Tuesday, February 05, 2008


...just sometimes you get the words you need to hear/read at just the right time.
Sister Patricia has been sending out a novena for employment and I read the first days prayers and then a fit of rebellion slipped in and I refused to read any more of the prayers as they came into my inbox the past few days. (If you do not know Sister yet - click here)

Now after my wonderful announcement of employment why am I irritated by a novena for employment? Well, while I am working... it is on commission and it will take a while before I see the fruits of my labour. Hugo is busy with school, maintaining the eBay business at a very low key level and has not had the time to begin the Spanish classes we had hoped to start. He is still looking for a job and we are w a i t i n g, w a i t i n g, w a i t i n g for a withdrawal from our retirement funds in Canada and it is a p a i n f u l l y s l o w process. If all goes well - so many prayers will be answered and our life will improve immeasurably. But so many things have gone wrong the past years that sometimes I have a very difficult time being able to trust in God.

Sadly the past few days, partly I suspect because I am suffering from what I am calling 'battle fatigue' due to the illness our family has been battling against, I have been finding it especially difficult to be patient and to trust in God's goodness. Until recently I had just kept giving this whole "waiting" scenario over to God.

Then tonight I was eating a quick bowl of cereal and writing a note of thanksgiving to my Dad and step mum, when I noticed an email had come in. I was curious so I clicked on it - it was from Sister Patricia. I sighed, felt grumpy and was not going to read it - after I had not read the last 4 or 5 so why read this one, eh?

Well - I decided to take a peek just to see how irritated it would make me feel.

This is the message I got...

Now its time to spread a little Franciscan wisdom. One of our own American Franciscan saints to "be" (he's a blessed but not canonized) is Bl. Solanus Casey. A very wonderful and holy man. Father Solanus's favorite saying, was "Thank God ahead of time!"

Of course we know its very St. Paul based too! But this is such a great and wonderful way to pray. If you want a miracle - then Saint Paul tells us we must believe we are going to receive one. What better way to jump start our faith than to start "Thanking God ahead of Time!"

Solanus Casey used to say with a twinkle in his eye (he was a very warm-hearted and holy man) that when we thank God ahead of time... we put God in a tough spot....God is almost obliged to give us what we want because we've already thanked him for it!

Trusting God enough to thank Him before we get what we want is a great way to step out in faith. It's like trusting your parents to provide good things for you - trusting that your best friend is going to help you out when you are in trouble. Thanking God is all about trust and appreciation. I truly believe that God likes to be thanked .... and doing it ahead of time is showing our great confidence in our loving God. Anybody can thank God "after" they get what they prayed for - but it takes faith to do it "before" the answers come!

So go ahead! Spend the whole day thanking God for the wonderful job he is finding for you or for those you are praying for. Almost immediately you will feel stronger and excited about what is going to happen. A Joyful heart is good medicine and a joyful spirit makes someone want to be around you. If you are looking for a job than you really need to have people be glad to be around you because who knows where that job opening might come from? A family member, a friend, a person you smile and help on the street?

Dedicate yourself to Thankfulness!

So... that is what I am going to do this LENT - spend each day thanking God for the blessings that have yet to come. I am going to thank Him for my first pay cheque from SIT, for Hugo's job that is just around the corner and will be a perfect fit, for the mortgage we will get. I will thank for the good health also just around the corner. I am going to thank him for the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit as he guides us in the purchase of our new home. I will thank him for my success in building a better prayer life and for success in creating and following a solid family rule - and on and on and on.... This Lent - I am going to just keep thanking God. And in thanking Him - I will be believing in Him and His graces and His gifts. Read more!

When do you praise the Lord that we have the Influenza?

When you drag a very sick toddler into the doctor's office, trying really hard not to think how much your child's behaviour and symptoms for the past month have been like that of the two year old who was just diagnosed with Leukemia.

When the pediatrician looks very worried because he can not find an explanation for the sudden onset of a 105 temperature... after weeks of flu like symptoms that keep coming and going and had finally seemed to be gone and then this sudden spike in her fever brought you into his office.

When the doctor orders a blood count test and a Flu test and tells you our best hope is a positive flu test, and his voice trails off...

When the nurse comes back with a big grin on her face and says "SHE HAS THE FLU!" and you laugh in relief.

YES, we have the influenza - Type A - highly contagious, but treatable. Very treatable.

Praise God.
Read more!

When does hearing Thank You put a lump in your throat...

...when your 2 year old, while running a fever of 104, says thank you as you move the cool clothe to a different spot on her head.

... and again later while this same two year old lies limply in your arms and whispers thank you as you put her favorite cartoon back on for her to watch for about the 12th time in a row.

This being the same 2 year old who has recently fallen in love with the word HATE. In fact you have heard "I hate dis tupid thing! " so much you begin to wonder how much you are carelessly using the word hate and resolve to be more attentive to your own vocabulary.

Yup - that is when the expression 'thank you' wrings your heart. Read more!