Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Let's Talk About Clothes: Applying the Capsule-Wardrobe Mentality

As graduation approaches, other seniors have been talking about "learning to let go." Moving on with life and leaving those people we have been with daily during four years. As I've been thinking about graduation and moving onto the Next Big Adventure, I have thought about simplicity. I love St. Francis; I love his passion, his reverence for the liturgy, and his simplicity.

I've always considered myself a simple person, but lately, I've been examining myself more critically. It's true that I don't really need or cling to possessions, but do I really detach myself from my belongings? Do I know when to let go of physical or emotional things? It's good to have "prized possessions," or items with "sentimental value"--but lately I've been thinking about how it's important to evaluate myself, and to make sure that I'm not holding onto an overload of stuff.

Simultaneous to all of this thinking, I was introduced to capsule wardrobes. I think that this concept is really cool, and a great way to declutter life, know what's in your wardrobe, and practice simplicity & detachment. Creating a capsule wardrobe appears to be as simple or complicated/expensive as you want to make it.

When thinking realistically about doing a "capsule wardrobe" for myself, I had some excuses to be lazy and NOT do this:

Saturday, April 25, 2015

What We Need Before a $15 Minimum Wage

Happy Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist!!!!!
Today, I am FINALLY posting some thoughts on the issue of the minimum wage increase. I’m not hugely into politics, so I do not claim to be a professional analyst of economics or anything in the political spectrum. But, for the past week and a half, I have been researching this issue, trying to become aware of its various facets, and formulating my thoughts into a blog post. I’m sharing my musings with y’all here, as I continue to process them and try to help other people become more aware of what’s happening in the world! Also, please note: I’m not a fan of internet arguments; I’m just bringing forth my thoughts as a Catholic woman in today’s world.

 During half of high school, and for a whole summer a few years ago, I worked in the restaurant industry. I loved my jobs; whether it was working at the register, running food to tables, or stocking a buffet, I enjoyed interacting with the restaurant guests and my co-workers. And, at times, my heart would be incredibly touched by the people I met.  

One of the men I worked with at my first job was a single dad. He was so proud of his son, and had so much love for him. Working this restaurant job was a hard way to bring in money for his son. Sometimes, this man would show up to work exhausted, because he would get up super early in the morning to sell his plasma—all so that he could care for his little boy.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Catching Up On Life

Happy Friday!!!!!!!

Life has been interesting over here. This entire week, I've been battling schoolwork, sickness/allergies/cold,  so I have spent most of my time sleeping, attending class, and doing homework. And now I'm trying to catch up on life. But, in the midst craziness, there have been some incredibly awesome blessings!

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Beginning of the End

Happy Monday!!!!!!!! I'm exhausted, but God is good!
This week is the last full week of classes in my undergraduate career (since next week, we only have three days of classes). Unbelievable. It's cliche, but four years of college have flown by. I came to Franciscan thinking that I may not even get a degree, figuring that I would leave early to join a convent somewhere. But God had other extraordinary plans. In just a couple of weeks, I will be graduating with my husband and moving to another state as we begin a whole new adventure together.

In these final days of the semester, I'm trying to consciously be with and for others. Yes, I still have papers to write and exams to take. So I'm trying to organize time to work on those, so that I have the freedom to be. Last week was a very difficult week for myself and many other people whom I spoke with. We all had tons of work in addition to other hardships that came up. So, over the weekend, my husband and I made time to be. We had a date. We played board games with a friend. We spent quality time together making food and talking.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

We Need to Open Our Eyes

 On Monday evening, I attended a talk titled, “Saving the Flickering Light of Christianity in Iraq.” Admittedly, I originally wasn’t planning on attending this talk, because there were a variety of other things that I could have been doing (homework, relaxing, Zumba class, or sleep, to name a few). Plus, don’t I know that the situation is bad for Christians in the Middle East? I pray for them every now and then, so I’m good, right? I am extremely grateful that, by the grace of God, I found myself sitting in Christ the King Chapel, waiting to hear Juliana Taimoorazy (founder of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council) speak.

Julia Taimoorzay.
Photo from honordiaries.com 
For the next hour and a half, I didn’t hear about the politics and legislation regarding the Middle East, and I didn’t hear about the latest news reports. Instead, I heard about the humanity that has been attacked and persecuted for hundreds of years. I saw photographs of displaced Christians living in abandoned parking garages.  I heard stories about killings that, at times, don’t hit the radar of a news station—or if they do, people don’t make a big deal about it.

No matter what religion or political party you are a part of, I hope that we can all open our eyes to see this atrocity. Taimoorzay explained that from the rise of Islam to the mid-19th century, Christians have been persecuted approximately every 45 years. During  and after World War I, two thirds of Assyrian Christians, 1.5 Armenians, and 700,000 Greeks all died. Today, churches that are 1800-1900 years old are being bombed or turned into mosques. In 2008, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul was shot and killed. In 2010, the church, Our Lady of Salvation was attacked during the liturgy, leaving at least 58 people dead. In our present-day, ISIS is killing, kidnapping, and torturing Christians frequently. On Easter Sunday this year, I ate junk food and played games. For some Assyrian Christians, Easter Sunday included having to hear or see that their church was bombed.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

An Octave of Epicness: Pre-Triduum, Triduum, and Easter Week Awesomeness

Happy Easter!!!!!!!!!!

Candy-making festivities! 
Yesterday, after my morning class, I decided that candy-making was a far worthier pursuit than finishing my reading assignment for my afternoon class. Apparently, God agreed with this, because instead of having a quiz and lecture—like we normally do—our teacher showed us a video of Easter Matins for Greek Orthodox Christians. Total win!

Despite what many stores and people in our culture think, the Easter season lasts until Pentecost, which will be just under fifty days from now. And this week, the first full week of Easter, is “Easter Week.” I’ve also heard people call it “Bright Week.” Every day is a solemnity, which means that each day is celebrated as another Easter Sunday. We sing or recite the Gloria at Mass. Candles abound. And the Church is pretty much mandating a continual party all week long! So celebrate! Eat bacon and chocolate and candy and do wondrous activities! Because Christ is risen!  

I would like to take a step back, and reflect on the past week, which was packed with liturgical awesomeness. So, without further ado, here’s a play-by-play of my pre-Triduum, Triduum, and Easter Week adventures: