Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Holy Family

Today's Gospel Reading: John 1:1-18
"He was in the world, and the world came to be through Him, but the world did not know him." John 1:10

Wednesday's reading: 1 John 2:2-12
"Do not love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you do not love the Father. Everything that belongs to the world-what the sinful self desires, what people see and want, and everything the world is proud of-none of this comes from the Father; it all comes from the world." 1 John 15-17

On this last day of 2009, I wanted to write about the Holy Family. Last sunday, it was the feast day of the Holy Family and the Holy Family has been on mind and on my heart. I listened to my favorite podcast, Father Robert Barron, talk about the Holy Family. He mainly talked about that all of us families are all called to be Holy. We are to model our families after Joseph, Mary & Jesus. He went onto say that Joseph and Mary lived only for God's will and during their early lives especially, God's will wasn't exactly what they had hoped and planned for. However, they were obedient. Same goes for our lives. We might be leading a life we never dreamed of...good or bad. Our paths with our husband might be different then what was expected on the alter. But no matter what has happened or is to happen, we are to always pray and hope for God's Will. We are to remember the main purpose of marriage is to help each other get to heaven. We have to remember the greatest love is to lay down your life for a friend (family). We can't get caught up in what the world thinks is "good" or "right" for the family, instead, we have to look towards eternity and pray for God's will to be done with every step, decision, and action. God's will is usually not easy. Father Barron states, "Whatever is prompting you in the course of your decisions that you make, whatever is prompting you to greatest love, greatest justice, greatest truth and integrity and greatest self gift...that is the voice of God in you. Is it easy? Almost by definition, NO. That is why Thomas Merton said, 'If you are looking at two different decisions, which one is harder? The harder one is probably God's Will'. Which one is calling you to greater self gift? That's the will of God".

This up coming 2010, let's be the leaders in transforming today's definition of a family towards God's definition of a family....a holy family, through prayer and dedication to our little holy families2.

Blessings to you this New Year's Eve!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Good morning! I just lost everything that I wrote. I guess I wasn't suppose to post it! Gotta go take care of my family. Will try to write later....darn, it was a good one. It was on the battle of Mother-in Laws & Daughter-in-laws! If I don't get to it today, I will write on the subject tomorrow. Have a blessed day. I will leave you with this excerpt from the Living Word, a Catholic daily devotional.

"From our first breath, love called us into existence. Without the care, a child does not survive. Somehow, through the crowded years, we learned to listen. To hold another's words quietly and seek to understand. To take delight in the strange beauty of each person. To act in hope even when no light glimmers. To behold our own self with amazement. To wash the feet of another. Some love seems impossible. How do I seek the good of my enemy? Saying these words slowly-there stands my brother, my sister-what is impossible begins to change..."

Readings Today: 1 John 2:3-11, Psalm 96:1-3,5-6 Luke 2:22-35

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mounting a donkey after giving birth....can you imagine?

Gospel Reading today: Mathew 2:13-18
"Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt.." Mathew 2:14

We all remember the delivery of our first born. I don't know about you, but the pain I experienced after the anesthesia wore off was the worst. All I can think about when I read this is poor Mary had to mount a donkey and flee to Egypt after giving birth to her first born son. I hope and pray God gave her some kind of divine anesthesia, but more than likely He didn't. I have so many questions....did she stop and nurse every 2-3 hours? Did she want to scream every time baby Jesus latched on because it hurt so badly? How did she have enough milk with the stress, exhaustion and lack of nutrition? How in the world did she ride a donkey with the blood and the pain she must have experienced? I fainted after the delivery of my first born because I hadn't eaten anything for 12 hours during labor and I lost so much blood. I can almost guarantee you Mary did not have a hot meal and a huge glass of water after giving birth. Remember how thirsty you were?

These were all the things rushing through my head as I read the gospel today. As I have the post holiday blues and piles of laundry as tall as the ceiling, all I have to do is think of Mary and Joseph fleeing to Egypt and everything in my life at this moment looks rosy. I am a little disappointed in myself that I have let the post-holiday blues set in and that I think we need a bigger home now because all of the "stuff" we accumulated for Christmas. I am ashamed. I am going to focus on the Holy Family today and rejoice because our Savior was born! Like my favorite Christmas song says "...and we will live forever more because of Christmas Day." That is something to rejoice about today and dance around my home with happiness and joy.

Merry Christmas to all of you sweet Mamas! We've got it pretty easy, don't we?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Gospel Reading today:
"All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, 'What, then, will this child be?' For Surely the hand of the Lord was with him." Luke 1:66

I am sure we all look at our children and wonder what our children will become. Fear sometimes overtakes me & I worry they will take the wrong path and turn to the sinful ways of the world. Fear is not from the Lord so I have to remember to only hope and pray for the good. I pray that my children will achieve greatness in life, just as the people hoped for John the Baptizer. The Lord was with all of our children the moment they were conceived so they are all capable of greatness in this lifetime. They are all capable of traveling the straight and narrow path to Heaven all the days of their lives. But one of the only ways they will achieve this is through we mothers and our families. A large part of their future is up to us. By laying down our lives for them and loving them every second of the day. By discipling them with our hands and teaching them ways of goodness and holiness. This is what we mothers do day in and day out and the work gets tiresome and dull. Although we do not have instant gratification in our daily work, we will eventually see the fruit of our labors where it counts....when we hopefully can greet our children as they enter into Heavens gates. Then, is when our work will be complete. Until that moment, the most important task we can do for our children is pray for them...daily. Pray for each one individually and ask for God's blessing and protection upon them all the days of their lives. To hold their hand while they are sleeping and pray for them to achieve greatness in their lives. To pray for their spouse, for this is the most important decision they will make in their lifetime.

So today, savor every moment of your innocent, pure, and joyful children as they are running around bright-eyed with excitement for Christmas. Say a little prayer that they will always be this excited and on fire for Jesus. Don't let the lies of the world fool IS possible for your children to live lives of holiness from this day forward....their future lies in your hands on how best you can raise them and teach them the faith. Our work as mothers is powerful through the hands of Christ. Don't let anyone tell you different. Every second of raising your children counts....for this life is short and seconds turns into minutes, minutes turns into hours, hours turn into days, days turn into months, months turn into years, and years turns into Eternal Life. Every second counts, don't wait until tomorrow to be the best mother God has called you to be....start now!

Blessings to you this Wednesday before Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Holy Family Among Us

Gospel Reading today:
"He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly." Luke 1:52

The best part of Christmas for me is the company party at our bakery. I find Jesus every year in all of our employees. Ones who can barely speak english and probably do not have alot, but they are dedicated employees with smiles on their faces. I am overwhelmed by the presence of the Holy Spirit at our gatherings. Last year it brought me to uncontrollable tears. For Christmas is about the meek and the humble not the arrogant and proud. All of the fancy Christmas cards and bragging letters makes me want to gag to be quite honest. People are focusing their hearts and minds during the advent season on trying to impress others by making their life look picture-perfect, successful, and magazinesque. People are hurrying around swiping their credit card left and right for more STUFF and not looking for Christ amongs us. I am guilty of all of this by the way... Yesterday I was in line at McDonalds and a young young girl with a new baby was applying for a job. My heart broke. Could she be an example of Mary in this day and age? If Mary was living today and carrying the Son of God, could she be that young girl at McDonald's looking for work?

So the next couple of days while you are out and about, look among you and find the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary & Joseph, in the lowly and forgotten. I can almost guarantee you will find them under a bridge, at soup kitchens, in a nursing home, at a childrens hospital, behind the counter at McDonalds, serving you water at your favorite restaurant, packing your groceries. For Mary & Joseph were a meek and humble young couple that had nothing but trust in God and hope that His will was being done in them. Jesus was born as a king in a stable full of animals. I don't know what else our Father in Heaven has to do to get His point across.... This life is not about materialistic matters and one-upping your neighbor. I will leave you with a quote by the Second Vatican Council about materialism:

"Since in our times, variations of materialism are rampant everywhere, the laity (you and me) should not only learn doctrine more carefully, especially by those main points which raise the subjects of controversy, but should also provide the witness of an evangelical life in contrast to all forms of materialism." (The Laity, 31)
"We are called, then, not just to avoid materialism in our own lives, but to serve as an example to others of simplicity of lifestyle and the priority of spiritual values over the material." Father Beyer

Blessings to you this Tuesday before Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Blessed Are You Among Women & Blessed Is the Fruit of Your Womb!

Gospel Reading Today
Luke 1:39-45
"You are the most blessed of all women, and blessed is the child you will bear!" Luke 1:42

I feel like I have been on a journey to Bethlehem the past several days.....tired, worn, in hiding. In hiding meaning hiding from my children behind a chair to say a decade of the rosary because I knew if I didn't pray before starting the day to mother them, I would be a terrible mother. My husband, Clint, has been working around the clock. I call this time at our bakery, our harvest. I feel like a single mother, mothering alone 24/7. Through the past several days, I have thought of the Lord's arrival this Christmas in a whole different light. As I yearn for relief as my husband walks through the door (I know you all know what I am talking about), this Christmas I compare that yearning and relief to Christ walking through the door into our lives on Christmas day. A sense of relief and joy, a big sigh and great calmness happens when I finally have relief from my children. That is what I want to feel on Christmas morning. Relieved that Jesus is here with us, walking next to us each day of our lives, helping us, relieving us from this selfish world, eager to welcome us into the Kingdom someday. It is quite amazing the meditations a mother can have in a "losing her mind" mode. It is almost miraculous how God can keep us sane if we simply open our hearts to Him or hide from our children for that matter.

