wood-splittingSplitting. Compartmentalizing. There is a real struggle in our world today among Christians trying to live in the world that has descended into chaos and a great moral abyss.  I see many “splitting.” It has gotten so uncomfortable to stand out, that sometimes even good people compartmentalize different aspects of their lives to make life more bearable. I get it.


We, as humans, tend toward choosing the paths of least resistance. There’s the “holy”, faithful part of us that goes to church on Sunday and says grace before meals – when we are surrounded by like-minded people. It’s easy. Then there’s the part that cringes but doesn’t say anything when God’s name is used disrespectfully – the part that listens to the smutty song on the radio because the beat or the music makes us want to move – the part that is afraid to speak out for fear of retribution. From time to time, I struggle with this too, and I hate it!


We cannot have it both ways. We cannot live double lives as followers of Christ. In these times in which we live, we are being called to choose sides – to allow our faith to saturate every cell of our beings – to give ourselves over completely, unabashedly to God – to do with what He Wills – to be used as instruments – to bring others to Him – to bring light to the darkness.


We were chosen to live during these times!  (Wrap your brain around that!) If we are not standing out – if it is not uncomfortable – then we are not doing it right! Thankfully, God never leaves us alone to fend for ourselves. He promises grace sufficient for anything that may come our way. We simply need to ask for this grace through prayer and the sacraments. We must take time to empty ourselves before the Lord so that He may fill us. We’re not going to make it through the storms of this world running around on empty!


Prepare! Prepare the Way of the Lord! Come, let us adore Him!

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Excita, Domine, Potentiam Tuam, et Veni!


Stir (up) thy might, O Lord, and come!

The winds of change are blowing strong.

There’s the change of seasons – the changing of the leaves in the Deep South and the first snowfalls in the far North.

There’s the end of the Year of Mercy and the beginning of a new Church year.

There’s the upcoming inauguration of a new president for the United States of America (I’m holding my breath).

The forces of nature seem to be resculpting the planet – leaving a path of destruction in so many places.  The flooding & earthquakes all over the globe, and (most recently) wildfires in and around our beloved Gatlinburg. It’s heartbreaking!  It seems as though the earth is heaving like a pregnant woman suffering with acute morning sickness – only this sickness is not caused by the gift of new life – the coming joy.  Instead it is caused by a rejection of the gift of life, of God – the Giver of Life- and of His laws created not to suppress us but to set us free – Free to love and be loved!  The world has taken God’s gifts and thrown them shamelessly at His Face.  We’ve grown proud, thinking that we don’t need God.  In His great mercy and love, He will remind us of our dependence on Him.  He will bring us to our knees – a painful but very good place to be when considering eternity and the immeasurable value of even one soul.

I have really gotten into studying biblical prophecy and the messages of Church approved “modern-day” prophets.   It is fascinating.  Each time  I read the bible, there is something new to be discovered – another layer to be peeled back – especially when coupled with the wisdom of those who know history and theology far better than myself.

Each advent, I like to re-watch the documentary, Star of Bethlehem.  It is a fascinating hour that bolsters my faith, puts me in awe of God the Creator, and inspires me to delve more deeply into scripture.  Recently, I stumbled upon this “update” (so to speak) to what I learned in the Star of Bethlehem.  It theorizes that Revelation Chapter 12 is literally being “played out” in the night sky right now!

A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.  She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth…”  Revelation 12: 1-2

I do hope that you will consider watching the video and reading the article as just one of the many ways that you can prepare your heart for the coming of Jesus!

Have a blessed advent.  I pray that we will all grow closer to Jesus with each and every breath that we take!  Come, Lord Jesus!


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Aslan is on the Move!

0909b_aslan“Aslan is on the move.”  On the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I sat in St. Peter Church with my best friend.  When I returned from Holy Communion, I hid my face in my hands and prayed.  In my heart resounded a sentence from a beloved story I used to read to my fourth graders years ago – in my best British accent, of course!  “Aslan is on the move…Jesus is on the move!”

“And now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different. Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don’t understand but in the dream it feels as if it had some enormous meaning—either a terrifying one which turns the whole dream into a nightmare or else a lovely meaning too lovely to put into words, which makes the dream so beautiful that you remember it all your life and are always wishing you could get into that dream again. It was like that now. At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in his inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realise that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.”  from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

In the present troubled times, it is so reassuring to know that Jesus is “on the move.”  He has got this world that seems to spinning out of control in the palm of His hand.  He knows the outcome of this upcoming election.  He hears the war drums beating all over the world. He has already won this war between the culture of death and the culture of life.  We know how this ends!  We have such incredible hope!  He never abandons His own.  Our God is the “Lion of Judah!”   Everything is possible for Him.  There is nothing He cannot do.  As the song (and the bible) say, “Who can stop the Lord Almighty?”  Step out in faith, embrace hope, and live in love!  Jesus will restore us, and every knee will bow to Him!

