Receiving God’s Gifts

April 14, 2021

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What is the best gift you’ve ever given someone? Maybe it was a surprise for your husband. Maybe it was something special for one of your children.

What is the greatest gift you’ve ever received? Maybe it was a surprise. Maybe it was something you didn’t even know you wanted.

Lorissa shares a beautiful story about a gift she gave her son and what this momentous occasion ended up teaching her about the love that God has for us. It’s beautiful and moving and just what most of us need to hear!

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Hello, my friends, and welcome to episode 24 of Made For Greatness. I am your host today. Loriss Horn, and I cannot wait to dive into today’s episode, which is all about God’s gifts. But before I do so I want to just take a moment to thank those of you that have taken a few moments to go and leave us a rating and review on for this podcast, that in and of itself, my sisters in Christ is an extraordinary gift to Sterling and I, and I just want to share one review that just came in last week. This is from one of our listeners, and she’s also one of our Masters members. This is from Aubrey Welp, who said this on a recent review. This podcast and the Masters program are truly a gift from God. This is just what I needed in my life.

I prayed for guidance to be the mom and wife God wants me to be, and he answered my prayers abundantly through Sterling and Larissa’s coaching and advice. I have been blessed by God with a loving husband, healthy children, and a job that I love. He had always felt empty, stressed, and discontent. I honestly didn’t know what the problem was, but now I realized that I was not managing my mind and letting sneaky thoughts, steal everything from me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for this content. It has truly changed my life in ways I could have never imagined what a wonderful gift to Catholic moms. Thank you, Aubrey for this gift to us, this awesome review. And we’re so blessed to have you in our Masters program and truly so thankful that this content has been impactful in your life and in the lives of many other women.

So if you are listening to this right now, and if you haven’t gone to madeforgreatness.co and checked out the masters program, I would like to encourage you to go check it out. It is incredible. And we continue to add extraordinary content coaching, all sorts of amazing stuff along with bringing together an extraordinary community of Catholic moms, women from all over the country and even in other parts of the world. And it has been so much fun getting to know so many of them through this program. So please go check it out. And I would like to encourage you to just to give it a shot, even if it’s only for one month, I believe that in 30 days, the content that we have in there truly can transform your life. We keep hearing it over and over and over. I was just on a coaching call the other night and the the Catholic mom, I was coaching said the same thing.

Like I can’t believe how much this has changed my life. So go check it out. Sterling has just added even more content with her Raising Saints. We’ve got stuff in there on stress and overwhelm, weight loss, goal, setting, all sorts of really cool things. We’re also bringing women together in small groups for those that want to do that. And really helping women learn how to manage their minds so that they can manage their lives and experience the joy and the peace, the calm, the hope, even in the midst of our busy and full and active lives, raising children and striving for holiness and doing all the things that we’re doing intentionally with a managed mind, which means that we aren’t just in survival mode, that we’re not just reacting and responding to, to life, but that we’re actually stepping into the lives that we’ve always dreamed of and living it in such a way that we really feel like we’re in control.

We’re in control of our thoughts. We’re in control of our emotions. We’re in control of how we show up. And when we start living like this, it literally does change everything. It impacts our marriages. It impacts our relationship with our children. We feel so much better about ourselves. We learn how to love ourselves in a greater capacity, and we then learn how to love others in an even greater capacity. And we truly start to experience greater levels of joy and peace and contentment in our day-to-day lives. I can honestly say that before I learned these tools, most of my days, which I would say this is kind of sad to say, but I just would kind of have many days in a row that I would just kind of label as very difficult, challenging almost days where I just felt like I was kind of drudging through life.

And then every once in a while, occasionally I would have a really good day, but those really good days were so rare. And so far in between just feeling drained and exhausted and kind of going through the motions, just reacting, responding to all the things that I felt like life was throwing at me. I remember there was a day that I didn’t want to get out of bed. I just wanted, you know, to lay there. My alarm would go off in the morning and I’d almost want to cry. Like I just didn’t want to get out of bed. And I would just live my day, just longing to go back to bed at night. And now after learning tools and really stepping more confidently and more fully into those alive that I believe God is calling me to live. Like it’s the complete opposite. I have day after day, like really good days for the most part.

And every once in a while, I’ll have kind of a bad day or a down day, but most days are pretty amazing. Most days my alarm goes off and I can’t wait to get out of bed. I can’t wait to experience what God has in store. For me that day, my mindset has changed. My thoughts have changed my attitude, my perspective, the way I show up the things that I look for, all of it has changed because I’ve learned these tools. I’ve learned how to manage my mind. I’ve learned how to recognize my emotions and what’s causing them. And I feel so much more peace in my life. So much more calm, so much more hope. And this is what we want to be able to help other women experience in their lives. So go and check it out. Now I’m going to dive in to today’s episode, which is all about God’s gifts.

