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, January 16, 2017

Zeal. Zeal. Zeal.

I needed this weekend more than I knew.

But ACE knew.

I just got back from an incredible reflection-, friend-, and faith-filled weekend retreat in Florida. There were so many poignant talks, amazing interactions, and thought-provoking ideas. There was a lot to take away, but there was one thing Fr. Lou told me in confession that really hit home above all else...

I explained how I've been in a rut with my seventh graders, to the point of really resenting a number of them. This whole weekend we are celebrating our work with Catholic education and what we work day in and out for with our kids...and yet, this was hanging over my head and weighing on my heart. Fr. Lou just looked at me, and he said that we are called to love everyone, regardless of whether they deserve that love in any given moment or not. For, that is what Jesus does with us every single day.

Wow. When I thought about it like that - how undeserving I am and how God still loves me SO much - how can I not go in every day and strive to show that love to them? I know it's not going to be like the flip of a switch in terms of change, and I know that some days I will continue to get frustrated, but I am going to try to keep this at the forefront and to ask in a special way that God help me with this.

Again, so many great talks, fun activities, and special time. Here are a few photos, including one with my parents (who I got to see on Sunday!)...

Thursday was a full moon...I wish I would have known, as that explains a LOT as to what happened on Thursday...

On Thursday night, ACE put us up in a hotel...and it came with a free cookie...and really comfy beds... :)

On Friday we visited an ACE Academy - and it lived the Salesian spirit, holding Don Bosco and Mary, Help of Christians up as models. The gentlemen of our group really enjoyed recess with the kids. 

The retreat center grounds were absolutely beautiful. When we had an hour of reflection at a time, I found so much peace in just looking out onto the lake. And the sunsets...holy cow!

We had time for recreation too - one night we played a combo of trivia (which the RLP 15 gentlemen won) and charade-a-phone (which the RLP 15 ladies won - woo hoo!)...and then next night everyone dazzled us with their karaoke skills...

But like all good things, on Sunday it was time to say "until next time"...

I was blessed to be able to spend a few hours with my parents during (for Mass and breakfast) and after retreat before I flew home. We spent some time on the Riverwalk, at lunch, and downtown. It was a beautiful day!

I am so very grateful for the many blessings I have been given and people I have the fortune to call family and friends, especially through ACE. I am renewed with zeal and love for my school community, and I look forward to helping make God known, loved, and served to my students each and every day.

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