Category Archives: Reflections

Wasteland Prevention (and so much more): My True Feelings About Confession

 

I’m joining up with the CWBN blog hop’s topic this month – “My True Feelings about Confession.” As it happens, this is a favorite topic of mine. So, grab your coffee and settle in, because I’ve got a story to go along with my outpouring of emotion over this particular sacrament!

Here goes…

When I was in high school, my best friend – an Episcopalian – did a once in a lifetime “confession” to her priest as part of her confirmation process. I had never contemplated such a thing, but what she described sounded wonderful. I found myself wishing that I was Episcopalian, rather than Methodist, so that I could partake of this strange but marvelous ritual, and wondering: Why does she only get to do it once? 

I was even – dare I say it? – a tad bit jealous that Heather got to unburden all of her sins and hear those special words of absolution.

In the years to come, the niggling sense of “missing out” remained, and got stronger when I began to study the Catholic Church. While I had heard many Christians protest the Catholic need to confess their sins to a man, I, personally, had never had a problem with it, romanced as I was by hearing about Heather’s experience years before. Now, as I began to learn and appreciate the Biblical roots for the Sacrament, the seed of desire that had been planted so many years before took root, and blossomed.

I’m pretty sure that most people who approach their first Reconciliation at the age of thirty-one do so with a solid dose of trepidation and foot-dragging. I, on the other hand, couldn’t get to the confessional quickly enough. My sins were no less egregious than any other thirty-one-year-old’s. In fact, there were quite a few of them that were very serious indeed. But if sixteen-year-old me could appreciate the value of a good confession, then properly evangelized and catechized thirty-one-year-old me knew it to be more precious than any gem. Was I nervous? Of course. But my excitement far outweighed my nervousness.

My first Reconciliation was not a disappointment, but rather an experience that far exceeded any expectations I had set. Does everyone experience a physical sensation of weight being lifted from their shoulders? I’ve often wondered that, but never really had the courage to ask. Regardless, I love that feeling, and it plays a big roll in the frequency of my visits to the confessional.

Regardless, there have been times, since that First Reconciliation, when I have approached the Sacrament with a fair amount of foot dragging. It was one thing during my first confession to tell the priest, in the person of Christ, every sin I’d perpetrated over the course of my life. There was no perspective of timeline. I had committed this sin, but – for all he knew – that was five years ago, and I’d been near-perfect ever since. Now, I have to start with the admission that it’s only been “X” number of weeks since my last confession and I – who should know better, do better, and be better – have done…. thatAgain. 

But that’s part of the beauty of the Sacrament, right? The very dread of having to tell our sins to a priest helps prevent us from committing the sin, even when the dread of disappointing God isn’t enough.

Interestingly, I noticed in the first several years of my Catholicism that I seemed to come under attack shortly after receiving Reconciliation. Almost immediately upon returning home, someone in the house would start acting out. In fact, saying they went bat-poo crazy would not really be an exaggeration. This tempted me where I was most likely to fail – and I inevitably did. It wasn’t the family member, directly, of course, but – without trying to sound like the Church Lady – Satan did seem to love bringing me down within hours of being cleansed. I’m also quite certain that he took great joy in showing my as-yet-non-Catholic husband just how holy I wasn’t. I learned to pray against those attacks on my way home from the church, and found that the attacks ended.

Matthew Kelly compares confession to cleaning out your car. For several days afterward, you’re crazy about keeping the thing clean. The kids aren’t allowed to eat in it, you’re a total freak about emptying it every time you get home, and you would never, ever dream of putting so much as a gum wrapper in the door. But then one day you’re rushing from one appointment to the next. You grab fast food and a few fries fall on the floor as you’re eating. The next day you chew gum and, for lack of a better spot, mar the cleanliness of that preciously door compartment. Next thing you know, your once immaculate car has become a rolling trash can.

So it is with our souls. We get them all sparkly clean through Confession, and for a few hours – or days, if we’re working really super hard – we keep them pretty spotless. But then you tell the kids seven gazillion times to pick up their dirty socks and finally – on the seven gazillion and first time – scream at them that they’d better put down their devices, get off their rear-ends, and actually do something to help around here! Next thing you know, you’re yelling like a shrew over the wet towel on the wooden floor and having your own personal pity party about how over-worked and under-appreciated you are.

