“Each day, every day of our lives, God presents to us the people and opportunities upon which he expects us to act. He expects no more of us, but he will accept nothing less of us; and we fail in our promise and commitment if we do not see in the situations of every moment of every day his divine will.” – Fr. Cizek, He Leadeth Me
I continue to be astounded by who God is, and what mighty works He does all the time, if only we would pay attention. How easy it is for me to be caught up in too many things, consumed by the fast-paced lifestyle of today’s society, and completely overlook the details of God’s handiwork or the opportunities he sets before us. I know I’ve definitely fallen into this time and again, only to have the abrupt reminder to slow down and take notice of what has slipped by in my haste. Finding balance in this is something I constantly wrestle with, and I think that’s a good thing! There are still many events, planning times, meetings, and preparations that go into each week, and I’m not discounting the importance of being well organized or the reality of having a full schedule. I must, however, be aware of the times in-between and not be too focused on the next agenda item that I miss out on the simple moments that God provides. When I do slow down, I see these moments everywhere. For example: taking a Saturday afternoon to hang out with a new friend at the Buckwheat Festival!
The past month has been full of adventures, deepening friendships, meeting new people, and being restored. The Lord has presented me with numerous opportunities to invest and be a part of the student’s lives. Diving into these relationships, really getting to know the students; their aspirations, their families, their struggles, their relationship with God… this is at the core of how Saint Paul’s Outreach is able to have the depth of effect on the campuses we are placed. To share our life with them as well; to have a vulnerability about my flaws and the areas and ways I am challenged to grow in – this is sometimes hard because we are prideful and wish to appear without fault. But the Lord is so good, and when we desire humility, He gives us the grace to be honest and open with others. In July, I wrote about my desire to continue to grow in maturity and as a disciple of the Lord. In August, we were challenged at SNE with the questions, “Are you living a life worth imitating? Are you ready to say, follow me, as I follow Christ.?” In September, I read a massive amount of books, absorbed as much as I could from them, and worked to understand how to put them into action. In our staff development reading, many phrases have jumped from the pages and stuck on my heart:
“what is not believed or lived cannot be transmitted…” (referencing our faith)
“Our parishes need to become places where it is normal for adult Catholics to ask, ‘what is God calling me to?'”
“Those who want more of the Lord will receive more of the Lord”
“…we have met thousands of lifelong Catholics whose faith, lives, and priorities were utterly transformed when they responded to an explicit call to discipleship.”
Here in October, the Lord has set out the path for that action to take place. Much self-examination of what my daily life is like has been happening – am I putting forth my best effort into everything I do? Am I going about my day with sincerity in all my words and deeds, intentional about growing in virtue? If not, I’m aware of it and working on it. Through the depth of friendships that have been developing, I am recognizing to seek the Lord’s guidance – am I supposed to extend a call to discipleship to this particular student at this particular time? In what ways am I proving to be a trust-worthy person, that these students will know I care? Jesus gives me many small ways… one was simply being able to support a student at her induction to nursing school, since none of her family were able to attend.
A huge event that we were able to participate in was Project Planned Parenthood, co-sponsored by the Students for Life and Mountaineers for Life organizations. What an incredible day it was, y’all! We went on campus to provide facts and engage in dialogue about the reality of Planned Parenthood’s vast participation in the abortion business. All of the numbers and figures came from Planned Parenthood’s annual report, and it was shocking to see how much revenue they make from abortions. With so many issues vying for our fired-up attention, it’s not hard to let one shocking thing be replaced by another, as our focus is drawn to each new event in the news. This subject isn’t going to disappear though, and I was actually surprised by how little the majority of students actually knew about Planned Parenthood’s abortion business. However, I was grateful for the opportunity to have respectful conversation with so many people of diverse opinions – it’s something you don’t find very often anymore. I was able to share my pro-life stance and listen to their viewpoints. Though we didn’t always agree, simply having the chance to talk about this very real issue with maturity was refreshing and engaging. I stayed out there from 9am – 4:30pm and was thoroughly exhausted by the end of the day! I hope we can bring this event back next semester.
Then… a most restorative adventure took place! West Virginia University has a fall break, and I was able to travel back to Texas for several days! IT WAS WONDERFUL! I got to surprise many dear friends by showing up unexpectedly, and had a fantastic time!
Blue Water Highway Band! Their album just came out… so you should go get yourself a copy! If you’re not in the San Marcos area, it’s available on iTunes!
It was such a good time and flew by way too fast, of course. I arrived back in Morgantown on Tuesday evening and turned right around to drive to Columbus, OH early Friday morning for our monthly staff days! Whew, it seemed like last week didn’t even exist! Now, we get to gather our mid-semester momentum and begin preparing for next year’s Households! Last year, I literally flew by the seat of my pants as the Lord directed everything to fall into place so we could have both Men’s and Women’s Households this year. Because the leases are signed in late November for the following year, we have to be totally on top of applications, interviews, house-hunting, and lease signing in order to continue the Household program. Come Lord Jesus! It’s going to be a whirlwind!
Thanks for keeping me in your prayers! Y’all are definitely in mine! God Bless!