Category Archives: Prayers

School situations and changes..

Homeschool? Private? Suck it up at sucky public school?  All options we will be likely weighing over the next few weeks or months.  I know, “Do not worry about tomorrow….”.  Got it.  BUT…..what’s the difference between worry and pre-planning?  There is a good chance that due to a house sale our kids will lose the address that keeps them all in schools we have been happy and lucky with.  Except for our rising 9th grader who will keep his school due to the academy  he is in next year.

So our choices are:

  • suck it up for the schools we will be zoned for.  even though the middle school is NUMBERO UNO on the “Top 25 Incidents” in our area and the ONLY one with gang related activity (reported anyway).
  • find the funds for private.  right.  let me run out and check the garden to see if that lettuce is growing some Benjamins.
  • homeschool.  at this level.  I don’t even know if I’m capable.

So.  Just pray.  Chime in if you got some ideas.  I’m allllllllllll ears!

We all need a little help

As much as we ALL want to be supermom, superdad, super everything, we really can’t do it all.  Not on our own.  In fact we are the most productive and successful when we receive a helping hand, thought, word.  Today’s video reflection on the USSCB site was dead on.  The Hubs was up before me and told me about it (I generally just do the Daily Readings and occasionally the podcast reflection), so I watched for myself.  On the mark.  Completely.

USCCB Daily Reflection 5/7/14

Happy Humpday y’all!!!

Divine Mercy and Pope Saints

Today we are blessed with 2 new saints to our army of intercessors, friends to pray with us, friends to pray for us and friends who were once Pope.  Jenny is hosting a little gathering of memories of Saint Pope John Paull II and there are a ton of great stories, photos and pictures,  a great way to remember the man and to celebrate the saint!

My contribution contains no personal photos of up close and in person with JPII and no earth-shattering and profound moments except that when I came back to my faith in the late 90s, early 2000s, John Paul II was Pope, when my world fell apart in 2003, John Paul II was Pope, when we entered our season of separation and survival, John Paul II was Pope, as we ended our first school year in that season, John Paul II passed away.  The foundation had been poured and the example of his own mercy, forgiveness and love for humanity penetrated deep into my own heart and has since been lived out in ways that can only be accredited to “By the Grace of God” through the living example of Pope John Paul II.  Not only did he pray for mercy for the whole world (see a portion of the Divine Mercy Chaplet below),  he sought to bring his whole flock to the faith and love of Christ and he fought hard for the youth, knowing that the  young are our future.  Perhaps that is the message that sticks with me the greatest.  And so today, Divine Mercy Sunday, we welcome 2 new Saints and rejoice in the example of faith in their lives and hopefully go forward sharing our own faith with all we come in contact with, that we may all come to love and trust in the saving power of Christ in His endless Mercy, Compassion and Grace.

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

I’ve tried to find out a bit more about Saint John XXIII as well and just loved his quotes I found this morning on the Catholic News Service…because we should all find some humor in life (which I often struggle with among the daily “must-dos”)!


1. Visiting a hospital he asked a boy what he wanted to be when he grew up. The boy said either a policeman or a pope. “I would go in for the police if I were you,” the Holy Father said. “Anyone can become a pope, look at me!”

2. “It often happens that I wake up at night and begin to think about the serious problems afflicting the world and I tell myself, I must talk to the pope about it. Then the next day when I wake up I remember that I am the pope.”

3. In reply to a reporter who asked, “How many people work in the Vatican?”, he reportedly said: “About half of them.”

4. When a cardinal complained that a rise in Vatican salaries meant a particular usher earned as much as the cardinal, the pope remarked: “That usher has 10 children; I hope the cardinal doesn’t.”

5. When he went to visit a friend at the nearby Hospital of the Holy Spirit in the evening, the nun answering the door said: “Holy Father, I’m the mother superior of the Holy Spirit.” He replied: “Lucky you! What a job! I’m just the ‘servant of the servants of God.'”

6. Not long after he was elected pope, Blessed John was walking in the streets of Rome. A woman passed him and said to her friend, “My God, he’s so fat!” Overhearing what she said, he turned around and replied, “Madame, I trust you understand that the papal conclave is not exactly a beauty contest.”

7. He once wrote: “There are three ways to face ruin: women, gambling and farming. My father chose the most boring one.”

8. When he was cardinal and patriarch of Venice, the future pope was talking with a wealthy city resident and told him, “You and I have one thing in common: money. You have a lot and I have nothing at all. The difference is I don’t care about it.”

9. When a journalist asked the then-patriarch of Venice what he would be if he could live his life all over again, the future pope said, “Journalist.” Then he said with a smile, “Now let us see if you have the courage to tell me that, if you could do it all over again, you’d be the patriarch!”

10. A Vatican official told the pope it would be “absolutely impossible” to open the Second Vatican Council by 1963. “Fine, we’ll open it in 1962,” he answered. And he did.

Today as we welcome these Saints we can pray,

“Saint John Paul II and Saint John XXIII, pray for us and the whole world.”

Choosing blindness. Choosing sight.

The Gospel at Mass John 9:1-41, was a (long) version of the blind man who was healed by Jesus–with the clay, on the eyes, the washing in Siloam and BOOM.  Eyesight.  Followed by a grilling by the Pharisees and their indignation at Jesus actually having THE NERVE to heal on the Sabbath and therefore could not be of God.  Because, the Sabbath.  Rules.  Regulations.  All that.  The no-longer-blind man’s bottom line:  listen, all I know is I was blind, and now I see; Jesus healed me.  Which had me focusing on the fact that Jesus can heal me.  And you.  and you.  and you.  The only kicker is we have to be present to Him and follow His instructions, even when they are simple.  Which is tricky because we want everything to be so complicated and sometimes, it’s just not.

Fast forward to the seriously STRONG homily by one of our Deacons in which he flipped it onto us, the Church.  When we come to Mass on Sunday, we listen, we go through the motions and then people EN MASSE routinely exit the church after receiving the Precious Body and Blood.  They just keep on truckin’ out the door.  (I don’t know if this occurs regularly in your church but it is a regularly HUGE occurrence in ours, to the tune of a 100 or so people performing this ritual each Mass)  So, why do they come?  Habit?  Ritual?  Obligation?  To receive an eternal “insurance policy”?   Because it doesn’t work that way;  our deacon reminded us in the Scripture, Luke 13-26:27

26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’

27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’

Do we choose blindness in spite of the gifts Christ has for us?  He awaits us every hour of every day, open arms, judgement free, love overflowing and yet……sometimes we are blind.  Blind to the fact that it is not about putting in face time, we have to work at our relationship with Christ.  We work at our marriage.  We work at our friendships.  We work on our parenting skills.  Being Facebook friends with someone and not acknowledging their presence in real life doesn’t cultivate a relationship anymore than warming a pew on Sunday only to bolt after Mass to get the prime table for coffee and donuts afterward.  Jesus wants a relationship with us and it takes effort.  If we but follow His lead, we too, can see.  And live.  Not just trudge through.  Because once upon a time, He led me through the darkness to the light, He held my hand in Mass as I wrangled 4 children to teach them the Faith and show them that even in the darkest of the dark He will never leave you.  And I am living proof of that.

The Deacon invited all who didn’t have  a legitimate reason to leave immediately following Holy Communion to go ahead and leave.  Now.  A woman behind us exited the pew…..but returned shortly (probably needed a tissue)…..aside from that I didn’t see anyone leave and it was a lot more crowded than usual after the final blessing than usual.  It was a long overdue reminder and one I took to apply personally as well.  If we can’t be present, 100% present in our intentions–because let’s be real, we all have distractions during Mass–but if our intentions aren’t 100% genuine, we need to reflect on WHAT we are doing.  WHAT kind of relationship do we expect with Jesus if we treat him so casually? None of us is perfect and I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve had mind wander during Mass for a zillion and one reasons over my lifetime, but my intentions are genuine.  He has held my hand.  He has carried me through a haze of confusion and desperation and He washed clean my eyes and scrubbed my heart.  He has shown me a life so vivid and full of hope that to live in any other way than to cultivate a relationship with Christ would be choosing blindness after seeing the light.

You see, once I was blind and now I see; that has made every difference in my life.

