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Called to Suffering

Pain, heartache, struggle, reward, etc…

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The other day I was complaining at God about myself. Seems like I do a lot of that… (Read also – Why, God?))

I was complaining that I am insufficient for the job He has been asking me to do. I’m not a patient enough mother, not a good enough listener, not an understanding or respectful enough wife. I am too quick to jump to conclusions and tend to think I have all the answers, but really it just makes me seem clueless and inconsiderate. I’m somehow unable to ever finish ordinary household tasks before my husband comes home from work at night and he ends up picking up my slack.  (No, I don’t feel this is something I have to do, just something I love the idea of being able to do for him – trust me, it never happens).

Anyhow, I had a whole litany of my faults that I laid out at His feet to complain at Him for doing such a “poor job” when he created me….

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Called to Suffering

Called to Fight – The Ordinary Person’s Guide to 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.”

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

Called to Friendship – 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 Be, Called to More, Called to Relationship, Called to Suffering

Called to an extraordinary life

We go through life surviving.  We strive to be “normal”.  We want to fit in.  We want to get by.  We want to just be comfortable.  But there is so much more to life than normal, so much more than ordinary.

There is a special plan for each and every one of us. We were created by love, for love. We were created for Paradise, for perfection, for greatness for fulfillment (see Longing).

But, this world falls short of what we were created for. We lose hope. We lose focus. We lose sight of our value and our purpose.

We need a reminder. We need to come back to what really matters. We need to remember that we are particularly called.

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.

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