As you can tell, I’ve found Matthew Kelly’s analogy to be all too true. I’m just a better person when I receive the Sacrament regularly! The further I get away from it, the further I grow from Christ, the more I sin, and the harder it becomes to face the priest again. Much better to clean out the car soul frequently, in order to prevent it from growing into a virtual wasteland of pride, arrogance, self-pity, anger, self-indulgence, and… so much more!

With such a wide array of sins to struggle against, I do get a little nervous everytime. It is by know means a comfortable experience, stating your sins to another person! But, while I can’t claim the same excitement with which I anticipated that first Reconciliation, when the words of absolution wash over me, and I feel the physical weight of my sins lift from my shoulders, I know I’m exactly where I’m meant to be.

How do you really feel about Confession? Please share your experiences and thoughts in the comments, below!

To learn how other Catholic bloggers really feel about Confession, visit the CWBN Blog Hop!

Forgiving the Unforgivable, Loving the Unlovable

Today's #Worthrevisit post takes a look at the call to love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute us.
Ananias laid his hand on Saul and called him “brother.”

“Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44).  Christ gave the command, and greeting Saul in Acts 9, Ananias provided the example, calling his persecutor his brother.

Saul – soon to be Paul – had encountered Christ on the road to Damascus, and was blinded after seeing the bright light of Christ.  As Saul made his way toward the town, Our Lord appeared to Ananias, instructing him to go to Saul and lay hands on him, so that he could regain his sight.

Now, Saul had been “breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord.” His reputation preceded him, and Ananias knew that this man had come to Damascus with authority to imprison any Christians he found there. He said as much to Jesus, but the Lord insisted: “Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and to their kings and to the people of Israel.” (Acts 9:15)

Obediently, Ananias went. Approaching this man who had the authority to throw him in jail, the man who had supported the men who threw the stones that martyred St. Stephen, Ananias laid his hands on him and said, “Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me…” (Acts 9:17)

Ananias isn’t someone we hear about often, but his example is well worth meditation. He obeys Jesus’ every command.

Jesus said, “go” and he went.

Christ taught, “forgive” and he forgave.

Our Lord urged, “Pray for those who persecute you,” and Ananias laid his hands on Saul’s head.

Love Incarnate instructed, “Love your enemy” and the Damascene called Saul brother.

The result? A new Christian. The scales causing his blindness fell away, Saul was baptized, and “at once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.” (Acts 9:20)

A few thoughts to ponder:

What might the implications be if I were to go, forgive, pray, and love my enemy as my brother? How might one life be changed? How might the world be changed?

Going Deeper… who in my life have I failed to forgive? A former friend, a family member, an in-law? A teacher, an employer, a politician?

What are my feelings toward those who actively persecute the Church and my fellow Christians? Do I pray for them? Do I actively ask that they would know Christ’s love?

Forgiving: The Way of Christ

Holding grudges is the way of the world; forgiving is the way of Christ.

Forgiving isn’t easy, but rather an act of the will.

Sometimes, a person has wronged us so deeply, or the wounds are so fresh, it’s hard to even want to forgive them. That “act of the will” is impossible to accomplish where the “will” doesn’t exist.

In those instances, we pray for the desire to forgive. God will honor the desire to have the desire, and He will plant it in our hearts. We can nurture that seed with prayer, and eventually receive the grace to forgive.

My Persecutor, My Brother

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Those who persecute Christ’s Church don’t merely persecute His people, they persecute Christ himself, as witnessed in His words, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:4) He didn’t say “my people,” He said “me.”

And yet, Christ longs for every soul on this earth to be united with him. That’s why he came not just for the Jewish people, but for the Gentiles, as well. That’s why he chose Saul as an “instrument to proclaim [His] name to the Gentiles.” Jesus wants each and every one of us to know His love. When we pray for our persecutors, and for those who persecute Christians in general, as if they were our own brothers, we support Christ in His mission to recover each and every one of his lost sheep, by uniting our hearts with His in honor of His love for us all.

Loving Our Enemies

Hatred, in and of itself, does not kill. The person consumed by hatred does. But hatred will kill the hater much more surely than the hated.

Christ, of course, calls us to love, because he is love. To become more hatred will kill the haterlike him, we must love, even those who hate us. We must want the best for them, and the best is knowing God and His love.

We’ve heard it many times. It’s one of the most often repeated verses of the Bible – “Love your enemies.” But somehow we seem to draw a line. We love some enemies, but not all of them.

Did Christ mean to say, love some of your enemies, or most of your enemies?

No.

How do we love our enemies? In particular, the ones who would like to see us all dead? Love doesn’t mean letting them walk all over us. Not at all.

But it does mean wanting the best for them, and praying for the best for them.

And the best is to know Christ’s love.

Ananias knew this. His obedience, his forgiveness, and his love helped bring about another Christian.

May our obedience, forgiveness, and love bear similar, abundant fruit.

#WorthRevisit – Savor the Silence

I get it honestly.  Walk into my parents’ home, and you are guaranteed to find the TV in the kitchen blaring with either Fox News or HGTV.  Though she rarely sits down to watch it, my mom just enjoys the background noise.

With four young children running around the house, I hardly need a television for background noise.  In fact, I tend to find it irritating to have that noise in addition to the clamoring of children.  However, I recently realized that I am not completely immune to this need for noise.  I always have the radio on in the car, even when I don’t like the program that is running.  If the kids are playing in the basement, you will assuredly find the TV on or my IPod going while I cook dinner.  Every time I nurse the baby, I either read a book or flip the television on, even if it’s three o’clock in the morning.

I honestly can’t understand why I have this desire to constantly inundate myself with external input.  I like myself.  I do!  I’m not such a bad person to spend time with.  But somehow spending time with just my thoughts for company is a great challenge for me.

So for the past few weeks I’ve been trying to deliberately give myself a little bit of silence every day.  At the suggestion of a friend, instead of watching TV while I fold clothes, I pray.  While folding my husband’s shirts, I ask God to give him the strength to shoulder the burden of providing for our family.  As I collate socks, I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide each family member in their walk through life.

Last night, the kids had gone to bed and my husband was working late.  I resisted the urge to turn the TV on while I mopped floors, and instead enjoyed the quiet of the house.  I stopped and listened, discerning the purr of the heater, and gave thanks for a warm house.  I heard the static of the baby monitor, and rejoiced in the health and safety of my children.  When I found myself wishing that the ugly linoleum was replaced by beautiful hard wood floors, I stopped and remembered that I should be grateful for having any home at all.

Taking time to savor the silence has done wonderful things for my Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 12.37.57 PMwell-being in these last few weeks, turning mundane chores into opportunities for spiritual enrichment.  The Holy Spirit clearly felt the need to hammer this point home, and last night I laughed as I glanced at our Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta wall calendar.  January is headed with “Called to meet God in moments of silence.”  Here are a few things that Mother Teresa had to say about silence:

  • “In the silence of our hearts God speaks of His love; with our
    silence we allow Jesus to love us.”
  • “We cannot put ourselves directly in the presence of God if we do not practice internal and external silence.”
  • “We too… must learn that ‘silence’ which will enable us to ponder His words in our hearts and so grow in love.  We cannot love nor serve unless we learn to ponder in our hearts.”

Father, please help us to take time each day to turn off the noise of our busy world.  Help us to savor the silence, and to learn to ponder in our hearts your words and your love. Amen.

**This post was originally posted on my “old” blog, www.marthasheart.com, back when I only had four kids, was nursing the fourth, and Mother Theresa was “Blessed,” not “Saint.” It’s lovely to read it again today and recognize how these new practices have now become habits. I hope you’ll be blessed by these ideas for savoring the silence as well!

I’m linking up with other Catholic bloggers for #WorthRevisit Wednesday! Check out this link for other “Best of the Best” posts!

#WorthRevisit – Stepping Out of Safety

As Jesus walked to Golgotha, bearing the stripes of our sins and the weight of our follies, one woman stood watching. Her heart ached to see this man, who only days before had been welcomed into Jerusalem with shouts of “Hosanna!”, now beaten down and trudging toward his terrible death.

The story doesn’t tell us whether Veronica had, at this point, recognized Christ as the Messiah, whether she had listened to his teachings or touched his cloak. But this woman, this Veronica, could not stand idly by and watch him suffer. Stepping from the safety of the crowd, Veronica lovingly wiped his brow, his eyes, his cheeks. Knowing that the soldiers might hit her, or kick her out of the way, nonetheless, she felt compelled to move, to help in some small way.

So often, we become comfortable in our lives. At those “comfortable,” safe times, we may need to consider whether, like Veronica, it is time for us to step out of safety. Perhaps “comfortable” is a rest stop before the next thing God is calling us to. Perhaps, though the world may hit us, or try to kick us out of the way, perhaps it is time to step out of safety to serve Christ in some small way.

*Click here to see other author’s #WorthRevisit posts, with Theology is a Verb and Reconciled to You!

