Thursday, March 17, 2016

Small Success Thursday - Was It Really? Sigh....

Happy Thursday.
Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Shamrock Brownies with St. Patrick's Decor, for Youth Group Party.
Can I give you a little tip? These are wipeable cake boards. Um... let's just say they slid a lot in transit. Isn't that awesome? lol

This has been another interesting week. I say interesting, because I don't want to say anything negative. I'm so thankful that God is so good to me in so many ways. And with that...

Today started at about 4:15am for me. Big storms blew through and they were rockin' loud booms! Christopher can't sleep through them (we went through a tornado when he was three - not a direct hit, but it left a big impression). I was already sitting up and grabbed my water/pillow and went to his room with him. We went back to sleep. My husband says he kissed us goodbye, but I don't remember. I woke up sleeping on the foot end of his bed, our car alarm was going off, the dog was barking and the booms were booming. By then it was about 6:30am.  When I got my bearings, I ran downstairs with Christopher in tow and Marque met us, saying, "the car battery is flat". Just then the weather warning sirens went off... and there we were, in our safe closet. Me in my nightgown, thinking - this will be when it hits us, because I have no bra on (it's my policy to wear a bra and pants pjs during a storm... because they always interview people with no bras (I know I know - it's how my brain works, I can't help it!)) and no shoes with me.

This is Spring Break here. And ours was marred by the fact we'd dawdled too much and needed to do school. We had plans with friends, but with the weather, etc. they were cancelled. Then the boy got all angry and stuff (pre-puberty) and we had to talk. He has no siblings at home. And it's lonely. He has no friends in our hood... and all his friends live 30+ minutes away.  As homeschoolers, it can be lonely... I get that. But I also know that we all have a cross to bear. But, he's old enough now to understand that he has to accept his situation and some disappointment without getting angry. It's a hard lesson. He had a headache afterwards...  so we called off school today and are going to bake green shamrock cookies in a moment.

As you know, today is Thursday. And so, I am linking up with Sherry and the girls at --
what are my successes this week?

I got the Easter Decor out and am working on more. I didn't have the UMPH to get it out this year. Sigh. Here is the more:

I am painting the letters and eggs and will cover some with scrapbook papers.
I am thinking about making the cross gold, but am unsure if that will look OK!?

I epically failed this week at being a supportive wife. My husband leaves Sunday and is gone all Holy Week. He will miss our son's first Altar Serving experience. He will miss the Chrism Mass on Tuesday. He will miss Holy Thursday. Good Friday, etc. And I'm not ok with it. He will be gone for a month at some point soon. Don't you think they scheduled a Homeland Security show that he just HAS to be at the week before. My head literally exploded. I could barely speak to him. I thought about divorce. It was that awful. I lamented being a single parent and being lonely... and I knew I was wrong. I said some things, out loud... and it was not good. I got into my own head... "you need him home. You can not fix things and sell the home without him. You did not sign up to be a single parent. etc... etc..." Sigh. I guess the success to it is that the pity party came to an end and of course, we are not divorcing.  The devil will never win that. My God is stronger - even when I am weak, He is strong. And honestly you can not beat that success.  

So there you have it.
My laundry is done, we are all well-fed, and I've gotten this post done. I'm still married. And our home is still standing. Oh - and our car has a new battery AND oil change. SO that is good.

And now, I've got to go cheer up my sweet boy.
Shamrock cookies anyone?

And here's a little giggle for you all:

A little Catholic Humor... Hee hee
Sherry wrote a great post about being thankful. How true it is when life is daunting. Sigh. Go check out the other posts too. 

Love and hugs to you all!
Blessings too.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tuesday's Tidbits -- Suffering With The Saints...

Dear Readers,

If you are of a certain age, you understand the above quote from Saint Ignatius. Especially during this Lenten season, I am reminded to suffer the right way. Our Lord died for our sins, he suffered more than we can imagine... and he did so with grace. Do I suffer with Grace? Humility? Integrity? Sigh...

I confess that when I was younger, starting around the age of 10 or so, and people would that God has great plans for me or that God never gives you anything you can't handle - it made me so angry. I kept thinking "why would GOD do these things to me?" You see, in my child mind was black and white. I thought I was being punished. I thought I wasn't good enough.

The abuse and chaos of my childhood became self-hatedislike of my young-adulthood. I could fill pages and pages with stories, but I'll spare you (and me) the embarrassment of having to sort through it all. Instead, I will tell you this....

In my late 20's, someone told me a few things that I REALLY needed to hear and memorize and act on...

1) You don't have to tell EVERYONE every bad thing that happens to you. Even when you are trying to help, because it scares people away. It's true. Some of what I have gone through, whether by someone else's hand or my bad choices, is horrifying.  It's enough to say, "I understand. I've been there." You don't have to give every detail.

2) We are judged on how we suffer. When I was younger, I never suffered well. I was mean and ugly, I lashed out... I hurt myself. I was an angry person. REALLY angry. I resented the fact that other people had great and loving mothers/parents. I was angry and resentful that a crack-addict could get pregnant with ten children and I only carried one to term. I was angry with many things that are the fallout of the abuse and chaos my siblings and I lived through. I was angry that I would tell the truth or try to talk to family members who hurt me, instead of talking behind their backs and smiling in their faces... and it always backfired on me. You know? Boy was I an angry person -- not constantly -- but angry, none-the-less.

I did not always suffer the right way. I did not turn to God. I turned to alcohol or sex or spending too much money. And then, I beat myself up because I knew how upset God was with me... A bad cycle. Right? Sigh...  Many people saw through it, knew the situations, and loved me anyway... built me up, encouraged me to turn to God. But so many people only know that angry and idiotically non-Christian person, who claimed to be Christian, but really didn't' back that up with action.

3) God loves you. He's always been with you. He has BIG plans for you. Maybe you will write a book. But you will be able to help people if you give up the anger and turn to God.  Sigh.

You know, I knew that God was always with me. I really did know. I think that is why I suffered so much - the wrong way - but suffered none-the-less.

As I began my trek back to God and ultimately back to Catholicism, I found the Saints. I mean ALL OF THEM suffered. Some with illness, and disfigurement; some with hard work and martyrdom; some with leaving their own countries to work in foreign lands... from all stations in life, they suffered for Our Lord and His people.  Here are a few of examples of some of my favorite Saints.
I love the Saints.  I wish I had known them all when I was younger. Perhaps I would have understood how to suffer the right way. Through them I am reminded to not suffer in a sinful way.

Whatever troubles you have, whatever suffering you are going through - pick up a book about Saints or go to a site about Saints.  I would be willing to wager that there is a Saint you can learn from. One who has walked, long before you (and I), and who can teach you (and I) to live the right way. To Learn how to lean on God and suffer the right way.  Life is full of hardships.... but life is about suffering them the right way.  This is one of my favorite passages... but I insert suffer by fast to remind myself that it is not for me to complain or bring others down.
"16 “And whenever you fast (suffer), do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting(suffering). Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast(suffer), put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that your fasting(suffering) may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.[f"
In my 40's I started to be more thankful for my trials and tribulations because I know God really does have big plans for me. In my 50's, I've had the opportunity to help a few people because I really did know and understand what they were going through. Obviously it is all God's plan and has nothing to do with me, except that I am His instrument.

I am still pretty much an open book. But I am no longer angry, except an occasional, sorrowful twinge that I never had more children. But God knows my heart.

I do a lot of talking to God. Maybe not always proper prayers... but just talking. I know He loves me. He knows I love him. I'm so thankful He gave us His Mother, my Mother. I'm so thankful that I am able to help others in a way I may not have been able... and I look forward to making a difference in people's lives - on HIS Holy Behalf.

I pray that whatever you are going through, you lean on Our Lord. Pray. Ask others to pray for you or with you. Let Our Lord guide you and comfort you, so that you will not be an angry, harsh and sinful sufferer...

