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.

 

life experience, Uncategorized

Memory Pieces

I have a variety of pics on my desk, one rotates often as I come across memories I want to see more often than in a photo album (or phone).  For the past month it has been of my dad and I, taken in 1991.  We were visiting my brother in Amsterdam and it was also six weeks since my pacemaker surgery.  We are standing in big, yellow Dutch shoes at a farm of some sort.

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These shoes were everywhere!  Made mostly of wood, but there were also plastic and concrete types, ready to be stood in.

I have quite a few good memories of this trip; shopping at the Christmas markets in Germany, riding the train, having lunch at McDonald’s (except for the Coke, it tasted the same), eating authentic Dutch and German food, traveling to the many castles that dot the country side, etc.  But more than all of the experiences; it was time with my father.  It was the last trip we would make together; he died two years later.

God worked miracles in our relationship.  He was a tough parent.  I imagine it was his Norwegian/North Dakota upbringing.  I “never understood” him throughout my entire life; until this trip.   He was vulnerable, a word I never thought I’d use to describe him.  He was also funny.  We shared meals and laughter and he often took my arm for support.  God mended the fences without words; we just became comfortable with each other.  It was an incredible blessing.

Never give up on the people in your life.  I have a friend who hasn’t seen her grandchildren in many years; it’s heart breaking.  Yet, she continues to pray.  And praise.  And that, is the best solution to any request.  Ask, believe, and be grateful.

 

life experience, Uncategorized

Pieces of Moments

The title seems a bit improper.  Can you have pieces of moments?  Where I was going with this thought is, there are ordinary and extraordinary moments in our lives.  Where do we find joy?  Where does heartache go to heal?  What of the prayer requests we send out? Are they tucked in-between the life we are aware of, or the places that are unfamiliar?

I’ve had conversations with two different, important women in my life.  One gave a response that involved seeking a solution and the other wanted to be a part of the solution.  But in the end, I found myself in prayer, searching for a nudge, an answer that would allow me to breathe and carry on.

And yet, here I am, still in the midst of distress.  I know Jesus wants more from me.  He wants me to pull out of myself out of the muck and mire.  He knows that I am in there, but He isn’t going to do the work, that is my job.  I have to figure out where to go on this path.  He guides and lights the way, but He cannot live my life.  I want it easy.  Simple.  Now.

God wants us to learn how to follow him and put down our demanding selves — to calm that screaming child in us. One way he helps us do this is to say, “Wait.” That miserable, uncomfortable, sometimes painful state of silence is one of God’s most powerful tools to set us free.

If we are willing, that is.  ~Jade Mazarin

The blessing comes out of patience, time, waiting on God.  His grace abounds, and that is what we will hold onto while He is working in us.

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life experience, Uncategorized

Pieces of Serenity

Yesterday it was cold, cloudy and rainy.  Today, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, the clouds are few, the birds are chirping.  It’s a perfect Spring day.

We find pieces of serenity in many places.  A beautiful garden, a beach with gentle waves, hiking in the mountains, sitting outside with a cup of tea and a good book, walking the dog, the list is endless.  Where are you when a cool breeze finds you?

In my mind (guided imagery) I have a beautiful small cabin, surrounded with large pine trees, a lake nearby with picnic table.  My dad visits me here, and we talk for hours about everything.  I used to always have a cat (before I had a dog in real life), and now I have a dog that follows me around, and lays at my feet.  I built this place years ago, as a place to go in my mind when the world was too much to deal with.  Last year, while battling cancer, I was there a lot.  It’s peaceful, calm and I have no visitors except the elements (rain on the tin roof, a cool breeze on a hot summer day, snow in the winter with snowshoes propped up against the back door).

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When I want serenity in real life; I often find myself at a country cemetery.  I must be a glutton for open air and genuine quiet.  I find myself under a pine tree, when the wind blows just right, I can hear the whisper of God.  I find it incredibly cathartic.

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Experience serenity with Mother Earth.

Catholic, Uncategorized

Pieces of Communion

The Catholic church honors communion as a very sacred act.  It is Jesus you are meeting.

The bread; his body and the wine;  his blood.  It is experiencing Jesus in the highest form.  He is inviting you to encounter Him.  Wow!!!  Powerful!!!

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While the Catholic faith refers to communion as the Eucharist, it is shared by the faiths of many.  Coming forward to receive Jesus in His most Holy form.

As a confirmed Lutheran, former Unitarian Universalist and Episcopalian, I see the breaking of bread as a communal custom, not always religious, but to share together as community.

As a very new Catholic convert, I am deeply blessed by the Eucharist.  I have never felt as close to the human person, called Jesus, that walked the earth for 33 years as I have when holding out  my hands and receiving the wafer.

