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love 2Two of the most basic human emotions are love and fear. In the way we respond to the people and situations in our life, we always have two choices: we can respond from a place of fear, or we can respond from a place of love.

And how often do we make decisions in life, based on fear? Fear that we’re not doing enough, fear of what others will think of us, fear of what we might miss out on, if we choose differently.

It’s the fears that hold us back, and so often we don’t even realize it. I have seen this play out so clearly in my own life. Here is a practical example:

–I’ve had a particularly long day with the kids, when my husband calls and tells me he’ll be late coming home today. In that moment, do I remain calm and patient with him, (it’s not his fault he can’t come home sooner), or instead does my fear of not getting a break soon anymore and the thought of having to deal with everything myself take over, and cause me to respond to him in a negative, rude or even critical manner?–

Very often, we respond to life and to others out of our own stresses, worries and anxieties, and when our thoughts are on ourselves in this way, we are much less likely to be kind in our interactions. So often we can snap in impatience and anger, all because we’re responding out of fear. But we always have the ability to choose how we respond to life, to others. We always have the choice to love.

Fear is the opposite of love, it leads us to focus on ourselves, our needs, our wants, to be cowered inward, and as a result it works to keep others out. But, perfect love casts out all fear.

Fear does not have to have the last word, we always have another choice. When I discovered how much truth there was to this it was eye opening. Now when my fears and worries threaten my peace, or my relationship with others, I’m learning to look for the path of love instead.

 

So I have a challenge for you: Think about the last misunderstanding you had with someone, did you respond out of love or fear? Take a moment and analyze the situation. What triggered your response? Should you react differently in the future?

I encourage you to start asking yourself regularly, especially with interactions with  others, am I responding to this person emotionally from a place of fear, or from a place of love?

Love, or fear. Only one can win. Choose love.

 

love 2

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Dec 17, 18,19

 

As parents we’re mining Gold Nuggets

Parenting pt 1- gold nuggets.   I’m living on a gold mine!!

These beautiful young boys and men… I have the greatest treasures ever, right under this roof!!

 

Sorry for:

angry voice <- control <- my plans…

At least I am getting to the root of these struggles…

 

 

Find the Way – Radio

God sent his Son at the very best time- roman law security, have 1 child and abort rest, an age of comfort but also when people were bored w the entertainment and unsatisfied w their life…

He calls us to rest in his Presence, rest in His peace… yet it’s hard to rest when we feel no peace… when instead there is crisis going on…

If the saviour already took care of your greatest need, can he not meet the rest???

The reality here is, everyone is waiting for something…  But in that place of waiting, of Wanting, so often we can miss the now because we’re too busy hoping for something different…

Cancer- waiting for the all clear, in such situations, God whispers:
***I’m there w you, you don’t need to be in a different place, you don’t have to change right now, because I am right w you right now… **

Our hope is in something more– that’s how we have peace!

Woman, her husband dying, in his final hours… – she said, ‘I don’t want to miss these moments’. 🙂 That’s faith, that’s peace w the now!!!

‘I try to practice this peace… whatever it is that’s going on, I try to say: ***Lord; You’ve got this!***’

 

 

Honest struggles that have been wearing me down:
I’m so tired, and sore…

I can’t clean my house,

Christmas is in a week,

I’m not getting the help I thought I could get, I have got some yes, but it’s just not enough 😦 ( to do the things I want, clutter etc that’s making me crazy)

The fact that the two of them are basically at an impasse and I can’t see how they can possibly come together again. I’m watching my family break apart.

And The worst thing is being so tired I can hardly function!
Lord, it hurts, it hurts so much…all the burdens are piling up and I just don’t know how I’m supposed to get through this week!

 

 

Dec 19

fresh Vision:

‘Remember, I want you to put your kids first, ahead of your own needs and wants… – try to work WITH them!’

And going to God!    don’t try to do today well ON YOUR OWN!

Focus on His Presence AS WELL AS just the next step ( and not my own needs) WITH kids!

and let Him work out our day etc AND be willing to let go if it’s not working as needed!

 

 

Significant moments from my dreams:

Time came to step into, something big- I felt hopelessly unready- ‘Jesus, You’ve got to help me! Jesus You’ve got to give me the strength to do/be what You need me to be!

