So many miracles, so little time

So many miracles, so little time

Hi, there!

You may have noticed that it’s been a little while since my last post. So many things have happened (and continue to happen) that are completely and utterly blowing my mind.

This is just a quick post to let you know that we are okay – I am just fine – and yet I don’t foresee posting much in the next few weeks and possibly months, because …
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… our family is preparing to return move to our beloved Pacific NW!! In 35 days, we leave on a five-day moving trek with five children, myriad boxes, and a bunch of random stuff we don’t need in tow, crossing numerous states.

I’m gonna need a really big glass of wine for this one, folks. Pray for me, and I will mosdef pray for you!

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7 Quick Takes about my stalker (-cough-Mother Teresa-cough-)

7 Quick Takes about my stalker (-cough-Mother Teresa-cough-)

— 1 —

A funny thing happens when you finally decide to name a particular holy person (<ahem>BlessedTeresaofCalcutta<sniff>) as the patron of an event you’re planning. I don’t remember reading the fine print regarding such an alliance in the Catechism, but apparently, naming aforementioned holy person and using one of her quotes as your conference motto

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gives aforementioned holy person license to stalk bless you with her presence. Randomly. And without warning. On the regular. For example:

— 2 —

There I was, mostly minding my own business, feeling particularly discouraged about some pretty serious things, a few of which directly related to the conference, and there, out of the complete blue sky, was a direct message from someone I don’t know particularly well and hadn’t heard from in months. Clicking on the message, I saw this:

Oh, wow! It's Mother Teresa!
Oh, wow! It’s Mother Teresa!

“From my friend Steve,” read the DM, “I remembered my [New Year’s] promise to you … to help you become the best version of yourself … I promised to send you art …and this is as good as I can do right now.”  Uhhh. Ohhhkay.

I stood there in stunned silence, tears welling up in my eyes. As I gazed upon Mother’s weathered face and into her holy eyes, I whispered, “I see you, Mother Teresa,” and I could almost hear her saying, with a bemused chuckle in her voice, “I see you, too.”

— 3 —

Fast-forward a few days, and my friend (with whom I shared the story of the randomly beautiful Mother Teresa painting in my FB) says, “Have you looked at the parish calendar yet? Tomorrow is September. Just wait until you see!”

Teresa Calendar

I had to laugh. Of COURSE her picture was featured this month. Of COURSE her Feast Day was coming up. If I even knew, at one point, that her Feast Day was in September, I’d completely forgotten amidst the whirling dervish that has been my life as of late. I started joking with my husband that Mother Teresa was like Roz from Monsters, Inc.: “I’m keeping my eye on you.”

— 4 —

And then, as I was looking over my writing schedule, I noticed that I’m hoping to submit something for Dianna about faith-building resources. “Hey,” I thought to myself, “What about that book two different people gave us last year that we haven’t even read yet?” I picked it up and looked at the cover. Sho’ nuff.

Left-hand side sporting the sari. Yup.
Left-hand side sporting the sari, y’all. Yup. That’s Mother.

— 5 —

And then, I’d promised to bring our neighbors dinner because her father died recently, and they were returning on Monday from his out-of-state memorial services. I’d really been looking forward to hearing Fr. Gaitley speak that evening in the next state, but quickly realized I wouldn’t be able to deliver the meal AND make it on time for the talk with an hour and a half drive to get there. It was then that I suddently remembered the Glory Story about Mother Teresa, who learned the “Gospel on five fingers,” as her mother explained it: “(1) You (2) did (3) it (4) to (5) me.” My stalker happens to be an excellent “brass tacks” kind of catechist. It was, what you parenting types might call, “a teachable moment.”

If you can't feed

— 6 —

And then, yesterday, we had our “30-days-to-go-until-the-conference” core team meeting. I kid you not – this text (which I apologize is tough to read) came through in the middle of our meeting:

The text reads: "USCCB: CallToPrayer: May the witness of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta teach us that we belong to one another."
The text reads: “USCCB: CallToPrayer: May the witness of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta teach us that we belong to one another.”

— 7 —

There you have it – pretty much 7QT about Mother Teresa – a blessed soul who, once invited, loves to show up to the party and hang out with you. All the time. In various and sundry ways. These experiences have honestly made the Communion of Saints come alive for me in a way I’d never experienced (at least on this level) before.

Oh – before you leave, and in honor of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta – I humbly invite you to prayerfully consider donating to help this young man obtain a service dog that will greatly aid in his quality of life. Because, as Mother has shown me over the last two weeks, we really do belong to one another.

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Por mas Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Pondering all that is good, true, and beautiful | Blessed is She

Pondering all that is good, true, and beautiful | Blessed is She

If this fleeting summer had a theme, it would be “pondering.”

Okay, so maybe “stealing quick moments between doing all sorts of things to briefly think about a bajillion other things” is more apt, but “pondering” sounds so much more civil, well-mannered, and holy, don’t you think?

Anyway, this summer, I have specifically been pondering (ahem) my intake in its various and sundry forms. What am I eating and drinking? What thoughts am I entertaining? What am I watching? What am I taking in physically, mentally, and spiritually? Am I consuming things that are bringing me closer to Christ or, if I’m being brutally honest with myself, possibly pushing me further away from Him?

Matthew 1528

With those thoughts, however imperfectly swirling about in my mind, I was delighted to learn about Blessed is She, a daily devotional experience put together by the phenomenal Jenna Guizar of A Mama Collective. To truly ponder His Word every day was something I could confidently consume without one little bit of anxiety that I was headed in the wrong direction (hello, social media).

