Thursday, April 28, 2011

Different Parts: For Jen

Don't you just feel that sometimes we are like junkyard cars? You know, the cars that have different color doors and a hood that once belonged to another car. Put together with so many foreign elements, sometimes not one thing is original.

I feel like that sometimes.

Not very original.

Interchangeable parts.

Because the old ones stopped working, were damaged, or whatever.

Damaged parts.

So many of us have been wounded, whether by inheritance, or directly. We all have some damaged goods somewhere, not quite functioning the way it should be. Always fixed for a little bit, then going out of whack again.

But my uncle used to call all his cars Cadillacs. Cars beaten by age and experience, seats riddled with rips and tears, engines noisy, shaking as they chugged down the road. They were junkyard cars in everyone's eyes, but in his eyes, they got him to where he needed to go. Where we saw chipped paint, grimy and old, he saw polished, gleaming and glorious, like a shiny new Cadillac.

So in His eyes, as beat up as we are, as wasted and used we may feel, to Him we are still his brand new Cadillacs, always beautiful, always useful, no matter what condition.

Maybe, in our used conditions, broken as I love to hear you say, put together with different parts, we serve a purpose, we are still needed. The more damaged our goods, the harder He looks to find a piece that fits, to make us work again. A little different, but functioning nonetheless. He loves you, and He loves me, and the world may see it differently, but if we look at things His way then we know that it's not the exterior that makes the vehicle. It's what is inside, underneath the hood that makes the car run.

Not sure if you even care for cars. It's just what came to mind when I read your message.

And how very tender are we, our dear Father hand-picking the right pieces, the right people to help us drive, to show us our destinations, even if they themselves have trouble finding their own way. We need one another, each possessing a talent to get us all home.

And all we carry, all He's given us, the pretty and the ugly, is all we need to get us there.

I'm not ashamed of my past anymore. I don't hide from it anymore because He freed me from that prison. In those very nails that fastened Him to the tree are the keys to my salvation; mine and yours. I don't need to hold on to something that never belonged to me in the first placed. What happened to me did break me, but never made me. I am still Ivy, God's child no matter what needs repairing. And when I've been broken, God came right over to fix it, gave me a new part. I didn't even need to ask.

Now that is some good roadside assistance huh?

Love you with all my heart.
God bless!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Gideon, Snow and Brad Pitt

I sometimes forget what is most important. Everyday I walk through my life with eyes closed, my hands memorizing my tasks. I often forget to look, not just for the easy moments, or the fun times, but for the glorious events, the ones that are of Him.

Am I ever going to give Him glory, even on those dark cloudy days? How do I capture His glory in my life through the weakest moments? My eyes can be opened, but what about my heart? How can I open up my heart to truly understand His gifts.

And I stumbled upon Gideon this morning on my inner walk. Gideon, the least of his brothers. Yet, God told him to go, in all his strength. Go! With the little Gideon felt he had, he will be strengthened because God sends him.

We need to see the glory of God. Everyday, we need to be a witness to it, because our human nature, our brokenness, the legacy that Adam and Eve left behind, don't allow us to live with hearts open. We are always searching for proof. We are always requiring some validation. Is it really You God? Is this really from You? And time and time again, He, willingly, with love and mercy, understanding our untrusting nature, gives in, shows us His proof. For the Israelites it was a fire in the sky at night, water from a rock, manna from the heavens, the glory of God, protecting them, leading them, providing for them, showing them who He was and what He was willing to do.

And for us? How does God show Himself today?

I believe for each of us He is different.

I had a dream that I had left my front door wide open, in the middle of the night as my family and I slept. When I woke up, it was still dark, but the world outside that door was covered with snow. As I geared up to shovel, I saw Brad Pitt (stay with me please), dressed like Indiana Jones walking towards me with a smile. As he was walking to me, I noticed the snow had been removed, the weather warmed, the moon still shining bright. I asked him if he needed my help removing snow from his car and then I awoke.

After a few days of mulling this dream over and over in my head, I realized something big. Real big. Every time I remembered a dream, it's backdrop was a weather system, tornados, hurricanes and such, me in fear of getting thrown around, losing loved ones, losing life, and yet each dream showed my survival. Each dream ended with me finding protection, or the weather system never coming at all. I usually dreamt these dreams when something big was going on, something scary, moments of weakness.

But this dream was the first dream where I was left unprotected, door wide open, while I slept, while my children slept. Susceptible to burglary, harm of all kinds. Yet, instead, God brought the snow. What thief plans a robbery in the middle of a snow storm? And to top it all off, he brings the very handsome Brad Pitt (Jesus?) to clean it all up.

