40 Reasons Why: no. 38

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no. 38: litanies

I think my first introduction into Litanies was in high school. I can’t remember the first time, but I have grown in my appreciation of them in the last few years. I was once praying the rosary with a friend and she was leading and did the Litany to the Blessed Virgin Mary at the end.

I’ve also had a tenuous relationship with the Litany of Humility over the course of a few years. I know I need humility, but I dislike asking for it because it can be painful to really practice that virtue!

The Marian Consecration of St. Louis de Montfort preparation prayers also includes a few litanies … long ones too!

I was most recently introduced to this Litany of Trust from the Sisters of Life. I have found it to be just what I’ve needed lately.

Lastly, I’ve been praying this Litany for the Church in Crisis by my online friend Laura every day at 2:57pm. Praying that on the 1st day of the #sackclothandashes 40 days was the impetus for embarking on this 40 day time of reflection.

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Humane Vitae and Me

Well this is a fun day! My friend Laura over at A Drop in the Ocean is doing a month long series about the effects and influence of Humane Vitae for the 50th Anniversary this year. She asked for submissions months ago, and I thought I’d share a bit about my own life, being single, living out this area of the Church’s teaching.

So check it out over at her place!

And the testimonies before mine were all great so far, so I cannot wait to read the rest in the series!!

The Rudest Thing

I have a list of pet peeves a mile long. Anyone who knows me in real life could tell you that the littlest things can bother me. It’s mostly things that other people do that are inefficient and therefore bother me, but some of these are real things. For instance, not driving with your lights on when it’s raining or even foggy. This is one of my biggest driving pet peeves. It’s actually the law. I always think that the police should pull these people over. BUT then a few months ago I was driving and saw a car without its lights on in the rain and was telling them from my car to turn them on and I noticed it was a police officer IN a police car. I guess they don’t pull people over because they, themselves, have no idea that this is the law!!

I don’t consider this driving tick rude though – it’s just ignorant to other drivers and endangering other people’s safety! That’s all.

Today I’m writing about what I believe is the rudest thing one stranger can do to another stranger because it’s happening to me right now. This is my biggest traveling pet peeve and I travel a lot and see crazy stuff all of the time! Going through security is a regular adventure for people who haven’t traveled in a while or are just ignorant and don’t read signs or pay attention to what you are supposed to do. Take off your shoes, pack your liquids in those tiny travel bottles, remove things from your pocket, take off jackets and sweaters and just go through the line quietly and efficiently. In the mornings at the Charlotte airport each security check point is for only one type of traveler. This means that if you are business/first class you go through one point (usually C – although today it was for us regular passengers), Pre-Check (typically B & sometimes D), and steerage (A, which is also the only one open at 4:10am and E – where no one ever goes and they have the most amount of TSA agents available). This morning as I was getting in line for security a couple in front of me wasn’t allowed in C because they were pre-check. The kind agent directed them to D this morning to go through pre-check and then they proceeded to argue with her about how they weren’t. She said, “yes you are – it says so right here on your boarding pass.” That kind of peeves me – and it’s because these people were just GIVEN pre-check, they didn’t even know it, AND they were then not taking advantage of it.

I recently applied for Global Entry Pre-Check to take advantage of these features of the TSA that this couple was trying to avoid. I’m still in review – can.not.wait to hear if I make the cut. I’m hoping this makes the early morning flights I have (three more in the next three weeks).

I can deal with security, even the craziness of boarding which should be done from the back to the front if they want it to be more efficient AND faster as well as avoid people getting hit in the face with my bag as I go down the aisle to my window seat in row 32.

The thing that I cannot stand is the fact that all of us are sitting with mere inches of space in these crazy coach airline seats and the person in front of me has the audacity to recline their seat. I know that they have a right to do so, and the ability to do so. However, the extra two inches that you are reclining STEALS two of the six inches I have back here. I’m cramped trying to use my small surface, drink my six ounces of Dr. Pepper, and now must operate/work/sleep/breath with your seat back right in my face.

