somebodylovesmeblog

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


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Your Greatest Blessing

“Sometimes your heaviest cross to bear is your greatest blessing.”

These words were unexpected.  I was talking with my priest about an inner struggle I was experiencing, and the pain and frustration I was feeling.  Although I prayed for The Holy Spirit to heal me and work through the situation, I kept failing miserably over and over again.

My impatience and selfishness definitely called for  a miracle, however, I just wanted to wish the whole experience away and not have to deal with it or carry it anymore.

I looked at Fr. Jeb and said, “I guess it’s just my cross to bear.”  And then I expected him to wallow in my situation with me and tell me how happy he was that I was hanging in there.  I wanted a pat on the back.

What he said to me jolted my heart and thought process.  “Sometimes your heaviest cross to bear is your greatest blessing.”

How could this be?  What did he mean?  How could he think that my situation was a blessing at all?  I was being stifled, and felt trapped, like I was in prison.  How could this troubling situation be a blessing?

Fr. Jeb prayed over me and  I felt comforted, but I felt a little confused as I left his office.

Over the next few weeks, his words kept coming back to me.  I was starting to realize that God’s most wonderful blessings are not always  what the world would see as blessings.  His most generous blessings are sometimes the crosses to bear that we can not work through ourselves.  Those crosses that we finally choose to accept, and when we realize that we can’t continue carrying them on our own, we finally throw ourselves at the feet of Jesus, and offer our struggles to Him.  We learn to join our suffering with the suffering of The Cross.

In that way, we become one with Him.

I also found that once I accepted my cross, The Holy Spirit started changing me and working on my weaknesses.  Although I still fall short, I see His work being done in my spirit and soul.  And THAT is the biggest blessing!

What is that heavy burden that you are carrying?  What is it that is hindering your spiritual growth and relationship with Jesus?

Is it financial?  Are you out of answers?  Do you feel hopeless because you don’t know where to turn?

Is your marriage struggling?  Is your heart breaking because you yearn for a holy and happy relationship with your spouse?  Do you even think a happy and joyful marriage or relationship is possible?

Are you living a lie, and hiding abuse?  Physical, emotional, or verbal?

Do you have an addiction that is overwhelming you and the lives of those around you?

Are you holding on to painful and debilitating memories from your past?  Atrocities that you endured as a child and/or through your life?

Are you overcome with the pain of having an abortion or participating in abortion?

Maybe you are sorrowful due to not being able to conceive the child you so desperately want?

Are you suffering through disease, depression, or incapacitating pain?

Are you lonely and living in despair?

Do you feel trapped…maybe a job that you feel is going nowhere? Maybe a family situation? Or just feeling trapped in your day to day life?

Remember, your heaviest cross, can be your greatest blessing.  Give your whole heart and your burdens to The Lord.  Ask The Holy Spirit to fill you with His mercy, love and wisdom.  Ask Him to guide you and teach you what you need to know.

And then listen for His answer. 

He will soften your heart and  let you know the changes to be made.  Align yourself to Him in all the ways you know; offer Him the best of you.

And when you get to the point of knowing that it is impossible to continue carrying that burden on your own, offer your struggle and suffering  to the Lord.  For He wants ALL of you…He loves you that much.  And He wholly understands the blessings that come with the heaviness of The Cross.

May God bless you and fill you with His Holy Presence.

 

 

8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. 11 For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.  2 Corinthians 4:8-12

For the Spirit Himself giveth testimony to our spirit that we are the sons of God. And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God and joint heirs with Christ: yet so, if we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified with Him. For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:16-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Traditions

Although traditions that have been in our family for years will always have a special place in my heart, I need to share a new tradition that my husband’s side of the family started this year.

Actually, our niece, Heather, suggested this idea.  It sounded interesting, however I didn’t realize how awesome it really was.

Each person, or family, received a name.  We were not to send a gift “for” that person, we were to send a box of items that depicted “who we are”.  You see, our family is a large one, and we are strewn all over the country.  We are losing touch with each other a little, and don’t know about each other’s daily lives or special interests or talents.

The first blessing of this tradition is actually choosing the items that will represent yourself, or your family. Our family box represented my husband, me, and my mother who lives with us.  After much thought, we made our selections.

My husband works hard marketing and screen printing  graphic tees for our business, so we included two tee designs.  He also loves to brew beer, so a bottle of his latest brew was lovingly wrapped  and added to the box.  Since I read so many inspirational and spiritual books, I chose to include “The Promise” by Jonathan Morris, a book that opened my eyes in so many ways.  My other contribution was homemade cookies that I love to bake each Christmas.  (as a side note, I am still baking more and will be baking until New Year’s Day probably!!!)  My mom parted with one of her beloved “Beanie Babies”…a bright red Cardinal.  She LOVES Beanie Babies, and does not part with them easily.  However, she made an exception for the “Family box.”  Not only is the Beanie Baby one of her treasures, but the Cardinal is Ohio’s State bird, which is our hometown…both my side and my husband’s side of the family.  She also included a Word Search book, because she spends hours a day finding words!  The last thing we threw in was a White House Ornament to represent the Northern Virginia/DC area where we make our home.  We sent our box, with love, to my sister in law and our niece.

It is more difficult than you may think, to decide on a few things that depict your life, or your family.

The second blessing comes with receiving the box that your “giver” family assembled for you.  Our box was from our niece, her husband and daughter.  As we were opening each package, we actually felt the spirit of their family.  It was a beautiful and fun experience.  There was a handmade bracelet and hand drawn notecards, created by my great niece, a bottle of  a favorite local beer, Ohio beer glasses crafted in their town, handmade birdseed ornaments which they handed out to neighbors as gifts this year, local Tony Packos relish and a Carruth Angel that was created by an amazing local artist.  They have many Carruth pieces displayed in their backyard, and now we have one more to lovingly display in ours.  My niece also added some PB2 (powdered peanut butter) which she loves in smoothies and ice cream.  I had never heard of “PB2” before, but it sounds interesting and we are looking forward to enjoying it!  She also creates beautiful handmade cards, and tucked one of the most beautiful cards I have ever seen in the box.  The card  listed all the items and what they meant to each of them.

The third blessing from this tradition, lies in all of us sharing about what was in the box we received. We have a group message going on, and it is exciting to see pictures and descriptions of each family’s box.  What a fun way to get to know each other in a deeper way!

Right now, my heart is completely full of the warmth, love, and appreciation of family.

Thank you Lord for the amazing gifts of love and family.  Help me to always look for ways to share those gifts with all the people you place in my daily life.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  James 1:17

 

 


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Somebody Loves Me

We are all looking for love…after all, we are human and that’s how we’re programmed.

I believe God created us in his image, and his image is pure love.  Our soul is constantly being drawn to love…ultimately to be drawn to our heavenly father.  I also believe that we are all in communion with each other, both on earth and in heaven.  Each one of us plays an intricate part in God’s plan and his kingdom.  Our lives are meant to touch each other, in a way that edifies and leads to the love of Jesus.

Sometimes, a person who is lonely, angry, hurting or spiritually empty, needs to know that “somebody loves me” before they can even fathom that “God loves me.”

Something happened last night that really jarred me.  It was just a small thing, but I believe small things can be damaging, or can lead to big blessings.

My 85 year old mother has lived with my husband and me for nine years. My dad passed away 10 years ago, and she was not able to live on her own anymore in Ohio…we moved her to Virginia with us.  She had to leave her home that she made with my dad over the course of 50 years.  She was not able to bring too much with her.

Something that really bothers her is the fact that she does not receive mail.  She gets some junk mail and bills, but usually, not much else.  (she does get occasional mail from my sisters…and I sporadically send her cards)  I know that she feels that her life does not matter much anymore…like she is just “floating” and feels that she lost her identity that was so intertwined with my dad.

So…last night she told me about a solicitation for a donation that she received.  She receives lots of them, from many places, because she sends money.  I told her that I will send it back, with a note to “remove from solicitation list.”

She answered me, “No, don’t take my name off the list; then I won’t get any mail at all.”

When she said that, my heart just ached for her!  I mean, isn’t that sad?  How many people do you think there may be all around us, who are lonely, and feel that marketing solicitors are their only friends?  Something is wrong here…

One of my personal small “ministries” is sending out cards and notes of friendship, love and/or appreciation to as many people as I can.  My little way of letting them know that “Somebody Loves Me”.

I would love to send a card to someone  you may know that could use a “hello”, or to let them know someone is thinking of them and praying for them.  It will be anonymous, (through somebodylovesmeblog.wordpress.com) because I think it is fun that way.  I know that my mom appreciates cards from me, but she sees me every day.  If she received an anonymous card, it would peak her interest!!!

If you would like for me to send a card out for you, please email me @ blmaluso@hotmail.com with  name, address, and if you wish, a little info that would be useful for me to write a short note.  It will be my pleasure to send the cards, so there will be no charge.  If the demand goes beyond my capability, we will see where the Lord leads.  (Your email and info will not be shared for any purpose)

Maybe, together, in this small way, we can let more people know that somebody loves me.

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.   1 John 4:7-8

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”   John 13:34-35