Spitting on Jesus

It hit me like a ton of bricks. Her words rang so true, it hit me deep, and I held back heartbreaking tears and laughter at the unbelievable timing of it. But that is how God works, when you least expect it, but right when He knew you needed it.

But Lets first back up a bit, so you can understand this a bit more.

My son has been taking art lessons at our local gallery. Initially my husband was taking him, but that wasn’t working out, so I started taking him a few weeks ago. It means I get a bit of a break, can sit and read in the lounge at the gallery while he lets his creative juices flow for 2 hours. I decided to start using that time to read, and dove back in to “Where There Is Love, There Is God” by Mother Teresa. I’ve had it for years, but haven’t made it a priority to read, until now.

The book is incredible, I want to tweet quotes from it all day long, just to share all her wisdom with the world! If you haven’t read it, please do! Especially if you are a busy mom who struggles with keeping her cool, like me.

I am so quick to anger! And through each phase of life I find something else to blame it on: I’m over worked, stressed about wedding planning, it’s my pregnancy hormones, I’m exhausted from being up all night with a baby, the kids are not listening…but really it is me who is not listening. Not listening to Jesus.

When I was younger, gossip and lies were prevalent in my life, amongst other sins, but as I matured, and found Jesus, I gave those up. It seemed easy. I became Catholic, and those were sins, so I just stopped.

Yelling hasn’t been as easy to quit. I even tried giving it up for Lent one year, and said a Hail Mary for each time I yelled. And that worked for a while, but like most bad habits, it crept back in.
I don’t like that I yell. I feel shame and so much guilt after I do it. And I have tried everything to be calmer, and full of more love.

It wasn’t until today, that I read Mother Teresa’s words while I waited in that lounge for my son:
“When we are unkind, proud, or harsh, let us ask ourselves, “Why am I harsh today?” I am not clean of heart. Something is cutting me off from Jesus.”

Harsh?! Harsh words for me to hear! I often ask myself why. Why did I just yell? Why can’t I control my anger? Why am I always so frustrated? And ever since Lent started, and I pledged to myself to try my best to stay calm, I become more heartbroken as I continue to be lost in this awful habit. Her words could not have come at a better time for me!

The next page of the book is all about how our tongues are connected to our hearts. And how when we say ugly things it is like spitting on Jesus!

Spitting on Jesus!

Every time I raise my voice, and use harsh words it is like spitting on Jesus?! If that isn’t enough of a visual to get me to stop, I don’t know what is!

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I initially wrote this post nearly a month ago, and those words that I read have stuck with me. I’m still not perfect, as no one is, but I think things are so much better! I don’t know if it was Mother Teresa’s words, or finally letting Jesus in, but I have found a new calmness and peace in my heart; a new level of patience with my children that I never had before.

Have you struggled with something for years? Or maybe you are still struggling with something. I still have good days and bad days, but am getting so much better at catching myself! Each day is a new chance to start over and be a better person! Let Jesus into your heart, stop right now and thank him for today, and tell Him you hope to do better tomorrow. Pray and ask for help! Leave a comment here asking for prayers! This online Catholic community is so amazing, and we all support each other so much! I pray that you all find the strength to let Jesus in to your heart, and let him help you! He had been knocking at my door for a long time, but I had to open the door.

A Surprise Prayer to melt your heart

Life has been busy, but I promise I have posts about Apps for Catholics and a write up about the Dynamic Women of Faith conference…but for now, I just have a little story to share.

Today while out running errands with my 2.5 year old daughter, we were nearing the end of our journey, and about to head back to my son’s school to pick him up. As I buckled her up in her car seat, she clasped her hands together and closed her eyes; “Please let there be no dog poop at the school yard. Amen.” As she opened her eyes, she smiled and exclaimed she was praying for no more dog poop at the school, just like how she prayer for her lost soother to be found a few months ago.

I must also say when she says dog poop, she really means mud (she calls all mud dog poop), and she wanted the mud to be gone so she could play on the hill in the school yard with the big kids.

I just love that she prayed for this, instead of just saying something like “I hope the mud is all gone”. Praying at bedtime sure is paying off!

One week in…

…so how is it going? Have you forgotten what you gave up and did it/ate it by mistake yet? I’ve seen some tweets and posts about messing up after only a few days, and if that’s you, it’s ok! Don’t beat yourself up if you did, it’s not a total fail, just take a step back, pray, and start again fresh tomorrow!

I like to replace what I’m giving up with something. This year I have given up raising my voice/yelling at my kids. It’s forcing me to stay calm, be more patient, and not just jump to conclusions and yell as my first instinct. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to just stop doing something like that (did I mention how tired and emotional I am from being pregnant, and how much my kids love to whine and fight over just about everything?), every time I yell I have to say a Hail Mary. That forced me to calm right down, and remove myself from whatever the situation was that caused me to raise my voice. It’s been working like a charm! Day one I said 3 Hail Mary’s, and since then I have only had to say one or two here and there! My husband even complimented me last night how great I was doing, and how nice it was to not have me loosing my cool so much. It’s kind of embarrassing…but I know you won’t judge me right? And I would much rather focus on the great side of this; me being a more patient mother who is also a much better listener!

The other thing that we give up each and every Lent are the sweets and treats. And since Sunday’s don’t count, my husband stopped by Tim Horton’s on Sunday and picked up some Timbits for us all. They were delicious, especially after a week of no sweets! We also had brownies and ice cream for dessert that night…I was very tempted to like my plate, but I restrained myself. My son has also been really great with this one. I thought for sure he would be asking for a treat all the time, but he had no problem with the treats in the house being put away in our cold storage until Easter! He was also keeping his little sister in line at the grocery store today, announcing “no treats during Lent!” anytime her eyes strayed to a yummy chocolate snack.

I hope you aren’t stressing too much if you have fallen off your Lenten path. There is still plenty of time to get back to it and have a great turnout!

New Reading Material…and the big announcement

So, things have been quiet around here, and on twitter, so a little while. I sure do have my reasons. While I have been busy playing with my kids, learning to crochet, baking, and just enjoying our blessed little family, I have also been reading some new books!

I know there of lots of you out there that just love a good Catholic book, and boy do I have two great ones for you:

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Can you make out those titles? The first is Prayerfully Expecting by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle. The second is A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy by Sarah A. Reinhard.

So I bet you guessed the big announcement, huh? I’m pregnant! We are so truly blessed, and thrilled beyond words to welcome our third child this summer!

So far I have beel feeling downright awful, which I expected since that is how I felt with the other two. These books have been such a saving grace, reminding that this baby is a true blessing and gift from God. Remembering that while I throw up for the 5th time that day is very comforting. It’s all for a great cause, and as hard as it can be on my body, I really do love being pregnant!

I hope you will pray for me and my baby as we continue this journey. Saint Gerard sure has been hearing an awful lot from me lately 🙂

Courage

Have you ever prayed for something very very specific, and had it happen?

For months now I have been praying for courage for my son. My shy little guy, who had a bit of a struggle adjusting to school. Going into class on his own, doing this automatically, joining in the fun and games and songs. He was not willing to allow himself to have fun or accept that this was his day to day life now. It was so hard on all of us, as no parent wants to see their child struggle. And it’s even worse when you have to take your crying kid into class and leave him there.

I wasn’t even sure that courage was the right word, or the right thing to be praying for. I didn’t want him to be so shy, I wanted him to allow himself to have fun, to participate in the class activities, and to listen to his teacher. Courage was the only word that kept popping into my head when I would get on my knees at night and pray.

But little by little he has gotten better. He now has fun at school. He’s made lots of great friends, and actually leaves school smiling each day. My prayers had been answered, but I didn’t really know it, and I hadn’t even given it much thought, other than be so happy for my son.

It wasn’t until last Friday that it really hit me. We received a phone call from my son’s teacher. She wanted to tell us that she had picked him to receive an award at school. Each month the school picks a different virtue that it focuses on, and at the end of the month, a student is picked from each class that has shown that virtue all month long. It’s written at the bottom of each month on the school calendar, I usually glance at it but don’t really pay much attention to it. The virtue for January? Yup, courage. She said she knew she just had to pick him for courage, because he has done so well this last little while, and has been so courageous in joining in and doing things on his own. To say I got teary eyed would be an understatement.

Answered Prayers 🙂

Happy Feast of Saint Nicholas!

A PRAYER FOR CHILDREN

God, we pray that through the
intercessions of St. Nicholas
you will guide and protect our children.

Keep them safe from all harm
and help them grow to become
loving disciples of Jesus in your sight.

Give them strength to always mature
into deeper faith in you,
and to keep alive joy in your creation.

Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

St Nicholas

Today, we will do special St. Nicholas colouring pages, open small religious gifts, and say some extra prayers to Saint Nicholas, and attempt saying the rosary as a family…perhaps just one decade to start. Have a blessed Saint Nicholas Day everyone!

Small Success Thursday – conversations with my son

Here we go again with this wonderful linkup! Make sure you stop by Catholic Mom and check out all the other great posts!

Today I wanted to share some conversations that I have had recently with my son. He’s 4 years old, but sometimes the conversations we have, I feel like I am talking to someone much much older. He is so wise beyond his years, and really soaks everything in, even when we think he isn’t listening. I know I talk on here often, about doubting myself as a mother and a Catholic, and I really shouldn’t, because I have two incredible children as proof that I am doing something right.

Conversation #1 – I had just brought up the new Nativity set that I made, and I didn’t want them being ripped the very first Christmas we had them out:

Me – “Don’t pull on their arms, you have to play gentle with them”

2 year old – pulling very hard on their arms and throwing Mary across the room

Me – “Honey, you can’t pull their hands apart they are sewn together”

4 year old – “Mommy, all the hands are sewn together? Why are they sewn together?”

Me – “They are all praying”

4 year old – “They are all praying?”

Me – “Yes, they are all praying and waiting for Baby Jesus”

4 year old – “Even the Angel is praying? Why is the Angel praying, when he is already with God, he doesn’t need to pray any more”

I was blown away! When did he even learn this? It must have been said casually in conversation or during a Bible story at some point, but we have never had a big discussion about it. I then proceeded to tell him, that yes he was right, Angels are in heaven, but they can still pray, and we can pray to Angels and that they will take our prayers to God, and that makes it an extra special prayer.

Conversation #2 – Watching TV show, where the kids were looking up at the stars:

4 year old – “Mommy look, they are talking about the brightest star in the sky, that’s just like the one on the Nativity set!”

Me – “Yes you are right, it is just like that star”

4 year old “the one that the Wisemen followed, right?”

Again, I was blown away. I know we have read the Nativity story to him, but again, you don’t really know if they are paying attention until something like this happens.

Conversation #3 – Not Catholic related, just a hilarious joke:

Me – “Can you believe a telemarketer called at 7:45am today, about cleaning our ducts!”

Husband – “Wow, that’s a new one, super early”

Me – “Yeah, I don’t know where on Earth they are calling from that it is an ok time to bug us”

4 year old – “Maybe he was calling from Duckberg!” (yes that fictional town from the show/video game Ducktales!)

My husband and I laughed super hard, and so did he. He was very proud of his little joke.

I would love to hear about your small successes! Also don’t forget to check out all the great posts in the Advent link up. And watch tomorrow for a St. Nicholas Day post!