Monday, July 19, 2010

God Speaks....Are You Listening?

I have an awareness to recognize signs, sometimes referred to as "signal graces", that can have different meanings to me. Sometimes they tell me that I'm on the right path (to holiness), sometimes they mean that things will be okay, some are an answer to a prayer, and some signify God is with me. I don't exactly remember when I first started noticing them, but I'd guess it was during my teen years when I consciously started on my faith journey to know God.

The signs I receive are a huge gift to me and have often come at times of great anxiety or despair. I know they're real--I don't believe in coincidences. Not in these matters.

I went on a "Christ Renews His Parish" women's retreat this past weekend. Actually I went as a retreatant last year. This year I had the privilege of participating on the team that presented the retreat to the women of my parish. When I returned home, one of my sons who enjoys open discussion on faith, asked me about the retreat. He wanted to know what types of activities we did and how it all went, etc. I love sharing in this way with my kids, especially when they are the ones initiating a deeper knowledge and understanding. I told him about one particular woman who was sharing about a personal Marian apparition she had experienced when he said, " how come God never shows himself on earth anymore?" I was a bit surprised by this. I know he was referring to the fact the our Blessed Mother is known to make her appearance and send messages in a very tangible way to some, but not recognizing God on earth?? I think this young man wanted to see the face of God just as people have seen the face of Mary and been delivered special messages. "Son," I said, " God shows himself here all the time. Are you not recognizing Him??"

I then went on to tell him of some powerful ways that Jesus was present during the retreat. (I might add as a side note that the evil one also made his presence known on several occasions.) One of the most powerful signs from God was received during the Reconciliation service. The ladies processed in song into the church to hear a little talk by our priest and to receive guidance on Examination of Conscious. During this time, a violent storm began to rage outside....torrential downpours, lightning, thunder, the works. Part of this activity involves an outside fire pit that the ladies walk to and then symbolically they let their sins burn away into ash. Of course this means walking outside in this horrific storm! (it also meant a mad scramble to move the fire pit into a covered area). The ladies took their time during the examination of conscious and we leaders looked out the church doors with worried expressions. And then, God appeared. As the ladies one by one walked to the confessional, the rain slowed to almost nothing and then a rainbow....a completely full rainbow..... appeared in the sky right over the area where our fire pit was. Now, if you don't see God showing himself to us in all this, then maybe you're looking in the wrong places!!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My First Daybook

This is an idea I've seen on some other blogs I like to read and so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Outside my window:
Rain and alot of it!

I am listening to:
Silence....I know it won't last long on a rainy, indoor day, so I'm savoring it

I am grateful for:
My husband, it was a rough evening for me with my teen sons and I know the summer is not going to get any easier. My husband is here to hold me up, even if he doesn't have the words to say, his hugs help me know I'm not alone.

I am pondering:
A plan to have a more peaceful summer in our household

"No one heals himself by wounding another" St. Ambrose

I am Reading:
"Small Steps for Catholic Moms"--highly recommend
"Saints & Other Powerful Men in the Church"--bought this for Mike, but I'm enjoying it!

I am Thinking:
Motherhood is not for wimps!!!

On my iPod:
I'm just so happy to have my iPod back after it got stolen. I'm not even into new technology, but man, I missed fooling around with that little gadget!

Toward Rythm & Beauty:
I haven't found a consistent summer rythm yet. Swim season ended and this is the first week of no where to run to every morning. I have a feeling our rythm is going to be an ongoing challenge and I need to learn to be flexible from week to week--not the way I usually roll, so pray for me!! Toward beauty, I'm getting my haircut this afternoon!! I know I'm not suppose to focus on physical beauty, but sometimes a good hair day can make all the difference!!

I am hoping & praying:
For my teen sons, especially one, who is very lost right now.....

In the garden:
The rain is doing a world of good!! I've lost alot of my annuals all ready from the scorching Texas heat. My flowers always look so brilliant after a good rain....bring it on!

Around the House:
I'm pleased with the downstairs. It's neat & tidy and an easy pick-up now that everything is in it's place. The upstairs is my next mountain to conquer!

From the Kitchen:
I sat down yesterday and planned my July dinner menu. Immediately a calmness set in. Wow, the chore of daily meal planning weighs me down so much. I love having the plan....I need to keep up with the monthly calendars again, they're so worth my sanity!!

A picture thought I'm sharing:

These four precious children (and best of friends) recently received their First Communion. We were finally able to coordinate family schedules to celebrate together with a pool party & cake.