Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday of NFP Week!

Last day for prizes on Simcha's blog!

And here's another pic for you!

I'd do more, but I'm giving a talk tonight on Edith Stein and might need to prep for it! ;-)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

NFP - Not just for Married Ladies, it's FOR EVERY WOMAN! - Wednesday of NFP Awareness Week

Isn't this fun?!

When we say "Natural Family Planning" what do you think of?

Do you think of a couple planning their family? What about a single woman? Does this mean anything to her? Oh! I'm so glad you brought that up!! Because NaProTechnology based on FertiltyCare designed at the Pope Paul VI Institute using the same science as natural family planning, aims at caring for the woman and actually solving the problems she is experiencing.

Are you one of the many women (between 12 and 50 years of age) who has been to your obstetrician/ gynecologist with recurrent ovarian cysts, menstrual cramps, long and irregular cycles, irregular bleeding, Polycystic ovarian disease and/ or other conditions related to menstrual and fertility cycles? Has your doctor given you birth control pills to treat your symptoms? Have you felt frustrated after that because the doctor did not actually do any testing to find out what the cause of the problem was? Did you feel like you had only received a Band-Aid?

Are you a woman who has infertility problems and frustration with referring you to IVF without trying to find out what caused the infertility?

Are you a woman who experiences significant mood swings, premenstrual syndrome or just a feeling that your hormones are "all wacked out"? Did your doctor listen to your concerns or just prescribe either birth control pills, antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications without evaluating your hormones or doing anything to find out what was wrong? Maybe you experienced post-partum depression only to be treated with anti-depressants which are slow to work, make you feel drugged and never return you to normal. (You were probably never told about a hormone therapy that brings rapid relief in 95% of cases!)

So many women with these and other complaints related to menstrual and fertility cycles have felt dissatisfied or frustrated or even abandoned when trying to seek help.

Great NEWS!!! You are not alone! and - THERE IS HOPE! There are answers to your problems! And it comes from the science of Natural Family Planning! (Ra! Ra! #NFPWeek2014!)

NaProTECHNOLOGY uses the CREIGHTON MODEL FertilityCare System and it is a science that actually listens to women. Instead of suppressing and destroying, it works cooperatively with a woman's cycle. It is this that allows this new science to unleash the power that exists in a woman's cycle. This power is one of knowledge, understanding and medical application.

It approaches problem solving by looking for the underlying problem. It approaches patients by listening to them! It approaches treatment by working toward eliminating the cause or the disease which is causing the symptoms.

There is hope now! And it all comes from the science of NFP! The above information is from the book every woman needs to read: "The NaProTechnology Revolution: Unleashing the Power in a Woman's Cycle" by Thomas W. Hilgers, MD

Prepare to be blown away! Oh yeah, and go enter to win some more FREE stuff on Simcha's blog!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Day 3 - The Pill SMACKDOWN - NFP Awareness Week! Tambien les dejo la versión en español

Tuesday of NFP Awareness Week!

And yesterday I posted the beginning of the Smackdown I gave on the Pill in response to an editorial about how the pill has benefited society. Here is the piece in its entirety (since some of you have asked to just include the entire thing on the same post!).

I've included the original and translated version (en Español)!

have a great day!! (oh, also after the Pill Smackdown piece I reposted the graphic from yesterday - there was a typo! oops! :-)  AND there is a link to SIMCHA Fisher's NFP Week GIVE-AWAY! SO MANY PRIZES!!! DO IT!)

Dear editor,
The column by Susan Reimer:Society has benefited from birth control once again exposes society’s blindness. Let’s open a few eyes with facts. Hormonal contraceptives are listed by the World Health Organization as Class 1 carcinogen for breast, liver, and cervical cancers.[1] It is listed right alongside arsenic, asbestos, silica dust, and tobacco. Another chemical in Depo Provera (the shot) is depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) which has been linked with a 2.2 increase in breast cancer.[2]

It also causes weight gain, deep vein thromboses (blood clots), hepatocellular adenomas (liver tumors), and strokes. It can quite literally kill you by just taking the prescribed dose. All while lowering woman’s libido![3]

The pill ages the cervix. This is one reason why pill use can lead to infertility (and why the contraceptive industry fuels the multi-billion dollar infertility industry).[4] The pill also changes her chemistry& cellular function as to make a woman more susceptible to getting HIV/AIDS and other STDs.[5]

Divorce is down and family life is elevated when a woman uses a natural method (Natural Family Planning (NFP), 99.5% effective) rather than hormonal contraception. This is not the rhythm method, but scientifically designed to naturally understand woman’s fertility.[6]

How can we say woman is equal when we first force her to rid herself of her fertility (medicinally and surgically) before she is allowed to participate in society? Women have “come so far”, but at what cost? It is not woman, but a genderless creature, femininity and fertility subdued. Is it feminism to say women ought to be like men? Taking hormonal contraceptives can actually make women’s brains like men’s – more compartmentalized, less relational.[7] That’s not elevating woman; that is turning her into a man.

