16 April 2014

Lots to say, no one to say it to.

^^ I think this is a traditionally extroverted problem.

This Holy Week I've been thinking about how crazy it is that Jesus will literally go to the ends of the earth to pursue my heart, and sometimes I just take it for granted. It's like this: this PERFECT man I know (who is also God.) will literally drive, walk, crawl thousands of miles just to tell me He loves me, and then when He and I are in the same room, I go to the next room over just to see if He'll follow me. It's so freaking absurd!

The Cross is so ugly and I hate being reminded of what I did to Him. But I can't hate it because it turns my cold, stony heart into a heart of flesh and blood.


Pray for me :)

14 April 2014


Realization: I like to think I'm a lot craftier than I am. I can usually get an A+ in ideas and creativity but a C- in execution.
I thought up an adorable design for my living room, and I found some great pieces and it was actually coming together really nicely. Then my roommate threw a wrench in my plans when she LITERALLY had a meltdown about how ugly she thought the rug that I bought was. (We've discussed it, moved on, etc..... #notbitter... #kinda.) So, I had to find a work around. She bought some new pieces which calmed her down but also brought the level of fun in the room from about a 7 to about a 3 because of how neutral everything is now. We've agreed on a color scheme and I've started making progress.

Today I hung up a key rack by the front door.. with screws... all by myself.

And I painted this to go on the walls:

I'm not really a big fan of actually kind of hate the finished product, but it has color and is something to hang there until I get a better idea. I had a good idea going into it but it didn't turn out right so I improvised and ended up with this. Originally it was supposed to go on the walls in the living room but the colors looked too bright to work well with what we have, so I moved them to the dining room because of our newly recovered chairs in there that are pretty fun. The walls are so big that it's hard to get things to look right. I think I'm going to make these more off center. 

Just for fun, I also painted this for a friend of mine who is having twin girls in the summer:

Next up is an idea that I thought of all on my own, which I am very excited about.  I bought a canvas drop cloth at Wally's for $7 and I'm going to cut it in half, hem the edges, and paint a leafy geometric type design on it. Generally the curtains will stay open so no one will really be able to see the painting, which I like... because like I said, my execution is normally subpar in the painting department. (In fact, after that last painting mishap I think I may just paint thick stripes across them and call it good.) It is cool because of how inexpensive it is, and the fact that no one else will have the same curtains as we do. 

I also have plans for a "saint corner" in my room. That's going to be more of a long term project, hopefully I'll have it done by Summer. 

This weekend, a few colleagues from work ended up at my apartment. Among them was a girl I'd just met who is into astrology. Of course I think it's all garbage, but it was funny because apparently my "sign" is known for being people who are not necessarily good at anything except getting things done... which is a pretty hysterical and accurate description of me. 

I also attended Palm Sunday Mass in Spanish today. I'm fascinated by the faith of Hispanics, and I'm pretty sure Our Lady's prayers keep them coming back for more every Sunday, thanks be to God. 
Something about these words in Spanish seem to have more of an impact: Dios Mio, por que me has abandonado? Father gave an excellent homily about what type of Father we have, by asking us to reflect on what type of Father we could have, if we could choose any.

St. Joseph, pray for us. 

09 April 2014

Corporate Catholicism

Being authentically Catholic in the corporate world is the hardest thing I've done in my life to this point.

I love Jesus. And I love His Church. And I love His people!! But showing Him to them is so difficult.

All of my colleagues know that I am Catholic and that I used to be a missionary. But none of them know the significant impact that Jesus has made on my life and I know that I'm letting them and Him down.

It makes so much sense that Jesus sent His disciples out two by two. It is impossible to do this alone. The disciples witnessed miracles and lived their lives with Him, so I suppose I should take solace in the fact that not only did they, after having spent their lives with Him and for Him, denied Him at the Cross, but He also forgave them and now they're saints. What?! What kind of crazy god would do that?!

When I was a missionary, I was so sheltered by my lifestyle. I wasn't sheltered by my faith, and especially not by Jesus; my current colleagues are exactly the type of people that Jesus wants. In college and in FOCUS I had a goal: teach teachers to teach. So I sought out leaders who wanted to know more about their faith so that they could pass it on to others. But looking back, I for sure missed a few steps somewhere along the way. I was encouraging the girls I was working with to reach out to the lost and the broken, in their classes, in their dorms, etc., but I was sitting in a Catholic bubble directing other Catholics to go and reach the lost, instead of doing it right beside them. Now, I'm in the midst of the lost and the broken and I can't seem to spit it out: Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, loved you into creation and holds your very existence in the palm of His hand with the slight chance that you might nod His way.

It doesn't seem so difficult. But my humanity gets in the way every single day. I have no support system to go home to, no partner in all of this. I'm not a part of a pair or of a team like the disciples were, and it is a daunting task.

As a sanguine, it took me a long time to develop my prayer life because I first had to realize that I was more than just the external. I had to develop an inner dialogue with myself before I could develop one with Jesus. I had to learn who I was on a deeper level, really. Since then, who I really am has always been more than what you see on the surface. Now, it's to a whole new level where I'm super protective of my interior life. I don't want to let anyone in, probably because I don't trust anyone to not break me. When you share a connection with people on a spiritual level, you build trust that doesn't exist in other relationships, and you're able to give your whole self. When the relationship is surfacy, you can't trust anyone with anything beyond what they see, so that's what they get. Even writing about stuff that's real in this blog is challenging sometimes.

Regardless, I have a feeling I'll have quite a long stint in purgatory because of all of these missed opportunities.

I'm not so proud to believe that if I don't say anything, these souls will die, because I know that God works in all things for our good. But He has me here for a reason, I think it's time for me to figure out what that reason is.

