Thursday, June 29, 2017

Singing and Baking - Seeing and Praying - Opening our Eyes

Hello out there! Oh my goodness, I have so much to tell y'all! First, I have been walking
around singing the words to this hymn for at least two weeks straight. The title of the
hymn is, "Open My Eyes" and these are the words that I have been singing and humming
for two weeks - "Open my eyes, Lord. I want to see your face (the words are supposed to
be "Help me to see your face" but I sing what I sing and that is what comes out!
Anyway, this is a beautiful hymn and these are the words that I have been singing
softly and sometimes right out loud. I mean from the tip of my toes out loud! Now, if
I had a pretty voice that would be okay, but............................God thinks I sound okay!

"Open my eyes, Lord. I want to see your face. Open my eyes, Lord. I want to see.
Open my ears, Lord. I want to hear your voice. Open my ears, Lord. I want to hear.
Open my heart, Lord. I want to love like you. Open my heart, Lord. I want to love."
That was my version!

The correct version is -
"Open my eyes, Lord. Help me to see your face. Open my eyes, Lord. Help me to see.
Open my ears, Lord. Help me to hear your voice. Open my ears, Lord. Help me to hear.
Open my heart, Lord. Help me to love like you. Open my heart, Lord. Help me to love."
(Could y'all hear me singing? I was singing from the very depths of my soul.)

To try and make a long story short and you all know that will be hard for me to do!
For those of you who read my posts on a regular basis you know that we had to
close the Sack Lunch Ministry because of situations beyond our control. It has been
three weeks since we served our last sack lunch. All of the volunteers have said how
much they miss the loving ministry of feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty,
welcoming the stranger, and so much more.
This morning Jim and I were leaving the YMCA at about 6:45 a.m. or so and one of
the men we used to serve walked across the parking lot toward the park area. Jim saw
me watch him as he was walking and asked, "Was he one of the people y'all served?" I
said, yes, he was and got into the truck. Jim started the truck and drove the opposite
direction of where we always turn. I knew he was driving the direction of where the
man went. When we saw him Jim tapped the horn lightly and I rolled down the
window. Jim handed me some money and I said, "Hi, it's me, Sharla, from the Sack
Lunch Ministry! He smiled at us and walked over to the truck. I told him that we
missed them all and handed him the money and told him to go and get some breakfast.
His eyes lit up and he said, "I'm going to go and get a cup of coffee first" and then he
thanked us. I told him good-bye and said, God bless you. I thanked Jim as we drove
home and we rode the rest of the way in silence.
Once we were home we both got busy and Jim headed out to do some welding repairs
and I did some house work. I kept singing that song, "Open my eyes, Lord. Open my
eyes." I put the leftover roast in the oven to heat up for lunch and started mixing up
the ingredients for banana bread. There is a saying in our home - "If life gives you
brown's time to put on an apron and make some banana bread!" I had
enough brown bananas to make two loaves - one with pecans and one with dark
chocolate chips! Yum!

Back to my original story -
Jim came home for lunch and we sat down to eat the leftover roast. We began to thank
God for our food and I thanked God for letting us see that sweet man this morning.
I said, "I can still see his face." I immediately began to cry and told Jim that I now
realized why I kept on singing that song. God let us see His face, he helped us to see
His face in that humble, homeless man this morning. I told Jim that I had to go and
write a post about this. I started writing this after lunch but had to stop for a while
because my daughter and her three girls (three of my many blessings) came over.
We finished baking the banana bread and I told them what happened.
I guess that old saying about a door closing and a window opening can mean a lot of
different things. For me and my family we've about decided that it means to go out
and feed the hungry where they are. We don't have any definite plans yet - but the
wheels of determination are spinning in our brains!
I don't know if you have ever watched that kid's show that used to be on the Disney
Channel, "Phineas and Ferb." If you have you'll really get this. Phineas and Ferb are
brothers that come up with these elaborate schemes and at the beginning of each
show Phineas would look at Ferb and say,
 "Ferb, I know what we're going to do today!"
God blessed me with the best husband, he understands me so well and he's usually
on board when I say, "Jim, I know what we're going to do today!" (He is always so
busy but he makes the time for all of my elaborate plans!)
I want to post the rest of that hymn for you -
"And the first shall be last,
and our eyes are opened
and we'll hear like never before.
And we'll speak in new ways,
and we'll see God's face
in places we've never known.
Open my eyes, Lord. Help me to see."
I pray that God will continue to help me see His face in everyone I meet.
I pray that you and your family will be blessed beyond measure!
Open our eyes, Lord. Help us to see Your face and to hear Your voice. Amen.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary

Hello out there - It is almost 10:00 p.m. but I wanted to take the time to share
the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary with all of you. I know that I posted
all the mysteries of the rosary for seven days in a row right after Easter but just
in case you missed that particular post - here we go again.
I love praying the rosary. Focusing on the mysteries of the day and reflecting on
what is going on in my own life and in the world really helps me meditate on what
I need to pray about and especially who all I need to pray for.
Here we go.............
Are y'all ready? 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. Let's get started!

