..the exam essay..

I haven’t had the time until now to type out my essay that I used for my exam last month. I had to challenge an English 12 Exam to see whether or not I might need to do a refresher, an upgrade, or possibly nothing to meet my Prerequisite criteria. I ended up passing with 99% I went above the Grade twelve level and placed First year University English. So needless to say I did not have to do any upgrading at all. I had to choose a topic out of 10 random things, I had 60 minutes and this is what I came up with..

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[Compare Two Vacation Destinations]

Heaven on earth. I have been so fortunate to experience this in my world, Who am I but a girl blessed beyond riches. When I think about comparing two vacation destinations, I am pulled to express to you why I am going to take you with me to Grandmas’ House..

Two Grandmothers, separated by seven thousand miles, two vastly different cultures and a life time of opportunities. To me though as a destination for vacation they both meet such dogmatic criteria; ultimate comfort, relaxation and a general surrounding oneself in life’s moments.

 

Escuinapa, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Abuelita lives in a small rural town in coastal Mexico. She is close to the ocean, surrounded by an environment rich in agriculture. This beautiful land is synonymous with simple people, simple past times and simple pleasures. Escuinapa is rich in centuries old routines and in almost unequivocally known for it’s friendly environment.

My favorite part in being truly here are the nights spent surrounded with family and and friends alike.

As twilight holds hands with day it gently entrusts us into the arms of night. Where day is hard working and trial, night comes knocking with mystery and magic. We give gratitude to day and we enter into the indigo of night.

As we dress for evening, out out windows you might hear the first peels of laughter or shoes pattering the cobblestone streets all moving to out mutual destination. From all sides people are emerging, light hearted and expectant.

The bells ancient and deep ring in vespers. As we all kneel together, We can almost feel St Francis echoing.. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. The unity is vast; children, cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, grandmothers, fathers, all praying together. A muted Gregorian chant emanating through the arches, in communion with our beloved St Francis, the spirit of God flowing anonymously in the hearts of his children.

Afterwards a celebration, food and dancing and a sea of faces, each person with their unique distinct story. Eyes glimmering in the moonlight, shadows flitting with the spirit of adventures, labors, discipline and love. This is a piece of heaven right here on earth.

 

As I travel to our next destination, we are going north east..

 

Evansville. Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada.

Gram lives in a cottage located on an island surrounded by a body of tepid turquoise water. Her cabin is nestled into a secluded sea of wildflowers. Here the hard wood is abundant, and simple country lanes connect you neighbors and life long friends.

Evansville is a magical place, if you feel inclined there are magnificent oak trees waiting to be climbed and post fences that stretch beyond the sunny horizon. You will surely walk past remnants of the past in crumbling old farm houses and vivid green pastures.. Sometimes as you are walking by if your heart is still, you are able to hear the whispers, of ghosts from the centuries past, laughing and playing and toiling..

Everything moves fluidly here. All in God’s time. Everything has a place and a purpose and a season and a prime. People are kind, hardworking, living off the land.. Here by choice, with the singular knowledge that life is good. Life is what you make of it.

My favorite time in Evansville is dawn, pre-dawn even. I make my way out the back door with my morning coffee, the sky fades from black to light before my eyes, violet to blue, to yellow, to orange and pink and red, a hazy back slash of beauty.. I am tempted to marvel.. On in Gods hands could the intricacies of this monotonous creation come about with such beauty and grace. It’s a miracle to watch, as the sun illuminates a new day. In the distance a fawn meandering in the flowers, a mother doe nudging her along.. Birds, morning song birds singing their little cries of joy.. The leaves gently rustle around, a slight breeze of the Spirit runs effortlessly, calling for you.. Dawn breaks and I am here to witness.

The land is rich, it’s a fruitful as an artists palate, Your senses become engulfed as you fully appreciate your splendid surroundings..  the Presence of the Holy Spirit rejuvenates the  soul, as you attest to the simplistic reality that is encompassing you.

Sitting there alone with your coffee, it will become apparent that you are only one small part in the unfathomable design. Peace at last..

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Either location, at first seemingly worlds apart yet as much as this is supposed to be a comparison, truly how can I compare heaven as I see, experience it, am blessed to have lived it here on earth? How can heaven be compared? Heaven in two locations upon our beautiful Earth..

The End

..Life, Love, Lord!..

Well I was fairly nervous about this weekend but everything sort of turned out alright..

A little recap,

Friday was a very busy day. As usually Friday’s are. I went to Mass and not only did I spend some time with Jesus, our own Shepard AKA the Pilgrim had returned to claim his flock; What a blessing..  Following  Mass, I met with one of the Vincentian members and planned a meeting later in the day.

Then I met with my Alter Serving Mom helper and I had a unique opportunity to teach about Adoring Jesus. I love being around her, she is so shy spiritually and hesitant but she always has such beautiful faith filled questions. Thank you Lord for that opportunity.. I think I may have ‘lost’ my phone that day for a much higher purpose.

So I found my phone and then we went shopping for the Wrap Up Picnic on Sunday. It was just a flowing day, I offered my hands to God and he took them..

Yes, Lord I am Your servant!

After the shopping I went home and briefly tided up, got the kids going on their chores, made lunch and then we too had to head to town. After our own errands, I ran Dd out to Beaver Creek to her very best friends home.. They happen to live at the very end. I really love that family, they are not Catholic but they are so spiritually together.. It’s nice to see generally good people out side of our church environment. The Mom, Nichole has three kids of her own and has fostered three more. Three siblings. So in her home there are children ages 13 years to 4 months. It’s a zoo and I love it. While I was dropping Dd off, I got t hold the baby for a little bit, what a happy smiley little thing.. Such a cute child..

Well that was a nice point in my day.

Then I drove straight across town to the home of my Vincentian friend, and to my surprise Fr.  was there sharing some of his stories about his recent pilgrimage. So we had a small visit and then Mike and I had to get moving. Our client that day was an elderly woman, with kidney failure among many other things. She was so grateful for the visit. We came because she is in desperate need of a bed. We had a nice visit with her and even got to talking about God, which doesn’t happen too often with our SSVP clients. It was my necklace that stirred the conversation.. I have on a pendant of Mary.

Which kind of looks like the one above but only mine is quite bright, painted really vividly.. She, the client noticed it and then told us some stories.. Thank you Mary. She (Mary I mean) many have been working through us to plant some seeds this day.

After that, I left Mike and had about 7 minutes to either reach the church or go home. It was nearly time for Benediction. I really wanted to go and visit Our Lord, but I had a predicament. I no longer had my sweater with me as it was quite warm.. but I needed my sweater because the dress I was wearing was sleeveless. What to do?? I prayed for a moment and decided as I was just working for the purposes of the Lord, it’s not like I was being blatantly disrespectful in not using my sweater, I decided to slip into the back and then afterwards slip out hopefully unseen to avoid any possibility of scandalization. What I was wearing certainly wasn’t inappropriate or immodest, but I wouldn’t normally wear a sleeveless garment into the presence of our Lord.

Okay decision made, I’m in the back I was focusing on the prayers, focusing on Jesus and then, as if He said right in my ear.. Busted.. One of the Fr’s walked in. It was worse too because he is the same Father, that chastised me a few months ago for not having my sweater on.. one morning before Mass.. Great.. Yes Lord, I know you probably had a chuckle about this..

Okay, point taken.. I’ll keep something in my car from now on!!

Anyway, I am still thank full I was able to go. After wards I went home, Both my kids had been at friends the whole day so I went inside and started to prep the snacks for that evenings Youth Group wind up. As I was standing in my kitchen, I got a phone call from DH.

Dh decided to tell me, that he was on his way home, (which was unplanned and that he was bringing his Mother.. ) I got the most splitting headache. Instant Migraine. I started to get nauseated and tunnel vision and the whole bit. It was difficult. I took some pain medication and put in some ear plugs but I couldn’t exactly stop what I was doing either because, I had to finish the snacks, and I still had to make dinner and on top I still had to go pick up Dd. And now due to that out of the blue conversation.. I also had to tidy up my house.. Ahhh.

Funny thing, well not funny but since I had my ear plugs in it wasn’t so bad. Dh called me. He was really, really mad about something. It was awhile after the first call, but he was super mad regardless. It was all about, why do I still let his mothers influence have any impact on me or what I am doing or what my house looks like… I think in a way he was just venting, but it was sort of directed at me too.. Here is the funny, sort of funny part.. I didn’t take out the ear plugs..

He yelled for at least ten minutes, I was busy making dinner so I added in the occasional “oh, uh huh, and yes that’s true..” until he got it all out of his system.

So yes, in the future, ear plugs are a great way to endure an argument.. 🙂

After that little bit of nonsense I finished all that I had to do, I picked up Dd, we all had dinner and I took Ds to YG. The parent chaperon didn’t make it so Dd and I hung out in the staff room, then when all the kids were out side we played around in the gym. My head ache eased up a bit and by the end I was mostly okay.

During YG I had to step out for one more minute, I had to meet Mike back at out Clients place, we were trying to locate a bed but no luck that night.. I am happy to report by Sunday he had found her a perfect bed and she was very happy.

That night Dh arrived home around 10 pm, but I was so tired I had already gone to bed by that time.. He didn’t bother me at all, but I still didn’t sleep very well regardless, I woke up around midnight due to a nightmare and boy did I have a hard time falling back to sleep. I must have laid there awake for about 2 hours.

I cancelled on the professionals for my Sat morning run, I couldn’t ask Dh to take care of Ds that morning.. I hadn’t really talked to him since the yelling on the phone so I didn’t want to ask.. (Ds had to be at the football field at the same time we were supposed to run) I ended up running myself at about 6 am. I did my usual 8 k and I even beat my time a little bit. It was so peaceful, I ran and prayed and really emptied myself to God. I felt strengthened by the time I reached home. I came in and everyone was still sleeping, obviously.

Why do people sleep in I wonder,  it’s such a waste. The most glorious part of the day is the silent mornings, while the world sleeps, the sun rises, the birds sing, the dew reflects like a thousand crystals shimmering.. I am in awe each and every time!

The rest of the day pasted, it was raining. Ds had a foot ball game at 8 30, well he started practicing at 8 30 then his game started at 10 and they finished just after lunch, we did some running around afterwards and then I came home and made a very nice dinner. I personally don’t think Dh eats very much when he is away. He is too lazy to cook for himself. It’s sad really.

That night, I went to bed early again… I have no idea why but I have been soooo tired lately.

Sunday was a flurry of excitement. We all went to Mass together, Then the kids and I headed to Parksville and Dh stayed behind. He mowed the lawn for me before he went back to work, which was nice as I hate doing it. He left to go back to camp that afternoon.

We (the kids and I and Cody)left PA at 1:00pm and didn’t arrive back home until 9 :30 pm .. We stayed at the park that whole time.. That seriously has to be some sort of record!! Dd is still tired from all that playing.

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It was lovely to see the ocean again. I miss it all the time.

Umm anyway, so where was I..? Oh yes the park. It was just perfect, the kids all enjoyed themselves and I think so did the adults. It was very relaxing and pleasant.

After the bulk of the people had gone, it was just us and one other family remaining. I think I will write about that because I had been struggling with one of these people recently. I sometimes get caught up into a really negative attitude after too much time spent with her. I gossip, I judge, I am not myself.. I have no idea why. Once a long time ago one of my confessors told me that God was testing me through this person, that she was put in my path for a purpose.. What can I learn from her? I had no idea at the time. I am still not 100% sure, but all I know is I prayed that morning and I asked Mother Teresa to intercede for me. (I’m not 100% sure she can, as she isn’t technically a Saint YET..) I asked Mary to pray for me, I asked the Holy Spirit to be with me all day. To guide my thoughts, my heart, my actions.. I wanted to go through the day with the awareness of our Lord.. His presence among us.

I am happy to say, I feel as though I was given that special grace. I looked for Jesus is all situations that day, and he was there, with out a doubt.

I near the very end was sitting on a bench under this large walnut tree, and I was reflecting upon the day and all it’s joys.. and what happened.. But a strong wind came up and rustled the leave above me.. I had goose bumps. I feel like a moment had just happened.

He is always near, we are so fortunate. I liked the end of Father’s Homily yesterday.. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that strike me the most.. He was talking about asking Jesus in the Eucharist to Touch us.. It was profound, because isn’t that what we all desire.. Really? I felt touched sitting there on that bench.

So yesterday was a very good day. I am glad to have been a part of it. I fell into a deep sleep last night and awoke today with a new heart.. Things are always lighter in the morning.

Thank you Lord for all the blessings you have ‘touched’ me with this weekend.

I am your Servant, thank you for Loving me.

..Love in Action..

Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your own weakness.

There is a terrible hunger for love. We all experience that in our lives – the pain, the loneliness. We must have the courage to recognize it. The poor you may have right in your own family.
Find them.
Love them.

Speak tenderly to them. Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of your greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don’t only give your care, but give your heart as well.

Before you speak, it is necessary for you to listen, for God speaks in the silence of the heart.

A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, must empty ourselves. The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace.

Little things are indeed little, but to be faithful in little things is a great thing.

You and I, we are the Church, no? We have to share with our people. Suffering today is because people are hoarding, not giving, not sharing.
Jesus made it very clear. Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me.
Give a glass of water, you give it to Me. Receive a little
child, you receive Me.

..Mother Teresa..