Week 3, Day 1 (I need to let Jesus love me through others)

Romans 12:9-21

“Let love be sincere”

“anticipate one another in showing love”

“Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.”


-I must not twist the love that is being presented to me into what I would like it to be, or try to clean it up. I need to just accept it at face value and let it be.

-(anticipate= regard as probable, expect or predict). I need to assume that others (love, admire and respect me.) and treat them accordingly. Jesus is within them, and HE does!

-Be proactive in setting up a chain of positive emotions, by being faithful to the little things.


Day’s Message:

I need to approach others as if every person I come in contact with is an encounter with Jesus. Here’s my opportunity to not only love Him greatly, but also to fully be loved by Him through them, beyond apparent limits or my own preconceived expectations. He can out love me at every turn.

This was another big one for me. Again, I was familiar with doing for others as if for Jesus…but the idea that He’d somehow use them to bring love (grace?) back into my life is pretty amazing to me.

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lord, Teach Me to Pray, the beginning…

I’m doing a 12 week prayer journey with a group at my church. We read assigned scripture passages, we let it speak to us, we come together once a week for faith sharing. Simple. As I start on week three, I want to start blogging in order to document where the Lord is taking me. If it blesses anyone else in the process, that is an added bonus…God is good like that. 😀

So each day, He seems to be leading me on a particular path…as I’ve been writing it down, it alls seems to flow together from day today. It’s so beautiful how the flow of our lives proceeds if only we pay attention. I normally am not the greatest at paying attention and why I find this group so instrumental right now. It’s genius in its simplicity and helps me to focus in on what’s important for the moment.

I’m going to summarize here where weeks one and two lead me and then go forward hopefully with a daily post…I say hopefully because that’s another thing that I’m not too good at…I always start with good intentions though.

WK1

-He’s seeking me

-He wants to give me His life

-So I can fulfill the mission that He has for me

-I need to clear the way for pure love to work, through forgiveness

-embracing LIFE and LIBERTY

-which is Jesus Himself!

(I was familiar with the concept of needing to be forgiven to be in a state of grace…of repentance for my own sins. However this week brought me a new insight, of needing to forgive others. We say in the Our Father, ‘forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who have trespassed against us’…in fact I have said it so often, that it has become nearly meaningless. But it was impressed upon me the importance of not holding on to the little bothers and resentments that I tend to rehash in my head and heart way too much. )

 

 

WK2

-I need to focus on the one important thing

-and leave the outcome to Jesus

-I can’t get distracted

-because failure to obey incurs a penalty

-I need to be faithful in the little things.

-I can trust Him implicitly.

(The big message this week was the fact that little acts of disobedience are still disobedience and do have negatives effects in my life as they build up. That He’s the One that knows me and is guiding me, leave the outcome to Him and just give Him my best…regardless of what others may think or say. He will never lead me into sin, but He will for sure lead me in ways that are beyond other people’s understanding. That’s ok.)

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A soul on FIRE!

IMG_9063I’ve been doing the St. Anthony Novena this week and a number of things have come together that is hard for me to even explain right now. But suffice it for me to say that I feel the Lord working in my soul in a profound way. I’ve been journaling all week and now I feel led to just scribble down a few of the ‘messages’ I’ve been receiving. This is the point that I need to say that I use Christian lingo a bit and if this all seems very strange to you, then maybe just skipping it for now might be the right thing for you. Only because I really want to get to what I need to write instead of explaining why I feel I’m receiving messages in the first place…lol. But let me just say that I’m not ‘special’ or insane, this is the type of relationship that the Lord wants with each of us. 😉 And I also need to say that these messages are most and foremost for ME. I’m not a theologian and if the terms I use aren’t correct and somehow contradictory to church teaching, then I am the one in the wrong and have misunderstood.  I’m only sharing them in case they may inspire others to pursue a closer relationship with the Lord, because I’m thinking that this is going to become more and more important in the coming days. So let’s get right to it.

1) Let the Lord set you on FIRE!!!
Be led by Him in His service, don’t refuse Him anything. Even when it seems like foolishness. It’s the everyday, yet extraordinary forms of obedience that He requires. He is calling each of us to HOLINESS right where we are.

