Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"All the Single Ladies"

I found this particular bumper sticker on facebook. I found it kinda cute, not that sisters and nuns are actually single... they are very much taken. I thought I would put a shout-out here to all the nuns and sisters out there... but this is especially for my two girls that are very much on their way to become full fledged sisters!!! My prayers are always with ya'll! :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fun With the Family While Stuffing Easter Eggs

If you were to come and visit my family this evening you would have walked into a disaster area. As soon as you walk up the stairs you would see the living room floor covered with boxes, plastic easter eggs, little kid toys, stickers, bags, candy, and then all of us crowded in different parts of the room. It would look like we had our own little packing area with each of us having our own way of packing all these different things into easter eggs.

You see every year my dad decides he wants to be in charge of the church's children's easter egg hunt for Easter Sunday. My dad has done this now for the past ten years and so he is very particular about what toys and candy and such go with each child's age group. God forbid you accidentally add an extra sticker or put in two toys without a piece of candy... He does not do well when something goes a little off of his game plan. Flexibility is something he does not have much patience for. I have to say that I do enjoy messing with him by pretending that I messed something up earlier and just happened to realized it. That is great fun when his face turns all red and he cannot say a full sentence without stuttering because he is going through the eggs trying to find what I messed up. It is even more funny when he realizes I am joking with him. He makes it too easy that it is hard to resist teasing him a little bit.

Crista and I are now pretty much experts at dealing with my father when he is flustered while putting these easter eggs together. My mother, however, hadn't done it in a number of years and forgot how my dad can be. She was also frustrated more when not everything would fit and she had to tape a lot of them shut, and eventually just quit her spot all together. It was more fun to mess with them then actually packing up the eggs.

Of the 422 eggs we needed to fill up tonight, we only finished about half of them. We probably would have gotten them all done, except for the fact that my sister and I purposefully used the tape up like crazy so we would run out of it. My dad could not comprehend finishing the eggs that would not need tape tonight so instead he just called it quits.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Yes, I am still alive. :)

Well I have realized tonight that I haven't written up a blog post on here in quite a few days. I have just been so busy with a lot of different things that I haven't really had the time to sit down and write out a blog... I was busy with work, retreat reunions, movie night, playing ultimate frisbee, going to a friend's band concert, bowling, confirmation classes, and Bible study, add on family drama to that... Just a lot going on. Not much free time at all.

Tonight for Bible study we studied the book of Tobit. It is my very favorite book of the Bible. Me a hopeless romantic and all, this particular book, along with Song of Songs, totally works for me. It is a love story with lots of different drama going on in the story... It starts off with Tobias, Tobiah's father, a very righteous and holy man who becomes blind. He becomes distressed and prays to be able to die.

While this is going on there is a woman named Sarah who has issues of her own. She had married seven times, and each of those seven husbands ended up being killed by the demon of lust on their wedding night. She finally gets to the breaking point and starts to plan her own death. She changes her mind from committing suicide to asking God to take her life, and even at the end of her prayer she hands everything over to him and says that if He wants her to live, so be it, put to take pity on her.

At this point of the storyline, God finally sends out the archangel Raphael (Raphael actually means healer) to help answer both their prayers. Raphael goes with Tobiah to go in search of his wife, Sarah. Along the way they come upon a fish, and Raphael tells Tobiah that if he wants to get rid of Sarah's demon he must use the insides of this fish to cause him to flee, and then afterwords he and Sarah must pray to God in thanksgiving. He also said that in order to give Tobias his vision back he has to use the guts of the fish and wipe it on his eyes.

Finally Tobiah meets Sarah and they both do as Raphael told him on their wedding night, and the evil demon flees without hurting Tobiah, and then they kneel down and pray in thanksgiving for their vocation of marriage to each other.

Tobiah and Sarah finally head back to Ninevah where Tobiah helps bring his father's vision back. When Tobiah goes to give Raphael money for going on his journey with him Raphael finally reveals who he is to the two men... and then everyone lives happily ever after...

Here is the prayer that the Tobiah and Sarah prayed their wedding night...