In short, enough is enough. Women don’t want to have to become men to play the game in society. We want a society that truly elevates woman in all her glorious femininity. We don’t want to play the game, we want to change the rules. We need a NEW FEMINISM.

(My sincere thanks to Rosa Maria (from Peru!) for the following Spanish translation!)

En respuesta a la columna de Susan Reimer "La sociedad se ha beneficiado de control de la natalidad"
La Columna de Susan Reimer apareció en la Winona Daily News, y he presentado esta carta al editor en respuesta. Sabiendo que podría ser severamente editado a pesar de mis fuentes (o no publicada en absoluto), se las dejo aquí también. (Tenía que responder en 350 palabras o menos - no hay mucho espacio así que esto es lo que elegí como los puntos más importantes.)

Estimado editor,
La columna de Susan Reimer: “La sociedad se ha beneficiado de control de la natalidad”, una vez más expone la ceguera de la sociedad. Vamos a abrir algunos ojos con hechos. Los anticonceptivos hormonales son listados por la Organización Mundial de la Salud como agente cancerígeno de clase 1 para la mama, el hígado y el cáncer de cuello uterino. [1] Se enumera justo al lado del arsénico, asbestos, polvo de sílice, y el tabaco.

Otro producto químico que forma parte del Depo Provera (la inyección) es acetato de depo-medroxiprogesterona (DMPA) que es relacionado con un aumento del 2,2 en el cáncer de mama. [2]
También causa aumento de peso, la trombosis venosa profunda (coágulos de sangre), adenomas hepatocelulares (tumores hepáticos) y derrames cerebrales. Literalmente, puede matar con sólo tomar una dosis prescrita. Todo al mismo tiempo que reduce el libido de la mujer! [3]

La píldora envejece el cuello uterino. Esta es una razón por la cual el uso de la píldora puede causar infertilidad (y el por qué la industria anticonceptiva alimenta la multi billonaria industria de la infertilidad). [4] La píldora también cambia su función química y celular haciendo que la mujer sea más susceptible a contraer el VIH / SIDA y otras enfermedades de transmisión sexual. [5]

Los rangos de divorcio bajan y la vida familiar es elevada cuando una mujer usa un método natural (Planificación Familiar Natural (PFN), que tiene un 99,5% de efectividad) en lugar de la anticoncepción hormonal. Este no es el método del ritmo, más bien es un método científicamente diseñado para comprender de forma natural la fertilidad de la mujer. [6]

¿Cómo podemos hablar de la igualdad de la mujer cuando primero la obligamos a librarse de su fertilidad (medicinalmente y quirúrgicamente) antes de que se le permitiera participar en la sociedad? Las mujeres “han llegado tan lejos", pero ¿a qué costo? Ya no es mujer, sino una criatura sin género, con una feminidad y fertilidad sometida. ¿Es feminista decir que las mujeres deberían ser como los hombres?. Tomar anticonceptivos hormonales puede realmente hacer que los cerebros de las mujeres sean como la de los hombres - más compartimentada, menos relacional [7] Esta no es la manera de elevar a una mujer; por el contrario esto es convertirla en un hombre.

Resumiendo, ya es suficiente!, Las mujeres no quieren convertirse en hombres para jugar un papel en la sociedad. Nosotras queremos una sociedad que realmente eleve a la mujer en toda su gloriosa femineidad. No queremos participar en ese juego, queremos cambiar las reglas. NECESITAMOS UN NUEVO FEMINISMO.

Monday, July 21, 2014

NFP Week Continues!

To continue our adventures, here is another fun graphic for you!

By the way, we have a Facebook page just for this blog now! Please hike on over there and give 'er a "LIKE" for me!

