Wasn't sure if I should post this but I found out this morning I'm not pregnant... again. On to Cycle 9. I'm really not that upset about it but as Cycle 12 looms I am trying not to worry about what it means to not be pregnant after a year of trying. I'm trying to hard to be patient with God's plan for my life, this is all part of the journey. The baby shower was kind of fun yesterday. I didn't really know a lot of people there. There were two women who were pregnant one was due in a week the other in 2 weeks, they were huge! The baby was super cute and of course I got to hold her. The mom of the baby said to me while I was holding the baby, "Now you'll get the baby bug! We're already talking about number 2!" All I could say was, "I already have the bug." Which is true. But then again, I did enjoy sleeping in this morning and just hanging out with Brian with no worries. Can't do that with a baby around. I am trying to focus and enjoying my life right now, today, in this moment. I know I can't have this time back!
I had such a great Friday night! We literally had no plans! When I got home from work Brian and I walked the dog together and chatted. Then we headed to the store to pick up a few things. He cooked me an awesome shrimp and pasta dinner and we drank some wine (even though I might be pregnant). We played a few games of cards while listening to some music. After one of our games we both got up to do something. I went over to give him a hug and we slow danced to the music in the kitchen. So simple, yet so romantic. We then watched and old 80's movie and went to bed. Sometimes I get frustrated that I don't have a "normal" job where I can just be home at night and be with Brian. But I think if I did then these simple moments wouldn't seem so special. Today he is off fishing in the morning and I have to teach cycling class. Later I am going to a baby shower and the baby is already born so that should be fun then I have to be at our evening Mass. Don't forget to cherish the simple things!
So, I am sitting here at work facing a conflict. A while back I posted about a young person requesting that we do a mission trip. I went ahead with this idea and had a little meeting with parents to discuss it. Not too many people showed up but there was a general interest. The group thought the the last full week in June would be a good time to do this. I agreed. Well, I'm still hammering out the details. I was going to work with our music minister to work on an Indian Reservation in Minnesota but that fell through (as I suspected it would but that is a story for another time). So I am currently working on doing some flood relief in Iowa. I was also thinking that since I will not have a baby in June nor will I be grossly pregnant I might consider starting a Master's program that is offered in the Summer. My heart has been longing for this for sometime. It would allow me to return to my Alma Mater and to in turn benefit my ministry. Just one problem. The Summer institute meets for two weeks in June, one of them being the week of the proposed mission trip. Essentially I am in control of this event. But do I sacrifice what the young people and their parents told me was a good date? Or do I sacrifice something I truly want and desire that will ALSO benefit my ministry? I ran it by one of my bosses and of course she said that since I got people excited about this I shouldn't drop it. I tried to explain that I wouldn't drop it completely but that it might not be ideal for the kids. There is also a possibility that not enough kids will sign up for the trip. I am setting the minimum at 5. I've said this all along so I can't really change that. It's not that I don't want to see this happen. In fact I'm really pleased and excited that a young person suggested this idea. I'm just tired of sacrificing my wants and needs for this job/my ministry. This is only one BIG example of how I always feel this job comes first and I have to give something up. Am I suppose to? I just don't feel right about it. If I don't start a master's program now and I do end up getting pregnant then when do I start it? When I have a new baby at home? When my "kids" are older? And what if I am pregnant or do get pregnant before the trip? Is it safe to do manual labor? I am so conflicted right now. My head and heart are saying, "Go home, eat lunch, pray." What would you do?
