Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Hello, Old Friends

Hello, again, everyone!

Yes, I'm back. It's good to be back. And I have quite a few stories I could tell. I guess the most important one for now is that I have discerned that the religious life is not for me at this time. I spent six beautiful months with the Servants of Mary, and I wouldn't trade that time for the world. But now it's time for me to be home. I'm excited to see what the Lord has planned for me.

One of my biggest blessings has been to be back with my family in time for the birth of my new baby brother, Adrian. He is so tiny and cute, you guys! He's so quiet, too. I'm used to having fussy siblings, but so far, he's been so chill. Let's hope that's one thing that doesn't change in a few months!

I'm so happy to be back. I didn't know if I would ever have a chance to connect with you guys again, and now I do. I'm so thankful that God gives me what I need at the right times.

So let's talk! How are you all? I know how much can change in half a year. How has life treated you? How has the Lord blessed you and shown you He loves you? Can't wait to hear from you!

- Maddie

Thursday, August 31, 2017

So Long, Farewell

Dear friends,

I have some news for you all, and it is a bit bittersweet.

In January this year, I had the pleasure of meeting the Servants of Mary, Ministers to the Sick. They are an order of religious sisters whose ministry is a kind of hospice care: they go to the homes of the sick and the dying and give them overnight care in their last days. I was drawn to this ministry and to the joy that these sisters have. The vocations director for the order invited me to stay a few days at the convent to experience their daily life and their ministry. It was a very blessed time. It was funny because I actually ended up staying an extra night - my car had to go to the repair shop and the sisters drove an hour and a half to get me home! They joked that it was like the Sound of Music when the sisters sabotage the Nazis' cars. :)

After much prayer and discernment, I decided to apply to the order and was accepted at the end of this past July. On Friday, September 1st I will enter the postulancy! I am excited for this new adventure with Jesus. I still have a long way to go in my discernment, and I would appreciate very much any prayers you could offer for me. You will be in mine.

It has been such a joy to write here in this, my little piece of the internet. I won't delete this blog, but please be aware that I will not have access to the internet for at least a year or possibly more than that. I don't know if I will take up writing on here again, but thank you for reading my past posts and this one now. I am happy that I could share this time with you and I'm so grateful to everyone who took the time to read the random things I talked about here.

I didn't think it would be right to end without including one of my writings. I wrote this in my first attempt at long free verse which is a continuing story. I moved back in with my family at the beginning 
of June, and this was inspired by my time spent with my family these past few months.

Dad calls across the long
field of grass,
waving in the warm evening breeze,
for me to bring the van around.
The big purple van with
fifteen seats, which is older than

The van is
easy to maneuver around in,
even through the waist high grass,
even though I have not driven it
in almost a year.
I learned to drive
in this van.
My hands fit comfortably around the
steering wheel,
as I pull around the yard
to the back.

Dad motions me forward as I pull up
to where he is standing
out by the lagoon 

with the tractor.
The cardinal red tractor that doesn’t stay running
for more than half an hour
before needing a jump again.

I pop the hood for him and then
roll down my window and
stick my elbow out and then
rest my chin on my arm and
look at the sunset that is staining the northwest sky
a clear orange; there is only a taste of darkness
and it is already eight o’clock.

My mind drifts
and I think how only a week ago I was
working at the old folks’ home
two hours away from here,
getting them ready for bed,
training the new girl who was to take my
how when I got off work and went
straight home
to my one bedroom apartment,
I was completely

Tonight I’ll share a room with my two
sisters, and a bed with
the youngest,
I will be more comfortable than I was
last week.

I look up when the rumble of the
old tractor engine starts;
the vibrating sound is so deep
it seems to
move through my bones like an instrument.

Dad unhooks the cables from the
tractor and motions for
me to take the ones off the battery
on the van.
He hops on
the cardinal red lawn mower
before it decides it isn’t up for
the job, and I
slam the hood of the big purple van and
jump back up into the driver’s seat,
jumper cables in tow.

I swing the van around again 
to where it was parked before, 
and greet the dog with the orange and white patches
and let her kiss my hands,
and praise my little sister, who is riding her tricycle
and head inside and let my mother know
the tractor started on
the first try.

Dad works on the
grass every night this week
and little by little,
our yard looks less like it belongs to a house
we were away from for a year,
and better than it did
before we left.

I don’t feel as if I’ve ever been gone,
but at the same time,
I know I’ve changed.
It’s like
waking up from a dream
and suddenly being wiser
than you were before.
And maybe you miss it a little bit now,
but at the same time,
you know you were not meant to
stay in your dream forever,
but to wake up and use the
wisdom you’ve acquired
and not let it waste.

I give my best wishes to you all. And now, for what may be the last time,

- Maddie