Thursday, December 29, 2016

The need to be worshipped...

I realized the other day, that I have a sick and desperate desire to be worshiped.  Most of us probably do, without calling it that.  But isn't that what it is?

When I want to be acknowledged; when I want to be noticed; when I want to be appreciated; when I want to be adored; in reality I want what God really deserves.

That's a tough realization.

So I have been praying for God to release me from these desires.  Release me from the desire to be noticed.  Release me from the desire to be recognized.   Release me from the desire to be praised for anything I have ever done that could be praise-worthy.  Instead I have been praying to God that I be able to give HIM the praise.


You all probably think I am totally crazy now.  "That crazy women, I knew all those kids would get to her someday and make her crazy.  It has finally happened."

Yes.  It has.  I have completely lost it.  Now if I can only figure out a way to keep IT lost.

Oh boy, but this life we are all living.  We are bombarded with evil websites like Houzz, that make me want to paint every room in my house, and buy all new furniture, and have people come praise me on my decorating style.    Or the crazy hot moms that prance around in their lululemon and make me feel like if I buy 300 dollar leggings, my butt will look tight and firm like that too and people will check me out!  (I can't believe I just admitted all that!)   Even the crazy Mom Blogs where people write about how they hand made cookies and delivered them to every homeless person in the city make me want to do that, so I CAN be praised.

My little realization helped me see that is NOT the point.

There is an amazing woman at my church who every time I compliment her, responds by saying, "Thank you!  Glory to God!"  I will say something to her like, "Hey wonderful lady, I really loved what you shared last week about bla bla bla," and she will respond with, "glory to God,"   I will say to her, "That's a beautiful shirt on you."  She will respond with "Glory to God."

She gives ALL the glory to God for EVERYTHING.  I'll bet God receives that praise with JOY.

I mean think for a moment how incredibly happy if one of our kids sent every compliment every time back to us.  Can you imagine how happy that would make us for a moment????  Can you even pretend to imagine that?

"Great job on your test Luke!"  

"Thanks, my Mom did a great job helping me."

"Mattie you have such nice manners!"

"Thanks, my Mom did a great job teaching me how to behave."

Yeah, that would make me feel pretty good.  Now, how much more deserving is God of that praise because quite frankly If I EVER did a good job helping my son IT WAS WITH GOD'S HELP, and if I ever taught my kids how to behave.... well, alright I had nothing to do with that. That was ALL GOD.

Lord, let people notice you when I do something good.  Lord, let people praise you when I do something praise-worthy. Lord, let people admire you, when I do something

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Loving on Baby Jesus!

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I had another very cool, somewhat absurd thought the other day.

My two year old has started coming into our bed at night.  Both my husband and I are pretty good sleepers, so we don't always notice when this happens, we just end up finding a big hairy head snuggled under our noses.  She is a snuggler!

A lot of the times when this happens, I just get annoyed.  Although super sweet now, we have a 12 year old who has done this almost his entire life, and he is just now starting to sleep in his own bed all night.  SO I totally see where this might be heading, and it is NOT sweet.

My two year old is also going through these phases where she is desperately trying to be independent and make her own choices.  Examples of this behavior are how she wants to pour her own glass of milk, buckle her self into her car seat, get her own clothes on, and any number of arduous everyday tasks.

Waiting for her to make these choices, or watching her try to do something for herself can be TORTUOUS for me, usually because it just takes so much longer than if I just do it for her.

But I realize this is important for her.  When I can spare the time, I try to be gentle and patient and let her do things herself.

However, one day, I was meditating on those years of Jesus that we know very little about and I started to wonder.   I wonder if Jesus climbed into bed with Mary and Joseph?  There is a good chance he probably was always sleeping between them - I mean did kids even have their own beds back then?!?!

SO I started to imagine what that must have been like for Mary.  To have JESUS snuggling you in your bed.  Sweet little curly haired GOD all rubbing noses with you all night.  I honestly couldn't think of anything more delightful.  It really wasn't that hard to imagine for me at ALL either, because I had a sweet little curly haired child in my bed with me at that very moment.

WHICH took me to a whole other level.

I wonder if sweet little Jesus wanted to pour his own glass of milk?  I wonder if sweet little Jesus tried to climb onto his donkey all by himself?  I wonder if sweet little Jesus insisted on putting his own sandals on his own feet - on the wrong feet?  I wonder if sweet little Jesus kissed his Mommy's boos boos when she got a blister from a new pair of shoes?  (Okay scratch that one, Mary probably never tried to walk around in crazy heels that totally have no business on the feet of a busy mom. - My bad.) I wonder if sweet little 3 year old Jesus stalled going to bed at night, by telling his mother He loved her 5 million times?

