Sunday, September 30, 2007

Psalm 121

Where Were You When I Needed You


Where were You when I needed You,
And why are You so far away,
I could have used a helping hand,
On the day I went astray.

It is said that You are everywhere,
And know our slightest thought,
So why is it that I can't see You,
And why am I so distraught?

I find that life's a problem,
And I think I might give up trying,
To understand what life's about,
Maybe I'll try my hand at dying.



His Reply:

I was there the moment you needed me,
And am never far away,
You never asked for a helping hand,
And by your own choice, you went astray.

Tis true that I am everywhere,
And know your slightest thought,
You close your eyes to all My love,
'Tis why you become so distraught.

You make your life a problem,
By your feeble way of trying,
To understand what life's about,
Without asking for my help...
you'll feel that you are dying.

Be not so hard upon yourself,
I'm always there when needed,
Be a friend to someone else,
And you won't feel defeated.

Now come and be My helping hand,
And show someone else the way,
You will find your life anew,
And I will see you through your roughest day.

Happy Birthday Therese !!!!



Happy Birthday Therese !!!!

May this day bring sunshine
put gladness in your heart
with lots of love and laughter
from the very start.

Have a joyous celebration
with loved ones ever near
and tender hugs and kisses
to last you through the year.

God blessed us with you on this most special day!

Happy Birthday Therese !!!

Marie and Ginny

And to Jump start the celebration





Friday, September 28, 2007

Dawn Eden And Some Thoughts



Dawn Eden of The Dawn Patrol, gave an absolutely beautiful and powerful interview on Life on the Rock on EWTN last night. In case you missed it you can see it, you can view it by going here and click on the "View" link under "Archived Video in Real Player.

For those of you who are not familiar with Dawn and her conversion story, in brief, Dawn is a Christian (Catholic) Apologetic for premarital chastity. She is very passionate about spreading the message that chastity is more “hope-filled” and “vibrant” than sex outside marriage. Through her book and her blog, she gives very practical advice and encouragement to those living a chaste life, those trying to live a chaste life and hope to those not living a chaste life.

Dawn brought up some very poignant points, many of which I have been meaning to address for a while now, so no time like the present to address them. Dawn brought up the point that while dating, from the very first date and while in a relationship, you should treat that person with the respect and love that you would treat your future spouse. If only the young and not so young would take this to heart. Its not to say that everyone you date or are in a relationship with is going to be your future spouse but if you think about your future spouse and how you would want to be treated and the fact that you are with someone else’s future spouse, maybe just maybe the “tone” of many a date would be so different.

Why is it that so many young persons in particular find it hard to grow up, don’t want to grow up and don’t want any of the responsibilities of adults? Adolescence used to be from what 13-17/18, now it has been extended to 30! Some may say its immaturity but I think it’s far more than that. Far too many children, now ‘legal adults’, think the world revolves around them and for them! I can speak from experience, I have dated a couple guys who fall into this category, have family and know acquaintances also that fit this profile. A word to parents, not only referring to your sons but your daughters as well, think about your potential son and daughter in law before turning your kids into spoilt brats! Guys who cant and wont do anything for themselves, expect to be waited on hand and foot and think that sowing their seeds in every skirt that passes by is a sign of their being a “man” then plan on marrying a virgin is anything but cute and adorable and far from appealing! The same goes for your daughters, where they are spoilt brats who get any and everything, cant and will not do anything (not only referring to household chores here) and put a price on their ‘love’, think about the man that has to marry her!

We live in a time where everything is about me, myself and I. Selfish, self-centered and lazy are some of the ‘nicer’ adjectives that describe what faces so many of us. Then we have those who are ‘momma’s boys’ and ‘daddy’s little girl’. Don’t get me wrong, I admire young persons who are close to their parents, it’s very admirable to say the least. What I’m referring to are those who have been spoiled and I mean so manipulated that they put these impossible and unattainable expectations on their boyfriends, girlfriends and future spouses. In essence they want to be with and marry mommy or daddy! I’m all for looking for or better said being attracted to someone with the good characteristics of your parents but what I’m talking about are people who you will never be able to please cause you are not their mom or dad. You don’t dress like mom, don’t walk, talk or cook like mom, you don’t spoil me like dad and bend and give into my every whim and fancy! Is this what we as young persons to look forward to?

I am not writing this as a young person without faults of my own but I’m writing it out of concern for me and my fellow young persons who have to deal with and often times get frustrated with it all. Nor did I write this to offend or bash parents, not all parents or young people fall into these categories but we have to face the fact that far too many do fit the profile.

Kudos to those of you who try and persevere with your children and help them to become, productive, respectful and responsible members of society. Continue to be a beacon of light, that ray of hope and an example for us to follow.


Leader Against Teen Breast Implant Fad


The issue of teens and plastic surgery was brought up on our sister blog recently.

I'm no fan of the wannabe- Communist- Dictator, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, but I do give kudos where and when they are due.

I agree with him on this issue. Apparently some Venezuelans have turned 'plastic surgery' (breast implants) into routine quinceanera gifts, an idea that is a nutty as a fruit cake and Hugo shares my sentiments. Click here to read the story.

May I


May I follow the upward call of each day.

May I keep my face to the light.

May I always choose the better way.

May I do what I know is right.

May I look for the flowers by the side of the road.

May I laugh and love and be strong.

May I try to brighten another's load.

Each day as I fare along.


Amen

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Laughter Is The Best Medicine LOL


Blog Bouquet's To Jackie & Marie Cecile



To continue the Blogs Bouquet. This week I choose Jackie from 'Catholic Mom of 10'. I love the way Jackie shares her life including the pitfalls and the joy. The love Jackie has for our Faith shines forth. It is simply a great blog to read.



I also choose Marie Cecile and her blog Soul Full Longings. I love the reflections that MC shares with her readers. So many times we tend to look for God in the 'big events' and miss seeing Him in the little events of our everyday lives. You dont have to climb Mt Everest to find God-He finds you. Marie Cecile's blog is full of God in the ordinary but spoken with extraordinary vision. Please read MC's reflections you will love her blog as much as I do.



A bouquet to both you ladies for helping the internet to be a safe and growing place to be.

You Have Wings


You were born with potential.

You were born with goodness and trust.

You were born with ideals and dreams.

You were born with greatness.

You were born with wings.

You are not meant for crawling, so don't.

You have wings.

Learn to use them and fly!



Rumi

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Early Church Fathers-The P/C Version


This is a satirical look at how the words of the Early Church Fathers would be altered to suit the Politically Correct crowd of today.



The Words of Polycarp to the Philippians;

"Wherefore, girding up your loins," serve the Lord in fear and truth, as those who have forsaken the vain, empty talk and error of the multitude, and "believed in Him who raised up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and gave Him glory, and a throne at His right hand. To Him all things in heaven and on earth are subject. Him every spirit serves. He comes as the Judge of the living and the dead. His blood will God require of those who do not believe in Him...if we do His will, and walk in His commandments, and love what He loved, keeping ourselves from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of money, evil speaking, false witness; "not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing," or blow for blow, or cursing for cursing, but being mindful of what the Lord said in His teaching: "Judge not, that ye be not judged; forgive, and it shall be forgiven unto you...once more, "Blessed are the poor, and those that are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God."

A 'politically' correct Polycarp the revisionist version

Wherefore, girding up your loins, keep always the thought of what others may think of you to the forefront. Do not offend those who hold different views from yourself, it could be the case that your God may not be everyone's god so just choose a god that appeases all. Do not talk about such things as the one who Judges all, it may cause offense and may be seen as a hate crime so keep the truth quiet in order to get along with the world.'



The words of Justin Martyr

"Yes, I am a Christian...I hope that, if I endure these things, I shall have His gifts. For I know that, to all who have thus lived, there abides the divine favour until the completion of the whole world. No right-thinking person falls away from piety to impiety. Through prayer we can be saved on account of our Lord Jesus Christ, even when we have been punished, because this shall become to us salvation and confidence at the more fearful and universal judgment-seat of our Lord and Saviour."

A politically Correct Justin Martyr

Yes, I am a Christian...though I am also accepting of other idea's and philosophies, why should I demand that others believe as I do? What matters is that I am saved I care not for speaking the Truth lest others may feel offended. No right-thinking person should actually live their Faith or they may be called 'holier than thou' or worse they may lose their popularity. As for universal judgement-seat of our Lord and Saviour, who and what is your 'god' of the day, surely we have become to sophisticated for this outmoded thinking of 'judging'.'




The Words of St Irenaeus

"God is the source of all activity throughout creation. He cannot be seen or described in his own nature and in all his greatness by any of his creatures. Yet he is certainly not unknown. Through his Word the whole creation learns that there is one God the Father, who holds all things together and gives them their being. As it is written in the Gospel, "No man has ever seen God, except the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father; he has revealed him."


The Politically Correct Saint Irenaeus

'God is the source of all activity throughout creation. We must accept that we are descended from apes for this is what science teaches us, has not science become a new 'god'? Through his Word the whole creation learns that there is one God the Father. Surely as intelligent human beings we understand the Bible was written by men who are fallible, do we trust this 'man written bible' or should we rely on our own reasoning abilities? God is what you want him to be, lest anyone feel excluded, therefore as proud 'catholics' surely we should be open minded to realise that there is no truth outside of your own perceived 'truths', therefore all 'truths' are true, are they not?'


What version would the 'world' find acceptable?

Nelson Mandela Speech


Our deepest fear is not that we are

inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful

beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness,

that most frightens us.


We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant,

gorgeous, talented, fabulous?"

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small

doesn't serve the world. There is nothing

enlightened about shrinking so that other

people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.


We were born to make manifest

the glory of God within us.

It is not just in some of us;

it is in all of us, in everyone.


And as we let our own light shine,

we unconsciously give other people

permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,

our presence automatically liberates

others."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Death of Common Sense-RIP


Today we mourn the passing of a beloved olf friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come out of the rain, why the early bird catches the worm, life isn't always fair and maybe it was my fault.


Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies, ie. don't spend more than you earn, and reliable parent strategies, adults-not children- are in charge. His health began to detoriate rapidly when well intentioned, but overbearing, regulations were set in place. Reports of a six year old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the joy they failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Panadol, sun lotion or a sticky plaster to a student; but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; Churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and a burglar can sue for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son Reason.

He is survived by three stepbrothers: I know my rights, Someone else is to blame and I'm a victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone. If you still remember him pass this on, if not join the majority and do nothing.

A Passage To The Heart


In having worked with hundreds of people in discovering the experience of self love, I've concluded that there is a physical location where self love resides and is felt. A person can connect with the experience of self love at any time if the passage to this location is fully open. This location is the heart. If the passage to the heart is blocked, no authentic experience of your self and love for your self can be experienced.

So, what is this passage filled with that you can't get to the experience of this love ?

This passage is filled with the pain from the years of denying your own self expression. This passage is filled with the pain of not having been your self, but instead being what others and society dictated you to be. And you, immediately responding to the dictates in order to be accepted and loved by your family, peers and society, closed down your authentic and natural self expression. This passage is filled with the inner yearning to just be your self and with the hopelessness of it never seeming possible. This passage holds the horror of living a future of being roles and acts that are not you. It holds the grief of never being your self and the sadness of no longer even knowing who you are. This passage is filled with every moment and every instant you knew what action to take and what words to speak and you held back in order to please others.

There is no way to fully experience love and honor for your self and others until this passage to the heart is cleaned out. The cleaning out becomes very simple once the commitment to love yourself, no matter what, is present. The process of cleaning out then becomes effortless. When the process of cleaning out is completed or close to completion, the love begins to radiate. The fulfillment of life and of being your self begins to instill itself within you. The full experience of loving your self will be the closest experience of God's presence that is available for you every moment of your life. The possibility of this happening for you begins the moment you fully commit to love your self, live true to your self, and fully allow and express your natural and authentic self.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Poverty Is Spirit


Katerina has brought up a topic which I find very challenging and so I would like to elaborate my own view point on this particular topic.


As a society we seem to embrace what I term a 'Jerry Springer mentality' where caution and self respect are thrown to the winds as we lay our souls bare and become public confessors. Why? Do we really need to expose our innner most being to the scrutiny of the world? A little bit of self containment wouldn't go astray. It is what I call the three 'D's, Decorum, Dignity and Discretion or what the British term 'the stiff upper lip'.

What we must not do is to take the next step into self reliance. Once we have done that then we have no need of other people and more importantly we may feel no need of God. We have become our own masters, who refuse to follow in the footsteps of our Lord and Saviour. When we take this step we grab onto our self reliance rather than be self emptying. We then step into the world of Egotism where how we look to others is more important than humbling ourselves to our Lord. Once this has been done the soul fails to understand that in and of itself it is nothing. Rather than lift our hearts to God we instead look for approbation from our peers. We have made our faith a see-saw, where oneday our faith is great and the next we are athiests.

The only way to understand our own poverty is when God by Divine Design strips away all our vain glories. We come to understand that God has no need of us but that we have every need of God. It is a painful procedure as with the precision of a surgeons knife God makes the soul aware of its nothingness. We are left to face ourselves and only then do we realise that what confronts us is unbearable and loathesome. God in His Goodness will then refine us in the fire of his Divine Love.
As we endure this painful process our hearts as if in fainting weeps for consolations, we receive none. We long to 'hear' the voice of the Lord as we listen to absolute and total, silence.

In this state and with horror we understand our inner poverty. We come to the beginning of wisdom, darkly. Until we embrace the Spirit of poverty we will be as the emporer with no clothes.

Real poverty is Spirit it has nothing to do with physical poverty.

There is nothing noble in poverty of the body where people are denied their basic rights to food, clothing, housing and medicines. This poverty is not simple. It is mean, it is viscious, it is cruel. It surrounds us.

When Jesus saw the hungry He fed them, when He saw the sick He healed them, when He saw the sinner, He forgave them. Jesus was never indifferent to the suffering of others.

Spiritual impoverishment begins when we embrace the 'god's of the world and ignore the Creator.

I felt inspired to write this post upon reading Katerina's eloquent thoughts on this topic. I do encourage you to read Katerina's post, not to compare but to see two sides of the same coin.

Kind Comments-Esthers Blog


I think it is important that we support and encourage our fellow bloggers. I'd like to thank Esther for sharing her faith with us all and also for responding to those who comment on her delightful blog.


We all work hard on our blogs and try to spread just how much our Faith means to each of us.

When you visit other blogs do think about leaving a comment. It is a kindness that is greatly appreciated.

God's abundant love to you all.

Marie

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Medjugorje-What's The Truth


When I first became a Catholic I was a strong believer in Medjugorje and bought just about every book on the subject. I attended regularly 'Medjugorje Masses for Peace' every month.


A few years later though something happened which had me re-thinking. What made me more wary was when Our Lady purportedly criticized a Bishop to the seers by stating this to them, "The bishop has no real love of God in his heart. Regarding the bishop, may Ivica and Ivan remain calm. What the bishop is doing is contrary to the will of God, yet he can do as he pleases, but one day justice as you have never seen shall be revealed." I cannot imagine Our Lady ever criticizing a Son of the Church. Where throughout the Gospels does Our Lady criticize Peter or John or James even Judas? You wont find it because Mary the Mother of God was humble of heart and was obedient to her Son.

There are believers in Medjugorje that say that only good things are happening in Medjugorje if this is so then why have Priests been removed from their Order for disobedience?

Here is an excerpt from an interview with one of the Seer's

Graf: This is not a good sign... you once told the bishop that he should listen more to Our Lady than to the Pope.

Vicka: Yes I did.

Graf: This means that the bishop should listen to you more than to the Pope.

Vicka: No, not me.

Graf: But the bishop doesn't know what the phenomenon is and perhaps it is not Our Lady.

Vicka: Yes it is Our Lady.

Graf: You told the bishop that he is to blame and that those two (Vego and Prusina) are innocent and that they can perform their priestly duties.

Vicka: Yes I did.

Graf: Can they hear confession? Did Our Lady mention this?

Vicka: Yes.

Graf: If Our Lady said this and the Pope says that they cannot...

Vicka: The Pope can say what he wants, I'm telling it as it is!

I do believe though most strongly that if the Apparition is true then it is wise to wait upon the Church's final decision on the matter. Just as decades before many waited for the Church's decision on St. Faustina's Divine Mercy.

I am not criticizing the events at Medjugorje, but I think it prudent to wait for the Church to announce its decision.

May I ask what your thoughts are concerning this apparition and the controversy surrounding it?

Be Who You Must Be


I don’t know where you are on your path

I have never stood in your shoes

I see not with your eyes.

I know not what your purpose is here

In this stage of your evolution

But I feel blessed to know you

As you are not in my life by chance

And you are my teacher

As I hope you learn from me

I pray I show reverence to you

I pray not to judge you

I wish to let you be

Who you are

Who you dream of being

I will just be beside you

And watch you grow

And the day will come for sure

When we will know why

Our paths crossed this way

And until then my friend

Be who you must be


Diarmuid Cronin

Mathetes Award


Suzy Q on her sailing by Starlight blog has kindly nominated our blog for an award. Both Ginny and I are honoured to accept this and hope that we will live up to its goal. That of spreading God's Word and love through words.