And to further unpack the question of a natural way to regulate childbirth - please check out my post about the not so great benefits of contraception! It begins:

Dear editor,
The column by Susan Reimer: Society has benefited from birth control once again exposes society’s blindness. Let’s open a few eyes with facts. Hormonal contraceptives are listed by the World Health Organization as Class 1 carcinogen for breast, liver, and cervical cancers.[1] It is listed right alongside arsenic, asbestos, silica dust, and tobacco. Another chemical in Depo Provera (the shot) is depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) which has been linked with a 2.2 increase in breast cancer.[2]
It also causes weight gain, deep vein thromboses (blood clots), hepatocellular adenomas (liver tumors), and strokes. It can quite literally kill you by just ... Read the rest HERE!

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stop Feminine Discrimination - Happy NFP Awareness Week 2014!

A woman's fertility is not a disease. Her body is not broken. People speak of helping women become "equal" by giving them contraception. Is that all a woman is worth? Is she not valued enough to take the time to understand the power behind a woman's cycle and the amazing, intricate ways her cycle can tell her when she is fertile or not or if something else is going wrong in her body.

Instead we tell women and young ladies that to be equal they must control and stop their fertility. They must suppress it with medication, by inserting foreign objects into her body or through surgery ending her fertility permanently. And this will allow woman to be free? 

On the contrary, this only allows a genderless creature formerly known as woman to be "free."* Years upon years upon years doctors have accepted the easy way out to "taking care of" women's issues. From the time a young lady begins her menstrual cycle, she is told the pill is what she needs. So, I know it is hard to see beyond that thick layer of "this is the way it is" pressure. And it might even seem crazy to think otherwise now.

But imagine this - what if there was a way that was 99% effective and had absolutely no side effects. Not only this but it was hormone-free, totally organic and still allowed the couple to have the ability to make a decision about the spacing of their children in freedom and peace. In this method, the man takes time to understand his wife's body. (Instead of holding his ears closed and humming during any menstrual cycle talk!

It's not always easy - but often that is not the fault of natural family planning, but because the couple needs to learn how to communicate more effectively, more lovingly.

Let's seek a New Feminism that elevates women because of her femininity, not over its destruction.

Stop the feminine discrimination - join the revolution - get informed - a woman's body is not broken!

* - this is not to say that a woman who is naturally infertile or who has been convinced that taking contraception is good for her is less of a woman. Instead society's onslaught against women's fertility is indeed against feminine characteristics themselves. I will address this later this week! How does suppressing a woman's fertility suppress her femininity? Check back for the answer on Thursday! :-)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Beauty is particularly bestowed on women by God

This is the last day of the week focusing on Challenging the Beauty Madness. (Next week we celebrate NFP Awareness Week 2014!)
Today, here is a quote from Saint John Paul II, in his Letter to Women:
"Perhaps more than men, women acknowledge the person, because they see persons with their hearts. They see them independently of various ideological or political systems. They see others in their greatness and limitations; they try to go out to them and help them. In this way the basic plan of the Creator takes flesh in the history of humanity and there is constantly revealed, in a variety of vocations, that beauty - not merely physical, but above all spiritual - which God bestowed from the very beginning on all, and in a particular way on women." (LW n.12)

So, you see it's natural for women to want to be beautiful! It's healthy in fact to have a desire bring your beauty to others! We need only emphasize the fullness of the meaning of beauty and not limit it to merely physical attractiveness according to the standard of our society.
Girls want to be girls! And that's okay! "We're not protecting our daughters if we forbid make-up, eschew fashionable hairstyles, or wear dowdy clothes. The feminine form is beautiful. Sure, we don't want to hide behind makeup or wear immodest clothing to draw attention to ourselves. But there's nothing wrong with wanting to accentuate our femininity." (from Weightless, Making Peace with Your Body)

In Catholicism, we see Mary, the mother of God, as the model for all women. She is beautiful! (If you don't believe me ask any of my sons! No matter what image of picture of Mary they see, they exclaim, "she is so beautiful!") The strength, courage, care for others above her own welfare, concern for God's will above her own pride, selflessly giving all she had to others in love ...  She is our example of feminine beauty.

Of course Satan would want women sucked into a fake sense of beauty! To take what is perfect and twist it all up is his specialty. The truth is that you are beautiful. That every person bears the mark of her or his Creator, and God is beautiful and all His works are wonderful! (Ps 139:14)  So remember,

You are beautiful because God lives in you!
have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Face it, Replace it - Correcting the Beauty Madness

It's easy to say that's not the right way to think about it. Even at home looking in the mirror, you have a negative thought and you can say "no, stop that" in your mind. Yet, does that really help? Your brain probably says "Yeah, ok, you know it's true."
Instead, we need to replace that thought with the truth. So, today here are a list of truths for you! :-)

I am made in the Image of God, not world.

