Sunday, November 27, 2011

Torn to Shreds

I am so torn in this very moment.

The only thing that springs to mind is the song "If I had a million dollars"!

Out of nowhere, I got this irky feeling in my heart tonight. I miss Haiti!

There is a trip in January, but I have major projects going on at work. (I also want to go back to school for Photography, whether that means a traditional semester/college thing or a year long seminar type thing, I don't know yet)

All things are prohibited by one thing. My job. Which is not truly the blocker. The things that are paid for by the job really are. The biggest of that being my rent. I've actually always struggled with the desire to leave my "9-5" job. Maybe because when I left college at 19, I immediately started working a Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm job and haven't stopped since. I missed the years of monthly winter breaks, spring breaks, summer breaks from May to August. Now, I support myself completely.

I am not complaining, just pondering. There are things in life I know God is calling me to do. The two things that are specifically clear are to be a part of Mission Haiti and to dive into Photography. How can I do that while working full time?

I know I can be a stationary mission as far as Haiti goes, through prayer and monetary support, but how does one be a stationary photographer?

"If I had a million dollars..."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Christ the King...

Last night, I was able to attend Catholic Underground CT's November Event last night. I had only been to one Catholic Underground before and it was years ago and in NY.

I had no idea that today was the Feast of Christ the King. There was a brief homily after the reading. We heard that in Latin, the words actually translate "Christ the King of". I could not stop smiling the entire time in the chapel after he made that statement. Christ is King of...everything. The person who was speaking (I apologize for not remembering his name) said, "of the created world and anything uncreated".

Christ will reign as King over any thing to come into creation until the end of created things. The vastness of our God is unimaginable. The small things I constantly stumble over pale in comparison to the greatness of His reign, but He is King of those small things too. He is King of the universe. He is the King of my heart.

Most importantly, I have to allow Christ to reign as King of my mind. The parts of my mind that are so prone to my human nature, and to sin. The weakness in me that leads me to give into the temptations that fill into my mind need to be reigned by His Kingship. Then, and only then, can I triump in the victory that He won for me on the cross.

Thank you for your sacrifice, my shepard and my King!

Friday, November 18, 2011

7 Quick Takes-Friday!

7 Quick Take Friday- Hosted by Jennifer at Conversion Diary! Be sure to check out her 7 Quick Takes!

I haven't done this in a while, but getting back to the blog scene. Here we go!

1~ The sun is out today and although I'm still feeling sick, I will try to go out locally with my camera! I haven't shot any pictures in over a week and feel like I'm going to lose my touch!

2~ I have cooked a ridiculous amount of food this week. I went grocery shopping and in my efforts to eat better and stop wasting money on cut-rate food at the restaurant at work, I bought tons of groceries. I got fall veggies, chicken/beef broth, turkey sausage, eggs, beans, ground turkey, healthy pasta. I spend a lot of money and have been cooking like a hound to avoid wasting a single thing. So far the only thing I lost was one red pepper.

3~ First, I made a big Turkey Chili. Froze about half in a large container (to take out if friends come over), the rest in small containers and left one in the fridge for dinner). That same day, I cleaned one bunch of escarole and made sauteed Escarole and Beans. Then I roasted a Spaghetti Squash. I made a small sauce to go over that to bring for lunch!

4~ On Monday, I made a small sauce to go over the spaghetti squash to bring for lunch!

5~ Wednesday, I washed all the dishes from cooking so far and blanched Cauliflower/Brussell Sprouts to freeze them. I think I might do this from now on with veggies that are only really fresh certain times of the year.

6~ Last night, I made Escarole and Bean soup with the other bunch of escarole, and made Sweet Potato soup also. I froze the Sweet Potato soup. I now have soup for the rest of the week to eat, and a stocked freezer full of homemade food! I also made hard boiled Eggs and a batch of Oatmeal Chocolate Chips!

7~ Thank you to the internet for recipes and how-to videos. This week would have been a major fail without the following helps: (Check them out for great cooking tips/ideas/guides)
You Tube
The Food Network
Article (PDF Form) on Blanching

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

God Speaks when We Listen!

I knew. I knew God needed to talk directly to my heart. (Not in the crazy, "God told me to do it" sort of way either) I am not sure I would have ever given in to the prompting had I not gone to confession on my birthday. 

After an amazing confession (the kind where you just know it's Jesus present in the Sacrament because such a truth is spoken, it washes away any doubt), I knew. I knew He wanted to speak straight to my heart. I knew I needed Him to to tell me something huge. Was I ready to hear it? I wasn't sure. 

