Love and Kindness Counts

If you feel that you have harmed me in any way this year or at any other time, I have long forgiven you. If I have offended you or hurt you in any way, please forgive me. I am meditating daily on First Corinthians Chapter 13. I recommend reading this chapter as the definition of love and kindness. Don’t carry grudges, live your life each day with this passage in mind. It defines what love is and how we should love. Love God, Love neighbor…and don’t forget to love self with all humility. You are a unique, special, beautiful gift of God to the world. Love really is all you need. Be kind. Your words matter. You matter.

Surviving a pandemic and working on thriving during pandemic

  1. Get up at your usual time each day
  2. Work out at least 30-60 minutes each day
  3. Shower, dress to go out as if going out to work.
  4. Pray each day and attend church on Sunday even if it is to watch a service
  5. Tell your family you love them and be present with them.
  6. Keep your social media time and news time to a minimum (no more than 1/2 hour a day)
  7. Call and connect with a friend
  8. Send a thank you note. There is always someone to thank.
  9. Put energy into the work you have to do this day even and especially if your work today is to look for work.
  10. Keep your living space clean and tidy
  11. Mind your self talk to be positive and kind
  12. Notice all the blessings around you
  13. Appreciate those in your life with positive language, be helpful and kind
  14. Spend time alone meditating with God. He wants to talk to you and you have to be still to hear Him.
  15. Take a walk.
  16. Enjoy your children, grandchildren, family,, friends, co-workers and pets. Be kind.
  17. Say please and thank you and mean it.
  18. Apologize when you have been rude, tense, or vented
  19. Forgive and love unconditionally
  20. Pray for everyone to the right and to the left of you. Be kind and don’t say rude things about anyone. Instead, listen with generosity.
  21. Be open, listen, and be willing to change your mind.
  22. Remember that the media is entertainment and any resemblance to facts is coincidental.
  23. Wash your hands, wear a mask when you are in a public place, and be kind
  24. Go for your annual physical and your dentist appointment and get your flu shot
  25. If you are overweight, lose weight in a healthy way as the best thing you can do for your overall health.
  26. Read the Bible, a good novel, and a good non fiction book.
  27. Enjoy your spaces indoors and outdoors
  28. Go to the lake or park nearby.
  29. Listen to the wonder around you and seek peace.
  30. Volunteer, support your church and your charities.

God bless you and I pray for your health and well being. Love Mymom

Moving Past Disappointment to Gratitude

Oh how sad I feel right now.  I prayed and prayed and prayed.  I wanted your wedding day to be everything you wanted it to be.  And with COVID-19, it will be a different day.  I really believe that God is in these plans.  I believe that we will still have a blessed day for your wedding.  And we need to look forward to what will be.

Today, when we have to accept changing plans, it is a time to feel feelings and cry.  Cry out to God.  Ask Him to be with us as we face the disappointment of today.  Thank Him that he is with us.  Turn to Him.  Sit quietly with God.  Cry with Him.  Let Him comfort you.  Feel your feelings and ask Him for strength.  Tell God how you feel.  Ask our Blessed Mother Mary to comfort you and pray for you.  Ask God to help and he will help.

God didn’t cause the COVID-19.  He isn’t causing all the panic and the closed venues.  We didn’t cause this either.  Politics need to be put aside.  Families need to be together.  We need to begin again.

We will appreciate what we can do to celebrate your wedding.  I am so thankful for you and for your future husband.  You are a beautiful couple and your wedding will be beautiful.  It will be small and intimate and we will have such a celebration later.  And we will be together with you.  Praying for you.  Loving you.  Listening to you.  I am grateful for so many things.  I am grateful for you.

