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

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

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

 

Where is the joy? Jeanne knew…

Then, wiping away the tears, she said to her, “Take courage, my daughter; the Lord of heaven grant you joy in place of your sorrow. Take courage, my daughter.”
~ Tobit 7:16

This blog title had been sitting in my Drafts folder for a few weeks, and then sadly today, I was inspired. I say sadly because I was inspired by the life of a member of my church community who passed away in a tragic accident this past week- she was always full of joy.

Every community has those “church ladies”, the kind, smiling, usually older women who look to chat with everyone before and after mass- Jeanne was one of those women. I don’t think I ever saw her at mass when she wasn’t smiling- seriously! I try to be cheerful and say hello at church, but she always appeared to be the happiest woman in the building.

I know that she had her trials and struggles. Jeanne cared for her mother and husband during their long illnesses, and then lost them both with 18 months of each other. Yet, she continued forward, caring for her family during these times of sorrow by reminding them, “The Lord doesn’t give you only what you can handle, he helps you handle what he gives you.” She continued forward in this manner until the day of her tragic death. In short- Jeanne knew where the joy was- in the Lord.

I will miss Jeanne each time I pass her “seat” at church without a smile, but I am going to smile as I pass, and hope that I too can show people where the joy is at.

God Bless Jeanne’s family, and I know that she is up in heaven, smiling on us still.

God Bless,
Kim

Got Prayer?

He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”
~Mark 9:29

When is the last time you talked to a friend? Probably in the last 20 minutes! I’m sure that your conversation was probably pretty short- because you talk all the time! There was no need to go over your life story, because your friends are with you often through your life journey. God has also been with you on your life’s journey- ALL THE TIME! But when is the last time that you spoke to God the way you speak to your friend?

It is easy to yell at God when things are going wrong, but when is the last time you had a conversation with God- one that included no swearing? God is with you always, and he always wants to be with you, yet he is often alone in the shadows.

Take a few minutes today to have a conversation with God. He sent his only Son to save us, so I think it is a pretty sure bet that he wants to listen!

God Bless,
Kim

It’s coming…

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

Winter so Spring is coming! If you have ever seen the popular TV show “Game of Thrones”, then you know that Winter is used to describe any period of difficulties, not just the season. But here in CNY, with our constant winter, it becomes an actual complaint, and the phrase “Spring is coming” is rarely heard. Spring, and the idea of new life, new growth and even new ideas can easily get lost in the day-to-day winter drudgery.

The same can happen in our faith journeys. It is easy to get lost in the day-to-day demands and forget the obligations of our soul! We might remember to put the laundry away, make dinner, grocery shop, finish homework, and practice instruments- but at what expense?

Have we allowed the “winter” to freeze our faith? Our we stuck in a snowbank? What can we do to thaw the winter that takes over our spiritual lives? Lent and Easter offer us the perfect opportunity for a renewal- springtime- for our souls! There are so many different opportunities for prayer, fasting, almsgiving, service, penance. It is a “greenhouse” of spiritual flowers for your soul!

So, maybe you should take advantage of this Lent to pick a bouquet of refreshing flowers for your soul, because remember… EASTER is coming!

God Bless,
Kim

Lessons from a Toddler- More is ALWAYS good

The chief priest Azariah, who was of the house of Zadok, answered him, “Since they began to bring the contributions into the house of the Lord, we have had enough to eat and have plenty to spare; for the Lord has blessed his people, so that we have this great supply left over.”
~ 2 Chronicles 31:10

        My children always want more. More stories, more food, more songs, more playtime, more cuddles, and so the list continues on, and on, and on… You get the picture. As a parent it is often my job to regulate the “more” that my children get. The closer to the holidays, especially Halloween, we get the more difficult my job becomes. Now we have to worry about more treats, more parties, more staying-up, and more exhaustion- throughout the entire house! All this effort just for three tiny people… can you imagine God’s list?

       It has occurred to me that my prayer list is often similar to my children’s requests of me in one regard- I want more! Please God, I want more- time, patience, money, vacation, things… and so my own list continues. How exhausting to have to worry about the “More” of all of the Lord’s children! And yet, He continually blesses his children with more, and constantly gives of his love, forgiveness, and peace- if only we ask for more.

      So, as we prepare for the Holidays, and the never-ending requests for more… I will remember to give where I can. After all, I only have a chorus of 3 shouting “MORE, MOMMY!”

God Bless,
Kim

“Shine” vs. “Show”

“Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
~ Matthew 6:1-4

           In the Ash Wednesday gospel Jesus makes it clear that we shouldn’t be almsgiving, praying, and fasting so that everyone knows and will praise us. It can be confusing when faced with the challenge to live the faith- especially during Lent: the season for almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. However, there is a difference between letting your faith be a “show” for others to applaud you for, and letting your faith “shine” through you as an example.

         This Lent, don’t give something up so that others will congratulate you on the “difficult thing” you gave up for Lent. If you give up sweets for Lent(which I should probably do…), there should be more to it than “It will be hard”. Good! Choose something challenging- but instead of complaining everytime you want a piece of candy- pray! Thank God that you have enough to eat, and pray for those that do not.

         If you don’t give something up, you can choose to do something more- volunteer at a soup kitchen. Instead of bragging to a friend how “good” you’re being by helping the less fortunate- take a moment and pray (noticing a trend here?) Thank God that you are well enough to give of your time, and pray for those who need the help.

          Jesus said that we must give of ourselves without thought for recognition. That doesn’t mean you can’t do anything because people will know- make your Lenten sacrafices by giving up or giving more, but maybe just don’t tell anyone what you’re doing. There is no rule that states you have to tell anyone what you’re doing for Lent. (If I ask you what you are doing for Lent, you can always refer to this post!) Tell people you are simply following Jesus’ directions.

           Take the chance this Lenten season provides and bring yourself closer to Jesus through your actions alone. Be a “Catholic Ninja” see how much you can get accomplished without telling people- soon it won’t matter if anyone knows. God has a way of touching the lives of his faithful followers- so get off the couch and shut down the iPhone/iPad/Tablet/Laptop and FOLLOW! Don’t make your faith a “show” acted out for the benefit of others. Let your faith “shine” as an example, by living it for yourself.

“They will know we are Christians by our love.”

Blessings and Peace this Lenten Season!
Love, Kim