Friday, October 28, 2011

Stop and Smell the Roses. Laugh a Little.

From what I've seen online via Facebook, twitter, emails, etc. it looks like a majority of us are having a hard time with one thing or another this week. So for the next couple of minutes I want y'all to stop what you're doing and watch these videos of Tim Hawkins being awesome.

Remember to stop and smell the roses once in a while. We're all stressed and that's not good for anyone. And, yes, this is a filler post because I will get bugged again if I don't post something soon. I am doing my last midterm right now (argh) so the St. Jude (Happy Feast Day) post is postponed for now. :D

Anyway, I hope y'all enjoyed some of the videos... especially if you hadn't seen them yet. :D Back to the front lines of the war zone (Christology midterm after all; remind me to tell y'all about the fun I'm having with the liberation/feminist theology I've been having this past week ;D) I go.

'til next time, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Monday, October 24, 2011

Grad School and Music Monday: Hunter Hayes

No, your eyes don't deceive you... this is yet another update. I'm getting better at the updating. ;) A special thanks to those who actually bugged me once they heard my second to last midterm was completed. lol.

Still not much going on my end except more and more schoolwork. 6 more months... just 6 more months at the CINO college and then my real education can continue. As soon as the semester is over I'll give y'all a little review of how my penultimate semester went. And, speaking of school, I've been looking at which schools I'd want to apply to next year as I want to take a year or two off to work before I go for my Master's.

I am not sure I want to pursue Theology or Education for my Master's. I am currently being pulled in the direction of a Master's in Creative Writing, Literature, or Journalism because, as much as I'd love to teach, I feel like I'd be happiest writing. It's just something I've been feeling lately, especially after all the novenas I've done regarding my vocation. Of course, making a living by writing is difficult so I'd want something to fall back on and that is why I'll keep my options open. I do have schools in mind and if I do end up wanting to go for my Masters in Theology so that I may be able to teach at a higher level, I already know where to look. Right now John Paul the Great in San Diego (they offer a Biblical Theology Master's degree that I am very interested in) and the University of St. Thomas in Houston are on top of that list but it's only the beginning of the search. If I do end up doing a Creative Writing Master's degree I am most likely going out of the States to do so.

It just started to hit me how fast the "real world" is approaching and how I feel unprepared for it. I do have post-graduation plans but with the economy being so unstable and more and more of my friend struggling to find jobs, I realized that I have to have some backup plans. I'm sure this is something everyone who graduates college goes through but it's my first time going through this AND I feel much younger than I am (quite possibly because most of my classmates are younger... and I regularly get told that I look like I'm under 21) so it's a little weird for me. lol. I am going to take things as they come and just be prepared for whatever may come my way. At the moment I'm just focused on getting through my classes in one piece this semester and also getting ready for my 40 page *groan* Thesis next semester. I feel another novena coming on... after I do the one for St. Jude's feast day (on the 28th) and the one I started last night for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

I normally have movie or music reviews on Mondays but I am waiting to go watch The Mighty Macs this week so I can review it and Courageous together in a single post so look for that next week. :D Still, I want to renew the Music/Movie Monday tradition so here's a song off of Hunter Hayes' debut album. Yes, it's a country song but I love country music and country singers like Hunter Hayes who aren't afraid of singing about God, love, AND their mama so here we go. ;) The song is called "Faith to Fall Back On"

My favorite part of the song is when he sings the "prayer":
"God, I don't have to see you. I know that you're there
'Cause there were times I thought I wouldn't make it home
But I kept a little faith to fall back on.
Yeah, and I've learned to put my trust where it belongs
And I've gotta little faith to fall back on."

It's a good, catchy song. I've had his album (which just came out two weeks ago) on repeat since I was able to get it so I just thought I'd share one of the songs. :D

Okay, I technically have about a week to finish my last midterm (they dragged out my midterms for an entire month; unbelievable) but I want to finish and relax a bit so I shall try to finish it today or tomorrow. That means no new post from me until probably Wednesday or Thursday. I'm trying to get back on a schedule. I'm sorry my posts have been a little boring lately. I will eventually have more faith based posts (not just talking about the woes of senior year, lol) 'cause that's an area that's been on hold but I need to work on that. :)

Anyway, I hope y'all had a great weekend and have a great week. As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

No One Has Ever Become Poor By Giving

Anne Frank wrote in her diary, "No one has ever become poor by giving." I know our economy is a big dirty diaper that no one is able to change (lovely image I just gave y'all, right? lol. sorry) but who said we could only give financially? In the last couple of weeks I've seen a lot of great charitable acts and it's made me want to give back as well.

A few weeks ago, as I was waiting to make a left turn at the light, I saw a man in a wheelchair having trouble crossing the street and dropping things along the way. Another man, going in the opposite direction, met him, picked up the things that he had dropped, and then wheeled him across the street. It warmed my heart to see this because, let's face it, we don't see this often.

