2019 review of goals

GoalsHere are my goals at the beginning of the year followed by the status at year end.

2019

  • Yip, Yip published - Yip, Yip was published and Hannah (who is Patty in the book) said it was probably the best present she ever received.
  • Spend prayer time every month on specific people (January: Sandy; February: Paul; etc) - I was faithful until I lost my job in April. Most of the prayer focuses of the month were work colleagues and once I know longer interacted with them daily, I forgot to pray for them. 
  • Eat low carb and no whites - Did pretty well.
  • Pay credit line down to $5000 - Success
  • Almost finish Bachelors Degree, maintain a 4.0 GPA - I slipped in my GPA; 3.94.
  • Focus on growth in fortitude, patience, and temperance - Praise God, I'm growing, but I'm still quite rooted in being an impatient, gluttonous coward. But less so then at the beginning of the year.
  • Finish Bible Timeline study at church - Success.
  • Read more in the evening and Facebook less - Still a struggle, but striving still.
  • Keep 3:00 prayer break - Did well until I lost my job in April, and then the "break" wasn't a part of life. 
  • No snacks between meals at work - Success
  • Park at Mall instead of at work so I get more walking in every day - Success while I was working.
  • Spiritual reading at noon - Success while I was working
  • Embrace femininity more, for example, wear dress pants to Mass. - Success
  • Keep Tuesday adoration habit - Success while I was working. The habit was that I would go directly to church after work and pray until church started at 7:00. Once I wasn't working anymore, I quit going to the church early.
  • Things I was believing in faith would happen in 2018, but didn't, I carried over to 2019:     
  • 1. more crypto seed money - had a bit of success
  • 2. D repent and turn to righteousness - not yet
  • 3. G come into the Church - not yet
  • 4. H take faith seriously - Praise God, she's all in!!
  • 5. S & J into Catholic Church - not yet           

thursday thirteen, arkansas sweetness

Here are a few of the funnies or sweet things from this last trip to Arkansas: Beppie blankets

  1. Once Riley was yelling at me incessantly, but I was distracted in conversation with someone else. Roman got my attention and said, "Beppie, I may be mistaken, but I think Riley wants you."
  2. Remington calls me "Buppy."
  3. Ella wants me to call her Isabella.
  4. Isabella made me cards, welcome banners, and a mug that says, "I love Beppie."
  5. Sydney told me I was a retired tooth fairy
  6. Roman said, "I don’t mean to be cocky, but I kind of consider myself a higher power in this family."
  7. Avery wants me to call her by her full name, Avery Claire.
  8. Landon loves when I tell him how much I love his dimples.
  9. Sydney, who's uncomfortable with affection, lets me hug her. 
  10. On my first day there, at 4:30 when the kids got home from school, I couldn't stop giggling at Stephanie's life. It was absolute chaos. Absolute chaos. Eight children, all hungry, all wanting to tell about their day, and all with backpacks on the kitchen island. I still giggle recalling my initiation into the chaos. Five minutes earlier the house was clean and tidy and then it was like a small bomb exploded. 
  11. Beckem is so gentle and soft spoken. But always smiling and nearly always shirtless.
  12. Christopher's wolf dog, Akeira, came to visit Stephanie's already densely populated home. Akeira was wet and shook off in the house. The dogs started fighting and while Stephanie was trying to get them outside she slipped in the water Akeira had shaken off. It was another moment of intense chaos where I got the awkward giggles.
  13. One of my highlights of this trip was making every child a tie blanket. It started out as my making a blanket with Avery. As we made it she told me she'd like one too. I started making her one the next day, and another child expressed interest. When it was all said and done, each child had a new tie blanket from Beppie. 

lily sweetness

Lily, my goodness, how I love this girl. We're moving back to Alberta and I swear my only reservation about it is leaving her. Lilyb
Thinking about leaving her makes me queasy and sad.

In April I was laid off at work and that has worked wonderfully because I've been able to keep Lily. My last summer on the Sunshine Coast and we are making lots of memories. I'm thankful for this time.

This post is to remember some of her sweetness.

