Tag Archives: Faith

Theme Song Thursday:) Come Sit With Me

28 Sep

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

~Warren Buffett

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One of my passions is writing, thus this daily blog. But, I also enjoy reading posts every day from the many other writers that I follow. This morning, when I read my daily inspiration from DivorcedCatholic.org, I was genuinely moved. It reminded me of the many times when my boys were little, and they would ask me to come sit with them or play with them. I usually tried to comply, but sometimes the standard, “Just a minute” would pop out.

When I read this story, I started to tear up. I remembered so vividly a few occasions when my youngest son would come home from school or a baseball game or some event, and he would be very quiet. Even back then, he never really talked about what was bothering him. But, once in a while, he would just come and sit next to me, then lay his head on my chest and prop his feet up on the couch. I would just stroke his hair without a word. He didn’t need me to say anything or fix anything. He just needed to sit with me and know that he was loved.

Sometimes that’s all we need, someone to sit there without a word and love you. That’s why when I go to church on Sunday, or light a candle before support group on Wednesday, or when I open my eyes in the morning, or before I fall asleep and close my eyes at night, I silently say “Thank You” to God for my blessings and strength and family and friends. I don’t have to say it out loud. I just rest my head on His chest, silently.

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Your Daily Inspiration for Thursday, September 28, 2017

The other day, I remembered an incident that happened when my son was four years old. As I walked into the kitchen, he was watching his favorite TV show. Patting the seat of his chair, he looked up at me with these big, puppy-dog eyes and said, “Can you come and sit with me?” My heart melted. Even though I had a million things to do, I could not resist the invitation and sat down with him. He snuggled up close to me and rested his head on my chest. We sat there very content for the next twenty minutes silently enjoying each other’s company. It was one of those “moments,” and I came away with a renewed sense of peace, feeling very grateful for the time spent and for my son.

A divorce or separation can crash into your world fragmenting your time, attention, and energy. Whether it’s raising kids as a single parent, working two jobs to make ends meet, coping with the emotional fallout of a dying marriage, or all the above, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and hopeless.

Just as my son invited me to “come sit,” our Lord, Jesus Christ, makes the same invitation to you, everyday, 24/7. He is present in the tabernacle of every Catholic church throughout the entire world. Think about that. Our Lord, the Great Healer, the Great Comforter, the Creator of the Universe, is available to you pretty much whenever you want–and most likely within 15-20 minutes of where you are standing. And He is longing for you to come and sit with Him. Take Him up on His invitation often. No matter how difficult or stressful your life may be, He promises that you are sure to come away with a renewed sense of peace and hope. Won’t you come sit with Him?
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. – John 14:27
For more resources visit vincefrese.com and DivorcedCatholic.org


Sunday Sermon and a Sunset

17 Sep

“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.” 

― Will Smith

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Another beautiful Sunday morning greeting parishioners at St. Gabriel’s. I actually remembered to wear my name tag today, and more and more people are saying, “Good morning, Toni.” I’ve been learning more names and giving out more hugs and handshakes,too. The new church building is coming along.


Today’s Gospel was another story about forgiveness. ( Is somebody up there trying to tell me something?) Peter asked Jesus about forgiveness. 

Gospel MT 18:21-35

“Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?”  Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants.”

When the servant who owed a huge amount of money to the king begged for mercy and not to be sold, along with his wife, family and possessions, he begged… “Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.” The king forgave him his debt. Later, that same man came across a fellow servant who owed him a small amount of money, and instead of forgiving the other man’s debt, he had him imprisoned. When the king heard this, he summoned the man and said, “You wicked servant!” And he asked why he couldn’t forgive his fellow servant a small debt after being begged, when he had forgiven his huge debt. The king was angry and had the man tortured.

My take on it…well, first of all, these Gospels lately have been hitting home. I’ve been working on this forgiveness chapter in my life, and I’ll admit, I’m not totally there yet. Here’s my dilemma. In all these verses and Gospel readings, someone is begging for forgiveness. And yes, we are told that God will forgive us anything if we ask Him. But, they ASK! I keep reading quotes and have people telling me that I need forgive,  even when someone doesn’t ask for forgiveness. You do it for yourself. I STILL DON’T GET IT! 

I had this discussion with friends just a few days ago. My philosophy is actions speak louder than words. I don’t have to say the words, “I forgive you,” and I still can go on with my life, without hate or anger, be the best person I can be, and have a good heart. But, unless I am asked to forgive someone or some offense, there’s no point saying the words. If they don’t even think they’ve done anything wrong or have harmed you in any way, there’s no point. It means nothing to them, so it means nothing to me.