Two weeks ago, while in line for confession, an older woman walked in out of breath. We made room so that she could sit and she told us how many buses she had to take to get to the parish. When the woman behind us heard that she had come from her direction, she offered to drive the older woman back home. Considering it was over 95 degrees that day and that the older woman was at least in her 80s and could barely walk, it was a lovely act of charity.

I've noticed that when most people encounter someone who needs help they will walk on, looking elsewhere (and therefore pretending that they don't see anyone in need of help), and do nothing. Let's be honest, we've all done this at one point or another. I'm not perfect and I've been guilty of this in the past when I've thought someone else (who was closer) was going to do something... and then I felt like crumbs when I saw that I should've taken that chance because no one did anything.

I've been told (twice) by professors at my current college that doing acts of charity is inherently a selfish thing to do because even if we don't get a "thank you" or recognition, we still feel good and therefore it becomes a selfish act. *pauses, rolls eyes, sighs.* Don't you just love what they "teach" us at my school? lol. Anyway, I will wholeheartedly disagree. I don't think we are selfish for wanting to help others in need, even if that need is not great.

I've read about the acts of charity that other saints have done (especially those of Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati who continues to be one of my go-to saints when I need a good tush kicking) and it's inspired me to do the same. I don't do great things but I help when I am able to. I don't do it to feel great but because I know that it's how God would want us to act. Sometimes I see people on the street asking for money for food and I think "Golly, I wish I could give them something in return but I don't have anything on me." It's easy to say that I can't give because I don't have (at least when it comes to money) and I forget that I do have other non-materialistic things that I can give and I try to keep that in mind.

So, I'm proposing this challenge to all my blog readers as well as to myself: even if you can't give because you don't have a job or because you can barely make ends meet, try to think of ways to give back. Even if it's anonymously or just a random little thing (like holding the door open when someone is carrying a heavy load or a screaming toddler in their arms). If you have a special talent, try to figure out how you can use it to help others. I have yet to figure out my special talent but I know that I have a big heart with a lot of love to spare (as I've been told by friends) and I'm going to try to figure out how to use it to help others. Do just one act a day if possible. Trust me, you can even do something around the house; something as simple as helping your spouse, parent, or roommate with something they can't get to because of whatever reason. We see so much hate and unnecessary drama that it would be nice to see a change. Remember that "no one has ever become poor by giving" and I hope some of you accept my challenge. I'm going to call it my Charity Challenge. Don't tell me or anyone else what you did/have done, just do it. :)

Anyway, I start my last round of midterms tomorrow (last two were postpone for this weekend) so here is my last post until I can get them done. :D You may all resume the bugging after Sunday night if I don't update soon enough. :D

I hope y'all have had a good start of the week. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless! :D

Monday, October 17, 2011

So, I Fail. A lot. Often. But That's Okay.

I've been failing to do a lot of things lately. Keeping this blog updated? Massive, obvious fail. I missed St. Francis of Assisi's feast day, St. Teresa of Avila's feast day (but with good excuse), etc. Unfortunately this semester has been the hardest for all my fellow seniors and I and we all spend our free time playing "catch up on the reading." Studying for my Norse mythology midterm last week? Fail. Even though I crammed and was prepared enough, I blanked out from the information overload. I JUST caught up with all but one of my classes and that is only a day behind so it's doable. We had a "mid-semester" break which was spent sick with a bug (which kicked in on Norse mythology midterm day) and then catching up on coursework and doing midterm #3 of 5. No one that I know from my college had a break which pretty much tells you how intense things are. There are some other things that I've noticed I've been failing on as well.

One of the things that I have been getting better at is trying to have a social life... though I realized how much I needed to change some things this past Saturday. I was blessed enough to get the chance to spend some time with Miss Claire Christina of In Te Speravi on her short trip to Los Angeles. We spent 2 hours stuck in Hollywood traffic (oh but it was fun, lol) after picking her up from the airport. We got to chatting about a lot of things I normally wouldn't talk to my other friends about. After we got to our destination and I met some of her friends (and spent an hour chatting before I came back home), I felt so great. I felt so comfortable and so happy and I realized that that (a social life) is what I both need and want... yet fail at as well.

Now, I'm not knocking my friends. I love my friends dearly (and many are like my brothers and sisters) but I don't get to see them as often as I'd like because of location, work, or family responsibilities. And I've also been so used to spending the majority of my time at home that I don't know anything else. I spent 7 years of my life taking care of my father so all my "wild and crazy" years have been spent at home. I spent the year (last year) after my father's death in a numb mourning and I've just started feeling like myself again in the last couple of months. While I am shy (at least until I get to know people better and get comfortable to let the silly nerd flag wave), I do like making plans and going out my friends. Now that my anxiety is getting to the point where I CAN make plans to go out and not bail (unless I feel utterly uncomfortable in the situation for one reason or another), I do have that desire to go out and just hang out with my girl friends or even my guy friends since the guys seem to have more free time than us girls. lol. I am undoubtedly going to fail at some social things because I am so out of practice but that's okay.

