Not Alone Series: Getting back to it!!

WE ARE BACK!  Back, again!

I have missed our weekly chats SO MUCH!  Ladies, are you ready?! Are you excited?! I hope so!! Because, I AM!

If you are new, WELCOME! We are SO happy to have you. Check out the tab above for more info about who we are and what we do, but basically: we are bunch of single women, who are continually discerning the Lord's will, getting together each week to chat about anything and everything that pertains to our singleness, while loving, encouraging and growing in holiness. (Phew, I think that was a run-on!) Not a blogger?! It's ok! There are many people who just read, sometimes comment, along... and that's perfectly fine. But, we do have a Facebook group to help foster more of a community with everyone! Please consider joining! :) Also, prayer. None of this is possible without the Holy Spirit's guidance. Morgan and I are so thankful to God for this entire series and all of YOU who participate, read and pray for us.

Ok! Let's get this party started!

We are back! As we get into the swing of things with NAS, what other ways can we be more involved at church or in our communities? Is there a parish ministry you have been wanting to help with or start up? What about that after school program for homeless kids? Has something been preventing you from getting involved? How do you think this will help you personally, spiritually and emotionally?

As Morgan and I have been emailing and planning and emailing about the topics for the next little while, it has definitely gotten me excited for the series to start back up, but also inspired me to be more active... outside of work. Yes, work keeps me busy... and most days when I get home from work, all I want to do is sit on the couch and do nothing. Nothing.

But, this is not good for me. I need to be around people. It really doesn't matter who, I just need to have some conversation, laugh, and hang out with others to remind myself that I am not alone in this world.  It's taken me a while to realize how true this is for me. To get more involved means to take some sort of risk and put myself out there.  That is the hard part for me. Not the being around people, but ultimately having the confidence and trust in others (and God) to be myself and know that I am worth being around.

It takes practice. Ya know? The more I get involved and put myself out there, the easier it will be for me to know that I am worth it.  It's why I have become an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, volunteer with the youth group, and most recently decided to take the role of Young Adult Program Coordinator. This last one is really going to push me, as the group of young adults that meet already are very close, and that's a bit intimidating. But, I know it will work out, I just need to keep going.

As I have reflected before, God's plans are sometimes different than my own. If I had it my way, my parish would already have a vibrant young adult group, and there would be no need for me to step up to help. The youth group would have an abundant amount of volunteers, and they wouldn't need me. But, see... that's just not the case.

The more I am involved, the more I realize the need for young adults in our parishes. We constantly say that there needs to be programs/events for us, yet we don't want to take time to help figure the logistics out. We say we don't know anyone, but we don't want to get involved with anything that doesn't have young adults already involved. But, what if God is asking you to step out? What if He wants you to do something that is a little uncomfortable because it will help you grow and stretch, and help you understand that your parish isn't just solely about you and your needs?

Our parishes, and communities, are very much like our families: weird, fun, sometimes loud and obnoxious, but also imperfect. No parish or community is going to be doing every.single.thing. right and just how YOU want it. But, that doesn't mean we should wait for things to change on the sidelines. We are called to step outside of ourselves and serve one another, and this most definitely includes our parishes and communities. Isn't this what love is all about?! This article (which fostered some great discussions in our FB group) does a great job at reminding us single people of just that.

This is why I am not a huge fan of "church hopping." In a sense it's very selfish (and anyone who does this, I am not judging! I definitely did this for a long time, and it's only in recent years have my eyes been open to the benefits of being at one parish).  Maybe God is asking you to commit to your parish/community. To get involved more. To take a leap of faith, even if it's uncomfortable!

What do you think? How involved are you in your parish/community? Could you do more?

I can't wait to read! Morgan is hosting this week, so please head over there to linkup and read what everyone else has got to say! :)

Blessings and prayers,
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Next Week
Oh, so chivalrous!
(Thanks to Sarah Therese!)
Chivalry should not become a lost art and we, as women, ought to step up to the plate a bit more and encourage men to treat us as women, thereby respecting them as men. Do you have tips, ideas, or stories to encourage men to be... men?! Open doors for us, initiate dates, honor us as women, etc? Let's chat!

September 16
Online Dating Dos & Don'ts
Not all of us have jumped into the world of online dating, but many of us have! What are those things that we should AND shouldn't do?! If someone you know is considering online dating, how would you encourage him/her? What advice do you have?

September 23
Courtship vs. Dating
It might be easy to say that the pursuit of marriage is the purpose of dating (aka courtship). But, that's not how our culture views dating. Does viewing the person you're dating as a potential spouse add unnecessary pressure on the relationship? In your opinion, is there a difference between dating and courtship? If so, what are those differences?

September 30
Our Makeup Routines
(Thanks to Bek!)
What are your thoughts on wearing make-up? Do you see a tension between a pressure from society and a God-given desire to be and make life beautiful? Is your use of makeup compatible with the idea that God sees you as naturally beautiful?