And so I ask, God, how can I hep you? Show me what I can do for You.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A New Day For Praise

I feel like the Resurrection is like a new year and I have a resolution or three to make. Well, the very first one is to pray more than ever. The second is to read more scripture. The third, it's a biggie, is to be in total gratitude in everything I do and say throughout the day.

73. a clean kitchen...
74. with coffee made
75. Liani's bus driver
76. dreams (while awake and asleep)
77. those who get me
78. those who don't
79. the Holy Sacraments
80. tall blue orchids every morning
81. for whatever...
82. whenever
83. needing and finding help
84. being a helper
85. twnty-seven championships
86. Psalms 23
87. praying the rosary with a group
88. insightful ideas.
89. popping bubbles
90. spanish conversations in the morning
91. happiness found
92. gentle breezes
93. the opportunity to carry my cross and
94. to learn from it
95. blue jays chirping
96. quiet time
97. feeling warm
98. three whole days with JM ;)
99. moments of realization
100. delicious food
101. a child's presence through their mess (reaching for gratitude here!)
102. His purpose
103. His song
104. ZM making the invitation
105. lauds and vespers and all the conversations with Him in between
106. Lemonheads!
107. scribbles by little fingers
108. their trusting nature
109. small hands rubbing away big pain
110. "Stinky!"
111. Oreos
112. pretty pleases
113. my functioning limbs
114. first signs of spring
115. babies cooing in the silent morning
116. seeds sprouting
117. the sunrise...
118. and sunset
119. finally understanding
120. good company
121. my desire to know
122. a creamy cappucino
123. cute giggling
124. ¡dying then rising!

God bless!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rising to Conquer the World: Lenten Walk Day 40

He is risen! Alleluia, alleluia!

My friend says to me that after every Good Friday is an Easter. The Pastor also said that very same thing in his homily tonight. It's true. In our minds, in our hearts, we all know the glory that is Easter and how it must procede the suffering and pain. Easter changes the way we see our life and death, our sins and the need for forgiveness, our love or lack of love, how much we see versus how much we believe. Jesus rises to put an end to our pain, but in order for us to realize the end result, we must also see the necessity for the pain itself.

And so in our lives we will experience joy and pain. Jesus knows this, doesn't deny it.

In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage, I have conquered the world.
John 16:33 (NET)

That's it folks!

That is all He needs to say to me. I lay down everything that hurts me to The One who conquers the world. To The One who asks for my wrongs to make them right. With open arms He takes it all in and still, with the weight of the world's sin and strife, He conquers it!


Easter is a celebration of Jesus' conquest over sin, our sins. I celebrate this with a full full heart. I was emptied this Lenten Walk. Little by little, I was poured out, let loose, left wide open for something, someone so much better then life itself.

Now He has filled with me with love and thankfulness. Love and thanks.

Happy Easter and God bless!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday: Lenten Walk Day 39

This one will be short.

He suffered, died, and was buried...

Heavenly Father, thank You for what You did for us. Over 2000 years ago, You willingly gave Your Son, who suffered for us, took nails to His precious hands and feet for us. He endured the cross for three hours, asking for forgiveness, submitting His spirit into Your hands.

He did this all for us.

And so I give my whole being to say thank You because without this Good Friday, without Jesus' immense love, I wouldn't be able to even utter Your Holy Name.

God bless!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Heavy: Lenten Walk Day 38

Heavy is the only word I can describe tonight.

Mass was heavy with Father Chris's excellent homily about traditions, the eucharist heavy with its significance and ever-present Lord and the night heavy with cold as we walk with Him, our heavy promises in our hearts to stay and keep watch with Him, sad at what we know He will suffer yet heavy with hope for the triumphant end.

And with this heavy heart, I drive home in the dark, my car gliding along the well-remembered road, but my soul so far from me. Everything was so different, so much holier. The world became a tomb ready to incase its Prince in a matter of hours. Our knowing, our waiting, like a dream in which will awaken in us this reality...

that Our Lord and Savior will die to rise.

And all He asks is that we stay here, with Him, and watch, pray, witness.

Amidst the weight in the air, I pray to be worthy of watching. I pray to have that peace I so heavily ask for to be present in me as I remember the sacrifice. I close my eyes to believe in what will occur, for what is to come. This time, this year, this cross has become different in my eyes, more meaningful, more secure, saving and loving.

No longer guilt-ridden.

This waiting, this watching, this witnessing, this cross, this love, this pain, sorrow, weeping, mourning, hoping is all for one thing.

Our forgiveness.

God bless!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Emptiness Transformed: Lenten Walk Days 36-37

As I fold little shirts and matching little socks, I feel a big hole in my heart. I could feel the wind of my daughter's laughter as she plays blow through me, the conversation that my husband shares blow through me. I don't feel good. I thought letting go felt good, relieving, but I feel worse. I feel vacant.

