Saturday, March 31, 2012

5th Week of Lent?! Holy Week?! April?!

As you can tell, I was not prepared for the end of Lent and this coming month!

But at the very same time, oh, so very ready. The countdown to Spring Break pretty much began once we got back to school in January.

Looking back at Lent and towards Holy Week, I have a lot on my mind. This Lent was not my strongest, but I did find out the following things:

1.) I don't think I can become a vegetarian. That has been solidified.

2.) My 30s are going to be different than my 20s and that is a good thing.

3.) I don't have to always been discerning some "big thing" to draw me to God.

4.) I am grateful for the foundation God has laid for me, especially in the moments where it is difficult to see where God might be taking me.

And where I am going:

a.) I'm going to try and really engage in Holy Week, since my Lent was not as strong as I would have liked.

b.) I'm going to once again unite my experience of Triduum with the Exodus, Passover, and our Jewish roots.
(Here is also a cool reflection on a Christian song written about being God's "Beloved" and the Jewish roots of the Last Supper- two of my favorite things to reflect on!! ;)


I keep wanting to just jump to that last point, but there is a lot of praying and uniting myself to God before that :)

Speaking of uniting in prayer, if you all could PLEASE pray for my friend Dan from college. I may have mentioned him a couple of years ago when we found out he had leukemia. He was in remission, but we just recently found out he relapsed. He really needs your prayers. Thank you so much.

May your Holy Week be blessed and may you be drawn into the mystery of the saga of our Salvation History and the beauty of His covenant :)


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lent Week 3: Back Here!

Yup. You're Welcome:

1.) You knew with the post title it was coming.

2.) Things to consider when watching the video: why is the whole band following around the SAME. GIRL.

3.) Fun Fact: At my last wedding of 2011, this song was played as per mine & my besties' request. And it was amazing.

4.) I've already had not one, but TWO weddings of 2012!

 But more on those later.

Back to Lent.

Third week already! I think I mentioned last post that I was giving up meat as my fast. That's been going fairly easily (which isn't exactly a good thing. that's not how Lent works...) with the occasional longing for the convenience of chicken or turkey. I've been eating lots of fish & nuts for protein. I am finding that I'm not connecting the sacrifice, though, as much I thought I would with the Cross, and that is something I need to re-focus on as we hit the middle of Lent.

My almsgiving, though, with trying to spend more time with friends, colleagues, and roommates, has been proving the front runner for me this lent, and so I'm praying that this will bring me "back here" to Jesus.

The "return to God" theme has really been striking me this Lent. I can't believe I haven't blogged since my women's group met right after Ash Wednesday! I spoke about this with my friends in the group because I have been wanting to "return" to the way I was with God when I was discerning or aka in  my 20s for a while now. But we discussed at our meeting that we don't approach God like we did perhaps when we were 20 something.

Back then, we would run to God and say: "Help me! Fix me! Teach me about myself." Now, in our 30s, we know a little more about ourselves and don't find ourselves running to God for the same insight. This was helpful for me as I thought about how I might "return to God" in a NEW way this Lent, as a 30 year old. I still haven't quite figured it out yet, though.

The important thing is to still search, to always search, as Father mentioned on retreat to us back at the beginning of the year. The search is going to look a little different than it did in our 20s since we do have the self awareness and self knowledge we didn't necessarily have a decade ago.

I have also been struck this Lent by how Jesus made Himself the sacrifice- that He stood in our place. The first reading today from the prophet Daniel spoke to this:

"We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,
no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense,
no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.
But with contrite heart and humble spirit
let us be received;
As though it were burnt offerings of rams and bullocks,
or thousands of fat lambs,
So let our sacrifice be in your presence today
as we follow you unreservedly;
for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame."

When Christ was on the earth, he told us about new ways to do the old. He made our rituals new, Sacraments new, sacrifices new. He became the sacrifice. And so we must figure out how we can sacrifice in a new way. I think this goes the same for how we must search in our 30s differently than 20s...

I am trying to adapt new attitudes to things, and I think I am succeeding with God's grace. The 2 weddings so far in 2012 have been fun because they were each very different from the typical ceremony/country club wedding reception model. The first was for my first cousin back in Ohio. It was a small wedding reception at a friend of the family's house, so it almost felt like we were just all gathering like we do at Christmas (except minus the Christmas carols, plus the Slovak drinking games ;)

My most recent wedding was somewhat of a destination wedding- the groom's family had some ties to Florida, so the couple chose to get married in St. Augustine. It turned out to be a really great weekend getaway and there is lots to do in the very touristy town of St. Augustine. So I flew in Friday, walked around and took pictures, shopped on Saturday morning, went to the wedding, then we had a trolley ride around town, which took us to the reception. Sunday the family had a brunch at a beach house, and my flight wasn't until the evening so I got to do MORE touristy things! Including visiting the fountain of youth! (Like I need it... ;)

 View of marina in St. Augustine from the Castillo de San Marcos
 The bride, a friend, and I!
 Trolley ride around St. Augustine
Tasting the waters of youth!

I will continue to meditate on "searching" and "returning" this wedding in May for those keeping track! I should create some kind of wedding bracket...

...and last but not least...some exciting news!

I am going to GREECE and PUERTO RICO!!

Greece is a school trip this summer aka FREE for me! I've always wanted to go to Greece, not exactly with 20 teenagers, but my friend from school is organizing and we are cruising the Greek isles for free, so I'm not going to complain.

I'm going to spend my Easter Alleluia this year in Puerto Rico! This trip is not school sponsored, much to my wallet's dismay, but another colleague and I said happy 31st and 32nd birthdays to us and bought tickets for the week of Spring Break!

So Spring Break and the end of the School Year will be even more exciting than they already are to me this year.

Continue to have a blessed Lent! Until we are "back here" again...heh...