somebodylovesmeblog

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


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My Second Mother’s Day Without my Mom

Today is my second Mother’s Day without my mom.

I never thought I would be the one to continue to grieve, to be overcome with emotion, and to miss my mother so very much.

Since my mother passed away, about a year and a half ago, I have felt her presence with me…a love that fills me and sometimes overwhelms me.  All of the moments that are precious and a treasure to me now, at the time were experienced as normal everyday moments.  Not realizing the memories that she was gifting me with…going through my days, as though each one was just another day, and not having the eyes yet to perceive true beauty.

My mother lived with Joe (my husband) and me for about eleven years.  Through those years, I was the one that would help her make purchases for gifts.  When it came to gifts for me, she would usually tell me what she would like to give me, and would ask me to choose and purchase.  Needless to say, I was never surprised!

Mom’s Final Gift to Me

When she was in rehab before she died, she was thoroughly enjoying herself.  One of the activities she loved was Bingo.  One day, I walked in to her room, and her face was all lit up.  She told me that she won Bingo, and was able to choose her prize.  She chose a beautiful flower arrangement so she could give it to me.  She was so excited and happy that she was able to surprise me with some beautiful flowers.  I was very touched at the time…but as time goes by, that one simple gesture touches my heart in the most deep way.

These are the moments that stay with us.  Snapshots of time that keep us grounded in love.  The miraculous scenes of life that play and replay through our minds and hearts of times gone by.

Moments spent with those we love.  As I sit here thinking and honoring my mother for all she was, and all she did for us as a family, many of those times come to mind.

Some of those moments that will always be with me:

Watching my mom through the window of the Senior Center when I arrived to pick her up.  Seeing her sitting at a round table with five of her friends, laughing so hard that she had to lay her head down on the table.  I had never seen her laugh like that.

Seeing her in her cute reading glasses, looking up from her book at me, when I came home from work and popped my head in her room to ask her how her day was.  She usually said, “I had a beautiful day.”  I will never be able to part with those glasses.

Watching her eyes light up when Joe or I served up one of her favorite meals.  Or favorite desserts.  Come to think of it, most everything was “her favorite!”

Getting beat royally by her when playing Canasta, Skip-Bo, or Sequence.  Sometimes it was downright mortifying how bad she beat me!

Losing my temper and yelling about our differing politics.  Feeling awful afterwards, I would apologize, and she would just say, “Sometimes things just need to come out.”  She would never hold those outbursts against me.

Strolling through Costco pushing my mom in her wheelchair with a cart in front of us…stacked so high with items she wanted to purchase, that we could not see where we were going!

Her excitement upon learning that she was going to be a great grandma.  That was one of the things that was holding  her back from passing on…she wanted to see her grandson’s baby that would be coming in five months.  I said, “Mom, you know that in heaven you will be able to see your grandson.”  She looked in my eyes and smiled.  She said, “I know, but I am not ready to leave this Earth yet.”  She didn’t make it to see Brayden’s birth, but I KNOW she is with him now.

The privilege of assisting her to shower, wash and style her hair, and put lotion on her.  In the beginning, she was embarrassed to have me help her in that way.  However, it became comfortable and natural for us.  And I enjoyed helping her to feel a little pampered.

Seeing the joy on her face when looking out her bedroom window and seeing three snowmen that the sweet neighbor girls built for her.

Sitting next to Mom at Mass and special worship times, feeling so close to her.

Seeing my mother, as she was near death, look me straight in the eye and tell me that I had the most beautiful blue eyes she’d ever seen.  Then proceeded to call me “Jan,” telling “Jan” that her daughter and son in law take good care of her, but she worries about their health.

A few days before she passed away, I climbed into bed with my mom, and put my arm around her,  I asked her if it was ok that I was there with her.  Her answer?  “We should do this more often.”  Yes, we should have….

Once I asked her if there was anything she would have done differently, being that she had a hard life.  She told me she wouldn’t change a thing.  She said that her family is her blessing, and when things get difficult, you just need to “offer it up to the Lord.”

I have learned to do just that, Mom.  I have finally learned to offer my life to the Lord.  And a large part of myself is the part that came from you.  Thank you for loving me.  Thank you for being you.  Thank you for loving the Lord.

 

 

 

 

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Jesus People

There is a cute little house on the corner of our street that has an amazing sign in the front yard.  When I walk by I can’t help but “feel the love.”