The last two days I've been contemplating on my last post and if I was even ready to touch on that subject with you. It felt so easy to tell. It wasn't a weight on my shoulders since it had become such a part of who I was.

As I hit the publish button, I felt anxiety, my stomach churning and my heart racing. I was about to let go of something that I thought I truly owned. It was my crutch. I leaned on it even though I knew what it meant to me.

I guess we all find ourselves holding on to that bad memory from the past, thinking it will give us control over what happens in our lives next. It is the lesson plan we go to when we face a familiar setting. I wonder if Satan himself helps us to nurture that thought process, eventually making us deem it very valuable.

My own little painful event.

How sadistic.

But now that I've taken that memory off of me, I feel very empty. I feel useless, without substance and that empty feeling of all feelings, the "Now what?" feeling hanging in my air.

And it's this emptiness that I am so scared of feeling through. It is this emptiness we all try to avoid, don't we? How many turns do we make on the road of life so that we can steer clear of the dark forest of emptiness only to end up exactly there every time.

So I'm being emptied of all the substance that I considered my makeup. I think of Jesus and when they strip Him of His garments, exposing all the scars. I think of how human He must have felt at that moment as everyone watched His openness. His emptiness.

Yet, this is how He needed to go. Empty, without earth, without clothes, without opinions, without assumptions, without substance. An empty vessel.

An empty vessel.

To become the best wine...

to be resurrected.

He needed to be emptied to be filled with something better.

Emptied of our sins. Blood and water released from His vessel to make room for the glory of God.

But before that Jesus suffered, that suffering that empties our soul of useless junk, grimy pain, and mildewed tears. That cesspool in the soul which needs to be cleaned out, to make room for something better. But the process hurts. It's stings, it hangs my head in shame, it makes me cry, it almost makes me run the opposite direction, to the place I thought was "safe."

Yet, in the darkness I know He's there, waiting for me. For the first time in my life, I know Jesus is in the dark as well as the light. He's not there to condemn me. He's there to light the way out.

With each step, despite my immense fear, I'm giving thanks, I'm keeping log. I know I too can be transformed into something useful for Him, someone with real substance.

Why did it took so long for me to get here? Only He knows, but as empty and sad as I feel right now, I know this is where I need to be. I pray, if you too are at a similar place, that you trust Him, give Him this moment. Give yourself over to God and let Him live this with You...

and pray.

God bless!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Flashback: Lenten Walk Days 33-35

I remember the moment my life began to break apart. I was already chipped in many places, but held together somehow until the night of a neighbor's party. I was twelve years old and I wanted so bad to be older, wiser. I danced, I laughed. Everyone was leaving but I was asked to stay a little longer with a special few.

And I wanted so bad to be down.

So I stayed.

And someone grabbed my hand. Next thing I remember were a bunch of hands. After that questions, pleas, tears and then eyes-wide-open numbness. I remember hitting buttons for the elevator, dialing my way home, calling for an escape too late. I dragged my mess to bed, closed my eyes and slept deep. My mom called my name early next morning and thought I was drunk. I got in trouble for coming home inebriated and even though I never took a sip of anything other than soda I was punished for the rest of the summer.

But she was right. I was intoxicated and I was hung over in the worst way, a hang over that would last many years of headaches, embarrassment and pain. A lot of pain.

My eyes lost their luster that night. My smile lost, my innocence lost, my heart crumbling in my hands. I didn't look anywhere but down and the future for me was built on all kinds of decisions without a single glance at myself. I lost myself that night and with the little I could remember, it was more than enough to inflict self blame and self pain. I passed judgement on me and sent myself to a hell on earth where everything done to me was well deserved.

And that added a lifetime of pointing the finger at myself, harsh self-criticism, hurtful surges of flashbacks and reminders. I have walked this earth very raw and vulnerable.

So there it is. Never mentioned before, never said out loud, but unmasked, revealed and....probably the worst part of me.

I never saw those hands or their faces again. They served their purpose and it wasn't His will for me to see their smirks, thank You God. But, I was still a child. I still feel them and a day hasn't gone by where I'm not reminded of it.

I'm never too sure of what I write here, whether I am revealing too much, handing myself over to easily. I get a tinge of fear at those who may judge, those who may ridicule. I still don't see myself as a victim so much as a participant, but in the back of my mind I always felt that pain indicated that something was wrong.

I am emerging from a very long slumber. I thank God for somehow making these years a little blurry and empty feeling. I still feel scabbed, unhealed underneath and stretched with fibrin and dried blood. Nothing comes in, but the battle wound is there, dark red and flashy.

