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Archive for the ‘Tough Stuff’ Category

Dec 4

god-looks-for-you
Today I felt broken 😦 a different broken. Instead of my heart hurting- it was my mind, my pride… This morning I was feeling so out of whack, I was distracted and then I thought we could have a nice family time, reading our advent book, but I was such a mess – nothing was working and I was making ugly angry choices and trying to control again—ughhh. – and I so hate when I do those things!


“What Adam and Eve didn’t know was that there was a thief in the garden, an enemy of God. Satan is like a wily snake that slithers on at the corner of everything and entangles around you. And if he can trip you w a lie so you fall away from closeness w God, he can snatch your happiness, steal God’s glory, swipe away your love for God and leave you robbed. 

So that snake sneaked up to Eve, wrapped his own lie tight right around her and hissed his poison right into her heart: God doesn’t really love you, doesn’t really give you good-enough things. God doesn’t really give the gift of love all the time.  Eve fell for it. She ate from that one tree God had forbidden only because He loved her, because He didn’t want her to die!  But Eve swallowed the fruit’s juice, and the snakes lie and death began to flow through her veins.

And when you trip you can end up such a bloodied mess that you go and hide, you can fall off the path and end up lost in the long grass. “

 

Just like eve, the serpent hissed this morning that I could have everything my way today (after a hard day yesterday) and I took the fruit of control and swallowed down that old lie yet again, and it sapped my joy, stole my peace and robbed me of His life till I too felt I was dying…

And all I wanted to do was go hide from the world, from everyone- even God.

I don’t feel that way too often, but it always, always surprises me when it comes… and it always swallows me whole.

I did not like the person I was… And I felt ugly and awful and like such a failure, that it was as if nothing and no one could ever make it right again…

And nothing was able to reach me, I felt like hiding even there at Mass… went up to receive feeling hopelessly unworthy and even then I knew I was still out of sorts, a mess- and this storm in my soul was not passed…
Only later, in the afternoon as we read these words in our advent book, did God’s truth make it’s way back into my ugly heart and everything began to make sense again, as if the world was finally back right way up.

 

“When we’ve fallen and we’re lost God comes w one question, where are you?  Your God looks for you when you’re lost. He calls for you when you’re ashamed and broken and hurting…  Whenever you fall, fall short, whenever you sin, God whispers to you w a love that wraps around you like a gentle arm: wherever you are I will come find you. Whatever you’ve done, I will always keep looking for you, until My eyes see you, till My hands of healing reach you, till I can hold you close again to my heart. “

 

As I’m feeling so broken and so lost, that I don’t even know the way back to God, He comes looking for me. So now matter how lost and alone I’m feeling, how deep the venom has gone, He will still be able to find and rescue me, and make everything right again.

And He does this for all of us, because that’s who He is.

 

All excerpts are from Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp.

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Struggle, and what it has to do with loneliness:

When I struggle, that is when I desperately seek out comfort and encouragement. If I feel I’m struggling, then for w/e reason, I’m not finding it – so this will help bring peace in those times.

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Hope in God

Responsorial Psalm PS 43:1, 2, 3, 4

Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.

Do me justice, O God, and fight my fight against a faithless people;
from the deceitful and impious man rescue me.

R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.

For you, O God, are my strength.
Why do you keep me so far away?
Why must I go about in mourning,
with the enemy oppressing me?

R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.

Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling place.

R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.

Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
Then will I give you thanks upon the harp, O God, my God!

R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.

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Fri Sept 20

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– all the kids coming over and sitting w me on the kitchen floor to eat their breakfast too
– our living room, less cluttered than it’s ever been!
– my friend in my kitchen, cooking something delicious for us while I told her some of my glory stories- everything God’s been doing in my life the last few years except for Texas and God’s most recent miracle
– kids discovering a brand new awesome playground: the skatepark 🙂
– baby turtle show on Netflix , so cute 🙂
– sleeping baby snuggled under a warm blanket
– big kid riding circles around the driveway
– phone call w a political rep and a chance to have my voice heard

– more evidence of God’s wisdom and power w this move

Sat Sept 21

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– roofing day…DH is helping my friend repair the roof of her house, alongside some Franciscan brothers..
– people I love up on a roof

– at last, superman got his flying dinosaur!
– foam Dino’s in their n64 world
– boys arriving at the fair
– my little superman pitcher scoring himself both chips AND pop w bean bags
– our first scavenger hunt, together we came in 2nd!
– 3 boys, even the littlest in a bouncy castle

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– blue sharks splashing in the pool
– the grace of actually being prepared! Sweaters and everything)
– boy’s all tied up in a hammock, swinging way up high w/O falling out
– hazy harbour scene

Sun Sept 22

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– grace here, kneeling on the floor on my pajamas, and w DH still there in bed
– beautiful day, windy but warm

– my little superman’s decision that he would share his love w a friend, and how that hug softened an angry little heart

– baby w his ride-on, scooting all around the driveway, using it as transportation from the steps to the car

– an angel looking down from the clouds
– egg puff w broccoli AND cauliflower
– lesson planning, jumping in w both feet, and w the help of the Holy Spirit figuring out how to work all the weeks while still coordinating the special days w their corresponding lessons ( and this sorting the rest of the weeks out)
– my ‘bday present’ from superman
– a sea of egg cartons

– my oldest watching intently as priests spoke about being a real man after Christ etc…
– my big kid really into the praise w his drum arms
– the incredible blessing of being here and receiving You, twice today
– my oldest rockin’ it on the drums
– our schoolroom all tidy and ready for the first day 🙂

Mon Sept 13 First Official Day of Kindergarten

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– tiny little bums sticking up as sleepy kids roll over
– ‘Are you sleeping’, kid wake up music!
– cool fresh morning, clouds on the way out
– superman deciding to say his prayers all on his own
-w/o the distraction of praise music FIRST thing, breakfast on the table just after 8!

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– perfect first day photos, outside and w his brothers in front of the dino wall
– DH coaching our oldest to draw mountains as practice for the letter A
– DH right away seeing what I no longer noticed: that the table was too high and our son would do much better in the school desk!
– while I was working w my school kid to draw a picture of himself- DH got out the bath foam letters and was helping the littler ones stick them to the wall! So creative 🙂
– my son’s 1st self portrait ( w a little help) complete w monster hands
-the moments where DH was helping his son w school or working magic w the younger two- everything he brought to our homeschool and our day, worth the frustration of having him home w us today 🙂

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– tiny tot curled up on the couch
– a re-do trip to the skatepark, to document the excitement 🙂
– a first day picnic at our skatepark playground
– superman running fast fast!
– fall baby walking in fall leaves

– superhero story time w daddy and his boys
-‘Because of his quackness…. ‘ 🙂

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– baby flying up and down the road on his ride-on toy
– daddy riding on the back and even pulling a wheelie w superman on the tricycle
– family bike time, and my oldest getting faster and faster

– coloured layers in the evening sky
– a beautiful opening prayer service
– w a reception, perfect since I had missed dinner!
Wow, we are so blessed to have what we have w our inlaws, whenever we need something they have been there, and somehow, across great divides, we are all Christ to each other.
– surrender, and God’s timing

Tues Sept 24

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– I’m thankful that I get more Cheerios! ( j)
– – that we get to do 1 page in who Am I today ( T)
– ty for making a beautiful Cheerio tree

– going through some of our school opening even before everyone’s done breakfast when necessary…it helps when we’re running late

– folding diapers while my son practiced his letter As 🙂
– a wonderful meditation, on working out our salvation, and just what God wanted to share w someone on my FB 🙂
– deep green couch and stripes in the cozy blanket,and a perfect spot for a nap

-surprise, a kitty curled in the grass
– spontaneous kitty love 🙂
– the cat that would not leave my side as I walked on, so I told it to come along, and it did
– the kitty walking before me like an angel
-it followed me all the way home, NEVER LEAVING MY SIDE

Wed Sept 25

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– 2 boys attentive w missals
– praying like the woman w the hemorrhage, if I but touch him
– morning prayer of trust from the depths of my soul before Jesus
-our missing blankie, spotted by my oldest on a shelf at church
– baby goldfish feet

– kid sanctioned/initiated quiet rest time
– boy’s snuggled up watching dinosaurs
– my big kid discovering a great affinity for fresh peas, shelling every one he could get his hands on- and eating them all too
– lesson planning from the couch

– love persisting, and hope that kept fighting, despite the evidence
– the boys left to play w DH’s buddy, just the 4 of them 🙂
– an IV bag being squeezed by a blood pressure pump
– That God lets me know about these major events ahead of time, even giving idea of when they will occur, such that I know so clearly that He is in it and behind it
– new experiences: riding in an ambulance to get to the other hospital
– unconditional love all around me in my time of need
– a sweet gesture from DH’s friend, a link to some comforting bible verses
– my sweet SUMITES ( and mom too) lifting me up w words of love and in prayer
– at last freedom to go home and rest

Thurs Sept 26

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– coming into nanny’s room, a little brighter and inviting, a tiny gift of hope
– baby brought me a pirate ship to sail the blanket sea 🙂
– my SUM sisters walking by my side through all of this w words of love and divine wisdom
– breakfast in bed, delicious apple pancakes
-Oh Lord, I thank You for making Your ways so clear to me.
-morning rest: prayer, love over fb, and some music to help me feel better

-3 boys w playdoh…
– a lunch date w just DH and baby
– light but hearty lunch
– baby giving me a horseshoe fry
-out the window, a dome-like globe in the sky, as I continued to think about our ‘miracle baby’

– beads for a special project
– words and messages of love and hope all around me
– a spontaneous hunt for apple pie, just because we can

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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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I am the Light of the world. Men crawl through their lives cursing the darkness, but all the while I am shining brightly. I desire each of My followers to be a Light-bearer. The Holy Spirit who lives in you can shine from your face, making Me visible to people around you. Ask My Spirit to live through you, as you wind your way through this day. Hold My hand in joyful trust, for I never leave your side. The Light of My Presence is shining upon you. Brighten up the world by reflecting who I am.


Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young

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I have wrestled in the darkness of this lonely pilgrim land
Raising strong and mighty fortresses that I alone command
But these castles I’ve constructed by the strength of my own hand
Are just temporary kingdoms on foundations made of sand

In the middle of the battle I believe I’ve finally found
I’ll never know the thrill of victory ’til I’m willing to lay down
All my weapons of defense and earthly strategies of war
So I’m laying down my arms and running helplessly to Yours

I surrender all my silent hopes and dreams
Though the price to follow costs me everything
I surrender all my human soul desires
If sacrifice requires
That all my kingdoms fall
I surrender all

If the source of my ambition is the treasure I obtain
If I measure my successes on a scale of earthly gain
If the focus of my vision is the status I attain
My accomplishments are worthless and my efforts are in vain

So I lay aside these trophies to pursue a higher crown
And should You choose somehow to use the life I willingly lay
down
I surrender all the triumph for it’s only by Your grace
I relinquish all the glory, I surrender all the praise

Everything I am, all I’ve done, and all I’ve known
Now belongs to You, the life I live is not my own
Just as Abraham laid Isaac on the sacrificial fire
If all I have is all that You desire
I surrender all
Songwriter(s): David E. Moffitt
Copyright: New Spring Publishing Inc.
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Lyrics from eLyrics.net

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