Monday, January 31, 2011

THIS DAY'S . . .

Before I get to today's Thought, Verse and Smile, I wanted to update here on my mother's condition.  Praise God, the MRI was clear, as was the CT scan. They are doing an EEG now. SOMETHING caused this, whether it was extreme fatigue (most likely) or someone gave her the wrong medicine.  Her speech is slowly coming back.  She said, "I felt crazy, I felt crazy!"  I asked if she was doing better, she said "yes", and I asked if it was scarey, and she said, "yes."  But I believe the crisis is behind us and we can continue on.  Mom is so worn out that she cannot get up for therapy this morning, but they may try this afternoon.  Thanks to good ole Medicare, if you miss therapy, and are not improving according to their time frame, they want to kick you out to a nursing facility. That isn't going to fly with me.  I'm ready for them should they attempt to release her too early.

As for me, I have an awful sore throat and I've avoided getting close to Mother.  It is foggy and COLD here.  We are expecting a snow storm this evening and into tomorrow, with the high tomorrow being 5 degrees.  My Nova Scotia and Quebec friends know all about this on a larger scale.  Me? I love the snow and can't wait!!

Now, on to the subject of this post . . . .




It is not what we do that matters, but what a sovereign God chooses to do through us. God doesn’t want our success; he wants us. He doesn’t demand our achievements; he demands our obedience. The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of paradox, where through the ugly defeat of a cross a holy God is utterly glorified. Victory comes through defeat; healing through brokenness; finding self through losing self.

~Charles W. Colson

~*~



Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
~Proverbs 22:6

~*~


Apparently it did not occur to the earliest Christians that instructions in techniques of evangelism were necessary. They had all received the good news of salvation in Christ…and they went about the business of telling non-Christians about God’s might act.

~John Greenlee

JUST LEARNED .....

The hospital called Dad at 6 a.m. for permission to perform an MRI on Mom. Daddy isn't doing well.  I NEED PRAYERS, AND LOTS OF THEM!  We're headed for the hospital and I will update as I have time.  I need the strength to hold up everyone else and I pray my Lord will give me strength, courage, acceptance and peace.

Much love,
Abbey

DEEP THOUGHTS

I've been awake since 2:00 a.m.  That's not something that anyone would believe, for most believe I could sleep anywhere, anytime.  I tried to will myself back into my slumber to no avail.  I arose at 4:00 and made coffee; here I sit, what to say.

All the memories of my Mother and all that she has done for me in my life are like a flood.  They skip to and fro and bring happiness and sadness at the same time.  Whatever God has in store for her, and us, I can only accept with humility and grace, just as my dear mother has done.

I am most anxious to get to the hospital early so as not to miss the physician's rounds, but more than that, to see if Mother's restful sleep a la sleeping pill helped the situation that reappeared last evening.

It bothers me a great deal that there was something that she kept saying to me, over and over, and that I could not decipher it.  She was insistent and trying to tell me with some urgency about some matter unknown to me.  It sounded like "blanket", or "banking"?  She had three blankets covering her, so I think I can scratch that one off.  Still, I'm unsure of what I was hearing.

This road is not so smooth. There are pockholes and sharp curves, mud and rocks, and I'm going as carefully as possible, but I am not without feeling.  My weakness reared its head the moment my mother began talking in garble yesterday.  I had to get hold of myself; I could not let her see me cry.  I was stunned, it was unexpected, now I bounce back and prepare to suit myself in the armour of God, faith, hope, and a dash of determination.

Have a blessed day and keep us lifted in prayer.  You know, I have to say just one more thing.  I am an idealist.  And I have always looked at my mother and dad as if they would always be here with me.  When mother had her stroke, I thought, "no, not yet, I'm not ready for this."  Seems rather UNrealistic considering she is 79 years old, as is my dad.  The harsh reality is like a rope tied around my heart and tightening ever so slowly, squeezing out emotions and restlessness over this situation.

And so, I pray, the only thing that brings me any peace.

Abbey

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A LITTLE SETBACK, AND A NEW FRIEND

Mom stayed in bed all day yesterday to rest, and she had minimal visitors.  We arrived this morning around 9:00.  She was dressed and sitting in her wheelchair.  We stayed there with her for hours and she finally asked Dad to take her for a ride around the therapy wing.  When she came back to her room, she stopped to talk with her neighbor.

Mom was doing fine one minute, and the next, she was back to the garbled attempts to put together words.  This is extremely frightening and I immediately alerted the nurse.  We put her to be and a CT was ordered.  She was taken for her CT around 6:30 this evening.  We stayed until nearly 8:00, and the nurse said "no news is good news"; that if there had been any thing of concern, Dr. Veggeburg would have been contacted and would have made a visit to the hospital.

I admit, it was very sudden and completely unexpected and I had to leave the room because I began to cry.  I cried because it is "MY MOTHER" and I didn't know if she was having another mini-stroke or what.  She's been doing so well, this really pulled the rug out from under Dad and me.  We reluctantly came home and realized we had not even had lunch.  Guess what we had for dinner?  Shrimp cocktail and alcoholic cocktails for each of us.

I prayed the Rosary while sitting in her room waiting for her to return from the CT.  We left her quietly as she was sleeping.  I am praying that God will give us back her progress tomorrow.

If I had thought, realized how long she'd been sitting up and I KNOW she is supposed to rest over the weekend - well I feel like a stupid moron.  I should have put her in her bed to rest.

