26 January 2012

Teammate Profiles

I have often been guilty of posting this as my facebook status: True Life: I'm obsessed with my teammates. For those of you who are unfamiliar, True Life was a show on MTV a while back and they'd snapshot a few people who have a certain trait. (True Life: I'm a Textaholic, True Life: I Have Annoying Parents, True Life: My Favorite Color is Yellow, etc.)

God is so great and knows so me so well that He put me on the perfect team, for me. They're not perfect, we as a team are not perfect, but I think (hope) they feel the same way as I do when I say we're perfect for each other, right now.

I wanted to let you, my faithful blog readers, get an insight into my amazing teammates, so I've captured a few facts here for your enjoyment.

We'll begin with Katie O.





She is the Boss, the woman in charge. (This image pretty accurately describes her!) I've known and loved Katie for over two years, but team life brings knowledge of a person to an entirely new level. Katie is FIERCE. She can shoot guns and she loves debating about politics. Katie is an amazing Team Director. She epitomizes servant leadership. One time, I was having a bad day and Katie sent me a copy of her favorite novel to make me realize that I wasn't alone in the battle for souls. (Come Rack! Come Rope!, check it out!!) Words can't describe the awesome things Katie is doing for God's Kingdom. She is so great at encouraging and challenging and guiding our team so that we can be holier, more virtuous, and more Christ-like as we aim to serve the students on Auburn's campus.

Next we have Katie Sanders.




Katie discipled me last year and now we're teammates! SO cool! (This picture is before I knew her, but definitely shows Katie's silly side!) We've known each other for about a year and a half and we've basically been best friends since the day we met. Katie is a shopaholic but she's so virtuous that she keeps her shopping habit in check. She keeps me humble when my pride tells me to go nuts and is one of my favorite people to laugh with. Katie loves with EVERYTHING that she has and she has taught me so much about seeing people the way Christ sees them. I lean on Katie when I'm in any sort of bind and she holds my hand when I need her. She knows my flaws and loves me despite them. She has an incredible zeal for the souls of the women God has entrusted to her on this campus, and she wants EVERYONE to go with her to Heaven.


Now for the boys MEN!


Meet Brian!



HAHA! This picture was taken last weekend in Baltimore at the Student Leadership Summit (More on that to come soon!) and yes, those are banana runts. Brian and I are about to have our one year friendaversery in February! This summer, Brian was a last minute addition to our team (most placements were given at the end of week one of New Staff Training, and we found out Brian was coming to Auburn at the end of week four!) and we were beyond excited to have him! Most people would describe him as quiet, but they'd be wrong. He's kinda quirky and often hard to read. (I'm still not completely sure if he thinks I'm just plain obnoxious... I do tend to go overboard on the nicknames I give him.) Brian loves Nebraska (Go Big Red!) and EVERYTHING about it. (He even knows the state grass.) He also likes corn and I think that when he daydreams, he's dreaming about cornfields. (I project a lot of my thoughts onto him and I often tell people what he's thinking... and I'm nearly always completely wrong.) I tried to get him to side with me in the prank war against Michael, but his loyalty was too strong, so he's often collateral damage when I prank Michael. (Sorry I'm not sorry?) Brian is really holy and he is a GREAT missionary!


Last.. (but not least... fine!) is Michael!



One of my favorite hobbies is giving Michael a hard time. I'm not sure when we became arch enemies, but it happened sometime between Team Offsite in August (where we were basically olympic swimmers) and the Catholic Student Organization's Camping Trip in October. In this picture he is dressed up like a basketball player (for the Halloween Hop, we were the FOCUS 5. We BROKE IT DOWN on the dance floor to NSYNC's Bye Bye Bye and we were voted the second best group costume.) Michael is forgetful when it comes to little things (pens... backpacks... books... the list goes on) but he puts a lot of effort into the things that matter. You can find Michael spending an inordinate amount of time prepping for Bible Study... but it's only because he wants to make sure that the men in his studies get the most out of their time together. He's a nerd... (if you can't tell from this picture) and an engineer (although I haven't seen his degree with my own eyes.) He is energized by relationships which is why this job is perfect for him. Michael will probably become a priest... and if he hurries up (and if I'm called to marriage) I might let him concelebrate... or at least be the altar server. He's a great brother!

So there you have it; that is my team. I LOVE THEM!

Here are a few pictures (and a special surprise at the end) for your enjoyment!

Saints Paul, Timothy, and Titus, pray for us!


















video

17 January 2012

Shenanigans

Sometimes I like to convince gullible people of silly things. I think my friend Raf has rubbed off on me a little bit (although my deceptions are clearly jokes while his are borderline stretchings of the truth.)

Once in college, I convinced my sweet friend Kristin (Duck) that one side of the soy sauce containers (you know, the ones on every table in any Asian restaurant) was no sodium soy sauce and one was regular. I invented some fabulous story about how there was a film over one side that was semipermeable, but the NaCl molecules were too large to fit through, so the soy sauce came out without sodium. She asked how you know which side is which and I told her that it was common knowledge that it was the right side.

The other day, I convinced my friend Lindsay that I had downloaded this new app on my phone that was like a "smellovision." I told her that if you google image search any fruits or vegetables, my phone screen would smell and even taste like the image. It wasn't until after she licked my phone that I told her I was full of bologna.

In addition, I enjoy playing pranks on my sweet teammates. A few months ago, I antiqued Michael and Brian while they were sleeping peacefully on a camping trip. If you don't know what "antiquing" is, google it. I'll try to figure out how to post the video soon. (They will be thrilled.)

Also, when Michael texts me, I often respond "The Verizon Wireless user you are trying to reach is no longer available." I find this quite funny.

The bottom line is that I LOVE good, wholesome, fun.
and... I still have a few tricks still up my sleeve :)

Saint Philip Neri, pray for us!

12 January 2012

Tithing

Recently I have been thinking and praying a lot about tithing. One reason for this is because I am here in Southlake fundraising. Being a missionary with FOCUS is a blessing in many ways, and one of them is that I get to rely completely on the generosity of others for my wellbeing. In a culture where independence is so highly acclaimed, I find joy in the true virtue of dependence. We are all, without a doubt, dependent on God. We are dependent on His mercy which grants us eternal salvation and we are dependent on His constant love, without which we would cease to exist. All Christians (and most other people as well) recognize their need for God, but do we all recognize our need for each other? The first key point in the kerygma (the core of our faith) is that we were made for relationships. Praise be to God!! He created us, not only for relationship with Him, but He desires that we live in communities where we take care of one another, build each other up in the faith, and hold each other accountable.

Reliance on others takes something that our individualistic culture is in serious need of: the virtue of humility. As I've said before, I'm no expert when it comes to this virtue, just a sinner in need of Christ's transformative love, and especially in need of grace to cultivate this virtue. The good news is that God isn't a god of punishments, He is a God of second chances.

Anyways, I'm sure you've heard it said: Christ has no hands and feet on earth but yours. Of course, God is omnipotent and can do anything that He wills, with or without your compliance, but it is good for each of us to feel that responsibility. If God's work is everyone's responsibility, then it ends up being no one's. What if someone told you that Christ has no wallet on earth but yours? Once again, God is omnipotent and can do what He chooses with all of the money in the world... but what if God has a plan for the money in YOUR bank account?

God has made this promise to man: if you give to Him ten percent from your first fruits, you will never go without. WHAT?! Not only has He promised us eternity in Paradise, but He wants to bless abundantly our earthly lives as well. The Lord multiplies everything that we give to Him and blesses us beyond our wildest dreams.

I feel blessed to know the importance of tithing and to be able to give from the first fruits, not just what is left over after everything else is gone. It is much easier to develop this habit now, to give ten percent back to the Lord now (when the amount is only a few hundred dollars per month) than it would be later when the amount is larger. In good times and in bad, I will give first to Him who has given me so much. This is a great habit, so for this and the many other lessons you've taught me, thank you, FOCUS.

As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

Saint Matthew, pray for us.

07 January 2012

I Will Go Through The Valley

Suffering is funny, isn't it? When things are going well, I pray that I may have a little taste of Christ's suffering so that I may unite myself more fully to Him and so that I may grow in holiness. When it comes, I beg for the Lord to remove it from me.


Never doubt in the darkness what you knew to be true in the light.

Holy Infant of Prague, have mercy on us.

04 January 2012

Home Away From Home

Happy New Year!!

I hope you all have had an amazing holiday season filled with God's many blessings.

Today I have been thinking about the concept of home. I am "home" in Southlake, finishing up some last minute fundraising and preparing to head back to my other home in Auburn. I long for Auburn like a child on Christmas morning who lies in bed waiting for some sign of life from among siblings and cousins so that they can all rush down the stairs to see their gifts under the tree. I'm waiting patiently (outwardly, anyways) to go back, and my soul is excited to see what God has planned for this semester. Inwardly, I am anxious about many things. (To me, Martha, the Lord has said, "You are in need of only one thing.")

Knowing that I have been blessed with just one more semester at Auburn, I want to make the best of it. After May, I will scarcely be able to return to my Alma Mater, my "home away from home" of these four years. At first this made me nervous: how can I move again and find a new home? After some thought and prayer, I have concluded that my longing is a result of God's will for me to serve there. Home is where the mission is, and for me, right now, the mission is Auburn's campus.

Happy Feast Day to my beautiful friend/roommate/disciple/teacher/sounding board etc., Allison.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us!