Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Missionary Life

We had a mission priest from Japan this past weekend at my parish (he is in Japan but very much not Japanese).  During his homily he said something that caught me and has really been sticking with me.  He said....
"Being a missionary is going where you are unwanted and needed and leaving when you are wanted and not needed."
It is no secret that I am discerning a future as a nurse missionary in Haiti, or wherever the Lord decides he wants me, in the way that people typically think when they think of missionary.  However, that isn't the point I am going after today.  We are all missionaries.

Our current American culture is sad-porn, abortion, artificial contraception, fatherless homes, violence, faithlessness, materialism, greed, do you want me to go on?   Our society is yearning for Truth and they don't even know it.  Step on a typically college campus and you will find most students living from one binge drinking night out to the next, sleeping around, and without any focus or self worth.  Our world needs us.  They need us to live the Truth with joy, they need us to be willing to share our Faith, and they need us to have a personal relationship with the Lord so that we are able to show them what a relationship with the Lord is.

Our society doesn't want us.  They enjoy living instant gratification, pay check to pay check, and all about "me" lifestyles, because, well, it seems easier and seems more fun.  However, the common lifestyle of our culture can leave anyone empty, lonely, and despairing.  Our culture doesn't want us, but they need us.  Be a missionary today and show the people around what it means to live the Truth joyfully in a personal relationship with the Lord.    Because until we are unneeded and wanted we need to live a missionary life today, wherever we are and whatever we are doing.
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Saturday, July 26, 2014

2 Year Blogaversary


Wow, I cannot believe I have been at this bloggity thing for two years.  This blog started out as a risk, an experiment, a why not and has turned into a source of encouragement and a honest to goodness community. I am often reassessing if the time I spend on this blog is where the Lord wants me to be and each time I ask I always get the answer "yes."  This past year this blog has been a little window into my summer of five weddings, celebrating my 23rd birthday, starting my fifth and final year of nursing school at Franciscan University, my #chroniclesofnightshift, my household celebrating 20 years of sisterhood(shout out to Mimi who I know reads this blog!), graduating, and most recently becoming an RN.  There has been lots and lots of post with the NAS and we all know I am a link up junkie so there has been 7QT, Five Favorites, and WIWS posts.  My blog got a redesign during the past year. Unfortunately I also did something that I wish on no one, I watched one of my best friends lose her dad.   Overall, it has been a great two years and I am excited for all the places the next year will take this bloggity.

A little look at "Here I Am"

  • There has been about 103 posts in the past year and 289 total.
  • The Top 5 most viewed posts this past year
    1. Sleeping with Men--I can only imagine why this post had so many hits but hopefully it softened just one person's heart.  I still hold by my opinion that catching some zzzs with a guy is intimate. 
    2. WIWS (Vol. 30)--I just wore this skirt this past weekend and I particularly like my hair in this shot.  How crazy to think that I had just moved back into the dorms.  It turned out to be more of a blessing to live on wing than I ever could have imagined.  
    3. 7 Quick Takes (Vol. 18)--Wow, again I had just moved back to school.  In same ways it seems like just yesterday and in others it seems like forever ago.  I don't think it has sinked in yet that I won't be moving back to Franciscan this fall. 
    4. Advent: Purposefully Waiting--What a blessing it has to start Advent with a purpose and to have others join in the purposeful waiting for Christmas. 
    5. And Tied for 5th place Five Favorites: My Wedding and Five Stages of Finals.  I still stand by those five things for my wedding and I still stand by the fact that finals are the worst.
  • Apparently you all really like to hear me talk about essential oils and want to hear more
  • The most commented on post was WIWS (Vol. 28).  I was blessed to get so much encouragement after running my first 5K.
  • A look back at the 1st Birthday
Thanks for reading along this past year and I look forward to another year on this blog.  

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What a NFP Awareness Week

So I didn't realize that National NFP Awareness Week was actually something by the USSCB, how cool is that!

For NFP awareness week I want to respond to this article in the best way possible.  I then realized someone was already on it. When reading the Buzzfead article, "We Asked 22 Women Why They Take Birth Control and These Are Their Answers" my heart broke over women believing the lies often associated with artificial contraception.

(Make sure you read all the way to the last paragraph of this post because I really think the last one is the best.)

