Thursday, May 9, 2019

"why?!" Doesn’t have to Matter

The Lord placed  on my heart, to share my story. The beginning of the story is tough for me because I don’t want to sound like I think I am more special than others. Because I do not.

When I was young I was given a message that I did not understand where it came from or what it meant. I recall standing at the back door and i in my head I heard these words "you will do more" and it made me nervous wondering what that could
Possibly mean? And who did I even think I was to be so special of doing more? I knew that the words did not come from me they were  placed in my head to hear. I heard different variations of that message a few times through  the years"There’s more for you, You’ll be more". I wasn’t sure I liked it because I didn’t want to do great things I wanted to be a wife and mom. At the time I didn’t share this with anyone because I was embarrassed to sound or look conceited. I eventually married and had had a son.

When I was 45 my entire life was shaken and changed, 10 days after running my first Half marathon I suffered a massive stroke leaving me paralyzed on one side of my body I had to learn to walk again to dress myself. After four months in inpatient rehab at the hospital and nursing home, I returned home to my family only to realize my role in my family changed. I was unable to dress myself and my husband had to assist me in the shower and dress me every day; making him my caregiver and me the patient not the relationship you want with your spouse. My relationship with my son changed as well. At the hospital he overheard that I might not make it through the night and I believe it was at that time he distanced himself from me. After my husband went back to work I had to have a caregiver which made us all uncomfortable having a stranger in our home. I fought anger and depression constantly demanding "Why did this happen to me?!" over and over. When I asked  myself what if I never find out why?my answer  became:  Who cares? What am I going to do if I never find out? Be mad at God? No because I need him too much and he needs me as well. I rested on Romans 8;28 " And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose . " many people, (myself included), read that and stop at the word good. One day I finished verse 28"...According to ". His purpose"His purpose. His purpose His purpose may not be the same as mine but will be far better than anything I could imagine. He did not cause the stroke to happen. It just happened, and he will r work it into something good perhaps to benefit others, not necessarily me. I just may be used to have a positive impact on others I have been asked to speak to different groups of people to share my story. After speaking, I’ve had several people come to me in tears telling me why what I shared impacted them . That could not make me happier because after all of this happened I desperately needed something good to come from all this bad.
A friend once asked me if God could take all of this away and the stroke never happened. And He asked me to do it all over again to be used to help others would I do it? With little hesitation, I immediately answered of course I would becauseI i would miss the graces I have had the privilege of seeing along the way. And now I get to be used to show God’s glory in all of this. Perhaps, that is my "something more".?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Why I am Catholic; My journey of faith

Before I met my husband ( a cradle Catholic), I was a devoted, lifelong follower of Christ and  gradually grew into an Evangelical Christian. I didn't convert to Catholicism when Tom and I decided to marry-that came several years later. I always attended Mass with Tom, and also was active in my own Protestant church. After we had our son, Logan was baptized Catholic. Logan and I would go to two different churches every Sunday, a protest and toMass as a family. When confirmation time rolled around. I dragged my feet to the church with my family. I chose to sit in in on the first class and was surprised I was the only parent to do so. When a child asked if they could just ask God to forgive their sins, rather than go to confession, I was dismayed when the teacher ve replied no, they  had to go to confession for forgiveness. As soon as we were in the car. I made it very clear to Logan that I didn't believe the teacher intended to mislead, but she was wrong. Tom told me then, if I wasn't confortable with continuing the process, it was fine with him. So we stopped. It was very important to me, that our family attend church together. Going to two churches each Sunday was becoming a bit much for this full time working mom. One week, I realized I was getting more out of the Catholic Mass then I was from my own non denomination church, I then decided to take the RCIA classes to learn more. A couple months later, I was officially Catholic. But, there was still something missing for me. I longed for "community" in fellowship of like believers. I have  always had a passion for Bible study. I love digging deep into scripture and finding those golden nuggets. I asked our parish if I could facilitate a ladies bible study after getting the green light I selected the Esther study by Beth Moore. We promoted the study and 40 women signed up. It was so thrilling watching the small groups within our large group come alive week after week. After the study they asked me to find a "Catholic" study for our next session. I scoured the internet and couldn't find anything that beckoned. I just love being a part of a group study and was not willing to forego a study, so I joined a study with a different (Protestant) church. I eventually began attending that church and became involved in their kids program. However, I found I missed the reverence of the CatholicChurch, where I was truly being fed. After I had a stroke in2013(at the tender age of 45) s,I felt convicted by the Holy Spirit to embrace the Catholic Church-for my family's sake. I try not to argue too much with the Holy Spirit, because I always lose. He's the boss of me. so I made the decision to commit.
 We have since taken Logan through the confirmation process and I asked if I could create a small group for women that involves being active(hiking, kayaking, biking, etc) while enjoying God's creation together.  It has not yet officially launched as I'm still paralyzed on one side from my stroke.   I am working to create our own "community" at our parish. And am active in the CHRP(Christ renews his parish)community 

