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


True Gifts of Christmas

This Christmas card touches my heart  all the way through to my core.  It was sent by a lovely lady (and her daughter) that I met at the Assisted Living Community where I had worked before moving to Colorado.

Sometimes, when you meet a person, you just feel a heart connection.  That is how I felt as I got to know Delores.  She was feisty, straight forward, and had a heart of gold.  She had a way of bringing a smile to my face, and somehow always “knew” when I was troubled.

I am sharing this card with you, because to me, it breaks through the “busyness” and sometimes craziness of the season.  All the gifts, parties, and decorations pale in the presence of the simple acts of love that are shared on this beautiful card.

Delores, thank you for the love and smiles that you brought into my life.  And thank you for this special card…it will be displayed during  Christmas for years to come!  I will think of you each time I am reminded of what Christmas is all about…and what the True Gifts of Christmas are.  Those gifts are meant to be given year round, and are healing and life changing for both the giver and the recipient!

Merry Christmas to all!



Opportunities to Grow

Being competitive in any way has never been my strongpoint.  My way for most of my life was to stay back in the shadows, happy to be in a supportive and edifying role.  I thrive working in the background, being the person that loves to observe and help in ways that often go unnoticed.

Very recently, I am realizing that the Lord has been working in me and through me, freeing me to reach out further than ever before.  Every day there are opportunities that are placed in front of me, and I can no longer ignore them.  I believe that the Holy Spirit is guiding me, and I will not say no to the opportunities that the Lord provides…either for sharing His love with others, or for my own personal growth.  He is changing me from the inside out, and I trust Him to guide me.

It’s funny where enlightenment and growth seem to show up.  My son and daughter in law (Mike and Nicole) from Colorado were just here for a visit during the Easter Season.  It was  wonderful seeing them and spending time with them.  Now, I must tell you, they are extremely competitive, especially in the game department.  Both of  them are very bright, and especially shine when playing word games like Scrabble.

In a nutshell, I have always loved to play games, especially word games, however I always played just for fun.  I never took the time to figure or develop a strategy.

That would change when Michael asked my to play “Words With Friends” with them online.

It all started great, and I was having a good time going back and forth with each of them, enjoying the casual game.  Then POW…they started REALLY playing.  It took me off guard, and it felt overwhelming.  How do they find words that bring in so many points in one play?  How do they find ways to use small lower point letters, and work game magic with them?

I started to really watch their strategy, and how they play the game.  What I learned from them taught me to become a better player, but much more important, it taught me a lesson about life.

You see, the mistake I was making in “Words With Friends” is that I looked at the hand I was dealt, and found words I could make using those letters.  Then I randomly found a place to fit them in.  What Mike and Nicole do, is look for the opportunities (Triple letter, triple word, double letter, etc) and find a way to use that opportunity with what they have in their hand.  Most of the time, they found a way to use those opportunities, and their strategy worked amazingly.

Not only did this way of thinking change the way I play word games, it also helped me to understand where I could achieve more growth as a Christian.

We were all given certain talents, personalities and gifts from the Lord.  We have the choice to take the hand that we were dealt and just randomly put ourselves out there, without much thought or direction.  Or, as I learned, we can ask the Lord to open our eyes so that we may see the opportunities He places in our lives each day.  Once we are aware of those opportunities, we can choose to look for ways to utilize the talents and gifts God has blessed us with, to work with and take advantage of the opportunities presented to us.  (Notice I said take advantage of the opportunities…I did not say take advantage of people.)  We will  not only grow as human beings, we will also grow as Christians, shining the light of Jesus to all that we meet.

One more lesson I learned, is that even when we are aware of certain opportunities, we may find that our unique skill set, personality, or gifts may not be compatible.  Just like not having the letters needed to  take advantage of that triple word score…we need to just let it go, and allow someone else to shine with it.

God is loving us and showering us with blessings every day. He is right there with us as we learn to realize the goodness and love within our hearts. He is always patient and merciful as we learn to see and use the opportunities He gifts us with…so we can become closer to Him and share Him with the world.

What opportunities are you considering? 



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