Opposite Words and World

Published on CatholicMom.com

The punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5b

8.5.20 Opposite Worldf

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My teen boys can be pretty sarcastic. It drives me nuts when, in response to one of my questions, they say the exact opposite of what they know I want to hear. It thrills their little teenage hearts to get me so annoyed.

So, I find it ironic that I love opposites in writing. I admire authors who can combine antonyms to illustrate their point. The smart wordplay is a great attention-getter.


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Going It Alone

My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the Spring of Living Water, and have dug their own cisterns that cannot hold water.” Jeremiah 2:13

7.30.20 Going it Alone

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Jocelyn is my most independent child, for sure. At just ten years of age, she tries to take on more than her fourteen and sixteen-year-old brothers combined. I want to foster that initiative and drive, but it’s a fine line. I can’t let her jump out of the nest altogether. Her wings aren’t strong enough to sustain her for the long haul.

Now, more than ever, I understand why God wants us to lean on Him. Continue reading

It’s Never What We Expect

He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out.   Matthew 12:19-20

IMG_6106I had been praying for a while for the grace to reorder my priorities, and get back to the mom I used to be. The old me used to be present and available to my kids, proactively leading them to grow in the ways I deemed important. Somewhere, somehow, that all got derailed.

So many of us realize our derailment only in hindsight. It takes 20/20 vision to see all the little, subtle ways our good intentions go astray. For me, it was a combination of my life and my kids’ lives getting busier, cell phones, and the learning curve of raising teens. I was all over the map with my rules and boundaries as I tried to maintain control, all while trying to give my boys more independence to mature.

I never imagined my prayer would be answered the way it was. Continue reading

Being His Hands and Feet

Does the ax raise itself above the person who swings it, or the saw boast against the one who uses it? Isaiah 10:15

7.17.20 Being His Hands and Feet

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Needing a place protected from the rain, with good air flow, I decided our garage, with the doors open, is the perfect COVID-19 hangout. If, however, your garage looks anything like mine did, you’d know it wasn’t the most sightly place to spend time. I decided to give it a DIY make-over, and used a lot of hand and power-tools in the process.

We all talk about being God’s hands and feet on earth. It’s a wonderful expression, and a beautiful concept, one that hopefully inspires us all to let God use us to make the world a better place. Yet, it wasn’t until I reflected more while using my hand and power-tools that I understood the concept in the reverse. Continue reading

Rising Above the Muck

Seek good and not evil… Amos 5:14a

7.9.20 Rising Above the Muck

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The older my kids get, the more I see the influence their peers have on them. They parrot their friends’ vocabulary, take on their mannerisms and behavior, and play video games based on their recommendations. For the most part, I’m okay with that because their friends are good people.

However, it does reinforce the fact that who and what we surround ourselves with has a direct impact on us, whether we realize it or not. Continue reading

Drifting Away

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They followed emptiness and became empty… 2 Kings 17:15

7.1.20 Drifting Away Pexels.com

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During quarantine, I had to cut my own hair four times. Fortunately, I have a great stylist, and just followed the pattern she’d already created. Besides, my hair is short and wavy. All I had to do was add a little product, scrunch it to curl, and any unevenness just got mixed into the whole.

My hair actually looked pretty good, making me think I could permanently skip those $50 visits every six to eight weeks. There are so many other things I could spend that money on.

Unfortunately, everything changed after the fourth haircut.

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Time to Turn Outward

And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand.   Matthew 7:26

6.28.20 Time to Turn Outward

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When Quarantine first began, I saw it as a gift: an opportunity to refocus us all to life within our four walls. No longer having to run here and there, I prioritized Family Time. My objective was to make fun memories and re-instill our core values.

Sure, we did “Thinking of You” cards for people who were struggling, Hearts for Healthcare Workers, shopped for the local food pantry, etc., but those endeavors didn’t take long. The majority of our time was focused on us.

Now that restrictions are being lifted, I’m trying to refocus us all, but I’m hitting resistance. We’ve gotten pretty good at indulging and just thinking of ourselves. Continue reading

Defend and Deflect

And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you: God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.  1 John 1:5

6.18.20 Defend and Deflect

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My mom gave Mason Laser Chess for his birthday a few years ago. The playing pieces have a mirror on one side that deflects the light, and plastic on the other side that absorbs it. The point is to arrange your pieces so your laser bounces off mirror after mirror until it hits your opponent’s king. At the same time, you have to make sure none of your pieces absorb your opponent’s laser, or they get knocked out of the game.

It feels very similar to all that’s going on in the world right now. Continue reading

Feeding the Wolves

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”  John 8:12

6.12.20 Feeding the Wolves Pixabay.com

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Jocelyn has a tendency to focus on the bad. She’s more susceptible when she’s tired or hungry, but even on her good days, it sometimes happens. I’ve spent a lot of time explaining that it’s not enough to try and take your mind off of a bad thought: You need to replace it with a happy one. We practice and practice, but it doesn’t always work.

The cool thing is, we just watched a family movie that has equipped her with a whole new perspective. Continue reading

Pushing Us Into New Places

Published on CatholicMom.com

Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that arose because of Stephen went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch… Acts 11:19

IMG_1978 (2)In July of 2018, on the day I was to begin writing my first-ever book proposal, our AC died on the first floor. With all the upstairs bedrooms occupied, the only room left to be in to escape the heat was the master bathroom. I covered the jacuzzi tub with plywood and built a stand-up work station on top. Lo and behold, I ended up being more focused and productive, tucked away upstairs, than I ever would have been in my first floor, open-spaced office where my kids interrupt me every ten minutes. Continue reading