Our Lady and St. Juan Diego

Our Lady and St. Juan Diego

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Entrustment to Mary = Giving Up The Steering Wheel

I never really realized that I was a control freak until recently.  I was raised in a Catholic home, went to Catholic schools.  I went to Mass and followed Catholic teachings without any doubts.  I now see that I had participated in the Sacraments out of a sense of duty and responsibility.  Growing up, I always felt the need to be “good”, to avoid getting into trouble.  I felt I was loved when I was perfect.  I struggled (and still do) with “guilt” and “earning” God’s and my parents’ love.  On the outside it may have appeared that I was “good”, that I loved God.  But I was serving Him out of responsibility, not out of a response to His Love for me.

I had my own ideas of how I was going to “control”/plan my life….get married, work for two years to get my CPA license, and then get pregnant, quit my job and be a stay at home mom. 

Gradually, God wanted to let me know our relationship could be so much more than what I had limited it to in my mind. 

Early on, I knew that I wanted to be a mother someday.  Before we were married, my husband and I had talked about wanting to raise a family.  We didn’t talk about when exactly, but we were excited to have children of our own.

I think at that point God had to “lovingly” (even though it did not seem that way at the time) show me that only His will would be bring me joy, and that only if I trusted in HIS timing and planning would I really grow in my faith.

We did conceive around the timeframe I planned, but later miscarried. And we continued to miscarry. 

I was depressed and challenged to truly trust God and His plan for us.  At that point in my life, I understood what “begging” meant.  I was faced with the reality that I was not in control.  I learned that I had trust issues.  It seemed easy to trust in God up to that point in my life - when everything had been going according to my plan so far, when I gave myself credit for everything good in my life.  Now I know better.  Now I am seeing that all is grace. 

God was calling me to a deeper, more genuine faith.  I am learning that faith is my trust in God when things are dark as well as light; when I do not have full understanding, but trust that God will take care of me and lead me to Himself in the most gentle and loving way possible. 

He continues to show me that I am a control freak by nature…and He also continues to invite me to trust Him over and over again. I am always so tempted to hold so tightly to the reins of my daily life, but the Blessed Mother rescues me and shows me the freedom that comes when I let go and allow my Creator to love me in the way only He can.

(Oh, and as proof that God is merciful AND has a sense of humor – my husband and I are now the parents of FIVE beautiful kids.)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Entrustment to Mary = Seeing God's Unconditional Love

You may wonder if I am a cat lover - not really. When my husband decided our children needed kittens I was opposed, yet God had a spiritual plan for us in getting a pet. The cat [Harry] pictured below became a great visual reminder of how God loves me as I am. As a family we were not good about grooming Harry, so much so, that he would develop gnarly mats in his mane. One got so big that when we finally got it clipped off it looked like Harry had had a kitten. Harry also had two different colored eyes, which made him look more scary than special. In his later years he did not smell sweet at all, he was the living definition of “dingleberry”. Through all of these stages in Harry’s life my daughter unconditionally loved him. She cuddled with him, allowed him to sleep on her bed, and kissed him. This went on for 12 years! Even during his last weeks when he lost control of his bodily functions, she cleaned up his messes - still all the while bestowing continuous love upon him.

Through my daughter’s unconditional love of Harry I have come to realize that this is how God treats me. When I turn from God’s love, I can become gnarly, smelly, and scary in my sinfulness. Yet God does not leave me. He still bestows His love, His forgiveness, His embrace throughout each of my life stages. Where I would pet Harry only when we had him shaved and cleaned – God holds me no matter how repulsive I may turn in my pride. Where I would lose patience with Harry’s potty accidents - God endures my bouts with the world’s temptations.  Where I would lock Harry up in his room when he “misbehaved” - God opens up his merciful heart and forgives me when I sin. There is no condition that deters God from reaching out to me. And better yet, He gave me the Blessed Mother who also holds me and carries me when I stink of my pride, lust, and ego. She reminds me I am loved as I am and there is a better life for me in communion with Her Son.

I am thankful for Harry’s life, for the lessons he and my daughter taught me about God’s unconditional love, and for my Blessed Mother -  for it is hard for me to believe I can be 
loved as I am - yet in Her arms She shows me this truth, and it is setting me free from being 
a “Scaredy Cat”.              

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Entrustment to Mary = Finding God's Strength

A priest once gave a conference on the Gospel when Peter first met Christ, after the large catch of fish (see Lk 5:1-11 http://www.usccb.org/bible/luke/5). Peter met Christ and immediately experienced all his sinfulness internally. When I embarked on the road of communion of life with Christ through Mary, I started discovering more and more of my sinfulness and weakness. I reacted just like St. Peter and told Jesus to get away from me. I was full of shame. But, I have come to see that St. Peter’s first reaction was wrong (more than once in the Gospel)! Peter’s sinfulness was not an obstacle for Jesus, it was the REASON he was called by Him. Jesus immediately straightened him out, inviting him to catch men not fish. Jesus did not come for the healthy, but for the sick – the sinners! That must mean Jesus came for me.

Often the realization of my sinfulness and weakness of faith paralyzes me. But, the spirituality of communion of life with Christ through Mary is helping me to look at it in a totally different way. The awareness of my weakness and sinfulness can give me the wings for God’s action! This spirituality emphasizes the might of God, recognizing that a person usually only experiences this if he/she first experiences his/her own weakness.  We live in a country that emphasizes “believe in yourself” and “be strong.” This spirituality is teaching me that although I see my weakness, I need to focus more on being in God’s hands, and therefore see HIS strength in me! This strength is not built on my pride, but on the power of God!

Meanwhile, even these joyful lessons can be heard and longed for inside of me, but I still struggle to believe it with all my heart, mind and soul. Therefore, I choose to accept Jesus’ entrustment of me to His mother Mary exactly because of my weak faith! She is transforming me, opening me to believe that I am loved as I am. With Her, I have “HIGH HOPES!”  Praise be to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


I would like to introduce you to our new blog – “Because God Loves Me As I Am!”  We were originally going to call it “Because God Loves Me.”  After living with that name for a few days, I was struck by the huge difference it made for me when the simple words “as I am” were added. Before those words were added, I had a sense of overwhelming obligation to match this love – to respond equally, and if I didn’t then there was the potential the love would be taken away. Through faith, I know that God is Love and that His love is unconditional and never-ending, but without the words “as I am” I am still tempted to think “as I will be,” which gives me anxiety.  “As I am” helps me to realize that HIS love is the source of my formation and that His love doesn’t increase or decrease based on my actions. This is so comforting. We unanimously agreed those three words were a must!

Why we thought this blog should exist is so that there would be safe place for those who have discovered either their physical, spiritual or mental weakness.  Perhaps you’ve struggled for years to live up to an image of who you think you should be; or perhaps you have discovered a deep rooted pride inside of you; or you think you’ve committed an unforgivable sin; or perhaps you look around you and see others accomplishing so much, but you feel like you are pulling up the rear; or maybe God has given you a physical disability of some sort and you despise this gift.  OR, perhaps you have come to realize you do not love God as He is.  These discoveries can be very hard and, especially from the spiritual side, we can become overwhelmed…even to the point of depression.   I went down that road! It was so hard for me because I was looking at all my weaknesses in the wrong way...