Time

It’s precious. It’s wasted. It’s too short. Too long. Too demanded of it. Not compensated appropriately for it. A measure of length. Time is all of these things. What happens when someone doesn’t make time to show you you are precious to them? That time is not wasted when spent with you. That time with you is always too short; never enough time to spend with you. You should never have to demand from someone that loves you, to spend time with you.

Time spent with friends and family is how we make memories. Sometimes that time can stand still, and we are able to bask in the friendship and love that surround us. The feeling that we are not only loved, but also appreciated. People value us. Because they are giving us some of their time.

What about those times when we are forgotten? Those times that people don’t show up? They don’t call? They don’t even text you. Those times we feel unappreciated. Disconnected. Lost. We feel let down. We aren’t worthy of their time. How awful those times are!

“…good times and in bad…” Famous words. We hear them at every wedding. A bride and groom promise to give the rest of their time to each other. No matter the circumstances. You’re promising to muddle through the bad times- the missed phone calls, the forgotten invitations, the family argument, the death of a loved one- and get to those good times! When the family randomly showed up on a summers afternoon and a baseball game played on the radio while you chatted and sipped sweet tea. When the birthday girl smashed her cake on your new shirt and everyone laughed because the icing blended right in. The good times filled with laughter, joy, and more laughter!

Think, right now, about a good time. A good time had with your husband or wife. Girlfriend or boyfriend. Best friend. Are you going through a rough time that those good memories are tougher and tougher to hold onto? Find another happy memory. Did you laugh? Smile? It’s so easy to be bogged down in the every day mundane life stuff. Get up, eat food, go to work, come home, eat food, go to bed. Repeat. When was the last time you watched a movie late at night on a Tuesday? How about the last time dinner was an “indoor picnic” on the floor? Take every opportunity of finding that “good time” in every one of your days.

Now; is God worth your time? Those good times. Did you share that triumph with Him? Or is it just in the bad times when you go running to Him; but shaking your fist and blaming Him for it? Have you been keeping Him up to date with joys, sorrows, trials, and successes? God should not be an afterthought. Just like those we love who are near and dear to us should not be.

Yes- we are all busy these days. We all have jam packed schedules that simply don’t allow *time* for anything else. Make that time to call a friend. Make that time to text your cousin. Make that time to cuddle with your spouse. Make that time for your own mother this week.

Time is precious. It is a gift. Make it good.

Holy Spirit; come and fill the hearts of the faithful!

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Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Yes- this is a day invented by Hallmark because we just *needed* a holiday to spend money. Yes there are people who are single who don’t have a “Valentine”.

But let’s look at what Saint Valentine’s Day could be.

Saint Valentine was beaten and beheaded some time around 270 AD. He was a martyr for the early church. He loved (loves- since we believe he is in heaven and we aren’t dead but alive in God when we are in heaven!) God and Christ and was so filled by the Holy Spirit that he died for his belief- and for his love. Aren’t we called as wives to be submissive to our husbands? (As long as our husbands are first submissive to the Will of God!!!) And husbands are called to love their wives as Christ loved the church. That means- gentlemen- you should love your wife so much that you are willing to be scourged, beaten, humiliated, and crucified (not just killed!). No biggie right? Well what if we look to Saint Valentine for ways to love those we are called to love? Saint Valentine was willing to die a terrible death; uniting his suffering with Christ; for the early church. He gave not only his time and living life on earth for the church, but he gave his life for the early Church and for Christ because of love and faith. Let’s take a page out of the early church martyrs book. Let’s love fiercely. Let’s love and have such faith that we are willing to endure hard times and discomfort.

Now, I’m not implying we should all go traveling to dangerous places simply to “prove” our love of God or our spouse. But we should say in our day to day actions how much we love those we are called to love. (By the way- were called to love everyone. Everyone!) 

I hope your Valentine’s Day is full of love for your family and friends. I also hope that you are given times to show others God’s love by doing good today, and every day to come.

Saint Valentine; Pray For Us.

Mary, Our Mother, Pray For Us!