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.

If you would like a rosary and don't have one, please contact me at  and give me your address.
 I will be happy to send you a rosary and a pamphlet on how to pray the rosary!
I hope you all have a peaceful, restful night.
                                         Blessings to you and yours!
                                                                  Bye for now, Sharla

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet - A Prayer for People All Over the World

Hello out there - The news at home and abroad and all across our world has been so
heartbreaking.  The violence is never ending and sometimes you feel really helpless.
People all over the world need our prayers. Things change yet they stay the same.
The following is a post I wrote last summer - I'm feeling today like I did then.

Because of all the fighting/wars and terrorist attacks that are going on, I worry about the
people in many of the countries I see come up on my blog stat section. I hope that they
are ok. I just want them to know that I am praying for them and for their families.
I don't know their names, I don't know what they look like, but for some reason, they
read my blog. I have seen a large increase in people from different countries reading my
posts.  I place my hand over the map each day I see their country listed and pray for
them and I place my hand over the map each day I don't see their country listed and I
pray for them. I pray for their safety and well being.
There  are so many wars going on in our world right now, so much violence, so much
evil - We need to turn back to God.

Dear God, please watch over all these countries where war has broken out.
Please God, protect the innocent people and their families. Please protect us
all from the terrorist's plots, attacks and threats.
Thank you, God, for our many blessings. Please be with all those who are in
need. Please God, show us and guide us to how we can best help others.
You created us all, please help us to love our neighbor,
care for one another, and to pray for those who seek a better life.
 In Jesus Name I pray Dear Lord, Amen.

As a Catholic, I pray The Divine Mercy Chaplet. This prayer is for the whole world.
It is really beautiful when we sing this Chaplet. (I'm singing this as I'm typing)
The refrain goes like this:
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
If you listen to the Catholic radio station 91.5 FM, they sing the Divine Mercy Chaplet
at 3:00 pm each day.
To pray The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy:
(It is easier to keep up with if you have a rosary, but if you don't,
 you can count on your fingers.)
1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, Pray (1) Our Father, (1) Hail Mary
and The Apostles Creed.
2. Prayer - (Pray this 1 time) Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood,
Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ,
in atonement for ours sins and those of the whole world.   
3. Pray this refrain 10 times:
  For the sake of His sorrowful passion,
 have mercy on us and on the whole world.
You repeat steps (2) & (3) for a total of (5) times.
4. Conclude with (3 times)
  Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One,
 have mercy on us and on the whole world.
5. Make the sign of the cross and say Amen.
This is a beautiful, peaceful prayer. I find myself humming or singing it a lot.
I also pray it if I wake up during the night.
May God Bless you and keep you safe wherever you are, wherever you live.
May God help us to love and care for one another.
                                                 Bye for now, Sharla

Friday, June 16, 2017

Promoting Adoption by Sharing My Stories

Hello out there! I found this press release about my book, "Adopted and Blessed:
Words from my heart" on the internet yesterday: It was so neat to read what other
people have said about my book.
I was very excited - I hope you'll read it!

Yesterday morning Jim and I sat down and talked about how I need to go out and
really promote my book. I truly believe that my stories will not only help promote
adoption, but also encourage people with their faith and family life.
Jim reminded me why we worked so hard and spent the money to have the book
published. This book has never been about making money. We had been looking for
a way to promote adoption for the human babies. We checked the prices of advertising
on billboards, etc. Finally, we decided that the money we would spend on having my
short stories published would have a more lasting impact. We both believe in promoting
adoption as a loving life option and this book is our way of sharing the joy of adoption.
My book is also about so much more - it is also about our faith in God, promoting family
life and the love and respect we should have for our spouses. All the stories come from
my heart and my blog. Not all of the stories from my blog are published but most of them
are. The stories in my book are from when I first started my blog through
mid June of 2016.
If you think that this book would be a blessing to someone - let me know - I have given
many of my books away - we just want to help others. I am going to find someone to help
me set up a web site for my book. But until then, if you are interested in purchasing my
book, please go to Amazon Books. If you live in San Angelo or the surrounding area you
can find my book at Trudo's Religious Store and Eggemeyer's General Store.
Let me know if your church is having a benefit auction and I will be happy to donate a
book or two.