Praying for a good day tomorrow.  We are expecting very low temperatures here in the Panhandle of Texas and snow tomorrow night and Tuesday.



I have a new friend in blogging. Her name is Connie Arnold and I feel you would find her website of poetry and all things good an interesting read.

Please visit Connie at Inspirational Poetry of Joy and Peace.

Be blessed,
Abbey ♥♥

HEARTLIGHT

Today's Heartlight was sent down from heaven thousands of years ago, but even in today's world, one can find how appropriate it is to one's circumstances.  I am thinking of my Mother in relation to this Verse.  It fits perfectly and is a reminder to keep ones faith in the forefront when going through difficult times.

My Mother is doing so good with her therapy. She is a hard working woman and she's determined.  She can move her right hand and arm, but doesn't yet have much control over them.  She can also move her right leg.  They have put a brace on her left leg to help her learn to walk with assistance of a four-legged walking cane.  I have not seen her do this yet, but beginning tomorrow, the family (me and Daddy) will join in with all her therapy sessions so that we can learn how to ambulate her.  I prayed that the case worker would not try to send her home this week like she had planned, and my prayer was answered. It bought us "2 to 3 more weeks".  If she makes as much improvement in the coming weeks as she did in the last three, she is going to be well on her way to recovery and leading a normal life again.

Thank you all who are praying for our family.  I pray the Lord will bless you richly.  Now, on to today's Heartlight and that verse I was talking about.

DREAM, LOVE, CREATE
ABBEY

VERSE:

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

~2 Corinthians 12:9

THOUGHT:

When I pray, I often catch myself simply wanting God to do what I want, not necessarily what is best or most expedient for those around me or for the good of the Kingdom. I don't like to hear that God told Paul that he had asked enough about deliverance from his
problem. Instead, Paul needed to learn that God's gracious strength and mercy were enough to sustain him even in trial. While I know I need to learn this same lesson, it is daunting. I want God to keep things nice and tidy for me. But then I remember I am a follower of Christ. If I am to become like my Savior, then I have to let go of my requirements on God's answers and open up to God's work to redeem others through me, no matter the personal cost. Only then can I truly know that his grace is sufficient for me!

PRAYER:

Patient and loving Shepherd, guard my heart from discouragement in tough times and guard it from arrogance in good times. I know that without you I have nothing that is permanent. Thanks for giving me a permanent, steadfast hope of heaven with you, because
of your grace and strength shared with me. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Friday, January 28, 2011

INTERESTING COMMENTS ON THE ROSARY


The leader of our Prayer Warriors received this and passed it on.  He does not, or has not, confirmed the source, but I did some quick research before posting this to confirm that this priest exists and the exorcisms performed by him are real!

~*~

Father Gabriel Amorth, Chief Exorcist of the Vatican writes:

One day, a colleague of mine heard the devil say during an exorcism “Every Hail Mary is like a blow on my head. If Christians knew how powerful the Rosary was, it would be my end.”

The secret that makes the Rosary so effective is that the Rosary is both prayer and meditation. It is addressed to the Father, to the Blessed Virgin and to the Holy Trinity and is a meditation centered on Christ. I write in addition to the above: Please enunciate each word of the Rosary clearly and distinctly. Do not trample on the heels of anyone with your words.

Do not speak over the leader if you are following or the respondent if you are leading the Rosary. Remember that they also are having a conversation with Mary, our Mother, and it is not polite to speak when someone else is speaking.

In the case of the public Rosary there are only two people speaking: the Leader and the respondents. Each is speaking to the Blessed Mother and listening carefully to her response within their hearts as they meditate on the scene before them in their consideration of the mystery being spoken of and interpreted and translated into their lives.

Spread this powerful prayer of exorcism, the Rosary, which contains the Our Father, the perfect prayer, prayed five times in the recitation of each set of the Rosary’s Mysteries backed up by the powerful prayers of Our Mother who prays with us as we pray 53 Hail Mary’s.

The Eternal Father described to a group of us, through a Visionary friend of mine, what happens when we pray the Rosary, saying “When you pray ‘Holy Mary, Mother of God pray for us now’ the Blessed Mother comes instantly to your side to pray with you. And she does not come alone. She brings angels with her, and not just one or two, for she is the Queen of Angels, so choirs of angels come with her and she and Jesus are joined at the heart and cannot be separated so she brings Jesus with her. And Jesus cannot be separated from the Trinity so He brings the Father and the Holy Spirit with Him and where the Holy Trinity is, all of creation is, and you are surrounded by such beauty and light as you cannot imagine in this life.

Your Mother comes as Our Lady of Grace with her hands outstretched. Rays of light emit from her hands piercing your body, healing you and filling you with graces. This is your inheritance which was poured out from the Heart of Jesus on the Cross, when the Centurion pierced His Heart with the spear into the only pure vessel ready to receive such graces at that time, Your Mother.

Now as you pray the Rosary, or even just recite one Hail Mary, you receive your portion of these graces.” He also said at this time, “Anyone who goes to Mary and prays the Rosary cannot be touched by Satan.”

Is it any wonder that anyone who prays the Rosary from the heart is so blessed and protected and powerful in their prayers for others? It has also been observed that as soon as someone distances themselves from Mary or disclaims her importance and role in the Church and in our lives, they are immediately open and prone to the attack of Satan, who like a roaring lion devours them!