Tobit 8:4-8

When the girl's parents left the bedroom and closed the door behind them, Tobiah arose from bed and said to his wife, "My love, get up. Let us pray and beg our Lord to have mercy on us and to grant us deliverance." She got up, and they started to pray and beg that deliverance might be theirs. He began with these words: "Blessed are you, O God of our fathers; praised be your name forever and ever. Let the heavens and all your creation praise you forever. You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve to be his help and support; and from these two the human race descended. You said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone; let us make him a partner like himself.' Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine not because of lust, but for a noble purpose. Call down your mercy on me and on her, and allow us to live together to a happy old age." They said together, "Amen, amen,"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

R.I.P. ArchBishop Romero

Today happens to be the anniversary of Oscar Romero's death. For those of you who have never heard of him here is a little background info. As the Archbishop of San Salvador during El Salvador's brutal civil war, Romero became the "bishop of the poor" for his work defending the Salvadoran people. After calling for international intervention to protect those being killed by government forces, Romero was assassinated on March 24, 1980. He is now in the process of beatification right now...

Below I pasted in Oscar Romero's prayer... I put the lines that really made me think in bold. The one line that really made me think is the one which says, "We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.We lay foundations that will need further development." It made me think about how no matter how much we want to help out the next generation live a better life, there will always be more work to do... We will never be able to fully complete something in our lifetime. Instead we work on it as much as possible until we have to pass it on to someone else to take care of....

Maybe this prayer will make some of you reflect about things as well. It is a good prayer for that.

The Prayer of Oscar Romero

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expressed our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives include everything.

This is what we are about. We plant the seed that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own. Amen

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The chimes rang to let me know it is ten o'clock

Tonight I am sitting here and my mind is bouncing in a hundred different places. Ok, well, that is not exactly true. That is really not true at all. In fact it is very focused on one thing, and that is what is so frustrating to me tonight. I want to break-away from it, but when I feel close something happens and I am right back where I started. Sometimes it is a line in a song or a quote from a book I am reading...It has been on my mind for most of the year and really it just should not be there anymore, or at least not as strong. Not nearly as strong. I have been so good bouncing back from things in the past that I am annoyed with myself for not being able to bounce back on this one... I need to let it go because it is only hurting me in the long run. I say that as if it is something so easy to do, but for whatever reason this is not so easy to do.

There are defining moments in life... people we meet, opportunities that somehow come our way at the exact time we need it, life experiences that have made us who we are... and at the time we don't realize how perfect the timing was for them. Those moments don't always phase us as they happen, and if they do we don't always really understand it all. Instead, we just go with the flow. After time passes and we think back to those moments we realize how important they were and are so grateful for them.

I know that what is on my mind tonight will most likely be one of those defining times in my life. I don't understand why things played out the way they did just yet, and really I think that is what bugs me the most. Once I understand I am sure when I think back on it I will be able to smile and be extremely grateful for what I learned from it. So until then... I guess I have no choice BUT to pray for even more clarity and understanding on why this part in my life played out like it did...There is no better person to give up this kind of thing than to God, so here it comes.

Monday, March 22, 2010

"In Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me..."

Psalms 139:13-16
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.

This particular Bible quote always amazes me. It takes my breath away when I think about how from the beginning of time God has planned on creating me... the exact day, the exact moment... He knew the time frame. He knew the parents I would have, the place I would live, how society would be in the area I would grow up. He pictured what I would look like in His mind. He knew how long I would live, and even though I have free will, He knew me enough to know how I would choose to live my life... He gave me this life because He knew what I was able to handle, and every time I hear that verse I am always amazed that I am so important to Him... out of all the ALL the incredible people who have lived on this planet He still had time to think about me and my life and the purpose for it. It seems so crazy to me, but that is the truth.

The truth is He did not just do that for me, He did that for each and every person that has been placed on this earth. It is astounding....

The other night my family got into a discussion on evolution (if you knew my family this particular subject coming up would not surprise you in the least...). I know that evolution is real... caterpillars turn into butterflies; tadpoles into frogs... Even though I know that it is real, after reading quotes from the Bible like the above one, I have a real hard time believing I came from an ape. I just can't one hundred percent believe in that part of the evolution theory. My older sister and I agreed that if we were from apes, then how come there are not any more ape/people walking around today... why can't we still see this transformation going on? Her fiancee said "well, stages could take thousands or millions of years.." but that is not enough of an answer for me to really believe that... I guess that is one of those questions I will hopefully be able to ask God if I ever do get to meet Him...