I specifically understood Him asking me to “Be a woman of glory. A light in the darkness. Keep growing in sensitivity to God’s grace.”

2)Jesus alone is the answer and where our help is to come from.
Release all idols (strongholds, addictions, inordinate attachments…specifically helplessness, perfectionism, emotional dependence on other people.)
Don’t fight the old, just build the new.
Focus on love (to love is to struggle).
Purity is required for this type of all encompassing love.

3)Serve others and be a light.
Build each other up. Give grace to receive grace, especially through prayer.
Spread love wherever you go, especially in your home and those closest to you.
Wherever you are(even in the virtual world which is growing in metaphysical strength.), you are needed according to your gifts.
Sometimes you are there as a spiritual warrior (Be aware that you need to be properly prepared) and other times as a healer to bind the wounded.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

God’s Work is to Make it Perfect

 

 God’s Work is to Make it Perfect 

by guest blogger Rachel McHugh

In my experience, whether I like it or not, there tends to be a lot of guilt and fear associated with being a Catholic mother. We know that Jesus says “My yoke is easy and my burden light”, but it often doesn’t feel like it. In one sense, our Catholic roots give us an excellent grounding for knowing that our work as parents is important- the dignity of Catholic motherhood finds its basis in the motherhood of Mary. Yet even though we know our work to be valuable, we often can’t help feeling…well…that we’re *bad* at it. I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling, either! And it seems to us that the stakes are very high- our children have eternal souls, and we certainly don’t want to be found responsible for steering them wrong.

Now how are we to reconcile the apparent contraries of Jesus’ words “My yoke is easy and my burden light” with our own knowledge of how difficult it is to be a parent? Children are people just as much as we are, with their own expectations, their own ideas, their own frustrations. Their psychology is either different from ours, frustrating us and making it difficult to understand their motivations; or else it is maddeningly similar, and we are horrified to watch faults with which we have struggled our whole lives begin to be apparent in them. And we love them insanely- which makes our failures and weaknesses a hundred times more painful. Oh, there’s certainly joy in parenting- but it’s easy for this kind of guilt and fear of hurting them get in the way of some of that joy.

We want them to know God, to love God, and to have life abundantly. Is there a foolproof way to make sure it’s so?Yes indeed, and it’s called grace. But the concept of grace is not often very well defined for us. We know that it is the way that God works in us and makes us holy, but how exactly does that work in our lives as parents? How does it help us to bring our children to God?

St. Therese is my favorite saint. She’s known as the Little Flower, and her teachings have been called the “Little Way”. She offers the following insight in her autobiography: “I understand, Lord, that when a soul allows herself to be captivated by the odor of your ointments, she cannot run alone, all the souls whom she loves follow in her train; this is done without constraint, without effort, it is a natural consequence of her attraction for You.” So in other words, it’s not necessary that we do *anything* special to attract our children to God except that we be drawn in ourselves. That’s it! Therese may not have been a parent, but she was given the task of acting as novice mistress in her convent, which could be considered a parallel task. Here’s what she has to say upon hearing that the prioress wanted her to take on the role:
“Mother, from the moment I understood that it was impossible for me to do anything by myself, the task you imposed upon me no longer appeared difficult. I felt that the only thing necessary was to unite myself more and more to Jesus and that “all things will be given to you besides.” In fact, never was my hope mistaken, for God saw fit to fill my little hand as many times as it was necessary for nourishing the soul of my Sisters.”
Note what she says- “it was impossible for me to do anything by myself”. THAT is grace. The moment we recognize that it’s impossible for us to bring children up in the “right” way, we are free to let go and let Jesus do the work in us. And he won’t fail us! We have to stop believing that it’s possible for us to fail, because it’s impossible for love to fail…impossible for God to fail.

Jesus said “be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect.” How is our father in heaven perfect? By his Being. By grace, that is the same for us. It is our “being” that is made perfect. That means that in all the messiness, in all our mistakes, in our faults, failures, etc, even in our guilt and fear, God has made it perfect. The incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection make all things well. Our parenting can’t possibly “fail” if we love God. And loving God basically comes down to letting God love us. Which in itself is something that only he can do in us. We are weaker than we imagine, really. In the same boat as our children.
Mary is our model. Mary didn’t always get things *right*. She was entirely without sin, surely; baptismal grace was fully present in her from the moment of her conception. But she didn’t always understand Jesus. She didn’t know why he needed to be in the Temple as a child, and she tried to keep him from preaching at one point. But Jesus turned it all into grace. “All things work together for good for those who love God.” That’s *all*. And we won’t be disappointed- we can’t be.

