Sunday, July 26, 2009
I was doing some thinking in church this morning and wanted to expand on what I had posted earlier about what matters. The Gospel in church this morning was the feeding of the 5000. The priest was talking about how Jesus had just been on one side of the lake with his disciples where the people had been pressing in on Him and now He was heading to the other side of the lake for some time alone. He went across the lake and the people went around the lake and met him on the other side. It would have been very easy for Him to say, no, I can't talk right now, I need some time to myself. Instead, he proceeded to do the very thing the people wanted him to do: Preach some more on the scriptures. It got me thinking about sacrifice and the things I said in "What Matters" a few weeks back. I talked about how we all get so caught up in little things that aren't really important and let those things hold us back from what we should really be focusing on. I started thinking a step further. When someone does something nice for you, say brings you something you've been needing or watches your kids for you for a short time or something like that, doesn't it mean so much more to you when they have to really sacrifice something in order to do that? Like if someone brings you a meal after you've had a baby or a death in the family or something, that's always something someone has to do extra, but it means just a little more if they had to go really far out of their way to bring it to you, or if they have small children at home where it's harder to do extra things like that. Or if someone stops by to cheer you up when you know they have other things to do or they don't live nearby. It just means more when a sacrifice is involved on the other person's part. So when we do the things that God wants us to do, it's always gonna be special to Him. But wouldn't it be more of a blessing for you and for Him if you really had to sacrifice your worldly wants in order to follow His will for you? It brings me back to the parable in the temple where the wealthy men were bragging about how much money they'd left in the offering plate, and then the widow came by and gave up all the money she had in the world. Those men did do a great thing by giving lots of money, but they still had plenty so it wasn't much of a sacrifice for them. The one that Jesus was really impressed with (if He even gets impressed) was the one who gave everything. She didn't give much, but she made a big sacrifice to give what she did. The sacrifice is what made it more special.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
The kids and I are taking off this morning on a cross country trip. We're driving back to NC to stay with my parents for a couple weeks. There are a few reasons for this trip, but the main one is a chance for me to really work my business in an area where I know so many more people and have free babysitting. I've set some goals for myself that I really want to achieve, and this trip is to help jumpstart those goals. My mom is flying in to Oklahoma City. We'll pick her up at the airport and then start heading east. We'll be spending two nights on the road so please keep us in your prayers. We'll be two women traveling with three small children so we'll be an easy target for anyone looking for one. Pray that God puts a hedge of protection around us during our journey. And one around our minds as well lol.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I was reading an old friend's blog, and he was talking about the verse Psalm 26:2 where David is asking God to examine his heart and mind. He was encouraging all of his readers to really examine themselves and figure out how to best serve God and get rid of all the clutter that's distracting us from that. This is one of the reasons why I so love going to confession as a Catholic. I was not raised Catholic. I was raised in a good old-fashioned Southern Baptist church, where Catholics were considered something of a cult. In fact, I even had a Sunday school lesson where we learned all about how Catholics aren't really Christians. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Trent and I both became Catholic after we were married. But that's a topic for another day. One of the seven sacraments of the Catholic faith is the Sacrament of Reconciliation, aka confession. I don't do this nearly as often as I should (do you know how hard it is to get in that little confessional with a 4 1/2 year old, a 2 1/2 year old and an 8 month old??) but each time it makes me feel so close to God. It gives me a chance to really examine my consience over the last days or weeks (or months if it's been a while) and see all the sin that I've committed. I certainly don't confess every single little sin I've committed (I'd never leave!), but I spend the most time on the sins that I continually struggle with. Then, the Church teaches that when you're in the confessional, the priest is acting in persona Christe. I might be spelling that wrong, but what it means is that as long as what the priest is saying is in line with the Bible and the teachings of the Church (I've heard of times where this hasn't been the case), it's like God Himself is talking to you. God Himself is talking to me. Do you know how amazing that is?? I can go to confession and get spiritual direction from God Himself. Not only that, but it's much more humbling to go to confession, to a priest who knows you and whom you see in mass every week, and tell him all the things you've done wrong. It's downright embarrassing sometimes. But it's so good for the soul. Besides, why does it matter if it's embarrassing to us? We're doing what God wants us to do: confessing our sins and asking for forgiveness. It's a matter of accountability. It's fairly easy to examine our consciences at home and sit in our rooms and say, "Okay God, here's what I've done wrong. Please forgive me." It's much harder to go to the church and say it out loud to another person. I think I need to get to confession.