Now to the Gospel for today.....I love these readings about the Visitation. I know I have said before that we are modern day Marys & Elizabeths, greeting one another, encouraging one another on our faith journey. We meet every morning via the internet and bless one another with each other's presence and understanding. We pray for each other as one carries life in their womb, as one is struggling through a difficult time. We lift each other up and call each other blessed just as Mary & Elizabeth did. For all of us mothers are blessed among women. God has breathed life in our womb and we are raising souls for Christ, just as Mary & Elizabeth were raising Jesus and John the Baptizer. We are on this journey together and I am so thankful we can visit each other daily. You all are blessed among women, for you have been chosen to be mothers....the greatest call a woman can have on this earth.

Embrace this divine week we have before us. Prepare for Christ's coming by realizing you are blessed among women. We have such wonderful heavenly role-models in Mary & Elizabeth who are praying for us and there to help us. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

Have a wonderful Monday!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Modern Day Family On Our Journey to Bethlehem....

Today's Gospel Reading
"...Joseph who married Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was called the Messiah." Mathew 1:16

My husband just walked in the door from pulling an all nighter at the bakery. There was a big mess up yesterday morning and it took them almost 24 hours to correct it. They have produced 22,000 hamburger buns by hand for delivery this morning. Today, let's be thankful for our husbands in all that they do for our families. They work tirelessly to provide and we probably can't imagine the amount of stress that they endure to make sure we are taken care of. I am thankful for the example of Joseph that I find in my husband this Advent season. A noble and good man laying down his life for his family. Tired, stressed, fearful, just as Joseph was when he led the Donkey to Bethlehem. Just as Joseph was as he delivered the son of God. Just as Joseph was when they fled to Egypt. I take comfort in knowing Clint is growing in his faith through the trials he endures and my daily prayers are being answered....that God is seeing to his salvation.

So whatever is going on in your marriage...peace, love, bitterness, or strife....keep in mind one of the main purposes of marriage is to help each other get to heaven. Set aside any negativity and embrace your spouse God has chosen for you. I once heard on Catholic talk radio, that sometimes the person we marry ends up not being who we expected they would be. But it is not about our expectations, but helping them meet God's expectations and loving them every step of the way.

Keep in mind Joseph's journey today. His tired, bloody, worn feet from walking his pregnant wife on a donkey to Bethlehem. No, it probably isn't what he or Mary expected, but they embraced their journey with faith & hope. Let us do the same with our little modern day family of Bethlehem this Advent season.

Blessings to you this Thursday.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Findng Christ in our Homes this Christmas

Today's Gospel Reading Luke 7:18-23
"'Are you "He Who is to come" or are we to expect someone else?' When the men came to Him they said, 'John the Baptizer sends us to You with this question: Are you "He who is to come?'" Luke 7:19-20

I am late writing this morning, because my son got up extra early as I was about to start writing (usually around 6am). Instead of putting him in front of the TV, I had to live the gospel of what I was about to write on. And that was not looking past our home and our children to find Christ. Yes, there are others outside our home we can find Christ in...our lonely neighbor, the sick, the poor. But first, we have to find Christ in our our children and our husband. Ben wanted to talk this morning so we sat on the floor and talked about Santa Clause and Christmas Eve. Then I preceded to work with him with speech by playing and pronouncing different words. Then we played cowboy restaurant and he ate a huge breakfast! I feel overjoyed by the time I had with my sweet Ben this morning. So needless, to say, we were Christ for each other today. I didn't look past my son to the computer. I looked at what was before me at the present moment.

I think this advent season, that is what we have to do as mothers. Stop worrying and fretting over giving baked goodies to the neighbors while are children are put on the back burner. There will come a day when they are off at college or clear across the world for that matter, and we will long for the days of sitting on the floor and talking about Santa Clause. We will yearn for their little voices singing Jingle Bells and the kitchen a wreck from trying to bake cookies for the cookie jar. With everything in life there is a time and season. Enjoy this season of your life of seeing Christ this Christmas in the eyes of your family. There will come a time in the future when you are called to tend to the needs of others outside of you home, but this year just take a deep breath and enjoy and be generous in giving your time and love to the ones in need under your roof.

Have a blessed Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Gospel Reading today: Mathew 21:28-32
"Which of the two sons did what the father wanted?" Mathew 21:31

How many of us mothers are doing what the father wants us do this advent season? Are we consumed with marking off our to-do list or the father's to do list? This truly is the most wonderful time of year but sadly enough our world has made it the most stressful, hectic time of year. I think it is a miracle in itself that music about Jesus, Mary & Joseph, angels, heaven & kindness are played everywhere you go in a world that has taken out God and Christ in most everything, even in Christmas. But how many people's hearts are so numb and cold that they let the beautiful words go in one ear and out the other? I was determined this Christmas to embrace it with excitement and joy instead of worry and stress. I am refreshed and inspired by the mothers I have talked to that have only three presents this year for each child as a symbol of the gifts of the wisemen. One tired, yet joyful mother of a newborn told me she has spent a total of $80 on all three of her children this year. She is an example of the Blessed Mother to me this year, as she holds her newborn and chases her 20 month old and 4 year old. She is doing the best she can to just survive and serve her family each day while going on no sleep. No doubt she is checking off her to-do lift for the Father this advent season and He is pleased.

I read this this morning about the difference between happiness and joy. Samuel Gordon has written that joy is a distinctly Christian word and a Christian experience; "Happiness is the result of what happens of an agreeable sort. Joy has its spring deep down inside, and that spring never runs dry, no matter what happens. Only Jesus gives that joy. He had joy, singing its music within, even under the shadow of the cross. Joy, then, is the echo of God's life within us." The best way we can achieve this joy is through prayer.

So, I challenge all of you tired mothers this advent season. To achieve the greatest joy and to en-joy the Christmas season, rise early before your children get up. Turn on your Christmas tree lights, sip on a cup of coffee or Tea and just be with Jesus. Offer up a morning prayer, the rosary or just sit in Christ's presence. You will feel an extra kick in your step and a joy that you have been longing for. I guaratee or your money back that you will feel more energized by this simple remedy than that extra 30-45 minutes of sleep. Your day will go so much smoother and you will feel that spring of water running deep inside your soul.

Another remedy that will give you that kick in your step and joy from heaven is the spirit of giving, which is what the season is all about. Make your to-do list full of more simple ways you can give to others. Take your children to the closest nursing home. All you have to bring is yourself and some little smiles and you will do more for those lonely people than you can ever imagine. If you are not a baker, just buy store bought dough and bake off some cookies with your children and take them to neighbors. It doesn't have to be anything fancy for it is not about the cookies; however, it is about teaching your children one of the most valuable lessons, the joy of giving.

So today, try giving to others in simple ways.....a smile, a "merry christmas", buying someone's coffee behind you in the starbucks line, an email or phone call to a loved one, visiting Jesus in the Blessed sacrament, giving your children extra hugs and kisses, giving your family more time of just YOU. This is what the season is all about. Spend time with Jesus in the morning to get your day going right and feel his loving presence and joy all day long....that is the greatest gift you can give Him, yourself and your family this holiday season and all year long!

Blessings to you this Tuesday!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Authority of Heaven and the Authority of our Homes

Today's Gospel Reading Mathew 21:23-27
"And Jesus said to them, 'Neither will I tell you, then, by what right I do these things."

I had to read this gospel a couple of times before my thoughts came to me on what I was going to write about this morning. The gospel today talks about Jesus' authority and how the cheif priests and elders came to him and asked what right he had in teaching such things. I believe this is similar to the problem we have in our world today in parenting. Not that I know much in parenting, I am sure that I am doing most everything wrong, but I do know what I was taught from my mother and father is invaluable in my parenting today. When I was home over Thanksgiving, my Dad and I had a discussion regarding children having too many "rights" today. His theory is "children have no rights" (in a good in loving home ofcourse). I love the teachings my Dad shares with me while I mother my children in his presence. My Father is a wise and noble man. Everything he tells me I take to heart and cherish as great wisdom. He also suggests that I don't ask my children what they want to eat, do, etc., I TELL them what they are going to eat or do. So I link the teachings of my father today to the teachings of Jesus in the Gospel. As children of God, we really don't have any "rights" under His authority. Yes, He gives us free will but we really don't have the right to buck his teachings just because He gives us free will. Do we have the right to treat others unjustly because of free will? Do we have the right to be arrogant and greedy because of free will? No! We are under HIS authority and we are to honor Him in everthing we do. Same goes with parenting, our children do not have the right to have anything they want or make "decisions" for what is best for them. They are under our authority and we always know what is best for them just as Jesus knows what is best for us. Something that stuck with me that a Priest once said, is that we might not agree with the teachings of the church, the authority of our faith, but our disagreement is similar to a young college student that just left home. Yes, he knows deep down what is right from wrong, but sometimes he has to venture out to realize internally that the teachings from his parents are teachings of truth and reason. He "bucks" the system for awhile, but eventually comes back to his former teachings from home. For his parents are wiser and more experienced, just as the church is a bit wiser and more experienced than us. This can be a powerful teaching tool for us mothers to stand firm in the foundation of our family and to not get lazy in our mothering. To always stand up for what is true, right, honorable, noble, just.....and someday if one of our children ventures away for awhile, hopefully she will come back to the firm foundation that she was given.

So today, as your children are wanting to have their rights, just remember, you know what is best for them. For you are wiser and more experienced. What I have to keep in mind daily, is to not let my children rule our lives and our home. I am their authority. They are to do as their mother says...period! Let Jesus be our guide....gentle and humble in spirit but wise beyond all understanding.

Have a blessed Monday!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Experiencing a Form of Living Hell In Motherhood

Today's Gospel Reading
Mathew 11:16-19
"Now to what can I compare the people of this day? They are like children sitting in the marketplace. One group shouts to the other." Mathew 11:16

Oh goodness, this gospel reading is perfect for what is on my mind. Does this gospel reading say it all or what? How perfect for us mothers on a comparison to the people of this day. We know all too well what it is like to have children in a marketplace....shouting to one another. Recently I have found myself in a moment of fall to my knees suffering or for better words, living hell. The other day I had an 8 hour trip ahead of me by myself with my three children (4,2,1) hell in my mind before the trip even started! After my mother transported us two hours to where my car was parked, I was loading all of our luggage in 10 degree weather and knowing I had 6 hours left. My children were screaming and I was in living hell at that very moment. Tonight, Clint is working late and I came home with a disaster at my feet...train tracks strung all over the floor, laundry piled on the dining table, kitchen dishes piled high from baking for the neighbors and it was bedtime. Thankfully my neighbor fed my kids dinner and me wine so we were in a better state of mind than normal. My daughter, Clementine (2), falls from the car and face plants into the cement floor. I have never seen a blue goose egg so big. I was actually very worried for once! As she was screaming and wanting an ice pack, my 1 year old was screaming because she had not had a nap and was ready for bed. My 4 year old was asking me where a certain toy was and about that time, Clementine accidently poked me in the eye. Have you ever had your eye poked before? It hurts like SO bad! I couldn't do anything but put my hand over my eye and bare the pain. At that very moment, as all three children were crying I was in a form of living hell.

So yes, we mothers do know how to compare to the people of this day. We have been in the marketplace with children screaming at each other and yes we do, from time to time, experience living hell on earth. But sometimes I find myself in the midst of living hell giggling. It is almost comical at that very moment. If I am not laughing, I am crying and singing "Jesus, Remember Me When you Come Into Your Kingdom"! I know at the moment of a dose of living hell, that that is the moment of sanctification. That is the moment I carry my cross and grow closer to holiness. I actually embrace those moments as they are happening and know I will be a better mother and person for it. It is amazing to me the bond that mothers have......there is no one else but mothers that could understand what I just wrote. I know you all are laughing at this very moment and feeling a little more at ease that there is another mother out there that loses her mind and experiences a form of living hell just by the simple act of being a mother. Oh the joys of motherhood.....our pathway to Heaven!

Blessings to you this Friday!

Modern Day Mothers of Nazareth

Today's Gospel Reading
"I solemnly assure you, history has not known a man born of a woman greater than John the Baptizer. Yet the least born into the kingdom of God is greater than he." Mathew 11:11

The first thing that came to my mind when I read the gospel this morning was how proud Elizabeth must have been of her son. I like to say we are Modern day Mary & Elizabeths aiming to raise our children to proclaim the Kingdom of God someday in their hearts & through their actions. We come together every morning with our coffee to encourage and reassure each other just as Mary did in The Visitation when she went to see Elizabeth. Contrary to our world, we want nothing more than to fill our children's minds and hearts with the things of above and not the things of this world. People look at me like I am crazy when I say I would be humbled and honored if Ben became a Priest someday. As modern day mothers of Nazareth, we long for our children to know and love God at early ages. We long for them to take the straight and narrow path as they grow up and avoid the wide and narrow. Our greatest goal each day is to teach our children the best when can and provide our family with a loving & joyful environment. We truly are working for the kingdom each and every day of our lives. I always love meditating on the Wedding at Cana, because Jesus listened to His mother. He didn't think it was time to perform His first miracle, but she KNEW it was time and He obeyed. I yearn for this respect someday from my children. I tend to lean towards fearing the worst out of my children instead of the best. This is clearly Satan whispering his lies. As mothers, we have to rise up and be examples to this satan-inspired world(that sounds a little harsh, but it is true.) I once heard a priest say that Satan's work is a slow rot and if we aren't on top of things constantly through prayer and vigilance he could begin rotting away our children's souls. This might be a bit too deep and I apologize, but spritual warfare is alive and going strong and we mothers have to be on the frontlines fighting this battle for our family. Hollywood, TV, the internet, sex, drugs are the modern day King Harrods, wanting to destroy the souls of the real King. Don't get me wrong, my children watch TV, my husband and I use the internet, and sex is a beautiful union between man and woman....I think you probably know what I mean....

So as modern day mothers of Nazareth, let's make our homes a little Nazareth this advent season with Jesus being the center of our attention the next fifteen days. Don't let "you know who" rot your joy and happiness away. Beam with excitement for Christmas and your love for Christ will be contagious to your family and all whom you come into contact with.

Blessings to you this Thursday!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Feast Day of St. Juan Diego
Gospel Reading: Mathew 11:28-30

"Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light." Mathew 11:28-30

I am sure you all feel the same way I do about this gospel reading. Everytime I read it, I take a deep breath and find myself a little more at ease. However, this reading takes on a whole new meaning for me this advent season. Once again, I realize how ridiculous and ignorant our world is, especially during the Christmas season. How many times are you asked during the day, "Are you ready for Christmas"? Or how many times do you hear or say "I haven't done one bit of Christmas shopping yet! I am stressed out!" The emphasis of the season is about shopping. We put added stress on ourselves by all of the gifts we have to buy, the financial drain of the season, the extra to-do's on our lists. I am reminded through the gospel this morning that God does not put this heavy load on us, we do it to ourselves! When is enough enough? How do we stop this fiasco? God wants nothing more for us this Advent season than to be joyful,relaxed, eager, and patient for His coming. Instead, we are all stressed, sleep deprived, hurried and grouchy! Last night I was racking my brain on how I could pawn off my kids so I could go and get things done. I have a new outlook this morning after meditating on the gospel. I put a little radio in my kitchen yesterday and I am going to smile, listen to christmas music while I make the kids breakfast, embrace the dirty dishes with a smile (grateful that I have dishes to eat on), forget the to-do list and curl up on the couch with the kids and talk about the reason for a Christmas tree. I am going to say a little prayer this morning before I go into Walmart, load those girls on the cart (Ben will be at school), grab some suckers for them to eat on while I do my shopping and just act plain silly while wheeling through Wally-World! To heck with the stress and the to do list! My home made goodies for our neighbors might not taste like Food Network and Santa might not be able to bring all of the toys He was planning but I am determined to make this advent season joyful for me and my family.

Embracing God's yoke and preparing for His Son's arrival is the most important thing we can do as Mothers. Our gift to Jesus this Christmas can be teaching our children the real meaning of Christmas by buying toys for the ones less fortunate, gathering arround the Nativity Scene and talking about the birth of Jesus, joyfully singing "Here Comes Santa Clause" together while driving down the road, and letting the love and joy of Christ radiate through our being to our family and to all we meet during this season. As mothers, most everything starts with our attitudes....if Mama is not happy, ain't nobody happy! When someone asks if we are ready for Christmas, let's all make a plan to say "Why yes! We can hardly wait any longer"! Just watch, people will look at us funny and wonder where the joy is coming from and we can simply say, Jesus!

Blessings to you this Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Misconception of the Immaculate Conception

Gospel Reading today: Luke 1:26-38
"Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." Luke 1:28

What a special day this day is....the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception. I didn't know until a few years ago, that the Immaculate Conception is when Mary was conceived by her mother & father. I always thought it was when Jesus was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit. In the Catholic Church we honor Mary, for she was blameless & without sin the moment she was conceived and then gave birth to our Lord Jesus. Her mission is to bring us closer to her son. The misconception of the Catholic faith is that we "worship" Mary. We only worship God our Father and His son. We give honor to Mary and give her thanks for what she did for all of us. By her "yes!", we are able to live forever in Heaven with our Father. Another misconception of our devotion to Mary is the reason of praying the rosary. As Catholics, when we pray the rosary, we are not "praying to Mary", however, we are praying the Gospels. I once heard it put perfectly, that the prayers of the rosary is like beautiful background music as we meditate on Jesus' life. Through the rosary, we are naturally brought closer to Jesus by meditating on his life here on earth. She intercedes for us as we pray to Jesus. She hears our prayers and goes directly to her Son to ask for favor upon us. Another saying that I have heard and love is "Jesus can't say no to his Mother!". Just as I may ask you to pray for me, as Catholics, we simply ask Jesus' mother to pray for us. Same goes with the Saints.

