Archive | January, 2011

Seven Quick Takes

28 Jan

Thanks to Jen at conversiondiary.com for hosting!

1. This is a no-frills edition, because I still have no computer and am writing this in bed, on my phone, in the middle of the night, wide-awake with the remnants of a stomach bug. Bleh. So any grammatical errors or awkward wording blame on my exhaustion or iPhone auto correct.

2. I actually finished these ten minutes ago but my phone spazzed when I hit publish and I lost the whole thing. I cried. It’s been a long week, leave me alone.

3. I’ve found myself typing in random destinations on google maps and pondering what it would be like to just pump my car full of gas and take off for a few days. I have a serious case of wanderlust. So, anyone want to roadtrip with me? Or be the destination of a roadtrip? ūüėČ

4. My godmother gave me a miraculous medal blessed by PJPII that her sponsor gave her when she converted. Yes, she’s fantastic, I know. I attached it to my main rosary’s center and try to pray at least a decade or two during ORU’s mandatory twice-weekly chapel services – with intentions for the conversion of the week’s speaker.

5. I’m planning a personal, self-directed spiritual retreat for myself in the next few weeks. Except, I’ve never done this before. I’ve received some fantastic suggestions from twitter and friends, but I would love anything you have to add to the mix! So please – suggest away.

6. I promise I’m not ignoring any comments or emails. My computer time is very limited, and I have to prioritize getting homework done. Fear not, once I’m able to buy another laptop I can procrastinate my education with abandon and flair.

7. AND THE BEST FOR LAST –

My niece, Cambridge, was born on my daddy’s birthday! 8 pounds 4 ounces. I can’t wait to meet her!

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This is home.

26 Jan

I haven’t been able to listen to this song by Switchfoot without crying for two days now. It sums up exactly how I feel about my conversion, and my upbringing in the Protestant church. Listen and enjoy.

I’ve got my memories
Always inside of me
But I can’t go back
Back to how it was
I believe you now
I’ve come too far
No I can’t go back
Back to how it was

Created for a place I’ve never known

[Chorus]
This is home
Now I’m finally where I belong
Where I Belong
Yeah, this is home
I’ve been searching for a place of my own
Now I’ve found it
Maybe this is home
This is home

Belief over misery
I’ve seen the enemy
And I won’t go back
Back to how it was
And I got my heart set on what happens next
I got my eyes wide it’s not over yet
We are miracles and we’re not alone

[Chorus]

And now after all my searching
After all my questions
I’m gonna call it home
I’ve got a brand new mindset
I can finally see the sunset
I’m gonna call it home

[Chorus]

Now I know
Yeah, this is home
I’ve come too far
And I won’t go back
Yeah, this is home

My new best friends: how St. Thomas More and St. Gianna kick Validation @$$. Part I.

19 Jan

Most of you know I’m a student at Oral Roberts University.

Yes, God’s very own bulwark of Christian truth and formation, located in the bustling metropolis of. . .Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The question remains, if it’s God’s University, then why, pray tell, is it named after Oral Roberts?

But I digress.

Hazing is not allowed on this campus. Neither is drinking, smoking, getting frisky with significant (or insignificant) others – although if someone mentions praying in tongues in the prayer gardens they’re probably referencing the latter and not a¬†Day of Pentecost style¬†outbreak of glossolalia.

What IS allowed is mass self-mutilation imposed upon the entire campus, at the beginning of every semester. They won’t go as far as to call is corporal mortification – but we keep coming back for more, even though WE KNOW it’s coming. Really, we¬†students only have ourselves to blame. This tribute to the great penititential saints before us we call. . .

Validation.

[cue scary organ music]

Validation is the University’s way of making sure everyone has all of their business together, theoretically before classes begin. It’s attainment is reason for much rejoicing, and maybe even an old-fashioned pew jump or two for those of us not hailing from independently wealthy evangelist families. Never, in all of my semesters at ORU, have I been Validated by the deadline – because I have always been “randomly selected” for financial verification by the Department of Education. I don’t know how long it’s going to take them to accept the fact that YES THERE ARE 9 PEOPLE LIVING AT HOME. YES, WE ARE POOR. NO, REALLY. WE’RE THAT POOR. NO, WE AREN’T HIDING MILLIONS IN A SWISS BANK. I have gotten several extensions while they pore over tax documents, because not a dime of¬†my scholarships and grants is released to me until they determine that I’m not a dependent of Bill Gates.