Check out these two songs & have a blessed week!

God is on the Move Seventh Time Down

The Lion and the Lamb Big Daddy Weave

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God Loves You THIS Much!

I had never really thought about God’s great love for me, until one special Sunday several years ago.  On that day, God’s love became personal to me – undeniably real.  It was life changing!

My family attended St. Patrick’s Church on Camp Street weekly during the 1990’s. At that time, the pastor was Monsignor John Reynolds. I loved Father John, as he was unafraid to speak the truth, and made no apologies for it! He would always say, “If you don’t like what I’m saying, don’t tell me. Tell God. This is what God said, not me.”                                 

After taking on the restoration of the historic church, Fr. John showed signs of slowing down. At one point, he suffered excruciating pain in his back and could not climb up the steps to the ambo anymore to preach his homilies. He also began forgetting things. On this one particular Sunday, he stood before the congregation, a hunched over shadow of the man that he once was. Stretching out his arms and placing them upon the altar, he braced himself.   In the middle of his homily, his brain, (perhaps clouded by the pain) could not retrieve the words that he had prepared and rehearsed. Awkwardly, he tried to regroup his thoughts, but to no avail. Finally, after a few seconds of silence (that seemed like hours) a tear rolled down this seventy- something year old’s face, and he said passionately, “GOD LOVES YOU.” A bit louder and with a broken voice, he repeated, “I want you to know that God loves you…SO MUCH. That’s all.” End of homily. We all sat in awe of what had just happened – stunned, saddened and overjoyed all at the same time. I left church that Sunday knowing with all my heart something that I had often doubted. God does love me immeasurably, and He loves you, too. St. Augustine once said, “God loves each of us as if there was only one of us.” Think about that.   Let the Truth of that statement settle into your bones.            

As an adult who has struggled with fertility issues, I feared that I might not have any children of my own. After I was blessed with one child, it took six years to get pregnant a second time. I know what it means to cherish an only child, fearing that there will never be another. God loves us even more than this!                

Once, when I was going through a particularly rough patch in life, I made my way to the adoration chapel, desperate to obtain some small measure of peace. I sat there for nearly two hours, pouring my heart out to God and just resting in His presence. I did receive peace – so much so that I had to make myself get up and go home. I wanted to stay in the safety of the chapel and hide from the problems of life so badly. Upon leaving, I walked swiftly to my car, trying to dodge the cold wind gusts. A beautiful, smiling woman wearing a black lace mantilla followed me. She approached me cautiously so as not to scare me. Then she told me that God wanted her to give me a message. “Wow. O.K.,” I thought. She told me that God wanted me to know that He was very close to me– “as close as the beating of my heart.” I thanked the woman, and she turned and ducked back into the chapel. I climbed into my car, half stunned. I tried to concentrate on the beating of my heart, but could not, so I placed my hand over my chest so that I could feel it pulsate. The thought that God had heard my prayers and pleas – that He would deign to be that close to me – that He cared that much. The love of the Creator for the created – unfathomable, and so beautiful!      Are you aware of how precious you and your family are to God? God spoke to Jeremiah the prophet saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born, I consecrated you.” Think about that statement. Sure, God was talking to someone else, but what are the implications for us? Did He know us before He formed us in our mother’s womb? Why did He bring us into existence? Was it Love?                                  

How do you want to respond to the reality of God’s incredible love? God wants to be the binding force in our marriages – the first of three – God, husband and wife. He wants to be the King of our homes. He wants to help us make our choices on what to watch on television. He wants to be there at the dinner table. He wants to be in our thoughts and on our lips when we rise in the morning and before we turn out the lights at night. He wants to celebrate the good times with us – birthday parties, learning to ride a bike for the first time, going fishing. He wants to comfort us when we are fearful or sad. Patiently, He is watching and waiting to be asked…        

(an excerpt from The Answer for Families)   65495-god-loves-you-this-much

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

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A Wonderful Day at the Washington Parish Fair


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Farm Favorites


Jesus in the Garden and the Woodpile


The sun breaking through – Do you see a cross?


On the screened porch – pretty cool, huh?!


 Reflections on the pond


Time to say goodbye –

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My Top Ten


In honor of Mother Theresa’s canonization tomorrow, September 4th, 2016 and of her feast day on Monday, September 5th, I’m posting my top ten favorite nuggets of wisdom from Mother Theresa in no particular order.  I especially love the ones in bold.

“Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness.”

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”

“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”

“Peace begins with a smile.”

“Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”

“I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.”

“I do not pray for success, I ask for faithfulness.”

“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.”

“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

This is just a small, small sampling!  You can find a more complete list at Catholic Online/Brainy Quote.

Here is a wonderful little tribute to Mother Theresa done by Catholic News Agency/Catholic Review Media.  Enjoy!




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Favorite Weekend Moments


Gulf Fritillary on the Milkweed


An afternoon downpour


A Wonderful Treat


My daughter’s beautiful hand




It’s been awhile, but this weekend I picked up my camera again.  I think I was able to capture a small sampling of the beauty in God’s creation – and one amazing human creation – the donut:)

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My Two New Obsessions

There are two (relatively) new songs out there that really speak to my heart.  I like to sing them like anthems, especially when I am feeling weak.  Thy Will by Hillary Scott and Family (of Lady Antebellum) and Trust in You by Lauren Daigle.  The last time I tried to post links to Youtube, they didn’t work.  Sooooo, if the links don’t work, you must please do an internet search for these songs to listen to them for yourself.  They are incredibly inspired, powerful and healing.  I’m obsessed!

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Simplicity and Humility

dcaecb3d32fd3cd8456c2a0835f236e8    I’ve been thinking a lot about these two words and what they mean to me at this point in my life.  There are so many things that I feel “done with.” Life is passing so very quickly, and some things just aren’t worth my time and energy anymore.  Of course I care what I look like, but I’m tired of fighting my fine hair and the effects of gravity on the rest of me.  Of course, I want to be liked and respected, but it’s a lot less important to me what others think and more important what God thinks at this stage of the journey.  I want my yard to look tidy and manicured, but if there’s something more exciting and family oriented to do, the grass and weeds can wait.  I feel the need to strip away the unnecessary and the frivolous.  I long to just be  – though I’m not good at simply be- ing for too long!  My family knows, I’m usually giving 110% or I’m sleeping.

Today, I did a lot of work.  I cleaned out my Mary garden and painted a bathroom that REALLY needed it.  Both look fresh and almost sparse, but I think that’s good.  I pruned back the rose bushes harshly, trusting that they will be loaded with buds in time once again.  Simple and clean feels good.

I also enjoyed some time on my back porch listening to the gentle afternoon rain.  In fact, I stepped out into it to catch some raindrops on my tongue.  The rumbling of the thunder reminded me of God’s power and majesty.

I’m going through a reading and reflecting phase – kind of taking more in and sitting with it – than putting my thoughts out there by writing.  I’ve begun keeping a spiritual journal, making note of thoughts I have while sitting with Jesus in adoration, or things I believe God is using to get my attention.  Crows have been significant for me lately, though I’m not exactly sure what their presence means.  I’ve been reading up on these very intelligent birds. I also just finished “The Boy Who Met Jesus, A Message for Humanity” by Immaculee’ Ilibagiza.  It is a short, but powerful book with lots to consider.

I just finished reading the mass readings for tomorrow,  Sunday, August 28th.  They speak to us about humility.  I’ve been taught that humility is the key to holiness.  If we want to grow in holiness, we must first grow in humility – “He must increase, but I must decrease.”  John 3:30  Once I prayed to grow in humility, and God sent me, an elementary school teacher, a parent who I could not seem to please no matter what I did.  It was a long school year!  After that, I shied away from praying for that grace for several years!

Anyway, I came across this prayer card.  When I first read it, I thought – this is ROUGH!  There is NO WAY I’ll ever achieve THIS level of humility.  I tucked it in a book because it was a holy card, and it didn’t “speak to me,” however, I  just couldn’t throw it away!  Recently, I rediscovered it.   The last line really speaks to me now in the times in which we live:

Humility is perpetual quietness of heart.  It is to have no trouble.  It is never to be fretted, vexed, irritated, sore or disappointed.  It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me.  It is to be at rest when nobody praises me and when I am blamed and despised.  It is to have a blessed home in myself, where I can go in, shut the door, kneel to my God in secret and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is troubled.

All around and above seems troubled – really troubled!  Sometimes it is overwhelming.  This is when we must realize that we don’t have to go all over looking for comfort – for God.  He is as close to us as the beating of our own heart or our next breath.  We can read His Holy Word, quiet ourselves and close our eyes.  When we humble ourselves before our God who deigns to dwell within His beloved, the madness of the world disappears.  He ministers to our world-weary souls. We no longer feel vexed or scared.  We feel His love and His incredible peace – the kind of love and peace the likes of which the world could never give.

I believe that this constant “plugging in” with scripture, adoration, the sacraments and prayer will be very necessary to weather the storms ahead.  You know, I used to find the rosary to be just repetitious prayer ( for me).  I couldn’t “get into” it.  I don’t know what happened, but I began praying the mysteries of the rosary in the quiet of the adoration chapel, in the presence of Jesus, and it has been truly transformative.  It gives me such great peace, comfort and strength.  I wish the same for you, my friends!

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