Monday, May 28, 2012

Hold On

I can't help but share this amazing story a woman I know experienced.  She has four children, the youngest is ten.  Her husband goes on mission trips around the world.  He was in Turkey on one of the trips.  They only got to speak one time on the phone together during his absence.  He told his wife, he had a dream they adopted twin boys and their names were Jordan and Isaac.  Ok, well, just a dream...However, she had the exact same dream!  That alone is pretty incredible, but God can and does do anything and all things.  So I shouldn't be so intrigued, but I am.  Anyways, she gets a call about some friends who are fostering twins.  My friend, asks if they are boys.  Yes.  Not really expecting anything she asks what their names are.  The friend says the first one's name is Jordan and the second is, Isaan but his name is in the process of being changed to Isaac.  Crazy, huh!!!??!!?  I have tears in my eyes and so does this woman.  God's faithfulness and plans are so beautiful.  I wanted to share the story because it is awesome, but I also wanted to share it because of an key factor in it.  Her husband was in Turkey on the mission trip, 11 years ago!  It has taken 11 years for this to even begin to take place. 

I have to remind myself, my inpatient self, that sometimes the things that I have known God to reveal to me, might not be as quick as I would like, or thought, or expected.  I think of Abraham and Sara from the Old Testament.  God told Abraham that he was going to grant him and Sara a son.  Abraham didn't believe it because they were both so old.  However, not only did God do it but it was many many years after God told him.  That means, they were both REALLY OLD!  It glorified God even more, showing that He is bound by no rules or laws, that He made to begin with.  I encourage myself and all to hold tight and strong with great faith in perseverance in what God is doing in each of us - RESTORATION.

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim the good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim a year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion -
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor." (Is. 61:1-3)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Prayer Request

I'm actually going to make this a short post.  We've had an emotionally draining day.  Our four year old niece, Emma, was just diagnosed with cancer.  I implore your prayers for her and her family.  She is the second youngest of five.  Again, another family whose life has just been turned upside down.  

Last night, I was crying and I sat before the Father.  When I pray, I often go to Jesus and implore the saints and Mary's intercession.  Last night I just wanted to go to the Father.  He has often intimidated me because He is...well....GOD.  The author of all, the Creator, the Beginning and the End, the Mystery.  Anyways, after I was praying, I opened my book on Mary Queen of Angels.  Most quotes are about her, and other Scripture passages.  However, I opened up to one of the few that are the Father speaking in first person.  No coincidence.  Anyways, these words were given to St. Catherine of Siena, who is my Confirmation Saint. 

"In all things humankind still finds rebellion.  I [God the Father] did not do this for want of providence or concern for your well-being but with great providence and concern for you well-being, to take away your trust in the world and make you run straight to Me, your Goal.  Thust the vexation of troubles, if nothing else, will make you raise your heart and will above the world.  But people are so foolishly ignorant of the Truth and so weak when it comes to worldly pleasures that even with all these wearisome thorns they find in them, they seem unwilling to rise above them, unconcerned about returning to their Homeland...That is why in My Providence I allow the world to bring forth so many troubles for them, both to prove their virtue and that I may have reason to reward them for their suffering and the violence they do to themselves..."

Here's just one of my favorites, given to St. Catherine of Siena - "I, [God] gentle first Truth name the situation, the time, and the place, consolations or trials, whatever necessary for salvation and to bring souls to the perfection for which I choose them...Everything I give is for love, and they therefore should accept everything with reverence."

Monday, May 14, 2012

Thoughts Caught Up On

I think of quotes I've read from saints and Mary, Mother of God.  The ones taht carry the same message.  "When you are carrying a cross, do not ask 'Why?' but ask, 'Lord, is there anything else You want me to do?' "

In the midst of my Calvary,  I have not found those, nor even forced them for that matter,to form on my lips.  I tend to ask "Haven't I given enough?" or "Aren't you done with this yet?"  I can't help but but wonder - WHO ARE THESE SOULS WHO HAVE WALKED ON THE SAME GROUND MY CLUMSY FEET STUMBLE AND TRIP ON ALL THE TIME?!!  I am so thankful for them!!  They cheer me on and inspire me.

I see a place I am familiar with. I knew it would eventually come in this process.  I am learning not to be so uncomfortable with it.  The place of going deeper.  When extraordinary consolations and high feelings that come with them tend to hit a lull.  The place He stretches us some more, even when we don't think we could stretch any more for awhile.  He calls. He calls. He calls me to the place of deeper, deeper trust.  Trusting in Truth, in Supreme Goodness, in His Fatherhood, in the heart of  Daddy God.  My soul hears these words over and over - "Faith is NOT a feeling.  Heaven is NOT a feeling.  My presence is NOT a feeling."  I know how I operate.  My emotions easily influence my reactions.  But He wants to take me to place that is much more secure.  Truth is a rock to a build a mansion upon.  Feelings, are one of the many illusions that can be compared to sand.  Not a sturdy foundation.  I know this, but why do I still object inside sometimes - wanting all the good feelings and fuzzy thoughts? 

This weekend was a somber one.  Stella's birthday was on Friday.  We celebrated.  I FELT sad.  Mother's Day was Sunday.  I wanted all of my children physically around me.  Last year for her birthday, I FELT heaven just envelope us.  This year, Heaven was a bit more...subtle.  But just because I didn't FEEL my heavenly family as strong, doesn't mean they aren't just as present - maybe even more so.  Heaven's interaction and existence doesn't depend on MY experience, MY faith, MY belief, MY thoughts, MY feelings.  And that gives me actually a deep sense of security.  It is unchanging, unlike my emotions.  But why must my soul experience memory loss?  Waiting eagerly for another answered prayer in the way that I want it answered?God is so incredibly good.  Many lessons to keep learning.
 "Amen, Amen I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.  When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world.  So you also are now in anguish.  But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away. - John 16:20-22

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Johnny's Stella Dream

I wanted to share a dream Johnny told me about.  Our conversation: John - "I had a dream about Stella last night."  Me -"You did?  What was it?"  J - "She watching me sleep.  She watched me all night long.  She touched my tummy, where it was hurting."  Me- "That's so special.  She loves you so much Johnny."  J- "She was smiling at me all night long.  She was jumping on yours and daddy's bed. But you didn't see her.  And when it was morning, and it was time for us to wake up, she went back to heaven."  Me- "  All night, she was with you John? Do you remember what she was wearing?"  J- "She had a beautiful dress, uh...kinda like the color of the dress of the girl in Mr.Popper's Penguins.  You know, the big girl."  Me- "Oh, yes, the older sister, had that silver dress on." J - "Yes, that color." 

I shared the dream with my sister-in-law Monica.  She said John has shared that dream with her, but there were some differences.  I figured maybe he had the dream a while ago and told Monica and just now told me.  But Monica said, no.  She went on to tell me how he shared the dream with her and she asked if he had told his mom and dad.  John said no.  He then went on to say, "It's my favorite dream.  I have it a lot."  When John told me about that dream I couldn't help but smile and thank the Lord for those confirmations for him.  I told John how those dreams are real.  He replied, "Yeah, they are.  But not scary or weird dreams like with cars in them."  I smiled and said, "Right.  Those ones aren't real.  But the Stella dreams, they are."