Why I Run: A 46 year old mom of 8’s story of couch to half-marathons

RUN MORNING OF FOX CITIES HALFWhy do I run? The quick answer is because I like how it makes me feel.

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Running makes me happy. It excites me. I run because running is fun. I love the beauty of the sun coming up in the morning, reading the sign on race day and even being inspired by the those pushing special needs or handicapped persons.

RUN INSPIRING

The long answer requires me to explain how a 46 year old mother of 8 children that never ran before suddenly signed up for a half-marathon and then did four more over the course of a six month period. Ya, I am kind of intense that way. Well really it came as a challenge from a high school friend who was fighting breast cancer but had started running half-marathons and I was like “If she can do it, so can I!”

Me my first time on treadmill in January of 2015

RUN FIRST TRAINED

By the I ran those half-marathons almost back to back  but I am not an athlete, on the contrary I am out of shape and over weight. I had no idea what I was doing so I used the internet to try and help me figure out what to do and how to do it.

I suffered from huge welts under my DDD breasts because I didn’t know about friction till ran my first long run. It would take me a year (and many experiments with options I read about online) before I discovered I could put Kineseology tape on my bra line to protect me from the rubbing. I came up with that on my own (your welcome large breasted runners).

I  learned the hard way you have to have good shoes. I thought I had good shoes, but I was wrong. I discovered pain in parts of my body that I didn’t realize I had muscles in.  The first few weeks I had horrible knee pain and almost gave up. I had no idea what a pace was and was constantly frustrated with my times and with being to tired to run. If I hadn’t taken the advice of my friend and signed up as soon as I decided to train I probably would have quit.

My first race was the Oshkosh half-marathon. My daughter signed up to run with me. We arrived almost a half hour late because I did not understand the race day schedule. I had us start late and run anyway cause I did not work that hard to go home now!  I ran the entire way because I thought that running a half-marathon meant I had to run the whole way. I knew nothings of intervals and would not learn about them till about 8 weeks ago which is almost 2 years into running. At the completion of my race I cramped up so bad I could barely bend my legs to get into the car. For almost a week after I could barely walk. I learned to stretch after running and to not stop running completely but make sure in the days following a race some movement even if only a mile or two walking is necessary to keep things limber.

Because I am stubborn (and because I registered for three more races upon the advice of a friend who said if you don’t register you will give up) I started running again, well, once I was able to get moving again that is.

RUN ROCK AND SOLE

My second race was the Rock and Sole in Milwaukee. I had a woman loss consciousness in front of me at the last mile marker. They were giving her CPR. She made it but just a head of me a 20 year old boy from the University of Oshkosh dropped dead after crossing the finish line. My husband asked me if I was sure I should do this after all, I was a just a 45 year old woman, out of shape, past my prime and I had no idea what I was doing. I learned during this race that if you have long hair ( and especially if it rains)  it is best to braid your hair or it will ball up into a nasty knot. It took me two days to get out all the knots.

At my third race was the Hilbert Cheesehead Race. It is close to my house and it had a cool medal so I signed up. I had decided since I am in so much pain and discomfort after a race I shouldn’t do races far away because I am practically immobile after. I now realize that my lack of proper training is why I was so miserable after my runs. At the Hilbert race I learned that just because they give  you water doesn’t mean you should drink it. I was worried about getting dehydrated so I drank at every water station plus I had my own two water bottles. I had to stop and go to the bathroom so much that I really struggled and at one point I was miserable as there was no bathroom for quite some time. I learned how much I usually will need to run and to stick with it.

I ran a few 5k’s during the summer as well but there is just something about the challenge of a half-marathon that made me keep signing up for them.

My fourth race was the Fox Cities Marathon. I remember learning that you could walk a half-marathon when a number of elderly people WALKING at pace that even my slow jog could not keep up to, PASSED ME!  The word “Walker” was on the back of their shirts.  It was quite depressing as I was “running.” I made several mistakes at this race. The first was changing what you do on race day. I guess that is like the number one rule but being self trained I missed that one. At about mile 6 they were passing out oranges and apples as well as water and gel.

