For months, I had been waiting to hear back from the Benedictine monastery where I hope to attach myself to. All that time spent waiting and praying helped me be sure that it was where God wanted me, not where I wanted to go for whatever convenient or selfish reason. There was another monastery I thought I would end up at but, for several reasons, it didn't work out. In hindsight, it was best for me because I think it could've potentially harmed my spiritual life more than helped it.
Now I have the exciting yet partially stressful task of planning the trip to the retreat where I will officially begin my novitiate. I'm excited about it for obvious reasons. This is something I've been praying and waiting for for over a year when I officially began sending inquiries to monasteries. As I've begun to incorporate the Benedictine spirituality and Rule into my life, I've seen so much more peace and purpose in my life. I can see how I'm growing, spirituality, though I never notice it until much later. As excited as I am, I have one big problem: I don't have the savings to make the trip.
As many of you know, it's just my mother and I and has been this way since my father passed away almost 10 years ago. With my health not being the best in recent years, work has been hard to come by since I can currently only work from home. I've had a slight relapse over the winter months (which makes sense; I have a severe vitamin D deficiency I've yet to recover from and it's been mostly rainy and/or cloudy this past winter) which has made even freelance writing difficult. Roughly 85% of my paychecks go towards helping my mother out with keeping the household financially afloat and 13% goes towards my student loan payments. If we have anything left over at the end of the month, it goes towards my savings but it's rare when I can put part of it into savings. Also, after a particularly disastrous financial month this month, my savings also took a hit so I'm left with enough for just one way to the retreat destination.
That's where I need your help: I need help figuring out fundraising ideas. If any of you know of someone who needs a writer, a proofreader, or anything I can do from home, please let me know! In the spirit of the Benedictines, I would like to work for what I earn. Transcribing is too time consuming and doing VIPkid would not work with my own fatigue since I never know when the fatigue will overwhelm me into slumber.
I've had people suggest a GoFundMe but I have nothing other than prayers to offer as a "thank you." I also have my mother's voice in my head, drilling into me (as a child) that I need to work hard for what I want; that I shouldn't take advantage of people by asking for help, even financially. It may be bordering on a pride thing but it's something that I've heard so much over the past 33 years of my life so I feel guilty even thinking about setting up an account.
Right now, I need to save up for the round-trip fare (I have a terrible fear of flying, especially if I'm going by myself, so I'll be looking up both train and flight fares), the $ I'll spend on food during the trip, for the actual retreat, and the car rental fee/Lyft costs when I arrive at my destination. I don't want to say when the trip is or where I'm headed for privacy issues but I do plan on blogging the experience after it happens. I'm also withholding which monastery I'll become a novice with from public knowledge for now, again, due to safety and privacy issues. Once the time of the trip comes, I'll share as many details as I can give. :)
So, does anyone have any ideas or know of anyone who needs a writer or proofreader? Please send me any leads you may have!
Alright, well, that's it for now. I'm going to go try to figure out Amtrak (and flight, gulp) fares and crunch some numbers.
I hope you're all having a lovely start of the week!
As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :)