Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Reading: Paper Towns, by John Green.

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Watching: Lots of Jimmy Fallon clips on YouTube. This is one of my favorites:

Wearing: Boots, boots, and more boots. Especially dresses with my boots. I love fall.

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Drinking: Loose leaf tea from Davids Tea. Specifically: cinnamon rooibos chai, pumpkin chai, and queen of tarts.

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Feeling: Wanderlust. For big cities.

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Writing: About what moves me for the FOCUS Blog. The answer surprised me.

Praying: Morning Prayer. The praise of the psalms have been making my heart swell each morning.

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Making: The final play by play for my roommates wedding this weekend.

Pondering: How I can be kinder in my daily life.

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Anticipating: Site visit planning trip to Nashville and my mom's visit next week.

Tell Me: How are you, currently?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Snake Bites and Suffering

A reflection from last Sunday's First Reading. Numbers 21:4B-9.

Ok, first things first. We have to set up this story by remembering that the Israelites were enslaved to the Egyptians for a really, really long time. God's heart hurts for his people, so he sends Moses to "let my people go, HUHHHHH, YEA YEA YEA YEA!!!!!!!!"

Moses gets them out of Egypt (AKA frees them from SLAVERY), but then they have to travel through the desert. The Israelites are pretty whiny and seem to immediately forget that they have been FREED FROM SLAVERY BY GOD, so they start complaining against God. Which pretty is dumb. So God sends them some snakes. 

The Israelites are getting pretty upset because they keep getting bitten by snakes and dying. They repent, and ask Moses to talk to God, because dying from snake bites is not cool. Moses agrees, so he asks God to take away the snakes - to take away their suffering

God doesn't take away the snakes, but instead tells Moses to make a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. If anyone gets bit by a snake, they just have to look at the bronze snake, and they'll live! Hooray! Everyone hugs each other and they walk off into the promised land, never to offend God again. (LAWLZ. I'm kidding. The Israelites were the worst.)

What I love about this passage is it is proof that God hears our prayers, and he answers them! But...he doesn't answer prayers how we expect him to. I think what God does in this story is even more beautiful. Instead of taking their suffering away, he gives them a way to overcome it. 

Now, instead of God working the miracle of making snakes disappear, he works a greater one. He transforms their suffering into a way for his people to grow closer to him. Every time an Israelite gets bit by a live snake, they have to look at the bronze snake and they get to remember the miracle God has provided them. Their suffering gives them an opportunity to fix their eyes back on God.

So today, as I suffer through my email (and probably other small things), I will choose to look up at the bronze serpent and remember the miracles God has preformed in my life.

Monday, September 15, 2014

On Nuns in the Airport

The last two times I've flown, I've left Denver on a Saturday morning. This Saturday was just as bad as the last. People walked slower than glacier, and took up the entire hall. They presented baggage claim tickets to the TSA instead of a boarding pass, and they had no idea why they had to take off their shoes and things out of their pockets. Guys, this has been the policy for the past 13 years. None of this is new. All of this, and more, happened at DIA this weekend. If I can help it, I'm never going to travel on a Saturday again. 

So there I am, riding up the escalator instead of walking because the guy in front of me is taking up the entire thing. I'm irritated, but I'm not going to be late for my flight so I'm trying, but miserably failing, to choose love and instead of harboring hate in my heart. I weave through more leisure travelers and sigh when I approach my gate. 

Then I see her.

beautiful nun, in a full, navy habit. She has a white wimple, and a black veil.

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Without thinking, I walk up to her and call, "hello, Sister!"

We talked for maybe two minutes. At the end of the conversation, she asked for my name and promised that she and all her sisters would offer their rosary for me that night.

I walked away with a little skip in my step, and I completely forgot my airport woes.

I don't know her name, and I never will. But when I saw her across the airport, I sensed the peace, love, kindness, hope, and joy that radiated out of her. And in just under two minutes, she transferred all that and more to me.

That was a gift that Blessed Mother Teresa had. She a remarkable ability to make every. single. person. she encountered feel like they were the most important person on Earth in the moments she was with them. She was so filled with Jesus that just in being who she was, others felt the transforming power of his love.

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I want to be like that.

Jesus, make me be so filled with your love that when others encounter me they no longer see me, but only you.

Friday, September 12, 2014

#7QTs on DG, Travel, & Cats with Instruments

My first ever post went up on the FOCUS Blog today! If you haven't yet, head on over there and check it out! It promises a list of fun things to do, wit (according to my friend Joanna), an image of me pieing my friend Amy in the face, and a little kid in a big hat.

Here's a quote from it for your previewing pleasure: "If you focus on making memories with your new friend, not just trying to awkwardly force conversation over a latte, trust and community will spring out of the fun. "

I think we've all discovered new blogs to read via the #7QTs link up, but have you ever discovered the blog of someone that you know!? That happened to me last Friday after I linked up with Jen. 

Do you live in NYC?? Do you know someone who lives in NYC? Will you happen to be in NYC on October 16? Then you should probably come to REACH | nyc. Or invite your friends to come. Or both!