7QTs: THREE DAY WEEKEND!


~ 1 ~
(I am writing these on Thursday... and I am so thankful that it's Friday tomorrow.)
I can guarantee that as you are reading this, at this very moment, I will still be VERY happy and thankful that it's Friday.
AND WE HAVE A THREE DAY WEEKEND!
I know the children love them... but trust me, the teachers/staff/nurses/everyone else LOVE them just as much. :) :) :) Maybe more.

~ 2 ~
The weekend could include some of this:

~ 3 ~
Maybe this?!

~ 4 ~
Most DEFINITELY this:
And, for sure, some actual beach time!

~ 5 ~
It's going to be just great. Just gotta get through today!
I found a church near my middle school, and they have daily mass in the morning!
So! I hope to go there before I head into work for the day. 
I'll be praying for YOU!

~ 6 ~
For all of you Not Alone Series fans:
WE START ON TUESDAY!!!!!!
This Tuesday, September 2nd!!!
Who is excited?!?!??!
ME! ME! ME!
(And Morgan!! I know she is, too!)

The prompt for Tuesday (so you have a little time to prepare):
We are back! As we get into the swing of things with NAS, what other ways can we be more involved at church or in our communities? Is there a parish ministry you have been wanting to help with or start up? What about that after school program for homeless kids? Has something been preventing you from getting involved? How do you think this will help you personally, spiritually, and emotionally?

~ 7 ~
Anyone doing anything fun for the weekend? Traveling? BBQ-ing?
Whatever you do, have fun and be safe!

Oh! Go visit Jen... she is the most gracious of hostesses!

Blessings
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I am here, and God is using this time.


I made it.

I MADE IT!!!!



Oh my gosh. I got through the first week of school (second for me, but first for the pequeños).

There were many, MANY a moments when I didn't think I was going to get to Friday. The week was nuts. crazy. busy. INSANE.

Insane.

I began working a few weeks after school started last year, so I missed all of this crazy. And, really... I wish I could start a few weeks after everyone else ALL the time. That would be great.  I have such a new perspective on all of my teachers/principals/administrators/everyone else I had growing up. I mean, to endure this crazy on purpose year after year after year? Props to you all. Mad props.

Thank you to all of my teachers for working so hard and pushing through. Thank you for doing your best when so many people/situations made you feel like you weren't.

Because I now understand. I know how you feel.

I am trying to tackle all of my "tasks"- immunization compliance, diabetic trainings, entering medications into the EMR, following up on that kid's allergy and that other one's rare condition, etc, etc - I am being interrupted, what feels like 50 times a minute, to calm a parent down because their child has XYZ and they have never been in school before, get more information for a teacher, call a parent about the documentation for their Epipen, setting up a meeting about that one kid, etc.

Holy moly. So many things. It never ends. It just stops at 3pm and starts up again at 7:30 the next morning.

The thing is though... the teachers, while they have their never ending list of things to do, they get to be with the kids. They get to hang out and do what they love to do.

My days... are not filled hanging out with the kids like you would imagine. Oh yes... I see them (mostly due to the fact that my desk is in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the clinic), but I don't really get to care for them as I would hope. As you can tell from the above, I have a lot of things going on. It makes this a tough gig to not work with kids as much as I want/need to. Soon, I hope, I will be able to help out more in the clinic, but right now... I just can't.

Which is why things seem so unbearable sometimes. I became a nurse TO WORK WITH KIDS. And now I am doing something that, while so important, doesn't allow me to have the same interaction as I would in the hospital.  So, when I am more than frustrated and upset about my lack of compassion and sick of looking at the computer... I wonder how different things would be if I could actually hang out with the kids more? Maybe it wouldn't change anything.

All I know is this: I am here, and God is using this time. I don't think I will be doing this forever, but this is my now. And, well, I've just got to embrace it the best way I can. I have challenged myself to focus on the good each day, instead of the challenging and frustrating. And all the things that I can't do. ... boy, that's HARD for me.

But, I still have many, many weeks to get better. :) God's got my back. And I am so thankful for the job that I have. The kids I do know well. The people that I work with. And all of the many things I am learning about myself and what kind of nurse I want to be.

And, really, what more can I ask for at this moment?!


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Prayer shouldn't take a backseat, but it does. HELP!


Whoa.

Hello, there.

This week was nuts. I worked 6 out of the last 7 days. Yes, 6. Yes, I know I am a SCHOOL nurse, but sometimes Saturdays are the days that schools plan their open houses. Which means, I have to be there to get things done, too.

Today... oh, today. I have slept in and have been vegging. No where to be until Mass at 5. And it has been GLORIOUS. Glorious, I tell you.

I just spent an absurd (absurd!) amount of time organizing all of the Not Alone Series posts into categories. I had been wanting to make it easier for you (and anyone who happens to stumble upon my part of the interwebz) to search specific things we have talked about. Check it out here, or click on the tab above. I will be updating it with each new post!

Um, we have written 46 different posts, you guys, on alllllll sorts of things. I am so impressed and amazed and inspired!  If you don't see something on that list that you want to write about, LET US KNOW!! :) Email me and Morgan! :)

I hadn't been so busy as I was this past week in a long time. I enjoy being busy for many reasons, but I forget how exhausting it can be! haha. I mean, I know how crazy that sounds, but it's true. Work is back in full swing, I had core team meetings for youth group, a lockin with the youth group AND starting my new role as Young Adult Program coordinator at my parish (they put my pic on the website and everything... so no going back now!).

So, I mean. Wow. When life picks up... life picks up!

But, you know what hasn't picked up?  Prayer. I hate to admit it... when life gets going, my prayer life is the first thing that gets pushed to the side. :( And, really it should be heightened.  I have no problem going to visit Mart and the babe after work, or jump on my computer to email someone or read a blog... but somehow I don't have time to pray? Or visit Jesus in Adoration?

Obviously, that's got to change.

What works for you? How have you made prayer a priority over all the other things? Any tips/tricks you have would be ever so appreciated. :)

See, I have time to cuddle with my stuffed animals
and re-read a great book!

And have cookie dates with the bestest god-daughter EVER!

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NAS: Freebie! {and VERY exciting news!}


HELLO!!!

I have missed you all so much! I seriously can't wait for our regular schedule!  Which, as a reminder,
starts September 2! Morgan and I are still working on the topics. Please let us know if you have any ideas. We are ALWAYS open to hearing them!!

This week we are chatting about.... anything! Literally, you choose and we will read. :)

I hope you all have been able to read and enjoy the stories and pictures from NASavannah! I wish we could get together all of the time, but unfortunately that isn't the case. Morgan and I have already begun talking about next year's weekend! We will start gathering your interest and such later this Fall. If you have any suggestions or ideas for that, we are all ears, as well.

Ok. You guys.


We have some very, very exciting news to share.


Are you ready?!


Morgan and I... will be traveling up to Boston next month 
TO BE ON CATHOLICTV!!!!


I was contacted by the marketing director (Hi, Bonnie!) for the network back in May after she had been following some of my tweets AND blog posts, namely Not Alone Series. :) :) She wanted to know if I would be interested in being interviewed (on the LIVE show) and sharing the story of NAS as a way to encourage, inspire and remind people of the importance of community.

Wait. Wait. Wait. What the WHAT? I must have read and reread her email a million times. You want ME to do what?? To say that I freaked out would be an understatement. I forwarded the email to Morgan, my mom and Martha right away. Was I dreaming? Was she really asking if I wanted to be interviewed? On TV?

After I calmed down and composed myself (ha!), I wrote back, and said "of course I would be interviewed!" ... this happens all the time.

Anyway, as I got more deets, I asked if it was possible to interview both Morgan and I. As you all know, the Not Alone Series wouldn't exist without her (well, all of YOU reading this right now, too). We are a team. I couldn't justify talking about our beloved Not Alone Series without her. So, I asked, and Bonnie said, sure!!

And there you have it. We will be interviewed by Father Robert Reed and Jay Fadden on the live, 30-minute show, This is the Day. God clearly wants more people to know that they are not broken, they are not lost and they are not left behind. And who are we to say no to God?!

The Deets
Date: Friday, September 12, 2014
Time: 10:30am EASTERN
How: watch it LIVE online at CatholicTV.com (when the page opens, just click "watch" on the upper left corner) or on your actual television if you are lucky enough to have it**
Another option: If you can't watch it live, no worries! The show archives it's episodes for a few weeks. I will post the link here afterwords, on Twitter, etc. :)
Social Media: Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to see our adventures in Boston! We will use #NASBoston throughout the weekend, so if you want to chat about it, too... then use it, too! :)
Morgan: Twitter | Instagram

If anything changes we will let you know! :)

I am so humbled by all of this.  I am also nervous and still kind of freaking out.  Please, please pray for us. Pray that our words and story of NAS touches at least one other person. Pray that I don't fumble over those words too badly and be really, really awkward. haha. Thank God Morgan and I are doing this together... it's not as scary!!

St. Therese (patroness of CatholicTV), pray for us!

And, seriously... another thank you to all of you. I say it all of the time, but it doesn't make it any less true. This series would cease to exist if you ladies didn't participate, read, comment, email, pray, etc. I am so proud to be part of such an awesome group of fun, eclectic and godly women. You inspire me more than you will ever know!
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**If you don't have CatholicTV, or you aren't sure, please click here to find out. If you don't, please follow the steps to request that CatholicTV becomes a channel in your area!
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