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, October 7, 2012

A little update

Hi everyone,

I am still here and I'm sorry my post have been so few and far in between.  I have been preparing for entrance as a pre-candidate and life has been sooooo hectic.  The good news is that I am officially living in Spokane WITH the sisters.  I am sooo grateful to you for all of your prayers and support over the years, I have truly felt them.  Please continue to keep me in your prayers as I proceed with discernment.  Tomorrow begins the hunt for a job that will allow me to manage payment of my loans and time with the sisters, I have some leads and hope some stuff pan out.  Please keep storming Heaven.

In other news, I make my total consecration today!!! I am sooo excited about this and cannot wait.  I ask you to please continue to ask for Our Lady's intercession as I prepare for this life-altering moment.

I will try to give an update on life in the convent more often than I've been posting.  Hope for something at least once every two weeks (I'm really think once a week but I don't want to make you  guys promises I can't keep, especially since I don't know what my day-to-day schedule will be like)

Entrusting you to Our Lady's care,

Monday, October 1, 2012

The garden of Life

The following post is by my good friend Natalie.  I read it and I just wanted to share it with y'all, hope you enjoy it as much as I did :)

“The Garden of Life”
By: Natalie Hand

            Every March I get the need to put my hands in the dirt and plant a garden.  I have this image in my mind of plants overflowing with God’s bounty and it excites me to till up the ground, pull all the weeds and prepare the beds where that miracle we learned about in kindergarten can take root.  I envision going out there with my kids and talking about how amazing God is that he can create all this from tiny seeds and bringing in baskets of beautiful fruit and vegetables that we can share at our table.  I usually start my day by myself and am joined by a toddler or preschooler (I usually have one of those around) and end the day with a few more kids helping out of curiosity.  Feeling quite accomplished at days end with dirt embedded in my knees and the inside my finger nails black, my need to be one with part of God’s creation is satiated.  Then the fun begins.
            Every evening I enjoy going out there and checking on how things are growing and what new little seedlings have popped up that day.  We water and watch, water and watch.  I find it so fulfilling and therapeutic to have a front row seat to a tiny part of God’s creation.  However, this past summer was another story.
            We started the garden like we do every year with great intentions…and then, life happened.  Things were going just as we planned.  My tomatoes were making their way through the cages, the cucumbers were slowly creeping up their teepee, and the peppers were adding a few more leaves to the stem when our world flipped upside down.  On May 20th, instead of celebrating my husbands 38thbirthday, we were at our dear friend’s home consoling, cleaning, and entertaining children because they had just found out that they were miscarrying our 16th Godchild.  The days after that were spent doing much of the same and preparing for a funeral for our sweet baby Benedict.  After a time of mourning and celebrating the life around us, we buried that little angel who left us entirely too soon, taking with him a little piece of all of our hearts.
            The rest of the summer was spent visiting family and participating in youth group trips and events and before we knew it, summer was almost over.  When we finally had time to enjoy the garden we worked so hard planting, it was taken over by weeds and the tops of most of the plants became a nice meal to the neighborhood deer.  I tried in vain to pull some of the weeds, but as most know when you pull the weeds, the plants come up with it so I eventually gave up on my garden.  I didn’t water it, I didn’t check it.  It just was and actually still is a mess.   All I had envisioned is just now a clutter of unsightly green that I don’t care to look at because when I do, it just reminds me of something that I started out passionate about that now makes me recall all the things I am asked to do and don’t have the drive for anymore.  All the things I want to do, but don’t have time for.  All the things I need to do, but can’t do because of how busy I have become or just the plain fact that we don’t have the money to do.
            As I sat one day just looking at the jumble it became, God revealed to me that this garden is much like parenting.  We start out excited as we see this new little creation that God has entrusted us with and we spend time caring and loving them with intensity and caution.  We watch their every move.  Charting their growth and making sure they are getting all the nourishment they need, physically and spiritually.  Teaching them to feed themselves, be independent and how to hold their little hands in prayer.  But then somehow, when we are not paying attention, life happens.  Work happens.  Extracurricular activities become more abundant.  Money becomes tight and more jobs need to be attained to make ends meet.  We start living to work, not working to live.  Prayers become shorter at night and sometimes the Divine Mercy is said because it’s just shorter than the rosary.  (Don’t judge).      
            It made me stop in my tracks.  What are we doing?  Before I know it, my garden of life will be filled with weeds and the autumn leaves will have filled the beds choking off any life within it because faith got put on the back burner to take care of the daily grind, bills, tuition, clothes and shoes for these kids who haven’t decided yet to stop growing!  How big can shoes really get?  Did we teach our kids all that really mattered in life?  Did we show them by example how to be Catholic or did we just tell them in passing?  It made me realize how important it is to pull the weeds out while they are still small so the entire plant won’t come out with them. I pray that one day our harvest will be plentiful and we will be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor instead of trying to weed through to find the goodness and grand picture of a plentiful garden we started out with.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

