Joy Battista

"Joy Battista" stands for the Joy of John the Baptist at the presence of Christ.

"And how have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, the moment that the sound of thy greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leapt for joy." Luke 1:43-44

This blog is dedicated to all who seek the Joy of Christ's presence in their own lives.
This blog is also dedicated to the unborn, for John the Baptist was an unborn when he leapt for joy at the presence of Jesus who was also unborn at the time.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"The More One Struggles the More One Succeeds"

My last written blog was about the glorious day I was having last Friday. Well, that day has been followed by some not so glorious days. The harder I have been trying to be a Saint these last few days the more trials and tribulations seem to come my way. So far I feel like I keep flunking my tests in patience and love toward my family and even toward myself.

But alas, I keep picking myself up and trying again and again. I keep trying to not yell at my kids and my husband. I keep trying to not over eat, nor drink too much coffee, or overspend on my credit card. This list could go on and on. And the biggest thing I have been trying to do is to learn that I shouldn’t let my trials and tribulations become major crises.

Early on in my study, “You can become a Saint,” by Mary Ann Budnik, I came across this advice in the workbook, “As your prayer life deepens, you will find that you are happier, more content. Small things won’t be blown out of proportion. Set backs are just that, not major crises. Rather than being stressed out when things don’t go your way, you will offer up the contradictions, realizing it’s God’s will for you, as well as learn how to develop virtue from the experience such as patience and humility,”

Patience and humility are the things I have been learning through my trials and tribulations. Today I had one particular trial. My fifteen year old daughter had a huge golf tournament she was selected to play in for the junior varsity team of her high school. She had to leave early for the tournament this morning and her dad took her. But he was running late. When they got close to the golf course he took a wrong turn and got lost. This made Michaela frustrated to the point of tears and some yelling. She called me while they were lost and she was beside herself because she had hoped to arrive early and practice and get warmed up. Instead she was so stressed that she wanted to come home.

It turned out that she was only about 8 minutes late. She was suppose to be there one hour before her tee time. So I told her, “take a deep breath, you are only about 8 minutes late and I’ll take on your tears and worry and stress." I told her, "give that all to me and focus on what you need to do, and you will do awesome." I assured her I would pray really hard for her. This seemed to help her and she took her deep breath and went into the clubhouse and began her golf day.

I had to stay back home with my three year old son and so I spent my time shedding a few tears and praying all the mysteries of the rosary for her to do well. I fasted from coffee and felt exhausted. I offered all my suffering up for my daughter.

Even though I did all this for her she performed poorly with one of the highest scores of the day. I learned a lot of patience and a lot of humility with my acts of parenting and prayer.

I know that God answers prayer his own way and that my prayers did not go in vain. I read in my “You Can Become a Saint” book that, “In the economy of the world, few people are winners. Everyone struggles for material success. Few attain the level they wish. In God’s economy there are no losers. The more one struggles, the more one succeeds.” I’d like to believe both my daughter and I succeeded today.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Passionate Perseverance: focus...

Passionate Perseverance: focus...: "As a supporter of this ministry I knew I had to share this. Awesome message!! Go get 'em team. All for God and God for all! More than a Ga..."

Friday, August 27, 2010

August 27th, A Glorious Day

Today is a glorious day! I have so much to be thankful for. I have a warm fuzzy feeling going on right now and I’d like to capture it for you. It’s a very natural high I must say (just so you don’t get the wrong idea.)

Number one, the weather is gorgeous. It is morning right now and there is a crisp cool feeling in the air and the sun is shining bright with clear skies. I try not to let the weather dictate my moods but when it is especially beautiful I let it do what it wants to do to me and it is definitely doing me wonders right now. I am sitting here writing with a cup of coffee, windows open and my dear three year old Daniel playing nearby.

I went to mass earlier this morning because it is my son Cole’s eleventh birthday and I wanted to thank God mightily for him. While at mass I was reminded that it is also the Feast of Saint Monica. Saint Monica happens to be my confirmation Saint. I chose Saint Monica back when I was Cole’s age because, I’ll have to admit, I thought she had a pretty name. Oh how the Holy Spirit works….Saint Monica is the mother of Saint Augustine who lived away from the Church for thirty years while Saint Monica prayed for him. Saint Augustine turned out to be such a super Saint that he is now one of the Doctors of the Church…Wow!