Please help Jim and I promote the beautiful life option - adoption!

The following is the short video trailer for my book:

                                                 Blessings and peace to you and yours!
                                                                 Bye for now, Sharla

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Tears and Hugs, Stories and Laughter, Saying Goodbye and Letting Go

Hello out there - This has been an emotional roller coaster kind of week.
Yesterday was the last day of our wonderful Sack Lunch Ministry. We wanted to
do something a little special. We set up a canopy out on the sidewalk and placed
a long table underneath. We made up punch and had ice chests full of ice. We
brought out the big to go cups with lids and straws. Extra volunteers came because
we all wanted to serve one last time and say our goodbyes. We had volunteers
serving punch and handing out waters beneath the canopy. One volunteer brought
a box of toiletry items and those were placed on a chair for people to take what
they needed and another volunteer brought some clothes to be handed out.
Inside - several volunteers had a fast moving assembly line going - Oscar Mayer
all beef chili dogs were wrapped in foil and placed in a little container. The sack
lunches contained the chili dogs, chips, canned fruit, fresh fruit, and dessert.
Everyone quickly filled the sacks with all the food plus a napkin, fork, and spoon.
One group of devoted volunteers handed out the sack lunches and the other group
of devoted volunteers filled cups with ice and punch. Bottles of water were also
handed out.
A plate full of mustard, ketchup, and mayo packets were available for them to add
to their bag along with extra chips and fruit if they wanted them.
So many of our volunteers showed up to help for the last day. Many came early and
some stayed late. Some of our volunteers couldn't stay a long time but they dropped
by to pitch in while they could, and to visit, and say their goodbyes.
The people we serve were so thankful, not just for yesterday, but for everyday that
we have been there for them. It was hard and it was a blessing - hugs and tears,
laughter and stories, fellowship and sad goodbyes.
We left the door open after our usual closing time, just in case someone got there a
little late. All the volunteers that were left sat down together and shared the same
meal we had served. The fellowship was needed after such an emotional morning.
Janice and I are so thankful for all of the faithful and hard working volunteers.
We are thankful for all of you who dropped off supplies, cases of water, and
to everyone who donated money to keep this program going. You are all
truly angels and you will never know how much we appreciate all that you have
We took the extra supplies to the Salvation Army. We didn't have much left -
some toiletries, two boxes of mayo packets and one box of mustard packets,
some winter caps and gloves. They will use everything we gave them for those
who stay at the shelter. I received a tour and was impressed and thankful for all
that they do!
This morning I prayed for all those we have served. We knew some of their names
and we knew some of their stories. Some would ask us to pray for them and share
what was going on. This morning I could see their faces as I prayed and lifted them
up in prayer.
Please God, take care of Dennis and his sister, please take care of Richard and Paul.
Please take care of Jimmy and Thomas, Timothy and his fiancé. Please take care
of Beth and her husband. Please take care of Meredith, she loved to visit with us all.
Please take care of Michael, who I haven't seen in a while. Please take care of
Joanie, she is so special to us all. Many times she would help us before she would
take a lunch of her own. The children, Lord, please take care of the children. Please
take care of Dustin, who seems to have such a soft heart. Please take care of James,
who is always really hungry! Please take of Alex, who always greeted us with joy
and a big smile. Please especially take care of those with families. Please God,
provide for the children. Please God, take care of them all. Amen.
Please take care of all those we served but never knew their names. Please help me
to remember their faces so that I will never forget. Thank you, God, for blessing
my life with all the amazing people I have met while helping with this ministry. Amen.
"Open the eyes of my heart, Lord - Open the eyes of my heart."

I pray for those who are hungry and those who have no home.
 I pray for those we served with families of their own.
 I pray for peace and understanding for those who live on the  streets.
I pray for Jesus to guide me, to be His hands and feet. Amen.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Podcast from My Interview on The Good Fight is Available!

Good morning out there, again! Guess what? The podcast for the radio program
I was on last Saturday is now available!

I have gone over the program in my head but I am anxious to listen to it.
Being on, The Good Fight, with Barbara McGuigan was such an amazing
experience. A true blessing!

