somebodylovesmeblog

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


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We are Covered

While I was praying the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary, my mind was overtaken with some of my past sins.  The kind that fill me with shame…the ones that linger in my mind every once in a while.

After a moment or two of feeling that guilt and shame, a vision that I had a few months ago (while saying the rosary) filled my being.

In this vision, I was the guilty one, and just about to be punished for my sins.  I deserved it, for my sins were many.  Jesus was bent over me, with his eyes firmly and lovingly set on mine.  The whip started flying…I could hear the sound of the cords cutting through the air and feel them ripping into  Jesus’ body.  I could feel his spirit, smell his scent in the moist air and feel his body wince with every connection of that whip against his flesh. I felt tremendous fear, however, Jesus never broke His loving and merciful gaze that pierced straight into my soul.  He lovingly protected me from each and every blow, and my body was never touched.

At that moment, I understood the amazing love that Jesus offers to me and all of us.  He came to Earth to save us…to suffer in our place for the sins that we have committed and are still committing.  He has placed Himself between us and our deserved punishment…and is still there for us.

He covers us in His love, mercy, and in His blood.

We must always remember, that when Jesus was beaten, blasphemed, mocked and crucified, these atrocities were not forced upon Him.  He offered Himself for us.  His life was not taken from Him…He offered His Body as atonement for our sins.  His life was given.

Freely, and without reserve.

What are we willing to offer Him of ourselves?

That is something that we must all think about on this precious Friday, and on every day that we are blessed with.

What are we willing to offer Him?

 

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”   Luke 22:19-20

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.  Isaiah 53:5

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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 as sexy as 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, sexy, 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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Yes, Jesus loves you. Do you love Him?

Lately I have been really noticing a pattern among many Christians who remain in darkness.

The darkness may lie in depression, family or relationship issues, finances, addictions, and/or emotional, spiritual, mental or physical ailments.

Over and over, in their suffering, I hear them profess how much Jesus loves them.   And then I see the same people  post on their social media sites, that they love Jesus, and trust Him to heal them and answer their prayers. Years go by, and they remain in their same anguish.

When I see and hear the pain they are experiencing, my heart aches for them, and I pray for total healing in their lives.

The troubling pattern is this…many of these same people do not understand that believing that Jesus loves them is only the start.

Even Satan and his demons know that Jesus is God.

Relationship with Jesus is the open, acceptance of His gift of salvation to all of us.

The gift sits there, unopened, until we make the free choice to accept it, and open it. Once opened, do we choose to just let it sit there, or do we interact with Jesus in thanksgiving?

In other words, do we choose to have a relationship with Jesus, or do we just lean on the knowledge that Jesus loves us no matter what?

In a loving, happy relationship, do we just sit back and bask in the love offered to us, selfishly saying “he/she will always love me no matter what I do?”

Do we intentionally dishonor our loved one, by publicly announcing honor and support for another…that is in total opposition or disrespect to our beloved?

Or do we interact with that love…making sure to spend time with our loved one, forsaking others due to our commitment, sacrificing our wants and needs in order to please our loved one, making changes in our behaviors that may hurt our relationship. Thinking of “we” instead of “me.”

Do we do these things in a loving human relationship, however, not so much when it concerns our relationship with Christ?

As Christians, each day brings us opportunities to align ourselves more closely with Jesus.   Many things we are doing that keep us at arm’s length from His total love and mercy. For some reason, we hold back, and look to the world for the answers. We keep looking toward other sources for our happiness, love and “warm fuzzies”.

This is a grave mistake that keeps us from full relationship with Jesus. “Warm fuzzies” do not offer us love, mercy and salvation.

First, let me make perfectly clear, I know that I personally struggle or have struggled with many of these, or other, things. These observations are meant to shine a light on possible ways that we are damaging our relationship with Jesus, thus remaining in “the muck and darkness” year after year.

Little or big doors that we crack open that allow Satan or his demons to enter into our souls, and lives.

Many times we even forget these doors were once opened, or we are unaware at all. I can tell you, that Satan has not forgotten. He uses any point of entry that he can find…he uses our weaknesses, our curiosity, our pride, and our ignorance to infiltrate our lives and souls.

