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Tag Archives: pastoral and youth ministry

More Than Motions

Take a moment and just reflect on the words and pictures of this song/video.  I have provided the lyrics if you would like to read them.

This might hurt, it’s not safe
But I know that I’ve gotta make a change
I don’t care if I break,
At least I’ll be feeling something
‘Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life

I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking,
“What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?”

No regrets, not this time
I’m gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love make me whole
I think I’m finally feeling something
‘Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of this life

‘Cause I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking,
“What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?”

take me all the way (take me all the way)
take me all the way (’cause I don’t wanna go through the motions)
take me all the way (I know I’m finally feeling something real)
take me all the way

I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking,
“What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?”

I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking,
“What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?”

take me all the way (take me all the way)
take me all the way (I don’t wanna go, I don’t wanna go)
take me all the way (through the motions)
take me all the way

I don’t wanna go through the motions

We all do it, don’t we?  We are constantly just going through the motions without much thought to anything but getting through it all.  Is this what we really want with life?  Do we want to just go through the motions and lose out on all that we are missing when we put ourselves into things?

I used to think that just going through motions for the sake of doing so would allow me to not feel pain.  There were times I put some emotion and some of myself into things, but after having just done for the sake of doing, I found it hard to reverse.  I stand now questioning everything that I am doing.  Deep inside I know there is a passion growing in me for so many things.  There is also this great desire to be someone more, to do something more and great with my life.  The fear stands that I am going to have to let go of all the little things that bring me great joy.  What if when some of those things may leave, depending on how my path continues, I lose bits of me?  How will I deal with that?

I love getting dressed up, it makes me smile, especially when I am down in the dumps.  I love taking the pontoon to the middle of the lake and jumping off it, swimming about.  The adventure of being at cabin is one I like (most times!).  I love taking my car and driving to random places, cranking the music up, landing somewhere where I can just be.  I love camping (in a tent), hiking in the woods, canoeing, backpacking,  running about here and there on expeditions.  I love dressing up for that special whatever may be going on, hair curled, looking gorgeous and feeling like a million.  I love the idea of traveling the world.  I love so many things I feel will not be able to carry with me if I am following what I understand to be God’s plan for me.  Can I handle it?

I know that God will provide and if it truly wants me to become a sister, then that is where true happiness lays for me.  Some say that we can find true happiness and joy in many places, but then how do we know what we shall do?  God, though, has a plan for us.  Sure, there maybe there are different ways we can reach it.  But if He knows everything and how we will reach Him already, aren’t we then just going through the motions he set out for us?  These are many questions that run through my head.  Oh dear, do I stray in thought often.

Motions…am I just going through them?  Every time I go to mass, every time I pray, every time I do anything; I wonder what is going on when I do the things I do.  Is it just motions, or am I really feeling something true in me?  Am I excited about religious life because other want me to be or because others say it is a good fit and they are not surprised?  Could it be that I am excited because I am feeling it myself?   It scares me at times because so many people are happy that this is something that I considering and working on an application for.  If it is them that feeds my feelings, am I just going through the  motions to complete what has been set into play, the moves made by others?  I want to know surely that I am considering this because I want it, but that seems to not happen like that.  There are a million questions running through my mind, many doubts, many tears, and yet all the same, many smiles.

I am only human.  People expect others to be so much more than that, without troubles.  Someone once said that someone was not a good group leader/facilitator because they did not go to mass.  That person that does not go to mass I find to be more true to themselves that they have taken the time to think about the motions they do.  Sure, going to mass is vital the the Catholic Tradition, but props to that person.  I feel that so much more is expected of me because I am a pastoral and youth ministry major (aka I studied theology) and now I am discerning a vowed religious vocation.  The thing I want to scream back is that I am struggling just as much with the motions as everyone else!

The only thing left now is that I need to discover the meaning behind the motions.  I need to find out why I do them and what importance they hold for me.  Maybe the motions sometimes is an okay place to start, but if I am living my life that way the whole time, something will always be missing.  That is not to say something might be missing even if I am not just doing motions, but my point is made.  Try not to go through the motions without much though.  Think about why you do what you do and what it means to you, you may be surprised at what you find.

