somebodylovesmeblog

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


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It’s Not All About Me

There was a long time in my life, where I was searching for my “purpose,” and trying to figure out what it meant to be me. Day by day life was sometimes a struggle for me, and I constantly compared myself to what the world deems as important, or successful.

Since I lived a simple life, and chose to be a wife, mother, and homemaker, versus a successful business woman or rocket scientist, I was lead to believe that somehow I was a failure as a woman.  That I was a let down to the feminists of this culture…who seem to thrive on the “me first” philosophy of life, and the idea that children or family should never hold a woman back from the glory that she is…or should be.

I was being pulled in two opposite directions.  The world was pulling me in the direction of finding what “I” needed to be happy, and my heart was pulling me in the direction of striving to find ways to make my family happy.

Searching…

This constant battle in my heart and mind caused discontent and confusion.  I had no idea what it was that I needed, and certainly did not know who this elusive “me” was.   Down deep, I knew that there was much to learn about myself, and knew that it would not be an easy thing…to find my true purpose, and to feel comfortable in my own skin.

My main struggle was that I honestly believed that I needed to be perfect…look perfect, act perfect, and have a perfect family who lived in a perfectly clean home in order to be even close to the level of anyone  else in the world.  So I tried day after day, week after week, month after month, and then year after year, to look like all was good.

Except that I knew I could never be perfect in any area of my life, and so I could never be “ok.”  It was a conundrum.  And I went round and round, searching for who I really was, and what I was doing on this planet.

Even though I wasn’t yet aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life, he lead me to the first steps of reading self help books, and then to therapy.  Book after book, and each therapy session  taught me one tidbit after another, teaching me to love myself and not to be afraid of asking, and sometimes demanding, what I needed to be happy.

When I found my “power,” I realized that I was ok the way I was, and everyone else needed to know what “I” needed to be happy.  It was a time of selfishness…it was all about me.  In the midst of this process, I learned to accept and love myself unconditionally…both my strengths and weaknesses.

When I learned to accept and love myself, somehow I was transformed.

Without conscious effort, I began to accept both the strengths and weaknesses of my family, my friends, and the people who were placed in my daily life.  I learned to focus on the good, and overlook the bad in others.  Miraculously, my happiness level rose exponentially.

It seems to me that Jesus was there every step of the way, leading me to continue learning  one more thing after another  that would ultimately bring me closer to the power of Love…to Him.

I started out as feeling inferior and empty, and then realized that I am a  child of God, with unique gifts.  The error that I made (and the same one I am seeing over and over in others) was to think that my happiness is the most important thing in this life. That I needed to focus on myself, and in that way, would find happiness.

That was a deception.

True joy and happiness is realized through reaching out and helping other people.  It is opening our hearts to the power of the Holy Spirit, and asking Him to fill us with himself.  It is looking for ways to be a blessing to others, and to be humble in our dealings with those who hurt us or cause us to be uncomfortable.  When filled with the Spirit of God, it becomes easier to see through hurtful words and actions, and see the hurting heart that lies beneath.

In knowing your true worth…that you are loved totally and unconditionally by God…it is easier to stand your ground in a more loving way.  Without anger, jealousy, or bitterness.

I now know that I “found myself” when I learned that my true identity lies in the Lord.  His love surrounds me and fills my heart.  This love begs to be shared!

It’s not all about me.  It is all about Him… that lives within me.  And my purpose is where He leads me.

 

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

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.  John 1:12-13

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.  Romans 15:7

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

 


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No Eye Has Seen

But as it is written, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.”  1 Corinthians 2:9          

 

This bible verse has been one of my favorites for many years.  The mere thought that as humans, our senses  can not even fathom the wonders that await us…prepared by God who loves us and desires to draw us to Him!

Imagine the most magnificent sights you have ever enjoyed.  They are countless, however, a few stand out for me.    The faces and smiles of my husband, sons, grandson, family, and friends.  Gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.  Never ending stars twinkling in a black sky.  A rainbow. Niagara Falls.  The beauty of one rose, or the splendor of a field of wildflowers.

Imagine the most beautiful sounds you have ever heard.  For me, that would include the consoling and refreshing sound of the waves breaking on the shore, the musical notes and harmonies of birds singing in the morning, and the pure delight of hearing babies’ giggles and the sweet voices of my loved ones.

Now, without reservation, imagine what would be the “perfect heaven” for you.  Our imaginations can run wild with this one…all of the things that we feel would make us perfectly happy.  What are those things for you?

Anything that our eyes, ears, and mind can reveal to us, will never even come close to what God has already prepared for us.  His love, mercy, and vision for our lives and our future with him are out of our realm of understanding or discovery.  Wow…we are so loved by God, that he has made preparations for us so wondrous, that we can not grasp the full beauty of it!

Now read the verse again…“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.”

“For those who love him” jumped out at me a few days ago while reading this verse.  I had never thought about that aspect of this verse before.

Many times, those that consider themselves “saved” will nonchalantly answer “Jesus loves me just as I am, no matter what I do” when confronted with the truth regarding sin in their life. Essentially, we tend to make excuses for our behavior, believing that Jesus will love us know matter what our actions or thoughts are.  And he will.

However, this verse does not say “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those that he loves.”  It specifically states…for those who love him.

Think about that…in what ways do you love Jesus?  In what ways do you attempt to grow closer to him?  What are the ways that you show him you care for him and want him in your heart…in your life?

In a true loving relationship, the focus is not on “me.”  The focus is, “what can I do to please my loved one?”  What changes in my life would  bring joy and happiness to the one I love?  How do I make a conscious effort to love God?

Dear Lord, please fill me with your Holy Spirit.  Open my eyes, ears and mind to the ways I can show my love for you.  Engulf me in your mercy and love, and allow me to open my heart as a vessel for your love to flow through to all who live in darkness.  Teach me to love you.

 

For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.  Isaiah 64:4

But as it is written, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.”  1 Corinthians 2:9  

 

 


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Let Us Kneel Before the Lord

Yesterday, the daily devotional from “A Catholic Woman’s Book of Days”  really touched my heart.  

O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!  Psalm 95:6

The author recounted a time when she took a group of high-school students to a retreat day at a Monastery.  Part of the day involved attendance at Mass.

Afterward, some students remarked that the experience had been different from Mass at their home parishes.  “Here, it was like the focus was all on God.  At home, it’s more like it’s all about us.

Wow.  Such insight from young minds.

For many years, I was the one who was sometimes bored, thinking that Mass was supposed to entertain me, or that it was meant as only a fellowship time with my Church friends.  If the music was “good,” and the homily was “catchy and interesting,” I considered myself “fed.”  Otherwise, I really just went through the motions, fulfilling my Sunday Mass obligation.

Then I read “The Lamb’s Supper” by Scott Hahn.

How misguided and totally selfish I was.   You see, the Mass is not intended to be of entertainment for us.  We can be entertained anywhere in this world.  The Mass is a gift offered to us…to share in the Eucharistic Table together, in humble worship of Our Lord and Savior.  How blessed we are, that we have been invited to share in this banquet feast…The Lamb’s Supper.

During Mass, we are led to turn our minds and hearts to Our Lord, Jesus.  We worship through hearing His Word, singing praises to Him, and receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus.  Through the Eucharist, Jesus becomes one with us. He is in us, and we are in Him.  What could be more spirit filling than actually receiving Jesus into our bodies…into our beings?

How does that miracle of love even remotely compare to being “entertained?”

When at Mass, we are in communion with The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  We are also accompanied by  God’s angels and saints.  The Communion of Saints…how mystical and beautiful!

How blessed we are to have a tangible way to be intimate with our Lord.  To be totally one with Him, and through Him.

Lord, I thank you for gifting us with your Church on Earth.  Thank you for inviting us to this Loving Banquet.  Please send your Holy Spirit to infuse our hearts, minds and will with your amazing and unfathomable love, joy, and mercy.

 

Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.  For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.  John 6:52-56

 

 

 


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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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How Praying The Rosary Changed My Life

My relationship with Jesus became  much more intimate, and my faith life, and life in general, was changed because of my relationship with His Mother. You can read a little of how that change was inspired here.

Praying and meditating on the Rosary transformed my life, and could transform yours, too.

Many people ask me about the Rosary, and do not understand why someone would pray to Mary, and not just directly to Jesus.  Although I am a cradle Catholic, I had the same questions for many years.

Until I was personally led by the Holy Spirit to meditate and pray the Rosary.

