About Me

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Florida, United States
I am a Hopeful Bride of Christ and I long for the day I can dedicate all of my life to Him. I have been actively discerning religious life for about 4 years now and I have been accepted to enter the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church. I hope to begin formation soon and beg your prayers that my student loans do not keep me from entering. With your help and prayers I hope that my entrance to the SMMC will soon be reality. Rest assured that you are all in my thoughts and prayers - most especially those young men and women discerning their vocations, whether to the religious life, priesthood or married life. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I continue this journey toward Him.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Elijah

Today is 4th Sunday of Advent but it also is another reason for celebration.  My nephew turns three today and though I can't be there to celebrate with him in person, I am very excited and can't wait till I see him for Christmas.

It's funny with birthdays, for little ones every year is a big deal.  For the past three years I have been excitedly looking forward to every milestone (a year, 18 mos, 2 years, etc.) expecting to see this overnight change.  I haven't noticed any changes in me since my 18th birthday (I really think I haven't changed much)  folks who haven't seen me in over 18 years still recognize me.

I am looking forward to a chatty Eli, a big boy who doesn't have to cling to his tia in order to fall asleep and one who is now open to sharing.  After all, he's a big boy today :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Holiday give-away is coming to a close

Just a quick note to tell my readers that the last day to enter for the give-away is Saturday December 18th (I need time to have it created before Christmas) so don't forget to tell your friends and to start talking about 
Inspired Treasures.


Like the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/inspiredtreasures or follow this blog.  If you would like to get ideas on how to get your Rosary customized check out www.rosarieschaplets.com.  Remember, if your name is not pulled you can still get your own customized rosary by placing a customized order through my website.


As always thanks for your support of my Vocation.


Pax,
Hopeful

Monday, December 5, 2011

Rosary Giveaway!!!! (and you can customize it too :) )

Since the Holidays are approaching, I am doing another give-away. The prize can actually be customized!! The winner will get to decide the saint and will have a choice of colors for the beads. (Check out my album or my website -www.rosariesschaplets.com/shop - for a quick look at my rosaries)

To enter, you can do one of the following:
- Like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/inspiredtreasures (1 entry)
- Follow the blog www.dynasvocation.wordpress.com (1 entry)
- If you have a blog or a twitter, blog/tweet to your followers about my fundraising efforts and refer them to my Friends asking Friends page on the Laboure Society's website (2 entries) super long link below (http://aspirant.labouresociety.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=998882&lis=1&kntae998882=0D93CFCA1621439197016CE2CED988E8&supId=344645767)

IMPORTANT: If you blog or tweet about the fundraising blog, be sure to send me the link to your tweet/blog post.

New Blog

Hey everyone!

I have created a new blog that I will be using to keep everyone abreast of my fundraising activities.  There is so much that is in the works now that I figure the best way to do that is via the blog.  It is also a spot where I will be doing my fundraising campaign and appeals so please share it with your friends, family members and fellow parishioners.

It is a wordpress site and the address is www.dynasvocation.wordpress.com 

Please continue to pray that I may be able to begin formation next year.

Pax,
Hopeful

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Confuzzled

Went to adoration today for my usual hour and I was just blah.  I couldn't pray and didn't really know what to say to Jesus.  You know how you feel beat down and then you decide not to fight anymore?  Well that's me today.

In the first half hour I was trying to figure out what to say to Him so I just sat there, before I knew it I was sobbing and fighting really hard to keep the sobs quiet.  Later I realized that I have been fighting Him these past weeks and the struggle between Him and I have me exhausted and ready to surrender.  I was finally ready to give up and let him truly lead me.  Lead me to what I don't know; I am terrified but yet I feel a sense of calm.  I don't know how that makes sense (still doesn't make sense to me)  I am truly ready to stop fighting and struggling, I am trying to do everything I can to let him lead but I know it will be difficult.

I don't know what He is doing but I am ready to let Him do it. Please help me pray because I am really truly afraid of getting in His way.

Yours in Christ,
Hopeful

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

WOW

Happy Feast day of St. Cecilia!!!!

I knew that it's been a while since my last post but I didn't realize that it's going on a month!!! I can't believe just how busy I have been.  My deepest apologies for the neglect on my part, so much has been going on with me that I am not sure where to begin.  I think the best thing to do is to give you updates in sections.

Discernment
Well things have been going well, I attended a retreat in the beginning of the month that still have me spinning but I think it is a good thing (still praying about it)  I spoke with SrMJ about a week ago for the first time in almost a month and I am hoping to see the sisters sometime soon.  In fact I need to see them because it will help in dealing with this curveball.


I met with my Spiritual Director last week and he encourages me to continue to focus on my prayer life rather than trying to deal with curveballs and the unexpected.  I mean Religious Life is not about having security or all of the answers it is about trust so in dealing with what is going with me I need to continue to trust the Lord and remember that.  I know I sound all cryptic (sorry) everything is fine, I just need to be mindful of fact that closeness with Christ is the first thing that I need to work on.


Fundraising
A couple of days ago mom called me to let me know that she saw father G and he says that a check has been sent to the Laboure Society to help with my student loans.  It has not made it yet and I do not know how much the parish was able to donate.  In either case I am utterly grateful; I am thinking of doing something as a means of saying thank you to father's secretary for being such an advocate on my behalf. I was thinking of making her a rosary, what do y'all think?


