"It is you, dear young people, who must show that faith is a personal decision which involves your whole life."
-Pope John Paul II

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Quick takes Friday!

Hm...seven things. Well, here goes!

1) We (the FGCU FOCUS team) just got done hosting an event. It went well...the Holy Spirit really spoke through all of us, and the students that were there really seemed to respond to the challenges we presented them. All 10 students that showed up. (And that includes the two that left early.) Sometimes events like that are just funny. We personally invited lots of people, we put a good amount of time into planning it to make sure it was well done, we got our message across ...but it seems like no one shows up. But 10 people is NOT no one, even though it may not be the 30 or 40 or 50 we were hoping for. Part of the message we gave was that each of us truly has the potential to change the world, just by reaching out to the people around us wherever we are. And I know the fact that we did have 10 people show up is great, and I'm sure God is going to use the experience (at least in a good number of them) to turn things around and make them more aware that they're called to reach out to their peers. But it's disappointing that others didn't take that opportunity. But anyway. :)

2) It's actually Thursday as I'm writing this. Shhhhh. I will wait to post until Friday, don't worry! (And I'm afraid I might be getting a little loopy...I'm tired. This is your fair warning.)

3) I've been learning about myself again lately. I feel as though being a FOCUS missionary has caused me to really look at myself and learn more about who I am and why I do the things that I do. A lot of times I just blow it off and say, "Well, that's just how I am." But I'm really forced now to look inside and ask, "WHY??" That's not always an easy thing to answer. Ok, it's usually not an easy thing to answer.

For example: I've always been pretty non-confrontational. I just don't like seeing people upset, especially with me, so I try to avoid making that happen. And I think I'm afraid that if I say something that someone doesn't like, they'll hold it against me. Which may or may not be true, but if I'm truly saying something in love that needs to be said, then it really shouldn't matter whether or not they hold it against me if I believe they need to hear it. Sigh. So I've sort of more or less known this about myself, but now stemming from that, I've come to the realization that not only do I not share my opinion sometimes, but I also don't even form an opinion sometimes.... And that blows my mind. And I've been thinking about how I've always done well in school, not necessarily because I know how to think well, but because I'm good at regurgitating information. I honestly can't think of many papers that I've written or projects that I've done where I wasn't simply writing what I thought or believed, but I was regurgitating and/or writing what other people—including, or perhaps especially my professors and teachers—wanted to hear, or how they wanted me to respond. Still pondering...and trying to form an opinion on that! :)

4) Next week is going to be a little weird. My teammate & housemate Melissa is going home for the week. And my other teammate Steve is also going home for the week. So it'll just be me & Tom. Or Tom and I. Or Tom and me. Whatever. Anyway. I thought....it'll be kind of like last year, with just two teammates...only, not at all. So maybe I'll tell you how it goes after the week is over. I don't really think it will be that different in all honesty, I'll still be doing all the same things, trying to meet up with students and Tom & I will still do all of the normal team things we usually do....just minus two.

5) It's now Friday. :) Today has been a good day. After Mass, I prayed for a while, then talked to my sister Shel (which really needs to happen more often...), then picked up a student to take her to her GRE (almost wrote GED...not the same thing...) testing site.
Then I headed over to the Fort Myers Planned Parenthood to pray with students there as part of the 40 Days for Life peaceful protest campaign. Honestly, it really was peaceful. Lots of cars came by and supported us, only a few middle fingers, and no real confrontation. (That might be partly because we were by the road, and not directly in front of the PP storefront in the strip mall. But still, it was cool.) Then I took Melissa to the airport, bought some crafty things at Michael's (!!), picked up the student who took the GRE, hung out with a few students at the pool for a little bit (yep, it's October...but I also miss the leaves), and now I'm typing. :) So in case you wanted a general play-by-play of my day...you're welcome!

6) I was going to go off on a tangent about Planned Parenthood, so this'll be number 6. Shouldn't it be called "Unplanned" Parenthood?? That's what is happening with most of the people that go there. I'd not really thought of it before, but shouldn't the fact that they acknowledge "parenthood" in their name trip a wire in people's brains saying, "That's a BABY!" Just a thought.... Along the pro-life lines, though, I'm going to the Florida Respect Life Conference for Youth tomorrow. Abby Johnson will be one of the keynote speakers. She used to be the director of a Planned Parenthood and is now pro-life (and wrote a book about it... not ironically, titled Unplanned). I'm really excited. And I've got a few students coming along! :)

7) The crafty things I bought? Calligraphy pen tips. And a beautiful silver ink. Now I just need to learn calligraphy. And even if I don't, I guarantee you I will have fun with them!!

Now off to dinner...with a student! She was at the event last night, so it should be a great convo!

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!


  1. It's so awesome that you are a FOCUS missionary! I've been thinking about applying this year for next. I definitely will keep you and your team in my prayers!

  2. APPLY! APPLY!! APPLY!!! Even if you decide not to do it or aren't offered a position, the interview weekends are the BEST! It's such a good time of reflection & discernment & meeting awesome Catholic young people. And being a missionary has been the most rewarding (and probably most challenging, in a very good way) things I've ever done/been a part of. So definitely at least apply. :)

    And thanks for your prayers! Super appreciated! We run on prayer around here... I'll pray for you, also!

  3. You totally described my younger self in #3. But now that I am older and more confident (not necessarily wiser), opinions are fun to formulate, share and debate. I think it is because I quit worrying so much about what other people think. It is important to make people feel comfortable- especially in the field of ministry, but you still have to be genuine if you want people to really connect with you. That connection is how Jesus reaches through your life and touches their hearts. So, be real. Show your colors:)

  4. Thanks, Lori! I do think that I do care a lot less about what people think about me than I used to, but it's definitely still there. We (me & Jesus...) are working on it, slowly but surely!!