Monday, November 25, 2013

Come Away with Me


O come to Me when you need rest
O come to Me with every burden on your chest
O come to Me when you feel like you’re going to fall and I will catch you when night calls
O come to Me when the road seems long and your faith is all gone
Rely on Me your strength and together we will go the length
Seasons come and go, but My hand is with you, just so you know
So there My child lay down and rest a while, because you have walked a great mile
It is why I have called you here, because your life is fast paced
and you need My strength to finish this race


These words came to me a few weeks ago while praying, it was just the first few lines at first. And this past weekend I was at retreat and I felt the Holy Spirit give more words to finish it. We had a project to do and we had to write a poem. So I started with the first few lines that I had written weeks ago and these other words just stated to come. At the end of the night we had to share all our projects with everyone. So I read this to everyone there. 
Sometimes God has to take you away with Him, away from the business of life so He can speak to you. That is what He did with me this weekend at the retreat. I just heard Him say to me "I want to sit down and talk to you for a while" and talk to me He did. 


Monday, November 04, 2013

In the Shadow of Your Wings


Have Mercy on me, God, have mercy,
for in you my soul has taken refuge.
In the shadow of your wings I take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.

I call to you, God the Most High,
to God who provides for me.
May he send from heaven and save me,
and put to shame those who assail me.
May God send his loving mercy and faithfulness.

My heart is ready, O God;
my heart is ready.
I will sing, I will sing your praise.
Awake, my soul!
Awake, lyre and harp!
I will awake the dawn.

I will praise you, Lord, among the peoples,
among the nations sing psalms to you,
for your mercy reaches to the heavens,
and your truth to the skies.


Sunday, November 03, 2013

Be Still


I read this prayer today. "Teach me, Lord, to still my soul before you. Help me to bear patiently the trials I face, and to leave everything to you to direct and provide. I know that you will always remain faithful. God’s whisper of comfort can quiet the noise of our trials." I need comfort today. And I need to learn to "Be Still" more. It is hard when you are in the midst of a trial. So this is something that I need to be reminded of today. Today is one of those days. So I am here writing this morning to get some of this off my chest. And I am trying to enjoy my wonderful Hawaiian coffee this morning. Coffee makes everything better!

Ever since I became catholic it has been one trial after the other for me. My entire family is protestant. So my conversion was a difficult one. I have been going through these trials ever since I stepped foot in the door of the Catholic Church, which was in June 2008. I have paid dearly to be Catholic with my emotions and tears. I take things to heart and when things are said regarding my faith, which means so much to me it hurts so much. And the stress that has come along with my conversion has taken its toll on me physically as well. I have had deep moments of depression through all of this. Just really dark moments where I felt I could see no light at all. I just feel like dying inside at times. And that is the worst feeling. I don't think I would have made if it were not for the grace that God has given me. And also a lot of prayer and fasting. I would not have made through some trials without prayer and fasting. 
I often wonder why God chose me to be Catholic. I am the only Catholic that I know of in my whole family. I was raised in the Bible belt in Arkansas. My entire family was raised Baptist. My great grandfather was a circuit preacher and rode his horse from town to town to preach at churches.
 My grandparents in stilled my Baptist faith in me along with my Mom. Honestly I had never even heard of the Catholic Church growing up. I just thought there were only protestant churches. So I ask myself why God would choose me to be Catholic out of my entire protestant family. Maybe He knew the true longing of my heart to be with Jesus. I always wanted to be near God. Even as child I wanted to be in church as a child and as a teenager. Every time the doors were open I was there. I don't know maybe God had this all planned out for me to be Catholic. I remember as a teenager getting this crucifix necklace that I believe my parents bought me. I wore that crucifix all the time. It was the only crucifix I ever had and I still have it till this day. So maybe that was just a little sign for me then of what God was going to do with me.


I do get a little envious of people who were raised Catholic all their lives. And there whole family is Catholic and maybe don't have the trials I go through just to keep my faith. I feel like they are so blessed not to go through what I have to endure. But I suppose there is a reason God has done this with me. 
I love my faith and I won't give it up for anyone no matter what I have to go through. But there are times when I just feel tired of the constant trials. I just want to practice my faith in peace. And this seems to be the most difficult thing.

I love quotes. And I read this yesterday....

"You can come out of the furnace of trouble two ways: if you let it consume you, you come out a cinder; but there is a kind of metal which refuses to be consumed, and comes out a star."

I am praying I come out as a Star.....



Saturday, October 26, 2013

10 Things that made me smile this week.....

1. Being at Mass and receiving Jesus!

2. God sending me a love note this week!!!!! It was very unexpected.



3. My kids in youth group told me that they missed me!


4. My cat socks makes me smile.


5. Seeing a beautiful sunset on my way home this week.


6. And seeing a beautiful double Rainbow that God put next to my house this week after it rained!



7. God speaking to me in the devotional Jesus calling. He just let me know that He is Emmanuel God with us!

8. Encouraging friends this week.


9. My kids at school that I work with.


10. My morning women's breakfast. Breakfast with good friends and coffee!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Love note from God

Today I received this love note from God. This was sent to me twice today from two different places. When I get something twice I always know it is God trying to speak to me. And this spoke to me. God wrote me a love note! And He made sure I got it twice so that I would really know!! I guess God is really letting me know that He does really see me (see my post below about feeling invisible.) Needed to hear this today.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

God Sees




 