I am beyond delighted at the Evangelical direction that Catholic Church is taking under Pope Francis leadership and am eager to be a part of that. I love the rich tradition and reverence you find in the Catholic faith. I am always hurt and startled when I hear people say Catholics are not Christian. Catholics are followers of Christ. prior to my confirmation, I did go to confession and really loved it.  I am a confessor The sacrament of confession is a gift.  Every week, when we sit as a family at mass, I feel such profound gratitude it makes me weepy. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

All The Single Ladies

  Friends,. today's post is a tough
So tough, that I sought approval from my husband to write about it.  You see, we are going to speak frankly about s-e-x.  Yes, you heard me.  This particular post is intended for the single ladies.  this old lady( think of me like a beloved aunt here thinks she has some wisdom,that should be put to good, practical use and not go to waste.

I notice the Church(all  all denominations included)focuses the "wait for marriage" messages on the teens, while young,single  adults don't hear anything.  Perhaps that is why God prompted me to share my tale. (take one for the team,if you will)

Waiting for marriage was commanded by God for very real reasons. He didn't simply pull something out of a hat and say "Yes, this should "or shalt" be one of the 10." Now that I've been through it all I I have some understanding as to why we are intended to wait. Here is my story:  (Dang boy, sharing  this is scary for me.)
I started dating bachelor number one when I was 24   One thing led to another, and I lost my virginity at the age of 24. Let's be frank I didn't "lose" anything I served it up on a  platter

Of course we eventually broke up. Then along came bachelor number two who epitomizes the thinking/belief that  "hurt people hurt people". After having already been intimate once. it was easier to do it the second time. Eventually I ran far away from bachelor number two.
Finally I met the man who was to become my husband. As happened the last time when you’ve already done it once or twice it becomes easier to do it again Tom"DA bomb"and I got married when I was 34 years old. We missed out on that sweet season of waiting and eager anticipation. .

Remember and hold tight to the special reasons they tell you to wait back in  your days in youth group.  And have faith and trust that God knows what he is doing  His plan for you is always way better than your own plan .  Amen?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Counting it all Joy

After my stroke in 2013, I was trying to make sense out of things and find a way to quit being angry at how my life had changed. It is my instinct to turn tothe Bible to seek direction. I remembered a verse that directs us to consider it all joy, when going through trials. I couldn't find the specific scripture, then I consulted my best friend Google, who said: James 1:3"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds ". Yeah, I was still uncertain. In theory I got it, but how to put it into practice I consulted my Faith Walk Mentor. Mrs S. She advised I read a book Power In Praise writtenBy Merlin Carothers,a former prisoner who was saved while in prison. Praising God for his blessings helped him handle his prison sentence with grace. It makes sense. How can you remain angry while praising God for the good? After express ordering the book, I devoured it after it arrived. I then began my list of reasons why to praise God in the midst of my darkness, it changed my outlook.    God can take even the most bleak situation and make work to serve a purpose. 
by a man who learned to seek joy while in prison. After reading the book, I made a list of the blessings that came along with my stroke. 

Athe company for whom I worked, continued to pay my salary and family health insurance for seven months after my stroke. I was never able to return to work due to physical limitations.  We were approved to receive social security and disability income.  Not working allowed me to focus on rehab. I had long desired to work fewer hours and have more time at home with my son. Snow days? We get to hang out together!Our family had gotten into the habit of praying together in the hospital. We have continued that,allowing us to grow closer, my marriage is stronger, my friendships are closer and deeper. There are still issues I am confident God will work it all out. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Family prayer

Oops! I just realized I have ny reading glasses hooked on my shirt in this video. Please excuse my lip smacking, I'm not a professionalVlogger, just a hobby oneAlso? i'm a wee bit distracted by my bed head

This particular video is about praying as a family. And as Dolly Parton's mother used to say "I sure hope it blesses you".

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Can a dying friend be comforted?

I have a friend who learned that she has less than a year to live. I have wrestled with how I can help her during this time. All the silly ideas I had, I quickly discarded. After praying about it during family prayer the last couple weeks, I heard from God .
No, I didn't audibly hear a Loud , booming voice. Rather, I heard in my heart God tell me to pray for this friend to have peace, joy and confidence about where she's going next. She is a believer, so my prayer is that she feel peaceful as she prepares to meet her almighty Heavenly Father and join Jesus in heaven. Or, does it make more sense to plan a chick flick night with friends?  Um.. no to that. No need to plan a slumber party where we co paint each other's nails and braid hair and giggle until the morning. Instead we shall pray. Would you please join me in praying for "M's" sense of peace and confidence and that a little joy be thrown in for good measure?
Thank you. Oh, one more thing. Cancer is a big jerk.