Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Girls Night-- Spa Time!

Monthly Girls Night: October 2010
Spa Night!

A night of relaxation and pampering (and of course chatting!) with the girls...

Doing nails-- love the lime green!

Foot soaks and masks ("How beautiful are the feet..." -Romans 10)


Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of these girlfriends in my life.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Growing Fruits

I find myself praying more and more to the Holy Spirit these days. Asking Him for His gifts and for the fruits that St. Paul mentions in Galatians.

"For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control..." (Galatians 5:22-23)

What an intimidating list! I think I'd be doing quite well if I could have all those fruits!

Just like real fruit, growing spiritual fruit takes time. It would be wonderful to go to the local farmer's market and pick out a handful of joy, a basket of faithfulness, and a whole bushel of patience!

Yet I wonder if we would truly appreciate the fruits of these virtues if we could obtain them immediately.

Would we see our need for the Lord's graces if it were not so difficult to be that which He asks us to be?

Instead we need to trust the Holy Spirit to plant the seeds of His fruits in our lives when we ask. We need to nurture those seeds with prayer and practice. To be humble when He prunes, even though it is painful. To be hopeful and not lose heart when all we see are bare branches instead of abundant fruit.

Paul knew this when He wrote about the fruits and gave some encouragement in the next chapter.

"Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:9)

The tending, the growing-- even the pruning-- will be worth it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Finding Jesus

There are days when God seems distant. When we can't feel His nearness. It almost seems as though we've lost Him. That sense of security is waning. Questions abound. Yet our mind tells us to trust, to believe. Our mind knows He promises to never leave us.

Jesus' own mother knows that feeling.

She lost Him once herself...

"Each year, Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when He was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but His parents did not know it. Thinking that He was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for Him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding Him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for Him."

Can you imagine this? The uncertainty, the anxiety, the pain in Mary's heart-- not only was her son missing, but He was the Son of God.

After three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard Him were astounded at His understanding and His answers. When His parents saw Him, they were astonished, and His mother said to him, "Son, why have You done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for You with great anxiety."

Mary understands the anxiety we have when we can't see what God is doing in our lives. The mental searching for directions, for reasons, for understanding.

And He said to them, "Why were you looking for Me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what He said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced (in) wisdom, and age, and favor before God and man."*

Even after His parents found Him, they didn't understand it all. We won't understand everything that happens in our lifetime, but we can continue to find Jesus in it. We can find Him in the friend who gave us a random hug just when we needed it. We can find Him in the peaceful sunset on a stressful day. We can choose to trust that He is there even when we don't see Him in the way we would wish.

And like His Mother, we can keep all these things-- these moments of finding Jesus-- in our hearts.

*Scripture from Luke 2

Monday, October 11, 2010


"Creator, only You take brokenness,
And create it into beauty once again."

-Porcelain Heart, by BarlowGirl

Have you ever realized how emotional pain can become physical pain? Like when your heart aches so much that you can feel the real, true pain in your chest?

Why is it we can feel loss? Why do regrets hurt so much? Why do we sometimes only realize what we have once we no longer have it?

But the decision is made. For now. My choices, my actions, they have brought me to this place.

A place where more choices are to be made.

The choice to use the past to prune me, mold me, and humble me.

The choice to wake up, get up, and show up-- to make the effort to put others' needs before my own.

The choice to trust the One who picks up broken pieces and puts them back together.

Even when trusting is hard, I must trust Him with the outcome.

The choice to use this as a growing time, learning from my mistakes. It's the least I can do, and the most I can do.

And that small hope within will grow.