A calling, a guest, a message- Jesus…
And these words of advice spoken right to me:

***You can destroy right now by knocking out little tasks, but you shatter the peace of the moment, and you miss the better things I have for you..***
****Forget about YOUR WILL! I want you to do MINE instead!! ******

You get your focus back on Me where it belongs. Forget about the house, let it go…

 

 

Clarity:

Of course… it makes sense things are suddenly so chaotic this close to Christmas!!!

‘The enemy will do anything to try to distract you from celebrating My birth and incarnation this weekend, this Christmas.. he will try to twist the circumstances that I give you (tired etc)’
Wherever you are, wage peace: ***Lord; You’ve got this!***
Just because you want to do it- or even feel you need to- doesn’t mean God wants you to— if God wants you to do something, He will move, it will just HAPPEN!!!

And it will happen in HIS TIMING! If it doesn’t happen RIGHT NOW, it’s NOT most IMPORTANT right now.

 

What is not important right now:

-The house

-The clutter

-Christmas photos and cards

-Reading my devotionals? Esp catching up!

-Finishing Mary stuff, even can wait till new year..

-The kids behaviour

-Worrying or focusing any more than prayers upon these concerns, weighing heavy on my heart

 

 

So what is?
-Christ and the real Christmas

-Our advent reading

-Things the kids want to do

-The Shepherds (advetnureing)

-Cling to your good habits: prayers, bible, quiet-1-1, offering, rosary, hour mercy, EXAMEN, laundry, dishes and food,
Helping those I can

-Friends, and family

 

 

Veggie tales Wisdom

‘I’m giving up! I didn’t think it would be so hard!’  (don’t give up!)

‘God blessed Patrick as he blessed the people he served’    When we’re doing something God wants us to do, we know He cares about whether we finish, so He will help us!

 

 

 

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Commands of Love

Commands of Love

Dec 12 2016

From our Advent reading in the Greatest Gift:

God wrote His love right into the rock, ten times He wrote out how He would love you, speaking it to His people, like a man might speak to his bride at their wedding.

And this, this is what I hear him saying to me, to everyone:

God’s 10 love rules    ( breaking these breaks the relationship)

  1. Here, I take you to be Mine, I am your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery: you will be the one I love more than anything, so have no other God’s before me, because I love you!
  2. Speak my Name w love, as I speak yours. 
  3. Keep the Sabbath- make time for me, then, and every day… 
  4. Honour father and mother, I gave them to you out of love! Please honour that gift. 
  5. This is a covenant, a love relationship between 2 people, I ask you to live as I do, not to murder, w hands or words, not to be unfaithful to another, ( all are my precious children). 
  6. /7. Don’t take for yourself, trust Me and my Love enough to know and give what you really need! What’s best).

    8. Do not give false testimony, for you are Mine, you belong to love and love speaks Truth!

       9/10. Do not covet what I do not give to you, trust that I who love you SO, am taking   the  very best care of you, stop chasing after what you don’t need, even what could harm you and let Me care for my precious child!

 

And one more n the new covenant: Love your neighbour as yourself: be not proud, but humble, treating others as more important, than you, in everything. This is what love does. 

Excerpts from Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp.

 

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Some beautiful carols, I had never paid much attention to before. And a couple brand new ones too.

I Heard the bells on Christmas Day
It came upon a midnight clear
Thou didst leave thy throne

Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,
When Thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room
For Thy holy nativity.

Refrain
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

And my favorite one, which I had never heard before:

Long long ago

Long ago in Bethlehem,
amidst the holy light
earth received her morning star,
on a  winter’s night
Long ago in Bethlehem,
Christ fulfilled God’s plan
In a lowly manger bed
God became a man

Can it be this baby
will for sin atone?
Can it be this manger bed
doth God enthrone?
Long, long ago, he came to Bethlehem

Long ago in Galilee
amidst the stormy chills
Jesus Lord of land and sea
whispered peace be still
Long ago in Galilee
blind were made to see
lame were made to walk again
sinners were set free

Lo the Prince of heaven,
left his throne above
mortal flesh rejected him
and scorned his love!