By opening my heart to Our Lord’s Blessed Mother, I was enveloped in her motherly love for me, and in and through that  love, was drawn closer and closer to her Son.  Once I realized in my soul that Mary is actually the Mother of God, the mother of Jesus, my heart was then opened to the knowledge that she is also my mother.  (think about it…if you believe that Jesus is the Son of God the Father and Mary, and God is also your Father (thus Jesus is your brother) …then it is logical to know that Mary is your Mother.  As our Mother, wouldn’t it be true that she would want what is best for us?  That she would want to guide us toward Jesus…our Savior?  That she would intercede for us to her Son, as she did at the wedding in Cana?

While praying the Rosary, there are four sets of Mysteries that are reflected on.  With prayerful meditation, these mysteries are life changing.  For information and instruction on how to pray the rosary click here.

In the chance that my meditations may be a blessing to you, I thought I would share some of my personal reflections associated with each one.  I certainly do not wish to insinuate that these thoughts are doctrines or formal teachings of the Catholic Church.  These thoughts are personal revelations or enlightenments to me, through the Holy Spirit.

The Lord will reveal Himself to you, personally, as you pray the Holy Rosary.

There are four sets of mysteries that are used for meditation on certain days of the week.  The Joyful Mysteries are said on Monday and Saturday.  Today is Monday, so I will start there.

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

  1.  The Annunciation  Luke 1:26-38   (For the love of humility)  Dear Lord, please help me to live my life with perfect trust in You, just as Mary did.  Help me to be your vessel…to have the openness to God’s will and the humility of Mary.  Help me to trust in you completely, even when not understanding the situation or where it may take me.   Allow me to say and have faith in Mary’s  words, “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”
  2.   The Visitation  Luke 1:39-56  (For charity toward my neighbor)  Dear Lord, please help me to be a vessel, allowing your light and love to flow from me to the ones you place in my life.  Guide me to be understanding of the needs of my loved ones, and also any person that you place on my path.  You are perfect love.  I can never be enough myself to love your children the way that you do.  I can never fill the holes in their hearts or heal all that troubles them.  I ask that you fill my heart with You, and pour your love through me, even when I am unaware of the miracle taking place.  Help me to learn to love as you love, to see as you see, to hear as you hear.  Help me to have the spirit and faith of Mary, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.”
  3. The Nativity  Luke 2:8-14  (For love of God)  Dear Lord, please help me to remember that You were born  into our world in poverty…placed in a manger, lovingly and with full trust in your providence, by Joseph and Mary.  Help me to understand the importance of family, and that the strength of the family is dependent on the foundation of God and His Truth, Love, and Mercy.  Help me to be open to your Love, so that I can be a reflection of You, to my family and friends.  And as I fall short, please work through me.
  4. The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple  Luke 2:22-35  Luke 2:39-40   (For a Spirit of Sacrifice)  Dear Lord, help me to always offer my life, my marriage, and my family to you, that you will use our lives to further your kingdom.  When I was a young mother, I did not understand the beauty of sacrifice, and I selfishly wanted to keep  my children for my own, only seeking their happiness in this world, and holding back from presenting them and myself to you…for your purpose.  I ask that you fill in for my ignorance and selfishness, and ask that you infuse us all with your presence, while guiding us in your light, and in your purpose.  Help us to use the difficulties in this life to bring us closer to you, and help me to remember to present myself to you each and every day, for you to work through.
  5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple  Luke 2:41-52  (For zeal for the Glory of God)  Dear Lord, help me to always desire to be in your presence.  You knew that you belonged in your Father’s house.  Help me to have trust and faith that I too belong in my Father’s house.  Help me to always invite you into my heart, to fill me with your love, mercy, wisdom, joy, and understanding, to help me and my life glorify the Father.

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

Please feel free to comment with any questions.

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


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Be What God Created You to Be

After all the rain and gloomy weather we have been experiencing in Northern VA, we are blessed today with a glorious, sunny, warm day!  I took full advantage of it, and just returned from my lunchtime walk.

God always finds a special way to communicate with me, and today was no exception. As I walked, I looked over to the quasi-pond (drainage ditch/reservoir filled with rain overflow) in the front of our building.  My eyes first took in the sight of muddy, dirty water.  Then I noticed the paper cups, garbage and pieces of wood and cardboard floating by.  All I could think of was “yucky, dirty mess.”

