The crosstraining season is (pretty much) over and I couldn’t be more grateful for the people in the ministry. It has been a long one for many and we have all had our share of laughs, cries, bonding after lights-out on retreats, powerful praise and worship, or spiritually dry moments. It has all come together, and it was such a beautiful season.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor of emceeing the May retreat with my brother is Christ, Pat 112. It was such an amazing weekend to be a part of and a perfect retreat to end the season with.
They are a passageway into something new and a gate leaving the past behind. I’ve always been attracted to doors. Specifically, pretty ones that are colored, have a cool shape, or look vintage and rustic. They’ve always had a mystical, harrypotter-like metaphor to me for new changes and the unknown future ahead. I’ve had these doors in my dreams before. researching this, I’ve come to find that it might mean a transition from one stage of life to another. According to a website I found, “Doors can lead to adventure, secrets, opportunities, and new starts”. I don’t know about the secrets part, but everything else seems right on point. Traveling has been great and I hope to be out and about to more places in the near future. (especially as Tahiti comes up in July! ) I feel that this new stage of adulthood has taken over and those days of parties, random beach visits at night, and going out everyday are over. (Although I do still enjoy a glass of wine after work with a few close friends).
I love this new fresh start and it feel like something great is going to happen. I know it. It is definitely coming. With the ending of lent and a new start with Easter, I feel like I have also risen with Christ.
Last weekend, we put on a retreat for St. Anthony’s Parish in Upland. It was so amazing. The teens were awesome and so open. They made me so happy to spend the weekend with them. Plus, I got to facilitate with Katrina! How awesome is that!? We were glad to finally have that opportunity. I thought it would never happen. haha.
I am feeling so great about everything. I feel replenished, spiritually. And ready for whatever.
So right now. at 11:11 on 11/11/11… I am wishing for peace on this beautiful fall day. I love fall so much. It’s definitely my favorite season. all time. I love the feeling in the air and anticipation for Christmas. Snuggling. Drinking Hot Chocolate. Feeling cold on my cheeks. All of which I got to do this morning. :]
I realized something today. I want to be young again. To be young in terms of thinking simply about life. The moral lessons that I learned before have become more distant and faded within the last few years of my life. Last week at the Cross+Trainer meeting, I was talking with James Michaud about needing to go back to how I was before. Back to the High School-Teen Council-Officer Meagan. To the “go to JAM every Friday Meagan. To the “Celebrate Life” Meagan. And no, not in a young, “Like, c’mon, God is so great, guys!” kind of way, but a more realistic, “God is real, He is good, and life is great…because of Him” kind of way.
I realize that God has given me so many things to be grateful for. For a supportive family. For friends. For love. I get too caught up in the little ityy-bitty details I fail to see the love that’s in every single say. Driving home from work today, I tuned into to a Christian music station and just took a deep breath. The sun was setting, the clouds were parting, and for a split second, I remembered who I was before. Someone not clouded by life, but someone who lives and loves.
No, I’m not saying that I’m different now, nor do I go around hating everyone and everything. But I do need to keep in mind a simple form of thinking. That people are beautiful. That God has a plan. And to forget the stress, anxiety, and fear that comes with growing older (I’m a worry-wart). So today, I stumbled across this list of things to be mindful of. These are day-to-day things that will make life easier and more simple. Read through it if you want. Remember the ones that stick out to you. Life is more complicated when you make it out to be.
Don’t try to read other people’s minds. Don’t make other people try to read yours. Communicate.
Be polite, but don’t try to be friends with everyone around you. Instead, spend time nurturing your relationships with the people who matter most to you.
Your health is your life, keep up with it. Get an annual physical check-up.
Live below your means. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need. Always sleep on big purchases. Create a budget and savings plan and stick to both of them.
Get enough sleep every night. An exhausted mind is rarely productive.
Get up 30 minutes earlier so you don’t have to rush around like a mad man. That 30 minutes will help you avoid speeding tickets, tardiness, and other unnecessary headaches.
Get off your high horse, talk it out, shake hands or hug, and move on.
Don’t waste your time on jealously. The only person you’re competing against is yourself.
Surround yourself with people who fill your gaps. Let them do the stuff they’re better at so you can do the stuff you’re better at.
Organize your living space and working space. Read David Allen’s book Getting Things Done for some practical organizational guidance.
Get rid of stuff you don’t use.
Ask someone if you aren’t sure.
Spend a little time now learning a time-saving trick or shortcut that you can use over and over again in the future.
Don’t try to please everyone. Just do what you know is right.
Don’t drink alcohol or consume recreational drugs when you’re mad or sad. Take a jog instead.
Be sure to pay your bills on time.
Fill up your gas tank on the way home, not in the morning when you’re in a hurry.
Use technology to automate tasks.
Handle important two-minute tasks immediately.
Relocate closer to your place of employment.
Always be honest with yourself and others.
Say “I love you” to your loved ones as often as possible.
Single-task. Do one thing at a time and give it all you got.
Finish one project before you start another.
When traveling, pack light. Don’t bring it unless you absolutely must.
Clean up after yourself. Don’t put it off until later.
Learn to cook, and cook.
Make a weekly (healthy) menu, and shop for only the items you need.
Consider buying and cooking food in bulk. If you make a large portion of something on Sunday, you can eat leftovers several times during the week without spending more time cooking.
Stay out of other people’s drama. And don’t needlessly create your own.
Buy things with cash.
Maintain your car, home, and other personal belongings you rely on.
Smile often, even to complete strangers.
If you hate doing it, stop it.
Treat everyone with the same level of respect you would give to your grandfather and the same level of patience you would have with your baby brother.
Apologize when you should.
Write things down.
Be curious. Don’t be scared to learn something new.
Explore new ideas and opportunities often.
Don’t be shy. Network with people. Meet new people.
Don’t worry too much about what other people think about you.
Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven, and likeminded.
Don’t text and drive. Don’t drink and drive.
Drink water when you’re thirsty.
Don’t eat when you’re bored. Eat when you’re hungry.
Exercise every day. Simply take a long, relaxing walk or commit 30 minutes to an at-home exercise program like the P90X workout.
Let go of things you can’t change. Concentrate on things you can.
Find hard work you actually enjoy doing.
Realize that the harder you work, the luckier you will become.
Follow your heart. Don’t waste your life fulfilling someone else’s dreams and desires.
Set priorities for yourself and act accordingly.
Take it slow and add up all your small victories.
However good or bad a situation is now, it will change. Accept this simple fact.
Excel at what you do. Otherwise you’ll just frustrate yourself.
Mature, but don’t grow up too fast.
Realize that you’re never quite as right as you think you are.
Build something or do something that makes you proud.
Make mistakes, learn from them, laugh about them, and move along.
Today’s gospel is just so beautiful. Having blind and unconditional faith has always been my struggle. I, like Peter, often falter when trusting and believing in people’s plans, especially God’s. When I think about all of the times I was crowded on my imaginary “boat” of my own insecurities, neglect, loneliness, anger, and spiritual dryness, I too become very doubtful of what God has in store for me. In the brink of the unsteady waters and I don’t hear what He has to say…or maybe I’m just not listening hard enough. So in this silence I try to plan and direct my own life, thinking that it will make me happier to have things go a certain way. But it doesn’t. I fail to let go, and let God take the reigns.
As Peter reluctantly cast out his net on the side of the boat, the Lord surprised him with tons of fish, even more than their nets could carry. I am still waiting to cast out my nets into the sea. It’s so dark these unknown waters scare me. I like having things in order, with a plan, and with a goal. But life is passing me by. You cannot have too many plans, or time with go by too quickly for you too catch up.
In tonight’s meeting, we talked about being perfect. Yes, we should try to be the best disciples and humbly accept the call to be ministers of our faith. We should strive to be holy and act in Jesus’ name but in our weaknesses, we are made whole. Realizing our imperfections is the first step to holiness. Through our downfalls, God lifts us up to do great things. In our weaknesses we are strengthened. Together we are strengthened.
It must be time to cast out nets out and become fishers of men. We are more powerful than we think. “[We] can do great things through Christ who strengthens [us]” (Phil.).
I realized today how great we are and our call to service is so important. We need to strive to make every action one that will glorify the kingdom of heaven.