Luke 10:41-42

"But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing.'"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

God High

Had an amazing God-filled weekend. Two of my husband's old classmates were ordained into the priesthood on Saturday. Catholic or Protestant, if you've never seen this before, you should. It has all of the elements of the Mass, with even more rich, traditional ceremonies included. There were dozens of priests and deacons there from all over the world to welcome their new members into the brotherhood by the laying of hands and and embracing. The three new priests were from England and Nigeria and the third is American but half Japanese and half German. Seeing the African people there in their beautiful outfits and headdresses, listening to the different accents, and seeing people like my Mexican students in the congregation reminded me yet again of our Universal Church.

Because I'd been to an ordination last year for another of my husband's friends, I knew what to expect for the weekend. It is truly like a wedding celebration. We went to a reception Saturday evening, complete with the photo collage and guest book, table favors, buffet-style meal, and cake. But we also received a blessing from the new priest (Father James) and spent a lot of time talking with other priests in the diocese. Then on Sunday, we were there for Father James's first Mass. His father was a lector, his brother an altar server, his sister a soloist. It was beautiful.

So, like after returning from a retreat, I'm on a God-high. Being around so many young, vibrant priests encourages me about the future of our church. In three years we'll have another ordination to attend, and I found out recently of another friend who just decided to enter the seminary. Seeing how these men are influenced by their families and friends to answer this call inspires me to continue to pray for vocations and those who are currently serving God.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Penny saved

The last couple of weeks I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out ways to save a little money here and there. I signed for every possible restaurant that gives you something free around your birthday (can't wait for next June!), actually look at the grocery store ads to compare prices, follow different stores and people on Twitter to get tips, and yes, clip coupons. Instead of going to one store to get everything we need, I'll drive to multiple places that have certain items on sale and just get those few things. Yesterday alone I went to three grocery stores. Fortunately we live in an area where's it's not a huge waste of gas to do this.

My husband and I have talked (not argued!) more about money in the last month that we did combined in the five months of marriage previously. We have to plan now, decide can we go out tonight if we'll be on vacation later on this month, instead of just doing what sounds good at that moment.

I was thinking when I was out at store #3 yesterday, why haven't we been doing this all along? Oh right, because we didn't have to.

Definitely not an excuse. I did have a little excuse, no time while working one full time job and others that were part time. Now I can go on multiple errands, in the middle of the day no less, poke around online for an hour to find coupons, go through the ads that come in the mail. But really thinking about what we're spending, planning ahead, communicating, those are all things we could have been better about before. The Bible talks about money and resources more than anything else so as believers, we need to be good stewards of the gifts we've been given.

I was taking that for granted. I recognize that I need to be careful of not swinging too far to the other side and hoard and try to control all we have out of fear. Nothing we own is our own, it is a gift and God provides in all circumstances.

Now to go back and read the end of Matthew 6 again.