I promise not to do a Sally Field, but thankyou Suzy for thinking of us. And as you said yourself it is SO tough to only have 5 choices. They are below the quote.


To quote:"Its a brand new award being passed out. It is the Mathetes Award. created by Dan King of Management by God to recognize those who take to heart the Great Commission and further God's Kingdom by creating more disciples for Him. According to Dan mathetes is the Greek word for disciple.The rules for the award, as posted by it's creator are as follows: In the spirit of this award, the rules are simple. Winners of this award must pick five other "disciples" to pass it on to. As you pass it on, I just ask that you mention and provide links for (1)this post as the originator of the award (Dan King of management by God), (2) the person that awarded it to you, and then (3) name and sites of the five that you believe are fulfilling the role of a disciple of Christ."


My choices for this award are;












I wish all you ladies joy in choosing your five and it IS difficult. There are so many wonderful Blogs.


God's abundant love to you all.


Marie & Ginny


Friday, September 21, 2007

Walking With Life


May the desires of your heart be pure.

Seeking not to obtain but to learn.

Soaring as the eagle above the trials and tribulations.

Bringing peace to all who cross your path.

Never allowing the dark clouds to prevail.

Letting the lands remain free and untamed..

Walk tall but softly keeping track of where you tread.

Remember your brothers and sisters with kindness.

Don't let mistrust lead your paths astray.

Waste not what you have been given to survive.

All creatures have a purpose and place.

Keep your arrows true and straight.

For unnecessary plight may come from the crooked.

Ask for nothing in return for giving.

Listen, watch and gather wisdom from the elders.

Their paths have been tried by the fire.

Don't believe because of prominence alone.

Be weary for the thief comes in the night.

Righteousness is the overcoming force.

Truth will always be your friend.

Is It Any Wonder?


Is it any wonder
That the world is filled with pain,
When man sets aside its beauty,
For his own material gain?

Is it any wonder
That lovers' hearts grow dim,
When they do not hold in honor,
The love that's found within?

Is it any wonder
That the homeless often fail,
When they're forced out of house and home
To seek another trail?

Is it any wonder
That nature falls to ruin and rubble,
Because we drain it thoughtlessly,
Allowing it to crumble?

Is it any wonder
That children go astray,
Because we did not take the time,
To show them the proper way?

Is it any wonder
That evil's strong and bold,
When we can't see any goodness,
And we let our hearts grow cold?

Is it any wonder
Racism thrives, my friend,
When we cannot see the person,
Just the color of his skin?

Is it any wonder
That friendships die and fade,
When we forget the reasons,
Why they first were made?

Is it any wonder
Our world has been polluted,
When we allow our industries,
To strip it and permute it?

Is it any wonder
There's so much grief and sorrow,
That we don't even seem to care,
What will take place tomorrow?

Is it any wonder
We see no value in our brothers,
And we hold ourselves too far above,
The many needs of others?

Is it any wonder
Our world is like it is,
When all we do is grumble,
And no action do we give?

Is it any wonder
We wait in fear of Judgment Day,
When we do the things we do,
Then forget the way to pray?



Thursday, September 20, 2007

Memory

Be Thankful


Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don't know something, for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times. during those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you're tired and weary, because it means you've made a difference.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.



Teens and Plastic Surgery


Do check out our sister site Big Is Beautiful where the topic of teens and plastic surgery is being discussed. Your thoughts and comments will be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Can you hear me God ?


Once there was a man who dared God to speak.
"Burn the bush like you did for Moses, God.
And I will follow.
Collapse the walls like you did for Joshua, God.
And I will fight.
Still the waves like you did on Galilee, God,
And I will listen."

And so the man sat by a bush, near a wall,
close to the sea, and waited for God to speak.

And God heard the man, so God answered.
He sent fire, not for a bush, but for a church.
He brought down a wall, not of brick, but of sin.
He stilled a storm, not of the sea, but of a soul.

And God waited for the man to respond.
And he waited...
And he waited...
And waited.

But because the man was looking at bushes, not hearts;
bricks and not lives,
seas and not souls,
he decided that God had done nothing.

Finally he looked to God and asked,
"Have you lost your power?"

And God looked at him and said,
"Have you lost your hearing?"



Be...


Be loyal to your friends.

Be strong enough to face the world each day.
Be weak enough to know you cannot do everything alone.

Be generous to those who need your help.
Be frugal with what you need yourself.

Be wise enough to know that you do not know everything.
Be foolish enough to believe in miracles.

Be willing to share your joys.
Be willing to share the sorrows of others.

Be a leader when you see a path others have missed.
Be a follower when you are shrouded by the mists of uncertainty.

Be the first to congratulate an opponent who succeeds.
Be the last to criticize a colleague who fails.

Be sure where your next step will fall, so that you will not tumble.
Be sure of your final destination, in case you are going the wrong way.

Be loving to those who love you.
Be loving to those who do not love you, and they may change.

Above all, be yourself.



Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad !!

A wedding is an event, but a marriage is an achievement.

As two souls journey through life together they come to learn the capacity of the human heart.


That’s my folks on their wedding day.Today my parents celebrate their 36th Wedding Anniversary. In today’s world, that’s like they have been married for eternity. Has it been an easy road, no but they have stuck together through the good times and the bad times. I have learned a lot from watching how they interact with each other, the way they treat each other and it gives me hope. Hope in a world where marriage, true marriage, between a man and a woman, has become so casual, so abnormal, deemed a nuisance and burden and a guarantee that it will end in divorce court. Thanks to them I am looking forward to getting married and having a family. I know it is not going to be easy but it’s a beautiful vocation.

To sum up their 36 years : Love and marriage have nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, it’s what you are expected to give – which is everything.

God bless you two,
Mom and Dad.
Happy Anniversary!

