Monday, February 20, 2012
Well the family Lent calendar has been made and signed! My family and I have spent a lot of time in preparation for the big day, and I am actually looking forward to the Lent season. It seems rather strange to look forward to a season focused on self-denial and self-sacrifice. But as Lent is indeed a time to do penance, it is also a time of increased prayer and many Catholics boost their almsgiving as well. AND I AM ALL ABOUT ALMSGIVING =-)
I have thought about what I want to do in the department of self-denial and self-sacrifice. This lent, I think I am going to give up eating restaurant food. No Fast Food for us when I'm just too tired to cook dinner. No loading everyone up to go to Subway before religion class on Wednesday. No luncheons with friends, and NO WINE on weekends. lol Whenever I have the urge to pay for food from a restaurant, I will simply put that money in our rice bowl that will be given on Palm Sunday as an offering at our church mass.
And as for increased prayer, I will start praying a Chaplet of Divine Mercy. I will pray for specific intentions during each Chaplet.
I would love to know what you are doing this Lent season and maybe give me some great ideas!
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Are you happy? I mean truly and satisfyingly happy? I know that many people feel like they are drowning in chaos and cannot find that place of inner peace. But do they really want inner peace? Because in order to find it you must seek it out, and then chase it down, tackle it, attach it to yourself and drag it to where it needs to be. It takes WORK! Nothing in this world comes easy- and darn sure not something you have to fight the enemy for. It will appear fairy simple to obtain, however applying it to your life and keeping it there is the difficult part. Each and every day is truly a gift yet many days we wake only to see the tasks that must be completed by days end, or we wake seeing what others have and we don't. In order to reach a place of inner fulfillment it will require that you take the focus off of yourself and place it on to others. Onto your child, your spouse, coworker, friend and even strangers.You must learn to be thankful and rejoice that we have another day to help another, to bless another, to share in life's wonderful gifts. We must realize that material possessions fall away - but the growth of your soul will never. The soul is where inner peace and Joy comes from and makes home. Its important to understand that your soul is A LIVING THING. And like everything else that lives it is only as healthy as we allow it to be. Without proper food and water, how does your soul grow? How will it feel healthy and alive? I hear people say they are a proud Christians but yet many times there actions don't show it. While reading the book of Ephesians, I heard Paul loud and clear saying.... --You hear His word but are you truly listening to it? Are you applying it to your everyday life and do you understand the full meaning behind each word?
As parents we are seeking "change". But are we living in order to feel that change?
In order to see that change, we must first BE that change, LIVE that change. Live in such a way that when you go to bed your heart feels full. We must understand that simply saying we are a Christian is just mere words. God doesn't just listen for your prayer, He seeks out to see if your actions support your words. Learn that inner fulfillment comes with a price and it's not an easy one. Because to truly believe in God means you must equally believe there is a devil. And as much as our Lord wants to see you succeed, the enemy wants to see you fail. You will be tempted and tested to breaking points at times. But if you keep the smile, the faith and the love.... You will see a break through and feel almost as youthful as you did when your soul was a child. When Saturday mornings were a time of just waking up without the pressures of the world, and your only thought was " what fun is going to happen today?" Now at first people will judge, talk and wonder why your doing the things you are but I give you my word that your rainbow will shine before long, and those same people will be asking when, where and how did you obtain such happiness! Keep your smile no matter what!! When you stumble and give into the enemy, accept it and stand right back up! We all stumble, that proves we are human! But we must be STRONG! I hope you finish reading this post and smile at the next person you see! Fight off the feelings of frustration and find a positive in every moment that your negative! I encourage you to find a friend that is seeking or has already obtained this same goal of inner peace and work together and support one another. After all that is why God gives you the friends he does. I hope your happiness scale flourishes and grows in the next months. May your personal season of "Spring" start now.
