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

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Gift to Realize that Everything is a Gift

Long weekends are amazing because, as a teacher, I feel that such times are the only true times (aside from more extended holiday vacations) when you can take a day off.

So, that's exactly what I did on Sunday. That's right - no work. Period.

My sister and I went for a run on the Lakefront path, which, while hot, was quite satisfying. After washing up, I met her and one of her roommates from ACE KC (Anthony) at Yolk (a local brunch hotspot) for some delicious pancakes. From there, we headed downtown (via the L) to drop off Anthony's bags at Union Station. It was at that time we had the brilliant idea that we would wander around...and ultimately find the cupcake ATM.

(Yes, believe it or not, it exists. Directly below is the proof.)

We enjoyed some sunshine, our cupcakes, fresh air, and conversation on a Starbucks 2nd floor outdoor patio (who knew?). And then we walked some more. (By the end of the day, let's just say my legs were a little sore.)

And after sending Anthony on his way (back to Union Station), Marisa and I grabbed dinner and then headed to Mass. Finally, to round out the night, Marisa and another friend and I experienced the beauty of a summer's evening with margaritas and tortilla chips on the patio of the Mexican restaurant right around the corner from Church.

This morning, I was able to wake up refreshed and so very grateful for yesterday's encounters and adventures.

Speaking of grateful, I'm starting that theme with my 7th graders this week in Religion class. They'll be writing daily in their gratitude journals, and I'll be reading them some books, sharing some stories, and inviting them to reflect on how we can all be a little more grateful for what we have.

I plan on showing this video tomorrow:

And here are some images to get us started and to use throughout the year:

As the video (above) says at one point, it's a "gift to realize that everything is a gift". Today, I was able to look out my back door and see beauty in the simple grace of the brilliant sunshine:

What are you grateful for today?

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