I have to go now; laundry, dishes, etc. are on my agenda for the morning!

Blessings to you and yours! Sharla

Our Family Foundation - Our Faith

Good morning out there - Tomorrow is a very special day. Not only is it Pentecost
Sunday............but it is our anniversary. Jim and I will be married thirty-four years
tomorrow. I wrote a post three years ago about the many changes in our lives
throughout the years.
There has been one very special, very important thing that has stayed the same  -
our parish home. Since I wrote that post we have been blessed with two more
grandchildren, three of our grandchildren serve during Mass as altar servers and
many more memories have been made at Sacred Heart Cathedral. I want to re-share
that post today. But before I do, I want to think about the vows I made on a
Saturday afternoon many years ago.
I promised to love my husband for better or worse, for richer or poorer, through the
good days and bad days and until death do us part. I have been blessed with a good,
God fearing man. Jim is my knight in shining armor and always stands by my side.
 A wedding is just a day - but a marriage is a life time 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 and then everything else will fall into place.

The following is the post I wrote when we were about to celebrate our
 thirty-first anniversary.

My husband and I will be married 31 years next week! I think about all the things
that have changed during our marriage, different jobs, different homes, all the different
stages of our children's lives, and now we have 8 amazing grandchildren, Gifts from God!
So many blessings, so much love, and I am so thankful!
The one thing that has stayed the same all of these years, is our Parish home,
Sacred Heart Cathedral. This is where we raised our children, this is where we grew
as a family. Many wonderful memories are from when we were at Mass. Not only did we
celebrate the joy of Baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations, and Weddings, we also
mourned the death of many loved ones at Funeral Masses.
We didn't, and don't just attend Mass, we were, and are involved. My children became
Altar Servers just as soon as they could. My husband has been an Usher for years, and I
have been honored to serve as a Lector, a Commentator and humbled to serve as a
Eucharistic Minister. Many times over the years I would be standing at the front of the
Cathedral Sanctuary, waiting to Lector, and Jim would be standing at the back where the
Ushers are, but I could always spot him in an instant. I remember one time he was in the
balcony, and I looked up and saw him, my heart stopped for just a second and I just
thought how blessed I was to be married to such a wonderful man. Even though we
rarely sit together, we are together, a wave across the church, a smile, a feeling, we are
always together.
We have seen many children grow up at Sacred Heart, from babies, to toddlers,
then teens, then young adults. We have always enjoyed the holidays when many return
home and attend Mass.
This past Sunday Evening in Mass, I was at the front, Jim was at the back, and young
married couples with small children, and babies on the way were everywhere. So much
new life! My heart was so full, so many of these couples I had known at least one of
them since they were a small child, and now they have families of their own. Our children
and grandchildren are at Mass with us most times, at Sacred Heart, our home.
Today I pray that each of you will be blessed with a home like ours, and that no matter
where you sit or stand, you will always be together.
Happy Anniversary Jim! I loved you then, I love you now, and I will love you forever!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Another Tearful Goodbye

Good morning out there - I wasn't going to write about this right now...but my heart
hurts so much that it won't let me post anything else until I get this off my chest.
For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis, you know how much I have
loved being part of the Sack Lunch Ministry. I've written stories about the people we
serve, our devoted volunteers, and the blessings that have been poured upon this
ministry to keep it going. We have been serving sack lunches to those in need for
almost four years.
Several things have happened since we opened back up in mid-January. Our down-
town area is not as safe as it once was. The following things have occurred at our
parish and in the surrounding areas. Things have been stolen, vehicles have been
broken into and we have noticed obvious signs of drug abuse. There have been some
verbal outbursts as well.
Even though I  understand why we have to shut down - it doesn't make it any easier.
We will hang up the signs today announcing that our last day to serve lunches will
be next Wednesday, June 7, 2017.
It will be hard to tell those we serve that we are closing down.
Some of them, we know their stories and we also know their names. Some have been
coming since the beginning and others have just started. Some are alone and others
have families. We have greeted them with warm hellos' and God's blessings as they
leave. This has been a wonderful ministry - a much needed ministry - and it will be
hard to say goodbye. I have cried many tears as I've written this short post. I feel like
I will be able to share our sad news with those we serve without breaking down but I
won't guarantee it. For the past four years we have fed the hungry, given drink to the
thirsty, welcomed the stranger, given clothes to the naked, and hope to the weary.
I know that God will help us find another way to reach out to those in need.
Please pray for the homeless. Please pray for all of those in need.