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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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God and the Devil are Fighting

God and the devil are fighting… and the battlefield is the heart of man.

– Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Wow, is this ever a true statement for me.  Inside of me there does feel like there is a constant battle going on.  It is amazing all the things that can go on inside of us!  God wants us and he has a place by His side for us doing wonderfully marvelous stuff.  On the flip side, the Devil has taken his stabs at our hearts hoping to take control.  For me this is a huge issue that I am battling.

This weekend at the Women’s retreat, that I was able to participate in, I let myself break down Saturday night with all the worry and stress that I have been feeling lately.  It was such a blessing to have some amazing people on the retreat that stood/sat by my side and let me feel what I needed to feel.  While my closest friends are the most amazing things to me, these friends that I have found are great to me. 

Our theme was surrounded around finding our light amidst the darkness as well as recognizing the darkness as a holy darkness.  Throughout the whole weekend I had the quote I presented to you in my head.  Darkness tend to be associated most with the devil and times of difficulty.  Light tends to be associated most with God and the good things that Jesus has made possible for us to achieve. 

The thing is, when that darkness comes we need to lift it up to God and reach for his light.  So many people, me definitely included, get so caught up in the dark and do not see beyond it to the light that is left on for us from God.  That light can come straight from the big man Himself, friends, family, your surroundings, the great outdoors and many different things.  Holding onto that and giving everything to the light, to God, will make the darkness holy. 

How can darkness be Holy one may ask?  Well, when you give that pain and suffering to God you are shoving all the efforts of the devil back in his face.  The devil wants so much to take you over and win you soul for himself.  God wants equally the same and will wait there with the light on for you to come.  Giving your dark to God to be made into light turns the darkness into holy darkness.  We can learn from our dark moments; the lessons perhaps are the most meaningful to many people who suffer deep dark moments.  Sure, there are things we wish never were or we wish that we had never done, but there are some lessons to be had.  All this as long as we turn around and give our darkness to God to be turned to light. 

Of course I am telling all of you this and not relating at all, so how in the world could I know anything on this topic?  In my life, as has been mentioned before, I have hit some low points that I am not proud of.  I have thought about things one should never think about in their lives.  I have cried so many tears you would think I should be a shriveled up wrinkled ball of mess (yes it is okay to laugh, it is a funny image).  All in the same, I have had many lights in my life that have shown me out of the dark moments in time.  My friends are perhaps my greatest blessing in this world.  God truly shines through them.  They have pulled me through many things and given me back the light of God.  Holy Darkness.  Lessons were surely had and taken deep into my heart. 

So when the battlefield is in your heart with a fight between God and the Devil, remember to take the darkness you maybe feeling no matter how dark and give it all to God.  That way, he will turn it to lessons and light, winning the battle for your heart.  It is hard, I am not going to say otherwise, but it is so worth it when you make it through and there is true joy in your heart.  The true joy of finding God and being where He wants you to be.  Will your heart be the broken battlefield won by the Devil or will God reign with His light in your entire being?  Be the light of the world to each other and darkness will be Holy and we will live in joy! 

“You are the light of the world” Matthew 5:14

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2010 in Inner Reflection, Retreat Experience

 

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Fire

There is something magical and special about a fire, one in the form of a “campfire.”  I don’t have much to say about it, but I know that I always long to be back at camp.  One of the big things in that is the longing to be around the campfire.  Since the lessons and stories of fire are on my mind, I have decided to share that all with you.  Below is a poem I just constructed on the whim of my mind.  I hope you find something that draws to you in it! Peace

Oh fire that crackles in the silence of the night

Speak to me even when I am in blinded sight

There are lessons a plenty to be taught

The wisdom that comes through the ages sought

Stories dance in the air around us lingering

Song that will go on forever in our hearts singing

As the past fades away in the dust of eternity

Present pushes on and it closes engulfs me

In the flames the future flickers with hope

Unsure of where flame will leap I pray I cope

Wherever you may be, whoever you will become

There is space for fire, it will still teach you some

Evermore the silence of the night draws my soul

Hearing the glow intrigues me and fills me full

In the moments to come where life finds its way

My vocation religious could maybe be here to stay

When the world crashes and falls around my face

To the fire I will go to be in that special place

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2010 in Creative Corner, Inner Reflection

 

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On My Honor

This is a song that may be familiar to some; it definitely one that I am familiar with.  Today while being the bored self that I can be, this song came to mind.  I am not sure who wrote the lyrics and music, but it is a Girl Scout song that I love.  It is called “On My Honor.”

Chorus :
On my honor, I will try.
There’s a duty to be done and I say aye.
There’s a reason here for a reason above.
My honor is to try and my duty is to love.

People don’t need to know my name.
If I’ve done any harm, then I’m to blame.
If I’ve helped another, then I’ve helped me.
And I’ve opened up my eyes to see.

