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Archive for the ‘Holy Spirit’ Category

Fri Jul 19
– a much needed good night’s sleep
– an egg spaceship
– rosary on nanny’s couch
– all my guys big and small working on a puzzle

– money to do things for our house!
-droplets with blue on beige brown and droplets with brown on dark blue

– boy’s in their new makeshift hangout space in the basement
– finding the right spot for dishes, glasses and silverware
– a cross now standing high over my kitchen sink
– my oldest excitedly bringing me his plant

– a chorus of shouts of ‘yes!’ to God in the back seat
– an adventure of discovery
– Horton!
– giant lobsters and hippos swimming under water
-2 floating heads!
– kids multiplying in the mirror
– buckets and buckets of Lego
-Baby with the display headphones
– building and engineering session for mummy

– Finally learning the secret to Guacamole, soft avocados!
-fresh fish on ice, gifts from the sea
– free samples!
– Mexican fiesta for dinner, this time with guacamole!
-The bridge in the fog

Sat Jul 20
– our new green bathroom
– baby surrounded by dollar bills
– baby helping daddy w the bunk beds and green tape
– a very green room
– boy’s sitting on the front porch
– a lamp left in our hallway just like the one from Pixar
– this house has the cross doors!!

– a way of surrender for him not to be late
– mattresses in the basement, we’ll sleep our first night in this house, in the basement
– grace I didn’t expect, God brought him back to me one last time – for a sleeping bag

– The tremendous gift of my SUMite sister to lift Me, my husband up in prayer and encouragement…
– an airplane in the basement
-middle son sitting quiet and sad for timeout ( unlike his brother at that moment)

– looking up from our new back deck to see a clear feather cloud
– Surrendering to His plan, whatever the outcome, everything, laid down for The Lord and for my husband.
– trust in Him and Him alone

– clouds like doves in the sky
– a great feather quill scrawling clouds across the sky
– a GREAT dove with one huge wing, wrapped over me
-my middle son when I told him to look up at the clouds looking up, exclaiming, ‘wow, they look like feathers!

– meeting the neighbours, she was just delighted that we moved in there, with the littles
– a contractor who worked on our house come by to personally offer his services

– super bike boy
– 3 boys w a mattress in the basement of our new house!
-grace on grace tonight.. DH and the other work party
– bedtime story snuggles w baby
– bible readings, keeping vigil through the night
– middle son saying the psalm response while drifting off to sleep, eyes closed: ‘God’s love is everlasting’
– gospel- conspired against him, when aware of this he departed…
– the bright white light, shining down the street
– th for walking with DH, and for walking with me through my SUM sister and the clouds.

Sun Jul 21

– smiley baby in a very good mood after a good night’s sleep
– baby trying to play with his sleeping big brother
– middle son, holding super bunny by the ears
– cloud rays of hope coming from behind the neighbours’ house
– kids eating cereal at the tiny superhero house table
– superman saying his prayers to Jesus in my kitchen
– boy’s sitting together eating breakfast in the driveway
– doves overhead
– lemon topped English muffin
– family chalk session
– chalking out the beauty from the night before
– a dove for a friend
-Great sweeping dove-like clouds
– great hope and joy in HIM
– an open door to sunshine at the end of the hall
-boys running a business, behind a great desk

– discovering my beautiful crucifix is special, and old
– a great dove over the church parking lot

– a tough opening for tough love
– the HS to guide me when I felt completely lost
– Mumford and sons, loud music to get me through, and Jesus to hold me
– hope in my pain, this is part of something greater/bigger

– a place to come home to
– the big crucifix, still with me in my purse, God, still with me.
– my newest little nephew to brighten my day
– baby didn’t kick me, that was a feet high 5 on the cheek! Aww!
– savoury devilled eggs
– my little guy in the tiny baby seat
– my brother’s childhood friend all grown up, holding the baby
– fun w sookies!
– a tiny baby to cuddle during my hour of mercy prayer time
– a garden sanctuary
–story time w Anthony, a gift of laughter when I needed it most
– strawberry mouse and sunken dinosaurs
– little sleeping baby, all wrapped up

– Mass, again, a source of great comfort and strength
– the hard gift of resembling Jesus, who willingly entered into his Passion.
– a scribble page on which my son wrote his name
– The blue cross, still with me, mom able to open it up and show it off

– apology on my phone
– boy’s tucked in on a mattress in the basement, one at each end
– the perfect bedtime story for this night, I’ll love you forever
– middle son, in dreamland already
– clear guidance from the HS, ‘he descended into hell, on the third day he rose again’

Mon Jul 22

-Fan of feathers in the sky
– a great cross in the clouds
– the beauty of trust
– baby on the toddler scooter
– my oldest w a buddy playing in the splash pad

– songs on the radio that gave hope and voice to my soul
– a tangible sign of commitment and love, a trip to the hardware store for green painting tape
– juice packs and pitas, God’s provision, food to grab and go
– dropping Jesus off at home

– a moment so surreal, the kids and I walking into a hotel
– God’s extravagant provision
– boy’s jumping on the beds
– my oldest, looking out the window and shouting excitedly, we’re in Canada!!!
– my intentional life shirt, along for this soul journey

-authenticity- a broken soul at a hotel window
– the beauty of pure sacrificial love
– boy’s tearing down the hall in search of the pool
– the perfect, single depth kiddie pool for them to play in
-a moment beginning to teach my oldest to swim
– a vast open air patio
– baby with his doggie friend
– being blessed to the point where I forgot I was sad
– little toddler wrapped in towels
– a great angel in the clouds
– bright photographic scenes in the elevator
– my best friend there at the desk, paying for our room, and my oldest, hanging from it

– playground evening picnic from my childhood, my best friend, unknowingly planning and recreating a favorite childhood memory for me
– my oldest and I catching up our rosary on the picnic table
– raw testimony, walking through my own passion before my best friend

– the moon full and round outside our window
– my oldest asleep with his feet tucked behind his head
– reading the last few chapters of winning him- I need all the wisdom I can get..
– and what should I have tucked in my book, but a Christmas card of the 3 boys and a photo of hubby, still there from when I brought them to share in Texas!
– how God prepares us ahead of time, to walk through all storms that we will face…
-words of hope from a friend, it’s all going to be okay.

Tues Jul 23

– awake and unable to sleep, time to pray and just to be alone with God
– bible intros, God’s love story
– words leaping of the pages of scripture, a message, for HIM.
– time alone, to grieve and pray in the quiet of night
– a blanket to wrap up in, Your arms around me
– all my prayer stuff spread on the windowsill before me like an altar of my love

– sunrise over the city
– a weathered feather scrawling in the sky
– Mary sweetness

– morning brother snuggles
– 3 boys looking out the window
– the perfect place to go
– complete abandonment to God, right by the main city roundabout
-all of us taking in the view from the 15th floor- people like ants and cars like dinkies

– little girl baby come to visit
– mommy and baby, both so beautiful
– little baby and my best friend joining us in the pool
– baby girl splashing
– no pool toys, no problem, we’ll use our croc shoes!
– croc shoes riding on flutter board boats
– indoor pool oasis
– the panels in the studio window framed a perfect cross

– praying by the ocean in the driving rain
– the final drive in
– spotting him a ways off, and running to him with open arms
– being ‘home’ again
– reaching out to show him love
– a shed that can be built in a day
– hardware samplers, shingles and tiny stone blocks
– Quiznos!
– boy’s eating subs in the back seat,
– holding hands

– time to really talk
– finding out the truth; that he wanted nothing to do with temptation because he loves ME.
-walking through it all with DH, on the way to healing
– forgiveness, reconciliation followed by an unexpected surprise
– amazing grace, God has used this to transform our marriage, we’ve never been more in love
– sharing with him how God was behind it all, and that none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been following God’s directions!
– wonder and awe at how God chose to bless my husband, and in a way he really could not ignore God’s role in it.

Wed Jul 24

-Grace upon grace- this time for BOTH of us!! What a resurrection!
– green and pink bathroom
– pikachu suspended from the swiffer
– morning prayer together w Jesus on the back deck
– harmony of alleluias
– baby reverently kneeling down before Jesus in the monstrance
-praising my heart out to the kid cd!
– my FIL calling to me excitedly the second I came in the door, and our old appliances free for the taking on kijiji 😉
– superman perched way up in the back of the seat

– a long chat with my heArt sister from church about everything God has been doing in our lives!
– the two of us, on our knees praying the divine mercy together in our living room!