 

 

 

Happy Anniversary, Papa Francis!!

Photo cred....Cake boss, of course!!

Photo cred….Cake boss, of course!!

Because Pope Francis is so worthy of a Cake this BOSS!!!  I’m sure he wouldn’t even mind if we called him “Buddy”.  Ok.  Maybe a little.  But…yeah….Happy Anniversary, Pope Francis!

Pat Gohn has a podcast HOT off the press in celebration of Pope Francis’ One Year anniversary and you can download it HERE.  You will probably recognize a few voices from the interwebz, including (ahem) me!

And so, in my own nod to Papa…here are my own personal top faves of his first year as Pope…in 7 QT style with Jen and crew!

1.  The most humble and shocked beginning of this Pope who was so quietly in AWE of this role he now found himself in. That gentle wave.  That face that was still processing….”ME?”  “What?”.  Just love it!!  “hi.”

Credit where it's due!

Credit where it’s due!

2.  I was at work when the white smoke puffed.  Where were you?

More photo cred and instructions on making your own white smoke ;-)

More photo cred and instructions on making your own white smoke 😉

3.  Giving an impromptu and brief Catholic history lesson to my Baptist co-worker on the hows and the whys of electing a “Pope”.  Me, of all people.  My apologetics BFF would have been proud!!

4.   The complete silence in the crowd of well-wishers present for Pope Francis’ first prayer and speech to the world.  Goosebumps at the silence of all those people.  Be still my heart.  Be.  Still.

5.   The way the Pope walks the talk.  He lives his Jesuit calling in his role as Pope.  He DOES what Jesus would DO.  He loves the poor, the sick, the maimed.  When a child comes up on stage, he chuckles and carries on.  He sets the example for ALL of us to love our neighbor.  Over and over and over again.

6.  He welcomes the world.  He draws the world in by his genuine love and care for all.  Regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, financial standing, felony record or sexual preference.  We are called to love one another and he shows us time and again that this is possible even when we look at life differently from one another.  Jesus loves us all and HE will sort it out in the end; he doesn’t need us to do it while we are here on earth.  Pope Francis ain’t no gossip monger.

7.  Pray for Pope Francis.  For the world.  For one another.  Family.  Friends.  Co-workers.  Neighbors.  Let us all take the time to emulate this most approachable and loving Pope as we live our lives.

Credit:  my twitter page.  Don't YOU follow Pope Francis?

Credit: my twitter page. Don’t YOU follow Pope Francis?

Happy Friday y’all.  My favorite day of the week—woot woot!!

Good, bad, ugly and a conference!!

I’ve been MIA and so very hit or miss lately….life, ya know?  Sorry.  I’m preaching to the choir, I know.

It looks like our weekends are slowing down a leeeeeeetle bit here to a more manageable busy-ness which is good and gives me hope to recharge and reboot and refresh and all that because I needs me some down-time, people!  Wahhhhh, cry me a river, I know.  We are all busy.  So.  I am done complaining about that.

Here’s a few things my mind is juggling lately, good bad and ugly.  Ok.  NOT the really ugly, because I’ve already sent THAT email to a few people and I’m just not ready to go live with that.  Yet.  It is brewing though.  It will probably be a total **it-storm when it happens, I’ll say that.  Intrigued?  Well, guess you’ll have to keep checking back in.  wink-wink-wink

