February 22, 2010
Imposition And Election
Gathering at the Table, the NW Deanery of the Dioscese of Little Rock gather for the Rites of Election at St Vincent De Paul Church Rogers Arkansas
"I will go peaceably and firmly to the Catholic Church: for if Faith is so important to our salvation, I will seek it where true Faith first began, seek it among those who received it from God Himself."
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
I love the Catholic Church. There I have said it. For many reasons too nuemerous to count or account for, I love Holy Mother Church and today was my wedding day...so to speak. I wasnt prepared... I didnt know today was the day but like the story of the bridgroom and the wedding feast in the Bible (Matthew 25)I didnt hesitate to go forth and meet my Bridegroom...I jumped into something presentable and drove to Rogers where I was a part of a group of 150 Catachumens and Candidates for Full Communion (I am a part of the latter group as my two previous baptisms are valid in the eyes of the Church). There, some with sponsors, some like me had sponsors that couldnt make it, I was presented to Bishop Taylor, where he signed under the lists of names written in the Book of the Elect
In other words...Im official and can take the Sacrament in due course. I still have my first Confession...oh joy, but it is and I am looking forward to it...I am meeting with Father this week to discuss the preparations for this important Sacrament...as well as Easter Vigil which is the most amazing service complete with fire, and light the drama of recounting the lives of the saints and of course receiving us new ones into the faith, and embrace of the church
Its been quite a week for me spiritually. I am observing Lent as I have for the past three years. I observed the Fast and will continue to do so through the six weeks. I am also abstaining from shopping (now that I have purchased a new dress for Easter that is it...no more. I cant afford it anyway... limiting sweets and going out to eat. I have gained a lot of weight back. Beans and rice will do that, and frankly this is what and the way I was eating. I just want to THINK before I say yes to ordering dinner out with the boys. Better still be prepared and take a frozen meal with me or have something prepared that I can take with me to work in the evenings...and idle chatter. I work in a office full of men, as a rule males would prefer a limit to chatter and not to be bothered while trying to work. I respect that. At church I am paying careful attention to what I say and trying to listen more deeply and intentionally.
I went to the noon service at St Steven and Msgr Scott imposed the ashes on my forehead. I stood with one of the supervisors from Walmart.com who was always very supportive of my journey. The mass was beautiful and Msgr spoke on the need to develope self control not just as a needed spiritual discipline, but as an act of faith as well..an act of trust that God will provide everything that we need so we dont have to grasp and hang onto every little thing.
Imposition... to be imposed on.... Election, to be chosen or to choose... I chose both to take what God imposes on me for my good and all of the good things that God wants for my life I am finding that more and more everyday that He is truly giving me beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for the sprit of heaviness... and that by making my calling and election sure, I am breaking new ground spiritually. I dont know where this is all going to lead but I do know that God only calls me to take the next step. one step at a time
yours truly as she met with The Most Reverend Anthony Taylor Biship of Little Rock AR.
Labels: Catholic, Faith, Quotable Quotes
February 21, 2010
Isaiah 61~The Year of the Lord's Favor
Golden Oak leaves in the snowfall
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
They shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.
Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks;
foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers;
but you shall be called the priests of the Lord;
they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God;
you shall eat the wealth of the nations,
and in their glory you shall boast.
Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion;
instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot;
therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion;
they shall have everlasting joy.
For I the Lord love justice;
I hate robbery and wrong;
I will faithfully give them their recompense,
and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their offspring shall be known among the nations,
and their descendants in the midst of the peoples;
all who see them shall acknowledge them,
that they are an offspring the Lord has blessed.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
to sprout up before all the nations.
Labels: Scenic Arkansas, scripture
February 15, 2010
A Familiar Foreign Land
My Winter Wonderland Metfield Bella Vista AR
I am now into my third week on my job. In many ways things are going very well. I love my hours and the work is not the most difficult I have ever done...In fact the job at Walmart.com perhaps was more difficult, the pressure of the quota, the thought that peoples lives were about to be turned upside down when I would have to tell them that there identity had been stolen bore down heavy on me.
What I do now night after night is to comfort, console and direct over the road drivers, many of whom have been out away from home for weeks at a time. I am using a computer program that is based on AS400, so it looks like hieroglyphics on screen after screen and makes no sense at the first glance. I need an interpreter, and the men I am working with have been charged with that role...
Working with drivers and trucking is in my blood and bones. Since I was 11 years old as I told in this post Peaches To Winnepeg
. I have heard the siren song of the 4 lane highway for as long as I can remember...the road trip is my idea of royal progress. And for those of my readers who dont get it, just stop into any big box store that had incresed your standard of living. Thank Joe and Jane Trucker for all of that stuff you buy. This is well known familiar place. I speak the language, and when I see the drivers here in NW Arkansas to go to our Driving School, or just pulled in for a load of Chicken from Tyson, or to get a tractor repaired or upgraded... I smile understanding the difficulty of their lot, thankful that they choose to do this work, and I do what I can to assist them. The problems hastles and considerations of this life are well known to me.
