Chocolate Chips

Yesterday I made some chocolate chip muffins, (extra chocolate chips) and as I was putting the chocolate chips into the flour I tasted one. I’ve tasted chocolate chips, hundreds of times. I’ve never stopped and noticed in that moment what chocolate really tastes like and how God made it taste a particular way for our palate.

How many of us have had a chocolate chip cookie? A chocolate chip muffin? Just grabbed a handful of chocolate chips and tossed them into our mouth? Have you ever stopped and thought, and said, “Wow God, You know thank You for that, thank you for this wonderful taste, thank You that chocolate is so amazing and it’s celebrated throughout the world, through so many wonderful occasions.”

If chocolate chips can be forgotten about, how many other things in this life are we not thanking God for? Are we thanking Him for the beautiful sunsets and sunrises? Many of us take them for advantage.

Life is a set of moments and while we will not be able to capture every one, let’s start by doing our own part and say thank You for any and everything that you never said thank You for. It helps us to become better people, it helps us to appreciate the little things, like the smile on a child’s face, an elderly person, having so much confidence in being able to walk and witnessing that smile that they thought nobody saw – thank God for moments like that too.

Be appreciative on purpose. 

Our Priests

Our Priests are not dispensary machines.

I think as laypeople, it becomes very easy to think of our Priests as available 24/7.

It seems like it doesn’t matter if they have enjoyments and that God has given to them gifts – that He wants them to aspire.

When you see a Priest – you see Jesus – and also a human being.

May we remember the two-in-one and the one-in-two. There is a purposeful, beautiful difference.

Encourage a Priest to find time to discover and take rest in the Lord.

Broken Stones

I am amazed by these steppingstones. Started thinking about them… I saw each stone as an event in life. Some are ragged, some are cracked, some are not on the path with the others -and some have been consumed by weeds.

I then was fascinated by the tiny stones that are in between the larger ones. I started seeing that those were all of the times that we all have had little pieces break off of us and we wonder – where have these pieces gone to? We look around and we see little pieces of our life scattered everywhere and when we think about trying to recapture some of those stones – you know, the ones that look good, the ones that we remember that made us feel good, we overlook the stones that we don’t really want to think about anymore and the ones that gave us great sadness, those are the ones that we push to the side -we actually kick those ones out – and hope to kick them so far into the forest that they can never be found again. We all have that tendency don’t we? Of just picking and choosing what little parts of our life that we want to pick up and lay down?

Looking forward, not seeing more of the path I was thinking that was a nice few moments to consider the steppingstones.

I felt God tell me, you cannot see ahead of the bend,but it is much more of the same path and each one of those small stones that you were wondering about, I have collected all of those small stones. I have taken all of your brokenness, all of your fears, all of your sadness, and your happiness, your joy, your smiles, I have taken all of those and I have mixed them together to build you stronger steps that you will see will not be as ragged in the future, but I had to break you to make you who I wanted you to be.

A 12 year old Atheist

I walked into my dad’s bedroom to grab something and laying on top of his dresser was the divorce papers.  I remember looking at the paper and seeing that the divorce was final. In a way, I cannot say that I was too sad. 

The fights, the late night arguments were over.

During this time, between the ages of 12 and 13, I found some new friends in my school, people that I had already known, but a little bit of a different crowd. Hanging out and talking, I remember during one of those conversations, one of my friends asked me how everything was going and I told her about my parents divorce being finalized. She said that she was sorry and some of my other friends that were there said the same. I told them that it was fine and that I know that God had a plan. Why I said that at that age, after the way that I was feeling, I do not know, but I do know that in each one of us, whether we know it or not, whether we believe it or not, God is there and there are some things that you cannot shake, no matter how hard that you try.

It was at that defining moment that I did not realize what would happen within that conversation. My friends began to ask me that if there was a God, where was He with so many bad things happening in the world, where was He when I had asked the arguing to stop with my parents?

I remember going home that night and thinking about those questions and then thinking about my childhood. Was He really there for me?

It was that night, in my little, unknowledgeable and simple way that I said, “Well God, if you don’t love me, how can I love you? My friends are right, you can’t exist. Look at these wars in the world, look at my life. How can you be real?”

