Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Simple Country Catholic: Moo Moo Prayers

Simple Country Catholic: Moo Moo Prayers: Last week my neighbor was weaning her calves.  Three days straight, night and day, we heard the cries of the mothers and calves in their sep...

Moo Moo Prayers

Last week my neighbor was weaning her calves.  Three days straight, night and day, we heard the cries of the mothers and calves in their separation.  Got me thinking about prayer.

Oh those pathetic moos...

It hit me "that's exactly how I sound when I pray!"  "God, why did this happen, give me this, Jesus, why can't you heal this person, Holy Spirit, I need your wisdom"...mooooo, mooooo, mooooo.  My pathetic wailings and ramblings sound like those cows.

Even though my 'moos' may be annoying to me, they are never to God. He tells us to 'moo' to him.   

 "...pray continually" 1 Thessalonians 5:17

"Whatever you ask for in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith."                                            Matthew 21:22  

"Ask, and it will be given you, seek, and you will find, knock and the door will be opened for you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to who knocks it will be opened."        Matthew 7:7-8

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."  Philippians 4:6-7

Those are just verses from the top of my head. I'm sure there's plenty more that's in the Good Book.  He WANTS to hear from us. God, the Almighty, cares about us, every little thing we care about, He cares about.  

He answers our 'moos.'  Not always in the way we want because he knows a better way.  Just recently I've had a HUGE prayer answered.  My prayer of mooing has turned into a prayer of thanksgiving that sounded like the song of a beautiful bird. 

Peace in prayer

Now the mama cows and calves have calmed down. They are weaned and a sound of peace and quiet is in the air. I can't count how many times I feel a supernatural peace when I come out of prayer. Peace is a gift of the Holy Spirit.  We can always use that gift.

Psalm 131:1-2 "My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.  But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child I am content."

So offer up those moo moo prayers, God cares for you.


Me and the cows

Have you recently had a prayer answered? Don't forget to sing a songbird prayer of thanksgiving.


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Simple Country Catholic: Un-Civil War

Simple Country Catholic: Un-Civil War: A side effect of the Covid-19 pandemic will be a civil war. Not a war fought with guns, but with words. It is an 'uncivil' war. ...

Un-Civil War

A side effect of the Covid-19 pandemic will be a civil war.

Not a war fought with guns, but with words.

It is an 'uncivil' war.  The rotten fruit of social media has ripened.  Everyone has their opinion (like me) on what everyone else should or should not be doing.  I'm guilty.  The battle ground is on all social media outlets, blogs, news stations and the like.

Jesus warns us brother against brother but I thought that was about the faith, not a virus.  Uncivility towards neighbor wounds the soul.

Words of war:

Wear a mask, don't wear a mask.
Vaccinate now, i'm not taking a vaccine.
Open up, stay closed.
Test me, don't test me.
My research is the correct one, no mine is.
It's about being pro-life, no, it's about freedom.

Satan loves division.

Are you guilty of dividing God's people?  Is your opinion really contributing to the betterment of mankind?  Opinions don't have to be in the form of your own written words, but sharing memes, liking comments, or spewing your opinion in anyway.  Yes, you should be informed and make your own decisions.  However, opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one (someone pointed out to me the kind way to say that).

People are upset, I get it.  America is the greatest country in the world because we are based on freedom, God's total will for us is to freely choose.   Our freedoms have been limited these days and it's frustrating.  We do not have control and there's really little we can do about it. It's good some people are questioning how much is too much.  Ranting on social media isn't productive. Contact the people that can make a difference.

As I sit back with my bowl of popcorn and observe I have come up with these two questions:

What is it you are really fearing?
Can you allow yourself to suffer?


Fear

Death is scary, it is unknown.  Rightly justified to fear it.  Seeing loved ones die or the thought of dying yourself is a great cause for anxiety.  As Christians, we are taught to not fear death, embrace it, something better is after this life.  Martyrs across the timespan of the faith walked bravely to their deaths.  Tertillian said "the death of the martyrs is the seed of the faith."  Jesus rose FROM THE DEAD to show us he's the real deal.  There is a heaven.  I feel like we forget heaven. We get caught up in this world and live for this world when we are not made for this world.

Or maybe your fear is the loss of freedoms? Every day something we never dreamed of being taken away is being reported.  There is no consistency in what is allowed and not allowed. People are making up things as they go along.  It's to the point of ridiculousness.  Guess what, we don't have control.  Our freedom is under attack from this virus.  The freedom we still have is to choose how we react to it. Are you respectful to those who have to make these difficult decisions?  Or are you jerk who just flies off the handle adding to the uncivil discourse?  This verse provides me comfort.

"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world passes away, and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides for ever." 1 John 2:15-17

Maybe along the lines of questioning fear is do you trust?  Do you trust that God will provide for your family if you pass away? Do you trust that you will go to heaven if you lived a life worthy of heaven?

I recently started keeping bees.  The first thought of being around the little stingers caused me fear.  The more I studied, I realized there's nothing to fear if you approach them correctly.  Gear up in your beesuit, be gentle with your movements, and smoke them if you open the hive.  I now sit next to the hive unsuited and can watch them buzz in and out of the hive for hours.  I have no fear. If I get stung, I'll only suffer a little.  I will be sad because my sweet bee will have gone to her death thinking I was going to harm her (they only get one sting and they die).  The point is I have conquered my fear.

Prudence my sweet bee.
The world will go on without you.  Your family will go on living.  Maybe now is the time to ask yourself what will I have left for the world?  A better place or a complete mess?  Maybe it is the time to ask yourself what is it that I really believe?  What is is that I truly fear?

Immunity 

Since this is my blog, I'm contributing to the 'uncivil' war I'll assert my opinion on the virus.

It is my humble, doesn't really matter, opinion that we are under reporting the survivability of this virus.  I'm sorry for those that have died.  It is sad and unfortunate.  If you are a survivor of the virus, you will have suffered.  Are we afraid of suffering a sickness? Mind you, I don't want to suffer this!!  It seems our culture has a pill or vaccine for everything that we don't even want to suffer from a common cold.

Remember the chicken pox?  I had my friend come over and play with me when I was little so she could 'catch it'.  I have a degree in Community Health Education  (now it is called Public Health). By no means does this make me an expert, but I have studied health. Immunology 101 says to expose yourself to a little bit of the virus to build up immunity.  That's the idea of vaccinations.  In my humble, doesn't really matter opinion...vaccinations are a good idea BUT we have to be careful with them.  A true vaccine is fine. However I question pharmaceutical vaccines: is the vaccine made with aborted baby parts (yes, it is a thing)? Are there preservatives (like mercury) or any other added-in chemicals that could cause serious side effects?  How well was it tested?  Not trying to be a conspirator, but these are actions from the past that we need to look at before we mass vaccinate.  If we are nation of freedom, we also have to respect those that choose not to take the vaccine.

The most natural way to vaccinate yourself is to expose yourself a little to the virus.  Guess what, if you do, you probably will get it.  If you are someone with a weakened immune system I wouldn't recommend it.  Just like the chicken pox, it is highly contagious.  My husband 'had' terrible seasonal allergies.  He went through the series of weekly shots to try build up his immunity to pollen.  It wasn't effective.  About 4 years ago he started taking local bee pollen.  It exposes his immune system to little bits of the 'enemy' so they know what defenses 'antibodies' to create to kill the enemy.  It's natural (also another reason we decided to keep our own bees) and proved to be highly effective. In order for this virus to go away, we all might have to expose ourselves to it.

Suffering

Why do I bring all of this immunity/vaccinations up? Because we will have to suffer if we are to be around people.  We will have to chance ourselves that we might get sick.  We can live up in a hole for only so long because we were made to be social.

