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

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Love is Not Selfish

Do you know which people I admire most? The ones who want something so badly, but who have the self control to keep themselves from doing it. Respect for others and for themselves. And I think that is one thing the world today would do best to remember - at the end of the day, the world does not just comprise of you and your significant other. Just because you want to do something or feel passionately about something does not make it right to follow through on it. You may very well wish to have an affair, or elope, or hurt someone who has wronged you, but that does not make it all right to do. The people who want something and who know they could have it if they tried, but who realize it is not the right thing to do and don't do it are the people I would trust with anything.

I have four different examples from movies and books on this subject. The only thing I must warn you about is that the whole rest of the post is basically spoilers. So just beware. I'll write it again, just in case you skim this paragraph.

*Spoiler Alert*

via Pinterest

I can't tell you how much I love the last scene of Roman Holiday. Princess Anne and Joe Bradley both know they could forsake their duties and obligations in the name of love, but choose to stay in the places where they are needed. Mr. Bradley has everything that he needs to get back on his feet right in his hands, and he chooses to sacrifice that in order to do the honorable thing and respect the life of another. The last thing the princess wants to do is continue training as the heir to the throne, but she knows that is her role in life and accepts it. They could very well have run off with each other, but it would have been an act of selfishness, and they know it wouldn't have been right.

via Pinterest

In Downton Abbey, John Bates has obstacle after obstacle in trying to get a divorce from his unfaithful wife. His new love, Anna Smith, tells him several times that she would gladly become his mistress if he wanted her to. He says, “I know you, Anna Smith, and I love you, and that is not the right path for you. It won’t be long now.”

via Pinterest

Jane Eyre doesn't know Mr. Rochester has a living wife when she falls in love with him. They are literally standing at the altar, only a few words away from becoming husband and wife, when she learns the truth. He begs her to stay with him, and she could easily have done so; but she follows her conscience and leaves his house, putting the temptation behind her, although her heart is breaking and she has absolutely nowhere to go. Eventually, everything works out for them, and I'm sure they were both glad they waited.

via Pinterest

In The Golden Thread, Uli von der Flue, a Swiss mercenary, falls in love with the girl Juanita, who is accompanying him on his journey. You would think that he would have low morals as he is a mercenary, but instead of taking advantage of her or even letting her know that he is in love with her, he gets her safely to where she needs to go and makes his own way home. She also loves him and can't understand why they can't get married. It turns out that he has a wife back home, and believes he must remain faithful to her, even though she married someone else when she thought he'd died. When she passes away, Uli is able to go back to Juanita with a clear conscience.

I like having examples of these things, because it is a testament to the good parts of human nature. Even though we have to fight against that part of us that says to only think about ourselves, it is still a fight we can win. It can be extremely hard at the time, but when you look back on it later in life, I know you'll be glad that the decision you made was not sinful and selfish.

What do you guys think? Can you think of more examples from literature or movies/shows? Or even history? Have you read/watched the books and shows from my list? Which is your favorite?

- Maddie