Shove Tuesday

Today is Shrove Tuesday! Lent begins tomorrow! Barely two weeks from the 40th day of Christmas to the start of Lent… Talk about mood swings!

I really want to do something that guides my kids and shows them that Lent is a time for growth, reflection, and prayer in preparation for Easter. I’ve considered adding a rosary to my day with the last decade being said with them at bed time. I’ve considered a bunch of ideas I’ve found on Pinterest. I think my kiddos are too little to help at a soup kitchen just yet and we will be donating some of their stuffed animals to the local pregnancy center for new mamas and babies.

Then I came across this. http://www.teresatomeo.com/532-lenten-mercy-challenge-pray-fast-during-lent-this-year-of-mercy.html?http%3A%2F%2Fwww.teresatomeo.com%2F532-lenten-mercy-challenge-pray-fast-during-lent-this-year-of-mercy.html

Its the #LentenMercyChallenge. You’re asked to fast on bread and water for lunch on Fridays and to say a decade of the rosary at lunch. It’s something simple that I can do, both as something for myself and the world (through prayer) and something that my kids can see me doing!

If you’re able to join the Lenten Mercy Challenge, comment below! Let’s pray for one another and for peace in our world this Lent!

May this Lenten Season bring you closer than ever to Christ’s love and mercy!

Mary, Our Mother, pray for us, that we love your Son as you do!

You make all things new

In December we had a lot of rain. A. Lot. Of. Rain. So much rain that the whole barnyard was nothing but mud and by our shed was a good six inches deep! My poor horses were muddy from their knees down and when they rolled around of course they got mud all over their sides, necks and faces. Of course I did everything I could to keep them dry and clean but nothing was really good enough to keep the dirt and mud off! They wore sheets at night when it was warm and blankets as it got colder. But the mud. So. Much. Mud. *shudder*

Cue a few days ago. We got around three feet of snow. Yes. Three feet of snow, in a day and a half! Thank you Blizzard Jonas! While it was super tough walking up and down the hill to feed, water, throw hay, and just check on my girls, it was of course worth it to be a good steward of what we’ve been given!

This morning I’m walking on my path (stomped down snow thanks to my husband!) and I get to the gate. Both girls were waiting for me and of course they were *starving*! I put their buckets down and noticed something. No mud or dirt on their faces or necks! As I’m looking them each over I also notice how white Leaha’s feet look and how clean the outside of their hooves look. I mentally flashed back to a few weeks ago to the mud. We’ve gone from tremendous amounts of mud to tremendous amounts of snow, but the snow has cleaned everything!

Immedietly the song “You Make All Things New” came into my head. How many times do we hear how “dirty” our souls get and how Christ is able to make them pure again?

Last night I was very anxious about Leaha. She hadn’t been very interested in eating. Well she was far more interested in what was going on behind us on s hill than eating her food! My instincts knew this. My emotions did not! A few good friends of mine helped tremendously but this morning seeing both mares waiting for me was the biggest relief!!! It got me thinking of how I need to put more into God’s hands. Christ is able to use priests to forgive sins, turn water and wine and bread into The Precious Body and Blood of Christ, and change the hardest of hearts to His love and kindness. I used to think God wouldn’t want to hear about my day. He wouldn’t want to know why my struggles prevented me from making dinner on time. Not when people are suffering from cancer or incurable diseases! But God loves each of us and wants to be a part of all of our lives! Just like I enjoy walking with each of my little ones and hearing about how they have been, God wants to walk with us from day to day and hear about our day.

Let God bring newness into your life. Tomorrow morning give your day to Christ. See what He is capable of.

“Do whatever He tells you!”

Mary Our Mother, Pray for us to your Son!

Blizzard!

Here in Southern Pennsylvania we are in the beginning hours of snow storm “Jonas”. I. Love. Snow. Sledding, shoveling, trudging over a mile at night because I had to park my car at the bottom of our road, and of course, building a snowman 😍☃❄️!!!

Of course the horses still need to be fed, and the dogs still need to go outside, and we still have things to get done in the house. Tomorrow we will have snow to shove and move with the tractor!

