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

The Incredible Blah Lifting Egg!

Don’t Judge a blog by it’s title. (giggle)

It happens to all of us. Everything is going along smoothly and then something unexpected happens to knock you off your spiritual path. Usually these are the times when we’ve actually made the decision to start to be better about prayer or good deeds or service to others, etc. In my life, I’ve come to realize that when I am trying the hardest to be grounded, something always comes along to try to knock me down. When it happens, it’s easy to become more and more lazy about spirituality when in reality this is the time to fight harder.

blah

I don’t know about you, but in my life, things move along at a much happier pace when I am engaged and connected with God and the angels. The times where I am lazy or so consumed with things of this world, I more susceptible to feelings of depression and loneliness.

After several weeks of feeling completely happy inside, this morning I woke up feeling BLAH for no apparent reason. I slept really well and I had wonderful dreams about preparing food. (I meant it when I said I am obsessed with all things food related!) Still, I got out of bed feeling slightly off. Charlie said he felt the same way. We discussed how important prayer is to the both of us and affirmed together, that we must keep vigilant with our prayer armor.

Don’t ask me why, but I felt an odd compulsion to go right into the kitchen and whip up some bacon and eggs, so that’s what I did. Weekdays I usually skip breakfast and fast until lunch time. Today, it felt like the thing to do and so we dined on beautiful fried eggs, bacon, avocado slices, cilantro and yummy garden-fresh tomatoes. Afterward I felt so happy inside. Being productive really works to combat the blues. Listening to your intuition works even better!

eggs

When I arrived at the office this morning, I made the phone calls I’ve been putting off. I prepared the reports that are not my favorites and in general, I chose to do the things that I usually am not thrilled about doing. Guess what? The blahs floated off into the atmosphere transformed as joy. I hope they land on top of someone who deserves a virtual hug and a ray of sunshine.

I am not advocating doing things you loath in order to feel better, but I am saying that knocking things off your To-Do list is a wonderful way to feel better. I’m very pleased that this morning I chose to do what I felt compelled to do. That’s why I persist in  preaching about tuning into your heart/gut/intuition. It will always steer in the right direction.

Admit it. You’re hungry for eggs now, aren’t you?

Love,

Bobbe


My Dearest Lord,

Today I want to express my gratitude for the happy feelings I have inside. I ask for continued help in the areas of self-reflection, following intuition and keeping You in the front of every aspect of my life. Additionally, I humbly ask these things for all who may discover this page today and in the days to come. 

Last week a social media acquaintance of mine lost her battle with cancer. I know she is with you today feeling restored and joyful and in the presence of the son she lost too soon. I know her friends and family are feeling sorrowful. Please give them the strength, peace and grace to carry on and the knowledge that they will see Lisa again. Until then, the highest tribute to her is a life well lived.

My sweet friend Angela has asked that I remember her husband in prayer as well.  I know you are already present in their lives as You are the greatest of all healers. Please add my prayers to theirs for relief for both of them. Caring for our ailing relatives takes a toll on the heart and the body. Let his spirits rise to meet yours so that his heart isn’t so heavy. Instill in him the knowledge that he IS going to get better.

For anyone who awoke this morning feeling the slightest bit, “Blah”, as Charlie and I did, I pray for relief. I pray for levity. I pray for the impulse to get up, move along and make today into something meaningful.

These days, Lord, I find I cannot stop expressing my gratitude. I feel Your hands on my heart every day. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

I love You.

Amen.

 


“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD. Isaiah 54:17


christ

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

Confessions of a Spiritual Foodie.

I have a confession to make.

approve

I have a confession to make. As much as I adore cooking and sharing my recipes, there is something I adore sharing more and that’s who I am on the inside. Every time I come to this blog and post a recipe, I am pleased, but I have a secret sense of guilt because I’m not doing what I truly want to do. I go away asking myself what I really want to say and then I end up talking to God about it every morning on my drive to work. Quite a while ago I put a filter on myself for a stupid reason.

!APPROVAL!

I became worried that if I wrote about who I truly am on the inside, I might offend someone. How stupid is that?

This morning on my drive to work, I had a profound sense of knowing that it’s time to take off that ridiculous filter.  Undoubtedly this is coming as a result of a thousand and one walks around the Sanctuary where I work, talking to God and trying to be silent enough to hear what is said to me.

For the past four weeks I’ve been working hard on my self image and that includes being on a very strict keto diet. I joined a secret group of good friends who are also doing the keto way of life and with discipline and their support, I’m starting to feel a little more like myself each week. Yeah. It might surprise a lot of people to know that I’ve not been happy with myself for years. I am finally weary enough of saying, “I used to “insert whatever thing of the past I no longer am, no longer look like, or no longer do“.

It’s over.

The question, “What have you got to offer the world” comes to my heart a lot. The answer is always the same. I can lead almost anyone to a greater sense of spirituality and faith in God. So what am I doing turning this blog into an exclusively FOOD blog when I have so much more to offer the world?

At my workplace, which happens to be a Baptist Church (I am a practicing Catholic), the most frequent phrase I hear from members of the church is, “I have no idea how you do all that you do.” I usually smile and say, “me either”, but the truth is that I know perfectly well how I do what I do. My strength comes from my unwavering faith and constant communication with God. Period. (Don’t start unsubscribing yet. I am still going to post recipes!)

I can’t recall there ever being a time in my life when I didn’t have a lifeline connected to the Holy Spirit. I used to share this part of my life openly. The reason I did so was because it helped cement things in my heart and the bonus prize was that others would read and relate to it. Although it seems foreign to me, there are tons of people out there who are reluctant to share what’s going on in their hearts. Sometimes through sharing what’s in mine, the by-product is that it gives others courage and validation to really look at what’s taking place in their own.

Today my heart is calling upon me to post this blog. It’s been sitting in my drafts folder for over a month waiting for me to make my move.

Before I do here is my prayer for today:

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my unwavering trust in You. It is amazing to me that the You would take time to listen to me and to care about what I say, but time and time again it’s been proven to me that it’s true. I ask that through my sharing, others may experience Your profound love, support and guidance, just as I do on a daily basis. Help us all to see with open eyes and to feel with understanding hearts, that You are a living presence among us and that we are to turn to You for guidance when needed. 

Thank you for all of Your Blessings, especially the ones we don’t readily recognize or understand.

Amen


Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.