The last flight I was on where someone invading my space like this I was behind, arguable, one of the BEST seats on the plane. How do I know it’s the best seat on the plane? I received it a few flights ago. It’s an exit row seat in the back near the window. There’s no seat in front of it and you have the absolute MOST amount of leg room on the plane. You literally have three FEET of leg room, and you need an extra two inches of MY precious space to lean back? Yes, it is your right – but should you?

There are so many times when people should thing of the appropriate response to this question, “I could, but should I?” Probably not.

Linking up with the other gals at the Not Alone Series since this is definitely ADULTING and how I do it … not blowing up at other people while traveling, eating at restaurants, etc…

NAS :: Love Stories

What is your favorite love story? How did your favorite real-life couple meet? Which fictional love stories (from books, movies, plays, or songs) make your heart soar? What’s your favorite love story from the Bible?

I know it’s Saturday and I’m writing for our Tuesday post … but hey, it’s my blog and I can do what I want! I’m sure Lindsay won’t mind that I’m linking up late. Check out the other Love Story roundups over at the Lovely Lindsay’s!

I’m a romantic comedy junkie. I love when everything turns out great in the end and the good guy and the good girl get together and live happily ever after. I know that most of the time (ie: ALL of the time) that’s not real life. There’s no hard work put in after marriage – sometimes, the movie ends when they finally have a first kiss – think You’ve Got Mail (with two of the most beautiful people :: Tom & Meg). But I still love them.

My favorite Rom-Com of all time is Yours, Mine, & Ours– the ORIGINAL y’all …. with Lucille Ball! The new one is NOTHING in comparison!!!

I also love tv shows that follow a couple’s love story and my absolute favorite is Bones. Brennan and Booth are just lovely together and go through real life. I love watching them together and seeing how they write for them to interact. I feel like I know these people – and truly I do – it’s just that they don’t really exist!

I think that Love is just lovely – and the romantic part is having companionship for a lifetime. There are so many amazing love stories all around me, which is what gives me hope that there’s something for me in the future. If some flawed human beings can write the amazing stories that I love on TV and in movies – then, the Lord of Heaven and Creator of the Earth can write me a love story that will catch me by surprise and be more than I could have ever hoped for! I have faith that he will bring me a Joseph like he did Mary who will help us accomplish his mission on this earth and unite us with Him in His Heavenly Kingdom!

NAS :: Readiness

How ready do you think you are for your vocation? Are you ready to be committed to your vocation within the next year, or two years? That means being married (and maybe with a baby), taking religious vows, or telling people you’re not interested in marriage and plan to remain single for life. What do you still need to work on or change about yourself before you’re ready? Have you thought you were ready before? How have you become better prepared over time? Married ladies can chime in, too: how did you know it was the right time to get hitched?

Linking up with the ladies in the Not Alone Series this week as it’s been way, way too many weeks. This group has been such an amazing help to me in the past few years with the amazing friends that I’ve met and the support system that they have become. This seems like a good topic to enter back into the writing mood and linking up with the group.

A few questions in this week’s prompt strike me. Let’s begin with Have you ever thought you were ready before?

Yeah. I’ll say I’ve been ready to be a wife and mom for a long time – but there was one definitive moment almost 5 years ago while I was away with some kids at camp and praying about my future. I felt distinctively that the Lord was telling me that a husband was coming and that it would be sooner than I would feel it was ready for. Now five years later, I am still no married. I don’t feel unready – but I do not have the same feeling in prayer either. I don’t know if that’s what the Lord has in store for me.

Second question to consider What do you still need to work on or change about yourself before you’re ready?<

Um, a lot. Everything. I need to be better at submitting my will toward the other. I need to not be so selfish. I need to act with more humility and be a stronger woman of faith. I need to be more open to the Lord and His will. I need to feel better about my body. I need to clean up my eating habits. I need to kick my sugar addiction. Intellectually I know that these things are not the reasons why a man hasn’t asked me to marry him (or date him) – but they feel like things that are wrong with me. They are definitely things that I should work on to be a better wife to this man once we are married. To give us a fighting chance of having a marriage that lasts until dead instead of divorce.

Final question to consider How have you become prepared over time?

In so many ways that I cannot even write them all down – some more profound than others. I know how to rely more on myself to my emotional well being than someone else. I can cook better. I’m stronger in my faith. I’m better able to take criticism and make changes to improve. I am better able to have discussions about topics that I feel passionate about. I have more control over my emotions in public. I’m more confident in myself and my abilities. I have a job that I love and am good at.

All of these make me a better human being and therefore it would make be a better wife. I’m sure than during the time between now and when I do meet my spouse, I will grow even more into a better human being and better wife and mother.

Check out the other ladies and their thoughts this week over at Lindsay’s at the NAS Link Up.

NAS: Freebie :: All Groan Up

Topic for this week is whatever we want, so I thought I’d write a little bit about a book I’m on a launch team for :: All Groan Up.

I’ve been reading this guy’s blog for a while now. It’s full of funny, inspiring, and great content. I especially think about his explanation of OCD … Obsessive Comparison Disorder. (not to diminish people with clinical OCD tendencies) I don’t know about you, but I tend to look at someone else’s life and compare and contrast to my own. However, I typically only see the ways that hers is better than mine, she has accomplished more of my goals than me, and is overall happier than I am. Objectively, I know this isn’t true. The self we put on Facebook, Instagram, and even this little ‘ole blog is our best self. I don’t tend to write to you on the days when I’m practically having a nervous breakdown, crying my eyes out because I don’t know what to do with my life, where I’m going, or if I’ll ever not be single.

I have those days. We all do. However, it’s how we come out of them, how we try to prevent them – that matters. Wondering how to cure OCD according to Paul? His three tricks are: Put on Blinders, Cut down on Facebook and TV, and Celebrate what you do. Celebrate the great things that are going on in your life, even if it’s just that you remembered to take out the garbage before it got smelly – people that is an accomplishment sometimes! Typing of which, that should really go out this morning before I leave for work!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand … when an opportunity came a few weeks ago to be on the launch team for his new book All Groan Up: Searching for Self, Faith, and a Freaking Job! I signed up. I thought it was a long shot – I’m not a writer, I have about fourteen readers (if you’re even there today), and I really dislike twitter (because in this regard, I am an old person and don’t understand how it actually works)! But he accepted me, added me to a Facebook group to get to know others on the launch team, and sent me a copy of the book to read ahead of time.

I was in Texas two weeks ago (speaking of which, I should share photos with you, the view from my aunt’s house is amazing! – maybe Friday) and couldn’t stop reading the book until I was finished! It was excellent. I found myself nodding along when he was talking about figuring out what he wanted to do, living with roommates, searching for a spouse, taking a leap at a new job, and so much more.

I can’t put my finger on exactly why I loved it so much. He writes like it’s a friend having coffee just chatting about what’s happening. He writes to the scared 20-something who just wants to figure life out so they can become transform from thinking of themselves as a child to an adult. He writes honestly without sugar coating everything.

From the title, you might think that he was searching for a job (that actually made money) for a while – and you’d be right. He was – but in the midst of it, he found it – his ‘signature sauce’ – “your unique mix of ingredients that brings the world a flavor that no one else can.”

We all have it, we all bring something to this world that no one else does. We just need to figure out what it is and bring it! Here’s hoping that mine will help me succeed in my new job – which begins Monday!!!

Check out Morgan’s for more ‘freebie’ posts from the ladies and as always thanks to Jen and Morgan for hosting up this weekly time of amazingness!

NAS: Christian Friendship

What does it mean to be a friend based in Christ? Do Christian friends hold each other higher? Do we hold each other accountable? How do these friendships differ from non-Christian based friendships? Do they differ? Is one better than the other?

