A little bit of this and that

From Friday:

Counting my blessings: damp, clean, carpets…toasted, homemade, bread…Monday and Tuesday’s homework done…the other night’s quest to find the moon…rainy weather…my head doesn’t hurt…one of my tax returns came already…our presentation didn’t get as criticized as much as I expected today.

I still have a ton of work to do, have a head cold, and am in need of a lot more time with the King (Adoration)–but tonight, life is positive. I am further ahead on homework than I usually am at this time of week…however, the bulk of the necessary work remains. If I am fortunate enough to have a basic understanding of Nietzsche, my philosophy homework (Wednesday) will be done by tomorrow night. My outlook is a bit more pessimistic, though. Thursday’s homework is a bit time consuming, but not too difficult. Then the second nightmare looms–working on our business plan.

After fighting off several rounds of sickness, my body could just not resist anymore–fortunately I have not had it as severely as most others. One of the worst things about being sick (for me) is not being able to sing. Bursting into song with a raspy voice or causing a coughing fit just is not as much fun. There is no excuse to complain–the little bit of suffering from sickness is nothing compared to fasting for 40 days or being crucified, as Someone I know did. Ah yes, life is beautiful.

Updates today:

–I am quite pleased; I just completed my homework for tomorrow night! That means that I have all day tomorrow to work on our business plan. The day will go ridiculously fast and I will be quite tempted to allow distractions, but right now the coming day is a clean slate. Somehow, all the necessary work will be done and in a few weeks there will be a breather from homework.

–Ever since a procession with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, the abortion clinic that some of us have prayed in front of every week has had too many turn-arounds; so they moved. We moved right along with them. Hopefully enough hearts will be changed that they have to close down totally!

–Tonight, Dr. Connolly (the founder and president of JP Catholic) was on Fr. Mitch Pacwa’s show on EWTN. Several of the students and some faculty watched it on one of the large screens at the school. It was fun to hear the story again of how JPCU came about, and seeing which movie clips they used from the school. I was so privileged as to have the back of my head featured in one of the shots… [Speaking of JP Catholic, right now they are doing a scholarship fund raiser–if you are willing/able to donate, please do at jpcatholic.com . Many students depend on it!]

–I am recovering from being sick. I am pretty much over it, and my ability to think is returning. I hope.

There you have it…a synopsis of my crazy life, with the slight incoherency that is characteristic of my brain lately. Just think! In a few weeks you may get a sensible post. Until then–please have patience. God bless and Mary keep you.

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An entertaining quiz


You Are a Question Mark


You seek knowledge and insight in every form possible. You love learning.
And while you know a lot, you don’t act like a know it all. You’re open to learning you’re wrong.

You ask a lot of questions, collect a lot of data, and always dig deep to find out more.
You’re naturally curious and inquisitive. You jump to ask a question when the opportunity arises.

Your friends see you as interesting, insightful, and thought provoking.
(But they’re not always up for the intense inquisitions that you love!)

You excel in: Higher education

You get along best with: The Comma

Living for Him

Living for Him. What does it mean? To be a saint is to fulfill God’s plan for your life. But how do know what our individual calling is? This is a question that I constantly struggle with. Sometimes I focus on the small actions of everyday life; sometimes I think about and try to act for the future. Yet I am rarely able to maintain the balance between the two. It is as though sometimes I hold a map, with an arrow pointed at my destination. I know exactly where I am going, but forget about the little steps that guide me there. Other times I focus on the small steps, and concentrate so hard that I am just putting one foot in front of the other without a destination in mind. Somehow I must acquire the map, and make little steps towards my destination.

One prayer at a time. One action at a time. One day at a time. Each moment lived for the sake of the Cross; and my life will be full.

Someday

Only four more weeks of classes. Then finals. Then a 10-day break… Then we start all over again. My eyes have been getting so tired from reading lately. Philosophy is not my forte, and the lack of reading comprehension seems to make it worse. It causes impromptu naps, even when I am really not tired. Or perhaps sore eyes are the result of the blazing sun that I have been sitting out in lately. Hmm…I might be allergic to southern California. 😀

I miss having fields to run through to throw my thoughts into; the dusk of the country; seeing the sun rise and set over the horizon; the fresh, open air; the water that is not heavily laden with minerals. Restlessness has gotten into me a lot lately, and I want to get rid of the noise of people and cars and planes. I want to get rid of the buildings that surround me, the broken glass that litters the sidewalks and streets, the tense busyness of the world. Sometimes I feel like a caged animal, helplessly stuck with nowhere to go to be on my own. Even when I am alone, there is silence and noise that only teases me.

Yet I can’t really imagine myself anywhere but at JPCU right now. Doing homework day in and day out, napping at weird times of day, having the opportunity for daily Mass, long conversations with my roommate, walks, discussions, and teasing with the St. Jude crew, night prayer…it feels almost more natural to be around everyone here than at home now. Everything unsatisfactory is mingled with something good.

