Saturday, August 27, 2011

This Is What Happens When You Trust God...

1) You pray earnestly for something but ultimately resign yourself to doing whatever God's will is. Result: You get back your blood test results that say you're 100% healthy. Somehow the thyroid levels fixed themselves and are now within normal range. Also, absolutely no diabetes or anything else. A couple lost pounds (which aren't noticeable) but otherwise very healthy. :D

2) You have faith in your friends and neighbors because they are good people who love God and believe in charity. Result: You have amazing friends whom you can count on. I had no ride to or from school on Tuesday and a friend drove an hour to my house to take me to school and then waited 3 hours until I was out of my classes. The Lord repaid him the next day with a job he'd been hoping for and will be relocating this weekend. Another friend also helped me get a replacement phone after mine was stolen at school on Monday. I'm sure the Lord will repay her soon; don't worry, I already did too. ;)

3) You trust that the Lord will provide financially when you are in need. Result: You get one of the few emergency loans available from the school to buy your textbooks so you don't fall behind... and then Amazon has them delivered to your house the very next day for free so you have all weekend to read. It wasn't until after I received the loan that a friend/former classmate said I lucked out because they run out of emergency funds fast. My reverse senioritis rejoices. lol.

I told one of my best friends and my mom that I believe that this summer was sort of a test for me. My faith was tested in a big way with all these question marks over my health and financial stability. I hadn't had to deal with any of this until this summer. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't go through a day or two of "I trust in you, God, but I don't know if I'm strong enough to endure this." Eventually those thoughts of self doubt (though I really did try, in all earnest, to dispel them as quickly as possible) gave way to resignation to doing whatever God's will is for me. It's something that has been hard for me in the past couple of years (since my father's death to be honest) because I know and I trust that God will provide but it's difficult when a feeling of hopelessness tries to creep up. As someone who deals with anxiety and panic disorder (though this has been going away as well) and who has to deal with as much as I have it's hard to just let go entirely. Like I said, I trust God but I don't always trust that I have courage myself. I know some of you guys were praying for me and I am wholeheartedly grateful for the prayers and for the words of encouragement.

Anyway, I'm in the middle of housework (I'm finally getting back into the swing of things as they were prior to my dad passing away; housework and homework done like clockwork) and I just wanted to take a brief break to update y'all on the results and everything else. I'll let y'all know about school soon. I'm hoping Monday as I am going to try to take Sundays off from blogging. :)

Again, thanks for everything! The prayers in the 54 Day Rosary novenas said, the novena to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and the novena to St. Jude really helped. I'm honestly humbled by how many of y'all prayed for me. I hope y'all had a great week and will have a fantastic weekend. East Coast friends, please stay safe! We will all be praying for y'all! <3

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

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Can The First Week of Senior Year Get Any Weirder?

If you're following me on Twitter or are a FB friend than you already know how weird my first two days of senior year have been. On the plus side: I'm done with homework for 3/5 courses (for the week) and I have friends in all my classes. On the "ick!" side: my phone was stolen/lost on the first day of the year (I even had to file a police report with campus security), I almost face planted when I tripped and fell that same day, and a friend had to drive an hour to pick me up and take me to and from school when I could not find a ride (or afford to drive myself). In between I have some interesting (thus far) classes in my first all-male professors semester at a primarly all-female school. Some of my classmates are already swooning over my Norse Mythology professor. lol.

It's really weird, to me, because I was so determined to make the most of my week, despite the misfortunes, and I've kind of done it. Despite being in a sort of "panic" mode on Monday while I tried to find my phone, I ended up kind of laughing over it in the end. It was just so ridiculous to me. Except for today when I lost my cool after a guy in an SUV nearly hit me in at grocery store parking lot (I promise I am uber cautious when I drive and I was going at a good speed that allowed me to avoid an accident when the guy verbally attacked me while he impatiently tried to get a parking spot before I did), I've been able to exercise patience and charity towards others. Basically, I've thrown the lemons back. :D I don't know if it's because I made the resolution to make myself as calm as possible (I'm so tired of being stressed and anxious) or because the effects of the last week of the 54 Day Rosary Novena are starting (today is the last day). All I know is that I'm kind of mellow (again, except for today -- though I did end up saying a Hail Mary a couple of seconds after the incident to get over my annoyance). It's good. I'm trying to make the most of the obstacles being thrown at me.

Who knows how the rest of my senior year (and week) will go. I still have a few days to go. Tomorrow I go back for my second official day of classes (I'm only on campus twice a week this semester). I already know that my last Religious Studies class will be interesting... and by that I mean I already have a feeling that there's going to be one final attempt to get me to think in a more liberal way. What is tipping me off? We have a couple of weeks worth of feminist theology in my Christology class. Feel free to note how many things were wrong is that last sentence. I've been told to not be to "concrete" and "stubborn" in my ideas about my Faith and that I should be open to any new ideas about what Christianity is. Interesting indeed. All my other classes should be fairly innocuous but I'll keep y'all updated. As I said, this is my last 8 months as a college undergrad student so who knows what the professors and the college has in store for me before I graduate.

Oh, tomorrow I also go get my blood work results in the evening. I would be lying if I said I wasn't slightly nervous but I've resigned myself to doing whatever God's will for me is. I've asked, in the Rosary novena, for good, healthy results but if hypothyroidism or diabetes comes up I'll just have to deal with it.

Anyway, to end on more positive note: it's been so stinking hot (and the Weather Channel is predicting over 100 degree weather all this week) that I will be able to wear skirts. So excited! lol. The older I get, and the more I study about Catholicism and modesty, the more I favor skirts and just being more feminine. This little tomboy is growing up and enjoying the process. lol. Btw, ladies, head over to Betty Beguiles for awesome tips on modesty in clothing and other "girly" things if you already haven't. I love her and the site, especially since she introduced me to Shabby Apple... which I will one day be able to afford. lol.

I have reverse senioritis (hitting the books hard from day one) so I should get back to being prepared for tomorrow. Shocking, I know. ;D I hope everyone who is starting school this week and next is doing great. I'm starting a novena to St. Thomas Aquinas for fellow students, professors/teacher, and staff so if you'd like to be included, please let me know by leaving me a comment here or at this blog's Facebook Page. :)

As always, thank you for reading and God Bless. :D

Monday, August 15, 2011

So, Last Night's Emergency Room Trip...

I took this picture after I left the Emergency Room last night.

As some of you know from Twitter or FB, yesterday I was taken to the E.R. quite ill. I tried to hold out as long as I could as the county hospital wait times are ridiculous but I really could not. I felt horrible, was incredibly dizzy, and nearly fainted while I was walking. They did an EKG and said my heart was fine and I had no symptoms of a stroke which they ruled out right away. I spent 6 hours in the E.R. and the doctor said I had a bad panic/anxiety attacks as well as dehydration, low blood pressure (according to the 1st nurse who also hit on me while I felt like crumbs), and high blood sugar levels (170 according to the 2nd nurse). I had eaten two Pop-Tarts on an empty stomach an hour or two before the blood sugar level was taken so I'm guessing that was the elevated blood sugar level but they still want me to get tested for diabetes. I had already gotten blood work done (a month ago) and that was okay and I've gotten my blood sugar level taken twice in the past 4 months and it's been normal so I'm not stressing too much. More blood work to go along with the thyroid level blood work I have to get done this week. *sigh*. I hate needles. At least it wasn't worse and for that I am grateful.

I felt like crumbs a couple of hours but half of my stay in the E.R. was spent waiting around, reading Pride and Prejudice on my iPod touch Kindle, and drinking a huge cup of ice water (I didn't know they made them that big) that the doctor wanted me to drink (and additional two water bottles I had with me) to get me hydrated. I got to pray the 54 day Rosary novena and the St. Jude novenas before I left too, which was good because I didn't go home until about midnight and I would've had to start all over.

Although it was scary I am grateful that it was taken care of quickly. I had actually started feeling sick at Mass around noon, and was uber dizzy and lightheaded in Mass and wanted to hold onto the pews while in line to receive communion but I didn't want to say anything, and I just let it get worse which I should not do. Unfortunately, though I want to take it easy, it doesn't seem that it'll happen. I could go on a rant about this but I'll just say that it makes me upset that after everything that happened yesterday and considering how exhausted I feel today, it's just not nice to make me feel like crumbs for wanting to rest today. I will try to make it to Mass today but I'm just not feeling up to driving or, really, going out at all. We'll see how it goes.

