God Provides. Yes, He Actually Does.

I am 23+ weeks into my pregnancy with our happy surprise Baby #3 (a little girl).  When I say she is a “surprise”, I mean just that.  We are people who use NFP regularly and though we are pro-life and thus always ready to accept a new little life as God sees fit to give it, we weren’t purposefully trying to get pregnant with this little one (as we were with our other two).  So, when,  that 2nd little line showed up on a pregnancy test last fall, surprised is the best word to describe my reaction.530862_661837282070_1511837382_n

When it took 14 months to get pregnant with my first child, I learned quickly that God alone is the author of Life and only HE knows when it is best for a person or family to have a baby.  Sometimes our will and His will line up (we were trying for a 2nd child and God deemed it to be the right time and we got pregnant quickly).  Other times, it’s challenging to understand why God is or isn’t allowing a pregnancy to happen.

I have never once take for granted the gift of this new little life within me when I know so many people who would give anything to get pregnant and I am so thrilled to be having another little girl.  But, from my limited perspective, I wouldn’t have chosen right now to be pregnant again!  Read More

Jesus Trusts ME?!?

This morning at the Wednesday morning Mass with some of the teens from our youth group, Fr. Joy made a very interesting point in his homily.  He said that Jesus had to trust his apostles and disciples, that they would carry out the mission he had left for them.

Jesus had to trust others.  He had to trust those he was teaching and guiding.

Jesus had to trust.

Trusting is a very human thing.  It’s something that we have to constantly work on and make a concerted effort to have.  We work to have trustworthy friends and spouses.  We pray that we might be able to trust in the Lord, in His plan for our lives.  Many of us struggle with trusting due to things that have happened to us throughout our life that have broken our ability to easily trust.

And, yet, Jesus had to trust, too.  Jesus, who was God, who knew how it would all turn out, had to work on the very human act of trusting in his followers. Read More

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

Believe it or not, Alabama (along with much of the Southeast) is kind of a 2nd Tornado Alley to places like Oklahoma and Kansas.  I’ve dealt with the reality of severe and very scary weather for the entirety of my life.  I know well the sounds of a tornado siren and I have a working knowledge of what kind of space I should go to if I am not at home when  those sirens go off.

Yup, you're deep in the heart of Dixie!

In the past several years, these tornadoes seem to have gotten worse and worse.  Last spring, in fact, a gigantic tornado tore through a town about 40 miles away from my house, headed in our direction, pushed north, and ripped a line across north-central Alabama instead.  Many people I know personally were affected by this life-changing storm – people lost their entire homes, many people died, and security was shattered.

The reality of natural disasters like tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, etc. force me to contemplate and accept the reality of the power of God.  Because, when it comes to these types of events, there’s really nothing anyone can do to control or stop them.

Sure, it’s important for people to avoid making stupid decisions that would put them in imminent danger (like driving TOWARDS a tornado, which people actually do).  We have to be informed and we have to make proper choices in order to do our best to be safe.

But, it’s in the course of these disasters unfolding that I stand in awe of the hand (or, maybe fist) of our Almighty God.  For whatever reasons, He shakes up the earth in one place, allowing thousands of lives to be sacrificed.  Or, He pushes the winds at breakneck speeds through a residential area, allowing this house to be passed over and that one to be decimated.  His power and might is beyond frightening and beautiful.  It’s shocking and fascinating.

I don’t believe in a vengeful God who has nothing else to do but to allow suffering among His beloved creations.  And, I don’t believe that weather is just scientific (all those weather patterns had to start somewhere!).  I believe we have a God who has an understanding and vision greater than anything I can imagine, who has a plan that is perfect, even if I don’t get it.

Today, schools are being let out early and people will be hurrying home from work as meteorologists are predicting terrible weather again for our state (in fact, this morning, homes have already been damaged by tornadoes).  Admittedly, my heart races a little every time I hear the sirens go off or I see that little red box of “warning” going over my city.

I try my best, though, to remember that I have a God who loves me, who doesn’t do things arbitrarily.  I won’t make any stupid choices that could harm me or my family, but if God sees fit to do some damage, all I can do is stand in wonder and awe of His might and praise Him in the storm.

Tornado that ripped across Alabama Apr. 22, 2011...it was a mile wide.