Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Memories and Recipes!

Growing up I often heard an expression about good food or being a good cook, something like that, was the way to a man's heart. It takes a lot more than that but I do love to cook and bake for my husband and our family! My blog is full of memories! Family times, celebrations, get togethers, laughter, tears and lots of meals! Since June is the month of weddings I am going to share some of my recipe and anniversary stories! 

I only make banana pudding on very special occasions because I use the original recipe that is on the box of Nilla Wafers and that requires a make shift double boiler to thicken the pudding! I beat the egg whites into a white fluffy meringue to go on top! This year, I baked the banana pudding the day before our anniversary. I made some brownies too but that mix came from a box! I had just taken everything out of the oven when Jim walked in with a bouquet of flowers (a day early - I laughed because we both think so much alike). They are beautiful! 

Thirty-eight years ago I promised to love my husband for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, through the good times and the bad times until death do us part. I often think about the vows we made, so many years ago. A wedding is just a day - but a marriage is a lifetime and it takes work. Like a garden, you have to lovingly tend to it. Love, patience, kindness, forgiveness, and communication are a must - but most important - you need to make sure that God is right in the center, right there with you so that through the ups and downs, your faith in God will keep you on the right path.

The following are a couple of stories from anniversaries past:  In this first story I am adding additional baking tweaks to my beer bread recipe! Follow the recipe as I've written below or make two loaves of bread by using the medium size loaf pans. Bake these for forty minutes and after you add the melted butter only bake an additional five minutes. During the Christmas Season I love to give baked items as gifts. The beer bread recipe works well in the mini loaf pans. One batch will fill four of the aluminum mini loaf pans. Bake for thirty minutes and then add the melted butter! You can gauge the time yourself by looking at the tops - if they are lightly browned, the bread is ready! The mini loaf pans work great for bake sales also! 

Thursday, June 2, 2016


Hello Out There! I haven't posted in almost a week! How are y'all doing? It has been
raining on and off all week. Right now it is overcast and a little cool outside,
70 degrees to be exact. For this time of year, 70 degrees is awesome! The only thing
negative about this kind of weather is it makes me want to bake! I saw some chocolate
chips in the pantry and so I decided to check and see what other ingredients I have on
hand. I have everything I need to make a big batch of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies
with pecans! Doesn't that sound great? I also have the ingredients to make beer bread.
I haven't made beer bread since the Christmas season because I sure don't need
to eat it, but it sounds really good today! AND it is so easy to make! I will share the
recipe will y'all! Easy peasy and only 4 ingredients!
3 1/4 cups self rising flour
1/2 cup sugar
stir together
add 1 can (12 oz.) of room temperature beer (I use Lone Star because that is what Jim
drinks and so I have it on hand).
Stir dry ingredients until well blended, add beer and stir until mixed in, batter will be kind of lumpy.
Spoon into a greased (I use the Crisco spray stuff) loaf / bread pan. My loaf pans
are glass but the aluminum / metal pans work just as well.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes. This bread smells so good when
it is baking!
Melt 1/2 stick of butter (the recipe calls for 1 stick, but 1/2 is a little less fattening!)
Melt the butter and pour it all over the top of the bread and then put the
bread back into the oven for another 5 - 10  minutes.
Wait as long as you can and then slice and enjoy! Add more butter if you want, but
it really doesn't need it. This bread is great with soups, stews, a big pot of red beans
and as toast! I haven't tried it as garlic bread but I bet that is would be great that way
too! There is also a really good biscuit recipe on the back of the self-rising flour.
This reminds me of another baking tip to pass along. If you want to make Buttermilk
biscuits and don't have or keep buttermilk on hand this tip will work.
Use 1 teaspoon of vinegar for each 1/3 cup of milk. If your recipe calls for 1 cup of
buttermilk, add (3) teaspoons or (1) tablespoon of vinegar to your milk and let it sit for
at least 5 minutes. I usually add the vinegar to the milk first thing and then by the time
I get to that step it has already been plenty of time for the milk to sour.
I really had not planned on writing about recipes or cooking tips today but sometimes
that is what happens! I have something serious I want to talk about but I think I will
post it on another page. I want this page to be about happy things! No downers after
this fun yummy recipe swap!
On Saturday, Jim and I will be married for 33 years! I can't believe it! The years have
flown by. I thank God everyday for blessing me with such a wonderful husband. One
of my favorite scriptures from the bible is from Genesis, when Adam sees Eve for the
first time -
Genesis 2:21-24
So the Lord God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was
asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.
The Lord God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man.
When he brought her to the man, the man said:
"This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;
This one shall be called 'woman,' for out of 'her man' this one has been taken."
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and
the two of them become one body.

