Friday, December 30, 2011

Seven Quick Takes - Volume One

So, after reading Jennifer Fulwiler's Conversion Diary for probably close to a year, I have decided to finally start participating in her 7 Quick Takes Fridays.  Basically, it's a link-up from her blog, where you post seven "quick things" about what's been going on in your life.  So here goes, my very first, seven quick takes.... "All About Blogging"

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 158)

1.) Quick Takes Theme - All About BloggingI am not sure why I decided my quick takes needed a theme.  Some people use themes.  Some don't.  I seem to enjoy both, but I always like the ones where people come up with seven different things/thoughts on the same topic, such as Seven Examples of Christmas Symbolism or Seven Observations About Wearing Skirts . I also thought the thematic approach might make my first attempt a bit easier.

2.) Expecting Failure
As many times as I've said "I want to start really blogging," or want to "keep my blog to gain a following," or whatever, I never seem to actually do it.  I'm not sure I actually expect success.  Not even sure I'll be back again next week for a Seven Quick Takes - Volume Two.

3.) Ulterior Motives
Aside from the fact that I probably didn't spell ulterior correctly, I still must admit to some ulterior motives in posting this.  It seemed like an easy way to increase my blog readership.

4.) Ulterior But Not Entirely Off-Mark
That said, I'm only admitting to some ulterior motives. I do really enjoy the 7 Quick Takes! I spend probably far more of my time blog-hopping off of them, than I should.  I like that it helps introduce me to new blogs, that I otherwise might not find. 

5.) Femininity, Domesticity, Creativity and Blogging
These things all seem to tie together for me.  I enjoy blogging. I enjoy reading blogs. I enjoy reading blogs about feminity, domesticity, and creativity.  I am trying to embrace my feminity, become more domestic, and become more creative and crafty!  The last one is my main focus on the moment.  I think I'm already somewhat creative, but now I'm trying to hone the skills which will let me use that creativity. Hopefully these blogs will help me out, and you'll see a 7 Quick Takes of Creative Projects sometime in the future!

6.) The Only Thing I Learned in Science Was Osmosis
Sometime after begging for a Fisher Price microscope set as a kid, I stopped enjoying science.  I still like nature, and the outdoors, and appreciating science, but overall it's not my forte.  The one thing I've taken from science? Osmosis, defined as the movement of solvent molecules through a permeable membrane.  I try to recreate osmosis in my life on a regular basis.  For example, I try to become healthy by reading Self magazine, or become more inclined to cook by watching too much Food Network. Now I am trying to become more creative and domestic by reading blogs.  Obviously, this isn't quite working.  But the fact that I included "obviously" in this sentence means I'm better with science than I thought!

7.) Happy New Year I am out of blogging related updates.  So, Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thoughts on the "New" Mass

Like many Catholics I was both excited and nervous to begin celebrating the "new" Mass at the start of Advent, with the introduction of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal.  The following is my thoughts on one particular part of the new Mass, I am hoping to turn this into a series, going part by part (in whatever order I fancy) through the Mass changes, and offering my thoughts on them.  Please keep in mind I am not a theologian.  I have had a limited theological education.  I do not represent the official position of the Catholic Church. I am simply a person on a spiritual journey, offering my thoughts, opinions and reflections.

Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof,
But only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.

Of all the changes to the language of the Mass, this is the one which keeps jumping out at me.  These words just seem so.... big!   Previously, all I had to admit was that I wasn't worthy to receive Christ.  Wasn't worthy to receive the Sacrament.  God still has the ability to heal with a simple word, but I have to admit so much more.  In saying we're not worthy that God should "enter under [our] roof," it sounds like we are saying we aren't worthy to have him in our lives.  Aren't worthy to have him come dwell among us, and enter into our beings.  The old words sounded like they applied only to the Eucharist, my unworthiness to receive the Body and the Blood, the Soul and Divinity, in it's most true form.  Now I'm not worthy to have the Spirit of God enter into me either?  Sheesh!

I'm aware that my shift in mindset is probably what they (the Pope, and Bishops and smart Mass translating people) were going for.  It has always been about something bigger.  It has always been not only about our unworthiness to receive Christ in Eucharistic form, but also our unworthiness that He came, died, and rose in the first place.  These words remind me more than ever of my unworthiness but also of God's grace!  All God had to do was say the word.  One word.  And all of us would be healed.  But God doesn't ask, "what is the least I can do for my people," he asks, "what is the most I can do for my people."  He didn't just say the word, He sent His Son.   And now my prayer is bigger, I don't want to be worthy 'only' to receieve the Eucharist, but also to receive God into my life everyday. To be made worthy of the Promises of Christ.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

An Advent Yes

Today is the feast of the Immaculate Conception, but today's Gospel tells us the story of the Annunciation.  It is one of my favorite Scripture stories.  In my opinion one of the most important Scripture stories.  I think we are called to live Annunciation lives.  We are called to be like Mary.  To say yes to God.  Mary came to have Christ physically formed in her, and we too are called to have "Christ formed in you," (Gal 4:19).

