trust and confidence

“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord,
and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”

St. Augustine


(The Mayor with training wheels / Julie Cook / 2021)

Do you remember when you first learned how to ride a bike?
I started my journey on wheels with a tricycle.
Eventually graduating to a small bike with training wheels—

And in due time, off went those training wheels…
and thus, for better or for worse, I was suddenly on my own.

No broken bones but a lot of skinned knees, elbows and stubbed toes.
And this was a time long before we knew helmets were important.

At my current age, I hate to admit that I don’t exactly remember a
whole lot of this particular rite of passage—
however I can remember my mom and dad, taking turns racing behind me,
holding onto the bike if I started to veer too far to one side or the other
or God forbid…started rolling way too fast for my level of
expertise.

And thus today, the gauntlet has been passed…it is now the Mayor’s turn.

Of course there is a great deal of hesitancy and trepidation.
“MOM, MOM, I NEED YOU!!!!” (yes she calls me mom, her mother is mommy…
daddy is dada, my husband is da)…

And in like fashion, how many times have I cried out to God… “Father, I need you!”

“I’ve got you Boo” I reassure her as I hold onto the back of her seat as she
laboriously attempts peddling up the street…Peppa Pig rain
boots probably do not aid in one’s peddling.

I let go once she hit level ground.

“Look at you Boo—you are riding your bike!!!!”

And right then, in that moment, there comes the obvious and visible
sense of self satisfaction.

So as I stand there, looking at my granddaughter riding a bike on the very
same street where I learned to ride my own bike,
my thoughts are transported to thinking about my own learning to ride
as well as to something else…that of learning my way on the journey
as a child of God.

A juxtaposition of life’s journeys.

How many times have I set out, unsure of myself, sitting in a driving seat
position, while God had His hand on my back?

“Steady” He say’s…”Ive got you Julie”

I wobble, teetering and leaning, trying desperately to keep myself
upright. I feel His hand resting on my back so I have a sense of
serene security.

Then, ever so slightly, He removes His hand…”you’ve got this”
I hear as I peddle off heading straight ahead…knowing all the while
He’s standing behind me, smiling.

And right when I get going too fast, losing control…He’s the first
one there… either to grab me by the shirt and or pick me up once I fall.
Once again He gently repeats…you’ve got this…because I’ve got you.

And whereas I won’t always be able to be with my granddaughter as she takes
off on her own life’s journeys…I have given her over to God…knowing that when
mom or da, mommy or dada can’t be with her…
Abba will always be by her side—

“How can we not ask at every turn,
‘What is going to happen? How will this turn out?’
The main thing is not to consent consciously to anxiety or a troubled mind.
The moment you realize you are worrying,
make very quickly an act of confidence:
‘No, Jesus, You are there: nothing–nothing–
happens, not a hair falls from our heads, without Your permission.
I have no right to worry.”
Perhaps He is sleeping in the boat, but He is there.
He is always there. He is all-powerful;
nothing escapes His vigilance.
He watches over each one of us ‘as over the apple of His eye.’
He is all love, all tenderness.”

Jean C.J. d’Elbée,
I Believe in Love:
A Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Therese of Lisieux

God Blessed Texas

‘God blessed Texas’
First He lit the sunshine, then He made the water deep
Then He gave us moonlight for all the world to see
Well, everybody knows that the Lord works in mysterious ways
He took a rest, then on the very next day
God blessed Texas with His own hand

Songwriters: Porter Carleton Howell / Brady Seals

Now I can’t really brag too much on a personal level about Texas because
I’ve only visited the state twice.
But those two times were great trips.

And yep, Texas is as big as it is wide.
They say they do things bigger in Texas, and I suspect that might be so.

So thinking about Texas, I’ve started another book.
It was a recommendation offered by Dawn Marie over on https://hugsnblessings.com

And no, this book is not about Texas, but stay with me for a bit.

The book is by Peter Kreeft—
a professor of philosophy at Boston College and The King’s College.
He is a convert to Catholicism and a prolific writer.
This particular book is titled
How To Destroy Western Civilization And Other Ideas From The Cultural Abyss.

The book opens with the following sentences…

The single most necessary thing we can possibly do to save our civilization—
the single most necessary thing citizens can ever do to save their civilization,
at all times and all places and in all cultures, whether they are good or evil,
religious or irreligious, ancient or modern–is to have children.

If you don’t have children, your civilization will cease to exist.
Before you can be good or evil, religious or irreligious, you must exist.

And this is when what I’ve been reading collides into thoughts about Texas.

I have been a huge proponent of Georgia’s House bill 481,
aka the Georgia Heartbeat bill.
A bill that was put into place to protect the rights
of the unborn.

The gist of the bill is that when a heartbeat is detected, life is detected.
And if life is detected, then abortion would be considered murder.

Several states have put forth their own versions of a heartbeat bill.
Life begins with the heartbeat and therefore abortion is no longer an option.

And so with each bill introduced by various states,
protests and lawsuits have ensued.

Sadly but not surprisingly, Georgia’s bill has been deemed unconstitutional.

Many cases have been going from court to court, with many eventually
falling on the desks of the highest court in the Nation,
The Supreme Court.

This week Texas’s version of the heartbeat bill was allowed to pass
via the Supreme Court.

And the oh so Catholic President Joe Biden…as in Catholics are deeply
opposed to abortion because abortion equates to murder, is now loudly
protesting the Supreme Court’s ruling on this Texas Law.

But I say, God Bless Texas!!!!!

headlines, headaches and heartache

Yesterday’s headlines consisted of stories about a former president partying
like it was 1999…with about 500 of his closest friends.
This all on the posh isle of Martha’s Vineyard…
It was reported to be a most “epic” party by several of the rappers who
were in attendance.
Rumor has it that even Madame Speaker was there to shake a tail feather.

Forget the frenzied called for masks and mandates…Forget our dear old godfather Dr. Fauci.

What’s  500 partiers and 200 staff members when one turns 60?
By gosh, there was a party to be had!
You can’t  really shake what your mama gave you if you’re all masked up…

Another story, on the opposite side of the country, involved a family oriented
prayer event down near the waterfront in Portland, Oregon.
If any city needed some prayer right about now…it would be Portland.
A city still under siege by lawlessness.

Disturbingly this event literally came under fire by our country’s lovely
anarchists and antifascists.

When does Christian worship call for anarchy’s knee jerk reaction??
Well, obviously now.

Not even the children nor toddlers attending were spared from the violence
as the antagonizing groups clad in black took to throwing rocks and spraying
colored gas and flash bombs into the family oriented crowd gathered.

Where were the police you ask.

Standing back and watching…don’t you remember, we want to defund them.

Meanwhile back on the east coast, the police of Martha’s Vineyard called the
ensuing traffic nightmare following the end of said presidential birthday party
a s%$t show of a mess.
Well naturally those elite partiers wanted the police to help sort out
any and all traffic woes, never mind about protecting innocent folks elsewhere…

All the while, the news is still rife with the cries of good ol squad
member Ms Cori Bush.
Ms Bush, along with her personal security detail, simply will not rest until
all the police are defunded.

What is the irony of a congresswoman crying for defunding the police
while she surrounds herself with her very own private police force…
forget the “little” people…we’ll be ok.
But wait…who’s paying for her security entourage???
Why do I think it’s you and me, said taxpayers.

Then there was the sad story of the passing of longtime college football
coach and Florida State University legend, Bobby Bowden.

Bobby Bowden, who retired in 2009 had coached at the college level for 55 years.
And like any coach, he was both loved and hated.

Loved if you were a Seminole, hated if you were a Gator or ‘Cane.
Yet I would imagine respected by most.

Bobby Bowden, who alongside his wife Ann of 51 years, raised 6 children.
3 of which went on to their own coaching careers.

I once heard Coach Bowden tell a story about a family vacation they took when
their kids were all little.

They had stopped for gas and for something to eat.
It was probably sometime in the early 1960’s.
These were pre cell phone and stranger danger days.

The family loaded back into the station wagon
and hit the road again.

It wasn’t until about 30 minutes down the road when the family realized
that not all heads had been counted.
One was missing.

Naturally they turned the car around and went back and found their wayward
child patiently waiting.

That kind of stuff just happened when you had 6 kids, Coach Bowden chuckled.

Coach Bowden was once quoted as saying
“The heck with political correctness. I’ve never believed in it.”

I appreciate folks like Coach Bowden…they are old school, like me.

So heres to old school…
while we forget the woke, the elites, the daft, the tone deaf,
the hateful, the arrogant…

Time to remember the desires of the soul…

“The human soul, by its very nature,
is endowed with the faculty of knowing God and the capacity for loving Him.
The intelligence of the soul, transporting itself above all that
is created and finite, has power to raise itself even to the
contemplation of that Being who alone is uncreated and infinite,
who is the source of all good and all perfection;
it is able to form of Him an idea that is clear and accurate and indelible.
The will of the soul is made to love this sovereign Good,
which the understanding presents to it.
The desires of the soul,
which no created object can ever satisfy and which reach far beyond
the limits of this life, tend necessarily toward a Good that
is supreme, eternal, and infinite, and which alone can content
the soul and make it happy.”

Fr. Jean Nicholas Grou, p. 3-4
An Excerpt From
The Spiritual Life

entrust them…so so hard

Raising children is an uncertain thing;
success is reached only after a life of battle and worry.

