Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mothers Speaking with Authority By Our Actions

Gospel Reading today Luke 4:31-47
"He was teaching on the Sabbath and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word was with authority." Luke 31-32

The part of the gospel "speaking with authority" stuck out to me today when I read the scripture.  I tend to be "too nice" at times and do not speak up for the truth; however,  I am working on this.  I have a dear friend/spiritual mentor who is in her forties and has six children.  She is a very wise and knowledgeable woman.  She has taught me to speak truth.  She is originally from Ohio and she said we Texans can sometimes be just too niiiiice.  We tend to tell people what they want to hear instead of what they should be told.  Jesus spoke with authority, so therefore, we disciples should speak with authority for what we believe in.  As one of the Saints said (I can't remember who it is...) "Use words if necessary", meaning that speak truth by our actions,not words. Our society has gotten too lax and should be held accountable for things that are just not right.

Instead of nodding our heads in agreement with what everyone is doing, we should plant the seed in their mind that "hey, maybe that isn't okay".  We are called not to be judgemental, but we are also called to stand up for truth.  Changing society and the way it thinks start within the family.  If we take a stand and not follow the "standard", then others will start re-thinking the choices they are making.  For one, families being scattered in all different directions all weekend tied up with activities is not healthy in my opinion.  What happened to the old-fashion Sundays of going to church, sitting down to eat a meal as a family and resting.  Now families are scattered in all different directions.....one child playing basketball here, the other playing baseball there....the father is at one game and the mother is at the other.  This is not "keeping holy the Lord's day", which is one of the ten commandments.  Slowly but surely society and the ways of the world is eating away family time.  Everyone else is doing it, so should we.  Life continues to get more complicated.  Jesus and His blessed mother calls us to live a simple life.  What does that entail?  I am constantly asking myself this question as we are bombarded with activities and being "on the go".  One of the ways in keeping life simple, I believe, is the family staying intact.  To stop the nonsense of being stressed trying to get everyone to certain places and just saying NO!  I don't know about you all, but I didn't start sports and cheerleading until 7th grade. I didn't go to school until Kindergarten.  Life was simple.  I spent summers playing make believe, barbies, and out in the fields making wheat gum during Harvest.  My mom was in the kitchen cooking for our family and taking care of the home.  She wasn't consumed with entertainment for us.  She had work to do.  Now mothers are constantly enrolling their children in all kinds of activities, thinking it will help them be better, have more confidence, become more intelligent.  My opinion, all this will do is not let the child be a child.  We have got to get back to the mentality of keeping life simple. The best place for a soul to take beautiful form is in the home.  For the more scattered our families are, especially the mothers, the more weak we become and let havoc enter our homes and our hearts.  Who do you think is behind this?  Take a wild guess!?!

So today, as we end the month of August and look to the Fall, try keeping a simple minded heart with what is ahead.  Don't think your child needs to be in every activity.  Less is more.  Children truly are the happiest when the family is together, living a simple life and enjoying each other's presence.  As mothers, we can speak with authority by our actions. We can stand up for living a simple life and start by standing up for one of the ten commandments-Keep holy the Lord's day.

Blessings to you this Monday!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Keeping Our Hearts Picked Up along with the toys.....

Today's Gospel reading Mathew 24:42-51
"Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming." Mathew 24:42

