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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Shout out!

Hi

I just want to thank you for stopping in and being on this journey with me. I hope in time you'll introduce yourself to me and the other readers, because we share a common interest in seeking meaning and purpose and understanding. I love to write to encourage others because we all need that. And your visits encourage me to continue doing what I love. So thanks and may your journey be blessed.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Success

Relating to a recent post, what is success to you? Is it something you can put in words, or is it a vague notion of professional accomplishments and material accumulation? That sounds shallow but this isn't a place for judgement, but honest exploration. Maybe it's your children holding good jobs and happy marriages? Maybe it's peace and harmony in the home?

 Maybe we'll take some of each? 😆

Our idea of success, Whether vague or clear, is often something given to us, not original to ourselves. That isn't always a bad thing. Let's  look at the origin of these notions.

Professional acumen can be the result of hard work, sound education, and good interpersonal skills. All good things.

The money that flows in from your career buys the things needed for both you and your family. Another good thing.

Peace and harmony in relationships means personal, tailored attention is given to each person we care to give it to. Hopefully those are the people we live with. A wonderful thing.

So, society's definition of success has good roots. The roots are in human virtue and self-giving. It all seems so clear and easy in writing! But life's not like that. There is so much we can't control, most of whom are people! And wrenches can be thrown in our best laid plans.

And maybe our plans start to control us. This is when we get caught at work until late in the evening, every evening, to get the money to buy more of what would be nice but we don't truly need. When the perfection of the house takes precedence over the people we've created it for, including ourselves. When we are so busy we forget to listen, share, and play. When we don't pray.

My friends, it's time to regroup and define success for ourselves. Because it just may be something that hasn't occurred to us yet.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Trust



We all know there is no relationship without trust. No marriage could begin or last without it. No friendship, either.

And yet, how much do we trust God?

I've heard it said that God trusts us with the children He gives us. He trusts us a lot! Or you could even say a child is a sign of His trust; that we can do it, that we will put our intelligence and will at the service of these little ones, helping them solve their problems and forming them well. It's a learning process, but He trusts us nonetheless.

My question today is how much do we trust God with our loved ones? Yes, we know we will do everything in our power to help one of our kids if they are going through a difficult time. We will support our spouse, parents, friends likewise. But what if it takes too long in our eyes? We don't see the needed internal or external change that would issue relief or happiness once again?

We need to not only trust God with our loved ones, we need to tell Him we do. There is a power in saying it, maybe because we really don't want to say it, because saying it means something. It means we can let go. Yes, we listen, we love, we do all we can. But God is ultimately in charge and allows them and us to go through things and it must be for something better.

When we trust Him, our relationship begins. Because we all know that without it, there is none. Truly trusting Him just might make all the difference in taking that next leap of Faith.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Making an impression



We grow up learning how to walk, talk, eat, write and speak in order not exclude ourselves from certain opportunities and to get a good job; in a word, to make a good impression.  But to what end? What for?

There is a woman who has come into my life as my house cleaner. She was always good at her work and a huge help with the load of laundry that has my name on it. But not until recently did I grasp the impression she has quietly made upon me.

Sometimes I wish I could harken back to the time when everyone had less and expected less. Some of my favorite memories are from visiting my grandma in her magical little farmhouse in her quiet town in minnesota. Her life was simple yet filled to the brim with small joys and purpose. At 95, to everyone she meets her warmth, enthusiasm and zest still makes an impression.

This weekend I visited a Latin American art exhibit in St. Petersburg and saw a replica of someone's bare essentials kitchen of their childhood home. They were celebrating it. Were they taught the necessity of making a good impression?  What for?Life was good then.

It made an impression.

You see, I have no idea where my house helper lives or what she has in terms of material possessions. My house-helper likes her work. She knows she helps me and she is happy knowing this. She has her hobbies, her work, her home.

She has made an impression.

Don't get me wrong. Culturally we value things that are good. There is value in doing your best, having good posture and manners and to be able to communicate effectively.  You just have to figure out what for.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Why?

St. Teresa of Avila said, " Dear Lord, if this is how you treat Your friends, it's no wonder You have so few," as she was bucked from her horse while on her way to one of her monasteries.

Do you ever feel that following God is too demanding? More than you thought it could be or should be? Shouldn't life following God be sweet?

It's hard to explain to a looker on the maxim "by the grace of God go I." If life is so hard, why not chose an easier route? It is yours for the choosing. But we each have our own path God has called us to walk, and we recognize the light on our path and know there really is no other option than to follow. It's like a magnet drawing us on. 

But what makes it so hard? Why does following Jesus have to be so hard? Maybe it's because we care too much what happens to us. We want to be seen in a certain way, we want certain creature comforts to make us feel important, we want general admiration. We want to relax, take it easy, and really just have no worries but what pleases us. Too much responsibility really cramps our style! All of this leads to the conclusion that we still think we know what will make us happy and don't live the Faith of a true child that lives happily in His Father's house. If we do, we can thank the people who have shown us how, who have made it easy, and thank God for that mega grace. 

Don't get me wrong. There are noble parts in our soul, or we wouldn't be following the path. And these noble parts keep us trudging, thank God! And there are great and unexpected joys as well, joys that we wouldn't have otherwise known even existed if we didn't follow the path God set for us. But the crosses are entwined along the road and are just as much a part of our reality. 

Let's pause to reflect upon them, because that is our gripe this morning. "Dear Lord, if this is how You treat Your friends, it is no wonder You have so few(!)" 

Our crosses carry out an inner purification that slowly set us free, inch by inch on that journey. And set others at a quicker pace if we bear some of our load for them, or even bear their load for a bit. And then we can all start to smile more as we see into the heart and true, spiritual successes of our friends, knowing we are getting on in the journey, peering into the water jug inside of us that is being cleansed from murky water and so, capable of holding more and more of the Living Water. 

We are friends with God. Let's not forget it for a moment. And God didn't just skate by in life. So "carry" on, and live more freely and fully in His house. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Heavenly Peace please!

This Christmas, take time with the Baby. Maybe we have a baby and we know what that means.. How a baby makes everything else halt. Time has to stand still, and the baby needs his mama. He needs 24/7 care. He invites us to rest and love and be present. We smell his aroma, our hearts fill with love when we feel his soft pure skin against ours. At least, that is what he invites us to. 

So often, we are Martha. I think that's why the story is written for us. We are busy because there just IS so much for us to do! Even through the parable Jesus tells us the work will always be there. At Christmas we are reminded of his real wish-Just be with me. Hold me in your arms and let me rest awhile there. I loving you, you loving me. I as the baby, you as the mother, or father, or sister or brother. 

Why would you come as a baby, Lord? Because babies come first. Everything else is secondary, and serve the baby's life and happiness. People always come
First, starting with the God-baby, and that time is not stolen from the real life you live. It IS the life. Advent is the beginning of the new year. It puts our resolution before our eyes and presents him in a manger. 

What can we eliminate? What, besides our vanity and pride, can we give less importance to so we can make time to hold the Baby? And the babies and children and spouse and friends we are given? 

St. John Paul 2 wrote we live in relatio, we live in relationship to one another and that the relationship we hold with each is vastly key to who we are. Too often, that human contact is lost. Are we being wife, mother, child, sister? Too often, work, whatever work it is, be it the work of a CEO or the work of the home, or both(!), takes first place in defining our lives, how we see ourselves and live with others. Christmas invites us to live in  relatio once again. How can we be at peace in our souls if we can't take time to hold the Child, holding him as he sleeps in heavenly peace?