This past year, God taught me a lot. Yes, this can simply appear to be an obvious reality. And it is an obvious reality. But really, God taught me so much in the span of last summer to this summer. It's July 2nd. Where was I last year on July 2? What had I done in the summer so far?
- I traveled with my family to Steubenville, OH for my brother's graduation.
- Then, right after we got back, along with 3 of my girlfriends, I planned and helped run a mini-retreat, based on the Song of Songs, for about 10-12 other women in my class.
- I graduated from high school!
- I served on TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) #128, and it was an incredible, Holy Spirit filled weekend! And it was Pentecost weekend on top of that!
- I traveled to Abbeville, LA for a mission trip with my youth group. We went to Family Missions Company, to help renovate a convent building to be used as a retreat house.
Last summer, up to July 2 was extremely fun, blessed, and somewhat crazy. I mean, seriously. I was all over the place: Song of Songs planning meetings, TEC meetings, preparing to graduate, actually graduating, etc. It was crazy! But I loved it.
But since then, God has been teaching me about the value of simplicity.
"Our Lord needs from us neither great deeds nor profound thoughts.
Neither intelligence nor talents.
He cherishes simplicity."
~St. Therese of the Child Jesus
At Franciscan, there are SO MANY epic things to do all the time, that you have to learn to pick and choose. My mom always says that "A sign of a blessed lift is when you have to choose between 'good and good' instead of 'good and bad'." And this maxim really holds true at Franciscan. You can't do everything awesome that comes along; you have to pick and choose. And yes, I stayed super busy, doing many extremely epic things. But you know what? Towards the end of the semester, I had four different things going on in one night that people wanted me to do. Guess what? Instead of picking a couple--or doing all four--I made banana bread with my boyfriend, Jacob! And the simplicity of relaxing in the kitchen, making banana bread, and giving it away, was incredible. Simply incredible.
And I was continuing to ponder this simplicity today. I'm currently on my week-long break from teaching Totus Tuus. At the beginning of break, I surprised Jacob by showing up in the airport (he was expecting relatives to come in on the airplane instead) to spend the week with him! Earlier, I was facebook chatting with my brothers, and they were asking me what I had been up to thus far, today being my first full day in Washington. And so I thought about my day. Praying, eating, talking with the Miller family, praying, and...playing frisbee. There's something about throwing a frisbee in the sunshine that is just so simple. Granted, I'm terrible at frisbee, but it's still really fun to try it out. You take the frisbee and just throw it. And it flies. Bam. That's it. Simple. It's not complicated. Honestly, a lot of things can seem really complicated: school, jobs, relationships, religion. In fact, one Facebook relationship status says "It's Complicated." To which I always reply, "Actually, it's really simple. You're in a relationship or you're not."
Honestly, it's simple.
Earlier, Jacob and I were talking and praying, and I told him how much I love our simplicity.
I love God. He loves God. We love each other. SIMPLICITY! Oh, and God is simple, so why shouldn't we seek simplicity? God loves us. He died for us. He forgives us. He gives us life. It's not complicated. It's simple. Our holy father Francis was simple. God spoke to him in different ways. He listened. He gave away what he had. He sought God in all things. He loved others as God loves. Bam.