– God’s NOT DEAD!!!
– an abundance of socks all matched up
– middle son tucked up in my bed
– the desks we were promised, still available now that I finally reached the lady who has them
-‘ Jesus just called you’ – DH. Good, because I couldn’t find him anywhere ( my phone)

Thurs Jul 25

-“as you listen to the birds”, JC opening as the birds were singing around me, God moment!
-my oldest counting to 300 to mark 5 min… ( made it to 112 slowly…)
– a strange creature emerged from the depths of our basement
– an article in flourish on woman, the glory of man

– 3 o’clock praise and worship before the blue cross
-A soul at my front door, during the hour of mercy. Instead of singing and praying this day I had put on music.
Right as I signed the papers, the words, ‘what can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus!!!’ were echoing out of our home!

– hubby bracing the door open for groceries, letting my music be heard in the front yard 😉

– a big puddle in our driveway
– the kitchen garbage from right out of my thoughts- when we were looking at the house I had a vision of garbage and recycling bins side by side. Little did I know at the time that they could be found in the same container!!!
– starter prayer shelf in the kitchen cupboard

– sharing the blessing of our new house w my friend’s parents, and a little of how God was behind it all
– guacamole on my own, w cilantro, garlic and more lime mine was even better!
– boy’s saying bedtime prayers in our Mary blue living room to Jesus on the blue cross, on the mantle

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Feb 20

A few months ago I recieved an invitation to a SUM conference in April. It was to be held in the southern US and that is a long way to travel for a Canadian, so I smiled at the thought and then it settled to the back of my mind.

Well, it didn’t stay there. As the Holy Spirit so often does when we don’t respond to His leading the first time, the idea resurfaced and has stuck with me. After reading a post in which God spoke to Lynn about someday having to step down from her ministry – and maybe soon – it did highlight a sense of urgency with this particular conference. I have longed to meet Lynn ever since I found in her such a kindred spirit and before the announcement of the conference my best inspiration was that if we took the boys to Cars Land in the next couple years then while we were in California I could meet up with her since that’s where she lives, but it was really only a pipe dream.

Then last night I did a bit more thinking and discerning about the conference. It started after I woke up from a strange (as in how did that get there) dream about tornados – little ones that would spring up out of nowhere… and winds that were so strong you had to bunker down. Like every 5 minutes :S

Besides the whole I’ve never done this before, flying by myself is nerve racking because what if I miss/get the wrong plane! There is a certain amount of fear associated with traveling all alone, with an infant, to a state down south where I’ve never been. Strange city, young woman all alone… you know.

Fear… what was I just reading about fear the other day? Fear: A catalyst for growth, a chance to really put my trust in God. This would certainly be an opportunity to do plenty of that!

If the main reason I don’t think I will go is fear, then I think I have my answer, but still, how do I know if God really wants me to go? – yes it could be a once in a life-time opportunity., I know I will learn from the conference itself and the whole experience like I always do, and I long to meet Lynn in person and feel called to go to meet some OTHER community members. If I was only going for the talks then yes it would be incredibly selfish to take off far away for a few days and pay that kind of money for such a short conference – but it’s so much more than that – meeting Lynn, and Dineen, and establishing a personal community, a major adventure with really only God as my guide and a definite opportunity to grow leaps and bounds in my faith and my marriage.

DH was concerned about the money and asked if it would be web cast etc… but otherwise he seemed ok with it. He didn’t seem to think it that crazy of me to want to head to the southern united states all of a sudden for a 2-3 day whirwind trip. Huh. Of course there is still the money, but I can work something out, if God wants me to go, afterall, I didn’t have all the money for Rise Up either, and it was still a very worthwhile experience.

Also, I always find it easier to make a concrete change when I’m at a conference. I mean, when I just resolve 1 day to make a change, it usually doesn’t stick, it’s when the resolve is coupled with an EXPERIENCE that I find myself truly changing on a deeper level.

Sometimes God asks you to do some crazy things. And, if I’m honest in the pursuit of holiness in all my decisions, then this is actually a pretty easy one. These words from a book I’ve been reading came to mind:

“The saints simply asked themselves, “What is God’s will for this moment” If they concluded that something would help them draw nearer to God and the best version of themselves God desired them to be, then they embraced it.

When I think about whether this trip would help make me the best version of myself, I know it would force me to rely on God in a big way, it would teach me more about the world and people far away that I could share God’s heart for them, it would be a fulfillment of a dream and it would help me grow in my marriage as well. There is no doubt about that one, so even though it’s expensive, I just might go. I even prayerfully had the idea that when I go to buy my ticket at the airport we can check out the plane museum as a family. (Update, DH thought it would be crazy to go to the airport to book a flight :S)

Overall my best friend ( my outside voice of reason and wisdom) was really supportive and excited for me. She said – I think it’s a great opportunity and you should go for it, but I also think there will be huge obstacles’, which is true, but nice to know she doesn’t think I’m crazy for wanting to go! Turns out my spiritual director thought it was not unreasonable either. 🙂

It still doesn’t feel real yet, but I have great peace and I’m starting to see the pieces coming together bit by bit.

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Feb 6

These are my notes from the Q and A session with one of our local theologians. I realized things while typing this up today: 1. I really LOVE theology, and 2. theology has a lot of words that spell check doesn’t recognize! 😀

 

Q & A with a local Theologian

Q on Papal Infallability

How can the Pope always be right?

God is good because God has made Himself to be good — speak the truth given by God’s life
In Jesus we see true Lordship – the loving servant.
In Jesus we see true Power – not like worldy power
There is always this hope in a sea of uncertainty – hope in what God Himself has revealed. The HS is a necessary condition for anyone to speak the Truth.

Of course, the Pope can refuse God’s self-giving and they do several times a day (just like us) but when they are in line with God – they are most Pope like, and then there are times when they are less the pope.
So, let’s say the Pope proclaimed the non-divinity of Christ – in doing so he would be divorcing himself from the papacy (by refusing/rejecting that which it stands for) – so he would no longer be infallible.

The church is the yes to the Holy Spirit which leads to the presence of God within. It’s the Christoformation of matter through the embodiment of the holy spirit.

So, in the popest moments of the Pope – we have, levels of papal sanctification – then yes he is infallible.

 

Q on Science and Religion
Can you comment on some of the contradictions between science and religion?
Science. We were picking insects out of each other’s fur and burning each other at the stake until 1 day someone invented science. – and all of a sudden we have computers and toasters and men on the moon.

Ugh. Science – sciencia.

There are more than one kinds of knowledge. :?:???
Knowledge as in sciencia pertains to repeatable things. (And while it’s not under my control I can say that about my faith- there are certain repeated experiences!)

So here’s a cup – this is knowledge – my brain works and works – it’s clear, plastic hard, x inches tall – there now I know the cup – and the cup stays the same.
God reveals himself to us and we are passive to it.
Love is natural and reciprocal – it’s a relationship.

Knowledge of Love or justice or beauty or truth or goodness or God – is not knowledge at all.

Sciencia is useful for understanding our world, but the vast majority of knowledge that makes life worth living – is NOT sciencia. (love, justice, beauty, goodness….)

Truth – that which IS.

Here I am, this selfish mess of biological drives, a destructive force in the world, and then God reaches out with salvation, and my trajectory changes. Gazing on Christ we can know the good, see the good, and even do the good.
We can know God the Father through our fatherhood. We can know Christ through our service and love of others.

There has to be this union of my foot with the cup, for it to move. People in this world are moved by love justice etc…

Everyone who does not refuse a relationship with God – is in relationship. And you can definitely be in relationship with Jesus, and find out his name later.

 

Q Why 4 different Gospels ?
Mark was telling them: here’s the real story of your faith. John’s gospel expresses the faith of the people…

If I throw juice on Emily and then I throw pop on Emily and I ask her which was better – she’ll say there different, but they’re the same – they’re both WET.  Both gospels tell the genealogy of the church.

 

Q on Souls and is anyone really in hell?

