Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Prayer Buddy

I love prayer buddies, and I really needed it this Lent.  I needed the discipline of praying for someone else, and it was an honor to pray for Holly at Falling Upward.  I was not familiar with Holly's blog before Lent, but it has been a pleasure praying for her and her family, and especially today praying for a smooth delivery!  What a great Easter blessing!!  Holly, I tried to remember your intentions throughout the day, but I especially was praying for you at Morning and Evening Prayer.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Things Today that Made Me Say, "Huh?"

I listened to someone today who adamantly declared that "God didn't help So and So quit smoking, she did it herself!  I know the Holy Spirit didn't pull the cigarettes out of her hand."  But not an hour later, the same person vehemently declare belief in Fate.  This time telling a story about a "coincidence" that was just too much to believe.

How much money do you think we've spent on birth control funding, abortion and so forth?  Not just here, but also abroad.  I don't know if Russia has spent proportionally a similar amount, but I did see a headline today that they are spending $53 billion to bring up the birthrate.

Girls that want to be whiny and girly (in the bad sense), but that are signed up for lacrosse.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Passion Sunday

Listening to the Gospel this weekend was interesting.  I felt that I could identify in some way with most of the people in it.  In a small way, I know a little of some of the suffering (I can't handle when He's alone in the garden); but I have also been the one that falls asleep in the garden when I have been needed.  I have been Simon offering a helping hand, and I have been the one that wants to help, but instead cuts off an ear. I have been Pilate, knowing what I should do, but ignoring it anyway.

I was thinking of each of these as we went through, but there were two that struck me the most.  One was Judas, and the other was Peter.  I have been Judas and Peter as well.  But with these two, there is a distinct difference, and I hope that while I may start off as Judas sometimes, I will always finish like Peter.  As the priest said in his homily, "You think you fail?  So did everyone in the Gospel.  You are not special."  I do fail, but look what happens after the failing.  Judas, in horror at his failing, despaired and hung himself.  Peter, horrified by his denial of Christ, wept in remorse, and was forgiven.

I have failed a whole lot in my observance of Lent.  Worse than that, I've really been struggling with following God at all, and not resenting Him (not because of Lent, before that).  Many Lents, I feel that I have some small offering, unworthy though it may be.  This Lent I have nothing to offer but my sin, my weakness, my failure.  But that is not the part that really makes a difference.  The part that matters is do I offer that to Him with my repentance, or do I despair and give up?

I choose to follow Peter.

One other thing that I really liked about the priest's homily is that he said, "We have to realize that our lives are not about us."  Ahh, yes.  So true, and if I can remember that, I think some of this resentment will fade.

And so my prayer is the prayer of the Stations that we used from St. Alphonsus Ligouri (the whopping one time that I actually went to Stations this whole Lent):

Grant that I may love You always.  Then do with me as You will.

Friday, April 15, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 123)

1) It's awfully late on Friday, but it is still Friday, so I thought I'd try to pound out some Quick Takes, since that seems to be the only kind of blogging I do anymore!  Not sure what that's about, but I guess I just don't have much to say right now.

2) I got to meet my friend's little guy this week, and when I say little, I mean little, and sweet and perfect.  I think holding a bundle of sweetness like that is downright therapeutic for whatever you might need therapy for!  I will hopefully get a chance to go hang out for even longer this week.  In fact, just try and keep me away!

3) I had my first workout with the trainer this week.  He doesn't really use machines, he just does more total body moves to work out everything.  Every. Single. Muscle. Today the only muscles that I can't feel are my fingers and my anterior tib (the muscle in the front of the lower leg).  Everything else complains when I try to move it.  It's actually pretty great and I can't wait for the next session!

4) I absolutely stink at Lent this year.  I feel like I'm coasting through on autopilot.  "Coasting" really isn't the way that I prefer to describe my Lenten journey, but it's pretty apt this year.  On the other hand, it's not over yet.  This is Holy Week, so there's still time to step it up before Easter.  I think confession  needs to be priority one for me this week, and a little more discipline.

5) My absolute biggest disappointment this Lent is not my fault, but I can't make it to Good Friday services.  I can't tell you how sad I am about that!  The liturgy on each day of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are such a big part of Easter to me.  How can I fully celebrate Easter joy without first soaking up the events of Good Friday?  I do get the Magnificat, so I will still get to read the readings, but it's not the same; the silence, the solemn music when music is used, the pauses, the prostrations, the veneration of the cross, the obvious lack of the sacrifice of the Mass... All of it is so familiar and so foreign.  It all says that this day is different.

6) I went to a climbing gym yesterday with some friends.  I pulled a muscle at my workout, so no climbing for me, but it was good to get a little exposure to it.  However, as I tilted my head back as far as my complaining muscle would let me, I wondered if I was flat out nuts.  This seems like something I should have started when I was younger and dumber.  Why do I want to climb that high, only to have to let go and be lowered down?

7)  Have a great weekend, and head over to Jen's for more Quick Takes!

Friday, April 8, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday (an a Little Giveaway)

1) I am so excited to get to meet a friend's new little guy hopefully in a few days.  I have to give big props my friend.  On pitocin, confined to lying on one side, and she did it all without an epidural!  She's amazing!!

