Posted by: vftmom247 | 2014/04/03

The Importance of Cats and Children….

Not necessarily in that order.

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Cats enrich my life because they are totally selfish and self-centered and yet can be totally comfort givers. Huh? Example: my cat, Socks, above. All he wants out of life is a never-empty food bowl, a clean litter pan, and Mommy attention when he wants it. However, when I am sick or insomnia hits, he usually is right there, just keeping me company. Or making sure his caretaker doesn’t die, never sure which. His purr makes a lousy day instantly better, that’s for sure. Unlike children, he thinks ‘spoiled rotten’ is his natural state.

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Children enrich lives because they help us see potential. For children, especially little ones, there is nothing they can’t do. Can they go madly careening down hills on their trike? Of course, and if they fall off, it’s the doggone hill’s fault. They are so fearless.

At the summer camps and youth retreats we help out at,there is something called a trust fall. A group of kids lock hands to form a kind of net, one falls backward off an elevation.

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I still can’t do it, after about four years of this. My daughter could do it at 8. The older the kids are, the more fear they have about doing this.
Children help us see the potential to have this kind of fearlessness. They think there is nothing they can’t do, and you know what? They’re right.

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Don’t you just hate when a thought pops into your head at night….and you say to yourself, “Wow, what a great topic to write about tomorrow morning! I can’t wait!!!!”….and then you cannot remember a doggone shred of the idea the next day!!!!!

TGIF!!!

Posted by: vftmom247 | 2014/03/02

Impulse : So do not worry! (Plus commentary)

Not an original post by me, totally . This is one of the Gospel passages that I have SUCH a love/hate relationship with. Because I hate letting go, even to God, so much. Because I think by worrying about something I can do something about a situation, when all I am doing is shortening my own life-span. Grrrrr! And then the Gospel and thus the Impulse reminds me. That ain’t the way God wants me to do things. He wants me to place the worries in His lap, and let Him provide. Not necessarily what I want, but what He knows I need.

Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Gospel: Matthew 6:24-34

God and Money.

“No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Dependence on God.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness,* and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.

Impulse:

So do not worry! (Mt 6:31)

We can’t extend our lives even one minute by worrying. By worrying, we can only shorten our life. We can get sick and therefore die sooner because of worrying too much. So it would be better if we would not worry so much. The expression (at least in the German translation of the Bible) is also interesting: Jesus says, ‘do not “make” worries’ (!)! You do not “have” worries, but you “make” them yourself. Rather than “making” things to worry about, we should have more trust in God, who knows all our problems and knows everything will lead to good.

So do not worry!

For example, if I’m in the car and’m late, then I start to get worried. I want to go faster and get annoyed with slow-moving cars in front of me. Worrying about all of this does not help me get any closer to my goal! Worrying does not change the situation. It would be better if I prayed, “Jesus, you know the situation. You know that I’ll be too late now. Please take everything in your hand now and make everything still go well! “With this kind of prayer, I let the worry go and put everything in God’s hands.

So do not worry!

Letting go is very important. We must learn to let go of everything and to trust in God. We must always do our part. For example, if a farmer does not sow, he can’t expect a harvest. But when we have done our part, we must trust in God. We should not worry about what we cannot influence.

So do not worry!

May this be a day of trust in God for us and for all people! Let’s all live in anticipation of His kingdom! And let’s infect others with the God-confidence that radiates from us!

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Not written by me. This was written (through divine inspiration) by the wonderful Fr. Roland, our parish priest. It just spoke so strongly to me, I figured I’d share it. It says a lot about the need to trust in God to provide rather than stressing about all the things I think I need.

At any rate….take it away, Father Roland…

Saturday of the Fifth Week of Ordinary Time

Gospel: Mark 8:1-10

The Feeding of Four Thousand.*

In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat,a he summoned the disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance.” His disciples answered him, “Where can anyone get enough bread to satisfy them here in this deserted place?” Still he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they replied. He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then, taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute, and they distributed them to the crowd. They also had a few fish. He said the blessing over them and ordered them distributed also. They ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over—seven baskets. There were about four thousand people. He dismissed them and got into the boat with his disciples and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

Impulse:

If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way. (Mark 8:3)

Jesus looks at our exact, precise situation. Can I really believe this? If I have too little money, Jesus sees precisely this. If I have a cold, Jesus fully sees this. When I’m tired, Jesus looks exactly at this. If I’m hungry, Jesus sees it exactly. He knows exactly, precisely, fully what we need. And he makes sure that we get exactly the same. Can I really believe this? Can’t we believe so much more that God would not deprive us of something, instead of thinking we must always have the foresight to provide for ourselves?

If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way.

Many people see God as if He might perhaps be good for a few hours respite, but the tough problems of their everyday life they have to provide for by themselves. It is true also that we cannot put our hands in our lap. “Who does not work shall not eat,” Paul writes (2 Thess 3:10). We have the task to do all that is human, what is required of us. The disciples had to give up their seven loaves. But if we do our human best, then God will do everything to take care of us. He does not let us down. He knows what we need. When I’m sick, for example, and it is necessary to do a certain thing, then God knows this. Either he gives me the strength to do it anyway, or he gives remedy through the help of others, or maybe too, the thing was perhaps not as important as I thought.

If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way.

It is important that we put everything in God’s hands. We must not be over-zealous to do things through our own self-will . When we go with what we think we should do, then we often lack the resources, we would often like to have more, we often complain about the lack of something . But if we put everything in God’s hands, then it always goes well. Then everything comes together.

If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way.

God sees our “lack” of time. He sees the tasks we have to do. And He also sees that we cannot do everything. Therefore, it is particularly important to put our lives in His hands. Let’s be guided by the Holy Spirit in each and every step! Maybe we will see today a wonderful “multiplication of time”.

Pastor Roland Bohnen

Posted by: vftmom247 | 2013/11/22

Harry Potter at a Muggles hospital?

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It reassures me for some crazy reason to see another Harry Potter fan is “incarcerated” here.

Posted by: vftmom247 | 2013/11/13

New Beginnings

As I may have mentioned before, one of my favorite sayings is “Oh God of new beginnings and second chances…..here I come again.”

This time of year, I feel like it is an opportunity to take that new beginning, that second chance. There are two reasons for this, mostly. First, December is the month that my family renews their consecration to Mary, along with our LifeTeen brother and sister missionaries. It is a annual consecration for us all, because LifeTeen does have as one of its pillars an especial devotion to Mary. We don’t put her above God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, of course, but she is very special to us as a movement. The book we are using for the second year is below. The book talks about Louis de Montfort, Blessed Mother Teresa, Thèrése of Lisceaux, St. Maximilian Kolbe, and Blessed (almost Saint!) John Paul II, all of whom had their own new beginning in some way.

The other reason for this new beginning is the season. Advent represents a time of waiting, but also, in the Catholic Church, a time of cleansing in preparation for the birth of Jesus. It’s a bit more like Lent than some people realize. It is truly a time to make a new beginning, to try to restart our prayer life, if it has lapsed, to try to be more of the person God knows we can be. To have a second chance to wipe out the bad habits, to begin anew with the good habits.

So, God…..? Coming at you once again ! Yes, again. You know I am a work in progress; one day I’ll get it right. With Your help.

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Posted by: vftmom247 | 2013/11/07

Marriage isn’t for me…a follow-up of sorts

So the post I shared yesterday is one that has gone viral in the States. People voicing their favorable or unfavorable opinions, etc. It really struck home with me, though, since I am in and out of families’ daily lives so much. How much do married couples realize that they are living into their marriage vocation for each other, really? And how often and how consistently do we live into that vocation? I strive more consciously for it now, but when I was first married…? Yeah, right, whatever.

