It’s Your Choice Now

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
~Jeremiah 1:5

Before we were born, the Lord chose us as one of his children. I take a certain amount of comfort in that, don’t you? The creator of the heavens chose us to be one of his children. And after we were born, our parents brought us to church, presented us, and had us baptized- promising us to the Lord. It makes sense that the next step is to complete that first step in the church by promising yourself to the Lord at your Confirmation.

God loves us, he has chosen us from birth, but because he loves us we have a choice. We ALWAYS have a choice, because we have been given free will. The creator of the heavens and earth loves us so much, that we have been blessed with a choice. Because the Lord knows how important decision is, when made with free will.

Please keep our Confirmation candidates in your prayers this weekend, and help them to celebrate their choice, in saying “Yes” to the Lord through the Sacrament of Confirmation!

God Bless,
Kim

 

Find the Joy

I thank my God every time I remember you.
~Philippians 1:3

I don’t know about you, but when someone asks me how my day went the first 3 things that pop up in my head are the frustrations or struggles.  It usually takes a minute before the good, which is usually the overwhelming majority of my day, to finally make it to the top of my list of how my day went. Sometimes, it is harder to remember the good than the bad. When it comes to illness and death, the same reasoning seems to apply.

We don’t think of death in good terms. It is scary, sad, and signals an ending. No one smiles when they think of a loved one having died. But the Lord tells us that our loved ones will be with us again. Not only will they be with us again, but they feel no pain or loss anymore. Faith in the Lord means that death is not an end for us. So, we despite the loss and sadness we feel, we can also find joy and comfort.

During this All Souls Day, let us remember the loved ones who have gone before us with joy.

God Bless,
Kim

faith treats

Faith or a Toddler Trick or Treating

I found this back in the archives from 5 WHOLE YEARS AGO- Can you believe it?? And as is the case with faith, it still applies, so ENJOY!

I realized something while trick-or-treating with my 2 year old daughter tonight. It had nothing to do with commercialism or obesity or any other strange, angry topic that the news would have, it was about faith.

I watched my daughter walk up to each and every house, and instead of saying “Trick or Treat” (we tried, oh how we tried), she simply opened her bag, presented it to the adult with the candy, and said “Thank you.” At first I was certain that this was a sign of entitlement, and how my daughter was simply demanding candy, but I realized after a few houses, that it was all about faith.

She didn’t care what the adult put in her bag, but she had absolute faith, that she was going to have something placed in her bag.  We received chips, popcorn, and even kiddie dental floss at one brave soul’s house, but the point was she got something at each house- her faith was rewarded.

Aren’t we all a little like a 2 year old trick or treating? We approach the Lord’s house, Society’s house, a friend’s house and we present ourselves and say “Thank you” expecting to be filled with something. Sometimes it is good- like a full sized snickers bar, sometimes it’s those old fashioned popcorn balls, and sometimes it is something that a parent had to confiscate and throw away because it was questionable.

Remember to take care with what you fill yourself, and perhaps visit the house of the Lord a few more times as we “trick or treat” our way through life. And also, it might be nice if you thanked the Lord, because I guarantee he’s the one giving full-sized candy bars to all the kids on the block, and he’d probably give you a second, and third if you made the trip again.

God Bless & Happy Halloween!
Love, Kimmy

I’m the Older Brother & You are Too

“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. My son, the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” ~Luke 15:28, 31

Recently, I was feeling a little grumpy thinking about some upcoming events. I had the pretty common complaint, to myself, about people showing up late, but still getting the “prize bag”. You know, that feeling that you have followed all the rules, and someone else just breezes by you and gets the same prize as you. And as I was congratulating myself on being such a ‘good person’ I came to the uncomfortable realization that I am the “older brother” from the Prodigal Son.

We all know the parable of the Prodigal Son, and we love it! Who doesn’t love a story where someone screws up royally, sees the error of their ways, and then heads home to forgiveness and open arms? We love that story because we know that we are the prodigal son! We do have our screw ups, and we do come to see the error of our ways, and the Lord is always waiting with open arms and forgiveness. However, the other side of that is inevitably we may have our days when we become the older son.