If someone hits us, we experience adrenaline and we have two nantural biological responses: fight or flight – neither of which is ‘turn the other cheek’. Through God’s gifts of Himself we have this third option.

Our soul is just that which is necessary for a thing to be what it is.. it’s the sheepness of a sheep. It’s the Davidness of David. Our souls are naturally and always oriented to our biological drives. But now we have this third option, the response of love. God gives us the grace to choose love instead. And we are free to choose. **Without God’s grace we would all be slaves to our biological drives but without the biology we would all be God’s robots. It’s this balance of both God’s grace and our biological drives that holds us in this place of freedom**

Of course, we are fallen. Our biological drives are very easily pulled by concupiscence. I love my daughters and that is a good thing, but w/o God’s grace this love can easily become a need to spend too much on them, or become tribalistic – (my family over yours type thing I think) and w/o God it can degenerate into that VERY QUICKLY.
Concupiscence is like a gravitational pull that acts on all our desires.

All human souls are in relationship with God. They are in relationship with God simply because God loves them. It might be a one way relationship but there it is. With a sheep, the soul dies with the sheep but with us – it doesn’t, because God has a relationship with us. God is eternal, and our soul, is bound to God forever, and it is by this relationship, that we inherit and share in His eternal nature.

There is no soul that has no relationship with God. (though some relationships are very broken) They are in relationship with God simply because God loves them. Hell – we suppose – souls in hell are still in some kind of relationship with God,. There is an experience of the beatific vision enough to give the understanding of what one has missed out on. They experience a hint of relationship with God – enough to know what they have missed.
Remember, the Lord’s house has many rooms. Sponge and water there are souls that are soaked in God’s love and then there are other souls that are dry and parched.

To recap, all of us, we have our biological drives, and through the holy spirit we also have an alternative to them.

All creation has a soul, and a relationship with God: sheepness birdness, Tylerness or Noahness….

Sheep – a sheep’s soul dies with the sheep. It’s sheepness dies with it’s body. But our soul does not. Through the Holy Spirit and God’s self-giving, we are in a relationship with God – andsince God is eternal this relationship must be eternal – which makes us eternal as well.

Of course we can’t judge the state of anyone’s soul, and we can only speculate on the next life.

 

Reflection and Thoughts

People watching at the mall – Look at these people, all these people, people who I really know nothing about, but God does! He loves them as much as He loves me – all these people, here and all over the world, and in every age! Woah. The boundless Love of our God!

God, loves these people, I’m looking them in the eye and God has a plan for them, a way for them to be the best version of themselves – if I could see what God sees I bet I’d find out all sorts of amazing things about these people, this one’s a great cellist and that one’s a born administrator etc…this one has a real passion for selling cars? — and the world NEEDS these people! All of them. They’re all different, but all very much needed… God, He knows what motivates them, what drives them, what they struggle with, everything, and He has a unique plan of salvation for each and every one of them. Each unique individual has value for their own sake, for who they are and because they are loved by God.

He sees in a child, and in all of us, all that we could be. We see a wriggly baby or an immature child, but God sees ALL that they will, and all that they could, become!

Of course, we don’t always choose his way, and some never do, and still – He sees the great future he had planned for them. 😦 But by His very nature, He will do all He can to give them His best in this life, so it’s still worthwhile to pray, because, while everyone has free will and God won’t force Himself on anyone, God can and I think certainly does shower graces even on those who don’t receive Him – and they are always free to respond to them.

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I Woke up early, but I’m a little later than usual getting these up!

Fri Feb 1

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Spring scene out the window
Sharing the wonder of the Mass, The Greatest Miracle, with the kids
The baby’s fascination with the egg carton toy
my boys with the complete alphabet train all set up
a disco lamp
when I got lost driving, God leading me back to the way I know
Driving home, into the sun
streetlights against a sunset sky

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A night out at the bowling alley
A run in with an old friend
A Speed bowling match with DH

Watching our 3 year old clean up through his sobs whatever he could find in the clean living room
How a little toy and a 2 minute you tube video made it all better

Sat Feb 2
Grace even in the storm (Grace in the storm – in that moment, there at the fridge etc – I still could trust, I still knew you had a plan and part of me could still trust, and I wasn’t alone. I didn’t reach for your hand, I couldn’t, but still you held me. )
mutual humility and partnership
Seeing real changes in my husband, fruits of my prayers
Permission to try homeschooling for a year

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A night of women and fellowship
Being right there, part of the story – the moment when someone asked God into her life for the first time
Finding my new faith plaque hung up by the kids bed
Opening my mass readings booklet to discover the feast that falls on this special day – God showing off

Sun Feb 3
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An awakening deep in my heart; Realizing deep down after all these years I still want and need a Daddy
-Awe at DH’s words – ‘the long arm of the Lord’ -God who is this man and what have you done with my husband!!?

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-my little look alike angel wearing my mom’s glasses
-an indian feast for brunch
Fluffy flakes falling soft into mom’s back yard
One boy holding the other’s hand, to help him feel better while his foot hurts
snow covered trees at the entrance to our park
A glimpse of the astonishing: magestic beauty – a great owl sitting in the tree just up from our house

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The imprint from the outdoor plug in the snow
Snow peaks lit by the colored railing lights
Finally seeing our house all lit with Christmas lights and candles in the windows
my new faith plaque hung up on the nail over the kids bed

Mon Feb 4
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Snow spattered on the fence
-your grace, providence – continuing to bring order out of our clutter
Little boys watching over their brother’s shoulder as he practiced writing
Your grace to call me to rest; to go have fun with my family in the snow
the baby with sock mitts
shovel sled
Fortified dome of snow (fort)
My oldest helping his baby brother make the sign of the cross

Tues Feb 5

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Possibly finding a way to finally motivate the boys to clean up quickly in the morning
A window of white
Cut and paste with the kids
2 dinosaurs on boats

our snow fort (J)
My star wars shirt (T)
My best friend encouraging me and holding me accountable

-the God-given ability to multitask – with DH’s help cooking, prepping dinner, movie night and confession, and truly being able to give sufficient attention to each

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A table fit for medieval heroes
Shiny metal cups
Homemade quesedillas -Delicious and easy
Tortillas with chicken and cheese on a plate speared with a sword
The taste of brass and rich creamy chocolate milk
a hearty ‘CHEERS’

-that my drive to church is uneventful
Sudden warmth in my cold hands during group rosary before the tabernacle
Single tear – at your passion – because there was no other way (for us to be with Him) ( ‘ someone has to die, you or me’) and He loved us that much, so as to go that far to be with us! Accept His love.

-the availability of weeknight confession
–that through God’s providence in timing, I went past the accident before the officers arrived – and thus was not caught in the line of traffic and made late
– an inspiration of the Holy Spirit, a simple way to pray daily for my kids: 3 hail mary’s for faith hope and love, one for each child.
puss in boots dancing to the end credits
shadows silhouette on top of the cabinet door
the red angel lit by the archway lights
a frost flower on my kitchen window

Wed Feb 6
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Frost flower by day
a pattern of tiny droplets of water frozen on the front door glass
Love gifts – Marriage wisdom from Ann
Watching my oldest create the car of his dreams on the doodle card, complete with fast wheels and flames out the back

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God’s orchestration – plans – joing CCO for mass and the Q and A with the theologian
A parking space close by
49 min on the meter
Promise of a powerful weekend with God – an upcoming retreat entirely on evangelization!
Theological discussion
Catching up with an old school friend and her family after about 13 years (over a decade later)
Theological thoughts continuing to churn around in my brain
Watching the world go by with a theological mindset – seeing every person in a new light
People watching through God’s eyes – seeing each one and their relationship to God, seeing them as God sees them – a soul/person with hopes and dreams and wonderful talents to make the world a better place.
The surprise arrival of a friend at the food court

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baby sitting and bouncing on the step
her little baby gumming the pop bottle lid
a home win and a shootout
A whole world of fluffy flakes falling quiet outside the parkade

Thurs Feb 7
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Finding everything I was looking for for valentine’s day
– finding baby’s socks put away in his drawer (wrong drawer but still so cute)

Finally sharing my wonderful news
Your faithfulness

TY God for making farmers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMpZ0TGjbWE

Being part of a real-world example of the power of the HS in our lives
everything falling into place, a simple formula for holiness and walking in the spirit: Choose and ask.
delicious muffins

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Jan 5 b

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This afternoon while I was talking to my best friend on the phone she told me she felt compelled to give me this challenge: a 15 minute walk in the woods with God, but holding hands.
Don’t some of the best faith decisions come from a challenge, a dare from a friend?

I spent the first 20 minutes still on the road, taking a picture that I’d been waiting on for a year or more (it required falling snow!). She did say that ‘the walk would begin when I got to the woods.’
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Then, finally as I began, the walk became a real metaphor for my journey through life.

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-At the edge of the woods, I decided to have Jesus at the top of the next little hill, and I would meet him there and take his hand, and give my yes. So I walked up, but as he took my hand I felt him leading me along, walking a head of me and leading me, but faster than I sometimes wanted or would have chosen to go.
-He was leading me, the light unto my path.
-He pulled me along though the way was rough, and bumpy and there were unknown pitfalls (ice give way and slipping feet) He led me along and I did not fall. The way is rough, there are unknown pitfalls, but You are steadfast.

And then I would be struck by something, and pause to take a picture. I heard the words out of my own mouth after the 2nd or 3rd pause in the woods: ‘I say I’ll walk with you, but then I keep stopping!’
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Although there was fresh snow on the ground, there was still the mark of old footprints through the woods.

-Footprints – You go before me Always. Everywhere He was going to take me, He would go before me.

At the end of the trail, w a house and cars going by, the world I know God spoke to my heart – ‘You can find me here. I am here.” I AM. Here.
Emmanuel, it means God with us. I used to find it hard to relate to Jesus, but why, He is the Person who is shares my humanity! He is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh! Walking and talking with Jesus should be the easiest thing in the world!

When I would stop and take a photo or make a note He would wait patiently up ahead till I would join Him, and when I walked away leaving Him standing at the edge of the clearing while I went to find my paper, He patiently followed after me.

Finally I wasn’t sure I wanted to be led anymore, it didn’t seem that He had more to show me that way, so I asked if we could walk side by side. If I could walk beside Him. I sensed His hesitation, and vowed to walk with Him and not keep stopping with my camera and notes, and also to slow down, because when you walk side by side it is at a slower pace. Then the path widened a bit and we did walk hand in hand together, each going one side of the tree and dropping hands to pick them up again on the other side. And it was just, nice!

When will you wake up and find
That what you’re looking for has been here the whole time.
If you could see that I’m the one who understands you, been here all along so why can’t you see?
You belong with Me.

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I’ve gone on walks with God before, and talked to Him all the while, but there is something about actually holding hands! That walk, that Date with God, left me feeling giggly, foolish, happy. It was like He walked all the way home with me, held the door for me as we came in from the cold and sat with me on the couch by the fireplace to warm up.

After this experience I am determined to involve Him in my day in this a real physical way more often.

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I feel like I need to print this out and tape it up somewhere…

Meditation: Luke 17:20-25

 “The kingdom of God is among you.” (Luke 17:21)

Centuries ago, people tried to pre¬dict the Second Coming of Christ based on things like the occurrence of certain famines and plagues or the positions of the stars and planets. More recently, we have seen similar predictions, some going so far as to announce specific dates—only to be proved wrong.

But Jesus told us not to go look¬ing for omens of his coming. We don’t need to. Jesus’ return won’t be shrouded in secret. He will simply show up one day, and everyone will bow before him!
What we do need to know is that in many ways, Jesus’ kingdom is already here! It arrived quietly on the day he was born. It supplanted the kingdom of the world on the day he died. It became a part of every¬day human existence on the day of Pentecost. Yes, the kingdom of God is among us, and it’s growing in strength and power every day.

Rather than focus our attention on being ready for the day when Jesus comes back, maybe we should focus on all those people who still haven’t embraced the kingdom that he has already inaugurated. For when Jesus said: “The kingdom of God is among you,” he wasn’t pointing only to himself. He meant us as well!

How does it feel knowing that you are a sign of the kingdom of God? Yes, in your frail humanity, you carry within you the new life that Jesus now lives in heaven. Whether or not you even know it, you have the abil¬ity to live for “the praise of the glory of his grace” (Ephesians 1:6). That’s what baptism did for you!

If you want to know the power of this kingdom, the answer is both easy and life-consuming: Fix your eyes on Jesus, not on your weaknesses or faults. Learn how to stay close to the Lord, and you can be hopeful when everyone else is anxious. You can be peaceful when others are angry. You can pray for a solution when those around you are getting agitated. The kingdom of heaven is here, and you are one of its many ambassadors!

“Lord, I want to be a sign of your presence in this world. Help me to turn away from every obstacle that blocks me from being a peaceful, loving witness to your kingdom.”

From The Word Among Us, Nov 15 2012.

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I thought I’d do something a little different this week. It’s a combination of having a cold, not having a lot of different things to write about, having posted hardly any gifts since December and not having a lot of mental energy to produce a neat finished post (when there are still 3 or 4 weekly posts in the works). So, I have decided to post a selection of this week’s gifts, (which do help encapsualte some of what we’ve been up to anyway.)

1. Friday

PICTURE
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The little one, stretching and squealing with delight while banging on the door.
Confidently teaching my kids about the trinity and the Holy Spirit – and them actually learning something!
Fallen leaves caught by the railing.
Baby perched in daddy’s lap, being entertained with a monkey.

2. Saturday
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Feeling the sun come out as I lifted praise to the Lord.
The backseat loaded with 2 babies.
The blessing of sharing a deep wound in my heart, my best friend’s validation and understanding, and her words of wisdom.
My best friend and I sitting in my car together, nursing our babies

Morning glory burst open – splendor on a wall.
Fluffy feather tufts dancing in the wind.
A garden porch in autumn.
The childlike wonder at discovering ever more unseen paths.
My little one exploring the garden for himself.

Spending the afternoon with my best friend and her baby.
The gift of TIME with her.
HS, to guide our conversation and Grace to let go of control and accept the many situations that came.
Sharing our dreams and our lives all the way home.

3. Sunday
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Personal conviction. My friend’s words still echoed next morning, ‘You have to understand you are going to lose friends over your faith. So, you have to decide for yourself, that what you have is worth that.’ This is the path I’ve chosen, I choose. (faith, Jesus, obedience, lay down my life, God’s heart ) It’s time for me to take it more seriously, to grab it by the horns so to speak – It’s time for me to OWN this decision! (thank you hon!)

Branches bare, stretched to the heavens.
That moment when I ‘couldn’t help but open my hands to the heavens’.

My children literally running circles around me before communion.
A perfect fall brunch: fish cakes with quince and ginger chutney.
Grace to establish, bit by bit, life-giving habits.
Fall decor – our lent crosses against a background of vibrant leaves.
My kids going to work on a Sunday.
Rest, family and Extreme Mountain Biking; Hanging out with DH on the couch to watch the Red Bull Rampage.

4. Monday
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A sunny perfect thanksgiving with fall colors all around.
Daddy and his boys watching 4 yr old shredder – a video of a little boy and his dad downhill riding.
Holy gratitude in the hearts of my friends.

5. Tuesday
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This cold, You birthing grace, grace that is very much needed for this journey, graces won and stored up for my loved ones.
My oldest looking very holy in a blankie head scarf.
Worship in the midst of the family living room.

6. Wednesday
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Grace in a morsel of bread; the Lord’s gift of Himself right when I need it (my help comes from the Lord).
Clicking rosary beads in the adoration chapel.
Waves of Your presence washing over me, here before the blessed sacrament.

7. Thursday
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Bare branches against pale grey blue winter sky.
Waking to the glory above me; watching God paint clouds and color across the sky.
The light of God spreading to the whole sky.
Falling often committing little sins; I’m too busy fighting them to get caught up in the big ones.
Gaps in the clouds, windows into the heavens: The clouds seek to obscure your glory, but its still there.

Morning rosary cuddles.
A clean house, and the help to make time and have the motivation to do it.
Leading discovery and all the people that came out for the first night.
Witnessing people begin to discover how much God loves them.
Marveling at how God is using me! As an Aaron to a Moses! Me, who could never speak to groups or crowds, until CC and the Holy Spirit stepped in.
A surprising name-dropping of the Almighty in conversation by DH.

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