"Because I deserve a say in what happens to my body and my life."  I couldn't agree more.  The pill is a carcinogen that turns off something that naturally occurs in the body.  It increases your risk of breast cancer and lowers your sex drive.  IUDs increase the risk of a STD. The rate of divorce in marriages that use artificial contraception is higher than marriages who don't use artificial contraception.  Yes you do deserve a say in what happens in your body and life I just hope and pray you do the research before choosing the pill.

"Because I wanted clear skin" Don't we all, but at what cost are you willing to get clear skin?

"To get my hormones in check"  That sounds like an awesome idea.  However the pill is more of a band aid approach that regulates them until you stop taking it.  Instead get your hormones in check by working with a doctor who cares about you and your fertility, like a NaPRO doctor.  Solve the problem, don't just put a band aid on it.

"I love children but am too young to young to want my own children."  Then why are you participating in the act that was designed to create children?  If you are too young to want children then you are too young to be having sex

"To unavoid unintentional pregnancy, so I don't need an abortion."  Did you know that the only 100% way to prevent pregnancy is abstinence, NOT birth control.  In addition, Mother Theresa says it best, "It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."

"I want to be a mom one day, but I have alot to check off my to do list first."  This is something that is so easy to fall into.  But why do we, myself included, think that a baby means the end of our life?  A baby is really just an extension and change of our life, our dreams are still reachable baby or no baby, we just have to want them.

"You try living with these cramps without birth control."  My comment to this one might come off as a little rude but I don't apologize.  Do you really think that no one has ever had cramps as bad as you.  There are millions upon billions of women in history and today who have cramps as bad as you and do not use the pill. In fact alot of them probably still have had to/do take care of the kids, cook dinner from scratch over a fire, collect water, milk the cow, and life goes on.  Imagine the grace if women offered up their monthly cramps, our world would be an entirely different place.

Those of us who have done our research and realize that Pope Paul VI in Humane Vitae was right along must live the Truth and proclaim it with our lives.  Thank you Catholic Sistas  for publishing an article "Why We Don't Use Birth Control."

“For the same reasons I don’t expose myself to formaldehyde, asbestos, arsenic, radon, phosphorus and other such things…. because they are class 1 Carcinogens- poison.”

"Because I don't want to break something that works as it should."

"Because it lowers your sex drive. And causes weight gain.  And I like having a sex drive." Because who doesn't. 

“Because I spend too much time and money on organic, non-GMO and hormone free foods to fill my body with hormonal birth control.”

“Because NaPro doctors can identify health problems like PCOS and endometriosis by looking at my chart…. and then they can HEAL my body.”
“Because I deserve actual health care and healing, not just a band aid.”
“Because I prefer acne over cancer.”"
“Because if I didn’t want to have a baby, I just wouldn’t have sex. (Gasp!)”
"Because it perpetuates the objectification of women as worthless sexual objects, constantly at the disposal of men in our commodity driven culture.”
"Because Natural Family Planning does work." Look at any NFP practicing couple who hasn't had a baby every cycle.  
“Because I’m not afraid to grow up.”
“Because siblings are a gift.”
“Because sex isn’t a right, it is a gift.”
Preach it sistas!!

UPDATE:  Since writing this post the blogging world has been on fire about this Buzzfeed article. Like this post from The Catholic Mama.  However, most remarkably is Buzzfeed's own post "We Asked 24 Women Why They Don't Use Birth Control and These Were Their Answers."  I could sing from the rooftops.  How amazing is it that Buzzfeed published these 24 reasons. Praise the Lord!!!  Also, please note the genuine joy overflowing from these women's faces who don't use birth control.  A little different than alot of the mug shots from the contraception women.  But I am just observing.  

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Little Life Update

Did you read the update to my little profile on the left?

Well did you?

Did you notice the big news?

That's right.  I am officially a registered nurse!  I took the NCLEX last Wednesday and discovered that I passed on Saturday (for anyone else who is a RN you know that State Board websites can be like a treasure hunt).  I am incredibly thankful that I passed and do not have to study again (or pay another $200).  I know that I did not do it on my own but through the grace poured out from tons of people praying for me.

Now onto finding a job.  At this very moment I am applying to a job that has six full time positions on the L&D unit, all of which technically require at least one year experience.  Here's to hoping I will convince them to give a new grad a chance with my exceptional  resume and cover letter and then woe them with my interviews.  Hope is good, but prayers are great *wink*wink* for the job the Lord wants me to be His hands and feet in.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Hopefully Not Just Another Emotional Chastity Post

Sometimes there are articles that have so much goodness in them you just have to have to have to share.  This is one. Out of Eden writes about Emotional Chastity.  Emotional chastity is one of those words that gets tossed around alot.  Is it sometimes overused and used in the wrong circumstances?  Absolutely.  Is it something that cannot be overlooked in our hearts?  You bet your bottom dollar.  

Over the years emotional chastity is something that I have chosen to fight for.  I am aware of the ways my emotions sometimes go off the proverbial cliff and lead me to dark places.  They leave me feeling empty and alone.  However, I have also had the recent experience of realizing that emotions do have to be felt and it is ok to want.  Emotional chastity, like physical chastity is finding that balance.  

So let's pull out some lines from Out of Eden's post and gush a little. 
"God wants you! He wants to be in a relationship with you. Trust me He’s not thinking about much else, nor do you want Him to be. Ladies, if you feel stupid for this desire, DON’T! Gentlemen I know this can be a bit intimidating and pressure filled. I’ve heard so many men say, “She just wants to get married.” I know she can be a bit scary when she gets like this; but I have confidence that you can handle it. You bear the image of God’s strength; fear is okay, cowardice is not. St. Joesmarie says, “Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the refusal to be mastered by it!”
The Creator of the Universe wants to be in a relationship with us.  He is constantly pursuing us.  It began with the sacrifice of the Cross and continues in the miracles, the sunsets, the answered prayers, and the just because texts.  We want more and more and He is never outdone in generosity.  And one of the ways he shows this love is through an earthly man who lives in imitation of Jesus.  And that man needs to have the confidence to fight for us.  We must be cautious to give our hearts to men who are scared of pursuing.  Those men need to grow up and find strength that only the Lord can give them. When a knight comes along who can handle fighting for you, he will handle your heart carefully and realize the prized gem that it is. 
"I hear men say things like, “well, I’m just going to get to know her and we’ll see what happens.” Sorry to say it men but this is cowardly. If you are interested in getting to know her because you may want to date her then what is stopping you from asking her out on a date? Your intentions are not honest and friends do not treat each other like this. " 
Men, fight for women.  Pursue her.  Tell her she is beautiful.  Discern a relationship with her.  But don't lead her on.  Don't treat her like you like her if you are never going to date her.  I fully realize that we women expect you to walk on this very fine line and that isn't fair.  Let's work together encourage each other without encouraging each other so much that we think there might maybe one day in the future be an "us" when there is not.   We are not going to be perfect at this whole guy-girl thing but lets not give up and keep trying
"Our lives are sacraments; outward signs that convey an internal reality. If the outside is conveying something different than what the internal reality actually is, something is wrong or they very least, something is off."
 Amen.  We must mold our hearts through prayer and communion with the Lord to what we want our lives to be.  In addition, we cannot play house with men.  We cannot act like we are in a committed relationship without actually being in a committed relationship.  
"Man bears the image of God by being the purser. He is supposed to go outside of himself to capture your heart. THIS IS WHAT JESUS DOES!! He came to humanity, as we are, to capture our hearts."
We can't settle for someone who half heartedly wants to hang out with us when it is convenient.  If we want to marry a man who leads a family with Christ like strength then we must date men who are Christ like in their pursuing.
"Lengthy and intimate conversations about your spiritual life and/or your “heart."...The problem with having friendships like this is that the man is anchoring himself inside of a woman’s heart. And if you are spiritually inside her you should be physically inside her (or at the very least headed in that direction). Women have an ability to draw people into themselves. That being said it is not always good that we do.  Often times men do not understand this aspect of a woman’s make-up. Sexuality for her is directly connected to her insides. She is an internal being.   These conversations with her can be like emotional sex. "  
Oh guilty.  Too often we fall into the devil's trap that "good holy dating" is not falling into physical promiscuity and sharing deep parts of your faith.  I talked about it here in detail but relationships are like a pyramid, you cannot be 100 miles ahead in the spiritual aspect of your relationship when you emotions and body are have barely left point A.  We are body and soul and relationships must reflect that unity.  A friend's boyfriend and I once had a conversation about how important it was to him to not go to Mass everyday with my friend because of how intimate attending the Holy Mass with someone is.  Don't fall into the trap that praying a daily rosary, a holy hour, and sharing every word of our conversation with the Lord with a significant other is a good thing.  Our relationship with our Creator is the most intimate part of our lives, we cannot take it casually.   

