Answered Prayers

by Christine on May 22, 2014

God is so good to me.  I shouldn’t question it but I do.  There are a lot of people out there that are much more loyal to Him than I am.  There are lots of people that pray more than I do.  There are a lot of people out there that deserve his blessings more than I do.  Yet He chooses to answer my prayers.  Those spoken and those held in the secret of my heart.

I strive to do God’s will every day.  Sometimes I think I succeed and sometimes I fail miserably.  But I know I’m loved and allowed to give it another try.  And I am grateful that God loves me regardless. However, in the last few months we have been so blessed by God’s graces that’s it’s almost overwhelming.

In 2001 when we bought our business, Boogey Lights, we bought property here in East Tennessee.  At that time we traveled constantly in our motor home and just needed a place to park for the winter months or the week-ends where we didn’t have to be anywhere.

Over the years on that property we built a shop with offices and installed a nice mobile home.  We were no longer full time RVers!  A few years later we sold the mobile home and built a beautiful log home and added my dream farm.  We then bought an adjacent piece of property with a home on it that we use as rental units to workers from the local nuclear plant.

What a beautiful piece of property we now had!  It is truly picturesque and depending on the season, can be breathtaking!  But with all of that comes many, many responsibilities.  The cost of maintenance on this size property (about 16 acres), is quite high.  The time involved to upkeep it is almost a full time job.  Vacuuming my house thoroughly takes over 3 hours!

Our life was no longer simple – it became complicated and expensive because we had “stuff” to manage, to maintain, to improve, etc.  We have 7 rooms in 2 separate buildings that we rent out and manage.  It really didn’t make any sense.  Although I was very happy with my life, I just couldn’t imagine that God was happy with all the money and time we were spending on “stuff”.

We realized we needed to make changes.  We prayed about it, hemmed and hawed about it and prayed some more! In August we found a great realtor and put our property on the market.  She was optimistic but realistic.  We have one of the nicest homes in the area – couldn’t get accurate comps.  We are surrounded by obvious poverty.  The housing market in this area is still struggling.  Still we were confident and encouraged to move ahead.

In November we were fortunate enough to be able to sell the part of our business that we disliked the most and by the grace of God, we had a buyer!  We were on the road to simplifying!

Since we no longer traveled for business, we no longer needed the huge truck we were driving, necessary to pull a 40” trailer.   We also had a brand new 38” RV which we rarely used.  We traded both of those for a new, fuel efficient hybrid.

We had casually started house hunting in a location in west Knoxville that we thought was where we wanted to relocate.  However, our realtor named Angel, had other plans for us.  She showed us a home minutes south of downtown Knoxville & we immediately fell in love with it!  It could not have been more perfect for us!  All we could think of was moving to this house but we couldn’t afford moving before selling the property in Spring City.  We made an offer contingent upon selling our current home and continued to pray.

At this point we had shown our property a few times and with the help of St-Joseph (not buried, mind you but sitting on the fireplace mantle), we remained optimistic.  Sure enough, around Christmas time, he sent us a buyer and by early February we had a good offer.  Not only were we able to sell the house but they also bought all the furniture & equipment we wanted to sell!

We closed on our property in Spring City on February 13th & February 14th we closed on our new home in Knoxville.  Our Angel was with us on Valentine’s Day as we purchased the home that would mark the beginning of a new life for us!

The only ties we now had to this area was the extra property we had purchased that was being used as a rental units for the local nuclear plant.  Our realtor had expressed interest in purchasing it…  and after a short visit and examining the numbers, she decided to buy it for the asking price!

Scott and I were shell-shocked!  We were done but apparently God wasn’t. Through an unlikely encounter, we were introduced to a gentleman who was looking to purchase a tractor… guess who had one for sale?  That was it… everything that we had owned that tied us to this area was sold.  Our simple life in our simple home in Knoxville was waiting for us.  Gone were all the responsibilities that kept us from spending more time doing Gods work.  We were “free” and the feeling was awesome!  We went out to have a “celebratory” dinner and just before we left, Scott posted our good fortune on Facebook with the note, “Now all we have left for sale is our business.. anyone interested?”  What do you think happened?  Someone contacted us with great interest.

Everything happened very fast as this buyer was someone who knew us and saw the potential for a highly successful venture.  Brad was one of our first customers when we purchased Boogey Lights.  He and Scott had so much in common that our business relationship became a friendship.  Who would have thought when he came into our life in 2002 to buy lights for his bike that someday he would buy our company?  God had a plan & it started way before we could imagine it.

After a few weeks of easy negotiations, yesterday we turned over our business to the Butlers.  Boogey Lights had been our “baby” since November of 2001… I can’t remember a day going by since then that we weren’t “working”… that’s how it is when you own your business & are sole proprietors.

Today is Scott & my 15th year wedding anniversary and we are celebrating it as our first day of full retirement.  That doesn’t mean that we become idle… far from it.  I’m pursuing my hobby to make it a full time business – Smiley Fun Makers, children’s entertainment while Scott is more & more involved with our church and his continued formation in the Diaconate program.

God has cleared the path for us.  He has removed all obstacles that were in a way keeping us from giving our time and talents to Him.  We’re excited, we’re ready & we are willing!  We are overwhelmed (and still shell shocked), and a little anxious.  What does He have in store for us that He went ahead and answered all of our prayers?

One thing is for sure; now that I don’t have the same daily obligations to be “at the office”, going to daily Mass with my husband is a first priority!

My friends, the last 6 months have taught me great wisdom.  Be patient & trust God with all your heart.  He has a plan for you – just open your heart and say, “Yes Lord!”.

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Congrats Deacon Ralph & wife Mary!

by Christine on May 6, 2013

The following is a contribution by Mary from the diocese of Cincinnati. She has graciously accepted to write about her experience.

Saturday, April 27, 2013 was an unbelievable day for me as the wife of a newly ordained permanent deacon. Our journey began in 2005 when my husband, a very quiet introverted electrical engineer, came back from living his Cursillo weekend and told me that he thought God wanted something more from him. I really thought he was just having that mountain top experience that one has after making such an intense weekend. But his call never left him and after two years of Lay Pastoral Ministry and three years of Formation, this glorious day came.

It was never ever easy for him or for me. He often says that his Formation was more difficult than completing two advanced degrees in engineering. He was nervous at public speaking and had lots of trouble writing all his papers and memorizing facts for tests. But the Holy Spirit was there for him every step of the way.

Ralph & MaryI attended classes with him- 45 weekends over three years, which meant we missed lots of family activities and weddings, etc. Someone in our class figured out that we put on over 7,000 miles in traveling from our house to the seminary on those formation weekends. We also had a lot of discerning during this time. It was never what I call a “slam dunk” once he was in the program- no guarantee of ordination. Then came his canonical retreat this Spring and a peace came over him like I have never seen before. I knew then that this is what God wanted for him so writing my letter to the Archbishop came a lot easier than I had thought.

Ordination day was filled with so many tears before Mass began. Every time I saw family members or other wives, I cried but as the music started and the procession began the tears went away and I was totally in the moment. I felt the Holy Spirit and when my husband laid down and the Litany was sung, my soul just sang. He later told me that a feeling of heat went over his back as he lay on the ground- like a healing heat. This week is like being on a honeymoon with God- so many persons have sent gifts and messages and we also received a spiritual bouquet from our friends in Cursillo with offerings of Masses, rosaries, adoration and more.

All I can say is keep trusting in God’s will as you go through formation with your husband. I know we will have challenges but I also know that He will be with my husband and me all along this new journey. God Bless You, Mary G., the new deacon’s wife

What a beautiful message of encouragement! Congratulations Deacon Ralph and again, Thank you Mary for sharing.

God bless you both!

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Stations of the Cross – Mary’s way

March 23, 2013

Last night the ladies of my parish, St-Mary Catholic Church hosted a “Stations of the Cross” prayer night for our parish & community. We first shared a meal of baked potatoes with fixin’s and enjoyed fellowship prior to meeting in the church for prayer. For Roman Catholics throughout the world, the Stations of the Cross […]

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Bike Week 2013 – Come and gone…

March 18, 2013

I have a diversified life.  For instance, we’ve just spent the last 2 weeks in Daytona, Florida for the east coast’s largest yearly motorcycle rally where my aspirant husband Scott & I sell and install our Boogey Lights – the product of the company we own since 2001. Actually, he and I just sell & […]

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2013… Already?

January 3, 2013

The older I get, the faster the years just wiz by!  I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one that feels this way – it’s funny how when you’re young, time just crawls slowly along…  couldn’t wait to be “13”, couldn’t wait to be “18”, couldn’t wait to be 21!  Now here I […]

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Our Blessed Mother

November 14, 2012

A few years ago while Scott & I attended the Eucharistic Congress in Atlanta, I caught site of a man carrying a canvas image of Our Blessed Mother.  He was walking quite briskly, obviously with a destination in mind.  I was only able to see the image briefly but I knew when I saw it, […]

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Post Election Thoughts from the Aspirant

November 7, 2012

Christine said it would be alright for me to do a guest post here once in awhile. I thought today would be a good time to do so as I’ve had quite a day of reflection after reading several of the post-election blog posts and commentary. Thanks for letting me share on your platform, sweety. […]

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To be or not to be…

September 1, 2012

In an earlier post I wrote about how I wasn’t convinced this was a journey my husband was supposed to take.  How could it?  This was life changing and it involved me also.  Actually, my part of this journey was quite more than “involving”…  my full support was expected – or more likely, necessary!  So […]

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7 Quick Takes Friday 2nd edition

September 1, 2012

Deacon’s Aspirant’s Wife 2nd edition — 1 — I’m new to the “Quick Takes” thing & so I forgot about it…  Here I am writing it on Saturday as I wait for my connection in Philadelphia to take me home to Knoxville.  Speaking of Knoxville, that’s where my husband is waiting for me and I […]

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7 Quick Takes Friday

August 24, 2012

Deacon’s Aspirant’s Wife 1st Edition — 1 — I became a “natural” Grandma” for the 2nd time this week!  I say natural because I’m a grandmother to 6 beautiful children through my husband.  Earlier this week my daughter & her husband blessed us with a second grand daughter.  Aimée Marie Renée Orser was born Tuesday, August […]

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