Love,

Mymom

See others through the eyes of Jesus

I can’t think of a person who hasn’t let me down at one time or another.  And I’m sure that I have let others down many times.  God wants us to depend on Him.  He loves us and is always there for us if we turn to Him and put our trust in Him alone.  Only Jesus who leads us to the Father and works in us through the Holy Spirit.  If we can trust God, then we are free to joyfully love others and allow them to be imperfect.  We can love who they are and not who we wish they would be.  We are all imperfect humans trying our best in an imperfect world.  Our sense of sometimes feeling let down often comes from putting too much on the shoulders of that other person to bring us happiness.  Peace comes from those moments when we let Jesus take us by the hand and show us others through His eyes.  Accept, trust, forgive, love.

Love,

Mymom

Do not let the sun go down on your anger

“Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger and give no opportunity to the devil.” Ephesians 4; vs 26-27. In my study bible it says – In the case of personal insults, we should strive for reconciliation with the offender before the day’s end. That is a most difficult thing. I have had many times when I haven’t been able to do this and that leads to a sleepless night or a fitful night. Always remember that we don’t have to be perfect. Indeed, we can’t be perfect but with God’s help, we can make progress and do our best. Sometimes, the best thing is to calm down, journal, pray for help and begin again. Then decide whether it is worth the conversation or not. Maybe we just need to let go and love.

Love,

Mymom

Cooped up because of COVID-19

This has been a tough time for me and I know it is tough for everyone.  I’m grateful for so many things, home, family, food, warmth, working from home, the birds singing.  I’m sad about all the separation.  I miss my daughter, son in law and their children although we do talk to them often.  They live in Minneapolis and that is probably the worst area to live in.  Still in Minnesota, it isn’t so bad.  Our numbers remain very low. I miss church although I am watching it. I miss eating out and I don’t even eat out that often.  I bought show tickets this spring for the first time in a long time and won’t be seeing those shows.    I am sad for my younger daughter who lives in North Dakota, she is trying to look forward to her wedding at the end of May and dreading any news of further extensions of the stay at home orders.  Her venue is hopeful still and has many plans for keeping people safe including a backup date if we need to change it.  Still this should be such a happy time and it is instead filled with stress for her and for us.

 

I thought I was so grounded in my faith that this situation shouldn’t impact me so much.  I should be peaceful, faithful, obedient.  Truly though I have so many moments of anger and frustration.  I am worried about the situation around the world and so I gave money to Catholic Relief Services.  I am worried about my church.  Financially, how can it be solvent?  Donations down $60,000.  How can our church make the mortgage and pay the staff?  So, I gave more money to my church.  What is happening out there while we are all so preoccupied with ourselves?  I feel like I should listen to the news but it is so depressing that I can’t listen to the news.  All I can do is stay in place, work, and enjoy the people in my small circle; my husband, my sons, my daughter in law, and my two grandsons.  Six people.  My life line.  I make phone calls.  I use Zoom to connect with my community.  I watch sitcoms looking for light-hearted relief.   I pray, I work, and I wait.  Please God, help us find a cure, a vaccine, a test to show those of us who have already had this disease, help us to move forward and see each other again.

 

So to the government, from the bottom of my heart, I know that you mean well.  You have incomplete data though.  You have 300 million healthy people locked up just in case.  I agree with sheltering those who may be vulnerable but not in isolating them from their families and friends.  Trust us to wash our hands and take care not to spread germs.  We are a smart group of people.  We can take care of each other and will take care of each other.  No more extensions.  The curve has been flattened.  The hospitals have been built.  The equipment is coming in.  We are as ready as we are going to be.  Peace.

Love,

Mymom

How do I agree to disagree and move on respectfully?

Arrrg! I disagree with this decision you are making! It impacts me and I know you heard me but did you really hear me? I don’t want this direction to be a mistake. It will cost us money and time. We/you don’t have the experience needed.

Does this thought process sound familiar? Sometimes the littlest decisions can be big and divisive. Sometimes big decisions can be divisive too. When my husband makes a decision that I don’t agree with, I have trouble letting go. He is my best friend. I respect him. He is knowledgeable. I trust him. I ask his advice on many things. I tell him everything. And yet, when I disagree, it is hard to let go and let him make a decision and support the direction he is choosing to set.