  1. I have a small pink washcloth that was a gift from one of our Japanese exchange students. It's Lily's favorite. She asked if she could have it when I die.
  2. Mike, her dad, accidently spun out of the driveway one day when he dropped her off. She said, "That's the spirit, Dad."
  3. When taking her to Mandy's house for the first weekend after Buddy's birth, she told me to call her if anything went wrong with Buddy.
  4. I bought her a dress that she calls her "special dress." She wants to wear it to special places; the West Sechelt Elementary Carnival, Strong Start preschool days, Buddy's birth, and church.
  5. Soon after Buddy was home from the hospital, I asked if she wanted to hold him. She shyly nodded no and said she was afraid she'd hurt him. "Remember that time I broke that cup?"
  6. One day as we were driving past a bus she said, "I'm glad one of my grandpas is the boss of the buses." That, of course, would be Gordon she's referring to.
  7. One day she was studying my hand with its wrinkly skin, and said, "You're old enough to die, aren't you?"
  8. When she goes to church with me, her genuflect is a curtsy. 

happy birthday, rachael

RachaelToday is Rachael Christine's 24th birthday. How she delights my soul!!

When we learned we were expecting Rachael, I was not in a good emotional place. Getting pregnant seemed like the least logical thing in the world and it definitely was not something we would have chosen. God saw things differently.

Shortly after learning I was pregnant, I read in Psalm 30, "You have turned my mourning into dancing." Rachael's life infused my sorrowing heart with joy. I'm so thankful for God's kindness in doing that. To this day, 24 years later, I cannot read that verse, "you turned my mourning into dancing," without thinking of my sweet Rachael. God used her so powerfully to restore my joy and purpose. 

She was a most delightful child and gave us joy beyond measure. Then she became a teenager, . . . and I went back into mourning as she participated in nearly every bad choice available. Thankfully, God once again turned my mourning into dancing as he worked so powerfully and beautifully in her life.

Recently I revisited Psalm 30 where it says, "you have turned my mourning into dancing," and realized it is the same chapter that says, "weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning." Rachael's teenage years caused lots of tears, but I'm grateful that that season of weeping is over as we've seen her embrace our Lord and Saviour Jesus with great joy. 

I will always think of Psalm 30 as Rachael's Psalm. First, he used her to turn my mourning into dancing, and then he used her to teach me that after the weeping he once again brings joy.  I'm so grateful for the Word of God and how it can speak to my heart so powerfully and personally. And I'm forever grateful for the His awesome gift to me, Rachael Christine. 


josefa on humility

HumilityJesus told Sister Josefa, one of my saints, that when she had two options, to choose the humbler one. I'm trying to apply this wisdom more and more often. I’m trying to embrace humility in various ways. My sweet saint friends, Francis, Anthony, Rita, Faustina, and Josefa all modelled humility in powerful ways. Their writings and lives have taught me a lot about humility, but I am still so proud. Pride rises up all the time. Every single day.

Humility is simply not thinking of myself. I want to be humble. I want to become a saint, but there are no proud saints. Humility is a virtue of all the saints. Therefore, I need to remember what Jesus told Josefa: when you have two options, choose the humbler one. Little by little, day by day.


atlas rigel

We have a precious new grandson, born July 16. Buddy (Atlas Rigel) weighed 7.14. Deborah let me watch him gush into our world and then cut the cord. We’re all enchanted and Deborah is doing well. She is madly in love with him and he is madly in love with her. I am very in love with both of them. 

Atlas nb Atlas nb2


hearing god, cowardice, perfect love, queenship

Recently I was bemoaning to God that I don't hear his voice. Over a couple days I saw how the opposite is true: I see my sin; I see his grace in my life; I hear conviction; I experience growth in his word, his Church, and the sacraments. It's true that many times I ask for direction and sense nothing. But when I think about what I do hear, I'm so thankful.

Sometimes I hear people say things akin to, "God told me to go to the post office." I want that kind of clarity, to hear that clearly, but I much prefer his healing in my heart, conviction, consolation, the grace to experience his presence and his love to momentary direction. 

