Tuesday, October 30, 2012



Guys, it's officially official.

I'm going to Austria in January.
Do you realize how exciting/terrifying/mind-blowing/crazy this is?  In 2 months and 14 days, I'll be in Austria.  For 4 months.  Europe: France.  Germany.  Belgium.  Ireland. Spain?  Portugal?  England? It's all possible.  Probable, actually.

The plane-ticket-buying procedure was a bit frustrating.  Since I'll be making a domestic flight to meet up with some friends (shout out to Stasia and Grace!), I had to book that separately from the flight overseas, so there was a bit of time coordination to do.  It's done.

This will really be the adventure of a lifetime.  I'll be in a foreign country, studying, traveling, seeing things I've never seen, going places I've only read about, eating foods that I can't pronounce the names of, and meeting new friends.

I've chosen my classes.
I've booked my flight.
Now, I just have to wait.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Beauty of Faith

Being a Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (EM) is truly a blessing.  It never gets "old", and there isn't a single Mass that I minister where I'm not blown away by what I am doing and Who I am holding.  Sometimes, though, there are Masses that make me three times as excited to minister in this way.

Yesterday, I distributed the Precious Body at Saturday morning Mass.  It brings me so much joy to see people receive the God of the universe.  I am always especially struck by the people who are obviously excited to receive Jesus.  I'll be honest, usually these people are women.  But yesterday, a guy approached; he was really tall and I had to reach up as I went to place the Host on his tongue.  And as I did so, his face lit up.  He smiled and said what was possibly the most reverent "Amen" I've ever heard.  He received Our Lord with such a simple joy that it made me tremendously joyful.  I don't know who he was, but he made me think about the Eucharist a lot after Mass.

How often does receiving Jesus become just "part of the Mass"?  Do we always understand Who is coming into our very beings?  He's not just a Man who was raised from the dead; He's our God!  This guy's beautiful faith reminded me how incredible Mass truly is!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday's Silly Saying

Conversation from the dorm last night:

Girl in the hallway: *yells* DOES ANYONE ON GROUND FLOOR OWN P.S. I LOVE YOU????
Girl in my room: *yells through closed door* NO WE DON'T!!!!
Girl in the hallway: THANKS SO MUCH FOR ANSWERING!!
Girl in my room: NOT A PROBLEM!!
Girl in the hallway: HAVE A GREAT NIGHT!!
Girl in my room: YOU TOO!!

Oh, the adventures of a college student in a dorm :P

Friday, October 26, 2012

Anchor my Heart to Your Cross

Faith, Hope, and Love.  Three little words that we flippantly say so often, but how often do we truly think about them?  

Lately, I've been absolutely loving the symbol of the anchor.  We all need to be anchored to something.  SomeONE, actually.  Our Lord is the only One who never moves, is always constant, and it is He who we can always trust in.  An anchor indicates strength, and I think it's appropriate that it's the traditional Christian symbol for hope.  When a ship is anchored to the shore, it can bob up and down, it rocks from side to side, and it can even drift a little bit, but it really can't go too far.  What a comforting thought!  If we are anchored to Christ as our rock, we aren't guaranteed that we're never going to go through troubling times.  Actually, we're pretty much assured that life is going to be difficult.  But as long as we keep our anchor of faith tied to our Rock, we can have hope that we can make it back to His side.  His strength can pull us through, so long as we keep our eyes on Him.

I'm going to be honest with you all: in the last couple weeks, I've really been struggling with these three virtues.  They all go together, and I think that when one suffers, the others do as well.  I have come to the understanding that I don't receive God's love as well as I should, that shakes my faith in Him, and then I find myself drifting further and further away from His perfect life-giving Presence.

Sometimes, I need visual reminders of what I'm working on in my spiritual life.  I guess this is one reason that I have so many inspirational quotes around my room, because I forget those fundamental things too often.  When I realized how much I really need to push myself to work on these three areas, I knew I needed something concrete.  I started with a sticky note, but that didn't stay with me all the time.  Then I started looking for a bracelet, but they were all too clunky.  I also realized that it doesn't necessarily need to be visual to everyone.  OK, I thought, I will go a different route.  So later that afternoon, I bought an anklet, and three charms (on amazon, of course...)- a cross, an anchor, and a heart.  The chain is really thin, and the charms are super tiny, just as I wanted.