Advent is a season of Hope. A season for saying Yes.  Advent is saying Yes to carving out prayer time.  Advent is saying Yes to recognizing the true meaning of the Season, despite the commercial hustle and bustle.  Advent is saying Yes to the plans God has for our lives.  Saying Yes to sharing a Christmas gift with that new acquaintance.  Saying yes to spending a few extra minutes writing Christmas cards to the people who have gone above and beyond in your life.  Advent is saying Yes to the journey, and following the path to Christ at all costs.  Saying Yes to the message of Christmas and the message of Christ's life.  Advent is saying Yes to God's messengers, just as Mary said yes to the Angel Gabriel.   Advent is about our willingess to say, "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord, may it be done to me according to your word."(Lk. 1:38).

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Happy New Year

Way back in 2009, in my "first" blog if you please, I started what I hoped would become a tradition of spiritual New Year posts at the beginning of each Advent.  It seems I forgot all about it last year, but here I am in 2011, ready to start my New Year in the Church on a positive foot and with some spiritual resolutions if you will for the upcoming year.   Unfortunately, the goals I set back in 2009 were not met in the coming year, in fact, I believe that they still have yet to be completed, but you are still welcome to read that original post if you want to see what I was thinking about during my Advent in South Dakota.

My spiritual goals for this coming Liturgical Year are pretty simple.  And while I hadn't gotten around to making this Advent post quite yet, I have been making an effort to start achieving these goals.  So, my spiritual resolutions for 2012 are:
1.) Make time for prayer.
2.) Appreciate blessings.
3.) Make God my priority.
4.) Read the Bible.
5.) Share Christ with others. 

What are your hopes this Advent and this year?  What are you doing to help re-welcome the Saviour into our world, and into your heart?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Girl Who Loves the World, Or Inspired and Intimidated Part Two

Now, I'm sure that proper procedure for writing about someone in your blog is to ask them first.  But I have two posts planned for my "inspired and intimidated" series, and I'll admit, I've not asked the person I'm writing about now, and I probably won't ask the person I intend to write about later.  Both of these young women are active bloggers, and in neither case will I be sharing information they have not made readily available themselves to the world wide web. So why am I writing a post about this young woman today, without asking her first?  Because one of her admirable qualities is humility, and I'm afraid she won't want me to post! (With that said, these posts will not remain up against the will of the people they discuss, and can be removed at their request). 

So, here goes.... the first living person on this list.  The first person I actually know IRL. This is someone I met in college.  I was a sophomore, and she a freshman, when we lived on the same hall.  I moved for second semester, and was surprised to see she had too.  During college I came to admire this young lady for:   her kindness and generosity, the fact that she set big goals for herself, and her faith.  Perhaps the quality that stood out to me most in this person was her ability to overcome obstacles and to continue to shine even when things weren't going so great.

Since college this person has done even bigger things.  Her blog has a following I can't even imagine.  She has impacted the lives of children around the world through her charitable work, and most impressively, she has started this awesome website:

The entire purpose of this website is to help bring love to the world, in the form of a handwritten note.  She aims to write beauty on the hearts of the world, one piece of pretty stationary at a time.  Yes, the second spot on my "inspired and intimidated" list goes to:

Hannah, of

In just a few short years of blogging, this young lady has transformed her page from an ordinary wordpress site to the internet equivalent of a newspaper column, read by thousands.  She has found herself featured on various websites and in the Wall Street Journal.  While I have thought and dreamed of becoming a writer, she has been busy becoming one.  More impressive than her writing however, is the other life goal she has and lives daily: to impact others.  At the end of my life, I know I want to look back and say there are certain things I've accomplished, if I had to boil it down to three I'd probably say:  impacted the world of others, made the world a better placer for as many people as possible, and brought others to Christ.  The difference between Hannah and I though, as that while I've been looking to the future of my life as a time to wok on all  these goals, Hannah has already been hard at work accomplishing hers.

I'll admit it, Hannah, you inspire and intimidate me.

[Disclaimer:  The pictures used in this blog post belong to  If you like them, head over to the more love letters site and commit to writing a love letter to someone this month.]