Thank You God for being our rock

Lord, Thank You for the power of Your Word and Spirit. Thank You for the sacraments of Your Church.  Thank You for all the faithful, who are doing Your work in the world. Thank You for the guardian angels working on our behalf. Thank You for Your voice in our hearts. Thank You for being so trustworthy and strong. Thank You for all the marvelous signs that point to Your Glory all around us.

Please give us the grace to follow You and build our lives on the solid foundation of Your Truth, always.

In Jesus name,

Amen.

Related Scripture

Matthew 7 24-27: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

 

What I loved about taking my kids to serve the poor

They dragged their heels, they complained. They made excuses and tried to get out of it, but I’m glad I followed through and had my 10 and 8 year old sons come with me to help serve meals to the poor at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving weekend.

My kids are incredibly fortunate in every way and in spite of my best intentions, they’re probably a little spoiled. I want them to learn to be grateful even when they aren’t getting their way, and I want them to learn to think of others, work hard and gain a broader perspective of what’s important in life. I want them to learn to be true followers of Christ .

Even though they were genuinely nervous and intimidated by some of the people from different walks of life, who came through the line, I loved seeing them stretch their comfort zone to help strangers. I also loved seeing them muscle through the manual labor of drying dish after dish. Maybe most of all, I loved introducing them to the inspiring people, who gather to provide meals for those in need on a regular basis.

They didn’t love the experience, and I know they’ll probably resist it again next time I have them come with me. They have a long way to go to become the giving, generous men I am raising them to be, but I am grateful I for the opportunity to plant seeds in their hearts of what is important in life. I want them to feel proud knowing that they can do uncomfortable, hard things to help others.

God bless our kids with a servant’s heart! Give them a spirit of gratitude for all their blessings and generosity in helping others. 

What kinds of service projects to you involve Your kids in?  Please share ideas below, and I’ll lift your project up in prayer! 

Thank you for being so kind

In a world that can be cruel,

I want you to know how deeply I appreciate

your consistent expressions of genuine kindness.

Through your authentically loving presence,

thoughtful words and gestures –

the purity of your intentions are deeply felt.

It’s wonderful to know I can count on you

to be consistently gracious, understanding and gentle.

Thank you for caring enough to be kind.

God bless you to receive back infinitely more blessings than you pour out on others.

 

 

Just let it go

Here it is, Lord –

I have one last thing to give you,

and I’m finally ready.

I’ve been clutching it heavy to my chest for so long

that I started to think it was part of who I am.

But I finally realize,

it’s just a rain cloud-

and I’m the vast openness beyond-

I can choose to let the shadow float on by.

I’m finally ready to let go of every stormy belief

that stops Your light from radiating through me.

I want Your love to shine through my soul like a sunny day.

Thank You for Your constant ability to illuminate our world, 

and thank You for waiting so patiently for me to get out of Your way. 

justletgopoem2

The illuminated path

I may never know, whose prayers first lit

the path beneath my feet.

But I think the best thank you note

is to march on,

illuminating the journey for others as I go.

In a sense, we each must walk alone.

Yet we’re always connected,

through the intentionality of our souls.

www.uniteinprayer.org (72)

 

Shift your focus to faith

To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle.
– Walt Whitman

To fully experience the joy a life of faith can offer, we must cultivate a spirit of gratitude. Life can be hard, but the truth is: God is walking with us through it all, whether our hearts are open enough to appreciate His works and wonders or not.

Personally, I’ve been blessed to witness the mind blowing, faith-enhancing miraculous healing of my middle child from kidney disease, which doctor’s thought he’d have for his whole life.

Daniel 4:2-3: “It has seemed good to me to declare the signs and wonders which the Most High God has done for me. “How great are His signs And how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom And His dominion is from generation to generation.”

I’ve also struggled through seasons of sorrow, where my heartfelt prayers seemed powerless to change a harsh reality I was facing.

John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Through it all, my faith has grown into a deep appreciation not only for the awe-inspiring ways God blesses us with the desires of our hearts but also for the ways God purifies our souls through trials and tribulation.

James 1:2-4: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

I have questioned deeply what the most powerful way to share faith is. How can I share the joy of my spirituality and belief in miracles, while also being real about struggles? Let’s face it, many parts of our faith journey involve waiting on the Lord, which can feel excruciating.

We know “all things work for the good of those, who love God and are called according to His purposes,” but how do we experience this in our daily lives when we’re struggling?

This is a big question with many answers I hope to blog about over time. One thing I think helps tremendously is to cultivate a miraculous mindset.

A miraculous mindset is just a choice to intentionally focus on all the serendipitous encounters, moments of grace and mini miracles of daily life.  They’re there if we look for them, but all to often we fail to notice. 

The more we focus on God’s actions in our lives, the more we witness them and appreciate His steadfast presence in good times and bad. This increases our faith and naturally motivates us to praise Him and pray, which starts a ripple effect of receiving increasingly more grace and miracles over time. It’s that simple!

