Oct 13 2014

You Know How Weak I Am!

Pink Knee High Compression Socks

I was reading in St. Faustina’s Diary last night and was struck by this passage:

O inexhaustible treasure of purity of intention which makes all our actions perfect and so pleasing to God! O Jesus, You know how weak I am; be then ever with me; guide my actions and my whole being, You who are my very best Teacher! Truly, Jesus, I become frightened when I look at my own misery, but at the same time I am reassured by Your unfathomable mercy, which exceeds my misery by the measure of all eternity. This disposition of soul clothes me in Your power. O joy that flows from the knowledge of one’s self! O unchanging Truth, Your constancy is everlasting! — St. Faustina, Pp. 66

I have been asking Jesus to help me transform my heart into something which more closely resembles His. I am aware of and saddened by my failings, but I truly believe Him when praying the Centurion’s prayer during Mass — if He but say the words, my soul shall be healed.

I am weak in so many ways and am working on my self-discipline. I got a planner (I know, totally old school!) and wrote this passage in it for me to reflect upon during the month of October:

We seldom succeed in overcoming as much as a single fault, and we are not wholly on fire with the desire to make daily spiritual progress. The result is that we remain negligent and tepid.

Lord Jesus, please help me to be on fire for You and ever cognizant of Your love and mercy. Amen!

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Oct 09 2014

Hiatus

Published by under Blogging and Blog Friends

I think a lot of things have been put on hold this summer. I’m ready to get back into the swing of things though, and plan on blogging here more consistently again.

I am also working on self-discipline and have joined a formal Bible study for the fall, so I’m really looking forward to see how this semester shapes up.

How have you been? And what things are you doing this fall in the way of self-improvement or just getting your life organized? I know I could certainly use the motivation of hearing what you are planning!

See you again soon!

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Sep 19 2014

7 Quick Takes: Pictures and Words

Published by under 7 Quick Takes Friday

— 1 —

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The Miracle Marathon started this week! This is where we run, walk, crawl, bike, etc. one mile every day for 27 days to support the Children’s Miracle Network. I have been following Andi’s blog for a while and her daughter is doing this marathon and is serving as a team captain. I joined her team and have been participating as best I can. For those of you who may not know me well, I have a mitochondrial myopathy, so doing anything physical is difficult and I get tired easily, have lots of pain and develop cardiac and breathing issues almost right away. I am doing this for charity, so any support you would be willing to give, whether financial or by praying for me, would be greatly appreciated! You can find my donation page here. Thanks! And keep cheering me on! :)

— 2 —

Mitochondrial Disease Awareness
Speaking of my Mitochondrial Myopathy… This week is Mitochondrial Awareness week. My particular disease is a neuromuscular disorder, most consistent with MELAS. It is progressive and terminal. But this doesn’t stop me from trying to do everything that I love, sometimes to the dismay of my friends. However, I recently came across a quote that I just love:

Will I someday be standing with scars to give account before Him that I wasn’t about my own comfort but Christ’s call, that I didn’t make my life about safe living but about dangerous dying, that I didn’t escape into a neat, saved American dream but into a messy, mission-driven God-sized demand, H/T

I think this sums me up pretty nicely.

— 3 —

Don't Knock It - 5.19.2007
Glow Golf! It has been just over a month since April and Jack-Jack wed and we are all excited about getting together with her tonight for some post-honeymoon Girl Time fun! :) The celebration begins with glow-in-the-dark mini-golf and continues from there! Partying starts TONIGHT! I’m excited already!

— 4 —

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I have gone low tech! I know, the last thing you would have expected from me, right? Well, due to a bunch of different factors, I am trying out a paper planner in an effort to stay organized and not miss events. I picked the Erin Condren Life Planner, because… well, because it seemed to be the cutest, and if I like looking at it, I might actually pick it up more and use it. You can choose from a plethora of covers and customize the colors on them, or do as I did and upload a bunch of your favorite pictures to make your cover. Covers this year are interchangeable, so you can buy several, if you like, but I think I will stick with mine, as it’s covered with the people I love.

— 5 —

Fish Doctor at Beaumont Grosse Pointe
I visited a friend who is inpatient at Beaumont Grosse Pointe on Wednesday. As I was walking in from the parking lot, I saw this statue. I’m not sure if it’s fun, or odd and creepy. And why a fish?

— 6 —

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Office supplies make me happy. I know, it’s kind of an odd thing to like, but I do. I heard of someone getting an amazing deal on a treasure chest full of Post-its and ordered some for myself. All of these Post-Its normally sell for $220 through Staples. Office Depot was having a sale, so due to that and the magic of Staples 110% price match policy, I got these for $33! A total steal! There’s about 10,000 Post-Its here, so I don’t imagine that I will be running out any time soon. :)

— 7 —

Fr. Eric Chopping Down the Tree
And I will leave you with… A gratuitous picture of one of my priests in a tree in my front yard, cutting it down. :)

God Bless!

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary!

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Aug 10 2014

Answer Me This #6

Published by under Answer Me This

This appears to be the only consistent thing on my blog lately. *sigh* If only you knew what has been going on lately… Your prayers would be most welcome. Thanks!

1. What do you still want to do this summer?

All.The.Things. Alas, I will likely not get to do them all. I really want to make it to Lake Michigan. Not sure if that’s going to be possible. I want to clean up my house, which will likely happen, as I will be having people over sometime in September to help me do some yard work.

2. What’s your favorite kind of pie?

I like pumpkin pie with a graham cracker crust, and lemon pie sans meringue.

Leafy Greens and Goat Cheese Pie
A friend of a friend has a pie business called Sister Pie. It is as delicious as it looks!

3. How much sleep do you need each day? How much do you get?

Not quite sure how much I need… I usually get about 5-6 hours of sleep. Although I tend to overschedule myself and end up going to bed 3 hours before I have to wake up to get to work. I can usually squeeze another 30 minutes of “sleep” in by continually abusing my snooze button. Then, I have other days when I’m not feeling so well and sleep like crazy. Like the 14 hours that I slept last night. I don’t think I even took my shoes off when I got home — directly into bed for me!

4. Do you prefer to swim in a pool, lake, river, or ocean?

Pool, then ocean, then lake, then river. Why? Pools are cleaner and fish will not nibble at you and there is no seaweed or icky stuff in pools. That and I can float on pool noodles to my heart’s content, hopefully without being splashed (which is why I need my own in-ground pool). I love the ocean and I dream of having a house on an ocean. I love the waves and the salty scent to the air. I like swimming far away from shore. But, then things live in there and it kind of creeps me out when they touch me. Same goes for lakes, although I tend to view lakes as being dirtier than the ocean. Less water, more algae. I haven’t really swam too much in rivers, so I left that one for the end.

Beautiful Surf
I could look at this all day

5. Do you know any poems by heart?

I don’t think so. Maybe a few really simple nursery rhymes, if they count. I remember being okay at poetry when I studied it in the 9th grade, but I prefer people to just come out and tell me what they mean. Or I’m bound to come up with an interpretation which is anything but what you meant. On the other hand, this has come to my aid quite a bit when trying to defend my questionable choices in music to my priest/best-friend:
Me: “He’s not talking about doing immoral acts with a woman who is not his wife. He’s talking about auto body repair.”
Fr: “Um… No.”

6. Do you use the public library?

All the time. The problem is that I don’t go often enough. So when I do go, I try to pick up all the books that I remember wanting to read, plus whatever catches my eye, and I end up with almost more books than I can carry back to my car. Then, my ability to read them in the time allotted is grossly insufficient and I end up renewing my check-out. Then, I run out of renewals, but feel compelled to read them before turning them back in. I mean, at this point, I’ve had them for NINE WEEKS. It would be like admitting defeat if I didn’t read them already, right? So, then there’s the actual deadline for returning them. You don’t actually get a fine if you manage to return them to the library before the library opens on the day after they are due. See what I did there? Another night to get the book read! I will admit to more than my fair share of fines, but sometimes it’s out of my control (like when I was in the hospital for meningitis). And all of this reminds me… I have a book to read by tomorrow….

Please visit Kendra’s blog, just because she’s rather awesome.  And take a peek at others’ answers to these questions

Have a great week and God bless!

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Aug 04 2014

Answer Me This #5

Published by under Answer Me This

1. When driving, are you more likely to listen to the radio, to CDs or an iPod, or nothing at all?

I have seasons of listening. I will have a period of time where I listen to audiobooks during my commute, then it will switch to listening to the radio every commute (lately Sirius XM, occasionally a playlist from my phone), then it will switch to listening to podcasts streamed over my car stereo from my phone (mostly Catholic Answers, with some talks from my priest for variety). Each “phase” lasts about 2-3 weeks, then rotates.

2. Do you prefer window or aisle?

I used to like the window seat, to be able to watch during take-off and landing, but when I flew a lot, I developed a preference for the aisle seat. I have to get up and move around the cabin a lot and it’s much easier if I don’t have to climb over people or ask them to stand up for me. Plus, I can get to my carry-on faster. After someone nearly took off with my luggage and the flight crew did nothing to help me get it back after I pointed the man out, walking away with it… I like to get my hands on my stuff as soon as I can.