RUN WALKER PASSED ME

 

I remembered watching iron mans on TV and seeing long distance runners saying you need to eat during the run to keep the energy up. While a half-marathon is not an iron man I thought the logic sounded good so I ate some oranges and apples. Remember I still knew nothing about intervals at this point but I did notice some people were walking and then running. I would pass a lady and the next thing I knew she passed me. For several miles the same people would pass me and then I would pass them till they finally disappeared in front of me. I couldn’t figure out how people that were walking then running pass me when I ran the whole time! They then disappeared because they had more endurance I kept getting slower.

Out of frustration I decided at mile 11 to walk. I thought I would walk for a mile to gather my strength and to rest my body so I could run hard the last mile. Well, remember how your not supposed to change something on the day of your run? Around mile 12 my stomach became very ill. In fact, I began getting the worst stomach cramps of my life. I had to walk the 13th mile because there was no way I could start running again. I managed a little jog for the last few hundred feet because of course I thought I must look pathetic walking across the finish line. The other reason I made myself jog is embarrassing. I had to google it to understand why it happened.

Sudden onset explosive diarrhea.  How could that have happened you ask?  It began the night before. It seems you have to eat well the night before a race, usually high carbs like spaghetti dinner or other pasta dish. Not me, I  had Mexican food the night before with a couple margarita’s. Not the best choice. It also seems that when you run for so long the blood gets diverted to the extremities and away from  your digestive system. When you stop running the blood goes back to the main organs and fires ups the digestion system. Combine the Mexican food, the oranges and apples signaling to my body that we are no longer running but eating as well as me coming to walking pace rather than running pace and you get explosive diarrhea that keeps you in a porta potty for an hour after your race.  I learned not to change your routine on race day.

RUN MADISON

My fifth race was at the University of Wisconsin Madison. I ran this with my daughter Sarah. She was much faster but it was fun having someone to sign up with.

RUNMADISON COURSE

We were there to explore the campus that my daughter Elisha was going to attend the following year. I figured as long as I was there, I could run the half-marathon. I had become addicted to medals. I still am addicted to medals.

 

This should have been my best race but was my worst. I had to walk almost all of it because I barely ran leading up to it because I was suffering from horrific shin splints and a stress fracture  that had kept me up nights with throbbing pain.

RUN OLD GUY PASSES ME WALKING

When I was passed by a 70 year old man I got pretty depressed.  I did the run but was really unhappy about my time. I also was depressed because I still had not lost a single pound even though I had begun running on a weekly basis. I went from the couch to running and did not lose any weight. I finished my half-marathon in 3 hours and 10 minutes which was my worst time ever. I don’t think I learned anything on this run. Instead I just became depressed and gave up.

For the next 3 months I did not do anything and gained almost 20 pounds. How did I do that? No clue. I was pissed. I decided to start training again for the Oshkosh half which is in April every year and started preparing in January. My shins starting acting up right away and the leg with the stress fracture got really bad really fast. I hate cross training and I hate lifting weights cause I have no idea how to do it) so I spiraled downward.

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I ran maybe twice a week knowing that my April run was going to be rough. The week before the Oshkosh half-marathon I had horrible chest pain that radiated down my left arm. I did not go to the doctor. I ran the Oshkosh half but took what I had learned so far and applied it so it was not so bad. I finished over 3 hours but at least I finished. My daughter was going to run with me but ended up having to work. My nephew (pictured) literally decided the night before to take her spot and ran (show off) so that the money for the registration was not wasted. The next week I went to the doctor’s and found out I had an arrhythmia and high blood pressure. I was signed up for the Green Bay Cellcom run but had to miss it because of my blood pressure. I was signed up Hilbert and missed it. I was signed up for the Fox Cities Marathon and missed it.

It is not like anyone would miss me. It was very lonely running because I did not have any companionship and no one knew me. My husband usually just showed up at the end to clap and take me home. I was always very envious of all the people who had signs for them encouraging them at different mile markers or those who had running buddies. I had asked a couple of people I knew that ran if they would run with me but they had their own buddies already. I was very depressed about not having any support and with these new issues I just quit. I gained more weight. Got more depressed. I started to drink more cause “why not?”

