Wednesday, June 30

Red Light, Green Light

I recently started running and have slowly been building up the time that I continuously run.  I can complete 20 minutes of running successfully.  I have run for 25 minutes straight on one occasion, but I am not yet comfortable running for that length of time.

The first 10 minutes of my run today went relatively well, but at about the 10 minute mark I fell.  I was sure I would catch myself.  I didn't.  I skinned my knee, but I got up and kept going. 

I made it to 20 minutes, but at that point I was really struggling.  I knew that I could come up with any number of excuses to quit, but I kept going. 

Between minutes 21 and 22 it was time to cross a busy street.  I decided that if the light was green I would keep going.  If the light was red, that would be the end of my running for the day.

The light was green.  There weren't any cars that would have impeded my ability to safely cross the street and so I kept running.

I completed the 25 minutes, but I didn't do it alone.  God was with me the entire time and I know that He had a hand in that light being green, which was the motivation that I needed to run for the full 25 minutes.

God, thank You for always being there in the big things and the small things.  Your hand is in all things.  Help me never to lose sight of that.

Tuesday, June 29

The Golden Rule

I have been struggling a bit with a person that I work with.  This person treats people one way, but expects to be treated another way.  Coming from the school of treat everyone as you want to be treated, I have been struggling with this.

I was treating her the way that she treats others, which is not an un-Christian way.  It is just different than the way I treat people.  I genuinely thought this is how she wanted to be treated.  I was wrong.

Now I am going the kill her with kindness route, although I don't know that this is any more effective.

This is a conundrum for me.  I can't figure this one out.  I don't have any answers, but I know that God not only put this person in my life, but put this particular situation in my life for a reason.

I am trying to view the whole experience from His perspective.

God, please send me guidance.  You created a world where we are not all alike and I know that this is what helps makes the world go 'round.  Help me to learn to effectively deal with people different than myself.   Also, help me to always remember that my way is not the only way or necessarily the best way.

Monday, June 28

Peace Be With You

I love going to church on Sunday mornings, although with a one year old it is difficult to always be present while there.  As a single mom, I don't have any assistance when it comes to my son's care during church and, let me tell you, he requires a lot of care. 

My son is not a child who sits quietly during church.  He is so active that I am probably the only person who breaks out in a sweat during the service.  As a matter of fact, I have spent most Sundays chasing my son in the foyer while Mass goes on in the sanctuary.

We have missed Mass the last two weeks.  Two weeks ago my son slept in and I wasn't going to wake him.  Last week we were out of town. 

I decided that Mass this week would be different.  My son and I had a little come to Jesus meeting before we headed to church this morning. I explained proper Mass behavior and my expectations. I knew he didn't understand everything I said, but I knew he got the gist of it.  I was determined that we would stay in the sanctuary during the entire service.

Internally I had decided that if I had to take him out of the sanctuary we would go immediately home and he would spend some time in his crib. I didn't tell him about this though because I knew I would have to follow through and I wanted to be able to play it by ear.

When we got to Mass, I put him in the pew and the rest is history. Just kidding!

He squirmed as much as ever. He was up. He was down. He tried to climb over the back of the pew. He squirmed and tried to get out of my arms. He squirmed and tried to get out of my lap. But moment by moment we made it through.

I secretly celebrated as we hit each milestone. We made it to the first reading. We were actually in the sanctuary for the homily. We made it to the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Time to kneel. Yikes! I hadn't thought about how to handle that one. I ended up just having my son stand next to me on the kneeler and it worked for the most part. I did have to sit down with him at one point, but at least we were still in the sanctuary.

By the time we got to The Lord's Prayer I was completely exhausted. I knew we were getting close to the end, but I wasn't sure if either of us could make it.

Right before the Sign of the Peace my son, who is not a hugger or a cuddler, decided to hug me tighter and longer than he ever has in his 16 months.

After the initial shock wore off, I melted into him and hugged him tightly back.  Tears came to my eyes and I knew this was a moment I would never forget. 

In that moment it was not only my son's love that was palpable, but God's love was palpable in that moment as well.  I felt a sense of peace come over me.  Peace like I have never felt.  Through my son, God was telling me that I was loved, that I was doing fine, and that all my work is, in fact, worth it.

We both made it through the entire service and this week I left with a renewed sense of self and a renewed sense of purpose.

Lord, thank You for giving me a sense of peace that only You can.

Sunday, June 27

"What a great gift! You are a gem!"

As I was setting this site up, a friend of mine sent me an email thanking me for a present that I gave her.  She said, "What a great gift!  You are a gem!"  She had no idea that her sweet words would be so appropriate.

I want this site to be a gift, to God and to others.  Gem--God Every Moment.  She could have used a million other words, but she chose that one. 

I have wondered if I am going the right direction with this site and He sent me a message through a friend that I am.

Lord, help me always to realize that I am impacting people's lives in ways that I could never imagine.

Saturday, June 26

Going with the Flow

My son is with his grandparents today. 

My mom offered to keep him through his nap.  I wasn't sure because I was worried about how long he would sleep at her house, but I decided to just go with it. 

It turns out that the people that live above me (we live in a condo) are having their bathroom floor re-tiled today, which has involved non-stop banging.  At home would have been the worst place we could take a nap today.

Yet another example of how I don't always know best, but that He does.

Friday, June 25


"Come to Me, all you who weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28

I need to rest in order to be renewed and rejuvenated so that I can live the life that God wants me to live. 

