchild was born, and our little world was once again changed in a way we could not imagine.    Little sweet Brayden opened his eyes after a very long labor, to finally break through into the sights, sounds and feel  of this world.

I thought I already loved my son and daughter in law as much as humanly possible.  I thought wrong.  After sharing in their experience long distance,  the intensity and scope of pain that  my daughter in law, Melissa endured, and watching my son, Joe, being there for her, my heart is just overflowing in love for them and for this sweet baby who will change their hearts and lives forever.  The struggle and pain of the labor that Melissa suffered through was evident.  However, sometimes, we are never fully aware of the pain and helplessness that is felt when one  is called to watch a loved one suffer.  Joe was there to support and help to make his wife as comfortable as possible, however, he was unable to take away or lessen her pain.

Melissa was the chosen one for this particular labor of love.  She was the one who said yes when she received the news of pregnancy.  She was the one Brayden3who chose to be more aware than usual of what she ate, drank and participated in during her pregnancy.  She was the one who sacrificed each day…to assist God with the miracle growing inside of her.

She said yes to this divine purpose for her life at this time.    Joe said yes to being her husband; to being there always to love, honor, respect, and protect her and this new baby, in any way that it took.  And yesterday, that meant saying yes to being helpless as he watched his wife suffer so much pain.

Little Brayden has already started the change that will occur in all the lives he touches.  When my husband and I look at the pictures of our new grandson, we see a miracle.  It is almost overwhelming that our son now has a son.  We also know how the Lord will use this little one to mold and teach all of us…but most of all, his parents.  They will learn love in a way they never thought possible.  They will learn what it truly means to be selfless.  They will experience joy like never before, but will also experience doubts, confusion, frustration, and the ups and downs that life brings.Brayden2

Each one of us has a unique purpose, and must journey down the individual road that God has paved for us.  We all have our own vocations and gifts.  For Joe and Melissa their journey is starting with their newborn son that God blessed them with.  For others it might be a different path.  However, the path that the Lord paves for all of us is in love and through love…and is meant to draw us closer to Him. 

Will we choose to say yes?

Welcome to our world and to our family, baby Brayden!  We thank God for you and look forward to being a part of your life, watching you grow, and learning from your innocence and wide-eyed wonder!

 


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Our Weakness

Since my mom passed away in September, many emotions have been ebbing in and out of my heart.  I know this is a normal part of the grieving process, so I am attempting to allow  myself to feel each emotion as it comes.  Along with all the emotions, comes the questions of what I could have done better.  How many times I let my selfishness keep me from enjoying more time with my mom and doing more than I did for her.  And hidden in the back of my mind and heart, are the questions about the things that came between us in the past.  The growing up years.

Although the recent years of living with my mom brought us closer together, each of us learning to forgive and overlook weaknesses, these questions were lingering in my subconscious mind.

The other day I was thinking of my mother, and could feel her presence.  I told her I was sorry for all the ways I let her down, and for not always being there for her in the way I should have been.

Instantaneously,  I heard her voice.  She said, “You did the best you could.  And I did the best I could.”

Those words, simple as they were, really broke through to me.  In this life, as humans, we will always fall short.  No matter how much we love someone, and no matter how hard we try to do the right things…we will always fall short.  I realized that my mom loved all of us so much all through the years, and she never stopped loving us.  Even though she was the perfect mother for us, she was not perfect.

And neither am I. 

And that is ok.

Dear Lord, thank you for shining your beautiful, healing, comforting light on our families.  Thank you for filling our hearts with your love, and then touching those we love through our imperfections.  Thank you for always working through us…even when we are unaware of your presence, or  not “feeling it.”  For it is in our weakness that your power is made perfect.

 

 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  2 Corinthians 12:9

 

 


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Beauty and Love are Always to be Found

Since my mother’s death in September, it has been hard for me to focus on the feelings and truths that are waiting for me to acknowledge.

It’s  not that I am consciously afraid of the feelings that will bubble up, but more that I know the immense tidal wave of feelings and memories that will engulf me, and I just need “me time” to sort it all out, and actually have the time to feel, face and process all that the Holy Spirit reveals to me. 

My heartfelt thanks and gratitude go out to all of you that have prayed for my mom, me, and my family, and also for your love and support.  An extra thank you to Tina, who reached out to me in her special way, to empathize and encourage me to write.  She knows that writing helps me to sort things out, and hopefully my search and struggle will help others who may be experiencing similar things.

