Wednesday, October 21, 2009

And with the Good comes the Bad.

This week has been a roller coaster of emotions and challenges. I have experienced so many blessings and at the same time, so many hardships. I feel like it is important for me to record my trials not only so I can look back and be encouraged by what I have already overcome, but also so I can relieve my pent up frustrations. I'm sure many of you have been here, seeing as I'm just a college student with little world experience.

*But before I begin, I have been informed that the Anglican Church is to be in full communion with the RCC. This totally took me off guard, but what a miracle! This is a huge milestone in our history as Christians. Story Here

So Mondays are my weekly meetings with my Catholic ministry group on campus and I was informed that Tuesday they were taking a trip to a neighboring college for fellowship and prayer. I was definitely planning on going, not only for spiritual encouragement, but for meeting students who share my values. My room mate usually attends the monday meetings, but when she said she would go to the tuesday trip too...I was shocked! She's not a very religious girl (she's very pro-abortion, pro gay marriage, doesn't attend church, hates when people take an abnormal interest in their faith, etc) so I thought maybe these meetings were changing her. The first month she would get angry with the topics the group adressed (like...abortion *sigh*) and she would make fun of people sitting in the room, of course in a whisper, but cmon!! We're here to praise God, not sin. I thought that maybe God was working in her heart and my perserverance through her tantrums in the meetings and her slandering tongue was finally paying off.

We had a blast at the college visit! Our ministry is primarily girls and the other school's is primarily boys, so we had a nice mix at this meeting. But as soon as we got home, my other room mate lashed out. She had had a terrible night, but the things she said broke my heart. She told us we had turned into Jesus Freaks (which is a title I gladly accept!) and that going to a religious meeting more than once a week was pathetic. She then proceeded to tell me her friend from our hall had ripped pages out of the Bible and burned the ones he disliked. I felt my heart sink...right down to the pit of my stomach. I had trouble holding back tears as she bragged about this disgusting act and then, to my utter ASTONISHMENT, I heard Laughing. Laughing. From none other than the room mate who attended the ministry trip with me just minutes prior. I realized at that moment that nothing had changed in her. She still hated the instructions of the Word of God. I had nothing to say. I couldn't bring myself to even react I was so distressed. It took them 15 minutes to ask what was wrong with me and all I could spit out was "I didn't think what he did was funny at all".

I felt like I had let God down. I should be a warrior in defending his Word and I let my emotions get the best of me. But what good would it have done if had better stuck up for my beliefs? Nothing would have changed. They would still be the same 2 miserable people they have been all year. They would just consider me a religious fundementalist on top of whatever else they already think of me. College is proving to be more difficult than I could have ever imagined, not for the work aspect, but for the social aspect. I'm sick of the gossip, the lying, the slander, the drunken idiots filling my dorm, the other morons high off of who knows what drug, and most importantly, the utter disrespect for God. I knew that in attending a liberal college I would be a religious minority, however I did not expect such disrespect. (what happened to the Liberal motto of "having an open mind" and being "accepting of everyone"?) I'm a laughing stock to them, my values mean nothing. I cry all the time now. My only comfort here is mass, my nightly rosary, and my ministry meetings. And the occasional visit home.

God has blessed me so greatly all week in helping me grow spiritually through the rosary each night, keeping me focused, calm, and prepared for ALL of my midterms, in providing for my little desires, and giving me such an amazing opportunity to meet new Catholics. I have it all and yet the moments above make it hard to remember that I am not doing this all alone. I have not been forsaken...I'm incredibly blessed by The Most High Himself!! I just need to take a step back every time I am feeling down and remember these things are minor and are only making me a stronger Catholic. (side note: a lot of the problems here at school are heavily linked to some ongoing dorm/suite issues, so although the issue above looks small, it was kind of like "the straw that broke the camels back")

I'm doing much better now. I am catching up on the Little Mosque on the Prairie episodes I have missed, Glee later, and un peu de devoir. (a little hw) I also had a nice trip out with my mom today :) It's always a blessing to have your parents around to keep you balanced in such a chaotic environment! Praise Yah!

I hope you all have a great week; enjoy the time you have with yout families, don't take it for granted. Because us college students miss the home cooking and our familiesss :P


Monday, October 19, 2009


So sorry! It's been 10 whole days, holy cow! I did update my last post with a small picture of the headcovering I tested out, as I got some curious feedback :D Tznius. com has a ton of cool head covering ideas, I wish I could try them all, but I'm a little nervous for some! I know I shouldn't care what people think, but I heard one of my room mates say I looked like a pirate the other day and I was a tad bit insecure. However, YHVH is helping me sail through my midterms, Praise His Name! and the covering thing has been easy all week(end). If you do visit the website I listed above, scroll toward the bottom on the page and click the ribbon style, I'll be trying this out either this week, or for mass Sunday. pretty, no?

Before I get onto my post on modesty issues that have been weighing on my heart, I want to mention I went to my brother's Confirmation this weekend. Which for those of you who are unfamiliar, is a ceremony in the RCC in which a teenager (who has received the prior sacraments) confirms his belief in Jesus and the church. When I made my own a few years back, my Messianic friends encouraged me to ditch it entirely, but I knew I couldn't. I ended up making the vows, except the last one which was the belief in the Church. (I think I mouthed the I do, but my heart wasn't in it) When the Confirmation candidates stood up yesterday and answered the "I Do" to the vows, I made my last vow, the one I previously neglected. So I feel I am a true Catholic now, not that I didn't before, but I feel this is where God has been leading me. I have reaffirmed my faith and renewed my mission on be a servant to God.

Now, as you all probably know, I have studied many aspects of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, and modesty has always been my favorite. The more I learned, the looser my clothes got, the higher the necklines became, and the longer my sleeves and skirts/pants became. There was one idea that always bothered me, and that was the "Skirts only" one. I have always felt a little pull from this topic, but I always pushed it away. I think pants can be feminine, and I don't think they break the command not to dress like a man. Watching the Duggars here at school (seeing as I get very few channels, and they bring my a lot of spiritual encouragement!) I noticed the girls only wear skirts, including Anna. This kind of resurrected my interest again. I know the Catholic Church had released a set of instructions YEARS back about how high necklines should be (3 fingers below pit of throat), how long sleeves should be (elbows), and that skirts are the only permissible lower garment and they should be to at least the knee. My messianic friend also goes by this policy and told me, pants show the contours of the leg/thigh/butt region, and that in itself is immodest. Not to mention, from her p.o.v, men respect her more as a Lady, and not a piece of meat. As much as I would love to wear skirts all year everyday (not even for modesty's sake), I know winters here are cold! Even where the Duggars are, there is a lot of snow. How could I possible wear a skirt? maybe layering pants/leggins under it, but still. What are your opinions on this? Do you wear skirts only? If so, what advice do you have for the weather issue?

I'm sorry if this post is repetitive or reminiscent of earlier posts, but I cannot seem to reconcile my thoughts on it! The sleeve bit too bugs me...I love long sleeves in the fall/winter/early spring, but come the sweltering summer, I need short sleeves! Is covering the shoulders enough? I can't tell...I always wear long sleeves to church, whether on their own or with a cardigan, but then again, shouldn't I uphold the same level of modesty in AND out of Church?

I know you all come from different walks of life/religion, so what are your modesty rules? (if you have any) How did you define what is modest to you?

Great Shalom/Pax to you all!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Head Covering Trials!

I will not lie...I have not been faithfully covering my head everyday like I originally planned to. I mentioned earlier I had trouble keeping many of my coverings on because my hair is pretty soft and the coverings would just slip off. So I ended up bobby-pinning them down with the aid of a few clips....and they still would not stay put! Not to mention, the multitude of bobby-pins really hurt. I was relieved to take off my covering and that's not the feeling I wanted to obtain through obedience to God's will. I want to be excited to cover each morning, I want to walk out of my dorm with confidence that I am an obedient servant of the Lord, I want to feel the constant reminder upon my head so that I can make as many Christ-minded decisions as I can. When I wear the veil, I believe I do make better decisions.

So yesterday, I sat down and thought about my situation. I knew my current route was not proving to be very fruitful. The wide headband coverings are nice, but I needed to start covering more head so that the veil stayed in place throughout my classes and my entire day. Especially during mass! I just didn't know what style to try because a lot of the ones I love (that cover a lot of surface area) are very ethnic/religious. I love the Tiechel styles the Jewish women wear, I love the Hijab of Islam, and I love the Catholic Mantilla. As I was thinking this...I kid you not, a girl walks by with a covered head. She's not religious, *I think*, but she wears this bun/wrap covering a lot and it's ADORABLE! It reminded me of a muslim girl on campus who wears a similar wrap, although it doesn't follow the full hijab code since her neck shows and her hair slightly does at times too. I immediately came to my room to try it out. And I loved it! I have a whole bag of scarves, in tons of colors, that I have been itching to use. The thing was, was that I was alone. I loved it behind the comfort of my locked door. I knew I had to show someone. I had to make a statement or else I would never leave my room and cover so fully.

I debated for a good 5 minutes whether or not I should even touch my door knob and announce to the common room my new "hair" style. I would grip the cold metal knob and then chicken out. I was nervous to the point of giving up; I was shaking and fearful of being rejected. My room mates already think I am extremely traditional and a little too religious as it was (when they learned I prayed the rosary, it was like Christian overkill!); would they attribute my head covering as religious fanaticism too? Out of no where, I swung the door open. There was no turning back. I had my hair completely covered in a pinky, silvery, blackish scarf while wearing a long sleeve shirt and jeans. And I felt naked. All I could say was "How cute is this?" I was still shaking as I waited for their response and I could feel my cheeks begin to burn with embarrassment as their eyes studied me. My friend said "Wow, that is really cute!" Phew! I sighed quick, smiled, and told her how I saw a girl wearing her scarf like this outside and I wanted to try it. She said she had seen it before and liked it a lot. I was, needless to say, stunned!

