somebodylovesmeblog

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


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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.

 

 

 

 


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Tea and Fellowship

For a few years now, I have felt the call to lead a Tea and Fellowship Ministry for the women in our parishGetAttachment community.  What I have seen is that although the church is always filled for every Mass (we have an extremely large church) and there is always a big turnout for events, I noticed that there aren’t many true friendships.

Here is what I found.  When I meet someone new through church, I always ask how many people they know from our parish.  I am not talking casual friendship; I mean true friendship.  The kind that warms your heart and feels like family when you walk into church or a parish event.  The kind where you know you have support in your Christian walk, and there is always someone to call when in need.  The kind where you, yourself, are always open and available to your sisters in Christ.  The answer is usually the same.  They may know one or two people; not many close friendships at all.

When I was younger, and raising my boys, the women were the ones who developed the relationships in the communities.  It was much simpler back then, because most of us were stay at home moms, and relationships seemed to develop themselves.  As the women in the communities became closer, they would draw in their husbands, and family friendships were forged.

Now, with so many single moms, and two parent working families, it seems that there is no time for developing friendships.  It is extremely difficult to balance jobs, time with our spouses and children, homemaking, and all of the transportation and errands that are needed.  What suffers?  Usually time for ourselves and time to actually have relationships with our families in Christ.  Sometimes it seems as though our Church Community, which should be an inviting place of acceptance, love and fellowship, turns into once or twice a week worship, and maybe some more “events” to add to our schedules.  It is a vicious circle.

There has been a gentle tug of the Holy Spirit for me to start a Women’s Tea and Fellowship group at Church.  I outlined a plan, and presented it to our Pastor, and then to a few women who are very active in our Church.  For some reason, nothing ever came of it.

My idea to bring women together to form relationships and community remained in my heart.  I believe those relationships are the foundation that will ripple out, not only to our Catholic Church Community, but eventually into the surrounding communities.

Isn’t it funny how the Holy Spirit works and tugs at your heart until you finally see the light?  For me, it was the realization that I did not need to have a formal “ministry” in the Church to carry out the true ministry.  I can keep my eyes, ears and heart open to opportunities to be a blessing to the women and groups I encounter.  Either at Church, or anywhere at all!

A few months back, I was volunteering at the library, and talking with Sheila, who is the “Director of the Library”.  Not really sure of her true title, however, she is the one to talk to about any question regarding the library or the volunteers that help to run it.  I asked if I could host an Appreciation and Fellowship Tea for the volunteers.  Sheila’s face lit up, and she said that would be a wonderful idea.  My heart warmed up thinking about the tea and thinking of ways to pamper the ladies!

After lots of planning, baking, and decorating, the tea finally came to fruition this last Saturday.  It was a beautiful experience to meet and get to know some of the wonderful women from our parish.  We enjoyed each other’s company, and they were pampered with relaxing music, flowers, cookies, and tea sandwiches, which were served with china plates and tea cups.  Somehow it just feels different to drink your tea and eat your cookies from vintage china.  Before we knew it, we were having a great time, sharing stories, and laughing.  I look forward to getting to know them better in the future.  Another tea in the Spring is already on my agenda!

Now, my heart is open and I am listening for the Holy Spirit…to lead me to the Church Ministries, or particular women who could use a “Fellowship Tea”.  My plan is to offer friendship, heart to heart, and in doing that, sharing Christ’s love.  Through God’s grace and blessings, His perfect love will radiate out to many hearts in need.

We all have specific callings, gifts and talents.  It’s our daily lives and the “little things” that touch the most hearts.

Any suggestions of ways for us to share with others in the Community of Christ?  Please share any ideas you may have.

May God bless you!

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:  If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.  John 15:12-15