Saturday, May 25, 2013

Seven Quick Takes

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I didn’t grow up on a farm or even anywhere near one. And honestly when I was younger I probably wouldn’t have noticed anyway. But over the last few years I have taken notice at how fast the summer corn grows. For some reason it is just amazing to me. I pass many fields of it every day as I drive to work and it just seems incredible to me. I have wanted to photo document it for a while now, but never have done it, so this year I decided I would do it. Once a week I am going to stop at the same field and take a picture or two of the field. I started this week and hope to include them in each week’s quick takes. If I decide not to do quick takes some week, I will just post them as a single blog post. I hope you are as amazed as I am by how quickly the corn grows.
Monday full field
Monday close up to growth

Friday full field and close up of growth.
 (I can't get the stupid picture tool bar to work right so sorry I can't get the pictures bigger...ugghh)
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Last weekend I was away from home at a retreat for my Formation for Ministry class. It was a very peaceful and rewarding time spent in prayer and reflection. I have grown so much more in my faith over the last few years. Our retreat leader was the priest that brought me into the Catholic Church twelve years ago. For me, that just brings my conversion full circle as I look forward to our commissioning on June 30th.
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It is the time of year that we begin preparing for the summer mission trip. We take a group of teenagers to Boston to help those in need. The week is spent in service to others but also in praise and worship. The organization we do this through is called Catholic Heart Workcamp. I will be sending out letters early next week for donation requests to help us pay for traveling expenses. Please say a prayer for a safe and blessed week for all the attendees. You can learn more here.

These three songs, on repeat, are what I have been listening to this week. When I say repeat I mean over and over again, I just can’t hear them enough. Hope you love them as much as I do.
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Matt Maher – “Sing Over Your Children”
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Sidewalk Prophets – “Live Like That”
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Building 429 – “Where I Belong”
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Hope everyone enjoys the long weekend. As you are enjoying time with family and friends, please remember why you are able to do so. Remember all the soldiers who have died gaining that freedom for you.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New Job

I started a new(ish) job last week.  I say ‘ish’ because five years ago, I did this job. I am the office manager of a physician’s office. When I left five years ago I left on good terms to take a job that was a new adventure (and it sure has been). It turned into something that I not only enjoyed doing but was very successful at.  I have never regretted leaving the office and have gained a wealth of knowledge and management skills as the five years have gone by.

Recently, I was asked to go back and be the office manager again. There are some specific problems currently in that office that I happen to be the person who is most qualified to help them through.  Unfortunately, over the last few years, this office hasn’t had the best reputation. Without getting into too much detail, there are personalities in that office that at times can be quick tempered, argumentative, and full of drama. And on top of that, the last few months have been a roller coaster ride for this office.  They have had staff members leave, hired new ones, lost managers and been through several new administrators. Due to the turnover of staff there has been a backlog of work. The existing staff has dealt with the heavy burden of keeping the office running as smoothly as possible along with training new staff.  I believe they all have been at their breaking point at some time or another over the last few months.

So when I was first approached about the prospect of going back to this office I wasn’t all that thrilled.  I was promised that once the major issues are fixed and everything was flowing more smoothly that I would have the option to make another job change. To decide what it will be that I want to do next.  So after a few conversations with some people I have a lot a respect for and doing some thinking and praying about it, I conceded that it was the right thing to do, for this office, for our organization, and for myself. 

My first day went extremely well.  And likewise, the rest of the week went extremely well.  I couldn’t have asked for a better week. I was a little surprised, because I expected the week to be full of questions and uneasiness. But instead it all went quite well. 

Looking back through some old posts that I had never finished or posted, I found this one that I had started before the prospect of this new job was even an idea on anyone’s mind:

Lately I have had rampant thoughts running around my head…among them self-doubt. Why?…That is what I keep asking myself…really, why am I letting these feelings creep in?  I really think it has to do with my job. The changes that have happened lately have left me feeling like I don’t really know where I belong or what I should be doing.

A while ago I was feeling like I was doing alright, enjoying my job.  Then things changed, I have grown so much in my faith over the last several months, which has been great, awesome, (insert all other great/awesome words here) but work changed too, for the worse.  I just didn’t care to be there anymore, and if I could figure out a way to pay the bills and hang out at Church all day I would have done it.  The only place I wanted to be all the time was Church. I needed to surround myself with people that were full of God’s joy and love.  I was just so exhausted by the constant drama at my job. Anyway, I had to take a step back and realize that I can’t just be there all the time.  I have a life to live, I have a job to do living out my vocation as a wife and mother, I have a job that I have committed to do for my employer, and I have go out and spread the gospel of the Lord.  Do I still crave being in the presence of Christ? Absolutely.  Do I want to surround myself with people that are full of joy and love? Absolutely. So I go to daily mass when I can (thank goodness the town I work in has noon mass three days a week), I try to keep the relationships active with the people who are joy and love to me, and I realize that the other parts of my day may not be what I want them to be, but they are still parts of MY day.  They are the crosses that I am being asked to carry right now, and we never know what God has in store for our future.

When I was presented with this new opportunity, I really thought I was getting into something worse.  Looking back at my thoughts just over a month ago, I’m not sure I could have been in a worse place. But yet again, God has led me to where I need to be, to where I know I should be.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Five Favorites

This is my first Five Favorites, but I have been thinking about it for a while and thought I would throw my five in the mix this week.  Normally, it's hosted at Moxie Wife, but this week Grace at Camp Patton is linking it up.  So here are mine.

First some yumminess...

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My current favorite Pinot noir:
$7.00 a glass at a local restaurant
$6.00 a bottle at the local liquor store
Mmmmm so good...

~ 2 ~
Tastefully simple spinach and herb dip mix – mix it using the directions on the bottle - so yummy!

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Snack factory pretzel crisps Everything flavor – these are a great crunchy snack – but dip them in the spinach herb dip above and you will have to stop yourself from eating the whole bag.

Then some seriousness

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Our Diocese was privileged to have the opportunity to enjoy a presentation at this year’s Youth Rally by speaker and author Chris Stefanick of  He is said to be one of the most engaging young defenders of the Christian faith today.  And he did not let us down.  He was dynamic and interesting and kept the attention of 300 plus teenagers. Chris has written a little booklet called Absolute Relativism: The New Dictatorship and What to do about it. In it he uses some of the things then Pope Benedict XVI said in his 2010 Christmas address to the College of Cardinals, the Roman Curia, and the Governorate of Vatican City State regarding the disordered moral state of society today.  Chris goes on to explain what relativism is, the challenges we face because of it, and what to do about it.  Absolute Relativism is an excellent resource for those seeking to understand the spirit or our times, it is easy to read, short, and inexpensive. You can get a copy here. (or two or three to share)

~ 5 ~
I’m sure some of you have come across this blog by apologist Matt Fradd.  He recently posted a couple of sessions recorded with a Baptist pastor that was once in Catholic seminary.  These recorded sessions are firstly filled with so much respect on both sides it is refreshing.  These two gentlemen have been able to have informative, respectful conversations about each of their beliefs.  They have set an excellent example for the world today on how to disagree without being argumentative.  You can listen to the first session here, and the second session here.  It’s well worth your time if you have any interest in apologetics.