Blessings my friends, blessing is what you will gain from not just hearing but actually listening to Gods words and putting them into action.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Luke 11:10 says~ For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
If you followed my last post, then you will understand when I say that my search was quickly over. The same day that I wrote my last blog entry was the same day this photo was taken. I was just leaving Sophie's resting spot from seeing her beautiful headstone and was sitting in the office at the church when I looked out the window and saw this staring at me. The colors that beam off this gorgeous rainbow radiated love and brightened my soul. I felt incredibly blessed and loved. I started to laugh when I realized that HE made this gorgeous piece of art so big that I would have had to of been blind to have missed it. Crazy feelings of excitement quickly replaced any saddness in my heart. I'm constantly being reminded to keep my eyes focused UPWARDS. It's only when I look down that I begin to stumble! Thank you God for blessing me like you do!
In your GRACE,
Thursday, February 2, 2012
They say rain is God's way of cleansing the earth. It washes away the dirt build up and allows the grass to immediately become greener. The birds sing louder, the sun shines brighter and there is a scent of freshness in the air after a good downpour. I believe tears work the same way for our soul. Tears are little capsuls of pain being released from the heart in order to keep it from being locked inside and doing damage to a cheerful spirit. Almost like a safety valve that releases to much pressure from being placed on it. Yesterday was an extremely tearful day for me, and today I am feeling fresh and looking for the rainbow!
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
So here I am again, 4:30 a.m.and awoken by my thoughts. My heart is heavy and tears are flowing just entirely to easy right now. I was told yesterday that Sophie's headstone should be set in place by the weeks end. Strangely enough, as eager as I am to see it, I'm just as hesitant to not. Does that even make sense? I can't help but sit here and think how this WAS NOT suppose to end this way. Last year at this time, I would have bet anything that this story would have been written and ended differently. Our Sophie was suppose to beat this cancer and then live to tell about it. But, I am reminded that it is God's will and not our own. But as much as I tell myself that I must respect His decision, the pain is still there. The longing to push her in her swing at the creek bottom and hear her tiny little voice so sweetly call my name. Now I go to her swing and sit alone, remembering how she could pour pure sunshine over us on even her worst treatment days. I sit there praying and hoping that she will peak around one of the big oak tree's and whisper "Hey Shanny, come here real fast so I can have a hug" and I listen so hard for her giggle. I once even followed a butterfly in hopes it would lead me to something or someone special. But, I know that it is all wishful dreaming on my part. However, as heavy as my heart is, I feel so blessed. Blessed to have been a big part of her journey. Blessed to have been kissed and loved by 100% SOPHIE SUNSHINE! I sometimes ask God, Why, Why me? What did I do to deserve to be her caregiver and her Godmother? I may never know my answer in this lifetime but I will forever be thankful for the opportunity that He gave me. I can promise you that I could now live under a bridge in a cardboard box and die feeling more blessed than those who appear to have it all. My soul has been touched by God's grace and I was lucky enough to have felt it. I wonder how many people live out their lives being touched by God and never even knowing it. The feeling of His gentleness is one of no description. I have learned that in order to feel it though, you must travel some really broken and often scary roads. It takes strength that you didn't even know you had, and it takes incredible courage. Sophie Dale Sparks was feeling His touch the entire time, and I am just now beginning too. The grace of God is pure love and boy does it leave you wanting even more. God's love is that of sunshine. He wraps you in it's warmth on the coldest and rainiest of days, and leaves you feeling peaceful and comforted. The tears I cry right now I know are only for me and those of us left here missing her. Deep within I know that Sophie did beat the cancer and now lives in Paradise. I love the fact that she will never endure anymore pain that this world so readily hands out and I smile thinking about that day that we reunite. Oh the over powering feeling of JOY that will be felt. I just know that I will have a dejavu moment when she will jump out from around a big oak tree and leap into my arms giving me one of her great big, tight, MONKEY HUGS!
As I wrap up this writing, the song on my Ipod plays the exact song you are listening to right now on this blog. Coincidence? Hmmmm, I would think not. This song actually sums up my life at this very moment. "I Refuse"! Thank you so much for allowing me release my tears on your shoulder, I am feeling 1000% better already!!