I leave you with this.
1 Peter 4: Suffering as a Christian12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory,[e] which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you.[f] 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, a criminal, or even as a mischief maker. 16 Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name. 17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; if it begins with us, what will be the end for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,    what will become of the ungodly and the sinners?”19 Therefore, let those suffering in accordance with God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator, while continuing to do good.

Hugs & blessings,

Friday, March 11, 2016

My Apologies Dear Lord...

Happy Friday.
Happy Feast day of Saint John Ogilvie. One of the lines I read in his Bio was this:
"John came of age when neither Catholics nor Protestants were willing to tolerate one another. Turning to Scripture, he found words that enlarged his vision. Although he became a Catholic and died for his faith, he understood the meaning of “small-c catholic,” the wide range of believers who embrace Christianity. Even now he undoubtedly rejoices in the ecumenical spirit fostered by the Second Vatican Council and joins us in our prayer for unity with all believers."
How blessed are we to live in a time where we can respect other religions and find our similarities in our love of Christ and certain traditions?! Can I get an AMEN?

During Lent, we draw nearer to Chris. I like to think of it as a time of apology. Sigh. There is no way I could ever do enough to show how sorry I am for past sins. There is no way that I will ever be HOLY. But my sins of the past don't have to RULE my life.... and for so long, they did. I am sure I will always have a moment here or there where they will creep up. But I read this line in yesterday's Lenten Magnificat (ok, I read it this morning because yesterday was a crazy morning and I never got to it)....
"The difference between human and divine wisdom is that we generate the one, God give us the other. Faith, then, is a word spoken to me by Another (capital A), the Eternal word, whose impact strikes me square between the eyes as something I could never myself speak. And it lays an obligation upon me. "I think philosophy," wrote Joseph Ratzinger, "I receive faith."" ~ Pope Benedict XVI
Thank you Father. Thank you Papa!

Oh ya'll... are you ever doing something and an image of yourself in your youth and wild days smacks you right in your face and you shudder at your ignorance and lack of humility, grace or really ANY virtue? It happens to me. I was a very confused 20- and early-30-something person. If I was doing a 7 Quick takes on your worst sins, it would be:

7. Lack of Humility
6. Lack of Respect of self and others
5. Lack of Self control
4. Gossip
3. Sex before marriage
2. Abortion
1. Knowledge of God, but not following HIS Commandments!

Sure, according to society, I was a physically, mentally and sexually abused child; I basically raised myself, and for a while, my siblings too.... our family life was extremely chaotic, as you can imagine. And I was LOST. And so society would likely give me a pass.... but these are still sins, some mortal sins. I was good at faking it... I was good at making other people thing all was well and that I had it together... but if they were paying attention, they must have seen how really out of control I was.  I did stupid things to get people's attention. Every relationship I had was based on money (that is how adults in our family behaved, do this or you won't get ___") or sex. There was love on some levels of parenting and relatives. But I wanted the Walton's... you know?!

What is my point? I have one - I promise. The point is, I have learned that those really UGLY images that cross my mind all these years later are NOT of God. They are not part of the Lenten Process of drawing near to Christ and asking for continued forgiveness for all He has done for us. They are the evil one, trying to make me think I am not good enough... trying to steal my joy. There have been times that sneaky jerk has succeeded. There are times I feel not good enough.  The devil/evil one knows that sin separates us from God. And he wants you to think you are separate. This is ME, not trusting, "generating my own truth".... this is NOT of God. NOT NOT NOT!  GOD wants us to live in Him, with Him...He loves us. He wants us to love ourselves because He made us. He wants us to accept His forgiveness and be whole, in Him.

Here is a graphic:

The evil one hopes we won't ever read the 2nd column, right?!
  • The fear that my sins will affect my child or husband.
  • The fear that my parent's sins and other relatives sins will affect me.
  • The fear that I am not good enough to be friends with all these great Catholic women, for fear they will find out my past and not accept me. 
  • The fear that God will turn his back on me, because surely I am not as good as ____ or ____.
Things of that nature are NOT from God. You see, He forgives. God the Father sent His Son to die for our sins. How much more proof do we need that we are forgiven? God gave us HIS word! We are forgiven. We do not have to continue to apologize and lament past sins we are forgiven for. We don't have to beat ourselves up or fear we aren't good enough. We can be peaceful in His Truth and Love!