3. Do you fall asleep on your side, back, or stomach? What position are you in when you wake up?

I usually start the process on my left side, then switch to my back for the actual sleeping portion. When I am waking up (and usually hitting the snooze way too frequently), I move to either right or left side and tend to switch sides.

4. When is the last time you attended a zoo, circus, carnival, county fair, or parade?

I went to the 4th of July parade that our neighboring city puts on every year. I didn’t have any digital camera batteries charged and ended up spending $65 to get 4 rolls of film developed. Yikes!

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The parade honored police and military, which makes sense, but then there were a lot of politicians, which is stretching it a little for me, and some local businesses and other interests. It was not as exciting of a parade as I recall from when I was younger, but I am still glad that I went.

5. Do you have a favorite quote or inspirational saying?

My favorite quote is from the Didache:

“You shall not hate any man;
but some you shall reprove,
some you shall pray for,
and some you shall love
more than the breath of life that is in you.”

6. What’s the best thing about summer?

I love the warmer weather because I *may* get the opportunity to go swimming — which I love. I also am happier with my commute, since summer means that I don’t have to worry about black ice or snow causing accidents on the highway, or having to shovel my driveway.

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It’s a big driveway to shovel, and I’m not really supposed to be doing things like this…

For more answers to these questions, check out Kendra’s blog!

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Jul 27 2014

Answer Me This #4

Published by under Answer Me This

1. What’s your favorite thing on YouTube?

Currently, this 8 second video.

I work in IT and support this application, so it’s kinda funny that someone made a YouTube video about blowing it up. It’s actually a pretty good program and I love being a part of the project. I was sent the link by one of our interns.

I don’t really watch anything on YouTube all that often unless someone sends me a link. I do, however, subscribe to a few channels and check in on them periodically.

My parish has a YouTube and every month my priests make a new video. I watch these as soon as they come out.

There’s a girl named Alejandra with a Home Organizing channel which fascinates me – probably because I’d love my house to be this organized, yet know that I’ll never actually get around to doing it.

Arturo Trejo is just hilarious. If you want a laugh, check him out.

And I find ASAP Science to be informative and amusing. I haven’t watched one of their clips in a few months, so I don’t remember if they are kid-safe or a little off-color, so use discretion and pre-screen before showing them to kids. (That’s probably true with all videos….)

[We will see if I've finally figured out how to embed video on this blog...]

2. Who taught you to drive?

My dad taught us the basics growing up, and made sure that I knew how a car worked and had some basic maintenance skills before I got my driver’s license. Then, I went through the Driver’s Ed program offered by the public school system. (Remember Mr. Canjar?) My mom supervised most of my “in training” hours. She was pretty relaxed about it, which was good. I was a good student, but I remember really worrying about passing. In high school, it was a point of pride to drive EXACTLY at the speed limit and follow all the rules of the road, no matter how much my friends wanted to get somewhere just a little faster. And this in a bright red Firebird.

3. What’s your favorite thing to cook?

I have a recipe for lasagna that everyone seems to love, so I like making that when I have people come over.

4. Are you a hugger or a non-hugger? Why?

I’m a pretty huggy person, although I tend to hold back if I’m not sure if *you* are a huggy person.

5. Where do you pray best?

In a chapel. I prefer to be by myself when I pray. It tends to get uncomfortable for me sitting for long periods of time, but I feel weird about walking around when there are other people trying to pray.

6. When is the last time you saw/spoke to your grandparents?

My last grandparent died in 2009, and I hadn’t really seen him all that often prior to that. I saw him in the hospital that year, but I can’t remember the last time I really talked to him. He wasn’t really the type to have a conversation with us. So, probably my other grandfather, shortly before he died when he was staying at my parents’ house. I was in college, but had come home and he was awake — I think pain was keeping him up. My parents were asleep and I went into the living room and talked with him for a while. It was really hard to see him in pain like that, but I was glad that I could spend time with him and talk about it.

image 19-11-2006 (8)
My paternal grandparents

Head over to Kendra’s link up to see how she and others answered these same questions!

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Jul 21 2014

Answer Me This #3

Published by under Answer Me This

More questions from Kendra at Catholic All Year! (She must know that I love answering questions!)

1. What’s something you’ve won and how did you win it?

The first thing that pops to mind is this orange Tide go cart. At least, I remember it being a go cart. I was fairly young and I won it from the local Farmer Jack grocery store. I was so excited to have won it. I think I was either a little too big/old for it or I outgrew it and we ended up giving it to my Uncle Jim.

