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Walking in Reflection with the Lord

For all my life, I have known that being outside is very good for my heart and soul, not to mention the body (as being outside usually means exercise).  Since I have arrived with the Salesians, that ability to get up and go outside kind of slipped.  During the long days when everything seemed overly busy and the tensions were high, I just kept on going…inside.  Recently I have rediscovered that taking those walks in the middle of the day, even when there is something else I should most likely be doing, is what keeps me focused on the here and now.  Doing that helps me to thimk clearly about where I am in life.

I have now gone on these walks a couple times.  Currently, I have just got back from one only moments ago.  There is a semi-rountine that I have developed (only semi- because it is good to have variation) for doing a walking rosary, or even just going on a walk.  I go out the front, through a little passage area, up a trail, up the road, all the way to the cemetary.  The turning back, I cut acroos the field with some trees, catching back up to the road and seeing a statue area, then back down the road and down the trail.  There are various stops that I like to make here and there.  When I am up at teh cemetary, I like to go in and glance over each Sister’s name, praying for them and also praying that they intercede for me what ever request I may have at that moment.  Today I walked that. 

Following it, I recalled the prayer promise I made for today for TEC to do a Divine Mercy Chaplet at my three’o’clock or their three’o’clock.  It ended up being inbetween.  I did that one walking through the bushes to the island and around that, then around the provinicial circle, then back around the island, then in the leaves and trees outside our community room sitting until I finished.

There was something simply amazing about walking around the property praying, especially in the beautiful cool weather with wonderful colors.  I am able to reflect and be at peace.  In everything going on in community with the sisters and aspirants as well as within me, I need to remember to take the time to be outside and walk.  If I am short on time, make the walk a little shorter, but still take it.  It may be my saving grace!

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2010 in Travels

 

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He Will Get You Home

Hello world!  So I know that in many posts I talk about the frustrations of life and forget to share with you the joys and little surprises God places about.  In this post there may be much of the same with some talk of frustrations, but it ends with a surprise that occurred in the last moments of my waking hour.  Let me bring you back to this past Friday, yesterday if you read this on the current day of Saturday.

This week had surely brought me many trials.  Personalities run wild and all over the board.  Learning to know each other and how they work is something to take time doing.  I find that much of the things that happen that are not of a joyful nature strike at my core being, seeing as I am a very deep feeler.  Things of the past as well as things of the present are being used against me.  Others, as well as me, attribute this to Satan trying to pull me away from what God wants of me at this moment in time.  It was said of a friend from TEC that the closer we are to what God wants of us, the harder Satan pulls to get us.  Satan will take every means he can to get to us, using past bad experiences or those things/people around you to get you down. 

Basically, I have need to have a meltdown, just to stop worrying about it all so I may pick myself back up again.  Thank goodness for the friends I have back home as well as the friends I am starting to make here. 

It the morning during prayer, there were two things that popped up in the prayer time that stuck out to me.  The first was some lyrics to a song we sang.

For to live with the Lord, we must die with the Lord.

We must die with the Lord.  What a powerful thing that we forget all the time.  There are going to be hardships in life.  I personally just need to figure out how to deal with them appropriately.  The second quote came from a psalm that we read in the psalter of the office.

Rescue me, O God.

That is my prayer, for God to rescue me from all those things in my life that hold me back from what God truly wants.  With this all day, I was left to figure out how to live these things in my life and overcome what I need to get over.  Of course, the struggles piled up as I have not found a way to solve them.

So the end of the day comes and I am all a mess.  I stop by another aspirant’s room because her light was on and door open.  While talking with her, I noticed that there was a book on her desk.  It is a compilation of things that have been written by Max Lucado into a book called “Everyday Blessings.”  It gives a thought for each day.  Here is what I read when I when back to my room on September the 24th.

Satan falls in the presence of Christ….  Satan is powerless against the protection of Christ.  When Jesus says he will keep you safe, he means it.  Hell will have to get through him to get to you.  Jesus is able to protect you.  When he says he will get you home, he will get you home.

Oh my holy buckets of humor that God must have.  The way things happen like this, how else can one explain it but God?  I still do not get it, but it is what I needed to hear and still need to hear.  Just a little reminder that Jesus will bring us through.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2010 in Inner Reflection

 

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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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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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Clothespin Ministry

This past weekend was a Christian Music Festival called Higher Ground.  It is one of the most awesome things ever, next to my love of TEC retreats.  The group I was with was pretty big, most of us actually from the RB TEC community.   It stormed heavily, sun blazed, mud everywhere, rain shower, lots of music, great community, many laughs, and so much more.  Before the weekend I had decided that I was going to do a special ministry.  Clothespin Ministry!

Basically, clothespin ministry is taking spring clothespins and writing messages of faith, hope, and love on them.  Then, you can write “pass it on” on it too.  Typically you write the message on one said and passing on the other.  Once you have your clothespins ready to go, you pin people with them.  The trick is being able to do it without that person being seen.  Let me tell you, it is amazing and exciting and I loved it!  During Higher Ground, I got out 50 clothespins.  There was something awesome about it, that is for sure.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2010 in Inner Reflection

 

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My Heart’s Desires

Was it God’s plan to place my heart in a couple places

To have me feel deeply connected to all so strong

Never knowing if in all my body to place with the heart

Praying God has planned for all always in this life

After this past TEC weekend, I have been given a lot more things to think about and came across many realizations or re-realizations about myself.  My heart lays in more than one place. How can I take them all with me in my life actively?

One of which is the TEC program, especially at Riverbend TEC.  The RB TEC people are my family, a family that I cherish very much.  This retreat program has been so huge in my getting to where I am at.  It was even a part of the conversation that initially led me to go see the booth for the Salesians at NCYC.  Hearing from the vocations director, Sr. C., that she thinks is could still be a part of mlife as I go on is some comfort.  I do have to talk to the provincial about it, but at least there is some hope.  If it can not be in my life, I am not sure what I would do.  It sounds like me putting conditions on God’s plan, but it is honestly vital to my faith life, the experiences had.  I can not even being to explain the passion and love I feel when I am working a TEC retreat.

Another thing that I have felt particularly strong about is going through a retreat to have a training on being a Christian Clown.  There is a weekend that some people do that take us through how to do the make-up, selecting a name and a look (face and outfit).  This is something I have been really drawn too, but there has not been a chance for me to make a weekend yet.  I am hoping that I can do it the next time they have it!  For some reason is just intrigues me and I want so much to be a part of the community of people who do it!

I spent ten months in the most southern tip of New Jersey at a retreat center, lovingly called Mary’s House.  There is no way that I can never go back to the place!  I really hope that I get the chance to make it back a a place that has really helped to form me this past year.  It is hard, no doubt.

Then of course there is the upcoming entrance (18 Days!) into formation with the Salesians.  God was very funny in how He got me to this point, that is for sure.  I am really excited to enter, but as well very nervous.  There are the constant questions of whether or not I am making the right choice.  I really just need to go and see what happens and how I feel about being there.  It is a larger group, so we will see too how I handle that.  I do better in smaller groups, but maybe this is a lesson for me to learn.  It is not like I have never been in a larger group, but it can be uncomfortable sometimes for me.  The Salesians are wonderful from what I have seen thus far, and I get the chance to work with youth.  Hopefully as time goes on and if I stay, I will have the chance ot work in retreat work, a huge passion of mine and what I love most in life a lot of times (aside from those close friends).

My heart is many places, including with a couple of my really close friends, and I need to balance it.  Did God mean for me to have my heart in so many places?  AM I suppose to let go of somethings?  If so, what things do I let go of and what means the most to me?  I keep praying that I will be able to be involved in all of these things as they are really where I am supposed to keep my heart.

Into God’s hands I must give my heart’s desires

To be left in hope that all will actively live in me

These communities that have become my family

Ones that I pray God keeps me in for my whole life

 
 

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The Words I Would Say: A Way to Live Life

“The Words I Would Say” by Sidewalk Prophets

There are many theme songs in my life, but I would say that this one has been on the more recent end of my favorites.  This past year while serving at Mary’s House this song had been ringing in my mind in a special way.  It was on the radio often and we had used it for one or two retreats in the year.  Given the things I have gone through in my own life, as well as the stuff in my life currently, it is such an appropriate song.  There are also some friends that I would dedicate this song to as well!  This past weekend on RB TEC 231, this was the theme song for the weekend.  When I found out, I nearly cried because of how God works in life.  This song which meant so much to me, was now a part of this weekend.  You never know where little signs and God experiences will pop up.

Be strong in the Lord and never give up hope.  Ho much easier our lives would be if we would only do just as that.  The Lord is always there.  Sometimes we may not get answers to the prayers, but don’t lose hope because He works in unique ways in His time.  You are going to do great things, I already know.  How do I know?  God has so many things planned for all of us if we keep that hope in Him and go where our hearts are guided.  God’s got His hand on you so don’t life life in fear.  Fear draws us away from that which we are called to.  Yes, it is hard to know God’s hand is in your life sometimes, but we have to stay open.  Forgive and forget, but don’t forget why you’re here.  Never forget why you are here, God put you here.  Take your time and pray.  Even though you may not hear back from the big man Himself, pray pray pray.  Things will happen, believe me, I know.  God met me in the bathroom of all places.  We must remember we are beautiful, we are wonderful, we are loved beyond comparison.  These are the words I would say.

 

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