God qualifies the called

This past June, I accompanied our Middle School youth group to covecrest along with some parents and two other core team members.  Like the year before, I fully expected the kids to get a boatload out of it and of course they did.  What I forgot was how much I would benefit from it.  I was so focused on making sure the kids allowed the Holy Spirit to transform them that I didn't worry about the Holy Spirit transforming me.
During that wonderful week there, I came face to face with myself; my fears, my shortcomings and my self-inflicted obstacles. I was so aware of how not worthy that I was for the call to Religious Life that I found myself asking God if He was sure. I honestly wanted and needed an explanation as to why our wise Lord would choose an undeserving sinner like me to live on this path to Holiness. This brought me great sadness and it troubled me greatly. It wasn't until Thursday (camp was from Monday - Saturday) that I finally stopped to focus on how unworthy I was but rather on how wonderful and merciful our Lord was. Father Rob (bless His heart) kept reassuring the teens that they were wonderful and they were definitely worthy of the Lord's love.
That evening I went to chapel for evening prayer and as I sat there, reading psalm 139 I couldn't help but sob uncontrollably. That psalm always have that effect on me for some weird reason. I started to realize that the Lord knew me much more than I knew myself and if He saw fit to call me to this life then I should embrace it and Him. The next day we celebrated the feast of St. Peter and Paul (how fitting was that?) I remember clearly how father Rob reminded the kids that "today is the Feast day for anyone who's ever messed up" he also reminded all of us not to struggle with our shortcomings because "God does not call the qualified, but He qualifies the called" It meant so much to me to hear that especially due to the struggles I was having earlier in the week.
I wrote that little sentence down in one of my notebooks and I kept reminding myself that God didn't call me because I'm the best person for the job and the most perfect one out there. He called me because out of my weaknesses, my failures he can bring about something beautiful. Early on in my discernment St. Paul and St. Peter were great examples to me of how much one does not need to be perfect. Then of course I remembered David and I realized that I was in "good company" with my less than perfect ways. Years later, I stumbled onto St. Augustine and St. Monica and I found a kindred spirit (oddly enough in both of them) I see how much this wonderful saint loved Our Lord and had such compunction for his shortcomings and all I can think of is how wonderful. Someone who definitely was not perfect but who through the prayers of His mother and through the Lord's grace became a saint.
Today, as we celebrate the feast of one of my most loved saints, I invite you to remember that we are called to strive for perfection but that doesn't mean that we are discounted if we are not there yet. All we need is to be sincere in our desire for the Lord and do our best to overcome our shortcomings. St. Augustine recognized his sinfulness but then gave it all to the Lord and allowed Him to transform his heart. I beg the prayers of this wise saint along with that of his mother everyday and I know they are storming heaven for me.
In celebrating the feast of St. Augustine today, remember that God qualifies the called; and so if you let Him, He will prepare you for whatever wonderful thing He has planned for you.
Happy feast day of St. Augustine,
Support a vocation to Religious Life

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The reality of entering

Hi there!  Yeah I'm still here.  I've been preparing for entrance by being as aggressive as I can with paying down my loans as well as being persistent in my fundraising efforts.  I was working on a dinner in which one of the sisters would give a talk but it looks like the dinner won't be happening anytime soon.  Initially I had planned on a dinner for October 22nd but with the need to get everything ready to enter as soon as possible, it does not look like I will be able to have a dinner any time soon.  I am hopeful though that I can fundraise enough to be ready for entrance.

