Monday, June 23, 2014


One of my favorite virtues is integrity. But, for the longest time, I found it really difficult to define. Until I discovered the opposite. 

Ever have a friend promise to call you, and then just doesn't? Or what about that friend who consistently makes plans and then cancels?

Integrity is doing what you say you will do. Especially in the small things. Besides, if you can't be trusted in small things, how can you be trusted in big things?

best lesson from being a FuturesQuest Mentor.
image via.

If you constantly make plans, but cancel, you lose the trust of your friend. If you promise to bring in Reese's Bars into the office, but don't, then no one will believe you the next time. Your word is worth everything - until it's not.

So don't be that girl/guy. If you don't want to hang out with someone, don't make plans with them. I think it's much less painful in the long run then to be constantly let down. Bring the Reese's Bars into the office, or don't tell people you're going to bring them in. Do what you say you will do.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

25 in 25

When Schmem came to visit back in January/February, we were talking a lot about travel. I started counting (in my head) how many states I have been to. So I decided to do what any normal adult would do to get an accurate count: COLOR A MAP.

Some provisions for the count: I had to have stayed overnight in the state for the visit to count. Connections in airports definitely do not count and after some deliberation, simply driving through a state (hollaatchya, Wisconsin, West Virginia, & Georgia) does not count.

The Grand Total: 19. 

Isn't my map pretty!?

The question is: can I travel to six more states in ten months? FUN FACT: Two of those trips are already planned/paid for. It seems the question really is, can I get to four more states in ten months!?

So friends, near and far, do you want someone to come visit you in the next ten months? Hit me up. Do you want to go on an adventure? Really hit me up. (Guys, seriously, Santa Fe is like a 5 hour drive south. Road trip??)

Bam, 25 in 25, consider yourself added to the bucket list. 


Monday, June 2, 2014


Over and over again, Shauna Niequist nails it. This time, it was her post Less. Do yourself a favorite and go read it, immediately.

Did you read it?

Good. Glad you're back.

What I love about Shauna Niequiest and her writing is in the most eloquent, yet simple way, she speaks words that are vulnerable, beautiful, and exactly what I need to hear. 

My theme this year has been More Jesus, Less Stuff. And as we enter the halfway point of June, I think it's time to evaluate my progress.

I gave up TV for lent because I wanted more space for community and for Jesus. Instead what I allowed to creep in that space was a gaping loneliness, that left me lying in bed alone, fighting back tears of isolation while I was with other people, and a lingering sadness that would hiss lies in my ear about being unloved and uncared for. 

I am used to a full life. In college, I scheduled myself 24-hours a day with class, activities, events to plan, people to see, and meetings (on meetings on meetings) to attend. As a missionary, I ran around conforming my schedule to be present in the lives of 8+ women on a weekly basis, and trying to have a fulfilling team life with relationships with 9 other missionaries and their families. 

And now, when I am living in the wake of "less stuff," I see how this emptiness and dark can be unbearable. It seems that I have run full speed ahead with "Less Stuff," but have forgotten to fill it with "More Jesus."

And somehow, in the midst of all this, I remember a phrase that has stuck with me since Christine shared it on our 11PM drive from Ft. Myers to Ave Maria whilst taking a Divergent Factions Placement quiz (in case you are wondering, I am Amity & Christine is DIVERGENT!!!)Everything is God's Mercy. 

I believe that everything is within God's will. Yet somewhere along the road the connotation of that phrase was twisted in my heart to picture an angry, heartless God forcing me to feel miserable for a little bit because it pleased Him. The idea of God's will being a part of His Divine Mercy somehow sits better with my heart. 

Mercy allows me to see the other things He is protecting me from. Mercy allows me to see Him constantly calling out to me, doing everything He can to keep me on the path that leads to Him. Mercy inspires me to crawl out of the confessional, dust myself off, and to start again.

As I am remembering that everything is God's Mercy, and that I need to focus more on putting "More Jesus" into my life, I am already down here at FOCUS Summer Training for a full month where I am being presented with the opportunity to choose "More Jesus" at every moment. Whether that's attending prayer and scripture classes in my spare time, choosing kindness in my meetings and management style, or choosing daily Mass & prayer, the opportunities for "More Jesus" are readily available. Everything is God's Mercy. He knows what He's doing. 

Never would I have chosen a season of emptiness and loneliness, but because that has been my year, I now get to choose to return to Him in a way is real and relevant to our relationship. And who knows what's down the road - maybe this season of less will be a way my heart has been prepared to minister to others, or maybe it will propel me deeper into my relationship with Christ. 

So as Shauna continues along in her season of less, I will enter into a season of More (Jesus), all the while remembering every moment of my day is His Mercy.