Reflections On The Journey



Reflections From Faye

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Posted on June 2, 2023 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (356)

Monday Meditation – Deserts - 6/12/2023


Last week I talked about rain, so I guess it is apropos that this week I talk about the desert. I’ve been to a few different deserts during my lifetime, and they certainly are dry! The Sahara has pretty much only sand for miles and miles, with an occasional oasis here and there. Several years ago I was blessed to enjoy dinner at such an oasis and then ride a camel over the scorching sand to watch the sun set over the dunes! Beauty can be found even in the desert.


The desert that I have been to most often is the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. Surprisingly, that desert has a lot of life – I have seen thousands of the tall saguaro cacti, lots of mesquite trees and various forms of brush. Snakes and scorpions make their home in the desert, as do rabbits and many birds.


It’s a different kind of life in the desert compared to Minnesota. Water must be conserved, and you can go for miles without seeing any significant shade. I give lots of credit to the native Americans who live in the desert. I don’t think I’d want to be caught out in the desert alone!


In looking at my life, I have mostly experienced lush times. I have been blessed with many good things in my life. But I have definitely gone through some desert times. When my first marriage failed I had several lean years as I struggled to provide for my two young sons and myself. My diagnosis in 2010 of a tumor in my spinal column set me back too. Thankfully that tumor was not cancerous, but I spent a lonely six weeks in recovery from my surgery.


These desert experiences have helped me, though. I believe God planned them for me so that I could grow. Each time, I reviewed my life to determine what my real priorities should be. I made some changes to my life as a result of those desert times, and I believe the changes were positive. I realized work was not everything, and time with family and friends became most important.


Are you experiencing a desert time in your life? If so, please continue pressing through. God will likely have a blessing in each desert experience for you – you may just need to be patient to find it.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023



Posted on June 2, 2023 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Monday Meditation – Rain - 6/5/2023


Do you enjoy the rain? I do. As I wrote this reflection a gentle shower was pattering on my windows. I thought about the things I planned for the day, and I had to dig in my closet to find my light rain jacket.


Rain can definitely dampen many outdoor activities, but I try to remember that our environment really needs the rain. My patio plants love the rain (because sometimes I forget to water them regularly!) and the trees and bushes become lush and green, providing shelter for birds and food for many animals.


I especially enjoy a good thunderstorm. Sitting near my patio window, I watch with awe as lightning streaks through the sky. When the thunder passes a few seconds later I am reminded of an old saying I heard as a child – “the angels are bowling!” And always the sound of the rain pattering on the roof at night helps lull me to sleep.


When the rain doesn’t come for a long time, of course people worry. Crops need rain to grow bountifully. We search the skies for any faint trace of clouds, and hope and pray that God will send the rain soon. People living in very dry climates are always glad when rain finally appears.


Too much rain can a be a problem, though, We need only remember recent hurricanes to know how much damage rain and wind can do. That’s when we pray for the rain to stop.


The word rain is also used as a metaphor to mean to bring down things other than water, usually good gifts. Scripture exhorts God: “You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the LORD, have created it.” (Isaiah 45:8)


There are lots of songs about rain. I especially like B. J. Thomas’ words: “Raindrops keep falling on my head, But that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turning red, Crying’s not for me, ‘Cause, I’m never gonna stop the rain by complaining, Because I’m free, Nothing’s worrying me.”


I will always enjoy rain, even if sometimes my plans are disrupted. And I pray that God brings good rain in your life. May He rain down blessings upon you this week.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023



Posted on June 2, 2023 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Monday Meditation – Health - 5/29/2023


Well, I managed to contract covid. Again. I probably got it on my recent trip home from overseas, where we enjoyed a lovely visit to Ireland. Thankfully, my symptoms are mild – just like a cold. In fact, I wouldn’t have even bothered to check for covid except that one of my friends encouraged me to do it due to an upcoming event.


So I quarantined at my home for the required five days. Thankfully I have a basement area including a bedroom where I can separate myself from my husband as he tested negative. I have a recliner near the patio door so I can watch the birds at the feeder (along with the squirrels and rabbits) enjoying the food I set out. I felt well enough to continue doing my computer work for my own and my volunteer organization’s finances. I am blessed.


This experience reminds me once again to be thankful for health. I am grateful that my body is generally in good shape, and I continue doing things to keep it that way. I am happy that my covid case is mild, even though I cannot enjoy some of my usual activities. God has blessed me with my life, and I pray that I will be able to continue doing work for Him as well as for myself for many years.


How is your health? If you are in good shape, be sure to thank God. If you have an illness, know that I am saying prayers for you that it is mild and you recover soon. No matter what your circumstances are, take time today to thank God for the blessings in your life.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023


Travel Woes

Posted on May 22, 2023 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (1169)

Monday Meditation – Travel Woes - 5/22/2023


My husband and I just finished a long-awaited cruise to visit Ireland. Our trip included flights to Europe and nine days on the cruise ship with seven stops around the island.


But our trip did not turn out the way we planned. Our flight across the pond to start our trip was first delayed by a few hours, then delayed by another 4 hours, delayed again and finally the flight was cancelled completely. We were stuck without a flight, and we would now miss the embarkation onto our cruise.


Thankfully our travel agent helped us through the mess. Due to the configuration of the cruise, it would now be four days before we had an opportunity to board the ship. We were able to get rebooked onto another combination of flights that would get us to that port before the ship arrived there (plus a hotel stay overnight), but we were now missing several days of our vacation. We are documenting everything that happened and all of our added expenses and losses.


If you ever plan a big trip, especially one involving an international destination, please be sure to purchase trip insurance – it’s well worth the money. This can cover expenses you incur for delayed flights, illnesses and more (depending on your policy.) Trip insurance is a standard purchase for us for all big trips now, as we know that things can happen to ruin part or all of your trip. There also are other agencies that can help you get reimbursement for air travel delays, like


Travelling is a wonderful way to enjoy God’s creation. The natural wonders, the cultures, the scenery and the food we experienced so far in our travels were incredible! My faith has been enhanced seeing the beauty and diversity God has created in our world. I hope you are able to be blessed by doing some kind of travelling - but be sure to get trip insurance!


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023


Family and Friends

Posted on May 22, 2023 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (3)

Monday Meditation – Family and Friends - 5/15/2023


I am blessed with a number of wonderful family members and friends. Some have been in my life for many years, and others have just graced my life recently. Most of my family and friends are Christian, but a few seem to be a bit far from God.


Of course, I cannot judge these people. There is no way I can know what is in their hearts. They may be very close to God and I just don’t see it. But when I notice that some of these people rarely go to church, or their actions do not seem to follow the teachings of Jesus, I wonder.


It saddens me when it appears these people do not have a relationship with Jesus. Although I am far from perfect, I experience the joy of my faith - of participating in Mass, receiving the Eucharist, and doing other Christian activities. I know I don’t pray as much as I could, but when I do pray I feel close to God. And I hope that my family and friends can also experience that joy.


So, I do the things I can do – I pray for them and try to demonstrate my faith in all I do. I know Jesus loves them as much as He loves me, so if there is anything I can do to bring them a tiny bit closer to Him, I will try to do it.


Are there family and friends in your life who may not have a strong relationship with God? You don’t know of course, but it never hurts to pray for them. Be an example to them, for your actions may be the blessing they need.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023


Better Plans

Posted on May 7, 2023 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (1309)

Monday Meditation – Better Plans - 5/8/2023


Why is it that sometimes things don’t always go the way I plan them out? Not too long ago I had prepared to do a livestream of a play put on by our theater company. I set everything up the way I was supposed to, and on the day of the play everything seemed to be running smoothly. The cameras were working, the sound was coming through and my recording was running. But when I hit the Go Live button to send the stream to YouTube, nothing happened. I spent 20 minutes trying to figure out what was wrong but was unsuccessful. Twenty-three people were unable to watch the stream. Fortunately, I was able to email them all to explain what happened, and I uploaded the recording into the cloud so our subscribers could watch it that way.


In more important areas of my life, my plans often didn’t pan out either. I had hoped for a successful marriage and family, but that changed when I got a divorce and became a single mother with two small children. Later on, I had a nice job in the Credit department, and all of a sudden I was moved into Information Technology without warning. Not exactly how I had planned my career.


We all plan and set goals – for our career, our hobbies, our families and our faith. And this is a good thing – studies show that people who plan have more success in achieving their goals.