To My Beloved


To my beloved,

I think it is important for me to write this to you now. We don’t know each other yet so we both have time to think about and make choices that will affect our future. You are so very important to me. It’s so amazing to think and know that God has already chosen us for each other. That’s just awesome! I can’t wait to meet you. I have to be patient because I know it will happen in His perfect timing. Until that time I will think of you and pray for you. I hope that you are thinking of me and praying for me also because we both need each others prayers.

There is so much that I want to tell you, I want to share my dreams and fears with you. I want to trust you to really listen to and care about all I say. I want to respect you and I want you to respect me. I want your goodness to touch my heart. I want us to recognize the goodness in each other. I want to love you and I want you to love me. I want to be your wife. I want to be your most intimate friend, cherished and the most important person in your life. I want your tenderness and affection, your kindness and your strength. I want you to know that I will be there for you when you feel happy and on top of the world and will be there when your spirit is crushed. I want to feel protected and secure in your love, trusting you at all times. I want you to feel safe with me and never to be afraid or ashamed to talk about your fears and weaknesses. I want to encourage you to stand up for your beliefs and always to do what is right. I want to stand beside you as we go through life together.

Someone told me that I need to know what is important to me and have some “major” requirements when it comes to selecting my spouse. It makes it that much easier for me to recognize you when we finally meet. I want you to know God, love Him above all else and keep Him first in our lives at all times. I see families that are so happy and joyful where God is at the center. I know how important God is and I want our family to be happy. We cannot do it without God.

We need to both be honest. Without trust and honesty a marriage cannot survive. We will spend many hours talking and getting to know each other, sharing our feelings, thoughts, dreams and fears. I want us to be comfortable with each other so comfortable that we can share our deepest feelings.

The next thing is unselfishness. I have much to learn in this area but I want us both to be unselfish and to teach our children to be unselfish too. We can’t only think of ourselves, we have to be willing to help anyone we can. We have to be willing to make sacrifices for one another and for our children. We have to be willing to love one another, its not going to be easy, we will have our differences but unless we are committed to a lifetime of unselfish loving, our marriage won’t succeed.

When I think about us getting married there is so much more to it than the pretty wedding dress, the flowers and the party. The wedding dress, I think about it a lot and what it represents to me. The beauty of the white fabric symbolizes the purity of the bride. That’s the symbol I want it to be to you. I cherish the gift of my virginity so that it will be a pure and holy gift to you. The softness of the fabric is like the tenderness I want to show and give to you. I want a long train, it represents the blanket of prayer, love and support I want to give to you and our children. To me, getting married means ‘til death do us part’, sharing the rest of my life with you, growing old together. Living each and everyday to the fullest, loving each other when we don’t feel like loving each other, growing and learning from the good and bad times. I want to be your wife, and I want you to be my husband. Neither of us will ever be the perfect spouse, but we can strive to please God and do His will.

I look forward to the day we find out that we are going to become parents, the life we are going to enjoy with our children. I know we are going to have our share of trials. Through these trials we will grow when our commitment and love are put to the test, we will get through them and be stronger, wiser and deeper in love. With prayer and the support and guidance of good friends we will become the man and woman God created us to be.

I know you are going to be my biggest cheerleader always encouraging me. I know that you are not perfect, no one is but I do know that you will be the perfect spouse for me chosen by God. I know that you are going to be a support spiritually, emotionally and financially. Having lots of things won’t make us happy, it’s the time we spend together enjoying the little things in life. I want our children to know and understand that having ‘things’ does not mean that they will be happy. I want them to know that everything they have been blessed with comes from God and want them to help others however and whenever they can.

I am waiting for you and I hope you are waiting for me. I want us both to do what is right. I want to share myself with you. The beautiful gift of our sexuality has been cheapened by the world. Our sexuality is sacred, I want us to always remember this. The awesome power of God to unite a man and woman in the sexual union in marriage and be the source of our greatest blessing, our children is so awe-inspiring yet humbling. I want us to never to lose that sense of awe and reverence for these wonderful gifts God created for married couples. We will always have God’s best when we do things His way.

I just wanted to tell you all this now because it’s on my mind. I think about you a lot. I hope and pray that we will be strong to reject the false teachings of the world. You are so important to me, our marriage, our children, our life together are important to me.

So my beloved know that I am out there and really do exist. Pray for me and please wait for me. I am waiting for you.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Jackie!!!



Happy Birthday Jackie!!!!

I find it hard to believe that she is as old as she says she is. This dear lady is an inspiration to so many of us and we want to join in celebrating her B'day.

Wishing you all the riches of God's blessings!

Thank God for blessing us with YOU!

Love, Peace and Blessings,

Marie and Ginny


Our Message Board - Chit Chat



Dear Friends,

Some of you may have noticed a little addition to our blog. It's a message board, you can leave comments for us, for our readers, bring up topics we have written about or you have brought up on your blogs, anything. A joke, a quote, just post up. This includes the ups and downs and also feel free to put up prayer requests.

It's our little attempt of bringing all our blogging friends together to share and fellowship with each other.

Hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Love Thee More Dearly


Day by day

Day by day, dear Lord,
of thee three things I pray:
to see thee more clearly,
love thee more dearly,
follow thee more nearly,
day by day.

The title is taken from one of my favourite prayers, Day by Day, written by Richard of Chichester. It is an absolute lovely prayer. The line I want to highlight is to love thee more dearly. It acknowledges God as a down-to-earth God, a God in flesh, a God who loves passionately the flesh and blood of his own creation and a God who invites us to love with His kind of feelings.

Once an artist was commissioned to do a painting of a church. He chose as his subject the Family of God. After working on the painting tirelessly for many months, he completed the painting. He retired to bed that night feeling very pleased. As he slept, he had a dream. In the dream he woke to the sound of noise coming from his studio. He got up at once to investigate the disturbance. He was shocked to find a stranger painting over his picture. He screamed “Stop you are ruining my painting!”

“You have ruined it already,” replied the stranger.

“What do you mean I have ruined it already?”

