Saturday, March 18, 2017

Let it Go: A movie song begins to heal my broken heart

Over three years ago I sat with my family, my husband and 5 daughters, in the theater and wept through this song as we watched the movie Frozen. The song so perfectly expressed what my heart longed for. My soul had been bound up for so long. I had forgotten who I was. I hadn't expressed myself in art or song for years. I had allowed someone else to define and devalue me, and I didn't know I should do something about it. I had allowed a constant, subtle atmosphere of hostility from the partner (who should have been my best friend) to eat away at my soul for so long that it had become normal. The song, Let it Go, broke the ice in my heart and showed me that I had been trapped and longed for freedom. I began to do what I was meant to do again. And I realized I was valuable, and shouldn't accept bad treatment. I fought against it. I wasn't perfect in how I responded, but that's okay. Life is messy. I insisted that we get help, but it's impossible to make another person see what they don't want to see. Like Elsa, I ran. Then, my 'prince' showed his true colors and immediately discarded me, instead of pursuing me. Pretty much like little sister Anna's prince in the movie. Well, time will tell how the story goes on. For the first time in a long time, I have hope of a good life and a happy ending. Because another thing I'm learning is that I don't have to be perfect to be loved ("that perfect girl is gone!"). There will be someone that will love me for who I am, whether or not I do everything right or agree with everything he says. A person that is capable of loving a real person. I already have many friends that love me in spite of my imperfections, for which I am so grateful.

"And one thought crystalizes like an icy blast: I'm never going back! The past is in the past!"

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Re-blog: A Holy Experience: Why Wait Till Marriage: What I Wish Someone Had Told Me

"When someone isn’t willing or ready for spiritual oneness, emotional oneness, legal oneness, financial oneness — why let them steal physical and soul oneness from you?"

In my case: what happens when your partner isn't ready for those deeper kinds of oneness, even after years of marriage? When you realize that and ask to get help, and then he throws you away rather than work to repair the damage? Maybe it turns out to be a blessing, because you are finally free. 

This blog post by A Holy Experience, Why Wait Till Marriage: What I Wish Someone Had Told Me, is meant to make people think about the holiness of our entire being, body, soul, and spirit, so they can make wise decisions in their relationships. I pray that each young person will realize that they, and all others, are precious and sacred and that all kinds of oneness are to be prepared for carefully and thoughtfully in the context of marriage between one man and one woman, as God ordained at the beginning. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

When the Son of Man comes

Luke 18:8b  "Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" 

Does Jesus say this as a self-fulfilling prophecy, or as a challenge? Knowing Him, I know which one I'm aiming at. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

"Have You No Consideration for My Poor Nerves?!"

I love having 5 daughters. However, there can be quite a bit of drama with so much estrogen in close quarters. Several of my long-time favorite books, by coincidence, have families with 4 or 5 daughters. I can relate to many of the characters in the books, including mothers, sisters, and daughters, since I am all those things. Before becoming a wife and mother, I could relate mainly to the young, single characters. I looked at the moms with amusement or admiration, whichever their character seemed to merit. My practice in reading is always to find something in all characters to relate to and to learn from, whether by negative or positive example: what to do and what to avoid. 
Caroline Ingalls of the 'Little House' books is patient, firm, ladylike, gentle, and industrious. Marmie of 'Little Women' is wise, loving, generous, and kind. Mrs. Bennett, the mother of 5 girls in 'Pride and Prejudice', is a comic-tragic figure, painted to be a negative example and usually a trial and an obstacle rather than a help to her daughters. 
Since becoming a mother myself, to my dismay I have not automatically transformed into Caroline or Marmie, but have struggled daily and often disappointed myself and others. I have quite often been the opposite of amused to see in myself reflections of Mrs. Bennett, or even worse, the wicked stepmother from Cinderella. I have had to realize that in real life, we are all a mixture of admirable, laughable, and just plain awful. I'm also still learning that it is only with God's constant help and grace that I can be and become what I want to be and what I am meant to be. 
So, Mrs. Bennett has now become not only more amusing, but more deeply human to me, and a reminder of my minute-by-minute need for my Father's love and help.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Alice Von Hildebrand on Fleeting Fads and Eternal Truth: An Interview from the National Catholic Register

Alice von Hildebrand
My sister posted this intriguing and timely interview  from the National Catholic Register, of Alice von Hildebrand, Catholic philosopher and wife of the late Dietrich von Hildebrand.
Dr. Hildebrand is a beautiful and truthful lady. I'm not Catholic and don't agree with penance and transubstantiation, but I believe the 'real presence' of Christ is in us, the church, His tabernacles here on earth. And we should reflect His beauty and truth. He is Truth and Beauty and Goodness.
I wish to promote the unity of believers; so even though she and I would disagree on some things, we can agree on the fundamental truths of Christianity and especially on the love of the Truth, who is the person of Jesus Christ: God with us. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

John Pavlovitz: The Continued Crucifying of Rob Bell, And What it Says About the State of Modern Christianity

A friend posted this blog by John Pavlovitz on Facebook a few days ago, stating in her status
that it is shameful the way many evangelicals are treating Rob Bell. I agree. I commented on my friend's post:
 "A few years ago, I thought he was borderline heretical. But I hadn't read any of his books or listened to his messages. I just went on hearsay, and I had also been reading several apologetics websites constantly, which criticized him as well as the church growth movement, emergent churches, and people that practice and teach meditation. I have changed many of my views in the past few years, including being able to accept Roman Catholics as fellow believers without feeling the need to tell them that I believe their church teachings are wrong and why. So, now I can accept that Rob Bell can think outside the box freely without being a heretic and false teacher. Now, though, I need to show understanding to those that have been raised in a very traditional mindset and have trouble seeing outside of that. We don't need to turn around and attack those that are in ignorance attacking Rob. This has been happening almost since the beginning of the church age, and we need to begin to love one another even in our differences."
 I was glad to find such a good article that shares my newly gained perspective on the Body of  Christ: namely, that the different branches of the Vine must learn to show love to one another in spite of our many differences. Our variety does not make us enemies, but provides many opportunities for learning a new perspective on the endless gifts of God.
Later I reposted the link in my Facebook status and stated: "My views have changed so much in the last few years. I don't immediately call someone a heretic just because they don't hold the same perspective that I do in everything. Rob Bell thinks outside the box, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and his perspective is needed in the church. I think I should blog about this article. I haven't blogged much since I gave up lecturing Catholics on their errors. About the same time I realized that I have plenty of my own." 
Please read the article and let me know what you think. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NRO Online: This Baby Changes Everything: an interview with Scott Hahn

There has never been any person to compare to Jesus. His birth, life, death, and resurrection are the center and focus of human history. He is Emmanuel, which means God With Us. He is the Creator, Savior, and Lord. He is the Prince of Peace, the Light of the world, and the Lover of your soul. While Christians celebrate Advent, waiting for the birth of the Savior, Jesus is waiting for each of us to come to Him and to look to Him as our hope. As the Creator of the world and of all nations in history, He humbled Himself to come as a helpless child for our sakes. He put Himself at our mercy, so we can have His mercy. We love Him because He first loved us.
National Review Online posted an interview today with Scott Hahn about the advent season and his book Joy To the World: How Christ's Coming Changed Everything (And Still Does). The interview is very good; the book sounds very thought-provoking. I'd like to read it soon. I wanted to share this in the spirit of brotherhood, which should exist between Protestants and Catholics as members of the Body of Christ. I hope you enjoy the article and consider reading Hahn's book as well.  

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Phil Wickham - Evermore

This song is based on a hymn, Of the Father's Love Begotten, written by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius in the 4th century AD. Absolutely beautiful.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Just a funny story: The Joke, Or the Spray, is on Me.

Don’t judge, but at one point I was having trouble getting several of my daughters to get out of bed in the mornings (really I’m still having trouble, but that’s not important), so my husband conveniently remembered that his dad once dumped a cup of cold water on him to get him out of bed. So, I thought that sounded like torture, but thought of my bottle of vinegar/water that I use for cleaning windows, mirrors and floors. That wouldn’t hurt them, but would give them just a little incentive to get moving, I reasoned. I need to make a long story short, here, so let’s just say that it worked pretty well with the 2 youngest ones, because I didn’t actually have to squeeze the trigger. They jumped up as soon as the words “If you don’t get up, I’m going to squirt you with this spray bottle!” registered in their sleepy brains. However, my 12 year old apparently was a glutton for punishment, or just hoped I’d eventually give up and go away. Oops…I forgot to make it short…. Well, she didn’t get up, so I squirted the back of her head. You guessed it, she popped up like a cork, and was so mad that she couldn’t go back to sleep (or maybe the smirk on my face gave her a clue that if she started to lie down I wouldn’t hesitate to use my new-found mommy weapon). Don’t judge. ;)
Anyway, about a week later, I was bent over with my head in the fridge getting something out of the crisper drawer, when I felt a cold spray hit my rear. I popped up like cork, and turned around to see my 12 year old standing there with the spray bottle in hand and a smirk on her face. Moral of the story is, never take parenting advice from your husband–er, I mean, whatever you sow, that you shall reap. Or, maybe, don’t leave the spray bottle where your daughter can find it? Whichever one works. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Blog: Finite Reflections of Infinity: The Argument From (Dis-)Similarity

I read this great blog post today on Finite Reflections of Infinity. It was shared by Paul Pavao on his facebook page, Christian History for Everyman. Please take the time to read the blog, even though it's long. I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the conclusion. The author's premise is that all churches/denominations are different from each other and from the original historical churches in leadership structure, worship services, theology, architecture, spiritual gifts, and devotional practices, therefore the argument that 'my church is best because it is most like the original church' is not a valid option for determining what the church should look like. Therefore, the author states, we have 4 options, of which the 4th is the only valid one according to his arguments. Please let me know if you agree with his conclusion. Enjoy!
P.S.: Here is the comment I left under the blog post, which also might be food for discussion.
 "paulfpavao and theophiletos,
I agree with Paul that this article is phenomenal. I like how you put it, Paul, that ‘the folks who embrace this conclusion of yours…will let the Holy Spirit out of the various cages we have put him in…’
Being concerned about unity in the church as a whole and hoping that the world will see us loving one another, rather than assuming the high ground and attacking one another, I keep making the statement in discussions with Catholics...that: Instead of seeing the diversity of denominations/groups within the church as a ‘bad’ thing, maybe one reason God has allowed this separation is to encourage us to love one another in spite of our differences, which I see as mainly over non-essentials.
theophiletos, I truly love your conclusion that the invisible qualities of loving one another as Christ has loved us, and the presence of the Spirit of God and His fruits and gifts, is the hallmark of the church. Thank you for this article, and Paul, thank you for sharing it."