Joy and pain

This post could come off sounding like I’m on the pity party train, but in my mind I’m making an observation.

It has to do with viewing one’s life and how our inner demons can cloud perception of one another.

Many times, I think people just cannot be happy for other people when their circumstance is different.

The one viewing doesn’t necessarily have to come from a tight budget, low income lifestyle. They too can be rich, with many kids, or be successful.  It plainly can be one who doesn’t allow a person to live a life of joy and blessings because they themselves haven’t found what true freedom is, in that a past or experience has given way on how to embrace life in the now.

People can be cruel on how they choose to respond to you.  It is one thing for a person who may not know your whole story to react a certain way (to a degree) towards you and then it’s another story when someone who knows your past can’t seem to allow the graces you’ve been given to shine in your life.

There were many times for many years where I was without. Without parents who showed love as husband and wife; parents who no longer knew how to parent; given attention; love; didn’t have family trips; one on one time; encouragement; nurturing; stability; home security; food; safe keeping; prayer; Jesus.

There were many years spent with someone in a relationship who didn’t care for me.  Ruined me spiritually.  Degraded me.  When I no longer knew dignity I then tried to defend it and became more lost because I thought it was love and was feeding me some form of attention.

In my heart, where I came from,  where my life is now, it makes perfect sense what I’ve been able to experience in my married life with my best friend.  Since I’ve been married, 21 years now, I’ve been seeking Christ in my life.  Growing and allowing to dig deeper in my faith.  I heard at a conference I attended “obedience brings blessings”.  I believe it and often state that to others.

I’m not saying my life is perfect or that I deserve the blessings I have received, but I believe I’ve been graced by them to experience them for a reason.

Never do I lead my life without wanting others to experience the joys I have received. I never boast, but it seems even if I slightly feel joyful about something, I’m not rewarded with a “good for you” or “you deserve it” in the magnitude I give others.  I don’t understand it.

It’s been some time  when I began battling this subject.  But the weight of it has hit me again.  The crossroads of applauding everyone else’s joy, but lacking their fervor towards me.

Our Lord tells us to forgive “70 x 7”.  I do. Over and over, but how I wish they would see that and that it does hurt when you know they can’t receive you in the same way you do for them.

I shouldn’t have to hold back for anything that gives me joy! I should be able to express it as much as a mother who is overjoyed with their child who takes their first steps, a job promotion, a family dinner,  a graduation, a vacation.

My joys are going to be expressed different. My family is my joy. My interests are my joys. My activities are my joys. My faith is my joy. My marriage is my joy.

If it brings you joy, isn’t that enough for anyone to be happy for you?

God help me to not be clouded by any sadness, because you have brought me out of that despair!+++

John 16:22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

Splinter, Beam, Plank! Ouch!

Why is it people will point out what you did wrong with them, but they never take notice they’ve also did the same thing to you or maybe sinned against you as well?

Matthew 7:3 Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?

Lately, I’ve been noticing much with the finger pointing, but their finger never is twisted to turn back to themselves.

It feels like many are quick to blame or show others one is wrong in life.  For some, it’s been going on for years and still no noticeable self- reflection.

A flood of thoughts come to me on this because so much of the resolve of these mind battles are answered by Jesus.  Instead of letting go of bondage to their thoughts on someone or something, they let it relish in their souls to the point where they become hardened like a chunk of cement added to their hearts.

  • Prayer
  • Self examination of conscience
  • Humility
  • Repentance
  • Reconciliation
Picture to me is profound. The outside cactus landscape depicts our sin. Thorns and dry brush. The chapel signifies to me Christ and His shelter.

All of these we are taught in our Catholic faith from our Lord Jesus. In his teaching to the apostles, from their teachings to the faithful and on.

I always try to review myself and see how I’ve fallen short. To begin with, there is no way I’m perfect, so before I start on with anyone else, I should fix me first. Don’t you think that is most of our problems? We don’t see our own sin?

One thing that is clear to me in my faith walk is if I have peace, then I have achieved some spiritual merit to a situation. That’s the ultimate result. If you’ve done the steps above and still have no peace, then there is something greater to be looked at, I believe.

Instead of adding another layer of blame to someone or something, wouldn’t it be more beneficial to let down our barriers to what forgiveness is all about. It’s not just waiting for the other person to come forward, but it also about us moving closer to Christ.

May Christ’s peace and unity rule our hearts! +++


Power of Prayer

Yesterday, a horrible tragedy occurred in Manchester, United Kingdom at a Ariana Grande concert.  A person vested in some kind of suicide bomb went off outside the arena killing 19 and injuring 50. That is the latest.

At first it was a bit tougher for me to latch onto the news because of the day I was having which was productive and joyous.  I first saw about this tragedy on Facebook but thought I’ll get to the news in a bit and carried on.  I feel awful to say it but it almost seemed “normal” news.

It wasn’t until a couple hours later did it sink in once I started watching the news and the video of the people running from blast.

I prayed thinking of those that died, their families, and then those suffering possibly some near death.

I thought about it some more in my night time prayer and asked Our Lord to call on His servant St. Michael to protect others from being hurt. But then I stopped for a second and thought …you know…He is. Every minute, every hour.  We are being protected. We just don’t see it in a newscast, but may hear about these good happenings through family and friends.

Like when we are driving on the highway and are protected seconds before an accident.  A doctor check up that caught a diagnosis to treat early and give us a second chance.  And I’m sure grand scale things, we as every day citizens are not aware of.

As we know,  we should always pray for the world in our daily prayers.  No matter if we think they’re working or not or how many times these awful events continue to happen.

Rejoice always.
Pray without ceasing.


St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Twist of Age

Recently a popular music artist by the name of Chris Cornell passed away. Apparent suicide.  The news was heartbreaking.  He was such a great talent to have killed himself at age 52 seems completely confusing.

Because of his passing, a slur of memories have come to mind not only from me, but also friends who during the 1980s, 90s were listening to  music like his that came out of Seattle. Grunge rock they called it!

Friends and I were used to playing music by Chris Cornell. In our cars, at home, at social events and even live shows that we would attend. We had friends who were in bands who played covers of the artists we liked.

It was rebellious.  It was loud. Went with what we were feeling at the time.

Somewhere around 1996, my music choices began to change.  In my mind I was thinking that whatever my interests were at a time that correlated to a past, I no longer wanted to hold onto.  So with a move out of the city to a bigger city, I left it.

For many years, even after my Lupus diagnosis, I kept myself from listening to music from that time. Until around 2011, when I turned 40.  I began adding the songs of  my past to my Spotify playlists.  Now I listen to it almost everyday along with other classic rock songs.

But yesterday’s tragedy of Chris Cornell’s passing got me thinking. Where are those artists today in their spiritual walk? I thought of it because I thought how awful if they also choose to take their own lives and not ever know their value that only comes from Jesus.

It also made me wonder who in the groups of friends I hung out with, whom I no longer have contact with, found Jesus.  I think of how wrong my life could’ve gone if I didn’t listen to those invisible texts in the sky from our Lord guiding me to follow Him.  Those decisions where I could have taken a road away from him but decided to one step it towards His light.

Now when I listen to music from the past, I listen to it differently.  All my gratitude where I’m at now in my life goes to Jesus in rescuing me out of darkness.

I wish these artists who unfortunately decided to take their lives were able to know the love of Jesus and could’ve written songs with the love they received from Him in their hearts.  But we will never know. So when I hear the music and their God given talent, I appreciate them on a different level.  Such mental suffering they were dealing with.   Thank God He is merciful and only He knows what happens to them at time of death.

Catechism of the Catholic Church – 2283 We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives

So this post, goes to those who are struggling with love and validation in their lives.  To allow themselves to open up and share what they’re struggling with. To seek help and think of those who will suffer without them and how very important they are to their family and friends.  Life is precious.  Whatever it is you think you know about life, will be answered better if you give it to Jesus.

Rest in peace Chris Cornell +++


Leticia Ochoa Adams

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