I have 96 days left in the Army Reserve.
Yes, that’s right. I’m almost done. I’ve been counting since it was 365 days.
It’s kind of a big deal.
I remember when I left for basic training.
I wasn’t afraid of the running, the shooting, the danger.
I was worried about the unknown. Would I find some friends? Someone to talk to? Would I be able to do what they expected me to? Would I be able to do it without crying?
I didn’t know what I was getting into. I admit that, now. I wasn’t really prepared.
I don’t think you can be prepared for something like that.
Life isn’t about preparing for every possible outcome or experience. It’s about going through with strength even when something surprises you.
For example, the first time I shot a gun, any kind of gun, was my 21st birthday. No one knew, except my battle buddy, that it was my birthday. No one knew and so someone that didn’t like me, she threatened me. I still remember what she said.
“I’ll cut you.”
What a crazy, ridiculous thing to say to someone, regardless of the situation. “I’ll cut you.”
She was one of those crazy-brave women. You know the kind I mean. She had this rough, abrasive exterior, but I think it stemmed from something that hurt her.
I was crying the first time I shoot my rifle.
I was crying when my drill sergeant came back from the target and said, “You’re a pretty good shot. You did really well.”
Then, I wasn’t crying anymore.
How can you possibly prepare for something like that?
There just isn’t a way to know that on the day you turn 21 you’ll be threatened by a crazy woman (I mean crazy here in the sense that she didn’t realize how much she could hurt someone) and then called a good shot the first time you put a real round through the chamber of an M16.
So, how do we live? How do we go through life, knowing that we aren’t going to know?
I recently got Angels Explained, a talk by Mark Miravalle. It’s amazing.
He strongly suggested we talk to our guardian angels. Did you know that your guardian angel was created with all the other angels at the beginning of time and he/she has been waiting for you?
Our guardian angels love us. And the more we talk to them, ask for their help, the more they can help, Miravalle said.
So I am trying to start praying that simple like “Angel of God” prayer. It’s beautiful and quick, and Miravalle said it works.
In between the dishes, the laundry, the vacuuming, the wiping, scooping, writing, reading, watching… you know. In between those things, I try to talk to my guardian angel.
It’s weird. I’ll admit that. It’s crazy (in another sense of the word).
I ask him/her to pray for me. I ask him/her to intercede for me. All the ways that I plead with the Blessed Virgin, I do that with my guardian angel.
And I ask for his advice (again, like Mary). I ask for patience. I ask for him to pray for me when I can’t pray, when I don’t know how to pray, when I don’t know what to ask for.
And it works.
Here’s the day-late list of what I read in March, online and in 3-D.
I will not admit to not scanning some of these articles.
Crossing the Most Dangerous Line: How some bioethicists undermine human value: http://www.apologeticalliance.com/blog/2013/03/03/bioethics-human-value/
Amazed by Wonder:
In Francis, the Catholic Church has a Pope for life:
If Atheists Exist, God Does Not?:
Cleaning up the engine room:
Pluralism, tolerance and the Gospel:
Theology of the Body for Beginners – Christopher West
Heaven’s Song – Christopher West (still in the process of finishing this)
The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson (this book was so fun to read)
Soon, my boyfriend and I are starting a “mini book club” with The Lord of the Flies.
We’ll see how that goes.
He doesn’t read as much as I do, so I might get ahead of him.
Process on researching and writing about women in the church is going well.
I have broadened it a lot, and I think I may try to publish it as a work of non-fiction.
I think that might be my sticking point in trying to submit to all these competitions. I just can’t get myself to sit down and write fiction, though reading and writing about women in the church is amazing. I could do it all day (and I do!).
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In an effort to not make this list me-centered, here is my special intention list for the weekend:
-my boyfriend as I try to ease him into a serious marriage conversation and as he searches for a job that he at least likes, preferably loves.
-the editorial and advertising teams at my newspaper… we won 8 awards at a statewide ceremony earlier this month!
-Catholics practicing Lent in the secular world… stay strong, spread the Gospel with your life.
Now back to being about me. Sorry.
I cleaned out my room Tuesday night. It needed a good vacuuming and a bit of reorganization. I moved two things around and it has already made all the difference in the way I feel when I’m getting ready for work.
I had my gym bag packed already on Tuesday night for the gym on Wednesday (I finally went back after being sick).
It’s amazing how being organized and clean can affect my mood. I wasn’t frazzled getting ready. I hope I can keep the room like that… I need to remember to put my clothes away, not hang them on the back of chairs.
I’m working on making the Reading List that I posted Tuesday a monthly segment here. I’m going to keep better track this month and post (I hope) on the first Tuesday in April. A first Tuesday reading list. There you go.
If you haven’t noticed, check it out now: I changed my goal page.
And I’ve added to it twice since I changed it up. I listed some serious goals on it (and checked off some already!).
At the bottom is a link for Steve Kamb of Nerd Fitness and his Epic Quest. He’s a great role model for goal setting.
I actually picked a goal to work on and am on it now.
“Win an award for a fictional piece.” I have a time line created. Now I just need to organize the few scraps I already have written and get to it. The contest I’m submitting to limits it to 7,500 words. I have 3,080 at the time of this writing.