This past Thursday night I went to a women's conference at my husbands church. My husband is protestant and I am Catholic. So I go to both churches. Every year they have this women's conference called chick night. And it was a much needed chick night for me. I was with my two girl friends who have also helped me so much. Would not know what to do without them. The speakers that night was Priscilla Shiver and Lisa Bevere. Both of their messages spoke to me. But Priscilla's really spoke to me. It was like she was in my life and knew everything going on with me. She spoke from Luke 5:1-11 where Simon and the fisherman had been fishing all night and caught nothing and they were washing there nets. They were finished. They were done fishing! They had worked all night and caught nothing! That is how I have been feeling. There have been issues in my life where I have been telling the Lord  "I am done. No more. I have fished all night and nothing! I am washing my net and giving up." This is the point that I knew God was about to speak to me. I felt like Simon! She went on to say that you did not realize that things would be this hard. Things in our lives like marriages, finances, caring for a loved one, school, work etc....These things in our lives that can become overwhelming to us. That you did not know it was going to be this hard. And you feel like no one sees you. You feel no one sees your tears when you roll over in bed at night. Or maybe you feel you marriage is hanging on by a thread. Or no one sees how hard you work and you get nothing in return and you just want to give up. She then went on to say I am here to tell you that there is someone who does see. God sees. God sees your tears. Every tear has been caught in the palm of God's hand. You are seen by God. 

While Simon got out of the boat Jesus got in the boat to teach the people that were crowding around him. Simon getting out of the boat aloud Jesus the perfect place to teach the crowd around him. Sometimes God will allow us to catch nothing. That makes the perfect place for God to come into our lives and get in the boat, when you your tired and worn out. God noticed Simon was tired. If you have fished all night and your washing your net that is when God is about to get in your boat! God is about to show up. Simon was tired. So Simon got out of the boat and washed his net. She went on to say that it is okay to get out of the boat for a while. Sometimes we need to get out of the boat and wash our nets. 
When Jesus had finished speaking to the crowd around Him that is when He turned to Simon and said "Put out into the deep water, and let down your nets for a catch." Then Simon replied "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the net." And when they did that they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break! Then they motioned for their partners to come over and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
And maybe they motioned for their partners instead of calling them over because they were speechless. They did not know what to say. They were stunned speechless at what Jesus had done. 
And maybe God is about to make you stunned speechless at what He is about to do!
 It is okay to get out of the boat for a while. It is okay to tell the Lord you are tired and that you have fished all night and caught nothing. But then you have to get back in the boat to do what God has called you to do. Start expecting the unexpected. God is about to bring a harvest. 
She used this scripture Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God." God is in control. There is a morning coming. Your greatest mess will be your greatest message. 

Everything she preached on spoke to me much. There were also things in Lisa's message that spoke to me. She talked about the attacks on your life might be more to do with who you might be than who you have been. When you are anointed by God you are a target. There is something about you that is absolutely terrifying to the enemy. You have to be women who are skillful with the word of God. 

For a while now I have felt completely invisible. I have felt God has not seen certain things in my life. It is funny how God works. Last weekend I was at a day retreat weekend at my church. This is at the Catholic church I go to. At that retreat they played a video called "the invisible women" I loved this video so much.  And the lady speaking in the video mentions her friend who's name is Janice! So it really spoke to me. Then this weekend at the women's conference Priscilla was talking about the same thing! Feeling invisible. Feeling like God does not see your struggle. I guess God is telling me now that He sees! And  He sees you too in your struggle! Here is that video.....

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Friends In High Places

I love this devotion in the book God Calling. I read this the other day and it spoke so profoundly to me. I love the fact it talks about having friends in the Unseen. Since becoming Catholic I have been given a few of those unseen friends or maybe they picked me. The very first person to come to my aid would be Mary. Looking back on certain events in my life I know it was Mary there helping me and I did not even realize it! The next would be St. Therese. She was one of the first saints that I was introduced to through a St. Therese Rosary that my Step-mom gave me. That was my very first Rosary. And that was before I was even Catholic. I love St. Therese.  There is just something about her that I connect with. I just know she is there praying for me and she sends me roses! The next friend I came to know was St. Clare. I love her too. And recently I have come to know St. Joseph as more of my friend also. I have been asking for his intercession. I love St. Teresa of Avila too. There are so many I have learned about since being Catholic. So many that I love.
But a lot of my family and friends question me on the Catholic belief of saints. They think we worship them and that is so not true. When I was converting to the Catholic faith of course I had questions about the saints. But all I did was go to God in prayer and ask Him if these things are really true of the saints, purgatory and Mary etc...and God simply answered my questions. It was not complicated for me. I am just a person who believes very simply. I have always been that way. These things were not an obstacle for me at all. I am the only Catholic in my family besides my step-mom so when I converted all these things became an issue with them. But I enjoyed learning about it all! The saints are our friends and their prayers for us are powerful. 

I just love the way this particular devotional explains about our unseen friends!
I have been reading this devotional for several years now I never get tired of reading it.




"Your Loved ones are very safe in My Keeping. Learning and loving and working, theirs is a life of happiness and progress. They live to serve, and serve they truly do. They serve Me and those they love. Ceaselessly they serve.
But their ministrations, so many, so diverse, you see not more than those in My time on earth in human form could have seen the angels who ministered unto Me in the wilderness.
How often mortals rush to earthly friends who can serve them in so limited a way, when the friends who are freed from the limitations of humanity can serve them so much better, understand better, protect better, plan better, and plead better their cause with Me.
You do well to remember your friends in the Unseen. Companying with them the more you live in this Unseen World, the gentler will be your passing when it comes. Earth's troubles and difficulties will seem, even now, less overwhelming as you look, not at the things that are seen, but at the real, the Eternal Life. "And this Life Eternal that we may know Thee, the Only True God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent."
Learning to know me draws that Kingdom very near, and in Me, and through Knowledge of Me, the dear ones there become very near and dear."