"The Lord does not see as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart" (1Sam 16:7)

"Wonderful are (His) works!" (Ps 139:14) I am one of His works!

God "formed my inward parts. He knit me together in my mother's womb." (Ps 139:13)

"Being in the image of God, the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something but someone." CCC 357

Looking in the mirror, think about what your body has accomplished, not just what it looks like. For example: My smiles has warmed hearts. My arms have carried sick children. My womb has held 5 babies ... what is it for you? Maybe you've walked or run a 5k, maybe you use your hands to help in your job or as a mother ... focusing on what your body has accomplished gives you something positive to think about when you look in the mirror.

My whole self, including my body, is one of God's masterpieces.

We do not hunger because we lack food, we hunger because we lack God.

"Do not let us be led by our appetites, we shall ruin our health, we shall lose our soul." - St. John Vianney

"The divine image is present in every man (or woman)" CCC 1702

And try not to dissect your body (My ears are too big, my legs are fat, tummy to flabby) but look at yourself as a whole, beautiful work of God!

Those are just a few thoughts for you today! Have a great day!

You are beautiful! Just as you are!

ps - I love this. I have always viewed food as either my enemy (that which makes me fat, ie unloved, in my twisted perception) or something that gives me comfort on a stressful day (oh that mocha just hits the spot when I'm stressed!). But this is so good to remember - we need God, not food. Food is just food! How freeing! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

It's Okay to be Broken - Challenging the BEAUTY MADNESS

So, this week of Challenging the Beauty Madness - has it seemed to come out of left field to you? Let me fill you in on a little backstory...

You have heard me say before that I had an eating disorder. My little life was a bit of a perfect storm - I am not ready to go into all the details, but suffice it to say I went on my first diet at the age of 11. The reaction I received solidified that I was valuable in others' eyes when I was thin. So, the programming of my quiet, sensitive mind began to take of sharp twisted turn. In a time of confused preteen emotions, this was something I could control. Always finding ways to skip meals and what began as a triumph over the scale, became a slavery to it. It was never enough.
This was me at age 17. I wore loose clothes, because I thought I was so fat. I was hovering around 110lbs at this point, and I knew I was heavier than everyone else. I didn't show it, but I was embarrassed at how big I was, because I had not been able to get down below 100 again... Now, I'm like look at those skinny thighs! What was I thinking?!
There was never a number low enough; there was never a moment where the person in the mirror was good enough.
When I went to college, the severe dieting ended; I knew it wasn't the right way. I began to eat healthier and push all that aside to try to start anew.
What I didn't realize is this: even if you have stopped the destructive eating habits, the way you think about yourself can still be disordered. My thinking had been damaged far more than I realized. God has been working on me for a while and I really am in such a better place than I was so many years ago, but just recently, as I worked to lose baby weight once again, the old ghosts came back to haunt me. With what fury did my mind hurl negative attacks at my postpartum body, and I was startled and alarmed by the force of it! I realized I needed help.
You would think I would have realized it before, but I thought I was okay. I'm a happy person generally. I don't have depressive thoughts about myself as a whole. I am confident in a great number of my skills and my ability to relate to, understand, and love others. Yet, God showed me myself - imagine a hand-held paper fan, all fanned out. That was me - such beautiful colors and designs - I was quite impressed with myself! And then there was this dark line. And that line was my twisted view of my body image.
Did you ever see the movie "A Beautiful Mind"? Do you remember how he had to accept that what he was seeing wasn't real? He had to rely on his wife to tell him what was real. I'm that guy right now. I realize that what I see is not real. (Because I still see the not good enough self...) My mind has been twisted - I can't see the real me. That was a tough pill to swallow. My husband would say nice things and I'd think "Okay, sure, honey. You have to say that!" I thought I knew it all. I thought I was seeing truth. It was difficult, and yet freeing, to realize I have to listen to him. I have to let go of what I see in the mirror.
We chucked the scale - it again had become a source of control over me rather than a tool I was using. And I have gone back to a humble mode of returning to the source and working with God to pull out the root of the problem.
I am not alone. Whether it is a full fledge disorder or a struggle with their body image, women everywhere are feeling the weight of the Beauty Madness. (yes, pun intended :-) ) Beauty Madness is the thought that your outward appearance = your worth.
But God has a different view! I would encourage each and every one of you (whether this is a big problem for you or just a passing thought every now and then) to consciously embrace and seek out how God sees you. My goal is to see myself as God sees me. I'm far from it now, but I read the scriptures to lean on Truth I can be certain of. "...for the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart" (1Sam 16:7).
You are made in the image of GOD! Not the image of secular opinion - let us continue to challenge this Beauty Madness so that we might pass on the True Beauty to our children. The truth is that our beauty comes from our Maker, and all his works are wonderful! (Ps 139:14)

Me with the man who I must trust to see my beauty for me for the time being. The man who loves me because of who I am and not just what I look like nor what I can do for him. I am humbled, honored, blessed to be his wife.
p.s. - if you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder (or struggling with the leftover twisted thoughts), please get help. Two books I have found very helpful have been Hope, Help & Healing for Eating Disorders by Gregory L. Janz, Ph.D., which is a clinical, holistic approach and Weightless: Making Peace with your Body by Kate Wicker, which is a Catholic pov. It's never easy to admit you have a problem, and even more difficult to deal with it. But you are not alone. God is right there with you, waiting for you to give Him a chance to go into those difficult moments and heal you... I will pray for you!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

2nd Day to Stop the Beauty Madness - featuring Colbie Caillat - MUST WATCH VIDEO - taking it off to find true beauty, make-up that is ...

(This is the 2nd Day of a week of CHALLENGING the BEAUTY MADNESS!)

This has been going viral and for good reason!  In a stunning video, this wonderful singer Colbie Caillat uses a song to express her frustration in being photoshopped and in having so many impossible beauty expectations heaped upon women.

Please take a few minutes to listen and enjoy this stunning message of beauty ...

What can we do today to help other women feel loved and beautiful around us? Remember people will forget what you did, maybe even who you are, but they will never forget how you made them feel...
be a blessing today!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ad campaign to SHOCK us to "Stop the Beauty Madness"

(This is the 1st installment of a week of posts CHALLENGING the BEAUTY MADNESS!)

If you haven't seen it already, there is this edgy, provocative ad campaign that is starkly challenging what they call "beauty madness." The images are so startling that they make you stop and think. My favorite is this one:

What I really like about these jarring ADs is that they are not just focused on the skinny beauty. They challenge judging people who are thin, who are old, who are athletic, who are different races, who have physical handicaps.

We try to place ourselves into the mold of beauty - which you know, is like trying to reach the horizon - it is always just out of our reach. No matter what we do, it's never enough.

I don't want to say I fully endorse them - because I haven't thoroughly vetted all aspects of their campaign. However I do see a lot that is fun and emphasizing the God-given beauty in each person! Like this page where you can upload your own selfies - celebrating the beauty of YOU!
All kinds of interesting uploads there! ;-) Like this one:

What do you think?  You can go check out Stop The Beauty Madness campaign to see the rest of the Ads and let me know what you think about it!

Come check back in tomorrow for our 2nd day of CHALLENGING the BEAUTY MADNESS

You are unique and beautiful! Have a blessed day!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Finally - Common Sense from a New Feminist amidst the hysterics ...

After the last Supreme Court decision in favor of religious freedom for Hobby Lobby, there has been an insanity of uproar on the side of radical feminism. To which so many everyday women no merely yawn and roll their eyes - but it is ah! so refreshing to here a breath of sanity on the subject. [Enter new feminist Helen Alvare stage left]. In this eloquent piece she breaks down the reality that radical feminists do NOT speak for all women.

"Prior to the 2012 HHS Mandate, there were no “runs” on birth control suppliers, nor were there demonstrations in the streets by women demanding free birth control. Nowhere was there observed a dearth of women willing to work for businesses informed by a religious conscience on matters of contraception or abortion..."

