Coffee Makers, Dresses Inside-Out, and Jesus the Lamp Trimmer

It was a briskly cold morning of a whopping 8 degrees above zero. I girded what I could feel of my loins, loaded the van with an extra large coffee maker, rolls, caramel sauce, and cream, and drove to church.

Once a month, my Blessed Conversations group gets together at our parish and we walk through our study together. But first we slide into the creaky pews of early Saturday morning Mass, a Mass with Gregorian Chant and incense, Latin, and a super-short sermon. Then we head over to the parish hall for coffee, something homemade, and sisterhood.

And yet every month, I’m disheartened beforehand. “Why do I offer to lead these things? I have nothing to offer.” My husband nods while flipping eggs, pancakes, the toddler. He’s heard it before. “Just go and open the space for the Holy Spirit, lovie.” And so I do. It’s always more than worth the frostbit fingers and that one time I wore my dress inside out and discovered mid-talking from the podium.

Jesus said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand?” (Mark 4:21)

I don’t know what your lamp is, sister. Maybe it’s journeying with families of the kids you teach. Maybe it’s listening to your teens and sorting out their drama and college applications. Maybe it’s building friendships in the dorms. I do know your lamp needs tending. Your wick needs a trim and that oil needs a refill. And we cannot fully service it ourselves. I’m gonna ask Our Lord to help with mine so I can keep blazing for Him. It’s all about Him. It always has been.

It's all about Him. It always has been. Click To Tweet

Feeling called to go further along in your faith journey along with one sister or many? See what our writers have written for you in the Blessed Conversations series.

Nell O’Leary is a recovering lawyer turned blogger, speaker, and sewer of baby goods while tending to her husband and four kiddos in the great city of Saint Paul, Minnesota. She serves as Managing Editor for Blessed is She and can down a hot cocoa in no time flat. Find out more about her here. She is the editor of our Blessed Conversations Series and guide for the Gift of You Series


  • Reply
    Diane Pierre
    January 31, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Love this, Nell! Thanks so much! (I sure smiled at the image of your husband flipping a toddler along with breakfast items.) 😃

    • Reply
      Nell O'Leary
      February 2, 2019 at 1:38 pm

      You know how those tots love to jump on daddy!

  • Reply
    Mary Cay Pepin
    January 31, 2019 at 10:55 am

    Your descriptions are priceless especially after this week in the cities. Also thinking where does a retiree place that lamp now?

    • Reply
      Nell O'Leary
      February 2, 2019 at 1:37 pm

      You have so much to give in these new fresh retiree years! Who in your life needs extra love and time? Maybe that’s your lamp lighting?

  • Reply
    Beth C
    January 31, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Nell, thank you…I needed this. God bless you and your family!

    • Reply
      Nell O'Leary
      February 2, 2019 at 1:37 pm

      God bless you too, sister. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Shannon Brown
    January 31, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    Nell, please pick up your family and move to my neighborhood in Philadelphia. Seriously. I need some of what you’re doing and also it’s not as frostbitey here LOL!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    Just what I needed this very moment!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    Love this Nell! Thank you!!!!

  • Reply
    Mary Schoellman
    January 31, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    “Why do I offer to lead these things? I have nothing to offer.” Me to a T! Thank you for this wonderful pep talk. I finally worked up the courage to start a small group for the latest Advent devotional and I’m now looking forward to the Lenten devotional. You, Jenna, and Beth are surely lights in this world.

    • Reply
      Nell O'Leary
      February 2, 2019 at 1:36 pm

      It’s such a joy to be part of the sisterhood! So glad you’re here. YOU CAN DO IT!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2019 at 12:06 am

    Needed this! Heading on a silent retreat this weekend and exactly what I needed to hear before it- thank you!

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