Democritus


(the children / Rosemary Beach /Julie Cook 2021)

“Avoid worrying, then, about anything else for your children except
whatever may contribute to bringing them up virtuously.
For the rest, having entrusted them to God,
try to see what His will for them is,
to help them along the path in life He has chosen for them.
Never be afraid of relying too much on Him,
but rather seek always to increase your trust more and more,
for this is the most pleasing homage you can pay Him and it will be
the measure of the graces you will receive.
Little or much will be given you according as you have expected little or much.”

St. Claude De La Columbiere, p.46
An Excerpt From
Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence

The art of how to or how not…

The God of all mercy teaches us that our vocation is to learn to love
and also to be able to love after the image and in imitation
of the Most Holy Trinity.
Christ, therefore, is situated at the heart of marital and family life,
in other words, at the heart of the gestures and the attitudes of
the husband toward his wife, and vice versa,
of the father and the mother of the family toward their children—
which you seek to put into practice in trust and in truth.

Robert Cardinal Sarah
From his book Couples, Awaken Your Love!


(the Mayor struggling with the art of the fondue / Julie Cook / 2021)

In yesterday’s post, I noted that I had not kept up with the news during our
small family’s recent little getaway.
A smart and delightful choice I might add.

And thus, upon our return home, I foolishly thought that I needed to play
a bit of catch-up.

So of course there was the story about the plane full of smug, arrogant
and really stupid Democrats who thought they were running away from Texas,
setting their sights on being liberated in Washington D.C.

But what it really was…was a plane full of super-spreaders of Covid.
So why do we vote for such people…??
I digress.

And then there was and is the continuing migrant story…
but where do we start with that one???
Covid, welfare, gangs, sex trafficking, drugs…
Simply not enough time.

Then there was the typical story of hostility in The House between
Dems and Republicans.
A bipartisan panel to look into that House infiltration fiasco…
HA..bipartisan…that’s a good one!
But what’s new???

And of course there was the story about Dr. Fauci proclaiming that we
all need to mask up again…vaccine or not.
But maybe it’s more about the haves and the have nots.

Yet Dr. Fauci now wants us to mask our toddlers…
wee ones who will be heading to pre-school and or daycare.
So hear me now as I channel my best Charlton Heston voice…
NOT ON MY WATCH–NOT MY GRANDCHILDREN!
And no, NO SHOTS for toddlers.
We simply don’t know enough.
Perhaps that shall be one of my many mountains to perish upon.

And once again, there was the continuing story about CRT.
That idiotic ideology which I referenced yesterday.
How to teach about not being a racist…
Lets set people apart, teach them about shame, teach them about resentment,
teach them about angst and anger—those are some really powerful
kumbiya thoughts…right????
Eyes rolling.

And now there’s this latest story about the White House promoting the
Abolitionist Teaching Network whose desire is to “disrupt whiteness”…

What in the heck is that all about???

So let me backup to where we really need to be with this whole
education thing.

If you want to go backwards, which it seems the woke folks are bent on…
let’s go back to what actually worked back in the beginning…

God.
Prayer.
The Ten Commandments.
Faith.
Family.

That pretty much covers all of this lunacy in a nutshell!
Go back to those particular key components and all this fiasco will
finally be righted.

Righted only if those 5 things fall back into their original place…
then and only then will we ever have some sense of normalcy and peace….
otherwise it’s Katie bar the door—
all Hell is about to break loose and I mean hell with a big H…
as in literally.

Love, by its essence, involves a leap into the unknown, a death to oneself,
because genuine love is a love that loves to the end.
And to love to the end means to die for those whom you love.

Robert Cardinal Sarah
From his book Couples, Awaken Your Love!

I’m baaaaack

“The glory of God is man fully alive,
and the life of man is the vision of God.”

St. Irenaeus


(a willet in the surf /Rosemary Beach / Julie Cook / 2021)

We got home yesterday from our week away and I’ll share more about our
adventure with the Mayor and Sheriff at the beach… soon…
just as soon as I get alllll these clothes washed.

My last post was about the homecoming for Sgt. Rob Holloway’s as he
and his wife returned home to Carrollton after months in two
different hospitals…this following his having been shot in the
wee hours of April 12th during a high speed chase.

Rob and Stephanie got home Wednesday…they were to spend a few days home
before heading back to Atlanta to begin a transition period at Pathways
which is a program to help Rob learn how to manage his daily routines
while getting back to “normal” as best as possible.

However on Thursday, Rob began running a fever.
The Hospital told Stephanie to get him back to Atlanta ASAP
where he was placed back in ICU.

He has since received IV fluids and antibiotics…
and is reportedly feeling better.

Because bullet fragments remain lodged in Rob’s brain and due to having the
reconstructive skull surgery, the risk of meningitis remains high.

So will you please join me as we offer up prayers for Rob and his family…
as we also pray for all our men and women in blue, as well as for their families…
those members of our various law enforcements who give their all for us….

“The Creator of the universe awaits the prayer of one poor little person
to save a multitude of others, redeemed like her at the price of His Blood.”

St. Therese of Lisieux

Celebrate our Nation’s day of Independence

“But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom,
can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”
“…Cities may be rebuilt, and a People reduced to Poverty,
may acquire fresh Property:
But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom,
can never be restored.

John Adams


(Julie Cook / 2018)

Notice how I use the phrase “celebrate our Nation’s day of Independence.
Not the day for privileged white people, not the BLM day,
not the vaccinated people’s day…but the day for the entire Nation—
as she celebrates her Independence…
As in all Americans…

May it always be…

I’ll be back in a few days after the Mayor and Sheriff head home….

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.
We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream.
It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same,
or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and
our children’s children what it was once like in the
United States where men were free.”

Ronald Reagen

don’t leave us…

“I have learned that if you must leave a place that you
have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep,
leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can.
Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember
is a better hour because it is dead.
Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones,
while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.”

Beryl Markham, West with the Night

Do you remember this commercial?
It was a commercial for Airtran

It was one of those laugh out loud type of commercials..
maybe because I was a parent and could only imagine what “that” was like…

Picture it…
you fly your elderly parents in for a week of family time—just
so they can meet their new twin grand babies.

Little do the unsuspecting grandparents know…
you have an ulterior motive.

You’ve booked a trip for you and your husband.

As soon as the grandparents ring the bell, so excited to meet their new grand babies,
you quickly hand each of them a baby.
Your father thanks you for flying them in as they are so excited to be
with you for the week.

HA!

Suddenly a taxi pulls up, your husband flies out of the house with bags in hand…
you turn to your parents, before hightailing it behind your husband, exclaiming
“we’ll call you when we land…”

“Land?!” your elderly father questions.

By now the taxi is speeding off as a shuffling grandfather trails sadly behind,
with baby in arms, imploring “DON”T LEAVE US WITH THE BABIES!!!!!”

Well, this past week seemed a little similar…
however, we were not blindsided.
We had been asked long time back and we had whole heartedly agreed.

We’d keep “the babies” for almost a week!

Thankfully we aren’t shuffling just quite yet and we were indeed
willing participants.

However…
two toddlers…one 3 and the other 2, for 5 days…at our ages…
well…we powered through it…and in the middle someplace,
we forged some great memories.

The Mayor is jumping in the pool all by herself and holding her breath.
All the while the Sheriff works on finding his comfort zone…preferring
driving a golf cart, or even a small back hoe as his own personal
mode of transportation.

Exhausted when it came time to say good-bye—reluctantly, we
whispered….don’t leave us…

I do hope one day they may remember the happy moments we shared…

Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do.
Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.

Alex Haley

God’s mercy

“Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin.
All hope consists in confession.
In confession there is a chance for mercy.
Believe it firmly, do not doubt, do not hesitate,
never despair of the mercy of God.”

St. Isidore of Seville


(Southern summer evening sky /Julie Cook / 2021)

“When we are living in the world, we can easily take on the
mindset of a secular society. It is important for us to cultivate
in our lives, with great care,
God’s way of looking at things and life in general.
His Word guides us.”

Rev. Thomas J. Donaghy, p. 22
An Excerpt From
Inspirational Thoughts for Everyday

Incarnation

The fact that theology also considers the body should not astonish or
surprise anyone who is aware of the mystery and reality of the Incarnation.
Theology is that science whose subject is divinity.
Through the fact that the Word of God became flesh,
the body entered theology through the main door.

St. John Paul the Great


(bumble bee on sunflower / Julie Cook / 2021)

“Christ took upon himself this human form of ours.
He became Man even as we are men.
In his humanity and his lowliness we recognize our own form.
He has become like a man, so that men should be like him.
And in the Incarnation the whole human race recovers the dignity
of the image of God. Henceforth, any attack on the least of men
is an attack on Christ, who took the form of man,
and in his own Person restored the image of God in all that
bears a human form.
Through fellowship and communion with the incarnate Lord,
we recover our true humanity,
and at the same time we are delivered from that individualism
which is the consequence of sin, and retrieve our solidarity with
the whole human race. By being partakers of Christ incarnate,
we are partakers in the whole humanity which he bore.
We now know that we have been taken up and borne in the humanity
of Jesus, and therefore that new nature we now enjoy means
that we too must bear the sins and sorrows of others.
The incarnate Lord makes his followers the brothers of
all mankind.
The “philanthropy” of God (Titus 3:4) revealed in the Incarnation
is the ground of Christian love towards all on earth that bears
the name of man.
The form of Christ incarnate makes the Church into the Body of Christ.
All the sorrows of mankind fall upon that form,
and only through that form can they be borne.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship