Friday, June 13, 2014

First week: Am I answering any calls right now?

That's funny, because I am at the public library (where it is not kosher to answer your cell phone) and I just missed a call from someone (likely regarding a job). It's the fifth call I've missed since yesterday evening. Oops.

But the reason I write that title is because even though I am thoroughly enjoying having my days to myself (and many of my evenings as well), having no job, not many connections in the area and no schedule means I can virtually do what I want, when I want. The fact that I've missed those five phone calls is just quite hilarious because had they called almost at any other time I would literally be chomping at the bit to answer. However, all five people picked times when I've been busy (which is rare these days). Luckily I have plenty of time to call them all back. (Hint hint, if you've been wanting to get in touch with me this next month would be a really great time to do that!)

One goal I had: Get a haircut after newsletters
are done. Look what I've been up to! 
I figure since the reason I'm moving to Iowa is to continue discerning through this dating relationship, it's not a bad idea to start working on a schedule when Lee and I can spend time together, without seeing each other every waking moment that he's not at work. (We both know that wouldn't be good for either of us.) Therefore, I've started getting out of bed at what seems like the crack of dawn and going to Mass with Lee before he goes to work in the morning. At first when he told me he goes to 7:30 am Mass twice a week and 7 am the other days, I thought, "Oh, that's nice. Good thing there's a 12:05 Mass across town." However, I think it's beneficial to make that small sacrifice and go to Mass with him in the morning, especially since I don't have a schedule, I can get up and get my day started. Plus, my days have been so much more productive starting them with Jesus (and a cup of coffee). As Fulton Sheen once said, "Prayer + coffee = conscious conversations with your creator." 

It has especially been nice to simply enjoy so much of the mornings (and afternoons...and evenings). In fact, I don't think I've ever just "enjoyed the day" so much as I have in the past week. The freedom has left me with much time to simply think and ponder the comings and goings of my life in its current state. I've been thinking much about how I'm "answering the call" by being exactly where I am, doing exactly what God asks me to do.

This is how I see it:  I have complete peace that this is where I'm supposed to be right now. Although I don't have a post-FOCUS job yet (I still have until August 4th), I think it will be rare that I ever have the freedom to have holy leisure for almost a month straight...ever again. With that being said, I've been answering the call by trusting that I am exactly where God would have me, reading spiritual books I've wanted to read for some time, and basking in the silence that He is granting me right now. The fact that Lee and I are making sure that Mass, praying the Rosary together and praying a Holy Hour together two nights a week (outside of date night, an occasional bike ride and other fun activities) not only holds me accountable to prayer, but also affirms me so much that we are doing everything we can to keep Jesus at the center of our relationship, while not getting too caught up in being "overspiritualized (a common downfall of good Christian relationships...I have my own thoughts on this phenomenon)." We are getting to know one another on a natural human level, while also learning the inner workings of the other. I think this is a very good thing.

My first "home cooked" meal: Mac 'n Cheese.
I've also been enjoying more order in my life by going on bike rides, having three healthy meals a day and taking the evenings "off" by either spending them with Lee (Mondays I watch him play soccer and Tuesdays are date nights), watching a movie on TV (because I have cable!) or reading a good book while eating dinner. Taking the time to enjoy these things is helping me see what my life severely lacked as a missionary: order. I rarely took time (and felt okay about it) to do at least one of these things each day, and I suffered for it. Now that I'm learning what I like to do in my spare time, I don't want to make the same mistake in the future!

While at the Commissioning Weekend at Ave Maria a couple weeks ago, I was talking with one of the execs who mentioned that he once had a summer off and was so mad that he didn't have anything to do and was bored the whole time. Looking back, five children later, he's seeing how precious that summer was when he couldn't see it then. I have a feeling that this "season" of my life is a very special and unique one, and I hope to answer God's call by living each moment to the fullest, not waiting for life to happen to me, nor complaining of boredom. What a beautiful time of transition as I move to a new city and learn the ropes in a strange land! (I do hope to not get lost on too many more bike rides poor legs can't handle it!)

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