Sunday, November 29, 2009

Advent is a time to set new beginnings

The one thing I like is that we are offered a new beginning.  In the church, the first Sunday of Advent is a new year for the church.  We are starting our process of waiting, of starting over.  This is so important because one of the virtues that is often forgotten in this day and age is the ability to wait. 

Technology is getting faster.  We are having more and more at our fingertips.  Children are starting to demand that they get what they want now.  But is is not only children, adults are not happy when they can not get what they want immediately.  Learning to be patient, and wait is one of the hardest virtue to learn.

With the beginning of advent we are blessed with so many different things.  First we are blessed with a new, fresh start.  That is why going to confession, is a perfect start to this new year.  We are starting new in the church, and starting new as a person is important.  God has give us the ability to start new.  Every time we receive the grace from confession, the feeling of everything we have done lifted off our shoulders, we are given the opportunity to start new.  Each year on December 31 we all set New Years Resolutions.  A way to guide us through the new year, and help us to improve our lives.  This is the same with the start of advent, we can use this time to set our course for the next year, and use it as a way to live a life that God wants us to live.

One of the lessons to learn during Advent is waiting.  This is not easy.  Look all around us, you have so much information at your fingertips.  If you want something, you purchase it.  If you don't have the money to purchase it, then use credit.  It is not often, if at all we have to wait for anything.  And in the rare instances that you do have to wait, it is usually painful, and overcoming of our spirit.  Learning how to wait.  Taking time away and seeing the blessing that comes with learning, and waiting is a great way to open our heart and soul to Jesus.

One of the most difficult lessons that we need to learn is how to live our lives to model God.  One of the ways to learn this is through learning how to wait.  To not want something instantly, but to see that sometimes, waiting is the best option.

My prayer in this Advent season is to learn to wait.  To understand that things do not have to be instant, but through the power of waiting I will come to see Jesus more fully, and learn to lead a life that God has planned for me

Monday, September 7, 2009

What is Beauty?

Your beauty should come from within you-
the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit
that will never be destroyed and is very precious to GOD
1 Peter 3:4
From all around, we see beauty.  You can not turn on your computer, watch the television, read a newspaper or even look at a billboard sign along the road with out seeing the expectations that society has placed on women.  It is so easy to see that around us we have expectations to meet up to.
As a child you see these images and it starts to leave an impression on you.  Young girls are expected to measure up to these standards.  Staying very skinny.  Trying to wear makeup as early as possible.  Wearing the most up to date, trendy clothes.  There is pressure all around to be perfect. 
Growing into the pre-teen years is no different.  The expectations grow higher.  Getting ready for school becomes very important.  Making sure your hair is just right and your clothes are perfect.  Finding ways to sneak a little foundation or blush on your face is important.  You start to really think about body image.  Many questions start to run through your head.  Wondering if you are skinny enough, or if you are too fat.  Wondering when you breasts are going to develop.  If boys don't start taking notice of you, you start to panic and want to know what you can do to look prettier.
The pressures on a teenage girl are unbelievable.  You want to look perfect every day.  At lunch time the idea of eating anything, is scary, you don't want anyone to see you eat, they may think you are fat, or that you are going to be fat.  Any comment that you hear while you walk down the hallway will adjust to how you see yourself.  If you were never asked out, then slowly your self confidence will start to get smaller and smaller.  All of these things put together are a lot of pressure.
Even as an adult, it is no difference.  Being perfect, looking perfect will consume you.  Comments from strangers can break your heart and stick with you for a lifetime.  You wonder what others think of you and how people perceive you.  The same feelings you had as a child, and growing up never really go away.  And many of the experiences you had, especially the negative ones, will stick with you, and help guide the choices you make.  
The one thing that can break this, is to remember that no matter what happens, you are a child of God.  God made you special, and sees you as beautiful.  By taking care of yourself, and remembering that you are beautiful, the world will be put into place.  
The one thing that we each have to remember is that beauty on the outside over time will fade, the beauty that will remain is the beauty in your heart.  That is true beauty.  Just because someone has perfect skin, features, is the perfect size does not mean that they are beautiful.  If they do not have a beautiful heart than they have nothing.  
The key to beauty is to take care of yourself.  Eat right, exercise, shower and take care of your skin.  If you can do that, then you are going to just show what beauty that God gave you, and you will see just how beautiful you truly are.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Who Is In Charge?

There is no authority except from God,
and the authroities that exsist are 
appointed by God.
Romans 13:1
When it comes to having children, one of the very first battles every new parent faces is discipline.  Children crave the discipline, however they want to test there boundaries.
Every year I am learning more and more about children testing their boundaries, as my children are doing this on a daily basis.  They want to see just how far they can push the boundaries, and what else they can do.
While it is easy to believe that they are doing this just to make me angry, they are learning and growing.  By standing firm in the decisions that are made, I am teaching my children just how important the rules are.
By starting off with rules at home, it becomes much easier for them to follow rules at school, and through out their lives.  As we grow there are new rules.  We start school and have rules.  We get our first job, and again there are rules there.  
God gives us the authority to set rules for our children and help them to learn how to follow the rules.  These include the rules that have been handed down by God to us.
Learning to follow the rules is the most important lesson that we can learn in life.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Learning To Deal

This past weekend I had an experience that I never thought I would have. My DH and I traveled to Toledo to visit his grandmother who is in Hospice. Walking in the doors, I was amazed how calming the building felt. The walls were beautiful. The paintings on the walls were perfect. As we walked down to her room, you felt a calmness.