I was actually afraid that I was going to regret this purchase (I am going to Austria, after all, and journeying in Europe costs a wee bit o' money), but the more I've thought about it, the more I've realized that this will help me a lot.  Visual, tangible reminders like this one will hopefully keep me on course and help me grow in my faith!

Have you come across anything in your own life that you find you need a visual to remind you of?  Share in the comments!

ps- last week, I celebrated 10,000 views, and today I'm celebrating 100 posts!  Let's make a deal- you help me reach 20,000, and I'll give you another 100, ok? ;)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

recent thoughts

Date: October 22, 2012
Time: 10:31 p.m.
What I'm listening to: The Fighter (Gym Class Heroes)
What's been going on: A heck of a lot!  This weekend was Fall Fun Day with Liturgy Committee; we went to a farm and did the petting zoo, a hay ride, and other fun fall-ish things.  Sunday I went into the city with a bunch of other people from school to see Mary Poppins!  It was really, really good; if it comes to your area, I highly recommend it!  And oh-by-the-way I also have 3 tests, a paper, and a project due within the next 6 days.
corn maze at Fall Fun day!!
Recent realization: Evelyn and I have a lack of  pictures of the two of us.  Which, considering that we've been rooming for a year and a half, is fairly pathetic.  So we've decided to remedy this situation by taking more pictures of ourselves!!
What's the weather: The beauty that can only occur in fall...the colors are gorgeous and the temperatures are heavenly.  Although this coming week, we're (supposedly) going from 70s one day to 30s and snowing the next.  Figures.  Typical Steubenville.
What I'm excited about: This book!  I saw it last spring on vacation while Stasia was home with me.... and I just bought it.  On Amazon, of course, because that's where all college students shop for everything!!!!  Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration.  Still.
What I'm reading: the Bible.  No, I'm not being tricky.  Or "holy".  I mean, hopefully I am being holy, but that's beside the point that I'm reading the Bible.  I have to journal my way through the Bible for my Biblical studies class.... so for Wendesday, I have to read and journal on every chapter of Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Judges (Joshua is "read-only").... it takes quite a while!!!!
What I'm passionate about this week: Verily Magazine!!!!  It's an awesome magazine for older teens and women.  They write on relationships, fashion, and other topics relatable to women living in today's world who want to be modest, respectable, and fashionable.

I've actually teamed up with Verily to get the word out... I ask you all to take a look at their website (you can find it here).  There's a complete teaser issue so you can get an idea of what it's like!  If you like what you see, you can order the magazine for $10 off the cover price with a special code (enter CAWOLF30 at checkout).  It's only $3 per issue (to put it in perspective, that's one Starbucks Frap per issue).  Check it out and let me know if you've got any questions!!
What's coming up this week: women's ministry meeting, lunch with Stephanie (from Crossroads), Liturgy Committee (as per usual), and hopefully looking at trains in Austria and Germany!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Q&A part V

Last part!!

Was there a teacher or teachers who had a particularly strong influence on your life?
Miss Chamer, Mrs. Adkins, Mrs. Duran, Mrs. Carroll, Miss Ruhl, Prof. McCallister
What do you do for a living?
I’m a full-time student…. but it’s not much of a “living”, if you catch my drift.  Hopefully it’ll assist me in one day making a living!
Do you have any favorite stories from your work life?
The day a buddhist at work asked the Catholics why we believed what we did…. needless to say, our lunch break was over an hour long that day
Can you tell me about your religious beliefs/spiritual beliefs? What is your religion?
Roman Catholic all the way!  Look up the Nicene Creed if you’re wondering what Roman Catholicism is. ;)
Have you experienced any miracles?
Every time I go to Mass, I witness a miracle
What was the most profound spiritual moment of your life?
Adoration night at the Steubenville Youth Conference, 2010
What is your ethnic background?
Mostly Irish, with some German, Scandinavian, Dutch, and other randomness thrown in. 

It's gonna be a busy weekend, and I'm really looking forward to enjoying this gorgeous weather... the trees are pretty much all turned now, and it just smells of fall.  i love it!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Q&A part IV

Imagine. It is a dark night, you are alone, it is raining outside, you hear someone walking around outside your window. Who do you call?
Depends where I was.  At home?  My dad, brother or brother-in-law.  Here at school? One of my guy friends… probably Patrick, Christian, or Brian.
Are you old fashioned?
I’d like to say so, in ideals and ideas.
Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
True love with a guarantee of heart break
What is your earliest memory?
When I was 2 ½, it was the 4th of July, and the fireworks woke me up.  My brother came and got me up from my bed, brought me downstairs, and we sat on the back stairs wrapped up in a blanket, watching the fireworks
What are you proudest of in your life?
Not to be repetitive, but probably completing Crossroads.  Man, that was hard!
What does your future hold?
Youth ministry work, catechetical work, hopefully a restaurant in the distant future, and as long as God wants it, marriage and a family :D
How did your parents choose your name?
teehee.  I’ve heard that my mom saw “Allison” on a clothing tag and thought “I really like that name….” I was going to be Rebecca until my mom was in labor and they were driving into the hospital parking lot, and then Dad changed his mind ;) In the words of a wise animal in Veggie Tales “But I am ok with that now”.  
What are your siblings like?
Amazing, talented, and I wanna be like them
When and where were you born?
Long ago and far away: 1993, North Dakota
Who were your parents?
A teacher and an Air Force general
Did you get into trouble? What was the worst thing you did?
Doesn’t every little kid get in trouble?  I distinctly remember throwing a brick across my bedroom at one point…
Do you have any siblings? What were they like growing up?
A sister, brother, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law.  I didn’t grow up with them in the house because they’re a lot older
Do you have a nickname? How’d you get it?
My brother’s friend called me Allison Wonderland when I was 4 or 5…. and now one of my friends calls me that too, because for a while he kept thinking my name was Alyssa, and he needed a way to remember that it wasn’t.
Did you enjoy school?
I love(d) it!
What kind of student were you?
A studious one?  A/B
Are you still friends with anyone from that time in your life?
Yes!  Leslie and Abby and Leslie and Grace, and a whole bunch more that I don’t have room to list


Q&A part III

If you were to die tomorrow what are the things you would want to do before you die?
check out my Dream List!
When you are alone what do you most enjoy doing?
Which is the one event that has had the biggest impact on you and your life?
If you are not doing anything what are you most likely to think about?
“what if’s”
Who is the first person that you think about when you get up in the morning?
that, my friends, is a very good question
When did you first travel by airplane and where?
I’m guessing Massachusetts, and probably when I was like 2.  But I really don’t know for sure.
Who was your first best friend? Are you still in touch with that person? If you parted ways why do you think that happened?
Hannah and Robyn, and yes, we’re still best friends 14 years later!
When was your first sleep over and where?
Hannah and Robyn’s house :)
What is the first thing you do when you get up every morning?
turn off my alarm?  after that, I pray morning prayers while still in bed, then take my homeopathic remedy.
Which one country would you want relocate to if you had the opportunity?
Toughie!  Probably either Belgium or Italy.  I’ll let ya know after I go to Italy.
What does love mean to you?
It keeps us all going, doesn’t it?
What is the wallpaper on your cellphone?
my lock screen is of my Crossroads team, and the main screen is a sunset picture that I took this summer.
Do you like your handwriting?
Actually, yes, I do
Were you a part of the popular or elite crowd in your high school? Why or why not?
definitely not, and that’s ok by me!
When and how was the last time you told someone HONESTLY and completely how you felt? when was it? how was it?
This summer, in July.  It was a wonderful conversation (if you read this, you know who you are; thank you!!)
What would be harder for you, to tell someone you love them or that you do not love them back?
As I’ve never done either, I can only speculate.  I’m guessing the latter.
What do you think would be the hardest thing for you to give up on?
Something I feel passionate about, so probably youth ministry work. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