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The tractor is all ready for duty!
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Inspiration!

With so many cold weather activities going on for at least the next two days, I needed hot chocolate. Our oldest daughter was asking for some and I love having hot chocolate for dessert! So I got out the cocoa powder and started brain storming.

I found the sweetened condensed milk hanging out in my cabinet and I thought “Why not?”. Poured it into a pot, rinsed the can with skim milk, added the skim milk, and finally added a quarter cup of cocoa! Using a whisk I stirred in the cocoa and stirred/ whisked until the ingredients were combined. I added some water as well; I’d say around half a cup. You could add more if needed but I like thicker hot cocoa 😁😁😁 my oldest enjoyed it with her two marshmallows in it and our middle daughter liked it until it got spilled all over the sofa cushion. My husband and I really liked it!

Heres hoping for a safe blizzard for all!!! Enjoy it!! Go build a snowman ☃☃☃ come inside and enjoy some hot chocolate!

Mary, Our Mother, Pray for us!

Wide awake

This is another one of those nights that I’m wide awake when I should be sound asleep. Watching movies in bed, listening for any sound of my babies waking up and needing me. Texting my husband while he works to save or care for people.

Isn’t it odd how our brains seem to run more when we’re asking them to shut down? I often wonder what God wants me to do with this time. Should I pray? Should I lay down and close my eyes and just rest? I did find an empty journal given to me by one of my dad’s sisters which was exciting for me! I can start writing some dreams in it and tape or glue pictures in it as I want. I have even drawn up a plan for what to do with our front yard. We can’t use it for the horses but we can garden or play sports! Here is a very rough drawing:

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Baseball diamond and garden area!

What’s not written on this paper however, are the hours of play, learning, experience, and joy that will come from getting to grow food, entertain family and friends, and even grow closer together as a family! This garden plan is very ambitious. It may not happen like this at all in fact! But it makes me feel good knowing I have some kind of plan in mind and now it is also on paper.

Do you have something you’d like to do, perhaps in your prayer life or family life, that you have been thinking on for months? Years? Go write it down. Show it to someone- anyone!- else. Ask them what they think. Then show it to someone else. I’d absolutely pray about it. Here’s the part I’m struggling with… Then. Go. Do. It.

Best of luck to you and me both!

 

Why do you go to Mass? (And do you bring your Children?)

While on a few community Facebook pages, people have asked for “kid friendly” church recommendations. This generally means that they want a parish that the kids either have a service geared towards them or they leave the “adult” service for something else. I have always been puzzled as to why you wouldn’t want your child with you during Mass- or during a service!

My husband is not Catholic, however when he does not work he comes to Mass with us! He encourages the two older children to sit still and pray while I lead the music. Our youngest tends to wander around the Choir Loft, but the Folk Group is more like extended family at this point so they all enjoy a visit from our little man! Even if they did not love seeing our three kids at Mass, I would take them anyway!

An engineer friend of mine has a wonderful comparison. She says if we expect our children to some day be able to learn calculus, we first must teach them addition, division and how to find the area of a circle. Why then should it not follow, that if we want faith filled young adults, that we do not include them in our Liturgy? Pope Francis has made several statements recently about bringing children to Mass and how beautiful it is to God! My own Pastor loves hearing the kids during his homily or Communion!

Shouldn’t our children see how much mommy and daddy need Christ? Shouldn’t they see how we worship? If we will be held accountable for our children’s faith when we die, why are we not putting more emphasis on our children joining us for services?

If you have switched parishes or denominations because you weren’t entertained or because you thought your children wouldn’t be entertained- I would encourage you to go back. Do we really go to church for entertainment? To socialize? Allow your kids to experience your faith with their eyes. To see mommy cover her face in prayer after receiving Our Lord in the Eucharist. To see Daddy open his song book and sing (yes; even if it’s off key!!!)! Allow them to have faith as children!

If we expect Theologians for the next generation, we first need to plant the seeds of faith in our babies.

May you have a blessed week and Enjoy Mass together!