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2010 in Inner Reflection, Inspirational Music

 

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A Taste of My Life at SMU

The following is a video that was created to promote Hiawatha Valley TEC #61 during the spring semester 2009 at Saint Mary’s University.  This was during my senior year, which was this past school year.  First sleeping person is the campus minister.   Second sleeping person is the secretary (she is amazing).  Third sleeping person is the assistant campus minister.  Those on the couch are friends of mine.  The one terrorizing the place is a good friend of mine, we were in the same department.  The voice over is a friend too, we both studied Pastoral and Youth Ministry.  Enjoy!

I love TEC, it is a wonderful thing!  To learn more and find one in you area, click here.  This program was and still is a huge part of helping me become who I am to be in God’s eyes!  It makes me smile!

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2010 in Retreat Experience, Videos

 

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Just a Generally Good Weekend

Today I went to mass in the evening rather than in the morning.  Okay, you are thinking, what is so important about that.  It is just how wonderful my evening felt in that short time away from the retreat center.  This weekend has been a very good weekend and while there were a few tears trickling down my face at mass tonight, there has been some joy as well.

The weekend started with an unexpected meeting.  Villanova, the outside group that came in to use the center, was led by four interns.  One of them graduated from Saint Mary’s two year before me, from the same major!  To see someone from what was home for four years gave me a lift in spirits.  I have decided again that God is amazing in bringing people to be.  Granted we did not know each other well and never hung out, we were in the same department with similar friends and both involved in campus ministry.  Lately loneliness has settled in being so far away, but being given the chance to see a familiar face has reminded me about how oddly connected we are.  The group was amazing and so grateful, that too is a reminder of how much some people still appreciate things.  God is so good.

Going to mass without anyone I knew gave me the chance to not be so self-conscious of what I am doing.  While that should not be important, it is amazing how different we can act depending on who we are with even if we are not trying to be so aware.  There was something that just calmed me and slowed me down when I first knelt to pray.  Early to mass, there were not many people there when I arrived.  I had a very hard time focusing on what was going on at mass, although aware I was still; my mind traveled rather to letting what God asks of me to settle in me so that I can really feel His love in what I am about to do.  It was interesting.  God is so Good.

Walking from mass to my car, I took a glance upwards to see an amazing sight.  The stars were made visible and the breeze was cool as well as refreshing.  Closing my eyes, I was for a brief moment able to put myself back in Winona, MN in the bluffs…until a car drove by.   That brief moment stuck in my heart.  Oh how I love being outside and feeling the cool breeze, looking into the sky with so much hope and desire to do so much more in this life.  God is so Good.

When I got into my car and the radio kicked up, a high energy praise and worship song was on.  No, I can not recall which one, but I turned up my radio and blasted it.  To jam out singing praise, another one of my favorite things I could do!  It made my smile even more.  God is so Good.

RB TEC 228 is this weekend.  The TEC program has done so much for me, and I am sure it will continue to reach people in amazing ways.  This weekend I am goign through the weekend as best as I can.  The tears that trickled slightly while at mass were in longing to be there with my TEC friends.  As well, a dear little sister friend of mine is making the weekend.  Their mass happened around the time I was at mass.  To be in solidarity with them is beautiful.  God is so Good.

God seems to want me to join the Salesians, it is all I can think about.  I smile like crazy when I think of it and especially when I talk about it.  He is has given this gift to me and I shall open it and see if it fits.  If by chance it doesn’t, I know God will guide me from there.  As of now though, it fits well and I plan on keeping it!  God is so Good.

Fact: “F.M.A.” Our official initials represent our official title in Latin: FILIAE MARIAE AUXILIATRICE. This translates to, DAUGHTERS OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS, the formal name of the Salesian Sisters.

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2010 in Inner Reflection, Living Salesian

 

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How in the World?