And the post ends with a final thought for men from the ladies.
"Please be patient with us. It is so very hard to spend a life-time waiting. Society tells us that we should not wait. It encourages this constant grasping after what you want, kinda like a pirate. But we know we were made for more. So if you catch us “racing to the altar” don’t be afraid. Just say a prayer for us."

Thank you men who are praying for us ladies. I am waiting for my man who will be courageous, who will guard my heart like a precious jewel, who will live a sacramental life with me, who will fight the good fight of faith with me.  I know I have given you so many great gems of Out of Eden's post already but please go read it for yourself.  I hope it will stop you dead in the surfing as much as did for me.  Ladies I hope you will wait with me and grow in His love and grace.  Gentlemen, especially my gentleman, I pray for you as you grow in your knighthood, in His love, and in courage. 
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Friday, July 11, 2014

7QT (Vol.25)

Can you believe I have not posted a 7QT since February!

So why has this blog been a bit on the quiet side?  Blame the NCLEX. Yes ladies and gentlemen I am taking the NCLEX on July 16th so have been feriously studying.  Any and all prayers are greatly appreciated because I really really want to pass it on the first time and as a bonus answer 100 questions or less (you can have to answer anywhere from 75 to over 200 questions).

I did yesterday finally take the time to write a second essential oils post and already got some questions for a third post so go check the Let's Talk Oils II post out.

Since this is Jen's 7QT I would be completely remiss if I didn't mention the little book club the Not Alone Series ladies have been doing.  The book voted on was Jen's Something Other Than God*.  I think everyone in the Catholic blogging world has pretty much already read it but seriously if you haven't yet, go read it.  The way the Lord has worked in her life is incredible. In addition, Jen seamlessly tones the book from monochromatic to joyful hope as she finds Truth.  I just finished it yesterday and I think her last paragraph, though really the whole book, causes you to want to shout with thankfulness for Christ's sacrifice, His Love, His Church, and the Sacraments.
"The moment the priest baptized me, I was sealed with the sign of belonging to Christ, an indelible mark on my soul that not even a life as an avowed atheist and unrepentant sinner could wipe away.  God and his Church were set as my home base, and something deep within me would never truly be at peace until I returned to it, even as I traveled the whole world trying to find an alternate destination.  My entire conversion was less of a journey to a foreign place, and more of a discovery of my long-lost home."

I have to fit in a picture at least somewhere in this quick takes.  On Wednesday I babysat the three little kiddos that are more like my niece and nephews than just friends.  We decided to go for a walk brought the jogging stroller and the oldest rode his bike. He kindof knows how to ride the bike, aka he is fine on flat even surfaces only but needs some help on any incline or uneven surface.  His little brother without being asked was constantly pushing him and running behind him offering encouragement like "dude your doing awesome."  It was precious.

Everything was great until it wasn't.  We were going and stopping pretty much wherever they wanted and everyone was having a great time.  I should have known.  When we were pretty much as far away from their house as we could be they were suddenly tired and starving.  We could have walked back in probably 10 minutes but of course trying to get three tired kids, a stroller and a bike back is like a chihauhau herding cattle, laughable. You just can't rationalize with a 5 and 3 year old that we have to keep moving no matter how hungry we are in order to get back and eat lunch.  I had to beg them to just keep moving and that someone had to either walk or ride the bike back.  Meanwhile the 1 year old has her feet up in the stroller, we don't call her princess for no reason.  When we were crossing the street and almost back I had the three year old on my back, the stroller, and the five year old was walking the bike at near snail pace. If someone would have been watching us they might have lost some bladder control.  Like I said, it really was a great time until it was comical.

Have you seen this list of Dirty 100: Meet the Companies and Institutions You Should Avoid after Hobby Lobby?  As an alumni I don't think I have ever been more proud of having Franciscan University of Steubenville on a Top List.  Keep fighting the good fight of faith!

So this is random but I have a numb thumb (say that 5 times fast) and have actually had it since Wednesday. Apparently it isn't a big deal unless you are having other stroke symptoms (of which I am not) and it probably a pinched nerve in my carpel tunnel.  Either way, still super weird feeling.