Right now I am feeling overwhelmed, with the magnitude of what is occurring in our country and the world, and also with the tapestry of my own  life.  Although none of us will ever know the full beauty of our life tapestries until the Lord reveals them to us in His Glory in heaven, I feel as though some of the golden threads will be made visible to my eyes, through the Holy Spirit.  Somehow, the Lord will open my eyes and heart to understand the reasons for events in my life, and also the lessons that I was meant to learn through each struggle.  How everything was interconnected, and how the Lord always leads us to beauty, even through things we consider to be evil and ugly.

Beauty and Love are always to be found, especially when things are the darkest…especially in the midst of pain, struggle, and any evil that Satan wreaks on our lives.

So I ask for your patience, as I trudge forward, one step at a time.  I ask the Lord to use me as a vessel, to touch hearts that need to be touched with love and comfort.

This past Saturday, I went grocery shopping.  As I listened to Christmas music while strolling the aisles with my cart, my eyes caught the rice pudding.  The delicious, all natural rice pudding that I always bought for my mom.  All of a sudden, I was overcome with emotion.  It was an all consuming sadness, happiness, and love, all at once.  I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, and  just stood there, looking at the pudding, unable to move.  I allowed myself to feel all of it fully, and then just moved on.

After that, little snippets of memories kept popping up.

The awesome birthday parties mom gave us.  Mine was a fall birthday, so the decorations were always fall themed…lots of orange and black crepe paper and pumpkins.  Orange, yellow, and brown flowers on my cake, and honeycombed bright orange  pumpkin centerpieces.  I absolutely LOVE fall, and those birthday parties are probably one of the reasons I love it so much!

The delicious soft boiled eggs she made for me mixed with pieces of white bread.  When I was feeling a little sick, the eggs were so comforting to me.

Playing cards and board games with mom…she was the master of Canasta!

The way she always had something to serve to visitors.  Even if it was store bought cookies and coffee, or sharing our dinner, there was always something to offer to guests.

The grocery store.  When Mom first moved in with us, she would go grocery shopping with me, using her cane.  She would just want to buy everything, mostly sweets, so we got two carts and we both filled them.  Then she started using her walker, which then led to a wheelchair.  Although it was stressful when she shopped with me, it was sad when she no longer asked to go.

As soon as I walked into the house after shopping, she would always ask, “What goodies did you get?”  Meaning, cheesies, donuts, ice cream, cookies, pudding, etc.  I tried to limit them a little, but she  ended up getting most of what she wanted.

“The rosary is on at three thirty; would you like to pray it with me?”  When I finally accepted Mom’s invitation to pray with her, our relationship changed.  I remember one occasion vividly.  While we were praying, I looked over at her face.  There is no other way to describe what I saw…her face was illuminated and transformed.  I could literally see the Holy Spirit shining from her.

The many times she told me to just relax.  There was always so much to get done after work and on weekends to stay caught up as well as I could.  She was always telling me to let things go and just relax.  Maybe I should have listened???

On one of the days right before she passed away, my sister asked how she felt.  Mom said, “I’m good, but not as good as I will be in February.”  When my sister asked her what happens in February, she said, “I am going to have a great grandson!”

At one point, I said, “Mom, you know you will see your great grandson once you are in heaven.”  She looked at me with a glint in her eye, and said “I know, but I am not ready to leave this world yet.”

One night when she was having a hard time sleeping due to her breathing issues, I climbed in bed with her, and held her hand.  I asked her if it was ok that I was in bed next to her.  Her answer?  “We should do this more often.”

The look of wonder in her eyes the day before she died, when she looked straight into my eyes and said, “You have the most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen!”  And then she called me “Jan” and proceeded to tell me about her daughter, Bernadette, and her husband that take care of her.  She said they did such a good job, but she worries that they do too much and worries about their health.

That moment when our eyes connected, when she was so weak and had gone through another breathing episode.  She asked me if I gave her “the pill” yet.  I “knew” that she meant that she was ready to pass on…she was ready to leave.  I am not sure why she thought there was one “pill” that would allow her to die, but I do know that she trusted me and she was telling me that her time on earth was ending.

Where does this all lead to?

Beauty and Love are always to be found, especially when things are the darkest…especially in the midst of pain and struggle.  And too many times, we do not understand the truth of that, until our world is shaken.  Until that person is taken away from us.  Until a stressful or difficult situation is behind us. 

I take great comfort in this truth:

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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Spirit…Not Just Personality

Out to Dinner Bernadette and Mom

Out to Dinner
Bernadette and Mom

God always answers prayers, although sometimes they are in ways we could not have imagined. I am learning to trust His ways, especially when we cannot see the answers, because He knows what we truly need, not just what we think we need or want.

