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God alone suffices

God alone suffices

Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.” — St. Teresa of Avila

Intentional Technology

Intentional Technology

I’m pretty sure that I was intended for the 1800’s in terms of my approach to life from the ground up, the simpler, the better.  But, here’s the thing, I love technology and the ability to connect with the resources I need at a moments […]

February: Sweet Peas

February: Sweet Peas

There is something beautiful about growing a garden indoors during wintertime. Something deeply enduring about a life brought to fruition in what would normally be a cold, rather doldrum season.  Through this simple task of sowing seeds, I find myself giddy with joy. I am eager to share this simple source of happiness with my children and give with it a lesson that will leave an imprint upon their hearts. My thoughts turn to Galatians 6:7-8 in which it is written:

 

For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh, of the flesh also shall reap corruption. But he that soweth in the spirit, of the spirit shall reap life everlasting. -Douay-Rheims translation

Like a seed newly-planted, we can either take root and happily grow where we are planted or we can lay waste in a planter of self-pity due to “less than perfect” conditions.  In life, too, we can either make the best of the situations we find ourselves in…and with the people we find ourselves around. Or we grumble and groan because “life isn’t fair” or so-and-so doesn’t want to do what we want them to do.  Although we may not be able to change the situation we are in, we can certainly change our outlook…our attitude…and our actions.  When we “sow” positivity, we also “reap” positivity.  It becomes a part of who we are are, how we treat others, and how we ourselves are treated.  The same can be said about a negative outlook.

The only question to be answered is this: Which do you choose?

A Novena To Three American Saints For Life

A Novena To Three American Saints For Life

Saints Elizabeth Seton, Frances Cabrini and John Neumann are powerful witnesses to the Gospel of life. May we come to better know, love, and serve God as emulated by them, in their everyday lives.   Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton, a prominent […]

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. 

Light, Dark, and Overflow

Light, Dark, and Overflow

In our Unit Study on the Pilgrims, we have been reading about the exodus of the Pilgrims from England to the Netherlands, where they lived and worked for over a decade before coming to the New World. On Friday, our attention turned to the story of […]

True. Good. Beautiful.

True. Good. Beautiful.

As Christmas comes to a close, I shut my eyes for just a moment and linger a little longer in the sounds and smells of Christmas. I’ve got a gingerbread cake in the oven, a surprise for my kids after quiet time, and I’m simply enjoying life in my lounge chair with a Bailey’s coffee…a gift from a good friend this Christmas.

I reflect on the homily at church today, and our pastor’s comparison between the Epiphany and The Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a movie that I remember well from my childhood.  Like the scientists, who traveled to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming in search of the great mothership, the Magi traveled to Bethlehem in search of the Christ child.

I imagine myself traveling with those scientists to Devil’s Tower…or, better yet, with the Magi that night long ago when they followed the star to Bethlehem for “the big reveal.”

Did the they know for sure what they would see?

Did they wonder about their own sanity?

Second guess their calculations?

Whatever their doubts, they set them aside in search of all that was true, good, and beautiful.

True.

Good.

Beautiful.

Those three words remind me of another homily I read earlier this morning, which speaks volumes about the world we live in today:

“Herod is looking for the wrong things, searching in the wrong places, destroying to shore-up his political position, conspiring to annihilate perceived opponents. But the magi take the humble, submissive and wise approach. They seek what is right and true and beautiful. They journey in search of the good, the wondrous, the ultimate. They head out into the dangerous night, risking their lives in search of Divine Light.”

At what point, did the Magi know that they would not, could not return to Herod? That what they had found [were going to find] was too true and good and beautiful to allow the world to be as it was before.

In his 2014 Epiphany homily, Pope Francis challenges us in a similar way:

“May we sense the Magi at our side, as wise companions on the way. Their example helps us to lift our gaze towards the star and to follow the great desires of our heart. They teach us not to be content with a life of mediocrity, of “playing it safe”, but to let ourselves be attracted always by what is good, true and beautiful… by God, who is all of this, and so much more!”

For 2017, my goal is simple: To hold fast to that which is true, good, and beautiful and let go of the things that are not.

To choose right and let go of wrong.

To choose love and let go of hate

To choose the present and let go of the past.

May you find what you seek in the new year. May you feel at peace when emotions are high. May you recognize hope when it appears before you and stares you in the eye.

16th Day of Christmas: Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord, bringing to close the season of Christmas.   “The Lord was baptized, not to be cleansed himself, but to cleanse the waters, so that those waters, cleansed by the flesh of Christ, might have the power […]


Dear Diary

My Catholic Conversion Story

My Catholic Conversion Story

 

I converted to Catholicism at the Easter Vigil in 2007, just days before running my first Boston Marathon. This is the short version of how that came to be.