The other book end to studying is job searching.  Very frustrating.  I feel like I am getting no where with a nurse manager and a nurse recruiter not returning my call and no interest in my online applications.  I will keep pressing on and trusting in His providence but man this job searching is tough.

*Affiliate link!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Let's Talk Oils II

My original essential oil post got a good number of reads and comments. Alot of you are interested about what all the essential oil fuss is about and I continue to enjoy old and new oils in new ways so why not keep a good thing going.  Thus I bring you "Let's Talk Oils" part two.

 Let's start with a few questions Bek had.

What led you to start using oils? I mentioned this in my first oils post but basically I was getting sick too much for my liking and it was time to try something new because nothing I normally do was helping enough and there was talk about essential oils on blogs, vlogs and the gram.  You can read more about it at the first post.

What is your favorite oil to use? Oh this is hard.  My favorite smelling is my new Frankincense oil but the oil that I use the most currently and I get the best results from has to be Lavender.  Ask me again in a few months and it might have changed.  First off with Lavender, I recently got a diffuser to help with some mild allergies I was dealing with. (Essential oil diffusers are unique in that they use ultrasonic something (technical term and double parenthesis) because heating oils causes them to lose their healing properties.) I mix some water and Lavender oil in the diffuser at night for 60 minutes and badaboom not only does Lavender lull me to sleep but no pesky allergy symptoms.  

A peak at the top of my nightstand.
Secondly, my legs.  During the summer I always gets this pesky rashy irritation on my legs.  Because it happens during the summer I can only assume it is a result of the increased shaving that occurs over the summer (because lets be honest who shaves more than once a week a during the winter) and just in general being more exposed in shorts and skirts.  I have to be very vigilant with it exfoliating, applying Vitamin E oil and now Lavender to help with the irritation.  Bet you didn't know that the same oil that helps you sleep and with allergies also helps with miner skin irritations.  That is the great thing about oils, they are not one oil, one problem.  The Lavender doesn't solve the problem but it does help considerably. Thirdly, Lavender helps with acne.  Because I have recently stopped taking the medication that helped with my acne I was having some flare up that I was not ok with.  Rub some Lavender on the problem areas throughout the day and my skin is as clear if not clearer than it was on the medication.  I also put Lemon oil on my face that helps with pores and brightening.      

Did you encounter any oils in your nursing studies? No, I wish!

Do people think you're a total and complete hippy because of oils?  Haha this is a funny one.  When I was still at school I had a friend who if I used oils and walked into her room or she walked onto the hall she would tell me I smell like a hippy.  You tell me, does oils=hippy?

Now lets talk oil fail.  Or for now, oil not so much like.  I mentioned above that I love the smell of Frankincense.  In addition,  I mixed it with some Vitamin E oil and my mom has been putting it on her scar from her recent knee replacement.  So that is not the "not so much like".  It is the other one in this picture. 

I purchased Cedarwood off of Ebay because it is another oil that is supposed to help with allergies and I thought I would use it during the day if I needed some additional allergy help.  I used it once on the way out the door and I felt like my car smelled like a cedar chest for a week.  I am sure it has a lot of potential but for right now we are just going to keep it closed-thank-you-very-much.  

Please hit me with more questions because if part two is good, a part three would of course be better.  And don't forget, does oils=hippy?

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Home Again

I am on the other side of my New York-Steubenville trip and why not throw up a hodge smodge post for you all. My spirit is currently somewhere between my last two posts. The Lord is good, never outdone in generosity, and His word speaks truth.

The trip wore me out.  By the time I finally pulled into my driveway I was exhausted.  I just hid for the rest of that day and woke up the next morning with really good news, I got my ATT (Approval to Test) and have scheduled my NCLEX for July 16!  Celebrate with a cup of delicious coffee.

Studying just got real but just a little bit more break before I get hard core. As if I hadn't seen enough people during my week long New York Ville trip, my roommate from two years ago was visiting another friend in Cleveland so of course I had to make a lovely trip to go seem them.  And what a delight it was!

We had so much fun being roommates-bad movies, Sunday brunch, photo shoots, on and on. 

California Pizza Kitchen, free dessert, Starbucks and catching up.  

I will be posting pictures soon from my two trips now that I have a new computer (!!!) and can upload pictures.  Until then, back to the studying and deep in the Lord's word.