What we try to do is let each other lead decisions that align with our expertise. My husband loves to do infinite research for making major purchases. I don’t have the patience for that so I will give him my wishes like I want a red car with 4 doors and a sun roof and I want us to buy it in the next 3-4 weeks. He will do the research and get it done.

I take care of all the monthly bill paying. I’m efficient and I work well with all the online accounts and I keep things paid on time. I also work with repair people for scheduling work at the house.

We have found our areas of responsibility and trust each other. A couple of areas are still difficult for us to agree on. We have learned to compromise for most of those areas.

Once in a while, we simply disagree. I find that when either of us take the disagreement personally, that can lead to a standoff. In these cases, we both lose. There may be consequences for incorrect decisions. There may be unexpected gains from good decisions.

If we disagree, it is good to hear each other’s point of view and then make the decision agreeing to disagree. Support each other in these decisions and always apologize if in an argument, I forgot to listen and support. In the worst case, we will lose a little money or time.

Perhaps the way to handle the situation is to trust that the outcome will lie somewhere between the best case and the worst case and we will learn to listen and trust each other all the more.  And we might learn a lesson or two.

But… As anyone who knows me knows, I sure do like to get my way. I thank God for a patient, loving, supportive, smart, and faithful husband.

God, please help me to let go of control and trust others, especially my husband. Help me to know that in all cases, You are there. Help me to learn to share my opinion and trust others to listen and make their best decision with the information they have. Help me to be supportive. Thank you for your guidance through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

Love,

Mymom

Should I join a church? Isn’t it ok for me to just attend?

One of our responsibilities as Catholics is to be part of a church community.  We attend mass weekly.  We participate in the life of the church.  We join the church and are counted as part of the community.  We support the church financially so that it can exist in our community and we can attend the church nearby our home.

When your dad and I were first married, your Grandpa, who was on his church’s stewardship commission, sat down with us and explained that we needed to find a local parish near our home, join it and support it.  It is the only way to grow our faith community and sustain it.  The light bill doesn’t pay itself. Our church needs contributions from every one of us.  We have to pay the electric bill.  We have staff members who bring life to our ideas in the form of our worship, faith formation, and facilities.  We need to pay their salaries.  We have a church mortgage. It takes each of us giving what we can to make this all work.

You participate in the church through your time, talent, and treasure.  If you are gifted with musical ability, you might participate in the choir.  If you are gifted with small children, you might help in the nursery or teach faith formation.  What about your treasure, how can you decide how much you need to give each week to support the parish?   See Deuteronomy 14:22-26 and Acts 4:32-35.  We are asked to give 5 percent to our local church and 5 percent to other charities totaling 10 percent.    Practically speaking, if I work 40 hours a week, a five percent tithe would be equal to two hours of work.

Your dad and I have varied our donations along this guideline.  We do compromise a bit and give 10% of our take-home pay.  Our reasoning is that money will some day come back to us in the form of Social Security, Pension, and Savings and we will give 10% based on our income at that time.  So let’s make this simple.  Assume that you make $20 per hour.  That means that each week, you will take home about $14 after taxes, social security, and 401K contributions for that hour of work.  You may then pledge to give $28 per week.

What if that seems like too much?   I have other monthly commitments.  I simply want to encourage you to give what you can.  Give $14 per week if $28 seems like too much.  Give God your first fruits before you budget for your fitness classes and your coffee shop dollars.  Start somewhere and increase as your ability to better budget allows you to.  Increase your giving level when you receive pay increases.  Be a good steward of the money God entrusts to you.

And what about the Catholic Services Appeal or the other charities that we are asked to give to at our weekly masses?  Those amounts come out of the other 5% of our giving which include other charities as well.  If each family gives, we make our goal.

Think about what you can give joyfully and give until it feels good.  Call your parish office about setting up an automatic withdrawal.  By doing that, you help your church staff know that there is a steady income and how to budget for paying the bills.

