Tag Archives: Bible

Let Go, Let God – Yes, We’ve Heard it Before

Some parents were laughing at the lacrosse game last night about “control freak tendencies” that we all have to some degree.  There was a stadium sign a bit askew, and one of the moms wanted to run down and adjust it.  I think we can all agree that we try and control things in our lives at one time or another.

This past holiday weekend, I had everything under control.  And I mean everything.  Itinerary for college visits printed?  Check.  Appointment for MRI and surgeon visit confirmed?  Check.  Animals accounted for?  Check.  Son with appropriate supervision?  Let’s hope so.  102 fever when I woke up Sunday morning to leave on our trip?  Not on the list.

I have heard it said that, “We plan; God laughs.”  That’s not to say that it is bad to plan or that God does not want us to think ahead and plan for our lives, but our lives are just not entirely in our control.  They are in God’s control, and as much as we would like to play God and control everything ourselves, we need sometimes to simply be ourselves, and let God be God.  It’s OK to be needy, and it’s OK to ask for help.  Especially if we are needy and helpless in front of God.  As Americans, we like to be proud and self-sufficient – not needing to ask for help, even if we desperately need it.  However, there is a reason that we are all given different gifts and talents.  We cannot do it alone.  We need one another.  We need to be needy in front of our Father.

I am doing a Bible study on the Book of John, and we are currently talking about “Jesus, Our Peace.”  If we let God be in control instead of trying to handle it all ourselves, it will bring us increasing peace.  In the study, there is a great quote:

“Do not look ahead to what may happen tomorrow.  The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and every day.  Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you His unwavering strength that you may bear it.  Be at peace, then, and set aside all anxious thoughts and worries.” – St. Francis de Sales

There is a Laura Story song called “I Can Just Be Me.”  It talks about being yourself, and not trying to be God.  Not trying to be in control all the time.  Let God be in control, so you can just be you – the you He created you to be.

“I Can Just Be Me”

I’ve been doing all that I can

To hold it all together

Piece by piece.

I’ve been feeling like a failure,
Trying to be braver
Than I could ever be.
It’s just not me.

So be my healer, be my comfort, be my peace.
Cause I can be broken, I can be needy,
Lord I need You now to be,
Be my God, so I can just be me.

I’ve been living like an orphan,

Trying to belong here,

But it’s just not my home.

I’ve been holding on so tightly,

To all the things that I think
Could satisfy my soul.
But I’m letting go

So be my father, my mighty warrior, be my king.
Cause I can be scattered, frail and shattered,
Lord I need You now to be,
Be my God, so I can just be me.

Cause I was lost in this dark world
Until I was finally found in You
So now I’m needing, desperately pleading
Oh Lord, be all to me

And be my savior, be my lifeline, won’t You be my everything.
Cause I’m so tired of trying to be someone
I was never meant to be

Be my God
Please be my God
Be my God
So I can just be me
So I can just be me
I can just be me.

Songwriters: Jason Ingram / Laura Story – I Can Just Be Me lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

See the video here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VRUU8UBXCk

“Be anxious about nothing.  But in all things, with prayer and supplication, with acts of thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God.  And so shall the peace of God, which exceeds all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7.

 

An Early Christmas Gift

I feel so very happy – like I have received an early Christmas gift.  Since a week ago Friday, I have had events – both social, and spiritual/church-related (and even better, combined – whoopee) – which have rejuvenated my spirit.  This may not sound like a big deal to you, but it is a very big deal to me.

Last Christmas, my family was dealing with the loss of my husband’s long-time job.  I was not feeling very merry.  My children were not feeling very merry.  We were looking to the future with trepidation and fear.  So what did I do?  I closed myself off to the people I cared most about.  I responded an instant “no” to the Evite of my dear friend Cathy who hosts a lovely Christmas brunch, chock-a-block with incredible Christian women from our parish.  I am sure I also said no to my awesome “boozy” friends who wanted to celebrate with a glass or two of Christmas cheer.  Hey, all are welcome in this place.  We are all God’s children.

This year, despite the recent loss of my dear mom, and my funk of not only feeling poor physically but also feeling perennially behind the eight ball logistically, I said “yes” to more than my usual invites.  It even surprised me, as social as I like to think that I am.  The MMPG Christmas meeting at Pam’s house inspired me to honor my mother who just passed, my parish’s Life Teen Special Needs group reminded to me to dance as if no one was looking, and my Marist Love & Logic ladies group said we are all in this together – no matter what our children’s age.  I also encountered in this small space of time:  my friend Cathy’s gathering of “incredible Christian women whom I seek to emulate,” my former Bible Study’s rock star moms who foster newborns while raising their own families, and lastly – an amazing group of women at my parish “Walking with Purpose” who reach out regularly to moms like me with welcoming invitations to “come and seek.”  That’s a lot for a week during Advent.

