somebodylovesmeblog

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


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Becoming Real

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.  

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
― Margery Williams BiancoThe Velveteen Rabbit

Wow, after all these years of reading this excerpt from “The Velveteen Rabbit,” my heart still fills up and overflows through my eyes.

This beautiful story was one of my favorites since I was a little girl.  My sister, Patti, used to read it to me over and over again.  Sometimes I have to wonder how much I understood…which words reached out and grabbed my child self…how much did I truly understand?

Sometimes we don’t need to understand.  Sometimes love touches us in ways we can never explain. 

This world that we live in, is always attempting to teach us that real love is easy, always sexy, and  beautiful…according to the “world’s” standards.

We are led to believe that we all need to be “sexy” and are bombarded with companies that want to fill that need.  With skin care, cosmetics, hair products, books, health drinks, drugs, clothes, plastic surgery…the list goes on and on.

We are also led to believe that the moment our marriage (or relationship) is no longer the way the world deems it should be, in order to be fulfilled and happy, we must leave that marriage.

Don’t believe the lie.

True love is not always pretty.  True love is not always “sexy.”  True love is not always easy.

However, true love touches us and fills us like nothing else.  It is the one thing that we are looking for and is always there right before our eyes.

We just need to open our eyes

To see the beauty of a couple working through struggles that are piercing their hearts like daggers…but they refuse to give up on each other, or their marriage.

To see the beauty of a family, engulfed in pain and grief, surrounding their dying loved one with love, peace, and comfort. And to see the beauty of a soul detaching from this world, and being drawn to another.

To see the beauty of aging, and to realize that those “old” people we are seeing, and sometimes ignoring, have a lifetime of wisdom and experience that they could share with us…if we would just take the time to listen.

To see the beauty in those with open hearts, and no matter what they are experiencing in their own personal lives, always have the time to give something of what they have.

To see the beauty of suffering.  Yes…suffering will always exist in this world.  The beauty comes in uniting our suffering with Jesus on the cross, looking past the pain and hardship, and seeing Jesus through it all.

To not just focus on the risen Christ, but on the real love and suffering it took to get to that place.  Jesus did not save us by the “love” that the world teaches.  It was not pretty, or easy.

What it was…was REAL.

What Jesus gave us is everything.

Do we understand what “real” and true love really are?  Do we truly understand?

Real is the suffering, and the giving, that eventually show up as “most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.”

“Once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.

Being real doesn’t happen all at once.  “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.”

Being real is the day to day infusion of God’s love, and the openness to truth and mercy.

Let us all strive to be real. That is what the world truly needs.


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Dreams of Love

Today is the day to share a dream that was an amazing blessing.  When I think about what was revealed in this dream, it fills me with the comfort and love that could only radiate from God, and strengthens my faith.

This soul touching dream occurred on the night of Sunday, February 12, 2017.  Hopefully, you will absorb what my husband and I did when we understood the connection between the two of us that night…that could only be explained through the power of the Holy Spirit in our marriage.

When I woke up on Monday morning, the dream I had the night before was etched in my mind and heart vividly.  In my dream, there was an older man that I loved deeply, that was dying.  He was lying there, and it felt anguishing and surreal as I was comforting him.  While I was holding his hand, he lifted his head, and his face was radiant.  I followed his gaze and saw a sort of rolling light/fire/water.  It was a soft triangle of light, moving in a live, flickering way.  It was royal blue in color and white toward the middle.

The light moved and entered the man, and then moved through him and  filled me.

It was the most amazing feeling I have ever experienced.  A warmth and love that is indescribable.

So…after I shared and explained my dream with Joe, my husband, he was quiet.  I then asked him if he had any dreams the night before.

He said that he dreamt he had died, but he didn’t realize he was dead at first.  He walked over to a fireplace, and at that moment he started to see in black and white, which let him know he was dead, and he saw that he was a spirit…like a white mist.  He saw me, in our bed, inconsolable.  He wasn’t sure how to help me, so he allowed his spirit to enter my body, and as soon as he did, I was at peace.

Wow!

Although this connecting dream, between my husband and I, was about death, it did not scare me or make me feel anxious.  We both were amazed at how the Holy Spirit has blessed us in our marriage, truly making us one in Him.  Also, we feel comfort in knowing that death is not the end…that there is much more waiting for us.

It is my intent and prayer, that by sharing this dream, your heart will be inspired with love, faith, joy and mercy,

God is real.  Jesus is real. The Holy Spirit is real.  

