Thursday, April 28, 2016

Letting go of the Past and moving on.

Whew.  How do I even begin to write about this topic?  There are so many reasons that this is at the fore front of my mind lately.

I feel God calling me to do this.  But I don't have a clue how to do it.  Have you all heard this song?
Tenth Avenue North "Loosing"

Part of the Lyrics that are really speaking to me are: "Father give me the Grace to forgive them, because I feel like the one who is losing."

Yes.  Exactly.  And I don't like to lose.  I don't like to feel walked on, or used, or taken advantage of.  And to be quite honest, forgiveness sometimes feels like permission to be used like a doormat.  Turning the other cheek is probably the most vulnerable thing to do to someone who has hurt you. 

The bridge in this song is:
"Well it's only the dead that can live
But still I wrestle with this
To lose the pain that's mine
Seventy times seven times
'Cause Lord it doesn't feel right
For me to turn a blind eye
Though I guess it's not that much
When I think of what You've done."

And yet, it is the only way to be free of the anger and bitterness of the hurt.  It really is so unfair, because the one is hurt, is the one who has to do all the work, at least when it comes to forgiveness.  UGH.    

And the idea of having to forgive multiple times, that is just too much to ask for God.  Once; okay.  Maybe they just got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Maybe they didn't know any better, maybe they just fell into temptation. BUT a second time????  When someone hurts you again the same exact way a second time.  How do you forgive that???  It's like they don't even care, so why should I care? And yet you call us to even more than that.

Then there is that terrible terrible line in the whole song.  "I guess it's not that much when I think of what you've done."  There you go again God, loving us perfectly.  Forgiving us perfectly.  Its just really hard for us.  And yet, it is the only way to freedom.  The only way to finding true happiness again.  To just let go.  You can't change the past.  Yeah yeah yeah, bla bla bla.  I really just hate it.

Speaking of Hate, can we just try that for a minute?  How else am I supposed to hold over this person's head, and make sure they understand the level of their offense??  How else am I supposed to make sure that they understand how big of a deal this was?  How else am I supposed to make sure they know they haven't made up for what they did yet???  Hatred and being mean, is actually pretty effective at that, you know?  Can't I just be angry and mean and hate for just a little longer???  It hasn't been that long after all.

Don't answer that God.  I get it.  I just know that I cannot forgive this person on my own.  I really am going to need all the grace you can spare to get this job done.  And then after I have forgiven this person, I am going to need a steady stream of grace to not change my mind, and UN FORGIVE them.  

Could I just get an IV of grace from you???  

Monday, April 25, 2016

God's faithfulness ROCKS!!!

This was such a big moment for me, and really illustrated how God listens to my prayers, and responds immediately when possible.   HOW he responded this time was so important too.

Here's out it went down...

A few years ago I was sitting in Mass with all five of my kids by MYSELF.  (I want extra credit for that.)  It was the feast of the Assumption and it was during the day, and the nursery at our church that is normally available was not.  This is similar to what I felt like...

Please do the short version of the readings!!!

We sat in the gap.  At our church there is a gap row where the back half of the church comes up to receive communion.  It gives an extra large space for those sitting in the gap which I thought would be helpful considering I had the car seat with a sleeping baby in it.

I was banking on the baby sleeping the entire Mass, which would have only left four kids to watch. Three of whom were over 6 which I also mistakenly expected to be old enough to tend for themselves during the Mass.

This really only left me watching one three year old, who is normally very laid back and easy going. I can handle ONE three year old.  TOTALLY.  I've got this down.


So by constantly whispering to the other kids to leave the BABY alone, and moving her car seat out of their reach multiple times, I WOKE UP THE BABY.  UGH.  Then I am trying to nurse the baby during Mass so that she will be quiet, while still holding the 3 year old.  Yes, I know crazy, but I swear I had done that before. (I guess not.)

I probably flashed my entire pew; numerous times.  I was constantly making "mean Mommy faces" at the big kids, trying to get them to be perfect.  My prayerful attitude had been thrown out the window, and now we had at, "Please, just don't make a scene."  

Finally, I give up.  In my head, I start yelling at God.  "God!!!  These are YOUR KIDS, not Mine. YOU are the one who gave them to me, and you PROMISED ME YOU WOULD HELP ME!!!, WHY ARE YOU NOT HELPING ME!?!?!?!"

Within a second of praying that prayer, if you can call it a prayer, a lady from my bible study, sitting two rows back, came up to me during the mass and said, "Can I help you?"  

