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Late Night

As I sit on the couch, at current about 12:45 central time, I am lost amidst the packing and reflecting on my time home.  Was it what I had hoped for?  I saw some of the people I wanted to see, I went camping, saw family…but what else did I do?  My room did not get cleaned and organized, a friendship was not patched, all music was not updated, didn’t get tubing on the lake, and various other things.  Then I think about it again and tell myself that what I did do and get done was worth all the time home, even if sleeping was part of that.

I learned some things along the way, I reaffirmed other things, and I spent time with that which is everlasting.

More to come later…now I might sleep, maybe.

Did I mention I am showering in 3 hours and how my flight leaves in 5 hours?

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Posted by on June 21, 2011 in Inner Reflection

 

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Praise God for Joyful Noise!

Praise God for the wonderful day Saturday!  I spent my whole day surrounded by God, not that I don’t usually, but in a different not as common way.  Starting the day with mass as always, it was a great beginning to my day.  I have been a little shaken the couple of days prior.  This time while at mass, I was able to be more at peace.  My routine for daily mass involves praying the prayers as we normally do in the morning with the sisters. From there, I went home and got ready leave the house.  Where did I go next?  To spend all day at the Joyful Noise Family Fest with my parents and little sisters!

How did this come about, well let me tell you.  Angie (youth minister at my parish) had pointed it out to me when I went to go visit her.  She said she was thinking about going and knew I liked some of the bands that were going to be there.  I asked if I could go with her, so all we had to do then is make sure we could both go.  When I brought it up at first to my parents, they were not sure for whatever reason.  It might have been price.  Mom, on one of her websites the gives discounts to lots of things, came across by chance a 50% off price to the tickets to go.  I call and let Angie know.  Dad later says that we can all go; my brother opts to stay home.  The day following that, I went to see Angie after mass to tell her.  I find out that she is not going.  It is now me and most my family.  I find it weird how that worked out, since I would have not even thought of it if not for her.

So, when I got back from mass on Saturday, I got changed and ready to go.  We left the house around 10:00am and arrived around 10:30am.  There were tons of kids stuff going on; it was all the blow-up bouncing things you could care to ever play in, including a rock wall and a bungy thing.  The girls (just out of 2nd and 5th grade) were in heaven.  Music started when the gates opened at 10:00am.  I did the bungy thing, it was a blast (even though at first I did not want to for some odd reason).  Throughout the morning and afternoon we would go back to our “base camp” that we set up on the field where we would sit for all the artists and bands playing all day (we got a decent spot) to sit for a bit and eat something or just rest.  They girls definitely had a blast with all the stuff they had set up there.

On the flip side, the concert.  That was the part I wanted to be there for the most.  All the artists were really good and led beautiful praise and worship in their unique ways.  Go Fish was there; they are more of kids band.  The girls seemed to like them, though it was pulling teeth to get them to dance.  We ended up getting three of their CDs for them.  I hope they will listen to them often.  When it came time for the last three artists/bands, they did participate a bit more in dancing with the music.  It was amazing and beautiful.  I stood through much of those last three, definitely standing through all of Casting Crowns (closers).  It that, I dance with both of the girls.  I even stood with one in front of me, my arms around her, swaying during one of the slower songs.  There is also a picture with dad and the girls raising their arms in praise as the artist who was up there told everyone to do.  One of the girls told me on the way out that she liked Casting Crowns.  That made me smile big since they are my favorite!

Now at home, looking back on that day.  It was something I never would have expected for some reason.  Between the games and the music, especially the music, the day was great.  Being able to enjoy the music I love while dancing and swaying and fooling around with my little sisters was a blessing that came from nowhere.  Then again, it must have come from God.  I thank Him for that time there.  It also happened to come at a time when I really needed to be energized by a large group of people praising and worshiping with some of the best leaders of it around.  It inspired me again and brought me some new life.  Praise God!