When my dad was experiencing a decline in health twelve years ago, I prayed that he would pass away before my mom so I could get to know her. In my mind, I would be able to forge a “true” relationship with her, and get to know her as a person. I imagined long heart to heart talks over coffee and lunches, enjoyable shopping dates, being there to help her with household chores, and do all the things I fantasized were things that close mothers and daughters did together. I wanted to know her true personality, and I wanted her to know me. This was my prayer.

The Lord knew what my true prayer request was, even though I didn’t know the fullness of what was needed to fill that spot in my heart that was longing for my mother’s love.

He knew that I needed to know her spirit…her heart; not just her personality.

So the Lord placed my mother with Joe (hubby) and me, and she made her home with us for the past eleven years.

I wish I could say that all those years were a breeze, and that every moment spent together was quality time. I wish I could say that my heart was always right and that every thought I had was loving and peaceful. I wish I could say that we had long, intense mother to daughter talks that allowed me to know about her life, and that we chatted endlessly about mother/daughter things. Because those were the things that my mind had the capacity to wish and hope for.   I was looking for an illusion of what true love is.

God, in all His mercy and love, revealed to me what true love is all about.

He gave me eleven years of snippets and moments of love with my mother. He helped me to love my mom through our interactions, especially when my mind and heart were not in it. He showed Himself through her smiles, her patience, her love, her gentle spirit, her ability to take life as it was given to her, accept it, and offer it to God each day. I watched her as her health declined through the years, and she was able to do less and less. I watched her struggle to walk a few steps to the bathroom, then struggle to move in bed. I watched her struggle to just breathe. I knew in her last week on earth, that her suffering was united with Jesus, and that I was privileged to share in that beauty. That beauty was manifested in a love that permeated my whole being…an all-consuming love that was almost overwhelming in its intensity.

You see, God answered my prayers, although in a way far superior to what I requested.

I asked that He allow me the time to get to know my mother’s personality. What He blessed me with, was the opportunity to know her spirit. And her beautiful spirit is what will be a part of me, and all who knew her, forever.

Thank you, Jesus, for loving us so completely, that you know our hearts and needs more than we do. Help us to always trust in your mercy and love, knowing that your desire is for us to find peace and true joy in your presence forever.


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Changed

Sometimes the Lord works ever so gently in our lives, that for a time, we are totally unaware of the personal healing that is occurring from the inside out.

This morning I was thinking of the changes that have occurred in my heart in the past few years.  Although I am now aware that Jesus was with me and loved me throughout my whole life (as He is with and loves you), a special moment happened to me, which is described on my About Page , that guided me to an intimate relationship with Jesus, and completely changed the course of my life.

What drew me so close to Jesus?  It was His mother.

After many years of closing my heart to the pure love and sweetness of Mary, the mother of God, out of the blue came the overwhelming calling to pray the rosary!  It was like I almost did not have a choice, the calling was so strong.  I started praying the rosary every day, meditating on events in the life of Jesus and his family, and also meditated on the humble and open spirit of Mary.

Mary led me to her Son, Jesus.  I no longer just knew about Jesus, I started to know Jesus personally.  His love and his presence captivated and held me in his peace and love.  While I meditated on the rosary, which is based on scripture, I started praying for specific intentions for friends, family and coworkers.  Miracles started happening all around me, with many prayers being answered, and many lives being changed.  The Holy Spirit opened my eyes to the people in need around me, and also opened my ears to His whispers of those I am called to pray for.

So, I have been thinking…how has my relationship with Jesus changed my life?  There are a few things that come to mind.  Maybe you have noticed some of the same changes in your life?

 

No matter what happens from day to day, I know in my heart that the Lord will turn every situation toward good, both for me and His Kingdom.

When I meet or know of someone who is living in an ungodly way, I know that it is the evil of Satan that has infiltrated his/her life and heart.  If it is someone I have the opportunity to talk with, I focus on learning about what they have experienced in life, and get to know the Jesus that lives in their heart.  I share His love with them.  If it is someone that I know of, but do not have the opportunity to personally minister to, I pray for him/her…a lot…as in that person almost becomes a part of me for the time I am called to pray.

I have a calmness of spirit that I never had in the past.

The desire for mindless entertainment has left me.  I am extremely selective with music, books, TV shows, and movies.