Another one of my favorite scriptures that I think is so important for a happy
marriage and a loving family is this one -
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs,
it is not snobbish. Love is never rude, it is not self-seeking,
it is not prone to anger; neither does it brood over injuries.
Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth.
There is no limit to love's forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure.

I hope you all have a wonderful day. If you try the beer bread recipe let me know
if you like it. I hope the vinegar substitution helps also! God bless you all!
                                                               Bye for now, Sharla

Friday, June 8, 2018

Red Roses, Lemon Bars, and 35 Years of Marriage - Pretty Awesome!

Hello out there! I am way behind on my posts! Jim and I celebrated 35 years of
marriage earlier this week. We were so blessed at Mass on Sunday night. One couple,
some good friends of ours, asked for Anniversary prayers (Mass Intentions) for us.
Another couple, and also dear friends of ours, prayed for us after Mass. Both couples
have been married a lot longer than we have! We visited with another couple (also
friends) as we were walking to our vehicles and we talked about how important
it is for married couples to have God in their lives. I shared the peanut butter story.
I'll repost it in case y'all haven't read it! On Monday we received a very special
anniversary card in the mail from a wonderful friend. Our hearts are full from all
the warm wishes, prayers, and blessings we have received from our family and
friends. We have had a great week.
Our anniversary was on Monday. Jim and I are simple people, thankful for what we
have, and we celebrate special days the same way. I am always baking something
because Jim has a sweet tooth. I haven't made Lemon Bars since Easter and I decided
to bake some for him on Monday. He came home with two beautiful red roses for me.
I fixed dinner and we sat at the kitchen table, ate and had a nice visit. We went out
to eat on Tuesday evening with five other couples from our parish and the Associate
Pastor (whom we all love) and will be transferring to another parish at the end of this
month. Tonight we are going out with another couple, who were married on the same
date, seventeen years before us. They are some of our closest friends and we have
celebrated many anniversaries together. I told our daughter that we were celebrating
the "Big 35" all week long - seems appropriate! 
I took this picture on Tuesday morning -
the lemon bars are almost gone!
The roses were beautiful then but.....

look at them now! I took this picture earlier today -
they are even more beautiful!
The lemon bars are all gone!

Life is gift! - Hug your oved ones!
Blessings to you and yours!
Bye for now, Sharla

Friday, June 4, 2021

Marriage is a Journey and God is our Guide

 Good morning out there! It's gonna be a great day! Today Jim and I celebrate 38 years of marriage! I wrote a post six years ago ago about God, peanut butter, and a good marriage. I've been thinking about that post/story this week. The message of the story is so simple and yet so true. I love being a wife and have always understood that marriage is a serious commitment and that the vows we said yes to were not to be taken lightly. I converted to Catholicism after we had been married almost four years. I have grown in my knowledge and love of the Catholic faith over the years. I look back and can see how God has always been with us and how our faith has lifted us up and held us together. We've been blessed with our children, their spouses, and our grandchildren; our gifts from God.

The following are a couple (three) of my favorite stories about being married - Through the years love, laughter, and tears! A wedding is a day and a marriage is a lifetime! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

God, Peanut Butter and a Good Marriage!

Good Morning Out There! I hope your Tuesday morning is starting off well!
It is cloudy and cool outside this morning. It rained sometime during the night,
and we have a pretty good chance for more rain this morning. I'm always thankful
for the rain!
Jim has already headed off to work. We are both thankful that he is still working,
and we are praying for those who have been let go. Life is full of ups and downs,
the good and the bad, the happy and the sad. The other day I was listening to the
local Catholic radio station as I was running errands and I heard the neatest thing.
I caught the end of the program, but is was about how to have a happy and long
marriage, you know, the death til you part kind of marriage. A married couple are
the hosts for this particular program and their guest was a priest. He gave one of
the best analogies I've ever heard about how a couple must have God in their lives.
He said that a husband and wife are like two pieces of bread, and if you just place
them together they will fall apart. But, if you put peanut butter on the bread and
then place them together, the two pieces of bread will stick together. God is the
peanut butter that holds the couple together! Don't you just love that? I laughed
and laughed, I couldn't wait to tell Jim. Well, he also thought it was a great way to
describe how we need God in our lives.
This morning I fixed Jim some peanut butter and jelly crackers. While I was in the
kitchen, Jim was in our room getting ready for work. As I put the peanut butter
on the crackers, I thought about what that priest said. I poured a cup of coffee for
Jim and carried it to our room. He was kneeling on our hard floor saying his morning
prayers. I sat the coffee down on the dresser, placed my hand on his shoulder and kissed
the top of his head. An overwhelming feeling came over me. I just felt so blessed that
in our marriage, we have God to help hold us together.
May your day be full of blessings.
                                                   Bye for now, Sharla

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The "Cutest Little Percolator" I Received at My Bridal Shower, Many Years Ago

Good Morning out there! Wait, I have to go get a second cup of coffee before I
begin! I'm back, with a hot cup of coffee, a little cream, a little sugar! I was going
to write about something else, but I've decided to share a neat story instead.

I really enjoy drinking coffee in the morning, my husband does too. It all started
with a gift I received at my bridal shower many years ago!
When Jim and I got married, I was 19 and he was 27. I wanted to be the perfect little
house wife! I would get up and make breakfast every morning before Jim would head
off to work. He has always been a welder, so oatmeal or cereal just aren't a good
breakfast when you have a physically demanding job. I would fry up bacon and
eggs, and fix toast with butter and jelly. Well, I received the cutest little 4-6 cup
percolator as a gift at my bridal shower, so every morning I would make coffee.
I remember asking Jim what he took in his coffee, and he said "milk and sugar."
So it began, every morning, no matter what I cooked for breakfast, Jim and I had
one or two cups of coffee, we both added milk and sugar. As the years came and went,
so did the coffee makers! Large percolators, Mr. Coffees, the percolators were my
favorite because I liked the bubbly, gurgling noises they made! Jim stopped putting
milk in his coffee, you never know what I want in my coffee, sometimes cream,
sometimes not, always sugar (used to be Equal, and now Splenda). Anyway,
no matter what we ate for breakfast, we always had a cup or two, of coffee! We prepare
the coffee the night before and set the delayed brew button, that way, when we wake up
the coffee is ready. I always say it is like magic! I love waking up to the smell of a
fresh pot of coffee! We use Folgers, not the flavored foo foo kind!
About five years ago, Jim and I were taking a walk. We were talking about all kinds
of things, and we both stated that we were glad we didn't smoke cigarettes, and
he was glad he had stopped dipping many years ago, and such. Anyway, Jim said
the only thing we both had to have, was coffee in the morning. Then he said that it
was all my fault! I said "What do you mean all my fault?" Jim replied that I made
coffee every morning and set a cup for him on the table with his breakfast. So he
figured I must be a big coffee drinker, and he didn't want to hurt my feelings since
we had just gotten married, so he drank it! Well, I started laughing hard, you know,
the kind where you double over laughing. When I stopped laughing like a hyena,
and got my breath back, I told him that I just knew he drank coffee since he was
older than me. Both of  my parents drank coffee, my grandparents drank coffee,
his parents drank coffee. Besides all that, I got the cutest little percolator for a gift
at my bridal shower, and so that must mean that you drink coffee once you're
married! Well then Jim started laughing, not like a hyena, but pretty hard. So when
he stopped laughing, he said to me, "You mean all these years we've been drinking
coffee, it wasn't because you were already a coffee drinker, but because we received
a percolator as a wedding gift?" To which I laughingly replied, "Pretty much!"
I really enjoy my cup of coffee even more now, because I think back how Jim would
drink it, not because he was a coffee drinker, but because he thought I was.
I hope your day is filled with blessings, go and make some happy memories with
your loved ones!
I'm going to close with a couple of scriptures that I love.

Genesis 2:21-24
So the Lord God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he
took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The Lord God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, the man said: "This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called 'woman,' for out of 'her man' this one has been taken."
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs,  it is not snobbish. Love is never rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not prone to anger; neither does it brood over injuries. Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth. There is no limit to love's forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure.
                                                 Bye for now, Sharla

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Bouquet of Wild Flowers, A Covey of Quail, Two Roadrunners and A Jack Rabbit

Good Morning Out There! I worked in my home office all day long on Tuesday. I was
trying to get caught up. I was cranky from being inside all day. I needed to get up and
move around. Jim came home about 5:00 p.m. and was headed out south of town to
where our son was working. He asked if I would like to go with him. I knew I needed
a break even though I still had a lot to do. I grabbed some waters and off we went. I
was tired so I leaned the seat back and closed my eyes for about 15 minutes. Jim hit a
bump in the road and my eyes popped back open. We rode along for about 15 more
minutes and then we were there. We traveled down a bumpy ranch road with trees and
brush all around. Our son was clearing cedar for the land owner and we brought the
smaller trailer to pick up some of the extra implements. We checked on our son and
visited for just a little while. I waited in the truck while Jim loaded up the grubber. I
saw a covey of quail dart across the road. I smiled as I watched them scurry beneath the
brush. Another movement caught my eye and I looked up and saw a roadrunner running
by. He ran down the road for awhile and then turned and dashed into the brush. I could
almost hear him say "Beep-Beep" like the one in that old cartoon. Jim opened the door
to the truck. I turned to tell him what all he had missed but before I could speak he
handed me a bouquet of wild flowers. My heart grew and my smile did too. I thanked
him and told him that I would put them in a vase when we got home. I also told him
about the quail and the roadrunner. We were driving down the ranch road once more
when another covey of quail shot right across that road. Then we saw a Jack Rabbit with
huge ears quickly hop by. We made it to the main road and then I shouted out, "Look, it's
another roadrunner, it must be a sign!" Jim told me that the sign was that I needed to get out of the house more. I laughed and told him he was probably right!
I did need a break that day. I really enjoyed seeing all the wildlife and driving down that
bumpy road. When we got home I helped Jim feed all the animals and I gathered the
chicken eggs. We watered the plants and when we came inside I put my bouquet of wild-
flowers in a vase and filled it full of water. I placed the vase on our dresser by a picture
of Mother Mary so that she could enjoy the flowers too!
I have to get back to my book work now. I hope you have a wonderful day. Spend some
time outdoors and be blessed!
                                                                                         Bye for now, Sharla

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Praying and Trusting - Father, Son, Holy Spirit - Come!

 Hello out there! Tomorrow is Pentecost Sunday - Come, Holy Spirit!

I am so thankful when God gives me the much needed sign I'm seeking. God is so great and He knows exactly what I need even when I don't realize it until it is right in front of me. Everyday our prayer list grows a little bit longer. Jim and I finally had to write down an actual list so that we would remember everyone who has asked for our prayers. There are times when someone will come to my mind and I will feel such an intense desire to pray for them right then. I will pray and pray until I feel at peace. 

God is in control - He's got this! Yes, we are to pray for one another! I also have to trust in God's will, His mercy, His grace. I have to give this person I am praying so hard for to God. I have to trust in God's will! Praying and asking for Mother Mary's intercessory prayers and for our saints and guardian angel's intercessory prayers is a huge blessing. 

Thursday night I was praying and worrying, planning and not sleeping! I finally fell into a restless sleep. When I woke up on Friday morning I saw something on the floor at the foot of our bed, right underneath it. I thought it was a quarter and bent down to pick it up. It was not a quarter, but an old brass medal with praying hands on one side and the Serenity Prayer on the other side. I have not seen this medal in years. I think it used to be on Jim's key ring but it might have been on mine. I know, without a doubt, that our loving God, made sure I found that medal. I showed it to Jim and he said that I needed to read the first prayer in our daily devotional. He is an early bird and always reads the daily scriptures before I do.

Magnificat - May 2021 - Volume 23, No. 3

Prayer for the Morning

The Lord shows the path to those who stray: let us give thanks and praise, alleluia!

Signs are everywhere - God is always guiding us, taking care of us, loving us, and reminding us that He is in control - He's got this! I went and found a small nail, and grabbed my little hammer from the kitchen. I hung the medal right above the light switch in our bedroom. The praying hands are right there for me to see, right next to our Holy Water Font. 

These are the words from the morning hymn that is below the prayer from above. I'm sharing the first three verses and the sixth (final) verse.

Eternal maker of all things,                                                                                                                           Of day and night the sov'reign King,                                                                                                            Refreshing mortals, you arrange                                                                                                                   The rhythm of the seasons' change,

The rooster sounds his morning cry                                                                                                              -Throughout the night he watched the sky-                                                                                                    For travelers, a guiding light                                                                                                                         To tell the watches of the night.

The morning star that hears the cry                                                                                                              Dispels the darkness from the sky.                                                                                                                  The demons, hearing the alarm,                                                                                                                   Abandon all their paths of harm.

O Light, upon our senses shine.                                                                                                                    Dispel our sleepiness of mind,                                                                                                                   That we may sing your morning praise,                                                                                                        Then, vows fulfilling, live our days.

Isn't that beautiful? Tomorrow is Pentecost - Holy Spirit, Breath of God!

My prayers will continue and I am more at peace - God loves us so much that He sent His only son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins!

 Dear God, please open our eyes to the path You want us to follow. Please open our ears to hear Your voice. Please soften our hearts to accept Your will in our lives and the lives of all those we love. In Jesus' Holy Name, we pray, Amen.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
                       courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Step Away from the Noise and Feel God's Peace

 Hello out there - The weather forecast today is; blue skies, fluffy white clouds, and a cool breeze is in the air. The temperature is an awesome 66 degrees right now - yesterday it was a lot warmer at this time - you have to love spring weather in San Angelo! 

This past Sunday, the Fifth Sunday of Easter, the holy Gospel reading was John 15:1-8.                  Jesus said to His disciples: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does He prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples." (USCCB & Magnificat  - Volume 23, No. 3)

Jesus is the vine, we are the branches! Sometimes I have to step away from all the noise in this world to hear what God is saying. The past couple of weeks I haven't watched any news on television or scrolled for news on my phone. We get the daily newspaper and I read the obituaries and pray for the souls of all those who have passed on. I place my hand over their names and/or over their pictures as I pray for them. I pray for comfort for their loved ones, the ones who are left behind. I read the Daily Promise, on the same page as the obituaries. Yesterday's scripture was Psalm 127:3 "Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him." (New Living Translation)  I glance through the headlines and usually choose not to read any of the stories. I read a couple of the cartoons; "For Better or Worse"  "Baby Blues" and "Family Circus" are my favorites and the ones I always read. If Jim has already read the paper, I toss it in the trash. I read the daily scriptures, prayers, hymns and psalms from my Magnificat. Reading God's word helps keep me on track and He still has to steer my gaze forward as I start to detour and make unnecessary stops. I pray that I am fruitful in all that I do. Many times I fall short but I keep on trying. I'm so thankful for God's mercy and for His amazing grace!

There are a couple of sayings that come to my mind on a regular basis: "You can't see the forest because of the trees" and "Think outside of the box." The Serenity Prayer is also something I pray often. Many times we or I fall into that trap of worrying about what we cannot do instead of doing what we can. This past year has opened my eyes to so many things. An example of the forest is worrying about taking care of people we may never meet. An example of the trees is our own family, our neighbors, members of our parish or church congregations. Sometimes helping a mom in need is as simple as helping our own adult children who are busy moms and dads. Wave at your neighbors and smile! Offer to pull the trash carts out for an elderly neighbor, or place their newspaper on their front porch during cold or rainy weather. Greet old and new families after Mass or your church service and tell them how happy you are to see them. Make sure you tell the cashiers at the grocery stores, etc. thank you and wish them a great day. There are so many ways we can reach out to the people all around us and sometimes your big smile or "Hey, how are y'all doing?" will mean more than you ever know. Ask God to guide you and He will place people in your path. Take care of your family - love them, listen to them, be patient with them, give them your time! God has placed so many people in my path and more times than not, I'm the one who ends up feeling so blessed. Step away from the noise and have a nice visit with Jesus! His peace will set you free! God's amazing grace is such a gift and all we have to do is accept it.

Peace and blessings to you and yours! Bye for now, Sharla

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Through it all - God is with us!

 Hello out there! I hope you are all doing well - It is a beautiful, sun shiny day here in San Angelo. I was looking back through my blog posts. This post will be number 462. I began my blog on a Saturday morning on March 22, 2014. This Monday will be the 7th Anniversary of, "Stories from My Heart." Looking back I've noticed that there were  months when I wrote numerous stories. Lately, my story writing has been hit and miss. Sometimes I have so much to say I don't know where to start. Other times I am too tired to put my thoughts together. So I decided that today I would just sit down and write whatever popped into my mind. This phrase - And through it all - Life goes on - 

A simple phrase with so much truth. I am thankful for many things. My faith in God is what keeps me going. This Lent, like all the ones before it, is different. If we look back on our lives, nothing is ever the same. Hopefully we learn and grow and become better and stronger people because of the trials and tribulations, the good and the bad, the joy and the sorrow that come with everyday life. My strength comes from my faith in God. I am blessed to be married to someone who believes as I do. Prayer is essential in our lives. As I looked back over my Lenten journeys I realized that in most of the years before, I planned what I was going to do ahead of time. When I chose simple things, like not putting cream in my morning coffee, etc. I followed through because that was easy. As I grew older and also grew in my faith I realized that the Lenten journey should be about making a change that will last. I also found out that sometimes God chooses the journey for us. In 2019 Jim was going through radiation because of thyroid cancer and I was going to physical therapy for my left leg because of a wreck we had been in a couple of months before. We prayed together, we encouraged each other, and thanked God for each and every day. Last year, I found out on Ash Wednesday, that I was going to need radiation therapy because of a small cancerous area they had removed from my breast. I went into the doctor's office with all the reasons why I didn't need radiation - I had prayed and prayed about this. The doctor looked at me like I had lost my mind and firmly told me that I did need radiation and called and made the appointment for me. The corona virus pandemic became a real reality within the next couple of weeks. Jim is self-employed and his work was non-existent at the same time I was going to daily radiation. We prayed together, we encouraged each other, and thanked God for each and every day. This year I didn't give up anything. I've chosen a different path. It hasn't been easy because I've asked God to show me the ways I need to change. To let me know when I need to do something in a different way. It has been very humbling for me as my eyes have been opened to my many faults. God has blessed me with the grace I need to accept the ways in which I need to change. It hasn't been easy but the daily readings from my, "Magnificat" and much prayer have been a big help. I was at the noon Mass a couple of weeks ago and I just stared at the Crucifix and prayed:

 "O' my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need of Thy Mercy. Amen."

I'm not fond of change. I get comfortable with things and then something happens and everything is different! Most of the time, I realize the change was necessary and ends up being a good thing. Sometimes it doesn't end up being a good thing but I've learned to accept that also. I am definitely growing during this Lenten journey. "Let go and let God take care of it!" That has not been an easy thing for me to do in the past. Wanting to be in control is something that God pointed out to me. Needless to say, I wasn't happy about that. "But what about?" "Are You sure?" "Are You listening?" "I don't think You understand....." Some of my replies as I've prayed. The great thing is, I have been letting go and letting God take care of things. "Jesus, I trust in you!" I really do trust in You! I started praying the Serenity Prayer about a month before Ash Wednesday. It truly is a wonderful prayer. God is in control - He always has been. I'm listening more and I'm learning new things.

God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change,

the COURAGE to change the things I can

and the WISDOM to know the difference.

