Hearts around the world unite with yours
Prayers are sent
In all your beauty it does not fade
For through your people
His glory remains
Hearts around the world unite with yours
Prayers are sent
In all your beauty it does not fade
For through your people
His glory remains
A while back I wrote a post that I very much wanted to get off my chest. However, because I was rushing and not paying attention, I deleted it by accident. I still had the subject line “Who am I?” But since then, this post content has changed.
It also has been a while since I’ve written. Lately, my mind has been busy and I just can’t get myself to settle to write.
Whether it’s making sure home life is right and somewhat in order for my Husband and my Mom or tending to opportunities I want to be a part of. For example, I want to do this formation or that formation, listen to this podcast, or read this book. But also, because my mind has been overloaded with news.
For whatever reason, I’ve been home alone these past two days to just “think”. I used to have this quite a bit before my mom moved in with us. I now appreciate it so much more, but I wouldn’t give up taking care of my mom to have it all again. These opportunities that come from time to time are embraced.
So what is it? Why do I feel a bit anxious, a bit emotionally weak? Pretty sure I am not the only one. Social media has so many thoughts about the current world. Sometimes you see one breaking down in tears and another is baking a cake.
But, with the news continually showing what is happening in one country recovering from natural disaster – hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, there is also added threat to this all from a dictator who is pushing his agenda to cause more suffering.
I don’t work, so I don’t have an 8 hour part of my day where I could invest my thoughts into something. So these last two days, I have been praying while doing whatever needs to be taken care of. Praying for those who died, who are waiting to be rescued, who are suffering, grieving, worrying, fearing.
It’s so strange the paradox that is going on. Here in Arizona, these days have been beautiful. Such ease – being able to drink my morning coffee in comfort. Grocery shop with many options. Take a shower. Lay comfortably in my bed at night. Read a book. It feels both guilty and very grateful at the same time.
How are we to keep joy when so much around seems grim?
You know what came to mind? I think of Saint Paul singing in prison.
She began to follow Paul and us, shouting, “These people are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.”She did this for many days. Paul became annoyed, turned, and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” Then it came out at that moment.
When her owners saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them to the public square before the local authorities. They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These people are Jews and are disturbing our city and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us Romans to adopt or practice.” The crowd joined in the attack on them, and the magistrates had them stripped and ordered them to be beaten with rods. After inflicting many blows on them, they threw them into prison and instructed the jailer to guard them securely. When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and secured their feet to a stake.
Deliverance from Prison. About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened…
This passage always blows my mind. Paul didn’t fear what was about to happen to him. He continued to stand up for belief in Jesus and even after they tortured him, he still carried on giving thanks and glorifying God. Making sure all around him witnessed his true example.
Who am I these days? It’s been somewhat challenging with family and friends around me these past weeks, where I suited up the Armor of God to help them in their weaknesses even though I too have felt challenged. Reminding them to pray, not to lose hope, keep reading the scriptures, get to Church.
Who do you say that I AM? Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Whether time is near for Jesus to return, whether there will be much more suffering ahead, I hope our faith becomes stronger and love pours out from our souls. To know Jesus has conquered the world. To continue living each day directing our lives to Him.
Lord God, I want only for the appearance of my face and the depth of my soul to show your presence in my life. Make me an instrument of your peace and use me for your will during these trying days and for what’s ahead so that you find us ready. +++
The battle of ourselves and understanding Our Father who is in control.
Repeatedly throughout my adult life, I have dealt with self control. I had life experiences that only made me teach myself to depend on my responding emotions.
Mechanisms to guard my heart from hurt, pain, confidence, courage.
As I explained in my blogs of transformation from my lupus diagnosis, is where the self control changed.
However, even after years of growing deeper into my Catholic faith, being attentive and obedient, I find myself cave in at times and throw myself back to the pits of self control.
Mostly, when it comes to family issues that grab me with anxiety or worry. Things I wish I could help, but know I physically have no power.
Why is that?
At times, I want to blame it on the lupus. Stress is a factor of what causes lupus flares. I figure, my body does not have any tolerance for worry so as soon as I respond to it in my body, I shut down.
