Friday, September 26, 2008

the book...

Abandonment to Divine Providence

I realize that is quite a title for a blog post. It is actually the title of the book I am currently reading by Jean-Pierre de Caussade (or as I like to refer to it as, 'ADP by some french guy')

My spiritual director (yes, I kind of have one! we only met once this month, but it went well, and I hope to meet with him monthly) recommended this to me after talking with me about where I'm at spiritually.

I know I've written alot about my spiritual status on this blog, since it all started when I took the leap to enter the Daughters of St. Paul. You are now watching me transition out of that life and struggle with God's Will in all of this...thanks for bearing with me!

This book- ADP- is ALL about embracing God's Will, and I think it can be helpful to alot of us. I like to use spiritual writings in my prayer time, and this book is full of so many nuggets that you can just meditate on. I highlight and star all over the thing. Here are some excerpts that really struck me today.

But first, I know some of my friends and I are struggling with where we are at right now in life. We didn't think we'd be (just some examples, no one in particular, except for maybe a ;)

a.) in and out of convent b.) single at 27 c.) married with children d.) married without children e.) living with parents at 27, f.) living without parents at 27....

The list could go on. What sounds like a great option for someone, is envitably what another one desires. The point is, we make our own plans, even if in our heads, and God's plans are not always ours. So how do we accept that? Because if our wills are supposed to be one with His, how can embrace a plan that was not ours?

Anyways, some quotes from the book:

"To this there is but one answer- that the will of God is the only thing necessary, therefore what it does not grant must be useless. My good souls, nothing is wanting to you!" (pg 30, ADP)

Now, these are bold words, I know. If we are desiring something we are lacking- like a spouse, a child, a parent, a home, a job- it doesn't mean that thing is USELESS in and of itself. But perhaps it isn't of use to us at this moment, and this is God's will for us at this point in time.

de Caussade goes on to say...
"Can the Will of God do me harm? Shall I fear or fly from the will of God?"

I know that I want to fly from God's will on a regular basis! And our culture tells us to go ahead and do our own will. That it is better to do what we want, even if it is beyond our control. There are some things we are not meant to control! And we can be much happier if we just accept that fact!

"When God speaks, it is a mystery, and therefore a death-blow to my senses and reason...The more obscure a mystery to us, the more light it contains in itself."

That last line is particularly beautiful to me.

So however obscure your mystery is right now, whatever it is, embrace it! I know I'm trying to. I know it is our human nature to want to use senses and reason to 'figure out mysteries', but I've learned in the past year to 'embrace the mysteries' of God, of ourselves, of people, of life. And embrace them because He is present amid that mystery.

Love you all, thanks so much for reading! I hope this touches you all in some way.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Susan and I agreed that when the first chill of fall was felt, she would unleash the fall home decor and I would dye my was chilly yesterday!

Winds of (hair) Change

It's been a year of changes, and I've learned to listen to the movements of the Spirit stirring. A wind that prompts me to make a move.

Is it possible that the Spirit also prompts changes in haircolor?

I really don't know what made me do it, otherwise. Now, I'm not equating discerning religious life with dying my hair, but both promptings kind of just seemed like the right thing at the time, and both are major changes! And both decisions have proved that people support me no matter what (though I've yet to hear what everyone's reaction to the hair yet, I'm basing this assumption on support received from entering convent life, a little more controversial ;)

What can I say? The Spirit makes me fearless! ;)

Okay, so maybe it's a little Carrie from the 'Sex and the City' movie after Big and her decide to call off the wedding, but I don't really think that's the case for me. I really can't say what made me go to 'the dark side', (so to speak) I just was toying with the idea, and took a poll amongst friends. (This is part of the discernment process, by the's good to ask people what they think of the idea of you entering a community, religious life, etc. Also when making hair appointments too, apparently!)

All friends said they thought it would be a match, so like discernment processes before, I took the leap!

And the evil spirits always interfere (I'm totally kidding about evil spirits actually caring about my hair care process, btw) but it actually almost looked like it wasn't going to happen because my salon called last minute to reschedule because they had overbooked or something. Gasp!! This was a major change that you have to psych yourself up for! I had mentally prepared myself all week for this! Didn't they know this?!

So I rescheduled, but in a renegade manor, Stephanie encouraged me to find a different salon that would do it today! Now! As planned! And I think it was the right decision. The woman was really straight forward and honest- she asks me right off the bat, "are you gonna cry?" haha. I appreciated that! (and no, I didn't, btw- again, mental preparation!)

And so adding to the list of changes that have occured this year, I've gone from blonde to brunette. Not quite as life changing, and not sure how long the change with last...but perhaps until the Spirit moves again!


Friday, September 5, 2008

G.O.B. with a soft 'Jinger', apparently

Dirty Little Jingers...Steph, Susan, and I

Jingers and Current Obsessions

In order to update you on my life, I must explain the use of the name, "Jinger".

This originated with my current roommate, Susan Tramazzo. Well, scratch that, it actually originated with that "uber-Christian family with 18 kids who name them all J names" (you know who I'm talking about...if not, read this: But Susan is the first one of us who noticed that in their attempt to name their kids with the letter 'J', they had named one of their kids "JINGER".

How would you read and pronounce this name? If you answered like "GINGER", then you are the minority, but did pronounce it the way this family intended.

If you are like Susan, Stephanie, and I you read "JING-er". Like as in "JING-le". AS in rhymes with "Ding" and "Sing".

Now I come from a family where the family members are all named with J names. Granted, there are only four of us all together, but I can somewhat empathesize with the family's intent to unite the children with a common initial. Still, there are plenty of J names the Duggar's haven't used yet. Like mine and my sister's names, for two.

Anyways, what does this have to do with me other than my name begins with J? Well, as I said, Susan found this sad but hilarious and we kind of started coming up with our own conotations for the name Jinger (pronounced as it looks- Jinger with a capital JING).

What comes to your mind when you hear the word Jinger? Doesn't it sound like a name for bad person? As in, "you are a dirty little jinger?" We think so.

And so we have taken to calling one another 'jingers' and our new house in Silver Spring has become the Jinger home. Jinger, not only used in the Proper noun sense, as in "the house of Jinger", but we've taken 'jinger' to be an adjective, too. Like a you know...a jinger home. No?

Not all of this may make sense, but I guarantee it made you think. And if nothing else feel really sorry for the girl whose name is actually Jinger.

All of this to say, the Jingers- Susan, Steph, and I- are settled into our jinger home and really liking it! The house had some quirks- we had trouble with the washer, floors, etc- but such is the saga of renting. But we are now making the home our own and cant' wait to host our first guests and party! We'll let you know!

As for other current obsessions, other than the use of the word 'jinger', we have taken to quoting and watching Arrested Development. I know this show is five years old and canceled, but I didn't have cable in the last place I was staying in Alexandria, so I watched the first 2 seasons of Arrested Development dvds. I've now had to purchase them for my current jinger home, because Stephanie is also a fan and we've recruited Susan. The type of humor on that show compliments our jinger usage well. I'm pretty sure that if G.O.B knew the name Jinger existed he could empathize, because he also struggles with the usage of a hard vs. soft 'G' in his name.

This jinger is done for now- 'til the next update-

Lil' Jinger