The past few weeks I have had several opportunities to reflect on how much I've grown. These opportunities range from one on one's with those who are called to support our community, Thanksgiving break, talks with people who have helped me through my challenges, going to confession (something that terrifies me, but absolutley blessed me this past week), and the visit from our program coordinator this week. It scares me sometimes how different I am from the person I was a year ago. I've come to so many exciting realizations and to be able to feel happiness and peace is such an amazing thing. The changes in me may seem small to others but I am ecstatic about how strong I have become and willing to cross boundries and break down the barriers that once held me back from truly living my life.
This past weekend was so incredibly busy, all four of us had different things going on. Friday night I cooked dinner for everyone and stayed in rather than meeting up at the bar with some friends. I was too exhausted...as lame as that may sound. I hope I can find a husband who will stay in with me on Friday nights when I can't keep my eyes open long enough to hold a decent conversation.
Saturday morning I woke up WAY too early (6:30 AM). I couldn't sleep so I laid in bed doing some writing. I finally got up and got some Christmas shopping done. When I returned Katie and I went to help Nate out at a children's Christmas party. There were 500 kids there between the ages of 5-11. I'll let you imagine how crazy that was. It was so fun watching them and seeing them excited for santa. The best part was seeing how excited they were to get a big bag full of presents. Most of these kids won't get a lot on Christmas, so the joy in their faces was adorable...especially to see how excited they were to get winter coats, gloves, and hats. It was really touching to see them so appreciative of things that the rest of us don't even think about, things that just show up. For them it was truly a gift. Although I was approached my 3 clowns at the party (I don't want to talk about it, thank YOU), it was fun and so special. My job was to get kids from their assigned tables as their parents came and picked them up. Even though these kids had never met me before, they talked a mile a minute about their day. So precious!
Saturday night Nate and I went to dinner and to a beautiful production of "Messiah" (but a jazzy version) at the Detroit Opera House. It was really nice to be able to spend time with him, and SO sweet of the sister's to purchase tickets for us. We had great seats and I really enjoyed the show- especially the absolutley unbelievable piano solo. I'm still not over how good that was- never in my life have I seen someone play piano the way that man did. Nate and I had a great time, came home and I passed out. 3 hours of walking back and forth to get kids to the parents plus a night out exhausted me.
On Sunday, Katie, Nate, and I walked to Most Holy Trinity for Mass. We've been Church hopping every Sunday the past 5 months that we've been here, but we're ready to settle. I am proud to say that I absolutley love Most Holy Trinity. They are devoted to service and a very family friendly, community loving parish. I feel at home there, and not just because the priest mentioned us twice at mass...just the mission of their church and the motivation of all the people involved. I'm really glad it's so close to us. After church we had our family breakfast and then I headed off to Mercy for their annual Christmas concert. As always, it was fantastic. There is so much talent at that school, I'm proud to be a graduate :) Sunday night we had our spirituality night and watched a movie together. I love spending time with my amazing roomies :)
Monday was the start for a very busy week for us. Not only do we all have crazy things going on at work, but our program coordinator, Marie, came to do her site visit. She is the person who we've talked to throughout the entire application process, she matched us with our sites and is our main contact person for MVC. We didn't get to meet her at orientation, so I know we were all really excited to finally be able to meet her. When someone has put so much work into your life for basically 7 seven months, you're excited to meet them. She visits each of the communites across the country to check in and see how everything was going. Yesterday she visited Cristo Rey at 2 and first had a meeting with the principal/my supervisor. I have to admit, I was nervous. Although I trust that my supervisor would have already approached me if there were any issues, I was still a little anxious. During 8th period I was called down to meet with both of them after they had their own conversation. I was given a very good review and was honest with what I felt my strengths and weaknesses were. I was happy to hear that my supervisor has noticed that the kids really trust me and enjoy coming to talk to me about their issues, and that she also knows my frustration with my 3rd hour study hall. (In fact, I may not be getting them next semester...ya'll better PRAY for that). It was good to connect and to hear that my supervisor is confident that I'm making a difference. Sometimes it's hard for me to see that, so it was really awesome to be able to know that she feels that way.
As far as the challenges, we were pretty much on the same page that the hardest thing for me is to balance being the person that everyone comes and talks to and trusts with their issues and also being an authority figure. We both agreed that it's not really my fault considering I have no classroom management experience, I'm so glad that everyone realizes my 3rd hour is literally impossible for me to control.
Later that evening Marie came over to our house. Besides visiting our sites, she is also having individual meetings with the four of us. For almost two hours we sat at the kitchen table talking about every possible aspect of MVC- Cristo Rey, community, simple living, stipend, spirituality, safety, the house, social, challenges, EVERYTHING. It was really nice to be able to spill how I felt about absolutley everything to someone who knows the program inside and out. I talked to her about how positive the entire program has been and how much change I've seen in me, how much I'm growing spiritually, how much I ADORE my roomates, everything. I also talked to her about my challenges, which fortunatley there aren't that many.
I am really glad Marie came this week. Although it's a crazy busy week, it's nice to have her around and hear her feedback, and to have her see how close the four of us are. It's obvious to me how much time and care she put into matching each of us at our sites, so I'm extremly thankful for her.
Well, I guess that's it for me. I'm sitting in the cafeteria typing this up and getting some other stuff done. One of my favorites (shh) is across from me, working hard on her chemistry homework so she can pull her grade up. She's said "I give up" about 10 times, and every time she says it I answer "never give up". She laughs, and then continues working. You got this, girl.
Have an amazing day, everyone!