One important point that the author made was that if you do not live for your spouse, then it is so much easier to walk away. It is a struggle to walk away from Apple products if you are working for a Windows company, or vice versa. I am an Apple addict married to a Windows fan, so I know whereof I speak. But, there are people who give up on their marriage easier that their operating system! And that is not right. But the modern world tries to tell us that if something isn’t working right, don’t try to fix it; throw it out. Isn’t this taking the lazy way out?

Here in Germany, I see more and more people not even wanting to get married. They are perfectly fine living together, having kids together, but not wanting to make that final commitment. German readers- if this is due to some kind of tax penalty, please let me know! Because I don’t get it. From a purely selfish standpoint, don’t you want to have someone you can commiserate with at midnight during the baby years and the teen years??? From a more Catholic point of view, I am not sure I like the implications of “O.k., I am fine living with you and having a baby with you, but I don’t want to promise I’ll be with you the rest of my life.” What does this truly say about all involved parties? Maybe something along the lines of “If this doesn’t work out as I want it, I will throw you out”? Note all the “I ” usage. And the one ‘you’.

A marriage is not an operating system. A marriage is the starting point for a family. Not shared living space. Not something for only as long as it suits me. And marriage is most definitely not for me.

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Posted by: vftmom247 | 2013/11/06

Marriage Isn’t For You

Seth Adam Smith

Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.

Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.

I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. 🙂 I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.

Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?

Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.

Perhaps each…

View original post 594 more words

Posted by: vftmom247 | 2013/09/08

The Power of A Praying World

Let there be peace on earth…

The Taylor Family Mission

This past Saturday, Pope Francis declared a Day of Prayer for World Peace, due to the current situation in Syria.

This was a really good thing to do.

It is so weird for us being Americans overseas this strange, bewildering week. People here in Germany are asking us what is going on, why the U.S. is determined to go to war with Syria, in spite of most of the world asking, if not begging, that there not be war. Including the Christians in Syria!

And we have no answers for them. We don’t get it either. It’s no comfort that it seems like most of America doesn’t get it either.

So, why was this Day of Peace an especially good thing? Well, hopefully, it will have an effect, and military action will not be taken, for starters.

For me, personally, the event gave me a little hope. We got to…

View original post 161 more words

Posted by: vftmom247 | 2013/09/04

Sisters helping sisters

I am so happy and blessed this fall day For many reasons, but one of the big reasons is the first meeting of the Catholic Women of the Chapel group (CWOC). This is a group of Catholic women, mostly either military wives or civilians in the military world. Women come physically in and out of the group due to military moves, but thanks to Facebook, etc. they’re there still in spirit.

The personalities are diverse, as is the level of spirituality and knowledge of the Church. We are all striving to deepen our faith, I think, and for me, it is a Godsend, or maybe a Marysend. We have Mass in English every week, which is great, because otherwise my English Mass responses tend to turn into “Deutschlish” these days. I get some time with women who share my American background, who get my cultural touchstones; the importance of Sesame Street, barbecue, Nora Roberts, good peanut butter, and who just know what it means to be an American in the middle of Europe.

For me, these women are my accountability checks, too. They challenge me to go deeper in my faith, to ponder what makes the Catholic Church the beautiful thing it is. The books we read make me more likely to pick a Kindle book with a little more density than Nora Roberts or Janet Evanovich ( tho chick-lit will always be there too). The questions those new to reflecting on the Faith bring make me look at things in a new light, the cradle Catholics among us provide theological bedrock that challenges me to add a layer to my own bedrock. It’s an enlightening, challenging, soul-sustaining, comradely friendship.

More than that, after the first month, we form a support system for each other. We’re sisters in the best, most-supportive-without-enabling way. We got each other’s backs. We cry, laugh, argue, tease, and hug together. And this is truly a blessed thing.

If you don’t have a group of women friends who act as a support group for you – find one. If you already have a group like this…..appreciate the heck out of them. I am very thankful for mine.

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