Thursday, May 26, 2011

Walking with Broken Feet

I think for me, for most of my life I've walked around with feet broken, lame. It's not that I didn't have any sense of direction. My brokenness led me to other paths, paths I would not have taken if my feet were healthy.

My youth, as you may know, was full of wounding moments, but how does one keep walking even though it hurts? I kept moving, kept damaging but I kept moving and this morning, as I listened to the morning birds and feel the breeze again't my face I realized that for years I must have hidden that pain. Where can I hide aches such as these without feeling them too much? And I remember how when I used to go jogging, I hated carrying around with a fanny pack and such so I'd put all my belongings under my feet, the place where I'd feel it less.

The trees sway wild as I recall how life moved on, I walked, jogged, ran on through this life with things underneath me. I look up, feeling, God must be here with me as I decipher the mystery of how I kept going. My feet, tired and weary from stepping on spiky inner torment have recently been swelling and I said maybe too much salt, or tendonitis, gout? Maybe, past hurt, wanting to come out the way it was pushed in? How can I walk closer to God if my feet can't take the sting any longer?


Yes Cindy, I am still picturing them, thinking of them, moving underneath me in the darkness beneath my feet. My pain like these earthworms hidden underground, making a life for themselves. Sometimes, when it rains they're forced out, exposed but back in they go and all is as if they didn't exist.

But they do, underneath my feet. Poking holes, making tunnels but this heart has no room for them anymore. The swell of my feet say so.

In my mind, God reminds me of the scene in The Passion of The Christ when the Romans are hammering the nails in His feet, breaking bone and separating tendons, shredding ligaments and He cries out to the Lord. Like a child who falls and bleeds, who cries out to his mommy or daddy, Jesus cried out to God in His human pain, knowing The One and Only who can heal Him. But I didn't do that. I never cried out to The Lord. I never whispered Yahweh when I was struck with pain. I kept moving, without Him, adding more to it, making it harder to walk, jog especially run.

And of course it is said that time heals things, but it heals with scars and handicaps. We bury, hide and walk on pain like shards of glass and for what? To say we did? To show everyone how tough we are? When I lay down at night, I don't think about how strong I am that I was able to walk on fire and burn the soles of my feet. I don't boast that I am super human, push my chest out and roar.

I cry.

I grow weak in the face of what I've had to walk on and for years, after burying pain underneath me, I don't even remember why the melancholy.

Swelling feet and messages in swaying trees and as my coffee grows cold I realize I need to get up and begin a new day. Even in a whisper I can cry out to my Father, even in the breeze I can know that I was never meant to walk with this pain, to do this all alone. It's time to dig out what I once buried and hand it over to The One who knows how to truly take it away.

The thought of my pain, my homelessness, is bitter poison.
I think of it constantly, and my spirit is depressed.
Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing:
The LORD's unfailing love and mercy still continue,
Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.
The LORD is all I have, and so in him I put my hope.
The LORD is good to everyone who trusts in him,
So it is best for us to wait in patience—to wait for him to save us—
And it is best to learn this patience in our youth.
When we suffer, we should sit alone in silent patience;
We should bow in submission, for there may still be hope.
Though beaten and insulted, we should accept it all.
The Lord is merciful and will not reject us forever.
He may bring us sorrow, but his love for us is sure and strong.
He takes no pleasure in causing us grief or pain.
The Lord knows when our spirits are crushed in prison;
He knows when we are denied the rights he gave us;
When justice is perverted in court, he knows.
The will of the Lord alone is always carried out.
Good and evil alike take place at his command.
Why should we ever complain when we are punished for our sin?
Let us examine our ways and turn back to the LORD.
Let us open our hearts to God in heaven and pray
—Lamentations 3:19-41

God bless!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thanks to the Earthworm!

"Give thanks to the earthworm," says my dear friend Cindy yesterday.

Long story.

And as the day darkens into night, I cover my girls up with slim sheets and heavy blessings, reflecting on today closing its door behind us. This STOP mission is not easy work. It means really having to STOP, thoughts, actions, lips. It means having to cease the rush inside that's ready to pounce on any given moment. Even now, as I type, I hear my girls, up, denying sleep and disobeying my strategic curfew. Mommy's alone time will just have to wait.