I am a real coward in sharing my faith and identifying with the Catholic faith and Blessed Mom. (I'm ashamed to write that). I think of dozens and dozens (hundreds?) of times cowardice won. I want to love him so much that all fear of men and their opinions is driven far from me. I want to love him with 100% of my being. I think of the verses, "Perfect love casts out all fear,"1 and "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for others."2 Laying down my life means eliminating my propensity to protect myself from others' bad thoughts of me. Laying my life down for others means rising above cowardice and fearing what they'll think of me and sharing my faith anyway. I want to love him so much that I readily share him and my Catholic faith, to be bold and joy-filled in sharing him with others. I want to love him with every fiber of my being. I want all darkness driven from me. I want to always abide in the shelter of his wing, in his sacred heart. As the love increases, the fear decreases because, "Perfect love casts out all fear." So instead of my standard prayer for boldness, I'm going to ask for the grace to love him more. Too little love is the problem, not too much fear. 

This morning I was thinking of Our Mother as Queen of Heaven and earth. I realized that I consider myself queen of this home. I want to subject myself to her, to give that role of queenship to her. I want her to reign as queen in my home. 

1 John 4:18 

2 John 15:13


dear darian, the agony in the garden

AbusedDear Darian,**

Today as I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary, I thought of Jesus’ agony in the garden and how the fruit of that mystery is true contrition of sins. Did you know that each mystery of the rosary has a corresponding fruit? The fruit of meditating on the agony in the garden is true contrition for sin. We all need that, don’t we?

Do you recall the wooded park on the corner of Tyler and Emerson in Sechelt? Sometimes when I imagine Jesus suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, that’s the location I think of. I see him by one of those boulders pouring out his anguish to the Father. Before he even kneels, as he’s plodding to the place where he’ll pray, the weight of the world’s sins throughout the ages begins to press upon him.

Just a short time earlier, Peter had argued with him, claiming he’d never deny him. Jesus invited Peter, James and John to pray with him and to pray for themselves to be strong in the temptation they were about to experience. “Your spirit is willing, but your flesh will be weak,” he’d told them so they’d be more inclined to pray. And indeed, their flesh was weak. Sated by the Passover meal and the fellowship they’d enjoyed with their fellow disciples, they wasted no time getting comfortable and having a snooze while Jesus began his intense agony in the garden. Alone. His best friends left him to suffer alone. He even went to wake them and ask for their help. But their sleepiness prevailed. We can be so fickle. When our bellies are full and our emotional needs met, it’s easy to imagine we’ll not waiver, that our faith will be strong come what may.

Dejected and alone, Jesus returns to the boulder and falls to his knees as the weight of horrific sin begins to ravish his body. The sinless God-man sees the sins of the world playing in his mind like a movie reel. Evil scene after evil scene is before him. Perfect love is subjected to perfect hate. No sort of sin is withheld from his awareness.

He sees a father molesting his little girl and her humiliation, her bitter loss of innocence, her fear, and the unravelling of all the safety and security she’d ever known. Our loving Lord who said, “Let the little children come to me,” and who picked up the children and blessed them now sees the shame and betrayal in the little girl’s eyes as she forces them closed in vain hope of erasing the memory of what just happened. He wants to hold her, console her, heal her. Mysteriously, he is fully experiencing both the father and the helpless daughter’s emotions. Jesus passionately hates what the dad has done, but he sees the father when he was a little boy, himself a victim of shattered innocence. He is fully experiencing the effects of sin in both lives. “Both lives,” that’s laughable. It’s not like it’s just two lives. It’s millions of dads and millions of children. Pain, pain, and more pain.

The effects of sin! He sees the horror. Sin doesn’t end; it keeps revisiting the generations. My God, the anguish our Lord must have experienced as he saw humanity’s condition. He sobs for the pain he sees. “Father, let this cup pass from me,” he cries as he sees these pained people reject his love and invitation to life. Seeing billions of people reject his sacrifice and love, choosing hell over him, is the cup of agony he was drinking.

Jesus looked to our time in history and saw unborn babies in what should be the coziest, safest place in the universe, their mothers’ wombs, and heard their silent screams as they struggled to escape the abortionists’ evil instruments of mutilation. Millions of babies slaughtered. Can you imagine the crushing in his chest as he saw these vivid realities?