Had a great Youth Ministry Session last night. I had invited a group that runs an ecumenical Christian summer camp called Summer Festival to visit and promote themselves. I attended this camp when I was in 8th and 9th grade and was later a counselor for my church when I was older. It really was a life changing experience and influenced my decision to go into ministry. In addition to having a really fun night some other cool things happened. A young man who comes from a VERY troubled home (I won't even go into the details but it's BAD!) whose grandma MAKES him come to Youth Ministry brought a friend with him. Initially I was a little nervous. This kid has never done anything really bad but in general makes inappropriate comments and doesn't like to participate. So, I was concerned that his friend might be similar or worse! On the other hand this for this young man to invite another friend to a church event really said something to me. I asked the friend what church he attended and he said he didn't even know "what" he was. I also saw this as an opportunity to minister to someone might not ever get to hear The Good News. It actually went really well. The "friend" was just fine and actually participated in the games and such. My "troubled" friend also participating on our activities. It was nothing earth shattering but I felt some good was done. I don't know if any of my kids will be interested in attending Summer Festival. Some how giving up a week of my summer to take kids to it doesn't seems like such a sacrifice. We shall see. After our gathering the promo team asked if there was a Rocky Rococo's in town where they could get some pizza for dinner. I told them "yes!" and gave them directions. They invited me along! Even though it was late (for me any way) and I really wanted to get back into my 5:30am workout routine (I've been sick and out of it lately) I went. It was really great! They are such cool people doing such good work. The one guy BoBo must be in his 50's and was at camp when I was in middle school. He's kind of an idol to the campers and I felt really cool to just hang with them (I know how old am I???). It made me realize how unsocial I am. My job forces me to be social and interact with people so much that I tend to shy away from social invites. I also get to see my husband so little that if I have an opportunity to spend time with him I opt for that. Not sure what to think about that. Anyway, it was a great night, it refreshed my ministry!
p.s. I did get up at 6am and worked out for 30 minutes... I needed too after eating that pizza!
I just thought I'd share with you an excerpt from the Daily Devotional our priest sends out every morning. It really spoke to me and the thoughts that have been swirling around my head lately. To give a little background information today is the Feast of the Annunciation, or in other words the day the Catholic Church celebrates Jesus' conception or rather Mary saying "Yes" to God's plan for her:
And the angel said, “You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. … “ And Mary said, “I am the servant of the Lord; may it happen to me as you have said.” [Luke 1:31,38]
Mary’s response to God’s will—as revealed to her by the angel—boils down to this: “Thy will be done!” It is the most beautiful response a person can make to God. It is the response Mary taught her son Jesus to make. It is the response Jesus taught his disciples to make in the Our Father (“they kingdom come; thy will be done”). It is the response Jesus himself made in the Garden of Gethsemane just before his arrest: “Not my will … but your will be done” (Luke 22:44). Like mother, like son. How about you? How readily do you embrace God’s will for you, instead of hoping to impose your will on God?
What we usually pray to God is not that his will be done, but that he approves ours. (Helga Bergold Gross)
So why did this scripture speak to me? Well, as I've mentioned before I really would like to have a baby. I am on CD 25 9DPO (for those of you in the TTC world for those of you who are not just disregard). There is really no way at this point in time that I can tell if I am pregnant or not. This is our last chance to have a child in the year 2009 and if we were in fact successful we will have a Christmas baby (or close to Christmas). That's right, 9 months from now is Christmas. But what really speaks to me is that Mary said, "Thy Will Be Done." This process of trying to conceive (TTC) has been a lot longer than I thought. I thought I could control it with charting, planning, timing. In my heart of hearts I know that it is not "My will be done" but God's. I wish I could adhere to that more strongly. I must think of Mary and her willingness to accept God's plan for her life. I've always known that God has a plan for me but sometimes don't see it until after the fact. Wouldn't it be beautiful to have a Christmas baby though?
So, it is nearing the end of my week from HEAVEN. Today I was the only one in the office for the majority of the day. The phone barely rang and there were hardly any visitors. It was wonderful! I went to lunch with my dad at The Shrine. We also took some time to look at the actual Shrine. Speaking of The Shrine my daily reflection yesterday talked about rules. It asked us to reflect on how we felt about rules. Over all I LOVE rules! They create order and give a person guidelines on what to do. I am definitely a rule follower. But, I find it a challenge to follow ALL the rules set forth by the Catholic Church. Some Catholics believe in 100% devotion to Church Authority. The Shrine has been an item of dispute in our Diocese. The former Bishop decided he wanted to build this Shrine which cost $30 MILLION dollars. And why? First of all the Bishop claims that the money was all donated for the cause of the Shrine. I ask, if you are able to raise $30 million dollars why not donate it to a worth cause or to those in need? Secondly we didn't really need a Shrine. I have a big place in my hear for the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (no that's not me on their home page), the order that founded the college I attended. They have a beautiful chapel for people to visit and a wonderful story. They also do a lot of good in our community. Also, many of our local parishes needed to close due to lack of priests yet the Shrine has a a resident priest. Thirdly the true story of the Shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupeoriginates in Mexico city when a POOR native man saw a vision of Mary who told him to build a Shrine to her. I've seen the "real" Shrine and it is far more humble then the one here. The former Bishop said it would be a great thing for all our Mexican residents, (our city's population is mostly German and Norwegian). The main population of immigrants are Hmong. Anyway, some Catholics think this Shrine is just SO WONDERFUL! What a great thing our Bishop did! Others think its a waste of money and land. Personally I side with the later group. I vowed NEVER to go there. But, I had to check out the restaurant which I heard was awesome (it is by the way) and today my dad wanted to look at the actual Shrine. It was really beautiful. I little over the top. And I had to ask myself, why? So back to rules. I guess some would say I'm a bad Catholic because I don't think everything church authority does is right or good. I also haven't always followed ALL the "rules" that our tradition sets forth. I think I do a pretty good job of following the Ten Commandments and living as a disciple of Christ. I guess we'll find out in the end!