Long ago on Calvary
love and sorrow met
when the spotless Lamb of God
paid the sinner’s debt
Long ago on Calvary
Heaven bore my pain
when upon the cruel cross
Jesus Christ was slain

Once for all He suffered
nevermore to die
Now in Heaven’s majesty,
Christ reigns on high
Long, long ago, He died on Calvary

Long ago in Bethlehem,
Long ago in Galilee,
Long ago on Calvary
Jesus lived and died for me.

 

 

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Dec 8, 9, 10

 

One short line of dialogue, 3 little questions, that stood out to me from the Radio:

***What are you chasing after? Are you willing to get real w God, and Lay it down?

That alone is some real food for thought.

 

For me off the top of my head:
A Consistently tidy house

Peaceful days

Kids praying, and helping, and doing their work (without too much push back)

Lots of fun and quality time

Kids listening to a simple yet profound advent reading ( I want to put good things in!)

 

 

In what ways can you stop walking in your own strength??    (boy do I know I need this)

( so I can have the freedom to say ‘okay Lord’ to whatever comes)
Kids/house/unexpected messes etc…:
Not willfully holding myself to our schedule, being flexible working WITH the kids – and whatever the challenge, looking to Jesus at my side. His Presence is so key

Not making set plans for the day – that I want- just letting it unfold 1 step at a time. – and being flexible about who does school and who just plays.. ( control w Noah is not working) ( and all the fighting over who sits where!)
Follow His instructions- (not my own vision) slow, simple, silent and surrendered ( let go)
Being quick to let go of my plans/wants that are not working/ happening/too costly – Noah..
Not trying to do more than I need to do
Not expecting too much of myself- energy, housework-investing w kids, extra activities, extra prayers
Not putting it on myself to make them happy…
Not expecting too much from the kids ( prayer, obedience, quiet)        — It’s not on me to make them pray or behave!!! That is theirs to will not mine.

Lord, teach me to praise You, how You deserve.

 

 

Dec 9

So I pulled out Jesus calling  this morning and flipped back to the piece of plastic cheese–  it was from Oct 27, The Lord asking, where are your ruts right now?

so I added my most recent big stuck places off the top of my head…
1-Put things down and not away!

2-Scrolling facebook when tired- checking too often!

3-Trying to fight to control kids to have the day I want/plan
And as I skimmed over my little list I thought to myself, I can do that middle one, that facebook thing, I can resolve and take care of that one myself. And I heard my thoughts and I was like- woah, dude hold the phone- I said I didn’t want to do that anymore!!!

Lord, teach me to let go, when you call me to, and show me when I need to let go- of kid prayers, rosary, kids chores…

 

And out on my walk, trying to walk through my day before for my EXAMEN, I found myself exclaiming:

Lord- I can’t remember anything from yesterday!- then I’m thinking of too much else! Quiet my mind!

 

 

Joy club – an explanation of sin

Someone has something Of your’s and you complain and be mean spirited… For example, when some takes your toy do you say, ‘oh I’m so happy you have my toy!!’ ? No you say, that’s MY toy!!!

That attitude, is sin.

 

 

Advent notes from He Came (musical presentation)

Jesus is the first ever Christmas gift! 🌲 🎁

Heaven is God’s gift to us forever 🙂

Jesus became human, he was a real person!   (why have I never thought of it that way lol)

Sin, tore this relationship apart- for all eternity.

Sin, grieved the heart of a loving God
The damage was so immense, so devastating, that only He could accomplish the solution!
Christmas reminds the world that God has not left us alone to fend for ourselves!!  He Himself Comes to our recuse to stand in our place of and took the punishment for us

We want you to more than know the story, we want you to receive the Saviour !

 

Dec 10 – Ladies Christmas Banquet

 

Read that Christmas story, early, and often!!
On Simple joys of Christmas

But a lot goes into experiencing these simple joys. There is the preparation, beforehand, we have to recognize them, and we need to embrace them.
Preparation: God did the same thing, such perfect planning that He put into the nativity!
Recognizing: What if shepherds felt ‘I don’t need a Savior’ ?