**This post was originally published on my “old” blog, Marthas Heart, on Sept. 16, 2009.

One Year Later – The Spiritual Journey

Wow. It’s hard to believe, but tomorrow will mark the one year anniversary of Ray’s heart attack and subsequent brain injury.

My goal is to publish a series of posts in the next few days, chronicling at least a little bit of our journey. First, though, I want to share a little bit of the spiritual journey, and brag on our awesome God Almighty.

A few weeks after the life-changing event, I looked back at my prayer journal, to the last entry I’d made before the heart attack. On that day, I meditated on 1 Kings 17:8-16, which is the story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath. I wrote,

Elijah asks the woman for water, something easy for her to give. She goes to get it, no big deal. Then he asks for bread, but she has only enough to serve herself and her son one last time. He assures her they’ll be provided for. She trusts him and gives him what he’s asked for. And God provides.

I then noted,

I’m giving God what’s easy.

What am I not giving God that’s not so easy?

To which I wrote down the questions to myself:

  • My fertility? [While we followed Church teachings, was God asking us to be more open to accepting another life?]
  • My time? [Was I being called to do more for God, but not doing it, because I didn’t trust God enough to provide the time to complete everything that needed to be done?]

Finally, I scrawled across the bottom:

What act of total trust is God asking of me?

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Little did I know at the time, but the act of trust that would soon be required was that of placing my husband, my children, and myself entirely  into God’s hands and trusting that he would provide for us all, just as he did for the widow.

As I’ve looked back on the past year, and especially those first few weeks, when Ray was so desperately ill, I have continued to be awed by the sense of peace and even joy that I experienced through the very worst of it, and I know that it’s because, like the widow of Zarephath, I trusted. I’ve done many things wrong in my life, but in the moment when I realized that my husband was not breathing, I trusted.

I trusted because of the many mornings I had spent reading and reflecting on God’s promise in scripture.

I trusted because of the countless hours I had spent meditating upon God’s promise revealed through the mysteries of the Rosary.

I trusted because of hours spent in Adoration, loving our Lord, asking him to make me his servant, and to help me to unite my crosses to his.

I trusted because of the graces received through the source and summit of our lives as Catholics, the Eucharist. And, just as we pray in the Anima Christi,

Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from Christ’s side, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee
From the malicious enemy defend me
In the hour of my death call me
And bid me come unto Thee
That I may praise Thee with Thy saints
and with Thy angels
Forever and ever
Amen

They did, and He did.

He strengthened me, inebriated me, and hid me within his wounds. He gave me the peaceful reassurance that Ray was held within his loving hands, as well. He gave me the joy of knowing that, when we walk through the deepest of valleys, he is with us.

He gave me the joy of the Resurrection.

We’ve been through a lot this past year. But when I come back to this assurance, all I can think is,

My God, you are so good.

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To learn more about our family’s journey this past year, you might like to read:

My First Post After Ray’s Heart Attack

A Peace that Surpasses All Understanding

Ray’s Unexpected Homecoming

 

 

#WorthRevisit: The Fruit of an Upbraiding

Very recently, a Sister in Christ who was once a friend said some very hurtful things to me.  It’s been a long time since such a thing has happened, but goodness knows humility’s not my strong suit, so the occasional upbraiding is probably well deserved.

Since the purpose of this blog is to write about the good, the bad, and the ugly, I am writing a post that I’d rather not write.  But perhaps it will help someone else who may have a similar experience – past, present, or future.

This person and I had developed a friendship over the past few years, but have drifted apart over the last several months.  I had my own reasons for allowing this to happen, as she – obviously – had hers.  I knew when we met recently that things were boiling under the surface, but didn’t see a point in bringing them to the light of day.  Perhaps that’s me being passive-aggressive.  Probably.

Well, my Sister in Christ is much more outspoken than I am, and I learned, through her eyes, how the distance that had grown between us has affected her and made her feel.  I learned her view of my inadequacies and shortcomings.

Its never easy to hear yourself criticized by another person. In fact, it really stinks.  It left me feeling pretty low for a while.  Knowing that my loving Father does not want me to feel this way, I searched my head for scriptures that might apply.

First, I remembered Matthew 5:44: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” And, verse 46: “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?”  And so I dropped to my knees in the middle of fixing dinner and prayed for this Sister in Christ – that she would have healing in this difficult time, that she would know Christ’s love, peace, and comfort, and that she, too, would recognize the opportunity for introspection to become more conformed to the woman God made her to be.  In the midst of a lot of hurt and anger, that prayer was the singularly most healing prayer I could have prayed.