I researched Fr. Amorth on Wikepedia, and you can click this link to read for yourself.  Perhaps this quote will inspire you to read further:   It was in an interview with the London Sunday Telegraph that Father Gabriele Amorth stressed that "People need to know what we do."[8] Father Amorth was also one of the voices that made public warnings to parents about J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels, noting that the books attempt to make a false distinction between black and white magic, when in fact, the distinction "does not exist, because magic is always a turn to the devil."

(Continued here ....) 

Grace is God reaching down....
Faith is man reaching up!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

HEARTLIGHT

Today's Heartlight really speaks to my heart.  If you've been following me, I believe you will see what I mean!  I am an INSTRUMENT, hallelujah, halleluja!



VERSE:

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

~2 Corinthians 4:7

THOUGHT:

While there are many talented and successful Christians in the world today, they are merely vessels for God's message of grace, hope, and power. Our focus should never be on the container for the message. Instead, what is most important is the integrity of the
messenger no matter the situation, so that the message can be seen without distraction. God's power, not our own, is what sustains us; we are simply a vessel, a tool, in the hands of the Lord.

PRAYER:

Almighty and all-powerful God, thank you for using me to minister to others as your partner in the work of grace. May my service help them more perfectly see the glory of your truth and grace you gave us in your Son. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

UPDATE ON MOM

Dear Friends and loved ones,

I thought you might want to see the people that I have pleaded for your prayers.  These are my heroes!  Daddy and Mama

I am in my fourth day here with mom and dad.  I have had an amazing change ... I feel great being here.  I am no longer worrying!  I know I made the right decision by coming to help them.  And I know that I may be away from home for quite some time, until Mom is much better and can do more for herself and dad feels comfortable taking care of her.

In the long term, I am slowing convincing them to move to our part of the country, perhapy move in with us.  They both know that this is a looming subject and that they have a BIG decision to make.  My entire family - daughter, sister, grands, and mom and dad's great-grands, are all there longing for them to come.  My dad's brother is also there and his mother is buried there.  I pray that they will move, and I believe it will take a lot of the year 2011 to accomplish all that needs to be done.  But I feel the Holy Spirit guiding me.  It has to be that because I am not worried any longer.

We have our weekly meeting witih the Case Manager today. I am working and pushing them to keep mom longer than they want because I believe she is still progressing and it should be sufficient for Medicare to continue paying.  They try to push them out before they really need to because they don't want to deal with Medicare.  But the bills are being paid by Medicare and what they do not pay, her GEHA (government/civil service retirement policy) pays the rest.,

I'm feel like I am a trojan in my horse-drawn carriage doing battle after battle, and by God's grace, I am winning. I feel strong and resolved to what I need to do, thanks be to God.

It is a happy day.  We're alive, we are together, there's more family out there praying for us, there are a great many friends near and far praying for us, our mother's name is on prayer chains from Nova Scotia, Quebec, and England, to Australia.  Thank you all for your prayers. They are being answered slowly, but surely.

May the peace of the Lord be with you today, and always.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Love,
Abbey

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

January 25, 2011 Message to Marija



On January 25, 2011, Our Lady appeared to the visionary Marija and gave the following beautiful message:

"Dear children! Also today I am with you and I am looking at you and blessing you, and I am not losing hope that this world will change for the good and that peace will reign in the hearts of men. Joy will begin to reign in the world because you have opened yourselves to my call and to God’s love. The Holy Spirit is changing a multitude of those who have said ‘yes’. Therefore I desire to say to you: thank you for having responded to my call."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"LIKE A TREE PLANTED BY WATER"

Psalm 1- Like A Tree Planted By Water
By Eric Elder
www.theranch.org

Several years ago I was praying about what I could do with my life for God. I wanted to serve Him in some great way, and was willing to go or do whatever He had in mind. One day a friend of mine was praying for me. As he prayed, he said he saw me as if I were a tree, not necessarily going or doing anything, but standing still and growing tall. And as I grew, people would come and rest under the shade of my branches.

It was quite a picture, but it wasn’t quite what I had in mind. I wanted to go and do something spectacular for God, but it sounded like God wanted me to stay where I was and keep growing in Him. It reminded me of the passage that we’re looking at today, Psalm 1. It’s a passage that describes just such a man:

“He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.”

(Psalm 1:2)

As I read that passage, all of a sudden, it didn’t sound so bad to me. How awesome to be like a tree planted by streams of water. To dig my roots deep into the ground and soak up all I could of the life-giving water nearby. To be able to yield fruit when it was time, and to know that my leaves would never wither, and that all that I did would prosper.
I wanted to be like that tree, so I looked at the rest of Psalm 1, where it showed me how:

“Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
or stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.”

(Psalm 1:1)

Rather than entering into the way of the wicked and sinners and scoffers, God wanted me to dig deep into His Word--to take delight in reading it and meditating on it day and night. In the process, I would grow stronger and taller in my life and my faith. And as I grew, I would be blessed, and so would those around me, as a natural byproduct of my own growth.

I felt both relief and exhilaration at the same time. Instead of having to try to figure it all out right away, I could focus clearly on meditating on His Word, and let God bring the fruit “in its season.”

There’s something spectacular about reading and meditating on God’s Word. A monk named Thomas Merton said:

“By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet.”