Seeing my crazy, demanding, desperately independent two year old daughter as sweet little Jesus, has taken this whole Advent season to a whole new level.  Imagining what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph to literally raise the SON OF GOD as their own child must have been AMAZING and humbling.

Although I am sure they never had to discipline Jesus - I mean he is perfect for his sake - they must have had to teach him things.  They must have had to help him do things that he was too young to do for himself.  Or even more amazing, they must have had to wait patiently for him to try to do things on his own, and then lovingly convince Jesus to let them help him. 

They must have had to still LOVE him as a parent loves a child, with astounding patience and gentleness.   I just wonder.... What was that like????

Wow.  Thank you God for helping me to see these years as I raise YOUR CHILDREN, in light of what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph to RAISE YOUR SON.  Help me to have the patience and gentleness as they did and help me to always remember that these children are GIFTS from you!


Friday, December 16, 2016

Selfish Servants.... yes I am resorting to name calling now...

A friend of mine recently explained a discussion that she had with students of hers that were discussing women not being able to become Priests in the Catholic Church.  Her explanation that she shared with me, was inspired!  Below are her words!

"It's not fair," they insisted. "If I really WANT to be a priest I should be able to be one," and if I feel strongly that I'd be a good priest, why should I be denied that chance?"  etc.

I tried to help them see that the focus should be on being a servant.  No matter what ministry we do for God's people, or what role we have when doing anything from the littlest acts to the grandest, the focus should be on those being served, not on me at all.

It's like the people should see the sunlight streaming through a window.  We're the means by which the sunlight gets to the people, but it's Jesus that they need and not me or you.  When we start thinking about whether I should be the one leading or seeing, we smudge the window, obscuring the sunlight.

Let me put it another way... did any of the women who became a Blessed or a Saint from Catherine of Siena to Theresa of the Little Flower to Mother Marie Rose to St. Teresa of Calcutta insist that they be a leader or a priest?  No.  They went about serving the needs of people without regard to themselves, their personal "rights" or personal "Feelings" or "desires."  It was all about  THE OTHER with humility and love.

Blessed Marie Rose Durocher actually had a chair in the Chapter Room reserved for the Superior of her order/community.  It was there for the Blessed Mother, the true "leader," not herself.  Any priest who loses sight of being in Persona Christi has lost sight of his true vocation.

This was exactly the model that Jesus Christ himself taught by his words and actions.  Heaven truly will come to earth, if we could all be content with lifting others above ourselves.

Could you imagine how HUGE this impact would be if we all could live this way?  Not just in church, but in every part of our lives. Think about how happy marriage could be, raising kids, and even life in the work place if everyone just let God love through us all the time.

My personal problem with living this extremely difficult message is when I get nervous that someone is not going to love me as well as I love them.  Then I need to compensate and love my self a little better.  You know what I mean?  We all do it.  It is called being SELFISH.  That's not a pretty word.

O well. I guess that is what heaven will be like.  Everyone lifting each other toward God.  Wow, that will be awesome!

Until then, I pray that all of us could truly desire service to others over power for ourselves, and that the Holy Spirit will guide each of us clearly and boldly to make wise decisions for the good of all.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Who is even reading this???

SO I ask myself often.  Who am I writing to?  Why am I doing this?

Ill be honest, I am doing it for myself.  I enjoy it and it helps me think clearly to write things out.  For the most part this is a jumbled mess of a few fanatical ideas about my Catholic Faith, and how it relates to my life.  But who cares?

Maybe I make you laugh.  Maybe I have made you think. Maybe I have even made you angry.  But I do hope at the very least my craziness has intrigued. 

Most of what I write I post to the facebook page.  But you can also choose to follow me directly from this blog. 

There is a box in the right hand corner of this page, where if you put your email address there, you can have this nonsense sent directly to your inbox. 

Thanks everyone for all your support and interest!  If you have any favorite topics or questions, or things that have inspired you. Let me know!

Hope you all have a BLESSED Advent!


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Happy Advent Everyone! Sorry it has been a while...

Oh life, you get so busy.  One of my favorite books opens with the line that "Busyiness is not from the Devil, Busyiness IS the devil."   Yikes, I guess you could say I got caught in his snare for a while.

I also heard the quote recently, that everyone needs at least 20 minutes of prayer every day.  Unless you are really busy, then you need at least an hour.

This is just like the picture that hung in my parents kitchen for decades. "If you are too busy to pray, then you are too busy."

I think you get my point now, and as we are all preparing for Christmas in our homes, this busyness can grow exponentially.  

In our house, we are decorating, and baking, and watching Frosty the snowman, and all those fun Christmas things.  We are driving around looking at Christmas Lights, and shopping for an equal number of gifts for each child. 

