Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Tara K. E. Brelinsky (News Consortium) Zebulon, NC

9/10/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Like dandelions to a child, so became my afflictions in His shadow. In learning to accept my struggles (to be grateful even) I was able to fashion them into a spiritual bouquet more lovely than any I could have arranged on my own

From planting hardy grass seed and fertilizing to watering then mowing and edging, diligent home owners invest hard-earned money and valuable time into manicuring their plots of earth. Neighborhood dwellers compete to keep up appearances when it comes to their square of land. Who doesn't want the coveted "Yard of the Month" sign anchored in their front yard for all to see and envy? So often we invest our time and energy into creating our own vision of beauty and perfection. Our homes and our lifestyle can mirror our image of reality, but sometimes it is really a vision based on worldly relativism rather than on Christ's example.

A Field of Dandelions.

A Field of Dandelions.

Highlights

By Tara K. E. Brelinsky (News Consortium) Zebulon, NC

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/10/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: dandelion, cross, trial, Jesus, sorrow, joy, suffering, redemptive suffering, holiness, Tara K. E. Brelinsky


ZEBULLON,NC (Catholic Online) - From planting hardy grass seed and fertilizing to watering then mowing and edging, diligent home owners invest hard-earned money and valuable time into manicuring their plots of earth. Neighborhood dwellers compete to keep up appearances when it comes to their square of land. Who doesn't want the coveted "Yard of the Month" sign anchored in their front yard for all to see and envy?

What grief befalls the vigilant landscaper when little yellow blooms emerge to take up residence in that lush green outdoor carpet threatening to thwart all chance for block superiority. Then the dandelion continues it insidious scheme of proliferation by morphing into white balls of seed transportation. In man versus nature, the battle persists endlessly.

Too many times to count, one of my little ones has met me with a beaming face and an outstretched fist   bearing the gift of one of those vexing blooms. And I recall my own youthful joy when, cheeks puffed, I blew my hopes and dreams aloft with those tiny, white, seed helicopters. Those dandelion bouquets, arranged in my best plastic drinking cups, scarcely seem a nuisance and who could resist the temptation to send a wish into the wind with one of those cotton ball heads.

So often we invest our time and energy into creating our own vision of beauty and perfection. Our homes and our lifestyle can mirror our image of reality, but sometimes it is really a vision based on worldly relativism rather than on Christ's example.

We hire realtors to help us in our hunt for the ideal house. Location, location, location is the mantra that guides our decisions as we search out the white-picket fenced lot in the right neighborhood. Keeping up with the Joneses incites us to measure our plans in square feet. If only we can afford the extra bonus room and bath, then we'll be content and able to entertain our friendly rivals.

A job with an impressive title and an equally significant pay scale is the goal. Then, there's the car needed to accompany that status so we can park in the company lot unashamed. And things, lots of things purchased with the monies earned from that career, that will surely make us satisfied.

Make-up, diets and designer clothes, hair color, pilates and the latest shoe fashions insure we look stunning and eternally youthful. Pop culture's starlet of the moment donned a fashionable baby bump while teetering on stilettos and two months postpartum she's back in her size 2 skinny jeans. Following her advice, we're guaranteed to look and feel like the belle of the ball.

One son and one daughter are the reward of careful family planning. Of course, we'll want them to be adorable, bright and self-sufficient so that they earn us a "My kid made honors at LaDeeDa Academy" bumper sticker. Reading parenting magazines and trusting the dictates of all the experts promises our offspring will excel at math and violin and soccer and science and...

But then authentic life happens and crosses spring up in the midst of our well constructed 
reality. A foreclosure, a job loss, an illness or a child with special needs interrupts our lifestyle like those weeds in the front yard. Try as we might, all our human efforts to fix the problems may fail to reach the roots allowing one trial to beget another and then another. If we focus on our limited personal capacity frustration, sorrow and disappointment may spread seeds of doubt and hopelessness within us.

My own life has more often looked like my yard, green with weeds and dotted with nature's choice of posies. However, I suppose at times I've deluded myself into believing I maintain some modicum of control over my lawn and my life. That began to change a few years ago as we shouldered burden after burden, cross upon cross, when I required surgery, miscarried repeatedly, my husband lost his job, medical bills piled up, unexplained fertility issues developed and depression descended often.

My prayerful pleading seemed unheard leaving me to battle germs of misgiving. While I never questioned God's existence or attributes, I did second-guess His concern for me and my worthiness to petition His aid. Maybe I lacked the right format or perhaps my novenas weren't sincere enough, I reasoned. If only I could craft the correct formula of penance and petition, then God would end my trials.