I did okay today. I really did. I had a ton of things to do and I managed to STOP when the situation called for it. I also reminded myself how this mission is not just to help recreate the moment, but to cherish it too. Cherish the distraction, the chaos and loud events and give thanks. Make them holy, a peace in their own right. Each moment is a gift from God, however that moment presents itself. How often do I remember to slow down, drink in the moment, not take it for granted because sooner or later, all moments will STOP and there will be no more. Whether it's me or those I love that go back home to Him, those moments together do end. So why dismiss them, the good and the bad ones?

Today, I stopped more often than normal. I handed things over, most times. I'm learning this as I go along. However, I noticed that when I gave these distractions to God, He immediately gifted me with an attitude of calmness and patience. I was soft-spoken, nicer and more understanding. I felt these qualities, I became these qualities for those quick seconds, minutes. He recreated those moments and I simply enacted them. I felt closer to Him in doing so.

I also tried to remember to give thanks. I keep hearing Cindy's words, "Give thanks to the earthworm." Point being, give thanks, even to the crappy stuff that we would normally curse. Who knows why God placed it in our story, nonetheless, there they are, the earthworms and oh how I have to trust their purpose for God's glory despite my objections. In the end, to deny the earthworms in our lives will be to deny the plan that God has already plotted for us. I have said no to His plan for years, running into bad moments and pitfall decisions so now that I know better, how wrong would I be to now give God's plan the hand and keep trying to solve problems my way. I'm way too in love with Him to even think of denying the love He has for me. Although my nature calls for me to live unsatisfied, I have to learn to not do the very things I hate.

Thanks Apostle Paul. :)

Hence, I will continue to STOP, hand life's issues over to Him. I will continue to give thanks for
170. small footsteps past nine o'clock,
171. the dolls thrown on the dinning room floor,
172. the strips of cut papers and glitter on the coffee table,
173. having to say good night to a husband I miss so much each day,
174. to the little one who raise the TV volume up to the highest setting,
175. the six-year-old who whines and complains over every sheet of homework every day,
176. the very full basket of laundry that's about to overflow,
177. the never-ending dishes,
178. the hot stove,
179. the constant bills,
180. the cries and the fights,
181. the ups and the downs,
182. the highs and the lows...

183. and of course the earthworms.

Thanks Cindy.

God bless!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I struggle.

It's not easy to always look at things, do things, be a certain way without seeing the struggle, feeling the push-and-pull of it.

In a perfect world I would never scream at my children, I would not be lazy and watch the day float by. I will never complain, I would always be prayerful, read more scripture, not be so angry, not be so tempted. In a perfect world I would be perfect.

And in the moment that just passed, I would not have thought of myself. I would have removed the me shell I cover myself in. I would've stepped out, become more like Him. I would've been calm, collected, but the scared look on her face showed me that I didn't take that route. I went backwards.

I'm still angry. I've yet to calm down, but in the middle of this raging fire, I ask myself why. Why do I chose to react certain ways? Why do I constantly do thing I hate to do? When will I learn to be different? Anger isn't part of me. Impatience isn't who I am. Irritability is not what makes me. So why do I become these qualities anyway?

I yelled at Liani over a stapler.

A stapler!

Who cares about a dumb old stapler? But I made it out to be more precious than her feelings, than her security. A stupid, plastic stapler and I yelled as if she were...I don't even know a reason valid enough to yell at her the way I did. Isn't that sad?

Sometimes I sit here, after they are in bed, I sit here and ask Him why did I get the kids that behave the worst? Why did I have to be given the kids that don't listen, that like to test me constantly, that don't do what I say? I don't have that kind of patience, that stamina to withstand a day full of reining in strong-willed kids. I don't have what it takes to raise these two girls without getting angry, upset.

Some people have that attitude, that greatness to them that kids just love, they gravitate to. Their kids behave. Is it the parent or is it the kid?

Is it my girls God, or is it me?

It's gotta be me, because what do they know about behaving or misbehaving. I'm the one messing up a situation that could've gone another way.

Liani messes up the stapler. Instead of yelling, I could have shown her how to fix it, that way she would know how to use it and know what to do if something went wrong.

And I suggested today that for the next two weeks we just STOP. Maybe say, What would Jesus do? (WWJD), reassess the situation and create a better outcome. I remember thinking about this very idea this morning, how we must be creators, not reactors. We must create a WWJD moment instead of reacting to what's been handed to us.

STOP, WWJD, then let Him help you create.


First we have to STOP and that's a difficult step seeing how us humans, especially moms, are so impulsive, we instinctually react to any given situation. But the stopping is a crucial step. If we don't STOP then the rest can't happen. We won't give it to God and allow Him to recreate the moment for us. If we don't STOP, we chose our haphazard methods of reacting that only make us feel worse. These are the moments I think about when I am next to go for Reconciliation.

If only I gave the situation to Him. Then a new situation would've been created. I would not have done it the wrong way, my way.

So here's to reminding myself of the mission to STOP.

On that note,

169. I thank God for allowing that situation to happen so that I can be reminded that I promised myself I would STOP.

God bless!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Backseat View: A thank You for the gifts that fly by

Let's face it, amidst the everyday tasks and the annoying distractions and the pulling and tugging of one's being, it's really difficult to see the great beauty that God places before us. I used to think beauty was just things that were...well...beautiful. So when I was sitting in the backseat of the car yesterday, just looking out the window I began to see God's gifts even in the things that, at some point in time of my life, didn't really matter much to me.

My deepest thanks for:
151. bunches of tress whizzing by
152. old stone buildings that hold many secrets, I'm sure
153. the many questions she aks
154. the way "mommy" rolls off her lips so often
155. the confidence that her mommy will always answer
156. how the simple please greatly
157. elephant-shaped clouds against the bluest of skies
158. birds flying in circle formation
159. green growing through the toughest cracks
160. the beautiful Bronx, still
161. the floating Throgs Neck Bridge from the Bruckner Expwy
162. even pipes have small cracks
163. the small statue of Our Mother, hands always in prayer
164. the smell of cut grass
165. the shapes smoke makes from my cup of tea
166. dancing leaves to the wind's music
167. how they always leave something behind, especially in my heart
168. the tiniest waterfalls from rock walls

I wish I could sit down and draw what I am thankful for. Perhaps one day I will.

'Til then, God bless!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Finally, A Purpose for God!

The past days have been full of rainfall. Tree branches trembling over each drop, plants getting fed and insects hiding in their mysterious homes waiting for the sun to appear again and I watch this through my window. Watch the world wet, gray and hiding.

And I think about my heart many years ago, today, beating faintly, quietly hiding so no one would see. Hiding the lies I believed of myself. I would lay in bed and weep for the me I couldn't find, sad over the me I despised. I too trembled, nurtured this self-pity, hurt, mourning the gray inside of me, beaten by the wet rain. My world was always in a downpour.

Funny thing is that for so many years I hid and wrapped up all that I thought was me in a bundle, like carrying a baby. I was protecting myself, defending my pain, feeding, crying for it, because of it. I believed that those parts of me are the things that made me, things I would never be able to let go of. And as I got older, so did the bundle, growing and I couldn't fit through doors and it was hard to stop and rest. This bundle became heavy, too big, too mine. I was its mother. I couldn't leave it behind.

Last night, someone asked what we believed we were here to do. What did we think God's plan was for us? My mouth spilled words, wanting, no, needing to help those that I once was. Inform those, warn them of bundles, mistakes, not to carry them, not to own them. And I said I believe my sacrificed youth was for the youth I will meet today.

An empty youth, to fill the lives of others.

That has to be it. Why would He allow us to go through trials and roads of pain and sorrow, of distorted beliefs and lies, so many lies? Why would He choose to see us suffer?

Why did He chose to see Him suffer?

So those pills swallowed and all the poking and scratchings of wrists and neck and the daring acts, the drunk walks home, the abuse, the beatings, the lies believing, the careless life led, all for a purpose. All for a reason and God is telling me I have a reason to be here today, despite the roads taken. I exhale the past, it seems to me that the only way to proclaim His glory is to let it out, rub it out of here and unwrapped the bundle that I carried all these years to show how wounded this little girl had become.

I was in a coma.