I don't know much in this life, but what I do know is that I have experienced the power of praying the rosary. I see Jesus' life in a whole different light. I am reminded through my days of mothering what the true meaning of this life here on earth is about. I am reminded that raising these souls for Eternity is our number one mission as mothers. Through the rosary, Heaven has come to life here on earth for me. I see Christ in the eyes of the person I pass at the grocery store. I see Christ in the smile of someone I glance at while passing on the Interstate. Most importantly, I see Christ in my husband and my children who make my faith stronger and my work here on earth a little lighter. Through the Immaculate Conception, we can walk with Christ here on earth and spend Eternity with Him. All because of a simple "yes" of a poor and sweet young girl from Nazereth.

So, today, I say thank you to my Blessed Mother in Heaven, for all of the love and prayers she has bestowed on me and my family. She loves us all so much and wants the absolute best for us in this life and that is to know and love her Son with our whole heart and soul. I will leave you this morning with Pope John Paul II's personal motto. "Totus Tuus", to Jesus through Mary.

Blessings to you this Holy Tuesday! Pray for me as I am going to try to brave morning mass with my 4,2,& 17month old... Lord give me stregnth!

Monday, December 7, 2009


Luke 5:17-26

"Because the crowd, they could find no way to take him in. So they carried him up on the roof, made an opening in the tiles, and let him down on his bed into the middle of the group in front of Jesus."

How many of us have this much faith? How many of us go the extra mile to do our very best in our vocation and in our faith? As I read the gospel this morning, I thought to myself how lax our nation has become. If anything, we are stopping before the race is over. We have taken God out of schools, anthems, and even Christmas. How ignorant our country can be at times. There would be no Christmas if it wasn't for God and his son, Jesus! How many of us mothers (I am so guilty of this), look around to see what everyone else is doing and decide to get lax in our mothering? We say, "Oh well, everyone else lets there children do this"...when deep down in our hearts, we know we don't approve. I have gotten so lax in making sure my son, who is hearing impaired, is inundated with language and speech. We can't have a "normal" daily routine. Instead, I have to go the extra mile to work with him with his language and speech. On top of taking care of my two year old and 17 months old. Yes, it is hard but get over it, Kim! Life is hard...period. Same with our faith. We get lax in our prayers and devotion. Yes, it is hard to get up extra early as a tired mother and yes it is hard to find time to pray...but get over it! Life and faith are not suppose to be easy. If it were easy, Jesus would have been a wealthy king and died peacefully and Mary sure the heck would not have ridden a donkey for days, nine months pregnant!

So today, I challenge all mothers to go the extra mile in being the best mom you can be. I also challenge you to find that extra time to say a few more prayers and prepare for the Lord's coming this advent season. Devote your day as your feet hit the ground to the Lord. You will be amazed at how much more peaceful your heart will be when you are going the extra mile just as the Pharisees did to get in front of Jesus. Don't stand in the crowd, be at the forefront of raising your children and growing in your faith.

Blessings to you this Monday. I am so happy to be back home!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Teaching Our Children about the Lowly & Forgotten

December First Readings:
Gospel Luke 10:21-24
Psalm 72:12-13
"He shall rescue the poor man when he cries out, and the afflicted when he has no one to help him. He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor; the lives of the poor he shall save." Psalm 72:12-13

Oh, how I have missed my morning routine of drinking coffee, saying my prayers and meditating on the daily readings. I am still at my family's ranch and anytime I am out of my routine, I find myself missing and longing for my quiet time with Jesus. Since I haven't had much prayer time with the Lord, I am more on edge with my children and thankfully I am out in the middle of nowhere or I would probably find myself being sucked into the ways of the world of worry, materialism, drama & selfishness....and list goes on. I know this is going to sound crazy but this Psalm reminded me of the Christmas tree hunt with my dad and children on saturday. I have never known another person, especially a man (a tough, true cowboy that is..) that has such a heart for his Christmas tree every year. He takes the task of finding the perfect christmas tree for he & my mother's home very seriously. As we were about to drive an hour away to a special christmas tree farm that has fresh trees straight in from colorado, he decided we needed to go look at a pond on the ranch first just in case there might be the perfect tree there. So Dad, Ben, Clementine, my niece Kennedy and I all went to the "tailwater pit",or pond in laymans terms, to look for a tree. My dad told us the story of how my grandfather built the pond for irregation purposes back in the fifties. He had planted Cottonwood trees that died during a drought but thankfully through nature, cedar trees sprung forth. Now, the pond is filled with beautiful cedar trees with little blue berries. As we walked around the pond, there were so many giant and full trees that would have made perfect christmas trees. We picked out a few strong and tall trees that we thought would look nice but as we were making one last round, there he stood. A smaller, skinnier tree, but one that seemed special and stood out among the rest. After several minutes of discussion, we decided on this special tree....more frail in stature but a sweet little personality. We named him "Barley". As Barley stands tall, loved & proud in my parent's home, he reminds me that the lowly and forgotten have a stunning way about them. If you look real close, more than likely you will find a more beautiful heart and soul then any tough, proud & arrogant figure might have. It is in the lowly where we find Christ. This is such a crucial lesson we as mothers have to teach our children. By searching out the lowly and forgotten and giving them a handshake, a smile, a helping hand, we are showing our children to love Christ in others.

So after Christmas, my dad will take Barley to the Christmas tree cemetary that lies in an old wagon trail up from the red windmill that stands tall over this place I love so dear. In the cemetary, you will find the remains of the trees that have touched our lives over the years by brightening the home and making christmas so special for our family. They will eventually turn back into the soil and their christmas spirit lives on each christmas here on the Venneman Ranch. So as you go and search for your special "Barley" this year, welcome the beautiful creature into your home with a loving heart and a smile. Let this be a reminder of how we should welcome all "creatures" into our lives....wealthy or poor, sick or healthy.

Blessings to you this Wednesday! I will write again this week sometime....when I make my way back to the barn.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Gospel Reading Luke 21:1-4
Daniel 1:1-16
"Give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then see how we look...." After ten days they looked healthier and better than any of the young men who ate from the royal table. Daniel 1:12,13,15

Oh, there is so much wisdom for us in this reading. It is proof that the saying holds true..."less is more". We live our lives thinking we need more. More groceries, more clothes, more toys, more make-up, more shoes, more home, more money..... But in all actuality, when you have more, life gets MORE complicated. Just as the reading says, when you have less, you look healthier and better than the most wealthy of wealthy. Okay, maybe not in your face because of stress and struggles (and no facials and botox) but in the heart is where you look healthier. When you have less, you become free. When you have less you give more. More of your time, more of your energy, more of your money. This is one of the many examples of how ignorant our world's views are. We are told the more we have, the happier we will be. People are running around chasing more and it is quite hysterical if you look our world is this way. We are just a bunch of ignorant animals chasing our tails. To eat from the royal table, is to strive for less worldly possessions and become more rich in your heart.

I have been on a de-clutter craze. It feels so liberating to toss "things" we don't need. To look around at my little home and know we do not have much, but we have a wealth of love and happiness. Yes, I am guilty of getting so caught up in the crap (sometimes there are just no other words...) but somehow, thankfully, the Lord usually brings me back to reality that this life is short and none of the worldly possessions matter. The only way I am brought back to Heaven's perspective is through reading scripture and prayer. Being spiritually fit helps you to be grateful for what you have. I have noticed that if I have less snacks and junk food, life around the Cooper home isn't so complicated and the kids eat their meal that I provide because they are hungry and not full on snacks. I find not having a budget for a large grocery bill helps us to eat healthier and better.....we feast on fresh fruit, vegetables and a meat source. Less money equals a simple menu and a healthier diet. And yes, again, I am guilty of running through the fast food line just trying to scramble to feed my screaming kids! But the gist of the story is, be thankful if you have less. And if you are blessed financially don't let anybody know and continue to live a humble and simple life. In turn, your children will be better off. The less we give our children, the more room there will be in their hearts for love and joy.

So today, look around and try to simplify your life as best as you can. Your children do not NEED to be in 5 different activities. They don't need the latest gadget, toy, or cell phone for crying out loud...what they have is sufficient. The more simple your life will be, the better off your family will be.

