“If we knew everything that was going to happen then nothing would be a surprise. I like surprises they make me happy.” – Anna Disselkamp

So many of us are control freaks. We want to know what is going to happen, when it will happen, how long it will take and what the outcome will be. We don’t like to wait and see and we certainly don’t want to be caught off guard. Luckily, we will never know everything there is to know, it is impossible. Surprises can be like little gifts from God.

If you always knew what was coming then would you ever experience true joy?

Do you have goals in life? Are they focused on your personal life, career, or spiritual life? Are they huge life changing goals or simple one moment at a time changes?

It is good to be goal oriented as long as we stay open to all that God reveals to us. It is so easy to discover a goal and stay so single focused that we can’t see any other opportunities. We need to always stay open to the Holy Spirit working within our lives. God isn’t just in our spiritual life but in all aspects, personal as well as career. Be open to your purpose in life. Realize that as you grow and mature your purpose may change and shift as well. That is why it is so important to always stay close to God through your prayer life so you never stop listening.

Have goals, stay focused but always remain open to God’s ever changing purpose for your life.

Worry Stones with Cross

Today I gave each of my students a small Christmas gift. It was not candy, cookies or other sweet treats. Nope, it was a rock! I love to hear them say, “I got a rock” just like Charlie Brown does in the Halloween special. I searched a long time to find something I could afford to buy for just over 100 students. I wanted to find something that they could keep that would help them with their faith life. Continue reading

Screenshot of my 1st of 2,000 blogs July 6, 2009

It’s amazing to me that this is my 2,000th blog post!! I have written consecutively everyday once – twice a day for 5.5 years without fail. It has been a daily dedication and joy. I have loved writing since childhood and this venture has allowed me to share my faith journey with so many others. People ask me often, “Don’t you ever run out of things to write about?” I tell them no because God keeps giving me ideas. Over the years I have repeated many of the same ideas in different ways from different perspectives. Continue reading

It is rare to enjoy waiting in our American Culture. Everything is supposed to bring us instant gratification. Our Church says wait, Christ is coming, prepare your life, heart and soul for the arrival of the Christ Child. What do we do to prepare? We run around like crazed consumers purchasing everything we can find to give as gifts to those who already have too much. We may go to Church seeking a change of heart but when we get out in the parking lot we head towards the nearest mall.

How can we merge our modern culture with what Christ is asking of us or can we?

Our entire world is filled with noise, music, talking and so much more that fills our heads. Rarely can we find a quiet place or time in our lives. Once in a while we find silence with a colleague or a friend. Sometimes it is awkward because our culture says we must fill every moment with talking or some type of productivity. Our culture doesn’t value the quiet because it doesn’t appear to be productive. Little does our culture know how very productive the quiet can be? When we have an opportunity to silence the world, our thoughts and simply be still we allow our bodies, minds and souls a time to rest. We need to find that reprieve so that we can be replenished and then we can continue with more energy and intention. The quiet should be welcomed and embraced many times daily. In the quiet we need to simply be and let God rest within us as we rest within his precious gift of the silence.

Midterm exams are next week for my students. Each teacher creates a different type of exam but all exams must have at least one essay. My junior level exam has 3 rather lengthy essays to answer. My students receive the essay questions at least 3 days before the exam to prepare for it. I also allow them to write bullet points and notes on an index card and use it on the day of the exam (for the essay exam only). All of my classes have elected to take the essay portion of the exam the week before the regular exam. They complain because they have to write one full page or five paragraphs of at least five sentences/paragraph. I believe that if they are able to take all the content I have taught them and synthesize it into an essay format through their critical thinking skills then they understand the lessons I have taught them.

As mad as it makes them to prepare and write my essays, it will serve them well when they go to college and are familiar with essays and not threatened by their length or intensity. I am truly trying to prepare my students for college. I am also trying to help them think on a much more creative and critical level.

Say a little prayer for my students that they prepare and do well. They are great students!

I have been teaching my students about the Catholic Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Many of the teachings of the church have been very counter cultural and therefore a bit of a shock to them. I explained to them that Marriage, when entered into as a Sacrament, is not a contract but a lifelong covenant between the two people and God until death. We discussed the possibilities of annulment and valid reasons for them. One student asked very seriously, “What if you don’t like your spouse anymore? What if you are not happy anymore? Is that grounds for an annulment?” I replied, “No, not at all!” He looked shocked. I explained to him if you face this in your marriage then go to counselor, take classes, figure out a way to make it through it and change your relationship with that person. You don’t dump them to go find another one. I pointed out to them this is the reason why marriage preparation within the Church is so important. The marriage prep usually takes at least six months to complete and helps you to discover more about your future spouse. It prepares you to be able to have loving confrontations and how to handle problems, finances and children. Some of my students said they would not want to be married in the Catholic Church because of all the marriage prep. Like I told them, it’s more important to find out everything you can about that person before you commit your life to them.

One of the more shocking things I said to them was that dating is designed for you to find out the characteristics you want in a spouse. I think our culture has lost sight of the original reason for dating completely. Now, it seems that dating is just there to have a good time but not for such a meaningful purpose as to find one’s spouse.

I pray that our discussions will help my students to think twice about whom they marry and how much they prepare for it ahead of time. Marriage in the Catholic Church is suppose to be a mutual selfless love filled with personal and spiritual growth. Marriage is not always easy or happy, it is hard work, trust, fidelity and complete commitment to one another and to God for a lifetime.