Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2008 is great.

Happy New Year! I rang in the New Year in front of the Blessed Sacrament last night along with Sr. Carmen, Alina, Emily, and my friend Cathy from home who was in town and staying with us.

We began with a community Holy Hour at 7:30pm and seriously, we stayed for four and a half hours. The time actually went fast. We could've left if we wanted to, but when Jesus is staring you in the face for the New Year, how could you say, 'See Ya later?' :)

Plus He was just saying all kinds of nice, good things :) 2007 gave me much to reflect on, and I am very grateful for all the ways the Lord used me and so many of you last year. He also gave me much inspiration and a spirit of Hope of much more to come in 2008. He reminded me there is much work to do and it won't always be easy, but He will always help me and give me the desires of my heart.

And so we prayed, and if I didn't mention you by name, know that you were definately covered in one form of petition or the other :) We always remember our families and friends and all those we promise to pray for in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

Last Sunday was the feast of the Holy Family and Alina's family was in town from Miami. My friend Cathy was also here. We went to a Gospel type Mass at a largely African American parish and it was AMAZING. When there are times that I question, I pray I will always think of that Mass. I really think it is what heaven will be like: peoples of all races just praising God in the Holy Spirit with true joy and happiness. Singing their little hearts out, not caring about anything else or anyone else- just God- and happy to do so. The Holy Spirit was truly present and I know He always is, but we don't always allow ourselves to be channels. I pray to be more of a channel for the Spirit like the people of that community were.

I realize I also didn't share with you about our Christmas! We provided the music for the 9am Mass at the parish we go to often. Emily played piano, I played guitar and cantored. Sr. Jerome, Sr. Carmen, and Alina sang as well. We had rehearsed for about a month, and I must say our work paid off. Jesus blessed us with a beautiful Christmas morning Mass.

That day we had a nice lunch together and then, in true Julia style, I had to provide our new family with some entertainment. So I called upon the ghosts of Christmas past when my sister, cousins, and I would perform our own skits, songs, and dances for our family. I made Alina and Emily help me choreograph a dance to one of our crazy Christmas songs from one of our Daughters of St. Paul cds. I can't describe to you the music that our Sisters record. Most of it is very beautiful, but there are some songs that just beg for cheezy, showtune choreography. And so, I took it upon myself to give my gift of cheezy choreography to the sisters. I wish I could post the video (yes there is a video, naturally. All my genius, geeky efforts are always captured on film or now digital it seems) but I wouldn't want to put the Daughters at risk for any critcism or chastisement for allowing such silliness to occur :)

And then there were presents!!! My advent angel turned out the be Sr. Agnes. Alina and I were pretty sure Sr. Caritas and Sr. Agnes had us, but I thought mine was going to be Sr. Caritas. I've always admired Sr. Agnes for her savvy fashion sense (the woman's got some cute shoes and sweaters for 74) so I'm glad that she had me! God is good! I got a nice bathrobe and we each get each other little things, so I got two miniture baby Jesus', a handmade pillow, pillowcase, and apron out of the deal as well :)

The day after Christmas was crazy fun. We went to this awesome museum in St. Louis called the City Museum. Once again, words will only fail me, so I'll post some pictures of the place. It's got a skateless skate park, tons of chutes and ladders for kids and parents alike, and a circus inside! And much of it is made of recycled materials. We all had an awesome time.

Speaking of recycled materials, I was inspired to start a new hobby and make things out of recyclables as well. My first project has been a gift for Sr. Caritas birthday today. My friend Cathy introduced me to Mod Podge, so I'm honing my skills. I"ll let you know how it works out. You may see my work in a museum someday.

God bless your NEW YEAR!!! Hope to see you in 2008!!!


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