This verse is one that I go to often, especially after a long week.  Now was my week any longer than anyone else's?  Of course not.  Did I have to deal with issues greater than some? Sure, but I am sure the things I had to deal with paled in comparison to what others had to deal with this week.

I have to live my own life.  No one else can live my life for me.  My blessings and challenges are not meant to be compared to others. 

Because someone is dealing with something much more difficult than what I am dealing with, does not make what I am dealing with inconsequential.  In the same regard, just because someone seems to have the "perfect life" doesn't mean their life is actually perfect.

How wonderful it is to know that I can go to Him at any time and He knows exactly where I am coming from.  It is in Him that I can truly rest in a way unlike any other and that rest is essential to being able to live the life that He put me on this earth to live.

Thursday, June 24

What was Lost, Now is Found

I make sure each of my sons socks has a match before I put them in the washer.  This allows me the certainty that I will have matches at the other end of the laundry cycle.

Around the start of the year I was doing the pre-load sock matching and came across a sock that I couldn't find a match for.  I hunted a good bit for the sock, but to no avail. 

I placed the un-matched dirty sock on the shelf by the washer.  I didn't want to wash the one sock, but I wanted to have it waiting by the washer when I found its match.

Each time I have gone to do the laundry I have seen that one sock and wondered where the match could be.  At times I have thought about just getting rid of sock.  It is just a sock and it isn't like this is his only pair, but  I just haven't been able to do it because I felt sure that I would find the match at some point. 

I found the sock tonight in a completely unexpected place.  The sock now has its mate and I got a great lesson in having faith.

Always There

Thankfully I don't have, what I would consider, major sleep issues.  I can easily go to sleep at night and usually feel refreshed in the morning.  My biggest problem is that I relatively regularly wake up in the middle of the night and have a hard time going back to sleep.

It is during the middle of the night that my biggest concerns and fears rear their ugly heads.  It is in the middle of the night that I wonder how I am going to deal with all the issues--both big and small--that are going on in my life.  It is during the middle of the night that things seem insurmountable.

The wonderful thing about God is that He is always there.  He is there first thing in the morning.  He is there late at night.  He is there in the middle of the night.  He is the one person you can really always call without worrying about interfering with anything else He has going on.

When I do wake up in the middle of the night I do my best to continue to turn all my worries and concerns over to God and pray for Him to help me go back to sleep. 

Eventually I do go back to sleep and when I wake up in the morning I have a much better perspective on everything.  I thank God for that, because I know that my new-found perspective is due to Him. 

God is always at work in my life, even in the middle of the night.

Wednesday, June 23

Lessons from the Playground

I took my son to the playground this afternoon.  The playground is perfect for my 16 month old.  It is fenced in and doesn't have any equipment that is too advanced for him.  He loves to run around and explore.

This afternoon he found the broken handle from the teeter-totter.  He first tried to fix the teeter-totter, but when he realized that he couldn't easily fix it, he decided that he wanted to eat the handle instead.  I told him that he was not allowed to eat the handle.  He continued trying to eat the handle.  At that point, I took the handle from him and removed it from the playground. 

My son had a meltdown.  It was a major, blood-curdling screaming meltdown.  He was no longer interested in anything else at the playground, which was when I decided it was time for us to head home.  We will return to the playground another day.

How many times have I let God know in no uncertain terms what I want?  How many times have I had some type of meltdown when I haven't gotten what I wanted in life?  Too many to count, I am embarrassed to say. 

God knows exactly what is best for me and if I listen to him, I will get the better deal.  Unfortunately because of my stubbornness, most times I have to learn the hard way.  I fight against God and pitch a fit because I am not getting what I want in life.  I need to remember that I don't know best.  My Father is watching out for me and will always lead me down the right path.  It is up to me to listen.

God, I think I know the best path for my life, but You have much greater things in mind.  When things don't go my way, help me remember that Your way is the way I need to follow.

Tuesday, June 22

The Importance of Conscious Living

At the end of a weekend away I began packing the car in preparation for the trip home.  I took one load outside and realized that I the trunk had not opened even though I had pressed the trunk release button from inside the house. 

I left the load by the car and went back in to retrieve my keys.  While I was there I picked up another load and headed back to the car.

I put the second load by the trunk and pressed the trunk release button.  I loaded both the first and second load into the trunk and went to shut the trunk.  Something stopped me.  I made the deliberate decision to make sure I had my keys in my hand before I closed the trunk.

The keys weren't in my hand.  The keys weren't in my pocket.  I checked the ground around the car--no keys.  Again, I started to close the trunk, but something stopped me.

I left the trunk open and headed back into the house to see if I had left the keys there.  About halfway to the house, I turned around and headed back to the car.  I looked in the trunk.  Still no keys.  I couldn't imagine where they could be, but I knew I needed those keys in my hand before I closed that trunk.

At the top of one of the bags that had been loaded in the trunk laid my keys.  I picked up the keys and all I could say was thank you time and time again.  I didn't want to even think about what the chain of events would have been had I closed that trunk before I had those keys in my hand.

It wasn't something that stopped me; it was Someone.  God was reminding me to always be in the moment and to live consciously. 

God, it is easy to be preoccupied and be thinking of other things--in the past, in the future, people and places far away in time or distance.  Thank you for reminding me to consciously live in the moment.