Boy when things go bad you get your head on a plate

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 18-31, 47, 50, 51“He saves his king time after time, displays his faithful love for his anointed, for David and his heirs for ever. Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 18:31, 47, 50, 51″

Oh Lord save me from these kids, this day, my hubby, my job!  Every mom knows these feelings: when nothing is going right.  Just the day before we felt like David, we felt like all that AND a bag of crisps. Then there are days when our head is on a plate and nothing we have done has been right.

That is when we realize that God displays His love for us, our family, loved ones, co-workers, community.  Something will happen during our day that will help turn things around.  Or we will get one of those “divine inklings” that we would be better off if we just change our attitude/view/idea.

We just need to keep our eyes, (spiritual and physical), open for all the ways we can change the day.

Help turning that frown upside down by living love: 

1. Do something nice for someone else. We hear this all the time, but don’t often know why it works.  Bad days can make us wallow in the why me of it all.  If we force ourselves to break out of the pattern it changes us, physically. The Happy chemistry of our brains: endorphin, oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine; God has created to help us with pain, (endorphin), gives us warm loving/mommy feelings, (oxytocin), experience the joy we feel when we are out in the sun on a beautiful day, (serotonin), and dopamine which helps us take pleasure in our lives; these all are activated when we step out of selves to do something for someone else.

2. Do something that lifts your mood. Lifting our mood has the same effect as doing something for others. With this we have stepped out of the wallowing and are deliberately putting us into a better STATE of MIND.  We are creating a new being/us.  God doesn’t want us to wallow that puts us in the realm of the negative.

3. Discern what could be at the heart of it all. Sometimes we can stand in front of our wall calendar and stare at it like deers in the highlights, then fear grips us and freeze in place.  Or we walk into the kitchen and find our lovely loved ones have “cooked” but the idea of cleaning up eludes them, again we can freeze.  So what can you do? First start by thinking about all you have to do try and put it into perspective. Identify what it is that’s concerning you, and break it down to smaller, manageable goals/tasks.  Is God asking you to understand if you take on more than you can do? Do you have to do it all, after all you didn’t make a huge mess in the kitchen? This step speaks to how you feel you are being perceived by others.  Is God calling you to look at how well you respect yourself.  When you feel walked upon, you feel disrespect. Can you visualise how good you’ll feel when you’ve got through it? By reducing the problem, you contain it, and it needn’t ruin the rest of your day.  What this really means is God wants us to take control of what we can in our lives.

OK God, what is up with that dream?

When I was in formation to become a spiritual director one of the things we studied in depth  were dreams.  Dreams have always been important to the spiritual understanding of a person.  Joseph, of the technicolor coat, had dreams that prophesied  to Pharaoh about famine and plenty in Egypt.  We have Joseph, foster father of Jesus, having the dream that saved Mary and Jesus.

Well, this morning I had a doosie. The first thing in understanding how God might be talking to you through your dream is for you to examine the setting, so here goes:

[Note:  always try and write down the dream as soon a possible after you awaken.  Prayerfully ask God/Holy Spirit to be with you and give you insights about the dream.  Write all impressions you were given, look at them to see patterns of understanding, what is God calling you to learn/release/become]

My dream – Greg and I were taking a vacation with the “children”.  But it is only our eldest son and twin daughters, our second son was not there.  That was interesting.  Why only those children?  [A little backstory:  My husband and I have four children, each with their own unique challenges, we have twins girls, is that important to the dream, and two boys, our eldest had a great many challenges, and he is represented in the dream – interesting.  Now all our children have/are successfully overcoming these challenges; is that important to the dream?]

