I chatted with my daughter in law a little today. She said she and her sisters are getting everything in order for her mom’s funeral. She was happy to say that a priest who has been an important part of the family life will be able to be the celebrant. He married my son and his wife, Baptized and Confirmed children, and has always been one that the family could turn to. That was good news. He is such a blessing and will make the funeral personal and meaningful.
I Found God today in the family friend priest who will be celebrating the funeral.
As part of my morning prayers today, I read Psalm 65. It talks about how God has created such a beautiful world that we live in. I thought about some of the camping trips I have made. Several times, I have been blessed to be on the top of a large mountain and overlooking the spectacular view. I remembered the scenery and how in awe I was of God’s creation. People find God in nature – even those who are “not religious”. As I thought about how God reveals Himself to us in so many ways, it came to me that perhaps we can be overcome by the beauty of the world because we are actually seeing it through God’s eyes. God breathed life into each one of us. He loves us completely and dwells within us. God also brought life to our earth and He loves what He has created. So, if we see His creation through His eyes – His Spirit that dwells within us, we would naturally love it as well. As I write this, I am hoping it makes sense in words. It made sense in my heart.
I Found God today loving His creation through His eyes.
I received a phone call from my son very early this morning, which is never a good thing. He told me that his wife’s mother died unexpectedly last night. It was quite a shock. I could hear my daughter in law crying in the background. They were able to make arrangements for her and my oldest grandson to fly out East to be with the rest of the family. My son worked on getting things in order for them to be able to join them as my two younger grandchildren are finishing up their school year. It was a very difficult day. But I was glad my daughter in law was able to go immediately and that there is so much support for the family.
I Found God today in support for an unexpected tragedy.
The flowers started arriving yesterday. This morning, my sister came and brought more flowers. They were and will be such a joy especially for my mom. My sister also brought food and we had a lovely girls brunch. After that I went to Mass. The deacon gave a great homily. He told a story of when one of his kids was in college and had finished the semester. He was to spend a year abroad. The deacon’s wife went to help the young man pack. He was instructed to make 3 piles – 1 with things he would take with him, 1 with things that would be sent home, and 1 of the things that would go into storage. When the mother arrived, the deacon joked that there were 3 piles, 1 of dirty laundry, 1 of clean laundry, and 1 of questionable laundry. The mom asked why he didn’t do what he was asked. He said it was the end of the semester and had to get together with friends, and besides, he knew his mom was coming to help. Of course, the mother did get everything organized and helped to pack up everything. When they went to the storage unit, they found it to be not much more than a tin shed. So, they went and purchased some cellophane and wrapped everything up before they left it for a year. The deacon compared the mother’s actions to that of the Holy Spirit. Just like the loving mother, the Holy Spirit can come into our lives and help us make sense of the piles of stuff we have. It can protect us and make sure we are all taken care of. Just like the young man counted on his mom, we can trust that the Holy Spirit will be there for us. I loved the analogy. After Mass, I spent some time with my son and had lunch and a movie. It was a great day. Mom did very well overall today, which was the biggest blessing of all.
I am grateful and humbled as to how God speaks to us, nudges us. Today was a particular rough day for my mom. Later, when she was feeling better, she read the reflection from Jesus Calling. Again, as Jesus was speaking just to us, it said:
“Thank me in the midst of the crucible. When things seem all wrong, look for growth opportunities. Especially, look for areas where you need to let go, leaving your cares in My able hands. Do you trust me to orchestrate your life events as I choose, or your will? If you keep trying to carry out your intentions while I am leading you in another direction, you deify your desires. Be on the lookout for what I am doing in your life. Worship Me by living close to Me, thanking Me in all circumstances.”
I Found God today in more promptings to trust Him and let go of my own desires.
Today my mom had some energy when she woke up, which was wonderful. After she got ready for her day, she did some cleaning up and dusting. Then she got tired. I encouraged her to lay down and relax. She was afraid she would go to sleep. I told her that was perfectly fine if she went to sleep for a little while. Her body required rest, so that is what should happen. She was serving her body the best by listening to what it needed. Later, she read today’s reflection from “Jesus Calling”. It talked about the need to rely on God in order to love those around us and serve them. It said as Jesus speaking, “Take time to rest in the Love-Light of My Presence,” as well as quoting Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” It was a very fitting reading for both of us.
My mom received a beautiful birthday card from a relative today. Actually, we probably got it several days ago, but haven’t been through the mail in a while. In any case, the card included a note about the Grand Theater in my Mom’s and Dad’s hometown. Our relatives were going to see a concert there. My mom remembered that my dad had his first job there running the projector for the movies. I asked her how many movies she got to see for free. When she said, “None!” I joked that he wasn’t a very good boyfriend. Evidently though, he was plenty good enough. It was wonderful to receive the card and note that brought up fun and happy memories.
I feel like I’m always needing to work on trusting God more. Today, a friend shared a prayer by TobyMac that I tried to keep in my heart, “I trust what you are doing, how you are doing it, and the time in which you will do it.” This is a reminder to me that God’s timing is perfect and I just have to keep giving each day to Him. One day at a time.
I have started up the Surrender Novena again. It brings me a lot of comfort. I was on day 4 today and the words struck my heart as Jesus speaking to me:
Do you see that the sick person is getting worse? Do not be upset, but close your eyes and say “You take care of it”. I say to you that I will take care of it, and that there is no medicine more powerful than my loving intervention. By my love, I promise this to you.
O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)
I Found God today in encouragement to surrender to Him.
My mom’s piano friend came over today and told us a story of a woman that she knew from her church. Every week the woman would wear at hat to church. That reminded me of a woman I used to know who also wore a hat to church every week. We lovingly called her the “hat lady”. My mom’s friend’s “hat lady” owned 52 hats – one for each week. Unfortunately, the woman died a few months ago. But, she generously donated all her hats to the church to sell or whatever they wanted to do with them. Another woman that attended the church died a few weeks ago. She was from England. Her family wanted to have a tea at the church after the funeral. Our friend works with the funeral meals ministry, so they all got together and planned the menu. They also had access to the hats. They ladies each picked out a hat to wear and offered them to anyone attending the tea. If they wanted to keep the hat, they were welcomed to. The family and friends of the English woman were very happy and grateful that things worked out that way. Many women did keep their hats and made a donation to the church. I thought that was a beautiful set of events that brought joy and connections to strangers.