There are days when we feel like we have it all together. We just know that we are doing everything the way that we should, and it is easy for resentment to creep in. There we are following all the rules, doing the right thing, just rocking at life, and then some rule breaker just skips past us to get the same thing! And we begin to wonder if it’s really worth it. Yet, the story tells us that the father welcomes and loves both. The father goes outside, and pleads with his older son- “Everything I have is yours.”

We can be the prodigal son and the older son. So, despite the difficulty, if we keep working at that older son’s path God tells us that everything he has is ours. Sounds pretty good to me!

God Bless,
Kim

 

everything in time

Everything In Time

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31

I saw a post online the other day, that bothered me. It wasn’t anything overtly insulting so it took me awhile to realize why I had found it upsetting. It spoke of a 14-year old who had chosen not to participate in a fall sport; naturally the parents didn’t want them “vegging out” so they asked for places in need of volunteering.

Now, at first it might seem like there is nothing wrong with a parent asking for places in need of volunteers. Obviously, I am always asking for volunteers myself, so I am pleased to see that these parents wanted their child involved. But I found myself struggling with the concept that because their child didn’t participate in a sport, they would need something else to do. When did free time become “vegging out”?

We have lost our quiet. The idea that there should “doing nothing” as an activity that we should add to the schedule no longer exists. We no longer have the time to pray in quiet, to sit and reflect on our hopes and dreams. The art of waiting in silence, for anything, let alone the Lord’s whisper is gone. Maybe the 14-year does just want to veg out. But, even if that is the case, this 14 year old took the initiative to recognize that they needed time to do nothing. And instead of recognizing that as a need, a well meaning adult decided that the time must be filled.

I know that parents fear what their child will do when we are not around, but maybe we should spend a little more time filling our spiritual lives, instead of filling our calendars. When was the last time your family was in church, or at class, or at the parish picnic together? Life is only as busy as we allow it to be.

Maybe instead of filling the calendar, we can cancel a few things and spend time together. Let’s all try.

What is your favorite way to spend time together as a family?

God Bless,
Kim

Your Life Depends On It

Love others well, and don’t hide behind a mask; love authentically. Despise evil; pursue what is good as if your life depends on it.
~ Romans 12:9

I was in the process of sorting through e-mails when I came across this bible verse and it struck me hard. “Pursue what is good as if your life depends on it.” I had to think, because I cannot remember the last time I pursued anything, let alone good, as if my life depended on it. When is the last time that you pursed anything as if your life depended on it?

It can be easy in our society, which is so busy all the time, to accept that some things just don’t get as much time as they should. Good things get pushed to the side, or the bottom of the list. We will get to them… eventually. I know, I am with you! I am the queen of pushing things to the side, and then accomplishing everything in one night, at the cost of sleep.

Life has gotten so busy that I think the only thing that I pursue as if my life depended on it is coffee, but that is going to change now.

Lent is coming, much like winter for Game of Thrones fans, and this time I am going to start a little early. I am going to pursue good as if my life depended on it, not in a few weeks, but now. I am going to pursue prayer opportunities with my family. I am going to pursue time to reflect and grow with my husband. I am going to pursue patience when dealing with my children. I am going to pursue all of those things as if my life depends on it… because it does.

Jesus told us, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” So, I am getting on board a little early for Lent, and I invite you to do the same. Maybe make a Lenten sacrifice or change be a lifestyle change. Who knows what amazing things will come of your pursuit of all that is good!

God Bless,
Kim

Close Encounters

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
~Matthew 28:20

I encounter Christ in the smiles and laughter of my children, and the embrace of my husband, and those encounters fill my heart with joy daily. They blend seamlessly into my days, almost without notice. I think it can be easy to let our joy-filled “Easter” encounters with Christ fade into our memories. Not because they aren’t profound, but because joy seems so transient to us, something that we can’t quite hold on to.

