Thursday, December 24, 2009

Home, Sweet Home

It's that time of year when everyone abandons their daily routine for celebration, family, gift-giving, and prayer.   It's the time of year when people buy things that they can't really afford just to see the face of a loved one light up with surprise and joy.    It is a time of great love.  It is a time of much busyness.  It is a time of hope.

During this Christmas post, I would like to spotlight one particular person in my life who makes my Christmas what it is: my daddy.  If you don't know this man, then hopefully you have someone in your life like him.   My father is one of the best and holiest people I have ever known.   He's not holy because he has not fault, rather he is holy because he never stops working to mend his faults.  He is a humble man.  Even when I was a very young child, he would apologize to me whenever he spoke is frustration or impatience with me.  It is very difficult to admit mistakes and apologize to your children, especially if the reason for said mistakes is often the bad behavior of said children.  Daddy never felt that was a good enough excuse.

Daddy is always worried about the well being of his children.  When he is able, he makes a daily holy hour for the spiritual and physical well-being of our family.  He has Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia(CLL), but refuses to pray for his own healing because he feels that he can do more good for those he loves if he suffers through it.  CLL effects his immune system and adds further complications to his health as he ages.  My dad is seventy-four years old and pushes himself to be just as active as he was when I was a little girl.  He does all of the rough-housing with my seven-year-old sister as he did with me when I was that age, but now it costs him so much more.  Daddy is a man of sacrifice.

He is a gentle man too.  He is a protector.  When I was little he prayed over me to keep the nightmares away.  Now, whenever I ask him, he prays over me to banish my fears and anxieties.  He pulls loose teeth and removes splinters with the utmost love and care.  He holds us when we're scared.  He offers compassion when we're ill or hurting.  He offers counsel when we feel lost.  He taught me what a gentleman is and his love for my mother sets the standard for what I want in my own marriage(God willing).

Daddy loves Christmas.  Every year he tells us all not to give him gifts.  He means it.  He explains that there is nothing he needs, nothing he wants, and that we shouldn't waste our money on gifts for him because he knows that we love him.  Of course, we never listen, because such a man deserves to be honored with sentimental gifts that let him know how wonderful we feel he is.

Every Christmas Eve, after Midnight Mass, we gather in the living room around Dad's la-z-boy recliner and he reads, with his best bayou accent, "The Cajun Night Before Christmas".  He's been doing this for as long as I can remember.  Sometimes he also read "The Gift of the Magi" or "The Cowboy Night Before Christmas".  We are each given a special Christmas Eve ornament to unwrap and put on the tree, then we all head up to our beds and wait for Santa to work his magic.

Not Daddy.  Even after Santa has come and gone, Dad stays in his recliner all night.   He does this every Christmas.  Once, when I was a little girl, I asked him why.  He told me that he wants to be there to see everyone's first reaction to all the gifts.  This, of course, is especially true for the reactions of the children, who usually exclaim with delight, "He came!" as if they somehow thought "he" might not come.

Then, once everyone is awake and in the living room, Daddy sits by the tree and, one by one, passes out gifts.   He does one at a time because he wants to watch all of the reactions.  Even for the older ones there's almost always a gift that is a total surprise.  Mom and Dad don't feel like they did it right if they can't find some very special surprise for each of their children.

I have been so blessed in my family.  I'll probably write about the other members soon.  For now, I just wanted you to share a part of my Christmas.  Merry Christmas to you all, my dear friends!  God bless you!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Stormy Weather

This has been a whirlwind week.   So much is going on and there are lots of storms, both physical and metaphorical.  My poor siblings in Christ are all struggling through this especially difficult finals week.  All sorts of unexpected mishaps are taking place.  I'm right there with you.  That's all I wanted to say.  I'm there too.  So we can get through this together.  Just don't do it alone, k?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

On Adventure, Dreaming, and Fear

When I was little, I used to wonder and dream of the great adventures that were to come as I grew into an adult. I was not afraid of what was to come, because I felt that even though it was incredibly uncertain, it would surely be amazing. Even the troubles that I knew would come didn't really frighten me because I knew that I would be older and that I'd know more about what to do and how to act.

Now that I'm older, that knowledge seems to be such a small consolation. The more I know, the more aware I become of my own great ignorance. I realize that this has made me significantly less daring. The smallest changes in my daily routines are much more frightening than they ever should have been. I've surrounded myself with so many rules in order to protect myself from possible mistakes or any possible repeats of past injuries. However, many of these rules also prevent me from experience the dreams and joys that I felt so certain would come when I got older. Some of them, I let slide by rather and rise up and claim them, because I am too afraid.

It's time to find a better balance between safety and adventure. There is no adventure without sense of danger, so I need to learn to take risks. However, I need to still be careful to avoid throwing caution to the wind. I don't want to be bound by fear, but I do want to be wise. Maybe I'll find wisdom when I become okay with my own foolishness. ^_^

Monday, October 19, 2009

Here comes the sun...

Surprise! By the grace of God, and Him alone, I broke out of the funk I've been in for the last few days. I can't explain it. Despite countless attempts by friends, family, and myself to get me out of it, I made no progress, then, suddenly, peace came out of the blue and overcame all else. The first signs came this morning when I was walking to class and felt like singing. I knew that I wasn't ready for my Chinese quiz and that I had to give a presentation for my International Law class, but I wasn't afraid anymore.

As the time to go to Mass approached, I considered missing Mass in order to spend more time working on my Chinese, but I knew that it wouldn't make a difference. I was just about as ready as I'd be today and that extra hour would only get me two more words in my memory bank. So I went into the church, let out a deep and freeing sigh and just felt my soul fall into His arms. I looked at Him and my many requests and pleas were reduced to one simple prayer, "Lord, give me the gift of abandonment". I don't know where the prayer came from because I felt so compelled to pray it that I was able to go through all of Mass without losing my focus on Christ to focus on Chinese. Instead, I was blown away by the amazing reality of the Eucharist. I received God into my entire being today! What else can even come close in importance?

My soul was penetrated by His beautiful light and He consoled my weary spirit in an instant. I didn't ask for anything else. I didn't need to. In that moment, I knew with my whole existence that He was everything good and that I'd never need anything else. I was lost in His love and it's too much joy for me to contain. I did nothing to deserve this precious gift and I don't care. I have it because He wants me too and that's good enough for me any day. I feel so brave right now. I feel as if I can face anything now. Everything is in perspective.

I did fine on my presentation. I did poorly on my Chinese quiz, but not so poorly that I cannot recover. Either way, I'm happy and I love Him so much. I have so much love and joy in my heart right now. I am very much aware of how selfish I've been these past few days and I want to apologize to all of my amazing friends, who tried their best to help me out. I just got in your way. :-/ Know that I love you and that I see what you do for me. You touch much life!

Here's a song to leave you with!

Melancholy Me

Sometimes I feel as if being melancholy is like catching a head cold. It's bad enough to make you feel miserable but not quite bad enough to get you out of anything. This semester I've been feeling melancholy very much. I'm so annoyed with myself. :(

Basically, I'm sick and tired of feeling this way and I want to be done with school and stress and loneliness. FOR GOOD! My self just gets in the way too much. I keep saying this too shall pass and I know that it's true. I just wish that it would pass sooner or that I was better equipped to deal with it. But I'm not and it won't. So, I'll just have to deal with it and keep pushing myself along.

It sound pretty depressing, doesn't it? I'm not depressed, though, or I don't think that I am. I'm just tired and a bit sad for no particular reason and a bunch of stupid reasons. And it's frustrating and a bit discouraging. I'm done, for now. Thanks.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Simply Lovely Dress

So, I was browsing the WWW via stumble! when I happened upon this work of art: The Dress! It's is one of the most beautiful dresses that I've ever seen and it has so much happening in it. It's whimsical, romantic, sassy, stylish, and elegant all at the same time. Here are a couple of shots of the dress in action. one here and one here The dress is by Luly Yang and is called "Papillon". Get this, it only costs $25,000. Crazy right! Who, in their right mind, would spend that much on a single dress? Still, it's a very lovely work of art, in my opinion.

This is probably one of the least meaningful posts I've ever put up. But I just wanted to share this with you.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Friends are like Flowers...

When I was a little girl I used to listen to children's praise music on a cassette entitled "Hi God!" and on it was this song: (Granted this version is a bit different then the one I grew up on - it's certainly faster ^_^) Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the metaphorical garden of my life. I have so many different kinds of flowers in the garden and they are all amazingly beautiful.

Many of them will be moving away after this year and that's been on my heart lately. What does it mean for my friendships with everyone if life is drawing them in a new direction. As I watch them, one by one, discover where they want to go and who they want to be, I feel as if I'm being left behind. Not because they are going, I am confident that our friendships will last for a long time, even if they change with time. I feel as if I lack the clarity that they possess about the future. Where do I fit in this great big world? What am I meant to do? I can't stay hear forever and with each friend discovering more about his or her life path, I am increasingly being made aware of that fact. I wish that I was more wise.

Still, in spite of all my fears, I'm happy for my beautiful friends and all the great adventures that lie ahead for them. Incidentally that makes me think of another song: (The movie that this song is from is irrelevant to this post.) Well, onward toward adventure, I guess. ^_^

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Terrilbe, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Reprise

I have no words. Academic discouragement, undeserving award recipients, and NO SLEEP! End Post.

Monday, September 28, 2009

100 Things That Bring Me Joy

1.God; He is my everything and I cannot express the incredible joy my heart is filled with by His awesomeness!
2.My family; They have been there for me through it all and they are my most precious treasures
3.My friends, particularly Natalie, Angelle-Marie, Christina, Kelly, Kori, Barrett, Jason, Michael, Zach, Breton, Adolfo & Cashel, Amy, Scott, David, Daniel, Dorissa, Brooke, and Lauren
5.Elderly people
12.Making people laugh or smile
13.Watching people enjoy life
14.Reading a good novel
15.Watching a good romance
16.Seeing people in love
17.good films
18.Watching Ballet
19.Watching Figure Skating
20.Floating in the water
21.Dressing up
25.Witty dialogues
29.Plant life
30.Long walks in the woods
31.Long walks in an open field
32.Long walks in general
33.The beach
34.The mountains
36.Helping people know how wonderful they are
37.Dancing/running/walking in the rain
38.Mystery movies/shows
41.The Eucharist
43.Holy Priests/Religious
44.Beautiful architecture
46.Not having to shop
47.Successful shopping trips
52.Knowing (parts of) foreign languages
53.Learning about other cultures
54.Learning about other people
55.Getting to know people really well
56.Being trusted/confided in
57.Ice skating
58.Roller blading
60.Throwing the football
62.Funny stories/jokes
63.Formal etiquette
64.Being barefoot
65.Slop soccer
67.Feeling beautiful
68.The Disney magic
69.Fairy Tales
70.Star Wars
71.The Lord of the Rings
72.Star Trek
73.“Anne of Green Gables” (books and films)
74.“An Old Fashioned Girl”
75.“Rose In Bloom”
76.“Pollyanna Grows Up”
77.“Heidi Grows Up”
78.The Scarlet and the Black
79.The Last Samurai
80.Feeling loved
82.Being healed (especially from the non-physical wounds)
84.Pretty clothing
85.Designing clothes
86.Duets with Audrey
87.Happy endings
88.The color blue
90.Starry nights
92.Singing in the Moonlight
93.Accomplishing things on my to-do list for my life
94.Witnessing people's talents
97.Writing letters
98.Receiving letters
99.Getting packages in the mail
100.Improving myself

Wednesday, September 9, 2009



(all I can see when I close my eyes are Chinese characters)

I am all "Chinesed" out. I love that I am learning this language, but I wish so much that I was more efficient at it. I just stayed up 'till two in the AM to finish my fourteen pages of Chinese workbook homework. I started said homework at six o'clock PM. I need say no more.


Monday, September 7, 2009

I just want you to know

I love my friends!!!! They are each so different and so amazing! They help me to be my best self. Thanks y'all!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Know Thyself

Brace yourselves for some serious over-thinking.

Detracion - a lessening of reputation or esteem especially by envious, malicious, or petty criticism

Gossip - to relate a rumor or report of an intimate nature

Okay, so these two sins, or negative habits(if that term is more comfortable) are very possibly the most socially acceptable way of harming one another. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the effects of these two vices and these are some things that really struck me about myself.

When I am hurt or offended someone, I find it easy to share that and and the details of why I'm upset with some friend of relative or support. There are so many problems with that. First, I know within myself that I would feel deep shame if the person about whom I was speaking over heard my words or later learned of them. Second, most of my friends and acquaintances know each other. That means that my words could potentially be very damaging to the person I'm speaking of, the person I'm speaking to, their relationship, and my relationship with both people. I hate gossip and detraction. I feel as if no good comes from either of these vices. But let's not kid, I am so frequently guilty of gossip that it's ridiculous.

It doesn't make sense. I am so strongly opposed to the vices, yet I am readily guilty of them. Why is that? Well, I think that it's partly because when I'm upset about something, it's easier for me to complain about it to a third party than to address it with the person in question. Also, when I know someone is going through a rough time, my tendency is to tell others the specifics of that in order to give them incentive to join me in praying my friend through that troubled time. Finally, when someone asks me about my day, I find it difficult to answer honestly without giving the details of whatever conflicts or potential conflicts have taken place that day.

Why does any of this matter? Well, nearly everyone takes part in gossip or detraction. Lately that fact has been disturbing me greatly. Why? It's disturbing me because I've been wondering, what do people say when they gossip about me? I've never really liked to think of myself as the subject of gossip - I doubt anyone really does - but the idea of my faults, weaknesses, and personal life becoming the center of someone else's conversation, especially if that someone else is a friend that I love and trust, is very unsettling. This, in turn, makes me wonder how my friends feel. Even if I rarely say anything about them, what would they say if that knew about such and such time where I wasn't a good friend and said too much?

I know that my friends are wonderful and they care a great deal about me, but that only makes me feel my guilt more keenly. They don't deserve gossip or detraction from me. They deserve to be upheld, not to have their actions opened up for the discussion, judgment, and perhaps mockery of others. How easy it is for some misunderstanding to come about from one story about someone that is taken out of the context of their life, motives, and usual personality and actions. Once people get ideas about one another, it's hard to break them. It's a cliche' statement and yet, if we really think about it, we know it to be true.

I'm writing about this on my blog because it's on my heart. The purpose of this post is not to lecture anyone and I am not writing it to correct someone else's tendencies towards gossip and detraction. This is about my own tendency and the tendency of others in general. If anyone feels an ill-disguised reproof in this post, it's not from me, but maybe there's a reason for it.

I do, however want to issue a general apology. To all of my friends whom have ever become the subject of my gossip, to all the friends whom I have talked about instead of talked to (regarding grievances and problems), to all the friends who's secrets I didn't keep, and to all of the friends who feel betrayed by my idle words, I am sincerely sorry. I am going to make a concrete effort to change and the reason why is because I love you. I want to be worthy of your trust and your friendship. Please be patient with me for I am slow to learn. Have a good day!

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm so tired

So, it's been a while since my last blog post and very little has changed. I'm still mulling over possibilities for where I'll take the short story, which btw, needs a real name, so I apologize for the delay in updates. I'm just so exhausted. Don't get me wrong, I love being back at school and I'm so glad to be so near my amazing friends once more, but I am bushed.

Who knew that life could be so tiring and expensive. I cannot afford myself. ^^ Don't worry though, I have a babysitting job and I'm working on limiting my spending. Today was an especially long day. Going to bed and 11ish and waking up at 6:15 is not a good game plan for me. Stronger persons than I may be ably to handle it, but I absolutely cannot. *sigh* Oh, the limitations of my own frailty. Bummer.

Anyway, it's time for me to stop whining and move ahead. Incidentally, the almost-acolyte-eventually-permanent-deacon at our school parish said something at the Communion Service (Mass was canceled as all of our priests were at a funeral) today. He said that he was going to try to be more detail oriented and focused so that he could see and recognize what God was trying to tell him. If you think about what that would entail, that's pretty powerful stuff. Well, it really resonated with me. Therefore, I'm going to try to do likewise.

THE END. (Goodnight!)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Goodbye and Thank You

Another day, another dollar. Whew! Today was a rough day at work, mostly because I was pretty much dead on my feet when I got there. I felt as if my reflexes were doubly slow and I was very disconnected from my work. It was extremely difficult to keep my energy and enthusiasm up. I tried hard.

It's really my own fault. I stayed up too late when I went to visit my Aunt and Uncle, then I stayed up too late last night, then I woke up too early tonight. When I take away sleep, I don't function well. So, here I am: upstairs on my computer, listening to my cousin teaching art to my siblings downstairs and the Denzel Washington & Julia Roberts movie my Dad and brother are watching. I wish that I had more energy so I could drive off to spend much needed quality time with my wonderfully amazing friends. I did, by the way, get to see some of them at 6:30 a.m. Mass this morning and that made my day. Still, I wish I was with them now.

Self pity is no fun, so I'm going to move on to another topic. Um...I've got nothing. =)

Okay, I've been thinking about writing a short story and then publishing it, in chapters, on my blog. (This thought really just hit me two seconds ago) What do y'all think? Any opinions? Lemme know, k?

P.S. We served plantains at work today. They were not flaming. ^_^

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Gospel Meditation

Luke 10:25-37
"25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
26"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
27He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'a]">[a]; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'b]">[b]"
28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
30In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coinsc]">[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise.""

Today, I was able to participate in a meditation on this gospel passage with a youth group from Florida. In the meditation, the youth leader invited us to imagine ourselves in the role of the Samaritan. This was something I had never done before, but in doing it, many new thoughts and ideas about this passage came to me.
First off, what could have been running through this Samaritan's mind as he came upon the badly beaten Jew. What happened to this man? Is this a trap to bring my guard down so that the robbers can attack me? This man is a Jew, and Jews revile and hate all Samaritans. They consider us to be half-bred apostates. If I help this man, he will be considered "unclean" for his contact with me. Perhaps he will even hate me for helping him and making him "unclean". When I get to a place for him to stay and be cared for, I may be turned away simply because I am a Samaritan. But look at this man. He suffers. His wounds are bad and he has received no help. If I pass him by, other are likely to pass him by as well. He could die. He may have family. Yes, he may be a Jew, he may even hate me, but I will help him. Through his suffering, he is my brother. I too have been broken and abandoned. I cannot leave him. I will not abandon my brother.
As I meditated on this parable, the images in my head changed and I became the Samaritan and the injured man became my coworkers. Most of the people I work with are not happy people. They are easily troubled, easily angered, and easily discouraged. I have often tried to be Christ to them, but either for my weakness or from their own issues, my attempts at kindness have often been interpreted as fake, selfishly motivated, or simply aggravating. It makes me so sad when this happens. Whether or not my coworkers have some amazing conversion experience from knowing Christ through me, I sincerely do care about them and just want to make their days a bit easier and their lives a bit better. When they don't see this, I feel so inept. I wonder how I could act or speak differently to convey my intent without sounding arrogant, judgmental, annoying, self-important, etc. For me, this is very difficult.
Today at work, I was just about ready to give up. I felt that no matter what I did I would just continue to get extra flack from everyone. In fact, lately it seems that the more I try to love my coworkers, the more I am insulted, taken advantage of, or ignored. I work to do a good job, I get assigned double work. A coworker asks to take my shift, but shows up late, so i get called by a manager who thinks that I'm lying about my shift being picked up. I try to help people get their work done and they leave me to do their jobs. When I left work today I was discouraged, frustrated, and annoyed. I felt that if this is how good behavior is rewarded, then it's a lost cause.
All of this came back up at me as I meditated on the passage of the good Samaritan. I realized that I had somewhere slipped into focusing almost entirely on what the personal costs to me would be. I was ashamed. In my mind as I found new resolve to help my imaginary wounded coworkers get up and walk ahead, I saw them transform into Christ next to me. He too was wounded and bleeding. And as we walked, in my meditation, I could feel the heat and the humidity pressing in against us as we labored down a dirt road. I looked up at the hot and cloudless sky and took a big sigh. "Okay Lord," I said to him, "Here we go" and with that, we pushed on. It was hard to help him and I could feel my strength failing, but as we walked, without my even noticing it, the scene had shifted. I was no longer helping Christ with His cross, but He was now helping me. There, my meditation ended.

So, here are some things that I took away from my meditation:
  1. If I can look for the troubles that my coworkers are deal with (their "wounds"), then my compassion will kick in and loving them will be easier.
  2. If I can learn to love, without counting the cost, then my love will be more pure and good.
  3. If I can remember to see Christ's presence in all those around me, then I will be able to treat them with more respect and love.
  4. If I can remember that as I strive to help Christ, it is really Christ who is helping me, then I will be at peace and I will be more successful.
  5. Without Christ, I can't do it. It is all for Him and from Him.
  6. Christ is awesome and I need to meditate on scripture more often :)

One more thing I wanted to say: Because of the number of Catholic in the world, the Liturgy of the hours, and other forms of prayer, there should be some Catholic somewhere praying at all times. Don't miss your turn.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

In Mary's Arms

Discernment is one of my weakest gifts. Between listening to too much advice from others, not listening to enough advice, second guessing myself, and fearing to make the wrong choice, I am often paralyzed by indecision. I am rarely as sure of what I decide to as I would like. On the flip side, when I'm sure of a decision, it's often difficult to reverse. This is especially difficult when I am in error. =)

Lately I have been trying to make decisions about many things. What internships should I apply for? What vocation am I called to? How do I handle certain relationships? I went to spiritual direction with my wonderful retired pastor and he gave me comfort and bade me to trust that if I needed to know something, God would make it plainly obvious to me as He has done for many of His other children. Even St. Faustina needed some pretty loud hints in order to set her off in the right direction.

So, I've been thinking about it and I've decided to follow the examples of so many of the saints and just rest in Mary's arms. Our Holy Mother loves her Son so dearly that she will surely bring me before Him. So I'll trust in the Lord and His lovely Mother to guide and protect me through my troubles, both big and small. Even so, I'll gladly take all the prayers that I can get, please!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Little Way of St. Therese of Lisieux

So, I've started to re-read "I Believe in Love" by Fr. Jean C.J d'Elbee and I am reminded once again how amazing God's love is. Here we are, so miserable in our own junk, but to Him that is nothing. God looks at all of our worst moments and He doesn't even flinch at them. Then, He sweeps us up into His arms and showers us with gifts and graces. Not only does He provide for us spiritually, but He also takes care of our physical well-being. We don't do anything to deserve such benevolence, but when we come to Him with confidence, He gives us His whole self!

Wow! Lately, I've lost focus of that. I've been all mopey and a bit 'woe-is-me' about some things. I've had to give up my bedroom of the last 12 years and I don't really like my new setup, I've had some difficulties at work that threw me off of my game, I've had a hard time figuring out how to handle certain relationships with family and friends, I've been missing my older sister, who's out of state, I've been missing the rest of my family, who are all living in the same house as me, and I've just been feeling generally insignificant. What a waste of all my time and energy! As I reflect upon these past months of summer I wonder how I could have let so much time go by without accomplishing anything worthwhile or significantly productive. Sure, I've done minor things here and there, but mostly I've just been all wrapped up in my own self.

Some people say that if you don't live for yourself, then you'll be miserable. Well, I tried it and it's terrible. I'm never happy when I just do what I want, when I want to. I usually find that the things I thought I wanted to really hold that much meaning after all. I just find myself left wanting even more, always looking towards the next something that I don't have. That leads me down the road of depression - mild depression, but depression nonetheless. I'm pretty sick of it all.

Folks, it's time for me to get back on track and by that I mean it's time for me to recommit to living for Christ and trusting in His guidance and mercy. My Jesus has never failed me and I am certain that He never will. I will do my best to live for Him in each moment of each day, starting with my double shift at work tomorrow. Please pray that I stay on track and that if I must fall I don't fall to far and I return to His forgiving care. Thanks!

Also, please prayer for a beautiful young girl named Sarah. She is getting confirmed this fall and I'm her sponsor. ^_^

Sunday, June 7, 2009

As Time Goes By

Time is something that never ceases to amaze me. It has set measurements and calculations (i.e. seconds in a minute, minutes in an hour, etc.) and yet it can become completely distorted in our perception of it. For instance, while a work day seems to drag on forever, the summer that holds those work days will at the same time seem to fly by in a whirl. Friends you though for sure you'd have plenty of time catch up with are just as busy juggling schedules as you are and projects, which you though would only take a day, extend from one week into the next.

The list, which you were to busy to compose during finals week, listing the things you needed to do during the summer has become scrambled and disorganized in your mind's eye and you're doing the best you can to just get the minimum done from one day to the next. You find that you are hardly any time to see the friend's you hoped to see at least once, maybe even twice, weekly. Character traits you had hoped to improve upon seem undaunted by the years that have rolled over their heads and dreams that pull your longing glance never seem to come any closer. Oh! What a merry dance time leads us all on!

Then, there are those beautiful moments when time seems to stop. Those are the precious instances where you feel completely detached from the goings on around you and seem to be watching them outside of yourself. In those moments, you know that you are witnessing something wonderful, something you will never forget. While the moment goes on all around you, you are able to sit and take it all in. Then, you thank God for giving you the privilege of being a witness to this greatness and your soul soars!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work we go...

Today is the first day of my summer job. It's the same job that I've had since the second half of my senior year in high school. Maybe I'm just a spoiled brat, but I am ready for a change. However, since I have yet to put out job applications and am in sore need of funds to keep meas debt free as possible, it is necessary for change to wait. It's kind of funny that I can be so scared of change and want it so much all at the same time. Such is life, I suppose.

Perhaps it will be good for me though. What better opportunity would have than this to work on being selfless? That's something I want to work on this summer, selflessness. A wise nun recently cautioned me and my friends that the single life is a huge occasion towards selfishness because we live so much for ourselves when we have so much freedom and independence. Well, I guess I can consider this job as my healthy dose of not having things how I'd like them.

P.S. I've been thinking of using this blog as a channel to pray for people. So, if anyone is reading this and has any prayer intentions, please feel free to share them in the form of a comment so that I can join you in prayer. ^_^ Please pray for me as well.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Don't worry, I'll be fine

 Some decisions are so hard that whatever decision you makes seems hard. One day I'll know if I made the right call, but in the mean time I'm stuck with what I've got. A confused, bruised heart and hope that things will turn out right in the future. My dear friends, please forgive me for all of the times I've ever hurt you.

P.S. Nobody freak out. I'm not in the depths of despair or anything.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dancing Through Life

Tonight my younger sisters had their annual ballet recital. They all danced beautifully and afterward all of their friends and their families came over to the house for a reception. Everything was lovely. It was nice to see all of my family enjoying time with their friends. I didn't really have any close friends over so I ended up entertaining five-year-olds and watching everyone have a good time.

The night left me feeling a bit melancholy. There was a time in my life when I saw all of my friends on a regular basis and they were integrated into my daily life while my family was also with me and part of my daily life. Now it seems that I am presented with a difficult "either" "or" scenario. I can either have a life at school, where I see most of my friends every day, but hardly see my family, or I can have a life at home where jobs and schedule conflicts keep my friends away, but I am with my family, to the extent that their schedules allow. I feel a bit out of place.

I love my family very much, but when I'm home I find myself often out of my element looking to whatever the future might hold. When I'm away from home, with my friends, I feel more like an adult and I definitely like the sense of direction and independence that spending time with my awesome peers allows, but I'm not home. I'm not as easily able to keep up with what's going on in the lives of my siblings and parents.

These last two weeks have been very busy for my family. Life at my home has always been like that. People never stop coming and going and rushing about. My life at school isn't like that. If I'm busy with something, it's school, but I feel that I have a very nice balance between work and rest and my free time isn't frantically divided between this party, this recital, this wedding, this youth group meeting, this rehearsal, this parish function, this family event, and that mission trip. At school there are three categories: work, social, and school. Work happens twice a week or less and only lasts for three hours at a time. School is time in class and time preparing for tests and other graded work. Social is with the same people and usually on campus so it usually amounts to staying home, only with friends.

At home, it isn't like that. I can go a whole week and have only spent a hour or two in the presence of any given family member. I haven't had a ton of places to go, but everyone else does and we are almost never here at the same time. If I want to have a heart to heart with one of my siblings it usually ends up being at around one in the morning. I've been home from school for two weeks and, even though I live in the same house as my family, I miss them. At home there are no categories for time. There is always something to do. There are always dishes to be washed, clothes to be folded, errands to run, kids to chauffeur, guests to entertain, etc. Don't get my wrong, I love my family and my home. I'm just not in the rhythm of my family's life.

As I look at the projected pattern for the summer schedule and think about throwing a summer job in the mix, I feel kind of sad. I just wish I could slow things down, not a great deal, just enough to take in the moments. I feel like everything is just flying past me. I guess that I get this way every summer. That's probably because there isn't a regular schedule in the summer and everything is a bit less organized.

I don't really expect that any one will feel much sympathy for me. I fully understand that this is a pretty small trouble. My family has a lot more going on right now than disorganized schedules, though, and so I've been working on keeping this to myself. (Let's see how long I can hold out. ^_^) Sometimes I feel like this blog is my own free therapy session. I can talk about whatever is on my mind, without adding to anyone else's trouble.

After having written this, I feel better. I really don't even think that I should post this one, but since I've already written and short novel, I'll ignore my impulses and go through with this. Well, life moves along and hopefully I'll just keep moving right along with it. Thanks for your prayers, whoever reads these and prays for me. =) G'night.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Today is the second day of finals week at my school. I haven't had a test yet, but I'm pretty anxious about one in particular. It's amazing how one thing can be the focus of so much worry and anxiety.

This week I have been reflecting a lot on the sources of my anxieties. This was mainly to discover what the sources are and - God willing - eliminate them. During my reflections I became aware that at some point in the last year or so, I began to shut God out. Not in the sense of discontinuing daily prayers or regular Confession, but in the sense of ceasing to rely on God for all things. At some point I started to rely on myself instead. I became so caught up in the things around me that I decided that I just didn't have time to surrender my troubles to God. After all, I reasoned, I could handle this, so why trouble God about it? How foolish I have been!

The most astounding thing is that I didn't even realize that I was doing it. It didn't become clear to me until yesterday, when I was feeling particularly down about something, I tried to turn to God about it through writing in my journal and I realized that I hardly knew how to tell Him about all that was going on in my heart. Of course, I know that he already knows everything that goes on in my heart, but at some point I just let that be enough and stopped working at talking to God about what I was going through.

I was asking for graces, praising His name, requesting favors, praying for friends, and that sort of thing, but I was no longer talking to Him as the lover of my soul and my friend. I let myself become distant and I wasn't letting Him fully into my heart. So now I know that I have a lot of work to do, or rather, a lot of catching up to do.

The thing is, I miss it. I didn't realize it until I tried it yesterday, but I really miss pouring my heart out to Christ and just letting Him love and care for me. I don't know how I ever let myself move away from it. His love is so amazing. When I contemplate all that I know of God, I am awestruck. Even I, who always has so much to say, am speechless when faced with His awesome love.

I have many things on my heart right now. Some are very exciting, some are a bit terrifying, and some are sad. Please pray that I will know what to do will all of them and that I may lean on God unceasingly.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

...and we go on and on

So, the Easter Triduum is about to begin. Now is the time to ready our hearts for one of the greatest celebrations of all time, the Wedding Feast of Christ to His bride, the Church. Get excited!

At times like these, I am inclined to be particularly reflective about myself. Where am I going? What should I be doing? What lies ahead? Am I doing this right?

Some pretty big changes have taken place this semester. I've had a lot of adjusting to do. Change, which scares me, was a part of this semester that I was resisting pretty strongly. Well, that's about to stop. The time has come for me to move ahead. Bring on the changes! I'm letting go of the past a bit more this Easter. I'm going to start afresh and leave the old beginnings behind me. Hopefully I'll do it better this time. =)

P.S. Don't forget to start the Divine Mercy Novena on Good Friday.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Way To Tomorrow

Long ago, mankind was created by Love for love. We were created for love. It is written on the hearts of all human beings, whether they be Christian, Jew, Atheist, Hindu, Muslim, or any other belief. We need human interaction. We need to give of ourselves in love. We need to touch the lives of others. It is the deepest longing of every human soul to love and be loved.

"It is not good for man to be alone,"(Gen 2:18) so we have been sent out to learn, live, and love during our time on earth. Since our creation, we have been struggling to achieve this purpose, but our fallen natures provide a great barrier.

Loving is hard. Sometimes loving people involves letting them go, giving up your way, sacrificing your own happiness, staying up too late to take care of them, helping them purchase things they need, and just letting them know how special they are. There are so many ways to love others. Most of them are not easy. Some of them are so difficult that they make me want to cry. This is the most worthwhile form of love, the kind that requires a great deal of sacrifice. If we offer that sacrifice up to the Lord for the sake of those whom we love, then we add to the good we can do for those people.

We cannot give up, because we yearn to love. We are like wolves, we need the pack. Praise God for that beautiful need! I ask for prayers that I might love better and more selflessly. Thank you!

P.S. I really want to domesticate a wolf like this. Clearly, I read to many novels. =)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Something New

Lent is a time for freedom. Since this wonderful season has begun, I've been hearing that from a lot of people. This is a time to break free from our sins and let Christ begin something completely new in us. We, with our simple human intellects, cannot comprehend God's plan for us, because it is something that is always different from anything else we have ever experienced. He is in control and as our pastor said, "If you sneak a peak at the last page of the Bible, He wins!"

So, now is the time to let go of the things that are keeping us from Christ. Now is the time to really take a long hard look at ourselves and determine what it is that Christ is asking us to change. We are all called to be saints. It is not acceptable if our spiritual lives do not have the same intensity as those of the saints. God understands our weakness, of course, but that is no excuse to get comfortable where we are at. As the saying goes, God loves us just as we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way. We must search our hearts and listen to the truth about where we are on our spiritual journey. We must not get discouraged by our own shortcomings because He is in control. His strength will support us. As we recognize our failures, we must humbly submit them to His care and joyfully open ourselves to a great transformation.

You and I are called to extraordinary greatness. We must not settle for mediocrity. This time has come to let fall our chains and move forward. The pain, the misunderstandings, the fears, the failures, and our plans of the past must be abandoned. We must blindly trust in His plan. Let him free us from our spiritual paralysis. He, the healer and lover of our souls, will not spurn our feeble efforts. Rather, He will strengthen and enrich us for the journey. Let's walk ahead! Let us together experience this new glory that Christ is offering.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

When I was a little girl, I loved the book "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day". I felt so bad for poor Alexander as seemingly everything went wrong. His day is so bad that he repeatedly says that he just wants to move to Australia. It seemed a silly story to me as a kid, but now as I am having a rough day of my own, I find myself remembering this book.

Everyone has bad days. That's a simple enough truth. Well these past few weeks, I've had them in spades. They just keep coming and coming. Last week I got my feelings hurt and spent the rest of the week reeling from it as I tried to adjust to a new schedule that made room for my new job, committee meetings for a few organizations, social time, schoolwork, and sleep. I spent much of last week playing catch up and was determined not to have a repeat.

That plan was an epic failure. With two days that I used have free for whatever I wanted now promised to my babysitting job, I am finding the adjustment to be a lot more difficult than I expected - a lot more difficult than it should be. I spent this entire week being behind on my schedule. A good bit of that is my fault. It's always hard for me to give up time with my friends for schoolwork and so I procrastinate on the schoolwork. The result is a stressed and frazzled self scrambling to finish the work in time.

Last night is an excellent example of this. I had to write a paper, which required some research, and the first draft was due this morning. I've know the topic for a week. I didn't really start on any aspect of the paper, including the research, until yesterday morning. Needless to say, I should have started much earlier. Because I didn't, I ended up staying up until one o'clock in the morning working on it and reading the assigned reading for the class. Two years ago, or even one year ago, if I told you that I was in bed by 1 a.m. that would mean that I got to bed at a "decent" time. Oh for the days when I could get by on five hours of sleep! Now I need eight hours. Well, I set my alarm, but forgot to turn it on and I missed my first two classes.

I feel so angry with myself. Any illusions I had of being an in control, hard working student have been completely stripped away. I am so discouraged. There is so much that I have to do, to improve myself and to get back on top of things. No matter how hard I try, though, I just can't seem to push myself past the laziness.

Maybe that's the point. Perhaps I can't do it and I'm not meant to. My strength will never be enough to make me successful at anything. I feel as if God is stripping away everything I love about myself and my life. Things and people that I treasure and cling to so much are slipping away. Deep inside me there is a voice that invites me to stop leaning on myself or others and lean solely on God. Still, I'm frightened to let go of the people and things that I love. I don't want to lose them. I'm not good at letting go. I know that I mustn't resist, but I want to very badly. I want to reach out to someone, any of my closest friends, but something stops me because I sense that I must deal with this alone.

I don't want to. I'm like a spoiled child resisting the will of her parents because she doesn't understand and because to a certain extent, doesn't want to. My fallen self resists what I am confident is God's hand working in my life. I hate growing pains. They make me ache all over. Like my fictional friend, Alexander, from the book, I want to run away. Maybe not to Australia, but to any place where I won't have to face this confusion, this pain, this loss, and my very self. Right now, when I look in the mirror, I don't like what I see - and I am not talking about body image. I am learning very tough truths about myself and how I live my life and I'm terrified to face them. To anyone who still reads this blog, please, please pray for me!'

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Gate to the Unknown

Life is constantly changing. There is so much to take in. As elements of my life fly past me in a seemingly endless swirl, there occasionally comes a moment of epiphany. In such moments as this, it seems to me that I must leave something behind in order to continue on this life journey.

I come to a gate that marks the end of one part of my way and the beginning of another. I cannot have both parts. A piece of the child in me grows up a little bit more and I feel the change. Like leaving behind something warm and familiar, this change does not come without some pain.

Yet to avoid the change, to stay in childhood, only hurts more. As I linger to catch the last glimpses of how things were, I am overwhelmed by a sense of no longer belonging. These tender memories of my childhood, these ways of thinking, dreaming, and behaving do not have a place for me. Nor I for them. We must mutually depart from one another. Like a person who has been away from their old haunts for many years, I have become a stranger to my old self.

While I can still vividly recall these lost things, they are like wisps of their former existence. It's a little bit scary for me when I think about it. I am changing. I am growing. More will be expected of me. I will expect more of myself. I need to take more responsibility. I see it and I am frightened by it.

Even so, it is exciting! A new chapter in the book of my life is a special thing. In some small way, it makes me feel important and adventurous. I feel a little bit like anything could happen. Anything is possible and some wonderful awaits me somewhere down that path on the other side of the gate. The beautiful unknown in the untamed beauty of the wild reflects the mysterious twists and turns just beyond my reach on the road ahead of me. How thrilling!

I am, of course, not alone in this journey. My beloved Lord is ever before me. He takes my frail hands and gives them strength. He steadies my clumsy feet and fills me with new energy and zest for this beautiful life, which - hopefully - brings me ever closer to Him. He is the light of my existence and I owe everything to Him. I trust Him because I love Him and because it would just be silly not to. He has carefully laid out special plans for me that will fulfill my deepest longings.

So, whatever happens, I do not really fear the gates to the wondrous unknown future. I often look for them in eager anticipation. Recently, I have come to a new one. I was very unhappy when I first encountered it. I did not want to leave any part of my old self behind. I still have struggles with change. But now, I am beginning to see the beauty and the necessity of that change.

Though the road may be long, hard, and sometimes terrifying, we go on, my sweet Lord and I.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Dizzy Music

If life is a song then mine feels like 'Flight of the Bumblebee' lately. Everything just goes by so quickly. My perception of time begins to become warped and distorted as events rush past my tired self. There is so much that I wish to accomplish and never quite enough time to do it. Even as I remove things from my schedule and regretfully decline invitations from my friends, I find time working against me.

My dad and I were going to plan a garden for the Summer months during my break from school, but as my break nears its end, I doubt that we will have time. Many of my friends will only be in town for a few more days, but I wont get to see them. How quickly time flies!

I am very tired, yet I love this crazy dance that my life often becomes. In and out of the dizzy music, I know the steps and the emotions. The emotions are usually unwelcome, but hopefully I have more or less managed to no longer allow them to control my actions. The steps: pray, rest, pray, slow down, pray, do the best I can, and pray. ^_^

Yeah, basically, prayer is what makes the difference. Still, I feel weary. Dealing with feelings is tough. It's easy to let them overcome my efforts to follow Christ. Being an especially emotional person hardly helps. It makes self-discipline especially challenging. That's where grace comes in. I am absolutely certain that God's grace is what gets me through each day. Without Him, I am nothing. Without Him, I would despair, lose my temper, insist on my own way, eat like a horse, and stay lazily in bed all day every day. He is my partner in this dizzy dance and He has the lead.

I'm not a very good follower in my life dance or in real dancing, but, thankfully, God is a good leader. He is such a good leader that sometimes, I even look like I'm good at this. So, when my days become difficult and my spirit is low, as they begin to seem, God will get me through. Thank God!