If you ask God to forgive you, He will. That’s why He’s God and we’re just human. He knows what’s in your heart. I have asked God for forgiveness and strength, and I believe that has been granted. But, He also will NOT forgive an evil person with an evil heart. They will be punished.  Do you see the point now? You have to sincerely ask? You have to change your ways and change your heart. It’s not a free pass to do what you please.

Okay, now on a brighter note.🎼 After Mass, the Knights of Columbus had free donuts outside at a couple of tables. There was a small donation jar. I walked over, slightly tempted, as I hadn’t eaten since lunch yesterday. But, I’m not a huge donut fan, even chocolate. So, I just put a dollar in the jar and said, “I’m saving the calories. Thanks for all you do.” Then, off I went to Sprouts.

Did I mention I was hungry? Uh oh! Sprouts had dark chocolate covered almonds on sale for ONLY $2.99 a pound. My downfall! That’s insane! I’m insane! I bought many pounds. I’m too embarrassed to tell you how many. I’m glad I passed on the donuts.


But, before you judge me too harshly, I did buy some apples, peaches, green peppers, tomatoes, and blackberries. It looks like a lot, but I like to share with my friend, Miss Eleanor. She can’t get out to the store much.

It’s been a good Sunday. I’m going to post this and go out for a nice long walk. It’s still kinda hot out there, so I may have to stop for a beer if Mr. Larry’s garage is open. 

Here’s my sunset from last night…



Sunday Sermon and Some Pancakes

28 Aug

“Knowing God is not enough; you must make Him known to others. Through your living character, you tell more about the living God!” ― Israelmore Ayivor

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Happy Sunday! It was a wonderful morning, a bit overcast, with a chance of rain, but no sprinkles before or after church. The serious Hurricane Harvey devastation is hundreds of miles south, near Houston. Mary and I stood and greeted before Mass, reminding folks that the Knights of Columbus of St. Gabriel’s were hosting a free pancake breakfast after Mass.  Free? You can’t beat free.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus asking the disciples, “But who do they say I am?” Simon declared, “You are the Christ…”Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 

My take on it…Peter became the “rock” of the church because he believed in Jesus without physical proof, with faith alone.  Sometimes, we have to have blind faith. Also, whatever you do here on earth, that’s how it will be in heaven, reminds us that our earthly existence is where we prove ourselves worthy of heaven. “THROUGH YOUR LIVING CHARACTER..”

After Mass, most folks filed over to the community center for a very nice pancake breakfast, the Knights, K of C men, all dressed in their royal blue shirts, were busy cooking, serving, cleaning and hosting this event. It’s also a great time to chat and visit with old friends, or make new ones.



One of my new friends and CRHP sister, Danna. We enjoyed the fine meal and friendship.

Sunday Sermon and Some Spectacular Sunsets

14 Aug

Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible. 

~Mary McLeod Bethune

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This morning, I had the pleasure of attending Mass at at St. Francis Xavier Church in Stillwater, OK. It’s a beautiful old church, and I hear they are nearly finished with construction of an even bigger and more charming church a few miles away.


I love the beautiful stained glass windows, and the alcoves where the candles are.



Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus walking on the sea and calling Peter to walk out towards him.

“Jesus said, ‘Come.’ Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water, but then noticing the wind, he took fright and began to sink. ‘Lord,’ he cried, ‘save me!’Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. ‘You have so little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ ”
My take on it…sometimes we get distracted or scared and lose faith that God will take care of us. But, when we call out and ask for help, He will “put out His hand at once” and save us. 

I guess we’re all guilty of losing faith once in a while. Fortunately, I have been blessed with a wonderful family and fine friends, and when I get scared or hurt or discouraged, there is always someone there to reach out with a hand to help me back up. I have helping hands here on earth and “upstairs”, whenever I call out. Lucky me!


Now, my spectacular sunset…


Boomer Lake at sunset. These three shots were taken just minutes apart.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

7 Aug

“The transfiguration of matter occurs through wonder.”~James Hillman
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It was another very warm Sunday. After missing last week’s  greeting at the door because I was at the CRHP retreat, it was wonderful to see a lot of my new CRHP sisters and friends. It was neat to see their families, too. Lots of hugs. 

Today is the Feast of  the Transfiguration Sunday. Today’s Gospel is story of when Jesus appeared to the three disciple and was transfigured. 

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Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light……..

While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” 

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My take on it, Jesus wanted to show his disciples something miraculous so they might believe and keep their faith and share His word. We are asked to keep our faith and believe through the teachings of the disciples. Sometimes we can be transfigured and changed through faith alone.

In a way, our retreat last weekend, was kind of a transformation. Very appropriate for today’s Gospel. A nice Sunday.


After Mass, I stopped at Sprouts and bought a whole bunch of vegetables so I could roast them for dinner. I am trying to eat healthier, BUT, I also bought a couple of pounds of chocolate covered peanuts. So much for healthy. I came home, popped in the veggies, and went for a long walk. 