When I looked closer, I saw a turtle sitting on top of the floating piece of wood. Since I rarely see turtles in my day to day life, that sight made me smile.  The next thing that my eyes were directed to was a few ducks serenely swimming, oblivious to the dirt and garbage scattered around them.  Then a movement in the tall grass caught my attention, and there was a regal heron, standing proudly, partially hidden from view.  Who would have thought I would see such beauty on my walk through a parking lot, in a filthy little pond?

So, of course, this scenario got me thinking.

Those beautiful creations of God, were smack dab in the middle of ugliness. However, they were not screaming in defiance, or questioning why God allowed them to be there.  What they were doing, was simply “being what God created them to be.”  They were swimming in the water, looking for and receiving the food that God provided for them, basking in the sunshine, and feeling His breeze gently cooling their bodies.  Instead of fighting and questioning every aspect of their life, they accepted the reality of their surroundings, and continued to be the beings that God created them to be.  They radiated their individual beauty, from the midst of their unclean environment.

We, as Christians, are in the midst of some serious unclean circumstances. There is much garbage floating in our world, and the dirtiness and muckiness of evil and perversity, surrounds us at every turn.  Although we are quite aware that we are also sinful in nature, we confess our sins and ask God for His forgiveness.  We are called to find refuge and live a pure life in Him.

At times the evil of this world is overwhelming and we forget that we are in His care. We forget that Our Lord’s peace is not given to us as the world gives…and no matter how hard we scream and shout, and attempt to fight the evil around us through our human ways, some evil will always remain until Jesus’ second coming.

The key is knowing who we are. Who we belong to.  When our hearts, souls and beings are safe in the love of Jesus, we are free to be ourselves in this unclean, evil world.  We are free to live the Divine Purpose our God created uniquely for each one of us.  We are free to simply just be…to thank God every day for the blessings He gifts us with, and to be happy and peaceful in our innermost being.  When we invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts to fill us with His love and light, our natural God-given beauty will shine brightly as a beacon to others…our hearts that are one with Jesus will shine and illuminate the world around us, exposing the evil for what it is.  And drawing in those who are living in darkness, and searching for the one true light.

Don’t be afraid to be the light in the darkness. Don’t be afraid to be the beauty among confusion, ugliness and despair. Find your true identity in the love and mercy of Jesus, and feel the freedom of simply “being what God created you to be.” 

 

 


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Listening for His Voice

IMG_2728Being that it’s a gorgeous sunny day today…in the eighties, I decided to take a walk during my lunch hour.

As I stepped outside and breathed in that amazingly warm and comforting air, I asked God to speak to me.  You see, usually I pray (talk!) the whole time I am walking, so I asked the Lord to do the talking today.

And I was listening for His voice.

For a few moments I was hearing the common drone of cars humming down the main road, and those sounds gave way to the gentle whirring of the breeze around me.  All of a sudden, there was the sound of a bird squawking.  The sound was getting nearer and nearer to me, and I looked down.  The bird was running in circles right in front of me and making all sorts of crazy sounds.  Then I saw it.  Her baby was off to the left of me, running toward the grass.  I realized that the mommy bird was protecting her baby!

Seeing the natural instinct of a mother protecting her little one really warmed my heart.  I thanked God for showing me such beauty, turned the corner and stepped up to the sidewalk.  Then I saw something I wish I hadn’t.  I saw two little furry baby birds, all soft and downy, lying dead on the ground.  I asked the Lord why He allowed me to see that?  Why did I need to see those sweet little birds that looked as though they just died?  And why did they have to die in the first place?

He answered, “there is beauty to be found through both life and death.”  After a few more steps, once again I looked down, and I saw it.  A bookmark had flown over and landed on the side of the path I was walking on.

I saw the words…Jesus is Alive! And I understood that because of Jesus, death holds no power over us.  In Christ Jesus, we are saved.  He is waiting for us to invite Him into our hearts and our lives, and accept the precious gifts He offers us.  Love, mercy, and salvation.  These are not merely words to bring us comfort.  Jesus is truly alive…He is right here with us now!

Lord, there are so many times I don’t understand your ways.  I don’t understand why some people suffer more than others, why some seem to attract the good things of the world, while others struggle just to survive.  Help me to understand that you are present in all of our lives, and in all circumstances.  Help me to trust that your grace is sufficient in all things, and that suffering, even death itself, can bring us closer to you.  All we need to do is open our hearts to you, and ask that you fill us with your saving holy presence.