The priest told me that if I didn't know the source of my struggle, then I didn't know myself. Quite the shocker, right? How could I not know myself? I'm 27 years old, I have a job, my own place...I know who I am...I know...right? Then I realized that none of these things define me. I realized how right this priest was. I needed to find myself buried under this struggle that has been plaguing my life. I struggled to face the facts. 

Then it dawned on me. 

I had spent years telling teenagers that God speaks in the silence. I am sure I can speak for many when I say, that just isn't something I find anywhere in my day to day life. I found a place to make a Trenton, NJ (about 3 hours away). I was glad though because on that route, I know 2 Christian radio stations so I could leave my iPod distraction at home! I was about 40 minutes away from the place when I heard the following lines of a song called "Love Me" by JJ Heller (video at the bottom of post!)

 "...Then he heard a voice somewhere deep inside and it said..."I have watched you suffer all of your life and now that you'll listen I'll, I'll tell you that I...I will love you for you not for what you have done...I will love you for you, I will give you the love, the love that you never knew..."

I began to cry. Then I thought, "Wait, no...not here in the car...I can't have this major revelation in the car! It needs to be in a chapel, quiet...or something more holy!" Of course that is not true. As soon as we are willing to listen, God is ready to speak. Those words broke through to the core of my heart. 

I now I knew the source, I was ready to see it, sit with it, and begin to invite God's healing love into the wounds. I left that weekend of silence knowing more than ever that my God loves me for me! He created me so of course He loves me. It has been amazing! I hope the song can help you too...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Photo Clarity - Meditation on Scripture

In the Gospel of Matthew, is one of my favorite stories (parables). The Parable of the Sower. In it, Jesus explains what happens when people hear about the Kingdom of Heaven. Depending on where their hearts are depends on what they hear and take away from it. You can check out the full parable over at Bible Gateway, feel free to check out just about any edition of the Bible there!

If you are familiar with  it, when you see the image, it will most likely make sense to you, but if not, I will highlight the parable piece and it's explanation, then share a short meditation.

"...Behold, the sower went out to sow; ...Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out..." -Matthew 13:3,7    

"When anyone hears the word of the kingdom...the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful..."  -Matthew 13: 19,22

While I am certain that one tree was growing around the broken one and the broken one was probably broken by a storm, not due to the "choking" of the winding one, I thought this displayed this concept so beautifully in nature.

How many times do we feel "choked" by the constant stress of this life? Are we able to do anything fruitful during these times? I bet mostly not. St. Theresa of Avila asserts in her book, Interior Castles, that a soul in mortal sin can not bare fruit, even in doing good acts. When we let the "deceitfulness of wealth" get in the way of our lives, we often get caught up in our pride, our wants, and focus only on ourselves. A life focused on selfish desires and needs leads very little room for fruit. How can we lay our lives down for others, lend a helping hand, be involved with our families, if we can't get beyond our own needs and wants? I would love to meet someone who can manage to be selfish and selfless at the same time.

Interestingly enough, when we hear God's word, the invitation to give our lives as a means of love for others, it is no surprise that it makes no sense to us. Society surely does not support this calling. Yet Jesus tells us, that seed that falls on good ground, those who hear the word of God and cultivate it in their hearts, "this is the man who hears the word and understands it...indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty." (Matthew 13:23)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Photo Illusion-Meditation on the Cross

This past weekend, I took myself on retreat. Long story short, they had beautiful grounds. I took tons of pictures, you can check out some of them here! The strange thing is there were certain images I saw in the nature surrounding me that was not just simply beautiful. There was something more than just beauty.

This picture is one of them. Honestly, if you think you see a mess, you are right. But look deeper. Think deeper. There was a song we used to sing when I was in the children's choir way back when. I couldn't find it online but when I saw this tree, one line popped into my head, "three empty crosses, stood on a hill...".

If you have studied crucifixion at all, from what I remember, the vertical post was already at the place of crucifixion and the condemned person had to carry the horizontal piece on their shoulders, not like most images we see of Christ carrying the entire cross. Then what was left was the posts. I imagine they were re-used and not left to become overgrown...but I couldn't help ponder this. Is this image similar to what became of the area where Christ was crucified between the other two men? Simple wooden posts, overgrown, forgotten. The great meaning not only the middle post had, for the obvious reasons that it held our God, suffering for our sins, but also the one man who died assured of Heaven due to his faith in Christ at the end. The third post reminding us of the cost of pride and sin. Years later, overgrown, did people pass by that place and wonder what once had been? Not realizing what sacred ground they walked across? Ground that once was soaked with the blood of Jesus? The very blood I wait in line to receive at Mass?

This led to the thought of how many times we pass by Jesus on the crucifixes in our own Churches, in our homes, in schools (Religious ones of course), and forget the blood shed for our sins. We do not have to travel to the hill of Calvary to walk that sacred ground where our Lord's blood was shed. We see that Sacrifice every time we go to Mass. How often do we not even notice it then? How often do we let our distractions win out instead of giving into the truest desires of our hearts to be drawn closer to Him? How many opportunities are we given to be thankful for our salvation? How many times do we walk by?

Let us take a moment, in whatever we do in a day, and thank Him for the cross!

Friday, April 29, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday!!!

Thanks to Jeniffer over at Conversion Diary for hosting 7 Quick Takes for Friday!!!

Here is what's up:

Photos Required: I now believe that in life on the internet, photos ought to be required. For instance, when you choose to date online or go apartment hunting online. I wouldn't buy a skirt or dress or jeans online without seeing a picture, so why would I choose to meet someone or consider living in a place without even getting a glimpse of the person or place? Isn't a date or home much more important than jeans? skirts? dresses? I think so! So beware, if you are trying to rent an apartment to me or get a date with me, please, draw me in with a photo. This is mostly because I saw a listing for an apartment in my desired town and it exclaimed, "A MUST SEE..." but had no pictures! I guess it isn't as 'must see' since I can't see it right now.

Royal Wedding: I wish there would be less hype over this. It is a wedding of two prominent figures, yes, but at the end of the day, a wedding is a wedding. You may be thinking, "But Kristina, you love all things wedding/marriage". You are right, however, I'd rather have the spotlight on couples who are entering into Holy Marriages rather than Royal or Grand Weddings.

Apartment Hunting: I've decided to raise my rent budget to try to find more of what I am actually looking for. I went to see a place last night that was closer to the top of my previous budget, included no utilities and was smaller than my first apartment, plus the laundry room is on the other side of the complex. If I want a  nice place, I can raise my stakes a bit, as long as it includes the utilities, and actually love the place I live.

Clothes: I got the clothes I ordered from my favorite store Athleta!! I am returning the dresses because they don't fit right. They do fit, but look funny...which is sad becuase they were so comfortable on and modest! The skirts are wonderful though! I really recommend everyone go to the site, and splurge on at least one of their "Whatever Skorts" becuase they are just the most comfortable, modest, yet still stylish and attractive thing I will ever wear.

Happy Hour: One of my supervisors just asked me if I got the email a month ago that we're doing a work Happy Hour tonight after work. I said no, but tell me when and where. I am so happy! I needed a pick me up this week and having some laughs and a drink with my co-workers is just perfect!

Casino: Apparently having a weekend free is the perfect plan. A friend just text me and invited me out to the casino. Again, another night of fun, I could not be more excited.

Prayers: Please pray for my family. My great-aunt passed away on Good Friday. As beautiful of a day that was to go, my family has just had a rough couple of years. 2 of my grandmother's brothers and now her sister have passed, my grandfather found he had to have a tumor removed from his lung after completing a battle of prostate cancer, and now has a 'spot' on his bladder. Last year, my sister had some troubles after giving birth to the twins and many other things happened for us. It seems like we all just keep getting hit again and again. We are trying to be strong but it is taxing on the spirit and mind. Pray we can handle God's will in our lives, no matter what that may be! Thank you!

Hope you are all enjoying your Easter season. God Bless!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Stylish Modesty

If you haven't caught my current drift, I'm on a bit of a modesty kick.

I believe that at the moment, my heart is in dire  need to catch up with my head. I am sure you are all aware of how sometimes, it is so easy to know in our minds how we are to act, speak, and ultimately live as Christian women. We can spout out why we do what we do, how things should be done, and we can preach all day long about "should" and "should not", but sometimes our hearts are left far behind where are heads have gotten to.

I can teach and break down many of the Church's teachings on human dignity, sexuality, chastity, and modesty. Yet I struggle to believe it in my heart. With anything, when my heart struggles to catch up to be passionate as my mind is, I must fall back onto the age old testament, "fake it till you make it".

So I am diving head first into reading and searching all things regarding human dignity in order to jump start my heart to be where my mind is. I know what is right and what is wrong but for some reason, my heart is not in a place where it is passionately working to accomplish all things "right". I share this because I feel alone in it, and I feel if I share it, I will find that I'm not alone. Even if no one shares back with me, I just think a lot of people will read this and nod their heads and say "oh yes, that is me too!"

