The Wings of Our Gifts

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com

My husband bought “exotic” birdseed for our feeder. It’s very aptly named. It attracts beautiful finches, vibrant cardinals and delicate black-capped chickadees. I sit on my back deck, mesmerized by them all – at how delicate and detailed their feathers are, how thin yet sturdy their legs and claws are, and how unique each one’s beak is.

It was a friendly and trusting bluejay, however, that taught me an important lesson.

Continue reading

Check Your Pockets

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.  Hebrews 12:11

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com

I’ve been doing laundry long enough to know that I should check the pockets of garments before throwing them in the wash. But I can be lazy. More than once, I’ve consciously decided to skip this step just because I couldn’t be bothered. 

Most times it’s fine. But if and when there’s that random tissue tucked in a pocket, the havoc it wreaks is astounding. The tissue gets shred into a million pieces that cling to every item of clothing and to the barrel of the washer itself. When you pull the laundry out, it’s like a snowstorm showering flakes all over the floor. 

The cleanup is like a hazmat operation: everything needs to be shaken out and rewashed at least once, if not twice. Then the floor needs to be swept over and over again.

Those shreds of tissue are like pine needles on a dried up Christmas tree. You find them in corners and crevices weeks after the incident, no matter how many times you’ve swept. That’s when I really kick myself, realizing that if I’d just taken the two minutes to check the pockets, I’d have saved myself all the resulting work.

I’ve had a few interactions with people that have had the same end result.

Continue reading

Putting It Into Practice

But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete. Luke 6:49

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com

My sweet, eleven-year-old daughter, Jocelyn, has a tender heart. The positive side of that is she has immense compassion for others. She puts others before herself and goes out of her way to help anyone in need.

The negative side of having a tender heart is that it bruises easily. When that happens, she gets overwhelmed by her feelings and doesn’t know what to do with them.

We had a heart-bruising day last Friday.

Continue reading

When Jesus Stays Silent

Published on CatholicMom.com

Jesus did not answer a word. Matthew 15:23

Photo Courtesy of Pexels.com

When a mother approaches Jesus in sheer anguish, begging Him to heal her demon possessed child, Jesus doesn’t utter a word.

Someone more timid could have read His lack of a response as a rejection. Admitting defeat, she might have turned around and left. But not this mother. She views Jesus’ silence as Him listening. She also sees it as an open door to walk through. Not only does she walk through that door, but she gets close to Jesus, drops to her knees, and pleads for His help.

What happens next is a conversation between the woman and Jesus – a back and forth that challenges the woman to further advocate for what she needs, and further clarify for herself how Jesus is the only answer. The entire process galvanizes her faith, cementing it so solid, Jesus grants her request because of her faith.

Continue reading

Who Is Your Great Assembly?

I do not hide Your righteousness in my heart; I speak of Your faithfulness and Your saving help. I do no conceal Your love and Your faithfulness from the great assembly. Psalm 40:10

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com

I used to think that proclaiming the Good News meant standing on a soap box, on a corner, shouting out about God’s love and faithfulness. That really isn’t who I am, nor is it in my skillset to proclaim, off the cuff, about God’s magnificence.

I used my shortcoming as the excuse for why it wasn’t up to me to speak publicly about God’s goodness. Instead, as a doer, I joined the missions. That’s when everything changed.

Continue reading

What Can You Reclaim?

“I relieved your shoulder of the burden; your hands were freed from the basket. In distress you called, and I rescued you…” Psalm 81:6-7

For years now, I’ve been in the taxi-driving stage of motherhood. That means I’m in the car upwards of two hours a day, shuttling kids to work, boxing, robotics, gymnastics, you name it. Although I’ve enjoyed the bonding time when my kids choose to open up while in the car, there are days when it feels like a waste of time.

That all changed a few weeks ago.

Continue reading

What to Wear

Published on CatholicMom.com

“Then he said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come.'” Matthew 22:8

I’ve been to several weddings where I’ve missed the mark on how to dress. Based on the bride and groom, and what I perceived their vision for the day to be, I either overdressed or underdressed for the occasion. The level and duration of my discomfort depended on my self-confidence that day, and just how much my mistake stood out. I always took consolation in the fact that at least I tried, and that all eyes were focused on the couple of the day, not on me and my wardrobe faux paus.

Continue reading

What’s in the Parentheses

Published on CatholicMom.com

(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.) Numbers 12:3

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Of course, we all know who Moses is and just how righteous he was. But what if someone were new to her faith and opened the Bible to Numbers 12? If she just read the first two lines, she might be swayed by what Miriam and Aaron say about him. They complain about Moses in such a way that might make her think he’s a glory-seeker.

It would take reading that third line, in parentheses, to clarify for her that Moses is very humble. In fact, he’s the humblest man on earth.

But if she were in a rush, and couldn’t read on, it would be an injustice to Moses and to herself.

Continue reading

Distracted by God

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Psalm 84:3

I set up a new prayer space this summer on my back deck. Every day I sit there with my Bible and journal trying to spend time with God. But like the child who gets distracted by a butterfly, all my efforts get derailed by the pair of hummingbirds that visit my feeder.

It’s mesmerizing to watch them, with their wings batting 53 beats per second. They dip in to feed and then fly up to be sure I’m staying put, over and over and over again.

I guess I’ve earned their trust over the past month. They actually perch on the feeder now, just a few feet away from me. The best is when they play together, swirling and twirling mid-air as if dancing for me.

Sometimes twenty minutes can go by without me reading even a single word in my Bible. I get lost in wonder, overwhelmed by gratitude for the magic that unfolds before me every day. Then I’ll snap to, reprimand myself for being so distracted, and try to refocus on God and prayer again.

Yesterday, the distraction literally doubled and had me seeing things in a whole new light.

Continue reading

A Whole Other World

Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you… Exodus 33:13

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com

Have you experienced your kids being so engaged in something they don’t even register your presence? We can tell them eight times over that dinner is ready and they still don’t hear us.

For my kids it’s video games that transport them to another place and time. It’s as if they’re in a different world, with this one dropping away.

We may get frustrated by it, annoyed that we’re overlooked and ignored, but we can actually learn a thing or two from them.

Continue reading