Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Julia in July

So, um, yeah. That whole last blogpost about rest? I didn't really get any in July.

But July was still awesome. And I will try to make up for all of the rest I didn't get (in the last 2-3 weeks especially) starting now.

To recap: I went to LA for the 4th of July and spent time with friends that I have spent many 4ths with (and also several New Year's Eves...apparently we like to celebrate holidays that have lots of sparkly things and public explosions together...)

My 4th of July fellas...
When I posted on Facebook that I'd be in LA for a week, I had two friends from two separate volunteer ministries that I'd been involved with contact me and want to get together. Both friends I hadn't seen in probably 8 years or so. One I met when I was in Guatemala before senior year in college and one I met during my year with NET:

 Maggie and I re-connecting...both Catholic school high school teachers now!
Araceli and I representing for our NET small group 8 years later

Both these ladies are ones I totally admire and have a lot in common with. I was stunned but so grateful that they would want to meet up and hang out with me several years later. God works in mysterious but awesome ways! It was so cool that I got to serve with both of these ladies in different capacities for the Church and we are all still doing work for the Church several years later.

After a week of fun visits, the guys told me they would be coming to the East Coast for a wedding and that I should join them. And who am I to say "NO" to a wedding? So, that same week I returned to DC I found myself hanging with my CA friends again this time in Philly, Philly...

which meant I got to re-connect with ANOTHER one of my favorites who lives in Philly:

LC and I post-wedding!

After catching up with my girl LC and saying goodbye to the guys (for reals this time) it was off to visit my fam in Ohio.

I spent a lot of time with my nephew which was good for several reasons 1.) I feel like a terrible aunt for not being around much 2.) he's actually at the age where he has a little personality now and likes to play and have fun!

my nephew and I playing with my Iphone...he doesn't seem sure about it, which is fair...

I spent about 4 days in OH and didn't even get a full day before I arrived back in DC after my trip and packed up for the annual Diocesan Workcamp.

In the past, I've really looked forward to this special week, but this year I think all of my travels had caught up with me. I was tired from the start and had lower energy than usual. I had originally started helping at these camps as a way to stay involved in the Diocese as well as youth ministry since I was in the Archdiocese of DC and working for a non-profit when I moved back 4 years ago. Since teaching keeps me doing youth ministry with the Diocese full time now, I had to kind of assess: "what am I doing here?" Does God really want me here this week? Of course, God revealed that I was meant to be at the camp, but it was a challenge for me this year. A good challenge, and it was good to re-evaluate motives and open myself up to the Holy Spirit to try and hear what He might be saying to me that week..

The Program Team at camp wearing plaid for our friend Ronnel that passed away this year...

But now I'm home! And finally ready to rest! It's a little less than three weeks until teachers go back and get ready for our students who return the following week. I plan on spending these last weeks of summer finishing up some directed research with a professor and working on my tan by a pool :) Oh, and my parents are coming for a visit for a few days since they haven't been to DC in a year or so...

Spending time in prayer is also definitely on my agenda for the next couple weeks. The week at Workcamp did shake me up a little and made me take notice to the Holy Spirit again (remember when I couldn't get enough a couple summers ago? Oh, and hey! This entry involves an LA trip, too! Coincidence?) and I'm trying to listen to where the Spirit is leading in my life 'cause I think (I know!) He is doing something!

I'm grateful for the many friends I've been able to interact with this summer. Some old, some new, and some REALLY old ones I hadn't seen in a while :) God is good and the Spirit is moving...

Hope you all are having a blessed summer. I've got several prayer requests these days, so if you could, keep my intentions in your prayers...you guys are the best :) We are united in prayer,

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