What if they decided- this is a silly message- forget about Bethlehem, that’s smaller than Lockport!!! The Messiah would never be born there!

When He died on the cross he wasn’t dying for His own sins, He was dying for ours!  Take the gift, and open it up!!

The wise men— they rejoiced w such joy!! And it was rejoicing in God’s guidance!!! And so can we.  Knowing that God has led us this far, and He will lead us all the way to heaven–
They had come all that way not to give those gifts- but to fall down and worship Him.

We too need to fall down ( for this we need to stop!) to fall down and worship him every day!

And Whatever we joy in- let us keep Christ at the center of this joy!

 

And Mary. She new how to capture a moment, to embrace the moment. Instead of her quiet obedience and reflection Mary could have been preoccupied w her circumstances:

She could have been thinking about all the hurtful things people had said to her. She could have thought or even exclaimed,  ‘oh those shepherds stink!!!’  or  ‘Oh Wisemen!- my house is a mess!’  (now doesn’t that just ruin the beauty of the story??)

She could have missed the beauty of these moments.

She could have been distracted by a plethora of future worries: how to raise the Son of God- the struggles they would face, the heart-wrenching pain to come— but she put all that aside… instead she simply bowed her head and worshipped.

What a beautiful practice for us, esp for Advent…
—that we too would make time every day, to fall down and worship Him..

**God/Jesus took our sin on the cross, so we would not have to be separated from Him for all eternity!!! **

 

 

ADVENT Focus:
He loved us first, so:

— fall down and worship Him, every day…

– don’t try to do today well ON YOUR OWN!
– Slow down!
– Move WITH the day, work WITH your kids, w Charles
– Focus on His Presence AS WELL AS just the next step ( nothing after that and not my own needs) WITH kids! Make the sign of the cross + FIRST then do it!
– let Him work out our day etc just move w the day as it comes AND be willing to let go if it’s not working as needed!
– Okay Lord, You’ve got this, and You’re with me!

*Give your best for Him, let it cost*
Choose to live in humble faith and instead of questioning, just trust that all is right ( because all is God)
Then, More love, more praise, even if it feels like it costs…

love others, the people around you- as it breaks you-and accept the struggle, as a holy sacrifice for The Lord
Be OBEDIENT, to death. In silence, submit thyself to him in all things but sin- accept his decision, his preferences..his way of doing things
Love the boys at their worst- Jesus is there- slower, quieter…

You can give more, love more .
Make your days and your life a worthy gift for Your King

 

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On Sat (Dec 3) I had a moment when my heart was so full of Love… This is the kind of grace that only God can give. Sometimes, He just pours His love into your heart, He fills it right up, fills you with love, and when your heart is full of that love, you actually don’t get upset when others mistreat you! when others, out of their own weaknesses do hurtful things.  Like Mother Theresa said, w love you suffer, until there is no more suffering, only love. A heart that full of love doesn’t hurt, it only feels forgiveness and compassion !!!

xmas5


Dec 5

We often listen to Mark Goring’s youtube videos, I like them w the kids because most of them are only a minute or two long. Today we listened to ‘I was robbed’:

“God calls us to walk by faith! So often, we don’t want to fight that little battle- and we let the devil rob us instead! Rob us of the great evening, the good day, the awesome adventure that God wanted for us.”

I know how easily I can fall into that, it can be as simple as my own negative attitude that can rob me of an otherwise great moment or even whole days.

And then there was the first Mass reading this morning 🙂

Isaiah 35:
Strengthen the weak hands…
Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God
He will come w vengeance, with terrible recompense ( for your enemies) 
He will come and save you.

The devil tricks us, robs us and leaves us empty, but God will always come and rescue us. 🙂 And He continues to give us more of His grace, to fight these little battles, so that His great plans for us will not be lost.

xmas3


 

A few things are becoming much clearer this week, but in particular, that seasons come and go, and right now is not the season for many hard things- it is not the best time to forcefully try to acquire many new or difficult habits. It is not the time to take on or even labor much at bigger projects (like the  clutter!) It is not the season to have homeschool every day. Or to try to do too many fun and special things- or even to try to help too many people. It is however, a season to learn to let go.
—————————————-

Dec 6

When it comes to the real heart of Christmas, His Presence IS the gift! He came to do it ALL. He. Came, to do. It. ALL!

