AT THE END OF THE DAY…


jesus and child

I’m sure somewhere around the country, a beautiful sunset is about to be enjoyed.  While I enjoy evenings, in my part of the country, this evening is the end of a long rainy day.  It’s Easter Sunday.  And Easter Sunday is a day of hope for believers.  I love it, I appreciate it, I need it.  It is a lesson that one never stops learning; put your hope in the Lord.  Believe in the reality of it.  God came to earth in the form of an ordinary man, flesh and blood, with a need for nutrition, shelter, and love.  He sweat, probably had indigestion occasionally, and no doubt shared any and all maladies effecting human beings during that time in history.  As a carpenter, he probably worked very hard, was practical, and had a sense of design.  He must have had the occasional splinter, busted finger, and sneezed sawdust.  He was real.

And he still is.  He is not a fable or a legend.  He really did die.  He really did come back from the dead.  He really did ascend into heaven, where he lives and reigns.  He really did send us his Holy Spirit to guide us.  He really did.

How do I know these things?  I can say I have faith, but that wouldn’t be the whole truth.  That wouldn’t satisfy the average skeptic, because I too have doubts.  Can you believe that?  Yeah, it surprises me too.  So, I have had to look for proof.  I found it.  Don’t expect any fairy stories here.  I’m a romantic, but also a realist. (Blame my life experiences for that.  It hasn’t a perfect one.)  My proof was rationalization.  I read the stories of Jesus in the Bible.  But I came to discover that the Bible isn’t the only proof of His existence and life.  His very existence, and those of his disciples and family, are documented in other ways.

I also consider the extent of His follower’s passionate beliefs.  And the extent of that belief reaching far and wide, to places the original disciples could never have dreamed of.  Plus, they were eye witnesses.  And many more eye witnesses surface in history.  Consider the saints.  Visions and prophecy?  Sounds far-fetched but mysteries such as those are beyond my realm of understanding, but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe.  A short post of mine will not provide all of the proof a skeptic needs.  Everyone has to do their own exploring.  I can only testify to what I believe.

So, it’s been a quiet Easter Sunday here.  The hubs recently had surgery and is quietly recuperating in his big easy chair.  I took a nap too and have spent the rest of the day contemplating how blessed I am to be a believer.  At Mass this morning, Father Charlie Ray passionately spoke of the life, death and resurrection of our Lord.  He said something unique that will always stay with me.  It was in regards to the legions of us who aren’t so faithful about worshiping in church, those of us who come up with all kinds of excuses not to go.  He said “God doesn’t want you to worship Him the way you want to.  He wants you to worship Him the way He wants to be worshiped.”

I  can’t presume to second guess what God wants.  But I have a good feeling that the traditions of believers over the centuries can’t be entirely wrong.

At the end of the day, appreciation goes a long way and appreciation of what God did for us, the way He brought us from the brink of living in hell, lends itself to a type of worship that is beyond understanding.  I hope He receives it in the spirit it is given.  It comes from the heart.

Time To Let Stress Rest!!


AFTER THE KIND OF WEEK WE HAVE ALL HAD IN TERMS OF NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL DISASTERS, I THOUGHT IT WAS TIME TO LET STRESS TAKE A REST!

The world seems like it is upside down. Please pray for peace and the strength to overcome this culture of fear and death. Please pray for the world to be baptised into joy!

Hope these pictures make you smile!

I have been contacted by Cynthia Decker who gently informed me that I used her image without permission.  Please note the image of the birds on wire is apparently her image and is titled “Show off”.   Thank you Cynthia, for kindly allowing me to use your image!

Grandma was herebook characterlittle girl hannahDSCF6606birdssome pups 031worksbyfaithjesus and childarmour of Godmother theresa

BAPTISM AND CONFIRMATION ~ EASTER IS ON THE WAY


IT’S ALMOST EASTER! I love this time of the year. For many, it is the season of new beginnings and a very special time to fully explore, acknowledge, and embrace the very core of our soul. Personally, it is a time for a close examination of conscience and repentance. It’s kind of hard to get through, not because I see myself as a monumental sinner, but because I might possibly take advantage of the fact that my God will forgive me if I ask Him to. When I ask, is it basically just lip service? “Therein lies the rub.” Our Father is kind. He is loving. His mercy is so awesome that He worked up a solution to keep His children from ever having to live without Him. He offers total forgiveness from those wrongs with which we have hurt ourselves and others. Imagine that. Don’t you think He made it a little too easy for us? Jesus would disagree. He, after all, is the sacrificial lamb, the new covenant, the One who made it right for us. That kinda makes a person delve more deeply into the season of Lent, uncover the meaning and purpose, and then decide what to do about it. And that, in itself, opens something like a zip file full of insight into what Lent means and why we should use this season to examine our conscience with open eyes and a truthful, tender heart.
Speaking of hearts, this is also the time of year that young, fertile hearts are cultivated and encouraged in the faith. Typically, converts, first time communicants, and those requesting confirmation are welcomed into the Catholic faith at or around this time of year. It’s a beautiful thing. My prayer is for all of us who profess faith that we not take this opportunity lightly, that we honor God by seeking Him with open hearts, that we celebrate Him with all that we are. No lip service allowed, people.

Now for a shameless plug:
I’ve been making First Communion and Confirmation rosaries!

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Feel free to visit my etsy shop, ToLoveAlways
http://www.etsy.com/shop/ToLoveAlways

Please don’t forget to pray for peace.

Springtime, Easter, and the Cycle of Life


I absolutely love springtime!  It is so beautiful here with all the flowers and trees blooming, birds making nests, butterflies and bees doing their jobs.  Pollen in the air (cough cough, sniff sniff).  Weeds taking over (get the Roundup).  Snakes coming out (get the shovel).  MOSQUITOES!!  (what? how?)

But I still love Springtime!

We barely had a winter season to prepare us for the glory of spring.  It is odd, really, that most of my tropical plants from last year are still above ground.  Usually by March, I am up to my elbows in the garden, removing this, replacing that, throwing away something else.  It hurts me to see plants die.  It’s kind of silly, I know, but what once was alive, vibrant, and there only for beauty, is now broken and without life.  It hurts for a little while, at least until Spring gets a good foothold and new life appears.   Think about it: a beautiful plant blooms, the flower dies and throws off a seed.  A new plant springs from the seed, and so on.  It’s the cycle of life.  Everything must die first to be able to bear fruit.  God planned it that way.  I’m sure He has his reasons, although I don’t profess to know what they are all the time.

Springtime heralds in the Easter season, and with good reason.  Easter is the epitome of the cycle of life.  Again, God planned it that way, don’t you think?  It is an amazing thing, that plan.  In a way, you could say that it pertains to every aspect of our lives as well.  We all have to die to certain things before we can produce the right kind of fruit.  Am I right?  We all make mistakes.  We all have our moments in the sun, so to speak, and we all become broken from time to time.  We have to start over hoping our experiences help us to bear good fruit.  Life goes on.

It is a very good thing, this cycle of life.  The birth, the death, the renewal of life.  None of us are immune to it’s cause and effect.  Every living thing goes through it.  Listen to this:

Even the Bread of Life was broken before New Life could be given.

As we count down to Easter morning, I plan to do a lot of meditating on this cycle of life thing.  I am in awe of the concept, especially how out of brokenness, comes life.  We humans are fragile.  We break all the time.  Don’t you think it is amazing that our brokenness can bring new life?  I do.  For that reason, I thank God for those times I have been, and those times I will again be, broken.  And I praise God for His divine plan and mercy that, by His death and resurrection, He has made for us a new life.

Ain’t God good?!!

What else comes with the Spring?  Baptisms, First Communion, Confirmation.  I have been busy putting together some rosaries especially for these occasions.  It has been such a joy and a pleasure!  I have had the opportunity to reconnect with the meanings of all of these special events, and now that the day is nearly at hand for my darling husband to be received into the Church, I am even more mindful of the joy of Easter.

If you see something you would like, or if you would like a custom order, please go to my shop on etsy:  www.etsy.com/shop/ToLoveAlways  or   www.etsy.com/shop/mynanaspocket

BABY BAPTISM ROSARIES:

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CONFIRMATION ROSARIES:

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DON’T FORGET:  MY BLOG READERS CAN GET A 15% DISCOUNT BY ENTERING THIS DISCOUNT CODE:  BLOGFAN1

TOMORROWFIRST COMMUNION ROSARIES!