But here I am to show that God can work miracles.

I'm happy, I'm thankful of who I've become today. I appreciate where I am now. I don't need to be anywhere else.

But when Jesus, in the form of Harry, sat down beside me yesterday and tells me that I have a presence, that I am destined to do big things, I cried. Through the tossing and turning of last nights attempt to sleep I cried over and over, because for once in my life I have a purpose. I walked my life roads without knowing why, without ever feeling right, never feeling useful, but yesterday, my heart jolted, much like John's exaltation in the womb. It could only be from Him, for only through Him does joy come forth so abundantly. Only through Him can my heart leap and tremble in hope. Is He saying that He really does have something for me? Is He giving me a responsibility over His people? Is He saying I am worthy?

And as the faces of my children come to mind, a yes in the form of small eyes and loving expressions. It has started already and I jump out of bed and kneel deep to say thanks. How blind I've become to His mission. How so terribly blind to think I had no cause, just here to live to die, that's it.

Finally, I see the point Lord. Empty, open, vulnerable, raw. I've already jumped into the unknown, into a place where I'm known very intimately. He knows me well, all of me. He put me on my mission the moment I was formed. We all have a special mission for God, but the whisper is very hard to hear when your pain has become too loud.

I'm ready to own up to this life but with a different heart, different eyes.

My bundle, slowly unwrapping.

God bless!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gratitude Instead of None

Ingratitude. Perhaps the preamble to the worst sin, pride? We discussed one evening how pride led to the fall of Satan. Ann states, in her book, that ingratitude may have started it all. Which came first, the chicken, or the egg?

Nonetheless, I give thanks to Him because these are the things that remind me of how much He provides and the love behind each of them. Father, it is right to give You thanks and praise.

125. a voice
126. being able to tell Him anything
127. long lost loved ones
128. making tough decisions
129. Liani's way with Naya
130. God-given strengths
131. a new bucket of bubble gum
132. learning to increase my patience
133. difficult people to learn from
134. Riesling
135. green leaves
136. raindrops and
137. soft breezes
138. evening talk among friends
139. a no-judging zone
140. that she actually wanted to be in my group
141. a surprising friendship
142. bonding time well needed
143. dandelions
144. JM's presence on a Monday
145. Family who always take your side
146. a good cry
147. and a good scripture reading to wipe the tear away...
148. and provide strength
149. the dishes after a wonderful meal
150. that she actually enjoyed what I cooked! Alleluia!

Lots of love and blessings to you all.

God bless!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

On Dealing With the Difficult

I drove away to church with tears in my eyes, struggling in my heart with what I wanted to say versus what I should do and it stung like a held back cry. Inside I was boiling, ready to defend myself, but I listened again to the second reading and I realize how necessary it is to just obey. And Peter, calling me beloved, asks me to be patient, suffer, bear insult, hand myself over, and remember. Recall His suffering, His self-deliverance. And as I pick the wounds of such insults, always self-destructive, I try to think of how loving this doesn't feel for me; when can I be redeemed?

Must we always wait for heaven to feel a piece of its essence?

I remember Miss Celie's wisdom cut down by Miss Sophia's words in the movie The Color Purple,

MISS CELIE: This life be over soon. Heaven lasts always.

MISS SOPHIA: Girl, you oughta bash Mister’s head open and think about heaven later!

...and I know who's right but how tempting to just show those difficult folks how you really feel. For one small moment of retaliation, become like them. Lack control and act with no love. I'm not sure if I signed up for the right gig here.

But as Miss Celie says, "Heaven lasts always"...and so does hell. If I had to chose, I'd rather feel a day's worth of pain than an eternity's worth of suffering in agony.

My goal? To go home, but first, God has given me a job here. My job description lies in the good book, all the instructions I need to warrant an eternity with Him.

I could sit here and think of many things I would love to say, do, but I can't. I know what I want and it means so much more to me than telling those that hurt me just how hurt I feel. Those cuts inflicted have been healed before appearing and I count on that love more than my own life.

God bless!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Taste of God's Love: A dedication to moms

I woke up this morning to yet another crazy dream. People that I admire, that I look to for guidance, making appearances and I am left to wake up questioning what it all means.