This doesn’t mean that we won’t see things which disturb us. Our children will still draw on the walls and get playdoh in the rug. They will make noise in public places. They will get angry at one another and at us. They may lie, they may make sexual choices that cause them or us pain. They may use drugs or divorce. And we will feel all the pain of seeing these things. But we can’t fix them for our children any more than anyone could fix our stuff for us. We can let God love us the whole time, in all of our childrens’ messiness and in all of OUR messiness, and we can know that we aren’t responsible for *fixing* our children. Their faults will remain theirs for all their lives, and God will work his grace in them also.

We need good will, and to dive in. God will take care of the part that makes everything perfect. If we can maintain our peace- or at least maintain our peace about NOT maintaining our peace- in the midst of all the mess of parenting…this can only help our families. And it’s hard- it’s hard because when there are human beings, they will hurt each other and there are tensions and frustrations. But we can allow our children to be humans, and we can allow OURSELVES to be humans (harder sometimes). Humans redeemed by Christ. Our only work is Love. All things else will be added.

I’ll end with what Julian of Norwich, an anchoress of the middle ages, has to say about the Final Judgment:
“And therefore when the Doom is given and we be all brought up above, then shall we clearly see in God the secret things which be now hid to us. Then shall none of us be stirred to say in any wise: Lord, if it had been thus, then it had been full well; but we shall say all with one voice: Lord, blessed mayst thou be, for it is thus: it is well; and now see we verily that all-thing is done as it was then ordained before that anything was made.”

———————

Rachel McHugh lives in Maine with her husband and 5 children. She is a contributing author to the Catholic apologetics site http://www.NewApologetics.com, mostly in the form of poetry. She enjoys spending  time playing internet games in between cooking, homeschooling and having intense, concept-laden discussions with her philosopher husband.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The steps, priorities and our expectations

IMG_3800This week we are working on Marriage which is essentially step 6 in the Stepping into it system. But because we are ‘counting down’ to Christmas, it has become our first step.

There is however something that I wanted to remind you of. Especially the ladies who are doing this retreat over at ‘Stepping into it together’ Facebook group. The importance of caring for yourself (which is essentially step one and we’ll go into in a lot more detail later on) and the benefit that that will have for your marriage and all other steps.

We are half of any relationship and the only ones who we can change at all. It is important to remember that we project to the world and on to others what we have inside our heads and our spirits. I have a dear friend who calls it ‘head trash’ so I have adopted that term. Be aware of thoughts and expectations that may not be helpful in establishing a strong marriage…both about yourself and your spouse. Remember that what you choose to focus on grows, so why not pick the good stuff?

Keep in mind any health issues that may be getting in the way also, whether physical, emotional or mental. Get the help needed, discuss it with your spouse. Have the courage and the humility needed to address the hard issues and to leave the outcome to God! Sometimes we are very much on fire to be obedient to God and we keep looking for big and mighty ways to show our love for Him and yet it’s often the little steps that He is looking for.  ❤

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stepping into it Together

A seven week online retreat for Catholic women. 

For those of you coming to this blog for the first time, let me give you a little background of what ‘Stepping into it’ is all about.

It is loosely based on Holly Pierlot’s ‘A Mother’s Rule of Life’. It’s a series of ‘rules’ or ‘steps’ that serve as the backbone for a  life of grace, pretty much as a ‘rule’ would for someone in a religious community. It helps in keeping in mind those things that are truly important and the goal in focus. You don’t have to be Catholic, but be aware that all posted will be from a Catholic Christian perspective. 😀

There is so much distracting us today. Some of it is not even necessarily  bad, just not the best for us. If you have a goal in sight, and know what you are working towards then you can more easily see the choices you are making as either contributing to that ultimate goal or not.

My ultimate goal on this journey is union with God, and from there stepping out in obedience in all areas of my life. And what better time to bring that back into focus than at Christmas time…Emmanuel, God is With Us!

IMG_4795

The White Ladder

So just to give you an overview, the steps are...

  1. Self.  Taking care of yourself first so that you have the energy required to do all else that God is calling you to. Akin to putting on your own oxygen mask first in case of an emergency, before tending to your children and others around you.
  2. Others/ Ministry. This is self explanatory. It’s about fellowship and joining together as brothers and sisters. Think of the Cross…if Self is the vertical beam reaching from you to God…then step two is the horizontal beam, reaching across to others. These two need to go hand in hand.
  3. Career. It’s similar to step 2 as it is about serving others but this time it is what God uses to provide for YOU financially so that you can continue to do His will in all He asks.You need to know your value, step 2 is about charity…this one is more reciprocal. An exchange of energies takes place.  I’m a Capitalist by the way…socialism in my view has caused way more harm than good (just a little side note).
  4. Home. This is about all that it takes to make a home run smoothly. It’s our landing spot. Our Domestic Church.
  5. Parenting. This is about your children and your future.
  6. Marriage. All about the one chosen by God to be the person you do life with.

** What runs through all these steps or the ‘banister’ if you will…is God Himself, as we seek to do His will in all things. Also, ‘the steps’ are really in a circular arrangement so that step 6 and and step 1 actually feed off of each other.

stairs07

 

My plan is to start focusing on these topics one week at a time, working backwards starting with step 6. So a ‘count down’ if you will.

  1. I will be blogging on the subject at hand and am looking for anyone who would like to contribute as well (please contact me if you are interested). I’d like the articles to stay focused on our weekly topics and come from a Catholic perspective, but I would also like them to be raw and real. So if you are struggling with a particular area don’t automatically assume that you wouldn’t be the right person to write about it..in fact you may just be what we need.
  2. I will be starting an online Facebook group for those interested in further prayer and discussion of these topics. I would ask whoever joins, that you commit to participating at least once a week. If you are struggling, that’s ok…let us know so that we can pray for you…don’t just abandon the group. I’m thinking this will be a small group, so if someone leaves it will leave a gaping hole in the discussions. I don’t want this to be a place for me alone to post…but for us to help each other grow. Not a place for a ton of memes either, we have the main page for that. So we will try to focus on the week’s topic. I know that life happens though, so I’m not super strict. Our page is https://www.facebook.com/Steppingintoit/, please join us there and then I will follow up with more details about the closed group.
  3. We will have fun! I want this to be a spiritual journey, open to the Holy Spirit. And that can be an amazing trip if we allow it!! 😀

 

So there are exactly 7 weeks from now until the Baptism of the Lord. So we shall start NOW. On the Feast of Christ the King! Could it be anymore perfect? So here is our schedule.

image

My final point is that this is NOT about perfection, mine or anyone else’s. We are all broken and imperfect, in need of a Savior. And that in itself can be the greatest blessing if you recognize it. My favorite saying is “Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead.Don’t walk ahead of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” So essentially that’s what this 7 week ‘retreat’ will be about. We will be using the steps just so that we can have some cohesiveness  and all be on the same page. However, we will allow the Holy Spirit to take it from there. No one is ahead or behind, we will all just be ‘Stepping into it Together’. 😉

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stay tuned…

Oh the stuff that’s running around in my head (the beauty of ADHD)…lol. I need a couple of days to iron it all out, and should have some info for you by Sunday. Please pray!!! ❤

Music clip is by Jaymie Wolfe…check it out on iTunes!  

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What makes for peace?

Lk 19:41-44

 

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem,
he saw the city and wept over it, saying,
“If this day you only knew what makes for peace—
but now it is hidden from your eyes.
For the days are coming upon you
when your enemies will raise a palisade against you;
they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.
They will smash you to the ground and your children within you,
and they will not leave one stone upon another within you
because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

——————

Today’s readings could not be more timely. Our world is badly needing peace…heck, we as individuals are badly needing it as well. So what gives? Why does it always seem just beyond our reach? We seem to be more divided than ever. By political lines, religious lines, you name it.