As hard as it is to say that God is ever present in our lives, it's moments like this where we feel He's left us in the dark to suffer and lose ourselves, to be preyed on. How do we see Him in crappy times like these?


But then I think of how revolving our lives are. Always waking up, always rising to live the day, cook a meal, get a hug, read a page, splash some water, laugh loud, cry heavily, sit and listen, pray and pray, sleep, dream and wake up again.

Everyday is like starting over. Everyday, a gift of God to write a new story, to put the old past behind us and deal with the residual feelings. Sing a new song for a new opportunity to be new again. God didn't make things happen to me. This world is broken, people searching for a fix to put themselves back together, for a hint of holy. But all the right places go un-searched while the wrong piles are pillaged and scattered because they contained wisps of glittery satisfaction gone too soon. Until we see that what we needed has been with us all along, untouched, we will always be frustrated, forever looking, eternally unsatisfied, thirsty and hungry for Him.

And some of us don't even want to know this or choose to ignore it. But His gifts don't go away. They stay, waiting for us to be ready to open them. And when we do, it's no easier to look back, as a matter of fact, it gets even harder, but just as Peter couldn't walk on water unless he trusted in Jesus, neither can we survive drowning in our messiness until we begin to believe.

It is in that faith, where believing is seeing, that we can be held up as we see our ugly reflections in the mirrors and watch it change to the beautiful that Our Father made and see in us. Our mess is mixed into the air, made of many tints and hues to make that very first covenant that we still see with our own eyes today; a rainbow.

So it is true. After the storm God gives us the rainbow, made from the very element that brought the storm.

And so I know I can heal. It doesn't matter what I tell you. What God gives you nobody can take.

God bless!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What It's All For: Lenten Walk Day 32

We decided to watch a movie last night. A little treat since my girls have been so good lately and I wanted to share a moment with them.

And about half way through the film I feel heavy heads on my chest and soft breathing embracing my ears. I touch their little fingers as they curl around mine and shuffle even closer to my beating heart.

With their dreams soothing my racing heart and their soft breaths drying my tears of thanks and joy, I see why Jesus kept me going. I see why He needed me to stay, why every attempt to leave was null and voided.

Because I needed to help bring the two people that energize my purpose every day. Every cry, every smile, every giggle and frown, each open mouth and open arms, each puckered lip is a gift that God wanted me to wait for.

His gifts are more precious than my very own life.

His giving nature nurtures my life. He allows me to name, feed, clean, love and love and love His gifts for me. All powerful and mighty Lord has a softness that only He can have. It's one of my flames that leads me through this dark tunnel.

And saying and giving thanks is not enough to cover the price of just one nail. Nevertheless, it's one of the few things He asks for.

God bless!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dying to Be More Thankful: Lenten Walk Day 31

I've been angry lately.

Call it what you want; fed-up, impatient, frustrated, annoyed, irked, provoked, disgusted, infuriated, exasperated, vexed, cross...


My cross.


I'm angry because I am not satisfied with life's outcome. I'm unsatisfied at Naya for making a mess. I'm unsatisfied when Liani moves like a snail in the morning. I'm unsatisfied when Zaes has a devil-may-care attitude with his sisters. I'm unsatisfied when my husband doesn't listen to me. I'm unsatisfied when we're low on money. I'm unsatisfied when I am placed in the position to go above and beyond. I'm unsatisfied when my day has gone by and I accomplished what I feel is nothing. I'm unsatisfied when I can't sit still to pray. I'm unsatisfied when I've got a pile of laundry to fold. I'm unsatisfied when Liani stumbles on her homework. I'm unsatisfied when Naya screams really loud at Mass. I'm unsatisfied when Zaes tells me lies. I'm unsatisfied when people challenge my religion and spirituality. I'm unsatisfied when I challenge my own religion and spirituality. I'm unsatisfied with my past. I'm unsatisfied with my lack of courage. I'm unsatisfied that I keep sinning. I'm unsatisfied with my lack of motivation. I'm unsatisfied when I don't get it. I'm unsatisfied when I'm unsatisfied.

In all these instances, and more, I'm sure, I am completely unhappy, quick to anger, ready to SNAP.

I've yet to accept my life. I've yet to truly understand that these are not punishments for my past. I've yet to see how much God has really blessed me. My heart has been feeling bad for so long that I don't know how to recognize good anymore, within and around me. Instead of delighting in the wonderful things, I am shedding a painful tear. Although God has forgiven me, I'm still in need of healing. I have way too many scars and open wounds.

And I'm carrying them all in bags of anger, self-pity and sadness.