If you've read my blog posts/stories over the years you know that I've been busy. Promoting adoption as a life option and sharing the pro-life message is so important to me. But taking care of my family comes first. I chose marriage as my vocation and I love being a wife, mother, and grandmother. Taking care of our families is vital. Late last spring, about three weeks after my last radiation treatment, we found out that one of our granddaughters was diagnosed with leukemia. The corona virus was raging and the world had stopped. Don't go here, don't go there, wear a mask, wash your hands, don't see your grandchildren, etc. I'll never forget that phone call from my daughter-in-law. It was about 4:40 pm on a Tuesday afternoon and she said that they had to leave right then and drive our granddaughter to a children's hospital four hours away. A friend was driving them because our son was at work two hours away from them in the opposite direction. They have four other children whose ages ranged from five through fourteen at that time. They lived forty-five minutes away. I said, "Tell the kids to pack, I'm on my way." Jim said that he would start calling our other children and the rest of the family and get the prayers going. I cried and prayed as I drove to pick up our grandkids. I spoke to our son who was frantic and driving towards the children's hospital at least five and a half hours away from where he was. I'm so thankful for their friend who drove our daughter-in-law and granddaughter to the hospital and stayed until our son arrived. I'm so thankful for their friend who came and stayed with the kids until I could get there. We loaded up their suitcases and headed to our home. We prayed the rosary and I knew that I had to keep it together for them. When we got here, our daughter and son-in-law were in the kitchen with Jim. They had gone and bought a bunch of groceries and picked up a bucket of chicken. We fed the kids and got everyone ready for bed. Our daughter and son-in-law left and went home to their children. Jim and I stayed up and discussed the situation - our plan of action. We knew that the kids would be with us at least six - eight weeks, their animals would need to be picked up and brought to our home. Our granddaughter was at the children's hospital for thirteen weeks. Our grandchildren stayed with us during this time. Our son's job requires traveling and he stayed with us when he was working close by. He and our daughter-in-law would switch out at the hospital over the weekend. She would drive home and we would take the kids to be with her on the weekends. Our granddaughter is doing well - her journey with leukemia is not over but she is such a fighter and so upbeat. She turned seven last summer - God is so awesome - the cards and gifts that poured in for her were unbelievable. The power of prayer! The gift of prayer! The meals that were delivered to us, the groceries, the snacks, the gas cards - God's angels right here on earth took care of our family. Our daughter, son-in-law, and their three girls, (three more of our precious grandchildren) were such a help all summer long. Even though the corona virus cases were rising, we were careful, but we continued to do things as a family because - "Through it all - life goes on" and we all prayed so hard. God knew we needed each other and He blessed Jim and I with the strength we needed to take care of our grandchildren. 

This past fall I made the decision to step away from my pro-life work, and other things I was involved in because Jim and I are still needed to help out sometimes. Our son and his family moved two hours away to be closer to his work. Jim and I take turns going to help out when our granddaughter has treatments that require them to be there for a couple of days. Sometimes we know in advance when we will be needed to help out and other times it is the night before. God has given me the peace I needed to let go of the things I was involved with - opening my eyes to the journey that lies ahead. I pray for God to, "Make straight my path." But I know that "Through it all"  the pot holes, curves, hills and sometimes mountains along the way, He is with us. God is with us! I pray that your Lenten journey is guided  by God - knowing that after Good Friday we celebrate Easter Sunday. 

Blessings to you and yours! Bye for now, Sharla

Monday, March 1, 2021

I'm so thankful for my life!: Praying the Stations of the Cross in the Desert - ...

I'm re-sharing this post since it is Lent. I hope the heart grabbing pictures of the 
Stations of the Cross touch your heart as they did and still do mine. Blessings to you and yours! 
I'm so thankful for my life!: Praying the Stations of the Cross in the Desert - ...: Hello out there! How are y'all? It has been two weeks since I've written a post! I wont' bore y'all with my everyday busy-n...