I should probably have started by pointing out that the Laboure Society has changed the way they work with Aspirants a bit and so now the donation works differently.  Check out my Aspirant page on their web site.  So as part of the new fundraising campaign with the Laboure Society I have been meeting with folks face to face to request donations (it was such an intimidating idea at first but I've gotten over my fears)  If you are interested in donating and/or have any questions, feel free to send me an email and I will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.


Oh something else that I almost forgot, I applied for the Mater Ecclesiae grant so please please pray that I am selected as one of next year's recipients.  I had applied last year but they were not able to award me.



Rosary Making
I have been steadily making rosaries to put on the website (though lately it seems that most of the ones I have been making have been for birthday presents or special occasions)  I was finally able to set up the website to allow me to take custom orders for customers outside of my local area.  Check out the last couple of orders (I didn't take pictures of the local ones)

If you are thinking of giving out rosaries for the holidays, consider my website.    
First Communion rosary 
St Anthony/St Francis Rosary



So this is about all that has been going on with me in terms of fundraising, discernment and rosary making.  I am soooo looking forward to advent and the new mass translation.

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

In Christ,
Hopeful

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Feeling loved even in hard times

So I'm headed to a bodybuilder's conference in Minneapolis and I don't think it could have begun any worse than it has.  It took a lot of prayer and discussion with trusted ones before I decided to let go of my fears and anxiety and go on this conference but in the end I decided that it is something that I needed to do.

Las night I realized that I did not have the donation check that I needed for the seminar fee.  This morning while on the plane I realized that I didn't have some paperwork that I needed to have completed for the conference (now I'm going to try and re do it - first I have to reprint it but where do I find a printer now?) Anyways, I threw my hands up and realize that I am definitely being taught to let go and must really learn what it means to completely surrender to God.

As I get ready to freak out and panic about the fact that I am probably not going to get the discount or be able to make the most of this seminar, I suddenly remember Tuesday morning's events.

Cue flashback
I woke up early enough to make morning mass but with all the things I had to do around the house it was after seven when I left the house.  I had every intention of heading straight to work but somehow I found myself in front of the chapel.  I went in for morning prayer and a few minutes of adoration.  By the time I was preparing to leave Monsignor O walked in and started what looked like preparations for mass, my heart was soooo giddy!!!!  I was going to get to go to mass after all, and this was an intimate one (about 4 of us)

I mean I felt that the morning's psalms were speaking to me in a very special way, it was as if God was shouting at me how much he loved me and would give me the strength to persevere (boy did I need to read those psalms that day) I happily participated and went about the rest of the day on cloud 15 (yeah I was that happy) the Lord was sooo good to me and knew how much I yearned to go to mass that day and afforded me that opportunity.  Usually on days that Monsignor is not the celebrant for daily mass, he says a private mass late evenings so for him to have decided that morning to have mass in the chapel was just a Godsend.

End flashback and return to present moment :)


As much as I am scared that the conference might not go too well, I am comforted in the knowledge that even when it feels like things are not going to improve, the Lord shows his hand and his might.  I am apprehensive and I am still anxious because I don't know how things might turn out with these curveballs but I do trust that the Lord will work it all out.

Please keep me in your prayers as I prepare to board (especially that I continue to remain hopeful in the Lord)

Pax,
Hopeful

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Trying something new

Happy Sunday (and sorry for the big lag)

OK so I'm getting ready to go teach Religious Ed and I realize that it's been weeks since I updated on my fundraising progress.  I am still waiting to hear from Father G about the committee's decision on helping me with my student loans.

I thought that in the meantime, I would try something new as far as my fundraising.  I am sure you see the cute little donate button on the sidebar, I am calling on everyone (followers and non-followers) to please consider donating 1, 5, 10, 20 dollars or whatever you can afford.

Our Lady of Lourdes rosary with water from Lourdes
For anyone who makes a donation of 50 dollars or more, I will make a custom rosary.  If you cannot make a donation would you please commit to share my story with 5 others in the hopes of helping with getting donations?

If you are thinking of making a donation and are in need of a rosary, chaplet or rosary bracelet consider going through my website and purchasing one of my items (that way you get more than my gratitude and prayers :) )

Feel free to send me an email if you have any questions.

United in Christ,
Hopeful

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Yep, I'm still here

Hello readers,

I looked and it's been a little over two weeks since my last post!!  I know things have been crazy with me but wow, that is a sign a lot of craziness. 

God has been so good to me that it's unreal.

I go on the boot camp training on the 28th and I am looking forward to it.

Pax!
HB

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Update on my meeting

I got to Orlando at about 4:15 and barely had time to inhale my food and relax. Mom and I left the house at about 4:45 and we were there before 4:50 (I'm telling you right down the street) When we got there the receptionist told us that Father was running behind and would see us as soon as he could. We waited until about 5:50 to be seen. While I was waiting, I pulled out my little book of prayers and said a prayer of abandonment as well as a quick little prayer to my guardian Angel. I asked the Holy Spirit to guide me and help me to be open and humble enough to lay it all out and not be afraid to wholeheartedly ask Father for some help.

As I walked in he asked me how he could help me; I gave him a quick background as far as how long I had been discerning and that I was accepted to enter this year but had to wait until next year. He asked me how much I owe and I told him, he then did this number :o... Then he asked how much was it before and I told him; so he did THIS number :twitch: I told him that I was looking to see if the parish could work with me on a dinner or if the Serra club or K of C could help financially with my loans. He asked about the community and of course I told him (I happened to have had a copy of one of their newsletters with me so I gave that to him)

I told him that any way they can help me would be great (either a financial contribution from the parish, the Serra club or K of C, a parishioner/business owner or something like that) He said that they would definitely be able to help and are willing to help. He said that he would take it to the finance committee at the next meeting and they would decide how much they can contribute.

He has asked me to write him a letter that he can take to the committee with him. I told him I would share my vocation story with them and information on my debt. He's also asked me to provide him with contact information for the community.

I am exhausted right now so I am going to lay down for a quick nap and then I am going to start writing my letter to give to mom so that she can deliver to the office first thing tomorrow.

I don't know what the Lord has in store but I have never felt so hopeful regarding my student loans before.

Please pray for me that the Holy Spirit continues to inspire and guide me.

Pax,
Hopeful 

Fundraising News

I posted this in a post on Phatmass but I realize some of my readers may not be on there and might not be able to give some feedback so I'm posting here as well.


Today at about 11:30 I will be getting on the road to drive four hours to Orlando (where my parents live) to meet with the pastor from my old parish to discuss possible financial assistance.  This meeting has been in the making for about 3 months now and I cannot wait. I am anxious and nervous and scared and excited and everything you can possibly think of.

My dear sweet mother spoke to Fr briefly about him helping me and he was open to the idea and asked to meet with me and talk to me.  I am hoping that at the very least father is able to help me get in touch with some donors who are able and open to assist young vocations in the church.  

I have realized that it takes complete and utter trust in the Lord in order to truly lay it all out and rely on others' kindness and open heart.   Please pray that the Lord continues to guide me and that I continue to grow in humility and trust in Him.  I am thinking that I might also speak to father about organizing a dinner down there or even some kind of pledge drive to work with donors who might want to pledge some monthly contributions to my loans.  I found out that I would be able to enter even if my loans were not completely paid off, as long as they were pledged for (so let us pray for that)

I meet with father at 5pm so I hope it all goes well and that I have a safe drive (I have to drive back to Tally after the meeting because I teach tomorrow)  This is going to mean missing my standing meeting with my Spiritual Director today but I am trusting that it is all for the best.

I have never had such an important meeting in my life.  This is my plan
  • Arrive by about 4:00 (go home, change real quickly and eat something)
  • Go visit Christ in chapel (the church is litterally down the street from me so.... - and they have adoration till evening mass!! :dance:  :dance3:)
  • meet with father and discuss the following

    • Getting financial assistance from parish if possible
    • Working with Serra Club and K of C to put together a dinner of some sorts or get some kind of sponsorship
    • Work with them to do a pledge drive or a fundraising drive.
Do you guys have any other ideas of what I should talk about or how to say these things?  I am sooo afraid that I will get too nervous to remember anything.  I am getting really nervous now just thinking about it. (maybe I should bring my notebook)








In other news.........



(drum roll please)




I have managed to get my loans to under $50,000.00  Actually with fundraising from rosaries, my dinner and other in kind donations, it is almost at $46,000 :w00t: (which is a HUGE deal - I mean I didn't think it would ever get below $50,000 so soon and now it might be possible to get it below $40,000 before the year is out) Thank you all so very much for your prayers, your contributions and your words of encouragement.

Please continue to keep me in your prayers as I continue to keep you in mine.  I will be sure to give as detailed of an update as I can when I return.

Pax,
Hopeful

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Using alternative means

After hours of reading on how to do it I managed to get a Donate button on my blog.  Though my entrance to the SMMCs is almost a year away, I am doing all I can now to reduce my loans.  I have been very aggressive in my repayment efforts and have managed to get the amount under $50,000.00 which is a very BIG accomplishment.  I am hoping to completely eliminate the remaining amount in time to enter (I definitely need your help for this).  I don't quite know how but I fully trust that I will enter in due time.

I knew that my student loans would be an impediment to entrance from the moment I started my discernment but yet I had this trust in the Lord that held me from worrying about it.  This trust allowed me to move forward in my discernment in order to be open to God's will for me.  However, as I got closer to finding a community and making necessary preparations I realized that trust alone would not be enough to eliminate my loans.  I would also need to work harder at getting rid of those loans.

It has taken me great humility and even greater trust in the Lord to do what must be done and to ask the faithful for their help in living out my fiat.  I continue to be amazed by the wonderful graces that the Lord has afforded me, He has been sooo wonderful to me in a way that I surely don't deserve.  I continue to ask for your prayers as I look to the day when I will get to fully live out my vocation.

Please consider making a donation as you are able (no matter how small) and/or sharing this post with three (or more) friends/family members.  If you know anyone in your parish, work or school who is open to supporting vocations in the church, please share with them.

I continue to hold you all in my prayers and beg your continues prayers.  

In Christ Our Hope,
Hopeful

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Holy Inspiration

Today was a particularly productive day (even though it started out the opposite way) I made five keychains, two bracelets and a chaplet in about 4 hours!  I don't think I have ever been so productive.

I woke up well after 9:00 achy all over and wanted to do nothing but sleep.  However, my friend's 19 year old came by the house to mow the lawn and I had to help.  Before I knew it, the clock indicated it was 1:00 and my sister wanted to take the dogs out for a walk.  About two hours later, we were walking the dogs and I had found my second wind (well more like my first wind)

By 5 o'clock, I decided I would organize my rosary materials and before I knew it, I decided to start making some small items.  Every time I completed something I would decide to keep the production going and couldn't stop myself.  Here are some pictures, I am hoping to post them to the website tomorrow.










