7 Quick Takes, Vol. 64: In which we pull ourselves together

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Hello again! It’s Friday. Did you survive this week? Because it was a little extremely cray cray if you ask me. Let’s take a deep breath, maybe a chill pill, and pull ourselves together. Linking up with Kelly & Co.

1. Donald Trump is our next president. Ever think that’d happen? The shock has worn off at this point, but I was dumbfounded on my couch watching the results unfold. I said from the beginning that Hillary was going to win, and for once I am a teensy bit glad to be wrong.

2. But, like most Americans, I’m not thrilled about Trump. I didn’t vote for him or Hillary, because they both seemed like dumb options. But I’m not going to protest or disrespect my country. He’s said crazy things that I wouldn’t ever defend. But I’m going to give him a chance to do some good. He might. He might not. But I’m going to be open-minded enough to give him the opportunity. He can’t just do the crazy things people are saying he will. We’re a democracy, not a monarchy.

3. Some people are losing their minds and blocking freeways and hurting people. This is obviously very constructive in unifying our country. All the rest I’ve gotta say about the protests is this:

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4. This video (from a liberal Australian channel?) came up in my Facebook newsfeed, and I thought it made an important point.


Because you know what? We’re all going to disagree on something. That’s okay with me. I may believe you’re wrong about some life issue or gay marriage. And I’l be happy to talk about my beliefs. I hope that is you’re wrong about something you learn the truth, and vice versa. But that doesn’t change your humanity. Or mine. Opinions and beliefs are part of our identities. But they’re not what we are.

5. Okay, so where do we go from here? I would suggest one step at a time. People are always going to be disappointed and mad after an election. But hey. We’re America. We’ve been through some TOUGH times, and we’ll probably survive a Trump presidency. Let’s keep going to work, raising families, making dinner, reaching out to each other, and living each of our lives trying to make the world a better place.

6. Want a lighter topic? Here’s an article of mine up last week at Live Action News: Why abortion is wrong: the pro-life case. And I’m kidding. It’s not lighter. But it might be helpful if you’ve ever been stumped trying to have that conversation!

7. And now, I believe it’s appropriate to end with a prayer for our country. They’ll know we are Christians by our love, right? Let’s live up to that! And let’s remember in our prayers all the brave souls who have fought for our country since today is Veteran’s Day.

Almighty God,
bless our nation
and make it true
to the ideas of freedom and justice
and brotherhood for all who make it great.

Guard us from war,
from fire and wind,
from compromise, fear, confusion.

Be close to our president and our statesmen;
give them vision and courage,
as they ponder decisions affecting peace
and the future of the world.

Make me more deeply aware of my heritage;
realizing not only my rights
but also my duties
and responsibilities as a citizen.

Make this great land
and all its people
know clearly Your will,
that they may fulfill
the destiny ordained for us
in the salvation of the nations,
and the restoring of all things in Christ.

Amen

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That’s it for now! What do you think? Need to de-stress after this week? Share your reaction in the comments below!

To Life,

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7 Quick Takes, Vol. 63: Tips, Funny Stuff, and Hikes

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Happy Fri-yay! Let’s join up with Kelly and all the other party people today.

1. Let’s just ignore the election, mmkay? At this point, I just look forward to it being over. Because you know what? There’s only so much I can control. And the president is not God and can’t quash my joie de vivre. Also, there’s this if you need some humor about it [rude language warning]. I read that when I was sitting in a coffee shop waiting for an oil change earlier today, and was laughing inappropriately loudly over my iced vanilla latte.

2. Want some cooking tips? My sister and I have been watching Food Network shows lately, and I feel like a genius putting some tips to good use: need to thicken a sauce? Cornstarch. Most people know that. But we also know it clumps up. THIS IS BECAUSE THE LIQUID IS ALREADY HOT. So, mix the cornstarch in a little bit of COLD water before adding it and no clumps. Whoa.

3. Another tip? If you add too much lemon juice to your dish, don’t despair! I accidentally added too much to a creamy lemon sauce for dinner this week, which tasted horribly tart. Do you know what? Add a sprinkle of baking soda and VIOLA. It apparently adjusts the pH level, taking away some of the acidic taste. It kind of fizzed for a little bit, but then went down and was completely saved. Thank you, Google, for saving my sauce.

