March 30, 2014 Daily reflection

Sunday March 30, 2014 – Samuel 16:1-13, Psalm 23:1-6, Ephesians 5:8-14, John 9:1-41

Today’s scripture stood out to me in several ways. 1st it reminds us again not to judge (Samuel). then Ps 23, “beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul” reminded me again of  the Living Water Jesus offers us. My cup overflows. Only goodness & kindness follow me 🙂 Love that.

What really continues to move me from the first reading is that God interrupts Samuel from grieving for what used to be in order to participate in what God is preparing to do!! hmmm… Sooo powerful!

I feel God is telling me to stop grieving for what I had planned & believed was supposed to be (that has failed painfully & miserably), and be open to what He has planned and prepared for me.  Upon reflection, I discovered I have been greiving for quite some time.  Far too long, holding onto something I knew at wasn’t working, but painfully trying to hold on out of stubbornness and self-will.  Ah to let go, to forgive myself and others, and to be open to God’s will for my life!  Freedom!!  Uncertainty sure…but Certain Freedom!

The lenten reflection in Give Us This Day ( encourages us as mud is placed on our eyes, to wash ourselves anew in other waters; to accept the gift to see where God’s presence is being revealed today. Awesome!! “we desperately need to be healed of the blindness of our own resistances.” that holds true for me!! Thank you Lord for new eyes! 🙂

I also loved the reflection on the psalm. “I know the Psalm, She knows the Shepard.” 🙂  An Excerpt from The Rock that is Higher: Story as Truth by Madeleine L’Engle  (found here:

Madeleine L’Engel explores the central role story has played in her life and work. Here is a teaching story about faith.

“There’s a true story I love about a house party in one of the big English country houses. Often after dinner at these parties people give recitations, sing, and use whatever talent they have to entertain the company. One year a famous actor was among the guests. I’ve been told he might have been Charles Laughton. When it came his turn to perform, he recited the Twenty-third Psalm, perhaps the most beloved psalm in the Psalter. The Lord is my Shepard. I shall not want. His rendition was magnificent, and there was much applause. At the end of the evening someone noticed a little old great aunt dozing in the corner. She was deaf as a post and has missed most of what was going on, but she was urged to get up and recite something. In those days people used to memorize a lot of poetry! So she stood up, and in her quavery old voice she started, The Lord is my Shepard, and went on to the end of the psalm. When she had finished there was tears in many eyes. Later one of the guests approached the famous actor. ‘You recited that psalm absolutely superbly. It was incomparable. So why were we so moved by that funny, little old lady?’

“He replied, ‘I know the psalm. She knows the shepherd.’ “



Spring Rain…. & His Presence

Saturday March 29, 2014
Absolutely love sitting on my back porch in the morning listening to the birds chirp, the breeze in the trees, enjoying the fresh spring rain, thankful to God for all the blessings in my life! What an amazing life! Today’s scripture reading spoke to me again how we are called to love and not to judge (Luke 18:9-14). All God wants from us is our love, and He will heal us, bind our wounds & allow us to live in His presence (Hosia 6:1-6) Then the imagery, “He will come to us like the rain, like spring rain that waters the earth.” reminded me of the living water that Jesus offers us. (Samaritan woman at the well) ahhh sooo beautiful!!!
I love Spring rain, the sound, smell, feel of it…crisp, fresh.
Have been enjoying the morning on my porch for hours! …Listening to Matt Maher… Life is brutiful!

Small Success Thursday

I’m linking up with the moms at as theSmall Success Thursday returns! Here’s how it works:

“List three things you are grateful for this week: victories over minutia, victories over the big stuff, blessings which you have received which reveal the breathing presence of God’s grace in your life. Then ask a friend to come and participate too.”

That struck me… “Victories you have received which reveal the breathing presence of God’s grace in your life”  – Nice.


Here’s mine for today:

1) Yesterday I inadvertently found a local meetup whose presenter was speaking on how to publish your own ebooks.  It was 11:30, the meetup started at 12:00!!  Amazing!  So I took off to get there on time, (which I did – on the button!).  It was a great informal presentation by Cathy Stucker (  I have been motivated to start writing more consistently!!  Yahoo!!!  Exciting success!!  Added bonus, met a great group of local people!

2) Responded to God’s gentle prompting  and joined Southwest Houston Tapestry Network.  I am SO EXCITED about answering God’s call to workplace ministry!!!  I have been so frustrated feeling that I had to keep my faith and my work separated!  Now I finally found a community that support BOTH! The Tapestry Network holds the belief that we (Christian businesswomen) were created by God for His purpose with certain gifts and talents. After all it  is our calling, mission and duty to go out into the marketplace and do what He has called us to do in this important mission field. Our beliefs make us strong and courageous women of God in the marketplace.   I am so excited to finally be able to integrate my faith into my work!!!  AND have the support of other women!!  What a blessing!!!!  (

3) Adoration!  For the past 5 months or so I’ve been going to Adoration every Tuesday at 10 pm in a small chapel at a nearby church.  I LOVE IT.  My daughter LOVES it when she is able to join me!  It is our special time with Jesus. It grounds me, calms me, fills me with peace.  It didn’t occur to me how much I would truly enjoy it.  I look forward to my hour.  One might ask, can’t you pray for an hour at home?.  Yes.  yes I can, and I pray throughout the day anywhere.  But in this hour that’s been set aside for this specific purpose &  in this sacred space, I’m not distracted with whether I should fold the clothes or vacuum the floor.  It’s amazing and beautifully special.  I can literally “just sit with Him awhile.”  I relax and rest in His Presence.

4) BONUS:  So far this year, I have been able to take my daughter to/from school each day!  What a blessing!  AND  Here’s the victory in it… she has not been late not even once!  That may seem small to you, but I know it to truly be a Miracle! 🙂  Neither my daughter nor I are morning people, so it’s by God’s grace she’s made it on time AND

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A Reconciliation – A new Beginning – A Return Home

My faith journey – the beginning

About 20 years ago, I was in a terrible place, emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually. I had turned my back on God for many years. I was at my wits end.  I had no faith in anyone or anything – and given recent events at that time I had good reasons not to.  The following is how God undeniably irrevocably got my attention.

 My faith background:  I was raised Catholic, but really we went to church only those years that I was to receive the sacraments. Baptism (infant), Confession 2nd grade, 1st Communion 2nd grade-ish, Confirmation – 8th grade. As a result, I thought the church was a bunch of hypocrites and wealthy liars. Not just the Catholic church, but all of them – because they spent so much time trying to make themselves out to be better than the other “Christian” churches. It didn’t make any sense to me. I didn’t like the church, and didn’t understand it. So, after 8th grade, I didn’t go back. I tried other churches, but none stuck.  

 What happened:  About 20 years ago, while at my wits end, and wanting to die, I was in Sacramento trying to get a hold of my drug dealer from a pay phone in a grocery store parking lot near where I grew up. He wasn’t answering his pager!!! He ALWAYS answered his pager. I was ‘jonesing’ BAD. I got back into my car and tried to find out how I could get some drugs some other way. I looked up and directly across the street was St. Ignatius Parish – where I received my 1st Eucharist. I mean I knew it was there, but when I looked up – I actually saw it. – noticed it. Image

I began an argument with Who I now know was God. (At the time, I thought I was just arguing with myself and I was certain I was crazy). I said, “No way am I going over there. No way.” (Thought/Voice/God) – “Why not? You have time to kill while you wait for “Stan”. Just go check out what’s going on.” – Well I didn’t think anything ever went on at church so I said “FINE!” And walked over. I walked in and noticed that there were actually people there. It was a Saturday! What in the world were people doing at church on a Saturday afternoon?!? It was a small group of people quietly praying individually. Lights were dimmed.  It was peaceful and quiet in there.  I grabbed a bulletin and looked – it read, “Reconciliation Saturday 4:00” NO WAY! I walked back to my car in a fit of rage. I tried the dealer’s pager again and waited, and waited. Then went back to my car. I continued the argument. “No way am I going over there. Confession is so stupid. Why tell a jealous old man the things I’ve done”. (As if anyone would be jealous of the things that were causing me so much pain) – The prompting/ nagging didn’t stop. I yelled out loud, “FINE! I’ll go, but the minute that MAN says anything to piss me off I’m outa there.!” So I marched over to prove to God how stupid this whole thing was.

 I was convinced that the priest was most certainly going to upset me as soon as I walked in, so I waited to be last so I didn’t cause a scene. I remember being shocked at how many people actually did this stupid thing. So when they were done, I walked in to a small room. This was nothing like what I remembered from 2nd grade. Back then it was a small closet where you spoke through a small hole in the partition. Here, I walked in and sat down just to look up and see the priest sitting right in front of me!!! Holy Crap! So I firmed up my resolve and repeated what I could remember from the movies, “Forgive me father for I have sinned, it’s been since 2nd grade since my last confession.” I waited. Waited. Nothing but a nice nod. So I blurted out, “I use drugs and I don’t want to stop. (with a “so take that” kind of attitude.) Father David leaned forward patted my hand, smiled compassionately and said, “Yes you do honey, or you wouldn’t be here.” I wept. I unloaded. I wept some more. When I couldn’t remember anything else, I stopped. He paused and then said, “now for your penance…” I froze… I got enraged. I thought “Oh this is how they get you! Oh no!!” I felt tricked. But he simply said, “For your penance I want you to leave here knowing that God is holding your hand.” I continued to weep. For the first time since I can remember I felt loved by God. ME! Worthless me who did all these horrible horrible things. I felt that this gentle man across from me was being Jesus-with-skin-on so to speak. He stood in place for Jesus so I could hear the words, and see and feel the compassion God was giving to me if I could just believe it and accept it. I received forgiveness and grace. I knew it and I felt it. I left clasping my two hands together & crying happy tears. I went home and held my baby.     