January of 2017 I decided that if I wanted my blood pressure to get better I had to lose weight. If I want to lose weight I have to exercise. The only exercise I actually enjoyed was running. Why do I enjoy it? First of all I forgot how much I love music. I used to listen to music all the time but then I had 8 kids and there was always so much noise in the house the last thing I wanted was music blasting. I have made myself amazing playlists of music that moves my soul and encourages me and makes me cry when I am running. It is like the music helps me to quiet the thoughts in my mind and helps me to feel and meditate and pray and contemplate my life and the hardships and joys and everything in between. I never have time to honor that expect when I am running. I also make so many excuses as to why I should not give myself that time. There is always laundry, housework, shopping for groceries cooking or other things that have to be done so to say “I am going to go for a run” was super hard for me to justify. I felt guilty for doing it.

I was finally able to overcome this when I saw a post on facebook by Fleet Feet about a program called “Winter Warriors.” It was a program through the winter to encourage running and training. I was terrified to sign up, what if they know I am not really a runner. What if they are all friends and I am just alone? I was signing up because I needed help and motivation to do the thing I love but cannot justify giving to myself. The other reason is laziness. I need accountability because sometimes staying on the couch in winter when it is 15 degrees out sounds better than running. Do you know what is crazy? I actually love running in the cold more than running when it is hot. I love seeing my breath in the night air and the colorful light up vest I wear energizes me.

Out of the 10 weeks offered about 3 or 4 were cancelled for below zero temps and I skipped about 4 others only coming to two or three. The first night I went I was the very last person and it made me feel really inadequate.

My self talk tapes were on full blast and screaming to me about how out of my league I was and how I should just give up being a wanna be runner. It was really intimidating to see everyone who already seemed to know everyone and have buddies and all seemed to have great paces and I was just clueless. I signed up and paid for registration for a 10k but because I did adequately train I changed it to the 5k. The morning of the event I did not even go. I felt like I was not really apart of the group and would feel left out or awkward trying to tag along.

Then I got a jacket. The group all received a running jacket.  That jacket meant a lot to me. When I picked up my jacket from Fleet Feet and saw the Winter Warrior logo on it I felt like I had the possibility of being a part of something. That jacket means a lot to me. I decided to sign up for the Spring training and continue making a regular commitment. So what if I missed almost all the previous runs at least I went to some and was trying. I could keep trying.

I signed up the Summer training and met a young woman who was also new. She had only run a 5k. We ran together that night. She told me I helped her push herself, me! She told me she would see me on Saturday and I was like, ok now I have to come. This is what I was looking for, accountability. We ran together on Saturday and it was awesome! We ran 4 miles and it was getting easier for me because this new group I was running with who called themselves the “Back of the Pack” taught me about intervals. I found I could run farther and faster than I have ever run using intervals! Right now I like 2 min running and 1 min walking but I am thinking of changing the walking to 45 sec and then maybe 30 sec but not sure  yet.

My desire is to run a marathon. Right now it seems like a unattainable challenge but somehow I think If I stick with this group I am in they will help me meet my goal and succeed in this challenge I have set for myself. I know this because they have already helped me so much.

I run because the person I have been created to be has gotten lost over the years in the roles I have to play in my life. I am the counselor, the friend, the speaker, the mother, the wife and running allows me to spend time with Christina. I have time to think about what is going on in my life. It gives me a runners high and a feeling of accomplishment especially when life is so stressful. Running is something that has also allowed me to feel valuable and helps me to make healthier choices. I keep running because I am excited about the next challenge in front of me that won’t tear me down but will build me up. Usually challenges in our lives have the capacity to hurt us or create added stress in our lives but running only adds to it. The challenge to shave time or run farther pushes me to accept the next challenge and I have such pride in myself when I am able to do meet those challenges. Running makes me happy. It excites me. I run because running is fun. All I  need is cheer leaders on race day.

RUN CHEAR LEADERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Is Trust? Week 1 Day 1

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I have received profound healing in my relationship with God through the Hearts A Fire retreat’s written by Fr. Michael Gaitley. 33 Days to Merciful Love is proving to be a beautiful and wonderful book that I believe is a gift to the Church for these times. We are now in a time where so many of us have been wounded by people and sometimes even by the Church herself.

hurt churchWhen the Church is who hurts us, we may be tempted to believe that God is not Good or that we are not good or deserving of anything good. I have met many people deeply and profoundly wounded by the Church. This has created a huge division in our world. I believe this book/retreat is a tool that can begin to heal division and bring all Christian souls together with one uniting purpose; to receive the merciful love of Jesus Christ and then to bring it to hurting souls in our broken world.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (397) it says that “Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his creator die in his heart…” lets talk about what this means. First of all we are all created in the image and likeness of God. Male or female we are icons of the truth, life and love of God walking around on earth and we are supposed to be making visible the invisible reality of God through the living our of our lives in union with God. However, when the devil comes and whispers his lies, we can in a sense, divorce ourselves from God and accept the proposal of the evil one.devil liar

Why do we do that? Because the father of lies wants us to believe that God is not trustworthy and does not want to honor our desires.  He begins by planting seeds of doubt. We doubt that God loves us, doubt that He desires to bless us, doubt that he will honor our desires. This doubt leads us to fear. In our fear, we may respond by grasping or taking instead of remaining in a place of trust.  Doubt means to be uncertain, to fear, to be afraid. Why do we plan and strive for what we think will bless us rather than wait for God’s timing or say on the matter? Because we are afraid and we hide ourselves. We turn away from God. Fear-is-a-Liar

Now that we understand that the evil one uses doubt to tempt us to believe his lies, we need to identify what our desires are and where we may have doubts so that we can invite the Holy Spirit it shine his flashlight of truth there and help us to come back into union with God.light

Dr. Phil says “you can’t change what you won’t acknowledge.” This is so true! We must first see where we are being lied to before we can divorce ourselves from the liar and come into union with God and his truth and will for our lives. If we pretend that we don’t need God or that what we are doing is God’s will when it isn’t we will remain miserable, lost and afraid.

By inviting the Holy Spirit in, we expose where the enemy of our soul (Satan) has put fear into our hearts. Adam and Eve were afraid and so they hid themselves. God desires for us to take off the fig leafs we hide behind. He wants us to not be afraid because He promises us that He will always show up. He wants to honor our desires and he wants to heap a double portion of blessings upon each of us. The question is, do we believe Him and what, if any, lies are obstacles to His truth coming alive in our hearts? One way to discover the answer to these questions is to journal. journalWhen we journal we contemplate, we meditate, we hold truth in our hearts and ponder it thus allowing it to be birthed within us. It is in this secret place where the Holy Spirit begins to speak to us. It is as if the Holy Spirit is a flashlight that illuminates things that we cannot see in the darkness. When we journal, our thoughts and emotions as well as our will is engaged and in this sacred place and time the Holy Spirit shines His healing light on the broken places in our hearts, minds and souls. He speaks to us gently there telling us what it is he wants us to know about his love for us.

After reading through “What is Trust” (Week 1 Day 1) I have put together some thoughts and questions to ponder and journal through.

Do we believe God is trustworthy? Are you afraid that God cannot be trusted to honor your heart’s desires?  Why or Why not?

Where have you felt God has not shown up in your life or where do you feel you are still waiting for him to bless you?

Think of one memory in which God did show up or bless you?

What is it that you desire God to do in your life?

Now quietly pray to the Holy Spirit to come and shine a light on this desire and ask Him to show you what He wants you to know about this desire of your heart.

 

Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit, fire of mercy, Help me better to know the great and unsurpassable goodness of God. Amen

33 Days to Merciful Love

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“My power is made perfect in weakness.” Jesus

Fr. Michael Gaitley has done is again. He has anticipated the movements of the Holy Spirit and given us means by which to suck the marrow out of this year of Mercy.  The year of mercy was declared by Pope Francis as “The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy” starting on December 8, 2015 till November 20, 2016 and is given to all as an occasion of focusing on the forgiveness and mercy of God.

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For those of you that have not yet done the 33 Days to Morning Glory, I urge you to order a book and workbook (the workbook is anointed and will lead you through healing of religion wounds, mother wounds and other). Fr Michael has been, in my opinion, anointed & appointed by God to give the Church a means by which to heal wounds that block intimacy in faith and block relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as well as a process of which to enlist into Mary’s Army as she prepares for the final confrontation.

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Years ago, not realizing that there was such a thing as asking to consecrate oneself as a victim of holocaust to the merciful love of Jesus, I did exactly that. I was listening to the Lighthouse Catholic Media CD by ArchBishop Fulton Sheen in which he shared the story of the woman who married the atheist. The story goes that she prayed for his conversion and one day, realizing that l
ife is suffering and she could suffer on thisarchbishop fulton sheen earth for something great or suffer for all eternity for nothing, she chose to offer herself as a victim  holocaust. Those were not the words on the CD but it is as I understood it.

