Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lenten Reflection: Sixth Week of Lent

The First Letter of Saint Clare to Agnes of Prague (1234)

Therefore, most beloved sister, or should I say, Lady, worthy of great respect: because You are the spouse and the mother and the sister of my Lord Jesus Christ (cf 2 Cor 11:2, Mt. 12:50)

and have been beautifully adorned with the sign of an undefiled virginity and a most holy poverty: Be strengthened in the holy service which you have undertaken out of a burning desire for the poor Crucified,

Who for the sake of all of us took upon Himself the Passion of the Cross (Heb 12:2), delivered us from the power of the Prince of Darkness (Col 1:13) to whom we were enslaved because of the disobedience of our first parent, and so reconciled us to God the Father (2 Cor 5:18).

O blessed poverty,
who bestows eternal riches
on those who love and embrace her!

O holy poverty,
God promises the kingdom of Heaven
and in fact, offers eternal glory and a
blessed life to those who posses and desire you!

O God-centered poverty,
whom the Lord Jesus Christ
Who ruled and now rules heaven and earth,
Who spoke and things were made,
condescended to embrace before all else!

For Prayer and Reflection:

  1. How is "blessed and holy poverty" embraced in your daily life?
  2. Is the living of your holy poverty a challenge to the values of today's consumeristic and materialistic society?
  3. Where do you identify "the power of the Prince of Darkness" in the world today?

Friday, March 27, 2015

7 Quick Takes Friday


This week was my spring break. Even though break started off with a round of snow, this week hasn't been that bad. Especially since I consider my spring break to have started on Friday last week, since I am only going two days out of the week. 


To start of my break, on Saturday afternoon, Aaliyah, Rosie, and I went with some of Aaliyah's friends to the movie theater to see "Cinderella." We all loved it. Then in the evening, Amanda, Yavi and I went out to dinner with some friends to celebrate Amanda's birthday. After dinner, since Amanda and two of the friends we went out with hadn't seen it yet,  we decided to go to the movie theater down the street to see "Cinderella." Even though I had just seen the movie I still enjoyed it.


Tomorrow I am going out swing dancing. There is a ballroom about an hour away from where I live and they regularly do swing dancing there and tomorrow is their annual Swinger's Ball. This will be the first time that I will be able to go and it sounds like it will be fun. A bunch of friends have gone before as well as Aaliyah and TJ and they enjoyed it. 



Camp NaNoWriMo is next month and I am still deciding on whether or not I want to do it. The reason why I would do it would be so that I could start working on my writing again, but at the same time I don't want to do it because of school. I still have four days left to decide on whether or not I actually want to do it. 


On Tuesday Aaliyah and I went dress shopping for Easter dresses. We both found dresses. This is the dress that Aaliyah got and this is the one that I got. Since we also have two weddings to go to this year we can use the dresses for those as well. 


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Lenten Reflection: Fifth Week of Lent

The Second Letter of  Saint Clare to Agnes of Prague (1235)

But with swift pace, light step
unswerving feet,
so that even your steps stir up no dust,

may you go forward
securely, joyfully, and swiftly,
on the path of prudent happiness,

not believing anything,
not agreeing with anything
that would dissuade you from this resolution
or that would place a stumbling block for you
on the way,
so that you may offer your vows to the Most High
in the pursuit of that perfection
to which the Spirit of the Lord has called you.

For Prayer and Reflection:
  1. What are the stumbling blocks that keep you from "going forward securely, joyfully and swiftly?"
  2. What passion will you never abandon in your life?

Friday, March 20, 2015

7 Quick Takes Friday


Even though this week, with the exception of Monday, has been in the 50's and 40's I don't really care because it means that warmer weather is still on it's way and will hopefully be here sometime soon. On Monday it is supposed to be in the upper 40's and snowing. I don't want the snow right now, especially when it is officially spring. But that is one way to start of spring break I guess.


I saw this on Pinterest the other day and thought that it was a really cute idea!!! Especially if you don't know what to give someone for a present.

Graduation present I made my best friend... Wooden letter (purchased from Hobby Lobby) covered in wallet pictures.. Modge-Podge wooden letter then cover with pictures, lastly Modge-Podge over pictures with paint sponge :) Write on back as you would a card to utilize space and make it more special!

Another Pinterest find that I found the other day was a link to a blog post on how to do Plot and Structure in writing. So I decided to share it here for other fellow writers to read, share and pin. 