A few weeks ago, I drove through Vancouver’s east side for the first time. I’d heard of East Hastings, but I was shocked, nonetheless. A weathered young woman walked in front of traffic, oblivious to danger, clearly drugged. Dozens and dozens were sleeping on the sidewalk. Prostitutes, looking far from beautiful and fresh, were trying to make a living. People were asking for money and some mentally ill were yelling at no one. I could not shake the images of what I’d seen for a couple days. It occurred to me how much worse it is in other parts of the world. The homeless of Canada might at least find a soup kitchen or homeless shelter and, if they are sick, they can still access healthcare.

Jesus saw and loved these people that night in Gethsemane. He saw the whole of the human condition with agonizing clarity. Is it any wonder he sweat blood?

As you contemplate Jesus’ crushing emotional and spiritual pain in the garden, think about the greatest sorrows you’ve heard or read about and those you’ve experienced, plus those you’ve inflicted on others. Remember always, Jesus agonized over them all.

May we both become more and more sensitive to the sin in our lives.

Love,

Valerie

**My dear son-in-law, Darian, was the first person I sponsored into the Catholic Church. He was the first in my family to see the Truth I saw. I wanted to help him along the way and started a book called, "Dear Darian."  In it I wrote about things I was learning, especially things I was learning through praying the rosary, hoping it would help him on his journey too. Well, Darian's spiritual life was on steroids and my little essays didn't seem needed as he was reading much greater minds than mine. So, my "Dear Darian," has instead become blog posts. 


gimpy

SparrowI love the finches, chickadees and sparrows that visit daily. My cat, Casanova, loves them too, but in a sinister way. Several weeks ago, Jessica, my friend that lives in the suite downstairs, brought me a freshly injured sparrow, Casanova's latest victim. I felt a powerful compunction to pray for him. I probably held him for 15 minutes while praying. His leg was broken, he had a tooth puncture on his head, and one wing looked gnarly. My heart ached for him.

I was reminded that I could offer my aching heart to the Lord for the salvation of souls. And I did. I was comforted knowing Jesus cared for that sweet sparrow. As I held him and prayed, he seem to regain some strength. He couldn’t get aloft, so I put him in the forsythia, hoping and praying he would survive. I felt like power had gone out from me, a feeling I have little experience with. I was reminded of the bleeding woman who touched the hem of Jesus's garment and how he knew power had gone from him. (Mark 5:10) 

For a couple days I thought about that helpless little bird and meditated on how it hurt my heart and wondered if that might be a similar to how God feels when we are hurting.

A few days later, that little bird joined me on the patio. His tail feathers were gone and and his leg was at a 90° angle. I named him Gimpy because, of course, his tiny gimp leg. I was elated that he had survived and every day I see him, my heart swells with joy and thanksgiving. It's like he is a special gift from God to me.

On the day I prayed for Gimpy, I united the pain in my heart with Jesus's suffering, based on Paul's words in Colossians 1:24, "Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church." God answered the prayer that the sparrow survive. It encourages me to imagine that he might have saved souls through that small suffering of mine united to his sufferings. None of our suffering need be wasted, not even an aching heart over an injured sparrow.

Gimpy still visits the patio, giving me so much joy. My joy would be off the charts if he trusted me enough to let me hold him again. Might this be how Jesus feels when I don't totally trust him or totally surrender to him? What am I withholding? I would never hurt little Gimpy or betray his trust. God would never hurt me or betray my trust.

My experience with Gimpy was the second time I felt I "had" to pray a healing prayer. The other time was nearly 20 years ago when a lady came to church for prayer after a cancer diagnosis. Way out of my comfort zone, I felt very compelled to pray for her. Just like with Gimpy, I felt like power went out from me. (Please understand that this wasn't a huge feeling, but a small sense.) Wendy's cancer did indeed go into remission and she is still with us. I took/take no credit for that, I just knew I needed to pray right then and there, just like I did for Gimpy. When Gimpy survived, I recalled the similarities in the emotions I experienced with each situation. I wondered if God might be telling me, "Remember Gimpy and Wendy the next time this feeling occurs." I write this experience to remember it. I want to be ready if God places the feeling of  "I must" pray for someone within my heart. He used me those two times. I want to be ready should I feel that again because maybe, just maybe, God will use me to bring a healing prayer to someone.


responding to insult

Earlier this week I was badly insulted by someone. Instead of responding, I offered it up to Jesus. But the hurt persisted and I kept asking God for the grace to get beyond the hurt and for guidance on how to offer it up to him better. After some extended time wrestling, I received a little insight.