I baked some bread today. It was a new recipe, and did not turn out as well as I liked…but I am happy nonetheless. Kneading dough is so much fun. I must do it more often! Too bad I can’t turn my love of making food pretty into a business–it is one thing that gives me a sense of satisfaction. With our Lenten breakfasts, Thursday is our “European breakfast day”. I have so much fun making patterns with the food.

I must focus on the simple joys and somehow offer up all the helpless restlessness that no one can help me with. Perhaps I should write a lot in my journal. Perhaps I just need quiet time in adoration. Somehow, someway I will find that little niche in the world where I belong; the place that I can make beautiful and quietly serve others from. Ah, dreams…

Prayer request: I just got an e-mail from my Mom, that a lady we know has ruptured a disk in her back and will need surgery. She is on heavy duty pain killers. Please also pray for her family as they deal with the situation. Thank you!

God bless and Mary keep you all.

Leadership by aura

In the past several years, I have become increasingly aware of the necessity of good leaders. I have also gained curiosity as to the true nature of womanhood and the desire to conform to my findings. I do not want to find only recent examples in culture of both leadership and womanhood; but instead, understand the ideal so that I may reflect those qualities. So many people see reflections as the ideal, and end up with a warped expression that is a reflection of a reflection of a reflection, etc.

In our household meeting earlier this week, a few other girls and I discussed 1 Timothy 2:8-15.

8. I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 9. also that women should adorn themselves modestly and sensibly in seemly apparel, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly attire 10. but by good deeds, as befits women who profess religion. 11. Let a woman learn silence with all submissiveness. 12. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent. 13. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14. and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15. Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.

Verses 11 and 12 originally struck me as contradictory to being a leader. How can you lead without speaking? When you are leading, where is the place of submissiveness? It is still a difficult concept to grasp, but it occurred to me that women have the great challenge and responsibility to lead by aura. We are not necessarily called to be leaders in the sense that we rally the troops and lead from the front (however minimally). Instead, our leadership must be in our modesty and strength of character. We do not so much lead with what we do, but by who we are. The qualities of humility, empathy, and sacrifice take on a greater depth… Every person is called to become a strong personality, but women can influence in a particularly strong way just through everyday service.

I am still in search of how to better practice this leadership. Any ideas, comments?

Another tag

Claire tagged me, so I am semi-participating in this blogging game. I am not going to tag anyone, but feel free to do it in all your spare time… (1) Link to the person that tagged you. (2) Post the rules on your blog. (3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself. (4) Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. (5) Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
Six random things about me:

1. I began my culinary experiments at an early age…making coleslaw sandwiches at the age of 4.

2. My train of thought often links to movies and books–“that reminds me of ___.”

3. I break out into song or laughter throughout the day for no particular reason.

4. My staple snack foods are raisins and carrots.

5. I say “pardon?” instead of “what?” and it throws people off.
6. I very often stand with my legs crossed backwards.

So now you have been enlightened! 😀

Lent

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, and so starts the season of lent. Several of us went to the 5pm Mass in the evening–the church was packed! Even the standing room was full. The parking lot isn’t large enough, so there was a lot of traffic. Mass got out at about 6:15, and at 6:30 we were still sitting in the parking lot and had not gone anywhere. By the time we started leaving, people were coming in for the 7pm Mass. We got back to the apartments (a 10 minute drive) at about 7pm…the time was much longer than our Masses at home.

Lent is a time to challenge ourselves to grow closer to God, by sacrificing those things that we have grown too attached to, and replace them with strivings to grow closer to Christ. I decided to take the opportunity to get my priorities back in order and practice discipline in several areas that have been slipping. Recreational internet (website jumping, YouTube, Facebook…) is going and instead my focus will be on reading Scripture, getting my homework done ahead of time, and catching up on some correspondence. I also decided to sleep at night. After going to sleep at 12:30…1…2…3am too many nights in a row, I resolved that I will go to bed right after night prayer, which is over at about 11pm. I discussed it with a few other students, and it morphed into the idea of having breakfast together every morning during lent. Research was done, food was purchased, the word was spread…and this morning we had our first breakfast. The food is prepared by 7am, so that we can finish eating by 7:30 or so; then a bit of homework and clean up, and off to Holy Mass at 8:30am. This morning was great–there were 7 of us, and a few more joined for Mass. I hope that the effort stays alive and turns into habit! Starting off the day that way, and then sitting all together during Mass gave me a sense of unity with the rest of the students. We are all striving for one goal, and helping each other along the way.

My to-do list today is long–again. I must finish the homework for our Flash class tonight, come up with our value proposition and “secret sauce” as well as put together a comparative matrix for our business plan for tomorrow, clean a little, and I want to get a head start on next week’s homework. Then a walk over to the school, a bit of Adoration, class, a meeting with my business group, night prayer, and bed. Life is full, hard, ever-changing, and exceedingly blessed.

“Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” ~Romans 12:9-12