It was a instant response.  And it was worded in the EXACT way that I asked for it.  I was blown away.  It was so clear to me that God used this woman to show me how faithful HE is to me.  I was in tears.  I just couldn't believe it.

Then something else miraculous happened.  I looked at my bible study friend, and asked if she would take the three year old with her. The one who, I assessed at the time, was causing the most trouble. Not only did my three old oblige, but the other older ones quickly turned perfect, out of fear that they too might be shipped off to a stranger in another pew.  

The rest of the Mass was AMAZING.  The whole time I was beaming at how loved I felt by God. And how quickly he was willing and able to send help when HE knew I really needed it.  AND how obedient my bible study friend was to God calling her at that moment.

It was a real testament to a miracle in my life.  It wasn't super natural.  It wasn't inexplicable.  But it was instant, and real, and all GOD.

WOW, God, you really are good at what you do.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

New favorite Song...

Lauren Daigle is my favorite Christian artist these days and this song which was NUMBER 1 on the Christian charts for a few weeks is so amazing.

The very first line of the song, really speaks to me. "Letting go of every single Dream, I lay each one at your feet."

Wait a minute.  What did she just say????  Did she just say, that she is letting go of EVERY single dream, and laying it at the feet of Jesus??!??!

Come on.  Lauren, don't say that.  Because if you're doing it, then I'll bet I'm supposed to do it too.  UGH UGH UGH.

Okay God, here I go.  I can give you the dream of having millions of dollars.  I am smart enough to know that dollars won't bring me closer to you.  I can give that dream to you.  Nooo Problem. I got this.

And you know, I can lay the dream of being a size 2, supermodel type at your feet too.  As much as I would love to be drop dead, head turning gorgeous, it would probably be a curse having to turn all those admiring dudes away.  I can lay that dream at your feet, and be content with how I look.  Thank you.

But what about those dreams I have, that I swear are your dreams for me?  You want those dreams too??  The dreams where my kids become, priests and nuns, or start their own missionary organization, or even become the first Baptist Pope?

Or how about my dream that my husband and I become national speakers on how to become a powerhouse couple for Christ.  Do you want that dream too?  OR can't i keep that one, because I think you would really really love that one, God.  That would be AWESOME.

Wait, you want that dream too, don't you God?

So if I am supposed to lay all these dreams of mine at your feet, then what SHOULD I be dreaming of?  What can I have to motivate me forward on this journey I am on, if it's not for some wonderful dream of what is yet to come?


IS that what I just heard you say?  I should be dreaming of YOU!  Of course.  You are amazing.  You are so loving, and comforting, and creative, and powerful, and dreamy.  You really are dreamy.   I should be dreaming of you, and only you, and only YOUR will for my life.  (And who knows?  Maybe some of those dreams of mine are YOURs as well, but my focus should always be YOU!)

Wow.  You just taught me that.  Right here on this Blog.  Didn't you God???  From that one line, on that one song.

Which by the way is an amazing song about trusting you through every hardship.  Oh boy God, you have really been driving that lesson home lately.

The chorus, which is SOOO amazing, goes like this:
If you don't move the mountains, I needed you to move;
If you don't part the waters, I wish I could walk through;
If you don't give me answers, as I cry out to you;
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in you!

Yes, Lord.  I will trust you no matter what happens.  I can't say it will be easy.  And as we have already established I suck at suffering, but I can do it with you next to me.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Portal to HEAVEN.... I found it.

Okay, so really the portal I found has been around for a while.  It's actually hidden in perfectly plain view and once I realized that's what it was, I felt totally stupid for not recognizing it.

In case you are not following me at all. Let me provide the definition of the word Portal.  According to google, a portal is a doorway, gate, or other entrance, especially a large and elaborate one.  Yes. That is exactly what I am talking about. 

I should also add that God used this portal first.  Of all the objects, or people HE could have chosen on this earth to reach us from heaven He picked this one.  So if this "gateway" from Heaven to Earth is good for God to reach us with, then doesn't it seem like it would be a good "gateway" for us to reach God in Heaven???

I have to say the first time I thought of this, I was so filled with pride at my personal discovery.  Then I realized that people have been trying to explain this to me for years, and I just wasn't paying attention.  So really, it isn't like I discovered anything new.  I just realized something that I was too dumb to understand before.  (God is teaching me humility.)

Are you ready for the Portal????  Most of you probably already know what I am about to say.

The Portal is MARY!!!

(For those of you who thought I was going to say the Mass, that answer is correct also, but today I am talking about MARY!)

God used Mary as his Portal to Earth.  HE chose this woman, for Himself,.  Why wouldn't we look to her as a gateway to God?  A clear channel to communicate with God to?  She is NOT the source of any grace, she is the CHANNEL through which God's grace flows!!!

I know this might be totally confusing to you. To be fair, it is confusing to me.  But remember, Mary is never an object of worship, or the SOURCE of any grace.  She is a channel through which God's grace flows freely and powerfully.  Because MARY was the chosen portal for God when he came from Heaven to Earth.

 No one is FORCING anyone to talk to Mary or Honor her, least of all Mary, but when you discover what a treasure this channel of Grace can be, why WOULDN'T you want to know Mary in this way???

Mary was the first monstrance. Loving her will not take anything away from Jesus: it is because she put God first and humbly obeyed that we have Jesus. We ask her to teach us to love Jesus as she did.:
Mary was the first monstrance. Loving her will not take anything away from Jesus: it is because she put God first and humbly obeyed that we have Jesus. We ask her to teach us to love Jesus as she did.     (Saved from

 AND yes, we Catholics can go directly to Jesus. No has to to have a mediator or intercessor.  But even when you are talking on the phone the conversation goes through some sort of channel.  Either phone lines, or digital waves through the air.  MARY is a Phone Line.  And the reception on this chick is REALLY GOOD.  I mean four bars.  Like I barely ever get my calls dropped.  You know what I mean???

Yes, Mary was just a human being.  But she was created for a purpose far superior to any other human being's purpose.  She was created specifically by God to bear his Son for the world.  In my opinion that deserves great honor.

Thank you Jesus for giving your Mother to us, as our Mother.  Thank you for giving us such a sweet, kind, patient, loving, gentle, BEAUTIFUL, wise gift in your Mother.   Thank you for allowing us to look to her as a CHANNEL of your Love to us, and look to her as a model of what you have called us to be!!  

As Mother's Day quickly approaches, and this month of May arrives.  Let us all look to this PORTAL to heaven and grow closer to Jesus her son, by getting to know his Mom a little better.  I am thinking this is going to be AMAZING!!!

Love this Lady!!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

I suck at suffering...

Suffering.  What a privilege it should be to suffer in this world.  But goodness I am so very bad at it.

Why should it be a joy, you ask???  Well first of all because it has such an amazing ability to help us grow in holiness.  Probably more so than other thing we do here on earth.  What is that verse again??   Something about endurance?  Hold on a sec....  Let me google that one.


There it is, Romans 5:3-5.  That's a good one.  And here is the thing, WE ALL SUFFER.  Right???  You might come across some wonderful person who either is always happy, and skips around singing La La La, but I know their secret.  They are suffering. 

Then there are those other people who will flat out tell you that they are super happy, and everything is going their way.  They are the ones that post amazing pictures on Facebook and you think their lives are perfect.  Guess what, they are suffering too.  

WE ARE ALL SUFFERING.  I know this, because if you are a human being and you live on earth then it is true. Some of us more than others, but we are all doing it.  I mean really, if this world were Perfect, than why would anyone want to go to Heaven??? 

So here is my thing, I need to deal with all my suffering with a little more GRACE.  I am terrible.  I moan, and complain, and vent and whine, and I medicate until the pain goes away.  And if the pain doesn't go away, I moan and complain and vent a whine some more.  Oh dear God.  Help me to suffer better.  

I keep thinking of that Romans verse again.  Think of the ENDURANCE I could be producing right now???  And then imagine the character that would begin to develop.  (I would have a really cool character.)  And then that would turn into such HOPE.  Oh Boy.  Who doesn't need more HOPE.  Hopefulness is what makes any sort of suffering more bearable.  

Now then there is this crazy little Catholic Thing we do called, "Offering it up."  Have you all heard this one???  I hate this.  I went on a two week mission trip where we had to take freezing cold showers in the middle of a gym, with some homemade contraption thing set up to help with privacy.  (It didn't help, so everyone showered with bathing suits on for two weeks.)  It was highly ineffective.  The leaders, kept reminding us all to Offer it up for the poor souls in purgatory.  I was so confused.  How could my cold ineffective shower help bring people to heaven.  TO be honest I still don't get it entirely.  I will have to google that one too...

Check out this link on offering our suffering up for others...  

In fact just Google that yourselves.  There is so much good stuff out there, that I couldn't possibly fit it all in here.  But I am glad we got the conversation started!!!

Thank you Jesus, for allowing me to suffer with you. What a privelege, what an honor!!!  Help me to suffer with grace, and endure the pain until it ends!