I am so excited to wear this style to mass Sunday. I'll wear a bandanna tomorrow, they always stay put. The thing with them is, if I wear them too often, I'll look like a hippie. Or a biker chick. haha!

On some random notes...I prayed a rosary a little while before this post. It brought me to tears! I loved it! I kept thinking of the boy that gave the speech on the rosary last week, and how he said his teacher started praying the rosary during a hardship. His son was in the last stages of Leukemia and the doctors said to start preparing because death was inevitable. His son miraculously lived, graduated, and remains cancer free without any repercussions of the illness. How great is Adonoi? And how sweet is prayer? :) I also had my parents visit me last weekend and they bought me a crucifix necklace at a local craft fair here and I have been wearing it everyday. I simply love it :) And the Lord has been blessing me at every chance He gets here! I have handed in a paper (which I thought was cheesy and ... worthless) and the teacher gave me an A-. He said he NEVER likes to give A's to students, especially on the first assignment, but he loved me piece. I was speechless. And then I took a french test, which once again I thought I failed, and I got a 97.5! I was just about to give up on French too...maybe I am on the right path. But seriously, Praise His Name!! I feel very reassured at this stage in my life...even while all my friends are feeling the pressures of midterms, I am surprisingly relaxed. I am not afraid at all!

Here is what it looks like (I got the picture from tznius. com though)

I hope this update makes up for the lack of posts!
I pray that you all are enjoying life as much as I am
May Adonai bless and keep you all~

OH! and Congratulations to Josh and Anna Duggar on the birth of their daughter yesterday! How sweet, I cannot wait for that season of my life ;) If God wills it for me. heehee

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Shout to the Lord

I haven't had much to post about lately. And unfortunately I am still very busy! So I wanted to post an uplifting/encouraging song. I love it so much! We sing it in the catholic ministry group I am in and I was excited to find it on youtube. I also found a version that American Idol did...which I thought was weird seeing as it says Jesus in it...but Amen to that! I'm all for public praising on tv :D

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Rosary & "The Journey Home"

I watched the Journey Home this weekend on EWTN (I love this show!) and was pleasantly surprised to see it was a Sweden edition. Normally the host talks to priests, nuns, men, and women who at some point in their lives, converted to the Catholic faith. I don't really consider myself a convert since I have always technically been Catholic, but I can really relate to many of the people on the show and the trials they faced spiritually before coming to a stable place. I'm hesitant to state I am 100% settled in my faith because each time in the past I felt grounded, something came up to make me question the Catholic Church or the practice of the OT law.

Anyways, this particular episode was AWESOME. The guests were a two married, normal, everyday Swedes who *obviously* converted. The thing with Sweden is it is predominately Protestant and most of its citizens are baptised into the Swedish Lutheran Church and live very secular lives after. The woman, Lisa Wetterberg, was born into an atheist family who never taught her about God so that "she could decided her religion later" and her husband Magnus was born Lutheran and didn't give much thought to religion in her adult years. Lisa, during her young adult years, converted to Catholicism and soon after met Magnus. Although he did convert years after their marriage, they married with very different religious views...she said "he is a catholic, he just doesn't know it yet".

When I heard that I was like "awwww" however, now looking back, that could have been a dangerous move. We are called to be equally yolked...and I know the Church says an interfaith couple can marry as long as the children are raised Catholic, but I could never do that. I was "with" a certain guy for a while and he even proposed to me this summer, but I knew I couldn't take any further steps with a non-Christian. I know so many Christian/Catholic women who married a non-religious man and slowly, I watched their own faiths decline. Are any of you married/dating someone who doesn't believe in your faith? Do you just pray for their conversion, do you fight a lot? I always wonder if, and secretly hope, he will (the guy above) find God someday, but I feel as if it is almost futile. Maybe I am wasting my time waiting when I should be concentrating on my own faith and eventually looking elsewhere. I know I am very young still, but it's hard to get past these old feelings.

Which brings me into the next part in which Lisa said she was very passionate in her early years and would cry at mass or during prayer. I started praying the rosary this week and last night I had a really moving experience. Just as the words came out of my mouth, I started to cry. I was reading the mysteries for the day as I prayed each bead and it just triggered some inner urgency within me, like I was praying for family and friends' souls. The Fatima prayer really fired my own requests, seeing as how the words paralleled my own intentions. This was a rare experience for me because I have never really gotten "emotional" during prayer, but if felt so real; like I was connected to heaven. This is extra weird seeing as I have always been wary of the rosary. Do any of you say the rosary? Everyday? Or what about the Chaplet of Divine Mercy? (I love this one, but I have lost my momentum by saying it everyday) Or do you have reservations about these prayers?

I hope to continue my prayers and my "Lust" for my faith as Lisa quipped in the Journey Home, but I also hope to achieve the "true love" that can endure the hard times, the questioning, and the trials that await me in the future.

I hope you all had and are having a great week!
May YHVH bless you with Great Shalom :)