And once again, I’m going to be sharing a story is so funny. I find myself, I feel like every time I start one of these podcasts episodes, I’m like, okay, I’m going to tell you this story. And I was thinking about it again today, as I was preparing for this podcast. And I just kind of laughed myself because I’m going to share a story of something that happened with one of my sons a number of years ago. And I just realized like, this is who I am. I am a storyteller at heart, and this is how I, I love to learn. I love to listen to stories. I could listen to a million Ted talks and I love listening to conversion stories and miracle stories. And I also just love to share about God’s love through the stories in which he has shown up in my life.

So my friends, you’re going to get another story from me. I hope you enjoy this one. And I sure as a mom, all of you can relate to this story in many ways. So this happened a number of years ago, my son, who is 10 now, Matthew, he was three at the time. It was right before his three year old birthday. And at the time in his life, this little guy, he loved motorcycles. Like that was his thing. He loved motorcycles. He loved motorcycle toys. He loved, you know, little clothes with motorcycles on it, jammies, everything. This kid did revolved around motorcycles and it was his three-year-old birthday. The week before his birthday was really busy, I was working. I had a lot of things going on and then we were going to have a birthday party for him on his birthday, which was going to be on Sunday afternoon.

And I remember like it was Saturday night, went to bed that night and I was thinking, Oh my gosh, I haven’t, we have not gotten Matthew anything yet for his birthday. It’s just been such a hectic week. And I remember laying in bed thinking, Oh man, why do I always wait until the last minute I should have gone on Amazon earlier in the week and ordered some really cool motorcycle toy for him, but I just did it. And I felt so guilty and bad, of course like that’s how we are as moms, right? Sometimes like, you know, the mom guilt, which by the way, I’m totally going to be doing a podcast episode on that in the near future. I think it’s a really good one for us to talk about. So stay tuned for that. Anyway. So the next morning I woke up super early.

I had a plan to head to Walmart, like at six in the morning before all the kids were awake before Matthew was awake to try to get a couple birthday presents for him. And by the way, this was the first time I had ever gone to Walmart on a Sunday morning at 6:00 AM, but it was literally the best time to go. There was no one in the store, except for the people stocking the shelves. It was glorious. Anyways, just a little side note on that I got to Walmart, got to the kid aisle is walking up and down the aisles. I was looking for something with motorcycles and I kind of came to this little area where there’s little toy motorcycles. And there was just a few little ones. And they were actually already motorcycle toys that he already had. And I was just bummed out.

I was like, Lorissa why did you wait till the last minute on this? And I’m like walking up and down the aisles looking, okay, what do you like some Legos? Or, you know, what are some other toys he might want? I just was so bummed out. I just felt like I had dropped the ball that, you know, I know I don’t know what it is about us as parents, but we always, we want to, we don’t just want to get our kids a gift. We want to get them like a special gift. We want to get them something that we know their hearts are going to just be so excited about. And this is what I wanted for him. I wanted to find just that really perfect gift. And as I’m walking up and down the aisles, I’m like, ah, I don’t know. He doesn’t need another light saber.

You know, it doesn’t need another, you know, we don’t need another Nerf gun in the house. So I was just kind of just standing there, the middle of a Walmart aisle all by myself, just feeling kind of bummed out. And then I had this idea. I thought, you know what? He needs a bike. He doesn’t have a bike yet. He’s just turning three. I’m going to walk over to where the bikes are and maybe get him a new bike. He’ll love that. So you know, little bike training, Wells, all of that. So I go over to the bike area and I’m walking down the bike aisle and there’s all the, you know, mountain bikes and the adult bikes, cruiser bikes, and walk down further, further down the aisle. And it start, start getting into the, to the kid bikes down to the areas where there’s more of the toddler sized bikes with the training wheels. And there it was, Oh my gosh. Like I literally felt like time stopped. I was standing there in the aisle staring at the most extraordinary little bike. It was a bicycle that looked like a little blue and white motorcycle. I’m not even kidding you.

