Category Archives: Loveletters/Food for thought

Embracing silence….

Every lent I feel like God works on a different part of my spiritual walk. This year was no different. Not that my Lents before were not good or not productive but I felt that God was honoring my desire to go a little “deeper” this year.

When I sat in prayer contemplating my Lenten plan, I heard God say very clearly that for Lent I was suppose to give up idle noise…and embrace little periods of silence.

What does that mean?

How is that going to change me as a person?

What will I say when people ask what I gave up for Lent? Will I be embarrassed by my little gesture?

Is that enough?

All those thoughts didn’t matter in the long run.

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Over the past year, the Lord has been creating a Spirit of Obedience in me. He has been showing me how obedience pleases Him, even if I don’t fully understand the why behind His Ways. He just gives His permission to ask the How……

So I prayed for the practical applications of this Lenten sacrifice, and like our Lord always does… he provided.

There would be times that I went to turn on the radio by myself, and I would hear Him say, “Talk to me.”

I would be in the middle of watching a netflix show, and He would call me into a moment of silence.

The children would often come over to me sitting on the couch and say “Are you ok, mom?”…..they were beginning to notice how often these little quiet moments would happen throughout my day.

Head tilted back, eyes closed…clearing my mind…..

Each moment of silence would fill me with peace….like breathing out a deep sense of relief.

Often times the Lord would place someone on my heart to text or call…..

Sometimes he would build upon a bible verse or spiritual truth I had been working on.

He showed me, very clearly, how much I need more silence.

How our constant “background noise”……. silences Him.

How I had been begging  him to “talk to me”…..and his response was to spend time in silence so I could hear His voice.

Our God is a God of peace……He speaks into the peace of our hearts.

Spend some time today contemplating how you can add silence into your week.

It seems like such a crazy notion…..but we need moments of silence.

Take a walk………in silence.

Sit outside….or on a park bench…..in silence.

Observe the beauty of nature around you……in silence.

“And when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

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In light of this new insight, I will be delving into this book by Cardinal Sarah. I’m super excited to continue this journey and see where the Lord is leading me. Join me!

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The gift of friendship…

I love when I find an old blog post in my “drafts” section that just NEEDS to be published….life gets busy and sometimes posts don’t get finished….so…here it is…..

The gift of friendship…

Priceless….

Inexpensive….

Today our family got to soak in the beauty of friendship and the joy of spending time with friends…

And it made me realize how much I miss the simple days of just hanging out with friends and family.

It made me realize how much I miss board games, and puzzles, and the simple joys of laughing with others.

I have realized, lately, how much I enjoy people. How much my heart yearns for fellowship and how much I enjoy loving people and sharing myself and my life with others.

I remember when my oldest was a baby, we used to spend countless weekends with our sister-in-law and her family. Pack n play stored in the trunk, we would set off for an evening of appetizers, and games. The little babies would each have their own bedroom in which we set up their pack n play until we snatched them up to go home. We played countless games of Charades, Passwords, Mafia, and cards.

However, as our families continued to grow, we overgrew the number of bedrooms needed, and our “get togethers ” became harder and harder with multiple children, schedules, and more siblings joining in.

I have fond memories of those times.

Today was such a gift to my family that I didn’t want it to end.

When I woke up this morning, all I could think about were the dishes that filled my sink , and were scattered around my counter.

The past two days had been a mess of quick meals, and long days of Godspell rehearsals and show times. The  house was beginning to show the effects of people who were still living there, but no one was cleaning up.

Reality check…I am not a super clean person. I don’t claim to be. haha.

To say it was overwhelming, would be an understatement.

After sending the kiddos off with their Saturday chore list, I hit the kitchen to tackle those dishes and mop the floor that was horribly overdue.

As I washed dishes, and blasted my Christian praise music, It was pretty relaxing to have a Saturday at home. It was nice to have a few moments of quiet while the kiddos worked diligently in the other rooms.

Then I got a quick text from a girlfriend who wanted to pick up a coupon that she needed.

Typically, I would just have one of the kiddos run the coupon out to her…however, I decided today to send a quick text back inviting her to hang out for a few minutes if she wanted.