Monday, September 02, 2013

Our Lady Undoer of Knots

Shortly after I became Catholic I found this book on Our Lady Undoer of knots. I found the little book intriguing. I love the picture of Mary undoing all the knots. I really believe that Mary was the one leading me to the Catholic church. When I went to Rome in  2004 I bought a very tiny miraculous medal as I was checking out at the Vatican gift shop. I don't know what even compelled me to buy this. I liked the color. And it was so tiny I could not even read what was on it. I did not even know what it was. I had no idea that it was a miraculous medal or what that even meant. I just put the medal away and did not even think about it until I became Catholic. After becoming Catholic I remembered I had bought this at the Vatican. So one day I went to go get it. And realized that this little medal was a sign for me. That Mary was leading me and was with me. Even when I did not know it. We have moved several times since I had bought that medal and I have never lost it. As tiny as it is it has always stayed with me. What I believe is that Mary has been undoing my knots all along. Starting with my buying that miraculous medal.


Recently I felt God leading me to volunteer in the youth group at our parish. And I was telling God I am only going to volunteer for this. I don't want to get myself involved in too many things. I tend to do that. And then I get burned out trying to do them all. But a few weeks ago I had bought this picture above of Mary. It just caught my eye. Then I started to look for my little book on her and I could not find it. So I was in a gift shop a short time later and I found another book on Our Lady Undoer of knots. And during this time I had been reading a book called Visions (I bought the book here). In the book the Priests name was Father Ignatius. The book was very intriguing to me. It is about three children who see a vision of Jesus. Just loved it.

One day at church I was talking to one of my friends at church. And she was telling me about the womens Acts day team at church. The Acts day team puts on a retreat for the actual Acts team. And I was asking my friend what the theme of the day retreat was on and it just so happen to be on St. Ignatius. And I got to thinking about the book I had been reading and the Priests name in the book was Father Ignatius. And the retreat theme was on St. Ignatius. So I started to put two and two together. I started to feel like God was wanting me on this Acts day team. But I had already told God I was not volunteering for anything else. But I was feeling this nudge that it maybe God. So I told my friend that I would do it. And they had already had two meetings but she said that was okay. I could catch up. When I got to the meeting the very first thing I seen was the picture of Our Lady Undoer of Knots. I didn't quiet know what to think. I went to my friend and told her how I had just bought the picture of her and about me reading the book on Father Ignatius. And here at the retreat is on both of them? St. Ignatius and Our Lady of Undoer of knots. And then there was one more confirmation for me. But that is just for me. Don't want share that one. But I knew in my heart Mary was leading me here to be on this retreat. I am just starting to feel closer to Mary. I feel she is really with me helping me like a mother and friend. 

"Be Still And Know That I AM God"

Lately God has been telling be to be still and quiet before Him. It is so hard to do sometimes just to be be quiet and sit in stillness before Him. I seem to be always the one doing the talking. I can talk a lot. And God is probably saying to me "are you done now?" I know there are things He wants to tell me. 
I have this Scripture in my guest bedroom which is also where I spend my time praying. It is the one place I can go where it is quiet and I can pray. I just need to be still and quiet I guess. He has been giving me this scripture over the last week or so. And at Mass yesterday I heard it twice. I just worry a lot about things. And it is hard for me sometimes to just put things in God's hands. 

Sunday, September 01, 2013

The Serenity Prayer

This is was my Dad's favorite prayer. He went through a lot the last several years of his life. He went through a divorce with my Mom, then two heart attacks and had two triple by passes within a few years. He battled melanoma and chemo for a year and beat it. Then the last couple of years he was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis. Which there is no cure and he lived on oxygen the last two years of his life. I watched him struggle for every breath he took. The most difficult thing I have ever had to deal with was to watch him struggle to breath. He died four years ago. But through everything he went through he would always say this prayer. And I never heard him complain through all his illnesses. He was always grateful for another day. I miss my dad dearly but I know where he is and he is not suffering anymore. 
"The Serenity Prayer"
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world As it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right If I surrender to His Will; So that I may be reasonably happy in this life And supremely happy with Him Forever and ever in the next.
Thought to be by Reinhold Neibuhr
(1892 - 1971)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hillsong- All My Hope

This song has been on my heart this week.....

