Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Turning 50 With The Dream Team

I'm not a perfect person but I am a real one...Fabulous at 50?  Definitely not. I have to be honest and say that I've been dreading turning 50 in the middle of my family tragedy.  It's next week for goodness sakes...Couldn't this come at a different time?  A happy time?  It doesn't seem fair, as I pound my fist on the table!  At this landmark time that others celebrate with joy, I'm filled with sorrow and endings...I'm seriously tempted to believe the lie that life is completely awful when we suffer. 

Suffering is awful, yes it certainly is.  But completely awful...No.  Being real, I have to admit that suffering is beautiful at the same time.  Many lovely people emerge to help, God shows his face, just when we need it most...I may not have seen God's face otherwise. Clinging to what is good in my life, I see light in the darkness.

During Adoration one day, I felt that I saw joy and pain sitting together arguing about who would make the soul better, stronger, wiser.  Suddenly, they realized that they were not opposing forces after all. Instead, they both offered strength and wisdom in different ways that all humans need for their salvation.  It became apparent that we cannot have one without the other.  Joy and pain are synonymous.  Separated from one of these, we are broken. Having both together, we are strong.  Encompassed in this is the Cross that Christ suffered and bore for us.  He loved us so much that he suffered.  There on the Cross we see the ultimate dream team.. joy and pain unite for the good of humanity. Knowing we cannot have one without the other helped me see clearly how I should journey ahead...

Turning 50 with The Dream Team

I am turning 50 with sorrow and grief...
Yet, I turn 50 with gratitude and grace.

I am turning 50 with wounds and scars...
Yet, I turn 50 with growth and wisdom.

I am turning 50 with disappointments and mystery...
Yet, I turn 50 with triumphs and faith.

I am turning 50 with tears that never end...
Yet, I turn 50 with laughter that is stronger.

I am turning 50 with the reality of aging...
Yet, I turn 50 as a child of God.

I am turning 50 with heavy burdens...
Yet, I turn 50 with song in my heart.

I am turning 50 with the down-swing of life...
Yet, I turn 50 with a life well-lived.

I am turning 50 with the end in mind...
Yet, I turn 50 with the hope of life that never ends.

I am turning 50 marking time in my mind...
Yet, I turn 50 with a warrior spirit.

I am turning 50 with trial and trepidation...
Yet, I turn 50 with trust in God's plan.

I am turning 50 being stripped of my dreams...
Yet, I turn 50 with strength in my soul.

I turn 50 with time gone too fast...
Yet, I turn 50 with blessings, too many to count.

I turn 50 with the setting of the sun...
Yet, I turn 50 when the new dawn comes.

I turn 50 with lost love in my life...
Yet, I turn 50 with a lot of love left to give.

I turn 50 with joy and pain...
Yet, I turn 50 sitting with the Dream Team.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Dreaming of Heaven

I love the feast days of the church...The days to really hone in on what anchors us.  These days give us the opportunity to celebrate the real warriors of faith, gone before us to teach us how to survive this life.  Today is one of those days.  Go figure, it comes at a time when I needed it most.  God is good!

Being crushed by the mystery of what has happened to our family, I woke up crying this morning.  I sobbed in bewilderment about why we weren't worth fighting for.  Feeling a deep punch to my gut as I wondered about the ripple effects of decisions beyond my control, I spun with confusion.  Knowing I will never truly understand what has transpired, I questioned how on earth I will do this life now? Momentarily, I felt abandoned and terribly alone.
Photo taken back in March-St. Mary's Our Lady of Fatima

Suddenly, a glimpse of heaven shined through a holy mother...The Mother Christ gave us Himself.  She's our Mother, your Mother, my Mother...She did this life, just like us.  She walked a road of suffering and agony, continuing to say Yes to God from the 1st day He asked her to bear His son, to the last day He took her to heaven.  How glorious that day must have been for her...To finally be at peace forever, with the Holy Trinity. 

This feast day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a perfect reminder.

I'm dreaming of that. 
I'm dreaming of heaven...

Not in a morbid way but with great excitement for the ultimate goal.  It actually fuels me to keep moving forward, to keep going on this sojourn.  No matter how painful it is, I know I am not alone and there's much splendor and happiness to look forward to.
Dreaming of heaven gives me the strength to keep teaching the faith in our home, even as a single mother.  A prayer life and rhythm of the church year are still alive here. 

I vow to keep the light on.

We are still a family, bound together by love that can never be discarded. Humans can discard humans but you can't ditch God's love. Hope may dim on our dark and sorrowful days but it can always be rekindled.  Days such as this are a beautiful reminder that good things always come with our eyes fixed on heaven. 