What was suppose to be a quick “stop”, turned into a wonderful visit complete with a karaoke “sing off” with all the kiddos.

This afternoon was filled with laughter, and tons of smiles, and it was awesome.

It made me realize that I miss the simple days of hosting people.

Not the ” Pinterest success” type of hosting but the simple invitation for someone to come into your house and just enjoy your company.

I love that out-of-town friends will call and give me a “heads up” if they are in town. I love throwing a quick dinner date together for a college niece or nephew, and I love throwing a niece or nephew in my van for a sleepover or quick play date.

It’s not a sacrifice for me.

It’s pure joy.

It’s one of the ways that I love people. 

I cherish my friendships..and it’s something that I have clearly passed on to my children.

I love to see them walk with their arm around the shoulders of a friend.

I love seeing my teenager daughter laughing as she chats with her girlfriends on the phone.

I watch out the window as my son makes another nerf battle video with his neighborhood friend…and smile.

I love knowing that I have given my children the greatest gift in each other.

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As I think about friendship, the ultimate friend is one who will lay down their life for a friend.

I think about how amazing it must have been to be one of the Apostles.

To sit in the company of Christ.

How much joy that must have brought to those tired and restless hearts….

To sit, eat and drink with Christ whose very essence was love.

To feel the peace that His Spirit brought about in their souls.

To neglect sleep, and work only to sit and soak up all that He was.

At one point today, I looked around and everyone was laughing watching one of the kids sing…..

There is a beauty in being with people who are so genuine.

People who you see that radiate the love of Christ.

We are God’s gift to each other.

The body of Christ, the community of believers, who seek His face in each other.

Today was a beautiful gift to my family.

It is a beautiful gift to me.

A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter. He whom has found one, has found a treasure. A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance their worth.” – Sirach 6:14-15

Answering the call….

Music has always spoken into my life at the hardest and toughest of times.

It’s helped me calm my fears.

It’s spoken Truth into uncertainty.

I’ve driven with my radio blasting, and my hair blowing in the wind…rapping and dancing.

And I’ve sat in my van sobbing over how lyrics have perfectly expressed the words on my heart.

The Lord has used music to strengthen my faith, and armed me for the daily battle.

I love to blast my KLOVE radio station, and ask the Lord to really speak to me.

Boy, did he ever with this song….

I feel like I could have written this song. It speaks the words on my heart. It shouts the truth of what I want from my life.

The first time I heard it while driving in my van, it was like an arrow to my heart.

I had a hard ugly cry.

Then, I went home and looked up the lyrics and cried some more.

I want to live like that…and give it all I have.

So that everything I say and do…points to you…..

(Tears stream down my face). Yes, Lord…..

If love is who I am…then this is where I stand.

Recklessly abandoned, never holding back…I want to live like that.

Wow….ok….done.

That’s it….that’s the call.

I heard it loud and clear, Lord.

No more “I wonder if they will think this is weird”.

No more “it’s not my place to say this”.

No more “that person may find it weird, and wonder why I’m helping them”.

It’s not about who I am…it’s about who God is…and what I am called to do.

It’s all about you, Lord. It’s all for you. It’s about a love far greater than I can return. It’s about a love that I can’t selfishly keep for myself. It’s about sharing Christ with everyone.

It’s about being the hands, feets, eyes, ears, and mouth of Christ..in ALL THINGS.

Do I live like your love is true? Is there evidence that I’ve been changed, when they see me do they see you?

It’s about basing my worth not on my productivity, my financial success, or who I am in this world but on the fact that i’m loved by God.

It’s about sharing that love. It’s so simple…and yet so far from what our world looks like.

I want to show the world the love you gave to me.

Lately, I feel the Lord has been asking me to show His Love to others.

The Lord showed me that I was walking through life with blinders on. I was like a horse…I only looked straight forward at my thing to do list. I didn’t notice the young mom who could use a hand or the teenager who just needed to hear something nice said to them.

In my own attempt to be productive, I was missing all these people who God placed in my life to love and to be Christ to.