The words that call out to me by my humble neighbors are “Pray for America…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14

Being that we live in a mostly liberal college town…it takes a very strong believer to be willing to publicly profess what they stand for.  

A few weeks ago, I introduced myself to the owner of the home, and shared with him how thankful we are that he has the sign posted.  He said that there aren’t too many that share our faith in this community, and he appreciated my stopping by.  I let Him know that there are probably more of us around than we realize …however, most practice their faith in a quieter fashion.

So… today is a gorgeous, sunny  California day, so hubby and I took a walk to the library.  As we passed the “Pray for America”  sign, the next driveway was a busy yard sale.  We started talking with the woman who was the “seller” and I assumed she was the woman of the house with the sign.  I introduced myself, and I asked,  “Are you the one that posted the “Pray for America” sign?  She kind of stared at me in a blank way, and then blurted out, “No, those are “The Jesus People.”  She looked toward her neighbor’s house and kind of rolled her eyes a second before I jubilantly answered back, “Well, that’s awesome, because we are Jesus People too!”

At that point, she changed the subject.

My husband and I got a chuckle out of the encounter, and although she may not have the same belief/faith system we have, she was a nice woman and we enjoyed visiting with her.  But it got me thinking…

Do the people in our daily life look at us as “Jesus People?”  Do they know by the words that come out of our mouths, the way we carry ourselves, the entertainment we partake in?  Do they see Jesus in us through our love, kindness, charity, and mercy?  Do they see something different in us..different from what they are accustomed to according to world standards?  Do they see us standing firm as Christians?  Not afraid to profess our Faith in Jesus and our love for Him?

Or are we Christians in words only, and continue to live as the world does?

I pray that in my life, Jesus works through me as a vessel, and I am identified as one of “The Jesus People.”  For that would be a blessing and the most wonderful compliment I could ever receive:-)

 


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The Luminous Mysteries

This is the fourth in the series of “How Praying the Rosary Changed my Life.” Please click here for the background of how I was led to The Rosary, and also to learn about The Joyful, Sorrowful, and and Glorious  Mysteries.

Today I will cover the Luminous Mysteries, which are prayed on Thursday.

My prayer is that The Holy Spirit will open your heart to these great mysteries, and fill you with the love, joy, and peace of Our Lord, Jesus.

There are five meditations associated with the Luminous Mysteries. I will cover each one.

  1. The Baptism of Jesus  Matthew 3:13-17  (For the Desire to Live my Baptismal Promises)  Dear Lord, you did not need to be baptized…for you are God.  Thank you for submitting to your Father, and allowing John to baptize you.  How unworthy he must have felt.  However, you accepted his baptizing you, in total love and humility.  We hear our Father’s words, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  Help me Lord, to follow in your foot steps.  Even though I am unworthy due to my sin, help me to always look to you to help me to live my baptismal promises.  To live my faith each and every day.
  2. The Wedding at Cana  John 2:1-11  (For the Desire to do Whatever Jesus Says)  Lord, thank you for performing your  first public miracle at the wedding in Cana.  The first thing I think of, is that you and your Mother were celebrating a holy marriage!  Imagine the wonder and joy of having God Himself in attendance of their wedding feast! Help me to understand that it was your Mother that informed you that there was no wine.  She interceded for the need of the wedding hosts, and when you answered that your time had not come…she proceeded to tell the servants to “Do whatever he tells you.”  It is the same when I bring my needs, prayers, and sufferings to Mary.  She intercedes on my behalf to you…guiding me to “Do whatever he says.”
  3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God  Mark 1:14-15  Matthew 5:3-12 (For the Desire of God’s Forgiveness)  Dear Lord, help me to know that your kingdom is as close as my own heart.  Help me to open my heart to you, always desiring that you fill me with your love and mercy.  Help me to stay strong in this world that we are living in…allowing my eyes to be open to your truth and to be very aware of the existence of sin.  Please help me to seek your forgiveness and mercy for my own sins, and also that I may look at others who are living in darkness, with that same love and mercy.
  4. The Transfiguration  Matthew 17:1-8  (For the Desire to be a New Person in Christ)  Dear Lord, thank you for  revealing  your glory through your transfiguration…allowing us humans to experience the glory and radiance of your Godhead.  Help me to always look to you to transform me into a completely new person in you.  Thank you for infusing my heart with your love, and shining your love through me.
  5. The Institution of the Eucharist  Luke 22:7-20  John 6:50-53 (For the Desire for Active Participation at Mass)  Lord Jesus, we are so blessed in the privilege and honor of celebrating Mass and receiving the Holy Eucharist…your body and blood. Please help me to always remember, that each and every Mass is a miracle, for you are truly there among us.  Help me to realize that it is your precious body and blood that I receive…making us one.  You are in me and I in you. We are joined together.  Thank you for inviting  me to your table,  The Lamb’s Supper.  