And I'm not sure I'm doing what needs to be done to get rid of them.

Or maybe, just maybe, God wants me to wear my scars? Wear them like a robe full of encrusted jewels, their shine reflecting His glory?

Because it is only due to Him that I am forgiven and can be healed. It is only through Jesus that I can walk around and say, I too have suffered in this way and God saved me. I too know how you feel, yet God is helping me to rise.

What troubles me is not worth anything. It's the glory of God in my life that is priceless. It is His scarred hands that are worth more than ten thousand elements of my past. These bags are heavy, but He's helping me to let them go, to let self go. I don't need them anymore, I don't need to nurture these problems. I need Him to nurse me back to health.

But in order for me to recognize this, I need to be thankful. I mean really be thankful. I need to thank Him for all the good in my life, as well as the bad, for all the convenient and the inconvenient, for all the joyful moments as well as the sufferings. If I don't recognize the lessons, His message, His glory behind the bad, then how can I be open to see the good.

Because He has given me more than good. I just don't see it sometimes because the past has placed hazy film on my eyes. My vision is blurred, my eyes are crossed.


There it goes again. The cross. The worst of all symbols and the best of them. It is on the cross that He dies, but on that cross He triumphs. Because of that cross He lives.

Lent isn't done and I've been dragging this cross. My head is hung low, my limbs have grown weary, but with all the victory waiting for me at the end, I should keep it moving. Because on this cross I hope to die...

and live anew for Christ.

God bless!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

He Knows How to Fix This...So Why Can't I Just Let It Go: Lenten Walk Days 29-30

I wish my fingers could smoothly tickle the ivories. I wish that my laziness was but a passing phase. I wish my body was shaped differently, my lips weren't shaped so funny or that my nose wasn't so big. I wish my nasty habits would just die already. I wish I could just shut my mouth sometimes. I wish I wasn't so selfish. I wish my will power was stronger. I wish I remembered to do the things on my To Do Lists. I wish I was a little more consistent. Etc, etc, etc!

Ann is brokenness has left me unsatisfied. Always wishing for more, for different, for greener. My heart is broken, my eyesight is crossed. All is distorted because of my brokenness.

I watched from the doorway as my broken self reprimanded my oldest. I think on a plan to pacify it all with kisses and apologies but it may be too late. I can't take back that thought process. If it's one thing kids remember, it's the scary.

I'm sure I scared her.

I haven't been myself these last few days. I feel like I've reverted back to my dark days, where I cried empty tears from hollow emotions. I snap at every second and my family looks on as if their hopes of my return to happiness was all temporary. I'm walking backwards and I'm just wondering if maybe God wants me to revisit something.

My Lord, lately I've revisited the darkest of myself. How much further shall I go?

And it doesn't feel good, this moonwalk back into old feelings. I don't want them anymore. I want Him to take them from me, remove them from my mind, rub the stain of them from my heart.

Does He want me to start from scratch? I feel my heart being ripped out. If it is faulty then take it Lord. Take it. Anything that isn't of You, that doesn't glorify You then take it from me. I would rather be without a hand that steals and lips that lie then to carry them around and keep You distant.

Funny thing is that I keep listening to the same song in my head, a song of self sacrifice and utmost saving and it motivates me to think back. He wants me to wipe this slate clean with baptismal waters. He's given me the tools I beg for every morning a long time ago. I've hidden them but He is showing me their hiding places. He listens to me and yet, He's giving me time.


The virtue I lack so obnoxiously. That in itself is a lesson needed.

Sitting to wait. Waiting with a smile.

Trying to keep my legs from shaking. From me rising up from my chair to see what's going on.

My anxiety, my fears, my anger, all stem from my impatience. My past is all an impatient story that now needs to be rewritten.

He knows what my biggest downfall is. He's fine tuning me. Oh God, how could I not open up myself to your healing hands? Why am I so shy, untrusting, selfish, nurturing the inadequacy instead of letting it go? I've no control over anything. Not my thoughts, not my thoughts.

Not even my own hands on this keyboard.

Yet I crouch and cringe when He reaches to touch that of which I loathe but fiercely care for with every part of me. My faults I cling to, thinking they identify me somehow. Thinking they give me some sort of excuse to keep behaving this way. But they don't. My identity belongs to God.

Thy will be done.

Letting go so that His will be done.

Your will be done.
Your will be done.

I have to trust that He knows what he's doing.

"Glory to God, glory to God, in fullness of wisdom"
-How Emptiness Sings by Christa Wells

God bless!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Not Even Death: Lenten Walk Day 28

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God, the Father.
-Colossians 3:17

Looking back, I can't help but wonder why things happened the way they did. I often would ask myself where was God in all that occurred. Why didn't He save me? Did He not care?