And I…I was selfishly hiding my light under a bushel basket.

I was going to bed every night from “taking care of business” and yet I had never asked the Lord what His “thing to do” list for me looked like.

When I sat down one night to do my bible study, I decided to ask God what he wanted from me.

I felt like He said to me…I just want you to notice more. I want you to share you…with everyone.

Let me give you…eyes to see…what I see.

As I drove back from bible study one Sunday, I asked the Lord to help me use my time in the van for His Glory. ( I oftened call girlfriends and family to “catch up” during my ride home)

I prayed, “Lord, what do you want from me? Who should I call?” The Lord placed the name of this person so crystal clear. I repeated the name out loud and said, “Ok, Lord”. I called and the number went to voicemail. “Huh?” I thought. “Why tell me to call someone who wasn’t even going to be available?”

She called back right away. The conversation started like this “Why are you calling me? Be honest.” “Ok…well, I asked the Lord who I should call tonight and He said you.” She burst into tears. “I’ve been sitting here crying for a while….feeling so alone. I’m just so upset. I told the Lord that if He really loved me…prove it. Have someone call me…and then the phone rang.”

Just confirmation for both of us.

Confirmation that the same God that spoke to the Apostles is speaking to us today.

The same God who we celebrate as we placed ornaments on our Jessie Tree in Advent hasn’t stopped talking to us.

The same God that spoke through Abraham, Isaiah, and John the Baptist to herald the news of the Christ Child wishes to speak to you.

Our God is personal, and He hears you.

God listens to you.

Soak that in.

The God of the Universe makes time for you. He treasures you. He longs to be with you.

However, he also asks us to share His love with others.

I want to show the world the love you gave to me.

It’s so simple.

A soft smile. A helping hand. A word of encouragement when it’s so easy to be negative.

It’s making a phone call and really listening.

Have you asked the Lord what He wants from you?….and listened?

Are you heeding the call?

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Women need other women…..

 

Last weekend, I had the privilege of reuniting with about 13 girlfriends from my college Alma Mater, Franciscan University. This reunion had been in the works for several months and I was counting down the days. These ladies were part of my “household”, in simple terms, a christian sorority that I had joined during my four years at that college.

These girls were the ones that lived on the same wing of the dorm as I did.  We passed each other in the bathroom,  and we stayed up late eating cheap pizza together. These same ladies ‘glammed up’ with me for dances, and I threw them the ball in intramural football. They allowed me to cry on their shoulders when I broke up with my first real boyfriend, and they took me to prayer when I was struggling with student teaching and graduating. They held a valuable piece of my heart.

They were a big part of the tapestry of my life. 

Not only did some of my fondest memories include them, but we have the bonds of spiritual sisterhood. They were my “sisters”. The ladies whom I had shared my heart with during those four growing years….that beautiful time of learning who I was, and where I was going. These ladies sat next to me in the pew at Mass, and held my hand in our weekly prayer nights. When Ohio couldn’t contain us, we moved on to a semester in Europe where we continued our journey together as sisters exploring foreign countries together.

As time went on, I sat in the pews and stood on the altar for many of their weddings. I cried big tears as I learned of pregnancies and miscarriages. We mourned the tragic death of parents, and the hardship of divorce.

And as we gathered in that lake house cottage in New York, we once again shared our hearts.  We came together to share not just our hearts, but our struggles, our hurts, and our loved ones.

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Because women need other women.

Ask the SAHM of an infant or toddler, and she will tell you that she craves adult conversation. …she would gladly exchange an hour of a nap for a solid hour chatting with a girlfriend.

We need to tell our story. We need the support of other women who can give us counsel and share their wisdom. We need other women who love us and seek our happiness. 

Let’s ponder the story of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. I believe that Mary spent the better part of that journey trying to think of the best way to share the story of the visitation. Would Elizabeth believe her? Would she challenge this message from God? Would she believe that God had chosen her to carry the Christ child? She needed a “sister” to whom to share the great news with.  What a surprise when Elizabeth already knew!!!!