It's now past ten and I must start preparing for my Religious Education class tomorrow.  I am hoping to finish this watch that I am making for myself really soon (I will post pictures once it is done)

On another note, I spoke with sister Mary Joanna last week and she shared that Mother is hoping that I would be able to attend a particular retreat in November... I hope I can too.  Please keep the prayers coming, they have been so instrumental for me.

In Christ,
Hopeful

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I did it

Facebook logo

I didn't think I could do it but I have given up facebook.  Happy Feast of Our Lady's nativity by the way :)  My profile has been deleted (although facebook says I can come back - of course I can) and I pray that I can let it remain as such.  I seriously fear that like an addict in need of a fix, I will find myself fighting the urge to return and re-open the account.  I am however hopeful that I can do this and I am confident that God will see me through.

I can't begin to tell you how freeing this feels already (It's only been about an hour!) and how much I am looking forward to not have to check my facebook page.  Now to focus all that time and energy into fundraising and getting to the convent as soon as possible :).

Please keep me and all those with financial obstacles to entrance in your continued prayers.

Under Our Lady's protection,
Hopeful
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Friday, September 2, 2011

Please pray

Right now it seems that there is a lot happening all at once.  Good things, frustrating things, things I'm unsure about, just everything.  I am trying all that I can to not be overwhelmed and to remain rooted in prayer and continue to trust in Christ.

Please pray that I am able to weather this and be attentive to God's voice in my heart.

Enjoy your long weekend!
Hopeful

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

No more, no more. My plate is full

I have wanted to do the 54-day Rosary Novena for about forever and a day now and I just realized that I was supposed to start it yesterday to have it end on a Marian Feast day.  Well Phooey!  I now have to wait to do it so that the Novena ends on the feast of the Annunciation.  Sigh, I guess I will just have to wait until the right time. 


I think this is a sign that I am way too busy and I have too many emails to check.  I chickened out and did not get to tell the DRE that I will not be able to teach for the fall.  I mean what was I supposed to say when she brought this adorable little boy to me so he could "meet his teacher"?  A part of me just feels like this was totally planned on her part to make sure I don't drop out, lol.  I must say that I am looking forward to teaching again this coming year because every year the kids are different and it is just wonderful to see them grow in just an academic year.


So it looks like it is not part of God's will for me to scale back from teaching this year.  Man sometimes I wish I could just stop being so involved with parish ministries but I can't seem to help myself.  Well scratch that, my friend and I were going to join this group and today we both decided that we didn't need to get any more involved than we are right now so it would appear that I am learning to say no and am becoming more aware of my limits.


I am working on finishing my course (Introduction to Scripture I) before the fall term begins because I will be teaching a course at the college where I work and will be enrolled in a philosophy course; this is all on top of being involved with Youth group and Religious Education.  Please keep me in your prayers that I may survive it all without falling down from exhaustion.


p.s.  Please Keep my friends J and L in your prayers.  They are expecting (J lost her first baby about 3 years ago when the baby stopped growing after the first trimester) L was severely sick the 6th week due to very bad food poisoning.


Pax,
Hopeful

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The benefits of waiting

In just four months, my nephew will be three years old.  This had me thinking about my journey a bit and the time I have spent trying to discern the Lord's will; it has been 40 months since I started my discernment, 32 months since I started looking at communities, 25 months since I found out about the SMMCs, 17 months since I first visited them, 14 months since I started the application process and 6 months since I received my letter of acceptance from Mother.  I guess you want to know the point of all of this rambling about how long I have been discerning.

I am sure you guys have read about my struggles and doubts when it comes to trusting God and letting him take control of my vocation.  It comes from nothing but frustration and unfortunately this frustration has led me to be careless and not care to guard my heart or my vocation.  Lately I have been putting my prayers on the back burner not because of lack of time but because of a lack of motivation.  

Today's gospel reading about the canaanite woman and the subsequent Homily by Father moved me to tears as I was reminded that I am not willing to wait, I'm not willing to persevere for my vocation.  Here is this woman who clearly was ignored after her first request and yet she persisted! She trusted in the Lord.  Even when the Apostles wanted her gone, she kept her gaze on one thing....Christ.  And she trusted that he would answer.  The ironic thing is that I've asked and begged to suffer with my Lord because I wanted to feel as close to what he felt as I could.  Now however, I can't seem to do it; I've read stories of saints who were tested by Novice Mistresses, superiors and even Spiritual Directors to help "weed out" the weak so to speak.  I always thought that I would happily bear these things because I am grateful the Lord has called me.  Unfortunately I am letting my frustration about having to wait affect my relationship with the Lord.

The truth is there are plenty of benefits to waiting and I know darn well that there are.  First - a selfish and very silly benefit (I get to see my little sister graduate from Dental Hygiene school) second - I might get to see my brother get married (let us hope) third - I get to grow closer to Lord, to the Blessed Mother and I get to mature emotionally and spiritually fourth - I get to truly live out my yes and get to see constant reminders that the Lord sought out my heart and my yes.  He pursued me and he courted me I mean what more could a girl want?  I mean the list goes on and on and on; I could list a lot of things that I find to be benefits of waiting.  However, the sad fact is... as someone who has bought into the "I want it now" way of things and want to live out my yes today.  It could also be that August 22nd is fast approaching and that was to be my entrance date.