Then, I think, it's my age. Yes, my age. I'm older so any ounce of worry, I shrivel up. That's got to be it too… right?
What I do know is that when I find myself in worry over something, I do feel the Holy Spirit taking hold of me. I will remember to turn it over to Jesus and ask Him to take it. It may not always be that immediate moment, but it does happen.
What I want to attain, is that I don't cause 'me' to happen at any situation in life. I desire my soul to respond by His holy will and just issue a sense of peace to whatever comes my way. I mean, I imagine that's what Pope Francis does and our religious priests and nuns…right? They always look so at peace.
Is this anxious/worry thing a Cross? I wonder, but don't put too much thinking into it since I'm convicted to not focus on it.
In my family, there are many plagued by worry. To the point where it transforms into high blood pressure. Thankfully, I do not have that. But I know my family is prayerful. And whenever something strikes us, I am the one to say to pray. We all do to each other at times. Thanks be to God!!
At this stage in my life, I'm thankful Our Lord helps me to recognize it. I'm thankful my prayer is always asking God to help and take the issue/situation. That I know I'm not stranded in the desert.
And that's just it!
That we live this life continually knowing we are not god. Life will always give us stress. I am not perfect. Will I ever be? That's not my concern either. But that I get stronger in what I know Jesus wants from me.
"Be thou my Wisdom" +++
"I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” – John 16:33
Since I was about 9 years old, I spent my summer vacations in a simple town known as San Clemente. It has grown much since I was 9. Now it’s a vacation destination, many tourists, and pricy living. I was fortunate to have family who lived there so staying for months was no expense problem for my mom and dad. My aunt and uncle lived minutes away from the beach. I was blessed to experience the ocean air and mild summers. The thing is I didn’t know I was blessed.
I always thought when I got to college age, that I would reside in Orange County and attend USC. That all ended when a 6.2 earthquake happened and my foundation shook. Scared me to the core. But even after the earthquake, I would still go visit my family each summer. I just decided I could not live there anymore.
I always felt so comfortable being there. That had a lot to do with my aunt and cousin who treated me like I was a part of their family. During my junior high years this became even more important to me. My mom and dad divorced and all that I thought was secure was broken. My time there healed me. Going to the beach with my cousin, driving around to quaint little shops, eating ice cream at the parlors. My aunt would also make these wonderful dinners that during one summer, let’s just say I grew. Their home and this beach town were refuge for me. When things were rough in my life, the San Clemente beach and my family helped me.
Fast forward, my bout with CDiff also received recompense from the beach. In 2008, thanks to my dear husband, I spent many months with my San Clemente family trying to find peace. I went there either with my mom or on my own. I had terrible anxiety and fear. I remember waking up at times and feeling the urge to take a drink of alcohol at 9 am. That had never happened to me before. I would also have panic attacks and need to take deep breaths to know I was OK. It was horrible.
So there would be many moments where I would just drive by myself and just sit there at the beach or walk on the pier trying to recover. Crying and pleading and asking the Lord to free me.
Then this is when I would begin to envision myself alone in the ocean completely immersed and feeling as though the water was Jesus’ mercy. Letting go of all that I was holding onto and just floating in His care. The image would give me comfort and allow me to breathe again.
That is why I believe today I have such a deep love for the ocean. I don’t just view it as water or a place to vacation to but I correlate it to God and how vast and wide His love is for us and how powerful He is over any pain.
Hand over your worry, fear, anxiety to Jesus and in replace ask Him to give you His peace, patience, and trust. Fall into His mercy and relax yourself in His protection. +++
After a week of dealing with a lupus flare, I recalled my hospital stay in 2008 and my long track back to better health during the time I recovered from CDiff .
I did much walking. I would step out of the house and just walk! I had anxiety issues so going for a walk would help. And while I walked I would play my iTunes or play music at home throughout the day.
I’ve always been passionate for the artists I listen to and have always received joy from their songs to this day. I can hit repeat and never get bored.
When I was little, my parents would often have weekend parties. They would play music from Santana, Mexican music artists, and some popular artists of the 1970s and early 80s. I used to love to dance to this music and so I grew a love for music early on.
