December 8, 2016 -Time Travel

Mary is an incredible creation of God. There is so much to be said about Mary, but we have just a short space and today happens to be a significant Marian Feast, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, so let’s focus on that. Mary was immaculately conceived, which means that she was born without Original Sin. She did not have the inclination towards sin that the rest of humanity inherited from Adam and Eve. How, you might ask?

Time travel.

Ok, so maybe not literally time travel, but it’s a good analogy. When Mary was born the gates of Heaven were still closed. Jesus had not entered the historical timeline of the world yet, since He was obviously physically born after Mary. BUT, God (aka Jesus or in John’s Gospel, The Word, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1) is outside of our fixed and limited construct called time. So, in what some call a “preemptive strike” (here’s the time travel bit), Jesus, who exists out of time, took the salvation He was going to win for humanity and gave it to Mary before He accomplished it within our timeline. Pretty cool, huh?

Why is this important? Mary remained in this pure state throughout her life. She was protected from both Original sin and personal sin. She is immaculate. When we enter heaven, after a life of friendship with God and having been cleansed in purgatory, we too will be immaculate or stainless. Mary shows us our destiny, the way we were designed to be. She perfectly united her will to God’s Will throughout her whole life.

As we continue preparing for Christ’s coming, both at Christmas and the end of time, Mary is the ideal example for how to best turn our lives toward Christ. By uniting her will with God’s, she completely oriented her life to serving God’s purpose, aka what it means to be a saint. St. Maximilian Kolbe famously wrote on the board for a group of students the following formula.

w + W = S

My little will in union with God’s Will brings me to sainthood. A few days ago we looked for small everyday moments when we could better unite our wills to God’s Will. Today, let’s spend our 3 minutes of prayer reading the following passage from the book of Hebrews. What stands out to you from this passage? Does it shed any light on an area you are discerning God’s Will or struggling to unite yours with His?

May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will. May he carry out in you what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever [and ever]. Amen. – Hebrews 13:20-21

***Did you discover anything interesting while you reflected on how you wait for things? How did Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary help you grow in your time of waiting? Please feel free to share your experience, thoughts and offer support to one another in the comments, on Twitter with the #DailyGraces or on the Facebook page.Daily Graces.


God is on the Move….on Instagram!

Happy Mother’s Day! To all the moms out there, especially my own and my mother-in-law, thank you for your daily love, dedication and sacrifice to your children and families. For all the women who are hoping to be moms or struggling to be moms, find a friend, companion and dear mother in our Blessed Mother. With her, find the courage to say “Thy will be done.”

For those of you who follow me on Facebook you may have noticed a few new Instagram photos popping up. Yes, I have indeed decided to try out the pictorial world of Instagram.

I’ve been blogging for about a year now and am starting to feel that this is more than just a whim or fancy for me. I’m feeling called, challenged even, to write more and more often. Some of my writing projects are here, on the blog. Others are at Still others are tucked away in my “Other Ideas” folder on my laptop that is increasingly filling up to the point where I should probably start using subfolders.

My greatest desire in all of these endeavors – blog, Facebook, Twitter, and now Instagram, is to allow God’s grace to shine through the words and pictures. I’m simply sharing where I find God and how I live my faith. Perhaps it will resonate with someone, perhaps it won’t, but that’s not really the point.

What is the point, you might ask? Great question! The answer I alluded to already. On the days that I’m on, I’m firing on all cylinders, I’ve got the right attitude and perspective, the point is – to give honor and glory to God who has inspired me and enabled me to share these simple thoughts and ideas. This is the goal I strive for, the heights I hope to attain.

On other days, days when I’m not feeling great, judgmental, gossipy, tired, whiny and worried, the goal is muddled. It’s easy to get lost in a desire to be noticed, to be seen, to “be somebody.” I get caught up in “wow, wouldn’t it be so great to write a book for my own fame and ego building” and “hey, hey, I have so many more followers on Twitter than a few months ago!”

But that shouldn’t be the reason why I am doing what I’m doing. It’s not the point of this blog and frankly, it shouldn’t be the point of my life. Though it’s another form of social media, I’m actually really enjoying using Instagram. It’s really helped me keep things in the proper perspective.

God is on the move...Instagram. #DailyGraces

Before, when I was using just Facebook and Twitter, I was starting to get caught up in word counts and how to phrase things to sound like I knew something about what I was talking about without carrying on and on. Sometimes it’s hard to express a feeling or emotion fully in just a few sentences without setting the stage, explaining the backstory or why this moment was so significant. Enter Instagram where truly, a picture speaks 1,000 words. I’ve been able to capture little moments of grace that are truly everyday ordinary things. Like cooking with my son, or putting together frozen breakfast sandwiches with my daughter for a family expecting a baby soon. They are moments of closeness with my husband or joy in accomplishing household chores.

I’ve got a song stuck in my head right now that I love, called “God is on the Move” by Seventh Time Down (which is a fantastic change to “Woody’s Roundup” from Toy Story 2 – yikes, I was desperate enough to get that out of my head I started singing other annoying children’s songs…completely ineffective.). In this song – God is on the Move – the band is singing about how every time someone chooses the good, chooses the light, chooses to share God’s Word, it’s another moment where God is on the move, He’s still on the move, and will always be on the “move in many mighty ways.”

Now this song speaks of some big moments, like when someone fully submits themselves to God’s will or takes a stand against injustice, which are incredible acts of faith. I would like to add a few that help me remember that God is on the move. They are smaller, more simple and more ordinary.

God is on the move when:

  • My son throws his arms around me for no reason and says “I love you Mommy”
  • My “baby” now 19 months gives kisses to all her baby dolls and pretends to be their mommy
  • My daughter dances with reckless abandon
  • I see new blossoms on our lemon tree
  • I wake up a few minutes before the kids and have time to appreciate the stillness of the morning
  • My husband gets home from a trip and cooks us his famous pancakes
  • The dishes are done!
  • So many more times and thanks to Instagram, I’ve found a new way to capture them.

I would love to see the moments when you know God is moving in your life. I’m using #DailyGraces on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and hope you will too. Together, we can see how God is working in all of our lives and give one another ideas for even more places we can recognize His presence.

Reading the Same Sheet of Music

If you read my last post it shouldn’t come as too big a shock at a subsequent post would follow the story to the next rehearsal.

I was glad when Sunday arrived. Not only does it mean going to church, it also now means nearly 2 hours of music rehearsal – by myself! Big plug for my husband who is hanging with all 3 kids so that I can indulge my musical side.

While I was happy to be singing, I was looking forward to bell choir. When we got the bells out, I got straight to work highlighting my music. As we are all novices to the bells, our choir director asked us to highlight all our notes to help get everyone on the same page, or measure for you music folk. Each bell is one note, like one key on the piano. By highlighting wherever your note or notes (if you are in charge of multiple bells) appears, it helps keep everyone together. We have three songs for Christmas this  year, so we were all a bit scattered as we highlighted. I was absorbed in The First Noel – the bells I have been assigned are used frequently and play important roles in keeping the tune going. I looked up and realized we were going to start playing, so I got ready. 1, 2, 3, 4 Go!

It was so hard! I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t able to find my place. Then, when I thought I had found it, I had completely lost it again. I was counting, I was focused, I couldn’t figure it out. When the piece was finally over, the director looked straight at me and said, “Ok, good, good. Now, Kate, I didn’t really hear the C though.” I glanced at the music stand next to mine. Mine, as you know, said The First Noel. Everyone else’s said “Away in the Manger.” Oh dear. And in that one my missing “C” note messes up everyone! I was so absorbed in what I was doing, that I missed the direction to switch songs.

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