Friday, April 22, 2016


Gratitude. This is a very important word, and one we tend to forget all too often. To be technical, the dictionary defines this word as: the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Thankful, or being full of thanks, makes us appreciate everything we receive, and give that back to others in the same way. Everyone knows the phrase, "The Lord loves a cheerful giver." But, are we also a cheerful receiver? Sometimes we even feel guilty about receiving gifts or having things go too smoothly in our lives. Or on the other hand, we can take things for granted when everything is perfect.  

Here's a loaded question. Are we ever grateful for our sufferings in life? That may sound ridiculous. For suffering taken in itself is not a good thing. However, we know that when united to Christ's sufferings on the cross, they bear much merit and fruit in our lives. Everything we suffer in this life for God becomes a glory for us in the next. 

If you haven't already read it, I highly recommend "Joy in Suffering." It is a novena booklet by Bishop A. A. Noser according to St. Therese. Here is a quote of St. Therese from the book. "It is such a joy to think that for each little pain borne with joy, we shall love God more throughout eternity." We should not only accept our crosses each day, but actually be grateful for them because they will help us love God better. 

I am terrible at this myself, but it is a great goal we can all shoot for. Now, I started this post about gratitude, and I end up talking about joy in our sufferings. But, gratitude does lead to joy. When we are thankful for everything God has given us in our life, we are truly happy. And we find ways to be content and peaceful about our life and its difficulties. 

The inspiration for this post came from seeing my website/blog reach 2,000 page views today. I especially want to thank all of the viewers and readers out there. Many people probably reach that number in a few days or a few weeks. But to reach that in four months feels really great to me. I hope everyone has enjoyed reading the posts over the last few months. I certainly enjoy writing them! Keep on reading!

P.S. I am now at page 100 in my first novel. Shooting for July to finish! You can look forward to a good, lighthearted mystery novel filled with suspense and fun! And lots of suspects!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Easy Chicken Noodle Casserole

If you are like me, you like easy cooking. And cooking that can be done quickly. This is one of my favorite casserole recipes. It's really simple, uses common ingredients, and makes two dishes, so there's left-over or enough for a big group. And if you have kids, it's an easy dish they can be a part of making. 


2 cans (12.5 oz. each) cooked chicken breast
7 oz (about 2 cups) uncooked spaghetti noodles, broken into two inch pieces
1 cup of sliced (1/4 in. thick) celery
1 cup of sliced (1/4 in. rounds) carrots
1 cup of chicken broth
2 cans (10.5 oz. each) cream of chicken 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine chicken, spaghetti, celery, and carrots in a large bowl.
Combine broth, cream of chicken, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and stir with whisk.
Combine two bowls together and toss. 
Coat two glass dishes 7x11 in. with cooking spray and divide mixture between them.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese over each mixture.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and vegetables soft. 
Take out and enjoy! EASY!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Mother Angelica 1923-2016

I am sure most people have seen the news of the death of Mother Angelica. There are so many people whose lives she has touched in some way. And that was her goal. To reach souls and help lead them to God.

A lot of people share their stories of how she helped them to become a better person. I never knew her personally, but for myself, I have always been inspired by her courage. She used to say that "boldness should have been the eleventh commandment." Most people wouldn't have the guts to do half the things she did. So many odds were against her. So many people disagreed with her. That didn't matter to Mother. She saw that God was asking her to do something for Him, and she did it. 

Mother Angelica has so many wonderful sayings and quotes. But two of my favorite quotes are:

"If you want to do something for the Lord do it! . . . Being afraid is not a problem. It's doing nothing when you are afraid, that's the problem." And: "I'm not afraid to fail. . . . I'm scared to death of dying and having the Lord say to me, "Angelica, this is what you might have done had you trusted more."

Mother has shown us so much about the ways of holiness in her life. I think she teaches us how to be bold for the Lord the most. How to do great things for Him, even if you're scared, even if everything is against you. Those things are not important. As she says, what matters is that we do it for the love of God, so He will be able to say to us, "Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." (Matthew 25)

More than likely we will never found a monastery, nor build a television network, nor many of the other things Mother did. But, she challenges us by her life to do what we can and what is in our own power to do great and little things for God each day. 

Let us also though not forget to pray for her. Even though she could be canonized one day, we should still offer her our prayers. She would be the first to tell us that. And if she isn't in need of them, then may she pray for us and help us get to Heaven too.