Friday, October 4, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Cross Country Traveling [2]

When this post publishes, I will be flying over the midwest on my way to a retreat on the east coast. My ability to come on this really just fell into place as The Lord was telling me to keep doors open in my life. I'm kind of nervous. Pray for me that I can really listen and respond to God's desires for me this weekend. 

I am the middle/high school director at my parish (whaaaaat!?) and last week we learned Remembrance by Matt Maher to sing during communion at our upcoming Mass. This beautiful song has been in my head all week. I love it because it has been reminding me that the end goal of all that I do is to be united in intimate communion with Jesus. What a gift. Thanks, Matt Maher.

I spent the past two days in Dallas with my team, learning the space of our conference site better and getting to know the hotel's team. The hotel is beautiful, they just finished remodeling it, and the main ballroom is HUGE. There were something about being in such a wide open space underneath the gorgeous sparkling chandeliers. I can't wait to see what it is going to look like when it is full of 2,500 people worshiping God each day at conference.

A Sneak Peak!
I was nervous that if I left campus my efforts in the new evangelization would be seen as smaller and I would become less significant. My job may be less glamorous than being down in the trenches on campus, but the trip to Dallas reminded me how critical the event planning team is and how our work impacts the lives of students. I spent a good amount of time with Sean trying to figure out how we can maximize the time and space in the main ballroom each morning so we could offer confessions during morning prayers. Our time brainstorming in Dallas will now allow many more students to experience the sacrament of reconciliation and God's healing. This is no small thing. Working in the office allows me to offer up things like meetings and emails for the outcome of our events and the lives of the students who will be at our conferences. SLS is about empowering students so they can evangelize their peers back on campus. I must always keep this goal in mind as I'm planning. SLS has the ability to be an event with effects that last for entire lifetimes, and I am honored to be a part of the group preparing the event.

I chose to join my parish because of its high school youth group program. It's no secret that I love kids, so this was something I really wanted to get involved in. FOCUS and Camp Tecumseh have shown me that the best way to teach someone how to have a relationship with Jesus is to be in relationship with those you are trying to teach. The model the youth minister has created reminds me of FOCUS and Young Life because we have small groups (discipleship groups) that meet frequently so we can dive deeper into our faith and have a group to support us.

Sunday we had our first round of discipleship groups. I have freshman girls and it was SO FUN. We spent an hour crafting prayer journals and getting to know each other a little better and a second hour diving into Matthew 16:13-20. We spent time talking about the question that Jesus asks His disciples, "who do you say that I am?" I was impressed by their willingness to share on our first night and their desire for Jesus. I am excited to spend this time with these girls, walking towards Jesus together. 

This past week Jesus has allowed me to have many beautiful conversations catching up with friends. One that stood out to me in particular was with Ryan. Ryan was a FOCUS Missionary my senior year of college, and I'm so grateful our friendship has continued since I've left Drake and he has left FOCUS staff. We were talking about his life and he told me he is more passionate about evangelization now than ever before.

At one point Ryan said, "I am just going to go and live and love. I am going to talk about the things I'm passionate about. It just happens to be Jesus and evangelization." 

These words have stuck with me since Sunday night. I really want to be someone who brings Jesus with me wherever I go. Ryan's words challenge me to this in a real, relational way. Yes, we must be intentional in our conversations, but we also must be real. If we are truly in love with Jesus, we are going to talk about Him. I've been trying to live my life in this way. My conversation with Ryan has been fuel for me to keep striving for that this week. 

Read this blog post. Try not to be too frustrated. About a month ago my sister showed it to me because it was circling her Facebook. It has taken awhile for me to intelligently form things to say about it, but I am almost there. Carol and I have been working on some of our own thoughts to share. We're almost there and we're hoping to put out a response from two college educated Catholic women next week. Stay tuned :)

--- BONUS ---
I posted about this yesterday, but the novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary starts today! Click here to sign up for the daily prayers!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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