The times I remember an encounter with Christ more vividly are often the painful, heart-wrenching days when I feel that I cannot go on anymore- Good Fridays of my life. The days when I just don’t have any more patience, when I don’t have a plan; the day when I want to channel Pontius Pilate- wash my hands of everything, and go build a blanket fort and eat cookie dough!

I  remember the encounter with Christ very profoundly on those days because those are the days when I can’t, and HE must. Those are the times when Jesus picks me up and carries me down the beach- or as it more accurately feels- carries me through the minefield of stressful situations, unfinished tasks, and drama-filled arguments. He carries me toward the times I know are right there waiting for me, the times I vow to value more, and hold closer to my heart. Towards the smiles of my children and embrace of my husband- my extraordinarily ordinary daily Easter encounters.

Where do You encounter Christ?
~Kim

His Ways

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
~ Jeremiah 29:11

If you’ve ever met me, then you know that I am always doing something new. I jokingly refer to it as DIY-ADD (Do it yourself attention deficit disorder. That isn’t to say that I have a ton of unfinished DIY projects- because I don’t, but it does mean that I am constantly offering to do different things for people and taking on new challenges for myself.

Most recently, I have been inspired to bake- because I have three kids and that’s a lot of birthday parties. And with a full time job, and being the fulltime childcare giver in our house it seems like just adding one more thing to my plate, but I find these new adventures give me opportunities to share something that I am good at with other people. I LIKE being helpful, and doing things for other people. And, the Good Lord is watching out for me, even when I don’t know how. Each new project I start helps someone- sometimes me!

For example- as I sat down to write this blog post, and looked up the bible verse it was an excellent reminder to me to have faith! ***Update on the house saga- we should be closing on our new bigger house in two weeks- but it has been stressful, and tough, and required extra paperwork, tighter money managing, and ALOT of boxes in my house! However, through all of this, I have to have faith, that even if I don’t know the plan, there is one, and that is good- because GOD IS GOOD! (ALL THE TIME) and ALL THE TIME (GOD IS GOOD!) So, between the Prophet Jeremiah, and Jesse Manibusan, I’ve got this handled.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go bake a cupcake, while sewing a quilt, and painting a bible verse on a mural. blog crafting emojisGod Bless,
Kim

 

Lessons from a Toddler- Can I go? Can I?

When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:

My oldest son is finally old enough to go to our church’s gathering of the Children’s Liturgy of the Word. I wish that I had the same enthusiasm to go to mass each week as Matthew does to go to Children’s Liturgy of the Word! Each time is like the first time for him, and he get’s a big grin on his face as he follows his sister to the altar for their blessing before he follows the group to their special room downstairs.

When is the last time you were that excited to go to church? Why aren’t we excited to hear the word of God? There is a lot of hope and encouragement to be found in the word of god. Words of salvation, and heroes in a world where we desperately need better heroes! I think that we forgotten to be childlike in our enthusiasm- or our enthusiasm might be caught up in more worldly encounters- Facebook? Work? Netflix?

So, the next time someone asks you if you want to go church- “Can I? Can I go?” Try for some enthusiasm!

God Bless,
Kim

 

Prayer

Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth.
~Psalm 54:2

Pray. Pray for your family and friends, pray for your neighbors, pray for the stranger down the street. We are told that we should constantly pray. But what does that mean exactly? Does God get tired of constantly hearing our voices?

God never tires of hearing from his beloved children. As a flawed human there are some times when the constant “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy PLEASE!” gets to me-  but I am not God. The bible tells us that his ways are far above our ways- which is GREAT! So pray away! Because prayer is meant to be more than a laundry list of the stuff we want! There are more than just prayers of intercession, where are the prayers of thanksgiving? Joy?

Be happy sometimes when you pray- no parent wants to hear only the bad- that would get depressing- lets share the good stuff too! “Thank you God, we went to the store and my toddler only screamed like a Wildman for 5 minutes instead of 10!” “Thank you that the kids went to bed without a fuss- Them 4,569 Me 3!” “Holy You, there is an amusement park “Thomasland” that I can take my kids to, that is incredible!!!!”

Of course, while we’re praying- please watch over Bonnie and her family while she has surgery and they miss her mom!

God Bless,
Kim