Blessed Mom loved Jesus so much and so perfectly that at the foot of the cross, he was all that was on her mind. He occupied all of her thoughts. Her love for him was so great that there was no room for resentment in her heart toward his disciples who forsook him or those who were crucifying him. All her thoughts were directed to him.

As I love Jesus more and more, I will be able to forget myself more and offer things up more purely. The more perfect my love for him, the less impact insults and inequality will have on me. 


mother's day, from deborah

Like my previous post about Hannah, I want to share what Deborah wrote on Facebook for Mother's Day. Not only does this record allow me to cherish it over and over, it also reminds me, yet again, to not stop praying even when all looks lost. Deborah appeared to be a borderline-lost cause for nearly 10 years. Might those prayers have been the very way God brought her back to us? What if we had stopped praying? I will never cease to praise God for bringing these three girls back to us and to himself. 

I wrote briefly on my despairing feelings regarding mothering here on Mother's Day, 2012. To capture the difference between Deborah then and Deborah now, please read that post. My heart is full since reading this on Facebook:

Debs and vHappy Mother's Day to my beautiful, courageous, kind, loving, giving, mother. I am so, so, so thankful for you and I could not wish for a better mum. I remember when I was young and you would rock me and sing Amazing Grace and Love Lifted Me, and when I had nightmares you would come lay with me until I fell back asleep, and when you redecorated my room while I was away at camp and it was absolutely perfect, and how you made my birthday cakes and they were always amazing even though you doubted your skills, and when I didn't have many friends to come to my birthday party you gave me things to look forward to like extra gifts so that I wasn't too sad, and how you would bring chicken from Mary Browns to CASA on Wednesdays when I couldn't leave, and you would buy me gift cards for groceries when I was really struggling, and sooo much more.

You have been so supportive even though I know sometimes it isn't easy, because I don't always make the right choices. I admire you for so many things such as your empathy and ability to continue growing and loving and giving to others. You did so many things right, and I know that you really give it your all even when it gets tough.

You amaze me and I am so proud of you for your accomplishments and how you have grown so much in your faith and in yourself in the past few years. There are many things about you that I look up to and aspire to be. You are one of the kindest people I know, and I know you try very hard to love everyone with all of your heart. You are an amazing person and an incredible mother. And your smile warms my heart. We are all so lucky to know you and to love you and to be loved by you, and I don't know where me and Buddy would be without you. I love you so much mom. More than you could ever know. And it's all easy enough to write in a Facebook post, but I really do mean it with all of my heart. I think we have come so far together in our relationship and I am grateful for that beyond measure.

Happy Mothers Day  ❤❤❤ you are so beautiful and deserving of goodness.

During Rachael, Hannah, and Deborah's adolescent and teen years, I deleted my Facebook account because it was so very painful to read people's praises of their children. Every family looked like they had it together and mine was always in crisis. Seeing their happy faces and hearing their successes was like salt in an open wound. I'm very aware of how this post, and the one from Hannah, could hurt those who are still in that parenting valley. My heart feels your pain as I know it so very personally. Please read these two Mother's Day posts as coming from a humbled heart, not a gloating heart. I want to encourage moms, not pour salt in their wounds. 

Keep praying! Never stop praying!!


mother's day, from hannah

God answers prayers, sometimes more beautifully than we imagined. For a number of years, Mother's Day was a sad day for me. I felt like I'd given my life to raising upstanding children and the effort seemed to have been futile. I wrote about it here on Mother's Day, 2012. If you read it, I think you'll sense my despair.

