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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Changed

Sometimes the Lord works ever so gently in our lives, that for a time, we are totally unaware of the personal healing that is occurring from the inside out.

This morning I was thinking of the changes that have occurred in my heart in the past few years.  Although I am now aware that Jesus was with me and loved me throughout my whole life (as He is with and loves you), a special moment happened to me, which is described on my About Page , that guided me to an intimate relationship with Jesus, and completely changed the course of my life.

What drew me so close to Jesus?  It was His mother.

After many years of closing my heart to the pure love and sweetness of Mary, the mother of God, out of the blue came the overwhelming calling to pray the rosary!  It was like I almost did not have a choice, the calling was so strong.  I started praying the rosary every day, meditating on events in the life of Jesus and his family, and also meditated on the humble and open spirit of Mary.

Mary led me to her Son, Jesus.  I no longer just knew about Jesus, I started to know Jesus personally.  His love and his presence captivated and held me in his peace and love.  While I meditated on the rosary, which is based on scripture, I started praying for specific intentions for friends, family and coworkers.  Miracles started happening all around me, with many prayers being answered, and many lives being changed.  The Holy Spirit opened my eyes to the people in need around me, and also opened my ears to His whispers of those I am called to pray for.

So, I have been thinking…how has my relationship with Jesus changed my life?  There are a few things that come to mind.  Maybe you have noticed some of the same changes in your life?

 

No matter what happens from day to day, I know in my heart that the Lord will turn every situation toward good, both for me and His Kingdom.

When I meet or know of someone who is living in an ungodly way, I know that it is the evil of Satan that has infiltrated his/her life and heart.  If it is someone I have the opportunity to talk with, I focus on learning about what they have experienced in life, and get to know the Jesus that lives in their heart.  I share His love with them.  If it is someone that I know of, but do not have the opportunity to personally minister to, I pray for him/her…a lot…as in that person almost becomes a part of me for the time I am called to pray.

I have a calmness of spirit that I never had in the past.

The desire for mindless entertainment has left me.  I am extremely selective with music, books, TV shows, and movies.

In the past, I was very preoccupied with the paranormal.  I could not get enough of watching, reading and researching ufo phenomenon, aliens, ghosts, mediums, paranormal “powers”, demonic possessions, etc.  I literally was obsessed with those subjects, and because of my ability to “feel spirits” I was deceived into thinking I should develop my so called “powers.”  A visit with my priest, who I shared all of this with, lead to him praying over me, and instantaneously I was healed.  While I was being prayed over, I physically felt a dark spirit being lifted up through my body and out of the top of my head.  I felt a lightness and pureness of spirit that I never felt before, and those temptations or interest never returned.  Praise God!

The Lord has blessed me with a keen sense of discernment.  My eyes have been opened to see both the goodness and the very real evil that is around us every day…including the evils of promiscuity, homosexual behavior and homosexual “marriage”, abortion (the slaughter of the innocents which is Satanic), pride, and rebellion.

The Holy Spirit has gifted me with the ability to discern spirits.  I feel the spirit of most people I meet…sometimes even from a distance.  No matter what the person conveys through actions or speech, the Lord allows me to see straight through to their heart.  In that way, I know what intentions need prayed for.

I feel more love for all people, and desire for them to know Christ.

All in all, the most prevalent change in my life is the complete faith that God is with me, and with all of His children, every minute.  God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is one with me.  He lives inside of me, and I live in Him.

Wherever we walk, it is Holy Ground, because we carry Him with us.  Isn’t that amazing?

And, no, life is not always easy.  And we will all fall and sin.  However, Jesus is always there loving us, and He is always waiting for us to confess, repent, and get back up to follow Him and enjoy His presence in our lives.

What changes has your relationship with Jesus brought to your life?

 


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In the Moment

This morning I saw something that troubled me greatly, and I feel compelled to share my experience to maybe open some eyes to the sneaky ways Satan slithers into our lives.  For he is the master of deception.

My daily commute usually includes a stop at Panera’s.   As I was making my way out of the restaurant after purchasing my coffee this morning, a thirty something year old man pushed out of the door ahead of me and went over to his car.  I was parked next to him, and was surprised to hear him talking with his little son (about two years old) who had been left alone in the back seat, strapped into his car seat.  It concerned me that this son was left in the car while his dad went in to get coffee.  Then, to my surprise, he again left his son in the back seat, closed and locked the door, and went back into the restaurant.  I waited and watched to make sure the little one was ok, and I could see the father was right inside, and kept checking through the window.  I looked into the back seat, and saw that the little boy was holding a cell phone, engrossed with whatever was playing on the screen.  Wow…I was just thinking that this father did not fully understand the preciousness of that son that he left alone in the car.  If he did, his son would be in line with him…spending beautiful time together in the moment.

Then, as I pulled out of the parking lot and proceeded to drive to work, all around me appeared people with cell phones either on their ears or in their hands in front of them.

It hit me like a ton of bricks…we, as a society, have allowed ourselves to be “marketed” to think that being stuck to 24/7 news, cell phones and social media is being cool and “necessary.”  We have been deceived into thinking that whatever is out there in the phone scrolling or tech world,  is necessary to our day to day life, and somehow more important than the life that is actually happening around us.