As much as I have "suffered" through having to wait yet another year before I could begin formation, I must say that I am truly growing to appreciate the fact that I am called more and more.  I cannot wait until the day I can enter and know that I am living all of my days with complete abandon.  However, I must be honest and admit that I do find it hard to read news of young postulants becoming novices and novices taking first vows without felling a twinge of despair.  

I went to confession today because of these very issues and all of a sudden the light bulb came on.  I realized that I've been acting like a frustrated girlfriend.  I have been mad at having to wait and have tried to take things into my own hands.  This has resulted in me doing nothing but hurting myself, using others and in turn hurting them in order to deal with my frustrations.  I know there are even more great things to come from waiting, from this time of preparation but yet I am unwilling to wait, to trust and to love.  Mind you this unwillingness does not come from the fact that I not want things to happen in God's time but it is because I am scared, scared that this life that the Lord is calling me to right now might not be the life he is calling me to for the rest of my life.


Just as a bride must wait for her bridegroom so I must
 wait for the time I am to be received by my bridegroom and I must trust in his love for me, in his ability to provide for me and most of all in his commitment to me.  At times I feel like a young woman who accepted a proposal of marriage in a moment of bliss, of pure love; only to be faced with the reality of what it takes to make a relationship, a marriage work.  At that hint of reality, I find that I am questioning the one person whom I trusted above all things, the one person that I promised myself to - My intended.  I pray that I go to that moment of bliss, that moment when I screamed yes with all of my heart every day, so that I may remember that this relationship, despite my uncertainty, my fears and my frustration is built to last.

Prayers please for myself and for all of discerning young women who might find themselves having similar feelings.

In Christ our love,
Hopeful

Monday, August 1, 2011

Coolest Blog post Eva!!!

OK so one of my friend has a blog that he sometimes use to display his artistic genius (he designed the banner for my website)  Anyways, I saw this post on his page a few days ago and made a comment that he needed to do other stuff, specifically a mini SMMC.  Below is what he came up with and I just think it is the coolest stuff Eva!!!!!

Max my friend, I give you the win (just for today - and I'll take it back in a heartbeat if you try to use this to misquote me)

Happy Monday everyone and may you be Christ to another today,
Hopeful



Saturday, July 30, 2011

Another Chapter begins

So I have been actively discerning a call to the religious life for about three years now and for these three years I have been working with the vicar at my parish who serves as my Spiritual Director.  I had met him a little less than a year prior to starting my discernment and I felt super comfortable with him as a SD because of the fact that he had recently been ordained.

Sadly our diocesan priests do not stay in one place for too long so my good friend and great spiritual guide had to go where he was called/assigned.  Though I knew it was inevitable, when he told me I had to fight to retain tears; I knew it was for the best and that in the Lord's wonderful wisdom the timing was perfect for his growth as well as the parish's but that didn't stop me from being upset about it.

He was kind enough to recommend a new SD, a priest from another parish whom he thought would be a great match to my spiritual style.  I agreed reluctantly and I got in contact with "the new guy" I was just shocked at how quickly he was willing to "hand me over" to the next guide so to speak.  I mean it's over that quickly?  I was expecting the transition to be a more kinder process.

I thought I was so ready for religious life because I had mastered detachment, well it turned out that I was far from it.  Here I was preparing myself and my family for the time when they would say goodbye and I couldn't even manage to say goodbye to a SD that I saw once a month!   I see the new SD again in about three weeks and I am truly looking forward to it to see what God has in store for me.  The close of this chapter in my spiritual growth is a gentle reminder that I am not at all in control and that I need to continue to trust God.

Please pray for me because I truly want His will to be done.

Pax,
Hopeful

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Plea for help

Today’s post is not going to be my usual ramblings and random thoughts but rather a plea for your assistance. Please pass this along to your friends, family and even your parish family to help me make my entrance to the SMMC a reality.

I have sold my car in an effort to maximize the amount of money I put toward my student loans and I have been making and selling rosaries at my local catholic store in an effort to raise more funds. Unfortunately I need to do even more in order to make my entrance to my future community a reality. Thankfully, the LabourĂ© Society is working with me and I plan on applying to the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations for assistance.

The Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations is a non-profit organization that helps those entering religious life pay their student loan debt, this is a grant program that relies heavily on donations and as such they cannot help everyone; last year I applied and could not be granted due to the heavy demands.  I am going to reapply again and hope to be selected as a grantee; In addition to the amount of debt an applicant has, one aspect they look at is how active the applicant is in helping themselves.

This is where you can help! I am looking for as many folks who are able to donate here in my name! ANY amount is perfect, $1, $5, $10, $100 or whatever you can do! If you are not able to help, please pass this on and ask your friends and family to pass it on to whomever they know of who wish to support vocations in the Church.  In addition to asking for you financial support, I beg your continued prayers as I continue my walk with God.

If you can think of any other resource that I might look into for further assistance, please leave me a comment or send me an email with some additional information.  I am trying to get some assistance from my local K of C and Serra club.  Unfortunately there is not much they can do financially but they have promised to help with fundraising by assisting with dinners etc.  Thank you for your time and prayers! Remember, donations to the LabourĂ© Society are tax deductible.  If you wish to donate, please Click here now to do so! Don’t forget to put my name, Dyna in the comments section!

