Personal Reflection Archives - Page 5 of 6 - You Are Made New
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Faith In God's Plan

Confidence in the Path

Often it is a difficult test that reveals, or reconfirms, where our strength comes from. This month is the anniversary of my father’s death. We said goodbye to him in 2013 and I can hardly believe it’s been that long... that we’ve been moving forward with birthdays and holidays, with vacations he would have been a part of, with art shows and baseball and assorted kid milestones he would have loved. Moving forward with life. A test of faith It feels like yesterday we learned he was sick. And then came the diagnosis of cancer. For a family that had…

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Anxiety And Prospering

This is What Prospering Looks Like

In case I wondered if my anxiety had been cured, it flared up again recently. This is a super inconvenient time to be rendered unable to function because I am moving and have a million and seven things to do. And yet the thought of stepping into the Navajo utilities office sends me off spinning and either falling into a crying heap or doing much less important things like drill-sergeant-ing my children into sorting and putting away their five million Legos, by color, for seven solid hours. During this time, God gave a strange comfort. He reminded me of His…

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Rosary

Change the World One Rosary at a Time

There was a time when I believed the only way to make a difference in this life was to do something dramatic, powerful, influential.  The people who made headlines were wealthy and famous, noteworthy for their non-profits, foundations, and large donations to charity.  I wondered how, then, I could impact the world in an indelible way, so that it would be changed for the good and for the glory of God. This summer tempted me to believe that evil was prevailing, and the massive acts of terrorism, senseless riots, and violence weighed heavily on my heart.  My immediate thoughts were,…

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Freedom Attracts: Choosing Truth Over The Lies

The quote on the image above is from Henri Nouwen. Nouwen’s full quote is: When you are interiorly free you call others to freedom, whether you know it or not. Freedom attracts wherever it appears. A free man or a free woman creates a space where others feel safe and want to dwell. Our world is so full of conditions, demands, requirements, and obligations that we often wonder what is expected of us. But when we meet a truly free person, there are no expectations, only an invitation to reach into ourselves and discover there our own freedom. – Henri…

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Amplifying the Quiet: (Subtle) Evangelization

Growing up, Catholicism was present in our home but it was quiet. A consistent undercurrent of which we were almost unaware. We didn’t discuss it. It just was. My father was a typical Irish Roman Catholic who took us all to church each Sunday in a parish his family had attended for generations, and who made sure we kids did our CCD classes, our Sacraments, and whatever else was expected. But there wasn’t a lot of talk about it. And we didn’t know anything different. When I went off to college, I remember young Mormons going door-to-door, asking to discuss…

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Freedom – Receive the Gift!

A beautiful truth flowing from the Resurrection and the Divine Mercy of Jesus is that we, His precious daughters, are free. Freedom is ours! That arms flung wide, twirling around, bursting with joy kind of freedom! Can you remember the last time you felt that freedom feeling? I catch moments of it now and then, but I’ll be honest and tell you that a more common reality for me is the experience of being stuck or bound, not free. Perhaps you can relate to that. I love this story that my friend Kim told me. It is relevant to this…

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Purposive Pain

As they go, I had super easy childbirths for the four children I’m raising. Seriously, when seasoned mothers are swapping war-stories in front of terrified mothers-to-be, I have nothing to brag about. I needed no pain meds. Just started labor, then 12-20 hours later I had a baby. No anger or screaming, just nice conversations (or bursting into “Part of That World” from The Little Mermaid). It was all so peaceful, I kinda think a nurse or two thought I was a part of a cult where you have to have silent births. Now, don’t take from that experience that…

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Fasting

A Season of Self-Forgetting

Cheese. It’s my weakness. My Kryptonite. My Achilles heel. Two years ago, I decided to give it up for Lent. Abstaining is supposed to be difficult, right? I told people of my goal, mostly so I’d go through with it. Friends looked frightened. Even my doctor, who I happened to see the day before Ash Wednesday, said, “Are you sure this is a good idea?” (I was hoping for more support considering the health benefits of my choice. He does, however, get points for knowing me.) So I went for it. I was all in. Until Day 2, when I…

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Prayer Presence

Not long ago, I became aware that my prayers had a striving, pleading energy about them: “Lord, pleeeeaaase help me with this or that,” and “Jesus, I need to surrender this to you, but it’s so hard!” The body language that went along with these prayers was furrowed eyebrows, tight jaw, hands squeezed in fists, accompanied by tension in my neck, back, and shoulders. Can you feel that “striving” energy? That sense of fervently wanting? Pleading for my intentions to be heard? Then one day, I exhaled. I opened those fists and let my palms look up towards the heavens.…

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Not My Battle

I don't know about you but there are some days where everything feels like a battle: getting out of bed, keeping my cool when people or circumstances frustrate me, tackling that project that's coming due or folding that darn load of laundry that has been sitting on my couch for days. And then there's the intense battle that comes with trying to live a life of faith, cultivate virtue, and, ultimately, get to Heaven. In the book of Samuel we hear the familiar story of David fighting the Philistine giant, Goliath. When Goliath rebukes David for thinking he could defeat…

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