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.

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How To Make Curtains and Still Keep Your Religion


Do you have times in your life when you bite off more than you can chew?  I do.  In fact, I am the Queen of biting off more than I can chew.  I don’t know why I do it, I just do it.  It’s not that I think I can do anything, rather it’s more along the lines of I’ve got to try.  My friend Sue believes that I am brave enough to try anything.  Wrong.  My friend Mary believes I can do just about anything.  Wrong.  My friend Barbara has known me since I was eighteen years old and she knows I am a gifted in the art of fake-it-till-you-make-it.  Sometimes I bite off a mouthful because I don’t think I can afford to pay someone else to do whatever it is I want done.  I’m, kind of cheap that way.  My husband would tell you I do it because I don’t think anyone else could do it the way I want it done.  Tsk tsk.  I thought he knew me better than that.  There are very few things I do that can’t be done better by Anyone else.  I understand me better than anyone else does and that makes explaining what I want (and how I want it) a lot easier when no one else is involved.

With that said, perhaps it would be better if I could step out in faith and pay someone to bring my projects to life instead of struggling to do it myself.  For example, the curtains I just made for my living room and dining room.  I put that project off for over a year before I got the nerve to start.  I just couldn’t cut the fabric, a beautiful piece, by the way, that I purchased at a phenomenal price.  Picture this, gorgeous up-graded burlap style with a French postage print.  It was originally $38/yard.  Omygoodness.  I could never pay that!  So I waited and waited and waited till it went on sale for 50% off.  Then I went to the fabric store on ‘Old-Lady-Day’ and saved another 15% on my dream fabric.  (Senior citizen discounts are the bomb!)   Just think – 65% off!  How cool is that?  It is so beautiful that I couldn’t bear to touch it for fear that I would ruin it.

I think this is THE most beautiful fabric.

I think this is THE most beautiful fabric.

Fast forward a little over a year.  I’d put it off long enough so I began to plan how I would manage to bring my project to fruition.  I searched online and found some room darkening fabric curtain panels at such a low price, taking them apart so that I could use them in my own curtain project wasn’t a problem.  I’m not ‘shamed to say I’m cheap!  Even if they aren’t exactly the right color…The back won’t show, right?

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Now do you see why it might be a good idea for me to actually pay someone else to do the work for me??  I’ll cut to the chase and tell you exactly how it went.  I cut the fabric into four nice 90 inch pieces.  I took apart the room darkening panels.  then I got in the floor with one of the expensive fabric panels and covered it with one of the el cheapo fabric panels.  I cut them to the same size, pinned them together and sewed up the top and both sides.   I then ironed the seams flat and clipped on the rings that would suspend them from the new curtain rods (which I bought at Kohl’s online using my ebates account at a 6% rebate!  I’m so cheap.)   I learned a good lesson when it comes to ironing.  If the iron is too hot, it will melt your room darkening fabric.

As my beloved late mama used to say - "Sheee-it".  She was a great seamstress but mama was no saint!

As my beloved late mama used to say – “Sheee-it”. She was a great seamstress but mama was no saint!

Here is where the comedy begins.  The new curtain rods, oh Sweet Jesus, why do things have to be so complicated?  Let us just say that after a long effort and several practice runs, I managed to get the brackets up.  It was touch and go there for a while.   I took them down, made some adjustments, put them back up.  To say nothing of me on a ladder – not good.   It seemed to be a never ending series of errors.  But I got it done.  Yep.  May not be perfect, but it’s done.   Except that I ran out of that really expensive, gorgeous, high-end burlap fabric with the French post script on it.  Yeah.  I did.  Each window needs at least another panel.  *sigh.

Not too bad,  if I say so myself.

Not too bad, if I say so myself.