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord* should come to me?” – Luke 1:41-43

We hear in scripture that the baby in Elizabeth’s womb (St. John the Baptist) lept with joy at the presence of Mary. What a beautiful confirmation of the beauty of this friendship between Elizabeth and Mary….two ladies who had chosen to give their “yes” to God!

God was allowing them to experience this amazing journey together. They both understood the awesome privilege that they were given, and found comfort in their shared journey.

How many times have you sought the counsel of another women? or felt such comfort when another woman just “gets it” without a need for a long explanation?

My husband is my best friend….this is not a knock on men.  My husband will always be the first person that I run to with good news, when life is tough, or just to wrap his arms around me. However, just like I encourage him to seek the counsel of his brothers, he does the same for me.

My girlfriends walk the same journey of motherhood and wifedom that I do. ( I know…..wifedom sounds good…but I think I just made that up…haha) .  I laughed as the posts flooded our facebook group as these “moms” prepared for the weekend. There was the usual “do I need sheets for the beds?” or “how much alcohol should i bring”? but I laughed at the comments about “wearing sweatpants and pajamas” and what “nice clothes” did we really need….haha. Posts from true mommas who just needed a cocktail, an abundance of sleep, and to sit comfortably in a “nonjudgment” zone for the weekend.

It was so funny when one mom suggested that we attend Saturday night Mass so that we could sleep in on Sunday morning, how quickly everyone agreed that that idea was pure perfection.

Women need to be understood by other women. 

As we sat around drinking cocktails in pajamas, we laughed reminicencing about old times. We mentally surfed through facebook posts that we had recently “seen” of each other, and delved deeper into our lives. We were able to share the truth behind those vague facebook posts, and drop tears over what is really going on in our families….the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

And trust me…the tears flowed…from all of us.

But there was also gut-wrenching laughter that brought it’s own set of tears……..

Then…..we bowed our heads and prayed a rosary for our families.

And the beauty of a spiritual sisterhood is that Saturday night, just a few hours after we unpacked our luggage, and stretched our legs from our trips, we entered this tiny church and began our weekend with the Lord.

As I sat in that little church, I listened carefully to the beautiful sound of my girlfriends’ singing. What a gift. I closed my eyes and took it all in. These ladies were such a gift to my womanhood and to my journey as a wife and mother.

My “yes” to God had brought me to this little Catholic college in Ohio where God had plans for my life. He had blessed these friendships, and helped each of us to be instrumental in the development of each other.

He was our center……he was that strong “connection” that made the long distances bearable.

Those three days went too quicky….but as I pulled off to make the journey back to my family, who eagerly awaited my return, I felt renewed.

For those three days, I was just the daughter of a king, along with those other 12 ladies. I had sat at the banquet table of the Lord, and we had feasted.

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Honesty…the Wings of Freedom

Honesty…..

It’s definitely a little “plant” that the Lord has been working on with me over the past month.

The “seeds” of this blog were planted during a conversation with one of the mothers at my monthly co-op. I had been making a point of trying to converse with her more this past year, as she seemed to be “hanging out” more than I remember in previous years. As we started to share with each other, I began to realize that I didn’t really know this woman at all. I had developed perceptions of who I thought she was…but I was wrong.

And all it took, was just talking to her.

Standing in front of her without judgement, two people willing to listen to whatever each other wanted to say. The two of us willing to share with each other, not concerned about what was going on around us. Just willing to listen.

It was about being able to say “wow, I didn’t know that about you at all. Thanks for sharing that about yourself”.

It’s about recognizing the vulnerability of the person who is trusting you with part of their heart.

Then a few nights ago, I was reading in my Blessed is She journal, and the beautiful Elizabeth Foss was discussing the notion of hypocrites and stated:

“God doesn’t ask you to be perfect, but he does want you to be honest”.

There it was again….

The “H” word…..honesty….

Ok, Lord….you got it…

I’ll write from my heart about honesty.

Why is it so hard for us to be honest with people?

I believe that it takes a lot of vulnerability, confidence, and holy boldness…….but I also believe that it gives us the wings of freedom.

Don’t you want to be free in your relationships???!!!