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The second scripture verse that came to mind was Hebrews 12:11: “Now discipline [some versions say “chastisement”]  always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.”

Thus, this is an opportunity for reflection.  Am I, in all my relationships, letting Christ shine through me?  Am I building others up in all I do?  Am I maintaining my integrity?  Are all my actions directed by my mission in Christ?

Of course I can’t honestly answer “yes” to all of those questions!  I have work to do (a lot of work), and this has illuminated an area of opportunity for me.  For that, I am grateful.

So, I thank my Sister in Christ.  Good will come from her actions and her words.  I trust in Christ to help me identify those areas that need improvement, and her words to me have made me more conscious of an area in which I need to ask for the Spirit’s wisdom to look interiorly at my actions and my motivations.

Indeed, her upbraiding – I pray – will bear much fruit.

“…we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts.” Romans 5:3-5

#WorthRevisit is a linkup of FAVORITE PREVIOUSLY posted blogs …. Visit Reconciled to You to read more authors’ posts worth revisiting!

The Crucifix: Inspiration for Repentance and Love

Growing up, the crucifix always struck me as–well, gross, graphic, and unnecessary. It simply didn’t make any sense. Why did Catholics insist on displaying such gruesomeness? Wasn’t it better to look at the clean and less offensive empty cross, and remember that Christ rose from the dead?

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However, upon my conversion, I quickly gained a deep appreciation for the crucifix. There is “no greater love than to lay down one’s life for his friends,”  and Christ loved me so much that he died for me in this terrible and incredibly painful way. To see it so clearly depicted before me served as a constant reminder of just how great his love was for me, a sinner, and for all sinners.

When I read and understood Numbers 21:4-9 for the first time, my love for the crucifix grew as the beauty of scripture filled me with awe. Once again, we see how the New Testament is contained in the Old, and the Old Testament is fulfilled in the New. The Israelites complained against God, even as they should have thanked him for  freeing them from slavery in Egypt. God sent serpents among them, and many Israelites perished. Moses prayed for the people, and, upon God’s instruction, made a bronze serpent and mounted it upon a pole.  Whoever was bitten by a snake had only to gaze upon that serpent atop that pole, to receive healing.

Likewise, we who experience the bite of sin can look upon the likeness of Christ, mounted upon the cross, to begin the process of healing. That image, which calls to mind his death and love for us, will drive us to true contrition and sorrow for our sins, and a desire to be worthy of such sacrifice. It will lead us to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where we are blessed to hear those most beautiful words of absolution.

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Thus cleansed of our sin, we find ourselves gazing more lovingly upon our Lord, emptied and broken, longing to love him as he loves us. The desire to be close to him, to be concealed within his wounds, leads us to ever closer union with him as we seek to love him through loving our fellow man.

Today, as we celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, may the crucifix and its reminder of Christ’s sacrifice serve as our strength, inspiration, and reassurance of Christ’s love for us.and-just-as-moses-lifted-up-the-serpent-in-the-desertso-must-the-son-of-man-be-lifted-up-so-that-everyone-who-believes-in-him-may-have-eternal-life-john-3_14-15

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

Answering God’s Call, Even When It Doesn’t “Make Sense”

The Unexpected Blessing of Being Open to Life

A Peace that Surpasses All Understanding

Answering God’s Call, Even When It Doesn’t “Make Sense”

In Luke 5:1-11, Jesus tells Simon, “Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon informs him that they’ve been out there all night, and haven’t caught a thing. But, he does it anyways, and they catch so many fish, their nets begin to tear.

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Sometimes, Jesus asks us to do something that seemingly makes no sense. When we do it anyways, we reap an abundant harvest, just as Simon and the other fishermen did.

The trick is knowing when a prompting is of the Spirit. It might just as well be of our own manufacture – as Peter experienced during the Transfiguration when he wanted to build tents for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. Or, worse, it could be the manufacture of a very different spirit – for example, the spirit that prompted Judas to betray Jesus for a bag of coins.

First, we ask ourselves,  does this appear to be of God? God is all loving and all merciful, so a prompting that is not rooted in love and mercy must clearly not be from him.

After that, we might turn to the counsel of Godly friends, our priest or pastor, or our spiritual director. Having another person’s perspective on matters is always beneficial.

