CCD Week 5

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Hey everyone I know that I am late with my CCD post but with mid-terms and papers and life in general I am just now getting around to it.

Last week we continued with the Gospel of Luke. Our lesson was on Luke 18 9-14.  This is the parable was about the tax collector and the pharisee and their character qualities.

So after reading the passage we sat down and talked about a few things:

  1. What is the tax collector like?
  2. What is the pharisee like?
  3. Who’s character does Jesus want us to model ourselves after?
  4. Is it okay to judge the sins of others?
  5. Instead of arroganance like the pharisee what should we be ?                  The answer is we need to be humble!

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I am sorry if it is hard to read.

Being Humble shows that I have:

Happiness with what I have

Understanding of others

Meekness with my prayers

Bravery with my faith

Love for my God

Elevation in Christ.

 

Being humble is so important in our walk with Christ. I feel that many of us struggle with this on a daily basis. I wanted the kids to have some scriptures to reinforce the importance of being humble.

I know God wants me to act:

Ephesians 4:2 “with all humility and meekness, with patience, and supporting one another in charity”

I will always remember:

John 5:41 ” I do not accept the glory of men”

I will act humbly because:

Proverbs 15:33 ” The fear of the Lord is the discipline of wisdom and humility proceeds glory”

Wifely Submission and What God Has Shown Me

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Three weeks is all I have left until my hubby comes home. My husband has been away at Police Academy for 8 months. He comes home on the weekends but with school being three hours away, he’s home for a day before he leaves again. It is like he is coming and going and going and coming as quickly as he came. This experience has touched my heart in so many ways. I have learned so much.  I now appreciate my husband and the role God has place in him for our marriage. I have also have had the blessing to understand and appreciate my place in this marriage as well. God has truly touch both of our hearts.

I guess this brings me to my actual story. I have only come back to my faith about a year and a half ago at this point. I have learned so much and I have been happier than I have ever been and I know that it is because of my faith. This has only increased my faith. I am truly amazed everyday for the wonderful blessings that God has placed in my life.

One of my biggest problems has always been  submitting to my husband. I have always run our home and he ran the other parts of our life. Our roles never crossed and I never knew how much stress and pressure he is under all the time until he was gone, but I will get to that. I have a large and in charge kind of personality, I consider myself a natural born leader but so is my husband. Now I know now how much I stunted his growth and blocked the his path to God in my selfishness. It was like we were both working on making our sections of our marriage better but we were not working together.

Once he was gone and I managed to get back to normal and deal with the new circumstances, I began to adjust to trying to keep myself busy. I did not know that this desire to keep busy was the Holy Spirit working in my life but we rarely notice these sort of things at the time.  I was recently out of work before my husband left and God had called me to do more charity work. With my mother having MS I began to do work for the MS Society. I was successful and it gave me something to focus on as my husband was gone. I continued to do more charity work and eventually ended up sitting on a board for our local republican women’s group. I was actually out there doing great things in the community and promoting being a good Christian (Catholic) and I was so happy that my professional life was going so well. School started back up again and along with my college classes I started teaching Sunday School at my church. I just continued to do God’s work and it was making me happy in my professional life so I continued to run with it.

However my married life…….

It is hard when your husband is gone. It is frustrating. I began to notice all the things he did that I didn’t even realized piled up when he wasn’t here. Things like the trash, the lawn, our wood pile, the list goes on. Those things began to pile up. I began to resent him for not being there to help me with the most trivial of things.  But it gets worse…..

That resentment began to grow, as the enemy preyed on my hurt and resentment, it only got worse.   I knew that  Ephesians 5 tells me that my husband is supposed to love me like Christ love the church. I had so much going on in my professional and personal life and I wanted (no NEEDED) my husband’s support. He was as supportive as one can be from afar but that was not good enough for me and my resentment continued to grow.

Then the fighting started….

“You’re not there” I would say “You do not know what I am dealing with” and he would respond “Actually I do and I am going through a lot can you stop being so selfish” and I think you get the point that this argument eventually ended up pretty badly both of us sorry and of course off he would go again. And of course more RESENTMENT.

I was being selfish. My husband was trying to lead our family from a far and I was just ignoring him. It is crazy how the enemy convinces us so quickly to stray. What I did not know was my husband was also building resentment. However I thank God he is level headed enough to still guide us even through all of my insanity.

Then last week, I had a revelation. Well first I threw a tantrum and then I had a revelation. You see my husband was going to get his state police assignment. I wanted it be somewhere else. He wanted to stay local. When he called me all excited that he is station locally and that this is what’s best for us and he is so happy blah blah blah blah. Well I just flipped out. “This is bs and I am not happy whine whine whine whine” . Finally after a few minutes of me being ungrateful my husband put his foot down. “This is what God wants for us, this is what I think is best for our family, and you’re just going to have to calm down and accept that this is what is happening.” Of course I hung up on him.