Chorus

I’ve tucked away a song or two.
If you’re feeling low, there’s one for you.
If you need a friend, then I will come.
And there’s many more where I come from.

Chorus

[Friendship is the strangest thing
if you keep it to yourself, no reward will bring
but you gave it away, you gave it to me
and from now on great friends we’ll be]

Chorus

Come with me where the fire burns bright,
We can even see better by a candle’s light.
And we’ll find more meaning in a campfire’s glow,
Than we’ll ever learn in a year or so.

Chorus

We’ve a promise to always keep.
And to pray “Softly Falls” before we sleep.
We’ll be Girl Scouts together and when we’re gone,
We’ll still be trying and singing this song.

Chorus

The middle verse, which I place in brackets, is not one that I knew.  After having read it then singing it to myself, I decided it was surely worth keeping.  I find in the lyrics such basic, simple things of life that many people don’t bother to even think of.  There is a base element of singing these things and giving your honor on what you are promising and sharing to and with others.  Seeing the person that I am, I am going to take this apart a little.

People don’t need to know my name.
If I’ve done any harm, then I’m to blame.
If I’ve helped another, then I’ve helped me.
And I’ve opened up my eyes to see.

With many people, it is all about acknowledgment and being known for something that you did.  Even on the side of doing harm, somebody will always want to know your name and who you are.  When we have been harmed we wish to know who did it, but why?  So we can do revenge, so we can cause more harm?  If someone does harm to another, that person needs to take ownership of that, but the whole world does not need to know this.  On the flip side, who are we to boast of the good we do?  Doesn’t that undo what good we did?  Jesus would always tell people after a miracle to not tell anyone.  By helping others, we really help ourselves as well.  There is a goodness that is shared in the bond of helping.  By announcing it to the world and saying, I did that, you take away its special mystery of helping.  Don’t be discouraged when  you do something good for another or others and you are never noticed for it.  They surely have seen the good that you do.

This is what I find most often is the case for me.  I love to do the little things, to be behind the scenes, but my name people do not always know.  I have become quite alright with that, though I do fall guilty to wishing even just once in a while someone would acknowledge the good I do so I know I am doing something right and making an impact.  If people are not knowing your name behind things, don’t get discouraged, God knows the good you do.  As well, He knows the bad that you do too.  In either case, people don’t need to know your name.  There are lessons to be seen in everything and if you are willing, your eyes will be opened up to see.

I’ve tucked away a song or two.
If you’re feeling low, there’s one for you.
If you need a friend, then I will come.
And there’s many more where I come from.

This one I see as quite suiting for me, though that seems to be the case with them all.  This is more a declaration, whereas the last verse seems more a statement.  My personality lends for being there for others, a quiet presence with something unique to share.  My writing is very important to me, as it expresses me from many angles.  My closest friends and I have quite the bond that is unbreakable and we are ready at a moments notice to be there for each other when needed.  It is so important to have someone like that in your life.  The same of all this can be said of a relationship with God.  Sometimes I like to think that God is singing that verse to me.  It is quite comforting and gives me a sense of security.

[Friendship is the strangest thing
if you keep it to yourself, no reward will bring
but you gave it away, you gave it to me
and from now on great friends we’ll be]

Reading this verse and never having seen it before, I really wish it was one we sang.  It really hits to the depths of something that is so valuable to me.  My friendships are the greatest things in my life.  There are two friends that I find to be the utmost closest in my life.  One, while we appear to be drifting away, is someone I have known for at least 5-6 years, maybe longer.  There is the greatest ability to talk about anything and everything, even when we differ in opinions and trains of thoughts.  Even though we may be drifting slowly, we gave each other our friendship and the bond we created will not leave us.  There is another friend that I have known for around 3 years now, and there is also something very special here, unlike any bond that I have ever had.  It actually hurts a little to be away from this friend, but I have also realized something.  This person has a part of me, and I a part of this person.

After some certain events with both of these people, there is no way I am letting go of them.  I have a good amount of friends that I am glad I shared my friendship with.   Thus again, it is with God that I find this.  We are to give ourselves to Him and in return He gives us ourselves with His special love in us.  It is a beautiful thing.  It is said that friends are angels given to us by God, I tend to believe that.  I also believe that through our friendships the spirit truly moves.

Come with me where the fire burns bright,
We can even see better by a candle’s light.
And we’ll find more meaning in a campfire’s glow,
Than we’ll ever learn in a year or so.

I love fire and I could leave this section at just that, but of course I won’t.  There is something about a fire that pulls me in; you can learn so much from a fire.  You can learn the bad and the good.  A fire can tear apart everything.  A fire can provide heat and warmth.  A fire can ruin a person’s life.  A fire can draw us into close bonds.  We can learn so much from a fire.  I find that I can put myself into what one can see in a fire.  Where a fire can be destructive, I have gone through something that is real had to deal with.  Where a fire can be create warmth, I set out to give warmth of the spirit to those who need it.  While staring at a fire and getting to know it, you learn a lot and see deeper into many things than you could imagine doing, creating bonds.  When you get to know me, you see the depths of my soul and there is a mysterious bond that I hold that I hope people can learn from.  One can never explain the love and lessons of a fire that I have.

We’ve a promise to always keep.
And to pray “Softly Falls” before we sleep.
We’ll be Girl Scouts together and when we’re gone,
We’ll still be trying and singing this song.

I do not always understand the second line as much, or find a lot of meaning yet in it.  It is the idea of a promise that has been made throughout this song, in all the verses and the chorus I will talk about next, that is held here.  This promise for Girl Scouts is something we would state often in the Girl Scout Promise.  We say we will try to serve God and our country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law.  From there, you could look into what the law states.  In the end, when we are gone from being active scouts, we keep trying and singing the song.  I know I will forever sing it.  It is this commitment that I hope I have in all I do, especially in the coming future of entering into formation for religious life with the Salesians.  I only pray that the promise I make with myself, others, and God are ones I will honor just as much as the lessons learn from scouting and this song.

On my honor, I will try.
There’s a duty to be done and I say aye.
There’s a reason here for a reason above.
My honor is to try and my duty is to love.

This refrain is amazing and everything I want to say in my life in everything I do.  There is a duty for each of us to be done on this earth, and I will do it.  There is a reason for us to be here as there is a reason up above.  No matter if we find that reason, our honor is trying and our duty is loving.  What else is there to say?

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2010 in Inner Reflection

 

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Some Things I Have Learned

As time goes one, and I think even more about my future, I have learned a few things.  One thing I am already familiar with; I am a very deep thinker.  When it comes to big decisions, or even small trivial ones, I will weigh out absolutely everything about each thing that I could choose.  This presents itself an issue at times.  It leads me to asking just about every what if and any other question there could possible be asked.  For example…

Do sisters go swimming?  Can I swim at the lake in the summer with my family? (Keep in mind this is more of a question for FOUR years from now…)

Can I bring my books? movies? music?

How often do I get to see my friends?

What if I am completely wrong and heard God wrong…look at all this hoop-la I have created!?

What if what I believe in does not exist?

How do I handle doing this sister thing for the rest of my life?

Skirts…not always good for people like me when ungraceful, can I wear leggings (even colorful ones!) underneath?

Will I be able to go work TEC retreats or can I go work/participate in retreats at the Marianist Retreat Center?

Let me tell you, the list goes on and on and on forever.  Somedays they are the same questions, somedays they are very much different.  Most the time, they fly in and out of my mind.  I do have to say, the one about swimming and about wearing random colored leggings underneath the habit or the uniform in formation are common questions in my mind.  Is this weird that I am asking these things?  No, I guess not, so I am told.  Deep thinker, can one tell?

I love to write, poetry mostly.  Every now and then you get a psalm out of me, or some lyrics.  One of these days, a friend of mine (not sure which one yet) will get some music to them.  It is there that what is in me pours out the best onto paper.  Sometimes, as I have learn, things that I would nto have expected to come across pours from my entire being through my hands into words.  I have learned to appreciate better the words I write.  An artist is his/her biggest critic, but that artisit need to realize the beauty within themselves.  God doesn’t make junk, and since that makes one not junk, nor is what they create.

Finally, as much as I freak out and worry and rethink my choice to go forward with entering into formation for religious life, I think I really want it in some deep level of my being.  When the topic of religious life first came up, it did intrigue me quite a bit, but I paid no mind to its possibilities in my life.  As it came up at other times, I do see now that I was never saying no, but I would get as close to it as possible.  Me, a religious sister, you have to be kidding me, right?  When that moment in the bathroom came, and two worlds collided, I was not sure what to think, but only to follow those two people who seemed to have what I wanted.  Working with youth, nad furthermore retreats, then this underlying thought of religious life that sat in me!  How in the world does this happen to me, bizzare ways of discovering things.

At some level, I was relieved.  God gave me something to put on my chalkboard.  I say chalkboard because I used to think that my level was a black void nothing that would lead no where that would be good.  Instead, I see it now as a chalkboard that was slowly being wiped clean so that God could write His plans out for me to study so I can go take the ultimate test, living for Him!

I have learned, you need to be open and see the world for what it is in its simple beauty.  You need to be open to the creativity that is within you.  It is ok to question, but don’t let it consume you.  Be who God made you as, so in essence, be you, who else could you be?  God has a plan for me as you may have noticed, what is yours?

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2010 in Inner Reflection

 

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