It's tough, to look back and not question His presence during my pain. I have to ask. My heart yearns to know. Why did He let things happen? What did I do wrong? Why did He watch as I made really bad choices? Why did He allow people to hurt me? When was He coming to save me?


Remove the stone. -John 11:29

My soul is riddled with pebbles, like the ones that sneak into your shoes. They rattle, noisy and painful, proclaiming their presence, taking up space. Heavy, as life adds more pebbles, one stone at a time, building, on a swamp, excuses, self-hate, self-destruction, ugliness, fear, sorrow, anger. Each stone carries a sick purpose. My back has slouched from the weight of my sins, my skin hanging and my eyes drooping.

He works slowly. I know now that He takes His time. He came after Lazarus' death, to show that in Him we will find life.

Even in death, the ultimate end, we will find life.

Only through Him.

Jesus Christ.

Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?

The glory of God.

How I long to see it, to be a witness to it and yet I may never know how it'll come about. I may never understand why? I may never know why?

But I believe.

And if I believe, then I am proclaiming that all that has been done was to show the glory of God.

Glory to God...

and to The Son...

The hardest part is letting go. All the questions, all the anger, the fetters bonding me from Him, my soul festering underneath the burial shrouds.

It's time to see the glimmer of light through the cracks, as He removes the stones, one by one. It's time to rise up when I feel the warmth and love only He can give. It's time to hear His voice shout for me, call out my name. It's time to obey, go.

and to the Holy Spirit.

Come to me, He says.

How can I not? I want to live. I don't want to be dead any longer. Who wants death after being reborn again?

Glory to God, who allows us to rise again after being defeated, who gives us a new opportunity to glorify Him. Get up, rise and take in the morning sun. Listen for His voice in the small of a breath or in the howling of the wind. He calls for His children. He calls us home. Our situation makes no difference to Him.

Not even death.

Jesus overcomes it all.

The Flower
Now cemented over
what was once planted in love
watered with rain
and warmed with the sun.
Now in darkness
blinded with soil
hardly to be washed
never to be seen.
If only an opening
a small crack can appear
and illuminate this life
a hint of light will do.
Not needing much
to feel a purpose in me
Don't even know how pretty
my petal colors are
But hoping to gain
a glimmer of Him
it's all I need
to be strengthened and grow.
Push through the crack
find a way out
lean towards The Son
and feel the rain again.
It'll only take a moment
it will be all that's needed
Although trampled or stepped on
I will feel The Son one last time.

God bless you!

Friday, April 8, 2011

My Justification for God: Lenten Walk Day 27

I don't know for sure if it is the way I am now seeing things. It breaks my heart each time I encounter it and I have to admit, I want to fight back, but I can't and I won't.

I'll just remain still, whisper prayers to God so that He can remove my hurt and instill in me a sense of calm and peace. With His peace I can sit through anything.

I know that many people are not here, where I'm at right now, and that's okay. I respect that. I am no one to judge how other's run their lives because I too was not here once. I just arrived...but I am here to stay. I feel it in every fiber of my being. I don't want to turn around to the dark, cold world I once lived. I don't want tiny seconds of high and jubilation all to come crashing down hard in my soul. I don't want temporary bliss only to feel it scorch when things return to horrible normal. Here, right now, I feel free and happy.


I hadn't used that word in a very long time. Now I feel it in my bones. This happiness creeps up my skin and stretches my lips into an ear-to-ear smile. It crawls up to my eyes and wrinkles them joyful. These days I recognize the feeling. I love it. I would hate to see it go away.

So here is where I stay.

And with this happiness, with those gifts of peace and His never-ending love, I can face any attacks against God, His Word, His teachings and His Church. I will stay put. I will close my eyes. I won't fight. No philosophies, no reasons, nothing. I told you before, I don't know much, my knowledge isn't vast; only my love for Him. I'll keep where I am, still.

Keeping still, because I know He is God (Psalm 46:10).

This is my argument. This is my answer. It is all I can say and for me, it is heavy enough. I just need to know Him, to love Him and it is all the justification I need.

Here's a song that A Holy Experience blogged about today. I kept listening to it over and over because it hits so close to home for me. Enjoy. Lyrics below.

