Heart Shaped Stone

a one year old baby Catholic with a Rosary and she's not afraid to use it

Twenty one weeks and a day. September 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kortni @ 5:38 pm

Growing up is difficult business.

There are a lot of parallels between the childhood type of growing up and growing up in faith. Life is joyful, bright, full of enthralled discovery, growing in love along with your family.

Then things get more confusing — we develop our own wants. We start to want things our way. We want our toys, our preference of food, our agenda, our plans to work in life. Just now as I was writing this, I was distracted by something someone else wanted me to do, and the first thing that crossed my mind was, “Really? I’m working on something. Why can’t I do what I want to do?”

In a word, we become selfish. In my case, I got proud, thinking that what I’m doing is more important than what else I could be doing, or what others are asking of me.

Looking back, I think I’ve been this way for a very long time.

I’ve been working on growing in selflessness. I am learning to find joy in serving others, and less pride in a job well done. I pray for guidance in doing the will of my Father and dread less the disasters that the day may hold. I question my dreams; instead of planning what I want my life to look like, I hold those sketches up to God’s plans and wonder, “Is that what you might have in mind for me? I know your plans are greater than mine, Lord.”

And I’m also learning my human limits. My body gets exhausted so much more quickly than my mind or my will. There are things I can’t control and things I can’t conquer on my own. Worrying about it doesn’t help at all.

I am human, and I can only do so much. I can’t do everything.

I have to learn to depend on God to do what I can’t.


Twenty weeks and three days. September 13, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kortni @ 8:13 pm

I don’t know about you, but my life is intense right now. Every day, every moment for the past several weeks, has been intense. Blink-and-miss-something intense. Pray hard but don’t have any words besides gibberish and “help me” when you pray.

I had choir rehearsal last Wednesday at the cathedral. What an amazingly talented group of people – this feels, musically speaking, like stepping up from middle school choir to high school honor choir. I sang with them on Sunday – a way different experience than I’m used to. I couldn’t hear anyone but my section in that cramped balcony, but I was told we sounded excellent. I trust my friends….and I miss my little small church choir all the more.

I almost knew everybody’s name when we fell apart. Now I have to start all over, and find a robe that isn’t too big for me.

And I went to confession today.

Confession is really hard when you have a hearing problem and the priest is really impatient. I have no idea what he told me… I just said “Yes, Father” to everything. And then got a ton of penance.

Maybe I really was just that bad this past month.

What’s to say my Father isn’t impatient and frustrated with me, too?

I catch myself wondering if He would…be happier with me if I were quieter, if I didn’t bother Him as much. If I tried harder not to sin and just kept to myself. If I listened to Him and kept quiet the rest of the time.

Because I am not worthy to be called His child.

I don’t even know if I’m forgiven for what I did.

But I would rather scrub the floors in His house as an orphan, too ashamed to even ask His forgiveness, than stay a day longer in a place where the Lord and his laws are not.

Why should He be mindful of me?


Nineteen weeks and two days. September 5, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kortni @ 7:23 pm

Our choir director left.

We had a tropical storm this weekend, so I went to mass at another church. And I may end up singing in the choir there.

I don’t want to leave my “home” church, but maybe this is what needs to happen.

The Lord and I are walking together a lot more lately.

Learning to trust Him is so hard when you’re a control freak.

I need your prayers…for this, and for so much more.


Surviving a tropical storm (or other hurricane-like thing): Baby Catholic edition September 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kortni @ 5:51 pm

I know I need to write a nineteen week update, but I’m in the middle of Tropical Storm Lee (which is nothing to write home about….wait, I am home) and some of you guys went through Irene and may be affected by Katia. I just wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned over the years… And some of this should be common sense to you guys.

1. If you live close to coastal waters, get inland. Seriously. Rule number one: listen to the warnings. Katrina still haunts us down here in Louisiana because so many people didn’t.

