Little House of
morning as I write this, even though it's gray outside, I still feel a joy at
the bottom of my heart to be here. I
am full of gratitude that God has blessed me with such a place, such a haven of
peace, my home. God's glory
revealed every day, to me and through me. It's
too bad I can't live here forever.
been three and a half years. It's
a modest place; a little Cape Cod. But for a suburban community, it has
a little bit of land (about a quarter acre).
And across the street, the river flows, so they will never build there.
When I look out the window, all I see are trees.
knew this was the place for me the moment I walked in the back yard and looked
beyond the covered deck to see the statue of the Blessed Mother.
And with God's blessing, my bid was accepted and it became mine.
former owners lived here for sixty years. Sophie,
her husband, and two sons. I feel
Sophie's presence here. I feel her
watching over me, as if I'm her protege, the only other woman to ever live
here in this house. I sensed her
delight that first spring, as the perennials they planted popped up; different
flowers each week; daffodils and tulips brought unexpected splashes of colors
after a drab winter. The lush
magnolia tree. The hydrangeas,
lilac bushes. I wanted a dogwood but
I couldn't afford it. I'm
partial to the pink dogwoods, which I had at my two previous homes.
They remind me of my dad, whose front yard in Quitman was covered in
white dogwoods. Dad was an avid
gardener. I remember growing up, he
planted so many trees. And then he
started gardening, and our one acre seemed to shrink as the vegetable garden
grew larger and larger each year. What
a blessing it was for him to retire in Quitman!
God's country, he called it. With
four and a half acres, it was like heaven on earth for him.
morning I'm reminded of that first spring.
For the past several days I've been watching the pink flowers open up
on the dogwood out front. But that first
spring, I didn't
realize till the bare trunks blossomed that I did have a dogwood, and it
stands over twenty feet tall! I
could just picture my daddy smiling down at me.
can you not see God in the beauty of nature?
I begin every morning with prayer, sitting in the living room in my
"prayer spot". Then one day as I
was praying the Rosary, I looked up, and the cross appeared in the woods across
the street. And it's been there
ever since! What a gift to have a
nature-made cross to pray before every single day!
Blessed Mother came to me again. This
time, with rays of light pouring out of her Immaculate Heart.
It reminds me of the second Joyful Mystery - the Visitation.
"How is it that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?"
wanted a name for my home, my haven; this place where I feel the presence of God
constantly. Then I discovered St.
Luigi Guanella, founder of an orphanage and nursing home which he named the Little House of Divine Providence.
"That's it!" I thought to myself.
"That's the name I've been searching
It's perfect, because somehow God has always provided.
Looking back at His providence amazes me. All
the credit and all the glory goes to God!
have been transcribing the journals of a holy woman of faith. She
wrote as if Jesus was speaking to her directly.
One day, this is what I read:
child - be patient with yourself and others - do not try to accomplish too many
things - enjoy fellowship and camaraderie with others - witness to My miracles -
leave room and space to grow and be nourished -do not be anxious about anything
- place all concerns and troubles in My hands - remember this house is My gift
to you - I will see to it that it is kept so as to glorify My name - be patient
- all things will come together.
was filled with such hope. My
worries melted away. I continued to
trust in God that all would go well and that He will provide.
But as time goes on, it is becoming increasingly more difficult.
"How are you going to pull it off this time, Lord?" I would jokingly
ask. When I first moved here, I had
a plan A and a Plan B and a Plan C. God
laughs at my plans.
you think you're on top of the world and then, life knocks you down.
I feel like I could stay here forever.
But alas, God has other plans...
while back, I felt a calling to raise awareness about mental disorders.
It's taken two years to finally get started and Fresh Ingredients
is beginning to take shape. I
realize now that the two years was well spent.
Just because God puts a dream in your heart doesn't mean it has to
happen today. He will prepare you,
He will put you in the right place at the right time, He will put all the ducks
in a row. And when you focus on God,
give Him all your plans to do with as He will, and commit to doing everything
for the glory of God, you will see your plans fulfilled.
surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare
and not for harm, to give you a future with hope."
the end of 2015, it became more and more apparent that I have to move on from
this Little House of Divine Providence. At
I didn't want to believe it was true. Then
I put it on the back burner, to take care of other commitments and obligations.
This past Lent has been an incredible journey for me.
I focused on my service work, and instead of worrying (which doesn't
work and only makes you feel bad) I decided to focus on today.
heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His
kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself."
week, I will shift gears and focus on selling my Little House.
But it's tearing me apart. Last
night, I cried, and I begged the Lord to let me stay here. Father, take this cup
from me... yet, not my will, but yours be done...
as I was praying the Divine Mercy chaplet, the theme was mercy to those who
glorify God (7th Day). This gives me
Jesus is our Hope; through His merciful Heart as through an open gate, we pass
through to Heaven. Amen." (St.
Faustina's Diary, 1570)
I have to give up the one earthly thing that is most important to me. It's
the only thing I felt was truly mine. But
I must be obedient to the call of God. This
house was a gift of mercy. I will
always treasure the memories of my time here. But
it's not my permanent home. God
meant it as a haven during a transitional period in my life. But
it's not the end of my life, and it's not for eternity. It
has been a slice of heaven on earth.
now there is work to be done, for His kingdom and for His glory.
first Joyful Mystery - Mary asked the angel, "How can this be?" The
angel replied, "Nothing will be impossible with God". (Luke 1:34, 37)
can't do it in my own, but "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens
me". (Philippians 4:13)
I'm praying this morning, I look out the window and I see the dogwood petals
dancing in the wind. Someone else
may have missed the cross that the petals formed. But I see it. And
I begin to pray. Oh God, I'm so thankful for this new day, thankful even for the
gray skies and the rain.
now, as I finalize this article, I just discovered that Saint Luigi Guanella was
ordained on May 26, 1866. This is my dad's birthday... Daddy, I know, you're still
smiling down on me.
I now realize that God's country is wherever you are, as long as you let Him