But the curtains are up and of course, my good God didn’t let me get very far in the process without a lesson or two thrown in.  He is so good that way.  Don’t you love it?  As I was taking apart and sewing together, I was reminded of Job, a book in the Old Testament.  The devil was on the hunt looking for someone he could bring down.  He badgered God and hounded Him, taunting Him that he could turn a believer into his own disciple.   Poor Job, he was really in for it.  He went through so many devastating trials, any ordinary man would have keeled over under lesser circumstances. Scripture tells he was a faithful man but he was human as well. He had his doubts from time to time. He was shaken to his core. Over and over, his friends tried to convince him that God had forgotten him, sacrificed him, turned him over to die. But Job was wise in not listening to them. He knew that God would not forsake him. And God proved that He is faithful, even when we have our trials and tribulations. Even when we have to start over. Even when we make mistakes, become discouraged, feel like giving up, when nothing fits, the seams aren’t equal, we can’t seem to measure up.  Even when we think we have bitten off more than we can chew.

The lesson is to prevail, to keep doing what you have to to get the end result you want. And beyond that, the lesson is to trust, to believe, and to have faith. God is a good God. We human beings have trashed the world He has given us. We and our ancestors have poisoned, plundered, and murdered the paradise He put together with His spoken word. Yet, He still loves us. Every one of us is beloved to him.  It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done. He absolutely loves you, purely and faithfully.

How do we repay him? Do we do as Job’s friends suggested and turn our back on our Maker when the going gets rough? Or do we offer ourselves, time and talent to the One who promises unending love, security, and peace? Do we work for Him and with Him? Or do we run into the world, away from our troubles and refusing to help anyone else in dire circumstances? You know, trouble will follow you. Running away won’t change a thing. Ask Job, he knows.

As I was studying for this post, I came across several scriptures that relate to God’s love for us.  If you are led to, read the book of Job.  The ending is worth it!  Then do yourself a favor and read Psalm 139.  Awesome.  That kind of reading will make a believer out of you!  If you don’t know already, you will see that God has it all worked out for you.

“For I know well the plans I have for you, plans for your welfare and not for woe, as to give you a future of hope. When you call me, and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me, yes when you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me …” Jeremiah 29: 11-14.

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I was surprised to realize that I haven’t posted anything since November.   Wow it was a busy year end!  We had our annual Grandchildren’s Christmas party on Dec. 27th and man, was that a blast!  I’m thinkin’ one of God’s plans for me was to be somebody’s grandmother.  That’s a good thing because it has always been my favorite dream.  Back to the year end –  we had a beautiful celebration on Christmas eve with some dear friends; dinner and exchange of gifts preceded by a rosary.  It was a holy and heartfelt celebration.  Santa wasn’t invited but the Holy Spirit was!   Although I missed my grown children and all my other relatives spread across these United States, this Christmas season was spectacular in the area of spirituality.  I have a lot to be thankful for.  The Hubs, our home, our Lord.  We have blessings that are never ending.   I found out I have a brain tumor.  It is not cancer and I won’t need surgery unless it begins to grow.   Take that you old devil ~ I’m standing with Job and giving thanks and praise to the One who sustains and heals!

Now to make another couple of curtains…

Don’t forget to pray for peace y’all.

Happy New Year Ya’ll


Gloire `a Dieu dans le plus haut et sur paix de la terre, bonne volonte’ vers homes.

Twenty-thirteen…

I won’t bore you with the used up clichés about it being a beautiful year or one of the best, etc. You know it was. And I’m sure you were blessed in many ways this year, as was I. Don’t take it for granted, ya’ll. Most of us have an easy life compared to the millions who don’t even have basics like food, water and shelter. Geez, if I want water I turn on the tap. I have more than enough to eat. I climb between warm sheets and blankets each night under a solid roof, out of the elements and away from the city. I am spoiled. If I want something, I go to the store and buy it. Even when I have more month at the end of the money, I still have more than those in, let’s say, third world countries.

Humbling, isn’t it?

Why me? Why am I so blessed? To think of my position in life along those terms is mind-blowing. My short-comings and disabilities are nothing. My needs are met even if my ‘wants’ aren’t always met. It’s hard to admit, but even my pets are better off than at least half of the world’s population. Sure, I have difficulties, trials, seemingly insurmountable issues. But they can and are dealt with, not necessarily on a first come first serve basis, but without a doubt fixable one way or another. I can’t imagine it any other way. Again, I am spoiled.

“There, by the Grace of God, go I.”