The bottom line, it is arrogant and divisive when we do not forgive ourselves as God has forgiven us. We must learn to let it go! *not the frozen kind.

Which brings me to, The Gift of Confession.  You say, "wait a minute... we must confess our sins?!" Yes - you must. If you are not Catholic, you are missing out on the gift of Confession. I need to go more regularly. Truly, it is awesome. We are so blessed to have this precious gift.

I just read this passage to my CCD Class, this past Sunday.  You know, our Catholic Faith is the first and oldest Christian Faith. Jesus made the Apostles the first Priests, here:
John 20: 1When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
And so I say to you... examine your conscience and your heart. Go to confession. Get "right" with God. The devil will attack you as you draw closer to our Lord, but when you calm yourself, you will know that this is NOT of God.

Examination of Conscience for Kids. Now, this one says it's First Communion Prep. But honestly, I think it is good to talk to children from toddlerhood about right and wrong. They understand.  It is a free download and I have given this to my CCD children.

Examination of Conscience for Adults. This is from a site called Beginning Catholics, and it is thorough. If you have a favorite Examination, please link it in the comments. 

If you don't believe in confession through a Priest, you can still examine yourself and ask God's forgiveness. It's a great tool to peace, through Jesus. TRULY! I am told it is a good nightly tool... and I really need to get back to doing it. 

What I hope you have taken from this post is that God tell us we are forgiven if we repent. Don't generate your own truth, stick with God's truth. He is, after all, Our Father!

Have a blessed weekend ALL!
Hugs, Love & Blessings ~ 
I leave you with this....

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Small Success Thursday...

There are those weeks.... when your brain won't settle and you think, I really want to write a Small Success post, but my head just may explode, and then you go to and read Sherry's Small Success Post and you SMILE... Big smile... and you think, "Hello God", thanks for snapping me out of it for the bazzilionth time.

And so, I will tell you that I felt like our week was a homeschool bust.
But you know what...Sometimes, successes are really SMALL. And you know what - on behalf of all the scatterbrained mamas out there that had a super busy week and are questioning their successes... I say - LOOK BEYOND... find the success-of-it-all!

Monday, my child got to spend quality time hanging out with his dad whilst I did some things I needed to do (like clean out a closet, laundry, etc.). Tuesday - we spent time in the closet avoiding tornadoes and straight-line winds, and just hung out. Bad weather days around here are a lot of back and forth, so I usually give the day off of school.  Wednesday we went to a class about Butterflies at the Botanical Research Institute here in Fort Worth. And though it was really geared to K-4th (a point that they neglected to share), our older children really were good sports and enjoyed it. Today, I went to card group, and I took a cute card for them to make. I'll share just a pic of it here (and I will put it on my craft blog, in a more explanative way).  Tomorrow, Marque is home, and there is Karate for Christopher, groceries for a few things... and then.... relaxing.

My child is reading his book for History, he did Latin, Math and a few other things this week. It was kinda Spring-Break like. Yeah, that's the ticket.

I was reminded this week that the days I get up and have quiet time with the Lord, reading, praying, etc.... those days just went better.

I got to counsel a friend who is having marital strife. God reminded me that all I've been through is starting to manifest into helping others, and that is a huge success - Thank you God.

Was my week full of huge successes? Nope.
But I did feed my family, keep my house reasonably clean, do the laundry and checked several things off my list (like taxes). And people - some weeks, that is just GOOD ENOUGH!


Here is the card I created to take to group:

Oh, and if you want to read about great successes, go check out the other bloggers posts.

Love and blessings,


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Tuesday's Tidbit... Making A Difference, Loving Your Neighbor

Happy Happy Tuesday.

Happy Feast Day - Saint John of God. I love reading about Saints, don't you?