Just after Thanksgiving in 2005, my Mother-in-Law passed away as a result of a tragic accident. My husband, who was Active Duty with the U.S. Army at the time, was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. As a result of his mother’s death, he received a delayed reporting date of March 2006.

At the time of my Mother-in-Law’s death, I was employed as a Human Resources Specialist at Fort Drum, NY. Feeling overwhelmed and wanting to be closer to family during my husband’s deployment, I sought out employment in the midwest (primarily Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan). As luck would have it, I secured a reassignment to Fort McCoy, WI, the interview for which came just a couple of days after my husband deployed.

Now, I must explain that going to Fort McCoy was like coming “home” for a couple of reasons. First, I was born in Wisconsin (in Burlington, closer to the Milwaukee side of the state). Second, the first duty station that my husband was assigned to after we married was Fort McCoy. We spent two years here before moving on to Fort Wainwright, AK (for three years) and then Fort Drum, NY (for eight years).

During his time at Fort McCoy in the 1990’s (1993-1995), my husband worked with a retired Army veteran turned civilian. As this was my only connection left to Fort McCoy, he…well, actually his wife…was the first person I contacted upon securing employment there. Although I hadn’t seen or been in contact with them for years, they opened both their hearts and home to me, as well as my two dogs, and one cat (luckily for me, they also run a kennel and grooming business :))

While I simultaneously sold our home in New York state and bought a new home in Wisconsin, I stayed with my old-new again friends and accompanied them to various events, including a barn dance sponsored by St. Patrick’s Parish in Sparta, WI. It turns out that this particular event – during the end summer of 2006 – would be absolutely life-changing!

You see, up until the night of that barn dance, I had come up with just about every excuse in the book to NOT to accept their invites to church. It just wasn’t my thing at the time – I was spiritual, but not religious – if you catch my drift. Then, came that barn dance.

Ah, yes, THAT barn dance. You see, I lost a jacket at that barn dance. Not just any jacket, but a Boilermaker 15K race jacket from a venue in New York state. At the time, it was nearly as coveted as the Boston Marathon jacket that I would eventually earn the right to wear in April 2007. I absolutely LOVED that jacket.

So, anyway, about the jacket. It wasn’t until we were getting ready to go that I noticed it was missing. We searched high and low to no avail. And while it seemed silly to think that someone would purposefully steal a jacket from a church-sponsored event, I couldn’t completely rule it out. After all, it WAS a pretty cool jacket!

Fast forward to the next day, which just happened to be Sunday. Again, the invite to church was extended and again I declined. But, something (someone?) prompted me to reply with the following challenge: “I tell you what, you find my jacket from last night, and I’ll go with you to church every week until I move into my new house.”

Upon their returning home from mass, I was greeted with the biggest, “You are NOT going to believe this” that I’ve ever heard in my life. It turns out that someone – whom they had never, ever seen before in THEIR lives – came up to them after mass and asked them if they had lost a jacket. They responded that they hadn’t, but they knew who had (meaning, me).

That, my friends, was the beginning of the end of my non-Catholic life. As promised, I attended church with my friends until I moved into my new house. But, it didn’t stop there, of course. I wouldn’t otherwise have a conversion story, right?

The message that I received at every Sunday’s homily turned out to be exactly what I needed to hear. I can’t explain it. I can’t deny it. I have no way to reason that it wasn’t meant to be – for me.

Now, seven years later, I am raising five kids in the Catholic faith while strengthening my own. This blog is my {im}perfect journey toward the goal of becoming a more Christ-centered Catholic.


All Time Favorites

Chronic Pain: The Upside

Chronic Pain: The Upside

It’s been nearly three months since I locked up my pelvis at the S.I. (sacroiliac) joint. And while I’m slowly healing and gradually getting my mobility back, my pelvis remains uncomfortably twisted–something referred to as tortipelvis. Upper cervical adjustments and traditional chiropractics have helped bring […]

Prayer For Today

After waking up to kids fighting this morning, I simply pray that the example I set in putting God first in my day will bear fruit in the way my children see and hear God in their daily lives.

From Disappointment to Delight

My oldest son, who is almost 10 and in the 4th grade, became an altar server in January.  From the very beginning, his face has been so happy, so full of life when he is serving God. He’s says that it is his favorite thing to […]

Day 2: Four Years

Saint of the day: St. Barbatus Gospel reading: Luke 9:22-25 I feel like the best part of the Lenten journey each year is exploring traditions – some new, some old – with my children. For the most part, we try to keep things as simple […]

It Is Those…