Thursday, November 24, 2016

#amillionformegan Eternal Rest

Megan's fight is over.  Some will say she lost the battle.  I say she won the war.  She gained the ultimate victory: HEAVEN

Cancer did not beat Megan.  Megan beat cancer.  She showed it that it could not kill her spirit. It showed her and us what she was really made of: COURAGE, CONVICTION, ACTION, FAITH, HOPE, and most of all LOVE.  

This is what her parents and sisters posted after her death: 

Update from the Schroeder Fam: 
"At 11:32 last night, God called our Megan home. Earlier that morning, she received the Eucharist, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, and within that the Apostolic Pardon meaning she was in full communion with Christ and absolutely pure when she went to meet our Lord. Megan is finally without pain and we are left with only happy memories of our girl.  
We will be spending our day enjoying happy memories of Megan.  We love you all and ask you to continue to pray as we are all praying for you."

To all of you who followed her journey, I thank you, because I know that you were praying along with our family. 

I want you all to know that the day before she died, Megan's dad knelt at her bedside and pray continual Rosaries for most of the day.  I had the joy of praying with him for a bit.  Each prayer of the hundreds he said was for your intentions.  

I already know of two miracles that have occurred and have been attributed to Megan's prayers.  One a medical miracle which stumped doctors and one a spiritual miracle.  

Please do not cease to pray for the family.  They continue to lift you up.  Even more so, ask Megan to pray for you. She is in the presence of Christ.  What more advantageous place could there be to offer your intentions?  

I am keeping a journal of answered prayers and miracles. Ask big!! I am. 

If you wish to share your miracle stories, please leave them in the comment section. I will add them to my journal. 

I know Megan's last wishes:  One was to let you know she was praying for you. 
The second and more important one is that you do not let this outcome take away your faith.  Yes we prayed for a miracle.  We did not get the miracle we anticipated but we only need to ask our Lord to show us the miracle He performed in answer to our prayers.  This outcome is the best kind of miracle because Heaven is our ultimate goal.  Megan showed us the way--Jesus.  She never let Him out of her heart or off her lips.  Trust Him as she did and you will see her again in heaven's glory. 

Sweet Megan, pray for us. 

Megan's homecoming sky

Sunday, November 20, 2016

#amillionformegan A Word from Megan


First, God bless each and everyone of you. I would like to take a moment to give thanks to God for everyones' continued spiritual, emotional and physical support this last year.

The international team of doctors involved in my care have agreed that they have exhausted all the medical options to restrict, reduce or remove my tumors.  My family and I were told that my only medical option was to come home and complete my journey with Hospice, to keep me comfortable until our Lord calls me home. I am now leaving this fight at the foot of Jesus' cross.

I would like to extend my loving thanks once again to my family and everyone literally around the world that continues to lift me up in prayer as we complete this journey together.

My sincerest Love and Prayers will continue for ALL of your own special intentions. Please be there to support each other and know of my unending love for each of you.

Megan  💗

Sunday, October 9, 2016


I was so blessed to be able to attend the wedding of my nephew and Godson, Brian, to his beloved Carly.

It was rainy and wet outside, and it was wet inside too, as many of us wiped tears from our eyes when Carly's dad walked her up the aisle and then gave Brian a 30 second embrace before giving away his daughter.  There is clearly a bond between Brian and his new father-in-law!  (I was too busy drying my eyes to get a photo!)

At the very beginning of the Nuptial Mass, Fr. John pointed out that this was an arranged marriage. God has had it arranged from the beginning of time.

To say that God is part of their relationship is putting it mildly.  He is the backbone, the Love, the Grace that makes this couple so beautiful.

After an amazing ceremony, we were off to the reception.

Family is what it's all about!  My beautiful nieces. 

Because the main lights were off, and only the dance floor had good enough light to read by, these two got comfy with their books while waiting for dinner to be served.

The meal was fabulous and the dancing was fun. The floor was full of twenty-somethings dancing three different dances in three different groups all at the same time.  So much energy! 