So my anticipation of this week has lived up to my expectaions! So far I am having a grand time! I started the weekend off with a certification I'm taking at the YMCA. I really enjoy this "class" because it is something totally unrelated to my ministry and I get to be taught something and don't have to worry about teaching anything. I did teach cycling on Saturday morning. Brian and I went shopping at the local co-op. Then he went fishing, I got some work done and then I went to evening Mass. I LOVE just being able to go to Mass and not having to do anything. Of course it didn't turn out that way as a young person needed some "attention." The weather has finally turned nice her so it was enjoyable to walk to and from Mass as well as take my dog on a nice walk. We went out for breakfast Sunday morning, something we don't usually get to do. Then we headed for the land where he hunts and hiked in the woods with the dog. It was wonderful! We got back home and I did some more YMCA work, then we hung out some more. It was just great to have time to ourselves. It made me realize how much I really do wish I had a "normal" job. But what is normal anyway? I mean if I wouldn't have had this slower week I wouldn't even had appreciated it. The office has been very quiet and I have not evening activities I need to do. Today the temperature is almost 70 degrees! We are going out with Brian's family for Corn Beef and Cabbage something I haven't been able to do in 3 years since I was living and working away from Brian or on a Spring Break trip. I will certainly be enjoying and cherishing this time! In TTC news I am so glad that I wasn't away on a trip because it would have been during our best chance to conceive. Now we just have to wait......
So, I've been kind of a slacker lately. I've slacked off on this blog, I haven't done my noon prayer ritual, and I've even been slacking at work! Don't worry I haven't broken my facebook Lenten promise. In my defense (or rather as an excuse) I have been really sick with a nasty cold! I am starting to feel better though so that excuse shouldn't hold up for too long! As far a work goes there is just NOTHING pressing that needs to be done. Next week is Spring Break for the University and the public school district. Because of this I have called off Youth Ministry. For the past two years I've gone on a Spring Break service trip with our University students. This as been both a HUGE stress in my life as well as a blessing. I absolutely HATED driving that far. Last year I was the only "adult" leading and the previous year I had to keep up with the crazy priest who drove through Chicago like an Indy 500 racer! Last year we drove home on Good Friday in a blizzard. I lost control of the van I was driving and too it off the intersate and into a ditch getting rear ended in the process. No one was hurt in the process. It could have been a lot worse. It sacred the heck out of me. This year I am NOT going on trip! I have mixed feelings about this. Part of me is glad that the stress has been lifted from my shoulders. Another part of me will miss the blessings that this trip hadsbrought to me in the past. I always got to know some of our students so much better. It is such a joy to work with them outside of the "church" environment. The long drive and quality time together provided a lot of opportunity for discussion. I also learned a lot about myself on these trips in regards to ministry and what God was calling me to. Last year right before I left on the trip I interviewed for another job. The job was not even in ministry or church work. Initially the thought of leaving thrilled me. I felt that I needed to get out. While on the trip my attitude changed. I realized that I had many gifts to give the young people of this parish. Just because my work environment and co-workers weren't ideal that didn't mean I had to sacrifice who I was or what God was calling me to be. I found myself dreading the result of the interview. If they offered me a position how could I say yes when I knew (have always known) that ministry is where God was calling me to be? How could I say no to an offer of more money and a "normal" work environment? As always, God knows best and I didn't get the position. From that point on my attitude towards my ministry has changed. I'm not saying it has always been roses and sunshine but its better. The job itself has not changed, I have. In fact I haven't even looked for another job since that time. This is were I am called for now, and I know that. Truth be told I honestly thought that I would be pregnant and unable to go on the service trip this year but alas that is not true and perhaps a story for another time.