Her name was Elizabeth Leseur and her husband’s name was Felix. She prayed a simple prayer. That Jesus might allow her to receive all the necessary suffering so that her husband might be saved and be with her in heaven. Her husband did not know this. They were deeply in love yet remained unchanged. She would never stop believing and he would never begin to believe in God.

“Every human being is an incalculable force, bearing within him something of the future. To the end of time, our daily words and actions will bear fruit, either good or bad; nothing that we have once given of ourselves will perish, but our words and works, handed on from one to another, will continue to do good or harm to remote generations. This is why life is a sacred thing, and we ought not to pass through it thoughtlessly, but to appreciate its value and use it so that, when we are gone, the sum total of good in the world may be greater.” 
― Elisabeth LeseurSecret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur

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She became ill with cancer. Her husband watched as she suffered terribly yet never once stopped praising God. In his anger he asked her how she could praise a God that would allow her to suffer when she was supposed to be his faithful servant. The man’s wife smiled and said she offered herself and all suffering necessary for his salvation and that God has not only promised to convert her husband but that her husband would become a dominican priest. He laughed of course, thinking this to be ridiculous but in fact, this is a famous story and the man did become a priest.  

She offered her suffering. She entered into the redemption of her husband, the saving of his soul by offering her suffering. This is co-redemptive suffering. She did not marry the wrong the man, she married the exact right man and her life was to be a prayer. Her true love of her husband, the love of his soul allowed her to see that she could offer her pain as  gift, a sacrifice to Jesus. She said suffering for souls is a powerful form of action. The most fruitful apostolate she said, was our lives. When we suffer and love others in our lives, we are embracing our apostolate.

I decided that night, after listening to this story that I would offer myself and all the suffering I had endured including the sexual abuse that began when I was only three years old and all of the abuse that occurred after as well as any future suffering as a offering of love so that Christ might pour out grace to my husband and children so that they might be saved. At that moment, in my mind’s eye I imagined the devil screaming from hell realizing that his ability to torture me with my past had thus been taken from him. I was, at that exact moment, no longer a victim. satan

I went to the mass the next day and wrote on a simple piece of paper “I offer you, almighty God, my sufferings and ask you to send me sufficient sufferings to purchase the souls of my husband and children. On the day that I die, that price will have been paid” and I put that piece of paper into the offering plate  so that I might offer this gift with the highest form of prayer possible, the mass.

If you have seen the movie Princess Bride then you know the famous quote “Life is pain highness, anyone telling you differently is selling something.” It is this reality that I hold onto every single day. It is a lie to believe that the goal in life is to make money, be famous, to receive praise or even to accomplish something.

Embracing our greatness means we embrace the unique unrepeatable gift of life and person that we are we endure the tremendous sufferings of life with love and in doing this we enter into the redemption of the world with Jesus Christ. We allow our lives, our very bodies to become living tabernacles. We become the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.  We can enter into co-redemptive suffering. It was God that deemed the salvation of man would come through the unselfish act of a woman and then through her son. We are all called into the redemption of the world, to birth souls into heaven but labor is painful.IMG_5524.JPG

Have you enlisted into Mary’s Army? Have you given your yes? Are you willing to be a living tabernacles, offering Jesus Christ your hands, your feet, you very life to others so that they might be saved? If not, time is growing short.IMG_5528

We are in the age of mercy and grace is abounding all the more! We are the Church Militant and we have the Church Suffering (souls in purgatory) just waiting to be invited into the war that Satan has unleashed upon the earth. We have the Church Triumphant (Saints in Heaven) waiting to called upon! Come now, enter into work that will make all of your suffering beautiful.

ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY 

PRAYER OF CONSECRATION TO MERCIFUL LOVE

“Merciful Father, relying on the prayers and example of Abraham and Mary, my father and mother in faith, and of St. Therese, my sister in the way of humble confidence. I, ______, choose, this day, with the help of your grace, to strive with all my heart to follow the Little Way. And so,

I firmly intend to fight discouragement, do little things with great love, and be merciful to my neighbor in deed, word, and prayer.

I aim to keep before my eyes my poverty, weakness, brokenness, and sin, trusting that my littleness and contrite heart will attract your Merciful Love.

I choose to remain always little, not relying on my own merits but solely on yours, dear Lord, and those of the Blessed Mother.

Finally, I believe, my God, that you can and will make me into a saint, even if I won’t see it, even if I have to struggle all my life against vice and sin, even if I have to wait until the very end. This blind hope in your mercy, O Lord, is my only treasure.

And now, to confirm my resolve and to console you for so much rejection of your mercy, I OFFER MYSELF, THROUGH THE HANDS OF MARY IMMACULATE, AS A VICTIM OF HOLOCAUST TO YOUR MERCIFUL LOVE, asking you to consume me incessantly, allowing the waves of infinite tenderness shut up within you to overflow into my soul, and that I may thus become a martyr of your Love, O my God, and a gift of mercy to so many others. I ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen

(PRAYER WRITTEN BY FR MICHAEL GAITLEY BASED ON ST. THERESE OF LISIEUX PRAYER OF OFFERING TO MERCIFUL LOVE) #33DaystoMercifulLove

“The Church must undergo a passion in unity with Jesus, each member of His Body, the Church, must in their own sense undergo a passion in order to merit eternal salvation. The story of St. Elizabeth Leseur and her husband Felix is told in order to drive home the point of each person’s individual passion, and the necessary suffering one must endure if one is to save his own soul, and possibly the soul of another.” Quote from The Passion of The Church Website

Our Lady of Guadalupe is Speaking To You

Many are not aware of all of the messages on the Tilma of St. Juan Diego. The iconic image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is speaking to us about how to prepare for battle and how to help usher in a new Civilization of Love.

Please listen to the audio. It is unedited from the original recording and it starts about 1 min 40 second in.

Listen To The Meaning and Messages Here

Watch the Beautiful Prezi Picture Presentation Here

Jesus Heals the Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is a highly successful television series that has just begun it’s 5th season. Why is it that so many people are interested in shows about Zombie apocalypse or an outbreak of illness creating zombies? Perhaps Hollywood can see what so many of us are refusing to acknowledge. Many of us are the walking dead.  Well to be fair some of us are the walking dead and some of us are the walking wounded. Drug addiction, alcoholism, porn addiction, food addiction, kids killing each other in school, people beheading other people for “God”.  What the heck is going on? It seems like we are living in a world filled with zombies.

What is interesting to me about all of these successful movies and sitcoms is how they parallel our own culture.  It is as if these movies are a commentary on our culture of death. We may not live in the biblical times of leprosy but we certainly live in a time of spiritual leprosy. We live in a fallen world and with fallen people. The new normal is not man and wife with three kids a dog, a house and a white picket fence. In fact, I am not even sure what the new normal is, but it is definitely not the “traditional” family.

The movies we watch that are depicting human beings as zombies, are closer to the truth than most tv sitcoms. We are all in need of healing.  We need to find a means from which to heal our wounds.  We are all wounded in some way. Some of us are living with the effects of sexual abuse or physical abuse; some of us were abandoned by our parents. Still others were emotionally abused or psychologically traumatized by alcoholic or drug addicted parents or even others were ritualistically abused. Whatever the your childhood, chances are you either experienced abuse or neglect yourself or someone very close to you did. The effects of abuse wounds us and it is in through these wounds that we begin to form our understandings and beliefs about who we are, who God is and whether or not we believe in anyone or anything.

The wounds that are inflicted upon us are openings to evil or negativity. Call it what you will, it is through wounds that we are opened up and it is at these moments we can become bound as prisoners to our pain, our fears and the vows that we make to ourselves. We also need friends that we can trust to love us despite our wounds.  We need friends to help encourage us and help us find joy and courage to persevere so that we can go into those dark places and bring healing to them.  The reason why we are struggling in this world is not because we are somehow strange or because we are not faithful or pious enough, it is because we live in a world that has been divided because of sin. Being faithful and growing in holiness can help us in our struggles but unless we address our wounds we may find ourselves carrying a larger struggle than God desires for us to carry by ourselves.

If you or someone you know feels they are nailed to their cross instead of carrying it, then perhaps you are in need of healing.

Here is the Good News! Christ came to restore us! He makes all things new! Am I saying that healing our wounds is as simple as bringing our suffering to Him on the cross? Yes I am. It is not simple or easy to do but it is simple in choice.

But wait a minute…have you been seeing Jesus as some wimpy guy walking around in an effeminate gown talking in gentle high pitched voice? Cause my Jesus is not wimpy, he is B.A.  He will kick some major butt if anyone tries to mess with his girl (that’s me).  Are you seeing Jesus as the laid down lover he is? He is ready and willing to run into the darkest of nights to bring in his lost bride (that’s you).  You just have to call out to him..

In scripture, it says we have a mighty savior that will wipe away every tear and comfort every infirmity and remove every sin for those who believe and trust in him.  Instead of despair we shall have the oil of gladness, instead of shame we shall have double honor, not just in heaven but here in our lives, progressively as grace perfects our nature. The zombies are the sin and the evil in the world and he wants to eradicate it so that you can be resurrected and made new!

Jesus wants your happiness in the world and in the next, he wants to set you free from all that has enslaved you! Everywhere you go he is with you and longs for you to trust in him.  He pursues all of us intensely because of his great love for us.  We are no surprise to God, he knew what he was getting when he made us! You are no surprise to God, I am no surprise to God yet he created us anyways! That is such a consolation!

When our wounds are redeemed and washed clean in the blood of Christ we are made new. The very places you feel the most broken become your most beautiful gifts. He will shine out of your wounds in ways that will not only transform you, but it will transform the people around you. His light shines through our wounds revealing hope and healing.  When we are set free from the healing power of Jesus Christ we are able to retain the graces He pours out to us and we will have Christ to give them in their own thirst.

How can one begin? Pray this prayer. Come Holy Spirit Come. Next ask for prayer ministry. Even Jesus had someone help him carry his cross.  Then, find a healing mass and receive the sacrament of the sick so that your wounds can be healed. The sacraments are means of grace that fills us.  Grace perfects our nature and healing ministry is the means from which to retain this grace so that we can be transformed. It will be through this transformation that the world will be reconciled to God.

For the past 6 months I have had the honor and privilege to be apart of a healing ministry that has been offering a monthly healing mass as well as prayer ministry. People have been coming from all over the state of Wisconsin. If you cannot find a healing mass in your area then consider a pilgrimage to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville Wisconsin. We are offering a monthly healing mass to heal and free the oppressed.  If you need deliverance from the evil one, if you need healing for your afflictions then come to the living water! Come be healed! You will receive anointing with oil in the sacrament of the sick, there will be deliverance, there will be healing prayer ministry and you will be given an arsenal kit to take home so as to continue finding healing and freedom. Perhaps you are called to bring a healing mass and prayer ministry to your own parish. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern what it is you are being called to do and then ask for the grace to do it. I believe we are on the cusp of a revolution of laid down lovers willing to run into the darkness to bring in the lost bride. I believe that that Army is a Marian Army. Join the revolution. For more information you can check out our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/TotusTuusHealing

Joan Rivers Search For Truth, Goodness and Beauty Has Ended

From the movie "Joan Rivers; Piece of Work"

From the movie “Joan Rivers; Piece of Work”

Can We Talk? The pursuit of beauty has created an ever widening divorce between the physical and spiritual.  Is beauty truly only in the eye of the beholder or can something be beautiful regardless of our opinion?


Truth, goodness and beauty are referred to as transcendental because they transcend the limits of the places or times in which we live.  Each of these are rooted in “being” and are not contingent upon what religious beliefs you have or what culture you come from or what ideology you adhere to.

In fact, Truth, Goodness and Beauty are objective properties that that can be found in all creation.  So how can a person be so blind to the truth that they do harm and not good to themselves all for the sake of trying to become what they already are which is beautiful?  I believe it is because of the divorce that has taken place between the spiritual and physical realm.

The body makes visible the invisible reality of the person we see before us.  We are not just a material substance that can be nipped and tucked and implanted so as to “become” beautiful but rather we are a union of spirit and matter.  We are “embodied spirits” and our beauty exists whether we acknowledge it or not.

tatoo 1If the body makes visible the invisible than we understand that someone who modifies their bodies with piercings and tattoos has a spirit screaming to be seen and heard or is in fact could be so shattered that the modifications become a shield or costume to hide behind so that others will not truly “see” them.