What a day to celebrate! 
I huddled with my children around the kitchen sink this morning, before they left for school, and we prayed for our Mother to give us strength like hers.  Like birds taking shelter in a storm, it may have been a desperate plea but prayer just the same.  May she always keep us close to her Son, Jesus Christ...The heavenly host and true love of our lives.
Our Lady's love is like a limpid stream that has its source in the Eternal Fountains, quenches the thirst of all, can never be drained, and ever flows back to its Source.
~Blessed Margaret Bourgeoys~

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Blog Update And Changes

Hello dear readers of this blog~

The events of my marriage and family life have grown more complicated than originally thought, written, and expressed here in the last year.  More has transpired in such a way that I feel it best to honor the privacy of our family by not sharing any more details via this public domain.  However, I do have a plan to keep writing!

For those of you who have been praying for us, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I would appreciate any continued prayers for my husband, my sanity, our whole family's healing and God's will be done. Regardless of the outcome, it is my deepest prayer that this tragedy be turned to triumph in some miraculous way.

 This blog has been a haven for sharing my spiritual journey, alongside of raising a family.  I have met so many wonderful friends and families that I hate to leave behind.  I hope my friends here will keep in touch via email and continue to stop by this blog once in a while. Those of you who check in on me once in awhile have been such a blessing!

Ultimately, I feel called to keep writing, as God sees fit,  because it is my belief that we are not alone on this journey of life and faith.  Most importantly in times of trouble, we need each other to be the hands and feet of Jesus...Who better to share (than you and I) that there's always hope, despite the worst struggle?

I'll continue to share my personal sojourn as I strive to stay anchored to the cross, my battle post.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

He Teaches Me

The darkened church embraced me as I sat in silence gazing up at the throne of God. Like a mother's womb, protecting a vulnerable child, I longed to curl up and stay there forever.   Before the dimly lit candles, I gazed up at the Lord of Hosts and wondered how I could keep facing my world of pain, broken promises, betrayal, and rejection.  Much like a little baby who enters the world wailing, I felt the bemoaning in my soul. 

In sorrow, I am weakened to my knees.
The weight of deceit is crushing.
I am not a good sufferer.
I am paralyzed, not knowing how to proceed from here.

Suddenly, a whisper comes from behind...
He shuffles down the aisle, swishing the tile like sandpaper.
His aged body dangles from the weight of his shoulders and nothing moves but his feet.
I glance up to see who has keeps me company in silence.
Recognizing this man from daily Mass and Veteran's Day events, I know that he's a soldier. 
His focus is the altar, Christ present, and Christ on the Cross. 
Those eyes...He teaches me.

As he passes by, I wonder what his story is.
Was he a husband and father?
What about his military service?
Who has he fought for?
Was he courageous?
I know he's alone.
How does he do it at his age?

He maintains a natural smile that upholds his unwavering eyes.
Still focused...He teaches me.

Finally making it to the altar,
he begins a slow descent, lowering his broken body to kneel.  He could have just stood up.  It would have been easier. 
He doesn't take the easy way out. 
There's no one around but me and God. 
Eyes still focused, holding that smile...He teaches me.

I watch as this man suffers.
His body winces in pain but he perseveres with kneeling. 
His heart is steadfast in reaching his goal, offering himself completely, there at the foot of the Cross.
Not an ounce of his suffering body is seen in his eyes, still fixed on the Lord of heavenly hosts...He teaches me.

Suddenly, I'm no longer paralyzed,
I'm inspired for the journey ahead.
Together with my soldier-friend, I gaze up at the same Lord and the same Cross that resurrects us all from our suffering.  
This time, there are two of us smiling through pain.
Faith marches on, there in the silent womb of the church.
From the light of an altar in front of us both,
Hearts open wide, eyes of the soul in focus...
He taught us well.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Groping for God

Hello God, it's me, Tiffany.
Where are you?
My family has fallen apart and I don't understand.
One day I was a homeschooling Mom who made liturgical food and crafts with my kids and the next day, my whole world crashed down around me. 
I thought I had it all. 
Where has that life gone? 
Oh, how I'd give anything to have it back.
Things haven't been the same since that fateful day...
Our family, our children, our marriage...
Crumpled under the cross.

Holy week came this year and my husband was getting his own apartment. 
I don't know who this man is?
No more Husband, no more Dad in our home.
I saw you carrying your Cross, Lord.  
Every Friday, I watched and listened to your suffering.
I wanted to be just like you but I couldn't.
I just knelt there and poured out my grief upon you because I was too weak to bear it...
Consumed by the cross.

Somehow I got through it...Another Holy Week. 
You were there, Lord.  I know you were. 
Suddenly I see that clearly because
that's where you love us best...on Calvary.
Our Calvary is your Calvary.
Time and time again, you meet us there to show us we can do it.
What holy irony it is that we are closest to you there.
My pain and sorrow is also your pain and sorrow.
You show us that suffering is not the end.
I choose hope.  I choose you, Lord.
Help me to model this for our children...
Huddled near the cross.
Please forgive me for wondering what this is all about
and for missing the old life. 
Like it or not, I'm traveling a new road.
No more homeschooling but still a home built on faith.
Help me to keep you alive in our family, Lord.
Help me to remember that when we are weak, you are made perfect in us.
When we are empty, you have more room to fill us up.
Always and forever...
Family At the Foot of the Cross.

"What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." ~John 1:1-18

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