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.