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2011 in Random Things, Retreat Experience

 

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Church Hopping

I know that I am traveling a little ways back, but life has finally granted me a moment to catch up with everything I wanted to blog about, at least some of it.  So, here is some of that I wanted to share.  Some of it is taken directly from my journal, some is written now reflecting back.  I do apologize for the longer than normal post, please still read it!

To start off Holy Thursday festivities, the school had a prayer service before the half day dismissal.  As a part of it, there was a dance at the end to “Footprints in the Sand,” by Leona Lewis.  We danced to the first two and a half minutes or so.  It was really good to dance again, and it was not just easy stuff.  I was with two sophomores, one of which choreographed the dance.  Dancing for God was wonderful.  While I was not even close to perfect, I did the best I could.  Here is the song.  Remember, we only went to about two and a half minutes in the dance, but the rest of the song is good too!

That evening we went down the hill to the Provincial House for the Holy Thursday services.  It was odd not being a part of the music in some way or the other.  I blame anyone.  I know there was a better chance of a [former] companion of mine was there.  Let me say though, I say with all that I had with her voice in the back of my head.  I did enjoy being surrounded by the sisters, it was a wonderful family to be with then. 

I have some quotes from the priest who presided over the mass.  They stuck out to me as her was giving the homily.  I wish I would have caught more of it on paper.

We were called not because we were ready, but because we are willing.

We know we are not perfect, but we are willing.

You know what devil, get lost.

After the service, a handful of us climbed into the seven passenger van around eight pm to start the church hopping adventure.  For those of you who don’t know the tradition (and I just learned, so my explanation is a little meh), this is what I am able to explain.  In order to stay awake with Jesus, unlike the disciples who fell asleep and did not keep watch, you travel from church to church visiting Jesus in all the chapels before He is reposed to a special place until the Easter Vigil.  We went to a total of eight stops between leaving at eight and arriving at the last just before midnight.  It was just after midnight when we got back home.  The following in italics is from my journal, written that night.

Stop 1: Oh Jesus, bring me to my knees in adoration of you.  I love you.  Here I wish to pray for Jen and all her intentions.  She is very precious to me.  Be with her.  Oh Jesus, transform me.

Stop 2: Oh Jesus, give me humility in adoration of you.  I love you.  This stop is for my parents.  Watch over them, keep them close.  Be with them.  Oh Jesus, transform me.

Stop 3: Oh Jesus, give me prudence in adoration of you.  I love you.  I pray for Renate wherever she may be.  Bring her back to you and keep her safe.  Oh Jesus, transform me.

Stop 4:  Oh Jesus, give me wisdom in adoration of you.  I love you.  Watch over Matthew, Molly, and Abby.  Help them to never stray from you and to have a stong relationship with you.  Oh Jesus, transform me.

Stop 5: Oh Jesus, grant me courage in adoration of you.  I love you.  I pray for my Marianist Family, that they are always faithful to their charism.  Keep them in my heart.  Oh Jesus, transform me.

Stop 6: Oh Jesus, bring my to understanding in adoration of you.  I love you.  Shower your love on Priyanka as she grows up.  Show her your love and care that she may follow you.  Oh Jesus, transform me.

Stop 7: Oh Jesus, help me to love fully in adoration of you.  I love you.  Protect all my close friends.  Keep them close to you.  Let them know all the good they have done, especially for me.  Oh Jesus, transform me.

Stop 8: Oh Jesus, give me patience in adoration of you.  I love you.  I pray for me grandparents.  Let them know how much they are blessings in this world.  Grant them everlasting peace.  Oh Jesus, transform me.

“silently, peacefully, we will rest in you, Lord.”

Home/Bed: Thank you Lord, for the time spent with you.  I pray that these words of mine make it up to you.  All this I do and ask for the sake of my vocation.  It is in you and your Father that I must put all my trust.  What else could there even possibly be?  Jesus allow me to sit at your table so that I continue to learn from you in the way you are with your disciples.  Keep in my heart the experience tonight.  Thank you for everything you have done in my life.