I am headed to my family's ranch on Wednesday and it is hard to get to the Barn where the lone computer resides. So I will post a few this week and start back up full swing the following Wednesday. Blessings to you this Monday and the motto is this week....JUST BE THANKFUL for what you have.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Gospel Reading Luke 19:45-48

1 Maccabees 4:36-37,52-59

"My temple will be called a house of prayer. But you have turned it into a hideout for thieves." Luke 19:46

Both readings today talk about the sacredness of the temple and how Jesus drove the merchants out. He taught in the temple everyday and people were attentive, not wanting to miss a single word. As I read these scriptures, I compare our homes to the temple. As Jesus was the teacher in the temple, we are the teacher in our homes. Jesus loved carpentry work and I thought today, what if he asked someone to be the teacher in the temple while he did his passion of carpentry to help make more money. What do you think would have happened? The person he hired as the teacher probably would have let a few merchants slip in thinking it wouldn't be a big deal. I have always said no one is going to run a business like the owner and no one is going to run a home like the mother. As mothers and teachers, we have to be constantly attentive to our homes by not letting any evil influence in. We have to be on guard at all times and be teaching our children everyday good vs. evil.....right from wrong. No one truly is as passionate about teaching your children and caring for them as you are, their mother. Just as a hired person doesn't have the passion and love for a business like the founder, a person taking the place of the mother doesn't have the passion and love for her children like the mother.

Yesterday I talked to my dear friend who has a seventh grade daughter. I have been haunted by the things that are going on in a sixth and seventh grader's world. It is URGENT and crucial that we are attentive to everything that is going on in our children's lives at all times. We should be on guard to not let any "merchants in our temples"(bad influences in tv, computers, friends, cell phones,etc.) and if they enter, we should be come aggressive and angry and drive them out immediately. Our children should witness this passion we have in taking care of them and protecting them from the evil influences in this world. They should see that nothing else matters to their parents then providing them the best teaching we can give them to help them lead a life of goodness. Also, by praying for their future daily. I am already praying for their purity, leadership, self control, future spouses. I am afraid of their future, especially when I hear of how times have changed since I was growing up, and through prayer is where I find the most comfort.

I feel like I could write for hours on this subject, but my sweet husband is here this morning so I am off to have coffee with him. Just as I was reminded today in the scriptures the importance of our jobs as teachers, I hope you are reminded that what you do on a daily basis is the most important job on earth. I know we can't protect them forever, but by-golly we can try our best! As author Donna Marie Cooper Oboyle says, "God forms a partnership with mothers to raise his children the best we can." Thank goodness Jesus realized his most important task on earth and hopefully we can encourage other mothers to not get lazy and conform to society's standards but to stand firm in their most important job.....and maybe, just maybe, we can help make this world become a better place one mother at a time.

Blessings to you this Friday! Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Gospel Reading Luke 19:41-44
Psalm 50:1-2, 5-6, 14-15
"Offer to God praise as your sacrifice..."Psalm 50:14

Today I wanted to share with you a picture of my family in the 40's. Somehow they are smiling and happy after all of the hard times they had endured when this picture was taken. As I was saying my prayers this morning and meditating on the Psalm reading of today, I am so grateful I can relate to my loved ones who have gone before me. I am thankful this morning that the easy road was not handed to me the past ten years. Because of the hard times my husband and I have had from starting a business from scratch, I can relate more to my Great Grandad and Granny (in the picture) who settled on the plains in 1904 on a dime and a dream. I can relate more to their sacrifices they made yearning for a legacy for their future family. I can appreciate even more the life I was given growing up all because of their hard work. As a mother, I think of my great grandmother Hattie, who brought her infant, Clementine, on a wagon to settle in the middle of nowhere. I think of her working hard all day while being a mother at the same time. The exhaustion she must have felt at the end of the day had to have been grueling. She made her children's clothes from flour sacks. I look at this picture and only hope I can leave the legacy that they have. They are all now in Heaven with our Father and no, they didn't have a lot of money, or a beautiful home with fine things. Granny didn't have a nanny to help out with her children. She made huge sacrifices to give them a life of love, sacrifice and faith.
In a world where we are constantly chasing the next big pay check, bonus, home, car, vacation, we need to stop and be thankful for the life God has given us. No, maybe your expectations at this point in your life hasn't come full circle and maybe you have been dealt the hand of hard times and heartache, but be grateful for what God has done in your life and offer up the sacrifices in thanksgiving for everything he has given you. For if you have been dealt hard times, your faith is growing stronger and the legacy you will leave for your children to ponder on and take comfort in is growing ever more. Be thankful today for your children and your husband even if you don't have much money in the bank. For money will waste away but your family will not.....they will live on forever.
So today, stop wishing your life away for bigger plans. Stop looking at everything your friends and neighbors have but you don't have. Be thankful and offer up your hard times as a prayer of thanksgiving. When I look at old pictures of my family, everything seems clear.....that nothing in life matters other than loving each other and living your faith. Everything else will turn to dust, but the legacy you leave behind to your children and grandchildren will live forever. So what is it going to be today? Focusing on the things you don't have or embracing what you do have and the card of life that has been dealt to you?
Blessings to you this Thursday!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Gospel Luke 19:11-28
First Reading 2 Maccabees 1, 20-31

"The mother was the most amazing one of them all, and she deserves a special place in our memory." 2 Maccabees 7:20

Wow, this story in 2 Maccabees is amazing! I encourage you all to read it. What I gathered from the reading is this mother of seven boys had such great faith that she witnessed all of her sons tortured to death because she taught them to stand up for God and to refuse to obey the Kings orders. She saw Eternal life as the most important aspect of her sons lives, even so, that she witnessed their deaths knowing this life was short and that they would spend eternity together. As mothers, do we have this much faith? Think of Mary watching her son being tortured and hung on a cross. How does our faith compare to the great women who have gone before us? Use to, a woman's greatest work was raising her children and tending to their eternal salvation. Nowadays, children are put on the back burner because there are too many distractions for women. I am looking at some Thanksgiving decorations I have hanging in my kitchen window. In the picture, the Pilgrim woman has children surrounding her while she holds a tray of pies & cookies. This image is laughed at in our society today. Pilgrim women would be considered weird or beneath the almighty woman of society. Somewhere, somehow, the woman has gradually changed roles & the lives she has been graciously given to care for have taken backseat. I heard on Catholic talk radio yesterday that a woman is a the sacred tabernacle of life. I was really taken back by that statement. We are sacred tabernacles of life here on earth. After our children are born to this life, the sacred tabernacle reigns in our arms as we hold our babies, in our eyes as we look lovingly onto our children, in our smiles as we bring laughter & happiness to our children, in our feet as we lead our children on the path to eternal life. So as the sacred tabernacle of life, our main goal should be welcoming our children into our sacred tabernacles by being present to them. If children do not have their sacred tabernacle in their presence, they become lost. We remember during this time of Thanksgiving, the pilgrim women who lovingly welcomed her family and friends into her sacred tabernacle by preparing such a feast of thanksgiving for all of them. What beauty & example we have in the simplicity of the Pilgrim life and it is a reminder of the simplicity that God yearns for all of our lives today. What wonderful role-models we have in these women. Just as the mother in Maccabees witnessed her sons dying to eternal life, we are to work for nothing more than seeing to our children's salvation through our presence, our prayers, our faith, and our examples.

So today, as we can easily get caught up in the distractions of this materialistic, self serving world, let's remember the heroic women who have gone before us. They were not out searching for worldly pleasures, they suffered willingly for their family and saw to the most important task they were given....making sure their children made it to Heaven.

Have a blessed Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Happy Feast Day to our dear Heavenly friend, St. Elizabeth of Hungary. She is the patron saint of bread bakers. We love you St. Elizabeth! Thank you for all of your prayers!

Gospel Luke 19:1-10
First Reading Maccabees 6:18-31
"This is how he died, leaving in his death a model of courage & an unforgettable example of virtue not only for the young but the whole nation." 2 Maccabees 6:31

I have a cranky crew this morning so I will not be able to write it only 7:30am? It feels like it should be noon! I read the reading of Maccabees this morning and thought this is the example I want to leave to my family when I die. If Clint and I live and teach our catholic faith and lead our children by example, then we have done our duty. Last night as Ben & Clementine were in their beds peacefully sleeping, I knelt down at their bedside and looked at their sweet little faces. Tears welled up in my eyes thinking of the life that was before them.....all of the good things and bad things that await them. I prayed that they would take the straight and narrow path and never abandon their Catholic faith. It was at that moment, that I realized if I do not do anything else as a mother, if I teach them their faith and lead by example, they will be able to face anything in life. With the trials that will come their way in the future, they will be able to endure because of a strong faith. I watched a Great Depression documentary on KERA last night. It was about the farmers in the Panhandle that endured the Dust Bowl that lasted a decade. I cried because it was my family in the 1930's. Grandad and Granny, Pappy & Aunt Clementine endured such suffering and hardship in that decade. So many families gave up and fled to California, but I have to believe that the Venneman family endured because of their devout Catholic faith.

So today, if you are overwhelmed on trying to be a good mother and working hard on checking off your to-do list, just be at peace and rest in knowing you are doing the best you can to raise your children in the faith. That is truly the most important daily task we have as our faith. Don't be so hard on yourself and just ask our Lord Jesus to guide you on teaching your children and being a witness to the greatest gift you can give them....their faith.

Blessing to you this Tuesday!

Monday, November 16, 2009


Gospel reading Luke 18:35-43
"At once he was able to see, & he followed Jesus, giving thanks to God." Luke 18:43

What if today God gave us a glimpse of our purpose in life, a glimpse of our children raised, a glimpse of the lives we touch with acts of kindness, a glimpse of our funeral, a glimpse of life in heaven. More than likely we would do as the blind man did, give thanks to God and want nothing more than to follow him. This is similar to when you wake up from a bad dream of something happening to your children or husband, all that you care about is giving them a hug and giving thanks to God that it was a bad dream. We get so caught up in the little things of daily living that really do not matter and start taking things for granted. We sometimes dread the mundane days of caring for our family when there is nothing to look forward to. Like today, I am tired and I have a long day ahead of me of piling everyone in the car, going to speech therapy, then onto the donut shop and then on to speech school to drop off Ben. Then, the girls and I will brave the grocery store and by the time I get home from the store, the girls will be whining and crying. I will feed them lunch and put them down for naps. Then I will go unload the groceries and make Ben lunch for when he gets off the bus.....I will spare you the exciting details of the rest of my day ahead. But what I am going to think of today, is how blessed I am for a loving husband and three healthy children. I am going to pray for the family who's 17 year old sister backed over with a car her 1 year old brother yesterday and killed him. I am going to think of the families who have a loved one serving our country in the war. I am going to think of the families at Cooks Children's Hospital who are holding their child's hand who is sick and dying. We all have so much to be thankful for. Life is good at the moment and I am going to soak it in knowing it can change at any moment.

So today, instead of wishing your day away, embrace it. Embrace the mundane and the frustration of caring for little ones. Embrace the dirty laundry that clothes your living children. For today is a gift from heaven. How blessed we are as mothers to be in the midst of angels. These little ones in our midst can help us see the true meaning of life and their simple ways can bring us closer to Jesus and help us give thanks to God. We are given our children and husbands as a gift from God knowing they are His and He can take them from us at any moment. Embrace their presence on this sacred Monday.

Blessings to you!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Gospel Reading Luke 17:1-9
First Reading Wisdom 13:1-9
"Whoever tries to save his own life will lose it; whoever loses his life will save it." Luke 17:33
"If they had enough intelligence to speculate about the nature of the universe, why did they never find the Lord of all things?" 13:9

Have you ever heard a mother say "I feel like I have lost myself." I've heard it before and have felt it a time or two. Jesus says several times in the Gospel that whoever loses his life will save it and whoever saves his own life will lose it. This is very contradictory to the world's views. When I read this verse and think of motherhood, I am hopeful my life will be saved by handing over my life to the Lord in service to my family. As mothers, if we give our all and everything in service to our family and others, our life as we knew it will be lost. Some may think this is sad, but I believe it is heroic. Similar to a soldier who loses his life for our country. Because he lost his life, our lives are saved. As mothers, we lay down our life for our families. This is the greatest act of Love. However, as mothers, we have to take care of ourselves in order to take care of our family. How do we take care of ourselves if we are losing our life? We are told by the world that we need to be using our talents and gifts outside the home to make money.....this is one form told by the world of how we won't "lose ourselves". We are told we need to go to the spas and receive treatments because "we deserve it". Our toes and nails are suppose to be perfectly manicured and we are to be perfectly physically fit as well. Our world says THIS is the way to take care of yourself. But I disagree..... First and foremost, I believe we don't deserve anything in life. I can't stand that term. Do we deserve eternal life? Notice, if you breakdown the not serve. This is just one example of how foolish our world is. I believe we have to take care of ourselves by nurturing our souls through prayer. I believe working out is important but do not let it consume your life by trying to have the perfect body. Going to the spa and getting treatments is a quick fix. Of course it is fun to do it from time to time with friends if that is what you like to do, but it will not nurture your soul the next day. Botox and all of the facial remedies is fine, but your pretty little face will eventually be buried in the ground (sorry to sound so harsh) but your soul will live forever. So losing your self to Jesus by serving your family and spending time in prayer, in Heaven's eyes, is pampering your soul. You will start feeling relaxed, rejuvenated & joyful and people will wonder what your remedy is. As Mother Theresa use to say, "Joy is the net to catch souls".

So, there you have it. Losing your life to your family is a beautiful thing. So what if you have to postpone your talents and career until after they are raised. The talents and jobs will always be there, but your children won't. They will be adults before we know it and it is up to us to lose our lives to save theirs. To make sure they grow up to love the Lord and want to serve Him. Take care of yourself by continuing to use your talents and gifts in ways where your family will still be first. Spend time in prayer daily with the Lord to rejuvenate your soul and bring joy to your life.

Have a blessed Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Mother's Transfigured Moment

Gospel Reading Luke 17:20-25
First reading Wisdom 7:22 8:1

The Transfiguration: "And He was transfigured before them; His face shone like the sun and His clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with Him." Mathew 17:2-3

As I was meditating this morning on the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary (The Baptism in the Jordan, The Wedding at Cana, The Proclamation of the Kingdom, The Transfiguration & The Institution of the Eucharist), I had a quick Mother/Jesus moment. Those are the "light bulb" moments when Jesus' life on earth becomes real in my life as a mother. When I was meditating on the mystery of The Transfiguration, I thought to myself how Jesus got a little taste of Heaven and how he probably did not want that moment to end and did not want to come back to earth as a servant. Something similar (in motherhood terms) happened to me on Tuesday. I had gone to the grocery with all three kids and found myself singing "Jesus, remember me, when you come into your Kingdom" as I was stressfully strolling down the aisle with the big truck/buggie as one child was crying, one riding on top of the truck and the other singing at the top of her lungs. People looked at me like I was crazy and needed to get my children under control (which they were right). After grocery shopping, I dropped Ben off at speech school and then went by my friends house and she suggested I leave the girls and go unload my groceries. So I took her up on it and came home to do just as she suggested. As I was unloading groceries, I had a transfigured moment. I looked around my quiet peaceful home and took a deep breath and thought..."what if this was my day? What if I had all day to just unload groceries, listen to some peaceful music, work out in the garden...". It was that moment that I was transfigured into a heavenly state but then had to come back to reality as a servant for the Lord, just as Jesus did at the Transfiguration. I was reminded that great work still needed to be done and "Heaven" awaits in the distance, but now was not the time. Oh, I can not imagine having a day alone. I think we all have those transfigured moments from time to time. I can't imagine how Jesus must have felt. To have received a glimpse of heaven but knowing he had to come back as a servant to being beaten, scourged and crucified for us. As mothers, we know what we have ahead of us each day. Constant care for our children and our homes. No, it isn't glamorous and it definitely tests our faith, but we will have that forever transfigured moment someday of an empty quiet home and we will long for the chaotic days of toddlers needing us. So today, enjoy your moments as Christ's servant here on earth doing the most important work you can do in this life.....raising and caring for these precious souls. Just as Jesus had his work cut out for him, so do we mothers have our work cut out for us. How blessed we are to have been handed to us in Love such important and vital work here on earth....the care of our husband, children and our domestic churches.

What an absolute honor!

Have a blessed Thursday!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Gospel reading Luke 17:11-19
First Reading Wisdom 6:1-11
"So then, make my teaching your treasure and joy, and you will be well instructed." Wisdom 6:11

The book of Wisdom is one of my very favorite chapters in the bible. So much of it is easy to relate to and very black and white. I believe wisdom is one of the greatest gifts we can receive from the Holy Spirit. For if we have wisdom, we will know the will of God. I find relief and comfort in the reading from Wisdom today. If we make God's teaching our treasure and joy, we will be well instructed in raising our children and taking care of our family. Our hearts will be joyous as we instruct our children on how to behave and conduct themselves in this life. As I was getting my second cup of coffee to start writing this morning, I looked up on my refridgerator and saw all of the beautiful and perfect baby announcements, birthday invitations, baby shower invitations. Those things are wonderful but I thought to myself ...where are our hearts? Are they consumed with these kind of things or are they consumed in being the best mother we can be? If I let myself, I can easily get caught up in the holiday mind consumption of our family christmas cards, gifts for everyone, christmas dresses for my girls, finding the picture perfect decorations for my home.....and the list goes on. I think to myself today, are we out of control trying to out-do the other and make our lives look perfect on the outside while we are dying on the inside just trying to keep up? We mothers have enough on our plate just to take care of our family and home the best we can and we you put all the other "stuff" on top of it , it is easily to start feeling stressed and frazzled. God tells us today that his teaching of love & simplicity will bring us joy in teaching our children the true meaning of life. I tend to start lashing out at my children if my mind is consumed and stressed with other things. I am going to challenge myself to just LET IT ALL GO! Throw all of the expectations of the here and now & the upcoming holiday season out the window! I am going to focus on the teaching we receive in scripture and in our hearts and enjoy being a mother to my children and a wife to my husband. If I get a christmas card printed in a day....great but I am not going to worry about it. If I put up the decorations I already have and not worry about going to buy new, then home will look just right. I am going to enjoy the next month and half by being a joyful mother and teaching my children the story of the Pilgrims & Indians and baby Jesus. We are going to enjoy simple days of giggling, drawing pictures of the Mayflower, running around and being silly. Enough with the, excuse me, but crap. I am so tired of feeling like I need to be all, do all and that my life is perfect. It is far from perfect and I am just a happy yet frazzled mother of 3 and wife of a stressed, self employed and loving husband . God's yoke is easy and his burden is light and why does our world make things so difficult?

