Becoming Holy

“The Proof of Your Love”

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It’s a gorgeous morning…rhubarb crisp is baking in the oven and I’m listening to a CD Jordan made for me.  The opening song, “The Proof of Your Love”  by For King and Country reminds me of my obligation to be living proof of God’s love.  Check the lyrics out at the end of this blog.  I typically cry my way through the CD.  Why?  Many reasons…I know these songs were hand picked by my oldest daughter for me.  Our entire family has a passion for Christian music and I am very guilty of listening to my favorites and not taking time to listen to what is new.  The girls have a gift at knowing which songs will speak to my heart and each new CD becomes my “new” favorite and I listen to it over and over until the words are imprinted on my spirit.  There are a few songs on the CD that bring more tears than others.  Some empower me.  Some make me aware of the weight of my Christian obligation.  Some remind me of how short life is.  Others are love songs from God that overwhelm me with His mighty love for me.  

I think this CD has particular grace for me because I listen to it with the heart of a mom who is trying to live in the moment of these last months before Jordan leaves to discern a vocation with the Sisters of Life.  My heart swells with JOY at Jordan’s decision to enter the postulancy and simultaneously aches at what this means for our family.  Our sweet daughter will be leaving in the last days of August to join the Sisters of Life in New York City.  They were formed in 1991~the year Jordan was born~by Cardinal O’Connor in response to the need for a Culture of Life.  The Sisters do amazing works and have grown to a community of 70 plus members.  You can learn more about them by checking out http://www.sistersoflife.org/ 

I marvel at how God is using Jordan’s life to be “the proof of His love” and how He expects us as her family to do the same.  The chorus of the song sings to Jesus “How you lived, How you died, Love is Sacrifice.  So Let my life be the proof, the proof of your love.”  Love IS Sacrifice.  I am reminded that all sacrifice is GIFT to Jesus, to His Father, and is a mighty working of the Spirit.  The song, rooted in Scripture, reminds me that every action must have Love as its foundation or it is wasted.  I am called to love, to be filled with love, to share that love with all I meet.  Christ can only be made present in love.

This love is a mighty thing.  It powerful and beyond comprehension.  In Romans 6:27,28 we read about our victory in Christ~

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

God, our amazing Father, will help me in my weakness.  He will guide my prayers.  His Spirit will groan on my behalf.  I believe that is why I cry when I listen to Christian music.  The Spirit is so very present in the lyrics.  He overwhelms my spirit and springs forth in my tears. I am praying God’s will be done in each of our lives.  Thanking Him for each day and striving to be the “proof of His Love.”

 “The Proof Of Your Love”

 

If I sing but don’t have love
I waste my breath with every song
I bring an empty voice, a hollow noise
If I speak with a silver tongue
Convince a crowd but don’t have love
I leave a bitter taste with every word I saySo let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You and what You’re made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your loveIf I give
To a needy soul but don’t have love then who is poor?
It seems all the poverty is found in meSo let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You and what You’re made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
Oh, let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your loveWhen it’s all said and done
When we sing our final song
Only love remains
Only love remainsLet my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You and what You’re made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love.
If you want to listen to this, go to  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qyrpy-DJ8Lk
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A Loss Remembered

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Just one of those days when a mother’s heart wanders and ponders all that might have been.  Having just learned of a young couple losing their baby just weeks before delivery, I cannot help but think of their pain.  This event, this loss makes present our loss and the reminder of all the burden that goes with losing a child.  I have never known the pain of stillbirth, yet I can grieve with this couple who no longer get to parent their child.  I can sympathize with the gut wrenching moment when the casket lid is closed and you know you will never see your baby again.  My heart feels like it is imploding in my chest as I remember the sorrow and disbelief.

Last week at Vacation Bible School I was blessed to speak with another mom who was remembering the loss of her son 11 years prior.  They had him for a few short, priceless days and then he returned to Heaven.  We commiserated at how hard and yet how important it is to celebrate the birthday of our children in heaven.  Our children on earth need this connecting point~to celebrate with a sibling in heaven, to acknowledge their earthly birth and be part of a family activity that recognizes the importance of all members. As moms, we agreed that sometimes it is really, really hard to smile and put on that “Happy Birthday” face and celebrate a day that carries so many memories of what might have been.

The more parents I talk to, the more I realize the universality of death and the similar grief experience of losing a child.  My prayer is that God will bond us together, one to another, to uplift the hearts of those new to this terrible loss.  To provide ongoing healing for losses of long ago.  To strengthen one another by helping show that joy returns.  To carry on in faith and in love.  A friend once gave me a beautiful image of Jesus embracing a woman.  The woman is obviously mourning a great loss.  Jesus is cradling her head and He is overcome with sadness.  I pray that we might each discover what it is to mourn with others~to truly embrace their pain and walk it with them rather than hurrying to “fix” things.

I am thanking God for providing a memory of the sorrow~one that reminds me how tenderly I need to treat those experiencing loss and heartache.  I praise Him for the storms of my life~they remind me that it is a good thing to carry an umbrella and offer it to those who have their own storms to face.  I cannot keep them safe from the rain, but perhaps can offer a bit of shelter when it is time.

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The One the Wind and Waves Obey

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This morning began with a quick drive out to our new home site.  Prince Charming and I grabbed coffee at home, jumped in the pickup and rode together to see what progress had been made.  We said a prayer for the safety of our builders as they frame in the deck with heavy beams.  We returned just in time to walk to Mass at 6:15 am.  My cousin, Fr. Reuben Nuxoll is home, visiting from Chile and is generously saying Mass for the community.  The reading today was about Lot and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  The Gospel was the story of the storm at sea.  Jesus was sleeping and a terrible storm came up and struck fear in the hearts of the disciples.  Jesus asked them why they were afraid and proceeded to calm the storm.  Fr. Reuben reflected on this beautifully.  He spoke of the external storms that surround us and how, like the apostles, we have no control over them.  We were challenged to deepen our faith and “sleep with Jesus” rather than living in fear.  Fr. Reuben then spoke of the “wind and waves” inside each of our spiritual lives.  Do we trust?  Do we fear?  Why do we allow the anxieties to take over instead of having the faith in Jesus to take care of us.  

For me, this was a profound message at a much needed time.  Storm clouds always seem to be gathering~both externally and internally.  I find myself trying to control the actions of others, worrying about the weather, influencing how others perceive me.  I struggle with a lack of trust that God truly has my best interests at heart.  I look to the future and fear what it may hold.  I plot.  I plan.  I fail.  I find myself searching for Jesus~telling Him about this terrible storm, questioning why He hasn’t noticed and fixed it.  

It is time to take a deep breath.  To find a cot next to Jesus.  Ignore the waves.  Ignore the wind.  Notice how peaceful Jesus is.  He and His Father have this.  They have a Plan.  A perfect Plan. My job is to let Him do His job.  To rest with Him.  To breathe with Him.  To sync my thoughts to His thoughts.  To stay so close to Him that there is no choice but to be at peace.   

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