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Showing posts with the label God's Grace in times of difficulty

Sisterhood at the Nail Salon

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Grace comes in unexpected places. After work today, I went to the nail salon for a pedicure. A group of ladies, older and Jewish and lifelong friends, were there. The owner of the salon is a Korean woman, married for years and a devout Catholic. Her husband of many years works with her. They never had children. And so this story begins.
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Home from the Hospital After a Hit and Run

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This is our firstborn son. Today about 3:30 he was hit by a red SUV. He was walking his bike across a crosswalk. A good friend of his had just crossed with his bike. The SUV driver didn't see him. The driver's van rammed into our son. The van's decorative grille hit him in the shoulder and knee. He slammed to the ground over his bike. He stood up almost immediately and walked to a parking lot. 


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Reflections Of A Christian After Shopping in Darkness

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This afternoon I headed to a Target discount store with L., our 11-year-old, to pick up some khakis, dress shirts and ties for the boys to wear at a bar mitvah we are attending tomorrow. Imagine our surprise when, halfway through the visit, most of the lights in the store went out. It turns out that Milltown, NJ has been without power since Hurricane Irene. The store never closed, but has been operating with generators ever since. It is slowly trying to ease its way onto the small town's tenuous power grid. Today, managers shut off all but one generator while we were shopping there.

Last week, Hurricane Irene brought tragedies to hundreds of thousands of families: death, the destruction of homes and communities and livelihoods. My inconvenient shopping trip has led me to thinking that the rest of us, those who suffered slightly flooded basements, the temporary loss of electricity or phone service, need to quit complaining. We are, after all more than the sum of our mo…

The blessings of a broken toe!

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Sorry to have been so quiet, but I'm not long back from holiday in Berlin. And then I went to the loo in the night on Sunday and broke my toe! There is a cabinet in our bathroom which we brought over from Mum's, and it's in the way between the loo and the door. Not ideal, but it's the first time I've gone to the loo without putting a light on! Smack, I kicked it with some force. The pain didn't hit me immediately ~ I didn't even yell, so I just got back into bed, but then it really started to hurt, so I rubbed it, like you do, and the pain was unbearable, and I had this huge wave of nausea. So I turned on the light and had a look to see my toe (the one next to my little toe) was sticking out sideways...so I put it back straight, and heard a horrible click and felt it crunch. That was it then...I hopped back to the loo to be sick, groaning loud enough to wake my husband up who came running in to see what on earth was the matter. It took me a while…

It's Time to Move On

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And the Rock Was ChristMy family is entering another chapter in our life. It’s time to sell my mom’s house and move her into a condo. It’s a rite of passage in Florida and one I hoped we wouldn’t have to do. I think she’ll be happier. Financially it’s a good move; she’ll be closer to my sister and I …. but it’s the house that holds the last memories of my father and it’s where 28 years ago my mother catered our wedding reception. All evening a good friend played for the guests in our living room on my childhood baby grand piano. In the entrance of the house my mother still has a vase of artificial roses designed by the florist that survived all the weathering of our years together. They stand like a testament to the grace of God that that house was built on the Rock of Christ and that’s the reason we all still stand.The foyer with the gray slate is perhaps my personal reminder of how long of a journey it’s been, and how much I treasure the memories that house has guarded for so many y…

"Ecce...Fiat...Magnificat!"

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The last few days have not been good ~ not because of anything that's happened, but because of my attitude. I allowed myself to sink into a whinging, self-pitying sorry-for-myself mood ~ just be glad I haven't blogged it!

The crux of the matter though, to be brief, is my unwillingness to take up the task God has set before me, and ended up in the "I Wish" zone ~ I Wish I didn't have to do this/that, I Wish things were different, I Wish I didn't have all htis work to do etc. etc. The I Wish zone isn't a pleasant or a godly place to live! What's turned things around for me is pondering on Mary, encouraged by a book I am reading which looks at three statements she makes in the Gospel..."Here I am...Yes!...Magnificat!" These three words sum up most of Mary's words in the Gospel, but encapsulated in them is the blueprint I as a Christian need to follow.

Ecce...
When Mary receives the news that she is to become the Mother of God, her f…

Follow God's will

Mighty deeds and miracles rarely produce great faith. Rather, we see in the lives of the saints that it is through great darkness and aridity that faith grows strong. Do not ask for signs but follow what God has clearly revealed as His will. This is the surest way.


