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!