How many of us go to bed at night thinking I wish a had someone who truly understood me or maybe you think If people really knew the real me, would they still be friends with me?

People are attracted to genuineness and honesty.

A few years ago, I sat down with two of my sister-in-laws and confessed that I wasn’t being honest with them in our relationships. I told them that I often left family gatherings feeling frustrated by things that they said, or that I replayed conversations in my head for days. I confessed that I didn’t like feeling like I was “holding a grudge” about an earlier event but I also didn’t feel like I was being honest and things needed to change.

I think they were initially quite surprised, as they didn’t know I felt this way. I continued, adding that I was going to “speak my mind”, and I might start offending people but that I needed a different level of friendship with them, and it meant being able to be perfectly honest.

Over the next few months, some of my text messages were a little sassy at times. I spent time sending messages about my gratitude and appreciation for little loving gestures, and I enjoyed answering the text messages about “what I thought about__________”. These same sisters realized that my honesty was refreshing. They knew they could come to me for advice, and then could also hang up the phone and not wonder what my ‘real thoughts’ were on a subject we had discussed.

There was freedom for them in being able to talk to someone who would deliver honesty, and yet care about them.

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God wants us all to speak truth.

He wants others to be drawn to the freedom that we elude when we live a life in His Truth. A life that grants us true freedom.

A life where we are free to be who we choose to be, not who we think people would like better.

God doesn’t want us to live our life through perception…concerned only with how others see our marriages, our children, or our lifestyle.

God wants our lives to be transparent and honest….to be looking at our family from a realistic place of where God has us.

To me, there is nothing more beautiful that a person who has the interior freedom to be who they want to be.

When I was in college, I had this friend named “Ducky”. I believe he got that nickname because of his similarities with the character from the movie “Pretty in Pink”. He had a crazy sense of style, but such a warm and loving heart. I remember the first time I met him just beaming. I remember thinking to myself this guy is crazy funny…and his laugh is infectious. As college progressed, “Ducky” and I went on a mission trip to Florida together and we were able to have some quality time hanging out around a camp fire. I learned rather quickly that “Ducky” had a lot to teach me about being true to who I was. He talked to me about his love for Our Lady and he was never without his rosary beads. I have vivid memories of his mad dance skills, and his love for good music. You couldn’t help but be happy when Ducky was around. He was the genuine deal….and everyone knew him and loved him.

I also believe that God puts people in our lives to share our hearts with.

Who are these people God has placed in your life? Are there people that you need to invite “in”? People who you know you could be closer with if you shared more of yourself with them?

What are you afraid of?

Share. Share your thoughts….and your heart.

Ask the Lord to make these people clear to you.

Allow the Lord to give you wings of freedom, so that you can experience true friendship with other men/women.

Be willing to be that honest and genuine friend to others.

“A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter. He who has found ONE has found a treasure”. – Sirach 6:14

 

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When you can’t do normal…

Grabbing out the egg cartons, and milk, I piled them onto the kitchen island with all the other items. Not ten minutes before, I was combing through the pantry looking for a snack. Now, I was viciously scrubbing the walls and drawers of the refrigerator. Why? Because today, I just can’t do normal…

In fact, my mind is racing with so many thoughts that even a “thing to do” list won’t help me.

My desk is currently a sea of paperwork; business calls to be made, bills to pay, and events to schedule.

I’ve attempted to wash the same grill pan for the past three days, and I’ve never gotten to it.

My voicemail is full…and my email is back to over 1,000…..

I haven’t posted a blog post in months…..

And….I haven’t gotten the mail in about three days….

I’m sitting here typing in my pajamas while my girls, instead of doing school work, are downstairs making cookies, while my son is throwing up in his bedroom.

Normal. I have no idea what that means anymore.

There are probably people like me that you encounter every day. We smile and chat about silly things. We drop kids off for dance, and we schedule dentist appointments. We shop for groceries and we make our bed every day.

However, there are things that we are hiding…we are afraid to unveil what really monopolies our time and thoughts….

Some days…I just want to ignore the pain and act like everything is normal. I want to chat about what you had for dinner, and the newest show that you are watching. I want to mentally “retreat” and think about something other than the actual thoughts that pervade my mind.

