St. Joseph Answers Prayers!

Authors note: A few weeks ago I started to write a serious piece on prenatal testing and kids with disabilities. I had a great vision for it, but I won’t post something serious that’s not well thought out, – and these days with my mushy pregnancy brain, nothing is well thought out – so I move to some lighter topics.

St. Joseph’s feast day – solemnity, actually – was last week. I had been very much looking forward to it. One reason is we were having a big feast with all the families from my mom’s group, which was definitely fun. But as his feast approached, I had some serious requests for his intercession, and nine days before March 19th we started a novena to him.Image

Now, I have had a deeper love for St. Joseph since I read John Paul II’s “Redemptoris Custos” in college. I had prayed a novena to him after college and I got offered the job in Denver the day I finished that novena. My husband is a quiet, hardworking woodworker who took St. Joseph as his confirmation saint. He is currently in the residential remodeling business but wants to focus more on woodworking.

So, we prayed the novena for 3 things: to sell a table he had built (which we had been trying to sell for almost 2 months), to grow his business, and to find a new house for us with shop space to grow his business in. Since he is the patron saint of woodworkers, house hunters, families, and happy deaths (hopefully that last one is a ways off), we felt he was the perfect person to ask for some help!

From the time we started the novena, we found a house, put an offer on it, and on St. Joseph’s feast day we received the counter offer which a day later we accepted.  Our new house will have 4 bedrooms for our growing family and a 1200 square foot shop in the back yard for my husband to work out of. It had been on the market for several months, and I believe it was just waiting for us to find it!

Also, we had been in touch with several people over the last two months about the table he had built, but on St. Joseph’s feast day a woman contacted us who ended up buying it today, almost a week later. He now has three more tables to build, and we haven’t even put up the rest of his work on Etsy yet!

Nathan is trying to keep up with his busy workload, but we are overjoyed and thankful that God has seen it fit to answer our requests. It has given me a little insight into petitions, particularly into how they may be answered.

I know a lot of times when I pray for something, it’s more like my son Timothy who says, “I want this, and I want it NOW!” Patience is a hard thing to teach a two year old. And a twenty-eight year old, I guess. Sometimes when we think our prayers aren’t heard, it’s just because it’s not time for them to be answered. The table didn’t sell on his feast like I was hoping, but the pieces were put in place for it to sell at a later time. Sometimes things have to fall in place before we can see the results, and God can be working through people before we even know what’s happening. Like a good parent, God wants to give us things that are good for us, but only when we need them, and when it’s the right time. And sometimes it helps to have the right people asking on your behalf. I’m thankful, though, that this time I could see the prayers being answered and worked out right in front of me. To God be the glory that he provides for his children! Thank you St. Joseph for your faithful and powerful intercession!

The Center Aisle: How God Provides

After my last post on worrying, I’ve been reflecting on the ways that God has provided for me.  And the best way of all is that I live in Denver with my wonderful husband and two kids (soon to be three!).

You see, my senior year in college I had led several mission trips to Belize and felt God was calling me to be a missionary there. I was learning a lot about trust and discernment at the time and said, “Ok, I’ll give this my all.” But halfway through the summer after graduation, things weren’t coming together and it seemed being a missionary in Belize wasn’t what God wanted for me after all. At first, I felt abandoned. “God, you told me to do this and now where are you?”

But towards the end of the summer I landed a few job interviews, and by many miraculous interventions this east coast gal interviewed for a youth ministry position in Denver and moved across the country two weeks later to start.

Only as I looked back could I see that all along God had a plan. By holding out for the missionary work, I was able to travel all summer, and then be available when the position opened up in Denver. So I live in Denver now.

My first year in youth ministry, there was one night a week when it was my turn to lock up the church at night after youth group.  As I finished checking to make sure all the doors were locked in the dark church, I would walk up the long center aisle, genuflect at the tabernacle, and leave for the night. Many nights as I walked up the aisle from the back of the church to leave, I would imagine myself walking up that same center aisle, only with the lights on, guests present, and my future husband standing at the altar. Only I didn’t know what he looked like. Because I wasn’t dating anyone at the time, hadn’t dated much, and really didn’t know if I ever would.

Three years later on a hot yet glorious Saturday in July of 2010, with all our friends and family present, I did walk down that center aisle to my husband. My husband, who I had met at that church while working as a youth minister.

The following June, we again walked down that same center aisle for the Mass where we celebrated the baptism of our firstborn son. This summer we’ll celebrate the baptism of our third in that same Church.

God is good, and there’s no doubt He’s led me to where I am today.  He knows our hearts, he knows our desires, and he has a plan.  I still struggle with worry, but hopefully as I continue to reflect on all the good He’s done, I will trust is what He has yet to do!

“Trust in the Lord and do good that you may dwell in the land and live secure. Find your delight in the Lord who will give you your hearts desire.” Psalm 37:3-4


Why Am I Worrying?

ImageThe priest as Mass today, reflecting on the Gospel, started his homily stating that he was a born worrier. I can relate. All my life my melancholic self has divulged in worry, guilt, and sadly, grudges. But today we’re talking about worries since that’s what the Gospel was about. And it’s a hard one for me. Listen to how Jesus starts it out:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink,
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?”

Yikes! My thoughts are running through each line:

Do not worry about your life.
How are we going to manage with a third baby? Are we making enough money? Is my husband’s business going well? Am I playing with my kids enough? Are we watching too much TV? What are we going to do this week? Where do we want to be in 5 years?

Do not worry about what you will eat or drink.
Do I have enough groceries for the week? Am I within our budget? Do we have enough fruits and vegetables in our diet? Do I have snacks for the kids and to satisfy my pregnancy cravings? What am I going to feed our dinner guests tonight? What am I going to have for breakfast in the morning?

 Or About Your Body.
I feel like a fat whale. I am definitely bigger than this stage the last two pregnancies. My hips hurt. My belly hurts. I’m starting to not sleep well at night and get pregnancy acne again.

What you will wear.
Does Timothy have enough 3t clothes? Do my maternity clothes fit? Nathan doesn’t have any clean clothes? That means I have to do laundry again tomorrow? Didn’t I just do it a few days ago?

 Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
I guess so, but I sure can forget it in the daily grind of life and in all my worrying.

It seems as mothers that our main goal is to provide the corporal works of mercy for our family by feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, and I can get so wrapped up in it that I forget about providing the spiritual works as well.

I heard a speaker recount a story in which a lady in the grocery line was commenting on all her kids and asked how she was going to get all 7 of them through college. She responded, “I’m more concerned with getting them all to heaven.”

 Thus today’s Gospel ended with:
“Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given you besides.”

When has God not met my needs? When has he not provided? Many, many people have lived on less than we have, so why am I worrying all the time?

Jesus, I trust in you to provide for our family, for the new baby, for my husband’s business, and most importantly for our holiness. Help us to seek you first.