The Events Team has started helping with FOCUS' REACH prayer breakfasts, and I am so excited. Our first one is about one month away in, you guessed it, NYC! I'm freaking out a little bit because I love New York and not only do I get to go, I get to plan an event there. Dreams really do come true, people. Everyone should also be aware that I might never come back. You've been warned.

Last weekend, Saint Louis University held their formal recruitment. My sister is a senior in DG there, and 5 (five!!!) of my former campers went through recruitment at SLU. I've known some of these girls since they were 12 (wut).

It was fun to talk to Steph all weekend about recruitment, but the best news came on Monday...four of the girls went DG!

Some had been in my cabin, others I taught in show choir, and one was a neighbor and camp friend. 

Smoon had a lot of these girls in her cabin and as CILTs, so she was equally excited to add so many beautiful faces to the CT DG Family. We wanna make shirts. 

ITB, ladies, and welcome aboard!

Tomorrow starts my fall stint of travel. On the list is KC (x3), Chicago, Nashville, NYC, and Atlanta! The great news about that is I've never been to Georgia...taking me up to 23 states! We've got two more to go, people. DC might be added to the list, and if it is, I can probably make it up to 24 states. I'd also be traveling every other week for the next two months, which is crazy.

My friends Cait, Becky, & Mallory are going to watch Kat while I'm gone this week. They're amazing. But what's even more amazing are these pictures of cats playing instruments that Cait put on the facebook.


Hey, if you haven't done this yet, I'd really love it if you hopped on over to the Facebook and liked My Life (In Lists)'s page.

Happy Friday, friends!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, September 5, 2014

7QTs on #whatmovesyou

Let's start with a question...What Moves You? What gets you up in the morning? Why do you do every little thing that you do? No, I don't want the answer that you know you're supposed to give, I want to know what really moves you?

It's time to engage that question, to go deeper than the simple, easy answers. Come explore with us; register at www.seek2015.com. Join the conversation: #WhatMovesYou.

I've watched this video a lot of times in the past couple of days and I've really started to engage the question myself. Sure, I know the answer. Jesus. He's the answer to every question, right? But...is He really what moves me? Is He truly the guiding force of my every action at every day?

My friend Mary writes for Catholic News Agency, and she wrote an awesome blog post about SEEK, Socrates, & Beyonce. You should check it out, and start asking yourself that question. (And if you don't know #WhatMovesYou, join us for SEEK!)

I've been praying a lot about living simply and living in the moment. On the Feast of the Assumption, I went up into the mountains with (a different) Mary & Steph to go stand up paddle boarding. It was so much fun and so incredibly beautiful. As we were paddling, Mary said, "Isn't it awesome that God's will for us today is to stand up paddle board and soak up the beauty of nature?" That is living in the moment, my friends.

Last week, FOCUS Events was so #blessed to be able to help out with the Amazing Parish Conference. It was an intensive two day workshop for parish leadership teams to help their parishes become truly, well, AMAZING! It was cool stepping into another event with the goal of making disciples, but for a different audience. I think this Amazing Parish movement is really important. I'm excited to see how they grow in the next few years, and how Amazing our Church can become.

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Christine and John Paul asked me if I would be interested in helping with production (aka Audio Visual things) for the conference. While I basically had no idea what I was doing, I had so much fun. I got to run microphones to people asking questions in the audience, move chairs and podiums on stage and then off again, and help Matt Maher sound check. 

But the BEST part was getting to call camera's for the Thursday morning Mass. I was terrified that I would mess up, but I think it went pretty well. It was cool knowing that what everyone was seeing up on the big IMEG screens was there because I put it there! Our AV team (JP, me, 2 PSAV guys, & 3 video guys) was the reason every went so smoothly. Everyone was so much fun, especially when we told lame jokes over our headsets. 

Recently, we've been talking a lot about how important it is to spend time with the people we work with and invest in our teams so that we have trust and a good working environment. I am so #blessed that the Events Team gets along so well and we make loving one another a priority. 

On Wednesday, we had a team half day offsite with our #SuperTeam (read: all the departments that my boss' boss oversees) at the Colorado Rockies game. It was crazy hot (read: 91 degrees on the roof of a baseball stadium), but it was crazy fun. It was really fun getting to know everyone a little better and learning about their team dynamics. Take some time to intentionally invest in your team this week - you won't regret it.

I have very exciting news, my friends. On Monday, the FOCUS Blog is publishing one of my posts! I'm pretty stinkin' excited.

And let's be honest...it's the main reason I posted some quick takes today. If you're stopping by because you found me via the FOCUS Blog...HI!!! IT'S NICE TO MEET YOU! Leave a comment and introduce yourself! I hope you like cat pictures and FOCUS Conferences, because that's pretty much all I write about.

Here's a cat pic, incase that's your thing.

Everyone else: be sure to check out www.focus.org/blog on Monday to see me in all up on the fancy FOCUS Blog!!


Linking up with Jen. Check out more quick takes at conversiondiary.com.