Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Book vs Movie

I didn't think it could happen. I just finished reading a book and now that I'm done I can say, I prefer the movie. I've never done that before.

I saw this movie a long time ago. Not quite when it came out, but it was many years ago. I enjoyed it. It made me think and be thankful for what I have. I also was a fan of Mandy Moore, and I may or may not have had a crush on Shane West at the time.

The other day while doing some Goodwill hunting, I found a Reader Digest with this book as part of the collection. I always wanted to read it, and I couldn't beat the price ($0.99 for the four books in one). It was an okay story. If I hadn't seen the movie I may have liked it more. However, I didn't feel that the characters were developed to the point the movie did. I didn't feel as engaged in the story, more like an observer than a participant. I love reading, and my favorite books will bring me in until I become a part of their world. It just didn't happen here. However, now that I've read my first Nicholas Sparks book, I'm eager to try another. I've heard great things about him and hope it's worth the time.

The latest author phenomonon (Stephanie Meyers) I just didn't get the big deal. I really hope I can enjoy some of the other Sparks books, because I'm out of authors to try.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Too Soon

Why do they grow up so fast? Today, I was spending time with the in-laws, who watch AJ while I'm working. I was watching my father-in-law hold AJ's hands and she was walking around the living room. I'm not ready for this! She's not even crawling yet. She's not even seven months old, it's too soon. I know she'll probably be walking before she crawls, since she has zero interest in crawling she loves to stand and jump, but this is crazy.

Yesterday we were on a playdate. There was another girl there one month younger than AJ. However if you didn't know the age difference, you'd never guess they were so close. This girl wasn't rolling, wasn't sitting and had no interest in eating real food. AJ has been doing all this for two months now. Is it just her? I know parents always think their kids are more advanced, more beautiful, more everything than any other child, but I'm starting to look at other babies her age and seeing major differences between them.

Her well-baby visit is next week, so we'll see how she measures up to the official charts.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I set a goal for myself a couple weeks ago. I was going to say Grace before sitting down to a meal. How many times did I remember to do this? 0. Zero. Zippo. Not even once. How sad is that? I'm so angry at myself for not making this a priority. M grew up saying Grace. He also mentioned he wanted it to be a part of life for us as a family when we have kids. Well, we have a kid. How many times have we said Grace since AJ has been around? A big fat nil! Jeesh, what's wrong with us?

I brought this issue up to M the other day. I asked if we could make this a part of our Lentin routine. Ash Wednesday was yesterday. We had fish for dinner. We had fish for lunch. However in both those meals, neither of us thought to say Grace. I'm so ashamed.

Today is the first full day of Lent. I haven't eaten yet, so I haven't failed for the day... yet. I hope to remember my own resolution. I WANT to make this a part of my life. Why do I keep blanking out on my own want. Usually I would say it is because Jesus has another plan when I forget something I really want to do, but this time? Really? Jesus doesn't want me to say Grace. That doesn't seem right.

I'll update on my progress. Hopefully it won't be another big fat Fail!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Born and Raised... then what?

Another person came to me recently because she is struggling with her Catholic faith. I know so many people who were "Born and Raised" Catholics, but then either fall out of faith completely, or more often, look to a different church to fulfil their needs.

My friend came to me over the weekend and wanted to talk about religion. I know that's usually a topic better left unsaid, along with politics, but I like to think I keep being sought out because I'm open about my strong faith, but reasonable enough to listen to the issue at hand, without preaching. Whatever the reason, I'm happy. I love discussing religion and trying to help out a friend in crisis.

Here's the situation, it's an all to common one. "Jane" was born into a Catholic home. She was brought up in the faith and completed all the rites expected of her. She met a boy who wasn't Catholic but he went through RCIA, so now Jane could get married in her Church and continue being a good Catholic. Jane had two kids, both were baptized Catholic.

She occasionally went to church with her family, but found it difficult. The kids were bored, the church was so large that the little one would get scared and scream. Jane couldn't make it through a Mass without having to get up and move to the back of the building. Thus, she wasn't getting much out of the experience either. Jane didn't know anyone at Church, so no one really missed her when she didn't attend.