May all of us continue to open our hearts to God’s love.  Do not be confused as to where and what the Source of Love is.  It is not found in the world…it is found in Jesus.

 

 

 


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What Love Really Looks Like

Lately the words “What Love Really Looks Like” have been going through my head.  Probably because of our recent visit to Central California to enjoy some time with our son and daughter in law, and to meet our first grandchild, Brayden.  Watching their family bond together, and all that goes into the care of an infant, etched into my heart the reminder that love does not usually look like the love that is marketed to all of us on a daily basis.

Yes, there are times of carefree romantic bliss, and those moments of angelic babies surrounded by an aura of sweet white light.  Like the moments  that are portrayed by Hallmark and on social media.  Do we even remember anymore that most of the photos we see now are the result of careful staging, that depict perfectly put together couples, adorable babies, and trendy families?  Whatever happened to the uncomfortable, and many times unflattering pictures of old?  The ones that truly show life as it is…spontaneous and messy.  I must admit, I am the first one to delete “bad” pics of myself or anyone else that I feel would not be flattering.  Why do we desire to show the happy “perfection,” and not the struggle?

Sometimes, in trying to make our world “look good” to ourselves or others, we kind of forget what love really looks like. 

As we get closer to Jesus, we realize that through the suffering and struggle of our daily crosses, when we open ourselves up to His love and healing mercy, we begin to experience His Divine Love.

What does love really look like?

There is beauty in love that is revealed through joy, happiness, and contentment.  We all have known moments of great love and happiness…when we are so filled with love that we feel our hearts will just burst.

However, there is a deeper love…a greater joy that unites us with Jesus.  That unfathomable joy is shown in ways we don’t expect. Some of those moments don’t “feel” like love when they are happening.  The love is shown when we experience those moments, and allow the Holy Spirit to work through them, and work through us.

What does love really look like?  It looks like…

Hearing your newborn scream incessantly no matter how you try to soothe him; living on a few hours of sleep, and feeling overwhelmed. Changing dirty diapers that look like an explosion took place…how could all of that even come out of that tiny baby?  Then your baby focuses and gazes straight into your eyes, and smiles with his whole face.  Your heart instantly melts.

Doing what needs done as a couple to run your household and raise your children.  Getting up everyday to go to work, when you’d rather stay home or do something much more interesting.  Or maybe you are the one who is staying home to raise your children and manage your home…and the day to day “drudgery” sometimes feels as though you can’t do it one more day.  Then, through the little things of daily life, through a smile, a hug or a special moment, you are once again reminded of the big “why” and your spirit is renewed.

The misunderstandings, arguments, and pain that happen in your marriage.  The times when you bite your tongue when your spouse says something that hurts you to the core.  Or the times you are the one who lashes out with angry, biting words.  Then, through a miracle, the both of you once again work through the issues and difficulties, and become even closer through the struggle together.

Being the caregiver for someone in your life.  The daily care, responsibility, and the pain of watching the one you love suffer, and then pass away.  The grief.  And then the joy of knowing he/she is with you forever, and no longer are you separated  by sin, but united in love.

The pain of a mother, hearing that her daughter was killed while on a date with a boyfriend, who was driving drunk.  That mother’s grief and pain in losing her daughter was overwhelming.  However, the love of Jesus allowed her to stand up in the courtroom to speak up for the young man that was responsible for her daughter’s death.  She was able to hug and love him, through the fullness of the Holy Spirit working in her heart.

The look of anguish between a husband and wife, as one of them confesses to infidelity, and the forgiveness that is offered from the heart to the offender.  The grief, the pain, and the days, months and sometimes years of suffering together to restore the marital trust.  And then the joy of discovering that the journey of healing miraculously built a truly happy, whole marriage relationship that is their greatest gift in life.

A well known country singer, who was diagnosed with cancer, and knew that her days on earth were coming to an end.  She allowed her final loving days with her family to be shared with the world, in order to share her faith and love of God with those that may have needed to see through her eyes of faith.  Beautiful.

What does love really look like?

It looks like Our Savior, sacrificing Himself to suffer and take on full  punishment for our sins.  It looks like a man, bloodied, scourged, tortured, mocked, hanging on a cross, and uttering the words “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” and then dying for us.

Then there was Easter Sunday!  Triumph over death!  Alleluia!

Thank you, Jesus, for showing us what love really looks like.  I ask that you work through me, allowing your love to reach those in need of your mercy.