We were in for a treat after dinner when Carly played her guitar and sang an original song that she wrote especially for Brian.  Again, more tears. 

The rain finally stopped but not before magnificent photos were taken by their very talented photographer.  One of the photos got the number one spot HERE

I pray for God's blessings on these newly weds and send them my love. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Do Something Great For Your Marriage

If you want a strong marriage, you have to work at it.  It takes effort to keep the love strong.

On a side note: love is not a feeling, it's an action.  It is something you choose.

What are some of the most important things we do to keep our marriage strong (for 33 years and counting)?

All of these are valid whether or not you have children.  There are always things taking our time and energy from us.

Date nights.  Date nights are a must.  It doesn't have to be expensive.  If the cost of a babysitter means you can't afford to go out to dinner, than go to the park and have a picnic. Swing on the swings, take a walk.

If you can go to dinner, great.  Make it a nice dinner.  Go somewhere quiet so you can talk.  Restaurants with loud music and T.V. screens on all the walls are extremely distracting and take away from that which you are seeking:  (nearly) uninterrupted time with each other.  (There are those "pesky" waiters that have to take your order and ask if everything is okay a hundred times.) After dinner, an adoration chapel is a great place to spend some qualities time with not only your spouse but with the Lord.

Walks.  Take walks together on non-date nights.  There have to be some neighbor kids who will watch your darlings for 20 minutes.  Pay them with an ice cream cone!

Away time.  Go away for a night at least 3 times a year.  Think it's too expensive?  It doesn't have to be.  Have a separate jar that you keep change and stray $1 or $5 bills in.  It does not get touched except for an away night.  Stay at a hotel that has free breakfast. Bonus.

If this is really an impossibility, have grandma take the kids for the night and then be together. Don't catch up on laundry or run errands or clean the bathroom.  Relax and enjoy each other's company.

You may not realize how much you need this break.  I'll share a true story about one of our away nights.

We got to the hotel around 5:30 p.m.  My dear one asked if I wanted to go to dinner.  Yes I did; I was hungry. But more than that, I was tired.  I told him, "I just need to lie down for 30 minutes."  He agreed although I know he was really hungry, too.

The next thing I knew,  he was waking me and asking if I was ready to eat.  I asked him what time it was and he said, "9:00."  Yikes!!  That's how tired I was from a long week.  God bless him for sitting there quietly reading, while getting more and more hungry as the minutes past my intended 30 dragged on.

Needless to say, I was able to be mentally there for him for our time away.  Not too tired to talk and enjoy his companionship.  And the next day, I was ready to go home, refreshed and renewed, to another crazy week.

Our world is all about movement: go, go, go.  Even our Sunday' s rest is being snatched from us.

Don't let your marriage take a hit.

Get into the habit of being together now, because it will save you in the long run!


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Junk In My Trunk

It's that time of year; we are at "our cottage".  Our and cottage in quotes because it is neither ours (it's a rental) nor is it a cottage (more accurately a 3 story house with 7 bedrooms.)

At the cottage there is a dumpster for trash from the community.  It's a little bit down the road and on my way to morning Mass. This morning I put the trash into my truck to drop off on my way.  When I got to Mass, I realized the junk was still in the vehicle with me.  Thankfully, not smelly! 

It got me thinking, as quiet time is wont to do, about junk in the trunk, not only of my truck, but in my soul. 

What kind of junk (sin) do I haul around with me?  Thankfully, not as much as I used to, but unfortunately not as little as I'd like. 

If we are honest with ourselves, we all have junk in our trunks.  

Lack of faith
Lack of contrition 

The list could stretch for miles.  We all carry baggage.  We don't need to, you know.  

Our Lord, after His resurrection and prior to His ascension into heaven, left us the beautiful Sacrament of Reconciliation.  

You can find all kinds of teaching online and from others who say that confession to a priest is not what Jesus meant when he breathed on the Apostles and told them, "Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, whose sins you retain are retained"(John 20:22-23).  The Apostles understood and thus we have had this Sacrament since the very beginning of Christianity. 

