Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Declarative Post


Well, I have to come on here (this poor, neglected blog) and tell you dear readers a little something.

I'm no longer an undeclared major.  I know, I know, you thought this announcement would be concerning a guy...like all cute bloggers do.  They disappear for 6 months and come back to post and ta-dah! they're married.  This is not that type of announcement.  Yet please do continue reading, despite the lack of cute marriage proposal pictures.

No, really.  I'm not an undeclared anymore.  It's not that I declared for the simple fact that I hated indecision.  I declared because I think I (finally) figured out what I want to do with my life.  I declared a major since I believe that this path will be wonderful regardless of my primary vocation.  

History Secondary Education (high school level).  This is something that I have always loved.  My favorite subject has always been history.  (and Theology, but we'll get to that soon).  I bemoaned the fact that we have never had cable at our house on for the the simple fact that I couldn't watch the History channel.  Yes, I am that girl at the gym who is running her little heart out on the treadmill...and watching the assassination attempts of JFK on the good ol' History channel.  I read historical fiction, non-fiction history books, history articles online, and in general anything that has to do with interesting elements of where our world has been...and is going.

"But wait!" You cry, anxious to help, "You said you were going to be a theology teacher!  You were for sure and certain! You said that was where God was calling you to!"  And you'd be right.  I thought for sure that God wanted me in the high school classroom, teaching the Church's dogmas to high school kids.  I still think I would be great at that, with God's help. 
 Yet theology degree typically means a Catholic/private college education.  And right now, it doesn't seem as if God has that in the works for me at this time in my life.  I'm trying to not bang on a door that God has closed for the time being only because I know that right around the corner is a beautiful open door that I can just run through and know He's got a plan.    

Believe it or not, I do want to be a stay-at-home, typical homeschool mom with all my babies lined up in the pew on Sunday morning.  I know, right? Who would've guessed? With that feeling to such a vocation, I can't in good conscious accrue $80,000 worth of Catholic college debt and still want to stay at home with my kids and not work to help my family pay that off.

When I was in my future Theology teacher kick, I asked around among my friends in attempts to find a good Theology teacher to shadow for the day.  When I inquired who was the best to follow around at our local Catholic high school, I was given two names.  I asked why those names were given, and I was greeted with laughter, since "Well, they're really great Theology teachers...and they're about the only Catholic ones there."  Wait...what?!  You mean to tell me that at a Catholic private high school, out of all the Theology teachers present, only TWO of them are actually Catholic? Lo and behold, it was true.

So, if that was true, it isn't completely necessary to have a degree in Catholic Theology to teach high school level courses in that subject.  Quite the opposite, really.  You didn't even have to be a Catholic to teach Catholic theology.  This was an eye-opening discovery though.  If you didn't have to belong to the faith you were teaching about, this means that I still have my "dream job" without the hefty degree price tag from the "dream college."  I could major in history, and then go into a teaching job that emphasizes Church history and theology at a private school.  Or I could become a history teacher and work my way into a Theology teaching position.

You have no idea how much this has changed my outlook.  At the beginning of the semester, I was positive that my current school was just a step on the way to my "dream college."  I just had to put in my time here for general education credits and then I could be on to my ultimate goal.  I could then drive off to my Catholic college and make all my Catholic friends and run into my future Catholic husband.  This wasn't necessarily true, though.    With the realization that the degree I so desired was not even a necessity,  I have been able to completely change my outlook on my current school.  I feel like I'm free to enjoy it, to make friends, to get involved.  To realize that if God is wanting to introduce a certain person into my life at the right place and the right time, than He'll find a way to work around the fact that I'm not surrounded by Catholics.

So, that's the update for the day.  Let me know what you think / advice about the situation in the comment box below.

Thanks for all the prayers...God bless!

Chloe M. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

What are You Living For?

From Lifeteen's Chris Faddis today:

What if I told you that your life was halfway over?

I’m guessing you’re 15 or 16, maybe 17 years old. What if I told you that your life expectancy was to live until you were 32 years old? I know what you’re thinking – “dude, most people live past 32. You’re being way over-dramatic.”

I felt the same way for a long time. Then one day, the reality of how short life really is hit me when I was least expecting it. My wife was in the emergency room after having been sick for over a week. After a long while and a few tests, the Doctor asked to speak with me. Basically he said, “it’s cancer, it’s all over, and we’re really late.”

In an instant the long life we expected for her was no longer a given.

Angela lived 17 months after that diagnosis and her last 17 months were something miraculous. She didn’t crawl up in her bed and cry and complain. She lived those last months of her life with passion, with purpose, and with intention to be the best wife and mother she could be and ultimately the intention to trust that God would make good of this horrible situation (Romans 8:28).

So what if I told you that you too would only live until 32?
I mean, it’s a morbid thought, but maybe it’s something you and I should be thinking about? Having been a youth minister for many years, including several years with Angela by my side, I’ve thought many times about what Angela would say to you teenagers today.

So here is Angela’s letter to you (actual quotes from Angela underlined):

Dear you,

I remember being young and full of life. I remember thinking I could live forever. I remember thinking I could do anything I wanted. I remember being so focused on being perfect and getting everything right that I would stress out to the point of feeling sick. I remember being so excited to compete, to be the best at something, to achieve something. I also remember 
feeling worthless when I didn’t quite do my best.
I remember being so in “like” and thinking someone felt the same, and then feeling so used when he moved on to the next pretty girl he saw. I remember feeling like nobody in my family cared or understood me. Truth is they cared a lot – but it sure didn’t feel that way at times. I remember struggling with depression and feeling like I just wanted to die.

I also remember being invited to youth group and Bible 
study. Faith had always been a part of my family – we went to Mass regularly, but it was going to those Bible studies where I truly came to understand God and his desire for me. I remember the first time I realized that God designed me to ultimately be in heaven. I never wanted anything more than to be with God, to be in union with him, to have complete joy.

I remember coming to understand why the Mass was so important. I remember that this feeling of desiring 
heaven kept me from allowing those feelings of wanting to die go any further, because I knew that God loved me more than I could ever imagine and even though it didn’t feel that way when I was sad and depressed, I just knew I had to trust in His love.

I think back on my life and you know what? The things that really mattered in my life, the things that lasted, the things that I remembered in the end – they were the things that drew me closer to God…

All of that stress I had put on so many other things for so long – success, appearance, money, career, being perfect – those things really don’t matter in the end. Yes, I think you should always strive to be the best 
version of yourself in all areas of your life. But what really matters are those things that will bring you closer to God and ultimately the only thing that matters is your relationship with God Himself.
What would I tell you today? What would I tell 17 year old me?
I’d tell you the same thing I want my kids to know. The one thing that matters in this life, the only thing that matters is that you know Jesus, that you love Him, that you desire to be in union with Him and that you seek that above all else.

Now is the time to make Jesus the center of your life.
Don’t wait until you are older. Look at me… I died at 
32. What if I had waited until later? What if I had waited and it was too late? I am so grateful to God that He put people in my life that invited me to Bible study, that taught me about prayer, about a relationship with Him.

I’m so grateful that I was able to take time to build up my prayer and faith life while I was young, because in the end, it was that faith and all of those prayers I said before that helped me through the pain and suffering of cancer and the pain and suffering of saying goodbye to my children and my husband.

Take the time now to deepen your prayer life, because you just never know what’s going to happen, and to know the love of Jesus before encountering something like this is something I am so grateful for, and I wish everyone could experience.
With love from heaven,

Angela Faddis