I should say Happy Stormy Tuesday! We have already been in the closet this morning.
Picture this... we have a long coat-closet under our stairs. And when the tornado days come, we get to the back of the closet. In said closet is a comforter and a horse blanket (no it does not smell like a horse), water, shoes, bike helmets, lights that run on batteries, a weather radio, animals and whatever humans are home. Sigh - doesn't that sound fun? I really SHOULD get a picture.

So the topic of my post is Making A Difference, Loving Your Neighbor.

Throughout the Bible and in Church Doctrine, we can find examples of people loving their neighbor. Our Lord Commands us to in the Ten Commandments.  And, we must find a way. We must find our gift to share.

I confess that I am not always great with other people. I get nervous/anxious in a crowd. I like peace and I am a people pleaser. This gets on people's nerves. Truly. You know it, I know it... I'm a work-in-progress. I grew up in a Military Family and I married a Military Man. When you grown up that way, at least back in the 60's-70's - it was all about helping one-another.  Everyone pitched in. As I child I have such great memories of that.

As an adult, I don't always fit in. I have strong opinions. I have a big heart. I don't have an agenda. I wasn't raised by a woman and my brain doesn't play the same games and process things like a normal woman (so I've been told). It's all hard for me to process and wade through in forming friendships... I don't understand why people react the way they do... But my heart, I've learned to listen to it. And I don't let anything stop me from helping where I can... and being myself...which brings me to this...

Twice in the past month, women from the Altar Society at Church have stopped me to thank me for the cards I've sent them.  For decades I have sent cards to people in need, many strangers, and I'm not often thanked because the cards go to strangers - it's not why I do it, anyway - but it was nice to hear that these cards really do make a positive difference.

I joined the Altar Society but have missed every single meeting this year because Marque has been out of town. I have done some volunteering at events, but we don't get to know one another well, that way. We get notices when people ask for prayer and I always ask if I can send a card.  Most of these women I hadn't met when I sent the cards, but I feel they need to receive one.

One lady's mom is very sick. I sent a card telling her I was praying for her mom and for her. And when I ran into her, she started crying. She said the card made her so happy and it just really touched her heart.   The second lady's mom was sick and I sent a card, but the next day she passed, so I sent a second card... and while we were volunteering the other day, I introduced myself, and she said she had been trying to figure out how to find me to thank me. She said that the knowledge that a stranger was praying for her was so soothing to her when her Mother passed. She was teary as she told me how it made her feel.

I don't tell you this to pat myself on the back. I'm not that person. God is completely and beautifully in charge of my doing this. He has put me in the position to get to know people in our Parish and make a difference and it's such a blessing to me.

Nice people aren't nice to be thanked. But it is sometimes NICE to be thanked. Does that make sense? It is a peaceful and loving feeling.

This year is the year of Mercy. Use your talents to reach out... make a difference... touch the heart of someone suffering (or anyone)... love your neighbor.

Finding Your Gift... My advice. Do what you know you are good at! We are happy doing what we love. If you knit or crochet, make socks, hats or scarves for the elderly, or homeless, or babies.  If you are a baker, take cookies or baked goods to brighten someone's day. Take a group of children to visit the elderly. If you make cards - always send cards out. I have a friend with cancer. I sent her 30 cards. Now, she has cards to thank people who bring meals or whatever. It's that simple. Sing someone a song if you are a singer (ok, maybe if you aren't... because at least you are trying). You get my point. It's there. Find it! Share it! God will bless you for it!

I have stepped out of my comfort zone in joining the Altar Society and I may join another group too, I'm working on getting information. It's a Serra Group and it has to do with supporting Vocations.

Do what you can... Listen to God. It's amazing how happy it makes me, even on my most tired days...

Have a blessed Tuesday.
Praying for you all.
Love & Hugs,


Monday, March 7, 2016

Moments - Wrapping Up The Week with Surgery...

Happy Monday All!
Yes, Monday's can be happy. Ok, some of you may feel like this:

When you want to feel like this:

Good news, we all have our days. Life gets hectic. Know that you are not alone. Being a wife and mother is a vocation, and we all do the best we can. Aren't we blessed to serve a Lord who loves us no matter what and sends us Martyrs and Saints to remind us that our difficulties, though real, are not THAT big (mostly).