 

 

 

 

 


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An Adventure of Love

My husband and I will be married 38 years on April Fool’s Day. (funny we chose that day, huh?)  Our life together has been an adventure up to this point.   With our sons and their wives living across country, and now our first

The Beginning of Something Good

The Beginning of Something Good

grandchild being so far away from us, our lives are being lead to an oncoming  season of change and even more adventure.

This morning, as we were commuting to work together,  a quick flash of memories filled my head.

The first moment Joe and I locked eyes.

I was seventeen, and he was 18.  He always says that he knew I was “the one” since the first time he laid eyes on me, when I went in to the “Strouss Terrace Room Restaurant”, interviewing for a part time waitress position.  He was a bus boy.  We were seniors in different high schools, and were both referred to that particular restaurant through family members.  The manager of the restaurant was Esther, who had been a friend of my mother’s when they were teens.  Esther loved my mom and would have hired me without an interview.

Funny how each and every decision, and every person we meet, has a purpose in either our future, or someone else’s.

My vision this morning was the moment we first saw each other as naïve teens, and then flashes of our life together since that moment.

I saw Joe with his arm around me, pulling me in for our first kiss.  He, with his light sprinkling of freckles, and his beautiful, warm, liquid brown eyes.  I felt safe when I was with him, like I was “home.”

I saw us walking down the aisle in “The Little Chapel of Bells” in California, and vowing to take each other from that day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance.     We did not understand what those words meant at the time, (of course we thought we did!) however, we have gone through so much together since then, and understand the “for better for worse” part very well now.

I saw the birth of our two sons, and how they changed us for the better.  Change never comes easy…children are one of God’s ways of teaching us what it means to really love and be selfless.  That change and growth takes a lifetime, and the Lord works His will through us in a way that we don’t even realize what is happening.  Funny how we always think we are in charge and we think we know so much…as Our Heavenly Father weaves everlasting beauty out of  the  messes we create with the rags of our “we can do it ourselves” mentality.

I saw the misery of the times when we were both so unhappy, and were right on the edge of giving up and divorcing…because although we both knew we loved each other, we had no clue about what marriage really meant, and even less of a clue on how to be happy.  That was until we locked eyes one more time, through tears, and made the decision to stay married and learn how to be happy. 

That was also the moment that we invited God into our marriage, and asked for His help.  He did not let us down.  Even when we didn’t realize it, He was working in the unseen…leading and guiding us toward Him.  Especially when we were stumbling and falling time after time.

I saw our two sons as babies, little boys, teenagers, and as the men they are now.  They, and their beautiful wives, have brought true joy into our lives.

Blessed by Timeless Love

Then I saw the face of our new grandson, and the reality of what God started so many years ago is shining through those beautiful, clear blue eyes! 

And the thought hit me…this is just the beginning.

So many more blessings ahead for each and every one of us, as we continue to keep our hearts open to Jesus and simply trust Him, who loves us.

 

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

 


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From the Other Side, With Love

Since my mother passed away, my husband and I are slowly getting back to our life.  After so many years of my mom living with us, and the accommodations we made in our life and marriage due to her needs and happiness, we are having difficulty figuring out what “getting back to our life” means.  Our love and our marriage is strong, however, we are kind of in a waiting place…to see where the Lord is leading us at this time in our life.

There are many thoughts and feelings filling my heart and mind, and I miss my mother in a way that I never could have expected.

Her heart and spirit are a part of me now, and although she is gone from this physical world, I know  she is alive… in and with Jesus forever.   That doesn’t stop the pain of her absence, and also the pain of knowing the sorrows, struggles, and suffering that she endured throughout her life.

My dear friend wrote the following poem about her husband, when he was taken from her and her family.  Her beautiful and comforting  words touch my heart deeply and I wanted to share with you.

 

Today one more soul is heaven sent, 

A husband, father, and papa to many has finally found his way home; 

An eternity to spend. 

 

A place of rest, where everything is at its best, 

No more sorrow or tears to shed, 

A place where all are heavenly blessed. 

 

No more darkness or sickness; things of the past. 

A home at last; to the Father I must go. 

My time here has ended, the life we once knew gone but not forgotten, 

I’ll be watching over you. 

 

As I step out of this body and enter love’s pure light, 

I look back at your tear stained face and long to tell you it’s alright; 

The place I’m going, I do not fear. 

 

As I run to the Father, life’s pains and struggles disappear; 

And are replaced with everlasting joy. 