What if a friend you haven't seen in forever, or your mother, or a perspective buyer of your home was to show up at your door step unexpected.  What if you did not know the day or hour they were to come.  I would be a stress case for sure!  I am one of these who likes to have my house pristine when I have a visitor. (one of these days I am going to get over that....)  I like to have candles going, coffee brewed, music playing and for sure toys picked up.  However, you should see my house daily around 3:00 PM.  I love to see my children use their imagination and play till their hearts are content. Therefore, one might find around 2 or 3 in the afternoon, tents and forts built in the middle of the living room, baskets stacked up that were made into little houses, legos upon legos put perfectly together by these precious minds.  It is a zoo!  As I sip and drink my afternoon coffee and say some prayers, I love listening to their conversations and make believe world.  I,however, would be mortified if someone that has never been to my home knocked on my door to see my home in such a disarray.  I take pride and joy in my little home and would never want anyone to think I don't properly care for my home.  But the most important thing is to know in my heart that I care for my home properly but I also let my children be children and play.  Too many families are scattered in all different directions and overscheduled.  Too many children are in school at such early ages and don't have the luxury of playing peaceful as a child in their home.  So the person who arrived at my door would just have to either walk away or embrace the love and happiness this humble abode.  They don't need to know that by 6:00 everything is put back into its place, dinner is on the table and mom is plum worn out.  The only person that needs to see this is Our Lord. 

So the moral of this story is.....no eyes matter but Jesus' eyes.  He is the one we should be living for every minute of the day.  If he showed  up at my door step around 3:00 in the afternoon, I truly hope and believe He would tell me "Well done, My good and faithful servant.  Enter into my Kingdom."  For He knows my heart and my heart is to serve He and my family and this house alone.....nothing else in this world. He doesn't care about having a pristine home at all times and the way the "surface looks".  He cares about what is in the heart.  He wants us to have a pristine and beautiful heart. He doesn't want to find us mothers looking perfectly outside the home and playing the "one-up game" with our neighbor of who has the bigger home and fancier car and more perfect life.  He wants to find us on our knees hugging the child in "mourning" when they get hurt, folding the huge pile of laundry that clothe the naked, feeding mac and cheese to the "hungry" and giving sippy cups of water to the "thirsty". Giving hugs to the "pure of heart" and being the "peacemakers" of sibling rivalry. He wants us showing "mercy" to the little one who breaks your favorite piece of china.  He wants to embrace us as we are "poor in spirit" facing another day of a sick child.  And finally He brings great joy to see our "humility" in the work we do as mothers and blesses us when we receive "persecution" from the world.

There you have it....the Beatitudes all wrapped up in the Vocation of Motherhood.  Jesus tells us through this work, we will inherit the Kingdom of God.  As mothers, we are wealthy in Gods eyes by the work we do.  Nothing else in the world matters.  So today, as the toys are scattered and your home seems a bit unpeaceful at the moment, rest in the arms of Jesus.  For His work is happening right before your eyes.  Souls are being formed for Eternity through the forts, and legos and baby dolls......The formation of your children's souls that will live forever happen inside the walls of your home.  What more could we ask for as mothers than to witness the Kingdom of God as hand?  So forget about impressing the unexpected guest.  For the only one we need to live to impress is Jesus.  He sees our homes when they are perfectly picked up and clean.  The question is.....how does He see your heart?

Blessings to you this Thursday!  I will be getting a new computer soon.  I miss writing daily.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The World Can Wait, Your Family Can't!

Gospel Reading today Mathew 19:23-30
"But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first."  Mathew 19:39

This morning as I watched the sun rise and was meditating on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary (the Passion of Christ) tears streamed down my face.  To think of what Jesus went through for us and to see our disgusting soceity and how so many have forgotten what Christ did for our sake.  Mothers are killing babies inside their wombs, couples are disregarding the sacrement of marriage and the holiness of two bodies becoming one, people are living for the things of this world by obsessing about possessions and status, parents are disregarding their most important job on earth....raising children....the greatest gift given to them by God himself.  Me, me, me...."What is in it for me?" is the question this society is constantly asking. Where has society gone wrong?  I once heard it said that Satan's work is slow rotting.  He has slowly rotten away the very core of society. 

