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Called to Suffering

Pain, heartache, struggle, reward, etc…

spiritual-warfare

My husband and I have been going through a string of hopeful days that somehow end in horrible nights – miscommunications, exhaustion, unkept promises, lack of time for each other, etc, etc, etc. A couple nights ago was the last straw…

After what seemed like an eternity of hostile silence, I finally asked my husband, “Do you think we are under attack?”

He answered quickly and flippantly, “Of course we are.  We are always under attack.”

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Called to Suffering

“I don’t have time for this” …. God’s teachable moments

I was trying to get ready to leave on a trip with my husband. We were finally completely packed and ready to go… all I had left to do was put the kids to bed so we could wake up bright and early the next morning and head out….Then I remembered how I meant to fertilize all the plants and quickly spray down our fruit trees before we left. So, we all went outside… Fertilizer went well but, when I went to put the fruit tree spray in the hose attachment to do the trees, I discovered that there were two rather large cracks in the bottom of the container. Oil based bug spray concentrate was pouring everywhere!!!

Commence parental freakout!

Called to Relationship, Called to Suffering

The Cure for Loneliness

Loneliness is a real struggle for every human being at some point in their lives. Single people feel it “because they aren’t in a relationship” and those in relationships feel it when they find themselves at odds with their partner. Parents feel it when they feel unappreciated and unsupported. Sad people feel it when they need someone to talk to and their friend doesn’t answer the phone. Happy people feel it when they have no one to share their joy with. Employees or students feel it when their coworkers or classmates refuse to carry their share of the work load. Travelers feel it when they long for home or experience a language barrier. Anyone who wants to better themselves or make a difference in this life feels alone because betterment is always a fight against the current.

But what if I told you, no matter the cause, there is an infallible and always available cure for your lonliness?

Called to More, Called to Suffering

When Your Lent Feels Like a Desert…

Does Lent feel like a season for frustration and irritation?  A time of complaining about all our discomforts, voluntary or otherwise? Do your good intentions feel somehow unappreciated or worthless? Does your extra prayer or acts of service seem empty, aimless or uncertain? If so, you might be focusing on the wrong thing this Lent…

Called to Suffering

Finding peace in our crosses

In a homily in Assisi where Pope Francis reflected on why he chose his papal name, the Holy Father pointed out that  the peace of Christ is born from the love of the Cross. Every human being has a cross. For some it may be their physical health or that of loved ones, for some it may be more related to financial or emotional well being. For some it may be combinations of all of the above. The point is, we all have crosses and we all suffer. Our tendency is to want to run from that which causes us pain, to escape it, to avoid it.

But, I challenge you, not this Lent.

Called to Relationship, Called to Suffering

What Your Lent should REALLY be about!

What is Lent all about?  Why do we have this season anyway? Is it about giving up candy, Netflix, Facebook and meat? Why all the focus on “sacrifice”? Why do we fast? How do we decide what to “give up”? Why do we pray? How do we pray? Why do we spend this time focusing on filling food banks and upping our tithe?  Is it just a good time of year to make us feel guilty about everyone less fortunate? Just a good time of year to make us feel guilty about being fortunate? a time of year to make us feel guilty about what we give up or don’t give up? about whether we meet or don’t meet our resolutions?

If we don’t experience the extreme levels of guilt often characteristic of this Season we might find ourselves experiencing other “non-lenten” emotions such as apathy or resistance. “I’m a good person, why should I have to do anything different”? or “I hate lent because I just can’t deal without my daily Starbucks” It is true that Lent encourages us to make sacrifices, to die to ourselves like Christ, to give more, to work harder, to move outside our comfort zone…. but the purpose often gets lost in the details. Let’s get back to what really matters!

Called to Relationship, Called to Suffering

God designs our seasons… Happy Lent!

When God has a plan it trumps everything else.

I knew I would probably go into labor this week but that was the tiniest fraction of what would happen. After nearly 3 days of false labor Adam and I pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that “the kid was never coming out” and relaxed once again into our normal schedule.

Called to Suffering

Appreciating beauty in the Present Moment…

When we focus on what we want and what we need we can have a tendency to forget what we already have. Last night I had a moment that reminded me again of the beauty of living in the present.

Lately I have been a nervous wreck. I’m finally full term pregnant with #4 and it feels like I’m a First Time Mom all over again.  I’ve been worried and anxious and even started hallucinating about about being in labor, but still nothing. I have been freaking out about my older three kids being sick right as baby is due and how germy my house will be. My anxiousness and impatience has been zapping what little energy I have and causing me to be a bit of a grouchy wife and mama.  

Called to Relationship, Called to Suffering

Presence – How to Dance with God – Step 1

In order to learn how to dance with God, we have to recognize that the ultimate key factor is learning to Follow. When we learn to follow we learn to recognize that, as obvious as it might seem, we are not in the lead,  that God is either our partner or our Instructor.  Either way, He is the one in charge.  He is the one who is displaying His strength by showing off our beauty (or, for you guys, the one showing you how to be strong). (See with God).

So, all these dance steps are essentially tips on teaching us how to follow, how to recognize cues, how to see them as beautiful and beneficial to us rather than controlling.

In this first practical post we will focus on the importance of presence.

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