And reading the Bible not only changes your outlook on life, it changes you. It helps you grow, and helps you grow in your faith as well. D.L. Moody, the great evangelist and founder of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, put it this way:

“I prayed for faith and thought it would strike me like lightning. But faith did not come. One day I read, ‘Now faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.’ I had closed my Bible and prayed for faith. I now began to study my Bible and faith has been growing ever since.”

If you want to serve God in a powerful way, I encourage you to take the words of Psalm 1 to heart. Don’t take the path of wicked and sinners and scoffers. Take the path of meditating on God’s Word day and night instead. Send your roots deep into His life-giving words. As you grow--and as your faith grows--you will be blessed, and so will those around you. You’ll have a new outlook on life, and others will gather around you just to rest in the shade of your tree.

Let’s pray...

Father, thank You for giving us Your Word so that we can read it, meditate on it, and grow in our faith and in our lives. Help us to grow strong and tall as we read Your Word, so that we can bear fruit “in its season,” and bless others along the way. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH


My greatest gift on my birthday yesterday came from Heaven. It is called "A MIRACLE"!

Most of you know that my Mother suffered a brain hemorrhage/stroke on December 15th. It's been a very emotional time for us all, and in particular, my Daddy. They have a love story that will stand up to any written by Shakespeare or other gifted writers. They are both 79 years young, and they adore each other, respect one another, and have the deepest love that etched a wonderful impression into my brain of what true love is between husband and wife. But on to my MIRACLE ... well, it's not MINE, but belongs to all of the family and friends of my Mom, and most of all, to Mom.

I received a call from my Uncle (her brother) in Knoxville just as I was leaving to go and spend the day with Cooper. He said, "I just talked to Betty and she said she can feel her hand!" Mom's right arm has shown no progress in the last four weeks of therapy. He went on, "I just had to call and tell you, she said she can feel her hand!"

I wanted to jump up and down, do cartwheels, and PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE GOD! Well, it brought a tear to my eye, but a huge smile on my face, and on my lips rested the thanks and humility before God and His Son, Jesus Christ, for this wonderful and MUCH PRAYED-FOR MIRACLE! I haven't been able to sleep the last two nights. I could not stop thinking about Mom and the next phase of what we are about to face - release from the hospital, where will she go, when will she be home, can we take proper care, etc. I know that I am supposed to give God my worries - I try, but hey, this is MY MOTHER! And it didn't stop there - my Daddy has really taken all of this so hard and his voice was really beginning to show how very tired and worried he is for the love of his life.

I got in my car, and was singing my praises to Him. As I drove toward my destination, I thought, "Today is my birthday, and God gave me a MIRACLE - He has answered my prayers!" My cheeks stretched as wide as they would go with the huge smile on my face, as I also cried and repeated over and over, "I got a Miracle on my birthday, Praise God !"

I finally talked to Mom and Dad this afternoon. Mom said the doctor had been in her room and told her to touch her right hand with her left and see if she could feel it. When she did, she told him "I can feel my hand!" He had her turn it over and had her to touch the other side; "I can feel my hand", she said! Later in the day, she said she could feel sensations in her arm when you touched it and by the power of our Loving Father, she raised her arm all the way into the air!

This is THE MOST AMAZING GRACE I have ever had in my life. And as long as I live, I will never, never, EVER, forget this beautiful day. I wish everyone could receive what I have, and you can .... all you have to do is BELIEVE IN HIM and ASK!

PEACE, LOVE AND JOY,
ABBEY ♥

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

HEARTLIGHT


VERSE:

In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.

~Psalm 56:4

THOUGHT:

When all is said and done, there really isn't a whole lot we can trust. Most of us have been hurt at one time or another by a friend who has betrayed our trust. The world economy is volatile and things can turn sour in just a few days. The weather shifts and changes by the hour. But in our world of change, in our heartbreak and disappointment, there is one constant. We can trust God. We don't have to fear change. He is our anchor that holds in the strongest storms. He is our strength in our worst battles. His word and his promises speak of good things for us. We don't have to be afraid; we can trust in him.

PRAYER:

Almighty Father, my Deliverer and Strength, with your help and presence I will not fear the days ahead. I praise you for sustaining your people Israel through history. I praise you for preserving your Word, the Scriptures, through persecutions and purges. I praise you and will not be afraid because my life and my future are in your hands. In the name of Jesus, my Lord, I pray. Amen.

SENIOR'S WEDDING NIGHT

Through all the ups and downs as of late, I'm slowly finding humor in life once again.  Perhaps I have, at least partially, given my worries over to Him. 

I have a weakness for the elderly.  Enjoy and have a blessed day!


Monday, January 17, 2011

POSITIVE THOUGHTS

Unconditional Love Heals

Unconditional love is the answer to all great questions.

Unconditional love dissolves the emotional charges that create sickness and disease.

Unconditional love heals.

Unconditional love takes you beyond the illusions of space and time and helps you bring whomever you love into your presence .That doesn't mean the physical aspect of the person appears ; rather , unconditional love flows between you and that person and connects your heart and soul with theirs.

Unconditional love isn't limited by the boundaries of time and space that our physical bodies inhabit. It's a state of awakening and enlightenment that gives rise to the answers to all questions. It's our reason for being here in physical form. We're here to learn unconditional love and can find it in bliss or the long and hard way. Either way, we'll learn it because our evolution back to the very source of life is inevitable.

Unconditional love is the fundamental law and the most powerful force in the universe. It's our link to all true healing and our bond with the infinite. It's our mission, purpose , and stairway to the stars.

YOU ARE HERE TO LOVE AND BE LOVED , NOT TO BE "RIGHT".


"This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love: the more they give, the more they possess."

~Rainer Maria Rilke

THIS DAY'S . . .


Christianity is not a voice in the wilderness, but a life in the world. It is not an idea in the air, but feet on the ground, going God’s way. It is not an exotic to be kept under glass, but a hardy plant to bear twelve months of fruits in all kinds of weather. Fidelity to duty is its root and branch. Nothing we can say to the Lord, no calling Him by great or dear names, can take the place of the plain doing of His will.

~Maltbie D. Babcock

~*~


“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

~Luke 6:37-38

~*~



The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don’t know what to do.

~John Holt

GOLDEN OLDIE


Saturday, January 15, 2011

One Bread, One Body

I LOVE this Lesson from One Bread, One Body for today!

Hebrews 4:12-16, Psalm 19:8-10, 15, Mark 2:13-17

DOCTOR'S ORDERS

"People who are healthy do not need a doctor; sick people do. I have come to call sinners, not the self-righteous." -Mark 2:17

Jesus compared Himself to a doctor. We relate to doctors differently than we relate to others. We don't usually want anyone to tell us what to do, but it's different with doctors. We expect them to give us "doctor's orders."

We should be this way with Jesus. We should delight in obeying Him (Ps 40:9). We should go through our Bibles and underline all His commands and not just all His promises. We should take Mary's words to heart and do whatever Jesus tells us (Jn 2:5). We will express great faith if we say with the centurion: "Just give me an order and" my situation "will get better" (see Mt 8:8).

The Christian life can be summarized as "a life of obedience to Jesus Christ" (1 Pt 1:2). We have the power to bring down the strongholds of the evil one and make every thought obedient to Christ, when first we are obedient (2 Cor 10:4-6). The Lord will even quickly crush Satan under the feet of those who obey Doctor's orders (Rm 16:19-20).

Prayer: Father, may I be obedient to You by being submissive to my parents, husband, pastor, and leaders.

Promise: "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but One Who was tempted in every way that we are, yet never sinned. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and favor and to find help in time of need." -Heb 4:15-16

Also, "Saint of the Day" tomorrow is St. Berard.  I'm still confused about my Guardian Angel ... the name that came to me was Barnard, but could it have been Berard?  You can read about St. Berard HERE.

JESUS CHRIST


Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

~1 Cor 13:13

HEARTLIGHT

Thinking of my sweet Mother this morning as she continues to recover from the stroke she suffered on December 15th.  I talked to her today and she sounds so much better, but still not well.  My heart cried first, and then I had my turn.  I couldn't contain the worry and fear of the unknown that has grown in my heart.  I battle to give it to our Loving Father, completely; but, I am still unable to accomplish this aspect of my spirituality where it concerns my mother and my dad.  Keep them in your prayers, and please, if you have the time, pray for me as well.  I am a worrier by nature.  Giving it up is so foreign to me, but I need it so badly.  Blessings to everyone!



VERSE:

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

~2 Corinthians 4:16

THOUGHT:

While we joke about growing older, the challenges of aging are tough. We realize our mortality. Our bodies can betray us. We can't do what we once could do. As Christians, we know that our aging actually brings us closer to home and to the time when Jesus gives us immortal bodies not subject to decay. God can help us use these physical realities to be heavenly reminders of what is important. With the help of his Spirit, we can be transformed to be more like our Savior and to be more ready for our heavenly home!

PRAYER:

Almighty God, I confess that I like getting older less and less, the older I get. I am thankful, however, that each day older I get, the closer I am to coming home to you. Please help me not to become cynical, negative, or bitter as I grow older. Instead, please renew me and use me to bless others who need to find their way home to you. In Jesus' mighty name I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"LOVE" IN THE EYES OF A CHILD

Can you say "I love you" any better? What Love means to 4 to 8 year olds . . Slow down for three minutes to read this. It is so worth it.

Touching words from the mouth of babes.



A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, 'What does love mean?' The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.'

Terri - age 4

********

'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy
and she takes a sip before giving it to him,
to make sure the taste is OK.'

Danny - age 7

********

'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get
tired of kissing, you still want to be together and
you talk more.  My Mommy and Daddy are
like that. They look gross when they kiss'

Emily - age 8

********

'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.'

Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

********

'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,'

Nikka - age 6
(we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

********

'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.'

Noelle - age 7

********

'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.'

Tommy - age 6

********

'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.  He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.'

Cindy - age 8

********

'My mommy loves me more than anybody
You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.'

Clare - age 6

********

'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.'

Elaine-age 5

********

'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.'

Chris - age 7

********

'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.'

Mary Ann - age 4

********

'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.'

Lauren - age 4

********

'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.' (what an image)

Karen - age 7

********

'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.'

Mark - age 6

********

'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.'

Jessica - age 8

********

And the final one -- Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge.

The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,

'Nothing, I just helped him cry'

 


Monday, January 10, 2011

POPE'S STATE OF THE WORLD ADDRESS

Pope Proclaims Religious Freedom as First Right in State of the World Address


By Deacon Keith Fournier
1/10/2011
Catholic Online (http://www.catholic.org/)

Peace is built and preserved only when human beings can freely seek and serve God in their hearts, in their lives and in their relationships with others.

