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

Thursday Thoughts- God answers

My prayers as of late have been for patience, time, gratitude, and other things that I figure most mothers- working or stay at home- pray for on a pretty regular basis. The situation I now face is that God answered my prayers, but not in the fashion that I expected. Surprise, surprise!

How often have we prayed for something, and walked away unhappy because we feel our prayer went unanswered, only to find the situation changed later due to something unexpected- prayer answered! We try to tell God, “Answer my prayer, but please select one of the following ways to do so…” forgetting that our all-powerful, all-knowing God knows better than we do.

So, imagine my feelings when two weeks ago I was faced with a health dilemma that effectively cut my work hours (look I have more time) and made me feel incredibly grateful and blessed that it wasn’t too serious (now I am full of gratitude). Perhaps you are thinking- what about more patience? Given the peace that i finding it’s way back into my life with each prayer answered, I figure I can afford to wait a little longer to see what God has in store for me!

God Bless,
Kim

What you wish for…

So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. ~Mark 11:24

           It is easy to say that God doesn’t listen to our prayers when things don’t go our way… but did you actually pray about it? Just because God know our hearts and minds doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t ask(pray) for our deepest heart’s desires.

My daughter has very definite opinions on… pretty much everything. What she is going to wear (and what I should wear too- I have never seen a two year old arch an eyebrow at an outfit before!), what cup she is going to use, and what she is going to eat for lunch. Almost everyday she has a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I know that is what she wants, and she knows that is what she wants- but everyday, I ask what she is going to have for lunch, and she asks me.

God is our father, so why should he behave any different with us. It doesn’t matter if he knows exactly what we want. It doesn’t matter if we ask for the same thing every day, we have to ask. We have to pray! Our lives are more complicated than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and potty training, so of course, God our father wants us to ask him specifically for the wishes, dreams and hopes of our hearts.

So, the next time you want to blame God for not answering your prayers, stop and think… Did you really pray?

God Bless,
Kim

Pray & Dream

Did you get it?

I love my job- sharing my faith, teaching various classes, planning fun events, and even the paperwork. I love my job.

Simultaneously, my job makes me a little crazy! I talk about listening to God, and praying to God, and letting God be in control, and all of you who have worked with me know… that it is easier for me to say, than for me to do!

I understand that God has called me to where I am right now. To say that this wasn’t my life’s plan would be an understatement. I am so far from where I had planned on going with my life that I am in another county. However, even accepting that God has called me to do something else, I still struggle to answer his call. I struggle with my feelings of anxiety, inadequacy, and most of all, I struggle to let go of myself enough to answer.

Sometimes, it is easy to hear God’s call… It is a whole lot harder to answer it.

Please pray for all the Confirmation candidates at our retreat tomorrow!

One more time

 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’
~Luke 15:31-32

          The facts of life are: no one is perfect and everyone screws up. Sometimes the screw ups are big, sometimes they are small. But the fact remains, we messed up. In a world that puts so much emphasis on being perfect- screwing up is not something we are well-equipped to own. We are not comfortable with our own “mess”, and we certainly don’t like the thought of having to clean it up.

           Think about it- we don’t even like to clean up in the kitchen after we make a snack! So many of us don’t even know where to start to clean up that kitchen, let alone the figurative messes of our lives- unkindness, greed, gossip, rudeness and sometimes laziness. When we think about our “mess” and what it might mean to our relationship with God we want to sweep it under the rug, because really? It’s not like we were that bad. We didn’t kill anyone, or rob a bank! Reconciliation, penance… that’s for doing the really bad stuff.

           But, what we forget, is that it doesn’t take much to mess up a relationship. Think about your friends? If I do even a small thing that I think might hurt my best friend, I am immediately on the phone with her, talking it out, and making sure that we are “all good”. I am sure many of you are the same way! Why don’t we do the same thing for God? It doesn’t matter how big or small, God just wants everything to be “all good” between you!

          So, this Sunday at 2pm, head over to the church for the Penance Service. It’s the next best thing to a phone call to God, especially since, the Verizon guy can’t hear you there. But, talk to Father, because God hears you, always!

God Bless,
Kim

“I got this”

I always laugh when one of my siblings will throw their hands up and say, “No, no. Don’t get up, really, I got this.” But we all have said that at some time or another, and I wonder if we ever really do “got this.”

Friends, school, work, family, sports, drama, music, band… the list of all the different things we are doing never ends! So, how much can one person really do? I know that it only takes one person to share the Word of God, but when are we sharing the Word, when all of our waking moments are taken up worrying about the next thing on our “list”. So on this Sunday morning- a day of rest (for everyone who doesn’t work in the church 🙂 ), take a moment to reflect on this message:

got this

You don’t need to “get this” all the time- you’ve got help! Don’t forget to ask for it!

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (Philippians 4:6)

God Bless,
Kim

God Can “Take It”

Today is Gaudete Sunday, or Joy Sunday. However, I am sure that many of you, like me, are finding difficulty finding the joy today; especially given the events of this past Friday.

It is often our instinct to blame God when terrible things happen. Why would God send Hurricane Sandy, that destroyed so many people’s lives? How could God let those children die on Friday? We keep trying to make sense of events that don’t make sense, and never will! God did not “send” Hurricane Sandy as a punishment, weather happens. God most certainly did not “let” the children in Connecticut die, it was an act of a sick man.

But when we find ourselves struggling with anger, hurt and betrayal, the only way for many to move forward is to blame God. So, go ahead, blame God, he can take it. As a matter of fact, he wants to take all of our hurt and suffering; so blame him. Let him carry you during this time of grief, and confusion.

However, when the sun comes out again, and it will; when you smile at the antics of a child, and when you find the joy inherent in your life, blame that on God too.

Please pray for all those touched by the tragedy in Connecticut, and continue to pray for those still struggling as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

God Bless,
Kim

Ask and Receive

We are a society of people who live in a constant state of paradox. We want everything to be given to us, but we don’t want to have to ask for it! Today, as I finish up the preparations for tomorrow’s Jr. High Retreat I am not going to be afraid to ask for it- I need your prayers!

I need your prayers for patience, guidance, and Holy Spirit. There is nothing more terrifying than to get up in front of a group of teenagers to talk about your faith. Most people would say that faith is important, and that is why they send their kids to Faith Formation, Teen Ministry, and Confirmation. But ask those same people to explain it in terms that another can understand, and you are going to have a hard time getting an answer.

Faith is more than a series of teachings, list of requirements, or even fun church outtings. Faith is a way of life- it is living the example of Christ, so that anyone who meets you knows that there is something intrinsicly different about you from every other person.

We often forget that Jesus, the originator of the path we follow to God, asked for help. He asked it of his disciples, his family, and most importantly- of his Lord.

So in this, I am following the example of our Savior and asking:
Please pray for me and for all the teenagers- both participants and helpers, in our retreat tomorrow. And if ever you need, I would be happy to return the favor.

God Bless,
Kim