Photo credit:
Happy Feast Day of Saints Perpetua and Felicity.  HERE is another link about their history. It's sadly fitting that today is their feast day, as our beloved Sisters were amongst the dead, gunned down by anti-Christian fanatics a couple days ago.  The sisters were from Arabia, India and Africa. Mother Teresa founded their mission and they are truly Martyrs. Please join me in praying for them. They have been identified by the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia as Sr. Anselm from India, Sr. Margherite from Rwanda, Sr. Reginette from Rwanda, and Sr. Judith from Kenya.
For more information on what happened, please read the Catholic News Agency Article - HERE. Saints Perpetua and Felicity - Pray for us!

This past week/weekend, we were so busy.

  • Tuesday we voted.
  • Wednesday night we went to an exhibition basketball game between our local Seminarians and the Catholic High School team. It was so fun. HA! 
  • I volunteered Thursday evening to put together 200+ Easter Baskets. It was so fun. Met some ladies in the Altar Society at Church. I was so excited to finally go to an event. Marque travels so much, I just never get to go.  
  • Friday Morning, Marque had his lungs washed and biopsied. Good times. We will have results soon on the scan/biopsies. Pray for us.
  • Saturday, we had our produce co-op and dropped Christopher at a friend's house. Then we grocery shopped and took a nap. That evening, our friends made dinner and we gladly ate when we picked our son up. It was perfect. 
  • Sunday, I teach 3rd grade CCD, then Mass, then I volunteered at a spectacular event.  The event was the Silver and Gold Reception, celebrating couples who have been married 25+ years. It was spectacular to talk to couples married for 66 years or 52 years, you know? Their knowledge. Their love. Their spirit. It was awesome.  A few of us volunteered to cut cake and we were at the greeting end of the table. It was fun to serve them and hear their stories. One couple, married 66 years, he was so sassy... so when I said, Happy Anniversary, how long have you all been married? He made a comment about how lucky she was (you know the sass I speak of lovingly), and said to her, "oh I need to hug you!" And he said, "I didn't get a hug"... and it went from there. So cute.  Another couple, the gentleman was turning 90 this week, he said the key to a good marriage is, "Yes Dear!" His eldest son said, "I thought you would say it was Scotch!" And I said, "maybe that's why he says "yes dear!" It kind of sounds lame-ish, but I promise you it was so fun serving them and listening. People from all over the world, sharing faith and marriage. The Bishop gave them a Mass and came to the reception. That's a big deal for them! You know? Sigh. 

The above and school and this and that... you know the drill. See the hot mess meme above. HAHA

So today, I am....

Thankful For...

  • Faith and community @ Church
  • Nuns and Clergy who are so selfless.
  • Rain! It is going to rain all week.

Praying For...

  • Our World - That we learn respect for one-another and stop the madness that Evil brings.
  • Our Clergy and Missionaries - that they know we pray for them and that they stay strong! May God keep them safe.
  • Our Country - that we may be smarter about who we elect and that we may take back logic and Conservative American Values.
  • My husband's lungs (that the scan and cultures come back good)
  • That I lose the weight that I need to.
  • That we grow deeper in our Faith.

Organizing This Week...

  • Butterfly Class & Nature Walk at the Botanical Research Institute
  • Card Group
  • Altar Boy Training for Christopher
  • School.... a few tests, etc.
  • Tonight - Spaghetti & Meatballs and Salad
  • Tuesday - Chicken & roasted veggies
  • Wednesday - Leftovers
  • Thursday - Beans & Rice and Salad
  • Friday - Fish and Veggies
  • Saturday - Grilled Chicken
  • Sunday - Unsure
Sharing What I Captured...

Waiting to vote.
A few Easter Baskets.
Smiling Hubs...

I've babbled long enough. If you are still reading - THANK YOU! 
I hope to blog more this week in not such a babbly way. 

Love and hugs,