acceptance · gratitude

A Life-Changing Book

I recently read a book that changed my life.  It changed the way I see myself, and the way I see others.  It is called, “Get Motivated!” by Tamara Lowe, and it’s awesome.  I highly suggest this book to everyone.

Through this book, people have learned how to advance in their careers, improve their relationships, and to achieve their goals.  This isn’t just another book.  This is a life changer.  In addition to the book, Tamara Lowe also hosts her Get Motivated! seminars.  Below is a link to a video of the author as she talks about her experiences and her book.

http://cbn.com/tv/embedplayer.aspx?bcid=1410464980001

 

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family · gratitude · Memories

The Day AFTER Mother’s Day

Well, today I will begin by sharing  with you what Mother’s Day 2017 was like for me.  First of all, I had been feeling really down the past few days.  I was dwelling over the fact that my teen son, my only child, now seems to hate me.  (I know it’s just a phase, but at that moment it seemed final)  I was also dwelling over the fact that our mother – son relationship had been very strained lately.  To top it off, I am now of an age where I will never be able to conceive a child of my own.  (we adopted my son 14 years ago)  And finally, I am still continuing to have seizures on a daily basis.  I felt that I was under so much weight, and that I was pretty much useless.  Yep.  I was depressed, and I had it pretty bad,  That is until…  A lot of things began to happen that Mother’s Day.  One by one I began to see.  Once I dried up the tears and put my focus on those around me, on the beautiful family that God has blessed me with, I began to see just how much I really have.  I love my family and would never want anything to happen to them,  I am so grateful for the time that the good Lord has given me with them.  Around three o’clock in the afternoon, my husband had a very caring, loving talk with me.  It was obvious that I wasn’t happy, and he helped me to see how there is no reason for me not to be happy.  I am blessed.  So blessed.  I had allowed myself to focus on the negative rather than on all of the positive aspects in my life.  And there are so many more positive than negative.  After receiving such an uplifting talk, and a big hug, from my husband,  I felt much better, and realized how silly I had been to allow myself to be “down in the dumps”.  I walked out into the kitchen only to discover a dozen red roses, a bag of candy, and two cards on the table.  Standing beside the table was my husband and son, both with big smiles on their faces.  “Open mine first!”  The words of my son, who also gave me a big hug.  That evening my husband took us all out to eat at Outback Steakhouse.  I realized, yet again, how blessed I am to be a part of such a wonderful family.  I hope all mothers out there had a very Happy Mother’s Day.  This video should put a smile on any mother’s face!

challenge · gratitude · kindness

KINDNESS CHALLENGE!

under the umbrella

Today I am issuing a challenge – a 24hr kindness challenge!  That’s right.  I challenge you to try to see how many individual acts of kindness you can perform within the time of 24 hours. Go out of your way to help someone else, lend a listening ear to someone who needs to talk, offer to help someone else, or simply smile at someone. . .  You know, be kind just for the sake of being kind.  But don’t just leave it at that. Keep track of your kind deeds.  Make a list of kind deeds that you can do for others and check them off, but not until AFTER you have performed them.  I will do the same.  My next post will be of how I did on the kindness challenge.  Yes, I’m challenging myself as well!   Well, I’m starting right now – wish me luck!  By the way, the 24 hour period is just to get you started, there’s no reason we should ever stop being kind!  Good luck!

Oh, It would be great if you let me know how you did on the challenge.  Just leave a comment in the comment box!  🙂

Catholic · gratitude

Happy Easter ?

YES!  Happy Easter to everyone out there, for Easter has only just begun!!  For those of you who think that Easter is ONLY on Easter Sunday, think again!  Easter Sunday is only the beginning of the Easter season.  While lent may last 40 days, Easter last 50 days!  That’s right, fifty.  The first Sunday after Easter Sunday, which is also known as Divine Mercy Sunday, marks the octave of Easter that is, the eight days from Easter Sunday to Divine Mercy Sunday.  But even that is just the beginning of a seven week long celebration, the seven weeks of Easter!  Officially, Easter begins on Easter Sunday, and continues until Pentecost Sunday, seven full weeks later.  Consider it a week of weeks!

However, in order to give us one more week in order to fulfill our Easter Duty, the Catholic Church has extended  the Easter Season one more week, up until Trinity Sunday, which is the Sunday following Pentecost Sunday.  That final week, however, is not counted in the regular season.

So remember to continue wishing everyone you meet a very, Happy Easter, all fifty days throughout the Easter Season.  Also, if you haven’t already done so, please take a look at the Easter Homily of St. John Chrysostom here https://findingjoy568.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/the-easter-homily-of-st-john-chrysostom

Happy Easter – All 50 Days!

Catholic · family · gratitude · Prayer

Endure

I was “up to here” (hand level with forehead) with all of the rantings of my teen-aged son as he continued to argue and fuss about everything, anything, and nothing. I was tired and just needed a little peace. “Son, just stop.” I said in an exasperated tone as I walked out of the room and sat down in the black swivel chair by my desk. Stomping his feet loudly as he pursued, my son continued in a loud voice, “What mom ? What do you want me to stop ? Huh? Huh? What am I doing now, Mom ?” He stopped and stood in the doorway, arms crossed and a scowl on his face. He stood there motionless so as to show me that he wasn’t “doing” anything.

I didn’t want to put up with his antics anymore. I didn’t want things to be this way. I wished our relationship didn’t have to always be so strained. I knew I shouldn’t feel this way, but at that moment, I just wanted to disappear. After several moments, when he realized that his “motionless” stance was getting him nowhere, he called me a few choice names, then stormed off.

I began to text my husband at work to inform him of what was going on. I complained about our son’s attitude towards me. I felt that I shouldn’t have to deal with this on my own – I needed some support. My husband’s reply was only one word, “Endure.” Frustrated at not receiving some words of comfort, I asked myself, “Endure ? That’s easy for him to say. Ha! Endure, indeed.” I felt a scowl forming on my own face. Soon I received another text message from my husband. “Pray the Rosary for him.” I immediately knew that he was right. I picked up my Rosary and began to pray. I was on the second decade when my son walked into the room, his face filled with remorse. “I’m sorry, Mama.” Those words were like music to my ears. I hugged him as I accepted his apology, and the rest of the day was fine.

I think back to my husband’s original response. “Endure.” The definition of endure is “to bear without resistance; to suffer patiently ”. Isn’t that one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy, to bear wrongs patiently ? And aren’t we all called upon to practice both the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy ? How wise of my husband to respond the way he did, and how foolish I was to respond the way I did.

So, while maybe I was “up to here” (hand level with forehead) with my son, how much more “up to here” has our Heavenly Father had it with me ? If I want my son to respect and honor me, shouldn’t I behave the same way towards my Father in heaven ? I can do that by showing my love to those He has placed in my life, and by practicing the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

The Corporal Works of Mercy:

To feed the hungry;
To give drink to the thirsty;
To clothe the naked;
to shelter the homeless;
To visit the sick;
To visit the imprisoned;
To bury the dead

The Spiritual Works of Mercy

To instruct the ignorant;
To counsel the doubtful;
To admonish sinners;
To bear wrongs patiently;
To forgive offenses willingly;
To comfort the afflicted;
To pray for the living and the dead
family · gratitude · home-school

Why I Home-schooled my Only Child

Being one of six kids, I just always thought that I’d follow in my mother’s footsteps and raise a large family as well.  When my husband and I were first married, I used to imagine our home filled with excited little ones running through the house, tracking up the floors.  I dreamed of settling squabbles and making sure I divided desserts up equally so as not to cause an argument.  I looked forward to being the mother of several children.  However, as we all know, things don’t always turn out the way you want them to.  Sometimes, God’s plan for our lives differs from our own plans.  I knew from the beginning that, because of my epilepsy, I would not be able to have children naturally.  I was on way too much medication for that to become a possibility.  So, my husband and I had planned to adopt.  That was over twenty years ago.  Since that time, we have adopted our son, who is now fourteen.  We have tried over the years to adopt more kids, but adopting is not as simple as one might think.  So, long story short, we never were able to adopt more than one child.  That one child, by the way, was a God-send.  He is loved and cherished more than he’ll ever know.  We were introduced to home-schooling very early on, and had planned on home-schooling our children.  I was excited, and was looking forward to setting up my home-school room and all that goes with it.  You know that feeling, right ? It happens every year.  I had so much fun teaching my boy over the years!  Yes, we’ve had our share of struggles as well, but I wouldn’t change the time we’ve spent together for anything!  Well, as I’ve mentioned, we never did have more children.  That is the answer to why I home-schooled my only child.  We thought we would have more kids, we wanted more kids, but God had other plans.  Was I going to change my plans for home-schooling simply because my son didn’t have any siblings ?  Of course not. I wouldn’t deprive him of that.  So, God’s plan for my life was different than my own.  But that’s okay – I trust that God knows exactly what He’s doing, and He doesn’t make mistakes.

acceptance · gratitude

My Cup Runneth Over

Adoration_wp

“God will never give you more than you can handle, but He gives you just as much as you can bear.”  In other words, He fills each one of our cups to the rim.  One might be tempted to look at another and think, “That person doesn’t have to suffer the way I do.  It isn’t fair.  Why would God allow so much to happen to me, while others don’t seem to have to suffer at all ?”   It is hard to be grateful when we are suffering, when we are not getting our way, when our child is hurting…  How are we supposed to be grateful during these times ?  Perspective is how.  It’s all in how you look at it.  You see, the difference isn’t in how much or how little God fills your “cup”, but rather, it is the size of the cup which differs.  This vessel, or “cup” which is being filled is none other than ourselves.  We are the cup.  Our body and soul is this vessel which is so graciously being poured upon and filled with blessings every day of our lives.  These blessings may come in the form of trials and illnesses, of laughter and happy memories, of tears and heartbreak.  Everything that happens in our lives is a blessing to be embraced.  THAT is where the gratitude comes in.  Perspective.  So, knowing this, how can we not be grateful for our sufferings?  How can we not whole-heartedly surrender ourselves to His will for us, knowing that all that occurs in our lives occurs out of His love for us; a love so deep that it is as an endless ocean of mercy ?  During the agony in the garden, Christ Himself, our model, underwent unspeakable sufferings and temptations.  Three times He prayed, “Father, if it be Your will, let this cup pass from Me, only not my will, but Yours be done.”  Christ didn’t have to do this.  He didn’t have to make this request of His father, yet He did this to show us how we should act in times of suffering and temptations.  It is okay to ask God for something, yet it is always to be followed up with, “Not my will, but Yours be done.”  This is acceptance.  It is the acceptance of God’s will being done in our lives.  It is the acceptance that God knows better than we do what is best for us.  “God never gives us more than we can handle, but He gives us just as much as we can bear.”  He fills our cup to the rim with the events that occur in our lives – with what He knows we can handle, but our cups runneth over when it comes to His love for us.