Another sign of the marginalization of religion, and of Christianity in particular, is the banning of religious feasts and symbols from civic life under the guise of respect for the members of other religions or those who are not believers. By acting in this way, not only is the right of believers to the public expression of their faith restricted, but an attack is made on the cultural roots which nourish the profound identity and social cohesion of many nations. (Pope Benedict XVI)

(Continue reading here . . . )

WELCOME, WHEREVER YOU ARE!


Just took a look at my audience, and I am surprised (yet pleased) to see visits from all over the world.  These include people from England, India, Brazil, Ecuador, Canada, France, Spain and Italy.  So whoever you are, I bid you "Welcome" and thank you for visiting!

Abbey

POSITIVE THOUGHT

Thank you, God, for the experiences I've lived through on a daily basis.
Look for the blessing in all situations.


Friday, January 07, 2011

DEEP THOUGHTS

I just had to come here and purge.  Life throws so many curve balls and if you don't or can't keep your eye on the ball, it'll be a strike.

I miss being in Texas with my mama and daddy. Of all things, the nursel sat my mother up on the side of the bed BEFORE getting the equipment there to get her up for a potty break.  She fell.  No injury , thank God, but it could have been worse. 

Mother is really tired.  She is tired a lot!  This is a growing concern.  She was unable to do her therapy on Monday because of fatigue.  By the end of the week, and as the therapists advised us, she is completely wiped out.  She could not do her therapy this morningm but did manage this afternoon.  Now she is to rest, rest, rest and get ready for another week.

Her progress graph shows some improvement in several areas.  That is a good sign.  Dad seems resigned to "what is" and visits for a short while and leaves her to her bed and rest.  Her body has been through the mill, and she needs rest in order to participate actively in her therapy.  I pray she will have a good rest this weekend.

The more I think about it, and the more I talk to my Dad, the more I want to be there and be with him and Mother.

He met with the Case Manager yesterday.  The graph showed some improvements, which is great,  She said Mother has about five to six weeks more in the inpatient therapy.  I could go out there and stay the entire time, but what can I do?

I'm torn between staying here and going to keep my daddy company, seeing my mother every day, and getting things ready for her return home.  It takes all the will I have in me to remain home and not fly out for the duration of this nightmare.

Please keep my mother and my daddy in your prayers. They are both going through the strains of separation and the strains of her recovery.

God bless you all for your sincere prayers for my family,

Abbey 

SISTER MARY ANN'S GASOLINE


Sister Mary Ann, who worked for a home health agency, was out making her rounds visiting homebound patients when she ran out of gas. As luck would have it, a Texaco Gasoline station was just a block away.

She walked to the station to borrow a gas can and buy some gas. The attendant told her that the only gas can he owned had been loaned out, but she could wait until it was returned. Since Sister Mary Ann was on the way to see a patient, she decided not to wait and walked back to her car.

She looked for something in her car that she could fill with gas and spotted the bedpan she was taking to the patient. Always resourceful, Sister Mary Ann carried the bedpan to the station, filled it with gasoline, and carried the full bedpan back to her car.

As she was pouring the gas into her tank, two Baptists watched from across the street. One of them turned to the other and said,

'If it starts, I'm turning Catholic!!'

Thursday, January 06, 2011



The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.

~Theodore M. Hesburgh

~*~


Nevertheless I am continually with thee; thou dost hold my right hand. Thou dost guide me with thy counsel, and afterward thou wilt receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is nothing upon earth that I desire besides thee. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.

~Psalm 73:23-26

MESSAGE FROM GOD

This just made my day! Happy Happy!

On this day, God wants you to know ...

... that God is crazy about you. God sends you fresh flowers every spring, a breathtaking sunrise every morning. If God had a wallet, your picture would be in it. If God has a refrigerator, your childhood scribbles would be on it...

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

PRAYER REQUEST

This prayer request came to me via our parish Prayer Warriors:

We are asking everyone to say a prayer for "Darkhorse" 3rd Battalion 5th Marines and their families. They are fighting it out in Afghanistan and they have lost 9 marines in 4 days, and 23 since October. IT WOULD BE NICE TO SEE the message spread if more could pass it on.

God Bless America and God Bless the United States Marine Corps... Semper Fi, Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever!

Lindsay Lohan, 24, gets her name and face all over the news because she went to jail. Now she's getting it all over again for failing her drug test.

But nothing in the media about these guys because no one seems to care anymore :

Justin Allen, 23,
Brett Linley, 29,
Matthew Weikert, 29,
Justus Bartett, 27,
Dave Santos, 21,
Chase Stanley, 21,
Jesse Reed, 26,
Matthew Johnson, 21,
Zachary Fisher, 24,
Brandon King, 23,
Christopher Goeke, 23,
Sheldon Tate, 27,

All are Marines that gave their lives for YOU! Honor THEM by forwarding this. I just did.

THE YEAR OF REPENTANCE

Where is everybody?  I hope you are here and don't miss out on this piece of inspiration! I'm a little late with this, but if you're alive, it's never too late to repent and bring Jesus into your heart!

DREAM, LOVE, CREATE!

~*~

One Bread/One Body
Monday, January 3, 2011, Holy Name of Jesus

Readings: 1 John 3:22-4:6, Psalm 2:7-8, 10-12, Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25


THE YEAR OF REPENTANCE

"A people living in darkness has seen a great light." -Matthew 4:16

Jesus begins this new year as He begins almost everything else. He proclaims: "Repent! The kingdom of God is at hand!" (Mt 4:17, our transl.)

