Saturday, September 24, 2011

10 Thoughts... September 2011

10 Thoughts on Whole Living for September 2011 from Whole Living Magazine 1. You won’t know how fast you can go until you try.
2. Changing the way you eat may be the most transformative action you can make.
3. When you fully inhabit the moment, inspiration is likely to join you there.
4. Nature can only work its healing magic if you immerse yourself in it.
5. Blaming never fixes what you think it will.
6. Don’t confuse what you think with what you are.
7. Flowers, herbs, oil: beauty begins with the simplest elements.
8. The first step to good health care is making yourself heard.
9. Financial ease comes from understanding what your money is doing for you—as well as to you.
10. When you’re overloaded, fight the urge to work harder. Instead, slow down and reflect on what matters most.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Yesterday, in honor of the 10th Anniversary of 9-11, Fr. Jeff shared this prayer with us. It was found next to the body of a dead child in a concentration camp: "O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not remember all the suffering they inflicted on us. Remember the fruits we have been brought, thanks to this suffering- our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this, and when they come to judgment let all the fruits which we have borne be their forgiveness." Let us pray this prayer together and endeavor with all our hearts to mean the words that we speak.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Late night reflections…

Late night reflections…

I spent a lot of time with my community today and it was such a beautiful day! Before Joe’s girlfriend (Em, who is really just lovely and wonderful) left (she came to visit for the holiday weekend), we played a bunch of board games and that was great: just being together and unplugged for a while. We played Bananagrams… which just takes me back to the hotel in Napflion where Gabbi Chee and I and other people—sorry, I can’t remember who—played Bananagrams and we ate dolmates—Gabbi is the one who got me hooked. Then, after Em left (which was sad for all of us, she’s a great part of our community), the men grilled and we ate wonderful hamburgers (with cheese and bacon inside the burger) and brats and grilled onions and peppers. Then Matt shared a giant cupcake (I thought of you, Mark) with everyone else while I ate a gf cupcake (you can buy a four pack of frozen gf cupcakes for like $6). Since they were just sharing the one big cupcake and eating it with forks, Michelle had me put my plate right next to it so I wouldn’t feel left out of the sharing.

After dinner, we played cornhole for a couple hours, which I never quite got good at, and then just hung around having fun.

The picture is of a cornhole set like the one we played with, except that ours has a huge "UD" written on it-- UD for U Dayton, where three of my housemates went to college, not for UDallas.

Amy led us in a wonderful community meditation and prayer; we offered up intentions, which I always think is good. After that was our meeting and then, as if we hadn’t already eaten enough, Joe made these wonderful homemade chocolate milkshakes which we enjoyed while we watched Star Wars (the 5th one?). It was just a really lovely night, filled with such great and wonderful friends. After Star Wars was over and Joe and Amy went to bed, I practiced guitar in the prayer room, which I am trying to do more often.

My guitar is getting slowly better. I can now play several songs while singing them. It’s the coordination involved in strumming, playing the right chords, and singing all at the same time that gets to me. I have the songs that Jill (a dear friend from UD) taught me down, but singing at the same time usually makes me mess up the strumming. I’m learning, though. It’s just so frustrating (and humbling) for me to be so bad at something that so many of my friends are so very good at, particularly when I’ve been doing it longer (off and on) than several of them. Plus, my older “brother” is like a guitar genius, which lessens my inclination to learn, because I love to listen to him play (alas, I can’t just have David around at all times to play the guitar when I need him!).

At any rate, there’s my day.

I’ve been reflecting on things a lot lately. I think it comes from being in a new place, a place I did not choose and am still a little uncertain of. I’m so happy here, but at the same time I’m frustrated because I know I’m not where I want to be. I’ve never been good at the seemingly passive trusting God to take me where I need to go, so my first instinct is to fight. I have this perfect idea of where I want to be… married (to some yet-to-be-identified perfect man), living on a farm, raising kids, chickens, bees, and anything else imaginable and having the perfect garden. I want to keep studying my Greek, but it’s hard to find the time and I feel that love, that passion slipping away from me. I want to be a good cook—something that has been almost completely set back by my allergies and my new schedule. There are just so many things that I want to be that I wonder if they will ever come to pass. I’m reminded of that Barlow Girl song I loved as a junior in high school—Surrender…

My hands hold safely to my dreams,
clutching tightly not one has fallen.
So many years I've shaped each one,
reflecting my heart showing who I am.
Now you're asking me to show
what I'm holding oh so tightly.
Can't open my hands can't let go.
Does it matter?
Should I show you?
Can't you let me go?

Surrender, surrender you whisper gently
You say I will be free
I know but can't you see:
my dreams are me, my dreams are me?

You say you have a plan for me,
and that you want the best for my life.
Told me the world had yet to see
what you can do with one
that's committed to Your call.
I know of course what I should do,
that I can't hold these dreams forever.
If I give them now to You,
will You take them away forever?
Or can I dream again?

I feel like it’s such a cheesy song, but I love the line that says “my dreams are me.” They are, they are essentially all that I am, and still, after accepting the changes in my life and in God’s call for me, I have a hard time letting them go. I guess we all do.

But here I am, two weeks into this new home, this new life. And I love it. Really, I do. Sure, I miss so many of my dear friends from Dallas (every day, I feel like I’m aching for them) and sure, I am still feeling extraordinarily guilty that I’m not at home with my dad, but I at least have some sort of peace in my heart because I know that this place, however unlike my imagined future from a few years ago it might be, is where God has called me to and I (am trying to) trust Him.

And so we go.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

epic tale of fail

So, I’ve finished two weeks at Butler now and it’s starting to really feel like home. I’m getting to know the students better and am truly enjoying my time with my mentor, Fr. Jeff. I’ve had my first women’s ministry meetings, which were GREAT! I mean, I’m no Julia Rooney, but I think I pull in at a decent second. My community is doing great and although some might say we’re still in the honeymoon stage, I think it’s going to be a great two years. Plus, the people we live with from the LaLanne program from UDayton are pretty cool, too.

It took me a while to decide just what to do for WM, but I finally decided on the books Spiritual Freedom by Fr. Dave Pivonka for the freshmen and Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World for the upperclass women. I think that these books adequately reflect the issues that the women are dealing with at this point in their lives and the women seemed to enjoy the introductory nights. The upperclass women’s ministry felt so comfortable, it was almost like being back at UD. I think that I will greatly value these opportunities for working with the women of Butler-- they’re such amazing women. One of them, who I am really enjoying getting to know (she kind of reminds me of Meeri), is just a livewire and very wise. She spent the summer on an organic farm in Ireland, so I have joked that I want to be her when I grow up. But all of these women are just wonderful—so filled with beauty and grace, it’s a pleasure to work and pray with them.

Anyways, things have been more or less boring. I mean, not really boring, but there’s not a real story to tell other than the epic tale of fail from last night (I’m not even exaggerating…). We’re working on getting into a rhythm. We’ve watched a lot of movies, played Disney Scene-It and that’s just about it.

So, the epic tale of fail: I didn’t want to cook. This is always a bad sign, so I should have known better than to move forward and make plans, but alas…. My mom had given me a gift card to PF Changs and so I offered to take Amy for dinner (who wants to eat fancy Chinese food alone?). The nearest one is like 10-15 minutes from the house, which isn’t too bad, so I thought we’d just go there. Well, that’s downtown next to the stadium and there was a game, so there wasn’t any parking. So, not wanting to give up, we drove another twenty minutes to the next nearest one, which is way at the Northern end of Indy. There, we found a line so long that after spending about ten minutes in line to get our names on the list, the lady told us that there was an hour and twenty minute wait. She wasn’t very nice, either, which I didn’t appreciate (there are ways to deal with customers and rudeness is not one of them). So, we didn’t stay (the gift card is still unused). Now, at this point, we’re 30 minutes from home and HUNGRY and we’re looking around for a place to eat. Now, because I’m gluten and lactose intolerant, we have to be careful about where we go to eat. Amy was feeling Chinese food and there was another Chinese place across the road, so I decided to call the restaurant and ask about their gf options. I got some lady who barely spoke English, which for a normal person is a sign of a great Chinese place, but not so great when you’re allergic to freaking everything. I asked if they had food without gluten and the lady thought I said glue, so she assured me that there was no glue in their food. I tried to communicate my questions with her, but finally gave up, said thank you, and hung up. We ended up eating at Outback, but they didn’t have the gf bun and fries that had made me so excited in South Bend, so although Amy and I had fun sitting and talking and sort of watching the Irish football game on the tv, it wasn’t the exciting dining experience I had been looking forward to when we left home. Fortunately, the waitress was really nice and friendly and the food was delish and the company was pretty great. Finally, having fed ourselves reasonably well, we left the restaurant and drove homeward. I had my GPS, so we didn’t get lost, but because we had gone SO far from home in search of PF Changs, we came home from the completely opposite direction from which we had come (and from which we were used to coming). We ended up on the street that takes us to our street, but then James (the GPS) took us down another street and then had us turn on a street that he thought went through to Churchman but in fact led into a forest. So, after barely missing the trees, we turned around in some creepy driveway and finally, after much nervousness, made it safely home. It was an adventure for sure.

Now, I’m avoiding my homework while tackling everything else on my to-do list. Sometime tonight I’m going to watch a new episode of Dr. Who! This new season is just blowing my mind… it’s so great.

Anyways, I hope that updates you all for now!