In other news, my discernment is going as can be expected.  I went through a good week of anxiety and fear of the unknown shortly after I gave my boss official notice that I was leaving.  We both knew that I was leaving but giving her my letter of resignation made it all too real and I got the gist of what I was doing.  I didn't have any regrets or second thoughts but I didn't realize how much I needed to trust in the Lord as I continued to make steps to enter Religious Life.  

So these last few weeks have been a wave of emotions for me as I prepare to face the unknown.  I have  experienced true happiness and joy at the anticipation of my entrance and the beginning of a life lived in Community.  I have experienced anxiety when I think of the fact that I not only need to get additional items for my trousseau but also must be just about debt-free by the time I enter.  

Last night in Adoration, I told the Lord that I was going to spend the next hour with him in silence and I barely made it.  After about half an hour I wanted to pull out my rosary to pray the rosary and I just about did and I was reminded gently of my promise.  Fifteen minutes after that I wanted to pull out my book to do some spiritual reading; it wasn't until the last ten minutes of Adoration that I finally decided to stop and silence my heart and mind and hear the Lord.  

I have been soo looking forward to my entrance that I haven't been thinking too much about what it would be like.  Now that's it's approaching, I think about it more and more and I realize that I won't be visiting anymore and I keep thinking and worrying about that.  While I am exited on one hand, I can't help but be worried about "messing" up.  

I wonder if this is how a new bride feels after the wedding, when she and her groom are finally under one roof and she suddenly feels as though she is under a microscope.  I will never know since I have never been a new bride, but I do know that when I think of life in the convent I do feel as though it will be like living under a microscope; I don't want to "mess up" nor do I want to be unnatural.  I guess I need to continue to remind myself to just be myself, just as I was on my previous visits.  

I need your prayers now more than ever as I prepare for this very exciting and radical move especially as I work on eliminating my loans.  Please consider making a donation or inviting someone to donate to support my vocation.

May God Bless you always,

Monday, July 9, 2012


So over the past couple of weeks I have been thinking of my unworthiness.  Not only in terms of this beautiful vocation the Lord has called me to but the fact that he has seen fit to invite me to His table.  It brings tears to my eyes and I get so overwhelmed.  I was thinking of a way to express my feelings and then Matt Maher came on and this song just dotted the i.

Oh, how could it be
That my God would welcome me into this mystery
Say take this bread, take this wine
Now the simple made divine for any to receive

By Your mercy, we come to Your table
By Your grace, You are making us faithful

Lord, we remember You
And remembrance leads us to worship
And as we worship You
Our worship leads to communion
We respond to Your invitation, we remember You

See His body, His blood
Know that He has overcome every trial we will face
None too lost to be saved
None too broken or ashamed, all are welcome in this place

By Your mercy, we come to Your table
By Your grace, You are making us faithful

Lord, we remember You
And remembrance leads us to worship
And as we worship You
Our worship leads to communion
We respond to Your invitation, we remember You

Dying You destroyed our death
Rising You restored our life
Lord Jesus, come in glory

Lord Jesus, come in glory
Lord Jesus, come in glory
Lord Jesus, come in glory

Lord, we remember You
And remembrance leads us to worship
And as we worship You
Our worship leads to communion
We respond to Your invitation
We respond to Your invitation, we remember You 

picture from savior.org
I just want to sit at His feet in adoration and just let him into my heart.  I don't need to tell Him anything, he knows it all; He knows what I'm feeling, what I desire more than anything is to have time with Him in silence.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hello There

I am still here, really I am.  I have been planning for my August 22 entrance and trying to keep on top of my work and ministry obligations and have completely ignored my blog.  I want to thank everyone who has been praying for me and supporting me.  I am preparing to find out from the Laboure Society about a grant, I a praying that I am awarded enough to help continue make a dent in my student loans.  I have reached out to a local business that didn't yield much however I am continuing to reach out and trying to garner enough funds to make my entrance a reality.