I recently read a book by Deb Hunt. Dream Wheeler is the story of a remarkable woman who started her life over at the age of 61 years. She moved to another country, bought a shell of a house without any useable essential amenities and set about creating the life she wanted. When I tell you Jane started over from scratch, I mean from scratch. And she did it from a wheel chair.

dream wheeler

Could you do that? Could I? One part of me would love it. Wow, starting from the bottom means there only one way to go but up. Would I have the courage? the confidence? the means?

I highly recommend the book, by the way. I got it from Amazon in ebook version. I think now I’m going to get it in paperback. I want to be able to put my hands on it and read randomly. I’m quite sure I would get nearly as much inspiration from it as I do from the Bible or other inspirational writings.

So Happy New Year to ya’ll. I know I said I won’t bore you with clichés but I have to say ~ enjoy your life and do your best to make someone else’s better. You can start by praying for peace.

Oh. And you might think about giving glory to God. He’s the best.

NO JUDGMENT HERE


spoiler alert: Got some good preachin’ goin’ on up in here!

Isn’t it odd how we think of ourselves as good people because we are good deed doers and don’t judge others for the mistakes they make, for being down on their luck, or suffering from their weaknesses? How sometimes we go out of our way to help a person because they have a specific need? How we think we are doing the right thing when we give to the salvation army, or buy raffle tickets for a worthy cause, or do volunteer work? It makes us feel good, like we are nice people trying to do the right thing. Like we are people who don’t judge others. See a man on the side of the road picking up cans? Here, you can have this one too. No judgment here. See an obviously homeless person hitching a ride? Jump in, no judgment here. Some painfully poor person panhandles for your loose change? I’ve got plenty, no judgment here. How about this one: a perfect stranger on face book needs someone to listen to her problems? Sure, take my ear. No judgment here.

My question is this: Do we exert ourselves in the same manner for our family, and friends? Are we as kind to them as we are to some strangers down on their luck? Do we give the people we love the most the same amount of respect as we do to people we don’t even know, or perhaps will never even meet?

I’m asking these questions of myself today. A distant memory triggered this onslaught of soul-searching and I realize there are a lot of sins I have not asked God to forgive. I hadn’t asked Him to forgive me for resenting my mom’s efforts to help a child in another country with a monthly donation. It was probably thirty five years ago and I remember my grandmother saying at the time “charity begins at home”. I agreed with her because I thought my mom would have better spent her money on me every month, after all, I was a single mother trying to get by. In all actuality, I was a self-centered knot-head with an it’s-all-about-me attitude. My world had an invisible boundary that hindered my ability to think beyond the ‘dome’. I never stopped to consider that my mom’s contribution might very well have changed the future for one little person, a change that might have an impact on the whole world, all because of that one little gesture, one little contribution. God said He forgives me. I hope my mom does too. If she were still with us, I would ask her from the bottom of my heart to forgive my selfish resentment – and for judging her wrongly.

Mankind is best served by all of the do-gooders out there and for obvious reasons. Jesus said “love one another”. Did you think this post would be about serving others, taking care of the poor or homeless, loving others as we love ourselves? In a way it is, but don’t forget about those already in your life, people. Don’t forget that your family, maybe friends, too, need your kindness. Or understanding. Or forgiveness. Or even to be forgiven. Don’t forget them in all your efforts to serve God’s people. They might be the ones who are down-trodden, disheartened, or misunderstood.

Don’t judge them either.

I used to be the world’s best at judging others. Just ask any of my former co-workers. I was baaad. It’s really hard to think before I judge, but I am practicing.

I’m going to have a go-to-Jesus meeting for a long list of wrongs I’ve done that I brushed aside because I thought ‘doing the right thing’ was enough. And I’m sure you’ve heard (over and over) how if you are in flight and the oxygen mask falls down, put it on yourself first so that you have the strength to help the person with you.

That’s what I’m talking about.

So keep doing good things, people. Don’t stop, increase your efforts. And keep in mind there will be no judgment here.

think before speaking

And don’t forget ya’ll – pray for world peace. Our entire world needs more prayer.

Servant House – A Healing Place


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Hoo-Boy, I’ve been having a rough time of it lately. You know how it goes, you cruise along just fine, then you hit a bump in the road and suddenly your going off a cliff. That, my dear friends, is called ‘life’. So, my friend Mary Lofton told me about a healing Mass taking place at the Servant House in Marksville, La. last Wednesday. Well, of course I wanted to go! Who wouldn’t want to receive a healing? I grabbed a couple of friends from the prayer group I attend, Mary grabbed a friend too and we made arrangements to meet there. It was good to see each other again. Back in the day, she and I belonged to a prayer group in Pineville, La. That period of my life was probably the one in which I grew in my faith the most. That is, until now. I don’t know but I guess because I’m older now, I understand the lessons put before me a little better. Sometimes.

Look out, detour ahead.

As you know, the Lord works in mysterious ways. It seems to me He may be a little OCD about the way He wants things done. Check it out; He made the heavens and the sky first so the earth and solar system would have space to exist. He created the land and the sea, rather yin and yang, don’t you think? Soon He created man out of the dust of the earth, and from his rib He created woman (I’ve heard tell that He was just practicing with the first one, lol). The list goes on and on. Moses to the promised land. King David to Jesus. It all had to be in a certain order. It was important and as we look back on history, we might understand a tiny bit of the reasons why. You gotta love the Big Guy, right? He has a way with puzzles, and I for one respect, honor, praise and am deeply indebted to Him for that.

I often wonder if allowing the human race to have the gift of free will ever puts a kink in His plans? That’s an audacious thought, isn’t it? But then who (in their right mind) believes God talks to them? It takes a special person to hear God whisper His plans, a very special person indeed. I’ve been privileged to meet two of them, Aggie Neck and Donna Culotta.

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More than 25 years ago, Aggie and Donna met through their work with the Diocesan Service Committee in Alexandria, Louisiana. Aggie shared her vision of a community of prayer with Donna and the rest of the story goes like this: They heard, they listened, they believed, they acted. They opened Servant House. I choose to call them kindred spirits as both shared an interest in learning more about the gifts of spiritual direction and healing. Somewhere around 2004, Donna had the opportunity to spend time in Florida with Dionne Bronin and Barbara Schleman at the School of Spiritual Directors, from which she was able to graduate in 2006 and obtain certification in that skill. It was a puzzle/plan with a lot of pieces having to fit into place. And it’s an ongoing ministry of love in His name.

You will find Servant House at 117 N. Monroe St. in Marksville, Louisiana. It is situated in a quiet neighborhood surrounded by lots of green grass, flowers and craggy old bent trees. As a matter of fact, it kind of reminds me of my grandmother’s house. Established on October 15, 1989, Servant House has been a home for many who seek inner healing and spiritual direction. Sometimes a person might show up at the door with a need for someone to listen to them, to talk to someone who cares and prays and believes. Fulfilling such a need in a person is validating for them, an attribute worth far more than prestige or money. Having that kind of gift must be God-given. Although Servant House was and still is all about healing, the community of prayer doesn’t stop there. They take part in a prison ministry, a Charismatic prayer meeting every Monday evening (7p.m.), a healing Mass the 2nd Wednesday of the month, Bible studies, and they are very active in the production of the Steubenville South Youth Conference. They also offer the building for the Avoyelles Right To Life meetings the last Thursday of the month. And every December they sponsor a special Mass for loved ones who have passed on.

One more ministry of the Servant House is a food pantry. They open for one hour first thing M-F mornings to accommodate those in need. Unfortunately, there have been times when funding is low and there wasn’t enough money to stock the food pantry. Servant House depends on donations to keep it open. Donna makes string rosaries and sells them for $3 a piece to help with funding. That’s dedication in action, but it’s not enough. It would be a wonderful thing if they could get more donations coming in from – let’s say – you, if at all possible. Aggie and Donna did not ask me to solicit on their behalf but I feel called to do so. They are two kind, loving souls who have a divine job they are called to do and they do it well. Their drive and determination to serve Jesus Christ is inspirational. If you feel lead to help this ministry grow, give them a call at 318 253-7810. You will be blessed.

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And while you are at it, please pray for peace. The whole world needs your prayers.