But sometimes God has different plans for us. He can see the bigger picture of our lives and he knows what we need and when we need them, and so much better than we do.


As it turned out for me, my divorce helped strengthen my faith, and I ultimately met a man who I married, giving me and my children a better life than I would have had with my first husband. My unexpected job change broadened my skills and I got to work with some really good people. In both cases, these were good changes for me, even though I didn’t realize it at the time.


Our planning and goals may be useful, especially for day-to day living, but God’s plans are better – they prepare us for eternity.


Have you had some unexpected changes to your plans? If so, have they ultimately affected your life for the better? Maybe God had a hand in giving you a blessing in those changes of plans. Thank God for these better plans!


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023



Posted on May 1, 2023 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (84)

Monday Meditation – Happiness - 5/1/2023


Those of you who are around my age or older may remember those little cartoons titled “Happiness is…” with a picture of some simple little thing on them. One I remember that my mother had framed and hung in her bathroom showed one person handing a roll of toilet paper to another. I believe the caption read “Happiness is… having enough toilet paper.”


Nowadays if you asked people what happiness is, you’d probably get a lot of different answers. Many people tend to find happiness in things - coffee, a warm puppy, alcohol, video games or other things. Perhaps you might get an answer which involves relationships, or giving to others, but I suspect those answers would be in the minority.


True, I do find some happiness in “things.” I find it sometimes in a mug of steaming hot chocolate on a cool spring morning or in the pages of a well-written novel. But these moments of happiness are usually fleeting, and when the mug is empty and the final page has been turned, then what?


But I usually find deeper, long-lasting happiness in things that are more intangible. I find happiness in a phone call or visit with a friend. I find it in the eyes of the person who is receiving the Eucharist from me. I find it in the silence of the chapel when I am in adoration. These “happinesses” stay with me long after I have completed the task and contribute to a positive demeanor.


As a Christian, my ultimate happiness should be in my relationship with God. The happiness that I find in serving others and being in communion with God should be my primary goal. Granted, there will be days when I won’t feel that happiness, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t strive for it.


Have you found happiness in Christ? Do you have an intimate relationship with Him that surpasses all other relationships? Do you feel close to Him when you are at church or in prayer? I encourage you today to spend a little time building your relationship with God through prayer. Find the happiness that comes from knowing God and keeping him in your life. God wants to bless you with His happiness!


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023



Posted on April 23, 2023 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (97)

Monday Meditation – Servant - 4/24/2023


When I think of the word “servant,” I usually first think of a domestic employee. You know, someone who is required to do things for others, typically as part of their job. Years ago, it was very common for upper-class households to have many servants to take care of every conceivable need. And sadly, often people were kept as slaves to do that work with very little or no pay at all.


And there are many people who serve us today who are not our employees. We are served at restaurants, in stores, by our delivery people and by those whom we hire to do various work for us. I am fortunate to be able to hire people periodically to do specialty repairs and cleaning around my house, although I still take care of most of this kind of work myself. And I am very grateful for the services I receive.


I was thinking this past week about how often I have played the role of servant. I guess I did a lot of that when my children were growing up, and also in the various jobs I have held over the years. Now as a retiree, I am sometimes able to help my sons with their children, and I serve as a volunteer in several capacities.


If you asked me why I am a servant these days, I’d tell you it certainly is not for the money - I get very little of that from my volunteer positions! But I do get a certain satisfaction knowing that I am helping others. Plus, service is what God asks us to do.


God calls us to follow Jesus, and Jesus was the epitome of a servant. On Holy Thursday he performed one of the lowliest functions in his time – washing the feet of his disciples, and he told them they must be a servant, too. Then He gave the ultimate sacrifice for us – giving his entire life on the cross so that we may have salvation. What a wonderful servant he was!


I did some searching and discovered that the word “servant” (and its variations) appears in the Bible 1068 times (more or less, depending on your particular translation.) Wow! Here is one of those passages: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) And here is another: As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. (1 Peter 4:10)


Are you following in Jesus’ footsteps and being a servant to your fellow man? I encourage you today to think about how you have been a servant lately, and to do at least one or two things outside your normal routine as a servant to someone else this week. You will be blessing them, and you might find a blessing for yourself.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023


Spring Renewal

Posted on April 16, 2023 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (132)

Monday Meditation – Spring Renewal - 4/17/2023


We finally had the start of spring here in Minnesota! Several days last week were in the 80’s, and all the snow in my yard finally melted away. The robins were out hunting for worms, and the neighborhood birds have been sending up a chorus of their joyous spring songs. Of course, we had snow coming down yesterday, but I’m going to assume it will all pass away quickly!