 

Some of the dangerous things I am noticing that are being shared on social media, by Christians, that jump out at me:

Interaction with or sharing of horoscope info

Belief or interest in mediums

Posting memes and/or belief in New Age philosophies

Dabbling in “cute” witchcraft or spells

Claiming to be a Christian, while promoting other World Religions. I am not talking about being tolerant of other religions, which we are called to do. I am talking about treating all religions as though they are one of many truths. In fact, in many cases, sharing quotes from secular sources, and other religions with more ardor than Christianity. As though it is almost an embarrassment to proclaim Christian values, customs, beliefs, and truths.

Worshiping “Mother Earth” instead of The Creator

Taking part and promoting entertainment…movies, books, magazine, games…that are in opposition to God

Spewing hatred, as in labeling and name-calling, toward specific people that we disagree with, instead of simply professing our stand, and praying for and with them.

Professing love for God with words only…and not by showing day to day loving actions and change in our lives

Any of these things, or something I haven’t mentioned, could be part of the darkness you are living in. Confession, and repentance in any area that is in opposition to Our Lord, will allow the light of the Holy Spirit to heal you, inside and out. This total healing may happen in an instant, or may happen gradually, as you grow in faith.  The key is to invite the Holy Spirit to illuminate you and fill your soul with His Holy Presence…and then place your trust in God.

Sometimes, the Lord will allow certain things to remain in your life to help you on your journey to Him, or for His glory. When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you will live with a deep joy that will help you through any struggle in this life, and you will learn to look to Him in confidence and trust.

Remember, Jesus will always love you! Are you showing your love for Jesus?

 

19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21 envy,[a] drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Galatians 5:19-21

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
 John 14:6

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen.  Romans 1:25

 

 

 

 

 

 


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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.

 


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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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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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Spirit…Not Just Personality

Out to Dinner Bernadette and Mom

Out to Dinner
Bernadette and Mom

God always answers prayers, although sometimes they are in ways we could not have imagined. I am learning to trust His ways, especially when we cannot see the answers, because He knows what we truly need, not just what we think we need or want.

When my dad was experiencing a decline in health twelve years ago, I prayed that he would pass away before my mom so I could get to know her. In my mind, I would be able to forge a “true” relationship with her, and get to know her as a person. I imagined long heart to heart talks over coffee and lunches, enjoyable shopping dates, being there to help her with household chores, and do all the things I fantasized were things that close mothers and daughters did together. I wanted to know her true personality, and I wanted her to know me. This was my prayer.

The Lord knew what my true prayer request was, even though I didn’t know the fullness of what was needed to fill that spot in my heart that was longing for my mother’s love.

He knew that I needed to know her spirit…her heart; not just her personality.

So the Lord placed my mother with Joe (hubby) and me, and she made her home with us for the past eleven years.

I wish I could say that all those years were a breeze, and that every moment spent together was quality time. I wish I could say that my heart was always right and that every thought I had was loving and peaceful. I wish I could say that we had long, intense mother to daughter talks that allowed me to know about her life, and that we chatted endlessly about mother/daughter things. Because those were the things that my mind had the capacity to wish and hope for.   I was looking for an illusion of what true love is.

God, in all His mercy and love, revealed to me what true love is all about.

He gave me eleven years of snippets and moments of love with my mother. He helped me to love my mom through our interactions, especially when my mind and heart were not in it. He showed Himself through her smiles, her patience, her love, her gentle spirit, her ability to take life as it was given to her, accept it, and offer it to God each day. I watched her as her health declined through the years, and she was able to do less and less. I watched her struggle to walk a few steps to the bathroom, then struggle to move in bed. I watched her struggle to just breathe. I knew in her last week on earth, that her suffering was united with Jesus, and that I was privileged to share in that beauty. That beauty was manifested in a love that permeated my whole being…an all-consuming love that was almost overwhelming in its intensity.

You see, God answered my prayers, although in a way far superior to what I requested.

I asked that He allow me the time to get to know my mother’s personality. What He blessed me with, was the opportunity to know her spirit. And her beautiful spirit is what will be a part of me, and all who knew her, forever.

Thank you, Jesus, for loving us so completely, that you know our hearts and needs more than we do. Help us to always trust in your mercy and love, knowing that your desire is for us to find peace and true joy in your presence forever.