If it has been a long time since your last confession (or maybe you just feel the need) here is a helpful site: Fr. Ben  Click on the link and when you get to the site, click on confession.  Fr. Ben has a wonderful aid to life confession.  Any priest should do this for you, but you may have to call and make an appointment because it will take a little longer than if you have been going regularly.

Come Saturday, I will give heaven a little more joy and release from myself some more junk from my trunk.  Join me? 


Also, please remember to keep praying for Megan #amillionformegan

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Slow Erasure

They start off in many different ways; being born in the same family, a blind date, a dance class, meeting at the party of a mutual friend, sitting at the park watching the kids play.

They grow in different ways; from not liking one another at all to becoming friends, or liking each other immediately. 

Often they begin anew in marriage.   


Relationships are one thing we all have in common.  Each of us are involved in many relationships.  How is it that some last, and some slip away?

The relationships that last are the ones that have the most time and energy put into them.  Life is busy and we have to make time for each other.  We can't let busy keep us from pouring ourselves into relationships that we want to endure.

If miles separate you from your friends, write letters.  Real letters that require envelopes and postage.

Sometimes it is harder to stay close when miles don't separate friends. We figure we can get together whenever, and fail to make it happen.  This is a small form of the slow erasure. 

Marriage is a unique relationship wherein two become one flesh.  It takes a miracle and a lot of hard work and sacrifice to make this covenantal relationship work. 

Often the marriage we envision for ourselves is based on what we see work, or not work, in our own parents' marriage.  We have examples of good marriages all around us.  

Unfortunately we also have examples of marriages that don't work out as planned.  What goes wrong? 

Couples that seem to be so in love find the struggle too hard.

It likely starts with a hurt.

Small hurts or big hurts that grows bigger until they takes over our thoughts and won't allow us to see the person we once were madly in love with, as lovable any longer. Our thoughts grow dark and then small faults become glaring faults. Traits that used to be brushed away now nag at us and cause turmoil.

And then begins the slow erasure.

 What is the slow erasure? 
  • Making decisions based on what one person wants over the feelings and concerns expressed by the other.
  • Forgetting to speak kindly about the other.  Finding only the faults. 
  • Taking on activities that do not include the other but rather require much time apart. 
  • Deciding not to pray together anymore.
  • Leaving God, and sacrifice for the sake of the other, out of the relationship. 
  • Deciding that saying "I love you" is too hard and living it even harder.
  • Not holding hands anymore.
  • Not laughing together. 
So many things drive relationships apart.  Often couples get to a point where there is no longer a we, but only a me.  The other has been erased from "us". 

How do we make sure this does not happen?  Just as there are many ways to erase, there are many ways to more securely bond:
  • Be willing to sacrifice that which is important to you if it causes too much time apart, or causes concerns or hurt feelings in the other.
  • As learned in kindergarten, if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything.  Better yet, find something nice to say.  It keeps you in practice. 
  • Do stuff together.  Go to Mass, Adoration and confession together, clean the house, wash the dishes, cook, read, shop, go for a walk. 
  • Pray together every day.  God is waiting to hear from both of you. 
  • Make God central.  Pray about all major decisions, together; minor ones too. Pray for your spouse.  Every day ask what specific thing he or she needs you to pray for that day.
  • Say I love you and show it.  It's hard sometimes but so worth it to show the I love you.
  • Be willing to forgive: 70 x 7 times.  More if necessary. 
  • Sit next to each other at meals.  (Easier to hold hands!) 
  • HOLD HANDS!  Skin is very healing. God put all those nerve endings there for a reason. Sometimes when words won't come, a little hand holding will open up blocked communication.
  • Laugh together often.  Look up a comedian to watch, or watch your children play. Laughter breaks down walls. 
If you need counseling,  GO!  Alone or together GO! Find a counselor that shares your beliefs.  One who will help you fight for the covenant, not one that will make it easy for you to abandon it.

When the going gets tough, don't cave in to what is "easy".  Dig in to that which will save your relationship.  Prayer, sacrifice, prayer, time together, prayer, kindness, prayer, counseling, prayer, forgiveness and most of all, prayer. Do whatever it takes to make your I DO last a life time.

33 years and counting.

Monday, June 27, 2016

On My Mind and My Prayer List

Liz and Jim close on their first home today.  Babysitting will be so much easier and grand baby will be right down the street!  Happy grammy!

Caity and Jimmy are settling in their new home, 2 miles away.  Happy momma.   Caity still having terrible, long migraines.

Erin almost done with her nutrition internship and will need a job in her field soon.

Joshy is coming home this weekend!!  HOOT HOOT!! He needs a job as well and a base to his liking. He is hoping to be much closer to home (Maryland or Ohio).

Amanda will be home at the end of the month for 2 weeks!!  HOOT HOOT!! (It's a family thing!)  By then, she will be done with her cadaver dissection and she is ready for that.

Michael needs a car and a job!

Joey needs a driver's license, a car and a job!!!!!!

Hannah wants a job.

What to do about Claire and school in the Fall.

Wayne and his business.

For our marriage.



Megan--for strength in the face of new challenges, courage to combat the enemy-cancer, and HEALING.  John, Michele and Meg's sisters who are all fighting the fight with her.

Me (who I regularly forget to pray for) for my shoulder to stop hurting.  And whatever else God wants for me to do for Him, that He make it plain for me to see.

The election.  Sigh.

An end to abortion.

For cousins who long for a baby to love.

For our priests who help keep us headed in the right direction.

For the folks I see at daily Mass who are aging, ailing and dying.  For the young people at daily Mass who are starting their day with the Lord. So refreshing to see high school and college "kids" at 6:30 a.m. Mass.

For all those I have promised to pray for!

Reminder:   Novena to St. Maria Goretti (child Saint whose story you need to know) starts today!! St. Maria, pray for us.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Nine Days That Will Change You

A novena is nine days of prayer for a particular intention.

The very first novena occurred between Jesus' ascension into heaven and the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.  After Jesus ascended into heaven, the disciples "returned to Jerusalem…went to the upper room…[and] devoted themselves to prayer."  (Acts 1:12-14) Nine days later was Pentecost.

Those nine days of prayer not only prepared them for the coming of the Holy Spirit, it prepared the disciples to carry out God's will for them.

When we enter into prayer, our goal should be to do the will of God not to have God bow to our will.  Yes, we come with our own petitions and how we would like our prayers to be answered, but we have to understand that God knows what we need far better than we do and He will only do for us that which will draw us closer to Him (if we let it) and that which is He knows is best for us.

I will tell you from experience, novenas work!  I have prayed novenas since I was a child.  Do I always get what I ask for?  If I unite my will to God's than yes.

Does it always look the way I think it should or hoped it would?  No.

Does it always turn out the way it should? Yes, because, again--God's will.

Are my prayers always answered immediately? No.  The key is to trust and not give up the prayers.

There are LOTS of novena prayers out there.

One must understand that to pray a novena you are asking the Saint to whom you are directing the prayer to intercede for you, not to answer your prayer.  They pray with and for you;  God does the answering.

A  novena to  St. Therese of Lisieux will almost always yield roses for you.  You can even specify a color and she will come through. (When my sister was ready to conceive her first child I prayed specifically for blue roses.  Boy did I see blue roses-in winter!  They were grave blankets but they were blue roses!  She had a baby boy the next summer!!!)

A novena to St. Jude is said for intentions that seem impossible.

Novenas to St. Gerard are said for conception, a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery.  Nine out of 11 of these novenas were answered with a "yes" for us.

I don't know if there is a novena to St. Anthony of Padua because lost things are found pretty quickly when you ask him to intercede for you.

Many single people have turned to St. Anne and St. Joseph when they are ready to find their spouse.

Google can help you find any number of novenas.  I typed in-novena for- and the first four options were cancer, anxiety, marriage and healing.  Look up your specific request and find a new Saint friend.

If you already pray novenas and would like to pray more of them, here's the site for you:  If you sign up you will get novenas sent to your email several times a year.  You will have the prayer power of over 200,000 other people praying with you for your intentions and they will have you praying for them.

The couple who started the site found each other after each had done a novena to find a spouse.

Give a novena a try.  We all have something on our heart that requires intense prayer.  Invite the Saints to intercede for you.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Are You Available?

In his book, Beautiful Mercy,  Matthew Kelly, makes the following observation:

"There is only one type of person God has used powerfully
throughout history: He does incredible things with the 
people who make themselves available to Him."

What is your availability? 

How does one go about making oneself available to God?

A few suggestions:

1) First thing every morning, offer your whole day (prayers, works, joys and sufferings) to God to use however He wishes.  

2) Make all your movements a prayer: 
  • Pray for your family while you do the dishes instead of grousing that they left the kitchen a mess AGAIN!  ( I was talking to my sister last night and she told me her daughter explained that she leaves her dirty dishes in the sink because she knows she is being prayed for while her mother washes them! ) 
  • Pray for the owner of the gas station while you fill up.
  • Take walks and pray for the people who live in the houses you pass.
  • Pray for you boss and co-workers while you are doing your daily tasks.
  • Pray for those with whom you share the road (or airplane) while you travel around. 
3) Turn off your devices for a while everyday and just listen.  You may be surprised! 

4) Ask God what He wants of your day.  Be prepared to have your plans change as you let God shake things up! 

God wants to use us to further His kingdom, but often we are so busy doing what we think is important that we forget to leave room for what He knows is important. 

God will do amazing things with us if we make ourselves available to Him. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

#amillionformegan Surgery Update

As many of you know,  this beauty is my niece and Goddaughter, Megan.  

Before I give you the update, I just need to share my thoughts on what these past 5 months have taught me about this amazing child of God. 

I have been blessed to see faith in action watching Megan as she patiently and gracefully fought the cancer diagnosis that blindsided the family 2 days before Christmas.  See that gentle smile?  That is the smallest one I've seen through all these months.  Usually she is grinning from ear to ear and holding out her arms for a hug. 

Case in point: this is Megan just before major surgery that could have taken up to 10 hours and had a major impact on several organ systems.  

Though her freshman year of college was rudely interrupted, I have never heard a complaint.  

Though she has lost the muscle mass that allowed her to be a cheerleader and a runner, her inner strength is stronger than ever. 

She is still the cheerleader, making sure everyone else is okay and letting us know she is fine.  

She offers her sufferings and her prayers to those who are praying for her and now being her cheerleaders. (And there are a LOT of you!!!!) 

She teaches joy in the face of adversity.

They celebrated Thanksgiving in the hospital,

they celebrated Christmas in the hospital,

and they celebrated Easter in the hospital.  Joyfully!

And now for some good news:
Treatment Update: #1

This morning at 7 am, my doctors began surgery to try to remove the tumor. Surgery was quicker than anyone expected and went very well. They believe they were able to remove the tumor entirely. My other organs looked clean and healthy, so the procedure didn't require as much work as had been expected. They did have to remove my uterus and right ovary because they were somewhat sticking to the tumor. They also removed a few lymph nodes just to be safe.
Once again, thank you so much for all the prayers and support for my family and my self. The next step will be chemo/ radiation to make sure every last cancer cell is really gone!

Update: #2
The pathology report on my tumor came back with very good results. 80% of the tumor was dead and all 22 lymph nodes came back negative for cancer! The doctors believe they removed all of the tumor. From this point forward, we will be doing treatment for cells that could be left behind. The next step is 3-5 more cycles (3 weeks each) of the same chemo regimen before reevaluation.
Also, I'm healing extremely well after surgery. I haven't needed pain medication for over 2 weeks and the incisions are healing even better than expected. I'm not gonna lie, I have a pretty sick scar. 👍😍
Thank you all for the prayers. I'll try to keep you all updated as much as possible. God bless.
Tomorrow begins the first of the new rounds of chemo. I know Megan and family would appreciate all prayers.  They are getting pretty good at this and hopefully what they learned with the former rounds will help keep Megan feeling pretty good throughout these next rounds.  
She will loose her soft, new hair but she was beautifully and  boldly bald last time around and will do just great this time too!  
Love you, sweet Megs.  
Praying that the next update says: CURED! 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Soap for God

I sat at the kitchen table this morning trying to figure out what to do with my day.

Michael was at work, the high schoolers were at school and Liz and Amanda took our tenacious one to the zoo

 and so the day stretched out before me, full of possibility.

I am a person who likes to finish what they start without having to clean up parts of a project and have to bring them out another time - be it the same day or a week later.  (Hence, the reason I do not sew!)

Being a wife, a mom of nine, homeschool teacher for many a year, and now a grandma, I've gotten used to starting only small, easily do-able chores, projects, phone calls etc., knowing that someone was going to need my attention very soon.

And lo and behold, as I sat this morning having several hours ahead of me contemplating what to do, my Dear One called and asked if I was free for lunch.  Of course I was free for lunch, all the children were gone for the day!

Now my day had a chunk taken out of it, so no big project was going to get started or finished.  So I decided on the smaller, much needed project of folding laundry.  It was nice to have that off the list.

I also came up with what to make for dinner and took the meat out of the freezer, so that helped, too.

In the afternoon, I did what any sane mom does when she has a couple of hours and the night-time routine still to get through, I started a new book and then I took a nap!

Sometimes, I get frustrated when I look at my day and wonder how others are able to accomplish so many things and I "only" take care of the family, immediate and extended, and the house.  I know in my heart, this is right where God wants me and so the majority of the time, it's all good.  I've written about this in the past: The Kids Are Not The Distraction

Today, though,  God had a special message for me.

I opened my email and had received my monthly newsletter from Catholic Heritage Curricula.  In it was a gem of writing by Rita Munn, a homeschooling mom of 10, taken from her A Family Journal that put everything into perspective again:

Many years ago I read an article in a Maryknoll magazine about a beloved and elderly
Maryknoll priest serving in Africa. Upon his death, he was eulogized by those people
whose lives had been enriched through his tireless work among them. He was described
as “going like a block of soap.” For these native people this was a very high
term of endearment and respect. “To go like a block of soap” meant that his total embracement
of his vocation was fulfilled until his death. His life was used by the Lord until
his earthly life was taken from him by the Lord. His life was like soap in the Lord’s

Imagine for a moment a large cake of soap, perhaps resting next to the kitchen sink.
Soap is not extraordinary yet always necessary. Soap does not apologize or lament for
what it is not but is available for what it is and means to others. Soap waits to be used
and then performs its service without fanfare. It is efficient and helpful no matter its size
or condition. Soap quietly works until it is all gone.

If I can be a block of soap in God's hands, ready, willing and able to do what He wants and needs of me then I am right where I am supposed to be, doing what He wants me to be doing.  I doubt if I'll ever take up sewing, but maybe there is a novel in me that will find it way to paper one of these days. 

SOAP has another meaning for Rita:  It stands for Send Out A Prayer. She explains: "Each time I wash my hands I offer up a Hail Mary for all homeschooling families."

While prayer is already a big part of  my day, soap and SOAP will help me add a few more prayers for those I love while being soap to God for them. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

#amillionformegan FUND RAISER

I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to all who had anything to do with Megan's fundraiser today:

Amber and Beth are at the top of the list.  The hall looked beautiful, the food was great, the and cheerleaders that were helping were a very friendly and hard working group!!!

Szegeti's  Catering
The Yost Family
Canfield Center

I would also like to say thank you to all those who donated silent auction items, raffle items,  and bake sale items.

A huge thank you to all who attended the Mass that was prayed for Megan before the fundraiser and to Fr. Jim for celebrating the Mass and for offering a beautiful blessing at the dinner.