Dreams have that mystery to them, the secret language of God. Like a whisper, it fades into the night, into our pillows, into the soft awakening of our eyes as they absorb His glorious morning light. I've awakened to dreams already dreamt many lives ago. They return to me in circles, cycles, dizzy messages that I just can't seem to understand. Little whispers so very hard to hear.

And so I rise, one foot at a time, off the temporary deathbed of night to welcome yet another day filled with more whispers. The bird songs and noisy labor of woodpeckers. Little rodents who've heard their soft whisper at dawn, scurrying for life in nibbles of nuts. I water my plants, I greet Him and His mother and give thanks for the new day. I run through my list of responsibilities, hoping to remember to pray at every interval and as I hear the tip-toeing of small feet heading my way my hearts fills with a child-like joy.

Thank You for my children dear Lord.

Small arms envelope me and a her face buried on my tummy, at the wall of her former home, recognizing it every morning. And we kiss and rub noses, our morning routine. A whisper of love almighty. And just like my dreams, she runs to her duties and leaves me empty armed, feeling voids where a second ago her hands warmed me, a warmth that fades into the distant sound of her feet.

What's a mother to do? I ask myself, what will I do when I no longer have my dose of her? How to fill those empty spaces they keep leaving each day they grow. How I remember when she clung to me, to my very own breast and now I have to soak up small nibbles of love and affection growing less and less as she gets taller and taller.

I write her love letters, sing her songs, talk to her with love at the tip of my tongue and lips, kiss her boo-boos, drink in her weeping, always, always whispering His name, reminding her that He lives and will be with her when I no longer can. In my heart I am reassured, but my arms, my eyes, they see her and miss her already. Those mornings when I wake up to water plants, hoping to be watered by her affections only to remember that she'll be somewhere else one day.

This is selfish of me. This is a tale spun time over time, sung over and over again, a mother's love clinging to what was once solely hers, yanked and cut from birth and from then on it becomes a game of take and release, little by little. A game of letting go. How teasing it is, carrying, caring for a soul inside of you, loving violently with all your being, knowing soon that it will leave you, coming back for a drink of you, this elixer of mother's love, only to leave once again.

How did Mary do it? How did she, knowing that inside her womb she held God Himself, knowing that one day she would have to let Him go? How I cling to God, hoping to never be apart, not even for a whisper and yet Mary, despite her need to have her love stay, lets Him go.

And she watches Him suffer. And she holds Him as she dies, recalling all His childhood dreams, all the sweet whispers, filling hugs and small kisses. I'm sure, as every mother does, she remembered how God needed her, opened His mouth for food and released tears when He hurt. I'm certain she missed Him and the fullness of motherhood only He could give her, slowly distancing itself. I wonder Mother Mary, if you too held on to nightly dreams of your Son and woke only to find that He wasn't home any longer, that He was out feeding and nurturing the world.

How did you do it? How did you cope?

Because I find it very hard to let go. I find it's hard to pretend as I wave goodbye to the school bus. It breaks my heart when I hear "I can do it mommy," instead of "Mommy I need your help." Why do I need to feel needed? Why is it so easy for them to let me go and I am finding it so hard to do the same?

Perhaps God is giving me messages of hope, each whispering dream showing me how to carry on. She's only six, yet He knows my anticipation, my anxieties, and I know He is softly telling me how to rise from this pain coming. I promised myself I would never be this type of mother and yet here I am, fearful of the day that I will no longer hear her feet in the morning or kiss her soft cheeks and rub life's pain out of her chestnut hair.

God signed His name on my soul with this fervent love because this is how He loves us. This is how He longs for us, like a mother to her child, even more so. This love and heartbreak I feel for one, He feels for thousands. This emptiness I feel for her voice, He searches for in our prayers. This longing to be close to her, to always be near her, to always be of service to her is a product of His longing for humanity. God, Our Father, although in heaven, longs for us, smiling proudly as we succeed and grieving in our struggles and pain. He craves for our return home to His longing arms, hoping to feel our small arms, breathing in our I loves You's, I love You's.

But while we are living we run. We strive to live as individuals, saying, "I can do it God," when all He longs to hear is,"God, I need Your help." And just like a mother, He runs to us, picks us up, dusts us off when we call for Him, each moment a soft whisper of love, just so to watch us run away.