This semester was a little different, though. I had to take a hiatus from full-time enrollment because of some financial and personal¬†issues in my family. Meaning, I forfeited my scholarships and grants. Meaning, barring some miracle, I was going to have to come up with $14,332 if I wished to be full-time and live on campus (a requirement for full-time students under 25). It’s too late in my degree plan to transfer without having to retake an entire year or two, so I was really, REALLY hoping for a big, fat, golden miracle.

I recently chose St. Thomas More and St. Gianna Beretta Molla as my confirmation saints. St. Thomas More was, among many other spectacular things, very, very VERY pro-women-being-educated. St. Gianna was a highly educated pediatrician. So, I prayed with both of them. I was all “blubberblubberblubberI-need-to-go-back-to-school-sniffsniff-but-I-don’t-want-to-starve-to-do-itsobsob-I-don’t-want-to-babysit-kids-forever-and-ever-blubberblubber-please-pray”.

After a few horrendous days of running across campus multiple times to be told multiple things, then finally informed I’d have to completely reapply, I was about ready to run away and join a convent. But then, I ran into one of the head admissions officers, and it turns out SHE KNOWS MY FATHER – and not because he reposssed one of her vehicles, which is how most random people I run into know him, but through the ministry! I praised Jesus and all the saints for the protestant New Apostolic Movement, and didn’t get struck by lightning. She sat down with me, told me what to fill out, and then I go to the computer to check my registration forms.

I winced as I clicked on the balance owed  button.

Zero.

I refreshed, thinking SURELY they just haven’t registered me for classes.

No. No, I was definitely full-time.

And definitely owing NO MONEY.

In fact, the school owed ME the exact amount – down to the cent – that I need for textbooks.

ALL of my scholarships had been entirely reinstated – and I had gained a scholarship and another grant.

I made three different people double and triple verify, because I was about two heartbreaks away from throwing myself off of the Prayer Tower. But it was TRUE!

So, I’m sitting here in the computer lab getting ready to head to classes – because BOTH of my laptops are out of commission, which is why I’ve been silent – PRAISING GOD, and thoroughly enjoying the companionship of my new BFF’s, St. Thomas More and St. Gianna.

Who totally came through with the whole hard-core intercession thing AGAIN yesterday, but that’s another story for later this week.

St. Anthony Strikes Again!

7 Jan

There are certain things I am notorious about losing. Keys, laundry, cell phones, my mind – the usual. But one thing I am almost always completely responsible about it jewelry. I develop weird emotional attachments to inanimate objects. The emotional value of most of my most valued possessions usually far outweighs their physical value.

Yes, I realize this is probably an issue.

But I digress. About two months ago Eli and I went to a local pub here in Tulsa with some friends after RCIA and Mass for cheeseburgers (and beer for the legal, non-ORU parties). I was wearing an opal and garnet cocktail ring that is at least 50 years old that I bought in an estate sale for a whopping $0.25 when I was 13. It belonged to an older lady in our community that had passed away. It was a little large for me, so I took it off while I was eating my gloriously, obscenely large McNellies burger – and then walked right off, forgetting all about it until about midnight when I was getting ready for bed. I called Eli and asked if he had seen it in the car, he hadn’t. So the next day I called McNellies, but nobody had turned anything in. I called again, still nothing. I resigned myself to the fact that whoever squeezed into the booth after us had probably pocketed it. But I prayed with St. Anthony about it anyway, hoping for some kind of bizarre miracle – and then forgot all about it.

Wednesday night, we were back at McNellies (yes, this is our post-RCIA/Mass routine), and the waitress set down our water cups (we were slightly more broke this week), and was. . .

WEARING MY RING.

My heart did the high school-spot-your-crush-in-wal-mart attack, and I grabbed Eli’s arm. “She’s wearing my ring!!”

Eli looked at it. . .”Are you sure?”

Pssh. DUH.

Being the paranoid that I am, I waited until AFTER we got our food before I asked her about it. “I know this is a little awkward, but. . .um. . .I think you’re wearing my ring. I left it here about two months ago and never got a call about it.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. . .” I recounted the story about how I got it, and she very politely informed me that her best friend actually gave her the ring. “BUT, she works here, so she might have found it. Let me go ask her.” She returned several minutes later, and lo and behold, her friend HAD found it there.

Cheap friend.

But, she handed it over with no problems, and was very excited for me – although a bit loath to see the ring go.

I’m incredibly thankful for the saints and their continued intercession with us, even over the little things!