I truly believe we are living in very urgent times.  It is up to our generation to change hearts and minds back to Christ.  It starts in the heart of the home.  Mothers, by giving our lives to our family and focused on the most important job at hand, raising disciples for Christ, is truly or greatest work we can do for the Kingdom. By fathers loving their wives and working diligently and hard to provide for the family can help witness to our children strong work ethic and devotion to family.  For husbands and wives to be open to life and not be selfish in their thinking..."with two we can travel and have more finances available"....ya da ya da ya da...the lies of Satan of why we shouldn't be open to more life.  Nothing else is eternal that we do on earth.....the ONLY tangible work that is eternal is giving life.  Children are the greatest gift we have on earth.  Anymore, a family is considered CRAZY if they have more than three.  You can't even imagine the comments I have already received by being pregant with my fourth.  This is so sad to me.  I even received a "joking card" from my sister-in-law saying that we were white trash.  As humerous as she thought it was, this is how society views bringing more life into the world.  We are so excited for our fourth but it is so disappointing how I have already felt the stings of satan through this anti-life world.

We mothers have to realize the power we have from God in saving this corrupt world.  Through our daily work of shaping and molding souls for eternity and the mundane tasks of keeping our homes orderly and holy will help the whole world turn around.  By offering prayers up throughout the day...simple prayers, one liners can help in the Master Plan of this world.  Pope John Paul said, "The family is the vital cell of society".....what more do we need to know about the importance of marriage, motherhood, and homemaking? Satan is sly and smart...he knows what he is doing.  He took women out of the home to create chaos and havoc in society by luring them into worldy success and fullfillment.  Now, parents aren't around body or mind when their children are at home.  The women are stressed, running around trying to be all and do all....bring in a salary, cook, care for the home....in turn this leaves the heart of the family frazzled and stressed.  And we all know when mama is stressed and frazzled, the home and family are the same.

So today, ignore this noisy society that states, "What do you do? Oh, you JUST stay at home?" And if you have a career, try finding balance. Always keep centered in your mind that your family and home are the MOST important tasks at hand.  Get rid of distractions!  All of the extra phone calls, emails, outside influence, activites....get rid of them!  Just tell people you don't have any extra time in this season of your life.  Your plate is full trying to balance work, home and family.  If you seem out of touch with friends, they will understand.  If they don't, you don't need them as friends anyway!  I feel overwhelmed at the time being strictly giving my whole mind and body  to my husband, three toddlers and a little one in my womb on top of caring for our home.  I am not worried about anything outside this task.  Friends who I don't talk to for awhile will just have to understand.  Emails that go un-answered....sorry! :) The outside world can wait, my family can't. 

Okay, off to have a cup of coffee with my sweet husband.  Have a blessed Tuesday!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Feast Day of Assumption of Our Lady

Tomorrow, Sunday the 15th, we will celebrate the Assumption of Our Lady, body and soul, into heaven.  Jesus preserved his mother's body from the corruption of death, for it was the temple of his conception and the crowning glory of the human race. What a beatutiful celebration in honor of Our Dear Blessed Mother, I wanted to share with you all Marija Lunetti's talk she gave on August 11th.  Marija is the visionary that I had the honor to be with in Medjugorje.  She is one of the six visionaries that have been having apparitions with Mary for 29 years.  Marija sees Our Lady every day at 6:40 pm (our time).  She fed our group breakfast on her back porch and has the most amazing, holy, humble presence I have ever witnessed.  She is no doubt a future Saint of our church.  We were with her twice in her private chapel during her appartions.  It was unlike anything I will ever experience in my lifetime. After one of the apparitions while walking back to St. James Church, I witnessed the miracle of the sun with several other pilgrims.  This is where the sun dances and spins and pulsates reds, blues, oranges.  It was unbelievable!  Here is her talk from the 11th.  I especially loved what she said about being a mother of four boys.  Celebrate and doing something extra special with your family in honor of the Assumption......fix a yummy dinner and place a beautiful bouquet of roses in the middle of the table and share with your children the story of the Assumption.

This was copied off http://www.mej.com/

Marija, the Medjugorje visionary, during a recent apparition of Our Lady. Marija receives the 25th message from Our Lady and often shares her testimony to pilgrims. Marija gives practical advice for all those seeking to encounter Our Lady
Today, August 11, 2010, the Medjugorje visionary Marija Lunetti gave a talk to pilgrims in Medjugorje. She encouraged them to follow Our Lady’s messages of prayer, conversion, and fasting. Marija gave practical advice for all pilgrims visiting Medjugorje. This is the testimony she gave:

“I want to bring Our Lady’s messages closer to you through this testimony. How many are here in Medjugorje for the first time? Please raise your hands. I see that probably more than 80% are visiting Medjugorje for the first time. Welcome from the bottom of my heart. Our Lady said we are Her hope.

“I want you all to be touched by Our Lady, and I want Her to lead you as She has been leading us these 29 years. My suggestion to you, and especially to those of you here for the first time, is to not look at anybody or to be attached to anybody. Use this prayer time wisely.
Marija, the Medjugorje visionary, during a recent apparition of Our Lady. Marija receives the 25th message from Our Lady and often shares her testimony to pilgrims. Marija gives practical advice for all those seeking to encounter Our Lady.
“Thank God we pilgrims have so many places here to go to pray: Apparition Mountain, Cross Mountain, the Adoration Chapel and the Church. Many mornings, when I go to Apparition Mountain, I meet many pilgrims at the site of the first apparitions. There is a sign posted calling for silence, but there is much noise. I ask them to be quiet and remind them that this is a quiet place of prayer, but many times this is in vain. I tell them that if they feel the need to pray aloud that they should go behind a bush, so as not to disturb other pilgrims.

“To answer Our Lady’s call to live Her messages, we do not have to become priests or missionaries in Africa. We need to become good examples in our own neighborhoods. In the beginning, when Our Lady invited us to prayer, it was hard, but eventually it became a joy for us. By following Our Lady, we simply fell in love with prayer. When Our Lady asked us to pray more, we happily did that. Our Lady asked for all the Mysteries of the Rosary to be prayed everyday. We responded, even though everyday and all day long pilgrims would be at our houses. One day my mother said that our house was no longer ours, but it resembled a railway station with pilgrims constantly coming and going. Since we didn’t lock our doors, pilgrims would go on into the house. Many early mornings, Italian pilgrims would come and knock on our door and would proceed to go in without an invitation. At 10:00 a.m., German pilgrims would come and my father would tell them it was mealtime. These people would quietly stay outside and pray the rosary. Oh well, Our Lady wanted me to marry an Italian, and I did.

“Again, I tell you to find a time and place for prayer. Do not look to others, but begin yourself to pray. Our Lady first chose Apparition Mountain, a rugged mountain to call us to come and pray. This was a problem for Father Jozo, the pastor at the time. He would ask why Our Lady didn’t appear in the Church. He said that the living Jesus was present there. He could not understand why the throngs of people would choose to go to such a rugged, thorny mountain day and night to pray. Trust me; this is because the mountain, every thorn, every rock, and every bush have been blessed by the presence of Our Lady, because Our Lady chose that place to meet us, and to talk to us and to pray with us.

“She chose us, the six visionaries to witness Her presence and to show us that She is the Mother of God. On the third day of the apparitions, Vicka’s grandmother gave us Holy Water and told us to sprinkle it toward the apparition. She told us to say to Our Lady,that if you are from God stay, but leave if you are not from God! Our Lady smiled and said, ‘I am the Blessed Virgin Mary and I am the Queen of Peace.’
“Only in God can we find peace, and that is why Our Lady invites us to pray. She says that every prayer we pray with the heart is close to God. That is also why She invites us to pray more. Early on, Our Lady asked that prayer groups should be started. She stressed that the first prayer group should begin in our families, and then begin them in our parishes. She told us to open our family Bible and read Holy Scripture. Our prayer group was a mix of young people and adults.

“The evening prayer program here in Medjugorje was Our Lady’s desire. Our Lady always invites us to take with seriousness Her messages regarding conversion. She tells us to put God in the first place in our lives. She invites us to desire the presence of God in our families and live prayer. Remember, God created us in His Image, and without God, we cannot have joy and happiness. Our Lady invites us to be open to prayer.