Not much to say today. Just wanted to post and awesome video I saw on GodTube. This man has done tons of Triathlons with his son who is disabled. Its beautiful! Now that I've figured out how to post videos I've gone a little crazy! Can anyone tell me how to make my blog look prettier with cool wallpaper??
Some days I think I should blog but I have nothing to write about. Today I couldn't stop thinking about what I wanted to write about! I guess I am paying more attention to where God is touching my life. To start with it's a beautiful day currently its almost 45 degrees out! To me that is warm! As I walked home for lunch a relished the sound of the water from melting snow running down the sewer drains. It means spring is near! Another great part of my day was a prospective student visiting the University for a campus tour day just happened to stop by our church with her mom to check it out. Since I was the only Campus Minister around I got to give her a tour and tell her all about us. It's so wonderful so see people's faces light up when I tell them about all we have to offer for our students. I like to think that maybe I played a role in convincing her to attend the University. Finally I got a little distracted today when reading Shannon's Blog. I glanced over at her side bar and began reading other people's blogs about trying to conceive and infertility. Sometimes I get so impatient and worry that we will never get pregnant. When I read about other woman's stories about all the challenges they've faced, all the testing and medications they've had to go through and how they still held on to their faith in God's plan for their life if gives me comfort. We really haven't been trying that long. As far as I can tell I am fairly "normal" in my cycles. I will be patient and wait for God's hand in this. Now I just have to get through Youth Ministry tonight! I think I am going to try and do some serious praying before hand! We 're talking about free will tonight! Here's something to tug at your heartstrings! Gotta love Allison Krause!
Well, I made it! I think I posted awhile back that if I could make it through February I'd be GOLDEN! Here we are March 3rd and I am happy as can be. My calendar doesn't look as crazy and I am really truly enjoying Lent. So far I have kept up with my Lenten promises except for I missed my daily Lenten reflection yesterday. Opps! It was my day off and I was so into what I was doing I totally forgot. I've peaked on facebook once just to make sure none of my youth ministry kids messaged me (they didn't). So, what have I learned so far? I think that facebook rots your brain! But seriously, I have found my love of knitting again! I picked up a project that I have been chipping away at since November and finished it in one afternoon! I also picked up a blanket that had a HUGE mistake in it that I couldn't find. I patiently ripped out a couple of rows, counted my stitches, looked for the dropped stitch and successfully fixed my mistake! This was after not looking at the thing since Thanksgiving! I EVEN started a NEW project. So, what does all this have to do with Lent. My priest said something this weekend that got me thinking. He said that Lent wasn't about depriving ourselves or causing our selves to suffer in order to grow in our faith. It's a time to rediscover who we are, who God made us to be. I think being on facebook constantly (at work and home) was taking time away from who I am, not to mention spending time with my husband. It's so much better to sit in front of the television half listening to whatever is on while I knit and talk with him then to have us in separate rooms me staring at the computer him at the tv. Not that knitting is HUGE part of who I am but it is something productive that I enjoy! So, I'm well on my way. In other news, I'm still not pregnant. But, I took the news pretty well this time around. We've just got to keep trying. I know its in God's hands. I think my husband getting his hours cut at work has been GOOD thing! He is much happier, has more time to do stuff, helps out a lot. I think stress might have been a big reason we didn't get pregnant in the past. Here's a song my friend Kim suggested for Lent. She said it sounded like my previous post! I listened to it and I agree!
I am a complex 29 year old working in ministry trying to balance the call to do God's will and still keep my sanity! I also love to swim, bike, run (triathlon), lift weights, and Zumba! I am committed to living a healthy lifestyle eating right and moving more! My husband and I have been married for 3 years and are trying to start our family!