And the biggest thank you to the over 400 people who came to eat, socialize, hug, and support Megan and her family.

All the photos were taken from Facebook.  I can't label them because I don't know all of the people in them but thanks for sharing!!

From my brother:

I would personally like to thank everyone for showing up to pray for Megan and my family. The amazing gifts of all of the hard work and cards, expressions of love. My prayers are offered up for each of you.

#amillionformegan UPDATE

Today I witnessed a beautiful, overwhelming outpouring of love for my dear niece, Megan.

That's the next blog.

This blog is just an update about what has been going on.

Megan went through several rounds of chemo and then had a scan to determine if the chemo therapy is working.

This is the outcome of the follow-up doctor's appointment, in Megan's words:

Treatment Update:
Today my doctors decided that the chemo was not doing enough. While the tumor is softer, growing slower, and I am no longer in any pain, it is still slowly growing. At this point, the doctors believe our best bet is to stop chemotherapy and schedule surgery to remove the tumor. On March 24, my doctors will try to remove the tumor completely. Based on imaging, the tumor does not look to be connected to or intruding any of my organs or blood vessels, but we will have 6 other specialized surgical teams available just in the event of any worst case scenarios. At this point, the imaging also shows that the cancer has not spread anywhere else in my body, is clear of my lymph nodes, and I am otherwise very healthy! Hopefully after surgery and some possible post-operation chemotherapy/radiation this wild ride will be just another crazy and rare medical story in the Schroeder family past. Thank you all for the prayers and helping my family and myself during this time. I'm blessed to have such a strong community and support group. I can't imagine having to do this on my own and I'm so grateful to have you all to lean on.

I feel that the timing of this surgery, Holy Thursday, is no accident.  We will be in the midst of the holiest week of the year.  God is in control, and there are way more than 15,000 of you praying for Megan.
Please keep them coming.  She needs everyone and every one!!! 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Back of the Cross

While on my Bitter Sweet Retreat, the priest leading the retreat talked about gazing on the crucifix and contemplating Christ's love for us.


As He hung in His bitter agony, each one of us was on His mind.  That is what kept Him alive for three long hours hanging between heaven and earth: us.  That is Love. 

Father encouraged us to also look at the back of the crucifix.  

What do you see?  Empty space. 


He suggested that the empty space is for us.  

When we are suffering, we can place ourselves up on that cross and share our suffering with Christ.  

Suffering differs for each person experiencing it, but it is always a gateway to grace, if we allow it to be.

Jesus has His arms outstretched for two reasons I believe.  The first is that they are open to God's will for Him.  He did not die curled up in a ball, hiding His face.  He died, arms outstretched, saying here I Am,  Father, doing Your will. 

The second being that when we are suffering and in our own agony, if we place ourselves on the back of the cross, Jesus' arms are outstretched in a defensive position.

I like this image;  a crossing guard standing on the corner, arms outstretched, keeping the school kids from walking into traffic. 

So don't worry:  HE'S GOT YOUR BACK.  

Call on Him.  Let Him protect you from despair, anger, depression and the desire to give up.  Give Him your suffering and let Him give you His love. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

So Grateful

How do I say "thank you" to over 14,000 people who have viewed this blog, shared it, and prayed for my niece Megan?

How do I say "thank you" for the retweets of #amillionformegan?

Your prayers, your shares, your cares mean so much to my whole family and we are so grateful for each and everyone of you.

We are also grateful for the people you've asked to pray who do not show up in the count.  Because, every prayer helps.

The road has begun.

I'm told it will be a long journey.  I have no doubt.

However, with each prayer prayed, with each Mass offered, with each thought of Megan, we are all uplifted and made stronger.

Our faith is strong and will remain so.

Megan has created prayer warriors--over 14,000 strong!

The only appropriate way to say thank you is for me to now pray for you.  I will add your intentions to my daily Mass intentions.  May God bless you all abundantly for your efforts and love.