Beyond the Warm and Fuzzy

In just the same way, it is not the will of your Heavenly Father that one of these little ones get lost.  Matt. 18:14

Gospel-Reflections-800x800-gold-outline-400x400We all feel warm and fuzzy when we reflect on the story of the lost sheep and the shepherd who won’t rest until he finds it. We imagine a cartoon-like shepherd, with a big smile on his face, hugging his fluffy, white sheep.

It isn’t until we lose our own child in a shopping center that raw, hard emotions enter the picture. Nothing can describe the fear clawing at our insides as we frantically race around, taking shallow breaths for a heart that’s pounding in our chest and ears. With a voice bordering on hysteria, we beg for help, as our mind races ahead to all the horrors that could befall our innocent, little one. Continue reading

We Have to Work for It

Published on CatholicMom.com

“This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.” Matthew 13:13

12.4.19 We Have to Work for It Unsplash.com

Photo Credit: Photo by  Alev Takil on  Unsplash

My kids go in and out of phases of entitlement. When they’re in one, and they’re acting as if the world and I owe them something, the hammer comes down. That’s when I resume my, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” speech, and make them work for everything, including their meals and screen time.

Depending on how far off the tracks things have gotten, this “hammer time” method could go on for days. Eventually, they figure out that I’m not going to hand them anything on a silver platter, and they drop the entitlement attitude. Furthermore, they start appreciating everything more because they’ve invested themselves and have, in essence, earned their meals, screen time, etc. Continue reading

Don’t Focus on the No

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

11.28.19 Don't Focus on the No Pixabay.com

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com

Like any household, things go in cycles in our home. The cycle we’re in lately seems to be a Yes one: Whatever my kids have been asking for recently seems appropriate and doable. So, I’ve found myself going along with them. Needless to say, there’s been a lot of joy and gratitude.

I’m trying to capitalize on this phase as a teaching moment. Continue reading

We All Need A Boat

After a crazy-busy week, enjoy this Flashback Post from 2016 while I step away and into my boat…

He told His disciples to have a boat ready for Him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush Him. Mark 3:9

11.21.19 Boat

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com

We’ve all been there: that crazy line up of everything happening at once. For us, it was a two-and-a-half day span with a school concert, a spelling bee, karate, piano, band practice, a MOSAIC Kids event, a MOSAIC Moms group , a conference call, and Friday playdates. All that was just leading up to my husband’s Fun Run on Saturday morning at 7 a.m., at our home, where we fed a group of 30 runners a hot breakfast after their morning run.

During that whole time, I kept hearing the refrain in my head from an old television commercial about bubble bath. In it, the mom is run ragged with calamity after calamity. She turns to the camera and says, “Calgon, take me away.” It ends with her in a luxurious bubble bath, eyes closed, head laid back, and a look of true serenity on her face. You envied the fact that she found her peace, and you were willing to pay any price for a bottle of that Calgon. Continue reading

What Matters Most

“On that day, a person who is on the housetop and whose belongings are in the house must not go down to get them”   Luke 17:31

Gospel-Reflections-800x800-gold-outline-400x400In September of last year, over seventy homes in Massachusetts caught fire due to gas leaks. Living just over the border in New Hampshire, we heard stories of people watching their homes burn to the ground. There just weren’t enough emergency personnel to respond.

When you think about people who have lost everything, you can’t help but imagine yourself in the same situation: If my home were to catch fire today, what would I grab? What would I leave behind? Continue reading

The Compassionate Centurion

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When He (Jesus) entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”   Matthew 8:5-6

11.7.19 The Compassionate Centurion Wikimedia Commons

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In this story of the centurion asking Jesus to cure his servant, our focus is typically on the centurion’s faith that Jesus need “only say the word and his servant will be healed.” Without a doubt, the centurion’s faith is noble and inspiring, something we all need to aspire to as we echo these words right before receiving Communion.

However, upon closer inspection, we learn the centurion is noble in other ways too, Despite the fact that his servants must obey his orders, this centurion is compassionate and caring for those under his command. He doesn’t ask: “Cure my servant so he can do more work for me.” He asks Jesus to cure his servant because his servant is “suffering dreadfully.”

For those of us who are parents, supervisors, or managers, we could learn a thing or two about leadership from this man. Although he demands respect and obedience from those under him, he also demands compassion and respect from himself. Continue reading

Just More Curriculum

And let people learn to devote themselves to good works in order to meet urgent needs, so that they may not be unproductive.   Titus 3:14

10.31.19 Just More CurriculumMy in-laws came to visit a few weeks ago. That Sunday morning, we made last minute plans that had us scurrying to get to an earlier Mass. In the chaos, I was the last one down to the car.

To my sheer and utter horror, I saw my thirteen-year-old son, Mason, bucked into the front passenger seat, while his 82-year-old grandfather was making his way to another spot. In my mortification, I tried to hustle Mason out of the front seat to make room for my father-in-law, but the damage had been done. My father-in-law had already side-shuffled through that little space between all the buckets of outdoor toys stored next to the garage wall and the mini-van to get to the middle row. Getting him to shuffle back was too much to ask.

On the drive to church, I kept asking myself where I went wrong, and what other lessons and manners I’d failed to teach my kids. I really thought I’d covered all the bases and taught my kids well. A wave of overwhelming defeat washed over me.

There’s no better place to bring your sense of failure than to God in church. As I prayed my way through the scenario, again and again, He helped me see things differently. Continue reading