I wanted to share with you yet another great find on the web. A website that doesn't just claim "modesty" and then offer a "sexy" bikini. The term sexy and modesty don't fit well together to me. If our dignity is truly honored, then being sexy becomes obsolete because we not trying to attract anyone on the premis of sex.

I don't LOVE everything on this website, but I do like that they have quite a bit of skirts that are casual but some that are dressy looking as well for us working professional ladies! Funky Frum is the website, and if I return stuff that I bought from Athleta the other day, then I will definitely be trying some skirts from this website! Check it out and let me know what you think!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday!!!

I actually remembered this morning to come to the blog world and write up my 7 quick takes of the week!

Thanks to Jennifer @ConversionDiary for hosting!!

Follow up to the bathing suit post (check that out here!), I thought it was rude of me to not at least share some good resources for modest clothing, and even some more than not modest swimwear in case you decide you still want the beach/pool experience! I just ordered some clothes from Athleta and I can't wait for them to come. It is somehow sporty and feminine. They have skirts and dresses, and my all time favorite: the skort. The skorts they make have shorts built in that are almost mesh material. I have worn my skort to Haiti and hiking/biking before and couldn't believe how comfortable I was in so many ways.

 They have wide leg yoga pants, not just tight ones, and even modest tanks and other tops.
They are a bit pricey, but I reccomend buying one thing at a time if you really enjoy what you's good quality and supporting this line, shows that there are women out there that demand this type of clothing!

As far as swimwear, definitely Lands End (they even sell some of their stuff at Sears stores!). I also stumbled upon: Rey Swimwear! Vintage and modest swimwear, and their unbeatable tagline, "Who says it has to be itsy bitsy" is the perfect mantra for the modest woman's battle for covering up!

Apparently I am back in full swing at my old parish, St. James. I left there almost 2 years ago and have been quite the Church nomad ever since. I left because it stopped feeling like home. It feels like home again. I have no idea why. I think it may have something to do with the pastor. Of course, one reason why I left was also because of him as well. But when I started coming back, whenever he looked at me, I feel as though we both might cry. Tears of joy of course over my return. I haven't been away from Church, but it just felt like he truly missed me in my absence. To feel that from a pastor of a large parish was quite overwhelming and humbling. Another person who had been away and come back to the same parish, said she had the same experience. Oh, how he loves us! I feel so blessed.

Apparently, this also means I'm slowly getting back into youth ministry. Praise the Lord! I went with them to a talk by Jason Evert last week and I thought it was great. His calm and relaxed way of encouraging teens to live a pure life is amazing. He never condemns and he doesn't lay on the whole "you can't, you can't, you can't" mantra onto them. Just gently encourages that they should try to remain pure. I bought the book he and his wife wrote for young women called "How to Find Your Soulmate: Wihtout Losing Your Soul". I think it will be my saving grace. It just speaks to my heart. No over the top doctrine (that I already know), but practical advice on how to live while waiting for my husband.

Another great find, introduced to me by my brother-in-law, is: Trits. I can't believe I haven't blogged about this yet. But Quick Takes, perfect timing! Trits Ice Cream Dessert is originally made in Costa Rica and is a big deal among the surfer population. What is it? It's an ice cream sandwich and I believe my sister describes it best: the cookie almost taste like the crust of a cheesecake but hard enough to be the sandwich, and then it is filled with vanilla ice cream, but it's just sweet and delicious. A guy my B-i-L knows is bringing them to the US and they were debating investing, so I got to try one. Absolutely delicious! I hope they take off in the US because I'd love to eat them all summer long!

Nephew story: My 2 1/2 year old nephew is just hysterical these days. I can't even narrow down one incident, but I will try...this morning, my sister sent us this story via emial with a picture for proof. He was having yogurt for breakfast. They just bought this shelves with the removable boxes (that serve as drawers)for storage from IKEA. My sisters hears the following words from him, "Mama Mia see Jimmy eat yogurt in BIG box" go in to find him sitting in the "drawer" on the floor eating his yogurt. (Mama Mia is what he calls Mia now since my sister taught him the Mama Mia song). His version of the song goes like this: "Mamma Mia, go again, bye bye, itch ya" Where the "g" is, replace with "d" and you will get what he sounds like. (Real words he's imitating: Mamma Mia, here we go again, my, my, how could I resist ya)

Bike Ride: Last night, it was absolutely gorgeous outside. I was in the midst of doing laundry and cooking/cleaning my apartment which was badly needed, when I had the strongest desire to go for a bike ride. I ended up not going because I needed to finish the laundry, but I really was just excited over the fact that I wanted to do something active! Hopefully I will get to go for a bike ride soon!

I need to get to confession before Holy Week really kicks into gear. Know of a Church that has offerings for the procrastinators? Let me know! I'm such a last minute person, but I do really want to be able to go through the Triduum in a state of grace, it's so much better that way!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Bank Saves MY Money!

I am beyond excited!!! This is an entire post about why I'm learning to love Bank of America!

I was really upset at one point because I realized that my savings account at my bank barely earned interest at all last year. Amount $.05 maybe...

...but then I realized that being in the "Keep the Change" program, which saves all the "change" from my debit card purchases by rounding up my purchases to the nearest dollar and transering that money into my savings account, has really paid off!

I've saved a good deal of money through it and the bank matches it, 5%, up to a certain amount. So I made $56 from that annual payment.

Today, I was reminded of the "Add it Up" program. This is where you earn 3,4, or 5% (and even a possible 7% bonus) cash back on certain online purchases made with your debit card. All you do is enter the coupon code they give you for the stores they offer it for.

I decided to order some new slipcovers for when I move. I had an option of 3 coupon codes, and figured the most savings would come from the free shipping code. The shipping was approximately $27 and don't forget, I earn 4% cash back on this one, and that was almost $9. So I technically saved $36 on something I really wanted/needed. Once you make $5 in cash-back, they transfer it into your checking account. They also occasionally have "in store" coupons you can print out.

Why I love it: ways to save and get some money back in your pocket without doing too much work to find the deals!

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's That Time of Year!

Oh, the joy of Springtime!

Trees and flowers in bloom, the joy of Easter, sunshine, cool breezes.

Almost everything about spring is loveable. Almost.

Being that it is the season prior to Summer (read: bathing suit season) it means that it is the usual time that one preps for Summer (read: buys bathing suits)!

I normally just run to my safety net of Land's End because even though each top and bottom is about $55 on average. At least I would know that I was getting good quality material and enough bathing suit to cover far as bathing suits are concerned.

As far as bathing suits are concerned is the part that is bothering me a bit more each year as I get older. I realize that we, as a culture, accept being covered less in the name of "Summer". I now wonder why. During the same summer, I will never be caught going to the mall or dinner (or anywhere for that matter) wearing a mini skirt or a halter top. But for the past 2 years, that is exactly what my bathing suit consisted of. I would wear a t-shirt over my top until at the beach or a pool for modesty, but as soon as I laid in the sun or went in the water, my suit was apparently modest...enough. the part that is making it difficult for me to consider bathing suits this year. I've never been a big "on the fence" type about anything. So why is it okay for me to consider a bathing suit that is more revealing than any clothes I'd choose to dress in? Modest is Modest. Just because a suit consists of more than a few triangles and strings, does not make it modest. Only on occasion will I leave the house in a sleeveless tank top, and never in anything higher than a few inches above my knee. Not only for modesty sake, but for comfort sake as well.

Modest is Modest. Some have tossed out the idea "do I swim in public at all?". Some have given in and bought the full coverage modest bathing suits. The issue may reside in the fact that defining modesty is really hard to do. I've always understood it to mean that someone is not trying to do anything to draw attention to themselves. This is an entire attitude. My goal has been to be modest. I fail because I am by nature loud and sometimes even needy for attention. In addition to not drawing attention to oneself, I believe that modesty is important because in choosing to live it out, we make a responsible choice to also to protect others. I think this is at the core of social responsibility. Respecting our own dignity and honoring it so that others have no chance to degrade it.

I believe I have come to the decision that I am to stay dry this Summer season and in my regular non-revealing clothes(*). I may purchase a bathing suit similar to one I've had in the past just in case I go back to Haiti (I would need it to go in the river to wash up). It will be a challenge since I love to swim, but a worthy sacrifice to offer up in the name of modesty.

I'd love to hear your comments/thoughts.
(*): Disclaimer: This is what I have come to for my own self. I am not saying this is the only answer or only way to do it. Just sharing with awhat I've discerned for me at this point on my journey. I do not think any wrong against those who disagree or judge you who still continue to buy a bathing suit/swim! Have a blast! (Hopefully you will do it as modestly as you discern fit)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Where, oh where, has my Blog been?

Hello Blog World,

Apparently I have lost track of my blog once again. I had posted previously about a possible opportunity to go back to Haiti this month.

Sadly, instead of going back to Haiti, I stayed home to have my tonsils removed.

Tonsils have been gone for just about 3 weeks now and I'm finally back to my old self. Just tonsilless! Praise the Lord! It was by far the worst pain I've experienced in my entire life and has me looking forward to childbirth more and more by the minute. While you may be thinking, "wait, childbirth hurts too!", I must tell you, at least childbirth comes with an extremely amazing, beautiful new life that you get to take home with you. Getting your tonsils out just hurts and they send you home in a couple of hours with nothing but a follow up appointment and drugs.

I could not take the strong pain meds they gave me so I was battling pain with Extra Strength Tylenol. Hence why I couldn't really get a straight thought out of my head and blog during the experience.

I spend 6 good days with my sister and the kids in which I realized that my oldest nephew (the 2 year old) is my best buddy and caretaker. He always offers me some of what he is eating and told me to put a sweater on when I woke up with just a tank top one morning. He is definitely the love of my life at this point.

I have also started my very last class before I graduate in May! Only 6 more weeks!!! More updates to follow as I've had plenty of deep thoughts to explore while out of work! Glad to be back on the blogs!

Friday, February 25, 2011

7 Quick Takes - FRIDAY!

Boy oh boy, have I missed the BLOG! I'm not even sure why I have been away!

So I'm making my come back with the always fun: 7 QUICK TAKES FRIDAY hosted over at Conversion Diary by Jen! Thanks!

1. As of Monday, my car will be completely paid off!!! Thank you, Turbo Tax for your quick 8 day refunds for both my Federal and State Taxes!! I finally feel like I can get back on track with the Dave Ramsey plan of getting out of debt! Check out his Baby Steps here!!

2. Hopefully, I will be getting my tonsils out next week or the week after!!! I have this extreme hate for my tonsils becuase they get irritated quite often becuase they are generally larger than the average Joe! I went to see this awesome ENT doctor who basically said, "they don't need to come out but I will do it if it is what you really want". So since I have a ton of sick time saved up, I'm going to have them taken out and hopefully take 2 weeks off just to have a good recovery cushion.

3. Something about socks. I can't remember but I told my friend I would...make #3 about socks, I can't remember exactly what about them I guess I will post that I'm hoping this becomes reality: A friend might teach me how to KNIT SOCKS! I kept forgetting to ask this person for tips on knitting ((in case you missed my stint about that)...but she said that she'd teach me how to knit socks first since they are the hardest, and once you can do that, the rest is easy!

4. I do not like my Art class as much as I thought I would. I completely missed last week's assignment. I plan to make it up, but I have no desire to. I have to download a video recording tool so I can record what is going on on my screen...what I have to make happen in this other program is draw a line that a little man rides a bike on when you hit play...My line is NOT very creative so I gave up...yikes!

5. I can't wait for spring!!!

6. I'm going to see my neice and nephews tomorrow!

7. I received the notice of renewal for my lease in the mail. I am at a loss of what to do about that. I can renew and stay another year. I can not renew and find a new place. I do NOT have any desire to go through the moving process...but I also do not know if I can handle another year of long commutes to everywhere. I do think that financially, it's still the best bet to stay. I know where I want to live, I can not get cheaper rent. So I would have to settle for something not as great. Plus for my cheap rent now, I can probably just make the sacrifice of long commutes one more year, and work the "get out of debt fast" plan by not moving and living slightly beyond my means!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Over the past two days, I have felt almost every emotion possible. Between craziness at work, confusion in my personal life, and joy with my family, I have barely had time to think.

I find myself so tired of work that even though I've only worked 2 out of the 3 days in this work week, that I actually wish the storm was still coming tomorrow so I'd have an excuse to not drive in.

Lord, have mercy on me!

I am learning right now a huge lesson in humility. I just want to get through this phase at work without losing my virtues.

It has been tough to focus on what is truly important because unfortunately there are many small, petty distractions. I also realize how important it is to pray for the people you work with. If I do not offer up these people surrounding me for the majority of my day before God, then how could I ever expect peace?

I have to die to myself, not just for my loved ones, not just for those I like. For everyone! Christ died for all of us, and He's asked me to follow in his footsteps.

Dear Jesus, I ask that you cover all of my co-workers in peace, whatever struggles they face. Help me to be your hands in their lives. Help me to me patient and caring with each one of them as to be understanding of their struggles. May they also be patient with me in my own shortcomings! Amen!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Blessings From God!

Never before last night have I seen the hand of God work in a random situation so perfectly.

I ended up pretty far from home, in a room full of holy women friends of mine, talking and waiting for Derek to pick me up. (Yes, Derek is the guy!) We had agreed to meet up for a drink but then my plans changed but he still wanted to meet me.

He came into the house and impressed everyone pretty quickly. We went to the Brew Pub up the road from my friend's. There was nowhere to sit at the bar so I asked if he wanted to come back to the house. He said no, we should just give this a try. So he went off to order drinks and I grabbed a great table. A couple of people came up and asked if they could just sit with us since there were no other seats and Derek said sure.

The guy then opens his mouth and says something I could never have imagined: "Are you  here for the Hope for Haiti event?"

Me: "No, we just randomly met up and came here...what is this about?"

He then shared that he's been going to Haiti for 8 years and I shared that I had just been. It was beautiful. The whole night was a fundraiser for this organization and Mission to Haiti...they just built an orphanage for saving kids from child slavery! This man introduced me to the woman who leads the organization. They showed a was just wonderful.

They were Christian too so it was just beautiful because we were able to discuss Haiti and Jesus which are pretty inseparable topics anyhow!

Dear Jesus, I ask that you bless all missions to Haiti that seek to improve the quality of life and respect the dignity of the Haitian people! Bless the man and woman we met last night. Bless Derek for his openness and patience while I sat talking to this random man about Haiti all night instead of to him! Thank you for working your plan in my life! Amen!

Friday, January 21, 2011

7 Quick Takes- Friday!

Hey everyone! Been a few weeks since I've done a quick takes and I'm really excited! 
Thanks to Jen for hosting this at her blog! Check it out here!

Last week, I ordered a book through Yale's Direct Borrow program through the library. It's called The Red Book which is a compilation of most of the writings and personal evalutations of the famous psychologist Carl Jung! I heard about this book (published in 2009) in the fall and wanted to get my hands on it just to see what it was like. It is HUGE. I don't mean massively thick...but if I stood it up on the table, it's about 18 inches tall! The first have are scanned images of his actual writings in German and the paintings/drawings of his. The second half is the translation to English. I feel like I've taken a dive into history. It is amazing.

I am home from work today so I opened it up and started reading..."But the spirit of the depths said: "No one can or should halt sacrifice. Sacrifice is not destruction, sacrifice is the foundation stone of what is to come...Have you not had monasteries? Have not countless thousands gone into the desert? You should carry the monastery in yourself. The desert is within you...if you were fettered to the world of this time with iron, the call of the des rt would break all chains..."

And a page later..."Give humanity dignity, and trust that life will find the better way"
If that isn't a good March for Life sign, I don't know what is!

In other news, the predicted snowfall for Hartford County in my state for the entire season was 24"...and as of last night (before it started to snow) the total snowfall was 52". Now that we've filled quite more than our predicted amount, I would appreciate not one more speck of snow until next winter. If my car warns me of "low traction" one more time, I might just not leave my house until Spring!

In good news: Only taking one online class right now has allowed me to get my social life back! Monday I had a date, Tuesday and last night I got to walk over to my friends to see her/her husband and their baby, and Wednesday I went to another friend's house. It feels so good to be social with people other than classmates and professors. Plus it's a lot less stressful!

I have gotten back into know, actually writing with a pen in a little notebook about spiritual matters or other things? Yea, that! And I forgot how much I had loved it! It really is like therapy for me. There are just some things that are so private that you can't talk out with a helpful tool for me is to write to God about it. If you haven't ever done it, I encourage it! It leaves you open to be completely honest with yourself and God. It also helps you work through some things in your head!

My friend and I had a glass of wine last night. Just like journaling, wine with friends is extremely therapuetic. If you don't do this at all, you should. We are going to try to make it a monthly event for us! We laughed like we haven't laughed together in a long time and both of us needed it so badly.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


This week I decided to invite the person I met over for dinner.

I had some major cleaning to do because I still had my Christmas decorations up, and hadn't really been home long enough for a good clean in quite a while. In place of my Manger, I decided to keep that my little sacred space. I have my crucifix hanging there on the wall, so it fits. I put out my St. John Bosco and Mary Help of Christians statues, my Bible, and my Catechism. On the bottom shelf of that table, I put another Bible and my journal. The goal was that I will spend more time reading both since they are right there in my face.

Well, said person came for dinner...and after dinner and a game of Monopoly, I came out of the bathroom to find him reading my Catechism. You may be thinking, "so what? It was just out there."

I was mostly shocked because it can be an intimidating book for most Catholics, and he is Baptist. I'm glad he felt it inviting to take a look. I took note of what page he was looking at (not sure if he truly was reading it) but was glad to see it was this part of the prologue:

"The whole concern of doctrine and its teaching must be directed to the love that never ends. Whether something is proposed for belief, for hope or for action, the love of our Lord must always be made accessible, so that anyone can see that all the works of perfect Christian virtue spring from love and have no other objective than to arrive at love" (CCC 25, quoting Roman Catechism, Preface, 10; cf. 1 Cor 13:8)

After he left, we were texting and I began to journal for the first time since April. I am very grateful that this seeming to direct my heart more and more towards God.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Never before in my life have I heard more about the debate on skirts vs. pants than since I've started blogging.

Personally, I never knew there was such a debate about it. I never really gave much thought to it...I have heard many times that skirts are more modest.

Here's my problem: Not all the time are skirts more modest. For instance, I work in a professional arena...I've tried to convince people that wearing scrubs would be the best (because I can get them a little baggy without being messy, and they can be modest), but that didn't work. So here's my problem with skirts:

1: I have to shave
2: Wearing stockings
3. Uncomfortable waistbands
4. Most professional attire skirts are very fitted/tailored not loose or flowing

If I could find a place to get stylish/professional long skirts with elastic waistbands, I'd be all set...and if they were cheap, I'd replace my whole wardrobe and never wear pants again! Of course, I love my pants...mostly because I like to sit comfortably "indian style" or with my feet up outside of work, but with long and non-fitted skirts, I can work that out just fine.

Any suggestions on where to find good priced, professional, comfortable skirts? Even online?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

For Real, Lord?

If you know me personally, you know that overall, 2010 was not what one would call an outstanding year. While I have plenty to be thankful for, it was a year of continual bad news. This news was mostly regarding the health of multiple family members. Now, all of them (except one) are on the mend or better.

I posted yesterday or the day before about feeling like this year really is going to be different, new.

Today, I felt like God just confirmed that in so many ways.

I have never felt this way in the beginning of a year before. I have this feeling in my gut that somehow, this year, is going to be different. I feel like I’m getting a fresh new start.

Of course it doesn’t hurt to have a random increase in young, attractive men in the building I work in! Plus I have “met” someone (online, and I gave him my cell phone # this week, going well so far). I’m taking it ridiculously slow just to be cautious because I know my heart can’t handle more than that. There is a good chance I will be seeing a college friend (household sister) from California this weekend because she’s traveling to the East Coast for a wedding. I am hoping to be getting a new job (Prayers please).

And to top it all off today, I saw an old co-worker who had retired in the summer. She was bringing a family member in for an appointment. We got to talking and I asked how her husband was doing. “Oh he’s good…he’s doing a prison ministry now…”, she told me. I said, “wow, that’s always been something I wanted to get involved in…” and then the icing on the cake, “yea, he’s doing it with teens between the age of 16-18 (I think that was the max age I can’t remember now) and they have a retreat coming up soon and then they mentor each kid for a year or until they are released…”

Needless to say, I will be e-mailing her tomorrow to get more details and sign up for this ministry. Here is how I know God is ordaining this year to be a great one:

1. I have been dying to get back into youth ministry lately.

2. I have always wanted to be involved with prison ministry.

3. Mentoring teens for a committed amount of time to help them change their…Hi, remember, I’m about to finish my BA in psych!

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for knowing and granting so many of my dreams and desires! You truly are an awesome God! Amen!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Blog? Oh yea!

Hi there!

What a whirlwind. So much has happened in the past 2 weeks that I feel like I am a different person. Is that even possible? I barely even noticed until just now.

New things are happening...including me getting used to not going to school 3 nights a week. I have seen so many people...some of them more than one time in one week. I realized that school really did own my life this past semester and I am enjoying getting it (my life) back.

Both of my classes this spring are online so I can continue to get used to this free time.

Plus going to confession the week before Christmas was a huge blessing also. The holidays were smaller than usual and work was different during our "break"...and today going back to the regular working schedule was an entirely different world because so much is changing there too.

With all of this change, for the first time ever, I really feel like it is a new year. A time for a fresh start where anything can happen.

"So whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come."
~ 2 Corinthians 5:17~

I don't think I have ever felt so connected to this Bible verse...well not since making my Emmaus in 2000. I know and am finally ready to move onto more of what God is calling me to this year with a renewed spirit and conviction. I can't wait to see what each day brings!