Catholic, life experience

Conversation and conversion

I like having a good conversation about why I became Catholic, it seems to be what people care about now days, and is the first topic we discuss when we haven’t seen each other for awhile.

What I dislike greatly is the morbid curiosity or judgment kind of conversation about my conversion.  Had one of those tonight at a pancake breakfast!  It was accusatory and put me on the defensive.  In the end I just said that it fed my spirit and let them push their nose up to the ceiling and sigh.  I did the latter and left the table.

Shared this theory with my SIL when we visited her last month, we agreed, it’s not like becoming Lutheran.  I mean – heck people don’t see that as admonishing.  Or Jewish; now I do have a friend that converted to Judaism and she’s functioning just fine and doesn’t seem to get hassled about her beliefs.  (Gypsy, I’m gonna need some feedback from you)!

Catholic is probably the most misunderstood religion on earth.  I should know, I had my high and mighty opinions too, when I was in RCIA (a class to learn more about Catholicism) I asked my many ignorant questions.  Why do you worship the Virgin Mary?  Why is she so important anyway?  What is purgatory all about (I still don’t buy that one)!  Why can’t priests marry?  The amazing thing is, all of my teachers were patient and gave me explanations that helped me understand.

I’m not an expert, trust me.  I attended mass tonight, my first Tuesday night service and felt like a 3 year old.  However, I was able to function and it was a lovely 1/2 hour. When you have conversation with people; whether it’s about lifestyle changes, religion, politics or child-raising, remember the other person is a human being and deserves the same respect you have for yourself.

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Ephesians 4:32
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
life experience

Celebration Hymn

These verses are repeated three times.  Isn’t it lovely?  Written for Steve Green Ministries

Find Us Faithful

O may all who come behind us, find us faithful.

May the fire of our devotion, light their way.

May the footprints that we leave; lead them to believe.

And the lives that we live, inspire them to obey.

when-you-are-moved-by-the-holy-spirit-your-thoughts-become-different

life experience, Uncategorized

The Pieces 2020

Hello faithful readers (and new ones)!  It is January 2020 and my writing sabbatical is over, I’m ready to blog and share parts of my faith-filled life with you.

We often hear about the “hands and feet of Jesus.”  But what does that actually mean?  To me, it is the ministry of kindness.  Walking the walk, caring for people as you are able, sharing your time, helping with a project; whether for a child’s school project or a neighbor’s household repair.

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I also think it goes miles beyond “praying for someone.”  Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge proponent of prayer.  I have been prayed for, healed from mental anguish and cancer because of prayer.  I pray for others when I have no other option.  When there isn’t something I can personally do, I stand in the gap for the heartache of another.  So prayer is BIG….but bigger still, is doing what Jesus would do; if He were here in a human body.

A kind word, smile, a moment of your time, but most of all, an open heart that is willing to give.

To love.

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life experience

Sabbatical

I am taking a writing sabbatical.  It’s transitioning into a ‘against-my-will-don’t-make-me-do-it-social-media-once-a-day-check.’  It won’t be long, because this is part of my ministry, but I need to be cognizant of what’s in front of me and how I’m being guided.  Thanks for being a part of The Pieces Blog.

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life experience, Uncategorized

Learning Pieces

We are truly never too old to learn, nor does what we think we know have the ability to fill a book!  I’ve been lazy the past year; faithfully, speaking.  I thought I knew God the best way I could.  I turned to Him in prayer, at church, fell in love with a newer Him through Adoration and becoming Catholic.  But these were incidents, not experiences.  They were moments in time, but they were not THE moment in my life.

I never allowed myself to learn, I just learned to adapt.  This is not the way to walk faithfully.  I am a daughter of the One True King.

After hearing him speak at our parish last year, and continued delving into Fr. Dave Pivonka and a book he has written; Encounter Jesus, I am, once again encouraged and inspired to reignite my faith.  The power of Jesus’s love for us.  I hope you will read it and share your thoughts here.

dave

 

 

life experience

Pieces of Emptiness

My trip to Scotland and Ireland was wonderful, but it’s always good to be home.  Summer is winding down fast here in Western Wisconsin, our maple tree is half orange and dropping leaves, right on schedule; usually the third week in September the trees start to change color.

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In this post I want to write about the emptiness we all feel at various times in our life.  For me, it generally stems from a loss or is a season of grieving.  My mother died when I had just turned 14, it was already a tumultuous time; with hormones raging, a new school to attend and the fact that my home life was changing drastically.

Here I am, 40+ years later and I still deeply miss my mother.  It may very well be the definitive change of seasons, the earth is getting ready for her greatest time; hibernation with renewal fast on her heels.

I tend to go deeper into my faith during these times, I wonder if you do too; or do you crawl deeper into your bed, a warm comforter or dog to soothe your heart?

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Psalm 10:14
But you do see; you take note of misery and sorrow; you take the matter in hand. To you the helpless can entrust their cause; you are the defender of orphans.

 

 

Catholic, life experience

Pieces of the World

I’ve traveled to Germany, Amsterdam, Canada, Mexico and a few Caribbean islands.  I was born and raised in the United States and at 54 this might seem like a small list.  I am not a world traveler by any means, but I am……becoming one!  We leave in a few days for Ireland and Scotland.

Many well-wishers/have traveled these places suggest visiting the many cathedrals and small churches along the way.  I am looking forward to this because I want to see how other people worship. Catholicism was brought to Ireland in the 5th Century by missionaries, one of the most famous being Saint Patrick.

I am traveling with an incredibly open heart.  I want to see Jesus in a new way; in the centuries-old buildings, the faces of the faithful.

What unusual places have you discovered Jesus?  Would love to read your comments!

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St Brigid of Kildare

life experience

Complicated Pieces

Do you have someone in your life; with whom it feels very complicated?  Perhaps a son-in-law, manager, neighbor?  It’s hard isn’t it, to be mindful of gentleness when around these people?  I like to think that it’s a reflection on our own self, how we treat this person.  If we are begrudging, then that is a character flaw, it is also NOT the way Jesus expects us to live.

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Turning the other cheek or being extra nice (fake) is an ineffective path to choose, because Jesus wants us to be like Him.  Compassionate, forgiving, peaceful and kind.  It’s a test of our faith isn’t it, to love someone that is similar to a sour lemon!

Ephesians 4:32 [And] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.

Leviticus 19:18
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your own people. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
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life experience

Dream Pieces

Is there somewhere you’ve always wanted to travel?  Or a dream to own your business?  To be married?  Or win a championship?

Life cannot merely be sleep, eat, work and moments of fun.  It’s pretty hard to find a peaceful work-life-balance.  Harder still if you are working towards a goal or achievement.

God is your biggest cheerleader, He will open doors and provide the training or skill-set for what you need to meet your life goals.  Faith is what helps the work-life-balance exist.  Without faith, aren’t you just a hamster running the wheel for no reason?

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I’ve always loved to travel.  To see how other people live, what they eat, do for fun, tour beautiful sights, soak in lovely sunsets, pick shells on the beach.  Hubby and I are taking a dream trip this Fall to Ireland and Scotland.  I never really imagined we would take this trip; well, in fact – that is what I did; I imagined.  And now, it’s happening.

The grace of God is what gets me through every day.  The way He understands my heart and what makes me tick.  What I need to do, to more than exist.

I am blessed.  But don’t get me wrong, it has never been easy.  I’ve been in the valley far longer than I’ve enjoyed the view from the mountaintops.  I am a Work In Progress!  And having dreams always gives me hope.

By Him, For Him and in Him………..

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life experience

Uncounted Pieces

There are so many fragments in our life.  Family, job, living spaces, hobbies, faith, health.  And with these, come many blessings.  The smaller, the easier they are to dismiss.  “The tomatoes are so ripe in summer” (that is a blessing!!) “the fix on the microwave was so easy.” (so is that!)!  

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It might be fun to make a list of the small blessings and just see how fast they add up.  Maybe this list would be beneficial when we can’t remember how good our life really is.  And if it isn’t good at the present time, it will be, in time – because God promises light at the end of the tunnel.

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2 Samuel 22:31
God’s way is unerring; the Lord’s promise is tried and true; he is a shield for all who trust in him.
2 Corinthians 5:17
So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.
Romans 6:4
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.