I found myself wondering at Church today if I will have to pray for Cole in the future because he falls away from the Church? I stopped myself from thinking that by praying to Saint Monica to pray for Cole with me today and everyday. It is very comforting for me to know that I can rely on her to help me pray. She is such a powerful Saint.

Since it is Cole’s birthday today I just have to indulge myself to brag about him here. I try to only blatantly brag about my kids in my Christmas letters each year so forgive me if I go a little overboard, but I can’t help myself. I do hope you enjoy my wonderful story about Cole!

Cole came along eleven years ago today under a cloud of worry because our daughter Michaela was in the middle of hardcore chemotherapy at the time. He was a bright spot in our days and the timing of his birth turned out to be clearly planned by God. He was born about three in a half weeks before his due date via C-section. I found out two days before his birth that I would have to go in and have him to avoid complications from placenta previa (the placenta was blocking the birth canal). It was a Friday birth and he came out crying and thriving, weighing in at 7 lbs. I had to spend the rest of the weekend in the hospital to recover well enough from the C-section to go home.

During that entire weekend Michaela’s hair started falling out all over the hospital room when she came to visit. By Monday morning she decided, while at home, to go in her room and pull it all out because she was tired of the mess it was making. Before coming back to the hospital to pick me up and take me home Will forgot to call and warn me about the fact that Michaela was now completely bald. When she walked in all smiley and happy, and I saw that she was bald, it took all my strength to not break down and cry. But as I thought about it, Michaela didn’t care about her hair or any of her sufferings. She had a new brother to love and cuddle and hold, and she had him to take her mind off herself. Losing her hair that very weekend was a fabulous plan by God. Cole was such a blessing for us all.

Over the years Cole has surprised me with so many things. He is a very bright yet shy person. He also has a pretty strong obsessive compulsive personality. When he is into something he is full throttle into it for long periods of time. Currently he is obsessed with Michael Jackson. I hate to admit this but last spring we watched the Michael Jackson Tribute movie “This is It” one time and after that Cole became hooked on Michael Jackson. He started watching Michael Jackson videos on you tube and unbeknownst to me memorized the song and dance “Smooth Criminal”. He has now performed it for all family members that we have seen since he learned it. In fact the first time he performed his song and dance was for family in North Platte, NE last June. I was blown away with his performance. I had no idea he could do that until then. He is too shy though to perform it for school friends.

Some of his other obsessions have been, Batman, Spiderman, Star Wars, tornadoes and the weather, Husker football and legos.

My proudest obsession of Cole's has been his desire to become a priest. He has always been unusually drawn to Church related activities. Our family says a decade of the rosary every evening as part of our night time prayers. We usually talk about all the mysteries for that day each evening but because of the children being young we say just one decade. Cole somehow memorized all the mysteries of the rosary while in kindergarten. In kindergarten he also loved to find the songs in the songbook at church and by first grade he would follow along very carefully to the readings and prayers in the missal at each mass. In the first two months of second grade he read the entire Children’s bible during free reading time at school and in the same year was given a children’s mass kit along with vestments that fit him at Christmas time. He was happy to no longer have to use his spider man blanket to dress up as a priest. He has held numerous masses and benedictions in the living room and backyard along with his neighbor friend and little brother Eric. Currently we have a big thick bible sitting on a side table in the living room. Yesterday he had his nose in it for quite a bit of the evening.

As a fifth grader now, he still considers the priesthood seriously as a possible vocation. That and a rock musician…..or maybe a weather man.
Dear God, Thank You for Cole.
Dear Readers, Pray for Him.
Dear Saint Monica, Pray for Him!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

God's Wondrous Deeds

I zoomed in on the following giant verse at Mass this morning from Psalm 96:2-3, “Sing to the Lord; bless his name: announce his salvation, day after day. Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.”

I think I could make this passage my life’s motto. It sums everything up for me. It pinpoints what I should do and why I should do it. At this moment I am writing to do what I am asked in this passage. I am announcing the Lord’s salvation to you!!! He is glorious and he has done wondrous deeds!

Long ago I wrote a prayer. Here is the main line of that prayer:

Dear Lord, let the cure of my child bring souls to Christ, not just one…..but many, many.

