Wednesday, May 17, 2017

CWBN Blog Hop - Far From Holy - But I Am On The Path...

Hiya Readers!

I pray your day is going well today. This May in Fort Worth has been ODD, weather wise. It was cooler than normal - THANK YOU GOD! But this week, it's hot (near 90) and rainy.  Mother's Day Weekend we had topsoil delivered because our ground is so hard and rocky here, and when we bought the house 11 years ago, we had no neighbors and lost a lot of our soil via deluges of rain. We re-seeded the lawn and when I woke up this morning it was a muddy mess. I'm sure our neighbors are so impressed. HA


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I am joining up with Allison Gingras and some fellow Catholic Women Bloggers for a monthly blog hop about one topic - and everyone gives you their opinions on that topic. This Month's Topic is: Holiness in Our Daily Lives, Different Ways to Pray. I've enjoyed being involved with these ladies. Lately it's the only day I blog. I mean - my poor neglected blog. Anyway - head on over to Allison's Blog and check out how these fellow Catholic Bloggers make time/find time to pray and are holy in their daily lives.


You know the time you had a whole post written and you did a little Bible Studying with a group and by yourself and felt compelled to re-write the post? SERIOUSLY!

It makes me laugh to think that my sarcastic brain (total defense mechanism) can settle down enough to be Holy. Y'all, I don't feel holy at all most days.  But I am reminded daily, and some days even hourly/moment by moment.. that God just wants me to do my best. When I fall, I get back up and try again... I have such great intentions. Sigh.

In our home, every room has God in it... represented by Artwork, Crucifixes, Books, Rosaries, Holy Water Fonts, etc.  We don't have them to show off to anyone how Catholic we are - OR - to make anyone uncomfortable. For me, they are reminders to think, to read, to pray. Here are a few pictures of the things we have around our home. Please excuse the mess in some places.

Living Area Altar.
Nook at Front Door
Coat Closet/Tornado Room.
Living Area.
Front room mantle
Living Area
Sink Altar Area (Above is a sign that says JOY and it lights up).
War Wall (I don't have a whole room)
My headboard.
Prayer book and Altar in my bedroom.
Wall behind my desk.
View over my computer.
To the right of me currently.
Those items (and more) are scattered throughout our home and so intertwined in what we see daily that we don't always notice them. Sigh. My point is, and I do have one, that if you have lots of things it's NOT enough. Do you know what rote prayers are? Do you know what ROTE means? It just means the ones we all know... the ones we memorized long ago that we say without thinking about the meaning. We know when to say them and we do.  Some of the items in my home became ROTE and I needed to revisit their meaning in my faith. I needed something more.

But there are days where I don't notice them in my rush to get things done. As a busy, stay home, homeschooling mom, with an active child (Karate, Guitar, baseball & football and piano starting in the Fall), life is busy.  Plus, I am an older mom (54 this year, thank you very much)... and I'm finally handling health issues that should have been handled long ago. Plus I volunteer...

I tell you these things because I KNOW. I know what you are up against, and I only have one child (on the spectrum) at home. You mamas with more children - my heart goes out to you. I'm jealous of you in many sincere ways... but your time crunch makes mine look mundane. I get it.

I mean... where do you find time for you to become holy, much less time for Bible study and prayer?

... when you can't go to the bathroom (or anything else) without interruption? Honestly when your child is young, you can't even sit through Mass uninterrupted. Right?
... when everything in life seems chaotic?
...when you have to much to do, you can't concentrate?
... when your spouse is always gone?
... when your family lives far away?
...insert your thoughts here...
In 2005, Transitioning to being a Housewife was hard on me. I was lonely, I missed my paycheck, and I was an angry and conflicted career woman, who had NO idea how to take care of a child and stay at home - successfully. There was not a lot of prayer during this time.... well, not meaningful. In fact, if I'm being honest... my life up until about ten years ago was so chaotic, that although I believed in God, and I prayed, the way I lived my life did not reflect a Christian, much less a woman striving to be holy. It's seriously an embarrassment... which I try to use for good.

As I came back to the Catholic Church, my prayer life picked up. I was really good at memorizing prayers. I prayed a lot... but they weren't DEEP prayers. You know? Meaningful, but not getting to my CORE the way they should.

In 2012 or 2013, I read Holiness for Housewives and Other Working Women. The premise of the book is to meet God where you are. So I set up al Altar above my sink and learned that maybe I couldn't get the whole Rosary in at one sitting, but I could do decades throughout the day.... even while I wash the dishes. Right? Since then I have read many books, and these days, I pray these ways and many more:
  • Going to Mass
    • Confession and Adoration - need to do more of. 
  • by starting a Catholic Bible Journaling group on Facebook.
  • by finding "My Tribe". Find your Tribe. Online, at your parish - wherever. Just find people who you know will pray for you when you don't even have the energy to pray... because you don't know where to start and are convinced, in your humanity, that Our Lord, Mary and all the Saints have long stopped listening to your silly prayer (ok, maybe that is just me). These people STEP UP!
  • by helping others.
  • by Praying the Rosary (Rosary Audio) while I put on my make up.
  • by Reading any number of books about prayer or about Saints, God, Catholic History... anything.
  • by surrounding myself with Faith and Faithful people. 
Life is about seasons. And Mama's I don't want you beating yourselves up if your dream prayer life doesn't seem present. God knows where you are. I don't do all of the above daily. I try to, but some days...

I leave you with this thought, from the Magnificat Readings today, May 17th.

New American Bible (Catholic Women's Bible) John 7:  37-On the last day of the greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood up and exclaimed, "Let Anyone who thirsts, come to me and drink." 38- Whoever believes in me as Scripture says; "Rivers of living water will flow from within him."

Here is what the author said, "branches severed, branches hanging tenuously from Christ the vine, wither. Branches firmly grafted into Christ the vine continue to be refreshed and renewed by the water of life, the Spirit of God, for whom all human beings thirst, knowingly or unknowingly."

The Gospel Reading is from John 15: 1-8:

Jesus said to his disciples: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does, he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on it's own unless it remains on the fine, so nighter can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. If you remain in me and my words remain n you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for  you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples." The Gospel of the Lord.

So that sounds daunting... but bear with me. The Meditation of the Day came to the rescue for me... I am going to share a picture in it's entirety so you can read it.


The paragraph that stands out is this:
It is not doing perfectly this or that particular work or exercising a particular profession that grafts us into union with the Church it is being so driven by Christ, wherever we are, that this small action of ours in the world is truly HIS!
I say to you... do what you can when you can. GOD knows... the rest of us and what we do... it's interesting, but don't get caught up in it. I won't judge you no matter what, none of us will... because WE GET IT!

Ladies, I do not claim to be holy, but I am on the path that I know will lead me there. Won't you join me. Tell me how you pray and what you do to make your lives holier.

You bless me so much.
Hugs to you,
Em