I have been looking at ways to raise funds and I stumbled on razoo, I decided to look into it and now I have a page set up to receive donations.  This link (http://www.razoo.com/story/Dyna-S-Vocation) takes you straight to my page complete with my story and my goal.  I'm working on adding some more info but in the meantime, I have gone ahead made the page public.  Since I am not able to be a part of the Laboure Society's new class for 2013, I have spoken with the sisters and will be working with them to raise funds. All funds donated will go to the sisters on my behalf.

As you take a look at my page, please consider sharing a link to my razoo via twitter, facebook or email.  I am trying to spread the word and raise the needed $40,000 by July 31st.  Please continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I continue to prepare for entrance.  63 days left and my entrance can be made a reality with your help.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Easter

Wow.  I think this writer's block has lasted much much longer than I thought it would.  I have been so focused on worrying about not worrying that I have not really had the time to reflect or share anything with my followers.

There is not much going on with yours truly; as I reported in an earlier post (I hope I actually posted that one) I visited the sisters right before the beginning of Lent and it was wonderful.  I am now working on making my entrance a reality.  I am organizing a nun run to help raise more funds, the details of it are still in the works but I am really hoping to be able to have the run in June.  My hope was for June 27th because I love everything Marian (duh!) but that will not be possible due to another commitment with the EDGE youth group.

I have a meeting with a friend sometime next week to discuss the course for the nun run along with securing sponsors for T-shirt for the runners and drinks.  Please pray that this goes well.

On another note, being the complete ADD crazy, paranoid person that I am, I have started some Novenas for the elimination of my loans.  If you wish to join me, please let me know and I will send you the documents that you may pray along.  It doesn't matter if you start later, the plan is to pray for my intentions and that of all discerners who have educational debt as an obstacle.

I am making a Novena to st. Rita, St. Joseph, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and Our Lady of Good Success.  I believe a few of my friends are also praying to St. Therese and St. Jude.  We basically picked these saints and I told them to pick who-ever they wanted to make the Novena to.

Blessings to you on this Easter Thursday,

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Birthday Celebration

So today is my birthday and my brother and nephew are here to help me celebrate.  I honestly see today as just another day and I am not overly excited about dining out, having a glass of my favorite wine or even that I get to spend time with my nephew.  What excites me is the idea of being with Our Lord, I am just so excited that my adoration hour falls on a saturday and I get to spend an hour one-on-one with the Lord on my birthday.

Last night as I thought of what to do for my birthday and the fact that I was not excited about another birthday I only got excited about adoration and the fact that I get an hour with the Lord by myself.  In 45 minutes I will be headed to the chapel for adoration.  I am indeed excited and can't wait :)

As always, you are all in my prayers.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Happy Birthday to me

So in 6 minutes it's my birthday and I will officially be 32.  I don't feel it...I guess that's a good thing?r

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The gift of the cross

When we are in the midst of carrying our cross we are never willing to embrace it nor do we open our eyes to its beauty or the graces that can flow from it.  More than once I have found myself asking God why can't he give me an easy button in the form of a wealthy and willing donor who wants to help me live my vocation.  I know however that the journey that I have been on over the past couple of years has been for my benefit and the benefit of those I have and will continue to come across.

I am so grateful for this Lent but I am also in a way struggling to embrace it.  I heard someone say that each Lent should be the best Lent we've ever had.  Well I can honestly say that though this Lent is proving to be the hardest for me spiritually, it is also shaping to be the best Lent that I have ever had.