It was amazing to see Jesus in all the different churches in the area.  I am blessed to be here and I cannot wait to share this experience.  Peace.

 

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Ponders and Poems

The other day when we were waiting around at the uniform store for our stuff to come out so we could try it on, I swiped someone’s I-something and played with it.  One of my favorite things is to leave random notes on the notes section.  This is what ended up coming out of that little moment.

Here we are eight strong

With the Salesians we belong

Laughter fills the air

Many people who care

This group we will bond

Sister of which we are fond

A life of service to live

To God ourselves do give

So in prayer and joy we go

Our gifts to the world sow

These eight excited we be

Trust don’t overthink you’ll see

As many of you know, poems are a huge way for me to show what is indies of me or portray life in general to others, so now that this time of formation has begun, you shall see more of them!

Like I may have mentioned before, the group has chosen a moto to follow us through formation and our lives.  It has landed at “trust, don’t overthink.”  For me, that is especially interesting since I am a deep thinker and most definitely a deep feeler.  There are a lot of things in my life I am not happy about, but many of them I come to resolve and lay to rest so that I move on.  Only a few remain.  The thing is if I let them get to my head too much without the trust and prayer that thing will be as they should, then I would begin to doubt.  So I just ask prayer in that, as well as prayers for the words to say in the situations I need to say them. 

Oh the sisters.  I absolutely love them here.  The group of the eight of us are amazing.  We are starting to see a little more of who each person is.  A struggle I could see us having is catering to each person’s learning style and way of doing things.  While yes, we have bonded and love being together, there is still much to learn from each person and their lives.  Finding a balance in this community, of us aspirants and with the sisters, is so key to living together in this amazing life.  This morning in our “conference” with Sr. Kim, community is something she emphasized is very important in the Salesian community.  Also that we can lean on each other and trust each other.  She mentioned that through-out our time together, we will start to know each others’ lives, histories, dark sides, good sides, and much more (not exactly in those terms of course).  While my favorite community to be in is my TEC Family, I am really starting to grow fond of this one too.  When in this community I feel happy, like everything is perfect and grand.

Of course, it was mentioned that this time of formation is also a time for ourselves, to really discern and lean about who we are.  Individually, I show a different side of me.  The side that struggles with certain aspects in the life I have.  Something I have to keep reminding myself of is that we have times in our lives that we are vulnerable.  It those moments, it is okay to lean on others for support.  That is the beauty of community!

There of course, is so much more to say.  For now, just know that I am happy here and am enjoying life.  I have amazing people to support me (note to a couple of you: even one who makes me drink water…you know who you are).  Send prayers, send mail.  Contact me by ways you know how to in order to get the address, I don’t want to just post it.  Peace and Love! 

 
 

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The Morning before the Journey Continues

It is the morning, approximately 8:20, and I am staring at the floor of stuff that I need to pack to leave.  So many things swarm my mind and my feelings are all over the place so much that I am not even sure if I am thinking or feeling anything at all.  Packing puts me in a numb and sends me over the edge with emotion and frustration that things just don’t pack themselves.  No, this is not attributed to the fact that I wait until the day before, or night, to get things in the bags that they are to travel in.  It is more to the fact that me and packing is not exactly a good combination once we moved past the clothes and into the ordeals of sweatshirts into all the other little things.  Starting earlier might help, you say?  Well, that only adds to the craziness by reason of it sits there longer and I worry more about what I packed, how I packed it, and the list goes on.  So, here I sit this morning staring at what needs to be done, what needs to go, and what needs to stay.  I must make it work.

9:30 it now is.  I have shower, found my ring under the couch, and there are still things to pack.  My webcam has made a run for its life, so I may have to go without it.  The deodorant has also gone missing and the new one it packed away in the deep confines of my suitcase to be checked.  As the time draws near for me to leave, I fear so many things to go wrong, to not have done right, to have forgotten.  All these I must wipe away and continue forth in what I believe God wants me to do.