“The first prayer that we prayed with Our Lady was The Creed, 7 Our Fathers, 7 Hail Mary’s, and 7 Glory Be’s. Our Lady does not pray the Hail Mary with us, but looks at us and smiles. We still pray this today after Holy Mass, kneeling, giving thanks to Our Lady for staying with us these many years. The dearest prayer to Our Lady is the Rosary, and She invites us to pray the whole Rosary everyday. In Medjugorje, before Croatian Mass, two mysteries of the Rosary are prayed to prepare our hearts for the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

“Our Lady began by giving a message every Thursday to help the village toward conversion. She invited us to personal prayer. She asked for one hour of personal prayer and later asked for three hours of prayer. You can see pictures of the six of us kneeling in the Church during the early days of the apparitions. It was hard because we were not used to that. When we protested to Our Lady, She just smiled and asked us if we would sacrifice for a friend that may come to visit us. Would we be willing to prepare for the visit through hard work? She said She wanted Jesus to become our greatest friend, and no sacrifice was too great for Him. Our Lady told us to spend more time with Him so He could become our greatest friend. Slowly we got used to sacrifice.

“Today, I am married with four boys. My prayer times now are during my work, such as today, when preparing lunch I prayed a Rosary. We can pray during our work, cleaning house, taking the kids to school. I was in Mexico giving a testimony, and I was speaking to a Cardinal and a Bishop about this same thing. The Bishop said he remembered his own mother doing the very same thing. She prayed in this way during her whole life. She was the mother of twelve children and he said they never lacked for anything, but learned to pray at her knee. He said his mother would prepare meals for a blind neighbor. I repeat to you that Our Lady does not need us all to go to Africa to become missionaries but to live love in our own homes.
“Once I spoke with another Bishop regarding how society takes and discards things with little or no thought. Also, I think many do the same with people. Our Lady wants to show us that each one of us is important, and we are not to choose this culture of death such as abortion and euthanasia. The elderly are told not to suffer, but to end their life through euthanasia. Society terms it “sweet death.” I heard of a person in Italy that was being starved to death by her family. She went into a coma, and the family thought she had died. A visiting nun saw that she was alive and asked if she could care for her. This is the culture that we live in today.

“Our Lady invites us to fast on bread and water every Wednesday and Friday. She tells us that with prayer and fasting even wars can be stopped. My first experience with fasting was joyful. My mother jokingly said she was the happiest, because she did not have to cook, and the kitchen stayed clean. My father was practical and said the money saved from food expenses would be put aside and given to the poor. I want to encourage all of you to fast. Through fasting, evil spirits can be dispelled. Bad habits, like cursing, can be overcome. I knew a bus driver that cursed with every other word. I told him to stop cursing people and to start saying ‘God Bless You.’ This little thing helped bring him to conversion. Now, when he sees angry people out of his bus window, he yells out ‘God Bless You!’ He says they usually smile and this brings him asure.

“Thank God for giving us Our Lady, our Mother these 29 years. You must convert and change your lives. Take Our Lady to your families and homes and pray. Our Lady says to take a pathway to prayer which will lead to love, which will lead to forgiveness and healing.
“Tonight, I will see Our Lady, and I will ask our Lady to intercede for you. Our Lady’s simple words invite us to change our lives. She begins with ‘Dear Children’ and ends with, ‘Thank you for having responded to my call.’ I pray Our Lady will say this same thing to us in Heaven. God bless you.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Today's Gospel Reading: John 15:4-10
"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:4-5

My sweet friend is being Jesus for me today.  I am 9 1/2 weeks pregnant (we are super excited!) and dog tired.  She invited the kids and I over to swim today and I guess she noticed I needed a nap since I could barely talk I was so tired.  So she kept the two older ones, along with her four (God  bless her), and Anna Claire and I came home and took a nap.  Oh, sweet Jesus, thank you!  So, while I am waiting for Anna Claire to wake up, I thought I would abide in God and give back to Him by writing this afternoon. 

