Happy New Year!

The Nativity scene at my parish St. Norbert

My Christmas Employment

I have finished my seasonal job; Saturday was my last day. On that particular day, a customer came in to purchase a new handbag. Her handbag looked quite worn out. “I’ve had this bag for 10 years, and I think it’s time to purchase a new one,” she said. “Ya Think?” I said to myself. I watched as she perused the store for a new purse. The young woman looked pretty normal, wearing black leggings and a black top. Her tennis shoes looked new, yet she has held on to this handbag for 10 years. People like this lady are from a unique group of individuals; they do not care what others think about what they wear or use. These people are more than the salt of the earth; they harvest the salt, and that is why they appreciate what they have. It took her a while to pick out the perfect purse, and all I wanted to be sure of was that she buy the matching wallet. I looked for the matching wallet, but we were sold out. Turns out she had already purchased the wallet months ago and was waiting for the purse to go on sale. This young woman taught me a lesson in patience; she waited for the deep discount on the handbag to match her wallet. It was  not important for her to have everything new together. She was frugal, yet she had fun shopping around and trying different handbags. But all along she was just going to get the one that matched her wallet.

This is how we should all be when it come to searching for our spiritual needs. We are too quick to make decisions; we compromise because we lack guidance in prayer. The lady with the new handbag will never return her purchase because she was certain it was the right one. In our walk with the Lord we take many turns; some roads lead us closer to Him, while others take us in a different direction. It is on those roads that we learn our life lessons. We can get stuck in the misguided roads in life, but it is not until we have learned the task that we go on to the right path. This is when we  feel that release to leave the past behind. Many times the Lord will place people on your path for a season; these people have important roles in our lives, but when the road ends we each go our separate directions. We may never see these individuals again, but they were placed in our path for a reason. These acquaintances may have been those special angels we needed when we were hurting  or needed a friend to talk to.

Christy and me

My Friend Christy

When we moved to the San Fernando Valley, I did not know a soul. My children were small, and Mike was in his late twenties when he was promoted to a VP position in a large corporation. The demands for his job meant long hours at work. This was during my soul-searching years; I had left the Catholic Church and wanted to get connected with a new fellowship. As a family we started attending Valley Vineyard. I quickly made friends with the pastor’s wife Christy. We had children the same age, and it was a perfect fit. For two years we were content with our lives. Christy and I had so much in common: we exercised, made meals together, and our families became best friends. Then came the news that we had to move because Mike was starting a new company. I was devastated! Christy and I remained friends for a short period, but our busy lives would take its toll on our relationship. She was a friend that God placed in my path and I will forever be grateful for her. My friend Christy went home to be with the Lord at age 56. We were blessed to attend her beautiful service.

The Lord continues to place these individuals in our lives. You can serve as one of these angelic beings by becoming a friend to a stranger. It does not take much to meet the desires of someone who needs your friendship. We are all looking for love, and just like in the song by Kenny Rogers, we are looking for love in all the wrong places. REMEMBER:  to be used of God, you need to be near Him so you can hear what He is saying. In a whisper He breathes life into our spirits, but we must be yielded to what He wants of us. As busy as I was during these past weeks, I felt that the world got the best of me.


The Wise Men paying homage to baby Jesus


My prayer life was suffering because I was on overload. I slept a lot more than usual, and all the See’s Candy I was eating added to the lethargic mindset; the sugar played with my blood glucose, bringing me down to a new level of fatigue.   Then I opened an email to discover that Weight Watchers was not giving up on me. The deal was a sweet hallelujah, and I signed on the virtual dotted line. So here I am, Lord, coming to do your will. I have also decided to use my last season’s spring handbag one more time. God is Good!

Iris, me, Dani, and Brandon

The Real Epiphany

As a reminder, we are still celebrating Christmas until the Epiphany of the Lord, which falls on January 6th. Enjoy another two weeks of the glorious Christmas season. O Come, Let Us Adore Him! The Wise Men came bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The gold represents His birth, the frankincense His ministry, and the myrrh His death.

Matthew 2:10-11 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

10 They were overjoyed at seeing the star, 11 and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.


The Co-workers

I was delighted to work with the most wonderful group of people. These young adults are not only hard working, they are humble and don’t feel an entitlement. Many are still in college but manage their time to earn their own way. These millennials are cut from a different cloth, and God will help them every step of the way because they deserve special treatment for their efforts. My daughter Sonja and assitant manager Jacob have trained them well!

Ben Sira 3:18 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

18 Humble yourself the more, the greater you are,
    and you will find mercy in the sight of God.

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