Then MTV happened. My attachment to music got stronger. And for whatever reason, I became a rebel in my own mind on who I chose to listen to. I ended up choosing to listen to groups that were about some form of leather and spikes. It made me feel tough and almost like showing those around me I’m going against the grain. Yes, I was bad to the bone….. Ha!
My mom bought me a stereo for Christmas one year. She never complained to me, but I wonder now if she regretted it. I would turn the speaker out the bedroom window so that my friends and I could listen to music while playing in the front yard. Not caring or even wondering if the neighbors were disturbed by it. I also had a beat box. Again, going around the neighborhood carrying it, playing the music loud. Sometimes with roller skates on.
Throughout the stages of my life, I have had some sort of theme music to go with it. But now as I’m older, I find myself wanting to only hear the oldies but goodies. It takes me to a time and place that seemed innocent. Tank tops, shorts, ice cream man, trips to the store with my Dad, road trips to California, summer time at the beach, riding my bike through the desert trails, and slow Sunday mornings.
The music stirs a comfort in my heart that satisfies an emotion. I can’t hug my Dad but if I hear a song, I remember him. I can’t go back to family gatherings but feel the joy when a song reminds me of them.
My husband often laughs or is surprised by my knowledge of music. When we are on our drives to meet family and an old song comes on, I begin to sing. He’s surprised I even know the song.
I love music that touches the soul.
During my recovery, I remember playing Chicago – Stronger Everyday. Over and over. It felt like a revival for me. I would sing and dance in our office listening to it. I was by myself all day so I had no worry of looking foolish. And in my heart, I knew during the dance I would give thanks to God for helping me progress.
So when you’re having a rough day, if you can find some time to just sit outside, put your earbuds in, and listen to some old favorites to reach that place, I know it will bring you some peace. Give yourself some time to enjoy.
Here are a few videos of my recent cravings:
Todd Rundgren – Hello It’s Me
Van Morrison – Into the Mystic
Stevie Wonder – As
St Cecilia – Patrom Saint of Musicians, Pray for us! Pray that whatever needs healing good music helps us get there!+++
There are things I do a bit different now that my mom lives with us. I find myself not participating in things as much which is somewhat a setback.
There were years after I was diagnosed with Lupus, where I didn’t want to commit to anything. One, it would cause paranoia, the thought of being around social scenes or people made me overwhelmed. Two, my lifestyle changed which meant I no longer was socializing the way I used to. I became more reserved. Mainly because I could no longer physically enjoy a “party” outing. Bars / dance clubs were no longer my thing. My husband , thanks to his commitment to me, did what I wanted to do, so he too stayed away from people and events to stay with me.
However, in the past recent years, I was grooming myself to step out and stop being fearful. Making commitments whether taking classes, volunteer, simple friend dates, etc. I was feeling some confidence.
Lately, it feels like I’m not keeping that up and it’s starting to set me back to the old ways.
But today it hit me. Patience.
Life may have opportunities for me come June. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to get mom active. Use time to create. Just spend the time with her while my husband is working during the day. I need to redirect my focus and be joyful in my day. Not feel burden or weight of what I can’t change but look at what I can control.
Lately, I’ve been praying for the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Praying for change in me. I know that by praying for this my Lord will use me for purpose. Sometimes I think, I’m not around many people how can I be useful. But you never know what His design is if you keep thinking of it in your terms.
This blog for one. I pray that it is a useful tool to get others to relate as a first step closer to hopefully reaching out to Jesus.
Pray too for the gifts of the Holy Spirit! You’ll become salt of the earth if you try! Sometimes we want to get from point A to point B so badly, but it might just take a bit longer. There’s a reason my life is where it’s at. I’m truly grateful I am able to do what I am able to do. Keeping myself purposeful in the capacity that I can.
Just trying to figure out this thing called life
Over 40...asking, seeking, knocking
Finding faith in the field.
Interpreting the Bible with modern applications and experiences.
Consecrated life in the Diocese of Phoenix
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The Bible makes more sense to me now that I'm Catholic