And, If He does it all, then what is left resting on my shoulders? Why not, instead of striving and doing, let Him- let Him do all, have all, hold all?

xmas8


Dec 7

I am just beat. I feel like I need to take a day off, not just easy but practically off to find any rest-Forget school, forget outings- forget gym- even forget 1-1 time! And my mom’s tonight that I would plan too… 😦

Exhausted Jesus’ gentle words to the weary ring in my head.

Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest. 

Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened….Come to me, come to Me for rest.

I just need some help!
Then I think of a dear friend, more pregnant than I right now, and with more kids to care for and less help… I know she only gets through by the strength of the Lord-

I just feel Him telling me I need to rest- and my day is not restful 😦
Bloodwork, and gym. Add mass in the morning and it  already feels too much.
Lord please give me light- what do I need to do today, to walk in Your will for me?
# 1- I’m being anxious again, it FEELS too hard…
#2 w nanny coming, I will have at least some of the help I need today
#3 dual FOCUS on just the next step (not self) AND THE LORD”S PRESENCE!
#4 also, there is no perfect time to go to confession, that’s a lie, so just go !

Perhaps I’ve never been so desperate for His help, so clear about my own weakness and need for Him…

xmas7
Help me, Jesus, I’ve done and am still doing a lot of things wrong this week, I’m really sorry, I want to do better, please help me!  You came to give life abundant! I haven’t been following your instructions very well… I just want to be back in Your Will!

His instructions- through His commandments and directly to me;  let go, keep silent, be still,  do less— these instructions are for LIFE, and PEACE— and I have not followed them!

But, then- why should I get this extra help- am I being lazy since this other momma is managing without that? My pride honestly questions this.  I do see this though, it’s always my pride that feels bad about my weakness and sins- and doesn’t want to go to confession…  but Jesus, He whispers, I will keep seeking you out, when you wander from My Way, My side; again, and again and again.


 

xmas9

 

At Mass today the readings couldn’t have been more perfect. That beautiful promise from Isaiah:

Do you not know
or have you not heard?
The LORD is the eternal God,
creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint nor grow weary,
and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny.
He gives strength to the fainting;
for the weak he makes vigor abound.
Though young men faint and grow weary,
and youths stagger and fall,
They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength,
they will soar as with eagles’ wings;
They will run and not grow weary,
walk and not grow faint.

And my jaw began to drop when the very same words echoing in my heart already were read out at the Gospel, God’s care for each of us is so personal!

Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

‘Come to me all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.‘ -There is no other way to make it through the exhaustion, the many struggles we must carry, while still living in love, no other way but Jesus.
If I’m so overwhelmed w my life now (w 4 kids), Lord, why did You give me another one???

So you learn to depend only on Me, on Me ALONE. You are learning that you can’t rely on yourself, for what you need, and you learn My Strength, My power, and My Presence, w you always.

Lord, I choose to only do what You want, to follow Your instructions, they are the path to life! And I want to follow them, not just today, but from now on!!

xmas1

 

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Sustaining Grace

Notes from the radio the other night: 

God is love, and goodness, but more than that God is compassion!

Through the incarnation, Jesus plunges into the very thick of our human struggles! 
St Paul

If joy is happiness we will be up and down like an airplane– there has to be something more!

It was his faith in an all knowing and unchanging God!
When people are getting all depressed by their situation, it’s because they are not, receiving and resting in the gifts that God wants to give them, in it. 

God wants you to know His gifts to you in your situation that you’re in.
Paul so often behind his letters w an admonition of Grace, and peace. 

Peace is wonderful, and we all seek after it, but grace is something more, and there can be no true lasting peace without grace. 

Grace is salvation, AND sustaining! Grace comes from the cross, he knows suffering, he knows pain… it’s God’s grace that He gives, IN our difficult circumstances..that gets us through. 
We don’t joy in our painful circumstances themselves, but IN the One who is with us, sustaining us through them. 
——–

Truly, there is this great peace that guards my heart, when I follow the Lord step by step through my day.

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