Today, take a deep breath and think of letting God's treasure and joy reign in your hearts. Your family and yourself will feel so much more joy and YOU will be free. Oh, God's wisdom is so good!

Blessings to you this Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Gospel Reading Luke 17:7-10
"When you have done all you have been told to do, say 'We are ordinary servants; we have only done our duty." Luke 17:10

I think it is our human nature to want to recieve thanks and praise for the works that we do. We are living in a world of instant gratifacation. A world constantly working for more while receiving bonusus, praises, salary raises, new homes, new cars, new clothes, paid vacations, and the list goes on. These are all because a person's hard work was noticed, praised and rewarded. But what about in Motherhood? We work so hard day in and day out for no pay, no praise, no bonus, no vacation....we just do our duty. In Luke, Jesus tells us that we should do our job without expecting praise. I believe that is why so many mothers flee the homes today. They are in search of all the rewards you recieve in working outside the home. Sometimes as Homemakers and mothers we just feel pushed around, beat up from the chaos, and ask ourselves 'is this really how I imagined how my life would turn out'?

When I got my degree in Interior Design, I was ready to set the world on fire. I did an internship in New York for one of the top designers in the county. I walked everyday down Madison Avenue to her firm that was located right next to Barney's and across from DKNY. I helped with a photoshoot in the Tisch Home overlooking central park. The photoshoot was to be published in Architectural Digest. Wow, my dreams were coming true. She offered me a job after the internship but each day as I walked down Madison Ave., I felt like there was something more. Something was missing. Would this really make me happy? I learned at that moment in my life that the grass is always greener on the other side. I was making my dreams come true, so I thought, but wasn't fullfilled. Jesus had something more waiting for me. He had planned for me to be His servant. Serving my husband by helping start our business and serving God by starting a family and chasing three loud and crazy toddlers under a little 1700 square foot roof. In today's world that would be looked upon as "poor Kim, she gave up being a designer in NY and now look at her life...".

I think all of us mothers would agree that motherhood is way harder than we ever dreamed of and maybe alot less glamorous than what we thought it would be. I think we all get frustrated at times when we never receive thank you's or praises. However, as God's servant, we should end the idea that we NEED praises and thank you's. We are just doing our duty. If the praises come our way from our husbands or friends, we should be thankful but we should never expect it. Our work inside the walls of our homes are not seen by the world; however, they are seen by our Lord Jesus. And that is truly all that matters. Our rewards are not instant here on earth, they are stored up for us in heaven. We have delayed gratification and delayed bonuses, and a delayed eternal vacation. Keep that in mind today as the grass looks greener on the otherside. There is nothing more important than what you are doing at this very moment.....taking care of your home and family. Let everyone else enjoy recieving the praises and raises and just smile and know that your day is coming....

Have a blessed Tuesday!

Monday, November 9, 2009


Gospel Reading John 2:13-22
"My devotion to your house, oh God, burns in me like a fire." John 2:17

As mothers and wives, this is how we should feel about our Domestic Church, our home. Our homes should be our first and foremost priority after our husband and children. As Jesus showed a form of anger in this gospel reading of people who were selling livestock in the temple, we should show this anger if anything but goodness enters our homes. Us mothers need to have eyes like a hawk swarming our home to make sure evil does not enter. TV (and I get lazy with this) should be monitored constantly, if you have older kids the computer should be right in front of you at all times, anyone who enters need to get a feeling that they have entered into a holy place by seeing images of Jesus or Mary displayed somewhere in your home. Our domestic churches are our holy dwelling place. As mothers and wives, we should be honored to care for such a beautiful and holy place given to us by our Lord. This is where the love in our marriages is nurtured and cared for, this is where our children's souls and personalities are shaped and formed, this is where we welcome the communion of saints....our friends, our neighbors, our loved ones who have past, all of the angels and saints....our home is a dwelling place of heaven on earth for our families and others.

If you think about it, people are always trying to get home. At 5:00, the roads are packed with cars of people trying to get home, when you are out and about at the grocery store, picking up kids from school, you are always on your pathway back home. I am 32 years old and when I walk into the home I grew up in, tears well up in my eyes. It might be one of the very best feelings I have in this life. Going home. I just got back from a rushed weekend of spending most of my time in the car with crying kids and as I got home, I took a deep breath and was so thankful to be home. Our domestic Church is where Christ dwells and wraps his arms around us when we are tired & anxious. This holy place is where our children are happiest. As little ones, they truly don't long to be anywhere else then with their mother in their homes.

So today, as you are wrestling little ones, breaking up fights, giving out sippy cups, nursing a hungry little baby, rest in the arms of Jesus. For you are at home with Him. You are in the holiest place you could be here on earth.....holier than the Basilica in Rome. For souls are developing in your care ....the same souls that Christ created in your womb and the same souls He longs to have for Eternity. You are blessed......Holy is your family and Holy is your dwelling place on earth. So you have every right to burn with fire for your home and become angry if anything enters your home that is nothing short of good.

St. Michael Archangel, stand guard at the doors of our Domestic Churches. Do not let evil in. Keep us safe and joyful as we care for our sacred homes and families. Amen.

Have a blessed Monday. Take good care of your sweet little dwelling place.....whether large or are in the presence of Heaven and your home is stunning in the eyes of the angels.

The Domestic Church-Room by Room written by Donna Marie Cooper O'Boyle is a great book....FYI.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Gospel Reading today Luke 16:1-10
"Whoever is faithful in small matters will be faithful in small ones. And whoever is dishonest in small matters will be dishonest in large one." Luke 16:10

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. Mother Teresa

Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world. Mother Teresa

Wow, some powerful words from Mother Teresa. As mothers, our actions and day to day activity is belittled in the world's eyes. We are told we don't "use our brains" if we are JUST at home with our children. We are told we "lose ourselves" if we are at home with our children....and the lies continue for mothers in today's society. Just meditate on the scripture today and the quotes from Mother Teresa and you will see that our works in the home and for our family accomplish nothing but greatness. Our brains are developing a wisdom from God that maybe no one else on earth may receive other than mothers who are doing the day in and day out tasks of devoting their lives to their families. We are heavenly servants on earth doing the will of God by the little acts throughout the day of loving and caring for His flock. I know I have said this before...little acts of Motherhood develop into a beautiful tapestry for God. We will be able to see the finished work of God once we leave this earth and enter into Eternal Life. It will be those little acts that will guarantee us those words we all long to hear...."well done, my good and faithful servant." Keep on keeping on with the small matters of motherhood and be assured they are large matters in the eyes of God!

Blessings to you this Friday! Have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Gospel Reading today Luke 14: 25-33
"None of you can be my disciple unless he gives up everything he has." Luke 14:33

To die to self. We are told in scripture that that is the way to become closer to Jesus and inherit the kingdom of God. In our world, we are told differently. We are told to be live for yourself...your happiness is most important. This is called spiritual blindness. We all have it to some sort of degree. Yesterday I listened to Father Robert Barron at talk about spiritual blindness. We are consumed with what will make us happy NOW with all of the worldly good.....we can't see past the present moment. We can't see what the real meaning of life is all about. He says it all boils down to giving up your life to save it. Laying down your life for Jesus and do all you can to work towards getting to Heaven. He had talked about if Jesus was in front of you like he was in front of the blind man & asked "What do you want from me?" And the blind man answered, "To see". What if Jesus gave us the vision to see into eternity. To see our daily works and struggles of taking care of our family become fruitful by all being united in Heaven together. Don't you wish you could get a glimpse of the future? Seeing your children all grown up and being kind to others, working for good in the world all because of your teaching and hard work. I think of the Ascension and how Mary must of felt as Jesus departed from this earth into heaven. I compare it to, in today's time, seeing your child graduate from college or marry the love of his life. Your work had been done and he was going off to set the world on fire. A bitter sweet moment of sadness but happiness of seeing the fruits of your labor. Everything in Mary's eyes finally could see God's purpose played out through her saying "yes". She was blind when he was being scourged at the pillar, she was blind when he was being crucified. All she could see and feel was agony and sorrow. But in the end she saw the outcome and the reason why he had to die.

So today, as we are spiritual blind with what the true meaning of our life is here on earth, let's ask for the Lord to let us see passed today and the hard times we might be going through. Let's open our eyes to the true meaning of is to help our husbands get to heaven by loving them and being supportive of them even in difficult times where we can't see the outcome. It is nurturing and loving our children while being financially strapped because you make sacrifices to be their loving care taker every second of every "lay down your life for a friend (children)". It is struggling with a business where some days you just want to throw in the towel but you are working towards a legacy for your children. It is suffering from an illness or injury and through suffering your path to holiness is being paved.

