Jake blinded by the light

We are often blinded by our own worries, problems, and stress. So much so that we can’t see anyone else’s issues. We think we are the only ones who are hurting or dealing with so many conflicts. It’s easy to get caught up in our own lives and not realize that there are people surrounding us that need us.

So, how do we step away from our blinding stress? Prayer, stepping away from the stress for a break, lots of long hugs from supportive friends and family. We are not going to ever completely relieve all the stress in our lives. Part of living is dealing with conflicts, problems and worries. We need to realize that and not make them the center of all that we are. God said he will take care of us and not to worry. Each day we need to wake up, say a prayer and ask God to help us do the best we can and leave the rest to him. We need to make sure to love the ones who love us daily. Not only will that help them it will help us as well.

Two of my favorite seniors

Why do we have to say goodbye to people we love?

“Life is filled with change, and nothing ever stays the same.” –  Patty Loveless from her song “How can I help you to say goodbye.”

So, there are different times in our lives that we have to say goodbye and let  people go. It happens when people move away, die, break up, graduate, change jobs, change parishes etc.

I will have to say goodbye to my seniors soon. They will be graduating on May 15, 2015 and they will be moving on to a new part of their lives. The majority will be going on to college. I have been teaching these students for two school years now. I have become very acquainted with them and have grown to love them like they are my own. It hurts to say goodbye. To think that I will not see their smiling faces, listen to their goofy stories, or hear their contagious laughter, breaks my heart. I guess this is what teaching is all about, giving the students all you have to give, to help them to develop and grow and then letting them go so they can continue to grow somewhere else. It’s the cycle of life I suppose. I will miss them. They were my first students and they each have a place in my heart.

It is never easy to say goodbye but closure is important. Letting them know that I care and that they should come back and visit is essential. Goodbye class of 2015 you will be loved and never forgotten.

Anna with her Derby Art entry

I am not sure what Derby means to the rest of the world. I guess it is just a 2 minute horse race. Here in Louisville, Kentucky, my hometown, it is more than a race. Derby is a period of time when we appreciate our city and community. We have two weeks of activities leading up to the Derby.

Louisville Kentucky is an awesome place to live. The people are friendly, the parks are beautiful, the food is excellent, and the Derby is just the cherry on top! Happy Derby!!

Aaron and I

I watched an old chick flick with my daughter last night, “When Harry Met Sally” don’t we all love that one. At the very end they played, “It had to be you” love that song too. It got me thinking how many of us were friends with the person we married before we were married? I wonder if that makes a marriage last longer than normal. Aaron and I were friends before we started dating. We got married and now we are best friends and so much more.

When I hear that song, “It had to be you” it reminds me that there is no one else in the world that I was meant to be with but Aaron. I thank God that I found him. Were you friends with your spouse before you got married? How did that work out for you?

Shrine in Boston

I have been teaching my students about peace in the world. How violence is never the answer. Catholic Social Teaching espouses that the spiral of violence begins with a conflict. However, before it spirals out of control one can choose to react rationally and peacefully to the conflict presented. 

Jesus Christ was the model of non-violence. They tortured Jesus, beat him, scourged him, spit in his face, drove nails into his body, and hung him on a cross. Yet, he never struck back, he never threatened the soldiers, or fought them. The crucifixion of that time was like the capital punishment of our time. It was the ultimate violence in the world. Not just torturing people but killing them. Jesus Christ used this violence to flip it upside down by resisting the violence and turning its symbol into a symbol of peace and forgiveness. This symbol of death, changed through the death of Jesus Christ, into the resurrection and everlasting life. 

I told my students back in the day of Jesus wearing a cross necklace would be equivalent to wearing an electric chair as a charm on a necklace today. That is the paradox of the cross. How clever Jesus was to take such a violent act and to make it filled with peace and love. Only God could do something so powerful. 

picture from Independent.co.uk

Don’t you just hate it when you want to get online and you get this annoying prompt: Unable to Connect. My impatience gets the best of me and I get so angry. I want to connect when I am ready to connect and I don’t want to wait for the other end to pick up on my signal.

This is true of normal life as well. When we are ready to connect to another person and they put us off it makes us angry or sad. When we finally decide we want to connect with God and we “hear” nothing in return, we become discouraged and begin to wonder if God is listening. We, humans, are not patient. We want what we want, when we want it! We don’t like to wait.

However, relationships are worth waiting for with our family, friends, and especially with God. Just because you don’t connect the first time doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try again. If we gave up every time we couldn’t get online then social media would not be so widely utilized. If we don’t give up on technology then we definitely should not give up on our relationships. Give it time, walk away for a bit, clear your mind and go back and try to connect again. You know that feeling you get when you finally get online after trying so many times, the feeling is even better with a real person in a real relationship. Don’t give up, keep trying, until you get a signal, it will happen and you will get connected!

My Patio

Yesterday evening I sat in my Adirondack chair on the back yard patio with my feet propped up on the fire pit, the setting sun was shining into my eyes. As I closed them I could still feel the light illuminating my soul. I listened to the chirping of the robins and the maple seeds scrapping across the concrete of the patio, I felt at peace. The cool breeze glided across my legs. I relaxed next to my husband and took in the beauty of green grass, the sounds of nature, and people taking long walks in the neighborhood. Spring is calling each of us out of our boxes into the wide open to appreciate the fresh air, and God’s creation.

Today, discover a place of calm. Let the sun shine on your face, listen to nature and feel the breeze gently brush across your soul. Allow God a bit of time in his lovely creation he calls spring.

Boston Subway

We rode the subway system during our trip to Boston recently. There are no subway systems where I live so it was a different experience for me. There is something about riding a subway that almost lulls me into a trance like state of simply observing and not really talking. I became a complete people watcher on the subway system and there were so many different people to watch.

I almost minored in sociology in college. The subway is a perfect place to implement social experiments. There were families with young children, elderly people, teenagers, young college adults from Havard, working people; dressed in professional attire, as well as uniforms. There were people with manners, who stood up to let the elderly have their seats. There were people with no manners, playing vulgar music, with explicit lyrics loudly, knowing that little children were there. There were cheerful people who told my husband congratulations for running the marathon. There were people who looked others up and down and looked completely annoyed by their existence. I suppose we were all looking at each other, wondering, observing, and just staring.

Our world is like the subway system. We are all going different places but we eventually end up on the same train. We have all come from unique experiences causing us to act with certain behaviors. We all judge each other and watch passively as we see one another enter and exit the doors to another place in life. When people see you what do you want them to observe about you? Do you want to show them a smile, kindness, a person obsessed with technology playing with your phone, an angry expression, a far away look, or a nod of your head acknowledging your presence? Think about it the next time you are in public how do you want to be seen by others? We will all be on the same journey and pass each other at different times in life. What do you want the experience to be like for yourself, as well as others?