I think I’ll be ok staying here. 

 

Don’t you spend too much time crying over me. 

Remember the good times and don’t dwell on the bad; 

Take what you can from the things I have taught 

And you may learn a thing or two. 

 

Pay attention; tune your ear to the still small voice; 

I am always with you, not so far away. 

Just close your eyes, think of me, 

And remember to smile; 

I’m going home to the Father above. 

 

From the other side, with love. 

 

Written by Melissa Cox

 

 


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It Is What It Is…Except When It Isn’t

More and more lately, I am hearing people say a common phrase in a dejected kind of way…”It is what it is.”  I understand what they are trying to communicate, and many times they are correct in their assessment of a situation they are engulfed in.

Whenever I hear that phrase, it just doesn’t sit right with my spirit.  Because I know in my soul, the truth really is “It is what it is…except when it isn’t.”

You see, I have learned many lessons throughout my life, many of which took more years than I want to admit.  There have been countless times that my life seemed hopeless, and it seemed as though I was in a dark hole with no way to escape.  My personal reality during those dark times was filled with  seemingly hopeless situations that I allowed to rob my joy, and a life permeated with helplessness, confusion, pain, guilt, shame and no sense of self at all.   After the many times I tried to employ the “self help” teachings I learned about, and even made some progress, I eventually sunk back into the familiar black pit.

Looking back, I can see clearly when the changes started happening, although while I was living those years I did not “see” it.  When my oldest son was a year old, my husband and I had been married for three years.  We were going through trauma in our marriage, and at that time I was really sinking fast.  I loved my son, and my husband, but I was miserable.  Yes, the situation “was what it was”, but my eyes and heart were blinded to the miracles that were happening in the unseen.

While I was swirling around in the darkness, I was guided to attend a Renewal Weekend with my best friend at our Church.  I did not fully understand the concept of totally accepting Jesus into my heart and life on that weekend.  What I did understand was that God loved me and wanted the best for me.  All weekend I prayed only for my marriage.  I remember that I prayed that God would help my husband to love me even half as much as I loved him.

A simple prayer.

After the Renewal Weekend, our marriage and my life did not seem to change much.  I often  questioned why God wasn’t answering my prayers.  However, there were more little “miracles” that peeled layer upon layer of gunk from both of our hearts.  I was led to another Catholic Renewal Weekend, about 10 years later than my first one, and this time my heart and soul was touched in a way that is indescribable.  I understood what my stumbling block was from listening to the testimony of one witness.  My whole wall that I had built up around my heart was shaken when I heard one sentence that she spoke…

“I forgive you, daddy.” 

These words tore into me so hard that I ran out of the room, and was not only crying, but heaving and releasing pain from deep within my being.

That weekend started a new journey of healing and trust in God, and the decision that my husband and I made to dedicate our marriage to the Lord.  We made the decision to trust him to guide us, and teach us to be happy in our marriage…for neither of us had a clue how to be happy, and did not understand what the sacrament of marriage truly was.

This April, Joe and I will be married 37 years.  We have a marriage and relationship that I never even could have imagined or comprehended.  The Lord blessed me with a husband that is loving, kind, patient, trustworthy, and lots of fun.  We are best friends, and although enjoy spending time with our family and friends, our favorite place to be is with each other.  Our marriage is the crowing glory of our lives…it is our vocation and an important part of our ministry to share Christ’s love.

Now I look back and know that all through the years, the Lord was working all the stuff and gunk in our lives into good…totally in the “unseen.”  He was weaving a beautiful tapestry from the tiny little scraps we were able to offer him.  Because he loves us THAT much.

He loves YOU that much too! 

Always remember, “It is what it is…except when it isn’t.”  For the Lord works all toward good for those who love him…even when you can’t “see” it.

 

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.   Hebrews 11:1

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.    Ephesians 6:12

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.    Colossians 1:16;

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans  8:28

 

 

 

 


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Evangelizing With Our Daily Life

My husband and I have been blessed to commute together each morning to our respective jobs.  We have formed a daily ritual of stopping at McDonald’s for our morning coffee, and we see many of the same people every day having breakfast.  It’s kind of developing into a “community” of sorts, and each day brings a new surprise.

First, let me tell you, it’s a weird thing…I am usually the only female customer during those breakfast hours.  I’m really not sure of the reason for this lack of females, but I’m leaning toward the “guys” taking a stand to consume lots of bacon, sausage and cheese without anyone looking over their shoulders.  That’s just my assessment!

