Monday, January 31, 2011

Amen To That

"While there is still time, correct your faults and endure patiently what you cannot correct completely. Give yourself to prayer while waiting for the Lord Himself to provide--either by correcting now or by correcting at the end-time harvest." -St. Augustine

Amen to that.

Sometimes things are literally out of our hands, and try as we might, there may be nothing that we can do ourselves. So work on what you can. Stop wasting precious time and energy on endeavors that you simply cannot do alone.

Don't you just love it when God tells you exactly what you need to hear?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

As Weary Pilgrim

We are studying the early foundational documents of the colonists in my American literature class. Specifically, we just read a few Puritan poems from one of the first famous female poets in America, Anne Bradstreet. "As Weary Pilgrim" is my favorite so far. I liked it so much that I wanted to share it with you!

"As Weary Pilgrim"
Anne Bradstreet

As weary pilgrim, now at rest,
 Hugs with delight his silent nest,
His wasted limbs now lie full soft
 That mirey steps have trodden oft,
Blesses himself to think upon
 His dangers past, and travails done.
The burning sun no more shall heat,
 Nor stormy rains on him shall beat.
The briars and thorns no more shall scratch.
 Nor hungry wolves at him shall catch.
He erring paths no more shall tread, 
 Nor wild fruits eat instead of bread.
For waters cold he doth not long
 For thirst no more shall parch his tongue.
No rugged stones his feet shall gall,
 Nor stumps nor rocks cause him to fall.
All cares and fears he bids farewell
 And means in safety now to dwell.
A pilgrim I, on earth perplexed 
 With sins, with cares and sorrows vext,
By age and pains brought to decay,
 And my clay house mold'ring away.
Oh, how I long to be at rest
 And soar on high among the blest.
This body shall in silence sleep,
 Mine eyes no more shall ever weep,
No fainting fits shall me assail,
 Nor grinding pains my body frail,
With cares and fears ne'er cumb'red be
 Nor losses know, nor sorrows see.
What though my flesh shall there consume,
 It is the bed Christ did perfume,
And when a few years shall be gone,
 This mortal shall be clothed upon.
A corrupt carcass down it lies,
 A glorious body it shall rise.
In weakness and dishonor sown,
 In power 'tis raised by Christ alone
Then soul and body shall unite
 And of their Maker have the sight.
Such lasting joys shall there behold
 As ear ne'er heard nor tongue e'er told.
Lord make me ready for that day
 Then come, dear Bridegroom, come away.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hello Again

Therefore, while we have time, let us do good to all men--especially to those who are of the household of faith. -Galatians 6:10

It would be a lie if I told you that I have always known that being polite and nice actually makes you feel good. I mean, yes, I've always heard that...but have I actually practiced that? Probably not as well as I could have.

I've noticed in myself over the past few weeks that every place I go, I try to be kind. To smile. To say thank you. I try to do all of those things to complete strangers and to people I know. What surprises me the most is when I find myself being kind and smiling in situations or around people that at that particular moment in time I would rather not be kind and offer some mean-spirited remark instead of a smile.

I think I have discovered that I am just tired of being mean or seemingly unfriendly. My friends have often told me that when they see me walking around (even though I may never have realized I walked past them), my face often looks mean or whatever. And most days, I promise you that I wasn't unhappy or grumpy or whatever, I just have a mean face I guess. So in addition to the above, I'm trying to work on my happy face.

It's not that I haven't had inspiration or lack of time to write, I just haven't felt like it. I'm doing better than I was the last time I posted. My classes have been pretty good so far, though I did end up dropping my anthropology class. Yes, the one that I was really excited about.

If I want to be healthier and less stressed/anxious, I need to actually allow myself time to do those things that will help. So if the first step to being better was lightening my class load, then great. I'm hopeful that the class will be taught again before I graduate (not many of the upper level anthro classes are offered every semester or even every academic year!). If not, then I will still read the books that I already purchased for the class because, yes, I'm a total nerd like that.

On another note, I would like spring to come! Though I don't want to speed up life or time, I'm done with cold weather and snow. No mas por favor!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Seeking Peace

"In everything pray for guidance, let your concerns be known to God. Expect Him to be your voice, your hands, and your feet. With this faith in action, everything you do or say will have the gentleness of God."

When the doctor told me that he wanted to get some blood work done, my heart rate sky-rocketed. "You mean, like, now? Today?" His answer was a half-comical, half-serious yes when he saw my panic-stricken face. I hate needles. I can't stand the thought of them. The last time I got a shot, I almost passed out. The last time I had to give a vial or two of blood to the doctor, I literally got sick while we drove out of the parking lot.

It took forever for the nurse to come in. I wasn't mad that my afternoon was being spent waiting in the doctor's office. I was just terrified. Each minute sitting alone only prolonged the terror.

I told the nurse right away that I have a history of not doing well with needles. She warmly smiled and said, "Well, I suggest you find your happy place, and I suggest you find it quickly."

So what did I do? I started praying the Hail Mary. I never realized that one of my happy places is between the Blessed Mother's arms. It's a good place to be.

I completely forgot about what was happening in the crook of my right elbow. I didn't know when the nurse had finished! I only realized that my "ordeal" was over when I saw that my useless prattling on about the weather and road conditions was visibly boring the kind nurse.

Life has thrown me for a loop. It all started with a doctor's visit. It took the kind words of a sort-of stranger to point out things that I had not been aware of. The words stress, anxiety, difficult decisions, and college will suffice for now.

I am sort of bumbling along like a little lost sheep, looking for the Shepherd.

We must strive to place ourselves completely in God's hands. Then He will cause us to feel the effects of His goodness and protection--which are at times extraordinary. -St. John Baptist de la Salle

Friday, January 7, 2011

Stay In School

I had planned on writing yesterday in an attempt to break the "not blogging funk", but our local internet and cable provider decided to not work for over 24 hours. I don't think that I am bored with writing. Unless it is a paper for school, I don't like to force ideas and words out. That's when writing becomes no fun!

Classes are getting ready to start in a few days. Nothing sobers you up from an over one month long break like logging onto your online classroom to find materials for the upcoming semester. I received a healthy dose of terror mixed with excitement when I read the syllabus for my anthropology class.

I am excited for this semester. I have a feeling it will be much better than the last one. I picked the anthropology class because I am very interested in the subject matter, but it is also registered as a graduate class. The little kids get to play with the big kids sometimes!

I'm also excited because I get to apply for the Communication Studies major. After brief stints in history and geology, I think I have found something that I like and will be of great value to me after college. And it's not value in the sense of a piece of paper that has the potential to get me a better job, but value that I can't really describe.

Though I have entertained many career choices and dreams, one underlying element has always been to help people. I still don't know how I want to do that, but I feel that I can do that best with a Communication Studies degree. Always gotta start somewhere, ya know? I am hopeful that I won't change majors for a 4th time. I've looked at what's ahead in the major, and it all seems very interesting.

When I was a junior in high school, we had to write a personal narrative paper and then present it to the class. Those of us in A.P. English 11 have basically been in the same set of classes/had the same teachers since the 5th and 6th least when I moved here (before I came to Tennessee, I'm sure they were still together). So presenting my paper to them would be fun, as they all knew too well of my crazy career dreams.

I found that paper the other day. It was a good reread. Though some aspects of the paper have changed, I still want to be a volcanomarinebioarchaeSealphotopirateteacherhumaneologist :)

If I could be a "professional student", I think I would like that. Unless college suddenly becomes free or at the very least I wouldn't end school up to my ears in debt, I'm pretty sure I'll stick with one major and maybe a minor, and I'll just try to take as many fun electives as I can before I graduate.

Hello Spring semester! Hello 2011!