I was praying for my daughter Michaela to be cured of her leukemia. She was going through her second bout of it and we had to face the fact that she could die. I cannot express to you how hard I prayed. But it was very intense and I prayed often, and that was one of the prayers that was said from the bottom of my heart. I still pray today, "Dear Lord, let the cure of Michaela bring souls to Christ."

She has been cured and I like to share with others that it is because of God. I sing of his praises and bless his name and announce his salvation. I will do this day after day, especially in my heart. I will tell of his glory and of this wondrous deed. God saved Michaela, Hallelujah!!

Most importantly, God opened the doors of Heaven for us all through Christ, Hallelujah!! Persevere in drawing close to Him, day after day. Make your prayers intense and never stop, for he has wondrous deeds waiting for you.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

We Are All Affected by Abortion

I just have to dig in and make a statement about how sad our culture remains yet we can be so hopeful at the same time. But it is essential that we vote pro-life and here is why:

Will was at work a couple days ago in a meeting at the State of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. The group he was meeting with started talking about charitable giving. The conversation came up because the State had just gone through their annual United Way Campaign. So they started sharing who they like to give to. One of his co-workers mentioned that she always gives to planned parenthood. This is so sad. And offensive I might add. Who wants to hear that somebody gives to an organization that kills tiny innocent unborn babies?

Well, the next day at Will's work he got a call from another co-worker asking him if Medicaid covered abortions (Will is a program specialist and answers technical questions to help people determine eligibility for Governement aide.). Thankfully he could say no. But will this be the case in the future? Yes, only if we vote pro-life. I hope Will is never in the position to have to answer yes to that question!!

Please vote pro-life in future elections with an eye toward pro-life candidates because we are all affected by abortions whether we are directly involved in them or seem far removed from them such as Will thought he was. Sadly, Will found himself personally affected by abortion. A Health and Human Services Agency should be protecting lives always, not disbursing funds to take life away and our votes are very important to keeping it that way.

Please consider how your votes, views, and charitable giving affect others.
Charity is about love. Abortion, quite literally, is the opposite of love.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Purposes for Blogging

I have thoroughly enjoyed blogging since I began this past July. I’ll have to admit I knew very little to nothing about blogging until a couple months before I began mine. If I knew it was so easy to blog I would have started years ago. This has just been a great deal of fun for me. I still have lots to learn about making it appear better but the writing part of it has been great because I love to write and finally found a way to share it with people.

I have been contemplating my purposes for this blog. They are to: share my Faith, because I truly love it so much, share my family, because I love them so much, and to inspire people with stories. Along with those things I am planning to do a monthly special feature where I interview somebody about their life and work. I want to learn and share what I've learned about what makes somebody successful. My first interview has yet to happen but it is in the works. The person will be a successful Catholic business mother who has already agreed to the interview and is very excited for our meeting and cup of coffee. This is a teaser so you keep checking back because you won’t want to miss the post about my special guest.

Thanks for taking the time to check out this blog and please give me feedback by commenting. If you are having trouble leaving a comment please e-mail me at and let me know what happened. Otherwise I’ll keep writing because I love it and have finally found this to be a great avenue to share and inspire.

If you are a blogger, leave me your link, I’d love to check it out.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Life With God is an Adventure

If you have read my last few blog posts you will know I have been embarking on a traditional spirituality study called “You Can Become a Saint.” My post, “It’s Hard to Become a Saint” talked about some of my trials since I began the study.

One very comforting thing I have learned about Saints is that they were all people like you and me. They had normal lives. They lived in families and belonged to communities and they experienced both joys and sufferings. What sets them apart is that they lived lives of heroic virtue. They persevered in striving to live their lives yielding to God. We can all do the same. And this will be very exciting.

I have been inspired by the following statement I read in my, “You Can Become a Saint,” workbook by Mary Ann Budnik, “If we stop trying to control our lives and work, they become an exciting adventure. God does take us to places and events we never could have experienced on our own. We find ourselves experiencing things we never dreamed possible. All because we let go and let God participate in our lives.”

One thing I never dreamed would happen is that Mary Ann Budnik has been alerted to this blog and I have corresponded with her. She will be checking in every now and then on how things are going. I’m looking forward to all the adventures ahead.

For more information on Mary Ann Budnik and her book, go to

Do you have an adventure you know God has taken you on? If so please share.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

In Celebration...

