Stupid Old Boyfriend-Near Life-Sized Signs

Here is the part where all of you question my sanity. I’m okay with that.

Once upon a time I had a boyfriend who made the frustrated declaration, “Oh Bobbe, you think everything is a sign. Not everything is a sign from God!” This was twenty nine years ago and I can still hear his words ringing in my ears. I know exactly where we were, what the weather was that day; I even remember what I was wearing.  I was completely flabbergasted. (Don’t you love that word?)

I have navigated my entire life by spiritual guideposts and feelings and I guess when he said that to me, it was the first time I realized that other people don’t. (I know there is more to life planning than floating about watching for signs. That’s not what I mean here.)

For instance. Last week was the first time in eons I started posting my spirituality blogs. I’d been feeling for some time that this is the direction I wanted and needed to take. I prayed a tremendous amount of time over it as well. I haven’t started talking about it here yet, but a strong part of my spiritual roots in later life, comes from my devotion to The Blessed Mother. (Yes, Mother Mary.)

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I am on Facebook every evening and in ten years not once have I ever seen a post from anyone (but me), regarding messages from The Blessed Mother. Yet, on Thursday evening, I ran into the following post from “The Medjugorje Web”:

Message to Mirjana Soldo of August 2nd, 2018.
Dear children,
With a motherly love I am calling you to open hearts to peace; to open hearts to my Son, so that in your hearts love for my Son may sing, because only out of that love peace comes in the soul. My children, I know that you have goodness, I know that you have love – a merciful love, but many of my children still have a closed heart. They think that they can do it without directing their thoughts towards the Heavenly Father who illuminates–towards my Son who is always with you anew in the Eucharist and who desires to listen to you. My children, why do you not speak to Him? The life of each of you is important and precious, because it is a gift from the Heavenly Father for eternity. Therefore, do not ever forget to keep on thanking Him: speak to Him. I know, my children, that what is to come afterwards is unknown to you, but when your hereafter comes you will receive all the answers. My motherly love desires that you be ready. My children, by your life keep putting good feelings in the hearts of the people whom you meet, feelings of peace, goodness, love and forgiveness. Through prayer, hearken to what My Son is saying and act accordingly. Anew, I am calling you to prayer for your shepherds, for those whom my Son has called. Remember that they need prayers and love. Thank you.

Why is this significant? Because earlier that very day, I shared some of my very personal conversion story with a dear friend of another faith. I don’t mind saying that every time I relate my  story, it’s a little bit frightening, because it’s so personal. She was so moved by it she encouraged me to pursue writing about it in depth. (Those closest to me know this has been a dream of mine for almost thirty years. It’s a dream I am currently, very seriously revisiting.)

Every part of that message up there speaks right to my heart and it’s what I’ve been putting in to practice daily for as long as I can recall. I saw it on Thursday. I saw it again on Friday. And on Saturday, an interesting thing happened on the way to the grocery.

Charlie and I wanted to go to visit Aldi’s to see if it’s a place we want to include in our regular shopping circuit. (It’s not, by the way.) We were driving along a beautiful street lined with pretty houses with well manicured lawns. I was enjoying the ride very much when we drove past a house with a huge picture window in the front. Imagine my glee when standing in that window I saw an almost life-sized statue of The Blessed Mother! I was so excited, I cried a little bit. I felt just like Mary herself had just given me Her nod of approval.

Blessings.  They are coming to us all every moment of every day. The secret is to keep an open heart and mind and to accept them for what they are. Remember when I was talking about tuning into the heart? This is part of it.

We are not alone here. Whatever it is you’re struggling with or need help with or want to share, open your heart and talk to God about it. You will be heard.

Ask. Believe. Receive. Say Thank you.


Dearest Lord:

Today I want to pray for those among us who are struggling in this life with issues regarding faith, hopelessness, courage, self worth and even direction. I know that there is never a time when You are not present with us, listening to our prayers and loving us. Please help us all to begin recognizing the multitude of signs of Your love, mercy and grace.

Thank you for the gift of Your Beautiful Mother, who I love, adore and hold so dear. 

Help us all to remember to practice putting good feelings in the hearts of the people we meet, feelings of peace, goodness, love and forgiveness and to pray for our Shepherds and Leaders, regardless of whether or not we agree with them.

I love you.

Amen.


 

“And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” Revelation 12:1

Raw

take the stepYou know how your face feels so strained and flushed when you are fighting off a serious bout of tears?  Your heart physically aches and the muscles surrounding the eyes are tense and hot to the touch.  One wrong look or kind word threatens to tip the scales and the dam will burst; so I get quiet within, put on my brave smiley face and march on. It’s exhausting and humbling and often times I cannot help but beg the question,”Is this really my life?”.

As soon as I see these words on paper I can hear one of you saying, “You have a choice as to how you want to feel at any given moment.”  Yes, I hear you.  (I probably taught you this, in fact.) The reality is that I am making the choice to use every tool in my box to fight a depression that wants to pull me under. This is why I will not succumb to the wailing fest that wants to get started any minute. Instead, I continue to slap a fake smile on my face, find things to occupy my heart and mind and try to immerse myself in being of service to others. Most of the time it works, but today, the dull ache is still there.

