Friday, September 27, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday: My First One! [1]

I just discovered this (thanks Carol!), and I'm excited to be participating. As you probably know, consistency seems to be my problem when it comes to blogging. Hopefully participating in something like this will help me be more consistent! Also, you should really check out Conversion Diary by Jennifer Fuwiler (thanks again, Carol!). Her blog is great.

Last year, I was feeling so drawn to evangelize a parish. Which was weird for me (for a lot of reasons) because I was an on-campus missionary. Looking back, it is beautiful to see how God placed that desire on my heart as He was calling me to move off campus into the office. It's been interesting making this transition, especially since my new parish is in a time of transition. I am glad to be involved in a few different ministries, but I want to keep focusing on how I can really help make the parish a place where people can become true disciples and followers of Christ.

Guys, it's time for me to admit it. I really miss Nebraska (my team, my students, Newman - everything).  No justifying or explaining. I just really miss them. GBR.

Yesterday at work, my team made crock-pot pumpkin spice lattes. Everyone brought in some ingredients and then we let it cook in the morning and drank away in the afternoon. Best team bonding ever. Our office smelt heavenly.

This is my view as I pull off the interstate to go into the office each morning. This place is so beautiful.

Snow!!! In September!?

I've had a lot of Shauna-esq moments this week and I can't get enough of it. There's something about gathering people around a table with good food and wine that makes for a full heart. I think I may finally read Bread and Wine when I start my traveling adventures next week. These moments also make me want to plan parties.

My favorite app is Timehop. You connect it to your facebook, twitter, instagram, etc and it pulls your posts from this date one, two, three, etc. years ago. It's so fun seeing my tweets and pictures...a lot of things I have forgotten about. Like this gem I posted on Carley's wall two years ago from yesterday:

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Here We Go

here we go, one more time, everybody's feeling fine, here we go now...

Alright, alright, I'm a slacker when it comes to writing. I can't even begin to tell you how many times writing and planning for writing ends up uncrossed off on my to do list. I could blame it on being busy or so many other things, but when it comes down to it, I was just slacking.

Many times I would start to write again, but then question of why am I doing this would come I would stop. It is so easy to highlight the perfect parts of my life as I'm writing, but that's not reality. Last year there was a lot of suffering coupled with my joy and I wasn't sure how to articulate it without feeling fake. So even though I really wanted to write, I just didn't.

Jesus and I talked about it, and I'm going to start writing again. Here's why:

1. To document my growth during this "critical decade"

Seriously, every few months I look back and feel so different than who I was before. The decisions we make in our twenties will effect the rest of our lives (seriously. that's one of the reason's I'm a FOCUS Missionary). With such rapid growth and change, it is nice to have the means to document it so I can look back and see where I was compared to where I am now.

2. To share the light of Christ and the beauty of His Church through media as a part of the New Evangelization

My relationship with Jesus is very intimate, but every good gift that He gives is meant to be shared. Jesus loves us each uniquely and personally, but He gives us the gift of others to encourage us in our walks of faith. If my journey and relationship with Jesus can help someone else, then heck yes I want to write about it!

As I've fallen deeper and deeper in love with Christ and His Church, the more I've desired to share this love. We are called to do this in all ways! I talk about Jesus in my real life and my social media life. Why not share this love via the bloggosphere!?

3. Spiritual Gifts Inventory 

One time last year I thought about completely deleting my blog off the internet, and then I got a letter from an old college friend. She had been watching The Tudors, and had become fascinated by the beauty of the latin prayers of the Rosary that Catherine, Henry VIII's first wife, would pray on the show. This compelled her to research modern day examples of people living out their Catholic faith. I received one of the kindest letters I've ever received from her, telling me how she had read through my old posts and was inspired by the work I was doing with FOCUS. So after that, I decided I should probably leave this up.

That experience with my friend coupled with the results from the St. Catherine of Siena Spiritual Gifts Inventory that I took last year further convicted me that I needed to step up my game and start writing again. This was one of the coolest tests I've taken. It takes real situations from your life and simply points you towards some of the ordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit that you could have. It is meant as a way to encourage you to pursue some of them more deeply to see if this is a gift God has given to you to bring others to Him. Writing was one of my top potential gifts. If God has given me the ability to inspire others to draw close to Him through my writing, then I will write. "Let us use the gifts given to us by grace..." - Romans 12:6

4. To stay connected with my mission partners and friends

Yup. Stay tuned for thoughts on my mission, Jesus, friendship, and all other kinds of good, random things. Enjoy this picture of me and my friend Megan in bear costumes:

I can't wait to tell you about the ministry fair.

5. To push myself

I love writing because I love critical thinking and analyzing. Writing consistently will give me a formal outlet for this and will allow me to use my voice. It will help me to fully develop my thoughts and opinions and practice expressing them in a formal manner.

So there it is! We're going to try this again more consistently.