Have we forgotten how to think in the silent moments?  Why are we tempted to pick up that cell phone at every stop sign, red light, or even while we are driving to fill up every open moment?  Why do we need to fill our minds with endless dribble, instead of allowing our hearts to have quiet time?  It is sad, and actually comical to watch a family or group of friends sitting around, all staring and scrolling on their phones.  How did we allow Satan to lead us to this absurdness?

What we are losing is the ability to enjoy downtime.  Time where we can take a break to enjoy the sights, smells, sounds, and people around us.  Time to savor the beauty of God’s creation, and time to be one with Him in silence or through the relationship with those around us.

No…I am not talking about relationship as in a social media post, or an email or text. 

I am talking about enjoying relationship through actually being in the presence of those we love, or are in the midst of, each moment.  It is focusing on the life going on around us in the moment, and focusing on the people we are withNot focusing and being lured away by a cold, lifeless piece of electronics.

Parents, husbands, wives, friends, sisters, brothers, grandparents, sons, daughters, grandchildren…when you are drawing your last breath on this earth, you will not be looking for your phone or the internet.  You will be yearning for your loved ones and to be in relationship with them, either spiritually or physically.

And even more important, you will be yearning for love and relationship with your heavenly father.

Be sure to build those relationships with the Lord and with each other, during the life you were gifted with, instead of wasting time on inanimate objects!

Be a blessing…and enjoy the blessings…in the moment.

 

 

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.  Ecclesiastes 4:9–12

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  Galatians 5:13

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.   1 John 3:1

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,  not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.   Hebrews 10:23-25

 

 

 


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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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Trusting the Winds of Change

Most of my friends know that I don’t like wind. There are a few reasons for my displeasure, but suffice to say, wind is not my favorite thing.

So what do you think happens every time I go for a walk? It could be the most still of days when I venture outside for my daily walk, I’ll be on my way for about 5 minutes, and then BOOM, the wind hits me with a rage. I’m not talking a gentle breeze, but almost a whirlwind!

I’ve come to realize, that the Lord is definitely communicating with me and teaching me through these winds.

You see, I am a person who has always sought peace and the calming comfort of routine. This need and quest for peace in my life stemmed from childhood, when I used to stick my head in a book at a very young age, and would create my own world. I would literally make my surroundings disappear, and would not even be aware of the craziness happening in the house around me.

This quest for peace directed my life, and I continually headed in the direction of my interpretation of “peace and quiet”. Many times, because of this internal guidance system that was on autopilot, I passed up countless opportunities for growth and even missed out on many joys because I was looking for a “safe” place to be. I had built myself into a cozy little box, and was not even aware that the real motive behind my self- imprisonment was fear. There, I said it…it was fear.

Back to the wind…or should I say the winds of change.

As my relationship with Jesus becomes more intimate, he is guiding and teaching me through his outpouring of grace and love. I am learning to TRUST God and his purpose for me. This trust cannot be forged when I shelter myself from all that I deem uncomfortable or a threat to my peaceful existence.

I am learning to open my heart and soul up to the Lord, and offer him all that I am. AS IS.  Although I am always striving to align myself closer to Jesus and his ways, I trust that he is working in me and through me, bringing me and those lives he touches through me, closer to him.

This involves great TRUST.

Trust, when winds come straight at me, and throw me off my usual course and way of thinking.

Trust, when I choose to not only listen to the whispers of the Spirit in my heart, but HEAR them and act on them.

Trust, that through the winds of change, I will be strengthened and ready for any storm that may come my way, or into the path of those around me.

As I sit, at this moment, I am feeling an extreme calmness of spirit. At the same time, I feel the intense energy and total love of Jesus through my entire being.

I am looking out the window, watching the trees and leaves that are momentarily motionless, as they patiently wait on the Lord to move them in his direction.

And I also wait on the Lord, for he is my all, and is my source of joy, happiness, and true peace.

I wait for the blessings that will be poured over all of his children, through the winds of change.

May God bless you and keep you in his care, as you wait on him and his direction for your life’s purpose.

 

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.   Psalms 27:14

 

 

 

 


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The Renewal of Your Mind

Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.   Romans 12:2

This verse speaks straight to my heart each day. With all that is transpiring around us on a daily basis, how are we to be transformed by the renewal of our minds instead of conforming to the world? How will we know the will of God…what is good, acceptable, and perfect? Am I the first to have ever been confused by this passage? After all, the Lord placed us in the world…doesn’t he want us to enjoy it?

Our senses, that God blessed us with, are constantly pulling in and processing information…whether we are aware of it or not. What I am learning, is that it is imperative that we make ourselves aware of all that we are allowing to enter our belief system and our hearts. We must make it part of our nature to discern as we go along our day. We need to think about our source of discernment.

Where do we find renewal of the mind that is the will of God?

Here are some things to think about:

Will we find it in the opinions spouted in the news or on social media?

Will we find it on the pages of the magazines promoting shallow and Godless lifestyles?