I THIRST


It is true. I stand at the door of your heart, day and night. Even when you are not listening, even when you doubt it could be Me, I am there. I await even the smallest sign of your response, even the least whispered invitation that will allow Me to enter. And I want you to know that whenever you invite Me, I do come – always, without fail. Silent and unseen I come, but with infinite power and love, and bringing the many gifts of My Spirit. I come with My mercy, with My desire to forgive and heal you, and with a love for you beyond your comprehension – a love every bit as great as the love I have received from the Father ("As much as the Father has loved me, I have loved you…" (Jn. 15:10) I come - longing to console you and give you strength, to lift you up and bind all your wounds. I bring you My light, to dispel your darkness and all your doubts. I come with My power, that I might carry you and all your burdens; with My grace, to touch your heart and transform your life; and My peace I give to still your soul. I know you through and through. I know everything about you. The very hairs of your head I have numbered. Nothing in your life is unimportant to Me. I have followed you through the years, and I have always loved you – even in your wanderings. I know every one of your problems. I know your needs and your worries. And yes, I know all your sins. But I tell you again that I love you – not for what you have or haven’t done – I love you for you, for the beauty and dignity My Father gave you by creating you in His own image. It is a dignity you have often forgotten, a beauty you have tarnished by sin. But I love you as you are, and I have shed My Blood to win you back. If you only ask Me with faith, My grace will touch all that needs changing in your life, and I will give you the strength to free yourself from sin and all its destructive power. I know what is in your heart – I know your loneliness and all your hurts – the rejections, the judgments, the humiliations, I carried it all before you. And I carried it all for you, so you might share My strength and victory. I know especially your need for love – how you are thirsting to be loved and cherished. But how often have you thirsted in vain, by seeking that love selfishly, striving to fill the emptiness inside you with passing pleasures – with the even greater emptiness of sin. Do you thirst for love? "Come to Me all you who thirst…" (Jn. 7: 37). I will satisfy you and fill you. Do you thirst to be cherished? I cherish you more than you can imagine – to the point of dying on a cross for you. I Thirst for You. Yes, that is the only way to even begin to describe My love for you. I THIRST FOR YOU. I thirst to love you and to be loved by you – that is how precious you are to Me. I THIRST FOR YOU. Come to Me, and I will fill your heart and heal your wounds. I will make you a new creation, and give you peace, even in all your trials I THIRST FOR YOU. You must never doubt My mercy, My acceptance of you, My desire to forgive, My longing to bless you and live My life in you. I THIRST FOR YOU. If you feel unimportant in the eyes of the world, that matters not at all. For Me, there is no one any more important in the entire world than you. I THIRST FOR YOU. Open to Me, come to Me, thirst for Me, give me your life – and I will prove to you how important you are to My Heart. Don’t you realize that My Father already has a perfect plan to transform your life, beginning from this moment? Trust in Me. Ask Me every day to enter and take charge of your life. – and I will. I promise you before My Father in heaven that I will work miracles in your life. Why would I do this? Because I THIRST FOR YOU. All I ask of you is that you entrust yourself to Me completely. I will do all the rest. Even now I behold the place My Father has prepared for you in My Kingdom. Remember that you are a pilgrim in this life, on a journey home. Sin can never satisfy you, or bring the peace you seek. All that you have sought outside of Me has only left you more empty, so do not cling to the things of this life. Above all, do not run from Me when you fall. Come to Me without delay. When you give Me your sins, you gave Me the joy of being your Savior. There is nothing I cannot forgive and heal; so come now, and unburden your soul. No matter how far you may wander, no matter how often you forget Me, no matter how many crosses you may bear in this life; there is one thing I want you to always remember, one thing that will never change. I THIRST FOR YOU – just as you are. You don’t need to change to believe in My love, for it will be your belief in My love that will change you. You forget Me, and yet I am seeking you every moment of the day – standing at the door of your heart and knocking. Do you find this hard to believe? Then look at the cross, look at My Heart that was pierced for you. Have you not understood My cross? Then listen again to the words I spoke there – for they tell you clearly why I endured all this for you: "I THIRST…"(Jn 19: 28). Yes, I thirst for you – as the rest of the psalm – verse I was praying says of Me: "I looked for love, and I found none…" (Ps. 69: 20). All your life I have been looking for your love – I have never stopped seeking to love you and be loved by you. You have tried many other things in your search for happiness; why not try opening your heart to Me, right now, more than you ever have before. Whenever you do open the door of your heart, whenever you come close enough, you will hear Me say to you again and again, not in mere human words but in spirit. "No matter what you have done, I love you for your own sake Come to Me with your misery and your sins, with your troubles and needs, and with all your longing to be loved. I stand at the door of your heart and knock. Open to Me, for I THIRST FOR YOU…" "Jesus is God, therefore His love, His Thirst, is infinite. He the creator of the universe, asked for the love of His creatures. He thirst for our love… These words: ‘I Thirst’ – Do they echo in our souls?” Mother Teresa 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

I surrender

Sometimes you just have to surrender and let go and let God. So here I am again on my knees....I surrender. There have several times in the past where I have just been completely broken in front of God. And this is one of those times for me. Sometimes its all you can do is just be broken in front of Him. This song really spoke to me.

Friday, August 16, 2013

My Love of Reading

I was born with a reading list I will never finish.
I love reading. I am always reading something whether it be a book or some devotional. I typically will be reading a few books at one time. I can't seem to read just one. There are just too many to read! I was not always a reader. This all started when I had my back injury in 2005. I had severe back injury in which I was off work for several months with physical therapy. Not a fun time for me at all. It was one of the most depressing times in my life. I was off work. I could not do the the things I really wanted to and I was really bored! So during this time I found my way to the Lord after being a way from Him for several years. This back injury was a blessing in disguise. Not sure I would of found my way back to to Him if it had not of happened. It brought me to my knees and I had nowhere to look but up! But during this time I started reading. I was just bored and needed something to take my mind off things. And one day someone told me about this book called Dinner with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory. And I decided to read it. I absolutely loved the book. I was really intrigued  by the book and the way Jesus had appeared to the character in the book. So there started my desire to read more books like this about Jesus. So for the next several months I did nothing but read. Another book that I happened upon during this time was the devotional God Calling. I was in the book store and this book just seemed to jump out at me. It was just sitting right in front of me. So I was intrigued with the title of it "God Calling" as if God was really calling me to read this book. So I bought it. And the daily devotionals just seemed to really speak to me. God really got my attention with this little book. And I have continued to read this devotional over and over the past several years. I never get tired of it. 