It's okay that I fail because I learn from things I don't succeed at... and I'm stubborn enough to do things repeatedly (and allow myself to fail in the process) until I get it right. Blogging? I will get better at it. I seriously need someone to get all up in my grill if necessary to remind me of this blog not being updated every 3 days (at least). Studying? I over-studied at the beginning of the semester so I lost a lot of time. I now know what each professor wants so I know what to concentrate on. Midterm was the last of my wigging out and over-studying. lol. I will try harder to reassess my time management so I can get a study break at least twice a week for some blogging or free time for me. Social life? That's going to be a little harder. I have no idea where to start other than attending more Catholic Underground, Los Angeles events... though they are now over for the year. I don't know how else I'll try to better my social life but it's something to work on. I'm finally getting around to the idea of dating again for the first time in several years (again, I never had much time for it) and that is a whole different battle I will tackle when I get there. AND, the biggie, spending more time praying. With my crazy schedule, I barely have time to eat (or I'll read while I eat) and it sucks (pardon my language) because it's hurting my relationship with God. I fail at this, a lot, but I will get better at it and I know God knows that I try my hardest.

The older I get, the more comfortable I am with my flaws and with my limits. Accepting that I can't always do everything right (Little Miss Perfectionist is calming down, lol) and I embrace that. It's through trial and error that we learn, we grow, and we then get closer to God. I can now hear my confessor and the priests that have often told me to stop being so hard on myself rejoicing right now. lol.

Alright, well, I've designed half of my Mondays as "study break time" before the next one (Thursday evening). Depending on how my last two midterms go, I hope to write something Thursday. I think tomorrow is one midterm and the last one is due on Sunday (but I will work on it during the week to turn in early because I fail to rest of Sundays and want to work on that). Someone poke me on FB, write something on the Fan Page, or send me a message on twitter if you don't see an update by Friday afternoon. I give y'all permission to bug the heck out of me. lol.

Anyway, I hope y'all had a great weekend and those going through midterms make it through in one piece. ;)

As always, thank you so much for reading and God Bless! :D

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy St. Therese of Lisieux Feast Day!

Since it's St. Therese's feast day today, and I'm a big fan of having fresh flowers in my room, I decided to buy some roses... and these are them. (side note: I got the framed picture of St. Therese from a Carmelite nun too but that was a while back. :D)

Well, as the title says, Happy St. Therese feast day! She's one of my favorite saints, one of my heavenly buddies, and this blog's patron saint for the year so y'all know I had to do something extra special this year. :D

I've learned a lot from St. Therese this past year -- a lot. I feel like she's taught me how to better my relationship not just with God but with friends and those who are part of my life. I carry around a set of sacrifice beads wherever I go and through the little sacrifices I make throughout the day (and especially at school) I've learned how to be more patient as well as how to let the smaller things go. Earlier this year I read Lenten Journey with Jesus Christ and St. Therese of Lisieux by Fr. John F. Russell, O.Carm and it definitely enriched my experience during Lent. I've done several novenas for my friends as well as myself and she's never failed to show us one of her many roses. In fact, I am currently doing a novena (which I had to restart because I fell asleep on the second day; I'm two days behind everyone who is doing it) and I have faith that she will share one of her roses with me. It's a pretty big decision I've been going back and forth on for a couple of months now (actually, for the past year as of this month) so, we'll see. :)

I wish I could write this beautiful, eloquent post about St. Therese but I am sadly short on time. I have my first midterm this weekend (due tomorrow but I am trying to get it done tonight) and the rest are next week so I am swamped with coursework. I have a total of 641 pages left to read before my last midterm next Thursday. Yes, I counted. I need to do at least 140 pages by tomorrow night. Oh yeah, that crazy. I also have projects, discussion posts, quizzes, etc etc. Starting off senior year with a crazy load but it's okay. :) It'll all be worth it when I get my degree. :D I will just leave you with this: I am so incredibly grateful to St. Therese for the example she's given us all on how to be a good person without having to do these great big gestures. For those of us who are shy and can't easily express ourselves as easily as others, it's a blessing to have someone like her to show us that the little things we do count just as much as the big ones; it doesn't diminish the intention or who we are inside.

Anyway, I hope everyone is having/had a great day, especially those who count St. Therese as their patron saint. :D I also hope y'all have a great weekend. :D

This month has A LOT of feast days I celebrate so expect more posts... especially after midterms when the course load gets lighter. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D