His grace is sufficient for me, for power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Thursday, April 25, 2013

God is Moving!

There has been so much going on over the last few months! I am overwhelmed thinking about how many pictures I have yet to post, things I wanted to blog about, but have had no time to do it! So I am just starting fresh...this post will catch you up on some things, and then we will move forward...

Our Easter was wonderful! We had a great time with Greg's family!  It was low key, and that was just fine with me! Lent had been a roller coaster of emotions for me personally, and part of me was sad to see it end. The glory of the Resurrection is alive and vibrant in my heart as we continue on in this Easter season! Praise God for the small victories! My heart is very much looking forward to Pentecost...

Easter Tuesday was a most joyous day! My old Pastor from SJN, and current Pastor/bossman at Saint Brigid was ordained a BISHOP!  The Ordination was BEAUTIFUL! I was beyond honored to be one of 100ish non-clergy guests in the Cathedral to witness this beautiful event! 
 This man holds such a special place in my heart! 
 I really could write an ENTIRE post about this day, but I am trying to just catch you up on some of the  happenings in my life! 
 On May 25th, our dear Seminarian, Brian, will be ordained as a transitional Deacon! We are looking forward to celebrating yet another wonderful vocation! This comment has nothing to do with the picture of Bishop David prostrating himself before the Lord... I was just writing about my excitement for the next ordination! 
 Seriously....just love this man! I will miss him so very much at Saint Brigid, but God is moving and doing wonderful things in the Church. I know Bishop David is a part of God's plan in just how the Spirit is moving in the Catholic Church in Atlanta! 
 This past weekend, I was able to go to the Life Teen Women's Retreat! It was beautiful to spend my weekend growing in faith with 150+ women! God is moving in my heart, and I know that I am being called to big and wonderful things. He is reminding me over and over again that I am His, and that my dignity as woman comes from Him and who He created me to be....simply a beautiful thing! 
And these little muchkins...I just love them to pieces! 
Greg is wrapping up his first season of T-Ball. He has had fun, but isn't quite as interested as we had hoped he would be...that's okay...he's still pretty little! He has loved preschool, and has about a month left before he is on summer break! He is such a ham, and really says the funniest things...all of the time! 
Little Miss Maria is one sassy girl! She's got attitude beyond her years! She loves playing with her babies and taking care of them. She loves to read books, and loves to follow Greg around and do whatever it is he is doing! When you ask her how old she is, she says three...because Greg is three! 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Lion Pride

Yesterday, I was thinking about going to the next Pius school wide Mass, so I hopped online to see when it was...turns out it was the next day...today! So, I tweeted Fr. Michael to get the scoop on the time. I was excited to take the kids to Pius, and to share in the Eucharistic Celebration at my Alma Mater! 

The last time I had been to Pius, I was pregnant with Maria...so it had been a while. I have a handful of teens from Saint Brigid who go to Pius, so I was excited to see them, too! 

Pius is family. 

I walked into the school and was overwhelmed with love. It was amazing to see how excited the teens were to see me there! It really is the little things that matter most in ministry. Before Mass, I spoke with Bonnie, my drama director for a while. I have so many wonderful memories of musicals and plays and she was one person I spent A LOT of time with at Pius with rehearsals two days a week after school and ALL day Saturdays...it was great to catch up with her. After Mass, I was so touched by all of the teachers who came up to hug me, meet Greg and Maria, and just chat for a few moments. I wish I could have spent more time catching up with all of them! It really meant so much to me, and really reminded me of the wonderful community that Pius was and continues to be in my life. 

I don't think I could have picked a more perfect Mass to go today. Fr. Michael gave an amazing homily, I received the Eucharist from Msgr. Lopez and he blessed my little ones, and after Mass there was a special presentation honoring Msgr. Lopez for his 40 years serving as a Priest! 33 of those years he has been teaching at Pius. I cannot sing the praises of this man enough. He is the most inspiring and humble teacher I have ever had. He is funny, loving, and cares so much about teenagers and their faith journey. Every note from every lecture that I had him for I have saved...I go back to these notes often when preparing talks for Life Teen. He was surprised and honored by the presentation and gift (an all expenses paid trip to Rome in October to see a friend ordained)! 

To make this day even better, on our way out, Msgr Lopez was on his way into the main building. It was great to hug him, chat for a little bit, and to watch him interact with my little ones. 

I loved high school, and I loved my years at Pius! Being back there today brought back so many wonderful memories of where I was when I really began to take ownership of my faith. I may look the same (as one of my teens pointed out when I showed him where I was in my class picture), but I love looking back to those years and seeing where God has led me since then. 

