Friday, November 25, 2011

1000 Views; Sharing on God's Time

Thank you for 1000 views on this fine day-after-Thanksgiving! 

I write to you, today, about sharing your stories, your testimonies, your "God" experience... and what it means for me to be sharing some of my story. 

I have no problem sharing most of my experiences with people, especially if it means helping them get closer to God in their own personal relationship.  The kids at youth group love personal sharings, they feel like they can really relate to them!  As we go in to planning our senior high retreat, we decided that it'd be good for all of us "adults" (I will never get used to being in that category) know one another's stories so we can know when who's sharing would best reach the kids. 

Unfortunately - FOR ME (selfish reason right here!) - the stories I'm not quite ready to share are ones that will definately help the senior high group.  They've had some pretty scary things happen amongst their peers over the last year or so, and while I'm not right out of high school, I can definately say, "When I was your age" and "been there, done that, lived to tell the tale and still love God."... but it's 

Before joining a faith-community, I prayed about which church to join, and where to offer my time, talents, and treasures.  God's answer was with these teens, and at this particular church.  Since college, and since you-know-who denounced our friendship, I've been longing, asking, praying for someone with whom I can share my faith life, someone who will help me to heal where I feel like I've been stuck.  It took.... 8 years?... but I'm in that place, and now that God has presented me with a rock-solid group of my own peers, as well as teens ready to relate and grow in their faith through my sharing, I'm absolutely terrified to feel so exposed. 

The best way I can describe it is like having a huge, gnarly scab on your knee.  You keep it hidden, beneath band-aids and your pants, and when you're not really thinking about it, you sort of rub it or cradle it, keeping it from getting bumped or pulled or exposed.  You take care of it, putting neosporin on it and airing it out for  a little while, but you just aren't brave enough to let it be fully exposed. 

That's how I feel.  I share a lil-bit, here and there, hoping that will be enough to keep the wounds protected.  I am absolutely terrified to leave myself - my aching bits of heart & soul - exposed to the air, even though I know the air (aka God in this analogy) will bring healing. 

The inquiry for sharing stories during this Quest planning is like the person who rips the bandaid off for you... I can't honestly serve where God has guided me if I don't expose myself. 

Why am I so afraid to do this?  I was asking, begging, pleading, and thought that maybe God wanted me to do it alone.  But now I see that I needed to wait until He was ready for me to share... it's just a matter of trusting that His timing is better than my timing....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Experiencing Technical Difficulties, Please Stand By...

Apparently, Blogger is not IE friendly anymore, I can't get half the pages or features to load.  This means I can only blog from my laptops, since I'm not going to even try blogging from a smartphone... who knows what horrors would come up with the auto-correct features, especially with both English & Spanish keyboard options! 

No more posts on my breaks at work... I will be posting shortly though, promise! 

Are there any topics you'd like to read about?  Anything you'd like me to pray about for you? 

I'm going to be doing some research on the new Missal translation for our Life Teen- Life Night, so that's what is on the horizon.  I don't know much about it just yet, only that I have the app on my phone so I won't get lost during mass.  Of course, I don't want people to think I'm texting or browsing the internet during church... hmmm... maybe I'll just have to get to church early enough to make sure I get one of the cheat sheets :-)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sharing a Little Miracle

A miracle, indeed! 

You may not be aware of how severe my allergy is to cat dander- if I'm within 5 feet of cat dander, I go into anaphylactic shock.  Even a piece of paper from a cat-owner's house is enough to make everything swell shut!  So, as I go to any youth group activities, I always say a prayer that my allergy does not prevent me from helping people, from doing God's Will.

That being said, there are a lot of kids who have cats in their homes. *scrunched up face* It makes me sad, because I'm always afraid that someone will forget and stand beside me or behind me, and that's that- inhaler, epi pins, 911...

So, while working with the kids, I've been cautious.  I was talking with a few this weekend and their mother came up and said, "Get back, they have cats!"  I was completely taken aback!!  While I'd had problems with my allergies around the mother, I had never had problems around the children, and hadn't even put 2+2 together!  It gets even more amazing- the cat apparently sleeps on one of the kid's beds!!  That means cat dander would be everywhere, as it is smaller and lighter than anthrax and hangs in the air after a cat has left the room... I never had a single reaction to being around her.

Amazing... Absolutely amazing...  What's even more amazing is that- going into convention weekend- I had said "If ever there was a time for a healing, now would be a perfect time to get rid of my cat allergy, Lord."  I said it in jest, the gal next to me laughed and said, "I know, right?!" 