Ultimately, though, I find that patience and prayer are the most sure ways to know that I’m following Christ’s will, especially when he seems to be prodding me in inexplicable directions. The question, “Really, God? You seriously want me to do this?” is perfectly valid, as long as we ask it with a willingness to respond according to his answer.

Our Lady of Good Counsel, pray for us.
Our Lady of Good Counsel, pray for us.

When the prodding remains after much prayer and discernment, we are called to step out in faith and trust. Even if we have misunderstood God’s call in our lives, he will bless us in our efforts and willingness to be pleasing to him. We may make mistakes, but his correction will be both loving and gentle.

Ultimately, God doesn’t expect perfection, only a desire to seek perfection, and a willingness to please.

#WorthRevisit – Rollerskating with my Father

Looking back a few years to a post that’s “worth revisiting.”

A couple of weeks ago, I took my six year old son to his school’s roller skating party.   Being six months pregnant, I had no intention of skating.  However, my heart broke as I watched the poor guy trying to stay up on his skates, falling every couple of yards.  I couldn’t possibly leave him to do this on his own, and I decided to take the risk, figuring that I could protect my belly and the worst that was likely to happen was a broken wrist.

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Me and that “little boy,” now twelve years old!

So I joined Zachary on the skating floor and held his hand as we went around in circles, skating to the music.  Before long, he was able to make it several laps without hitting the floor.   Of course, there were times when I decided that the safest and best thing to do was to let him fall. There were other times when he began to fall, but I was able to hold onto him and keep him upright.  Several times, he got a little irritated with me, saying that I was hurting his wrist by holding him up.  Nonetheless, after a few songs, Zach shouted up to me, “Mommy, it’s easier when I’m holding your hand.”

Of course, that warmed my heart.  It also made the embarrassment of feeling like a whale in roller skates well worth it.

But a thought struck me and I considered it as we skated, drawing many parallels to our situation.  Life is easier when I’m holding onto my Father’s hand.  This is especially true in new or difficult situations, but even when I am coasting through life and everything seems to be going well, it’s great to have His companionship, someone with whom I can skate along, talking and enjoying the music of life.

As long as I continue to skate side by side with Him, following His path, I will be less likely to fall.  At times, he will hold me up, preventing my fall.  Sometimes, that might not feel so good to me, just like my vice grip on Zach’s hand didn’t feel good to him.  Those times are unanswered prayers, or answers that I don’t care for, or times when following God’s will is not the easy thing to do.  Jesus going to the cross in accordance with the Father’s will is the prime example.

Other times, He will let me fall, to learn a lesson that must be learned in order for me to grow closer to Him and more like Jesus.  When I fall, I have two choices – I can sit on the ground, wallow in my misery, and let all of the other skaters (a.k.a. the cares of this world) run over me.  Or I can look up, seek God’s hand once again, and with His help rise above the painful tumble.

“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?” (Matt 7:9-10)  Just as I saw my son having a rough time and went to help him,  our Father is always there to help us.  Only He helps us perfectly – every time we need it, to the degree we need it, in the manner in which we need it.

Are you skating hand in hand with your Father?  Or, have you gotten caught up in the music and you’re rushing ahead of him?  Perhaps you’re reluctant to follow a path He is trying to guide you down, and so you are lagging behind.  Have the cares of this world plowed you over?  Look up.  He’s holding out His hand.

For most #worthrevisit posts, check out the link up on Allison Gingras’s Reconciled to You Blog.

Weaving the Crown of Thorns

When I think of the crown of thorns, I often think of the man who wove that crown. I think of how those thorns must have pierced his own flesh. His wounds would still have been healing on that third day when Christ rose.

When I think of the man who wove the crown of thorns, I think of gossip. The thorns of gossip pierce the hearts and souls of those who whisper, in addition to those of whom they speak.

Something to think about, next time.

Feeling a bit poetic tonight, I wanted to share this…

Hands.
Calloused, filthy.
Weaving a crown.
A crown to mock and ridicule.
 crown_of_thorns
Hands.
Bloodied and torn.
Placing the crown.
The crown of the King of Kings.
 crown_of_thorns
Hands.
Bloodied, pierced.
Folded, lifeless.
Entombed, the King of Kings.
crown_of_thorns
Hands.
Wounded, pierced.
Raised, outspread.
Ascending, setting free.
crown_of_thorns
Hands.
Calloused, filthy.
bloodied, torn.
Wreathed in mockery and ridicule.