Mea Maxima Cuppa: Prayerful, grateful, distracted

Mea Maxima Cuppa: Prayerful, grateful, distracted

This past month, I attended the second annual Northwest Catholic Women’s Conference near Bend, Oregon. One of the speakers, a mom of seven children, discussed her struggles to be fully present in her busy, day-to-day life.

I could relate.

I tend to get caught up in multiple projects, biting off more than I can chew. I think that’s how my phone ended up in the freezer that one time and how I accidentally triple-booked my family that other time.

Anyway, the speaker recently gained helpful perspective from a wise priest. He said, “Commend your past to Divine Mercy. Entrust your future to Divine Providence. Live holy the present moment.”

The priest’s words sounded familiar. Apparently, various iterations of this sentiment have been passed on for ages. In the calm of the retreat center, however, I received them in a new, heart-changing way.

I’ve been clinging to Jesus’s Divine Mercy for a long while now. I often rejoice in God’s love and mercy as I shed the baggage of guilt, shame, and regret in the confessional.

But I’m human, so sometimes I don’t truly let things go even after I’ve received absolution. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Jesus puts my sins as far from me as the east is from the west, and yet I pick up the baggage again, allowing it to weigh me down. Commending my past to Divine Mercy means I must drop everything at the foot of the Cross and – this is key – leave it there.

Please read the rest here.

Update on Bury the dead: Y’all done brought it!

Update on Bury the dead: Y’all done brought it!

Earlier today, I asked for your help, and y’all done BROUGHT it. I mean, for reals and for trues. I stand in awe of our awesome God and the amazing things we can accomplish as believers when we stand united in prayer and purpose. PRAISE HIS NAME!!

Here is an update on the situation, from Mary herself:


You all are amazing! Just amazing. I have absolutely no words left. I am typing through tears. I had to pick Jerry up from the floor. You fabulously wonderful people have given $4,200 plus dollars in the last several hours. I walked away from the computer to go to the grocery store and post office and I come home to yet another Christmas miracle for the Lenaburg Family. We have more than enough to get back to Oklahoma for Jerry’s Dad’s funeral early next week and to pay for extended parking and other traveling expenses. There is more than enough to cover Jerry’s leave without pay as well. Whatever is left, we will apply to the debt that remains from Courtney’s time here on earth. I should have known that when Courtney is involved, she doesn’t mess around. My daughter is an incredible intercessor. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for your love and most generous support. We are humbled beyond belief … God is GOOD, ALL THE TIME.


So thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! While these dollars and cents don’t erase the pain, they sure do ease some of the burden for this faithful family. I am so humbled and grateful for your response.

And, just for fun, here’s what I texted Mary when I heard that y’all helped them FAR surpass their goal:

Thank YOU Jesus!! Thank YOU!!! You are worthy! You are powerful! You are mighty! We thank You!! We praise You! We adore You! You are worthy! Of ALL the honor, glory, and praise!!

That’s how I felt, and that’s how I feel, and that’s the truth, and I’m stickin’ to it.

God bless y’all. REALLY.


P.S. Anyone who has struggled with grief knows that it is an ongoing process of the heart, mind, and body. Ongoing prayers for the entire Lenaburg Clan are, of course, encouraged and appreciated. Amen and amen. <3

Photo by Edwin Andrade. Used with permission via

Coincidence or?

Coincidence or?

mountains-november-2016-2I used to think it was merely random coincidence – happenstance.

As it occured with more frequency, I found it rather interesting – intriguing, even.

Yet, as time marched forward and it didn’t seem to be relenting, I began to find it pretty frustrating.

Most recently, I chose to brush it off as amusing – entertainment, even – because, as we all know, God likes to laugh at me. Why not guffaw along?

Nowadays, I am generally able to accept it as something that’s just part of the process. Sometimes, though, since I’m still human, after all, it can, at times, be extraordinarily exasperating.

And – what is it, exactly? Well, I’m talking about how God (yes, that God) attempts to teach me stuff through my own writing, as crazy as that sounds. And, more specifically, how He especially likes to send me messages through writing that isn’t published for days, weeks, and sometimes months after I’ve written it.

Probably nine out of ten times, when I’ve turned in an assignment ahead of schedule, I forget exactly what I’ve written until it’s actually published, and then – boom – there it is, words from my own hand, invariably coming back to smack me up side my thick, thick head.

Case in point: my latest Mea Maxima Cuppa column over at the Catholic Sentinel. I wrote about acknowledging all of God’s gifts, regardless whether we perceive them to be good, bad, desireable, or abhorrent, since as St. Therese of Lisieux said, “Everything is grace.” Everything.

Things were going pretty well when I wrote those words. Naturally.

And now? Now that the words are published and out there and staring me down? Well. Let’s just say it’s been a rough month. In truth, thinking of the toughest moments as gifts from God has been the last thing on my mind.

So, therein lies the rub: Am I able to take my own medicine, heed my own words – to wade through the muck and mire of hurt feelings and disappointments, betrayals and exhaustion and all the rest of it – and lay it all down at the foot of the Cross?

Am I able to see the gifts He gives even if I don’t like the wrapping paper?


Images (c) 2016 Heather Anderson Renshaw. All rights reserved.