4. Are you ready for Christmas music? I am, BUT I refuse to play it until the day after Thanksgiving. Gotta be liturgically correct. In preparation, I *MAY* have ordered Pentatonix’s new album after seeing this video. SO BEAUTIFUL.

4. I freaked out for a second this week, because all of a sudden I had a huge increase in “likes” on my Facebook page. I thought some sketchy spam activity was happening. But it turns out a story I wrote for Live Action News was making waves across the interwebs. It’s about a beautiful little girl named Coeli who was born at 25 weeks and lived, after doctors told her parents to let her die. Check it out! And if you’re a new fan, welcome! I’ll be posting more over there now.

5. Want another video? Here’s some priests rocking out while carpooling with a bishop. Yes, Catholics are not all dour old rule followers. We have loads of fun!

6. These are my kind of saints. [source]

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7. With all the craziness out there, guys, I highly recommend going on hikes and getting off social media for the next week. Here’s a picture of a recent hike I went on. No filters whatsoever. Creation is soo gorgeous!

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Have a great weekend everyone! Gotta go take some ciabatta rolls I made out of the oven for our housewarming tomorrow🙂

To Life,

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What we can take from the Hatmaker situation

In case you haven’t heard, one of evangelical Protestantism’s most well known leaders, Jen Hatmaker, recently announced her support of gay marriage.

Her belief was revealed in this interview, where she agreed that “any two adults have the right to choose who they want to love”, and that a LGBTQ relationship can be “holy”. She came to this conclusion after a few years of study, her husband said in a follow-up Facebook post.

*SIGH*

It’s disheartening, but not surprising. In reading about this, there are a few valuable things we can take away, I think:

1. If you study the Bible to figure something out, and your conclusion doesn’t match thousands of years of Biblical tradition, you’re probably the one who’s wrong.

It’s good and beautiful to know the Bible. But you know what? It can be confusing. False conclusions can be drawn. And I think it’s important to look beyond words on a page into the historical context, word meaning, and traditions surrounding any teaching. You can pray and research yourself into perfect heresy, and you might not even know it: a good reason to look at what’s been consistently taught over time and not try to twist scripture to mean what you want it to.

2. This is why I’m grateful to be Catholic.

You see, problems happen when everything is open to interpretation. That’s what you get with sola scriptura. It must be difficult to feel the weight of having to figure everything out yourself! I consider it such a gift to be be Catholic. I don’t have to figure out everything myself, and can trust the well educated explanations of thousands of saints, philosophers, bishops, theologians, popes, and doctors of the church who came before me. They’re not perfect. But they’re smarter than me and can help me understand issues I might not agree with.

3. We do need to talk about how we treat people who struggle with homosexual tendencies.

This, I think, is actually my biggest takeaway. I think Jen is right that we need to be sensitive to people. But she’s wrong that treating people better involves acquiescing to sin.

We can and should welcome people into our families, workplaces, and churches regardless of what sin they have, are, or will commit. We’re all sinners after all. This is part of what I think Jen was getting at, probably because some people still have a stone the gay people attitude. I hope it’s obvious that stoning people is wrong, as is wishing them ill will. That’s not a good way to love people.

Loving people means we do what is best for them. And since marriage-like relationships with people of the same gender violate how we were created to express our complementary sexuality as men and women, that’s not loving people right. Neither is it loving to endorse things like pornography, incest, or polygamy. Even if people want it. I don’t care if it’s consensual. Can we please agree on that? We can’t base our decisions on what people want because, let’s face it, we all want things that are bad for us sometimes. What we can do is treat people with respect, even when we disagree with them. The answer is not to endorse the sin, but to embrace the sinner. 

If we base our “love” for others on satisfying what they want, regardless of if it’s good for them, how on earth is that loving? You tell me.

To Life,

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7 Quick Takes, Vol. 62: Late term abortion and doing hard things

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It’s been a while since abortion made me cry. Perhaps it’s because I talk about it often. But this week (after Hillary Clinton defended partial birth abortion) has brought up stories that I simply cannot ignore. This is a hard topic, but one I think we need to talk openly and honestly about. I’m linking up with Kelly and sharing seven points about this topic.