Thoughts that make me cry behind closed doors. Thoughts that make me want to pull my covers over my head and not do anything all day.

And whatever you do…don’t make me stop and look at you. Because….my life is an open-book and I don’t want anyone to “read” what I’m trying to hide.

Just don’t……

I don’t want you to see the pain. I can’t handle it…and I certainly can’t try and find words to explain it to you.

And please….don’t ask me how I’m doing….because then I will start to unravel….and that gets really ugly and messy.

You see….my husband has a chronic illness…and we are in a tough stage. We’ve called it “bad lungs” for years to explain his crazy coughing fits to neighbors, acquaintances, and friends. We’ve been to multiple specialists who have “studied” his lungs….we’ve done all the treatments….but..ultimately we knew this day would come…

….when it all got serious.

Dan has been diagnosed with Bronchiectasis.

Here is how the American Lung Association defines it:

Bronchiectasis is a chronic condition where the walls of the bronchi are thickened. This is caused by inflammation and infection in the bronchi. People with bronchiectasis will experience periods of good and bad health. The periods when your lung health gets worse are called exacerbations. Some patients with exacerbations notice a gradual decline in their health over a few weeks, while others start to have problems over the span of a few days.

In bronchiectasis, the walls of the bronchi are thickened from long-term inflammation and scarring. As a result of the damage, mucus produced by the cells lining the bronchi does not drain normally. Mucus build-up can cause infection. A cycle of inflammation and infection can develop, leading to loss of lung function over time.

In bronchiectasis, lung function gradually declines over years. Patients with frequent exacerbations or those whose bronchi are infected by certain bacteria, like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), may lose lung function at a faster rate and have more bothersome respiratory symptoms.

Dan has had several “exacerbations” over the past year. He’s been hospitalized twice over the past two months….and has been treated for pneumonia six times this year.

To stay it’s been “trying” is an understatement.


This was our family earlier this month. It was a Monday….the same day that we were suppose to celebrate the birthday of my now five-year-old. She cried begging her daddy to go to the hospital so that he could be home “on turkey day”. I snapped this picture as they all crowded in to cry on his shoulder about another 5 day stay at the local hospital.

Another pneumonia…..another round of IV antibiotics to fight it. (We also learned that his body has become resistant to oral antibiotics.)

Didn’t we just do this two months ago?

We are suppose to be fighting about stupid stuff like the temperature that the house is kept at or the amount of crazy money that we are spending eating out.

I don’t want to talk about planning for our future or how long his lungs can go without the need for an oxygen tank.

I don’t want him to look at me with that “I know this sucks for you….but you know I really love you, right?!” look.

And somedays….I want to pretend like it’s “not a big deal”…….

So, if my hair looks crazy and my eyes look really puffy……or my smile has been missing for a while or I don’t seem “like myself” it’s because I’m just trying to get by each day without fear of the future. I’m trying to be strong for these five kiddos who rely on me for stability.

Because although I just want to block out the world, and cuddle with my husband all day, there are family memories left to be made.

There are holidays to celebrate, and birthday parties to plan.

I’m clinging to my family time and soaking up those precious moments that require me home. I’m spending time in prayer to protect my heart from all that awaits our family.

However…I’m weak…but I’m ok with that. Scripture tells us that “He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9” I need the Lord to grant me grace to get through this.

I’m finding it difficult to be left “wading in the water” by the Lord without “land” in sight. The “un-knowing” is the hardest part.

However, I am trying to follow God’s plan in all of this.

God will be re-defining a new “normal” for us over here in our home. In the meantime, please join me in prayer as we pray for direction.

So…. if you see me and I’m smiling, join me.

If you see me, and I’m really just struggling, just pray for me.

I know that I serve a God who truly loves me, who is allowing me to endure this painful time in my life, because I have begged Him to draw me closer. I know that my faith will get me through this.

Maybe there are people like me in your life….silently suffering….that could use your prayers this Advent…..be there for them.

My family is not alone….we don’t feel alone.

