05 February 2020

Retreating, Speaking, & Living

I took off some time over Christmas +New Year's. It was absolutely delightful.

Since 2020 rolled around, it has been go-go-go. There have been some exciting things happening around these parts along with some sweet surprises.


One of the spiritual goals I had for this year was to go on a silent retreat. Several years ago, I did the Spiritual Exercises with a priest friend over the course of five days. Wanting to do something a bit different this time, I have booked a room at The Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani for five days in May.


It is a Cistercian monastery which was the home and is the final resting place of Thomas Merton. He is one of my favorite spiritual writers and thinkers of all time.

My time there will not be a guided retreat, but more open-ended. I will attend Mass, participate in praying The Hours, and only bring my Bible, journal, and maybe a book for spiritual reading.


The last months have been busy with preparing for upcoming speaking events. This past weekend I went to Branson, MO to lead a day retreat for women at a parish. 
My host Nyssa was so gracious and kind, I met some lovely women (not to mention Nann my Uber driver!), and I was able to get Chick-Fil-A for dinner my last night.





















I had the most wonderful time and came home happily exhausted.


At the end of this month, I am flying to speak at a diocesan youth conference in St. Augustine, Florida and have a few local things between February and March.

As I do more of these things, I see how much it feeds my soul, how much I love it. I just keep praying for God to open more doors and new opportunities as He sees fit for me.


I had a special movie date with my nephew Xavier. 
The same night, my sister Annie and I had a special movie marathon together.


I have started seriously dating someone. It is going really well and has been a sweet surprise from the end of 2019. 
It was a surprising (even jarring) at first because right off the bat it felt so natural, easy, and comfortable...it continues to feel that way. I shared with my mom a month or two ago, Mom, is this what is supposed to feel like when you meet the right person?
She smiled saying, Yeah, I think so sweetie.

We are not rushing down a church aisle, but the pace of this feels different yet very good. I am making mental notes along the way and paying attention to how I feel; and so far, this feels very good to me.

We have been meeting each other's family and friends and that has been going well. Apparently my two-year old nephew gave his stamp of approval. I am looking forward to some fun adventures we have coming up in the next month or two.

I have been able to catch up with a couple of dear girlfriends over the last month and am looking forward to going out with a few more this month.


I am staying present (as best as I can lol) and reminding myself that God's will, with all things in my life, is revealed in a quiet, beautiful unfolding. 
Life is rich and meaningful, and for that I am very grateful.



What is new and exciting in your life as we start this new decade!?



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2 comments:

  1. That's so exciting that God surprised you with a beautiful dating relationship right now-I hope that wherever it leads, God showers down his peace and blessings and makes you both better people through it :) Also, I got CHILLS reading that you are making a silent retreat at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani! I've only read two works by Merton, but I enjoyed what I read and I'm sure that abbey must be a beautiful place for rest and prayer. Your open-ended retreat idea sounds really lovely. Have you read "Poustinia" by Catherine Doherty? That is what your retreat plan/idea reminds me of-bringing minimal things and focusing on being with God and reading His Word. (if you haven't read that book, I highly recommend it)

    My only big activity starting out this new decade is growing a baby in my belly (we found out a week-ish before Christmas), so these past several weeks I've mostly been a hermit of sorts, not straying too far from the couch and catching up with a few different friends by phone or short visits here and there. It's been a huge blessing, but at the same time I miss being my usual active self! It's a good reminder of the importance of dying to self, and how much I need to work on doing that joyfully ;)

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