 

Pray the Rosary  A Saint Joseph Edition  A wonderful little Pamphlet

For information on how to pray the rosaryClick here

May your day be blessed in the love and light of Jesus, Our Lord. May your heart be touched through these Luminous Mysteries.

Remember, that these meditations come from my own heart.  When you pray the rosary, the Holy Spirit will reveal the truth of the mysteries directly to you.  Please feel free to comment with any questions or thoughts.


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The Glorious Mysteries

This is the third in the series of “How Praying the Rosary Changed my Life.” Please click here for the background of how I was led to The Rosary, and also to learn about The Joyful and Sorrowful Mysteries.

Today I will cover the Glorious Mysteries, which are prayed on Wednesday and Sunday.

My prayer is that The Holy Spirit will open your heart to these great mysteries, and fill you with the love, joy, and peace of Our Lord, Jesus.

There are five meditations associated with the Glorious Mysteries. I will cover each one.

  1.  The Resurrection  Mt 28:1-7  (For the desire of a Strong Faith)  Dear Lord, through your glorious triumph over death, help me to constantly desire a stronger faith.  Too many times I focus on the darkness and evil in this world, thus allowing myself to be entangled and attached to it.  Help me to focus on the beauty of your love, and your triumph over death, allowing me the opportunity  to bask in the truth of your saving grace.  You are my savior.  Help me to overcome fear and find solace in you, through you, and with you.
  2. The Ascension   Luke 24:50-53  Acts 1:10-11  Mk 16:19-20  (For the desire of the Virtue of Hope)  Lord Jesus, thank you for allowing your disciples to witness your glorious ascension into heaven… taking your  place at the right hand of God.  Through the eyes of faith, allow me to fully hope and trust that you are preparing a place for me, so that I can be with you forever.
  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit   John 14:26  Acts 1:5-8  Acts 2:1-6 Acts 2:38-41  (For the desire of Zeal for the Glory of God)  Dear Lord, so many times I try to find happiness through the ways of the world, and through my own limited perceptions.  Please help me to realize that my real, true happiness can only come from you… for your love, power, and glory are endless.  Fill me with a strong desire for you, that my life and the desires of my heart may glorify you.  Thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit…and help me to stay open to only you; that my heart be filled with your loving and merciful presence.
  4. The Assumption of Mary  Rev 12:1  Judith 15:9-10  The Assumption  (For the Desire of Grace for a Holy Death) Dear Jesus, thank you for the gift of your Blessed Mother. Through Mary, help me to be drawn closer to you, because her heart is forever joined with yours.  Through her humility, great love, gentleness, and sinless example to me, help me to trust in your grace for a holy life and a holy death.
  5. The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary   Luke 1:46-49    Coronation of Mary  (For the desire for a Greater Love for the Blessed Virgin Mary)   Dear Lord, thank you for bringing me closer to your Blessed Mother…my mother.  Since I have been powerfully drawn to her through the Rosary, my faith and my life have been completely transformed.  She loves me, and loves all of us, with the intense love of a mother for her children.  And her love is one with yours…so I am being drawn closer and closer to you. Thank you. 

Pray the Rosary  A Saint Joseph Edition  A wonderful Little Pamphlet

For information on how to pray the rosaryclick here.

 

May your day be blessed in the love and light of Jesus, Our Lord. May your heart be touched through these Glorious Mysteries.
Please feel free to comment with any questions or thoughts.


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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 unique purpose for 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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What Are You Giving Up?

Some thoughts about Lent…

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For me, the Lenten Season has always been a little intimidating.  It seemed as though I could not absorb the true poverty of spirit needed to open hearts (including my own) to the fullness of the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.  There were times when it felt like I was just “going through the motions”, giving up this, saying this prayer, going to Lenten Services.  In other words, to be perfectly honest, many times I was trying to worship with my “head” instead of my heart and soul.

