Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Perfect Peace

Do you ever wonder if you're doing just what God wants you to be doing, and not just what you think would make you happy?

God has a way of making His will perfectly clear, even if we aren't listening well.

I've been praying and praying about putting the two high schoolers on the bus next Fall.  It would save me almost 2 hours of commute time each day.  It would free up my morning for chores and the middle of my afternoon to actually cook dinner.

It would also cost $1300.  Sigh.

So, I prayed and I prayed and I messed with the budget and fiddled around with a couple of accounts and I made it work.

I had the checks and the bus form in an envelope to be dropped off at school this morning.

The only thing I didn't have was PEACE about the situation.

As I was brushing my teeth before my daily commute to the school,  I suddenly got a very clear idea of what God wanted with the situation.

Our son will graduate next year.  It would be the last year I would get to spend that much time with him on a regular basis.  I would miss our morning prayer time.  I would miss the quiet rides or noisy rides depending on what day it was and what time of day.  I would miss the lessons I get to teach and the things I get to learn about our kids as they jabber with each other.

I would miss hearing our daughter talk about the cute boy in science or the new song by her favorite artist.   I would miss what homework or test they were not looking forward to.

All of these things would be talked about on the bus, and would have been old news by the time they got home at 4 p.m. exhausted and "starving".

So, I finished brushing my teeth and went to get the envelope, which I proceeded to tear into tiny pieces.

And guess what I found?  PEACE! And JOY at discovering God's perfect will.  Sure, I'll still have interrupted mornings and afternoons.  I've been doing this for such a long time, I probably wouldn't really know what to do with the extra time anyway. And, the money will be spent on that for which God intended in the first place.

It was what God wanted all along. I just wasn't listening.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Give Him Your Cloak As Well

We are all called to live out the Gospel message.  Everyday brings us opportunities to do just that.

"Love your neighbor as yourself"(Matt. 12:31) sums it up nicely.

Most of us do this without even thinking about it.  We hold a door for someone.  We offer a smile to someone who looks sad.  We introduce ourselves to strangers.

How about going a step further?  Are we willing to give someone the coat off of our back?

I know (and love dearly) someone who did just that, one day last week in the brutal cold.

This 'body-of-Christ' person saw a need.  It started small.  A kind word spoken because the receiver was obviously very, very cold.  An offer of gloves, placed on the frigid person's hands by the giver because his fingers were curled with cold.

And then, the offer "would you like my coat, too?"  I am sure that there was gratitude on the part of the receiver.  He still had a ways to walk and had just stopped to get warm enough to finish his trek.  Now he could do it warmth.

That could have been the end of it, but this kind-hearted person was feeling a little regretful later in the day because they realized a cab would have offered more protection from the elements.

Another listener to the conversation chimed in:

"Don't feel badly!  You were like the good Samaritan who took care of the initial need and then left the wounded man in the care of another.  Someone else picked up where you left off."

I saw relief on the giver's face.  We can't do it all. We can only do the part God asks us to do and then trust that the next person called upon to step up to the plate will be a good discerner of God's voice as well.

If we all lived the Gospel so well, the world would be a much warmer place.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


One year ago this month, I attended my first meeting at the Ann Arbor based Lay Dominican group (now known as Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati Lay Dominican Group--not Community yet as we don't have enough professed members.)

That was quite a weekend and God was working in many ways, both hidden and obvious.

I spend a quiet Friday night at a nearby hotel just soaking in the alone time. This is a God-thing and a hubby-thing.  They both know I need these quiet times.

The next day I went to Christ the King for Mass.  As I was entering the church, someone called my name.  For Pete's sake, I was in Ann Arbor, who knows me here?  Low and behold it was my cuz, Terry.

She invited me to this "Dominican thing" she was going to with a friend.  Hmm, that's where I was headed.  What a God-thing to send me a friend that was going so I didn't have to go alone.

While we were waiting for Mass to start, Terry reached in her purse and pulled out a small booklet titled, "Our Lady, Undoer of Knots" and handed it to me.   As I began to read the description of the novena, I was moved to tears.

Terry had no idea I was struggling with some things in my life (aren't we all?).  God, however, knew.  It was His God-thing that put her there at that moment and told her to hand me that booklet.

This little booklet,  this POWERFUL novena, Mamma Mary's intercession and God have changed my life.  I've have prayed it twice for myself and am in the process of praying for one of our kiddos. (Waiting patiently for that answer!)

We all experience God-things.  We don't always recognize them though.  As you walk through your days, look for God-things.  They are there.  God always knows what we need when we need it.  As you begin to look for them, you will see them all the time.

Our realization that God is with us and taking care of us is the best God-thing of all.