We are driving to the “mountains”.  [Alright, one step in understanding your dreams is to try and remember every detail about the environment: what is the environment, what does it feel like, smell like, look like.  Does it have an importance to you, significance?] It feels like the mountains, there are families with children of all ages running around having a good time.  The air is sweet, it feels very relaxing.  We are driving to our cabin.  Greg turns to me and says: Now, don’t be afraid, just answer their questions, just tell the truth.”   (My thoughts in the dream) Truth? Why wouldn’t I say the truth.  (Then the thought pop in my head: My truth!) We arrive at our cabin.  Inside is a young woman, and a older woman.  The young woman greets me.  The older is in the kitchen area, “cooking”. [Cooking, nurturing?  Nurturing who, me, others?] Greg and our three children act as if they have interacted with both these women before.  Than the dream switches to our “house”.  But it’s not a house I have ever lived in.  I am in our eldest son’s “room” with our youngest twin looking at a huge dictionary.  Our eldest son comes in and says: “Stop looking at my pictures!” [What pictures?] Then the scene jumps back to the “cabin”.  I am nervously sitting on a stool in the kitchen/dining room area, twirling on the stool looking at my children and my husband as I turn.  [Is that important?]  The older woman starts to ask me questions about my childhood: What did my father do, my mother. Was I ever afraid.  What did I do with this fear?  The questions make me uncomfortable, why is she digging into my life like.  What right does she have?  Who does she think she is?  The scene switches again.  Now, I am wearing a huge dress, it doesn’t feel like mine, over it is a huge tee-shirt. Both are wet.  I have been “swimming’.  I feel embarrassed as I go from place to place between trees and open area looking for somewhere to “dry off.”  I feel as if everyone is looking at me, laughing.  In reality no-one is.

As soon as I feel this I am back on the stool with the older woman questioning me on my relationship with my father. I had a good relationship, it was the relationship my mom that was needy, clingy; am I being asked to look at my parenting style, or relationship style, slightly confused, what does she want?

Then she says to be to aware and live my truth.  Which truth, what truth.  That is when I wake up.

Taking a pledge to live conscientiously

Sunday’s readings speak of living the law. The Jewish people follow the Law of Moses, 613 laws that governed all their lives. Jesus comes along and turns that on its head. He has come to fulfill the law, to broaden the scope of the law, filtering it to it’s true essence – that it is about the deep relationship we WANT with God, and God’s desire for a relationship with us.  For Jesus, the law was not to be so rigid that IT became the focus.

If we believe that God is a God of love than God wants us to do our best, be our best.

Taking a pledge to live conscientiously is about not just doing something difficult, something we can see as impossible, burdensome.  It is about trying to live our calling from God.

It may be difficult.  We may falter, but THAT IS NOT THE POINT!

The point is that God understands and he is there to pick us up and help to dust us off, giving us a loving hug and saying: “You can do this, I’ve got you! Just keep going, keep praying, keep asking for support, keeping trying until it’s done!”

Divine Wisdom help us to remember the words of Isaiah 41:10: “… fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Wet trout

What comes from the insideJesus speaks to the Pharisees about how they “disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”  He is speaking of broadening the scope of the law.  It’s not the fact that the disciples aren’t washing their hands that make them “unclean”, it’s what they say, how they act.

Jesus is saying live, act consciously.  Don’t just let life hit you about the head with a spiritual wet trout.

Father

Good morning my fellow moms! It’s a beautiful morning, filled with possibilities! Remember that God loves us, exhorting us to do our best, be our best. God wants to encourage us to always follow Him, look to Him during the good times and bad.

Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you!

There is a relationship between the two readings of today. We have Ruth a Moabite woman staying with her mother-in-law and the Greatest Commandment Gospel.

The Greatest Commandment shows the relationship we must have with each other and God.

Ruth’s staying with her mother-in-law, Naomi, is a great example of the Great Commandment.  Ruth’s  mother-in-law must have been a wonderfully gentle woman.  The women had a very close relationship and neither could think of leaving the other.  Ruth was so dedicated to her, loved her, was friends with her that she says to Naomi: “Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you! For wherever you go, I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge, your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”

The love of Ruth and her mother-in-law binds each to the other, just as when we love our neighbours we are bound to our community, to others.  If that love is deep and committed it reflects our Love for God.  Can we say to God, promise God that His people shall be our people?  Not an easy thing, but one of the most important part of the Great Commandment.