I watched part of Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster Wednesday night.
It was awesome.
Then I came to work on Thursday, and one of my coworkers who hadn’t watched it, didn’t know what it was about (how???) and didn’t know anything about unmanned drones killing Americans (on American soil!) called Paul an idiot.
Interesting. This made me so upset. I can’t even describe how I felt. It was horrible.
The fact that this man is an experienced journalist, and he would just make a call like that without investigation of any kind into the top just blew me away.
Blew me away. It blew me so far away, that I wrote an entire post about it.
I started those Insanity workouts this week. Wow am I sore.
I’m using it as a supplement to my weight lifting routine, so I’m not following the calendar strictly. I’ll only be doing Insanity on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and I’ll be lifting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Tuesdays will be my day off because that’s our production day. Who knows what I’ll do if I ever start working for a weekly. All in good time.
Today is the Feast of St. John of God. And looking at (all) my Catholic calendar(s), I see that St. Joseph is coming up in less than two weeks! He’s one of my favorites. He’s really a workhorse.
Anyway, about St. John of God: here.
He’s the Patron Saint of Booksellers! Awesome.
Saint John of God, help us to act out of love as soon as we feel the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Help us learn to fight the little voices in our heads and hearts that give us all sorts of practical reasons to wait or delay in our service of God. Amen.
For more (and better!) Quick Takes, find everyone else (who link up way earlier than me) at Conversion Diary!
Remember what Christ said about getting mad?
“But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”
Right… I remember. Sort of.
I was talking about something today, with someone. (That’s how it usually works.)
He said some things I thought were crazy dumb ridiculous. In fact, I thought it was so ridiculous, I put my head phones on and started to listen to C-SPAN (did you know you could do that online? awesome).
We were talking about politics.
Remember what Christ said about politics?
And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him.
We weren’t even really talking. I asked if he watched the filibuster.
He said, what filibuster? (double take)
Senator Rand Paul regarding drone strikes on Americans on American soil. (backgrounder here)
He said, oh, well don’t you think they should just legislate that? Make it a law?
Interesting, how he automatically jumped to this, not knowing any part of the discussion during the filibuster.
Check this out.
There you go. The Senator from Wisconsin explains the questions Paul was asking, why he was filibustering.
Remember how I work at a newspaper?
Remember how I’m Catholic?
It’s interesting how these don’t seem to be going together right now.
It’s interesting that a journalist would jump into talking about something he doesn’t know. It’s interesting that I have to DEMAND that conservatives that question the president get a fair shake in this newsroom.
He called Paul an idiot.
I would never call the president an idiot. I wouldn’t call any elected official an idiot.
I mean, really. How about a little respect?
How about a little bit of that tolerance for views that are different than your own.
He brought up the oath the president takes when assuming office… to protect the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
So, the president gets to decide who an enemy of our country is.
What if he thinks “gun-tooting rednecks” are the enemy? What about people who read the Bible, believe in a higher truth, don’t want to pay for drugs that kill children and create hostility toward natural families?
Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.
Don’t be so quick to give up your rights, you probably won’t get them back.
Some quotes from the Senator:
“I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination for the CIA I will speak until I can no longer speak. I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court. That Americans could be killed in a cafe in San Francisco or in a restaurant in Houston or at their home in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is an abomination.”
“When I asked the president, can you kill an American on American soil, it should have been an easy answer. It’s an easy question. It should have been a resounding and unequivocal, ‘no.’ The president’s response? He hasn’t killed anyone yet. We’re supposed to be comforted by that. The president says, I haven’t killed anyone yet. He goes on to say, ‘and I have no intention of killing Americans. But I might.'”Is that enough?”Are we satisfied by that?”Are we so complacent with our rights that we would allow a president to say he might kill Americans?”
“There has been discussion in our country about whether even the courts can sometimes make mistakes. Some states have gotten rid of the death penalty because they have made mistakes and through their DNA testing found that they sometimes convicted the wrong person. Can you imagine with all the checks and balances of our court system, which I think is the best in the entire world, with attorneys on both sides, whether you can afford one or not, there is argument back and forth and you have these procedural protections and you can appeal, and sometimes you can still get it wrong. If we can get it wrong in the best system in the world, do you think one politician might get it wrong? But you will a never know because nobody is told who is going to be killed. It is a secret list. So how do you protest? How do you say, I’m innocent? How do you say, yes, I email with my cousin who lives in the Middle East, and I didn’t know he was involved in that? Do you not get a chance to explain yourself in a court of law before you get a hellfire missile dropped on your head? So I think that really, it just amazes me that people are so willing and eager to throw out the bill of rights and just say, oh, that’s fine. You know, terrorists are a big threat to us. And, you know, I am a so fearful that they will attack me that I’m willing to give up my rights, I’m willing to give up on the bill of rights? I think we give up too easily.”
Find the “Cliff’s Notes version” here.
So, even though I was so upset, even though I wanted to punch him, I didn’t.
I just quieted and left him to his rambling. Sometimes that’s all I can do.
It’s not worth getting more angry. It’s not worth getting red-faced and raising my voice.
He won’t believe me.