Anyway, this morning we walked in as usual, and the happy McDonald’s team members already had our medium coffee, medium decaf, and two creamers sitting on the counter before we even ordered.  And as usual, they started our day with the blessings of smiles and joy.

We made our way over to our usual, kind of secluded, spot.  As we passed two guys that we have been saying hello to for a few weeks, we smiled and greeted them.  As we sat down, my husband started talking with them.  We all proceeded to talk about our jobs, and the state of our country and the world in general.

Out of the blue, one of the men (Tony) started telling us about how he and his family are Christians, and how they read the Bible.  He was sharing about how crazy things are getting and that you have to arm yourself with the Spirit of God within you.  He then shared with us that his two children had an experience (at different times) of seeing an angelic presence which filled them with peace.  He said that they described everything about the apparitions in detail, and he wrote everything down, including a drawn picture of what they had seen.

When Tony was sharing his faith and his children’s experiences, my husband and I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.  He went on to share that he and his wife at first questioned if the apparitions were from God, however, as they realized the peace that came over their little ones due to the experiences, they felt more at peace themselves.

I shared my experiences of the times my guardian angel spoke to me in times of danger, and also the flash of light that surrounded both my husband and me at different times.  I also shared with him that when I spoke with my priest about those experiences, he said that if the event brings peace to the spirit and draws the person closer to Jesus, it is God sent.  Tony affirmed that he felt the same way…that the family is at peace and drawing closer to The Lord.

As my husband and I were standing up, getting ready to leave, Tony looked at us and said the following.  His words still warm my heart when I think of them, and once again reminds me how we are all being watched.

We are evangelizing with our daily lives without even saying a word, without even realizing it.

What he said was this:  “We watch you two together every day and see how much you love each other.  What you have is special and more couples need to have what you have.  There are so many couples giving up too soon, and too many people who are struggling with their marriage.”

We let him know that we went through many struggles, however, only through God was it possible for us to develop the loving relationship that we now have.

Marriage is a blessing…and so are the new friends God placed in our lives this morning.

Thank you Lord, for once again placing such beautiful people in our life.  Help us to always see through your eyes, hear through your ears, feel through your heart, and allow us to work and show love through your guidance.

 


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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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Prayers Answered

So… something very exciting is happening…

If you have read my “About” page, you know my story of discovering the rosary.  I have been meditating on the rosary for about a year and a half now.  In that time my faith has greatly deepened, and I have been offering those daily rosaries for many intentions.

One of those intentions was for a good friend of mine, who was filled with many questions regarding faith.  Although she considers herself Catholic, she was not attending regular weekly Masses, and she and her husband were never married in the Catholic Church.  She had a confused and sometimes depressed spirit, which I could identify with.  She reminded me of myself…just a short time ago.  I could literally feel her confused “dark” spirit when she was with me.

I have been praying the rosary for her and her husband for over a year.  My prayers focused on them getting married in the Church, and also that she would be able to get her questions and doubts answered, and become closer to Jesus.

About four days ago, when she walked toward me, I could see and feel a noticeable difference in her whole demeanor.  She was glowing.  Her spirit felt joyful and light.  It was so wonderful to see her so joyful!!!

A few days before, she confided in me, that there were some women who were really upsetting her.  She had walked in and interrupted two conversations in which they were actually talking about her!  On top of that, these women were doing specific things to make her life miserable.  I suggested that she pray for them, even though it would be hard.  I let her know that not only would the prayers be good for the two women, they would also help to soften and open her heart.  The prayers were definitely answered!  I have never seen her so happy!

But that’s not all…she and her husband are preparing to marry in the Catholic Church, and she will be Confirmed!  When she told me, she was so happy, that it made me cry.  She is excited to be learning what the Church teaches about love and marriage….things she never thought about before. (even after being married for 10 years)  She is amazed about learning new things about her husband, who is also enjoying  the marriage prep classes.

I am watching a life being transformed by the love of Jesus!

Thank  you, Jesus, for allowing me the honor of praying  for one of your precious ones!  Help me to always keep my eyes, ears and heart open to ways of sharing your love with all the people in my daily life.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  Matthew 5:44

Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  James 5:16


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The Circle of a Wedding Ring

This morning, I came across a little piece of paper I saved with these wise words written on it:  “How many memories lie in the circle of a wedding ring?”  I don’t remember where I found the quote, but the words hit home for me.  What a perfect way to acknowledge the awesome wonder and the “sacrament” of marriage.