As a mother I understand now, just a little bit, of this love God has for me. It's painful when it isn't there and it instantly fills when it comes back. And as You watch us leave on our very own school bus of life, You wave, You must whisper, Remember Me, please. Come back home to Me because this world offers pain, but My arms offer You love, the only love You will ever need.

God bless all mothers. God gives us the gift of tasting the love He has for each of us. It is a special gift from Him.

God bless!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Love Letter that Heals: For Michelle Payano-Turcios

Every Mother's Day (MD) I've had has been saturated with disappointments and this year was no different. I woke up to the screeching of a two year old and and I drowsily forced myself to prepare breakfast and start the day that was supposed to be for me to relax. My MD morning was filled with expectations overruled and frustrations trumping the day's significance. I was not a happy camper.

We made our way to church, me furiously pleading with God to soften the blow with His sweet presence, asking for an hour of repose with Him and perhaps curing my stress. All went well, even with the girls behavior until the parishioner behind me "kindly" tells me to keep my baby quiet and that he shouldn't have to hear mass over the screams of a child. I thought he was joking but apparently that wasn't the case and I look to Jesse right away to cease any counter-attack. Lord not in Your house and so I quietly apologized. What mother isn't sensitive about their children and so I stayed behind a few minutes to cry and pray for that man. One more unsuccessful attempt to have a nice Mother's Day.

But Jesus knows what I need. He knows how to lift me up when I am down, down, down. His arms are long and ever reaching to bring us back to life. He reaches until we are found. And so I check my messages and I get a one that broke my heart in two...but in a great way. And it wrapped up all I was feeling into a nice little package so I could toss it, never to be seen. That message gave me hope, that my presence here isn't in vain. For a few moments while reading I felt visible, appreciated. I also felt reminiscent, loved and cared for.

Michelle, your message made my day, possibly my week. You and Emily mean the world to me and yes, although she wasn't my child I loved her like one. I've always been proud of you, your courage, your fire and most of all, your strong, ever strong love for Emily. You outlined what I did for you, but Michelle, what you did for me was so much more. You showed me what courage was like, what a mother's love truly looked like amidst a strained environment, what it meant to fight for your heart and your child. You were my first real example of a mother and what she will do to keep her child at any cost. We shared so much you and I. You introduced me to Tata! I hoped that I was a comfort to you as many times as you were a comfort to me. When Juan, and later, Caitlyn came a long they were an added bonus, more goodness for my Michelle. You are right, our lives can separate time and distance, but not love my friend. Only God can separate love and since God is love I think it's safe to say it ain't happening. :) Where some may have seen weakness, I saw intensity, a beautiful girl blossoming into a beautiful woman and what a better example for your lovely girls to follow. I never forget how fast we became friends, your pretty smile when I rang your doorbell almost everyday, or when I use to catch you bathing Emily and I'd hear the both of you giggling. I'll never forget how you'd make pancakes for me, extra crispy around the edges or your never-ending compliments. You always saw the good in me and loved me for who I was, my weirdness and all. Most of all, how can I forget when we used to stay up late in each other's houses, hoping, planning, dreaming our futures, running from it all with heavy hopes in our hearts. One couldn't wish for a better friend in a lifetime. God has blessed me with you.

Happy Mother's Day, to you Michelle and to all the wonderful mothers I know. You all have inspired me in some way whether you knew it or not and I thank you from the bottom of this heart. I'd go on and on, but we all know that even as I write this, a mother never gets a break. A sleepless child, a day to prepare for, a prayer to offer them.

And on that note, here is my prayer for you:

Loving Father, You have entrusted us mothers with Your beautiful children, each carrying their very own fingerprint of You. Just like us, You knew them before they were formed and You honored us with the privilege of raising them in Your light. Although a wonderful task, it isn't an easy one and so God we ask, with Your help, and that of the perfect mother to Your Son, Mary, that You continue to gives us the strength, the endurance, the patience to keep on working. Also help us to teach our children of a love that died on wood and laid on stone but rose to conquer death, Our Lord, Jesus Christ. May we always be thankful, always satisfied with Your immense love and may our children continue a legacy of Christ aflame in their hearts to pass on to their children for generations to come. We ask this in Jesus' name.