“You have used many beautiful colours in your picture but you have used only one colour to paint the children of the world. Who told you that only children with white faces are in heaven?”

“No one told me but I always thought of it that way.”

“I will paint some of the faces yellow, some brown, some red, some white and some black because people of all colours, nations and languages have answered my call.”

“Answered your call? Who are you?”

“Long, long ago I said ‘ Let the children come to me and do not prevent them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these’ and I am still saying it.”

The stranger disappeared. Next morning when the artist awoke, he remembered the dream. He went to the studio picked up the brush and began painting the faces of every race, colour and nationality. The painting was placed in the church. The people saw it and all agreed that truly this is God’s family.

When we pray to love thee more dearly, we are praying to see and to love with the eyes and heart of Christ. It is a love that sees us as equals, sisters and brothers and that there is no place in the vision for inequality, prejudice, discrimination or racism, in any shape or form.

Being Our Best


For most of life, I think we fight God. We keep trying to show Him what we were made for. We keep giving Him better ideas. We keep working for something bigger & greater than anything He seems to have in mind. For many of us, by the time we are in mid-life, we feel we somehow have missed out on some of the great things we were born for. We fight with God over this.


God made me with special ideas in mind, but I wish I could have been in on the planning. My skin would have been more olive-colored & flawless, my hair more coarse, with some curl in it. My shoulders broader, my eyes wider-spaced. I would have completely removed the lazy part of me that I have to fight with all the time.


God did not make me to impress you, not to be on book covers, not to be an authority, not to be perfect or a genius, not to make a billion dollars!


God made me to be uncomplicated in my faith. To watch children & kites & sunsets & rainbows & enjoy them. To take your hand regardless of who you are or how you look. To listen to you. To accept you right where you are. To love unconditionally.


God made me to be real. To be honest. To be open. To never compare myself to you, but to strive to become my own best person. To have character & dignity.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

bouquet of flowers To Esther & Micki


Marilena has a wonderful idea of promoting and praising other blogs. I wish to follow her lead and do the same.


This week I choose 2 blogs both are excellent in their presentation and I love the reflections they share with their readers.

Esther shares all facets of her life and the things that move her. I also love her thoughts on different aspects of our Faith. ClICK HERE to read her Blog.

Micki shares with all readers some beautiful Holy cards with little inspirations beside each card. Please CLICK HERE.

I love visiting both their blogs and hope that you will also enjoy them.

A bouquet of flowers to both Esther and Micki for helping the blogsphere to remain holy and a joyful place to visit.

Quiz Shows & Clueless Contestants LOL


Quiz Master: What was Gandhi's first name?

Constestant: Er, Goosey, goosey?


Quiz Master: Johnny Weissmuller died on this day. Which jungle swinging character clad only in a loin cloth did he play?

Contestant: Jesus


Quiz Master: Where do you think Cambridge University is?

Contestant: Er Geography isnt my strong point

Quiz Master: There's a clue in the title

Contestant: Leicester?


Quiz Master: What is the capital city of Italy

Contestant: France?


Quiz Master: What is the nationality of the Pope?

Contestant: I know that one! He's Jewish.


Quiz Master: Which American Actor was married to Nicole Kidman?

Contestant: Forrest Gump


Quiz Master: In which European country is Mount Etna?

Contestant: Japan

Quiz Master: I did say European, try again

Contestant: Er, Mexico?


Quiz Master: How many Kings of England have been called Henry?

Contestant: Er, umm. Well, I know there was Henry the Eighth..er...er...Three?


Quiz Master: Where did the D-Day landings take place?

Contestant: Umm, Pearl Harbor?


Quiz Master: How long did the 6 day war last between Egypt and Israel?

Contestant: Ummm, 14 days?


Did YOU know the answers LOL!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Testimony From an Ex-People Pleaser


As an ex-people pleaser what are the lessons I have learnt?


I have learnt that it is ok not to be perfect, in fact that it is perfectly acceptable to be totally imperfect. Come to my house and there will be days where my home will be lovely and tidy. Other days some will spot a bit of dust there and a spot of fluff somewhere else, guess what? I dont care.

Some days I will be perfectly groomed, hair and make up done just right. Other days I will look a fright, my hair frazzled, my face au-naturel, a proper mess, guess what? I dont care.

My cakes flop in the middle, my home made bread was so hard that a chainsaw wouldn't have sliced it, guess what? I dont care.

I love to sing really loud. I have a voice where the birds fall out of the trees in shock and where dogs howl that it is the end of the world, guess what? I will sing anyway. I dont care.

My figure is not perfect in fact at times it wobbles like jello, guess what? You guessed it I dont care.

I dont care what you think of me. I don't care if you love me or loathe me. Does that shock you? Or intimidate you? Or dont you care either? Good! That is the key that will set you free.

The thing I have learnt is that the only person I can change is me. I cannot change YOU nor do I wish to, that job belongs to you solely. If you are meanspirited and spiteful, go on your way I wont be joining you. Your baggage is your own I will not carry it for you, go in peace but GO.

I do not spend time with people who gossip, who run me down, or slander others. They are toxic personalities. These gossipers are mere joy stealers. Do not steal anothers joy, create your own. If that is impossible, dont let me stop you. Go, you are not wanted here.

If another takes offense over an innocent statement I have made and despite my explanations to the contrary they persist in being oversensitive. It has then become THEIR problem it is no longer mine and I dont allow it to become mine. Oversensitivity is simply pride dressed up as false humility. Leave my orbit, go in peace.

I respect who I am, if you cannot share the same respect then leave. If I need my faults and failings shown to me I'll alert the media. Be on your way.

When I make mistakes I will sincerely apologise. If that is not accepted then the onus is on YOU. Enjoy your guilt trip..alone.

I know that at times I will be hurt but that is a part of loving. It is the price one pays to keep one's heart open, compassionate and honest. I refuse to walk the road of bitterness or wear the crown of victimhood. The power for others to hurt me lay WITHIN me, NOT them.

