Think about those times in your life when you have felt inspired to something really great. Where does that inspiration come from?
The Holy Spirit. God inspires us to do great things with our lives.
----Matthew Kelly

Sunday, February 26, 2017

He's Got This! {8th Sunday in Ordinary Time}

I come from a long line of worriers on my Mom's side. When I was still a newlywed, I worried...a lot. My husband would tell me not to worry so much; there was no need, and we wouldn't go hungry. As we grew older and had kids, he continued to tell me not to worry. My mom used to tell me I was going to make myself sick with worry (although she used to worry!), and one time it happened. I mentioned in a previous post that a Sister said that God knows what's going to happen and how things will work out, so there's no need to worry about it. 
As my boys grew into men, the worries were still there; they're just different kinds of worry. And they're huge worries. Did we do enough, guide them enough when they were little? Did we guide them too much? Were we good enough parents? I'm learning to push those doubts away whenever they pop into my head, and to keep saying, "God's got this." 
Today's Gospel tells us the same thing: 
...do not worry about your life. (Matthew 6:24) 
Your heavenly father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom of God and all righteousness,
And all these things will be given to you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
                 ---Mt 6:32-34
I'm trying...I mean really trying to live this. I'm not going to lie: it's hard; very, very hard. I have to trust that everything will work out the way it's supposed to be...I have to trust God. And that's easier said than done, especially for a control freak. Thy will be done, right?
While reading the Daily Gospel Reflection from Catholic Moms, I had this thought: How many times have I planned out my day, only to accomplish nothing on my list because other fires have to be put out? When I was the Lead Speech Therapist for a school system, that happened a lot. Every time I had a "to do" list, I never got anything on that list checked off. I should have seen God's hand in this. I know He was up there laughing, saying, "You think you're in control?" 
I attended a Women's Conference yesterday at a nearby parish. The 1st talk (presented by Sister Anna Marie...she was fabulous!) was on Martha & Mary.  Sr. Anna Marie mentioned today's Gospel, and how the story goes right along with the story. With Martha running around, frustrated with having to do everything by herself because Mary was sitting at Jesus' feet and listening to him, she worried about everything being just right, about being the perfect hostess. All Jesus wanted was for her to sit and listen, and to stop worrying.
Today's society is all about what I have, what I want; basically, me, me, me. We worry about not having what our neighbors have; we worry about not giving our kids the best of everything. We need to learn to stop worrying, stop running...just stop and listen. Then we will be able to be closer to Him and His kingdom.

Friday, February 24, 2017

{SQT} Getting Ready for Lent


Wow, it’s been quite a while since I participated in the Seven Quick Takes hosted by the marvelous Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum. When I looked back, I realized my last post for SQT was 23 December. A lot has happened since then. 

πŸ™Is next Wednesday really Ash Wednesday??? How can that be? I had such a fantastic Lent last year, so I'm looking forward to this one. I think I'm all ready. I've signed up for Dynamic Catholic's Best Lent Ever. I have my books: My Blessed is She Lenten Journal 
and Scott Hahn's Lenten Reflections:
 

πŸ™Last Lent, instead of giving up something, I got up 30 minutes early so I could read the daily readings and reflections. I didn't so much journal as I did take notes on the reflections. I've continued to do this through the year, although some weeks I've been more dedicated than others. After reading the Heart of Mary Women's Fellowship Series on prayer (which is still going on), one of the posts really made me think about journaling. While I'm in Adoration, there are times  when I get the urge to write , to put my thoughts down on paper. But then I feel guilty because I'm writing when I should be talking to God. The post that really struck home made me realize that writing is a form of prayer. So this Lent, I'm going to keep more of a prayer journal instead of notes about the reflections. We'll see how it goes!

πŸ™I started a couple of different Lenten Photo a Days before, but never followed through, so I'm going to try again. There are a couple of different ones out there, but the one I'm attempting this year is from Catholic Sistas. As I wrote down each word in my planner, I had no idea how in the world I'm going to come up with a picture! I'll have to call on the Holy Spirit to help me, for sure!

πŸ™Since I just mentioned a planner, I have to say that I just love the one I'm using. I resisted a planner for a few years. Sure, they look nice, but what's the point? Just one more thing to lug around between schools & home. I've found one that I just adore, and it's from Blessed is She. I have everything in one spot: church, home, and school activities. I've always thought that I didn't need a monthly and weekly calendar in a planner, but I've changed my thinking. Here's what February looks like:
I πŸ’œ having the stickers on my monthly calendar so that if I have it open, someone can't see what my appointments are; I write those in on my weekly calendar. Oh, and I made some of the stickers myself without a fancy machine!

πŸ™ The Stations of the Cross is something I've looked forward to in the past few years, especially when the Marian Stations are said. To me, the Stations come alive and make it more personal as a mother imagining myself as Mary, and my son is the one enduring them. For an Eagle Scout project, a young man from my parish constructed outdoor Stations. I really hope it's used during one or more Fridays this Lent.

πŸ™ Ah, Fridays during Lent. Abstinence from eating meat means a lot of Friday evening Captain D's. At least it did, but I'm not sure if it will mean that this year. I used to go with my father to Captain D's on Lenten Fridays. He passed away on Feb. 1st, so I'm not sure if that weekly trip will be made.

πŸ™ When I started writing this post, I started where I left off, on Dec. 23rd. I started to talk about my father's decline, but then I decided that was too much of a downer. I will say this: My prayers for a happy, quick death were answered. 


Monday, February 20, 2017

Perfect? Oh, Boy! {7th Week of Ordinary Time}

In this week's Gospel (Matthew 5:38-48), we are called to perfect. REALLY? I am FAR from perfect. Jesus knows that none of us are perfect, but we strive to be. There's a prayer that I came across that was in 1 of my mother's prayer books. Part of it read, "Keep me reasonably sweet. I do not wish to be a saint (saints are so hard to live with), but a sour old person is the work of the devil." (Mary Wheeler) Shouldn't we strive to be saints? Doesn't Jesus ask us to strive to be perfect? To be perfect means to love your neighbor as yourself (from the First Reading- Leviticus 19:18) and not boast about human beings (2nd Reading- 1 Corinthians 3:16-23). 
What does being perfect look like? You may know families who seem perfect to someone on the outside looking in, but, as I heard a priest once say, no family is perfect. We all have our struggles & crises. Someone we know may seem perfect; he or she may have it all together, be as sweet as pie, but he/she may be crumbling on the inside. We just don't know what lies underneath. It's through the struggles that we find our way to becoming as perfect as we can humanly be.
During the homily, the Deacon started out in a different direction than I. He said that, as Christians, we should strive to stand out, to be set apart. People should know right away that we are Christians. While he was talking about what "turning the other cheek" really meant, it occurred to me that it means that we should give people who have wronged us another chance. At least, that's where I thought he was going, but he interprets the phrase as  standing up for what you believe and not backing down.  He brought in the turmoil that's been going on with Facebook: in order to love your enemies (even on Facebook), we should act like Christians and not get sucked into (my words, not his) the negativity and hatred that is running rampant right now. I've started to only check my notifications on Facebook, and not look through my entire feed. It's a bit ridiculous, isn't it?
The Deacon ended his Homily with addressing being perfect. We are called to be as much like God as we can. We are called to be able to be convicted if we were brought in to be judged as Christians.
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