In the past, I was very preoccupied with the paranormal.  I could not get enough of watching, reading and researching ufo phenomenon, aliens, ghosts, mediums, paranormal “powers”, demonic possessions, etc.  I literally was obsessed with those subjects, and because of my ability to “feel spirits” I was deceived into thinking I should develop my so called “powers.”  A visit with my priest, who I shared all of this with, lead to him praying over me, and instantaneously I was healed.  While I was being prayed over, I physically felt a dark spirit being lifted up through my body and out of the top of my head.  I felt a lightness and pureness of spirit that I never felt before, and those temptations or interest never returned.  Praise God!

The Lord has blessed me with a keen sense of discernment.  My eyes have been opened to see both the goodness and the very real evil that is around us every day…including the evils of promiscuity, homosexual behavior and homosexual “marriage”, abortion (the slaughter of the innocents which is Satanic), pride, and rebellion.

The Holy Spirit has gifted me with the ability to discern spirits.  I feel the spirit of most people I meet…sometimes even from a distance.  No matter what the person conveys through actions or speech, the Lord allows me to see straight through to their heart.  In that way, I know what intentions need prayed for.

I feel more love for all people, and desire for them to know Christ.

All in all, the most prevalent change in my life is the complete faith that God is with me, and with all of His children, every minute.  God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is one with me.  He lives inside of me, and I live in Him.

Wherever we walk, it is Holy Ground, because we carry Him with us.  Isn’t that amazing?

And, no, life is not always easy.  And we will all fall and sin.  However, Jesus is always there loving us, and He is always waiting for us to confess, repent, and get back up to follow Him and enjoy His presence in our lives.

What changes has your relationship with Jesus brought to your life?

 


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In the Moment

This morning I saw something that troubled me greatly, and I feel compelled to share my experience to maybe open some eyes to the sneaky ways Satan slithers into our lives.  For he is the master of deception.

My daily commute usually includes a stop at Panera’s.   As I was making my way out of the restaurant after purchasing my coffee this morning, a thirty something year old man pushed out of the door ahead of me and went over to his car.  I was parked next to him, and was surprised to hear him talking with his little son (about two years old) who had been left alone in the back seat, strapped into his car seat.  It concerned me that this son was left in the car while his dad went in to get coffee.  Then, to my surprise, he again left his son in the back seat, closed and locked the door, and went back into the restaurant.  I waited and watched to make sure the little one was ok, and I could see the father was right inside, and kept checking through the window.  I looked into the back seat, and saw that the little boy was holding a cell phone, engrossed with whatever was playing on the screen.  Wow…I was just thinking that this father did not fully understand the preciousness of that son that he left alone in the car.  If he did, his son would be in line with him…spending beautiful time together in the moment.

Then, as I pulled out of the parking lot and proceeded to drive to work, all around me appeared people with cell phones either on their ears or in their hands in front of them.

It hit me like a ton of bricks…we, as a society, have allowed ourselves to be “marketed” to think that being stuck to 24/7 news, cell phones and social media is being cool and “necessary.”  We have been deceived into thinking that whatever is out there in the phone scrolling or tech world,  is necessary to our day to day life, and somehow more important than the life that is actually happening around us.

Have we forgotten how to think in the silent moments?  Why are we tempted to pick up that cell phone at every stop sign, red light, or even while we are driving to fill up every open moment?  Why do we need to fill our minds with endless dribble, instead of allowing our hearts to have quiet time?  It is sad, and actually comical to watch a family or group of friends sitting around, all staring and scrolling on their phones.  How did we allow Satan to lead us to this absurdness?

What we are losing is the ability to enjoy downtime.  Time where we can take a break to enjoy the sights, smells, sounds, and people around us.  Time to savor the beauty of God’s creation, and time to be one with Him in silence or through the relationship with those around us.

No…I am not talking about relationship as in a social media post, or an email or text. 

I am talking about enjoying relationship through actually being in the presence of those we love, or are in the midst of, each moment.  It is focusing on the life going on around us in the moment, and focusing on the people we are withNot focusing and being lured away by a cold, lifeless piece of electronics.

Parents, husbands, wives, friends, sisters, brothers, grandparents, sons, daughters, grandchildren…when you are drawing your last breath on this earth, you will not be looking for your phone or the internet.  You will be yearning for your loved ones and to be in relationship with them, either spiritually or physically.

And even more important, you will be yearning for love and relationship with your heavenly father.

Be sure to build those relationships with the Lord and with each other, during the life you were gifted with, instead of wasting time on inanimate objects!

Be a blessing…and enjoy the blessings…in the moment.

 

 

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.  Ecclesiastes 4:9–12

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  Galatians 5:13

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.   1 John 3:1

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,  not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.   Hebrews 10:23-25