Oh yum! As soon as I post this, I’m eating. 

Have a great Sunday!

Sunday Sermon and Sustenance for the Soul 

31 Jul

“The soul is imbued with a yearning that is carried, like a torch, from incarnation to incarnation. It burns with a curiosity about life and it’s true identity. Souls live, strive, and evolve, driven to seeking the truth about the world and themselves.” 

― Stefan Emunds

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My two day CRHP retreat at St. Gabriel’s this weekend was nothing less than extraordinary. Did I learn anything new about myself during this wonderful experience? No, not really. I already know myself. (The good, the bad, and the ugly.) But, what I did learn was how I, Toni, can become a better me. How I can learn to see the world and other people through different eyes. I learned how total strangers can embrace you and love you, making you feel like a very important person. We are all children of God. He thinks we’re all special. We should do the same.

The common denominator here is faith. This happened to be a Catholic retreat, but I believe that faith, trust in God, no matter what you call Him or where you worship, is the glue or the foundation. A faith that can build a strong soul or heal a heavy heart. 

This morning, we all got up early and attended 7a.m. Mass. Getting over forty women up, dressed, and ready all before 7 is a miracle in itself. But, it happened.

The Gospel for today was about the kingdom of heaven. A person finds a treasure in the field, or the merchant in search of the perfect pearl. They give up or sell everything to obtain it. 

My take on it…once you’ve found something special, that wonderful treasure, don’t let go. Do everything you can to hold on to it. Hold on to your faith, your family, your friends. Those are the treasures on earth, and will also lead to the kingdom of heaven. 

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Gospel MT 13:44-52Jesus said to his disciples:”The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field…..

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All my wonderful experiences of my CRHP retreat are too many to share, but also, it’s kinda like Vegas. What happens at CRHP stays at CRHP. That’s so all the people who haven’t attended yet will have the same great surprises and life changing experiences. 

I made some beautiful new friends this weekend, and I know these new “sisters” will be a part of my life for a long time.


Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom~ Don’t Talk to Strangers ~ NOT

22 Jun

“We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.”

~Fyodor Dostoevsky*******************

Back home to McKinney today. My sister took me to O’Hare early this morning to catch my flight to Dallas. No traffic jams, and we arrived in record time, so I had two hours before my flight boarded. I like to get to the airport early so I can 1.Not stress about being late 2.Relax and have some breakfast 3.Talk to strangers and meet new people.


I printed out my boarding pass at the kiosk, tsa approved, so I got through security in just a few minutes, THEN, when I went to get my bag off the rollers, there on the floor, right at my feet, was a lucky penny. (Good sign.)


I walked through the crowds and over to the food court, stopping at McDonald’s. With my brown bag with Golden Arches in hand, I scouted around to see where I would sit. Here’s what I always do at the airport…I look for someone sitting alone, and I go over and say, “Do you mind if I join you?”

I saw a gentleman with an airport employee badge on who just sat down. When I asked to join him, he was more than cordial. I introduced myself, and he said his name was Ray. Ray, a baggage handler, was on his lunch break at 9:30 a.m. I asked how he was doing, and he said tired. He started work at 4 a.m. 

(Ray had his serious selfie face on here, but he mostly had a wonderful smile when we talked.)


Ray and I talked a long time about family, work, Chicago, McKinney, hopes, dreams, faith, and more. It’s amazing how you can get to know a person pretty well in less than an hour. Subtle cues, gestures and words tell a lot about a person. Ray was very polite and called me Mam when I asked to sit down. He stood up to shake hands upon introduction. Before he started eating, he folded his hands and said a prayer before he ate. He smiled and joked and was open and honest when we talked, sharing stories about his life and his family. So, within a short time, I met a man of faith, a caring father, a man who admitted to having a turbulent troubled youth, but now blessed with a good happy life. Conclusion: a good, kind, sincere, hard working, optimistic, honest man of faith.

That’s why I like to talk to strangers. Everyone has an interesting life. Everyone has an interesting story. You’ll never hear that story unless you talk to them. It was a pleasure to meet Ray. We shook hands and said goodbye, wishing the other a good day. I said, “Take care Ray. Maybe I’ll see you next time I visit Chicago.” 


It was a good day, smooth flight, and safe arrival. My friend Karen picked me up at the airport, we stopped for an early dinner, and caught up on the latest news. 

When I got home, I unpacked, which entailed pretty much just throwing all the laundry in the washer. Then, I went for a long needed walk. I talked to a few neighbors on my journey, and caught the evening sunset. The sun was out till well after 8p.m. Because it’s the first day of summer.



It’s good to be home. Happy First Day of Summer!!!