Allowing Them to Teach Us

I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors.    Proverbs 5:13

1.9.20 Allowing Them to Teach Us

Photo Courtesy of KidsInService.net

For the past few years, my family has been copying my friend, Jess Weller, by doing her Kids in Service Family Interview on New Year’s Day. It’s a short worksheet that helps us capture what’s impacted us during the previous year. At the same time, it inspires us to set our sights on what we hope to achieve in the upcoming year.

One line asks who our teachers are. I’m no longer in school, of course, but I do have a spiritual director and close friends who teach me new things all the time. I always put their names on this line.

Reflecting more on that question, I realized I’m limiting myself immensely. Continue reading

Rebuilding the Temple

Published on CatholicMom.com
Is it time for you to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies in ruins?    Haggai 1:4
1.1.19 Rebuilding the Temple Pixabay

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com

In Haggai 1:1-9, the people have left God’s temple in ruins. Yet, they manage to put up fancy panels in their own homes. The passage goes on to say that they sow much, yet reap little; eat but aren’t satisfied; clothe themselves and still aren’t warm.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt all these things: Working so hard but feeling as if I’m just spinning my wheels; binge eating junk food, yet always craving more; putting on layers of clothes but still feeling a chill so deep I can’t stop shivering.

Twice, the passage says: “Reflect on your experience!” Both times with an exclamation point. This is the point in our own motherhood where we’d put our kids in Time Out for not heeding our warnings when doing something wrong.

So, what’s the connection between Haggai’s time and now? How does this passage pertain to us in 2020? Our churches are beautiful with stained glass windows and cushions on the kneelers. There’s no need to rebuild God’s temple today, or is there? Continue reading

A More Meaningful Gift Exchange This Year

A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of The Great. Proverbs 18:16

12.23.19 A Different Kind of Gift Exchange This YearMy MOSAIC Moms Group has been meeting for over six years. For our December gatherings, we skip reading a chapter of whatever book we’re using for reflection and discussion, and do a Yankee Swap instead. Because we’re all moms, and we’re overwhelmed and crazy at this time of year, we swap re-gifted or gently used items so we don’t have to add one more thing to our shopping list.

This year, I decided to add a new element to the gathering. Continue reading

Losing Our Hamster Helped Me Find Christmas

Enjoy this re-post from December 31st, 2014

“But we have to celebrate and be glad, because… he was lost and is found.” Luke 15:32

I am not a pet person. I have lots of allergies, and therefore did not grow up with them. I’ve also heard that they’re a lot of work. I’ve got three kids; I don’t need a fourth little being to add to my work load.

But being a mom means it’s not about me anymore. So, after a lot of badgering from my kids, I finally broke down and got them a hamster for Christmas. I was pleasantly surprised when little Petunia stole my heart at first sight!

But I accidentally left the latch open on the “petting zone” of her cage on Sunday night. When we woke up on Monday, she was nowhere to be found. We have a fairly large house with lots of places for a little fur ball to hide. But over the next twenty-four hours, we moved just about every item and piece of furniture on the first floor with no luck. We left a trail of hamster food to lure her back, but nothing. My kids are devastated, and quite frankly, so am I.

Late last night, I saw the first piece of evidence to deduce where Petunia might be. Continue reading

If We Just Look

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  Jeremiah 29:13

12.13.19 If We Just Look

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com

Sadly, my friend’s parents have both passed away. Despite her loss, Judi not only feels their love and presence still, she physically sees them in the form of their favorite birds: red cardinals.

Every time she needs her parents, a male and female cardinal miraculously appear. Whether it’s outside the window of her apartment, or out the window of her car, the sight of those red birds brings her immense comfort and peace.

I’ve heard a lot of these stories. The physical presence may vary (be it a butterfly, dragonfly, etc.), but the concept is the same: When people look for what they need with the eyes of the heart and an unwavering belief, God responds.

The same holds true during Advent. Continue reading

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