I have come to fall in love with teaching in Catholic schools. What are YOU in love with?...

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." - Pedro Arrupe

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Finding God in the Everyday

If God causes you to suffer much, it is a sign that He has great designs for you, and that He certainly intends to make you a saint. 
-Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Why begin today's entry with this quote? Well, as it happens, today is the feast of Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. It was not until last summer, actually, that I became aware of St. Ignatius and his forms of prayer. (I've always been accustomed to the Salesian order, having gone to a Salesian high school, served as a counselor at a Salesian summer camp, and, finally, worked at a Salesian elementary school. Yes, once a Salesian, always a Salesian.)

Quite frankly, I find Ignatian prayer/spirituality (I recommend using the Examen) a most marvelous and meaningful addition to prayer life because at its heart is the idea of God being intimately involved in our lives in even the smallest and most mundane ways.

And it is about taking time to reflect on and recognize those instances where God has made himself truly present to us, whether it be through a friend, through nature, through work, or even through a complete stranger.

I personally like finding God in nature...

Flowers in Loose Park, Kansas City

view from the dock, Michigan
Now, doesn't thinking about God's presence in our lives in such a manner make the day just that much better?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Little Fall of Rain

Growing up in Florida, we always had rain aplenty - especially during the summers, when you could always tell what time it was based on when the clouds opened up and the rain came pouring down. Seriously, it was like clockwork.

Perhaps having lived in Arizona these past three years has allowed my appreciation for and fascination with this form of precipitation to increase because, after all, it doesn't rain that much in the desert. (And, with many things, when you don't have something for a long time, it makes it that much better when your chance to experience it finally comes.)

So, imagine my delight to fall asleep last night to the gentle patter against the window. It comforts me, in a way, as long as I'm not stranded out in it (that's a long story to be saved for another day) or the thunder is so loud it shakes the very earth beneath my feet.

And I love watching it - the way it splashes and splooshes into already forming puddles on the sidewalk, or how it puddles up in between the roots of the trees, creating (to me) a scene right out of "Tuck Everlasting" or the like.

Oh yes, pour me a cup of coffee, let me curl up with a good book, and that's one heck of a lovely, lazy (and overcast) Thursday morning.

Heck, it might even be one of those days for hopping in puddles like Gene Kelly. (Just don't forget your umbrella.)

After all,
"Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet."
- Roger Miller -

Don't you want to be the former?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Harry Potter Frame of Mind

Having recently (and by recently, I really mean the beginning of May) acquired a Nook e-reader (thank you SJV friends!), I have been using http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ for merely electronic book purchases. However, after discovering my incoming 4th graders' summer reading book (Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh - great book! but I digress), I decided to actually order some "real" books to enjoy.

And, you know how it is, when it comes down to the whole order $25 and get free shipping deal; well, I always try to do that.

So, I got a few books (in addition to "Mrs. Frisby") for myself, including J.K. Rowling's "The Tales of Beedle the Bard," which turned out to be a wonderful decision. It's basically fairytales for wizards (but translated for us Muggle folks), complete with notes by Dumbledore. Can we say awesome? And with only 5 stories, it was easy to make it through the book in less than an hour's time. (Not that you should rush it, by any means.)

But what makes this book especially appealing to us educators (in addition to the fact that it is another book for HP fans to devour), is that each story has a moral - so, in a way, it's like fairytale-fable mixed...Would that make it a "fairyable?" <Insert grimace face for bad joke here.> And good tends to triumph over evil, which, you know, we all want to see, right?

If you're a Harry Potter fan and have not yet picked this gem off the shelf, what are you waiting for?

Perhaps best of all, though, is that I am now definitely in a Harry Potter frame of mind (watched #7 Part 1 today) and ready to see Part 2. (Yes, I know I'm 2 weeks late.)

See you at the movies!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Road with No Name

Strange name for a blog, no?

Its inspiration actually came one day as I was driving around Phoenix, trying to find my way to a spot along the marathon route to cheer on the school's pastor. It was just a side road, but it really stood out. And it made me kind of chuckle at its irony - it's name was, in fact, "Road with No Name." And the name just kind of stuck with me.

In many ways, I guess you could say it's a very applicable title because, quite honestly, I am taking life one step at a time. (Confession: Some days that's harder than others.) But I trust that God has it all under control. The timing is right, and my heart is open to the many possibilities that lie ahead.

So bring on the classroom. Bring on the planning. Bring on the wing nights and trivia. Bring on the running, the exploring, and the Church-going. Bring on the laughter, the frustration, the smiles, the tears, and the opportunities...

For these are the things and the people that will guide me down my road with no name. Would you care to join me?