Mother Teresa – My Friend, My Mentor, A Saint

Happy Canonization Day Sweet Saint Teresa of Calcutta.
I’m so happy for you and proud of you, you dear, sweet lady!

Your love and sweetness live on all over the world – thank you for being salt & light! Sigh!
Of all the pictures I’ve ever seen of her, these are my favorites:

I love these pictures because you can see the love. It’s a great reminder to BE THE ONE! BE THE LOVE! BE THE HOPE! BE THE SMILE! BE THE LIGHT! 

For the past week or so, everywhere we look, as Catholics people are giving the History of and listing the Quotes of Mother Teresa… which I have thoroughly enjoyed re-reading. Bloggers and artists and stores, they want us to buy the things they have depicting this great Saint… and we do… and I did!  And to tell you the truth, I had a similar post written, but I don’t want MY post to be like everyone else’s, so I want you to hear my heart on this one.

I first saw Mother Teresa, she was with Saint (then Pope) John Paul II.  I had heard of her here and there… but I was young and she was on the other side of the world, and I was still pretty non-committed to living my life FULLY the right way. Sigh. The next time I remembered seeing her was with Princess Diana. I knew a little about her, other than articles I read here and there.  Everyone was fascinated with her. She brought the plight of the poor in Calcutta to the forefront, in my opinion. And she was always smiling.

It wasn’t until I dug deeper that I learned about how scared and lost she was just like me. Not because of the same situations, but still – we have that in common. You see, God is not always OBVIOUS in our hearts and minds.  And she didn’t even know for sure He was with her. She couldn’t feel HIS presence… “not even in the Eucharist”.  She had a huge crisis of Faith and she kept on serving and giving because THAT is what she knew how to do.  None of us ever knew it. When I read this about her, I was so deeply and personally touched by that.

Can you imagine how scared she was? How lost she felt? And she persevered. We could all see God in her. We could all see Him all around her. No doubt He was there all along, but she could not feel Him. Scary! God blessed her heart though. He showed her. And I’m so happy for her.

I will share with you that I have been there. I have had crisis of faith moments, days, weeks, months… I know God is here. But I can’t feel him. I push away because I feel so very unworthy.  My life has been full of strife, abuse, etc… and there have been many times it sure was hard to even feel like there was a God. I used to say to myself, “how can you possibly really be a Christian if you doubt so much?” “Maybe you really are NOT a good enough Catholic for God to embrace  you!”  “After all, I thought I was Catholic, and practiced for decades, and I wasn’t.” “Was God angry with me that He let so many bad things happen to me?” And my sweet friend and Mentor came into my life when I needed her most.

Mother Teresa was instrumental in helping me TRULY forgive myself for having an abortion. I thought I had forgiven myself with the help of Father Henry, but it wasn’t until I read her speech on abortion that she gave in DC, where I realized no matter what I did, God still loved me. He made me… He loves me. HERE is a blog post I did where I include that speech (It’s long, look for the blue lettering).

Look at her face, how loving she is in the pictures. When I think of her, I picture her rough hands around mine, her wrinkly sweet face with the loving eyes, saying, “come with me child, walk in my steps. Don’t give up on yourself, God won’t. I won’t. It’s ok!”

If I was going to write her a letter, it would look like this:

Dear Blessed Mother Teresa,

You were a living Saint and now your day has come that you will forevermore be Saint Teresa of Calcutta. We all knew you were going to be a Saint.  I’m so sorry that you lived your life scared and in a dark place. But I’m so thankful that you share this part of your life so that people like me, who have dark periods, can be assured that God is with us.
Thank you for your example. Thank you for your love of God.  Please continue to watch over me. Pray for me and all our brothers and sisters. Congratulations!

Love you dearly, Emily

I am still a work-in-progress. I need more humility, less ego. I need more patience (ACTUAL patience, not trials to learn it)…. I need to keep busy in better ways and get things done. I need to believe God when He says he loves me and put the past behind me… boy, I have so much work to do. Sigh. But through Saints like her, I know I am not alone. They worked, they struggled, they went through everything I did and more… and they are SAINTS! It gives me so much HOPE!  She’s my friend, She’s my Mentor, She’s a SAINT! Glory be to God!

I’m so excited for today. I already have these things at home. It’s a Saint Teresa of Calcutta Back Pack Zipper Pull and Card. SaongJai is one of my favorite shops on Etsy. Anyway… The card is in my son’s room and the pull is on my Bible Cover.  YAY

Additionally, I wanted to tell ya’ll about an Instagram giveaway that Adrianna at @Mylittlefeltfriends is having with a group of Catholic Crafters.  The items are pictured below. Go visit her on FaceBook to learn how to enter at My Little Felt Friends!
Thank you for reading my post. Saint Teresa of Calcutta, PRAY FOR US! May we live our lives in love and mercy like you did, even in the dark times.
Hugs & Blessings, Dear Ones!

Some Days, JOY Is Hard To Find…

and that’s ok. It’s the process of realizing JOY is always available to us that makes this journey great.

It’s been a rough few weeks, for a litany of reasons. None the least is that my husband has been gone for almost six weeks… But this past week – This was a tough week. We got a new puppy and we have not slept a whole lot since last Sunday, May 1st.  Being tired is not a great thing for mother or son… so our week has been difficult! Wednesday I ate a sandwich for lunch and apparently the meat was bad (you know how you think “this doesn’t taste right” but you doubt yourself? – um yeah).  Within hours, I was sweating and thought I was going to pass out, the room spinning….. because I had food poisoning. And a major panic attack, because what if I die when Marque was out of town and my son was here alone (yes, I was that tired and irrational)? The struggle is real! Sigh. Poor Christopher.

Yesterday, we celebrated my son getting his gold-belt by going to our favorite grocery store, that we recently found out is closing, but they had already shut down their smoothie department. Sigh… no more fruit smoothies, just like that. I can’t tell you how disappointing that was…

and then there was today….

You know how sometimes on a TV show or movie, they show a scene of TOTAL destruction and desolation… and then words to the effect of “6 hours earlier” or “2 years earlier” flash on the screen…

Keep reading…

I had such a great morning. The puppy slept for five hours… and though I woke up a few times in anticipation (remember having a baby?), I slept ok. Christopher got up about 7-ish and I had coffee and did a few things around the house, and then got dressed for our Altar Society Luncheon. I put on a dress/jacket and pearls…. curled my hair, etc. It was fun. We went to the local Country Club and ate/talked/had our meeting… Monsignor was there, and so many great women. What a blessing. Sigh. I did something for MEEEEE… and then I came home.

I walked into my house about 1:45pm this afternoon to a rancid smell. I called to my son, “Christopher, what is that smell?” He says, “sorry mom, I tooted!” I said, son, this is way more than that… He was upstairs with the baby puppy and the older dog (9 years) was downstairs… and as I walk up the hall, I look to the left – two piles in the office…. and then I walk tot he kitchen and look left, easily 8 pile/splats on the living room floor… and there is blood…and I am so confused…. and it stinks!  Yep, it was a regular poop-vomit-nado (think tornado)…

We put our older dog outside (who is a long-shaggy haired dog) because she was covered in said above items…

What happened next was a blur, Christopher kenneled the puppy, who began squailling (no, not squeal..more like squealing and wailing combined… I called my husband… he instructed me on how to use the carpet machine as I was spraying/sanitizing the floor.  I cleaned the floor in both rooms, cleaned the carpet machine… and then, I had to shear the dog… only that didn’t go so well – Sigh.

I literally smelled like poop. And was shearing her, and getting mats out, and she moved… then I tried to make it all even. Sigh. To say she looks like she has mange is putting it lightly. I can’t even talk about it. She is a labradoodle… and it’s BAD ya’ll! BAD! My husband faced-timed me in the middle of it, and was appalled at how she looked (it’s bad, but it grows back)… and I said, dear,  I’m sitting on the back porch, in a church dress and pearls, covered in dog hair and poop, trying not to cry…  I’m doing the best I can. HAHAHA Isn’t that a pretty thought? There is literally hair all over my back yard. Sigh.

Afterwards, I bathed the dog, the boy and I showered, he put together the big dog crate… Currently the towels are drying, we’ve had coffee (him decaf, of course) and poor Jenna is in the crate staring at us. We’ve got dog food made of chicken and rice…

As I sat there surveying the week I’ve had… and the things that have gone on, I thought – My God My God, why hast though forsaken me!  Truly I was there… DRAMATIC!!!  HA! … and you know what – it didn’t take long to figure out that the evil one is trying to steal my joy… TRULY!

Some of you may remember that my word of the year is JOY! I tell you being a Christian is joyful. Isaiah 29:19 says The lowly will ever find joy in the Lord, and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.   When I searched the word JOY on BibleGateway.com, there are 237 references in the Bible.

This evening, things are better. We are going to have Panda Express for dinner and be happy that we have so many blessings. But it’s when I am in the thick of things I don’t remember to Praise God in all things! Sigh. That part of humanity is so hard.

When your husband is working in Hawaii for a few weeks (after being in Puerto Rico for a couple weeks) and knowing the kind of day you are having, sends you a text to lament his Par 6 on a Par 4 hole (golf)…. and you may or may not think of physically hurting him… instead of thinking, “he works hard, he deserves to have fun”… because you are human, don’t beat yourself up.  If your animals leave you a huge mess to clean up, pray and praise God you aren’t in a fire (thinking of Canada and 90,000 displaced people)… Turn to God’s word.

Did I swear? Freak out? Feel sorry for myself? Think bad thoughts? YES! Yes I did. Am I proud of it, NO. Never. But it finally brought be to a place where I am now focused a little more on Our Lord. You know?  I forgot to praise Him.

Let me leave you with this:

Psalm 46

God’s Defense of His City and People.

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present<span class="footnote" data-fn="#fen-NRSVCE-16686a" data-link="[a]” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>[a] help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult.Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city;<span class="footnote" data-fn="#fen-NRSVCE-16690b" data-link="[b]” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>[b] it shall not be moved;
    God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.<span class="footnote" data-fn="#fen-NRSVCE-16692c" data-link="[c]” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>[c]Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord;
    see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations,
    I am exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.<sup class="footnote" data-fn="#fen-NRSVCE-16696d" data-link="[d]” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>[d]Selah

Keep your JOY and LIGHT in your heart. We are the people of LIGHT! God is with us, always… even in a crappy week.  We must never forget to Give Thanks in ALL Circumstances. Sigh. I share my week with you because I understand that we also have to keep it real. They can’t all be good weeks, and that’s ok.

So what did you learn? Do not let life steal your joy… and God is always with us – take refuge in HIM! Don’t forget to praise HIM!

Sigh… ok, meet our new baby!

Duchess Bella Mae

p.s. Please pray for our Jenna… you know that whatever is wrong with her stomach will be ok…. and that her hair will grow back. Sigh.

Love and hugs you sweet ladies.