Walking in for the first time, looking around and seeing everything was eye opening. For me watching her lay there in pain, not able to rest was so difficult. I did the only thing that I felt I could do, sit and hold her hand and start quietly in my head saying prayers. I moved from the Lord's Prayer and then on to the Hail Mary.

In between these prayers that I have been taught, I just asked for Jesus to be with her, to guide her and to help her during these times. I though of my favorite prayer, Footprints, and praying during this difficult time before death, that Jesus was carrying Grandma, helping her through the end of her suffering.

I had comfort when the nurses and the STNA's said that everything that was happening was all normal and part of the stages of death. It was a comfort, but still not easy to watch. I wanted to take her pain and let her be peaceful.

We are still waiting as of today, waiting to hear what was going to happen next. I pray for her to be comfortable, and that she is able to be welcomed into the glory of heaven. While I know that we will miss her and mourn for her, I will be comforted knowing that she is in the promised land with Jesus.

Friday, August 28, 2009

What's On Your Mind

Think about the things that are good and worthy of praise
Think about the things that are true and honorable
and right and pure and beautiful and respected.
Philippians 4:8
It is often very hard to be positive when others around you are being very negative.  Negativity grows quickly and spreads like wild fire from person to person.  Once you start feeling or being negative it often will consume your day, your thoughts and your actions.
Being positive, and loving is not so easily spread, it takes more time.  If you are feeling negative, or down, having loving and positive feelings overcome the negative feelings takes time and work.  The same is true with violence and anger, once you are over come with these feelings, finding happiness is not easily done.
That is why television is so powerful.  Violent shows can influence how other feel.  As a character takes on a feeling of being afraid or scared it is easy for the viewing audience to take on those feelings and start to own them.  When a character is angry it is easy to take the anger and allow it to overcome your life.
That is why it is important to know what we are thinking about and what we allow ourselves to be influenced by.  If we want the love of God to enter into our hearts, then we have to open them to him, and block the feelings of anger, hurt, sadness and other negative feelings that are around us.
When we want to grow in love, we have to be open to see all of the good and the positive that God has put into our lives and in our path.  Once we can do that we are truly opening our minds, hearts and souls to becoming vessels for God. 
Learning how to do this is not easy, however it is important to remember that as humans we are easily influenced with what is around us.  That is why choosing friends and choosing televisions shows to watch is so important.  Choosing wisely is the best way to open your hear to Jesus.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Angels Watching Over Me

He has put his angels in charge of you
to watch over you wherever you go.
They will catch you in their hands so that
you will not hit your food on a rock.
Psalm 91:11-12
I have noticed that lately I have been struggling, mainly because there are many times that I feel completely alone.  Being alone is a scary thought.  For me when I am left to myself I often find that being alone also means that my thoughts start to run away from me.  
Often times when I have a few minutes of quiet in my life I find that this quiet will be quickly filled with the thoughts that are racing through my head.  Having thoughts that start racing through my head confuses and often times changes my mood.
For me it is easy to read into the thoughts that go through my head.  They quickly take me from being in a good mood to being in a bad mood.  This is a feeling that is not good.  Knowing that something simple can have such an effect on me.  And this will lead me to believe that I am alone.
Thinking about Psalm 91 is a great reminder that we are never truly alone.  That we always have an Angel with us.  They are there to guide us.  When we are feeling alone, or our thoughts and worries get the best of us it is time to stop and consider changing directions. 
In those times why not take a step back and remember that we should trust in God and all that he has for us.  Trust that our Angel that is watching over us will help guide us through the rough times, and comfort us when we need to be comforted.
God never wants us to feel alone.  He always wants us know that he is here for us and that he loves us.  We know that with God we have the ability to achieve our goals.  He will assist us in finding the tools, hold our hands when we fail, and help us get back up and try it again.
The next time I feel alone, I am going to remember that I am never alone.  That I always have an Angel that God has sent to watch over me and guide me.  When I have too much on my mind, I am going to lift it up and have faith that everything will work out, just as God has planned

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You Are Accepted!

The Lord your God in your midst,
the Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

As a Human we are all looking to be accepted. As a mother we often lose our identity in what we do. I know that I have found as a Stay At Home Mother I often feel I lose myself in what I do during the day. I see my self as Tyler & Nathan's mother. A pet owner of Brutis the dog, Simba the cat and Fluffy the hamster. A wife of Brian. A Daughter of Karen and Gary. These are not bad things, just realities. And these are not bad realities.

Every day I wear many hats, and every mother out there knows of the different hats we are required to wear every day. Any given day I am a mother, doctor, chef, nanny, judge, driver, wife, maid, mediator, supporter, friend, sister, aunt, granddaughter, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, and so much more. With all that we do on a daily basis it is easy to forget to just be ourselves.

Getting lost in all of our responsibilities is easily done, and feeling that we are accepted for who we are is just as difficult. That is why it is so important to remember one thing, that we are loved and accepted for who we are, and nothing more. God loves us, the core of us. He expects nothing of us, except for being ourselves.

So often we feel we have to be something we are not to be accepted, but God accepts us and loves us for who we are. We don't have to pretend, we don't have to do anything more than be out selves and he loves us, and always has. Even with any of the negative things we have done. Even when we have turned away from him, he still loves and accepts us.

So the next time you are down, or just have a bad day. The next time you feel that you have nowhere to turn or that you are alone. When you feel the world is against you, it is important to remember you have one, very important person who just accepts you, for all of your flaws, in all of your hard time, and that is God!

Remember that God accepts and deeply loves you, just as you are right at this very moment! When you are insecure and scared, remember this and feel secure in the love God has for you!