1. Contrary to what liberal media will tell you, the majority of Americans think abortion in the last trimester should be illegal. Please note that I did not link to a biased pro-life source. This is Gallup. And I think their numbers represent the American people more accurately than Hillary Clinton or Planned Parenthood. Most people are simply not okay with abortion being free for all without limitations.

2. Let’s be very clear: late term abortions do happen in America. Yes, it’s a small percentage of all abortions. But there are abortion doctors who are very proud of this work. Just watch the documentary After Tiller. So, you might say: what actually happens during a late term abortion? In some cases, they inject digoxin into the amniotic fluid so the baby will overdose and die. Then they induce labor or surgically remove the baby. Other times, the baby will be partially delivered. They will deliver feet first and sever the spinal cord while the head is still inside and remove brain tissue through the hole to ensure success. This is what partial birth abortion is. This method, as far as we know, is rarely used (except for people like Gosnell).

3. These procedures are never necessary to save the life of the mother. If a mother is faced with a crisis situation which puts her life at risk by continuing pregnancy (preeclampsia or eclampsia, for example), doctors will deliver the baby early, probably by c-section, and do everything they can to save both the mother and child. When we’re talking about late term abortion, we’re talking about when the baby is beyond the viability point. This means even if chances are slim, they have a chance of living if they’re born early.

4. Most stories I’m seeing about parents choosing late term abortion happened because the baby had a problematic diagnosis. This, I think, is what got to me the most this week. It’s dangerous territory to deny someone a chance at life simply because their life would be hard. Yes, sometimes you know a baby will only live a short time after birth. But sometimes they’re wrong. Sometimes serious problems can be fixed. And if they can’t? A short life is still worth living. A short life can change hearts forever. Here’s a beautiful example. We honor heroes who go through hard things, and I think parents who lose their children or raise kids with severe medical issues are some of the most powerful quiet heroes we know.

5. There are options for palliative care when babies are given an adverse diagnosis. Ending their life is not the only option. When a baby is given an adverse diagnosis, it is the medical professional’s job to do everything possible for their patient. And thankfully, there are high quality NICU’s around the country who will. In the event that there’s no way to prolong life for babies with grave medical conditions, there are ministries like Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep who help parents treasure the few moments they have together.

6. If you or someone you know has been involved in an abortion or a difficult prenatal diagnosis, I want you to know there are resources out there for you. I’ve heard good things about Project Rachel and Bethesda Healing Ministry for post-abortion healing. I’ve also heard of Faith’s Lodge being an incredible place for families who have lost children. You can also call 1-800-712-4357 or text “HELPLINE” to 313131 to find a center near you that might be able to help find local resources.

7. Do you know of other resources that might be helpful? I just want the world to know there’s hope in such difficult circumstances. And I also want people to know that even though these situations are some people’s worst nightmares, we’re capable of getting stronger and living through our worst fears. And every person, no matter how long or short their life is, can make an impact on this world.

To Life,

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7 Quick Takes, Vol. 61: New place, fall, and not the election

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Hello world! There have been so many thoughts going through my head lately and posts I’ve wanted to write. But obviously that hasn’t happened. I’d like to spend more time writing deeper things, but you know what? You gotta start somewhere. Here are 7 random things about life lately. Join in with all the fun people today.

1. Life has both been a whirlwind and super slow since graduating in May. Being back here blogging reminded me of this scene in Mulan:

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On the one hand, I had my first day of work 4 days after getting home and jumped right into real adult life. That felt crazy fast. On the other hand, that’s mostly what I’ve done since May: drive to work, work, go home, eat, sleep, repeat. Compared to college life and everything I was doing, real life can actually be quite boring. I’m working on finding ways to spice it up and do new fun things . . .

2. Speaking of finding new things, now that I’ve moved (as of almost 2 weeks ago), I feel like I can finally do that. My sister and I found a place between our workplaces and are close to feeling mostly moved in. It’s both weird and super awesome to have our own place. And SO nice to have a commute of about 40 minutes compared to over 2 hours.

3. One of my favorite parts of the apartment? My bed. It’s probably the single thing I spent the most $$ on, which I think is worth it. Here’s a little sneak peak complete with my messy Craig’s listed corner desk, $7 Ikea lamp, and wrinkled pillowcases for a little extra pizzazz:img_0276

4. Another fun thing about being an adult is cooking. Tonight I’m going to make a polenta + veggie + cheese casserole. I’ve never made polenta before, so we’ll see how that goes. Anyone have fun squash recipes or others appropriate for fall?