God had just put this new desire in me to read during that time. I sure had enough time on my hands! And I have not stopped since then. I have actually have become a bookworm. I love books. When we bought our house a few years ago one of my requests to God was to have a lot of bookshelves in our house. So what did God do for me? He gave me a house with a whole library in it! I just love it. Our house has a huge library in it with a ton of bookshelves. God is good!
Other books that have had an impact on me were
 Good Morning Holy Spirit by Benny Hinn, 
You still here Lord series by Karon Goodman, 
Come away my beloved by Frances J. Roberts, 
Daily in your presence by Rebecca Jordan.
I also read Left to Tell by Immaculee IIibagiza. 
It is her story about the Rwandan Holocaust. Amazing story. And later I found out she was also Catholic. I did not realize this when I was reading the book. I realized it after I became Catholic. Just found it interesting. These are all books I read during my time off with my injury that really began to help me in my faith. I read so many. Too many to list but these I just remember really affecting me during that time off with my back injury. And since I have become Catholic my list is even longer now! 
Some of my favorite Catholic books are: 
The Story of a Soul by St. Therese de Lisieux
Rome Sweet Rome by Scott Hahn 
The Surprised by Truth series
The Diary of St. Faustina 
      Medjugorje:The message by Wayne Weible  
The Way by JoseMaria Escriva 
33 Days to Morning Glory
The Fire Within by Thomas Dubay
St. Rita
These are just a few. I have more but too many to list. And I won't even mention how many more books I have on my kindle!
Right now God has me in this place where I want to read more about Mary. So that is what I am doing. I also love to read about books on people who have died an gone to heaven. Those are some of my favorites to read. I am always trying to find a book to read about heaven. 
I can't just read one book at a time. I am in about three different books right now besides the daily devotionals I read everyday. I recently found this book called "Visions" by Victor S. E. Moubarak on his blog Time for Reflections. Really great book. Really enjoying it on my kindle! The title "Visions" just jumped out at me. 
I am nurse and one of the things you have to do as a nurse is multi task. At work I will have five or six things going on all at the same time and handling them all at the same time! I guess that is why I can't just read one thing at a time. I am not wired that way. I just thank God for giving me this desire to read so much. I could just stay in my room all day and just read. And on rainy days that is what I like to do. Just a book and some coffee and I am good to go!
on a rainy day in a cozy corner when the house is clean and you can't feel any guilt for reading said book :)




Monday, August 12, 2013

St. Clare


Yesterday was the feast of St. Clare. About a year ago we had a Catholic music artist Danielle Rose come to our parish. At the end of her singing she passed small blue paper with a saints name on it. She said that it is the saints that pick you not the other way around. I thought this was so neat. And I have read that elsewhere to that is the saints that pick you. She also said the saint you get wants to be your friend. Well when I pulled out the little blue paper it was St. Clare. Now I would not have thought too much about this other than our Priest had just blessed St. Clare's statue that same day! So I really felt she wanted to be my friend! I am not sure why she wants to be my friend and I still don't really know. But I do ask for her intercession. Also on the piece of paper there was a quote. And on mine it said "Look daily into the spotless mirror, dear queen and spouse of Christ, and see your face in it. See how you are to adorn yourself, within and without, in all the blossoms of virtue, as befits a chaste daughter and spouse of that greatest of Kings. In that mirror poverty, humility, and love beyond all telling shine radiantly." Pray for women to seek interior beauty, and to look at themselves according to God's standards, not the world's."
.Maybe God sent her just for me to hear that message. So after getting this I went to go buy the movie on St. Clare and St. Francis. I loved the movie about them. And loved that nothing or no one was going to keep her from becoming a Nun! In that sense I can relate. I feel the same way about converting to the Catholic church. Nothing or no one was going to keep me from receiving Jesus in the Eucharist!
So I have a fondness for her.  It was a definite God moment for me.

Prayer

Prayers!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Psalm 116:1-9


116 I love the Lord, because he has heard
    my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
    therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me;
    the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
    I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    “O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
    our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest;
    for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

For you have delivered my soul from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling;
I will walk before the Lord
    in the land of the living.

  Psalm 116:1-9

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 143:8


Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 143:8

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Calvary

This is one of my favorite pictures. I first seen this picture when I went on a Catholic Cursillio retreat. And I just fell in love with it. There are so many things I love about this picture. I love the Father's eyes above Jesus. They are so beautiful! I also love Mary at the foot of the cross in her blue robe with another picture of Jesus on her robe. Simply amazing. There are many faces in this picture. It is like the eyes of heaven looking all around. The many, many crosses seem to be behind Jesus but also they seem to be a part of His face. Love that!  And I love the angel swooping down to Jesus. 
For me this picture is breath taking.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Imagine

So today I realized that I had not turned my calender to August yet. And when I turned it over the scripture on there was the same scripture that I had used in one of my post yesterday on Hope Restored. Ephesians 3:20 "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us." So when I read this I knew it was God confirming to me what I had written in that post. God always seems to confirm things to me in the most unexpected ways! He seems to love to surprise me. At the bottom of this scripture on my calender it has the wrong verse though. It has Proverbs 3:5-6 for whatever reason. And just so happen Proverbs 3:5-6 was one of my devotional readings this morning."Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." I have been wanting understanding about something in my life. And I have been praying and praying about it. The devotional reading this morning was about not trying to figure things out. And to trust God and not to trust in my understanding of things. I suppose God is not wanting me to try to figure it all out. He is in control and I have to trust. So I suppose I am back to just pondering all these things for now. But it is hard at times when you really want an answer to something. I guess God hit two birds with one stone with me when I read the scriptures on my calender today! 

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Take Time To Ponder





I love this devotional that was sent to me. Lately God has been telling me to ponder the things He is doing in my life. It is something He has been telling me for about the past month. To ponder the promises He has given me. I love how Mary pondered those things in her heart. It is one of my favorite scriptures. 


Take Time To Ponder

Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. —Luke 2:19


Parents love to remember the developmental milestones of their children.
They will record in a baby book when their little ones first roll over, then
crawl, and take their first steps. Often they will take photographs and save
baby clothing to bring back the memories of those precious experiences.

According to Luke 2:19, Mary, the mother of Jesus, kept a baby book of
sorts—in her heart. She treasured the promises that had been given about her
Son and “pondered them.” The Greek word for “ponder” means “placing together for comparison.” Mary had heard of great things concerning her Son from angels and shepherds (1:322:17-18). As His life unfolded, she would compare those promises with how her Son acted to fulfill them.

