November 24, 2010
This summer, we taught the kids about King David. We told them about how David praised God for everything! We use his psalms in our prayers every day, he was the most prolific praise-writer ever! And, to make it camp and fun, we pulled in a skit and challenged the kids to act like David– throw their hands up in the air and yell, “PRAISE GOD!” whenever they were thankful for something. After the first week, it was something the staff started doing without thinking. We just praised God for every breeze in the hot Texas sun, every moment of affirmation from our kids, every night that we went to bed exhausted, every meal, every shower, everything! It became more of an exhalation than a thought. It was our attitude and our way of life.
Thanksgiving is an awesome opportunity to think about gratitude. Am I only thankful on this day for all my many blessings? Or am I thankful EVERY day? Am I thankful with every breath of every moment of every day? Is it my attitude, or a special occasion?
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November 21, 2010
I just got back from Mass. I have Christ within me! It’s the feast of Christ the KING! I want to jump and dance and sing for joy!!!
Here is our King! Here is our Love!
Here is the God who’s come to bring us back to Him!
He is the One, He is Jesus!
We had a party this morning, at church. A celebration, in fact. I think most people didn’t know about it, because they showed up and decided not to have a good time. It’s funny, because it’s a party EVERY WEEK, yet I look around and see bored faces. Yawns. With the opening announcements, we have to ASK people not to TEXT DURING MASS. People are totally disengaged, there for an obligation, and not willing to participate. Then they wonder why they aren’t getting anything out of it.
I am paralyzed by the congregation. My joy is suppressed by their lack of enthusiasm. I find myself singing more quietly, praying less exuberantly, and trying to be as unnoticed as possible.
I desperately miss having Mass at camp, where we sang and smiled and PRAISED with hearts on fire. I miss hearing our songs of worship reverberate off the rafters of the chapel. I miss seeing the pavilion full of joyful counselors trying to erase the unenthusiastic stereotype of Mass from their campers’ minds.
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November 14, 2010
Oh happiness!! There is grace enough for us and the whole human race!
So I have been thinking and praying about what I will do for the next steps in my life, and while many things are changing and coming into focus, I can’t help but feel like God is putting The Pines on my heart to return for another summer.
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November 13, 2010
That phrase sort of drives me crazy because I feel like it describes SO MANY of my friendships. It’s sort of sad. But the reality is that I am so blessed to have friends in my life that are constantly present to me. And then, I have friends who I know and trust that we are present to each other in our thoughts and prayers, so the time we spend away seems like nothing when we are together again.
Last night, I got to have dinner with a couple friends that I have been my closest hometown girlfriends since high school. It’s baffling to look back and realize where our friendships began… and to see them now. Netty and Dee Dee are friends that I grew up with. They were with me through so much of the beginning of my faith journey, and we were part of the “church family” that came with being involved in CYO. I have so many great memories of high school with them!
November 4, 2010
You guys can choose to choose to jump in and start anticipating with me… or you can wait until the last minute. But I want every day, every minute I can get to soak it up and be excited!
I baked this yesterday to start getting revved up for holiday baking. It was delicious, and is even better chilled!
Here’s the link for the recipe, if you want it: Spiral Apple Tart via Family Fun.
I also tried to convince my parents to buy a new Christmas tree for the living room yesterday. Since my dad bought a new TV, he had to rebuild the entertainment center to fit it. Which means it takes up at least two more feet on that side of the room. Which obviously encroaches on the area where the Christmas tree has gone every year since I can remember. Well, it’s not going to fit this year. Other members of my family seem to think we can “squeeze it in there” but I know it won’t happen. SO. After realizing that we had a CRISIS on our hands, I decided to do what I do best: creative problem solving.
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November 1, 2010
I love November!! I don’t really know why… well, sure I do! It’s FALL, and growing up in Southeast Texas, it doesn’t get cool here until November. It’s the month of Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping and decorating. Leaves are changing colors and it’s time for scarves and sweaters! (Like I said, Texas is a little behind on the action. I like it.) I’m not a big fan of Halloween, but I love hayrides and wrapping up in blankets, drinking hot cocoa and cider, special drinks at Starbucks, and did I mention…. getting ready for CHRISTMAS?! My favorite!! SO, I am a very happy girl now that Halloween is past and November is here!
Today is All Saints Day, and it’s the first year I feel like I have a really good grasp of the meaning of it. I’ve known what it was since… well, kindergarten, I’m sure! I was a Catholic school kid, afterall. We had projects that were tradition! In the 3rd grade, I made a paper towel tube version of a saint (I don’t remember who… but I think she wore blue, so it might’ve been Mary). In the 5th grade, I made a poster with an awesome sword on it and wrote a report on St. Agnes. And in the 7th grade — the greatest of all saint projects in school that EVERY kid looked forward to — I wrote a long report, prepared an oral presentation, and dressed up as St. Helen of the Cross! Seventh graders get to process down the aisle at the all-school Mass on the morning of All Saints Day to the litany of the saints, and then visit classrooms throughout the school, impersonating and telling your saint’s story! I’m telling you… it was the greatest. I even had my own cross to carry around all day. LEGIT.
But anyway, this All Saints Day makes me so thankful for all the REAL LIFE people out there that have made the choice every single day to be God’s! I just recently learned about Blessed Chiara “Luce” Badano via this news post. What an inspiration!
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