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Let Your Faith be Bigger Than Your Fear

Hello out there - I can't believe it is the last day of the month! And what a month it has been - the freezing weather, power outages, no water and/or do not drink the water, etc. Prayers for everyone!        I was so happy to see the sun shiny days that followed! We are in the second week of Lent. I think it is a good time to share the mysteries of the rosary again. I know we usually pray the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary on Sundays but I'm sharing the Sorrowful Mysteries first since we are in Lent. 

 Let's get started with the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary.

 I'm going to post all the prayers again and then I will follow with the mysteries.

After you have  been praying the rosary on a daily basis for a while,
the different mysteries/scriptures  will remind you of different things you
need to pray about or people you need to pray for.
At least that has been the case for me.
Example: The First Sorrowful Mystery is The Agony in the Garden
and that brings to my mind people who might be going through an extremely
difficult time. Praying the rosary helps to keep my focus on family members
and friends that I need to pray for.

The following are the prayers of the rosary -
The Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Apostles' Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in
Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died,
and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from
the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the
Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
Our Father
Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and
lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for
us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Glory Be To The Father
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Hail, Holy Queen
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope,
to thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our
sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears; turn, then, most gracious
Advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this, our exile, show unto us
the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises
of Christ.

Now that you have the prayers of the rosary, the next step is teaching you how
to pray the rosary.
Since today is Tuesday we will pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary.
1. Make the Sign of the Cross and then say the "Apostles' Creed."
2. Say the "Our Father."
3. Say three "Hail Marys'."
4. Say the "Glory Be to the Father."
5. Announce the First Mystery -

The First Sorrowful Mystery is The Agony in the Garden-
He was in such agony and He prayed so fervently that His sweat became like drops
of blood falling on the ground. When He rose from prayer and returned to
His disciples, He found them sleeping from grief. (Luke 22:44-45)
Then say the "Our Father"
6. Say (10) "Hail Marys"
7. Say the "Glory Be to the Father." Then say the following prayer -
"O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all
souls to Heaven, especially those in  most need of Thy mercy."
8. Announce the Second Mystery -
The Second Sorrowful Mystery is The Scourging at the Pillar -
Then Pilate took Jesus and had Him scourged. (John 19:1)
Then say the "Our Father"
 Say (10)"Hail Marys"
 Say the "Glory Be to the Father." Then say the following prayer -
"O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all
souls to Heaven, especially those in  most need of Thy mercy."
9. Announce the Third Mystery -
The Third Sorrowful Mystery is Crowning With Thorns -
They stripped off His clothes and threw a scarlet military cloak about Him.
Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on His head, and a reed
in His right hand. (Matthew 27:28-29)
Then say the "Our Father"
 Say (10) "Hail Marys"
 Say the "Glory Be to the Father." Then say the following prayer -
"O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all
souls to Heaven, especially those in  most need of Thy mercy."
10. Announce the Fourth Mystery -
The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery is Carrying of the Cross -
And carrying the cross Himself, He went out to what is called the
Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. (John 19:17)
Then say the "Our Father"
 Say (10)"Hail Marys"
 Say the "Glory Be to the Father." Then say the following prayer -
"O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all
souls to Heaven, especially those in  most need of Thy mercy."
11. Announce the Fifth Mystery -
The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery is The Crucifixion -
Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit",
and when He had said this He breathed His last. (Luke 23:46)
Then say the "Our Father"
 Say (10) "Hail Marys"
 Say the "Glory Be to the Father." Then say the following prayer -
"O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all
souls to Heaven, especially those in  most need of Thy mercy."
12. Say the "Hail, Holy Queen" after all five decades are completed.
13. Make the Sign of the Cross and say Amen.

It takes me twenty minutes to pray the whole rosary - sometimes longer if I add a lot of my own prayers for my family and friends. Start with praying one decade (the first  mystery) if you don't feel like you have time. Pray the rosary while you are driving to work or running errands. Pray with your family! With all the turmoil going on in the world - stop and pray - turn off the news and remember that God, our heavenly Father, is still in charge! My favorite coffee mug, a gift from a dear friend, says, "Let your faith be bigger than your fear!" I love that saying and I try to live it! Faith can move mountains!

Blessings to you and yours, bye for now, Sharla