Because I long for a

flat on my face,

I surrender,

you are Mine,

ugly cry

come to Jesus


that heals me in an instant, evaporates my insecurity and fears, quiets the voices with way too much clout and explodes in my heart a huge amount of confidence in God’s Love for much that it barely fits and changes me forever.


Turns my ears inside out and pins my tongue to the roof of my gaping mouth.

Yeah, just that.


Because it turns out that all the insecurity, second guessing, nagging, self-crushing critical voices in my head, regrets and haunting failures are just rubbish.


A crying shame gathered together and intertwined in an ugly mess.

They can be tossed off the flying deck, dead weight no longer hindering the full speed ahead to Your ferocious Embrace.

To freedom. To peace. To bold confidence in the Father’s Love.

Bridge jumping

I want a monumental focus change, away from me and high definition on You, Your Goodness, Your Majesty and Power,

Your unstoppable Sacrifice which is MY saving Grace.

I am good, because You made me that way.

I love…because You first loved me.

I can’t earn or lose Your Love no matter what I do or don’t do.

If I could just stop looking down and keep looking up; His love for me is more a reflection of His Goodness and His Perfect Love than anything I can accomplish. That doesn’t undermine my value…it underlines it.

God knows I’m weak and He’s not looking for me to confess my weakness, but rather He wants me to recognize it and unite my feeble attempts to His Sacrifice, infusing my efforts with His Saving power, realizing His Presence inside of me.

Remembering that I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13) For His Glory, not my pride.

Lord, speak to my heart, stop me from second guessing, help me to be confident in Your Plan, Your Provision, and first and foremost, Your Love for me. Amen.

after a run Pondering in my heart at Equipping Catholic Families

God Doesn’t Speak in Riddles



I don’t like riddles…maybe because I’m dismal at them. Even if I’ve actually heard the riddle before, I probably won’t be able to spout the right answer, just like that. It just doesn’t excite me that much to be that kind of clever.

That said, I’ve just kind of realized that all this time, I’ve been assuming that God likes them. That God likes to talk to us in riddles and that He chooses to reveal His Plans for us in little broken pieces and clues and He waits with trepidation to see if we can actually figure out the big puzzle before us.

I don’t think that God speaks in riddles…unless maybe you like that sort of thing.

Monica at 6I don’t think He’d do that to me, given my aversion to riddles.

I don’t think that that’s the kind of Father He is, waiting for us to prove ourselves, testing us every step of the way.

He has a plan for my life and while He may reveal it to me in small pieces, it’s probably only because the big plan would overwhelm me. He knows that too much information can crush me, paralyze me in my tracks and He knows I already worry too much about what is to come.

He isn’t trying to trick me or stump me and He doesn’t want me to get discouraged or lose hope on the way.

He’s my Loving Father who gently pushes me up the hills and picks me up when I stumble down them. (How’s that for my take on the Good Shepherd Psalm?)

He takes joy in my triumphs and His Heart breaks with mine when I fall.

He also knows me better than anyone…what grabs my attention, what ignites my passion and what paralyzes me with fear. He knows how I learn and He knows the yearning in my heart. He can stage or tailor His Message for the best results, assuming I’m open, I’m looking and I’m listening.

I think He wants to tell me something. I’m going to go and listen.

What’s He telling you?


first appeared over at CatholicMom

The Case for Sacred Subtitles at Mass

Sacred Subtitles for Mass

I’ve been going to Mass at least once a week for over 44 years. Even with the New Translation of 2011, the text of the Mass is pretty familiar…or is it?

old missalThe truth is, I don’t always hear the beautiful words of the Mass. It’s true I’m a little hearing impaired, but I think it’s quite possible for most of us to glaze over and not listen intently to the words of the priest. Heck, it seems like sometimes even the priest can glaze over a little bit and speed-read the prayers of the Mass, taking for granted the wisdom and the diligence of our Church to carefully choose these beautiful and meaningful words invoking the Holy Spirit, rounding up the Faithful and transubstantiating the very Body and Blood of Jesus Christ out of mere bread and wine.