Just as the song goes..."Open our eyes, Lord. Help us to see your face. Open our ears, Lord". So Help us to hear. So today, let's take off our "Mom Goggles" (a different meaning than the old college saying "Beer Goggles" :) and look to the true meaning of life. To give up everything for Jesus and to work daily for eternal life ....and there is no better way than through the vocation of motherhood.

Have a blessed Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Gospel Reading today Luke 14:15-24

"As a child lies quietly in its mother's arms, so my heart is quiet within me." Psalms 131:2

The more I read scripture the more honored I become in my vocation of motherhood. So many times scripture compares God's love to a mother's love. I believe there is no better love to compare to the love of God than a mother's love. This is profound to me! I get so excited at the thought of God choosing us mothers to be the forefront of showing His love on earth. What more could we ask for then proof in scripture that there is no safer place for a child than in his mother's arms. This is where they feel secure and their soul is quiet. The feeling is pure peace for our children and the mother when we cradle them in our arms. Where there is peace there is God. How blessed we are as mothers to experience Heaven on earth right here in our homes and in cradling our children. What more could we ask for? We have everything! We need nothing more! No car, no shoes, no bigger home, no job can give us this abundant love and grace.

So today, find time to just hold your baby(ies) and sit in peace. Feel God's loving presence wrap around you as you wrap your loving arms around your child. As hard as motherhood can be at times, it is these moments that make it all worthwhile. Be thankful today that you get to spend every moment (good and bad) with these precious souls that have been given to us. Nothing else in life matters but being in the presence of God and living your life to serve him. I hope after reading this today, your heart is quiet within you. If not, listen to God and what he truly wants for your life. Where there is peace, there is God.

Have a blessed Tuesday!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Gospel reading today: John 6:37-40

"Their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. Wisdom 3:2-3

I can't write much this morning so I thought I would post an archive. This is about the "communion of Saints" we are united with our loved ones in heaven here on earth through the Eucharist. I am so close to my loved ones who have gone before me. I never had the privilege of knowing my Great Granny, Hattie, and my Great Grandfather, Joe, who settled the ranch that I grew up on and hold so dear to my heart. However, as strange as it may sound, I know and love them because I have experienced their loving presence with me. I ask them for prayers for my family and I. I tell stories to my children of the sacrifices they made and their devout Catholic faith. How they use to drive their wagon once a month 35 miles away to take their family to mass. How the happiest day of Granny's life was when they finally arrived at the ranch and she saw the two room home my Grandad had built for them. How they eventually built the Catholic church that I was raised in and married in. Oh, how I could write endlessly about my love for these two people I have never met in person. So here is an archive that I wrote in August about teaching our children to experience heaven on earth just as I have experienced the loving presence of Grandad and Granny Venneman.

August 2009
How can we teach our children to experience Heaven while they are here on earth? How can we teach them to see Jesus in others and the all of the celestial court in church with us in our homes? Every morning when my children get up, they come and sit on my lap in my "prayer room".....a formal sitting room where I have a table with a statue of the Blessed Mother, a picture of our ancestors, a crucifix and a prayer candle. They sit in my lap and say "Morning, Jesus. Morning, Blessed Mother." Sometimes they will grab the crucifix and kiss Jesus's hands and feet...his ouchies. While in church, I picture beautiful Angels flying and singing above us and I see "look at the Angels!". And when the Eucharist is transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, I picture Jesus coming down from Heaven, with His pierced hands and feet and standing next to the priest. He is present for us to receive Him and be nourished spiritually, mentally and physically. When we are heading up to communion, I say "let's go see Jesus!" This might all sound crazy, but it helps me to see Heaven here on earth. I truly believe and we have been told that Heaven is among us......the Blessed Mother is there with us in the middle of the night when we are rocking our babies and praying the rosary, Jesus is at the Kitchen sink with us when we ask Him for help to get through the day. Our loved ones who are now gone are here with us, praying for us and fully present in our lives. For the Communion of Saints are all of us here on earth, our loved ones in Heaven, Jesus and all of the angels and Saints united together in the Body and Blood of Christ.So the next time you are having an ordinary day or your mind is drifting off in Church, transfigure that moment into a glowing beautiful moment of Heaven truly present in your midst....your loved ones next to you celebrating mass. And as we go about raising our children, maybe we can all help them start seeing heaven on earth and it will guide them in their decisions and actions if they know Jesus and all of the celestial court are right there by their side.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

All Hallows Eve & All Saints Day

This morning I researched the true meaning of All Saints Day and Halloween. Ofcourse, like most everything else, it all goes back to the Catholic Church. One of the many reasons I love being catholic is our belief in the Saints. I like to explain it to protestants that just as we ask each other to pray for each other here on earth, we ask the Saints and the Blessed Mother to pray for us. We believe that they are just as present here on earth as all of us. They are walking beside us waiting to be called upon for help. Is that not cool or what? The only difference is they are in Heaven with God our Father! I love it that Halloween is a mockery of evil. Isn't that great? We are saying ha ha can't touch us because we love Jesus! I can't wait to teach that to my children when they are older. That makes me want to dress them extra scary so we can really laugh in Satan's face because we strive for holiness, not evil!

Below you will find the information I found at Enjoy reading the history and becoming more educated about the Catholic Faith! And for those protestants out there, the Catholic Churh loves all religions and we are all in this together.....loving the same God and trying to get to the same place! I am not trying to push the catholic faith on you, but I think it is fun to learn about all religions!

The Feast of All Saints is a holy day of the Church honoring all saints, known and unknown. This is much like the American holidays Veterans Day and Presidents Day, where many people are honored on one day. While we have information about many saints, and we honor them on specific days, there are many unknown or unsung saints, who may have been forgotten, or never been specifically honored. On All Saints Day, we celebrate these saints of the Lord, and ask for their prayers and intercessions. The whole concept of All Saints Day is tied in with the concept of the Communion of Saints. This is the belief that all of God's people, on heaven, earth, and in the state of purification (called Purgatory in the West), are connected in a communion. In other words, Catholic and Orthodox Christians believe that the saints of God are just as alive as you and I, and are constantly interceding on our behalf. Remember, our connection with the saints in heaven is one grounded in a tight-knit communion. The saints are not divine, nor omnipresent or omniscient. However, because of our common communion with and through Jesus Christ, our prayers are joined with the heavenly community of Christians. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (AD 350) testifies to this belief:
We mention those who have fallen asleep: first the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, that through their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition...(Catechetical Lecture 23:9).
The Catholic Catechism concisely describes this communion among believers, by which we are connected to Christ, and thus to one another:
"Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness...They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us...So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped."" Christian communion among our fellow pilgrims brings us closer to Christ, so our communion with the saints joins us to Christ, from whom as from its fountain and head issues all grace, and the life of the People of God itself: We worship Christ as God's Son; we love the martyrs as the Lord's disciples and imitators, and rightly so because of their matchless devotion towards their king and master. May we also be their companions and fellow disciples (CCC 956, 957)!
There are
thousands of canonized saints, that is those individuals officially recognized by the Church as holy men and women worthy of imitation. Because miracles have been associated with these people, and their lives have been fully examined and found holy by the Church, we can be assured they are prime examples of holiness, and powerful intercessors before God on our behalf. There are also many patron saints, guardians or protectors of different areas and states of life. For instance, St. Vitus is the patron saint against oversleeping, and St. Joseph of Cupertino is the patron saint of air travelers. It may sound crazy to have a patron saint against oversleeping, but keep in mind the Church has something meaningful for every area of our human lives. All of these saints are celebrated throughout the year, as many have their own feast days (for instance, St. Hilary of Poitiers, whose feast day is celebrated January 13).

The vigil of the Feast (the eve) has grown up in the English speaking countries as a festival in itself, All Hallows Eve, or Halloween. While many consider Halloween pagan (and in many instances the celebrations are for many), as far as the Church is concerned the date is simply the eve of the feast of All Saints. Many customs of Halloween reflect the Christian belief that on the feast's vigils we mock evil, because as Christians, it has no real power over us. However, for some Halloween is used for evil purposes, in which many Christians dabble unknowingly. David Morrison explains the proper relationship between Christians and Halloween. Various customs have developed related to Halloween. In the Middle Ages, poor people in the community begged for "soul cakes," and upon receiving these doughnuts, they would agree to pray for departed souls. This is the root of our modern day "trick-or-treat." The custom of masks and costumes developed to mock evil and perhaps confuse the evil spirits by dressing as one of their own. Some Christians visit cemeteries on Halloween, not to practice evil, but to commemorate departed relatives and friends, with picnics and the last flowers of the year. The day after All Saints day is called All Soul's Day, a day to remember and offer prayers up on behalf of all of the faithful departed. In many cultures it seems the two days share many customs.

Christ Our LordYou suffered and were tempted.You are powerful to come to the aid of those who are assailed by the devil,For you are the support of Christian people.O Lord, protect with Your Right Hand those who trust in Your Name. Deliver them from the Evil One,and grant them everlasting joy. AmenSt. Gregory of Khandzta (759-861)