Tuesday, March 30, 2010

three new blogs below!!!


Fr. Paul, a priest at Holy Spirit Prep High School in Atlanta, was the priest for our girls retreat this weekend. On Palm Sunday He celebrated mass and shared a really good message with all of us. He spoke mainly about the part in the Gospel that read, “The Lord turned and looked at Peter…And Peter went out and wept bitterly.” LK 22:61-62. Fr. Paul asked us what we thought Jesus’ gaze looked like. Was it angry? Were His eyes rolling because Peter did not believe that he would deny Jesus? Were they crying? No. They were full of mercy. Peter looked into Jesus’ eyes after denying Him and found forgiveness and mercy. Fr. Paul then went on to talk about how Judas intentionally gave Jesus a kiss on the cheek so he would not have to look in Jesus’ eyes. Judas steered clear of the vision because he knew he would not be able to go through with his plan. Judas knew he would see mercy and understanding eyes that would be hard to deceive. Oh if only he had looked in Jesus’ eyes?

I have been thinking a lot about this message over the past couple days. I think I use to be really fearful to look into Jesus’ eyes because I knew my life would have to change. As I have begun to gaze into His eyes though, I have found my salvation, happiness, joy, mission, love, forgiveness, etc. I cannot turn away from His mercy! As we are now in Holy week and preparing for the death and resurrection of our Lord, let us gaze into His eyes and truly seek His mercy that He so willing died on the cross to give us. As it said in Liturgy of the Hours this morning, “My servant, The Just One, will justify many by taking their sins on himself.” He longs for your gaze!!!!

St. Monica's Girl Retreat

This past weekend the missionary girls were so blessed to help put on a retreat for St. Monica’s Life Teen girls. I have been sitting here for the last ten minutes trying to figure out what to say about how absolutely amazing this weekend was but I have no words. There were so many miracles and movements of the Holy Spirit that I was able to be a witness too that I will never forget. JJ told me that I need to just pick on highlight and write about it. So that is what I am going to do.

The theme of the retreat was FIAT which worked out perfectly because the retreat started the day after the annunciation. We gave talks about the different identities God calls women to be and how we are called to say YES to them just like Mary did. I began on friday night by talking about how God is pursuing you constantly. Sara spoke on being a daughter, Haylee on being a handmaid, Paola on Sister, and Megan on being the Bride of Christ. The girls were so open and so excited to dive right into these identities and the love God has for them. Every talk was so blessed by the Holy Spirit flowing through our words. After Paola’s talk was probably the time that most stuck out to me. Paola spoke about how we are responsible of leading each other to heaven, especially our sisters, through words, actions, blessings, etc. We entered into a time of adoration with the kneeler right on the altar in front of Jesus. One by one the girls walked up and knelt face to face with Jesus and then their sisters would be behind them praying for them. EVERY GIRL WENT UP!! Every girl encountered Jesus FACE TO FACE!!! They gazed into Him and knew that they could never be the same. It was so amazing that after they moved off the kneeler for the next girl to go up, they all just stayed and gathered around the altar and did not return to their seats. It was such an emotion night with so much prayer and blessings pouring out on everyone. The adoration lasted almost 3 hours and it felt like thirty minutes. We had a debrief session afterwards and it was amazing to hear how God was moving in these girls life. It was about 8 of the girls first retreat. Gosh I don’t think words can really explain what happened. And this was just one of the amazing moments!!!

Mission of the Redeemer (revisited)

There has been so much going on here at Covecrest but it is amazing how through all the doing I have still found time to be. The spirit of my prayer has been on fire lately. I have been enjoying so much spending time with the Lord as often as I physically can in the chapel as well as during my daily activities. I truly know now what St. Therese was talking about when she had no words to describe the things the Lord was doing in her heart. My encounters with the Lord have left me without words. My sisters and I are all training for a half marathon at the end of April (Country Music Marathon) and my running has turned into an amazing prayer time for me. But through it all I have been hearing God calling me deeper into BEING and asking me if my DOING is really helping me to grow? And if it isn’t then how can I make it an opportunity for growth? I have been praying through this for about a week and it has brought me back to Mission of the Redeemer, Pope John Paul II’s encyclical. As missionaries we were asked to read the encyclical before beginning our mission year. I read it like I would any assigned reading, kind of zoning out at times and not really retaining much. After six months of God filling my heart with an unending desire for mission, the encyclical has come alive for me and I cannot stop reading it. On the very first page John Paul quotes Corinthians saying, “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel.” WOW!!! It is my responsibility to be preaching the Good News with my whole being at every moment of everyday. Of course I have heard this plenty before but after two straight weeks of DOING I had to evaluate myself and see if that is what I was actually doing. Was I witnessing to the gospel every minute to the youth ministers, spring break work groups, visitors, retreat groups, etc? I realized that God was calling me deeper into my prayer at this moment to make sure that my doing was coming out of prayer. It all has to flow out of prayer because prayer is where I always encounter the Lord and I must know Him before I can preach Him. As a Covecrest staff and missionaries we have been trying to pray before each meal we serve, each work project we do, each task we undertake because our work MUST flow out of prayer and BEING present to the Lord! Mission of the Redeemer brought me back to what BEING a missionary meant again instead of the DOING of mission (which is very important but I must first be present to the LORD). Erik even started us having Mission of the Redeemer lunches…less idol conversation.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I promise when I have a moment to process what God has been doing to my heart, I will let you all know. Know that my heart is overflowing with His love and I do not think I have words to describe it (kind of like St. Therese).