When I first started putting together this week's 7QT's I was originally going to have each number be a different day for this week. But then I changed my mind because I thought that it would be a bit boring if I did that for every single one. 


On Monday my mom, Amanda, Yavi and I finally got smart phones. Besides getting a new phone, Monday was an adventure for me, and kind of for everyone else as well. The phones were supposed to come last week on Wednesday, but that didn't happen. Then they were supposed to come Friday morning, that didn't happen either. So the only time the guy was able to come out to our house was Monday afternoon at 3:00. Since I had to leave for work by then I had to leave my old phone at home. After picking up the kids that I nanny we went over to their house and found that we were locked out of the house. And after calling the parents to let them know what was going on I drove us all over to the closest Culver's for an early dinner. Not long after we got back to the house, the dad arrived and let us in.


A while ago I had found a list of things to do for planning your novels. I had saved it to my writing board on Pinterest, but I can't find the link so that I could share it here. But I had printed it out so here it is :)

  • Write up an analysis of each character (no matter how small a part they play in your story). In doing this you will discover small antidotes or traits that add to the story line. It also helps to eliminate characters that are irrelevant.
  • Write a list of themes you want to explore: Which character wants to them and for what reason? Does your character find what they are looking for? What symbolism can you use to explore these themes? Is there any intertextuality you can apply to your themes?
  • Write all the events (major and minor) that you have discovered in your character and theme analysis onto separate index cards. Then categorize them into: Exposition, Climax, Resolution, This will help you find the best order for your events and will help you to visualize your plot.
  • Look at each scene and ask yourself these questions: What are my characters emotions in this scene? What can I do to foreshadow these events? Does Pathetic Fallacy play a part? Do other characters respond the way my protagonist expects? How do I want my reader to respond? Do these events add to the reader's knowledge and push forward the narrative?
  • During planning and drafts create side comments to indicate where your symbolism/foreshadowing is used to ensure you are providing the right clues for your reader.

Since this weeks 7OT's ended up being a bit focused on writing stuff I thought that I would share this outline for writing that I found on Pinterest (again). 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever.
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;

I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the cherubim;
The sweet 'well done' in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors' faith, Apostles' word,
The Patriarchs' prayers, the Prophets' scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun's life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the wizard's evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Lenten Reflection: Fourth Week of Lent

The Fourth Letter of Saint Clare to Agnes of Prague (1253)

Gaze upon that mirror each day, O Queen and Spouse of Jesus Christ, and continually study your face within it, that you may adorn yourself within and without beautiful robes, covered, as it is becoming the daughter and most chaste bride of the Most High King, with the flowers and garments of all the virtues. Indeed, blessed poverty, holy humility, and inexpressible charity are reflected in that mirror, as, with the grace of God, you can contemplate them throughout the entire mirror.

Then, at the surface of the mirror, consider the holy humility, the blessed poverty, the untold labors and burdens that He endured for the redemption of the whole human race.
Then, in the depth of this same mirror, contemplate the ineffable charity that led Him to suffer on the wood of the Cross and to die there the most shameful kind of death.

Therefore that mirror, suspended on the wood of the Cross,
urged those who passed by to consider, saying:
"All you who pass by the way,
look and see if there is any suffering like my suffering!"

For Prayer and Reflection:

  1. Gaze into your mirror, how have you seen "blessed poverty, holy humility, and inexpressible charity" reflected in your life?
  2. What other "flower and garments", (attitudes of Christ), adorn or clothe you life, or do you recognize and encounter in the lives of others?

Friday, March 13, 2015

7 Quick Takes Friday


Tuesday was a lot of fun because of the very dense fog. It was really annoying to drive in, especially when I had to deal with an intersection that is near my house. The nice thing was that in town and a decent area around my house were de-fogged on my way home from school. The fog in between was still dense and annoying. Of course the fog decided to stay around until Wednesday morning. But I was fin with the because I didn't have to leave the house until the afternoon.


Besides having fog all day Tuesday and a part of Wednesday, we have been having some really nice weather. It's finally warm out again!!!! Though there is one day so far next week that is in the 40's, but it is still warmer than 0 degrees out which is nice for a change :)


Last week I mentioned that I was going out with Amanda and some of my cousins to celebrate my birthday. It was a lot of fun. 


This weeks inspirational quote :)


The new "Cinderella" movie comes out today in theaters and I can't wait to see it. This is one of the only movies that has been made in recent years that I really want to go and see. Even though the story of "Cinderella" has been run into the ground a bit, the movie trailers make it feel like a different story.


On Monday it will be a week until Spring Break!!!!!!! As much as I am liking my classes this semester I am ready for a bit of a break, even if it is just a week. Especially since it gives me more time to work on an oral presentation that I have to do for my English class. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Work in Progress

This is another snippet of my work in progress that I wrote a while ago. Feel free to let me know if there is anything that needs to be fixed :)

Even though the large auditorium was empty, Grace still felt a bit nervous as she stood on the edge of the stage near the curtains. Taking a deep breath she moved away from the curtains and set her bag down on the floor. As she opened up her bag Grace knelt down next to it and took out her pointe shoes. Sitting down on the stage Grace put on her pointe shoes and put her sandals into her bag. Pulling out her IPhone and ear-buds, as she stood up, Grace plugged her ear-buds into her phone. As she walked to the middle of the stage Grace put the ear-buds into her ears and picked out a song from The Nutcracker. After working on the dance that she had choreographed to the song Grace took a break.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Lenten Reflections: Third Week of Lent

The Third Letter of Saint Clare to Agnes of Prague (1238)

Place your mind before the mirror of eternity!
Place your soul in the brilliance of glory!

Place your heart in the figure of the divine substance!
And transform your entire being into the image 
of the Godhead itself through contemplation.

So that you too may feel what His friends feel
as they taste the hidden sweetness that
God Himself has reserved from the beginning
for those who love Him.

And, after all who ensnare their blind lovers in
a deceitful and turbulent world
have been completely sent away,
Who gave Himself totally for your love.

For Prayer and Reflection:
  1. Clare uses the image of the mirror popular in the spiritual literature of her time. The medieval concept was that one gazed into a mirror to see there what one should become. Does this image speak to you in realizing that as one gazes upon one's truest self, one comes to see the very Image in which one was created - God?
  2. What in your mirror do you see that calls you to be transformed?
  3. For further contemplation, see 2 Corinthians 3:18

Friday, March 6, 2015

Seven Quick Takes Friday


Since it has been a while I decided to do a 7 Quick Takes post today. I also decided to write this at the lovely hour of 1:00 o'clock in the morning, but that is only because I couldn't sleep. When I got up my original plan was to try and get some homework done, but that didn't happen, because of something called the internet. But that is just life.


I am really loving the current forecast that we have for next week because it is going to be up in the 50's!!!!! Super excited about that, because it means that spring is finally starting to arrive and not hiding anymore. 


Earlier this week I was looking at phone cases and I found this Doctor Who case on Etsy that I really like. I found this phone case as well and it made me think of Amanda since she owns the most books out of all of us. Then there is the cool LOTR phone case. Of course the adorable Captain America and Thor phone cases are too cute not too share. 


Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying I will try again tomorrow.


Of course staying up till 1 in the morning wasn't that smart of an idea for me, because I am going to be up rather late tonight. My birthday was on Monday, so to celebrate I am going out late tonight. But that Just means that I will hopefully be able to sleep in a bit tomorrow. I also hope that staying up this late won't become a habit, especially with school.


Even though I have occasionally thought about creating a separate blog to share my photography on, I have decided not to do so, so that this poor blog would still get posted on now and then. Instead I have decided to do a photo a day thing either every other month or every couple of months. It all just depends on what I decide to do. Even though they were posted back in 2012 you can find a bunch of photo a day lists here for almost all of the months.


While I couldn't think of anything to really say for number 4, I am surprised at what I was able to come up with for my 7QTs today at this late/early hour. If I decide to do another 7QT's next week I'll make sure to not write them this early/late, even though the only noise is the heat and my typing. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Lenten Reflection: Second Week of Lent

The Second Letter of Saint Clare to Agnes of Prague (1235)

Your Spouse, though more beautiful than the children of men,
became, for your salvation, the lowest of men,
was despised, struck, scourged, untold times throughout His entire body,
and then died amid the suffering of the Cross.

O most noble Queen,
gaze upon [Him]
consider [Him]
contemplate [Him]
as you desire to imitate [Him].

If you suffer with Him, you will reign with Him.
[If you] weep [with Him], you shall rejoice with Him;
[If you] die with Him on the cross of tribulation,
you shall possess heavenly mansions in the splendor of the saints
and, in the Book of Life your name shall be called glorious among men.

For Prayer and Reflection:

  1. What times and places are reserved in your life NOW for "gazing, considering, contemplating," Jesus on the cross? Is this a struggle as you attempt to balance contemplation and ministry?
  2. How has your own suffering been a transforming power in your life?