Have your experiences with communion changed during the years of your life?  Do you find it more or less inspiring?  Have you been moved by the experiences of this closeness?  Has the experience become extraordinary?  I encourage you to comment on this post, I’d be interested to read your thoughts.

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life experience, Uncategorized

Pieces of Prayer

Are you a believer in the power of prayer?  Why?  Why not?  I personally have been on the receiving end of countless prayers throughout my life while dealing with chronic health issues.

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I’ve also come to believe that it’s okay, and necessary at times – to pray for yourself.  It’s not selfish or weird!  God wants to hear from you, so share everything that’s in your heart, especially in the areas you are weak; it is there, that he meets you.

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I’ve seen prayer move mountains.  I’ve seen people come to Christ who were nope, no way every gonna change their mind of God.  They were just gonna hang onto their atheism and indifference until the end of time.  But little did they know, someone was praying for them!!  I’ve seen it happen.  A wife never quit praying for her husband, for decades she prayed for his salvation.  Now he writes a column for the church newsletter, he teaches adult Sunday school, he is an active member of the ministry.  He is also sensitive to those walking the path he once did.  I admire his walk of faith.  Prayer did that.  God did that.

Never underestimate the power of prayer!

Catholic, holidays

Divine Mercy

Today the Catholic faith celebrates the Divine Mercy.  What is it?  I didn’t know until I stepped into church today (of course I’m only a week old Catholic, so don’t expect much from me, for awhile!!!)

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History of the Message and Devotion to Divine Mercy

The Message of the Divine Mercy that Sr. Faustina received from the Lord was not only directed toward her personal growth in faith but also toward the good of the people. With the command of our Lord to paint an image according to the pattern that Sr. Faustina had seen, came also a request to have this image venerated, first in the Sisters’ chapel, and then throughout the world. The same is true with the revelations of the Chaplet. The Lord requested that this Chaplet be said not only by Sr. Faustina, but by others: “Encourage souls to say the Chaplet that I have given you.”

The same is true of the revelation of the Feast of Mercy. “The Feast of Mercy emerged from my very depths of tenderness. It is my desire that it solemnly be celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the fount of My Mercy.”

These requests of the Lord given to Sr. Faustina between 1931 and 1938 can be considered the beginning of the Divine Mercy Message and Devotion in the new forms.

Through the efforts of Sr. Faustina’s spiritual directors, Fr. Michael Sopocko, and Fr. Joseph Andrasz, SJ, and others — including the Marians of the Immaculate Conception — this message began to spread throughout the world.

Further information

holidays

Passover Pieces

I know very little about Jewish culture, religion or history.  I do, however, have many Jewish friends.  I understand that Passover, is as important as the Holy Week events Christians celebrate.  I wanted to share with you what I’ve found, in hopes that you; like me, are a spiritual seeker!

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Passover (in Hebrew, Pesach) commemorates the exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The holiday originated in the Torah, where the word pesach refers to the ancient Passover sacrifice (known as the Paschal Lamb); it is also said to refer to the idea that God “passed over” (pasach) the houses of the Jews during the 10th plague on the Egyptians, the slaying of the first born. The holiday is ultimately a celebration of freedom, and the story of the exodus from Egypt is a powerful metaphor that is appreciated not only by Jews, but by people of other faiths as well.

For the complete explanation along with foods, celebrations and rituals, check out this link!
Uncategorized

2014 Pieces

I found my first “Pieces Journal,” dated January 22, 2014.  It seems so long ago, but it also shows me the walk I’ve taken along Jesus; is just a moment a time, and my faith has continued to grow; year after year.  I’d like to share with you some of the earlier “scraps of paper, devotions and musings” from my journal.  May you find your own special “pieces.”

It’s in the act of faith that courage becomes reality and the Lord’s grace rushes in to supply divine power.

Dear God, I want to be gracious and lovely in Your sight.  Open to receiving.  Take me away from the things that waste my time and rob me of meditative time with You.

I am encouraged by the mighty works of God.  “Prayer” has become a powerful word in my vocabulary, and one that gives meaning to my life.  I pray for HOPE, what a beautiful gift; and, it is free!!!  He walks with me in the garden of my life.  We talk, I learn, I am blessed to know Him as my Father, and Friend.

Keep your defense strong, trust in God.  Pray when anxiety seeps in.

Take it to God.  When you are low or upset, even when it feels contrary to do so; tell Him, share your heart.

I see so many parallels in my past and current life; except now I am grateful for all of it – the hard, hurtful times along with the peaceful.  I believe it’s more than ‘equal parts,’ rather how Jesus wants to live in me; “Grateful for all of the pieces.”  In this way, everything is a subject for witnessing.

Image result for the pieces, the book, Dawn L. Huberty

Impossible situations are opportunities for the Lord to teach us valuable lessons that we’d never learn any other way.