Here’s what I think is the answer. Obedience to JESUS!!! It’s not about praying more, or being more…it’s about RECEIVING HIM more and then walking with Him, one step at a time. It’s about relearning the basics of our faith…that we can’t do anything without His inspiration. It’s about ‘stepping into it’. It’s about trusting Him and being wise enough to submit to His Voice (in every part of our lives)! It’s about being humble enough to know that we aren’t the only one that He is leading…and that He may have very different purposes for the other person and is therefore allowing them to walk a different path(and that we don’t necessarily need to accompany them). It’s about letting go of our false Gods. I love John of the Cross’ Nada Path…not this, not this, not this either…alas only God suffices.

I had no idea when i started to receive little dabs of inspiration regarding ‘stepping into it’ how much of a framework for my life it would become and how timely it all was. He works like that, giving us exactly what we need and at just the right time. Often it can also help others, and we need to be open to that. But even that can’t be our main motivator…as good as it sounds. It has to be purely about obeying Him…that’s it! He then can take it from there and use it as He wills it.

Have a blessed day everyone, and if you do happen to read this and it inspires you somehow…please leave me a comment. I love hearing back from folks…that then inspires me!!! ;)620737_10151173566471907_1292095463_o

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Darker Side of ADHD

IMG_8625I think that one of the biggest hungers in the human soul is that to know and be known. First by those that we share this earth with and ultimately by Our Creator Himself. It is this longing for intimacy that keeps the wheel going, even when it’s fulfillment seems all but an impossible dream…hope calls us forward, to take another small step, and then another.

When the Bible says that ‘it is not good for man to be alone’, it is referring to this level of comfortability with another soul where you can share your deepest self and not fear rejection, and to be without it is akin to hell itself.

There is much in today’s society to keep us from what we seek, and we all go through at one time or another our own personal hell I’m sure. Today however, I want to write about the hell of ADHD…the inattentive variety to be exact. There are many things written about the positives of ADHD these days, the creativity and passion, the genius even of so many who bear it. However the darker side of ADHD is what makes this a ‘disorder’. The utter discontent with the status quo. NOTHING is as it should be…ever…or at least not for long.

The song “Just Give Me a Reason” by Pink has a section that says…

I’m sorry I don’t understand
Where all of this is coming from
I thought that we were fine
(Oh, we had everything)
Your head is running wild again
My dear we still have everythin’
And it’s all in your mind
(Yeah, but this is happenin’)

Yea…THAT! That pretty much sums it up!

We see problems…sometimes where none exist…or at least not easily visible to the average human person. And we have PLANS, or so many plans and ideas on how to combat all of life’s ills…all of them…running through our heads at any one time. So many that we are often immobilized by them. So chaos reigns, in our homes, in our relationships, in our lives… but all starting in the deep recesses of our minds. If this chaos is allowed to roam for an extended length of time, it can produce unimaginable damage to our self esteem, leading us to isolate ourselves in our own little worlds, and not know…and not be known…opening the flood gates to the further hell of depression and anxiety.

But here is where in the kernel of this disorder lies its own salve. We are highly intuitive, good at sensing problems and coming up with solutions. And this one is no exception!!! There is HOPE…even if sometimes we have to stay at it for a little while…it eventually comes to us. And that my friends, is a post for another day. I have things to do, thoughts to think, and rabbit trails to follow…have a blessed day!!!

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Disney Vacation Photos

Slide show link

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

A Leap of Faith...

Because for the ones afraid to fail, that is what this is.

hometogo232

THE ONLY THING STRONGER THAN FEAR IS HOPE

Life Baffles Me

all aspects of it...

Plot Line and Sinker (Ellen Gable, Author)

Catholic Novelist shares thoughts on writing, motherhood, NFP and other Catholic themes

The Paleo Mom

The Paleo Mom is a scientist turned stay-at-home mom who shares recipes, explains the science behind the paleo diet and its modifications, and blogs about the challenges of raising a paleo family.

discoveringmetta

Just trying to find those little moments in life...

Classically Homeschooling

Charting a Classical Education at Home

Paleo Plan

the Blog

Tales from the Laundry Room

~Adventures in Parenting Teens, Tweens & Toddlers

Steady Mom

the Blog

Real Life at Home

learning activities, free printables, easy recipes, Catholic activities, quick crafts, and making family life easier

the Blog

%d bloggers like this: