Monday, December 29, 2008
1) LIFETIME SERVICE AWARD (longest friend) Kayla Hartmann 2) NEWCOMER AWARD - COOLEST NEWEST FRIEND? Lindsay Chandler 3) MOST UNDERSTANDING FRIEND ? Amanda Powers 4) HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR? All the fun times in my suite! 5) LOW POINT OF THE YEAR? All of the end-of-year RA stuff was pretty obnoxious. 6) BEST HOLIDAY? I'm saying this Christmas ... maybe only because it is freshest in my memory. 7) SONG FOR 2008? To Know Your Name -Joel Houston 8) MOVIE FOR 2008? Saving Sarah Cain (although Fireproof was good too) (AND I actually watched Gladiator ... well the parts that didn't have my eyes covered anyway) 9) BOOK FOR 2008? The Dream Giver (changed my life) 10) WHO DID YOU SPEND VALENTINES WITH? I can't remember ... no one specific 11) ALL AROUND GREAT FRIEND TO HAVE? Tylan Ricketts 12) WHAT WERE YOU FOR HALLOWEEN On Call 13) RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR? The Cheesecake Factory 14) BEST PROFESSOR OF THE YEAR? Dr. Rhzia. period. 15) BEST DECISION MADE THIS YEAR? To add a theology major. 16) WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR NEXT YEAR? Learn how to really build my life on God. Follow my dreams. Love others as much as possible. (Jesus set a pretty high standard of possibility). Enjoy being ALIVE. 17) MOST STUPID IDEA? Trying to throw water onto Abby's windshield while going 70 mph down the highway. (As basic logic regarding the situation would tell you, it did not even come close to working.) 18) BIGGEST CHANGE OF THE YEAR? I stopped being an RA. I changed my major (a few times probably). I turned 21. I finally got to vote in Presidential Election. 19)BEST CLASS? It's probably a tie between Christian Moral Life (which impacted me on an everyday/practical level) and The Book of Revelation (which changed the entire way that think about life). 20) NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION? To stop lying to myself.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Any day that necessitates a step outside the typical hustle and bustle and into a relaxing glimpse of reality is a day worthy of Starbucks. The environment presents a unique tension, encouraged by the multidimensional purpose of the product being served. Coffee is used equally as frequently as energy to get through the endless myriad of tasks shoved into a day as it is to provide that much coveted journey into relaxed bliss. Both purposes can be witnessed at Starbucks. As I sit sipping my carefully selected drink, enjoying my personal relaxed bliss, I observe this unique environment. With each warm sip, I can't help but believe that I'm entering more deeply into the purpose of life itself. Starbucks has given me the opportunity to ponder those things that truly matter and to smile slightly as my mind passes over those that do not. Starbucks is a wonderful place to spend my Sunday.
I had the great privilege of attending a simply stunning wedding yesterday. The bride was absolutely gorgeous. The Church, decorated for the Christmas season, was beautiful. It was a wonderful mass and exchange of wedding vows. I'm quite certain this one made Heaven proud!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
...it's about listening. Over the past four or five months, I have spent much time pondering my desires. I believe that God purposefully places desires within us. It is through the desires that He gives that we are able to know that to which He calls us. For this reason, I have made it a point to treat my desires with great care and delicacy. Ultimately, I strive to cultivate these desires in a way that enables me to surrender them. Typically the process begins with a newfound desire. I then have to ask myself whether this is a desire that God is giving me or if it is something I desire for selfish ends. I spend time in prayer surrendering the desire to God. However, I've noticed that as soon as I discern that my desire is in fact from God, I take it and run away with it. I begin to control it. I begin to use it in the way I want to use it, all the while telling myself that it is okay because, after all, God gave me the desire. Upon noticing this unfocused and misdirected tendency, I became confused. How am I to balance surrender with action? Thankfully, God is a God of Providence. Through my confusion, He taught me that it isn't about learning to balance. When God gives me a desire, my only action should be one of surrender. It is through my action of surrender that God will give me the wisdom to know how He wants me to use the desire. Now all I have to do is learn how to listen...
Saturday, December 20, 2008
The recent events regarding JP (see story here) have left me in awe of the beauty of the Universal Church. In the days following the accident, I have found myself thinking a lot about the community at Benedictine. This is largely due to the fact that it seems wrong for this to have happened now. This loss in our community comes at a time when we are not together, and we will not be together for almost a month. I want to be at BC. I want to be with the BC community. I want us to be able to spend this time together, lifting each other up. I want us to surround those in our community closest to JP with love and support. The most inspiring truth of this experience is that while we are not physically together, we are united. The distance has lead me to pray more, to attend mass, and to seek Christ's presence in the Blessed Sacrament. It is through these blessings, through the Universal Church, that I am able to be united with the community for which I am longing. Because of this, the Benedictine community, along with the entire Church, is able to surround those closest to the situation with Christ's unfailing love.
Friday, December 12, 2008
My Love, I see You often hanging on the cross of Your glory. Tonight, Your grace moved me to the scene of You being taken down and laid in Your Mother's gentle arms. In that scene, I found myself caught in Your Mother's sorrow. I felt prompted to move, to stand, to act, to live... but I couldn't seem to move beyond the devastating picture. Later, Your Spirit brought to my attention that the body held by the Blessed Mother was not my God. My God didn't stick around after His death. He didn't remain motionlessly in a lifeless body. He was too busy fighting Satan. His resurrection was not a powerful surge of energy following a 3-day nap. His Resurrection was a glorious return following triumphant victory. The time for me to move is now. I can't remain stuck at the cross. Jesus died on the cross so that we could move beyond our sin. He died on the cross so that our sin doesn't hold us captive. We have work to do. He gave us the cross so we can hold it high above our heads as we live the Resurrection. We need His death AND His life. His death is the freedom we need. His Resurrection, His life, is the strength we need to move. I don't know what the end will bring. I firmly believe, as Christ showed us, that it won't leave us in sorrow at the foot of cross. It will involve His love and His life. When we reach the finish line, whether we are sprinting in the power of grace, or crawling on our hands and knees in the strength of His mercy, we will be covered in the blood of the cross, having completed the journey well. Lord Jesus, help me to stand at the foot of the cross. Help me to stand as Your Mother holds Your body. Help me to act then. Help me to stand there and declare, at the top of my lungs, with every fiber of my being, heart and soul, that there is no one like my God! Amen. *** Picture from www.rockofmysoul.com
Thursday, December 11, 2008
...Mary chose me. On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, I finished a consecration to the Blessed Mother. In his homily at mass, Prior James reflected on Mary at the cross. His point was that of her free will. She freely choose to accept us as her children. This revelation brought tears to my eyes. I have great hope in one day being a mother. I believe that is God's will for me. I have said before that I can almost feel the flames on my heart when I share with God my deepest longings for motherhood. When a woman wants to be a mother, she wants it with a heart bursting to pour out love on her children. I believe that it was with this kind of passionate love that Mary took on the role of our Mother. She chose to have us as her own. She chose to devote herself to pouring out love on us. The truly amazing thing is that it isn't her love that she pours out. When Mary pours out love upon us, as only a Mother can, it the love her of Son that she gives. Through her giving of love, we are drawn ever closer to Him. Mary conceived without sin, Pray for us.
Monday, December 1, 2008
That's how I feel these days. There is this part of me that has a strong desire to blog diligently, but that has yet to happen in my life. These next 2+ weeks are certainly not the time to start....way too much homework to keep up with. It is not for lack of topics about which to blog; I have many ideas swarming my thoughts and capturing my heart: celebration, living the liturgy, the vastness of God's plan, advent, suffering, reverence... the list could on for quite some time. However, today is not the day for those topics to be addressed. Today is the day for researching and organizing a presentation that is due tomorrow morning...