When was the last time you really listened to all the words of the Eucharistic prayer? Even our responses can be kind of rote. We can rattle off the Apostles Creed…the very collection of beliefs we should be able to stake our lives on….as flippantly as we respond “fine thanks, how are you?”

I don’t want to be negative or critical or judgmental…especially knowing how deeply and how quickly I fall short of virtuous or spiritually-disciplined. But I’d feel better if I had some practical tips to put in place to help me and my family participate more deliberately and consciously in Mass.

Sacred Subtitles

These aren’t flakey suggestions. These are resolutions to delve in deeper at Mass…starting with me and my family and they’re posted all right out there in the open at Equipping Catholic Families here: 9 Resolutions.

Check it out?


7 Things I’ve Tried to Boost Prayer

I’ve just linked to 7 Things I have tried to boost my prayer
and you can find the full post here: Equipping Catholic Families.

The 7 Things include: Prayer Stamps, Prayer Jar, Prayer Board, Prayer Bank Craft Kit, PrayerLoom or Pinterest Prayer Book,  Praying Out Loud and this Prompt Me To Pray Prayer:

Jesus, I trust in You.  You want me to draw closer to You, praying more, engaging more, asking for help instead of struggling on my own.  Please remind me to call out to You and look to Mother Mary as my model.  Please prompt me, remind me and guide me. Jesus, be my strength, I trust in You. Amen.

Here are MY 7 Things: what are yours?

pondering in my heart

pondering in my heart

I’m trying something new over at my main blog Equipping Catholic Families.
I’ve opened up a secret portal and I’m going to post some more reflective posts…some plucked right out of my prayer journal >gasp<

I recently heard in a homily…how we should be more like Mary and follow her example, pondering these things in her heart.

This is a part of what I’m pondering in my heart….the rest is over here.

—1— Jesus loves me. Unconditionally.
—2— Jesus loves my kids even more than I do and no matter what mistakes I make, He can and will fix them and call them to Him.
—3—I am the lost sheep….and I’m hardly the only one. Everyone of us is the lost sheep: loved and searched for and taken up into His Arms as the treasured one.
—4— My desire to know Him, love Him, serve Him, please Him…is already a prayer and a sign that He is working in my life.

—5— The Holy Spirit is real. He moves, He speaks, He prompts, He inspires, He gives hope.
—6— The Saints are real. They call us, they come to us, they answer us, they look for ways to lead us closer to Jesus.
—7— Jesus is real. He materializes in the words of the priest at the Consecration. He waits for us in the Blessed Sacrament, He asks us to seek Him as much as He seeks us and He answers our prayers even if we don’t slow or quiet down enough to listen.

He waits for us to climb up onto His Lap…like a little child.

Let It Go…at Confession

Frozen’s song “Let It Go” …converted 2 Catholic by Fr Ariel Valencia

God’s Heart for You!

Book Badge Review, Doodle Summary and {Giveaway}

This is a treasure of a book. The form factor…its small pocketbook size, padded, board-book cover make it a special little gift with a big message. Affirming and personal and grounded in Scripture, this book offers a reminder of our dignity and preciousness as daughters of God.

Sprinkled with personal stories that we can relate to, assigned Scripture to further articulate each of the 40 days of messages, reflection questions to ponder and a prayer to complete the daily sojourn, this book provides a wonderful devotional or 40-day retreat, reaffirming our Scripture-confirmed worth and identity.

Written by a woman, for women, this is definitely a ‘chick-book’…although the affirming reminders that we belong to God and are cherished by Him are no less applicable to the male population of King’s Kids.

This is an excellent devotional…and the perfect gift…especially for the women in our lives.

I took a long time to create this Prayer Doodle! Pacing myself by reading only ONE devotional chapter a day, I slowly updated the Prayer Doodle as I worked my way through the book over at least 40 days. Yes, I may have missed a day or two, here and there. Extracting my most memorable message from each chapter and translating my notes to doodles, offered a great way to review and retain these basic, affirming messages. I enjoyed capturing all 40 days, all in one Prayer Doodle.

I deliberately didn’t color the doodle, in case I can leave that up to you…to color as you read the book after you WIN it in my special God’s Heart for You Giveaway below!

Miscarriage, Mass and Music

I will come to you in the silence
I will lift you from all your fear
You will hear My Voice
I claim you as My Choice
Be still, and know I am near
Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow Me
I will bring you home
I love you and you are Mine

A few years ago, I attended a Memorial Mass for my best friend’s mother, just a few days after I had lost Baby Gabriel at 19 weeks. Another friend of mine sang a special hymn ‘You are Mine’ by David Haas, accompanied by my Mom at this Memorial Mass. Tears streaming down my face, I actually hid in the public washroom after Communion until long after Mass, not ready to face any familiar faces or condolences…and not yet able to give my friend nearly enough support through the recent loss of her Mom.

That summer was the season of ‘you are mine’ at church!

Those eight weeks of Masses…were filled with the hymn ‘You Are Mine’. I hadn’t remembered hearing it before….and now all of a sudden, it was the Holy Communion hymn of choice…no matter where we attended Mass!

Tired and embarrassed about repeatedly crying at Mass at my familiar
parish, we even did a little Catholic Church hopping, visiting neighborhood
parishes of some of our favorite priests. Communion time would come and my eyes
would begin to tear up with the first 3 notes of accompaniment…even before it
registered that it was that song again!

By the end of that summer, we attended a Catholic conference…and do you know what Hymn Mark Forrest sang beautifully, EACH DAY of the conference for the Communion hymn? You guessed it….and yes, I continued to cry like a baby.

7 years later, I chase 2 more kids in my house (one who could not have been born if we hadn’t lost Gabriel). I also lost another baby in this time….for a total of 5 kids in my house and 3 babies in Heaven.

Last April, we were at Mass at our Parish and I was surprised to hear ‘You are Mine’ begin. Bill squeezed my hand with a ‘you okay?’ to which I confidently shrugged that I was fine, clearly having healed after such a long time. Maybe I was just a little smug…because I then looked across the Church to see a couple I recognized, sitting beside their First Communicant. It was then that I remembered that they had been expecting their first child when I was expecting Gabriel….and that this Sunday would very well have been Gabriel’s First Holy Communion day. OK, so maybe I just needed one more little cry to ‘You are Mine’. Pray for me, Gabriel!

I just read these comforting words in a Facebook group from Madeline to another Mom who has just suffered a miscarriage. Sometimes people don’t know what to say to another experiencing loss, but I think this wonderful lady has just the right words.

I know you had dreams of holding him close, seeing his smile, holding his little
hand as he took his first steps, sitting him on your lap and telling him all the wonderful things about God, but He had a different plan. I hope you find comfort, one day, in knowing that you have a beautiful, perfect little boy in heaven who is now taking care of your family until you are able to join him, and that God instead, has your little boy on His lap and is telling him the wonderful things about you.

to Jesus through Mother Mary

Mary, Mother of the Eucharist by Tommy Canning
Mother of the Eucharist by Tommy Canning
We have a print of this in our living room and it is absolutely beautiful!
Visit the Art of Divine Mercy Gift Shop!
I’m on an official quest to draw closer to Mother Mary. I realized that although I think I know about Our Lady and I have many friends and family with strong devotion to her, I don’t naturally go to her to draw closer to her Son. I have thought of her as the ultimate model for motherhood which is true, but her perfect motherhood (you know, born without sin and all…and raising Jesus, the Son of God) … intimidates me. I found myself wondering how she must see me in my little impatient Mom shoes, getting tired of the continuous demands of our precious little humans and being not so gracious about it.  If it weren’t for her being so perfect, I would think she might be shaking her head, or at least sighing deeply…
But she’s OUR MOTHER! I’ve heard how much she loves us (you and me!) and that she is our Mother ever since Jesus assigned her to us (alongside Apostle John). I’ve heard from others with deep devotion …of her unfailing love for us, gentleness, compassion and her desire to draw us ever closer to her Son.
So I’ve been reading 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration (I’m on Day 28!) with a little Under the Mantle: Marians Thoughts from a 21st Century Priest on the side…and had some spiritual direction with my favorite priest.

I’m going to keep trying to remember to pray for her help…and learn how to entrust myself completely to her so that she can bring me closer to Jesus.