2) I haven't known quite what to do this Lent.  I mean, I had some things picked out to do, but I have been tending to fudge on them at the slightest excuse.  I guess this Lent is an exercise in humility if nothing else.

3) I am excited by some new reading that I have to do for Lent; or really more for Holy Week.  One book is about the Jewish roots of the Last Supper (you knew a book that combined "Jewish roots" and "Last Supper" would inevitably come home with me if I saw it).  There is also a book and a booklet about Jesus' last words on the cross.

4)  Here's the giveaway part.  I've really wanted to read this little booklet by Fulton Sheen called "The Seven Last Words".  In fact, I've wanted to read it so much, that I just bought... and didn't realize that I already had it.  So of course I decided to share with you!  It's only 55 pages, and very small, so it shouldn't be too overwhelming.  If you've never read Fulton Sheen, let me tell you, this man doesn't need a lot of pages to make a lot of impact!  I'm sure it will be fantastic, but to be completely honest I still haven't read it, despite owning two copies.  If you want the booklet, just mention it in the comments.  I can only leave this open until Sunday so I can get the winner picked and get it sent before Holy Week starts.  Be sure you let me know where to email you, though (you can send me an email if you want).  If I can't see your email, I'll have to pick someone else, since I'm on a bit of a time crunch.

5) It's almost Holy Week... which means it's almost Easter... which means I get to see family and friends soon!!!  It's only 15 days, in case you were wondering (until my flight leaves, not until Easter).  My only two little disappointments are that my flight got moved, meaning that I will miss Good Friday services, and that I won't be able to go hiking that weekend. (Yes, I have a hiking problem.  I freely admit it.)

6) So all these hiking club classes I'm taking... they're starting to get on my nerves a little bit.  I love the info and stuff, but there's reading assignments and tests and stuff.  Blech.  I'm not sure if it's worth it, but I do really like the fact that I now have a vague idea of what to do with the compass that's been hanging out in my pack all this time.

7) I'm also really excited (and kind of scared) because I just found out that I can do a really cheap work out with out personal trainer at work.  They already are kind of on the cheap side where I work, and then I only have to pay half.  It took me a while to decide if I even liked the guy (his personality's a little different), but it turns out he is nice, even though he always sort of seems he's laughing at you.  And I can't fault his work outs.  He finds some great exercises to get all the muscles in the body going.  I want to see him because I would like to see what it's like to have some strength in my arms (and my core).  Also, if I want to do more high altitude hiking this summer, I need to get into gear on training. My self-motivation has been lacking.  I am a little scared to face how weak I am, but it'll be worth it.

I guess that's it!  Have a great weekend and head over to Jen's for more Quick Takes!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Way It Goes

I got up early this morning.  I realized that the mythical "extra time" that I was going to use to do my taxes probably wasn't going to show up in the next ten days, and I'd better make time.  Can you believe some people suggested I file an extension?  Heck, no!  A) I have no good reason to need one.  B) Who needs more excuses to procrastinate? C) Who in their right mind would do more paperwork than you absolutely have to??

Anyway, as taxes go, they were okay and they're done now.  Then I decided to start doing some picking up.  I got ready to throw away a paper that was shoved in my door last night, figuring it was a worthless little bulletin, but no.  It was the terms for my new lease for the next year.  I either have to sign a new lease by April 7th or give 60 days notice by April 6th.  And you tell me this April 4th?  What quality folks!  One notice of intent to vacate coming up!!

I had planned to stay one more year in this apartment.  I like it well enough, especially the location.  I knew it would be more expensive than this year has been.  I got a great deal for this year.  So I knew that if you throw in the normal amount plus the likely addition I'd be looking at up to $100 more per month.  That stinks, but I really didn't want to move.  Turns out, they're asking for over 200 more!  Really?  In this market you really don't care about keeping the renters you have??  And that's if I sign a 12 month lease.  If I choose to go with the month to month rate, I could pay something "modestly over market rate" for that convenience, i.e. nearly double what I pay now.

Clearly this was an easy decision, and it's not hard to find rentals.  I'm really tired of apartments, so I may try looking for a house to rent.  I already have offers to help with the moving, and there are a couple possibilities of people that own a house that may want a roommate.  I like my independence, so I'm not sure if I want to do that, but the price would sure be nice!  There are also a number of little cottages and things that might be a possibility.

Things that I will not miss about my current place:
1) Noisy neighbors and their noisy dogs* that they take out in the yard and don't clean up after.
2) How can I put this delicately? Restroom facilities that have difficulty handling normal volumes.
3) Management that keeps things legal, but a little slimy at times.

And here's a thought.  I may even be inspired to a little looking for furniture.  I guess not if I get a roommate, but I will if I get a house.  At the moment, however, I am totally patting myself on the back for not being on the ball and filling this 3rd floor apartment with furniture that I would have had to haul back down the stairs!

So, prayer buddy, I could use some prayers that I find the right place and I make the right decision about whether or not to find a roommate and that my apartment managers will accept my 60 day notice, despite the fact that I will not have the required forwarding address on it.

*Dogs can be awesome, especially when well-behaved and/or when their owners are considerate.