At times I will also hurt others that is unavoidable and comes with the human condition. I am sorry for words or actions that have caused another to suffer. Let us make peace. If the peace offering is refused then I will not settle for a 'false peace' where words lay unspoken and hearts are turned to ice.

If you are one to measure your kindness, love and forgiveness. Making sure you dont give away too much then please don't include me. Keep your rationed love for yourself there is so little of it.

The best gift I gave to myself was to be ME, blunt, honest, plain common sense, compassionate, simplistic, humorous, frayed, frazzled and slightly cracked around the edges.

If people cannot accept me as I am then, guess what? I dont care. Go in peace.

The key to is to care for others without relying on their opinion for your own self worth. Be responsible, be caring but be prepared to move on.

In the end are we here to please people or to please God? Because you cannot please both.


"Remember, it isn't the snake bite

that does the serious damage;

it's chasing the snake

that drives the poison to the heart."

Just Me...


Accept me as I am-I have no guarantee.

A claim to perfection I have not.

Perfect I cannot be.

I, like you.....am human.

Prone to make mistakes.

Failure is not a character flaw,

Just a part of the human makeup.

I live, I laugh and I also learn.

My knowledge is incomplete.

I am searching all the time,

in waking hours as well as sleep.

I have a long road to travel,

as well as you do.

We learn our lessons on the way.

Wisdom we shall acrue.

Accept me as I am

Because I am ....me.

And You are you.

No one like me in the world.

That is my only guarantee.

God Bless....

Our Lady of Sorrows-No Words Needed


Friday, September 14, 2007

For Love of God or Friends?


At times we can be our own worst enemies, especially if we take our focus away from God and place them squarely on other people. By doing this we have empowered another and have placed ourselves at a disadvantage, in that we have become reliant on others for our self worth. We have placed our faith in people and not God.


By placing our faith in people this will start an avalanche of insecurities and low self worth. People are fickle and what is loved one day can be loathed the next. We lose our sense of the Sacred when we place our need for popularity over and above God's Will for each of us.

To a certain extent we all have an inner need for self preservation. It is difficult to face the fact that we are vulnerable and needy. So we cover-up our vulnerability by portraying ourselves as tough and self sufficient and in need of no one.

There seems to exist in the world today two extremes. Many people are either too needy for validation from their fellow man, or some give the impression of having it 'all together'. Both of these extremes are wrong. Mainly because both of these measures nullify God and deny that man's happiness is totally dependent upon the Divine.

Every good action we take and every good deed we do has its source in the Divine, so the love we share was never ours to begin with but a Gift from the Triune Spirit. God is not mean with His Love, for He gives it generously and gratuitously, to each soul that seeks it. Man is the one who like a child greedily grabs it and wishes to share it with those they have deemed 'worthy' of it.

It is when people become greedy and start measuring their love, as if they were the source of that love that the soul then loses its focus on the Divine and becomes self centred. For the level of love we show to others is the extent in which we have opened our heart to the Divine. It is as if we were our own masterpiece without need of a Creator.

God is not choosy in who He loves. He embraces all and would have all men saved, irrespective of their social standing. It is man who imposes 'conditions' on love and it is also man who measures his love. This form of love then becomes 'elitist'. A love that has to be earned is not love but manipulation.

It is the realisation, that in and of ourselves we are nothing; it is God Himself who ennobles the soul by His meritorious act of Loving the soul, despite our nothingness.

When we love with a Godly love, we realise that we gain meaning to our own life, when we understand that we are not here to make ourselves happy but to be stepping stones on the path of another's happiness.


I have spread my dreams under your feet,
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams....

Not Taking Hostages-Autumnrose


Autumnrose on her BLOG has written a beautiful piece on the meaning of sincere friendship and being authentic to who you truly are without compromising your own worth. Please read it by CLICKING HERE.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Laughter Is The Best Medicine LOL


Better To Light Candles


It is better to light candles

than to curse the darkness.

It is better to plant seeds

than to accuse the earth.

The world needs all of our power

and love and energy,

and each of us has something that we can give.

The trick is to find it and use it,

to find it and give it away.

So there will always be more.

We can be lights for each other,

and through each other's illumination

we will see the way.

Each of us is a seed,
a silent promise,
and it is always spring.


Merle Shain

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The McCann family-Justice or Persecution?


I have been deeply troubled over the media onslaught with the disappearance of little Madeleine McCann for some time.


It seemed odd to me that the crime scene didnt seem to be sealed off by the police. People were coming and going at all hours. Others were giving their opinions to the media of what they thought had happened to the poor child.

This isnt a soap opera where we can all play 'pick the killer'. This is real life. It is also the stuff of nightmares where the parents are now accused of killing their own daughter.

I have seen many of the interviews given by the parents of Madeleine and I have to admit that I also wondered how the parents could remain so calm with no show of tears.

We need to understand that people have their own ways of coping with grief and horror. We should not judge the parents simply because they are not shedding copious tears or pulling their hair out in public.

At times when something so horrific and there is nothing more horrific than the disappearance of your child one's emotions can become numb. You spend the day going through the motions, ironing clothes, tidying the home etc. You keep yourself busy to stop yourself from going insane.

Who is anyone to judge the parents of Madeleine McCann?

It is also troubling that the Police Officer, Goncalo Amaral who is in charge of the McCann case, has been charged with torture against another woman (under interrogation) whose daughter also disappeared. Officer Amaral and his collegues have also been charged with falsifying documents and omitting evidence in the case against Leonor Cipriano.

There is one cautionary note for all parents because of what happened to Gerry and Kate McCann. Do not leave your children unsupervised. The world is too dangerous.

Let us hope in the case of Madeleine McCann that justice will prevail and the guilty imprisoned.

What are your thoughts about how the media are treating Gerry and Kate McCann?