Oh, Christian Friendship! How difficult to attain sometimes, but how necessary for life to go smoothly! In my opinion, anyway. I’ve been blessed to have many friends in my life, many fantastic friends in fact. I wouldn’t have made it through High School with my faith intact without Stephanie, Erin, and Ashlei. We had an amazing opportunity to meet many friends from around the Diocese at a retreat called “TEC” – to encounter Christ and “JTE” Journey to Emmaus. I was blessed with some amazing experiences with these ladies and couldn’t have made it without them. They were better than any other acquaintances I had during the same time in my life.

Moving on to college, I had friends who were just as great. My college roommate, Julie, was a blessing – we were placed together randomly and it was the best that could have happened to begin my freshman year out right. We met tons of other people, went to Europe and South America, and loved hanging out at Campus Ministry. These people helped to support me in my Catholic Theology degree and know that I wanted to work in the Church, or at least support the Church in my future career.

After school, life became a little more difficult to find friends. I spent 9 months living at home working at a jail and the Lord sent me Elisabeth. She was in town for just a little over a year – we ended up leaving about the same time – I went south and she went west. We are not great friends – picking up wherever we left off each time we talk and it’s glorious.

When moving to Charlotte it took a little more time – well, I thought it did – but when I was celebrating my 30th birthday last month, I realized that some of my friends I’ve known since almost the day I moved here. Lisa (and her brood of kiddos – there were two and one in the oven when we met and now there are five) and I met at Bible Study at our parish one random morning – they had moved here just a month or two earlier. We became fast friends and good friends. She and her husband would bring their boys to Daily Mass so I got to see them a lot. Now all five little ones are so great to me whenever I come over to visit. Then in the Spring I met Devon (before she was engaged, before Shep – my godson – came along, and before the new little girl CEA was even thought of) and we also became fast friends. I was even the reader at her wedding.

I had great friends for a while – great married friends, and not only was I seeking good Catholic friends, but I was also looking for single friends. I love my married friends, and I love their kiddos. I never complain about being interrupted at their house when we’re talking, stopping to read a book, waiting for dinner to begin to make their places child friendly. I love being able to text in the afternoon and say, “I need some baby time, can I come over after work?” But I needed a single girlfriend to help me keep my sanity. So after much time, the Lord sent me Mary Grace – we met within a few weeks of her moving here and became fast friends. I don’t know what I would have done the last four and half years, three living situations, four jobs, and traveling to four continents. The Lord really knew what he was doing when he thought for us to be friends.

The last few years have been filled with great roommates (Meredith and Lisa), new parishioners at the parish who I made into friends (Erica and Kate), connections from Fr. W to encourage me to take a dating leap (Stephanie), nuns who are full of contagious joy (Sr. Gloria and Sr. Edeva), and many more I’m sure I’m forgetting to write – but who are amazing women of faith who support me.

Back to the prompt though – do I think that Christian friendships are important? YES! I think being a good Catholic in this world is hard enough, but without being able to have the Lord at the center of the conversation about what’s going on, it’s almost not worth having the conversation, in my opinion. My life tends to revolve around my faith – which I’m happy about – and without being able to speak about faith and prayer with others, I don’t know what I’d do.

This does not preclude me from making friends with people who have different faiths. I don’t screen people, if that’s what you’re thinking. I’m friends with my family and their significant others – none of who are strong Christians. I would say I have friends at work who aren’t, but that’s not really true right now since I’m working at a parish – most people who work for as little money as we do are there because of their faith, not because the work is great.

I’ve been very privileged my entire life to attend Catholic School and work in the Church. These are the places I’ve met my friends, the ones who have remained great friends all share a common faith, a common foundation. So I’m biased in saying that I think it’s important. I’m not sure my entire life will continue in this fashion, but I do hope to always share my faith with my friends no matter the situation.

Thanks to Jen and Morgan for hosting and providing this amazing group of friends online. I’m so grateful for the entire community! The internet wouldn’t be the same without y’all!