Our faith will be strengthened and we will be encouraged when we meditate on what the Scriptures say about God and compare it with the way He works in our own lives (John 14:21). He is a God who answers prayer (1 John 5:14-15), comforts us in our suffering (2 Cor. 1:3-4), and provides for our needs (Phil. 4:19).

When we take time to ponder, we will see the faithfulness of our great God.
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! —Chisholm

God gives by promise that we may take by faith.
 
 

Hope Restored



So these are the first few posts I have done in over a year. I have not felt like writing on my blog at all the last year. This whole past year I have been in such a dark place. Just struggles with my conversion to the Catholic church. I had a few moments of light in between the struggles but those moments were few and far between it seemed. I really had not anticipated how hard my conversion from the protestant church to the Catholic church would be for me. I just took one day at a time. But this last year seemed to be the hardest. I was growing spiritually and learning so much about the Catholic faith but in my personal life it was like something had died. The worst feeling ever. The up and down moments in my life over the past five years of my conversion had almost taken its toll on me. And I was about at the point of just giving up. All I wanted was to be with Jesus and to follow Him. And so many people did not understand my conversion. It made it so hard for me. I just felt like telling God this is too hard. It is too hard to be Catholic. But God never would let me give up totally. I am very sensitive person and it seemed any little negative comment that was made to me about my conversion just went straight to my heart. And those comments would hurt so much. But somehow God helped me through it all. So I have been reflecting on all I have been through lately. And all God has brought me through.

This summer in June I had a chance to go on a mission trip to Ecuador. I needed this trip. It seemed to be a turning point for me. Going on this trip I just really did not know if I had much more to give. But something in me felt I needed to go. And I think Mary had her hand in sending me on this trip also. I really felt her presence there with me. On this trip I received so much. More than I was expecting. Ephesians 3:20 says "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." 


I met so many wonderful people. People who lifted me up and gave me some hope again. And just being able to help other people in need was good for me. So I came back to a renewed sense of hope. I received so much healing on this trip. I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel I suppose.  


God also sent me on several other conferences this summer. And I needed to be at them all! I received so much! I just felt God was filling me with hope again. And I guess I needed a lot of hope because He sent me on about five different conferences. All the conferences had the same message about it being a new season. And I can feel things shifting in my life somewhat. When I got back from my mission trip I picked up a book that I had bought some time ago. I had never really read it. It is called "The Way" by JoseMaria Escriva. But for whatever reason I picked it up one day after my trip and opened it and my eyes landed on these words "You've done well, even though you have fallen so low. You've done well, because you humbled yourself, because you straightened yourself out, because you filled yourself with hope--and that hope brought you back again to His Love. Don't look so amazed: you've done well! You rose up from the ground. "Surge"--Arise"-- cried anew the mighty voice--"et ambula" (get up) "and walk!" Now to work.


I was just stunned. I knew this was the Lord speaking to me. Those words went straight to my heart. I was just kinda surprised at what I had just read. So here I am with a new sense of hope and God telling me to get to work! So I have actually started to feel I can begin writing and sharing again some of the things God speaks to me. And I felt on the mission trip God saying to me "I want you to start writing again." 


So I guess I have some new marching orders. It always seems that when you about to give up completely that is when God shows up. 



It is becoming for you, O Mary, 
to be mindful of us,
as you stand near Him
who bestowed upon you all graces,
for you are the Mother of God and our Queen.
Come to our aid for the sake of the King,
the Lord God and Master who was born of you.
For this reason you are called "full of grace."
Be mindful of us, most holy Virgin,
and bestow on us gifts 
from the riches of your graces,
O Virgin full of grace.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Archdiocese of Guadalajara, Mexico investigating possible Eucharistic miracle

Msgr. Ramiro Valdes Sanchez, vicar general of Guadalajara, Mexico, has announced that the archdiocese is investigating a possible Eucharistic miracle that reportedly took place last week. 
Msgr. Valdes Sanchez said he has received instructions from the archbishop of Guadalajara, Cardinal Jose Francisco Robles Ortega, to direct the investigation.
The pastor of Mary Mother of the Church, Father Jose Dolores Castellanos Gudino, said that on July 24, while he was kneeling in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, he saw a flash of light and heard a voice.
“Ring the bells so that everyone comes,” the voice allegedly instructed. “I will pour blessings upon those present and the entire day. Take your small tabernacle for private adoration to the parish altar and put the large monstrance next to the small tabernacle. Don’t open the tabernacle until three in the afternoon, not before.” 
“I will perform a miracle in the Eucharist,” the voice continued, “the miracle that will take place will be called, ‘Miracle of the Eucharist in the incarnation of love together with our Mother and Lady.’ Copy the image that I will give you now and show it to others.” 
The voice then reportedly told him to share this with all of his priests to aid in their conversion and that he would fill all souls with blessings.
Fr. Gudino said that after hearing the voice he could only say, “My Lord, I am your servant, let your will be done.”
With local people gathered at 3 p.m., he recounted that he “approached the tabernacle and upon opening it the host consecrated by Our Lord Jesus Christ was covered in blood.”
According to the priest, the voice also told him to establish an adoration chapel and to allow any scientific study necessary to confirm the miracle.
Msgr. Sanchez said samples from the host will be studied in Guadalajara. 
“First of all the testimony needs to be gathered from three people who were present, obviously in this case from the pastor,” he explained.
He also said that a team of experts will be assembled to investigate whether there is a scientific explanation for the phenomenon.
“While this is occurring, the Church in Guadalajara, through the Cardinal Archbishop, has said that the Host should not be exposed to the public and that it be kept in a safe place, in a tabernacle,” he added.
“The Catholic Church’s legal doctrine states that when an extraordinary, uncommon event occurs, the necessary precautions should be taken to determine if the event can be explained by natural causes or if a more serious investigation is necessary to determine if it goes beyond the natural and whether or not it should be considered a miraculous event,” he explained.


Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/Americas.php?id=8208#ixzz2b78XwRCf

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pearl of Great Price



Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”
Matthew 13:44-46

I love today's reading. This scripture has always had a special place in my heart. For me the Catholic church is my pearl of great price. I paid a great emotional price to become Catholic. I had been in the protestant church my entire life before this.  My journey to the Catholic church from the protestant church was not an easy one. The moment God revealed to me that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist nothing or no one was going to keep me from receiving Jesus in the Eucharist! I just knew that I had to become Catholic. Through the whole process of becoming Catholic God just kept telling me to keep going forward. And to be unafraid despite the many obstacles I had and still have.  I knew without a doubt that Catholic church is where God wanted me. God showed me a great pearl and I knew I had to sell everything to buy it!  
I am also very thankful for my protestant upbringing. I would not be who I am today without it. God molded me in the protestant church and gave me a firm foundation. And I am so thankful for that. But the Catholic church is home for me. It will always be my home. 
The Pearl is also my birthstone. Love that!

Pearls. In one of his most lovely and consoling thoughts, Shakespeare says: The liquid drops of tears that you have shed, Shall come again, transform’d to orient pearl, Advantaging their loan with interest Of ten times double gain of happiness. 

Monday, July 29, 2013



Come Holy Spirit. 
Inflame the hearts of all the faithful 
with a restless zeal 
for a new evangelization.
Embolden those anointed with your grace 
to proclaim the Gospel to people 
of every language, culture, and way of life. 
Make our youth eager to hear 
the voice of the Shepherd tenderly calling them 
to furrow the world with faith, 
plant it with charity, 
and harvest it with hope.
We make this prayer in the name 
of the Lord Jesus, 
who shared your many gifts with us. 
May you dwell with us always 
until we come to dwell with you, our Advocate, 
with Christ, our Savior, and with the Father, forever. 
Amen.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Moving Forward (Unplugged) by Israel Houghton "Behold, I am making all things new." Revelation 21:5


My Life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me,
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily....
The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.








Monday, July 15, 2013




Ecuador Mission Trip


This year I went somewhere new. I had been trying to figure out if God was wanting to go back to the Dominican Republic on mission trip. I really struggled with where God wanted me to go. I had been going to the Dominican Republic every year since 2007. I really did not think that God was going to lead me to go somewhere else. I just had it in my head the Dominican was where God wanted me. He had me there so long. And I had built relationships with the people and felt attached to them and their culture. I had always felt at home when I was in the Dominican. It had become a part of me and who I am. So this past November I had  just decided that I was to go back there. I had prayed. But had no clear answer. So I started to look at flights to go back there with the group I had usually gone with for  the trip in March. But something started to happen as soon as I did that. Things just started not working out with the flights and I could not get the money needed to go. And my husband did not want me to go again. It seemed every door just started to close. So then I decided to go talk with my Priest at my church to get some guidance regarding me and my mission work. As I was talking with him he had suggested that I go to Ecuador with them in June. This was something new. I just did not think God was leading me to go somewhere else. My Priest started to tell me "I think you should come with us" Then he started to tell me all that they had been doing in Ecuador. Then he kept telling me I think you should go with us. He even talked with one of the doctors to make sure that I was on the team to go. I was kinda shocked at what was happening. God was trying to lead me somewhere else? I really could not get it through my head that God was trying to open a door here. So I went home and prayed about it. Normally God had always given me a scripture to go on my missions trips with but not this time. Nope nothing. Just a feeling that I needed to say yes and my Priest insisting that I go. So I did. And so I starting preparing to go to Ecuador. Every door just flew open. It was so easy. God just provided everything I needed to go on this trip.

I was actually excited about this trip now. Something new and different. I really did not know what to expect though. A few weeks had past and I was at church and was talking with one of the doctors that was going. He was telling me about the upcoming meeting for the trip. He told me it was going to be at his house and that they were having Rudy's barbecue. I found that interesting because we had just at at Rudy's barbecue the day before with friends. It is a place we never eat at we just happened to be invited to eat there. So I felt this was my confirmation. I know it may seem a little silly that God would confirm to me to go on a trip using Rudy's barbecue but that is just how God speaks to me. I know His voice. In John 10:27 it says "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." Sometimes God has a sense of humor. I was expecting a scripture to go to Ecuador with instead I get Rudy's barbecue!

A few weeks later we had first meeting. And I got to meet some of the people going with us. I had already known one of the doctors that was going because I once worked with him. I also met a very nice lady who was a retired school nurse. Her and I became instant friends. I am also a school nurse. So we had a lot in common. And I requested to room with her on the trip. Every one was so nice and welcomed me. It was great meeting.

Then in June it was time to go. I was excited and nervous. So on the way there we carpooled. But before we left we got a surprise call from the Bishop that he wanted to give us all a blessing before we left.  So we stopped a the Cathedral before we left Corpus Christi. They said this was the first time that had ever happened. So that was quite awesome to receive a blessing from the Bishop. Then we





drove from Corpus Christi to Houston. It was storming on our way there. But the storms were on both sides of us but it did not storm over us. We just drove straight through. It was really unusual the way the storms were. It was almost as if God was telling us something. And looking back at some of the things we did experience there I can kinda see what it was God was telling us. It was like He was saying you are going to go through storms there but you won't get hurt by them. You will go straight though the storm.