This gospel reading is so beautiful, simple, and timeless.  Lately, all I am trying to do is abide in God through being newly pregnant and chasing three rowdy toddlers.  Thankfully my bad attitude has lifted.  The cure for the BA is early morning prayer.  I was falling behind...back into bed and waking up with my children.....cause for disasterous days! I have to MAKE myself get up 45 minutes to an hour early before my children to drink a cup of coffee and be with God.  It has made all the difference in the world with my days.  I have been reading alot about redemptive suffering.  I don't know if other religions preach on this, but what a gift we have in this message within the Catholic Church.  Basically, if we souls on earth lift up our sufferings as a form of prayer, this can benefit others.  Maybe a wayward brother, a sick child, or someone you don't even know can benefit by you lifting up your suffering as a form of prayer.  This outlook has changed my life.  Now as I tend to children crying out in the middle of the night with leg cramps, a scared two year old, a thirsty three year old (I am usually up 2-3 times every night), I lift this up in prayer for the salvation of my family or the salvation of the world.  I am very concerned for a close loved at the moment who is lost and broken and I am praying for His conversion.  So through my redemptive suffering of morning sickness, tiredness, screaming children, I am lifting up these little sufferings as a form of prayer for him.  In the Catholic church, we are told these forms of prayer are VERY powerful. 

God opened my eyes and heart to redemptive suffering beautifully in Medjugorje.  I was praying so hard for my son's hearing loss to be healed and I had a light bulb moment from Heaven.  He's the lucky one.  The souls on earth that suffer have tremendous power in helping the salvation of the world if they lift their suffering up in prayer.  Our world looks at the ones who suffer as "poor them" but in all actuality, they are the ones who are blessed.  For they share in the cross of Christ.  I realized through my son's suffering of a hearing impairment on earth could be my very ticket to Heaven.  Watching your child suffer in any shape or form is heart wrenching.  But what we have to do as mothers is start looking at these crosses as blessings.  I can't wait to teach Ben that his hearing loss, when lifted up in prayer, can help save the world.  Lost souls who do not know Jesus can benifit through his lack of hearing!  The ones who suffer are the very soldiers for Heaven. Powerful! 

So with this pregnancy, I have almost found joy in the gags through the grocery store because I am lifting the suffering up for the greater good of humanity.  I have also come to the conclusion that motherhood in general is a cross.  We carry the cross of constant wants, whines, cries, fights, nags.....I like to say they are whips and lashes on my frazzled soul.  But when we patiently endure these times of small children with love, we are experiencing redemptive suffering.  Through these day in and day out trenches of motherhood....giving ourselves constantly to these little souls, we can help save countless souls in this world.  We can lift these little sufferings up for the salvation of our family.  Powerful, powerful prayers being constantly lifted to Heaven. So ladies, your days of this life just got REAL important. God chooses we mothers for so much of His greatest work on earth.  We are the disciples of the modern day times.  Not only constantly bringing our families to Jesus but people we don't even know might have a chance for Heaven all through our mundane days of motherhood when lifted up as a prayer.

Gotta go rescue my friend....my "Jesus" of the day!  Blessings to you this Wednesday!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Life is short.....live for the things above!

Sunday's Gospel Reading Luke 12:13-21
".....And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry. But God said to him, `Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be? So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." Luke 12:19-21

Sunday's readings were all so powerful.  I had tears in my eyes as I heard the first & second readings along with the gospel readings.  They were all geared towards living for the things above and not the things of this world.  This message is always music to my ears but at the same time it is so hard to do.  Each and every day to focus on the what is most important in life......things that will last forever (your husband and children) and not the things that will parish away.  The priests homily was so powerful.  He said the famous line we have all heard....."you don't see a u-haul attached to a hurst."  So what are we living this life for?  So many of us are chasing our tails.....trying to accumulate weatlth and store up riches to live the good life.  People are beating the pavement every day trying to get rich.  Fathers are putting more time into their work instead of their families.  Mothers are leaving their children in the care of another in order to have extra material goods and the "life" they always dreamed of.  In the end, what really matters?  Yes, we all want to live our dreams but what are the "bones" of our dreams?  Are they living for what God desires of us or living to achieve earthly happiness? 

I will share with you my greatest dream.  I long to live in a white farm house on several acres with tall lavender lining a white picket fence.  I dream of chickens walking around the yard, a cow to milk, horses to ride, wheat fields dancing in the wind and the only sound at night is the song of the lone windmill and a few coyotes crying from time to time.  A sky full of stars and a moon so bright that you don't need a flash light.  A little chapel down the dirt road where I can go every day to say my prayers and where my children and I can say the divine mercy chaplet everyday at 3:00.  A place where I can look out my kitchen window and take a deep breath and feel the presence of God through the bountiful nature before me.  A slice of Heaven where my children can learn strong work ethic, which is a dying virtue. A simple life. I have to believe this is what God desires for me but the time is not now. It is virtually impossible, mainly b/c our business is smack dab in the middle of one of the largest cities in Texas.  I have to live in the moment and be happy where He has placed me.  But I am not going to give up this dream. I will continue to pray for it but will rest in knowing I only desire what God desires for me.  If being in the city is where I can do His greatest work, than I will pout and be grouchy about it from time to time but will be at peace knowing He is in control of my life.

I think it is almost easier to not be consumed with the things of the world when you are removed from it.  However, when you are surrounded by it and everyone is chasing this endless dead-end cycle, it is easy to get caught up in the middle of it.  As mothers, as hard as it is, we have to keep focused on the finished product.  When ourselves, our husband and children reach the greatest day of our life.....our death.  What is it going to take to get us all there safe and sound?  My guess is keeping life simple around the home and geared towards the things above.  To not give in to all of the "things" our world says we need to be happy.  By going against the grain of society and not letting our children do and have what the world says is okay.....cell phones at the age of 6, ipods, no work ethic, tv's in their rooms, letting them watch unfiltered tv, dressing what is in style of short skirts and low cut tops, being consumed with what everyone else has.....and the list goes on and on.....

Whatever your dreams are, take an evaluation.  Do you think they are dreams that God desires for you or what you desire to acquire earthly happiness.  Do they consist of living for the standards of this world or the standards of Heaven?  A little something to ponder about today during this hot, non-excitement kind of day.  I am a huge dreamer but sometimes it can tend to make me not happy with what I have at the moment.  I have to remind myself that God is the driver of my life, not me.  In the end, I will be so happy He took the wheel instead of me.

I wanted to share with you some pictures of my family and I at the cemetery on Memorial Day. I love the cemetery! Call me crazy, but I find such peace and stillness there. Some days when I am having a stressful days and the kids are fighting in the car, I will wheel into the cemetery....wheels screeching, kids screaming and my blood pressure about to burst! Ahhh, all of the sudden my life is re-directed to what is most important and I feel angels surrounding me. I once heard it said, "if you are trying to make a big decision in your life, then go to a cemetery." Somehow being in the cemetery, life is put back into perspective. My family is very close to our ancestors. I call on them all of the time to pray for me and help me. In my prayer room, there is a picture of my grand parents, great grandmother and great aunt standing in front of the church where I grew up and was married in. It is a reminder to me the gift of passing down the faith. I am so thankful to them everyday for my faith. On memorial day, we picnicked in front of the gravestones of the loved ones who had gone before us. We felt so close to them as we laughed and cried. And I am sure all of Hansford County thought we were plain nuts!

The boys playing guns.....looked like a scene from the old west.
The kids all painted rocks to place at Aunt Mary's grave.
Daddy pointing to Clementine where she gets her name.....our beloved Great Aunt "Teteen"
Picnic with our "Communion of Saints"
Blessings to you this Wednesday!