I am grateful that God has allowed this blog to bless other people's lives and has allowed more Catholics to follow God's will.


Rest assured you'll be hearing more from me in the Philippines from now on!

On Floods And The Freedom To Love

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(This was originally posted on the website of one of our country's leading newspapers, the Philippine Star. Feel free to follow my posts there every Tuesday, Philippine time. Or you can also follow my blogs: www.trulyrichmom.com and www.teachermamatina.blogspot.com. Thank you and God bless you all!)
Couples for Christ, our Catholic community, just celebrated its 30th anniversary. CFC’s Main Anniversary Celebration was held at Rizal Park last Sunday, June 26.
It was a very busy week for a lot of us, myself included. I was tasked to be part of the Documentation Team, heading the CFC Writers’ Guild. It was a fun but tiring job, and I missed my two kids a lot during the entire week, as we had to go home late many nights.
Typhoon Falcon came and threatened a lot of our activities, but thank GOD for answering our prayers! People still came to the conferences and were blessed by the messages.
One such conference that we thought would be greatly affected by the heavy rains and flooding brought…

Tout pour Jésus

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There are days, like this Sunday, when caring for my Mum feels utterly overwhelming. While she is becoming more independent at home, there are still things she can't do for herself, like hanging the washing out, shopping, cleaning or going out. On Sunday I did all of these, and took her out for a coffee in a wheelchair. Not easy, as I am quite weak, physically, and she's very overweight!

It all feels too much sometimes, and I struggle with personal tasks such as emptying the commode. Such things never used to bother me, and I was a geriatric nurse for years and coped with all kinds of bodily fluids! But the last few years I have become incredibly squeamish and have no tolerance for bad smells at all, not even BO! But in the midst of all this doing today, I remembered a passage from my favourite book The Nun's Story, and having just read it this last week, it was fresh in my mind...

All for Jesus, Sister William had said in the ward pulling on the rubber gloves. Say it, my d…

"...the Valley of Achor for a door of hope."

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I have been reading through Hosea every night this week, one of my most beloved of OT books, and was struck by these verses:
Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortingly unto her.
And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the Valley of Achor for a door of hope; and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. [Hosea 2:14-15]
Achor means trouble, or suffering. It is the place where, in the book of Joshua, Achan and his sons and daughters were stoned to death by the Israelites because of Achan's greed. [Joshua 7] And although Hosea's use of the Valley of Achor as a metaphor is in direct reference to this incidence, as his unfaithful wife Gomer would have warranted stoning according to OT Law, it is also a useful description for those times we find ourselves in the wilderness, when times are troubled, or when we are suffering in one way or another.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places...

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Yesterday, after coming back from the hospital at tea-time, picking Mum's elderly cat up on the way, I had chance to finally sit and think about what had happened and its implications, but by this time tiredness had brought with it a sense of peace. I thought of the verse in Psalm 15(16) v 6: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage. How difficult it is at times like this to acknowledge that God has drawn my boundary lines in "pleasant places"!! But He sees this situation from above, on the beautiful side of the tapestry so to speak, whereas I see only the messy knotted threads underneath. I'm not saying that this is a pleasant place for my Mum, but it has to be God's will for me, and God's will is for His glory and my good. I have written this verse on my heart, as I have also Deuteronomy 33:12 which I blogged about last time.


Once again, a picture speaks to my heart. The above is a scene of beauty, and yet the sky i…

Between God's Shoulders

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I spent 9 hours at the local hospital yesterday with my Mum, who fell off her mobility scooter and fractured her upper arm and broke her hip. Things are not good, as Mum's hip is badly broken (bone crushed) and she is having a hip replacement hopefully some time today (depending on emergencies, as it's weekend!) She's going to be in for at least 2 weeks and possibly a rehabilitation centre afterwards She's also very frightened, understandably, and was in a lot of pain, but morphine has helped. The ward staff were lovely, and she'll be cared for. I have also gained an elderly cat one-eyed cat called Rameses who is coming here to live with us until she's home!

But on my mind all day yesterday was a verse I found in a Catholic Women's Devotional the other day, which really impressed upon me, this one:
About Benjamin he said:
“Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him,
for he shields him all day long,
and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders…