Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I'd like to write a book.

I never know how to attack writing a book. I've wanted to write one for quite some time. The initial thought behind what I wanted to write ended up being something that lots of people were already talking about and I thought, "Why bother, by time I finish there will be so much out on this topic that my book wouldn't even make a splash".

This time, I honestly think that I'm onto something. While by no means do I think I have stumbled upon something that other people couldn't figure out by themselves, but this analogy that God has put on my heart and has used through me to help people understand things, just always seems to help them. So who am I to keep it? I should share it!

So I will try to compile this "book" in my head. Of course, it might end up short enough to be a pamphlet or something...I'll keep you posted!

Plus, it's something else I can do in my stationary spot. Another thing I can offer up for Haiti. I love Haiti.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Life is Funny!

Merry (Late) Christmas! Although I guess I'm not all that late since it is still the Christmas season in the Catholic Church.

I am totally pumped about this: The Saints Name Generator made my Jen over at Conversion Diary Blog!

I used it for the first time today and got St. Jan Sarkander (info here!) and I thought, "who the heck is this?" and almost clicked on "Find a New Saint" but instead clicked on "learn more"....

...one of his titles on the info. page is "Martyr of the Confessional"

If you know me, this is how life is funny. If you do not, then understand...I have a great struggle getting to confession. It's ridiculous actually.

So, I will learn this year, 2011 about this Saint and make him my new best friend (best intercessor) and prayer partner (if you will). I encourage you do check out the Name Generator and do the same! I have never heard of choosing a patron saint of the year, but I plan to make this tradition!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Spirit? Oh we've got that...

I've oftened wondered if my family will ever get the "right" Christmas spirit. Then I realized I was expecting too much and to just enjoy the ride with a crazy, loud, Italian family who cooks enough food in one night to feed the entire island of Haiti, and is upset if the small amount of us don't eat most of it.

Though I must say, tonight has surpassed all other nights to this point in one way. I enjoyed it from start to finish. Many years, I sit around and judge about how this is just not the holy way to ring in Christmas. I would then leave early and run to Church for "midnight" Mass to get into the holy and away from the crazy.

This year, I went to Mass with my grandfather, endured strange music that was off quite a bit (children's choir: claps during the Gloria, a fast upbeat song sang along to a cd playing for the start of Communion, just bizarro), but overall it was great because I didn't go alone and neither did my grandfather.

I spent the rest of the afternoon playing cards with my grandmother, then with my mom and grandmother right up until people arrived for dinner. (We hadn't even stopped early enough to have the table set before they came in)

I laughed almost all night, with my family, because we are loud and crazy Italians who cook and eat too much in one night! I finally was able to just be in my family and enjoy it. Here is the most memorable event of the evening for your laughing pleasure:

We had water boiling in a tea kettle to put into the Italian Coffee maker. It began to whistle so we yelled for my grandfather who was in charge of this...my uncle proceded to yell to him, "Dad, your water broke..." to which my grandfather played along holding his stomach and bending over as if he was in pain (labor pains that is). Then while making the coffee, my uncle asked him, "So how are the contractions?" and my grandfather's response was the funniest, "A couple minutes apart, I've got time".

The think that struck me most as funny was the legitimate claims and absolute ridiculousness of their joking around. I also appreciated the part of the night where a room full of adults (me being the youngest) were falling over laughing watching one of those animals where you press the button and it sings...this one also shakes and kept falling over...which is hysterical...apparently...oh what a sight! Praise the Lord for crazy families! I hope you all have one!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Really? Just before Christmas?

I am mostly  blogging to ask for prayers from anyone reading this. Tomorrow at work, there will be an interesting event. A temporary employee made a very bad choice and spoke poorly of our supervisor to another permament employee. It just so happens that said employee who she spoke to is someone that our supervisor helped in a big way when she had a difficult family situation. Feeling a strong loyalty to our supervisor, she went and spoke to her about it. She also spoke to me about it because she had some ill things to say about me as well. Mind you, this temp. employee is someone who I have been working alongside with since August, training and encouraging to seek a permanent job.

Why does this bother me enough to blog about it? The supervisor is none other than my mom. Yea, that's right. My mom. And I have to be honest, after much thought, I could care less about anyone saying anything about me because I have built a good reputation with all of our permanent staff and have no reason to believe that anyone would think less of me, as they have witnessed me train this person equally to others and be nice, supportive, etc.

And while clearly, I do not think any one person could ever damage respect to my mom considering she's been working at Yale since shortly after I was born...it is still extremely hurtful when someone speaks lies about another's mom. I could not believe how quickly I was angered by that fact alone today. I just went to confession, thankfully, and so I prayed. "Come Lord Jesus, Come Lord Jesus" and managed to be pleasant to this employee all day (I didn't have to work directly with her today).

Tomorrow she is being notified that her assignment is being terminated with us. (Even though my mom was willing to let her stay on as a temp. even while the person she covers for is coming back from leave early, just to have extra support). I feel like I need to say something to her.

At first I wanted to tell her "watch what you say next time" or "You are a liar and I hope you don't believe in Karma" to wanting to just print out the lyrics to "Christmas Shoes" and write a note on there that says something like "All mom's are precious to their daughters, please think about that next time you say negative things behind someone's back". This idea came after I was listening to the radio in the car and a 12 year old girl called in requesting this very song to remind herself that even though her family is broken right now, there is hope and miracles do happen. I was so touched with her sweet words and it reminded me that miracles can happen. And if I can at least pass on something to make her think before she hurts others at her next job, than I should.

I'll post in a day or two to update on what I do. Please pray for discernment for me, and for a conversion for this girl.

My Penance is What?

If you read my quick takes from Friday, you would know that I was struggling with getting to confession!

I went to a different Church this Sunday for Mass since I was near my parents house. I am so glad I did. They made an announcement that there would be two chances for confession this week. Last night at 7:15 or 8:15 and Thursday at 7pm

Wow. What a parish to have Confession 3 times the week before Christmas! Beautiful!

I was praying a lot before that it would be a good confession. I went in and knelt down and like a wind out of nowhere, the Spirit forced the words out of me that I so badly needed to come out!

Then came the funny part. Well not totally funny, but strange I guess. Usually, at the very least, for penance, it is either a formal prayer (1 Our Father or 1 Decade of the Rosary, or a couple Decades) or a general prayer (pray for priests this week or something)...

..."Praise the name of Jesus...ya know, sometimes we call it a Mantra...but just repeat over and over 'I praise your Holy Name, Jesus...things like that...for about a minute or two, here or in the car or wherever"

You can imagine my thought process here, "Did this priest just tell me to be charismatic for my penance? And only a minute?"

Well, I was so grateful for a good confession that I almost couldn't stop praising in this "mantra" way, the entire hour car ride home. That was the easiest "penance" but the most amazing because the turmoil I was feeling for my actions before was pretty strong and very penance like, and after, I found all I wanted to do was worship/praise!

Dear Jesus, thank you for your inexhaustable mercies and unconditional love! Amen!

Friday, December 17, 2010

7 Quick Takes

Wow, I can't believe it's Friday again! This week felt so long even though I had a day off! Here are my 7 quick takes (http://www.conversiondiary.com/):

2 year old Nephew story: We were out to eat at a restaurant (me, my sister, the 3 kids, and my grandparents). They had put rolls/butter on the table. My youngest nephew Matthew is teething so my sister said "Oh let him gnaw on a role, see what he does". So I do...my 2 year old nephew, Jimmy, yells at me.
"Auntie...Achew NO TEETH...Auntie NO!" We learned that he definitely pays attention to us when we tell him, "Jimmy, thank you for wanting to share but your brother and sister have no teeth so please don't give them your fishies, "O"s (Cheerios), or "wheels" (the pasta that looks like wheels). Too funny.

Classes are OVER! I will never have a class on campus again. I will never have to work 8-4:30 so I can rush to Mcdonald's because I have class from 5:30-10pm. Next Semester, I have 2 online classes now. One the first 8 weeks (Intro to Computer Art) and then the re-take of my Psych Seminar towards the end of the first 8 weeks through the end of the semester. I could not be happier.

Painting?: Last night, I was feeling creative and my friend helped me get some decent enough starter art supplies for painting. I have canvas paper and watercolor paper, a small variety of acryllic paints, and a pallete full of watercolor paints. I also got 25 brushes for $6.99! Everything was on sale! Check out Michael's Craft Stores for Great prices and variety for creative outlets!!!

Confession! The age old debate in my mind...To go or to wait? I think there is this ideal situation in my head that I think will someday occur. I will love more than just the idea of confession, but love to go to confession just as much as the idea of it. I often feel I shouldn't go because I am not "ready" or I am not in the right "frame of mind"...but how could I be in the right frame of mind regarding something so perfectly holy, while in the state of sin? So in a sense, I believe I should force myself to the confessional, even though I do not feel like it, and go back to living my life face to face with my Savior instead of hiding from Him.

A! A what? A!!!! I almost missed the e-mail but just saw it now, I got an A on my Humanities Seminar Final Paper!!! I've turned everything in except a couple assignments so hopefully I can pull off a B in the class!

Work is crazy: The lower level of our building is being renovated and then we close on 12/23 for Christmas break. When we open back up for regular business on January 3rd, an entire department will be seeing patients on that floor, including an entire department that currently sees patients on my floor. The Neurology department from another building is moving in and the Neurosurgery department that uses our space will be moving down. It is a huge project to make sure everything will be ready to go....

...and a Nurse and PCA (Yale Hospital version of a Medical Assistant) are leaving on 1/7/11. So on top of the crazy move, sharing staff between floors, letting the dust settle, we're losing two employees from my floor. One, the nurse, has been our acting Nurse Supervisor for years. What a double hit for us! So it will be an interesting time and I am very glad that classes are light in the spring. Work will be sure to take everything out of me! Pray for all of us, that the transition goes as smoothly as possible! At least in the eyes of the patients!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

M' Sonje Ayiti Anpil!

I have been practicing my Creole and offering up prayer through Creole worship songs from my learning cd...and have been missing Haiti a lot.

The other day, I was mentioning the possible upcoming trip in March and my sister responded by saying, "Aren't things kind of dangerous down there right now? With the riots and stuff?"...

..I said yes and that, although it's risky, that shouldn't stop me. Then she said something that led me to really think about missionary work altogether:

"Well your not supposed to risk your life for this are you?"

And later as I contemplated her question...I thought, "If I don't risk my life, what worth is there in the work?"

Time and time again, Jesus tells us in the gospel that we must lay down our lives, pick up our cross and follow him, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, be last...and I'm pretty sure avoiding a risk to my earthly life is not included in the fine print of the Gospel.

When I was a teenager, and I had my conversion, I knew I did not want to live a lukewarm existence. If I won't risk my life for Christ, then who else would I risk it for? I honestly belief that it is simply training to be a parent.

We have to look to our role models: Our Blessed Mother gave up her physical body for Christ to dwell in, Jesus died so that we could have eternal life, Blessed Mother Theresa risked her entire life for the dignity of others, St. Gianna died so that her fourth child could live...if we learn anything about how to be a true success in this life in the eyes of God, we would risk our lives for the least of His people every single day!

Friday, December 10, 2010

7 Quick Takes - Funny?

Funny is my nephew's favorite word. Whenever he laughs at something he goes "Hahahah Funny...funny...haha" and it's very cute. And that inspired me to attempt to do something quite humerous for 7 Quick Takes today!
Hosted Here by Jennifer!
Here are the words I had type before leaving comments on other blogs in order to prove that I am in fact human. I will attempt to define them and use them in a sentence for your laughing pleasure. Please feel free to use them in your daily life! :-)

Algap: 1: The space between the letter A and the L in the alphabet (the letters B-K collectively)
2: The distance between to persons by the name of "Al"
Sentence: The algap between them is about 5 miles long.

Poknin: 1: A slang term combing the phrase "poking in", meaning to check in on someone
Sentence: Hey sweety, I'm just poknin, how's that paper coming along?

Egiting: 1: To egit, carry out the act of egit
2: Egit, to git electronically
Sentence: Can you be sure your egiting on time daily?

Emates: 1: Online Pals in Australia
Sentence: I'm having a get together tonight in the chat room with all my emates!

HWCL: 1: Abbreviate of "How We Choose to List" as in what goes first or last on a list
Sentence: On our 7 Quick Takes blog, HWCL is very important to consider!

Hustag: 1:The latest breed of horse, complex breed including the Mustang and 2 other mixed breed horses
2: A multi-color tag
Sentence: For items that are on extreme markdown at the store, we lable them with a Hustag.

Hortude: 1: Slang for an extremely bad attitude
Sentence: That boy has a hortude that will get him in trouble fast!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Tomorrow is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

I am very excited because it was Our Lady of Lourdes (my Franciscan University Household patronness) who introduced herself under this title.

I love going to Mass right on the day of feasts like this, but tomorrow is Wednesday... Work 8am-4:30pm + Class 5:30-10pm = No time for Mass!

Praise God for Vigil Masses! And Praise Him again for there being one in my own town tonight at 6pm (I will make it there just on time from work). Hopefully Mass will give me the inspiration to get all of my laundry/decorating/homework/dishes/cooking done afterward.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!

Monday, December 6, 2010


Oh my goodness, I wish I could ask for votes to win this!! I actually do not even care if I win, I was soooo excited to learn about this chaplet that she is giving away! Having a special devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes who gave us the beautiful title of herself as Immaculate Conception, learning that there is a Chaplet of prayer to her in this title, is AMAZING!

Check it out:

Full of Grace Creations Monday Morning Giveaway!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Auntie Auntie Auntie

Auntie...it is my favorite name I have ever had. For someone who has been wanting to be a mom for a very long time, and to have been blessed to be an Auntie first, the past 2 years have been beyond awesome, simply for that reason if no other.

This weekend I was spending more time with the babies. I was playing trains with the 2 year old when I got up to use the bathroom. I hear him from the living room..."Auntie, Auntie, Auntie, Auntie" until I came back in the room. To be wanted...sought after...called upon by this wonderful title, brought me such great joy.

I thought, "I wish I could have this all the time"....Oh wait, I do! (Not my nephew though)

Deep Thought:

Every second of every day, my God is wanting me, seeking me, calling me by name to come to Him.


In the inner room of my heart! In the quiet that is heaven on earth! As my nephew would say, "otder room, Auntie".

As I reflect on this, I recall that I never ignore or neglect the call of the cutest 2 year old I know, yet all too often, especially lately, have I not only neglected, but blatantly blocked out the voice of my God.

I am brought back to the simple prayer I found myself praying at a holy hour I had mentioned a week or so ago..."Jesus, increase my desire for you"

My goal is to make this simple prayer as common in my heart/mind as I possibly can...I know my desire for Him will increase, if I only ask.

Friday, December 3, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday!!!


I really want to dive into photography and all things creative. I have been viewing lots of fellow blogger's Etsy shops. (http://www.etsy.com/shop/sewmelody and http://www.etsy.com/shop/FullOfGraceCreations) Of course check them out! This has completely increased my desire to be creative. The problem I have right now is: No Camera, no sewing machine (or knowledge of how to use one)...

...but I can KNIT...well barely! I learned to knit at Franciscan University of course! I was only there for one year, so I learned in two days just how to start something, in a "basic pattern" and keep going in one stream. Aka: I can make a pot holder, scarf, table runner. I do not know how to finish anything off....nor a clue about good quality yarn.....

...and I really wish I knew how to crochet instead! So, hopefully with only 2 classes (1, 8 wk online and 1, 16 wk class) I can catch a class on "How To" (Or you can comment with links to how to videos online?) ::wink wink:::

Yesterday, my sister emailed a funny story about my neice and nephew. My 5 month old niece woke up from her nap in her crib...my sister was in the middle of something, so just checked the video monitor...my 2 year old nephew had climbed into the crib. When my sister asked him why he went in there, he said that she needed a pillow and that they needed to buy her one. I will remind you, he just turned 2!
I just love how they are so honest and factual about things!

I packed my lunch today. My parents had dinner with my grandparents last night, I couldn't go because I had class...My grandmother packed me lunch for today too. My goodness, am I blessed or what?

I haven't put up my Christmas tree yet! :-(

7: The amount of classes I have to go to before the end of the semester. 1 Humanities, 4 Religion, 2 History/Systems of Psychology! Praise be to God on High!!!! This means that I am 7 classes away from never having to go to my campus more than once a week! I want to shout from the rooftops about it I'm SO excited!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Love: Words and Actions

After reading this post at "A Women's Place..." and it's original post/comments and other comments on articles recently I was thinking a lot about our words.

Then either last night or this morning (yes, I know, sad I can't remember) I was thinking about our actions.

This led me to meditate on love which led me directly to the source...The Holy Trinity.

I know there is a mystery there that scholars/theologians have discussed, debated, and taught on for centuries and I am not going to even dare touch that world. Yet I couldn't help but most my thoughts here.

In the Holy Trinity, God perpetually gives His live to Jesus, who perpetually gives his live back to the Father, and from that giving, the Holy Spirit proceeds from that. ( I use proceed from the Nicene Creed, scroll down to see the texts!)

We also say, "God is Love". If God is love, then it would be, in my assumption here, that the act of giving that sustains the Trinity, is love.

From this, I was brought back to word and action. In a sense, both of these things are things that come out of us. We speak out words and we our actions are outward expressions (behavior). Additionally, we are made in God's image. The image of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Can you see where I'm going?

If we allow ourselves to live truly in the image of God, in which we are made, then we would truly love through our words and actions. If we would give sacrificially in our words and actions, of ourselves to others, then we would grasp love in a radical way.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Many Things on my Heart!

I apologize now for the possibly long post! I have so much on my heart that I feel led to blog about today!!!

Advent and Food:

I am sure I am not the only one, though I do feel it sometimes, that is constantly tempted on the way home from work to "just give in, get take out/fast food/prepared dinner!" And honestly, I don't know if it's more of a temptation in the single life than in family life, but I'm not sure because I've yet to be (obviousy) on that side of the fence. All I can say for certain is, God always blesses me big time when I say, "NO" to that temptation. Tonight, I came home, opened a can of diced tomatoes, pureed them, spiced it and heated it up and combined with my angel hair pasta. Had half for dinner, and put half in the fridge...to find the Chicken Breasts that I had thawed out for dinner. Oops! But remember, I said God blessed me! I decided to rummage through my cabinets and get creative...saltine crackers, crumbled up with poultry seasoning, garlic and herbs provence (a French spice mix I think), dipped the chicken in egg and the "breadcrumbs". I put them in a glass dish with a can of peas, a can of sliced potatoes and some cut up carrots, drizzled with olive oil and baked for an 1 hour and 30 minutes on 375! (1 hour covered with foil, 1/2 hour uncovered at end)  Dinner tomorrow, lunch and dinner on Thursday!

I've also decided as part of my Advent journey to continue doing things like this. No eating out (except if really needed for lunch at work) and no going to the grocery store until I absolutely have no more food!

Food in General

As an Italian and a blessed person, there was always plenty of food in the house. In this environment, I developed the "there is nothing to eat in this house" bad habit. I would open the fridge or pantry, see nothing I really desired, and made this statement, walking away. I can not believe that this has lasted all the way to now! Especially after being to Haiti! People die in Haiti daily from malnutrition. And I look at a fridge that may "only" have container full of eggs and say "Eh, nothing in there, should go to the store". Right now, I have eggs, mayonaisse, carrots, my lunch for tomorrow, 2 left over pancakes, butter, grated cheese, ketchup, steak sauce. I can make egg salad (because I have a stove/pots/clean water to boil eggs), I can have carrots as a snack, pancakes or eggs for breakfast. I have bread, 7 boxes of pasta (some half used), and the list goes on. I really do not think I will need to go to the grocery store until Christmas. How could I have ever thought of this as nothing to eat?

Conversion of the Day

Many of you out there may know of  "Conversion Diary" a popular blog out there that I read. This is not related. But today I am having a conversion. Regarding the two previous topics. Advent, food, and the idea of mission. I have so much, and I've talked about blessing, but I do. And I often take that for granted. I know this must sound familiar to someone out there. Having what we don't always want and wanting for what we don't always need is a major American conflict. I found myself today, in my simple kitchen, preparing dinner and then another meal for the week, falling in love with my vocation. My vocation as a woman. I felt united to all those single women who long for marriage, yet slave over meals anyway. I felt united to those with families, who are pulled in the direction of their spouse, kids, other duties, yet slave over meals anyway. Today, for the first time, I was...I just was a single woman. Who could cook, clean, and have a glass of wine in the quiet. Not wanting for marriage, not disillusioned to think that having a husband or kids would make me cooking any easier, just being who I am in the moment.


So what does all this have to do with mission? Well, the reason I made this blog was because I felt God calling me to be a missionary yet it wasn't exactly time for me to go anywhere. Today I realized that my mission in the moment right now, is to live out my vocation as a single person, with a commitment to not wasting food. Offering up those moments when I want the "quick fix" of the drive through or take out. Offering up those moments cleaning up the spills in the kitchen or washing the dishes. Offering up the moments when I am not completely out of food, but out of what seems to me to be sensible ingredients! Offering up my desires for certain foods, laying down my wants. All of this helps to teach me how to be a missionary abroad. I will leave you with the commonly quoted phrase, "It all starts in the home".

Monday, November 29, 2010

Full of Grace Creations Giveaway!!!

A blog I follow is having a great giveaway! Check out her post about it over here!

And check out her Etsy Shop Here!! For any religious gifts you might need for Christmas!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

We did it!

We went to one tree farm. We looked around for about 45 minutes at the most, with our 11 people in tow, and found our perfectly tall Christmas Tree.

Thanks to my 2 year old nephew, we have named her Henrietta. (Of course a name from his favorite show Thomas the Tank Engine)

We had a blast. We even took over a Dunkin Donuts afterwards for Hot Chocolate. Based on our estimated ceiling height, this tree is approximately 11.5 ft tall. We have tried year after year to have the tree show in that top window...last year we just about did it...this year, the top of the tree is past the top of the window. A ladder will be required to decorate it.

A few years ago I claimed, "What is the point, this has nothing to do with Jesus or his birth, or Mary or Joseph..." but this year I realized that this tree brought together old and possibly new family, inspired a day full of joy and laughter, and togetherness. I think the Holy Family was smiling on us as we shared this moment with one another. Our kickoff to Advent.

Friday, November 26, 2010

In 14 Hours...

I am starting a countdown right about now to what will probably be one of the most memorable moments in our family's history. You are probably wondering what could top my sister having twins or any other of the many shenanigans that have occured in this crazy family...but I assure you, this will definitely make the top 10 list!

Every year since my parents bought the house they live in (my mom's first owned stand alone house), we have gone and cut down a Christmas tree. Last year, we waited until December and had slim pickings. We always have slim pickings because my mom always wants to top the height of our last tree until it stands perfectly between our slopped high ceilings. We are usually talking 10 ft at the start of our hunt...but this year we're starting with the height of 12 ft. The problem is that here in New England, the way it goes for fresh cut trees is:

Any Tree You Cut=$___ (set price no matter how big or small)

So if it's $40, and we get a 10-12 footer, well yay for us. So they cut down all the biggest ones for you, and add in the cost of labor for cutting it down and driving it to an area where they are all set up nicely. The price then usually rises to $80-$100!

And that's not all folks....

Tomorrow is an extra super challenge. Not because we are looking for an extra tall tree, but because we have invited quite a bit of people to join us.

My grandparents are watching the twins so we can take my older nephew. So here is the tally so far:

My parents (2)
Me (1)
Sister/Brotherinlaw/Nephew (3)
Mom's best friend (1)
Uncle/his girlfriend/her daughter/her granddaughter/possibly her other daughter too (4-5)

For a grand total of 11 (possibly 12) people all to go hunting for 1 tree. It is times like these when I say things like this to myself, "Ok, where are the cameras? Where is the crew? This must be reality TV!"

Dear God, please help us to have nothing but joy in our hearts and truly enjoy the day and one another during this very precious moment. Amen!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I am so thankful today for my family. I spent almost the entire day with my parents, grandparents, sister, brother in law, their 3 kids (LOVE), my step-brother. It was absolutely wonderful. We had way less people than usual for holidays. But it was perfect. The twins (M&M) are absolutely the best. They laugh and giggle and cuddle! I love them. And their big brother Jimmy is awesome, 25 months old, and he's just started putting all of his words together for basic sentences. The longest sentence I heard him use was: "Mema...trains, stairs, mema, up" He was telling his Mema (my mom) to go downstairs get his trains and bring them back up for him!

I'm also thankful for the newfound ability to put babies to sleep. I rocked my niece to sleep twice today for naps! The last time I rocked her to sleep, I felt an even stronger desire to be a mother. I was almost crying as I felt so close to our Blessed Mother in that moment. Simply rocking this little life to a sweet sleep, she fit perfectly in my arms.

I am thankful for all of the blessings that God has given me in this life. Like I mentioned earlier this week, the blessings are too numerous to count, and I'm beyond grateful for them all. I pray you all are blessed infinitely.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


A great deal of bloggers have been discussing their plan for the Advent season. Most of them have children so I can't really find anything appropriate within those plans for a single person, living alone.

I've always wanted to do an Advent Wreath but I haven't had time to find one. Then today, I was catching up on reading inspriational quotes I subscribe to called, Franciscan University E-Spirations. You should definitely check that out! I came across this:

“Don’t think all is lost when your feet feel the hot desert sand, your cheeks the burning sun, your stomach the pangs of hunger. The Holy Spirit is leading you where Jesus went, and there he will show you what demons you need to face. But fear not. The very same Spirit who led Jesus into the desert is leading you, and he will empower you with his word to stand as champion over the world’s greatest enemy.”

-George T. Montague, SM (Holy Spirit: Make Your Home in Me, The Word Among Us Press)

I feel very convicted that this is about my Advent journey. Although it sounds like more of an inspiration for a Lenten theme. Sacrifice has always been a major theme running through my journey, but I must admit, I'm not very good at it. While Advent may  not be a time to focus on Jesus in the desert, it is a time to reflect on the idea that Mary and Joseph (with Jesus in Mary's womb) had to make a difficult journey to Bethlehem. I want to go to that place where Jesus was. I want to face my demons, and stand as a champion on Christmas day. Please pray for me so I can know just what I need to do to make this happen!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Any moms out there?

Check out this amazing post for the holiness of your children!!!

Blossoming Joy: Consecration of a Child to Mary

More Thanksgiving Prep

I am thankful for getting to spend a lot of time with my neice and nephews!!!!

I'm also thankful for this: The Stationary Mission Facebook Page!!!

Lord, I pray today that you give all of us a grateful spirit during this beautiful Thanksgiving time!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Preparation (Not related to food...)

This morning, I was on facebook and read someone's status which mentioned how silly an idea it is to count our blessings instead of simply being thankful for them.

My first response was, "Gee, how could we ever count all of our blessings anyway? There are simply too many of them!"

In preparation for Thanksgiving, let's take time each day this week and be truly thankful for all of the many blessings/gifts we have been given in this life, especially if we're struggling right now. If you find something you are just overly grateful for, please comment and tell me about it!!!

Right now, I'm overly thankful for unexpectedly having a friend and her daughter over for dinner tomorrow night.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I went to God Tube (Christian You Tube) in order to find a video to share of the song I mentioned here.

Lord, I give you my heart!

And I also found this that I couldn't help but just link to, this was on the main page and I had to share with you today:

Hope you enjoy it, Happy Feast of Christ the King!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Washed in Tears

Last night I went to a Holy Hour (hour of adoration with some worship music thrown in) with a friend of mine. We went to dinner first and I told her about some recent news that we got in my family and asked for her prayers.

She said, "Well we're on our way to the perfect place and you can even cry/let it all go if you need to".

I agreed that this was perfect! (I am a big fan of crying, especially when stressed to let it all go). But something wasn't right. I was before Jesus, and not crying. All I could seem to repeat in my heart was:

Jesus, increase my desire for you!

I do not recall ever praying this simply before in my life. No other words came to my mind and no tears came. I tried kneeling/sitting/relaxing.

Then I hear the singer start the next song...."This is my desire, to worship you, Lord with all my heart, I worship you..."  This is my all time favorite song and I often sing it in the car or in bed because I know it so well and it brings me back to place of being very close to God.

I was sitting with my feet on the far side of the kneeler, head down resting on the pew in front of me...and then this crazy thing happened.

The tears poured out of me...everytime I  blinked to clear my eyes, another person's name came to my hear, and I prayed, "take them, Lord". It seemed like the shortest amount of time, but I am pretty sure I named every person or group I know. "Lord I give you my heart, I give you my soul..." I gave Him my heart, and all that was held in it. It was such a beautiful moment.

I love intercessory prayer. Amen!

Friday, November 19, 2010

7 Quick Takes...Wait Really?

The thing about 7 Quick Takes....it makes me realize just how fast the week goes by! I can't believe it's already time again to make my list of 7! Well, here we go again! :-)  Thanks to the host: http://www.conversiondiary.com/ !!!

I really enjoyed all of my classes this week. I'm surprisingly becoming more understanding of my Religious Studies prof. and his view for teaching the course. I understand now that his goal is to not distract anyone from their own beliefs, but to try to get us to look objectively from a different view than we normally would, at the Gospels. And when you've come to love them and their meaning to your life, that is hard to do. In my other classes, we're still talking a lot about Philosophical things...I really like that!

I made a new word and job title for myself. While also eventually being a wife and mom, I now want to also become a Philo-Psych-ologer. A what? In my mind, this is someone who studies psychology and philosophy each through the lense of the other. A new found connection between the two.

One of the guys that my co-worker is trying to set me up with (yes there is more than one) turns out to have been in the wedding party for my sister's best friend. And did I mention, the other guy's parents live on the same street as my parents? I was using that same street thing to say "hmm maybe that's a sign" and then I'm within 5 degrees of seperation to this other guy too....Lord, guide me!

I'm really bothered by a lot of things going on in Haiti. Cholera outbreak spreading...Anti UN protests getting violent. UN peacekeepers, who haven't been doing all that much apparently, are opening fire against protestors. Personally, I think they need to protest. If more things were done in Haiti after the earthquake, maybe these people would be protected for the other things that went wrong (hurricane, collapse of any organized leadership, high rains, cholera outbreak). They deserve a chance to protest!

Big shocker of the day: I wore my hair down and heals on the same day. That never happens!

Please pray for my family.

I'm going to a Holy Hour tonight and I am so excited! I get to see an old friend who I haven't seen in a while and possibly more friends...and to spend time in front of Jesus in the Eucharist, AHH! I can't wait! Know that I will be offering up all of you, my blog friends, and your intentions. I am hoping they have a priest available for confession too!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Trust Trust Trust


Two days ago the very peace and trust that I experience in thinking about Haiti was creeping back into my mind and heart as the possibility of going back became slightly more realistic.

Yesterday, I was told some sad news, news that equals uncertainty. I should know that in a lesson to trust, God would provide me with a situation in which I have no choice but to trust Him. The news could mean we should expect change, the news could mean nothing may change for a while. We just do not know and we might never know for sure which way it could go.

What else can we do but trust in God's providence?


A little over 10 months ago, people in Haiti were struggling to get by, poverty was widespread throughout the majority of the country. Then the rest of the world got some sad news. Unsure of whether or not things would remain the same, get better, or get worse, the people of Haiti trusted in God to provide, praised Him for surviving, and continued to be a family. Things got worse. A month ago, they were hit with a Cholera outbreak in one small area. It got worse. A hurricane came through and the Cholera outbreak spread to their Capital city of Port au Prince. Violent outbreaks are occuring, and the UN peacekeepers are shooting at people.

Imagine going through losing family members and your home, living out of a tent with probably not enough to eat or drink, and then have the peacekeepers shoot at you because your speaking out, trying to show your outrage for nothing being done.

What else can we do but trust in God's providence?

When we do not know what is coming, when we do not know how to handle what is happening in front of our eyes, trust....trust....trust!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ayiti! Ayiti! Mwen pa kwe li!

I think that last part says "I can't believe it"

 What can't I believe?
It is possible that I may actually get to return to Haiti in the spring. Oh, the joy that fills my heart, even at the simple thought of it. The feelings of peace, trust, and joy begin to flood my soul as the reality of going back is before me.

I recall this moment when I first experienced it while in Haiti:

"I never had such peace and joy in my whole life...and to have it in such a moment was amazing because our truck was bumping all over the place, it was dark, and I was in an unknown place, with only one person I really knew well...but I had peace and joy. The kind that it felt like it was our Blessed Mother living right in my heart keeping me calm. The trust I had in Jesus during that truck ride, it was like I was somewhere else. I don't think I ever stopped smiling"

God had brought me somewhere completely foreign and I felt this way automatically. When our plane landed in Haiti in August, I no longer needed a lesson in trusting God; I just did in a whole new way. I miss that trust...and I long to get it back.
 As I was reading some older blog posts, I realized that I have kept with the original theme of "stationary mission" in more ways than I thought with regards to my daily life. Continuing to help patients in the doctor's office I work in is the only way I can really live out the mission to God's people. I think this has helped me to refocus the underlying theme of this blog. 
Gras a Dye!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Friendship & life.


I came to a decision today about friendship. I often feel that lonely feeling where I am tempted to say "I have no friends" because I am not constantly surrounded by one group of people that share everything and have tons of good times. Today, I met an old friend for lunch on my way home from NH. This led me to think.

I have not seen this friend in probably a year or so, yet we had lunch and talked like it was a week ago when we last talked. I would rather the amazing friendships that I have like this, than trade it for a small group that I see weekly. To have so many people, spanning this country, that I may not see for weeks, months, or even years, that I can meet up with and have it be like we did not miss a beat, is a blessing beyond words.


I am struggling. Let's face it, school and work are more than I can handle. Taking on responsibilities, training people, and being mentally exhausted before I even  head to school is not good. School is hard.

People keep telling me "but you are so close to being done with school!" Well, I know that. It doesn't seem to help me because I am not done yet and I'm overwhelmed now!!!

My faith is not that strong right now either. I mean I know God is here with me, so I guess that means it is strong, knowing though I don't feel it. But I have not had the best prayer life by definition and definitely need confession. I miss and long for Eucharist and for grace. I want to change my life and need God desperately to save me. (Maybe that will be another post this week).

Chris Sligh explains my life at this point!

Friday, November 12, 2010

7 Quick Takes - Friday!!!

7 Quick Takes, hosted over here!!! Conversion Diary!


What a week!

1: I know I posted about it this week but just a reminder, Cholera outbreak in Haiti spread to Port au Prince! PRAY!!!!!!!!

2: I know more info about some guy that my co-worker wants to set me up with than I should probably know about someone without having met them....for someone who wants to get married, maybe I should be more open to these ideas, but I get so awkward when people talk about setting me up...

3: On that topic, if I could admit, I wish there were still arranged marriages! Okay, maybe I'm crazy, but honestly , the coworker who wants to set me up, she has a son, they're Catholic, and a really  nice family. My mom and her get along....so why can't they just agree that we should marry and be done with it...we can learn to love each other! I swear!.....

4: I need a mindset change. As I was venting to someone recently, I realized that the bulk of my "issues" lately are extremely self centered. If I wasn't so caught up in my own self, then I would be so much happier.

5: TOTALLY RANDOM: Did you know that there is a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera? It is only showing in London and it's called Love Never Dies Check it out!!!

6: It is a sad day in the world for me when I walked up to my friends college suite door (she shares a suite, which is compiled of like 6 or 7 bedrooms of 1 or 2 people each) and see a sign "Get Tested for Chlamydia"...is this what the world has come to? The college was advertising this.

7: And to finish, me and the friend I'm visiting just  baked cupcakes. YAY!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Catholocism? What? Who?

50 Catholics were killed in Iraq. If you aren't Catholic and don't read a Catholic news site, chances are you had no idea.

The actual Terrorist Attack Article here!

I sat in my "religion" class last night as someone randomly  brought this up towards the end of class by saying "well weren't a bunch of Christians just killed in Iraq or something?" and I spoke up and said "Terrorists went into a Catholic Church, killed 2 priests and many others, taking people hostage" The professor looked shocked that he hadn't heard of this and quietly said, "I should have known about that"

Then I realized something esle. CNN has a bunch of mini stories that I watched yesterday. Mostly unheard of things like "Man in wheelchair tackles robber" and such. The big story was the student protest that turned violent in London.

Did anyone in the world care about the Catholics targeted and killed? Please pray for the repose of their souls and for mercy upon the terrorists who planned and carried out this attack.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pleading for Haiti

Hi readers!

Please please pray for Haiti! The cholera outbreak has hit and is now traveling through Port au Prince the capitol. If it is not contained, it can be a huge detriment to the city, since sanitation and hygiene are so poor with the majority of inhabitants of the city still living out of poorly constructed tents since last January's earthquake. Here in the US, if our house burns, usually we can go stay with family, or have home insurance to rebuild...in Haiti, an earthquake happened 10 months ago and people are living in the same small tent for 10 months. They are not awaiting their rebuild of their previous home to be finished. They are in their new home for the most part.

Please pray as this could wipe out a large number of people. Pray for God's mercy, love and healing to resonate through this small country!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pure Exhaustion

Pure exhaustion is how I know for sure that God dwells within me.

Today I have had patience and trained a few people throughout the day...without losing my mind. Yes, now that everyone has gone, I find I  have almost no energy to even walk...but I'd rather be able to save face, even if only for the 7.5 hours I am at work.

I read somewhere or heard in a talk at some time that when you have nothing left to give of yourself, give Christ. I feel that today has been one of those days. I had nothing left to start with yet I was able to give.

How is this possible?

Christ dwells within me, the presence of the Holy Spirit was sealed within me through the grace of the Sacraments I've received. When I, as a human being, have absolutely nothing else left within me to give of my own accord, I give what it left: Christ

I know now why it is important to build our lives on the Firm Foundation of Jesus Christ. Because underneath all that we are, and when our fortress of grace, our walls of protection, and all of our gifts been used, we are not left completely empty. Our God gives through us. Our God lives in us. Our God makes it possible for us to keep on being.

Dear Jesus,
Thank you so much for moving in me today and for keeping me going. I could not make it without you. I pray for those around me, that they too will be inspired to make You their firm foundation for that when they have given it all, there will be You to give more! I offer up Haiti in a special way today as they have confirmed the Cholera outbreak has spread to Port au Prince. Lord, Have Mercy on your People! Amen!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Look back and Laugh?

Maybe I will laugh later in life about the amount of time my co-worker spends on finding me a good husband. I sure am laughing now. She found out about this son of a friend of hers, and coincidently, the parents of this man, live a few doors from my parents. I find myself laughing over all of the ways in which she can find ways to connect herself to this man. She knows his parents well, she knows someone who's husband works with him, and another lady who works with him.

Then her youngest son met someone who once swam with my co-worker's older son. He's now on the list as a possibility too.

I find so much joy in how excited she gets in possibly being the one to introduce me to a good man to marry.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Today I will become a Godmother again!

I will add Isabella to the growing list! Please offer a prayer for her today as she begins her life in Christ!

I must say that having 5 Godchildren is quite a blessing! Getting so familiar with Baptisms is such a treat too because it's the very beginning. I know God formed Isabella in the womb, kept her save for 9 months, and brought her into this world safely on her birthday....but today is the day where the original sin of her humanity will be washed clean.

Pray for her parents as well. Today is not only a big day for Isabella, but today I will go to Mass with her parents for the first time ever since their wedding. I've known Stacey since high school and always tried to invite her to Mass, and she always wanted to go but never made it happen. They were going to start going back to church after the wedding....then after I moved into town....but it didn't happen. So last week, they went to Mass where they got married, and are going to register there and go every week. Prayers answered!

What a truly Blessed Day today!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"No Duh!"

Did anyone ever say that to you when you were a kid? I'm not sure what it even means. It insinuates that you didn't know something relatively obvious...but why no duh? I don't get that...but I just had that type of moment just now.

"No Duh Kristina"

I had gotten a scare this week: my account with school said my balance was, get ready....$2,390 or something in that general ballpark. If you didn't know, I spent my emergency fund to replace my tires and pay for an extra class I took in the first 8 weeks of school. Not okay!

I also have been trying to understand the reason for the lost cell phone. (that story here)

"No Duh Kristina"

This morning I got an email back from the Accounting office at Albertus after I asked for options to pay them..."Kristina, this is your balance because your Financial Aid hasn't been dispersed yet, it takes a few weeks for that to come in, but you have plenty coming to cover it all..."

I can now see the "No Duh" turning into God saying pretty clearly "Trust me, I've got you in the palm of my  hand"

I am so amazed that, although I'm such a sinner, and although I don't always trust Him, He still has me in His hands. He still offers opportunity for grace, mercy, and He still guides me.

Dear God, you amaze me daily. Thank you so much for the endless love, mercy and guidance you give me. Bless all of those around me with this realization so we can all bask in your Glory forever! Amen!

edit: moments after posting this, I went to facebook...a new message in my inbox? Hmm...it's a message from my co-worker's son Greg..."my  mom thinks she found a phone for you..." Gras a Dye! No Duh! Of course He's got it covered!

Friday, November 5, 2010

7 Quick Takes-hosted at Conversiondiary.com!

Hi all! Here are my first ever (correctly posted) 7 Quick Takes for Friday!

This week I made it to all of my classes on the right night! And all weren't that bad! Some of my fellow Christians in my religious studies class posed questions back to our doubting Tom professor that made me smile as he totally avoided answers. If you are going to go up against the faith the Christians, at least answer them when they know more than you ;) And my really tough Psych prof. gave me a compliment in my interpreting philosophy. Major scores for the week!

Major prayers needed: For a very close friend and household sister Gretchen. Please keep her in your prayers this week on a private intention. Thank you. Also, keep praying for Haiti. On top of the earthquake which they have not even closely recovered from and a cholera outbreak in one area, the rain/wind of Hurricane Tomas are hitting them harder through tonight and tomorrow before leaving!

I should be getting a promotion at work...which is good because I could use the money and it will allow me to actually make comments about the dumb and ridiculous things my co-workers do instead of doing their jobs how they were trained! Though I haven't stopped wondering if I should just quit and ask my co-worker to hire me to work for her husband's company. I think I'd be happier.

Marry me?: The same Co-worker from #3 is pretty convinced that it is her job to find my husband. Personally, I'm glad because I just simply don't have time to look for him right now. My mom and I discussed tonight that we're going to start praying that God will lead her to my husband so we can stop worrying. So far there is a 27 year old teacher (who is being set up with someone else first so I have to wait) and a 30 yr old independent man with 3 jobs (who's parents live on the same street as my parents and they own my favorite pizza place, sweet!).

I hate money. Which may be a contradiction because in #3 I said a promotion would be good for money. But I really hate it. It causes me to worry too much...I'm trying to trust God...and money makes me distracted from trusting. So therefore, I believe that the saying "Money is the root of all evil"

I'm getting new pots and pans tomorrow as a present from my parents for my birthday! I chose that over new clothes. I believe this is how I know that I'm an adult. I am SO excited about these pans! Check them out here! I have a gift card to help defray costs too!  And after we get them, she's going to help me finish settling into my apartment...yea, it's only taken 6 months!

I lost my cell phone. Yup. No idea where it is. My nephew  (2 years old) probably has it stashed at my sister's house somewhere...I can picture him taking it out, sliding it open and shut, saying "Auntie....Thomas....Train Table" because that's all he said to me last weekend. With all the money talk, I'm obviously not trying to buy a new phone...just trying to find someone with a phone that will take my extra sim card...my co-worker, who's on the finding husband duty, also thinks she'll have a phone for me. LOVE her!

The end! Thanks for reading! This is fun!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Discern the Lesson?

Well my friends, I think it is official that my cell phone is lost completely. While on the one hand, I have loved not having an added distraction in my life this week, there are moments when I realize what a good tool it is to have. For instance, when I'm on my way to work and get stuck in traffic and realize I will definitely be more than 30 minutes late. To not be able to call, in my opinion, is unprofessional. Also, when I need to tell someone if I'm running late to meet them for dinner. And on my way home from school, and I thought I'd confirm plans with my mom for tomorrow night.

I just don't know. I just renewed my cell contract so not replacing it at all is dumb because I'd still have to pay the termination fee (prob. around $200 or so). Replacing it is cheaper but still not the kind of money I just have laying around to spend on that. So I'm hoping that someone I know has an old T-mobile phone I can just activate on my plan. Of course, I'm going to the mall kiosk first because last time I did that the sales guy said "um, I have this extra phone personally, and I'll give it to you for free, but I have to walk out of the mall with you and give it to you there..." It was a huge blessing then and I will chance it happening again.

I am trying my hardest to see the lesson here. If it was that I can survive without a cell phone, I definitely get it, and if it weren't for the termination fee, I would ditch it, and just get a "Go" phone to have in case of emergencies. So other lessons....not sure quite yet but can't wait to see what God uses this to teach me!

The good part: I trust from the start this time that there is a lesson here somewhere!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


You may notice there are some posts missing. After a week full of trying to make my blog into something great, I realized through some good advice to just go back to my original desire to blog. To write about what I'm passionate about. The original reason I started this blog to record my experience with learning how to be a missionary in my daily life, mostly in regards to Haiti.

I think I lost touch with that whole idea since I got to go to Haiti. Yet, here I am again, not having reached perfection by any means, waiting on the Lord to lead me back to that amazingly special place. And with still more to learn about daily mission work and plenty of room for me to grow, I have to remember one thing: Forcing anything is never fruitful. Just as I waited patiently for my first opportunity to go to Haiti, I will again wait patiently for the next time. I will wait for this blog to develop into whatever God may call it to be.

Getting back to the basic inspiration for this blog, I will try to remember that God is the one leading my journey, not me. Clearly, I tried to run the show here and I made a schedule, which I ultimately messed up a few times last week. So I'm starting from "scratch" and will see where God, and this blog, take me. Thanks for joining the journey...the journey to completion.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

7 Quick Takes

Here goes nothing:
I started my midterm for Humanities last night...finished it today and submitted. I barely did a work cited page. Hopefully I will get an A

My resume was not forwarded to the hiring supervisors for the job I wanted...the people in the department were made aware, they are going to try to re-write adn repost the job because they actually want me in the position. Gras a Dye! (Thanks be to God in Creole)

Tonight, I'm continuing and finishing up the tradition with my friend Phil, of seeing the Saw horror films in the movie theatre as soon as it comes out. We're going to the midnight showing....after I've worked 8-4:30, finished a mid term and sat through 2 classes from 5:30-10pm. I am CRAZY! But I don't have work tomorrow...

I don't have to work tomorrow. I plan to sleep then hopefully head down earlier than 5/6pm to PA to see my sister and the kids AGAIN! This will be the 3rd weekend in a row and I can't be happier!

My newest Religion class= AWFUL...religion classes at liberal arts colleges are just awful for conservative Catholics/Christians. I'm praying to the Holy Spirit for guidance on what place I need to take in this atmosphere.

I've been feeling kinda sick for the past week...started with some swollen tonsils, they were irritated...led to a stuffy nose...some sinus issues....and get this: worse at home...feel better at WORK....seriously? That is kinda messed up!

My  lovely Humanities professor is showing us a movie about Malcolm X and then we'll be dismissed. Bless his heart because I rushed here to do the midterm and didn't grab dinner...now I'll have a break to grab dinner before the 8pm class. And our assignment for next week is simpler than they have been. Bless his soul!

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Blog Post Schedule

I have been getting into reading lots of new blogs recently (over the last week) and I've found that it might help to get into this blog scene like I want to, if I organized my  blog a little bit better.

My goal will be to post certain things on certain days of the week.

Sunday: Reflection

Monday: Work Week Related Post

Wednesday: School Update Post (will change after December of course!) :-)

Friday: 7 Quick Things (? Not sure...but it seems this is a blog trend that is fun!)

Work Week Post to follow!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday Reflection

Today is my 26th Birthday. I woke up feeling sick but to a big smile and giggle from my almost 2 yr old nephew. Joy was definitely present because he having his morning milk and enjoying his morning shows, then started running around the family room showing off. I asked for a hug and he continued to run, but the 4 month old  nephew opened  his arms to me to make up for it.

I am torn about this birthday. I feel like it's the least exciting I've had. I guess that happens. I guess there are a lot of things that I am in waiting for that keep me from being completely excited. However...in reflecting, though this day may not be monumental...this year of my life has been the most amazing yet. I find myself saying that every year, but this year, once again tops it all. Here's a review, in case you  missed anything:

- My sister gave birth to two beautiful, healthy, good size twins! My little M & M were born on 6/16, kicking up the summer with a bang!

- My oldest nephew learned my favorite new word (among tons of others of course), AUNTIE, and uses more and more frequently with every passing day.

- God Blessed me with a refund from school, which allowed me to go on my first (of hopefully many) trip to Haiti!

- The realization that this is my last full semester at school.

- I've learned to trust in ways more than I could ever have dreamed.

- I have moved to a quiet town, with nature surrounding me, and a great deal of simplicity.

- My grandfather had surgery and came out of it just fine.

I am sure there are more, but I'm now distracted by laughing babies. Thanks for sharing in my year of joy and goodness!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Life Lessons, Teach Me Your Way oh Lord!

This week has been one of many lessons. Today being the greatest. As I continued to see posts in my news feed about the rising number of deaths in Haiti due to the outbreak of Cholera, I felt more and more like I was getting sick myself. Literally, last night I started to notice that my tonsils were a little swollen (they do this often). Then as today went on, I noticed a headache build...then the soreness in my face in my sinuses. All I could think of was, "I can't possibly cook, would love something softer to eat, I wish there was a Boston Market near my house". As I was thinking these things and I almost outwardly complained in the car about being starving and exhausted, God gently reminded me of my brothers and sisters in Haiti.

People, hundreds, are dying...from a sickness causing diahrea...and I don't feel like cooking because I have a little bit of sinus issues. I would like, not only just a drive through, but one of my favorite choices. People are dying. People living out of ridiculous tent housing 9 months after a terrible earthquake are dying from a sicknes that causes diahrea.

Hello Life Lesson of the Day. Lord, I offer you my life, my headache, my soreness, my everything. I offer it all to you for the people of Haiti suffering. Teach me your way, the way of sacrifice for love of others. Help me to die to myself and glorify you.

"That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease ...Lord, grant me the grace to desire it" -from the Litany of Humility

Monday, October 18, 2010

Haiti & My Heart

M' Sonje Ayiti ANPIL! (I miss Haiti a LOT).

This past weekend I drove to visit my sister/brother-in-law and the kids. On my way, I got stuck in random traffic and decided to throw on the Creole Lesson cd that Emily made for our group to practice with before our trip. I got to the song parts and realized just how much I really was learning. There are some words that I just can't say fully as fast as they are sung, so a few words while singing get mushed together, but I know what they are saying. I've also been digging into my Creole Made Easy book at home the past week.
I miss the kids a lot. I've seen tons of children in the past few weeks, but I long for the kids in Duverger. With all of my heart...I long to witness that trust, as I continually prove to myself how much of it I still have to learn.

I was singing and dancing like a fool in the car but it was so much fun. The joy of the Lord will be my strength!

Friday, October 8, 2010


In a note that Johnna wrote recently about Manno (a friend from Haiti) and his first ever trip to the US, his first time ever out of Haiti in his whole life, she mentioned the difference between Haiti and the US in a way I had never thought of before, which led me to think about freedom.

This part is what struck me very deeply: "Walking next to him I realized how big and out of place his movements were. In Haiti his size and voice and exaggerated, excited movements just seem to make sense. Maybe because Haiti doesn’t contain people at all, but rather just lets you spill out across the mountains. But in a crowd of excited Disney Tourists I thought maybe America was too small for him."

The part about Haiti doesn't contain people at all and America being too small...for someone from Haiti...The idea is actually ludicrous. America is, by land mass definitions, huge compared to the small half an island that is Haiti. But it is true, in America, we have to "fit in" where in Haiti, my short limited experience was to break out, and be all. Be all in a sense that I could be a holy, mature, woman of God, yet in the very next second, be a laughing, childlike person going around the dinner table shouting back and forth with kids "Ou Fou, Ou Fou" (You are a fool) and laughing till no end. I could be a clothing supplier in one moment, and a beach lover the next. I could be mother, friend, sister, helper and the helpee all at once. While here in my own country, I feel as though we are expected to just simply grow up and be a responsible member of society and "fit in". Fit into what I'm not exactly sure.

Fit in to the right clothes? Fit in to the right social group? Fit in to the right Church community even? It is funny how much of my Humanities Seminar is fitting to my life. We just read from a book written by a guy, Bellah, and he talks about the seperation of people from the First Language in America (the self, individualism) from the second language (Community) and how that could be detrimental to our society. I think in Haiti, the first language is Community and honestly, I would dare to say they don't even have any other language.

For the first time ever, when I was in Haiti, I was surrounded by people of a different race, yet no one cared, literally, we were all one bodu, believers in the dignity that we all share. I got off the truck to be embraced with love. I gave and received love instantly. There was no "let me get to know you first"...it just happened. There was no difference in our village between orphans and kids with parents, we all came together, we all laughed and loved.

Dear Jesus,
You are teaching me so much and I am so grateful. May I continue to learn life's lessons from meditating on this amazing trip.  Draw me closer to you. Help me to lead others closer to You and the idea that you created each individual human being on this planet and each one deserves respect in their dignity as human persons, even if that comes with a cost. Amen!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Funny Thing: Trust

A funny thing happened yesterday. A dear friend of mine asked me how Haiti was. I started to share and before I knew it I was sharing something I hadn't even realized until the words came out. And it all makes sense to how I've been living since I got back.


I was telling her that going to Haiti, and seeing the children, who immediately were joyful to have us there, have a confidence in you. They see missionaries, and they know, "Here are more people who will love me with their whole hearts, hold me, take care of me." They have learned with the groups coming/going, that when a group comes, it is full of people who will love them and play with them. They trust.

Then, if children trust in me with their whole hearts, then how much more should I trust the God who sent his Son to love and provide for me.

I trust that He loves me unconditionally. I trust that He has a plan, just for me. The unfolding of that plan intertwines with the plans of a lot of other children of God. The important thing I'm realizing is that not one person's plan can be carried out alone, it is all dependent and woven on another person's journey.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I haven't posted too much because school has begun. And while I'm only there one night a week, the work is hefty. I'm mostly busy doing graphic design stuff. That class is very interesting but definitely more of a challenge than I thought.

My favorite is my Humanities class. I didn't think that could ever be possible. Previously at Albertus, I've had the "I'm a liberal, you should abandon all previous opinions about life and history, and accept my views cause I'm smart and your a dumb student" type of professor. And now, I have a more philosophical, "let's learn from each other because we're all human beings seeking deeper knowledge"

What I've learned and thought about in the past two weeks through this class is amazing. Mostly, I've learned how to really get into a deep contemplative place in my mind, to contemplate deep matters of being, of life. It's like being in a different world.

It has led me to very deep thoughts as I lie in bed waiting to fall asleep, which sometimes only brings me to greater awareness and alertness, keeping me from sleep. I read the Apology and the Phaedo by Plato for the first time through this class...and I keep meditating still on the words of Socrates to one of his followers about death. How, as philosophers, they view the goal of life to think of things related to the soul, to find truth in what that is and such...and how that means for them that death (the separation of the body from the soul) is actually not a bad thing because then if they are only soul, they can be free from the distraction of the body (basic needs and distractiosn like food and surroundings)...it's a crazy idea...but we believe that as Catholics too. In a way. At death, my soul is what lives on, the only death is of the body. Then I can be free from worldy, bodily distractions (appearance, needs, etc) and focus soley (pun intended) on the matters of the soul!

If we meditate on this, we will not fear death, but accept it whenever it may come.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Daily Activities in Haiti

Two of the mornings we painted. The first morning we primed the walls in the guys bedroom and the office. Concrete sucks up primer like nothing else. You couldn't really spread it around, it just covered where you put the brush. Definitely relatable to matters of faith I guess.

Reflection: God gives us graces, fruits, and gifts...asks that we share with one another but getting us to do so is sooo difficult. I think we all must be convinced that God is limited because we ourselves are limited. We know we only have so much money in the bank so God must only have so much mercy/grace...WRONG. We are made in HIS image, not Him in ours. Especially in this regard. He is the beginning and end, in him there is no limits to outpouring of his grace. Honestly, if there was a limit on his mercy/grace, do you think Peter would have made it to be the first Pope? I doubt it...I'm sure the mercy/grace would have run out after the crucifixion of His only Son.

After we painted, I think its possible we ate lunch. We either would eat lunch if it was ready or go to the river. It was amazing. Because the sun is hot, it's always warm. And it's just a beautiful landscape in the mountains.

Another day, we sorted through clothes/toys/shoes that were packed into one of the kids rooms. All donated items from the groups who had gone previously since the earthquake. So many graciuos outpourings of people's things. It was touching...and funny all at the same time. One of the smaller kids was staring at one stuffed animals and in Creole Emily said "no, this is all for the people in Dandan" (the village where our school is being built)...and he said clear as day, fast as he could "Mwe Dandan" which translates literally: "I'm Dandan" and we all burst out laughing because we understood him. Then while sorting the toys, we had the door closed and someone else came in and asked if we had to lock the door and I said "oh yea, they don't want the kids to come in and start taking all of the T-O-Y-S" yes. I spelled toys so the kids wouldn't know what I was saying...too bad I was speaking English...they can't understand english anyway...so much laughter filled the room!

We brought the clothes/etc to Dandan on our last full day in Haiti. It was beautiful...it was definitely one of those "beauty in chaos" moments. A bunch of english speaking Americans working side by side with a Creole speaking Haitian, handing out things to people we all don't know. Guessing sizes, telling them to move to the next station, making sure the kids got toys. Wondering why would hand little water balloons to very small children....only in Haiti. Afterward, as we started walking back our long long walk since the truck was gone and the 4runner was broken, we find out the 4Runner is working...so we pile in...all 9 of us. A driver (Manno)...2 in the front, 4 in the backseat, and 2 in the way back. Through the woods and the river, we were back at the house...

Horseback riding was on Sunday...I'll post more about that amazing experience later!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Journey to the Mountains

Wouldn't it be nice to tell you about Haiti?

I forgot.

Here it goes:

I went to Emily's to stay over the night before our flight. Also there was Katelyn and Sam. I had never met Katelyn and I met Sam at summer camp this past June. We had quite the laugh fest. Our first group bonding began when we had to use a manual pump to blow up our air mattresses to sleep at Emily's.

Very early in the AM, we started our drive to JFK, on the way we picked up Patti at a Rest Stop on I-95. The sky changing deeper to lighter shades of blue the entire way. We got to the airport and checked in via the easiest kiosks I've ever seen...we were amazed that people actually still wait in line...not even sure why they do. We got through security fine and quickly as we were ushered over to a brand new line. We got breakfast and as we started to eat, Johnny, David, and Marie showed up. It was great to see Johnny, it made me feel secure to have him with us. And David and Marie were so nice.

I sat next to Marie on the plane. I guarantee you, beside the flight crew, we were the ONLY white people on this flight. But I must say, there is something to be said for Haitians and the races. It doesn't seem to matter. And I learned first hand, immediately, that God's people need no words to communicate. I was in the middle of the 3 seater middle row. Marie on my left and a Haitian woman on my right. First, she could not understand the seat belt...so I showed her and helped her buckle hers. It was like those lessons from earlier on. God teaching me that mission means to serve Him, even in the smallest of things. The smallest most ridiculous things can show dignity. The whole trip, Marie and I shared travel stories, it was beautiful. We even attempted the crossword puzzle in the magazine together. Who knew we knew so many words for things. I was impressed.

We landed, and man oh man, if Haitians can do anything fast and efficiently, it is get OFF the airplane. Wow. So we step off the plane into a hanger thing, which was a surprise, then we file down the hall/down the stairs, by the band playing and onto a shuttle. Yes, they have a welcome band in Haiti. Heat filled the bus as we drove past parts of the airport, cracks in all the walls pretty much. We got to the newer arrival area since the old one was ruined. Go through customs and a guy came to "help" with our bags. He asked what mission we were with and we said Movin' with the SPirit, and he claimed to have seen our truck. We walk down to the end of the waiting area, no truck. The truck is always waiting...we call around...finally they arrive. We loaded up and sat. Not sure what we were waiting for but we got to meet a priest and a man adopting kids...and some people from our Mission. Then we started our drive.

This was the worst part I thought, having to drive through Port Au Prince and see just what the earthquake had left behind. I thought I'd see workers, rebuilding...we saw garbage everywhere, rubble everywhere, people everywhere. Tents EVERYWHERE. We saw one bulldozer eventually and some people in that same spot building a road. That was all I witness of "rebuilding". The rest was heartbreaking. We made many stops along the way for supplies to bring back to the village. It made me feel good to know our Mission not only gives opportunity to those in the village to earn a living, but we can support those in Port-au-Prince too by buying their stuff.

As we got closer to the end of paved roads, we stopped for gas. As we began our treck through the mountains, it got darker. I had this idea that we would have finished our drive before dark, because with no real roads and questionable safety, how could you drive in Haiti at night? Wrong! We kept driving, and it got darker...we learned quickly that Uncle Jean was our favorite driver and that in Haiti, you can see all the stars God ever made. And that moto drivers are the craziest of the Haitian people!

God moment: As we started on the bumpy "roads" to the village, Brother Delord took out his Rosary beeds across from me and began to pray. I started praying with him in my head, but lost track and just completely got lost in the peace that was filling the truck from his prayer. I never had such peace in joy in my whole life...and to have it in such a moment was amazing because our truck was bumping all over the place, it was dark, and I was in an unknown place, with only one person I really knew well...but I had peace and joy. The kind that it felt like it was our Blessed Mother living right in my heart keeping me calm. The trust I had in Jesus during that truck ride, it was like I was somewhere else. I don't think I ever stopped smiling.

We arrived to screaming children, they all toppled Emily first since they knew her..then before long (like 2 minutes) we all had beautiful children in our arms. I have no sure recollection what happened after that. Did we have night prayer? Did we eat? I don't know. I think I was lost in that peace and joy. As we walked over to Johnna, she said "I can't believe I'm seeing you in Haiti"...I couldn't belief it either. Gras a Dye! (Thanks be to God)

More of the trip soon...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Reflections on Patience

Clearly, I made this blog as I was trying to put into perspective all of the lessons I was learning during my "wait" to get to go to Haiti.

Well, there are many other things I am waiting for...should I start a blog for them all? Maybe...maybe NOT!

I just started reading a book recommended by a household sister. It's perfect. What I've got so far from it is, we should not ask for patience to wait, but ask for purpose while we wait.

Dear Lord, Please show me your purpose for my life during this time in my life. Help me to see that you did not create the word wait or patience. You have a purpose for every day, every minute, even every second of my life and according to Your will, I should not be waiting  for anything, but doing Your will each day.
I constantly wait for my life to start, wait for God to show me when I would go to Haiti, wait for God to bring my spouse so I can live my vocation as wife and mother. Yet, I constantly forget that I can not do those things without preparing my heart. It seemed to click with Haiti, learning the lessons I needed to learn to be able to go on that mission...and I can hope that I can still learn how to learn to continually prepare for the future vocations just by living fully in callings of today.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stationary Mission or Moving Missionary?

It has been a while. I've neglected this blog. Possibly because I was distracted with preparation for Haiti. You will probably think, "well of course, isn't that what this Blog has been about?"

But in this regard, I mean literally. All the spiritual preparation was happening for a REASON and PURPOSE. God blessed me with a quite random and last minute opportunity to GO to Haiti. After a random comment on a facebook message that had originated on something totally unrelated to Haiti, I found out about my dear friend Emily leading a group in August. And God worked out the rest. Completely. Flight: booked on the same one as the group. Passport: Couldn't find mine, got it 2 days before we left. Vaccines: Got to share the last appointment at my doctors office for the travel clinic with another young woman going to Haiti on her first trip there too and got my vaccines on time. I could not belief how quick and peacefully everything fell into place.

Normally under rushed circumstances, I freak out...get upset or anxious...somehow, with Haiti, it's different. There is a peace that surrounds that part of my heart. I will post more about the trip itself which will make this more evident. I think God has a plan to use Haiti to radically change my life...let the transformation begin!

As I have come back from my trip, I return to a stationary mission here in the US. Still on a mission to bring more people to the knowledge of Mission Haiti, still on a mission to learn more and go back...to grow...to show others the joy of Haiti...the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Our Lady of Perpetual Help, priye pou nou (pray for us)!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I just spent an entire weekend wondering what my purpose was being present on a retreat. Just to realize my purpose was to be present. My purpose was to witness the events, experience them, and be. I think so many times we see an opportunity to serve and think "mission, I'm on a mission, my purpose is to fix...save...repair...share my life...convert" (insert appropriate word for you)

So busy figuring out what to do, that we miss the fact that we were just supposed to be.

After hearing so many stories of missionaries that go to Haiti, one common thread I hear is something like this "I went there to change/help them, and they changed/helped me 100 times more" Which leads me to the next lesson God has taught me in order to prepare my heart.

What I learned this weekend was mostly to just simply not even think of what might be the plan or purpose, but to just focus on trusting God's plan whatever it may involve so that your mind and heart are not cluttered. If we clutter our minds and hearts, we miss something because we never are able to keep in mind all that God could possibly have in store for us.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


A word I do not really like. I like to "discern" something then do it. Apparently God's plan for Haiti in my life is different altogether. It requires preparation.

Lately, I've embarked on a mini-mission here. At work I've randomly ended up in situations where people have been presented to me to help them. While I always try to help by giving directions or giving a phone number from memory to avoid a long drawn out search, this is new. Patient's in wheel chairs that I got to help get them where they needed to go. I think twice now. But the moments are so profound to me, that it seems like a million times.

It was beautiful both days to just experience the lives of others who physically couldn't do for themselves. I hope they experienced Christ that day because I sure did through them.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

An Update From Johnna

It's been a while since we've heard yet another update from Johnna in Haiti. The internet and then the electricity went down. She was able to squeeze in an update somehow.

I couldn't help but notice in her note certain words that have struck a cord in my personal life. She mentioned that they spent a week in Port Au Prince looking for orphans to bring back to the village. She mentioned what an ADVENTURE it was. Adventure was the word confirming that I am to move to a new town once my current lease is up.

She spoke of a recent day or two that the WIND was so strong everyone dressed in long pants and hooded sweatshirts (an oddity I'm sure for the heat of Haiti), and the past two days here in my town we've had a huge rain storm, with winds so bad that when I went out yesterday, sometimes I could barely open my car door and sometimes I could barely pull it shut. The trees looked like hurricane footage from the news. (Not too typical of CT weather)

After feeling so distant from Haiti in my heart, this update from Johnna brought me right back in my desire to never forget to pray, never to forget the mission that God has put on my heart. On Saturday morning, two doctors from my office (two of my favorite actually), Trauma surgeons, left for Haiti to help the injured/sick. This Wednesday, more friends will be able to on mission there.

And here I stay, strongly reminded of this also important stationary mission of the heart. Going spiritually where I can not go physically until God's will allows. Blessed Mother, wrap those doctors, your missionaries and the people of Haiti in your Mantle of protection today and forever and present them holy and perfect at the feet of your Son on the Cross that His blood may pour over them, wash them, and make them new! Amen!