All of this is in addition to all the other stuff we already do.  Like homework,  after school activities,  and sports. Cleaning, and picking up, laundry and laundry.  (I HATE LAUNDRY!) 

Then I am also trying to keep Jesus in Christmas by blessing the Advent Wreath, talking about what GIFTS we can GIVE to Jesus for his Birthday, and trying to find a family prayer time.  All of which usually gets left for last, or doesn't even happen.   It's terrible.

Have you ever given a gift to someone that you were SUPER excited about giving them?  Maybe a friend, that you found a really cool necklace for, that you think they will totally appreciate and love.  Maybe a child you think will think some toy is TOTALLY cool and you are looking forward to seeing there face when they open it?  Then when they finally do open these spectacular gifts, their reaction is completely, "Eh."  Like, "Thanks, but whatever." They may think it is cool, but they DO NOT GET NEARLY AS EXCITED AS YOU WERE TO GIVE IT TO THEM.  Doesn't that suck?

That's is how I think God sometimes feels about his Christmas Gift to us.

He gave us something that was VERY PRECIOUS to him.  Like Oprah's favorite things.  But it was HIS favorite thing (no s).  HIS SON.   His very son.  He gave this to us, not because He think we will love playing with this gift, or because we will look so awesome in it.  He gave it to us because HE knows without this gift we will swimming in our own stinking sin for eternity.  

And sometimes we are like, "Eh."

SO, this Advent, we should prepare our HEARTS for the MOST AMAZING CHRISTMAS GIFT.  We are all going to get it, and it is way better than any pair of boots, or diamond earrings or apple watch.   This gift is Jesus.  Let us take time away from the busyness of this world and get our homes ready to receive him.   (I know that sounds so Church-y but I am serious.)

Let's just stop being busy.  Just stop it.   Instead let's focus on what it is really important!!!

Happy Advent Yall!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Upcoming Sunday Readings: Who the heck was Habakkuk?

The First reading from tomorrow's Mass is from the Old Testament Habbakkuk.  Here it is....

Reading 1HAB 1:2-3; 2:2-4

How long, O LORD? I cry for help
but you do not listen!
I cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not intervene.
Why do you let me see ruin;
why must I look at misery?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and clamorous discord.
Then the LORD answered me and said:
Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets,
so that one can read it readily.
For the vision still has its time,
presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint;
if it delays, wait for it,
it will surely come, it will not be late.
The rash one has no integrity;
but the just one, because of his faith, shall live.

This is a good one to me.  There have been so many time that I have been in a bad situation and felt like God was not intervening when I wanted Him to.  But I'll be honest, I never felt totally abandoned.  I usually could sense that God was telling me to be PATIENT and that good things would be coming.  (I am still waiting for some of those good, things.)  This sounds like what God is reminding Habakkuk as well. 
But when I first reviewed the reading for this upcoming Sunday, my first thought, wasn't, "How nice to read such a good reminder for my spiritual journey!"  I wasn't thinking, "I feel so blessed by this wonderful reading from this very ancient text!"  No, rather my initial thoughts were, "Who the Heck is Habakkuk and is this book even in my BIBLE?!??"
SO, I figured in preparation for this Sunday's reading it would be fun to do a little research on the man who brings us the First Reading this week.
Read the full Wikipedia Article on Habakkuk here.  But here is my brief synopsis.  

Staute of Habakkuk by Donatello.

We Don't Know.  

Okay, just kidding.  We know a little bit.  He was around the time Jerusalem was under the Babylonian captivity because he was talking about the Babylonians and mentioned there was a good chance all of Jerusalem was going to become captives.  
Apparently it is also mentioned in the Catholic's version of the book of Daniel (yes the Catholics have a longer version) that Habbakkuk was transported by angels to Daniel while he was in the Lion's den and he gave him a stew to help nourish him, which to me, sounds like an amazing story. 
Anyway, sorry for my rambling.  But I thought it might be interesting to do a little preparation each week on the readings for Mass.  This is what spoke to me, so this is what I am sharing.
I think the Main lesson for me, is that scripture is SO RICH WITH WISDOM and knowledge, and diving a little deeper into the background and history of those who wrote these words is never a bad idea.
Happy Sabbath Everyone!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Second Luminous Mystery: Jesus the Ultimate Bartendar

I have been trying to be better about reciting the Rosary daily.  My own mother did this, and I thought she was crazy.  But it turns out she knew exactly how powerful this prayer can be, and I would like to credit how well I turned out with how often she prayed for me.  (Joking!)

I was praying the Luminous Mysteries the other day, and I was contemplating on the Wedding of Cana.  I love this event in the bible for so many reasons.   For example: Mary telling us all to, "Do whatever He tells you."  Then also the fact that Jesus took ordinary water and turned into an amazing vintage of wine.  (I have wondered it if is was a Merlot blend, or maybe more of Cabernet?)  But lately the thing that really struck me was how unnecessary the whole event/miracle was.

I mean really, when was the last time you ever heard of someone dying because of a shortage of wine?

(Don't answer that.)

It reminds me of how amazing God really is.  He doesn't just take care of our essentials; our most desperate needs; life or death catastrophic events.  Sometimes God even takes care of our frivolous, and shallow wants.  (Yes, I just called running out of wine at an important event - frivolous - I know you hate me now.)

Why does God do that for us?  Why does He sometimes seem silent on the big stuff, and then sometimes answer our most ridiculous of prayers???

I don't know- I am not God.

But I do know that God is a GOOD, GOOD Father.  (Cue the song.)  It's who He is.  He really does want what is best for us.   God has the BIG picture in mind, while we only see a small fraction.

Sometimes when God seems silent, it is because He has something better in mind, or He is building our character into something greater, and He knows the pain is worth the end result.

Then sometimes God just likes to please us for no reason.  Like with more wine at the wedding.  It's like how I take my kids for ice cream sometimes on a Friday for no reason.  I just like to do nice things for them.  So does God.  Except that HIS nice things are way better and way more miraculous than ice cream on a Friday.

It's comforting to me to remember that God knows how to please us, and sometimes He will just for the heck of it.

Thanks GOD!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Way to Go Saint Teresa of Calcutta!!!!

Hi Saint Teresa of Calcutta!    How are you?  Do you totally love your new status as saint?  What in heaven is that like? Did they throw a HUGE party for you up there?  I would like to think that is a pretty cool deal.  Canonization Day from Heaven's perspective....

What's that you said?  You said you were too busy celebrating Jesus to even care?  Oh Goodness, of course you were.   I mean he is the REAL DEAL.  I didn't mean to sound like I was putting you above him.  I know that would not be cool.

But here is the thing, Saint Teresa, (I still think that is super fun to call you!)  you did an amazing job caring for the poorest of the poor when you lived on earth.  You totally did NOT care about the status thing here, (So I have no idea why I asked you that in the first line of my letter. So human of me.) and you put 100 percent of all your effort into taking care of people.  From what I know about you it sounds like you really just did it one person at a time.  Is that how it was?  I guess I would love to know if you REALIZED how saintly you were while you being saintly?  I am thinking the answer to that is "No."

SO how did you do it?  Did you really just wake up and ask God, "Okay God, what's on our agenda today?"  I have no clue, but it does sound like something you would say.  (I have written before how much I would love to hear my own kids ask me that on a daily basis, so I'll bet GOD LOVES that.)

Yeah, I know.  I haven't asked God that in a while.

Wait a minute.

Oh No.  That's not why I started writing you.  I am TOO busy.  I can't possibly just start asking God what is on our Agenda today.  That is too dangerous.  Too risky.   Did I mention God gave me FIVE kids.  What if God's agenda involves helping someone, and I am late for work, or late to pick up my kids, or I slack off on some of my other really important jobs.

What's that you say?  You don't think God will ask me to do that?  You think he gave me these kids to LOVE and to help understand how amazing God is and that is what GOD wants me to do today?  He just wants me to love my kids everyday.

WOW God. THANKS FOR GIVING ME A SUCH A NICE JOB.  (I know that is not what I told you a couple of days ago.   heh heh.) (Wait a minute GOD, have you been listening to this conversation the whole time? I guess I knew that.)

So, just love my kids everyday.  And be open to whatever your agenda is for me.  I got it.

What about my Husband?

Hmmm?  I couldn't hear you very well. It sounded like you said something about loving him too.  Alright fine.  Of course.  I will love him too, when he starts loving me like your church.  Right?  (See God, I am reading your scripture! oh yeah baby, I just used God's word on God!!!)

What?!?! I am not miss quoting that! Okay, sorry God.  Yes, I realize that was very disrespectful of me. Sorry about that. Yes, I realize I am totally crazy when it comes to these sorts of conversations.

I will do better about acting kind and loving to my husband. I might need some more of your grace for that though...

Thanks, I needed that.

Anyway.  Good to talk to you God.  And good to talk to you too SAINT Teresa of Calcutta.  Congratulations on your new status.  I know you don't care much; being up there with Jesus pales in comparison to anything we celebrate down here.  But you are a great role model for us down here, and I am glad we have another example of how to follow God's will for lives everyday.

Thanks so much and God Bless!