If you want to learn more about my journey, you can read my vocation story by clicking here. I am also selling handmade rosaries online; if you wish to buy something instead of/in addition to giving you can do so by going to my website, Inspired Treasures.

God Bless you and your family!
Hopeful

To make a donation in my name, visit: http://labouresociety.org/options/ 
To read my vocation story visit:  This link
To purchase one of my rosaries or: www.rosarieschaplets.com
To learn about the Labouré Society visit: http://labouresociety.org/
To learn more about the MEFV visit: http://fundforvocations.org/
To learn about the SMMC visit: www.sistersofmarymc.org  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Confessions of a Discerning woman

I have a confession to make, multiple confessions actually.  For the past month and half or so I have not been truthful.  I have not been truthful to myself, to others and mostly to God.  Granted, the Lord knows all but I have been trying to actually fool him.  I have not been truthful enough to admit to the Lord and to others that I am scared, that I have not been trusting the Lord and that I have allowed my fears about what's ahead in this journey to have too much of an impact on my relationship with God.

There's been so much going on with me in terms of discernment and just life in general that I have not been "myself".  I have been doubting God in the worst way, I've been doubting His ability to provide for me in the way that I need.  I have been doubting his companionship and I have been doubting all the graces I have received.  The sad part is that while I have been doubting the Lord about His ability to provide and care for me, I have been telling others of the importance of trusting in the Lord and telling them of the need to turn all of their worries over to Him.  Daily I profess my love for the Lord and I say how much I trust in Him but yet deep down I know I am afraid to the point that I don't fully trust him and I know I do not live as if I love Him.  I choose myself above Him and I don't care to be Him to others or to try and see Him in others.

It is a horrible feeling to know that the way I live my faith outwardly is not a true reflection of how I am living my faith internally.  For the sake of others, I pretend that I am OK with the Lord (that I trust in Him, and have deep Hope in Him) Sadly I continue to go on this way and I believe that I must go on this way (faking past the doubt and fear) because that is what's expected of a discerning young woman.

A while back, I shared with my Spiritual Director my unhappiness at learning that news of my discernment had spread.  I was quite upset that my discernment had become public, I wanted to discern in private so that I could be at peace to truly hear the Lord.  The truth of it is the reasons I thought of were not truly why I wanted to discern privately.  I am now realizing that I did not want people to know of my discernment because of the fact that I didn't want to be held to any standards, especially a standard of a life of holiness.  I feel that I am expected to trust, to love and to know the Lord intimately. 

The truth is none of these are true; there are times when I question God and I find myself questioning His will for me, His wisdom in leading me toward a certain path and in truth His ability to provide.  Now as a future religious, I am expected not have doubts or moments of despair; but I do because I am fully human and I get terribly scared.

I saw my Spiritual Director late last week and we discussed this very thing (my doubts, fear and despair) He reminded me of the fact that Hope depends not on looking at what is ahead of us but rather on us looking back at past graces, evidence of God's love, faithfulness & presence and to resolve to continue our journey trusting and depending on Him.  I look back and I know I must have Hope because it is clear God has led me here.  I just need to continue to live my faith day by day and to stop worrying about tomorrow.

This task is easier said than done, pray for me dear friends as I strive to trust, to love and to obey day by day.

Yours in Christ,
Hopeful

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Doubt

Do you ever have moments of great clarity and confidence only to face painfully difficult moments of doubt and second guessing?  I know I must trust the Lord with all of my fears and all that I am.  However, I find myself struggling to remain confident in the knowledge that the Lord has indeed called me to live the life of a religious.  I find myself second-guessing my discernment process and the events that led me to saying yes to religious life.

This doubt comes from fears that I have kept to myself.  Fears that I have not brought to the Lord.  It comes from the evil one tempting me with fleeting pleasures and a sense of loss; loss of the chance to be a mother, a wife and many other things.  There is a storm within my heart and I know that I need only to turn to the Lord for comfort.

Jesus, help me to truly surrender to your will and to give you my heart wholly and completely.  Holy Spirit, help me to be open to your gentle urgings in my heart.  Holy Spirit, come.

On Living the Commandment of Love

Lord, I do not always love my neighbor/brother as I love myself.  I find that I often lack patience and sympathy.  I continue to ask you to help me Lord as I strive to be a better reflection of you.  I ask for your constant help and guidance in living your commandment of love.

On your cross you asked the father to forgive your torturers.  I pray for the Grace to love like you did and to pray for those whom I may see as my torturers.  I ask for the gift of understanding and the wisdom to see others as you did.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Storm within

Hello Dear readers and happy summer.  It's been quite some time since I updated this blog and so much has happened; with me, my family and my future community.  It has all been chaotic to say the least (not necessarily a bad thing) and in the past few weeks the video below is a perfect summary of what I have been feeling.  Through it all I am fighting to remain faithful and keep continued trust in the Lord. 

Please keep me and all of those discerning the Lord's will in your prayers.

Until next time,
Hopeful

Thursday, June 9, 2011

We have a winner

Things have been hectic with exams, graduation, broken AC and everything imaginable.  I am realizing that I am a full three days behind on announcing the winner of the rosary.  My deepest apologies.

As I mentioned in the contest announcement, everyone who liked the page got an automatic entry.  Additionally, those who blogged or tweeted about the page got two more entries.  I used www.random.org to generate the winner.

And the winner is (drum roll.....)  Entry number 13 - Peyton!!!

Peyton and everyone who entered thank you very much for liking the page and your continued support.  Please continue to share with your friends and think of Inspired Treasures when purchasing your next rosary, chaplet etc.

In Christ,
Dyna

p.s.  I finally got around to adding the latest items created over the past week or so.  I hope you find something for yourself, a loved one or a friend.
Crown of Thorns/Infant of Prague Rosary (Pater beads are made of Swarovski Crystal)

Our Lady of Lourdes rosary (has water from Lourdes on the back - 6mm cat's eye beads and 6mm crystal)

Holy Family/Holy Spirit Chaplet

Our Lady of Fatima Chaplet

St. Joseph Rosary

Our Lady of Lourdes pink cat's eye Rosary (I know I went Cat's eye crazy)

Holy Spirit/Holy Family Chaplet

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

On Humility

Lord, give me the grace to see myself the Grace to see myself as nothing.  Give me the Grace to recognize my failures as an opportunity to draw near to you.  I pray Lord that with your help and the help of the Holy Spirit, I may be rid of all arrogance, doubt and lack of trust in you.  Be with me always Lord as I seek to truly know your will.  I ask this the Holy Spirit.  Amen

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Win one of my Rosaries!!

All right folks it's here!! The long awaited contest for one of my lovely creations.  As you all know I am trying to increase traffic to my website www.rosarieschaplets.com and subsequently sell some rosaries to help me get to the convent faster.  I promised a contest soon and so here are the rules.  Since you've liked the page you automatically have one entry.  However you can get up to six entries and below is how you can get additional entries:

  • One additional entry for every friend you invite to like who actually like the page.  (submit friend's name so that this can be verified - this method has a 3 entry limit) 
  • If you have a blog and you blog about the site or the Facebook page, you get two additional entries. (submit blog link for verification)
  • If you tweet about the website or the Facebook page, you get one entry. (submit tweet link for verification)

Remember, folks who like the Facebook page are automatically entered so if you have not done so, go ahead and like the page to be entered.

**The prize is a handmade St. Joseph rosary paired with green glass beads.  A very lucky winner will get this for personal use or even a gift.  Good Luck!!!**

p.s.  For those of you who read my blog but don't follow, here is a special chance to get even more chances.  If you follow my blog and leave a comment to that effect, you get two entries!!  If you are already a follower, leave a comment and you get an entry.

The deadline to enter is June 4th; winner will be announced June 6th.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Self-Inflicted Frustration

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...Image via Wikipedia
I am going on my 4th year at my job and for the past year and a  half, without fail whenever this time of year comes up (well truthfully this happens at the beginning/end of every semester) I find myself growing more and  more frustrated with having to wait to enter the convent.  My frustration not only comes from the fact that I have a longing to start living my yes but also from a "enough of this already" mentality.  I want to be done with the "my professor is unfair", "It's not my fault I failed my math class" and all the other day to day dealings.  I usually spend a week or two being so frustrated at every little thing that I sometimes become pretty much impossible to deal with because I am too busy throwing myself a pity party for one.  Weeks later I will reflect on it and realize that I should have accepted the here and now and recognize the Lord speaking to me. 

This frustration comes from a lot of different places, it comes from my eagerness and true desire to begin life as a religious, to begin doing everything for Him alone (and then of course I realize I can start living my life for Him alone in my day-to-day dealings); my extremely impatient nature, the fear of not being able to protect my vocation any longer (I think that is my biggest fear - I feel this urgency to enter now in order not to "lose" my vocation.)  Looking at my track record with relationships I now see I am a commitment-phobe and though at the beginning of my discernment I was ready to jump all in I am now afraid I will not be able to fully commit to the Lord; and then there is the fact that I just don't want to wait anymore.  Though a part of me wanted to enter last year, I made the decision to wait because I felt that I wasn't spiritually ready.  I couldn't wait for August 22, 2011 I was even counting down!  And then I met with Mother and we both decided waiting until August 22, 2012 will be best.  Yes I trust the Lord's timing but sometimes it can be hard to wake up everyday trusting the Lord when it feels like the one thing you want, the one thing you are called to be is getting further and further away.   

Then I start to think about these "obstacles" and depending on my mood I either look at it as an opportunity to persevere and fight for my vocation or I see it as an indication that perhaps my commitment issues might get in the way of my persevering.  This starts the frustration process all over again because then I start to want to enter immediately in an effort to squash these fears before I get in my way.  Of course I recognize that I am not able to persevere on my own but that is usually down the road after freaking myself out ten times over.

This morning as I pulled in the parking lot I started thinking about this cycle of frustration, of feeling like I have had enough of this job already and then I realized that Jesus had to wait waaaay longer than I did.  I mean the man was preaching and teaching others at the age of 12 so obviously he was ready.  Yet he had to wait more than a decade before beginning his ministry because following and adhering to the Father's timing was more important.  In His infinite wisdom God the Father wanted to truly prepare Christ for his ministry.  Whatever the Lord is calling me to be - In what way is he is calling me to live as a religious? - I am realizing I am still not ready to fully live it out.  I really need to continue to  remember that; deep down I know the wait doesn't have much to do with commitment issues or "tests"  I know it is another opportunity for the Lord to continue to shower me with graces and blessings because He's been doing just that; most importantly it is a time of preparation, deep preparation for whatever He is calling me to.  Sadly, I have a tendency to give in to the negative thinking at the beginning and then start spiraling down before catching myself halfway through.

I thank the Lord for giving me the grace to realize what is going on and I know I need to double my prayers and lean on Him even more but that can get really hard to do at times.  I wonder if this is how my sister-in-law feels when my brother goes on deployment for 7 months at a time.  Deep down knowing you will be with the one you love but sometimes losing hope and starting to despair.  I definitely sympathize with military families in a way I never had before.  Please keep me in your prayers that I lean on the Lord even more during these times of "testing".

Pax,
Hopeful

Monday, May 23, 2011

Newsflash! I have ADD

OK so I have been working on this major data analysis project for about 5 days now and I can't help doing everything else.  First I had to clean my office because I literally couldn't think with all of the mess around me.  Then I started thinking about everything else I was supposed to do and so now I am like a day and half behind.

AAARRRRGGGGGHHHH!!!!

I blame it partially on myself.  I should have locked my door, I should not have opened Outlook and I should have sent my calls to voice mail.  The rest of the blame goes to other people, I can't exactly pinpoint it right now because this is a fleeting attempt at passing the buck....  I will stay here till 7 in hopes of shaving off that half day deficit.

Okay Rambling - OVER.

Pax,
Hopeful

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The website is up


I don't think I mentioned that I am working on a website to sell my rosaries.  Over the last couple of weeks I have been working intently on updating the website and thanks to the help of a friend it is complete and is looking very nice.  I just spent twelve hours making rosaries (and a couple of bracelets) in an effort to increase my inventory and I am very sore but very excited.  Like a proud mama, I absolutely love every piece and I think they are all special however there one that I find particularly cute.

This rosary is made of 6mm glass beads and the Pater beads are made from 6mm gold toned beads.  Like this particular one most of my rosaries are one-of-a kind spur of the moment creations however I do have some designs with more than one rosary available.

Feel free to drop by the website and browse my catalog.  I am working on growing it significantly over the next few days so keep an eye out for more things to come.  

I have set up a Facebook page to spread the word about the website; I invite you to like the page and share it with your friends and family (or even blog about it)  I will be holding a contest in a few days and the prize will be one of my unique creations.  Participation and eligibility rules will be coming soon along with an uploaded picture of the design.

Pax,
Hopeful

Wasted Opportunity

This past week was one of the hardest weeks for me in many aspects.  I was the most stressed I had ever been at work (I usually handle the day-to-day bustle with a calm demeanor but somehow this week was different)  I found myself getting irritated at the drop of a hat.  Sadly this irritation came from the fact that I had set these standards for the folks that I deal with and somehow made myself the one to determine how others should behave.  It would not have been so difficult if it stopped at getting irritated, what makes it worse is the fact that in my frustration and anger I get short with the people I am dealing with and I throw all desires to be charitable out of the window.

Every morning I say a prayer to the sacred heart asking for the Lord's help in growing in the virtue of charity and humility.  I know very well that when we ask the Lord to help us grow in the virtues (patience, humility, charity etc.) we are given the opportunity.  Patience is not given to us at the drop of a button but rather we are presented with opportunities that seem to try our patience and it is up to us to turn to the Lord and to follow His examples of charity, patience and sympathy.

Knowing this, I wasted countless opportunities this past week, opportunities to love; opportunities to be patient and humble.  I found myself getting super irritated at a co-worker who I believed was emailing me too much asking for follow-up on certain tasks and issues we were working on.  By the 5th email I was ready to blow and blow up I did.  I went for a walk around the campus and my friend and walking buddy got to hear a never-ending venting session.  Afterward it was as if blindfolds were taken off of my eyes, I realized that all these emails I found irritating were opportunities to be patient, to turn to Christ and ask Him to help me respond to this person with love.  Right away I knew that I had to go to confession and thankfully I was able to receive the sacrament of reconciliation before evening mass.  I have made the strong resolve to not give in to my anger and to rely on Christ in my moments of anger.

As I do every day and every week I have made the resolve to slow down and take the time to recognize and appreciate opportunities to grow in the virtues rater than flying off the handle when I find myself getting too irritated.  I have started by reciting the face prayer by Jim Pinto Jr. and it is a wondeful reminder to me of my responsibility as a lover of Christ.  I have included it below, I hope you find it as much of an inspiration to your day as I have found it to be to mine.

In Christ, our Love
Hopeful

Face Prayer

Heavenly Father, I embrace your grace this day,
So that I might not:
Think of another,
Speak to another or
Touch another,
without first looking for
Your Face in the other.
I ask all this through
Jesus Christ:
God Incarnate,
God with Skin,
God made Poor,
God with a Face. Amen!
 Jim Pinto, Jr.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It is done

I finished the Franciscan rosary and I find it so beautiful that it is hard to think about giving it away.  I am hoping they like it and that whoever wins it uses it often.  Nerves are making it a bit hard to fall asleep but I must give in to sleep so that I am refreshed tomorrow.  I am still waffling about my talk; I have so much I want to share!  I am trusting that the Lord will guide me.  Please keep my intentions in your prayers.

I have included some pictures of the finished rosary.

Enjoy!
Hopeful

(I found these beads at a close-out sale at the local bead store.  The Pater beads are square-ish and the Ave beads are flat heartshaped.  The center is of Our Lady of Lourdes and Bernadette, on the back of it is water from Lourdes.  How cool is that?!!!)  I am hoping to go back and find some more beads for a chaplet or maybe a bracelet.