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Well, friends, it gets even better, because I am so blessed to be just one in a bouquet of gorgeously brilliant, Jesus-seeking contributors for this new endeavor, which launches TODAY!! It isn’t everyday that a lil-cracked-pot-of-a-gal like me is able to make a contribution to something so beautiful, so lovely, and so worthwhile! The timing seemed to perfectly coincide with my desire to serve God through the written word. How serendipitous that I am able to offer my humble words about His Word?

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I hope you will join us over at Blessed is She every day and feast on God’s living Word that awaits you. It’s easy to do so! Here are all the details for engaging with BiS via my fellow contributor lifesaver, Megan Hjelmstad, who knows a thing or two about getting blogs posted whilst chasing kiddos on Labor Day:

How Does It Work?
You can:

  • Read the daily devotions on the website by clicking here: Daily Devotions (we’ve also been posting the daily readings each day, and now that the devotions have started, the readings will be linked so you can read the scriptures that inspired each devotion!)
  • And/or subscribe on the website to receive an email every day with that day’s devotion by clicking here: Subscribe to Email
  • Follow our Instagram feed with some beautiful images and the verse of the day (based on the daily readings) here: com/blessedisshe__
  • Chat via Twitter with the Blessed Is She team here: com/blessedisshe__
  • Like the Blessed Is She Facebook page to stay up to date on news or interact with the Blessed Is She team by clicking on this link: com/blessedisshenetwork
  • Check out Blessed Is She’s inspiration on Pinterest: pinterest.com/blessedisshe__/
  • Learn about our fun little cast of characters (seriously amazing women, all of them!) here: http://blessedisshe.net/about/
  • Or just browse the beautiful website: blessedisshe.net

See? I told you Megan is super awesome!!

Also awesome is tonight’s Blessed is She Twitter chat! Follow me and the rest of the BiS team and join us LIVE at 9 p.m. EST to celebrate the Blessed Is She launch. Formal attire is completely optional. 😉

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And, please, friends – spread the word near and far – we as Catholic women need to feed on the Eucharist, absolutely, yet we also need to take time to consider all that is good, true, and beautiful in the living and effective Word of God and truly ponder it in our hearts.

Keep fighting the good fight of faith.

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Happy Feast Day to my buddy, St. Augustine

Happy Feast Day to my buddy, St. Augustine

Those who have known me for longer than a month usually find out that I love St. Augustine because dude was baaaaaaaaaad. And then he met Christ, and changed! And became a priest! And a scholar! And a doctor of the Church! We have so much in common, don’t you think?? Well, a couple few things, anyway.

So, Happy Feast Day to a guy who has been there, done that, and left it all behind for the greater glory of God.

“Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.”

Truth. Yeah.
Truth. Yeah.
"You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You." -St. Augustine of Hippo
“You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” -St. Augustine of Hippo

 

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Vintage Visitation

Vintage Visitation

Hi, Friends! How is it Monday already?? This past Friday, I posted my very first link-up with 7QT. Squee! In it, I said I had a bunch of thoughts swirling about regarding the Visitation, which happened to be Friday’s Gospel reading. Well, guess what, mis compadres? It seems like I’ve been thinking about this very thing for quite a while. The following is the first in an occasional series called Vintage RCM, and was originally posted way back on May 10, 2010. Enjoy!

An online friend reminded me that today’s Gospel reading is the story of The Visitation, where John the Baptist leaps in St. Elizabeth’s womb at Mary’s greeting.

I have a special connection with St. Elizabeth, as she is my Confirmation Saint. Little did I know that, at the tender age of 14, I hadn’t really chosen St. Elizabeth, but that she had chosen me. I had honestly wondered, over the years, why I had actually chosen St. Elizabeth. Singing the customized versions of the Liturgy of the Saints for the RCIA Candidates at the Easter Vigil over the years and hearing all the wonderful saints’ names actually filled me with some regret that I didn’t really put much thought into selecting my own Confirmation Saint. Elizabeth is my Aunt’s name, and she was my Confirmation Sponsor, so I just picked “Elizabeth” for my Saint. Frankly, in my apathy and ignorance, I didn’t really want to do the research involved in selecting a Confirmation Saint, nor did I think it important. Silly me – God was still at work.

It wasn’t until this year, while contemplating how I could uplift and encourage women and further the pro-life message, that it finally started to dawn on me. I first saw the masterpiece “The Visitation” by Italian painter Albertenelli, below, at the local Catholic bookstore. The painting, with its sheer emotion and beauty, stopped me cold in my tracks and actually moved me to tears. Right there in the bookstore. Finally, I thought. This is what a loving relationship between sisters in Christ should look like! It was in no small part because of this painting that I was motivated to coordinate the pro-life Tea at church this past April.

In addition, I don’t think it is a fluke that my son was born on the Feast of St. John the Baptist. He declares Christ’s love and saving power to me in his own way each and every day. And my Confirmation Saint is St. John the Baptist’s Mom. God is so awesome. In case you needed to be reminded. 🙂

So,  St. Elizabeth really *is* my Confirmation Saint, even if it took me 20 years to figure out why. And it is with her guidance that I see how the Holy Spirit is at work in my life.

God works in mysterious ways … through the brush strokes of a long-passed master artist, through the underdeveloped selections of an ignorant teen-aged girl, and through  Sts. John & Elizabeth, the first pro-life heralds (John, by action & St. Elizabeth, by proclamation). Deo Gratias!

 

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