2. Do you save old greeting cards and letters, or throw them all away? Why?

I tend to save them. After a few years, if the card is just a generic card, or if I’m not particularly close with the sender, I’ll eventually get rid of it, but the ones with pictures or personal greetings — those I save. I cherish my friends and these are reminders to me of the relationship. I wish that I took more time to write people letters and send cards. There’s a level of caring that you just can’t get with an e-mail or post, and I’d like to show the people I love that they are worth the time.

3. When you’re at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?

I usually wear shoes. If my feet are badly swollen, I’ll walk around in socks. But I never go barefoot unless I am actively in the middle of some sort of foot spa treatment or something like that. And usually as soon as I’m done, I’m right back in socks again. I sleep in socks. I love socks.

4. Who’s the most famous person you have ever met?

When I was a teenager, my first job was at Kerby’s Coney Island. One evening, I served dinner to Guy Gordon from the local news station.

When I was living in Orlando, we had a little interaction with Shaq, who was playing for Orlando Magic at the time. Although we had our music turned up pretty loud, when we were at a light (on I-4? International Drive?), our mirror was being vibrated by the bass of the car behind us. As the car came up behind us, Schuster asked the other guys what kind of car it was (Mercedes Roadster, wait. A Mercedes Roadster with a Superman logo on the rear that lit up when he braked). Then, all of the guys started shouting, “Shaq! It’s Shaq!” [There were 6 of us in the car. 5 guys and me.] We were stopped together at a light when we snapped this pic. [We had a camera because we were on our way back to base from a trip to Disney.] We also got another one of him flipping us off, because Johnson had yelled at him, “Go Bulls!” So, somewhere out there, there is photographic proof that Shaq flipped us off once.

Shaq

5. What has been your best work of art?

Well, I have a number of photographs that I happen to like a lot, but I usually categorize photos a bit separate from “art” for some unknown [to me] reason. Again, what popped in my head right away was my “famed” stick figures from high school. Now, don’t get too excited. They aren’t as awesome and Mama H’s drawings from Mama Knows, Honeychild, but they have been epic in my eyes. :)

Bob was one of my favorites. Bob was the protagonist of my Physics I and II classes in high school. See his awesomeness?

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Bob in and out of a spacesuit

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Bob being mischievously inappropriate

6. What’s your strongest sense?

Um. My color vision, I suppose. I worked in photography/printing for about 8 years or so, and my discernment has grown. I’m not particularly gifted with phenomenal sight, hearing, taste, touch, or smell, so this is the best I can do. :)

Or maybe my sense of compassion/empathy/intuition. This might be my strongest “sense”.

I think these questions are best answered by what first pops into my mind. I’m sure I can come up with some more famous people whom I’ve met, or think up more interesting replies, but I think it’s more honest to give you whatever comes up first, just as if it were a face-to-face interview. No time to make myself seem more important or my life more exciting. :)

I hope you play with Kendra and I! I look forward to seeing your answers!

One response so far

May 09 2014

7 Quick, Quick Takes

Published by under 7 Quick Takes Friday

— 1 —

I have been working almost 80 hours a week for 21 days straight. My next day off is Memorial Day. So, please understand why these are short and uninteresting and wander from topic to topic with no logical organization whatsoever… :)

— 2 —

I have started a new project called God to Go! You can find information about it on the God to Go Facebook Page. Basically, I plan on showing up in various areas ready and eager to answer your questions about the Catholic faith, intercede for you, be a shoulder to cry on, or just hang out. Kind of like college professor office hours. I’ll be there, drop in if you’d like. :) You can read about my first session here.

— 3 —

Reading!

I read Jen’s book, Something Other Than God, and just loved it. One day, I will finish writing my review(s). One day. I also plan on competing in all (or most) of her contests. I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew. But I WILL. DO. ALL. THE. THINGS! Please be patient… :)

— 4 —

Thursday was my last day of Bible study! I have been attending the Catholic Biblical School of Michigan for 4 years now and I have graduated! I’m looking forward to our celebration at the end of the month! It has been a wonderful program and so worth it! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I learned. The nice part is that once you graduate, you can retake the courses as many times as you want — for free! So I think that a bunch of us are going to start right back over with Year 1. I haven’t yet decided if I am going to do that or do something different. But certainly, just because I’ve graduated, doesn’t mean that I’m done reading and learning about the Word of God. If anyone has any suggestions for me for a follow-up program — I’m open to suggestions!

— 5 —

I find myself taking more pictures, now that the weather is getting nicer.