May your church community be a blessing to you and you to them all the days of your life.  Oh God, help us to find the local church we need to belong to.  Help us to step up and join.  Help us to contribute our time, talent, and treasure for the good of our community and to help further your Kingdom on earth.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

Love,

Mymom

Now that my dad is gone

I recently posted about losing my dad.  He was 90 years old and had lived a life filled with challenges and lots of blessings too.  He was raised during the depression.  He was a teenager during world war 2.  He experienced the promise of the 1950s, he voted for Kennedy, and he voted for Nixon, and he voted for Regan, and he voted in every election of his adult life.  He saw man first walk on the moon.  He watched his children grow up.  He watched his grand children grow up.  He even watched some of his great grandchildren grow into their teen years.  His oldest great grandchild was 17 and his youngest great grandchild was one month old at the time of his death.  My dad knew hunger, cold, joy, accomplishment, love, pain, work, and faith.  My point now is that he lived a long life.  I should be happy for him that he not suffer any more and of course I am.  I still miss him.

About a week before he died, I was able to have a priest from St Anne’s church visit him.  Father Tom stopped by on a Friday morning annointing with the sacrament of the sick (which includes forgiveness for any sins committed) and bringing him communion.  That day, dad was ready to see Father Tom, unlike the June visit at the hospital when he definitely wasn’t ready.  When I called dad that day, he was happy and told me to be sure to call Father Tom and thank him.  I did send a personal thank you note a few weeks later to let Father Tom know his visit and prayer had helped my dad to have a peaceful last week.

I feel gratitude for many things.  I’m grateful for both of my parents.  I’m grateful for the legacy of church and family.   I’m grateful for the lovely funeral that we were able to have for him.  I’m grateful for the people from St Frances who helped, the funeral home, my brothers and all my family.  I’m grateful or the birthday party that we had for him in October.  I’m grateful that we could bring our sons to see my dad on New Year’s Day that week and share the afternoon with him.  I’m grateful for each family member.  I’m grateful that I could visit my dad so often, even visiting the day before he died.

My sadness comes from a place of gratitude for having been his daughter and missing that relationship.  I believe he is with Jesus now.  I believe that although he wasn’t perfect, God forgave him and welcomed him into Heaven where he met my mom and so many relatives and friends that his joy would be overwhelming.  He was my dad.  I hope that he forgives me for needing the help of a long term care facility for his care.  I hope that he is praying for each of us and interceding for our needs.  I hope he will be able to oversee our steps as my brothers and I figure out how to be real grown ups without him.   With our mom and dad with our Father in Heaven, maybe we never really need to be grownups.  We can always be God’s children.

Oh God, please alow my my father and mother  to rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon them.  Please bless my brothers, my sisters in law, my husband, our children and our grandchildren.  Help us to remember our parents with great love forgiving any failing as you have forgiven them.  Help us to work together to continue to be a loving family through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Love,

Mymom

Prayer overcomes evil

In a world full of sin and evil and apathy and lack of faith it is hard sometimes to see God working in all things for the good of those who love Him. He is present in every moment of every day. He is aware of every breath that we take and cares about every aspect of our lives. We are His children and we are cherished. My prayer of late is all about how we can make a difference to others through our love and our example of mercy and service. I try to remember that when I see evil, I am looking right into the face of the devil and he must be rebuked through the Holy name of Jesus.

I must pray for each person and persistently pray for peace in our day. When I pray the Our Father, the rosary, the Divine Mercy chaplet and my prayer intentions, God is glorified and He listens and answers according to his Holy will. I can rely on my mother Mary to guide me to her Son, Jesus. I can rely on her to intervene on my behalf.  I ask her to pray for each of us and our intentions. I can have hope in today. I can feel joy in this very moment amidst all the distractions and trouble of the world if my focus is on Jesus. God is good all the time and all the time God is good.  Oh God, please help each of us to stay focused on you and your Holy Word.  Please deliver us from evil and grant us the freedom to worship you.  Please grant peace in our day and protect us from evil. Grant this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Love, peace and goodness,

Mymom