I remind myself that life has turned the corner and am heading straight forward in the right direction. It’s day two of my “reinvention”. I not only succeeded in meeting my goals yesterday; I slayed them. I learned I am not a fan of protein shakes, but I’ve made the commitment to drink two per day for the next two weeks in place of breakfast and lunch. Here I sit with my lunch shake and I have to say, it’s not good.  LOL! It’s supposed to taste like vanilla but instead, it tastes like chalk. (EVEN WITH fresh strawberries in it!) On a positive note, it IS very filling. When I get home I can enjoy a sensible dinner. I am looking forward to it for two reasons: it will be nice to have real food and I love to cook. Tonight “sensible” translates into naked burgers, steamed broccoli and baked sweet potatoes…perhaps with a nice spinach salad or something. Yeah, I know it doesn’t sound like much, but when you’ve had two meals of chalk….well, you get it!

Last night when I lay my pillow to head, the last words I spoke were, “Thank you, Jesus, for being by my side today. Thank you for helping me follow through. Please be with me tomorrow as well. Help me to fight my way back. I know you will. Thank you”.

When my eyes opened this morning I again thanked the Lord. it helps me to remember that this is a process and I am to take each day as it comes. I feel sad about things that are absolutely out of my control and this is okay provided I remember (and I will) to count my Blessings (there are many) and to be grateful for all that I have and am.

While I still have plenty of hours left in this day where I may be faced with temptations, right now, I’m doing just fine.

I think I’ll stay the course!

Nay Sayers Beware!

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I have such a problem with “Nay-Sayers”. I work part-time in a church that ministers to all people, but there is a special interest with people from foreign countries who are adjusting to life here in the states.  These are not people illegally crossing borders, rather these are political refugees, who have had to flee their own countries because of unrest and inhumane treatment.

From a wee tot, according to my own mother, I’ve had an affection for those not of my own race, creed, color etc.  It’s a no-brainer for me to LOVE, period.  She says that I came out of the womb trusting and loving everyone.

So when I start my weekend with a few extra kids in tow, I’m happy. In fact, I’m happier than I usually am, because I’m getting to have an experience where I might get to enrich the life of someone else, give hope, give love and just have FUN. Yes, it’s tiring, but what is a better tired than helping, healing and having fun?

It bothers me very much when people say to me, “Don’t get too invested.”; “You need to rest”;  “You need to stop caring so much.” (Really?!!) My personal pet peeve is this statement, “Don’t make this a habit; you cannot afford it and you need to rest-you have too many jobs, all ready.”

Usually this stupid advice comes from people who have bigger finances (or agendas for me) than I do. Okay that’s great advice, but then, WHO is going to reach out and touch people?  Yes, I am not a rich person, but do I need to wait until I reach a certain level of financial security before I act in order to help make another life a little happier or better?

And then I wonder, what makes people so ridiculous that they cannot understand that we are supposed to help one another whenever and wherever we CAN.  We don’t WAIT until we have a certain bank account. We don’t WAIT until we FEEL like it.  We are supposed to act when the situation presents itself, period. The reward for this so out-weighs anything my imagination can conceive.

I went to Catholic school all of my life and one of the themes we were supposed to learn was, “Whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for Me.”  I took that to heart from an early age and I have lived my life accordingly.  I have never had a lot of money to give, but I’ve always given of my time and heart and I will continue, no matter WHAT any one tells me.

There IS no greater joy in the world than in sharing of oneself with someone who needs it.  The reciprocation comes in the love exchanged and yes, I think I’m a junkie with regard to this. Sue me.  I like to have fun. I like to give. I like to feel that in some, small way, I’m doing my part in this world.

God sees.

I spent the weekend with beautiful children, whom I adore and love. We didn’t do a lot more than just eat, giggle, play games and watch movies.  Today, we went swimming. The weekend cost me a lot in energy (and some sunburn), but what does THAT cost? I can get that back in a little lotion and one night’s good smiley-sleep. (Yes, I smile in my sleep after every weekend like the one I just had.)

I wonder what makes people discourage people from doing what’s right? I know if the situation were reversed, I’d be the first one begging to get involved. (Wait.  That IS how I got involved in the first place!) Still, that doesn’t always happen on the flip side. I often receive the nay-say comments telling me to stop it, “you don’t have time for this- you do too much all ready.”

Really?  If everyone listened to this advice, how would the world even work?

I will not post photos of the smiles from this weekend.  Instead I will just say that yes, I’m tired, but my heart is FULL and I WILL do it again and again and again.  God sees and I know in my heart He’s happy, because I didn’t have to do this. I did it because it was what I wanted to do to make a few little people smile and they did.  I repeat, I will do it again.

Nay-Sayers beware. WHY are you telling me NOT to get involved? What does this say about you?

I try so hard to figure it out.  I know on some level, it’s not about me or my actions. It’s always about the Nay-Sayer and what he/she feels about herself.

Whatever it is, telling me not to do something that I know in my heart is right, will never deter me from action. Instead, I’d rather just have people ask me if I had fun and when I say, yes, simply answer, “Good. I”m glad.”

Even better? Figure out how you can be of service as well and if you don’t know just ask me.  I have a million ideas!

Disclaimer: After having read this over to myself, I want to be certain to say that not everyone in my life discourages me. Also, that I am in no way trying to say that I am a better person than anyone else. I’m just having a rant about the people who try to discourage me from taking action when I want to.

Some people have a passion for sports; some have a passion for art; some have a passion for relaxation.  I just have a passion for feeling good and I get that from being of service.  It’s really nothing more than this. I often tell people who are on the out-skirts of a bout of depression that the surest way to avoid it, is to BE OF SERVICE to someone else. It’s tried and true in this girl’s life.

Amen.

“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’  -Matthew 25:40

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