To everyone who prayed for me yesterday, THANK YOU! The wait times at the county hospitals are usually between 12 to 24 hours so my 6 hours were nothing and I think your prayers really did it. :)

I hope y'all are doing much better than I am and that you will have a great week. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Three Catholic New Media Awards Nominations!

Um... Best Blog Written by a Woman, Best Written Blog, and People's Choice Blog... *pinches self* seriously?! THANK YOU! I'm truly speechless and humbled. I don't know what I did to deserve the nominations from whoever nominated me but thank you!

I don't think I'm going to win anything because I'm up against some truly fantastic blogs (many of which are written by friends) but I don't mind. :) I'm always surprised when people outside my group of friends tell me that they read this blog. lol. Anyway, I just wanted to say a quick "Thank you!" and urge you to vote and not just for mine. Please vote for whichever blog, website, and podcast you wish to vote for. I'm not going to lie and say that I did not vote for myself, 'cause I did (and it might be the only one, lol), but I also did not vote for myself in a couple of categories. I voted for friends whose websites and blogs are far superior to mine. :) I'm truly honored to be in such wonderful company and wish everyone good luck during this voting period. :) (side note: You need to register to vote and you only get one shot.)

(Oh, and P.S. If you already haven't, make sure you join the Facebook Page for this blog. :D)

That's it for now 'cause I have a crazy busy day. :) I hope y'all have a great weekend!

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Health Scares, Daily Masses, and Facebook Pages.

Not much has been going on with me hence the lack of posts. Last Friday I was told my thyroid levels were low and that I might have hypothyroidism which, to be honest, scares me because it would mean that I will be on medication for life and I don't do well with medication. I've had my cry and have gotten most of it out of my system. As I told my new Spiritual Director (yes, I finally got a new one! :D) when I say to God that I will do His will for me I do mean it but it scares the heck out of me to think that I have something that I will need medication for the rest of my life. There is a slight chance that the thyroid levels were a bit off since I had the blood work done while I was taking one of the stronger antibiotics for the horrible throat infection I had, and I do not have any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, so I'm trying to not jump to any conclusions. I get my second round of blood work done in exactly a week and I get my full results on the 25th so we'll see what happens.

It's kind of funny that someone told me that I had the worst health luck out of anyone she knew because I don't think I do. I know so many people are far worse than I am, and at a much younger age, and I don't see things like my anxiety as a curse (in fact, I've come to see having anxiety as a blessing as I am able to offer up panic attacks for the souls in purgatory). As weird as it sounds, I feel closest to God when I am sick because it sort of takes me away from any selfish tendencies I might have and makes me focus on what is truly important and makes me more grateful for what I do have. At the same time, I'll admit that while doing the 54 Day Rosary Novena (I'm on day 41) I am praying for my health because I am about to enter my senior year of college and I want to make the most of it. Also, I want to work on my relationship with God while healthy because I feel like it needs a lot of work when I have no problems to deal with as opposed to when I am ill with something. As I said, as hard as it sometimes is for me to think that I am strong enough to handle whatever is handed to me, I know that God never gives us anything we can't handle and that as long as I do His will I'll be okay. Ultimately, I need to do what is right because my soul is what matters more than my mortal body.

And, speaking of that, I have been trying to attend daily Mass and it's been hit and miss. When my parish offers evening Masses, I am able to attend but when they only offer morning Masses (which is twice a week) I haven't been able to attend. I get very little sleep at night and in the wee hours of the morning because I have to take my mom to work at 4 a.m. My internal clock is so messed up (and my neighbors' drunken parties that end at 3 a.m. do not help) that I sleep anywhere between an hour to 3 before I have to get up and then it takes me anywhere between an hour to three to fall back asleep when I get home... yeah. I'll spare you guys the headache of figuring out the rest but let's just say that my favorite time of day (mornings) is wasted because I cannot keep a good sleeping schedule. My eating schedule is also off so it's a pain. I feel so at peace and so happy when I do go to daily Mass that not being able to attend Mass because my schedule is so off really bugs me. (And before I get any comments or advice, 1) I've tried everything (natural) to fall asleep early... 2) mom can't drive because she had a terrible car crash before I was born and is too nervous to drive... and 3) we cannot afford to pay taxis to take mom to work every day). I hope that my schedule will go back to normal (or at least that I will be allowed at least 5-6 hours of sleep without interruptions) when I go back to school since my classes will be in the morning and I cannot sleep until noon or 1 p.m. like I've been doing for the past two months. I will also have to get over my aversion of attending Mass on campus since I only have classes twice a week but those two days are the same ones on which they don't offer evening Masses. Oh what fun this all is, isn't it? By the way, if it sounded like a rant I'm sorry. That was not my intention. :)