It's difficult for us to understand Jesus' preoccupation with repentance unless we put ourselves in His place, that is, on the cross. Jesus died on Calvary to take away our sins. He greatly desires that we repent and accept this supreme act of love. Therefore, on the first evening of His resurrection, He commissioned His apostles to forgive sins in His name (Jn 20:23). Before His Ascension, he sent out the apostles and all of us to preach repentance to all the nations (Lk 24:47). At Pentecost, He and the Father even sent God the Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity. The Spirit convicts us of our sins and leads us to repent (Jn 16:8).

Begin the year right. Apply to your sins the blood Jesus shed on Calvary. Repent, celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, rejoice! There's great joy in heaven over one sinner who repents (Lk 15:7).

Prayer: Father, may this be the year of repentance.

Promise: "There is One greater in you than there is in the world." -1 Jn 4:4

Praise: The Holy Name of Jesus means "God saves," which means we need saving. Praise You, Jesus our Savior. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess Your most adorable and holy name.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

A FULL PLATE

And I wonder, "am I really the strongest one in the family?"  My strength is contested more with each passing day.  I talked to Daddy about noon today.  He was in Mother's room.  He was obviously distressed; it showed in his voice.   It seems Mother was unable to complete her therapy this morning and the staff had to put her back to bed.  She's just so very tired. 

I did talk to her and she was speaking remarkably better than ever, but she was indeed very tired.  I am the Encourager, Soother of Worries, and I gave her a little pep talk about how much her body has suffered and not to worry about it. There would be many ups and downs before she finishes.  I consoled Daddy with the same, but I could hear the tears in his voice.  I'm terribly worried about him, but do I turn around and go back out there and spend two months away from home?

Well-meaning friends tell me to come home to my life here; it will do him good, they say, to experience fending for himself and perhaps resolving to move out here.  I think they're wrong.  Daddy is lonesome and he's worried sick about my mother.  He refers to them as "being One", and if you looked it up in Merriam-Websters, their photograph would be beside the definition of the "marital oneness of a couple".

Cooper ~ 1 year old today

Today was Cooper's 1st birthday and I kept him all day.  I sang "Happy Birthday" a half dozen times, but of course, he didn't know what it meant.  I did teach him something.  I put my hand on his chest and said "Cooper", and then put my hand on my chest and said "Mimi".  Later in the day, he was sitting in my lap playing and I said "Mimi" and he took his precious little hand and laid it on my chest.  And so, I said "Cooper" and laid my hand upon his chest.  Sweet Father in Heaven, my time with Cooper is just the most special and he hadn't forgotten me even after three weeks of not seeing me.  He reached for me right away when he got out of the carseat! Pure bliss!

I received an email from Sr. Madeleine at our parish advising that the training for Ministers to the Sick begins on January 11th.  I had emailed her about this ministry because I was deathly sick in 2005, and a wonderful woman named Claudette G. came every Tuesday to bring me communion.  That act meant so very much to me, and after TWO YEARS of pondering "what can I do for my faith?", I landed on Minister to the Sick.  I'm good with people and I know this ministry came to me intentionally.  I listen, He leads.  That's the way it goes if you really want Him to lead, you have to be still and listen.

Enough about my day.  This Day's Thought below is absolutely wonderful.  I know you will love it so please don't leave without reading it.  It's a one-in-a-million in my book.

DREAM, LOVE, CREATE,
Abbey

THIS DAY'S . . .

Today's thought is breath-taking!  I can't help but read it again and again, each time, my feelings grow and embrace the thoughts. As you read this, really THINK about the words and the meaning . . . a most awesome Thought for Today! 

~*~



Think-

Of stepping on shore and finding it Heaven;
Of taking hold of a hand and finding it God's hand;
Of breathing a new air and finding it celestial air;
Of feeling invigorated and finding it immortality;
Of passing from storm and tempest to an unbroken calm;
Of waking up, and finding it Home!

~Robert E. Selle

~*~


The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:

~Psalm 146:8

Monday, January 03, 2011

THIS DAY'S . . .


I am in awe of people like C.S. Lewis ... I wonder if he sits and ponders all day until a such a dreamy abstraction pops into his head.  Truly, truly gifted!  And today's smile is just as wonderful .... enjoy all! ♥

~*~


I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

~C. S. Lewis

~*~

Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

~1 Peter 4:9-10

~*~

A little girl taking an evening walk with her father looked up at the stars and exclaimed, "Oh, Daddy, if the wrong side of heaven is so beautiful what must the right side be!"

~Unknown

A NEW YEAR & OTHER THOUGHTS


Happy New Year, everyone!  I am not very fond of resolutions, but I will make a few resolutions: to grow nearer to my God; to be a better Catholic by participating in Holy Days and saying the Rosary regularly; to not give in to pain and keep active, accomplishing more each day; to try and live a more Biblical existence; and to appreciate all that God gives, even when times are rough.  Of course, I have a huge weight loss thing going on and I have some family cheering me on, so with God's help, I've set a little goal, and when I reach that, I will set another and another until I reach that BIG GOAL!

We returned home late yesterday from Amarillo.  It was so hard to leave my mom and dad.  I know that mom is in good hands, but my poor dad is lost.  Mom has really spoiled him and he doesn't know the first thing about a lot of things around the house.  For instance, I had to show him how to use the washer and dryer.  They are modern, high performance machines, but all you have to do is select type of wash cycle, soil level, and spin cycle (i.e., maximum extract).  The dryer is even easier than the washer.  I stood there and showed him how to put the liquid detergent in and the fabric softener.  I'm not sure he got it ..... but he will.

I had a long talk with my mother's best friend, whom I love and adore.  Their family have been friends for 40+ years.  Her name is Bonnie.  Miss Bonnie gave me some wonderful advice from her very experienced life as a mother and I carried it home with me.  It will be good for my dad to experience having to care for himself and do laundry and house chores.  Every one of their friends bolstered me with "it will do him good to see how very much your mother takes care of for him."

For a week or more, I was adamant - I'm moving "home".  I was telling everyone, and suddenly, my husband stopped me.  He made me realize that I was acting on emotion, rather than good reason.  I was perturbed initially, but after a day or so, I felt the calm coming, relieving me of that stressful thought.  I knew then he was right.  And I told him so.  He said, "let's let this thing play out and see where it goes.  You know you will be miserable without your grandchildren and you need to give this all over to time, and let time lead the way." 

My mother is "doing well".  She has been in the rehabilitation wing of the hospital for two weeks now.  It's a new wing and extremely nice.  Her room is nice and big, well lit and she can see the nurses' station from her bed.  She likes her door to remain open when we leave in the evening.  It makes her feel more safe if she can see the nurses outside her room.

Mom, Dad, Me and Lee

I knew the day would come when I would face some as yet unknown circumstance where I would be needed to help care for my mother and/or dad. She was in the peak of health, so this was sudden and completely and shockingly unexpected. What she suffered was a brain bleed, or hemorrhage. A small vessel with a tiny hole had been leaking blood for a long time, until the pocket of blood built up on the brain and caused the stroke. The doctor said, "forget all the people you know who have had strokes; hers is different. It is not a clot, but a bleed. It's completely different." He is optimistic that the blood will absorb into the body within six months, and that through rehab, she will get as far as is possible within one year. In his view, she will walk, but her right arm and hand - not sure how far they can get them. HOWEVER, we have seen the miracle of the complete recovery of others and I have set my sights on that goal.


It was so draining, those first few days that were critical, when she could not get a single word out, and when she broke and cried in my arms. It was THE single most difficult moments for me, holding her and crying with her. And I mean she cried and wailed. It was awful, but I was glad I was the one there to hold her.

Mother has a wonderful outlook. She is a strong and feisty woman. She is a Biblical woman and wife, and she keeps saying three words that come easily to her, "it will come." She is confident in getting well, and she will give 110% in her therapy every day.

I have pondered for the last few years what scenario would be easiest for either of them. If something happened with my dad, I KNOW my mother's strength and she would manage very well. I knew that if something happened with my mother, my dad would be lost, and he is. It hurts as a woman, anyway, to see your father cry. In my mind, I guess I have always looked at my folks and thought they'd always be there, and always be healthy. They are both 79 now, and although they have remained extremely active, I was seeing the little changes. Now, my dad was so dependent on Lee and me while we were there. I saw him cry, I saw him forget, I saw him with his shoulders slumped and just staring into space. I pray the next eight weeks go quickly and Mom can come home and continue her PT there. We'll go back out for a couple of weeks to help them both; to help my mother get settled and into a routine, and to get my dad mentally adjusted to whatever we must face. Again, I remain optimistic that she will have a complete recovery. I pray it every day, but also acknowledge that God knows best and I will accept whatever He chooses to send our way.

I am back home now, the Christmas tree is still up and decorated, and the gifts remain underneath, all unopened. I was ready for Mom and Dad's arrival and another big family Christmas at my home. Now I have to pack everything up and try to get back into a normal routine.

It feels good to be home; this is where I belong, with my family in the place where I have forged a life of over 30 years. I was asked to keep Cooper tomorrow, which happens to be his FIRST BIRTHDAY! I can hardly wait! He will have my undivided attention!

Now, on to the business of 2011. I wish you all a year of peace and love, a year growing ever closer to our Loving Father, a year of being more conscientious of others who have less or who do not know Him, helping spread God's love by example. When you live a life like my mother has, anyone that meets her can see God in her. She is devout in her faith, she has great dignity under all conditions, tremendous love and compassion, and she is a giver - wherever there is a need, Betty will cook food for families, bake for charity bake sales, be with friends in times of need. She and my dad are my Heroes. And I will cherish every day that I have left with them.


PEACE, LOVE & JOY,
Abbey


Sunday, January 02, 2011

Apparition to Mirjana - January 2, 2011


On January 2, 2011, Our Lady appeared to the visionary Mirjana in Medjugorje. The following is the message that was given by Our Lady:

"Dear children! Today I call you to unity (communion) in Jesus, my Son. My motherly heart prays that you may comprehend that you are God's family. Through the spiritual freedom of will, which the Heavenly Father has given you, you are called to become cognizant of the truth, the good or the evil. May prayer and fasting open your hearts and help you to discover the Heavenly Father through my Son. In discovering the Father, your life will be directed to carrying out of God's will and the realization of God's family, in the way that my Son desires. I will not leave you alone on this path. Thank you."


During the apparition, Mirjana felt that she could or should say to Our Lady, "We have all come to you with our sufferings and crosses. Help us, we implore you."

In response, Our Lady extended her hands towards Mirjana and everyone present and said, "Open your hearts to me. Give your sufferings to me. The Mother will help."