AMEN!  It would absolutely break my heart if I was unable to help someone truly in need of God's help because of my stupid, over-active immune system!!!  God is good, He still performs miracles, this is my proof.  Now, it doesn't mean that I'm ready to go test my theory and start rubbing cats all over me, I think this was more of a one-time/temporary/situational 'assist'... we'll see.

"I will consider all your works and meditate on your mighty deeds.  Your ways, God, are holy.  What god is as great as our God?  You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples." Psalm 77:12-14

What I love about this part of Psalm 77 is what comes before it- all the doubt, the suffering, the pain...

"I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me... I sought the Lord... stretched out untiring hands, and ...would not be comforted... I meditated and my spirit grew faint.  You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak... My heart meditated and my spirit asked - will the Lord reject forever?... has His unfailing love vanished forever?"

How many times have we felt forgotten by God?  I know I have, more times than I can count.  When you're there, when you're feeling that the Lord has rejected you, that His unfailing love has vanished forever, remember His miracles of long-ago. (77:11)  Know that you are not as alone as you feel, and that somewhere- someone- is sharing your doubts, and longing to find God again. 

Dear Lord,

Please remember your people.  Help us to understand why we feel we are alone, naked, exposed; why we feel like you're not there.  Help us to see that you are- that, for whatever reason, you are helping us to stand on our own. Gather the saints around us in these dark hours, for many of them expierenced feeling a lack of your presence on their journey.  Help us to see the Holy Spirit around us at all times, and help Him to guide us down your path.  Our minds know you are there, and you are good, but our hearts feel abandoned and doubtful- please, erase this doubt and replace the pain of abandonment with the joy of your love.

Amen <><

Monday, November 7, 2011

Post Update: It's Okay to Cry

A little while ago I posted about how I cry at Mass..... when the Spirit moves me, I let it move me!  I realized I have a lot of healing to do, and over the last 10 years that I've worked so hard to help other people in their struggles, I have built such a high, thick wall around the wounded areas of my heart, my soul.  When I realize this, when one of those bricks comes down, I can't help but cry- out of pain, out of Glory to God for healing me with His love, out of fear that I will be too weak to endure the struggles if I don't have that "foundation"- that FALSE foundation of brick-n-mortar that I've built.

Yesterday, while celebrating Mass with 1600 high school students at Youth Convention, a little more healing took place, and I cried.  While I was crying, allowing myself to open up for God's healing grace, I found myself begging, pleading for rain.  Then I remembered that I never posted the hyperlinks for the song Rain in my post "It's Okay to Cry"... so, here it is.

Amazingly, although not completely unexpected, I had a Soul Cry while I was at Convention this last weekend- but I'd like to share it with that individual before I share it with all of you. 

As you listen to "Rain", I encourage you to check out Carly's other songs, and Tess and Carson's too... their whole family is so incredibly talented.  But I also encourage you to say a prayer for all those affected by depression, suicide, and loss.  I also ask you to say just a little prayer the next time it rains- that God's healing waters rain down on you and anyone else who needs to feel His love. 

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost- AMEN.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Consider the Source

With the youth group at my church, we've been challenging the kids to read one bible verse a day and to meditate on it.  I found an awesome emailer that sent the verse and a guided reflection in a cute little format, looked like it was a framed scroll of parchment, very easy on the eye.... Before recommending that the kiddos read it, I figured I'd better do a little research on who was sponsoring the organization/emails....

HOLY SMOKES!!!  It was "one of the largest non-trinitarian organizations" out there!  What's the big deal, you ask?  Non-trinitarian means no trinity.  No power of three-in-one, Father-Son-Holy Spirit.  As a Catholic, that is absolutely FUNDAMENTAL.  I was completely shocked!  It looked like a good source to hear The Word.  It had some wonderful reflections.  It talked about God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but they do not believe that the three are one. 

Sometimes it's better not to have all that pretty fru-fru fluff-n-stuff. has a wonderful verse of the day, and I subscribed to their Old/New Testament readings, working on reading the bible over the course of 365 days. 

Be careful what you're reading... watching... observing... know your Faith, your foundation, and always- ALWAYS- stay true to it! 

Proverbs 26:23-25 (NIV) 23 Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware are fervent[a] lips with an evil heart.  24 Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit.  25 Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts.

Today's bible verse from “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,” Ephesians 1:18 NIV