5. We all know how crazy the world is, so I’m taking this opportunity to remind you there’s still good stuff out there. Remember that. Just take a look at the sunset! I took this the other night stopped at a red light after picking up a tree from Craig’s List, which is pretty awesome if you ask me. We can choose to focus on the bad stuff or look for the good. Focusing on good stuff (even though we do have to deal with crap too) really makes life better. Also, who wouldn’t be happy with an awesome new tree in your car?

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6. I don’t know if this quote is legit or not, but I found it recently, and love it: “Teach us to give and not count the cost” Words to ponder from St. Ignatius.

7. On an interesting note, I really like this article from earlier this week: The New Culture of Life. It’s about the growing trend of people who are feminist and/or non-religious within the pro-life movement. I find the reaction to this quite interesting. What do you think? I’m a big fan of a consistent life ethic, regardless of other beliefs we might disagree on, and am looking forward to doing more with that soon.

What have you been up to lately? Are you proud of me for not mentioning the election or politics here? That was hard! I have much to say on the topic, but will save it for later😉

To Life,

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Mother Teresa beyond the poor

What if I told you that there was so much more to be learned from Mother Teresa’s life than helping the poor? 

As a Catholic, there are thousands of people we recognize as possessing heroic virtue, so it might be hard to pick a favorite saint. But Mother Teresa, whom I affectionately call Mama T, is hands down one of my favorites. Let me tell you why.

At first I admired her for giving up everything to help the poor. Who wants to walk the streets helping people who kind of (really!) don’t like you (at first)? Probably most of us wouldn’t jump on that opportunity. 

It’s admirable and beautiful what Mama T did to help the poor, and I think most of us could make a greater effort to alleviate the suffering of those living in material poverty. That’s the easy to agree with message that so many people fell in love with Mama T for.

But there’s so much more to her. Here are some of the reasons (beyond helping the poor) Mama T is my homegirl:

She teaches us to trust God with absolutely reckless abandon. 

I use those words literally because to most people, how the Missionaries of Charity live is totally reckless. When I spent a spring break with them, I learned that they never ask for what they need or want. Instead, they’ll pray for God to provide. And guess what? He always does – even if it’s not how we imagined. The soup kitchen I helped them run for a week was overflowing with food to share. And they had never put donation bins in churches or asked for people to contribute. They got up around 4am, didn’t have furniture in their chapel, hand washed their sari’s, got through each day helping others tirelessly, traveled around their city to help all sorts of people, AND were able to stay awake for an hour of adoration. We can’t all do this, obviously. But it was a good example of what can happen when we lean on God. 

This story is another illustration of how Mama T trusted God (and shows us to!), which I try to remember. I’ve gone back to that story so many times. Her example is such a good reminder that God will never lead us to such deep waters that he can’t carry us across. 

She showed me that being Catholic doesn’t mean you have a perfect relationship with God.

It might be scandalizing to some people to know that Mama T felt unloved by God for the majority of her adult life. To me, it’s comforting. It’s proof that being a good person doesn’t come from special spiritual super powers. Yes, she had to have a lot of grace to do what she did. But just like her, I can choose to do what is good and contribute something beautiful to the world even if it stinks sometimes. People we admire have struggles and feel alone sometimes. How awesome to know what we’re all capable of.

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Never heard of her struggles? READ THIS BOOK.

She helped me understand that loving is about giving.

Much like the quotable Fulton Sheen, Mama T had some mic drop moments talking about giving. Reading her words have been part of my understanding of Theology of the Body – that life isn’t about getting and having. It’s about being and giving.

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.

During my mission trip, one of the sisters was experiencing severe pain in her foot. It apparently was getting worse as she was getting older. But we didn’t find out until well into the week, when it came up in conversation. Her response? “You don’t get old until you stop loving Jesus!” She just kept on giving.

She taught me that feeling unloved is a crisis unparalleled by material want.

To much of the Western world, being without a house and food sounds like one of the most horrible things that could happen to you. It is surely a sad thing. At some point, I thought how nice it would be to go to places like the slums of Calcutta and alleviate the suffering there. But having a bit more life behind me now (ha!), I get this. Material want can be fixed. And it should be, by people who have things. Want for love is so different. Whether it’s a broken relationship, a rough upbringing, or something else that’s cause for a feeling of alienation, there’s not as easy a fix. It’s complicated and messy and I hope that throughout my life I can help some people feel a little more cared for.

The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.

She showed me that you don’t have to go to Calcutta to change the world.

If you love Mama T, you probably thought about going to India for a hot second. Am I right? I did. Would it be awesome to see and experience her work? Of course. Yes. It would! I’ve found mission trips to be enriching and wonderful experiences. They’re great. But I think they also run the risk of us failing to see the people around us right here in our neighborhoods who need a helping hand. Mama T issues a challenge to us, which I hope to spend my life working on:

It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.

Are we up for the challenge?

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“I Thirst” written beside every crucifix in their buildings serves as a reminder to spend our lives satiating God’s thirst for souls by bringing his love to the world.

You can find Calcutta anywhere in the world. You only need two eyes to see. Everywhere in the world there are people that are not loved, people that are not wanted nor desired, people that no one will help, people that are pushed away or forgotten. And this is the greatest poverty.

We’ve heard her words. We love her. Now let’s find our Calcuttas. Where is yours?

To Life,

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Why I’m not voting for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton

What’s more lighthearted and joyful to talk about than politics nowadays?

Lots of things, Laura. LOTS of things.

But talk about it we shall. It’s been hard to figure out this election cycle, so here’s how I’m approaching it.

Why I'm not voting for Hilary or Trump at A Drorp in the Ocean

The first thing I consider when voting for a candidate for any position is whether or not they respect the dignity of the human person. If the person in question supports direct attacks on human life, they automatically don’t get my vote. I don’t care if they have a stellar economic vision if they can’t respect everyone’s right to life. #SorryNotSorry

If the candidate passes that basic test, I will look at their stance on a variety on social issues. Then I will move to economic strategies, foreign policy, and the list goes on. But let’s be real. Most politicians don’t get that far in my process.

Because this is my process, Hillary Clinton never was and never will be someone I vote for (barring a major conversion). She is in favor of abortion on demand and shares Planned Parenthood’s worldview that some people are not as important as others. She’s also a criminal, so there’s that. Not voting for her was an easy decision.

Now the harder part. Long before the candidates were official, I seriously wondered if Trump running for president was a joke. I mean, what filthy rich business honcho runs for president? Apparently he does.

When I realized he would be the republican nominee, I lost what little faith I had in our political system. And I decided to eventually drop my affiliation with the republican party. The two party system doesn’t make sense to me at this point in history, because I think it divides us against each other when we need to work on electing people who will unite as many people as possible. Even though this means I won’t be able to vote for republican candidates in future primaries as a Californian, I’m just not willing to be affiliated with a group of people I don’t belong with.

Anyway.

The obvious decision would be to vote for Trump then, right?

Not for me.

I understand the reasoning some people are using to justify voting for Trump:

  • they’re sticking it to the establishment (by voting for the establishment…wut? I’m really not sure how someone like Trump isn’t part of this alleged establishment.)
  • they like that he’s not a career politician (which makes him a great politician. How is this a good qualification for being President?)
  • they hate Hillary so much they’d vote for the other person regardless of who it is because the republican is going to be more moral than the democrat (This is just bad logic because being republican doesn’t make you a saint.)
  • he is unabashedly not politically correct (Have you noticed this was more before he had advisers? His changing his voice makes me think he’s too easily manipulated.)
  • they think he will follow through on his promise to elect good people to SCOTUS (Good luck with that)
  • they agree with his stances (in which case, let’s talk about those)
  • or he’s the “lesser” of two evils in this case (debatable)

I just don’t buy it. So I’m not voting for Trump. I’m not voting for Trump because it’s never okay to do something bad for a good result. Ever. It’s not because I’m naive enough to think a perfect candidate exists. But I cannot in good conscience violate my conscience by voting for either of our major candidates.

I will not endorse deporting people who allegedly don’t belong here.

I will not endorse building a wall to keep people out.

I will not endorse nuking people nonchalantly.