Marriage and relationships are my passion.  I think we all learn from each other’s stories, so I thought I’d a share a little with you.  Maybe something I say will be of help to you or someone you know.

My husband, (Joe) and I have been married for 35 years.  I would be lying if I told you we were always happy and things always went smoothly.  Not only would I be lying, but I would be leaving out all the reasons why our marriage is now so blessed and rewarding.  The struggles, and the overcoming of the struggles together, weaved the strong fabric of our lives together…intertwining our hearts and minds as one.  Our life together…our marriage…is truly a miracle.

Joe and I married young – I was 20 and he was 21.  I have to be honest with you; we did everything wrong.  We “fell in love” when I was 17 and Joe was 18, meeting at a restaurant where we worked together.  Joe was a musician in a rock band. (a very naïve me thought he was in his High School Marching Band – didn’t realize he was the lead singer in a rock band!!!)  We had no planned goals, except for his rock star dream.  Neither one of us attended college. Well, I made it through one semester, before deciding that my career would be wife and mother.  Once we were married, the next ten or so years consisted of ups and downs, with some “very” down times.

On about three occasions, we were on that dangerous precipice teetering toward divorce.  We had two sons, and loved them very much, but did not know what to do.  We were miserable, each of us blaming the other for the unhappiness.

I could clearly remember our defining moment, that happened about 22 years ago. That moment came while we were holding each other on the couch, both crying, because we “knew” that we were headed for divorce.  You see, we loved each other, but didn’t know how to be happy within ourselves, and knew nothing of what glued together a relationship.  When we looked into each other’s eyes, we decided right then and there, that we would stay together and LEARN how to be happy.

God blessed that decision.  I attended a “Christ Renews His Parish” weekend retreat that opened my eyes and heart to God’s love.  Joe decided to do the men’s retreat the next year. His heart was touched that weekend in a profound way. He was a different man when he came home.  I started counseling that helped me see my own weaknesses and strengths, which led me to appreciate Joe’s strengths.  We started focusing on the goodness in each other, and somehow that helped us each to grow into better people.  We became better parents to our wonderful sons.

I am sharing a little of our story with you because I believe that many people do not understand what marriage is, and why they are not happy.  When I see married couples struggle, I wish I could do a mind meld with them to let them see what they could have if they just hang in there.  But hanging in there is just the start.  Marriage is much more than just “being there”.

“The sacrament of Marriage signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Beautiful thought, but how do we attain this love?  I’ve been mulling this question  since I found that piece of paper this morning.

Here is what I have discovered.  When two people “fall in love” and get married, hopefully they have taken the time to truly get to know their spouse in the dating and engagement process.  However, there are many layers in each of our hearts.  There are secret layers of fears, emotions, life memories (good and bad), and insecurities that reside in all of us.  What each spouse needs in the marriage is unconditional love, so they can feel safe enough to slowly peel away the layers that are masking their true heart and God given identity.

Therein lies the problem.  We are merely human and not capable of unconditional love.

The secret to a truly loving and joyful marriage is that the husband and wife both open their hearts to Jesus.  

When you make the decision to have a personal relationship with Jesus, and open your heart to Him, His Holy Spirit abides in you.  No longer are you floundering on your own…He fills your heart with love, compassion and empathy.  No longer are you just seeing actions or hearing words.  You learn how to love the whole person, and look for the root causes of the behaviors that hurt or irritate you.  Instead of pointing fingers and accusing your spouse (or anyone for that matter), you learn to overlook weaknesses and focus on strengths.  Forgiveness and acceptance start to become much easier for you.

I don’t mean to make this process sound easy…it isn’t easy at all, and will not happen all at once.  It is one of the hardest things you will ever do, but so very worthwhile!

Marriage is a covenant, a sacrament, and a miracle.  The real miracle is the changing of two hearts into the heart of Christ, and then the two hearts will become as one.  This oneness happens gradually, through love, support, loyalty, trust, commitment and forgiveness.  Once this heart and soul connection is forged, the marriage relationship is so much more wonderful than you could have imagined on your wedding day.

I recently heard a pure and simple truth from a newly married couple who went through the Pre-Cana Marriage Classes at Church.  They said that a married couple’s job was to guide each other to heaven.  How beautiful!  When that is your mission, imagine all the unique memories that will be contained in the circles of your wedding rings, on your way to Eternal Life!

May God bless your journey!

Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”  Matthew 19:4-6

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8