Can you suffer? How well do you suffer?  Some people are suffering from isolation, some are suffering from their favorite meal at a restaurant, from church, from seeking other medical care, from unemployment, from not being able to visit family, from being denied so many things we take for granted.

How well do you suffer? Do you complain and moan? Assert your opinion?  Or are you a saint who embraces every suffering that comes your way?

Our Lady of Lourdes said to St. Bernadette "I cannot promise you happiness in this world, only in the next."

I once written a blog titled "Redemptive Suffering" (you can search it).  As Catholics we are called to offer up every sufferings as a prayer to God.  We unite our sufferings with Christ's sufferings.  I really HATE wearing a mask but I will offer it up if means that is my access to attend Church.  I really HATE the idea that I have to wear a mask because others who think differently than me. As an act of charity, I will offer it up and wear the mask so that it helps others feel safe and protected from the virus.  These are little sufferings.

Yes, I'm a hypocrite

In inserting my opinion on my little blog, just adds fuel to the fire.  I'm as guilty as contributing to the 'uncivil' war as anyone.  My hope and prayer is that one person will read this and ask themselves what do I fear? how can I conquer it? how well do I suffer?...because we have and will all suffer from this virus in some way.

If you or I catch the virus, I pray that we will not fear death and our sufferings we would endure will be embraced and united with Christ's sufferings on the Cross.  Help us Lord, endure the sufferings imposed on us during this pandemic. Amen.

"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is the Church."  Colossians 1:24


What do you fear? Can you suffer well?





Thursday, April 2, 2020

Corona Creativity

We are in the midst of the Corona "Stay at Home Order" from the Governor.  It's April 2, 2020.  I am not going to lie...I'm enjoying myself and my family. You tell me to stay home in my house on 5 acres down a dead end gravel road with 60+ acres of woods in the beginning of mushroom season without having to worry about practices, working concession stands, going to meetings...Yes SIR! I'll stay home.  (I think that was run-on sentence).

However, we and our extended family are currently blessed with good health. I pray daily for a cure and complete healing of COVID-19. I pray for all those who can't stay home and are the front line warriors in this battle of an unseen enemy that floats around attacking the most vulnerable.  Thank you health care workers. You are loved and appreciated.

We are told that only essential workers and essential travel is allowed.  The definition of essential is what everyone is trying to define.  Sadly, many non-essential workers are now without work.  The essential workers are also front line soldiers exposing themselves to the virus so we can get our food and home supplies. Thank you.  Teachers, thank you also for finding creative ways for my children, who love school, to continue to learn.  May the Holy Spirit come upon you and inspire you.

This time is not all gloom and doom.  It is time of detachment.  We are in Lent and we are to detach ourselves from life's luxuries.  This is good.  We have a lot of 'extra' time on our hands from the mundane responsibility of every day life.   Also, 'non-essential' persons who need to still make a living are coming up with clever ways to still provide an income.   The fruit of all of this I am seeing is creativity

Creativity is the Holy Spirit


I can't remember who said this but it is something that I have always remembered that inspires me:
"Creativity is the Holy Spirit".

Businesses, restaurants, teachers, churches are thinking outside the box and creating inventive ways to stay in business, continue learning and still worship together. 

I was listening to the radio the other day and commercials show this creativity.  A bar now is encouraging people to buy their t-shirts, have a beer in their home and when this is all over to come back and have a drink with them later.  The commercial ends with 'now, go wash your damn hands."  Yes, they cussed, but it was clever, creative and just funny.  Listen to the radio commercials and be mindful of the creative solutions that people are dreaming up.

I tried to lessen my time on social media for lent...failed! This is an historical time we are living in and our family did give up TV so I have to stay in touch somehow, right?  I am seeing so many wonderful, funny, heartfelt memes, videos, articles being shared.  Creativity is at it's height!  The phrase 'social distancing' really isn't accurate. With social media we are closer now more than ever! It should be called "physical distancing". 

Where does creativity come from?  


Above. God made humans like no other creature.  We can think, chose, and love AND CREATE!  Monkeys can't find a cure for this virus, only humans can.  My prayer is that the brilliant creative minds of scientists and doctors can create a cure soon.  The Holy Spirit is the inspiration, the teacher, the creativeness of God.  It is sent down to us from heaven.  We can pray for the Holy Spirit to come into our lives. Just as this invisible virus drifts around and lands on whomever it wishes, so does the Holy Spirit. Just as those that expose themselves more to the virus, the chance of getting it is greater. The more someone exposes themselves to the Holy Spirit, the chance of growing more in creativity, love and grace is greater. 

Pray specifically to the Holy Spirit to enter your life so that you may find God's life to guide you in joy, love, peace and creativity.

My son's creativity won him an ice cream cone!

Fear Kills Creativity


I really need to pay attention to who says what so I can give that person proper credit.  I heard the other day that fear kills creativity.  If you are living a fearful life, you can't think clearly.  If fear kills creativity, and creativity is the Holy Spirit, you are killing the chance of the Holy Spirit to enter your life.  Living life in the Spirit brings about peace, purpose, and allows creativity to flow.

I may not be the most creative person, but I love writing.  It is a chance for me to use the creativity that was given to each of us in our unique way.  I feel a release when I get the thoughts out of my head.  Creative persons aren't just your writers, musicians, dancers but they are your every day people who find creative ways to live life.  My husband is very logically minded and finds creative ways to fix something that is broken usually with a zip tie (not duct tape like many).

Be Creative


If you are blessed to have a little extra time on your hands during this historical season we are in, find your creativity.  What's your passion?  How do you spend your time?  What inspires you? Are you using creative ways to use this time that has been given to you? 

May the Holy Spirit come upon you and guide you to live a creative, abundant life.

"And he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to divise artistic designs, to work in in gold and silver and bronze."  
                                                                                                                   Exodus 35:31-31

What ways do you like to be creative?




Friday, March 13, 2020

Simple Country Catholic: Finding Peace in the Coronavirus

Simple Country Catholic: Finding Peace in the Coronavirus: I have found a profound peace in the midst of life's circumstances which I have no control.  There will always be a virus, war, sufferin...

Finding Peace in the Coronavirus

I have found a profound peace in the midst of life's circumstances which I have no control.  There will always be a virus, war, suffering, tragedy, illness and ugliness.   It's times like these that one should reflect on the bigger picture of life.  Times like these one should hug their loved ones a little tighter, be kinder to their neighbor, ask themselves what and who am I living for?  what am I doing with my life? how am I treating others? what's my purpose? what is missing from my life?

Suffering is good


I truly believe that good comes out of suffering.  Throughout history when there is great tragedy, humanity seems to come together. We remember we belong to each other.  Pettiness seems to disappear, the big picture emerges.  It's like we need to be reminded that we are made for love.  We need to be reminded we are all connected. We need to be reminded of the frailty of our lives.

Peace


I have found this peace because of my faith.  Believing that my soul will live on after my body dies helps me navigate this world.  Anxiety and fear dissipate.  The path that leads to a true and everlasting peace is supernatural.  There is no logical reason why I should be so content. The help I receive is only a result of looking into my soul and asking if I will allow something bigger than me to enter. 

Hope


My hope is that those who are suffering great anxiety and fear will look at their lives and contemplate what could be missing.  I have an answer.  Peace is real. Joy of life is real. There is more to life that just what is on the surface. Go deeper. Allow yourself to be vulnerable to something bigger than yourself. 

Never lose hope. A new day will dawn and we will have a peace that surpasses all understanding.

A new day


Stay calm, rejoice and pray


"Rejoice in the Lord, rejoice...Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made be known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:4-7

St. Augustine said "our hearts are restless until they rest in thee." 

Is your heart restless? Do you have peace?