Our community is a large and loving one…and since news of his hospitalizations our friends and family have been surrounding us with so much support.

Whether they have made us dinner, sent food baskets, called and texted, took the kids for play dates, visited Dan in the hospital, or just let us know that they are “here” for us ….. I truly believe that it has been the “body of Christ” alive and well in our lives.

Thank you for reading this. Thank you for allowing me to open up my heart to you……

Just sharing this has lifted a burden for me……

Praying that you and your families may have a blessed Advent.

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I do…..a lesson about finding your strength.

“I do….to the struggles. I do…to living selflessly for each other. I want you to build a wall of love that nothing can tear down. This wall that will surround these five blessings and give them security, peace, and endless love”….

 

I do.

The day started off innocent enough…I  woke up one Sunday with the desire to see the kids hit confession. Our family happens to be blessed with a local Shrine that offers confession for the 15-20 minutes before their 2:30 Mass. It’s super convenient to watch my three oldest hit the confessional and come out beaming. This Sunday, which I speak of, I did an examination of conscience with the kiddos while the hubby drove. Nothing super enlightening….your basic review of the 10 commandments with gentle “nudges” as to the areas that I saw some of them struggling with…haha.

Confession.

That sacrament that often we forget about. A sacrament, all too often underutilized, in our struggle to be Christ-like in a fallen world.

Our family would love to say that Confession is a monthly commitment like our other activities but it often isn’t. It can be anywhere between a month and a half to three months before our family goes or realizes how long it’s been.

But this time around, this little Polish priest had this unsuspecting mom crying through the first 20 minutes of Mass…with two little words….

As Mass was about to start, I saw the kids to our pew, after their confessions, and ducked into the confessional myself.

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Alright….clear my brain…..

Frustration. Quick to anger with the kiddos. Laziness. Being Judgmental

These guys knew that they were the usual culprits…haha.

As I started to roll out these guys, the priest stopped me at quick to anger with the kiddos.

“Oh…so you are a mom. How many kids?”

Five….

“Five?! Wow….you are a blessed and busy momma. And what are their ages?”

12, 10, 9, 6, 4…..

“Oh my goodness. So you are also a hard working mom.”

(insert a few tears….that was nice to hear)

“Let me ask you….do you have a good husband?”

(wait….what’s going on here. I’m just trying to remember which sins to confess and you are distracting me. And why do I feel so emotionally overwhelmed right now?)

(choking back tears) Yes…he’s a really good man. Great husband…great father….

“Then you have everything that you need…you just forget. I want you to work on the greatest strength that you have in trying to be a mom. You need to work on the strong bond of your marriage. This will give you the grace to raise your kids.”

(tears really flowing now….totally blindsided by his tender words that are hitting me so hard) um…ok.

(wait…..this is really heavy stuff….but also so simple)

“I want you to remember your wedding vows. Remember that day? Remember when you said I do? I want you to wake up everyday and say that. I want you to talk to your husband and I want you to remind him, lovingly, of those same two words and I want him to wake up thinking about the same, I do. I do….to the struggles. I do…to living selflessly for each other. I want you to build a wall of love that nothing can tear down. This wall that will surround these five blessings and give them security, peace, and endless love. This is where you will find the grace to be the gentle, loving mother, like Our Lady. ”

(searching for tissues in my purse, as I’m just a mess of tears. He can hear me sobbing.)

The only words I could muster up were…“Thank you..”

I wiped those tears and they just kept coming as I found the pew with my little family. I looked down at those five faces who I’ve been entrusted with and felt the hub’s arm run along my back and around me for a tight squeeze.

God has given such wisdom to our priests.

Thank you to that little polish priest for reaching into my heart and reminding me of the graces that God has already given me.

Thank you Lord for showing us the importance of the marital bond and the blessings that it bestows on the children.

Thank you Lord for reminding me that you are truly present in the sacrament of Confession and that you know all my sins before I bring them before you.

You desire this little heart to seek you in the “little ways” like St. Therese of Lisieux.

I pray that you find yourself in Confession soon….and that the Lord speaks truth in your heart.

But for today….find the “I do” that the Lord is requiring of you.

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