This year I feel the Lord physically drawing me toward Him.  What ways can I deny myself in order to depend more fully on Jesus?  How can I open my heart in faith and trust, to help those in need around me?  In what ways can I throw myself at the feet of my Lord and worship Him more fully?

On…

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The Sorrowful Mysteries

This is the second in the series of  “How Praying the Rosary Changed my Life.”  Please click here for the background of how I was led to The Rosary, and also to learn about The Rosary and The Joyful Mysteries.

Today I will cover the Sorrowful Mysteries, which are prayed on Tuesday and Friday.

My prayer is that The Holy Spirit will open your heart to these great mysteries, and fill you with the love, joy, and peace of Our Lord, Jesus.

There are five meditations associated with the Sorrowful Mysteries. I will cover each one.

  1. Agony in the Garden   Mark 14:32-46  Luke 22:41-44  (For true repentance of my sins)   Dear Lord, how can I even begin to understand the agony that you endured, as you prayed to your Father in the garden?  You knew exactly what was going to happen to you…that you were offering yourself as a perfect sacrifice in atonement for the sins that I have committed, am committing, and will commit in the future.  You took my place.  You also knew that you would be betrayed by some of those who were closest to you, and knew  you would be hated, spat upon, tortured, blasphemed, humiliated, and ultimately crucified by those who did not understand The Truth.  I am so much like your disciples, who could not even stay awake for one hour to keep watch.  Judas betrayed you with a kiss.  How many times do I declare my love for you, and then close my heart to your love, and to your presence in my life?  How many times do I “fall asleep” when there is work to be done and people to love?  How many times do I betray you by allowing my weakness and selfishness to come between us?  Help me to understand that even you prayed that your Father would take the cup away…and the angels actually came to strengthen you in your suffering.  Help me to remember that you are always with me…I am never alone.  Help me to always come to you in prayer, with praise, thanksgiving and petitions, and always  submitting myself to the Father’s will…not my own.
  2. Scourging at the Pillar   Mark 15:1-15  (For a Spirit of Mortification)  Lord, help me to face the hardships and suffering in my life as you did.  You accepted your scourging with love and humility.  You did not even utter one harsh word toward your tormenters.  Please help me to understand and always remember…You suffered in my place, Lord. Thank you for the perfect love that you offered me through your sacrifice, and the love that you are still offering to me now. Help me to find you through the difficulties, pain and suffering that I experience day to day.  Help me to accept them with joy…knowing that through the suffering I am closer to you.
  3. Crowning With Thorns  Mark 15:16-19  (For Moral Courage)   Lord it wasn’t enough that you were scourged; you were also mocked and blasphemed.  Through it all, love and humility radiated from you.  Help me to always be ready to stand for what is right in God’s eyes. When I am mocked or persecuted because of my love of you, I ask that you shower me with your mercy and grace so I can respond with love and humility.
  4. Carrying of the Cross  Mt 27:31-32  (For the Virtue of Patience)  Lord, the first thing that pops into my heard after reading this verse…is that Simon was forced to carry the cross.  Am I so different from him?  When I am sent crosses to bear, I am always looking for ways to alleviate my struggle, pain, and difficulty.  It seems that I am sometimes forced to carry my crosses…and in the process I become closer to you, and my cross becomes a blessing.  Help me to not only carry my own burdens willingly and lovingly, but also open my eyes to ways I can carry some of the burdens of those around me…lightening the pain and suffering of others so it is bearable for them.  Help me to be a blessing to all those in need, that you place on my path.
  5. The Crucifixion  Luke 23:34  Luke 23:45-46  (For the Grace of Final Perseverance)  My dear Lord, You suffered and died in my place.  Thank you for the love and mercy that stream from you.  Thank you for loving me.  When I am hurt or when evil surrounds me, help me to always ask God to forgive them, for they know not what they do.  And please fill me with your grace, that I may say, in total faith, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

May your day be blessed in the love and light of Jesus, Our Lord. May your heart be touched through these Sorrowful Mysteries.
Please feel free to comment with any questions or thoughts.

Pray the Rosary A Saint Joseph Edition  A wonderful little pamphlet.