I love spring. It’s a sign that the earth is in renewal! Trees explode with leafy buds, and flowers begin to poke their stems out of the earth where they have laid dormant for so many months. The grassy carpet fills out with lush green, and the air smells fresh and clean.


Springtime clearly reminds me of God’s creation. Nature has often inspired me to write, and today I share with you one of these writings, titled “God’s Creation.”


Miracles of creation surround me

I lay amid the pungent clover

The cool dewy grass

Tickles my fingertips

Multicolored butterflies

Dance tangos in the lilies

Tiny buds play peek-a-boo

In the rosebushes

In the distance

Thankful bluebirds

Trill out hymns of praise

A warm kiss of sunshine

Caresses my neck

The gentle breeze whispers

Scriptural poetry through swaying trees

A deep calm settles within me

Peace enfolds my heart

I rest in the majesty

Of God’s creation


Just as God’s creation is renewing right now in spring, Jesus has renewed us, too, through his resurrection on Easter Sunday. He gave us hope!


Spring is a time when I feel the need to renew myself, too. How can I do this? First, I can take Jesus’ resurrection as a sign that my sins have been forgiven and I will have a place in heaven, as long as I remain faithful. I can (and should) continue to faithfully attend mass and live my life as Christ-like as I am able.


Second, I can attend retreats and talks to refresh my faith. I can read Sacred Scripture and religious texts to strengthen my faith and knowledge. Third, I can do some spring cleaning to rid myself not only of possessions I do not need, but bad habits and sins that still plague me. And fourth, I can do good for others in any way that I can, to help them be renewed as well.


Are you renewing yourself this spring? I encourage you to do something this week to renew your commitment to Jesus. Read some scripture, attend mass or adoration, make a plan to give up a bad habit, or do something good for someone else. May your spring renewal bless you and others!


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023



Posted on April 10, 2023 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (100)

Monday Meditation – Participate - 4/10/2023


Happy Easter Monday!


I don’t know about you, but I am coming down from a “high” – I participated in most of my church’s Triduum services, and they were just wonderful. I really felt pulled into the reason that we celebrate Easter.


On Thursday we remembered the Last Supper and how Jesus instituted the Eucharist. He served his disciples by washing their feet and explaining that this was what they must do as well.


On Friday we walked with Jesus through his condemnation, the scourging, his walk toward his cross, and his death and burial. We anguished with his Mother and the disciples as Jesus suffered the most excruciating death imaginable.


On Saturday we waited.


And finally, on Easter Sunday, we celebrated Jesus’ triumph over death as we watched him rise in glory. We rejoice that Jesus has overcome death and paved the way for us to enter Heaven’s glory. Hallelujah!


So, what next?


My pastor gave an excellent homily yesterday – he stated that those people who observed Jesus’ death and resurrection were witnesses. He went on to explain that “witness” can mean being a bystander and observing what has happened, or it can mean being a participant in the event. He asked us which one we were.


Many people were at the death of Jesus. Most were merely bystanders who just watched. The disciples were bystanders too, but during the Last Supper and through Jesus’ resurrection they became participants. They were transformed by these events, and they believed. Then they acted and shared this good news with others. They remembered Jesus’ death and resurrection each time they broke the bread. So do our priests at every mass. And we who attend mass are also participants in this amazing event, and hopefully we are transformed by it like the disciples were.


But we cannot merely go to mass and then leave and do nothing else. If so, we are merely bystanders. We should encounter Jesus in the mass. The mass should transform us! We must live our lives in a manner that tells others that we have encountered Jesus, and that we believe in everything Jesus taught.


I plan to continue being a participant in Jesus’ death and resurrection. I will continue to share the good news – not only in this blog but in my whole life. I will try to be an example of what Jesus taught us. I pray that you too will be participants with me. We have been blessed by Jesus’ precious gift to us – so I encourage you to bless others with your lives.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2023