Seven years later, I want to share the note I received from Hannah for Mother's Day. Although I'm very proud of the progress we've made, I share this to testify that our prayers are never in vain. God came through! May I never cease to pray, because God never ceases to answer prayer, albeit on his timetable, not mine. Take this note from Hannah as proof. (I will give an editorial note explaining the first four lines at the bottom.)

Hannah at rach weddingHannah wrote:

M R DUCKS.                        
M R NOT DUCKS!             
S A R, C M BD I'S?              
L I B, M R DUCKS!      

Mom, I love you so much and you bless my heart. You are truly one of the most generous people I know... You're always giving! I think you sincerely try to love people more than anyone else I know, too. Your deep love for humanity and for individuals, your empathy, and your spirit of intercessory prayer for those you care about really does astound me and I admire you greatly for being that way. I want to be like that some day!

I don't know many people who will leave a legacy (in the truest sense of the word), but as I have said before, I believe you have one in the number of lives you have impacted by your humble conviction in the Church and in your faith.

Love you, miss you. Can't wait to see you again. Happy Mother's Day!

Can you see why I feel so blessed? God be praised for the great work he is doing in our lives.

Now about those first four lines that Hannah wrote:

M R DUCKS.                        
M R NOT DUCKS!             
S A R, C M BD I'S?              
L I B, M R DUCKS! 

It's a real country way of saying:

Them are ducks.                        
    Them are not ducks!             
Yes, they are. See them beady eyes?              
    Well, I'll be, them are ducks!    

Our family humor can be a bit quirky and this is one of the quirky things from my Arkansas roots that lives on in my children. It's something I taught the girls when they were little, and obviously, Hannah remembered it. 

 

 

 


examen with st. ignatius

I've been on an eating binge. This is my sin of choice and the gutter I find myself in over and over is that of gluttony. How is it that I hate this addiction/vice so much yet still return to it over and over? I guess that is what addiction is. Yesterday I was doing the Examination of Conscience as St. Ignatius taught it and experienced some powerful imagery. (I was using a pamphlet I picked up at church, so the following thoughts are answering the questions in the pamphlet.)

The first step of the Examen - Ask for Grace

Ignatius asks: If I could ask God for one "spiritual gift" right now, what would it be? I will go with self-control. God, I desperately need self-control in my eating habits. Please give me that grace. 

My overeating is a food addiction. Addiction is lack of health. I need healing. Lord, please illumine my mind to understand it and receive your healing. I want so badly to be united with you in everything, but this sickness and sin holds me back. I choose food over you often. I ask for help and then eat the cupcake (or 6) without waiting. Forgive me. Show me how to love you better. Forgive me. Heal me. Set me free from the bondage that has such power over me. 

Ignatius instructs us to listen for our Lord's response.

Jesus responds: All is not lost. I see your heart, your struggle, your desire for intimacy with me. I see your desire to console me in my passion. Yes, you drive thorns into my brow more deeply when you choose the snack (or 10) over uniting yourself with me in your struggle. But, your sorrow and regret and turning to me in sadness is deep consolation to me. You know your help is in me and I LOVE that about you. Before you turn to me and unite your desires with my sufferings, you turn to a cow pile. Instead of the wholesome food (Me), you burrow into the cow pile (gluttony) like an worm. You choose a cow pile over me. You choose the low road, the way of least resistance. But after burrowing into the cow pile, you come to your senses, return to me and I wash you again, wash you of the slimy, stinky cow feces. I love to wash you clean and am deeply consoled by your return, by your sadness over falling for the cow pile yet again. Your sorrowing heart and turning to me is a deep consolation, but yes, being rejected for a cow pile hurts me deeply. Stay with me and I will heal you and set you free. Will you? Will you accept my healing, wholeness, and freedom right now?

Me: I want to answer a resounding Yes!, but I've failed so many times. I keep returning to the cow pile. Please give me the graces I need; self-control, temperance, patience, etc., for freedom, healing, victory.

Ignatius instructs to allow yourself to daydream about what it would look like to be "filled up" with this grace.

