Jonah

Everyone knows the story of Jonah. It’s an oldie. God tells Jonah to go to Ninevah, Jonah says uhhhhhhh nope, tries to hide from God, fails, is swallowed by a whale, and washes up on the shore of Ninevah, with really no options besides doing what God told him to do.

I am Jonah.

Upon relocating my entire life to Texas, I had to give up some things. Namely, any control I thought I had over my life. Being here has definitely forced me to recognize that I cannot run and hide from God because he has already had a whale called youth ministry swallow me up and spit me out at the foot of my cross, aka an undetermined amount of time in this place.

You see, when I moved here… I thought it would be temporary. That I would just take the summer to get well, overcome my depression, and basically return to super-human status and move back to the CO for the fall. Like Jonah, I thought I could rely on myself, prove to God I knew what I was doing and that I was too good for what He had in store, and was going to make it alone.

Yeah, nope, not so much. God sent me a whale. And I’m naming that whale “Youth Ministry” because without the promise of volunteering, I would continue to be bitter about being here.

The Lord knows me very well. And He knows that my heart yearns for discipleship, to be discipled and to disciple others. He also knows that Dallas is my Ninevah. I don’t want to be here, but it’s where He wants me. So I have to make the best of it. I have to open my heart to love.

So, Lord, here me are. Standing with my heart working towards open, slowly unclenching my fists, and doing my best to deny myself for the sake of the Kingdom.

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In a very concrete way, this means that I’m going on a retreat with my new church this weekend. Please keep me, the core team, and of course, all of the teens, in your prayers. 

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Help a SISTER out… Also 7 Long Takes

Hi! Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry for being the. worst. blogger in the history of ever. I know that there are like, five people who read this BUT I appreciate those five and I am sorry for the lagging on my end of this relationship. Life has been c-to-the-razy so I just have noooot had time.

SO. I’m going to use my 7 not-so Quick Takes to talk about the past one two three (!!! ahh sorry sorry!) weeks.

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1. In case you are wondering about the first half of today’s blog post title, as I’m SURE you are, my dear dear dear friend Stacey has been accepted to the CFR’s in New York. She will be a sister serving the poor. Stacey realized her vocation years ago and has been searching for the right place, and I’m SO glad that this is where the Lord called her. HOWEVER, part of Stacey’s vocation includes a vow of poverty (also chastity and obedience, but those aren’t important riiiight now) and she has some outstanding debt to raise money for insurance and supplies. If you have a spare dollar, please consider donating it to the sweetest human being in the whole world as she pursues the will of Jesus as His spouse. This is the link to her website where she is accepting financial donations. Of course, if you cannot spare anything financially, please do keep her in your prayers. You’re the best.

2. Work has been the craziest. The last time I wrote quick takes (on the 26th… EEK) I talked about the difficulty baristas face sometimes when people don’t know what on God’s green earth they are doing at a coffee shop. As summer is coming to a close, people are getting k-k-krazy about their coffee (even more than normal) annnd it’s been so busy. Plus I got promoted (ish?) and now I’m a trainer so I’ve been working on training new employees, while also taking on more hours because no one is trained and we’ve lost more employees than we’ve hired. Plus my shifts are like a see-saw and one night I close, the next morning I work before the sun, which is not good for my already insomniatic self. So I am def blaming work for the blogging issues. Take it or leave it.

3. I’m sorry to all of my Not Alone Series friends that I haven’t been participating! I miss you. I also haven’t been reading blogs so I don’t know what everyone has been talking about for the past month. I just want y’all to know how much I love you, and I want to read all of these fab blogs because seriously I just need that fellowship.

4. Prayers to all of my sweet friends going back to school in these next few weeks! No envy for the moving into a dorm/apartment/etc while also prepping for education. The nice thing about starting to put down roots here is that I don’t have to worry about moving any time soooooon. (that’s also really sad but i’m keeping the sad to myself okay don’t press me on this or i will cry)

5. Related to 4… Putting down roots. I’m officially a member of the St. Ann core team for the coming school year (eep!) I’ve spent a lot of time over the past four and a half months trying to resist but I give up. The call of the Lord is stronger than my great attempts at fighting it. I’m like Jonah, and my heart is the whale, and it finally swallowed me and spit me up and told that I’m dumb and just need to get over my hatred/fear/etc and just be okay with doing what God wants. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m excited (don’t tell anyone). I promise.

6. My sister Grace got a cat! We were not sure of the gender for a while because it’s difficult to tell. But the doctor assured us that the cat is a female. However. During our period of unsuredness, we named the cat Marvin. Why Marvin? I’ll tell you.

skip to about 1:30 for the specific reference… but the whole video is hilarious, don’t take my word for it.

So, now the cat’s name is Queen Marvin. She is the best. Pics lata.

7. Last, but not least by any means, because I was actually saving the best for last ;)

I was at HOME two weeks ago! In Colorado! I got to go camping! It was glorious!

I drove (not fun) and had some emotional breakdowns (less fun) BUT overall, it was perfect. The weather was amazing. I got to spend two days with my girls, learning more about them (we took the temperament test and the love languages test!), while also enjoying fresh dry air. It was a much needed reprieve from the insanity that is work these days. I can’t think about how perfect it was without crying so I can’t share any more details. But it was GREAT. The best.

Okay. So. I’m done apologizing. But know that I will do better. On my honor (and I was a girl scout, so I can say that).

Visit Jen at Conversion Diary for this week’s quick takes. They are all better than mine.

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What If…

HELLO I AM ALIVE! I know I haven’t blogged at all in the past week and there is an explanation which I will give when I have more time.

For now.

I had a thought today. There are 1 billion Catholics in the world today, and 7 billion people. So if each Catholic was always praying for seven souls, every soul in the world would be receiving constant prayers. Isn’t that amazing? I’m going to start challenging myself to pray for My Seven Souls and I’m going to suggest to you, my few readers, to do the same.

We are aware of how prayer changes our lives. Imagine how our prayers could change the world!

I love you all and I missed you! You are in my prayers, along with My Seven Souls. See you real soon (promise!)

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7 Quick Tips

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linking up with Jen from Conversion Diary for the first time in forever

For Quick Takes this week… I’m going to share 7 tips to make your coffee-buying experience easier for everyone involved. I don’t know what it is about coffee but it tends to make people crazy. Which, in turn, makes your baristas crazy. I am doing my best to love people despite the fact that they are mean to me about coffee, but here are some ways to make everyone’s life easier.

1. Speak Up. Especially if you come through the drive-thru. It can be very difficult to hear soft spoken people, and in turn, drinks get made incorrectly. We want you to have the best experience possible- so please make sure that we know what you want.

2. Know what you want.  I can’t tell you how many customers come through our store during peak hours and want to have intense discussions about what drink they want. And that’s fine– we love to talk about coffee and we love to help people find their new favorite drink. But if you’re coming in the morning and there’s a line around the building, don’t use that time to find a new drink.

3. Know what you are ordering. This is different than knowing what you want. For example, there is a difference between a caramel macchiato and a caramel frappuccino, but since they sort of sound similar, people try to order a “caramel macchiato frappuccino” which is not a thing. I had a customer order a cappuccino latte– those are similar drinks made different ways. Like I said– we want your drink to be correct. So please, know what you are ordering so that we don’t have to remake it for you.

4. Clarify that we heard you correctly. If we repeat your drink back to you, and forget to say “iced,” there’s a chance that we didn’t hear you say it, and when your drink is finished, it will be hot, and everyone will be frustrated. You don’t have to repeat it more than once, but it saves everyone time if we all know that we understand each other.

5. Please, please clean up after yourself. It makes our lives so much easier if you throw your cup away when you are finished. It isn’t difficult, and it makes a huge difference in our days.

6. Be patient with usSometimes, we run out of stuff. We only get our order in once a week, and sometimes what we order doesn’t get delivered, or we don’t order enough, etc. We are doing the best we can with what we have, and we are willing to work with you, if you’re willing to work with us. Just try not to be frustrated with us.

7. Remember that we are human beings. I’m not an unfeeling robot. It makes a difference to receive a greeting. So often, people come up and start ordering without saying “hello.” It is not that hard to show a little kindness. On the other hand, I’ve had so many bad experiences that it’s hard for me to remember that I like my job. And I do! I love my job, and the customers that come in and have conversations and take the time to say a few kind words make all the difference. Please keep things like that in mind.

Anyway. I just felt like some of these things needed to be written down. Love on your baristas and they will love on you back!

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Run

I’m sorry I failed Jen’s blogging challenge by not posting yesterday. I also don’t really have anything to say today, besides things are hard and life is hard and I’m just doing my best to make it.

However, I heard a song the other day, and I thought immediately of my teens at home. I’ve been mentoring them since middle school, and it’s been hard for me to be away from them. I know that it is difficult to be missing out on the ins and outs of their lives. Technology, while helpful, is only so good. As much as I desire to know their hearts as intimately as I used to, it’s just not possible. So when I heard this song, I immediately thought of them. Pink wrote it for her daughter, and some of the words are very touching.

disclaimer: some lyrics are slightly inappropriate.

Remember make believe in you
All the things I said I’d do
I wouldn’t hurt you, like the world did me
Keep you safe, I’d keep you sweet
Everything that I went through,
I’m grateful you won’t have to do
I know that you will have to fall
I can’t hide you from it all

[Chorus]
But take the best of what I’ve got
And you know no matter what
Before you walk away, you know you can
Run, run, run,
Back to my arms, back to my arms
Run, run, run, back to my arms and they will hold you down
Oh oh, oh oh, oh oh, oh oh [x4]

See, here’s the bloody, bloody truth
You will hurt and you will lose
I’ve got scars you won’t believe
Wear them proudly on my sleeve
I hope you’ll have the sense to know
That sadness comes and sadness goes
Love so hard and play life loud
It’s the only thing to give a damn about

[Chorus]
But take the best of what I’ve got
And you know no matter what
Before you walk away, you know you can
Run, run, run,
Back to my arms, back to my arms
Run, run, run,
Back to my arms and they will hold you down

All this time I swear I’ll never waste it
All your smiles I’m always gonna save them
Put it in the back of my mind
Whenever I’m away from you [x2]

Run, run, run
Back to your arms, back to your arms
Run, run, run
Back your arms and they will hold you
Whoa, whoa, whoa
Back to my arms, back to my arms

All this time I swear I’ll never waste it
All your smiles I’m always gonna save them
Put it in the back of my mind
Back to my arms, and they will hold you down
Oh oh, oh oh, oh oh, oh oh [x2]
They will hold you down
Oh oh, oh oh, oh oh, oh oh [x2]

My sweet girls, I hope you see this and know of its truth. Know that despite the distance, I am here for you. I carry you in my heart and I am praying for you always. Whenever you need anything, know that you can ask me. I love you all.

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Friends with Guys {NAS}

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So this week’s topic on the NAS is about being friends with guys. Which, when I was dating, I was noooot. I had some male acquaintances that I would consider “friends” but I wasn’t comfortable sharing my heart with them, or really pursuing authentic friendship… because it isn’t really necessary.

Now that I’m single, I do have more guy friends, but they are all my coworkers and people that I just would never even consider dating. People always say that the reason guys and girls can’t be friends is because someone will always be attracted to the other person, buuuut despite attraction, I wouldn’t be giving up my virtue for any of these guys, you know?

When I get married… I don’t think having a male friend will be necessary… I think couple friends are necessary for sure. But just straight up dude friends? Not a thing. And vice versa. I was extremely jealous of a girl that I was good friends with when my ex and I were together, because they were close friends. It’s important to know people of the opposite gender, but honestly, being bff’s with a guy is usually not the best idea. Your future relationship isn’t worth it.

Linking up this week with Jen and the other lovelies from this series.

Alsooooo I’m participating with the OTHER Jen (of Conversion Diary fame) in her epic blogging challenge, which means a post from me every day for seven days. AH. Can’t handle it. But I’m going to try.

Catch ya TOMORROW, lovebugs.

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Marian Monday: Are you a Mary or a Martha?

Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet,  listening to him speak.

Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me!”

The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

— Luke 10:38-42

"Jeeeeesuuuuus," whined Martha, "tell her she's wroooong." "Mm-mm, Martha, just check yo'self before you wreck yo'self," replied Jesus.  Mary said nothing.

“Jeeeeesuuuuus,” whined Martha, “tell her she’s wroooong.”
“Mm-mm, Martha, just check yo’self before you wreck yo’self,” replied Jesus.
Mary said nothing. Good choice, Mary.

Deviating slightly from the Blessed Mother to talk about another awesome Mary and her equally awesome sister, Martha.

Yes- equally.

As Christians, we get swept up in the question of “Are you Mary or Martha?” and sometimes it seems like the only correct response is to be a Mary- Martha obviously has a you-know-what up her you-know-what and Mary is so chill and just loving Jesus, and we should all aspire to let go of our anxiety and worry to merely rest in the presence of Jesus. I mean, He even told us that Mary had chosen the right thing- to be with Him.

And YES obviously it is very good to join with Jesus, to sit at His feet, to listen to His words. However, Martha was also doing a good thing. The Martha’s of the world are so necessary. They are the servants, they are the workers, they are the ones who get things done.

It should be our goal as Christians, and especially as women, to balance the two. We need them both. Father Henry said during mass: Prayer without action is sterile. Action without prayer is empty.

When we embrace Jesus, our prayer should inspire our actions. We are called to be servants, to do to the least of these. But we cannot unless we are praying. Yes, Martha is anxious. But her anxiety calls her to action and to service. It asks her to give of herself for the sake of Jesus, something that we should all aspire to. Yet we also need to take the time to sit at the feet of the Lord, giving of our hearts.

We are both bodies and souls- we need to serve the Church both through ministries and through our prayers. We contribute our lives, both in action and in prayer. The Church could not survive without the catechists or those who administer communion or priests or parents who raise their children in the church, etc. But none of those people could effectively serve the Church without offering those actions to the Lord and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide them.

Which way do you lean- Mary or Martha? And what can you do to balance the two?

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