 

What was Joan Rivers soul making visible to the world?  We know that she has had hundreds of plastic surgery procedures and has suffered with bulimia as well.  This is a serious identity issue that many women are struggling with and it starts with truth.  Our truth is being warped and manipulated into something very ugly.  It leads people to mutilate and abuse themselves until goodness is out of reach and beauty is unattainable.  For Joan, I would postulate that her truth was skewed. I would also postulate that she was deeply dissatisfied with herself and was a woman that desperately needed to hear that she was a unique and unrepeatable person made in the image and likeness of God and that her personhood was good.
Let’s us pray for the world to rediscover the true, the good and beautiful because ultimately that will lead us all to what we have been destined for.
Eternal Rest Grant Unto Her Oh Lord and Let Perpetual Light Shine Upon Her and May She Rest In Peace.

If It Be Your Will

blake embraceI love this image by William Blake because it speaks of what it means to unite oneself and ones desires to the will of God.  It speaks of reconciliation and of union.  I love the pose of the man as it is reminiscent of the cross, with his hands extended in such a way.  The body speaks a language and this man’s body is saying to me that while he realizes the suffering, the cross that comes when he opens himself to God there is a peace and resting that takes place by allowing God to embrace him.  The fulfillment of all desire can only happen if we unite our desires to that of God’s for us. Knowing this is one thing, knowing it as an experience is and entirely different thing.
Earlier this week I had a song playing through my mind.  It’s a Leonard Cohen tune called “Waiting For a Miracle.” Listening to Leonard if feels as if time slows down just a little bit and my mind quiets down.  It calms me, it transports me out of the chaos of a given moment into an interior life that feels like prayer.  St. Frances said when we sing we pray twice so perhaps music is it’s own form of prayer.  “Waiting For a Miracle” says it all.
I was waiting for a miracle to come.  The way Leonard sings it, with such gentle melancholy expresses the tenderness of desire to have what I want, yet at the same time expresses the sadness of knowing that it would take a miracle.  There is no begging or pleading, just a hope and desire for it.  This has been my hearts song for the past week.
This morning I woke up with another Leonard Cohen song singing itself into my mind.  I had to smile because I felt it was a grace from God that caused it to sing me awake. It was my first thought as I opened my eyes.
“If It Be Your Will” is a song that I have loved for many years.  It is a song I have sung in times where I desired to embrace the will of God and not my own and I prayed for his grace to be poured into me so that I could desire it.  The part that says;
“If it be your will
That I speak no more 
And my voice be still 
As it was before 
I will speak no more 
I shall abide until 
I am spoken for 
If it be your will”
Became a prayer of sorts as I struggled with attacks from people that took it upon themselves to try and destroy my speaking career.   I know that God has the only power to do anything.  This song is my new prayer as I have transitioned into the hardest part of this miscarriage.  I am still waiting, but not for a miracle to come, but for a miracle of life that was created inside of me to make it’s way out.  It is the hardest for me because I wonder what I will see or worse, that I will miss him or her and flush her away.  That is why it’s hardest.  I just want this part to be done so I can transition to healing.
When I reached for my phone this morning I saw the tweet of Pope Francis. As if to affirm that the song that was sung to me as I awoke was indeed inspired by the Holy Spirit, his “tweet” spoke of God’s will being my own.
“The one who listens attentively to the Word of God and truly prays, always asks the Lord: what is your will for me?” Pope Francis
I can thank God for transitioning my heart this morning by a gift of His grace.  I truly know that I want what He wants. I know there has been nothing wasted, a soul will exist for all eternity and his/her name is Kolbe and will be praying me into heaven.
I realized early on in this process that I could offer this suffering to God.  I solidified this during the mass yesterday when I offered my body as a living sacrifice.  I offered my body as an altar upon which to offer this miscarriage as a spiritual sacrifice to God and asked for Mary to give the graces to her priests who offer themselves daily without ever being able to hold the results in their arms.  I asked for the gift of spiritual motherhood to the priests in my life, that I would love them as Mary does.  That I would see them as my sons that need a mother to pray for them, to love them and offer prayers and sufferings for their protection.  I usually never help distribute communion, but I was inspired to do so.
I felt inspired to offer communion and felt the love of my heart being poured out to every person who approached Jesus.  I found myself looking deeply into each persons eyes as they came forward and felt a deep merciful love of Mary in me flow out to them.  I did not look at them as they approached, I would see them.  I would see their goodness and longing and desire to be filled and offer them the living God that is the only thing that can fill that void.
I am in a good place today.  God is Good, all the time, God is Good.