Domini Sumus...We are the Lord's. Go Lions! 

Monday, April 1, 2013

My Saint Brigid Year

A lot can happen in a year. On this day, last year, I officially started as an employee at Saint Brigid. It has been quite the year filled with new transitions and meeting new people and serving a whole new community. Only God could have planned this so perfectly, as Youth Ministry was something I told myself I would never do as a job! :-) I'm pretty sure God laughs pretty hard when I tell Him my plans...

After resigning from my job as a teacher in Fall 2009 when Greg was born, I got the joy of staying home and raising Greg...and then came Maria in January 2011! I loved being at home with the two of them. The stay at home Mom life really suited me, and our family! Our days were filled with coloring, exploring, outings, and so much fun....being an assistant youth minister has not changed that...and that is my favorite part of my new job! As a part time employee, my Pastor has allowed me to do all of my administrative work from home! I head to Saint Brigid for one "long" day a week filled with meetings, planning, and wrapping up with our teen event, Pizza and Prayer. I am at Church on Tuesday evenings for a meeting for a couple of hours, and Sundays for Mass and Life Nights with our teens. The rest of the time...I get to be with my babies; raising them, watching them grow, and enjoying this toddler time with both of them! 

So how did this all come to be? When the kids were little, I would help out Saint John Neumann and Saint Brigid with retreats, life nights, and Confirmation classes...and then before I knew it, Msgr David of Saint Brigid was talking with Mandi about hiring me as their needed assistant Youth Minister. Mandi is my best friend. We went to college together, and she knew youth ministry was not my first choice when it came to a job...but after that Confirmation retreat in the Fall of 2011 and the Winter Retreat in January 2012, God began to prepare my own heart for taking on this job, working with my best friend, serving the teens of Saint Brigid. I cannot even begin to describe the transition I went through in preparing to accept this job, but our God is good and faithful...He has a plan and knows what He is doing! 

This year has been an amazing year, and I am thankful to all those who have helped to make this transition for my family and I so seamless, especially our parents who have helped to watch the kids when I am away in the evenings or on retreat. 

SJN was the home for Greg and I for 20+ years...it was the parish our families attended, the place where we received all of our Sacraments, with the exception of our Baptisms...we were married there, had our children baptized there...it was home...and it was hard to leave the people, our community, and venture on to make a new parish our new home without our families beside us. 

We were welcomed with open arms at Saint Brigid, and this Christmas season...Saint Brigid felt like home to us. The people of the parish were always so loving and each Mass when I thought the world was staring at us because Greg and Maria were a bit too loud or moving around too much, parishioners would come to remind us that our kids are where the need to be and that they remember how hard this stage was. 

The staff of Saint Brigid has been so welcoming to me. I know that my loud and dramatic ways take some getting to used to...but, I think most everyone has warmed up to me! :-) There are several wonderful women who I consider to be my work moms...I laugh and joke around with them, but I know I can come to them for advice and that they are looking out for me, too! I have gotten to know Elizabeth even better this year, and she has become a very close friend. Elizabeth is in charge of the Confirmation program, and I have been helping her out over the last several years, speaking at classes and on retreats...but have really become great friends with her this year. We have fun joking and laughing, but she has become a great accountability partner for me on my own journey! We also like sitting next to her, her hubby, and little bit at Mass...it helps us feel less alone in the world of wrangling toddlers at Mass! 

Working with Msgr David (Bishop David, tomorrow!!) has been a joy! He was there at SJN, and he was my security when I got to this new parish. Each day I am in the office, I swing by to give him hugs because I just love this man and love to see how God is working in this humble and faithful servant. Fr. Josh came not long after I did, and he has become the big brother I never had! He jokes around and picks on me...but, he also holds be accountable on my own faith journey. So blessed to have him as a spiritual director, confessor, colleague, and friend! Brian, our Seminarian, is pretty much amazing...if I need a good distraction at work...or to distract him...I go to his office to take a brain break! The ways in which each of these three men serve our teens is amazing! I will probably never find three bigger supporters (working under one roof) for Life Teen and serving the youth of the parish. 

And Mandi...my dearest friend! Not many best friends get to work together, but we even share an office. Each day is a joy to be working alongside her. I just laugh looking at where we are, never guessing that when we met 9 years ago, God would place us together in ministry as a team. Her faithfulness and love is something to admire, and I love working with her! 

This year has been full of some many blessings within this transition. The Lord has done wonderful things with our "yes" to this job, and I know He will continue to provide as our family moves forward and falls more in love with our new parish home. 

Saint Brigid, pray for us!