inspiration

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

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religion

Evangelization

Evangelization

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

parenting, prayers, religion

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

 

prayers, religion

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

religion

One Reason Catholic Church Attendance May Be Low

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Last night at my CFM class we were talking about how before Vatican II Catholic Churches were packed with people.  Since Vatican II many churches are lucky to be even half full.  Attendance at church is down drastically.  There was a discussion that many blamed it on Vatican II.

I know that in the 20th century we cannot blame Vatican II for the low attendance rate.  I have three young children and I see that many sports have practices and games on Sundays.  Birthday parties are being thrown on Sundays and Saturday nights.  Sundays have no longer been classified as a church day to many.

We as parents are the ones who should put God back in first place.  We can either chose to take a stance and say no to practice and games on Sundays or make it a point to get to Saturday evening mass.  If we are not there for games on Sunday then the people who make the schedules will have to stop because there will be no kids to play.  Yet, we don’t.  We are not teaching our kids that God should be first.  We are teaching them that being the best at sports is more important.  Our priorities are getting messed up.  We would rather go to a party than spend an hour in church.  We have to just say no.

I want my children to know that we have everything thanks to God and that the least we can do is give him an hour of our time on Sundays or Saturday evenings to say thank you.  They are being taught to be altar servers at church because it is the volunteering of all of us that keeps the church going.  When my daughter has received her communion I will once again volunteer to be a Eucharistic Minister and show them that mommy volunteers too.

Together we can help make the churches full again!

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

mental health

Do You Suffer From Anxiety?

Anxiety is realAnxiety is a real thing and if you do not have it you probably do not get it. You do not get why someone would not be able to leave their home or get in a car or be around people. You may see someone who seems ‘normal’ on the outside but have no clue what is going on inside.

Anxiety sucks. It is not fun to have and it’s worse when people around you just do not get it or even try to get it. It can consume you if you let it. It can affect all aspects of your life from the time you get up to when you go to bed. There are all different kinds of levels and all kinds of things that can affect it.

An anxiety attack is a monster of its own. Not everyone who has anxiety gets them and someone who does not usually have anxiety may get one. They are scary. You feel as though you are suffocating and just can’t breathe. Minutes seem like eternity.

For those who have been lucky enough to never suffer from anxiety please understand that it is real and can impact someone you love. Please think before you judge someone because you truly do not know what they are struggling with inside.

For those who suffer know that you are not alone and you do not need to face it alone. You would be surprised at how many suffer on some level with it and just do not talk about it. Talking about it may help you. Talk with a family member, friend or seek the help of your doctor.

Here are some websites that you may find helpful;

National Institute of Mental Health

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Let us all keep those who suffer from anxiety in our prayers that God will be with them and help them in their time of need.

copyright 2015 Sheila M Scarpulla. All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent

inspiration, religion

Sharing the Christmas Spirit

As Christmas approaches I have created a calendar to teach my children about sharing the true meaning of Christmas.  I want to teach my children to love one another and to take care of fellow humans.

Here is a calendar for the month of December with little things we all can do to help make the world a better place. It all starts at home.

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copyright 2015 Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction without written consent

prayers

Another Way of Looking At Things


Never Doubt the Power of Prayer (2)

My heart has been breaking.  It broke a little extra with the recent events in Paris.  It brought me back to Aug 2104 when the first American died at the hands of ISIS, James Foley.  My heart broke then and just continues to break.  Why has nothing changed but only gotten worse?  What is being done?

I’m helpless and it sucks.  Or am I?  I can’t control the government or make anyone stop ISIS.  I can’t stop people from joining them.  I can’t protect those in their path.  I can’t take away the pain or suffering that so many are feeling at the hands of ISIS.

So what can we do?  Pray, pray and pray some more.  The power of prayer is unimaginable.  It is bigger than anything we know.  When we pray though, most of us are praying for those who have died, suffered, and were tortured.  We pray for their loved ones, also the people in leadership positions and those risking their lives every day to protect and care for all of us.  However, we have to go above and beyond.

We need to pray for the leaders of ISIS, the soldiers of ISIS, the suicide bombers and those individuals considering joining ISIS.  We have to pray for the conversion of their hearts and souls.

We have to rise above them.  Be bigger than them.  We can’t let hatred win.

So while there is not much we can physically do to stop ISIS we can pray.  We have to continue to pray and not give up hope.  God hears our cries.  God answers our cries.  AND the best part is Jesus gets it.  He lived the unjust torture.  He felt the pain.  God’s answers may not be the answers we are hoping for or looking for but he does answer.

copyright 2015  Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent

religion

The History Of Your Church

How much do you know about the history of your church- (2)

This past session of my CFM (Christian Foundations Ministries) class I was learning about the history of the Church. I thought to myself, ‘I wonder how many people know any of this? I sure didn’t before now’.

Learning about the history of your religion is something I recommend to everyone and if you think you know it, learn about it again. You will be surprised how much you don’t really know. We only covered a fraction of all there is to know, so I am even hoping to have the opportunity to learn more about the Catholic Church’s history.

It has given me hope. Our Church is far from perfect and we may not always get it right and that is when I put my hope in the power of change. Change can be scary but you know what? It can also be beautiful. I have learned about things that have changed through the centuries, some good and some not so good. You can look forward to future posts on some of those changes and what I hope for our future. The Catholic Church may just become even more beautiful than it is now!!!

If you have questions or comments about things you would like to see changed I would love to hear it. Never give up hope that change is possible.

copyright 2015 Sheila M Scarpulla. All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent

Uncategorized

Our Children Are God’s Children

 

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Our children are God’s children.  They are on ‘loan’ to us.  What a concept huh?  I was sitting the other day by myself thinking of how I don’t always treat my children the best. I take out my anxiety on them with yelling, screaming and threatening.  I want to change these qualities about me but struggle so much.  I pray all the time on it and consistently find myself saying sorry not only to God but also my children for the way I act.

So it just came to me on this day.  They aren’t MY children…  They are God’s children.  He gave them to me to look after while they are here on earth.  I never REALLY thought of that way.  It’s a crazy concept but guess what?  It’s true.  We as parents are blessed to have our children.  We are blessed with their whole package including their good qualities, their flaws, their quirks and all.  We have a big responsibility if you think of that way.

copyright 2015 Sheila M Scarpulla.  All rights reserved.  No reproduction without written consent