Will we find it while we read the latest best sellers? You know, the ones that are edgy and trendy, covering topics that deep down we know are “just not right.” But reading is awesome and shows an open mind and intelligence…no matter what the subject, right???

Will we find it in the movies we watch, the music we listen to, or the ads and commercials we are bombarded with?

Is it found in our jobs, our entertainment, our sports, our education?

Is it found in our friends and families’ opinions?

Or maybe we can find God’s will in our faith, and in our churches?

How do we discern?

We need to really think about this. Our relationship with the Lord depends on it.

The answer is simple: Through The Word of God.  The only way to discern the will of God, and to be transformed by the renewal of your mind, is to know God through His Word.  Immerse yourself in it.  Align yourself to His Word and His Ways.  His Truth is unchanging.

Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you and fill you with His Love.  Pray for Wisdom.  Pray for His direction.   Little by little, step by step, your eyes, ears and heart will be open to His ways.  You will KNOW He is with you.

You will learn to discern.

You will start to notice the changes in your heart, mind and soul.  And your love for Jesus will fill you up and draw you closer to Him.  You will no longer be interested in the false enticements of the world, and will continuously look for ways to align yourself with Him.

You will find that you have no desire to be conformed to this temporary, shallow  world…your transformation through His will and His Word will  journey you toward  an  eternity  in heaven with your Heavenly Father.

Praise God!

 

 

 


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Simply Trust God

Peace of Spirit

Peace of Spirit

Why is it sometimes  so hard to let go and simply trust God?

My husband and I recently returned from our much anticipated and needed vacation…which consisted of visiting our son and his wife in Colorado, and then visiting with our other son, and his wife, in California.

Before I share about the joyful, perfectly wonderful time we enjoyed with our family, I need to confess something.

As anyone who is a parent would understand, the most important focus in our lives  has been our sons, and building our relationship as a family.   We wanted to provide them with a strong foundation of love and stability.  Through the years we made lots of personal changes as the Lord led us to  learn and grow…a lot of times through trial and error.  As we watched our sons grow into strong,  responsible and loving men, we also felt ourselves blossoming and growing into better versions of ourselves.  In our eyes, God worked a miracle in our lives…blessing our family with a close,  trusting relationship.

As our sons married, our family was expanded and our two daughters-in-law added a new dimension to our family dynamics.  By the way, they feel more like daughters than daughters-in-law.  It seemed that all of our prayers had been answered, and felt very blessed that we all were close and were able to enjoy each other’s company.  Life was good.

Then they decided to move across country.  From the East coast to Colorado and California.  

Although I would like to say that I was extremely happy that they were following their dreams and moving away from the traffic and craziness of the DC area, I have to admit, I can’t say that at all.  And the fact that both couples researched and found wonderful laid back communities that offered the beauty of the mountains and/or the ocean, and conducive to a peaceful life where most travel is by bicycle didn’t phase me at all.

Why would they leave us?

Not only move, but move as far away as possible from us.  Didn’t they know that everything we did was for them and our family?  Didn’t they know how much we struggled to make changes within ourselves so we could be good parents to them and give them what we never had?  Didn’t they realize what they were leaving behind…parents that are always there for them and the awesome times we enjoyed together?

Although my mind was happy for them, my heart could not let go.  I was holding back with clenched hands, and could not let go and offer my children to God’s safekeeping and His plan for their lives.  I wanted to selfishly hold on to them…and keep things the way I wanted them to be.

I wanted my family to be the peaceful haven that we worked so hard to attain, and I just did not allow myself to give it up.  In actuality, I was substituting  the love and need of  my version of  family relationship for my love of God.  My family had become my idol.

Thank you Lord for opening my eyes.

You have been flawlessly working your plan through all of us.  Because of the way your Holy Spirit guided us, we raised two wonderful sons that chose wonderful, loving wives.  Each of them have talents and gifts that you will develop and use for your perfect plan, and because of your divine intervention, our sons are strong and grounded enough to be able to follow the call that you set in their hearts.

So was this the most awesome and perfect vacation ever?  A thousand times YES!  The time we spent together will be treasured and remembered in our hearts…the time together was the most important facet.  Now add to that…bicycling, hiking, soaking in natural spring hot tubs, brewery tours, wineries, touring the Hearst Castle, attending Mass as a family at a beautiful Catholic Church and also a Mission,  meeting up with and visiting extended family in California, the mountains, the ocean, and also meeting some of our sons’ friends and coworkers and realizing the wonderful communities that they are now a part of.   Also the fact that both couples showed us their love by sharing their homes with us,  planning our time together, and the wonderful meals and special touches just for us.

Yes, I still miss them.  But I have finally opened my clenched fists to receive the grace to let them go and trust God with their lives and also ours.

Thank you Lord for this lightening of spirit that you have blessed me with.  Please keep us all in your light and open our eyes, ears, and hearts  to your voice and guidance.  Help us to quiet our lives and souls so we can hear your whispers, and give us the strength and courage to take up our daily crosses and follow you.  Wherever that may be.

 

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?…  Luke 9:23-25