My daydream: Food is a means of survival, not an end. I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm sated. I don't overeat and I'm never a glutton. I don't think about food, daydream about it, or lust for it. It is simply fuel. I am not emotionally attached to food; I am free of gluttony. Virtues of self-control, temperance, and patience are mine; they replaced gluttony and intemperance. 

I imagine a funnel over my head and Jesus pouring self-control, temperance, and patience into my soul. As I inhale, I draw in those graces allowing them to seep into all the crevices of my heart, soul, and body. As I exhale, I release the emotional attachments to food, the gluttony, the un-wellness of seeking anything from food other than fuel. I inhale Jesus' graces and virtues. I exhale Valerie and her vices. Jesus remains.

Later, still imagining Jesus giving me the graces of self-control, temperance and patience - the graces I asked for to help me overcome gluttony, I let my imagination lead to another place. Whereas the first time I imagined Jesus pouring the virtues into my head through a funnel, this time I'm feeling cold and am seeking warmth, comfort and consolation. Cupcakes entice me on the counter and Jesus sits on the sofa. I have a choice to eat the cupcakes or sit with Jesus. I choose Jesus. Still chilled, I sit beside him and he wraps me in a warm blanket and I immediately feel it's warmth and his comforting touch and consolation. He holds me. I am child-size and his comfort is like a loving parent holding a cold child. His comfort and the warmth of the blanket infuses me with soul-satisfying comfort. The cold is replaced by warmth and security. I never want it to end. Every fiber of my being relaxes in the comfort of his embrace.

I am so enraptured by him that I am not tempted by the cupcakes. I mentally contrast the feelings the cupcakes give to this feeling. Cupcakes taste amazing for a few seconds. After eating one, anxiety takes over in the form of wanting another. I eat another. Eat - anxiety for another - eat - feelings of guilt. Eat - anxiety - eat - guilt. On and on until the cupcakes are gone and I'm wracked by guilt and grossness at my lack of self control. There remains no satisfaction from the cupcakes. 

I compare that to the true feeding of my soul that Jesus' embrace gives. I can bask in it, smiling as my face rests against his chest. He hand caresses my face and hair, again like a kind, tender parent. I want to stay right there in his embrace. But I have other duties. I get up. We look into each others' eyes. Both of us have been soul-sated. He rejoices just like I do in the sweet communion we just enjoyed. I am truly nourished. The smile, the warmth of soul and body continues. What a blessed experience. What a beautiful contrast. What a superior experience to the cupcakes. Only goodness remains. No feelings of guilt or grossness. I am full. Beautifully sated and I never took a bite. 

Jesus, lover of my soul, feed me. Envelope me in your graces.


adoption day

Adoption day What a glorious day, one we've been awaiting.

Today, my daughter, Stephanie, and her husband, John Mark welcomed three more children into their family. The adoption process is complete! I am happy to have three new grandchildren: Sydnie, age 11; Landon, age 8; and Rylie, age 6. 

They are now a family of 10, can you believe? What a journey they've had and will continue to have. It won't be easy, but they knew that when the process began. The kids have been living with them for quite some time, and a few years ago Sydnie and Rylie lived with them for a couple years. 

I'm thankful for families like theirs. Our world needs more of them. Adoption day


2019 goals and such

2019

  • Yip, Yip published
  • Spend prayer time every month on specific people (January: Sandy; February: Paul; etc)
  • Eat low carb and no whites
  • Pay credit line down to $5000
  • Almost finish Bachelors Degree, maintain a 4.0 GPA
  • Focus on growth in fortitude, patience, and temperance
  • Finish Bible Timeline study at church
  • Read more in the evening and Facebook less
  • Keep 3:00 prayer break
  • No snacks between meals at work
  • Park at Mall so I get more walking in every day.
  • Spiritual reading at noon
  • Embrace femininity more, for example, wear dress pants to Mass.
  • Keep Tuesday adoration habit
  • Things I was believing in faith would happen in 2018, but didn't, I'll carry over to 2019:     
  • 1. more crypto seed money,  
  • 2. D repent and turn to righteousness,        
  • 3. G come into the Church,       
  • 4. H take faith seriously,         
  • 5. S & J into Catholic Church