Divine Wisdom help me not to abandon or forsake You.  For where you go, I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge, Your people shall be my people.

The power of the door

From the first reading of today’s Mass: “Jephthah made a vow to the LORD. ‘If you deliver the Ammonites into my power,” he said, “whoever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites shall belong to the LORD. I shall offer him up as a burnt offering.’”   The focus of the reading is the story of a beloved daughter who left her family and finds herself in a prostitute and the prophet Jephthah promises God he will pray to change people lives when he encounters them.  And from the Gospel: The King has prepared for the wedding feast but when he sends out his trusted servants to gather the guests they are killed. “Then the king said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find. The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?”

These readings have a great deal of power because they speak so much to my mothering soul.  As a mom with older children I look back on my mothering journey and my children and see so much of what is happening in the readings as things, I experienced as a mom.  The Ammonites they can be seen as things that our children can become involved in that we, as mom, are called to try and guide them away from.  You will see I didn’t say protect, but guide.  For me to protect is not giving them tools they can use when they are gone from the home.  Like Jephthah was a prophet so are we, as first teachers.  We must give them the armor they will need to live in the world.  And since no family is trouble/problem free we/I have experienced a child lost to dangerous things.  I was/am Jephthah praying to God to about my child.  I may not have prayed that I would make a burnt offering of whoever came through my door, but sending our child off to deal with the consequences surely felt as if my hubby and I were.  What we got back was a child more aware of how to deal with the world. Our child came back a blessing.  As for the family, we grew stronger.

As for the wedding feast and motherhood.

Many may look at our families and comment about our children.  Let them.  What they have to say is not based on any knowledge of us. They are the unworthy guests.  Every family, ours included, is filled with the good and bad it is how we treat them that is the mark of a faith-filled family.  The King sees a guest without the proper attire, what does he do: dresses him.  Our children may sometimes be as unprepared as that guest.  Finding themselves in situations they have never dealt with.  Pressures they do not know how to handle.  Like the daughter in the first reading and the guests killed, they can be just as lost.

It is our job to show them compassion. There will always be that one child, that one that is always into something, that needs more, that one child that if we were to look at them with the eyes of the world, we would never see clearly. That child is the daughter/the inappropriately clothed wedding guest.  That child will be bewildered, confused, in need of our help.  That child and all our children should be robed in the clothes of our Lord: Compassion.  For without compassion, there can be no passion.  Passion that deep love for our children is reflected in God’s grace and mercy for us.  Without that we could not do what we are called to do.  Compassion is what helps our children become more than they think they are, and that too is part of our calling.

Divine Wisdom, fill our hearts today so that we can robe our children as you robe us, with compassion.

 

But he got more than I did!

Image result for gentle wisdom“The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner….”  Landowner, landowner, how does that have anything to do with being a mom?  If we look at our Baptismal roles: Priest – Nurturer, Prophet – First Teacher, Queen – Sovereign, Guide; we can see how landowner might fit.

We have children, who like the day labourers come to us at different times in our lives.  they bring out of us different talents and attributes we thought we never had.   Look at what happens to the day laborers, they each get what they need, but they grumble when they see the others getting exactly the same thing.  But are they?

We provide for our children the things they basically need: food, shelter, love, protection.  The things they personally need we give them as they need them. Just as God does with each of the day labourers. What may not look like justice to one sibling; a special needs child getting “more attention” may be just what is needed.  Like Jesus, we must look after each person in our charge as they are, giving them exactly what is needed.

The more we are generous with our love, self, and calling the more we give.

Gentle Wisdom, Mother of God, be with us all today as we find ways to give to each of our “day labourers” what they need.