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— 6 —

10 hour work days on Saturdays and 15 hour work days on Sundays makes Mass attendance tricky. On Divine Mercy Sunday, the liturgy ran longer than I had anticipated, so I was the one who went up to receive Jesus and then left immediately. Once I made it outside, I *ran* to my car and drove like mad to get to the other side of campus to training. I wonder what everyone thought of the crazy lady fleeing church like she was on fire. Sorry, St. Thomas parish. Your church is beautiful, though.

St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church

— 7 —

I delivered mail from the Vatican!
Papal Blessing from Rome

My goddaughter’s papal blessing arrived and last Friday, I was finally able to meet up with her Godfather at her house to give it to her.

That’s my quick, quick version of what’s been going on in my life. What’s been going on with you?

God Bless!

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary!

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May 09 2014

Being Present

Published by under God to Go

There’s something about this time of year that makes me restless. I want to DO STUFF. I want to re-evaluate my life and make it shiny, and new, and fruitful. I want to REALLY live instead of going through the motions.

We are still in the Easter season and everything is greening up and the weather is getting warmer. If you know me, you know that I tend to be optimistic already, but these things only elevate my enthusiasm. I get ambitious.

While I have been busy at work lately, I still think that there is a hole in my life. We are all called to serve God in some way. We are all called to evangelize. And, to be honest, this hasn’t really been something that I was overly eager to do. What does it mean to evangelize anyway? I’m not really the type of person who would walk up to people and ask them if they had a relationship with Jesus. I’m not a preachy person. But proclaiming the Gospel is important. If it’s real and if it’s true, it’s the most important thing we could do with our lives, right?

With a combination of listening to Catholic Answers Live, following Fr. John and the Alpha team as they attend the Alpha conference in London this week, and thinking of different ways in which I can positively affect other peoples lives in light of the particular gifts God has given me, I came up with the idea of being available.

See, I love people and meeting new people and seeing new places. I like to help people and listen to their stories and pray for them and socialize. So, wouldn’t it be great to be able to hang out places and meet people and talk to them about things that are important and listen to them and pray with them and maybe answer some questions that they might have about the Catholic faith? It sounds great to me!

Without consulting anyone or letting them know what I’m up to (because maybe I’m a little impulsive like that), I set up a Facebook page for the project and decided that I’d start first thing in the morning.

God to Go #1
Starbucks in Troy
I didn’t have to be to work until a little later in the morning, so I planned on going to a local Starbucks for my first God to Go session. Let me just say, this Starbucks is really busy! There were 8 baristas on staff and there was still a continual line! I had grabbed a book by Dr. John Wood, “Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Mission,” to read in case no one stopped by my table. I hadn’t read it before, but it sounded like it might be speaking about what I am trying to accomplish with this project. I ordered a mocha (and forgot to order my scone) and took a table for 4 right by the front entrance. I did read some of the book, but most of my time was spent smiling at people coming and going. Most people were so intent on getting their coffee that they didn’t acknowledge that anyone else was present. There was a pair of women talking and the two tables on my wall were occupied with individual men absorbed in their electronics.
Book and Mocha
Sitting here this time really changed my perspective about other people. I have been guilty of seeing other people in places like Starbucks merely as obstacles to me getting what I want in a timely manner, and getting frustrated at them, merely by their presence. Being here *for* people makes me see them as fellow humans. They have hopes, dreams, and struggles just as I do. And my heart softened towards them. In my book, I read, “I want to love as God loves.” And I really do.

It also says that, “Not having ‘Catholic careers’ does not excuse us from being teachers of the faith.” I am not professionally Catholic. I am not consecrated to the religious life. (I *am* a grad student working on my Master’s in Theology, but I haven’t graduated yet…) My daily work doesn’t have anything to do with the Church. And yet it does. Just because I am dealing with other people.

Whatever I am doing, it is not enough. I don’t want to live an “adequate” life. I don’t want to live a “little” life. I want to make an impact. I want to know that I tried, I lived, and I loved. I want to live fully and passionately. And I want to serve others.

Perhaps my being present in this God to Go project isn’t a big thing. But maybe it will be. I trust that God will lead me if I let him. :)

So, please stop by! I’d love to see you!

No responses yet

May 08 2014

God to Go

Published by under God to Go

I have a new project in the works. It’s called God to Go. I will be making myself available in various places and communities for people to drop by to say “Hi”, talk about the faith, ask questions, request intercession, or just be encouraged in whatever they may be going through. I’ll post up times and places where I’ll be on the FB page, and post entries on my blog about the interesting places around town that I find and experiences that I encounter (as appropriate). I hope you can join me!

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