Prayer works, but we have to wait sometimes. And one way to keep our spirits up is to focus on the good and miraculous things God is doing for us in daily life.

So, the question is: what wonders is God working in your life lately? Has He given you perfect weather and sweet words from a toddler you love or arranged a chance meeting with an old friend that meant a lot to you? Has He given you a sense of His loving spiritual presence or performed a dramatic miraculous healing in your life? (I can vouch that they happen!)

To get you thinking, here are some miniature miracles I’ve experienced in recent weeks. These are actually what I consider big ones, praise God for having an amazing couple of weeks!

On a recent trip to the ocean, on our first night there we saw whales spouting from our living room window in the distance and were able to cuddle up as a family and watch them for hours. This was a total dream come true and a magical memory our whole family will always treasure. I had prayed that God show us the wonders of nature, and I believe He orchestrated that to razzle dazzle us on night one, which he proceeded to do for the entire trip. I actually think even just getting away for a vacation to such a beautiful place was a miracle with our busy lives. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the priceless experiences we shared.

Just yesterday, I received a snail mail letter of love, appreciation and encouragement from a dear friend, as if her consistent loving presence in my life isn’t enough of a gift from God. This letter melted my heart in a big way. I’m someone, who has walked through seasons of  loneliness and experienced extreme lack of supportive community. Though I now see how God used those times to forge a deeper relationship directly with Him, they were very hard at the time. So now after all these years to be nourished with so much support from faith-filled friends is truly a miracle to me, I am so grateful!

These are just a few personal examples! I could go on about all the sweet miraculous moments of everyday life as a mother, even though my kids truly drive me crazy very often. I’ll save the grit and grace of praying through motherhood for another blog post!

But I write this to help YOU get thinking about the miniature miracles in your own life.

Prayer
God bless anyone reading this to receive an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and to be filled with the grace to realize Your Powerful Presence in every aspect of their lives. Bless them immeasurably and help them to appreciate all the gifts you are constantly pouring into them.

Reflection Questions
What beautiful thing happened to you lately that you couldn’t have orchestrated yourself? How does God work through the people and experiences of your life to bless you through good times and bad? 

Action Step
Start a gratitude journal! Write three loving things God did for you every single day before you go to bed, and watch your perception of life shift. Miracles truly are a mindset you can cultivate with a little intentionality, and you will be so glad you did. 

Share a mini miracle you’ve experienced in the comments below. We’ll praise God for all the ways He’s blessing your life and pray for you to receive ever-more grace from Him.

The gift of noticing God in our daily lives

How can we experience heaven on earth

Earth’s crammed with heaven…
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.
― Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
Aurora Leigh

When’s the last time you reflected on the very best moments of your life?

For my Theology of Spirituality graduate studies, I’m reading a memoir called “A Severe Mercy” by Sheldon Vanauken.

I know. It sounds like a delight, right?

It actually really is, on a very deep level.

During the grieving process of losing his young wife, Sheldon realized to a profound degree the significance of the best, most love-filled moments throughout the life he’d shared with her.

In spite of their constant battle with the busyness of mundane responsibilities, some memories had a spiritual significance that transcended time and space. He said “I realized that without conscious awareness of it I had had – we all have had — other glimpses of the eternal.”

This realization helped him connect with the timeless essence of his wife in heaven and grow in deeper awareness of God’s presence in his life.

I hope he’s right that we ALL are given glimpses of heaven through experiences on earth. I know I have been. 

I have divine childhood memories of being totally lost and free in the bliss of my imagination playing with my brother.

Running through the fall leaves as a cross country runner, while laughing with friends gave me a transcendent feeling of freedom and connection with what I now know is grace.

Through falling for the love of my life and marrying him, I have experienced countless moments of divine perfection. The joy we share, along with the security of unwavering love and support can only come from God.

Many moments with our children are heavenly as well. Rocking my babies and letting loose to giggle and play with my growing boys stand out as particularly divine, along with a growing sense of connection of our family as a whole.

All the very best experiences of my life include a sense of connection with others, pure love and freedom in being able to relax and be myself, with my spirit, senses and emotions all fully engaged. 

At times I have made the mistake of giving credit to the person, place or thing that seemed to make so happy.

Through my own sorrows and life experiences, I have learned to let go of that illusion.

Now, like Vanauken, I give credit to God for creating that sense of transcendent joy through relationships and experiences.

I increasingly realize that everything is vulnerable to change on the physical plane, except His eternal love which is with us always.

We just need to have eyes to see Him in the people, places and experiences of our lives.

The more we focus on the timeless bliss of His love for us through prayer and meditation, the more of His spiritual freedom we begin to experience and the more gracefully we’ll pass through the disappointments of life.

He is truly available to us all through faith, in every circumstance.

When have you glimpsed the eternal in your life on earth? I pray you can clearly see God’s presence in your life!