So here I am finally getting around to blogging again! I have the best intentions of blogging every week but then life happens and before I know it, it has been over a month since my last blog post. Oh well so goes life. Since I actually have a ton of things on my brain I've been wanting to blog about I figured I would write on a bunch of little things rather than one big blog (Kind of like a 7 quick takes blog, except it is not Friday and I feel like I would be breaking some sort of unspoken blogger rule calling this a 7 quick takes on a Monday). However, this won't be too quick, so grab a cup of coffee, a beer, or a glass of Whiskey and read on my friends!
I have begun to settle into my 9th year of teaching. This would be my 11th year had I not taken two years off to get my Masters. I still can't get over the fact that it has been 10 years since I first moved to Wichita and started teaching at Bishop Carroll. It is weird that I have spent most of my young adult life here. To think that 10 years ago I was not happy to be here and even mad at God for bringing me here and now I love it here and am so thankful God brought me here. I can honestly say I teach at one of the best Catholic Schools in the nation and have been blessed to be a part of so many students’ lives. I don't know if I will be here the rest of my life but I can say that this diocese and Bishop Carroll have played an indispensable part in my formation as a man and a teacher. When I think about the last 10 years, I can't help but think about the quote from Mother Teresa, "If you want to make God laugh tell Him your plans."
Sophia is awesome! I LOVE being a Dad! It is crazy how much life is changing. She is getting to be so big. Not to mention she is already trying to crawl. She is not being successful yet but I'm sure it is coming. She is able to get on all fours but then when she attempts to crawl she face plants and doesn't get anywhere. I can't even believe it has been 4 and a half months since she was born. In some weird way it is hard to remember life without her.
I am so tiered of politics. I am especially tired of Catholics interpreting Catholic teaching in a way that helps than sleep at night; rather than interpreting it correctly. We are Catholics first and Americans second, period! I'm tired of Catholics trying to justify voting for Obama. We as Catholics cannot vote for him, end of discussion!
I had a friend e-mail me this last Friday. It is by a professor at Benedictine College. I think it quite nicely summarizes the way we are called to live. I really needed this last week:
5 tips for living an awesome life
1. Believe that the sacraments work. Really. Base your journey to God, beleaguering marathon that it is, on the pit stops that He himself designed and placed throughout your day, week and year. Live the liturgical seasons as real events with real graces to harvest in order to live out the unique role that you have in God’s plan. Live knowing that God wants you happy, weak sinner that you are, because He loves you as a child, and has given you a brother in Christ, who in turn has shared with you a mother in Our Lady. Live in awe of those holy men and women, named and unnamed, who did so much to hand down the Catholic Faith to us. Feel part of something great and carry it on.
2. Find out what God wants you to do with your life. Don’t over stress about it, but don’t put it off. Tim McGraw, in his song “My Next 30 Years” (in his case, from age 30 to 60) includes among his goals, “…figure out just what I’m doing here.” I would suggest a more aggressive timetable. The perennial question? How do I know what I’m doing is what God wants? Tough one. Two clues: it doesn’t contradict his plan and you feel deeply fulfilled doing it. First prize, a vocation. Second prize, a profession. Third prize, a career. Fourth prize, a job. In your creation is your calling. Do what fulfills the good qualities God has given you, and which puts them at the service of others, for their betterment.
3. Think of that vocation in wide terms. Your first task is to be God’s creature and adopted child. You live that out as a priest, religious, married or single person. How you make a living should not rule how you live your life. But have education enough to do both. Let your professional life be at the service of your family life, and in turn at the service of God. Concentric circles pulling toward the center will unify your life. A pie graph where each section contends for your personality and focus will pull you apart and leave you unhappy.
4. Build community. Surround yourself with people who share your deepest loves. And make sure those loves are worthy of that depth. Don’t take too many things too seriously, but take very seriously the things that deserved to be so taken. Build others up constantly. Shed anger and petty grudges as soon as possible. Show the people you love that you love them. Often. Prefer to visit people rather than places. Never be too busy to make new friends. Carve time out of your week to reach out to others. Other people’s happiness is so your business!
5. Savor things. Don’t escape from things (drugs, alcohol, superficiality), escape into them (poetry, nature, good conversation, good music, beer in bottles, not cans.) Take walks. Think thoughts. Ponder the goodness of others more often than their faults. Make and take jokes. Laugh. See each day as a gratuitous mystery in which God has hidden Himself in your path in a million ways. Never tire of finding Him in them, be they joys, pains, petty annoyances or your team making the playoffs.
Bottom line: The real you is saint you. Who you truly are is who you are in God’s eyes. And who you are in his eyes is who you can be each day by combining the best of you, little though that be, and the infinity of his greatness.
Because… after all, the only real criterion of an awesome life is if it was lived in such a way that it merits true awesomeness hereafter. Listen and play along to the part you have in the symphony of the universe. The true symphony is still to come. May our lives, under God’s grace and direction, resound a worthy overture.
I am completely addicted to playing Ticket to Ride lately. My wifeand I played it just the two of us quite a bit over the summer. Now we keep trying to find excuses to get together with other friends to play it or teach them how to play.
God is so good to us. I am constantly amazed at how He takes care of us. Every time I start to stress out financially about something He makes it work for us. At the beginning of the summer the Augustine Institute didn't have a job for me as a TA anymore and then along came Jim Beckman and offered me a position working under him with FORMED. This summer when we started to stress about the budget along came Fr. Hoisington at St. Mark's and offered me a paid position teaching Junior and Senior PSR two Wednesday's a month. Mary Beth is still able to substitute teach two days a week and we have been blessed with free child care thus far. I honestly believe this is because we have been faithful with Stewardship. I have started lectoring at our parish and will be helping teach RCIA this next year. We give of our treasure to the parish and help support two FOCUS missionaries. This is the first thing we take out of our paychecks. To a family that makes what we do and has the bills we have this hurts but I can honestly say we have never gone without what we need. I am amazed at how the budget works and comes together every month but it does. Every good gift truly comes from God. When we place our trust in Him and put Him in control of everything, including our finances He provides in powerful ways.
My prayer life is finally getting back on track again. I am slowly getting back in the swing of it and finding moments for silence. It has seriously been a challenge to figure out any sort of routine much less a prayer routine with a baby. Finding time to pray became a real challenge when Sophia was born and I seriously missed my silent time with Jesus but didn't know how to find a groove with it, especially this summer. With school starting I have made it a point to go to mass every day and simply take at least 20-30 minutes of one of my planning periods to go to the chapel and pray no matter how stressed I am or how much I have to do. I am making prayer a priority again and I am noticing a huge difference in my life just from returning to it in the last two weeks. I am starting to find that true peace and joy in my life again that I didn't even realize was missing.