How Emptiness Sings
by Christa Wells

Brother, he’s suffered like a tree taken down
Wept as he witnessed his dreams carved out
And how can a man just keep walking around
With his heart full of holes

But ooh,
His bow is on the strings
And the tune resonates in the open space
To show us how emptiness sings:

Glory to God, Glory to God!
In fullness of wisdom,
He writes my story into his song,
My life for the glory of God.
Hmm, hmmm

Sister carries her loneliness
In a hidden hollow inside her chest
And sometimes all that she wants is an end
To the long, long night

But ooh,
Her bow is on the strings,
And the tune resonates in the open space
To show us how emptiness sings:

Glory to God, Glory to God!
In fullness of wisdom,
He writes my story into his song,
My life for the glory of God.
Hmm, hmmm

I haven’t been asked yet to walk the hard roads
Still there’s a sense of deep loss in my soul
In the middle of a party, I’ll just want to go

But ooh,
My bow is on the strings,
I’m beginning to learn where to find the words
To the song that emptiness sings
Ooh, bow is on the strings:

Glory to God! Glory to God!
This is how emptiness sings, oh,
This is how emptiness sings
Hmmm, hmmm

God bless!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Make Room for the Lord: Lenten Walk Day 26

Trembling, I make my way to the priest to receive the Body and Blood. I always shake at the very thought of Him being so present in the Blessed Sacrament. How great is His love, to want to come to me in the most basic form. How He loves me so, that instead of coming with a great boom in the sky, in all the glory He deserves to be in, He presents Himself to me in the simple form of bread and wine.

Lord, I am not worthy to receive You...

Yet, despite my unworthiness, here I am, opening my hands, my mouth, my heart and my soul to be with Him in this way.

The way He intended.

I am preparing myself for Him, so that when we commune I am satisfied. I pray not to disappoint Him.

but only say the word...

How could the Pharisees not recognize Him? How could they not sense His presence? There He was, in the flesh, with an open invitation to the Kingdom of Heaven. Why didn't they know Him? Why had they become so blind? Why did they close their eyes to The One, despite all He did, all He said, all He taught?

I beg You Lord, don't ever let me close my eyes again.

and I shall be healed.

With mud and spit, with His voice, with His wounded hands Jesus healed and He heals.

...and He heals.

In that sacrament, we believe in His presence, we celebrate His triumph over death. He wins, He wins every time I walk up there, shuddering in awe to receive Him. Jesus wins, each time someone kneels down to pray and He wins when the broken hearted come home to be healed. He wins when we gather in His name. He wins when we preach His Word and tell of the Good News. He wins no matter how many nails people keep hammering into His Hands and Feet. He wins because He rises anyway.

He rises, even from death and He does it for me and you.

Make room for Jesus, the winner. Give Him a room in your heart. Sit at His feet to listen to His Word as much as you can. Let Him heal you, let Him embrace you. Let Him take your breath away. Open up a chamber in your heart. Decorate it with pictures, open up the windows, sweep, dust and mop, place new bedsheets on the bed, put fresh flowers in the vase and wait with a brimming smile on your face. Give Him an open invitation. Tell Him you want Him to live there for as long as He likes.

Everyday He waits for our invitation. Will you give Him a place to stay?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Knit and Pearl: Lenten Walk Day 25

"God is working in me."
-All I Need, by Shawn McDonald

I took up knitting when I was pregnant with Liani. My good friend Irma showed me the basics and I took off from there. It was such a calming act, slowly making something out of unwound string that gradually becomes a soft blanket a baby can dream on.

I never finished my project and you know what? That's okay. I don't need to finish everything. I believe we're all unfinished. We all have incompleteness in our lives, things we need to work out or work on. Time is eternal for Our Lord and He takes His time with us. Like knitting, every small stitch will turn into a huge blanket. Although the knit and pearl are small, they are not insignificant. One mess up and it leaves a hole.

My small soul has many holes. Some are gapping wide; others small yet noticeable. Here's the thing; before I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I thought those holes would stay, that I had to live with them there, there's no going back, but did you know that even while knitting, you can go back and fill a hole back in? Yes, you grab yarn from the previous knits and pearls and, in a way, bring them up to fill in that hole. So is the same with the soul. God will provide something in our lives, perhaps it's always been there or maybe it is something new. However, He will never leave a hole in our souls. The very moment we surrender to Him, He fills us up, fixes us and continues working in us.

I love His pace though. He's very careful as He knits and pearls us to completion, His scarred Hands cautiously making each stitch, lovingly going back to fix any mess ups, all to make us complete.

Knit and pearl, knit and pearl.

God bless!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Filling Up the Shrinking Spirit: Lenten Walk Day 24

I know people who's worlds get smaller at every turn. I've seen their heartbreak, their struggle, their denial. Walls close in on them every so often and they anger at the world, blaming The One. They don't acknowledge the good He's given them, but they are more than ready to point a finger at Him for all the bad in their lives.

I know a lot of people like this.

I was once one of these people.

