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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Here's my bulletin reflection for today, the 5th Sunday of Lent

Readings - Jeremiah 31:31-34 / Hebrews 5:7-9 / John 12:20-33

For a seed to grow & produce, it needs to be planted, watered, & cared for, otherwise it will not do its job. Jesus was “planted” on Earth to grow for our sakes. He became the seed & at the same time, the gardener. Everything He did was for us. He grew to save us from our sins. He tended to our needs, & still does. He’s harvesting our souls for eternal life in Heaven.

“And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”

The next time you plant a seed, make a conscious effort to pray for that plant and thank God for the gift of His Son.

In the garden that is your life, where do you need the most pruning? Ask Jesus to help you.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Small Successes


This has been a pretty good week, despite another round of colds in the house!

1) I read a mystery novel! I'm not usually a mystery person, but I saw a series at the library about a spunky nun in a cloistered monastery. She's one of the two extern nuns who are the monastery's connection to the outside world. This first book, Bad Faith, has her helping the sheriff to solve a mysterious death that occured at the monastery.

2) I've been "Susie Homemaker" the past couple of days! For dinner the other night, I made pizza - I took a refrigerater roll of biscuits, squished them together & spread them on a quiche dish, topped w/ spaghetti sauce (we didn't have any pizza sauce), black olives, & shredded cheese. The munchkins loved it. I also made oatmeal no-bake cookies & last night I made granola cereal. That didn't last long, so next time I'll make a bigger batch. All the munchkins loved it, even The Archangel who doesn't like oatmeal. It was quite easy. I'll post the recipe soon.

3) Casinodad & I watched a movie in one night! Usually it takes us 2-3 nights to watch a DVD in the evenings, but we couldn't stop. We watched Fireproof - what an excellent movie! The only complaint I had was the Kirk Cameron seemed to overact at times, mostly during the scenes when he was arguing w/ his wife & complaining to others about her. I think that must have been tough for him to do. I've noticed that Casinodad & I have been nicer to each other since watching the movie. I have caught myself thinking twice before saying something that might come across as rude or snippy. Is it something I really need to say or would it only start an argument? I've even been doing better w/ the munchkins & not yelling so much at them. It's amazing how much peace can fill a home when you let go of certain things & pick your battles.

So, what are your Small Success this week? Check out www.faithandfamilylive.com for more.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fourth Sunday of Lent Reflection

Readings for the 4th Sunday of Lent
2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23 / Ephesians 2:4-10 / John 3:14-21

“…Whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.” Wow! It sounds so simple, but we humans just love to make things complicated, don’t we? God has given us the gift of freewill. We make choices every day – keep walking or stop to help, watch TV or spend time with the kids, sleep in or go to church. Each choice we make has a consequence – some good, some bad.

The Christian band Casting Crowns has a song called Slow Fade in which they sing about choices people make. “Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid when you give yourself away. People never crumble in a day. It’s a slow fade.” The more we expose ourselves to bad choices, the further we get from God & the light within us fades to darkness. Look towards the light that is Jesus. Believe in Him. He will lead us to the eternal light of Heaven.

What makes it difficult for you to follow Jesus?

Think about a choice you made that led you towards darkness. How did you find the light?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Small Successes


Welcome to another edition of my Small Successes. I'll have to say that, despite another round of colds going through our house right now, I was able to accomplish a couple big tasks that I've been wanting to do for a while.

1) In continuing Spring Cleaning around here, I actually made the basement worse for a while so that I could rearrange a few things. I got The Prophet's Legos taken out of the living room & gave him a corner of the basement for them. We have large foam puzzle pieces that fit together on the floor, so I used four of those for him. There was a tall wooden shelf in that corner that we have never moved in the almost nine years we've lived here (it was there from the previous owners). I cleared it off, cleaned it, & moved it to another part of the wall.

2) Since we now have his Legos out of the living room & because The Saint has begun to crawl this week, I rearranged the living room yesterday. It's now a lot more open & he has plenty of room move about. Plus, we don't have to worry about him finding Legos to put in his mouth.

3) I have the books picked out for next year's school. Plus, I have ordered &/or received almost 3/4 of them.

Share your successes & see others at www.faithandfamilylive.com.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Third Sunday of Lent

Bulletin Reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Lent
Exodus 20:1-17 / 1 Corinthians 1:22-25 / John 2:13-25

It’s hard to picture an angry Jesus. I’ve always thought of Him as kind & loving. How can He be angry? How can He overturn tables & lash out?

Because He was human.

God came to earth in human form with a purpose. People were not following the 10 Commandments. There was a multitude of sin – killing, idolatry, stealing, coveting, etc. They needed someone to turn them around. Jesus was the answer. He was, & is, our Savior.

So, when the Jews were conducting business in the temple, Jesus had a right to be angry. They were disrespecting sacred property. He got angry. He yelled. He took out His frustration. He was human.

What makes it hard for me to see Jesus as human?

How have I shown disrespect in a sacred place?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Small Successes


This has been great for me! I'm trying to look at my days in a more positive light & am finding many things to put in this weekly post.

1) I made homemade baby food for The Saint. Why did it take me until the 4th child to discover how easy this is? He loved the applesauce & the pears. Next up - bananas!

2) Continuing w/ the spring cleaning, I did The Princess's room & it only took Mon. & Tues. to do it. Her bed frame & headboard have been in the basement for a while. So, in clearing out the basement last week & wanting to make her room look a bit more like a bedroom, I put her bed together Tues. She loves it & couldn't wait to show Daddy when he got home from work.

3) I went grocery shopping at Aldi yesterday. Not a success alone, but it was a big trip & I did it w/ all four munchkins about 1/2 an hour before lunch (not very smart, right!) Anyway, they were really good this time around. I'm sure the bribe of buying Lunchables for them didn't hurt matters any!

4) Yes, I know it's only supposed to be three, but I thought of another anyway - On Friday, the first really nice day in quite a while, I did not freak out when The Archangel fell & cut his chin on his scooter. We ended up at Urgent Care & just enough of a gash to need two stitches. It took two nurses & me to hold him down for the numbing shot. Why did it have to be the most sensitive of our munchkins?!?

What are your successes? Share them & see others at http://www.faithandfamilylive.com/. Have a blessed week full of many Small Successes!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Second Sunday of Lent

Continuing my bulletin reflections, here is the one for today...

Second Sunday of Lent Readings
Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18 / Romans 8:31b-34 / Mark 9:2-10
“Are you listening to me?” “Did you hear what I said?” As a parent, I find myself uttering these & similar phrases quite frequently. I can imagine God asking these same questions. I wonder if He ever gets frustrated with our listening skills (or lack thereof).
God specifically told Peter, James, & John that Jesus was His Son & they were to listen to Him. Did they listen? Not always. James abandoned Jesus along with other disciples, but was later executed for witnessing about Jesus. Peter denied Christ three times, yet went on to become our first Pope.
We are not that different. We are God’s beloved children who stumble & fall. We make bad choices. We don’t listen, yet that love is unconditional. All we need to do is stop & open our ears to God.

What are the external & internal noises that keep you from listening to God?

How can you silence the world around you to focus on what God is trying to say?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Small Successes


It's that time again. Here are my Small Successes from this past week.

1) The Princess turned four on Sat. (I'll post more details about her birthday at a later date.) I had my last day of work on Sat. so we had her family party on Sun. evening. It was a success & our house actually looked nice for visitors. (No small feat considering that our house has been looking like it's been through several tornados!) The Small Success in this is that we've been managing to keep it looking decent - not perfect, but presentable in case an unexpected visitor stops by!

2) I created a spring cleaning schedule. Each week, from now until the end of April, has a room of the house for us to focus on. With the exception of this week being the basement, we'll be working from top to bottom, deep cleaning & majorly decluttering. (The basement is this week so that we can get The Prophet's Legos down there. The Saint is getting more mobile & we don't want him getting any small parts in his hands & mouth.)

3) I have been sticking w/ my Lenten sacrifice of staying away from blogs, including mine, other than these Small Successes & posting my March bulletin reflections on Sundays. I've also been checking my email less frequently. I really don't need to check it each time I walk by the computer. It's amazing how much I can get done if I'm not chained to the computer!

So, what have you been successful about this past week? Share & check our others at www.faithandfamilylive.com.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

First Sunday of Lent Reflection

As I mentioned in several previous Small Successes posts, I wrote the reflections that will be going into our church bulletins for March. Since today is the first Sunday in March, my first reflection went in. I thought I would post them here also.

Readings for Sunday March 1: First Sunday of Lent 2009
Genesis 9:8-15 / 1 Peter 3:18-22 / Mark 1:12-15

The 3 "R's" - Relationship, Repair, Reconcile
In the first reading, God establishes His covenant with Noah - never again will He flood the earth. This covenant strengthens their relationship and in turn, strengthens ours. But, we were born sinners. Paul, in the second reading, talks about cleansing or repairing our relationship with God. Through Jesus' death & resurrection (and only through Jesus) we are cleansed of our sin. Jesus suffered for us to lead us to God. The Gospel talks of our reconciliation with God. We must repent of our sins and ask God to always be with us to help fight temptation.

As we begin this season of Lent, how do you feel about your relationship with God? What can you do to repair your relationship?

What does Jesus' suffering mean to you?