Someone asked me how my Christmas break has been earlier this evening (note that it is now 3 in the morning:). It has been, to date, one of the best Christmas breaks I've ever had (with the exception of my being really grouchy toward my mom - I can't really figure that one out). I spent the first half of break with my fam. My sister and I got in some good bonding time. My family made some of our famous Christmas tree pizzas (check out teri's facebook pics to see what they look like!). We watched our favorite JAG Christmas episodes and played some mean game of Apples to Apples.
I was greeted by coming home (back to Wichita, that is) to my Angels - including our college girls and my Kimmy. If you've never been to a 5:30 mass on Thursdays, afterward the Knights say their prayer and the Angels say ours. I was so overjoyed to have all my sisters home again I couldn't get the words out - all that came were tears. What followed mass was some quality Angels time and some great sister stories.
The next day I woke up and headed to Keeks' casa to share some Daisy Girl fun. We chatted till 3 and got caught up on all of Kimmy's convent stories.
Saturday we headed to Independence for Kathy and Jim's wedding. I don't think I can express effectively the beauty of their sacramental marriage, FJ's homily and the crazy good dancing that followed. I relished in the friendships that God has given me. As Erin and I were discussing a few minutes ago, it was a reminder from God of what kind of friendship he has given us. Even with all the changes of the past two years; from Kristi and Andrew's marriage and us leaving the house to the goodbyes that we said over the past summer, I have some friends that know me and love me and accept me for who I am.
I think a lot (not all) but a lot of people that I was "friends" with in college didn't really know the real me - 0r take the time to get to know me. I think this was partially due to the fact that I was a transfer student, partly to the fact that I am pretty shy and partly because I was still figuring myself out and was afraid to show that I didn't have it all figured out. (not that, as I approach my 28th year I do have it all figured out!).
Maybe that's part of what happens and makes you grown up - it has for me at least; that finding friends who you can talk out all your thoughts and ramblings. Friends that have the power to turn away from you and call you dumb; but who don't. Instead, they listen and ask questions and challenge you to be a better person. I think it's probably different for everyone, but I think this type of relationship - those friends who become the family members that you weren't born with - that help you grown into yourself if you will. It's the importance of knowing that they have the power to shun you for life but because they love you so much they never will.
It was this kind of love, this agape type kind of love that I was experiencing at Jim and Kathy's wedding. Without Kim and Kristi and Jose and even Kathy, who's wedding we were at, I still have those friends who know me and love me.
And herein lay my worry of last week: having Kim home and Jose's been "home" so much it really does feel like he's been away at college things have felt normal again. And if it feels so normal now, what have the past 4 months been? Hard, of course. And there have been lots of tears - after phone calls and letters from Kim, after nights at Angels that just feel off, after weekends spent primarily by myself.
But I have hope and this promise from God that He won't desert me. He hasn't in the past and he's not going to start now.
About a week ago, I was kind of bummed. When I finally figured out what day New Year's Eve was, I realized that I had adoration from 11-midnight. It only took me a few seconds to realize that I didn't have to be bummed about not getting a new year's kiss - I'd get to be w/ Jesus. And Kimmy and this guy named Chuck who I really don't know . . .
Anyway, I was pretty stoked about getting to chill w/ JC and Kimmy. As we left the party, Erin called out and asked us to pray for her. So I went into adoration to pray my family and friends into the new year. I decided to kinda make my own rosary praying for each group with an Our Father and each person with a Hail Mary. I went through my immediate family, my Dad's fam and my Moms - her's took a little longer!, my high school best friends and my college friends and my godchildren and then my Daisy House family and my Angel sisters and my "kids" as I fondly call my students. All of a sudden it was 11:45!
I spent the last 15 minutes relishing in the love that I have received through all of these groups of people. As I meet more Catholic's I become more convinced that we are a closer group than any of us realize. And God shows me His love through all of these other people - it amazes me.
So, if you got to the end of my 1/2 hour ranting and rambling, I thank you for loving me through my LMM's (at least enough to read this post) and wish you a 2008 filled with many blessings from our Savior!