July 30, 2013

lamentations

So, y'all... I really miss California.  I mean, since it's not winter (and hasn't been for a while), the fact I'm not there is a little more bearable, but at the same time it's not.  And now these little things I come across throw me into an uber-reminiscent mood.

Like this:
While hunting down an old address in my GPS last week, a few of them jumped out at me, as goofy as that sounds.

July 28, 2013

a note

"Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets?  Let them be for yourself alone, and not the strangers with you." -Proverbs 5:16-17

Modesty and chastity are precious commodities.

Immodesty and unchastity are simply a waste, like pouring rare desert water onto the street.

The gift should be protected.

It must be protected.

July 27, 2013

sister date, and ponies, too {simple saturday}

I'm taking care of a friend's horse and pony this week while they're on vacation, and Caitlin came along with me for the evening.

Sister dates.  The best kind.

July 25, 2013

back in the saddle


Two years ago, after a complicated and agonizing turn of events during which I went through a long, messy falling out with my best friend and became an angry, hollow shell of a person who wanted nothing to do with anything that might remind me of her, I stopped riding horses and gave them up altogether, leaving “our” farm and the trainer who had been such a huge part of my life, raising me, and shaping me into the person I am.  It’s an uncomfortable story – what happened between myself and this friend – so I will spare you the gory details, but just know it was my second real heartbreak, my life was pretty much shattered into a thousand pieces, and in an attempt to squelch any emotions that might have tried to surface, I cut many things out of my life, one of which was horses.

Which was stupid.

Two years is a long time.  It’s a long time to keep yourself away from something you have always (and obviously) loved most in the world, all the while pretending you don’t care, that it doesn’t bother you in the least, and changing the subject every time someone would start making conversation about it.  Especially when they had no idea why you’re trying not to care in the first place.  It’s exhausting.

And for the last two years, it was consistently one of those things that still seem to jab a spear in your chest every time you reminisce, or drive by, or simply wonder how it’s going, but you can’t bring yourself to stop in because you don’t want the wound to be ripped open again, to see the memories, to see someone else as happy there as you once were.

It’s a complicated emotion.  More like every possible emotion smooshed together in one giant mess.

July 21, 2013

the handbook for life

I am in love with a book, named for it's brilliant and beautiful author, Sirach.

And excuse my grievously unprofessional manner when I say:
IT'S LIKE THE FREAKING HANDBOOK FOR LIFE, YO.

Have you ever read something, and all the way through, certain sentences or words or phrases seem to jump right off the page and shake you by the shoulders, as if they were especially meant to be read by you?  Well, that's what happens almost every single time I flip through Sirach.  Talk about a beefy book, eh?  Shizzam.

Anyhow, after narrowing my list from somewhere around five thousand verses, I thought I'd share some of these tidbits of wisdom with you dear folks...  These are the verses God wanted me to pay attention to today.  Maybe there's some in here for you, too.

July 20, 2013

{simple saturday} these things I love (vol. 2)

♥ popping bubble wrap

♥ working hard for hours on something and seeing it turn out really well

♥ putting on warm clothes straight from the dryer

♥ sliding around in socks

♥ lipstick

♥ dipping fingers in wax and peeling it off when it's cool (weird?  maybe.  oh well.)

♥ walking on grass in bare feet

♥ rainstorms

July 18, 2013

fall into him

God is with us in every storm of our lives.  Though everything may seem to be swept from under our feet, God remains.  Just as we can safely stand on a boulder in the middle of a turbulent river, we can always rest in Jesus.  He offers us safety and peace in a chaotic world.  The knowledge that we are safe makes the roaring river soothing and our tumultuous lives joyful.  No matter what.  Jesus loves you and he is there waiting.  All you have to do is fall into Him.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Dwija and her family.

July 16, 2013

a time and a place

Do you want to know what I really love?  Of course you do.  That's why you're here.

I really, really love seeing young guys stand up and speak up for goodness, truth, and beauty.  Our culture is constantly pressuring young men to back down and let everyone do their own thing, soaking in the moral relativistic mindset - "well that's your truth" / "if it works for you, it's totally okay" / the list goes on.  Courage is often confused with popularity, the ability to get the girl and make the most money.  But whether or not it's realized, the world is an advocate of cowardice, especially for our young men, under the guise of independence.  True courage and independence means sticking up for what is right in the face of opposition.

Men are supposed to be leaders and protectors, and in this ridiculously chaotic, immoral, and diluted world, what a comfort it is to witness these guys (many of them my friends and brothers) whose goal it is to live and be an example of the truth.

July 13, 2013

{simple saturday} the promise

Happy {simple saturday}, y'all!  I hope you all had fun and behaved yourselves over at Dwija's last week.  Thank you so much for hosting for me.  (If you didn't hear/see/read, last Saturday was my feast day, and the post I had written was un-simple, so I passed it off to Dweej temporarily.)  I think we'll stick around the CGD for a while, eh?

Anyway, "live simply so that others may simply live." ~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Caitlin and I were wandering aimlessly downtown two weeks ago after a hard rain, and just so happened to look up and see a beautiful, full rainbow.  I wish I still had a picture.

July 12, 2013

all over the map ~ 7QT (vol. 13)

But that's the point, right?  If not, it is now. ;)

1.  First off, I'd be dreadfully remiss if I didn't issue a big huge bloggy THANK YOU to Dwija of House Unseen. Life Unscripted. for hosting my humble little {simple saturday} link-up last week.  It was the feast of my patron saint, Maria Goretti, and my post was rather un-simple, so Dweej graciously took the reins for me.  So thank you, dear lady!  I like you.  And your kids are so darn stinkin' cute. (If you're not familiar with Dweej's blog, fix that.  I guarantee you will not be disappointed.)

2.  This is about a week and a day late, but I hope you all had a fantastic Fourth of July!  Mine was perfectly incrementalized by pet jobs and home duties and food and explosives, and was thoroughly exhausting, but it was lovely all the same.  My mother and I managed to make about 15 minutes of the local parade (I was going to photograph it, but that got all screwed around), and while we were there, I noticed something that just about broke my heart.  I posted this on my personal Facebook profile, and despite the snarky, Family Guy-esque opening, I mean it with all my heart.  "You wanna know what really grinds my gears?  The fact that people cheer louder for the Girl Scouts than for our veterans military personnel at the parade.  I am so proud of my brother and all our service men and women.  Without them, we wouldn't even have this country to call our own."  I think too many Americans have their priorities and respects seriously confused.  Mixed up.  Backwards.  There was one particular veteran who has marched in the parade for as long as I can remember, an explosion in Vietnam having left his skin pale gray and lumpy, and a few of the teenagers sitting across the street had the audacity to make fun of him. Seriously?  SERIOUSLY??  Have some respect for your countryman.  Is that so foreign of a notion now?

July 11, 2013

dinner

Aemelia's college orientation day was yesterday (we'll be at the same school in the fall... college-ing FTW), and afterwards, she joined my mother and I for dinner, to avoid the drive home in rush hour traffic, which can be a real beast in our area.  The original plan was to have her to our place, and I, of course, was ecstatic, since well... it's Aemelia, and because having dinner guests in my house is such a rarity.  Living on the craterous washboard that some call a dirt road, folks don't come over unless it's planned well in advance, and drop-ins aren't even a thing.

But, thanks to a massive thunderstorm and a blown transformer leaving us without any power (it's back on now, thank God and DTE), that was not to be.  Understanding our need for the reunion, since it has been an almost sacrilegiously long time since we've done something together, my mother graciously offered to treat us to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant, which we all thoroughly enjoyed.

After stuffing ourselves with burritos and rice, mother was off to run errands and Aemelia and I were off to galavant nowhere in particular.  We ended up by the lake in our backyard.

Note:  I might die for a few of these pictures.  If you never hear from me again, you know whose fault it is.

July 9, 2013

farewell, friend

Goodbyes are always difficult for me, even if I know I'll see the person again sooner or later.  It's just too hard to find the words to bid farewell to a friend.

But "goodbye" doesn't seem to cut it, and "good luck" is too bland, since, in all reality, you wish them worlds more than luck.  But nothing else seems to adequately express your thoughts. 

Last week, one of my favorite people in the whole wide world moved away from little old Michigan with his family.  Really far away.  And though I hadn't seen him for the better half of a year before they left, he remains a wonderful friend.  One of those friends Cari was talking about a bit ago of which I'm so blessed to have many - the ones in whom you can glimpse God's eternity, because it seems as if no time has passed when you do have the chance to spend time together.  What a blessing that is. 

What is left to say but "farewell."  And "God bless you."  You'll most definitely be missed around these parts, and we wish you the best as  you start your life cross-country.  And someday, hopefully soon, our paths will cross again.  And if the offer to visit still stands, expect your home to be invaded by us.

July 6, 2013

role model, sister, saint, and friend

In the Catholic Church, today is the feast day of a young martyr Maria Goretti, who I am blessed to honor as my patron saint, and have as a role model and a sister.

For those of you who may not know her story, Maria was born in 1890, into a poor, hardworking peasant family in Italy, the third of six children.  When she was nine years old, her father died an unexpected death and her mother took a place in the fields while Maria cared for the house and the children.  The family survived by working in the fields of Count Giovanni Serenelli and his son Alessandro.  
Cheerfully, intelligently, and without a complaint despite their lack of food and money, Maria carried out her duties, stopping frequently to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Graces.  She would recite the rosary every night for the repose of her father's soul.

July 5, 2013

prayer requests + a song totally unrelated to anything ~ 7QT (vol. 12)


Well, I suppose the annual I'm-trying-to-blog-through-the-summer-but-I-can't-fine-the-time thing is actually a thing... My apologies. Balancing time is so difficult between life... and life. But I don't need to tell you that. Growing up is something, isn't it?  And I'm smooshing two takes together here, just to let y'all know that Dwija is taking over {simple saturday} for me tomorrow, since it's my feast day (a Catholic thing) and I've written something special.
 If I could ask for some prayers... I know many people (including myself) who could use them. First, for the repose of the souls of so many incredible young people who have passed away recently... definitely not in our timing. Peter Campbell, Brad Rutherford, Deacon Greg VandeVoorde, Eulalie Nohrden, Kaitlin Hehir. And for their families. 
Also, if I could ask you dear folks to pray for Robert, Mary, Hunter, and baby. I am not at liberty to publicize the details, but I intercepted them while praying at a local Planned Parenthood last week, and they have decided to give life to their baby, thank God. But, they need a LOT of prayers, because they have a LOT going on at the moment, as one could imagine.

July 2, 2013

these things I love


the smell outside after rain

baggy sweaters on cool days

books that are impossible to put down

making people smile

people who make me smile

 feeling loved 

 blogger friends turned real friends

 late night texts you re-read later only to realize they made absolutely no sense

saying hello to strangers