I will not endorse killing the innocent wives and families of terrorists.

I will not endorse flipflopping on the issues most important to me.

Even if endorsing these things meant changing SCOTUS to be more in favor of my moral beliefs, I won’t vote for someone so reprehensibly against what I stand for to get one good thing.

It’s hard. I get it.

Many people I know are deciding what to do. Some will not vote. And some, like me, will write in a candidate as a protest vote. I’m not sure who yet (feel free to recommend people in the comments), but that’s what I’m doing.

Agree or disagree, I’d love to hear how you vote. Tell me I’m wrong, tell me who you’re voting for, let me hear it!

To Life,

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What’s next?

Over the last couple weeks, in a renewed zeal for sharing my thoughts, I’ve sat down and written a couple posts. They came easily, and I enjoyed the distant but familiar joy of sharing what’s on my mind. But they didn’t make it to your screen. I was too incredulous at the dumbness of the world that my words would probably definitely be regretted.

The world hasn’t really calmed down since then, but I’m here, finally ready to take this thing head on.

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Thankfully, taking on San Francisco hills for work has proven to be less difficult than taking on our culture.

Since graduating and beginning life in the real world a couple months ago, I’ve been thinking about my place in all this craziness. That may never be crystal clear. But I do clearly know that I can’t be silent right now. I’m not one to ever be silent about things that matter. But lately it’s been too overwhelming to comprehend. We all know it.

I’m going to start writing again anyway.

If there’s ever a time we needed person to person dialogue, this is it.

We need to discuss things that matter. We need to remember each other’s humanity when we disagree. We need to challenge ourselves and people we can reach to build the future we hope for.

I’m starting small, and not making any promises. But I am back (with a prettier blog!). And I’m here to tackle our culture, current events, and life as a Catholic in a world increasingly against me. What’s next? A whole lot of fun breaking down the issues and getting to the heart of the issues we’re all struggling with.

Welcome to the ride! If there’s anything you want to discuss, contact me anytime. You can bet there are fun things in the works already😉

To Life,

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On being an adult

Job, transportation, housing, and so much more are what we as young adults have to figure out after leaving the comfort of a college campus. When I first heard people use the term “adulting”, it seemed pretty weird. But now that I’m in the throes of figuring out post college life, it seems to accurately describe my feeling toward transitioning into a full-fledged member of society.

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Not long ago, it felt like I was standing on the edge of a cliff. Since then I accepted a job offer, graduated from college, and road tripped half way across the U.S. with my family to get home. In the few days between getting home and when work training starts, it’s been crunch time figuring out a new car, financing said car, public transportation to work, insurance, and eventually moving out of my family home (to name a few things). It’s a LOT all at once, and can be overwhelming. But I’m also so, so grateful to have a job.

With this whirlwind transition going on, there hasn’t been much time to think about all the other components of young adult life. You know, forming a new community and whatnot. Adulting is hard, sometimes. There are lots of transitions. And there’s stuff I haven’t begun to deal with yet since graduation was just a week ago. There’s so much I want to do. It’s such an exciting time! But right now I’m focusing on figuring out the basics.

To keep myself sane, I’ve been taking it one step at a time. It can’t all happen at once. [Even if I do have a million tabs open at once trying to put it all together…]

And you know what? It’ll all happen in time. I think that’s an important thing to remember in figuring out all this stuff. We don’t have to have all the answers now, thank goodness!

Here are some reminders for this time:

  • Be patient. If you have everything all perfectly laid out, it probably won’t happen that way (ask me how I know, ha!).
  • Learn to trust God. He’s got your back, even when everything else seems uncertain.
  • Be smart with money. I think it’s a major disservice to young people that so many of us don’t know much about handling money. But I do consider myself in a good position because of the years of hard work put into earning my way through college. I took out far less in loans than many college students, have great credit, and a full time job. But I still have to be smart and make concrete goals – a work in progress! Having goals and good advice in this area I think can help alleviate a lot of worries that go into adulting.
  • Give, give, give. As a single young person, there’s nobody depending on me and nobody I’m depending on (in the same way as being a child). Because of that, it’s easy to become self centered. Use this time to give back in ways you couldn’t do later in life. After all, we can only find ourselves in service to others. Donate the time, talent, and treasure that you can!
  • Do things you enjoy off the internet. Like to hike or draw or crochet or read? Do it! When things get stressful, slow down your mind in healthy ways that relax you. Spend time with people. Try new recipes. Paint a room. Finish a book. Try a new coffee shop in town. Go to a dance class. Thrift shop. Sew. Play an instrument. Get a little beauty into your life!