Funny thing is I did not exactly mean to start talking about my thoughts on the evolution theory, but that is the way my mind wandered tonight. In my head I thought this blog would go in one direction, but it went on a little "detour" from the way I wanted this to go. That is part of the fun of letting my mind wander. I never know where it will take me...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

In the Home Stretch

I can't believe that the end of Lent is coming so close. We are pretty much in the home stretch now... it is a good time of reflection.

Today during the homily, Deacon Kellums talked mostly about how our lenten promises are a lot like new year's resolutions. They are something we made at the beginning of the year to help better ourselves spiritually. It is not really a mortal sin if we have screwed up on them, but that does not mean we should give up hope that we can work on what we wanted to and try it again.

With that in mind I decided to go back and refresh myself on what I wanted to do for lent this year... I promised to give up snacking for lent, and let me tell you some days that has been really hard for me, while others it was not so bad. I have realized even more about that line between what I think I want and what I really can live without. This "denying" myself of snacks has helped me become more aware of the fact that I have more control of my life than sometimes I realized. I am more stronger to say no to something that I want (like sin, for example) even though it is not what I need. I am no where near bullet-proof though. I am only human... As I mentioned before, there are days when I feel strong and am doing great and then I will look and happen to see someone eating a bag of kettle-cooked potato chips, and my mouth starts watering. It takes a lot of energy to then not think about how delicious those chips are so that I am not tempted to break-down and snack away.... Or when my brother randomly brings me home a cookies 'n cream blizzard from DQ just to be nice, and it is Monday night... I mean I ended up breaking-down and eating it. If you knew my brother, you would understand how BIG of a thing that was for him to do... he never hardly ever thinks of someone other than himself, and I felt really surprised when he came in with that blizzard for me. He forgot I gave up snacking for lent, and so since it was so surprising from my brother, I did eat it. My parents said it was ok since it was a gift.

All-in-all I think I am doing pretty ok with this promise. I only have two weeks to go, and I have every intention of not breaking-down on my promise until Easter. Wish me luck. :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Catholic jokes on confession.

The new priest is nervous about hearing confessions, so he asks an older priest to sit in on his sessions. The new priest hears several confessions, then the old priest asks him to step out of the confessional for a few suggestions.

The old priest suggests, "Cross your arms over your chest and rub your chin with one hand."

The new priest tries this. The old priest suggests, "Try saying things like, 'I see, yes, go on, and I understand, how did you feel about that?"

The new priest says those things, trying them out. The old priest says, "Now, don't you think that's a little better than slapping your knee and saying, 'No way! What happened next?'"


A catholic boy and a Jewish boy were talking and the Catholic boy said, "My priest knows more than your Rabbi." The Jewish boy says, "Of course he does, you tell him everything."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hangin out with my nephew...

I couldn't resist putting up these two pics. Keegan is such a ham for the camera. lol Not quite sure the top one wouldn't not go to the larger size, but I figure ya'll can still tell how adorable he is.

Happy St. Patty's Day!!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! This is easily one of my favorite feast days to celebrate. I think it is a little bit of my Irish pride coming out on this day. I have known the story of St. Patrick since I was younger and happy to know that is obviously is not all about leperchaun's and there is reasoning behind the three leaf clover symbol, but that does not stop me from enjoying a good leperchaun hunt with my kids at work.

Today the weather was just splendid. I could not have asked for a nicer day, myself. At work we went all out to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. We had all the kids come in showing off their many different green St. Patrick's Day outfits. We watched a St. Patrick cartoon movie so that the children understood who it was that we were celebrating. We had a leperchaun hunt throughout the whole school, which ended with the children finding a pot-of-gold, which was really lots of candy, which is pretty much the same to kids around age five and under. It was so cute, because the older children enjoyed that hunt so much they wanted to make their own for the little toddlers. They made up their own little clues for them and it was fun to watch them help the little ones. We tried some cooked cabbage with the kids, but we didn't have the corn beef to go with it. The cabbage did not go over so well, but at least we were able to convince them to atleast try some. It was one of those days at work that help make me know that being a teacher is what I love to do.

I came home to find my older sister home with my baby nephew Keegan, so I was able to play with the little guy for a little bit. He was so adorable in his little green St. Patrick's day out fit. He is still little, but he has definitely grown quite a bit since the month and a half since he's been born.

For desert this evening I had a mint cookies 'n cream blizzard, mainly because it is green, but also because I really like that kind of blizzard.

It was a fun and gorgeous day. Now I am off to get some rest for another busy day tomorrow... I will end with this Irish blessing I found. I couldn't pass it up.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Just for some laughs

This is too cute I just thought I would pass it along. lol Another reason why I love kids.

Monday, March 15, 2010

"Gotta Love This American Ride"

I was driving in my car while grabbing something for me to eat for lunch when this song came on the radio. Now it really got me thinking... I love being an American, don't get me wrong. I love my country... with that however, I think that somewhere along the lines the popular ideas and beliefs us Americans have now are very skewed. America was founded on Christian morals, but somewhere along the lines those ideals have become lost... The majority of us are all out for our own gain pretty much. The mind-set seems to be "The more I have, the happier I'll be." I am not saying all of us are that way, but when I look on t.v., and newspapers, and in magazines, that is what it all points to... This song is very much a Toby Keith song, filled with sarcasm and yet it is very true... That is why I keep praying for my own country, because we need it just as much as the next country... GOD BLESS AMERICA... AMERICA BLESS GOD!

American Ride

Toby Keith

Send "American Ride" Ringtone to your CellWinter's gettin' colder, summer's gettin' warmer.
Tidal wave comin' 'cross the Mexican border.
Why buy a gallon, it's cheaper by the barrel.
Just dont get busted singin' Christmas carols.

Thats us, that's right
Gotta love this American ride.
Both ends of the ozone burnin.
Funny how the world keeps turnin.
Look ma, no hands.
I love this American ride.
Gotta love this American ride.

Momma gets her rocks off watchin' Desperate Housewives.
Daddy works his can off payin' for the good life.
Kids on the YouTube learnin how to be cool.
Livin in a cruel world, pays to be a mean girl.

Thats us, Thats right
Gotta love this American ride.
Both ends of the ozone burnin.
Funny how the world keeps turnin.
Look ma, no hands.
I love this American ride.
Gotta love this American ride.

Poor little infamous America's town.
She gained five pounds and lost her crown.
Quick fix plastic surgical antidote.
Got herself a record deal, cant even sing a note.

Plasma gettin bigger, Jesus gettin smaller.
Spill a cup of coffee, make a million dollars.
Customs caught a thug with an aerosol can.
If the shoe don't fit, fits gonna hit the shan.

Thats us, Thats right
Gotta love this American ride.
Both ends of the ozone burnin.
Funny how the world keeps turnin.
Hot dog, Hot damn.
I love this American ride.
Gotta love this American ride.
Oh yeah,
na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na........... nanananananana

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jordan!!! :)

Today, more than most days, I am starting to feel my age. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that my oldest nephew, Jordan, turns ten today... It is so crazy to me how time has flown by since he was born. He has had a tough time the past few years with his parents getting a divorce and now his mom in engaged. It is a lot for a kid to deal with. I can't really understand anything that is going on in his mind because I, myself, have been blessed with parents who never did get divorced. I never had to go through that, so my heart always goes out my older three nephews...

I remember the day he came home with my older sister. You see, she was not married at the time he was born, both he and her lived with us a good chunk of his life... In fact, all three of the boys have lived with us for a good amount of time due to when her ex went into the army so she stayed with us while he was away, and then after they separated she came back home again with them.... In a lot of ways those three are more like younger brothers to me than nephews.

The above picture happens to be him with his baby brother, Keegan. It is so far, my favorite picture of him this year. It is so precious!

In the past ten years I have helped change this child's diapers, baby-sat for him, walked him around late at night when he did not want to go to sleep humming one lull-a-bye after another because that is what usually helped him stay quiet. I remember him taking his first few steps, and how his first word was "ight" a.k.a. light. I remember how he loved watching Raffi videos and dancing to the Beetles "Yellow Submarine." Then I also remember the time we had to take him to the emergency room because the sliding shower door somehow came off and landed on his little foot. He still has a scar from that. I have enjoyed playing "football" with him and joking around which team is better, the Chicago Bears, or the Indianapolis Colts. I have had fun having water balloon fights, and tickle fights, and play wrestling. I have enjoyed lots of silly string fights and walks to the neighborhood parks. I will always be happy to know I was the first person to ever take him "real" sledding, as he calls it (I didn't know there was a fake kind of sledding myself. lol). I remember never ending poker games, (he learned how to play poker very young), and watching Spongebob Square Pants episodes. The list of memories could go on and on...

I have loved every minute of being his Aunt and sharing precious moments with this kid. He can have his bad days, but even those I understand. I hope he knows that if he needs anything I will always be there for him.

So.... Happy Birthday, Jordan!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I Am A Girl of Many Passions

The other night a few of my friends and I talked about how in college it seems as though there is push from all sides telling us that it is the time for us to choose and focus on only one of our things that we are extremely passionate about... It is hard to figure out what that thing is for some of us. In some ways I think it is sad letting some things you are passionate about get let go. To me it's like a little piece of what makes you you kind of die in a way. That is why even though I am passionate about teaching, and that is my main focus, I refuse to let the things that make me happy go to waist.... Thinking about this topic made me really identify what my passions are. There are some things I remember thinking I wanted to keep doing when I was younger and as I grew up those things shifted a bit, or changed all together... Still there are a few things that I have never stopped enjoying from each of the different stages I have gone through. There are some that I have just recently been made aware of in the past few years as well.

Music is one of my passions that I have kept since I can remember. My mom said that I would play around on my older sister's keyboard for hours when I was little, and when I say little I mean back in my toddler aged days. She said I would just sit there and be perfectly content hitting the different notes and listening to the different sounds they made while trying to play songs. My parents did not have that much money to start me on piano lessons really until I was around the age of nine. I remember how excited I was to finally take them. I became really good at it, and thought that I could be famous, but as I grew older I stopped really playing the piano for other people so much (mainly because I get major stage fright...sad excuse, but true nonetheless), and started playing it for me. I would play it for Mass sometimes, but would freak-out and mess up SO much that I figured it would be better for all involved to just let someone who enjoys that kind of thing to play. Even now though I play it when I am home alone or when I need to let some of my pent-up emotions out.

Another passion of mine, obviously is teaching. I love to teach, mostly younger kids, because between you and me, they are still shorter than me and so I feel tall and more in control. Really though, I love teaching that age because their brains are like sponges. They want to learn. They LOVE to learn. They understand what they learn SO much faster than even the children in the upper elementary grades do. Not to mention they are a joy to be around. These kids brighten up my day with the quarky little comments they make or questions they have. I wouldn't trade my job for anything. Not only do I love my teaching job, but I LOVE my faith, and I love to teach it and that is why I enjoy teaching both ccd classes and Confirmation classes. I helped teach ccd classes since I was in high school, and if my schedule worked for me this year I would have done it again. I still teach Confirmation though, and I am enjoying the challenge. These kids have helped me search and learn way more about my faith than I knew, and I thought I knew quite a bit. Boy, was I fooled.

Retreats... helping lead them more specifically or chaperoning them... I love it. I am known as a "retreat junkie." I can't have enough of them. I get to use my creativity and outgoing crazy personality to help bring some of the kids out of their shells. As much as I get stage fright with playing my piano, I still have when I stand-up to do a talk, but doing talks in a way is different for me. I am a talker, and so I can cover up much better when I miss something I meant to cover in a talk than when I play the piano. I did not really realize my love of helping the youth in this way until I started my sophomore year of college.

Those are just a few of the things I am passionate about and I fully intend to not let anyone of these go as I grow older. There are some others, but with the way I wrote about these I have a feeling my post would be extremely long, so I will end with those.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Good Quotes to Live By

Here are a few quotes that I try to live by... very insightful stuff. lol

You've got a lot of choices. If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you're not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice.
~Steven D. Woodhull~

What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. It is always the same step, but you have to take it.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry~

Don't wait for the Last Judgment. It happens every day.
~Albert Camus~

Good for the body is the work of the body, and good for the soul is the work of the soul, and good for either is the work of the other.
~Henry David Thoreau~

Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all life really means.
~Robert Louis Stevenson~

If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree.
~Jim Rohn~

Give thanks for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow.
~Fernanda Miramontes-Landeros~

Though the circular round-and-round of routine be the bulk of life's affairs, make an occasional jutting diversion - of fun, love, or something that will outlast you - so the shape and motion of your life shall resemble the round life giving sun with bright rays shining forth from all directions.
~Destin Figuier~

Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe~

You will turn over many a futile new leaf till you learn we must all write on scratched-out pages.
~Mignon McLaughlin~

Now that it's all over, what did you really do yesterday that's worth mentioning? ~Coleman Cox~

Laziness will cause you pain.
~Slogan on T-shirt worn at the Vee Arnis Jitsu School of Self-Defense

Never miss an opportunity to make others happy, even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it.

~Author Unknown~

Sometimes it's more important to be human, than to have good taste.

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.
~Victor Hugo~

You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him.

~Leo Aikman~

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
~Frank Herbert~

Don't look where you fall, but where you slipped.
~African Proverb~

Promise only what you can deliver. Then deliver more than you promise.
~Author Unknown~

Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein~

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Just another night with my family

Well I have had a busy few days... Last night I was able to attend a simply beautiful french horn recital. One of my very dear friends gave her senior performance, and I am always amazed at how effortless it seems for her to play that instrument. Maybe even more so because she happens to have asthma so she has to work twice as hard to play it. Afterwords her mother held a little reception and it was nice to meet more of her family. She talks about them ALL the time, so it was nice to put some faces to the names she talks about.

Tonight I was able to attend a Latin Requiem Mass, and it was done beautifully. There is no better way to spend an evening than attending and being part of something so, in every sense of the word, awesome.

Now I am just sitting here in my living room in my pj's... I feel so relaxed after that Mass that there is nothing major really going on in my head like normal. My dad is watching the movie, National Treasure a few feet away from me. My mom is going through all her new pro-life posters and such for the church bulletin. Every few seconds my dad is calling to me to turn down my music...the music is hardly audible to begin with, and it just makes me giggle that my dad can hear it when he is usually so good at tuning other things out. My mom calls is selective listening... My mom is trying to have me look at each poster as she holds it up. "Look at this, Teresa. Isn't this just somethin?" and of course I answer, "Yes, Mom. It really makes you think." It kind of makes me laugh. Between those two things I am even more distracted from pondering...

Well the fact that I blogged about my distractions shows just how I have nothing to really write about. Instead I think it will be a better idea for me to get off and focus my attention on my parents, or more specifically my mother, since she has been trying to get if ever since I sat down to use the computer... Oh, I love my family. :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My New Understanding of the Parable of the Good Samaritan

Tonight I had the enjoyment of attending a talk at my church for our parish renewal. It was about understanding the call to discipleship. The speaker for the night, Fr. Dennis. He talked about our faith life should be like a journey... There are three parts... the door, the road, and the destination. Since I am really tired this evening I will focus more on the "door" part in this entry and talk more about the other two tomorrow.

For the door he focused on the Good Samaritan parable from Mark's gospel. He talked about how most of the time the priests will always say, "who are we supposed to be most like in this parable? The good samaritan of course." Well the truth of the matter is that we are not the good samaritan. In reality God is the good samaritan in the story and we are the stupid one who thinks it is a good idea to go through a dangerous place and make it out ok. When we don't and we get hurt the moment we realize who that person is (God) we automatically recoil away and don't want anything to do with Him, but that does not stop Him from coming down and saving us. After going through that parable Fr. Dennis said that the only way we can leave the door is when we know who we really are and once we know who we are we are ready to go onto the journey.

It was interesting to hear his take on that parable, but it makes complete sense. I know that I make stupid decisions thinking I know what is the best for me, even though it may be very stupid... I end up getting what I deserve when I do that and sometimes do not want to admit that I messed up, so when I know I have to turn back to God I don't want to... I recoil from it, but that doesn't stop Him from still coming down and dying for me to save me... it doesn't stop Him from forgiving me over and over for stupid things I have done. He will not let anything stop Him from loving me. It was a great talk.

As I said at the beginning, I have had a longer day today and I am pretty tired, so I will focus on more of this talk tomorrow night.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"I Am Your Love"

Here is another poem I found that is really beautiful... Enjoy!

"I Am Your Love"

How can it be true?
I am your love
How can it be true?
You choose me for you
How can I believe this?
Your love is all madness

I am your love
You hold me tight and drown me mightily
I am speechless; my fears are lost in your arms
I tremble in awe
How can this be?
I am a criminal, and you are the Prince of Peace

I am your love
You are in my breath; you are in my thoughts
You are in my hair; you are in my heart
You touch me everywhere and enter my blood
You boil in my veins
You make me faint with disbelief
You melt me away with torrents of gentility
You possess me and intoxicate me

I am your love
You mark me as your territory
You pick me up and keep me in your mouth
I am a cell in your skin
I rest in your handsome heartbeat

I am your love, your little secret treasure
Your hunger your thirst your dream
Your obsession your tenderness your desire
Your prize your booty your conquest
Your pleasure your home your property

I am your love: rule over me with your mighty hand
Arrange me by your most noble pleasure
Cleanse me with your holy fire
Swallow me into your sweet breath
Take and use me

"Your Will Be Done"

I found this on the internet today and thought it was too good to pass up... There is one line especially in this poem... "I know how much you love me, so test me more. I have fears but they must be squashed." That line struck me in a way because they say God will give you as much as you can take... so even though He may take us someplace that seems scary He knows that we will be able to handle it and overcome it with great strides....

"Your Will Be Done"

You come every moment of every day
I thought I was ready for you but then find myself fumbling
You told me not to be anxious but my nature is weak
I smile about this ‘cause I know you know and forgive

Your holy will is the best, whether it be comfort or trial, heartache or joy
Whatever you ordain is the best food for my soul
Whatever happens comes to me after your scrutiny
My faults are many, but your loving heart surely anticipates

Help me to resign more and more, dear Lord
|Help me to embrace your holy will with my whole heart and soul
Never to complain, never to fret, never to doubt
Help me to like a child in your bosom rest

Help me to smile, to you and everyone
Help me to accept everything, even aridity and hindrance
Help me to snuggle close to you when my nature shrinks
Help me to discern and cooperate with your grace

I know how much you love me, so test me more
I have fears but they must be squashed
How can I ever trust you enough?
You the most glorious and merciful King

Your will be done, O Divine Mercy
In everyone everywhere at all times
Crush the enemy and mold your children
We are yours today tomorrow and always

Could anything separate us?
Perhaps our cowardice, our distrust, our disobedience
But even then we’ll have recourse to your most Merciful Heart
You’ll relent and hurry to hold us

Enough praise is not sung to you, O Precious King
Stones and grass should all jump for joy, giving you due adoration
Forgive us for our selfish negligence
For in worrying about ourselves we forget to worship you

Can I say that I love you?
My heart is small but its only spark is for you
Pick it out, fan it into flames with your most Holy Fire
I abandon myself to you and resolve to ignorance

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I Enjoy Being a Night Owl

It is somewhat late for my family at the moment... it is a quarter after eleven and all my family is in bed. I think that my very favorite time of the day is at night when I am the only one in the house left awake. There is something so freeing about being the only person awake when the lights are all off and I feel as though I have to be careful about every move I make so as to avoid as much noise as possible. It is so quiet that the sound of my fingers typing on the keyboard seems as though it could wake someone up in the next room. The sound of the computer running is now so apparent that there is no way to ignore it. I notice the sound of the floor board creaking as I walk down the hall when normally I would not give it a second thought.

It is at night when I let my mind really wonder away from me. It is at this time of the day when I enjoy reflecting on my life... how much I have changed in the past year, ways I can improve on myself for the next. Sometimes I find myself thinking about past relationships and where things started to go awry and how I could have changed it in some way to keep those people still in my life.

As I sit here now and everyone is in bed I have started thinking about the previous post I wrote yesterday. I realize that as silly as it is I can be so candid here on this public blog where the whole world can come and read whatever I write. It kind of comes naturally to write out how I feel rather than just tell someone. When I talk to someone half the time the words that come out of my mouth are never what I mean to say. They come out all jumbled because I tend to speak before I totally think about how to get out what is on my mind. It is so much easier for me to write things here where I can change things around until it sounds just how I mean it to sound. There are so many times when I will start a blog post with on intention and then my mind takes it to another different direction. It is kind of therapeutic for me to write in that way because I uncover something new about myself each time.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Finding Freedom in Imperfection

I have been thinking a lot about some of the way I am. I started really contemplating this when I was in my small group. I do not even remember the question that sparked the way I have realized I need to make somewhat of a change.

Perfection... sometimes I think in a way I work towards trying to be the "perfect" friend, sister, person to work with, daughter. I realize that I never really thought about trying to be the "perfect" person, but I think that in a way I do do that. I try to be the person that always has something nice being said about them. I try to be the listening ear for friends and family. I try to always have a smile on my face because I somehow feel as though people have really started to expect that from me. I try not to complain too often about things even though there are many times I just want to tell people to give me a break... I am not a psychiatrist. I can't be the one to save everyone's little corner of the world. That is what God and Jesus are for, right? That sounded a little harsh after reading that, but the truth is I have my own personal issues I have been trying to get through, and sometimes I do not want to deal with other people's problems.

I realized in my small group that there are very few people I feel comfortable and trust enough to vent to and know that they will still love me afterwords. I think my problem is that I need to let more people in and not be afraid to always keep my guard up and keep a happy face on when I am not totally feeling all that happy. I am not saying that keeping my guard up is a bad thing... letting people in has always been an issue for me. For as long as I can remember it seems that as though as soon as I start to really feel comfortable with a person and really trust them enough to let them all the way in, they leave... they move away, or they find other people to hang-out with and kind of drop me like a hot potato without much of an explanation for it. My family seems to think I wear my heart on my sleeve, and in some ways I do, but in others I keep it hidden under lock and key.

I have to remember that there is no such thing as a "perfect" person. The only person that can totally own that saying is Jesus... well I guess Mary too, so two people that can own that saying. I have come to realize that it is somewhat freeing to realize I don't need to be perfect all the time... so imperfection is totally ok, and there is beauty and character in a hopelessly flawed person. Why should I hold myself to such an impossible standard as perfection if I don't expect that from everyone else in my life. We are all human and we all have different things we are dealing with. As of now I am going to work on letting some more people in when I need someone, because it is not healthy for me to keep it all in.

Monday, March 1, 2010

My Lenten Promise

This lent I decided that among other stuff the main thing I have given up is to stop snacking on junk food... I am trying not to snack much at all really unless I really do need it, like an apple or fresh carrots... things like that.

I have come to realize through this little endeavor of mine is that it is starting to take a toll on my own self-control. It is a good thing though. I know that self-control is something that I should always try to work on, especially in the society I've grown up in. Here in America everything is about what "I" think I want think I need, and getting it as soon as possible. Drugs, alcohol, sex, all these things are apparent here and so easy to find really if one wants it bad enough. Really though, the whole, "it's all about me thing," is not at all the best perspective to have, especially while trying to live a good Catholic/Christian life. Focusing on what I want takes away the whole reason why I love to be Catholic. Being Catholic and trying to be a positive role model and living by example has to be the exact opposite of the "I" theory. It has to be about God. I have to focus my attention on God and what He wants for me. I need to let Him lead me, and to be quite honest that is one of the scariest things for me to really do.

This self-control idea is actually helping me be even more okay with finding out the path God wants me to follow. Yes, it still scares me a lot to think about the plans He may have for me, because they may not at all be the one's I would ever have wanted to choose for myself. I am slowly understanding that if I want to hear God's plans for me than I have to allow myself to be totally open and as prepared as possible for whatever it is, and I think this may be one of the first big steps for me to take. I guess I will find out if I am right or not.