Instead He drew me closer to the cross. And isn't that the Way of Christ? Counter to all of our notions of success, He came into the world small and helpless, grew-up in obscurity and chose a life of material poverty. His ultimate goal was death on a cross, so that we could truly attain eternal happiness.

Like dandelions to a child, so became my afflictions in His shadow. In learning to accept my struggles (to be grateful even) I was able to fashion them into a spiritual bouquet more lovely than any I could have arranged on my own. And maybe He'll allow my prayers and talents to help scatter His seeds of faith here and there.

-----

Tara K. E. Brelinsky is a home schooling mother of eight living children, with six more heavenly ones who intercede. Married to her childhood sweetheart, they make their home in North Carolina where they teach Natural Family Planning, grow a garden, raise two dogs, a cat, a fish, ducks, roosters and a flock of hens (in addition to all those wonderful kids). Tara studied journalism a lifetime ago in college, but now she writes simply for the the glory of God. You can read more of her musings and inspirations on her blog "Blessings In Brelinskyville" (www.http://brelinskyville.blogspot.com/).

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Living Faith

The Church Needs to Be Baptized Afresh in the Holy Spirit Watch

Image of Do I still believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are available for ordinary Christians? You bet I do! I believe that Pentecost still happens. I KNOW it still happens. We can ALL know it still happens because we can experience its effects in our own lives. We should not be afraid of the Holy Spirit! In fact, we should regularly seek to be filled with more and more of the Spirit.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We need to pray for a New Pentecost for the Church in this hour! We need more of the Holy Spirit for the New Evangelization of the Church - so that a renewed Church can engage in the missionary task of the Third Christian Millennium. We need to be baptized afresh ... continue reading


Brotherhood of the Belt: Struggle, Trouble and Failure in the Christian Life Watch

Image of The Martyrdom of Peter

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Peter's wrong choices were not the end of the story of Gods plan for his life. Peter's denial crippled Peter emotionally and spiritually. He lost his way. That was until he encountered the Risen Christ. There, in that encounter, he allowed the belt of ... continue reading


The Purpose of Pentecost is the Birth and Ongoing Mission of the Church

Image of The purpose of Pentecost is the birth - and continued rebirth - of the Church.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Church was empowered by the Holy Spirit to live differently in the midst of a world awaiting the fullness of redemption, to live as a new people to lead the world back to the Father, in and through the Son. Through their experience of the Holy Spirit the early ... continue reading


Top 5 Roman Catholic colleges in the United States Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What constitutes being the best university is oftentimes subjective and usually in adherence to one's beliefs and practices. Choosing a college is one of the biggest decisions many people are making. Some opt for those that offer the best training in the fields of ... continue reading


Don't take your children 'hostage,' Pope tells separated couples Watch

Image of Christian communities, Pope Francis says

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In discussing the role of parents educating their children, Pope Francis in his General Audience, advised separated couples to "never, never, never take the children hostage!" LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pope spoke on the role of parents in the ... continue reading


A Baltimorean's reflections on the Baltimore riots

Image of

By Tony Magliano

"The God of peace is never glorified by human violence," wrote the famous Trappist monk Thomas Merton. Whether it's on an individual, city, national, or international level, violence always dishonors God, and makes bad situations worse. The recent Baltimore City riots ... continue reading


8 encouraging Bible verses to lift you up Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sometimes getting up in the morning can be the hardest thing you'll do all day. When life's worries press down on you and take your soul hostage, the most important thing you can do for yourself is turn to God. He will always be there for you, through the good times ... continue reading


Pope Francis tells bishops to act more like pastors - and not 'pilots' Watch

Image of The meeting between bishops will last until May 21. At that time, bishops will discuss how their faithful have received Pope Francis's apostolic exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, and look at ways to implement its teaching.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Addressing bishops in Italy, Pope Francis told them to act more like pastors than "pilots" telling the faithful what to do. The pontiff said that bishops need "Ecclesial sensitivity." They should remain bold in denouncing cultural trends that offend human ... continue reading


Five-year-old boy brings people to tears with heartfelt act of kindness Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During his meal at a Waffle House restaurant, 5-year-old Josiah Duncan's attention wandered to the man outside the establishment. The man, dirty and holding a plastic bag, became the center of the young boy's curiosity and concern. After learning from her mother that ... continue reading


Amazing 'Bulletproof' cross under construction in middle of Christian-hostile Pakistan Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Everything changed for a Pakistani businessman, trying to build one of the world's tallest and first "bulletproof" cross, after God appeared in his dreams. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Parvez Henry Gill, a real estate businessman, claimed  God gave ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 17:19-27
19 Their actions are all as plain as the sun to him, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7
1 [Of David Poem] How blessed are those whose offence ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:17-27
17 He was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 25th, 2015 Image

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
May 25: It would be easy to concentrate on the mystical experiences God ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter