I went grocery shopping last Tuesday. I detest grocery shopping this time of year. It's just so commercialized and materialistic, it drives me crazy. (so much for nixing the negative thoughts...) It didn't help my hurting heart either. BUT (positive thought coming...wait for it...) the checkout lady was wonderful. My heavy heart had me pitifully close to tears the whole trip, but this sweet woman was so kind and patient and genuinely friendly. It sounds overly simple, but it can mean so much when someone is nice to you when you're hurting, you know? It really makes me want to be more careful about cultivating a kind and gentle attitude towards everyone...you just never know what someone is going through.
My girlfriends. I love them. They are truly my second family and I'm incredibly grateful for them. What a gift they have been this week. I sent out an email to my share group and other close girls and asked for their prayers about the breakup with P. and that they not call or try to get together for awhile because I needed some time alone instead of answering questions over and over, even though well-meaning and loving. One friend called five minutes after I sent the email because she simply read the first line of the email and didn't get any further before picking up the phone to support me. Two of them knocked on my door one evening with a gift basket of sweet goodies they put together and the reassurance that I "didn't have to say anything." Another dropped off three different Psalms to pray and said she didn't need to know the details. My sister came and helped me clean and brought me a bag of thoughtfulness. And the rest of them sent texts and emails of love and prayer and support. Even you sweet online bloggie friends. My heart is full of humble gratitude. I'm just overwhelmed by you. And I want to be like you. You godly, grace-filled women who remind me what Christ is like. You are my Mark Chapter 2 friends...carrying me on my mat to the Healer.
The Pastoral Council of my parish met Tuesday night. I was in charge of gathering info and presenting on an Outreach Committee we are envisioning. I tidied my emotions for the evening and was able to focus on the meeting and even enjoy it. I like this behind-the-scenes of our parish and hearing the group's thoughts and visions on both how to be Christ to the people and minister to their needs as well as how to bring them closer to Christ Himself. It doesn't matter what we do if it's not leading them closer to Him.
The crisis pregnancy center asked me to consider a bigger role than I expected. I'm still praying about it and spoke with the director of nursing at my current job today to see if it could all be worked out. I feel God's hand in it, yet I'm also okay to let it unfold, one step at a time, and let Him work out the details...because there are a lot of details to work out. Still, it's crazy to see how He's already led me through so many steps to get to this spot. One thing's for sure--the whole experience has already made such an impact on me. And I love love love the director of the CPC. It would be such a blessing to work under her. Maybe she would rub off a little on me...
We had our second and final night of the Prelude to Advent drama on Wednesday. What a beautiful, soul-stirring presentation. Loved the music and the reflections. Powerful reminders of the gift of the Incarnation. Of Immanuel. Of hope. One of my favorite moments was the end when we sang "O Come O Come Emmanuel" a capella carrying candles in a dark church. We walked to the beat of the song and ended the song holding our candles, quietly and still, on the balcony and up the stairs on both sides of the church. The guests left in a holy, hushed, candle-lit silence. Beautiful.
NCIS and RCIA. (They have nothing to do with each other except that they're both abbreviations. I'm trying to get a two-for-one here.) I've watched about 9 episodes of NCIS this week. Don't judge me. It really helps. I always thought that cop shows were all the same. Not so. I'm hooked on this one with its endearing characters and its lack of all the junk (i.e. immorality) the other ones seem to have. RCIA class last night was great. We went through the parts of the Mass and the beauty, Scripture, and holy mystery embedded within it. I'm really proud of J. and his commitment to learning and seeking. We're all beginning to build community there with each other. Not so great part: our icebreaker question at the beginning was to share how was our week...aw, man. The last question I felt like answering. Grace. Humility.
Miss him. Badly. Like miss-him-so-badly-I-can't-breathe-sometimes. I sat in the chapel on my lunch break for the third day in a row. So thankful for that chapel and the time with Jesus in the middle of my day. I don't always feel the grace right away, and I'm not going to say I don't struggle with questions and knowing His ways and thoughts...but I choose to trust the Lord's promises (choosing that over and over, day after day). And I'm certain He is the Way Himself and I can't get through this or grow through this without Him. "When you can't trace His hand, trust His heart." Yes. Yes. Yes.