Looking at life through the eyes of faith... and finding HOPE in a "hopeless" world!


You've given me, Lord, the gift of WORDS, allowing me to give voice to the journey... from darkness to light... from death to re-birth... from despair to HOPE!
THANK YOU... for this gift and for the journey!!


Monday, November 30, 2015

a time for real change

As I shook Rachel's hand this evening, I realized that my life is about to change forever.

Rachel is a personal trainer.

(Did I really just write that??)

I never imagined a day would come when I would seek out a personal trainer, but the sad truth is...  I am long overdue.

As I drove home tonight, I couldn't shake a thought...  I must be honest with myself before any real change can be made.  (This is true for each and every one of us.)

So what is the truth??

The truth is that I was once a very determined and deeply driven young lady who fought to stand on her own two feet in this life.  I worked hard, whether at my job or in the gym.  I lifted weights, trained in the martial arts and on the shooting range.  I learned self-defense (and later even helped a bit to train others).  In fact, one of my most cherished memories was helping to train soldiers in close-quarters combat.  I loved to dance (still do, but don't get an opportunity much these days) and I love, love, LOVE to be outside!  Hiking...  Climbing a rock...  ;)  You name it.

The truth is that I had a car accident in 2003.  At the time, I was commuting an hour (round trip) to the martial arts studio/gym for classes and to work out.  On that snowy, fateful morning, I made one of THE DUMBEST DECISIONS OF MY LIFE...  I quit.  :(

I told myself that maybe it didn't make sense to commute that far...  Ugh!  (Enough excuses!)

Between that bad decision and my new, full-time desk job, I was in trouble.  I just didn't know it yet.

I do now.

This winter will be 12 years since that accident.  Even while I have changed my diet (for the good, mind you) immensely over the years and tried to keep active in so many ways, I have stubbornly held on to some of the bad.  

In the past 5 years, life has been turned upside down more than once.  Surgery to help heal PCOS, causing a tragic cascade into a series of additional medical procedures and surgeries that would span the years from '10 to '13...  An immune system crash after the last of those surgeries that would follow me right into a diagnosis of skin cancer and the surgeries to remove it and repair the damage in '14...  Thank You, Lord, for sparing my eye!

Then, just as old wounds were beginning to heal, the diagnosis of another cast a long shadow that still lingers...

Even while Doc believes it to be benign (as do I), it turns out that what I thought was a 17-yr-old injury from my days as a cop is actually a "parotid mass."  Yep...  A tumor.  After a FNAB showed no signs of malignancy (Thank You, Lord!), I've held off having it removed until now.  At this point, I don't want to give it a chance to "change."  Unless something changes (negatively, that is), my surgery will take place in March of '16.

Mix all of this with other stressors - including my frustration with mainstream medical and my own tendency toward "laziness" in health matters these days - and you have a recipe for disaster.

I don't want to go there.

The truth is that I am still a very determined and deeply driven (albeit a bit older) young lady and something has to change!

My appointment with Rachel this evening was the beginning of that change...

Praised be Jesus Christ!!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Kintsugi




photographer unknown
photographer unknown

According to Wikipedia, Kintsugi (“golden joinery”) or Kintsukuroi (“golden repair”) is “the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum.”  In essence, this form of repair does not seek to hide the damage that has been done.  It highlights it as part of the object’s history.  It is the flaw or imperfection that now makes the objectbeautiful!
If something gets damaged, my husband will often say, “Gives it character!”  As I consider this beautiful Japanese art form, I think I now understand what he means by that.
I’ve heard it said that after a bone is broken, the bone will actually be strongestat the point where the break heals.
I can’t help but think of what God does in us.  We are broken.  We are wounded.  But…  If we allow God to heal those wounds, we are strongest at the point of that healing.  We shine the brightest from those places where once there was only darkness.
Praised be Jesus Christ!

picking up the pieces

As I walked up the meditation trail today, trying so hard to quiet the noise of this world and prepare for Confession, I found myself thinking about the broken pieces of my life.  For a moment, I thought, "Dear God, why is it that every time I try to pick up the pieces and fix things, I only manage to cut myself again?"  

God didn't miss a beat.  In that instant, it was as if I heard Him say, "So leave them there and let me..."

Praised be Jesus Christ!!

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O MY GOD

When I look into the future, I am frightened,
But why plunge into the future?
Only the present moment is precious to me,
As the future may never enter my soul at all.

It is no longer in my power,
To change, correct or add to the past;
For neither sages nor prophets could do that.
And so, what the past has embraced I must entrust
to God.

O present moment, you belong to me, whole and entire.
I desire to use you as best I can.
And although I am weak and small,
You grant me the grace of Your omnipotence.

And so, trusting in Your mercy,
I walk through life like a little child,
Offering you each day this heart
Burning with love for Your greater glory.

St. M. Faustina Kowalska

Your Cross

The everlasting God has in His wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost heart. This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with loving arms and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His Holy Name, anointed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God.
~St. Francis de Sales

THE CROSS OF INFERTILITY

Oh, my Jesus... I thank you with all my heart for the abundant graces you have poured out upon me. I thank you for the precious soul you have chosen to journey with me in this life. May we see one another safely into the arms of the Father for all eternity.

You have given the gifts of Life and Love that have brought us together. We are forever indebted to You. PLEASE be always at the heart of our marriage.

My Jesus, you have entrusted us with this cross of infertility. You are also the source of our strength. Lord, trusting in You, we take up this cross every day and follow You.

If it is in Your will, we ask for the gift to become co-creators with You, bringing into the world a precious soul who will love and serve You for all eternity.

Whatever You will, know that we love You and we trust in You. In all things, may Your holy will be done.

Amen.

St. Michael the Archangel...

St. Michael the Archangel...
...defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan and all of the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. AMEN.