20 Days!!!

I can't wait!! My group leaves for Malta and Madrid in less than 20 days and I can barely contain my excitement. I've got my packing list going. My bag is ready and waiting for the things that need to be packed. My shopping list is getting shorter. The days are going by fast.

Something is waiting for me there... I know it. I can feel it as the days go on. It's going to be beautiful!

Please pray for me.


Do Not Despise It...

This past Sunday was absolutely beautiful! For anyone who has ever experienced complete happiness, you know exactly how I was feeling.

We started the day off with Morning prayer beginning at around 830am in the church basement. Afterward, we headed towards the Department of Youth Affairs in Mangilao. For those who are not familiar with this place, it is a correctional facility for youth who have ventured in to the wrong side of the law. For those of us who grew up here, it was always a threat that was voiced towards us when we were younger. Many times, our parents would tell us, 'If you do not straighten your act, we will send you to DYA.' For the youth that we saw on Sunday, DYA is their reality.

Going in to DYA, I had mixed emotions. At first, I thought, these kids won't care what we have to say. They won't respect the experiences that we share with them. God is the last thing that these kids want to hear about. But, the longer we stayed, the more I saw that they did respect what we were saying. They were thirsting, just as we were, for something more than what any earthly affection can give us. They needed to hear that there was someone out there who loved them unconditionally. That there was someone who sent us to them on a beautiful Sunday that we could have been spending doing anything other than visiting a group of strangers.

As we were leaving the facility, I could see on the faces of some of those youth, a glimmer of hope. You see, just to hear that God loves them just as much as he loves us... to hear that the only difference between them and the youth that were leaving was that they were caught and we weren't... it helped us to see each other on the same level. I am no better than any of those kids... In many cases, I am worse. For, I know the love of God... I have seen it alive in my life. Yet, I still fight it, I still despise it.

A few hours after we left DYA, we had a meeting with Giuseppe and Claudia, the head catechists for the USA, at the seminary. I sat there, thirsting for a word, much like the youth we had seen earlier. A word is what I received!

The one thing that is burned within my heart was said by Claudia. Before they did a vocational call for women, Claudia said, "If the Lord is calling you, do not despise it!" After this, we were called to do silent prayer, praying for the Lord's will in our lives. My hands were sweating, my ears were burning, my heart felt as though it was going to pound out of my chest. Then, they did the call... For those who wish to partake in the mission in China. Even after all those sensations, I found myself still sitting in my chair. I was not on my feet with those other women.

Here's my question. Is God calling me and am I, in turn, despising that call? Am I so absorbed in my desires for the world that I can not recognize if God is knocking at the door to my heart? Am I so wrapped in the desires for success, a husband, a family, that I can not recognize a calling to something far greater? My answer? I truly don't know. I pray that if God is truly calling me, that I do not despise this call... That I find myself running towards the greatest spouse a woman can desire.

Please pray for me.


Two Things

For two different people...

I had a chimichanga today and now, no thanks to you, I will forever associate chimichangas with tamales and construction workers. Oh! And World Youth Day. I believe you ruined an otherwise pleasurable experience!

(edit - The second part of this post has been deleted for personal reasons. Sometimes, things are posted out of anger and pain. Then we move on... I've moved on)

Life has its way of throwing me a curve ball in the morning. I just have to do my best to swing and get that ball as far away from me as possible.



I Will Prepare A Place...

Many times, as a Christian, we hear this phrase. "I will go and prepare a place for you." Many times, when we hear this, our minds turn immediately to death. Today, this phrase is what I keep hearing in my heart. "I will go forth to prepare a way for you."

With the trip to Spain coming up, very quickly, my mind turns more and more to my vocation. To anyone whose been listening to me in the past few months, you know that my vocation has been weighing heavily on my heart since March. In March, I was asked about my vocation... What it is, what I felt about it, what I'm going to do about my future. At that time, it freaked the heck out of me. I didn't know how to answer this person. Was I thinking seriously about life in the monastery? Was I open to marriage and children? Was I considering a life as a single woman, not necessarily a nun but living a life totally devoted to announcing the love of Christ?

Today, I'm still not sure. But, the closer we come to August, the more I think about everything.The reading at church these past few weeks have been helping me a lot. From the readings on June 26, He tells me, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever." He calls me to partake in a life with him... to be one with him and all Christianity. He tells me that he has something for me that not everyone can partake in because it is just for me. The week after he says "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." Life has given me my share of struggles and in the past few months, I realize that it doesn't have to be so hard. If I let him help me shoulder the cross, it will be as light as a feather. The problem is, I don't know how to let it go. I'm learning, however slowly. This week, he says "many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it." Reminding me, yet again, that I am blessed.

You see, the Lord goes before me, to Madrid, to prepare a place. He is helping me by fertilizing the dry and barren soil in my heart. For anyone who has planted anything, you know that soil hardens over time. Without water, without anyone passing to till the soil, it is as hard as rock. Last year, the soil of my heart was hardened and dried out... it still is. But, with the help of these past few weeks, I feel the soil starting to loosen. It feels incredible. Through the hardships that we've faced in getting to this point on our journey, I have felt the presence of a God that loves me unconditionally.

In Madrid is a beautiful experience that is being prepared. I only pray that the seed falls on the most fertile soil in me and that it is fertilized and watered regularly in order to grow in to the spectacular beauty that only God can create. There is a vocation out there for me. God has prepared it just as He's prepared one for each and every one of us. Just as He is faithful in providing for us daily, He has provided a place for us on earth that is meant only for us and no one else. And, just as He is faithful to us today, He will forever be faithful.

The best that I can ever put it was as I put it to a sister today. God will never turn His back on us. No matter how many times we turn our backs on Him, He never turns on us. We may feel that He does. But, my life is a true testimony to the providence and love of God. Take it from the daughter of a recovering alcoholic. The former lover of a mentally abusive man. Take it from someone who has turned her back on the only man who will ever love her unconditionally and turned back to see Him waiting, faithfully.