For now, since I can't seem to find the words to show Him to them, I'll show them to Him.

St. Peter and St. Paul, pray for me.

05 April 2014

Broken Hearts

In my last post, I talked about what I do know about men. In this one, I'm going to talk about what I don't know about men. (This is not anywhere near all-inclusive.)

I want to talk about the dreaded DTR. Define the relationship. What are we? 

Men, it seems, hate the DTR. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why. 

Recently, the neighbors who live above me had an all out brawl. They were screaming at each other, slamming doors, sobbing, etc. for a good 3-4 hours straight. I laid in my bed thinking about some of my past relationships and thinking about how terrible those fights can be. I'm not sure that I've ever had one that intense or last that long, but I could relate. I think those fights happen when there are insecurities in relationships. Men and women who love each other really shouldn't have any reason to behave that way towards one another. 

I don't know much about the couple, but they're young, and I'm pretty sure unmarried and living together. Of course I'm projecting now, but I couldn't help but think how different their situation might have been if he'd tell her more often and show her what she means to him. 

When most people hear DTR, they think of the conversation that establishes a relationship as real versus "just talking." It's what brings a couple from dating casually to dating seriously. From friends to boyfriend/girlfriend, I suppose. Usually, I feel like this conversation starts with the ominous "we need to talk" and ends in happiness or heartbreak. But a DTR could be so much more than that. 

Like I said before, I have no idea why men do not like this conversation. Not only do I think the conversation is good and necessary, but I also think it should happen much more frequently. Defining the relationship provides a path. It says, this is where we are, this is where we're going, and this is how we're going to get there. Intentional dating should have very frequent DTRs. 

When couples are living together before they're married, there's a Point A (where we are) but often no Point B (where we're going). A relationship should be something productive, ultimately with the goal of Heaven. Point A in space cannot, on its own, be productive. They've signed this lease together that says we're going to share a refrigerator and a cable bill for the next twelve months... but what does that mean?! I'm sure they say they love one another, but how can you really love someone and be so selfish as to put your desires above their ultimate good? 

In my own dating history, I've found that when I'm not sure where I stand, I find myself doing really silly things. When I'm in a committed relationship with someone, I'm not jealous at all, after all, I'm his girlfriend; he chose me. But before the point of the relationship being official, every girl is a potential threat. I know I'm not the only one, and sometimes it's so dumb the way we (women) think! Things only get better with more commitment, not worse. The more secure a woman feels in her relationship, the more confident she is, the less she worries about what he's doing every second of the day. It's a man's job to make her feel that way. If he treats her like she's the only woman in the world for him, she'll know that she's the only woman in the world for him! It's one thing about women that is perfectly logical! 

Can a DTR prevent a sob-fest Saturday Night fight? Maybe not altogether... but maybe it can! 

St. Joseph and Blessed JPII, pray for us.

03 April 2014

What (I think) it is like to be a man...

Obligation is an interesting thing.

Because I work with so many men, I get a very serious insight into their thought processes. I've never wanted to be just "one of the guys," and I much prefer the company of women, in most circumstances. Men without direction, inspiration, and leadership are very base creatures, I think. (I know that I, in the year I've been surrounded by men who, mostly, don't take religion very seriously, have not only lowered my expectations for men, but also for myself... I'm working on it.) Maybe women are too, I'm not sure. On the other hand, the baseness of men without purpose is equally replaced by the beauty of men who know the Lord. I don't think that the holiest woman could ever change the culture the way that an equally holy man could.

Men have it very hard in this world. They have so many responsibilities, so many people with expectations. One one hand, they're expected to be leaders and on the other, expected to defer to women, of course so that the women in their lives don't become offended by not having a say. In Christ-like marriages, they have both the responsibility to lead their spouse to Heaven, and also to allow themselves to be led by the Lord. Women have it easier I think: to submit to the will of God and to submit to the mission of their husbands.

I can't imagine the pressure of a young man in this culture. While the idea of supporting a family may be made slightly easier with the cultural norm of a two income household, I still think that deep in the subconscious of man is the desire and feeling of obligation that they ought to be able to support their wife and children alone. With student loan debt being another norm, its no wonder that most men wait until they're in their late 20's or even 30's to marry. It actually makes sense that the pressure would be so much as to help their reversion to the "man-children" that our culture seems to be full of.

Man-children or not, I respect the men I work with a great deal. Sure, they often use crass language and talk about things I'd rather never hear, objectify women, and have a few too many drinks on the weekend. In short, they're sinners. But they come to work every single day, no matter how rough it may be, and they work hard. I've got to believe that they, even/especially the single ones, aren't doing it just for themselves. They're doing it so that they can provide for their families and they work 50+ hours per week now, so that later, when they have children, they won't have to. And that is beautiful.

These men have long and grueling careers ahead of them; they know this is just the beginning. Meanwhile, I'm counting down the days until I can stay home with children, read, make a house a home, and use my little brain to solve the world's problems.

The reason I go to work each day is pretty simple: I have this degree, I want to use it, I need the money to pay off student loans. When my student loans are paid off in just a few short years, will I work in finance? Maybe. Will I do the job I do now? Definitely not. Do I do my current job without complaining and dreaming of the day when I can be free to do what I want? You're outside your mind if you think the answer is yes.

That being said, I still have a responsibility to them: to inspire greatness. Although not as daunting as providing financially, spiritually, and emotionally for a family, this is a difficult task, and one that I can only accomplish with the help of the Lord. So I suppose, I'm starting with the (wo)man in the mirror.

St. Joseph, pray for us.