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 July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Living Faith

Refugees are 'in the image and likeness of God, which is the basis of human dignity.' Watch

Image of From a Catholic perspective, migrants should above all be recognized as persons created

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

Warning: A graphic and disturbing photo is shown below. Reader discretion is advised. Vatican City (CNA) - A Vatican official in charge of assisting migrants spoke about the increasing number of refugees around the globe and stressed that they should be welcomed as ... continue reading


A charming children's bedtime storybook that every kid will love

Image of

By Tony Magliano

Recognizing Everyday Miracles "Cracks in the Sidewalk" by Tony Magliano. Eastern Christian Publications (Fairfax, Va., 2015). 28 pp., $9.95.By Loretta NemethTony Magliano, best known as an internationally syndicated social justice and peace columnist, enters the ... continue reading


California church severely vandalized with bleach and satanic graffiti Watch

Image of St. St. Paul's Tabernacle Baptist Church was the recipient of a hate crime in San Francisco, California

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A predominantly-black San Francisco church was vandalized with homophobic, racial and satanic references spray painted on and inside the building. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - The St. Paul's Tabernacle Baptist Church vandalism has been classified as a ... continue reading


Group of Christians spontaneously perform outside movie theater to inspire 'War Room' viewers Watch

Image of A group gathers to join in the worship at North Carolina's Concord Mills movie theater.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

One Christian leader group was so inspired by the release of the movie War Room that they decided to flood the atrium of a local mall in Charlotte, North Carolina with Christian music and a lively performance. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - War Room, ... continue reading


Pilgrimage with Pope Francis - FOURTH STATION - St. Anne, patron of grandparents and single women

Image of Saint Anne, pray for us!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Welcome to the fourth station on our virtual pilgrimage to Philadelphia with Pope Francis ahead of the World Meeting of Families. Let us pray! About St. AnneSaint Anne is the grandmother of Jesus Christ and mother to the Virgin Mary. Very little is known about her, but ... continue reading


'I hope the Pope can sing along!' Washington D.C. choir looks forward to Pope's U.S. visit Watch

Image of

By Adelaide Mena, CNA/EWTN News

Choir members from around the Washington, D.C. archdiocese chosen to sing for Pope Francis during his visit later this month hope to stir the soul of the pontiff - and maybe even inspire him to sing along. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "Our purpose is to ... continue reading


Pope Francis beseeches world to give thanks and protect all life on Day of Creation Watch

Image of Pope Francis had announced last month that the Catholic Church would join the Orthodox Church in marking the prayer day September 1 each year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During an evening celebration of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, Pope Francis prayed that God would "enlighten the lords of power and money so they would not fall into indifference, but would love the common good, encourage the weak and care ... continue reading


SSPX confessions valid during Jubilee, Pope Francis declares - many pray schism will end Watch

Image of Pope Francis has extended an olive branch to the SSPX. Will our brothers and sisters accept it, or will they perceive it as a slight?

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Absolutions granted by priests of the Fraternity of St. Pius X (SSPX) will have the full support of the Pope Francis and the Church during the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. The notice was given by Pope Francis in a special letter in which he announced the ... continue reading


POPE FRANCIS ISSUES EXTRAORDINARY INDULGENCE - Here's how you and others can obtain it Watch

Image of Pope Francis has issued an extraordinary indulgence for all who seek to reconcile with God.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is issuing a Jubilee Indulgence that he hopes will allow people to experience God's mercy and grace. In preparation for the coming Jubilee, Pope Francis has published a letter to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, who heads his council for the promotion of the ... continue reading


Priest asks, what would St. Francis of Assisi do if he were alive today? Watch

Image of Although Pope Francis presided over the celebration, Fr. Cantalamessa (who has been preacher to the Papal Household since St. John Paul II appointed him in 1980) gave the homily.

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

On the first World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, the preacher to the papal household said that St. Francis of Assisi is a key model in showing the link between faith in God and care for our common home. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - Saint Francis "is ... 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, Colossians 1:15-20
15 He is the image of the unseen God, the first-born ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:1, 2, 3, 4, 5
1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:33-39
33 They then said to him, 'John's disciples are ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 4th, 2015 Image

St. Rosalia
September 4: St. Rosalia, daughter of Sinibald, Lord of Roses and Quisquina, ... 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