Monday, June 25, 2018

A Catholic Life

How often the world looks at a Catholic life and think it is boring and too restraining.  This is so far from the truth because this life is the most exciting life that one can have! This last semester Katherine and I attended a college group led by Father Kirby.  This group was such a blessing, beyond just the theology of the group there was such a great little community formed from meeting our swing dance partners to just knowing more people around campus.  Our priest is a very young priest, thus he definitely feeds our souls with theology and adventures.  As we were preparing for the end of school and finals had us all in a tizzy Father Kirby asked us what we were going to do to continue forming our souls over the summer.  With all good intentions we each went around discussing how we were going to continue our spiritual education over the summer.  Then summer hit.  I have not been to daily Mass very often, confession is hard to go to when I am at work, and my time with Jesus is often me telling Him how tired I am at the end of a day's work in adoration.   Often I sit there in the chapel just silently crying or begging God for some energy to continue my day.  My worry is that I am not doing enough, not enough for my family, not enough for others, and certainly not enough for God.  This leads me to my next thought.

As I was talking to one of my closest friends the other evening I realized that God does not ask for perfection but He does ask us to strive for progress.  Progress can be seen in many different ways in the world but in the Catholic world it is seen as one striving to point others to Christ.  How often I think to myself that I want to save the world and that me, myself, and I can do it. I am constantly humbled as I hold a person's hand as she nears death and a tear streams down my face.  I am humbled as I hold someone near because words cannot explain the fear of losing their memories, intellect, and comprehension of this world.  I am humbled as I see that I am not the wisest nor the smartest but that someone else is.  Living this wild Catholic life never leaves one without hope.  There is always hope for the person as they pass from this world to the next.  There is hope for the person who is slowly losing their memories.  And there is hope even for me, who is not the wisest nor the smartest.  If each of us live our lives as striving and progressing then this world will become better; it is when this world becomes stagnant and thinks we have reached perfection than we have something to be worried about.  So keep striving and know that there is always hope. 


                                           Just some pictures to keep updated on life.


 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Montana Tech and Other Life Events

This previous January I moved down to Butte, Montana. (Otherwise known as Butte, America)  Down there I am majoring in Chemistry with a minor in psychology.  My days are filled with labs, class times, and lots of studying.  Spring break finally came but the two weeks prior to it were pretty darn hard.  They were filled with late nights, going to Helena, and of course lots of studying.  As spring break approached I caught a cold somewhere and man talk about sending myself for a whirl.  Even though I did catch a cold I still took off dancing because that is all I had been looking forward to and as I walked through the doors I was so happy I did.  Chris (one of the guys) was super excited and instantly held out his hands as we started spinning across the floor.

This is such a crazy mess of thoughts but often I wonder what God has in plan for me.  As I wonder this I think of how life is definitely not perfect but because it is not perfect there is more adventure to it.  As I am racing up the highways to go back to Helena for youth group sometimes I am hanging on by a thread.  Sometimes I am super excited to be headed back but sometimes tears are streaming down my face because I am so tired.  What joy comes from all of this though.  In my small existence I wonder what the point is.  The point is this; in the small existence of someone there is so much importance to them.  The thought of how you don't matter is the opposite of what it should mean.  It is the greatest practice of humility.  You are not important but you are so important.  God thought the world needed one of you....only you.  At the same time you are here to serve not to be served.  Such great practice of humility, especially for me.

Now just for some fun updates.  I love dancing and have really missed it the past couple of years.  I have went every once in a while but not as much as I used to.  So Tuesday nights are the night! This has been one of the best things that has happened.  The new moves and spinning across the floor all the while trying to make everything look so smoothe and fancy.  It has put me back to working on now leading all the time but sometimes following, and really trusting.  All the way from simple floor moves to trusting a fall there are many opportunities for me to learn (again) that I am not the one in charge all the time.  Another fun little bucket list thing I have added is tagging cows.  I tagged my first cow a couple weeks ago which was fun and a little terrifying as the gun got ripped out of my hands as I was holding the little calf down. 

Montana, my heart belongs here and will always belong here.  The opportunities and the adventures are endless.  From skiing down cliffs to getting ready for cliff jumping during the summer you will always hold the next opportunity that allows for one to be humbled constantly.

Till next time,
~A Girl Chasing Her Dreams

Monday, February 5, 2018

Everyone Needs a Mother

Recently my sisters and I have been spending much more time with our Grandma.  Usually Grandma is racing around doing more than we normal people do....times one hundred.  Recently Grandma has been have migraines that last for hours sometimes through the days.  Most of us all thought it was related to stress but my Grandma insisted on getting an MRI to make sure that it was not a tumor.  Meanwhile down in Butte Katherine and I planned to go to Mass on Thursday long before we heard about this and when we found out we offered up the Mass for Grandma.  When we came home last weekend then we found out that Grandma was healthy, just needed to slow down a bit.  So all weekend my sisters and I spent time with Grandma, taking her to a cousin's basketball game, going cross country skiing, and watching Wonder Woman with her.  (Yes, my 65 year old Grandma watched Wonder Woman...and loved it!) Spending this time with Grandma was so good.  As granddaughters we were able to slightly give back some time that Grandma gave us when we were younger.  How often I wonder what it would be like to not have the strong family around us.  A thought coming from this was how often I have pushed my family to the side in the midst of my frustrations with them.  I have been trying to teach myself to take a moment and ask myself if my frustrations are worth it.  If I were to come home and not have this family, what would my life be like?

Leading to this is my blow up that I had with my mother.  Usually I just sulk for a day or two about what is bothering me, disappear and try to fix things within myself because often it really is just my issue.  This last weekend did not exactly go like that.  Instead I was trying to drown out any anger that was within me but let all things go.  Storming off from the table I went to our classroom and began to work on homework.  Now where did this anger come from? I have been close to my mother for many years, including high school years.  When my sister began to go to college this year I felt pushed to the side and almost forgotten about.  I also felt as if I my decisions and work were worth nothing because I was not on the path everyone seemed to want to find me on.  Adding to this I felt as if I had lost my best friend, my mother, because I was not working hard enough. Looking back it is all very silly and probably ridiculous to any outsider but to me I felt the distance growing between my parents and I.  I am not a peacekeeper but I am not like most young adults my age who are able to grow apart from their parents so easily.  So do not let things bottle up but maybe be a little more gentle in how you tell your family members something.


Dear Mom,
We all need a mother and some of us need one more than others.  I feel as if you are my closest friend and adviser in life.  You have had some pretty amazing adventures and your life as a young adult was just a tad bit different than mine which is why I love listening to your advice.  Sometimes I am bull headed and want to try my own thing which often means I did not heed your words of wisdom but thought my way was better.  I am still learning (both in books and life) and often wish I would've listened but such is life.  Someday I can tell my kids (your grandchildren, scary thought) that I was a bit of a rebellion and liked to study life on the chemical level versus the systematic level but that the only reason I could do that was because you had made sure that my high school days were filled with math and writing.  I can tell my kids, "because of your Grandma we are doing reactions instead of memorizing facts from the history book."  So Mom the only reason I am where I am at is because of you.  Often I forget it and out of my short temper I lash out but all I am trying to say is that sometimes I miss you and because I am often a porcupine with a hard outside and a soft inside I suck at telling you that.
I love you.
Your Oldest,
Michaela

Til Next Time,
~A Girl Chasing Her Dreams  

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Think Positive and Being Heard

         "Treat everyone as a gentleman, not because they are but because you are." ~Abraham Lincoln 


These past few weeks have been crazy, from transferring schools to Christmas events to fitting in a few ski days.  My life has not went as I planned it, but from God showing me bigger plans I have grown.  That aside I have been taught so much from leading my girls group, meeting with my adviser, and growing up.


Leading my girl's group: what a challenge and a blessing.  Many weeks I am scrambling to make a study that will fit to what the girls need spiritually that week.  Often I snag something from        Father Mike Schmitz to get our conversation going then I come up with questions to help the girls grow in being a mature Catholic adult.  I ask them the theology behind what we are discussing, then I move on to what are some of their concerns/questions about the subject and lastly I ask them how they think they would respond in a situation concerning what we are discussing.  This can be a challenge when there are tough subjects to discuss.  One of my girls often treats the subjects too lightly and makes the girls feel like their thoughts are not worthy to be voiced.  While I often feel defeated from not feeling like they are learning anything I see the rewards long after I see the downfalls.  My girls have taught me how to lead with conviction, how to allow others to see your suffering (not in a whiny way but showing that you are not perfect) and to fully listen to others.  


My adviser: I am starting to take classes at Montana Tech this next semester.   I have felt so far behind and often as if I am pursuing my degree for someone else other than myself.  I have switched majors to BioChem to apply to PA school in a few years. (Yes, years) Every time I have met with my adviser I have felt as if he is truly listening to what I want out of life and not just showing me all my failures.  Today he looked at my transcripts, looking at my electives saying, "you won't have a problem with getting electives, you already have plenty of those!" To which I sadly  responded, "yes, I know."  Looking me straight in the eye he said, "Nope you are gonna think positively of your transcript.  When you go to write your letter of why YOU are the best candidate.  You are not going to apologize for your transcripts but proudly show them.  You are going to show how you explored life and came to the sound decision that YOU will be the best in being a PA.  You will firmly state why YOU will be the best caregiver, fully understanding your patient and why they should choose YOU over anyone else."  To be heard, fully understood, and to be pushed into being positive is such an amazing thing.  How I have learned to be more positive and to help others be more positive in such a downtrodden world.  It's difficult to think positive all the time but sometimes we need someone to blatantly tell us to think positive.  

Growing up: I am not talking about teenage years, but of the awkward time in between balancing college, a job, a social life, and starting to make a life independent of your family.  Maybe you are dating or maybe you are single as a pringle but moving into the adult world is by far one of the most difficult things I have ever done.  As a college student you have to explore to know what YOU like.  Not what your parents like, not what your friends like, but what you and only you like.  What do you want to do with your life? It is your life, no one else's.  

The quote of Abraham Lincoln perfectly demonstrates how we should act in this world.  We can only be responsible for ourselves, no one else.  So if all you can do in this world is be the gentleman than do that because it might just make a difference for someone in this world, even if you never know about it.  

 


Sunday, December 10, 2017

L!fe

Life is messy and oh so beautiful.  Everyday I find myself wondering what I truly want from my life. Ranching life or medical life? Then I wonder if these can coincide in life.  So many questions for such a young girl who truly wonders every day if she is even meant to be a grown up yet.  Then I remember that I am now twenty-one and heading full throttle into the adult life.  Yikes! This means that I have to make some big decisions and that these decisions are not child play anymore.  It also means that there is nothing wrong in making these decisions and that the decisions made might not be made very gracefully.  But this is always okay because life is not meant to look perfect let alone be perfect.  I have been working on moving forward in school which means there is a lot of work involved.  I am taking chemistry and physics this semester to prepare to major in BioChem to apply to Physician-Assistant school.  The classes are good and challenging but I enjoy learning in the classes.

Life has been pretty busy but fun at the same time.  In between classes I train three Paso Fino horses.  They have taught me so much in the past six months, from being more patient to learning how to overcome a behavior in a different way.  I enjoy being with them (even if they are being stubborn) because there is something so relaxing about being in the saddle out in the mountains where not a soul exists.  So grateful for this experience.  In between that I am leading a discipleship group for some high school senior girls. (Who thought I would lead that??) As I prepare for each week God works in many different ways.  I am not much of a Bible reader but every week I am reminded of how much the Bible has taught us and how it is literally a book of Truth in a world filled with so many lies.


For Thanksgiving I went to my aunt and uncle's house over in Cottonwood, ID.  It was a grand little adventure.  I drove over Lolo pass by myself and through the little sketchy towns along the river and then finally arrived in Cottonwood.  Of course the weekend was filled with lessons from Uncle Alex and good advice from Aunt Margaret.  As I have began to really try to navigate life (and enjoy it) by myself I have been very blessed with having Uncle Alex in my life to talk to and receive advice from.  Our discussions range from being very serious (marriage, boyfriends, and military) to being off the wall topics to going out to hunt for wolves with an AR-15.  Spending Thanksgiving with their family was very enjoyable and really helped me gain insight to what I truly want out of life, especially what I want to have in a husband as well as what I need to work on to be a good wife.....someday. 

As for now finals are upon the world and I have, of course, been panicking a little. All is well with the world though as we finish this semester and see where I will be next semester.  Christmas will be full of joy as we welcome our King into this world.

Happy Advent!
~A Girl Chasing her Dreams

Monday, December 4, 2017

Books before Boys because Boys bring Babies

Disclaimer: Babies are good, I just do not want one right now.


Recently I broke up with my boyfriend.  It was one of the worst and best experiences that one can have.  You learn to stand up for yourself even if breaking up with the other person does not necessarily mean that he or she is a horrible person; it means that the particular person is not meant for you.  As much as the dating scene can have rough waters it does teach many lessons for those of us out there hoping to get married someday.

The first lesson that I learned is to let people into my life, to be vulnerable.  This is one of the hardest things in life that I continually am trying to accomplish every day.  It is not easy for me to be vulnerable thus when this man came into my life I tried every tactic in my book to try to scare him off.  All of these ranging from acting completely disinterested and totally aloof to telling him straight up that I did not 'really like you the way you like me'.  This did not deter him and a month later he was picking me up at my house to take me on a date.  As we drove down the highway I was nervous...and he was too.  To sum it all up he took me to dinner then we went dancing in the headlights. (Very fun for those who have not done it.  Driving and then each of you alternate choosing a spot to jump out and dance to before continuing to drive down the dirt road)  Anyways, to digress, to be vulnerable, to allow someone to do what they are meant to do, to pursue the woman, and to be the man was a lesson well worth learning.

The second lesson is that we must be equally yoked.  From 2 Corinthians 6:14 "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.  For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?"   This young man was not Catholic and I am full-blooded, cradle born Catholic.  It was my biggest issue with our relationship, from the beginning.  Many people told me to give him the chance and to deal with that later.  So I focused on learning who he was as a person without trying to define him by what his faith was.  As our short relationship grew though the tension of not being at the same place in our faith started to rise.   I was answering questions and wanting him to come to Mass every Sunday with me, while he had other plans instead of rising early to attend Mass where it really didn't pertain to him.  (Very hard for a non-Catholic to go to Mass every Sunday when they do not truly understand the meaning of the Mass)  This lead to many disagreements and worries in our relationship.  It is not impossible for a non-Catholic and a Catholic to marry but if they are not equally yoked there will be struggles for one will have to give up part of their faith for the sake of the other.


The third lesson: would he make a good father?  In many aspects this young man would have made a good father. He was very kind to children and especially to the elderly.  He loved to have fun and knew how to jump right in to listening to all the crazy things in my family.  He has an excellent relationship with his mother but while all of this is good, he wasn't quite grown up.  He would often leave town to race to other towns to help a friend in need.  (good quality, bad timing)  His best friend was more important than me.  (Leaving me wondering what happened to our plans as he was off with his best friend)  To marry someone who was not ready to be with the girl he liked more than his best friend meant that I was not quite the priority I needed to be to even entertain the idea of marriage.  If there is not sight of marry the guy than there is no point in dating him and creating more of an emotional bond than need be.

All said and done the relationship and process had good lessons while some were painful others taught me to not be so closed off to the world.  (Something I struggle with daily) Without further ado, my advice: never cease praying for your future husband, for his struggles and for his achievements; do not stop forming yourself (you might think you are ready but you can always grow); and do not be afraid to end the relationship even if there is nothing that is wrong with the relationship to the outside world.

Happy Advent!
~A Girl Chasing Her Dreams


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Success in a Hollywood World

Lately I have been feeling the stress of being successful.  I look around at all my friends (or even people I barely know) and I immediately begin to compare myself to whether I am as good as them. Sometimes I define success as being married and starting a family, other days I look at it as the accomplishment of having a degree and a good job, and still others I look at it as how much I have done with my life. (This can range of being able to run a half marathon to being in the military to how much I have traveled)  This type of stress consumes a person and all they can do is start to worry and become selfish with their desires.

What is the definition of success anyways? According to the Cambridge Dictionary success is: "The achieving of desired results, or someone or something that achieves positive results."  In this definition there is not any comparison of one person to another.  It is only  your desired results.  Success is not and should not be defined by another and definitely should not be defined by the Hollywood world that we live in. When I get worried about how my life is turning out I remind myself of everything that I have done and then I set a new goal. You are not living your life to impress others but to know, love and serve the Lord.

So to be successful I have set the goal to run a half marathon in February and have started training for it.  Good luck to me because sometimes running sucks! In this I am working on really trusting that the Lord has a plan.  The running allows me to push myself physically and show myself that I can accomplish a goal each day whether that is running three miles, five miles (next week) or ten miles in a few weeks!  I have seen so many blessings in just the past three months but extending to the past six months.  Including, but not limited to, spending time outdoors, learning ranch things, and being blessed to begin a discipleship group.  Each person's success is very unique to them because we are all unique. (Thank Goodness!)

In this Hollywood world we all need to remember that each individual person has such a unique purpose which is absolutely beautiful! As fall sets in I am going to work on enjoying each step of the way and really learning to be hopeful in the future. (A certain kind of trust)  Here is to learning, dancing, and enjoying this wild, crazy, precious life!

Til next time!
~A girl chasing her dreams

                              Thanks for being my running partner & getting me to the finish line


I am blessed to have people in my life that so patiently teach me about horses and cows