Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

My mom: A living saint!

In honor of all mothers, and especially my mother today I say thank you! Thank you for your selflessness, your courage, your love, your encouragment, your patience...the times you said yes to an additional responsibility because you know it would benefit your children or the greater community. Being a mother is not EASY, and that is why this beautiful vocation needs to be celebrated often.

Just a few precious memories I want to share of my mother growing up:

My mom is brilliant at finding lost items. She must have a 6th sense or St. Anthony in her pocket. Even if we are not in the same place (like when I am at school), she always seems to know where I left my wallet, my jacket, my earring, etc. What a grace!

My time in high school was probably the craziest time in my life. I was definitely OVERinvolved and was taking really challenging classes. I remember multiple times when my mom pulled all-nighters with me just so she could help or even be in solidarity with me as I finished my long-procrastinated project or paper.

My mom used to sew ALL of my Halloween costumes. She is a very talented woman....I got to be Rapunzel, Pochahantas, and many more wonderfully girly cool.

My mom taught me how to bake pies like it's nobody's business. She instilled a patient love in me for homemade pie crust & the delicate blend of fruit or nuts with sugar & spice.

My mom (and my dad) made sure that we went to Mass every Sunday and stayed involved with our parish. They fostered a love for the Lord in me at a very young age and we have all grown in the faith together as I went through high school and college.

My mom is a volunteer. She has worked in many ministries from helping with Boy Scouts, to being a great "Speech Team" mom, to preparing meals for the Sunshine club to contribute to funeral meals, to chaperoning a retreat, to now doing house visits for the St. Vincent De Paul's warehouse. She is selfless with her gifts and shares them with the community frequently.

Mom, for these reasons and many others, I am so glad to be your daughter.

I encourage all other bloggers to post a picture and memories of their moms today!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Simple Woman's Daybook

So, I read about this way to blog and have decided to give it a try after reading a fellow blogger's "Simple Woman's Daybook". I love it!!! :-)

For Today: Saturday, May 7th

Outside my window: A beautiful 68 degrees and lots of green grass, dusk

I am thinking: I am definitely exhausted as I antipated after working an overnight lock-in last night but I am so happy with how the lock-in went. The Holy Spirit was really present last night & this morning! Now I have to get get some homework done for my judicial politics class.

I am thankful for: A fantastic retreat, my relationship with God, my fabulous friends Maria & Meghan

From the Kitchen: Tonight for dinner I made a meal with rice, corn, and chicken sausage (with apples) along with from-scratch blueberry muffins. Scrumptious!!

I am wearing: shame!

I am creating: nothing today!

I am going: absolutely nowhere.

I am reading: "Cullen v. Pinholster" Supreme Court Case

I am hoping/praying: Consecration according to St. Louis de Montfort, praying for several friends' job searches & for a special married couple trying to conceive a child

I am hearing: my friends' Maria & Meghan's voices & laughing

Around the house: Candles are burning, dishes are washed from dinner, my room needs some reorganization

One of my favorite things: Getting crawl into my bed after a nearly 36+ hour Friday/Saturday....bliss!

A few plans for the rest of the week:

-Get a ton of paper writing done so that I can enjoy last memories with friends in St. Paul before I graduate

-Celebrate "The Signature" staff writers by a trip to get ice cream Tuesday night

-Celebrate VIA volunteers at the Wednesday night banquet

-Make more yummy meals

-Do yoga

-Go on a lot of long walks

-Catch up with my DF (dear fiancé) now that his finals are over :-) Yay.

Have a great Saturday everyone!!!!! Blessed John Paul II, pray for us!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Be a mentor!

You are never too old or young to be a mentor.

Tonight, I am heading to Wisconsin to help with a retreat for 8th graders from different middle schools who will be attending the same high school together. I am going with 5 other students from my school. Throughout the course of the evening, we will be giving talks, leading small groups, playing games, eating pizza, watching movies, praising the Lord, having Confessions, going to Mass, and more. This will be my 3rd opportunity helping to chaperone/lead this retreat in my time at St. Thomas. It is such a blessing to have this opportunity which is a 1x/year commitment every May...and what generosity that 5 other students were willing to come with me too!

Without a doubt, we each will have a unique opportunity to mentor tonight. That is, to be a witness and show, by example, that living a life for the Lord and being in relationship with Him is the best decision that you can make. I look forward to the conversations, the questions, and the fun that we will be sharing tonight. I know that I might have something to teach, and to learn and I am very excited to be a part of this overnight retreat. (even though it means I'll be EXHAUSTED tomorrow morning making the 2 hr drive back)

When I look back on my faith journey, I would not be where I am today (which is far from perfect, but I am striving towards Him) if it were not the presence of genuine mentors who cared immensely about me. Sometimes you meet someone and they make an impression on you.

When I went to "One Bread, One Cup" a liturgical leadership conference at St. Meinrad's in S. Indiana when I was in high school, I made friends with mentors (peers) and college-aged mentors. The retreat was based around learning how to serve at your church back at home, learning different lay ministries (music, lectoring, altar serving, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, Homiletics, etc), learning about spirituality types/exploring different prayer forms, and building community with young Catholics from around the country. At that point, I liked being a Catholic and I enjoyed the friendships I had at Church but I did not really have a deep conviction of faith. Seeing these other young people with so much JOY for Jesus Christ left a deep mark on me that made me ask, "How can I have that?" And so I prayed, discerned, watched, and talked...and fully gave myself to the Lord during Eucharistic Adoration the night before we left the conference. My small group's intern kept in touch with me through e-mail, and because of her, I ended up considering, applying for, and attending the University of St. Thomas (where she was currently a student).

Whether its your siblings, the young people you lead in a small group, your friends, the people standing in the movie theatre line with you, we all have a chance to be a mentor. While obviously, the mentors that are most influential are those that commit to us in the long-term, short experiences like this retreat tonight will make a difference. When you surrender yourself to the Lord, He will use you as His instrument for good. Never be afraid to stand for the Lord!