But the structure of the company, how they divide the duties and what are the priorities and corporate culture, this is new. I have never worked in a situation where they divide the duties the way this place does, and a lot of it I dont get yet...
The training has been spotty, and its been peppered with "Hey I dont have time for you to write notes down on this either you get it or you dont..." Which of course is a crock. I finally had them assign me some boards to watch which generate driver activity, I answer emails mostly, and ask a lot of questions. Sometimes I get answers... sometimes I try to wing it and it works out or it doesnt. It is a problem and as the week went on I found it harder and harder to swallow... They want me to fail and the smirk on one face when I told my supervisor out loud that after two weeks I hardly know how to sign on to the system told me this.
The truth is that the "tribe" doesnt want "Wendy" in the treehouse. She is like Mom, her presence spoils their fun, that cant cuss talk trash about women, goof off and not look at me and feel like guilty morons. I say nothing about this stuff, I dont comment or react. I cant afford to lose this job. I press on feeling like the enviroment is growing more and more hostile.
Finally it came to a head the other night when the pressure was on and things went going very well. We all had issues to deal with. I was getting very little help...The guy in front of me kept slamming his chair into the partition and my desk so hard that coffee was spilling not once but at least a dozen times, much cursing and muttering about how stupid drivers customers, the day shift...
Then I heard a comment about a "stupid bitch" and another guy said something about the cusser having sex with her...They went back and forth louder and louder with the most horrible violent statements against women I have heard in public in a long time... I was shocked. None of them looked at me as they were doing this but I was sitting right there. One of the two supervisors came running in and Shouted "Enough" and asked if I was alright. I guess I looked pretty bad,and shook my head. I was taken out of the room to a private office.
I was asked if I wanted to report the incedent..."I need this job," I told this man. "I cannot afford to make waves that might go against me, but this was intentional sexual harrassment, and I wont tolerate it. I need it understood that I am allowing you to deal with it tonight but the next time I will go over your head on this. I wont take the "Boys will be Boys nonesense..." "Nor will I accept the "We arent running a Sunday School in here line" He said he understood that... I also told him that should any of these guys decide that I am fair game for any of the things they ranted about tonight that I am not responsible for how I will choose to react or defend myself. I shouldnt have to even say this but since you have a bunch of animals in there I have a right to use a stick on them... He said he understood.But he didt promise that it wouldnt happen again...
I understand that the guys got a dressing down that was composed of... "You sorry bags of trash are lucky you still have a job, if it ever happens again you will lose your jobs... I know that the next evening was pretty quiet...Fine with me
I dont need to be accepted, I just need this job. The manager that talked to me has taken over the training and I have been told that my expectations are a lot higher than the company's...To relax and suit up show up and dont let the jerks ruin a good opportunity. I have been here before. in the late 80's when they could still hang nude photos up in warehouse offices and called it freedom of expression When I had to take the ladies room key that was attached to a 2 foot peice of pipe with a chain, not to keep it from getting lost but to use as a weapon against an attacker that might be hiding in the bathroom on the dock. It is a familiar foreign land that I thought never to visit again. But I am determined to settle there to thrive and improve the situation. It seems to be what God has called me to do and I am content in doing it.
Labels: Scenic Arkansas, weather, working
February 14, 2010
Happy Birthday, My Abigail Valentine
My Little One, Abigail on the day of our meeting, at 10 weeks old
I was in grief, really not ready for another dog in my life, even though I put on a brave face. This little girl saw though my facade, snuggled up against my leg and with her adoring eyes said, "Pick Me! Pick Me!" I tried to resist but I could not...
My dreamy eyed girl sitting in her window seat
As she has grown up she has not been the timid clinging vine her sister Annabelle of blessed memory was,fearful of my every upset, but a wiser companion who lets me cry when I need to, who just sits and is present in my pain. A constant friend and protector. She is willful and demanding, but then she is her own person as much as a doggie can be...However, every day is a new day and she loves me with a constant unconditional love that just amazes me.
Abigail at one year
She has been a blessing from the moment she entered this house. Thank you God for Your Beloved...which is what Abigail means, and everytime I say her name it reminds me of Your great promise, that I am Your Beloved and You will never leave us alone. Happy Birthday my Abigail May God give us many more happy years
Aint She Sweet Glamour shot at 8 months
2 Peter 1:2-11~Growing in the Knowledge of God
Winter Oaks Near Lowell AR
May God bless you with his special favor and wonderful peace as you come to know Jesus, our God and Lord, better and better.
As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature.
So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop these virtues are blind or, at least, very shortsighted. They have already forgotten that God has cleansed them from their old life of sin.
So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Doing this, you will never stumble or fall away. And God will open wide the gates of heaven for you to enter into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Labels: Scenic Arkansas, scripture
February 07, 2010
Jeremiah 17:7-10~ Blessed Are Those that Trust In God
Winter Streams Ford Creek near Bentonville AR
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
“He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
“I the Lord search the heart
and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds.”
Labels: Scenic Arkansas, scripture