 That was just the beginning of my search for a deep and personal relationship with Jesus. I find Him everywhere – when I am looking. He is always here. That was my first and perhaps biggest “A-Ha moment”, but I have thankfully had many others, both inside and outside the church.  That was the beginning of my return home.

A gentle journey into the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Isn’t everything about Jesus sacred?  I mean isn’t he the Son of God?  My personal response to these questions has been and is,  “of course”.  So, I never really put much more thought into the “Sacred Heart of Jesus”.  Until recently, relatively speaking.
Now many people in the Catholic church have a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Obviously, you don’t have to be Catholic to love the heart of Jesus.  Obviously.  You can also be a Catholic and not have any idea what this devotion is about.  I know, I was one of those Catholics. You can even be a “good Catholic” and not know.  (I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a ‘Good Catholic’ but hey I’m still trying.) .  If you want to know what the Catholic devotion is, there are plenty of excellent websites. Good explanation of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus  can be found at:  Here, on this First Friday, I’ll share with you how I first was introduced to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Three years ago I moved and my new parish is Sacred Heart.  Cool. Again, I didn’t put much thought into it.  I love the Catholic Church.  It’s a lot like me.  A past with a lot of mistakes, but still loved by God.  One of the things I like about the Catholic Church is it’s got something for everyone.  All different kinds of prayer groups, styles, etc. It’s very eclectic.  When I did think about Jesus’ heart, I thought of compassion, ultimate love.  I didn’t really put much thought into the “devotion” to the Sacred Heart,  because I didn’t know anything about it.  And, again, another reason I love the Catholic Church is there is always more I want to know.
So, as God typically does with me, He gently started putting things in my path that got me thinking and praying.  Obviously attending a church with the name Sacred Heart kept the image on my mind.  I found comfort in the image.  I find it a nice focal point for prayer and mediation.  When I see the image of the Sacred Heart, I am led to contemplate several things.  I believe it is the Holy Spirit guiding me, and pulling me closer to Jesus.  First, I always associate His heart with Compassion, the great love He has for each and every one of us. Recently, as I’ve been contemplating, I am also struck by his fully Divine and fully human nature.  It amazes me.  As a mother myself, I recently began thinking about how His Sacred heart is so intricately and intimately connected to His mother’s.  I mean literally physically, as well as spiritually. I’ve never really thought of that before.  It’s pretty amazing.  Mary  has never really been a focal point of my faith journey, but recently I’ve been more open to where the Holy Spirit is leading me in regards to Jesus’ mom.  (There’s so much misunderstanding out there about Mary, it would become a whole new blog.)
Back to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
According to Merriam-Webster’s online, the word “Heart” has the following meanings (in addition to the literal physical heart):
1. the capacity for feeling for another’s unhappiness or misfortune
2. a thing or place that is of greatest importance to an activity or interest
3. strength of mind to carry on in spite of danger
4. the central part or aspect of something under consideration
5. the seat of one’s deepest thoughts and emotions
Hmmm…thoughts to ponder.   Definately all those things.  When I focus on the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it helps me to focus on Him and not get distracted with other aspects of faith; it’s more personal and calls me to a deeper relationship with Him.  Since His heart is the seat of His deepest thoughts and emotions, I am drawn to His Sacred Heart since I want to be so close to Him that I share in His deepest thoughts and emotions.
So as I mentioned earlier, God gently leads me and puts things in my path until I just have to investigate and can’t simply ignore it any longer.  One such thing:  last month I saw a flyer on “How to Enter the Sacred Heart of Jesus” at my parish.  I was intrigued.  It was “for all people” (not just Catholics. Yeah!) and it was held at the local library.  So I went.  There was a second meeting tonight, and another two over the next two months.  Each meeting focuses on one of the four chambers of Jesus’ heart.  More information can be found at  My personal feeling about it is this: if these reflections draw  me closer to Jesus, it’s all good.  If it doesn’t, it’s not for me.  I’m not interested in proving the validity of the visions, or discounting anyone else’s personal experiences.   I am interested in knowing Jesus better and I am excited for others too.  I do believe God continues to speak to us.  I do not believe these visions are gospel, but rather a personal revelation shared. (When God speaks to my heart, He is definitely not that formal.  If He did I probably wouldn’t hear Him or I’d be sent to the looney bin.)  If nothing else, it causes me to stop and think and pray.  That’s a good thing.  So, more on that later as I continue to pray for God’s guidance.  But I do have to admit, pretty interesting timing wouldn’t you say?
I’m interested in what it means to others as they ponder/contemplate/meditate on the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  What does it mean to you?  What comes to mind?