Monday, October 29, 2012

A mothers heart





I was just reading about St. Augustines life and how before his conversion he planned on going to Rome and his mother (St. Monica) had been praying fervently for his conversion and was cosumed with worry of him being in Rome with all of its temptations. This is what I was reading


"Why I left the one country and went to the other You knew, O God, but You did not tell either me or my mother. She indeed was in dreadful grief at my going and followed me right to the seacoast. There she clung to me passionately, determined that I should either go back home with her or take her to Rome with me, but I deceived her...That night I stole away without her; she remained praying and weeping. And what was she praying for, O my God, with all those tears but that You should not allow me to sail! But you saw deeper and granted the essential part of her prayer: You did not do what she was at that moment asking, that You might do the thing she was always asking"


Augustine goes on to say that it was in Rome where he met St. Ambrose and it was this meeting that sparked his conversion. So it goes on to say " God refused to grant St. Monica the prayer she prayed on that day, in order to grant the prayer she prayed everyday 'Let him be converted. Let him be converted' "

This gave me great perspective as a parent. Sometimes I pray in deep fear that certain things that could lead my children away from God wont happen or that something will be a spark for them that will lead them into miserable heartache. But this reading above gave me a beautiful and quiet comfort. Though I may protect my childrens eyes and heart and minds from things that would awaken certain things like sexual desires way too young or things that would create vices for them, I will continue to pray, pray, pray for their sweet worthy and precious souls to turn toward the heavenly light of God and believe and put my faith in Him who can see their future , their past,  and all their moments and create an extraordinary masterpiece with each stroke from His mighty and gentle hand.  It is in Him that I will find a still and safe place to rest my delicate mothers heart and my sweet childrens bodies and souls, where I know they will be safe.

My prayer my dear Jesus is that no matter where my children look, no matter who they meet, no matter where they go that they will see that all people are longing for Christ and that is the deep desire in all our hearts. All the things that could lead them away from You are just things that theyre trying to fill the void with, but only You Lord can fill that void. I pray that if they do go searching for You in places that are dark and unkind that they will only find You... in others faces and in their own and others desires for deep love and acceptance just as Mother Theresa could see you in so much pain and sadness.
Mother Theresa pray for us
St. Augustine pray for us
St. Monica pray for us

In Jesus name
Amen

Friday, October 26, 2012

I am alive



Do you feel that...that feeling deep inside, that pure sense of breath pumping in the depths of your being...pulsing...refusing to stop until its noticed.  Is that you Jesus? Is that where you live in me? Will you leave me? Will you ever go away?  How come it seems so easy to quiet this feeling but yet it yearns and grips me all the more.

Back and forth my heart seems to be pulled. I try to silence myself and I try to apologize for my existence but you refuse...you refuse to let me be silenced...you reach down into me and call out my pain, my vulnerability  my longing for love, for reality. It is so painful...oh dear Jesus, how it hurts.

Light...blinding light...piercing me. I inhale deeply. I can feel You. I can feel myself. Is this Life? Is this the Reality, the true Reality? I am not afraid. I am alive. How can life be calm and intense in the same moment. Your presence envelops me, I can feel You all around me, I can see you in the others around me, I can see your radiant light flickering in their eyes and Your breath of existence in their every movement.


Thank you, thank you. Bless you, dear precious Jesus. I understand now the words in Your Word I can live and move and have my being  in You.              

                                                                    I am alive, truly alive

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Open to Love



What does being open to love mean....it means vulnerability, the possibility of someone hurting you, a possible connection with another human being, openess for forgiveness, Love. There are so many possibilities but only truly if you have experienced Christ. Knowing another human being that can love you and look at you with the love and the compassion and the power of Christ is an experience that will shake you.
I had an amazing experience at Communion and Liberation today where I really experienced the incarnation of Jesus in a group of women today. It was like no matter what I said or how I said it or how much I complained or how terribly needy I was it was like they never grew tired of me. On the contrary they delved deeper into my heart and just brought Jesus right there, right there to me. I got something really special today. I received a moment where I realized that I am truly being held in existence by the Love of God...Now at this very moment God is breathing, in a way, His love and life right into me and  in the words of a dear friend "He is taking such delight in me."   One especially dear friend was kind enough to write down some things that she and another friend said that I didnt want to forget and I really want to share them with you, whoever you are :)

We dont fear unless we have first received something beautiful- so dwell on the beautiful thing


Its not that the hundredfold wasnt there before, but youve been given the key to see it and you carry that key with you wherever you go. ( This pertaining to the fact that Christ is everywhere not just in certain towns or places and that once we experience the hundredfold He can  let us experience it anywhere)


I just really wanted to write these things down because they are just pure gems.


Thank you God for loving me into existence and for blessing me with each of these precious moments of the day even the ones I have a hard time seeing your beauty in. Thank you for the incarnation, not only for our magnificent salvation you bring but for letting us see you in our own and others flesh and bones. I am not lonely anymore because I have seen You in another.




Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Contentment




I had an amazing moment yesterday. For most of my life Ive been in a constant state of waiting. Ive waited on things to change, Ive waited on becoming a better wife, mother, friend etc. Ive waited on being able to sew a quilt, bake a pie, make yummy homemade bread. Ive waited on feeling forgiven for sins, Ive waited on other people to completely forgive me of my past sins. Ive just been  in a perpetual state of waiting. But yesterday for a brief moment I went to the place emotionally and mentally where I prepared myself to check in and see what I need to do and how I need to change and you know what happened. NOTHING. I had a feeling of contentment! I was just fine, I had baked bread that day, I had exercised, I have finished an entire quilt a few months ago (thouhg it took me 7 years), I was caught up on laundry and dishes and I was really comfortable with my self in Christ. I dont know if Ive evr had a moment like that before in my whole life. I just stood there waiting for something to happen, but no just pure contentment. So I sat down and accepted it...I have entered a new stage of life...this is exciting!

Love in Heaven




I was talking to a friend today about loving people. I was telling her how much I love people and how I have  this great desire to love people but there is always something getting in the way, whether its the other person not wanting to receive my love because maybe its just too much or not presented the way that their comfortable with or other times its me with my imperfect love that can be tainted with selfish desire or the desire to love another so they will love me back. All these different "things" that get in the way...ugh. But then suddenly I saw it. I saw how heavenly love will be so WONDERFUL. Just to explain, I always thought of heaven as being very lonely and maybe even dull in the sense that all the things I can think of as being great or entertaining or amazing all come with a body or a place or time and since those things dont exist in heaven I was having a very hard time getting excited about going to heaven. Of course I knew I definitly didnt want to go to the other place, thats for sure. So, anyway back to my main point. I realized today that in heaven we can just LOVE one another purely and fully and have no barriers or restrictions and we can Pray for people ALL day and never get tired and people wont mind or think were crazy for caring so much about them. People wont mind if we love them! This idea gets me so excited. Helping and loving people is fantastic but like I said can be tricky sometimes...but in Heaven it will be just so... Beautiful. I want to spend more of my time and space and relationships with this idea in mind that "the Kingdom of God is among you" and that way I can truly love another person by staying close to Christ and the sacraments and then live out that heavenly love here on earth. This is SOOO exciting!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Not always being liked




"It is good for us to run into opposition and to have others think badly of us, even when our intentions are good. For these things help us to be humble and rid us of pride. Then we seek God more earnestly, Who alone knows our inmost self, when outwardly we are ignored and discredited."
                                                                                                  Imitation of Christ Chapter 12:1

This brought me great comfort today. I have recently been dealing with this very experience. I have good intentions and try very hard to be pleasing and good but everything I do comes out wrong to another and it drags me into a depression. Thoughts and feelings of being "never enough" and "incapable" and things of this nature swarm my thoughts and leave me feeling so alone and just plain miserable. But as I read the above passage today it got me thinking about some things.
       1) I have great worth. Worth so deep that it cant be measured or be taken away, no matter what I do                          
wrong or right
        2)  I have been thought of by God since before time began. He held me deep within him and thought of                                                      me and planned my life and how I would be and all those wonderful things before the foundation  of the universe was fashioned by His mighty hands. And no persons opinion or feeling toward me good or bad can change that ( no anger intended in this statement)
         3) And since Im thought about and kept in existence because of this thought of God, then I really dont have to worry about another person thinking of me or putting value on me to give me this value that I crave.

Now Im not saying I shouldnt look to another for love or compassion or all those good things, but I am saying that it is not necessary for my existence, for my joy or my peace, for all those things come from God above. I still hurt though when I am not accepted or thought about in a purely loving way by another, especially someone I care about. But if I can love another person past the lack of love expressed to me than I feel that charity can really blossom in my heart because Im not putting up expectations for another to pass in order to receive my love.


Thank you God for loving me so deeply and for holding me so close to your eternal heart.


My prayer today is that Love can become in our hearts what god intended it to be...not what the media portrays it to be. And that forgiveness and charity can reign in our lives daily!

God Bless You

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ora et Labora




Cleaning and Structure...how important are these things when children are involved? VERY VERY IMPORTANT! I just spent a good hour (during the baby's nap) vacuuming and cleaning upstairs with the kids. I opened the windows, aired out their rooms, vacuumed their floors with their help (toddler and preschooler) and made sure their toys were organized in their correct baskets and containers. I went down stairs to do a load of laundry and when I went back upstairs it was very quiet. I peeked into our daughters room and she was curled up on her little toddler bed, covered up and just staring and being very quiet. Even when I said something to her, she just lay there so content. 
     This moment was so special to her, I could tell. She was able to just relax and enjoy her room without the mess or the inside lighting. She could really enjoy the sun and the organized clean space. I am so happy to say that this got me thinking....this house is going to get organized and clean and aired out! This might be obvious to some but to me living in the baby years right now I tend to forget how cleanliness and organization is a very important thing (other than the obvious things like clean bodies and good food). This morning I had to fight the urge to sit down on the couch and relax. Instead I headed upstairs and cleaned and cleaned and boy am I thankful God gave me that extra push!  My little girl had such a special moment, not to mention how the two older kids played and played in their clean rooms and didnt fuss for a long time...just enjoying each others company and all the room to play in!

God really does give great joy to us through our work    Ora et Labora

Peace to you all and may Gods grace fill your hearts and your homes!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Loving our postpartum bodies



I sit here with a sleeping baby lying on my lap and my other little darlings sleeping upstairs. As I look down at my youngest little one I find myself thinking about what a blessing it is to embrace womanhood. Recently Ive come to really understand how much fertility is part of womanhood and how so many women have been taught that their fertility is something to suppress and stop and sometimes do away with all together. And as I sit here I am just at awe in how fertility in all its natural goodness is just so beautiful, rich and powerful!

There is so much that comes with a womans fertility that has been long forgotten by many. One thing that Ive discovered recently is the appreciation for the changes in a womans body in all the different stages of child bearing: before, during and after pregnancy. So many times Ive heard the complement " Wow, I cant believe you have children, you look great" and things along these lines, like the goal for women is to look as though theyve never had a child. But embracing the changes like weight gain, stretch marks, a soft little baby pouch all give a peaceful comfort to a woman when she accepts and comes to love the changes. I fought these changes for 5 years and didnt want anyone to take my picture because I thought I was just sooo fat. I would look at myself in the mirror in disgust because I had extra layers of fat after having a baby. Then I would work so hard to lose the weight and only after losing the weight would I allow myself to enjoy life. After our third baby was born I prayed alot about my weight and alot of  my issues with weight and I found myself in  a place of acceptance. I was given lots of clothes that actually fit my soft, curvy post partum figure and you know what I started to love my body. Now I didnt get all into being curvy and showing off my new figure...no. I started to really learn to love modesty, but not because I thought i should cover up because I was so ugly, but rather I wanted to keep hidden what was sacred and lovely and preserve my true beauty. I mean think about it, my womb grew and carried LIFE...if thats not sacred I dont know what is. And sacred things are always veiled and kept hidden. Covering my midsection became a beautiful practice instead of a shameful hiding of stretch marks.  This change in mindset and understanding of the human person and human body has brought me a freedom that I know God hopes for so many mothers....a wonderful love and appreciation for the beautiful gift of a womans body. And this is a beautiful thing for women and young women alike who have not carried a child in  their womb. Our female bodies resemble the Blessed Mother and her womb carried God himself. From her "Yes" to God, she lifted all women alike up. Now all women share in this great honor of having a womb. This might sound funny the way that Im wording it but what Im trying to say is the womb is sacred even for women who are thinking they are infertile. The womb still holds the beautiful capacity for life and this great honor can be veiled with lovely humility and modesty.

I am sharing my personal experience and the great joy that Christ has been giving to me through this process. I just love you all and I pray for your hearts to be pulled toward Christ in every moment and in every way, from changing a diaper to falling on our knees in prayer!