More questions (and answers) part II

Are you afraid of the dark?
only if I'm not familiar with the area, and then only if I'm outside
Favorite hangout?
school: student center; home: Starbucks
3 things you cannot live without?
I think Jesus is a given, so can I be materialistic?  Books, music, and my phone (keeps me connected to family/friends AND has lots of my prayer stuff on it)
Favorite song?
the impossible question. I’ll go with my “most played”- Defying Gravity
What are you afraid of?
my only phobia is heights.  I’m also not fond of large insects/bugs and snakes
Are you a giver or a taker?
hopefully a giver
What 1 thing would you take with you on a deserted island?
my iPhone (technically cheating- I can call for help and read the Bible while I wait
Whats your favorite color?
depends on the day…. blue, purple, or teal
What are the things you always take with you?
a book, my phone, and my wallet
What did you wanna be when you were a kid?
CIA agent :D
What do you usually do when the clock turns 10:10?
not a single thing
What the last thing you do before you go to bed?
prayer time!
Are you very sarcastic?
Do you still have your tonsils?
sure do!
Do you think you are physically strong?
not at all
Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Which you favorite ice cream flavor?
moose tracks!
What was the last drink you drank?
hot chocolate mixed with coffee
If you were a crayon what color would you be?
Which are your favorite smells?
just-baked chocolate chip cookies, brewing coffee, old books, and perfume and cologne
Do you like scary movies or comedy movies more?
I detest scary movies.  Therefore, comedy!
Do you prefer hugs or kisses?
How often have you driven over the speed limit?
Um, I go over almost every time I’m on the highway, but only by 3-5 mph
If you were stuck on a deserted island which one book, movie and person would you want to take along?
Waking Rose (book), Persuasion (movie) and I’m assuming I couldn’t bring the Pope?  then Fr. Searby
What is your most embarrassing moment?
tripping up the metal stairs in high school, while wearing a heavy backpack
What was your nickname in high school?
I didn’t have one, thank goodness!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Not Your Typical Weekend

Greetings to you all from ‘the hill’!!

Once again, I must apologize for my lack of posts over the weekend.  This time, however, I was on an extremely fruitful and beautiful retreat, entitled “Capture my Heart”.  It was put on by the women’s ministry group, and any women on campus were invited to go.  It was a great opportunity for me to be with my sisters in Christ, to get to know them better, and to grow in my understanding of myself as Christ’s daughter and beloved.  I can’t tell you exactly what happened, though… both because I haven’t had time to ‘process’ everything, and because I am sworn to secrecy ;)  But it was amazing.

So that ran from Friday through Sunday, and we returned on Sunday after what should have been a 1 ½ hour drive, but because of a detour turned into a 2 ½ hour drive…. I ran (literally) into my dorm, dumped my stuff off, quickly changed, and ran out the door again to drive into Pittsburgh.  My friend Christian joined me, and we picked up Stephanie (from this summer) in the city, and then we made our way to St. Scholastica’s parish for…. wait for it….. Josh’s Glee Club Concert!!!!  We were 2 songs late because of literally 7 wrong turns (oh, the joys of navigating a city in the dark) but we made it in time for his first solo!  And then we saw him during the intermission and he informed us that he had another solo!  (This is after he had informed me on Wednesday that “oh, no, I won’t be singing my solo because the other two guys won’t be there.  Nice cover-up, and surprise!)  The group was really talented, and we also heard a rendition of the song from the Lion King “In the Jungle” (or is it called “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”?  I don’t know… never seen the movie…) by the Undertones, the smaller a cappella group that Josh is a part of within the glee club.  And then afterwards, we were able to talk to him for about a half an hour.  Oh, and we took some pictures…

On our way home, I received a phone call from Evelyn.  It went something like this:

Me: Christian, can you answer that?
Christian: Hi Evelyn! (on speaker)
Evelyn: Oh, hey, um, is Allison there?
A: I’m right here
E: Oh hey. So, well, our room is kinda flooded.  Actually, our whole wing is flooded.
Allison, Christian, and Stephanie: WHAT?!?!?!?
E: Yeah, the sprinkler next door broke off and water was flowing for 45 minutes…. there are 3 inches on water on the floor.