"Justice Ginsburg Doesn’t Speak for All Women
"There is also a sizable cohort of women who dislike (or even hate) the side effects of some forms of contraception—especially those of hormonal methods such as the pill, Depo-Provera, and IUDs. Ironically, these are the more costly methods that Justice Ginsburg and other activists hope the mandate will most promote. You can find women hating hormonal birth control for decidedly nonreligious reasons in books like Holly Griggs Spall’s Sweetening the Pill, or inarticles on popular news sites.
"Then there is the significant group of women who have suffered some alarming health effects from their birth control. Think of the 10,000 women suing Bayer Pharmaceuticals for blood clots or strokes related to the Yaz pill (Bayer has paid more than $1.6 billion in settlements so far), or the 3,800 women suing Merck & Co. for the blood clots, strokes and heart attacks related to the Nuva-Ring. Even birth-control cheerleaders like Vanity Fair, theWashington Post, and the New York Times acknowledge the serious or fatal effects of some methods for some women, or their role in increasing AIDS/HIV transmission. Not to mention the World Health Organization or the American Cancer Society, organizations that label some forms of the pill carcinogenic to some parts of the body, while noting that some forms might mitigate the risk of cancer in others.
"There are also women with religious objections to contraception, including not only a surprising number of young Catholics, but also some groups of Evangelicals.
"And what of women who are infertile, menopausal, fond of natural methods of fertility management, or not sexually active? What about women who have no moral objection to contraception, but either respect the good of religious freedom in a free society, or even appreciate, substantively, the thoughtful witness religious people offer on matters of sex and marriage? What about women who fear the heavy hand of government and the slippery slope that Justice Ginsburg fervently constructs? That is, they fear the idea that all government mandates become baseline “rights,” impervious to religious or other exemptions.
"What about women who are just sick and tired of the obsession with contraception and abortion—women starving for concrete policies allowing them to manage the costs of education and the demands of work, and also to marry and have kids?
"This adds up to a lot of women who are not nodding their heads in agreement over the “you can take my free contraception out of my cold, dead hands” tone of the Ginsburg dissent, or other frenzied post-Hobby Lobby laments.
"How Birth Control Became a Proxy for Women’s Freedom... READ THE REST AT THE PUBLIC DISCOURSE"
Have a blessed day!  xo

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Becoming a Pencil of God

This column first appeared in The Courier, July Issue.

At Ministry Days, one of the speakers told a great story. It is one that I have heard before, and I would like to share with you. In the nineteenth century the greatest tightrope walker in the world was a man named Charles Blondin. On June 30, 1859, he became the first man in history to walk on a tightrope across Niagara Falls. Would you believe over twenty-five thousand people gathered to watch him walk 1,100 feet suspended 160 feet above the raging waters on a tiny rope? He didn’t even have a net nor any kind of safety harness. The slightest slip would mean his death. When he finally made it safely to the Canadian side, the crowd burst into a mighty roar of applause.

Blondin did not stop there. He would walk across the Falls many times. Once he walked across on stilts; another time he took a chair and a stove with him and sat down midway across, cooked an omelet, and ate it! Once he carried his manager across riding piggyback. And another time he pushed a wheelbarrow across loaded with 350 pounds of cement. On another occasion he asked the cheering spectators if they thought he could push a man across sitting in a wheelbarrow. The crowd cheered in approval. Seeing one man who was cheering loudly, Blondin asked, "Sir, do you think I could safely carry you across in this wheelbarrow?” The man replied, "Yes, of course!” "Get in,” the Great Blondin replied with a smile. The man refused.
This story is a brilliant example of the meaning of faith. We can stand beside God and cheer "Yes, Lord! You can do it! I believe in you!” Yet, when He asks us to get in the wheelbarrow, what will we say? Are we "all in”? Are we ready to give up being in charge and trust completely in the Lord to lead the way even though it may look dangerous and illogical? Do we believe in Him as the early Christians did? Are we ready to bet our lives on that belief? (It may be at this point we are crying out to Christ as the father of the poor child in the Gospel, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24).
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta said to her sisters one day that "all we do is but a drop in the ocean, but if we don’t do it, that drop will be missing.” Are we ready to let God lead? It might seem that what we are called to do in our lives is not very spectacular. Maybe our job is ordinary, or perhaps we stay at home with our children and can get drained by the exhaustion of that job? Yet, if that is where God has called us, then we are to live out His love in that vocation. It may be just a drop, but it is an important drop!
Mother Teresa put it in another way; she said she was not a prophet or a messenger of Christ, nothing that special. She said she was merely the pencil of God, she does her work but it is God who has designed it. That is getting in God’s wheelbarrow. When we can let go of the need to control everything, let go of the need to be noticed, let go of the need to have the most likes on Facebook – when we let go of our will, that is when we can truly let God guide us!
It’s not always pretty. It’s not always easy. It might seem as scary as being pushed across a giant waterfall on a tightrope. Yet, with God’s will, we will find happiness. We will find peace. Let us try to find a way to become His pencil, to become an avenue for Him to make His love real to the world. The more I contemplate this, the more I pray to be able to live it and I embrace where God has placed me. (Now, knowing my personality, I think I might be more of a sparkly glitter pen than a pencil, but in God’s hand nonetheless!) Are you ready to be "all in”? Are you ready to live what you believe and climb in God’s wheelbarrow?
"No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him”! 1Cor 2:9

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