Goodnesssssss……all over the place.  The busy-ness has been good stuff.  Kids music stuff, going to All-county for two kiddos 2 weekends in a row.  A certain almost-12 year old birthday coming up and a trip to Plato’s closet to feed her shopping desires and birthday gift!!  Last minute visit from an old friend from Tally in town with her daughter’s volleyball tourney.  (I didn’t get to visit with her but Hubby did and it does a soul good to have some quality friend time!)  A coming visit from Hubby’s Alaskan cousin this weekend for the night.  A total nut and very fun!!  A great AA dinner party meeting Hubby’s AA friends.  Always nice to put names with faces.  Even nicer to hear the inspirational stories coming out of these people.  My dear friend may (HOPEFULLY) be doing Apologetics classes for middle and high schoolers.  Y’all she is DANGEROUSLY on fire and the most AMAZING teacher EVERRRRRR.  I am completely committed to bugging her to YouTube the classes because this is something the Church needs…this area is so lacking.  So offer up a prayer for her would ya?  This cookie dough pie made by our 16 yo.  Oh.  MY.  Deliciousness.  **one special note:  USE the blender/food processor for the beans.  Makes allllllllll the difference in the world.  Hubby and I are planning on renewing our vows this year.  The big 2-0!  Point of contention:  our audience.  Our church generally does this in front of the general Mass.  All several HUNDREDS of people.  Hubby is in favor of this venue.  This gives me absolute palpitations and anxiety I cannot describe.  I’m all for the quiet chapel route.  Also, I know I will be bawling and this is not a good look for me.  Let’s face it, half of our marriage was the “for worse” part and having come through that……..Phew!  Good stuff, but man, oh, man……what a ride!!!

Badness:  (I know, not a word, but in keeping with the theme)…..I didn’t get a job I applied for.  Again.  I DO have promises of other positions in the next few months, so we shall see….but disappointment, I’m really over you.  Really.  16 yo broke his foot skateboarding.  Not super bad, but definitely waylaid the skating for a while.  Good stuff is coming out of that, though…..the ole stepping back and getting a bird’s eye view of friends, new likes and maturing.  Colds.  Several have blown through this house.  5 of 6 of us have had the flu shot, so holding steady there…… lastly, a friend of mine (son’s 5th grade teacher and the best EVER! and not just because she reads my blog) is suffering mightily these past couple years with a recurrence in her ovarian cancer.  The past few months have been tremendously brutal.  It’s heartbreaking and I’m so sad for her suffering and for her family and mad. Mad that the prayers I pray for her don’t fix anything.  Mad that the dinner I’ll take her family won’t fix anything.  Mad that God allows this.  Mad.  Mad.  Mad.  And this is so definitely going on my list of conversations God and I will have in heaven.  Because I just don’t see the purpose of it.  At all.

And on that total bummer note:  let me offer up some fun times for you….There is going to be a little conference in Austin, TX this summer.  A weekend of Catholic gal fun!!  All the deets are here……  my pocketbook can’t swing this, but maybe yours can and I think it would absolutely be worth every second!!!!

Go on and have a super day.  Providing you aren’t snowed in for the umpteenth time this winter.  We’ll be scooting through the day in the humid 80s here…..  tough.  tough life it is.

Blessings!!

When you’re up waaaaaaaay too early

Up Early

Hubby is the early riser.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a morning person for certain, but he’s Mr. Up and at ’em and wants to chat and discuss and GO.  His body clock is pretty regular at o’dark hundred, even when he wants to sleep in.  THIS  morning however, I was up with him.  Let’s call it 4 a.m. because that’s when I finally looked at the clock.  After tossing, turning, chatting, concentrating on breathing, yada, yada, yada…we both got up.  4:30.  A.M.  What the?????

So what DO people do when they are up at ridiculously early hours?  Here’s a little peek-a-boo:

Drink coffee.  Lots.  Gingerbread coffee…in…the…house!!!

Daily Readings.  Advent Devotional (thanks, Ali).  Git my head and heart on straight!

Skim news.  While the rest of the country prepares to be frozen out in the super near future, I’m completely irritated that not only is our A/C ON, but part of the reason we woke up was because it was too hot.  We had to turn on the ceiling fan.  For.  The.  Love.

Check Facebook.  There are a few birthdays happening and catching up on pictures.  #photostalker

Read blogs.  This one from Momastery was particulary good.

Pinterest.  Adding this clean eating fudge  (thanks, Shan!) AND these not AT ALL clean eating Egg nog cookies (thanks, Lisa!) for our work party next week.

Pricing freezers for the garage.  YESSSSSSS!!!!  (Woo hoo, Amanda!)

Next up….

Oatmeal.

More coffee.

Pay bills.

Plan meals for week and grocery list.

Plan our Happy Birthday, Jesus party with my grandparents.  This whole shorter Advent season is the pits.  Someone put Thanksgiving back where it belongs, OK?  Thanks!