It can be a little unsettling figuring life out. And I’m smack dab in the middle of it right now! But it helps to know I don’t have to have all the answers right now. Life as an adult is just beginning for me, and it’s exciting thinking about all the possibilities. Imagine what’s possible when we make the most of our young adult years and work to become the people God made us to be!

Thanks to Rachel and Lindsay for having me host NAS this week! Share your pro tips for adulting in the comment section or the link-up, and let’s help each other out.

To Life,

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Link up next week with Lindsay to revisit the topic of love languages. Here’s the prompt:

Love languages apply to more than just romance; they help you learn how to make people feel appreciated and cared for in all of your relationships. What is your love language? (Take the quiz at 5lovelanguages.com.) How have you learned to speak someone else’s love language? Do you find it easier to speak some languages than others; if so, which ones? How have you shown or received love in multiple languages?

 

Standing on the cliff of uncertainty

It feels like I’m standing on the edge of a cliff.

Being just over a week away from graduation is something that always seemed way in the future. But now it’s right here. I am an adult who will soon have a degree and job.

My future is still not quite crystal clear, which is something I didn’t expect. At first when job leads became unsure, I insisted on looking at specifically Catholic or pro-life jobs. When nothing was happening with those leads, I expanded to non-profits in general and applied there. It’s been frustrating not knowing what the future will be like.

I’ve been praying about it and was grilling God a couple weeks ago questioning whether I was supposed to even work with Catholic or pro-life organizations. Were my standards too high? If nothing’s happening with those leads, am I not supposed to work in those areas? Why in the world would I have spent the last 5 years working in those fields only to be rejected to continue full time? Was I being doomed to work in a meaningless cubicle away from the work I’m passionate about?

So naturally, I gave God an ultimatum of sorts and said “Okay, but if you want me in those other places, show me. Open the door and I will walk through it, even if I don’t love it.”

Daring God is not the most intelligent or mature thing I’ve done, but it also gave him just enough room in this adventure.

I continued my job search online widening my horizons. It was rather discouraging. Those business jobs unrelated to missions of helping people are the jobs that are often highly competitive and driven by profit and dirty business. That’s not what drives me, so it’s difficult to bring myself to apply to those jobs. But wouldn’t you know? I think God’s got something up his sleeve because other leads started developing. And my applications for jobs at non Catholic/life-related jobs were rejected.

So maybe that was the point – to get to the place where I gave up my plans and started looking at what I don’t want to do.

After all, one thing taking Catholic Social Thought has taught me is that it’s not the specifics of our work that make it meaningful. It’s our co-participation with God in his plan to develop creation. It’s our dignity as creatures made in his image that gives our work meaning.

Who knows where God is calling me? Not this girl. I’ve been surprised, disappointed, discouraged, but also hopeful at different times during this process. Figurative doors have been slammed in my face. It has not been fun. It’s not something I wanted to do. And it’s certainly not over. But more than anything, getting to this point in life has taught me that the best things often happen when my plans don’t work out.

Recently I was absentmindedly humming Here I  Am Lord, and this line stuck with me when I realized how applicable it is to senior year: “I will go, Lord, if you lead me.”

I will go, Lord, if you lead me

And for the first time in my life, I’m realizing that I actually mean that. God does not abandon us, EVER. Things like this that test us make us stronger. Bring on the fire! We can choose to lean into the change and let ourselves be molded, or we can crumble under the pressure. I choose to make the most of this. I choose to not be passive about finding what God has in store. I choose to find joy in this, even when it stinks. And I choose to allow God to unfold the masterpiece of my life.

Trust in God is one of the most horribly painful but awesome things ever. And it’s born from a place of realizing the gifts in life (basically everything) while developing an attitude of thanksgiving. It goes like authenticity to trust to gratitude.

That will never be easy to accept, but it has gotten easier. God’s got a plan and I’m out to find it. Are you?

To Life,

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