Imperfect Prayers: When You Don’t Know What To Pray For

I believe there is power in prayer. Deep in my bones, down into the tips of the roots of what I feel to be true, I believe it has power. But too often I find myself at a loss for how to use that power. It’s a daunting task to know what to request when God is there with what is always an open-ended question.

This past year in particular has tested me. I haven’t always known what to ask of God.

In that time, we lost our dog, searched for guidance over my daughter’s scoliosis progression, helped her through two knee surgeries, watched my dad continue his battle against Parkinson’s disease, witnessed my grandma’s health and mental decline, and were heartbroken by the sudden passing of my father-in-law in November. For some of these, it has been easier to know my prayer. For others, I’ve been at a loss. Continue reading “Imperfect Prayers: When You Don’t Know What To Pray For”

“Bad Catholic”

Sometimes I feel like a bad Catholic. Sometimes I don’t. But either way, I always delight in both Almond Joy and Mounds. I feel pretty sure that God put chocolate on this earth for me to eat without discrimination.

I haven’t really blogged much about my religion, other than to talk about why we chose Catholic school for our children, my son’s ongoing battle with church etiquette, and the time I witnessed my kids taking liberties with the sacrament of First Communion. Even then, I didn’t delve into my own deep-seeded beliefs…because they are MY beliefs. I don’t feel a driving desire to always tell others how I live out my faith, and I find spiritual life to be an intensely personal thing. I guess you could say I Continue reading ““Bad Catholic””

Leap of Faith: Michael v. Church, part 157

Oh, Michael.

Parents are sometimes told, “what goes around, comes around”…most often by their own parents who see the misbehavior of children as some kind of karmic payback for the grief they themselves caused growing up. I fully admit that Grace is giving me a taste of my own youthful willfulness and dramatics, but Michael? By default, the blame for Michael’s actions must lie with my husband. Which also means that many, many, many stories about his childhood were conveniently kept silent from me before I sired children with him. I hereby make the claim of false advertisement. But I guess it is too late to do anything about it. I will nobly soldier on, and tell you my latest story in the meantime.

jumping jesus
Does this mean Jesus is cool with a little hang time? (photo from

Know this to be true: Michael and Church do not mix very well. They have had numerous battles during his short four years of life, mostly dealing with Church’s requirement of silence and Michael’s aversion to it. And there was that time he drank from the holy water font like a dog.

Well, at mass this past Sunday, our family was responsible for bringing up the Offertory gifts. I can almost hear a sympathetic “oh no” at the foreboding that statement instills in those of you who have read about Michael’s past exploits. Let me quickly assure you that neither the wine nor the Communion hosts ended up on the floor, thankfully. But that was only because the usher very wisely handed Michael the giant basket of the weekly collection to take up to the priest. And Michael likely accepted it without protest because it was the biggest item, therefore the best item. The procession up the aisle was actually incident-free, as was the hand-off of the goods. But while the rest of the family bowed in reverence toward the crucifix, Michael whipped around and took a running leap down all three of the altar steps, landing with the smacking sound of his “church shoes” against the marble floor. Awesome. 

After mass was over, one of the ushers came up and thanked me for volunteering to take up the gifts. “You got quite the little comedian there,” he teased. I guess I can be thankful that my embarrassment serves as a source of chuckles for others…and that I believe in a God who is truly forgiving.