God bless you today and always!

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Spirit In Restoration

I've made God small in the last couple of days. I've kept Him small as I made my desires, myself bigger. I've placed Him behind my wants.

I'm so sorry.

I've harbored anger. I've been rewinding past hurts and reinventing the glory. I've bandaged up the infestation. I've set up a mirror to reflect me at every turn. I've become the idol. I've turned off the lights and kept secrets. I've envied, I've spoken falsely, I've stolen a reputation or two, I've dishonored. I'm hurting Him, deeply, with every Not You, Me! I shout.

I'm so very sorry.

All these crimes in just a few short moments, seconds, and I may have ruined our good relationship Lord, one of the best, in fact. How easy it was to trip and fall and how difficult it is now to get up, knowing, seeing that this was what would happen.


Why do we do this God? Why do we constantly mess up? Why, if we say we love You, do we fail to please You? What is it about us, about You that we find so unsatisfying? Why can't we be grateful, be filled, make You enough?

Where is that part of me that seeks failure? Where, so I can yank it out? Where is it so that I can trash it, burn it, destroy it? It makes me vulnerable to evil. It makes me blind, mute. It covers my heart in darkness. Where, in me, does it lie so that I can terminate it? It keeps me so far from You and I hate it.

Then again, I know that You are always present, even in these tumultuous moments, where my heart can't take it anymore. I want to be good. I want to please You and make You happy of me. I want to honor You and praise You, be thankful, forgiving of others, loving. I want to do all things good in Your name. I never want to look back and be filled with anger, sorrow and fear. I want to be confidant in You, not anxious in me. I want to be cleansed.

I want to start over. Start from day one. I wish I remembered You when I became. I wish I grew up with You, listened to You, kept You near. I wish that things could've been different, that I could've acted differently. I wish that now, as I say, time and time again, that I know You and love You, that my behavior didn't speak so differently. I struggle and although I know You are not finished, I struggle with the healing process.

I'm focusing too much on what still hurts.

I'm not looking at what's been restored. I'm not looking Lord. I'm not feeling.

I'm still hurting. I'm still limping around, wrapped up and less functional still, but my heart Lord, my heart is beating again. My lungs are courageously inhaling and exhaling. My faith, my life in You has been rehabilitated. Inside I am working, still in need, but furiously working, so much that tears pour out my eyes. Inside I don't want to lose You. Brittle and broken on the outside, but I know You're working on the more important scars.

Because faith is what brought the tenth leper back to say Thank You and that day You healed his spirit too. My spirit teams with open sores and bloody wounds and like the leper, I've been at the roadside, hoping, pleading with the passing days, years, for a miracle, a cure. And I've spoken about You picking me up, tossing me the keys, removing me from my prison.

Faith. Believing in God and waiting in hope and confidence in His promises. Believing in Jesus as the Son of God, who was sent to die so that we can be forgiven and then raised from the dead to show the glory of God.

My body may be weak, my mind ignorant, my heart a tearful mess, but my faith, my belief in You is healthy, alive and ready. This body, these organs, they can go, they will go, but my spirit is Yours God. It yearns for You, it seeks You, it aims to please You, it bows down in Your presence, it whispers Your Name which in itself is the sweetest whisper. My eyes may see a desert, empty of life, scorched by the heat, void of any life-giving water, but my soul can feel Your spirit and in this feeling is a hope in Your vow of ever-lasting life in Your Kingdom.

For that, I say thanks.

God bless!

It's Not Easy but It Can Be Done

Yesterday was a mixture of tough moments and redeeming moments. As I put the girls to bed I kept thinking of how so very easy it is to do wrong and how difficult it is to be good. Even in my thoughts I've failed.

How does one control one's thoughts? How do we stop from sinning if it is in our very nature to sin?

Yet, my heart is in the hands of He who forgives it all. It sounds so easy, but truly, when you love someone, just the mere thought of offending them makes you feel guilty.

It is in this guilt where I can be saved. This guilt will haunt me, stress me until I confess, head hung low, ashamed for hammering yet another nail in. It weighs a ton and only gets heavier by the day.

Paul told the Ephesians not to get drunk on wine because it will ruin you.

And yet we are attracted to the sweetness, the smell, we dive into the feeling until it's too late. Some will say they can control their liquor, they know when to stop, but how does one know unless you've past that limit before? How can you gauge unless you experience the ruin?

Sin runs rampant. It is in the temptation, it's in the "what if" thoughts, in the plotting and planning, crouching at your door like it did for Cain. Just the mind game alone that the devil plays is difficult to beat. On a sober day we say that we will never do that; we will never think that, say that and yet, when in darkness and opportunity comes knocking, we do it. Our never is null and void.

So how do we overcome this deadly beast?

Immerse yourself in all that is God. Live as if He is your shadow. Read scripture for inspiration, for the glory that is He. Sing songs of praise. Talk to Him, tell Him that you're about to give in and beg, plead for help. Listen, see, focus on what He wants you to know, what He wants you to do. Jesus has all the answers because He humbled Himself to be human. He can gauge, He knows our limits and He was able to defeat sin for us all.

It's very easy to fall into sin, almost too easy with only ruin, guilt, sorrow, even death as the outcome. But to overcome sin, to beat the temptation, to win is rewarding and holy. We've been created in His image, in His likeness, so we too can be chaste and sinless. We too can yell at the devil and praise God. We too can quote scripture and pray for salvation. He has given us these tools so that we can fight the good fight.

And best of all, He forgives everything! He loves you more than the lies you've told yourself, the lies the devil has convinced you into believing. Jesus is bigger than those lies, and His love is open wide, like His arms on that cross.

God bless!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New Beginnings

When JM and I first met we were very broken. Our hearts were beating furiously to survive and we both carried battle wounds that would scare any potential suitors away. He had just gone through a bad break-up, and although I was dating someone, I was struggling with my worst bout of depression. We quickly became friends, unaware of what God planned for us and in time, I had ended my previous relationship to heal and make room for a newer me.
JM and I started dating still in the midst of inner hurt, but with the little bits and pieces our hearts had become, we were, unbeknownst to one another, determined to pull each other out of our respective miseries. We each saw the diamond buried in the rough in each other. It had been a long time since we felt like digging but we knew there was something here, something different, something new.
It was hard, our beginning. The devil loves to play tug-of-war when he sees people tapping into their strength's and not succumbing to their pain. He likes to watch us in anguish, doubled over like an eternal stomachache, not mustering up courage and filling ourselves up with hope and love. JM and I were tugged constantly, sure yet unsure, ready, but not totally ready. We were still afraid of the new and still attracted to the safe, aware of how damaging it was to our hearts, but sometimes what seems safe is not always right. God wants us to trust Him. We don't know what lies ahead, but He does. He knows it all.
Eventually, JM and I trusted, went into the unknown, hand in hand. There were moments of darkness, moments of great joy, trying times, residual pain from the past, but we saw through it, knowing that at the end of the darkness is a light.
And that light is Jesus.
Our accomplishments together have been wondrous, thanks be to God. We have three beautiful children. We are each other's best friends. We know how much we need one another and how secure we feel together. We've gotten married with God's blessings, developed friendships and have seen our own relationship grow as the years go by, but our greatest accomplishment has been finding God together, being able to pray together, holding each other's hand at Mass, receiving the Eucharist together. We are becoming a vessel for God, so that He can work through us.
As JM and I, in the photo above, look towards the lake, into the darkness of the gathering trees ahead, we know that the unknown is still ahead of us, but that is what new beginnings are. They are the events life will present. It is up to us to choose whether we will look within ourselves, reverting back to the old ways that never worked, or look to Jesus together. We can lose ourselves and one another in the process if we pick the old way of doing things, but only with Him can we get out of the darkness and walk into another one with a certainty of the outcome...

His love for us.
And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
John 13:34
Thank you God for bringing JM into my life, for giving him the strength to lick my wounds as he licked his own. Thank you God for the man that helped me become the woman that I am today. With You, Lord, we have brought forth children and have generated a family that walks with You everyday. You are the foundation we've chosen to build our home upon because in You we trust. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
God bless!