A couple of years pass, and Jane still isn't going to Church. She misses it, misses her relationship with God, but can't bring herself to repeat the experience of attending Mass she had before. Then, Jane speaks with one of her friends of a different faith. She is invited to go to Sunday Mass at the friend's church. Jane packs up the family, and off they go. It's a whole new experience. As soon as she walks in, she feels welcomed, like an old friend who stopped by to visit. Mass is similar to the Catholic one, but there are a few differences. After Mass, there is Fellowship Hour. People gather for coffee and socializing. Jane speaks to more people in that one hour than she did in the years she attended the other church.

Here's the dilema. Jane has always categorized herself as Catholic. She believes it's part of her identity. Jane came to me because of her fears. She's afraid she won't be able to categorize herself as Catholic if she becomes a part of the new church, she's also afraid of being shunned by Catholics for turning her back on the faith that raised her. I completely understand these fears. I have them myself. I explained to her the main difference between Catholic faith and every other christian faith. Even though the two churches are very similar, there are some key differences. I encouraged her to speak with the Priest and find out from him the specific differences between the new church and her previous one. Only she can determine if not being Catholic is important enough to her to stay at a place she's not satisfied. I tried to help her realize she wouldn't be "shunned" by Catholics for changing faith. She doesn't have any relations that are strong enough in their belief to do so. (I however do, thus, my major hinderance in searching for a more fulfilling religious experience).

I pray she finds what she's looking for. I pray for her everyday that she will find God in her own way. Maybe this is the path she needs. She invited me to come along to the new church one Sunday so I can see the differences myself. I'm thinking about going, but I would have to go without M, which is causing a new set of problems for me.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Signs (Part I)

This is something I should have put down in writing a while ago, but never did, then forgot about it. Until Sunday, when I was hit with the realization all over again.

It was three years ago, Sunday, that I (1) first met M's family and (2) was struck with the realization that Jesus wanted M to be the man I marry.

For the past four years M and his family go to church together the last Sunday of January. We had been dating for all of three weeks when he asked me to go with him to meet his family. M and I get there first, find a pew, and wait for Mass to begin. While waiting his mother and her husband show up. I get a quick intro, a quick hug and face front again. A minute later, one of the brothers shows up, again, quick intro, and back to front. The Mass begins, and I'm lost in the music, listening to M sing loud and proud. The introduction and first prayer are finished, and we sit. It is then that I realize our pew and the one behind us are now full, and apparently they are all M's family. Four brothers, two girlfriends, a niece, and a family friend all show up, surrounding us while I wasn't looking. I get this amazing feeling of belonging wash over me. I've never felt anything like it before.

The readings begin, and what's the first one? 1 Corinthians 13:4 This is the ultimate wedding verse. Love is... That's all that needs to be said. Everyone knows it. Two words and people are already finishing the sentance. I don't think there could have been a less subtle sign. I look at M and I hear Him telling me, this is your future. This family and this church.

Lo and behold He was right. Shocking I know. I am now a part of that family and belong to that church. How did I suddenly remember this amazing day? The liturgical calendar is three years. That means that every three years the readings will repeat. Sitting in church with M and his family again, I hear the lectur read "Love is...".  WHAM! It hits me, that deja vu, only not. I'm now sitting with MY family, we all have the same last name now. Some faces have changed, one of the girlfriends is gone, the other girlfriend is now a fiance, and the biggest change, AJ is now sleeping in her father's arms.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Jesus Freak?

I'm a closet Jesus Freak. Is that even possible? I'm not sure, but if it is possible, I am it. Outwardly, most people wouldn't even realize I try to go to church every Sunday. Inside, I talk to Jesus daily. I don't make a decision anymore without having a conversation with Him, albeit one-sided. He has answered me though, and that helps.

I see people praising Him on Facebook, praying out of the blue, and I'm envious. I wish I had the gumption to do that. I don't know how to break out of my shell and embrace it. Even with those closest to me, I can't be that honest and just bust out in a scripture quote.

I'm going to try everyday to be a little more open with my praising. It's a personal challenge I'm setting for myself today. If I do a little more everyday, maybe it will become easier.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Beginning

Since it's the first day of a new month, I want to start this one off by keeping a record of things. I'm a horrible date-keeper, and I don't want to lose some special events due to my lack of short-term memory. Then there are those times I think of something and really want to remember it, so I should write it down, but the big question is always Where? Where do I write down these things I don't want to forget. Now I have that place. Should anyone else ever read this, I hope not to bore them too greatly, but I don't expect others to be concerned with my daily ramblings.