Well as I was driving the two hour trip to meet with him that weekend, God touched my heart. I realized that I was not submitting to God. I was going off of what I wanted and of my worldly desires. That is not what it means to me to be a Christian. We live in a world we chose to be not part of because we chose to be obedient to God. It is a commitment that I understood when I made but living it was not easy! I began to dwell on that thought for a moment. Then my husband’s words came back to me “This is what God wants for us and this what I think is best for our family”. It played over and over in my head like a broken record for what seemed like forever but was actually 20 minutes. I realized. I was not submitting to God.

I was shocked. My marriage aside when I submitted to God and what he wanted for my life things were great. I learned that even with my husband not there I still had God to lean on and he did amazing things in my life. Why couldn’t I submit now? Resentment. My resentment had built up so much that I wanted nothing to do with my marriage and I was completely withdrawn myself from my faith. With all the work I was doing I was going through the motions. I need to submit to God, when I did my life was better. I then realized that meant allowing my husband to lead our family.

I realized that instead of resenting him and our situation, I needed to see this as a blessing. I am so blessed to have a husband that loves me like Christ. I am blessed that my husband takes his role as our leader seriously and always does what he thinks is best for us. Even if that means sacrificing a year of his life so that our lives can be better for years to come. Resentment leads to that selfishness I was talking about. I also realized that I now understand why God calls our husbands to lead and why we are meant to support them .

You see my husband heads our home and with out him to lead our family things spiraled. Part of this I believe was God teaching me to be more appreciative of everything my husband does. He carries the stress and heavy work load of our house so that I do not have too. So I can focus on what I need to be doing and with him gone, I lost that opportunity. Wow, I was selfish. I can not believe that instead of counting my blessings I was allowing these same blessings to tear us apart.

This of course lead to doubting myself as a wife. I was reading an article and it was concerning Proverbs 31. I do not remember why but I grabbed my Bible and began to read. I realized. That I was the  woman God wanted me to be. I was being the proper wife and my husband valued me. God valued me, and the I was touched by the Holy Spirit.  I valued me.

So as I was busy trying to control everything, God was teaching me what it means to submit. From this experience I have learned that no matter how much we want to control things, if we take our husbands out of the equation that is our family, it falls apart. As a wife I am the foundation for which my husband stands on so that he can lead our family in the direction that God wants to take us. I proud to say that today I try to submit to God and my husband a little more everyday and that resentment has finally dissipated.

CCD Week 2

 

 

I have to be honest and say that  I never really thought I would enjoy teaching CCD as much as I do. I still talk to my old CCD teacher on occasion and I remember how much of a difference she made in my life. I hope one day I can make a difference in a kid’s life as much as she did for me. But enough of that sappy stuff.

 

So because today is St. Francis of Assisi’s feast day today, we made Pet Prayer Cards. I used the following prayer of Catholic.com. Sadly I lost it and so I can only credit them and not supply a link.

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“Blessed are you Lord God maker of all living creatures. You call fourth the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, and the animals on land. You inspired St. Francis to call them his brothers and sisters. Bless this pet (enter kids pet names here). By the power of love enable my pet to live by your plan. My we praise for for all you beauty” -Amen.

We also learned from our Old Testament Reading of Amos 6:4-7

Since the story is about social justice and working together, we play the hula hoop game.

Hula Hoop Game:

Have kids stand in a circle and have kids pass it around in a circle holding hands. Let them figure it out. Have them work together. Here’s where it got interesting.

Ask the following questions:

Did it matter that the person next to you was a different gender?

Did it matter that you may have less or more money than them?

What is the all thing we have in common?

It took a few tries till they figured out it was Jesus.

Like I said before my class is super smart and I am happy that they are grasping adult concepts so quickly!!!!

Catechism Week 1

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(via google)

 

I am so happy to announce that this week started our first week of Sunday School at our church. I am teaching the 4th grade class and I am super excited that I have a class of awesome students who are excited to learn about the Word of God! So as this is my first time teaching I would like to share it with all of you and get your feedback.

 

Lesson 1

Luke 16: The Parable of the Rich man.

So one of the key lessons I wanted my kids to learn from this story is the idea of privileged. How do you teach privileged of a class of fourth graders!  I did some research and figured that showing the kids that life is not fair would be a good place to start.

I wadded up a bunch of paper and made them stand in line and try to get them to make all of the papers in the basket. Of course the kids in the back complained and the children in the front said nothing. This fact went completely unnoticed by the class.

 

This was actually based on a lesson for high school students that I modified for my class, you can find the original link here .