2. Get ready. Prepare for at least three to five days without power. Know if you’re in an area prone to flooding. Get batteries and food at least two days before everyone else will think about it. You will want a radio to find out what’s going on when everything else has gone down. Fill up your car and keep it full. If you have to get out in bad weather, it helps to have a few extra pounds in your car – a bag of potting soil or cat food in the trunk. Have enough medication for the storm. And do your laundry.

3. If you’re evacuating, please, people, don’t leave your pets behind. If you’re not, keep them inside.

4. Secure things outside that might blow or be damaged by falling debris and trees. If you can park your car in a garage or enclosure, do it.

5. If the area you live in tends to flood even moderately, a pair of wading boots is a good investment.

6. Charge your stuff. Cellphone, Kindle, iPad, you know.

6.5. If you have a friend out of town who can monitor the weather for you and keep you up to date thru text messaging, let them know exactly where you live. Knowing about a tornado warning when radio stations have gone down could be life saving.

7. If you’re running a portable generator, keep it away from the house, with the exhaust pointing away from windows. Carbon monoxide can kill you in your sleep. Refuel the generator only when it’s cooled down. Have your fuel supply full beforehand, of course. If the extension cord you’re using feels hot on the cord or the plug, you’re trying to pull too much power through it and it’s a fire hazard. Use a cord with a higher power rating, and the shorter the cord the less voltage you will lose over the cord’s distance. Having a window unit air conditioner run by a generator was a blessing during our last hurricane, but even with 5kw of generator power, it wasn’t enough to run the unit without overheating the cord. Aim high with your wattage if you buy one. And watch your oil levels.

8. Permanent, whole-house standby generators are safer than portable generators. Again, stay clear of the exhaust, and make sure everything is in working order before the storm hits. If you’re considering a whole house generator, think about the chance of flooding too. Ours is on a foot of cinder blocks to keep water away from the engine. As a side note, if you live in the south and have a whole house unit, “quiet mode” for the weekly exerciser will kill your generator engine – it has something to do with the humidity/air pressure down here and how it affects natural gas combustion. Change it to normal mode or get your contractor/maintenance people to do it for you.

9. Stock up on things to do for you and the kids if you have any. Books, puzzles, games… Our family tradition is putting coins in rolls. Pray the rosary as a family. Have a Bible study night. Life without power gets boring pretty quickly.

10. Pray. Whenever a storm hits, there is always a reason to pray.

Did I miss anything?


Eighteen weeks. August 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kortni @ 7:05 pm

I am overwhelmed.

I am staying up tonight on tornado watch for my friend and her family in New York as they ride out a hurricane. When we got our bad hurricane a few years ago, she stayed up and kept us updated on bad weather and warnings when we had no other contact with the outside world.

Having friends is good.

Having friends you can be honest with over anything is even better.

Tomorrow is the last day I sing in the choir at the church where I was born a baby Catholic. For a lot of different reasons, our choir director is having to resign.

Part of me is looking forward to being a “normal” Catholic for a little while. With time before Mass to talk to Daddy.

The other part of me is very sad that this is happening. I had dreams of singing Christmas music, learning the new order of Mass in a few weeks at rehearsal, learning to cantor.

My Father has other plans.

And I am going  to go where He leads me.


An earthquake on the east coast. Then a hurricane.

Something is up.


I need to pray more.

Maybe we all do.


In which things make sense on this side of Heaven. August 24, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kortni @ 8:59 pm

I have come to the conclusion that I am a control freak.

This is a problem.

I am not a pilot. (I’m a really good navigator, but I’m not a pilot.)

God is.

I need to let go. I can’t control it. It’s not my place.

I need to trust Him.

Because Jesus knows what my tomorrow holds. He knows what’s best for me.

I trust that.

Because no matter what I walk into tomorrow, Jesus is there.

No matter what happens to me, He is with me. He has this all planned out.

(In which case, that means He’s the navigator too. But He doesn’t even need a map.)

So what can I do?



Be merciful.


Not worry about things out of my control. Or the future. Or what my plans for life look like.

Do the best I can with what I’ve been given and what I know.

Grow, one day to the next.


A lot.

Why, I think I will.


Dear Jesus… August 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kortni @ 8:46 pm

Dear Jesus,

I’m not perfect.

I make mistakes.

I don’t always know the right thing to do.

I fail to see where I can help others.

I’m selfish sometimes.

I don’t give as much as I should. Or as much as I could.

I worry. My anxiety gets the best of me.

When things go wrong, I find myself not trusting my Father as I should.

Sometimes I get mad at Him for things going on in my life.

Sometimes I fall asleep without saying my prayers at night.

Sometimes, I don’t talk to You for days at a time.

Sometimes I run from You because I’m ashamed of what I’ve done.

I wish I was smarter.

I wish I was kinder.

I wish I could do better in this life, for You.

I’m not good enough for anybody down here, Jesus.

Do You still love me?


Your baby sister


Seventeen weeks and two days. August 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kortni @ 8:40 pm

The day I turned seventeen weeks old, I made my first confession.

It is nowhere near as terrifying as we converts probably often fear. There is no judgment passed, no scathing words that you would expect to come from God after you screw up. Just healing and forgiveness.

I went to confession with my friend. The priest was late due to an accident at the nursing home he was visiting. We took this to mean that there was a fender bender in front of the nursing home. When Father arrived, he told us he got pooped on and had to change. Way to make my first confession memorable.

Mother Mary said she would go with me, though. And she did. She sat on my left side.

I’m feeling called even more strongly to prayer. I need to get my priorities straight.

I am worried about something at work tomorrow. But worried is a strong word for a baby Catholic who trusts her Daddy. I would admit more readily to being apprehensive and nervous, and hoping for His will in all things. Praying for it.

I took a walk down the road with Jesus earlier. It’s been a long time since we did that. Things have changed. Someone is building a house in the middle of the heaven field. So on the right side of the road, a lot of the trees have been cut down to make way for power lines.

It isn’t the same.

I sang at a funeral mass today. I should blog about that in its entirety. It was something I needed to see.

A week ago, Beep Beep died.

Lots of things are changing. I’m not sure if I like it. In fact, I’m pretty sure I don’t. My world is suddenly changing a whole lot from when I was baptized. I’m scared of it changing more.

And so, in faith and love and trust in God, we march on toward eternity.


In Passing. August 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kortni @ 7:03 pm

As I rushed out the door to mass this morning, I knew I was forgetting something. Bag, wallet, phone, keys, rosary, check – nothing missing.

So on I went about my day. I ended up skipping mass due to work and making it up later with a friend. The nagging forgetful feeling mixed with a lingering panic attack and didn’t quite leave me until around 3 this afternoon.

Something about today wasn’t quite right, and I never was able to put my finger on it.

Until I got out of mass, when my mom sent me a message. “I can’t find Beep Beep.”

My gray striped tabby with a crook at the end of his tail who couldn’t meow but instead beeped all the time — he stretched out under my mom’s bed to take a nap, and woke up in the arms of God.

I forgot to scratch his head this morning before I left.

I have been assured that St. Michael scratched it for me.


Sixteen weeks and a day. August 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kortni @ 4:56 pm

I’ve been quiet this week.

I did indeed get sick this week. I’m not sure if it was something I ate or a bug going around, but my digestive system has been revolted with everything I feed it lately. I’m not out of the woods yet.

I have neglected my prayer life. I need to fix that. But I am more aware of Who is around me throughout the day than I was before.

I think we survived a battle this week.

I’m seriously questioning some things in my life where I need to make decisions.

I am trying desperately to trust that Daddy knows best when sometimes I feel like He’s leading me straight off a cliff. Terrified. This hit me today in mass for no reason – just terrified at the idea of what He might ask me to do, where He might want me to go.

Why do we get so scared?

I trust Him. I do.

Perhaps this lifetime of little trials in trust issues prepares us for moments when we have to choose to trust Him.

Thinking about that freaks me out.

But I know His perspective is way bigger than mine.