November Love

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! Each story that I read about the life of a saint, I am so truly inspired and humbled… I can’t wait to meet them and talk to them one day! Such incredible examples of faith… and all people just like you and me.

I’ve been really caught up in the pro-life effort lately… I’m not sure if it’s so reiterated right now because elections are tomorrow, or if I just never paid that much attention before. But it seems like the more I read, the more convinced and convicted I am to defend life, marriage, and family. It all goes together, afterall. I really like this article: Why Abortion is the Single Most Important Issue. It mentions in there that we, as a nation, are losing our conscience. I think that’s what hits me so deeply about the pro-life movement. It all comes down to the real issue– we are losing our morality. Steadily, scientifically, we are becoming desensitized and brainwashed into thinking that ME ME ME matters more than anything – or anyone – else. So sad.

I’m also in the middle of reading an essay by Malcolm Gladwell about the creator of The Pill. You can read it on his website. I’m convinced that this scientific development has done much more irreversible harm to us – physically, socially, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – than anything else. I wish it had never been invented. Consider it a huge surprise to find out that the creator was Catholic! It would be so interesting to know what he thinks about it now…

Yesterday was the First Year Confirmation retreat for my parish (mostly freshmen). About a month ago, the youth director invited me to lunch and she needed some help with planning and preparing. As it turns out, I was lucky enough to help facilitate it, too! We planned all sorts of great stuff and made up some awesome games. The day was short and crazy, but I loved it. It really brought me back to this summer, and made me realize how much I grew in my abilities in relational ministry. For the first time, instead of being nervous about new faces and kids I didn’t know, I was SO excited to be with them and spend time with them. Praise God! I had no idea I had grown so much. I even found myself thinking at one point, “I should totally be getting paid to do this. I would be an awesome youth minister.” (As I walked around barefoot in the middle of an activity, haha!) If God wants me there, I know He’ll get me there. But I have to take a minute to recognize what an absolute blessing it was to be able to be there yesterday. I can see so many of those kids are starting on their journey to Confirmation with so much struggling… and some with such joy! I only wish I could be there with them for the ride! I’ll be praying for them, that’s for sure!

Today, I spent the afternoon scrubbing the floors in my house. Well, my parents’ house. My dad doesn’t think I’m “worth my rent” (he’s teasing… right?), and my mom has been so crazy busy with the Halloween carnival at school, I figured it was the least I could do. Now the downstairs smells like oranges and cleaner… it’s a fresh start to the holiday season, I suppose! I can’t wait to start some baking… that’ll be sure to get them dirty again!! Now if I can just get my stuff all packed and moved, I’d be totally all set and cleaned up. Maybe by the end of the week. I’ll keep you posted!

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