As I prepared to begin the season I began to see that the Lord's will for me this Lent would be to take up my own cross, rather embrace it and follow Him.  I don't know how many times I begged the Lord to let me suffer like Him, to let me come close to experiencing what he had.  I have on occasion been a bit jealous of James Caviezel because I feel that in the making of The Passion of the Christ he got to experience a fraction of what Our Lord went through.  I know that I am not able to endure what the Lord endured but I have come to realize that I am to embrace my own cross and endure whatever suffering the Lord sees fit to gift me with.

My suffering has always been the fact that I am very private (who knew?) about my discernment.  Many of the folks in my life are not aware of it and neither are some of my family members.  It is because I fear rejection from them and a lack of understanding about this call from God.  However, despite myself I have come to embrace that fact and I am fighting to be more open, to share my story to those who ask and to not be shy about telling others about my future.  Usually when I'm asked about children or a husband I tend to smile, nod and give some generic answer.  Lately, however I've been owning up to the fact that I am in fact discerning and I freely share my story to those who inquire.

A couple of weeks ago, I was speaking to my adoration partner and she asked me if I had children, I replied in the negative and she asked about a boyfriend/husband.  An hour later, I had told her my discernment story and she shared with me the story of her aunt the Benedictine nun and of her uncle the priest.  We truly connected and I must say it felt great to share my story with someone and connect with them.

Today, she told me that she wanted to give me a gift (a 1962 missal - the very one that is needed by a new SMMC postulant!!) I was absolutely overjoyed and couldn't believe it.  I had been her partner for about a year and had not said more than hello to her and now two weeks after our chat and learning of my pending entrance, she wanted to help me with my list.

Time and time again I'm told that people would welcome to the opportunity to help me live my vocation but yet there is a fear that keeps me closed off.  It keeps me locked up and unable to share, fearing the rejection fearing that I will "put them out".  Over the last couple of weeks the Lord has been guiding me and showering me with more graces that I could ask for.  The average person might not think much of these small confirmations but for me, the reluctant one they are just the thing to get me going on my path to embrace my cross.  I am allowing myself to accept this cross and to let go of my tendency to be closed off and private about my vocation and instead share it with those who the Lord is asking me to share it with.

Thank you for all of the prayers; I ask for your continued prayers as I navigate this Lent.  Know that you are all in my prayers as well.

United in Christ,

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Take your cross and follow me

Today's Gospel Reading is a reminder for me of what it means to desire to follow Christ as a Religious.  I attended a day of prayer yesterday (Perfect way to begin the Lenten season) and Father's theme was all about the cross and its importance.  He reminded us that we need to embrace it or risk losing any accompanying graces.

Through prayer, I have discovered what my cross is.  I have a tendency to be closed off and be a bit unwilling to share of myself especially when it comes to my vocation.  Sure I'm sharing it via my blog but only under a pen name and behind an avatar.  For some reason I fear that if I expose all of me then I will be "naked" so to speak and I don't wish to be naked.  I am now realizing that the Lord is calling me to give up the comfort of being closed off.

I know and trust that the Lord will make my entrance this year a reality however I have realized that in order to this to become a reality I must do my part and "help" the Lord by sharing my journey openly.

This is truly going to be a task that I need to rely on your prayers for.  Please keep me in mind as you offer your Lenten sacrifices.  You shall continue to be in my prayers.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Decisions Decisions

Lent is here and though I thought I was ready for my favorite Liturgical season I am finding out that I am not quite there.

I have been racking my brain over the past weeks trying to figure out what I must do for Lent and what I needed to "give up"  There were so many decisions to make.   In other news, I found out the decision of the MEFV board and I was not awarded a grant.  I don't take this to mean that I will not be able to enter this year, I take it to mean that I will have to trust the Lord to work out another way for me to enter this year.

I am currently visiting the sisters, no I am visiting my sisters and of course I took the opportunity to be here to speak to Mother.  We spoke for a couple of hours and it was really wonderful to be able to talk to her.  In the middle of our conversation SrMJ who was copied on the email came in and gave the news that the MEFV board was not able to award me a grant.  I took this opportunity to continue speaking to mother about one of the things I wished to do (which was to move closer to the sisters should I be unable to enter this year) we left it up to discuss in May after the Laboure Society makes their decision on grants.

