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Monday, May 16, 2016

Wanting Chinese Food...

If I had been a man I would have been a great preacher.
-St. Teresa of Avila

My youngest daughter texted me from Madrid, Spain this morning saying, "I'm a bad tourist. I'm at a Chinese Restaurant right now.  My reply was, "sometimes you need Chinese Food no matter where you are."

That simple exchange led me to think about some of the things that I want or think that I want.  There is a difference.  The biggest thing in my life that I have believed with all my heart is that I was to be a Nun.  Well, that didn't happen.  I got married.  I got married more than once.

I think in the beginning I got married because I wanted children and I could not reconcile that want with being a Nun.  Wanting to be a Nun became an easily pulled out excuse for being unhappy.  "Oh, if only I had become a Nun."  "I never should have married.  I should have become a Nun."

I am not sure what would have happened if I had been a Nun.  A cloistered one at that!  I do know what happened because I chose to be in the world and remain among the laity.

I married and had children.  In fact, I have always said that I had yours, mine and someone else's.  I have biological children, step-children and adopted children. I wasn't always the best Mom and I drug my children through my own drama.  Never a good idea.  But I wasn't a bad Mom either.  I did the best I could with what I had at the moment.

In my vocation as a lay married person, the one thing that I am most proud of is how Michael and I handled his impending death.  That I did right.  I did not do it alone.  I had so many people praying for us. I had my parents who put their lives on hold to be with us.  I had our children, who came and saw their Dad.  I had my favorite sister and her family who helped in so many ways.  I had my brothers, who supported me in every way they could.  I had exceptional friends who held me up. I had my faith, my priest, and my parish.

Life can be like Chinese food.  One from column A and two from column B.  Faith is not like is a stead fastness that carries you through even when you want to quit.  Faith enables us to climb mountains and swim oceans.  Faith enables us to deal with washing clothes at eleven o'clock at night for the child that just remembered they need that special shirt in the morning.  Faith enables us to wash dishes and mop floors with a smile on our face.

Sometimes we want Chinese food.

Lord, You know me
looking for the easy way.

There is no easy way.
Your way has a yoke,
but the yoke is light.


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Oh Pride...

The only way to make rapid progress along the path of divine love is to remain very little and put all our trust in Almighty God.
-St. Therese of Lisieux

I will be honest, I am a bull in a china shop!  I open my mouth and speak before my brain and heart can stop me from being hurtful, small, and judgmental. I do not take criticism well, in fact, I become defensive and dig my heals in.

I have been known to cut off my nose despite my face.

Lately Our Lord has been putting me in positions to learn humility and I have been failing miserable.  I have been like the cacti in the picture with lovely flowers to lure you in and yet if you get too close my thorns will get you!

I have been extremely opinionated of late and with that comes judgement of others. I know best and am happy to tell you how and when you should do something.  I have snapped at others and then had to apologize to them as awareness stabs me in the heart.

Lord lately you have been gently trying to remind me to be an empty vessel and to accept criticism and to stop judging just because they sin differently than me.  As usual I needed a 2x4 to get my attention.  I needed more than one reminder and you were willing to provide the opportunities.  Thank you!

Lord, here are all my hurt feelings.
I give them to You.

Here are the unkind thoughts and criticisms of others
I give them to You.

Here I am stumbling on the path,
Hitting my head on the low gate to Heaven.

Here I am in all my weakness
Seeking my strength in You.