Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Living the Dream

It has been quite some time since I've blogged. Life has kept me quite busy in the last month and a half since I last posted anything. God has been showering his blessings upon me and I have absolutely nothing to complain about these days (I mean there is always Obama and Liberals but we won't go there this time) :)!

Starting in January my life really started to hit a turning point. It has honestly been nothing but uphill since then and right now I feel like I'm at the top of the mountain simply soaking in and enjoying God's Glory. I am for the first time in a long time simply resting in my Father's love and it is awesome!

These last two years have been some of the toughest since I finished my undergrad but the suffering has produced some amazing fruit in my life. In December I started dating an amazing girl. Mary Beth has challenged me to grow in so many ways and makes me want to be Holy more than any other woman I have ever met. In January the whole prayer thing sunk in more than ever and as my prayer life has grown my love has grown tremendously. In April I was offered a position back at Bishop Carroll. In May I defended my Thesis, took my last final, and graduated with my MA in Evangelization and Catechesis. The biggest shock and honor of that was finding out I was Valedictorian. I so did not deserve that but God for some reason bestowed that on me. I was honored to give a speech in front of my professors, classmates, family, Archbishop Chaput, and Cardinal Arinze (speech posted below if you want to read it). It was so awesome to experience that.

From graduation life moved into full force Totus Tuus mode. Training started a week after Graduation at St. Malo retreat center in the Mountains. This year was an incredibly blessed training. We have some incredible teachers with us, some of the best I've ever seen. I got to spend a great week hanging out with Fr. Kevin and Steve. It was also great to have Drew and Clay added to the Totus Tuus mix. God really drew me closer to Him that week and gave me some great opportunities to teach and grow in brotherhood with Steve and Father Kevin.

Then came one of the best days of my life. The Monday after training ended was mine and Mary Beth’s 6-month anniversary. On that day I took her hiking in the mountains and on the way to lunch we stopped at the Chapel on the Rock at St. Malo and I asked her to marry me. She said yes! We are both super happy and excited. The wedding is set for July 3, 2010 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Wichita, KS.

Since then it has just continued to be awesome. I've been spending time with Mary Beth and just enjoying being engaged and each other without the stress of school finally. I've also been enjoying time with friends and my last couple months in Denver. Its honestly beginning to feel very bitter sweet that I'm moving. I'm so excited to be in the classroom again and to move home but I'm actually going to miss this place and some of the friendships I've made here, not to mention the weather and the mountains.

This last Saturday was also pretty incredible. I climbed a 14er for the first time, Mt. Bierstadt. It was so awesome and such an intense experience but worth every ounce of it. It honestly felt like such an analogy to my life, heck the Christian life in general. The climb was tough and physically draining. The air thinned, it was an uphill battle. At moments you felt like turning back but I refused and pushed myself incredibly hard to get to the top. All along the way all of us that climbed together encouraged each other and helped each other out. It was hard but I felt encouraged, loved, and safe because of the community of people I climbed with. At the top all the difficulty faded. I experienced such a sense of accomplishment. The view was incredible, probably the most beautiful view I've ever experienced. It felt on top of the world. I felt bathed in the Glory of God.

Life is definitely a roller coaster. I've had some rough times but right now I'm basking in the good ones. I know rough times will come again but as always God will give me the grace to get through them. Melissa is coming to visit today so she can meet Mary Beth. I can't wait to see her. She leaves Friday and then it’s off to camp in the mountains for 4th of July weekend! T-minus 4 weeks and 6 days left in Colorado. I'm going to savor every moment and continue to rest in my Father's love. For all you Kansas folk: can't wait to come home and have you all get to know Mary Beth more!

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