Blue Swallowtail Blessings

I can’t make this stuff up!

Usually while I’m having my cup of morning coffee, I am thinking about what I’d like to write about for the day. Because I’ve been contemplating starting this blog up again for a very long time, I have a lot of draft versions of blogs I’ve begun but not finished. So this morning without really thinking a great deal, I remembered a piece I wrote long ago entitled, “Metamorphosis”. I thought briefly about reprinting it, because this is how I”m currently feeling, but as soon as the thought entered my mind I decided not to. I’m trying not to go back in time to reprint blogs of days gone by. Besides this, I think of that blog as something to be posted during the Spring, because that’s when nature is re-birthing itself.

I finished my coffee, then pulled out my prayer journal. I sat for a moment, then wrote a few thoughts and ended with a five item gratitude list. One of the items I listed was this blog and how I am really enjoying writing on a regular basis. I’m thankful to God that I am able to express myself in this way and even happier when my words touch another person’s heart. Then I decided today would be the day I post my gratitude and invite others to do the same.

As usual, the drive to work brought more contemplation and my regular internal dialogue with heaven. I was expressing my gratitude for Charlie’s mother, for my mother, for my relationship with Mary, the Blessed Mother of Jesus, who is Mother to us all. I didn’t really verbalize it but that “Metamorphosis” blog was still in the back of my heart. Again, I think this is what I am feeling lately, so it makes sense for it to be there in my heart.

I pulled into the parking lot at work where I saw two of my favorite people, so I hopped out and chatted a bit. Afterward I walked around the corner towards the door. From out of nowhere appeared a beautiful little Blue Swallowtail butterfly*! She did circles around and around me and I squealed like a child with sheer joy! First of all, butterflies have always been special to me, but blues ones? They are my sign from the Blessed Mother! Hoping to get a photo, I dropped my bags just as she was flying off. I called to her (What? Did you expect me NOT to tell her to wait?) She actually landed and let me take this video! Look how CLOSE she let me get!

Then she posed for this photo! She wants you all to know how much you are loved, even when you aren’t feeling like it.

img_7220-1I walked through the door to my office knowing my first instinct was right. Someone out there needs to read about the journey to the cocoon. I could hardly wait to get home to deliver it!

*UPDATE: I just found out this isn’t a Swallowtail. It’s actually called a Red-Spotted Purple.  I don’t care. I still love it!


Metamorphosis

I am no fan of the caterpillar.

Funny, as children we joyfully grab them from the pavement, talk to them, pet them, let them crawl on us and even try to keep them in jars. Forty years later the mere site of one gives me the heebie jeebies. Gross!

Last week after watching hundreds of these slinky silken beings travel across my deck and front porch-each of them in search of a safe haven in which to transform- I had an epiphany.

Maybe as children we intrinsically recognize the caterpillar as part of our own selves. I can remember feeling a certain empathy for these creatures, which is probably why I used to pick them up and carry them across the parking lot, assuring them a safe journey to the woods. I didn’t want to see a single one meet an untimely and squishy death.

Today I ponder the fact that we are all a part of the caterpillar and vice versa. In a sense we are all trying to make our way across the asphalt jungle of life, trying to get to a place where we can finally feel free enough to release our inner beauty. I look back on my own life and recognize there have been a lot of little kid hands lifting me up and carrying me when I didn’t feel I could make it across the lot on my own.

Over the weekend I saw a caterpillar making his way up my front door. I didn’t stop long enough to see where he was trying to go, nor did I really care. I was busy with my list of tasks for the day. A little later on, after I’d been in and out a few more times, I noticed something interesting. He’d spun his cocoon and gone into his chrysalis right on my doorbell button! What a fitting symbol for me at this time in my life.

The butterfly has been a personal sign of mine for many years (I’m sure I am not alone in this). Throughout my life I’ve had many experiences of cocooning, hiding myself away from the rest of the world, spun into my own little nest, trying to transform and emerge anew. Maybe this is why I recoil when I see a caterpillar. Eek, bluck, and gross. Sometimes it’s not easy remembering the journey to the cocoon, even when we have already transformed into butterflies.

That caterpillar deliberately placed himself on my doorbell so I would see him every day and be reminded that I am Blessed beyond comprehension. In just a short while, he will emerge a transformed being to fly off and begin anew. In much the same manner, I will be opening the door to a new and wonderful life as well.

The doorbell? Well of course you do know that “every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings”? (Couldn’t resist that one, sorry. Cough.)

The butterfly is a universal symbol for the transformation of life. It is a symbol of great joy and great change. But most importantly, butterflies remind us that the power of metamorphosis is always within our reach.

May you find a caterpillar at your front door very soon!


My Dearest Lord:

What an incredible day this has been! From the depths of who I am, I thank you. I am still in total awe about the very unexpected beautiful butterfly who absolutely made my entire day!

Today I lift my prayers to you for anyone out there who needs to feel Your presence and love. I know there are those who are still tightly wrapped within their cocoons, perhaps feeling lost, hurt, afraid or lonely. Let them know that they are in my heart and that I wish to share my faith and love with them.  You are the great Universal healer. Please grant them courage to break free and emerge anew. 

Thank you for enabling me to see the beauty in this life and for allowing me the grace to finally accept the things I cannot change and to blossom where I can…and to remember… I always can.

I love you.


“For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

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.)

mary

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