Thank God that He's turned my heart around. Nothing is more healing than His Touch, His Word, His Body and Blood. When my heart was open to face Him in this way, when my ears were ready to listen and my sight was returned to me I could no longer blame Him. He did everything He could to save me. All He needed was for me to accept His saving.

On Sunday, as I was talking to what seemed like despondent and unreceptive teens, I began to cry. I have something in my heart that I wanted to share with them, and they didn't care, didn't want to be there. I was placing my all on the table so that they may see how good Jesus feels in one's soul and they just shrugged their shoulders.

And so, I'm assuming I had a slight taste of how The Son must feel when we dismiss Him, when we sin against Him. He's hurt and sad. I'm sure He cries because He loves us so much. When I think of it this way I feel ashamed and unworthy.

How could I hurt Him so?

These little sacrifices we make, we think they are so big, so inconvenient. We drag our feet, we complain, we shout and scream, we become selfish. Nevertheless, these tiny little sacrifices we make are so small next to the cross.

They are so small next to the cross.

So very small.

St. Therese of Lisieux said do small things with great love for God and others.

And Sister Josita said I am watering those seeds with my tears.

I hope so, because this whole world needs You Jesus. It is broken and suffering and only You can fix it through us.

So here I am Lord. Keep showing me what needs to be done.

God bless!

Monday, April 4, 2011

More Prayer Please: Lenten Walk Day 23

It's good to pray.

I mean it really is.

If you open up your heart, not just recite words, but really talk to God, it feels so good. It humbles you because, here you are talking to what seems like yourself to onlookers, but God's ears are listening.

And it's nice to know that somebody cares enough to listen to those thoughts of ours. Even better to know that whatever crazy thoughts we do share, He doesn't judge us. He knows who we are and how broken we've become.

I used to be concerned, and still am sometimes, about how to pray, what to say, if I've memorized a prayer correctly, but do you honestly think He cares about what comes out of your mouth? He's not listening to the soft murmurings of our voices, but the quiet thoughts in our hearts. God doesn't get easily distracted by words and whispers. He likes to put on His stethoscope and hear what we are really thinking, how we are truly feeling. You don't have to say a word, and that silent prayer will tell Him more about your heart than any prayer you will ever recite.

Pray. Give everything you have to God and give Him the opportunity to listen. He won't intrude if there's no invitation, but the minute you call His name He answers right away. He would rather see you broken before Him, than proudly walking away from Him. He would rather heal your hurt than to see you die from it. Pray to Him and let Him take your soul to places you've never thought you'd ever reach. Ask Him to remove all the barriers, so that all you see is Him.

A phone call or an encounter usually starts with a "Hello."

So does prayer.

Deo gratias:
52. Morning worship
53. candle vigils
54. good intentions
55. giving hands
56. thoughtful phone calls and letters (gotta do some of those)
57. unexpected visitors
58. the Holy Spirit's nudge
59. wise elders who've seen God's world
60. genuinely nice people
61. a morning hello from my two favorite people
62. showing my daughter the groundhog in the yard this morning
63. hearing Naya ask for an apple
64. knowing I have an eternal father
65. good friends who make me laugh
66. being able to laugh at myself
67. being honest and not feeling ashamed
68. comforting future plans
69. a long lost friend found
70. loved ones who travel to see me
71. excellent opportunities
72. God's Will, God's Will, God's Will!

God bless you my friends and have a wonderful day!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Growth Spurt: Lenten Walk Days 21-22

My days are consolidated for the following reasons:

1. I've been busy with our Confirmation Candidates lately,

2. Most of what I write about are things that stay with me for days, maybe even weeks and they develop into the dialogging I have with you.

Okay, so on to the topic at hand...


I was listening to an interview with JJ Heller on the radio this weekend and she said something that really stuck.

The more thankful we are to Jesus, the bigger He becomes in our lives.

Not her exact words but the idea is pretty much the same and I couldn't agree more. Speaking from my own personal experience, I have so much to be thankful for. I often forget to say thank you to so many things when I am praying, but the things I do remember keep me on my knees for a while.

It's just that now, since I see how good He is to me I feel horrible if I don't say a thank you.

I'm not sure if that is the right reason to want to say thank you, but it is how I feel.

Everyday, there's something new to see and learn. I went to Mass both Saturday night and Sunday and I heard the same readings both times. Yet, Sunday, those very same words sounded so different from Saturday and vice versa. The same gospel meant two different things to me on those respective days.

And they were both things I needed to hear.

So thank You God, Creator of my world and life. Everyday, You give me something new to ponder and every morning I long to learn more. Please help me to put all your teaching to good use, in my life and in the lives of others.

God is huge to me right now, but for some reason, not huge enough. Bigger is better!

God bless!