Actually, my response was more like *sputter**gasp**whattheheckhappened**IS-MY-STUFF-OK??*

So I came back to campus and waded through about a half inch of water that was remaining.  Evelyn had already picked up a lot of the stuff on the ground, including my clothes that had been on retreat with me, my book bag, and the books on my bottom shelf of the bookshelf.  It was shocking to come back, but everyone was helping everyone else and even though we were displaced for the night, Stephanie was gracious enough to invite me to stay with her.

and THEN I spent until *ahem*3*ahem* that morning studying for a Psych test I had the next morning and starting a Youth Ministry paper due at 4 that day.  I got everything done (thanks to skipping two classes) and got to Mass as well.  It was one of those days when you feel like you’re living in a dream, and there’s not really anything we could do about it.

Even though we were all walking around in shock yesterday, we were all grateful that everyone was ok, and that nothing was destroyed that can’t be replaced.  A couple people lost computers, a clarinet was soaking wet, and lots of books damaged, but in the grand scheme of things, I’ll take that over personal injury or fatalities any day!

So all in all, it was a very eventful weekend.  Tomorrow, I should be getting back to my “normal broadcasting schedule” ;)

How was your weekend?


Today, sometime between 12 and 4:45 pm, I HIT 10,000 VIEWS!!!!!!  THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!
I am still in a bit of shock; I never expected to have blog that grew that much.  Honestly, when I began this, I thought only my family would be reading it, like once a week.  Haha.  I'm very grateful that I was wrong!

So, in honor of this momentous occasion, I have filled out quite an extensive question-and-answer thingy.  I'll post it in parts :)

Part 1

What song always makes you happy when you hear it?
~Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepson.  It reminds me of Crossroads and laughter. :)
What favorite food puts you in a great mood?
Homemade macaroni and cheese
What was the best vacation you ever had?
Hm.  Either the last time my entire family went on vacation together, or Massanutten with Hannah and Robyn
Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
my friend Patrick, who I know from high school but is also here at Franciscan
How big is your bed?
I live in a dorm... twin ;)
What music are you listening to right now?
Stand by Britt Nicole
What was the last thing you ate?
trail mix- almonds, cashews, dried blueberries, and dried cherries
Who was the last person you hugged?
my roomie for next semester, Grace
How is the weather right now?
quite nice!!
Did you get enough sleep last night?
haha.  good joke ;)
What's the first thing you thought about this morning?
“More sleep would be nice…” and then “I don’t want to go to science class!”
What's the last thing you thought about before you went to sleep last night?
“I am so grateful to be back in my room”
What do you have handy at your bedside?
a hanging homemade caddy that holds 2 rosaries, glasses, a glasses case, my homeopathic remedy, and a pen, and on the other side, my phone sits on a box thing that happens to be on the wall on the other side
Grilled or Fried?
grilled all the way
What makes you unique?
lots of things!  my personality, my willingness to serve, and my hair.

I will be posting an update from my weekend later on in the evening


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Overdone and overprayed

It has been dawning on me lately how insanely over-spiritualized people on this campus are.  And I'm not thinking of one or two people in particular, it's just something that the entire campus struggles with.  I don't exclude myself from this, either.  I think some of it comes from the fact that we have Masses and confessions and friars and sisters, so there's just so much holiness around here.  THIS is a good thing.  but the over-spiritualization is NOT.

I've seen relationships broken because of "God's will".  Denials from mission trips and household because of "God's will".  Fashion and beauty choices made because of "God's will".  (I kid you not on this last one... unfortunately).  I think it's all extremely sad.

Can't we own up to our own decisions and not "blame" God?

Do I think we need to pray about a decision before we make it?
Should God be involved in our decision-making?
heck yes.
Can and should someone else tell me what God's definitive will for my life is? **
not really.

As I posted here, I had a huge disappointment a couple weeks ago.  It blindsided me; I didn't see it coming in the least.  And honestly, I think the reason that I was so surprised was because I had been at peace with my decision for a year.  Yes, you read that right: a year.  And yet in 2 days, 2 people decided that they knew "God's will" for my life better than I did.  Is it possible?  I guess.  Probable? Not really.

(sidenote: It's entirely possible that these people will read this; if so, please know that I am not mad at you, just at the situation.  It's frustrating, and if you haven't been there yourself, I'm sure its hard to understand.)

Thankfully, a couple people have helped me realize this over the past 2 weeks.  As I stated in my post referenced 2 paragraphs up, I am still not 100% ok with the decision.  I'm still working through it.  But it still really bothers me that the "God's will" excuse was used.  (it bothers a priest who is fairly close to the situation that the "God's will" excuse was used, too...)

I see the importance of prayer, I really do.  But we also have to act.  "Faith without works is dead", the Bible says.  OK, so maybe we should be think and pray, weigh the pros and cons, and then act.  It. Takes. Both.

I'd like to issue a challenge, especially to my fellow FUS-goers: If you make a decision about something, take ownership of it.  If prayer legitimately played a role in that decision, ok.  I've got no problems with that.  But don't put it all on God.

We at Franciscan are over-praying our lives.
And it needs to stop before we over-pray ourselves into oblivion.

**I'd like to make sure you understand me- spiritual directors do give this kind of, well, direction, but they still do not say "This is exactly what God wants you to do".  There's definitely a difference.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Dream List #4

That time of the week again!

~visit St. Peter's Basilica
~visit the Louvre
~visit Germany
~go hiking in a rainforest

Things I've completed:
~Watch a sunrise
~Watch a sunset
~learn to drive an RV

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Delinquency at its Finest

Ah, yes, I am the delinquent poster.  Monday was supposed to be dream list day, I didn't post on Friday, and yesterday I missed quote day.  My only excuse is really pathetic... I was busy??  Well, I was.  Unfortunately, when something has to be put off, it's blogging.  Even though I don't want it to be.  Oh well!  C'est la vie!

This weekend was Homecoming weekend... my parents were here Friday through this afternoon; we had some meals together, took the usual Walmart run, and talked about Austria for about 4 hours (and we figured some things out!  Hooray!).  It was good to see them :)  This coming week, my brother and sister-in-law will be coming up for a couple days.

You know, it just dawned on me that you may not know about "Austria" (hopefully you know it exists... you just may not know how it relates to me). This coming January, I will be studying abroad in Austria for a semester!  I'm super duper uber excited.  A couple good friends are going, and I'm really looking forward to getting to know this group of ~150 fellow students better!  We'll be taking school trips to Rome and Assisi, Poland, and Vienna, and I'm hoping to also go to France, Belgium, Switzerland, maybe Ireland, and who knows where else!  It'll be a crazy adventure and I'm sure I'll have a ton of hilarious stories to tell you guys.  But that's not for another 3 months.  On the other hand, it's only 3 months away!!!!

Well, it's midterm time and I have to work ahead on some assignments, so I bid you adieu for now.  Go drink some chai or hot chocolate!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Listen, He speaks

"Do not be vain, my soul.  Do not deafen your heart's ear with the tumult of your vanity.  Even you have to listen.  The Word Himself cried to you to return.  There is the place of undisturbed quietness where love is not deserted if it does not itself depart"
~St. Augustine, Confessions p. 62

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A New Direction?

"Dream a little dream for yourself and write it down.  Then figure out how to make it happen.  There is great joy in the journey.  There is happiness in the trying.  It's the difference between beige and technicolor.  Live your life in color.  It's so much better that way."
~Rebecca French at Shoved to Them

This comes with funny timing, because I just had a text-conversation with my sister the other day about a project.  A project we were joking about starting, working on, and producing together.  But after I put my phone down, I realized, "Hey now.  I actually really want to do this!"  It's combining a couple of my passions- media and spreading the faith and people- in a different direction than I was originally thinking.  Does this mean that I've ditched my dream of serving as a youth minister and doing graphic design for the Church?  Absolutely not.  This would be more of a "fun" project; a passion that I did in my "free time" (that's in quotes because youth ministers don't have a heck of a lot of time!)

The end of our conversation went like this:
C: Hmmmm.  Well perhaps something to think abt for after college?? [ ... ]
Me: "Right now!  I'll do it right now!!! :P  Kidding, I have no time to [ do... ] right now.
C: I'm behind you 110%!! [ ... ]
Me: Oh goody! [ ... ] This is my project for the next 3 years...*ahem* we'll see ;)
C: If you put one more thing on your plate you might just end up in a straight jacket!!!

Well, yes, that's true.  I am incredibly busy right now and have absolutely no time to start a project of the magnitude that this project would be.  At the same time, I can spend some time now figuring out how to make it happen.

I think that's what Rebecca is getting at: find out what you want to do.  Something you really, really want to do.  And work to do it.  Even if it seems crazy and nuts.  Because if you don't try, it'll definitely never happen.

And now you're all burning with curiosity as to what this project is.  Sorry, I'm not telling ;)  Just in case it never happens.  But believe me, if it does happen, ya'll will be the first to know!

So pray for me, as I figure out where God is calling me to best serve Him and His Church!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Missin' You

Today was one of those days that I realized how much I missed my Crossroads team.

I guess it started yesterday.  In a matter of 24 hours, I received a letter from one, had lunch with a second, skyped a third, had a text conversation with a fourth, and facebook-messaged a fifth.

I miss seeing Stephanie's beautiful acts of service.
Kirstin's joy and laughter.
The way Grace made us all smile.
Mario's deep insights.
John's quiet leadership.
Josh's strong example.
Peter's philosophical musings.

Yes, I can honestly say that I think of these people (and all the others who walked with us) like family.  I learned so much from each and every one of them.  I learned faith, respect, and genuine love.  I learned how to set boundaries, how to respect others' boundaries, and how to open up my preconceived notions of "the perfect boundary".  They helped me change some of my views, while other views were made stronger. (**) I learned how to share a space the size of a postage stamp with 12 people at the same time.  This group helped me through some extremely difficult moments, and they were all there rejoicing with me at other times.  They let me into their lives, and I have gladly let them into mine as well.

Not all groups of people would gel as well as we did.  Not all past Crossroads teams had the amazing experience that we did.  I'm guessing that if many other groups were faced with our "hell week", they might have packed up and gone home right then.  But because we supported each other, suffered with each other, and lifted each other up in prayer, we made it through that week, and we all grew and became stronger because of it.
You guys have become my second family.  I thank God every day that He brought you into my life.  I'm sorry that I don't get to talk to some of you as often as I'd like, but that doesn't mean that I've forgotten about you.  This summer was by far the best summer I've ever had, and I hope many more Northern Crossroads teams after us have the wonderful times and crazy adventures that we did.

I love you, Grace, Kirstin, Stephanie, Amanda, Claire, John, Peter, Zechariah, Father Dave, Mario, Josh, Dan, and Alex.  Thank you all for being... you.

*and yes, even though they weren't with us the entire time, I miss Zechariah, Amanda, Daniel, Alexander, Father Dave, and Claire as well... I didn't forget you!!
**I first wrote "solidified", but that gave me an awkward feeling.... WHY JOSH WHY?!?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Love the way He works

Lately, as I've mentioned once or twice already, God has been throwing some awesome articles, websites, and videos at me.  Gotta admit, lots of them are not even Catholic.  I've been growing in my faith from those who don't share my faith!  And no, this doesn't mean that I'm "converting" or anything; I've just found lately that, for where I am in my journey right now, I've been best able to grow by reading some of these Christian sites.  (sidenote: I'm still goin' to Mass, adoration, and prayer time, so no worries on that end ;) )  I have been digesting them, learning from them, praying with them, and just generally enjoying them, so I thought that I would share some of these things with you!  I hope you enjoy them, as well.**

Sweet Unrest - I've linked to RenĂ©e's blog before, but I have to link to it again, because it's just so amazing.  I love all her insights and she has a beautiful way with words.
Good Women Project - This website is dedicated to open honesty to women.  They talk about those things that most people are afraid to post about.  I appreciate the raw emotion that the authors convey in every post.  While I don't agree with every single one of their views (like their position on contraception, for one), 95% of it is inspiring and worth reading.
Mad to Love - Cory Copeland is another very honest blogger.  He writes about his divorce, his search for truth, and his desire to be a good man and father.
Jarrid Wilson - website of a "pastor, blogger, and author"; Jarrid likes to call people out and challenge his readers to more.
People of the Second Chance - This is all about people who have messed up, picked themselves up, and are moving on.  aka, all of us!

The Life I Discovered Inside 13 Days Without Social Media - good reminder for me, and this inspired me to do something similar... more on that later!
Why I can't do it myself
i don't wait anymore - This one made me totally rethink some of my views!  Which is good every once in a while ;)

(**listed in no particular order)
So that's been some of my reading material lately!  Check 'em out, read it all, and I hope you learn something while you're there!