Tag Archives: Matthew

Serve One Another

As I cared for Katie this week, who was home from school not feeling so great, I came across scripture that spoke to me. She was having one of her days, just rocking back and forth crying inconsolably. It is so sad to watch because she is uncomfortable, but can’t tell me why. Is she hungry? Is she cold? Is her stomach hurting? So I spend the day attempting to fix all those problems to no avail. This is one of those times I just want to run and hide, but I can’t…I am her mother.

Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:26-28

Caring for Katie has transformed my spiritual life and this message from Jesus to His apostles is a huge clue why. It’s because Andy and I serve her every day. We dress her, we bathe her, we brush her teeth, we change her diaper, we feed her, all of these things once seemed like a burden to me, but now I know they are actually my gifts from God. He calls us to serve one another, to put others needs and wants above our own, but that is difficult to do. If Katie was a healthy self-sufficient 12 year old who knows how often I would be serving others. image5 (1)But God gave me an opportunity to do it every day for the rest of her life. When I look at it that way, it is a great privilege.

I believe that once I understood this teaching my perspective on being Katie’s mommy completely changed. God blesses those who serve others and when my heart is grateful rather than disgruntled, I am open to His graces. When it’s just me and Katie I care for her out of complete love because I know she can’t say thank you. But often after a long day I want to hear the words that I’ve done good, so I seek it from others. Why? Because I’m human. I learned at an early age it feels good to hear people say nice things about you, but that’s just my ego. Jesus wants us to be humble and to do all things for God alone.

“Human recognition is passing; it doesn’t even last a lifetime. Even in heaven human recognition will be useless-our eyes will be fixed on God, not on each other or ourselves. However, we do know by faith that God will reward us in heaven according to our merits. He will exalt us for serving others, especially when we bring others to love and serve him.” Regnum Christi Feb. 24th, 2016

We are all called to serve others. Remember the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. Lazarus was a poor man who sat at the rich man’s door begging for just a morsel of food, but the rich man did nothing. When they both died Lazarus went to heaven and the rich man went to hades. Abraham told the rich man that his life of comfort was now reversed and so was Lazarus’ life of torment. We have to share our gifts with others.

We are weak when we are alone, without God in our hearts we grow weary and serving others just does not seem possible. But when we discover the supernatural power that God provides service flows so beautifully.image1 (12) We also realize it is not something we can boast about because to God be all glory. Every day I have a choice, I can grumble about the extra work I have to do or I can thank God realizing not everyone gets the chance to love another human being in such a special way.

I Hope You Dance!!

My entire body filled with heat, my heart opened and the only thing that could fill it was God. It was October 2012, I was doing two faith based book studies. Both books changed me forever. It wasn’t so much the books, they were both really good, but it was simply the Holy Spirit using this moment to take over my life.

After this moment all I wanted to do was learn as much about God as I could. In my spare time I read, researched, prayed, wrote and simply learned how to give myself to the Lord. I no longer wanted to watch TV, or scroll down Facebook…I wanted more and more and more God. I really cannot explain the feeling, it was amazing and all consuming.

I was then blessed by a group of ladies that started meeting for a Bible study once a week, we still meet today. Before this study my knowledge of the Bible consisted of two phrases, Old Testament & New Testament. Our leader was sent to us by God, she goes through the books of the Bible sentence by sentence and explains what the Fathers of the Church say about that passage. If you’re not familiar with that term. The Fathers of the Church are the early Christians, like St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom, who were taught by the apostles. What better source? Jesus taught the apostles, the apostles taught the Church Fathers and they wrote it all down. If you have a question about what a certain passage or verse means, the Fathers of the Church hold the answers. We have finished the books of  John, Acts of the Apostles and are now studying Matthew. I finally feel like I know the stories of Jesus and what He wants from us.

“When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your hearth, you will find me with you, says the Lord, and I will change your lot…” Jeremiah 29:13-14

I can truly say this is when I began to feel true joy, joy that I had never known before. I finally knew my purpose on this earth was to do Gods will. Everything else was falling into place. Being a mommy to Katie, Lexi and Drew made more sense. photo shoot 2013 052My role as a wife took on new meaning. One struggle I’ve had writing this post is making sure that I don’t sound self righteous, I’m so far from perfect it’s not even funny, and I certainly don’t know it all, not even a quarter. I screw up every single day, but I’m just writing about what God has shown me and what I TRY to aspire to everyday.

image (17)God has revealed a beautiful message through Katie’s life. Katie was not blessed with legs that function, a brain that forms words to speak, hands that write or even eyes to see. But I got all that and more, so how dare I waste one single minute. A song that portrays my feelings is by Lee Ann Womack, I Hope You Dance.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance, Never settle for the path of least resistance, Living might mean taking chances but they’re worth taking, Loving might be a mistake but it’s worth making, Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter, When you come close to selling out reconsider, Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance, And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance. I HOPE YOU DANCE!!!! 

To me these lyrics mean to do everything you do with your whole heart and with all your effort. And since God is supposed to be the center of our lives. That means our relationship with God should have every ounce of our being. I am not going to even begin to say that I do this always. I struggle everyday because this world we live in has so much to take us away from God. Actually, I often feel this world is telling me God is not important. The world right now is so far from what God wants. I don’t think He wants us to modernize our values. He wants the single most important thing in our life, more important than our spouse, children, job, wardrobe, car and home; to be Him.

“Do not conform yourself to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2

The special needs journey or any struggle for that matter can be long, lonely and isolating. It doesn’t always lead us down the right path. I’ve taken many a wrong turns. But what I know for sure is the wrong road, the one in which we try to escape our struggles, will only lead us in circles. It only leads to more disappointment. As I’ve re-routed my GPS many times I found the only path is the one God wants us on, doing His will everyday, following His commands as diligently as we can. To keep myself in check, I try to reflect on the 10 Commandments and ask, “am I doing what God wants?”.

image (16)Another lesson Katie has taught me is that nothing on this earth will fulfill the longing we have. Katie has true joy and does not know anything about the materialism of this world. Again, I’m no model Christian woman, but I know God is my only source of true joy. I love listening to Father Robert Barron, he gives weekly homilies on http://wordonfire.org/. He often talks about this and once he had a fabulous example. Think about some of the worlds greatest sports figures. Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Alex Rodriguez, to name a few, were all the best of the best, they had home run records, world fame and all the money you can imagine, yet they chose to take steroids in hopes of getting more. When it comes to worldly things nothing is ever enough. Why?

photo (3)That longing that we try to fill, that yearning for more was given to us by God for one purpose, to bring us closer to Him. We try and try to fill it with success, money, friends, and so much more. I don’t know where you are on your faith walk, but if God is not on the tip of my tongue always, I ask, why am I not giving Him every single bit of me, making Him the leader in my life. Do I want to sit it out or DANCE??

In my next post I will talk about why I think we have to struggle while on this earth.