I know this is going to sound ultra dramatic, but I felt like in this moment that the ceiling of Walmart opened up and like rays from heaven were like shining down on this bicycle. Like it was, you know, like a, like a spotlight. And like, I could hear the angel singing alleiluia. It was just one of those moments where I was like,

No way! There is a bicycle. It looks just like a motorcycle. And of course I’m sure it was probably the most expensive one there. It didn’t even matter. I just like grabbed it, threw it in the cart. I couldn’t even believe it. I was like, you’ve got to be kidding me. And then I, you know, right over to where the helmets are. And there was this little bicycle helmet that looked like a motorcycle helmet. And it came with its own like a little like, looked like motorcycle goggles, like a dirt bike helmet type thing. And it matched the bike perfectly. It’s like put those in the cart too. And my heart started racing. I was like, no way I wanted to cry. I’m like, this is like coolest thing ever. I am like, my son is gonna flip out when he sees this gift. I went like, I remember like I couldn’t even walk calmly.

I was like running sprinting in the store. It didn’t matter. Nobody was around. But I went over to where the, there was some balloons. I got some balloons so I could tie them to the handlebars and some decorations. I went and got some stuff to make breakfast. And then I like bolted down to the store, you know, paid for it and then left. And I was a home still. My heart was racing and all I can remember thinking was like, Oh my gosh, I wait to give him this gift. And I knew that we were going to have a party later that afternoon. And all of our family was coming over and the cousins. But I remember thinking it was only like 6:30 in the morning at this point. And I was thinking, I can’t wait. I can’t wait until like four or five tonight to give him this gift.

This is insane. And so I got home, the house was silent. The kids were all still asleep. And I like came into the kitchen. I start making all this noise, trying to wake people up, which is crazy. Cause I never, you know, am purposely trying to wake my kids up early in the morning on a, on a Sunday morning, we’d gone to Mass the night before. So normally it would’ve just like, let them sleep in as late as possible, but I could not wait to, to get them up and going. So I made them breakfast. Everybody came down and I said to my husband, I said, Johnny, you’re not going to believe this gift that I got from Matthew. And I said to myself, I can’t wait. I cannot wait to give him this gift. And my husband kind of rolled his eyes. He was like, Lorissa seriously.

You can wait. You can wait to give him the gift till the party. And I was like, no, you don’t understand. Go out into the car, go and see what I got. And so he went out to the garage and went and looked in the car and he came back in with his, like a huge smile on his face. And he was like, yeah, there’s no way we can wait. We have to give this to him. So anyways, we had breakfast and I said to him, I said, Matthew, you’re going to have your birthday party later today, but you have a choice here. We can give you our gifts now. Or you can wait until your birthday. I mean, can you imagine what a three year old is going to say? And he was like, I want, I’ll take it now. And all the kids were like, of course, like we’re all, you know, they’re all excited.

So I said, okay, hold on just a second. I’m going to go put the, your gift out in the driveway, just hang on. So I went and got it out of the car, put it in the driveway, tied the balloons to the handlebars and put the helmet on the, you know, on a bike handlebars as well. And then I went inside and said, okay, you guys it’s out in the driveway, go look at it. And all of the older kids go piling out cause they they’re faster and bigger. And they go running out there and they know how much Matthew loves motorcycles. So they start freaking out and then he comes out of the house and I was so bummed that I didn’t get this on video. I think I just was so excited that I could, I wasn’t even thinking, but he comes running out and he sees the bike in the driveway and he just stops and he freezes and he’s just like in shock, he just stands there.

Like he doesn’t even know what to do. And then his brothers are like, come on, Matthew, come, it’s a bicycle. And he runs out there almost in a state of shock, like Matthew, at this point, didn’t even know something like this existed. He didn’t ask for it. And yet his little mind, I’m sure he can. His little mind couldn’t even comprehend like how amazing this was for him. And he goes, and he gets the helmet on and he gets on the bicycle and he starts like riding it around the cul-de-sac. And all of his brothers are running around with him, like next to him on his bike. And, Oh my gosh, I literally thought my heart was going to explode in this minute. I was just watching my son love this gift that I knew that he would love, which actually was a gift that he didn’t ask for.

And it wasn’t even a gift he knew he wanted because he didn’t even know it existed. And yet as his mother, I knew that he would love it. And isn’t this how it is for us as parents. Like we long for these moments where we can give our children good things or that we know the longings of our children’s hearts and we’re able to provide for those longings in a special way. And as the day progressed, I couldn’t help throughout the day to like, think about how God is like this only infinitely more with us. And before I went to bed that night, I really spent some time in prayer. And just like just laying there in bed, thinking about how God is the ultimate giver of truly the most extraordinary gifts that God is our father. And he is a really good, good father and that I can look back at my own life and I can look back at these moments where I can only imagine that our Lord was preparing these gifts for me.

And in many ways they were gifts that I didn’t even know that I wanted that maybe I had a longing for them, but I didn’t even know. I couldn’t even imagine how great they would be, but yet God in his overwhelming generosity, in his abundance and in his knowledge and in his understanding of the hearts that we have, because he created our hearts and like, he knows what we need. And he knows those deep longings that he knows how to fulfill them. And that he is working on our behalf to give us gifts, sometimes gifts that we don’t even know we want, but he knows what is ultimately going to make us happy, this side of heaven. And so for me, I can imagine, you know, I remember like looking back at my life and when I was single and I was praying for my vocation and praying for, you know, my future spouse.

And I remember years, oftentimes years where I expect great loneliness and, and moments of like, gosh, am I ever going to get married or God, what is your plan for my life and my vocation. And just really praying about that and keeping my eyes on Christ and, and praying for my future spouse. And I can imagine, God, just, you know, looking upon me as his beloved daughter and say, Oh, Lorissa, I know you don’t understand right now, but I know the longings of your heart because I’ve placed those longings there. And right now I am preparing your future spouse for you. And I cannot wait to give you the gift of him. I cannot wait to bring him into your life, but I’m working. And I preparing to give you this gift it just the right time. So Larysa just keep your eyes on me because the gift I’m going to give to you in Johnny is going to be greater than you could ever.

I imagine. And then I also think about my children. Like, you know, at one point in my life, I thought, you know, I just probably want to have two or three kids. And yet God has something else planned for me, these gifts of these children that I didn’t even know that I wanted. And yet God knew exactly when and how and who he was going to bring into our family. It just the right time, even though in my mind, the timing was crazy and insane at moments. And now I can look back and I can imagine God saying, Oh, the rest of you got to trust me. You’ve got to trust me because these gifts of these children that I’m going to give to you, you are like, they’re going to fill your heart more than you could ever imagine. Just try asked me, keep your eyes on me and trust in my timing.

And I can look at, I mean, so many of these moments, and this is the deal, my friends, and I really believe that whether you’re listening to this podcast on the day it comes out or six months later or a year later, I believe that whenever you happen to be listening to this podcast, as you are meant to be harried it for a reason, because I no know with absolute certainty that right now in your life, God is preparing you. I mean, an extraordinary gift that he wants to give to you. And it may be a gift that you don’t even know yet yet that you want, but God is preparing your, and he’s working on your behalf. And he is a good, good father. And he is constantly really working to prepare good things for us. So, so maybe you might be at a point in your life right now, or maybe you’re in a, in the midst of a challenge, or maybe you’re at a point where you’re in a transition phase or maybe you’re in a discernment phase.

I’m, I’m kind of in that place right now where I’m, you know, discerning certain things and, and, you know, wanting to have clarity about certain things. And yet I can imagine a God is saying, okay, my child, I know that this, this time might be a little bit difficult. It might be challenging. You may not. Yeah. Be able to see things the way you want to be able to see them. But trust me, I’m preparing something for you and just keep your eyes on me and my sisters in Christ. I know that some way or another God is doing this in all of our lives. Sometimes the gifts are really big gifts like that. The gift of your vocation or the gift of a child or the gift of a new found friendship or a new job, or, you know, just things like that. Maybe it’s a new home, things like that.

And sometimes they’re small, small gifts, but this is the deal. When we start living our life, anticipating that God is preparing gifts for us, all of a sudden our eyes are open to recognizing them more and more so in our lives. Now, for example, before my conversion, I had had my conversion actually in high school. It was, it was pretty profound. But before that, before I really ever had an encounter with Christ, I didn’t believe that miracles happened. I mean, I knew that miracles had happened in the Bible and biblical times like Jesus walked on water that he raised Lazarus from the dead. But I didn’t think that miracles happened in today’s time. I certainly hadn’t felt like I had ever experienced a miracle my life. But then after I had my conversion, after like our Lord came crashing into my world and captivated my heart, I started to recognize God working in my life in profound ways.

And I know that you know exactly what I’m talking about. And it was at that moment that I actually started to recognize miracles happening in my life. Now it wasn’t that miracles, all of a sudden started happening just because I started to believe in God, it’s that miracles have been happening all along. It’s just that my eyes weren’t open to recognizing them. And I think that it can also be the same thing with the gifts that God wants to give to us. How aware, how open are we to receiving them? How attentive are we to recognizing them when God brings them into our lives? And so if anything, I just hope and pray that this podcast might help us all to, to just pause for a moment to maybe look around and say, wow, look at my life. Like, look at all the gifts the God has poured out upon me has showered upon my life.

Look at these little gifts and big gifts and to wait in joyful anticipation for the gifts that he is going to continue to bring into our lives. When I started really looking for and recognizing them, I started to see them everywhere. And I don’t know about you, but I kind of liked to receive gifts. And I even love to recognize the gifts that initially don’t look like gifts, for example, a couple years ago. Oh my gosh. I went through an incredibly difficult time. I found myself carrying this cross. That was, was really big in that moment, in that moment. And I remember having these, these moments, these conversations with God going God, like, why is this happening? And how do I, like, I didn’t even know quite how to handle it. I didn’t know what to do. And now in looking back, I can imagine God saying Lorrisa.

I know that this is really, really hard right now, but I need you to carry this cross because on the other side of this cross is this gift that I’m going to bring to you, but you need to carry this cross for a while because it’s through carrying this cross that I can bring you to this gift. So part of that cross was that I had to leave a job at a ministry that I deeply loved, and that was part of it. And, and there was a lot of other stuff kind of intertwined with all of it. But man, that was so hard and, and devastating in the moment. And yet it was through that and, and letting go of that and going through some of that hardship and pain that then God brought me into a new job and into a new ministry that has deeply blessed my life.

And through it, I have met the most extraordinary people and built some incredible relationships. And God has brought young people into my life. Who’s who like have literally been some of the most incredible gifts in my life. And I can now look back and I can see, I can only imagine just like me in Walmart with that silly bike going, Oh, I can’t wait. I can’t wait to give this to Matthew. He can’t wait for his heart to experience what I’m about to give to him. Like, I can only imagine God saying the same thing. Oh, Lorissa, I know this is really hard for you right now, but I’m doing something I’m working in this. I’m, I’m working with this challenge. And with this pain, just keep your eyes on me because I am about to give you some gifts that are going to totally blow you away.

And so I’m sure all of us can can now, like in our lives, we can look back. We can look back at difficult moments, huge moments of, of, of great pain and great crosses. And we can possibly see, even in the midst of that, in the midst of the struggle, how God was working in such a way that he was able to bring something good from it and even was possibly able to bring us some pretty amazing gifts through it, through it. And so my sisters in Christ, whether it’s a struggle or whether it’s, you know, maybe just being in a place of, of maybe wondering like, okay, God, what do you have in store for me? What are you doing? I can’t see the whole picture. And honestly, my sisters in Christ would we really want to see the whole picture right now? I know we kind of think, gosh, like it would just be really good to know what my future holds or what God wants me to do.

But what if all of the not knowing is part of the big surprise of what God is doing and how he’s working and how he’s constantly preparing us and transforming our hearts and working alongside of us to do some of the most extraordinary things in our lives. And so this is where the whole, like managing our minds really comes into play because when we’re in periods of uncertainty or doubt or even struggle, it’s so easy for our minds to just spin into confusion. It’s so easy for our minds to just go to doubt or to fear or to worry, or to like, just wondering what’s going on, or God, where are you in this? Instead of saying, wait a second, like getting control of those thoughts and just like saying to ourselves, wait a second, God, he like, he’s a good, good father. And I know that I just need to trust in him to be at peace in this moment to not be so worried about tomorrow or next month or next year, but to trust that God is preparing and that he’s working and that his plan and that his dreams, that his gifts are far better than anything we can imagine.

So my sisters in Christ, this is my invitation to you. It’s my invitation to myself. That right now in this moment that we stay focused on the gifts that are right here in, in this present moment, the gifts that surround us right now that God is like saying to us like, don’t over, like, don’t overlook this gift, this gift that I want to give to you right now. And trust that I am preparing great things for you in the future. Just keep your eyes on me. Trust in me, be at peace right now and know that I love you more than you can imagine. And that the desires on your hearts are desires that I have placed there. And that I am preparing things for you that you can’t even begin to imagine, but I cannot wait to show them to you. My sisters in Christ. This is my message for all of us, that we would keep our minds attentive and focused, trusting with great hope in God, who is our good, good father. This is my message for you today. My sisters in Christ, I hope you have a truly amazing week. And remember mama, you are made for greatness.



Lorissa Horn & Sterling Jaquith

Sterling and Lorissa are very different moms. Lorissa lives in town, her family loves playing baseball, and she’s proud to send them to Catholic school. Sterling lives in the country, her family loves camping, and she unschools the kids.

The thing these women have in common, an unyielding devotion to Christ. Seriously, if you hang out with either of them, they’re gonna talk about Jesus, a lot. He’s the center of their life.


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