When we arrived in Houston we stayed the night with our hosts. We all split up and stayed in different houses in their neighborhood. Everyone offered there houses up for us to spend the night. It was awesome to see people do that for us. Then the next morning we headed out. When we arrived at the airport we they started to assign us our luggage. We took tons of medical supplies there.
 While we were doing all of that I was able to meet some more of the people going on the trip. And immediately I felt God start to speak to me at the airport. But those things He spoke I will keep in my heart. Just too personal to share. I just knew I was suppose to be there.

When we arrived in Guayaquil, Ecuador we stayed the night in a nice hotel. I was very exhausted when we got there. Just wanted to go to bed. My roommate was so very nice. She was one of the nurse practitioners with us. So I did something that I probably should not have done in the hotel. I brushed my teeth with the water there. I knew better than to do that but I was very tired and just forgot. I had gotten sick in the Dominican Republic before because I did that same thing. And my roommate told me not to do that. I didn't the rest of the week but I still got sick towards the end of my trip. I was like really? Again? This can't be happening again. But I was more prepared this time. I had brought antibiotics with me and lots of other meds that I ended up using. Thank God I had them. I survived! 
The next day we had breakfast and headed to San Pablo. We arrived at the resort that we would be staying at and it was very beautiful. Our rooms had hammocks outside and I was so happy because I love hammocks! I was in it every night almost. And I had wonderful roommates. Really enjoyed my time getting to know them. 
When we arrived to the church I was just thinking how beautiful it was. The church is right on the ocean. In the times past when I went to the Dominican Republic I always had this feeling that I was suppose to be there. And the same here. I just had a feeling that this is where God wanted me. I just thought the ocean was beautiful. I stood outside for a while just taking pictures and taking it all in and wondering what God had in store for us. We then went to the church where we would be ministering to the community by giving them medical care. There were several doctors with us. They did eye and OB surgeries. There are operating rooms right in the church complex. The first day I just worked in the pharmacy counting pills. We had lots of drugs to count!

The surgeries had also started along with people being seen for general medicine, dentistry and pediatrics. I spent one day in triage just checking people in then the rest of the days I was able to go to some of the schools. 






This I loved doing. Since I work at an elementary school as a nurse. I love to be with the little children. I went with a couple other people and we took school supplies and some other needed items. We went to four different schools. But the schools were only open for one day while we were there. They were closed the other days due to lack of funding. And that is a sad thing. 
They were all out in remote areas. In the communities where these schools were it was just kinda desolate in a way. Just dirt roads, lots of concrete houses, very few trees and very hot!


On of the days we went on home visits. We went to three different houses. A small group of went with our Priest. We seen some very sick people. One lady had stomach cancer. She was only in her 40's and she was very, very thin and looked very sick. We gathered around her with her family and prayed for her. Her whole family was crying. It was so sad. This is the family in the first picture below.




 And it was the same with the other two houses. Just very sick people. The last house we went to was at the back of a bar. It was very, very hot inside. There seemed to be no ventilation. I did not feel comfortable in this house. And It was so hot in there. So me and another lady stepped outside. It is just mind blogging to me that people have to live this way. 

The second day that we were there we were told by the Minister of health that we could not do any more surgeries there. He did not want us there. So we had to stop all medical care. Then this minister of health set up tents right next to us and starting to give out free medical care. Just to prove his point. This is the first time I had experienced anything like this. In my trips to the Dominican Republic this never happened. So for a day and a half were kinda in limbo. But this delay also let us have a bit of down time. And we had little more time to get all the drugs counted and prepared. And also we got some time to build relationships with people in our group and that was really nice. During this time one morning we were able to go on a prayer walk on the beach. Just a group of us went and the one of the Priests that was with us. I absolutely loved that. We prayed the Rosary walking down the beach. It was just a beautiful morning to do that and just a God moment that I won't forget.

 And after a the day and a half we finally got the approval to do the surgeries. There had been many phone calls and meetings during that day and a half to get this approval. And also a lot prayer. It was very stressful at points. But God was with us and we actually seen more patients this time than last year even with the delay. We seen around 3800 patients. So God made up for the time lost. These are all the people waiting to be seen below.


Every night we would go back to the resort and have dinner and fellowship. I loved this time. Just to sit, eat and get to know people. A couple of the nights at  the resort people from the church gave us a party for their appreciation for us coming. It was so wonderful. Just fellowship, food and dancing! They also have wonderful soups there. They were so good except for the shrimp one. Not much of a shrimp person but the rest were amazing! We had soup everyday I think. But I am still in love with the food in the Dominican Republic and their coffee. But Ecuador has awesome soups. 





 And every morning we had mass outside by the pool. I loved this! I looked forward to every morning! It was so beautiful to have mass outside like that.

On the last day we had mass with all the school children. It was so awesome. I had so many emotions. And I just started to cry it was so beautiful to me. I was just in awe at what the Lord had done that whole week. 




This was one of the best mission trips I have ever been on. God surprised me this time. Really surprised me. There was lots of other experiences that I had on this trip but those are to remain in my heart. They are not to share. God was so faithful to me on this trip. So I plan going back next year God willing. I also got to thinking that all my mission trips have been in cities on the ocean. My very first mission trip to 
Mezquital, Mexico was a fishing village on the ocean. Santo Domingo and San Pablo both are on the ocean also.  And for whatever reason I thought to look up the meaning of the Virgin Mary's name. Where I found one of the meanings of her name is  "The Star of the Sea"  I thought that was very interesting. I did not know that was one of the meanings of her name. It blew me away! I feel that Mary has been with me all along. Guiding me and helping me. I remember the very first mission trip I went on. We stayed at a resort the last day. And the name for the resort was "All Roses hotel" and it just hit me on this mission trip that she has always been with me. Mary's presence was just there for me on this trip. And I feel God made this very clear to me. Just amazing to me.
I won't forget all I experienced on this trip. It was a life changing experience for me.