That phase would go to last on for about a year and a half.

During that time, I never knew God in the close personal way that I do today. What I knew of Him was that He existed and I knew that He was the creator of the world.

I was Baptized as a Roman Catholic when I was only a few months old. My family was never active in the Church. There was only a handful of times when we would go to Church and it was only Mom and us when we would go to visit Nana.

We never spoke of Jesus in our home but I would always see a picture of Jesus hanging up. My mother always had one above her bed. I would go to my mom’s bed just to sit and to look into the eyes of Jesus. Somethings so comforting to me and something that I still do today.

When my peers said, “how can God be real, he’s not real to us, where is he?” I remember feeling very indifferent to what it is that they were saying because when I looked into the eyes of Jesus Christ, in that photo hanging above moms bed, I knew what I felt was real. Being such a tender age and being at the age that I was changing in so many different ways and dealing with some other heavy issues in my life during that time, I see were Satan was trying to trap me. Because if he can get you when you’re young, that’s where he can try and take hold of you. All that he needs is that little doubt.

But don’t we all have that?

How many of us have doubted the truth of Gods existence when things in our life went down? Everyone may not have come out and said that they were an atheist, but some of us have. Some of our crosses were that heavy – that to even think that God could be around and not help, was nonsensical.

How did I come back from this? I came back from this through the Blessed Mother Mary. I will write about that at another time, in another blog. But during that time of me being a self-proclaimed atheist, Jesus had His Eyes on me.

I never picked up a book or ever studied atheism but in my heart I was sad to know that God left me. Even during that time, I would still always go to stare at that picture hanging above moms bed. While I knew of the Blessed Mother Mary, I thought she was just a woman that was someone who gave birth to a little boy and that little boy was really important and that’s all that I knew of our Blessed Mother at that time.

I went to Confession when I was in my 20s and I remember my Confession to the Priest about me being a young atheist of 12 almost 13 years old. What I learned is this is when most people fall in life, they fall in their teenage years because this is where they are most susceptible. And this is where the beautiful innocence of children can be had. Almost always, the influence is done by our peers. In many other cases, it is because of a violation by an adult. I had my peers on one side talking in my ear and on the other side – an abusive home.

I have been wanting to write about this for so many years and as of late, God has been working on my heart about this.

When I found myself having a hard time writing about this, I went into prayer. I asked God, “why am I having a hard time writing about this? “God told my heart, “because you lack humility. ”

I was very taken aback by Gods Response. When I spent time in prayer with Him, in front of the Blessed Sacrament, what I discovered was this about myself, is that because I live, in a way, a public ministry life that spreads the word of Jesus Christ, Blessed Mother Mary, the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church how would people look at me if I did come out and say this? My husband knew, my children knew about this, I was honest with them because I wanted to let them know, that listen, when you’re in school, don’t be surprised if things start to happen – if you start to feel a certain way about God, come to mom and dad, but always, go to Jesus Christ afterwards and go into a dialogue with Him so you can keep your mind and your heart set and straight in His Truths.

I sat down, opened my laptop and here is the end result.

If it is somebody who is struggling and thinking, how can I go back to God when I denied Him? Am I even worthy anymore? I was there before and I know how that feels and I can only tell you this, go to Confession, go in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

Know that you’ve been forgiven and live in Him today.

Everything in life is a stepping stone to bring us closer to Jesus.

Possibilities

A weed is but an unloved flower. ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

As a child, dandelions to me, were smiles in my back yard. If I could have put googly eyes on them, I would have had a backyard full of friends.

I remember going for walks and seeing people cut down a yard full of them and I thought, if those were roses, that probably would’ve never happened. 

As an adult, finding one always was and still is special.

When my husband and I moved to New Hampshire in 2015, the day of our closing, I was in the backyard with Joey of our new home, thanking God for His blessing and as I looked down, there was one below my feet.

I plucked it from the ground and I did what I have done 100 times, said a prayer, and asked Jesus, with each little ‘seed’ to carry it and let blessings be created where those delicate white wisps will land.

Everything in life, can be made into a prayer. When you see Jesus in everything, prayer becomes your second language, a natural way of seeing life.

While I will never know, in this earthly life, where every single one of those little white wisps went to, I do know that God knows exactly how many of those little white wisps were on each one of those dandelions.

So if you ever see one, maybe take a different look at it, try and look at life in a different way and see what happens, the slow process of change of your heart and mind. Ask God to help you to see moments the way that He saw them when He created each living thing on our Earth.

A Little Miracle In Maine

“The earth laughs in flowers.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

When one opens the door and walks outside, how taken aback you become as you look at the trees, look at the branches and you see Jesus in everything, God’s Creation is everywhere.

My earliest memory of walking through fields would have to be fields of wild scallions. As a child, walking and putting my hands out on both sides, letting whatever fields it is that I was walking through touch my hands and feeling life, knowing that that I was touching reality in the moment, was and still is poetry.

“God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” – Saint Teresa of Calcutta

When I was two years old, my mother, my father, my brother Jim and myself and my brother Stephen who was just born lived in Maine. I do not remember any of my time in Maine as I was very young.

I was told that there was a miracle that happened in my life one day in Bath, Maine, I have no human recollection of it whatsoever but the townsfolk did.

I have always loved nature, or so it has been said since I was a baby. One of my fascinations was looking up to the sky and nature as a whole. I’m not too sure what I was thinking about back in the day but I know what I think about now when I look into nature. There’s so much to contemplate.

At the age of two, so the story goes, is that I went off into the back fields. Living in Maine, there was so much country land that the fields just went on and on. I walked out of my back door into the fields of my backyard. I had no shoes on and only a summer dress.

My mother noticed that I was gone and she went to find my dad. Dad was nervous because their was our water well in the fields.

My mother and father searched for a while for me and they could not find me. At that time, the police, the fire department was called in, search parties were called in and then finally a Priest was called in because I was gone for so long that they did not think that they were going to find me and it was becoming colder.

My dad went off into the fields again to try and find me one last time before the search party ceased for the night.

I was told that I was found by my dad sitting in the middle of the field, smiling and giggling. My dad said that he had walked past that same exact part of the field as did so many other people, including the Fire Department, the Police Department and the rescue crews.

There was not a scratch on me and I was clean.

I sometimes wonder what happened to me that day, where I may have gone to. I remember nothing of that day at all.

One thing that I do know is that my love of nature comes from that day. There are no human words to explain why it is that I know that this is a definitive. In a Spiritual sense, I know that something very special happened that day.

A Mother’s Heart

Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.” – Barbara Kingsolver

This year, I turned 44 years old. My sons are 26 years old and 20 years old. Some of my friends children are grown like mine, although not many, and many are just beginning their lives with children.

I get asked questions from new moms, moms with teenagers and even moms with adult children about the journey of Motherhood.

As I was having dinner with my husband this evening, we started to talk about a subject that had not been brought up in quite a while. About our oldest son, Ryan. When I was pregnant with Ryan, I found out at 11 weeks that my son was either going to have down syndrome or be a little person. The ultrasound showed that all of his limbs were very small and it also showed many characteristics of Down Syndrome. My husband and I were advised to go to Boston that afternoon to meet with a team of specialists. We did go to Boston and that story, I believe is in another blog post.

Fast forward, Ryan was born perfectly fine. My labor was almost 48 hours and I gave birth to Ryan at 1:30 in the morning.

After the nurses left, the doctors, all is finally quiet, I looked over to my right and Joey was sound asleep on the couch, I looked over to my left and I saw the miracle that God has bestowed upon me. I had just turned 18 years old, two weeks before Ryan’s birthday and I was fully prepared for raising a sick child.

As I looked over to my left and I saw Ryan, I asked God, “he’s OK, what happened” Internally I ‘heard’ “He will serve me one day.” I did not know what that meant at that moment as I had just found my way to God as a teenager and was very early in my journey but it’s a moment that I never forgot about. I never told my son about it and still have not to this day. I believe in my heart I know what God was trying to say that day to me especially at my age but I will never know.

As a mother, I want what my son wants. And sometimes that is hard, because we see our children going down a path that may be more difficult, and it is in those moments, in the heart of a mother, that we need to leave all preconceived conceptions at the door and love our children for their uniqueness and beautiful mind. Because that is what God does for each one of us.