There are a lot of people in the world who figure out where they are going next in a normal obvious way.  They apply to a place they have known about or heard of, get a response and boom they are in.  They have an “in” to some location that gets them where they want to go with little look at their actual abilities.  They know what the want to do and there are actually options out there.  Whatever have you, they can do it.  Me on the other hand, it goes another way.  It is in the odd unusual ways that I have figured my path in life.  Some of this semi-quick storyline you have heard, the end you have not.

(work with me here…imagine sarcastic, fast paced, funny, yet serious).  So I am trying to pick my school right?  There was no way I was coming to any darn conclusion, takes a friend to be like, dude, you know where you are going!  Now I am at Saint Mary’s with the strange idea that biology was what I am going to studying.  Next thing you know, I am smacked over the head with an F in the first basic course.  I am left with a theology minor that because of having the head of the theology department as my advisor, it has become a Pastoral and Youth Ministry major (PYM).  Sounds good, right? Well…I don’t want to work in a parish setting, and am struggling in classes; I lean towards retreat work.  This is based off my love of TEC.  Let me tell you, resources for volunteers wanting to work in retreat work is limited.  Google saves the day!  Type in “long-term volunteering Catholic retreat house.”  Search for 11 pages, and little did I know that the link I looked at on that page would send me from the midwest to the east.  Needless to say, it was unusual for the volunteer intern to be someone who has never been to the retreat center before.  Next, now that I am out in lovely Jersey missing my Minnesota weather, we go to NCYC.  During the course of that trip, religious life came up three times, but perhaps the second time came unexpected.  I met two aspirants from the Salesian Sisters of Saint John Bosco, formally called Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), in the bathroom! The bathroom mind you.

Before you know it, I have visited them twice, been visited once by the vocations director, I have an application half filled out, my immediate and extended family know, and my life seems to be following the track of religious life.  As well, here I sit having de ja vu as I type this.  It is a crazy thing, of which I will tell more about when I have more time!

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2010 in Retreat Experience

 

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I have to pick a major, really?

Environmental biology, what in the world was running through my head!?  Did I not recall that in high school my favorite science was pyhsics, followed by chemistry, and lastly was biology?  Nevermind that, my first semester I was in Botony and Zoology, botzo as we would call it.  My grade in botzo started good, and then kind of took a dive.  When the failign grade was all I was getting, I took that into consideration that maybe this was not my calling.  Withdrawn from the class, I began to search out my next attempt at life.

As I went in and out of that book of majors and the requirements for each of them, about nothing stood out to me.  Mind you, that is not much of an exaggeration.  I thought about that pyhsics I loved, but what in the world am I going to do with that.  Music was a fine idea, until I realized I am terrified of performing in from of people…alone.  I worked at a camp, what about teaching?  Oh yeah, boxed in spaces plus pent up camp energy, no way.  Now theatre, what a way to be creative!  Wait, acting…desgining…managing…remember that fear of performing, scratch that.  I love helping people out, human services would be great except one thing; there are too many things I am dealing with, how can I be sane for others?  Business, no; marketing, no; chemistry, no; sports stuff, no; there was nothing I thought I could fesibly do, and get decent grades.

Hold on, I am forgeting something aren’t I?  There was that theology minor I was goign to do, out of pure interest only.  I did not get much out of my youth group growing up and all I wanted to do was find out what was behind this faith I believed in.  I thought for a while, maybe my failing botzo was God smacking me over the head with a few huge large F‘s so that I would change my path.  It hurt, sure, but maybe something had to be done.

It took many more looks through the book of majors before I decided that maybe, just maybe this was the major for me.  Not to mention how easy the switch would be.  My at the time advisor was the head of the Theology department, so all the signatures for switching around declaring my major were found in one office.  Second semester sophmore year, my degree goal was set.  I was to be a Pastoral and Youth Ministry Major, a PYM for my college career, but why?  Well…the decision was made easier when I made this very special retreat November 2005, first semester freshman year.  My eyes were opened further and I gained a new love.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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