The hour has rolled around, it is 10am and I believe everything is packed that can be.  Photos will have to wait as they weigh more than I want to carry in my backpack.  Those will have to come back after the Christmas holidays.  As I lifted my suitcase, a fear settled that it may be over the 50 lbs that it must be under in order to not pay more than need be.  That scares me as what can I take from there?  It is all clothes any very little else.  Now I must enlist my dad to lift the bag and get his opinion.

10:15 and it has been decided to go over to my grandparents to do the grand weighing of the bags.  We shall see what will go and what will stay.  This is very crazy, what I have to bring, what I want to bring, and what I can bring.  Little do I know as to what I actually want to do with some stuff.  I fear that there will be too much that I don’t need.  I fear that there is not enough.

10:30 and my family is driving me nuts. 

Okay, the time is now 10:50.  I have just gotten off the phone with Jocelyn and it was good to hear her voice.  I am guessing that now is the time that I should finish this post and sign off form this computer.  Do not fear, I will be back.  We get to stay connected online; there are community computers to use so that will be good.  I have hit a semi loss for words moment and do not know what to say.  Now shall be the time to go eat something and make sure I am set to go.  Peace everyone.  Please come visit my site often as I go through this journey!

 

 
 

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Fearless: Reflections of Life

I want to share a song that was another TEC theme song, this one for HV 61.  It kind of popped up in my radar of listening to music, so I decided to share!  This is the official video for “Fearless” by Building 429.

No I don’t understand
And I can’t comprehend
This power that draws me to you
But I know for the cross
I’ll consider it all lost
In an effort to tell of the truth

That the world may know
That the world may know
You have been heaven sent to us

(Chorus)
I’ll be fearless for You
I’ll be fearless for You
Take me I’m Yours
I’ll be fearless for You

All the times that I’ve failed
When my doubt has prevailed
These are the moments I’m giving to you
Cause I can’t be ashamed
No I can’t fear the pain
When it comes time to be living proof

So the world may see
That the captives are free
‘Cause you have been heaven sent to us

(Chorus)

Unwilling to bend
Unwilling to break
And Headstrong I’ll stand
No matter what it takes

(Chorus)

Fearless.  How is it that we can become fearless for God and all that He wants for us?  As I try to prepare myself for entering formation, I again am brought to think, and think lots.  Perhaps I ponder more than I should but it is how I am.  As the time draws near for me to leave, my heart pounds more and more with the desires that it holds.  That leads me to wonder if we can ever have everything that heart desires?  If we follow God and His plan for us, then won’t we have everything we need?  Deciphering what I am to do in this life I have here is a task that is difficult to complete.  In my life I have so called “failed” many times.  Be that in school, my health, or standing for who I am.  Looking back on my life, I need to be able to give those failed moments to God and pray that they leave me with but the lessons that I have learned.

So being proof to the world of God’s love for us.  How am I really supposed to be doing this in my life?  In recent one would say of me, entering formation with the Salesians Sisters in hopes of becoming one of them, a Daughter of Mary Help of Christians (FMA – the formal name/abbreviation).  When I first discovered this new found possibility, I was so ecstatic and excited more than most things I have ever felt in my life.  Religious life, living for God, ministering to the youth, the chance of doing retreats, and still staying connected to those I consider my family.  The thing is, is it what I really feel in my heart as the place I can be who I am supposed to be.  I know I am called to something greater and better but I can not tell if this is it or not.  Could this just be that I am waiting for some feeling that I want to have that tells me clear as day the path I am to choose?  Surely in my life does not give me clear answers, but rather has God meeting me in places such as the the 11th page of a Google search or the bathroom at a huge Catholic youth conference.  The consensus against many people, including myself, is that I just need to go into this and see what happens and what God tells me about this time I will be in formation, however long that is.

I can never understand what draws me to where I have been and where I go, the good and the bad.  I can only hope that the good things that God calls me too I will realize and step into with complete faith.  There are many things in my life that mean the world to me as well as are things that my life would be incomplete without.  How do I hold onto them?  I need to make sure I am balanced, unwilling to bend or break from the things that make me who I am.

So how do we go into the world demanding so much and following the one who made us?  “Do not be afraid” (Luke 1:30) of what is out there.  I need to be who I am and trust that God will show me His ways for me.  Community is a important part of me life, so I ask you all to pray for me as I pray for you (especially my TEC family and closest of friends).  With me, let’s strive to become one thing for God.  Fearless.

 
 

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A Week from Busyland

It is amazing how one can have such amazing experiences then step out of them and the world smashes them down, or at least tries to.  When the heart lies in many places, that too takes a toll on the process of discernment in life.  These are the happenings of the past week or so.

Saturday was the wedding of a two people I know, one I studied with and the other a good friend of mine.  It was very good to see friends from college but more than that, to see how beautiful Alison looked and how happy the couple is was an experience in itself.  They are both very happy and faith-filled and amazing!  When the reception came along there was definitely good food and awesome dancing moments.  Though I was not able to stay the whole time, I had a blast.

Sunday morning I woke up and started the four hour drive up north to meet the rest of my family (all of dad’s side) at a house on the lake that belongs to a friend of dads.  The drive was not bad, getting there was good, but I showed up fearful of how people were going to get along and who was going to get on my nerves.  It was great to see my favorite cousin and first girl cousin of mine.  Yes, we may be ten years apart, but who cares because we get along.  Overall I think the weekend went well, I stayed away from those who drove me nuts, and with my extended family that I like to hang with.

Tuesday provided a trip to the mall with my aunt, two cousins, and my aunt’s in-laws (consisting of parents and two kids).  That was, well, interesting.  They speak Italian.  My aunt, being American, speaks fluent English.  My cousins are pretty proficient since they visit nearly every summer since birth.  In any case, we walked every floor and were there nearly 6 hours!  I did leave with something, a Matthew West CD for about 5 dollars.  It was long, interesting, but good.

Wednesday I headed up to the cabin.  It was typical cabin time with skiing, tubing, jet ski, jumping off pontoon, swimming, cards, fishing, eating, drinking, licorice, and such things.  I was just going to go for the day and then come home, as I thought everyone was leaving in the evening, but that changed.  It turns out all were staying, so last night I just stayed as well.  Since grandpa wanders at night, he slept on the couch and I stayed with grandma.  All other spots were taken.  In the morning, people got up, did what they need for the day, and headed to Valleyfair.  I did not go, neither did Palo (spelled wrong I am sure) or my grandparents.  I just stayed to clean up and left to go home.

So today when I got back I just sat a little, washed up, picked up a shirt from church, got a hair cut, did a special project of mine, had dinner and cake at my other grandparents for the August birthdays, and now I am here writing this wondering what to think about my life.

There have been many different moments in the past week.  I have to ones where I want to strangle people because they are getting on my nerves and just being plain old stupid.  I have ones where I know I am supposed to be entering in approx 12 days and I get excited for it all to start.  I have ones where I miss people so much it makes me cry because of the special connection that can exist between two people that is not explainable.  I have ones where I am just not sure I am doing the right things in life.  I have ones where I never want to live at home again.  I have ones where I am places that I never want to leave out of my life ever.  There are so many moments that I have.  One moment I can be so sure and the next there is no surety at all.  It is an interesting battle to be fighting.

What would I say to someone if I was reading this?  Pray, and pray hard.  To put it all in God’s hands.  I need to make sure that I tell myself that God really does know what is going on inside of me and the desires of my heart, ones that are pure and good.  Please pray for me!

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2010 in Inner Reflection

 

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