Song: All of Creation- MercyME

Sunday, March 14, 2010

1 Cor 15:10 For By the grace of God I am who I am.

The End!

Friday, March 12, 2010


Alright so this is going to be really random BUT I was thinking yesterday about emotions and how most emotions usually inspire some kind of release. For example, sadness makes me want to release tears, anger makes me want to scream, joy makes me want to laugh, happiness makes me want to sing, etc. All have some form of release. Sometimes I just long to feel that release. I think that is why when I am sad I just feel like watching a girlie chick flick that I KNOW is going to make me cry, or when I am happy I will listen to a song that I LOVE to sing...and living in the middle of the woods is really helpful when I want to scream (this only happened once though and it was not because I was angry...I was on the eight day silent retreat and just wanted to be loud!)

Song: NEEDTOBREATHE (anything by them) while I was thining about this "Come Lay It Down" was playing on the radio....The Outsiders is a great CD though!!!


So sorry it has been so long since I have blogged. Life has been absolutely crazy! We had the staff retreat last weekend so everyone flew in from Mesa, St. Louis, Germany...and we had a big fun party! Hahaha we had an amazing retreat and it was very relaxing. It was so good to see all the missionaries again and meet all the staff that I have talked to on the phone but never actually had a face to go with it.

Fr. Oscar from South Florida led the retreat for us. One night he led us through a meditation called The Healing of Memories. Basically you close your eyes and you imagine yourself infront of the house you grew up in. Then you walk in and go to your room. He told us to find our safe place in the room...mine was weirdly in between the door frame of the closet. I think that was my safe place because I use to always have my toys jam packed into the tiny closet and I would sit right outside of it and play. Anyway...so im sitting in my safe place and Fr. Oscar starts telling me that all these people come in one at a time; mom, dad, sisters, grandparents, etc. They all start apologizing for things and saying they love you. I was my nine year old self so by this point my parents were still (and still are) my heroes so I had no idea why they were apologizing to me. So quickly I just began to play and enjoy being in my house. I moved away from this house when I was 9 and I was devastated! I still love that house! I love how my family was always on top of each other. I loved the old brown couches. I loved the random back door we had that we never used. I loved my pink and green room. I loved my neighborhood. Most every memory I have in that house is happy because I was probably to oblivious to notice the bad stuff. (I am noticing I am pretty oblivious sometimes) So I went around playing dress up, playing on my porch with my cats, playing mail, barbies, church, etc. any game I use to play. So then Fr. Oscar said that the one person I did not want to see walked through the door. It was this very dark figure who represented the devil to me. Why was the devil walking through my room? I was praying into it when I realized that he is the reason for all my sin...I can blame no one for the sin I have fallen into, not a single person who walked through the door before him. It was a really cool thing to realize because I can change myself but I can't change another person. Knowing that I do not have grudges towards anyone is so nice and knowing that I am not the same person as I was even 6 months ago comforted me. Falling into the devils temptations were so easy for me before I surrendered my life to God and now it is not so easy for him. Praise GOD!!!

Alright so I am going to start something new....Each blog I am going to recommend a book, or song, or something to you! So today I want to recommend the band Gungor and the song "We Will Run to You." SOOOO GOOODDD!!!! I love running to this song. It is 9 minutes long and has an amazing instrumental. I find that instrumental music helps distract me when I am running. It takes me to a better place until I reach my running high!

Prayer Request: Please pray for Chris and Erik (my missionary brothers) who are in Haiti right now and Stephen and Tim who will be going on tuesday! Pray for the people of Haiti as well who have created a permanent home in my heart! HOPE!!!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

1,000 Years Later

I am studying/ reading through Deuteronomy. I have been wanting to get into the Old Testament and I felt called to start here. It's amazing to me how thousands of years later I can still relate this book to my life and the world we are living in today. Moses' people were called out in order to be blessed by God and then sent into new lands to testify and proclaim God's name and to honor Him above all things and to not make pagan idols of animals or manly statues. But how often do we see that in our world today? People making idols of money, cars, jobs, celebrities, and shaming God's name in the process. People make idols of anything and sometimes place it higher than God in their opinion but in Deut. 4:24 it says, "For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God." He is not going to just back down. He wants us all for Himself and He created us and freely gave His love, son and redemption to us. The least we can do is honor Him with our lives and hold Him about anything else. The least we can do is receive His blessings with open arms and share His love with all we come in contact with. As a missionary God calls me to new and foreign lands (could just be Atlanta) just like the people of Egypt to share His love. I say YES to the call! My heart gets fired up when I think about the radical love it will take for secular worldy people to have a conversion of heart. Watching God move in such a way is a miracle.

Lord, I praise you and thank you for your jealous love that has pulled me away from the ways of this world so many times but continues to love me.

Deut 7:6

This book is sooooo amazing and I can still relate to it today. God is always relatable!