Monday, March 16, 2015

A Great Cloud of Witnesses: Give Away Winner [2]

Wow. Thank you to everyone who shared this project, filled out the survey, emailed me, texted me, and commented on facebook. I'm really excited about where this is going to go and how this is going to help people. Together, I really think we're going to create something beautiful.

I'm going to keep the survey open so that you all can continue to submit suggestions of women to speak to and questions you want to ask them.

I'm excited to announce the winner of the giveaway: Erica! Erica won for tweeting about the project, but she also filled out the survey. Congratulations, friend. Thanks for sharing and reading!

I'm going to spend this week reading through the survey results, talking to other friends with ideas and contacts on the phone, finalizing my interview questions, and reaching out to some of these women. I'll keep you all updated on the status of this project, but know that we're getting started!

Friday, March 13, 2015

7QTs on Camp Reunions, Running into People on the El, and Cats on Ottomans

I've lived in Chicago for 6 1/2 weeks now. Can you believe it!? I hardly can. This has been such a great move for me. It has been so great to be in the city for so many reasons. The weather is getting nice here (it's going to be 60 today!!) and in a very short amount of time it will be nice enough to play on the lake! 

Tuesday was an AWESOME day for mail. I finally gave in and ordered an Erin Condren Planner and it showed arrived in bright and shining colors along with Shauna Niequist's new devotional!! I am loving the blank spaces in the planner to organize what I need to get done each day and just how colorful and fun it is! I can hardly wait to crack open Shauna's book. I'm waiting to start until I turn 25 next week. 

When Maggie and I met up when I first moved to Chicago, she said "my favorite thing about camp is that you constantly have friends around no matter where life takes you." Adding truth to her comment, I ran into these two wonderful girls on my way to work on Wednesday. I was lucky enough to have Pria as a camper for three weeks in 2010. I got to know her sister Shreya those three weeks two. It was the perfect start to my Wednesday.

Wednesday was a day full of CT love. Maggie and the Evoy's organized a CT Chicago alumni reunion. What's great about camp people is that even though I didn't know a lot of the girls that were at the reunion, by the end of the night we were all old friends. We played a game where you won fake points for each phrase from a camp cheer you could work in to normal conversation. Costigan won by a landslide - my favorite was when she exclaimed "Oh a day lay!!!!"

I'm so excited to stay close and connected with these friends I already knew, and even more excited to continue to get to know these new camp friends. We're going to make these reunions a monthly thing. It's going to be so great.

Pathfinders & Braves are best friends. 

My new boss, Danielle, had a birthday last week and mine is this coming Tuesday. We got out of a staff meeting yesterday, and I made a comment that I was hungry and wanted a snack. Lupe said she thought our Event Service Workers might have had a snack downstairs, so she was going to go check. She came up with a cake! Moral of the story: if you say you want a snack, someone just might show up with a cake. 

I have this little blue ottoman in my apartment that Kateri has claimed for herself. Doesn't it look like her Cat Throne?


I'm really excited about where this project is going and the enthusiasm I've received from readers. Thank you so much to everyone who has responded to the survey with suggestions and to everyone who has shared the initiative. The survey and raffle entry are open through the end of the weekend, so you still have time to make suggestions and share the launch of the project. Check it out here

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain't the Lyceum.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Great Cloud of Witnesses: A New Project

I truly believe one of the greatest gifts Christ gave us in the Church are the saints. I know I struggle when I try to run after Him alone, but when I have someone cheering alongside me I am encouraged, motivated, and propelled deeper into the Heart of Christ. 

This is definitely one of the reasons why I'm so big on community. This is also one of the reasons why I love Hebrews 12:1 so much:

Since then we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Man, was I surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses in FOCUS. These incredible people gave up so much to pursue Jesus wholeheartedly. 

FOCUS' mission is on the college campus, but it's real mission is to launch people into lifelong Catholic mission. But now that I'm working in the "real world" (as real as a college campus can be), I really have to ask - what does that even mean? 

I know what it looks like in a Parish, and thanks to the many Catholic mom's that I stalk whose blogs I follow, I think I have an idea of how to do it once I start a family.

But what does life long Catholic mission mean for me as a single 20-something professional young adult? Heck, what does being Catholic even look like as a single-20 something professional young adult?

Honestly, I don't know. I don't have much experience with it, and my cloud of witnesses is looking small.

I know you're out there. You are the warriors, the white martyrs, the saints of tomorrow. You love Jesus with your whole heart, and you inspire your co-workers and your friends to be better people. I want to talk to you, to learn from you, to add you to my cloud. 

And so today, I am very excited to announce my new project: A Great Cloud of Witnesses. 

I will be talking to professional Catholic women that you and I know, and asking them about their faith. After we chat, I will be sharing what I learned here so that we can unite as the one body of Christ and be strengthened in our faith.

This project is meant for us to lift one another up, to inspire one another in our journey towards heaven. It is to remind us that we are not alone as we try to pray and figure out how to honor Jesus in our work. Most of all, it is meant for us to learn from our sisters who are running after Christ.

Before I start, I need your help! What do you want to know from these women? If you could sit down with them for coffee, what would you ask them? What about being a professional Catholic is hard for you?

Who do you know that you admire as a professional, Catholic or Christian woman? I have a list started, but I want our cloud to grow. 

Tell me what you know or who I should talk to by filling out this survey. As a thank you for your assistance, you'll be entered into a raffle to win Shauna Niequist's new devotional, Savor, and a $25 Amazon Gift Card. You can enter the Raffle by tweeting this link to share this project with your friends, and by filling out the survey. 

Please pray for me and for everyone that will be involved as I venture out on this journey. I'm so excited to begin and I pray that together, we will be inspired to run the race that is set out for us.

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