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I’m back

So I have been on a bit of a hiatus.  I like to write when something moves me and for the past two years politics and our country have been at the forefront of my thoughts.  I was advised by someone dear to me to keep politics separate from my posts but I honestly can’t.

There are very few people I can actually talk to about my thoughts.  This site is me, my thoughts and my computer.  I share my views.  People can take what they want and leave what they don’t.  So I figure this is a great place to just share my thoughts.

I’ve said in the past my thoughts are just that mine.  They are not right or wrong but my ideas or views.  I am not trying to push them on anyone.  I just hope maybe it will open at least one person’s thoughts or views to a possible new way.

Feels so good to be back 🙂

 

 

 

 

copyright 2018 Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction without written consent

Featured

Get Up And Try Again

This is the post excerpt.

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So my take off didn’t go to well.  When I began my new journey I had an infant and two toddlers to deal with so trying to fit in blogging was a challenge.  However, now my baby is 4 and I now have more time to devout to my blog and writing about all the wonderful (and not so wonderful) things I have discovered.  So I will try again.
As I try to balance all the aspects of being a stay-at-home mom and learning to keep my sanity I have found it has been a huge challenge.  Yet, I have learned to embrace it and make the most from it.  Everyday is a learning experience and I have been learning so much.  Not only am I learning to be a parent I have also been on an eye-opening religious journey.  Two years ago I shared my story on a retreat and I would like to share parts of it with all of you.  Maybe it will help you to understand my journey a little more.

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Finding My Way Home:  As a young girl I went to Catholic school.  By the time I got to high school I began questioning my beliefs and not finding answers.  The message I was hearing was that not only would I go to hell for having sex but that I was going to hell for kissing a boy.  Why would God send me to hell for that??  I never questioned God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit or Mary but the message I was getting from the Catholic school.  It was different from what I thought an all loving God was so I considered myself more spiritual.

My husband’s siblings have all left the Catholic church and joined other Christian churches.  When I met them they asked what religion I was.  I told them I was raised Catholic but was more spiritual and wasn’t sure anymore.  So then they asked me to go to church with them which I did.  I loved all the singing and dancing there and thought maybe this could be the church for me.

All my life I knew I wanted to be a mother.  I felt a calling to be a mom but I was hit with the reality that what happens in your childhood will affect you the rest of your life.  I wondered what church should I bring my children to?  Do I bring them to my in-laws church where at least I know I won’t have to go to church alone or do I continue on with the catholic church but know it will be a lonely journey (or so I thought) since I am the only Catholic in the family who goes to church weekly.  I wanted to find answers so I wasn’t always second guessing myself and I didn’t want to just take what looked like the ‘easy road’.

We owe it to our children to help make their childhood one that they will look back on and smile or the best of what we can give to them.  And for me making some religious decisions was a key factor.

I began exploring different religions but also began really learning about the Catholic church.  I was given different paths to get to the answers that I was so desperately in search of.  The love I always had for God and wanted to have for the church had now been solidified.

I started my journey off not knowing where I would end up but I ended up finding my way home, home to the Catholic church.   That has brought me happiness I have never known and a euphoria that is just awesome. This is just a part of my religious journey and my journey may be very different from yours.  You may not have had a journey yet and my only advice is that God is always with us especially when we think he is not.  But if you are not truly open to the journey you may just miss it.  When you finally find yourself open and being guided onto a journey it is an unbelievable one.  One worth the voyage.

I hope you will continue to join me as I learn the ins and outs of motherhood, staying home and the Catholic church.

copyright 2014  Sheila M Scarpulla . All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent

 

What Makes Someone ‘Evil’?

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I have never been able to understand how a person could get so angry that they would harm another human being.  I use to think a person had to just be evil to commit murder or violence.  Then I got a little taste of that anger.  I figure this is a good time to share that with all the violence that has been happening in our country and world.

 

Something happened recently to someone I love dearly.  I hope to write about it one day but today it is too fresh, to new.  Yet, this event opened my eyes to what hate is and how it is fueled.

 

When I love, I love with every fiber of my being and when someone I love hurts the pain I feel for them can be unbearable.   This time though that pain turned to anger.  Could it have turned to rage?  I wished those who had hurt my loved one pain and suffering.  I knew these people had NO clue what pain they had caused and so I wanted them to feel even a tiny piece of what I felt.

 

I could see how easily it was for a person’s brain to switch.  How in the heat of those feelings all you want to do is avenge your loved one or to make those who have hurt you hurt just as bad or worse.

 

I am blessed to have two amazing parents who raised me to know God and to know right from wrong.  I was taught that actions have consequences.  I never wanted to get in trouble with any authority or disappoint anyone, whether it was my parents, teachers or police.  So when this event came up I was able to control myself.  I was able to rationalize what I was feeling.  I  accepted it as a feeling and not something to act out on.

 

I never felt those feelings before and they were SCARY.  I NEVER want to feel them again.  Those feelings led me to start counseling so I could try and work through what I was feeling.  I was able to reach out for help.

 

What if I didn’t have that upbringing would I still have felt this way?  I am not sure.  Would I have been able to stop myself from acting on those feelings?  What if I didn’t have all those people in my life who loved me?  What if I didn’t have those people to let down?

 

What if I didn’t have parents or had absentee parents?  What if I had parents but they were physically, emotionally or mentally abusive?  What if I lived feeling like an outcast or a failure?  What if I felt this way all the time?  What if I had no one?  What if I went to a school I hated and every day I was picked on or beat up?  So many what if’s.

 

There are people out there who do horrible things, unimaginable things.  Were they born evil?  Were they born full of hate?  I try to believe that the majority of these people, if not all were not born evil and learned to hate.  I believe that I was blessed to be raised the way I was but does that make it ok for me to judge someone who was nowhere near as lucky as I was?  NO. 

 

So I have learned a lot and I am teaching my children all that I have learned.  What have I learned?

 

I learned that good people can do bad things. Everyone needs our prayers even those who harm us or others.  Those people may possibly need our prayers even more than others.  We should try our hardest to not judge others especially people who may be different than us.  We can’t say how we would react in a given situation unless we have actually been in that situation. 

If we see someone alone or that looks sad we can try and reach out to them or tell someone.  If we see something that seems out of place or strange we should tell someone we trust.  A little eye contact and a simple smile to someone can make a difference.  We need to show people who God (they may not know of God) is through our actions.  We need to love one another (even those we don’t know) as He loved us.

May God watch over us all and guide us to help those around us.  May he touch those who are alone or who are struggling.   

 

copyright 2018 Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction without written consent

Sleep With Me Podcast

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Growing up, my older brother and I were not very close.  We did not start becoming close until we were both in college.  When we did start becoming closer I realized my brother and I faced some of the same struggles in life.  What to do with the rest of our lives?  We had both been in more than one career field and we still were not sure.

Then we had children.  Parenting can be a real challenge but I think we were both doing a pretty good job at it.  Our kids got to see each other about once a year in the summer. During that time my big brother would do his best and see to it that I got some kind of break.  (I had two boys close in age and then added a little girl.  My hands were full.)

He often read them stories or told them stories at nap time or bedtime and he actually got them to sleep.  I was amazed.  In the summer they never wanted to nap or go to bed for me.  He had a gift but at the time I do not know if I or any of us realized what a blessing his gift really was.

Now jump ahead a few years.  I turned to him because I wanted to create a webpage where I could share what I was learning as a new mom and as a Catholic mom.  I wanted my big brother’s thoughts.  It turned out that during that time he had already created his Sleep With Me Podcast but it was still a hidden gem to most.  He was doing it because he wanted to and not to win anyone’s approval.  Good for you big brother!

I started listening to it here and there.  As a mom sometimes shutting my brain off and getting to sleep could be a real challenge.  I often would listen to the Rosary and sometimes I still do.  Yet, now I have my big brother.

I am a person all about bonding with loved ones.  It has always been my thing.  I feel like I don’t get the opportunity to bond with my siblings as much as I would like and often wished that could be different.  However, it is what it is.  Yet, now I feel like I am bonding more with my oldest brother.  At night when I am stressed and cannot get to sleep I turn to him.  He may not know it but I do.  I listen to him as if he is sitting next to me trying to help me and it WORKS.  I am a sleep before I even know it.

After having my first child I learned that I am a person who needs sleep.  A lack of sleep causes me to stop functioning like a normal person and I slowly start losing it.  When I think I will not get enough sleep I begin to worry because I do not want to lose it.  When this starts to happen I just say a prayer and listen to the podcast.

My brother has a gift.  A gift that he loves so very much.  A gift that he excels in.  If you are like me and you toss and turn at night, I highly recommend you give this a shot.  You can join me and the thousands of people out there who are put to bed by my big brother. Heck you might even hear a story with me in it 🙂

website

copyright 2016 Sheila M Scarpulla . All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent

The Beauty of a Butterfly

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I love butterflies but the reason why might surprise you.  Growing up I always saw myself as having no purpose in life and I often felt ugly.  When I wasn’t feeling ugly about my physical looks I felt ugly on the inside.  I never thought I would be good enough.  I thought about how life would be without me in it and honestly I thought people would be better off.  I thought God got me wrong.  My parents weren’t expecting to have me, I was born a twin.  I was the unexpected surprise.  So maybe God got it wrong.

One thing is for sure, God never gets it wrong!

As I got older I had to figure a way out of feeling like this.  I watched Oprah a lot and learned about self-help and felt like I could figure it out on my own.

Growing up I heard the story of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ often but that never really connected to me.  Something that did connect for me was butterflies.  I always loved butterflies because of their beauty but then I really thought about where they come from.  I thought of caterpillars as ugly.  To me they were not as beautiful as a butterfly.  So that must be God’s plan for all of us.  We all at one time or another have felt ugly, even if the people around us may not see it.  For some if feels longer than others.  Heck, you may think you are never going to get to that beautiful stage, but guess what?  You are beautiful even if you don’t see it.
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God truly created each and every one of us for a certain reason and to be beautiful.  He wishes we all could see the beauty he sees.

If you are questioning your purpose in life or not loving what you see in the mirror, pray for clarity and don’t give up on life.  God is always there for us even if we don’t realize it. He will help you see the beauty if you let him.  Look at a beautiful butterfly and know that you are just as beautiful for being you.  Or look at the ugly caterpillar and cheer it on to becoming what it is meant to be.  You will get there just like the caterpillar.  Keep your faith.  Keep your hope.  Most importantly keep on loving yourself as you are today.

God help us to see the beauty that you see in each of us.  Please put in our path those who are going to lift us up and not tear us down.  Thank you for each day you give to us and the opportunity it brings.

copyright 2016 Sheila M Scarpulla . All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent

Evangelization

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When you hear the word evangelization what comes to mind?  For me it’s Billy Graham or someone who had fallen on hard times and ended up being ‘saved’ and now wants everyone to hear his/her story.  To me it was someone who was preaching (I thought of preaching in a negative sense) about what I should believe and why I should believe in it.  I associated it with those I thought were Born Again Christians.  Now I am learning so much more.

The definition of evangelization according to Merriam-Webster dictionary is; to preach the gospel and to convert to Christianity.  Pope Paul VI wrote the Evangelii Nuntiandi (Evangelization in the Modern World).  It says that to evangelize means to bring the Good News of Jesus into every situation and to convert individuals through the divine power of the Gospel.

Did you know you can be or may already be an evangelist?  For me preaching what I believe to others is very difficult.  I don’t like the idea of trying to get you to change your beliefs.  I have found through blogging that I enjoy sharing what I am learning with others but I hope that it does not ever sound like I am telling people what I think they should or should not do.  So I never thought of myself as an evangelist.

Guess what!  I am an evangelist.  I try to share the Good News of Jesus in the way I live, act, and how I treat others.  I am an evangelist for my children.  I don’t have to be out on the streets talking to everyone I meet.  It can start at home and spread from there.

That is why I am currently taking a Catholic class.  I want more knowledge.  We need more knowledge.  The more knowledge we have the better.  I just wish more Catholic churches would offer continuing education for the adults of the parish.  Our learning shouldn’t end after we are confirmed.  It should continue.  We should always be learning about our faith.

So I wish that after reading this when you hear the word evangelization it may bring on a positive feeling.  I hope we all strive to be the evangelists God always wanted us to be.

copyright 2016 Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction without written consent

What is Mercy and Do I Need It?

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The world seems to be falling apart.  It seems like there is nothing that can be done. Sometimes I fear for the world my children will grow up in.  We can’t control anything happening in the world.
We CAN control what we teach our children.  Starting from when they are born.  We can show them compassion, empathy and mercy.  We can teach them about what is going on in the world but also teach them love not hate.

Mercy is having compassion for others; especially those you may think do not deserve it. It is not always easy to have mercy so we must practice it.  Our children need to see us showing compassion to one another.

My mom is great at mercy.  She shows love to everyone even when you know it can’t be easy.  She always says about those she shows mercy to that they were the ones who needed it the most.  It isn’t easy following in those footsteps, but I try.  She tells me when my children are driving me crazy and I want to beat them, I need to just hug them.  So I hug and hug a little more.  I show them mercy.

If each one of us just tries to show a tiny ounce of mercy to those who we actually think does not deserve it, we may just see the change we hope for the world.  Those who push people around and are mean could really use our mercy but you know what?  Every one of us sins so each of us at one time or another could use a little mercy and compassion.

Pope Francis announces this the year of Mercy.

Learn more here;
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Catholic News Service

copyright 2016 Sheila M Scarpulla . All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent

 

Four Steps to Let Go and Give It to God

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I had the good fortune of being able to spend some quality time with my mom and dad for the past few days.  During this time my father and I were talking about our struggles and how we face them.  You put one foot in front of the other.

We also talked about how most of us try to control things around us but in the grand scheme of things we really do not have that much control.  We just have to do what we need to do and put our faith in a higher power.

I have been told by people time and time again to trust God.  To let go and let God or turn it over to God.  I honestly didn’t get it.  I would say ‘OK God here are my issues now you deal with it and let me trust you’ but is that what I really did?  No.  I just didn’t get it and I couldn’t figure it out.

A few things that I think can help us all with this are;

  1. Wake up a few minutes early in the morning and thank God for all that we have. Then we can let him know the struggles we are facing or are going to be facing and try to go on.

2. Go about our day.  Get what we need to get done, done.  When our struggles enter our mind we can take a minute, realize how we are thinking and say a simple pray.  God, I trust in you.

3. End each day by saying thank you to God for all he did for us during the day.  If we can’t seem to think about what he has done for us we can ask him to help us be more open the following day.

4. Repeat

Eventually I think the idea of letting go and letting God will get easier, or at least that is what I hope for.

May each of you be guided today in learning how to let go and give it up to God.

A great prayer that I think goes perfectly with this is;

The Serenity Prayer

author Reinhold Niebuhr

 

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copyright 2016 Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction without written consent