Wow.  I feel loved.  I feel recognized.  I feel like someone is seeking my miserable, “Debbie Downer” company.  I feel like even when I am a horrible hermit crab, tucked inside my shell and so barely wanting to venture out, someone wants to draw me out and interact with me.  That feels so great.  What a beautiful reflection of God’s love during this season of Advent!  The second week of Advent the theme was “Love,” as we lit the second purple candle

 “Love is knowing that someone cares for us more than themselves.  Love is the realization someone would lay down their life for us.  Loves involves commitment, and commitment involves sacrifice and time.  God loves us beyond any human love we have ever experienced. Love can be ours this Christmas as part of The Christmas Gift.”

 Source:  St. Brigid Advent program

I leave you all with a note of thanks for those who have invited me (and others who may be like me) to partake in fellowship even though I (or they) may seem like a huge buzz-kill some days (not exactly the most Christian words, but hey, they fit).  I strive to reflect God’s glory, even in my challenges, even in my family’s challenges.  Thanks for continuing to invite me to be a part of your world.  It means the world to little ‘ole me.  I also promise you, that reaching out to others will reap the same fruit.  Keep reaching out to those who are difficult or challenging. To the neighbor who drives you crazy.  To the widow on your street who is always complaining about something.  Love, Love, and Love some more.  Even when it is so, so hard.

“Lord, I love you and know in spite of everything I can depend on your love for me.  As I encounter times that are rushed, even crazy, I will repeat the phrase, “I love you, Lord” to remind myself that I cannot do everything alone.  When my chores, holiday preparations, and gift-buying overwhelm me, and I face more darkness, I will turn to you and your LOVE.  You will point me towards The Greatest Gift that awaits me on Christmas.  Amen.”

Source:  Brigid Catholic Church Advent 2016 Program

 

Silver in their Hair, Gold in their Heart

Happy Easter everyone!

The week of Holy Week I was in a frenzy trying to get out of town to visit my mom for the Easter holidays, and I knew that I was not going to get a weekly meditation out. My husband reassured me, “Let the week speak for itself.” I am glad he said that, as there was not much I could add to a week that is so fundamental to our Christian faith.

We arrived at my mom’s on Holy Thursday, and that night our family was settling down to watch “telly” (a throwback from our time in the UK), and we came across The Passion of the Christ. I assumed that being on TV, it would be the edited version, so I thought it would be OK for the kids to see it. It wasn’t the edited version. Whoops. Yikes.

My daughter later asked me, “Was there a part where you cried?” I told her that the part that made me cry (this time), was where Mary watched Jesus fall under the cross for the first time. Mary flashed back to a moment where she was watching Jesus stumble and fall as a child, and how she ran to comfort and hold him. However this time as an adult undergoing great trial, she could not. She could only watch in some combination of despair and desperation as he fell under the immense weight of his cross. As a mom, it brought to the surface all the feelings of how you want to save your children from all the pitfalls, disappointments and failings of life, but as they get older, you cannot catch them. You can only prepare them for the challenges and help reconstruct the pieces after the fact – if in fact they truly want your help and counsel.

As we as a Marist community celebrate Grandparents Day tomorrow, I cannot help but remember my grandparents, and all the wise counsel that they imparted on me. Unfortunately, both sets of my grandparents lived in the north, while I grew up in the south. However, they still managed to share with me lots of life lessons, both directly and indirectly. My maternal grandmother taught me how to suffer with grace, as she struggled with breast and bone cancer, while still maintaining a stiff hairdo and a biting sense of humor. My step-grandfather taught me that being a grandfather by marriage was no different than the real thing – he loved me as much as if I was his own blood. He also taught me commitment and true love. He brought my grandmother a single red rose each Friday for the entirety of their marriage. My paternal grandparents were the ones who gave me my red hair and my dad’s sense of fun and adventure. My grandfather taught me the importance of hard work, silly puns, and commitment to hobbies that bring you joy and purpose. I was especially fortunate to develop a real relationship with my paternal grandmother as a young adult when I moved closer to her for my job. She was a convert to Catholicism and one of the best examples of a Christian woman I have ever met. She taught me to live life to the fullest, as she rode dog-sleds in Alaska and did aerobics well into her 80’s. I think I would like to be her when I grow up.

So I will leave you with some Bible verses about grandparents….

“Children’s children are the crown of the elderly, and the glory of children is their parentage.” – Proverbs 17:6

 “Even to your old age I am he, even when your hair is gray I will carry you; I have done this, and I will lift you up, I will carry you to safety.” – Isaiah 46:4

 “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by a life that is just.” – Proverbs 16:31

So hug (or call) a grandparent today, and let them know how much you love and appreciate them. If they are no longer here with you, pray for them, and know that they too are praying you and your children through your lives.