Anyway, I think I've written long enough so I will say one more thing: this blog now has a Facebook Page so you can join and get updates whenever I have new posts. I know that it will be easier for some people than just checking every once in a while to see if anything has been updated. :) I need about 13 more people until I can get a proper URL (and therefore get a box to add to the blog) so please join if you can. :)

That's it for now. I'm currently reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (and have already read Emma and Northanger Abbey -- Happy "Emmy declares late July through mid August Jane Austen Month" month :D) and I want to get back to it. That and a certain someone who made a guest post on this blog has turned reading books into competition with me so, you know, I gotta get back to finishing my novels. :D

I hope y'all are doing well and that those who will return to school soon enjoy the rest of their summer vacation. :D

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

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Saint Dreams, Part... I Seriously Lost Count.

*originally started August 4th but posted the 7th*

During the earlier days of this blog, I used to write about saint dreams I had. I used to have them more often in those days and then stopped for a while. They've been become frequent again and two have had the same message so I thought I'd share.

Those with whom I communicate on a fairly regular basis know that I haven't been feeling very close to God lately. I don't know why but I just can't concentrate as well as I have before while praying or making an earnest attempt to meditate. The more I try to get back on the track I was, the harder it is. When I make an effort to pray at a certain time, especially when it comes to the 54 day Rosary novena I am currently doing with Angelica, something gets in the way and it's delayed until it's almost too late (nearing midnight). I just feel like there's something blocking and I don't know how to get around it. I talked to my regular confessor about it but even with his advice I feel stuck. Maybe that's why I had the following dreams I am about to share. I won't go into great detail but just the gist so y'all will understand.

Last week I had a dream that involved me being inside a parish and seeing Bl. Pope John Paul II consecrating the Eucharist. I was there with two newlywed friends of mine (who were in their wedding attire) who could not see what I saw. Anyway, I was told that I needed to receiving the Eucharist every day. Last night I had another interesting dream in which both my vocation and the Eucharist was brought up. I've been having doubts about whether I had discern my vocation properly so it was interesting that it was brought up in my dream. Anyway, last night's dream involved St. John Vianney, whose feast day we are celebrating today. I was, once again, told that I needed to receive the Eucharist on a daily basis. There were mentions of spiritual attacks coming to me in the next couple of days but the main thing was that I needed to go to Mass daily. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts. Considering how I've been feeling, I wouldn't be surprised if this is what I need in my daily routine.

I normally don't put a lot of importance on my dreams because it's dangerous to think that you can predict things or are getting straight messages through your dreams. I've had quite a number of interesting dreams that I occasionally share with whomever else was in the dream with me but that's about it. These dreams, though, I cannot help but really think about. Whether they come from God or from my subconscious, I really feel a strong urge to go to Mass and receive the Eucharist daily. Like I said, maybe it's what I need to feel closer to God once again. Maybe it's something that will make me feel more complete. It'll be a challenge as my sleeping schedule is so out of whack most days and I return to school in a couple of weeks but I think I'm going to earnestly try to attend Mass daily -- especially in the morning as my evenings are usually crazier.

Anyway, I just wanted to share because I thought the dreams were awesome. I am happy that the saint dreams are returning after a short break from them (a break I didn't want).

I hope y'all have a great rest of week and enjoy this feast day. Say a pray for your parish priests. :)

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tale of a Young Singer-Songwriter Who Stuck By His Beliefs

I've been wanting to write this blog for the past two days now because I feel like it's a pretty unheard of tale that should be told. Take a talented young singer-songwriter, add a reality show, mix in a grand prize that every contestant wants to win and you get pretty much every reality show out there. But wait, add a dash of the grand prize being a 7-episode arc on one of the biggest television shows on air at the moment and you get the reality show, The Glee Project. With the popularity of Glee and the exposure the winner would get from appearing on it, it's a little perplexing as to why the young man, Cameron Mitchell, walked away from it all though he had made it through to the next round and into the top 5... that is, until you hear the reasons why he left.

Before I go on, I have to admit that I was not planning on watching this show. At all. I'm not a reality tv fan... at all. I'm sorry but I'm not. I have an interesting relationship with the show Glee as well so there was nothing that would get me to watch the show. That is, until I found out that Damian McGinty of the music group Celtic Thunder would appear. Being a CT fan (though I wouldn't consider myself a Thunderhead because I do not do some things Thunderheads do... some of y'all know what I mean) for the past 3-4 years and watching Damian sort of grow up made me curious in seeing how he would do on the show. So I watched and I'm now hooked on the show. lol. Anyway, I developed another favorite on the show who just happened to be Cameron. Every week I've rooted for those two, who subsequently became best friends in real life -- away from the cameras, and I was shocked when Cameron decided to walk away from the show... while feeling a sort of big-sister type of pride in his decision to walk away. I did want him or Damian to win the competition but I am so in awe of his decision as I know it must've not been an easy one.

Now here come the spoilers if you haven't watched the episode and want to watch it. Skip this paragraph if that's you. Cameron left the show because there were things that he was not comfortable with because of his beliefs. It was no secret that Cameron is a Christian. He wears a cross and does not shy away from saying "no" to something because it is against his beliefs. In a previous episode, one of the other contestants, Lindsay, kissed him during the shoot for a music video they had to do. It caught him by surprised and he immediately felt bad. He's had a girlfriend for the past two years and did not feel right to be kissing anyone whom he was not dating. He called his mother about how bad he felt. This weekend's episode had the theme of Sexuality. Once again, he was asked to kiss a female contestant, Hannah, for a video shoot but he decided not to do it as he did not feel comfortable doing it. Both of these times he was in the bottom 3 -- the group risking possible elimination. The head honcho of the Glee franchise, Ryan Murphy, asked Cameron what would happened if Cameron was the eventual winner of the competition and on set of Glee he was ordered to kiss someone like the star, Lea Michele, and he had problems with it? Cameron stuck to his guns and reiterated that because of his beliefs he would have to decline. Ryan Murphy saw it as a problem but he still wanted Cameron to stick it out. In the end Cameron decided that, after much thought, it was best for him to leave as he would be taking the spot of someone who would be willing to do what they were asked to advance in the competition. He bowed out gracefully and with conviction we often don't see on television... especially from young men. (By the way, by his leaving he ended up saving his best friend on the show, Damian, who Ryan had chosen to be the one eliminated that week.)

The reason why I felt so compelled to write about this was because, as I said, we don't see this happening... either on TV or in real life. Very few people know that when I was in my teens, I wanted to be an actress or at the very least a screenwriter. I wanted to break into the business and I nearly did. I actually walked away from it all the day I was offered a contract with an agency who wanted to represent me. A week after I turned 20 years old was the day I walked away and I've never looked back. I had friends in the business and I saw how the little bit of fame had changed them. One of them, a self-proclaimed Christian whom I briefly dated, had (on our last meeting) show me a semi-pornographic image I had no desire to see. There are VERY few Catholics and Christians who will stick to their beliefs in the business... and even less men than women. The only men that come to mind are Neal McDonough who was fired for refusing to do a sex scene, Eduardo Verastegui who had a total conversion and made the critically acclaimed movie Bella, and Kirk Cameron who asked for his wife to stand in for the leading lady in the movie Fireproof as he did not want to kiss anyone but his wife. While some people may say that it's just acting and that it's no big deal, I think it's very admirable for these men to stick up for what they believe.

I sincerely hope that others see what Cameron has done and see that, though it may not be the easiest thing in the world, it IS possible to do what is right... even if it's not the popular decision. I applaud Cameron for the decision he made and I wish nothing but the best for him. He has some music up on iTunes you can check out or you can send him a tweet of support at @camronmitchell. (Oh, and P.S. Can someone please tweet or retweet him this link as I have my twitter, @nerdwriter, set to private? Thank you!) :) #TeamCameron lives on though he is no longer on the show. Oh, and go #TeamDamian. :D

Anyway, I just wanted to share this with y'all. If you want to see the episode for yourself, it's episode 7 of the Glee Project. I think Hulu might have it but don't quote me on it. It might also be on Oxygen's Glee Project page.

That's it for now. It's 97 degrees in my part of Los Angeles and I am trying not to melt right now. lol. I hope y'all have a great week and enjoy what is becoming the last weeks of freedom for most of us.

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