Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Three Favorite Scriptures

Holly at A Life-Size Catholic tagged me in my first ever blogging meme (just like her, I had to look it up.  A blogging what?)  The question is, " What are your 3 favorite scriptures?"
Ok, so this is going to take a little thought.  I've got 2 right off the bat, so while I think, here are the rules:
1. Write a post on your three favorite verses from the Bible and why you like them.

2. Link back to this post. 

3. In your post, tag three other bloggers to carry this theme forward, link to you and tag additional bloggers.

Elizabeth at Startling the Day
Munches Mom at Four Blessings Academy
Sarah at Snoring Scholar

Ok, here we go:


The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters; 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for His name's sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff-- they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long.
This verse is the one of the only things that got me through the most stressful time in my life. I was a new teacher, thrown into the deep end only knowing how to dog-paddle.  My in-training year was as a special education teacher at an inner city high school full gang members.  It was so stressful that my hair actually fell out in clumps!  How I survived that year is strictly do to the intercession of our Lady and the immediate relief reciting this psalm brought me.  Even now when I read it, I can feel the peace cover me.  
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 
While at a Disciples for Life retreat a few years ago, I found this verse in the Bible while trying to understand God's will for my life.  It was purely Divine Providence that lead me to this.  It was a time in my life when I was extremely lonely and overwhelmed.  We'd just moved across the country with 3 very young children and had just barely started to settle in, but still didn't have any friends.  I was in my room after a full day, praying and begging for God's help in understanding what he wanted me to do when I turned the page to this verse.  Someone at the retreat had mentioned having a life verse and this seemed to be exactly what this was meant to be for me.  I mean, it could only be clearer if it said, "MARY, LISTEN, I'M TALKING TO YOU HERE"  and and angel came a shook me by the shoulders.   To tell the truth, it's a process, rejoicing always, praying continually, giving thanks in all circumstances.  If it came naturally, I don't think it would be my favorite, but I'm working on it.  I've been looking for it printed on a stone that I can set on my kitchen window sill, but I haven't found it yet.  The more I see it, the more I'll remember to put it into practice. 


1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 
If you know me, then you not in vain is a phrase of particular importance to me.  It seems to have come about almost accidently, inspired by a poem by Emily Dickinson.  If the verse from 1 Thessalonians  is a life verse, then this has been my life poem: 
If I can stop one Heart from breaking
I shall not live in vain
If I can ease one Life the Aching
Or cool one Pain

Or help one fainting Robin
Unto his Nest again
I shall not live in Vain.
The phrase that I've held onto all these years is "not in vain".  It has come to mean so much 
more than what I originally thought with this poem. It applies to my life in so many ways.  When 
I realized the phrase appears all over the place in the Bible, it took on even greater significance. 
 I always sit up and take notice when I hear it at Mass.  It's my special little connection with God. 

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Small Successes (Vol 29)

My parish priest told me something the other day when I was lamenting my failures as a mother and a Christian.  For some reason it was a revolutionary thought, although I have always known it.

"God doesn't ask us to be successful. 
He asks us to be faithful."

I can't stop thinking about it and when I have more time, I will write down my thoughts.  If you write about this topic, I'd love to read it!

1.I'll start with an update that has been a couple weeks in coming.  You may remember that I mentioned I entered the Beachbody's Million Dollar Body Game and was waiting to see if I made it through to the next level of the contest: Facebook voting.   Well, I didn't.  My husband entered too. He's a skinny guy who got ripped in 90 days (gaining weight is harder than you might think for people like him). He didn't move on either.  But we tried and regardless of what contest officials decide the end result is that we are both healthier and fitter than we've been in our lives.  I am so proud of us that I am going to share our photos! You can see Kevin's before and after photos too (They are pretty AMAZING and worth the click!!)

Faithfulness to my exercise and nutrition plan (though sometimes I cheat) has got me to this point.  I am a coach (for free) so if you'd like help getting started, let me know.

2.  I passed my Turbo Kick Instructor training!  Now I just gotta learn the choreography and get some confidence and I can start instructing live classes.  That is so scary!!!

3.  I'm semi-caught up with the laundry.  That means it's clean and partially folded.  I guess this is a semi-success.  A success-in-progress.  But then again, aren't we all?

Stop by Faith and Family Live, where people just like you and me share out successes-in-progress.