This day, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, is a great day to share the Sunday Gospel reading with you. The reading is the basis for the title of this blog. So in celebration of the Feast day, and because it is the basis for my blog title, I decided to print it in full for you. Even if you've read it at Church already it is worth reading it again. Enjoy!

Luke 1: 39 - 56

39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah,
40 and she entered the house of Zechari'ah and greeted Elizabeth.
41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit
42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43 And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.
45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."
46 And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
52 he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away.
54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever."
56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Strength for Battle

There used to be a large family that would come into church during my weekly holy hour of adoration. They came to pray the rosary and they would recite it out loud. This was beautiful and melted my heart. I wrote a poem about it and framed it and gave it to the family.

I love to pray the rosary myself. As I have been studying how to become a saint I have learned that I should write myself a "plan of life." This is a list of items I should accomplish each day. One of those items is to pray the rosary. I am happy that I have already been doing it. Because I love the rosary so much the poem I wrote came to me easily.

As you read the poem you may notice a military feel to it. It reminds me of the church militant. The church militant are all living members of Christ's church that battle through life in a faithful way.

I know that many military service men and women depend on their rosaries for strength and protection and this would be a great poem for them to read every once and a while. If you know of a military member that you think would appreciate the following poem please share it. Thank them for me for their dedicated service to our freedoms. This is my gift to them.

The Cadence

Strength for battle
the rhythm sustains,
accompanying the journey
through thunder and rain.

Duress is afoot,
the march carries on,
row upon row,
ten at a time.

The tips of fingers,
and movement of lips,
the strength of voice
carries forward each step.

The brave that need hope
this formation they’ll make,
over and over,
day after day.

The saints did it too
proclaiming its power
to save the soul
from death at the hour.

March with the Queen
Who’ll lead to the King
then praise Him forever
where freedom will ring.

(I have framed this with a rosary a few times and given it as gifts. If you are interested in looking at the picture let me know. I would have posted the picture here but haven't figured out how to post pictures on my blog yet. If you know how to do that too, let me know.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

It's Hard to Become a Saint

Do you know what happens when you start a study called, “You Can Become a Saint?”

Well, I’ll tell you. You begin to get tested like I did when I started my study by that name. I think the devil said, “yeah right, you….. a saint?” And I started to doubt, and he made me start to lose confidence, and I got angry and flustered and it wasn’t pretty.

I started this study in June after two friends invited me. The first meeting was a piece of cake but I don’t remember it as well as the second meeting when my trouble began. By the second meeting I had read the first chapter of the book and had completed the workbook and felt on fire for this adventure I was to undertake.

When I arrived at the second meeting I was eager to share some new insights to the group of women after having read my chapter and praying and doing some of the suggested things from the books. I found, as we went around and reintroduced ourselves, that this was a group of dynamic and serious Catholic women. The problem I had was that I was one of the last to introduce myself and after listening to all those women, some 30-35 of them, I became intimidated. This was made worse by my cell phone which vibrated in my purse halfway through the introductions. As I walked out to take the call I overheard a woman talk of the loss of her son just two short years ago. Boy, was I mad to miss that dear woman’s whole introduction of herself.

The call was 15 year old Michaela calling to tell me that her brothers were being so naughty she didn‘t know what to do. And the main culprit was ten year old Cole. Their dad was enjoying his Church golf league that night and she was in charge. I had to spend a good amount of time calming her down and telling her what to do before going back to the meeting where I still had to introduce myself.

When I got back and when it was my turn, I could barely talk or make sense. Remember……I had something profound I wanted to say when I first walked into this meeting. I was able to say something like, "My 10 year old son, Cole, wants to be a priest and he is being naughty right now and that’s why I had to leave the room and priests are being persecuted in France right now and my one message is to Pray for Priests." But I was absolutely shaking and practically crying when I said this and when I was done my chest began to ache and I thought I was literally going to have a heart attack and then my stomach began to hurt and I got really nauseated. I thought I was going to die! This feeling had NEVER happened to me before.

But I managed to get up at the end of the meeting and as I was about to gather my friend that I carpooled with, my husband called me from the golf course. He lost the keys to his car and he needed me to come pick him up. I about died again. I had to explain this to my friend. The golf course was on the other side of town. Thankfully she found another ride. Halfway to the golf course my husband called me to tell me he found his keys. That devil was really meddling with my plan to become a saint. He was really working on my pride.

I was ready to quit this study. I accidentally missed the third meeting but had seriously considered not going anyways because of what had happened at the second meeting.

But I persevered and went to the 4th meeting and just this last weekend attended a wonderful retreat about the spirituality of Opus Dei which is the basis for the study “You Can Become a Saint.”

I’m so glad I stuck with it because it was a blessing and I hope to tell you in future posts some of the new things I have learned about “How to Become a Saint.”

The first thing I’ve learned is to persevere, leave your pride at the door, and never give up!

Friday, August 6, 2010

What Are Your Aspirations?

There are many definitions to the word aspiration. One has to do with longing to be something or somebody, such as a young boy who aspires to be the president some day. Another is when you say the h sound in a breath. Another is that you might aspirate something if it gets stuck in your throat or lungs. And then there is the definition for aspiration that is missing in the dictionary, at least the online dictionary I used. And that is to say short spontaneous prayers to God throughout your day.

I am working on adding more aspirations to my days. Here are some of my current favorites:

-Jesus help me. (I say this one the most it seems!)

-Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Save Souls. (This is to help a soul out of purgatory.)

-Dear Jesus, I love You, I thank You, I praise You, I glorify Your Name on most high.
( I don’t know where this came from but I have been saying it for years and it just comes to my mind often. I think it’s the Holy Spirit’s prompting.)

-Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy Womb Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. (This one will be ingrained in me forever and ever. It is straight from scripture and a powerhouse prayer.)

It seems a connection can be made to all the definitions in the dictionary to that one that’s not. We can aspire to become Saints, we can keep Him on our breath and we can know that He freed us from being stuck in sin. He saved us.

I think I’ll make my newest aspiration be: Thank You Jesus!

What are your aspirations? Please share.

Emily the Rose Again

If you are new to this blog be sure to go to the July blog archive and read my very first post "Emily the Rose". It's my favorite.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

We Have Turned Off the TV!

Will and I decided to turn off the TV for the whole family and take away the computer from the 3 boys until further notice. The exception will be Saturdays and possibly Sundays during football season.

Lots of tears and frustration came from Michaela and the two older boys, Cole and Eric, as soon as we made the announcement. Now they know how I feel. I have been frustrated and worried about them. I have allowed them to watch too much TV and spend extra time on the computer while I started this blog and began connecting with people on facebook knowing that this wasn‘t the best use of their time.

I have felt that I have been able to keep pretty good track of what they have been watching and viewing but the boys behavior has shown me otherwise.

My 10 year old son, Cole, has been really disrespectful and sassy towards me pretty much all summer and I have not been able to get a handle on it. One way I have handled it has been to let him be occupied with the TV and computer so I wouldn’t have to deal with him. I should share that I haven’t just let the two older boys veg out on the TV and Computer. The amazing Lego world in their room would indicate this. The numerous baseball games and the concert held in the backyard along with swimming have kept them busy all summer as well.

The best thing so far that happened immediately after the announcement was a heart to heart conversation Will and I had with Cole. Because we took such a major step in behavior modification by taking away two of his favorite things he started to actually listen to us. He told us at first, “This is child abuse and my life is ruined!” He was very forceful with his proclamation saying it several times. My reply to him was, “Fine, call the police and report this to them.” That made him think and gave Will the opportunity to explain to him how he used to work with children who really did experience child abuse and what kinds of things they had gone through.

The conversation turned to our love for him and that we were trying to protect his soul from bad influences. We asked him if he loved Jesus and he said yes. We spent a good amount of time talking about God and life and where we are going in this world. On Cole’s way to bed, right after this conversation, he got his usual blessing from me and gave Daniel, the two year old, a hug. I asked him for a hug too and he gave me a big one!!

Michaela is very angry and began giving me the silent treatment about the TV (for about a half an hour). She feels this isn’t fair and blames it all on Cole. Eric, the eight year old is sick right now. So the first real challenge has been what to do with him. He was used to laying in our bed watching TV whenever he got sick. So far Tylenol has worked well enough that he has been kept busy playing games with me and the other two boys.

We are only a half a day into our new TV free world and even with the challenges so far I have peace in my heart. I really feel that this is the right thing to do for our family at this time. I hope we can stick to this plan, with lots of prayers and willpower on Will and my part I believe we can.

Do you have encouragement or stories for a TV free world? If so please share!