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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

 

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

 

God looks for you

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.

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.

Hang it on the cross

This song really blessed me and I know it will bless others too.
Hang it on the Cross – Kelley Mooney
Worry steals my sleep

sorrow hurts my soul

when I can’t find any peace

Jesus give me faith, give me something to hold
Pain won’t go away (nothing helps at all)

my fear defeats my faith (I can’t stop it Lord)

I can’t take another day, 

please Lord take away my pain, take away my pain
and hang it on the cross

hang it on the cross

hang it on the cross

hang it on the cross
There’s a hole deep in my heart ( my faith is shattered)

I am broken torn apart (where are you Jesus?)

my soul searches for you Lord

Do you remember me at all, remember me at all
I stand on shameful ground

there’s temptation all around

I am weak no strength no will

Jesus take away my sin, take away my sin
and hang it on the cross

hang it on the cross

hang it on the cross

hang it on the cross
pain and sorrow, fear and anger

chase my faith away

only you can heal my weakness

My Father hear me pray, hear me pray
hang it on the cross (Jesus take my fear and)

hang it on the cross (please Lord take my doubt and)

hang it on the cross (take my suffering and )

hang it on the cross
hang it on the cross (Jesus take my fear and)

hang it on the cross (please Lord take my doubt and)

hang it on the cross (take my suffering and )

hang it on the cross

From Dynamic Catholic’s Summer of Mercy

 

Spiritual Work of Mercy: Bear wrongs patiently

When it comes to patience, if your goal is to change the person you’ve got the wrong goal.

Newlyweds are more patient…

You’d think after 10+ years you would KNOW them well enough to know, duh, this is what they struggle with!

they don’t clean up after themselves or they forget or they don’t listen well or never hear me the first time I ask  them to do the thing…

If you are not WILLING to be patient, you only want to change someone. And If you only want to change them you will be constantly frustrated.

And, it’s IMPOSSIBLE TO BE PATIENT- when you’re frustrated!!!

When you are angry at the situation you become angry at the person.

Patience means accepting them as they are, both their strengths AND their weaknesses.

If I’m trying to fix someone, I’ll never try to understand..

Understand where they are coming from, what they’re looking for, and why they did that, and it may have nothing to do w me, it Might have nothing to do with me, it might have to do w their weaknesses, their own wounds.

Doesn’t mean what they did is acceptable or condonable,

But it does mean I don’t have to be anxious or frustrated or angry w them for doing something wrong, I can accept and bear those wrongs w patience.

You can watch the full video here: Bear Wrongs Patiently

http://dynamiccatholic.com/year-of-mercy/reflections/bear-wrongs-patiently-som/

This talk has been extremely convicting for me. I had no idea that I was harboring resentment towards my kids, but all the signs were so clear after listening to this. God is dealing with some BIG stuff in me right now, but He’s doing what He knows He has to do right now to prepare me for what comes next.

 

Freedom from bondage: bitterness

Forgiveness: giving up your right to be angry at someone for hurting you.

Think: what would it be like, to go to work tomorrow, w your hands bound and ball and chain on your feet. It would be hard to do what you set out to do, it would be very difficult to get anything done because your mind would be divided, you’d be hampered all day long.

We were made to walk in freedom!!! But satan paints in attitudes, in our minds in false colours we can’t even see them!

If I’m not willing to look inside ***or am always blaming others for my problems… *** that will be a real problem, but if I am willing to look inside myself maybe I can unconver something. Paul tells us in Ephesians:

31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice, 32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ep 4:31-32)

Bitterness
Resentment- harshness
Clamor- outcry of passion resulting from anger
Wrath- violent outburst of anger.
Slander – injuring others with our words
Malice- intention or desire to injure someone else

God tells us to put that stuff away and have a kind tender-hearted forgiving spirit.

Sometimes we don’t even know, we’re bitter… But we can’t experience the love of God flowing through us because it’s all dammed up!

If you have bitterness you have an attitude towards others and you have this wall, and you keep building the wall to keep you from any further hurts…Bitterness shows in an attitude towards others.So w this bitterness you build up a wall – then you live behind this wall you go to work behind this wall, you fellowship behind this wall, you live in a family behind this wall, because you don’t want to be hurt anymore. And the bitterness and resentment and anger and malice and hostility are the stones that are part of that wall you’ve built to protect yourself from others! So You build this wall to protect yourself, from being hurt.

What is beneath all this?? Unforgiveness. And Just deciding not to be angry and resentful doesn’t work!!!

Satan’s language whispers a cover up- I’m just hurt, disillusioned, frustrated.. Truth is I have an unforgiving spirit, and God wants me to deal w my problem, not them!

Truth is God will never send revival to a person w an unforgiving spirit.

Sometimes we don’t even know… But we can’t experience the love of God flowing through us because it’s all dammed up! w this wall of bitterness Love and life of God can not flow!

Parents will never be able to enjoy their family as long as an unforgiving spirit…

You’ll go through life bound by these attitudes that you allow into your life.

The love of God can’t flow through me: how can I be concerned about the things of God when I’m so focused on just SURVIVING this anger and hostility and frustration swirling within me!!

And even more, When you live w anger and frustration- it drains us emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically!!! When a person is living w anger and bitterness and resentment toward other people, what happens emotionally, is there is a continuous drain. There’s a continuous drain of mental energy. A continual drain of physical energy. — You can never be afraid your peak, you can never be at your very best as long as you have those attitudes dominating in your life.

 

Why don’t we forgive?- 

Why can’t we forgive? That’s just it, if we say we can’t forgive that’s a lie- it means we don’t want to. We can, but why do we think we can not?

  1. We’re protecting big ‘I’- somebody has harmed big ‘I’. Someone has intruded upon big ‘I’.

We are selfish… And whenever big ‘I’ is on throne we are being selfish!! We are expressing selfishness.

-I don’t want to be hurt.
-I don’t want to be wronged
-I don’t want to be treated unfairly..
-I have a case against them AND I’m looking for evidence to further support my claim!!!

We do that, we go, looking for more evidence that we are right and they’re wrong!!

Because Jesus  is not on throne if my life, I am trying to protect big ‘I’.  If I’m committed to protecting big ‘I’ how am I going to forgive you?

2. We have a wrong idea of forgiveness

We say forgive you, but we demand JUSTICE!

When you pay off your debt to me then I’ll forgive you. How are they ever going to pay it off ?!?! In our bitterness-The little things get bigger and bigger in our mind!!! So big that not even God could pay off that debt to us…

We have all this anger churning on the inside and were full of all this garbage we ourselves have concocted… and we Expect some kind of payment for wrongs…

Even if the person has wronged you, if you don’t let it go, then you become THEIR prisoner!! If you’re angry in return and hostile and butter to them you have all this binding and churning inside, NOW, they have wounded you verbally or what have you, but they’ve also made you a PRISONER OF THEIR WRONGS and you are suffering as a result.

If my  priority is to protect myself I won’t have a forgiving spirit.

If I expect you to fulfill some set requirements for wronging me that you’re never going to be able to fulfill, I can’t have a forgiving spirit.

People say I just can’t forgive them, it’s a lie from the devil…the truth is it’s not that they can’t, they WON’T.

Because I have to protect big I, how can big ‘I’ be injured like this… How can I be injured like that and then be forgiving (you don’t understand what they did?!) so, I’m going to PROTECT MYSELF because I’m selfish.

Owe no man anything but to love him – Romans 13:8    (that means forgiveness!)

3. A third reason is sometimes They like talking about it- and or they want someone to tell them they’re right in their anger and their sin and their disobedience to God.

Not that they planned it this way, but because they’re deceived, they get their needs met by all this attention of how they have been harmed and wronged in their life…

Repression doesn’t help, Nope, I’m not angry… At them, at God… ( Satan…) You can’t be helped as long as you are repressing and suppressing your anger…

God says, Put these things away!!!

 

Lastly, If you have discovered an attitude of unforgiveness, confess it to Him, and ask him to help you deal w it.

 

 

You can listen to the full talk here: https://www.intouch.org/listen/featured/freedom-from-bondage-part-1