You were put here for a reason


Sometimes when the night grows long

and regrets run through your mind,

you look back on your life

and wonder what you've left behind.

You've won no fame or fortune,

no title, power or land.

No loyal group of followers,

no one at your command.

You brood on all the chances lost,

when you could have had the prize,

But fate stepped in and stole it

right before your very eyes.

Is there any hope for meaning,

any legacy to leave?

Any way to join the ranks of those

who struggle and achieve?

Then a small voice speaks inside you

of a deed done long ago,

a trifling thing or so it seemed.

You had no way to know.

Your kindly act of charity

that turned a life around

and set some soul back on the path

where freedom can be found.

If not for you would have gone undone,

only you could make it so.

You were put here for a reason, friend,

that only God can know.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Why Purgatory?


There are very few amongst us who live lives of such holiness and purity that we can enter Heaven immediately upon our death. Therefore if we have not reached that level of holiness what becomes of the soul? This does not mean that Heaven is out of reach for those who love God and have tried their utmost to follow the Commandments of God and the tenets of our Faith, but what if we have not reached perfect conformity to Gods Will?

In order for God to show His infinite Mercy to all, we have the existence of Purgatory. This is not a punishment but is simply Gods Justice to those who have failed to live in full conformity to Gods Will. Each of us have opportunities to live Gods Will as directed by Holy Scripture and the Teachings of the Catholic Church. Very few though are able to follow the Teachings that will help us to live holy and pure lives. Therefore because we failed to live in conformity to Gods Will on earth, we need to be able to expiate our sins that have accumulated in our lives through neglect rather than outright disobedience.

To enter Heaven we must do so in a state of purity and perfection. Because of our imperfect souls and disordered choices that we have made through our own free will, we need a place or an existence where our imperfections can be purified through the all consuming Fire of Gods Just Love. Though Jesus Atoned for our sins so that all men should be saved, this does not mean that we have a free ticket into Heaven. We must not only believe in God, we must live what we believe. In all cases and to all individuals we shall be held accountable for all our thoughts, words and deeds, for God is not only Merciful He is also Just. It is in Purgatory that both Mercy and Divine Justice collaborate to purify the souls incompleteness and imperfections.

We see in Scripture (2 Macc. 12:43–45), that Purgatory exists, for if a soul immediately enters Heaven upon their earthly death, they are then not in need of your prayers for they have reached the Beatific Vision. Whereas the soul who has rejected Jesus Salvific Sacrifice and in full knowledge does not repent of their sins shall enter eternal damnation where no amount of prayer will help them.

Once the soul has died the opportunity to repent has been eternally lost. This should warn us all not to presume on the Goodness of God and fail to follow His Commandments. For those who believe that the Old Testament is no longer relevant we have Pauls teaching as he instructs the faithful, "If the work which any man has built on the foundation [which is Christ] survives, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire".(1 Cor 3:15).

It is incumbent upon all of us to remember these poor souls who languish in this terrible pain through lack of care and attentiveness. May we remember these holy souls during our prayer time and most especially to offer Mass for the repose of their souls. Let us also realise that these holy souls remind us of the consequences when we deliberately choose not to live our Faith with sincerity or refuse through obstinacy to abide with Gods Will.

We need to remind ourselves that these suffering souls who languish in Purgatory rely on each of us to aid them in their pain and to help them reach their Heavenly Reward.

What The Saints Say Concerning Purgatory


"Though this fire is destined to cleanse and purify the soul... still it is more acute than anything we could possibly endure on Earth."


~St. Augustine

+++++++++++++

"It would be preferable to suffer all the possible torments of Earth until the Judgment day than to pass one day in Purgatory. "

~St Cyril of Alexandria

+++++++++++++

"Ah! I come on behalf of God Himself. I come on behalf of your poor parents, to awaken in you that love and gratitude which you owe them. I come to bring before your minds again all those kindnesses and all the love which they gave you while they were on earth. I come to tell you that they suffer in Purgatory, that they weep, and that they demand with urgent cries the help of your prayers and your good works."

~St. John Vianney

+++++++++++++

"No tongue can express, no mind can understand, how dreadful is Purgatory?And be assured that the souls have to pay what they owe even to the last farthing. This is Gods decree to satisfy the demands of justice."

~St Catherine of Genoa

++++++++++++

"on the Feast of Corpus Christi a person enveloped in fire suddenly stood before me. From the pitiable state the soul was in I knew it was in Purgatory and I wept bitterly"

~St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Monday, September 10, 2007

~~The Awakening~~



A time comes in your life when you finally get it... when, in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is your awakening.


You realize it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change... or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that neither of you is Prince Charming or Cinderella and that in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you... and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.


You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are ... and that's OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions. And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself... and in the process a sense of newfound confidence is born of self-approval.


You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.


You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself... and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.


You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties.... and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.


You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the junk you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, how much you should weigh, what you should wear, what you should do for a living, how much money you should make, what you should drive, how and where you should live, who you should marry, the importance of having and raising children, and what you owe your parents, family, and friends.


You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with ... and in the process you learn to go with your instincts.


You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.


You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.


You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing.


You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO.


You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.


Then you learn about love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving and when to walk away.


You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be.


You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes.


And you learn that alone does not mean lonely.


You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs.


You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK.... and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things you want... and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.


You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and you won't settle for less.


And you learn that your body really is your temple. And you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin to eat a balanced diet, drink more water, and take more time to exercise.


You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear, and uncertainty and so you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.


You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you believe you deserve... and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.


You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance.


You also learn that no one can do it all alone...and that it's OK to risk asking for help.


You learn the only thing you must truly fear is the greatest robber baron of all: FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your own terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.


You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things.


You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening.
And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state -- the ego.


You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you.


You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls.


You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.


Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle for less than your heart's desire.


And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind.


And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.


Finally, with courage in your heart and God by your side you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best you can.