By asking them to figure out the following they were able to grasp the concept:

  1. Why wasn’t this fair?
  2. What could the people in the front do to help those in the back?
  3. Why didn’t the people in the front offer to help?
  4. What would Jesus say to do in this situation based on this parable?
  5. How can we make it fair for everyone?
  6. How do we apply this to real life and making good choices?

Leave the questions open ended. My class wonderfully outlined that sometimes if we do not know we are supposed to help others that we don’t. This gave us an opportunity to talk about how Jesus wants us to always help others even when it is not considered the social norm.

 

The harder lesson to tackle was not being able to serve God and Money. My class wants to be rich (because who doesn’t), so once again all I could do was try to get them to figure out the answers on their own.

  1. Why should we choose to serve God over money? (This question is supposed to be hard put those brains to work)
  2. Why does God want us to pay attention to things like helping the poor and being a good person over being rich and famous?
  3. When have you been in a situation where you picked doing the right thing over money?

I love making my class think and I love that they were honest that some of them had never been in those kind of situations. They were however able to still give examples of different situations such as turning in a found wallet, doing volunteer work and not getting paid for it (like Ms. Bella they were so happy to add), or like picking up trash when no one asked us to, which is how we ended the last 15 mins of class.

Prayer Journal Week Four Reflections

 

Week four was probably the hardest week of the whole challenge. Week fours questions were longer and even though a question was added every week. As you begin to review the questions in reference to your daily life, the questions became more extensive. You begin to really begin to dig deeper into your soul. As I went through this challenge I think that one that stood out for me was a reoccurring theme for me was trust, faith, and prayer.

A friend of mine (whom I love dearly) and we spoke about Ephesians and how “nothing is new under the sun”. One of the things I learned from this challenge was that certain problems that plague the world aren’t new at all. In fact, it shows that no matter what time period you live in certain things like love, responsibility, faith are universal and span through time even after we return to the dust of the Earth.

When looking through my journal for the past 30 days, I learned that God really speaks to us through scripture. I also learned that through faith and prayer we can accomplish more. The Holy Spirit blesses us with the confidence and faith we need and all we need to do is asked to blessed and to instrument to the Holy Spirit.

I also notice how hard it was to take 15 mins for God everyday. I did not realize how easy it is to be like I will do it tomorrow or maybe later. Some can say its the enemy some can say it is a defect of character. It is probably both but until we have our eyes opened to such things, they will reveal themselves. 13936734_10207040303630963_1013318166_n

Week 2 Prayer Journal Reflections

 

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I have to say that as this process continues to go forward, I am shocked about how much I am learning about myself and my relationship with God. I am newly returned to my faith and trying to make the right choices in accordance to scriptures while dealing with worldly problems. I have learned this week that if I cast my burdens to God, he blesses me with motivation from the Holy Spirit. I am actually shocked about how much closer I am to God at the end of these two weeks. I can not believe How well this is working. I am so grateful for the 15 mins a day I have devoted to God, are beginning to show results!!!

 

If you are interested in participating please contact me.

Prayer Journal Challenge Outline

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Hey everyone I love that people are interested in doing the 30 day prayer challenge I wrote. I received a lot of questions so I created an outline for people to follow. This is not set in stone just a basic idea for you to build off of. Weeks 1-3 are available for you now. Week four will be available in week four.

 

Week One Questions

  1. How Do I feel today?
  2. What does the Bible say about my feelings? (My Advice is to use your feelings as key words and list the key words in your journal for future reference; this applies to all verse questions.)
  3. Where was I weak today?
  4. What advice does the Bible give about overcoming my weakness?
  5. What is God’s Message today?
  6. At the end of week one you write a reflection and Prayer to carry you into the next week.

 

Week 2  Questions

  1. How Do I feel today?
  2. What does the Bible say about my feelings? (My Advice is to use your feelings as key words and list the key words in your journal for future reference; this applies to all verse questions.)
  3. Where was I weak today?
  4. What advice does the Bible give about overcoming my weakness?
  5. Where was I strong today?
  6. What verses in the Bible encourage my strength?
  7. What is God’s Message today
  8. Prayer
  9. Week 2 Reflections

Week 3 Questions

  1. How Do I feel today?
  2. What does the Bible say about my feelings. (My Advice is to use your feelings as key words and list the key words in your journal for future reference, this applies to all verse questions.)
  3. Where was I weak today?
  4. What advice does the Bible give about overcoming my weakness.
  5. Where was I strong today?
  6. What verses in the Bible encourage my strength?
  7. What can I do to be better tomorrow?
  8. What encouragement does the Bible offer me?
  9. What is God’s Message
  10. Prayer
  11. Week 3 Reflections

Week 4:

  1. How Do I feel today?
  2. What does the Bible say about my feelings. (My Advice is to use your feelings as key words and list the key words in your journal for future reference, this applies to all verse questions.)
  3. Where was I weak today?
  4. What advice does the Bible give about overcoming my weakness.
  5. Where was I strong today?
  6. What verses in the Bible encourage my strength?
  7. What can I do to be better tomorrow?
  8. What encouragement does the Bible offer me?
  9. What did I do today to improve my relationship with God?
  10. What encouraement does the Bible offer me.
  11. What is God’s Message
  12. Prayer
  13. Week four Reflections.

The Conclusion of My Saga of My Novena to Our Lady of Candelaria

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Last night was the final night of my Novena. I can’t believe it is over. I can happily say that this Novena brought me closer to God and Our Blessed Mother. It feels bitter sweet that it is over as I felt our connection was growing. So now she has a candle on my alter at home for daily prayer.

Day 9 Prayer:

Immaculate  Virgin of Candelaria, by your
obedience to the Father, conscious of our
pride, we ask you to help us humble ourselves.
We want to accept God’s will and make our
life a constant “yes” to the invitation of the
eternal Father. Amen.

Allowing my life to be a “constant yes” to the invitation of the eternal Father.  This can be taken a few ways and as I lit my candles last night I realized that this constant yes is a daily struggle and test of my faith.

Our Blessed Mother trusted God, she was a constant yes. As for what she went through  I think I would have been happier if God asked me to jump off a bridge. So clearly there was a reason why I was not a part of that plan (lol just a joke).  The goal of this Novena was for protection against poverty and illness.

Walking away from this I have been blessed with the following information.

  • Our riches are no defined by money
  • Our health and quality of life are not defined by illness
  • That everyday we take a leap of faith and if we trust in God, our leap will be well worth it.
  • I have also learned by the example of the Blessed Mother, that I must allow God to do his work for me and stop trying to control things I do not have control over.
  • That no matter how successful a person is they will still face the same judgement.

I think though the most important thing that I can take from this is that the Holy Spirit is a gift given to us through Pentecost. We must not take this blessing lightly. For when we do you’re pretty much leaving the door open for the enemy to fill our head with doubts and other sins against God.

I feel blessed that I have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit. I feel even more blessed that sine this novena I have actually been able to use my five senses to interact with the holy spirit. This was an amazing experience! I am grateful I was able to share this with you.

The Saga of my Novena to Our Lady of Candlaria Day 8

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Day 8 Prayer:

Immaculate  Virgin of Candelaria, give me
your Son Jesus and let him live permanently
in my heart. May Jesus’ presence in my heart
enable me to be humble, serene, and at
peace, enjoy the purity of heart, body, and
spirit. May he inspire me to be persevering and
patient, prayerful and always looking forward
for my final union with him in heaven. Amen.

First I really want to say that with tonight being my last day of my Novena there is a bitter sweet feeling. I definitely feel that the Holy Spirit has been working in me and that my prayers did not fall on deaf ears. This has been a very humbling experience.

The wording of the prayer for day 8 was extremely intense. This Novena is for protection against poverty and illness. And as I recited this prayer last night, I silently contemplated the meaning of each word.

“Give me your Son Jesus and let him live permanently in my heart” – Let’s be honest there isn’t a better protection you could ask for.”

“May Jesus’ presence in my heart
enable me to be humble, serene, and at
peace, enjoy the purity of heart, body, and
spirit.” – When seeking protection from poverty and illness. There isn’t anything you better to ask for. Allow me to be at peace because if I am at peace then I will be successful.

May he inspire me to be persevering and
patient, prayerful and always looking forward
for my final union with him in heaven. Amen. – His inspiration is what makes us successful. We have to keep fighting. We must move forward. Even if that means to move on from failure.

Remember you are not a pillar of salt. Don’t look back, keep going.

The Saga of my Novena to Our Lady of Candlaria Day 7

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Day 7 Prayer:

O Holy Virgin of Candelaria, conscious of
our defects, we take refuge in you. We
know that you have Jesus in your arms and
you give him to those who seek and wait for
him. Ask your Son to give us the necessary grace  we may be able to live our Christian
vocation, to imitate your virtues and win the promise of life eternal. Amen.

After saying this last night a saying my father tells me popped in my head. “If God wants you to have money, you will have money. Money doesn’t define success.”

In my quest for protection from poverty, after reading this prayer I have come to realize. That if I am walking right with God the other things will fall into place. If we can take refuge in our Blessed Mother and Christ, we can over come our obstacles. We must “seek and wait”. I can tell you at this point I can feel the Holy Spirit working in my life and I do feel truly blessed.