In the meantime we discussed possible ways I can fundraise and I've got homework.  I got very excited at the prospect of working with my local Serra club for assistance in fundraising.  I also got the chance to speak to one of the Local Catholic bookstores in Spokane and the owner was gracious enough to allow me to put my rosaries in her shop as a way of fundraising.  I of course spoke with Mother who was definitely in agreement, so if you know anyone in the Spokane area direct them to ABBA's bookstore and invite them to support me and the sisters in my vocation journey.

Working out ways to make my entrance a possibility this year made me realize what I needed to work on giving up.  It is not something tangible but it has been a big obstacle for me, it has even been the cause of me not being able to grow in some of the virtues I so desperately want to grow in.  The big monster I am speaking of is PRIDE, I have been telling myself that the reason I am not too forward about asking for donations is because I am worried about folks who are struggling.  The fact is (as I am often being told and I keep conveniently forgetting) many catholics want the opportunity to support vocations in the Church.  Due to my pride I have decided on my own not to even give them that opportunity because I either don't want to share my story or decide they won't receive me in a positive way.  I've realized that in either case I would be in good company.  Jesus Himself wasn't well received by his own townsmen! so who am I to be apprehensive about that?  The face to face meetings that I have had have proved to me that I've been wrong about my worries and I only need to be open and willing to share myself with others and give them an opportunity to help me in any way their station in life allows them to.  Perhaps all one person can do for me is pray but it is also possible that another can give $5 while another can give $20 or another $80.  

A perfect example is a parishioner who asked me to fix his rosary, of course I didn't intend to charge him anything but the cost of the materials.  Well He wrote me a check for $80!  Now had I been planning a meeting with him, I would have been reluctant to because my pride would have had me convincing myself that he has little ones and therefore should not be bothered by me asking for a donation.  In speaking to him he openly answered "I only wish I could do more" If only he realized what he had done.  He has opened my eyes to my issue of pride and reluctance to share my journey.

As a religious you do not belong to yourself; you belong to the Christ, His Church and His people.  I am perfectly willing to belong to Christ and His people and I know that will be my life as a religious.  In keeping with my desire to live my vocation now, I must therefore be willing and open to sharing my life with Christ's people today.

Please keep me in your prayers this Lenten season.  This task will be hard and I know only with the Lord's grace will I be able to do it.  I entrust it all to Him and I ask Him for a converted heart that I my replace my pride with true humility.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Trust and Dependency on the Lord

Today's gospel reading reminded me of how important it is to be wholly dependent on the Lord.  I am reminded of how I must have the faith of  child; not childish but child-like.

I am at the cusp of something very decisive (I get to find out whether or not I am a MEFV grantee) I am in between the waiting and the living.  This has made me realize that the life I wish to live (a total self-gift to the Lord) does not have to be lived within the convent walls.  In fact time and time again I have seen and heard reminders that I must live out the Gospel daily and in turn must begin to live out my vocation now.  

No longer is it acceptable for me to use the "once I enter I will do better" excuse.  I must realize that I am called to do better as I am and where I am.  It is my growth as a Christian woman that will help me be a better religious (not the other way around)  It is my love for the Lord and my gratitude toward Him ow that will make me be a more grateful and truly dependent sister.

I don't know how many times I found myself falling and had to be reminded that it is not my falls that determine my worth in the eyes of the Lord.  God has called me not because of the infrequency of my falls but rather because of the times I have fallen (many times) and continue to rise to run to Him.  Time and time again however, I know I must be careful not to be complacent and therefore rely on the fact that there is nothing I can do to lose the Love of the Lord.  I must continue to strive for perfection and a life of holiness despite the fact that I am outside the convent walls.

God is calling me to this life now so ti tis now that I must begin to strive for holiness, strive for a perfect dependency on and trust in Him.  There will be no magic button to push and become perfectly reliant on the Lord at my entrance so I must therefore begin to live this life of "yes" and "I trust You Lord" today.

Jesus, Come into my heart
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You.